• Published 10th Jun 2012
  • 5,610 Views, 121 Comments

Perihelion - InTheStands



Twilight can't help but recognize her new crush from somewhere.

  • ...
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Chapter 6

It was the day after Shining Armor's plan was set in motion. Almost all of Ponyville was gathered in the provided bleachers, curious as to how today's events would pan out. Ponyville has had Sisterhooves Socials since its founding. But this was the first ever race allowing both sisters and brothers to compete.

For some ponies the change was easy; Many have either competed in the earlier socials as sisters. But then there were those with a brother AND sister, like Applebloom.

"Okay..." The tiny yellow filly with the red bow in her mane shook her head. "How's this gonna work again?"

"Simple as this," Applejack began, "Me and your brother take turns competing with you. Look here: I finish the first half with you, and Big Mac finishes the second. Or maybe the other way around. You get to choose."

"You mean I gotta pick who I finish the race with?" Applebloom grew nervous. "Ain't that picking favorites?"

"Neither of us is gonna hold it against you, sugarcube," Applejack nuzzled her younger sister.

Two stallions sat at one of the numerous food stands propped up for the social. One finished his piece of pie before he turned to the other. "Both of them are yours, huh?"

"Eeeyup," The second one nodded, chewing on the wheat sprig in his mouth.

"I told you Twilight Sparkle was my sister, right?"

"Eeeyup."

"Is that, uh...all you say?"

"Eeenope."

"...Uh-huh."

Shining Armor and Big Macintosh were silent as they looked around at the various games and activities for ponies and their siblings. All of a sudden, Big Mac began talking. And in full sentences, to Shining's surprise. "I always play with Applebloom. But I never thought I'd be doing this with her. It's been sisters only ever since Ponyville got started."

"Well, enough ponies argued, and some ponies listened. How do you think I feel? My wedding was the first time I saw my sister in years, let alone getting the chance to play with her like old times."

"Speaking of which," Mac looked to the white unicorn. "I don't think I ever thanked you for choosing Sweet Apple Acre goods for your wedding. Applejack wouldn't stop talking about it for a week. And that ain't counting how happy Applebloom was for being a flower-filly."

Shining smiled at this compliment. "Talk to Cadance. She loved your food more than anyone else there."

Big Mac simply nodded, his lips curling into a smile.

"Shining!" Twilight called as she ran up to them. "There you are! Come on, the race is going to start!"

"I'll see if we can talk later!" Shining called back to Big Mac as he followed her sister.

The large red stallion, as usual, responded with a deep "Eeeyup," before hearing his name being called by his two sisters.

The course was much larger than usual, mostly due to the sheer number of contestants. Several ponies were standing in the middle of the course, waiting to take their turns racing with their siblings. Twilight, looking over, couldn't help but giggle as she saw what Rarity had on: A white, clear, form-fitting suit. Sweetie Belle could only sigh, knowing full well the lenghts her older sister would take to avoid as much mud as possible.

Up above the bleachers, Cadance and Spike waved at Twilight and Shining, who waved back. Immediately after this, the mayor of Ponyville, along with the elderly matriarch of the Apple family, Granny Smith, took the stage near the starting line.

"Fillies and Gentlecolts!" The Mayor declared. "It is with great honor that I announce the beginning of the soon-to-be-annual Annual Siblinghooves Social! Everypony please approach the starting line!" The ponies who weren't already at their positions did so immediately. "And now, in keeping with Sisterhooves Social tradition, our very own Granny Smith shall begin the count...down."

The mayor turned around and saw Granny Smith fast asleep in her chair. Chuckling sheepishly, she turned back to her audience. "On second thought, I'll count down. THREE..."

Shining and Twilight looked at each other, narrowing their eyes and smiling.

"TWO..."

Applejack and Applebloom stared into the distance, focused on getting to Big Macintosh.

"ONE..."

Rarity made sure every strand of her mane wasn't being pinched by her protective suit.

"GO!!"

The line of ponies dashed forward, breaking apart as some ran faster than others. The mud pit was first, and arguably the easiest obstacle in the course; Everypony was able to clear the hurdle and race onward.

Now came the challenge of racing through the baskets. Shining, being a Royal Guard, did this no problem, with Twilight close behind him. A few of the others, though, had no such luck.

The same went for the 'challenge' of jumping over the boxes. Shining only had to let Twilight jump off of his back before making the jump himself, which several others did as well.

Their progress slowed, however, when it came to the pies. The brother-sister duo reached the bottom of their tin plates only to realize that Applejack and Applebloom had long gone, up to the hay-bales.

As soon as Applejack handed Applebloom over to Big Mac, as some of the other siblings did at the halfway point, Shining and Twilight were able to shove their hay bale with ease before running the corner and reaching the grape-squeezing challenge.

Working as one, they flung the grapes into their basket before jumping in and working in unison to squeeze out the juices. For the Apples, it was only Big Mac in the basket as Applebloom collected the grape juice. They were now neck and neck.

Flinging the apples and catching them in the basket was no problem (Twilight easily pinpointed how the apples would fly once Shining stomped on the seesaw). Balancing the eggs, on the other hoof, proved to be difficult if one lacked the poise and paitience needed. Nonetheless, the Sparkles and the Apples were still tied. And there was only one obstacle left.

Wincing against the wind as they ran, they tried desperately to beat Big Mac and Applebloom to the finish line. One hurdle followed by another, then another, but still they were equalized.

Then it was over. They shut their eyes as they jumped and slammed against the ground, sliding. They opened their eyes, hoping to see their blue ribbon.

They instead saw the large red stallion and his tiny sister, standing before a cheering crowd. On Big Mac's chest was the prize ribbon.

Shining could do nothing but let out a large sigh in exhaustion and anger. "We had it, Twily."

Twilight caught her breath before speaking. "Second place isn't any way bad. Besides...This is my first time doing any activity with my B.B.B.F.F. in years. I think that's enough of a reward."

Shining smiled, pulling his sister into a hug. They were suddenly pulled up and presented an orange ribbon with the number two printed in gold on it. Shining walked up to Big Mac and outstretched his foreleg, leading the red earth pony to take it in a hoofshake. "It's a shame we don't have more ponies like you in the guard. You would have been competing for my title by now with athletics like that."

"Eeeyup."

"Unbelievable," Rarity moaned, looking at every inch of herself as she crossed the finish line (but only after several other siblings crossed). "Every precaution I can take...and I STILL get dirty!"

"That's what happens when you're outside," Sweetie Belle rolled her eyes. "But it was worth it, right?"

"Risking my hygiene, my appearance, and possibly my sanity in competing with my sister?" Rarity asked, before patting Sweetie on the head, drawing a smile from the filly. "Yes, I suppose in the long run, it is."

They suddenly heard a loud boom, followed by the unmistakable laughter of Pinkie Pie. That was when they noticed the cards falling from the sky.

"What was that?!" Shining asked, referring to the explosion.

Twilight sighed. "Pinkie's Party Cannon."

"She has a cannon?!? HER?!"

"The less you know, the better," Twilight dismissed his question, instead focusing on the letters that now were on the ground. She opened one up to reveal an invitation to a party celebrating the first-place winners of the Siblinghooves Social. "I'll be right back," Twilight told Shining before taking off. Pinkie was easy to find, leading most (if not all) of the crowd as she pushed her cannon along in front of her.

"Hi Twilight!" Pinkie waved. "You got my invitation?"

"Sure did," Twilight flatly responded. "But I'm more concered with the invitations you were told NOT to send out."

"You can check them all! I don't know why you'd do that, then again, you love reading! But nope. Not one of them is addressed to Com-"

"AHEM!" Twilight cleared her throat. Pinkie shrinked back.

"Oops. I mean, He Who Shall Not Be Remembered. We agreed on 'shall' didn't we?"

"M-hm. Alright, just making sure." Twilight walked off, leaving Pinkie to her thoughts.

"I hope Shining Armor did what he was supposed to. I wonder when he'll get invited. Ooh, I wonder HOW he'll get invited?" She kept on muttering to herself even as she reached the barn in Sweet Apple Acres and pulled the string on her Party Cannon once more, aiming for the ceiling.

ยงยงยง

"Okay," Shining blew as he exhaled. "THAT was some party."

"Eh," Twilight shrugged. "It wasn't her best work, but still."

Cadance did a double take. "Not her best work? She sprayed streamers and balloons everywhere! With a CANNON!"

"She did the same thing at my birthday party last year."

The unicorn and alicorn looked to Spike, who began to nod. "Yeah, it's true."

The four continued to talk as they reached Twilight's home. Opening the door, they were welcomed to darkness, forcing Twilight to find the light switch. But when she did...

"SURPRISE!!!"

The quartet screamed as they saw the crowd of ponies and decorations around them. And bouncing toward them was none other than Pinkie Pie.

"Did we get you? Huh? Huh?!"

"But...we...party..." Twilight stammered, eventually coming to her senses. "But we just HAD a party!"

"Well, yeah!" Pinkie furrowed her brow. "But that was the 'Congratulations for First Place' Party. THIS is the 'Congratulations for Second Place' Party! And after that is the Third Place Party over at Rarity's..."

Shining's mouth hung open. "But how did you set this up when we JUST finished the first one?"

"It's Pinkie," Twilight and Spike answered before going off to enjoy the party with their friends. Cadance and Shining pulled Pinkie aside and began whispering to her. Pinkie merely responded by pointing into the crowd. The married couple looked, widened their eyes, and watched, hoping for the best.

"...And that's what happened!" Rainbow Dash laughed out.

Twilight nodded. "So she snuck out of the first party to set up the second party?"

"And it's expected she'll keep doing it until everypony is accounted for," Rarity answered.

Fluttershy then grew uncomfortable. "But what about the ponies who didn't win anything?"

"That's for the 'Congratulations on Competing' Party," Dash dismissed the question, satisfying her friend's thoughts.

Twilight turned around. "I'll be right back. I want to see about getting more-" She let out a loud gasp as soon as she faced the direction she was walking in, forcing her six friends to look. All of them were in shock as soon as they saw who it was.

Comet Tail.

"Uh...hi," The stallion could only say.

Twilight began to mutter under her breath before her face contorted in anger. She drew in a breath of air before screaming at the top of her lungs:

"PINKIIIIIIE!"

With that, the crowd parted in half as the ponies moved back, revealing the pink party planner. Her cottony mane immediately deflated to a flat, straight parody of itself.

"Uh-oh," was all Pinkie could say.

Next: Twilight discovers how Comet Tail got into the party. She also discovers a way to see if he truly wants to aplogize.