“Hard cider?!” Feather gasped. “But Starlight, we’re underage!”
Feather, Johnny and Starlight were at the latter’s house for the sleepover. Starlight’s mother was revealed to be out of town for the week, and Starlight didn’t want to be home alone. To compensate, she was tossing a bit of a party for her friends, and since there weren’t any responsible adults to get in the way, Starlight decided to break out what was, apparently, a very hard cider.
Pinkie, for her part, was vigorously taking notes, which had to be difficult with the axe sticking out of her head. That thing was proving to be incredibly heavy, but Pinkie didn’t seem to care. A neck cramp was just part of the price she paid for being in the cut-throat party industry. Partying isn't all fun and games, after all.
Meanwhile, Applejack was grumbling darkly, raising an eyebrow in suspicion. “Underage my plot! I’d sell ‘er some hootch and wouldn’t even check her I.D!”
“Hey!” Rainbow Dash interjected, glaring wickedly at Applejack. “You always check my I.D and you know me!”
“Well,” Applejack replied, with one of the best poker faces she’d pulled off in a long time, “your age changes every year. Can’t be too careful ‘round ya, can I?” Seriously, why couldn’t she have this good a poker face during the weekly Apple Family Appleloosa Hold’Em night? Applebloom had come awfully close to winning her gambling cutie mark at the last one.
Rainbow did some quick calculations in her head before nodding slowly. “Wow, I didn’t think of that...”
Now, it would be very unfair to call Rainbow Dash an unintelligent pony. Contrary to popular opinion, intelligence wasn’t anywhere near the issue with her. Her attention span was akin to that of the Cutie Mark Crusaders trying to get their cutie marks in sugar rushing. Thus, she came to quick answers and was quickly distracted. Immediately upon figuring out that she did indeed have a different age every year, her mind was occupied by the smell of a sugary, fruity smell wafting from the table.
Pinkie had brought Skittles! Rainbow dashed to the snack table and back to her seat, though the rainbow trail that returned was significantly chunkier than the one that had left.
Twilight leaned closer to Applejack, who at this point was starting to show cracks in the facade as she struggled not to laugh.
“What’s the real reason, Applejack?” Twilight whispered in the cow pony’s ear, not wanting any pony else hearing her call the ponies bluff. “Seriously.”
“Well, Twilight, ain’t you ever seen R.D when she’s... Naw, guess that was before your time.” Applejack spared a glance over Rainbow Dash’s direction, satisfied that she was too distracted with her Skittles to notice the two of them.
“What, is there some alcoholic changeling of Rainbow Dash running around getting plastered and feeding off Scootaloo’s hero worship or something?” Twilight’s brow creased at idea. “That’s crazy, Applejack, how could you jump to a conclusion like that?”
“Wha?” Now it was Applejack’s turn to crease her brow. “Where in the Everfree did you come up with that!? Naw, that there girl just holds her liquor ‘bout as well as a thimble. I just have Applebloom hide the hard stuff while Dah’s busy fiddlin’ for that silly card of hers.”
Twilight blinked and gazed at Applejack, completely flabbergasted. “W-wait,” she stammered, looking over at Rainbow Dash, then back at Applejack. “You’re telling me that you, of all ponies, are being dishonest? And that you’re doing it so that you don’t make a sale?”
Applejack sighed and grinned. “Well, lemme tell ya a story here, Twilight. Wasn’t too long before y’all come down from Canterlot...”
The week before Twilight arrived in Canterlot, Rainbow Dash and Applejack were just entering the orchard, and Rainbow Dash just had to try some of that fine, hard cider she’d heard so much about...
“You know, A.J, you’re my beshtest bud!” Rainbow Dash let out a hiccup and leaned on the orange cow pony, her words heavily slurred and her hooves digging into the dirt as she lazily tried to walk through her friend. “I’d take a pie to the face you you, girl! Plate and... all!”
“You’re drunk,” Applejack deadpanned. It was actually quite the surprise. “Ain’t no way I’m lettin’ you fly home! You can stay here tonight if you’d like, but you’re fxin’ to kill yourself in that condition!”
“I can’t be – hic! - drunk! I only had one mug!” Rainbow fell on her side, trying to figure out why she suddenly had seven different coloured hooves. If they would all just hold still she might be able to count them better but, hey, who was she to ask herself to slow down?
“Eeyup. And now Big Mack owes me ten bits, ya lightweight!” Applejack huffed and helped her friend up. She looked sideways, hoping no pony would see this ridiculous spectacle. “Now c’mon, let’s get you in the guest room ‘fore ya start flyin' into mah barns. Again.”
“Nuh-uh!” Rainbow Dash shook her head, a cute little smile on her face. “You just want to take advantage of me!”
“Beg pardon!?” Applejack couldn’t help but do a double take. Did she just hear what she thought she just heard!?
“Yeah,” Rainbow exclaimed as she stumbled around, wobbling to and fro and not making anywhere near a straight line. “You think I’m drunk, so you’re totally just trying to seduce the most awesomest pony in Ponyville! Which is me. I’m more awesome than even Rainbow Dash.” She leaned forward, trying to balance herself against a tree, but instead fell through said tree and onto the ground. She didn’t remember Applejack having quite this many trees....
Applejack’s left eye twitched. “Sugar cube, ya can’t seriously-”
“Well you know what, A.J,” Rainbow stumbled up and gazed intently at her orange friend, fluttering her eyes in what would have been a seductive manner had they both fluttered instead of the left eye waiting for the right eye to finish. “It’s working.
Applejack just stared at her best friend, trying to put on her best poker face. “You know, on second thought Rainbow, I guess you can fly on home.” She hoped she could pull a better pokerface for her Apple family poker game later. Hopefully Applebloom would be as convinced as the incredibly sozzled pegasus wobbling unsteadily in front of her. “Why don’t ya run along now?”
Rainbow Dash, however, was so off her face that it totally worked. “Aw, you tease! Why wouldn’t you want a piece of this here hot flank, huh?” As if to try and show her point, Rainbow Dash turned around and shook said flank. At a tree. A dead tree. “I’m the fastest pony in Equestria!”
Applejack couldn’t help but chuckle in spite of herself. Rainbow winced her slightly-bloodshot eyes shut as she realized what she had just said.
Still, Rainbow Dash was able to take off, leaving a slightly wobbly rainbow trail in her wake. Applejack had to hand it to her; she was actually impressed at how well Rainbow was flying, seeing as she couldn't even stand straight.
Then, after gaining a high enough speed to shake loose apples off the trees below her, the rainbow-maned pegasus pulled into a tight corkscrew. Applejack’s eyes widened in terror. “Sugar cube, no!”
Back in the present...
“Twilight, you ever seen a pegasus hork up for twenty seconds straight while barrel rollin’ at, oh, half the speed of sound? I thank Celestia every night that I harvested them there trees that day instead of doin’ the west field like I normally do ‘round that time of season?”
Twilight chuckled softly. “She seems to crash through my bedroom window well enough sober...”
“Yeah, now picture that, only she’s tossin’ up all over the place an’ trying to get her mack on with ya.” Applejack shuddered as the words left her mouth.
Twilight’s face expression hardened into something far more serious. “Applejack, I will personally reimburse you for every sale you lose. I haven’t had to clean puke off a book since university, and I would like to keep it that way. By Celestia, I’d make her eat a Daring Do novel if she came to the library like that, if only because she might try to, er, mack with the front cover long enough for me to drag Spike out.”
Neither of them noticed Pinkie’s barely concealed grin as she continued her fervent note-taking.
Meanwhile on screen, Starlight’s window was wrapped in a neutral silver aura as magic slowly opened it. A lean, lanky iron grey unicorn crawled through it, rear first, showing off a blank flank. The wiry unicorn finally got the rest of his narrow frame through the window, revealing a devil-may-care smirk and a floating bottle of unopened Applejack Daniels.
“Hey!” Pinkine paused her note-taking, carefully examining the bottle. “Applejack... Daniels? Wait, isn’t that...?”
“Sugar cube,” Applejack huffed, shaking her head, “there’s a reason we ain’t never talked ‘bout my parents before, and I ain’t reckon we’re gonna start now. I’m just glad Granny Smith talked ‘em outta callin’ Applebloom Appleschnapps, really.”
Rarity gave out an uncharacteristically un-ladylike giggle-snort at that.
“Oh, and just what’s so darned funny, Rarity!?” Applejack was fuming at Rarity’s continued laughter.
“Oh dear! I’m so sorry, Applejack.” Rarity fanned herself with one of her hooves while speaking through the occasional giggle. “I don’t mean to laugh at your misfortune, but could you imagine if Granny Smith hadn’t intervened? Sweetie Belle having late nights with Appleschnapps, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle trying carpentry at Fluttershy’s college under the influence of Appleschnapps, the Cutie Mark Crusaders trying their best to get their cutie marks with AppleSchnapps.” She gave a moment for that bit to sink in before moving in for the coup de grace. “Why, could you imagine the roll call Cherrilee giving every morning at school? ‘Has anyone seen Appleschnapps? Appleschnapps is usually here by now. Goodness, I don’t know how we could possibly get through the day without Appleschnapps!”
Applejack tried her best to look angry. She really did. However, seeing Pinkie, Rainbow and Twilight laughing their plots off and rolling around on the floor, she couldn’t help but join them. She couldn’t deny that the idea of having a sister named Appleschnapps was pretty funny indeed.
“Um, girls,” Fluttershy timidly whimpered. Every other pony stopped laughing, wondering just how Fluttershy managed to cut through the noise with such a soft, wispy voice. “If you don’t mind, um, I’m trying to watch the movie. Um, could you all be a bit quieter? I mean, if you don’t mind...”
On screen, Starlight face-hoofed. “Roam!” she cried out in shock. “What are you doing here!?”
“Hey, babe!” Roam replied, his silly grin just plastered all over his face. “Heard you were throwing a late-night shindig and thought I’d just mosey on over. Brought your favorite, too.” He waved the bottle between them.
“Roam! I...” Starlight’s mood lightened up slightly. “Hey, if I stay mad at you, can I have some of that Applejack Daniels anyway?”
“Nope!” Roam smirked and winked.
“Oh all right! I can’t stay mad at you!” Sticking her tongue out, Starlight used her own magic to snatch the bottle, opening it and taking a nice, hefty swig. They say you could lead a horse to water, but Roam could sure as hey get one to drink too, it seemed. “Not that I could anyway, even when I really, really want to.”
“Hey,” Feather pointed out as she opened the door, “you were standing up for him earlier. What gives?”
Starlight stopped drinking mid-gulp and let out a loud gasp and a soft shiver. “Yeah, well, he might be a complete moron sometimes-”
“Hey!” Roam protested half-heartedly.
“-But no pony, and I mean no pony except me gets to insult his gorgeous little flank!”
“Love you too, babe,” Roam replied graciously.
‘Oh hush, I haven’t completely forgiven you yet.” Starlight tried to look angry, but the cute little grin on her lips spoiled it.
Rather than replying, Roam scrunched his eyes shut tight. His horn glowed with a soft hum and a silver aura. With a gentle clink, four ice cubes solidified inside the bottle.
Strlight looked down at the cube. Starlight slowly raised her head, a single tear forming below her right eye as her mouth formed a tight grimace. “You know, Feather, I think I just learned the true meaning of love.”
Taking one last swig of the chilled whiskey, Starlight and Roam began to make out. It was quite sloppy, Pinkie affirmed. All was apparently forgiven.
After a while, Starlight looked up at Feather and Johnny, the latter of whom had walked in while she and Roam were... Distracted. “Can he stay guys?” She was in full-on puppy-dog-eye mode, her cute little eyes sparkling innocently as she whimpered softly.
“Star-” Feather sighed.
“Light-” Feather pushed on courageaously.
Starlight, it seemed, wouldn’t be denied. She pulled out the argumentative skills only available to small children and the mildly-to-moderately inebriated. “Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?”
“Your house, your rules,” Feather finally relinquished.
With that, Starlight’s face split into a huge, maniacal grin as she started bouncing up and down on the bed. “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
With that, she tackled Roam and started another big, wet, sloppy make-out session, poor Roam suddenly going cross-eyed. Johnny lowered his shades, which he was peculiarly wearing indoors at night. Perhaps he was trying to keep track of visions in his eyes. “Feather, honey,” he sighed. “No matter how much I adore you, I don’t think we’ll ever be quite as perfect for each other as those two.”
Feather chuckled and sighed. “Johnny dearest,” she mused with a grin. “I think I can die happily knowing that.”
Johnny simply lifted his shades up in response, eyebrow raised.
Twilight stared at the screen, Feather’s statement ringing in her ears.
‘I can die happily knowing that.’
Twilight narrowed her eyes as she tried to digest those words. Was it foreshadowing, or a red herring? Was it a jab at the script, or just a clever side-track. Would she live or die? Should Twilight get attached to this character or not?
What does it mean!? Her mind screamed at her. Is Feather going to live or-
A yellow hoof came across Twilight’s face, smacking her forcefully and forcing her out of her trance. “Thanks, Fluttershy,” she murmured.
“I’m happy to help,” Fluttershy whispered in response.
Johnny grinned and coughed politely. “So, ladies and Starlight,” Johnny looked pointedly at Roam and Starlight, waiting for them to get the slight. “I think it’s been a pretty long day. Now I don’t normally think, I just do. In this case, however, what I think we should do is get some sleep, which is what Starlight called us for, rather than getting hammered and waking up hung over and more miserable than we started. Agreed?” The force of his tone left little room for dissent, for which Feather was grateful. She nodded her agreement.
“Fine, fine,” Starlight waved a defeated hoof. “There’s a bed in the room across the hall from mine. You can sleep there.”
Johnny and Feather nuzzled affectionately and made their way for said room. As they dissapeared around a corner, Starlight lifted the bottle, waiting a good ten seconds to make absolutely sure Johnny and Feather were out of earshot, counting ten Maresissipis, before bringing the bottle to her lips.
“Don’t even think about it,” Johnny’s stern command echoed down the hall.
Grumbling, Starlight put the bottle away and dragged Roam up by the scruff of his neck, ignoring the stallion’s flailing hooves the whole way.
“Uh-huh,” Rainbow Dash deadpanned. “This is fun and all, but wasn’t this supposed to be scary? I mean, all I’m seeing is a bunch of cool teens you’d totally wanna hang out with. I mean, it started pretty cool, but... Is that it?” The cyan pegasus actually sounded dissapointed.
“Ugh, this isn’t some B-movie slasher, Rainbow!” Twilight couldn’t believe she was having to explain this. “It’s not like every pony’s going to die right when you see them!”
“Yeah,” Rainbow protested, “but no pony’s died yet! Only one of them is even hurt!”
“Okay then,” Twilight turned the conversation around, gazing intently at Rainbow Dash as she took over the role of inquisitor, “who do you think is going to die?”
“Well, no pony here, that’s for sure!” Rainbow decreed confidently, ignoring the shocked look from the other ponies in the room. “They’re the heroes, and heroes never die! That’s the rule isn’t it?”
The others blinked as they stared at Rainbow, honestly dumbfounded. Twilight simply shook her head and sighed.
Rainbow took the general lack of response as a cue to turn back toward the screen, beating back the less-than-confident feeling she was suddenly having.
Onscreen, the bedroom door clicked shut behind Roam as Starlight dragged him to the bed.
“So,” Starlight purred, “you want to get your hooves Roaming already?” She couldn’t help but giggle at her own horrid pun.
Rarity’s eyes bulged in shock. “Polite ponies, avert your gazes!” She dramatically covered an eye with one hoof, watching as the other ponies stiffened up and put a foreleg over their eyes, lowered ever so slightly so as to see what was on screen anyway. What they weren’t seeing, however, was Rarity’s telekinetic hand snatching up another hoof full of Pinkie Pie’s popcorn as she gazed at the screen, licking her lips in anticipation.
Roam gave his girlfriend a sweet little smile. “I guess Johnny’s right,” he chuckled. “You’ve obviously had way too much to drink. How about I get you some water and we call it a night, huh babe?”
“Spoilsport,” Starlight pouted.
There was a collective, rather forced-sounding sigh of relief in the barn as the other ponies lowered their arms, trying to look as though they hadn’t been sneaking glances from the corners of their eyes. Appearances were important, after all.
Twilight couldn’t help but notice Rarity’s expression. “Why do you look so... Disappointed, Rarity?” she asked curiously.
“I’m just, um, embarrassed!” Rarity squeaked. “Yes, I’m very sorry to have called a false alarm! So very sorry indeed.”
Fluttershy smiled knowingly at Rarity. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were far less discreet, laughing rather loudly at Rarity’s expense. It was hard to hide an embarrassed blush under such a well-groomed white coat.
Pinkie and Twilight, not quite understanding what had just happened, simply looked at each other and shrugged.
Roam had returned with the water, only to find Starlight fast asleep. Still smiling softly, he curled up into bed next to her and nuzzled her goodnight, looking rather sweet and innocent for the first time in the whole movie.
Fluttershy and Twilight gave out a perfectly synchronized “d’aww” at the sight. Twilight, however, quickly realized something, her body stiffening, her eyes becoming more intent as she focused on the screen.
“Oh no,” She murmured softly.
Starlight stirred from her slumber, rolling over and grinning mischieviously at Roam. “Hey handsome,” she cooed, “I’m still awake. You sure you don’t wanna get all multicultural on me? I’d love it if that silver tongue of yours got to Roamin, maybe do a bit of Rushin’, if you catch my drift.”
Twilight sighed in acceptance, her heart pounding.
Roam turned toward her, but the voice that replied wasn’t his gruff, masculine tone, but a resonating, cold female voice, hauntingly similar to Starlight. “My dear, that sounds lovely,” the voice replied, a wicked undertone in each and every word. “A true creature of the night would be mad to pass up on your offer.”
Suddenly, Roam’s fore hooves grew jagged, four-bladed claws, connected by leather straps at the wrists. The ponies watching gulped nervously at the implication of where that leather might have come from.
The monstrous Roam scraped the tip of one of his claws gently down Starlight’s muzzle, the other pony far too scared to move. “Then again,” the female voice continued, “I guess that’s exactly what I am!”
Fluttershy turned white and froze at the sight. Worried, Twilight checked to make sure the poor thing was still breathing. Quickly checking, Twilight found that Fluttershy was hyperventilating, and her heart rate had gone through the roof. Twilight wasn’t quite sure whether to be happy about that or not.
Rainbow Dash, however, smirked, once more demonstrating her lack of understanding. “Yep, go straight for the hero, Nightmare Moon,” she chuckled. “Man, this is gonna be a short movie.”
Starlight didn’t seem to share Dash’s confidence, it seemed, as she jumped out of bed with a high-pitched, panicked scream.
Roam’s skin nd coat began to darken as his stomach narrowed. He didn’t clamber out of bed; his hooves rested over the edge as his legs grew until he was standing. His eyes took on a slitted, serpentine appearance as his mane lengthened past his shoulders and blew through an unseen wind.
Nightmare Moon stepped toward her prey. “For what you ponies did to me,” she hissed, “I promis this won’t be quick. Unlike Roam here, I can live up to that promise.”
Starlight glared angrily at Nightmare Moon, anger fueling her movements now. “What did you say about my coltfriend!?” she spat defiantly at her tormenter. “No pony but me gets to say hay about Roam!”
Uncoiling like a spring, Starlight leapt, spinning around as she did. The element of surprise on her side, she jumped on the surprised Nightmare Moon’s face, using her as a springboard as she jumped out the window. Tucking into a roll as she hit the ground, Starlight ran as fast as her hooves would carry her into an alley, not once looking back. Strangely, it seemed as though the alley were growing, as though stretching to keep her from reaching the end. Bewildered, Starlight skidded to a halt and turned to see Nightmare Moon just behind her, grinning with a mouth full of sharp, imposing teeth.
Nightmare Moon spread her ghastly, demonic wings, encompassing the entire width of the alley as they parted to their full glory, blocking Starlight’s escape. Again, Starlight tried to charge head-on, but one forceful flap of those enormous wings sent forth a gust of wind so strong as to launch Starlight off her feet, spinning the mare onto her back. Blearily gazing at the stars, the unicorn realized they were moving. Tossing her hair aside, Nightmare Moon revealed her face and raised her talons.
“I promise you, my little pony,” Nightmare Moon whispered, her voice hauntingly seductive, “this night shall last forever!” With that, she brought her talons down with great fury, causing every pony in the barn but Rainbow Dash to gasp in shock.
“It’s just a dream, I bet,” Rainbow boasted. “Look, see!?”
Rather than show the impact, the movie cut to Starlight, screaming in bed as Roam shook her violently, yelling at her to wake up.
“Called it!” At this point, Rainbow Dash was rather proud of herself, nodding her head triumphantly. “Told ya, nothing to-”
Starlight’s chest suddenly erupted in a misty spray of blood. Roam let out a panicked yell as he scrambled off the bed, staring in shock at the blood fountain that had been his marefriend.
“Keep it down in there, you two!” Feather called out from down the hall. She clearly had no clue what was going on.
Starlight’s body was dragged off the bed by an unseen force. No aura of magic was visible as it slid up the wall and onto the roof, leaving a trail of blood as it moved. Roam whimpered helplessly, powerless to do anything but stare in horror.
“Oh...” Muttered a markedly less confident Rainbow Dash as the color drained from her body.
One final slash tore open Starlight’s throat as her body fell from the ceiling, leaving her lifeless body on the bed.
Twilight couldn’t have hoped for a better horror movie. She looked over at her friends to see their reactions. A high-pitched squeal came from Rarity, while Applejack and Rainbow Dash seemed to be having something of a heated discussion.
“Rarity,” Twilight tried to get the fashionista’s attention. “Is it about the bedsheets?”
“The bedsheets!?” Rarity hissed, still gazing at the screen with wide eyes, her pupils shrunken down to little dots. “Fabric is replaceable! Who cares about some silly, stupid cotton bedsheets? Starlight was just ripped apart!”
Twilight couldn’t help but stare. “W-wait,” she stammered, “did you honestly say ‘who cares’ about cotton bedsheets?”
Rarity blinked a few times, biting her lower lip and looking around suspiciously. “I’m so sorry, dear,” she whimpered. “That was utterly vulgar of me. I don’t know what came over me.” She didn’t seem entirely convinced about that herself.
Twilight then turned over to Pinkie Pie, who seemed to be half-heartedly mumbling ‘Giggle at the Ghosties’ to herself.
“Pinkie?” Twilight was concerned about her pink party friend. “You all right there?”
Pinkie, her mane a bit grey and flattened, turned slowly to Twilight. “Yeah,” she spoke softly, her voice uncharacteristically aloof and distant. “That was...”
Twilight braced herself for the worst.
“Awesome!” Pinke’s hair fluffed up and turned bright pink as she bounced up and down uncontrollably on the cushion. “Did you see that!? That was so wicked! Starlight was all ‘boom, pew!’ and Nightmare was like ‘nuh-uh, and then Starlight was like ‘aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!’ Bit it was a dream! But it wasn’t, because she can get you in your sleep! I bet no pony here’s gonna sleep tonight! They turned her into a meat pinata! Woooooo!!”
Twilight couldn’t help but laugh in relief. Leave it to Pinkie Pie to look through the shock and see it for the harmless bit of fiction it was. Though she was going to have to check the pinatas the party pony made for the next few weeks, make sure they weren’t made of – eww – meat.
“I bet I’m less stared than you are, R.D,” Applejack valiently whispered.
“Nuh-uh, you’re not nearly as brave as The Dash,” Rainbow replied through clenched, chattering teeth.
“Scootaloo?” Applejack tilted her head curiously.
“Hey, cut me some slack!” Rainbow snapped back. “It’s hard to think when you’re this terrified!”
“Ah-ha! I knew it!” Applejack tried to boast, though it came out more like a whimper. “I knew you had the heebie-jeebies as much as I do!”
Rarity, Twilight and Pinkie looked at the two arguing ponies, wondering whether the way they clung to each other for dear life as they argued and shivered was cute or creepy.
Finally, after several moments of silence, A.J broke the stalemate. “I think Big Mac’s still got Smarty Pants hidin’ behind the plow over yonder, where he don’t think I’ve noticed it yet. You want me to, er-”
“Yes, please!” Rainbow nodded as she exclaimed. “Dear Celestia yes!”
Applejack pried herself away from Rainbow Dash long enough to snatch up Smarty Pants, then came back to Rainbow Dash, whereupon the two ponies desperately clung to the doll like castaways with a life preserver. The sight pleased Twilight greatly, and she couldn’t help but grin.
“Oh Dashie!” Pinkie chided jokingly. “Don’t be silly! You don’t need to huggle a doll!”
Rainbow Dash looked up from her mutual death-grip on the toy with Applejack and stared at Pinke Pie in bewilderment. “I don’t?” she whimpered.
“Nope!” Pinkie chirped as she grabbed Rainbow Dash around the ribs and yanked her over, drawing her closer to her chest in a bone-crushing bear-hug. “You got me instead, silly!”
Rainbow opened her mouth to protest, but the words died on her lips as she realized that not only was hugging Pinkie Pie marginally less embarrassing than sharing the doll with Applejack, but it also put her about face-height with the party pony’s seemingly endless supply of popcorn. Suddenly liking her position, Rainbow Dash went to snatch up some popcorn, but when she bit on it, she felt something hard. It definitely wasn’t an unpopped kernal.
“Aieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!” Rairity screamed in terror as she flailed her hooves about in apparent panic, using her magic to throw the bag of popcorn with enough force to dent one of the hardwood walls with a splintering thud!
“Nightmare moon is in the popcorn!” she shrieked. “She’s in the bloody popcorn! Run for your lives!”
Rainbow Dash tried to do just that, flying full-force into the other side of the barn. As this wasn’t quite as decrepit as that one barn she destroyed, she ended up smacking her head firmly against the wall, sliding down with a groan as she tried to shake the stars out of her eyes.
Twilight let out a polite cough as Rarity calmed down and lowered herself onto her four hooves once more.
“Oh dear!” Rarity exclaimed. “I’m so sorry, Rainbow Dash!” Despite her words, no pony truly believed she was all that sorry. The way Rarity batted her eyes certainly didn’t help.
That gave Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Twilight a good laugh, which lasted until they noticed Fluttershy, who was being suspiciously quiet, even by Fluttershy standards.
Twilight approached the her yellow friend cautiously. “Um, Fluttershy?” Twilight tried to sound as sweet and friendly as possible. “You all right?”
Fluttershy offered no response. Instead, she simply stared blankly at the screen, her mouth lowered into a tight ‘o’ and her body noticably shivering.
Meanwhile, in Canterlot...
“Oh dearest sister,” Celestia cooed. “I got us a delightful little film I thought you’d enjoy.”
Luna looked over to her sister curiously. She still hadn’t gotten used to the whole idea of ‘movies.’ “Pray tell,” Luna began suspiciously, “What is this movie you have aquired for Us?”
“Oh, you’ll love it!” Celestia exclaimed. “Apparently you’re in it!”
Luna sighed and shook her head. “Oh, that one.” She turned her head away, placing her Call of Cutie game in her console, ready for another long night of fragging ponies. “No thank you, dearest Tia. We are not fond of the constant reminders of the magnitude of Our girth.”
“Pardon?” Celestia was genuinely confused by that statement.
“Nevermind.” Luna suddenly grinned mischieviously. “Watch it without Us. We think thou shalt truly enjoy it thyself.”
“Well, if you’re sure...” Celestia put on her best pout.
“We are positive, Tia.” Luna simply whistled innocently as she adjusted her headset. “Oh, and one final thing.”
“Oh?” Celestia smiled sweetly at her sister. “And that is?”