• Published 12th Mar 2013
  • 3,354 Views, 216 Comments

This is Cloudsdale! - deathtap



While doing a census of ponies in Ponyville, Twilight discovers something peculiar about pegasi. Ever the curious one, she decides to investigate and get to the bottom of it. Will what she learns change the way she views her friends? Probably not.

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Questions

The girls were all waiting for Twilight when she approached The Stable. It had taken her a little longer to get ready for the night out because she had wanted to look her very best, but her magical mane-dryer wasn't working right and she had to spend another hour getting her tail and mane just right. The dress she picked out was simple, but according to Applejack it really brought out the color in her eyes. She liked it when ponies noticed her, especially the stallions whose heads all turned when the Element of Magic entered -- much to the annoyances of many a marefriend.

"Twilight! Over here, darling!" Rarity called out.

"Hi, girls!" she called back with a bright smile on her face.

The rest of them responded in kind, all save Rainbow who was sitting on the far opposite side of the round table from where Twilight had taken a seat. The ambiance in the cafe was a lot louder than she was accustomed to, but then again this was a place known for its music, drinks and less about its food. A place to 'chill out and relax', was what Rarity had said. Still, Twilight could not help but feel a little annoyed at her cyan colored friend. It was clear that Rainbow was trying hard not to look in her general direction. It was a shamefully obvious attempt at ignoring her and the lavender unicorn felt a little bit hurt by it, even though she knew that deep down Rainbow was not being malicious.

However, she had a job to do.

"Rainbow! I need you to take the census! You need to set an example as an Element! I need you to answer some questions for me!" Twilight shouted over the music.

Rainbow touched her ear and shook her head, the universal sign for 'I can't hear you'. Before Twilight could repeat herself, the pegasus turned towards Pinkie and the two of them began talking loudly and animatedly making it impossible for Twilight to get in a word edgewise. Twilight growled a little under her breath, but didn't push it. After all, this was the time for fun and to hang out with friends, she would get to talk to Rainbow later.

Or so she thought.

The girls were having so much fun that they had stayed practically the entire day. They only left when it was closing time, their numerous parties hosted by Pinkie had acclimatized them to late night extravaganzas because the Element of Laughter threw the best parties. Period.

Twilight rubbed her ears after the music had been turned off. Although they were ringing, she was giddy and happy. She almost didn't want the night to end. Almost. The thought of the census due so soon put a dampener in her mood and she regretfully informed her friends that she had to go home and rest.

Her friends understood and agreed that it was late and time to retire (except Pinkie, of course), but their concern quickly turned to Rainbow, who had downed enough cider to satisfy every mare pony in the quaint cafe. She was utterly and completely gone and on the verge of passing out on the table. Her speech was slurred, her body language was careless and most of all she had started singing old songs from her time in school.

"Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here we come zooming to make the thunder..."

"Yes, yes, Rainbow, we know," Rarity said, placing a delicate hoof on Rainbow's shoulder and helping her move towards the exit.

There was no way she could make it back home without endangering herself. Flying in that state would have been stupid, and friends don't let friends fly drunk, and it was agreed that Twilight ought to take her home and let her crash on the sofa. Mainly because the library was the closest place and it was also the direction where three of the five conscious mares needed to go. Pinkie, Rarity and Twilight said bye to Applejack and Fluttershy and took turns carrying Rainbow.

By the time morning came, Twilight half expected the Rainbow mare to be long gone. Instead she was pleasantly surprise when she spotted her best friend sitting at the kitchen table nursing a glass of water while Spike put a plate of buttered toast in front of her.

"Morning, Twilight," the dragon said and walked back to the kitchen counter to make Twilight's breakfast.

Rainbow looked up at her friend and gave Twilight a weak smile, "Some night, huh?"

"Some night, indeed. Why do you have to drink like that, Dashie? You know it's not good for you."

"I like cider. Sue me." She closed her eyes in pain and drank a healthy pull from the glass of water before setting it down gently on the table. "So... I guess you wanna ask me about my parents, huh?"

Twilight did not expect that, not after how hard she had avoided it all along. "Well... yeah. It's for the census, you know."

Rainbow nodded, "I know. Okay, I'm gonna be blunt. I don't know who my parents are. Never did."

"Really?"

"Really."

"But... you said that your father-"

"My father? Let me tell you something about my father..." Rainbow growled furrowing her brow, but then she stopped herself and turned away. "Never mind."

"Never mind? Rainbow, if you want to tell me I'll gladly-"

"Just forget about it."

"But Dash-"

Rainbow cut her off once again, "I said forget about it!"

"I'm... I'm sorry, Rainbow. I didn't mean to-"

"Listen, Twilight, I know you mean well, but... it's just I don't want to talk about these things, okay?"

"I have to put down the truth in the census. I can't just lie."

"You won't be. I don't know my parents. I don't know my father. I'm not lying."

Twilight wanted to pry, wanted to know what she meant by that. It took every ounce of her not to.

"Okay. Do you have any siblings?"

"Yeah. I do. An older brother."

Twilight eyes bulged out of their sockets. She never knew that Rainbow had an older brother. "Um... okay, what's his name?"

"Prism."

"And... do you keep in touch-"

"Are you asking me as part of the census, or personally?" Rainbow growled.

Twilight grinned sheepishly, "Personally..."

"Then stop. I don't want to talk about... them."

"Sorry, Dash, but I'm just really curious. I mean, Fluttershy doesn't know her parent's either and-"

"You wouldn't understand! You grounded ponies with your loving parents and your happy families would never understand!" Rainbow shouted suddenly, making Twilight back up quite a bit. "Just... forget it!"

"Uh..."

"I said forget it! You have your answers, right? Now deal with it!" Rainbow shouted again.

"But..."

"Shut up!" Rainbow yelled in Twilight's face making her lay down on the floor.

Twilight eyes began to tear up. She had never seen Rainbow this mad before and it hurt her more than scared her. Seeing this, the cyan rushed to the kitchen window and opened it. She jumped out and in mid-air, spread her wings and with one huge push she was gone in a multicolored blur, only the faint afterimage of her contrail was visible.

Spike and Twilight stared after her with a mixture of shock, confusion and wonder.

"What in Luna's name did just happen?" Spike asked.

"I don't know," Twilight replied unable to gather her thoughts for a few moments. "I think there's something more to this and I intend to get to the bottom of it. This is the first census Equestria has done since... ever! There has to be more to this. I've got to get to the bottom of this mystery..."

Spike tuned her out. He didn't really listen when Twilight started rambling on like this. He finished making Twilight's breakfast and put it on a plate and placed it in front of her.

"... I mean, what are the odds of both my pegasi best friends being orphans? That's an amazing coincidence, although it is a little sad I have to admit, it doesn't mean..."

The dragon sighed and tuned her out again as he started to prepare his own breakfast. Pancakes with ruby dust. His mouth watered just thinking about it. He certainly loved his rubies.

"... so, that's what I'm going to do."

"Are you sure it's a good idea?" Spike asked, not really knowing what Twilight was going on about.

"You know a better way?"

Now, usually when asked this question without any context, one would panic to come up with the appropriate answer, except Spike knew Twilight extremely well. Came with the job description of being a Number One Assistant.

"I'm sure that your way is best, Twilight."

"Right. So, let's go."

That caught Spike off guard. He had not expected to be taken anywhere and especially not when he was preparing such yummy pancakes. But he played it cool. After all, he knew Twilight well enough now.

"Okay. What do I do with these pancakes?"

"Make 'em later. This is important."

And with that, the two left the library and headed towards Sugar Cube Corner.

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