• Published 28th Feb 2016
  • 3,250 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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24. Dessert

Scootaloo knocked for a third time on Button’s door.

Thunderlane had said that Rumble was spending the day there, and while Scootaloo was miffed he wasn’t up and at Rarity’s first thing in the afternoon, she couldn’t stay mad at him.

Her heart fluttered as she heard two sets of hooves coming towards the door. It opened to reveal Button wearing his too-typical smug expression, Rumble peeking from over his shoulder.

“Hey, Scuttlebucket,” Button said with a smile. “Wanna come play with us? We’re just about to start another round if you wanna jump in.”

Scootaloo frowned. “I wish I could, but we have some important meeting with Twilight.”

“And Casanova here is your escort.” Button’s smile faded only for a moment before it grew sinister again. “Damn it.”

Button moved aside as Rumble stepped up to Scootaloo, looking a little nervous.

“I thought we were supposed to head up later,” Rumble said, looking away.

“Nope,” Scootaloo said, “today.”

Rumble swallowed. “Oh, w-well then, yeah. Sorry, Button, I guess I gotta go.”

Button frowned. “I can’t come?”

Both Scootaloo and Rumble glanced at eachother, then back at him. WIthout a word, button strode past them and off the stoop, spinning the propeller on his cap as he leapt into the air, hovering for a moment, before plopping down with a thud.

“Shit. Nope.” he shrugged, “Well, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Actually, nevermind… Have fun, you two!”

Button whistled a little tune to himself as he brushed past Rumble and back into the house.

“Maybe we can come back tonight?” Rumble asked, glancing at Scootaloo, who was staring off into space.

“Hey, no pressure,” Button said, smirking back at him. “Mom wants me to run some errands while she’s gone, so I’ve got shit to do anyway.”

Rumble and Scootaloo trotted back towards town, both awkwardly silent as they kept their gaze away from one another. After awhile, they reached a little hill, which gave them a good view of Rainbow’s cloud home.

Rumble cleared his throat. “So, we’re headed up there, huh?”

Scootaloo nodded, her gaze shifting from the clouds to Rumble. “And I’m sorry for being a little snippy earlier,” she said, “Last night was kinda weird.” She finally managed a smile. “I’m happy you’re with me right now.”

“I said I’d help, didn’t I?” Rumble smiled. “Didn’t know it’d be this soon,” he shrugged. “but whatever.”

“Blame Twilight.” Scootaloo frowned as she hopped aboard the Rumble Express, “She wanted to be there to go over everything I’d need to do, and well, yeah.”

Warm air rushed underneath Rumble’s wings, an inch separating him from the ground. It built up after a moment, and with a single powerful wing flap, he sent them sailing towards the clouds above.

Scootaloo always loved looking around as he took her up in the air, watching Ponyville shrink into the haphazard tapestry that was south-central Equestria.

“I’ve never see you fly like that!” Scootaloo’s eyes widened she gazed at the ground far below. “Who—”

“Thunderlane actually showed me that trick,” Rumble admitted.

Just as she started to enjoy the wind whipping through her mane, it was over, and she shakily dropped onto the clouds.

Rumble lead as Scootaloo followed him to the front door. He knocked twice, but stepped back as Scootaloo simply pushed the door open.

“She said to just come right in,” Scootaloo said as she trotted into the living room. On the couch sat Twilight and Fluttershy, who looked up and smiled at them.

“There you two are,” Fluttershy said. “We were getting worried.”

“We already made a schedule for you two, with very simple and precise instructions that should be easy to follow.”

Of course she did. Scootaloo grinned as she trotted over to the coffee table, looking over a 4-page itinerary, complete with annotations and footnotes.

“That’s… a lot,” Rumble said, frowning down at the instructions.

Fluttershy giggled. “Don’t worry about all of that. Just make sure she has three meals a day, takes her medication, and is getting better,” Fluttershy explained. “I’ll come check on you at night, but, honestly, I think she would appreciate having you around, Scootaloo.”

“Yeah,” Scootaloo said, glancing at her hooves. I kinda owe her, anyway.

A loud stomping from the hallway signaled the end of the niceties as familiar angry orange pony entered the room.

“Well, well, well, if it ain’t the foul-mouthed foal,” Applejack said with a snarl as she entered from the kitchen. “The hell’s he doing here?”

Scootaloo stepped back as Rumble as he took a defensive stance in front of her, his fur standing up. She could sense Rumble was only just holding his tongue, placing a comforting hoof on his trembling shoulder.

“Applejack, please,” Fluttershy pleaded.

“I thought we agreed that it was just Scootaloo and Fluttershy. Ain’t nopony said anything about that little shit.”

Rumble pawed the ground, “If you honestly think I’m just going to take that, you’ve taken too many apples to the head, you hick.”

“Oh?” Applejack stomped a hoof. “Wanna run your mouth again, huh? I’d be careful if I was you. Wouldn’t wanna make you cry in front of your little filly.”

“Um… “ Fluttershy whispered.

“We can take this outside if you want, Applejack. You know, a few thousand feet above the ground?” Rumble raised an eyebrow tauntingly.

Scootaloo swallowed. “Rumble, sto—” Then she was cut off by Applejack, who was taking a step towards them.

“Take me to the ground, boy. I’ll beat you into it.”

“Everypony stop!” Fluttershy roared at the top of her lungs. Her face was red with annoyance and disappointment.

“Thank you, Fluttershy. Nopony is doing anything to anypony,” Twilight said as she suddenly stood, stepping between the two. “Now, Applejack, you want to explain to me why you of all ponies are picking a fight with a foal?”

“Not right in the head...” Rumble muttered under his breath before Scootaloo shushed him,

“You care to explain to me why you’re enablin’ her and her bad decisions?” Applejack shot back. “Ain’t nothin’ good gonna come from this,” she shook her head, “nothin’.”

Twilight bit her tongue, shaking her head in disapproval.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say,” she said, “don’t say anything at all. He is here. He is helping. That is all.”

Applejack muttered something under her breath, but Scootaloo didn’t hear it. She watched as Twilight kept her hard gaze on Applejack until she retreated into the hallway. It was only now Scootaloo noticed that Rumble was watching the doorway as if it were the cave of a demented beast.

“Sorry about that.” Twilight sighed, then continued, “If anything, let that serve as a lesson on how not to conduct yourself, especially around children.”

Rumble glanced around. “Where is Rainbow Dash, anyway?”

“She’s on bedrest,” Twilight said. “Hopefully that didn’t wake her up.”

“Are you kidding me?” Scootaloo said, trying to stifle a laugh. “Rainbow could sleep through a hurricane as long as it didn’t hit her cloud.”

“Speaking of Rainbow,” Fluttershy said with the faintest smile. “I was hoping you two could help me fix her something sweet for afterwards.” She nodded towards the kitchen as she lead them further into the house.

Scootaloo was the first to see the assortment of candies and fresh fruit that lined the dining room table, a pie tin with a premade pie crust sat on one side.

“So,” Fluttershy began, “I figured you two could help me bake a pie.”

Rumble could feel his mouth water. “Sounds tasty.”

“It’s not for you,” Scootaloo said “But that sounds fun!”

“She’s not eating a whole pie,” Rumble argued as they took seats at the table. “Sharing is caring, you know.”

Scootaloo rolled her eyes, and could’ve sworn she heard Fluttershy giggle.

“You two let me know when you’re done, and we can put it in the oven.” Fluttershy smiled as she trotted back into the living room.

Scootaloo listened to the faint conversation for a moment before turning her attention to the assortment of savory fruits: Apples, blueberries, pineapple, strawberry, peaches and funny enough, pumpkins.

She winced as Rumble dangled the bowl of apples over the trash can and teasingly tipped it just slightly.

Don’t,” Scootaloo hissed.

Rumble grinned stupidly as Scootaloo grabbed the bowl from him.

“Apples are kinda lame anyway,” Rumble quipped. A small stomp sounded from somewhere in the house. Rumble grabbed pineapple pieces that Fluttershy had set out and scooped them into the tin.

Scootaloo glared at him, watching him carefully fill the pie crust with the pineapples, a crooked smile on his face. She rolled her eyes and prepared to lay the top crust bands.”

“It’s always good to try something different.” Rumble smirked, but grabbed some apple slices as well. “Let’s use some apple too, just so Applejack can’t bitch about it.”

Scootaloo sighed as she felt a hoof on her shoulder, her tension melting as those purple eyes looked into her own. Yes, he was being a bit feisty, but she knew why. That knowledge brought a light smile to her face.

“Good idea.” Scootaloo glanced at the hoof-crafted perfection. “Um, I think we’re done?”

“Now hold your horses.”

Scootaloo was hardly surprised as Rumble shot out of his chair and once again separated her from the Bad Apple. Applejack scoffed as she stormed over to the table and lifted a loose band of crust, her eyes narrowing with disdain.

Pineapple,” she hissed.

“What’s the matter?” Rumble growled, “There’s apples in there.”

Applejack whirred around, the fires of Tartarus in her eyes.

“That ain’t the same damn thing, and you know it.”

“Bullshit.” Rumble shot back, moving closer to Scootaloo, but never taking his eyes off her. “We put both in there, she saw it!”

“What’s going on here?” Twilight stepped in, Fluttershy in tow.

“Exactly what I said would happen, Applejack growled, “causin’ trouble.”

Rumble snorted. “I’m not the one who came charging in here to ruin everything! We were doing just fine, but somepony has to have a stick up their-”

Scootaloo pulled him close.

“A pineapple isn’t a real apple, and shouldn’t even be heard in the same breath, let alone share a pie!” Applejack barked. “He’s gettin’ my goat, he knows that ain’t right! He insults my Ma, he humiliates my sister, and he’s mockin’ my livelihood!”

Twilight groaned, Applejack suddenly surrounded by a magical aura.

“I think we’ve overstayed our welcome,” she said as she effortlessly levitated Applejack behind her on the way towards the door. “I think Applejack and I need to review some Friendship lessons. Fluttershy can handle it from here.”

Fluttershy watched as Twilight carried Applejack outside, shutting the door gently behind her. Rumble kept his gaze to the floor, before Scootaloo nudged him with her muzzle. Rumble glanced up at her with a downtrodden expression.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. He wasn’t crying or upset. No, rather, he just seemed sad.

“Rumble…” Scootaloo said before trailing off, unsure of what to say.

“I think you two did a wonderful job,” Fluttershy said with a weak smile as she gently repaired the rolled-up crust and put the pie in the oven. “I’m going to check on Rainbow Dash. Why don’t you two make sure your room is comfortable? I have plenty of blankets and things at home if you need anything.”

“Sure.” Scootaloo smiled, putting a hoof around Rumble. “C’mon.”

With that, she lead Rumble down the hall to her bedroom.

Instantly, Scootaloo threw open the door, and leapt inside, belly flopping onto her bed with a groan. Rumble stepped inside and eyed the door for a moment. Then, with a small grin, shut it with his wing.

“Not even five minutes and Applejack had to be a bitch,” she said, glancing at Rumble as he trotted to her bedside.

“I shouldn’t have let her get to me. I promised my brother—and you—that I’d behave.”

“But,” Scootaloo said, “I don’t get how she can still be mad at you! I mean, yeah, you said some mean things to Apple Bloom, but she just won’t let it go.”

“Well, she’s gone now.” Rumble smiled, moving a step back before taking a tiny running jump up and over Scootaloo, landing on the other side of the bed. He laid down beside her, gently putting a wing around her. “Got more important stuff to do, anyway.”

For several minutes, the two rested on her bed, staring at the cloud formations that made up Scootaloo’s ceiling. Scootaloo sighed as she turned to her side to find Rumble staring back at her. A warmth spread through her cheeks as she smiled.

“Hey, Scootaloo.” Rumble frowned as he ran a hoof over the comforter. “Do any of your friends actually like me?”

“What?” Scootaloo blinked. “Why…”

“Well, the Apples hate my guts; Princess Twilight doesn’t seem to be a fan, with Rarity I can’t tell, and I don’t think Sweetie Belle likes me either.”

“I don’t think Sweetie hates you,” Scootaloo said, “or if she does, she’s never told me. I think she likes that you like me if that makes any sense. Stay on my good side, and you should be fine.”

“You two seem pretty close.”

“Oh yeah.” Scootaloo grinned. “We go way back. My number one super best friend—best filly friend, I mean.”

“Who’s your best colt friend?”

“Button.”

“That’s not funny.”

“That wasn’t a joke.”

“What about me?” Rumble said, raising an eyebrow.

“What about you?” Scootaloo countered, stifling a giggle.

“What am I? A stick in the mud?”

“Doesn’t taste like it.”

“What?”

Scootaloo inched closer and closer, and before Rumble could blink, she had pecked him gently on the lips.

“Nope, tastes like… pineapple and breath mints.”

Rumble’s cheeks reddened fiercely as her struggled to keep eye contact.

Just then, the smallest creak came from Scootaloo’s door, Scootaloo turned in time to see a tuft of yellow moving away from the opening.

“Fluttershy?”

“Eep!”

Rumble flew over to the door and yanked it open, revealing an embarrassed Fluttershy.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I wanted to show you two something real quick. If you don’t mind...”

Scootaloo followed Fluttershy down the hall with Rumble hovering above, leading to a door she had only seen once before.

Rainbow’s room was, unsurprisingly, larger than Scootaloo’s. Several posters were plastered on the walls, placed between the numerous trophy shelves. The bed rested on a raised floor, and beside it sat a picture of Scootaloo, centered perfectly on her nightstand.

Rainbow didn’t move as the three trotted to her bedside, Scootaloo wincing as she felt a pit in her stomach. Only her colorful mane was visible above the covers, the rise and fall of her chest the only sign of her wellness.

“She’s looking much better,” Fluttershy said. “I’ve had her just eating yogurt and granola for breakfast, and some tomato soup for lunch. All you will need to do is make sure she remembers her medicine, and doesn’t push herself too hard.”

“Sounds easy enough,” Rumble said, putting a wing around Scootaloo. “But why would she forget to take her medication?”

“It’s more that… she doesn’t want to.” Fluttershy shook her head. “She thinks that medicine is a sign of weakness—that she can to sleep it off and tough it out.”

“Sounds like what my brother tells me when I get a cold or feather flu,” Rumble muttered.

“Anyway,” Fluttershy continued, “I think it’ll make it much easier if she had some company while she heals. I would stay longer, but I have my critters, and, well, Discord...”

“We got this.” Scootaloo smiled confidently. “Besides, I feel like I owe her at least this much. After all…” she trailed off, her smile fading into a frown.

Then, a loud ding startled them.

“Sounds like the pie is ready. I’ll be right back,” Fluttershy said before flying out the door and towards the kitchen.

Scootaloo watched Rainbow’s chest rise and fall with each breath. She shivered as images from that night flashed before her again. Rumble pulled her close and nuzzled her.

“Like you said... We got this.” Rumble smiled as she returned the nuzzle. “You and I make a great team, you know?”

Scootaloo’s smile returned, albeit with a sinister curl. “Says who?”

“Hey!” Rumble whined as Scootaloo trotted into the hall, giggling to herself.

The only thing better than eating pie… is watching somepony enjoy your hard work.

Scootaloo flopped on her bed again, gazing up through the hole Rumble had kicked into the ceiling, a do-it-yourself skylight, revealing a sea of stars twinkling above. The moonlight filtered through and bathed the bedroom in luminescence.

She didn’t like sleeping alone, but Fluttershy seemed none too keen on anything else. Rumble was on the couch in the living room, no doubt watching some B-movie he fished from Rainbow’s collection.

She lay there, letting various thoughts and feelings take the stage in her mind and say their piece, all the while glancing at the narrow strip of glowing light under her door. She sat up and watched it fade and change color a few times, before hopping from her bed.

Scootaloo moved silently, as if walking on clouds, as she entered the living room. The TV was still on, a straight gray screen accompanied by a low tone. Rumble, wrapped in a thin wool blanket, had his head resting on a throw pillow, his back turned to her.

A little smile crept across her face as she peeked over her sleeping friend, gingerly crawling up and over Rumble. She nudged open her own little spot between him and the couch backing and settled down. She was barely managed to stifle a squeak as he pulled her close and wrapped a wing and hoof around her. She returned the favor as she felt the weight of her body sink into the cushions, the cold of the night driven away by his warmth.

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