She lifted the package up to her eyes, peering at the illegible scribbles on the brown wrappings.
“To my dear Rainbow Dash, from… Grampa Prism?!” Rainbow Dash read to herself, scanning the messy hoofwriting as her eyes widened with each word. She hadn’t heard that name since she was a filly. Her hooves moved to tear the package open while her mind traversed fuzzy memories of her grandpa.
Gramps… haven’t seen ya in awhile... She jiggled the cardboard box with her ear planted on it, listening to the shifting contents. Fond memories of sitting by the weathered unicorn and listening to his tales whenever she visited the town flashed through her mind. Grandpa Prism was a peculiar unicorn, the only one in her immediate family. Rainbow Dash reminisced about his odd magic and the potions he brewed with a hint of a smile.
Embarrassing memories, of when she irrationally suffered in his warm presence as many a filly does, flittered through and caused her to cringe. To the bashful filly, he was the only “uncool” pony in the family. He took this in jest and merely showed her new toys he had crafted. Rainbow Dash’s grim smile faded with each memory of her immaturity flittering through her consciousness.
A small smile touched upon the corner of her lips as she finally tore the tape off of the box with her teeth. She spat it out, allowing it to pass through the cloud she was lying on and gingerly opened the box as to not allow its contents to fall.
“Rainbow Dash!” a voice called from the distance. Rainbow jolted and turned away from her precious box, only to spot a familiar pony in the horizon galloping through the orchard. She peeked over her cloud and noticed her litter had stuck to some of the trees below. Applejack seemed cheerful now, but Rainbow Dash was in for a lecture if she got caught red-hoofed. Cutting her losses, Rainbow Dash flipped off her cloud into flight and dashed off.
Clutching the box shut against her chest, she glided above Ponyville and searched for a place to open it in peace. Someplace quiet. Someplace nopony would ever think to find her. Someplace nopony would ever set hoof in. Someplace like—
“The library!” Rainbow Dash pounded her front hooves together, silently congratulating herself on her awesome intellect, then realized she had basically called herself an egghead. She then began thinking about the Wonderbolts to balance out her “coolness levels.”
Hey, I bet Twilight would like this!
She descended to the town’s rooftops, her eyes scanning the horizon for the library. The summer sunshine warmed her feathers, even as she flapped her wings. She found it to be a shame the weather team would have to end it so soon, but they were already running the risk of a drought, and the Mayor wouldn't hear one word of it if the crops were put at risk.
She continued to soar at a leisurely speed and approached the library in a manner of minutes. Calculating her landing, she flipped over to land on her hind legs and descended slowly, as to not crash on Twilight’s balcony… again.
Rainbow Dash hovered above the ground as she snuck inside, in case Twilight was absorbed in her studying. She scanned the immediate area, but found no dragon or pony in the bedroom. She trotted down the stairs. On the bottom step, known for its creak, she lightly pushed down on it and leaped off the stairs onto three hooves and looked into the room.
Oh Twilight, reading a book just like always. What an egghead. Rainbow Dash stepped away from the stairs and toward Twilight before waving. “Twilight!” She’s going to love this!
Twilight’s eye twitched, but she calmly shut the book and turned toward her intrusive friend. “Oh. Hey, Rainbow Dash.” Twilight’s tail swished as she walked past the table, brushing the abandoned book. “What are you doing here?”
Rainbow Dash lifted the cardboard box up and grinned. “I got a present from my gramps, and I kiiinda sorta figured…. you might want to look at it? It’s probably some cool magic junk.”
This caught Twilight’s attention. She pushed the book away and stood up, her ears straightening and her eyes sparkling in the library’s lighting. “Is your grandpa a unicorn?”
“That’s right!” Rainbow Dash puffed out her chest in dashing bravado. “My Grandpa Prism! The most talented, powerful, and uh… ‘awesome’ unicorn there is! He’s a little weird… but awesome!” Rainbow Dash blushed and turned her head to hide it. Maybe he is awesome... just not my kind of awesome… She turned back to Twilight. “And yeah, cool magic junk. Wanna see?”
Curiosity got the better of Twilight and she trotted over, lowering her head as Rainbow Dash set the box on the ground. Not knowing what enchantments laid inside, she gently lifted the four cardboard flaps and peered inside the box.
“Well, that’s interesting, I suppose,” Twilight said with a hint of disappointment. She lifted a foreleg to turn back to the table. Before Twilight could return to her reading, she was interrupted by Rainbow Dash’s wings flaring off her sides.
“Cool!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed as she lifted an object from the box and examined it. Just what I need! Twilight couldn’t help but stare at it as well, forgetting to blink in dull surprise.
“Goggles, it’s a pair of goggles. Exactly what’d I expect from a unicorn gifted in the arts of magic,” Twilight deadpanned.
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Yeah, but it’s me we’re talking about. Gramps knew me like nopony else!”
“What about Flu—”
“Anyway, let’s get a closer look at this baby…” Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes to slits as she peered at the pair of goggles, caressing the bronze frame as it glinted in the light.
Grandpa Prism, utilizing runology and his magic, had engraved fine feather-patterns along the frames. The scarlet tint of the frames was impractical, especially for a racing model, but Rainbow Dash—and admittedly Twilight—found the color complementary to its new owner.
As Rainbow Dash tugged on the pleather straps to slip the goggles on, Twilight rubbed her chin with a hoof and asked, “So what’s your grandpa like? What kind of magic does he do?”
Rainbow Dash finished tugging the goggle’s straps over her head before answering. “Uh, well… he casts magic on stuff and makes them do cool things, I guess?”
Twilight’s eyes widened as she translated Rainbow’s vague explanation. “Enchantments?” Her voice raised an octave.
“Yeah, whatever.” Rainbow Dash waved her off as she slipped the strap over an ear. “He makes potions like Zecora on occasion, but what he’s really good at is, blegh, feelings.” A gagging sensation rose in her throat as she thought of the time when she accidentally sipped one of her grandpa’s potions as a filly and started clinging to Fluttershy for the next few days. Nopony would let it down for weeks, especially after the net fiasco.
“What kind of feelings?” Twilight asked. A shudder ran down Rainbow’s spine as Twilight’s eyes began to sparkle. “Empathy magic is complex, especially involving—”
“Love,” Rainbow Dash spat, heat rising in her cheeks. “Love, okay? And all that mushy, gushy stuff Rarity likes. Gramps did some other stuff too, but he always talked about being a charmer—”
Twilight couldn’t help but giggle at the pun. She tried concealing her smile with a hoof—Rainbow Dash’s ears flopped to her side—and she settled with a mere roll of her eyes.
“-and whatever. Anyway, he was a little weird. Not Discord-weird, but pretty weird.”
Twilight sat on her haunches and cocked her head thoughtfully to the side, rubbing her chin. “Huh, I remember Cadence has magic like that, but I’ve never heard of a normal unicorn able to use amoromancy.”
“Wazzat?” Rainbow Dash almost had the tight goggles on, but one of the eye frames caught on her eyebrow and made it difficult to maneuver with her hooves. A task that drowned out Twilight’s musing. Twilight opened her mouth to repeat herself...
A loud knock echoed through the library, interrupting Twilight, as a hoof beat down on the library door. Rainbow Dash froze in place. Great! Applejack found me!
“Twilight! Twilight! Can ya open up? Ah know you’re studyin’ in there, the door’s locked again,” Applejack barked through the wooden door. It was Twilight’s turn to blush as she moved to unlock the door. The farmpony gave her thanks and then brushed her way past Twilight.
Rainbow Dash gulped as Applejack’s eyes laid upon her. The green irises briefly flashed with irritation as Applejack sighed and adjusted her stetson.
“Don’t worry sugarcube, Ah ain’t mad. Just mind where you litter next time, alright?” She tipped her hat to Rainbow Dash before turning to Twilight. “Ah was wonderin’ about that book…” she asked, blushing and shifting her eyes from left to right.
Rainbow Dash chuckled sheepishly before returning her attention the goggles. Free again to struggle with the tight straps, she pulled and pulled on the constricting bands. She made a mental note to ask Rarity for some proper pleather.
“Oh, of course Applejack. I never knew you were into ‘botany.’” Twilight gave her a knowing wink as her horn glowed to sift through the bookshelf.
“Sure thing, sugarcube. Ya have to branch out when takin’ care of trees.” Applejack’s voice caused a small twitch in Rainbow Dash’s ear, making it more difficult to slip the strap past it.
Turning her head at an odd angle, Rainbow Dash heard Twilight say, “That’s great, Applejack. Fluttershy checked out the same book last week. Once you’re finished, maybe you should try gardening too.”
Rainbow Dash stifled a gag as she got an ear past the pleather band. She found gardening to be a filly’s hobby, not nearly as cool and interesting as racing or her usual tricks.
Finally, the goggles gave a loud and satisfying snap, snug and secure on her face. With a small adjustment of the frames for comfort, Rainbow Dash opened her eyes.
“That’s weird,” Rainbow Dash said as she looked about the library. Despite the rose tint, her vision was clear. Maybe it was her grandpa’s spell making the glass another color. The books, the wood, and even her friends were the same color. Nothing was off.
Twilight nervously tapped her hoof on the ground. “Well I’m sure she wouldn’t mind teaching you—”
Rainbow Dash further tuned out the conversation as she noticed something shimmering in the air, just above Twilight’s head. Getting up on all fours, she crept forward and peered up from a distance. A strange red gas hovered above Applejack and Twilight as their botanic conversation continued. Nonplussed, Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes.
Are those… ribbons? Rainbow Dash brought her head back as the image began to clear. A small volt of scarlet energy crackled over a lens as the gassy picture focused. Hovering above the conversing mares were two fluttering ribbons, diaphanous scarlet ribbons like the ones Rarity used on some of her dresses. The frilly ones in particular. They danced in the air as if an unfeeling wind was blowing through the great hollowed tree. Their ends were frayed and tattered, dancing alongside each other but never touching. Tracing one with her eyes, Rainbow Dash found it twisted around Twilight’s neck, her barrel, and eventually submerged into her chest.
Examining the other one only proved the same for Applejack. Perplexed, Rainbow Dash scratched her mane. The ribbons weren’t there before, so it had to be because of the goggles. The magic goggles.
“Cool,” she muttered. Giving them a light tap out of habit, Rainbow Dash stepped forward to investigate while her friends were busy.
As soon as she came within three paces of her friends, the ribbons came to life and reacted. Before her eyes, they whipped back and forth wildly, the nonexistent wind becoming a storm as the ribbons riled up. A strange feeling of uncertainty crept through her spine as the other two mares in the room continued their conversation, oblivious to the events taking place.
The ribbons shot toward her.
Rainbow Dash instinctively spread her wings and leaped into the air. Her reflexes were a nanosecond too slow, allowing the ribbons to grab ahold of her forelegs. Rainbow Dash pulled back in the air, her fetlocks being squeezed by the strange ropes. Grunting and gasping, she fluttered backwards with all her wing power, pulling on her legs as the ribbons slithered against her coat.
“What’s wrong, Rainbow Dash?” A voice cut through her thoughts. Opening her eyes, stressful tears forming in her ducts, her vision revealed a concerned Twilight and Applejack standing underneath.
“Uh… a little help, guys?” Rainbow Dash gave one last tug and managed to release her hooves. Before the ribbons could latch themselves on her once more, she batted them away and began flying evasive maneuvers.
Applejack shook her head. “Ah have no idea what’s going on in that strange head of yours. Ya alright?”
Twilight repeated herself. “Are you okay? Your flight pattern was… odd.” Watching a pegasus flailing around in the air for no apparent reason was a sight to behold, even to a unicorn used to such magical anomalies. “Why are you flying like that?”
Rainbow Dash began flying in circles and loops around the library, looking over her shoulder as she began to pick up speed ahead of the two deadly ribbons in hot pursuit. “Um, it’d be nice if you’d stop chasing me right about now!” One ribbon wrapped around her wing joint, forcing her to a dead stop. Rainbow Dash screeched as pain shot through her wings, reactively bucking and ignoring her friends’ loud concerns.
“That’s it!” She turned her head and bit into the relentless ribbon while snatching its approaching partner-in-crime with her hooves. Her teeth gnawed until foam gathered in her jaw, eventually tearing through the aetheral fabric and allowing her to grab it with her hooves. With impish anger and a crazed smile on her lips, she moved her hooves about in deliberate motions and tied the ribbons together. Once satisfied, she backed off and admired the two ribbons struggle back and forth against one another in their twisted knot…
...until a flash of crimson light appeared, momentarily blinding Rainbow Dash.
She raised her forelegs to shield her eyes, but the light only lasted a brief moment. Rainbow Dash blinked and rubbed the goggles, astonished at the sight. The two ribbons, previously bound together, were now one and connecting her grounded friends below. Her eyes slowly traced the silky, scarlet ribbon down to the chests of her friends. Friends who had previously been engrossed in conversation. Friends who had been shouting cries of concern during her magical struggle. Friends who were now making out.
Friends who were making out?!
Rainbow Dash hovered above, her forelegs dangling at her sides and her jaw hanging low from the sight.
Twilight was the first to pull away, leaving a trail of saliva from her tongue and nibbling Applejack’s bottom lip on the way. “That, that was amazing,” she whispered as she placed her forehead against her partner’s, her horn touching the brim of the stetson hat, eliciting an approving purr from the cowpony. “Friendship really is magic.”
Applejack sighed and moved her head to the side, brushing her cheek against Twilight’s. “Sugarcube, Ah don’t think it’s friendship we got here. Ah think” -Applejack moved her head back, creating eye contact with gleaming emerald eyes- “this is darn tootin’ true love, gosh darn it. Now give momma a wet one, ya hooter!” With that said, she abruptly leaned forward, interrupting Twilight's response, and forced her plump lips onto lavender.
“Mmph! Mmm…” Twilight moaned and turned her head ever so slightly, allowing Applejack’s tongue entrance into her warm cheeks.
“Mmm…” Applejack wrapped a hoof around Twilight’s neck, bringing her closer still. Their chests rubbed against each other, making small pink sparks from their threads.
After several heartbeats, seemingly forever, as if Cronos himself had stopped time to watch the two impromptu lovers, Applejack finally pulled back. Panting and sweating from their loving embrace, she leaned forward and set her chin on Twilight's shoulder. The librarian followed suit and rested on the toned shoulder of the object of her desires, sweating as her cheeks blushed.
“Oh. My. Gosh. Applejack!” Twilight said in between breaths, her heart fluttering like a butterfly in a hurricane. “I—I think—I think I love you!”
The words echoed through the hollowed tree, leaving the atmosphere completely silent. Not even Rainbow Dash, flapping her wings and observing the events in a stupefied daze, could manage to utter a single word and break the silence.
Only Applejack’s careful movement cut through the tension. She brought her hoof up and caressed Twilight’s cheek, bringing it up to her ear and caressing it as well. “Oh sugarcube, Ah feel like Ah’ve been waiting mah entire life for ya to say that. Why… Ah… Ah… Ah want you to come with me to the farm! Come to the Apple farm, as an Apple!” She slid her hoof back, resting it on Twilight’s cheek as its scarlet blush grew brighter and brighter against her dark coat.
Twilight placed her hoof on top of Applejack’s, accepting the show of affection. She lightly nuzzled against it and replied, “Oh, Applejack. Aren’t I already an honorary Apple? I—”
“No!” Applejack shifted her hoof to Twilight’s chin, drawing the mare’s face against her own. “Yer not just an Apple, yer mah Apple! Mah Sparklin’ Apple!”
Twilight’s entire face was engulfed in a scarlet hue as her blush exploded alongside her heart of hearts. Consumed in the fires of passionate emotion, the lovestruck mare could only purr and brush her side and flanks against her new-found mate as the two trotted together and out the door, their conjoined ribbon forming a breezy heart above the two destined lovers.
Rainbow Dash lightly touched down on the floor and sat on her haunches, her mind racing at the implications of the recent turn of events. Hooves shaking, teeth chattering, she lifted the goggles off her head with little difficulty and placed them on her lap. The rose glass shone in the light as Rainbow Dash’s eyes grew dull with shock. She rubbed her eyes, lifting the fog of confusion from her mind.
“Whoa…” she muttered as she stood up on all fours. “Did… did that just happen?” The goggle strap hung on her hoof, allowing her to lift it to her eyes. Her magenta eyes slowly regained their shimmer as a smirk inched its way into the corners of her lips. “Whatever it was… it was AWESOME!”
Snickering to herself, Rainbow Dash turned to the door. She placed a hoof on her chin, mocking contemplative thought. “I wonder what Rarity’s doing.” She snorted. “Well, I know what she WILL be doing!”
Revenge is a dish best served cold, served with Pie! Rainbow Dash snickered, reminiscing about the last run-in with her old friend, Gilda.
Rainbow Dash had plans for Rarity, and she needed Pinkie Pie’s help to get revenge for… the “incident.” With her goal in mind and a daring smirk on her face, Rainbow Dash soared through the air in search of Ponyville’s number one serial prankster.
Early afternoon meant lunch, and lunch meant a busy marketplace. The town’s streets were bustling, which meant ponies. Lots of ponies. Lots of ponies meant…
“That’s a lot of ribbons,” Rainbow Dash muttered to herself, slightly slack jawed as she surveyed the area below. Every mare, every stallion, and even the occasional teenager, had the strange aetheral ribbon protruding from their chest. Weird.
A few other pegasi passed by, along with a few clouds, bickering about a mistaken address and a garden. Rainbow Dash hovered nearby to observe their ribbons: two stallions’ seemed to be darting around each other for dominance as a single mare’s floated freely. Neither of the three pegasi noticed, lacking the magic sight channeling through Rainbow Dash.
Wait a minute, Rainbow Dash thought as she trailed behind the delivery ponies. While she wasn’t into measurements and logic like Twilight, she couldn’t help but notice a pattern. Whenever the brown stallion, whose name she couldn’t remember, yelled at the other—Is that Thunderlane?—his ribbon would jab at the other’s. The mare, Blossomforth from what Rainbow Dash remembered, dragged the cloud with a blissful grin on her face.
None of the ribbons seemed to notice her.
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes at the senseless bickering and continued onward to Sugarcube Corner. Her stomach growled its approval. Food, Pinkie Pie, and then the best prank ever!
Thoughts of cupcakes filled the ravenous Rainbow Dash’s mind, causing her to salivate while drifting in the sky. Pinkie Pie made the best cupcakes ever. What are in those cupcakes anyway? she mused to herself as she flapped her powerful wings rhythmically. Maybe I ought ask her—
Rainbow Dash’s wings jerked, instinctively pulling to a complete stop as the shout tore through her thoughts. She looked down at a waving pony at the flower stall. Apparently Roseluck was in business for the lunch rush. Not wanting to be rude, Rainbow flew down and landed in front of the mare. Strangely enough, Roseluck lacked a ribbon.
“Uh, hi?” Not seeing any reason to have them on, Rainbow Dash flipped her goggles off. “What’s up?”
“I just wanted to ask if you could tell the lovely couple congratulations for me?” Roseluck smiled and reached for a bouquet of flowers before handing them to Rainbow Dash. “And give them these myrtles, they’ve earned it.”
Rainbow Dash took the flowers in surprise. “Twilight and Applejack? They came here? I thought they were at the barn or something.”
“I’m sure they are.” Roseluck stifled a giggle and hid a knowing smirk. “They came to pick up honeysuckle and lavender, but I wanted to give them these on the house. It is a life changing experience, after all.”
“Uh, yeah. That’s cool,” Rainbow Dash shuffled her hooves anxiously, wanting to fly and find Pinkie Pie already. The sky, not the garden, was Dash’s thing. She flicked her tail in impatience, waiting for the flower mare to let her go.
Roseluck scratched her head and rubbed her hoof against her ear. “Speaking of lavender, I have some violets for you if you’re hungry. They’re your favorite, right?”
A stomach’s growl was all the answer she needed.
Not wanting to seem rude, Rainbow Dash exchanged a couple spare bits for a few violets. Saying her goodbyes, she turned away to leave the stall, munching on her violets treats. She turned back once to scan the market one last time, briefly flipping her goggles on, and observed a new stallion approaching Roseluck’s flower stall. Curiously enough, her ribbon was now showing. Weird.
With nothing to do but search and eat, she resumed her snacking as she left the market. Rainbow Dash loved violets. Enough to drool over. Enough to moan while she chewed. Enough to become so engrossed in her consumption that her mind went completely blank, save for the euphoric bliss of floral ambrosia and nectar. She hardly noticed the flash of yellow she bumped past through the market entrance, and the miniscule squeak behind her.
One bouquet buffet later, the ravenous racer found herself in front of Sugarcube Corner. Nibbling on her last petal, Rainbow Dash pushed the door open with her free hoof and walked inside. Mrs. Cake, currently workinging the counter, waved and shouted a warm greeting.
“Rainbow Dash! Hello!” She smiled, holding up a hoof. “Please wait just a moment!” Reaching under the counter for a random object, she popped back up a moment later with a small box she held out to Rainbow Dash. “Here you go, on the house! I hope Applejack loves it!”
Taking the box, Rainbow Dash’s ears perked up as she tucked it away. “What’s in it…?”
“Oh, you know.” Mrs. Cake waved her off. “A gift. Weren’t you coming here for it anyway? Pinkie Pie had me prepare it just for you, saying you would probably forget like always. Then again, this is the first time any of her friends—”
“Yeah yeah,” Rainbow Dash interrupted, turning her head to and fro as she became antsy. “Where’s Pinkie anyway? I came here for her, not for some box. Er, no offense.”
Mrs. Cake smiled. “No worries, dear. As for Pinkie Pie, I believe she’s waiting for you.”
“Alright, where is she? Upstairs?”
Mrs. Cake opened her mouth to reply, but immediately closed it. Instead of speaking, she briefly ducked underneath the counter. Before Rainbow Dash could stand up and peer over the counter, she popped back up with a confused expression. Mrs. Cake turned her head to the left and looked over her shoulder, then turned around and walked to the kitchen to poke her head inside. Returning to the front counter, she took her gaze up to the ceiling, murmuring to herself. “Strange, she always pops up at the right times.”
Rainbow Dash shrugged. “That’s Pinkie for you. So I guess I should head upstairs?”
“By all means,” Mrs. Cake agreed with a slight nod. “Have a good time, dear. And do tell Pinkie Pie to take a break. The poor girl might overwork herself in her frenzy.”
Frenzy? Rainbow Dash thought as she climbed up the stairs, feeling a pair of eyes following her. She would have flown, but that might have been seen as rude. Not to mention she was on guard for booby traps. Pinkie Pie was the only pony in Ponyville who was more prepared than she was, especially when it came to pranks. Then again, Rainbow Dash didn’t feel the need to be prepared for anything. Because she, in her own words, was that awesome.
Pinkie’s bedroom was the same as she last remembered, despite the materials lying about and the distinct lack of the party pony, a thought that Rainbow Dash pondered. Balloon bedsheets, actual balloons, cupcake dresser, actual cupcakes, many pink colors, but no Pinkie. An odd observation, Rainbow Dash assumed. The record player in the corner was derelict, strange considering that paper, frills, and frosting littered the ground. She moved inside, her hoof stepping on something squishy and wet; lifting it revealed pink frosting. Rainbow Dash briefly licked it before wiping it off, then finished walking completely inside the room.
Pinkie Pie was well known for the partying lifestyle. Even so, her bedroom was the epithet for cleanliness and order; she always made sure to clean up no matter the partying mess she made. The strange, chaotic clutter was alien to Rainbow Dash, for no mare was supervising.
Rainbow Dash shuffled through the piles and piles of junk, litter, glitter and paper galore. White envelopes, embroidered with small gems, sparkles, and scribbles covered the ground. One in particular caught her eye.
Dear Shining Armor,
“Well, isn’t that something?” Rainbow Dash said with a sly grin. “What are you writing to him for, Pinkie?” She tipped the letter over, revealing that the letter was addressing Cadence as well. Well, that certainly narrows it down, she thought with a grimace. Thoughts and images of blackmail dissipated. Shifting through the other envelopes, she saw more and more names of various ponies from Ponyville as well as other settlements, including Canterlot.
Rainbow Dash continued to pry, muttering, “Braeburn, Velvet, Babs, Flas—No, wait, that one’s ripped out. Huh.” She tossed the letters back as she leaned a foreleg against the soft bed. “Why is Pinkie inviting so many ponies? Must be some big party she’s planning.” Shrugging, Rainbow Dash turned away and started trotting to the door. “Whelp, guess she’s not here. Might as well catch lunch and a nap!”
Her hero instincts kicked in: Rainbow Dash’s ears, wings, and tail shot straight in alert. Narrowing her eyes, she turned on the spot, crouching into a fighting stance.
Gradually relaxing her tensed muscles, she scratched the top of her head. “Huh, that’s weird. I could’ve sworn I heard—”
On the reiteration of the muffled cry of help, Rainbow Dash’s ears pinpointed it to the one place she hadn’t looked, usually the first place a pegasus would look. Up.
Craning her neck to peer upwards, a nonsensical sight met her eyes: Pinkie Pie, her legs completely pressed against her body in a self-made cocoon, was attached to the ceiling by her tail. Her mouth was uncovered, yet only murmurs of help seemed to escape.
Rainbow Dash didn’t wait another beat. Her wings flared out in instinct as she vaulted into the air to the rescue of her friend. She hovered next to Pinkie Pie and wrapped her forelegs around Pinkie’s barrel, then grunted as she pulled and flapped her wings as hard as she could. The edges of her vision tinted red as she exerted more energy, fire burning in her wing joints. Pinkie Pie, tears building in her eyes, squeaked as pressure built on her tail.
Taking in a deep breath, Rainbow Dash prepared for one final tug. She pushed with her wings and pulled with her four rigid legs. The sweat of the two mares began to lubricate their fur, causing Rainbow Dash’s limbs to slide. She held on tighter, grunting as a vein in her forehead pulsed, only to slip as her lungs burnt out. Rainbow catapulted to the floor and crashed.
Her vision swam and her temples pounded with pain. Rainbow Dash sat up from the stack of letters that had cushioned her fall and rubbed her head. Her goggles, in the impact, had slid off her forehead and onto her eyes. She blinked and groggily leaned back as the scarlet lens let off sparks.
Well, Rainbow thought with a bite of her lip, that’s Pinkie Pie for you.
Somehow, in a way that only she could possibly pull off, Pinkie Pie was strapped to the ceiling by her own velvety thread. The ribbon, protruding from her chest, wrapped around her body and binding her legs; the end of it was intertwined with her tail and tightly wrapped around the light fixture above. To add a cherry on top of the Pie, the ribbon was conveniently wrapped around her muzzle, providing an invisible gag.
Finished staring, Rainbow Dash rolled off the stack of paper and onto her four legs. Her aching wings stretched out to recover as she perused the ground for a sharp object. Her muzzle poked and prodded through the piles of decorative junk and junk food, until something cool bumped against her nose.
Well that’s convenient. Rainbow Dash took the pair of scissors delicately inside her mouth as she hopped into the air to reattempt her rescue. Hovering next to the suspended Pinkie, Rainbow Dash took the scissors in her hoof and mouth and placed them as high up the pink, bushy tail she could. Unfortunately, even lined up with the ribbon as much as possible, some tail was going to be caught in the cross-snip. Oh well. Rainbow Dash mentally shrugged and closed the scissors.
Quick as a hawk, Rainbow Dash tucked into a dive and caught Pinkie Pie before she became gravity’s mistress. Rainbow Dash floated down and lightly set Pinkie down as she landed. Pinkie Pie let out a muffled squeak as she began wiggling to free herself, only calming down once Rainbow Dash rested a hoof on her belly and gave a brief rub of comfort.
Leaning down and taking the scissors in her hooves, she began to work on releasing the still bound damsel. The red ribbon, taut and unable to attack her like her previous encounter with Twilight and Applejack, was a struggle to clip at her chosen point. Rainbow Dash’s eyes narrowed as she examined the ribbon for the first time up close.
The ribbon was thin near the base of Pinkie’s tail, but gradually grew thicker the closer it came to her chest, where it was as thick as her foreleg. Taking the easier route, Rainbow Dash clipped the thinner sections wrapped around Pinkie. One near Pinkie’s hind legs—snip!—and two at her forelegs—snip! snip! Rainbow shifted her hooves to leaned down near Pinkie’s muzzle to cut the last restricting ribbon, but the party mare began to shift in place. The ribbon uncoiled and slithered off her body, leaving a smiling Pinkie a breath away from Rainbow.
“Hi,” Pinkie Pie said, batting her eyelashes and nearly out of breath. Rainbow Dash’s ears grew hot, but she kept her cool and backed off.
“Yeah, hi.” Lending a hoof to her recovering friend, Rainbow Dash stepped back and helped Pinkie up. The ribbon protruding from Pinkie’s chest twitched, but made no movement toward Rainbow.
Pinkie Pie stood up and held a hoof to her chest, panting with her tongue hanging out. While it would take a normal pony a few minutes to catch her breath, it took Pinkie approximately five seconds. The volume of her mane returned and her blue eyes regained their gloss. Pinkie gasped, taking in an exaggerated breath, and began.
“OhmygodRainbowDash! I got invited to set up the best party ever for Twilight and Applejack and they want me to be their best party mare and I was just finishing the last invitation but got tired because I finished the really really big cake and frosted it but then Mr. Cake got sick so he went to bed and I had to finish all on my own so I kinda got tired and fell asleep in my room and woke up on the ceiling when you saved me! Oh! APPLEJACK AND TWILIGHT ARE GETT—Mmph mmph!”
Rainbow Dash waited for her ears to stop ringing before she retracted her hoof from Pinkie’s motormouth. Setting it down and wiping it on the carpet, a grin grew under her devilish eyes. “Hey Pinkie, wanna take a break and help me with the best prank ever?”