• Published 16th Jun 2019
  • 1,751 Views, 75 Comments

Sugarless Gumption - FanOfMostEverything



Rainbow Dash makes another ill-advised wager, but this time it's Pinkie who has to put her munchies where her mouth is.

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No Sugar, Entrees Only, Diner Destination

Summer vacation was a precious thing for the students of Canterlot High, especially as college loomed on the horizon. None of the Rainbooms wanted to admit it, but they knew their last hurrah as a music group was fast approaching. As such, they were making the most of the time they had left. That included striking a balance between quality and ponying up, though at least that had gotten easier since the trip to Camp Everfree.

As the last bars of "All Good" echoed through the Apples' garage, Rainbow Dash beamed and let loose a power chord that shook dust from the rafters. "Yes!" She leapt into the air, ears, hair, and wings shifting and keeping her suspended. "Aced everything without any magic!"

Applejack smirked up at her. "About that."

"Ha ha." Dash rolled her eyes as she landed, soon returning to normal. "But still, this means we can definitely do a whole bunch of performances over the summer without getting abducted or dissected or whatever Twilight was worried about."

Twilight crossed her arms. "Look, I know I'm not the only person on the planet who actually questions the nature of magic. Saying it's all video editing isn't going to work when we're performing live."

"And since we can definitely do all those performances this summer, it's time to celebrate!" Pinkie smiled wide enough for three people as she wheeled a tarp-covered cart into the garage. "And you all know what that meeeeans!"

The other girls rolled their eyes, some better-humored than others. As one, they said, "Pinkie's Tes—"

"Pinkie's Test Kitchen!" Pinkie grabbed the tarp, poised for the dramatic reveal. "So, for my third baking experiment this week, I made some—"

Dash's groan stopped the spiel dead. "Pinkie, enough already."

Nerveless fingers released the tarp. Pinkie's jaw dropped along with it. "Huh?"

Rarity moved to Dash's side and nodded. "I'm afraid I must agree with Rainbow, darling."

"But... but I..." Pinkie looked to the others.

Before anyone else could say anything, Rarity moved to Pinkie and put a hand on her shoulder. "Dear, I love you like a sister. And since you've met Sweetie Belle, you know that means that sometimes I just need you to stop for a moment. For the sake of my waistline, if nothing else."

Dash nodded and patted her stomach. "Yeah, I'm gonna have to double my usual workout to burn off what I already had this week. We're not all like you or Sunset, able to eat our weight in sugar every day and still pull off rockin' bods."

"I still have a pony metabolism," said Sunset. "I don't know what Pinkie's excuse is."

Pinkie sniffled and pouted at her with watery eyes. "Et tu, Occasum?"

Sunset held up her hands. "Hey, I'm all for your experiments."

"Yeah. Yeah! Everyone else likes my treats, don't you?" Pinkie turned her attention to the others.

Applejack shook her head, more focused on putting away her bass. "Oh, no. I ain't steppin' in this cowpat. Y'all can have yer little sugar drama without me."

Fluttershy nodded. No one else could tell who she agreed with, or if she was just listening to the woodlice in the walls again.

After a moment, Sunset nudged Twilight, who was writing so fast she nearly tore her notepad several times. "Uh, Twilight?"

"Gah!" Twilight flinched enough that she had to snare her thrown pencil in her telekinesis to reel it back. "Ahem, sorry. Planning out a potential experiment. Pinkie's good at baking." She gave Sunset a smile too eager to be called sane. "On a completely unrelated note, how would you describe the differences between pony and human metabolisms?"

Pinkie, Rainbow and Rarity turned back to one another, looks of varying frustration on their faces. "You know what?" said Dash. "I bet you can't even make anything that's not super-sugary!"

"Can so!"

"Wait, wha—" Dash shook her head. "I mean, oh yeah? Prove it! Or you'll accept it when we tell you stop forcing dessert on us!"

"I will! After our next concert, I'm gonna make us all the unsweetest meal you've all ever tasted! And it's still gonna be delicious!" Pinkie finally whipped back the tarp, revealing what appeared to be squares of stoplight-flavored custard on pie crust. "And then you're gonna eat my experimental triple-citrus bars and like them!"

"Our next concert," said Rarity.

"That's what I said!"

"As in our performance at Applejack's great-aunt's home this Sunday?"

"That's what I said," Pinkie said, a bit less certain this time.

"Just making sure." Rarity twirled on one foot and walked back to the makeshift stage. "Looking forward to it."

Pinkie tried to glare holes in the back of Rarity's blouse. "Oh, you'll love what I'm going to make."


"I have no idea what I'm going to make!" Pinkie wailed, head in her hands.

Sunset did her best to not roll her eyes. Video chat made that kind of catharsis more trouble than it was worth. "Maybe you shouldn't have accepted the challenge, then?"

"But I like cooking for my friends! It makes them happy, which makes me happy, and happy Pinkie is best Pinkie! And if Rarity and Dashie are getting tired of sweet stuff, that just means I've got to up my game!" Pinkie nodded at her own assertion a moment before wilting. "I just don't know how else to play."

"Isn't that what cookbooks are for?"

Pinkie stuck out her tongue. "Ugh, cookbooks. They take all the fun out of learning a recipe! My Granny Pie taught me how to make my first sugar cookie recipe herself, and that's how I like it. It's why I post baking videos and not just recipes on some forum."

Sunset frowned. "So why come to me?" Even for Pinkie, this didn't make sense.

"Well, Mom won't help 'cause she says I'm the one who got myself into this by making a foolish and prideful wager."

"Which you did."

"Marble's a super-good not-desserts cook, but she's not gonna go against Mom. And Applejack says it wasn't right to put my mouth where my money wasn't. Or, you know, something country-y along those lines." Pinkie had sagged with each new person she mentioned, but now she straightened up and beamed anew. "But you have to cook for yourself, and you're not afraid to get your hooves dirty!"

"I was talking about scientific research when I said that. Plus I get a lot of takeout, frozen stuff, and instant ramen. And, you know, hands." Sunset waved her noodle-tipped monkey limbs for emphasis.

"Not with my plan."

Sunset filed that under "Pinkie being Pinkie." "Also, I'm pretty sure helping one friend win a bet against another goes against the whole 'friendship' thing."

Pinkie shook her head, smirking smugly. "Don't you worry your condiment-colored head, my little parolee. Auntie Pinkie has it aaaaall figured out."

"I'm several years older than you. So what's this idea, anyway?"


"This is a terrible idea."

"Terrible?" Pinkie said. "Or amazing?"

Sunset felt an eyelid start to twitch. "I'm sticking with terrible."

Pinkie waved that off. "Come on, who could be a better teacher than me?" She smacked the Wondercolt statue base for emphasis.

"We can't just go to Equestria whenever we want."

Pinkie blinked, tilting her head in thought. "We can't? I thought Princess Twilight built a fancy portal doohickey so we could." She stuck her hand into the statue for emphasis. "Hee! I can't feel my fingers."

"No, I mean—"

"Besides," Pinkie added as she played patty-cake with the dimensional interface, "it'd hardly be the first time someone at CHS went to Equestria for fun."

Sunset stiffened as her entire thought process locked up. "What."

Pinkie turned back to her with a concerned frown. "Wait, you didn't know? Trixie buys a cartload of probably legal fireworks from herself every week."

After a few moments spent quelling the rage, Sunset said, "That would explain where she got that poster we put in the yearbook. And maybe how wild magic keeps entering our world." She sighed. "Why did you even ask me for help? I thought you did so I could write to Princess Twilight, but that clearly wasn't it."

"I thought you'd like to spend time in Equestria when there isn't some big important world-endy magic thing going on," Pinkie said with an utterly guileless smile.

Sunset couldn't help but smile back. "Okay, fine. But we're definitely going to have to talk to Princess Twilight about keeping the thing shut most of the time. You know, like I assumed it was."

"Responsibility later. Cooking now!" cried Pinkie, who was suddenly behind Sunset. A hard shove sent the Equestrian stumbling home.

"Pinkieeeeee!"

It turned out that it was indeed possible to spend the entire trip through the portal shouting.

After Sunset collected herself in the quarternary library of Namepending Castle, she took a few steps back from the mirror. Once Pinkie's ears were clear, she said, "Okay, walking on four legs might... be..." Sunset sighed as Pinkie started pronking about the room like she'd been born with four legs. "You've been here before, haven't you?"

Pinkie gave a very human shrug, nearly tipping over before she got her forehooves back on the floor. "Oh, once or twice. Or quarce. Or whatever the word for 'ten times' is. Other-me and I both wanted to broaden our party horizons."

After a moment of consideration, Sunset said, "So which one of you threw a way too accurate Equestrian cuteceañera for the CMCs?"

"Pinkie Pie, silly!"

"Of course." Sunset shut her eyes, took a deep breath, and turned to the library doors. "Let's just go get this over with before I have to explain this to Princess Twilight."

"Hi Sunset, hi Pinkie." Sunset opened her eyes to see a smiling Princess Twilight. "Explain what to me?"

That twitch started up again. "Banish it to the moon, did you know about this?"

"About what?" Twilight looked back and forth between Sunset's scowl and Pinkie's increasingly nervous smile. "Wait, didn't you agree to the interdimensional cultural exchange? We discussed it in the journal and everything."

"I thought that was all hypothetical! Who told you I did?"

"Eh heh heh..." Both turned to Pinkie, who tugged at a nonexistent collar. "So, why don't we go see me? Sound good? Sounds good." She dashed for the door. "Bye Prin— Waa!" The cry came as Pinkie's hooves left the floor, her whole body wreathed in crimson magic. "Magic is cheat!"

Sunset dragged her back and spun her around, the better to glare into her eyes. "We are having a talk after all this is done, young lady."

"I'm really sorry about this, Sunset," Twilight said, her ears flat.

After a moment, Sunset let out a long breath and gave Twilight a tired smile. "Well, we did want to bring the worlds together. This is just pushing up the timetable a little." She thought about that. "Or a lot. We'll figure it out. Now, where's the local Pinkie?"

"Sugarcube Corner!" said the nonlocal Pinkie. "Put me down and I'll take you there."

Sunset raised an eyebrow. "How do you know she's there?"

"Pinkie Sense, of course!" Pinkie's forelock twitched, then twisted to point out of the castle.

"So I can just use you as a Pinkie sensor."

Pinkie took in Sunset's smirk and gulped. "I take it back. This was a terrible idea."

"I don't know. Now I'm leaning towards amazing." Sunset trotted out of the room. "See you soon, Twilight!"

Twilight walked after her. "I feel like I should object to this."

"Sorry, can't talk, delivering a comeuppance!"


Sunset got a few funny looks on the way to Sugarcube Corner, but nopony said anything. Maybe it was because she was new in town. Maybe that was just how small-town Equestria worked and she, a Canterlot filly, didn't know.

Maybe, just maybe, nopony wanted to mess with the unicorn who was toting around a grown earth mare like a divining rod.

Sunset frowned as the thought struck her and let Pinkie dip down to her side. "Sorry about this, Pinkie. I just really don't appreciate how you went behind my back on this. Or tail, I guess."

"Yeah, we could've handled this better. Does it help if I mention that I stopped the CMCs from selling tickets? They were trying to claim it as the Canterlot Magical Conduit."

"It does," Sunset said with a smile. "Thanks."

"Soooo... Are you going to let me go?" Pinkie would've gestured to the aura still keeping her immobilized, but there was an aura keeping her immobilized.

Sunset picked her back up. "When we get there. I could use the telekinesis practice."

"Hi Pinkie! Hi Sunset Shimmer!"

It said something, thought Sunset, that she didn't even flinch when an identical party pony burst out of a hay bale, smiling and waving.

"Uh..." The stallion who had been pulling the wagon containing that hay bale clearly hadn't had nearly as much Pinkie exposure, going by his slackjawed expression.

"No changelings," said his passenger as she disembarked, "just a magic non-pool mirror and funny balding apes."

"O... kay?" He shook his head and sped away from the crazy. Sunset wasn't sure if she envied or pitied him.

She turned her attention to the newcomer. "Hi, uh, local Pinkie. What are you doing out here?"

"Oh, I took my lunch break early when I Sensed not-local me." As if on cue, both pink forelocks quivered and pointed at one another. One Pinkie turned to the other. "So, our horrible web of lies fell apart already? I thought we had another week."

"Well, I kind of need help with a bet, and I have to do it by myself, so I figured I could ask my other self! And I was so busy figuring that out that I kind of forgot Sunset didn't already know about how people are using the portal."

"Happens to the best of me. So, what brings me here?"

"I need to prove that I can make a recipe that..." Human Pinkie shuddered. "Isn't sweet."

The local Pinkie sucked a breath through her teeth. "Wow, they must have really gotten to you."

"My pride as a provider of tasty treats is on the line!"

"I totally understand. It's just like when Limestone—"

"—told me I wasn't making rock dumplings right!"

"Exactly! Lucky for you it's market day." Pony Pinkie swept a hoof across the many booths visible in the middle distance. "We've practically got booths on top of booths full of top-notch ingredients!"

"Perfect!" Human Pinkie's smile held out for several seconds, but eventually she cleared her throat. "Uh, Sunset, could you put me down now?"

"Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred." Sunset, who'd been lifting her friend-shaped weight up and down the whole time, blinked and said, "Huh? Oh, sure, sorry."


Applejack's face went through a full emotional journey as they approached: Recognition, anticipation, confusion, and finally acceptance. "Howdy, Pinkie. And, uh, Pinkie."

"Hi, Applejack!" they chorused.

She looked back and forth between the two. "You ain't been messin' with old legends again, have ya?"

"One of them's with me." Sunset stepped forward and offered her hoof. "Sunset Shimmer. We met briefly in the Crystal Empire."

Applejack smirked as she completed the hoofbump. "That's one way o' puttin' it. Heard about you from Twilight. Glad to hear yer doin' good fer yerself in that other world." She considered the Pinkies flanking Sunset. "So, which one of 'em's the hummen?"

"Human. And..." Sunset frowned as she looked back and forth between the two. "Darn it, this is half the reason I was keeping a hold on one. Let's see... Cheese Sandwich is overrated."

The resulting "He is not!" came in ear-flattening stereo.

"Ugh. Look, could one of you wear a hat or something?"

One Pinkie flexed her mane—long association kept Sunset from thinking about that too hard—and produced a baseball cap that read "If Lost, Return to Sunset Shimmer." "How's this?"

"Works for me."

Applejack cleared her throat. "So, what brings you by? Don't want to rush you none, but much as I like t' shoot th' breeze, I got hungry customers comin'."

The hatted Pinkie thrust a hoof into the sky. "We need ingredients for a grand culinary adventure!"

"Wait, that's why we're here?" said the other.

"Um, yeah. Why else?"

"To say hi to pony Applejack." Local Pinkie (probably (hopefully)) gestured towards the mare in question.

That got a slow nod. "Well, that is a good reason, but it wasn't the only one I had in mind."

"But we need to make something not-sweet. Apples are full of sugary goodness, especially Apple apples!"

"Uh..." Applejack scratched under her hat, likely trying to decide if that was praise or not. "Y'know, there are plenty o' tarter varities."

"Yeah, but we're cooking with them!" said hatless Pinkie. "We'd have to save the apples for a garnish or something. Sorry, Applejack." With that, both Pinkies trotted off.

Applejack turned to the last remaining potential customer. "I'm guessin' hard cider ain't an option?"

Sunset shook her head. "We're not legally allowed to drink back home."

Applejack drew back like she'd been slapped. "Shoot, why even stay there?"

"It has its perks. Now if you'll excuse me, I probably shouldn't leave those two unsupervised for long."

The Pinkies had made their way to a different stand, where the clerk, without the unique life experience of a Bearer, was looking even more concerned by twice the Pinkie he was accustomed to.

Said Hatless to Hat, "All I'm saying is that if you want something filling and yummy without being sweet, this is where to start."

Said Hat to Hatless, "And all I'm saying is that no one's going to want any!"

"Come on, your friends might be picky, but this stuff goes with literally everything! Even itself!"

Sunset interjected before anypony called whatever passed for police in Ponyville. "Pinkie, humans can't digest hay."

Hatless Pinkie's jaw dropped. "They can't?"

"We can't," said her counterpart.

"Oh. I was wondering why nohuman ever seemed to use any. Why even stay there?"

Sunset couldn't help but smile. "It has its perks. Come on, let's find something that'll actually translate well."

They hadn't gone six steps before hatted Pinkie pointed at another booth. "Ooh, ooh, what about that?"

"Hmm..." Hatless Pinkie rubbed her chin.

"That is literally a booth selling nothing but molasses," said Sunset.

Both Pinkies went silent for about ten seconds. "Riiiiight."

After several similar misses, the hatted Pinkie said, "Uh, Pinkie?"

"Yes, Pinkie?"

"I'm kind of noticing a trend in your market."

"What's that?"

"Well, everything so far seems to be fruit, human-inedible, or really expensive."

Hatless Pinkie waved away that last point. "Come on, six bits for a cherry's not that bad."

"At home, they sell them by the—"

Hatless Pinkie shoved a hoof over her counterpart's mouth and forced a smile at Boxy Brown as they walked by his stall. "Six bits a cherry isn't. That. Bad."

Once they were clear, the muzzled Pinkie edged away from her counterpart, her hat having been lost in the brief scuffle. "Ooookay. Creepy cherry cartels aside, I need, you know, not-sweet stuff!"

"Ponies do have a very sugary diet," said Sunset. "Why do you think I'm always up for taste testing?"

"But you've got to have something that isn't sweet or made of hay, don't you?"

The sound of a cleared throat made them turn to a nearby stall. "Ladies," the vendor said from behind his wares, "I believe I may be of assistance."

All three took in the offered items. "Pinkie, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Pinkie, but would she still be called Countess Coloratura if she were filmed in black and white?"

"Not that, the other thing."

"Oh. Oh! Yeah, that could definitely work!"

Sunset looked back and forth between the two. "This is a terrifying conversation to experience from the outside. Just saying."

The Pinkies shared a look that spoke volumes. "Sunset helps taste test?"

"Sunset helps taste test."

"Don't I get a say in this?" said the designated taste-tester.

They turned to her with matching devilish grins. "Free food."

"Made by earth ponies."

"... That argument shouldn't work as well as it does."


The concert might have been for an audience that had more cats than humans, but the cheers made it worth it regardless. That and a modest check, but Sunset still took the most fulfillment from bringing people happiness.

But now was a private matter for the band. As the various Apples began departing, the Rainbooms gathered in Goldie Delicious's yard at a fold-out picnic table. "Okay, Pinkie," said Dash, her eyes on a pot Pinkie had kept safe through Granny Smith's offensive driving, one big enough to contain a whole turkey. "Moment of truth. Do you have something sugarless, or are you gonna face the consequences?"

"Ha! Do I have something sugarless? Do I have something sugarless?"

"Um, do you have something sugarless?" said Fluttershy.

"I'm glad you asked." Pinkie's smile grew to one of the widest Sunset had ever seen as she charged the pot with her magic. "Ladies... Behold!" A pink burst sent the pot lid flying. "Chili!"

Steam wafted off of the bubbling, red-brown contents. Beans, vegetables, and meat glistened, redolent aromas of herbs and spices spreading from the pot. Everyone's eyes went wide. More than a few jaws dropped.

Pinkie's smile shifted to a smug smirk as she put a hand on her hip. She held out the other, letting the lid land in it. "I did add some unsweetened cocoa powder, but that's just for extra body." She grabbed a bowl off the stack next to the pot. "So, who wants some?"

"It's not too spicy, is it?" said Rarity, who took a napkin and delicately dabbed at what certainly wasn't drool. "I remember those Atzocan chocolate ginger snaps of yours."

Sunset shook her head. "I was her taste tester. Finding the right balance of heat and other flavors wasn't easy, but it was filling."

Twilight adjusted her glasses and put away the notepad she'd been using to parse her thoughts on explosion-based reheating. "Um, there's definitely meat in there. Is it one that's, you know, not an Equestrian sophont?"

"Of course it is!" said Pinkie. "I wouldn't make my bestest tester eat something she didn't want! That's why we got the recipe to work with carnitas after we got back."

"Got back from where, exactly?" said Applejack, one eyebrow cocked and ready to fire.

Sunset met her eyes and, unblinking, said, "From the farmers' market where we got some of the ingredients."

The two sat there for some time, enough for Pinkie to serve everyone. Applejack took a spoonful without breaking her gaze. Then she actually ate it. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her sockets as she looked at her bowl. "Jumpin' horny toads, this stuff's fantastic!"

Similar cries came from the other girls. Rainbow Dash spoke last, more focused on emptying her bowl as quickly as possible. Finally, as she scraped the sides, she said, "I've never been happy to lose a bet before."

"That much more hot yoga for me, I suppose," said Rarity, the grin on her face belying her mournful tone.

Pinkie beamed and put an arm around Sunset's shoulders. "And I couldn't have done it without Sunset!"

"Happy to... urgh." Sunset shuddered and wrapped her arms around her stomach.

"Sunset?" said Twilight.

"Everything okay, Sugarcube?"

Before Applejack could react, Sunset lunged at her with one hand, keeping the other over her stomach. Sunset's eyes flashed, and then she turned and ran for the house. "Sorry for reading your mind AJ need to use your great-aunt's bathroom!"

Fluttershy gulped, looking at her own bowl and looking ill. "Um, exactly how much taste testing did she do?"

"Well, we made eight little batches before we found the winner," said Pinkie, "and there was only so much room in pony-me's fridge. Well, I suppose it's actually the pony-Cakes' fridge."

"Y'all went to Equestria?" Applejack looked towards the house, split between pity for Sunset and annoyance at the half-truth.

"Sure! Who better to learn from than myself?"

"So you used Equestrian ingredients?" said Twilight.

"Well, this batch was mostly Earth stuff, but I did save a few Equestrian ghost peppers. The funny thing is that they actually look a little like ghosts over there!" Pinkie pulled one out of her hair. It was the size and shape of a jalapeno, only white, with black spots that suggested empty eyes and a wailing mouth. "See?"

At that moment, horrific wailing echoed out from Goldie Delicious's cabin. Shrieks like the rent souls of the damned melded with a voice that, while still alive, clearly didn't wish to be.

Everyone went as pale as the pepper. Twilight adjusted her glasses. "Ghost peppers, you said."

As if to confirm that, another round of ghastly shrieks sounded from the house.

"Oh dear," said Rarity, turning green.

"On Sunset's still Equestrian metabolism."

Pinkie gulped. "Uh oh. I'll, uh, I'll go check on her."

Even without reading Applejack's memories, finding the bathroom was easy. Pinkie just had to look for the door that had Granny Smith and Goldie Delicious in front of it "Land's sakes, Pinkie," said Granny, "what did you feed that girl?"

Goldie shook her head. "I haven't seen someone race for the outhouse like that since the two of us snuck into Old Man Bayou's pepper patch back in '47."

Granny glared at her. "We said we'd never speak o' that day."

"We said a lot o' things." A single moan, unearthly but less hair-raising than before, came through the door. Goldie turned away. "C'mon, now, Sugar Smith. Let's let the youngins sort out their problems."

Granny rolled her eyes but followed.

Pinkie just wrung her hands. "I'm so sorry, Sunset! I didn't know!"

"I know, Pinkie." The voice on the other side was ragged, but not angry. "Neither did I. But it's fine."

"Are you sure? Because—" Even Pinkie's sense of tact was enough to get her to cut off that thought before she finished it.

"It's a small price to pay for you girls. Even moments like this are just part of being with the Rainbooms, you know? These days, even with the occasional wild magic problem, I'm honestly glad that I brought Equestrian magic here. Whether we're performing or just spending time together, I get the best of both worlds. Especially when it involves a day trip back home."

"So... what you mean is..."

Sunset chuckled. "Yeah. A herd in the band is worth boo in the tush."

Author's Note:

Did I neglect to mention that this was an entry in Super Trampoline's Fimfiction Feghoot Festival until now? Whoops. :trollestia:

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Comments ( 75 )

I skimmed through because I thought the condition of the bet was going to be something REALLY embarrassing for Dash, and I'm glad that wasn't the case.

Now to add it to my read later list so I can properly go through the whole thing at another time

Comment posted by PhycoKrusk deleted June 16th

9682781
Dude, spoilers. And yes, I am proud of myself.

Yyyyyyyyyyou smartass.

Well played.

~Skeeter The Lurker

That was a fun story :moustache:

Poor Sunset. Dealing with Pinkie can be... stressful. :pinkiehappy:

Very fun story and you really made great use of both Pinkie bouncing off each other. Sunset stressing out and keeping all the rage in check was really in characters. You should really do a sequel about Sunset hunting down all of those who did go to Equestria for dangerous magical contraband and if they didn't do anything to... weird/dangerous/potentially criminal.

Worst offenders: Trixie, Flash, Octavia and Scootaloo.

Sunset shook her head. "I was her taste tester. Finding the right balance of heat and other flavors wasn't easy, but it was filling."

Little angry spirits tearing at your intestine. Fun picture. Nice little touch to have the ghosts wailing has they exit the "portal". Sunset is of course joining them in the chorus.

9682782
Whoops.

Well, I guess it’s kind of like falling off the roof: We all do it at least once.

"Gah!" Twilight flinched enough that she had to snare her thrown pencil in her telekinesis to reel it back. "Ahem, sorry. Planning out a potential experiment. Pinkie's good at baking." She gave Sunset a smile too eager to be called sane. "On a completely unrelated note, how would you describe the differences between pony and human metabolisms?"

Note to self: eating while reading your stories is a great way to choke laughing.

Pinkie shook her head, smirking smugly. "Don't you worry your condiment-colored head, my little parolee. Auntie Pinkie has it aaaaall figured out."

At least this time I swallowed before 'my little parolee' made me bust a gut.

Pinkie turned back to her with a concerned frown. "Wait, you didn't know? Trixie buys a cartload of probably legal fireworks from herself every week."

That makes so much sense it might as well be canon.

That twitch started up again. "Banish it to the moon, did you know about this?"

I'm gonna have to start using that cuss in my own writing.

"Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred." Sunset, who'd been lifting her friend-shaped weight up and down the whole time, blinked and said, "Huh? Oh, sure, sorry."

My brother used to do this kind of thing to me. And that entire Pinkie(s) conversation was great.

Applejack's face went through a full emotional journey as they approached: Recognition, anticipation, confusion, and finally acceptance. "Howdy, Pinkie. And, uh, Pinkie."

:applejackunsure: Wise choice.

One Pinkie flexed her mane—long association kept Sunset from thinking about that too hard—and produced a baseball cap that read "If Lost, Return to Sunset Shimmer." "How's this?"

:rainbowlaugh:

All three took in the offered items. "Pinkie, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

They're Pinkie and the Pie, Pinkie and the Pie, one is a human, and AJ asked why!
If they conquered the world, insanity would rule!
They're Pinkie, Pinkie and the Pie Pie Pie Pie...

At that moment, horrific wailing echoed out from Goldie Delicious's cabin. Shrieks like the rent souls of the damned melded with a vocie that, while still alive, clearly didn't wish to be.

Typo. Also, Sunset, I been there. :ajsleepy:

As for that ending... you cheeky so-and-so.

As usual, you do not disappoint!

9682898
Given the nature of the story, I'm going to have to ask you to spoil that last quote. Glad you enjoyed it and didn't choke to death while doing so!

*Starts reading* Well this is kind of fun. And funny.

*Reaches end*...

I am so mad at you right now. I feel so betrayed.

Still, it's a fun story. Very entertaining.

...You son of a bitch.

I think you could hear my sigh at the end there halfway across England. The story was a lot of fun though

I only suspected right before the reveal that this was a feghoot. Good work.

...I was VERY tempted to give a Negative for that HORRIBLE pun at the end...but the story was too much fun for that.

Definitely a good story! I also wasn't expecting that part with the Ghost Peppers!!

I have always thought that there should be more about Pinkie's cooking outside of baking and I do think she should be good at it.

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Choking to death while reading. Heck of a police report.

FOME, you magnificent bastard, you got me but good. Though, now I really need to know more about these Equestrian ghost peppers. And possibly Sunset’s metabolism. At any rate, good job.

I. Have. No. Words. :pinkiecrazy:

She could have just tried doing stuff with dark chocolate (as in, chocolate without sugar). That's quite good, actually.

And some Mexican mole sauces include dark chocolate, too.:twilightsmile:

So, lots of thoughts on this one, all of which are good, but let's list some of them in order:

"noodle-tipped monkey limbs" is absolutely perfect and considering your Sunset I'm going to just presume she would and has called them that out loud to her friends.

Sunset should be glad that she hasn't yet had to see or hear about tour guide Pinkie leading a group of Pinkies around CHS.

I wonder how often they've done that fast-talking routine, gone home and only remembered an hour later that they're the other Pinkie.

I couldn't help but imagine AJ going through the other full emotional journey, too. 'That's not two Pinkie's I'm seeing, I just grabbed the wrong cider this morning. Who's fault is it this time?! I'll buy pears for lunch if that's just Fluttershy in a really realistic Pinkie suit. Either my sanity or my sales stock are not going to survive the next five minutes...' "Howdy, Pinkie. And Pinkie."

Yes, I imagine "...why even stay there?" is a preferable phrase-you-keep-hearing compared to "...raging she-demon. No offense."

Well, we all know that if you go to live in the human world taking along some gemstones and gold coins is the easy way to secure yourself a comfortable living, but who ever remembers that the key for doing it the other way round is finding yourself a cherry dealer? Also, does that mean Applejack went undercover in a criminal organization in "The Last Roundup"? Does she have ties to the Equestrian underworld now?

Why was the Sunset so smart? Because she had to take the part of two Brains.

The concert might have been for an audience that had more cats than humans.

Considering one of the band members is Fluttershy and the concert was at an Apple-family-related event, that comparison really gives just about no actual indication of the crowd size.

Considering Pinkie's geode power, are there any thoughts on explosion-based reheating Twilight could have that Pinkie hasn't already put to practice?

All in all another wonderful story with the kind of witty writing we expect and love from you. Also you should be ashamed of that pun at the end but that's just a given. :derpytongue2:

"Made by earth ponies."

And Mr. and Mrs. Cake sue you for racial slander.

or are you gonna face the consequences?"

What are those? You never agreed on anything.

I don't get what happened with Sunset. And why it doesn't happened with the other rainbooms.

9683284

I think the notion is that there are multiple old ladies at the concert, and they've all brought their cats with them.

Oh my God, this is epic :3 And FUN :heart:

Ghost Peppers are too cute to eat ;-;

Fluttershy nodded. No one else could tell who she agreed with, or if she was just listening to the woodlice in the walls again.

This one. This is the best line.

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How does one cook with explosions?

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Eating from several different batches of chili is sure to cause your bowels some distress. Spicy foods tend to do that, which is why it's usually a joke for things like Mexican or Indian food.

And Sunset has had time to digest the food, she had the samples at least the day prior. The others will probably be feeling it within a day or so.

I was seriously expecting someone to make like Twilight did in the very first episode with the hot sauce.

9683315
...So Pinkie makes a comment that Equestria cooking taste better when made by earth ponies, which Sunset agrees with, and The Cakes -- who are earth pony bakers -- are going to sue them for it not being true?

9683453
Must have misread that, I thought Sunset was saying it as a negative.

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I did try to leave some subtle warnings, like the memey chapter title and cover image. Little hints that this story lies under the shadow of a certain someone's webbed wings.

9682820
On some organs more than others.

9682859
Interesting choices for the worst offenders. Trixie's established in-story, and Flash's reasons for visiting Equestria live in the portal facility, but I have to wonder about the other two. And it leads into the question of how the portal affects Scootaloo's age, since she may be older than her equine analogue...

9682967
There's no need to bring my mother into this. This was all me. Also see the top of this comment.

9683108
Oh, Pinkie's a natural in the kitchen. She was just operating far outside of her comfort zone, and bet or no bet, she would accept nothing less than the best for her friends.

9683184
Rumors that every ghost pepper contains a restless soul are entirely baseless. It's only one per plant. You don't even need to kill anyone to get a seed to germinate; it's a natural form of reincarnation. Just not a very pleasant one. This is what happens when seed collectors harvest from around the gates of Tartarus.

As for Sunset, her body still expects an amount of carbohydrates that non-Pinkie humans would find ludicrous. She also can't believe she's allowed to buy instant ramen and not alcohol; she gets a longer-lasting buzz out of the former than the latter. (I just decided that now, but there's definitely a story idea to be had there...)

9683252
As Pinkie noted, she did work some cacao powder into the chili.

9683320

What are those? You never agreed on anything.

The stakes were clearly stated: If Pinkie loses, she doesn't get to complain when Dash and Rarity opt out of future taste tests. If she wins, they have to try those triple-citrus bars. (:pinkiehappy: "Lime, lemon, and blood orange!")
Not very high stakes, but they matter to Pinkie.

9683397
Simple: You slow down the explosion. By staying in contact with the chili, Pinkie was able to mediate the reaction and release the energy more gradually. The popping lid was pure showmanship.

9683284

"noodle-tipped monkey limbs" is absolutely perfect and considering your Sunset I'm going to just presume she would and has called them that out loud to her friends.

It came up most often back when she was dating Flash and using him to vent her frustrations about the human world. The phrases "techno-barbaric ape-things," "magicless wasteland," and "self-righteous sun nag" also cropped up with some frequency.
Flash still considers Sunset one of his best sources for song lyrics.

I wonder how often they've done that fast-talking routine, gone home and only remembered an hour later that they're the other Pinkie.

Both occasionally worry they've forgotten which Pinkie they really are.

Yes, I imagine "...why even stay there?" is a preferable phrase-you-keep-hearing compared to "...raging she-demon. No offense."

With the former, Sunset just has to smile and think of the Internet. And human Twilight.

Well, we all know that if you go to live in the human world taking along some gemstones and gold coins is the easy way to secure yourself a comfortable living, but who ever remembers that the key for doing it the other way round is finding yourself a cherry dealer? Also, does that mean Applejack went undercover in a criminal organization in "The Last Roundup"? Does she have ties to the Equestrian underworld now?

Despite all rumors to the contrary, Cherry Jubilee does not own Dodge Junction.
Cherry Jubilee is Dodge Junction.

Why was the Sunset so smart? Because she had to take the part of two Brains.

Narf.

Considering Pinkie's geode power, are there any thoughts on explosion-based reheating Twilight could have that Pinkie hasn't already put to practice?

Twilight never stopped to wonder if Pinkie could induce other exothermic reactions until that point. Heck, I'm not sure if Pinkie stopped to wonder if Pinkie could induce other exothermic reactions until that point. As I've said in the past, it's a very good thing that that girl's taking chemistry classes. For everyone else's sake at least as much as hers.

So...who ARE they gonna call?

Also, those peppers make me ask QUESTIONS.

And I'm now imagining an Equestria Girls version of this, just hopefully with a more... dignified origin.

But yes, that was sneaky and terrible. Really had me going. Good work.

9683540
Or they might have to deal with something akin to The Golgothan from 1998's Dogma

9683511
So... the spirit of the plant is actually spawning multiple instances of itself in each of it's seeds then. Or they summon more restless souls for more plants by default and are released when the seeds are destroyed by digestion. Oh dear.

Dodge Junction has only one rule. Don't. Buck. With Jubilee.

It's also good she's Laughter, the harmony mixed in makes any explosions far more harmless and slapstick than they have any right to be. Hopefully she never learns and decides to turn off 'stun mode'.

I've had the image for a long time of Pinkie using Twizzlers as fuse or det cord and fudge as plastic explosives for shaped charge purposes.

9682898

All three took in the offered items. "Pinkie, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

'They're Pinkie and the Pie, Pinkie and the Pie, one is a human, and AJ asked why!
If they conquered the world, insanity would rule!
They're Pinkie, Pinkie and the Pie Pie Pie Pie...'
Now that's going to be stuck in my head for a while!:pinkiehappy:

9683511
Ironically for me; I had chili for dinner tonight before reading this

The sound of a cleared throat made them turn to a nearby stall. "Ladies," the vendor said from behind his wares, "I believe I may be of assistance."

If I had to guess...peppers. And btw, this story is FREAKIN’ HILARIOUS!!!

"Sorry, can't talk, delivering a comeuppance!"

I cracked up soooo much here.

"I still have a pony metabolism," said Sunset. "I don't know what Pinkie's excuse is."

...That raises a lot more questions than it answers, I think.

Cute story, always nice to see you writing again.

9683920
That tends to happen around Pinkie(s).

With the new EqG Choose Your Own Ending short, I enjoyed it even more as it fits a lot about Sunset's condition in the end x)

Niiice! Great use of two Pinkies!

Have we seen Cheese Sandwich as EQG Human? ... Oh, I guess you're using him as EQG!"Weird Al" Yankovic... Shipping EQG!CheesePie seems like it might have age gaps. Hmm...

Something new to say... Ah! "How did the triple citrus bars go?"

And will Pinkie continue to diversify her culinary offerings?

Plus, introducing the products of digesting ghost peppers into the Earth world, does anything?

9683511

Are there more pleasant forms of plant-based reincarnation? *shrugs*

----

Typo?

a Canterlot filly like she didn't know

a Canterlot filly like her didn't know

"Pinkie, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

"I think so, Pinkie, but would she still be called Countess Coloratura if she were filmed in black and white?"

You magnificent so-and-so.

Astonishingly - or maybe not - this actually isn't the only feghoot on FimFiction with that punchline. I guess that's what you get for going for a tightly-constrained Spoonerism: risk that someone else might have done it too!

I love the amount of incidental comedy you have scattered through this. The closing pun itself felt less justified than the other fic I've seen that used it, but the journey was still delightful to get here. Thank you.

The two Pinkies played well off of each other, and the reactions to the two were just as funny. :pinkiehappy:

"Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred." Sunset, who'd been lifting her friend-shaped weight up and down the whole time, blinked and said, "Huh? Oh, sure, sorry."

...I can picture the scene in my head, it'd make for a great visual gag. :rainbowlaugh:

Creepy cherry cartels

So... Cherry Berry is the estranged daughter (or other relative) of a mafia boss. Explains how she could go deal with Chrysalis so easily when she became the lead astromare of their space program. :derpytongue2:

"I am going to make you an offer you... can't refuse."

"For the last time, no, dad. I'm going back to space."

"Got back from where, exactly?" said Applejack, one eyebrow cocked and ready to fire.

Sunset met her eyes and, unblinking, said, "From the farmers' market where we got some of the ingredients."

Technically completely true. She just neglected to mention it was a farmer's market in another dimension. :raritywink:

"Ghost peppers, you said." [...] "On Sunset's still Equestrian metabolism."

...Is there a horse biology related joke here? I... don't get it? :rainbowhuh:

I mean, if they're selling them in Equestria, they must be made for pony-stomachs to handle, so... wouldn't Sunset have reacted the same in her unicorn-form? But shouldn't those come with a hazard warning then? Who'd be selling that sorta thing in a pony-town? :derpyderp1:

Also, should I be concerned about what, or who those obviously haunted ghost chilly peppers used to be? :rainbowderp:

"Yeah. A herd in the band is worth boo in the tush."

"herd" But... there isn't any romance here...? :rainbowhuh:

I get it's a pun, and I vaguely remember having heard an expression once or twice ending with "... in the tush" (which I am not particularly inclined to go googling for), but I'm afraid the joke is lost on me, sorry. :facehoof:

9683568

So... the spirit of the plant is actually spawning multiple instances of itself in each of it's seeds then. Or they summon more restless souls for more plants by default and are released when the seeds are destroyed by digestion. Oh dear.

Don't worry; those were just the ghosts of dead intestinal flora. They're just being dramatic about it.

I've had the image for a long time of Pinkie using Twizzlers as fuse or det cord and fudge as plastic explosives for shaped charge purposes.

:pinkiecrazy: "The outer shell is a conventional shaped charge of peanut butter fudge. However, the implosion brings together two subcritical pieces of sour blue rock candy to initiate the chain reaction."
:twilightoops: "I don't how I got into this conversation and I would very much like to leave."

9683910
Comeuppance is a lovely word, as Pinkie has demonstrated in the comics.

9683920
Many questions about transformed Equestrian horgans remain unanswered. Twilight is, of course, working to correct that. For science.

9684329
This particular Cheese Sandwich could be Weird Al, or he could just be a popular comedy-music EweTuber. I deliberately left it vague.

As for the potential typo, I had think carefully about that myself, but you wouldn't say "Maybe that was how it worked and her didn't know."

9684527
Link? I definitely want to read that story now.

9685155
"Herd" was meant solely in the sense of "group of people with horse magic." No polyamory intended.

9684527

9685307

Story seems to be "The Minuette-ventures of Twilight Sparkle", last chapter?

From Google?

----

"A Canterlot filly like her", is using "her" / "she", differently from "she didn't know"?

9685364
Yeah, that's right. I had been avoiding mentioning it by name because, y'know, it seems somewhat bad form to mention a feghoot by its punchline. Spoilers or something. But yes, you're correct: Here's the link.

And in case my last comment came across too negatively, I just wanted to reiterate how much fun it was seeing the two Pinkies bounce off each other, with Sunset as the perfect long-suffering straight mare. I'm still grinning now.

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