• Published 7th Sep 2012
  • 27,639 Views, 1,287 Comments

What is a Name? - Key Tapper



Pinkie Pie finds herself in a position where she can no longer recall the years she has spent in Ponyville, as if the memories were erased from her mind entirely. She must rediscover herself, her love for her friends, and her passion for life.

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Antics

The next several days proved to be much easier for me, considering everypony in town now believed that my condition was legitimate. In fact, some of the townsfolk even stopped by Sugarcube Corner to apologize for the way they'd acted before, which was rather surprising.

After almost a week in Ponyville, it was beginning to feel like a vacation. I was allowed to wake up whenever I wanted to, I wasn't required to do manual labor for the majority of the day, and I certainly wasn't prohibited from enjoying myself. It was a desirable change, to say the least.

Under the close watch of Gummy, I did my best to uphold my reputation as the "Element of Laughter." While I didn't needlessly giggle at everything I saw, I tried to go out of my way to put others in a good mood. I had managed to put a smile on somepony's face more than once, and it felt nice to do so. It brought me a sense of fulfillment, as if I had done some good for this world.

I'd gotten into the habit of watching Rainbow Dash practice each morning. Being a serious athlete, she needed to spend several hours every day working on her flying skills. For the majority of the time, she would repeat a particular maneuver over and over again until she was able to do it correctly. She occasionally got frustrated, but I just sat there and continued to be awed by the impressive display. I couldn't even begin to imagine pulling off the tricks she executed on a daily basis, with or without wings.

Today began no differently than the last few days. I woke up early to watch Rainbow Dash practice. Afterwards, we headed into town so that we could find someplace to get lunch.

On our way, Rainbow and I ran into Twilight, Rarity, Applejack, and Fluttershy.

“Hey there,” greeted Applejack. “What are y’all two doin’?”

“We were just about to grab some grub,” said Rainbow Dash.

“Well, I daresay we were about to do the same thing!” exclaimed Rarity.

“Do you want to join us?” asked Twilight.

“Sure,” I answered.

Together, the six of us made our way to one of Rarity's favorite cafés, The Equine Eatery. Once there, we were promptly greeted and seated at a table outside.

----------

I was sitting there, enjoying my salad and partaking of the casual conversation, when I felt a strange twitching sensation in my tail. I ignored it, suspecting it was one of the strange spasms I had occasionally experienced for as long as I could remember. They were mildly irritating, but I had learned to accept them.

Suddenly, a blur of immeasurable speed zipped past my face and ended its course in front of us. There, in the center of the wooden table, stood three young fillies with ecstatic looks on their faces.

"Sweetie Belle!" shouted Rarity. I looked in her direction, and saw that her drink had fallen over. Fortunately, the glass was nearly empty, and a mess was averted.

The fillies seemed to disregard this, however, and instead stared directly at me with large, eager eyes.

"Hey there, Pinkie Pie!" said Applejack's younger sister.

"Hello, Apple Bloom," I said in response. "How's the crusading coming along?"

"Great!" she answered excitedly.

I smiled and nodded, thinking they had just stopped by to say hello. However, the three of them continued to stand there and stare at me. My friendly smile turned into one of awkwardness.

"Was there something you needed to tell me?" I asked.

My question seemed to break them out of some sort of trance, and their eyes widened, even after I thought they couldn't get any larger.

"Oh, yeah!" said Scootaloo. "We did want to ask you something!"

"You see," began Apple Bloom, "we were thinking... since you don't have your cutie mark and all, that you could maybe, just maybe—"

"—join us and become an official Cutie Mark Crusader!" blurted Sweetie Belle in excitement.

"Oh," I said with obvious hesitation. "That would be... interesting."

"So you'll join?" the three asked simultaneously, leaning their heads closer to mine.

"Y'all realize that Pinkie isn't like this forever, right?" Applejack pointed out. "It's just temporary."

The synergy these three fillies shared astounded me. They simultaneously put their hooves up to their chins in contemplation. Then, their eyes lit up as if struck with an idea. Finally, they all shouted in perfect unison, "Cutie Mark Crusaders temporary assistance!"

It was as if these three were meant for each other. I didn't realize it, but I sat there with my mouth agape. I was dumbfounded.

Before I could think about it further, I was being forcibly removed from my seat. I shot a pleading glance towards my friends, but they didn’t lift a hoof as I was dragged away by the feisty young fillies. In fact, it looked like some of them were chuckling at the sight.

----------

"Don't you think we should have helped her?" asked Twilight, nervously staring after the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Pinkie Pie, despite the fact that they were out of sight by now.

"Nah, she'll be fine," replied Rainbow Dash. "Besides, she could use some loosening up, and the nonsense of those three might do the trick."

Twilight nodded somewhat hesitantly, and turned her attention back to her salad.

“Oh, Sweetie Belle. Sometimes you can be so oblivious of the messes you cause,” said Rarity, placing the glass back in its upright position.

"What was that?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"I was just recalling the numerous occasions in which Sweetie Belle and her friends have found themselves in the most bizarre circumstances. They tend to create quite a few messes in the process."

"Yeah, but the part where you called her 'oblivious' just made me think of something."

The other four ponies looked at her curiously.

"Okay, so remember that one time where those three spent hours trying to find me so that they could hear my cutie mark story?" asked Rainbow Dash.

They nodded.

"Didn't you guys tell them your stories, too?"

"Of course! I'd almost completely forgotten about that, considering the almost-insulting lack of interest on their part," said Rarity, sullen.

"What did you expect? They're kids," said Rainbow Dash. "Anyway, if the five of us told them our stories, who's to say Pinkie didn't tell them, too?"

“She probably did. So what?" asked Applejack.

"So that means that all three of them knew about the connection between Pinkie's cutie mark and the Sonic Rainboom, and it never once occurred to them to suggest the obvious!" said Twilight in sudden realization. She seemed ready to smack herself in the face with her hoof.

"Exactly!" agreed Rainbow Dash.

"Goodness," said Rarity. "Talk about oblivious."

"Um, wouldn't that make us just as much to blame?" asked Fluttershy, speaking for the first time since they ordered their food.

Fluttershy made a good point. They all stared back and forth between each other, not wanting to show how stupid they felt at that moment.

"Never mind all that," said Rainbow Dash, finally breaking the awkward silence. "I have a plan, and I wanna know what you guys think about it."

----------

"Look, I understand how badly you three want your cutie marks. I truly do, but I don't think this is the right approach."

When someone's life is at risk, it can drive them to do a great many things they normally wouldn't do. Personally, I never would have dreamt of telling these three fillies that the whole "Cutie Mark Crusader" tactic they've been using for the last two years has been completely wrong. It was merely devised as a result of their preconceived, irrational fear of being alienated from society, or in this case, their classroom.

Alas, no amount of begging or logic on my part would make them stray from the objective in front of them.

"Of course it is!" shouted Sweetie Belle over the loud wind.

"Yeah!" Scootaloo agreed. "How else do you suggest getting them?"

I wasn't entirely sure how to respond to their arguments, especially considering the fact that I was too terrified to think clearly. This entire conversation was happening while we were suspended hundreds of feet off the ground. I couldn't imagine what had inspired those three to attempt bungee jumping from a hot air balloon. If they thought this would make them earn their cutie marks, they were out of their minds.

There I stood, leaning precariously over the edge of the float, preparing to jump at their command. Even though I was strapped into a harness, which I questioned the security of, I still couldn't believe I was doing this. I didn't see any point in jeopardizing my safety to entertain these children.

"Jump!" they shouted together, once again amazing me with their perfect synchronization.

I gulped loudly, knowing full well that there was nothing I could do. Judging from previous activities, if I didn't leap out of the balloon in the next five seconds or so, they would push me out themselves.

I felt a small force upon my back, and quickly realized that they did the very thing I had predicted. As gravity brought me forward, I resisted the urge to sigh.

----------

I sat on the wooden floor in boredom. Hours of physical exertions had certainly taken its toll on me, but since I was quite used to the exercise, it wasn't as bad as one might think.

My eyes wandered throughout the interior of the clubhouse, trying to find interest in some of the various objects and furnishings around the room.

Something eventually caught my attention. On top of one of the small tables stood a balloon figure of Rainbow Dash. On the wall behind it was a poster of Rainbow Dash flying horizontally with a rainbow streak trailing behind her, as usual. The setup looked to me like the early stages of some sort of shrine.

I assumed those items were placed there by Scootaloo, judging by the way she constantly spoke of her admiration for Rainbow. For these last several hours, Scootaloo had, on multiple occasions, expressed a desire to be "just like Rainbow Dash." I found it rather obsessive and monotonous, but it didn't bother me much, nor did it seem to even affect the other two.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders were planning future activities at another side of the room. They offered for me to be a part of it, but I respectfully declined, seeing as how the only thing that came to mind was rock farming. Aside from my father, I couldn't think of a single pony in Equestria, myself included, who actually enjoyed rock farming.

"Any ideas?" asked Apple Bloom.

"I've got nothing. We did way more stuff today than usual," answered Scootaloo.

"Maybe we should call it a day?" offered Sweetie Belle. "We're all tired, anyway."

The three of them looked at me.

"Well, I think we're done for today, Pinkie," said Apple Bloom. Oddly enough, I felt a small feeling of disappointment. I'd grown to enjoy these three over the course of the day.

"Sorry we couldn't help you get your cutie mark," said Scootaloo sadly. "If only we had more energy and more time in the day. Oh, I know! Maybe we can talk to Twilight about that tomorrow!"

"Perhaps the fabric of time would best be left undisturbed," I said jokingly. "Besides, Twilight has her hooves full with researching a cure for me."

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked down in disappointment. It was hard to see them like that.

"Don't worry about it. We had fun, so I'd call this a successful day." I smiled, and they looked up and grinned back at me about twice as big.

As I departed from the clubhouse, the three fillies waved goodbye to me from their deck. The sun was beginning its descent, and I wanted to get home before dark.

All things considered, and despite the repetitive complaints to myself, I had a lot of fun today.

----------

I've never understood how pegasi can push themselves to such incredible speeds. Even the average, everyday pegasus can fly three times faster than any earth pony can run. With years of training, in addition to natural talent, the feats a pegasus can accomplish are phenomenal.

Rainbow Dash possessed these great qualities, and so much more.

Despite her unbelievable speed, she managed to make ninety degree turns mid flight with ease, displaying a level of agility that was unmatched in my eyes.

She stylistically turned the sky into a work of art, shaping and positioning the clouds so that they created beautiful panoramas which I could relate to and interpret as if I were at an art gallery.

Rainbow Dash truly had the sky at her beck and call. If she desired something, it was immediately ready to serve her with great pleasure.

At least, that's how I saw it. I probably made it sound better than it really was. If someone who did this sort of thing for a living, such as a member of the Wonderbolts, were to judge Rainbow Dash's performance, my guess is that they would be able to recognize certain flaws and improvements that could be made. An untrained eye such as mine wouldn't even know where to begin.

Rainbow had just finished a complex maneuver when she yelled down to me, "Hey, Pinkie! You watching?"

"Yeah!" I shouted back.

"Awesome! Check this out, you'll love it!" she said.

Rainbow Dash ascended higher into the air, gaining altitude until she was just a small dot to my eyes. I watched in anticipation.

Then, she began to rocket downwards in a full-on nose dive, moving faster than my eyes could discern.

Mere seconds later, the light spectrum seemed to shatter. A massive explosion sounded, and its boom seemed loud enough to be heard for miles around. A circle of rainbow expanded outwards from Dash's figure until it enveloped the entire sky.

The force of the blast almost knocked me off balance, and the trees around me were blown back like blades of grass in a light breeze. I had to fight to remain standing.

Dash emerged from the explosion with a rich, full rainbow trailing behind her. Instead of disappearing almost instantly like usual, the rainbow trail continued to extend and eventually she formed the typical semi-circle shape that everyone seemed to be most familiar with.

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire life.

When she finally began to slow down, she eventually made a soft landing on the ground near me.

When our eyes met, she wore a goofy grin, and it took me a moment to realize that my hair had been messed up in a ridiculous fashion. I would have to look in a mirror when I got the chance, but my guess is that I looked like I had just been electrocuted.

After this brief distraction, I ran over to Rainbow Dash.

"That was incredible!" I said with enthusiasm.

"Yeah, I know," she replied in a conceited manner.

"What exactly was it?" I asked.

"It's called the Sonic Rainboom," she answered. "It's my signature move."

"Wow," I muttered in hushed amazement.

After a brief moment of silence, Rainbow Dash said, "So... any major revelations?"

"What are you talking about?" I asked, confused by the strange question.

She looked to the ground in what looked like disappointment, which struck me as odd. "Oh, never mind," she said.

As tempted as I was to question Dash further about her sudden shift in mood, I decided to let it go.

----------

Some days passed, and the image of the Sonic Rainboom still lingered in my mind.

It was so beautiful... so awe-inspiring. I couldn't get over the fact that one pony was capable of pulling off such a feat.

For some reason, I felt like I was doing something wrong by not openly showing my appreciation for it.

"I like your new mane style!" said a bubbly voice, which I quickly recognized as belonging to Gummy.

"Thanks," I answered in a somewhat reserved tone.

Ever since I witnessed the Sonic Rainboom, my mane had maintained this puffy style, similar to the pictures I'd seen. After attempting to brush it, the hair literally popped back into its curly state instantaneously. I realized it was a futile effort and decided to leave it as it was.

"Something on your mind?"

"Not really. I just..."

"...Feel like you're doing something wrong by not openly showing your appreciation for the awesomeness that is Dashie's Sonic Rainboom?”

“Exactly!" I said. "It’s almost as if... wait, what?” It had taken a moment to process the fact that Gummy had just recited my thoughts word for word.

"Well, I know what you can do to fix that!" said Gummy, ignoring my apprehensive tone and instead moving forward in the original conversation.

I dismissed it as a fluke occurrence, and decided not to pursue the matter further.

"What would that be?" I asked.

"A party!"

“A party?” I asked in a mocking tone. “Seriously?”

"That's right!"

"Why?" I asked. "It seems so random and unnecessary."

"Duh! You're supposed to be random! That's Pinkie Pie in a nutshell! Besides, parties are always fun, and never unnecessary."

I looked around my room. All the supplies were available to me. I chuckled, knowing full-well that five days ago, I would have never even considered doing something like this.

"Alright, I'll do it, but I'll need your help. You probably know far more about throwing together a celebration like this than I do."

"Okie dokie lokie!"

----------

The hardest part of this entire ordeal was locating Rainbow Dash. I eventually found her taking a nap in one of the local trees. After waking her up, I asked her to put on a blindfold and come with me. She was somewhat resistant at first, but eventually complied.

When we finally entered the unknown building, she became increasingly suspicious.

"Where are we going?" she asked with impatience.

"Just wait," I answered.

At last, we arrived at the intended destination, and I took off her blindfold. To my satisfaction, her facial expression was one of utter astonishment.

"Surprise!" shouted five mares, myself included.

Twilight, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and I stood in front of Rainbow Dash. Behind us were numerous assortments of decorations and snacks. There were a few things that Gummy had strongly suggested, such as a large bucket of water in which one dunks their head in attempts to grab apples with their mouth. Things likes this sounded odd to me at first, but I was assured that they were, indeed, extremely well-known and popular activities to have at a party.

Rainbow continued to stand there in shock, clearly not expecting something like this, particularly from someone like me.

"Well?" I asked. "How did I do?"

At that, Rainbow seemed to ease up significantly. She breathed in a sigh of relief, and said, "It's awesome, Pinkie! This is just like old times."

I smiled, glad to hear those words spoken from her. It meant a lot to me, and I wasn't entirely sure why.

All six of us spent the remainder of the evening enjoying each others' company. We talked, we laughed, we danced, and had a fantastic time overall. I would have never imagined myself participating in a game called "Pin the Tail on the Pony," and actually having a fun time doing it, for that matter.

Despite the fact that I genuinely enjoyed myself, something had been bugging me the entire time, similar to an itch. I didn't figure out what it was until the party started to come to a close.

"You guys," I started, getting their attention. "I forgot to make a cake."

There was a moment of silence, and then Twilight spoke up. "Don't worry about it, Pinkie. It's not a big deal."

"Yeah!" agreed Rainbow Dash. "Besides, we had fun either way. We don't need a cake for that."

"I know, but I just realized something,” I said while looking down, embarrassed. “I have no idea how to even make a cake.”

At that, the silence once again fell upon us. Then, out of nowhere, we all burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. For whatever reason, the fact that I had no clue how to bake a cake was absolutely hilarious to us. There were no words, only a mutual understanding between us.

As I took part in the merriment, I was overcome by a feeling of pure bliss. I observed my good friends, every single one of them having the time of their lives, and felt assured of one thing: right here, at this very moment, everything was going to be okay.






































Author's Note:

Edited by: DPV111 and CookieMonstar