• Published 7th Aug 2012
  • 5,023 Views, 164 Comments

Pride and Prejudice and Snails - Mudpony

A lost bet forces Diamond Tiara to ask Snails to a dance. But when Snails turns to Sweetie Belle for help with impressing his date, she develops feelings for him. And so what was to have been a simple victory for the CMC gets a bit more complicated.

  • ...

Chapter 1

Scootaloo raced down the street on her scooter, her wings buzzing, while her cart rattled behind her, filled with costumes, a spotlight, fireworks, and other essentials. Usually, if her cart contained something, it would be her two friends, the unicorn Sweetie Belle and the earth pony Apple Bloom. Together, they formed the Cutie Mark Crusaders, on a seemingly never ending quest to discover their special talent and earn their cutie marks. And today was going to be the day, the end of their blank flank status, Scootaloo just knew it.

For today was the day of the annual talent show and this year and they were going to do a rendition of Marc Anpony's big speech from William Gaitspeare's Julius Canter. They were sure to win Best Dramatic Performance with the changes Scootaloo had made. The sword fight alone was going to be so awesome, and that was just one of the improvements she had added in her role as director. After they received their award, everyone would be congratulating them, and Rainbow Dash would come up and tell her how it was the best play ever, and then they'd take off their costumes and pow: cutie mark city.

She was so lost in her daydream of the coming triumph that she almost failed to notice a colt on the street ahead of her. She threw herself to the side, barely missing Snails, as her scooter tilted, two of its tires leaving the ground. She threw her weight back toward the other side and would have successfully recovered, if not for the cart. The wild turn flipped it on its side, scattering its contents. The cart's side threw up dirt as it scraped along the road and the extra drag slowed the scooter. The next thing Scootaloo knew, she was thrown over the handlebars of her scooter, before rolling to a stop.

Snails's ever-present companion Snips, a short and bit overweight unicorn, ran up and asked, "Are you okay, Scootaloo?"

"Yeah, you okay?" echoed Snails.

Scootaloo got to her feet and checked herself over. Luckily, ponies were quite sturdy and she found nothing more than a few scrapes. Nothing worse than what she routinely got while crusading with her friends. Still, it annoyed her that her triumphant daydream had been interrupted in a most non-awesome way.

"Why can't you watch where you're going? I'm trying to pull a cart here! How do you expect me to when you're just walking through the street?" Scootaloo grumbled as she righted the cart and started to gather the spilled items.

"But you're supposed to walk on the street. That's what it is there for," Snips said, as he helped place the last of the items back in the cart.

"Yeah, well, whatever. Just watch where you're walking next time." And she was off.

Scootaloo arrived at the auditorium to find Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle rehearsing. The sight of her friends raised her spirits. "Heya, guys! I got all the stuff!"

Apple Bloom raced over to the cart. Sweetie Belle got up off the ground, where she had just been practicing one of her dramatic death scenes, and joined her friends. Scootaloo tossed each of them a wooden sword and costumes made by Sweetie Belle's sister Rarity. They quickly donned their costumes and took some practice swings with the swords.

"We'll be sure to win Best Dramatic Performance with these!" Sweetie Belle said.

"And get our cutie marks!" Apple Bloom replied.

A nearby earth pony, with a light magenta coat and a greyish pink and white mane, wearing a tiara and a fancy dress snickered at overhearing that. "Oh please, there's no way you're going to win Best Dramatic Performance. That is so going to Silver Spoon and I. And cutie marks? Unless they start giving those out for failing, you'll be blank flanks forever," Diamond Tiara said.

"Yeah, and what would a cutie mark for failing even look like?" added Silver Spoon, a grey earth pony filly.

"Probably like them," said Diamond Tiara, waving a forehoof at the three crusaders.

Both Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara giggled and chanted, "Blank flanks, blank flanks! Blank flanks forever!"

"Nuh-uh, we are too going to get our cutie marks eventually. Mah sister said so!" Apple Bloom stated defiantly.

"And we're going to win Best Dramatic Performance as well, you just wait and see," Sweetie Belle added.

Diamond Tiara responded with a look that made it pretty clear how likely she thought that turn of events was going to be.

"Okay, let's see you put your bits where your mouth is. If we win an award, one of you has to do what we want, for an entire day. And if you win, one of us has to do something you want. Sound good?" Scootaloo challenged.

"Well, I suppose we could use a personal servant for a day. You're on," Diamond Tiara replied. With a quick hoofshake, Scootaloo and Diamond Tiara sealed the bet.

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon left the Crusaders behind as they walked toward the dressing room, to get ready for their own act.

"This is going to be so great. What should we make them do?" Diamond Tiara wondered aloud as she and Silver Spoon entered the backstage area.

"We could make Apple Bloom dress, speak, and act like a civilized pony," suggested Silver Spoon. "That would be quite funny, and spare us from her barbaric accent for a day."

"How about we make Sweetie Belle sing in the town center? She'd be so embarrassed. It would be so funny," Diamond Tiara suggested. "Or we could make Scootaloo write and recite love poems. Can you just imagine the funny faces she would make?"

"Yes, it'd be totally funny," Silver Spoon said with a giggle. She suddenly stopped and said, "I just hope we don't lose..."

Diamond Tiara scoffed at the possibility. "There's no way. Everything about our act is perfect. The servants all said so when we did the act for them, remember? I mean, look at our dresses: they are gorgeous!" Diamond Tiara waved her hoof toward two beautiful dresses, complete with hats. "And we know all our lines perfectly."

"Because we're perfect! Unlike the tree sap trio," added Silver Spoon, her doubts soothed.

"Even our props are perfect for our act, like the chairs, table, and flowers." Diamond Tiara waved her hoof absentmindedly toward two chairs, a round wooden table, and an empty vase.

"Uhm, Diamond, our flowers are gone! Someone took our flowers!" Silver Spoon cried out.

"What?" Tiara said, swinging her head over to verify that the flowers were gone. Her jaw dropped at the sight of the vase devoid of flowers. Who could have done this? Was it the crusaders trying to sabotage their act? No, that seemed unlikely. Not because she did not believe them capable of it, but because they had not had the opportunity. They had arrived after she had and had not been inside yet. It would have been easy to blame them anyway, but she already had so many real reasons to dislike them, she really did not need to invent new ones to do so. She pondered who else in the show might have been responsible, but before she could settle on any likely suspect, she noticed her dad entering the backstage area.

"Hey, girls, ready to knock 'em dead out there? The butler told me it was quite the performance. I can't wait to see it for myself, princess," Filthy Rich said.

"Daddy! We can't go on. Someone stole our flowers. Our production is ruined! Ruined!" Diamond Tiara threw herself around her father, on the verge of sobbing.

Filthy Rich smiled at his daughter, quite used to her dramatic antics. "Nonsense, princess. We'll get you some other flowers, and you'll be right as rain."

"But, Daddy, the flowers we had were perfect. Any ones we find now won't be, and then our act won't be perfect and then we might not win and we need to win, daddy!" Diamond Tiara stretched the last word out, half plead, half whine.

Mr. Rich gently pushed his daughter away and looked her sternly in the eye. "You'll just have to find some new ones. And don't worry, you'll do fine. I know it. Besides, you said you would compete in the show, and so you will, princess. We Riches keep our word. And we don't let a little adversity stop us from succeeding. Plus what is it that they say in show business? 'The show must go on' or something like that?"

"But, Daddy—"

"Case closed, young lady," her father said, using his 'business' tone.

When her father used that tone, Diamond Tiara knew there was no point to arguing further, and so she watched sullenly as he left. She would have to find new flowers and they undoubtedly would not be perfect and that would mean their act was not perfect anymore, and then maybe the annoying crusaders would win. That would be bad, as they had no doubt choose her to embarrass.

Still, they were not going to get her without a fight. Maybe they could find some flowers that were good enough. And if not, they could always rely on the crusaders to screw up badly enough to not win an award. "Come on, Sil, we've got to find something and quick. We don't have much time before we're on."

"And the winner for Best Dramatic Performance is..." Miss Cheerilee waited out a dramatic pause before continuing, "Sunny Daze and Peachy Pie, for their reading of Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla!"

The crusaders breathed out a sigh of relief, as they had feared Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon might have won. Their own act had not gone over as well as they had hoped. They had not destroyed the stage like their musical number two years prior, but the audience reaction had not been what they were expecting. Not that Tiara and Spoon's act had gone smoothly. First they had been complaining about someone taking one of their props, until Miss Cheerilee had helped them find a replacement. And then, when they had gone on, they had made a few mistakes. Not major ones, but mistakes nonetheless.

The crusaders celebrated quietly that none of them would have to victim for a day of whatever undoubtedly cruel thing Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon would have thought of. So relieved were they that they quit paying attention to the award announcements and almost missed the last award of the night. Luckily, the mention of their name caught there attention and they quickly listened as Miss Cheerilee continued, "...Cutie Mark Crusaders for Best Comedy Act for their brilliant re-imagining of Julius Canter."

The crusaders collected their rewards, happy to have won but sad at the same time, as this was the second time they had manage to win the comedy act award when not trying to do comedy, while they'd failed to win it the previous year, when they had actually done a comedy act. With the awards handed out, the show was over, and the ponies exited off the stage.

Diamond Tiara barely waited until they were offstage before gleefully tearing into the crusaders. "Well, congratulations. You've once again failed so badly that everypony thinks you were doing it on purpose."

Silver Spoon added her piece. "Are you sure you haven't gotten cutie marks for failure yet? It certainly does seem to be your talent."

The three crusaders looked at their still blank flanks. There were few things that could crush the optimism of the crusaders, yet Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon always seemed to know exactly what to say. The solace that winning the comedy award had given them was gone. But not even those two fillies could keep the crusaders down for long, and this time was no exception.

Apple Bloom suddenly held her head up high with a big smile on her face. "Hey, wait a minute. We won a prize!"

"Yeah, but not even the one you were going for. That is even worse than not winning a prize at all," Diamond Tiara responded.

Scootaloo looked confused for a second, then a grin of her own sprung forth. "We did win a prize. That means we won the bet!"

"Yeah, so you have to, um, you have to..." Sweetie Belle said.

"Um," Apple Bloom added, as she tried to think of something worthy of Diamond Tiara.

Scootaloo looked around the room for an idea and her eyes fixed on Snails. An idea to pay him back and to really embarrass Diamond Tiara popped into her head. "You have to go with Snails to the Hearts and Hooves Day Dance!" Scootaloo said. The look of horror on Diamond Tiara's face was enough to have the other crusaders nodding in agreement. They quickly added their own thoughts.

"Yeah," said Apple Bloom, "and no telling him why either. He's got to believe it is for real."

"And you have to dance with him, slow dances and all!" added Sweetie Belle.

The three crusaders all nodded in agreement, smiling happily.

Diamond Tiara gave a look of horror. Her reputation would be ruined. She searched her mind, desperately trying to think of a way out of the bet. "But you guys didn't even win Best Dramatic Performance! You just screwed up so badly you got Best Comedy Performance!"

"The bet wasn't about what prize we'd win: just that we would win a prize," stated Scootaloo.

"And we did!" said both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle.

Diamond Tiara tried another tack. "But...but that's not fair. It wasn't our fault our act was sabotaged."

“Yeah," chimed in Silver Spoon, "somepony stole the flowers we needed for our act, and it completely ruined our dramatic performance."

"Doesn't matter, a bet is a bet," Sweetie Belle said with a smug look of satisfaction on her face.

"Well, I'm not doing it. You can't make me," Diamond Tiara stated, in a last desperate attempt to avoid her fate.

"Okay then, Ah guess Ah'll just go tell your dad then." Apple Bloom shifted her voice in a bad impersonation of Filthy Rich, when Tiara had tried to get out of the talent show earlier that night. "You said you would compete in the show, and so you will, princess. We Riches keep our word."

"Yeah, Riches keep their word, right? So unless you want us to go to 'daddy', you've got to ask Snails," Scootaloo said, pointing towards Snails, who was over by the side exit. "Go ask him!"