((MOD: I’ve finally done it…I’ve made an in-depth reference for myself of the layout of the shop! I’ll have to keep this in mind for future updates–the kitchen, shop, and rooms are all going to look different with these changes in mind! Maybe at some point I’ll change exterior aspects, but for now this is how it’ll look!))
((OOC: aaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA tumblr didnt even notify me that i had anything in my inbox so i might be seeing this SUPER LATE BUT KSNJFDNJDBJS I WEEP LOOK AT THOSE TWO BESTIES BEIN BESTEST FRENS AAAAAAAA tysm i love this so much i literally squealed when i saw this omg ; U ;))
So I mighta done a thing. :3 Just some good friends I’ve come to know over the course of tumblrponning, and a few from before, all mighty overdue for gift art! Specifically done in random order. ;P Took a few liberties here and there! Hope y'all don’t mind.
I had lots of fun with this! I’ll probably post individuals on my modblog later today when I get around to… cutting and cropping all of these.
Also, for the sake of others not having this appear on their dash twenty times, try adding the tag “tech portraits reblog” so people can blacklist it for a little while, or something. Xkit has an extension for this too, I think. Just be courteous to your followers! Chances are a lot of them follow these same people too!
Dinner was wonderful, everypony said. Penwright seemed to think the results of his grand experiment at cooking tasted all right, so he swallowed his doubts and accepted the thanks and complements with good grace. Ickle had been especially interested to hear him talk about how dinner was made up of Germane dishes with his own small flourishes, like how the morel mushrooms were harvested from his parents’ land up north. Petina even managed to get him to fess up about where he got the pumpkin pie, though everypony still thought it was delicious, especially with a couple generous scoops of ice cream to go with it. The story seemed to make it all the better.
Finally, they all retired to the living room, where they began the gift exchange. Penwright and Ickle went halfsies on a set of drafting instruments for Sky Brush to help him with the technical drawings he did on the side (it helped having a friend who owned an art supply store), while Penwright bought Carousel a gift certificate for the Lotus Sisters’ spa. With all of the holiday deliveries she had to make, including a few last-minute ones that morning, she definitely deserved it. Petina, however, only received one present, but it had kept her rapt attention practically throughout the evening. It was a small puzzle box, but within each of its hidden compartments was a riddle leading somewhere in Penwright’s house. It was a collaborative effort between him, Ickle, Sky Brush, and Carousel, though they apparently underestimated Petina’s ability to navigate her way through the puzzle box, as she had already opened up four of the seven compartments. Still, she was having fun with it, though Penwright was starting to regret letting his house being the hiding place for her other gifts. Ah well, he should’ve known the dangers when he took the job.
Finally, it came time for Penwright to give Ickle her gift. He slid the present out from under the tree and held it up to her with his magic. “Happy Hearth’s Warming, Ickle,” he said with a warm smile.
“Thank you, Penwright,” she said hefting the gift experimentally in her hooves, gently feeling along the sides with her hooves. “Ooh, feels like a book! I wonder what this one is…”
Like most of the other ponies Penwright knew (including himself), Ickle preferred to rip the wrapping paper off of her gifts, but somehow she managed to make it look elegant. It was unwrapped completely in a respectably short time, revealing a thick tome with a stylized profile of a pegasus wearing a crested helmet on the front cover with the words Pax Pegasus: A History of the Pegasus Tribe embossed in silver underneath it.
“Oh my goodness! This is wonderful!” she cried happily. “Is this by the same author who wrote the one about the history of the unicorns?”
“It is indeed,” Penwright replied. “I figured you would like it.”
“If it’s anything like the last one you gave me, I know I’ll love it! Thank you!” She quickly set the book down and wrapped her forelegs around him, giving him a tight hug and a quick peck on the cheek.
“You’re very welcome, Ickle,” he said, returning her hug.
She released him almost as quickly and immediately began flipping through the pages, taking note of some of the maps, diagrams, and pictures within. “I can’t wait to sit down and read this thoroughly, it all looks so fascinating!” She glanced back up at him. “Does this book mention that skyvolley game that took place against the griffons?”
“The Second Battle of Cloudwall Pass? No, that happened after the book was written,” he said. “This book and the one about the history of the unicorns were published a little less than two hundred years ago.”
“Really? Is this book that old then?” Sky Brush asked, his curiosity piqued.
“Not the book itself, no, it’d be in the Canterlot Library then. These are more modern reprints from about fifty years ago,” Penwright replied. “Good thing I know a bookstore owner in St. Luna who specializes in these kinds of things.”
“Ha! That’s it!” Petina cried out, giving everypony in the room a bit of a start. She set her puzzle box down and stood up, pointing the paper with the riddle on it at Penwright and grinning victoriously. “I now know where you hid my next present. Thanks for the hint, Penny!” And with that, she trotted up the stairs, humming a merry tune.
“Told you you should’ve made them harder,” Carousel said when she was out of earshot.
“Riddles aren’t my strong point, okay?” Penwright retorted mildly.
“You’re just upset that you’re out of the betting pool,” Sky Brush countered with a small chuckle.
“She probably knew what time I betted on and did the easy ones first just to spite me,” Penwright muttered, though he had to grin as well.
“Found it!” Petina called as she trotted back down the stairs, holding an envelope aloft with her magic. “Nestled between two books, very clever. And two of my own books, too! How very thoughtful.” She quickly opened the envelope and read the piece of paper inside. “And it looks like this is…oh my, Sky Brush, you shouldn’t have.” She sidled up to the pegasus stallion and gave him a lingering kiss. “Though I am glad you did,” she added with a wink.
“Oh, what did he get you?” Ickle asked.
Petina paused and thought for a bit. “Normally, I wouldn’t mind saying so, but in this case I’ll save Penwright any embarrassment and keep it a secret for now,” she said, throwing a smirk in his direction. “After all, he was kind enough to make us all dinner.”
“I appreciate that,” Penwright replied dryly.
“Hey Petina, since you’re up,” Carousel said, “maybe now’s a good time to get Ickle’s gift for Penwright.”
“Ah! Good idea!” she said, opening up the back door and stepping outside on the porch.
“Wait, what? It’s outside?” Penwright asked in bemusement.
“Well, it’s a bit too big to just carry inside and leave propped against the wall,” Carousel replied. “It would’ve been a big distraction, anyway.”
“Fair point, but how long was it out there?”
“We hid it there before we started caroling at your front door,” said Sky Brush. “You might want to get a lock for the gate to your fence.”
Outside the window looking out on his back yard, Penwright saw Petina levitate a large, flat parcel about the size of a large movie poster wrapped in waterproof packaging over to his porch. She undid a few strings and the covering fell away, revealing the present’s gift wrapping. He glanced over at Ickle, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. Ickle just smiled warmly, eager to see him open it.
“Happy Hearth’s Warming,” she said as Petina presented it to him.
“Now this is interesting,” he said as he took hold of the present with his magic. He quickly tore the wrapping paper off, revealing a canvas covered in a riot of color splatters, mostly reds and yellows but also some blue and green in there as well. The first thing Penwright thought of when he looked at it was of a pony standing under a tree in autumn, though set on a wintery landscape. The split-second impression disappeared as he looked at it some more, but he grasped the significance of it soon after.
“Ooh, this is one of your dreamcatcher abstract paintings!” he said excitedly.
Ickled nodded. “It is! I hope it will give you lots of inspiring dreams.”
“Then this is getting hung over my bed tonight, then,” Penwright declared. He stood up and walked over to Ickle, giving the top of her head a nuzzle. “This will be a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Ickle.”
“You’re very welcome, Penwright,” she replied happily.
The moment lasted for a few seconds more before Petina spoke up. “Oh, why didn’t I think of that before?” She lifted the edge of the skirt around the base of the Hearth’s Warming tree and pulled out a small box hidden under there. “Ooh, a ring, perhaps?” She glanced over at Ickle. “Better hope Penwright didn’t buy this, otherwise this will be rather awkward for all of us.” She paused, then winked at Penwright. “The answer’ll be yes, pending Ickle’s permission, of course. She gets first dips on you. And don’t worry, Ickle, I’m willing to share.”
Ickle blushed slightly, though she chuckled along with everypony else (save Penwright, who just rolled his eyes). Petina opened up the small box, revealing a key with a small tag attached. “‘Find and solve the final riddle to find the lock,’” she read aloud. “Well, best get back at it.” As she stepped back to her place, she leaned over and whispered into Penwright’s ear.
“I left something for you under your bed,” she said just loud enough for Ickle to hear. “Happy Hearth’s Warming!”
Penwright glanced over at Ickle, whose blush deepened a little as she held back a chuckle. “Yeah, thanks, Petina,” he replied dryly, trying not to imagine what it might be.
HD Portrait Set 1 Alright, I promised to bring these out and did announce it to them at their streams so. Here you all are~! This is just part 1, there is still more to come and even more to come with the missing ones.
Feel free to make a wallpaper of some sort. But I know some of you will take advantage of this so I will say this now.
ALL ARTISTIC CONTENT IS PROTECTED UNDER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS. Do not re-post, copy, or trace my content unless allowed and we’ll be alright. (Mods of these blogs are automatically allowed.)
Penwright looked down at her, noticing the vines and flowers on her head. “Where did those come from?” he asked. “Did the wind blow that inside?" With a shrug, his horn started to glow, and Ickle saw with dismay the magical field covering her laurel.
"No! Don’t remove it just yet! Don’t you see who I am?” she thought frantically.
But the laurel remained on her head, and the glow dissipated. Penwright looked at her more thoughtfully, his expression pensive.
“You know…” he said slowly, as though thinking out loud, “you do kinda resemble a friend of mine. She normally wears laurels in her hair, and, now that I think about it, your fur has a similar color as her coat and mane.”
Her eyes shone and she felt her breath catching slightly as she realized that he might’ve finally recognized her. Hidden under the veil of species differences, she cried out “It’s me!” and reared back on her hind legs, pressing her soft paws against his leg. Unfortunately, all Penwright would hear was a meow, but her eyes slowly closed in the cat fashion of expressing great happiness.
Penwright chuckled and stroked her fur, brushing off the vines and flowers. “Well, you’re certainly as friendly as she is,” he remarked. “She’s very easy to talk to, very approachable about anything, really.”
His eyes looked off to the side. “Well, maybe not everything,” he amended. “She…" He paused, as though choosing his words carefully. "I feel that…it’s hard to express any kind of affection for her, save for just the general kind between friends.”
At his words, she was confused. “Affection? I thought that I was welcoming of talking about that..?” She remembered when others had teased her in regards to mistletoe last Hearth’s Warming, but she implored him, circling his hoof and bumping her head against it. "What do you mean?“
In the back of her mind she could feel an inkling of an idea what he meant, implying that he wanted to see her as something other than a friend…but what? Something more affectionate? As a mentor, then? Her ears swiveled in confusion and she felt her brows pushing down in bemusement.
"I mean, we did have a moment over Hearth’s Warming,” he continued as he sat down on the floor, idly stroking her fur, “but…" He paused again, and when he continued, he sounded more like he was thinking out loud to himself than actually talking to her, or at least to a cat.
"I love her,” he finally said. “She’s a wonderful pony, extremely creative, outgoing and friendly, and she just…inspires me. Not just with my writing, though the stars know that she’s done that considerably, but…just with life in general. She rekindles my enthusiasm for just about everything.”
A clicking of old gears began in her mind again, akin to when she and Penwright had shared a kiss on the cheek in the library of Petina’s home…they were clicking thoughts together in an order that she feared, in an order that meant that, somehow, she had earned the special sort of love that Inkweld had once held for her…Penwright felt that way? She could hardly believe it. She felt a feline blush erupting on her body, her fur prickling and her tail twitching at its base, as her eyes froze on his face. She felt a strong rumbling in her chest, a loud purring, as she thought to herself Penwright…loves me…?
With swiveling ears she tried to tamp down the pull in her heart to believe that he could’ve possibly meant that, and she released a single “meow” as she asked, “Really…?” suddenly hoping that he wouldn’t recognize her at that particular moment, embarrassed as she was with the uncontrollable purring in her throat.
“I know, right?” he said, apparently still not understanding what she was saying. “But…I still find it hard to tell her that. There’s…something about her that makes me feel bad for wanting to say that." He shook his head. "No, scratch that, not feel bad, but feel like it might be unwelcomed.”
He was quiet for a moment, gathering his thoughts. “I suppose I don’t know why I feel that way. Maybe it’s just my own lack of self-confidence. I…just don’t want to feel like I’m imposing on her." He shook his head again. "Or maybe I just don’t want to feel rejected. I don’t know. Just thinking about telling her this is scary enough. I had an opportunity at Hearth’s Warming, but I didn’t follow through with it. I just got this feeling that she didn’t want to move in that direction just yet. That’s fine, but…”
He sighed. “I wish I was better at reading ponies. I can figure out fictional characters perfectly, but with real ponies I struggle. Go figure.”
It was exactly as she had feared. Her heart raced wildly as she pulled her paws away from his leg, feeling her body pull itself away from him. Every fiber in her body wanted to be back in her old body so she could pull him into her arms and kiss him and tell him she felt the exact same way, but on the other hoof, Inkweld’s dark, forboding voice echoed in her mind the same words he had tortured into her heart, carved into scars on her body, and crushed into her mind: “a muse is not to be loved, but to be seen. You belong to me.”
She wanted to reject it—dearly, she did—and she was getting close, but still her paws pulled her away, and before she knew it she had leapt straight from the floor to the sill, and leapt in inconceivable feline agility from the sill, darting down the tree, and across the lawn. She couldn’t see what she was doing, all she could think about was the heart-gripping, startling realization that Penwright, her dearest friend, was in love with her in the same intense, embarrassed fervor as her. And as her eyes blurred with wind and tears in her eyes, she ran towards her home.
Blood knows no borders, including those that separate planes of existence. Only in the dreamrealm of Volleri, the center of all unconscious sapient thought, can such otherwise unlikely family gatherings take place.