Bring Your Foal to Work Day

by Marnssj


The Big Day

Cheerilee shook her head as she regarded Scootaloo's homework, the words running together in a smear, crayon and pencil washed out by crusty dried-on liquid rainbow. "The paper you turned in is unreadable. If you can write a paragraph about what you learned in the next seven minutes, I'll accept it," Miss Cheerilee said sternly. "Otherwise, you'll have to stay after school."

Scootaloo returned to her desk and thought back to how it all started...

Earlier...

At Princess Twilight Sparkle's Friendship Castle™, Scootaloo had been granted a special audience with Twilight, and she was talking at the princess about a mile a minute. "Hey Twilight, remember when Rainbow Dash saved Rarity's life? That's one of my favorite stories! Anyway you had cast that butterfly-wings spell on Rarity and so I was just wondering if you could cast that spell on me, too, so I can shadow Rainbow Dash at her job at the weather factory! The school is havin' everypony follow somepony at their job and see how they do their work, and it would really help me follow Rainbow Dash if I could fly, so could you please? Please please please!"

Twilight stifled a smile. "Er, I don't know if that's such a good idea, Scootaloo. If the spell wore off while you were flying around, you could get really hurt. I mean, Rarity did almost die–"

"Yeah, but I'll be with Rainbow Dash! She'll be by my side if anything happens!" Scootaloo shot back.

"–And Rarity's not a little filly, Scootaloo. You're still a novice flier, at best," Twilight continued.

Scootaloo pouted and said, "I know how to flap my wings, Twilight, I'm not a foal. I can do this! So pleeeeeaaaasssssseeeee?"

Twilight felt her resistance crumbling, finally giving in to Scootaloo's big doe eyes. "Well, you would be with Rainbow Dash... I suppose I could give you wings for a little while... Just so long as you don't go flying too close to the sun like Rarity did," she said.

Scootaloo gasped in delight, and stopped jumping up and down long enough for Twilight to work her magic. Normally, such a complex spell would tax a unicorn's abilities to their limit, but not Twilight. Her alicorn power made casting the once-intricate enchantment quicker and easier, and thus Scootaloo's tiny wings underwent the transformation in seconds, increasing in size and changing from feathers into translucent multi-hued gossamer.

Scootaloo tentatively floated into the air with a wobbly flap of her newly-enhanced wings. "OhmygoshthankyousomuchTwilight!" she squealed giddily, and with reckless abandon flew out the nearby open window.

That left Twilight to crack a weary smile at her good deed. She even started to mentally compose the letter she would write Princess Celestia telling her about what a nice thing she had done. "Dear Princess Celestia..."

"So, you just gave one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders magical wings, huh?" Spike's voice interrupted her train of thought. "I'm sure nothing bad could come from that. I mean up 'til now she's been grounded, so how much more damage could she possibly do while airborne? Plus I'm sure she can probably handle being given a taste of flight only to have it wear off in a day or two; there's no way that could result in emotional scarring." Having said his snarky piece, Spike went back to reading his comic book atop his tiny throne.

Twilight stared out the window and off into the distance, her teeth clenched, lips pursed. A few hairs sprung out of place in her otherwise perfectly-coifed mane as she slowly realized the full horror of what she had unleashed onto Equestria, pushing her fragile psyche to the very bounds of sanity. "I'm sure everything will be just fine..."

An hour later, and Ponyville was not on fire. Anymore.

Scootaloo and her fellow crusaders were gathered in their clubhouse, preparing for the long day ahead of them. Apple Bloom was finishing packing her saddle bags, while Sweetie Belle lay nearby, humming a merry tune as she put the finishing touches on another crayon drawing of houses on fire.

"Ah just don't know how ev'rything bursts into flame ev'rywhere we go," Apple Bloom said, flabbergasted.

"It's a mystery...maybe we can be Cutie Mark Crusader Mystery Solvers!" Scootaloo shouted.

"Nah, we tried that already," Apple Bloom corrected her.

"Did we? I can't remember."

"Probably, we've tried jes' about ev'rything else..."

"Well, have fun hangin' out with Applejack and Rarity, I'm gonna go find Rainbow Dash and show her my sweet new wings!" Scootaloo said excitedly, rocketing out of the open window and soaring into the sky.

"Yeesh," Apple Bloom grumbled, "It's all about her an' those wings. Ah sure hope she's not this obnoxious when she learns to fly fer real."

Minutes of Erratic Flying Later

Scootaloo showed up at Rainbow Dash's front door, knocking loudly and hollering, "Hey Rainbow Dash! Check these out!"

Rainbow Dash flung her door wide open, nearly knocking Scootaloo off the front porch. "Wow, those look awesome! How'd you get Twilight to cast that spell on you?" she asked.

"Convinced her with my totally gnarly edginess, no big deal," Scootaloo said, primping her hot new magical wing extensions. "Are you still willing to take me on a tour of the weather factory? It's gonna be so cool getting to see where you work!"

"I'm totally down with that! Just bear in mind my job's not quite as extreme and radical as I am in my spare time. It's kind of a drag workin' for The Mare, y'know? Now let's give those wings a workout and race to the weather factory!" Rainbow Dash said, and the two took off in a flash.

As Cloudsdale loomed larger and larger in the distance, Scootaloo hazarded a glance down at the ground, marveling at how small everything looked from her new vantage point. "Wow... All the ponies look like ants from up here! I feel like... A GOD! UWAHAHAHAHAHAHAack! Ptthhbpt, pthbbt! Ugh, a bug flew in my mouth, ick!"

"You doin' okay back there Scoots?" Rainbow Dash called back over her shoulder.

"I'm fine!"

They flew past the outskirts of Cloudsdale and over to the industrial sector, gracefully landing at the entrance to the weather factory. Scootaloo would have liked to have a full tour of Cloudsdale proper, but that would have to wait for another time. They donned their OSHA-mandated hardhats and stepped inside.

Rainbow Dash led her through the foyer and into the waiting room, where a receptionist was busy taking calls. "Here's where all the orders for new weather are received, from all over Equestria! Then, the requisition forms are filled out, and we can get to shipping out what any town needs, be it a cold front or a rainstorm or just sunny skies all day long!" She ushered Scootaloo through a doorway, into a large room with many desks all partitioned apart with thin walls of cloud.

"Over here's my office, where I do all my paperwork! Some days, there's a lot of paperwork, and it's not very awesome," Rainbow Dash snorted, letting Scootaloo look around the utilitarian cloudbicle. Scootaloo gave the workspace a good long look, taking it all in. There were filing cabinets, various Wonderbolts™ paraphernalia including a tasteful wall calendar, but most surprisingly there was a picture of her on the desk! Scootaloo's heart swelled with pure joy, and she rushed over to hug Rainbow Dash as hard as she could.

"Oh, you saw that? Yeah, since you have so many pictures of me in your room, I figured I should have some of you to be fair, heh heh. Maybe we should move on," Rainbow Dash said sheepishly, gently embracing Scootaloo and returning the hug.

"Knock knock," a male pegasus said from behind them. Turning around they saw Thunderlane, and next to him was his little brother Rumble. "What's up Rainbow Dash, nice lookin' filly you got there. Didn't know you had any foals in your household," he said.

"Er," Rainbow Dash stammered, "she's not–"

"Yeah, I brought Rumble along, little guy can't get enough of the weather factory. Speaking of, I promised him I'd show him around the office. Well, see ya around R.D.!"

"I'm in this story too," Rumble whispered.

"What did you say?" Scootaloo asked.

"I said bye Scootaloo."

"Yeah, that's what I thought you said," Scootaloo mumbled, as the two grey pegasi brothers flapped away.

Following them down the hallway, Rainbow Dash turned through a doorway on the left and waited for Scootaloo to catch up. "Over here is the Drafting Room, where we design the clouds before they even become clouds, before we send them into the clouds!" Scootaloo saw rather burnt-out pegasi hunched over drawing tables, drawing implements in hoof as they sketched out various types of clouds.

When one finished, they would place the drawing into an envelope, that was then dumped into a large box, and that was loaded on a mail cart, which Derpy promptly pushed down a flight of stairs—the envelopes sailing off the edge of the factory floor and scattering to the winds, at which point the process began anew. Scootaloo saw Rumble trying to fight back the snickers at the sight of it all, and she had to admit it was pretty funny.

At the bottom of the stairs, Rainbow Dash gestured to her right. "Here we have the most popular room, the Break Room!" Scootaloo peered inside the doorway and indeed there were ponies on their break, in varying states of relaxation.

"And right next to the break room, we have the Janitor's Closet!" Rainbow Dash said with a flourish. Scootaloo was beginning to think this could take awhile...

One Agonizingly Thorough & Boring Tour of the Factory Later...

"...And this wing of the factory is where we make the rainbows," Rainbow Dash said as she gestured to a big red door that said 'Staff Only.' "I'd show you around but it's top secret stuff, hehe," she said with a wink. Out of a small opening further along, a stream of liquid rainbow poured from a downspout and cascaded from one golden saucer to another, with pegasi stirring the multihued fluid and searching for lumps and impurities. Scootaloo surreptitiously dipped an empty jelly jar into the rainbow pool.

"Y'know, you probably shouldn't take that stuff," Rumble said, sneaking up on her. "I heard it's toxic."

"Heh, never know when it might come in handy," she replied with a chuckle, and stowed it in her saddle bag.

"Hey you two, what are you guys doin' over here? The tour's this way!" Rainbow Dash said, trotting up to them. "Whatcha got there Scoots?"

"Um...just some zap-apple jam?" Scootaloo mustered weakly.

"Ah, nice. That stuff's pretty good. Rumble, if you want you can tag along with us," Rainbow Dash said, turning to the colt.

"Sure, Thunderlane had to respond to some emergency, somepony threw a bottle of bubble bath stuff into the big cloud puffers, and it's making a huge mess on the factory floor," Rumble stated, a coy grin flashing across his face.

Haha, I bet he's up to his eyes in bubbles right now," Rainbow Dash chortled. "Well anyway, come along now, cuz the next room's gonna be your favorite! The Snowflake Room!"

The three of them walked into an area where ponies were crafting snowflakes from hoof, each one unique from all the rest. Scootaloo and Rumble set themselves up at one of the Make-Your-Own-Snowflake stations, and started chipping away at big flakes of ice, whittling them down into artisanal snow crystals. As they were working on their snowflakes, Rumble's hoof brushed against Scootaloo's, and held there. Scootaloo glanced sidelong at Rumble and rubbed her hoof back against his.

Rainbow Dash walked up to them and said, "Well? Show me what you've got so far." But something about her voice was wrong.

Scootaloo just shook her head and looked at Rainbow Dash, perplexed. "Huh???"

Miss Cheerilee stomped her hoof and repeated, "I said, show me what you've got. Come now Scootaloo, let's see it," an edge of sternness in her voice.

Scootaloo snapped to attention and realized she'd spent the whole time daydreaming! She looked down at her blank paper with shame, and then noticed there were actually words on it. Was I... I was writing? she wondered.

Cheerilee picked up the paper and started reading:

What I learned at the weather factory
by Scootaloo

There are many different types of clouds. Included are cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, altocumulus and altostratus, stratocumulus, stratus, cumulus, nimbostratus, and my favorite the cumulonimbus. Some clouds are so high up in altitude they are composed of ice crystals and not water droplets. This occurs due to the low temperatires at high altitude.

"Oh my, seems you had quite an informative experience at the weather factory. This is more than satisfactory!" Cheerilee beamed and planted a smiley-face sticker onto Scootaloo's paper, before handing it back to her. "Now run along and play with your friends."

Scootaloo took the paper, dumbfounded, as she tucked it into her saddlebag and walked out of the classroom. Outside, Rumble was waiting for her underneath a tree, waving at her.

"Hey, hope you don't mind," Rumble said, "I kinda cheated and wrote all that stuff down on your paper while Cheerilee was reading Equestria Today. You were lookin' kinda spaced back there, like asleep-with-your-eyes-open zoned out."

Scootaloo nodded in realization and cracked a weak smile. "Thanks, I was not expecting her to spring that assignment do-over on me like that, and I kinda got caught up remembering what a great time I had with Rainbow Dash," Scootaloo blushed.

"Yeah, you had some really cool wings when I saw you at the factory, I wish I had complimented you on them when I had the chance," Rumble said, also blushing.

"Oh, thanks but those were just magic, they wore off about ten feet above the ground as I was flying back to the clubhouse," Scootaloo explained bashfully, "And when I hit the ground the liquid rainbow I saved spilled all over the inside of my bag. I guess Cheerilee couldn't read the mess it made of my report."

Rumble nodded as he listened, then put his hoof on her shoulder in consolation. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow at school, Scootaloo," Rumble smiled, then quickly leaned in and pecked a kiss on her cheek before turning and trotting away.

Wow... I think this might have been the best day ever. Scootaloo let out a little sigh as she watched Rumble disappear around the bend in the road.