The day she had been dreading was finally here. Scootaloo was glad to finally not be at school for the day but now she had to work at the Pony Post Office. For free. She grabbed her bag and opened the door to her house.
"I'm going now, mom." she said with no response and exited the house.
"Oh I'm so excited, Rarity! I get to go to the elementary school again!" Sweetie Belle said, jumping around the house in excitement.
"I hope you enjoy it, dear. Now you must move along. Shiner will be here any minute and there's no time to waste!" Rarity pushed Sweetie Belle out of the door hurriedly and shut it behind her.
The last time Apple Bloom had tried to make something at the Sugarcube Corner it did not end too well. She was nervous to go back and work there with Pinkie Pie.
"Now, Apple Bloom, you made that delicious apple pie the other day." Applejack reassured her.
"Yeah but that was apples! Shucks, I can barely make nothin' but apple pie!" Apple Bloom cried.
"Apple Bloom, you'll do fine."
Apple Bloom quickly left the house and made her way to the bakery.
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders, GO!
We're on an adventure, we're on a quest,
to find out what we do the best.
Our cutie marks are what we seek,
we'll push our selves every day of the week!
Cutie Mark Crusaders! Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Apple Bloom's the handy one,
give her work in a minute it is done.
Sweetie Belle, she just loves to sing,
she wrote this song, it has her ring.
Scootaloo is rad and cool,
try her stunts and you'll look like a fool.
But then Shiner already has his mark but,
he'll help us catch our cutie marks!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusa~ders!
There's no limit to what we will try!
No matter how many rules we will defy,
WE WILL GET OUR CUTIE MARKS IN TIME!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Teenage Cutie Mark Crusaders YEAH!
Scootaloo had been in the pony post office for five minutes but there was nopony there to greet her, but she then heard a voice from behind the closed counter, the blind of which quickly and loudly opened up, shedding a flash of light which nearly blinded Scootaloo.
"Hello little girl, are you lost?" the voice cheerfully asked.
It was Derpy Hooves, head of the Pony Post Service.
"No...I'm here for work experience day." Scootaloo said.
"Work experience day? Oh, you must be Todaloo!" Derpy beamed.
"Oh yeah, right! Well welcome aboard, Scootledoo! Now what are you doing here?"
Scootaloo sighed. This was going to be a long day for her.
"I'm here for work experience. Tenth grade at Canterlot High School, Scootaloo." she explained.
"Canterlot High?! I remember that place! It was so much fun! We used to have parties every night...although my parents never let me go. Oh and one time, Twilight Sparkle almost destr-"
"Can I please do some work?" Scootaloo interrupted.
"Oh, sure! Why didn't you just ask? Alright, you can deliver some letters to the neighbourhood!" Derpy said with a large smile.
Scootaloo sighed with relief. 'Some' letters wouldn't be difficult. Then, Derpy dropped a large and overflowing bag in front of her.
"These are for the whole town! Have fun!" she said.
Scootaloo looked at the bag in horror.
"Wasn't I supposed to just deliver a few letters to the neighbourhood?"
"Silly! Everypony in Ponyville is my neighbour! Now get to it, don't wanna be late!"
Scootaloo gulped and wrapped the large bag round her torso. She was instantly pushed down by the weight and she slowly dragged herself to the door.
Sweetie Belle made sure to arrive at Ponyville Elementary extra early so she could help her old teacher Cheerilee set up the room for the children. The pink mare was more than happy to see Sweetie Belle once again. Sweetie noticed that Cheerilee was aged somewhat for an adult and bore a few wrinkles on her face which made her look more mature. Her hair had also taken a slight grey tint.
"So, Sweetie Belle, you will be helping with this table," Cheerilee explained, showing Sweetie Belle a small square table surrounded by four chairs on each side.
"No more desks?" Sweetie asked.
"No, no, no. I decided the children work much better when in a group. You might know who taught me that," she giggled and left Sweetie Belle slightly confused.
"So, why this table and not the whole class?" Sweetie asked.
Cheerilee bolted upright and the corner of her mouth twisted into a forced smile, "I feel you should just start out small. The whole class is a big responsibility."
Sweetie Belle studied the teacher's face for a moment, then smiled, "okay!"
Cheerilee sighed of relief and began to explain to Sweetie what the class was currently learning about.
Rarity eagerly awaited Shiner's arrival. She was stood next to the entrance of the boutique, seemingly dancing with excitement. She didn't know why, but she hadn't had a colt work for her for years.
There was a knock on the door and Rarity immediately opened it with her magic, "HELLO!" she beamed.
Scootaloo, at the other side of the door, stared at Rarity, weirded out by her enthusiasm.
"Oh, Scootaloo. I was expecting Shiner," Rarity sighed.
"He's not here yet?" Scootaloo asked, looking behind Rarity for him.
"No. But what brings you here this early, dear?" Rarity asked.
Scootaloo paused for thought, then looked to her back and opened the bag. She fumbled through it with her mouth and brought out a few letters, which Rarity took with her magic.
"Oh, you're working for the Pony Post Office? Well I'm sure you'll do a great job, darling! I shall say hello to Shiner for you!" the unicorn smiled.
"You're wel-" Rarity shut the door abruptly in Scootaloo's face.
The pegasus stared at the door for a moment and then turned around, but bumped into somepony.
"Oh, sorry," the familiar colt voice said.
"Shiner!" Scootaloo beamed.
"Hey, Scooty! How're you doing?"
"Not bad. Just made my first delivery," she smiled.
"Awesome! Say, Apple Bloom's working at Sugarcube Corner, right? Maybe we could meet there after..." Shiner sniggered, "work!"
Scootaloo laughed, "you sound so grown up!"
The two shared a laugh, then embraced and said their goodbyes as Scootaloo walked slowly to her next delivery. Shiner knocked on the door to the Boutique and it instantly opened up. He saw Rarity on the other side with a huge smile and heard her make a squee.
"I'm here for...uh..." Shiner talked slowly, confused by Rarity's eagerness.
"Pony Work Experience Day! Come right in, we have so much to do!" she spoke fast.
As Rarity hopped back inside, Shiner slowly trotted in and followed. The room was empty except for in the middle, where there was a clotheshorse covered in clothes. Shiner gulped.
Apple Bloom had been stood at the door to Sugarcube Corner for ten minutes or so by now and didn't want to go in because she was so nervous. Her hooves shook rapidly and she took a step closer towards the door and it opened quickly. Apple Bloom darted backwards and saw Mr and Mrs Cake walking outside with two small ponies behind them.
"Oh, Apple Bloom! You're here!" Mr.Cake smiled.
"We're just taking Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake to school. Pinkie is inside, she'll get you started," Mrs.Cake explained.
The ponies poked out from behind her. One was a cream pegasus with a shaggy brown mane and the other was a yellow unicorn with a bouncy orange mane. They waved at Apple Bloom, who returned a nervous smile and watched the four walk past.
She slowly walked into the building and took a look around, but Pinkie was nowhere to be seen, but suddenly the pink earth pony dropped from the ceiling in front of Apple Bloom and loudly shouted, "HI!"
It was super effective. Apple Bloom fainted.
Scootaloo had just finished climbing a steep hill to reach the elementary school. She lay on her back, and the bag, panting for air with her eyes half shut as she got to grips with reality.
"I never...want to make....a climb...with a heavy bag...AGAIN!" she whined.
She slowly rolled over and stood up, slightly struggling under the weight of the bag. She had already visited somethingteen houses and it was still very heavy. She knocked on the door to the school.
"Sweetie Belle, could you get that? I still have to organise a few things," Cheerilee asked.
"Sure, Miss Cheerilee," Sweetie chirped, placing down some string she was levitating towards a desk.
She trotted towards the door and opened it with her magic, "Scootaloo!"
"Sweetie Belle! How's your work going?" the pegasus asked.
Sweetie Belle tilted her head slightly, then laughed, "it's great! All the kids are so energetic and lovely!"
Scootaloo smiled and looked behind Sweetie to see an empty classroom, "where are they all?"
"They're not here yet, Scootaloo. School doesn't start for another half hour."
"Oh, right. I'm so used to us going to school early, I forgot."
"Oh yeah! Here," Scootaloo dipped her wing into the bag and pulled out a few letters and a parcel, tied together by string.
Sweetie Belle took them and said thanks and good luck, then shut the door as Scootaloo walked away. Sweetie Belle turned back to Cheerilee.
"Say, Miss Cheerilee?" she asked.
"Sweetie Belle, dear, you can just call me Cheerilee. You're not my student anymore," Cheerilee replied.
"Oh, sure. Cheerilee? How come the table for the kids I'm working with is so far away from the others?" Sweetie asked, noting that her table had at least space for one more inbetween it and the next.
Cheerilee grew the strange smile again and inaudibly mumbled beneath a stack of papers. Sweetie decided to ignore the question. She then heard chatter from outside.
"Oh! The children are here!" Sweetie proclaimed.
"Sweetie Belle, you should go and sit on your table," Cheerilee suggested.
The unicorn nodded and plopped herself on the fourth seat at the table, which was much too small for her, but she managed to remain in a comfortable position. The door opened and Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake bounced in happily, giggling to each other and saying bye to their parents.
"Pumpkin Cake! Pound Cake! Welcome," Cheerilee gleamed.
"Good morning, Miss Cheerilee!" the two said in unison.
"Please take a seat at your normal table," the teacher said.
The two proceeded to bounce in a similar way to Pinkie Pie towards the table which Sweetie Belle was sat. They eagerly took their seats and stared at Sweetie with wide smiles, making her feel a little uncomfortable.
"Aren't you a bit old to be going to school here?" Pound Cake laughed.
"Oh! I'm not a student! I'm helping out today," she said pleasantly.
"I hope you're fun!" snickered Pumpkin Cake.
Sweetie released an awkward laugh, then stared off in a different direction to the young ponies. Over the next few minutes, ponies flowed into the classroom and it seemed like everypony was there, but there was one space left on Sweetie Belle's table. Then, from outside, a short blast of trumpets played and the ponies inside quietened down. The door opened with blue magic and a very light pink alicorn child walked through the door. He wore a red vest with gold around the edges and his neat, short mane was a dark blue colour and his eyes showed a brilliant green. He walked slowly with his chin up high and quietly took his place in the spare seat at Sweetie Belle's table.
"Ah, Regal Crown, it's a pleasure to see you here today," Cheerilee said softly.
Sweetie Belle stared in amazement. This was Prince Regal Crown sat before her. Son of Shining Armor and Princess Cadence! The boy was said to be a prodigy in both magic and flight and at the young age of seven, too! Sweetie had to wonder what such an important child was doing here in a small one-roomed elementary school. Perhaps his parents wanted him to live a normal life amongst other ponies? All this spun through her head as she stared mouth agape at him.
"Excuse me, but may I ask what it is you are looking at?" he spoke boldly.
"Sorry. Just...admiring the weather outside," Sweetie said awkwardly.
Regal Crown sniffed and Cheerilee began the school day.
Shiner stood in front of a mirror to take a look at himself. Rarity had dressed him in the brightest gear he had ever seen. It was all white and stood out on him very well. He wore a hat, shoes, vest, cape and even headbands all in this bright colour. He didn't like the clothes, but he couldn't say no to Rarity. He thought he would upset her.
"What do you think, dear?" she asked.
"It's...great, Rarity," he forced a smile.
"Oh! That's brilliant! This will be one of my first brand lines for colts over my fifteen years of working! Winter is coming soon, so I thought something maybe camouflaging would be appropriate. Winter Start-Up, I call it.
"Sounds...good!" Shiner said with an even more strained smile.
"Now you simply must try on my Pretty in Pink for males, Shiner!"
"PINK?!" Shiner exclaimed, then looked at Rarity's shocked face, "oh...um...yeah! Pink!"
He smiled again, which caused Rarity to dash off and collect more clothing. Shiner sat down and sighed.
Apple Bloom finally woke up to see Pinkie Pie still grinning. She shook her head to get a grip of herself and stood up.
"You alright Apple Bloom?" Pinkie asked enthusiastically.
"Yeah...you scared me," Apple Bloom said.
"Nah, it's alright. So should we get t' work?" Apple Bloom asked.
Pinkie looked around the room and saw ingredients readily lined on a table, then looked back at Apple Bloom.
"Let's make some cakes!" she cheered.
Pinkie once again sung her cupcake song to Apple Bloom like she had done many years ago, but this time, Apple Bloom payed more attention and used more care when preparing her confectionery. Then came the time to put the mixture she had put together in the oven, which was not already turned on. Pinkie Pie was at the other end of the room stacking shelves.
"I'm gonna go out and get some more stuff. Mr and Mrs Cake are away today too, so it should just be you here, Apple Bloom," Pinkie explained.
"Sure, leave it to me!" the pony said happily.
"You know how to work the oven, right?"
"Okay then, see ya!"
Pinkie Pie bounced out of Sugarcube Corner to leave Apple Bloom to her own devices.
Apple Bloom turned the dial on the oven to the heat which Pinkie had told her to bake the cupcakes at. She stood and watched.
"Why's this takin' so long?" she whined after a few seconds.
She waited a few more seconds.
"Consarn it! Maybe I need to turn up the heat?" she wondered.
She moved her hoof to the dial again and turned it in a complete clockwise motion to the top, which was red and had the number '11' printed on it. Apple Bloom waited a few more seconds.
"Oh for buc-" KABOOM.
"Hey, Sweetie Belle?" Pumpkin Cake asked.
"Yes, Pumpkin Cake?" she replied.
"How do you do this sum?"
"Oh! That's easy! You can simply draw a diagram such as this to..." Sweetie Belle blabbered on about complicated ways to solve the sum, which was 13 multiplied by 4.
"Do you really have to go into such detail? It's a simple sum," Regal Crown snorted.
"I guess I'm just good at math," Sweetie Belle said braggingly.
Regal Crown rolled his eyes, then looked attentively at Pound Cake, who was slamming his head on the table loudly and hard.
"Pound Cake! Don't do that!" Sweetie Belle commanded sternly.
"THIS IS TOO HARD!" he complained, scrunching up his work and throwing it at a yellow unicorn filly.
The girl began to cry and Cheerilee strictly told Pound Cake to stand outside of the classroom.
"Fine! At least I won't have to do this CRAP work!" he shouted.
The young ponies gasped. They never thought even Pound Cake would use a SWEAR WORD in class!
"THAT'S IT!" Cheerilee shouted, "YOU ARE STAYING INSIDE AT LUNCH TIME!"
Sweetie Belle's heart skipped. In her time at the elementary school, she had never heard Cheerilee shout at a student. She was frightened herself and watched as Pound Cake stormed outside and slammed the door shut. Just as he did so, another sound came from in the town. A loud KABOOM!
Rarity approached Shiner with a pile of pink clothes and told him to put them on in the changing room, but just as he got a hold of them under his wing, the building shook with the loud sound. KABOOM!
Scootaloo approached the Sugarcube Corner. Her bag was significantly lighter now and she had no struggles in carrying it. She looked through quickly and saw she only had a few letters and two parcels left to deliver. She knocked on the door and it burst open with a loud KABOOM. She was sent flying backwards and crashed to the ground, then somepony fell on top of her. Scootaloo kicked the pony off, then saw it was Apple Bloom, covered in soot.
"Apple Bloom, what happened?" Scootaloo asked in shock.
"Ah think ah might've broken the oven..." she sighed.
"How did you manage that?"
"I kinda set it to th' max heatin',"
"That was smart of you," Scootaloo laughed.
"What am ah gonna tell Pinkie Pie?" Apple Bloom cried.
Scootaloo looked at her, then at the blasted door that had smoke blowing out from inside.
"You're gonna tell Pinkie you blew up the Cakes' oven?" she asked.
"Y'think ah should?"
"No. Any one of them could get mad at you. I'd just say it suddenly went on the fritz. You had nothing to do with it."
"Ah don't wanna lie, Scootaloo!"
"Do you wanna get in trouble?"
"There we go then! Oh, right! Mail! Here," Scootaloo searched her bag and pulled out a letter.
"This is it?" Apple Bloom asked, confused.
"Seems so. See you around!" Scootaloo said, trotting off.
"Sure. See ya," Apple Bloom said shakily, looking back at the battered door.
"Everypony remain calm!" Cheerilee commanded.
The ponies were running in circles, screaming and some crying. Sweetie Belle had cowered under the desk when the explosion happened and when she came back up, both Pumpkin Cake and Regal Crown were missing. She immediately told Cheerilee, who demanded she found them immediately. Sweetie was terrified of this side of Cheerilee she had never seen before, but she followed her command and ran out the door. She saw Pound Cake leaning against the wall by the entrance.
"Pound Cake! Have you seen Pumpkin Cake and Regal Crown? They've gone missing," Sweetie Belle said in a hurry.
"Yeah, they ran off," Pound Cake muttered.
"Pound Cake. Show me where they went," Sweetie Belle demanded.
"POUND CAKE. You listen to me! I am responsible for you three today, this is my first experience of work and I want it to go well. Tell me where Pumpkin Cake and Regal Crown went NOW," she shouted, then panted for a few seconds, suddenly scared of herself. Or was she?
"They...they went towards town," Pound Cake said clearly and slowly, now looking directly at Sweetie Belle's eyes.
Now Sweetie Belle saw it. The reason why Cheerilee had put her with these three. The reason why she was so strict at times. It was all necessary for her to learn what being a teacher was like! Being put with the most difficult in the class made it somewhat stressful for her and she needed to vent it out eventually so they would pay attention and follow her. She apologized in her mind to Cheerilee for being afraid of her strict side, then took Pound Cake to find the other two.
Shiner and Rarity ran out of the Boutique as soon as they were sure it was safe to go outside, then saw a few doors away a little smoke.
"That's Sugarcube Corner," Shiner commented.
"Isn't Apple Bloom working there?" Rarity asked.
The two looked at each other and gasped, then galloped towards the door, just in time for Pinkie Pie to come back.
"Hi guys!" she smiled.
"Pinkie! Did you hear the explosion?" Rarity asked.
"Explosion? Hmm...don't think I did, sorry!" Pinkie giggled.
"How could you not hear it? It was so loud! And it came from Sugarcube Corner!" Shiner said.
"I wasn't at Sugarcube Corner. I was shopping and singing with the townsfolk. Did something bad happen?"
Rarity opened the beaten up door with her magic and they saw a soot-covered Apple Bloom hastily putting singed cupcakes on a counter.
"Apple Bloom? What happened?" Pinkie asked, sweeping her hair around, "why is the oven in pieces all over the floor? Why is there a smoky smell? Why is there a hole in the wall where the oven was?"
She gasped, "Apple Bloom! Did someone break the oven?"
Apple Bloom's eyes darted around, "no! It uh...malfunctioned! Ah was cookin' the cupcakes, then BAM! It blew up!"
"Was it on the right heat?" Pinkie asked.
"...uh...yeah..." Apple Bloom said quietly.
"Must've been a blip in the machine then," Pinkie smiled.
"Well, looks like everything is...alright," Rarity said as another piece of wall fell off.
Rarity and Shiner walked off, then entered the Boutique again. A clock chimed for three o' clock. Shiner smiled widely.
"Looks like my shift is over," he said.
"Oh..yes...of course, Shiner. It was fun, but really, we must try on more outfits next time!" Rarity smiled.
"Sure, next time," Shiner said with another forced smile as he walked out the door and shut it behind him, "phew."
Scootaloo walked back into the Pony Post Office, "Derpy! I delivered all the mail!"
The wall-eyed pony was nowhere to be seen, but then she popped out of a box next to Scootaloo and made her jump.
"Nice job, Skittlepoo!" she cheered.
"Oh sure, that's what I meant, Sitadoo! And you're only two hours past the expected finish time!"
"Two hours?! Was I that bad?"
"Oh, no! In fact, I did my Pony Work Experience Day here too! I didn't get back here until midnight!"
"Yuhuh! In fact, I'm still on Pony Work Experience Day!"
Scootaloo blinked slowly, "huh?"
"My daddy runs the business, so he thought it would be best if I stayed here instead of going to school! He never signed the forms to sign me out of school or to properly accept me as an employee, so I guess I've been on Pony Work Experience Day for ten years!"
"Ten years?!" Scootaloo repeated.
"Yeah! Ten years of fun!" Derpy cheered.
Scootaloo stood awkwardly for a moment, "I think my shift is over."
"Oh yeah! Well done, Scattlemoo! You did a good job today! Will you be back in tomorrow?"
"Uh...I don't think so, Derpy."
"Oh...well it was fun! See ya around!" she waved.
"...sure!" Scootaloo said, getting out of the door as fast as she could.
Sweetie Belle and Pound Cake ran into the town centre, calling out Pumpkin Cake and Regal Crown's names as loud as they could, but they heard no reply. Then, Sweetie Belle saw Sugarcube Corner.
"Apple Bloom is working there, maybe we should go and check it out?" she asked Pound Cake.
He shrugged, but they went in anyway and saw Apple Bloom galloping in circles in absolute panic.
"What's going on here?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Sweetie Belle! Glad yer here! Pumpkin Cake and Regal Crown turned up early from school! Ah had no idea what t'do!" Apple Bloom cried.
"It's not THAT bad, Apple Bloom!" Pinkie laughed.
"Why's that?" Sweetie asked.
"My sister, Regal Crown and me get to come here early after school every day. We dunno why, but Cheerilee insists that we go home an hour early. We play in the café room until Princess Cadence and Shining Armor come to pick up Regal Crown," Pound Cake explained.
Sweetie Belle giggled. She knew exactly why Cheerilee wanted them out so early. Pinkie then led everypony to the café, when Shiner and Scootaloo eventually came in to join them.
"We should try Apple Bloom's cupcakes!" Scootaloo suggested.
"Uhmm...maybe not," Apple Bloom said.
"Why not?" Sweetie Belle asked.
Pinkie walked in carrying an oven tray balanced on her head with what looked like solid coal in each circle. The ponies jumped back in disgust and Apple Bloom blushed, but then, the door slammed open.
"What is going on here?" Mr.Cake boomed.
Pinkie and Apple Bloom's hearts leapt. The two bakers did not look happy at all. They had heard about the explosion and even Cheerilee contacted them to say Sweetie Belle reported Pumpkin Cake was missing, as well as Pound Cake swearing in class. They were literally fuming. Apple Bloom's mind and heart raced, then she built up her honesty and courage and told the Cakes exactly what happened.
They let Apple Bloom's story sink in, then looked at each other, then at Pinkie.
"Did the mail come today?" Mrs.Cake asked.
Pinkie lifted the one letter they received. The two gave each other another glance and smiled.
"It's alright Apple Bloom. An understandable first timer's mistake," Mr.Cake said calmly.
"And don't you worry about the damage. This letter was for a competition we won. We got nine-hundred bits! That'll be enough for a new oven and repairs to the wall!" Mrs.Cake explained.
Apple Bloom smiled and apologized once more, then the large group decided to get some pre-made cupcakes and all have a meal on the house. But Regal Crown refused to eat what he referred to as 'peasent's sweets'. Sweetie Belle glared at the filly and decided not only that she did not like the prissy prince, but that this would not be the last time they met, either.