• Published 12th May 2012
  • 6,378 Views, 314 Comments

Soarin' with Apples - Allonsbro

While spending the day at a fair in Ponyville, Soarin' is injured and stays at the farm for a while

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Chapter 4: And on that farm there were some apples

Sorry about the long wait. Now that I'm back on track and only doing one story at a time, I'm hoping I can get updates out more frequently. Please comment and critique. I love reading what you think and it's what helps me get better. If it's good then say so, if you think it was 'meh' then tell me what I can do to improve, if you think it's a piece of crap and I should go buy a gun, shoot my laptop and never write again then tell me. Thank you.

Chapter 4: And on that farm there were some apples

Soarin’ felt like he was going to explode. Every part of him twitched, begging, pleading just to taste the sky. His chest felt tight as he paced around the house for the umpteenth time that day, feeling antsier than he had ever felt before. The walls were closing in and he’d developed a severe case of vertigo.

He glanced at the clock. It had only been a few minutes since he last checked, but it felt like hours. He had woken up earlier than usual and couldn’t get back to sleep. The sky was still quite dark and he had come downstairs to go out for a flying session before he remembered that he couldn’t. He hadn’t done any flying since he saved Apple Bloom, almost eighteen hours ago, and already he was feeling claustrophobic. Soarin’ lived for the sky. He loved the feel of the wind against his coat and the thrill of flying. Now that it had been taken from him, he wanted it all the more.

He heard hoofsteps coming down the stairs and ceased his pacing. His hoof began anxiously tapping against the floor. He looked over to the stairs to see Applejack coming down, looking a little bleary eyed. She looked a little surprised to see him up this early.

“Mornin,’” she greeted, rubbing an eye. “What’re you doin’ up so early?”

“I, uh, I couldn’t sleep. Just feeling a little antsy,” He said as he fiddled with the sling strapped around him. His hoof continued tapping rapidly on the wooden floor.

She tilted her head and looked at him with the same caution one would use to look at someone in a straight jacket. “You okay, there?”

“Who? Me? Uh, yeah. Why do you ask?” He smiled, perhaps a little too big, but he was hoping she wouldn’t notice.

“Well, you seem mighty nervous about somethin,’ and yer hoof’s tappin’ more’n a centipede at a barn dance.”

He looked down and willfully tried to silence his hoof. “Sorry, just haven’t flown in a while and I’m going through…well, I guess you could call it withdrawal.”

Her eyes suddenly sparked with understanding. “Oh! Rainbow got that a couple times when she hurt herself. Feels like the walls‘ere closin’ in on ya, doesn’t it?”

He nodded rapidly. “Yep. Should pass in a while, though; if I don’t go insane first.”

“Come on,” she said, motioning him to follow her with a hoof. “You just need somethin’ ta keep ya busy. You can help me milk the cows.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “Milk? Cows?”

She looked at him with a deadpan expression. “Don’t tell me ya didn’t know milk came from cows.”

“No, I knew. I just…” he held up a hoof and stared at it. “I just never thought about it before. How do you even…?”

“Come on, Ah’ll show ya.”

They left the house and stepped down off the porch. The sky was mostly still black, but there was a mild streak of color on the horizon. The sound of barking was heard and a brown and white dog came bounding around the other side of the house. It greeted Applejack with a tackle of loving licks to her face.

“Hey there, Winona,” the cowpony greeted, returning the affection of her dog with loving strokes of her head. Winona turned and walked up to Soarin’, sniffing him. He held out his hoof and she licked it a few times. Satisfied with her inspection of the newcomer, she resumed yipping, barking and bounding between the two as they walked to the barn.

“Well, Ah’ll be darned,” said Applejack in surprise. “Ah think she likes you. She didn’t warm up ta Clover nearly that fast.”

The three of them went out to the barn and over to the cows’ stalls. She showed him how to milk the cows with a special machine that they just attached to the cows’ udders. The two of them chatted with the cows and each other while they milked and he soon forgot about his flight withdrawal.

When the milking was done, they sealed off the tank the machine pumped the milk into. Somepony would come by later to drain the tank and take the milk to be pasteurized and distributed. Then they let the cows out to pasture and went back to the house to eat breakfast. The sweet aroma of freshly made pancakes filled Soarin’s nose the minute the door was open. Big Macintosh was standing at the stove heaping pancakes on a plate that Apple Bloom was carrying on her back. She then carried the plate to the dining room table where an elderly green mare with a white mane took it and set it on the table, next to a bowl of apples and a pitcher of orange juice.

“Soarin’!” shouted Apple Bloom when she saw the two of them enter. She bounded up to him and began pulling at his leg. “Come sit nexta me, Soarin’. Ah want ya ta meet mah Granny Smith.”

Soarin’ smiled and followed the little filly to the table. She took a seat next to the green mare who was at the head of the table and Soarin took the next seat down.

“Granny, this here is Soarin,’ He’s that stallion Ah was tellin’ you about.”

“What’s that deary,” the mare said, holding a hoof to her ear. “Pourin’? Ye want me ta start pourin’ ya some syrup? Ye should wait fer yer pancakes first. And who’s yer friend? Is he that stallion you was tellin’ me about?”

“Yes, Granny,” she replied, ignoring the mistake and making sure to speak clearly, “this is Soarin’.”

“Well pleased ta meet ya Mr. Soarin’. We’re glad ta have ye stayin’ with us. Ah’m Granny Smith.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Mrs. Smith,” Soarin’ replied.

“Well, ain’t ye sweet. Ye can just call me Granny.”

“Soup’s on everypony,” said Applejack, walking into the room with another plate of pancakes, Big Macintosh in tow. Everyone grabbed plates and began eating.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Soarin’ upon taking his first bite. The pancakes were light, fluffy and cooked to perfection and the syrup was the best he’d ever tasted. “This is amazing!”

“It’s the syrup,” said Apple Bloom proudly, “it a secret Apple family recipe and Ah’m old enough ta help make it this year.”

Their meal was interrupted by a knock at the door. Applejack got up and went to the other room to answer it. Suddenly, she let out a small yelp followed by playful giggles and the sounds of kissing. Granny Smith rolled her eyes and shouted at her granddaughter.

“Tell that colt ta either get in here an’ eat er go outside and wait. Ah don’t appreciate y’all playin’ hanky panky in mah house.”

A few moments later, Applejack and Clover walked into the dining room. Applejack looked slightly irritated and Clover was trying unsuccessfully to hide his blushing face.

“Hey there, Granny,” he said sheepishly.

“Mornin’, Clover,” the elderly mare replied. “Have some breakfast.”

“Thank you.”

The two of them sat down and breakfast continued without further interruption. When Big Macintosh had started his second helping, he began divvying out the chores for the day.

“AJ, yer on the red delicious trees t’day. Clover, you’re with me on the red gala. Apple Bloom…”

“Ah know,” said the filly in a monotone voice, as if she had heard it countless times before. “Collect the eggs from the chicken coop, feed the pigs and help Granny Smith before Ah go out crusadin’.”

The stallion nodded an affirmation to his sister. “And clean yer room.”

“Alright, big brother.”

Soarin’ waited a few moments, but spoke up when Big Macintosh didn’t continue. “Um, what do you want me to do?”

Granny Smith and Macintosh gave him a slightly surprised look.

“Yer our guest, Soarin’,” the red stallion replied. “You don’t hafta work if ya don’t want to.”

“I don’t mind working. I helped Applejack milk the cows earlier. I want to pay you back somehow for letting me stay here. Besides, working will keep my mind off not being able to fly.”

“Well, that’s mighty kind of ya,” said Granny, smiling. “Ye can work with Applejack if ya like.”

Breakfast was soon finished and everypony went outside to begin the day’s work. They went out to the barn and got baskets and carts to haul the apples in. Macintosh and Clover headed to the red gala trees and Applejack led Soarin’ to the red delicious. Once they got there, she explained the basic process of how to applebuck. His mouth gaped in surprise when he saw the entire tree’s crop fall into the baskets with one kick of her powerful legs. They picked up the apples that had missed and she told him to try.

He stood in front of the next tree at the appropriate distance. Bracing himself, he reared up his back legs and put all his muscle behind them and kicked. A grand total of about twelve apples fell. Frowning, he tried again and a few more fell.

“This is harder than it looks,” he said, looking over at Applejack, who had just finished bucking two of the trees surrounding his.

“Ya gotta hit the sweet spot,” she explained. Walking over, she pointed to a spot on the tree a few feet off the ground. “Right here.”

He prepared himself and tried again. This time most of the rest of the apples came down. With another kick the tree was bare. They loaded the baskets into the cart and hauled them to the barn, then returned for more.

The cycle repeated. It usually took Soarin’ two or three kicks to strip the tree of its fruit, but he made up for it by insisting to haul the cart to the barn. Soon they had done several rows and it was nearing noontime.

When they heard a clanging sound and Granny hollering, “Come an’ get it!” they put down their baskets and went back to the farmhouse. Granny and Apple Bloom had laid out a picnic blanket and it was covered with quite a spread. There was bread and some other things to make sandwiches, most of them apple based, as well as a few assorted apple pastries and freshly made apple juice.

“What’s all this for?” asked Applejack.

“It was such a nice day out, Ah thought we could have a picnic,” said Apple Bloom as she placed a plate of apple fritters on the blanket.

Big Macintosh and Clover soon joined them and they all sat down to eat.

“So Soarin’,” said Clover as Applejack sat down next to him. “You sore yet?”

“Not really,” he replied, reaching to grab an apple. "The applebucking works different muscles then I normally do, but it's not too bad."

Clover gave him a knowing smirk. “You will be by the end of the day. When I first started workin’ here, they had me buckin’ trees so hard I thought my legs’d fall off.”

Applejack gave him a light punch on the shoulder. “That’s only cause you were kickin’ the trees too hard an’ pulled a muscle.”

The entire Apple family laughed and Soarin’ made a mental note to not kick too hard. The six ponies continued their meal, talking, laughing and enjoying the sunny afternoon. Eventually, Apple Bloom’s friends came by to see if she could play. The three were about to leave when Scootaloo suggested that they stay and hang out with Soarin.’ At first the other two didn’t seem interested, but when the orange filly suggested they could get their cutie marks as celebrity interviewers, they agreed to give it a try.

Soarin’ gave Applejack a questioning look and she explained. “Mah sister and her friends call themselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders. They go around doin’ all kinds’a crazy stuff ta try an’ get their cutie marks.”

“We even have a theme song,” said Scootaloo.

“Sweetie Belle wrote it,” Apple Bloom added.

The three fillies all cleared their throats and proudly sang their theme song.

“We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders, on a quest to find out who we are.

And we will never stop the journey. Not until we have our cutie marks.”

The fillies received a round of applause. The group finished lunch and went back to their respective tasks. As they walked back, the three fillies began hounding Soarin’ with questions, most of them from Scootaloo.

“Is Rapidfire really as tall as he looks on the poster?”

"Who designed your outfits?"

“Have you met Rainbow Dash? She’s going to be a Wonderbolt someday.”

“Are clouds fluffy when ya step on ‘em?”

“Is Spitfire really as awesome as Rainbow Dash says she is?”

“I really like your mane.”

He answered all of their questions as best he could, though it was a bit distracting while he was trying to buck apples. On the way back to the barn to unload another cart of full baskets, Applejack decided to provide him relief.

“Simmer down girls. Soarin’s got work ta do. He can spend time with ya later.”

“AWWWWW,” they groaned.

“Okay, Applejack,” said Scootaloo, “but could he at least sign this for me?” She pulled out a rolled up Wonderbolts poster and a marker and laid them on the ground, looking up at him with a wide, pleading smile.

“No problem, kiddo.” He took the marker in his teeth and signed the poster with his signature and a little message.

’To Scootaloo, let your dreams take you higher than the clouds,’” she read. A bright smile crossed her face; the kind of bright smile that made Soarin’s heart leap every time he saw it on the face of a fan, especially the younger ones. That grin made Soarin’ feel warmer than any fire or warm blanket could, like he could fly even without the use of his wings.

“Thanks, Soarin’,” the little filly said, hugging his legs.

“You’re welcome, Scoots.”

The young pegasus rolled up the poster, tucked it under her wing and she and her friends galloped off to go find their cutie marks.

“That was mighty nice of ya, Soarin’,” said Applejack as she watched the fillies run off.

“Thanks. Now come on. Let’s get these apples unloaded.”

The rest of the day proceeded without incident. Soarin’ and Applejack continued with applebucking until Granny called them in to wash up for dinner. Soarin' was again amazed. Dinner was apple-based, and more delicious than anything, save that morning's pancakes and the pies from yesterday, that he had ever eaten.

Soarin’ sat leaning against an apple tree at the top of a hill on the edge of the farm. The sun was beginning it descent below the horizon and he wanted to watch, having been too busy working to watch the sunrise. He looked down longingly at the sling holding his injured wing and wished more than anything that he could go and watch the sunset from a better vantage point in the clouds. He still felt the deep longing for the sky, but knew that now he was a day closer to when his wing would be better. He turned when he heard the sound of approaching hoofsteps.

“Hey,” he greeted Applejack as she climbed the hill, Winona following close behind.

“Howdy. Mind if Ah join you?”

He shook his head and scooted over to make room for her. Winona laid down by his side and Applejack sat next to her. Soarin’ began absent-mindedly stroking the dog’s back with a hoof. The three of them sat there, watching the sunset.

After a while, Applejack cleared her throat and hesitantly spoke.

“Listen,” she said as she rubbed the back of her head with a hoof, “Ah think Ah owe you an apology.”

He turned, giving her a quizzical look. “Why?”

“Ah think Ah misjudged you. Mah friend Rainbow talks about you Wonderbolts all the time. From a lotta the stuff she says, Ah got the impression that you folks were a lot like her. Now don’t get me wrong, Rainbow’s mah best friend and she’s the most loyal pony Ah know. But sometimes she can be a bit…fulla herself. Ah thought that you might be a bit fulla yerself a little too.”

She looked down at her hooves for a moment, then looked out at the sunset and continued.

“But then Ah saw how hard you worked today, even though you didn’t have to. You listened when Ah told ya what ta do and ya pulled the cart ta make up fer not buckin’ as many trees as Ah could. Then Ah saw how nice ya were ta the Crusaders, especially Scootaloo.”

She looked back at him, giving him a small smile. “Ah guess what Ah’m tryin’ ta say is that Ah’m sorry. Ah shouldn’t have judged ya like that before Ah knew ya. Ah did that once before and Ah know it ain’t a good thing ta do.”

Soarin’ was a little taken aback by her confession. He had been misjudged because of being a Wonderbolt before, but not in that sense. Ponies had never assumed he was haughty or self-centered, or if they did they never let on about it. The impression that he got had been that, because he was a Wonderbolt, ponies thought that he was the perfect guy. They thought he was an upstanding citizen.

He'd always tried to uphold that image, not because of what ponies thought, though. He had always tried his best to be his best because he knew that ponies looked up to him. This wasn’t something that made him feel arrogant or haughty; rather it gave him more of a sense of humility. Just knowing that he had ponies that looked up to him made him want to give them something good to look up to.

“Don’t worry about it,” he replied, not really knowing what else to say. The two of them sat in awkward silence until Applejack changed the subject.

“Well, now ya’ve got a taste’a farm life, whatcha think? Not quite as fun as flyin’ up there in the clouds?”

He thought for a moment. “Actually, in a funny kind of way it’s a lot like what we do in the Wonderbolts.”

Now it was her turn to look quizzically at him. “How’s that?”

“Well, like you, we work hard towards a goal. You work towards the goal of a bountiful harvest so you can sell those apples or other apple products, right?”

She nodded.

“It’s a little bit like that with us. We work hard to put a show together. We train and we practice our tricks over and over. You could say our practice nurtures and grows the show. Then when we show everypony what we’ve done, it’s kind of like what harvest is for you.”

He smiled as he thought about what he had just said and chuckled. “Sorry, I know that sounded kind of silly.”

She chuckled as well. “Yeah, it was a might silly, but Ah think Ah get yer point.”

Another silence that was a bit more comfortable then the last hung in the air. They both reached down to pet Winona and pulled their hooves away when they brushed against each other. Applejack reached and scratched behind the dog’s ears while Soarin’ scratched her back.

“That pie Granny made for dessert was delicious,” said Soarin’, breaking the silence. “I’ll have to come back and buy more sometime.”

She chuckled. “Ah think she understood that ya liked ‘em. You ate about half of it. You really like pies don’tcha?”

“Yeah,” he replied, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.

“Well we’re happy ta keep makin’ ‘em if ponies are willin’ ta keep eatin’ ‘em.” She frowned. “Ah know one place Ah ain’t gonna go sellin’ mah produce to again.”

“Where’s that?”

“The Grand Gallopin’ Gala. Ah took a cart there one year. Almost nothin’ sold. When Ah figured out they didn’t think mah food was fancy enough, Ah made an apple cake. But then things went a little crazy and the cake wound up all over the place, and all over mah friend Rarity.”

Soarin’ began laughing. “Ha ha, oh yeah, I was at that gala. Prince Blueblood got cake splattered all over him. I laughed so hard when I heard that pompous blowhard get what he deserved. ”

She chuckled. “Yeah, that was pretty funny. He didn’t treat Rarity right and he called mah food ‘common carnival fair’ so Ah’d be lyin’ if Ah said Ah wasn’t thinkin’ the same way. Still, Ah was disappointed that mah food didn’t sell. Ah only sold one pie all night. Come to think of it, the fella that bought the pie was one of you Wonderbolts.”

“I think that was me, actually,” said Soarin.’ “I always get hungry after a show and all they had at the buffet were these tiny little hors-devours that couldn’t even feed a bug. If it’s any consolation, your pie was delicious.”

“Well thanks. Ah still wish Ah coulda sold more, but Ah’m glad Ah had at least one satisfied customer.”

“Well, if you want, I could tell you why I think nopony bought anything.”

“Why’s that?”

“You didn’t make it snooty enough.”

Her eyebrows scrunched as she gave him a confused look. He decided to clarify.

“Most of the ponies that attend the gala are the Canterlot elite. Many of them are really rich and they like everypony else to see that they’re rich. If you dress your food up and make it exceedingly decadent, they’ll buy it.”

“That doesn’t make a lick’a sense.”

He shrugged. “I know, but that’s how they do it. I’ve had to go to a lot of fancy restaurants to do Wonderbolt appearances. All the food is expensive, tiny and looks like it should be put in an art museum. The ponies that buy your food will go and brag to other guests about how much it costs and how beautiful it looks. You’ll sell all of it in no time at a huge profit.”

She shook her head and looked back out at the now much darker horizon and muttered to herself. “And Ah thought Rarity was crazy.”

The sun had now set, so the two of them got up and went back to the house, Winona following close behind. Big Macintosh was sitting at the dining room table doing paperwork and Granny Smith had fallen asleep in her rocking chair in the living room. Apple Bloom invited them to play a board game. They played until Apple Bloom had to go to bed and then sat at the table and talked with Macintosh, who had finished his paperwork by then. Shortly thereafter they all decided to hit the hay.

Every day that week was similar to the first day. Soarin’ would get up and milk the cows with Applejack. Then after breakfast they would all go out and begin the tasks assigned to them. After lunch they would go back to work, and after dinner Soarin’ and Applejack would meet up under the tree on the hill and watch the sunset, sometimes joined by Clover. Soarin' and the two earth ponies soon became fast friends.

Sometimes Applejack would to go to town and run the apple cart or do something with Clover or her friends, and a few times Soarin’ got assigned to work with Clover or Big Macintosh. But for some reason he found that the work was far more enjoyable whenever he worked with Applejack.

When he saw her, he sometimes found himself staring, watching her work. If he was working alone he would look up whenever he heard the sound of a twig snapping or somepony approaching to see if it was her. He found his thoughts turning to her more frequently. Once he realized he was doing this, it struck him as quite odd. He’d never become such good friends with anypony that quickly before. He decided to just push it to the back of his mind and accept that he and Applejack just had a lot in common and just became friends more easily.

The week passed quickly and the day Nurse Redheart had said his wing would be better finally came. Soarin’ trotted down to the Ponyville Clinic that afternoon. After checking in, he was taken to one of the examining rooms. Nurse Redheart removed the sling and examined him. Finding nothing wrong, he was issued a clean bill of health.

He walked out the door of the clinic and stood on the street for a moment. Working on the farm had caused him to temporarily forget about his need to fly, but now it called out to him with a vengeance. He opened his wings and gave a few experimental flaps. Then, bending his legs, he pushed off and took to the sky.

The wind brushed across his coat and blew through his mane. He had truly missed flying and couldn’t help but let out a loud “Wahoo” at being able to fly again. He did a few loop-the-loops and some Aileron rolls and headed back to the farm.

As he flew over the orchard, he couldn’t help but notice how different it looked from above. The trees made a sea of green that was speckled with the various colors of the apples. As the wind blew, the trees gently swayed, making the similar appearance to a sea all the more noticeable.

A bright speck of orange caught his attention and he looked down to see Applejack bucking the pink lady trees. She was just going about collecting the baskets from the base of one of the trees and was carrying one on her back to the cart a short distance away. A mischievous smirk crossed Soarin's face as an idea came to him.

He descended and hovered above her as quietly as he could, slowly lowering himself down until he was just above her. Carefully, he reached down and lifted the basket off her back. She quickly spun around and looked in every direction for the missing basket. He had to bite his lip to keep from laughing. She sat down and began scratching her head to try and figure out where the basket went. He lowered himself down again and carefully moved his muzzle to the back edge of her hat. He quickly nabbed the hat in his teeth and flew off down the row of trees.

“Hey!” she shouted, seeing him as he absconded with her headgear. “Get back here ya theivin’ varmint.” She took off running after him.

He flew over the cart and dropped the basket inside. Turning around, he hovered a few feet off the ground with her hat still dangling from his teeth. He tried pulling away at the last minute as she went to grab it, but he underestimated how high she could jump. She leapt up and grabbed the rim of her hat in her teeth. A brief tug of war ensued, but eventually Soarin’ released the cowpony’s hat, laughing and coming to rest on the ground nearby.

“What in the hay was that for?” she said, sounding angry and irritated as she replaced her hat on her head.

Soarin’ stopped laughing. He thought that maybe he had taken the joke too far if she was sounding that angry.

“Sorry, AJ,” he said, head hanging a little. “I’m a bit of a prankster and sometimes I take things a bit too far.”

Her look of irritation softened. “That’s alright. Ah don’t mind a little joke now and again. Rainbow and Pinkie play ‘em all the time." She reached up and gave the brim of her hat an affectionate rub. "It’s just that mah hat’s real special to me and Ah don’t like other ponies touchin’ it.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have taken it if I knew it was special. Where did you get it?”

She remained silent for a moment. “Mah Pa.”

Soarin’ could tell from her tone that the subject made her sad and decided to not press the issue. A few moments of silence hung in the air until Applejack spoke up. “So, Ah see yer wings are all better. Guess that means you’ll be headin’ back ta Cloudsdale.”

Now it was Soarin’s turn to be silent for a few moments. He’d been so happy about being able to fly again that he had forgotten it meant he could leave the farm. He could leave and go finish his vacation by hanging out with Spitfire or doing whatever he wanted. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized he didn’t want to leave. He couldn’t quite put his hoof on why, but, looking at Applejack, he realized that this had been one of the best vacations he’d had so far.

“Actually I’ve still got a week left of my vacation. I’d really like to stay if that’s alright with you.”

The orange mare blinked in surprise. “You wanna stay and work on yer vacation?”

“Um, yeah, if you don’t mind.”

“Nah, Ah don’t mind at all. We can always use another hoof on the farm.”

“Great! Where do you want me, boss?” he said, giving a little salute. “Soarin’ the applebucker reporting for duty.”

She chuckled. “Come on, you can help me finish this row before sundown.”

The later hours of the next morning saw a bright yellow mare flying around the skies of Ponyville. Spitfire was on the first day of her vacation and had gone to Soarin’s house to hang out. When she found he wasn’t there she had begun to get worried. She began her search for him in Ponyville and was asking around if anypony had seen him. Suddenly she saw a face she recognized and flew over to see if she knew anything.

“Hey, Rainbow Dash right? How’s it going?”

The rainbow-maned pegasus leapt off the cloud she was lying on so fast it almost dissipated. “Sp-Spitfire?! Omigosh omigosh omigosh! What are you doing here?”

“I’m on vacation and I’m looking for Soarin.’ Last time I saw him, he was coming here for the fair last week.”

“Shoot!” Rainbow muttered under her breath. “Knew I shoulda gone to that stupid thing.”

“Have you seen him?”

“Nope, but I’ll help ya look,” Rainbow offered.

“Great! Let’s go.”

Spitfire turned and started flapping away. She smiled as she heard a loud squeal coming from behind her before Rainbow caught up.

The two of them asked around but still didn’t find Soarin’. They had just stopped above Sugarcube Corner and were deciding where to go next when a voice called up to them.

“Hey Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash!”

They looked down and saw Scootaloo standing with her scooter and waving to them. They flew down and landed next to her.

“Hey, squirt.”

The little filly’s eyes grew to the size of dinner plates when she saw who Rainbow Dash was with.

“Oh my gosh! Spitfire the Wonderbolt! ”

Spitfire smiled and patted the filly’s head. “Yep, that’s me. What’s your name?”

“Scootaloo,” she replied excitedly. “Can you do a sonic rainboom? Dash can. That’s how she got her cutie mark. She’s going to be a Wonderbolt someday and so am I. What are you doing here in Ponyville? Are the Wonderbolts doing a show?” Scootaloo began bombarding them with endless chatter and questions.

Spitfire looked at Rainbow Dash. She could clearly see that this little filly was enamored with Dash. She knew what having your first fan felt like and decided to give Rainbow a boost.

“Calm down, kid,” she said. “Breathe.” Scootaloo’s chatter ceased and she took a few breaths. Once she had calmed down, Spitfire answered her. “My friend Dash and I were just flying around Ponyville,” she said, putting a hoof on Rainbow’s shoulders. “We’re looking for another friend of ours, Soarin’.”

The orange pegasus’s jaw looked like it would fall off with how far it dropped. “You’re friends with Rainbow Dash?! AND you know Soarin’? This is so awesome! Two Wonderbolts in Ponyville and Dash knows both of them!”

The two mares looked at Scootaloo in surprise.

“Scoots, do you know where Soarin’ is?” asked Rainbow.

“Yeah. He’s been at Sweet Apple Acres helping all week.”

Rainbow’s eyebrows furrowed in anger. A Wonderbolt had been in Ponyville all week and she was just now hearing about it. Not to mention he was staying with her best friend. She had a bone to pick with a certain orange mare.

Author's Note:

12/20: Slight editing after a change of canon from the Sleepless in Ponyville Episode.

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