Wind Strider was having trouble finding something to say to Twilight. She was looking at him with such a scrutinizing gaze, it had him thoroughly unnerved, the way she was looking over his entire form, in particular locking her gaze on the wound to his left foreleg. "So you ran into a Manticore, you said?" she asked, her nonplussed tone a stark contrast to how intensely she was paying attention to him. "Yes, it was a very harrowing encounter. I tried to fight it, but bucking it in its face only made it angry. That's when it clawed me-" he said, lifting his wounded foreleg and lightly shaking his hoof. "-and I decided to run."
Twilight didn't buy it even for a moment. She could feel something unusual emanating from his entire body, but she was afraid that saying anything about it might set this stranger off. "Well, since we're heading to Zecora's hut, I'm sure that she has some medicine for you," she said, sighing a little and looking away from him, scanning the underbrush, keeping track of her surroundings as much as she can in her mental state. She wasn't even aware that she stunk a little, having missed taking a shower that morning, or the night before. It was so hard to care about what could be out there, just waiting for them to lower their guards....everything, anything, it was all so much more difficult, JUST because she felt down. She couldn't stand it, and couldn't stand herself because of it. Such a weakling....
Silence surrounded both of them, both because Strider wasn't sure what to say that wouldn't make him seem even MORE suspicious, and because Twilight was too busy trying to get a bead on him, find something she could exploit to get some believable answers out of him. She was the first to break the silence, her eyes locked on him the entire time, it felt like. "So why did you turn and start running away from me?" she asked, quirking a brow and canting her head to the side.
Strider hid the concern in his mind, this was getting dicey in a way he wasn't good at dealing with. He'd already lied to her thus far, if any of this got back to Rainbow Dash, he'd be blown out of the water! He didn't have much time to think about that though, his gaze stoic as it had been ever since they'd met up on the pathway. "Oh, you know...."
Wind Strider spotted Twilight further down the path, and instantly looked to the bottle sitting against his side. She'd ask about that eventually! He was already conspicuous enough, and she definitely saw HIM....he had to do something, fast. If she saw him getting rid of it now though....wait! A bend in the path. He turned away from Twilight and rushed a ways up the path, even with his damaged leg, he knew he was faster than she was, but running would only lead to a lot of questions if she ever spotted him in town again.
As soon as he couldn't see her, he stopped and turned his head to his side, teeth working frantically at the knot on the rope. "C'mon, ya shtupidh....!" he grumbled to himself, tugging and biting at it hard, until finally the knot came undone. He could hear her just around the bend now. 'Crap crap crapcrapcrapcrapcrap!!!' he thought to himself over and over, not even bothering to be gentle, just chucking it as hard as he could into the foliage and trying his best to compose himself for when she caught up to him.
"....I was just being cautious, is all. From a distance, I thought you could've been another monster," he said, clearing his throat afterwards and turning his gaze straight along the path once more. Twilight stared at him with a furrowed brow, a frown on her lips, though they were open semi-wide as if in disbelief. Finally she spoke up, her incredulous look remaining while she spoke. "You thought the lavender pony galloping along a fairly straight path could've been a monster...." she pretty much stated rather than asked him, trying to make it as clear as she could that he was sounding ridiculous to her.
He silently swallowed the lump in his throat, he knew it was a stretch, but it was the best he could come up with while still sounding at least remotely believable. "Well, I've been out here for a little bit, and I'm still a little jarred by that encounter with the Manticore....my eyes may have been playing tricks on me," he tried to further explain while getting more and more concerned about the extensiveness of his lie. Perhaps it wasn't much more of a stretch thus far, but he was still digging the hole deeper and deeper with every word.
Her right eye twitched and she sighed through her nose, just so she could muffle herself to some extent. She was NOT in the mood for being screwed with like this, she wasn't even in the mood to be out here at this point! She couldn't let him get away though, not after what she saw, that child. He knew something, and he was doing a horrible job of hiding that fact, but he was just barely stopping her from calling checkmate on him every time she asked a question. How long could he keep it up?
Strider was almost thankful when they came into the clearing with Zecora's Hut standing in the middle, but then his mind wandered back to her rather abrasive attitude the first time he met her....maybe five or ten minutes ago. 'Oh, dear....' he thought to himself with a disparaging look overcoming his features, thankful that he was looking away from Twilight....she'd probably question him about that too.
As Twilight started to walk with him to the door of the hut, he stopped and motioned her forward. "Please, by all means, you first. You know h-this....pony, right?" he asked, choosing his words as carefully as he could. 'I'm busted. I'm so very, very busted....!' he screamed in his head as Twilight gave him a funny look, stepping forward and knocking on the door to Zecora's hut. "Hey, Zecora! Are you home?" she called out a little louder than her normal speaking voice. Some movement, clopping of hooves could be heard from inside, just before the door was opened up for her. The familiar face of the Zebra almost instantly looked in his direction when she stood in the doorway.
He didn't give Zecora much chance to speak. As soon as she began to say something, he spoke up in Zebraans, in hopes of her not giving away the fact that they had already met. "<S-sorry I came back! She saw one of the Wild Shadows and now she's suspicious of me, I would've respected your request if this hadn't happened. Please, PLEASE don't give me away!>" he begged in as calm a voice as he could, locking eyes with Zecora.
She was in a silent fury. She didn't want to see him again, let alone be asked to lie to her friend for the sake of his youthful arrogance! "<....I will only do this for the sake of the Princesses, not for you. Consider yourself lucky you have a respectable employer in my eyes,>" she said to him with a wide smile, sounding happily surprised, but her words were a far call from such a possibility. "<Thank you very much!>" Strider responded, half-bowing to her with a horizontally motioning foreleg in front of his chest, head bowing down in a small arc before he stood up straight again.
"H-hey, what?! What are you two saying?" Twilight asked in an incredulous, higher pitch of voice, signifying her sudden upset from the two of them speaking a language that she didn't understand. She was very studious in the past, but foreign languages weren't her strong suit. She recognized Zebraans when she heard it though, not to mention the fact that Zecora was, well....a Zebra. So it wasn't that much of a surprise.
Zecora turned her gaze to Twilight and smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of her head. Strider was the first to speak up though, wanting to keep a tight rein on this particularly risky situation. "Sorry about that, Twilight. I didn't know that your friend was a Zebra, I just wanted to see if she spoke Zebraans is all," he said, swallowing the lump in his throat once more, his nerves calming a little despite the expression on Zecora's face turning into a scowl the moment he looked over to her.
Twilight looked between the two of them, back and forth for a couple of seconds before just letting out a subtle, frustrated breath. "Well, alright....anyways Zecora, he's got a wound on his leg and you were closer than Ponyville General Hospital, so I figured that I could bring him along with me to see you. You keep medicine for deep cuts and such, right?" she asked, trying to smile more genuinely, but....even meeting with Zecora after such a long time didn't seem to thrill her, not in the least. She was more drawn to being upset with Wind Strider, oddly enough. Silently, she wondered when she became so drawn to being such a negative thinker, and her smile faded as she briefly got lost in her own personal musings.
"Yes, I should have something here. Come closer young sir, have no fear," she said in her usual sing-song tone, rolling her rhyming way of speaking off of her tongue with the greatest of ease. Strider watched Zecora walk over to a shelf stacked with various potions, all of them unlabelled, which only served to unnerve him when she turned around with one in the grasp of her teeth, setting it down on the nearby table and grabbing a bandage made out of very large leaves.
Most of the visit passed by rather smoothly, with Strider staying off to the side, since Twilight wouldn't let him leave without her. He couldn't think of a good excuse to leave her behind without making her likely hunt him down the moment she got back to Ponyville from this far within the Everfree Forest....but then, he thought of the time. He finally spoke up after thinking about how he would say it to her, clearing his throat to get their attention. "Uh, Twilight....while I would hate to be rude, I need to get back to town very soon. You see, I'm meeting with an old friend."
Twilight looked over at him, cringing a little as a brush being used by Zecora forced its way rather harshly through a mess of tangled hair, feeling her mane slowly straightening out into its normal tri-colored format, instead of a big rat's nest disguised as her mane. "Oh? Who're you meeting up with?" she asked in what sounded like a much more relaxed tone compared to earlier. He smiled a little at this realization. "Well, I'm a friend of Rainbow Dash's actually. You know her," he said, his wings stretching a bit before he tucked them back in, a slightly satisfied groan escaping him. "I'm supposed to meet up with her after I've finished my business out here."
Twilight nodded to him quietly, Zecora looking over at him but saying nothing, just letting them talk with one another. Strider was about to say his goodbyes, but Twilight quickly and calmly spoke up first. "Speaking of which, what WAS your business in Everfree Forest?" she asked, smirking as she spotted the alarmed look on his face. "It's not exactly normal for a member of the Royal Guard to come to Everfree Forest, and you didn't come out here to visit Zecora....so, what was it?" she asked, almost smug smile forming, her practically jumping for joy in her mind.
He visibly cringed at the question, his eyes turning away from Twilight's and the brief smile he'd gained almost immediately disappeared. He seemed stirred up on the outside, but on the inside, he was panicking almost as bad as when the Wild Shadows had ambushed him. "W-well, I....I, uh...." he stuttered, trying to come up with something, anything! However, all he could think of is what he had to do before he headed back to Canterlot at the end of the week....so as he began to speak, he started to try to piece together the next part of the story. "I'm not really supposed to, uh....to tell you this, but since you're so insistent," he said, frowning a little and rubbing the back of his head. "Princess Luna is kind of....well, looking for something in the old castle, and she sent me to find it. But, as you said, a Royal Guardspony in the Everfree Forest could rouse suspicion, so I came here to visit Rainbow Dash as well!" he explained as quickly as he could.
Twilight just listened and stared at him, locking eyes with the pegasus pony in the most intense staring contest he'd ever found himself playing. One errant twitch or sign of insecurity would likely open a whole new can of worms from her, she was BRUTAL with soft interrogation, he'd discovered thus far! Finally though, after what felt like an eternity under the equivalent to a Cockatrice's gaze, he got to relax and take a breath. "Well....did you find what you were looking for?" she asked, and he shook his head. "No, unfortunately. I'm sure Princess Luna will be disappointed, but I searched everywhere that I could get to. She had doubts that it would still be there anyways, so she probably won't be surprised."
Twilight looked to Zecora, who just shrugged and went back to brushing Twilight's mane for her. She let out a small sigh and nodded a little to Strider. "Well, if you'll be okay heading back on your own, I shouldn't keep you from meeting up with Rainbow Dash," she said, smirking at him. "Don't worry, I'll pay you two a visit later."
Strider just nodded and bowed his head, smiling. "I'll see you later then, Twilight Sparkle. It was nice meeting you, miss Zecora!" he said in a notably happier tone. Zecora just nodded to him and waved goodbye once, almost as if shooing him away. With little worry, he left them behind and made his way back down the main path towards Ponyville with no interruptions, stopping at that bend in the path to search for the bottle he'd discarded. He was thankful it had landed in the grass, and not landed on a rock or a branch or tree root. If that beacon had unknowingly been released, there was no telling what kind of problems could have arisen.
Back at Zecora's hut, however, he hadn't shaken Twilight's suspicions as easily as he'd believed when he left. "His excuses were vague, and his intelligence seemed dim. I would not trust a pony such as him," Zecora stated quietly after he closed the door, having set her brush aside to gently smooth out Twilight's mane with her hoof instead of the brush, as a finishing touch. Twilight stood up from where she'd been sitting, groaning and reaching back to rub over a sore muscle closer to her flank, along her spine. "Don't worry Zecora, I DON'T trust him. He's lying, I just know he is...." she muttered, though Zecora tried to leave it alone for now, gently patting Twilight on her shoulder.
"Nevermind him for now though, it has been forever! Please, let us sit so that you may tell me of your endeavors," she said, stepping over to her shelf of potions to grab an oddly-shaped vial with a clear fluid inside. "You look as if you are in pain, this potion will help relieve the strain," she said, setting it down in front of her Unicorn friend. Twilight looked at it for a moment, then shrugged and levitated it to her lips, downing it all in one go. "Now Twilight, don't-GAH!!" she tried to say, but Twilight had already downed more than half of it. By the time she had snatched the potion vial from Twilight's lips, all but a couple of drops were gone from the very bottom of the vial. What were no doubt a few words of pure shock in her native tongue, she set the vial aside and stepped up to Twilight, gently placing a forehoof on her shoulder. "Perhaps you should come to my bed and lay down. In a few minutes, things for you will become very....profound," she said, grinning sheepishly at a rather confused Twilight, the lavender Unicorn blinking a couple of times. "Huh?"
Pinkie Pie quickly shuffled and adjusted various baked goods currently on sale on the display cases of Sugarcube Corner, her hyperactive tendencies letting her shift from being inside of the store baking, to being outside selling some of her party favors to ponies that needed things like balloons and streamers and what-have-you. Contrary to popular belief, she was not the ONLY party pony in Ponyville, she didn't throw ALL of the parties in her town. She WAS the party pony everypony came to to get all of their stuff for their parties though, so she knew just about everypony in Ponyville, ever since she had moved there.
She was busy with another project as well, however. A picnic basket was being filled here and there as time passed over the course of the morning, her working to fill it with various types of cupcakes of all different flavors, a few pies of the same variety....she was going for 'the works' with this outing! The whole time, she was humming a tune to herself, the song seeming to work with some unknown rhythm, multiple higher tempos in the song coinciding with one of the baking ovens dinging and letting her know that whatever was baking at the moment was done. However, she seemed to know when they were going to be done before they dinged, most likely because of that little tune of hers.
"Ooh, this is going to be so cool! Rainbow Dash is going to be so excited and so is Mister Mysterious-Pony-I-Haven't-Met-Yet-Except-For-When-He-Came-Into-The-Store," she said, grinning happily to herself as 11:30am rolled around, right on the time she had set all of her work for. She began to get ready for the end of her morning shift, only having a part-time shift today. But then, after packing the last batch of blueberry cupcakes and closing the picnic basket's top, she gasped loudly. "Oh no! I forgot about all the drinks! Hmm...." she said, seeming to really sweat it while her gaze went this way and that, her zipping all around the inside of Sugarcube Corner, as if looking for something.
When she found the other picnic basket she owned, she grabbed it and began overpacking it with all sorts of drinks, from some of the most popular brands of soda to Fluttershy's favorite juiceboxes to sip from. Of course, she couldn't forget AJ's favorite cider and Rarity's iced tea. She and Twilight both seemed to love soda though, so she held off on packing any bottled water. "Alright....invitations?" she said to herself, grabbing the edge of her Basket Hat and tossing it atop her head. "Check! Invitations?" she asked herself, shaking her head this way and that so she could hear the envelopes rustling against one another. "Check!"
She tossed one of her picnic baskets onto her back, half of it resting atop her haunches so that it was less likely to fall off, her having plenty of practice carrying things on her back when she wasn't carrying something small enough to fit in her packs. She'd made plenty of plus-sized deliveries on her own, she certainly had the strength and the energy to manage that the majority of the day. Still, she wanted to make the most of her half-day off, and she had a new pony friend for all of her friends to meet up with! He was special to Rainbow Dash too, so that made introducing him to everypony properly even more important. "Wait....what does he like to drink? Hmm...." she hummed to herself noisily, her tongue sticking out of her closed lips while she pushed on her chin and rubbed at it in thought, face scrunching up in a comedic fashion.
Eventually Pinkie just shrugged it off. "I'm sure he likes one of the drinks I'm bringing with me! Right Gummy?" she asked, turning towards the green party gator standing halfway up and down the staircase leading to the second floor of Sugarcube Corner, which acted as Pinkie Pie's apartment alongside the Cakes. She rushed over and picked up Gummy, sitting the adorable toothless alligator atop her poofy-maned head and waiting for the Cakes to take over for her. As soon as they did, she marked down her clock-out time on their schedule sheet clipboard behind the counter and rushed out the door, grinning from ear to ear. "Be back later tonight Mr. And Mrs. Caaaake!" she called out as she took off.
Rarity's day was turning out to be the same as any other, her horn aglow as she worked all manner of sewing tools, her attention divided as it always was. Most ponies, their work suffered doing such a thing, but not Rarity. No, Rarity THRIVED in the face of such adverse conditions, seeming to work faster and with even further delight the more she added to her workload. At least, that was how it usually seemed to be, as long as she was the one in charge of her workload.
Lately, the orders had been coming in non-stop, and it was driving her up a wall. She was rushing left and right, in and out, up and down throughout her boutique. 'Oh, the gold silk, WHY is it always the gold silk?!' she thought to herself, her horn lit up constantly while various things were pulled off of shelves, even a hoof-sized thimble, a reminder of how she used to do her earliest works without her magic, before she wound up going to school specifically to train and specialize in telekinetic magic spells, it was all she needed to do her job, and focusing on it allowed her to move a multitude of different objects and even ponies in various directions all at once, with relative ease. Her crowning achievement that sealed her success at the end of her years in those classes was levitating her entire class with minor effort on her part. For most Unicorns that try to focus on learning more and more powerful magic, this is not that big of a deal. For Rarity however, it is excellent because she has never been a very skilled pony when it comes to magic. Her teachers knew why she came to school, and graded her specifically based on how good she gets with her telekinetic magic, not with how many spells she can do and how high of a tier of spells she can reach. In that sense, they couldn't have asked for more from her.
That brief second of reminiscing was tossed aside by the fashionista in favor of making an even bigger mess by throwing most of the other materials off of the shelf until she found the large rolled-up sheets of emergency gold silk, her having no time to make her own right then and there. These rolls of silk were from a high-class store in Canterlot, and they both felt and looked magnificent, very shiny, almost as if they were glowing, and that was enough for Rarity to be content with what she had to use to get the job done. She almost seemed to be lost in her work, but the whiny, snooty, thoroughly aggravating voice of a spoiled brat of a foal could be heard standing nearby, watching and scrutinizing every aspect of Rarity's work.
"No! I said I wanted diamonds as the buttons down the FRONT! Not the back!" Diamond Tiara shouted, Rarity's hair frazzling somewhat at this point, just listening to the voice in her head now, able to feel her sanity splitting in two halves with every deeply annoying word that left Diamond Tiara's big mouth. "What kind of designer are you? Geez, my personal designer back in Canterlot does better than you, no wonder you can't afford employees, you must be poor because you suck at this stuff!"
Rarity gritted her teeth inside of her closed mouth, eyeing the young girl's Father, who was just sitting off to the side writing some things down onto a scroll, the back of the sheet letting her know that he was writing her total payment for services rendered before she was even finished! She would have none of that, she's been burned by such things before. She gently set her silks and sewing needles aside for the moment, trotting over to him and clearing her thoughts, she knew she was on edge from Diamond Tiara's horrid, incessant rambling, bitching and whining about the specifics of her dress, so she needed to calm down. "Excuse me sir, but I would ask that you only write out a payment for your daughter's dress once I'm finished with it completely," she said, putting on her best smile for the rich pony. "We have not even discussed the final price yet, since your daughter is not done choosing the materials she wishes to use."
He seemed unimpressed with Rarity's rather professional approach to this job, him only stopping his rapid scribbling of the equivalent to a check to cash in for bits at the bank to give her a look of what could only be described as disdain. "Now miss Rarity, I am a busy pony and I have plenty of things to deal with today. I'm sure that if I pay you now, you will simply finish the dress to my daughter's specifications, yes?" he asked, not bothering to give Rarity a chance to answer, almost stuffing the paper in her open mouth to stop her from speaking. He was already aggravated that his daughter rose a fuss about him coming with her to put together her new dress, he had missed a meeting with his stockholders in his Fortune 500 company already let alone what else he'd miss over the course of a couple hours, if he had to stick around!
Rarity blinked at the rather rude shove of the paper with so....so many zeroes written onto it. Oh, so many zeroes. She wouldn't normally be dissuaded, and even now the money didn't faze her thought process, but she also knew that there was no reasoning with a ridiculously rich pony like him. He was one of those customers, she knew the type, believing throwing around massive pouches full of bits can buy anything, including her dignity. She sighed and accepted the paper from him for now, levitating it with her horn and sending it into the back room, where she'd deal with it. "Yes, of course sir....though, I wish to speak with you tomorrow about the cost, if we manage to finish the dress by tomorrow."
He let out an exasperated sigh and nodded to her. "Very WELL, miss Rarity! Tomorrow then," he said, turning to leave. "Wait, Daddy! Where are you going?!" Diamond Tiara called out, the expression on her face almost making Rarity smile, she looked genuinely upset! With all of the grief the little filly had given her for the past three hours or so, she deserved to suffer a little in return! "W-we haven't finished the work on my dress today! Aren't you-" she tried to say to him, but he quickly spoke up over her. "Honey, I paid for the rest of the work on the dress, now I have to get back to work! You know-" he said, but she let out an almost shrill whine that made Rarity's hearing start to overload and her right eye slowly clench shut in the sharp pain she felt in her ear. "But Daaaaaadddddyyyyyyyyy~!!! WHY?! You always have to work when I want to spend time with you!" she whined with a half-screaming volume, stomping her hooves, forelegs and hindlegs in a shuffling motion from left to right to emphasize how upset she really was, a proper tantrum for a spoiled brat like her.
Okay, now Rarity felt bad. It wasn't in her nature to wish such family squabbles upon any foal, even one as terribly ulcer-inducing as Diamond Tiara had proven to be thus far, and on top of that their back-and-forth in her boutique was making her start to feel a bit awkward. She shouldn't be seeing this, heck she shouldn't be hearing this, but then a spoiled brat and a Father who raised a self-centered young filly like her, well....she couldn't think it feasible to expect either of them to think too far beyond the fraction of the world that actually did revolve around them. "I'm sorry honey, but I really do have to go. Do enjoy making your new dress, okay?"
With that, and some ignored protests from Diamond Tiara, he stepped outside of the boutique and left Diamond Tiara behind with Rarity....which upset Rarity on the inside, to some extent. She didn't like the thought of having to deal with Diamond Tiara on her own, but Celestia must have felt pity for her today, because no sooner had Tiara started to snap had her friend Silver Spoon came into the boutique. "Hey Dia, your Dad just left. Where's he going?" she asked, and Diamond Tiara just let out a royally angry scream. "Th-that....old MORON!" she growled out, Silver Spoon jumping at the sudden outburst from her friend. Rarity didn't much approve of it either.
"Young lady, I must ask you to not speak of your parents like that! You're lucky you still-" Rarity tried to say, but Diamond Tiara didn't seem to be listening. "Shut up, you old lady!" she snapped at Rarity, stamping her left forehoof against the floor. "The only reason I wanted a new dress is because Daddy said he would come with and help me design it! I don't know why I believed him...." she said, her voice becoming meek, pained and sad as she began to finish speaking. There was silence from her for a brief moment, but soon she stuck her nose up in the air and 'hmph'ed, stepping past Silver Spoon. "Come on, Silver Spoon! Let's get out of this blank-flank lame-o hangout. I don't want to be here when those BORING Cutie Mark Crusaders come back and try to pity me for having such an unattentive Daddy!" she said in a thoroughly mocking tone towards the end of her sentence, Silver Spoon blinking a few times and quickly catching up to her. They both turned towards each other, giving their customary hoof-shake and 'catch-phrase' to one another. "Bump! Bump! Sugar lump rump!" Rarity heard them both say, before giggling incessantly and heading for the door.
Rarity had been dazed most of this time, but when she remembered the money, she quickly raised a hoof along with her voice. "W-wait, young filly! What about your dress?" she called out to Diamond, and the little filly looked back towards Rarity, scoffing. "Oh, just....put something together that will fit me, I don't care," she said, her features softening into a full-face frown for a brief second. "Daddy won't pay any attention to it anyways...." she muttered, opening the door and heading outside.
Rarity scowled and ran a hoof over the front of her face. "Customers are always right Rarity, you are a proper lady, you do NOT want to make a plushie of Diamond Tiara just so you can set it on fire and then drown it in the nearest lake....!" she muttered to herself, trying her hardest to convince herself....but then, she remembered some of the things that the young filly had said. She couldn't bring herself to be mad at her, whenever she recalled those depressing words. She lacked parents, but Diamond, she seemed to have them, but she also seemed to get ignored by them. In many ways, she could only assume that was worse than her situation growing up.
Time passed and Rarity went into the back to try and decide what to do with the payment that Diamond's Father gave her, quietly reading it and bugging out in privacy when she counted all of those zeroes in more detail than the brief glance she'd gotten before. She sighed and placed it into a small box she used to keep track of all of her payment papers, kind of like a makeshift filing cabinet. "Oh, what should I do with this job....?" she muttered, blinking as something from earlier just registered in her mind. "Wait....did those two just state that they have....sugary-sweet rumps? My goodness, what are they teaching children in school these days?"
She heard the front door open up and the bell connected to it jingle. "Raaaarity?? Are you in here?" she heard a familiar voice call out, her quickly stepping out into the front department once again. "Well, hello there, Pinkie Pie! What can I....erm, why are you wearing that hat again? It's SO last year. Perhaps I can spruce it up a bit?"
Pinkie Pie just giggled and shook her head, turning sideways so that Rarity could see the picnic baskets that were mounted on her back more clearly, or at least, one of them. The other one was in Pinkie's mouth, which seemed to be defying the physics of reality by staying in her mouth despite her talking as if the basket handle wasn't in the way at all. "Well, there's a new pony in town, and he's a friend of Rainbow Dash's but we're not supposed to know about that yet! So I'm throwing a Close Friends of Rainbow Dash Only party at Starlight Hill, outside of Sweet Apple Acres for all of us. You wanna come?" she asked, grinning while Gummy slumped down the bridge of Pinkie's nose, staring into Rarity's eyes.
Rarity looked ecstatic, but for all the wrong reasons. "A secret friend of Rainbow Dash's? Now THAT sounds scandalous....count me in!" she said in an all-too-giddy tone, clapping her forehooves together and rushing upstairs to grab her nicest designer dresses, all hand-stitched by Rarity's expert hooves and horn. It took her very little time to get her things, close the boutique and get going with Pinkie Pie. She needed a break from the crud she'd been taking all day!
Twilight was still at Zecora's for an undetermined amount of time, she was far too gone to care either. Sure, she felt all kinds of giggly right now, but it was a superficial happiness, not that she cared right now. "So....so Zecora, did I ever tell you you look really neat-o?" she muttered, her eyes getting across the fact that she was thoroughly mentally baked right now, that painkiller doing its job a little TOO well for Twilight's taste. She looked around the room, and everything seemed so much more cool, so much more interesting in her eyes. "I'll bet that mask took you a long time to make...." she muttered, pointing at yet another one of them to point out the same exact thing from where she was laying down.
Zecora was busy off to the side, currently stirring something up in her cauldron once more, stirring the purple-colored liquid up with more and more vigor, tasting it occasionally to check its potency. "Zecooooooraaaa~....why aren't you talking to me?" Twilight whined, giggling afterwards and covering her mouth with her hooves, but it did nothing to silence her laughter. Zecora sighed and smiled a little, it was admittedly funny, but goading her into talking more could wind up causing some very funny and potentially troublesome shenanigans on Twilight's part. She filled up several vials that acted as a detox medication for an overdose of the painkiller medicine she'd given Twilight, handing one over to her. "Here Twilight, drink this potion. I know being high is not a welcome notion," she said, smiling a little.
Twilight nodded to Zecora and rubbed her temple with a hoof, ugh'ing and shaking her head. "I'm sorry I took so much....well, okay, not really. This feels kinda good....oh well," she muttered, her horn glowing and holding the potion up unsteadily, her mental faculties not exactly all that strong. "Oh well, bottom's up!" she said in her dazed tone of voice, looking to Zecora for a good moment or two before tipping the potion to her lips and swigging it down, wanting to give Zecora a chance to stop her so she didn't make the same mistake. It worked almost immediately, her lightheaded, carefree sensation and relaxation all fading in favor of a more sensible mindset, the soreness in her body quickly returning as well....but she accepted that as something she would have to put up with from now on, most likely.
"Thanks, Zecora....er, how long have I been stuck here?" she asked, looking around and slowly sitting up, groaning and rubbing her head, feeling a head rush from getting out of bed too fast. "For a few hours, you have stayed here. You are late to meet up with your friends, I fear," she said, chuckling a little and motioning to her door. "Your packs, they have been set aside. I hope your friends take your late arrival in stride."
Twilight wasted no time in thanking Zecora and throwing her pack on her back, securing it in place and looking back to her. "Zecora, do you think you might be able to maybe make some smaller vials of those painkiller potions? I'm constantly sore, it would really help me get out and about...." she said, her ears flattening against her skull, the lavender Unicorn almost looking ashamed to ask for such a thing. Zecora looked concerned as well, furrowing her brow. "I do not wish to seem vindictive, but such medication can be quite addictive," she said, smiling a little. "But if you truly wish to take that risk, I will make them to give your body a fix."
She smiled and bowed her head to Zecora, heading towards the door. "Thanks, Zecora, I really appreciate it!" she said, Zecora waving to her and watching Twilight rush out of her hut. She sighed and tapped her chin in thought with a hoof. "Addictive, this medicine can very much be, but even moreso for a mind that wishes to be free."