• Published 28th Feb 2016
  • 3,249 Views, 385 Comments

Someone Still Loves You - brokenimage321

After realizing her dream of earning her cutie mark—in the company of her best friends, no less—Scootaloo’s life should have been on an upward course. Instead, she sees herself on yet another crusade.

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23. Dearest

A soft snore gently pulled Scootaloo from dreamland. She opened her eyes and searched for the source of the noise. Finally, Scootaloo glanced over and spotted Sweetie Belle, curled up in her favorite red blanket, passed out and peaceful beside her. For a moment, Scootaloo smiled, letting her body sink into the pillowtop once again.

Sweetie Belle…

She had always been there for her, even in the thick of things. They had known each other since before they could remember, and not once had she let her down or left her behind.

But, as Scootaloo watched her sleep, her heart sank.

I doubt she still feels that way, after what I said.

Scootaloo sighed as she flipped her pillow to the dry side and settled into the bed again. Try as she might, she couldn’t shake the sudden onset of guilt that nagged her, a terrible aching that threatened to tear her up from the inside.

“Sweetie Belle?” she whimpered.

Sweetie Belle’s ear perked up a little as she stirred. “Scoots?”

Scootaloo breathed, closing her eyes briefly as she tried to steady her nerves.

She swallowed. “You’re not a bad friend, I—”

“I know that,” Sweetie said, turning over to face Scootaloo. “Things have been kind of crazy for you, I know you don’t really hate us—”

Scootaloo’s eyes flashed. “—You,” she corrected. “I don’t hate you.”

Sweetie rolled her eyes, and Scootaloo sighed. “Still,” Scootaloo said, “I should have never said that. Of all ponies, you’ve always had my back—always been there when I needed you…”

Scootaloo swallowed—even this felt shallow.

“I mean... you aren’t totally wrong,” Sweetie said, hesitantly. “After Mrs. Harbour left, I just…” She shrugged. “...got out of the way. You had Rumble there for you, and our sisters just wanted us to keep out of the way. Rarity didn’t want me getting caught up in any of it.”

“I can’t blame her, I guess,” Scootaloo admitted. “I guess, after seeing after what happened to Rumble, I’m glad you stayed out that mess,” she added.

“Yeah, well, between you and me, they’re being weird,” Sweetie said. “Apple Bloom hasn’t invited you, or me to a sleepover in, like, two weeks, I’ve been stuck at home with my folks.” She shook her head. “But that’s okay, I’ve missed you, anyway.”

Scootaloo looked into those mint-green eyes of hers. They burned with so many memories, the annals of her short life. One of those memories--one she shared with her--flashed across Scootaloo’s mind, and, brief as it was, the memory made her smile faintly.

“What?” Sweetie asked.

“Remember when Rarity was foalsitting us during the grand opening of the boutique?” Scootaloo said.

Sweetie blinked once or twice, her smile growing a little wider. “Yeah! She was so mad when she found us in her inspiration room.”

Scootaloo giggled as she thought back to how the two foals somehow had managed to unravel spools of yarn, unsettle an untold number of undressed poniquins and… so much glitter.

Scootaloo shuddered as Rarity had, remembering her expression as she stood over their trail of destruction. Sweetie burst out laughing.

“She was furious,” Sweetie smirked. She threw a dramatic hoof to her forehead. “You girls ruined everything!’’ she cried--then started trembling with stifled laughter.

“ ‘Ruffians,’ ” Scootaloo snickered.

“Or how about when your foster mom and dad made you a cake for your birthday?” Sweetie piped up.

“Didn’t you chip a tooth?”

Sweetie flashed a timid smile, showing her filled-in incisor.

Scootaloo chuckled, “Still wasn’t as bad as the... present you got your sister for her birthday a couple years ago.”

Sweetie scoffed. “How was I supposed to know she hated hamsters?”

“I thought she said it was a rat. Hard not to think it was, with the way she was screaming, and—” Scootaloo suddenly burst out laughing hysterically.

Sweetie started giggling, too. “Scootaloo, sh-shush,” she tried to say. “You’re gonna—”

Scootaloo wiped the tears from her eyes as she started laughing even harder. Sweetie fought valiantly to stifle her giggles, but, soon, she was laughing out loud too..


Sweetie managed to settle herself down, but Scootaloo was still guffawing as Rarity opened the bedroom door.

“Girls, it’s late,” she said reproachfully. “What’s so funny?”

Scootaloo pointed a trembling hoof at Rarity, her own face burning bright red.

You,” she gasped.

Sweetie smiled. “We were remembering when I got you a pet hamster for your birthday.”

“Oh yes, that,” Rarity rolled her eyes. “That turned into quite a spectacle, didn’t it?”

Rarity watched as Scootaloo slowly began to catch her breath, cheeks red, her eyes watering. It brought a smile to her own face. It had been too long since she had seen her so genuinely cheerful.

“I don’t suppose you two would care to join me for some cocoa?” Rarity asked. “I was just reading by the fire downstairs, but some company is always nice...”

“Sure,” Sweetie nodded, hopping off the bed, with Scootaloo following suit.

From Sweetie’s moonlit room, the girls trotted into the relative darkness of the boutique’s parlor room, lit faintly in one corner by a lightly crackling fire and a dim reading lamp.

Scootaloo felt the heat as she heard the popping of stray embers and sparks as the soft flames danced upon a log behind the wire mesh. Her eyes were fixed on it as she found a seat next to Sweetie Belle on the couch across from it, Rarity having already marked the recliner as her own with the blanket draped over the footrest and the book face down on the seat.

Scootaloo sank into her cushy seat, the memory of Rarity’s horrified face on her mind, and a silly smile on her face. Soon, Rarity came in, the smell of chocolate gently wafting about her as she set the steaming mugs of cocoa on the low coffee table before them. Scootaloo picked hers up; two tiny marshmallows bobbed on the surface like a buoy on calm seas.

“Give it just a couple moments, girls,” Rarity said simply as she settled back into her chair,setting her teacup beside the mugs. “It’s still hot.”

Scootaloo looked around the sitting room and sighed. There were good memories here. Ever since she was a foal, Rarity’s had always been a home away from home. No matter what happened, it would always be a special sort of haven for her.

The crackling of the hearth reminded her of home, when Sandbar and Mrs. Harbour would let her stay up on a school night, sit around the fireplace with them, sharing stories and tall tales. Scootaloo wasn't much for singing, but she'd hum and tap her hoof along to Sandy and his guitar. That stallion could play a mean guitar, even at the ripe old age of forever.

Those nights would always end too soon. Before she knew it, it was time to be tucked in, to sleep, and to look forward to another wonderful day with Mom, Dad, and the other foals.

After Sandy passed, things got quieter. They moved from the living room to the kitchen, their only light coming from the oven hood. Mrs. Harbour would have her tea, Scootaloo her milk or water, and they would play cards or do a puzzle together.

For a long, long time, before Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle met Apple Bloom, Scootaloo’s only role models had been a feisty old matron and a fervent fashionista.and, though Rarity was still there, Mrs. Harbour had left her, just like Sandy had.

I miss her.

It was like a dam had burst inside her. Loneliness, fear, sorrow, all threatened to drown her at once. She missed her so badly—and all she wanted, at that very moment, was for her to be here so she could tell her that, one last time.

Please come back… she thought, trying to fight back her tears.

I miss you…

I’m scared.

Please come back…

Scootaloo barely managed to set down her mug before she collapsed, weeping. Sweetie Belle caught her , then wrapped her arms around her and held her close. . Even as Sweetie whispered “it’s okay, it’s okay…”, Scootaloo could hear nothing but her own pain. . Again and again, she saw the carriage holding her mother, flying up and away as the ground rushed up at her, her broken wings robbing her of that final goodbye.

“I wanna go home,” Scootaloo sobbed. “I wanna be with my mom, an--and Poppy, and the foals, and I… I hate…” Her words jammed against the lump in her throat, with only a faint whimper mixing with her cries.

Rarity stared, wide-eyed, at Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, her mind suddenly and unaccountably blank. As much as she wished it weren’t so, there was nothing she could do; nothing that she could say to save this other baby sister of hers from the depths of her own sorrow.

Finally, Rarity stood, trotted towards them, and bought both the fillies into her embrace. She rested her chin on Scootaloo's mane, and her own soft tears flowed down her muzzle.

After several minutes, Rarity pulled back and gazed down into Scootaloo’s eyes. Her eyes had always been a beautiful violet, but now they were dulled with shades of distrust, anger, and fear that threatened to rob her of that light forever..

And suddenly, Rarity smiled. She knew exactly what to say.

“Scootaloo,” she began, “It doesn’t matter what happens, where you go, or what you do...” She swallowed hard, fighting back tears of her own. “...we will always be there for you. You always have been, and always will be, family for Sweetie Belle and I. You’ve been through so much in so little time, and even now, you amaze me with how resilient and resolute you are.”

Scootaloo looked up at her. Rarity smiled a little more, then continued.

“You’ve always been an amazing little filly,” she said, “and while, yes, you’re in a rough spot right now, it is just that—a spot. If anypony can make it out, wiser, stronger, and better despite the hardships,” she said, her eyes glistening in the firelight, “it will be you.” She swallowed as tears of her own began to fall. “We love you, always have and always will. Please,” she said, “never forget that.”

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