68w, 1dOrganized Shipping (Most Common)
58w, 6hSlice of Life
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53w, 2dgood stories
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14h, 40mRainbow Dash is Best Pony
1h, 4mEQD on FIM
Were a stranger to accost a Ponyville resident on the street, and ask them about Sugarcube Corner, they could be told many, many things. Such as the fact that the Cakes were the best bakers they knew, and that their many confectioneries could almost bring a tear to the eyes with sheer deliciousness.
They could also be told that if they were seeking the town’s resident party pony, Sugarcube Corner would be the first place to look. She worked and babysat for the Cakes, and was often found planning her next event there.
If, however, they asked whether it was the residence of a mastermind, bent on formulating plans to get two ponies together, they would have been answered with a blank look and a laugh.
Yet that was exactly what Pinkie Pie had been doing all night. She had thought at length, and even discussed the details with her partner in crime, Gummy. Now everything was set, all the details worked out.
It was Go Time.
Big Macintosh’s morning had been… interesting, to say the least. First had been the family breakfast, the air thick with tension, all of it stemming from Applejack. Apple Bloom hadn’t helped either, peppering her sister with questions.
“Sis, where’s Rainbow Dash?” Apple Bloom had asked, dropping the broken sign onto the table. Big Macintosh was surprised that the filly had kept quiet as long as she had, but after two days without the colorful pegasus around, she had started to suspect things. “Did you two fight?”
The orange pony remained silent, both too angry to speak and unable to think of what to say. A number of excuses came to mind, but every single one simply sounded too weak. But before she could reply, Big Macintosh’s deep voice made itself heard.
“Don’t you worry none, Apple Bloom. Miss Dash just went to visit Miss Fluttershy for a while,” he explained, keeping his features neutral. This statement earned him a glance from both of his sisters. Apple Bloom’s was filled with doubt and confusion, whereas Applejack’s expression seemed to be one of surprise. She apparently hadn’t known where Rainbow had gone.
“So what happened to my sign?” Apple Bloom asked, staring angrily at the broken object.
“Ah think that was my fault,” the stallion said. “I might’ve bumped into it…"
“Bumped into it,” the filly repeated, holding the two parts in her hooves. She didn’t seem to be buying it.
“Ah’m a big pony. I bump things hard,” he explained. He glanced again at Applejack, seeing the grateful expression on her face.
Thankfully, Apple Bloom had needed to run off to school, cutting off any further discussion on the subject. Like Applejack, he didn’t like lying, but unlike her, he could actually do it convincingly. In this case, Applejack’s plight had overcome his natural prejudices.
After that eventful breakfast, Big Macintosh had expected a relaxing day of farmwork, and an eventual meeting in Ponyville with Miss Fluttershy. They were, after all, still trying to think of ways to help his sister and Miss Dash.
He hadn’t, however, expected to see another of Applejack’s friends on the farm. But there was Pinkie Pie, playing with Winona. Well… perhaps playing was the wrong term, as he observed the pink pony pull out a bag of treats and whisper to the dog. Shrugging, he turned around to get to work when he felt a hoof on his side.
“Hi, Big Mac!” Pinkie chirped, bouncing to face the stallion. “Where’s Applejack?”
Always a pony of few words, Big Macintosh simply pointed at the farmhouse, from which the pony in question was just exiting. With a word of thanks, Pinkie bounced over to the orange pony, and Big Macintosh entered the barn. Work had to be done.
“Well howdy, Pinkie!” Applejack replied, momentarily startled. She hadn’t even noticed her friend’s arrival before the pink pony had spoken. “What brings you to the farm?”
“Well I was just gonna say hi and see what you’re doing but you look fine so that’s all right and hey, what’s up with Winona?”
“Eh?” Applejack asked, as she looked in the direction Pinkie was pointing. There sat Winona, her tongue lolling out, a pitiful look on her face. She quickly trotted over to her pet, leaning down to take a close look. “What’s wrong, girl?”
“Maybe she’s sick!” Pinkie gasped, as Winona rolled over onto her side.
“She looks fine to me…" Applejack said, her face nonetheless lined with worry.
“You should have her looked at!”
“Maybe…" Applejack hesitated, until Winona gave her the most soul-rending look a canine could give. “You’re right. Let’s get her to the vet.”
“Good idea, the ve—wait, not a good idea! Why the vet?” Pinkie asked, tilting her head.
Applejack blinked in confusion. “Err… because she looks sick?”
“No, I mean, why the vet? Fluttershy’s is much closer!”
“Good idea,” Applejack agreed, before gently lifting Winona onto her back. “Let’s go!”
Big Macintosh, having just left the barn, watched the two mares head off towards Fluttershy’s cottage. But only a few seconds later, a squirrel crossed their path, speeding towards a tree. Unable to resist, Winona scrambled off of Applejack’s back, barking as she gave pursuit.
“What in tarnation… she’s fine!” Applejack said as she watched her faithful companion run off.
“Wow, she got better fast! Oh hey, I gotta go, see you later okay Applejack?”
Big Macintosh’s eyes narrowed in suspicion as the pink pony ran off, leaving a confused and speechless Applejack behind. He blinked and planted his face is his hoof as he recalled the doggy treats and put it all together. Treats. Illness. Fluttershy. All these pointed to one single conclusion. Ah'd better tell Miss Fluttershy. This just got a mite more complicated.
“I don’t know how I can help, Rarity!” Twilight sighed, as she sat across from her friend in the library’s kitchen. “I already screwed things up when Applejack came by…" she said, planting her face onto the table’s surface.
Rarity placed her hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “There, there. You’re already doing more than any of us are, dear,” she said, motioning towards Twilight’s experimentation table. “You can’t beat yourself up over everything.”
“I feel like I’ve almost got it… it’s just out of my reach…"
Rarity grimaced as her friend seemed to reach a new level of despair. “You know I’d help you if I could, but… I believe I would just slow you down.”
The purple unicorn lifted her head to look at Rarity in the eye. “The thought counts. Thanks, Rarity.” She smiled in appreciation.
“But getting back to those two… Honestly, Twilight, I think we’d just get in the way.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Think about it. Fluttershy is Rainbow Dash’s oldest friend… and Big Macintosh is Applejack’s brother. There’s no one better suited to help them sort this out.” She shrugged in defeat. “If anyone can fix this, it’s them. I’m sure they’ll think of something if everypony just stays out of their way.”
Twilight sighed, laying her head back on the table. “I hope you’re right…"
Rainbow Dash grunted as she woke up, taking a few seconds to recognize her surroundings. Where she had expected a familiar sight of wood and floorboards, she instead found herself surrounded by various miniature dwellings, each housing a creature of some sort. Oh right, she thought, I’m at Fluttershy’s, not…
Rainbow quelled that thought with a frown, having no desire to be reminded of that place. She groaned as she dragged herself off the couch, where she’d insisted on sleeping. The first night of her arrival, she’d been too emotionally exhausted to argue against Fluttershy’s offer, but after the first day of lounging around and unsuccessfully attempting to help with the animals, she’d insisted on leaving the bed to its proper owner. She didn’t want to abuse Fluttershy’s hospitality. And without wings, she didn’t have to worry about twisting and turning to get comfortable.
Thinking of her fellow pegasus made Rainbow Dash remember a conversation they’d had the previous day. Fluttershy, ever the caring soul, had tried to broach the subject of… Applejack. Or rather, she had questioned Rainbow herself. She’d woken up that morning with a terrible headache, clearly the aftereffects of the cider.
That had been Fluttershy’s point. The cider might have been responsible for more of what happened that night than Rainbow Dash was willing to admit. Still, she thought, Applejack wasn’t drunk. What she said was unforgivable.
A sudden loud grumble from her stomach distracted her from her thoughts, and as she started to make her way to the kitchen for some breakfast, she heard a commotion coming from outside. Curiosity gaining the upper hand over hunger, she opened the door to have a look.
Several groups of critters seemed to be gathered around a number of spots on the ground, completely covering whatever it was they had discovered. Many of them scattered as Dash approached, finally revealing… the remains of a cupcake. And not just any cupcake, she noticed, but her favorite kind: The Chocolate Stampede. Slathered in frosting, bits of chocolate both outside and inside the treat. She knew they were terribly unhealthy, but could only rarely resist the temptation whenever she found herself at Sugarcube Corner.
Rainbow Dash looked around, suddenly wondering where this cupcake might have come from. Obviously the bakery, originally, but she saw no sign of another pony in the vicinity. Shrugging, she trotted over to the next pile of critters, confirming her suspicions: there lay the remains of yet another cupcake.
Stomping her hoof, she wondered who would be so cruel as to leave something so tasty for animals to eat, until she glanced down the road, noticing a number of cupcakes on the ground, most of them untouched. She charged towards the closest one, her stomach growling as if to spurn her forward. She scooped it up in her hooves, consuming the delicious treat in two bites.
Oh… that tasted so good. Hey, there’s another!
Focused as she was on devouring the cupcakes, she failed to notice the direction in which she was heading, until she glanced around in search of the next. Facing her were dozens of apple trees, and in the distance, the farmhouse could be seen. What the…? Rainbow thought, realizing for the first time just where she was. She crested over the short rise she was climbing, and paused as she saw the source of the cupcake trail.
There stood Pinkie Pie, dropping treats as she cantered towards the farm. She hadn’t noticed the pegasus yet, intent on her path.
Not wanting to spend a minute longer in the area than she wanted to, nor wanting to give the pink pony a chance to notice her, Rainbow spun around, and trotted back to Fluttershy’s cottage.
She didn’t notice Pinkie glance behind her, spotting the pegasus’s escape. Pinkie’s grin faded momentarily, only to spring back into place. She was at Sweet Apple Acres already…
Time for plan C.
Twilight looked at the stone fused halfway through the table again, and sighed. She hated doing this—it felt like cheating on a test—but with the way her experiments had been going recently…
She couldn't make her friends wait on her pride. Rarity’s offer of help had been sincere, but she was right: she couldn’t help. But the comment had struck a chord within Twilight.
"Alright, Spike. Send it."
Dear Princess Celestia,
You know me. I love solving problems, searching for solutions, and coming up with answers to quandaries…
But I think I need help. I don’t want to impose, or take up too much of your time… but I must still ask. I’ve attached my notes on what I’m working on.
This is not for me, Princess. This is for my friends. I can’t in good conscience leave them suffering like this.
I beg of you, Princess, can you help?
Your faithful student,
Big Mac blinked as he stepped around the farmhouse corner. His eyes went from Pinkie Pie, to her Party Cannon, currently aimed at Applejack’s room, to the lasso held determinedly in her mouth.
“Miss Pie, you’re plannin’ ta lasso Applejack. Think about it.”
Dear Twilight Sparkle,
My faithful student, know that you will never, ever have to beg to receive my help. I will not allow my subjects to become unnecessarily dependent on me, but when a friend is in genuine need, as you are, I will do everything in my power to aid them.
I cannot simply give you the answers you seek, for I do not know them myself. I suggest you join me in Canterlot, and we can work on a solution together. I do have a kingdom to administer, but for such a matter, I can clear my schedule for a while. I believe it is time to introduce Luna to the wonders of modern Court bureaucracy. It has been too long since I have engaged in proper magical research, anyway.
“Spike?” Twilight yelled, momentarily forgetting that the dragon she had snatched the letter from was standing right beside her. She grinned sheepishly as he covered his head. “Sorry. Pack up, we’re heading to Canterlot!”
Her assistant saluted, and ran off in search of their luggage.
Plan D would work. Plan D was a doozie, Pinkie told herself, having spent the rest of the day waiting for her chance to implement it. Plans A, B, and C had failed, but she knew that they were only her first attempts. This time… this time, it would work.
Under the cover of darkness, Pinkie took off, pedalling her copter in the direction of Fluttershy’s cottage. She had been certain the cupcakes would do the trick, as Dashie had never been able to resist them, but her lack of success proved that hope wrong.
For this plan, the copter had been reworked: a sling-bed hung under the framework by a pair of ropes, gently swinging in the breeze. If Dashie couldn’t be led to Sweet Apple Acres… she’d have to be brought to Sweet Apple Acres.
Grinning at her brilliance, Pinkie kept her speed and direction, soon finding herself hovering over the cottage. The windows were dark, but she kept herself a fair height above the home, so as not to disturb either pony or animal within. She tossed a rope over the edge, and lowered the sling-bed to the window where she knew Dashie was sleeping. After her failed attempt at capturing Applejack, she had scouted Fluttershy’s home and seen the cyan pegasus asleep upstairs in Fluttershy’s bed, and the yellow pegasus on the couch.
With her preparations complete, Pinkie jumped over the side, quickly shimmying down the rope to land on the window’s ledge. She took a moment to push the window open, thankful that Fluttershy never seemed to lock them. Inching forward, she stood over the sleeping Rainbow Dash, when suddenly a loud crash made itself heard from outside.
The entire house seemed to wake up at the same time, critters loudly clamoring their fright, and Rainbow Dash jumped up in surprise. “Wha—Pinkie? What are you doing here? What are you humming? And why are you in a tuxedo?"
Pinkie wheeled about, about to return to her copter and make her escape, only to see it lying upside-down on the ground. Silly me! she thought. I forgot there was no one pedalling!
Thankfully, the crash had not done any significant damage, which in and of itself was a shock. For some reason I expected it to explode on impact…
Ah, well. The plan had failed, and she needed to make her escape one way or another. She simply struck a pose without turning around, switched to a different tune, leapt to the ground and sped off.
As Pinkie disappeared into the distance, a confused Rainbow took a look at the crashed copter. Twice now, Pinkie had seemed to have targeted her in these schemes, and it was clear they weren’t just her normal pranks. Rainbow didn't know what was going on, but she knew she had to talk to Pinkie, or the party pony would keep trying.
She jumped out of the window—landing without injury, thankfully; she had forgotten her wingless state for a moment—leaving behind a confused Fluttershy watching her from the couch, and took off in pursuit of the pink pony.
“You sure you’re alright, sis?”
Applejack glowered at her brother’s question as they made their way home. Darkness had long since fallen, but she had remained outside, stubbornly practicing her flight. She didn’t even know why she was even practicing, considering what, or rather who it reminded her of. Yet it had become a routine, and she’d always found those hard to break. After years of the same morning chores, anything repetitive had tended to become a habit.
She just wished that she could show any sign of improvement.
“Ah’m jus’ fine,” she muttered, an eye on the numerous trees surrounding them. She knew every tree almost individually, spotting details that nopony else could see, except perhaps Big Macintosh. She didn’t even need to be able to see the farmhouse to find her way home.
“Ah’m just saying, that landing didn’t look pretty…"
Applejack snorted. That’s an understatement… She’d managed to avoid crashing into another tree, but had landed in a jumble of limbs at the foot of the hill. If anything, her performance seemed to have become worse. “Ah figure it’s because Ah’m trying this on my own. Ah could still use some tips from Fluttershy…"
Big Macintosh remained silent, keeping his thoughts to himself. No, sis, Ah don’t think it’s Fluttershy that’s the problem… "Well, we both know we can't ask her for help now."
Applejack flinched at the comment, her face pointing towards the ground. “Ah know…" she mumbled, too low for anyone but herself to hear.
The pair paused, their ears flicking about as they caught the sound of hooves pounding the earth.
“What in tarnation–” Applejack began, before being interrupted by the source of the noise: Pinkie Pie, running at a good clip, with Rainbow Dash in pursuit not far behind.
As the party pony caught sight of Applejack and her brother, her face broke into a wide grin, and she came to a complete stop next to them. Shortly thereafter, Rainbow Dash skidded to a halt and glared at Pinkie.
“What the hay Pinkie, what’s the matter with you?” she asked, not having noticed the company as she glared at the pink pony. Fluttershy landed beside Big Mac, having decided against her better judgement to follow her friend. Given who was gathered here, the decision had possibly been a good one.
“Oh hey, what’s up Dashie?”
“Don’t you ‘what’s up’ me, why are you trying to get me to the Acres?”
“I’m not trying–” Pinkie started, before Rainbow’s yell interrupted her.
“You tried to kidnap me in your copter! How is that ‘not trying’?”
“–I succeeded!” Pinkie finished, grinning even wider.
“You—wait, what?” Rainbow Dash blinked, finally noticing the other ponies surrounding them.
“Ah’d appreciate if you didn’t yell; Apple Bloom’s asleep,” Applejack interjected, glaring at Rainbow Dash. “Now get out of here.”
“Not before I figure out why she dragged me here!”
Before Pinkie could answer, Applejack continued. “Maybe she brought you here so you could stop being such a stupid filly and apologize!”
“Apologize?” Rainbow shouted, rearing up in anger. “For what?! You’re the thief!”
“You take that back you stuck-up nag!”
“Then gimme back my wings!”
“Sorry, but Twilight was just plain stumped when Ah checked in on her! Believe me, Ah’d love to be rid of them if Ah could!”
“Will you two stop that?!”
The two arguing ponies cringed as a pair of voices thundered at them, and turned to see Big Macintosh and Fluttershy glaring at them. Before the pair could resume their argument, Fluttershy stepped forward. “Listen to yourselves,” she said, much more quietly. “What’s happened with you two?”
Rainbow Dash, who up to that point had been on the verge of cowering away from Fluttershy, drew herself up and pointed towards the wings on Applejack’s back. “That happened!”
“That was almost a month ago! You’ve been living and working together happily for weeks now!”
“Then she became Little Miss Moody…" Applejack muttered, loud enough for everypony to hear.
“Hey–!” Rainbow started, before Big Macintosh interrupted her.
“Can you blame her, Sis?” he asked, staring at Applejack. She’d never heard him like this. He sounded angry, and… disappointed. “Think of what she’s going through. How would you feel if you lost your legs?”
“Hey, this isn’t much better for me either!” Applejack retorted. “Getting a couple extra limbs isn’t that much easier to deal with!” She glanced at Rainbow Dash as the words left her mouth. She’d suddenly remembered the conversation they’d had when Rainbow had asked for a place to stay. Ah don’t know what Ah’d do if I couldn’t buck them trees, she remembered saying. Ah’d feel completely useless. Which was exactly what she’d told the grounded pegasus.
Rainbow’s frown had faded as she listened to the siblings. She had been so focused on her own suffering, she’d forgotten she wasn’t the only pony affected. She remembered how exhausted Applejack had seemed for the first few days, the changes to her body robbing her of any sleep. Rainbow thought she’d had it easy, but…
“Listen, Dash, Ah–” Applejack started as she turned to face Rainbow Dash. “Applejack, I–” Rainbow began just as the other pony spoke. They paused, realizing they had both tried to speak at the same time.
Before either could finish, Pinkie grinned, bouncing with joy. “There, you see? Now you two lovebirds just make up and we can all go home and I'll throw a party tomorrow–”
Oblivious to the look of shock on the two ponies’ faces, and the shared look of horror on Big Macintosh’s and Fluttershy’s, Pinkie simply nodded. “Yeah! You two make such a cute couple!” she said, causing a matching pair of blushes.
“Couple?” Applejack repeated. “Ah can barely stand the sight of her right now!”
“I don’t really want to see your face right now either, you know!” Rainbow Dash said as she glared at the earth pony.
“Then you can get right off my farm!”
“Maybe I will!”
“See?” Pinkie interrupted, grinning. “You two are adorable!” She giggled happily as she watched the two ponies stammer. Catching each other’s eyes, they frowned at each other once more, then spun around and went their separate ways.
Pinkie was quickly left alone with a pair of ponies each holding one of their hooves to their face, until they turned to glare at her as one. Tilting her head in confusion, Pinkie simply blinked.
“What? What’d I do?”