• Published 9th Sep 2012
  • 14,774 Views, 616 Comments

Flipside - Bed Head

A retelling of the first two episodes in an Alt. Universe. Spike is the pony, Twilight the dragon.

  • ...

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

"...Looking forward to it of course. In all honesty I can't imagine..."

Celestia's attention was floating in and out of focus. The palace staff was busy tending to the grounds and numerous knick-knacks as usual. The princess was following one of her many, many schedulers (Sun Dial) as he went over plans for the next day with her.

Celestia looked out the window they were passing by. The sun was getting higher, still late morning. A part of her just wanted to take off into parts unknown and never return. To flee from what she knew was coming.

"Your majesty?" Sun Dial's voice broke through her thoughts of freedom. "Is everything alright?"

Celestia looked at the slate-gray stallion, his magic grasping a thick stack of papers. Other servants were also slowing or stopping their duties, she could feel their eyes. Curious, worrying, wondering like Sun Dial if she was okay.

A smile came to her muzzle, as easily as it always had for the last thousand years. No matter what was coming she couldn't abandon them. Couldn't let them see her weaken.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Dial, I was just admiring the work the gardeners have done," the sun princess lied as they continued walking.

The stallion moved his papers back to the front of his vision and the sounds of ponies resuming their jobs filled the hall again.

"Yes, they are quite talented," the stallion responded. "Green Hoof and his crew were quite surprised when you announced where the Celebration was being held. A millennial anniversary... we all expected it to be here in Canterlot."

There was surprise in his tone, mixed with a bit of disappointment. Both emotions seemed to vanish though as he saw Celestia shake her head.

"It was promised that the location would be randomly chosen each year," she stated. "So, what was next on the schedule for Ponyville?"

Sun Dial gave the princess an appraising look, before shrugging and turning back to his notes. Once more the unicorn was droning about who Celestia would need to meet with, from where she'd raise the sun, locations for the guards... and a million other details that she knew wouldn't matter by that time.

They passed another window, Celestia looked out for one last time to admire the work of the gardeners.

Attention all passengers, we are now arriving in Ponyville. I repeat, we are now arriving in Ponyville.

Spike snorted and jerked his way from his nap. Twilight was already scooping up their bags, including the pamphlet she'd been reading. He yawned, magic readjusting his hat as the violet dragon helped him with his saddlebags. He could feel the train slowing as it pulled into the station.

"Morning, sleepy-head." Twilight chuckled as she clambered onto his back. "Feeling any better?"

"A little, I guess," Spike grumbled, dragging his hooves toward the line of disembarking ponies.

"Cheer up, Spi—" Twilight cut herself off as the unicorn turned his head to glare at her. "Prose. We're covering the biggest celebration in all of Equestria!"

The dragoness pulled herself into a standing position. Spike winced at the feeling of her claws on his back. The unicorn rolled his eyes as Twilight cleared her throat. He could sense the incoming lecture.

"Ink Blot wants to use this for training," she declared, adjusting his hat so it stood proudly on his head. "Well I say you get out there and show him what you're made of! Let's prove that you're the journalist you've been telling him you are!"

Spike turned his head to look at his assistant. The smiled never left her face, and it quickly infected his own.

"You know what?" Spike said as they marched off the train. "You're right, Twilight. We're gonna write the greatest article ever and show Ink Blot I can handle this!"

"That's the spirit!" Twilight cheered, giving her friend a hug.

A sudden blast of cheerful music filled the air. Everypony leaving the train (as well as quite a few employees) found their eyes drawn to a brightly painted wagon. A marching band's worth of trumpets, flags, and for some reason an oven were sprouted from it, playing an impossibly upbeat tune.

From behind the contraption sprang an almost blindingly pink pony, her mane a mass of curls that bounced as she hopped from end of the platform to the other. There was a huge grin on her face as she sang along to the music.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

A fine welcome to you!

Spike found his hoof pulled into an extremely enthusiastic shake before the pink mare bounced along to the next newcomer. It was clear that she had rehearsed this, seeing as she never missed a beat in the song.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I say how do you do?

Spike and Twilight gave one another confused looks. The stallion quickly slunk away from the other newcomers. There was some relief in seeing that he wasn't the only one, at least three others were following his example. The others were bobbing or stomping their hooves along with the music.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I say hip-hip-hurray!

"Think maybe I'll skip interviewing that one, though," Spike said to Twilight, as they marched past the strange wagon.

"Uh... yeah," she agreed, eyes bouncing as they followed the pink mare.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

To Ponyville today!

In an impressive display of acrobatics, the singer flipped head-over-hooves and landed by the wagon. The remainder of her audience began cheering and laughing. Spike tried not to pay attention, focused on putting as much distance between himself and the musical wagon as he could.

The loud blare of several noisemakers going off drew his gaze back to the wagon. He spun around just in time to see a massive burst of yellow goop fly out of the smoke-stack structures on it.

Twilight yelped and jumped from Spike's back just in the nick of time. The unicorn was left to get covered by vanilla-scented gunk by himself.

"Blech! Ugh, what is this stuff?!" he shouted, struggling to wipe the goop from his eyes.

He was hardly the only one complaining. Several other ponies were crying out from the shock of being coated in the mysterious substance. A girlish giggle filled the air that for some reason felt like it could only belong to the pink mare.

"Whoops! Sorry everypony!" she apologized. "Guess I loaded the confetti in the oven and the cake batter in the confetti cannons by mistake!"

Spike had cleared off his eyes, giving the ooze a tentative lick. It certainly tasted like uncooked cake batter. Twilight had both claws over her mouth which were doing a poor job to hide the huge grin crawling across her face.

"Look out below!" a voice suddenly broke in.

A shadow fell over Spike for a brief moment. The shadow was soon replaced by a blur of gray that slammed into him. He screamed in surprise as he and this new assailant skittered across the platform, hitting the wall of the station's ticket booth.

"Spike!" Twilight shouted, running after him.

"Oh, this is already going well," he grumbled, rubbing his now aching head.

"Sorry! My bad," the voice that had shouted before groaned. "That weird yellow goo got in my eyes. Are you okay?"

A gray pegasus mare shook her head as she sat up. A few blobs of cake batter scattered from her eyes and her blond mane as she did. Spike drew back as the mare opened her eyes. They were bright yellow, one of them focused directly on him. The other drifted, looking to the right.

"I'm fine, are you?" he asked, suddenly worried as he reached a hoof toward the stranger. "Your eyes are all—"

"Oh!" the pegasus blushed and turned away. "No, it's alright! They're... they're always like this."

Spike's hoof immediately moved to cover his mouth instead, so fast it was a wonder he didn't chip a tooth. The gray mare giggled as she got back to her hooves and straightened out her feathers. The cloud of bubbles on her flank was soon covered by her wings as she helped the unicorn back up.

"It's okay, you didn't know," she said, before a huge grin came to her face. "Ooh! Which means you must be new around here!"

The cake-covered stallion found his hoof pulled into another enthusiastic shake. Twilight ducked, barely avoiding several splatterings of batter that flew from her friend's leg.

"It's great to meet you!" the gray mare exclaimed as she failed to notice the mess she was making. "My name's Ditzy Doo!"

"I-I-I'm Pu-urple Prose," Spike managed to return the greeting, his voice wavering a bit with the excessive shaking.

"And I'm Twilight," the lavender dragon spoke up, tapping Ditzy on the shoulder. "We're reporters for the Canterlot Sun."

Spike heaved a sigh of relief as Ditzy released his hoof.

"Reporters?" she asked, her eyes giving the strange feeling that she was looking at both of them at once.

"Yup!" Twilight confirmed. "We're here to cover the Summer Sun Celebration."

"Oh, cool!" Ditzy cheered, her face lighting up.

Of course, Spike was starting to get the feeling Ditzy was the easily excited sort.

The unicorn's horn lit up, surrounding his body with a green aura. The cake batter still stuck to him slowly began to scrape off, globules of it floating toward a nearby trashcan.

"I've never spoken to real reporters before, especially ones from Canterlot!" Ditzy was speaking at a mile a minute, flapping her wings to get airborne again. "This is so exciting! I'll bet you're gonna be interviewing everypony in town!"

"Yeah, right after Prose finishes cleaning himself up," Twilight said with a giggle.

"It's not funny, Twilight," Spike responded, highly un-amused as he peeled more batter from his hat. "Ugh, I'm never gonna get all this gunk off!"

"Oh, I can help with that!" Ditzy offered before darting off in a blur of gray feathers.

She was back in an instant, pushing a gray raincloud ahead of her. The purple unicorn gasped as he realized what was coming. Before he could protest, the pegasus jumped onto the cloud with all her might. The bottom of the cloud burst, nearly drowning Spike in the ensuing rain.

The unicorn spat out a mouthful of water, his coat and mane clinging to his body and his hat drooping over his eyes. Thankfully all of the cake had been cleaned off by the impromptu shower. Ditzy looked down with a big smile on her face while Twilight rolled on the ground, her body shaking with silent laughter.

"Thanks, Ditzy, thanks a lot," Spike groaned, unable to find it in himself to admonish the mare. "Good thing my saddle-bags are waterproof."

"Happy to help," Ditzy said as she pushed the spent raincloud back into the sky.

Spike's magic sparked around his hat, floating it aside to wring it out. As he focused on that a pink hoof with a muffin on it suddenly popped into sight. He found himself face-to-face with the pink performer from earlier, a tray of muffins balanced on her back.

"And two more apology muffins for Ditzy and the new pony!" cheered the perpetually smiling mare. "Sorry for covering you both with cake."

"Um... it's okay?" Spike managed to respond.

"Thanks, Pinkie!" Ditzy snatched up her own muffin and eagerly began chomping on it. "Oh hey, you'll never guess what Mr. Prose is here for!"

"Oooh, I love guessing games!" Pinkie cheered before shaking the muffin tray on her back. "But I've got so many muffins to pass out. Then I've gotta get to that party for Applejack's family on the farm..."

Spike almost choked on the bite of muffin he'd taken as Pinkie jumped to his side and slapped a hoof across his back.

"Don't worry though, Prosey!" the pink mare seemed unaware of her new friend's sudden coughing fit. "I'll make sure to put aside plenty of time at the big party tonight to get to know you! See you both at the celebration tonight?"

"Of course!" Ditzy said with a nod.

With that, Pinkie was off and passing out muffins to another group of cake-splattered ponies. Spike took a deep breath, his coughing finally dislodging the stray muffin bit. He watched the pink mare with a confused expression, wondering just who it was that had almost literally killed him with kindness.

"That's Pinkie Pie," Ditzy spoke up, answering Spike's unspoken question. "She's really nice, and loves meeting new ponies."

"She always so excitable?" Spike asked as he finally put his (still damp) hat back on.

Ditzy Doo giggled in response before finishing off her muffin. "Yeah, but she's been extra happy with all the newcomers. I'm surprised she hasn't exploded or something!"

Spike just rolled his eyes, taking another cautious bite from his own muffin. Twilight had finally managed to stop laughing and climbed onto his back, though she still had a broad grin on her face.

"It was great meeting you, Ditzy," the dragon said. "But Prose and I have a lot of ponies to interview."

"Yeah, starting with whoever is in charge of the Celebration," Spike chimed in.

"Oh, that'd be Mayor Mare," Ditzy answered, wings fluttering as she got back in the air. "She'd probably be at Town Hall, I can show you the way!"

The raincloud flashed through his head. Something told Spike more of this pony's help might not be pleasant.

"No!" he tried to insist, before pursing his lips and realizing he had shouted. "I mean... you really don't—"

"It's no problem, really," Ditzy explained, the smile never leaving her face. "I've just gotta make a few more pick-ups first."

The mailmare looked down, then up and around. Her eyes crossed as confusion colored her features.

"Um... as soon as I find my mailbag," she said. "Excuse me."

The pegasus rose higher into the air. Spike started to slink backwards only for a sharp claw to pinch his ear. The stallion bit his lip to avoid shouting in pain.

"Where do you think you're going?" Twilight chastised as she twisted her grip a bit. "She wants to help!"

"Twi, I know she's nice but she also seems kinda—" The purple unicorn cut himself off before rolling his eyes and sticking out his tongue to illustrate his point. "You know?"

"She's also a mail-mare! I'll bet she knows everypony in town," the dragon whispered, pinching a little harder. "And don't be rude!"

"Found it!" Ditzy cheered from above as she flitted back into view with a blue bag slung across her chest. "I wonder how it got all the way up on the station roof."

"Sounds like a real mystery," Spike answered as Twilight relinquished his ear. "So, on to Town Hall?"

"You betcha! This way!" Ditzy cheered as she started toward the village beyond the platform.

Spike began to follow but stopped as he noticed Ditzy hovering in mid-air with a confused expression.

"Oh wait... no, this way," she said, taking off in the opposite direction.

The stallion sighed, his cheery mood from disembarking shriveling. This was starting to feel like it would be a long day.