• Published 24th Sep 2018
  • 2,212 Views, 325 Comments

Railway Adventure - The Blue EM2

  • ...

The Fall Formal

Apple Bloom desperately rifled through her wardrobe, looking at anything and everything in it. “What ta wear, what ta wear?” she asked in despair, looking for anything suitable.

School had been...uneventful, to say the least. The girl thought back in her mind to the final assembly of the half term, which had sent her into this state of panic.

“Good afternoon, students!” called the voice of Principal Celestia, addressing the students of Canterlot High School. “I hope you have enjoyed the term so far, and have found it an invigorating and helpful time.”

There were a couple of groans. The last few days had certainly been invigorating, if trying to repair the damage to the gym was anything to go by. That, and the new girl, Twilight, had been blamed for it, but it had subsequently emerged that had been faked as well. There were absolutely no prizes for guessing who was behind that act of sabotage.

“There remains just one outstanding contribution to this half of the term,” Vice-Principal Luna reminded them. “The Fall Formal will be starting at 7 tonight. We expect full attendance, and remember tickets are needed for entry. ‘My dog ate it’ will not be accepted as an excuse.”

Keen to brighten things up, Celestia took the microphone. “At 8 we will judge the best dressed couple, and at 9 we announce the winner of Fall Formal Princess.”

This led to some murmurs. Nobody was sure who was going to win, as although Twilight had won quite a bit of support, it wasn’t clear whether she could take the crown from Sunset.

“Please do remember the dress code for the night,” Luna spoke again. “I have already told you enough times what they are, so you shouldn’t need reminding again.”

“Above all, have fun!” Celestia said.

Apple Bloom looked over to her friends. “Help,” she mouthed.

So, here she was, looking through any clothing she might have just in case she might have a dress suitable for the occasion. But nothing. Just an endless parade of shirts, jeans, pants, a pair of shorts that Bloom was convinced no longer fitted, and several pairs of boots. Having had no luck, she collapsed on her bed. Suddenly an idea came to her. She flicked on her phone, and called Sweetie Belle.

“Hold still, darling, I need to ensure it fits correctly.”

Rarity made some final tweaks to Sweetie Belle’s outfit. As was convention for Rarity, she had made it herself, and had outdone herself. Sweetie Belle was outfitted in a pink sleeveless dress with a partially ruffled skirt. She also wore a pair of pink boots of a similar design to Rarity. Satisfied with her work, Rarity stepped back. “You do look fabulous, darling, if I do say so myself.”

“Thank you!” Sweetie Belle replied. Suddenly, her phone rang, and she ran over to get it. “Sweetie Belle here, how can I help?”

“Ah need some fashion advice!” came the cry from the other end.

“Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle asked. “What do you need?”

“Ah don’t have nothin’ that ah can wear at the Fall Formal!” Bloom answered.

“OK, just a second,” Sweetie Belle said. “Rarity, can you make Apple Bloom something?”

“I have her measurements; just give me a few minutes and I’ll have something perfect!”

“Hear that Bloom? Rarity’s gonna make a dress for you!”

“Rarity, you’re a lifesaver! How much do ya want for it?”

Sweetie Belle looked over. “How much do you want for it?”

Rarity looked up. “Nothing, darling. I’m doing this as a family favour. After all, you deserve something after the awful way I treated Applejack during the last 3 years.”

“OK, she’s doing it for free.”

“Thank ya so much!” Bloom replied. “Ah’ll come over an get it right away!”

The girls weren’t the only ones having difficulty with clothes. Across town, Button Mash was trying on different suits.

“Mom, I look ridiculous!”

“Take it easy, Button,” his mother replied. “It’s just a school event, nobody else will see this.”

“What if Sweetie Belle doesn’t like it?”

“I would hope she wouldn’t be so shallow as to only value somebody for their clothes. Besides, you look exceptionally handsome.” She ruffled her son's hair.

He just looked at her, annoyed. “Really Mom?” he asked.

Time rolled past, and at long last the Fall Formal arrived. The streetcars pulled into the platforms and disgorged their merry cargo. Sweetie Belle made her way over to the entrance and waited for her friends.

Button was the first to arrive. He was dressed in a sharp suit with a bow tie. He did look extremely handsome, and Sweetie Belle blushed at the sight.

“So, what do you think?” he asked. He had an expression of embarrassment on his face.

“You look great Button!” she replied.

“You think?”

“Yeah, it really suits you!”

“Oh, thanks.” Button gazed into her eyes. “Thanks for agreeing to this, Sweetie Belle.”

“You kept your promise, and so I kept mine,” Sweetie Belle smiled. “Just save the last dance for me.”

Apple Bloom and Pipsqueak were the next to appear. Pip was dressed in a near identical suit to Button, but Apple Bloom wore a purple sleeveless dress with a bow and ribbon tied around her waist. She also wore a pair of purple boots. “Howdy, ya’ll!” she called to them.

“Isn’t that adorable!” Rarity said. “They make such a fine couple.”

“Ah man,” Applejack said. “If that ain’t a sight for sore eyes.”

Bloom had a visible look of embarrassment on her face, but ignored it. “Lookin’ good, you two!” she called over.

“You look great too!” Sweetie Belle replied.

Pip looked over to Apple Bloom. “I really am lucky to know a beauty such as you,” he said, with a happy smile.

“Ah, stop it, Casanova!” Bloom said jokingly. “We’re friends, right?” she then whispered in his ear, “But we’re hittin’ the dance floor, right?”

“Of course, we will!” Pip replied.

Rumble, Scootaloo and Cheerilee were the last to arrive. Rumble was, again, dressed nearly identically to the other two boys. Cheerilee was acting as a member of security, to ensure the event didn’t get out of hand, and was dressed as she normally was.

Scootaloo, on the other hand, attracted a lot of attention based on her outfit, and not in a good way. She was wearing a purple shirt, with pink and purple boots, but her skirt just looked...odd.

She looked at them. “I know, I look completely ridiculous,” she replied. “I had to throw it together at the last minute.”

Rumble put his arm around her back. “It’s not the clothes that make a woman, but the constitution of her heart.”

“That’s sweet,” Cheerilee said. “Where’d you learn that from?”

“I made it up,” Rumble replied.

Rarity stepped forward. “If I may be of some assistance,” she said, and gently pulled on Scootaloo’s skirt.

“Hey! What are you-!” Scootaloo started, but stopped when she saw the result, as it now flowed on her legs rather more naturally.

“You had got it caught somewhere,” Rarity told her. “I could tell you aren’t used to skirts and the like.”

There was suddenly a loud bell. “Tickets, please!” called the attendant.

Everybody produced their tickets (except the girls, who had theirs handed to them, due to their attire lacking pockets), and stepped into the hall.

The hall looked incredible. Disco balls hung from the ceiling, music blared for speakers, and the dance floor changed colour in line with the beat.

The three girls, and their boy friends (yes, I did that for a reason), were having fun dancing along, though Scootaloo’s choice of the chicken was perplexing for some, given that was a name she hated. Amidst all the noise, they retreated for some refreshment. “So, what’s the plan?” Pip shouted. “And where’s Cozy Glow?”

“She’s in the workshop!” Sweetie Belle called. “The engine will soon be ready, and we shall reveal it then!”

“Who’s driving?” Button asked.

“Rumble and Scootaloo!” Bloom shouted.

“I hope this plan works!” Button added.

Suddenly, the music changed to a rock and roll hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O21xFX7QBpE
Sensing that they were looking a bit odd, Sweetie Belle called, “C’mon Button, show me what you've got!”

“Wait, what?!” was all Button could say, before he was dragged onto the floor to the beat of Bill Haley.

Elsewhere, Rumble, Scootaloo and Cozy were working to get the engine ready.

“OK,” Cozy told them. “These rails go straight to the gym entrance. You just need to move her there before 9, and advance, on Bloom’s signal.”

“Sounds simple enough,” said Rumble.

“Boiler pressure good?” Scootaloo asked. “How are we lookin’ on coal and water?”

“You have enough for the run,” Cozy replied. “If you two want to enjoy yourselves until then, go ahead. I’ll finish up here.”

Rumble and Scootaloo wandered down the corridor back to the gym. “I can’t believe we’re acutally doing this,” Rumble said.

“It's gonna be amazing!” Scootaloo exclaimed, clearly giddy with excitement, or the fact she’d drunken far too much fruit punch and was on the verge of being hyper.

Suddenly, voices could be heard, walking toward them. “If they find the engine it’s over!” Rumble said.

Scootaloo said nothing, but instead stepped toward Rumble and kissed him. Rumble was initially stunned, but did nothing to pull out of it.

The other student walked down the corridor and saw what was happening. He simply assumed the two of them were having a tender moment, and walked back.

Rumble grinned, after Scootaloo had detached from his face. “That worked!” he cried. “And it felt great, too!”

Scootaloo simply blushed. “I love you Rumble,” she grinned. “Now let’s get it done on the dance floor!”

“You’re on!” Rumble cheered, and set off after his now girlfriend.

At last, 8 came around. Princess Celestia stepped up onto the podium. “Greetings students, and welcome to this superb occasion, a testimony to your ability to pull together in dire circumstances. But without any further ado, let us announce the winner for best-dressed couple.”

Vice Principal Luna stepped onto stage, carrying a box. She then opened it, and Celestia took out a card. “The winners are...Apple Bloom and Pipsqueak!”

There was mass applause from the floor. The couple stepped up to receive their prize, and Apple Bloom was handed the microphone.

“Howdy, ya’ll,” she began. “Ah expect you think ah’ll just give a big thank ya speech about winnin’ this prize, but that ain’t what ah’ll talk about.” She stopped, as Cozy Glow gave her a big thumbs up at the back of the auditorium.

“Some of ya will probably have heard of the Everfree Forest Railroad. An old line near here that is said to be a myth.”

Applejack facepalmed. “Not this again,” she groaned.

“Well, Ah can tell ya that it ain’t no myth! It’s not a piece of fantasy made up for the fireside, it’s real! Ah’ve seen it! And now, we have restored a little bit of it! Bring her in!”

There was a loud whistle at the back of the hall, and students stepped out of the way. In through the door steamed the saddle tank from that shed, but what a contrast to that day!

The engine gleamed with red paint, accentuated with golden and black lining. It rolled along beautifully, producing clean white smoke from its chimney and cylinders. And affixed proudly upon those tanks, were the nameplates Spirit of Everfree. It completed a loop of the hall, then exited out of the other set of doors.

Apple Bloom spoke up again. “We intend, in all due course, to return that railroad ta workin’ order and create a local tourist line. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help to make this dream come true! What do ya say, ya’ll? Will ya help us resurrect history? Will ya help us keep technology alive? Are ya with us, ya’ll?”

A great cheer sounded from the back of the chamber, as students sounded their approval. Celestia stepped forward, clearly stunned. “You restored that engine, all by yourself?” she asked.

“Not just me, ma’am,” Bloom replied. “Ah did it...with a little bit a’ help from mah friends.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPelLzokgMg

Later, Applejack stepped over to Apple Bloom, Rainbow Dash as well, and faced the 3 girls. The 3 looked at the floor, sadly.

“Well,” said Applejack, “colour me impressed!”

“You rock squirt!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “If you can do that, you can do anything!”

“You 3 really are our little crusaders,” Rarity added.

That last one really resonated in Bloom’s mind. “That’s it!” she exclaimed. “That’s our name!”

“What do you mean?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“That’s what we can call ourselves! The Crusaders!”

They collectively high-fived, cheering. Suddenly, a loud scream from the back of the hall caused Applejack and Rarity, not to mention Rainbow Dash, to vanish out of the back door with Twilight in tow.

“What’s going on?” Scootaloo asked.

Apple Bloom looked at the floor. “Aw dangit,” she moaned.

Author's Note:

So, the genie is out of the bottle. I hope you enjoy this chapter of my story, but in addition we are coming toward the end. Some of the stuff was partly inspired by my memories of watching Equestria Girls for the first time and thinking, "what on earth is Scootaloo wearing?" Also, purely for fanservice, I threw in Button's mum, as well as more JanAnimations references. See you again on the 28th!

The bit about the Crusaders was meant to resolve an inconsistency in the setting. In Rainbow Rocks, Bloom refers to the Crusaders, which is the name of their band. In a later short, we are informed that they are called the Canterlot Movie Club (CMC). But in Rarity's ending to Happily Ever After Party, Rarity calls them the Cutie Mark Crusaders, in spite of the fact that in our world Cutie Marks are not a concept. So, to get around this, I will refer to them collectively as the Crusaders.