• Published 1st Sep 2019
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Who Is Pinkie Pie? - Irrespective

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6. - What Can You Tell Me About Her?

* * Ω * *


It was Rainbow Dash's Element, after all. She was loyal to her friends and to all of Equestria, but now she had encountered a problem with her very core beliefs.


It was not something she was very familiar with, much like proper punctuation or patience, nor could she solve this one by simply going faster. This little stunt of Long Run’s was bringing up all sorts of new feelings that could broadly be called conflicted, and Rainbow hated that. Her relationship with him had always been of the good friend variety, somepony who she could hang out with and shoot the breeze, so to speak. Long had been her go-to guy friend since they were both young, and even if she would never outright admit it, she did respect his teaching abilities and his willingness to help others.

His hints and tips had helped her to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a Wonderbolt, after all. He was the one who had shown her how to streamline her flying, how to achieve the maximum amount of thrust with each wingbeat, and how to correct her angles of attack for her acrobatics. She still would have become a Wonderbolt eventually, of course, but with his help, she had achieved her goals all the sooner.

But none of that explained why her stomach began to do barrel rolls in her gut whenever Long got too close to Pinkie Pie, or why she felt so deeply annoyed over the time he was spending with her. There was no rational reason for it—or, at least none that was coming to mind—but she couldn’t really figure out why he was trying to mess with her head, either. He wasn’t really much of a prankster, preferring to snark and offer dry, witty commentary on the goings-on around him. The only thing that could possibly explain why Long Run was acting like a jerk was because he was upset with her about the whole ‘I don’t know who Pinkie Pie is’ thing, but even then, he was the one who had been right all along, so he’d already won that fight.

“I just need to talk to him,” she muttered as she touched down in front of Sugarcube Corner. “Once I tell him to knock it off, everything will be fine.”

A cheerful bell announced Rainbow’s entrance with a jingle, and it only took a moment for Dash to locate Long Run and Twilight Sparkle. The two of them—and just them—were sitting at a table towards the back of the store, with a half-eaten pile of snickerdoodle cookies between them and a heap of books spread across the surface, some open and some closed. Long Run laughed at something as Rainbow approached, but Twilight saw her coming and waved her over.

“Hey, Rainbow! Where did you run off to?” she asked as Rainbow sat down.

“I had some… stuff, yeah. Stuff to do,” she said with a glare for Long. “So where’s Pinkie Pie, huh?”

“She said something about having some errands to run,” Long Run replied with a shrug. “So the Princess and I have just been chatting about this and that for the last half hour or so.”

“Please, Long. Call me Twilight,” Twilight insisted.

“Fair enough. Care for a cookie, Dash?” Long nudged the plate towards her with a grin. “They’ve cooled off a bit, but they’re still fresh. Pinkie made them before she had to leave.”

It was impossible to say no to a Pinkie Pie snickerdoodle, and Rainbow took a moment to savor the taste once it hit her tongue. “So, what have you two been chatting about? Trying to see if there’s something else I showed Twilight how to do wrong?”

“We did discuss that a little, but I doubt there’s anything else I need to fix,” Long Run replied. “It’s mostly just form that we need to work on, and those wing positions. Honestly, I think you taught Twilight better than I could have.”

Rainbow sat up a bit straighter, and her chest puffed out with pride. “Naturally. You are talking to Equestria’s best flyer here, after all.”

“And I doubt you’d let me forget it,” Long said with a roll of his eyes. “As you can see, I’ve been showing Twilight where Flights O’Fancy was wrong, and I think she’s slowly starting to see the light.”

“I admit O’Fancy got a few things wrong, but he still was a pioneer in the field of aviation,” Twilight said. “I mean, look at the contributions he made to our understanding of fluid dynamics.”

“Oh, yeah, sure.” Rainbow scoffed. “We owe a debt to him for incorrectly copying Glide Wing’s dynamic pressure equations and sending dozens of pegasi plummeting to the ground when they miscalculated their maximum altitudes.”

“Right,” Long said. “And that’s just one of the errors he introduced into modern thinking. How about that ‘Skipping Stone’ philosophy of his?” he added with a playful nudge of Rainbow’s shoulder.

“Yeah, that one was thought out well,” Rainbow said with a scoff. “‘It’s just like skipping stones across a lake! That’s what gives wings lift!’ I mean, at least the Equal Transit Theory sounds like it could work.”

“That’s true.” Long nodded. “The only problem with that is you can’t assume that molecules arrive at the trailing edge of your wing at the same time.”

“You have to account for temperature as well,” Rainbow added. “Higher temperatures are going to affect pressure, and… and what’s so funny?” Rainbow asked the giggling Twilight.

“Nothing. It’s just cute to watch you two work off each other like this,” Twilight said.

“Cute?” Rainbow leaned back. “How is this cute?”

“The way you both complement each other. You’re picking up right where he stops without missing a beat, and that little smile that comes out when he’s talking is adorable!”

“I’m not smiling,” Rainbow huffed. “I’m just… gassy. That’s all.”

“Right.” Twilight bobbed her eyebrows.

“Twilight, do you mind if I ask you something a little bit personal?” Long interjected.

“I don’t mind. What’s your question?”

“Well, I’m curious about Pinkie Pie,” he said. “I’m sure you’ve heard all about how I just barely met her, but I’d like to get to know her better. What can you tell me about her? What does she like? What are her interests, her passions?”

“Those are some interesting questions,” Twilight said, and she leaned back in her chair as she thought. “I’m not sure where to start. I guess the main thing to know is that Pinkie Pie is… energetic.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Rainbow snarked.

“But she’s also very friendly,” Twilight went on, despite the interruption. “Honestly, I wish I had her enthusiasm and her ability to see the good in everypony. She’ll drop everything to help out somepony in need, and she lives to see others smile. She wants everypony to be just as happy as she is, and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring happiness to anypony who needs it. She just… well, you can’t really describe her in just a sentence or two. Once you get to know her, you find she’s a lot more complex than her exterior would suggest.”

Long nodded thoughtfully. “That’s pretty much what Rainbow has told me about her, too.”

“The main thing with Pinkie is to expect the unexpected,” Twilight went. “I nearly drove myself nuts trying to figure her out when we first met, and then I realized I just needed to accept that Pinkie is Pinkie. I don’t want to suggest that’s a bad thing, but she says and does a lot of stuff that will seem random and nonsensical at times. It’s hard for her to contain all of her energy, so it just kinda explodes out of her every now and then.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow added. “Frequently.”

“I’ve found it’s best to not ask ‘why’ with her and her antics,” Twilight said. “It’s almost impossible to figure out what’s going on in her head, since half the time, she doesn’t know either, so just be patient and roll with whatever comes along. It might take some time, but eventually, and inexplicably, Pinkie Pie will make sense.”

Long laughed a little. “Got it. She’s been pretty friendly with me, and I love how curious she is. I’ll keep all of that in mind when I talk with her next.”

“Good,” Twilight said as she stood and gathered up the books with her magic. “But I need to get going, too. Long, thanks for the lesson; I appreciate the tips. Maybe we can meet up again and practice more?”

“I’m free until the end of the month,” Long replied. “Just let me know what works best for your schedule.”

“I’ll get with Spike and see where I can fit you in at. I’ll see you both later.”

Rainbow watched her friend leave, then reached out to grab another cookie. “So, what else do you have planned for today, Long?”

“That was it, actually,” he said with a shrug. “I intentionally made no plans for my vacation. I wanted to decompress more than anything.”

“Really? Why?” she asked, little bits of cookie escaping from her mouth. “It’s not like your job is all that hard.”

“Well, yeah, it’s not like I’m out bucking apples out of trees all day long, but travelling that much can wear on you all the same,” he said. “I mean, it doesn’t seem like it, but imagine what it's like to wake up in a hotel bed every day. Pretty much nothing in the room is really yours, the smells are strange and sterile, and believe or not, but rock-hard bagels and day-old coffee for breakfast gets old pretty quick. I’ve enjoyed being in my bed at night, with my blankets and pillows and surrounded by my stuff. There are times when…”

“When what?” Rainbow pressed, but in a soft voice.

“Don’t laugh, but there’s times when I think about what it would be like to wake up in my own house every day.” His gaze went to the table, and a forehoof ran around the edge of the cookie plate. “I mean, maybe it sounds stupid to you, but I get lonely sometimes. It’s hard for me to make friends since I’m gone so much, and… well, I just… I’d like to settle down a bit, I think. I still want to teach my long-distance flying classes, but I just don’t know how long I want to keep travelling around. Honestly, I’m a bit envious of what you have here, you know.”

“You are?” Dash asked.

“Yeah. You have all your friends here to hang out with, and you have enough time to be a Wonderbolt, teach at Princess Twilight’s school, and still be on the weather team. You get to go home to your own house every night. You even have a flying pet tortoise! How cool is that?”

“Tank is pretty awesome,” Rainbow agreed, and they both chuckled. “So, what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.” Long drew in a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then let it out slowly. “But I’m not going to worry about it for right now. I want to enjoy what time off I have, and just relax for once. Maybe you and I can go for a fly sometime, like we used to way back when. Do you remember when we went to Vanhoover together?”

“I got in so much trouble with my parents for that,” Rainbow said with a wry smile as the memories of the trip came back to her. “Funny thing is, they were more mad that I took off without telling them. They were totally cool with me being on my own.”

“They didn’t care that you were with me?” he asked, and she shook her head.

“Nah. They actually were happy that I went with you. They said they knew you’d keep me from doing anything really dumb.”

“It wasn’t easy,” he quipped, and he laughed when Rainbow slugged his shoulder. “But it was fun, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah. We could go do something like that again, if you’d like.” Rainbow said, a warm feeling of joy slowly spreading out from her chest. “But if we did, who’s gonna take care of things at your house?”

“I bet it would be fine, so long as I lock the doors,” he said thoughtfully, but then a small grin came. “Or maybe I could ask Pinkie Pie to keep an eye on it. I bet she’d wear that maid’s outfit for me.”

The good feeling was gone in an instant, and Rainbow scowled. “You wouldn’t dare.”

“Ask her to wear the outfit? Yeah, probably not. I just met her, and that’d be creepy.”

“But it’s cool to pester me about it?”

“Yeah. That’s what best friends are for, right?” he asked.

Rainbow’s heart began to pound in her chest, and her eyes went wide. “Me? Uh, I mean, yeah! Totally! That’s what best friends are… wait a minute! I’m not going to wear that!” She slugged him again, but the punch did not abate his laughter. “You jerk!”

“I almost had you there!” he chortled. “So close!”

* * Ω * *

“Good morning, Golden Harvest!” Long Run said with a cheerful smile. “How are you doing today?”

“I’m doing fine, Long,” Golden replied with a matching smile. “You’re in luck! I just harvested these carrots this morning, so you get first pick of the freshest bunch.”

Long looked over Golden’s carrots, and he took a deep whiff of the scent. “Those do smell good. I’ll take two dozen, if I may.”

“Of course! I think somepony is shopping hungry, though,” she said with a wink.

“Maybe a little, but I’m enjoying eating homemade meals for once,” he replied as she began to package his order. “At least, I am when I don’t burn everything. I haven’t had to cook for myself in a while,” he added with some embarrassment.

“Hey, it’s understandable,” she replied. “I like to travel every now and then, but I don’t think I could do it as often as you do. I’m sure eating out all the time is expensive, too.”

“Yeah, it’s a sizable part of my budget,” Long admitted over the jingle of bits passing from his hoof to hers. “But it is what it is. Thanks for the carrots.”

“Anytime. Enjoy!”

Long took the bundle of carrots with a nod, and he slid them into his saddlebag before moving on to the next shop in the farmer’s market. He had a few ideas in his head for some meals to try out, and he still had three weeks left before his vacation would be over.

Though as he looked over the bustling stands, he had to admit that he was going to miss all of this when he did go back to his regular routine. It was nice to see the same friendly, familiar faces each day, to know their names and how they were doing. He liked how inclusive Ponyville was, and how each of the ponies there genuinely cared about his well-being and his activities.

“Hey, Long!”

And, perhaps most of all, he enjoyed seeing Rainbow Dash on a daily basis. With a small grin, he turned and watched as she landed, and he shared a hoof bump with her. “Morning, Dash. What’s up?”

“Just dropping in to get some food for Tank,” she replied. “What are you up to?”

“Restocking my icebox,” he said. “Somepony keeps coming over and eating my food.”

“Hey, you’re the one who’s been offering,” she replied. “You don’t like it, then quit sharing.”

“I doubt I could do that,” he said, and he felt a little jolt of happiness run up his spine when Rainbow smiled. “Do you happen to know if Applejack has any more cider?”

“I think so,” she replied. “Let’s go check. I wanna get some too, if she has any.”

“And here I thought you were just going to steal all of mine,” he quipped.

“I don’t take that much,” she said with a snort.

“Uh huh. And who, exactly, was the pony who downed a six-pack two nights ago all by herself?”

“Shut up,” she muttered, and he laughed.

“You wanna just keep what you buy at my place? It’ll save you the trouble and the teasing, you know.”

“I might just do that, since you’re being all whiny about it,” she shot back as they approached Applejack’s stall.

“Morning, Long. Dash,” the chipper farmer offered with a knowing grin. “Before you ask, Ah saved a couple of cases of my finest cider just for the both of you. They’re back at the farm, but Ah’ll swing by with them later today, if that’ll be all right.”

“You are a lifesaver, you know that?” Long said with a grin.

“Ah know,” Applejack replied smugly. “Dash, Ah’ll drop off your order at Long’s place. Save me the trouble of getting up to your house.”

“That’s fine,” Rainbow said, and she glared at the giggling Long. “Shut up, you.”

“What’s so funny?” Applejack asked.

“Absolutely nothing, nothing at all.”

“Oh, hey! Has Pinkie Pie found you yet, Long?” Applejack went on. “She was lookin’ for you earlier. Seemed like she was pretty anxious, too.”

“Really?” Long said with a thoughtful grunt. “Well, I’ll head over to Sugarcube Corner after this and see what’s up. But I need a dozen of your finest apples, if I may.”

“‘Course. Comin’ right up,” Applejack said, but then she hesitated. “Uh, Dash? You okay?”

“I’m fine,” she grumbled. “Why wouldn’t I be fine? Everything’s fine.”

“Oooh kay. You were just looking a mite bit irritated there for a moment.”

Applejack shrugged, and Long Run studied Rainbow’s face as the farmer began to fill a sack with his order. The stunt mare did seem perturbed, but he had no idea why. Unless she was angry at Pinkie for some reason, but he couldn’t fathom why she would be.

Whatever the reason, it was probably for the best to stay out of it, but maybe he could cheer Rainbow up all the same. “Hey, Dash, would you like to stay for dinner when you come by to pick up your cider? I was thinking of trying out an apple berry salad.”

The sour look instantly changed into a pleased grin. “Sure! Somepony has to make sure you don’t burn it, after all.”

“I’d be offended, but it is true,” he said with a laugh. “I’ll see you later, then?”

“Count on it,” Rainbow said with a nod.

* * Ω * *

Sugarcube Corner was surprisingly busy, but Long Run realized a bit belatedly that it would be, given that it was Friday afternoon. A sizeable crowd of ponies stood in a line that stretched from the front door to the counter, and every table was filled with customers enjoying the wares that Mister and Missus Cake had to offer. It was nice to see the steady stream of business, in a way, but as he glanced over the assembled crowd, Long Run couldn’t see Pinkie Pie anywhere.

With a shrug, he turned and walked back outside. Pinkie was probably busy helping take care of the rush, so he wouldn’t be able to talk to her at that moment anyway. He’d just have to come back at another time, and then maybe he could order a few pies and some other sweets for—

“Pinkie?” he called out as he caught sight of her across the street.

It took half a second for Pinkie Pie to turn her head, but as soon as her eyes met his, she let out an alarmed gasp, shot four feet into the air, and then zipped away so quickly that she left a small pink cloud in the spot where she’d been.

Long recoiled slightly with the unexpected reaction, but then he took to the air and tried to follow her. Why in Equestria had she run off? She’d never done this before; in fact, she usually went out of her way to at least say ‘hello’ to him and chat for a minute or two, even if she was doing something.

Had he said something that had offended her? That certainly would explain why Rainbow Dash had suddenly grown grumpy earlier when Pinkie had been mentioned. If that was the case, then he wanted to clear up the misunderstanding as quickly as possible.

“Pinkie?” he called out again as he slowly flapped his way around the backside of Sugarcube Corner. “Is everything okay?”

“Just fine!” Pinkie called out. “Gimme just a teensy—ow!—weensy minute! That doesn’t bend…”

“Are you sure?” he asked while glancing around and into the bushes. “Look, if I said something that hurt your feelings, I certainly didn’t mean to—”

“You didn’t do anything wrong!” Pinkie suddenly popped up right in front of him, and he gasped and retreated all in the same instant. “Sorry! You just caught me at a bad moment, that’s all.”

“I did?” he asked, but before he could ask why, the conversation he had shared with Twilight Sparkle came back to him.

“I've found it best to not ask ‘why’ when dealing with Pinkie Pie and her antics. Just be patient and roll with whatever comes along.”

With that in mind, Long touched down and drew in a breath. “Well, hey. I didn’t mean to startle you. Applejack said you were looking for me, so I was just checking to see…”

Long trailed off as his eyes drifted down, and more specifically, to the small silver zipper tab that was hanging right where her body connected to her neck. A small spot of yellow was visible just above that, and if he didn’t know any better, it looked like it was the same soft yellow of Fluttershy’s coat.

But since he didn’t know any better, he forced his eyes back up to Pinkie’s and rapidly began to speak again, before he aroused any suspicion. “I just wanted to see what it was you wanted to talk about.”

“Oh, that.” Pinkie reached up with her hooves and began to play with the end of her mane. “Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go out on another d—excuse me,” she said with a hiccup. “A da—”

“Date?” he finished over her hiccup, and she nodded.

“Yeah, that. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with you, and I thought we could, maybe, just hang out again sometime.”

“Sure, I’d like that,” he said with a smile, despite the burning desire to ask about the zipper. “Since right now is a bad time for you, maybe we could meet up tomorrow and go bowling or something.”

“That would be nice,” Pinkie said with a pleased smile. “See you tomorrow, then?”

Long nodded. “Tomorrow. I’ll pick you up here.”

Pinkie giggled a little as she walked away, and Long blew out the breath he felt like he’d been holding. What in Equestria was all of that about? What was going on with that zipper? If he didn’t know any better, he would say that the pony he’d just been talking to wasn’t actually Pinkie Pie, but some other pony who was wearing some sort of Pinkie Pie costume and impersonating the party planner.

But who would want to do that, and why? Long took to the air again as he pondered over the question, and he began to fly back towards his house while he thought. The flight offered no answers, however, and he kept repeating the question over and over in his head until he reached his house, unlocked the door, and stepped inside.

“Maybe she wanted to talk to me, but was busy and couldn’t, so she asked somepony else to dress up like her and take her place?” he asked himself. The idea made absolutely no sense, but it was the most sensible nonsense that he could come up with to explain what had just happened.

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash shouted down from the upstairs loft. “Where have you been?”

Long glanced up, and more questions came as she quickly flapped down to him. “Why are you here?”

“Uh, dinner? Hello?” she replied. “It’s already six o’clock. I’m starving.”

“It is?” Long glanced at the clock in his front room and quickly confirmed Rainbow’s statement. “Wow, I didn’t realize it was that late. Let me unpack my stuff, then I’ll get it started.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes and smirked as she followed him into the kitchen. “You forgot, didn’t you?”

“No,” he said. “Well, yes. But… well… nevermind. It’s complicated.”

“You? Complicated?” she snorted. “That’s a first.”

“Why do I feel like you just insulted me?” Long laughed.

“Did you find out why Pinkie Pie was looking for you?” she asked while putting his carrots in the icebox and pulling out two bottles of cider.

“I did. She, um…” he trailed off as he tried to think of the best way to explain. When that failed, he decided to leave out the part about the zipper. “She wanted to go on another date, I found out.”

“She did?” Rainbow slammed the icebox door shut and glared at him.

“Yeah. So we’re going to go bowling tomorrow, I think.”

Rainbow snorted, and her tail lashed at her haunches. “Sounds like fun. I’m sure you two will have a wonderful time.”

Long Run had never thought of himself as an overly intelligent stallion, but he had considered himself to be a pony who was generally on top of things. That assumption, however, was now being seriously challenged, and he had no idea how he’d even gotten into this odd turn of events. First it was Pinkie-who-wasn’t-Pinkie, and now Rainbow was getting all huffy and sour. What was going on?

No answers came, so Long decided to put all of that aside and worry about it later. At the very least, he did know how to cheer up Rainbow, and that was as good a starting place as any. “So, any thoughts on where you want to go for that fly?” he asked as he pulled out a cutting board and a knife for the salad.

He smiled as Rainbow’s frown went upside down, and she popped the lid off a cider bottle as he began to wash the lettuce. “You still want to do that? For real?”

“Sure! I was thinking maybe we could go see Mount Aris. I’ve wanted to check it out for a while now, but I’ve never had the time. We could go there for my last week of vacation, see the sights, all that kind of stuff. What do you think?”

“Not bad,” she said. “I bet Silverstream and Princess Skystar would love to show us around the place. Just don’t tell Twilight, whatever you do. She’ll write a book about all the things you should do and see while you’re there, and then demand you write a three thousand word essay on what you learned when you get back.”

Long chuckled, and as he put the cleaned lettuce on the cutting board, he took a minute to look over his friend. He loved how she lit up whenever she was eager to do something, and her enthusiasm had always been infectious. It was just one of the many reasons why he enjoyed her company, and a trip with her sounded like a perfect way to renew his spirits and strengthen his resolve for when he had to go back to work.

“What?” she asked with a nervous chuckle. “Do I have something stuck in my teeth?”

“No. At least, I don’t think so,” he said. “What should we do when we get there?”

“Well, there’s all sorts of stuff to do,” Rainbow started, and Long slipped into a peaceful state of mind to properly enjoy what she was going to say. “Let’s see…”

* * Ω * *