• Published 8th Jun 2015
  • 4,837 Views, 71 Comments

That Dumb Flower - Timaeus



The Chaos Rose is a very special flower that blooms once a year on Hearts and Hooves Day and is one of the greatest symbols of love and devotion. So, what will happen when Twilight gives one to Rainbow?

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Chapter 1

Twilight let out a satisfied sigh as she trotted down the road to Ponyville Square. A content smile spread over her face as she walked, enjoying the gentle breeze that carried with it the scents of flowers and chocolates from couples surprising each other with gifts throughout town. The boundless energy of Hearts and Hooves Day proved infectious as she hummed a happy tune to herself. She waved at a few ponies she recognized, all holding hooves and staring into the eyes of their special somepony, paying her little mind. The few ponies that waved back did so fleetingly, each eager to return their attention to the mare or colt beside them.

As she rounded a corner, Twilight couldn’t help but revel in being ignored. She stretched her wings as she trotted along, taking liberty in the lack of ponies going out of their way to bow or greet her with a ‘good day, your highness.’ For once in the short time since her ascension, Twilight felt like a normal pony.

“Excuse me! Coming through!” A particularly panicky brown stallion shouted as he barreled down the street. Twilight jumped out of the way just in time for the stallion to yell a hasty apology as he careened around the corner and towards Bon Bon’s candy shop.

Twilight shook her head as the pony vanished from sight, joining the hoofful of others running through the streets in a frenzied search for a last minute Hearts and Hooves Day present. A pegasus mare flew overhead with a bouquet of roses in her mouth while a pale green earth pony stallion knocked desperately on the door of Carousel Boutique, begging for Rarity’s help.

On second thought, I almost prefer the bowing, Twilight thought to herself as she dodged another stallion—who she recognized as Time Turner—carrying a bag of muffins from Sugarcube Corner in his mouth.

“You could at least say ‘sorry!’” she shouted after the fleeing Time Turner before turning back towards Sugarcube Corner with a huff. “What is it about this holiday that makes everypony so crazy?” she grumbled as she wound her way through the early afternoon crowds, her mood quickly souring as more ponies pushed and shoved their way past her on their way to the stores or to an early lunch with their date.

“You got me, Princess. I’m not going to complain, though, it’s great for business.”

With a jump, Twilight spun on the spot, eyes wide and wings flaring in alarm. “Oh, Roseluck.” She exhaled as she saw who it was, placing a hoof over her chest. Without even realizing where she was going, she had somehow managed to wander over to Roseluck’s flower cart—which was impressive, considering the sizable crowd perusing the selection of flowers. Putting on a sheepish smile, she looked up at the red-maned flowerpony. “Sorry, you startled me. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

“No problem,” Roseluck said, waving one hoof at her while another scooped up a small pile of bits on the counter. After handing one customer a bouquet of tulips, she addressed Twilight with a salespony’s smile. “So, what can I do for you? Looking for the perfect flower for the perfect pony?” she asked with a wink. “If you have, then you’ve come to the right place!”

“Oh, nothing like that. I was just on my way to Sugarcube Corner, actually, and got a little sidetracked by this crowd of crazy ponies.” Twilight looked over her shoulder, her eyes narrowing as she spotted Time Turner making a beeline for Carousel Boutique, toppling over another pony in the process. She snorted. “They could at least look where they’re going.”

“Yeah, ponies do crazy things for the pony they’re crazy about.” Roseluck sighed with a dreamy smile. “It’s so romantic, isn’t it? Ponies go nuts trying to find the perfect gift for their perfect pony, and I get to help them.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “If you say so.” A few ponies elbowed their way to the front of Roseluck’s cart. Their gazes bounced from flower to flower while their hooves fumbled for their bits. “I never really got the point of today. Growing up, I was taught that if you love somepony, you should show them that every day, not by running around like a lunatic to find a couple of flowers once a year.”

“Oh I don’t know, I think it’s sweet to have a day dedicated to the bond between special someponies.” Roseluck smiled as the last of her customers dropped a hoofful of bits on the counter and sped away. She had the decency to let out a nervous chuckle as Twilight’s eyebrow remained firmly raised. “Pretty sure I’ve already said it’s great for business, too. Ponies have to make a living, right?”

“Uh-huh.”

Roseluck cleared her throat, discreetly sliding the bits off of the counter and into a bit box below, smiling widely all the while. “You sure there isn’t anything you’re looking for? Maybe not for a special somepony, but maybe even to spruce your castle up a bit? Some lilacs in the library, perhaps? Or some petunias in the kitchen?”

“Thanks, but no thanks,” Twilight said, her eyes roaming over bouquets of roses, corsages of violets and tulips, and blooming orchids. She couldn’t help but admire the organization and presentation of the arrangements, weaving together to create a single spectacular display befitting the holiday.

“Aww, you super sure?” Roseluck pouted. “Not even some magnolias for the hall? Half price, just for you.”

“No, really, I really don’t think I want...” Twilight trailed off as her gaze settled on a single flower separated from the rest. A long-stemmed, deep blue flower with wide, waving petals and fat red stamens lay across a small velvet cushion, carefully placed away from the stampeding hooves of deranged Hearts and Hooves Day shoppers. With wide eyes, she craned her neck over the counter and inched her muzzle closer to the flower. “Is that... is that what I think it is?”

Rubbing her forehooves together, Roseluck chuckled softly and grinned like a fox. “You’ve got a good eye, Princess.”

Twilight loomed over the flower, her eyes tracing the heart-shaped patterns of the stamens. “A Chaos Rose?”

“Yup. Gotta say, I’m impressed. Not too many ponies around here know about them.”

“But how? Where?” Twilight trotted around the cart and peered at the flower with a skeptical frown and her chin on the countertop. “Do you know how rare these are?” She asked, reaching a hoof out to the flower and gently prodding its petals, as if to make sure that it was real.

It was.

Her smile growing wider and more terrifying by the second, Roseluck nodded. Her eyes radiated pride in waves as she lifted the rose up in her hooves and cradled it as if it were a newborn foal. “You bet I do! I had to pull a lot of strings to get this beauty sent down here.”

“But they only bloom once a year! They don’t even grow around Ponyville or in the Everfree Forest! They only grow in—”

“Canterlot!” Roseluck trumpeted. Her chest swelled and she lowered the flower back to its cushion, grinning from ear to ear. “It’s the gift to get anypony for Hearts and Hooves Day, which is why I always try and get a few sent down here from Canterlot every year. There’s always some lucky colt or mare looking to surprise their special somepony, and nothing says ‘I love you’ like one of these babies.”

“But how did you get one? I’m from Canterlot and I’ve never actually seen one!”

“Weeeell,” Roseluck started in a sing-song voice, “ponies say that ponies only actually find one when they’re about to propose to the love of their life.”

“Ponies say a lot of things.” Twilight shook her head and gave Roseluck a curious look. “How did you actually get one? The flower shops all over Canterlot are sold out before lunch on Hearts and Hooves Day.”

“Really? Sounds to me like somepony’s spent some time looking for one. You sure nopony’s caught your eye?” Roseluck teased, waggling her eyebrows. “Who is it?”

“Huh?” Twilight blinked, then chuckled and waved a hoof. “Oh no, you’re mistaken. There is no special pony.”

“Griffon, then? Maybe a zebra? Throw me a bone!”

“I don’t even know that many griffons and zebras, and I can assure you that I’m not pursuing any romantic endeavours with those that I do know.”

“Oh, come on, you can tell me! I won’t breathe a word to anypony, not even to Princess Celestia herself! Client-merchant confidentiality and all that.” Roseluck shifted her eyes from side to side, leaning in to ask in a whisper. “Is it a mare or a stallion? You strike me as the soft and curvy type.”

“Roseluck, I don’t think—”

“I remember seeing you eyeing up Blossomforth last Winter Wrap Up. Oh, is it one of your friends? I bet it’s one of your friends. Come on, who is it? I can’t help you find the perfect flower unless you tell me!”

“I’m not interested in anypony or anything like that!” Twilight huffed. She glared daggers at Roseluck and stomped her hoof. The force of her voice made Roseluck jump and duck under her counter. “And I don’t feel comfortable talking about such personal things with you. No offense,” she added as the salespony poked her head up and opened her mouth.

“Fine, fine, be mysterious,” she said with a huff of her own, her voice flat. “I was only trying to help. If you don’t want to give it to anypony, then why would you want to buy one anyways?”

“I’ve just always wanted to do some experiments with one,” Twilight said, letting out a measured breath. “They have some fascinating properties that I’ve always wanted to study first-hoof.”

“What kind of experiments could you do with a flower?” Roseluck quirked her brow, her expression curious.

“Well...” Twilight shuffled her hooves. Her ears flicked and she cleared her throat. “It... kind of has to do with the legend behind them.”

“Oh! You mean how Discord made the flower for Princess Celestia?” Roseluck giggled, hopping in place. “If he didn’t turn Ponyville into his playground, I might believe it, too! But it’s still sweet to think that he made them for her to only bloom for her on Hearts and Hooves Day, don’t you think? Unless...” Her eyes widened and her mouth opened in a silent gasp. “Unless it’s true?”

“I, er, I’m not sure if—”

The counter shook as Roseluck half-fell, half-leaned over it and brought her face within inches of Twilight’s. “Oh come on, you have to know! You were Celestia’s student and now you’re a princess and friends with Discord! You must’ve talked about it at some point!”

“I-I don’t know, actually.” Twilight took a step back from Roseluck and found an interesting patch of dirt to look at. The thought of Discord trying to woo anypony—let alone Princess Celestia—always sent a worm of unease through her stomach. A scene played through her mind’s eye before she could stop it—a candlelit dinner, Discord reaching over to grab Celestia’s hoof before the two leaned in towards each other, their lips puckered and their cheeks red. Twilight felt a bit of bile collect at the back of her throat. “She never told me,” she said in a small voice. “And I’m not that good of friends with Discord, either.”

“Aww.” Roseluck slumped over the counter.

Coughing into a hoof, Twilight lifted her eyes to the rose, suppressing images of her beloved mentor swooning over Discord deep in her mind and locking them away for all eternity. “Anyways, is it true that you can’t use magic on these?”

“Yeah,” Roseluck said, picking herself up off the counter. “I don’t know what it is, but whenever a unicorn tries to use their magic on one of these, they kind of... go poof.”

“Go poof?”

“Yeah, they just sort of fizzle out and disappear.” She shrugged. “Weird, right? They have to be hoof-picked and handled without any magic. Not really a big deal for me, though.” She pointed to her forehead. “You know, being an earth pony and all.”

“Fascinating...” Twilight stared at the flower, her mind abuzz with apparatuses for experiments. If the stories were true, then this would be a rare chance to study the properties of chaos magic first-hoof and without involving a particularly frustrating draconequus. She traced the patterns of the flower’s stamen, mentally noting how they created miniature heart shapes. An eager grin spread over her face as the familiar spark of intellectual curiosity lit up her mind.

“Uh, Princess?” Roseluck said, drawing the alicorn from her reverie. “Not that it isn’t great to have you hanging around the stall, but are you going to buy anything?”

Twilight blinked and straightened. She bit her lip, her eyes glued to the flower. “How much for the rose?” She asked after a moment’s indecision.

It was Roseluck’s turn to blink. “Uh, fifty bits. Why?”

“Fifty bits?!” Twilight’s face paled. She could already feel her saddlebags growing considerably lighter. “That’s a little expensive for a flower, isn’t it?”

“Come on, you of all ponies know how much this flower is worth.” Roseluck leaned on the counter, a suspicious look on her face. “You’re not thinking of buying it, are you? That’s a lot of bits to throw at some ‘experiments.’ I mean, you’re a princess and you can probably afford it, but still, it’s not like—”

“I’ll take it.”

“—Bwuh?” Roseluck simply stared as Twilight fished out her wallet. “You’ll... take it?”

“Yes,” she answered while counting out bits. Nodding, she levitated the bag over to Roseluck. “That should be enough.”

Roseluck gaped at the bulging bag of bits. “Uh... right!” Snapping her mouth shut, she grabbed the bag and tossed it underneath the counter, where it landed with a heavy thump that shook the entire cart. She reached for the rose and paused. “Did you, uh, want it gift wrapped, Princess?”

“No, it’s fine as it is, thank you,” Twilight responded with a giddy smile.

“Great. Well...” Roseluck coughed to the side and pushed the pillow with the flower resting on it towards Twilight. “Here you are.”

As Twilight nestled the flower under her wing, careful to avoid its thorns, her ears flicked as she felt Roseluck’s stare boring into her. Raising her head and an eyebrow, she asked, “Is everything alright, Roseluck?”

“Yeah...” Roseluck’s brow wrinkled and her eyes narrowed in an almost inquisitorial stare. “It’s just... you want that flower for ‘experiments?’ For real?”

“Uh, yes?” Twilight took a step back, squirming under Roseluck’s stare. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, and now I can do it.”

Roseluck’s stare was relentless. It was no wonder that she was second only to Rarity as Ponyville’s local gossip—anypony would have talked if they were subjected to that stare for long enough. “Experiments...” she muttered, both in disbelief and in confusion. Then, her face brightened. “Oh! Ooooooooh, experiments.” She hid a giggle behind a hoof. “I gotcha. Experiments, right.”

“Uh, yeah.” Twilight backed away from the stall and the salespony grinning like a lunatic, forcing a nervous smile of her own. “I’ll just be going. Thank you for the flower.”

“No, thank you for your patronage. Good luck with those ‘experiments,’” Roseluck said with a wave and a wink.

“Thanks, I think,” Twilight called over her shoulder as she broke into a fast trot, almost as eager to get away from the stall as she was to set up her lab equipment. Shaking her head, she breathed in through her nose and shut her eyes, collecting her thoughts. Her eyes opened and fell to the rose she carried under her wing. “Now, what should I do with you?” She felt herself smile. There were so many different tests she could run, she didn’t even know where to start.

By the time Twilight had rounded the corner, all thoughts of her conversation with Roseluck had faded from her mind. In their place were a series of experiment designs, diagrams, and algorithms of chaos magic. But as she walked, Twilight couldn’t help but think that she was forgetting something.

“That would be me that you’re forgetting, silly!”

“Gah!” Twilight jumped, almost dropping her rose as her wings spread once more in alarm. “Pinkie!” She glared at her pink poofy-maned assailant, who had jumped out from behind a streetlight and was facing her with a wide and toothy smile.

“Twilight, there you are! I’ve been looking all over the place for you!”

“You have?” Twilight asked, only for Pinkie to throw a foreleg over her shoulder and pull her into a field of pink that smelled strongly of sugar.

“Well, duh!” Pinkie giggled. “You’re supposed to be helping me make a bunch of cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and who knows what else! It’s Twilight and Pinkie’s Hearts and Hooves Day Bake-a-Palooza Bonanza! Unless!” She gasped, springing away from Twilight and giving her a wide-eyed look of horror. She pointed an accusing hoof and reared up on her hind legs. “Unless you forgot!”

“No, Pinkie, I didn’t forget,” Twilight said in a voice tempered with patience, trying in vain to halt the veritable river of words pouring from Pinkie. “It just slipped my mind for a moment. I was on my way when I stopped by Roseluck’s flower stall and—”

“Oh thank goodness!” Pinkie dropped to her four legs and hopped in place. “I knew you wouldn’t forget! Forgetting about something we scheduled would be like the most un-Twilight thing ever! And if you did something un-Twilight-y, then that wouldn’t make you Twilight which is just silly!” Pinkie rattled on, heedless of Twilight’s attempts to interrupt her. “I mean, come on, if you weren’t Twilight, then who would you be? Definitely not me, because I’m me and there’s nopony like me except me! Aaaaand those five hundred other Pinkie Pies, but you totally zapped them away and now there’s just one! Me!

“Pinkie, maybe we should just get going,” Twilight said as Pinkie took a rare second to pause for breath.

“Sounds great!” Pinkie grinned her impossibly wide grin and bounced around Twilight, ignorant of her sigh of relief. “Oh, we’re going to have so much fun! But we gotta hurry! We have a lot of baking to do, and we’re already late!”

“We are?”

“Oh yeah, big time! I know how much you like to schedule and plan stuff, so I made this huge chart so we could get everything we needed to get done in a super fun and super organized way! Plus, you said you and Dashie had a hot date tonight!” Pinkie giggled and waggled her eyebrows. “Just kidding!” She added as Twilight leveled her with a piercing glare.

“Fine, then we’d better—Wait... You made a schedule?” Twilight asked in apparent surprise.

“Of course I did! We were supposed to start at eleven o’clock sharp—just like you said!—and when you didn’t show up I started getting all worried because you’re never ever ever ever late so I started thinking that maybe something bad happened to you on the way over! Like what if you fell down a well and nopony could hear you calling for help!”

“Pinkie,” Twilight deadpanned. “I have wings and can teleport.”

“That’s what I thought!” Pinkie cheered, throwing her hooves in the air. “So I then thought that maybe you got lost on your way over, which is just as silly because you know Ponyville like the back of your hoof!” A sudden philosophical look passed over her face as she mulled over her words. “Which is actually a really weird saying if you think about it. I mean, doesn’t the back of your hoof look just like the front of your hoof? And don’t all of our hooves look the same? It’s almost like—”

“Okay, I get it!” Twilight massaged her forehead. As much as she loved Pinkie, there was only so much she could take. Composing herself, she said, “I’m sorry I’m late. I just stopped by Roseluck’s flower stand.”

“Is that where you got this super pretty flower?” Pinkie asked, leaning down to sniff the rose nestled in Twilight’s wing.

“Yes, actually.” Looking over Pinkie’s mane, Twilight’s eyes lifted to her castle glistening in the afternoon sunlight. “I just need to quickly run back to the castle so I can put it in a vase before we get started.”

“No can do, Twilight!” Springing up, Pinkie planted her hooves in the ground between Twilight and the castle. “We’re already late! We were supposed to start making the batter for the first batch of chocolate cupcakes with rosey-red heart-shaped icing ten minutes ago and if you went back to the castle that could be a whole fifteen or twenty more minutes and then we’ll be even later which would throw the whole schedule out of whack and bring everything to chaos—and not even the fun kind of chaos with chocolate rain but the un-fun kind!”

“I know, and I’m sorry, but it’ll only take a few—”

“Mister and Missus Cake are counting on me, Twilight!” A frantic, panicky look crept into Pinkie’s eyes and she grabbed Twilight by the shoulders. “They’re trusting me to handle all the baking today so they can go out and enjoy Hearts and Hooves Day together and I can’t handle all the baking alone!”

Twilight cringed at the pitch of Pinkie’s voice and tried to shrink away from the crazed party pony, her thoughts scrambling and her ears ringing. “B-but I can’t just leave this flower lying around Sugarcube Corner! It’ll get trampled!” Twilight stammered. “I need it for an important experiment and it can’t get ruined!”

“Then we’ll put it up in my room! I’m sure Gummy and the twins can look after it for you!”

For her part, Twilight could only gawk with a twitching eye at the suggestion.

“And besides,” Pinkie continued, oblivious of Twilight’s dangerous eye-twitch, “everypony knows that flowers like that aren’t meant to be put in a vase, they belong to somepony else! Your super special somepony! Unless somepony gave it to you and now you’re rushing home to put it in a vase!” She gasped, her jaw opening dangerously wide. “Who is it?”

“Nopony!” Twilight practically screamed. She ducked under Pinkie’s hooves and made to run around her, only for her hoof to get caught by Pinkie’s. “I only need it for an experiment and I can’t let it get ruined!”

“But we gotta go,” Pinkie whined, pulling at Twilight’s foreleg. “I can’t let the Cakes down! I Pinkie promised and you know I can’t break a Pinkie promise!”

“I just... I just...” Twilight floundered. She couldn’t teleport, not without vaporizing the flower, and she couldn’t leave it in the care of a couple of destructive twins and baby alligator. In silent prayer, Twilight scanned the crowd until she caught sight of a tuft of rainbow mane bobbing among the ponies. Her mental calendar reminded her of a scheduled weekly reading night later that day and an idea was quick to take shape. Grinning in relief, she tugged her hoof away from Pinkie. “I just need a minute!”

“Twilight, where are you going?!” Pinkie shouted as Twilight dove into the crowd. “Sugarcube Corner’s that way!”

“I’ll be right there, Pinkie!” Twilight answered, weaving between ponies. “I’ll meet you there in exactly one minute!”

“Okay, I’ll be counting! One mississippi, two mississippi...”

Author's Note:

And away we go!

Man, two stories within six months of each other. It's almost like I write for a hobby or something. Weird. Anywho, everything for this story is completely written and ready to go, so y'all can expect daily updates until it's complete! Since there are five chapters, everything will be published for your viewing pleasure by Friday!

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Feedback of any kind? Let me know in the comments below as feedback is greatly appreciated!