Pinkie let her head rest on the windowsill as she peered out into the gloomy night. Her gaze was not focused on anything in particular, just idly staring through the storm. Her eyes slipped in and out of focus as well, but she didn’t really care; she couldn’t really see anything through the stormy haze anyways. What was important was the sounds of the storm that raged all around her. The rain falling heavily on the roof was creating a soothing cacophony above her head, and the pitter patter of the rain against her window blended perfectly with the sound, creating a symphony of rain all around her.
The melodious sounds of the storm were interrupted only by the occasional room shaking clap of thunder. Every time the room shook around her she could feel it reverberate through her coat and she couldn’t stop a quiet giggle from escaping her lips. After a few more minutes, she let her eyes slip shut and just listened to the collection of sounds. She reached out with her hooves, and cracked her eyes open as she opened the window just a hair. She was careful to raise it only about a centimeter, allowing for more sounds of the storm to reach her, but without the rain splashing on her face.
Pinkie took in a deep breath through her nose, letting the unique stormy smell fill her nostrils. She placed her hooves up on the windowsill, then rested her head on top of them gently. She kept her eyes open this time, watching the random patterns of the rain streaming down the window in front of her. She could almost feel herself drifting through the clouds, getting carried away by the sounds of the storm, so that she was out in the storm itself. Pinkie knew that if she closed her eyes now, she’d be fast asleep. So she resisted the temptation and, instead, let out another quiet giggle as a massive clap of thunder shook her.
Pinkie stood up with her ears twitching, and looked around. She thought that she had heard a sound from downstairs, but it was gone now. She couldn’t tell if she had started to drift off to sleep or not, so she stood stock still waiting to hear if it would repeat itself. After a few moments, there was a series of knocks at the front door. She turned towards the stairwell and hung her jaw open wide. She couldn’t help but wonder what kind of silly filly would be out in this storm. Despite how much she wanted to go out and frolic in the rain, even Pinkie knew better than to actually go out into a storm this strong.
“I’ll get it!” she called out quietly, and started to trot down the stairs wearing a curious look. The store closed hours ago, so she figured whoever it was must be looking for her.
Pinkie pulled the door open curiously, and stood aside to let whoever it was inside the building. She opened her mouth to berate whichever one of her friends had trekked through the storm just to see her, but stopped short. The purple mane in front of her was soaked, and dripped freely down the miserable looking gray face. Silver let out a quiet sneeze, and looked apologetic as she saw Pinkie’s shocked face. Pinkie jumped back further, and then had to reach out to tug at Silver in order to get her to follow inside.
“Silver! What are you doing out in the rain? You knew there was a storm scheduled didn’t you?” Pinkie demanded with concern. If Silver’s face wasn’t so miserable looking, she probably would be giggling at how completely soaked the pegasus was.
Silver shook her head shyly, and hung her head low to avoid Pinkie’s gaze. She hesitated on the mat inside the doorway, looking at the freshly cleaned floors, and refused to step off it. She was so sopping wet that there was already a large oval of water all over the mat, and the edges were starting to ooze water out onto the floor around it. The silence was broken as she sneezed again violently, and started to shiver visibly in front of Pinkie.
“Silver! You silly filly, come inside! Don’t worry about it, we can clean up the water later, but you need to dry off now before you get sick,” Pinkie stated firmly. She tugged gently at Silver to get her to step off the mat, then led her back into the living areas of the building.
Pinkie nudged a nearby closet open with her nose, and tossed several towels out onto the floor. She grabbed a fluffy pony-sized blanket and set that aside as well. She grabbed the first towel in her mouth and tossed it over Silver’s head with a giggle at the indignant reaction it elicited. She ruffled the soft cloth through the dripping mare’s mane vigorously with her hooves. It was quickly tossed aside with a wet splat, and then Pinkie had to pick up a fresh towel. Pinkie rubbed it across Silver’s back, focusing merely on trying to get the majority of the water out as she cycled through the stack of towels quickly.
“Wow, you were soaked. What were you doing silly? Sleeping in the rain?” Pinkie teased, trying not to laugh as she looked at Silver’s ruffled coat. Pinkie let the towel she was rubbing over Silver's back fall to the floor with a wet thud when Silver actually gave her a hesitant nod.
“WHAT? Why were you sleeping outside sillyhead? Don’t you have a house yet?” she demanded, then picked up another towel to continue gently drying off her friend.
Pinkie quickly finished with that one as well, and picked up the last towel from the stack. She focused on rubbing it a bit more slowly through the gray coat, getting the last few bits of water out. Once that was done, she picked up the fluffy blue blanket in her mouth, and tossed it over Silver’s back. Pinkie leaned down and gathered up the load of soaked towels. She tossed them into a nearby laundry bin, and then came back with a fresh towel in her mouth. She gently nudged Silver aside, and dropped it to the floor so she could dry the floor where Silver had been standing. Pinkie slowly worked her way back towards the entrance of the store, carefully mopping up the trail of water that Silver had left behind.
“Well? Have you really been in Ponyville for almost a week without managing to find somewhere to stay yet?” Pinkie asked seriously, as she picked up the wet towel and trotted back to toss it in the bin as well. She stared intently at her friend, waiting for some kind of a response.
Pinkie frowned slightly and let her ears droop as Silver merely looked down at her hooves with a frightened look on her face. Pinkie edged closer, giving her a serious stare that finally made Silver give up. She backed up a few steps and held out a hoof. She turned her head back to nuzzle under the blanket, only to reappear a moment later with a pouch of bits in her mouth. She blushed slightly, hesitating for a moment, and then let it drop to the floor between them. Pinkie couldn’t help herself as she gasped audibly; there had been barely an audible clink from inside when it hit the floor.
“Why didn’t you come to me? I told you to let me know if you needed anything…” Pinkie questioned sadly, hanging her head slightly.
“Where are you sleeping? If you’ve been sleeping on a bench somewhere, so help me Celestia…” Pinkie growled with playful menace as she stepped closer. Silver immediately backed away a few steps and shook her head vehemently, holding out a hoof defensively.
“Well? Where then?” she demanded, and walked over to the front window. She waited for Silver to come stand next to her and pointed out with a hoof. “Show me.”
Silver was clearly having a hard time maintaining eye contact with Pinkie, but eventually looked out the window. Silver peered around for a moment before she finally seemed to figure it out. Pinkie felt a nudge at her side, and Silver pointed a hoof up towards the dark clouds hanging overhead.
“Wait, you sleep on a cloud?” Pinkie asked after a long moment, her face wrinkling thoughtfully.
“That’s not so bad I guess… Rainbow takes naps on clouds all the time, but you need somewhere to live Silver. A home, somewhere you can come back to and feel safe.” Pinkie insisted, looking towards her friend with a concerned expression.
"Wait, if you sleep on a cloud, then how did you get so wet?" Pinkie questioned with a confused expression.
Silver had to stop and think for a long moment before she could figure out how to answer. The gray pegasus mimed pushing some clouds around for Pinkie, and then pretended to nudge one with an irritable expression. She turned her face into a glower and pointed at the 'cloud' a few times then off into the distance. Once the theatrics were done she pushed that cloud over towards the others.
"The weather pegasi kicked you off your cloud? Didn't you have somewhere to go? Don't you have a job Silver? I can’t let you stay homeless…” Pinkie kept up the pressure, leaning closer and putting on her best meanie Pinkie face. Silver shied away, trying to step backwards, but was soon backed up against the window. Pinkie kept glowering at the pegasus meaningfully, using all her self-control to keep herself from giggling audibly as she did so. Silver slowly shook her head again, and stared down at her hooves looking ashamed.
“What am I going to do with you, Silver?” Pinkie asked through a heavy sigh. She backed away and sat down on her haunches. Her face wrinkled in thought as she kept glancing back and forth from down at her hooves and back at Silver. After a few moments, she got up and tugged at Silver with a hoof. She marched Silver into the kitchen, not even looking back as she tugged the pegasus with her, and pointed a hoof forcefully to a chair next to a small table.
“Sit, have you eaten recently? Have you eaten at all?” Pinkie asked with an air of disappointment, then started nosing open cabinets to see what they had leftover from the day. She pulled out two bottles of apple juice, and plonked them down heavily in front of Silver. Pinkie went back to the cabinets, pulling out a few sweets and pastries. She loaded up her forelegs with as much as she could carry, and tottered over on her hindlegs. Pinkie dumped the spread of cupcakes, muffins, and other assorted pastries out onto the table in front of Silver.
“Eat,” she commanded simply, before she picked up a cupcake for herself. She took a few big bites of it while she watched Silver closely.
“Sorry if I’m being mean, Silver… You’re just making me worry about you.” Pinkie added as an afterthought.
Silver nodded slowly and gave Pinkie a hesitant smile. The way that her ears remained drooped sadly, and only just the corners of her mouth turned up reminded Pinkie of a foal who wasn’t sure if she was still in trouble or not. Pinkie smiled, and then pointed at the food with a hoof. Silver laughed silently, her smile slowly turning more genuine as she picked up a cupcake. She munched on it tentatively, and then started eating it with a little more gusto. They remained in silence for a long moment, and Pinkie couldn’t help but feel a little bad for yelling so much. She gave the pegasus a kind smile then tossed the rest of the cupcake down her throat.
“Good girl,” Pinkie said with a playful smile when Silver finished her cupcake and reached for a bagel. She let out a quiet laugh as Silver stopped holding back and started tearing into the food ravenously. Pinkie satisfied herself with watching Silver eat, pushing the second bottle of apple juice towards her as well, and waited until she was satisfied. Pinkie cleared away the mess on the table, and carried the two empty bottles over to the sink in the corner.
“Better now?” Pinkie asked with a knowing grin. She laughed at the bashful nod she received from Silver, and started to walk over towards the door. Pinkie hesitated for a moment, then stopped halfway out the kitchen. She pointed with a hoof to a sheet of paper tacked up on a cabinet door, and motioned with her head for Silver to come over next to her.
“This is our weather calendar. You obviously don’t have one… So you’re going to come here every day and look at it. I’ll let Mr. and Mrs. Cake know so they won’t give you a hard time.” Pinkie stated matter of factly, leaving no room for objections from Silver.
“If there’s really bad weather, and you still haven’t found somewhere to sleep. You come to Auntie Pinkie Pie’s place, alright? No more soaking wet friends showing up at my doorstep. For now, though, let’s just pretend it’s a sleepover,” Pinkie concluded and lead Silver back out of the kitchen and towards the stairs.
“Except, everyone is already asleep, so we have to be quiet…” she added in a hushed whisper, and held a hoof up to her face. Pinkie made a show of sneaking up the stairs, holding back a quiet giggle as she did. She stepped aside to let Silver into her room, and then closed the door after them. She finally let out the giggle she was holding back, and walked over to close the window she had left open earlier.
“What do you do on a sleepover with two ponies anyways? I’ve never been to one this small, I guess it’s like a small party, but we can’t make much noise. So that means no dancing, or music. We already ate as well… Oh, I know! You wanted to know about that whole element of laughter thing right?” Pinkie asked excitedly and climbed up onto her bed. She spread out on top of the blankets, and turned her head to watch Silver.
The gray mare eventually followed suit, climbing up to the bed and curling up under her blanket in front of Pinkie. She smiled happily and nodded as she nuzzled the soft blanket, tugging at it with her mouth so it was curled more tightly around her.
“Oh my gosh, are you warm enough? I didn’t even think to ask, you haven’t been shivering have you? I can get you another blanket if you need it,” Pinkie asked fretfully, looking around for another blanket. Silver merely shook her head with a smile, and settled back down looking content. She perked her head up after a few moments and looked at her expectantly.
“Oh, right, the element of laughter thing. Well, it all started when Twilight first moved into town. I decided to throw her a big welcome party. Big surprise, huh?” Pinkie commented with a laugh, then turned back to face Silver, resting her head on her front hooves.
“Well, at the party she seemed really distracted. I didn’t know it at the time, but she apparently had a good reason…”