• Published 21st Sep 2015
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Muffins for Luna - Feenkatze



Luna doesn't seem to have a lot in common with Derpy. So, why does she enjoy spending time with her so much?

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Chapter 2: Mail and Muffins

The familiar scent of morning air filled Derpy’s nostrils as she stuck her head out the window. The streets of Ponyville were empty and the Sun was rising, dunking the town in golden light. Derpy liked to see the sunrise. If she thought about it, she liked all times of the day. There was the bright warmness of the afternoon with blues skies and pearl white clouds; the colors of dusk, yellow and red and purple and turquoise; and finally the night that brought nocturnal silence, with a starry sky and clouds mystically lit by pale moonlight …

Realizing that she was still sitting at her window and staring into the sky, Derpy pushed herself through the opening, flapping her wings to keep herself in the air. She had to be on her way to work.

She soared down Cinnamon Street and then followed Golden Oak Street for North Quarter. She would work the early shift today, so most ponies were still asleep. However, there were exceptions: as she passed Town Square, her right eye spotted a certain pink mare in the street below. It wasn’t uncommon to see Pinkie Pie around this early, and as always, she waved at Derpy in her usual excited manner.

Derpy raised her hoof to wave back as she flew past. Unfortunately, she forgot about the old maple tree that grew down on the square, and only recognized its form when it was already too late. She closed her eyes as twigs grabbed her mane and tail. A moment later she hit the trunk and tumbled down to the ground.

“Whoopsie.” Pinkie giggled, bouncing towards her. “Are you okay, Derpy?”

“I think so.” Derpy inspected herself for any injuries, but she seemed unharmed. Pinkie had closed the distance and was trying her best to make a straight face, which, since it was Pinkie Pie, was a futile effort.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to distract you.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Derpy sorted her feathers and flapped her wings a couple of times, just for good measure. “Alright, I’ll see you later.”

“Okie dokie!” Pinkie bounced off, humming a cheery tune. Derpy resumed her flight, now a bit more cautious of her surroundings. It was not the first time that this had happened. Actually, the tree probably had a Derpy-shaped mark in its bark.

But it was nice to see Pinkie this morning, she thought. Pinkie Pie was such a happy pony, and Derpy liked that about her. Plus, she had once called her a friend, and even if the cheery baker was friends with literally everypony, that still meant a lot to Derpy.

Derpy arrived late at the post office and waited patiently through her boss’s admonition of the week. The she put on her cap and went to fetch her mailbag. Being a mailpony could be stressful, but she gave it her best every day.

A co-worker was already waiting with the mail, ready for delivery. “Here you go!” he said, just like every morning. Derpy didn’t know his name, but she smiled and thanked him and shoved it into the bag. She loved being a mailmare. That in mind, she took off, nearly knocking him over with her wing.

Derpy rushed over the rooftops of Ponyville, mane and tail waving behind her like a flag. She was no racer, but she bet that she was still really fast, considering that she did this every day. She imagined flying an obstacle course. Just like Cloud Chaser or Blossomforth or Rainbow Dash, Derpy did slaloms and hairpin turns and barrel rolls. The big finish was a generous loop-de-loop, before she gracefully touched down in front of 51a Pudding Street, the first house on her route. Or so was the plan, anyway. As it came to that point, she noticed that the speed of the ground coming towards her was alarmingly fast, and the next thing she realized was that she was crashing muzzle-first into the carefully arranged bed of lilies in front of the house.

Derpy got up and shook clumps of dirt out of her mane. Fortunately, damage was only done to the flowers, and not to her or anypony else. One blossom was stuck in Derpy’s mane, and she mused whether she should keep it or not, but then the door to the house was kicked open and the furious resident stormed out.

“The horror, the horror!”

“Um … I’m sorry.”

“No! Not again! Why is it always me?” Lily Blossom looked like she was about to cry, and Derpy suddenly felt bad for her. She offered Lily a small stack of envelopes with her name on it.

“By Celestia’s Sun,” Lily cried, “who cares about the silly mail with …”

She gesticulated towards the mess that was her garden, gasping for air like a fish out of water. “… with this!?”

Derpy frowned. She was sorry for what had happened to the flowers, but that was no reason to turn to insults.

“Mail isn’t silly.” Derpy put the letters into the mailbox and turned away.

At 37 Pudding Street, which was the fourteenth house of her route, she had to deliver a packet. There was no name on the doorbell, but everypony knew that it was the home of none other than Vinyl Scratch. You could tell from the loud music playing late at night. At the moment, though, it was silent, and there was a fair chance of the DJ still being asleep.

Considering her duty, Derpy rang anyway. A noise came from inside. So she was awake, at least now. The door was nudged open.

“Packet for Vinyl Scratch!”

The addressed pony appeared in the door, her trademark violet shades hanging on her nose at an odd angle, and her mane protruding in all directions.

“Must be the … the records that I ordered for …” She yawned, grabbing the packet with her magic. “For the thing. Thanks man.”

“I’d need you to sign this, please.”

Derpy offered her the delivery list and a pen. One of her eyes wandered over the still empty street, while the other watched the unicorn write a crackly “Pone3”. For Derpy that was enough. She mentally checked her list of packets she hadn’t broken or lost – she was just about to set up a new personal record – and went on with her route.

For a while, nothing extraordinary happened. She finished Pudding Street and continued with Rose Alley, Old Saunter Trail, and the other ones. Her mailbag lost weight very slowly.

As Derpy left Birch Wood Street, the tenth street on her route, her left eye noticed a beautiful rainbow above her in the sky. She looked up and smiled. That had to be Rainbow Dash on weather patrol. They briefly knew each other from when Derpy had helped out the Ponyville weather squad, a day remembered by most as the flood of the century. Derpy’s second eye went upwards alongside the first one, trying to spot the flier, but Rainbow was already too far away.

The next moment, something solid struck Derpy’s chest, and before she knew it she found herself tangled with a stranger, a stallion with a brown coat and a brown mane.

She grinned awkwardly. “Sorry. Were you looking at the rainbow, too?”

“No. Unlike somepony else, I was looking at where I was going.”

“My bad.”

“You’re that Derpy Hooves, aren’t you?”

Derpy nodded, puffing out her chest with pride. “That’s me!”

“So it’s true what they say about you.”

“What do you mean?”

“That you’re a catastrophe on four hooves! Now excuse me, I have business to do.”

Derpy stared after the stranger, watching him depart. Was that so? She knew that she messed things up now and then, and she also knew that ponies were talking about her behind her back. But usually, they weren’t this rude to her.

Remembering the task at hoof, she moved on to Chicken Trail, street number eleven on her route. Her optimism was gone, and she went faster than before, suddenly anxious to finish off her shift as quickly as possible. There were only five more streets until lunch break, and then, hopefully, Pinkie would manage to cheer her up.

As she flew through the streets, Derpy’s mind went back to Luna, as it often had in the week and a half that had passed since they’d met. Luna was nice. She hadn’t seemed to be annoyed by her. Derpy wondered if they would see each other anytime soon. Then, a sudden thought struck her mind, and she nearly dropped a letter into the mud.

Had Luna ditched her because she, too, thought that Derpy was a catastrophe on four hooves?

She pondered that while she finished off Chicken Trail. Luna had said that she wanted to try and make time for her, but what if she just wanted to be polite? Derpy wouldn’t hold it against her if she didn’t want to be her friend. After all, it did seem like she ended up ruining everything she touched.

The twelfth street, Smart Cookie Street, seemed endless. Even the thought of her lunch break couldn’t lift Derpy’s spirits anymore.

“Get your muffins together!” Derpy told herself. With iron will she forced both eyes towards the mailbox in front of her. She felt the reassuring weight of the mailbag on her shoulder, and a determined smile reappeared on her face. The blood of a true mailmare rushed through her veins. She had a letter to deliver, and she would keep pushing herself until the job was done.

For the next two streets, her focus remained unbroken. At last she entered Candy Lane, a narrow street with twenty three house numbers, counting down to number 1, Sugarcube Corner.

She had gotten to 4 Candy Lane when a sudden movement at the entrance of Sugarcube Corner caught her attention. Her left eye tracked a tall figure leaving the shop, and she gasped. What was Luna doing here?

Derpy stuffed some letters into the mailbox and turned towards her. Too late she realized that it had been the mail for 2 Candy Lane, which she had already taken out of her bag. Well, the numbers 2, 4, and 3 were probably all used to misdeliveries by now. That’s what you got for living in a house so close to lunch break.

Luna approached her. “Greetings, Derpy Hooves.”

“Hi! Could you wait a second? I’m almost done here.”

“Of course.”

Derpy shot her a smile, before turning to finish off 3 Candy Lane. The last piece of mail before her break was a package for 1 Candy Lane, Sugarcube Corner, backdoor. She rang the bell and, after a second, the door was opened.

“Good morning, Mister Cake!”

“Oh, that must be the new cake-pan my wife ordered.”

He took the package, almost dropping it as he looked up and saw Luna in the street. Derpy turned her back at him, leaving him alone with his delivery.

“All done! Now, what brings you here?”

The Princess looked tired behind her smile, even more so than the last time Derpy had seen her. “I came to see you, at last. I just didn’t know where to find you, so I came to ask Miss Pinkie Pie for her help.”

“Really? And you traveled all the way from Canterlot just for that?”

Luna nodded. “I made a promise, did I not? If my schedule had allowed for it, I would have visited sooner.”

Derpy didn’t know what to say. Was this a dream? But no, if it had been, there would have been more muffins.

“I’m at work right now, but it’s lunch break. Wanna join me?”

“Gladly.”

They went around Sugarcube Corner towards its front entrance. A high-pitched bell welcomed them as they entered, followed by a high-pitched Pinkie Pie.

“Luna, you’re back! I told you it would only take seconds!”

Pinkie beamed and bounced into the air. Derpy was tempted to follow her example, but instead she led Luna towards her favorite spot in the corner, next to the window. From here she could observe the inside of the shop as well as the outside. Right now, though, her eyes were set on Luna, who took place next to her. Luna was still smiling, but when Derpy looked closer, she could see the strain in her eyes.

She tried to set up her most reassuring smile. “Having a rough week, huh?”

“Indeed. Everything is in a state of mayhem, even weeks after the attack. You have no idea how glad I am just to be out of Canterlot for now.” Luna looked at her hooves. “Well … that, and I had a fight with my sister. I believe the stress is getting to both of us. Truth is, I sort of fled from the castle this morning.”

“Oh.” Derpy reached out and pulled Luna into a gentle hug. “It’s alright. You’re here now.”

She felt Luna hesitate for a moment, then sigh and lean into the embrace. “I was searching for you because I didn’t know where else to go. But I have to go back soon.”

“Do you? Couldn’t you just take a day off? I think you deserve it.”

For a moment, Derpy thought Luna would disagree and tell her that it wasn’t possible, but she didn’t.

“Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I should allow myself some time to recover.”

She pulled back, and Derpy let go of her.

“Thank you,” Luna said softly.

“Don’t worry about it. And now let’s eat something, I’m starving.”

As if she had just waited for that cue, Pinkie Pie appeared next to them. “What do you want? Wait, let me guess – you want muffins? We have chocolate and vanilla and raspberry and blueberry and cinnamon and delicious apple muffins with the finest apples from Sweet Apple Acres; classical, muffins with chocolate sauce and fruits, with butter, with hot sauce …”

Derpy pondered for a moment. Sugarcube Corner had such great variety, and picking was hard. She could have eaten every single one from the list.

“I would like a cinnamon muffin please,” Luna said.

“Make that two.”

“Juuust a second!”

When Pinkie left, Derpy turned her full attention – and both eyes – back on Luna.

“I shall repay the favor,” Luna said, “and make this my treat.”

“Really? Thank you, I appreciate it!”

Luna just smiled in response. She seemed a lot happier now – then again, they were about to have the best muffins in the world, so who wouldn’t be? After a short moment, Pinkie reappeared, carrying a tray in her mouth that held their orders. Carefully, she slid the two baked goods onto the table.

“There you go! Fresh as can be.”

Derpy could tell that they were. The smell alone nearly made her lose her mind. She could have literally wallowed in them, though she knew from experience that that wasn’t a good idea. With a watery mouth she fixated her gaze on the muffin in front of her, not much unlike a predator stalking their prey. The next second, she had her muzzle dug into the treat, and sweet madness overwhelmed her. While she was chewing, one eye went over to Luna, who giggled and bit a large chunk off of her own muffin.

“You were right,” Luna admitted. “These are the best.”

“Aren’t they?”

They both got lost in the taste, sharing a bond of silence, broken only by chewing noises. When Derpy was done with her muffin, Luna was just finishing off her last bit as well, licking her lips. A small, absent smile lit her face.

Derpy wanted to ask her what she was thinking about, but then a side glance at the clock made her jump.

“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to get back to work soon.”

“I suppose we can’t cause Ponyville’s mail to be tardy, can we?” Luna still smiled, but there was regret in her voice.

“We could hang out later, though,” Derpy proposed. “If you want to, that is.”

“I don’t see why not.”

“Great! We can meet back right here in, like, four hours.”

Luna smiled and nodded. “I’m looking forward to it. Let me just –”

She stopped, suddenly becoming very uncomfortable. “Um … I believe there is a problem.”

“Huh?”

“I don’t exactly carry money with me. I’m afraid that I didn’t think about that when I pronounced my invitation.”

Derpy burst out in laughter. “Don’t worry, I got you covered.”

“I’ll make it up to you.”

“Nah, no need to. I’m just happy that you’re here.”

She hugged the still-flustered princess, then picked up her mailbag, threw some bits onto the counter, and headed out of the shop. She did love being a mailmare, but today, the end of her shift couldn’t come soon enough.