Marilee woke slowly, feeling around for the pony who should be beside her. Her hoof found Jaxler’s belly, and she pulled herself closer to him, rousing him with gentle kisses.
Jaxler was surprised to be awoken by a kiss, but really didn’t show it on his face as he opened his eyes and put his foreleg around Marilee. “Good morning, my love.”
Marilee smiled wide. “Good morning indeed. How did you sleep?”
The markspony nuzzled Marilee. He really hadn’t slept well in the last 5 days since he had left the hospital and stopped drinking. “A little bit better since you’ve been staying with me.”
Marilee wrapped her forelegs around Jaxler, snuggling close to him. “How are you feeling? Still cold, any shakiness?”
Jaxler put his other foreleg around marilee and even put his wings around her. “Nope, actually.” Jaxler still felt depressed as of recently, but the support he was being given from his friends helped him greatly.
“That’s good to hear. So, you feel like getting some breakfast, or would you like to stay with me a little while?”
Jaxler held Marilee a little tighter. “breakfast seems nice, but staying here with you seems a little nicer.” Jaxler then gave her a kiss.
Marilee leaned into the kiss, holding it as long as she could. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
Jaxler breaks the kiss regretfully and gives Marilee a squeeze with his forelegs. “So...”
Marilee rested her head on Jaxler’s chest. “Mm-hmm?
“Is there anything you’d like to do?” asked Jaxler as he stroked Marilee’s mane.
“Well, there is... if you feel like you’re up to it.”
“I’d say I am.”
Marilee replied by kissing Jaxler deeply, pulling the covers over the two of them...
The two ponies huddled together, content in each other’s company. Marilee laid with her head on Jaxler’s chest, listening to his heartbeat. She let out a contented sigh. “...I love you, Jaxler.”
Jaxler sighed as well. “I love you too...”
Reluctantly, Marilee sat up. “Well, we really should be off to breakfast now.”
Jaxler followed Marilee’s que and sat up too. “You're probably right.”
Marilee gave Jaxler one last brief kiss, before climbing out of bed and going to the dresser to freshen up.
Jaxler lingered in bed a little longer before finally getting up and picking his crossbow up off the cabinet and slinging it over his back. He then walked over to his coffer and after fiddling with the locks he picked up something covered in cloth as well as his quiver and hid the cloth covered item in said quiver. He didn’t really mess around with his mane, and hoped Marilee wouldn’t say something about it. This was, of course, fruitless, because as soon as she had finished with her mane, Marilee came over with a brush and proceeded to attack the tangled crimson mess atop Jaxler’s head.
Jaxler sighed as his mane was assaulted by the brush. “Do I look nice?”
“Just a little more...” Marilee gave his now neatly-combed mane one more stroke. “There, all done.”
Jaxler smiled. “Thanks... I have a question for you. my hair naturally has purple and light and crimson red stripes in it, kinda dye it all crimson and my wings are naturally purple as well. do you think I’d look okay if I stopped dyeing them?”
“Oh? You’ve never told me that before. Why did you dye them in the first place?”
“Well, thought I’d look nicer if my mane and body were just one solid color.”
“Well, if you think it looks better, then you should keep it that way. You’ll have to show me how you really look some day, though.”
“Well, maybe I could stop dying it from now on.”
“you don’t have to. This look has suited you well thus far, hasn’t it?”
“It has, but It really isn’t me.” said Jaxler as he walked over to the door.
Marilee followed him out. “Well, it’s your body after all.”
As the two left the apartment Jaxler put his wing around Marilee. “So, There’s something I’ve been wondering for a while.”
“Yes?” Marilee snuggled into Jaxler’s wing.
“If your father is a shadow bolt, does that mean that if we had a foal, it could be one?”
“Yes, it does...” Marilee replied, cautiously. “That’s not... a problem, is it?”
“Well, yes. I’d love the foal all the same, but I’m not sure if all the other ponies here would... and aside from that are the rumors of darkbolts enjoying blood true?”
“They’re certainly able
to drink blood, though they don’t need to feed on ponies like a vampire. As for enjoying
it, well... I imagine that’s a matter of personal taste.”
“Okay, but what if the foal was discriminated against?”
Marilee sighed heavily. “I... well, I’ve always thought that ponies here in Dawnpick were very tolerant and open-minded, so I hope that won’t end up being a problem.”
“Most are, but still many ponies here have had things ruined by what some call ‘devil’ ponies. They’ve lost family to them, and fear them. it’s not all of us but a few, but it could still be a very real problem.”
“I understand. But I think the best we can really do is deal with the issue when it happens.”
“Okay... Just one more question, do you have anything other than pegasus and shadowbolt blood? Just out of curiosity.”
Marilee paused to think for a moment. “Well... my grandma on my mum’s side was an earth pony. Dad was the first in his family to not take a shadowbolt wife, so there isn’t anything else on that side of the family.”
“Well, I’m a pure bred Pegasus, so I guess That means if we had a foal, it would either be and earth, pegasus or shadowbolt pony.” Jaxler then Gave Marilee a nuzzle. “Would you be okay if I named our son if we had one together?”
“It would be our
foal, shouldn’t we work together
to name them?”
“Yes, but... I want to name him after my Grandfather.”
Marilee pondered this for a moment. “I see... what was his name?”
Jaxler sighed. “Lieutenant Meldrich, blackflutes...”
“Meldrich...” Marilee let the name sink in for a moment. “That is
a nice name.” She chuckled softly. “Alright, if we do have a little colt, that’s what we’ll name him.“
Jaxler smiled. “Thanks...” He then continued to walk into the meeting hall. “You know, G-pa never exactly told me how he made it all the way to lieutenant, he never went to military academy.” Jaxer then sighed. “I guess when you loose enough officers you just rank up whoever tends to not kick the bucket.” He then looked down to his crossbow, “He was a good pony... “ He looked a little water eyed. Marilee’s company had really put a dent the in potency of his depression, but he was still easily worked up. In fact, he would be at the reserves right now, if he hadn’t broken down during training and been told to not show back up until he recovered. “why can’t I protect anything...”
Marilee snuggled a little deeper into Jaxler’s wing. “Why would you say that? You’ve done an amazing job protecting the ponies of Dawnpick.”
“I... before that... I couldn’t do anything...” As much as Jaxler wanted to break down again, he held it in and guided the two to his favorite seat. “You know... of all the seats in this room, this was the one where I drunk my brains out the most...”
Marilee put out a hoof to gently stop Jaxler. “Do you think maybe it would help if you chose a different seat? Somewhere you didn’t drink very often?”
Jaxler sighed. “Yeah... might be best... could we actually, eat breakfast somewhere other than the meeting hall...”
Marilee smiled. “That sounds like a good idea. Did you have somewhere in mind?”
“Maybe by the river... under a tree.”
“I like the sound of that.”
“Okay then.” the two walk over and grab some food before leaving the hall. Jaxler didn’t take his wing off of Marilee for a second, as if he was afraid of losing her. “So... how long till’ you leave for GlitterGlen?”
“Well, miss Virtue seems to think that we shouldn’t have to worry about an attack any time soon, and dad seems to agree. So... we could be ready to leave before the end of the month.”
“Oh, well, are you sure you’d want to do that? I have some plans I’d hate for you to miss.” Said jaxler as the two exited the gate.
“Oh? Well, then... I guess I could ask them if we could stay a little while longer, but... well, I had hoped you’d like to come with us.”
“Well, I’d love to come with you and meet your brother... just, I think you need to hold off on leaving...”
Marilee was silent for a moment. “...Okay. I think I can wait just a little while longer.”
“Good... “ the two make their way to a tree near the river. Jaxler knew this spot well, it was where stiletto brought him after Arbalest died. He sat down with marilee, and let their breakfast laying next to them. “So... did you hear about Granite left town on a deadly quest that could very well end his life...”
Marilee froze. “What? Why? What does he think he’s doing?”
“He... he didn’t say... but he left, and I couldn’t really do anything to stop him... He was sure he had to do it though... so I gave him my blessing... I had him promise to send me letters...”
Marilee stepped forward, wrapping her forelegs and wings around Jaxler. “He... he’s a strong buck. He’ll be okay. I believe he will.”
“You know... for the first time in decades, I actually asked god for something... I asked celestia to let him back... do you think she won’t take another pony away from me...”
“I don’t think she wants to see you lose anypony else. I think she’ll keep him safe, in whatever way she can.”
The depression was making it hard for Jaxler to maintain his composure. “He... he’s my son... if he died, I’d never know... he’s my son.. and I can’t keep him safe.. why can’t I keep ponies safe...”
Marilee held Jaxler close, comforting him with gentle kisses on his cheeks and forehead.
Jaxler sighed gave Marilee a nuzzle. It almost seemed like whenever he was with her, he could never feel bad for long. “Aye, I need to give you something, and I’d like if you closed your eyes while I do so.”
“Oh? Okay...” Marilee let go of Jaxler, stepping back and shutting her eyes. “I’m ready.”
Jaxler took off his quiver and emptied its contents on the ground, a few bolts came out, and a small object wrapped in a cloth. after picking up said object, he grabbed Marilee’s hoof gently and placed it on her hoof. “open up your eyes.”
Marilee opened her eyes, and gasped: upon her her hoof rested a plain steel bracelet, unadorned save for a single stud of bright, glittering turquoise metal.
Is this... from your... Oh, sweetie, you shouldn’t have...”
“Well, I should, I mean, I am proposing to you right now.”
Marilee couldn’t answer, raising the braceleted hoof to her mouth in stunned silence.
Jaxler smiled at the mare’s response. “Would you be willing spend forever with me?”
“I-I... I... yes!
Yes, oh yes yes yes...” Marilee threw her forehooves around Jaxler, pulling him into a deep, passionate kiss.
Jaxler was surprised by the sudden kiss, but didn’t hesitate to accept it and hold it for as long as he could.
After a long time, Marilee broke away, catching her breath. She stared into Jaxler’s eyes. “...Yes, Jaxler. I do want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Jaxler sighs and gives Marilee a nuzzle. “thank you... now I’d love it if the wedding happened right after I’m done with rehab... and the trip to Glitterglen can be our honeymoon.”
Marilee accepted the nuzzle. “I can do that. Oh, I just can’t wait to tell mum and dad...”
“Oh, I bet they’ll be proud...”