It’s been a while since I spoke with Luna, early-December already. Time’s really flying by, but it hasn’t really been that long once you think about it. All it’s been is a little more than three months.
I’ve played host to the Cutie Mark Crusaders a few more times, and tried to get them on the right track but I can see how Applebloom’s attempts at leadership are more of a joke thanks to Scootaloo’s spontaneity.
What bothers me, aside from not getting a letter from Luna, is that I’ve never even seen Zecora. I mean, doesn’t she ever visit Ponyville to get things? If so, have I been otherwise occupied when she’s come into town? Seriously, what gives? I mean I live so close to the forest, and I don’t see our zebra resident from the forest?
I’d take a little excursion into the Everfree Forest to introduce myself, but everypony seems to have an excuse to prevent me from going visit her so I can at least say ‘hi.’ Is it really asking too much to even get directions? I’d ask Twilight to go today, but there’s the snowstorm that was planned for once. It’s not bad enough to prevent me from going out, but it’s enough to deter most ponies from leaving their homes.
I see Rarity a lot more now; she keeps bringing me new clothes to try on the days after the weather gets bad. I also see Lyra like clockwork every other Thursday still; we’ve gone into religions now. Twilight I see nearly every day, I swear she should just move in at this point. Rainbow’s a little different than Twilight, I see her every day at work. She always swings by after she’s done with weather duty to check in with me about any plans later on or just to hang out.
This brings me to the crusaders, I started showing them Friendship is Magic in the hopes of making them get the hint, but it hasn’t been working. Thanks to one particular episode though, I had to keep an eye on them zip lining one chilly day in November. If you hadn’t figured it out, it ended in tree sap. Lots of tree sap. Despite how much help I’d get, I was still getting the stuff out of my hair a week later. Well, I should get back to the snowstorm ridden day.
“For the last time Applebloom,” I told the filly. “You’re special talent isn’t looking at ponies adorably innocently.”
“Really,” she replied with wide, tear swelling eyes and a sad tone to her voice.
“I thought you figured that one out last week when you tried for the eleventh time.”
I know Pinkie’s at the point of throwing an “It’s About Time” party when they do get their cutie marks. She’d never call it that but that’s not the point. We all agreed that episodes might be the best way to teach them their approach is horrible. When I said ‘we’ I meant Applejack, Rarity, Twilight, and I.
I’ve yet to see results and we’re on Hearts and Hooves Day today. I mean, I’m running out of episodes here, and it’s infuriating. I haven’t even touched season three. In fact, I’m not even sure I can really get youtube properly on this side. As I’ve mentioned, the TV only gets the Weather Channel and iTunes doesn’t convert bits into iTunes credit. Before you ask, I have no way of getting my credit cards to work either; I tried to set that up on week one. Might be something about never being able to bill me with success, but that’s just my theory. With only nine episodes left, I’m inclined to bust out a dry erase board and list out why Sweetie should pursue singing and why Scootaloo needs to focus less on why she’s not Rainbow Dash. Personally, I think getting those two in line will help Applebloom figure out that she’s just as much of a creative pony as a good leader. She just needs some confidence.
“Let me ask you something Scootaloo,” I said after calming her down a little. “How capable are you on your scooter?” I thought it was a fair question for rarely seeing her in action. I’m so swamped after work I don’t often see her zooming around.
“She’s awesome on it,” squealed Applebloom.
“And trick wise?”
“Well, I can do some tricks,” Scootaloo replied bashfully.
I gave her a skeptical look. “Like what exactly?”
“Mostly jumps, but a few kinda technical things like spins and I did this flip one time.”
“More like a barrel roll,” clarified Applebloom.
I had my thinking face on. “So why don’t you try more tricks? I think you sound like you have the makings of a technique flyer. Like not just big stunts and tricks like the Sonic Rainboom or how Rainbow keeps trying to see how close she can get to the ground before leveling off and maintaining her momentum, but cool things in their own right.” It was hard not calling it ‘chicken,’ she gets that enough at school right now and I just don’t want it to follow her here.
“Might help if I could fly,” she replied bluntly.
“Let me get to my master scheme Scootaloo. You can practice some things on the scooter and then work parts into flying moves later on.” I was starting to think skateboards and Scootaloo. It could be epic and/or disastrous. “You’re a little like Rainbow, in the fact that you’re also a filly that lets her actions speak for her.”
She gave me an ear-to-ear grin from comparing her to Rainbow Dash in a good way.
“Have I made myself clear Scootaloo?”
She gave me a vigorous nod. “If I can do that do you think I can do both at the same time?”
“Slow down a little Scootaloo, you don’t want to do too much all at once.”
“So,” said Sweetie Belle nervously, “do you have any other advice?”
“Sweetie, can you please sing a little for us,” I chanced. I’ve never really had much luck with her. I can nudge Scootaloo in the right direction from time to time. Applebloom’s willing to get any advice. Regardless of my lack of a cutie mark, she listens, hoping to get some nugget of information from my words. Sweetie Belle, well she’s completely different.
“I don’t think I should,” she replied shyly.
“Why’s that Sweetie Belle?” I was trying my best to sound supportive, but I’ve tried to learn from my own mistakes. Encouraging Sweetie Belle is about forty percent walking on eggshells, twenty percent luring her into your idea, ten percent praying she goes along with your idea, and thirty percent pure luck. Unfortunately, I seemed to hit bad luck more often than not.
“What if I’m no good?”
I smiled as warmly as I could muster. “It’s only the four of us here; we won’t say anything outside this meeting okay?”
“Well I suppose I-” she was cut off by a knock at the door.
I groaned and got up to go answer it, it was the closest I’d gotten since I first tried to get them going. It wasn’t a Thursday, which eliminated Lyra for the most part. I didn’t have any plans with Twilight or Rainbow, but Twilight’s getting a little harder to predict. Rainbow’s a little different; she’s been around so frequently that I wouldn’t put it past her. It could be Applejack or Rarity, coming to collect the little fillies. That’s right, Rarity going out in a snowstorm and it wouldn’t be the first time since I came here.
Those were the plausible suspects aside from Pinkie Pie; she’s a completely different category on her own. I had all of Ponyville to consider at some point or another knocking at my door so it was hard to give a good guess.
It pleased me to see Rainbow at the door, who looked like she fought a snow mound and lost terribly. Her mane was disheveled in a way that I had only seen once before: the one time on Earth where she attempted to play with an electric socket.
“Did somepony forget how to land,” I asked her.
“Did someone know that there’s a lot of ice on his hill,” she retorted.
That explains the mane, I thought. “Come in, but be warned I have a pack of fillies here.”
“A three pack,” she asked as she came inside.
“A three pack,” I replied dryly. “So what brings you here today?”
“You mean aside from not seeing you yesterday?”
“Do you have any idea how often I end up foalsitting?”
“Yeah, but it takes up a lot of us time, like the all three of us kinda us.”
“Hey crusaders look,” Scootaloo interrupted, “it’s Rainbow Dash!”
Rainbow gave a weak chuckle and smiled at the filly. “How’s it going Scoots? Giving Al a hard time?”
“Nah,” she replied casually. “He’s great to come and visit what’cha here for?”
“I’d like a private moment with Al here.”
I turned to see the three waiting. “Sorry girls, we can continue talking when this is over okay?”
Though they looked sad, they nodded in agreement and went back to the living room.
“They actually listen to you,” Rainbow asked skeptically after they had left.
I gave her a smile. “I’m good with those three; at least I think I am. They want their cutie marks and they know I’m being productive when I’m helping them. Come on; let’s go up to the study, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s getting warm in there around this time of the year.”
Rainbow closed the door behind her and waited calmly for me to sit down before scooting up beside me. “So what did you wanna say?”
“Well, I know we’ve talked about it but if it means so much I think it’s a good time. Why don’t you move in?”
“I’ve said it a million times Al, do you know what the market is for cloudhouses? I mean, it’s not like we’re in Cloudsdale or something. Besides, won’t Twilight see it as me trying to butt her outta the group?”
“You know she and I have been talking about moving too.”
“I know, it’s not like we’re all keeping the ‘move in with Al’ thing secret from each other. I’ve got a lot of memories in that place and there’s no way I’ll get a good price if I can even sell the thing.”
“Dashie, there’s what, at least a hundred pegasi in Ponyville?”
“Actually, it’s only like 80-something.”
“Even so, don’t a lot of them live groundside?”
“Well yeah but-”
“What about Thunderlane and Blossomforth, they’re together.”
“Don’t forget about Rumble, he’s not up to a trip like that every day till he grows up some more.”
“Flitter’s groundside too isn’t she?”
“She’s dating a unicorn.”
“Well,” I tapped a finger against my chin for a little, “how about Airheart?”
“She’s asked for an okay price, I mean she’s with Blue Skies right now so I guess I could hammer out a deal with them.”
“Then how about you get ready to move out so you can have it look more presentable for a proper showing?”
Rainbow shifted around and stared at me. “You mean it? Have me now?”
“Have you now,” I repeated.
“We’re gonna have to tell Twilight. She’s gotta know I don’t wanna do this cause I wanna get a hoof up on her. She’s gotta know I’m just ready to move in already.” She squealed excitedly and gave me a hug. “I’ll just zip home and get packing! We’ll tell Twilight after that’s all done and borrow the balloon so we can move everything faster.”
I didn’t even get a chance to hug her back as she zoomed downstairs. I simply rolled my eyes as I heard the front door slam close. I mean I’ve seen a lot of spontaneity from pegasi before, but Rainbow was like a sugar rush with wings at times. I’ve never ever brought up why she does that. I’ve always feared that she’ll take offense and want to duck out of things.