|Published:|| September 24, 2013 (#11)|
October 30, 2013 (#12)
|Artist:|| Andy Price|
Katie Cook (#11 pp. 24-25, #12 pp. 24-25)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair
My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy
Neigh Anything is the fourth arc of the comic series by Katie Cook, spanning issues #11 and #12. In the story, Shining Armor and Princess Cadance tell Twilight Sparkle and her friends how the two of them first met.
The story opens at Tealove's Tea Room in Canterlot; Princess Cadance and Shining Armor have invited Twilight Sparkle and her friends to spend the day with them. When Shining Armor mentions his and Cadance's upcoming wedding anniversary, Fluttershy wonders how the two of them first met. The couple tells of how they were students together at Canterlot Academy, beginning an issue-long flashback.
In a Canterlot Academy hallway, polo team captain Buck Withers trips Shining Armor and his friends Poindexter, 8-bit, and Gaffer, causing other students nearby to laugh at them. Cadance walks over to help Shining Armor up, and the stallion is completely taken by her beauty, unable to speak one intelligible word to her.
Later, Shining Armor and his friends are engaged in a tabletop role-playing game, but Shining Armor is too distracted by thoughts of Cadance to focus. He decides to make Cadance his very special somepony and intends to ask her to the upcoming Fall Formal Gala. Poindexter, 8-bit, and Gaffer are doubting of their friend's lofty goals, but when they see how determined he is, they decide to help.
In "trial one" of Gaffer's plan, which has Shining Armor simply talk to Cadance, they meet one another when she comes to foal-sit Twilight. Once again, Shining Armor is reduced to a mumbling wreck in her presence, but manages to give her a squeaky hello. The second "trial" involves boosting Shining Armor's popularity at school with a grand gesture at the championship polo game pep rally and parade. Shining Armor becomes unsure of himself, but when he sees Cadance sitting with Buck Withers in the crowd, his confidence is renewed. In front of all of Canterlot Academy, he and his friends put on an elaborate display and musical number that moves Cadance to tears. The princess applauds the stallion's display, but her claps are soon drowned out by laughter and heckling, incited by Buck. Shining Armor and his friends shuffle away in humiliation.
In light of this development, Gaffer reworks the third phase of his plan: distract Buck during the championship game and make him the worst player on the field. Unfortunately, their efforts backfire on them and they end up making Buck look like the star of the game. Ultimately, Buck reaches Cadance in the crowd before Shining Armor and he asks her to the Fall Formal. Shining Armor, utterly defeated, shambles off in sorrow.
Back in present day, Pinkie Pie is in disbelief that the story ends there, but Princess Cadance corrects her: that's only how the story began. She also remarks that she remembers certain events differently than Shining Armor, to which the stallion admits to embellishing. Over another round of tea and cakes, Cadance prepares to tell Twilight and her friends what happened next...
Oubliettes & Ogres
A bonus two-page spread shows Shining Armor and his friends playing a game of Oubliettes & Ogres.
Picking up where issue 11 left off, Princess Cadance tells her side of the story, beginning with the night she foal-sat Twilight.
Following Shining Armor's less-than-graceful hello to Cadance, who starts to have feelings for him, he departs with his parents for his flugelhorn recital, leaving Twilight in Cadance's care. Cadance immediately starts grilling Twilight for information about Shining Armor, cluing Twilight in to the fact that Cadance likes him just as much as he likes her. Twilight and Cadance graph several comparative charts on herself and Shining Armor; to Cadance's delight, the results are extremely positive. Realizing how compatible the two of them are, Cadance decides to make Shining Armor her very special somepony and swears Twilight to secrecy with the foal school playground oath. In the present, Shining Armor expresses his displeasure that Twilight had withheld this information when he needed it the most, but his sister smugly reminds him that she had taken an unbreakable oath, being backed up by Pinkie Pie.
Later at the parade, Cadance is touched by Shining Armor's extravagant show. Before she could lead the crowd in applause, Buck Withers instead leads them in derisive laughter, to Cadance's shock and dismay. Resolving to find Shining Armor to ask him to be her date to the Fall Formal after the championship game, she then overhears Cheerilee and the sister of one of Shining's friends talking. When Cheerilee express interest in going to the formal with Shining, the sister tells her that Shining Armor is already planning to ask somepony he likes (Cadance not realizing that it is she herself that is being referred to). Shining searches through the crowd for Cadance, only coming in time to see her reluctantly accept Buck's invitation to go with him.
On the night of the Fall Formal, Cadance confides in her friends Lemony Gems and Diamond Rose that she doesn't want to go to the dance with Buck; she wants to go with Shining Armor. At first, Lemony Gems and Diamond Rose are unsure why Cadance, a princess, would want someone as ordinary as Shining Armor as her very special somepony, but they quickly change their tune upon realizing Buck will be available. As the three concoct a plan for Cadance to escort Buck to the dance before she turns him down, Shining Armor and his friends come up with their own plan to reveal Buck's true colors to the school. When Buck arrives at the castle that evening to pick up Cadance, he's an instant annoyance to Princess Celestia, and she quietly advises Cadance to "ditch him the first chance you get."
At the dance, Shining Armor immediately draws attention to himself and his "date"—Poindexter in a dress. Cadance sees through the ruse and realizes Shining Armor doesn't actually have a date; she takes this opportunity to dump Buck and move toward Shining Armor. The two of them talk while 8-bit and Gaffer distract a now angry Buck from the rafters. By the time Buck confronts the both of them, the Fall Formal King and Queen are announced, with Cadance as Queen and Buck as King. Buck ridicules Shining Armor in front of everyone as he's given his crown, but the other ponies have no shortage of praise for Shining Armor and no shortage of complaints against Buck. Buck, however, scoffs at this. Cadance snatches the crown from Buck's head and places it on Shining Armor's. As Buck is hoisted over the ballroom, Shining Armor and Princess Cadance kiss as they have their first dance as Fall Formal King and Queen.
Back in present day, Fluttershy wonders what became of Buck Withers; Shining Armor states that he became nicer as the years went by. At that moment, an older Buck Withers himself enters with Lemony Gems, the two now in a relationship. From their separate tables, Shining Armor and Buck wink to one another, apparently now on much better terms.
In a bonus two-page story, PTV host Neigh-na Bee counts down the week's top 10 songs: "Bits for Nothing," "Everypony Wants to Rule the World," "Pony in the Mirror," "Hoofloose," "Safety Prance," Olivia Newton Jump's "Let's Get Tangible," Derby's "Crop It," A-halter's "Tack On Me," Prance's "When Birds Cry," and Rein Astley's "Never Gonna' Give Up You."
- Shining Armor: Do they have anything that's not alfalfa sprouts... and so... tiny?
- Princess Cadance: Alfalfa sprouts won't kill you.
- Shining Armor: They might.
- Rarity: It must be so nice to be married to your very special somepony... Sigh...
- Shining Armor: I think she likes me.
- Gaffer: You're an idiot.
- Gaffer: Let's get Shining Armor his dream girl!
- Shining Armor: For love!
- Poindexter: For nerds everywhere!
- 8-bit: For everypony who's reached for the stars!
- Poindexter: That was a bit much, wasn't it?
- 8-bit: I like drama.
- Gaffer: You want to win the princess, right?
- Shining Armor: More than anything.
- Gaffer: Then you are going to slay that dragon.
- Fluttershy: Did Shining Armor sweep you off your wings?
- Rarity: Was it romantic?
- Twilight Sparkle: Was he a complete dork?
- Shining Armor: Hey!
- Princess Cadance: *giggle* All three!
- Buck Withers: Helloooo! Princess Celestia! Can I call you Celestia? We're practically family now that I'm dating the fair Cadance!
- Buck Withers: Who cares about being nice when you're great looking, rich and good at sports?
- Princess Cadance: I do. And I want nothing more than for Shining Armor to be my very special somepony.
- Princess Cadance: How do you feel about crystal palaces?
- Shining Armor: How about we get through our first dance first? Then we'll talk palaces.
- Princess Cadance: And we lived happily ever after.
- Shining Armor: Let's not use the past tense when saying that... It sounds ominous. How about "we are living happily forever more"?
- Twilight Sparkle: Or "living blissfully in the moment"?
- Shining Armor: "Existing in a state of perpetual happiness"?