‘I’m sure they knew it was a secret, especially since I was so worried about it. They’re my friends, they’ll understand.’
A still paranoid Scootaloo was talking to herself. She’d just rushed away from her friends because she was running late for a secret meeting with a secret mare and secret animal in a secret place. She kept repeating the word secret in her head she had also just told her friends of this secret meeting in the secret place. And it was supposed to be a secret.
She’d been worrying all day about it and was finally approaching Sweet Apple Acres. She was almost paranoid with caution. She thought of nothing else but this meeting and about who this mare that had been helping Lunar over the week was? She’d never seen any mare but Applejack near the tree house. And there were few ponies that she thought Lunar could ever trust.
‘He only trusted me because we’ve got so much in common, right?’
She stopped on her travels and stared at the afternoon sky while waiting for an answer. To her surprise, she heard what seemed to be her conscience reply.
‘Should I trust him?’
‘But what if he realises I’ve told Applebloom and Sweetie Belle? Would he hate me for it?’
‘Thanks Conscience. You’re the best.’
‘I going mad, aren’t I?’
Scootaloo giggled at her conscious’ comedic answer, oblivious that she was drowning out the sound of a sigh, coming from a large red stallion bucking apple trees in front of the setting sun. Scootaloo took a breath and continued on her way.
It seemed like forever until she was at the door to the tree house, in a state of hysterics and paranoia. She had to wait outside so she could try and calm down. No pony would be able to look trust worthy if they’re breathing heavily and sweating like a pig. As soon as she could think straight, she pushed open the door. The first thing she saw Lunar reading a book.
‘Wow. You’re as much of a bookworm as Twilight.’ She joked, hoping to break the tension before it built.
‘Funny. You should be a comedian.’ Lunar sneered, not even looking up from his book. He was in a bad mood for no apparent reason.
‘Whoa,’ Scootaloo appeared shocked, ‘what’s wrong with you?’
‘Nothing,’ Lunar sighed, ‘just the book I’m reading. It’s confusing and I don’t see why the writer has chosen such an awful plot.’ Scootaloo sniggered at the mention of the word ‘plot’ for she knew it was a double entendre, although she didn’t know what a double entendre was. According to a few adult ponies she’d overheard, it was apparently something like a ménage a trois, but that was made redundant by the fact she didn’t know what that was either.
‘Don’t mind me though. You should be planning on what to say to my friend. I have a few tips though. Don’t be too formal, just agree with her if she’s being stubborn and just be cool. She’s been on my case about those things all week’ Lunar sighed. He seemed disappointed at more than just his book, but Scootaloo was sure it would clear up by the time this mysterious mare turned up.
She was still uncertain of who it possibly could be. Fluttershy was the most obvious answer but as the time went on Scootaloo got more and more uncertain of her assumption. Although Fluttershy was possibly the most caring mare you could wish for, could the timid yellow Pegasus really hide a secret like this and not be found out by her 4, who Scootaloo thought to be, nosey but concerned friends and Rainbow Dash. It seemed unlikely.
They waited for what seemed to be forever for this mare to turn up. It wasn’t until Lunar and Scootaloo became restless that any indication of her arrival came.
‘Well, the sun is gone. Looks like she’s not coming. It’s a real shame.’ Lunar moaned. His mood hadn’t lightened one bit, it had probably got worse from waiting.
‘So who is this mare anyway? You never told me about her. Only that I’d like her and that she’s a bit arrogant.’ Scootaloo asked, the tension rising even after the silence had been broken. Neither the pony nor the fox had wanted to break it before the sun set in case the mare suddenly arrived. But now, Luna’s moon and stars were the only light source available apart from the two lanterns illuminating the inside of the tree house.
‘Well, let’s see. She’s arrogant, brash, slightly irritating and stubborn,’ Lunar continued to moan, his mood getting the best of him until he let out a sigh, ‘but her heart is in the right place and she wouldn’t do anything to disappoint a friend.’ he seemed relieved.
A small breeze made its way through the tree house. Scootaloo shivered, but Lunar smirked.
‘Sorry. Did I forget to say something?’ Lunar shouted at the nothingness behind the window. That was until in that nothingness appeared a silhouette of a Pegasus.
‘Yep. You forgot to say I’m awesome!’ she stepped into the light. She was covered in a light blue coat and possessed a tomboyish mane cut containing six different colours. Scootaloo instantly recognised her and her eyes suddenly widened whilst her jaw hit the ground.
‘So who’d you want me to meet?’ Rainbow Dash looked around the room, ‘Oh, hi Scootaloo. What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at home?’ Realisation overcame Rainbow the moment she finished, suddenly becoming tense and panicking.
It wasn’t until Lunar spoke that Dash relaxed and put down the saddle bags she was carrying.
‘So you know each other?’ he asked, with a quizzical look. He looked for Scootaloo to answer but she was just staring at Rainbow Dash. She stood open-mouthed. It was her. How could it have been her? She never came anywhere near the tree house unless she had something to ask of the three fillies that usually spent their time crusading for cutie marks. It must have been a mistake, but here she was. And she was motionless.
‘Yeah. Kind of,’ Rainbow Dash replied, with a hint of annoyance in her voice, ‘I’m her idol. I don’t blame her. I mean, how can’t you idolize some pony so awesome?! But still, she’s a bit over obsessed, almost to the point of being a stalker.’ She stared over at the orange Pegasus filly whose jaw was almost on the floor and whose eyes were two full moons.
‘But other than that. She’s actually a nice gal. Just a little crazy’ Dash sighed. Scootaloo’s face was frozen throughout the whole conversation and Dash was questioning if she could even hear them.
‘I noticed. Well, at least I know you agree with me about her being like you. But on to business, did you bring me anything?’ Lunar looked hopeful and, almost on cue, his stomach growled. As Rainbow turned to retrieve a small jar sitting in the saddle bag, Scootaloo finally breathed, making Lunar jump out of surprise. She then went back to staring at the space Rainbow was occupying.
‘It’s slightly creepy, isn’t it?’ Lunar uttered, barely heard by the Pegasus who was having trouble opening the jar. Lunar turned to hear her reply but it came out as odd noises. Lunar decided to help the struggling mare who was determined to open it. Lunar coughed to announce his presence and help out a paw to accept it. Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and muttered some barely audible words while handing the jar over reluctantly.
Lunar put the jar on the floor and stepped on the short fat neck of the jar. Air started to be sucked into the jar and the lid became loose but it still didn’t come off. Lunar sat on his rear and scratched his head. After a few different techniques and an attempt to smash it on the floor, the lid had become contorted and bent. The lid itself was trying to escape but the jar neck was too wide. Both the mare and the fox sighed.
The lid finally popped off when it was placed once again on the floor. The fox started to growl at the jar while the mare began to laugh, eyes closed. Not liking the sentiment behind the laughing, he turned his attention to Rainbow and got almost eye to eye with the mare before she leant forward to suck in some air, almost suffocating herself with laughter. Their noses touched and wrinkled. It was then Rainbow stopped and opened her eyes to see Lunar stare deeply into them. It was neither romantic, nor menacing. His pupils were fully dilated and left only a fraction of the white remaining. It was the kind of stare that only a few ponies could ever pull off. Rainbow only knew of one.
‘Okay. I’ll stop,’ Rainbow surrendered, with her nose still being squished in between the two faces, ‘You waiting for a kiss or something?’ Lunar’s pupils shrank and became softer. He pulled away as an almost instantaneous reaction and shrank into his own body. He seemed to be going a delightful shade of red.
‘Sorry. I got a bit carried away.’ He chuckled, hoping Rainbow would join in. She did and he relaxed. He rose up and
peeked inside the jar to find several wrapped chocolate-covered caramels awaiting his approval.
‘Thanks Rainbow,’ He said, his voice becoming freer with each word that he spoke, ‘But back to Scootaloo, I know she has a couple of friends she hangs with. If things got out of hand, they could help her.’
‘Yes, but that would mean disclosing your secret to more ponies. And the more that know, the more likely some pony, or 5 ponies in particular, will be told of your presence.’
‘I know. I guess that would be bad, but I’d rather them find out than have to burden you with all my problems. She knows anyway, so why not use that to our advantage?’ Lunar questioned, knowing full well that Rainbow wouldn’t agree out of stubbornness.
‘Because I don’t want those 5 ponies knowing. As you said yourself on Monday, you caused them nothing but trouble. But if you want to have that trouble again, be my guest.’ Dash was trying to use an old trick she’d been taught by Twilight. Reverse Psychology, she called it.
‘Okay by me.’ It apparently only worked on ponies because Lunar saw right through her trick. Rainbow Dash looked taken back by the response. She then snarled and gave in.
‘Fine. But don’t come crying to me when the ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders’ involve you in their silly activities. There’s nothing that filly ever keeps from them. They’re all practically sisters.’ The mare sucked up her pride and took a deep breath. She turned and gestured for Scootaloo to come over. She gave a quick glare at the fox that was comforting her to discourage any ‘helpful’ suggestions. She left him with only a smug look on his face. But she looked slightly worried if nothing else.
Scootaloo instantly snapped out of her day dream and actually moved. She had finally taken in the fact that it was Rainbow Dash. She knew she’d witnessed a lengthy explanation, with much moaning and many uses of the word ‘but’. But after half an hour of blankly staring and daydreaming, the filly walked over to the larger cyan mare who sighed and in the most reluctant tone moaned,
‘Look, Scootaloo. I know you mean well, but I just can’t have something like this going around. Please, for Lunar’s sake, don’t tell any pony else. It’s risky enough as it is to keep Lunar in Ponyville without some pony else trying to help.’
Scootaloo’s face broke into a smile even Pinkie could be jealous of as she hugged her friend and mentor. Lunar was now smiling and Rainbow smiled too. Everything was good. Everything was right. Nothing could mess this up… because she already had.
Scootaloo’s face dropped into a bad poker face. She retreated from the hug and stared into the eyes of Lunar and then Rainbow Dash. The moment they looked at her face, they knew something was wrong.