• 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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4. Disconnect

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle grinned widely as Scootaloo reentered the room. As they ambushed her with hugs and earnest questions, Rainbow slunk to where Fluttershy sat, and took her place beside her, feeling the weight of the glares of everyone else in the room.

Why are they still mad at me? Rainbow Dash thought to herself as she watched Scootaloo open the bag she had brought with. I mean, I’m here, aren’t I?

With a squeal of joy, Scootaloo whipped out three brand-new, hoof-sewn capes, each with their owner’s cutie mark embroidered onto it. They were a slightly darker shade of maroon than their previous ones, in a shade that contrasted nicely with their cutie marks.

“Neat-o!” Apple Bloom cried with glee, taking her own. “Where’d ya get these?”

“My, these are just wonderful!” Rarity cooed over Sweetie Belle’s, “The detail, and the material…” She looked up at Scootaloo. “You simply must tell me, darling--who does your work?”

Scootaloo blushed a bit at the attention. “Mrs. Harbour sews blankets and stuff for the other foals. I asked if she could make some, and she did.”

“Well, ain’t that awful nice of her.” Applejack smiled. “Yer old ones were gettin’ kinda torn up anyway.”

As much as Rainbow Dash would like to enjoy this little scene, she couldn’t. She was used to Scootaloo fawning all over her, not some dumb fabric. She sighed. Seems she still hadn’t been forgiven for missing her cutecinera--much less her late appearance today.

“Well, I hate to run girls,” Rarity suddenly said, “But I do have a bit of work to finish at the boutique.” She put an arm around Sweetie Belle. “So, as much as we’d like to stay, we really must get going.”

Sweetie Belle looked up at her and frowned. “What about me?” she asked.

“I’m afraid it’s a school night, dear.” Rarity frowned, “Mother and Father will want you home no later than eight.”

“But that’s like, four hours, sis!” Sweetie whined. “Can’t I stay with them just a little longer? Please?”

Applejack sighed. “Well, we oughta get a mosey on, too.” Applejack added. “I promised Big Mac I’d help him fix them tree spreaders so we could put ‘em up tomorrow, and that’ll take a couple more hours, at least.”

Apple Bloom looked up at Applejack, her wide, puppy-dog eyes beginning to fill with genuine tears.

Rarity looked between Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, then trotted over to Applejack. The two held an urgent, whispered conference, then nodded and stepped apart. Scootaloo watched them with eager eyes.

“I suppose you girls can stay at the boutique for a few hours.” Rarity announced, “As long as that’s fine with you, Scootaloo.”

“Of course it is!” Scootaloo beamed. The two other fillies glowed as well.

“Let’s get going, then,” Rarity said with a smile. She turned and walked out the door, and the three crusaders followed along like baby ducks after their mother.

Scootaloo was the last in line. Before she passed through the door, she turned back to the mares watching her. “Thanks for the party, Twilight; everyone.” She smiled brightly. “I had a lot of fun today.”

Twilight smiled too; she couldn’t help it. Scootaloo’s grin was infectious. “Not a problem, Scootaloo,” she said.

“See ya tomorrow, Scoots.” Applejack waved after them, “Be back ‘fore yer bedtime, Bloom.”

Finally, the fillies were gone. Twilight and Spike began the slow task of cleaning the remaining litter and debris.

Fluttershy helped--sort of. She kicked awkwardly at some of the fallen decorations, then picked one up in her teeth, but quickly dropped it again.

“Fluttershy?” Spike’s voice made her jump. “You alright?”

“You were awfully quiet today.” Twilight added, “Quieter than usual.”

Fluttershy gaze flicked over to Rainbow Dash, and she seemed to shrink a little. “I-I’m fine,” she said in a nervous squeak. “There’s just been some things on my mind, that’s all.”

Rainbow scoffed. “Nice to see you’re concerned about her,” she spat, sitting on her haunches and glaring daggers at Twilight.

“Last time I checked,” Twilight growled, “Fluttershy didn’t break a certain filly’s heart last night.” She turned back to her sweeping. “If I were you, Rainbow, I wouldn’t be whining about being neglected.”

Rainbow scoffed. “This is seriously happening right now?” she said, sitting up straighter. “We’re seriously doing this? I can understand her being mad at me,” she said, waving out the door at the vanished Scootaloo, “but what the hay is up with you girls? How many times do I have to apologize before you all lay off me with the dirty looks?”

Twilight’s expression darkened. Spike looked up at her, then dropped his broom and slowly backed away, claws held up defensively.

“You just don’t get it, do you?” Twilight hissed, advancing on Rainbow.

Rainbow crossed her arms. “I get that I hurt her feelings,” she snapped. “After all, she was the one that got hurt. But she isn’t nearly as mad at me as you all are!”

Twilight snorted. “You actually think she’s fine?” she hissed. “You think she’s okay?”

Rainbow slumped the slightest bit. “She seems perfectly fine,” she said. “After all, she got a brand new scooter and stuff. ”

“Right, she did,” Twilight answered. “From us, not you.”

Rainbow looked up at her. “What are you—?”

“You got her nothing,” Twilight spat. “The cutecenera--well, I guess you have an excuse--not a good one, but an excuse--but today?” she snarled. “You knew it was her birthday! Fluttershy told you!”

Rainbow’s gaze flicked to Fluttershy, “Y-yeah, but--”

“You were already in hot water about missing the cutecenera,” Twilight continued, “but instead of taking the five whole minutes out of your schedule to try to at least pretend to care about her, you just roll out of bed and show up.” She glared at Rainbow. “ And expect that to be enough?”

For a long, tense moment, they simply stared at each other--Twilight, full of righteous fury, and Rainbow simmering rage and hurt. Finally, Twilight took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

Finally, Twilight scoffed. “Element of Loyalty, my ass,” she spat. “Celestia forbid you ever breed--I’d hate to see the damage you would do as a mother.”

The color drained from Rainbow’s face as Fluttershy clapped her hooves over her mouth. Fluttershy glanced, horrified, between the two of them: Twilight, her back to Rainbow, sweeping again, and Rainbow, slowly climbing to her hooves, thunder and fire in her eyes.

“You take that back,” she growled. Twilight turned and looked over her shoulder, but did not speak. Rainbow snarled, then, with a flare of her wings, shot forward and hovered, inches, from Twilight’s face. “Take that back!” she screamed.

Twilight stared, then took a cautious step backwards, holding the broom protectively across her body, as her horn began to glow brighter--and then, she saw the tears streaming down Rainbow’s face.

“You take that back,” Rainbow whimpered. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I could be a good mama. I could…

Scootaloo rode her scooter all the way to Carousel Boutique. She grinned as she passed her friends, just trotting slowly along, then whipped her ride around and circled them a few times, before scooting off, looking for something to jump off of. Rarity rolled her eyes and smiled.

All three Crusaders were eagerly wearing their brand-new capes. As much as she hated to admit it, it was good work; she could tell, even without a close inspection, that some of the stitches were a little crooked, and one or two of them even skipped entirely, but there was a sort of motherly sort of love in every thread. And, though the professional in her recoiled at the thought of sending something less-than-perfect out the door, she smiled as she watched the three of them as they strutted through town, showing them off--that sort of care did count for something, after all.

Rarity listened with half an ear as the three little fillies talked. Seeing her friends in close discussion, Scootaloo had pulled up alongside them, and now kicked idly along, chatting eagerly about what pizza they should get, about what their respective sisters were working on, and what they hoped to do tomorrow.

“I can’t wait to show this to everypony at school!” Scootaloo said excitedly.

“I bet you can’t wait to show it to your coltfriend!” Sweetie Belle,said, and both she and Applebloom laughed. Rarity looked back over her shoulder, and saw Scootaloo, her head down, and blushing furiously.

“W--what?” Scootaloo was mortified. “I--He’s not-”

Rarity frowned slightly. “Scootaloo, what’s this about a coltfriend?” She grinned wickedly. “You’re not dating someone, are you? At your age--oh, the scandal—”

Scootaloo shook her head vigorously. “N--No! We’re just… friends, yeah! Friends.”

Rarity smiled. “Oh, Scootaloo,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with a crush. It happens to all of us as some point or another.”

Sweetie Belle grinned wickedly. “Yeah,” she said, “you should ask her about Trenderhoof sometime.”

Well.” Rairty snorted, then turned back to face forwards. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle giggled.

Scootaloo’s response was hardly a mumble. “I don’t like him like that,” she muttered. She kicked savagely at the ground and sped past Rarity her head still down and her cheeks still red, and shot forward.

The other three walked in silence for a moment.

“Don’t mean to pry,” Rarity said suddenly, “but I have to know: who is it?”

Apple Bloom rolled her eyes. “Rumble,” she said.

Rarity thought for a moment in silence. “Oh!” she said. “Rumble--Thunderlane’s brother, right? Isn’t he cute?”

“Sorta,” Apple Bloom admitted. “If you like pegasuses.”

They rounded the corner, and saw Scootaloo skating in slow circles around the boutique. As she came around for another pass, she glowered at Rarity, who giggled a little.

“Perhaps we should change the subject, girls,” she said over her shoulder.

Sweetie Belle perked up her ears. “As I was saying,” she said, a little too loudly, “you should start selling capes like these! They’re nice, and comfortable, and—”

“That’s enough, dear,” she said with a small, ladylike wince.

As Rarity moved to unlock the front door, Scootaloo skidded to a halt, then folded up her new scooter, and joined the other girls on the porch. Rarity swung the door wide, and the three of them scampered up the stairs, Scootaloo holding her scooter in her teeth.

“I’m going to be working, girls!” she called after them. “Please, try and keep the volume to a respectable level!”

“We will!” came the faint reply. “Come on, girls, let’s go play with our presents!”

As Rarity climbed the stairs to her workroom, she rolled her eyes. She could only imagine the disaster that would be waiting up in the guest room tomorrow morning. Ah well, she thought, as she opened the door, it seemed Scootaloo had a good time--especially after their collective fumbling of her cutecinera. She listened carefully to the happy voiced through the ceiling above her, then sat down at her sewing machine.

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