Fluttershy had many reasons to be happy, and she wasn't even stoned yet.
It had been over three years since the Elements of Harmony had become best friends, despite how different they could all be from one another. It showed how strong their unity was, despite their clashing personalities and desires. They all forgave each other and loved one another, no matter how many insults and fights that could fly at the drop of a hoof.
Today was different though.
It just seemed that some unknown stressor was affecting them, and that was what made a motherly instinct inside of Fluttershy kick in. She was determined to help her friends in any way she could, and if Rarity offered to help than that was fine and dandy too.
Once the food had started flowing and some water to fight the mild summer heat was served - dehydration surely didn't help the stress of the situation - her friends seemed to relax more and more; she too could get peeved at not properly eating.
"So it seems that, Rainbow: You might be looking for a pony to settle down with," Fluttershy said, swirling a spoon through her cauliflower soup. "And, Twilight: You are looking for your first playmate."
Rainbow nodded, suckling down pieces of marinara covered calamari. Fluttershy's oldest friend drank water like a fish and was almost always instantly perked up by any offering of fish, or seafood in general.
And there's nothing wrong with that too, she thought. While she was a vegetarian herself, Pegasi could and did digest seafood if they so chose too. It's just part of the circle of life, and fish can't talk anyways.
With her energy drink in hoof and food in her stomach, Rainbow Dash looked almost chipper. "That pretty much sums it up," Rainbow nodded, swirling another piece of squid through her tomato sauce. "I'm not in heat, so that's not making it worse. Maybe I just... bottle in too many of my true feelings, you know? I'm afraid to speak out about my problems, and I'm sick of chasing tail, as Applejack said earlier. But I'm... afraid to commit. Tesla Coil left a bad taste in my mouth. And well..."
"So that's why you haven't moved on huh?" Applejack said, chewing her spinach sandwich loudly. "Caboose filled with baggage? I thought that was Rarity's job." She gave Rarity a wink, fully remembering the camping trip Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow went on.
Rarity rolled her eyes at Applejack’s comment, Rainbow chuckling at the memories.
Dash continued her thoughts. "You could say that. I guess I just don't feel like I can be that intimate without getting hurt again; I don't want a pony getting close to me only to drop me hard and leave me a wreck. I'm deeper than I look."
"So you are a hoof deep instead of half of one?" Rarity smiled. "I thought you could take more, Rainbow; you are falling behind on your training, and with how much you work on your body you need to be properly fit to function."
Rainbow both blushed and snorted loudly in her failed attempt to repress her laughter, choking on a piece of squid to the resounding giggles of her friends.
Friendship was only at its finest when it was laughing at Rainbow Dash's misery.
"I'm so glad you are all back to being the lovely fillies that you are." Fluttershy sighed peacefully.
She had accepted what her friends had become over the years, for good or ill. Yes, they swore, drank, had sex, and were no longer the innocent young mares that they once were, but it was fun. And she would be lying to herself if she didn't admit that letting loose like that helped her, Rarity, and Twilight relax their more conservative sides.
She pushed aside the wild side of her personality that liked rum and vodka to a corner of her mind. Or until the evening came. It was for the best.
"I'm sure we can help you with being emotionally intimate, Rainbow; just like we can help you, Twilight." Fluttershy wrapped a wing gently around Twilight, giving her a calm smile.
"Thanks, girls, when you aren't giving me all migraines," Twilight smirked with a roll of her eyes, sipping her tomato bisque soup. "I should have known you girls would help me, but I guess since this is so... personal, I didn't know what to say." She clopped her forehooves together nervously. "And I guess I'm... heh... maybe in estrus?"
"Twilight dear, it isn't as if ponies aren't naked in public anyways and aren't used to mares being in heat." Rarity twirled her fork through her caesar salad idly. "Society would collapse if mares just went berserk during their cycles.”
Rarity looked at Fluttershy with a gentle smile. “Fluttershy dear, I have to tell you: Do you know sometimes you just... radiate tranquility? It's why you make a wonderful model."
Fluttershy blushed softly at the compliment. Maybe it's because I'm preparing myself for tonight, she thought. Not that I'm a bully or anything tipsy! I do seem able to make ponies feel at peace though, but ponies seem to like it. Peace is peaceful. If there was anypony in Equestria who enjoyed peace, it was Fluttershy.
Although every once in awhile - such as nights like tonight - getting wild was half the fun.
"And I wanna know what you have planned for us, Rarity, and what's the deal with you thinking that Twilight and Rainbow should hook up?" Pinkie said.
Pinkie had been mellowed out as much as was possible without tranquilizers from her calzone and contained can of Mooster. Those silly fillies and their bottled energy, Fluttershy thought. Twilight told me once about her theory on Pinkie Pie and caffeine, and how it calms her down. Something about... oh I can't remember. She'd have to ask Twilight about it later.
Rarity tapped her forehooves gently on the table, letting out a quiet sigh. “What I meant to say was that as Rainbow Dash is the most... 'experienced' of us, Twilight should seek her advice on how to handle herself when flirting. With careful observation from the rest of us. Careful, observation.”
The other Elements nodded their heads gently in understanding. Rarity leaned back for a moment, filing a hoof as she took a bite of her salad. “In return I think Fluttershy and I can help you over the weeks find someone more long term for you, Dash. Don’t you agree?”
Rainbow was positively blooming with delight. She wasn't exactly well known for her ability to hide her satisfaction with something. A swishing, excited tail that was a solid six-colored spectrum of look-at-me didn't help either.
And she's so adorable like that too! Fluttershy hummed.
“So I get to help Twilight score, you’ll help me find a better pony than Tessie, I get free food, and this is mostly happening tonight!?” Rarity nodded at Rainbow, a squee emitting from Rainbow's muzzle in delight. Rarity twitched at the high pitched sound, despite the rest of the Elements grinning at Dash's joy. “Oh my gosh, that is totally awesome!”
Rainbow wrapped a wing firmly around Twilight. “Oh my gosh, I am gonna find the colt for you!”
“Or mare,” Rarity added.
“Or ma-hey wait a minute,” Dash said, flicking an ear. “I’m not gonna force anything on Twi’. Just because my nimbus blows in all directions doesn’t mean hers does.”
Twilight was colored more akin to the soup she was formerly drinking than her own lavender. Her ears folded by the sides of her muzzle in shyness. “W-w-well, as Rarity said earlier, one should love a pony for their heart,” she nervously chuckled. “Not to mention we do have wonderfully curved... posteriors.”
“Now, Twi’, that’s nothin’ to be ashamed about,” Applejack said, tipping her hat sagely. “As if the rest of y’all don’t have barn doors that swing both ways. Or hay, most mares in Equestria.”
“Woah, woah, woah, us?” Pinkie gasped. “Excuse me, who’s the one who rolled in the hay with that girl from the Neightherlands last year in Bayston?”
“That doesn't count!” Applejack whinnied, slamming her forehooves onto the table. “She raped me! I may be strong, but she was a borderline rhino!”
“Umm... I hate to correct you, Applejack,” Fluttershy said, tapping her forehooves together, “but you were neighing really, really loudly. I heard you from across the motel. I had to sleep in the park it was so bad.” Granny Smith doesn't like mares doing that, but Applejack should know she’s safe with us.
Her thoughts clearly were not conveying themselves to Applejack. “I was drunk ‘n had a hit of reefer; I couldn't speak properly! Y’all know I was cryin’ afterwards.”
"Like, please," Pinkie chirped, resulting in a grin from Rainbow. "We were all like, 'Applejack, what are you doing with that marefriend of yours?' and all we could hear was-"
Pinkie's tongue and lips merged to form a slurping, bubbling gurgle of sounds half drooling from her mouth, cascading into a chorus of chuckles from the other Elements. Fluttershy was repressing pent up at how flustered Applejack was that morning after. Oh my gosh, she was completely gone. It was adorable! She could barely stand and was just so clumsy!
Applejack snorted air from her nose, folding her forehooves in front of her chest. "Here I am, tryin' to be helpful, and I get made fun of for havin' a good time last year."
The sharp ruby that exploded over her face wasn’t helped by the way her eyes darted about in panic. Her bad poker face was legendary. "W-w-wait, I mean-"
"Oh ho ho, you had more than that by the 'after action report' you did," Rainbow said, her voice cracking as she fell backwards onto the ground in squealing cackles of bliss.
“I... I should have sent Celestia a report about it,” Twilight choked, barely able to speak. Her neck had given up trying to support her head, her muzzle resting on the table as she pounded a hoof on its surface. “D-d-dear Celestia, Applejack today learned about the beauty of being open-minded. S-s-sometimes, different cultures do-"
She couldn't finish, falling over onto her back as the entire restaurant stared at the six mares - or five with one very pissed looking one - going ballistic.
Applejack sputtered as her friends broke out into gales of laughter, giving each and every one of them a dark stare from her green eyes. It didn't stop the laughing.
“Oh damn all of you to Tartarus ‘n get fondled by billy goats," Applejack spat. "I like strong mares. Kiss my round flank cheeks.”
They had all needed the burst of euphoria and Fluttershy could not help herself but join in, something that would've made her catatonic only two years ago. We all can laugh at ourselves, as Pinkie would say. Around friends, we all can open up and enjoy ourselves.
“It’s okay, Applejack,” Fluttershy giggled. She hovered over to Applejack, wrapping a forehoof around her side supportively. “You don’t need to take it so hard. It’s not like tonight one of us won't do something we won't laugh at. It'll most likely be me too.” And there's nothing wrong with that. I am a silly filly at times.
“I think... I think that’s what I needed, and that was to pull a muscle laughing.” Rainbow cooed drunkenly as she pushed herself up back onto her seat, wiping away the budding tears forming in the corners of her eyes. “I also think I need a pony who wasn't a plothole like Tesla. She was super kinky, but she reminded me too much of Gilda; or really old me; or Applejack hurt about her love of freshly spread, Germaney mare butter.”
Applejack could not help but spread the smallest of smiles from the corners of her fiery cheeks. "W-well that mare I had tasted as good as she looked, but damn she chipped a tooth when I got deep into her." The smile grew with every passing second. "I got'er good with my thighs around her neck though afterwards."
"R-r-revenge tastes so cidery sweet?" Fluttershy whispered.
Dash cried out in painful joy as the reckless laughter continued, soon enough cascading in the oak table being pounded and kicked by the Elements lost in hysteria.
Oh my gosh, I said something funny, sober! Oh my gosh I'm putting that in my diary! Fluttershy squeed loudly inside of her own head. It was a life accomplishment worthy of note.
"P-p-please, you two," Twilight panted, resting her snout on the table, "I'm... I'm dying. That was... the funnest three days of my life. We have to do something like that again!" Her eyes stared wildly into space, letting out a content sigh at the memories. They were memories that would have made Twilight either puke or ponder genocide only three years ago.
"Oh my gosh we totally do!" Pinkie rumbled, bouncing onto and on top of her seat. "We should do something like that tonight, because I was so tipsy back then, but is it my fault that Bayston lager is so tasty-no it isn't!" Pinkie oinked out pulsating giggles from her muzzle. "Oh horsies... I was so sore the morning after! Gobbling is so much fun. Why am I so good at it?"
Rainbow wrapped a forehoof around Pinkie's side. "Lots, and lots, of practice, Pinkie. I take second place to you on that."
Rarity couldn't keep herself from both tittering and blushing at the memories. She needed a break from it all from time to time as well. Or a lot of the time, if the amount of her dramatic flare ups were a good gauge of things.
She leaned forward scandalously, letting a prideful smile spread across her muzzle. "You see, Twilight? You just have to relax around us and let yourself go. And speaking of that trip, you all had to admit the stallion I got from Stablehelm was nothing short of hot," she rumbled. "He was the kind of a colt that would not last around Ponyville; not with me around, at least."
"Uhh, duh?" Rainbow growled huskily, her wings twitching by her sides. "Did you see his plot? Reminded me a lot about myself, if I was, ya know, from Scandineighvia. And a dude. And blond."
"Oh I saw more than that, I just didn't tell you about it," Rarity cooed to the envious moans of her friends. "Let's just say... oh no, I promised I would not tell!"
"Truth or Dare question tonight!" Pinkie clopped her forehooves together excitedly. "I'm so glad Celestia didn't know that we went there. That... wouldn't be good."
Twilight groaned at the thought of it, rolling her eyes to banish it to the recesses of her mind. "I think that's perhaps the biggest understatement anyone of us has ever made, ever."
She sat back up in her seat, pulling her mane back into place with a quick thrum of magic. "The last thing I want is for her to get into my sex life. Shining does that enough, as do my parents. And it seems you all." She chuckled dryly. "Guess it comes with being me, doesn't it?"
Rainbow drank her mug of water swiftly, coughing at the air trapped in her lungs. "Sorry we just want you to have, like, the best life ever, Twilight. Horrible isn't it?" Twilight kept her expression at smug indifference, Dash winking playfully at her. "So,” Dash continued with a loud clop of her forehooves, “back to sex."
"I'm shocked again," Rarity said.
"You started it," Dash replied, sticking out her tongue. "Why are Scandineighvian's so hot? Hey. He's all I can think about right now thanks to you, Rarity."
Pinkie stroked the end of her muzzle. "Well... they live in a cold place, and that shrinks things, so they get big things down there to make up for things when it gets warm! Well... okay... that doesn't explain everything else, and those things don't mean everything, but I mean, otherwise, how would us Earth ponies breed?"
Twilight blinked rapidly. "I'll just fill in the blanks of what Pinkie just said. Even I don't dance around talking about sex like that."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Applejack asked flatly. "I'm... not sure if I should be angry, or confused. I think I'm both."
Rainbow raised a forehoof. "It means that you need something sturdy to fill ya, Applejack. You know... big stallions ‘n stuff. Size counts for farm ponies. Not that I'm a size queen."
"Are you callin' me loose, thunder thighs?" Applejack blew out a trundle of steam from the end her muzzle, leaning forward to glare at Rainbow.
“No, Jackie,” Pinkie added, “she’s saying that if ya did non-Germaney ponies they’d most likely fall out because-ohh..."
Applejack smacked her tail on the ground, her dense blond hair resonating a resounding thud on the cobblestone. “I let ya prod at my hay life, but callin’ my gate broken in from plush pink lips and bulging blue behind just doesn't cover it.”
“Hey, I just meant you guys like big packages!" Rainbow said. "And I do have thunder on my thighs. Size isn’t a big deal for me as long as it’s averageish. Just saying Earth ponies need... uhh... oh... shit.”
Fluttershy squeaked softly. Her silence wasn't helping to defuse the situation.
Nor was the talking about sex. That was clearly the issue, and it seemed her friends were all having pent up urges that needed to be released. Badly.
The last thing Ponyville needed at the moment was Applejack and Rainbow fighting each other over sexual insults in public over a misunderstanding.
It tended to happen a lot.
“Calm down you two,” Fluttershy chuckled, swallowing down the wad of saliva in her mouth. “I-it was all fun and games. R-right, Pinkie Pie?”
“Yeah, but that wasn't nice.” Pinkie pouted, sticking out her bottom lip. “It’s just a joke, Jackie."
“Come now, there’s no reason to be so bullheaded, dears,” Rarity said. “Save the insults for when we only remember them in the morning.”
“Rainbow’s plothole is bullheaded,” Applejack muttered, blowing a loose strand of her mane from her eyes.
Twilight, Rainbow, Rarity, and even Pinkie glared at her, their eyes turning into slits at the comment.
“Wow... mature,” Twilight said. "Glad to see we can handle this like adults."
Fluttershy simply didn't know what to do. Any peace she had was replaced by her stuttering, bumbling indecisiveness. “Umm... girls,” Fluttershy whispered, “can we-”
“Sheesh you said it-” Pinkie began, only to be interrupted by Rainbow hovering above her seat.
"Can we leave my butthole out of this, I was born that way!" Rainbow cried. "I'm having a love life crisis here, AJ, and Twilight needs a good pony for her first. The last thing I need is to be paranoid about how my airstrip looks when I’m helping her. Sorry mine gets me more than ponies whose names are a fruit or a metal.”
If Applejack had damaged the mood Rainbow had destroyed it into a million pieces.
“Incoming,” Rarity whistled, nipping at her salad.
Okay, just let them fight it out, and everything will be alright.
Fluttershy quietly sighed to herself. Stopping an Applejack and Rainbow fight without Twilight shoving them apart was akin to stopping Rainbow and Pinkie Pie from doing something insane; you simply didn’t know either of the three mares involved.
Pinkie hummed rapidly in amusement, slurping on her Mooster as loudly as possible. “Boy, that escalated quickly.”
Applejack pressed her forehooves onto the table, doing everything but tipping it over as she dug into the wood, standing herself up. “Oh buck you, Rainbow. You may be a sarcastic little twit-”
“-thanks for the confidence boost, applehoofer," Rainbow nickered darkly.
"-you're welcome, but I care for ya, girl, despite all the jokin' around we do and you know that. Even when you’re a puffy green fart cloud. I love ya in a sisterly, non-incest related way, so that’s why I’m so defensive of you ‘n things. And that’s why ya shouldn’t make fun of me when I’m tryin’ to be decent. So don’t poke fun of yer older sister... protectin'... you.”
Applejack paused to reflect on her words, biting her bottom lip.
She constructed her next sentence slowly. “I... I knew you were plannin' on somethin' there, so I had to close that door ahead of time from the incest joke. Or... somethin’."
Rainbow broke down into a series of choking snorts. “Nice job keeping up with the alpha mare insults, AJ; good job keeping cool. A for effort.”
Applejack huffed out a chuckle in return. “Well my lips aren’t as practiced as yours.”
“I take that as a compliment that I can please ponies who come near me,” Rainbow preened, landing back down on her seat. "Might not be quite as good as Pinkie, but I'd say I leave them satisfied customers."
Pinkie bounced contently in seat. “Wee! Everything went better than expected. Whew! I thought this would be a fight, aren’t I glad-”
“Well ya know what they say, RD,” Applejack smirked, “loose lips sink airships.”
Twilight winced. “Or... not.”
Fluttershy's yellow fur was covered in sweat that slowly dripped down her skin. She was watching what was once a semi-controlled orchestra of harmony turn into a battle between an electric guitar and a furious fiddle.
Rainbow burst across the table with a crackle of air behind her, pressing her muzzle firmly into Applejack's. “Loose, lips?! Excuse me, gunta, I’m the second tightest here, Flapplejack.”
“I do not flap," Applejack growled, pushing her snout into Rainbow's. "But with what ya got under yer tail yer butthole flaps. Ponies just don’t tell ya about it.”
“I present to you a mare who has her own business, ladies and gentlecolts,” Rarity said, filing her hooves casually.
Fluttershy whimpered in defeat, leaning into Rarity submissively, her aqua eyes looking up at Rarity’s own. “S-s-should I Stare them? I don’t want to go that far, but-”
“There, there, Fluttershy,” Rarity cooed, kissing Fluttershy's forehead. “Rarity has this taken care of. Don't you worry about it. Let them fight it out for a bit longer, and everything will be alright.”
"Arion’s piss, AJ, I knew you kissed dirt but do you like my tailhole that much?” Rainbow’s tail flicked angrily behind herself. “You should've told me since you see it all the time tryin’ to catch me. Wanna give it a kiss? Show Twilight how it’s done?”
“Okay, that is kinda hot!” Pinkie beamed. "I'd pay to see that!"
“I have a headache at the stupidity of my friends,” Twilight whined, rubbing her forehead. “Why don’t you all just get toys and relax? Do I have to do an ex-” Her face flushed a blaring red as that thought crossed her mind. Her blush grew worse knowing that she would secretly enjoy such an experiment.
Rarity stroked Twilight's shoulder gently, giving her cheek a light kiss. “There, there, I’ll make this all better soon. Just you watch. And you can count me out on that ‘gala’ gleefully. Sorry, Twilight.”
Applejack and Rainbow didn't seem keen on ending their bickering, which was a shock to noone watching the scene, including every table around them.
“I don’t need to kiss your puffy pucker when you’ll be chewin' on mud,” Applejack spat. “'Cause I’ll show you, thunderfart, how much gas is inside yer behind when I kick it!”
Rarity slammed her trimmed forehooves on the table, her eyelashes curled like scimitars. She stood up on her hind legs, her tail stuck up in a coiled spiral of channeled fury. Tartarus had no fire like the icy core of Rarity’s sapphire eyes beaming diamond wrath on her foes.
“I swear to Vogue that I will mud wrestle Applejack for you Rainbow Dash - and that is a Pinkie Pie Promise - if you both sit down, listen to what I have planned and me trying to make tonight the best night ever, and shut the fuck, up!"
Not a sound was heard from the table, nor the tables around it, nor the restaurant, nor the whole street surrounding them.
Everypony stopped and looked not in anger, but in fear. A fear of Rarity.
She wasn’t panting or seething in anger, but the arctic ice hissing from her chilled orbs spoke of rage unseen; it spoke of vengeance repressed for eons using the brief moments of explosive release to open up the doors to her teeming, chilled inferno. They didn’t even need to be visible.
Her posture alone had transcended the levels of even the Stare, and yet no one was cowering. It was as if time had stopped except for all of the eyes in Ponyville, looking at her and ready to do as she commanded.
Rarity didn't seem to care. Rarity didn't care about the aura of raw power escaping from her coat and the trickling magic sending faint, misty due around her form.
Fluttershy was not scared herself. No, she was in awe.
Was this how ponies felt under her own gaze? Did she command something near this level of intimation?
“That, is better,” Rarity whispered, slowly sinking herself down on her chair, twirling her fork through her salad as a soldier would with a dagger on their hoof. Her coat was slightly damp from the residue magic that gleamed cool water down her frame, and yet it only added to both her beauty and her allure of charisma.
“I am only going to say this once,” Rarity said. Slowly the world seemed to return to life. No colt or mare dared to call her out on her anger. “I recently came up with this, but as you all know - unlike Rainbow and much more like our wonderful Twilight - my plans are usually great ones. This one, is a fantastic one. I want to make this night the start of a series of events that will truly change our lives for the better, and I have the determination and creativity to make it so.”
She pressed her forehooves together firmly, her blue eyes slowly looking at the focused, beautifully colored eyes of her peers waiting for her every word. “So let me speak, and we shall do it, and I shall let you all go back to your buffoonery and I may join you soon enough. Any questions?”
Her friends collectively shook their snouts in unison.