"So before you sent me back again, you told me to always check in with you to make sure we keep the timeline straight. But if you've only seen past me and um... future me, then future future me hasn't been here yet. Which means everything is still screwed up because I rushed things way too fast with Applejack." Rainbow Dash was clearly frustrated.
"Why is Applejack so important for this?"
"Because we have to make sure that everything that happened before this mess started still happens."
"I'm well aware of that, and I'm pretty sure future me is the one who told you. But what exactly was it that 'happened' with Applejack that hasn't happened yet? And why do you need to interfere to make it happen?"
Rainbow Dash took a step back and blushed slightly. "AJ and I... uh... we... " Stammering with embarassment, Dash realized her wings were beginning to tingle. She would need Twilight's help making sure this all worked out, and it'd be hard to get help if she didn't know what was going on, but that still didn't make admitting it any easier. They hadn't told any of their friends yet. Or, their future selves wouldn't have... yet... told... their future friends. That sounded right. Taking a deep breath, the cyan pegasus prepared to let out her secret.
"APPLEJACK AND I ARE IN LOVE!" Dash quickly shouted, her blush and her wings rising.
"That's... that's great Dash! But how does that relate to... when did you two figure this out?
"Yes, great, but you can't tell anypony about this yet! For one, WE don't know it yet right now, but even once we DO we hadn't told anypony else yet and I couldn't tell any of you if she wasn't ready. I'm only telling you now because I have to! We had our big talk about how we felt yesterday. But not the yesterday that was before today. The yesterday that it was for me before I went back to the here today. I think? This stuff is really confusing Twilight!"
"And at least one of you, besides the 'past' you, talked to Applejack about this?"
"Well, yes and no. Original past me eventually does, but we're worried about the future mes. And the FIRST one didn't. We did talk, but only about the farm. You told me you were ready to send me back to the future, and that we didn't have a lot of time for some reason. You rushed me back, and then you... future you... started asking me a bunch of questions about when and where I talked to who. And AJ had been really angry with me when we talked, so I was sure I'd screwed up. You told me you had figured out that I had been supposed to talk to AJ about... how I feel. So I needed to go back again."
"So that's you now? Then what's this about ONLY three of you?"
"That's just it, you told me that you had already sent me back a second time to fix the AJ situation! You told me that THAT me was going to get things moving in the right direction, but you weren't sure whether or not everything would be completely fixed. You went to go look at all these crazy charts and graphs and notes you had and told me that I would need to go back and do something drastic with Applejack AFTER the first two of me that went back talked to her, but BEFORE the past me who hadn't done any time travel. The last one of me that was mucking around with time travel needs to be positive that AJ is ready to have 'the talk' with the me that's from the time we're going back to. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to do that, so I went back again and... um... did something drastic with Applejack. But she acted like it came completely out of the blue! It sounded like I hadn't told her anything yet, and this whole thing about who was where when got really confusing. I came here to try and have you help me clear it up, but apparently I got back here BEFORE the future me that was supposed to start talking mushy. So now I'm worried that things are gonna be more screwed up than ever because I almost definitely pushed her too fast! She didn't seem ready. I think I got to her before the first future me even apologized for the farm!"
"Oh... wow. I'm actually really impressed you were able to keep track of all that. Charts and graphs sound like a great idea to help keep this going smoothly. You'll have to thank future me the next time you go back for inspiring me to... give myself the idea. So okay, I'll keep some documentation going to help us figure this out. You just make sure any time you go forward or backward, you check in with me and give me all the details. Now as for YOU you, you just go hide somewhere like future me wisely told you to do, but not anywhere that you already are. Make sure that each time I tell you to hide, you hide somewhere that you aren't already hiding. Think you can handle that?"
Okay everypony, I hope you're ready. I don't know if 'adventure' is the right tag, but none of the others adequately describe shenanigans of this calibre. No, we won't be slaying monsters or finding ancient artifacts. But we WILL be tying the timeline in knots. Get ready for this to get much more complicated now that the warmup is over. THIS time, I'm spelling everything out in a nice Egghead Planner to Witless Executor chat to keep everypony on the same page as we set out for ridiculousness. But that might not always happen.
ALSO, let me know if you feel the chapter lengths are appropriate. I keep thinking they should be longer because so many other stories use longer chapters, but they feel right to me. What do YOU think?