Scootaloo walked through the hallways of Ponyville High. School had finished for the day and she had an evening planned with Sweetie Belle and Applebloom. It seemed like an eternity since the three young mares had spent time together without Lightning or any of the other band members. They planned to meet outside the front door of the school and then go to Celestia knows where to chat and reminisce on days past. They never really planned anything beyond where they would meet. Planning was never a part of the trio's MO. Scootaloo arrived at the meeting spot first. While she was waiting for the other two, Lightning stopped by.
"Hey Lightning, how's it going?"
"Not bad, mind if I duck behind you for a second?"
"Silver Spoon after you again?"
"Her AND Diamond Tiara. I can't get them to leave me alone."
"Possibly because you're an attractive stallion who happens to be the top athlete in the school?"
"Possibly, but that doesn't mean-"
"There you are Lightning. I thought I lost you that time." Scootaloo cringed at the sing-song tone of Silver Spoon's voice. Lightning sighed.
"I have to talk to Scootaloo about something. Can you give us a minute?" He desperately wanted to get away from the obsessive mare.
"Why are you wasting time with her? Come with us and we'll show you what friends 'do' for each other." Diamond Tiara quickly regretted her words. Lightning's wings flared out as he forced himself not to destroy the preppy mare for insulting his friend. Scootaloo was less reserved. She flared her wings to their full span and dragged her hoof across the ground in front of her. As she charged towards the mares she felt two forelegs wrap around her chest and she was pulled away from the ground.
"Let me go Lightning. Now."
"They're not worth your time Scoot. Don't give them the dignity of a good beating." Lightning made a logical argument.
"Fine. I guess it would be better to avoid getting caught up in the drama anyway. Thanks for helping me keep my head."
"Anything for you Scootaloo." Well, almost anything. Lightning thought to himself.
"Thanks Lightning. You're a lifesaver. I can't imagine what that filly fooler would have done to us if you hadn't stepped in." Silver Spoon successfully pissed off both of the pegasi that were in the air. Schoolponies loved spreading the rumor that Scootaloo was a filly fooler because she had been adopted by two mares, but that was something Scootaloo could tolerate. What Scootaloo couldn't handle was the hatred in her voice when she said filly fooler. The tone of voice that her father used when talking about homosexuality. Scootaloo looked at Lightning. He nodded and let her go. She dropped down and in one fell swoop knocked both of the unwanted guests on their flanks.
"Sorry. I guess she got away from me." Lightning smirked.
"Uggh, that is it Lightning! We're done with you! Have your little filly fooling friend!" With that Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara bolted off towards their homes. In the distance Scootaloo and Lightning heard one of them complaining about a chipped hoof.
"I bucking hate drama." Scootaloo grunted.
"As do I. Think we'll be away from it after we graduate?" Lightning asked.
"With our future career paths, I highly doubt it."
"Only disappointing part of a life that doesn't demand that we act mature." Sweetie Belle said. "Nice takedown Scoot." Sweetie Belle had changed a lot since her foalhood. She still had her spiked mane and tail, but she had grown into one of the most beautiful mares in all of Ponyville. Many argued she would have been more attractive than her sister ever had been if she would act and style her mane in a more ladylike fashion. And if she had a few less piercings.
"Thanks. I take pride in my flank kickings."
"Ya know yer gonna git in trouble fer that right?" Applebloom asked. Applebloom had never cared about her appearance. She had a very disheveled mane and tail, and she always had a grimy coat at school from her morning chores on the farm.
"Since when have I cared about getting in trouble?" Scootaloo responded in a condescending tone.
"Fair enough." Applebloom didn't need to say anymore.
"So what do you three have planned for tonight?" Lightning asked.
"Planned? You still don't know us very well do you?" Sweetie Belle replied.
"Fair enough. I have to get to practice. You know how Soarin' gets if one of his racers is late to practice." They all did. It was not acceptable to Soarin'.
"After seeing him pissed at you I'm still confused as to what drove him to marry somepony as sweet as Fluttershy." Scootaloo knew the extent of Soarin's rage. She watched it unfold once at a practice where everypony on the team, including Lightning, was goofing off instead of training. The anger that flowed from him that day would be enough to have Fluttershy afraid of him for months. He had to go and vent to Spitfire before going home so he wouldn't spend the whole evening ranting to his wife. When Lightning saw him at the Dash residence after flying Scootaloo home he was too afraid to stay for dinner.
"It is funny, but they're a cute couple." Sweetie Belle said.
"Alright, no more delays, I have to get going. I'll see you tomorrow Scoot."
"See ya Lightning." Scootaloo smiled and watched as he flew away.
"When are the two o' ya gonna hook up already? Y'all been pinin' over each other fer years." Applebloom asked Scootaloo.
"I'm just waiting on him to ask." Scootaloo responded sadly.
"You know as well as the rest of us he likes you just as much as you like him. It wouldn't be hard to convince him to do so." Sweetie Belle and Applebloom had been trying to get Scootaloo and Lightning together ever since Scootaloo told them how she felt.
"Does he? He never shows it."
"Please Scoot. Ya always were a might oblivious weren't ya?"
"Yeah, you don't notice how he almost never takes his eyes off you when you're around him?"
"No, I don't. Let's talk about this somewhere else. I don't want to deal with rumor drama anymore than I already do."
"Fair enough. Wanna head to that lake out by the Everfree?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Th' one where we tried ta earn our Scuba Diving Cutie Marks?" Applebloom asked.
"No Applebloom, the other lake near Ponyville by the Everfree Forest that harbors a squid." Scootaloo replied sarcastically. Applebloom kicked her friend. The three young mares laughed and headed off towards the lake.
As the three friends made their way to the lake they saw a peculiar sight. A grey pegasus colt with a jet black mane sitting on the ground. He was young and obviously hadn't learned to fly yet. He sat below a cloud home. It appeared he was waiting for his parents to get home so they could fly him up. What was even more confusing to the three young mares was that as far as they knew nopony had moved to Ponyville since Lightning's family, let alone moved to a cloud home. That was always a big deal. Well, the home was just outside of the town. They decided to ignore the peculiarity of the situation but still felt bad for the waiting colt. Scootaloo decided to decrease his wait.
"Hi little guy. What's your name?" She asked. He shied away from her.
"My dad says I'm not supposed to talk to strangers." He said with his head lowered.
"It's alright, I don't want to hurt you. My name is Scootaloo. I was wondering if you wanted me to fly you home." At the prospect of not having to wait on the hard ground anymore he smiled and opened up to her.
"My name's Steel. If you could give me a ride, that would be really cool."
"Climb up." Scootaloo crouched low and spread her wings. Steel climbed up and Scootaloo flew him home.
"Thanks for flying me home Scootaloo!" Steel smiled.
"Anytime kiddo." Scootaloo responded. She remembered when Spitfire had shown her the same kind gesture years ago. What bothered her about the situation she was in now was how familiar the colt looked. She couldn't place a hoof on it, but she knew she had seen him before. Something about that colt just seemed...familiar. Scootaloo heard wing beats behind her and before she knew it she was knocked off her hooves. She heard a voice asking the young colt if he was alright. Scootaloo shakily got back to her hooves. She looked at the stallion who had attacked her. It all came to her right then. She knew why the colt had looked so familiar. Why she knew she had seen him before. She flared her wings, ready for a fight. The colt, with a different color coat and mane, was the spitting image of his father.
"Who are you and what do you want with my son?!" The stallion demanded.
"I'm surprised you don't recognize me." Scootaloo said coldly. "But seven years is a long time isn't it Jade?"