• 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 3

“Okay, spill,” Rainbow said as she flew next to Fluttershy. The shackled rooftops of Ponyville spread out below them, giving way to the rolling fields of Sweet Apple Acres. Despite her constant needling, Fluttershy had hardly spoken three words since they took off. She spent their flight frowning in thought with her eyes fixed ahead of them. Rainbow’s patience, however, had run its course. “There’s nopony up here but us. Not even any clouds for any pegasi to be hiding in.” She flapped her wings, pulling ahead of Fluttershy by a few wingbeats. She flipped around and flew backwards, staring behind her expectantly. “You’re gonna quit dodgin’ the question and tell me why you think Twilight loves me.”

Fluttershy blinked, then looked away. She chewed her bottom lip and hid behind her mane. “I told you,” she said quietly. “Twilight gave you that rose.”

“And I told you that I don’t see what the big deal is!” Rainbow groaned. “What is with you and this flower? It’s like you think it’s an engagement ring or something.”

Fluttershy squeaked in response, looking anywhere but at Rainbow as her ears folded back against her head. Her cheeks turned pink and she swallowed.

“Fluttershy,” Rainbow said after a lengthy silence in a voice laced with doubt and fear. Her wings trembled and she had to remind herself to keep flapping. “It’s... it’s not like an actual engagement ring, is it?”

“Um.” Fluttershy shifted the weight of the bag of feed between her hooves and let out a near-inaudible whine.

“Fluttershy,” Rainbow said, hovering in place. “Please tell me it’s not like an engagement ring.”

“Okay,” Fluttershy squeaked. “It’s not an engagement ring.”

“Oh, phew.” Rainbow forced a chuckle. Her shoulders slumped in relief as she turned in mid-air to fly ahead. “You scared me again, ‘Shy.” She let out another chuckle, this one less forced as a her face broke out in a grin. “You gotta stop doing that.”

Fluttershy squeaked again, lagging behind Rainbow and staring intently at the ground. “But it’s the next closest thing.”

The chuckle died in Rainbow’s throat and her smile froze on her face. Her breath hitched as her eyes went wide with fear, confusion, and no small deal of surprise. “What?!” she screeched, sending birds scattering from their perches in the apple trees below. The weight of the rose in her mane seemed to increase ten-fold as the many implications of Fluttershy’s words sunk in.

Fluttershy flinched and flapped away from Rainbow. She hovered in place a few feet away from her, glancing up only to stare back down at the rows of apple trees below. “Th-that rose,” she started, hiding as much behind her mane as possible. “It’s generally taken as a token of l-love. P-ponies are only supposed to give it to s-somepony very, very special.”

“But there’s loads of flowers and necklaces and other junk that ponies give to their special someponies!” Rainbow countered. She could still see at the edge of her vision the deep blue petals waving in the wind, intermingling with the red and orange of her mane. The sight of it made her chest tighten. “This is just a dumb flower!”

“A very special flower,” Fluttershy corrected. “One that only blooms on Hearts and Hooves Day. They’re very rare and very, um, expensive.”

“H-how expensive are we talkin’ here?” Rainbow swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. “L-like more than a few bits, right?”

“I’m not sure how much exactly...” Fluttershy flapped her wings, flying around Rainbow and towards her cottage. Rainbow turned and caught up to her in a couple wingbeats, straining to hear her friend’s quiet voice muffled by her mane. “But Rarity told me that it’s the gift to get anypony on Hearts and Hooves Day. Canterlot ponies go through a lot to get one.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened. “But those ponies are totally loaded!”

Fluttershy bit her lip and nodded. “It’s a token of deep romantic affection.”

“No kidding!” Rainbow eyed the rose, a feeling of dread weighing on her shoulders. “Why the heck would Twilight buy one of these? And why would she give it to me?!”

“Oh, Rainbow, I thought that would be obvious,” Fluttershy said delicately. “Ponies only buy those flowers for one reason. It’s why I was so happy for you.”

“Twilight does not love me.” Rainbow furrowed her brow and clenched her jaw. “There’s no way. Me and her? Her and me? We both know that’s bogus.” She shook her head, dispelling any doubtful voices from her mind. She frowned in conviction and squinted up at the rose in her mane. “There’s something screwy here.”

“Maybe,” Fluttershy said slowly. As her cottage came into view, she glided down towards it with Rainbow close on her heels. Her frown turned to a scowl as she watched Fluttershy open and close her mouth and look over her shoulder before turning away, muttering under her breath.

“Maybe?” Rainbow sneered with an air of incredulity as she landed on the grass in front of Fluttershy’s cottage. “What do you mean maybe? There is no maybe.” She stomped her hoof. “Twilight doesn’t love me. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

“But why else would she buy that flower?” Fluttershy asked as she undid the straps of her saddlebags.

“I said no buts!” Rainbow frowned and yanked the rose from her mane. She glared at the petals before dropping it on the ground. Her scowl deepened as she grasped for any other explanation besides the obvious. Twilight? Loving her? She scoffed and turned her nose up at the flower, working her jaw all the while. “Maybe she didn’t know what it was? You know her, she’s smart and all, but she can be kind of dense.”

“They only grow in Canterlot.” Fluttershy took a cautious step forwards, eyeing Rainbow with a wary look. “I’m sure Twilight’s heard of them before, and I’d be surprised if her brother didn’t give one to Princess Cadance at some point.”

Rainbow shook her head, her eyes scrunched shut. Her brow wrinkled in thought and she started circling the flower like a predator stalking its prey. “Okay, then there’s gotta be another reason. Maybe she got it for somepony else?”

“Like who?”

“I don’t know!” Rainbow snapped her eyes and wings open and growled. Her eyes flicked across the ground, bouncing from Fluttershy to the flower to the cottage and everything in-between. “Rarity? Applejack? You? How should I know?”

“Then why did she give it to you and not any of them? Or me, if it was meant for me?” Fluttershy asked patiently, sinking to her haunches and watching Rainbow pace. “Pinkie and I were both at the market.”

“How am I supposed to know?” Rainbow snarled. Twilight couldn’t be in love with her. It made no sense. Her and Twilight? The thought of it was enough to make her laugh, so she did. Fluttershy flinched as Rainbow forced out a bark-like laugh. “She could’ve wanted me to hold onto it for somepony else!”

“She could have,” Fluttershy said in a small voice. “But I don’t think she did. Why would she ask you to hold onto it for anypony else?”

“Because she got cold hooves, duh!” Rainbow smiled maniacally at Fluttershy, her wings abuzz and her eyes bright. “Yeah, that’s it! She’s gotta be crushing hard on Applejack or Rarity or something and was gonna tell them, but totally chickened out at the last second!”

“That doesn’t sound like Twilight.” Fluttershy frowned. “But I guess you would know. You spend more time with her than anypony, except for Spike.”

“Yeah!” Rainbow smirked even as her wings drooped. Ignoring it and the small ball of disappointment she felt in her gut, she folded her wings and cackled. “I know Twilight almost better than anypony! If she was crushing on me, I’d totally know it!” She stopped her pacing and nodded to herself. “She probably gave it to me since we were already planning on meeting up later today!”

“So she gave you the flower to hold onto for her?” Fluttershy cocked her head. “Is that what she told you when she gave it to you?”

“Well...” Rainbow found herself staring at the rose again. Her ears began to droop as doubt took hold. She opened her mouth and closed it again, mulling over her words as she spoke them. “Not... not really. She, uh, asked me to keep the flower until tonight. She didn’t say why, just that she’d explain everything later.” Letting out another growl, she spread her wings and stomped her hoof. “But that could mean anything!”

“I’m sure it could,” Fluttershy said, raising her hooves placatingly. “But you said it yourself, you know Twilight better than anypony. If it’s not meant for you, then who is it meant for?”

“I... I...” Rainbow’s jaw worked uselessly. Her wings twitched by her sides and she huffed. “I don’t know! I just know it’s not me!”

“Why are you so sure?”

“Because... because...” Rainbow shifted her gaze from side to side. “Because it doesn’t make any sense! She can’t just love me out of the blue! That’s not how love works, right? It has to build up or whatever, right?”

“I guess, but—”

“Exactly!” Rainbow pointed an accusing hoof at the flower. “This doesn’t meant anything! Twilight’s never said anything to me or given me any reason to think she has a crush on me! Even if she did, I would’ve noticed!”

“What if she was really good at hiding it from you?” Fluttershy brushed her mane out of her eyes and looked up at Rainbow. “You aren’t the most observant of ponies sometimes, no offense... and besides, you’re oblivious when ponies hit on you anyway...” she added in a quiet voice.

“What was that?”

“O-oh, nothing.” Fluttershy cleared her throat and looked to the side. “Just that I think it’s possible that Twilight might have feelings for you.” She pawed the ground, shrinking away from Rainbow’s incredulous stare. “I-I mean it is possible, isn’t it? She gave you the flower, asked you to show up at her castle on Hearts and Hooves Day, and you two are obviously very close.”

“We are?” Rainbow asked, sounding more surprised than she would have liked. She shook her head and snorted. “Well of course we are! We all are!”

“I don’t have a special somepony on Hearts and Hooves Day,” Fluttershy pointed out. “Neither does Applejack and Pinkie Pie, but Twilight didn’t invite them over.”

“That’s just because our reading night happened to be today! It’s not like Twilight planned it that way!”

“What if she did?” Fluttershy shifted her weight from hoof to hoof. “Doesn’t it sound like something she might do? If she’s had feelings for you, then maybe she would plan it so that your reading night fell on Hearts and Hooves Day.”

Rainbow opened her mouth to retort, then clicked it shut. She ground her teeth as she thought about it. Falling back to her haunches, Rainbow could not deny that Fluttershy had a point. She remembered one time Twilight showed her her schedule for eating, going to the bathroom, and when to preen her wings planned for the next month in advance and the pegasus shivered. It really did sound like something she would do. “B-but she’s never said anything...” she said in a quiet voice, her eyes falling back to the rose. In the afternoon sun, the petals seemed to glisten and shine, swaying almost hypnotically in the wind. She shook her head weakly, her ears drooping as the realization settled over her like a well worn saddle. “No,” she whispered. “I-I would have seen it. She would’ve flirted with me, and I’m like the queen of flirting.”

“Maybe you didn’t know to look for it?” Fluttershy sat next to Rainbow, joining her in staring thoughtfully at the rose. “Sometimes if you’re close to something you can’t see what’s in front of you.”

“I... I...” Rainbow closed her eyes, no longer able to stare at the flower without feeling her stomach twist. She sighed in defeat. “Why didn’t she say anything, then? It’s not like I’d laugh in her face, even if I said no.”

Rainbow shivered as a yellow wing wrapped around her. “You’re not the easiest of mares to talk to sometimes,” Fluttershy said in a comforting voice.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rainbow asked with a shadow of her usual bravado even as she hummed at the warmth of the wing. “You saying Twilight’s scared to talk to me about personal stuff?”

“Heavens no.” A gentle smile played across Fluttershy’s face. “Twilight trusts you, but it’s different when it comes to love.”

A bitter taste filled Rainbow’s mouth. She swallowed and ran her tongue across her teeth. “Love? Don’t you think that’s a bit extreme? I’m still not even sure if you’re right about this whole thing.”

“I think you are,” Fluttershy said, resting a steady hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder. “You just don’t want to let yourself admit it.” Rainbow grunted in response, drawing a frown from Fluttershy. “Okay, well... what was she like when she gave it to you?”

The scene replayed in Rainbow’s mind. Images of Twilight’s flushed face, twitchy wings, and eyes that never met Rainbow’s bubbled to the surface. “She was... nervous,” she said after a lengthy pause. Chewing the inside of her cheek, she let the scene replay itself a few more times. Without thought, she raised her hoof to her cheek where Twilight nuzzled it.

“Nervous how?”

“Like... I dunno.” Rainbow sighed, dropping her hoof. “She just gave me the flower and said she’d explain everything tonight at her place. She was all...” She waved a hoof in the air, grasping for the right words. “Flustered.”

Fluttershy smiled and gave a small nod. “Anything else?”

“Well...” Rainbow rubbed her cheek. “She did nuzzle me, I guess. But that could have been just her saying thanks. She nuzzles everypony all the time.” Even to her own ears, her voice sounded unconvincing. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“I think we both know that’s not true.”

Rainbow opened her eyes and stared glumly at the ground. “How can you be so sure? You weren’t even there.”

“I want you to be happy,” Fluttershy said, picking up the rose with a dainty hoof. She brought the flower up to Rainbow and fixed it behind her ear. The confused pegasus remained still while Fluttershy wove the stem between locks of multi-hued mane. “And I think that you and Twilight can make each other happy.”

Rainbow let out a half-hearted snort. “You sound like you’ve been thinking about this for a while now.”

“Maybe I have.” Fluttershy smiled and stepped back to admire the flower in Rainbow’s mane. “I want all my friends to be happy.”

“Yeah, happy... I don’t even know what I’m going to say.” Rainbow’s face contorted into a scowl. “Or if I’m gonna have to say anything. Why didn’t she just tell me then and there? I mean, she gave me the rose. She might as well have kissed me.” The barest hints of a blush coloured her cheeks as she said those final words. “If she was planning on confessing, she pretty much just punked out at the last second.”

“You know you’re not the easiest mare to approach, Rainbow. You always intimidated those colts and fillies at Flight Camp.”

“It’s not my fault nopony’s radical enough to pony up and ask me out,” Rainbow said automatically. She had long since lost count of how many times she told herself or her friends as much.

“Twilight is.” Fluttershy’s lip pulled up in what was as close to a smirk as she was ever going to get. “You and I both know that she is.”

“Yeah...” Rainbow felt herself grin. It was a small grin, but she couldn’t deny that it was there, nor could she deny a small spark of excitement that ignited in her chest. She could barely stop a giggle from escaping her lips as she nodded her mane. “She is.”

A pair of forelegs wrapped around her. “I’m so happy for you,” Fluttershy said in her ear. Rainbow grimaced as she let out a squeal of excitement. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said as she pulled back, a wide grin plastered over her face. “It’s just so romantic, I hope you don’t mind.”

“It’s all good, ‘Shy.” Rainbow let out a breath and fiddled with the stem of the rose in her mane. “You okay to take things from here? I think I need to go and think about...” Her hoof ran over one of the petals. “You know, stuff.”

“Of course.” Fluttershy stepped back and turned to the bags of feed that lay forgotten and strewn across the ground. “Thank you for your help.”

“Any time,” Rainbow said as she hopped into the air and turned to fly off. “I’ll catch you later.”

“Rainbow?”

“Yeah?”

Fluttershy smiled. “Good luck.”

Rainbow, to her own surprise, smiled back. “Thanks.”


Hours passed, and Rainbow Dash found herself flying over Ponyville Square with a frown wedged firmly upon her face. The early afternoon crowds from before had thinned, and now the only ponies left in the square walked with the tails interwoven or with a wing draped over the other’s back. It was a small blessing that the pegasi that cuddled in the clouds retreated to more private places, leaving the skies empty for all but Rainbow and her thoughts.

Flying always helped her think—or, rather, it always helped her escape thinking—but as she flew, she kept going over Twilight giving her the rose she wore in her mane. With every pump of her wings, she felt Twilight’s warm breath puff against her ear and with every gust of wind she felt their cheeks meet in brief fuzzy contact. Fluttershy’s words echoed in her ears and Rainbow’s frown warped into another scowl.

“She doesn’t love me,” she said to herself, glaring daggers at the castle in the horizon. “Fluttershy’s a dumb romantic, you know that. She’s just... imagining things.” Her voice was subdued, even though nopony was there to hear her. “This is all some stupid misunderstanding. I would have seen it coming ages ago.” Her scowl turned into a snarl. “Just wait, I’ll go over and she’ll tell me how this was all part of some plan to ask Rarity out. Yeah, those two always get so buddy-buddy whenever we go over to Rarity’s for tea. It’s always ‘Canterlot this’ and ‘magic that.’”

A sigh pushed past her lips when she meant to growl. She knew she should feel comforted, even relieved by her deductive abilities, but instead she felt her spirits sink along with her head. Her scowl vanished, and in its place was a sulky pout. Deciding that her wings ached from flying for so long, she let herself slowly glide to the ground. As she landed, she watched Bon Bon walk out of her shop, followed closely by Lyra. The two smiled and waved at Rainbow before turning their attention back to each other, matching loving smiles easing onto their faces and warmth shining from their eyes that was meant only for the other.

Rainbow hung her head and sighed as they trotted off, giggling and whispering and playfully nipping at the other’s neck or ears. She couldn’t help think that, if Fluttershy was right, that could be her and Twilight. The thought made a flicker of a smile dance across her face before the frown retook its place, settling on like a well-worn saddle. “It was a nice thought, I guess.”

Few of the vendors were still at their stalls as Rainbow trudged through the almost empty town square. Those that did were packing up what was left of their wares or counting out their day’s gains. The rush of Hearts and Hooves Day was over and they likely had special someponies of their own to get to.

“Oh, so you’re the lucky pony!”

“Huh?” Rainbow pulled herself out of her reverie and blinked. Raising her head, she was met with the sight of a familiar rose-maned pony smiling knowingly at her from her half-packed flower stand. “Oh,” Rainbow said, letting out a breath and sinking back into her funk. “Hey, Roseluck. What’s up?”

“A little of this, a little of that.” Roseluck waved a hoof before resting them both on the stall counter. “Hearts and Hooves Day, and business has been booming. Just packing up shop here.” She patted an overflowing bit-box with a satisfied gleam in her eye. “What about you?” She asked with much more interest. “Off to your hot date with Ponyville’s resident princess?”

Rainbow scoffed. “Hot date? Yeah, right. Have you been talking to Fluttershy or something?” She rolled her eyes with unamused fanfare. “Wait. How do you know Twilight gave me this?” Her eyes narrowed to slits. “And what makes you think there’s any date happening at all?”

“Because I sold it to her.” Roseluck shrugged and pointed at the pegasus. “And you’re wearing it in your mane. Now, I’m no romance expert,” she said before grinning and snickering. She brushed a hoof against her chest. “Oh wait, yes I am. Anyways, normally if you’re wearing the love-flower in your mane, it means you said yes, which usually means there’s going to be a date and possibly some action later on if you’re lucky.” She smirked. “And you strike me as the lucky kind of girl.”

“There is no date and there’s definitely not going to be any action!” Rainbow fumed, ignoring the fiery blush that heated her muzzle. She forced her flared wings back down and grumbled. “Trust me, I’m not as ‘lucky’ as you think I am.”

“Really?” Roseluck cocked her brow. “I thought a mare with your looks would have a track record a mile long. Oh well.” She shrugged. “Books and covers and all that.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes and made to leave.

“Hang on a sec,” Roseluck said, drawing Rainbow’s attention back to her. She turned and saw the flower pony scratching her chin with a hoof. “If there’s no hot date, then there’s at least a date-date, right?”

“What?”

“You know, candlelit dinner, just the two of you struggling to make conversation while you get lost in each other’s eyes. You hooves slowly inching closer and closer together before you kiss her goodnight and leave to go dream about her.” Roseluck sighed and leaned against the counter, a faraway look on her face. She blinked and straightened, looking sheepish for a second. “A date-date. I guess Princess Twilight seems like the mushy romance type.”

“There’s no date,” Rainbow growled. What little patience she had was worn to the bone.

“Oh.” Roseluck frowned and squinted at Rainbow—or rather, at a spot just behind Rainbow’s ear. “Then why do you have that rose if you said no?”

“I didn’t say no,” Rainbow said through grit teeth.

“Oh,” Roseluck said again. She blinked. “Wait, what? How could there not be a date, hot or otherwise, if you didn’t say no?”

“There was nothing to say ‘no’ to!” Rainbow yanked the flower out of her mane and stomped up to Roseluck’s stall. “Twilight just asked me to hang onto this for her until tonight. That’s all. No dates, no love, no romance, so would you and Fluttershy just leave me alone already? I don’t need a date for Hearts and Hooves Day.”

“I didn’t say you did.” Roseluck leaned away from Rainbow’s hoof, going cross-eyed as she tried to look at the flower caught in its grip. “I always figured you thought you were too cool for anypony that wasn’t a Wonderbolt or a princess or something.”

“Exactly!” Rainbow huffed.

“So...” Roseluck’s lip curled up in another smirk. “Princess Twilight totally fits that bill for you, right?”

“Righ—I mean no!” Rainbow corrected herself quickly, but the damage was done. She glared over the counter at Roseluck’s infuriating smirk. “Twilight totally doesn’t fit that bill!”

“So you think she’s ugly?”

“What?! No!” Rainbow shook her head and flared her wings. “Twilight’s not ugly! She’s, like...” Her brow furrowed as she thought about it. Slowly, she began to smile as her face relaxed and as her wings rose ever so slightly. “She’s actually pretty hot.”

“Then what is it?” Roseluck pressed. “Her personality? The way she laughs? Her interests?”

“No, none of that! Look, Twilight’s awesome, okay? Is that what you want me to say?”

“Not really, but it doesn’t hurt.” Roseluck leaned back and sat on her haunches. “I just want to know why you think she’s not your type. You just said she’s hot, which she totally is, and you like her plenty.”

Rainbow frowned again, finding herself staring once more at the rose in her hoof. She didn’t even need to look at it anymore to picture the heart-shaped stamens. “You’re just trying to trick me into thinking that Twilight might be into me and that I’m into her. Which she isn’t, and I’m not.”

“Oh yeah?” Roseluck challenged. “Then why’d she give you the flower?”

“I told you.” Rainbow rolled her eyes. “She asked me to hang onto it for her until tonight.”

“Yeah, I know that’s what you said, but I don’t think you get it.”

“Get what? That she chickened out at the last second? That this is all some big plan to get me over to her place on Hearts and Hooves Day?” Rainbow snorted. “Yeah, fat chance.”

“Come on, how could you not believe it?” Roseluck leaned over the counter to nudge Rainbow. “Look, normally I’m bound by client-merchant confidentiality, but I’m picking up on a major love crisis here and it’s my job to stop that from happening.”

“Oh really?” Rainbow deadpanned. “You’re worse than Rarity.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment. Anyways, when I sold that beauty of a rose to Princess Twilight, she told me that it was for some ‘experiments,’ if you know what I mean.”

Rainbow frowned at the rose. “What kind of experiments could you do with a flower?”

“That’s what I said!” Roseluck threw her hooves to the air, a near-manic smile appearing on her face. “And when I asked, she said it was about the whole story behind them with Discord trying to hook up with Princess Celestia and all that.”

“What?” Rainbow asked, thoroughly confused.

“Love!” Roseluck giggled. “Her experiments were about love! That’s why this rose is so special for special someponies on Hearts and Hooves Day, after all! And,” she added, poking Rainbow in the snout, “it looks like her ‘experiments’ are supposed to be with you!”

“N-no way,” Rainbow said, backpedalling away from Roseluck. “J-just because Twilight spent a few bits on some flower—”

“More like fifty bits, but who’s counting?”

“Right, fifty bits—” Rainbow’s eyes widened as her jaw dropped. “F-fifty bits?!”

“Yeah-huh.” Roseluck nodded. “These things are rare, and ponies in love will pay a lot to get their hooves on one. That, and it was the only one I had in stock this year.”

“I... I...” Rainbow floundered, staring at nothing and trying in vain to still her trembling legs. She lifted her hoof, regarding the rose clasped in it in a new light. It looked almost beautiful to her now. A breathless chuckle made its way past her lips. “She really... she really gave this to me, didn’t she?”

“Yup!”

Without thinking, Rainbow found herself fixing the rose back in her mane. As she finished, she shook her head as she gave a tired smile. “But she never said anything.”

Roseluck giggled and pointed at Rainbow’s mane. “I think she just did.”

“Yeah...” Rainbow lifted her head and stared up at the castle, finding herself lost in her thoughts again. Memories of time spent with Twilight surfaced, and the pegasus reflected on them in a new, rose-tinted light. A picnic last week when she sat pressed up against Twilight’s side. Now that she thought about it, she distinctly remembered Twilight’s tail flick across her own and her feathers ever-so-lightly trace around her flank. At the time, it seemed like an accident, but now it felt like something much more meaningful.

Other memories replayed themselves in this new light, and with each one Rainbow smiled a little bit more until an excited spark filled her chest and made her wings tremble and an easy laugh spill out past her lips. Twilight jumping into Rainbow’s forelegs as a snake slithered out from a bush, Twilight and Rainbow curled up under a blanket with warm mugs of cocoa and a book between them as a blizzard howled outside, Twilight insisting she didn’t mind sharing a milkshake with Rainbow when Sugarcube Corner ran out of clean glasses...

“You know, I think I saw her heading back to her castle a little while ago,” Roseluck said, trotting around the stall to sit next to Rainbow. “She’s probably waiting for you right now.” Rainbow giggled as she was nudged away from the flower stand. “Go on, don’t keep her waiting.”

“Hehe, thanks.” Rainbow smiled in thanks before spreading her wings and launching into the air. As she flew, she decided that she liked the feeling of the flower in her mane, despite how girly and lame it was. It made her feel special, and it was a new reminder that Twilight thought she was special. As the castle neared, she could already picture Twilight’s ecstatic smile when she would say yes. The image drew a smile to Rainbow’s face and a warmth to her chest.

“Best Hearts and Hooves Day ever!”