“You know what I'm going to to tonight? The same thing I do every night, ‘Doctor’: cry into my pillow because I'm a lone mare nopony will ever love!”
While Twilight was one of the most proficient magic users in all Ponyville, her arcane power was nothing compared with stallion's will to live. While she managed to get Whooves dragged to the base of the stairs to her bedroom, his perseverance and strong muscles prevented her from moving him even one step upstairs. She sat on the stairs, panting heavily and trying to regain her stamina. Whooves was lying on his side at the floor, looking as much exhausted as she did.
“Why can't you be more considerate?” Twilight continued her rant, taking breaks every other word to take a breath. “Why does everypony treat me not as a mare, but as some kind of freak?”
“Frankly speaking, you're kinda freaky,” said Whooves, but he immediately regretted his decision. He quickly blamed his stressed brain. Twilight started crying, tears running both her cheeks.
“Everypony has few quirks, why can't I have mine?”
“Well,” the stallion started to think up ways to amend the situation, “the thing I found freaky was that you just attacked me like some wild beast. Everypony would try to run away.”
Twilight wiped her tears.
“Yeah,” she calmly admitted, “that was a little reckless. To my excuse, I drank a little beforehand.”
“You shouldn't drink before date,” Whooves scolded her.
“Yeah, I should've known,” the librarian sighed. “They said so in the book.”
“Did the book say you shouldn't force your date to anything?”
Whooves sat up.
“Listen, miss, before you drag anypony to your bed, maybe you should just get to know each other. For instance, I still don't know what's your name.”
“I'm Twilight Sparkle. So, will you go to bed with me?”
“You are not very subtle, you know?”
Twilight sat silent for a while, not knowing what to say. Whooves continued:
“But from my observations, I can conclude that it's normal for mares from Ponyville to assault stallions who just moved to the town.”
Twilight immediately denied: “Oh, but I'm not from Ponyville, I'm from Canterlot. And you?”
“So, could it be that me coming here from Canterlot and you coming from Amareica means that fate brought–”
“No.” Whooves cut her off and added a second later: “It's not some sappy romance story written by some pink-glassed author for his naïve readers.”
“But I like romance novels. And I even write them.”
The stallion sighed: “That would explain a lot.”
Twilight yawned. The whole conversation was draining away the rest of her energy. “I'm sorry, but I really need to get to bed. You may join me if you want.”
“No, thank you,” answered Whooves, watching as Twilight was slowly ascending the stairs. “I'll be going back home. Bye.”
He got up on his hooves and slowly walked towards the door. He grabbed the handle, pulled it... and it resisted. He pushed it... and it resisted, too. He sighed and trotted back. He climbed the stairs and finally arrived into Twilight's bedroom. The librarian was lying in the bed, snoring. He prodded her:
“Hey, Twilight, wake up. You forgot to unlock the door.”
Apart from few shrugs, the sleeping mare didn't react. Whooves grabbed her shoulders with his hooves and yanked her few times, yelling: “Wake up! The library is on fire!” Unfortunately, the only result he achieved was Twilight turning around in bed. Whooves saw no other exit route from the library, so he didn't knew what to do now. His energy levels achieved a new low. Suddenly, his eyes rested on the bed. It looked inviting. His body begged his brain to rest, so he gave up to its calls. He lay down next to Twilight and covered himself with half of her blanket. He fell asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow.
“Rarity, what are you doing here so early?”
“The same thing I'll be doing every day, Rainbow Dash: looking for that pedophile!”
Rarity couldn't remember when was the last time she woke so early. She woke even earlier than Sweetie Belle, which meant she could finally enjoy a quiet morning. The first thing she decided was to take a morning walk, just to take care of some unfinished business. The fact that she was carrying a sword might or might not have had something to do with that.
The first pony she met was her short-sighted friend, Rainbow Dash. At first, she was called ‘Bon-Bon’ by her, but as soon as the pegasus landed and took a better look at the white shape moving down the street, it turned out that it was just an extremely early occurrence of Rarity.
“A pedophile is in town?” Rainbow Dash gasped in shock. “Where? I'll help you look!”
“Darling, you're the last pony I'd give any task involving looking,” Rarity said bluntly. “Besides, he's an earth pony, so I think I can do it myself.”
“So, can I help you in another way? I simply have today this rainbow mood for helping.”
Rarity pondered for a moment: “Hmm, you can check on Sweetie Belle, she should wake up any moment now and I bet she'll be surprised to see I'm already out so early.”
“Okay, so gotta dash!” the pegasus exclaimed and flew in general direction of the Carousel Boutique. Rarity looked as her friend maneuvered between buildings instead of flying in a straight line at higher altitude. When she lost the sight of Rainbow Dash, she continued her walk.
Whooves slowly opened his eyes. What he saw didn't look familiar. Was he in the room he rented from Roseluck? No, he slept there few times already and he would recognize it. He saw an unfamiliar bookshelf full of thick books. He turned around to look at the other side of the room.
His muzzle bumped into a muzzle of another pony, who also just woke up and turned around.
““Argh! It's you!”” they shouted simultaneously. Whooves immediately jumped out of bed, while Twilight grabbed the blanket to cover her chest.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I don't remember!” he answered, sweating heavily. “Do you?”
“No! Wait, is there a chance we...”
Twilight paused for a moment. Her eyes widened in fear. Whooves started walking backwards to distance himself from the mare.
“I think I remember...” she muttered. “I'm not sure, but I think we did... it...”
“But–!” Whooves wanted to protest, but Twilight immediately interjected:
“Don't panic, I still might be wrong. I might. We must be sure. Yes, we must know. For now, let's pretend nothing happened.” Twilight released a short manic laugh. “We'll solve this riddle. We must solve it.”
“Yeah, so, um, I gotta go to work.”
“Wait, won't you stay for breakfast?”
Whooves paused for a moment. He did feel hungry.
“Okay, I think I still have enough time.”
“Sweetie Belle, where are you?”
Rainbow Dash flew into the Carousel Boutique, knocking several mannequins over. Some of them deliberately, to check if they were Sweetie Belle. She didn't have much luck – none of the white shapes responded in any other way than falling down.
“I'm here!” a voice came from some room at the other end of the building. Rainbow Dash dashed to the source and met a locked door. She knocked few times.
“Sweetie Belle, is that you? Come out!”
“When I was trying too pee, something weird happened. Wait, acquiring door lock!”
The door was unlocked, but it didn't open. After a second or two, the pegasus decided to open the door herself. She entered and saw a bathroom. There was a toilet in the middle, but no sign of Sweetie Belle. Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes to see better, but she couldn't find Sweetie Belle.
“Sweetie Belle, where are you?”
The pegasus took a step forward and looked up. She saw something white hovering under the ceiling, flailing its limbs aimlessly. She squinted her eyes again. It looked like Sweetie Belle.
“I keep trying to pee, but I can't!”
“Stop it, you should come with me and start training! You are a much rainbower flyer that that orange chicken that keeps following me around!”
Sweetie analyzed the offer for a moment. “Okay,” she answered. Suddenly, she plummeted down, landing on Dash's head, which in turn was pushed into the toilet bowl. The filly scrambled to her hooves and the pegasus shook her head to get rid of water from her muzzle.
“What are you doing here, Rainbow Dash?”
“Your sister gave me a very important mission: to see if you survive morning on your own.”
“I survive it every day before she wakes up. It's not like a living biological thing dies, because somepony left it alone for few hours.”
Rainbow Dash asked:
“Have you had breakfast yet?”
“So eat a breakfast and come dash with me!”
Upon saying these words, the cyan mare flew out of the boutique, knocking one mannequin more.
Twilight and Doctor finished eating breakfast at the library. When the mare was gathering the plates to put them in a sink, she said:
“I think I know how he can quickly determine what happened.”
“You do?” asked Whooves.
“Yes. If you have an hour, we can do it now.”
Whooves thought about it for a moment: “Sure, I think I can even be late to work today. So, how do we do it?”
“We need to visit one of my friends.”
Twilight cleaned her hooves and trotted towards the front door. Whooves followed her. She grabbed the handle with her magic and tried to pull it, but the door resisted.
“Oops, I forgot to unlock it.”
She took a key from the shelf next to the door and unlocked it. When she opened it, she noticed Spike sleeping on a doormat.
“Hey, Spike, wake up.”
Spike stretched, yawned and opened his eyes: “Oh, hi Twili... By Celestia's beard, since when do you have a coltfriend?”
“Spike, that's a long story...”
“No wonder you locked the library for the night,” Spike winked, making way for the ponies.
Twilight's face became slightly redder. Without saying a word, she closed the door, locked it and said:
“We have some important thing to do, so I'll come back later.”
Twilight cantered away in direction of the Everfree Forest, immediately followed by Whooves. Spike observed their silhouettes becoming smaller and smaller and then he turned around to enter the library.
“Damn it, Twilight! You locked me out again!”
“Rain! Bow! Rain! Bow”
Rainbow Dash stood in the street before the Carousel Boutique, shouting commands and watching as Sweetie Belle rhythmically ascended and descended, hovering over the ground.
“Can we stop the training? I'm starting to feel dizzy,” the floating filly asked.
“Not yet! I need you to learn to fly forward!”
“I'm trying, but I can't!” Sweetie Belle flailed her legs in midair, but she didn't move in any horizontal direction.
“What's goin' on here?”
Rainbow Dash turned around towards the source of the voice:
“Is that you, Applejack?”
Sweetie Belle noticed that the pegasus stopped paying attention to her, so she landed safely on the ground.
“No, this is Apple Bloom,” answered the yellow filly.
“Oh, because I saw some orange shape moving and I thought it was her.”
“It was me, Scootaloo!” the pegasus filly exclaimed. “Sweetie Belle, why can you fly?”
“Insufficient data to answer the question,” the unicorn replied. “All I know is that when I woke in the morning and tried to pee, I started to float.”
“That's funny, it's the other way around with me,” said Scootaloo. She closed her eyes, bent her legs, started flapping her wings and focused.
A small stream of warm liquid came out from under Scootaloo's tail.
“Ew, Scoots!” Apple Bloom backed off from the pegasus. “If yer goin' to do it, go to the toilet!”
“Girls,” Sweetie Belle interjected, “isn't it the time we should go to school?”
“Ya don' know?” Apple Bloom was surprised. “The classes have been canceled.”
“Miss Cheerilee had some sort of accident yesterday, she's in hospital now, but Ah don' know any details.”
“Whoa,” Rainbow Dash gasped. “So she was that earth pony who tried to fly down from the cliff yesterday.”
Scootaloo nodded: “News sure go fast.”
“Not as fast as me,” the cyan mare smiled with pride.
“So what happens when you try to pee, Scoots?” asked Sweetie Belle.
“I simply pee,” the orange filly answered. “May I show it?”
“No!” protested Apple Bloom.
“We should go inside,” Sweetie Belle suggested. “I'm curious what will happen when I'll try to fly.”
“What's going on here?”
“Oh, hi Bon-Bon. Or Rarity. Whatever,” replied Rainbow Dash to the newcomer.
“My, my, what are you doing here?” Rarity asked.
“We're tryin' to figure out why Scootaloo pees when she tries to fly and Sweetie Belle flies when she tries to pee.”
Rarity's eye twitched. She smiled nervously and said:
“Well, it looks like I really shouldn't wake up so early. Wake me up when something interesting happens.”
Without listening to the fillies about Sweetie Belle's flight, the white mare cantered into the boutique and then to her bedroom.
“So what do we do now?” asked Apple Bloom.
“I still haven't shown you what happens when I try to pee. Sweetie Belle, lead us to your bathroom.”
The fillies ran into the building, leaving Rainbow Dash alone.
“So, everypony's gone?” she asked herself. “Dash it! Leaving me alone without saying goodbye, that is soooo unrainbow!”
The cyan mare slowly walked towards the town square.
“Oh, was it raining? I stepped into a puddle.”
Twilight and Doctor approached Fluttershy's hut. Twilight knocked to the door and they waited for the yellow pegasus to open.
“Oh, hello Twilight, uhm, good morning to you sir,” said Fluttershy when she opened the door. “Please, come in.”
Twilight replied: “Hi Fluttershy,” but Whooves was silent. Before his eyes there was the most beautiful mare he'd ever seen. He felt his heart racing as if he was a young colt with a crush. He followed both mares inside, without averting his gaze from the winged beauty.
“He have a problem, Fluttershy, and probably only you can help us,” Twilight exclaimed.
“What kind a problem? I'd do anything to help my friend.”
“Do you still have that virginometer?”
Fluttershy smiled slyly: “I think I know perfectly what is your problem. Just wait a moment.”
Whooves stood silently, looking how the cute pegasus moved around. Fluttershy rummaged through her belongings and fetched a rectangular device.
“Great,” Twilight exclaimed happily. “Now, use it on me.”
Fluttershy pointed the antenna of the device at Twilight and pressed a button. A white light lit up.
“Um,” the pegasus began, “Twilight, you're a virgin.”
Whooves sighed with relief, while Twilight started hopping around him, shouting merrily: “Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!” Suddenly, she lost her balance and bumped into the stallion. While luckily for her she didn't look like that, Twilight was quite a heavy mare, so Whooves was pushed and he fell down, hitting a sharp edge of a table with his head and immediately losing his consciousness. The unicorn immediately stopped bouncing and froze in shock.
“Oh, Twilight,” Fluttershy remarked, “instead of him knocking you up, you knocked him out.”
“So after we did one hundred fifty seven experiments, Ah conclude the followin': Sweetie Belle flies when tryin' to pee and pees when tryin' to fly, and Scoots pees regardless of if she tries to fly or pee.”
Apple Bloom was wearing a white labcoat and glasses she found in Sweetie Belle's collection of costumes for costume parties. For some mysterious reason she also managed to summon a beaker of oozing purple liquid. Asked where she got the liquid from, she only answered “Ah got it from Applejack, it's from the time she was still a silly pony.” After these question had been asked, the three fillies started two-hour long series of experiments, and now all the results were gathered. The Specimen #2 “Scootaloo” pouted:
“That sucks. Why a unicorn can fly better than a pegasus?”
“Ah don' know, but the data says the truth,” replied Apple Bloom. “Sweetie Belle can fly, ya don't.”
“Don't worry, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle tried to reassure her friend. “One day, maybe your flying skills will achieve the maximum level and you'll be able to increase your altitude.”
“Okay, girls, are you done? I really need to go to the toilet.”
Rarity was tiptoeing in place with her hind legs crossed for the last thirty minutes, politely waiting for the fillies to finish their urination-related experiments. Her inner honor wouldn't allow her to interrupt their work, but more she waited, more sure she was that what the kids were doing was simply a disgusting way to waste time. When Apple Bloom confirmed they were finished, Rarity bolted inside.
Suddenly, a loud knock came to the front door and the ponies inside heard a familiar voice of the town's muffin lover:
“A delivery for miss Rarity!”
“Oh come on!” Rarity's voice came from the bathroom. “Does it always have to happen when I'm... busy?”
“I'll get it!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed and cantered towards the door. She opened it and saw a blonde-maned gray pegasus standing next to a huge wooden crate. The words ‘BEHOLD! THOU SHALT NOT DROP THIS CRATE, FOR THE CONTENTS ARE FRAGILE!’ were written in red on it.
“Good morning,” Sweetie Belle greeted the deliverymare.
“Hello, kid. Is your sister home? She needs to sign here.”
“Um, she's kinda busy. Can I sign?”
Derpy shook her head. “I can't allow that. Well, you can use her electronic signature, I think I turn a blind eye on it.”
Sweetie Belle returned inside and trotted to the bathroom door.
“Rarity,” she asked, “do you have an electronic signature?”
“What? No!” Rarity vehemently denied. “Sweetie Belle, our religion forbids having electronic devices, except for simple things like TV. If I ever found any computer-like device in our home, I'd stomp it into a pulp and throw away as far as I could!”
“You want our life to be closer to our biological nature?” Sweetie Belle inquired.
“Yes, that's what our dear leader Fluttershy wants. Wait a moment, I think I'm done.”
A sound of toilet flushing could be heard and Rarity emerged from the bathroom. She immediately ran towards the front door, signed the papers Derpy handed her and pulled the wooden crate inside.
“Finally I can find that pedophile!” the fashionista exclaimed cheerfully, while opening the crate. The crate revealed an old telescope.
“There's a pedophile in town?” Apple Bloom asked
“Oh yeah, children. You didn't know? Well, I don't know why I expected that my sister had already told you.”
Sweetie Belle protested: “I wouldn't hide from my friends that they're in danger! If I knew there's a pedophile, I'd tell them!”
Rarity looked at the filly with concerned look on her face: “I'm so disappointed in you, young lady. After all the things you did with him, you're still in denial.”
“I have no time for your silliness,” the mare responded. “I'm taking this upstairs, maybe I'll spot him.”
Upon saying this, Rarity levitated the telescope and took it upstairs. The three fillies were left alone.
“So, what now?” asked Scootaloo.
“We should go see miss Cheerilee!” Apple Bloom suggested. “What do y'all think?”
Cutie Mark Crusaders left the boutique and galloped towards the hospital.
Whooves opened his eyes. For the second time today, he didn't wake up in his own bed. He looked up and he saw some beautiful face.
“Oh my, are you okay?” the owner of the face asked.
Engineer's heart started to beat faster. He tried to answer the question, but no word could come out of his lips.
“Don't worry, I'll take care of you,” she continued.
Deep inside his soul, Whooves started to feel happiness. It's the first time a mare in Ponyville showed him some warmth, instead of assaulting him. He observed the flank of the yellow pegasus, which was the only part of her body visible from the couch when she was preparing something in the kitchen. A moment later, the mare came with a bowl of soup.
“I thought you'd like some lunch, you've been lying here for a while now.”
She smiled. Whooves felt some part of his heart melting. He finally managed to utter one word:
The pegasus smiled again and gracefully returned to her work. Whooves couldn't see the whole scene clearly, but it seemed that her work involved reading an old, think book and writing down something. Whooves could only imagine what such a cutie could write: Poetry? Cooking recipes? Or maybe she was a teacher, preparing her lesson plans? One thing that Whooves immediately decided couldn't be the case, was any kind of black magic. There's no way such an innocent and cute creature could indulge in such activities.
Whooves drank his soup and put the bowl on a table with a quiet knock. When the mare heard the sound, she interrupted her work and trotted to the stallion. Whooves was no longer lying down, he seemed to feel better.
“Did you like the soup?” she asked.
“That's great. I've just finished my work for today, so we can talk a little and get acquainted with each other. My name's Fluttershy.”
“My name is Whooves.” He felt a sudden surge of blood rushing to his face, making him blush. “I'm an hourglass operator from Amareica, I moved here few days ago.”
‘Damn it, Whooves! You're not a schoolfoal anymore, why are you reacting like that?’
“Amareica? Nice. And how do you like Ponyville?”
Whooves paused for a moment: “Well, I'm still trying to get used to it. So much is different here.”
“I agree,” Fluttershy said. “But I believe that thanks to my work,” she pointed her hoof at books and papers, “they will become more alike. My few words and all the differences that caused prejudice and suffering will be smoothed out.”
‘Oh, so she's a poet. And an idealist, who believes in power of words.’ Whooves again felt a surge of that feeling, which he always associated with adolescent colts having their silly crushes on fillies. He could never suppose that he will ever feel it again. Every single moment he was discovering new levels in cuteness in his interlocutor. It was like all his dreams came true in shape of this mare. He tried to focus, to avoid turning her off with anything. All his thoughts that were not busy with analyzing the details of Fluttershy's person, were focused on a careful choice of words.
Well, not the best choice, but you can't blame him for not trying.
“I'm glad I found someone who likes it,” she said. “Most of my friends think I'm wasting time on something silly and useless.”
“Don't listen to them. What you do is beautiful, it's an art.”
Fluttershy smiled and Whooves's heart melted again. “I know only one other pony who talks about it like that.” A loud knock came to the door. “And I bet that pony just arrived.”
Whooves felt little disappointment when Fluttershy went to the front door to let the guest in. Well, at least everything was going in the right direction.
“Hello, dear leader. I'm so angry I wasted so much time with that telescope. I thought I'd find him in a jiffy, but no! So I decided to come here and help you with the work instead.”
“That stallion!” Rarity yelled, pointing her hoof at the couch.
“You mean Mr. Whooves?” Fluttershy asked, but Rarity was already on her way to the engineer's throat. He didn't waste any second. Instantly, he was on his hooves and a moment later he ran away through the open window. Rarity jumped forward to catch him, but she failed.
“I'll get you later, you pedophile!” she yelled at the escapist.
Fluttershy couldn't hide her confusion: “What do you mean?”
“Do you remember when we checked if Sweetie Belle is a virgin?”
“Yeah, I do, but...” Fluttershy winced in pain while trying to remember, “I don't remember what was the result.”
Rarity paused for a moment, searching through her memories. She hit some kind of void during her search and it hurt. She closed her eyes and grabbed her head with her hooves. “It hurts! I can't remember! But I know! I know the result was negative because I know it was him who did it.”
Fluttershy sighed: “What a pity. I even wanted to break my chastity vows for him. With him.”
“Yeah, I know. Sorry.”
“Bon-Bon, do unicorns fly?”
“No, Lyra, they don't. Or is it a tricky question?”
Lyra sighed. Earlier that day, she went outside for the first time in few days and one of the first things she saw was a unicorn filly floating in the air. After all the events since she released the robot filly in the wild, she grew accustomed to the constant stream of failures.
“Well, since I was in Cloudsdale, there should be no more flying unicorns out there, and yet there is one.”
“Oh, sweet!” Bon-Bon exclaimed in happy voice, without turning her gaze away from TV screen, showing an episode of Game of Saddles. “Who is the lucky one? Do I know them?”
“Yes, you do know them. Wanna know some funny fact about the anti-gravity module in robots?”
“It's right next to the urination module, it even uses the same type of plug. If someone was inexperienced, they could plug the cables in the wrong way.”
Bon-Bon voice was still cheerful: “So what does it have to do with the flying unicorn?”
“I'm one hundred percent sure that that unicorn had its cables correctly plugged in when I last checked.”
“Wait, was it...” Bon-Bon started to realize.
“Yes. Somepony messed up cables inside Sweetie Belle. Do you know who?”
A loud knock came onto the library's front door. Twilight opened it and saw Whooves. The stallion immediately jumped inside and closed the door.
“What happened?” she asked.
“That crazy bitch thinks I'm a pedophile and wants to kill me!”
Twilight paused for a second: “Wait, are you a pedophile?”
“Of course not!” he denied it immediately. “May I stay here for a while?”
“Okay,” she agreed. She turned around and trotted to the kitchen, knocking a thin book from a shelf. “Oops, I was writing it yesterday afternoon, I should've put it somewhere else.” She levitated the book and placed it onto an empty shelf next to Whooves. Then she turned around and cantered to her bedroom, totally ignoring her previous destination. She looked as if she remembered something.
Whooves looked at the book Twilight put on the shelf. It was titled “The Adventures of Sparlight Twikle and The Doctor.” He opened it and started reading:
“So, Doctor, could you show me your screwdriver?” Sparlight asked the Doctor with innocent look on her face.
“Yes, but first we should check if there are any Weeping Pegasi in your bedroom, and then I'll show you my ‘screwdriver’.”
“And what are you going to do after that?”
“I haven't decided yet, but it will definitely involve lot of screwing.”
Whooves turned over few pages to see that indeed, the next scenes did involve screwing. The story ended in the middle in the book, the rest was still waiting to be filled with the same mare hornwriting as the others.
He put the book away where he took it. When he turned around, he was shocked by sight of Twilight descending from her bedroom. She has painted her cutie marks over with a purple paint and she was wearing a schoolfilly uniform.
“Excuse me, mister,” she said, “but my parents aren't home. Could you please come with me to my bedroom and play with me until they get back?”
This was too much for the poor stallion's mind. Whooves bolted to the front door and yanked the handle several times. It turned out the door was locked.
“Okay, I see you're busy,” Spike's voice could be heard from the other side. “I'll come back later.”
““Hello, miss Cheerilee!”” three little ponies chimed, while entering the hospital room occupied by their teacher. The mare was lying down in bed, with both her forelegs immobilized in casts and a neck brace around her neck.
“Hi... oh, it's you,” Cheerilee's joyful expression waned as soon as she recognized who had visited her. “Before we talk about anything else, I'll ask: how many Sweetie Belles are there?”
Scootaloo's face went pale. Some repressed memories from the previous day started to resurface. Suddenly, she felt something tugging her tail. She looked back, only to see it was Apple Bloom's tail.
“What do you mean, how many?” Sweetie Belle replied to her teacher, while Scootaloo whispered to the farm filly: “What do you want?”
“Are ya thinkin' what Ah'm thinkin'? About yesterday?” Apple Bloom whispered back.
Scootaloo paused for a moment. Cheerilee continued: “I mean, how many little white annoying unicorns are there?”
“None! I'm a good filly!” Sweetie Belle answered smiling. Behind her back, the secret conversation continued:
“I thought I was seeing things,” said Scootaloo, “but now I think that there really were two Sweetie Belles yesterday.”
“What does it–” Apple Bloom tried to asked, but she was interrupted but Sweetie Belle.
“Talking behind my back detected,” the unicorn said angrily.
“Heh heh, sorry Sweets,” Scootaloo smiled sheepishly.
“Anyway, girls,” Cheerilee continued, “they've arranged a substitute teacher for you, so you can go to school tomorrow.”
“Oh, that sucks,” Apple Bloom said to herself under her breath.
“I need to pee!” Sweetie Belle suddenly exclaimed. Before anypony could react, she was already hovering in the air. The ground-bound fillies looked with horror as the white unicorn was getting closer to a fan spinning under the ceiling. Cheerilee remained composed and said with a calm expression on her face:
“It's unfair. It's my dream, so I should fly, not her. Ugh, screw that. If I go to sleep in a dream, I'll wake up.”
Upon saying this, she closed her eyes and started snoring. Sweetie Belle was floating just under the fan, trying to move aside by pushing her hooves at the ceiling. In few seconds, she managed to achieve total control of her movement as long as she stayed close to the ceiling. She could propel herself forward by using friction between her hooves and the ceiling's surface. In layman's terms, she was walking on the ceiling. She smiled and said to the other two:
“Look, I'm a Spiderpony!”
“For the hundredth time: no, I'm not attracted to underage fillies.”
Whooves was lying down at the base of the stairs leading to Twilight's bedroom, breathing heavily. The equally tired unicorn sat on the stairs. Sweat was washing out the paint from her flank.
“I'm sorry, I kind of rushed into conclusions. When I heard from Rarity that her sister was not a virgin, and then she said she found a pedophile in town, and then you ran inside and said something about being accused of being a pedophile, I put two and two and two together and came to a conclusion that you are.”
“Are all ponies in Ponyville so reckless? Oh wait, you're from Canterlot. Does it mean Ponyvillian stupidity is contagious?”
“Oh, stop it,” Twilight snorted. “Some ponies in Ponyville are sane.”
“That didn't sound that good, you know?”
Few moments of awkward silence later, Whooves continued:
“And all of that because I had to install an hourglass here. I spent in this building so much time and yet I don't even know where I should start.”
“Oh, that,” Twilight laughed. “It was because I asked the mayor to send you here. I don't actually need any hourglass.”
A confused look showed up on Whooves's face: “Wait, does it mean that you can easily manipulate mayor into arranging a meeting between ponies?”
“And what about others?”
“Anypony can do it, she loves matchmaking ponies.”
Whooves pondered for a while and suddenly he got an epiphany. He smiled widely, turned around, quickly got up to Twilight, grabbed her shoulders and kissed her. Twilight's pupils widened in shock, her heart skipped a beat. Her mind went blank and the only thing that mattered now was his lips and tongue. Whooves broke the kiss and said with a smile:
“Twilight, I wanted to put you on my ‘To Avoid’ list, but now I have to consider you my friend.”
“A friend?” Twilight asked, still in state of shock.
“Yes, forever a friend. Thanks!”
Whooves hummed a cheerful song and trotted towards the front door. Twilight hung her head down, trying to accept his words.
“A friend...” she whispered to herself. She felt as if a part of her world was shattered. Her hopes were crushed. She suffered the worst fate she could ever dream of.
She was friendzoned.
Whooves's voice came from the ground floor: “Twilight, could you please unlock the door?”
The sun had already set and darkness covered the land. Under the guise of night, two ponies were sneaking towards the Carousel Boutique.
“Why are you following me?”
Bon-Bon didn't answer to Lyra's angry question and asked her instead:
“So, what are we gonna do?”
“We?” Lyra shouted. “Not we, me. And I'm going to fix than damn robot you broke.”
“Okay. I'll help you.”
Lyra barely managed to stop herself from smacking Bon-Bon's head. Instead, she increased her pace, wanting to be over with it as soon as possible.
The robot and the earth mare arrived to the back of the boutique. Lyra levitated a rope and tied it to one of decorative poles surrounding the second floor. She climbed it, followed by her faithful minion. She opened a window, entered and saw Sweetie Belle lying in her bed, but with eyes still open.
“Hi, Lyra! I was going to go to sleep now.”
Sweetie Belle stopped moving. Lyra magically removed the blanket, took a screwdriver from her saddlebag and raised it in air over Sweetie Belle's body.
“Bon-Bon, what in Smooze's name are you doing here?”
Lyra dropped the screwdriver in shock. She turned around and saw Rarity standing in the door to Sweetie Belle's bedroom.
“Hi Rarity,” said Bon-Bon. “Isn't it obvious what we're doing? Fix–”
“Filly sacrifice,” Lyra interrupted, while simultaneously shoving screwdriver's handle into henchpony's muzzle.
“Oh, no! This is horrible!” Rarity shrieked. “My friends want to kill my sister with a rusty screwdriver?” Lyra and Bon-Bon started sweating heavily. (Don't ask me why robots sweat.) Suddenly, Rarity's expression changed from an utter disgust to a friendly smile. “Wait a moment here, I'll fetch you a nice ritual knife.”
Leaving two confused mares behind, Rarity trotted downstairs to the kitchen, whispering to herself cheerfully: “Bon-Bon wants to be a cultist, too! I have to do everything I can to help her in her cultist stuff.” She rummaged drawers in search of the knife, but after searching all of them, she decided to fetch the sharpest knife she could find instead. The moment she left the kitchen with the knife, she heard a loud knock to the front door. Before she could respond, she heard a sound of the door opening and a stallion's voice:
“Hello, anypony here? I'm sorry that I came so late, but it's an emergency. I heard I could get some nice clothes here. Hello?”
Rarity went to greet her client, but as soon as she saw him, she immediately dismissed any business plans.
““It's you!”” both Whooves and Rarity shouted. The stallion turned around and started running for his life. The white unicorn followed him into the darkness of the night, swinging the knife in the air.
After having listened to this, Lyra and Bon-Bon stood in silence, not knowing what to do. Finally, Lyra decided:
“Let's get this thing done and run the hell out of here.”
“Ma'am Mayor, mail.”
The mail had arrived unusually late this morning. Mayor put down her newspaper, sighed and looked at her assistant, who was carrying several scrolls and envelopes. He put all the mail on mayor's desk and quickly left. The mayor grabbed the first letter, written on a sky blue scroll, which was the color of internal mail in the town hall. She unrolled it and read:
To Mayor Ivory Scroll,
I have noticed a disturbing fact that our town has no hourglass in the vicinity of the Everfree Forest. There is a small building near the forest and it would be advisable to install an hourglass there. I would like to ask for a permission to start a process of formal negotiations with the owner of the building.
Ponyville's Municipal Hourglass Operator,
P.S. Could you send somepony to buy some elegant clothes for me? I do not think I am welcome to the Carousel Boutique anymore.
The mayor smiled. ‘So that's what you want,’ she thought to herself. ‘You can't be satisfied with such an easy prey, you're trying to aim higher. Sure, if you prefer Fluttershy to Twilight, why not?’
She grabbed her quill and scribbled just one word underneath: