• Published 7th Sep 2012
  • 27,636 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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Outstanding Progress and Questionable Motives

I found it unbelievable that a little over one month ago, I had a rather melancholy outlook on life. After so many years of the same routine, I had grown accustomed to the monotony, even clinging to it like a child clings to a meaningful toy.

Why had I grown so partial to that lifestyle? Had I been afraid of change, or was it simply ingrained in my character to the point that it was the only way I could manage to function?

I was grateful beyond words for being yanked from such an existence.

That night, after the discussion with Rainbow Dash in the park, I lay in bed with my eyes fixed on the ceiling. For hours I remained there, reflecting on recent events and imagining the possibilities of a carefree life.

It had been then, and only then, that I realized something incredible: there was no need whatsoever for my drab, stark personality. The hesitant attitude during social interactions, the constant existential questions, and the needlessly depressed demeanor were mere obstacles keeping me from true happiness. If I was to bring joy to the hearts of myself and others, I would first have to let go of all the worries burdening my mind.

I had resolved to do just that.

In the weeks following, I made it my goal to live life to the absolute fullest. After finally laying my past worries to rest, I was able to effectively contribute to the overall happiness of the townsfolk, and in turn, we'd all grown quite fond of one another.

The hard outer shell that once confined me to a life without color had all but shattered, and I became a new mare. With this new found joy came an enormous increase in energy, as well as a constant craving for sweets and candies. Occasionally, I found myself bouncing up and down enthusiastically, without forethought or realization. More often than I cared to admit, I found myself doing this in situations where such behavior would not be appropriate.

Laughter came easily and felt natural. I was convinced that laughs contained some kind of cure-all magic, as it instantly lifted the spirits of almost any pony in any situation. I found it increasingly easy to regularly have a sense of humor, even when it came to the most serious topics.

My life could not have been better at that time. Every night, it seemed like I went to bed with a big, goofy grin plastered across my face.

All good things, however, must eventually come to an end.

----------

Cheerilee sat at her desk, grading the quizzes her students had taken minutes ago. She could hear the sound of the children laughing outside, clearly enjoying their recess.

Cheerilee smiled. It brought her joy to know that the students—whom she considered her own foals in a way—were happy and safe.

Her thoughts were disrupted when a young filly burst into the room from outside.

"Ms. Cheerilee! Ms. Cheerilee!" she shouted.

Cheerilee stopped what she was doing for a moment. "Yes, Sunny Daze?"

"Pinkie Pie is so amazing at jump roping! Come take a look!”

Cheerilee smiled. She always found the enthusiasm of young ones to be delightful.

She stood up from her seat, leaving the remaining ungraded quizzes on her desk. She was more than willing to oblige the young filly, and this was a good opportunity to stretch her legs.

However, Cheerilee certainly wasn't expecting what awaited her as soon as she walked out the door.

At the other side of the schoolyard was a large crowd, consisting of practically every single filly and colt in her class. In fact, the only ponies who seemed uninterested were Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who stood outside of the crowd and faced in the opposite direction, pouting.

Cheerilee worked her way through the large gathering of children, and bore witness to a truly impressive scene.

Before her stood Firelock, watching Pinkie Pie in awe as she did breathtaking maneuvers with a jump rope.

"Now remember, it's all about maintaining your center of balance!" Pinkie Pie said casually while she continued to jump rope with ease.

"Once you have that part down, it'll become quite easy to do stuff like this!" Pinkie Pie performed a series of flips and turns. Amazingly enough, the jump rope's circular path did not change.

Firelock continued to watch, not speaking a word for fear that she might break Pinkie's steadfast concentration.

"You know, despite what those two said, I think you're already pretty good at this!" Pinkie Pie said to Firelock, whose facial expression beamed upon hearing the compliment.

"R-really?" Firelock asked in disbelief.

"Sure!" said Pinkie without hesitation. "Don't let those grumps get you down." At this, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon gave a disgruntled humph! from the back of the crowd, which everyone disregarded.

"Just keep practicing, and pretty soon jump roping will be as easy as getting a drink of water, or breathing! Why don't you try again?"

"Um, okay," replied Firelock, retrieving her jump rope from the ground.

"Remember, center of balance!" advised Pinkie as the filly began swinging the rope.

Eventually, Firelock was able to keep a consistent beat with the jump rope. Though not as skilled as Pinkie Pie, she could do fifty jumps without stopping.

"See?" exclaimed Pinkie. "It's like night and day!"

"I'm doing it!" said the filly excitedly, a large grin spreading across her face. "I'm really doing it!"

"That's what I love to see!" said Pinkie Pie, swinging her foreleg in a front hook motion to show emphasis. "Happy to help."

As the crowd began to disperse, Pinkie caught a glimpse of the familiar three-flower cutie mark among the multitude of ponies.

"Hey there, Cheerilee!" shouted Pinkie from a distance, getting the teacher's attention.

Cheerilee smiled. "Hello, Pinkie Pie. How are you doing?"

"I'm fantastic!" replied Pinkie. "How about you? How was your family reunion?"

Cheerilee smiled. “It was great! Thank you for asking.” Moments later, her face shifted to confusion. "Wait, you knew about that?"

"Well, duh! It's my job to know about stuff like that!" stated Pinkie, not offering further explanation.

Cheerilee chuckled, accepting it for what it was. “Well, it was very fun. I won the annual family baking competition with my upside down cake.”

"Glad to hear it!" said Pinkie. "I gotta get going, but maybe we can talk about it some more another time. Remind me that I owe you a 'successful family reunion' party in the near future!"

“I’ll make sure to do that,” the teacher said, returning Pinkie’s smile.

Pinkie's smile grew a bit, and she nodded enthusiastically. She turned to leave, but turned back once more.

"Bye everypony! See you all later!" she shouted, waving her hoof in the air.

The fillies and colts waved in return, voicing their own farewells to the pink mare.

Pinkie turned and headed in the direction of the Golden Oaks Library.

Cheerilee’s gaze followed the pink figure as it disappeared into the distance. “That’s amazing,” she muttered to herself. “It’s like having the old Pinkie Pie back.”

----------

I walked through Ponyville with a spring in my step. I could see the Golden Oaks Library in the distance, and if I was correct, all five of them would be gathered there now.

I received multiple greetings from others on my route and returned them with friendly waves or greetings of my own. Whenever I took the time to interact with them, I seemed to notice a spark of familiarity in their expression, which always brought me a great sense of satisfaction.

Before I knew it, the door to the library was right in front of me. I raised my hoof to knock on the burnt umber door.

Suddenly, I heard a collection of voices. While I knew it was rude to eavesdrop, curiosity got the better of me, and I carefully pressed my ears against the door, making sure not to alert them to my presence.

“I’m afraid I don’t understand, dear. Whatever do you mean?” said a voice that I immediately recognized as Rarity’s.

“Well,” began another voice, this one belonging to Twilight, “the real Pinkie is definitely in her head somewhere. It's even possible that the two Pinkies have interacted in some way, since they're basically separate beings at this point."

There was silence, and I considered knocking on the door right then, but another voice spoke up.

“So you think just going behind her back like that is the best idea?” asked Rainbow Dash.

I froze in place with trepidation.

“Well, I...” Twilight said hesitantly, fumbling for the right words.

Out of impulse and fear for what was about to be said, I knocked on the wooden door. The sound reverberated throughout the library, and the voices went silent almost instantaneously.

A few moments later, Twilight answered the door. She was trying to hide the fact that something had just transpired, but it was a poor attempt.

“Hey there, Pinkie!” she said in a somewhat nervous tone.

I immediately put on a fake grin. “Hey Twilight!”

I poked my head around her, getting a glimpse of the other four, who were standing in the middle of the room. “Hey girls!” I said cheerfully.

“Hey Pinkie Pie!” answered Rainbow Dash.

“Come on in,” invited Twilight, stepping aside to allow me room.

“Thanks!” I said, trotting inside.

“So what brings you ‘round these parts, Pinkie?” asked Applejack.

The question struck me as odd, for some reason. I had merely stopped by for a friendly visit. I opened my mouth to clarify this, but stopped myself.

So you think just going behind her back like that is the best idea?

Rainbow Dash’s words rang in my mind, and I couldn’t help but worry. I stood there with a blank face, and very soon, all five of them were staring at me.

“Uh, Pinkie? You alright?”

I snapped back suddenly. Applejack stood there, awaiting a response.

“Oh. Um, yeah!” I said, reverting back to my state of excitement.

“That’s good,” Twilight said. “Was there something you needed, or did you just stop by to visit?”

I thought on the question for a moment. Even though I had originally stopped by to visit with my friends, Rainbow Dash’s words lingered in my mind, and I needed to do something about it. In a burst of last minute spontaneity, I pulled out several decorated cards that I had taken to carrying with me at all times.

“Invitations?” asked Twilight.

“Um, yeah!” I answered nervously, holding up the random party invitations, which lacked a designated rendezvous of any kind.

“I wanted to throw a party tomorrow at noon," I explained. "Just a small get together for all of us. Oh, and Twilight, I know you usually work Spike to the bone here in the library, but you should totally let him come if he wants to."

They all looked at me in surprise, except for Rainbow Dash, who wore a big grin on her face.

“My goodness, Pinkie, you've certainly been quite the hostess lately!” exclaimed Rarity.

“I guess so!” I agreed. “Then again, it’s a lot easier to do now that I've figured out how to operate my party cannon.”

“Is that so?” Applejack rubbed a hoof to her chin. “Ya know, I've been wondering how that contraption works ever since you blasted me with cake batter a few weeks ago.”

“Aw, you’re not still upset about that, are you? It only took three hours to get it all out of your mane and coat!” I said, trying to play it off casually.

Only,” sneered Applejack.

"So how do you use it?" pressed Twilight.

"Oh, that's easy!" I said. "All you have to do is—"

"Twilight!" called Spike from upstairs, interrupting me. "A letter just arrived from the princess!"

Twilight looked at me and grinned apologetically. "I should probably check that," she said.

I nodded, and she promptly left the room.

"Wow, Pinkie!" blurted Rainbow Dash as soon as Twilight was gone. "You're almost exactly like your old self!"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

“Um, hello? The bouncy personality? The parties? Every day, you act more and more like your old self. All that’s missing is the crazy, random behavior.”

“Wow,” I said.

In actuality, I was thrilled to hear that I had made a lot of progress. However, given the current situation, my response probably lacked the enthusiasm she was hoping for.

I was pondering Rainbow Dash’s depiction of “my old self.” With only a few simple descriptions to go by, I didn't have much to work with.

A bouncy personality, a love for parties, and crazy, random behavior. Only one name came to mind which fit that description, and it seemed too absurd to consider.

However, I recalled something Twilight said when I was eavesdropping on their conversation. She had mentioned something about the real Pinkie being in my head somewhere, and the possibility that we had already communicated in some way.

It didn't take me long to make the connections, and when I finally came to the only conclusion I could imagine, the concept of it seemed way too far fetched.

Then again, I spoke those exact words when, just over a month ago, my life started anew. I decided to accept it as a possibility. Even so, I needed more evidence before I could feel sure of it.

By this time, the four of them were engrossed in a new conversation, which I had missed completely. When there was a brief pause, I chimed in.

“Hey girls, have any of you ever heard Gummy... talk?” I asked.

I was met with blank faces.

“Gummy talking?” asked Rainbow. “Are you crazy? Alligators can’t talk!”

At this, the four of them burst into hysterics, and I, not wanting them to think it had been a serious question, joined in on the laughter.

I decided to unveil the truth when I finished here.

----------

The door closed behind me. Without a word, I walked to the middle of my room, and stood there for a few moments before finally speaking.

“We need to talk,” I said in a cold voice, slightly straying from my usual attitude as of late.

“Okay!” came a cheerful reply.

I looked around the room, and Gummy was nowhere to be seen at the moment. I smiled, realizing this was the perfect opportunity to get the truth.

“Where are you?” I asked.

It was almost as if I could feel the hesitance. As a matter of fact, I think I could literally feel it.

“Under the bed?” the voice suggested.

I made my way towards the bed and checked underneath it. As I expected, the alligator wasn't there.

“Give it up, Pinkie.”

“W-what?” the voice responded, a hint of fear in its tone.

“I know you've been deceiving me,” I bluffed. I actually wasn't positive about it yet.

“What are you talking about? No I haven’t!” it defended.

“Oh, really?” I asked with apprehension. “Well, in that case, reveal yourself to me right now, ‘Gummy.’”

More hesitance followed.

“I... I’m sorry.”

It was finally time for her to come clean.

“Tell me something. Why did you feel the need to deceive me?”

“See for yourself...” she replied.

“What do you mean?”

“How the heck do you think I was able to help you so much? I didn't just know what to do when you walked through the door each day. I was with you the whole time!”

“That doesn't exactly answer my question,” I said, somewhat irritated.

“I can read your mind. Duh!”

That came as a bit of a shock. I found it both fascinating and disturbing. I now knew that complete and utter privacy no longer existed for me.

“Oh, don’t worry! I don’t just listen to everything you’re thinking all day long. That would be rude!”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Then again, why was I afraid to share my secrets with myself?

“I only butted in when something came up that I knew I could help with!”

“That’s quite interesting, but my original question remains unanswered. How am I supposed to see your motives for myself? Are you suggesting that I can read your thoughts, too?”

“Yep! At least, you should be able to.”

I found this all very hard to believe, but I possessed no counter-argument to prove it wrong, so I accepted it. However, this sense of resignation did not help the fact that I had no idea how to access her thoughts.

I did the first thing that came to mind, and concentrated deeply. I tried to block out all distractions, with the direction of my intent quite clear to myself.

I found it rather easy to locate the second consciousness that dwelled within me. I was surprised I hadn't noticed it before.

I could feel the pure joy that emanated from this entity. Even with all the progress I had made in the recent weeks, my exuberance paled in comparison to hers.

It was an odd sensation to 'share minds,' for lack of a better term. My thoughts and emotions were not my own, and neither were hers. We were, in a way, two sides of the same coin.

I could sense her motives behind lying to me for so long. If I had realized earlier that I possessed this ability, I would have known the truth right away.

I realized that her reasons were, in all aspects, completely innocent.

"I never wanted to hurt your feelings," she insisted. "I just wanted to help you."

She was telling the truth. The only reason she had lied to me was because she had wanted to assist me in adjusting to my new life in Ponyville. No ulterior motives had even occurred to her. Everything she had done, she had done with my benefit in mind.

The reason she had chosen to reveal herself as Gummy was to allow me the satisfaction of accomplishing things on my own. Instead of instructing me like a child, she allowed me space to make my own decisions in most situations. She had only decided to intervene when it had been necessary.

A pang of guilt struck me as I realized just how thoughtless I had been. She had done everything with my own benefit at the front of her mind, and I had assumed the worst.

"Please don't feel bad!" she said, clearly feeling my shame. "I understand why you didn't trust me! It's not exactly easy to trust someone when they lie to you for so long, right?"

"I suppose so," I responded, not even realizing that I had just conveyed that message as a thought. "Still, I'm not positive I completely trust our friends after today."

"Well, I only know as much as you do about their plans," she stated, "but I promise you, they're good ponies. They wouldn't want to hurt anyone."

"I believe that. I truly do, but that doesn't change the fact that they are doing something behind our back. Something that has to do with us. I don't know what they're planning, but I'm going to find out at the party tomorrow.

"I have to."

Author's Note:

Edited by: DPV111, NATOstrike, CookieMonstar and Starlitomega