>"Princess Twilight, with all due respect, don't you think the magnititude of this task is too great?"
"It's just lunch with a pony Tempest"
>"Yes, but it's a new pony, somepony new..."
>"Somepony who might decide they hate me just by looking at me"
>Princess Twilight held her hoof out sideways as Tempest walked clear into it.
>The stress of the upcoming lunch date piling on her shoulders.
"Tempest" Twilight began softly.
"If I didn't think you were ready for this we wouldn't be here" she gave Tempest a reassurring smile.
>The battle-worn unicorn hated and adored the princess of friendship's hope filled words.
>She let out a small breath and held her head up high.
"Now let's see a smile on that face" Twilight pointed her hoof towards Tempest's mouth.
>It had been ages since Tempest had smiled genuinely.
>But ever since moving into Princess Twilight's castle.
>Tempest had found it harder and harder not to smile.
>A smirk appeared on her mouth as she let out a small giggle.
>Twilight beamed as the two just looked at each other.
>However, Tempest noticed Twilight's gaze avert upwards as her smile turned into a scared frown.
"Duck!" she shouted as she fell flat to the ground.
>Her hooves covering her head.
>Frozen in place, Tempest tried to turn her head to see the source of the duck.
>But before she could even catch a glimpse, a large mass collided into her back.
>Knocking her to the dirt.
>Groaning, Tempest accidentally nudged the projectile that took the wind from her with her front leg.
>It felt soft.
>Turning her attention towards it she saw a long poofy, yellow shape.
>Attached to something grey.
>On the side were three translucent spheres all of similar sizes.
>Movement came from the front of the mysterious object.
>It had eye-like shapes where eyes would be.
>Except one was looking at Tempest and the other was looking towards the ground.
>A simple, yellow mane.
>And a warm, bright smile where a mouth would be.
>It was at this point Tempest realized that all these things belonged on a pony.
>She looked from the spheres on her side, to the swaying tail in the back, and back up to the smiling face.
>Tempest felt her face burning red hot with embarrassment.
>She quickly got to her hooves and tried to forget she was just butt slammed by a random pegasus.
>Hearing a gasp from behind her.
"Right on schedule!" she trotted out in front of Tempest and over to the pegasus still floored.
>But it looked like she didn't mind.
"Derpy, this is Tempest" she gestured towards the still embarrassed unicorn with a slightly frazzled mane.
>An awkward feeling grabbed hold of her gut.
>She felt as though some kind of response was necessary after being introduced.
>Stiffly, she waved her front leg at the still grinning pegasus.
>Her genuine smile twitching under the stress of the situation.
"And Tempest, this is Derpy" she nodded her head towards her.
"She will be joining you for lunch today" Twilight beamed her usual grin.
>Meanwhile Tempest, could feel sweat beads rolling down the back of her neck.
>"H-How wonderful" along with her mouth she could feel the bottom of her eyelid twitch ever so slightly.
>A moment of silence past between the three.
>It wasn't until Twilight cleared her throat and tilted her head over to the still grounded Derpy that Tempest put two and two together.
>Interally, Tempest slapped herself in the face.
>Nothing like a good slap to get your brain working again.
>Stretching out her leg, the cross-eyed pegasus grinned as she grabbed a hold of it.
>Lifting her with almost no strength needed, Tempest found herself accidentally booping Derpy's muzzle with her own.
>Tempest's cheeks flared red hot as she scrunched her face.
>Derpy's wings were extended out as continued to happily smile towards Tempest.
>Twilight shuffled to the side.
"I should have probably mentioned she's not much of a talker" Twilight whispered into Tempest's ear.
>"Really?" Tempest's smile trembling lightly.
>"I would have never thought" she mumbled sarcastically under her breath.
>Twilight nudged Tempest in the side.
"You two are going to have a great time I just know it" her wings excitedly flapped as she began hovering off the ground.
"I'll be over at Fluttershy's if you need anything."
>The adorkable Princess of Friendship gave Tempest a quick hug and flew off towards the edge of Ponyville.
>Leaving Tempest alone with Derpy, who was still giving off a smile.
>It was a commendable feat to hold a face like that for so long.
>At least to Tempest it was.
>"C'mon Tempest, you've faced down blood thirsty creatures the likes of which not one of these sheltered ponies have ever dreamed"
>Derpy continued to keep her eyes and smile focused in Tempest's direction.
>"...So why does this feel a hundred times more terrifying?" she thought as she gulped nervously.
>"Uhh, Derpy, was it?" the cross-eyed mare nodded in response.
>"I see, well I guess I should ask why they call you that shouldn't I?"
>Tempest saw as Derpy pointed her front leg at her eyes.
>Still grinning as she did.
>"Because of your eyes?"
>Derpy nodded once more.
>"...Of course that's why" Tempest, feeling stupid, looked over and saw an empty table at an outdoor cafe.
>Seeing a temporary escape from having to talk, Tempest began to walk to the cafe.
>Derpy followed along.
>She walked side by side with Tempest.
>Sometimes while she was looking back, Tempest saw Derpy flash that smile up to her.
>It was a little weird, but not as weird as it should have felt.
>Tempest sat on one side of the table while Derpy took her seat on the other side.
>The grey pegasus adjusted herself on the stool until she looked comfortable.
>Then she refocused once more on Tempest.
>Sweat was still dripping down the back of Tempest's neck.
>Luckily that's the only place it was dripping.
>"So... may I ask what you do for a living Derpy?" the jittery unicorn made eye contact for barely a second before looking back at her hooves.
>Tempest swears she heard the sound of a high pitched squeak come from the overly-happy mare.
>She tilts her head down behind her and pulls a brown-leather tote bag into view.
>Looking at the bag back up to Derpy.
>"You...make...bags?" she cocked an eyebrow at Derpy.
>In response, Derpy shook her head as she tapped the corner of the bag.
>After removing her hoof, Tempest saw what looked to be a blueberry muffin in sticker form.
>"Oh, you're a baker?" as Tempest asked Derpy glanced down and saw that muffin sticker.
>Her cheeks flushed crimson as she waved her hoof in front of her.
>Turning the bag around to the other side, Derpy tapped the corner once more.
>This time her hoof revealed a sticker of what appeared to be a letter.
>Tempest stifled a small giggle.
>She found herself amused by the silly pegasus's antics.
>"Hmm...ah, you're a mail carrier?"
>From saying that, Derpy's smile grew extra wide as she nodded happily.
>The stress was still present for Tempest, but not nearly as much as when they were first introduced.
>"So it's safe to say you've seen your fair share of Equestria?" Tempest asked with curiosity in her heart.
>Derpy returned with that same happy beam and nod.
>Tempest thought for a second.
>"This isn't as hard as I thought it'd be..."
>During the lull in the conversation, Derpy reached into the side pocket on the leather tote and pulled out a rectangular shape in her mouth.
>She set it down on the table
>Tempest took a closer look and saw it depicted a wintery scene.
>Beautiful banks of untouched snow while many wonderous shimmering lights danced in the night sky.
>In the corner it read "Come Chill in the Great White North" in bold letters.
>"Oh wow..." Tempest put her hoof in front of her mouth.
>"You've been here?"
>Then she drew something in the air.
>It was vaguely heart shaped.
>"You...liked it?" Tempest threw out a guess.
>And seeing Derpy's beaming nod made Tempest assume she got it right.
>She looked back down at the post card.
>Tempest could almost feel her eyes getting lost in all that snow.
>"...It is a pretty wonderful place"
>Looking back up at Derpy, she noticed she was gesturing from Tempest to the post card.
>It took a second to comprehend what she was asking, but it began to click.
>"Yes, yes I have been here"
>Memories of being hunted by the Storm King's guards rushed to her mind.
>How in the bitter freezing cold a deal was struck that would change her life in ways she never expected.
>With the creature she despised more than anything in Equestria.
>Bitterness was souring her mood.
>Anxiety was pooling in her stomach.
>A small whimper-like noise drew her out of the trance-like state.
>She saw Derpy's face not shining like it has been, but rather distressed and concerned.
>Her ears were half flopped.
>It was as if Tempest just spat in her face.
>"Nono, I enjoyed it!" Tempest restlessly shook her hooves back and forth in front of her face.
>She could feel a small spark drip from the top of her head.
>Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply, and let out a breath through her nose.
>Upon opening she saw Derpy looking at the top of her head confused.
>"I...uh, can't get too excited or this...thing" she pointed at the broken base to a horn on her forehead.
>"Gets a little bit too hard to control
>Tempest swallowed hard after saying that.
>It never got easier to talk about her situation.
>Princess Twilight said it would, but she never said when.
>Derpy looked down at the table for a minute.
>She looked to be deep in thought.
>Then all of a sudden she gasped with that smile plastered on her face once more.
>She began to dig into the side of her messenger bag.
>After what seemed like mere seconds she retrieved a thin object and held it in her mouth.
>Derpy got up from her seat and walked over to Tempest's side of the table.
>Using the utmost agility with her wings.
>Derpy gingerly placed the object upon Tempest's head.
>"What are you doing?" Tempest hated when ponies invaded her personal bubble.
>But, she remembered earlier when she could lift Derpy up like she was made of air.
>So she didn't seem like much of a threat.
>Derpy returned to her seat with an even bigger grin on than before.
>Trying to look up at she couldn't see what the joyous looking mare had place on her.
>"What did you-" and as Tempest prepared to yell her eyes were caught by the most odd sight.
>Derpy holding a hoof-held mirror in her mouth.
>Pointing in Tempest's direction.
>But that wasn't the oddity of the situation.
>No, for in the reflection Tempest stared, wide-eyed, at what Derpy had placed on her forehead.
>It was an ice cream cone sticker.
>But it was placed with the ice cream resting on Tempest's broken horn nub and the cone part pointing outwards.
>Making it appear to be a full unicorn horn.
>Words failed to come to the poor unicorn's mind.
>All she could do is admire how well the sticker adorned her horn.
>Deep down Tempest knew it wasn't real.
>But that didn't stop her from feeling like it was.
>Her heart felt like it was swelling like a happy balloon.
>Her contented smile caused another high pitched squeak to come from Derpy.
>The wall-eyed mare carefully placed the mirror on the table.
>She then ethusiastically clopped her hooves together.
>All with that bright, beaming smile.
>"...She's a special one that's for sure"
>As Tempest's mind drifted to Derpy her eyes moved away from the table.
>They landed upon a small group of ponies standing a few tables away.
>Smug, self-absorbed expressions were present on their faces.
>Their clothes practically screamed "Snooty jerks"
>The one in front was having a conversation with the mare on his left.
>When she stopped him in the middle of whatever he had to say and pointed at Derpy.
>That's when they both put their hooves in front of their muzzles.
>The lead stallion nudged his buddy and did the same pointing gesture.
>Tempest felt her heart beating a little faster.
>Her eyes grew wider.
>Derpy returned to her same concerned expression as she followed Tempest's gaze behind her.
>But as soon as she turned around.
>She immediately regret it.
>Her ears flopped fully down.
>And she shrank in her chair.
>Looking like she just saw the grim reaper himself.
>Before Tempest could ask what was wrong she heard the venomous sting of laughter.
>Looking back up to the group, the main stallion was doing an impression of Derpy's crossed-eyes.
>And the mare and his friend were cracking up laughing.