Clever Scraps

by cleverpun

Charisma Cupcakes Chapter 2 and 3

Ponies clogged the marketplace. That was usually a good thing; it meant that business flowed and moved correctly. It felt different today. The ebb and flow of a normal day had been pushed aside, replaced with a static blobbiness.

Rarity hesitated for a moment. Mobs like this one were never good for her mane, but she did not want to be left out of the loop. She nodded and strolled towards the mass. Perhaps a more exploratory approach would work.

“Excuse me,” Rarity tapped one of the outermost ponies on the shoulder. “What is everypony crowding around?”

“You don’t know?” The mare didn’t turn around. “Twilight has been regaling everypony all morning.”

Rarity’s eyebrow rose reflexively. “Twilight? Regaling? In the morning? None of those seem to match up quite right.”

“Shh.” The mare waggled her hoof, then tried to raise her neck. “I can’t hear what she’s saying.”

“Hmm.” Rarity had not made the cupcakes that potent. So either they had reacted with Twilight’s natural magics somehow, or she had eaten too many. Rarity pushed into the crowd, muttering “excuse me”s and “pardon me”s under her breath. Giving Twilight so many had been stupid. She should have known better than to give her more than a sampler for just this reason. Twilight did not strike her as the type to willfully ignore instructions, however, so maybe—

Rarity broke into the small clearing at the center of the throng, and her eyes widened. Twilight looked incredible. Her mane curled slightly, her coat shined in the sunlight. Her eyes looked like polished gems set in a classical statue.

Twilight smiled, and light glinted off her teeth. “So, I looked up the star charts, and it turns out they had been using the one for the southern hemisphere by accident!”

Laughter washed across the crowd. It felt deep and sincere and infectious. It took Rarity a moment to realize that she laughed along with everyone else. She clamped her mouth shut and shook her head. That could not be a good sign.


“Oh, Rarity! So wonderful to see you.” Twilight waved a hoof at the crowd. “I was just regaling all these lovely ponies with a pithy anecdote.”

One of the bystanders poked their neighbor. “Did you hear that? She called us wonderful!”


Twilight smiled. “Yes, Rarity?” Her teeth looked like tiny stars or gems, glittering in the sunlight.

Rarity mouth flapped, but no sound came out. Every time she reached for something to say, her eyes latched onto Twilight’s smile or eyes and she lost her train of thought. “You look incredible.”

“Why, thank you!” Twilight ran a hoof through her mane. “I tried something different today, and everypony has been commenting on it.”

Rarity closed her eyes. If magic was causing her to get so distracted then her eyelids would not stop it, but it could certainly test things. “Something different? I take it you liked my cupcakes, then?”

“Oh yes, I meant to thank you for those. They worked quite well.”

“And you followed the instructions?”

A foreleg draped across Rarity’s shoulder’s. Twilight’s hooves felt so smooth. Her coat felt so silky.

“Now, Rarity, do I seem like the type that would disobey instructions?”

“I...I suppose not.” Rarity scrunched her eyes, but the image of Twilight smiling at her did not leave her head.

“Of course I wouldn’t. Especially from a pony as knowledgeable as you.”

“I suppose you’re right. It’s just that there can be all sorts of side effects if you overdose on them.” Rarity’s eyes opened, and Twilight’s smile greeted her. “I just wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.”

“Oh, Rarity, you are so sweet. But you don’t have to worry, I’m perfectly fine.” Twilight leaned in, ever so slightly. “Amazing, really. All thanks to you.”

Twilight withdrew. “In fact, I’m having a party later today. You should come! See for yourself how fine I am.” She turned, and the crowd’s eyes followed her, still quietly enraptured with every word. “Now why don’t you come along? I was just going to regale everypony in the park.”

“That sounds nice.” Something poked at the back of Rarity’s thoughts. She blinked. “Except, I really shouldn’t. I mean, I can’t. I have work to do, after all.”

“Oh, it’s no big deal. But I’m sure you’ll be at the party. Most of the town will be there.” Twilight trotted off. The crowd of ponies shifted, followed after her in perfect step. “See you there!” She turned her head back. “Now, let me tell you about the time one of my colleagues set their star wheel incorrectly!”

Murmurs and whispers rippled across the crowd. “Oh, wow, that sounds interesting!” “I bet it’ll be even better than the last one!” Twilight cleared her throat, and everypony in the mob immediately went silent. Twilight started her story, and her voice carried as the mass of ponies walked into the distance.

Rarity didn’t do anything for a moment. Her brain felt sluggish. She shook her head, but the fog stuck stubbornly to her mind. That scene, that event, had not felt normal.

Her ear flicked, the fog suddenly lifted.

“Oh, dear.” The temptation to use stronger language rubbed against her, but she quickly pushed it aside. Cathartic as it may be, she was still a lady. Besides, she had to turn her thoughts to productive things. Antidotes and counterspells and recipes. Something that could fix this mess.

“What was that all about?”

Rarity looked up. A cloud floated a few feet above her, and Rainbow Dash’s face poked over the side.

“Rainbow Dash, have you been here this whole time?”

“Kinda. I was reading, then a saw a big chunk of ponies all walk off at once. What happened?”

“I’m afraid Twilight may have overdosed on some magic.”

“Didja give her too much of your magic food?”

Rarity tried to hide her frown. “What makes you think it was my fault?”

“Well, you’re standing there, looking guilty. All alone.”

“I might have overestimated her self-control. It’s nothing I can’t fix, however,” Rarity said.

“Didn’t you say that about the thing with the plants?”

“That was different! I told Avant Garden not to leave any of my spells near her venus flytraps and...” Rarity stopped. She took a deep breath. She had to focus. “At any rate, I think I already have a plan. If Twilight overdosed, it is a simple matter to get the magic out of her body. I’ll just need a pony with a strong personality.”

“Yeah, well, good luck with that.” Rainbow Dash flopped back onto the cloud.

“Rainbow Dash! Aren’t you the least bit concerned about helping your friend?”

Rainbow poked her head over the cloud again. “I don’t think getting our butts kicked by a crazy alicorn makes us friends. Why don’t you just get Pinkie to do it?”

Rarity shook her head. “If Twilight is throwing a party, then she must have already gotten to Pinkie. And I believe Applejack is out of town on business today.”

“Well then what about Fluttersh—” Rainbow clamped a hoof over her mouth, but the snicker still leaked across the square. “Almost got it out.”

“Rainbow Dash, this is serious! Twilight has already enthralled most of the town by the looks of it. We can’t just ignore her.”

“Won’t she just digest the magic and go back to normal? I’m, like, right at the good part.” Rainbow brandished her book at Rarity. A Song of Ice and Farrier, by the looks of it.

Rarity stroked her chin. That venus flytrap had returned to normal once the pasta was out of its system. Still, that had taken several hours. “Even if I wanted to let Twilight alone for that long, it might not be that simple. If she overdosed, then the magic of the cupcakes may be mixing with her natural magics.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “So, what? Is she gonna blow up?”


“Is it gonna go straight to her thighs?”

“No. But it might become irreversible if it corru—mixes with her natural magic too much.”

“Alright, alright.” Dash jumped off the cloud, her book tucked under her wing. “We’ll save the egghead. Wouldn’t want you to get another citation.”

Rarity pursed her lips. “Those charges were never proven. Besides, this won’t be nearly as dangerous. How much harm could Twilight do?”

Rarity pushed aside another jar. “Aha, finally.” She pulled the clump of aluminum foil out of the fridge. “I’ve been saving this for a while now.” She unwrapped one end, and the smell of garlic wafted out. “Garlic bread with all the magic sucked out of it. It should soak up all the excess in Twilight and return her to normal fairly easily.”

“That’s it? Should it have a goofy name or something?”

Rarity gasped. “My titles are not goofy! They are clever and informative!”

“Whatever.” Rainbow poked a hoof at the bread. “So that’s your plan? I just get her to eat this?”

“Well, yes.” Rarity sniffed at it, and winced slightly. A bit on the dry side, but it couldn’t be helped. All that time sitting next to blank gems had been the only way to make it more absorbent. “I may have to stick it in the oven first, though. Freshen it up a bit.”

“Couldn’t you have done this without me?”

“Oh, no no.” Rarity turned to the oven and pushed the bread into it. “I have to stay here and work on our backup plan.” She pulled up a notepad. “What are your measurements, again?”

“Backup plan? I don’t like the sound of that.”

It’s nothing. I’m sure somepony as belligerent and stubborn as you will be able to resist Twilight long enough to give her this. I just like to be prepared.”

“Prepared for what?”

“Eventualities, possible disruptions, that sort of thing.” Rarity leaned over. “I suppose you’re what, three-hundred-and-eighty pounds? Twenty-three?” She pointed her pencil at Rainbow’s side. “You athletic types can be so hard to judge correctly sometimes.”

“Is Twilight going to, like hypnotize me or something? Am I going to be some kind of zombie?” Rainbow Dash waved a hoof around. “Is this going to end up like Daring Do and the Return of the Curse of the Mummy, or what?”

“Don’t be absurd,” Rarity rolled her eyes. “Hypnosis. Ridiculous. She’s entrancing ponies, not hypnotizing them.” Her ear flicked and she turned to the oven. “Now, just get her to eat this, and if she entrances you then leave. Very simple, isn’t it?”

“But the mummy slaves couldn’t leave, that was the entire point of the plot! And then Daring had to beat up her brainwashed sister and all sorts of emotional turmoil happened!”

Rarity poked at the bread. It certainly looked better than before. Not good enough for a title, though. “I should probably wrap this up, make it look a little better.”

Rainbow reared up, her hooves landing on the counter with a vibrating clack.“Are you even listening to me?”

“Now now, Rainbow Dash, of course I am. There’s no need to get so upset just because I asked about your weight.”

The sky was empty. Not a single pegasus or cloud could be seen. The streets and buildings looked the same, deserted and lifeless.

Rainbow Dash paused in midair. It definitely felt like that scene from Daring Do and the Return of the Curse of the Mummy. Rarity had insisted that a group of mummified ponies wasn’t going to attack her, and that Twilight definitely was not going to hold her down and hypnotize her with ancient magic. A breeze passed through the streets, and an abandoned window clacked loudly.

Rainbow’s ear flicked. A burst of noise came from the park. She poked the brown paper bag in her mouth, and it swung slightly.

She banked to the left and glided towards the park. Another burst of noise, muffled laughter or cheering. She squinted. The park looked a lot more colorful than usual, more crowded. Every meter she traveled made it more obvious how many ponies were packed into the place. A sea of colors and cutie marks swamped the entire grounds. It looked like half the town was there.

There was a tiny clearing in the middle of the cloud of ponies. A distinct purple unicorn sat in the center. Rainbow Dash gulped. Well, at least they aren’t wrapped in bandages or anything.

Rainbow Dash landed next to Twilight. Hundreds of eyes locked onto her, murmurs rippled across the crowd. “You’re blocking our view of Twilight,” a few ponies muttered.

“Why, hello, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said. “How nice of you to stop by.”

“Uhm, yeah, hi.” Rainbow Dash tried not to make eye contact. The ponies circling her made it difficult. She pulled the bag out of her mouth. “Rarity wanted me to give you this. Said it was part of the cupcake thing.”

“Well, I’m very grateful that you brought it over personally, Rainbow. But the cupcakes are working just fine.”

Every time Twilight said something, every pair of eyes in the park swung onto her. And once she had finished they went right back to glaring at Rainbow Dash.

Dash swallowed, a bit more loudly than she had intended. “Yeah, well, she said it was important.”

Twilight took a step forward. The crowd of ponies shifted to match her step. “Rainbow Dash, is something wrong?”


Twilight tilted her head. “Why aren’t you looking at me?”

“I, uhm, got something in my teeth?”

Twilight pulled the bag out of Rainbow’s grip with her magic. “Well, if Rarity says it is important, I would not want to ignore her. I’ll eat it later. I would not want to make anypony jealous by eating something in front of them.”

“She’s so polite!” “And considerate!” the crowd murmured.

“No, Rarity said to eat it as soon as possible.”

“Oh, did she?” Twilight tilted her head again. “Rainbow Dash, is there something you aren’t telling me? I know a loyal friend like you would never lie to me, of course, but you seem to be acting a little strange.”

Rainbow Dash swallowed again, louder than before. Twilight’s voice sounded so hurt. “It’s nothing.” The crowd of ponies staring at her made the feeling worse.

“Well, if you are sure.” The bag crinkled loudly, and the utter silence of the park meant nothing interrupted it.

“Twilight, wait.” Rainbow Dash finally turned around. Her eyes widened slightly; Twilight looked incredible.


“There is one thing. It, uhm, might suck all the cupcake magic out of you.”

“Now why would Rarity want to do that?” Twilight asked. “I’m perfectly fine.”

“We just don’t want anything to happen to you.”

“Oh, you’re so sweet.” Twilight trotted over and wrapped a foreleg around Rainbow Dash. “I’m so lucky to have friends that care so much about me.”

Rainbow Dash nodded. She could never lie to her best friend.

“Could you please bring this back to Rarity for me? I don’t need it, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste, after all.”

Rainbow Dash nodded again. Twilight’s coat felt so smooth. It was so pleasantly distracting, it made it hard to think of something to say.

“Thank you, it means a lot to me.”

Rainbow Dash’s heart leapt. Making Twilight happy felt so fulfilling.

“And I’ll see at the party later, won’t I?”

“Of course.” Rainbow smiled. “I would never miss any of your parties.”

Rarity’s ear flicked as her door jingled. “Well? How did it go?”

Dash stepped into the kitchen, dropped the paper bag onto the counter. If that wasn’t enough of answer, the way she rubbed her neck and the look on her face was. “So, uhm, about that backup plan...?”


shouldn't it have a goofy name?

My titles are not goofy! They’re clever!

Picking two words with the same letter isn’t clever!

then rarity feds rainbow dash a concetrated charisma cupcake and some kind of weird clash of wills ensues?