Moondancer groaned as she noticed the first few drops of rainfall splatter upon the open pages of her history book. She quickly closed the hardcover, bringing the object in close to her chest, shielding it as best she could. She cast a glare in the direction of the sky, mostly a cheerful blue save for a few dark clouds. It was only a light drizzle, but it meant that she would have to move indoors if she wanted to continue reading.
With a grunt, the mare slipped the small book down her sweater and readjusted the position of her dark-rimmed prescription glasses. She then stood up from the bench, commencing to walk in the direction of her new home which sat not too far a ways off down Mane Street. Ponyville hadn't been her first choice when it came to what she saw as a good place to live, especially considering that it was the town where Twilight Sparkle, The Princess of Friendship resided. But all things considered, Moondancer didn't have all that much of a choice.
Rent in Canterlot had simply climbed to absurd heights the last six months or so. More ponies had been moving there, and supply and demand meant that landlords began to charge more and more for rooms. It hadn't been long before Moondancer realized that she would have to do something about it, and she didn't want to get a full-time job that would force her to be away from her studies for longer than she'd have liked. She would've gone to live with a relative, but the only one she had in Canterlot was her sister, and she was married, so living with her would've been an imposition.
It was difficult for Moondancer to move, not just because of all the work it took moving her things, but also because it meant leaving the Canterlot Library behind in all its book-filled splendor. But when she had got a job offer to act as the librarian at a newly opened establishment in a small town called Ponyville, she simply had to accept. She had received the offer from a distant cousin, who had learned of her situation from her sister. And it had been surprisingly easy to find a vacant ground-level apartment with a reasonable rate.
However as annoying as the hassle of moving had been, Moondancer was relieved that it was all mostly over now. The mover ponies had gone on ahead of her, and under the direction of her sister - who had graciously agreed to help - had made sure that everything fit into her new place. Moondancer would've done all that herself, but she still had a few things to finish up in Canterlot before her departure. Well, she would be starting her new job later this same week. And all she had left to do now was unpack a bunch of boxes - which was just what she had been hard at work doing, before she had decided to take a break and go read, that is.
Now she just hoped she could get back to her apartment before she and her precious book were soaked. Suddenly, a pink pony zipped in front of her, which perplexed Moondancer quite a bit. The street was comparatively vacant, and she saw no reason anypony would need to stand in her way, especially facing her. Moondancer moved to go around her, but the pony moved to continue blocking her path. It was becoming clear that this pony was doing this intentionally.
"Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie!" the pink pony chirped, hopping in place. "I heard you just moved in!" She produced a tuba out of thin air and blew into it, the gust of sound emitted from its horn making Moondancer's hair stand on end. "I'm here to welcome you!"
"Thanks," Moondancer deadpanned before resuming her walk and circumventing the enthusiastic, poofy-haired obstacle.
Pinkie Pie followed, having somehow discarded the tuba, and quickly caught up to hop alongside Moondancer as she walked, grinning broadly and seeming altogether unperturbed by how the newcomer had reacted to her greeting. "So," Pinkie chimed, "you're Moondancer, right?"
Said pony raised an eyebrow, but continued to walk without stopping. "How do you know my name?" she asked.
"Your sister!" Pinkie replied, beaming. "She was here with the mover ponies and all your stuff! Love the pink ottoman, by the way! At first I thought she was the one moving in, but then she explained that it wasn't her, but it was her sister; you!"
"Fascinating," Moondance responded with acute disinterest.
"Mhmm! Well, now that I've actually met you, I think we're going to be great friends! I'd like to invite you to a 'Welcome to Ponyville, Moondancer!' party I'm throwing at Sugarcube Corner! It's tomorrow night!"
"I don't do friends," Moondancer responded. "Or parties," she finished flatly, causing Pinkie to stop completely.
Moondancer didn't pause though, and continued to walk, not bothering to look behind her. "What?!?!" she heard from a few yards back. Suddenly the pink earth pony once again zipped in front of her, staring at her wide-eyed and stopping her in her tracks a second time.
"Would you mind?!" Moondancer was beginning to get more than a little irritated with all of this unwanted attention. "Look, thanks for the effort, but I'm just not that kind of pony. And I really need to get home before this rain soaks through and ruins my book!"
Wordlessly, Pinkie quickly pulled out a large purple umbrella from who-knows-where, and opened it above their heads, continuing to stare.
Moondancer's eyebrows creased. "If you had an umbrella on hoof, why didn't you use it sooner?" she couldn't help asking.
"Love-rain-Just-keep-the-umbrella-for-emergencies-But-that's-not-important-right-now!" Pinkie replied in run-on. "Whaddya mean you don't have friends or go to parties?! Everypony's gotta have friends! And who doesn't love a good party?!"
Pinkie's mouth dropped awide and she gasped loudly, her mouth remaining agape. She remained that way, unmoving.
"Are you okay?" Moondancer asked, but Pinkie didn't respond. Moondancer continued to stand there awkwardly before finally saying, "Uhm... okay, bye!" She went around the pink pony once more, continuing on her way. But she had only gotten a few hoofsteps in before she blinked and found herself facing the pink pony again. "Ahh!" Moondance cried out in surprise.
Pinkie Pie stood on her hind legs and pressed her snout to Moondancer's, meeting her gaze with bulging eyes. "Why?" Pinkie asked in a loud whisper.
Moondancer recoiled in extreme discomfort. "Okay! You're really starting to freak me out right now!"
Pinkie's serious demeanor vanished quickly and her original bright expression reappeared. She hopped in place on all fours, somehow making the sound of a spring twanging each time she jumped. "Sorry! Welp, if you don't want a party, maybe you'll accept this house-warming gift, or in this case: apartment-warming. Pinkie hoofed Moondancer the handle of the umbrella she was holding over their heads.
"Um... thanks?" Moondancer replied.
"No problem!" Pinkie grinned, and in a flash of pink... she was gone.
Moondancer just stood there in the middle of the street, holding the umbrella wordlessly as the only sound that could be heard was that of the raindrops' soft pitter pattering upon the waterproof canopy over her head.
Something told Moondancer that this wouldn't be the last time she would encounter the particularly exuberant pink pony.
Perhaps she had picked the wrong town to move to.