• Published 20th Jul 2019
  • 659 Views, 49 Comments

A Series of Great Ideas (Or Not) - TheGuineaPig45



Shining Armor and Flam wake up in bed together, no memory of how they got there or what they did the previous night. All they know is that Apple Bloom has been kidnapped, and they're the guilty party.

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Chapter Two: Attempted Bird Slaughter

It was the middle of the morning, and the streets of Canterlot were bustling with ponies late for their jobs, tourists taking pictures of every little thing, or citizens looking for a quick bite to eat. For most ponies, this was a normal day. For Shining Armor and Flam, it was a minefield.

The two slowly crept toward the train station, taking every back alley and shortcut they could find. Any time a pony walked near them, they froze and gave them an awkwardly large smile, which garnered many confused glances. It also didn't help that both of their manes were disheveled, and their Apple Bloom-carrying suitcase was oversized and a bright, flashy pink.

“That pony is onto us,” Flam whispered, looking back at Jet Set, who had just turned his nose up at them. “He knows. He KNOWS, Shining!”

“Hush!” Shining replied in a similarly quiet voice. “Nopony knows anything. We’re almost at the train station. Do you have any money for tickets?”

“No…”

“NO?!” Shining shouted, drawing the attention of several nearby ponies. He clumsily waved at them, then led Flam behind a café. “You con ponies for a living. How do you not have any bits?!”

“I keep my spare bits in my hat,” Flam admitted. “Which is why I wanted to find it earlier! And besides, you’re the king of the Crystal Empire! Where’s your money?”

Shining rolled his eyes. “I’m the prince. And I got thrown out of the house yesterday! That’s the ONE thing I remember from last night. I didn't exactly get the chance to take any money with me!”

“Great,” Flam sighed, leaning against a wall. “How do we get to Ponyville now?”

Shining Armor thought for a moment. “Well, compared to everything that’s happened or is about to happen, I’d say sneaking onto a train isn’t THAT bad, right?”


Shining Armor and Flam sat in silence for most of the ride.

Sneaking onto the train had been easier than expected. The conductor was too busy checking the time to notice them get on board, and nopony questioned them once they were there. Shining hoped every other part of their plan would be as easy as this.

“So,” Flam said, breaking the silence. He was lying across two seats, his legs resting on the suitcase. “Is now a good time to bring up the kissing?”

“Not in the slightest,” Shining replied, his face glowing red. “Listen, once we get to Ponyville, just follow my lead, okay?”

Flam looked taken aback. “Your lead?! Why not my lead?!”

“Cause I’m the one who came up with the plan,” Shining pointed out. He then looked around and lowered his voice. “Besides, I’m not the one who kidnapped Apple Bloom, am I?”

“We BOTH kidnapped her!” Flam exclaimed, a little too loudly. The ponies across from them glared. Shining and Flam gave them wide, toothy smiles and shakily waved.

“Thank you for proving why I should be the leader,” Shining said. Flam pouted, but didn't argue. “We’re going straight to the Castle of Friendship, because that’s probably where Twily is. I’m going to do all the talking, so all you have to do is hang back with the suitcase, and try not to be noticed by anypony.”

Flam nodded his head. “I’m an incredible performer, so ponies just tend to notice me, but I’ll try to rein in my showponyship for our cause.”

Shining furrowed his brow, then sighed. “This should be easy. We go in, we go out, no problems whatsoever. Then we never have to see each other or worry about this again.”

“Perfection. Now, can we talk about the kissing?”

“No!”


The trek through Ponyville was even harder than the one through Canterlot.

Unlike Canterlot, Ponyville had almost no back alleys, and every shortcut was still out in the open. Even worse, Shining Armor knew nearly everypony there, so every ten seconds some mare or stallion was walking up to him, asking for a picture or wondering why he was there. Flam, on the other hand, hid behind every bush, tree, and barrel he could find, knowing his reputation in Ponyville had been soiled.

“Shining, get in the bush with me!” Flam whispered, his horn sticking out from his green cover.

“What? No!” Shining exclaimed, shaking his head. “I’m not getting into a bush with you!”

“We shared a bed, we shared a kiss, but you won’t share a bush?”

You look suspicious,” Shining pointed out, tapping the other unicorn’s horn. “I look like a regular pony, walking through town.”

“But we’ll never get there if ponies keep stopping you,” Flam whined, swapping Shining Armor’s hoof away. “Why do you keep taking pictures with them?!”

“Like I said earlier! I have a reputation as a lovable leader to uphold!”

“And I have a reputation as a conniving con-pony, but you don’t see me trying to sell broken tchotchkes to ponies!”

Shining sighed, then got into the bush beside Flam.

“Hey, you’re so big!” Flam said, rustling in the leaves. “Leave some room for me!”

“Do you want me in the bush or not?!” Shining shouted, causing some nearby ponies to stare at the bush. “Look, it’s just a straight shot from here to the castle. How fast can you run?”

“Ha!” Flam laughed. “You know how many times Flim and I have had to run out of a town that caught on to our tricks? Nopony is faster than me. Except for Rainbow Dash. And the Wonderbolts. And--” He looked beside him. Shining Armor was no longer there. Instead, the prince was already sprinting toward the castle. “Hey, wait for me!”

The unicorn duo arrived at the castle, and Shining used his magic to crack open the door. They peeked inside, saw nopony by the entrance, then walked in. Shining Armor silently gestured for Flam to stay put and watch the suitcase, then walked through the halls to find Twilight.

Flam began to whistle.


“Hey, Twily!”

“Shining Armor?!” the alicorn princess exclaimed, dropping the books she was levitating with her magic. As predicted, she was in the library with Spike. “You didn't tell me you were coming to Ponyville!”

“Surprise!” Shining replied, his voice ever so slightly quivering.

“I’m so happy to see you!” Twilight said, running over to give her brother a hug. Shining smiled at the gesture, but couldn’t help but feel guilty.

I don’t deserve this hug, he thought to himself. I’m a cheater, and a kidnapper, and a--

“So what brings you around these parts?” Spike asked, interrupting the flow of thought. “Is Equestria in danger? Do you need us?!”

Shining Armor let out a fake laugh. “Not today, no. I’m visiting a friend who retired from the Canterlot Royal Guard. And while I was in town, I wanted to ask you something. What do you know about memory spells?”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Depends on why you’re asking.”

Uh-oh.

Shining Armor hadn’t thought that far ahead.

“Uh, you know,” he hesitated, heart racing fast. “This friend of mine… they experienced trauma… and, um… I want to erase that trauma. That’s it. The whole story.”

Twilight shook her head. “Sorry, Shining Armor, but memory spells are extremely dangerous. Cast one incorrectly, and you accidentally erase ALL of their memories, instead of just one. I trust you, but…”

Shining sighed. “No, I understand. What about spells that bring memories back?”

“You want to bring back your friend’s trauma?” Spike gasped. “That’s horrible!”

“What? NO!” Shining said, facehoofing. “You know what? Never mind. I’m just gonna go. Twily, let’s make plans to hang out tonight. I'll take you out to dinner, maybe."

The alicorn smiled. “Sounds perfect. Oh, and sorry about the spell.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ve got a backup plan.”


Flam was whistling the song he sang to promote his Miracle Curative Tonic. It was his personal favorite of the songs him and his brother performed, and what he viewed as their most successful scheme. It brought back happy memories, which Flam needed. He had learned that kidnapping ponies was rather stressful.

In the middle of his reminiscing, however, the door opened, causing Flam to jump. He turned around to see who entered, and his heart dropped.

It was Applejack.

“FLAM?!” Applejack shouted, curling her lip. She was sweaty and panting, as if she had just ran to the castle. “What in tarnation are you doin’ in Twilight’s castle?”

“Well, howdy to you, too, Applejack,” Flam said, trying to mask his nervousness. He sat on top of the suitcase and gave her a big smile. “I’m here for a business venture. Why are you here?”

“My sister, Apple Bloom, has gone missing!” Applejack shouted, tears in her eyes. “I’ve looked for her everywhere but I can’t find her!”

Flam’s heart was racing. “Sister? I didn't know you had a sister.”

Applejack was taken aback. “Excuse me? You’ve met her at least twice.”

“Yes, but… um… do I really know her? Do I really know YOU? We’ve never just sat down and talked. Gotten to really know each other. We should fix that.”

Applejack gagged. “Not interested.” In her frenzied state, she hadn’t previously noticed the suitcase, but now her eyes gravitated toward it. “What’s in there?” she asked suspiciously.

“Oh, well, that’s my latest product!” Flam improvised, giving Applejack a wink. “It’s, um, well, tools... for, uh… bird slaughter.”

Applejack froze. Her face was blank. “Bird… slaughter?” she repeated.

“Uh, yes!” Flam confirmed, smiling. “Birds are so pesky sometimes, you know, with their constant calling, and their gross worm eating, and their pecking… not to mention their droppings! Sometimes, you just get so fed up that you want to KILL ‘em, right?!”

Just at that moment, Fluttershy walked into the room. Her entire body turned white. She looked traumatized.

“Hi, Flutterpony,” Flam said, smiling at the pegasus.

She took one glance at the suitcase, and ran off crying.

“I don’t think that’s going to do very well on the market,” Applejack said, her eyes shooting daggers at him. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a friend to comfort, and a sister to find.”

“Best wishes!” Flam called after her. He let out a deep sigh, and wiped the sweat off his brow. “Waaay too close, Flam,” he muttered to himself.

He laid on top of the suitcase, trying to get comfortable, until Shining Armor walked back into the room, his head hanging low.

“No dice?” Flam asked, making sure nopony was watching them.

“Unfortunately, Twilight’s moral compass is stronger than ours,” Shining sighed. “Which means we go to Plan B. Steal Twilight’s memory spells from her library!”

“Alright, let’s go!” Flam said, trotting off. After a moment, he realized Shining wasn’t behind him and stopped. “Why are you not trotting?”

“Twilight is currently in her library.”

“Oh.”

“We’re going to have to wait a few minutes,” Shining continued. “Let’s check on Apple Bloom. Make sure she’s still unconscious.”

Flam nodded, and the two walked into the bathroom, trying find privacy. They opened up the suitcase, and, sure enough, there was Apple Bloom, still asleep like they’d left her.

“You know what?” Flam said, patting Shining Armor on the back. “I think this plan just might work.”

WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?!”

The two unicorns turned around, and saw Starlight Glimmer staring directly at Apple Bloom. Shining Armor gasped and quickly closed the suitcase.

“Hey, this restroom is occupied!” Flam shouted. “Find your own bathroom!”

“We’re so dead,” Shining Armor moaned.