• Published 10th Jun 2014
  • 5,864 Views, 500 Comments

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Sweetie Belle - Distaff Pope



It's Sweetie Belle's first day at Equestria's newest academy, and she plans on making it the best year ever. However enemies old and new emerge, while Sweetie struggles with the fear that her old friends are pulling away from her.

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3. Time After Time (Part 1)

Sweetie Belle, are you alright? It’s almost noon, I don’t think I’ve ever known you to sleep this late. Her words repeated in my head. So, okay, that’s how she woke me up yesterday, right? And yesterday also ended with me getting eaten by some glowy lights trying to eat me, but maybe all of yesterday was a dream or… what’s that word Twilight likes? A pre-mo-nit-ion? Yeah, maybe it was one of those. If it was, maybe I could stop the mana engine from exploding, and save my friends from whatever happened after the dream ended.

“I’m okay,” I said, rolling out of the bed. “Just, I had a late night last night helping Twilight with the–” Somepony knocked on the door downstairs. That was different. That didn’t happen yesterday… or today, I guess. I went back to the idea that what I thought was yesterday was actually just a dream. That made sense, right?.

“One minute!” Rarity said in her sing-song voice as she headed downstairs while I followed behind her, still trying to figure out if this was just a dream or if I had some really weird déjà vu. Rarity opened the door, and Twilight was standing on the other side of the door.

“Good morning, Twilight, I thought you were helping the Crusaders with their little project this morning,” my sister said. This definitely didn’t happen yesterday.

Twilight turned to look at me, ignoring my sister. “Sweetie Belle, do you remember yesterday? Charging the mana engine? The explosion?”

I nodded at her while Rarity made a strangled squawking noise. “What’s this about the mana engine exploding? You assured me it would be safe.”

“It is safe,” she said. “Well it’s not going to explode… I mean, it is, but I can stop it.” She laughed. “Assuming my theory is correct, we have plenty of time.”

“You promise my sister and her friends won’t get hurt?” Rarity asked, her eyes getting narrow.

“I think it’s actually impossible for them to come to harm right now,” Twilight said, giving Rarity her best smile. “I promise, I will do everything I can to fix this, but to do that, I need to talk with Sweetie Belle.”

“Very well,” Rarity said while I walked over to Twilight. “Can you at least tell me what’s happening?”

“I’m not sure right now,” Twilight said, tapping her chin. “But I promise I will tell you next pass or tomorrow, whichever happens first.” She gestured for me to follow her outside. “Sweetie, what do you remember about the mana engine explosion?”

“Well, I remember there being a big flashing white light and a bunch of… cracks heading towards me, and when they caught me, I was back in my bedroom and Rarity was telling me to get out of bed. Then she was acting like–”

“Like it was still yesterday,” Twilight said. “Which it is. Or at least, to everypony else it still is. The three of us who charged the mana engine still seem to remember the original loop.”

“So… Life Bloom remembers yesterday as well?” I asked, following Twilight and noticing a familiar creamy-white unicorn with cinnamon mane walking towards us, her saddlebags filled with stuff.

“Indeed I do,” she said, trotting towards us. “Twilight and I found ourselves standing back at the mana engine this morning at the exact time we started charging it. Even though we immediately cut off all power to it, it seems the engine still continues to charge itself. If you focus, you can feel the engine pulling away at your mana reserves.”

“Uhmm… how do I do that?” I asked, following Twilight as we headed towards our castle.

“It’s like I taught you,” Twilight said. “Close your eyes and try to feel the magic in your heart. From there, you can trace it up along the major magical leyline to your horn.”

I nodded and closed my eyes, trying to find the magic in me. It wasn’t much, so it was always tough to pin down, but I could definitely feel the spark of magic in my chest, and there was a tiny thread of it travelling up to my horn and flowing out to somewhere else. “It’s like somepony humming in the background,” I said. “I don’t think I would’ve ever noticed it until you said something.”

“The magic drain isn’t an easy thing to notice,” Twilight said as she pushed one of the massive doors to her castle open. “It took me several seconds to notice it in myself, and it's a lot worse for me than it is for you.”

“Although in the princess’s defense, it took us both some time to process our shift in locations. If not for her guidance, I most likely wouldn’t have thought of the time loop theory for several more iterations.”

“And the only reason I thought of it was because I did a bit of reading on chronology after I accidentally created a stable time loop of my own. The mechanics behind it are absolutely fascinating; for instance, did you know that…” She said a lot of stuff after that, but I didn’t really understand any of it. I remember there was a lot of talking about “first causation” and “the multiversal theory of time travel,” but I really had no idea what any of it meant beyond the fact that I was apparently living yesterday all over again.

“... So that’s why I’m 95% certain that whatever shard dimension we are currently inhabiting terminates every time the mana engine overloads,” Twilight said. “Either the mana engine explodes with enough force to rip a hole in the universe and obliterate Equestria and send us back several hours, or the spell rolls Equestria back to an earlier version leaving only the three of us aware of the previous version.”

“I’m sorry, but this thing sounds… It sounds really dangerous. Why would you help us build something that could… obliterate Equestria?” I asked, trying to remember what she had said. Obliterate Equestria definitely sounded bad.

“Yes, well, you see… I might have overcharged the engine by several orders of magnitude.”

“What?” I said in confusion while Life Bloom said the same word in outrage.

“That’s…” Life Bloom sputtered. “Why would you overcharge it? I… just… why?”

“I didn’t mean to overcharge it! I had been doing some reading on industrial mana engines like the one they use in Fillydelphia, and read that they used five gigathaums to charge it. That number was still fixed in my head yesterday when I charged your engine, so I gave the machine five gigathaums of energy when a machine of this size would just call for a few kilothaums of magical energy.”

“But if you overcharged it, why would my letter tell me to remind Socket to properly calibrate the machine? That’s… not calibrating it can’t be worse than overcharging it, right?” I said as we entered a room in Twilight’s castle filled with various whirring and beeping machines.

“Wait, I’m sorry,” Twilight said, spinning around and facing us while she used her magic to press buttons on her machines, “what was that about a note?”

“Oh, so a few days ago, Life Bloom and Apple Bloom were making an intelligence potion, and Apple Bloom accidentally made a potion that allowed me to see and kind of predict the future. I wrote a note to myself telling me what to do and one of the things on that list was to remind Socket to calibrate the engine.”

“And you were wondering why you would remind yourself to do that as opposed to reminding me not to overcharge it,” Twilight said, nodding her head before turning back to a big machine in one corner of the room which was right next to a glass cylinder big enough for a pony to stand comfortably in. Apparently, all this stuff was kind of normal to her. “Alright, girls, we’ll need to take turns standing in the M-Scanner. Life Bloom, can you operate it when I’m inside? The cylinder blocks out all outside magical interference so I can’t start the machine myself. Sweetie Belle, would you like to go first?” Twilight opened a part of the cylinder and I nodded my head before trotting into the machine. It gave a small whirr before clicking closed.

“Hmm,” Twilight said as the machine started humming and the ground I was standing on lit up. “The second you were cut off from the outside world’s ambient magic field, the magic in the test chamber started spiking. We’ll need to finish our scans quickly or risk the machine overloading and breaking. Sweetie, I will need you to stay calm and not move.”

I nodded my head at her as the air started to glow and smell kind of burnt. The glow got brighter, until I couldn’t even see outside of the chamber. I really wanted to try and hide in a corner somewhere, but Twilight told me not to move, and I really didn’t want to spend any more time in this stupid cylinder. Something clicked and the glowing light vanished, leaving me alone in a much quieter test chamber. “That was very good, Sweetie,” Twilight said as the door swished back open. “Life Bloom, did you see how I operated the machine?”

Life Bloom nodded at Twilight. “I assume all the presets will be established before you walk into the chamber and all I will have to do is press the ‘activate scan’ button?”

“Correct,” Twilight said, pressing a few more buttons. I kind of didn’t get why she was so focused on fixing things. We had literally all the time in the world to solve it, and it felt like we should at least take a few days off to have fun. For instance, I could see if I could drink all of the milkshakes in Sugarcube Corner in one day and not have to worry about anything bad happening tomorrow. “Do you think you can scan me now?”

“It should be simple enough,” Life Bloom said before saying some other stuff I really didn’t understand. Twilight stepped into the chamber and shut the door, and the second she did so, her chamber started to crackle.

“Start the scan!” Twilight shouted as the crackling got louder. “The engine is still drawing mana from me, but it can’t leave the chamber. We need to finish the scan before there’s a critical harmonic–” The whole chamber shattered and the world around me turned into a blinding white light.

***

“Well, that didn’t work,” Twilight said after we had all gotten back to her castle in the next loop. “But at least we learned that by staying in a magically sealed environment, it is possible for us to induce the resetting event ahead of schedule.” She tried to give us a reassuring smile. “We also learned that I can’t have an MScan done without resetting the loop.”

“So what’re we going to do?” I asked, taking a seat on a cushion. “Because if we’re going to be reliving the same day for a while, there are some things I’d like to get done.”

Twilight frowned and blinked at that. “What do you mean, Sweetie Belle? We’re going to break the loop and get to tomorrow.”

“Yeah, well, eventually sure,” I said, trying to voice my thoughts from the end of last loop. “But we have all the time in the world, right?”

They both nodded and I kept talking. “So we obviously have enough time to fix the time loop, right?” I asked, trying to recall how this worked in that one book of Rarity’s where the handsome callous noblestallion had to relive the worst day of his life until he finally won the love of poor commonmare. He had the chance to do whatever we wanted, so why were we rushing to fix everything? We could at least have some fun first. “It just seems like we should have a little fun before we try to fix all this up, we can do whatever we want today and not have to worry about consequences. How cool is that?”

“Well,” Twilight said, tapping her chin. “I have been wanting to do a complete read through of the Canterlot Archives for a while and this would give me a good chance to.”

“And this does provide me a unique opportunity to run tests on how much of life is determined by chance. If I can find a pony who flips a coin today, observing the results across multiple loops would be most illuminating.”

“Great!” I said, feeling my ears perk up. “And I can spend the day doing everything I ever wanted to with my friends, or days, I guess. This is going to be so much fun!”

“Just remember, eventually we will have to get to work on actually fixing the problem. Perhaps I can ask Celestia for advice while I'm reading in the archives,” Twilight said, fidgeting with her wings while I trotted off happily towards the castle entrance. “If I need you for anything, I suppose I know where to find you. The engine explodes shortly before 1:00 AM, so I will be at the clubhouse after midnight if you want to talk to me.”

I nodded my head at that as I walked out of the castle room. This was going to be the best day ever.

***

“Hey, girls,” I said, trotting back to the clubhouse. Socket was still working on the engine downstairs, while Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Melody were talking about all the things the mana engine could do. (Well, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were; Melody was sitting in a corner.)

“Hey, Sweetie,” Apple Bloom said, turning her head back to face me. “Have ya seen Twilight and Life Bloom? They just kind of ran off the second they started charging the engine this morning, and now Socket is freakin’ out because the thing is charging itself.”

“It’s a long story,” I said, hoping I didn’t have to explain the time loop to them. “I think Twilight remembered some royal duty she had to do and cast a spell to automatically charge the engine. Anyways, how are you all doing?”

“... Fine,” Apple Bloom said slowly. “Are you alright though? You were pretty upset yesterday and now you’re all super happy and stuff.”

I smiled at her as I sat down. “Well, I just figured that I could do pretty much anything today so there wasn’t any point in spending the day all sad. What do you girls say we go to Sugarcube Corner?”

“I don’t know,” Scootaloo said, “we kind of spent all our allowances already, and I don’t think your sisters will give us the extra bits.”

“Good point,” I said, nodding my head, “I’ll have to take care of that next loop.”

“Next loop?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Nothing to worry about,” I said, shaking my head while my three friends glanced at each other . “What do you want to do for the rest of the day?”

***

Five loops later, I walked into the clubhouse with Carousel Boutique’s profits for the month in my saddlebags. It had taken a bit to figure out how to get them, but I had a lot of my time on my hooves right now, and I wanted this to be an awesome night filled with milkshakes and cupcakes, and then when the mana engine blew up, I’d get to do something better next loop. “Let’s go to Sugarcube Corner, I know we have the mana engine to deal with today, but my sister gave me a lot of bits so we can all have milkshakes.”

“But what if something goes wrong with the mana engine? I should be here to check on it. I’m not sure how Twilight’s auto-charging spell is working, and I’d like it if I were here if something went wrong.”

“It’ll be fine,” I said, waving for him to come into the clubhouse. “I promise nothing will go wrong today.” Tonight though, the mana engine would explode and possibly destroy Equestria. Whenever I tried to get an answer out of Twilight she was pretty vague about just what was going on beyond the fact we were reliving the same day over and over. I don’t think she actually knew the answer yet, although she will probably figure it out before today was over.

“And how do you know that?” Scootaloo asked as Socket landed next to her. They would make such an absolutely cute couple. “You don’t really have a degree in magical engineering. None of us do, but at least Socket and Twilight know what they’re doing.”

“Exactly, and Twilight felt it was safe enough to leave on a day trip to Canterlot. If it wasn’t safe, do you really think she would’ve left us all alone?”

My friends (except Life Bloom, who was off doing… some tests or something) shook their heads. “See!” I said, “It’s fine. Now, let’s go to Sugarcube Corner, it will be my treat.” Okay, so stealing from Rarity was definitely bad, but it’s not like it counted today because tomorrow everything would go back to normal, so I wasn’t even stealing really, just… borrowing.

My friends all nodded their heads. “Ooh, let’s get Life Bloom on the way,” I said, remembering she liked going to observe ponies in the town market. “She could use a break.”

“From what?” Apple Bloom asked as we headed out of the clubhouse. “She has the day off too, doesn’t she?”

“Oh… yeah, of course she does,” I said, feeling like an idiot for forgetting that they had no idea about the loop. “Still, we should see if she wants to join us.”

Apple Bloom nodded at me. “Good idea, she hasn’t been to Sugarcube Corner yet. Is there any reason why your sister gave you some extra bits to go to Sugarcube?”

“Well, she is the Element of Generosity,” I said, trying to fake a laugh. “Maybe she just wanted us to have a nice day out.”

***

My friends all talked about all the stuff we could do with the mana engine during the walk to the bakery, and I tried to play along. They were so excited about it, I couldn't tell them it was going to explode in twelve hours. Besides, I really just wanted to have some fun time at Sugarcube Corner. The time loop stuff could wait until tomorrow… or I guess it couldn’t.

“Hey girls, welcome to Sugarcube Corner,” Pinkie Pie said as we walked into the bakery. “What can I get you all today?”

My friends all ordered various sweets before I made my order. “I’d like Pinkie Pie’s Special Shake,” I said, as my friends’ heads whipped back to look at me while Pinkie Pie took a deep breath.

“Really?” she asked, shaking with excitement. I nodded and she jumped up so high her hair touched the ceiling. “One PPSS! With extra whipped cream!”

“Uhhh… I didn’t order extra whipped cream,” I said while Pinkie bounced back into the kitchen. She just laughed.

“Don’t be silly, Sweetie Belle, the PPSS always comes with extra whipped cream. It’s like… one of the things that makes a PPSS a PPSS.”

“Then why would you have to say it needed extra whipped cream?” I mumbled as Pinkie started jackhammering something in the kitchen. The six of us trotted to a nearby booth.

“I still don’t see why you had to pull me away from my research,” Life Bloom said as we took a seat. “I fail to see the value of spending time in this bakery when I could be studying basic chaos theory. It strikes me all as very irrelevant.”

“Uhh… what are you doing that involves chaos theory?” Apple Bloom asked. “Is that a special project for something or–”

“Sweetie Belle!” my sister yelled as she slammed the door to the bakery open. “I’ve been looking all over for you, it’s positively dreadful dear, my boutique has been–” She stopped and looked at my bulging saddlebags. “Sweetie Belle, what do you have in there?”

I groaned. Next loop, I definitely shouldn’t leave the safe open.

***

“Heya girls, what can I get you today?” Pinkie asked as we walked into Sugarcube Corner the next day. Life Bloom and I traded glances at her change of greetings.

“I think I will be observing here for the next few loops,” Life Bloom mumbled to herself. We made our orders again and took the same seats we did last loop. This time, Rarity didn’t come barging in when the Blooms were discussing chaos theory.

“So, Sweetie,” Scootaloo said, “last week, you only had a small shake because you were trying to ‘keep a trim figure’ or whatever. Now you’re ordering the biggest, least-healthy, coolest thing on the menu. What changed?”

I shrugged at my friends and gave them a big smile. “I guess I just decided I should have one day where I don’t have to worry about other ponies or consequences, and to me that means having the biggest sweetest milkshake in Equestria.” It wasn’t a lie, it just left out the teeny fact that I could relive today as much as I wanted.

“Alright, girls,” Pinkie said, carrying a tray of five milkshakes out from the kitchen. Socket gave an angry little shout at being lumped in as a girl. “I have everypony’s milkshakes but Sweetie Belle’s. That one is going to take just a smidge longer.”

My friends all grabbed their drinks while Pinkie bounced back into the kitchen, the serving platter gripped by her tail. “You sure you want the PPSS?” Apple Bloom asked. “I heard nopony’s ever managed to completely drink it before except Pinkie, though Rarity got close that time somepony returned one of her dresses because it was too last season.”

“Hey!” I squeaked, defending my sister. “That pony had terrible taste. They thought the aubergine accents in the dress were actually eggplant. Who would think a color is a plant?”

“Uhh… au-ber-gine?” Apple Bloom asked before taking a sip of her shake. “What’s that?”

“It’s like the same color as an eggplant,” I said, pausing while my friends looked at me. “Oh! I bet they weren’t talking about an actual eggplant. That makes way more sense.”

“Ya think?” Scootaloo said, taking a second to pull her head away from the shake before going back to sucking down her chocolate chip shake as quickly as possible.

“It…” I stopped talking as Pinkie popped back out of the kitchen with a giant bucket full of sweets on her back. I counted at least five eclairs sticking out of the mountain of whipped cream at the top of the shake. “Okay, so I might’ve gotten in a bit over my head here.”

My other friends nodded, staring at the thing as Pinkie brought it over to our table. “Here… you… go…” she said, panting as the bucket weighed her down. “Pinkie Pie’s Special Shake, hope you enjoy it. Finish it in one sitting, and it’s free. Enjoy!” I pulled a small pile of bits out of my saddlebags and pushed them over to Pinkie who grabbed them with her mane after she put the bucket of ice cream in front of me. “Thanks Sweetie! I’ll be sure to tell your sister about how you do.”

“Well, she is pretty busy working on a commission today, so maybe you should wait until tomorrow.”

Pinkie smiled and winked at me as I nibbled at one of the eclairs in my shake. “Tomorrow, eh? Got it! Tralalalala.” She bounced off back to behind her counter.

“Do you think she knows?” Life Bloom asked after Pinkie disappeared from sight.

“Knows what?” Apple Bloom asked, raising an eyebrow at the other Bloom. To her right, Melody was taking tiny sips from her mint milkshake.

I shook my head. “Nothing, it’s just… you know, this is Life Bloom’s first time meeting Pinkie Pie.”

“And mine!” Socket said, looking up from blueprints now stained with ice cream melt. “She didn’t seem that bad, the mane thing was a little weird… a lot weird, but it wasn’t weird bad. Not like that one biology teacher we have who keeps referring to himself as ‘we.’”

“Should we tell him?” Apple Bloom asked, looking between me and Scootaloo. “Cause the mane thing is just the tip of the Pie-berg.”

“I am beginning to realize that,” Life Bloom said while I finished the first of five eclairs. She spoke a little more while I shoved my straw into the massive shake and started eating my body weight in ice cream.

***

I groaned as my friends carried me out of Sugarcube Corner. Several other customers looked on in awe. I’d won, I’d eaten my shake and was now wearing the bucket it came in as a helmet. “Too… much… ice cream,” I said as we stepped outside. “I’ll never eat anything sweet again.”

Scootaloo laughed and patted me on the back, making me feel even more like I was about to vomit. “Sorry Sweetie, but AB and I’ve heard that promise before and it usually lasts until we get enough bits to go to Sugarcube Corner again.”

“But, I mean, she never did eat the PPSS before, neither, so maybe this is different,” Apple Bloom as she carried me back to clubhouse. “Also, Sweetie, would it’ve killed you to not shovel every last bit o’ ice cream into your mouth? ‘Cause now I gotta carry you around until you feel better.”

“Is she going to be all right?” Melody asked, speaking for the first time in almost an hour. “I think we should go to the doctor’s office. Sweetie Belle looks really sick.”

“I’ll… I’ll be fine,” I said from my place on Apple Bloom’s back, trying not to throw up. “I promise if I’m not feeling better in the morning, we’ll go to the doctor’s, alright?”

“You know... Sweetie, if you’re really not feeling that well… we could… we could go to your sister’s house and let you rest there,” Apple Bloom said, grunting as she carried me.

“No!” I squeaked. “We can’t go back there… Rarity is really busy today, we should just go back to the clubhouse… we need to check on the mana engine. You can just drop me off on the clubhouse.”

Apple Bloom grunted. “If you’re sure… But you’re going to have to walk there yourself. I can’t carry ya much further.” She jerked to the side, causing me to topple off her and fall onto the ground. “Sorry, Sweetie, but you’re a lot heavier than usual.”

“Can’t… move…” I groaned, trying to get to my hooves. “The ice cream… the ice cream…”

“Come on,” Life Bloom said, sighing and using magic to adjust her glasses. “If we all work together, we can probably get her back to the clubhouse. Melody, can you help support Sweetie? Assuming you, Apple Bloom, and me work together, we should be able to carry her for an extended distance with minimal issue.”

Melody’s green cheeks got tinged with red and I saw her look at the ground. “I’d be… I’d be happy to help carry her. What do you need me to do?”

“Lift one of her forelegs over your shoulder. Apple Bloom, do the same with her other foreleg. I will use my magic to lessen the load each of you have to carry,” Life Bloom said, her horn glowing as I felt myself get lifted up into the air. Floating in the air didn’t make my stomach feel much better.

Apple Bloom and Melody moved to help support me. “Hey, how come you only asked the earth ponies to help? I can help too,” Scootaloo said.

“Because earth ponies are naturally stronger than pegasi,” Life Bloom said as we started walking back to the clubhouse. “Even accounting for the fact that, as a pianist, Melody is weaker than the average earth pony, she is still built for hard labor while your hollow bones are prone to breaking. To be blunt, the amount of weight Melody can bear is greater than the weight you can bear.”

“Well… I could use my wagon and scooter to carry her,” Scootaloo said, clearly upset that Life Bloom had called her week. “Even if she weighs as much as two ponies, I could get her to the clubhouse in no time.”

Life Bloom nodded while I tried to move my back legs so my friends didn’t have to drag me. “No doubt you could, but since you don’t currently have your scooter and wagon with you, I didn’t account for it in my plans. How quickly do you think you could get it for us?”

Scootaloo reached into a nearby bush and pulled her scooter and wagon out of it. “I’ve got scooters stashed all over Ponyville in case of scooter-related emergencies.” She laughed and strapped on a helmet as my friends tossed me onto the wagon. “I got the idea from Pinkie Pie, and you know, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

“Of course,” Life Bloom said as the scooter started moving. “In that case, I suppose we will just follow you back to the clubhouse.”

“Bet you can’t beat me back there,” Scootaloo said, her wings buzzing as we zipped off towards the edge of town. I put my hooves over my head and really tried not to focus on how much we were zipping and zooming around. I really should’ve just let Apple Bloom and Melody carry me back to the clubhouse, I probably wouldn’t have felt anywhere near as sick if I’d gone with them. I definitely didn’t hang my head outside the wagon and vomit during the trip back to the clubhouse, and even if I had, it was kind of understandable, right?

“I can’t believe you did that,” Scootaloo said, stopping next to the clubhouse. “Now I’m going to have to clean the side of my wagon.” She wrapped her forelegs around me and tried to pull me out of the wagon. It ended with both of us falling on the ground and me pinning her.

“Sorry,” I said, groaning as I rolled off her. My bucket-crown had fallen on the grass, and I tried to roll my way back to it. “I didn’t mean to, my stomach is just really upset.”

“No, not that, although… yeah, that was pretty gross. Why’d you eat the entire PPSS? Even Pinkie has a hard time eating it all, and Pinkie doesn’t have a hard time eating anything,” she said, getting back up on her hooves. “I know you like sweets, but you could have stopped before you looked like you were going to give birth to an ice cream baby. An ice cream baby which is now on the side of my scooter.”

“Sorry again,” I said, making an attempt to get back on my hooves before collapsing onto the grass. “And I ordered the PPSS because I wanted to do as much fun stuff as possible today.” I felt myself sniffle and tears ran down my cheek. “I wanted to try and get as many good memories as possible before you and Apple Bloom got your cutie mark and left me.”

Scootaloo laughed at that and sat next to me. “Okay, yes, we’re gonna get our cutie marks before you, I mean, I’m awesome on my scooter and Apple Bloom apparently created some impossible potion Monday, while you’re still trying to figure out just what it is you’re good at.” I started sobbing and Scootaloo pulled her umbrella out from under her wagon. “But… But! Just because we get our cutie marks before you doesn’t mean we’re going to abandon you. We’ll still be Crusaders, and Crusaders don’t leave each other behind.”

“You won’t mean to,” I said, still sobbing, “but once you get your cutie mark, you’ll be so busy with your special talent, you won’t have time for stupid blank-flank Sweetie Belle. You already have your replacement friend, and soon everything’s going to change and you’re going to be practicing tricks on your scooter all the time and Apple Bloom we’ll be making potions and…”

“Uhh… Sweetie, we’re already doing that now, in case you didn’t notice. I’m on my scooter almost all the time when I’m not with you, and AB usually is trying to make some potion or another when we’re working in the clubhouse. We aren’t going to leave you behind, and yes, we made other friends, but so did you.” I nodded at her and tried not to yawn.

She could say that now, and she probably believed it, but cutie marks change things. My parents told me how Rarity completely dedicated herself to high fashion after getting her cutie mark, and everypony in town was completely focused on their special talent. That was going to happen to my friends sooner or later, and the Crusaders would go their separate ways. All the books said the teenage years were supposed to be the years a pony dedicated herself to her talent, and that meant not having friends that distracted you from your talent.

It was going to happen, even if my friends told me it wouldn’t to make me feel better, and that meant I had to make the most of the time I still had with them. Luckily, I had a lot of time on my hooves. As I felt myself fall into a sugar coma and tried to think of what we could do in future loops, Scootaloo said one last thing. “The important thing is that we’ll always be friends.”

Author's Note:

What's this? An update? For the first time in over two months? And I bet you thought this fic was dead. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2.

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