I Could Have Done It

by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

Blame The Trees

Apple Bloom gave herself another shake, trying to get all the water out of her mane and tail. At least it was a warm, sunny day. Her coat had dried out for the most part, and her mane and tail should do the same by the time she got back home. At worst, she would still be a little damp and cool.

Admittedly, Cutie Mark Crusaders Treasure Hunters probably would have gone better if they had tried to hunt for actual treasure. Maybe they could have gone to the library and done some actual research --

Except the library's gone, Apple Bloom reminded herself, And Twilight hasn't been able to replace most of the books yet.

Maybe they could have gone to the old castle in the forest like her sister did with her friends. There were probably some neat old treasures in there. There were also all those old books. Some of them probably had notes and maps for really ancient artifacts. Finding something that nopony had seen in over a thousand years would be a lot of fun, and definitely earn them their cutie marks. One of them could even become the next Daring Do.

But, that was not what they did. Instead, they picked several spots at random and started digging. When that failed, they tried following one of the rivers that flow around the town. Then they tried sailing on the river. Next thing they knew, they were sinking. After swimming back to the shore, the three of them decided to call it a day and head home.

Maybe we should try being treasure hunters again. Applejack probably won't let us go to the castle alone though. Maybe if Zecora agrees--


Apple Bloom dropped to her stomach, throwing her front hooves over her head. She heard the woosh of something flying past her, and felt the rush of air across her back. Opening her eyes, she managed to catch sight of a gray streak pull up just in time to avoid slamming into a tree trunk.

Unfortunately, they were not quite fast enough to avoid the branches. There were yelps as leaves rustled and twigs snapped (at least she hoped it was twigs). An eternity (which was actually about two seconds) of silence passed before the furry gray form fell from the tree and hit the ground. Looked like it had been head first.

With a gasp, Apple Bloom got up and ran toward the prone pegasus. It looked to be a colt, about the same age as she was. He had a light gray coat, with a darker gray mane and tail. There was no sign of a cutie mark on his flank, although there were some scrapes and scratches. Actually, there were scrapes, scratches, and bruises all over the colt.

After a moment, Apple Bloom recognized the colt. Although she could not quite place his name. She watched him as he let out a groan, moving.

The colt -- Rumble -- opened his eyes, seeing a blurry form. As he watched, the form turned into that of a pony. It was a filly, with a bright yellow coat, and long, luxurious, red mane. An aura of light seemed to glow around her form. She looked at him with concern in her golden eyes, and Rumble could swear that he heard a chorus of singing.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

"I'm fine," he responded, moving to sit up. "It'll take more than a tumble to take me...Oooooh..."

He suddenly felt dizzy. Next thing he knew, he was sitting on the ground, waiting for everything to stop spinning.

Keep it together, he told himself, swallowing down the queasiness. Keep calm and play it cool. Don't want to make a fool of yourself in front of...

He had no idea what her name was.

"Hang on a second," Apple Bloom said before walking off.

Rumble did as she said, watching her go. His eyes kept on her as she went. The filly must have been close to his age. She was a little larger than him, but had no cutie mark. There was also something else. It was difficult for his young mind to put a hoof on what it was exactly, but something about her made Rumble think that she was strong as well as pretty.

Apple Bloom walked up to a tree that had a hole in it and looked inside. There was a ball, some balloons, a bag with confetti and streamers...

"Ah," she cried out as she found what she was looking for. Grabbing the handle, she pulled out the first-aid kit, and started walking back toward the pegasus colt.

"You knew that was there?" Rumble asked, eyes wide.

"Yeah," Apple Bloom replied after setting the kit down. "Pinkie Pie keeps them all over Ponyville, 'for first-aid emergencies.' My friends and I've had to use a couple when things don't go quite right. I'm Apple Bloom."


Oh, Rumble suddenly thought to himself. "It takes more than a tumble to take down Rumble." That would have been perfect. Why didn't I think of it sooner? It would have been such a cool line. Have to remember it for next time.

Rumble sat there, watching as Apple Bloom pulled out a small spray bottle.

"This is gonna sting," she warned.

"Don't worry," Rumble told her with a smile. "I can handle a little bit of that stuff."

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes, but said nothing. Between her sister, Scootaloo, and Rainbow Dash, she had gotten pretty used to ponies acting tough.

She started spraying the antiseptic onto Rumble's scratches. There was a slight jump at the stuff, but she pretended to not notice.

Rumble clenched his jaw as his body tensed.

Ow! Rumble mentally screamed. Pain. Okay. Take it easy. You can do this. With filly like her, a colt needs to be tough.

Putting the antiseptic spray back and pulled out some self-adhesive bandages.

"So, let me guess," she said as she placed the bandage on one of his scratches. "You were practicing some sort of trick flying when you crashed."

"Yeah," Rumble grumbled. "I was supposed to skim the ground then pull up before the trees. Didn't expect anypony out here."

Apple Bloom said nothing as she applied another bandage.

"I could have done it," Rumble stated.

"Uh-huh," Apple Bloom hummed. She picked up the roll of bandages.

"I could have," Rumble insisted. "I just need to tighten my turn radius a little more."

Apple Bloom reared up on her hind legs. Carefully, she placed one hoof onto Rumble's head, holding one end of the bandage roll in place. Adjusting her balance, she moved forward and began to wrap the bandages around his forehead, covering up the bump he got (probably from falling out of the tree, but he did hit quite a number of branches).

"Would you want to see?"

Apple Bloom stopped, moving back to look at Rumble curiously.

"What?" she asked.

"Would you want to see?" he repeated. "Once I get it perfect, you can see me do it."

Silently, she cut the bandages from the roll as she considered it. Watching a pegasus do stunts was really something that interested Scootaloo more. Although, Apple Bloom found it kind of cute that he was trying to show off and impress her. Plus, the way he looked up at her with those big purple eyes, and how he looked with all those bandages, scratches, and bruises (an older mare -- such as Rarity -- would have described it as "vulnerable").

"Okay," she said. "When you're all healed up and get your trick right, you can show me."

"Yes!" Rumble called out, throwing his hooves up as his wings flared out. There was a burst of pain, causing Rumble to wince.

"Ow!" he groaned, reaching back to rub the wing.

Apple Bloom moved and looked at it.

"Looks like you might've sprained it," she explained. "Looks like you ain't flying for a while." Grabbing the roll again, she began wrapping it up as well.

With a heavy sigh, Rumble slumped forward.

"Great," he moaned.

"Ain't so bad," Bloom told him. "Just a day or two probably. You'll just have to find something else to do 'til it's better."

No! Rumble told himself. Don't pout. Fillies don't like colts that pout. Just pretend it doesn't bother you.

Straightening up, he took a deep breath.

"You're right," he told her. "Sure there's plenty I can do. Probably won't even notice it."

Apple Bloom knew that was a lie. Every pegasus she had ever met practically used their wings all the time. Even Scootaloo, who was unable to fly, and Fluttershy, who rarely flew, used their wings constantly. At least Rumble was trying to be optimistic about it.

"Alright," she said as she went to cut the bandages from the roll again. "You're all patched up."

Smiling, Rumble moved to stand up. He stretched out and gave a quick shake. His good wing gave a quick flick before curling back up to his side.

"You did a pretty good job."

"Thanks." Bloom started re-packing the kit. "I'll have to let Pinkie know that I used this one later. Can't have it missing stuff if somepony else needs to use it."

Rumble watched her a moment, then looked down at the ground in front of him. He did not want this to end. Not just yet.

"...So..." he asked slowly, "you going anywhere?"

"Not really," Apple Bloom answered as she picked up the kit. "I was just on my way home." She made her way over to the tree that the Pinkie Pie Emergency Supplies were kept in, and put it back.

"Can I walk you home, then?"

Rumble's question made Apple Bloom stop. She stayed where she was, feeling her cheeks suddenly warm up. Her ears pulled back, and her heart thumped in her chest.

Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and slowly let it out. She was fine. There was no reason for her to be nervous. It was just a colt (a cute colt) offering to do something nice. Just offering to walk her home. That was all. No big deal.

"Sure," she said as she turned around, smiling. "I'd like that."

A wide grin split Rumble's face. He quickly hid it, coughing. His cheeks felt strangely warm for some reason.

"Let's get going then," he blurted out. He started walking then stopped.

"Uh..." he turned to face Apple Bloom again. "Which way is it?"

Apple Bloom let out a laugh (such a pretty sound, Rumble thought), shaking her head.

"It's this way," she told him, pointing.

"Okay." Rumble said as he turned to head in the direction she indicated. "Ready?"

With a smile, Apple Bloom nodded. She moved to walk beside them, the two of them heading toward Sweet Apple Acres.