• Published 24th Apr 2012
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Ponies on Bronies - Ravenmane



Shenanigans return to a familiar house that sits on a hill overlooking the Everfree Forest

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8 - Weather

Rain, have I ever mentioned what happens to luck after the Everfree Forest gets involved? Let me give it a shot. I went to the University of Michigan, so I learned weather’s never really predictable in the mitten-shaped state. The short version is that the Everfree Forest’s weather is, according to Fluttershy, like Michigan’s weather but with dangerous creatures instead of college students. Part of me wants Rainbow to have a phone so I can call her when this stuff happens, and see if there’s anything she can do about it. I don’t like fuming about Everfree being a pain, but it is a pain. Regularly.

A pot of coffee later it seemed to be rolling towards town so we were going to end up with rain in town too. In all its great felt wisdom, the Equestrian version of the Weather Channel still had no Ponyville marked. I’m starting to blame the forest for that now. At least there was a date with Twilight in a few hours. In all her elite planning skills, she accounted for several variables including Everfree complications. This could be pushing it though.

No sooner than I got my coat and umbrella then there was a knock at the door. “Al,” called Rainbow, “it’s me.”

As I opened the door, I saw Rainbow looking like somepony dumped her in the ocean. “It’s that bad,” I asked hesitantly.

“It’s getting worse,” she replied with a scowl. “Can I come in and dry off?”

I bit my lip and nodded. “Let’s get you a towel,” I hesitated, “or three.”

*****

A short while later I was sitting on a chair next to a small fluffy pile. Somewhere in there was our favorite weather pegasus. “So there’s a storm you can’t handle out there eh Little Miss Fluffy?”

Rainbow poked her head out from the pile and shot me a scowl. “You tell anypony about this and I swear, when I’m done with you, I’ll make you wish I killed you.” Hard to take her seriously when she’s drying off in a pile of fluffy white towels.

“The storm Rainbow, focus.”

“Right, so the thing is that storm’s got you stuck here. I know you and Twilight had something planned but I really don’t think it’s happening today.”

“And there’s really nothing you can do to help?”

“Yeah, I tried and first it threw me into the forest. Next, I ended up breaking one of Fluttershy’s windows, but we got it boarded up. The third try I skidded up your hill. I gave it my all each time I mean it Al. I really tried; we were supposed to get rain on Sunday, but well it’s Everfree. It does things that get on somepony’s nerves every once and a while.”

“I really hate that forest right now.” I checked my watch. “How can I actually get into town in an hour and still be alive?”

“Luck,” Rainbow suggested.

I considered my luck and checked the window. “I’m willing to take a risk.”

“But you’re not built like us,” she squealed in protest. “That storm could really hurt you!”

I stood up and grabbed my coat again. “Don’t care.”

“Look there’s a difference between brave and stupid Al,” she called as she followed me. “What you’re willing to do is way past stupid.”

“Look who’s calling the kettle black,” I snapped back.

“I can’t let you go through with this Al.”

I had my hand firm on the doorknob when I felt Rainbow’s hoof on my shoulder. “I have to try Rainbow.”

“No,” she pulled me back, despite my resistance to the thought. “You’re going to listen to me and listen good. I’ll get Twilight if it means that much to you. You go out there and I won’t be the only one you’ll be answering to.”

“So let me guess, you’ll brave the weather and it’ll be me who stays put right?”

“Exactly,” she pleaded. “Is it so hard to ask for?”

“It just makes me sound so helpless Rainbow.”

Rainbow’s eyes went wide and she flew around to stare at me. “No, it isn’t anything like that. I just don’t want you caught in this. It’ll send you to the hospital, hooves down. Do you really think any of us want that?”

She was right, if she had trouble out there there’s was no doubt I’d wake up in the hospital. “Just go then, good luck.” I’d be letting my friends down if I went out and wound up in the hospital. I still have to try, echoed in my head, I won't know unless I try.

“Just take it easy, I’ll be back soon.”

“No,” I said abruptly. Screw rationality, for once I was willing to listen to the voices in my head completely. “I’m not going to sulk or anything like that. Unlike everypony else I still have to actually show I can actually do something with myself.”

“Is this one of those weird ‘guy things’ that they think we girls can’t understand?”

“It’s more of one of those ‘because I have to’ things, know that feeling Rainbow?”

Rainbow’s stern ‘I mean business’ face melted a little and she nodded. “One good try then Al, but if it gets really bad and I mean really bad, then you listen to me and take cover got it?”

I gave her a nod. I felt a bit more like her actually, even if it was only a flare of bravado. I had a point to make and I was prepared to give it my all. I hesitated on the doorknob, but got no refusal from Rainbow this time. She was ready to take another crack at the weather.

*****

The rain was more like sleet once we were outside. The wind wasn’t really too bad, at least not the worst it could be. I could walk in this, not very fast but I could. “It’s not so bad Rainbow.” I practically had to shout at her to get past all the ambient noise.

“Less talking more moving,” she yelled back to me.

The wind threw my hair in every which direction but I kept going one foot in front of the other. It wasn’t cold for the season, but I could be biased. I did however see Rainbow’s big issue though; it took a lot of work to stay in the air in this. “Land, you’ll make better time!” I glanced as Rainbow went flying off, more carried by a particular gust of wind than anything else.

It was a long and aggravating trip. My coat clung to my body tightly and I was chilled to the bone but I managed to, not only get to the library, but keep Rainbow on the ground for most of the way.

“Still alive,” she reminded me, as I knocked on the door as hard as I could.

“Yeah,” I replied with a smile, “just like back home but with more walking.” I pounded on the door hard. “Twilight, it’s cold and wet out here!”

As the door opened, I didn’t see Twilight, but Spike instead. “What are you both waiting for,” he said, “get inside quickly.”

As we came inside, I saw a shivering mass of blankets near the fireplace. I slipped off my coat and took my boots off before tearing over to who I could only assume was Twilight.

“She tried to go out and get to your place,” explained Spike. “She tried a few times but didn’t get far.”

“Has she had anything to eat yet,” I asked the baby dragon.

“Soup’s just about ready.”

“Great, I’ll get it if you get a few more blankets. We’re both soaked and I’ll need to dry my clothes off.” I caught sight of two pairs of attentive ears and set of flared wings. “It’s not a show girls; just try and keep warm.”

“I’m on it,” responded Spike quickly as he retreated to get more blankets.

Slipping my soggy socks off, I went off to the kitchen and poured bowls of soup for everyone. Upon my return, I saw Rainbow huddled up close to the fireplace with Twilight. “Is she running a fever Rainbow?”

“Not a very bad one, she really needs this fire more than me.”

“Because we can add why my heater still works to the list of ‘things that shouldn’t be working in Equestria’ right?”

“Yes,” replied Twilight with a sniffle.

I came over to their side and passed them their bowls. “There’s plenty more so don’t you two worry,” I said warmly.

“I gotta know Al,” said Rainbow, “how in the hay are you standing in winds that threw me around like that?”

I smiled and sat down between the two of them. “Because your instinct was to fly and mine was to push forward. Weather’s stupid like when I was in college and I got tough in that stuff. Some nice, completely unpredictable weather came from around there. Okay, odds are you were in the ballpark but, for example, you could leave your house thinking it would be a clear, crisp winter day but are hit hard with a snowstorm by noon and you wouldn’t have seen it coming. Sometimes when we had sudden snow like that it lasted long enough to make an impression then melt almost overnight.”

Rainbow stopped shoveling soup into her mouth. “Wait,” she shot me a very startled look, “what?”

“It meant you traveled prepared for things. If you saw water on the ground before you left then you brought your umbrella. If it was chilly at nine or ten then you brought a jacket, sweater, or something thicker dependent on the temperature. You’d get ready for winter in November only to wonder if spring was there when it reached May. I think I’m exaggerating a little, but I don’t really think it’s by much.”

“Sounds crazy,” managed Twilight through spoonfuls of soup.

“Spent freshman year getting used to it, wasn’t fun to learn on the fly. My dorm mate told me the weather report was just a set of guidelines; he came from further up north and just helped me get used to things.”

“Uh Alex,” came Spike’s voice from behind us.

I turned around to look over at him. “Something wrong Spike?”

“No, not really, but if you’re going to let your clothes dry then you might want to get undressed away from them.”

I snickered a little and left both Twilight and Rainbow, who were looking sorely disappointed, to go and change into a towel and blanket. When I got back, I joined the, now three of them, huddled around the fire.

“I have one question Twilight,” I said after a while of just everyone gazing at the fire keeping us all warm. “If you can teleport a decent distance then why didn’t you just do that to get to my house?”

“Wasn’t thinking much,” she replied. Sounded right for when she was in a panic, but she was always on top of things when I was involved. “I just wanted to get over so we could have our date, but the storm really broke my concentration and I just had to get over there magic or not.”

“At least you proved you could be on top of things Alex,” said Rainbow supportively. “Feel better about yourself?”

I nodded. “It wasn’t something cool or anything, but it made me feel better to be on top of things. Even the best-laid plans have faults. Thanks to a little nudging from good friends, we can always find the problem and solve it together. How’s that sound?”

Twilight smirked. “Care to write that down Spike?” We all looked to the dragon, but he was already writing it down.

“From Alex,” he quoted before igniting the letter in a jet of the familiar green fire.

*****

The four of us just sat there beside the fire for most of the day, but once the storm started to die out Spike got up and went to clean everything up.

“I’m gonna get going you two,” said Rainbow with a hint of jealousy. She did most of the work and deserved most of the credit for this to even happen.

“See ya later then Rainbow,” I said pleasantly.

“Thanks for getting him here Rainbow,” added Twilight.

We heard the door close behind her and I immediately felt Twilight lean against me. “So much for our date,” I said as I wrapped my arm around her.

“This is just fine for me,” Twilight said comfortingly. “Do you think you could stay over tonight?”

I smiled. “I’d love to. Whenever you ask, I wouldn’t mind at all.”

*****

Celestia smiled as she read the letter, pleased at the interruption to her afternoon. She waited until dinner to read it with more than a passing glance. I’ll have to make the next one worse if he’s that resilient, she thought carefully.