• Published 28th Feb 2016
  • 3,248 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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28. Icky Thump

Yay!” Sweetie squealed. “Thank you so much, sis!”

“No need to thank me, Sweetie.” Rarity smiled as she trotted to her workshop. “To tell you the truth, I’ve been anticipating the day you girls would have your first ‘fancy party’.”

“I already asked… him,” Sweetie blushed slightly before continuing, “and he’s gonna go with me.”

“Oh?” Rarity grinned. “A date?”

“Uh huh.” Sweetie nodded, her mane bobbing back and forth. “You remember Button Mash, don’t you?”

“Ah.” Rarity’s smile wavered only briefly. “Rumble’s friend? The…”

“Yeah, he is sort of a potty mouth.” Sweetie averted her eyes. “But he’s really sweet, sis.”

“I’m sure he is, dear.” Rarity smiled. “Do you know if he’s getting something tailored? You can’t be the only one arriving in style, you know.”

“Now that you mention it…” Sweetie put a hoof to her chin, a lightbulb going off in her head. “I don’t know, but I can go ask him!”

“Don’t worry, Sweetie.” Rarity watched as her little sister dashed down the stairs and out the door. “You’ve got... plenty of time.”

Rarity sighed as she sat at her workbench, her eyes set upon an inanimate sewing machine.

She couldn’t help but giggle a little. Rarity glanced over at an undressed poniquin which basked in the sunlight that poured through the room’s towering windows.

With just her mind’s eye, she could already picture her sister’s gown—A glittery azure rump, the saddle and seams lined with sky blue trim; the entire dress was elegantly bordered by a neat precession of sapphire studs. Maybe a color-coded floral wreath, too, and maybe…

A knock at the boutique door.

“Well, that was quick,” Rarity said to herself as she poked her head into the hallway. She took another step, calling out for whoever to come in.

Curiosity and the slightest tinge of concern brought her to the front door, nopony having responded to her call. Empty space greeted her as she opened the door, not until she looked up.

“Oh, hello Miss Hooves.” Rarity smiled. “What brings you here so early in the afternoon?”

The mail mare smiled meekly as she fluttered to the ground, leafing out an envelope spotted with stamps.

“Well, you see…” Derpy laughed nervously. “I couldn't read this fancy writing on the front, and… there were a lot of stamps. It’s for you, though. The very... unhappy stallion at the Manehattan Post Office said so…. very loudly.”

“Oh…” Rarity said as she magicked the envelope towards her. “Well, thank you very much, Derpy. Your work is always appreciated.”

“No problem, ma’am.” Derpy smiled as she clumsily flew away.

Rarity chuckled as she closed the door behind her, turned, and then opened the envelope. Indeed it had stamps from Manehatten, Fillydelphia, Baltimare… and somehow Las Pegasus, before a slap dashed Ponyville stamp sat crooked at the end of the row.

Well, this certainly had quite the journey, didn’t it? Rarity scanned from the stamps and postage to the recipient. Her smile quickly faded.

Scootaloo

Carousel Boutique

Ponyville, Equestria

Dear, Scootaloo…


I was worried about you.

Scootaloo shuddered again, the chill decaying into pricks as she sank further into her comforter.

Her eyes trembled as she shut them tight, the sunlight seering flashes of neon through the blindness.

Why did you worry about me? I was so mean to you… I don’t deserve this.

Scootaloo yelped as there came a knocking at her bedroom door. Before she could bring herself to object, Rumble’s hoofsteps already approached her bedside.

“You okay, Scoots?” She shuddered at Rumble’s casual approach. “You seemed a little spooked.”

“Do I look okay, Rumble?” Scootaloo hissed.

“No, you look beautiful.”

She flinched once again as Rumble hopped onto her bed, and lie down beside her, curiosity in his eyes.

“You still mad at her about that scarf?”

Scootaloo shook her head vigorously.

“Yes, no, maybe so?” Rumble unfurled his wing over her, flinching as Scootaloo slapped it away.

“Leave me alone, Rumble,” Scootaloo growled, turning away from him with a hmph.

Scootaloo stared at the wall opposite her bed, which was adorned with half-torn Wonderbolts posters, some old drawings, pictures, everything looked out of place. None of it belonged.

Scootaloo swallowed past a lump in her throat. “Rumble?”

“Yeah?”

Finally, Scootaloo let his wing drape over her. “What do I do?”

“I dunno, sour snout,” Rumble yawned. “Maybe stop being such a grump?”

“I am not a grump!” Scootaloo pouted, glaring at Rumble’s smile. “I just…"

“Said that you wanna take care of her. You said that, huh?”

“I did, but…” Scootaloo shifted uneasily. “I was a bad pony. I said mean things, and R-Rainbow got really hurt and it was all my fault.”

As Scootaloo began to cry, she felt Rumble’s wing draw her closer. “Remember what happened with my brother?”

Scootaloo nodded.

“I think Rainbow’s kinda like that.”

Like…

Scootaloo turned away from Rumble once again, now looking at the photograph on her dresser—a smiling Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo right after a Sisterhooves Social. She was happy, then. Rainbow Dash was her hero, and she was still a blank… slate.

Why did you forget about my cute-ceañera and birthday?

Why were you so selfish?

Why do you care so much that I’m your daughter?

Why did you almost freeze to death trying to find my scarf?

Why...

Why am I still so angry?

Scootaloo closed her eyes as she let out a long sigh, snuggling firmly up to Rumble.

“Hey Rumble?”

“Hmm?”

She turned to face him again, her indifference now a smile.

“We still going to Diamond’s party tonight?”

“I don’t know, are we?”

Scootaloo nodded.

“Sweet.” Rumble smiled as he hopped from the bed and trotted to the door. “I kinda already told Fluttershy we were going, so that would’ve been kinda awkward if you said no.”

“Wait, what?” Scootaloo blinked, “When did you do that?”

“When you were talking to Apple Bloom, remember?”

“Oh.”

Scootaloo followed Rumble into the living room, and watched as he pulled a large box out of one of his saddlebags.

“Bubbles, huh?” Scootaloo smiled. “You really liked it?”

Rumble blushed a little. “I mean, it’s okay, I guess. I figured you liked it, so I had Button let me borrow his game.”

“D’aww, you’re so thoughtful,” Scootaloo snickered.

“Whatever, Louise.” Rumble rolled his eyes as he rolled the dice.

Rumble rolled five, and advanced his little blue plastic peg counterclockwise.


“Fuck!”

Button Mash mashed buttons as his texture-mapped teammates were terrorized by the towering terror.

“Excuse me?”

He flinched as he heard the faint irritation of his distant mother.

“N-Nothing mom!” Button hollered.

Button sighed as she remained silent. Back to the task at hoof. Five hours until he had to take this back to Buckbuster, and there was no way he was returning a game unbeaten.

His body tensed as his vision laser focused as he dodged fireballs and magic attacks. His party was down for the count.

“Damn it,” Button muttered, under his breath this time. “These bastards are giving me me a real challenge now, huh?”

“Button!” his mother yelled.

Button blinked. He missed it, a screen-clearing shockwave that put an end to his valiant quest.

“Shit!”

“If you didn’t have somepony at the door, the next thing coming out of that mouth would be an apology to Sweetie Belle for missing the party.”

Button shuddered as he set his controller down and stood, trotting towards the front door with nothing short of irritation written all over his face.

I swear to Celestia, if it’s the mail pony… Button growled as he threw open the door.

“Eep!” Sweetie Belle squeaked as the door slammed against interior wall.

All color drained from Button’s face.

“Oh sh-- I’m s-so sorry!” He scrambled and stammered as Sweetie Belle simply giggled. He could feel his mother’s eyes burn into the back of his head.

“Hey.” Sweetie smiled, her hooves pawed at the ground.

“Hi…” Button cleared his throat. “Is it time to go already?”

“No, I just-”

“Cool,” Button said, not bothering to wait as he trotted back towards his room. “What’s up?”

He glanced over in time to see Sweetie Belle enter his room.

“My sister wants us at the boutique soon so she can get us fitted and dressed.”

“What for?” Button said as he refocused on the television.

He could hear Sweetie sigh. “The… party?”

“Oh. Why-- Dirty bitch, that little fucking pus--”

Suddenly, the screen went black as his blood ran cold. Button’s eye twitched as hot breath and a stern voice assaulted his ear.

“Enough,” his mother growled. “Stop being disrespectful and listen to her, or you won’t have anything to play for a month. You understand me?”

By the time he’d turned around, she had left, leaving a slightly uncomfortable Sweetie Belle in his room.

Button bit back a curse and made eye contact. Sweetie smiled.

“So like I was saying, my sister is gonna make matching garments for you and me for Diamond’s party. It takes her a little while, so we gotta leave early.”

“Right…” Button scratched his ear with a hoof. “Like now?”

Sweetie glanced back, then nodded. “Probably a good idea. For your sake, at least.”

Button swallowed. “Sounds good, then.”

The two made their way into the kitchen, Button keeping his gaze to the floor. No sense in risking making eye contact with the den mother when he knew the house like the back of his hoof.

“Button!”

Resistance was futile, it seemed.

“Uh hu--”

“Look at me.”

Button did.

WIthout a word, she trotted to the door and stood beside it.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?”

Button shrunk slightly. “...No?”

His mom sighed. “A gentlecolt doesn’t make his date get the door.”

Button sighed, making sure not to leave another mark in the wall this time.

“Much better. Love you, son~” His mother practically cooed. “Have fun, you two!”

“Okay, bye!” Button forced a smile as he bit back a remark.

“Thank you, Ma’am,” Sweetie said as Button closed the door behind them.

Part of him knew that his return home wasn’t going to be a warm one.

Once they reached the edge of town, Button relaxed a little. He finally glanced over to Sweetie Belle, who was watching him curiously.

“You okay?” she asked. “You seemed a little… uptight.”

“Sorry,” Button said. “She can just be so embarrassing sometimes!”

“At least she’s around,” Sweetie replied.

“Wh…” Button’s mouth was agape. Sweetie blinked once or twice before her eyes widened.

“I mean, here right now--they’re on vacation… they always are.”

“That’s okay,” Button blurted, smiling nervously as he scrambled words in his head. “We’re going to a fancy party at a flashy mansion with some famous ponies. It’ll be fun!”

“Yeah.” Sweetie smiled. “I’m glad I have somepony to go with. Th…” she suddenly blushed and looked away. “Thanks for being my date.”

“Don’t mention it.” Button heard himself say. “I mean…”

Button broke eye contact, his nerves playing hide and seek as they passed through a bustling Ponyville. FInally, they arrived at Carousel Boutique.

He had passed this place a couple times with his parents, but this was the first time he’d ever set hoof inside. That was one of many things that rattled his nerves as they approached the door.

Sweetie cleared her throat, and he nearly yelped.

Even as she giggled at him, she had an expectant look.

After a moment, Button understood, sighed, and trotted to the door, knocking three times. Just as he stepped back, the door flew open, causing him to scramble back slightly.

“Well hello, Sweetie, Button Mash,” Rarity greeted, her eyes fixed on Button. “I understand you are the fine gentlecolt who will be accompanying my sister this evening?”

“That’s right,” Button replied unsteadily.

“Splendid!” Rarity clopped her hooves together. “I’ve only heard the positive things, I promise. I won’t keep you two long.”

As Button followed Sweetie inside, he noticed Rarity staring out the door a little longer before closing it.

“No Scootaloo and Rumble?” Rarity asked as Button admired the double-high ceilings and the dressed poniquins and vanities; his eyes fixed on the large display stage.

“I haven’t seen Scoots since she was here last,” Sweetie said.

“No worries dear, I’m sure they’ll be heading out soon enough,” Rarity said as she lead the pair upstairs and to her workroom.


Scootaloo listened to the clock as it ticked and tocked; Rumble sat beside her reading a comic about some cave dwellers and a spooky elevator.

After losing five games of Bubbles to a boisterous colt who insisted he hadn’t played since the clubhouse, she wanted a little time to just kick back, and relax.

“Hey, Scoots?” Rumble looked at her from behind his graphic novel. The cutesy cover art contrasting with his serious expression.

“What’s up?”

“We should probably get ready to go, Celestia’s starting to set the sun.” He smiled. “Why don’t you go check on Rainbow Dash one last time?”

Scootaloo’s eyes narrowed. “Why me?”

“Because,” Rumble said with a frown, “I wasn’t a fan of being hit on by my fillyfriend’s mom. Wouldn’t want me to lose my appetite before we eat rich ponies’ food.”

“You think they’ll have a buffet?” Scootaloo asked, hopping down from the couch.

“I’ll be pissed if they don’t.” Rumble smirked. “I haven’t eaten since breakfast.”

Suddenly, his smirk fell. “Uh… actually, matter fact, I don’t think she has eaten since breakfast, either.”

“Shoot, I totally forgot!” Scootaloo panicked as she scampered into the kitchen.

Rumble watched from the entryway as Scootaloo rushed around the kitchen, grabbing a plate, some bread, and eggs, a saucepan, and a bowl.

“Simmer down, scuttlebucket.” Rumble remarked as he watched her fiddle with the stovetop.

“Don’t call me that,” Scootaloo growled.

“What?” Rumble giggled. “Why can’t I call you ‘scuttlebucket’?”

“That’s just weird.” Scootaloo scoffed.

Rumble looked at her incredulously. “But Button calls you that all the time?”

“Exactly,” Scootaloo replied.

“So not only is he your best colt friend, but he also gets to have his own nickname for you?”

Scootaloo glanced back, the slightest grin on her face.

“You get to be my coltfriend and… all the mushy stuff that comes with it. Besides, you can me ‘Louise’, so that counts. Babe.

Rumble shuddered. “Yuck! Don’t call me that.”

“Yuck?” Scootaloo snorted. “Isn’t that what mares and stallions call each other?”

“Well yeah, but…” Rumble blushed. “Doesn’t that make it a little obvious that we’re kinda breaking the rules?”

Scootaloo triumphantly presented a plate of de-crusted sandwiches. “Whatever, foal.”

Rumble licked his lips. “Egg salad sandwiches? Nice.”

“Not for you, though.” Scootaloo teased as she trotted into the hallway. “There’s some baby food in the milk crate.”

“Hilarious,” Rumble growled in time with his stomach.

Scootaloo forgot how musty and dreary Rainbow’s room was. She crinkled her nose as she gently closed the door behind her.

She cautiously crept towards the beside, balancing the plate on her back. She went to grab it with her mouth when a weak cough startled her.

“...”

Scootaloo could’ve sworn she’d heard something faint. Her ears perked as she stared at Rainbow Dash, her seemingly lifeless body brought to life by the smell of food. She began to pull herself up.

Without a second thought, Scootaloo set the plate on the tray, and rushed to the end of the bed. She helped Rainbow up by wrapping her hooves around Rainbow’s middle, grunting with the effort.

“Thanks, kid,” Rainbow croaked. “It’s a bit of a pain sitting up… literally.”

“I bet…” Scootaloo trailed, suddenly so nervous she couldn’t make eye contact. She cleared her throat. “You hungry? I… m-made you a-”

“Smells good.” Rainbow smiled as she shakily plucked one of the halves from the plate.

Scootaloo watched Rainbow struggle to hold steady, both herself and the sandwich. Every bite, no—nibble was a process, typically involving more and more of the egg paste decorating her muzzle, than actually touching her taste buds.

She cringed a little, but at the same time, she couldn’t bring herself to offer assistance. Scootaloo began to turn to leave, her job being done.

“You made this?”

Scootaloo turned around. “Uh-huh.”

“It’s good, Scoots.” Rainbow smiled. “I never knew you cooked.”

Of course you didn’t.

Scootaloo winced as she felt many things. A little bit of pride welled up, but it was muscled aside by frustration. She wanted so much to yell at her about how if she hadn’t had her dumb head in the clouds, she wouldn’t be bitten and bandaged.

Yet she sat silently, glancing down to see her hooves not far from some discarded tissue wads.

Gross.

“Yeah.” Scootaloo nodded. “I do.”

Rainbow would trade between messy bites of her sandwich, and sloshy sips of water, all the while not saying anything, or even looking at her.

Scootaloo glanced around the room a little, noticing a gleam just through the darkness: a trophy case, vanity, and the hinges of a closet door.

“So, I hear you two are headed... to a party?”

Scootaloo whirred back around, Rainbow looking directly at her with red dead eyes, face betraying no emotion.

For a moment, Scootaloo didn’t say anything, opening her mouth to speak, only to close it again. The scent of sickness was replaced with a slight hint of body odor.

“How did you…” Scootaloo trailed as she heard herself speak.

“Paper-thin walls, kiddo,” Rainbow coughed. “I hear ya all the time, whether I want to, or not.”

Scootaloo’s face burned a brilliant red as Rainbow burst into laughter, which quickly slipped into a fit of wheezy, phlegmy hacking.

She winced every time the coughing fits started. Just as Rainbow took a wheezy breath, another burst of congestion and hacking, each sounding more painful and more hoarse. Rainbow held a hoof against her chest, which lurched back and forth each second.

Rainbow lie back down, groaning as she settled back into her mattress.

Scootaloo’s ears twitched as she heard Rumble rummaging through the kitchen cabinets. She glanced back, the door was shut. She felt a slight chill down her spine.

She wasn’t kidding, was she?

“Could be worse.” Scootaloo barely heard her now. “I’d take this shit over icky thumps any day.”

Scootaloo hated the silence, she glanced between her hooves and the door as she waited for Rainbow to speak again.

“Once I’m over this crud, I’m gonna make things right. You deserve a role model… a… mother who… who you can be proud of. Somepony you know who’s got your back, and then some. I’ve been a terrible friend, and an even worse sister… but I swear, I’ll be the best mom I can.”

Rainbow paused again, taking a deep breath as she stared at the ceiling. Scootaloo thought to say something, anything at all—but she came up empty once again. Then, she straightened up, swallowed, and stood on all fours.

“You’d better.”

Or I’m done.

She didn’t wait for a response. Turning around, Scootaloo trotted towards the door. She shut her eyes as she closed it behind her as the bright light of the hallway assaulting her vision. Nonetheless, she strode into the hallway.

“Come on, Rumble,” Scootaloo called into the kitchen. “Let’s go.”

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