26w, 3dOld Mares' Tales
“No, it’s no joke, Rainbow. I got my invitation in the mail today, too.” The delicately curled horn on Twilight Sparkle’s forehead began to glow softly, and a familiar looking envelope drifted over. “Too bad the letter vanishes when the singing spell’s done, but that’s an inevitable side-effect of the spell when you-“
“Come on, Twilight! Enough with the magic lecture already!”
Twilight blinked at the outburst, setting the envelope down on the worktable beside her. “Rainbow, what’s the matter?”
Rainbow Dash snorted and tossed her head in irritation. “Racing contest, fine. Strength contest, fine. Dancing contest-no no NO, forget that. I don’t wanna put any more ideas in her head.”
“Princess Celestia’s, duh!” Rainbow snorted again and stomped a hind-hoof hard enough to make the shelves rattle. “It’s all a plot, isn’t it, to make me look dumb in front of the Wonderbolts. When’s the last time you heard a stunt pony fly through the air crooning a ballad? It’s ridiculous!”
“It’s not ridiculous, Rainbow, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a plot, either.” Twilight gave her friend a worried smile. “You really shouldn’t be so upset about this. The Princess has tried to visit a couple of times before, but it seems like disasters always pop up and end up cutting the occasion short.” She shrugged. “I’m sure this is just her way of inviting us for a visit and getting to know us better. She doesn’t get to, um, hang out a lot, I guess.”
“Twilight, trust me, this IS a disaster that will cut the occasion short.” Rainbow Dash started pacing the floor slowly, then braked to a halt at the sound of another familiar voice.
“Did somebody say disaster? Pinkie Pie’s head popped up at the open window across the room. “There shouldn’t be a disaster, at least right now because I haven’t had a twitcha-twitch or a squinty-wink or OOOH you got a letter too, Twilight!” With a sudden rush, the pink mare’s form bounded entirely through the window and began bouncing on all four hooves in front of Twilight Sparkle, the sight of which made Rainbow’s fetlocks ache. “Did it sing for you and all like mine did, cause mine sang a little song and invited me to a singing contest and then it went BOOF! and turned into a cloud of golden dust that made me sneeze and it was all fizzy in my nose like a soda, except soda makes you burp and it didn’t make me burp, even though I tried-MRF!” Pinkie Pie blinked at the sky blue forehoof that had suddenly been jammed in her mouth.
“We get the idea, Pinkie.” Rainbow Dash removed her hoof and began pacing back and forth again. “Wait, I have an idea. Pinkie loves to sing, right?”
“You got that righty-lighty, Rainbow Dash!” Pinkie Pie began bouncing in place again. “I LOVE to sing, this is gonna be so much fun!”
“Problem solved.” Rainbow looked over at Twilight Sparkle and grinned. “Pinkie Pie can just sing two songs, one for her, and one for me.”
“I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work, Rainbow. The point is, it’s a song by you, about you, not somepony else’s idea.” Twilight moved to speak again, but was cut off by a new torrent of pink exuberance.
“Rainbow Dash, you got a letter, too?” Pinkie’s eyes widened until Rainbow began to wonder if they were going to pop out and start singing on their own. “That’s so AWESOME! Did it sing for you like mine and Twilight’s did, cause mine was really cool and it blew up and BOOF and everything-“
“Yeah, boof, golden dust, the whole deal.” Rainbow Dash started pacing again.
Pinkie Pie watched her friend for a moment, her expression puzzled. “What’s wrong? Don’t you want to go to Canterlot and sing for the Princess?”
Rainbow Dash groaned in exasperation, her wings flicking out to full extension and then clapping shut again. “Pinkie Pie, do you even know me?”
“Sure I do, you’re Rainbow Dash!” Pinkie crouched suddenly, “Or are you? Maybe you’re an evil spy sent here from Canterlot to find out what my song is before I sing it.” She began bouncing back and forth playfully in front of both mares, her voice lilting. “But I’m not gonna tellll youuu, my song is a big seeeecret-“
“Pinkie, I’m not an evil spy from Canterlot. I don’t think they make those there.”
“A-HA!” Pinkie-Pie leaned in close, eyeing Rainbow Dash warily. “That’s just what an evil song-stealing Canterlot spy would say, just to find out my secret song. You won’t find out from me!” She stuck out a foreleg, then mimed zipping her lips closed. “Mheee? Hno heecretz here!”
Twilight Sparkle laughed softly. “The fate of Equestria is saved.”
“Oh, it certainly is, my dear.” The light, contralto voice curled through the air from behind them, a sound graceful on anypony’s ears and immediately identifying its owner.
“Oh, hey Rarity. Come on in.” Twilight glanced around, then offered a sheepish grin. “We were just talking about so-uff!” A pink elbow in the ribs and a glare from Pinkie Pie cut her off.
“Those horrid spies from Canterlot, yes, I couldn’t help but overhear when I was passing by.” The half-door, open to catch the warm afternoon breeze, swung open as Rarity trotted in. The unicorn smiled, tossing her complicated curls over one shoulder. “You do want to be careful about discussing such things of import when any passersby could hear them.”
Rainbow Dash gave her an odd look. “Passersby? Don’t you usually go to the spa at this time?”
“Well, yes, naturally, but one must look to one’s physical aesthetics as well as the spiritual ones, dear.” Rarity smiled brightly.
Rainbow just stared at her. “You were exercising.”
“Well, yes, didn’t I just say so?”
Twilight arched an eyebrow at her friend. “Since when is getting your mane done a spiritual experience?”
“Oh it isn’t, dear. Except when it’s…mine.” Rarity reached up a foreleg and stroked the curls of her mane gently, and then drew them into a quick hug. “All mine. Just like the experience of hearing me sing at Canterlot will be.”
“You got invited, too-oof!” Twilight grimaced. “Pinkie, it’s not a secret!”
The pink pony glared back at her, and then looked suspiciously at Rainbow Dash and Rarity for a moment, then back to Twilight Sparkle.
Twilight sighed. “No, they are not both spies.”
Pinkie Pie sat for a moment. “Mrr hurr?”
“Yes, I’m sure. Now will you stop that? You’re drooling on the floor.”
Pinkie sat still for a moment longer, and then exhaled loudly. “PbbbaAHHH!” The other ponies ducked to avoid the blast. “Whew! That’s great, because keeping secrets from spies is really, really hard. They’re just, you know…so spyeyey.”
Rarity flicked a suspicious damp spot away from her cheek. “Uhhgh! That’s not even a word!”
Rainbow Dash frowned. “Pinkie, do you even have a song to sing yet?”
“Nope!” Pinkie Pie beamed. “And that’s how come the spies won’t find out until I siiiing it!” Laughing gaily, she bounded across the room and went outside, humming a typical Pinkie tune, the one that went up and down an octave and occasionally just threw a random note in just to fry your brain.
Rarity watched the pink pony bouncing away for a moment. “Well, that ought to be an interesting experience, at the very least.” She stepped away from the half-door and walked back over to sit down with her friends. “Rainbow Dash, I suppose you and Twilight are going, too?”
Rainbow glanced at Twilight for a moment. “Umm, we were talking about that before Pinkie showed up.” She took in a long, slow breath and blew it out quickly, flipping her forelock upward. “I wish I could sit this one out. Singing is…” Her wings flickered and she stood up and began to pace again. “I mean, it’s great and all, but it’s just not what I do, you know?” She groaned and sat down again, clapping a foreleg across her eyes. “I don’t even know what I’d sing about. GAH!”
Rarity frowned, eyes searching her friend’s face for a moment. “Well, Rainbow, what IS it that you do?”
“I mean, dear, that apparently, the songs are supposed to be about us. What we like, what we do, who we are, as it were.” The unicorn flicked her tail absently, the deep indigo coloration standing out against her gleaming white coat. “So, what is it that you do?”
Rainbow sat silent for a moment in thought. “Well, I like to race, you know.” She grinned. “I like to go fast, and win!”
“Well, that’s a start.” Twilight smiled. “What else?”
“I’m thinkin’.” Dash stood up again and began to pace slowly. “Well…you know. I move clouds and all. I’m a pretty good weather pony.”
“And all in ten seconds flat, I remember.”
“Yeah! I’m pretty fast. And AWESOME!” Rainbow Dash arched an eyebrow and grinned at her friends. “A song about me and how awesome I am would be…um, you know…”
Twilight bit. “Awesome?”
“Well duhhhh!” Rainbow laughed. “I mean, how could it not be?”
Rarity offered a weak smile. “Oh, yes indeed!”
Twilight’s horn began to itch, a feeling she had begun to trust lately without understanding why. “Tell you what, Rainbow. The way the invitations were written, ‘O’Elements of Harmony’ is basically a fancy way of inviting the six of us ponies that saved Equestria.”
Rainbow leaned in, a smirk curled round her muzzle. “Twice.”
“True.” Twilight Sparkle stood up and stretched for a moment. “You might want to go talk to Fluttershy and Applejack and see what they’re thinking about. I mean, you don’t have to talk about your song, but it’s okay to talk about what you want to sing about, I’d think.”
Rainbow Dash brightened at the suggestion. “That’s a pretty good idea, Books McGee.” She patted Twilight Sparkle on the forelock. “I knew I kept you around for a good reason.”
Twilight rolled her eyes, her voice deadpan. “I’m pleased to be of service once again.”
The pegasus pony looked at her for a moment, then drew both unicorns into a sudden, abrupt hug. “Thanks, both of you. I was really thinking about skipping this one out.” She released them both, then drew back, stretching her wings. “I’ll catch you later, okay? I’m gonna go talk to Applejack and Fluttershy.” A quick beat of her wings sent her aloft, and she soared up to the apex of Twilight’s library and out the observatory window. “Seeya!”
Rarity looked after her for a moment, the carefully coifed curls of her mane spilling over the delicate arch of her neck. “Twilight…singing about being awsome? I think we made a mistake. I don’t want everyone to laugh at the poor girl.”
Twilight Sparkle rubbed irritatedly at the base of her own horn. “I don’t know Rarity. I don't think she realizes it's not a contest; that's not what the letter said." She sighed slowly. "You know how Rainbow Dash thinks though. But I think it’ll work out. I...I just have a feeling it will.”
“A feeling?” Rarity’s right eye twiched. “As in Pinkie Pie-twitcha-twitch-the sky is falling feeling?” She hugged her mane to herself again, shivering slightly. “Oh dear.”