• 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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29. Diamonds

Rumble said nothing as he careened through the residentials of Ponyville, his perturbed passenger holding on a little too tight. As much as he wanted to ask, he figured it’d be best to let Scootaloo talk about it when she was ready. He knew better than to agitate her when she was like this… or at least, he did now.

As he flew past his own home, he realized something, something which made his stomach knot up.

“Hey, Scootaloo?” Rumble asked, not bothering to turn his head.

“Huh?” Scootaloo muttered. She didn’t bark, but Rumble flinched anyway.

“Um… where am I taking us?”

Scootaloo’s death grip loosened enough to let Rumble breath a little.“Rarity’s, I guess.”

Rumble slowed down, the Friendship Castle towering against the horizon. “So I’m going the wrong way?”

Scootaloo chuckled. “Totally, dude.”

Rumble groaned as he rolled his eyes and altered his flight path. Despite the irritation, he breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever had ruffled her feathers earlier, she didn’t seem to care anymore.

“You excited?”

“Mmhm.” he could feel Scootaloo nod against him. “I can’t wait to see what Sweetie Belle’s wearing.”

“Like, a dress?”

“Yeah,” Scootaloo giggled. “Rarity would die before she let Sweetie go to a party without looking absolutely fabulous.

Rumble smiled a little as he flew back over downtown Ponyville, the setting sun above and the busy street below a relaxing sight.

“Does that mean we have to dress up too?” Rumble asked as he fluttered to the ground before the Carousel Boutique. “I got nothin’ nice.”

“I bet she’s got ya covered.” Scootaloo smirked as she trotted to the door and knocked. “Or if she doesn’t, she will.”

Scootaloo shrieked as the door swung open, the blinding white lights of Carousel Boutique damn-near blinding them.

“You made it!” Sweetie Belle stepped out with a smile almost as radiant as her backdrop.

Rumble tried his hardest not to stare, but between the elegant form of the dress, and the filly it was on, the colorful creation of tapestry and expert craftsmanship held his attention a little too long.

Soon the brilliance of the filly before him was overpowered by the heated stare of an unamused Scootaloo.

“Hey, Rumble,” Scootaloo deadpanned, stepping into his line of sight. “I’m over here.”

Button suddenly appeared beside her. “Yeah, Fumble, quit staring at my filly. You got one already.”

Sweetie cleared her throat and narrowed her eyes. “Your filly?”

Button spun around. “Wh-I uh…”

“Ooh, I’m so glad you two decided to drop by!” Rarity cut through the tension like a hot knife through butter. “Do come in. I’m almost done with Button’s garment, then I can get started on you two.”

Rumble followed the others as they trotted into the Boutique's foyer. With his eyes adjusting to the light, his nose picked up the scent of sweet, sugary things, and the overpowering scent of perfume.

His eyes followed Scootaloo as she strut past him, blinking as the tip of her tail lightly brushed his face. It made him smirk a little. She’s totally jealous right now.

“Your dress is amazing, Sweetie Belle,” Scootaloo said. “Did she really do that today?”

“Not even today,” Sweetie rolled her eyes as Button followed her sister back to the workroom. “She’s crazy when she’s got a deadline. Both crazy talented, and, well…” she shrugged. “Y’know.”

Rumble slowly trotted towards them, stealing a glance at the kitchen, where he could just make out some cheesecake sliders.

“I wonder what she’s making for Button,” he asked, being sure to keep his sights set on his filly this time.

“Wonder no more!” Rarity announced from the balcony. With a dramatic wave of her hoof, she revealed the brand-new Button Mash. Gone was his signature cap, his unkempt mane swept back slightly. A dark green suit with a cooler mint trim spanned his body, ending with coattails lined with a sliver of silver.

Rumble couldn’t help but snicker as Button’s disinterest, contrasted with Sweetie Belle oohing and ahhing at every minor detail of his attire.

“Lookin’ sharp, stud muffin.” Rumble jabbed Button in the side as he strode by.

“Yeah, laugh it up, fillyface,” Button deadpanned. “You get to play dress up too.”

Sure enough, Rarity cleared her throat.

“I suppose you wouldn’t mind coming with me for a moment, Scootaloo? I think it would be best if we finished yours now, as it’s likely to be a bit more involved.”


Rarity watched as Scootaloo trotted through the door, closing it behind her with her magic. Why the filly’s presence suddenly brought down her mood wasn’t totally beyond her.

For a moment, Rarity simply sat there, staring at the mess her hard work had produced so far: all the unspoiled yarn, errant bits of cut fabric, various beads, diamonds, and other things.

She saw Scootaloo staring at her, and jumped a little, clearing her throat as she trotted towards her workstation.

“Normally, when I design formal wear, I tend to keep the theme and scheme somewhat contiguous and consistent,” Rarity heard herself say. “But that simply will not do for you girls. You need… something special.”

She heard her voice shake, felt that lump in her throat. Scootaloo’s eyes seemed to show that she sensed it.

Rarity, you need to tell her. Her brow furrowed as she tried to push aside her thoughts with busywork. It isn’t right to keep her in the dark, you promised, remember?

Scootaloo’s eyes followed her as Rarity’s magic wrapped measuring tape around her neck, midsection and across her back. Rarity caught her eyes glistening between taking notes on her clipboard.

Even if you promised transparency… this is a special occasion. Souring her spirits with something of such magnitude simply isn’t fair.

Carefully, she selected a palette of fabrics that danced above Scootaloo’s head, each one brought to her side like a swatch against a painted wall.

“Is everything alright, Rarity?”

Her chest hitched.

“O-of course, darling. Whatever would make you suggest otherwise?” Rarity didn’t know why she bothered trying to fake it. “Tell me, which do you prefer? Lavender or Lilac?”

Even as she said those words, Rarity felt the pit in her stomach collapse into a bottomless sinkhole. She tasted nothing but bitterness and hollow words, felt nothing but terrible. And, while she was determined not to bring down her little sister, she was equally unaccustomed to this level of guilt. She shook her head.

It seemed, to her relief, that Scootaloo gave up on pressing her, now glancing between the two polyester sheets floating above her.

“Lavender.”

“Excellent choice.” Rarity smiled.

I’m sorry.

While Scootaloo too had a floral wreath, her dress was layered: a lilac organza bow; a lavender rump lined with hoof-woven white trim ended with a parting, rounded notch at the midsection, with a slightly darker shade of purple for the waistband, itself made of silk.

Rarity trotted around for the umpteenth time with a ruler floating before her, scrutinizing every seam and stitch. She swallowed, a chill making her shiver. If Scootaloo noticed, she didn’t say, much to Rarity’s relief.

“Well?” Rarity smiled nervously as she swiveled a mirror into Scootaloo’s view. “What do you think? Don’t be afraid to be honest with me. I’m not satisfied until you are.”

She watched as Scootaloo’s face played host to many different emotions, all fighting valiantly for supremacy.

“This is… incredible, si-- Rarity.” Scootaloo blushed. “I-I… I really like it.”

That smile, born of unbridled happiness, that tender voice which spoke words of genuine, heartfelt appreciation—Rarity turned away as she fought back tears.

“I’m… very glad, Scootaloo.”

You… look simply beautiful.

Wiping her eyes, she lead Scootaloo towards the door, stopping just before her magic surrounded the handle. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the folded letter, sitting in a vacant cubby. She opened her mouth to speak.

“Rarity?”

“Y-yes, Scootaloo?” Rarity stammered.

“Thank you.”

Rarity turned to see Scootaloo looking at the floor, her hoof pawing the carpet nervously.

“No need, dear.” Rarity smiled. “You know I’d do anything for you. No sister of mine is going to show up to a party like this without the finest garments. Now come along, I believe there’s somepony awaiting your return.”


Rumble took the fifth bite of his fourth cup of cheesecake, growing rather bored.

“Don’t eat too much,” Button smirked. “Remember how you destroyed my toilet after eating half of my birthday cake last year?”

Rumble’s eyes narrowed. “Wasn’t that you?”

“Naw man.” Button’s smirk never wavered. “It was both of us. I remember ‘cause my mom was fuckin’ pissed.”

“Hey, potty mouth.” Rumble smiled. “I don’t think Sweetie Belle likes dirty words.”

Button glanced behind him, Sweetie Belle still adjusting some jewelry at one of the vanities across the room.

“Since when do you care about keeping it clean?”

“I don’t have to because Scootaloo doesn’t give a shit,” Rumble replied, taking another bite. “Not when we’re alone, anyway.”

“Speak of the devil…” Button began. Rumble noticed him trail off as he trotted into the foyer.

“While it did take a little longer than I anticipated…” Rarity’s voice called out from the top of the stairs.

Whatever Rarity said once Scootaloo trotted into view, Rumble couldn’t care to comprehend. Sauntering downstairs was a filly whose beauty was unparalleled. Every follicle of fur and every strand of her dress seemed to glow like a magical aura as she floated towards him.

He wouldn’t have noticed the drool if Button hadn’t nudged him.

“So?” Scootaloo looked away, blushing slightly. “How… what do you think?”

“You…” Rumble’s mouth hung open. “...look incredible.”

“I think he likes it,” Button said. “I mean, not that you couldn’t tell, or anything.”

Scootaloo smiled, finally bringing her gaze to meet his. Before he could blink, Scootaloo’s muzzle booped his own, just close enough…

“Rumble?”

Scootaloo stepped back suddenly, blushing furiously as Rarity came into view.

“Last, but certainly not least,” She gave a firm nod to Rumble. “This lovely filly of yours needs somepony to complement her style, does she not?”


“I think so.” Sweetie took one cautious step forward, before going into a full trot towards a part of Ponyville they rarely frequented.

Casual houses gave way to verdant foliage and vibrant flowers, decorated estates set far behind a formation of privacy shrubs.

“Alright,” Scootaloo said. “But if we get lost, remember, it’s all your fault.”

“How are we gonna get lost in Ponyville?” Button snickered.

“I guess you can burn orange juice,” Scootaloo smirked. “So nothing’s impossible. Right, Sweetie?”

“Sounds like you’re gonna have to learn how to cook, Button.” Rumble’s grin widened as Sweetie Belle glared daggers at both him and his date, who simply laughed it off.

“That’s not funny,” Sweetie muttered. “I’m still learning.”

“Looks like he is too,” Rumble quipped, glancing back at Button Mash who simply watched as Sweetie was verbally skewered.

“What?” Button blinked, flinching as his eyes met Sweetie Belle’s.

After a couple minutes of peeking through iron gates and dead ends, they finally came upon the Rich Estate, golden lights pouring out through the windows of the lower-floor as crystalline violins sounded from within.

“I think we found it,” Scootaloo said as they passed the open gates.

“Even if we didn’t,” Button said. “They’ve got music, and I swear I smell pizza and hayburgers.”

“Of course that’s the first thing you notice,” Rumble said.

“Probably better than noticing the first filly in the room, and getting in trouble again,” Button remarked.

“Don’t worry,” Scootaloo said, pulling Rumble a little too close. “He won’t.”

Rumble put a wing around her as they headed up the front steps, only to be shouldered past by a visibly nervous Button.

“You got it, Mishmash?” Rumble asked as he stood beside him.

“I have to.” Button grimaced.

“What?”

“Don’t ask.” Button rolled his eyes, wrapping on the door, once, twice, thrice-

Everypony was nearly knocked on their flanks by the an explosion of light and sound, their nerves rattled.

Looking up, they saw a formidable stallion towering above them.

“Names?”

Rumble glanced over as Button looked like a deer in headlights, sweating bullets.

Before he could answer, a much smaller pony poked her head from behind the door.

“These are friends of mine. They’re cool,” Diamond said, dismissing the stallion back into the mayhem of the mansion.

“Party’s already started,” she beamed. “Our cook just brought out some imported daffodils, they’re to die for. Come in, come in.”

Even the foyer was awash with color, fillies and colts both known and unknown scuttling about. As Rumble took in the brilliant lights and the chatter of who knows how many foals, he could hear Diamond greeting the girls.

“Let me guess... Rarity?” Diamond gushed as she admired Scootaloo’s dress.

“Yeah,” Scootaloo nodded. “She did all of our…uh...”

“Attire,” Sweetie Belle finished.

Stunning, girls!” Diamond grinned. “I’d love to stay and play catch up, but, you know, it’s my party, and I gotta make my rounds. Make sure to enjoy yourselves!”

“Ooh!” Diamond stopped mid-trot, bright eyes aimed at Sweetie Belle. “I’m pretty sure the DJ has a microphone, maybe you could sing for us later! You’re taking classes with the Countess Coloratura, right?”

“Pfff.” Button waved. “Since when does Sweetie Belle sing?”

His ears dropped as silence hung over his head. He swallowed nervously as he looked around. The only one who wasn’t either bewildered or annoyed was Rumble, whose face was contorted comically.

“Well…” Diamond struggled to keep a straight face herself. “Looks like you guys have some catching up to do, anyway. Ta-ta for now!”

Finally, Rumble burst out laughing, turning away from the dirty look Button cast his way.

“How... do you not know that?” Rumble wiped the tears from his eyes. “Never seen her cutie mark before?”

“Well… I…” Button shrunk as the heat from Sweetie’s glare attempted to melt him on the spot.

Keep it up, and he’ll be a gelding before the party’s over. Scootaloo smirked to herself as she rest a hoof on Sweetie’s shoulder. “Of course he knew. He just forgot, a slip of the tongue, right?”

Button didn’t dare respond.

“Hey, babe.” Scootaloo turned to Rumble. “Wanna go check out the living room real quick? I also heard she’s got a pretty crazy rec room.”

“Sounds good… Louise.” Rumble put a hoof around hers as the set off for the west wing.

Button watched as they disappeared, leaving a slight chill in their wake.

“I’m… really sorry, Sweetie, I—”

“It’s fine.” Sweetie Belle managed a small smile. “Come on, let’s go look around. Scootaloo said something about a rec room, maybe it has—”

“—Games?”

Sweetie giggled. “Yeah. Games.”

Button eased up a little as Sweetie trot beside him, carefully wandering between the dancing foals and groups of chatty yearlings.

“This place is huge,” Button said, glancing at the high chandeliers.

“I know,” Sweetie Belle said. “I can’t imagine having to clean this place.”

“Pretty sure they got maids for that.” Button stopped as he eyed a table set with bowls of chips and exquisite dip. “Care if we make a quick detour? I’m hungry.”

“Sure.” Sweetie nodded, following him to the table, watching as Button sampled just about everything.

“I think I like this artichoke dip the best,” Button exclaimed as he filled a small paper bowl with several chips glazed in it.

“You know they’re dips, not lipstick, right?” Sweetie giggled at Button’s soiled snout. Her smile faded as Button rose his hoof to wipe it.

“Eek! No!” Sweetie swat his hoof away, rushing to find a napkin. “You can’t get your suit dirty, my sister will be furious. Here. I’ll get it.”

Button flinched at Sweetie’s erratic levitation, poking him in the eye with the napkin as she attempted to wipe his snout.

“Sorry.” Sweetie looked away. “I’m still figuring out the whole precise part of levitating.”

“Does that mean we’re even now?”

“Not even close.”


As they filed into the dining hall, Sweetie instantly noticed Scootaloo trotting behind Rumble.

“Good evening, everypony,” Diamond smiled as she stood at the end of the table. “Hopefully tonight has been nothing short of a good time. We were supposed to have eaten earlier, but there were some… setbacks.”

Each seat had a tagged gift bag resting atop it, the gathering of foals resembled a game of musical chairs as they circled the table in search of their spot. Scootaloo was assigned next to Rumble and Sweetie next to Button. The two pairs were placed across from each other, adjacent to the head of the table.

Scootaloo admired the elaborate spread before them. From fruit salad featuring exotic fruits of the Crystal Empire, to steel-cut oatmeal topped with Yakyakisthani apples. Her view was obstructed by Rumble’s hoof reaching for his eating fork; she quickly batted it away.

Just as Scootaloo was going to speak, a glass was struck twice with a fork

“I doubt I need any formal introduction, it’s my party after all,” she snorted. “But it would be criminal of me not to introduce you to these two gorgeous fillies beside me.” She smiled. “Not too long ago, I was a selfish, spoiled filly who was far more interested in frivolities and flare than friendship. I, uh… I was a brat for lack of a better word.”

A slight rumble of laughter let her glance around.

“In truth, I was a lonely loser who was afraid to be myself, to be anything other than my mother’s daughter. That was of course, until these fine young mares showed me that there was more to life than just status and success. There’s also sincerity and sisterhood. That’s what takes a pony from just being refined, to being respected… and respectful.”

Scootaloo watched as Diamond glanced away, though only for a second.

“No words can truly express how grateful I am for what the Cutie Mark Crusaders did for me. Tonight, I get to be in the company of all of my friends for a simply terrific evening, and I have you girls to thank for it. So,” she raised her glass before continuing, “tonight, I dedicate this toast to friendship, for it is truly the most valuable thing in the world!”

The clank of flutes, filled to the rim with sparkling cider, was quickly followed by the clatter of utensils.

Scootaloo eased into her chair and watched as Diamond and Sweetie chatted with each other, smiling as she remembered that afternoon. A day which began as a simple class election, and turned into what would be their final crusade.

At that moment, when Diamond Tiara went from foe to friend, the moment she and her friends were given the very thing they had been pining for since they first met—that sweet sense of accomplishment; it all came back to her.

“It’s funny,” Button said as he scraped together some careful slices of apple, which were dressed in oatmeal. “For a dinner that’s all about apples, you’d think she would be here, too.”

A sidelong glance is all he received as Sweetie focused on her food,

“Just saying.” Button shrugged. “Not complaining, that’s for sure.

“It’s a shame that Apple Bloom couldn’t make it.” Diamond sighed. Button flinched as Sweetie slugged him in the shoulder. “Did she ever apologize to you guys?”

“Yeah.” Scootaloo shrugged. “I mean, I accepted her apology, anyway. Somepony else is being a bit stubborn about it.”

“Stubborn, huh?” Rumble smirked as he took a generous bite of an apple.

Diamond shrunk a little as she quickly turned to Sweetie Belle.

“So…” She began carefully. “How are singing lessons going?”

“We’re on a bit of a hiatus while she’s on tour,” Sweetie said. “But it’s been really fun, actually. Coloratura is incredibly talented, and, well, I don’t wanna brag, but she says I’m getting pretty good.”

“Oh yeah.” Rumble smirked. “Button said something about that.”

Button’s ears flattened as they laughed, including Sweetie Belle, much to his relief.

“Enough about us,” Scootaloo said. “How have you been?”

“Well, Father is opening a Rich Family Fun Palace in Las Pegasus,” Diamond said, picking at her apple slices. “Mother has several weeks of summits in Northern Equestria for financing some new infrastructure projects or whatever, so I’ve been just hanging around, I guess.”

“That doesn’t sound all that fun,” Button said, Sweetie giving him a harsh look.

“It really isn’t.” Diamond frowned, lowering her voice slightly. “Today would’ve just been another day of this little filly, in this big house, with a whole lot of nothing to do, and I decided ‘You know what? Why not do something fun while Mother and Father are away, have your friends over?’ Because isn’t that what matters? That no matter where you are or what you do, your friends are always there for you?”

“Maybe once stuff cools down for me, we could invite you to a sleepover of clubhouse campout.” Scootaloo smiled. “Wouldn’t hurt to add another pony into the mix.”

“W-well, that sounds nice and all but, I wouldn’t want to intrude on your special—”

“Pssh, don’t even.” Scootaloo smirked, putting a hoof around Diamond. “Sweetie and I don’t bite. It’d be fun!”

“Yeah…” Diamond smiled. “Keep me posted.”

Sweetie Belle smiled a little as she watched the gathering of foals joyfully eating, giving their thanks, and wandering back into the vastness of the estate for some games and good times.

“Thank you so much for the great party, Diamond Tiara,” Sweetie said.

“And the food,” Button added.

“My pleasure, fillies—and colts,” Diamond giggled. “I’m just happy everypony is having fun. It really is a shame we have to start winding things down. Fine Manners wants everypony out by her bedtime.”

“Fine Manners?” Scootaloo asked, glancing around.

They all turned as an elder mare cantered into the room. “Miss Tiara?”

“Yes, Manners?” Diamond trotted towards her. “Is it time?”

“I believe now would be the appropriate hour to transition to the… musical event.” Fine Manner winked as Diamond Tiara beamed.

“Perfect!” She smiled, turning back to the gang. “Looks like it’s time to get everypony dancing! Come on!”

“I don’t think we’ll need much help with that,” Rumble boasted a cocky grin as he took Scootaloo by the hooves and sauntered over to the dancefloor.

Scootaloo was whisked from the dimmed lights of the dining room, to the parade of colors which softly traced across the high walls of the ballroom, heads bobbing and hooves stepping in tempo with the music which echoed above.

Once the rush was gone, she only felt warmth. She looked into Rumbles’ eyes, her body began to relax and sway to the rhythm of the music; all of her senses leaked away as he brought her closer, resting his chin on her shoulder.

Tonight had been great, dare she say, wonderful—an evening with friends old and new, frivolous fun, and the chance to simply be a free little filly again. She could feel the smile on her face, on the many faces around her. Honestly, she might as well have been floating.

Suddenly, she was brought out of her trance as Rumble spun her around. As if on instinct, she raised to one hoof and spun like a ballerina, falling into his hooves, seamlessly easing back into their slow dance.

“Rumble.” Scootaloo could barely hear herself whisper, even as Rumble’s ear twitched. “Thank you.”

His hoof around her tightened a little, their hearts beating against one another. He planted a little kiss on her muzzle as they began to canter clockwise again.

Don’t thank me. Rumble smiled as he watched her dress glimmer in the soft lights of the ballroom; he watched her smile, genuine, for the first time in Celestia-knows how long.

You deserve to be happy.

Sweetie and Button Mash watched as foals trotted and folicked in time with the music. She sighed as she saw Scootaloo and Rumble enjoying themselves.

“I wanna dance,” Sweetie said simply, looking at Button who seemed more entranced than interested. “Just one song, I promise I won’t do anything crazy.”

Button groaned. “I don’t… that’s embarrassing.”

“How is it embarrassing?” Sweetie asked, her voice understanding but indignant. “We’re two foals who like each other—look at Scoots and Rumble.”

“Well yeah, but they’re practically married.”

“So?” Sweetie did her best to hold her weak smile.

“So,” Button gestured vaguely before continuing, “what if I trip or step on your hooves? I don’t know how to dance, and well...”

“Aw, Button…” Sweetie put a comforting hoof on his shoulder. “I won’t be mad, everypony’s gotta start somewhere. If anyone makes fun of you, you know those two will make them regret it.”

Button watched Rumble from behind some other waltzing foals, his movement deliberate. He looked like a seasoned pro.

Before he could protest again, a gentle, encouraging foreleg brought him to his hooves, and away from the wall. Looking up, he saw Sweetie Belle’s kind eyes looking back at him.

“J-just one song?” Button asked.

Sweetie nodded, her smile never wavering. “Yes, just one. It’ll be fun.”

Button glanced down again, barely seeing his reflection in the marble below. He closed his eyes, swallowed, and then looked back up, a determined smile on his face.

“Okay.” He nodded.

Sweetie blushed a little as she thought of how to begin, slowly tapping her hoof against the floor.

“Okay so…” Sweetie began, trotting in place. “Do as I do, canter in place, nice and slow.”

Button watched his trembling hooves as they began to lift, his brain misfiring—forgetting how to gait for the briefest second. A chill shot down his spine, his cheeks burning furiously as his right forehoof spasmed and his left slipped a little.

“Just a simple trot, Button.” Sweetie smiled, perfectly patient. "You can do it. Right forehoof, left hind hoof; then switch.”

Sweetie’s horn lit up, and with it, some marble tiles below Button’s feet forming a cross-like shape: red, green, blue, and yellow; beside each of his hooves.

“What…” Button’s eyes lit up as the floor did.

He didn’t need to be told what to do, stepping on each colored tile as it was lit; first one at a time, then forming a trailing circle he began to turn with. By the time he had come full circle, Sweetie Belle took his forehooves, and brought them onto her shoulders.

“I thought you said you couldn’t dance.” Sweetie smirked.

Button didn’t have time to respond as Sweetie trotted in a circle, At first, his trembling hind-hooves threatened to slip, but the floor lit up again, a soft glow leading his step.

He felt his lips curl into a smile as he looked into Sweetie Belle’s eyes, his hooves moving without guidance. He wasn’t going to try spinning her around or any of the other stunts Rumble was pulling off in the distance, but this was enough. Holding her like this though, he’d deny till the very end, made him feel something he’d never felt before.

“Having fun?” Sweetie asked.

Button nodded. “Yeah, this is fun. I like… this.”

“Told you,” Sweetie Belle giggled as she closed her eyes, letting the music and motion take control.

As they went around again, Sweetie could see Scootaloo with Rumble, carefree and comfortable. She couldn’t help but be happy for her.

The music continued to slow in tempo as the lights began to soften, the room bathed in moonlight pouring through the towering windows.

“Sweetie Belle?”

Sweetie and Button looked over as Diamond Tiara trotted towards them, beaming.

“We’ve got one more song before they wanna turn out the lights and send everypony home.” she smiled, “You wanna send us off?”

“Wh-” Sweetie’s eyes widened as she stammered, “I… I don’t know if I can-”

Her eyes darted around as other foals were watching with anticipation. Sweetie swallowed, unable to move, let alone speak.

She flinched when she felt a hoof on her shoulder. As Sweetie turned, she saw the confident face of Button Mash, wearing nothing short of a genuine smile, and that look of determination that she loved.

“Just one song.” he smiled.

Sweetie fought back tears as she looked to Diamond Tiara and nodded.

Button followed Sweetie towards the opposite end of the dance hall, where a microphone and large speakers waited for her.

Sweetie peered over the microphone, accidentally tapping the stand with her hoof. Every foal that wasn’t staring at eachother was now staring at her, a mix of curious and confused.

Her nerves shot again, opening her mouth to speak, but never making a sound.

“I… uh- my name…”

She blinked, swallowed, and shivered, surprising even herself how gripped she was by stage fright. Singing in front of the town was one thing. In this room, in this light, with these eyes on her… it arrested her.

Button watched her for a moment, her tail motionless and her ears flat against her head. He swallowed, and stepped forward, tapping the mic, getting her attention, along with everyone else.

“Her name is Sweetie Belle.” He heard himself say, “She’s gonna sing you a song, and you’re gonna dance.”

He stepped back, Sweetie trying her best not to laugh, or kick him.

“Thanks…” she said, turning back to her audience, Scootaloo and Rumble among them. She glanced back one last time at Button, who beamed back at her, a familiar smile on his face. Suddenly, she didn’t feel so afraid anymore.

"The love of the world, in all its splendor.
The fire of my heart, a lonely ember.
Deep inside my soul, I surrender,
to the way of the world, as I remember.”

Button wandered from around the makeshift stage, and towards Scootaloo and Rumble.

“I’m gonna dance, huh?” Rumble smirked, slugging Button in the shoulder. “How about you watch my spot real quick, Scuttlebucket wants an italian soda.”

Before Button could object, Rumble took Button’s hooves and placed them in Scootaloo’s, abruptly disappearing into the crowd behind them before he could so much as object.

“I saw Sweetie Belle showing you the ropes.” Scootaloo smirked deviously. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

“Uh…”

Button yelped as Scootaloo took him for a spin, practically gliding across the floor on her hooves as she twirled Button on his axis. As he spun, he saw Sweetie Belle watching him, her smile never faltering, and had it not been a blur, he could’ve sworn she winked at him.

"Because now, as the world crumbles around me,
I think of that special bond, that honest melody.
Always struggling to make the world into what we wanted to see,
but now, everything falls away from harmony.”

Heart palpitating and short of breath, Button held on for dear life as Scootaloo kept him on his hooves, going from a waltz to some kind of chaotic ballet routine.

“And now I see you, a shadow at the edge of my mind,
a reminder of all we were supposed to be.
Hopes and dreams slip away from these hooves of mine,
a lovely future that was never meant for me.”

Finally, she stopped, giggling as Button caught his breath.

“Not bad.” Scootaloo smiled. “I guess she’s a pretty good teacher, too, huh?”

“Yeah…” Button said, looking at Sweetie Belle as she swayed to the tune, her dress glistening in the moonlight cast upon her.

“So…” he began sheepishly, “you have fun tonight?”

“Me?” Scootaloo blinked, then nodded. “Yeah, I had lots of fun. Tonight was… really cool. I’m glad you and Sweetie came along.”

“I almost backed out.” Button looked away briefly, “I never liked DT, and well, I figured it would just be some stuff rich ponies’ party with bad jokes and worse food.”

“Still would beat whatever my life is right now.” Scootaloo shrugged. She had a smirk on, but Button knew better, no Rumble by any means, but still well enough.

“I thought you and Rainbow were getting along now?”

“Did Rumble tell you that?” Scootaloo shook her head, chuckling. “Not even close.”

“Oh.” Button frowned. “Sorry.”

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about, Mutton.” Scootaloo smiled. “You, and Sweetie Belle, and Rarity, and… everypony else, I mean, without you guys, I’d probably be some troublemaking punk with a kick scooter and a chip on my shoulder.”

“You mean you’re not?”

“Shut up.” Scootaloo nudged him playfully. “Wouldn’t want me to sick my attack dog on ya, now would you?”

“I think I could take him.” Button smirked, glancing over in the direction Rumble had gone. He then joined Scootaloo in watching Sweetie Belle, both awestruck for different reasons.

“Hey!”

Button’s eyes widened for a moment as Rumble looked positively pissed, only to scowl as that thin line curled into a smile which devolved into laughter.

“Not so easy keeping up with her, is it?” Rumble quipped as he passed Button a drink and tousled his mane. “I’m surprised you didn’t blow chunks.”

“Real funny, Casanova,” Button said.

“Figured I’d give you something to do while your filly is up there singing her heart out.” Rumble glanced over to Scootaloo. “Why don’t you go up there with her?”

“Wh--what?” Scootaloo blinked. “I don’t sing!”

“That hasn’t stopped you before, has it?” Button smirked.

Scootaloo scowled at Rumble, who couldn’t stifle his laughter as it devolved into hysterics, Button doing the same. Scootaloo tried to press her lips into a thin line, but it seemed in trying to keep it together, she fell apart that much quicker, nearly sloshing her soda as she began to laugh uncontrollably.

Sweetie watched from the behind the microphone. Seeing them, Scootaloo especially in such high spirits, raised her own. Her heart fluttered for only a moment as she couldn’t help but blind the room with her brilliant smile.

Best. Night. Ever.


Not even half a minute past the Rich Estate, and the colts had tossed their suits onto their backs, trotting a little faster as a cool breeze brushed through their fur.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle had gone ahead, gossiping about one of the other fillies. Rumble and Button watched them for a moment, mostly to make sure they didn’t get lost in the maze of hedges and marble statues.

“I don’t know about you,” Rumble said after a while. “But I think I’m ready to crash at your place tonight. Nice and quiet.”

“You and Scootaloo aren’t going back to her place?” Button asked.

“Naw.” Rumble waved a dismissive hoof. “She and Sweetie are already having a sleepover at Rarity’s house, so if your mom’s cool with it, I was kinda thinking we could kick it for a bit tomorrow.”

“She probably won’t care,” Button yawned. “I mean, she’d better not.”

“Or else what?” Rumble snickered. “You gonna tell her no and make her ground you again?”

“Well…” Button trailed, watching Sweetie again.

“That’s what I thought,” Rumble replied. “I mean, I love Scootaloo, but I really hope she’s passed out until after lunch tomorrow. I really don’t want to go back up there.”

“Love, huh?” Button asked.

“Well yeah?” Rumble looked at Button with confusion. “What else would it be?”

“Just friends, I guess?” Button shrugged. “Love is for like, when you’re married with foals, and shit, not when you’re a foal.”

“Don’t think about it too hard.” Rumbled thumped the back of Button’s head. “Anyway… did you see Pipsqueak?”

Button’s eyes lit up. “Totally. Pip and Tiara, that’s just… crazy.”

“The little shit can move better than I can,” Rumble chuckled. “Even DT seemed surprised when he asked her to dance.”

“It’s not that hard.” Button waved a hoof.

“At least he was stallion enough to ask Diamond Tiara...unlike a certain scaredy colt I know,” Rumble teased as he playfully shoved Button.

“Aw, fuck you.” Button growled. “Let’s get these fillies home before I put you in the ground.”

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