17w, 5dTwilight's Library
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Twilight gaped at Applejack. “Rainbow Dash quit? Just like that?”
“Jest like that.” Applejack sighed, feeling tired. After Rainbow’s announcement Applejack had spent the rest of the afternoon trying to hunt her wayward friend down, to no avail. It was already getting dark by the time she finally gave up and headed to the library. Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Fluttershy were already there.
The lavender unicorn shook her head and gave a little groan. “Oooh, this is not good.”
“Ah know. Shoot.” Applejack sighed, kicking at the floor with her hoof. “I shoulda known…if there’s one thing that’s hard for a pony to deal with, it’s being laughed at. Even havin’ somepony mad at you ain’t as bad. ‘Specially ifn you got an ego like Rainbow’s.”
Rarity nodded. Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy just looked down at the ground sadly. “Awww, poor Dashie.” Pinkie said. “Oooh, how about we throw her a big party? That always cheers me up! There’ll be lots of games and treats and laughter--”
“I dare say Rainbow Dash has had quite enough of THAT.” Rarity pointed out, not unsympathetically.
Pinkie pouted. “But that’s not what laughter is supposed to be about! It’s supposed to be about laughing with friends, not at them!”
“Well, ponies around here did and it’s burning Rainbow up like one o’yer cupcakes with hot sauce.” Applejack replied sighed. “Honestly, ah don’t really blame her, to tell you the truth.”
“Poor Rainbow Dash, she probably feels so hurt.” Fluttershy said softly.
Twilight gave her a thoughtful look. “Fluttershy, is there anypony you know of that Rainbow would ever talk to? Besides the five of us?”
“Um, gee, well I really don’t know…” Fluttershy looked down. “I’m sorry, but, I don’t know…maybe Ditzy Doo? I think they talk sometimes about flight competitions and things. Um, I think they might even go back to when Rainbow Dash lived in Cloudsdale. But I could be wrong…”
“That’s right, Ditzy was at the Best Young Fliers Competition, wasn’t she?” Applejack nodded. “Let’s go pay her a visit.”
“Sounds like a plan!” Twilight said with a determined yet pleased look that only she could pull off at something as simple as having a plan. The five friends walked out of the library and headed through town. “Ditzy Doo lives with Carrot Top, right?”
Applejack nodded. “Yup! Her and her little filly, Dinky. She’s in Apple Bloom’s class.”
“Awww, she’s so cute!” Pinkie cooed. “Of course all fillies are cute! Colts too except we don’t call guys cute we call them handsome! Isn’t that weird? I mean, why not call them all the same thing? And what’s a handsome? It’s like saying you have some hands, but that’s silly because we have hooves and—”
“Pinkiiie.” Twilight gave her a warning look. “Later. Now, come on, we’re almost there.” Within moments they found themselves in front of the home of Carrot Top and Ditzy Doo.
Fluttershy looked down to admire the carrot patch as Twilight knocked. “Oooh, Angel Bunny will love these carrots! Carrot Top always produces the best!”
Applejack looked down at the submerged vegetables with a jaundiced eye. “Hmph, dunno what the big deal is. Ah reckon if ya gotta pull them up from the dirt, they ain’t worth eatin.’ Might as well leave ‘em in the dirt where they belong.”
Pinkie giggled. “Silly filly! You sound like Rarity getting all worry-warty about a little dirt!”
Rarity looked affronted at the connection between her and warts but was saved from responding by Carrot Top opening the door.
“Well, hello everypony! What brings you here? Here for your weekly carrot order Fluttershy? I’ve got plenty for everypony!” She smiled a little extra sweetly at Applejack who rolled her eyes and snorted before Rarity nudged her in the flank.
Twilight smiled. “Well, actually Carrot Top, we’re here to speak to Ditzy Doo.”
Carrot Top blinked. “Really? Okay! She’s upstairs giving Dinky a bath. C’mon in.” She stepped back to let Twilight and her friends in. She called up the stairs. “Ditzy! You’ve got company!”
“Uh, okay! I’m almost done giving muffin her bath. I’ll be down in a minute!”
Carrot Top smiled. “All right.” She headed into the kitchen. “I can’t let you leave without taking some carrots!” She gave Applejack a toothy grin that had nothing to do with friendliness. She came out of the kitchen with a bowl full of carrots and spent a moment arguing with half affection, half seriousness with Applejack about the superiority of their respective crops.
A few minutes later Ditzy Doo came down the stairs with little Dinky Doo on her back, giggling all the while. The unicorn filly had a towel wrapped around her mane and another on her back. She waved from her place on her mama’s back. “Hello!”
“Aww, hi Dinky!” Pinkie waved back. “Hope you didn’t spend too much time in the tub otherwise you’d get all wrinkly and shrink and then you’d be a wrinkly shrinky Dinky!” She shared a giggle with the little filly.
Ditzy smiled, her bright eyes alighting with pleasure even if they weren’t facing the same direction. Twilight smiled too. “Ditzy Doo, can we talk to you about Rainbow Dash?”
Ditzy nodded but it was Dinky who answered. “Auntie Rainbow is loads of fun!” She chirped. “She likes to take me flying and buys muffins for me and mama!”
“Awww, that’s very nice of her.” Fluttershy smiled.
Ditzy leaned down to let Dinky hop off her back. “Muffin, why don’t you help Auntie Carrot Top pick out some nice carrots for Fluttershy and she can show you her nice bunnies!” Dinky’s eyes lit up and Applejack had to bite her tongue when she referred to Fluttershy’s rabbits as “nice.”
After Dinky followed Carrot Top into the kitchen, Ditzy turned back to Twilight. At least, Twilight thought she was facing her. With Ditzy’s eyes it was a little hard to tell. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Well, um, does Rainbow Dash ever talk to you?”
“Hmm, sometimes!” Ditzy nodded. “She asks me where her latest Wonderbolt World magazine is, she asks me not to drop her mail in her rainbow pools, and one time she asked me why I was delivering a muffin.” Ditzy paused. “I think I accidentally ate the mail for breakfast.”
Twilight facehooved. “I meant does she ever talk to you about…personal stuff?”
Ditzy paused. “Well, after the Best Young Fliers Competition we talked about flying and stuff. She was so excited because I gave her a victory muffin! Oh and because she was with the Wonderbolts.” Rarity and Applejack traded identical expressions of bemusement. Ditzy apparently missed the byplay as she continued on. “So, she babysits Dinky sometimes and we talk about new flying techniques.”
“That sounds really nice…I didn’t know you and Rainbow Dash were so close.” Twilight admitted, feeling a little guilty that she didn’t know this.
But it was Ditzy who suddenly looked embarrassed. “I asked her not to talk about it so much.” She ruffled her wings. “Rainbow…gives me lessons. To help with flying. Depth perception troubles.” She admitted, looking down.
“…Oh.” Twilight winced, feeling awkward. “Um, so has she talked to you lately?”
Ditzy looked thoughtful. At least, as much as her countenance would allow her to look thoughtful. Then her eyes lit up. “Uh huh! She was here all afternoon!” Applejack grumbled something about wasted time under her breath. Ditzy continued. “She was a little upset so I gave her a muffin! I don’t think it helped much though.” She looked a little crestfallen at the realization that muffins weren’t the solution to all of life’s problems.
“Can you tell me what you talked about?” Twilight prodded.
Ditzy paused, her hoof scuffing at the ground. “I…I don’t know…”
“Pleeease?” Twilight implored. “We want to help her but we can’t if we don’t know more.”
“Weeell…we didn’t talk a lot at first. She just sort of swung by, er, actually she sort of crashed into a door I left open.” Ditzy gave a sheepish mix of a grin and a wince. “Anyway, I got her some ice and her muffin but she still seemed kinda down. She said something about ponies in town not being loyal and I…didn’t really know what to say. So I went into the kitchen for some—”
“Muffins?” Applejack asked dryly. Ditzy gave her an odd look.
“Milk. I went to get her some milk.” She rolled her mismatched eyes. “Honestly, it’s like ponies think I’m obsessed with muffins for some reason!” Twilight coughed and Applejack rubbed the back of her neck. “Anyway, when I came back she was playing with Dinky and looking really happy!” Ditzy smiled and turned to look into the kitchen, where Dinky was eagerly showing Carrot Top a picture she made that was now on the fridge. “She looked so cheerful that I didn’t want to ruin it. So I left Rainbow with Dinky and went out to do some errands.”
Twilight looked disappointed. “Do you think we could talk to Dinky then?”
“All right. Muffin!” Ditzy called.
Dinky came scampering into the room, hopping around Carrot Top as she carried a basketful of carrots in her teeth over to Fluttershy. “Hee, yes mama?” Dinky asked as she ran up, coming to a stop in front of her mother and Twilight; her eyes big and gleaming.
The lavender unicorn’s heart melted. If she wasn’t one of the cutest fillies Twilight had ever seen…Ditzy smiled proudly at the look on Twilight’s face. “I think you were going to ask my little muffin a question?” She prodded gently. Twilight’s eyes snapped wide and she shook her head, flushing.
“Oh, um, right! Yes! Dinky, when Rainbow Dash was with you this afternoon, did you two talk?”
Dinky nodded. “Uh huh! When I came home from school Auntie Rainbow was laying on the couch. I think she wasn’t feeling well because it looked like she had the sniffles.”
Rainbow Dash was…crying? Twilight traded an uneasy glance with Applejack who simply shook her head. No, she’d never seen the rainbow mare cry either.
“So I showed her a trick I learned on the playground. Wanna see?” The filly asked eagerly.
Twilight nodded. “Of course Dinky, go ahead.”
Dinky beamed and stood ramrod still in concentration. Licking her lips she took a deep breath and then kicked her hind legs off the ground…and stood precariously balanced on her front legs. “Ta da!” Dinky giggled. Ditzy clapped proudly.
“Wow Dinky, that was amazing!” Twilight smiled as the filly trembled and fell back on all fours. She was still smiling.
“Thanks! Scootaloo taught me! Auntie Rainbow liked it too. She said it was awesome! Then I started telling her about my day in school and the picture I made for mommy and that I got a perfect score on Miss Cheerilee’s spelling quiz!” Dinky bounced in place. “She said she was very proud of me, that she didn’t do so good in school but it was important that I stayed in school and made lots of friends!”
“Did she really?” Twilight raised her brow, mentally filing something away.
“Ah huh! She did! She said that friends were the coolest thing to have: they never let you down or leave you hanging! She said that her friends were 20% cooler than any others in the world!”
“She…she did?” Applejack swallowed a lump in her throat as she took her hat off her head.
“That was really…nice of her to say.” Fluttershy murmured, her cheeks glowing warmly.
Dinky nodded. “Then she gave me a ride on her back so I could fly like mama! Then we made cookies but they didn’t taste so good. They were kinda mushy.” Dinky stuck out her tongue and made a face. “Aunt Dash said she was a pretty bad baker, so I made her a muffin! Mama taught me! Then we played hide and seek and we colored and had lots of fun until mommy came home from helping Dr. Whooves with his—hmpf!!” Twilight blinked when Ditzy suddenly wrapped her hoof around Dinky’s mouth.
“Ah heh…the Doctor likes his privacy.” Ditzy grinned weakly as she gave her daughter a quick look and a small headshake. Dinky nodded in understanding. “Sooo…did Auntie Rainbow say anything else to you before she left?”
Dinky furrowed her brow, pursed her lips and strained her eyes upward as if in deep thought. It was adorable. “Um…..oh yeah! When she was saying goodbye she said I was a really lucky little filly cuz I had a great mommy who loved me,” she giggled “and Auntie Carrot Top whose a really good friend even if she does silly things like dye her hair! They’re really awesome and I never have to be alone!”
Carrot Top’s eye twitched as she wrestled with the decision to thank Rainbow Dash for praising her to Dinky…or to buck her straight to the moon. Applejack coughed trying to cover up a snicker. Carrot Top glowered at her farming rival and then at Rarity, who looked completely confused.
Twilight ignored the sudden looks and exchanges as she rolled something around in her mind. Hmmm…thanks Dinky. You have a good night, okay? You’ve been a big help.” Dinky smiled proudly at being able to help a grown up. Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie shepherded Rarity and Applejack to the door and away from the annoyed Carrot Top. Twilight followed them out and stopped at the door. “Thank you for all your help Ditzy Doo.” Twilight said sincerely. “It was a great help.”
“So long as it helps Rainbow Dash, I’m glad to do it.” She smiled. “Besides it’s nice to meet new ponies and show them I’m not spacey and derpy as other ponies think.” Ditzy smirked. Twilight gave a little flush. She HAD thought that. She started to apologize but Ditzy waved a hoof. “It’s fine.” Ditzy winked an eye. “Have a good night Twilight Sparkle! I hope you find Rainbow Dash and everything goes well!” She shut the door.
Twilight shook her head and turned around. “Come on girls, its getting late. Rainbow’s probably back at her home and sleeping. We’ll talk to her in the morning. Hopefully she’ll be feeling better then.”
As the five friends started walking away there was a shout from inside the house. It was Carrot Top. “Ditzabeth Eleanor Doo, what happened to all the food in my refrigerator?! And what’s this all over the walls?”
“Eheh heh.” Ditzy gave a nervous chuckle to her roommate. “Uh, muffins?”
Dinky giggled. “You’re silly mama!”
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