There were only so many things three little fillies could do in Equestria to try and get their cutie marks. From aerobics to zip lining it seemed like they'd tried everything. Their latest endeavor, paper making, left them frustrated and covered in gooey slops of paper grossness. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle all either sat or slumped in the grass under the warmth of the sun drying their matted coats. "We're never going to get our cutie marks," grumbled Scootaloo. She was trying to get paper mixture out of her nose with a stiff blade of grass.
"Everypony keeps tellin' us to be patient," huffed Apple Bloom, kicking slop from her back hoof. "I'm tired of bein' patient!"
Sweetie Belle looked down at the mess stuck to her front. It was already halfway dry and made her make a face. "Maybe we'll get our cutie marks for being pinatas." Apple Bloom trotted over and gripped the mass in her teeth, yanking. Sweetie Belle's eyes popped wide open as small bits of fur were pulled with it. She bit down on her lip, managing a tiny, "Thank you."
"Come on, Crusaders!" the little yellow earth pony encouraged. "There's still tons of stuff we can try!"
Scootaloo lifted a hoof to cover one nostril and blew out hard from her other. The paper goo shot out and landed on the ground. As she rubbed her nose she looked at her friends. "Like what? I already told you there was no way I was going to try glass blowing again."
"Or fencing," Sweetie Belle added meekly.
Sitting back on her haunches, Apple Bloom sighed quietly in thought. All around Ponyville was the bustle of activity. It was a nice end of summer day and ponies were happy to be out in the warmth. Some had bags from shopping, some sat across a table at the cafe from one another, sharing in conversation. As she pony watched, Apple Bloom also saw a quick and shy nuzzle pass between Sour Grapes and Daisy. If Scootaloo had been the one to see it she'd have made a gagging sound or made some kind of comment about the interaction. But it made Apple Bloom happy to see. It was no secret that she was a romantic at heart and seeing ponies happy together made her look forward to the day she would be old enough to be in love. Until then she'd have to live through her siblings.
Red eyes narrowed as she watched the couple but no longer really saw them. An idea was sprouting in her head and when it came into full bloom she practically jumped with excitement. "I got it!" Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo exchanged looks but Apple Bloom hardly noticed. "We could be matchmakers!"
Scootaloo's tongue stuck out and she grimaced. "Matchmakers?"
"You know, match ponies with other ponies to make perfect couples. It could be our special talent!"
"Ew! Why would we want to do that?"
"Why wouldn't we want to do that?" asked Sweetie Belle, trotting over to stand beside Apple Bloom. "I think it's a great idea, Apple Bloom! Aw, I love seeing ponies in love. Cutie Mark Crusader Matchmakers!"
"No way!" Scootaloo shook her head and crossed her forelegs over her chest. "What would you get for a cutie mark from that? Hearts? Ponies kissing? I do not want ponies kissing on my flank!"
"Why do you hate love so much, Scootaloo?" asked Apple Bloom.
"Because love is gross."
"Who were you thinking about matching up first, Apple Bloom?" Sweetie Belle ignored the faces Scootaloo was pulling and bounced with excitement.
"I don't know. Let's think about it a second. There are more mares than stallions here in Ponyville so we should probably find our stallion first. So let's see. There's Caramel..."
"Or, I don't know," muttered Scootaloo. "Your brother maybe?" The other two fillies looked at her sharply and she blinked. "What?"
"Scootaloo!" Apple Bloom exclaimed. "You're a genius!"
"I am? I mean...yeah, of course I am! All you had to do was ask. Um...why am I a genius?"
"Oooh, Big Macintosh would be a catch for anypony!" crooned Sweetie Belle. "He's big and strong, he loves animals and his family. He's a good cook and he can protect anypony smaller than him. Which is pretty much the rest of Ponyville, actually."
"But who to match him with." Apple Bloom got to her hooves and paced the ground slowly. "Well they say opposites attract, right? So let's list the opposite of what you said, Sweetie Belle. Someone small an' weak, hates animals an' her family who can't cook an' can't protect nopony." She stopped pacing and blinked. "That doesn't sound like a good match for anypony."
"You know who's a good match for anypony?" Scootaloo offered. "Rainbow Dash!" Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom looked at her blankly. "What? I'm serious! She's awesome! She's the fastest and best flier in all of Ponyville! She's kinda strong like Big Mac. She likes to eat so that matches his liking to cook. She's got Tank and he's a tortoise and that's close to an animal."
"I don't know," said Sweetie Belle. She looked at Apple Bloom. "I kind of thought Rainbow Dash was..."
"Yeah," drawled Apple Bloom. "Me, too."
"What? Too awesome to be with somepony like Big Macintosh?" Scootaloo shrugged. "You may be right, but I think we should try it."
"So you're saying you'll help us if we try Rainbow Dash first?"
The little orange pegasus snorted. "Sure. Because after Rainbow Dash there won't be anypony else."
Apple Bloom threw her hooves around Scootaloo's neck, Sweetie Belle not far behind. "Okay! Let's go be Cutie Mark Crusader Matchmakers!" From the middle of the pile came a mumbled, "Yay...." from Scootaloo.