• Published 28th Feb 2016
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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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37. Discord, Desiring to Delight the Dimwitted, yet Despairing of the Dearth of Dramatics, Decides to Dictate the Dealings of Dear ol’ Dashie’s Disabled Daughter, as well as those of her Dam, the Deuteragonist

Yes, yes, that’s all very sweet. Lots of feels, I’m sure. Now, can we get on to the story of the real protagonist? After all, I’ve barely been mentioned in the story, and have yet to speak a single line of dialog! I think it’s high time that Rainbow and her brat scooch over, so someone more deserving can have their turn in the limelight—

Discord? Is that you?

Oh, Celestia damn it all…

What was that?

Nothing, nothing at all, my dear Princess Cadance. I was merely explaining to this incredibly patient audience that we’re about to get on to the real story…

Oh, you were, were you? What story is that?

Well, my story, of course! Why else would Twilight invite us here, if not to give me time in the spotlight? I mean, I think I cut the right protagonistic figure--and I’m sure my relationship with Fluttershy has more than enough ups and downs to jerk a few tears… Why are you laughing?

I’m sorry, but--the real protagonist? You?

I have no idea what you mean.

If anyone, it should be me. After all, I was foreshadowed to be a major character! Half the early chapters are about me! And don’t get me started about all that confusion with whether or not I was actually pregnant…

Um… are you?

Take a careful look, Discord. Do you think a mare like me would sport a belly like this on purpose?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

Wouldn’t dream of it. At least not to your face...

I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

Anyways. If you got the same letter I did, we’re here for a very specific reason: to explain what’s happened in the story so far, and to help catch everypony up to speed. This is a story that’s, um… grown in the telling, after all!

You can say that again...

Now be nice, Discord. jowijo’s still reading.

Is he the one that gave us only bit parts?

I said be nice. I know that’s hard for you, but let’s try and focus, shall we?

My dear lady, you wound me.

I do, do I? Well, prove me wrong, then!

I will!

Fine!

Fine!

...

Go on, then!

What, you mean now?

Why not?

Very well, then.

I suppose we should begin at the beginning, shouldn’t we? Personally, I think it’s more fun if we begin in the middle, but I doubt certain ponies would tolerate such frivolity.

Lucky for you, then that we kinda did start in the middle.

You know… I suppose you’re right.

Our story opens upon a startling revelation: Rainbow Dash is a mother! Yes, that Rainbow Dash--the selfish, vain, irresponsible one of the group. Who would have guessed she would have been the one to get knocked up--

Discord, I said be nice.

Ah, you’re no fun when you’re pregnant.

As I was saying: ten years ago, when dear ol’ Dashie was fifteen, she gave birth to a little foal. The birth was especially difficult, and she ended up passing out before ever seeing her little one. When she woke, her child had already been taken away to a foster home, where it would be adopted out to a kind, loving family. None of her friends knows, of course--except for Fluttershy. My dear Fluttershy took Rainbow in when she was expecting, and was, of course, present at the birth. She’s the only one that Rainbow has trusted with her secret, and Fluttershy has respected that trust for ten whole years.

The story begins as Rainbow has a nightmare about the birth, reliving events from her perspective. At that moment, she happens to be in the middle of a sleepover with her friends at Twilight’s castle, meaning, Fluttershy is already there by her side. Fluttershy manages to calm her down, and the two of them talk for a while about her foal. Rainbow points out that, tomorrow, it will be ten years to the day since she gave birth, and wonders about what’s happened to the foal in the years since. Fluttershy--who, as she often does, knows more than she cares to admit--has the good grace to keep quiet.

Meanwhile, across town, Scootaloo is having a fitful night’s sleep. She’s an orphan, and has been in the care of an older mare named Mrs. Harbour since she was a baby. Scootaloo does her best to help out with chores around the house, and is loved by all her foster-siblings. However, not all is well in the house of Harbour: the Department of Foalhood Services is moving in, and is leaning on Mrs. Harbour to retire early. Scootaloo hasn’t quite figured that out yet, but she’s not stupid. She knows that something is up.

Coincidentally, Scootaloo turns ten years old the day after tomorrow. The same day as Rainbow gave birth to her foal. No relation between those two facts. None at all. Just something I thought you might like to know.

Oh, quit being a tease.

The next day, the Cutie Mark Crusaders have their combined Cuteciñera. It’s quite a party--food, dancing, an enormous cake, the whole nine yards! The party culminates when both Applebloom and Sweetie Belle receive generous, thoughtful gifts from their sisters. Scootaloo, however, gets left out in the cold: Rainbow Dash, who was supposed to bring her a gift of her own, never arrives.

As already mentioned, the next day happens to be Scootaloo’s birthday--and her friends all surprise her with the birthday party of her dreams! But again--Rainbow Dash is conspicuously absent.

Rainbow had good intentions, really. The trouble is, she tends to get… distracted. And she’d been especially distracted for the past day or so. She and her teammate Soarin’ happened to have an especially hot date the night before. She’d made her way home with every intention of making it to the party, but she’d spent most of the day sleeping off a hangover.

Fluttershy manages to wake Rainbow up in time to get her to the party, where she apologizes to Scootaloo. As part of her apology, Rainbow reveals her combined birthday-Cuteciñera gift: tickets to a Wonderbolts show that weekend. The news helps cheer Scootaloo up--but she doesn’t actually accept the apology.

Foreshadowing...

Shush.

The little fillies run off to play, but, as soon as the doors slam behind them, Rainbow’s friends turn on her. To be honest, they accuse her of some rather awful things. She deserves at least some of it, but Twilight in particular gets very harsh. Among other things, she says that she’s glad Rainbow never had a foal of her own, since, if the last few days are any indication, she would have been a terrible mother.

And now, for one of those delicious little bits of irony: Rainbow zips off, determined to prove them all wrong. In fact, she resolves to fly right up to Cloudsdale, find her long-lost foal, and adopt them right on the spot. Prove to everyone that she would too be a good mother.

It’s at this point that Fluttershy, who has been following her to make sure she makes it home safely, decides to speak up. Fluttershy finally reveals the secret she’s been carrying for ten long years--the secret that has been driving every line of the story so far--the secret that will break Rainbow’s heart in two:

Scootaloo is Rainbow Dash’s biological daughter.

Take a moment if you need it. I know this probably comes as a shock.

Discord…

Just having a little laugh, keep your horseshoes on.

It’s not funny, though.

That’s the thing, Sweetheart: Rainbow Dash herself would disagree with you. She hears Fluttershy’s news, and she laughs. Actually laughs. She thinks it’s all an elaborate prank that Fluttershy is playing on her, and congratulates her for her dedication.

That... wasn’t exactly her best moment.

Oh, just hold your horses.

Now, as we said, Scootaloo agreed to go to Cloudsdale to watch the Wonderbolts show with Rainbow Dash--on the one condition that Rainbow wouldn’t forget about her, for real this time. Rainbow Dash swears she won’t. But if you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll already know how this goes.

There’s no easy way to say this, so let’s just get it over with.

Rainbow gets Scootaloo to the show and gets her settled in, then goes for snacks. While she’s waiting in line, Soarin’ spots her, and invites her up to his private box to watch the show together.

Their own private viewing. In their own private box.

(Discord, I swear to Celestia…)

Anyways, Rainbow accepts, but asks him to send someone to find Scootaloo to bring her up, too. However, something goes wrong. Maybe Rainbow forgot what section they were sitting in. Or maybe Soarin’ slipped the guards a few bits on their way out. But the fact remains: over an hour later, and Scootaloo is still sitting, all by herself, in their seats, wondering where in Tartarus Rainbow has got to.

Eventually, Scootaloo goes to find her, but, through a series of accidents, ends up locked out of the arena, without her tickets. And, all too soon, she finds herself lost, and cold, and alone, trapped in a city that she has no way to escape.

But let’s put her on hold for just one moment, while we, once again, zip across town to introduce a new character.

At the very moment that Scootaloo is looking for a comfortable cardboard box to lie down in, a little colt named Rumble is having dinner with his family. As it turns out, he and his older brother Thunderlane used to live in Cloudsdale with their parents. However, Thunderlane got in serious trouble, and made a hasty retreat to the little town of Ponyville. Rumble, who probably has an undiagnosed anger disorder of some sort, was sent to live with Thunderlane by their parents, as well. They’ve both been away for a while, and have come back home for a visit, which, surprisingly, goes quite well.

After dinner, Rumble decides to fly home by himself, so he can get some studying done for a test the next day. How sweet.

But, look! Who should he behold, but our sweet little abandoned filly, miserable little—

Oh, shut up. I don’t trust you to be able to handle the next bit correctly.

I bow to your superior storytelling, Little Miss Perfect. I was getting tired of talking, anyways.

So, as Discord said, Rumble spots Scootaloo in an alleyway, and goes to find out what’s wrong. She’s scared, and hungry, and alone, and so Rumble decides to keep her company. He buys her a peanut-butter milkshake and some hayfries, which helps her to feel better--but not as much as knowing that someone gives a damn about her, pardon my Prench.

Je vous ai pardonné, Princesse Cadenza.

I’m ignoring you, now.

Rumble offers to fly her home, and Scootaloo agrees. They have an intimate little flight through Ponyville together, before Rumble drops her off at her foster home. It’s a touching moment, really--a moment that Scootaloo deserves, after all she’s been through.

Gag me with a spoon...

I’m warning you, Discord.

Oh? And what are you going to do about it?

I’ve been needing a new birdbath for my garden back home. I don’t think the sparrows will especially mind if it’s draconequus-shaped…

Oh, fine. I will attempt to restrain my skeptical sarcasm just for you, Princess.

That’s all I’m asking.

At any rate: when Scootaloo goes to school the next morning, she meets Rumble again, who invites her to spend the afternoon with him and his friends, Button Mash and Featherweight. They’re planning to spend all night playing video games, eating pizza, and watching bad movies together--and, to his surprise, Scootaloo accepts. She ends up falling asleep before the night’s over, but it becomes more and more clear how much the two of them mean to each other.

Yes, yes, but now we can get onto the fun stuff.

The morning after, Rainbow wakes up with a splitting headache. She’s had an awful last two days. The evening of the Wonderbolts show, she’d stayed out long after dark searching the streets of Cloudsdale for Scootaloo, to no avail. The day following, she discovered that Scootaloo made it home safely, but had another work engagement in Cloudsdale, which prevented her from finding her and talking things out. So it’s two days later, and she hasn’t had time to apologize to Scootaloo, nor brief her friends on what has happened.

While she’s getting her morning coffee, Fluttershy shows up to fetch her for a meeting with Twilight. It seems that Sweetheart over there, along with her husband, was due in town that evening, and Twilight wanted to prepare a nice Ponyville reception for her.

Yes, we were on our way in. We just happened to have a little gap in our schedule, and wanted to drop in, but Twilight very nearly insisted on holding a baby shower for us. I think she was taking it as a point of pride to treat us well. I had to explain to her that baby showers were typically held much closer to the birth date, which wouldn’t be for several months yet, but I don’t think she fully understood. We kept on going back and forth on that for a while.

Fascinating. At any rate, Twilight wants Scootaloo and her two friends present in order to check on the progress of a play she had previously assigned them--which all three of them had immediately forgotten about. Twilight asks Rainbow and Applejack to trot over to the schoolhouse and fetch them, which Rainbow is none too pleased about. She can’t explain why, though, without telling everyone what happened, so she goes along with it and hopes no one notices.

She is, of course, disappointed in this hope.

Rumble and Scootaloo are having a talk when Rainbow shows up. The sight of her gets Rumble’s dander up, and, before Scootaloo can stop him, he confronts Rainbow. He starts screaming at her about how terrible a pony she is--and, in the process, alerting everyone in a half-mile radius about what happened in Cloudsdale. Rainbow, not knowing what else to do, flies off like the coward she is.

Later that afternoon, all the students are frantically pulling together a play for Her Royal Highness--all except Scootaloo. Cheerilee asks Sweetie Belle to go see if she’s okay after the excitement of the day. Sweetie Belle runs to Scootaloo’s home--just in time to see a couple ponies from the retirement home show up. Mrs. Harbour bids Scootaloo goodbye, then boards the wagon that they’ve brought for her. As they fly away, Scootaloo chases after them--only to remember, a little too late, that she can’t fly after them. Sweetie Belle comforts her suddenly-homeless friend, for the little it’s worth.

So what I’m saying is that Scootaloo isn’t exactly in the mood for more drama. Unfortunately, the evening is just getting started.

Discord, please…

What? What’d I say?

Nevermind...

Meanwhile, Rainbow is back at home, shaken to her core. She’s clearly not well--she’s built all sorts of defenses around herself, and Rumble has just managed to tear down every single one of them. She falls into a fitful sleep, where she dreams about her life as a teenager, in particular, a party she attended as a young freshman. That night, she had far too much to drink, and, in an alcoholic haze, ended up sleeping with a young stallion that she could barely remember.

The dream shifts: it’s a few months later, and Rainbow has moved in with Fluttershy down in Ponyville. She can’t hide the fact that she’s pregnant anymore, and has left behind her entire life to hide from the scrutiny she’s facing back home. Fluttershy tries to convince her to keep the baby, but she’s already decided to adopt it out. Fluttershy gets angry, and starts to argue with her—

Rainbow wakes up, still shaken. She decides to fly around a bit to clear her head, and ends up stumbling on the play that the foals have decided to hold for me. She’s still exhausted and distraught, and thus, keeps nodding off. But she wakes up just in time to see herself walk on stage.

No, not herself--but a little filly who looks just like her. It’s Scootaloo, who she sees, for the very first time, has her eyes, her build, her gait--even her hairdo. As she watches Scootaloo--her daughter—prance across the stage, she starts to cry, realizing just how much she’s given up over the years. And she resolves, for the first time, to make it right. To fix things. To adopt her daughter, and to give them both the home that they’ve been needing so badly.

Well, that’s it then, isn’t it? We’re done, we can all go home now, right? What would you prefer on the way home, hayburgers or Kirinese?

Not a chance, Sweetheart. We still have a long way to go.

But you said--

I did. But love isn’t that simple, especially with all the hurts that they both have suffered.

...and why are you asking me, anyways? I thought you read this thing?

I have. But it’s Thursday, and I need to make it home in time for tea with Fluttershy…

Well, then. Maybe we should press on, see if we can get you back home to your Honeybuns a little quicker?

Call her that again, and I swear on the gates of Tartarus that they will never find your corpse.

A little touchy, are we? Let me remind you--I am the Princess of Love. I’m in the best possible position to understand whatever’s going on between you two.

And I shall be the first to call upon you, should it ever become any of your business.

At any rate: Rainbow Dash, still haunted by visions of what could have been, goes backstage to find Scootaloo. Unable to speak to her privately, Rainbow tells her, in front of everyone, that she is her daughter. Of course, everyone thinks this is another one of her cruel pranks, and, as such, no one believes her--except Fluttershy, of course. Fluttershy steps forward and manages to convince them all to troop down to the hospital and locate the relevant birth certificate, which will prove if she’s telling the truth or not. They find it, and it shows, plain as day, that the foal Rainbow gave brith to was, indeed, Scootaloo.

Scootaloo, seeing this, has something of a breakdown. Rainbow tries to take her back home with her, but Rarity steps in and insists that everyone needs time to work through what’s happening. Rainbow goes home by herself, and Rarity takes Scootaloo home to stay with her.

The next day, Rainbow eagerly prepares Scootaloo’s room, decorating it top-to-bottom in Wonderbolts merchandise. Fluttershy tries to temper her expectations, but to no avail: she is simply too excited to be calmed down.

Emotions are running high in other parts of Ponyville, too. Scootaloo is still in shock and despair after learning the identity of her mother. Apple Bloom, however, talks about how much she would like to have a mother, even one as… shall we say, challenging as Rainbow. Rumble, who has been on something of a hair trigger all day, interrupts Apple Bloom to insult her dead mother. As it transpires, that is an exceptionally bad idea, as Apple Bloom immediately flies at him in a rage. She beats him very nearly senseless, but collapses in despair before she can finish the job. Rumble briefly reflects on how he probably shouldn’t push other ponies’ buttons like that, but, as we shall see, the lesson doesn’t quite sink in.

The next month or so is really hard for both Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo. They agree to go on little outings together every Saturday, but Rainbow’s temper and Scootaloo’s attitude lead to the two of them having some very heated, very public arguments. Additionally, Scootaloo’s continued uncertainty about where she will be living in the future is compounded by troubles with her friends: when Applejack heard what Rumble had said about her mother, she banned him from the Sweet Apple Acres property. This put Scootaloo in the awkward situation of only being able to spend time with either her coltfriend or best friend, never the both of them at the same time.

Nevertheless, Rainbow has a plan.

One very special night, Rainbow invites Scootaloo over for dinner and a movie. However, Rainbow has also invited Soarin’ as well, to see if he can make a better impression the second time around. Meanwhile, Scootaloo has invited Rumble along with her, partially so she can have someone to fly her back to Rarity’s anytime she wants, and partially to annoy Rainbow. To both of their horrors, Rumble and Soarin’ start off on the wrong hoof, and things only get worse from there.

Rainbow and Scootaloo both try to keep things calm, but the two boys simply can’t tolerate each other. Partway through the movie, Rumble pushes things too far, and Soarin’, a full-size, adult stallion, physically attacks him.

After a few seconds of chaos, Rainbow kicks Soarin’--

--right in the garbanzo beans--

--and chases him off. She turns to help the kids, but finds they’ve disappeared. She finds them on her back porch just as they’re about to fly away. Scootaloo has an argument with Rainbow, accusing her of not actually caring for her, before the two of them wing off into the night. Rainbow watches them go, slack-jawed, tears streaming down her face.

Rumble manages to get the two of them to Fluttershy’s home, who immediately whips out her medical bag. She gives Rumble a powerful painkiller, then helps stitch up his injury.

And I helped.

No, you didn’t.

Must you rain on my parade, Princess? This is one of my only roles in the story so far.

Which is fine, because it’s not your story.

But--

Anyways. Scootaloo and Rumble have a conversation while Rumble’s still under the influence of the medicine. The two of them confess their feelings for each other--though that might be because Scootaloo knows that Rumble won’t remember any of it in the morning.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

No no no! This is still my part!

But you said I could get all the bits with all the death and desctruction—!

Yes, I did. But I’m actually in this part, so I get dibs.

But--

Are you really going to argue with a pregnant Alicorn, Discord?

You’re playing that card entirely too much, Your Highness.

Talk to me in five months.

But, yes. As Discord mentioned, things get a little… hairy. Rainbow, angry at Soarin’, angry at Rumble, angry at Scootaloo, and most of all, angry at herself, has decided to take her feelings out on her home. I walked in right as she started smashing up her dining room set, and let me tell you--it was quite the mess.

You see, Rainbow wasn’t alone in her efforts with Scootaloo--and never had been. I had been helping her plan activities, off-and-on, to try and bring the two of them together. Rainbow had asked for my help with that night especially, and I came by to see how things had gone. I showed up right as she started smashing her dining chairs, which sure answered that question.

I managed to calm Rainbow down a little and reassure her that everything was going to be alright, then put her to bed. I couldn’t stay much longer, but, before I left, I cleaned up her living room as much as I could. I even wrote a nice letter of encouragement and left it on the end-table for her.

You know she still hasn’t read that letter, right?

Oh, har har, Discord, I know she did.

Nuh-uh, Your Highness. She actually stuffed it into the cushions of her armchair during the argument the next morning, and it’s stayed there ever since.

What?!

I know. So ungrateful.

And I worked so hard on that letter...

Ah well. Perhaps she’ll manage to find it right when she’s at her lowest, and it’ll give her just the push she needs to change her life for the better...

I’ll have to talk to her about it.

You do that.

Morning comes, as Celestia insists it must, and Rainbow wakes to find that all her friends have assembled in her living room. Fluttershy spread the word that an injured Rumble showed up at her house the night before, and now everyone has come together to have The Talk with Rainbow. Bonus: Scootaloo and Rumble never got the opportunity to tell Fluttershy exactly what happened, so everyone thinks Rainbow, not Soarin’, attacked Rumble. What a delightful misunderstanding!

Initially, everyone jumps on Rainbow all at once, leaving her no opportunity to defend herself. However, when Rainbow gets the floor, she is able to explain herself. She tells them what actually happened the night before, but, more importantly, tells them just how much being able to adopt Scootaloo would mean to her. After hearing her explanation, all her friends resolve to do their best to help her--or, at the very least, to get out of her way.

Meanwhile, across town, Miss Cheerilee is having a difficult conversation with Thunderlane. Cheerilee informs good ol’ Tee-Dawg about what’s been going on with Rumble, especially his increasingly violent outbursts, and asks Thunderlane to do something about it. Thunderlane responds by tracking Rumble down to the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ clubhouse, where he’s been spending some time with the little tykes. Thunderlane drags Rumble home, but not before telling Scootaloo to leave his brother alone.

Nicely, of course.

That is a subject of some debate. But no, he didn’t twist the knife as much as he could have. At least, not with Scootaloo.

When they get back home, Thunderlane finally explains why the two of them are in Ponyville. When he was a teenager, it seems, Thundey gave his heart to a filly who didn’t deserve it. She abused that trust, and managed to convince Thunderlane and another teen to fight for her favor. Thunderlane won, but found that he was no longer welcome, neither in Cloudsdale in general nor his home in particular. He fled to Ponyville, where he ended up working for Rainbow Dash. A short time later, it became clear that Rumble was having anger problems of his own, though his were because he was being bullied at school. Thunderlane volunteered to bring him to Ponyville where he could get a fresh start. So far, the two of them seemed to be getting along pretty well, but Thunderlane has started to notice Rumble going down the same path that he himself did. Thunderlane begs him to straighten up, and Rumble, shaken, promises he will.

The next weekend, Scootaloo attends Button Mash’s birthday party, and brings Sweetie Belle along as her plus-one. Button and Sweetie hit it off in adorably awkward fashion, but Rumble makes himself scarce. Scootaloo finally finds him on the front porch, watching the snow falling over all of Ponyville. They two of them confess that they’ve both been asked to stay away from each other, but neither especially cares.

The next morning finds Rainbow and Scootaloo on the slopes of Galloping Gorge Ski Resort. It was Scootaloo’s turn to choose this week’s outing, and she was oddly insistent that they go snowboarding, of all things. Rainbow is eager to spend some time with Scootaloo, but Scootaloo doesn’t appear to share that sentiment.

Rainbow and Scootaloo finally catch up at the top of one of the ski slopes. They get into an argument that culminates in Rainbow making a grab at Scootaloo’s scarf, just as a gust of wind rips across the slope. The scarf flies up and away into the ether, never to be seen again--and Scootaloo rounds on Rainbow in a fury. Turns out that the scarf was knit by Mrs. Harbour, and remains one of Scootaloo’s only relics of that time. And now, because of Rainbow, that one, precious scarf is gone.

As Scootaloo screams at her, Rainbow has a sudden epiphany: Scootaloo isn’t who she thought she was. Rainbow has been thinking of her as an adorable little plaything that just needs time to get over her hangups before Rainbow can bring her back home. However, she realizes that Scootaloo is her own pony, full of hatred and anger, who would be perfectly happy to never see her again, genetics be damned.

Scootaloo storms off, and Rainbow watches her go, suddenly uncertain.

After the ski resort closes that night, the staff discover Scootaloo, all on her own, lurking in the ski lodge. As they talk to her, they discover that Rainbow Dash has been missing for almost ten hours. They scramble the search-and-rescue team, and, after a harrowing search, manage to find her, frozen almost solid, out in the woods. In her arms, she is clutching a small strip of cloth: a cloth that turns out to be Scootaloo’s missing scarf. Scootaloo, cold, frightened, and alone, hugs her mother even as the medics attempt to revive her.

Rainbow makes it through--thank goodness--though it’s definitely touch-and-go for a while. The doctors inform everyone that Rainbow will need someone to live with her for a while to make sure she’s taken care of, and Fluttershy volunteers to help--as does Scootaloo, who has not left her side since they found her.

That night, Scootaloo drops by Rumble’s place. Thunderlane tries to turn her away, but it turns out that his parents are visiting, and they overrule him and invite her in. Her parents end up adoring Scootaloo, and get to know her over dinner. Afterwards, Thunderlane’s folks give him a stern talking-to: though his heart was in the right place, it was wrong of him to meddle by asking Scootaloo to stay away from Rumble.

Even so, poor Scootaloo is still in a vulnerable place. The next morning, with emotions running high, she and Applebloom have a fight of their own, and they stop seeing each other. Additionally, the stress of recent events, coupled with Scootaloo’s anxiety over her impending move-in with Rainbow, makes her long for home--her foster home, with Mrs. Harbour and the other foals.

Good thing, too, because--

No spoilers, now.

Rumble helps Scootaloo move in with Rainbow, and the two of them bake a pie to help her feel better.

Not knowing that Rainbow can’t stand pies, by all reports.

Still a sweet gesture, though. The problem is, Applejack is there too, helping move furniture around and things, and it becomes clear to everyone that Applejack is still holding a grudge over what Rumble said about her mother. Twilight finally loses her patience and drags her back to the Castle of Friendship, then tears into her, to no avail.

But Twilight isn’t the only one to lose patience with Applejack. Apple Bloom, too, is starting to hate her. She’s blaming her for the wedge that’s been driven between herself and her friends--including the fact that she’s the only one of the Crusaders not invited to Diamond Tiara’s fancy birthday party.

Over dinner, Apple Bloom snaps, finally giving Applejack the what-for she deserves. Granny Smith helps calm everyone down, but still tells Applejack that she’s being, shall we say, uncharitable. Applejack finally apologizes to Apple Bloom, and commits to put the incident with Rumble behind her.

The next morning, Scootaloo and Rumble wake up on the couch, in each others’ arms.

Oh? Did they—?

Discord, they’re ten.

So…?

...no, Discord. No they didn’t. Have Fluttershy explain it to you.

Anyways. The two little ones make a beautiful little breakfast for Rainbow, who is too sedated to really enjoy it. After they clean up, they open up some mail that Fluttershy brought up for them, and discover that the two of them have both been invited to Diamond Tiara’s birthday.

Rumble flies off to town, and runs into Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom apologizes for her bad behavior, though Rumble finds himself reluctant to accept her apology. Nevertheless, he flies back up to Rainbow’s house to get Scootaloo, and she and Apple Bloom make up.

The two pegasi return back to Rainbow’s house, where Scootaloo finds her mother waiting for them in bed. Rainbow admits that she was worried when she found that Scootaloo had left--an admission that stirs Scootaloo’s heart.

The next day is the day of Diamond Tiara’s party. Rarity would be absolutely mortified to send her sister and her companions to such a party in anything less than the best, so she whips up fancy duds for Sweetie, Scootaloo, and their dates--Button Mash and Rumble, respectively. Scootaloo is the last to get her fitting, but, for some reason, Rarity is oddly nervous around her. Nevertheless, all four of them have a wonderful night. The snacks at the party were top-notch, for one. Oh, and Rumble and Scootaloo had their first real dance, as well. No biggie.

Scootaloo, exhausted after the party, spends the night at Rarity’s. The next morning, Rarity hesitantly approaches her and makes a confession: one of Scootaloo’s misplaced letters arrived the day before. Rarity didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to trouble Scootaloo on the day of her party, but nevertheless feels guilty--especially since the letter is from Mrs. Harbour, the first such letter she’s received since she went away.

In the letter, Mrs. Harbour tells Scootaloo how much their time together meant, and tells her how much she misses her. She also tells her that she’s not entirely happy living in her retirement home in Manehattan. The letter makes Scootaloo realize all over again how much she misses her foster mother, and very nearly breaks down crying. However, Rarity gives Scootaloo a gift to apologize: three train tickets to Manehattan, plus a reservation in a posh hotel. She is sending her to go see Mrs. Harbour.

Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Rumble take the train to Manehattan together, along with Button Mash, who is headed out there for a comic convention of some kind. When they arrive, Button Mash insists he knows a great pasta place, and manages to get the four of them completely lost. However, they happen to run into Babs Seed, who sets them straight, then takes them out for dinner. Button, despondent, refuses to leave their hotel room, but Rumble brings him back some dinner anyways.

After a fitful nights’ sleep, the girls head out to see Mrs. Harbour, while the two colts head out to their convention. Scootaloo is initially overjoyed to see Mrs. Harbour again, but it soon becomes clear that she’s not the pony she remembers. She doesn’t have the energy or strength to play with Scootaloo like she once did, and instead occupies her days with bland foods and sedate games of bingo.

Meanwhile, Rumble and Button enter a video game tournament at their convention, and, despite barely touching the game before, they do surprisingly well. They make it to the semi-finals, where, to Rumble’s surprise, they go head-to-head against his foalhood bullies! Seeing them brings back bad memories, but Rumble still manages to beat them to a pulp! They don’t actually take home the trophy in the end, but Rumble still comes away with a victory.

The next morning, Rumble joins Scootaloo as they go back to see Mrs. Harbour. This time around, Scootaloo starts to notice that the Home isn’t all bad. Mrs. Harbour actually really enjoys her time there, and has made friends with some fascinating ponies. But, before they go, Mrs. Harbour has one last talk with Scootaloo.

It's obvious to Mrs. Harbour what Scootaloo wants. She wants everything to go back to exactly the way it was. Mrs. Harbour explains to her, very gently, that going back is no longer possible. Mrs. Harbour has grown older, but more importantly, so has Scootaloo. She's grown and become a young mare now--a young mare who helps ponies figure out what destiny has in store for them. Now, Mrs. Harbour says, it's time for Scootaloo to follow her own advice: to stop pining over the mother she lost, and to help the mother she already has to figure herself out. Scootaloo at first seems reluctant, but she takes Mrs. Harbour's advice to heart. The two of them tearfuly part ways, perhaps for the last time, and Scootaloo and her friends return to Ponyville.

Meanwhile, Scootaloo's mother has been making quite the recovery. Rainbow Dash has been staying with Fluttershy while Scootaloo is out of town, and has gotten strong enough to fly again. She drops in on the Wonderbolts, and Spitfire lets her jump right back into her old position, no questions asked. Rainbow is thrilled, of course--but I’m sure that we can think of at least one pony who won’t be so excited that she’s going to be spending more time with the ‘Bolts.

Yes. Well, that’s something they’re going to have to work out.

The little ones all make it back safely from Manehattan, then head over to Sweet Apple Acres. There, they apologize to Apple Bloom for excluding her from some of their activities lately, then help her make a large chunk of the several dozen pies that the Apples need for an upcoming market day. While there, Applejack appears and finally, finally buries the hatchet with Rumble. It’s clear that she’s still not on good terms, but at the very least, she’s willing to let bygones be bygones.

The next morning, Rainbow drops Scootaloo off at school, then goes to Cloudsdale for her Wonderbolts duties. While she’s there, Captain Spitfire invites herself over that night for dinner, offering to cook up one of her specialty dishes. Scootaloo invites Rumble over as well, and the two of them work on homework while Spitfire cooks. Over dinner, Spitfire spills the beans that Rainbow is going to re-join the Wonderbolts, and Scootaloo storms off to her bedroom. She and Rainbow have a talk, and Rainbow promises--cross her heart, hope to fly, all that nonsense--that she will do better. Scootaloo finally concedes that is about all she can ask for. Meanwhile, Spitfire encourages Rumble to join the advanced flight school for youngsters, offering to put in a good word for him. Rumble wastes no time in accepting the offer.

A short while later, the Crusaders, along with Button Mash, decide to help Rumble get his Cutie Mark. Learning that he likes to fly, they try to get him to do some complicated stunts, though they have no apparent effect. Then, knowing that he likes cooking, they head to Zecora’s hut to try some potion-making. Unfortunately, they run across a couple Timberwolves, but, with a combination of Rumble’s flight and Sweetie Belle’s magic, they manage to escape. When they finally arrive at Zecora’s, she gives them a recipe for a simple potion to make, but leaves them unsupervised.

Which even I can tell you is a bad idea.

Things go predictably, but deliciously, wrong: Button Mash takes a swig of the potion and grows a temporary set of wings, which he finds impossible to control. Scootaloo then takes a drink and grows, not a functioning set of wings, but a horn. Her Temporary Highness ends up blasting holes in poor Zecora’s house, setting the thing on fire. The four of them beat a hasty retreat, and make it back to Ponyville relatively unscathed. The two Crusaders are eager to continue with their list of activities, but Rumble, suddenly angry, declares he doesn’t want his Cutie Mark, and storms off.

And that’s where we last left you, folks: Rainbow and her foal living under the same roof, most major subplots resolved, and very little stopping us from wrapping this thing up. It’s all over, bar the kicking, as we say.

Not quite. We still have a little ways to go--in particular, Scootaloo has to learn to trust Rainbow still. But yes: as Discord said, we are on the down-slope, at least. I just hope that they’ll start working together, instead of pushing each other away all the time.

A beautiful sentiment, Princess Preggo, but I am, shall we say, curbing my enthusiasm. We wish them the best, but only time will tell.

Things are going to work out well for them. I just know they will!

Yes, but they don’t know that.

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Comments ( 2 )

Excellent recap. I loved how it was told. With Discord's snide remarks and pessimism and Cadence's blunt honesty and optimism; it keeps reality in check, even while breaking the fourth wall.

Can't wait for more!

Also dear god, that chapter title lol

Same sentiment as 10327124. Good recap, and Discord and Cadance's banter/commentary was definitely a good way to go about it. Looking forward to the next installment!

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