Behind Love's Mask

by Scootashy

Intro: The Party

‘Hold on a second, where’s Pinkie Pie? The four of us were supposed to meet up here, not just the three of us!’ Rainbow asked.

I didn’t know where she was. Neither did Applejack, we hadn’t seen Pinkie all day. As it started raining, we started doubting whether or not to go to the party ahead of Pinkie or to wait outside.
Applejack started off. ‘Ah say we better go ahead.’

‘I agree! It’s Pinkie’s fault she’s late anyway! Why should we get soaked because of it?’ Rainbow replied.

However, I voted for the opposite. ‘Uh, I think we should just wait for Pinkie. She will probably arrive here soon. If we go now, she might think we have abandoned her… Like that time…’

Applejack thought there was no need to worry. ‘Calm down sugarcube, she’s not going to go crazy again.’

But Rainbow changed her mind instantly. Makes sense, she had to drag Pinkie all the way to Sweet Apple Acres the last time that happened. ‘Ugh, she’s right. We can’t let that happen again, or the birthday party is ruined. Besides, it’s just a bit of rain. Forecasts say that the skies would be clear today, so we shouldn’t have to wait in the rain for that long.’ Shortly after, she followed up. ‘Wait, why are you two staring at me? You’re creeping me out.’

We did have a good reason to stare at her though. For the next minute, it was very quiet. The only sound we could hear was the sound of the rain falling on the ground. Applejack decided to tell Rainbow afterwards, since she still had no clue about what she just said. ‘Rainbow, who was in charge of the weather ‘round here again? If the skies are meant to be clear, ya should be takin’ care of the clouds right now!’

I nodded my head in agreement. Rainbow looked dumbfounded and quickly apologized before dashing up to the sky. Within seconds, the sky was clear again, which left me wondering why she didn’t just clear the sky right away. Even in the case it wasn’t her job, it would still be a smart thing to do.

‘Sorry, I was too busy today, I totally forgot about it!’ she shouted as she descended. We kept our mouths shut, but judging by the look on Applejack’s face, we were both thinking the same thing. Rainbow had been sleeping all day, no doubt about it. Sometimes, I wonder how such an energetic pony could also be one of the laziest ponies around. Then again she probably wonders the same about me. I barely have trouble talking to my friends anymore, while I still really hate talking to strangers. Oh well, every pony has his or her strengths and flaws.

The three of us waited another ten minutes. When Pinkie was still nowhere in sight, we agreed to go to Twilight’s birthday party. Upon arriving at Sugarcube Corner, there was something that stood out to all of us. Something we had secretly hoped not to find there. ‘PINKIE PIE!’ Rainbow shouted.
I felt stupid. I was the one who held back the others and let them wait. It should have been obvious that Pinkie was already starting up the party at Sugarcube Corner, even though she knew we were supposed to meet up at the park. It’s Pinkie Pie. Even with something this simple, you never know what she’s thinking or what she’s going to do. Still, it was very apparent that something was wrong at the moment. Sugarcube Corner looked… well, just like it looked every other day. No decorations or anything. Usually, when there’s a party going on, the place is more colourful than Rainbow’s mane! Instead, we could now see Twilight and Pinkie packing stuff in suitcases. Oh, and in a cannon. At the time, I didn’t know what that was for. But it being something Pinkie Pie was working on, I wasn’t sure if I should be happy or scared to find out what that thing would do.

There was no time to wonder about what it would do. As soon as Rainbow shouted, Pinkie Pie turned around. Applejack tried to say something: ‘What in the hay is goin’ on he-’

She couldn’t finish her sentence, since Pinkie fired her cannon at us. I still have no idea if she did it because she got startled or because she wanted to welcome us, but we were suddenly covered in confetti. All of us were also suddenly wearing party hats. Or at least two of us were, Applejack was just covered in a blanket for some strange reason.

‘Hi guys! This is my new Party Cannon, do you like it? Huh, huh, huh?’ she said as she started bouncing towards us. I was the first to reply. ‘It… It’s fine. But do you supposed you could… shoot it at something else next time?’

Then Applejack started complaining about getting a multi-coloured blanket shot at her. To be honest, it looked quite funny. If Rarity would have been there, she might have been able to get some inspiration for a new dress. Halfway through Applejack’s ‘rant’, for the lack of a better word, Twilight stepped towards us. Oddly enough, she didn’t even talk to us. Instead, she started to talk to Pinkie. ‘Oh Pinkie, you just spent the last 10 minutes packing that cannon! Now we’ll have to start over…’
In true Pinkie Pie style, Pinkie replied by immediately pulling out a spare cannon loaded with decorations from behind the front desk.

‘Hey egghead, what’s going on here? I thought this was your birthday party, not some sort of farewell party!’ Rainbow asked angrily. Twilight stared at her for a moment before asking what she was talking about. Apparently, they were just packing stuff to prepare for the party. Luckily, she also clarified what she meant by that right afterward, since you could tell that all of us did not understand that logic at all. Normally you should be taking the balloons out of the suitcase if you want to party, not put them in…

She told us that she had asked Celestia if her birthday party could be moved over to Canterlot to surprise Rarity, who was staying in the castle. They were just packing up and ready to go. ‘But why didn’t you tell us?’ I asked her. Instead of getting an answer from Twilight, Pinkie answered. ‘Oh silly, I was going to tell you when you got here!’
We decided to change the subject of the conversation by congratulating Twilight. Pinkie was obviously the one who forgot to inform us that the party was going to be held in Canterlot, so no point in going on about that. After all, she was in charge of the party.

Somepony knocked on the door. It seemed to open itself immediately, but that was just Twilight opening the door from across the room using magic. Right in front of us stood two pure white stallions. They were nice to us and offered to take us to Canterlot in a carriage. Since they were Royal Guards I suppose Twilight asked Celestia if they could take us, but it was a nice act of generosity either way. Pinkie started loading the suitcases, bags and cannons in the carriage while we took our seats. During the ride, Twilight told us that we could use the royal ballroom for her birthday party.
‘Wow, ah reckon that Celestia must be very proud of ya Twilight. Giving Rarity a castle suite cause y’asked, and now we can use the ballroom? Ah just hope that there won’t be any of those fancy ribbon ponies there, ya’know what I mean?’ Applejack said.

‘Oh I’m nothing special really, Celestia is just generous!’ Twilight insisted. I always like how she’s so modest about herself.
I agreed with Applejack. ‘Twilight, you don’t have to be so modest. You know she wouldn’t do that for everypony. She’s very generous, but it helps that you’re such a great student.’

‘Well, I suppose you’re right. I am her personal student after all! And Applejack, there’s no need to worry about the party. It will be just the six of us.’

‘Just the six of us in a giant ballroom? This is going to be so awesome!’
We all turned our heads to Rainbow. She just suddenly joined the conversation. Before that, she was busy trying to figure out details about the life of the Royal Guards. To no avail, both of the guards kept their mouths shut. It was also quite apparent that she had some energy to spare from her nap. Instead of sitting next to us in the carriage, she kept flying around it, going back and forth for no real reason. As for Pinkie, she was fiddling around with some balloons. I guess some balloons had escaped out of one of the bags.
Nothing interesting happened the last hour of the ride. I did get the chance to interact with some birds along the way, which is always nice.

‘Sssh, here she comes!’ Pinkie said.
Rarity opened the door. She was dressed in a nice getup which I presume she made herself.
Simultaneously, we all shouted: ‘SURPRISE!’

To OUR surprise, Rarity suddenly collapsed. That was the last thing we would have expected. Luckily, she was able to stand up within a matter of minutes. She was still acting strange. I mean, she said Opal was sick, so I offered to help. One second later, the door is shut tight and we can’t go in. Sure, Rarity was back soon, but couldn’t she just let me in in the first place? Opal was all wet and cold, she seemed so sick. I took her in my arms, dried her and warmed her up. Each time Rarity walked by, Opal started clawing at her. I did not know it at the time, but it was understandable she would do that. After all, it was Rarity who threw her under the shower to provide an excuse for what was coming up.

Let me continue at the birthday party. There’s not a lot to say, apart from that Rarity kept acting strange. She also disappeared a couple of times during the party. She thought we didn’t notice, but we’re not blind. We just didn’t mind it, we were having a lot of fun eating - and throwing, thanks to Rainbow - cake, playing games and dancing. Gossiping about a few ponies from Ponyville was also something we did, albeit not a very nice thing to do.

Eventually, we found out that Rarity kept sneaking out of the ballroom to go to the party in the garden. We all had our suspicions about it, but we didn’t confront her with it until she brought that croquet mallet into the ballroom. At that moment, Rainbow got enough of it and straight up asked what was going on. I don’t understand why she didn’t just tell us, we’re her friends… We understand such things. I was actually a bit disappointed that she pretended Opal was sick, just so she could cover up more lies. I do think she learned her lesson, albeit a bit too late. In the end all of us went to the party outside, where we did not exactly get a ‘warm welcome’ from the Canterlot ponies. Feeling uncomfortable, I decided to fly up to the birds to communicate with them. At least they were nice, unlike the ponies at the party, who just kept staring at me in disgust.

…In all honesty, I know I’m not giving a very uh… in-depth recollection of what I can remember of that evening. Or rather, I am giving an in-depth recollection, since… it’s all I can remember from what happened up until that point. No, no, it’s not as bad as you think. I didn’t hit my head on a tree branch, got involved in an accident, or anything like that. It was just… him.

Out of the crowd of disrespectful ponies, one pony stepped forward and stood up for us. Or rather, Rarity got involved with him. It doesn’t matter, since in the end, he did help us out. All the other ponies seemed to agree with him afterwards, they would literally mimic every word he said. He looked like a pony with a lot of influence on others. And money, a lot of money. But that was not it. It was something else that caught my attention.

My heart skipped a beat. I only saw him for a few seconds, but I knew right away he was a respectful, well mannered and beautiful stallion. And the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.