• Published 24th Feb 2012
  • 2,889 Views, 67 Comments

The Great Switcheroo - JimmyZD



A bizarre incident involving an exploding pig at the Carousel Boutique leaves Rarity in shock and unable to work. Shenanigans ensue.

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Fluttershy twisted and turned in her bed. She was unable to get into a position that provided any sort of comfort, although this was the same bed she'd had for a number of years now, that had allowed her many a comfortable, stress-free night's sleep.

She was all wound up, and on the edge. Terrified. Her sleep disturbed by her restless mind. Petrified.

She could swear she was having a panic attack.

A sea of disastrous thoughts swam through her mind. So many things could go wrong tomorrow. What if she couldn't finish the dress on time like she promised? What if Applejack decided not to show up at the last minute? What if Fluttershy couldn't attend to her animals at a critical moment? What if a patient died on her?

She chewed on a hoof nervously, her body quaking under the duvet. She shut her eyes tight and commanded her brain to allow her some shuteye... well, that is... if it wouldn't mind and it wasn't too much trouble.

On top of all this, the conversation she'd had less than an hour ago with Twilight and Rarity, after she'd got back to the library, was gnawing away at her conscience.

She was a liar.

"Oh, Fluttershy, darling, thank Celestia you're back! How's the damage to... my beautiful boutique?"
"It's... not... too bad."

Liar.

"So did my dress for the Grand Galloping Gala survive intact?"
"Ummm... yes."

Liar.

"Why, that means you should be able to get it done well before time, then!"
"Well, yes, of course, Rarity!"

Pants on fire.

Darn it, stop thinking about fire. It had been bad enough seeing that inferno raging when it had first started, let alone fretting over how Rarity was coping with it.

Poor Rarity - was she going to be alright in the morning? Well, she'd seemed alright as Fluttershy left - almost joyous, in fact - but then of course she wasn't aware of the reality of the situation.

And the reality was very uncomfortable for the timid yellow pegasus. Fluttershy had spared her friend's feelings (and possibly sanity), but with an outright lie - was it the noble thing to have done? She had completely committed herself to finishing the dress now, and there was no backing out. Under normal circumstances, she'd be completely happy to help out Rarity in times of distress like this - she was one of her best friends in the whole wide world, after all, and Rarity, being as generous as she was, wouldn't dream of asking anything in return.

But, her animals. There were so many of them that needed urgent love and attention.

She told herself to relax - she was absolved of those responsibilities for just a day or two... maybe three. Applejack was taking care of it all, anyway. But she couldn't relax. Since when was leaving your post - for however long, and regardless of the circumstances - something to be proud of?

And worst of all, what if something went wrong in her absence?

She looked over at the checklist she'd left for Applejack by her bed. She and Angel had spent several hours compiling and revising it for the earth pony's perusal for the next three days so she'd know exactly what she had to do. Then, after it was all done, Fluttershy had insisted that they amend it to account for an excess two days, in case Rarity unexpectedly remained confined to Twilight's library for a bit longer. It was a big list - a long, coiled-up parchment propped up against the wall, almost threatening in its sheer girth. Fluttershy felt a ripple of anxiety crawl up her spine again. What if she'd asked too much of the earth pony and she couldn't do it all? But hang on, this was Applejack - the loyalest and most dependable of ponies. Fluttershy cursed herself for not having faith in her friend's ability to help out.

"Oh, dear. I'm a terrible friend..."

"Sugarcube! Are you in there?"

Fluttershy peeked out from under the covers. Wait, where did all this light come from?

She swung a glance over towards her alarm clock.

7:10am?! Oh, gosh. She'd overslept.

"Coming, Applejack!"


Ten minutes prior...

A small white cloud floated gently above the ground, just in front of Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack was just exiting the house through the front door, when she spotted it floating towards the house.

It seemed odd for a cloud to be sitting there, that low in the sky. It also didn't seem to be drifting at a constant rate. It looked more as though it was being pushed by something that didn't quite have the strength to do it. Every two seconds or so, it shifted a small distance through the sky towards the Sweet Apple Acres ranch, accompanied by what sounded like an exhausted grunt, each time.

Applejack giggled to herself. She knew who this was.

"Rainbow? Is that you?" she called out to it as she made her way to meet up with it.

The cloud stopped moving for a few seconds. Then, further grunts arose from it, except now the cloud lowered itself towards the earth by a few inches each time. Applejack moved closer to it, unable to repress a smile of amusement, and peered upwards to see Rainbow Dash punching the cloud with both forelegs to make it float downward.

"Mornin', Applejack," the pegasus yawned, continuing to half-heartedly punch at the cloud until it eventually drifted only a few feet above the ground, bringing her more-or-less level with Applejack's smiling face.

"Well, a mighty fine mornin' to you too, RD!"

"Applejack. I. Am. So. Tired." Rainbow Dash flopped around and dangled a hoof over the edge of the cloud.

"So what is this, exactly?" the earth pony smirked. "Did you come to work in... uh, your bed?"

"No. I wish."

Rainbow Dash rolled off the cloud and collapsed ungracefully to the ground, her eyes heavy.

"Wakey wakey, now," Applejack chuckled. "Today's a big day for the both of us."

"That's what I'm afraid of," the pegasus replied in a raspy, unenthused voice.

"Now don't you worry. Ah'm sure Big Mac will fetch you some coffee or somethin'," the applebucking pony continued, "And if Apple Bloom's around, she'll help you out with the harvestin', but ah don't think she came back last night, so she's probably camped out with her little buddies in the clubhouse."

Applejack peered down to see Rainbow Dash's eyes had glazed over, and were drifting slowly apart from one another.

"Aaaanyway, I gotta skedaddle. Fluttershy needs me at her house. See ya later, Rainbow."

"*snoooore*"

Applejack laughed quietly to herself, then, with a powerful kick, bucked Rainbow's cloud back into the sky, and set off in the direction of Fluttershy's cottage.


Twilight ran a hoof sleepily through her mane, and was dismayed to see that a number of strands of hair from it had come loose and were now resting on her pillow. Groggily, she got up, brushed her pillow, and trudged over to her bedside mirror.

Her mane really was a mess. But she and Spike had spent a lot of time last night consoling and looking after Rarity, and they had all gone to bed a bit later than usual. She hoped that her unicorn friend would be okay this morning, but then she remembered that she still had to tell her and Spike that she was helping Pinkie Pie all day. Her horn illuminating, she sighed and took hold of a brush with its magic, and, waving it at her reflection in the mirror, told herself to stop worrying and confront today's challenges with a brave fac—

"GYAHH!!"

A shrill scream from beside her almost made her leap out of her skin. Twilight's body shot a good five feet up in the air, which unfortunately meant that the top of her head collided with the ceiling.

"R...Rarity...?"

The dizzied unicorn looked at the bed opposite her own, and tried to focus on the three blurry blobs of white lying in it. Of course, it could only be Rarity - after all, that scream was a trademark of hers.

"Are... are you okay?" Twilight said as she shook her head, returning her vision.

Panting heavily, Rarity replied, "Yes, Twilight, I'm fine. Honest. I just had a... nasty dream."

"...Care to talk about it?"

"Okay..."

Twilight sat down on Rarity's bed and looked at her friend with a reassuring face, who was sitting bolt upright and still evidently reeling from the shock.

"What's the matter, Rarity?"

"I dreamt I was being chased by a giant pig."

Twilight's expression of gentle consolation exploded into one of uncontrollable laughter.

"TWILIGHT!"

"Would you two keep it down?" moaned the voice of a sleepy baby dragon from the basket beside the two beds.

"I'm... haha... I'm so sorry, Rarity... haha... I wasn't laughing at you... haha, wooooo..." Twilight replied, wiping a tear of mirth from her eye. "It's just... dreams are silly sometimes, you know?"

"I didn't find it funny," Rarity grumbled, sulkily folding her front legs. "It felt so... real."

"Well, it's all over now. No pigs around here! I'll just go and fix us some breakfast. Spike, you coming?"

A reluctant groan came from under Spike's blanket. "Coming, Twi... just give me five more minutes."

"Come on, sleepyhead," said Twilight impatiently, levitating Spike's entire basket down and into the kitchen.

"Oh, speaking of sleepyheads," Rarity piped up, stifling a giggle and pointing a hoof at Twilight's mane. "Give it a brush, my darling."

Twilight took hold of a clump of her mane and inspected it.

"Oh, right."


Fluttershy swooped down in front of the Town Hall in the center of Ponyville, carrying Angel Bunny on her back. It was a peaceful early morning, with only a few other ponies going about their business. Woozily, she brushed another flake of sleep from her eyes and yawned heavily. She was not quite feeling up to speed this morning, that much was clear - just the journey to this point of the village from her cottage had exhausted all of her wings' energy. She started to walk in the direction of Rarity's house when she heard a cheerful but concerned voice calling out to her from across the street.

"Fluttershy, my dear! You look awful!"

The voice belonged to Aloe, one of the Ponyville beauticians, who was making her way towards the spa, which at this time of the day would only just be opening.

"Oh, hello there, Aloe. I know, I... I didn't get much sleep last night."

"Hmm. That's not good for your skin, you know," the pink pony called out again over her flank. "I will run you a nice hot bubble bath back at the spa, ja? We'll clear out some of those wrinkles for you."

"Oh, thank you, but I'm gonna be busy all day, unfortunately. As soon as I get some spare time, though, I'll stop by! Promise!"

"Alright, my dear," the spa pony said, continuing on her way.

Fluttershy sighed. A stop-off at the spa sounded so good right about now, but one without her best friend Rarity alongside her would be incomplete... not to mention selfish of her. Anyway, she had to start on Twilight's dress right away - any number of minutes wasted meant that the possibility of disappointing Rarity grew ever stronger. She let herself in with the key her unicorn friend had lent her the previous night, and, seeing that no one was home, fluttered upstairs.

Yep, the studio was still a wreck, just the way she'd left it. At least it seemed fairly dry now.

"Now, where to begin?"

Fluttershy saw no other thing to do at this point than to turn everything in the room upside-down in a bid to locate everything she needed to get the dress remade in as little time as possible.

"Alright Angel, check those drawers over there while I rake through this cabinet!"

The rabbit nodded and obediently scurried off. For the next 20 minutes or so, Fluttershy and Angel went around the whole room, opening every cupboard, every drawer, every little compartment she could find. Fluttershy didn't like doing this to Rarity's impeccably organized studio, but she promised herself (and by extension, Rarity) that she'd put everything back exactly as she found it.

Eventually, she found and memorized where Rarity kept all of her dressmaking supplies and supplements, also uncovered a roll of parchment containing an extremely detailed design of Twilight's dress for the gala. She was ready to begin.

Well, in one respect that was true. She'd been steeling herself for this moment all last night, so she was emotionally prepared. But she was not quite... ready. As she'd raked through the studio, it had gradually dawned on her that there just wasn't the right amount of resources to get it done exactly as planned. The beautifully shiny fabric Rarity had used to create much of the dress was in direly short supply, and the rest of the colors only seemed to be available in randomly-sized slices.

"This... is bad."

She went over to the stand which held the design for the dress, and she examined it thoroughly and intently. For several minutes. It was a pointless endeavor - none of these markings meant anything to her. A large number of incredibly precise annotations all pointed to various points on the dress, but these were not dressmaking terms, she was quite sure.

What in Equestria was a "capricornus"?

Fluttershy remained headstrong, but had to release a deep sigh of regret. She was almost certain that she was doomed to failure at this point, but she simply had to keep her promise to Rarity, and present her with the best possible substitute dress she could make, however long it took her, or however much she had to improvise with the limited resources at her disposal. It was absolutely imperative that Rarity did not gain an inkling of suspicion that this was not the same dress.

There was no going back now. This had to be done here and now.

The plucky young pegasus put a brave face on. "Time to get this started."


Pinkie Pie took the key in her mouth and carefully opened the cellar door with it. Gingerly, she trotted down the steps into a dark, musty basement. The place was a mess. Sacks of flour and sugar were strewn all about the place. An old wooden table lay in the middle of it, full of dents and grazes, several assorted baking utensils on top of it.

Walking towards the farthest wall, which seemed be the only wall in the basement not completely obscured by various crates and sacks, she moved a small box to reveal a tiny red button embedded in the wall.

"Time to break out the big guns."

She moved her hoof over the button and pressed it firmly. Almost immediately there was a great rumbling, as the wall in front her began to shift slowly to one side. A great deal of dirt was blown up from this, and Pinkie held her nose, spluttering a bit, but continuing to grin knowingly at what was happening in front of her.

Eventually the wall had pulled completely back, revealing another whole room behind it. In the center of this room was a strange contraption - it appeared at first glance to be a kind of bicycle, but it was evidently much more than that - from the rear end of it rose a large pole fashioned into a candy-cane, and a fancy propeller adorned the top of it.

A wide grin spread across Pinkie Pie's faces as she rubbed her front hooves together gleefully, then moved over to a corner of the room where a large string lay attached to ceiling. Pulling on the string with their mouth, she opened the ceiling of the room up, revealing it to be a kind of trap door beside the bakery. The two wooden doors creaked open, flooding the dark room with daylight. Pinkie Pie bounced into the seat of the contraption, resting her hooves on the two sets of pedals attached to it.

Biting her lip and focusing as much of her energy into her legs as possible, she started pedalling - faster and faster until her legs became a complete blur. The blades on top of the device rotated rapidly until they started generating a great deal of noise and air current.

"PINKIECOPTER, AWAY!"

With a swift movement of her right foreleg, Pinkie kicked at the mechanism holding her flying machine to the ground, which activated the springboard beneath the device and sent her flying into the air.

"Whoah-oh-oh-oh!"

Still pedalling, she climbed higher into the sky, above Sugarcube Corner... and above Ponyville.

"Now, off to Cloudsdale!"

An elderly pony resting on a bench in the center of the Ponyville park caught sight of this bizarre contraption as it sailed into the clouds. He rubbed his glasses and stared up again.

"Consarn it! First I see pigs fly, and now bicycles. Did I take my pills this morning?"

Taking hold of his pair of binoculars, he focused on the object as it rose further towards the heavens, to see that it was being piloted by an excited pink pony.

"Oh... it's just Pinkie Pie," said Mr Waddle, as he sat back down on his bench, falling asleep.


"Come on Rarity, breakfast is ready!" Twilight Sparkle called out.

"Twilight, are you serious? I am not having toast in bed. The crumbs go simply everywhere and ruin one's coat, darling."

Twilight rolled her eyes. She'd almost forgotten how obsessive Rarity was about the state of her looks. "Well then, come on down!"

A pink and purple aura engulfed Rarity, and lifted her from under the covers. She resisted this at first, but soon realized that it was a futile effort. She floated gently through the air, forelegs folded in silent protest, as Twilight guided her from the bed on the top floor to the dining table in the kitchen, seating her comfortably at the spare place. Rarity frowned, obviously not best pleased at having essentially been puppeteered to the table by her friend.

"I was just starting to feel warm in that bed," she whined, crossing her front legs and pouting.

"It's alright Rarity," Twilight replied warmly, "you can go right on back to bed when you've finished. Tea?"

"Oh... well, now that you've asked, yes, please."

Twilight lifted two cups of herbal tea from the workshelf with her magic, and handed one to Rarity, placing the other by her plate. "So, how are you feeling today?" she inquired.

"Better, I suppose," Rarity replied simply.

"Good. Just remember that Spike and I will be—" Suddenly she hesitated. Rarity picked up on this and looked her dead in the eyes, waiting impatiently for her to finish her sentence.

"...That Spike will be here for you if you need anything."

Spike, who had been busy scarfing down his toast noisily, suddenly realized that he was the subject of the conversation, and hadn't really been fully aware of what exactly had been uttered prior to this point. He found himself switching his gaze between the two unicorns in a helpless bid to catch up.

"Uh, me?" was all he managed, with a mouthful of toast.

"Well, yes, Spike... you're going to be here all day, right?"

Spike, confused as to whether he was being interrogated or not, darted his eyes back and forth. "Uh... yeah? That's usually the plan on a Saturday."

"Twilight."

Both sets of eyes shifted to Rarity.

"Are you trying to tell me - us - that you're... not going to be here today?"

"I'm afraid so, Rarity. I need to be out all day. Possibly for the next three days straight."

Rarity stared at Twilight. Her brain started to attempt to process all of the implications of this statement. Eventually her mouth fell open, but nothing escaped it. Her face simply bore a very confused and unsure look.

In turn, Spike stared at Rarity, also unable to form a coherent sentence.

"Buh... muh... me... and Rar... buh... guuhhh?"

"Please understand me, here!" Twilight said in an attempt to break the confusion. "I too thought I'd be looking after you all day like a good friend would, Rarity - until late last night. The thing is that Pinkie Pie urgently needs me at Sugarcube Corner."

"Pinkie Pie? Why?"

"Well, I don't recall that she said 'why' specifically. Just that..."

Twilight consulted her memory. The only thing that Pinkie had really said to win her over was the fact that there were two incredibly adorable babies at that shop who desperately needed a playmate. In hindsight, it seemed a rather stupid reason to leave Spike and Rarity alone in the library, but she'd already committed herself to helping out at Sugarcube Corner for at least the next three days, and there was no doubt that Pinkie Pie would descend on her like a ton of bricks if she disappointed.

"...It was pretty urgent," she finally settled on.

"Oh, dear. I hope the poor dear's alright."

"Oh, well, she seemed fine yesterday. I guess she's just busy with something else."

"Pinkie Pie? Busy? You'd be hard-pressed to overwork that pink little sugar freak."

Twilight giggled at this, for it was a very true remark, but then she became aware that while she and Rarity had been conversing, Spike had appeared to be... behaving rather strangely. He was standing on his chair, breathing deeply, staring at Rarity and... was that drool?

"Spike," she said sharply.

Spike's wide eyes shifted her way, but not one other part of his stance changed.

"Eat your toast. It's getting cold."

Of course, Twilight thought to herself, rolling her eyes again, this is exactly how he'd react to this situation.


Inside a small wooden clubhouse, two tired, thoroughly depressed fillies lay opposite each other, sprawled out on the floor in sleeping bags. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle had spent the entire night in the clubhouse, rather than gone home to bed, because Sweetie Belle didn't want to see Rarity in case she was there and in no fit state to chat, or indeed go off to an empty house if she wasn't there. Apple Bloom, meanwhile, had offered to accommodate Sweetie Belle in the clubhouse in the middle of the Sweet Apple Acres orchard. Applejack would know where she was, anyway - although facing her big sister was not something that Apple Bloom was particularly looking forward to doing today.

It was still quite early in the morning, and the sunlight streaming through the clubhouse window woke the two fillies up. They yawned, rubbed their eyes and looked at each other.

"Good mornin', Sweetie."
"Good morning, Apple Bloom."

A silence then filled the clubhouse, as neither of them found anything more to contribute to the conversation. They both knew it was far from a good morning, anyway.

Eventually, a small scooter pulled up beside the clubhouse, and a young orange pegasus disembarked from it, and flew in through the open window. "Hey, guys," she said in a groggy tone.

"Hey, Scoot," the other two fillies chorused drearily.

"My parents did ask about this," she said, pointing a hoof to her colorless mane. "I said it was a harmless dare to paint my mane silver, and that the color would come back with enough washing. They didn't ask too many questions after that."

"Mmhmm."
"Okay."

The other two fillies seemed awfully untalkative. Scootaloo sighed and spoke up to break the silence. "I know what you guys are thinking. I feel the same way about it - I still can't believe that we trashed Rarity's boutique. Single-hoofedly!"

"I think you mean twelve-hoofedly, Scoot," Sweetie Belle corrected.

"Huh?" the pegasus asked, utterly confused.

The unicorn filly indicated herself, then her other two friends in turn. "Four. Four. Four."

"Oh, right... whatever. Gimme a break, I'm sleep-deprived."

There was a pause.

"So do we all agree that we didn't git a good night's sleep, last night?" asked Apple Bloom.

"Yep."
"Hear, hear."

"I couldn't stop thinking about what damage we've done to Ponyville," said Scootaloo sorrowfully.

"Ah couldn't stop thinking about that pig and what Applejack's gonna think when she finds out what we did to it," Apple Bloom despaired.

"I couldn't stop thinking about my sister. Sounds like she's taking this whole thing pretty hard," Sweetie Belle said in a tone full of remorse. She sighed, then, looking up at the other two fillies, paused for a moment, almost as though for dramatic effect.

"I think we should own up."

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo immediately looked up at the filly, with faces full of awe.

"...Are you nuts, Sweetie?" Apple Bloom eventually stammered. "Remember our last punishment for tamperin' with forces unknown? The whole 'Cheerilee and Big Mac' hubbub? It'll be like that, only so much worse! We'll be, like, consigned to work on the farm... foreverrr!"

"Yeah, and I'm not a physical pony at all," Scootaloo said.

Sweetie Belle cocked her head to one side at this odd remark. "But... Scoot, you're always on your scooter doing tricks and that."

"I mean manual labor, and all that icky stuff! I don't do that."

Apple Bloom frowned. Scootaloo had certainly been working on her imitations of Rainbow Dash.

"Well, we might have to," she said to both of her friends. "Ah'm finding mahself agreein' with Sweetie Belle. There's no point in draggin' this on for longer than it needs to go. Rarity's already lost her marbles over it."

"No! Wait!" Scootaloo exclaimed. "I think we can sort this out without getting slammed with a punishment, so hear me out. We just have to take the middle ground here."

"What's that?" asked Apple Bloom.

"You know, acting neutral. Look here, we weren't to know that our magic potion would turn that pig into a firecracker. Or that it would fly through Rarity's window and wreck her studio. Don't you see? We're not the bad guys in all this! We can't be held responsible!"

"Yes, we can," Sweetie Belle retorted bluntly.

"Let me get to my point, Sweetie! This whole incident was borne out of terrible luck more than anything else. We just need to act as though we're gonna help the other ponies put the pieces of this puzzle together."

"Ah dunno. Sounds dishonest to me, and if either of our sisters find out that we knew all along, we'll get somethin' even worse for sure!" Apple Bloom fell to the floor facefirst in despair.

"It's worth a try, I promise! I've gotten out of messes like this before, this way!"

"Oh yeah? Like when?" Apple Bloom interrogated.

Before Scootaloo could respond, a squeak of horror came from the corner of the clubhouse.

Sweetie Belle was holding the copy of Magical Mysteries and Practical Potions they'd borrowed from Twilight Sparkle, and was reading from the page spread they'd had open during the experiment yesterday.

"Sweetie?" Apple Bloom asked anxiously.

"Guys... we've goofed. Bad," came the reply.

The shaking unicorn turned the tome around in her hooves to show it to her two friends. On the left-hand page of the spread was a list of ingredients for a "temporary petrification" potion. Below it was a fairly innocuous-looking box of text, which, on close inspection, read (in very small print):

"Warning: Allow ingredients to settle for four hours in separate containers - combine them only after this length of time has passed, or your results could vary dramatically. See Ingredient Index for the potions and spells this same list of ingredients can create when treated differently."

They frantically turned towards the end of the book, and Sweetie Belle started scanning the long list of ingredients mentioned throughout the book for everything they'd used in the experiment yesterday.

"Ah think ah know where this might be going," mumbled a nervous Apple Bloom.

"There." Sweetie Belle pointed a hoof to the list under "dragon's sneeze", where she'd located a page reference for an "instant firework" potion.

"Instant firework?!" Scootaloo repeated out loud.

Sweetie Belle finally found the page and read from the top paragraph.

"With this concoction, turn everyday objects into beautifully explosive fireworks. Be sure to ensure object is inanimate and angled towards a clear patch of sky to ensure minimal property damage. Coat object with concoction, stand back, and watch in awe as it shoots upward into the air at high speed, before exploding gloriously in the night sky above."

Her heart almost stopped as she encountered, and read out, the final disclaimer: "Do not, on any account, use on living things."

All three ponies slumped to the floor, the pieces of the jigsaw all falling neatly into place.

"Now how exactly is this goin' to help us take the 'middle hill' in all this, Scootaloo?" Apple Bloom asked. "We know exactly how this whole thing went down! Let's just own up and end this whole ruckus right here."

"No way! I am absolutely not spending the next forever bucking apples on your farm, Apple Bloom!"

"Well, it might not be so bad," the filly said, trying to unearth some sort of silver lining to the whole situation. "We'd be spendin' a lot of time together, at least."

"I'm gonna be part of the Wonderbolts one day! Tell me, how many applebucking ponies got onto the Wonderbolts' team?"

Well, none obviously, Apple Bloom's expression read.

"Guys, let's focus here!" called out Sweetie Belle. "We can worry about our punishment when it comes, but right now I think we should set things straight. Let's own up to what we did, and let's start off by returning this book and that stupid chemistry set to Twilight Sparkle."

"Agreed," said Apple Bloom.

Scootaloo let loose a heavy sigh. "Alright. Let's do this, you guys."


Author's Note:

Whew. This chapter went through many changes before I finally called it done. A lot of the events that originally took place within it featured more of the CMCs, but they have now been moved to the next chapter, because I wanted to focus on the Mane Six for this one.

Hopefully I didn't completely ruin the flow of this chapter with all my rearrangements and revisions. Don't worry, the next chapter should feature plenty of silliness as Mane Six get "settled" into their new roles. :P Hope you guys are still enjoying it! Chapter 4 should hopefully not end up quite so complicated.

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