• Published 4th Sep 2012
  • 1,947 Views, 65 Comments

Flim and Flam Save an Orphanage - KFDirector

They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from Goddess!

  • ...

Flim, Flam, Trixie, a New-Found Passion, Iron Will, Lyra, Bon-Bon, Octavia, Vinyl Scratch's Sound System, and Some OC Attorney

The curtains of the Roan Palace Hotel Theater opened up on the stage, revealing Bon-Bon front and center – inexplicably wearing a red sequin gown (although with two unicorns handy, perhaps some explicability was present after all). The drum machine began to beat, as Nickel Guise hid behind it and sweated – the drum machine seemed to be operated on the same principles as the player piano, but if the cylinders in the music catalog weren’t properly labeled, there was nothing the rhythmically-deficient attorney could do about it.

The band, however, either found no fault with the percussion or was used to drummers being off in their own world anyway, and a brief intro led Bon-Bon into her song.

He-ey! What you want!” she belted, leading to immediate applause.

(Oooh,)” Octavia offered into her piano microphone.

Baby I got it! (Oooh!) What you need! (Oooh!) Do you know I got it?

The brothers carefully picked their way through the parking lot, taking full note of the carriages present.

“Brother, I dare say everypony who hates us is here tonight.”

“You’re just saying that because a full third of these carriages have the Night Guard logo on them.”

“Mostly, yes. Also, over there, look: it’s Twilight Sparkle’s balloon.”

Each of their horns alternated glowing as they crept low, loosening the spokes of a single wheel on one Night Guard carriage, then another.

I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone,
Ain’t gonna do you wrong (ooh) ‘cause I don’t wanna (ooh!)”

“It is just me, or does Bon-Bon sound really different to you when she sings?” Twilight whispered to Applejack.

Applejack frowned. “Nah, she sounds to me the same way she always does.”

I’m about to give you all of my money,
And all I’m askin’ in return, honey,

A long line of Night Guards trotted into the theater, armored and carrying spears.

The power of rock and soul meant that the standing, rhythmically stomping crowd paid them almost entirely no mind at all.

“Now let’s rush ‘em!” one particularly bitter dark-coated pegasus said, before being admonished by a unicorn parole officer.

“Now just hold on a moment there,” Pearl said, under the ongoing music. “We haven’t even heard these colts sing yet, don’t you know. This was an awful long drive, after all.”

The dark-coated Night Guard frowned, looking to El Jefe for guidance. His superior officer smiled. “Cover all exits. They won’t be going anywhere.”

When you get home (just a little bit) ye-ah (just a little bit)!

The saxophonist took center stage, jamming heartily for the instrumental.

One scream of “I love you, Trixie!” managed to be audible above the music, and yet everypony pretended they hadn’t heard it – save for Trixie, who being so deeply in the zone, actually didn’t.

“Why are we taking the air duct, Flam?”

“The feathers will have the exits covered.”

They carefully shimmied their way through the ventilation duct, mostly using their magic to push themselves along rather than trying to actually crawl with long equine legs.

“Why didn’t we take that window back there? That was unguarded.”

“I’m surprised at you, brother! That was the fillies’ room.”

Flim accepted this reasoning.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T; find out what it means to me!
R-E-S-P-E-C-T; take care, T-C-B!”

“What does that even mean?” Twilight wondered aloud.

Rainbow Dash shrugged.

“(sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)”

Pearl tapped her hoof on the table of her balcony seat to the music, smiling. “Hmm – ooh! I know what’d hit the spot! Who wants a chimmycherry?” She pointed a hoof at El Jefe. “Chimmycherry?” The chief nodded. “Chimmycherry?” she asked the dark-coated pegasus, who nodded as well. She pointed at one of the dozen spear-carrying Night Guards on the balcony. “Three chimmycherries!”

“(just a little bit, just a little bit, just a little bit, just a little bit)”

“Well. That’s not good.”

Flim tried to peek his head around Flam to see what he was talking about. “Ah – does this come out where I think it does?”


“Well, it is theatrical.”

Bon-Bon took one graceful step aside during the instrumental coda, as a ventilation cover slammed onto the floor where she had just been. A wide stage grin told the audience that it was all part of the show, even as some gasped.

Listen Flim – you’re kinda dim.

The bare-faced twin landed next to her a second later, grinning and doffing his hat.

And Flam? You ain’t half what I am.

The mustachioed one joined her on stage, by the same death-from-above tactic.

The crowd stomped its applause, while Flim and Flam looked quickly at each other and then back at the band. Bon-Bon’s red sequined gown mysteriously ceased to be, as she retreated to her trumpet.

The brothers’ late arrival meant that there hadn’t been time to nail down the set list – but they did at least know the first song scheduled.

“One – two – one two three four!”

Flam magically seized a microphone, heading for the edge of the stage.

“We’re so glad to see so many of you lovely ponies tonight, and we would especially like to welcome all the elite pegasus ponies of the Equestrian Night Guard who have chosen to join us at the Roan Palace Hotel at this time. We do sincerely hope that you all enjoy the show, and remember that no matter who you are or what you do to live, thrive, or survive, there are still some things that make us all the same.”

“You,” he said, pointing to his brother’s parole officer on the balcony as an example. Pearl waved back.

“Me,” he added, pointing to himself.

“Them,” he went further, pointing to Vinyl Scratch and her groupies in the back row, who were wielding ropes, chains, and lead pipes using unicorn magic and earth pony jaws.

“Everypony – everypony!”

Flim began singing. “Everypony, needs somepony! Everypony! Needs somepony to love! Pony to love!”

Pony to love!” Flam echoed, on, the bass line.

Sweetheart to miss! (Sweetheart to miss!) Sugar to kiss! (Sugar to kiss!)”

El Jefe looked down at his chimmycherry, and tried not to cry. The Night Guards pretended not to notice.

I need you, you, you!!” Flim sang, pointing to three random mares in the audience and making two of them swoon – an entirely unobjectionable batting average.

“And you know people, when you do find that somepony,” Flam cut in, among the chants of (You, you, you), “you gotta hold that mare, hold that stallion, love him please him squeeze her please her! Signify your feelings with every gentle caress, because it's so important to have that special somepony, to hold, to kiss, to miss, to squeeze and please!”

Iron Will began to tear up as he played his trombone. If the goats had an opinion, they did not offer it, continuing to work the light and sound board instead.

(You, you, you!)” the chants continued, the Night Guards solid and stoic as the crowd stood and danced in place around them.

I need you! Flim concluded, as the theater exploded into applause.

“What next?” Flam whispered to Flim as the stomping and cheering continued.

Sweet Home?”

“Right.” Flam turned around and called back to the band. “Sweet Home!”

The band nodded, including Nickel Guise, who loaded up a cylinder into the drum machine. Lyra trotted forward on stage – that itself earning more applause from some of her fans, including three mares from Ponyville – and began a riff.

The cheering gained even greater vigor, as Lyra spoke into her microphone “Turn it up!”

Flam and Flim looked at each other, keeping a rictus grin even as their eyes widened in horror.

“That’s not Sweet Home Chihocko….” Flim muttered through his teeth. “That’s Sweet Home Alba Mare.”

“Just run with it,” Flam replied, “the crowd’s already into it.”

“I don’t know most of the words!”

“Make some up!”

The brothers turned back, still grinning, to the crowd, ready to sing when it sounded like Lyra’s intro was over.

Big wheels keep on turnin’! Carry me home to see my kin. Singin’ songs about the homeland…” Flim sang, exhausting his lyrical knowledge.

Fortunately, there were six thousand earth ponies in the audience. Half of them culturally identified with the song, and half of the remaining half knew it by heart anyway.

Applejack was one of the half of the half, and she too was on her hooves. “And ah think it’s a sin, yeah!

“Next is the diss verse,” Flam whispered.

Flim nodded. “Well, I heard the DJ sing about her!
Well, I heard Vinyl put her down!
Well, I hope the DJ will remember:
Earthen mares don’t need her ‘round, anyhow!

Octavia clamped a hoof over her mouth to suppress a laugh; Vinyl Scratch’s jaw dropped, and her sound engineer had to restrain her minion groupies from charging.

The crowd chanted, the brothers barely able to get in front of them.

Sweet home Alba Mare!
Where the skies are so blue!
Sweet home Alba Mare!
O I’m coming home to you!

“Next?” Flim whispered through his teeth.

Flam shook his head helplessly.

At Burning Mare they love the princess! Woo hoo hoo!” Flim guessed, and while it was entirely incorrect, he wasn’t heard over the vocals of the rest of the audience.

“We’re entirely redundant here, brother,” Flim whispered.

“Then get Lyra up here.”

They danced with the music and the lyrics that they couldn’t make out but the audience seemed to know, dosey-doing around Lyra and her double-necked guitar and bringing her to the center stage, where she could continue to do what she did best.

Sweet home Alba Mare!
Where the skies are so blue!
Sweet home Alba Mare!
O I’m coming home to you!” the crowd continued to sing as Flim and Flam dosey-doed all the way to the back stage.

Roiling with sweat from the stage lights as they cantered through the back curtains, they stopped short when faced with an unfamiliar unicorn stallion – white coat, wavy blue mane, monocle, and black tuxedo.

“Aw buck – I don’t even remember ticking off the baked goods cartel,” Flam moaned.

“I say, you fellows were positively spiffing. I absolutely must record your group for my new campaign.”

Flim frowned. “You prevaricate, good sir.”

The tuxedo-wearing unicorn frowned. “Prevarication? I, fellow, do not prevaricate. My name is Fancypants; I’m the head of the largest trading company in Canterlot.”

The brothers gulped. They had heard of Fancypants. “So…what?” Flim asked.

“So here is a hundred thousand bits, as the advance payment on your contract.” His unicorn magic produced both a comically large bag of money, weighted with coins, and a long scroll, completely with feather and quill for signature. “Is it a deal?”

Flam looked at the money, the contract, and then the money again. “Guise!” he called out.

His attorney trotted up from behind. “What’s going on?”

“Fatal flaw analysis on this contract, and hurry!”

The earth pony read the fine print with a skeptical eye, moving rapid-fire through the text and making his demands almost as quickly. “Replace all instances of ‘net’ with ‘gross’ in paragraph five, switch out paragraph eight with the model language from the Unicorn Commercial Code; change the jurisdiction on paragraph nine from Delamare to Canterlot, and…yeah, paragraph fourteen just needs to go – a bunch of boilerplate reps and certs, barely even relevant to my clients.”

Fancypants gave a respectful, but not mirthful, smile, and used his magic and quill to hastily make the requested changes. “Anything else, good sir?”

“Yeah – get yourself a new contract team – there’s loopholes here somepony less scrupulous than my clients could drive the Friendship Express through.” The earth pony looked back at the brothers. “But we’re good on our end.”

“Thanks,” Flim told his lawyer, as he took hold of the quill and signed the contract; Flam did so next.

“So, listen,” Flam asked. “All these Night Guards are kind of here for us – do you know a back way out of this place?”

“Why would I know that?” Fancypants asked.

“You didn’t by any chance used to work here?”

“I’m afraid not, my friend. By your leave – I shall catch up with the two of you later.”

Out on the stage, the song was still continuing; between Lyra’s self-indulgent guitar solos and some ponies in the crowd knowing every verse ever written, even for regional variations, there was a lot of life left in Sweet Home Alba Mare.

“Alright, we’ve got three main issues, as far as I can see,” Flim muttered.

“Three? There were a lot more ponies than that who want us dead or worse out there.”

“I’m lumping in all of the Night Guards as one, and I’m not even considering Vinyl Scratch an issue.”

“Well, brother, we just need to pick a song that can get even stoic Night Guard pegasus ponies to dance. Get them dancing and they’re not staring down at us with spears and watching us like hawks. What’s the next issue?”

“Rainbow Dash.”

Flam groaned. “That’s right, she’s out there. We can outrun a lot of pegasus ponies, but I don’t think we can get the carriage to do a sonic rainboom.”

Their attorney, who was still standing there, cleared his throat. “Well, I can tell you, with respect to maneuverability…”

“Yes?” the brothers asked, as Lyra dove into her eighth guitar solo out on stage.

“Every insurance policy sold in the Ponyville region for the last few years includes something known to the industry as ‘the Rainbow Dash clause.’”

“Ah. So we may be able to outmaneuver her.”

“Quite possibly. What was the third main issue?” Nickel Guise asked, eager to continue being of use – now that his clients had a comically large bag of money from which his bills could finally be paid.

“Twilight Sparkle. One of the most powerful unicorns in the kingdom is out there, and after us. If she decides we’re not leaving, we don’t get to leave.”

Guise’s eyes widened. " - wait. Twilight Sparkle is here? The Twilight Sparkle? Personal protégé to Princess Celestia?"


"Multiple-time savior of the world?"

"Well, yes."

"Author of scores of brilliant monographs, including Late Paleopony Theories of Law and Magic?"


"She's here? At the show?!"

"Yeah - she was in the second row, stage left of Rainbow Dash."

"The gorgeous purple mare with the dark blue mane, pink skunk stripe?"

"Right, her – and we need to somehow lock her down, distract her, take her out, whatever, if we're going to get out of here, so if you've got any bright ideas – ”

"Leave it all to me."

"Leave it to you?"

"To take Twilight Sparkle out - this is why I was put on this world." Guise smoothed his mane with his hoof, and trotted back out onto the stage, taking a prideful place at the drum machine.

Flim looked at Flam in disbelief. "Have you ever noticed that our lawyer is a bit of the sort they would call 'hopeless romantic'?"

Flam cleared his throat, as he divided the bag of money into two equal smaller bags; one he kept and one he left, with a note tied to it. "I was with you up right up until 'romantic.' It should, however, be enough of a distraction to see us clear. How about we leave him to his work and never think about it again?”

Flim nodded, and the two brothers trotted back out stage, just as the song was finally ending.

“Thank you!” Flim called insincerely into his microphone. “Thank you!” He waited for the applause of hoofbeats to die. “Now, our next piece – well, I understand we’ve got a few graduates, alums, and otherwise former students of the Cloudsdale Flight School in the house tonight?”

Rainbow Dash, El Jefe, and a few civilian pegasus ponies cheered. The Night Guards remained still and quiet.

“Oh, I know we’ve got more than that!”

El Jefe nodded his permission at the Night Guards nearby his table, who give their own bellowing cheer; the rest of the pegasus ponies joined them after that, with one resounding “YEAH!” pummeling the rest.

“Well, we’re going to take you on back with an old favorite of ours, and we think it’ll be one of yours, too.” Flim turned back to the band and called out the song title. “Did you catch that this time, Lyra?”

Lyra nodded. “Yes, sorry about that; I might’ve just heard what I really wanted to hear.”

A flourish on Octavia’s piano began the piece, with the horns joining in almost immediately after.

Now when I get the blues, I get me a catchin' air…
When I get the blues, I get me a catchin' air…
Well, if the blues overtake me gonna rock right away from here!

“Ah yeah!” Rainbow Dash said, grinning. She gestured at Applejack. “Now it’s our turn!” The earth pony raised an eyebrow.

Now when I get lonesome,
I make them clouds moan!
When I get lonesome,
I make them clouds moan!
Make'm call my baby, tell her
I'm on my way back home.

Flip, flop, and fly – I don’t care if I die!

“If I die!” Rainbow Dash shouted, not quite harmonizing.

Flip, flop, and fly – I don’t care if I die!

El Jefe rhythmically stomped his hooves on the floor.

Don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye!

Rainbow Dash caught air, to the startle of Twilight and Applejack; however, she was not the only pegasus pony doing so, as nostalgia-filtered memories of awkward school dances and their few bright spots came surging back.

Give me one last kiss, hold it a long, long time!
Give me one last kiss, hold it a long, long time!

Cheers broke out as the prismatic-maned pegasus pony – in a fit of enthusiasm, energy, and assertiveness, and otherwise moved by the power of rock – planted a deep kiss on a fellow airborne pegasus pony.

It would be fair to say that the earth pony and unicorn she came with were stunned by this development.

Now hold that kiss until I feel it in my head like wine!

Many of the Night Guards had graduated from tapping their hooves rhythmically to loosening their wings, giving them a few flaps.

Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold hoof!
Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold hoof!
Well she's so small, she can swim in a cloud's silver roof!

Half the Night Guards were now airborne, joining the civilian pegasus ponies in a mass aerial dance. El Jefe, who, moved by the spirit and having quite forgotten that Pearl was (A) married and (B) a unicorn, dragged her up into the air as well, spinning her around.

Now flip, flop, and fly! I don’t care if I die!
Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die!
Ah, don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye!

The song went into an instrumental bridge, and everypony who could be in the air, was.

I'm like a Bottom Bog bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
I'm like a Bottom Bog bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
I got so many mares, I don't know which way to jump!

“I’ve – I’ve never seen anything like it!” Twilight whispered. “This power – this beauty in motion – hundreds of complete strangers, united as one….”

Applejack gave the unicorn a look. “It’s called dancin’, Twi. I know y’all’ve heard of it, even done it a time or two.”

“It’s beyond that, Applejack! It’s – it’s some deeper, primal power!”

“Hoo doggy. There’s a letter to the Princess waitin’ for us, ain’t there?”

Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
Now, don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye!

Flam gave one motion with his hoof to the goats, Flim gave one of his own to the horn section – the horn section kept the instrumental coda going well past its normal length, while the goats pulled a switch and ignited dozens of sparklers, putting up an upside-down curtain of light between the band and the cheering, dancing audience.

The brothers gave their hats one last wave at the crowd, and dashed backstage.

They looked quickly around, trying to find an emergency exit door –

“You’re leaving without Trixie?”

The blue unicorn trotted up to them, covered in sweat, her saxophone still hanging from her side on a strap.

“There’s not a lot of time, old girl,” Flam said. “We’ve got the money, and we need to get to Canterlot ahead of all the ponies who want to stop us.”

“And we’ve got a lot more experience running from the feathers than you.”

“So that’s how it is?” Trixie frowned.

Flim sighed. “It’s going to be dangerous. We don’t want anything to happen to you.”

Looking into Trixie’s glum face, the brothers reacted quickly with a group hug.

“Thank you for everything…Trixie,” Flam said.

“And just so you know, if one of us dies, we’ve given the other one permission to date you,” Flim added.

Trixie jerked away, stunned, flustered. “What – I – but – ” She shook her head, quickly regaining her composure, and her faux-haughty tone. “Pah! As if either of you two alone were stallion enough for the Great and Powerful Trixie! You shall return to her together, or not at all!”

The brothers took off their hats and bowed in unison. “By your leave, my lady,” they said.

“Be off with you!”

And as the brothers headed for a door, Trixie trotted back onto the stage, shaking her head, ready to keep the instrumental going until the pegasus ponies finally caught on.

The door they chose was leading them generally in the direction of the carriage, though it was doing so through a long, winding tunnel. They moved at a quick trot, wordlessly, and rounded yet another corner.

A painfully bright light came on in front of them, and they squinted against it, to see the silhouette of a pegasus mare backlit.

The strange pony stepped forward, smiling; as their eyes adjusted they beheld a cream-colored pegasus with a straight, close-cropped dark mane, and a flaming wheel on her flank.

“Flam Flimflam…you look just fine, there. Just fine.”

“Do I – know you, good lady?” Flam asked, sweating.

“You don’t remember me? You don’t remember when your prototype cider machine, the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 4000, got out of control and crashed, flaming, into my village? You don’t remember the explosion at the flour mill?” Wild Fire stepped closer. “Nor how, as you ran away like a coward, I called out that I would have my vengeance some day? That for my friends, my family, for the common good, I would unmake you, forever?” The brothers were rigid in terror and confusion as she approached still closer; that they couldn’t see past the bright light to have any idea of what was beyond was also unhelpful. “Beginning with your horn, and your hooves; proceeding then to make you a gelding, a bald gelding at that…but leaving your ears, your perfect ears, so that you could hear the horrified shout of every passing foal….”

“No…” Flam stammered at last. “I really don’t remember any of this.”

“Good!” Wild Fire said brightly, pulling a 180-degree turn in her tone of voice. “Because none of that happened. What I’m really after is…” She whispered in Flam’s ear.

Flam’s mustache stiffened. He looked at Flim.

“Sounds a lot better than that other thing, right?” the pegasus asked, a low and lusty tone in her voice.

Flam nodded eagerly, looking hopefully at Flim.

“We don’t have time, brother!” Flim shouted.

“You – you made a date with Fleur-de-lis!”

“I don’t, and didn’t, intend to keep it!”

“Now stud,” Wild Fire said, putting a foreleg over Flam and nuzzling him. “I’ve chased you all over Equestria, and I’m not about to take a rain check.”

“Well….” Flam said, uselessly.

“Whoops!” El Jefe yelped, forgetting to hold onto his dance partner, and remembering just then that she was a unicorn. He winced as Pearl flew straight towards the band, slamming straight into Iron Will, and falling to the floor, having completely failed to budge the minotaur, or even distract him from his trombone.

The green pegasus pony flew to the stage. “Sorry about that, Pearl,” he said to the parole officer, whose eyes were still rolling wildly. El Jefe looked around on the stage. “Wait a minute. Where’s Flim? Where’s Flam?”

The band, still playing, didn’t answer him.

Wild Fire’s lips drew perilously close to Flam’s own, his mustache brushing against her face.

Now, stud.”

Flam’s horn took on a brief glow.

Flim gulped.

The pegasus staggered backwards. “Owww – augh. Oooh.”

Flam grinned. “Well, baby? You ready or not?”

“Ugh – not tonight. I’ve got a headache.”

The pegasus pony retreated the other direction, galloping down the tunnels, away from the painfully bright light.

The brothers trotted past the light, noting that it belonged to the headlamps of a very nice looking convertible carriage that unfortunately did not have the keys in it.

“And you said there was no reason to ever learn the reverse of the hangover-curing spell,” Flim said, laughing.

Flam shook his head, irritated. “You owe me so bad.”

El Jefe finally secured a working microphone, cutting off the band and shouting into the sound system. “Night Guards! The Flimflam Brothers have left the building! Get after them!”

Pandemonium could hardly be said to break loose; merely that one kind – a disorganized aerial mob of dancing pegasus ponies – was replaced by another – disorganized aerial mob of Night Guard ponies looking to retrieve their spears and make their exits, with civilian ponies mostly looking to get out of the way. Mostly.

“Shoot!” Rainbow Dash looked around for Applejack and Twilight Sparkle, but couldn’t see them through the chaos. “Ah, I’ll meet up with them in Ponyville. I’ve got to get to those guys!” She found a window, and flew out it, into the night.

The chaos was thorough on the ground as well, as ponies leaving the air tumbled, and ponies getting out of the way of those leaving the air scrambled. “Wha – what?” Twilight asked, shaken from a reverie. She looked around; Applejack had already vanished, squeezing through the crowd and trying to get to an exit, to pursue the Flimflams. “Uh, right!” she said to herself, taking a step forward before being bowled over by a panicked pegasus pony.

She scrambled back to her hooves, the chaos becoming a bit uncomfortable. “I just – I just need to – ”

“Miss Twilight Sparkle?” a voice asked her.

Twilight looked; a brown earth pony, with a dark brown mane and mustache, was standing in front of her. After a moment she realized he had been on the stage during the show, at one of the pieces of sound equipment.

“I must insist that you come with me,” he said. “You are in physical danger as well as legal peril if you stay here.”

“What’s this about?” she asked, confused. “Legal peril?”

“I’ll explain on the way – let’s get out of here. It should be safe backstage, for the moment.”

Outside, scores of pegasus ponies flew to their carriages, activating the Manewell daemons to quick-start the boilers and bring the turbines up to speed. El Jefe flew Pearl out to one particular carriage – the one operated by the two pegasus ponies who had pulled Flam over a few days prior – where they took their seats for the pursuit.

The carriage in front of them went to full throttle, so theirs did as well – and then the driver front wheel of the forward carriage snapped, sending it sprawling into yet another carriage.

In ten seconds, a third of the Night Guard carriages had crashed into another third, leaving the final third blocked in.

El Jefe grabbed a megaphone from his carriage, and looked at Pearl. “Go signal ahead – I want all units on this.” He put the megaphone to his mouth, to give the order. “Alright, Night Guard! Then we’ll take them on wing!”

“Wow, it’s a lot less crowded back here,” Twilight said, visibly relieved once to the backstage. “But who are you? And what is that about legal trouble?”

“I am a humble attorney, Miss Sparkle, by the name of Nickel Guise – and I must confess to a touch of deception on the legal peril, though it still may be so, in some jurisdictions.” The earth pony put his hoof on his chest. “For while you are a Canterlot native, you must be aware that, in some parts of earth pony country, ‘alienation of affections’ is still an actionable tort at common law. And, having enchanted me long ago with your brilliant mind and bewitched me tonight with your stunning beauty, you indeed have alienated my affections from any other mare who might trot the earth, now or ever again.”

The part of Twilight’s brain that had not completely ground to a halt trying to comprehend this – as the part of her brain that read romance novels and the part of her brain that considered things anypony might ever actually say to her in real life were not particularly well-acquainted – offered only this tidbit: “Oooh, he’s the Flimflam’s lawyer, all right.

Vinyl Scratch, having gotten an escort through the panicked crowds by her minions, took her place at the helm of her omnibus. “Let’s move this thing!” she shouted.

“Ma’am,” her road engineer said, “There’s, ah, an awful lot of wrecked Night Guard carriages in the way.”

“I paid good money for the cow-catcher. Let’s use it. Start this bad boy up!”

With a final magical heave-ho (a process involving a surge of magic that left them with a bit of horn pain), the brothers hurtled their carriage from the house-boat parking space back onto dry land, and with a physical lally-ho (a process involving jumping over the carriage doors that left them with a bit of flank pain) entered it themselves.

Flam brought the carriage to life, and looked at his brother solemnly.

“It’s a hundred and six miles to Canterlot, we got a full hopper of fuel, half a case of cider, it’s dark, and our hats are over our eyes.”

“Hit it.”

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