"What." Twilight Sparkle said.
"I know it's a lot to drop on you, on such short notice, but I wasn't able to sleep all night and I realized that this is the only way!"
Twilight Sparkle felt her jaw moving up and down a few times before the actual words could come. "I. Uh. Wow. I never knew." She bit at the inside of her cheek and pulled in a steadying breath, even as she felt her cheeks grow hotter and hotter.
"You're really the only pony for the job." Rainbow Dash fluttered her wings. "Besides, don't worry, it doesn't have to be for very long, because once it's taken care of, you've got to divorce me."
Twilight Sparkle blinked, then leaned forward to peer at Rainbow Dash. "What?"
"Like, right after you marry me, you've got to divorce me. You can do that, right? Or is there like a time requirement?" Rainbow Dash blinked a few times, and her cheeks tinted slightly. "Am I gonna have to, y'know, consulate the marriage?"
"What?" Twilight Sparkle found herself only able to form the one word.
"Y'know, consulate. Like..." Rainbow Dash looked over her shoulder, and then made an obscene gesture with her hooves. "Y'know. Stuff."
Unsurprisingly, Twilight's inner grammarian spoke up first. "Did you mean...consummate?"
"Yeah, sure, that. Whatever the classy word is for when two ponies get it on."
"Er." Twilight Sparkle felt like her cheeks were capable of frying eggs. "Consummate is the word you're looking for."
"Oh, okay!" Rainbow Dash said, "if that's what I've gotta do, that's what I've gotta do." She nodded resolutely, draped a wing around Twilight Sparkle's shoulders, and pulled her in close. "C'mon, where should we do this? The Library, or City Hall?"
"Hold on!" Twilight said, perhaps a little too loud. A few passing ponies turned their heads curiously, to which Twilight could only reply with a pained smile. The passersby shrugged and headed on their way- slightly unhinged looks from Twilight Sparkle tended to be a fairly common sight. Twilight bit at her lower lip, and looked over at Rainbow Dash. "Don't you think you're taking this a little...fast?"
"Psh, remember who you're talking to. I do everything fast, baby. Everything." Rainbow Dash puffed her wings out proudly. "Besides, we've got to hurry, so I can beat this stupid curse and get on with being awesome!"
"Wait, curse?" Twilight frowned. "You've lost me again."
"You know!" Rainbow Dash said, "From last night! Since I caught the flower bouquet thing, that means I've got to get married first! But the joke's on them, 'cause I'm just gonna get married so I can break the curse and then I'm getting divorced right after so I don't get all boring and stuff! You can't tie down Rainbow Dash! Now c'mon, we gotta find somepony hot who I can consummate with, and-"
"So," Twilight Sparkle said, "you didn't want to consummate with me?"
"Uh, no?" Rainbow Dash said, "I can't consummate you, because you've got to be the one doing all the paperwork for the wedding and the divorce. You love paperwork!"
"Oh." The epiphany hit Twilight like a bucket of cold water. "OOOOOOH," she forced another wan grin. "You...wanted me to preside over the marriage ceremony, not...actually...uh..." she trailed off.
Rainbow Dash stared at Twilight Sparkle as the pieces fell into place.
Then she broke out laughing.
Tears rolled down her cheeks, and Rainbow Dash rolled upon the ground, clutching at her sides.
"Hey!" Twilight said. "It's not that funny!"
"Oh, uh, right." Rainow Dash tried to suppress her laughter. She failed. Badly. "Sorry! It's just...you? And me? Oh man, Twilight. I mean, we're best friends and everything, but...well, jeez. You're just not my type."
"Why does everypony keep saying that?"
"'cause...not many ponies like talky eggheads that have kinda scrawny flanks?" Rainbow Dash said. "I mean, uh, sorry Twilight, you're not exactly centerfold material."
"That shouldn't matter," Twilight said as she drew herself up taller, "everypony knows its what you're like inside that makes you who you are."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Rainbow Dash nodded in agreement, 'but that just really means we can't get hitched. I mean, you're a great friend, Twilight, but even I know I'd be a terrible match for you. Really, I'd be a terrible match for anypony. I'm just too rad to get bogged down by all this lovey-dovey junk. I mean, can you imagine me getting all dopey and fluttery and domestic?" Rainbow Dash made a vaguely fish-lipped kissy-face, and mimed embracing some invisible pony. "Oh, I love you, snuggywuggums-" her expression broke into one of equal parts amusement and disgust. "Hah! I can't even say that much. Seriously, I think I threw up a little, just now."
"But," the unicorn said, "a relationship doesn't always have to be like that."
"Psh, like you're an expert. I mean, when's the last time you had a date?"
Twilight frowned. "What's that got to do with anything?"
"Hey, I'm just sayin', is all." Rainbow Dash shrugged. "Now, you gonna help me get un-cursed or not?"
Twilight Sparkle rubbed the bridge of her nose in frustration. "Okay, let's just take this one thing at a time, Rainbow Dash. There is no curse. The bouquet toss was just for fun. A game."
"A game?" Rainbow Dash said, "that's even worse! Because that means I've got to win. Like, I'm gonna have to marry two ponies now, right? Maybe three, just so I can set a record. That's how they do it in Salt Lick City, isn't it?"
"Not anymore, no." Unsurprisingly, Twilight's inner historian spoke up first. "That's actually an ugly stereotype perpetuated by-"
Rainbow Dash didn't let her finish. "Yeah yeah, I'll read the book later. All I care about is how to win this stupid flower marriage game thing."
"That's the thing, Rainbow Dash. Nopony cares or keeps track of who gets married after catching the bouquet It's not a game you win."
"So it's a game...without a winner? That's kinda dumb."
"Well, it's just a tradition."
"Definitely dumb, then." There was a pause, and then Rainbow Dash's expression brightened. "Which means I don't really have to worry about getting married, do I?"
"That's what I've been trying to tell you!"
"Sweet! But if somepony gets mad 'cause I'm holding up the gettin'-hitched line or whatever, I'm blaming you."
"I...don't think that'll be a problem."
"Right! Well, thanks for the help, Twilight!" The pegasus flapped her wings into a comfortable hover. "So now that I don't have to spend the whole afternoon getting married and divorced and stuff, wanna go do something? Oh! Is the new Daring Do book out yet? The last one ended on a cliffhanger and I need to find out what happened and make sure that it wasn't just some sort of weird fake-out!"
Twilight couldn't help but smile wanly at her friend's enthusiasm. "Whatever happens, I'm sure you'll love it, Rainbow Dash."
"Hey, hold on." Rainbow Dash squinted warily at Twilight. "Usually whenever I talk about books, you always get all enthusiastic and start blabbing on and on. And you're not blabbing. You feeling okay?"
"I'm fine, Rainbow Dash." Twilight sighed. "I'm just feeling a little down. A little confused."
Twilight shrugged, and began to trot down Ponyville's main thoroughfare. Rainbow Dash fell into step (well, wingbeat) beside her. Embarrassed, she filled Rainbow Dash in on the day's events.
"Wait, that's it?" Rainbow Dash said, "seriously, if I had a bit for every time me and Pinkie Pie woke up together someplace weird..."
"Oh." Twilight felt a fresh twinge of uneasiness in her belly. "So you and Pinkie Pie are..."
"Not what you're thinking, jeez." Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. "Somepony's got her mind in the gutter. I'm just saying I crash at Pinkie's sometimes. Or, uh, one time on top of Pinkie's. At least the roof was more comfortable than the time we wound up in a ditch overnight, but that was totally worth it."
"I guess you had to be there, huh?" Twilight said.
"Oh yeah, definitely. But anyway, don't get all worked up about it. You hang out with Pinkie Pie long enough, and things get crazy. But in a good way." Rainbow Dash canted her head to peer at Twilight. "Besides, it's not like you wanted to consulate her, right?"
"Consumate." Twilight said, reflexively.
"Uh, yeah. That. You...were just joking that one time with the package from Princess Celestia..." The pegasus' tone grew wary. "Weren't you?" Her voice cracked, if just a little.
Twilight looked flatly at Rainbow Dash.
"Just checking!" The Pegasus said.
"ANYWAY," Twilight said, pointedly, "it's not even that I want to get...involved with anypony. At least, I don't think so. It's just...it'd be nice to have the option, y'know? But really, the more I think about it, the more I realize that nopony would give me a second glance, all things considered."
"Oh!" Rainbow Dash said, "that's it? You're just afraid you're too much of a dork to get a boyfriend?"
"Rainbow!" Twilight snapped.
"Oh, sorry. You're afraid you're too much of a dork to get a girlfriend?"
"Rainbow!" Twilight said, even snappier. Again, random passers-by turned their heads at the little display, and soon dismissed it once they realized it was just Twilight Sparkle being slightly unhinged again.
"Just keeping my bases covered here." Rainbow Dash huffed.
"Y'know what?" Twilight said, "forget I even said anything. Dwelling on it now just won't be productive."
"The heck with that!" Rainbow Dash swooped down in front of Twilight. "'Cause I just got an idea."
Twilight backed up a few paces. "What...kind of idea?"
"An awesome one, duh." Rainbow Dash rubbed her front hooves together in anticipation, and looked over the bustling Ponyville street. The pegasus' eager grin widened as soon as she saw a certain brown pony with a hourglass cutie mark trot from around the corner.
Twilight Sparkle followed her friend's gaze, and pulled in a quick, panicked breath. "Oh no. You're not going to-"
"Don't worry Twilight." Rainbow Dash grinned wider than it seemed physically possible. "I'm gonna get you a date if it's the last thing I do."