As the sun started its descent towards horizon, Rarity loaded all the essential party supplies Pinkie had produced on to a cart outside of Sugarcube Corner with the help of Mr. and Mrs. Cake.
“Thank you for kindly helping me carry these,” Rarity said as they loaded the last of the boxes.
“It’s quite alright dear. You girls always do so much for Pinkie, helping with this is no trouble at all,” Mrs. Cake said, and smiled warmly.
“It is quite unlike Pinkie Pie to take off just before a party,” Mr. Cake idly pondered as he took the boxes from his wife’s back and placed them on the cart. “I wonder where she could have gone, and what she is going to get?”
“When Pinkie and I talked earlier today, we came to the conclusion that a telescope would be something that she could get for Trixie, and unless our missing merriment mistress has gone to drag the entire Royal Observatory here, she should have been able to find one in here Ponyville,” Rarity said back as she used her magic to tie all the boxes with a length of rope so that they wouldn’t fall off. “The letter she left for me didn’t mention anything either, but presumably the ‘perfectest’ gift wasn’t something you could find in Ponyville.”
“Do you think she’ll be back before the party ends?” Mr. Cake asked her.
“Oh, bfft, please. This is Pinkie Pie we are talking about. Nothing could stop her from making it back tonight. Nevertheless, it’s always good to be prepared,” Rarity said with a smile as she hooked herself to the cart.
“Good luck with the party!” Mrs. Cake wished as they said their goodbyes to each other.
After a short trot to a lake outside of Ponyville, Rarity arrived at Trixie’s wagon with her cart. Rarity had to admit, she was truly inspired by the paint job Trixie had given her wagon. It perfectly complemented its owner. Rarity spotted Fluttershy and Trixie hanging up curtains inside the wagon.
“Hello darlings!” she greeted them.
“Oh, hello Rarity,” Fluttershy peeked from the doorway. Trixie briefly nodded from the window.
“Well, I see the two of you have gotten the wagon in tip-top shape,” Rarity said as she unhooked herself from the cart and examined the curtains from the outside.
“Yes, we, um, met while Trixie was shopping for furniture and drapery, and I offered to help her carry them back,” Fluttershy responded as she fluttered out of the wagon. “What’s in the cart?” she asked, curious.
“Those are all of Pinkie Pie’s party supplies for tonight’s party.”
Flummoxed, Fluttershy replied,“Huh? But where’s Pinkie then?” Rarity leaned in conspiratorially.
“She’s getting her gift for Trixie,” Rarity whispered.
“Right now?” Fluttershy whispered back, surprised.
“Yes. I think. She had little trouble finding the, ehem, ‘perfectest’ gift for Trixie, so it took her until today to figure out what she wanted to get.”
“Okay. Uh, what’s that then?”
“I have no idea,” Rarity said with a mystified shrug.
“...Okay...Ah, what are we supposed to do with all the party decorations?” Rarity turned towards Fluttershy, blinking at her owlishly.
“Put them in place?” she asked unsurely.
“...Do you know where everything is supposed to go?” Fluttershy questioned. Rarity opened her mouth, thought for a moment, then closed it. Both of them turned to look at the pile of crates they had.
“I...we can’t just leave them in crates, Pinkie asked me to make sure that everything would be set if she didn’t make it back before the party started. We have seen Pinkie do this a dozen times, so we should be able to set up one little party,” Rarity said while opening the first box and found it full of confetti.
“Uhh…” Fluttershy murmured.
“Not to worry, I’m sure we’ll find use for it...later. Let’s just put it aside for now,” Rarity said while placing the box on the ground, and taking another one. It, too, was full of confetti.
“You two did WHAT?” Applejack’s loud voice echoed in the orchard, scaring a flock of birds. Rainbow didn’t budge, grumpily covering her ears with her hooves.
“Yeah yeah, I know,” Rainbow said in resignation, rolling her eyes.
“Rainbow...I can’t believe you sometimes,” Applejack said, rubbing her forehead with a hoof.
“She’s the one who punched me first…” Rainbow muttered, only to be met my an extremely unamused glare from Applejack.
“And she wouldn’t have had any reason under Celestia’s sun to kick you up and down like a startled heifer, would she?” Applejack asked while slowly lifting one eyebrow.
“I get it already! I did bad, now let’s move on and forget about it... It already stings enough…ouch.” Rainbow rumbled exasperatedly while carefully rubbing a bruise on her chin. Thanks to Rarity’s efforts, many of the bruises on her face were cleverly hidden with careful applications of foundation and concealers, but not all of them. Her black eye Rarity had simply covered with an eye patch, which had prompted several questions from Rainbow’s co-workers. None of these, however, covered the bruised elsewhere on her body.
“Fine, but I expect you to behave at the party. Don’t want you to ruin all the work Pinkie has put in to it.”
“One fight for today was enough. She doesn’t look like it, but Trixie can throw one mean punch.”
The two of them made their way to the main house, where Applejack was going to pick up her and Rainbow’s gifts for Trixie. With her previous wagon destroyed and all, they came up with the idea to get Trixie essentials for her new wagon. Pans and pots, a travel cooker, dishes and more. For most of the way, Applejack didn’t say anything, just staring in front of her with a neutral look.
“Did you at least get her good?” she finally asked.
“Heh, she was as banged up as I am.”
“Don’t be gettin’ too proud about that,” Applejack reprimanded, but Rainbow could detect a hint of amusement in her voice, and saw the tiniest of smiles. Once they got to the Apple family household, they picked up the gifts, and departed for Trixie’s wagon. They didn’t get very far before Rainbow got an idea.
“You know, since today’s Trixie’s last day in Ponyville…” Rainbow dawdled.
“I reckon I’m not gonna like this, am I?”
“...how about we bring one barrel of Sweet Apple Acres special brew to it?” Rainbow winked and smiled.
“Aw come on. It’s her farewell party and all.”
“Rainbow, I’ve had a long day of working in the orchards. I’m tired. I wager getting buzzed is a none-too-bright idea.”
“Oh don’t say that. What better way to relax than with a mug of cider and your best pals?”
“I bet Trixie would appreciate it too, right? Pretty please,” Rainbow pleaded, while straining to give her best imitation of the look Scootaloo liked to give her. Applejack let out a long, defeated sigh.
“But only one barrel and you have to carry it! Consider it part of your penance.”
“You’re the best, AJ.”
“Tell me that after you lug it all the way to Trixie’s party.”
“No sweat, Applejack. It won’t be a problem at all.”
After a short detour to get a barrel of cider, the two of them continued on their way.
“What’s with you two anyway?” Applejack asked after they had walked for a while. “You seem to be at each other’s throats the moment nopony is looking.”
“Huh? I guess we just don’t get along,” Rainbow said dismissively.
“Funny you should say that. I for one thought you would actually be great friends.”
“What? Me and Trixie? Hah!” Rainbow laughed and winced, her bruises hurting slightly. “What makes you think the two of us would be good friends?”
“Why wouldn’t you be? You’re two peas in a pod.”
“What? We are nothing alike! She’s-...!” Rainbow was cut off by Applejack’s hoof in front of her mouth.
“Let me finish. You both have egoes more massive than Luna’s night sky. You both like to do tricks for everypony and enjoy the attention that gets you. You are very stubborn and refuse to show any kind of weakness to anypony else.”
“That’s…” Rainbow tried to interject, but Applejack wasn’t listening.
“Furthermore, both of you seem to get yourselves in weird trouble every now and then. You have an obsession with being the greatest flyer, and Trixie outright calls herself ‘the great and powerful’! That enough similarities for you?” Applejack asked with a teasing smile
“Hmph!” Rainbow stomped.
“Sugarcube, all I’m saying is that there’s enough there that you could be great friends.”
“Yeah, well we aren’t for some reason.”
“And I think I know why,” Applejack said confidently.
“And that is?” Rainbow asked back with a hint of irritation.
“You’re jealous of her.”
“What? Why would I be jealous of Trixie?”
“Because she already has what you want. Both of your dreams are to perform in front of ponies and to be the best amongst your peers. While I don’t know if she is the best there is, Trixie already lives her dreams, traveling and performing wherever she wants, while you are still finding out if you’ll make it as a Wonderbolt.”
“How about you keep that in mind the next time you talk to her, sugarcube?” Applejack offered a kind smile, and pulled ahead, leaving the conflicted pegasus to think about her words.
Back at Trixie’s wagon, Rarity and Fluttershy had managed to find the boxes that contained everything else besides confetti, and had done their best to set it all up. Streamers and balloons were tied all around Trixie’s wagon and the only nearby tree, foods and drinks were placed on top of the upturned boxes near the wagon, and several party games were also prepared.
“I think that’s most of it,” Fluttershy said as she placed another empty box on the ground.
“Ugh, finally,” Trixie whined, not at all happy that the she had to take part in preparing her own party, with no sight of the elusive party mare.
“There’s still one more box,” Rarity said as she levitated it off the cart.
“What’s in it?” Fluttershy asked.
“It seems to be more party streamers,” Rarity answered as she shook the box slightly and peeked in. Trixie grabbed the box with her magic and flung it over the wagon in a wide arc, splaying some of its contents on the wagon.
“There, done,” she happily announced as the box crashed in to a bush.
“I suppose that’s one way of doing it…” Rarity admitted. Everywhere they looked was already covered in Pinkie’s party decorations, so they certainly didn’t need any more of them.
“Howdy there, everypony,” Applejack greeted the group as she walked closer, with Rainbow lagging behind.
“Hello,” they greeted back in turn.
“Whoowie! Now this looks like a proper party,” Applejack said as she looked around at all the decorations.
“Glad that somepony likes them,” Rarity giggled at Trixie, who just rolled her eyes, not really caring.
“Hi Dash,” Fluttershy greeted her fillyhood friend.
“Huh? Oh, hi,” Rainbow answered after a delay, her thoughts elsewhere.
“Oh, why did you two have to fight,” Fluttershy bemoaned as she started to fuss over Rainbow, taking the barrel off of her back and producing a first aid kit that she had already used on Trixie.
“Fluttershy, there’s no need for that. Rarity already gave me a once over.”
“Are you sure?”
Fluttershy reluctantly backed off, allowing Rainbow room to flex her wings and back to relieve the stress built up from carrying the barrel.
“Applejack, you wouldn’t,” Rarity gasped, smiling coyly at Applejack. “That wouldn’t be a barrel of Sweet Apple Acres cider, would it?”
“RD insisted that we bring one,” Applejack huffed back in response.
“Cider?” Trixie asked, intrigued. “Trixie rarely spends her bits on such beverages, but Trixie remembers that the last time she did, it was more pleasant than she anticipated.”
“Thanks...I think?” Applejack said, unsure if she should be happy with Trixie’s comment. Applejack noted that Trixie indeed had gotten her fair share of bruises from her fight with Rainbow, having a small bruise to the left of her horn, a small cut on her lip, and surely several others that were most likely hidden by Rarity.
“Applejack, may I borrow your ear for a minute?” Rarity asked.
“Sure. What’s up?” Applejack replied as they walked a short distance away from the group.
“I’m noticing that a certain pegasus seems a tad...apprehensive?”
“Me and RD had a bit of a talk on our way here. Don’t you worry none, sugarcube. She’ll be back to herself soon enough. A mug of cider will help with that, if nothing else.”
“Hmm, are you sure that’s a good idea?” Rarity asked, glancing at Rainbow who was chatting with Fluttershy. Trixie had gone to put Rainbow’s and Applejack’s wrapped gifts next to the steps leading in to her wagon with the other presents, once again working for her party and grumbling for her efforts.
“I’m sure. Now, I see that Pinkie has outdone herself again with the refreshments, and since I haven’t had a chance to eat dinner yet…”
“Oh, by all means.”
A few minutes later, Scruffy joined the party, looking more refreshed, even if he was sporting a bandaid or two. He also had less disastrously worn clothes on, to Rarity’s immense relief. He had a short sleeved, dark blue t-shirt with a comfy looking vest on top of it, and gray pants. He sat down next to the ponies, who all greeted him. They were using the boxes that were filled with confetti as an impromptu table and chairs.
“My my, aren’t you a dashing gentlecolt tonight. If you own such nice clothes, you should definitely wear them more often,” Rarity said as she examined the hoofwork on Scruffy’s clothes.
Not always, wear nice for good occasion, he wrote a reply on a notepad.
Applejack handed him a plate with a slice of cake on it, while the ponies started to talk among themselves. Trixie and Rarity were having a chat regarding Trixie’s new wagon, while occasionally asking Scruffy a few things, and Applejack and Fluttershy started to talk about their days and how busy they had been. After a few minutes of talking, Rainbow got up from her seat and walked around the table, in front of Trixie.
“Trixie…” she began, her nervousness starting to show when everypony else went quiet. Trixie turned towards her with a neutral look.
“Yes?” Her voice was calm as she got up from her own seat. Fluttershy and Scruffy both looked like they were about to jump in between them, but Applejack and Rarity respectively, calmed them down.
“I uhh…umm…” Rainbow hesitated.
“If you have something to say, out with it.”
“...I’m sorry,” she finally said. Trixie lifted one eyebrow.
“For what?” she pressed. Rainbow sighed.
“For saying insensitive things and being a jerk.”
“...And what caused you to bring this up now?”
“Because..!” Rainbow irritatedly snapped, before looking away, her ears down. “Because somepony showed me that you and I are actually alike.”
“Oh?” Trixie asked, a spark of interest in her voice.
“I don’t like you Trixie,” Rainbow admitted, turning to look Trixie in the eye. “I don’t like how you refer to yourself, I don’t like how you act, I don’t like how you want to be the center of attention,” Rainbow listed while Trixie frowned slightly. “Or so I thought. Maybe...maybe I just saw you as a rival. Somepony who’s competing for the spotlight, just like me.”
“And maybe it was the whole fiasco that happened when you first came to Ponyville, and it not giving us a good first impression of each other. Whatever it was...sorry, for acting like I have been.”
Everypony held their breath as Trixie seemed to mull Rainbow’s words over. They stared at each other for a long time, until eventually Trixie averted her gaze first and lifted a hoof to massage her temples.
“Rainbow Dash...like Trixie said earlier today, Trixie does not think that we are, or maybe will ever be, friends.” As Rainbow opened her mouth to reply, Trixie simply closed it with her magic, and turned back to look at her. “And like Trixie suggested, that doesn’t mean we have to constantly get on each others nerves. Trixie...also, apologizes for her behavior. Neither of us have been exemplars of class. Trixie thought you a boisterous simpleton who thinks she can do more than her abilities allow. But Trixie has seen you can do what you claim. So...for whatever it’s worth, let’s stop our ill behavior here and start over,” Trixie finished, while holding out her hoof.
Rainbow looked at Trixie’s outstretched hoof, glanced back at Trixie, and smirked.
“Deal,” she agreed, and bumped Trixie’s hoof. Sighs of relief came from Fluttershy and Rarity, while Applejack took another cupcake and smiled knowingly. Scruffy huffed amusedly, having been able to mostly follow the conversation. He went over to the two ponies, kneeled and ruffled their manes.
“Would you quit that?” the two ponies said at the same time, before turning to look at each other and promptly bursting in to giggles.
“Oh, I’m so happy you two have made up!” Pinkie suddenly said from in between them, causing Rainbow and Trixie to scream in fright and surprise (Scruffy almost tipped over from from his precarious position, but to his credit, only grunted in surprise), before bringing both of them in to a mighty hug. “This is even better than I had hoped!” she added happily.
“Gah! Pinkie! Where did you come from?!” Rainbow exclaimed while trying to wiggle free.
“From behind the bush!” Pinkie giggled, her happiness unending.
There was a loud pop from behind them where Twilight and Spike arrived. Twilight looked tired and was panting heavily.
“Pinkie...just...slow...down…” Twilight gasped before collapsing on the ground, Spike took to patting her barrel encouragingly.
“Good heavens, are you alright?” Rarity asked as she and Fluttershy went to their friend’s side.
“Ah, she’ll be fine,” Spike reassured. “She just needed to do several rapid teleportations in a row to keep up with Pinkie Pie is all.”
“Here, have some water,” Fluttershy offered.
“Thanks…” Twilight wheezed and drank from the cup Fluttershy had given her.
“Oh, it’s so great that you two are finally friends!” Pinkie said, before gasping loudly. “Ohohoh, maybe we should change the party theme to congratulate Trixie for her new wagon AND her new bestie!”
“As if!” Trixie grunted as she tried to get free from the bear hug. Scruffy finally tapped Pinkie on the nose, and indicated that she should let Rainbow and Trixie go, which she did.
“Sorry that we are so late,” Twilight apologized as she got back on to her hooves. “We got caught up in few things.”
“Yeah! Like when I tried to take the train to Canterlot, and then there were sheep on the tracks, and I had to gallop all the rest of the way there, and then I went to meet Twilight, because I knew she was in Canterlot, and then we-”
“Ahem!” Twilight coughed. Pinkie made a small ‘o’ with her mouth, and then went back to smiling.
“And now we are here!” she concluded.
“We took a pegasus carriage as soon as we were ready. The plan was to stop by the library to drop off something, and then come here, but as soon as we were close enough to the ground, Pinkie leaped off and galloped over,” Twilight explained.
“And it shows. Here, darling. Allow me to freshen up your image,” Rarity offered Twilight, whose mane had seen better days. Pinkie’s was as naturally poofy as ever.
“Wait a darn minute. You went all the way to Canterlot?” Applejack incredulously inquired of Pinkie.
“For this!” Pinkie said and dangled an exceedingly, elaborately, emblazoned present in her mouth. “Ish fer you,” she said and gave it to Trixie. It was a fairly small one, but the golden ribbon and the sun emblems clearly piqued Trixie’s interest, and she reached as if to open it. “Ah ah ah!” Pinkie said while gently bopping her on the nose. “No peeking at your presents early,” she smiled.
“And here’s the one from me,” Twilight said while levitating her own gift from her saddlebag. Everypony could tell it was a book.
“And this is from me!” Spike said while handing his small present to Trixie.
“Thank you,” Trixie thanked them and added the presents to the pile.
Scruffy rubbed his neck, embarrassed, and wrote a sentence on his notepad.
I not wrap my gift. Give when is time. He patted his backpack for emphasis.
“Oh Celestia’s sun! What happened to you two!” Twilight suddenly asked, noticing the bruises on Trixie and Rainbow for the first time. The two just glanced at each other.
“Well, they, um…” Fluttershy started quietly, but her voice soon died out.
“They had a good old fashioned brawl,” Applejack interjected bluntly.
“WHAT?” Twilight screamed in horror.
“Oh boy,” Spike facehooved.
“Why would you...I thought...wha...what happened?” Twilight stammered. Rainbow and Trixie looked at eachother again, and Rainbow got a small smile on her face.
“Friendship,” she said happily. Twilight’s jaw dropped open.
“Wha...f-friendship?” she asked, and turned to Trixie.
“Friendship,” Trixie repeated with as serious tone as she could muster, and nodded.
“Bu-...but you...how can...what do you mean friendship?! You beat eachother up!”
“Yeah,” Rainbow agreed.
“So we did,” Trixie added.
“Want some cupcakes? Pinkie is an expert at making those,” Rainbow offered.
“Trixie can give it a try.” And with that, the two of them turned towards the assortment of foods available, leaving the confused Twilight staring at them, mouth hanging open and strands of mane springing out every which way. The rest of the ponies giggled behind their hooves, and Spike fell on the ground, laughing.
“Now that we are all finally here, let’s get this party started!” Pinkie cheered.
The group partied on through the evening and all the way until the stars were spread across the sky. They enjoyed Pinkie’s pastries, chatting with each other, and playing the provided party games. Scruffy had taken out his device and it was playing pleasant music for them. Eventually, Applejack and Rainbow decided it was time to move on to the cider they had brought, since it was time to start opening Trixie’s housewarming gifts.
“Ohohoh open mine first, open mine first!” Pinkie bounced excitedly on her seat as Applejack hooved over mugs of cider.
“Trixie will open them in the order they happen to come from the pile,” she said as she took a sip from her mug and pulled the first gift over to her. It was Twilight’s gift.
“That one is mine,” Twilight said, as if nopony could tell. Trixie used her magic to unwrap the book.
“Brightmind’s Compendium for Expanding Your Magic…” Trixie read aloud.
“It contains tips to keep your magic focused for longer periods of time, useful incantations for learning new spells, and some other advice. It’s not the most well known book, but I found it useful when I was learning under Celestia’s tutelage.”
“Thank you,” Trixie smiled as she quickly skimmed over some of the content, before levitating it inside the wagon.
Next in line was Fluttershy’s gift, which included an assortment of beddings, a plush carpet that she hadn’t wrapped and which was already in the wagon, and a bunny plushie.
“Now, whenever you need a hug, Mr. Fluffles is there to give you one,” Fluttershy beamed happily, while Trixie had an awkward smile on her face.
“Erm, yes. Thank you…” she said as she again, levitated the gifts in to her new home.
Next came Applejack’s and Rainbow’s gift, which was a large assortment of household essentials.
“It’s a gift from both of us,” Applejack said while pointing at Rainbow. “We thought it would be nice to give you something practical for your gift; something you definitely need. Saves you all the trouble of hunting these down in Ponyville.”
“Ponyville’s a great town to live in, but sometimes it can get crazy if you try to find a store that sells all the things that you need,” Rainbow added, thinking of stores like Quills and Sofas dotted around town.
“Trixie was definitely going to need to get these. Thank you.”
Next was Spike’s present, which turned out to be a hoof sized sapphire that was carved to look like Trixie with her trademark pointy hat and polished to a sparkly, clear finish.
“I had lots of free time while we were in Canterlot. Decided to make you something with my own claws,” Spike stated proudly, causing Trixie to smile. Truthfully, he had eaten a few bits, to save time of course.
“Why, thank you. Trixie will treasure this.”
Rarity’s gift turned out to be, to nopony’s great surprise, several sets of clothes for different occasions.
“One needs to always be dashing, no matter the occasion, and I hope these clothes help you bring out your...greatness,” Rarity said with a little bit of dramatic flair.
“Trixie thanks you, although she is not sure when she’s going to have a chance to use all of these,” she said as she examined the neatly folded clothes, finding a set of moon and star print pajamas amongst them.
Pinkie was practically gnawing a hole on the edge of her mug as Trixie finally picked up her gift and unwrapped it. A simple scroll fell out of the wrappings, and while everypony else looked at it in confusion, Twilight and Spike were smiling to themselves.
“What is this?” Trixie asked as she undid the fine, red silk ribbon with Celestia’s symbol tied around the scroll, and looked inside.
Slowly, as Trixie read over the scroll, her eyes widened in surprise, and she had to read through it again to be sure. Pinkie was smiling excitedly as Trixie finally lifted her head from the scroll.
“Right from the Princess herself,” Pinkie said.
“What is it?” Rainbow impatiently asked.
“It’s a very special spell,” Twilight said. Trixie kept staring at the scroll, completely and utterly speechless. “It’s the Dragon Fire Correspondence spell. The one that allows Spike to send letters to Celestia and vice versa. It is one of the rarest spells in Equestria, not because of its difficulty, but because of the time and effort required to master it, and there not being a great need for it anymore since we have the Equestrian Royal Postal Service now. The spell can be used in two ways, either to send a scroll to the recipient, which is harder, or you can enchant scrolls to return to the user, which will still take time to learn, as you need to encircle the whole scroll with the spell runes and one mistake will ruin it.”
“Wooah,” the other ponies all let out, and even if Scruffy didn’t understand the words, he could understand that the gift was rather special.
“With this, once she masters it, Trixie will be able to send and receive mail wherever she’s in Equestria, and I have to agree with Pinkie, that is truly an amazing gift,” Twilight said.
“Wohoo!” Pinkie hopped up and down, circling Trixie. “What do you think Trixie, isn’t it the most perfectest gift ever?” Pinkie happily asked.
Trixie lifted her head from the scroll to look at Pinkie, tiny tears in the corners of her eyes. She hurriedly brushed past Pinkie, and went inside her wagon, closing the door audibly and leaving Pinkie looking at her friends in confusion.
“But...I thought it was a great gift?” she asked, lower lip quivering. Rarity walked next to Pinkie, a smile on her face.
“It was. Give her a moment,” Rarity gently assured.
After a few minutes, Trixie exited her wagon. She appeared nonchalant, but there was slight redness in her eyes. She gulped as she turned towards Pinkie.
“Trix-...” Trixie’s voice cracked, and she cleared her throat. “Trixie...greatly appreciates your gift,” Trixie said, her voice wavering at the end.
Pinkie looked at her for a moment, before the warmest, gentlest smile made its way on to her face. She sat down on the ground, and opened her forelegs wide for a hug. Trixie didn’t need much prompting, and hugged Pinkie tightly.
The rest of the group had smiles on their faces, and they decided to quietly slip away to look over the lake.
After some time, Pinkie called the rest of the group back, and the party continued. Scruffy’s gift for Trixie turned out to be a small, slightly worn looking camera and several extra rolls of film. Despite its aged look, it was far better than what any of them had ever seen. It took nearly half an hour, but Scruffy managed to teach Trixie how to operate it, and how to change the film, which ended with another hug from Trixie.
As the ponies decided to have more to eat, and Twilight started to chat with Trixie and Rarity about her visit to Canterlot, Rainbow challenged Applejack to a drinking contest with the rest of the cider they had. Applejack, already feeling tired and not wanting to get tipsy, refused at first, but after a few less-than-flattering remarks from Rainbow concerning Applejacks bravery, she accepted the challenge. Fluttershy was drafted to be the referee. Scruffy was talking with Spike and Pinkie, asking clarifications as to what the scrolls was, and what they had been up to.
“It’s really neat that you gave Trixie such a cool looking camera like that, Scruffy,” Spike said.
My old one. Not use long time, goes good use now.
“Were you a photographer once?”
Some. Daughter like take pictures when filly, buy camera for that and take pictures with her. Now, move on, she do other things.
“You have a daughter? Oooo, do you have a picture of her on your thingy?” Pinkie asked.
Scruffy took out his device, and after fiddling with it for a little bit, showed it to Pinkie and Spike. On the screen was a smiling creature just like Scruffy, but her features were more petite. She a had long, flowing, blonde mane, and she wore a white dress while standing in front of a flower bed, holding a bouquet in her hands.
“Aww, she’s so cute. What’s her name?” Scruffy looked at Pinkie and raised one eyebrow. “Oh right, darn. We’ll just call her...umm...Flower Smile.”
“That’s...actually a kinda good name,” Spike said while scratching his head.
As Pinkie started bombarding Scruffy with questions about his daughter, Trixie went over to see what Applejack, Rainbow and Fluttershy were up to.
“What are you doing?” she asked, as the two competing mares gulped down mugs of cider, throwing the empty ones to the side, and starting to guzzle the next ones in a rather short line.
“They are...they...Applejackie and Dashie are competing for drunkness...erm, drinking competition,” Fluttershy did her best to explain, sipping from her own mug from her position on the ground.
“Uhhuh,” was Trixie’s response as she eyed Fluttershy, who smiled happily in return. Trixie went to her wagon, and returned shortly after.
“What’s that?” Pinkie, who had seen Trixie go inside the wagon, asked as she walked up to her.
“This, is a bottle of Moonshine, a type of spirits that was brought back with Princess Luna’s return. Trixie bought a bottle when she was visiting Canterlot before coming to Ponyville for the first time. Since it has a Break Ward spell applied to it, it is one of the few things to survive from Trixie’s first wagon.”
“Trixie never had the chance to drink it, but, Trixie thinks now is a good time,” she said, loudly popping the bottle open, which caught the attention of most ponies. Pinkie had luckily stashed some smaller plastic mugs with her party supplies, so they used those instead of the large wooden mugs AJ brought for the cider. Trixie only poured a little bit on most of the mugs, and a little bit more on two of them, before closing the bottle again. She turned towards Rainbow and Applejack to see them both throw away their last mugs at the same time.
“HAH!” Applejack burped. “Ah win,” she said, her words heavily accented.
“In your...your dreams. I was clearly faster,” Rainbow responded, flaring her wings out for balance.
“Ah reckon ah wa’ faster. Fluttershy, whi’ uh us wa’ fas’er?”
“Trixie thinks, that you both still have one more mug to go,” Trixie said as she placed the more filled up mugs in front of Rainbow Dash and Applejack.
“Wha’s th’s ‘en?” Applejack murmured as she sniffed the mug.
“Something a bit stronger. Trixie advises to enjoy it,” Trixie simply said, while offering one mug to Fluttershy, who happily took it.
“Trixie, darling, you wouldn’t happen to be throwing more wood in to the fire with those two, would you?” Rarity asked as Trixie and Pinkie walked to where the rest of the party’s attendees were gathered.
“Trixie wouldn’t dream of such things,” Trixie said with a smile and offered a mug to each of them.
“This is...alcohol, right? Strong alcohol,” Twilight questioned and looked at her mug suspiciously.
“Yes, Moonshine to be precise, created to honor the return of Princess Luna.” Scruffy sniffed his drink, and looked at the mug with some surprise.
“Moonshine? I remember hearing about it when it was first introduced,” Rarity thought back.
“Don’t I get any?” Spike asked hopefully.
“Spike, you are too young to be drinking something like this. And besides, don’t you remember what happened that one time?”
“Twilight, I’m a dragon, and I’m like, the same age as Golden Harvest. Also, no I don’t actually remember,” Spike said, genuinely confused.
“That Summer Sun celebration you and me attended together with Celestia before we came to Ponyville? Where you accidentally got given a strong drink?”
“Uhh...Oh...oh right, that one.”
“Yeah, that one! It caused you to set half the streamers on fire with your breath,” Twilight said, exasperated.
“Really?” Trixie and Rarity asked in unison.
“Ahaha...maybe?” Spike said, embarrassed by the memory.
“Unfortunately, you’ll have to stay content with less flammable drinks,” Twilight said.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” Pinkie asked. “Let’s see if it’s worth all the fuss,” she declared, and took a generous sip from the mug, while the others watched. As soon as the liquid hit her mouth, Pinkie’s expression changed to surprise, then panic, next struggling, to surprise again, before she swallowed the liquid.
“Ackh...ahem...that...ahem, ahem...that was....quite something…ah,” she coughed out, few tears dripping down her cheeks. She smacked her lips together several times, slowly. “It was...ackpftb...really tasty...but really burny…”
Rarity and Twilight looked at their mugs calculatingly, while Trixie and Scruffy eagerly took a little taste of their own, both of their reactions similar to Pinkie’s, if less strong. Scruffy smacked his lips after the first taste, before eagerly taking a full swig. Eventually, Rarity dared to try her luck, and she didn’t fare any better than the rest of them. Twilight, never having been one for alcohols, but only really liking ciders Applejack had convinced her to try, took the tiniest of sips, before gladly putting the mug aside.
The rest of the night was spent emptying Trixie’s bottle and playing the party games available. Luckily, Twilight and Rarity, both of them content to hold back partaking of the liquor, were there to keep the more adventurous ones in check, and give helpful advice, such as not to play “pin the tail on the pony” with an actual pony. Scruffy and Spike had decided to go look over the lake again, both feeling a bit tired after a long day, and not up for all the excitement.
Rainbow, Applejack, and Pinkie were constantly competing in the provided party games and in any physical activity they could think of, including hoof wrestling. Fluttershy and Trixie were cheering them on, while Twilight and Rarity just shook their heads, hoping that nopony hurt themselves, and talked amongst themselves.
“Is not faaaiiiirrrrr…” Pinkie moaned to Rarity, after tiredness and alcohol finally started to catch up to her. She was half lying on the ground, half leaning against the seamstress. “Why does ‘rixie get all the fun with S’ruffy?”
“Pinkie, darling...I have no idea what you are talking about,” Rarity said to her drunken friend, fanning her with a box lid.
“S’ruffy only likes Trrrixie... I wanna be lik’d too,” Pinkie complained sadly, holding on to one of Rarity’s marshmallow forelegs like stuffed toy.
Twilight helpfully supplied, “I’m sure that Scruffy likes you, Pinkie. He was very happy when you threw that party for him after he first arrived”.
“Weh?” Pinkie turned to Twilight, hope sparking in her eyes.
Rarity added, “Yyyes, I’m sure that Scruffy thinks you are the best party planner in whole of Equestria”.
“Really,” Rarity said with a caring tone.
“...Okay,” Pinkie said, before snuggling as deeply in to Rarity’s embrace as she could and falling asleep with a slight snore. Rarity gave one look at the pink menace, and turned towards Twilight with a tired and defeated look.
“Well, at least one of them is finally asleep. Too bad she’s attached to me more tightly than Opal is to her favourite toy…”
“‘s no ‘roblem... Theee generous and accomommommodating Trikshie shall lend you two her car-...carriag’…” Trixie mumbled, drunkenly swaying from side to side next to Twilight. She had stayed mostly in control of herself during the night, if not as coherent in her speech.
“Here, Trixie. Have some water, it should help with the alcohol,” Twilight offered, Trixie gladly taking hold of it.
“Where are Rainbow and Applejack, or Fluttershy for that matter?” Rarity asked, trying to turn around, but was hindered by Pinkie clinging to her.
“I think they went behind the wagon,” Twilight said.
“We should go check up on them, but we need to get Pinkie off of me first,” Rarity said, while hopelessly trying to disentangle herself from Pinkie’s forehooves that were wrapped around her like glue.
“Allow me,” Twilight said, and after a moment of concentrating, teleported Rarity out of Pinkie’s hold.
“Thank you. Trixie, darling, would you mind looking after Pinkie for a moment?”
“Trikshie is...is good baby si’er,” Trixie happily announced, and fell face first on top of Pinkie, both snoring.
Twilight and Rarity circled around the wagon and found their three missing friends there. Rainbow was leaning against Trixie’s home, Applejack’s hat on her face and snoring loudly behind it. Applejack was sitting still in the open grass, her mane undone from its usual braiding, slightly swaying while her head nodded off repeatedly. Fluttershy was prancing around her, giggling happily.
“Uh, girls?” Twilight coughed and asked.
“Oh, Twilight!” Fluttershy said in a very Pinkie-esque way. She wobbled towards Twilight, her wings being the only reason why she didn’t fall over in her gait. “Hey Twilight,” she greeted the space left of Twilight’s head, blinking rapidly and wondering why Twilight had never told her she had a sister.
“Hey Fluttershy...uhh...how are you feeling?” Twilight asked, while Rarity went to check up on Rainbow.
“Great!” Fluttershy professed, while somehow managing to stand up on her hindquarters and thrusting her forehooves in the air without falling over, her wings having folded in.
“Ahaha...I see... It’s getting very late, maybe we should all head home to bed?”
“Oh Twilight…” Fluttershy giggled as she lowered her forehooves to the ground again, and hiccuping slightly. “You silly filly you…”
“Yes... I’m a very silly filly…”
“Teeheehee...I knooow…” Fluttershy sat down and lifted her hooves to Twilight’s cheeks and started playing with them.
“Sho...bhed?” Twilight murmured as Fluttershy did her thing
“Sure! Let me...let let let’s wake Jackie...and Dashie and go,” Fluttershy stuttered. She released Twilight, got up and turned around, and walked to Applejack.
“At least she’s very cheerful about all of this,” Rarity piped up, gently shaking Rainbow to wake her up.
“Jackieee!” Fluttershy said while giggling madly, circling her friend once before coming face to face with her. Applejack’s ear twitched and she lifted her head to look at Fluttershy, who batted her eyelashes at Applejack several times. A small, drunk smile formed on Applejack’s face.
“Yer purtty,” Applejack mumbled, before leaning in closer and kissing Fluttershy. Fluttershy’s wings shot open in surprise, while Twilight’s and Rarity’s jaws slowly fell open as they tried to process what they saw.
Applejack held the kiss for a minute, she and Fluttershy looking each other in the eye, before she pulled back and licked Fluttershy’s nose. Fluttershy stood there, her wings still flared open, surprise etched on her face. Applejack kept smiling pleasantly at Fluttershy for a long time, until she leaned in closer so that their noses touched.
“Ye ‘eard the l’dy, it’s bed time,” Applejack said in a as suggestive a voice she could muster, being surprising charismatic, while giving Fluttershy her best bedroom eyes.
“Oh goodness, she didn’t just…” Rarity gasped, trying to find her voice. Fluttershy looked Applejack over, and slowly started smiling again, her previous giddiness returning.
“Right,” she nodded. “Bed time. Spare beds. I have many of those. We can have a sleepover. I love sleepovers,” Fluttershy giggled. “Also kisses. I think I reaaaally like them,” she added, before doing a giggle-snort.
“Le-...lea’ the whay,” Applejack said, burping, and leaning to nuzzle Fluttershy.
“W-w-wait…” Twilight tried to interject as her two friends started to walk towards the general direction Fluttershy’s cottage. “Rarity, what do we do?”
“Huh?” Rarity asked, snapping back to reality.
“Rarity!” Twilight said, exasperated, and with a hint of desperation in her voice.
“Le’ ‘em go,” Rainbow, who had just woken up, said as she walked to and pressed herself against Twilight for support.
“What? But Rainbow…!”
“Hey, hey Twilight! I’ll be taking Jackie home!” Fluttershy laughed merrily, waving back to her friends.
“Dun call me Jackie…” Applejack silently complained, but didn’t stop her attempts to nuzzle Fluttershy behind the ear.
“Fluttershy, wait!” Twilight lifted her hoof.
“It’s ‘kay Twi... They’ll be fine, let ‘em go,” Rainbow weakly draped her wing over her friend to stop her from bolting after Applejack and Fluttershy.
“What do you mean ‘let them go’? We can’t just let them go!” Twilight argued. Rarity looked unsurely from Twilight to the retreating pair.
“Why not? If they wanna ‘ave fun, le’ ‘em. HAH! AJ kissing Flutters!... That was a funny sight…” Rainbow barked the laugh, pressing herself harder against Twilight as she started to feel nauseous. Both Twilight and Rarity blushed at Rainbow’s words.
“Rainbow, are you alright?” Rarity asked as she gently patted Rainbow’s back.
“I’m fine... Jus’...feelin’ a bit unsteady,” Rainbow nodded. Twilight was nervously tiptoeing on the spot.
“Ooh, what are we going to do? We shouldn’t just let them leave like that,” she worried, looking in the direction of Applejack’s and Fluttershy’s forms shrinking in the distance.
“Twi...calm down. Luna’s sake...they are adults, you don’t need to worry about them...blech... I think I’ll stick to cider next time…”
“Come, darling. Let’s get you some water, that should make you feel better,” Rarity suggested to Rainbow.
“No buts, Twilight,” Rarity stopped Twilight. “Like Rainbow said, they are adults, and they will be fine, if very embarrassed when the dawn comes. Now, let’s help Rainbow, Pinkie, and Trixie to their respective beds.” Rainbow let out a giggle.
“Oh Celestia...I think Applejack’s cheeks are gonna be red as apples fo’ the next few days… Kissing Flutters like that…”
The three of them turned around and circled to the other side of the wagon, where Twilight levitated a cup of water to Rainbow. Pinkie and Trixie were still sleeping where they left them, Pinkie having moved enough to embrace Trixie. They almost looked like cats, the way they were curled around each other.
“Hey, hey Twi?” Rainbow suddenly asked after drinking the water.
“C-...can I get a kiss?” Rainbow asked between hiccups, the words coming slurredly out of her mouth.
“WHAT?” Twilight yelled in surprise, a red tinge on her cheeks. Rarity held a hoof to her mouth.
“Can I get...get a kiss?” Rainbow swayed slightly, and held up her head in her hooves.
“Wh-wh-...why are you asking me for a kiss!” Twilight panicked.
“Is...is that a no?” Rainbow asked, sounding disappointed.
“No, Rainbow. You can’t get a kiss. You are drunk,” Twilight stated, her embarrassment increasing.
“I’m not drunk all the time… Can I get one then?” Rainbow mumbled, confused by how hard it was to get a simple, Celestia damned kiss.
“What I think Twilight is trying to say...” Rarity swooped in to save both of them from further embarrassment, “...is that you should wait until you are sober to ask that kind of question,” she helpfully advised. Rainbow thought it over, and started nodding.
“Yeah...yeah…” she agreed, rubbing her temples.
“Hey, is the party finally over?” Spike asked as he and Scruffy walked back from the lake to the wagon. “We saw Fluttershy and Applejack head off.”
“Yes, I think we are just about to pack it in,” Rarity said.
Scruffy walked over to Pinkie and Trixie, looking at them, clearly amused. With some effort, he managed to lift both of them up, and took them to Trixie’s wagon.
“I don’t think we are in any shape to start cleaning this tonight…” Twilight said while looking over the party area. It was littered with mugs, plates of food, and everything else Pinkie had included with the party supplies. Twilight gathered most of the big objects in her vicinity in to a pile with her magic, and deposited them on anything that looked like it could fly away if a strong gust of wind came by. “That’ll have to do for now. We’ll come back to clean it all up once we have gotten some sleep.”
I hate ask, but can stay in library tonight? Scruffy questioned Twilight with his notepad.
“Absolutely you can. I wouldn’t dream of making you walk through the Everfree forest at this time of night.”
“Can I stay with you too?” Rainbow asked.
“Um, sure. You may spend the night with me.”
“Really?!” Rainbow asked rather eagerly as Twilight quickly discerned why.
“I meant at the library!” she hurriedly added, feeling embarrassed for Rainbow and her poor attempts now.
“Aww…” Rainbow moaned with disappointment and discomfort, as another wave of nausea hit her. Rarity tittered behind her hoof again.
“Rainbow dear, perhaps it’s better if you stay at my boutique tonight? I believe I have something that could help you with your stomach.”
“...Ah…” Rainbow mumbled, and without warning, barfed over Rarity’s hooves. Rarity stared at the mess, sighed bleakley, and summoned a napkin with her magic.
“All the things you do for friends…”
“Urgh…” Trixie moaned, cracking one eye open, and immediately closing it again due to the piercing light. Her head was pounding, she felt sick, she desperately needed to go the bathroom, and she had no idea where she was. All signs of an evening gone good, she thought to herself while bemoaning her state and recalling every vile curse in Griffonese she knew.
As she tried to get herself in a more comfortable position, she felt something against her back, and froze. Almost reluctantly, she turned her head around to either confirm or disprove the cause of the sinking feeling she had. What greeted her was a very sleepy looking, smiling Pinkie, who pulled Trixie a little closer when their eyes met.
“Good mornin’ sleepyhead.”