• Published 23rd Dec 2017
  • 3,449 Views, 31 Comments

Canterlot High Christmas Tales - IndefiniteHiatus

The holiday season has come once again to the students of Canterlot High, as we join the mane 7 and all their various festive activities. Secret Santa's, Crushes, Sneezes, Helium, Reindeer Costumes and many more surprises await them this Christmas!

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Chapter 2

It was the day of the school’s annual Christmas party that night and the last day of term before the students had a few weeks off for the holiday season. Because of this, Pinkie knew that this party had to be something truly special to act as a festive fun note to go out on. She had woken up in the early hours of the morning to bake the cakes and make gingerbread people in her kitchen. She would save the making of the mince pies and other holiday treats for later that day, along with making plans with Applejack to bake a special Apple & Cinnamon Christmas Pie. Once the first baking batches were completed, she put the gingerbread into plastic bags, which she then stored in her hair, and asked Maud to drop the cakes off later in the day. Pinkie quickly changed into her regular festive outfit of a rose-pink Santa hat, a cream fur coat, a long baby-blue scarf, cinnamon-brown fluffy leggings, a shamrock-green sweater and coal-black winter boots as she quickly grabbed the day’s chocolate from her advent calendar for a quick breakfast and merrily skipped off to school. She soon arrived to find Applejack, Fluttershy, Big Mac and Flash all waiting for her outside the school doors.

“Hey guys!” Pinkie yawned, “Thank you all so much for coming!”

“It’s no problem Pinkie, Granny Smith would always cook us our families traditional Apple & Cinnamon Christmas Pie and we all figured that everyone should get a taste this year!” Applejack responded.

“Eeyup” Big Mac agreed, who’d come to assist with getting the family recipe perfect as he knew it best out of the three siblings.

“Um Pinkie, are you okay?” Fluttershy asked, noticing her friend's face showed an obvious lack of sleep.

“Yeah, I’m just a little tired!” Pinkie stretched, before pulling the bag of Gingerbread out of her hair and offering the snack to her friends, who accepted and immensely enjoyed the treat.

“So, when should we get started with the decorating?” Flash asked, as the school bell rang and many of the other students began turning up.

“Now sound’s good, Let’s go!” Pinkie smiled, as the five of them headed to the gym. Pinkie had managed to persuade Principal Celestia to close off the room just for her and the rest of ‘Pinkie’s Christmas party crew’ so they could spend the whole day decorating. In order to keep it a surprise, they were the only ones allowed inside throughout the day and anyone else had to get Pinkie’s direct permission first. The only times' anyone left the room were to use the cooking class for baking party food or to go to the bathroom. It was exhausting work for all of them and the absence of the room had caused some hassle in the class schedules, but Pinkie could feel in her bones it would be well worth the wait.

Most of the classes that day were playing Christmas themed pop-quizzes that the teachers had created for the classes, in which the questions were usually either holiday-themed, based on the class subject or basic pop-culture knowledge. They ranged from incredibly easy to surprisingly hard but Sunset managed to do reasonably well on most of them. Her favorite one was the last one of the day, Miss Cheerilee’s mega-quiz, as she got the most of the answers right on them. Granted most of the questions were relatively easy and she was lucky enough to be paired with Twilight for the harder ones, who seemed to know the answers like the back of her hand. She also had Dash on her team, who didn’t really help much and just sat back shouting out incorrect answers in the hopes another team would write them down and lower their scores. In the end, her team came first place and each of them won a small box of chocolates as a prize.

After everyone’s classes were over, Pinkie had texted the gang to wait for her to come and collect them for an exclusive look at the newly decorated gym before the party. The three of them wandered the halls, unsure of where to go next, when Twilight noticed Rarity standing beside her locker with a box of tissues. Her hair was surprisingly messy, her eyes bloodshot and her nose was slightly redder than usual. “Oh, hello girls!” Rarity called in very nasally voice before letting out a big sneeze, grabbing a tissue and blowing her nose. The three girls could tell it was beyond obvious that their friend was sick as they cautiously approached her.

“Hey Rarity, you okay there?” Sunset asked, “you don’t look very well.”

“Relax Darling.” Rarity sniffled, pulling a magenta purple beanie out of her locker and using it to cover her disordered hair, “I’m completely fined!”

“Are you sure? Because I don’t think you’re supposed to put a d on end of ‘Fine'?” Twilight corrected.

“I’m fined, I’m fined.” Rarity struggled, “you know, it’s a hard word to say!”.

“Whatever you say Rare’s, sure you’ll be alright?” Rainbow sighed.

“Yes, no need to worry ACHOO! Anyway, where are you girls all heading?” Rarity sniffed.

“Not sure?” Sunset shrugged.

“We’re still waiting for Pinkie to come collect us.” Twilight added.

“Maybe we’ll get some early samples for the party food?” Rainbow hoped, fondly remembering the taste of Pinkie’s homemade eggnog from last Christmas.

“Right, the party! I’ve got a brand-new dress I’ve been working on that I can’t wait to show you girls.” Rarity coughed. Her friends all gave worried looks her way, as Rarity chose to ignore their concerns and continued to rummage through her locker.

“That’s it!” Rainbow snapped, “We’re taking you to the school nurse, maybe then you’ll stop being so stubborn!”. Before Rarity could refuse, she found herself being suddenly dragged away by her scarf. “We’ll catch up with you guys later!” Rainbow called, as Rarity demanded she be released and continued to insist she was perfectly well between the occasional sneeze. They soon disappeared into the crowded halls as Twilight and Sunset remained in place. Sunset figured it would make sense to wait for the rest of their friends in one location instead of aimlessly wandering the school as they noticed the band room close by and headed towards it. The room looked the same as usual, with a few stockings on the wall and a small Christmas tree in the corner.

“So, looks like it’s just the two of us.” Twilight spoke as they walked inside.

“Guess it is.” Sunset replied, closing the door behind them.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to go see the gym soon enough.”

“Yeah, you excited for the party?”

“Yeah, it’ll be fun! I did go to one or two at Crystal Prep, but I’d usually leave to go read in the library instead.”

“That’s not very surprising, are you inviting Timber and Gloriosa again?”

“Not this time, they’re out of town visiting some family tonight but they’ll be back this weekend.”

“That’s good, so did ask him to go see the movie?”

“Yeah, we’re both really looking forward to it. We’re also planning to grab dinner at this new restaurant called The Tasty Treat which I’ve heard really good reviews about!”

“That’s great, sounds like fun!” Sunset congratulated, before she noticed an anxious look starting to grow on her friend’s face. “Is there anything else?” she asked.

“Well, he did also ask if I would go this Winter Waltz dance thing.” Twilight sighed, sitting down beside the drums.

“Well, what did you say?”

“I agreed, but I’m very nervous. I’ve never been very good at dancing and it’s supposed to be very romantic and…”. Twilight was silenced by Sunset placing her finger across her lips.

“Look Twilight, I’m gonna help you out with this. Now pretend that I’m Timber!” Sunset spoke, before clearing her throat and ruffling her hair to look more like that of Twilight’s boyfriend.

“Hey Twilight, would you like to dance?” she asked in a fake deep mannish tone, reaching out her hand as Twilight chuckled at Sunset’s poor attempt a male voice.

“What’s so funny, wasn’t that a good impression?” Sunset smirked jokingly, restoring her voice to its usual tone.

“It was uncanny, for a second I believed you were really him.” Twilight sarcastically retorted.

“Okay, maybe I’m not the best impressionist, just go with it!”

“Okay, let’s start over.”

Sunset cleared her throat again, returning to her ‘manly’ voice and asking the question again.

“Sure Timber” Twilight accepted, trying her best not to laugh at her friend, “I’d love to dance!”. Sunset grabbed Twilight's hand and pulled her up off the floor. She then withdrew her phone from her pocket and began playing some traditional ballroom dance music, placing the device down on the piano lid and walking back over to her friend.

“Let’s dance!” Sunset smiled as she pulled Twilight close, catching her off guard. She then stepped back and forth in time with the music, with an occasional spin here or there. Twilight was undoubtedly impressed with her friends' unexpected dance skills as she began to catch on with the steps, even incorporating a twirl or two into the mix. “There you go, now you’re getting the hang of it!” Sunset complimented as Twilight smirked sweetly in return, clearly enjoying their time together. Sunset then put her hands around Twilight’s waist, soon moving them quickly towards her back and lifting her up. Twilight squealed in surprise as she was let down as Sunset dipped her down and leaned over. The two of them were face to face, practically within kissing distance. The two of them looked at each other, awkwardly chuckling when Sunset began to feel something strange. She felt warm, her stomach began fluttering and her heartbeat slowly increasing in speed as felt like she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. She felt a bizarre urge as she began to lean in closer towards her friend, with no idea what was overcoming her.

“Anyone want Mince Pies?” a sudden loud squeaky voice interrupted, startling both the girls and causing them to collapse onto one another.

“Oh dear! are you two okay?” a familiar softer voice spoke, as Twilight looked up to see Fluttershy and Pinkie stood in the doorway holding trays of freshly baked mince pies. Or at least, two blurs that looked like her friends as she had lost her glasses in the fall.

“Has anyone seen my glasses?” Twilight puzzled, as Sunset dizzily leaned up with them upon her face instead.

“Looking for these?” She blushed, removing the glasses and passing them towards Twilight who then readjusted them back onto her own face. The two of them then stood up and walked over to their friends, the scent of the mince pies entering their nostrils as they happily drew closer.

“Hope you like them, they’re made fresh from scratch!” Pinkie offered, as Sunset noticed Pinkie’s voice seemed to be in a much higher octave than usual. Twilight was the first to try one, as she grabbed one from Fluttershy’s tray and took a large bite.

“These are delicious!” she praised, the taste unlike any mince pie she'd had before. Sunset followed, taking one from Pinkie’s tray and taking a smaller bite to try. Sunset could only express a delightful ‘mmm’ as she felt the mix of warm flavors tenderly tickled her taste buds.

“Great, there's more where that came from. Got over a dozen more ready for the party!” Pinkie squeaked.

“Um, Pinkie?” Sunset asked, “why do you sound more high-pitched than usual?”

“Oh right, I forgot to mention” Pinkie answered, clearing her throat to restore her voice to normal, “Flash got me a helium tank for my secret Santa gift! We couldn’t resist a little fun with it while we were decorating.”

The blue-haired guitarist then walked up proudly behind her carrying a silver canister and some uninflated balloons, which Pinkie then took off his hands and hid away inside her hair for later.

“So anyway, how’s the decorating coming along?” Sunset asked.

“It’s almost finished if you wanna see?” Flash replied.

“We should probably wait for Rainbow Dash and Rarity to get back from the nurses’ office first.” Twilight insisted, just before their familiar voices could be heard bickering from down the hall.

“Okay, I’ll try out some remedies and make sure to get plenty of rest like Nurse Redheart asked. But I am still coming to the party tonight!” Rarity sniffed, her voice assertive but still as nasally as before.

“Hey, there you guys are! Mince pie?” Pinkie strolled over, sticking her tray in their faces as the others followed close behind. Rainbow eagerly took one and ate the whole thing in one delightful bite while Rarity felt it best to decline, insisting she’d have one later as not to hurt Pinkie’s feelings.

“These are amazing Pinkie!” Rainbow swallowed, attempting to grab another one before Pinkie batted her hand away and gave a threatening look.

“Nah-ah Dashie, you can have some more at the party!” Pinkie instructed, as Rainbow slowly backed away embarrassed and Rarity let a little chuckle before sneezing again.

“So, can we see the gym yet?” Sunset requested, she and the rest of the

“Okay!” Pinkie shouted excitedly as she sped off with Fluttershy worriedly rushing after her, afraid her enthusiasm might cause her to drop the mince pies or get herself hurt. Twilight and the rest of them soon followed behind them, excitedly anticipating what Pinkie had in stock for them this time.

The entrance to the gymnasium sported a shining reef as Pinkie pushed the door open and everyone walked in. String-held Paper Snowflakes, Crimson Red balloons and authentic green garlands all filled the space above a beautiful beribboned 9ft Evergreen Fir tree directly in the center of the room. Glittering Golden Yellow Tinsel, Ruby red ribbons, vibrant lights and Multi-colored baubles decorated it from top to bottom, with numerous boxes underneath that were customized to look like wrapped up presents. The walls were entirely ornamented with bright red stockings, colorful fairy lights, shining plastic stars and a mistletoe that dangled sneakily above the stage on a red ribbon. Transparent bowls filled with Homemade Candy Canes, Mince Pies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Miniature Pancakes and Gingerbread people sat appetizingly above a snowflake patterned cloth across the table along with multiple pint-sized model snowmen, a 'Christmas Spice' scented candle and emerald-green Helium-filled balloons attached. There was also a homemade chocolate cake, various brands of candy bars, profiteroles, snowflake white paper plates, cans of whipped cream and many festively designed purple plastic cups which would later be used to consume the many beverages offered at the party, including the Apple Family’s beloved Cider, Hot Chocolate and Pinkie’s delightful homemade Eggnog.

“So, what do you think?” Pinkie grinned proudly as her friends just stood there, completely astonished.

“Pinkie, this is incredible!” Twilight beamed.

“You got all this at the dollar store yesterday?” Sunset puzzled.

“Well, I may have brought a few things from home.” Pinkie chuckled, as she and Fluttershy placed their trays of mince pies on the food table.

“Well Pinkie, you’ve certainly outdone yourself.” Rarity complimented before letting her loudest sneeze of the day, startling some of her friends in the process.

“Oh no Rarity, you don’t sound very well. Are you sure you’re gonna be able to make it to the party tonight?” Pinkie worried.

“I’ll be....okay Pinkie.” Rarity sniffed, choosing her words carefully as to avoid another ‘Fined’ debate.

“Does anyone know any remedies for a cold?” Sunset asked, knowing Rarity’s determination and stubbornness would not let her miss the party.

“Oh actually, I remember Rainbow’s mom making me something when I had a cold once” Fluttershy recalled, “I think it involved honey or lemons? I’m not sure, it was a few years ago”.

“Do you think she could make it again for Rarity?” Twilight asked, as all attention soon turned towards Rainbow. Rainbow really didn’t like her friends meeting her family, but she knew Rarity would be devastated If she had to miss Pinkie’s party.

“Okay, I guess it’s worth a shot.” Rainbow sighed, “you can drop by my place after school.”

“Thank you Rainbow Dash.” Rarity sniffed gratefully before releasing a series of unsettling coughs.

“Maybe we should go now before she gets any worse!” Fluttershy recommended. Rainbow agreed with her remark as the three of them set off.

“We’ll see you guys later tonight, good luck Rarity!” Pinkie called after them, getting three goodbyes and a sneeze in reply.

“So, is there anything we could do to help out?” Twilight asked.

“I guess there are couple things left to do” Pinkie replied, reaching into her hair and pulling out some several piles of fluorescent orange flyers. “Could you hand these out to remind people about the party?” she requested, handing a huge stack of them over to Twilight.

"Whoa, how many of these did you print?" Twilight grunted, struggling to hold onto the surprisingly-heavy weight Pinkie had suddenly unloaded unto her.

"Oh, not that many, only a couple.....hundred or something." Pinkie stuttered innocently, "Maybe I went a little overboard, but I really want people to come!"

"I understand Pinkie." Twilight cheerily sighed, "It's just gonna take me a while, that's all."

"Tell you what, I'll take half" Flash offered. Twilight accepted as Flash divided the pile evenly between the two of them, making the weight much lighter. Sunset was about to offer her assistance until she remembered that she wanted to go back to the mall before the party, in hopes of finding at least an idea for Flash's Secret Santa present and maybe pick up a few more decorations for her house while she was there.

"I've gotta be going now, I'll catch up with guys at the party!" Sunset called.

"Okie Dokie, bye-bye Sunset!" Pinkie waved as Sunset smiled in return before exiting the room and heading off to her bike.

"We're here!" Rainbow sighed happily, speeding up towards her front door. She turned around to see Rarity and Fluttershy exhaustedly running to catch up. She had run there surprisingly fast without her using geode enhanced speed, wanting to get this over with quickly. While her friends already knew how enthusiastic her parents could be, their attitude around the Christmas season was something else entirely.

"Did we...really...have to run.....so fast?" Fluttershy panted, with Rarity coughing heavily behind her.

"Yeah! We wanna get Rarity feeling better soon, right?" Rainbow answered almost instantly, turning her key and opening the door. "Hello, is anywhere home?" she called out.

"I'm just in the kitchen honey, I'll be out in a minute!" another woman's' voice responded, which Rainbow recognized to be that of her mother. The three of them walked in as Rainbow closed the door behind her. The house was almost as festivity decorated as the gym, with reefs and tinsel hung up all along the hallway. The girls made their way into the lounge where a flashy Christmas Tree shined up the room, decorated in various shades of blue tinsel, baubles and lights. Homemade paper snowflakes dangled from the ceiling and the families stockings hung nailed to the wall above an authentic fireplace.

"Wow, your parents could give Pinkie a good run" Rarity commented, as she began admiring and smirking at the many adorable framed photographs of a younger Rainbow Dash mantled above the fireplace. They were almost all winter-themed, including pictures of her snowboarding, looking roughly around twelve, and another of her around the age of six, building a snow-fort with her dad. "Oh darling, you look so cute in this one." Rarity playfully chuckled, garnering an embarrassed blush and grumpy expression from Rainbow in return.

"Oh, I wanna see!" Fluttershy approached, running past as Rainbow's groans were soon overshadowed by the sounds of Fluttershy gushing over the photographs.

"Okay! We've established I was an adorable kid, can we please move on now?" Rainbow grumbled, as her two friends continued to chuckle when Rainbow's mom, Windy Whistles, entered the room wearing a festively designed apron and oven mitts, greeting her daughter with an extremely tight bear hug.

"Hi.....Mom.....Can't.....Breathe!" Rainbow grunted, feeling like she was about to suffocate.

"Oh, sorry dear" Windy apologized, releasing Rainbow from her tight grip.

"Excuse me, Mrs. Whistles?" Fluttershy addressed, gaining an enthusiastic grin from Rainbow's mom.

"Fluttershy, It's so great to see you again! It's been so long, you've grown up so much!" Windy grinned widely, pinching Fluttershy's cheeks in delight as Rainbow Dash simply face-palmed at her mother's actions.

"Um, it's nice to see you again too" Fluttershy smiled politely as Windy quickly hugged her and then walked over to Rarity, leaving Fluttershy rubbing her cheeks which now hurt from being pinched so tightly.

"Oh, and Rarity! Wonderful to see you, looking fabulous as usual!" Windy flattered, shaking Rarity's hand vigorously.

"Why thank you." Rarity chuckled, before snatching her hand back just in time to cover up her mouth before erupting into a marathon of sneeze.

"Oh dear, sounds like you have a nasty cold there Rarity." Windy acknowledged, generously handing her a box of tissues.

"Actually, We were wondering if you could make some of that Honey Lemon medicine for Rarity. like the one you did for me when I was little?" Fluttershy asked.

"Of course I can!" Windy agreed, disappearing into the kitchen. "It'll take me some time, so you three best get comfy!" she called, as the girls all sat on the couch and began to discuss what fun things they could do that night at the party. Rainbow had suggested an idea for a game of truth or dare, though preferably more focused on the daring element. While Fluttershy and Rarity were hesitant to the idea themselves, Dash knew that Applejack wouldn't turn down a challenge like this. After around ten minutes went by, Windy Whistles finally returned with a jar containing her special Honey-Lemon-Ginger medicine and a teaspoon before handing them over to Rarity.

"Thank you so much for this." Rarity praised, opening the jar and taking her first spoonful. The taste was bizarre but satisfying at the same time.

"Oh, it's no problem. I'm always happy to help, any friends of My Little Dashie is a friend of mine!" Windy chirped, rubbing Rainbow's head in noogie-like fashion. "Yeah, thanks mom." Rainbow awkwardly grinned, gently pushing her mother's arm away.

"These really are some lovely pictures of Rainbow Dash" Fluttershy compliment, scanning the fireplace as they waited for Rarity to finish her medicine.

"Thank you Fluttershy!" Windy replied, walking over to the mantelpiece and searching for one photo in particular. "This one is my favorite!" she recommended, picking up one of the framed images and handing to Fluttershy, who then sat down next to Rarity as they admired it together. The picture showed Rainbow Dash, Windy Whistles and Rainbow's father, Bow Hothoof, all standing together happily in-front of the fireplace, each wearing a traditional Christmas character costume. These included Bow dressed up as Santa, Windy as Mrs' Claus and a much younger Rainbow adorably dressed as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

"Awwww!" The two of them swooned simultaneously.

"It's adorable, isn't it? We used to call her Rudolph Dash." Windy reminisced.

"Mom!" Rainbow whined in embarrassment.

"Oh, That reminds me!" Windy ecstatically exclaimed as she joyfully skipped out of the room, much to her daughters' confusion and slight worry. Just then, Bow Hothoof walked in the door dressed in a rather authentic-looking Santa Claus outfit, eerily similar to the one he wore in the photograph.

"Ho! Ho! Ho!" He cheerfully bellowed, before tiredly making his way into the lounge where he then plummeted onto the sofa. "Hey Dash, how was school today?" He sighed happily, trying to maintain his yuletide joy despite feeling completely exhausted from work.

"School was fine dad." Dash replied, before unexpectedly being pulled into another hug as her father waved hello to her friends.

"Pardon me asking, but what's with the costume?" Rarity questioned curiously, before letting out a small sneeze.

"Dad's been working as a part-time Santa at Canterlot Mall" Rainbow answered, handing Rarity a handkerchief.

"Oh really? that sound's lovely." Fluttershy smiled, "the feeling of bringing joy to so many children must be something truly amazing!"

"It really is. In fact, I remember back when Dash was a little girl she thought that I was the real Santa! She was so overjoyed that I wasn't allowed to take off the costume for weeks!" Bow pleasantly reminisced as Rainbow uncomfortably chuckled at his story.

"Wow, sound's like you've been doing this for quite a while Mr. Hothoof." Fluttershy smiled.

"Indeed I have Fluttershy, but it does get quite tiring after all these years." Bow smirked. "We've actually been running a little short recently due to some of the elves catching the same bug as your friend there" he explained, pointing towards a sniveling Rarity. Then, an idea flew into Fluttershy's head. If she could help out as one of the elves, that could be her 'something special'. Granted it wasn't anything spectacular, but it'd still something really nice she could do for not only her friends' father but a bunch of sweet little children too.

"Do you get to keep the costume?" Rarity asked.

"Yes Rarity, I get to keep the whole thing." Bow answered, "I've only got the shift tomorrow and then I'm pretty much relieved of duty until next year!"

"Oh." Fluttershy quietly muttered, remembering she'd already promised her mom to help out at her florist then. However, as she only had to work around late afternoon time, she was felt it still worth asking, just in case there was some way she could accomplish both. "Um, excuse me Mr. Hothoof?" She inquired nervously, "would it be at all possible to get some part-time work as one of your elves? I mean, if it's not too much trouble?"

"That would be lovely Fluttershy, are you free tomorrow morning?" Bow agreed.

"Oh yes, thank you so much!" she answered aesthetically.

"No problem, meet me at the mall tomorrow at nine and we'll find you an elf uniform in your size." Bow requested.

"Okay Mr. Hothoof, or should I say Mr. Claus?" Fluttershy joked, causing both of them to let out a small giggle.

"So, what do you do with the costume when your shifts up?" Rarity asked curiously.

"It'll probably go back in dad's wardrobe until next Christmas, maybe he'll wear it around the house for a couple of days first." Rainbow answered.

"I'm guessing your mother hasn't told you yet?" Bow chuckled.

"Told me what?" Rainbow asked worriedly.

"Ta-da!" Windy stepped out wearing a Mrs. Claus costume, much similar to the one from the photograph. "How do I look?" She asked, as she began showing off her costume by humorously posing like a fashion model.

"You look beautiful!" Bow answered sweetly, walking over and kissing his wife's cheek.

"You look...great...mom." Rainbow hesitantly complimented, unsure of what to make of it.

"That's not all!" Windy declared, quickly revealing a Rudolph costume. It was almost identical to the one from the photograph, but this one was in a size that would be fitting for Rainbow Dash's current form. The outfit consisted of a detailed brown suit with a cream patch around the stomach area, black shoes designed to resemble hooves, a pair of realistically designed antlers attached to the suit and a bulbous plastic glow up red nose.

"This is for you!" Windy announced gleefully.

"What?" Rainbow asked bluntly.

"Well, your mother and I got to thinking and we decided since it's been ten years since the photo was taken, it'd be fun to recreate it this Christmas!" Bow explained.

"What do you say honey?" Bow proposed enthusiastically. Rainbow thought the idea sounded utterly humiliating, especially if anyone at school found out, but she could see the enthusiasm and childlike joy on her parents' faces and didn't want to disappoint them.

"Uh..sure, yeah." she reluctantly agreed.

"Oh that's great honey, we were so worried you'd be against it!" Windy cheered.

"What? No, it's great, can't wait for it." Rainbow continued, noticing that Rarity had finally finished her medicine. "Uh, we gotta go now!" Rainbow called to her friends, "We don't wanna miss the party". Rarity and Fluttershy decided to follow her lead as the three of them began heading towards the front door.

"Okay then, maybe you can try the costume on when you get back?" Windy suggested.

"Yeah, maybe. Bye guys!" Rainbow said, stepping outside and closing the door as they left.

"Rainbow, the parties' not for hours yet!" Fluttershy mentioned, looking at the time on her phone

"I know, I just had to get outta there!" Dash exhaled, acting like she'd escaped a hostage situation.

"Well, I feel I better already." Rarity proclaimed, before sneezing again and releasing a disappointed sigh. "So, where do we go now?" she sniffled.

"The mall's just down the road, we could head up there I guess?" Fluttershy pitched.

"Sure, why not?" Rainbow shrugged, "listen, please don't tell anyone about the 'reindeer costume situation' okay?" Fluttershy and Rarity both pinkie-promised to keep Dash's secret as the three of them headed off.

Sunset stressfully paced around the mall, her efforts to find a Secret Santa gift for Flash had so far come up fruitless. Luckily, most of the stores were open later than usual, but this didn't change the unfortunate fact she had no idea what kind of gift to get him, let alone where to look for it. However, she had managed to purchase some more seasonal decorations for her and Ray to help their place feel more festive, so the shopping trip didn't feel completely wasted. Sunset attempted to ease herself as she sat down beside the fountain for a quick break. "What am I going to do?" she thought, "What kinda gift would mean a lot to Flash? What if I can't find anything in time? I wonder if Twilight is doing okay? I hope she's having fun, she's kinda cute when she's happy. Wait, why am I thinking about Twilight again?" It had happened a few times now. Ever since they danced in the band room, the thought of Twilight would randomly pop into Sunset's head throughout the rest of the day. Whether it was the odd memory or daydreams, Sunset couldn't get her out of her mind and had no idea why. What else was bizarre was she'd often finding herself twirling her hair at the thoughts, which she'd never done before, and she'd often find herself feeling warm. After calming herself down, she decided to continue her surprisingly difficult task. She'd know Flash for years now, they used to date, how was it this hard to find something for him?

"Okay Sunset, if you were Flash, where would you shop?" Sunset asked herself, scanning the mall trying to figure out the best place to go. Much to her surprise, she managed to spot Flash himself, standing outside of one of the dress stores of all places. Only, he wasn't alone. He seemed to be talking to someone else who Sunset didn't recognize. They were wearing a large grey hoodie that covered most of their face, so it was harder to identify them.

Desperate to know more, Sunset quickly hid behind one of the large potted plants and began to examine the hooded person. After closer inspection, it became clearer that they were a female roughly around the same age. Their voice also appeared to carry a familiar quality, but Sunset was still unable to put her finger on it. She watched as Flash leaned in and kissed the mysterious woman, before the two of them walked into the store holding hands.

"Flash has a new girlfriend!" Sunset concluded, before letting out a small quiet cheer. She'd been trying to help Flash get back out in the dating world for a while now and she was beyond happy that he'd finally found someone. This gave Sunset an idea, perhaps this new girlfriend could play a part in her Secret Santa dilemma. Sunset decided to try and peek into the store window to help discover more about the situation. "Okay, where are you lovebirds?" she pondered, "I wonder if he's buying her one of these dresses? Maybe they're going to that Winter Waltz thing with Twilight and Timber? Twilight would look really pretty in that yellow dress." There she was again, Twilight! Why couldn't she stop thinking about Twilight? "I'm gonna have to talk to her about this, this is weird! Who knows, maybe she's going through the same thing?" Sunset decided, as she began to head away from the dress shop where she soon bumped into Rainbow, Fluttershy and Rarity.

"Hey Sunset, what are you doing here?" Rainbow asked.

"Oh nothing, just a little late Christmas shopping as all" Sunset replied, "Did you get the medicine from your mom?"

"Oh yes, I'm feeling much better darling." Rarity proclaimed before she sneezed again.

"Are you sure you're going to be okay?" Sunset questioned.

"I told you, I'll be fined" Rarity insisted.

"Um, Rarity you said...." Fluttershy commented.

"I know what I said!" Rarity interrupted, startling Fluttershy in the process. "I'm sorry Fluttershy, but I'll be okay." she reassured, "Now I have to go home and change, I'll see you girls at the party!"

"Okay then, we'll see you at the party!" Sunset waved, as Rarity headed off as Rainbow followed close behind, hoping there would something leftover for her to wear so she wouldn't have to return to her parents just yet. Fluttershy and Sunset decided to stay at the mall a little longer, with Fluttershy buying a small picture-frame for unknown reasons, before they too parted ways and went home to get ready themselves.

Sunset began making her way to the school, merrily humming holiday tunes to herself and admiring the scenic atmosphere of the festively decorated area. A small snowfall began to emerge under the illuminating moonlight and starry night sky as Sunset began to ponder what she would do when she arrived. Obviously, she would have to take some more of Pinkie's delicious mince pies and was eager to try many of the other treats that would be on display. Perhaps there would be some games set up to play, after recalling Fluttershy mentioning Rainbow's truth or dare proposition at the mall earlier. She probably wouldn't participate herself but was almost certain it would be fun to watch. Maybe she'd get to meet Flash's new girlfriend, or at least find out more about her. On the subject of Flash, try and gather an idea of what to get him for a secret Santa gift. Who knows, she could receive her own gift tonight. It wasn't too long before she reached her destination and began making her way inside.

She paced through the halls and made her way towards the gymnasium, seeing the flyers Pinkie made from earlier that day pinned on every wall in sight. Twilight and Flash certainly did a great job with the advertising. Apart from passing the odd student going to the bathroom, the hallways seemed to be mostly abandoned as everyone had already arrived at the party by now. Finally, Sunset arrived at the gym as she opened the door. The room somehow looked even better than before, despite not much changed since she saw it last. The only major differences included the room being filled with almost the entire school's population and a few changes to the dessert table, those being added food & drink and the absence of a couple of helium balloons. Sunset quickly made her way to there, hoping all the mince pies weren't all gone, where she bumped into Rarity & Twilight. That reminded Sunset, she should ask Twilight about the weird feelings she'd been having throughout the afternoon and see if she'd experienced anything similar. It's not something she wanted to bring up, but felt it was important to do so.

"There you are Sunset!" Twilight called, after devouring a plate full of profiteroles.

"Here I am." Sunset replied, making sure to grab as many mince pies as she could since there were hardly any leftover, "Sorry it took me so long to get here, the town's always so beautiful this time of year and I just love the view!"

"It is a lovely sight darling." Rarity agreed, when Sunset noticed her new outfit. It was the typical seasonal shades of Red and Green, but the dress had been cleverly constructed to have the stitches resemble miniature Christmas trees. There was also a garland colored scarf and a beautiful poinsettia flower in her hair.

"Wow Rarity, you look amazing!" Sunset compliment.

"Why thank you Sunset, I've been working on this one for a quite a while!" Rarity appreciated, showing off the outfit. The medicine Rainbow's mom had given seemed to be taking effect as her voice had now become less nasally and the redness around her eyes and nose had begun to fade. However, she did let out the occasional sneeze and sniffle throughout the night.

"Oh, that reminds me." Rarity recalled as she reached under the dessert table and pulling out a glittering black cardboard box with a red bow attached, elegantly tied as only she could do. "Twilight Sparkle, Merry Christmas from your Secret Santa!" She cheerfully announced, handing the gift over to her friend who's face lit up with excitement. Twilight quickly took hold of the package and began to open it, revealing a new dress inside. The outfit was moderate-purple with sapphire-blue and brilliant-raspberry striped patterns and a small moderate-violet jewel at the top.

"Rarity, this is beautiful!" Twilight smiled, lifting the dress out of the box.

"Well, after our little endeavor at the mall yesterday and Pinkie assigning you to me, I decided I'd make you something fabulous for your date with Timber!" Rarity explained, "I'm afraid I didn't have much time to work on it, so it's not my best work but..."

"I love it, thank you so much Rarity!" Twilight beamed gratefully, carefully folding the dress back into the box before pulling Rarity into a thankful hug.

"So, Is it just you and Pinkie who've revived their Secret Santa gifts so far?" Sunset asked.

"Actually, Rainbow Dash gave Applejack some personalized weights before you arrived." Rarity replied.

"Oh, whereabouts are they? I've only seen you two since I arrived, is everyone else here already?" Sunset questioned.

"Fluttershy hasn't arrived yet but Rainbow, Applejack & Pinkie are by the stage playing truth or dare or something like that?" Twilight answered, pointing in their direction. Sunset peaked over as she could vaguely make out the sight of Pinkie & Dash snickering to each-other from across the room. Not wanting to disturb their antics, she decided to watch from afar and continued to raid the dessert table with the others.

Applejack took one of the green balloons the three of them previously acquired from the dessert table earlier that night, putting the end of it in her mouth and inhaling the helium from inside after being dared to do so.

"Come on, do it!" Rainbow tittered excitedly, her and Pinkie giddy as children. The three of them unanimously could agree the best part of this game was daring each-other to do whatever humiliating things they could come up with. If the victim didn't go through with the dare, they would be mockingly branded a chicken for the remainder of the night. Applejack then rolled her eyes and pursued with the dare that Dash had given her.

"Howdy, I'm Applejack! The tiniest cowboy in the Wild Wild West, Yee-Haa!" She spoke in a hilariously squeaky voice, to which Rainbow and Pinkie chortled like hyenas. "There ya go, y'all happy now?" She smirked, retaining her high-pitched tone.

"That was a good dare Dash." Pinkie laughed hysterically, "I think it's your turn to dare her AJ!"

"Alright, I gotta think of a good one." Applejack plotted, wanting to make Dash do something she'd find truly embarrassing.

"Ho Ho Ho Rainbows!" A rouge male voice interrupted, as the girls all recognized who such an annoyingly laid-back sound belonged too.

"Oh no, I know that voice!" Rainbow cringed, as Zephyr Breeze leaned over and a seductive look her direction.

"Hey Zephyr, what are you doing here?" Rainbow uncomfortably simpered.

"Well, my big sister Flutter's offered to bring me along and I just couldn't say no to seeing you again." he obnoxiously flirted.

"Hello girls, sorry I'm a little late." Fluttershy appeared, giving her brother an aggravated stare before turning back to her friends in her regular kinder fashion.

"Hey Fluttershy, glad you made it." Applejack greeted, her voice still influenced by the helium.

"Hehe, your voice sounds funny Applejack!" Fluttershy chuckled, as Applejack realized and cleared her throat, restoring her voice to normal. "I'm going to quickly grab a bite to eat, but I'll catch up with you guys later." Fluttershy smiled at her friends, before she began heading towards the food table. Zephyr sent a flirtatious wink towards Dash, before following his sister as the three of them decided to continue their game.

Applejack puzzled and pondered for what would be the most mortifying thing she could dare Rainbow to do. Then she got an idea. An awful idea. Applejack got a wonderful awful idea. "Okay, I've got one." she grinned cheekily, "there's way Dash'll do this!"

"Is that so? Bring it on cowgirl!" Rainbow cockily leered, taking a quick sip from her cup of apple cider.

"Alright." Applejack gloated, "I dare you to kiss Zephyr Breeze under the mistletoe!"

"WHAT, I'm not gonna kiss that creep!" Rainbow spat, her apple cider spilling all over Pinkie.

"What's the matter, are ya chicken?" Applejack taunted, "cheep cheep cheep cheep."

Rainbow growled in frustration as she got up and went to locate Zephyr, leaving Applejack and Pinkie giggling with expectations. She had never lost this game and was not about to this time, even if it meant living out one of her worst nightmares.

"Hey, Zephyr!" She called aggressively, wanting this dare to be over and done with as soon as possible.

"Yeah?" Zephyr responded, catching up on his way to the dessert table. Rainbow grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him up onto the stage. The two of them soon stood closely together under the mistletoe as Applejack and Pinkie cheering her on. Fluttershy, Sunset, Twilight and Rarity had also taken notice, unsure of what was going on. Rainbow swallowed her pride, puckered her lips, leaned in and kissed him.

"Woo-hoo, go Rainbow dash!" Pinkie cheered, with Applejack clapping and chuckling along.

"Oh my." Fluttershy gasped, covering her mouth out of pure shock.

"Well, that was unexpected." Sunset stated, as Twilight and Rarity just stood there with their mouths wide open.

Rainbow quickly released herself and rapidly backed away from the mistletoe. Suddenly, the reindeer costume didn't seem so bad.

"Whoa!" Zephyr commented happily, to which Rainbow awkwardly chuckled and returned to her now cackling friends.

"Well done Rainbow, I guess you're our champion for tonight." Applejack congratulated.

"I hate you." Dash snarled in return.

"Maybe it's time we take a break and go join the others, seems like a pretty good note to end on anyway." Applejack suggested, as the three of them wrapped up their game and began to head over to the food table.

Meanwhile, Sunset grabbed one of the cans of whipped cream and sprayed a small portion onto her plate, when Twilight suddenly began to emit a small adorkable laugh. 'She looks so cute when she giggles.' Sunset thought to herself, before cautiously shaking the idea out of her head with a minor blush on her cheeks that thankfully went unnoticed.

"What's so funny?" Fluttershy asked.

"Oh nothing, this just reminds of something I used to do at Christmas when I was little." Twilight explained, "every year I would spray whip cream around my mouth like a beard and impersonate Santa Claus and it would always make my family laugh!"

Her friends all chuckled at the idea of the memory and even asked for a demonstration, which Twilight declined.

"Hey guys!" Pinkie called as she, Applejack and Rainbow approached them.

"Oh, Rainbow." Fluttershy said sweetly, "Zephyr just left but he wanted me to tell you that your kiss really made his Christmas!"

Applejack & Pinkie both mockingly awed, as Rainbow sunk into a pit of complete embarrassment. "So, you all saw?" She blushed profusely.

"Yes! And might I say, it was very romantic." Rarity teased before letting out a small sneeze and Twilight & Sunset quietly chuckled to each-other.

"This might make you feel better?" Fluttershy sympathized, reaching into her coat pocket and pulling a small gift in blue & yellow wrapping paper. "Rainbow Dash, Merry Christmas from your Secret Santa!" She announced, handing the present to her friend. Rainbow quickly unwrapped the gift, revealing a framed photograph of the two of them as children, roughly around 5-7. "This was taken the day we first met, the day you saved me from those nasty bullies." Fluttershy explained, "ever since that day, you've been like my sister and this is my way of showing how much our friendship means to me!"

"Wow Fluttershy, this is incredible. Do you really mean all that?" Rainbow smiled.

"Of course I do!" Fluttershy replied, to which Rainbow gave thanks and pulled her into a warm hug.

"Ya gonna kiss her too?" Applejack teased.

"I'm gonna kick your butt, that's what I'm gonna do." Dash jokingly retorted.

"Hey, you guys wanna go dance?" Pinkie offered, breaking up the potential fight as most of the girls agreed and began to walk with her towards the dance-floor. However, Twilight and Sunset decided to stay put and planned to join them later.

"Oh yeah, I never thanked you for the dance lessons." Twilight remembered.

"It's fine, you were pretty good." Sunset replied, thinking it might be time to bring up the inevitable awkward subject. "Hey Twilight, can we talk about that?"

"Okay sure" Twilight agreed, "I didn't know you could dance like that, you were amazing!"

"Thanks, but that's not what I meant." Sunset elaborated, "After we danced, have you felt weird?"

"Weird how?"

Before Sunset could explain, she was interrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest. "Guess who's back early?" He said happily, as Twilight excitedly turned around after recognizing that voice. "Timber!" She beamed, leaping into her boyfriends' arms and greeting him with a quick kiss. "I'm sorry Sunset, what were you saying?" Twilight asked, her attention moving back towards her friend.

"It doesn't matter." Sunset replied, deciding to drop the subject for now as she went over to instead make small talk with Gloriosa, who'd also arrived with her brother. After they were done talking, Gloriosa left her to socialize with the others whilst Sunset decided to grab one of the balloons off the dessert table out of boredom and suck up some of the helium to amuse herself. That was until someone caught her eye, someone she'd been looking for since she arrived. She had located Flash, standing by the Eggnog stand as she began to approach him.

"Hi Sunset, enjoying the party?" he greeted happily.

"Yeah, tonight's been fun!" she replied happily, briefly forgetting her voice was squeaky from the helium and causing the two of them to burst out laughing.

"I see my gift for Pinkie was a good idea" Flash chuckled.

"Yeah, it was." Sunset agreed, releasing a small intentional cough to return her voice back to its usual tone, "Anyway, I've been meaning to speak to you!"

"You have?"

"Yeah, when were you gonna mention the new girlfriend?"

"Oh, you know about that?"

"Yeah, caught you two sweethearts at the mall today, in the dress shop."

"Right, she doesn't have that many outfits so I offered to treat her to one."

"How sweet, did you invite her to the party?"

"No, she's really nervous and didn't want to come."

"Fair enough, do I get to meet her?"

"Gee, I don't know Sunset."

"Come on, wouldn't it be nice for her to get to know at least one of your friends?"

"Okay, I'm meeting her later tonight after the party. I'll talk to her and see if she's okay with you coming?"


The two of them continued to celebrate with their friends during the rest of the party. Many gifts were exchanged, food was devoured and even a few pranks were pulled throughout the remainder of the night. Flash managed to contact his mystery girlfriend who was hesitant to Sunset meeting her but decided to go through with it for Flash. Sunset was thrilled with the news as she headed home and agreed to meet Flash at the agreed location and time he would send to her later.

Sunset sat on her bed, staring at the Christmas lights she'd stuck to her wall earlier that evening and finding various ways to entertain herself as she patiently waited for Flash to call her. She checked her social-media, played video games, watered her house plants, fed Ray and even sung him Christmas songs with helium from some of the balloons she'd stolen from the party. Finally, her phone began to ring. Sunset lept for the phone like a fish out of water and answered in a matter of seconds.

"Hey Sunset." Flash talked on the other end, "You ready?"

"Yeah, whereabouts do I get to meet your new lady?"

"Do you know the Sandwich place by the Everything Under The Sun Emporium?"

"Yeah, I'll meet you there!" Sunset hung up, grabbed her coat and headed out the door. After a relatively short drive, she parked her motorcycle across the street from the emporium and began walking towards the sandwich place where caught Flash standing outside waiting.

"Is she inside?" Sunset questioned.

"Yeah, before you meet her, there's something I forgot to mention." Flash informed

"What's that?"

Let's just say, you haven't had the most pleasant run in's with her or her family."

"Her family?"

"Well more specifically her and her sisters, just try to be open and don't freak out, okay?"

"Um, okay then."

"Great, thanks Sunset."

The two of them opened the door and walked inside. The cafe looked bleak and rather colorless, seeming mostly empty apart from the odd customer and the working staff. Flash and Sunset soon located the girlfriend at a table near the back, wearing the same mysterious hoodie she wore at the mall., Flash waved at her as she noticed and began to happily approach them.

"Okay, here we go." Flash said, "You ready Sunset?"

"Yeah, I'm ready." Sunset exhaled, feeling more skeptical after what Flash had said earlier. The girlfriend soon caught up with them as Flash cuddled up to her.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you miss!" Sunset addressed politely, offering a handshake.

"It's nice to see you again Sunset!" the girl replied in a giddy voice that Sunset could've sworn she'd heard before, accepting the handshake before removing her hood and revealing her identity to be former CHS student and dazzling Sonata Dusk.

"You remember Sonata, right?" Flash smiled, his arm around the blue-haired siren.

Sunset stood there speechless, still trying to piece together the situation. She didn't know what to say, she did not see this coming.

"Sunset, are you okay?" Flash asked concernedly.

"Oh yes!" Sunset responded awkwardly, "Sonata, Right! Hi, how....how are you?"

"Oh, I'm okay." Sonata replied, "I've stopped doing that whole feed of negative energy with evil singing thingie, I don't do that anymore!"

"That's...good." Sunset stuttered, "It's..been a long time!"

"It has! I'm sorry about that whole thing back in the battle of the bands, but I'm changing my ways now, like you did!" Sonata smiled innocently.

"Isn't that great?" Flash beamed, snuggling up to his girlfriend.

"Yeah, It's great." Sunset smiled kindly, "It's getting quite late so I best be going, but I'll catch up with you tomorrow?". They agreed to meet up another time before Sunset said her goodbyes and began exiting the cafe. "Wow, what a day!" She sighed to herself as she started heading home.