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Fanfic / The Rock Farmer's Daughters

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An Alternate Universe fan fiction by Sketcha-Holic.

We all know what would happen to Pinkie Pie had she never witnessed the Sonic Rainboom: she'd grow up on the rock farm, living a tedious life of hauling and breaking rocks with her family to make a living. She never became the Element of Laughter or a party pony, instead becoming a sober and serious mare that hasn't cracked a smile since she was small.

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And because she never was a party pony and hadn't left the rock farm, the party in Ponyville that inspired Cheese Sandwich never happened. So, Cheese is simply a shy and awkward drifter, working odd jobs here and there.

One day, Cheese stumbles into the small town of Nickerlite, and ends up taking a job on the rock farm across the railroad and beyond the hills. There, he works alongside Pinkamena, her sisters Maud, Marble, and Limestone, and her parents Igneous Rock and Cloudy Quartz. As he and the Pies get to know each other and deal with obstacles and mishaps together, Cheese finds himself growing attached to the Pie sisters, especially to Pinkamena, whose tough exterior hides a much softer interior. And Pinkamena finds herself increasingly interested about Cheese and his origins, since in all his tales, there was never a mention of his family.

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Meanwhile, most of the Nickerlite residents keep coming up with ridiculous speculations about the Pies, much to the family's annoyance. And it isn't long before Cheese ends up being a part of the mess.

This story is a favorite among Cheese Pie fans. What started out as a simple "What if" concerning Pinkie's influence on Cheese has turned into a fascinating and fun story, building a world out of the rock farm, the frontier-town inspired Nickerlite, and the surrounding area. The way the Pies were written have them being stern and humorless, yet sympathetic and likable, the OCs are interesting and don't overstay their welcome, and the blossoming romance between Cheese and Pinkamena is slow, but very sweet. It also touches on a possible expansion on Cheese's reasons for running away.

Also, the author has made it clear that another mare is the Element of Laughter in this universe; eternal night is not an issue in this fic.

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This Fan Fiction contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: All the Pie mares.
    • Action Mom: Cloudy Quartz really shined in the fight against the Diamond Dogs.
  • Action Dad: Igneous is later shown in a fight against thugs to save Cortland, and he was doing well until he tore his muscle. And then he learns that it was just a ruse to make him more vulnerable.
    • Papa Wolf: He outright threatened Cortland when the latter took his harassment of Pinkamena too far.
  • Adorkable: Cheese.
  • Alternate Universe Fic
  • Amazon Chaser: Cortland. He even admits that years of working on the rock farm have made Pinkamena shapely. He shows no interest in any of her sisters, however, probably due to them being gray and Pinkamena being, well, pink.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: From Purple Prose to the townsfolk:
    "I don't think the question is 'What have the Pies done for us?', but rather 'What have we done for the Pies?' Think about it. Did any of you ever went out of your way to visit them and get to know them better? Did any of you try your hoof at doing some of the simple rock farming activities over there? Or were you all just too afraid of those 'rock-throwing barbarians' to even see if any of the rumors are true?"
  • Badass Family: Demonstrated early on with Cloudy, Marble, and Limestone fighting off Diamond Dogs. It's also mentioned that Igneous, Maud, and Pinkamena are the strongest members of the family.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Inverted, then played straight. Pinkamena scares off stallions catcalling Maud, followed by Maud shooing an unwelcome Cortland away from Pinkamena by raising her voice.
    • Cheese's big brother instinct shows when he overhears Cortland and the gang he's with conspiring to invite Tomato to Nickerlite just to murder him in Cheese's place. When Cortland is pinned to the wall, Cheese says:
    "Leave... my brother... out of this."
  • Big Brother Worship: According to Cheese's backstory, his little brother Tomato admired him so much, he wanted to show his friends just how cool he was. It backfired and only made Cheese even more withdrawn and stressed-out.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Whenever Cheese drops his glasses, his vision's completely blurry.
  • Blunt "Yes": This exchange between Igneous and Haralson:
    Igneous: A rock farmer's strength comes in handy for those situations.
    Haralson: (jokingly) And for threatenin' any suitors of yer daughters?
    Igneous: (dead serious) Yep.
  • Broken Bird: The Pies have always had more subtle use of their emotions—but after both Granny Pie and Nana Pinkie died suddenly in the same night, they just became gloomy and reclusive. It's especially notable with Pinkamena, who had been a little ball of sunshine before the tragedy. And since she missed the Rainboom, they never completely moved on until Cheese came along.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Pinkamena calls out Igneous for being overprotective after he fires Cheese.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: It started out rather lighthearted, with silly shenanigans happening at the rock farm as Cheese adjusts to life there and the Pies adjust to their new employee. And then it gets more serious as Cortland's obsession with Pinkamena, Cheese's family issues, Pinkamena's emotional repression, Igneous' paranoid concerns, and the refusal of the Nickerlite residents to stop the rumors are brought to light. The story even uses the Tar and Feathers trope and treats it as the painful and humiliating thing it is.
  • Cool Old Lady: Though she doesn't have much focus on her, Purple Prose is shown to be reasonable when her nephew Bluejinx tells her that Cortland humiliated Pinkamena.
    • Sedimentary Rock. A sweet and quirky mare who lives alone in a cabin in the woods, apparently providing refuge for lost hikers. She also volunteers to go back to Nickerlite with her niece Pinkamena to help straighten things out with Igneous, and is given more of an incentive to go when she learns he's missing.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Cortland.
  • Cry into Chest: Though she doesn't cry, Pinkamena still hugs Cheese like she's about to, due to being humiliated in town by Cortland and a bunch of townsfolk pressuring her to smile for Cortland and accept him as a beau.
  • Dark Reprise: Though the fic's not a musical, it does heavily feature the Smile Song, presented as a song stuck in Pinkamena's head that she hums a couple of times. The reprise comes when the townsfolk are pressuring her into a relationship with Cortland and telling her to "smile, smile, smile." Poor Pinkamena is greatly unnerved when she notices the chanting is similar to the song in her head.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pinkamena, which is a huge contrast to main 'verse Pinkie Pie.
    • Limestone. Her snarks are usually directed at Marble.
    • Cloudy Quartz
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: The Pie Sisters. Though Maud is the least obvious.
  • Distressed Dude: How Pinkamena meets Cheese, who was being bullied by gang members.
    • It's also how Bluejinx is introduced, bullied by those same gang members.
    • Badass in Distress: Igneous Rock is kidnapped and held in a barn after losing a fight against those same gang members, thanks to a muscle tearing at the worst time.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Well, Diamond Dogs, anyway. The biggest one ribbits and was tricked by Cheese into running headfirst into a boulder.
  • The Drifter: Cheese, though his personality is far from the typical drifter.
  • Dropped Glasses: Cheese, a few times. The worst time so far was when Diamond Dogs popped in on the farm.
    • He drops his glasses into a fire as he and Igneous save Pinkamena from falling into it. He has to latch onto Pinkamena's tail in order to get out of the burning house.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: ...a whole army of them, actually. And they were revealed when Marble opened a cupboard and they poured onto her head. Could you blame her for curling up on the table in a small Heroic BSoD?
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: A rainbow is what triggers Pinkamena's smile.
  • Extreme Doormat: Pinkamena calls Haralson this, as Cortland had shown no sign of leaving her alone and the townsfolk keep on whispering about him and Pinkamena being a thing when they're not.
  • Farmer's Daughter: Four of them.
  • Fiery Redhead: Sugar Glider. She's whacked a couple ponies with a broom for bothering Cheese and whoever he's with.
  • Fiery Coverup: Cortland initially planned to do this with the letters he stole from Bluejinx. He does get to burn them... along with the boarding house/connected farm that Cheese, Pinkamena, and Igneous are in.
  • First Kiss: Cheese and Pinkamena have theirs at the carnival. Igneous catches them in the act.
  • For Want of a Nail: Pinkamena simply went inside before the Rainboom happened. Results in neither she nor Cheese Sandwich becoming party ponies.
  • Forceful Kiss: Cortland plants one on Pinkamena when she's cowed by the crowd chanting a corrupted version of the Smile Song (It Makes Sense in Context). Naturally, she gives him a good, hard smack across the face.
  • Freak Out!: In the climax, Pinkamena starts to break down as she's desperately trying to break out of the burning house she, Cheese, and an unconscious Igneous are in. It gets worse when Cheese collapses from the smoke, and she's reduced to a sobbing mess banging on the locked door and crying for help as she grows weaker and weaker. She passes out once her sisters break them out.
  • Genki Girl: Sugar Glider.
  • The Ghost: Granny Pie and Nana Pinkie. They died before the story began.
    • Cheese's brother, Tomato Sandwich. So far, only two letters from him have been shown. His appearance was teased for a couple of chapters, until Cheese's reply to his letter was dropped by the mailpony and stolen by Cortland. He finally appeared in Chapter 37, visiting Cheese in the hospital.
  • Give Away the Bride: The wedding is in the point of view of Igneous, who is so amazed at the entire thing he's lost in thought as he walks Pinkamena down the aisle and pretty much misses the vows. He talks with Pinkamena later on to tell her how much he loves her and that he's proud to have her as a daughter.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Cortland suspects Cheese of "stealing his mare (Pinkamena)", and starts plotting a way to get rid of him.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Stayman and Idared.
  • Happily Married: Igneous and Cloudy, though their serious demeanor had left some doubt in Cheese's mind.
    • Lemon Drop and Sugar Glider.
    • Cheese and Pinkamena in the epilogue.
  • Held Gaze: Happens a couple of times with Pinkamena and Cheese.
    • The most prominent one is after their First Kiss. Naturally, the moment is ruined seconds later.
  • Heroic BSoD: Played for Laughs with Marble when the house is overrun with mice.
  • Hollywood Fire: Played with. On the one hand, Pinkamena, Cheese, and Igneous can stand the heat pretty well, although they do get burned, and manage to get to an exit, albeit a locked one. On the other, they nearly die from inhaling smoke, and it whittles away Pinkamena's strength enough that she can't break out, and all three of them pass out. They were really lucky that Limestone heard Pinkamena's cries for help.
  • House Fire: Cortland starts one to kill off Pinkamena, Cheese, and Igneous.
  • If I Can't Have You... / Murder the Hypotenuse: Motivations for the above trope.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After talking with his father, Cortland appears to be set up to swallow his pride and face the consequences of spreading lies about a nonexistent relationship between him and Pinkamena... only to decide that it's all Cheese's fault and plot to get rid of him.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Tomato Sandwich, Cheese's younger brother. It was a factor in Cheese leaving.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Cheese's relationship with the Pie sisters; he keeps repeating this sentiment to folks who suspect him to be romancing at least one of the mares. He's not, since he promised Igneous he wouldn't do so; however, he's still clearly falling in love with Pinkamena.
  • Longing Look: After a certain point in the fic, Pinkamena shoots these in Cheese's direction. Maud catches on to what those mean fairly quickly.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Bluejinx recognizes Cheese as his friend Tomato's brother.
    • Igneous has a sister that he hasn't seen for years because she ran away because she was humiliated by a stallion she liked. It's part of the reason why Igneous is so protective of his daughters. Pinkamena and Cheese meet her in her cabin in the woods later on.
  • Love Triangle: Cheese/Pinkamena/Cortland. The town roots for the latter, Bluejinx and the candy shop owners are on the side of the former, the Pies (especially Igneous) don't want either to happen, and the Apples are just trying to control their son.
  • Kill It with Fire: After being defeated in a fight, Cortland sets the connected farm on fire... with Cheese, Pinkamena, and Igneous inside.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The tough-as-nails and stern Pinkamena, and the sweet and shy Cheese.
  • Maternity Crisis: Sugar Glider goes into labor while visiting the Pies. Good thing the Pies are not the type to panic (though apparently Sugar's husband Lemon Drop is).
  • Never My Fault: When Pinkamena rejects Cortland's advances, he blames Igneous for being too strict and Cheese for seducing her. He never seems to consider that he was coming on a little too strong. He even goes so far as to plot to get Cheese fired and leave town, and after that happens, kidnaps Igneous and plots to kill him.
  • Nice Guy: Cheese. He remains very sweet and polite when interacting with most ponies. The times he doesn't act very nice tend to be a bit startling.
    • Bluejinx, which makes it a little jarring to the Pies when Cheese starts acting coldly toward him.
    • Haralson. He sincerely wants to be friends with Igneous, though it's difficult when his son's behavior is taken into account.
    • Tomato Sandwich—at least in this AU. He's actually quite The Comically Serious Grumpy Bear and Deadpan Snarker in the Main 'verse.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Despite making it clear that he doesn't like him, Igneous rescues Cortland from a gang about to put Tar and Feathers on him. Turns out it was just a ruse in order to get Igneous to injure himself while fighting off the thugs. Once Igneous pulled that leg muscle, he was kidnapped, stuck to a wall in a barn, and suffered from dehydration for hours until Pinkamena and Cheese found him. And then the fire started...
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Cheese wakes up to the sound of Igneous cursing, stumbles out of bed, and hits his head on the floor. Doubles as a Shout-Out.
    Cheese: Squid hat is going to the hardware store...
    Pinkamena: No, you're not.
    Cheese: But I don't know what I'm singing!
  • Noodle Incident: Cheese apparently gets himself into a lot of scrapes. He has mentioned nearly getting killed by a Santa Hooves in Canterlot, getting pelted by jellyfish, and had an encounter with vampire fruit bats. His adventures make for entertaining stories that he tells Marble and Limestone.
  • Not Good with Rejection: We're looking at you, Cortland.
  • Not So Harmless: The Pies merely think of Cortland as a nuisance that just won't take no for an answer. Makes sense, as the Pies are significantly stronger than he is (Pinkamena smacks him and it leaves a bruise). However, he manages to get Cheese fired, successfully kidnaps Igneous, and nearly kills the two stallions and Pinkamena in a fire.
  • Overprotective Dad: Igneous Rock. While his daughters can handle themselves in a fight, he's very wary of stallions seducing them. He only hires Cheese after he determines that the younger stallion is harmless and uninterested in pursuing a relationship with any of the girls, and even then Igneous still worries about a possible romance.
    • He fires Cheese after catching him kissing Pinkamena, and the suggestiveness and criminal smell of the letter from "Tomato" (actually a forged letter from a gang member Cortland hired) made him even more wary of both Sandwich brothers. Pinkamena calls him out for overreacting.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Lemon Drop is pretty calm when we first meet him, but as the birth of his and his wife's first foal draws near, he starts getting a little unhinged. Gets worse when Sugar goes into labor while on a visit to the Pies, and Maud has to keep him calm.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Cheese ends up walking back to the house in a daze after Pinkamena kisses him on the cheek. He even notes it felt like one moment he was outside and the next he was in his room.
  • Precocious Crush: Idared clearly has one on Cheese.
  • Produce Pelting: Cheese is a victim of this late in the fic, due to misconceptions about his character since he went with the Pie sisters (sans Maud) without permission from their parents, and he ends up getting fired. The townsfolk end up switching to dirt clods and pebbles after a few minutes.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Discussed; Cheese stops Pinkamena from going through a train tunnel because he's worried about a train coming and hitting them, and instead suggests to go around it. Pinkamena relents once she hears a train whistle.
    • This is how Cortland meets his end, getting his leg stuck in between railroad ties as he was running away after lighting the house that Cheese, Pinkamena, and Igneous are in on fire.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Cheese gives one to Cortland in the climax, especially the part where he points out that the latter's setting an awful example for his younger siblings.
    • Haralson gives one to the townsfolk after he overhears somepony pinning the blame for starting the fire on the Pies and/or Cheese—never mind that Igneous, Pinkamena, and Cheese nearly died in it and had to be hospitalized. Purple Prose joins him by asking what they did for the Pies besides gossip about them.
  • The Resenter: Cheese holds resentment over being overlooked by nearly everypony in favor of his younger brother.
    • Cortland resents Igneous and Cheese for getting in the way of him winning over Pinkamena. He plots to have Cheese fired (which ends up happening) and later kidnaps Igneous and plots to kill him.
  • The Reveal: Cortland is terrifyingly possessive of Pinkamena, and is willing to get rid of Cheese over it.
    • The reason Cheese ran away from home and suffers from low self-esteem; he was under stress due to a combination of teasing at school, high expectations from his mother, and everypony comparing him with his more popular and book smart younger brother. Said brother accidentally aggravated his social anxiety, and the final straw was when Cheese's accordion was broken.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Cortland's decided that driving Cheese out of Nickerlite wasn't revenge enough; one of the thugs suggest that perhaps his brother Tomato could suffer (or be murdered) in his place, and Cortland decides to go with it. Cheese overheard this and he was not happy to say the least.
  • The Runaway: Cheese, due to feeling like the nopony of his family.
    • Pinkamena, having had enough of her father's overprotectiveness and the idiots in Nickerlite. She follows the recently-fired Cheese. Both return when Maud informs them of Igneous' disappearance.
    • Sedimentary Rock, after being humiliated by a colt she liked and feeling like her family's ashamed of her.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Igneous and Pinkamena guzzle water in the same way.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Cheese has to say this about all the Pie sisters.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Given that Cheese Sandwich is voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic in the show, there were bound to be a few references in the fic. Most notably is when Cheese sits out in the rain and sings about living in a "Rock Farm Paradise."
    • There was a scene where after Pinkamena buys from a cabbage vendor, the cart is destroyed by a bunch of foals. It ends up becoming a bit of a running gag.
    • The character of Cortland is suspiciously like Gaston, if only in the pursuit of the female lead.
  • The Storyteller: Cheese. He's willing to share stories of his crazy adventures, even if the Pies don't believe him.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: The Pies. They come off as forbidding to outsiders (in Igneous' case, especially when it comes to stallions), but after Cheese is hired, they slowly warm up to him, and repeatedly show that they truly care for one another.
  • Super Strength: The entire Pie family.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: The Pies feel like this whenever they visit town.
  • Tar and Feathers: Not Played for Laughs. Cortland was threatened with this, and begs Igneous to help him. Despite not liking him, Igneous goes ahead and fights off the thugs until he pulls a muscle. It was then Cortland revealed it was a ruse to make him more vulnerable. Even worse, Igneous has some of the tar spread on his back.
  • They Do: Cheese and Pinkamena get married at the end.
  • Tickle Torture: Cheese does this to Riffraff and a few other thugs with his tail.
  • Title Drop: At the very end:
    They broke the kiss and hugged. Cheese sighed and looked up at the sky, thankful for the day his life had changed.
    The day when he met the rock farmer's daughters.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Limestone and Marble.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Pinkamena belts out the Smile Song (with reworked lyrics due to the AU setting), when her spirits keep getting lifted due to finally being able to smile, and she's sure her family's not far behind.
  • The Unfavorite: Cheese has referred to himself as the "nopony" of his family. Considering how his younger brother had surpassed him both socially and academically, it's not hard to see why he's so down about it.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension
    • Until Chapter 30.
  • The Un-Reveal: Just who is the Element of Laughter in this universe?
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cortland, after Cheese gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech. It's especially evident when after Pinkamena stops the fight between him and Cheese by ramming him into a wall. Once both of them leave, he spots matches on the floor.
  • Walking the Earth: Due to having never been inspired to be a party pony, this is Cheese's special talent. He avoids going home because he's certain that his family would be ashamed of him.
  • Wedding Day: The epilogue is about Cheese and Pinkamena's wedding.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Cheese is attracted to Pinkamena's eyes. Especially when she smiles.
  • When She Smiles: Cheese is in awe when he sees Pinkamena smile for the first time.
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