This is the first fic I’ve published, and indeed only the second time I gave something back to this wonderful fandom.
I’d like to thank the following people:
Kryxel, who allowed me to help him help me help the both of us, and who bared with my occasional bouts of self-doubt.
Chatoyance, who gave me the last gentle push I needed to even get started on this, and who has had me glued to my screen on more than one occasion
AVeryStrange, who practically introduced me to shipping, and who wrote the plot for this story. (find it here.)
These are all amazing people, and have every right to feel proud about themselves.
Anyhow, on with the story!
In the land of Equestria, magic is often considered a form of science. A part of the world, well-researched and understood to the point where one could say that, indeed, they had hardly begun understanding the true nature of it.
Still, most of the time one could predict well enough how magic would behave, much like one can say with a degree of certainty bordering on the statement of a fact that gravity pulls stuff down, or that a gas will generally be less dense than a solid.
In fact, magic is researched well enough to establish certain ground rules that most assume to be universally true. It is for this very reason that a certain lavender Unicorn mare was currently getting dangerously frustrated at one of her close friends.
“HOW! DOES! IT! WORK!?!”
Twilight Sparkle, bearer of the Element of Magic, pupil of Princess Celestia, was not having a good time.
Recently, her studies into the magic of Friendship and Harmony had taught her an important lesson: Sometimes, you just have to accept things the way they are, even if you think they cannot be true. It was a lesson learned through a desire to help her friends, but possibly more importantly, repeated physical injury and at one point even a showdown with an angry hydra.
“Come on, Twilight, you know what happened the last time you tried to prove the Pinkie sense wasn’t real,” her Draconic assistant said, hoping he wouldn’t have to push her around in a wheelchair again.
“I know, Spike, but even if I agree to call it a real thing, it doesn’t change the fact that I have no CLUE how it could possibly work! And it is driving me MAD!! And worst of all, I can’t just ask her, because even she has no clue how her own, reality breaking powers work, for Celestia’s sake!”
“Then just drop it! You’re only going to get hurt again!”
Twilight stomped a hoof in frustration. “No Spike, you know I can’t just let a mystery like this unsolved. It’s just going to linger in the back of my head, until I finally crack the riddle, and drive me CRAZY until I finally do!”
“But Twilight, what can you do? I mean, you’ve been up all day, trying to find anything at all about Earth ponies using chrona-, cirno- chronono-”
“Chronomancy,” Twilight corrected her assistant in a slightly annoyed tone.
“Yeah, that. Like I said, you’ve been looking all day for anything about that, and you haven’t found even the smallest thing!”
Spike was right. Twilight had gotten up early that day, and even though it was only around lunchtime, the Library looked as if a hurricane had pulled every book off the shelves and dumped them on the floor, making small hills of highly academic literature.
At this point, Twilight’s body decided that a light breakfast consisting of some hay and an apple was not nearly enough to get through the day, announcing its conclusion by making her stomach rumble louder than she would ever like it to.
She sighed. “You’re right, Spike. I’ve been at this for too long already. How about we get some lunch, and then clean up the mess I made together?”
At the offer of having both lunch AND his workload halved, Spike brightened up considerably.“That’s the spirit! Let’s go!”
“OK, let’s go to that one restaurant we visited a while ago. You know, the one that made those hay fries you liked so much?” Twilight said as she walked towards the doorway.
“Nah, we’ve been there the last several times. Can we go to Sugarcube Corner instead?” Spike said as he jumped on her back.
“Hmmm, I don’t know Spike, I guess I need to get my mind off of Pinkie for a while,” Twilight responded as she got outside and started to walk in the general direction of the marketplace.
“Ah, please Twi? It’s been sooo long since I’ve had one of those absolutely delicious cupcakes. Besides,” he added with a sly grin, “maybe you can catch her in the act of doing her twitchy thing and figure out how it works.”
Twilight thought about it for a moment, and suddenly stopped dead in her tracks, a large smile creeping up over her face. “Spike, you are a GENIUS!” she cheered, startling the young dragon on her back.
“Woah! Well, thanks, I know, but why this time?”
“Observation! I just need to observe Pinkie Pie, and that way I can figure out how her twitches work!”
“You tried that last time, remember? That ended with you getting hit by everything in that mover’s cart!”
“Oh, I know. That is why, this time, I will not just be sneaking around! This time, I will just ask her if she is OK with me observing her throughout the day. Whatever she does won’t have a reason to backfire at me, and I’ll finally get my answers! It is a perfect idea!”
“But, you don’t know if she’ll say yes! Don’t get ahead of yourself again, please Twi!”
“Oh, you know how she is. If I remind her of the fact that I, a good friend, will be spending a lot of time with her, she’ll agree faster than you can say ‘cupcake’!”
Twilight walked through the front door of Sugarcube Corner, finding Mrs. Cake behind the counter.
“Hello dears, how can I help you today?” she greeted Twilight and Spike as they walked up to her.
“Hello Mrs. Cake, how are you today? I’d like two cupcakes with strawberry frosting for me please.”
“And two of those delicious Baked Bads for me please,” Spike said as he licked his lips in anticipation for the culinary disasters Applejack had made during a fit of stubbornness-induced insomnia.
“Sorry dear, but we don’t have those anymore. Would you like some blueberry muffins instead?”
“Hmpf. Ok, the muffins sound good. Hey Twi, can you tell me if you see that mailmare coming?” Spike said with a look of disappointment at the lack of the horrors from the kitchen he had come to enjoy.
Twilight chuckled at Spike’s indignant expression. “Sure will, Spike.”
“Ok then, that will be six bits for the two of you,” Mrs. Cake said. “By the way, Miss Twilight, Pinkie Pie asked me to tell you something.”
“Hm? What did she say?” Twilight said, mildly confused.
“Well, she asked me to, when I would see you again, say ‘behind you.’ She didn’t tell me why, do you-”
Twilight jumped nearly three feet into the air, startled by the sudden appearance of the Pink Party Pony behind her. “Pinkie Pie! What did I tell you about suddenly popping up behind ponies?”
Pinkie looked at Twilight for a moment, her head tilted in confusion, before she started to talk. “Well, last time you told me that it is not nice to suddenly pop up behind ponies who are busy with something, and you said that I should first warn them so they wouldn’t be scared or shocked or startled, and then you started to lecture me about the importance of respecting the personal space of other ponies, right before you remembered that you had some big experiment going on, so you rushed over to your lab and then-” At this point, the rapidly talking mare was silenced by a lavender hoof, keeping her mouth shut.
“Right, so why didn’t you warn me?” Twilight said, before removing her hoof once more.
“But I did! I knew you would come to Sugarcube Corner, so I told Mrs. Cake to warn you about me, so I wouldn’t scare you, because while being scared at nightmare night is fun, it is no fun to get scared of your friends, because then-”
“Ok, Pinkie, I get it,” Twilight said as she removed her hoof again. ” One more thing though, how did you know I’d be here? Did you have one of your twitches again?”
“No, but I heard you and Spike talk on the way here, so I thought I’d send you a warning in advance,” Pinkie said as if it were the most logical thing in the world.
“I see... Actually, that was something I wanted to speak to you about. Your Pinkie Sense.”
“Oh, Twilight, not this again. You know it is real right? I mean, you wrote the Princess a letter about it, saying that sometimes you just need to believe, remember?” Pinkie said with a look of slight worry.
“I know, and while I do believe that it is a real thing, I still don’t understand how it works. And not understanding how something works is just something I cannot stand, so will you help me? Please?” Twilight answered, putting on her large eyes in the hope to persuade the party pony in front of her.
“I don’t know. I mean, last time you couldn’t find anything, right?”
“True, so this time I wanted to do things differently. For starters, I’d like to try observing you again, but this time without trying to hide. All I’d be doing would be to look at what your daily life is like, maybe help out here and there...”
Pinkie jumped up, her trademark smile threatening to split her face in two. “You want to hang out more?! That sounds like a wonderful idea! Oh, we could make cupcakes, muffins, donuts, cakes... Ooh, and I can introduce you to all my other friends! I’m sure you’ll like them!”
Twilight raised an eyebrow in confusion at the last remark. “But Pinkie, I already know our other friends. You know, ever since the whole Nightmare Moon ordeal?”
“Ah, no silly, those are not my only friends! You’ll see, hang out with me, and you’ll meet so many new friends, you could fill all of Canterlot with them!”
Twilight gave a slightly awkward laugh. “Well, I’ll mostly be busy taking notes, but sure, sounds like fun. Shall we start tomorrow?”
“Why wait until tomorrow? You can just stay here and we can hang out while I help the Cakes.”
“Well, like I said, I’ll be taking a lot of notes, so I’ll need to get home first. Sorry,” Twilight said as she slowly backed away to the exit.
“Ok, I’ll see you tomorrow then. Meet me early, then you can help me with baking the cupcakes and the muffins and...” Pinkies voice slowly faded out of focus as Twilight trotted out of the door, with Spike still sitting on her back.
“Ok, that went well. Guess I can get started on my research tomorrow morning,” Twilight said as she got back to the library.
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t see it as research. I mean, you must admit she has a point. You haven’t really made any more friends since you got here,” Spike said as he got of Twilight’s back. “Besides, even now you spend most of your time working on your studies. The Princess sent you here to get you to socialize a little, so just for once, try not to take it too serious Twi.”
“I know, Spike, and I will try to have some fun, but this is important! Think about it Spike, If I can figure this out, maybe one day everypony could use magic, regardless of what they were born like. It could mean the beginning of a new age of Harmony for all ponykind! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, I’ve got to prepare for tomorrow,” Twilight said as she trotted off to gather supplies.
“But you promised we’d clean up the library together!” Spike shouted to her as she went down the stairs to the basement, where most of her supplies were.
“Get started, I’ll join you in a moment,” She replied while putting a few empty scrolls and some writing materials into a pair of saddlebags. Tomorrow would be a big day indeed.
Ray10k here. So, first chapter of my first fic.
Please, if you at any point spot any error, please tell me.
I cannot improve my writing if I don’t know I’m doing it wrong, so don’t hesitate to highlight EVERY. SINGLE. TINY. MISTAKE.
The title means Burning curiosity, translation credit goes to Google Translate.
The next morning, Twilight discovered a big downside to her plan: Due to the fact that late-night study sessions were an almost daily occurrence, she had developed the slight tendency to sleep in, just a little. If she were to observe Pinkie however, she would have to get up before the break of dawn, meaning she would have three options:
1: Be late every day, and waste valuable time alone with Pinkie.
2: Try to survive the day on only a few hours of sleep, and collapse before the week would be over.
3: Go to bed early, and miss some study time.
After thinking it over for a while, she had chosen option 3. Sadly, her body seemed to like the other options better, and she had spent the night tossing and turning, trying unsuccessfully to get some sleep. As such, she was missing several hours of sleep, and utterly miserable for it.
Despite the fact that her eyelids felt heavy as lead, she managed to focus enough to make her presentable, and brew an extra strong cup of coffee to wake herself up a little. By the time she was ready to leave for Sugarcube Corner, Spike had woken up, still slightly grumpy at having to do most of the work yesterday while Twilight was packing.
“So, you are still going to do this Twi?”
“Yes, Spike. Like I said yesterday, this could be the most important discovery in the field of magical research since the invention of Sharp Eye’s Advanced Levitation Theory! It could mean-”
“Yeah, I know, new age of Harmony, don’t have to repeat yourself Twilight. What I mean though, is that you are willingly going to spend a lot of time with Pinkie, are you sure that is a good idea?”
“Look, Spike, I will admit that Pinkie may be a little... Enthusiastic at times, and that most of the time I like some peace and quiet around me, but if I don’t figure this out it will only drive me crazy. Besides, it is a regular workday for her. I bet she’ll be far too busy to really bother much with me.”
“Well, ok then, if you are sure you’ll survive...”
Twilight chuckled at the worried expression of her number one assistant. “Don’t worry, if things get out of control, I’ll just leave.”
As Twilight walked up to the bakery where Pinkie worked, she couldn’t help but notice how quiet Ponyville was in the early morning. Most of the time when she’d walk through the town, the streets were full of other ponies going about their daily business. In the hour before sunrise however, the entire town was empty and quiet, even the birds only just waking up.
Twilight found the silence somewhat comforting, giving her some time to sort through her thoughts. Her first priority for today would be to just stay as close to the Pink Party Mare as possible. Of course, she would have to keep some distance. Insanity due to overexposure was a definite risk with Pinkie at any time, so taking frequent breaks would probably be a necessary measure. She would have to write down her findings, so she could probably use that as a good excuse.
Having mentally prepared herself, Twilight knocked on the front door of Ponyville’s prime source of baked goods (or bads, in one rather memorable incident that left half of Ponyville in the care of the local hospital).
Rather than having the door swing open immediately, Twilight had to wait a moment before it opened, revealing her pink friend in a slightly batter-stained apron.
“Good morning Twilight, you are a tiny-teeny bit late, but if you come in quickly you can still help with the muffins!” Pinkie said in her usual cheerful tone.
“Um, ok. Wait, what do you mean I’m late? I got here before sunrise!”
“Well, yes, but a baker has to get up even earlier. Making enough bread and cupcakes and muffins to feed an entire town takes a lot of time, you know? Anyway, the bread is done, and I am already working on the cupcakes, so if you still want to help you can get started on the muffins. There is an extra apron in the closet to the left of the kitchen’s entrance, and I’ve put the recipe on one of the counters. Now, I need to get back to my cupcakes, can’t let them burn right?”
Twilight was taken slightly aback by her usually rather silly friend’s businesslike behavior, but quickly recovered and gave her a nod as the two of them walked back into the kitchen.
Twilight swiftly grabbed an apron, and then turned to the counter not occupied by Pinkie Pie, finding a book on a small stand, opened on a recipe for muffins. Looking over the recipe, Twilight thought doesn’t look to bad, I think I can do this.
A while later, and after ruining only one batch of batter by accidentally swapping the salt with sugar, and just one more by turning up the oven to the point where the temperature inside rivaled that of the surface of her teacher’s sun, her third batch turned out good enough to sell, especially since Pinkie stopped her from swapping the blueberry filling with hot sauce.
“Not bad, a little on the sweet side though. Maybe hold back on the sugar a little next time,” Twilight muttered as she tasted a muffin from her first successful batch.
Pinkie had come over to where Twilight was working, and also grabbed a muffin from the tray. “Hmmmm! These are great Twi! Are you sure this is the first time you are doing this? Or did the Princess give you secret baking lessons? I mean, if I had a student, the first thing I would do would be to teach her how to party, but since the Princess must be very busy, she must not have a lot of time to party, except for-”
“Yes, ok Pinkie, is there anything else that needs to be done?” Twilight asked, silently wondering how the Princess teaching her how to make muffins made any sense.
Pinkie blinked, before giggling. “Oh Twilight, these are not nearly enough to last the morning. We are gonna need at least three more trays, and we’ll be baking more throughout the day! But tell you what, I am finished making the cupcakes, so let’s play a game ok? If I manage to make two trays before you make one, I’ll come over to you tomorrow. I mean, you coming here is fun and all, but surely you don’t want to get behind with your studies, so if I can come over and help you, we can study twice as fast together, meaning we can spend half the day together without having to worry about muffins or studying. Ooh, maybe we can have a party, and invite everypony in Ponyville, and there will be games and sweets and -”
Twilight cut off the rambling pony once again, putting a hoof to her lips. “I don’t think studying works that way, but fine. If you want to race, you are on!”
Pinkie, still having Twilight’s hoof on her lips, silently nodded, before hopping back to her counter.
Twilight followed suit, and looked up the recipe once more.
“Are you ready, Twi?”
“Sure, and may the best mare win!”
“Aww, don’t sell yourself short, Twi, I mean I have to bake-”
“ReadySetGo!” Twilight interrupted her again, reaching out for a bag of flour with her magic.
Pinkie Pie bounced through the kitchen, balancing two trays of unbaked muffins, one on her head and one on her back. “Wow Twilight, you are even better than I thought!”
“Well, I do have to admit that I cheated a little when I used my magic to stir, so-”
“No buts! I never said you couldn’t use magic, so you beat me fair and square! Besides, It was fun watching that batter mix itself, I’ve never seen anything like that before! Now, how late do you want to meet tomorrow?”
“Really Pinkie, you don’t have to-”
“No, I made a promise to come over to your place if I lost our race, and your tray was in the oven first, so if I didn’t come tomorrow, I’d be breaking a promise, and to break a promise is to break a friend’s trust, and to break a friend’s trust is the fastest way to lose a friend. FOREEEEEVEEEEER!!!!”
Twilight sighed, knowing that at this point there was no way to stop the pink mare from coming over the next day. Oh well, at least I’ll have some time to study tomorrow. “How does 11:00 sound?”
Pinkie frowned a bit at that. “But Twilight, you got up extra-super early for me, so the least I can do is get up at the same time as you do, right? Besides, I’ll still be baking in the morning, so I’ll be up early anyway, and there is no point in me waiting in front of your door until that late, so how does 9:00 sound? I mean, surely you are up by that time right?”
Twilight, growing slightly frustrated, slapped a hoof across her own eyes. “Uggghh. Fine, Pinkie. 9:00 is good. But don’t come any earlier, ok?”
“Anyhow, with the muffins in the oven, now what?”
“well, normally I clean up at this point. So, gather the bowls and the trays and the whisks and all the other things you’ve used, clean them up and put them back where you found them. That should keep us busy until the muffins are ready.”
Twilight thought about it for a moment, before giving a sly grin. “I think I can do it a little faster, but I’ll need a bit of help. I don’t know where everything goes, so if I do the cleaning, can you put everything back?”
Pinkie looked a bit puzzled at Twilight’s sudden shift in mood. “uh, sure Twi, but what are you plann- WHOA!”
Twilight had levitated every used utensil in the kitchen , and was currently using her magic to separate them from whatever leftover ingredients were sticking to them, while quickly running a stream of hot water over the nearly cleaned materials to remove the last of the stains, cleaning all the dirty things faster than Pinkie could put them back in their places.
After about five minutes later, the last bowl was cleaned and put back in the cupboard it came from, while the muffins in the oven still needing the better part of their time.
“Wow Twilight, that was AMAZING! I was like ‘we’ll be doing this untill the muffins are done’ and then you were like ‘ahahaha, no.’ and then all the things went WHOOSH and I was like ‘Oh no, I can’t keep up!’ and you were like ‘Let me help, where do these go,’ and then the bowls went SWOOSH and- ” Pinkie bounced around the kitchen, cheerfully chattering on about the spells Twilight had used.
Twilight herself however blushed a little at the enthusiasm of her pink friend, somewhat embarrassed. “Really Pinkie Pie, it’s no big deal. Just a simple spell any Unicorn can use. I just learned it because I don’t really like doing the dishes.”
Pinkie stopped dead in her tracks, somehow hovering in mid-air for a moment, before she turned towards Twilight. “But Twi, that was simply amazing! Don’t say it is nothing, you are selling yourself short that way! Though I wonder, why would you even need to sell yourself? And could you sell yourself long?”
She walked over to were Twilight was still blushing a little. “Besides, even if it is something every Unicorn can learn, it doesn’t change the fact that, in this room, you are the only one who can do it. It doesn’t matter how hard or simple it is, it is part of your gift, and therefore special. Never forget that, ok?”
Twilight looked at Pinkie, a bit puzzled at her sudden change in demeanor. “Ok... Anyhow, what is next?”
“Well, now that the dishes are done, we’ll have to wait until the muffins are done in the oven. So, to pass the time, let me tell you about the time Gummy and I saved Equestria from evil, betentacled Martians!”
Twilight decided that maybe, it was time to take a break to write her notes.
So, first chapter mostly around Pinkie and Twilight together. Somehow I feel as if I made Pinkie not Pinkie Pie enough. Any opinions on that?
Also, my earlier request for pointers to my mistakes still stands. Be merciless, and don't spare me the slightest mistake.
Chapter name: Helping the baker
When she returned from her short break, Twilight found Pinkie pulling the trays full of muffins out of the oven.
“Well, Twi, they look delicious! Now, I am afraid my story will have to wait until later today, because the store is opening soon. But don’t worry, the Cakes take over at eleven hundred hours, so then I can tell you all about my adventures against the Spanish armada!” Pinkie said as she walked over to the front of the store and put the muffins in a few waiting baskets, ready to be sold.
Twilight watched her walk back to the kitchen, silently hoping she could escape before the lunch break. “Erm, Pinkie, would you mind much if I-”
Pinkie suddenly appeared in front of Twilight, even though Twilight would swear that the pink blur was busy with the oven not a second before. “You want to open the store? Sure, go ahead! The door is open already, so all you have to do is turn over the ‘closed’ sign, so the ponies outside can see that we are open!”
Startled by Pinkie’s sudden appearance, Twilight needed a moment before her thoughts were organized enough once more to reply. “Actually, that was not what I wanted to ask. What I was trying to say was if you-”
“You want to help selling? Sure, I’ll need to bake some more stuff in a few hours anyway, and by then the first rush of the morning will be over, so-”
“Would you mind if I go and have my break alone? I, er, I need to do a few things at the library, and I think that by the time I’m done, we’d probably have to get back to work, so we really wouldn’t have much time to hang out.”
Pinkie blinked a few times. “But Twilight, can’t you do that thing tomorrow? I mean, we’ll be hanging out at the library tomorrow anyway, so maybe we can do that thing together!”
“No Pinkie, I’m sorry, but I have to do this today.”
For a moment, Pinkie’s mane seemed to deflate a little, but a moment later her hair returned to its usual poofiness. “Ooh, I know! I can come with you! Then we can do that thing together, and even have enough time for lunch!”
Twilight at this point was desperately trying to come up with a new excuse, but at that moment the bell on the door rang, signaling the first customer of the day.
“Good morning, Pinkie,” the brown Earth pony stallion with the hourglass cutiemark said as he walked through the door.
“Hey Doc! How are you today?” Pinkie said from her new position behind the counter. Again, Twilight would swear she hadn’t moved and, in fact, wouldn’t have had enough time to cross that distance. “Shall I get you the usual? We got blueberry muffins today, so I’m sure Derpy will like those, and of course some cupcakes with the apple frosting you like so much.”
‘Doc’ chuckled at Pinkie’s enthusiasm. “Actually, I’d like the usual, plus two loaves of bread and half a dozen cupcakes. Derpy and I will be going on a quick trip soon, so I’m gathering some extra supplies.”
Pinkie seemed to consider the stallion’s words for a moment. “A quick trip hmm? Last time, you left for months, and came back muttering something about vortexes and dimensional stabilizers, so let me grab a few extra things. Next thing you know, you’ll be gone for a year!”
The brown Earth pony rubbed his neck with a foreleg, seemingly a little embarrassed. “That was one time, and besides, this time we are going by train. Much lower chances of trouble that way.”
Pinkie nodded, and then turned her attention to Twilight. “Ok, can you grab what he asked for?”
Twilight, still a bit frustrated at her failed attempt to arrange some non-Pinkie time, nodded before she grabbed a paper bag in her magic, and carefully floated the requested items into it before hoofing them back to the pink party pony.
Pinkie gave another short giggle, before swapping the bag with the Doctor’s bits. “Have a nice trip! Ooh, and bring some souvenirs, like seashells or snow globes or one of those funny pepper and salt shakers! And I’d love to hear your stories when you get back, they are always amazing!”
The stallion nodded, putting the bag on his back. “Sure will, miss Pinkie. Now then, off I go!”
Twilight looked after the brown Earth pony, before focusing her attention on Pinkie once more. “Aaanyhow, as I was saying, I do think that it would be best if I do that thing in the library alone. I mean, Spike will help me, and I’m sure that if you come along, you’ll just get bored.”
Pinkie thought it over for a moment, and then started to laugh. “Oh silly Twilight, I’ll be haning out with a good friend! No way it will be boring!”
Twilight facehoofed. “Ok Pinkie, you win. Feel free to come along.”
“Ok. Now, get ready, because the Doctor is usually first, but absolutely NEVER last!”
As if on cue, a group of ponies walked into the store, quickly forming a neat line in front of Pinkie’s counter.
“Told you. Now, can you help me pack the orders?”
A little later, the flow of ponies had slowed down to a trickle, giving Pinkie and Twilight a little more time to complete each order. Twilight used that time to prepare a new bag and just waited for Pinkie to request the next order.
Pinkie on the other hand, used her time mostly to have a short chat with each of the customers, slightly confusing Twilight. Part of the confusion was directed at Pinkie wasting time talking, rather than making sure the line would be cleared as fast as possible, but by far most of the confusion stemmed from the sheer number of ponies Pinkie spoke to, and how she seemed to know just what was going on in their lives. Twilight could hardly believe any one pony could know so much about so many other ponies, but Pinkie was doing it somehow.
“I’d like three cupcakes, and a small cake for around one o clock, please,” the mint green Unicorn in front of the counter said.
“Oh, almost forgot about your upcoming anniversary! Anyhow, I’ll have it ready by then, Pinkie promise!” Pinkie said, before turning to Twilight. “Hey Twi, can you take over for a minute?”
Twilight dropped the (thankfully empty) bag she had readied for the order, and turned to Pinkie with a startled expression on her face. “T-take over? Err, I really don’t think that-”
Pinkie popped up behind her, and forcefully pushed Twilight behind the counter. “Don’t worry, Twi! I only need a minute to get the cake started, and then I’ll be back. Besides, it was your turn to handle the sales anyway!” She cheerfully said as she hopped through the door to the kitchen.
Twilight stood frozen for a few moments, trying to think of a way out of the situation, before turning to face the Unicorn, an awkward smile on her face. “S-so, what can I get you, miss...?”
“Lyra Heartstrings, but please, call me Lyra,” the Unicorn replied with a gentle smile. “Just three cupcakes please.”
“Ok, one moment,” Twilight said as she rapidly grabbed the requested confectionary items. “That will be six bits please.”
Lyra backed away a little, apparently startled by something. “Whoa, no need to rush, hon!”
Twilight gave her a puzzled glance. “Sorry, did you say something?”
Lyra chuckled a little. “First day on the job, hm? Don’t worry. As I said, there is no need to rush. Most of the time, Pinkie just chats a little with whoever comes.”
Twilight raised an eyebrow at this. “But there are ponies waiting in line. It would be rude to keep them waiting any longer than needed.”
This time, Lyra acted a bit confused at the lavender mare’s response. “Rude? Don’t worry about that, hon. Everypony knows about it, and it is actually quite an enjoyable way to start the day. So, what is your name?”
Twilight silently hoped Pinkie would be done soon, and took a mental note to be a lot more hesitant to accept any future offers of working at Sugarcube Corner. “Twilight Sparkle.”
The mint-green Unicorn didn’t respond right away, instead looking as if she expected Twilight to continue talking. “So... How long have you known Pinkie?” She said at length, somewhat awkwardly.
Twilight wondered about the Unicorn’s tone for a moment, before she replied. “Umm, for about four months now. Ever since the Summer Sun Celebration.”
Again, the Unicorn in front of the counter looked as if she expected Twilight to continue, making her somewhat uncomfortable.
“Four months? Er, how do you like Ponyville so far?”
Twilight perked up a little. “Oh, it is a great town! I mean, I have five wonderful friends now, none of which I would have made if I never moved here!”
Lyra looked a little awkward at the lavender mare’s comment. “Five friends you say? In four months?”
“Well, actually I made them on my first day here, but yes,” Twilight replied with a smile.
Lyra looked awkward for a few more moments, before she grabbed her bag. “Well, ok. See you again I suppose.”
“Goodbye! Next pony please.” Twilight responded, thoroughly confused at the green mare’s apparent embarrassment.
The next few customers proceeded in much the same way, Twilight first rapidly completing the order, the pony in front of the counter telling her to slow down, a short, strangely awkward conversation, followed by the customer grabbing their bag before leaving as Twilight called for the next customer.
Throughout the entire ordeal, Twilight got more confused and frustrated. why are they all acting like this? Am I doing anything wrong? Besides, why are they all so rude to tell me to slow down? Nopony I know likes waiting, right? So, why are they all but demanding I slow everything down?
Twilight was interrupted from her musings by Pinkie returning from the kitchen. “Ok, the cake is in the oven! So, how did it go?” Pinkie said as she bounced over to the counter behind which Twilight was just wrapping up another customer’s order.
“Very strange. I mean, I try to keep things going smoothly, but everypony keeps on telling me to slow down. And they all start asking me stuff, like ‘what’s your name?’ or ‘Where are you from’, and when I respond, they get all embarrassed before they just grab their bag and leave.”
Pinkie gave Twilight a very confused look, tilting her head. “Well, duh? They just want to chat, I mean, what else is a bakery for?”
Twilight shied away a little, growing more confused by the moment. “Umm... For buying... bread?”
Pinkie shook her head.
Again, Pinkie’s head went left-to-right-and-back-again.
Pinkie’s head became a blur for a moment, before she stopped and looked Twilight in the eye with a big, goofy grin on her face. “No, silly filly, you can get all those at the market as well, or you can make them at home.”
Twilight was starting to grow frustrated once more, the behavior of the pink pony getting on her nerves as it often did. “Then what is it? What answer are you looking for?!”
Pinkie suddenly jumped back, as music started to play, seemingly from everywhere at once.
“ Twilight, please listen to what I say,
Just sit right there, don’t go away,
I’ll sing this for you, I won’t get loud,
But listen up, This is what a baker’s all about!”
Pinkie jumped on top of the counter, standing on her hind legs while holding a short cane in her forelegs, while a hat landed on top of her head.
“Early every morning you see,
Everypony wakes up all grumpy!
Now, for this grump there is a cure,
And any good baker knows it for sure!”
Twilight backed away, as the rest of the customers joined Pinkie in the chorus of the song.
“It doesn’t matter, if you are hungry or cold,
Whether you’re a filly, a colt, young or old,
For that little morning cheer, there is but one place to be,
Where you’re always welcome, cause you see,
Because a Baker is everypony’s friend,
Because a Baker is Always your friend!”
As the chorus ended, Twilight tried to sneak out of the door, only to be pushed back in as Pinkie came dancing through it.
“Now, to cheer a town is no mean feat,
But Twilight dear, don’t just admit defeat!
You too can be a spring of morning cheer,
Just relax, Twilight my dear,
Again, the entire shop resounded with all ponies present (minus Twilight) joining Pinkie in the chorus.
“It doesn’t matter, if you are hungry or cold,
Whether you’re a filly, a colt, young or old,
For that little morning cheer, there is but one place to be,
Where you’re always welcome, cause you see,
Because a Baker is everypony’s friend,
Because a Baker is Always your friend!”
Pinkie slid forward on her knees, stopping in front of Twilight.
“And with that, Twilight my dear,
This song ends, but have no fear!
For come high tide, or the day’s eternal end,
Never forget, a Baker is always your friend!”
At this point, Twilight was confused and, quite honestly, a little frightened at the sudden display. “I- you- how? What? I don’t even?”
Pinkie looked at Twilight, the hat still on her pink poofy mane. “Like I said, a Baker is everypony’s friend. Really, that is all there is to it!”
Twilight’s thoughts were still going a thousand miles per hour, when the Cakes appeared in the store. “Pinkie, dear, it is eleven o clock! Time for your break!” Mrs. Cake said as she walked to the counter.
Twilight snapped out of her stupor. Lunch time. Finally. ”Well then, Pinkie, I’ll see you in an hour then?”
Pinkie giggled. “Oh Twilight, you silly filly! Have you forgotten we would get lunch, together?”
A few hairs of Twilight’s mane jumped out of order with the rest. This was going to be a long day indeed.
So, I learned something today.
SONGS ARE BUCKING HARD TO WRITE.
Anyhow, and again, do not hesitate to tell me how I can improve my writing.
chapter title: Selling and talking.
“... and then that crow was all like, ‘BWAHAHA, I’ll make Equestria into a new Burning hell,’ and I was like, ‘Nope, [party seal; Blink]’, and-”
Twilight was starting to have some serious doubts about her earlier plans in researching Pinkie, mostly out of concern for her own mental health. The two of them (meaning, Pinkie while dragging Twilight along) had decided to have lunch at one of the few small restaurants Ponyville had, so now Twilight was trying to just eat her lunch in quiet contemplation of whatever new knowledge she had obtained that day, while Pinkie was mistaking her silence for attentive listening to what she was saying.
Twilight had managed to some degree to block out Pinkie’s rambling aside from the occasional bit of information that somehow had managed to get past her mental walls and disrupted her thought process. Still, Twilight felt a little guilty ignoring her friend like that, even if paying attention would probably only serve to drive her insane all that much faster. For this reason it was almost a Princess-sent when she noticed Pinkie gesturing to some other pony, since it would probably mean that her pink friend would go over to the other (vaguely familiar) pony and leave her alone for a minute. “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. What were you saying?”
Pinkie chuckled. “Were you reading some invisible book, Twi? I said, didn’t you help Lyra over there earlier today?” she said as she pointed in the same general direction.
Twilight raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know. Besides, isn’t it rude to point at other ponies?”
Pinkie replied with her trademark smile. “She won’t mind. But now that I think about it, you did serve her while I was baking that cake. Let’s just say hi to her. Hey Lyra! Over here!” Pinkie shouted as she waved at the mint-green Unicorn.
Hearing somepony shout her name, the pony with the lyres on her flanks turned her head, smiling as she spotted Pinkie. “Hey Pinkie! How are you?” she said as she trotted over to where Twilight and Pinkie were sitting.
“Great as always! I’ve come up with a few new ideas for recipes, so I wanted to get some input from Bonbon. Ooh, by the way, the cake is going to be great!” Pinkie turned to Twilight who, once again, was lost in thought and currently looked as if she was considering at least ten different ways to turn her daisy-and-daffodil sandwich into a bowl of hay-and-rose soup. “Also, have you met my gal pal Twilight yet?”
Twilight was once again unpleasantly roused from her thoughts as Pinkie mentioned her name. “sorry, what?”
Lyra’s expression turned slightly awkward once more. “Yes, we’ve met. Briefly.”
Pinkie’s smile got wider. “Great! Anyhow, have a seat, because we’ll have to discuss a few things about the cake you wanted.”
Lyra sat down, ordering a glass of water as the waiter popped up beside her. “So, what did you want to know?”
“Well, I was thinking of covering the sides of the cake with stripes in your and Bonbon’s coat, with a lyre made of crystallized sugar surrounded by bonbons on top. Sounds good?”
Lyra thought about it for a second “That does sound good. But the cake is supposed to be a bit of a surprise, so are you sure you can get all that without Bonbon finding out?”
Pinkie nodded, turning comically serious for a moment. “I have... contacts that can get me the stuff, nopony any the wiser. So no worries there.” She then returned to her usual, cheerful self. “So, how has life been treating you lately?”
“Well, I’ve been training for the Grand Galloping Gala. This year they’ve already booked this four-pony band, but I hope to make the cut next year. So far I’ve been practicing a piece from old Greins.”
“Sounds interesting. Hey Twilight, what do you think?”
Since the last interruption, Twilight had given up on letting her thoughts roam and had instead been idly paying attention to the conversation, hoping to not again be taken by surprise by a question from her friend again. “I don’t know. I’m no musician. I mean, I did learn a little about playing the piano to get better control over my telekinesis, but other than that I’ve never really looked into music,” she said with a shrug.
Pinkie raised her eyebrows at this. “You can play the piano, Twilight? You never told me. Anything else, like painting or juggling or juggling paintings?”
Twilight chuckled, a bit embarrassed at being the center of attention. “Well, I can play a few basic tunes, but nothing fancy. I was more focused at getting more control over my telekinesis, learning about music was just a way to do that.”
Lyra frowned at this. “’Just a way?’ Making music is an art! Each song and every tune an image painted by the sweet notes from your own hooves! You don’t just learn a few notes and call it a day!”
Twilight shied away a little, startled by the sudden passionate outburst from the mint Unicorn. “Sorry, didn’t mean to offend.”
Lyra’s expression softened a little at this. “No offense taken. It is just, music is my passion and joy, so I sometimes get a bit overexcited when others... talk about it.”
Twilight smiled a bit. “I get it. Everypony can be a little overzealous when talking about what their cutiemark represents.”
Pinkie cut in. “I know, right? I can talk about parties for hours! Ooh, speaking of which, do you need any help organizing your anniversary? I’ve already got some great ideas for party games and snacks!”
Lyra chuckled. “No, I’ll be fine. Besides, Bonbon and I agreed to keep things small this year. Just the two of us, plus Bonbon’s parents.”
Twilight raised an eyebrow. “What about your parents, can’t they come as well?”
The conversation screeched to a halt, Lyra’s expression turning gloomy while Pinkie made a face as if Twilight just had told Rarity that a green mane would probably look good on her.
“Oh, look at the time, our shift is on in a minute! Let’s go, Twilight!”
“Ok, just let me grab my sand-” Twilight didn’t get to finish her line as Pinkie swiftly pushed her away from the table.
“Ow! Ouch! Please slow down, Pinkie!” Being pushed down a rough cobblestone road by a hyperactive pink pony apparently intending to either get you away or sent to a hospital was not a very pleasant experience, Twilight had found out the hard way. The two of them had been moving towards the library, Pinkie racing along as if they were being chased by a herd of angry manticores.
As they barreled through the front door, Pinkie gave Twilight one last push that sent her flying into the table in the middle of the reading room while she herself turned around to shut the door.
Rubbing her head, Twilight lifted her head and opened her eyes, finding an uncharacteristically serious looking Pinkie Pie standing no more than one inch away from her. “Why did you have to bring up her parents, don’t you know about what happened?!”
More confused than ever, Twilight tried to scurry back a little. “No, I just found it strange that only Bonbon would invite her parents, so I asked. Did I say something wrong?”
Pinkie blinked. “You really don’t know? Have you been getting out at all? Everypony in town knows!”
“I’ve been busy. But can you tell me what this is all about?”
Pinkie gave a sad sigh. “You REALLY need to get out a lot more, Twilight. Anyway, Lyra’s parents are some very traditional nobles from Canterlot, so they didn’t take it well when she married an Earth pony. According to Bonbon, they sent her a letter saying that until she would divorce and marry some Unicorn instead, she would no longer be their daughter. She didn’t take it very well, so most ponies just steer clear of mentioning her parents.”
Twilight looked shocked. “But that is terrible! I mean, legally they could do that thanks to some outdated laws nopony ever bothers to get rid of, but how can they justify such a thing?!”
“You probably know that better than I do. I mean, you’ve lived at Canterlot for longer than I have, surely you know a thing or two about how things work there?”
“I was... Busy.”
Pinkie’s eyebrows shot up. “For all those years you were there? Did you never go to a party or something like that?”
Twilight shook her head. “My studies were the most important thing back then. I just didn’t have time for partying.”
Pinkie’s face grew a bit sad. “No time for parties? But that is terrible! I couldn’t even begin to think how sad that must have been!”
“I went to one party, a few months after Princess Celestia decided to accept me as her own student. It was terrible!”
“How can a party be terrible? Didn’t you try to have fun?”
“Trust me I tried. Thing was, everypony there was at least twice as old as I was at the time. Plus, when the Princess told me to look around for a bit, they all started to either demand I ask the Princess for all sorts of favors, or treated me like I would personally banish them to the moon if they said something I didn’t agree with!”
“That does sound pretty bad,” Pinkie replied as she scratched her chin with a foreleg. “But that was then, right? Ponyville is nothing like that, so don’t worry about just walking up to somepony and have a chat with them!”
Twilight sighed. “I can’t just do that, Pinkie. I hardly know anypony here aside from you girls, so I’d probably end up saying all the wrong things. Look at what happened with Lyra just now!”
“Right...” Pinkie grew silent for a moment. “Anyway, you said you had something that you needed to do today?”
“Today? What do you...? Oh, right! That important thing I had to do!” Twilight mentally scolded herself for almost forgetting about her earlier attempt at sneaking away from Pinkie, her thoughts going a thousand miles per hour in search of a valid excuse to sneak away for a moment. “Well, I, umm, I have some experiments in the basement I needed to check up on. Hold on a moment, I’ll be right back!”
Pinkie hopped over to the entrance of the basement. “Sounds interesting! Can I help? I could give you the right beakers or keep notes or-”
“NO! I mean, no Pinkie. Those experiments are extremely sensitive, so I need to keep the number of ponies near them as low as possible. I’m not saying that you’d do something wrong, but one stray hair could already ruin the result of several days of hard work, so I’d rather do this alone, ok?”
Pinkie nodded, stepping aside to let Twilight enter the basement.
Twilight was a bit puzzled. “You are not going to complain about me keeping you out?”
“Of course not, silly! When I try to make a new recipe, I also keep everypony out of the kitchen. Same thing right? Besides, we would hang out together all day tomorrow anyway, so it is not a big problem anyway!”
Twilight didn’t catch the last of what Pinkie had said, having already gone down the stairs to the basement. Note to self, maybe Pinkie does listen to reason.
First of all, I want to say that my parents are AMAZING! They helped me move, they support me in just about everything I do, and they don’t mind me being a brony (my mother even watched a few episodes with me). Also, they read this, so please give them a warm internet applause.
Second, the reason it took several weeks to write this is because I just moved into my new house, so I was busy packing/painting/planning/other verbs that start with the letter P. Also, this chapter was hard somehow to write.
Third, if songs are hard, pony/horse puns are even harder. I mean, is there such a thing as a fandom-official version of Greece yet?
Title translation: old wounds.