• Published 19th Sep 2013
  • 36,668 Views, 2,827 Comments

The Mane Six Discover Human Music - Blissey1

Twilight has developed a device that can detect strange signals coming from outer space; signals from aliens! She gathers her friends so that they can all listen in. But they may not like what they hear...

  • ...

Wash Your What!?

Author's Note:

All that talking at the beginning of the music video isn't in the radio or retail/studio versions, so the girls don't actually hear that part.

Twilight came to a stop in the middle of the Ponyville marketplace in order to look at the checklist that was floating next to her and see what she needed to pick up next. She looked back towards the market, and quickly located her next destination.

"Good afternoon, Twilight!" Carrot Top said as Twilight approached the stand. "Doing the shopping instead of Spike, today?"

"Yep!" Twilight replied with a nod and a smile. "He wants to try out a new recipe he heard about, and he's been doing such a good job assisting me lately, that I decided I'd go shopping for what he needs this time!"

"I see! And just how many carrots does he need for this new recipe of his?"

"Only two, but I'd like to get some extras for myself, so I’d like five carrots, please."

"Alright!" Carrot Top said as she carefully separated five carrots from the large stack at the end of the table. "That will be four bits, please."

Twilight's horn glowed, and four bits floated out of her saddlebags. "Here you go," she said, and took the carrots in her magic to put them in her saddlebags.

Carrot top waved as Twilight turned to leave."You have a good day, Twilight!"

"You too, Carrot Top!" Twilight said with a nod.

It was to Twilight's immense relief that, as long as she wasn't wearing her regalia, everypony in Ponyville treated her more or less the same as they always had despite her new wings. She figured it was at least partially because she hadn't started to grow into her full alicorn stature yet. If one didn't notice her wings, it was easy to think that she was still just a regular unicorn. Even the nobleponies in Canterlot didn't treat her with nearly as much reverence as they did Celestia and Luna. Of course, Celestia and Luna had a few thousand years of history backing them up, so that wasn't too surprising. If she was to be completely honest with herself, she really wasn't looking forward to growing as big as Celestia, or even Cadance. Having the Royal Guard kowtow to her was bad enough; she didn’t want normal ponies to start doing it as well.

"Oh! Hello, Twilight."

The familiar greeting knocked Twilight out of her musings. She turned, and immediately smiled as she saw who it was. "Hi, Fluttershy! I wasn't expecting to run into you out here!"

Fluttershy smiled slightly in return. "I normally save all my shopping for the weekends, but Mr. Nibbles was a very naughty mouse and broke into my bag of birdseed. I simply couldn't wait another day to get more."

“Well, isn’t that a coincidence! I normally wouldn’t be out here shopping, either! I’m only doing the chores today because Spike has been such a good helper lately.”

“That’s nice,” Fluttershy said as she smiled and nodded. Her expression suddenly turned surprised, then slightly worried. “Oh! Um, actually, Twilight, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

Twilight managed to only look slightly curious. “Of course, Fluttershy. What is it?”

“Umm… well…” Fluttershy nervously looked around at all the ponies moving about the marketplace before leaning in closer to Twilight and continuing in a whisper. “It’s about the music…”

A look of understanding dawned on her face. “Ahh, I see. Lets find somewhere a bit more quiet to talk.”

Twilight looked around for only a few moments before spotting an alleyway off the the side. She quickly made her way over to it, Fluttershy following right behind her.

Twilight did a quick scan of the alley. “This looks good. Lets just seal off the exits to ensure nopony sneaks up on us…” Her horn lit up, and a set of translucent purple barriers appeared at each exit to the alley. Twilight nodded at her work. “Alright then, that should do it!” She turned back towards Fluttershy. “Now what was it you wanted to ask me?”

“Well…” Fluttershy began. “It’s just, I’ve been wishing I could hear that last song again, so I was wondering if we could possibly get some recording gems to record the songs we hear from the aliens. I know that they can be expensive, but I really don’t want to miss out on another song as nice as that last one.”

“Hmm…” Twilight sat down on the ground and put a hoof to her chin. “The playback spell used in recording gems wouldn’t work with the electrical signals we’re getting from the aliens, just like the translation spell… But, since I was able to adjust the translation spell to work, I should be able to do the same with the playback spell…”

“So… you’ll look into it?” Fluttershy asked hopefully. "You're not worried about the cost?"

Twilight smiled. “Recording gems can be very expensive, especially ones with the kind of sound quality and storage capacity we'd need for something like this. However, since this is something we’re doing under orders from Princess Celestia, and since I am now a princess myself, it shouldn’t be too difficult for me to get my hooves on a few to tinker with.”

“Oh, thank goodness. I was afraid you might think it wasn’t worth going through so much trouble just so I could listen to some music…”

“Nonsense, Fluttershy! It's no trouble at all for a friend!" Twilight said. "And besides, recording the alien’s music would be a huge benefit to to this entire project!" She sheepishly rubbed the back of her head. "Honestly, I'm kind of embarrassed I didn't think of it first... But enough about that!" Her horn glowed, and the translucent barriers at either end of the alley disappeared. "You said you needed birdseed, right? I think that that's near my next stop, too! We can go together!" The two of them walked out of the alley side by side.

Unnoticed by either of them was an opened third story window. As they left, a gray coated stallion with what appeared to be grape jelly covering his face stuck his head out of the window and glared at the retreating mares. "Aliens?" He gave a snort. "And everypony says I'm the crazy one!"

The sun was beginning to go down as Rarity knocked on Twilight’s door for the third time. “Where could she be… ?” The door had a “closed” sign on it, but Twilight always put one of those signs out for these meetings so they wouldn’t be disturbed.

“You don’t think anything happened to her, do you?” Fluttershy asked.

“Ooh, maybe she was doing some kind of crazy magical experiment and she and Spike got sucked into a portal and now they’re both halfway across the universe fighting horrific monsters alongside hairless aliens that stand on two legs and have hands!” Pinkie suggested.

AJ raised an eyebrow at Pinkie. “Uh huh. More likely is she just got so caught up in some work she was doing that she plumb forgot what time it is.”

“Yeah, well, there’s only one way to find out and I’m getting tired of waiting!” Rainbow Dash flew up to the second story and barged in through the unlocked balcony window. A few moments later, she opened the front door from the inside and let the rest of them inside before closing the door. “There wasn’t any sign of her upstairs, and she clearly isn’t down here,” Dash reported.

“Oh my, now I really am getting worried,” Rarity said. “Twilight!” she shouted, “Twilight, dear, are you home?”

The door to the basement opened and Spike poked his head out. “I’m sorry, but we're closed right now. If you could come ba—” He stopped as he noticed who exactly it was that had entered and his face scrunched up in confusion. “What are you all doing here? Unless…” His eyes widened in shock. “Oh man, it’s not already that time, is it?”

Rarity nodded, and Spike blanched. “Oh jeez…” He turned to face back down the stairs. “Twilight, music time!”

“What!?” came a shrill cry from downstairs. A moment later there was a flash of light and a crack of displaced air, and Twilight was standing before them, looking more than a little disheveled. “I’m so sorry, girls! I completely lost track of time!”

AJ shot an ‘I told you so’ look at the rest of the group before speaking. “That’s alright, sugarcube. Whatcha working on, anyhow?”

Twilight smiled. “It’s actually directly related to this little project of ours! Thanks to a conversation I had with Fluttershy earlier this week, I’m now looking into getting us a way to record the music we hear!”

“So we’ll be able to listen to awesome alien music whenever we want!?” Pinkie asked.

Twilight nodded. “That’s the plan. I just need to modify the spellwork used in recording gems to work with the electrical signals we’re getting, just like I did with the translation spell.”

“But Twilight, didn’t that translation spell take you the better part of a month to modify?” Rarity asked. “We will have missed so much by then!”

“Yes, it did take a while," Twilight admitted with a nod if her head, "but since I’ve already done it once, it should go much faster this time! But enough about what I’ve been doing!” She spun towards Spike. “Spike! we need to choose who gets to pick the next song!”

“Right, I just need to…” He blinked a few times, then smacked himself in the forehead. “We don’t have the basket or the slips of paper ready!”

“That’s alright, I have a better way of choosing somepony!” Pinkie said. In a blur of motion, she picked up Spike and deposited him in between Applejack and Rarity. He had also somehow gained a blindfold over his eyes.

“Uh… Pinkie? What are you—” was all Spike was able to say.

“And now we just spin!” Pinkie said, and sent Spike spinning in place before taking her position, forming a triangle around Spike with Rarity, Applejack, and her as the corners.

It took a good ten seconds before Spike’s spinning slowed down. “Wooooahh…” he said woozily as he stumbled about for a few moments, before falling to the ground in Rarity’s direction.

“And Rarity wins!” Pinkie shouted.

“Err…” Rarity looked confusedly about at everypony else in the room, slightly at a loss as to what to do.

Applejack shrugged. “That’s fine by me.”

“Well… very well then,” Rarity said. “Since Applejack has no issue with the method of choosing, and Pinkie clearly doesn’t, then I shall accept this burden!”

Meanwhile, Twilight was glaring at Pinkie. “Pinkie, while I appreciate your enthusiasm for helping out, I’d also appreciate it if you didn’t leave Spike insensate.” She trotted up to the downed dragon, a glow forming on her horn, and touched her horn to his forehead, releasing the spell.

Spike shot right up. “Woah! What!?” He looked about for a few moments before recalling what had happened. “Oh man, that was crazy! It’s a good thing that Sober Up spell of yours works on regular old dizziness, too!”

Dash raised an eyebrow. “Sober up spell? Why does an egghead like you have a spell for sobering up?”

Twilight's face turned red. “Oh! No, you see, it's not a spell for sobering up per say, it's just a clarity spell! It helps focus your mind, that's all! Spike only calls it a sober up spell because, uhh..."

She was distracted by the sound of Rarity clearing her throat. “Ahh… Twilight?” Rarity said, and gestured towards the table which currently did not have a radio on it.

“Oh, right!” Twilight said, immensely grateful to Rarity for the distraction. “I have it downstairs because I was working on it! Just give me a second…” Her horn glowed, and in a moment there was a flash of light over the table and the Subspace Transceiver appeared. As she gently lowered it down onto the table, her friends were able to see that some changes had been made. On one side of the device, there was now a metallic prong that curved upwards at the bottom and a series of similar prongs that curved downwards at the top. It looked much like one of Spike’s claws or a griffon’s talons.

“Hey, now what’s that there thing on the side?” Applejack asked.

“That’s part of what I’m working on,” Twilight said. “Once I get the spellwork in the recording gems right, that’s where the gem will go! Right now it doesn’t really do much of anything though, so don’t worry about it.” Her horn glowed and a small notepad appeared in the air in front of her. “Ready whenever you are, Rarity!”

“If you say so, dear,” Rarity replied. Everything now set up, she approached the device. Her horn lit up and began fiddling with the knobs, and pretty soon, they were greeted with some artificial sounding beeping and booping.

Rarity listened for a few moments as her face twisted in disgust. “Eugh, what is this?” Her horn glowed and enveloped the knobs once again, but her concentration was broken by a blue blur flicking her horn before she could do anything.

“Nuh uh!” Dash said, “This is the song you got, and you’re just gonna have to stick with it!”

Rarity glared at Rainbow while rubbing her horn, then harumphed and turned to scowl in the direction of the radio.

Applejack chuckled quietly. “Sorry, Rarity, but that’s just how it goes.”

“Oh, I don’t think it’s… that bad…” Fluttershy said placatingly.

Pinkie was bopping her head side to side with the beat. “I think it sounds kinda fun!”

“It’s certainly different,” Twilight said. “It’s nothing like any of the other songs we’ve heard so far.”

Despite her friends reassurances, Rarity maintained her scowl until the song reached the first line, at which point her expression instantly changed to one of interest.

She wasn’t the only one either. “A song about personal hygiene?” Twilight said, interest clear on her face. “This should be enlightening!”

“Ha!” Rainbow shouted, “Breath bad enough to melt ice cream? That’s a good one!”

“It reminds me of Spike after he ate all of those baked bads…” Twilight said, casting a glance at the dragon.

Pinkie turned slightly green in the face. “I still can’t believe that you actually ate those things…”

“I’m telling you, they weren’t that bad!” Spike protested.

Twilight just smiled back at her draconic assistant and they continued listening.

“Hey, AJ, what’s up?” Dash asked a few moments later, noticing that the farm pony had a scowl on her face. “You not liking the song?”

“It’s not that, it’s just I can’t understand half of what this feller’s saying!”

“I’m having some trouble, too.” Fluttershy admitted.

“Yeah, it is pretty fast paced, but I kinda like it!” Spike said.

“Did he just say a bus station? What the hay is a bus station?” Dash asked a moment later.

“I’m not sure…” Twilight replied. “Maybe it’s something like a train station?”

“I sure hope not.” AJ said. “I remember visiting the Manehatten train station when I was a filly, and made the mistake of going to the restrooms there.” She shuddered. “Never again…”

They all fell silent for a short time, content to just listen, until the chorus began.

“Oh good, some useful information!” Twilight said and began scribbling in her notepad. “They have asses, hair, and teeth!”

Rarity winced as Twilight spoke. “Twilight, please, that language is most unbecoming of a princess…”

“Well, what else do you want her to say?” Rainbow asked. “It’s not like there’s any fancy way to refer to your butt!”

“No, but there are funny ways!” Pinkie said. “Like fanny! I like that one!” she said with a giggle.

“Actually, I’ve heard that some colts and fillies these days are using the word “plot” to refer to their butts.” Spike said.

“What!?” Twilight shouted, her head jerking up from her notes. “That doesn’t make any sense at all! What does the story of a book have to do with a pony’s backside!? How did that get started!?”

Applejack loudly cleared her throat, catching everyone's attention. “Ain’t we supposed to be listening to this music, not talking ‘bout butts?”

“Um, yes, I would like to just listen to the music again, please…” Fluttershy said.

“Oh right, sorry.” Twilight said with a sheepish smile.

They listened in silence for a short time, until one line caused Rainbow to make a retching noise. “Eugh, gross! Gargling with sweat?! You don’t think they actually do anything like that, do you?”

“It’s hard to say,” Twilight replied. “I get the feeling that a lot of what we’re hearing here is exaggeration, but there’s really no way of knowing how much is hyperbole and how much is real.”

They continued listening until the second chorus began. “You know…” Twilight said, “this song really is different from all the others we’ve heard so far.”

“You mean because of how fast paced it is?” Rainbow asked.

“Because it’s about bathing?” Rarity ventured.

“Because you can’t understand half the words?” was AJ’s guess.

“No, none of that,” Twilight answered with a shake of her head. “What I mean is…” She put a hoof to her chin. “I’m not quite sure how to say it…” The rest of them patiently waited for her to collect her thoughts. “It’s like… the lyrics are leading the music, instead of the other way around… if that makes any sense…”

“…I think I get what you’re saying,” Spike said after a moments thought. “I know I’ve never heard anything quite like it in our own music.”

“Well, I really like it!” Pinkie said. “I bet this kind of song would be great for helping to teach things to other ponies!”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “This? For an educational song?”

“Sure!” Pinkie exclaimed. “Everypony knows that a good tune can help you remember stuff, and since this kind of music is so fast, you could fit a ton of words into a small song! And more words means more information!”

“Uh huh…” was Twilight’s only response. The song having ended, her horn lit up and she turned off the Subspace Transceiver with a click.

"Well, anyway," Rainbow said, "That was fun and all, but I'm pretty sure there aren't actually any ponies that are that stinky."

"I only wish that were true, Rainbow..." Rarity replied with a sigh.

"You mean you actually know some pony with hygiene that bad?" AJ asked.

Rarity nodded. "I used to, yes. She actually still lives here in Ponyville, though her hygiene habits are now vastly improved."

"Who was it? Tell us, tell us!" Pinkie shouted.

"Alright... Though I trust you girls to keep this quiet. It was Carrot Top."

"Really?" Twilight asked, remembering the carrots she had bought from the mare just earlier in the week.

Rarity nodded. "Yes. You wouldn't know it from how she is now, but I went to school with her when we were just little fillies, and she... She was a disaster area. She must have discovered her love of gardening before she developed good hygiene skills, because she would often come to class with her coat covered in dirt and her tail full of mud and twigs and decaying plant bits." Her nose scrunched up. "She smelled like a compost heap!"

Rainbow let out a guffaw. “Oh man! You must have completely freaked out anytime you got near her!”

Rarity smiled back at Rainbow. “Not quite, actually. I wasn’t quite so... sensitive to such things then as I am now. I hadn’t even gotten my cutie mark yet, mind you.” She fell silent a few moments, a thoughtful look coming over her face. “Thinking back on it, Carrot Top may actually be partially responsible for making me the mare I am today. I think that seeing first hoof the depths one can fall to when they do not properly take care of themselves may of been what instilled in me such a strong belief in personal grooming.”

Twilight nodded. “It’s entirely possible.”

“Yeah, well, you’d never see a pegasus let themselves go like that! Least, not one raised in Cloudsdale.” Rainbow said.

AJ raised an eyebrow. “And just what exactly makes pegasi so different from unicorns and earth ponies when it comes to grooming?”

Rainbow proudly unfurled her wings. “These babies, of course! Any pegasus that wants to be able to fly worth a damn without breaking their neck has to keep their wings groomed. They beat that into us from the time we’re foals, before we’re even able to lift ourselves off the clouds!” She folded her wings back against her body. “And I guess good wing grooming habits kind of leads into good grooming habits in general.” She turned towards the only other pegasus in the room. “Ain’t that right, Fluttershy?”

“What? Oh!” Fluttershy hunched down slightly at having suddenly been put in the spotlight, but quickly recovered. “Um, well, yes, but I always keep myself clean for other reasons as well…”

“Oh, let me guess!” Pinkie shouted, “It has to do with your animal friends, right?”

A smile graced Fluttershy’s face as she nodded. “Uh huh, that’s right, Pinkie.”

“That makes sense.” Twilight said. “There’s more than a few diseases that are communicable between ponies and other animals, and you wouldn’t want to take any chances, I’m sure.”

“Exactly.” Fluttershy replied. “And it’s especially true when I have to help one of my animal friends out with medical issues.”

“You do medical work on your animals?” Rarity asked.

Fluttershy nodded. “Only simple procedures, since I’m not actually a trained vet, yet.”

“Such as…” Rarity prompted her to continue with a wave of her hoof.

“Well, just last year, Harry, my bear friend, his wife was going to give birth, and he wanted me to help deliver his cub! I was so honored!” She said excitedly. Her gaze drifted up towards the ceiling as she remembered the event, a huge grin spreading over her face. “I had to go out to his cave since his wife wasn’t in any condition to be moving around. There were some minor complications that required me to get personally involved, but I was able to help them through it, and a few hours later they were with a beautiful baby cub! Of course, afterwards I was absolutely covered in blood and amniotic–”

“Uuhhh, Flutters? A little bit TMI there, I think.” Rainbow interrupted.

“Huh?” Fluttershy took a look at the rest of her friends. Pinkie, Spike, and Rarity were both looking more green than their usual color, AJ had a grimace on her face, and even Twilight looked completely shocked. Her eyes widened. “Oh goodness, I’m sorry, everypony!” She turned her gaze to the side, causing her mane to fall over part of her face. “You probably didn’t need to hear all of that…”

“Well, a-anyway,” Rarity said, desperate to change the topic, “I think that it’s safe to say that all of us, at the very least, have a healthy respect for personal hygiene.”

"Not quite all of us..." Spike muttered under his breath while shooting a sidelong glance at Twilight.

A glance that did not go unnoticed by Rarity. The temperature in the room seemed to drop a few degrees as Rarity turned towards Spike. “I'm sorry, Spikey Wikey, but are you insinuating that our dear Princess Twilight Sparkle does not bathe regularly?”

“Hehe,” Twilight chuckled nervously to herself. “I really do try to bathe at least once a day, but sometimes I get so caught up in a project I'm working on or in research I'm doing that I just kinda... forget…” she explained sheepishly.

In a slow, steady, and decidedly un-pony like manner, Rarity turned her head to stare Twilight in the face. “What.”

Twilight suddenly found herself shaking slightly. "B-but it's okay, really! I know a few cleansing spells! I just have to cast them on myself and it's almost as good as the real thing!"

Now Rarity turned to face her fully. The smile she had on her face was somehow absolutely terrifying. "Twilight. Darling. Almost may have been good enough when you were just a small town librarian, personal student of Princess Celestia, and occasional savior of all of Equestria. But you are a Princess now!" She began slowly walking towards the trembling alicorn. "Almost is no longer sufficient! You must keep yourself to a higher standard!"

Twilight was cowering against the ground as Rarity finished, but yet out a yelp as she felt one of her wings suddenly yanked open. She turned her head to see Rainbow Dash holding her wing and casting a critical gaze over it. Dash slowly started shaking her head in disapproval. "Jeez, you really haven't been taking care of yourself." Dash dropped her wing and turned to look at her. "I never thought I'd be agreeing with Rarity on something, but she's right. You can't go taking magic shortcuts when it comes to wing care. They need personal attention."

"So, Twilight, dear, what are we going to do about this, hmm?" Rarity asked with a smile that promised terrible, terrible things if such behavior continued.

With both Rarity and Dash glaring daggers at her, it took Twilight a moment to muster a response. "I-I could start adding bathing to my project checklists! You all know how closely I follow checklists!"

“Hmm… a good long term solution, perhaps,” Rarity said, “But I also think we need to make an emergency spa visit. Right now.”

“What!?” Twilight shouted. “But the spa is going to be closing soon!”

“Yes, but I am confident that Lotus and Aloe will stay open a tad longer for their most frequent customer and one of the Princesses of Equestria,” Rarity responded, then began walking towards the door. As she did, her horn lit up and a similar glow appeared around one of Twilight’s ears. “Come along, dear.”

“Wha? Hey! Ow!” Twilight yelped out as Rarity tried dragging her along the floor by her ear.

She tried resisting, but then Rainbow got behind her and started pushing her forwards as well. “Give it up, Twi. I don’t usually care for all that pansy spa stuff, but even I have to admit that those spa sisters know how to take care of a pair of wings.”

Between the two of them, she quickly disappeared out the door into the night, her protest still audible until the door slammed shut a moment later with the glow of Rarity’s magic.

Spike, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie just stood there in shock, mouths hanging open, staring at the door. AJ leaned over towards Pinkie. “Remind me never to let Rarity know that some days, I’m so plumb tuckered out from work that I skip my shower before hitting the hay.”

Pinkie nodded dumbly. “Uh huh…”

“Um… we should probably be going…” Fluttershy said quietly.

“Right…” Applejack replied. “I guess we’ll be seeing you next time, Spike.”

“Right… next time...” Spike replied, still slightly dumbfounded by what his innocuous comment had snowballed into. “Later, all…”

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