• Published 15th Oct 2012
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Books - a3V

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Reading Buddies

"Oof!" Rainbow dropped the crate onto the library's floor, sending a wave of force along the ground. The dust rising up from the wooden floorboards made Spike sneeze flames, but he was quick enough to cover his mouth with his claws.

"Well, here we are. I'm glad you agreed to move your collection here, Rainbow! It would have been a shame if the cloud-walking spells that were on the books wore out. Didn't you know that books don't normally come with that?"

"Agreed" was not a word Rainbow Dash agreed with at the moment, but she smiled and nodded to appease, in her mind, Twilight Sparkle the expert persuader. But again, "persuader" may not be the correct term here... particularly when the purple unicorn menaced over her, cowering the corner due to her continued insistence on moving the book collection to the Ponyville library...

...and her insistence in becoming "study buddies."

"Oooookay Twilight, I'm just gonna go now—gah!" Before she could fly off, a shroud of magic enveloped her pulled her upstairs along with Twilight, setting her down on a pillow next to a table prepped with books, a few snacks, and tea. Rainbow cringed as she observed all the sweets and pastries strewn about. 'It's almost like a tea party! I really have to get out of here!'

"Okay, Rainbow. Why don't you take a look at the book in front of you, and tell me what you think?" Twilight took a sip from her cup of tea, smugly smiling at the pegasus.

"Twi, if this is some book about unicorny stuff, I'm gonna—" she laid her gaze on the book before her, covered in familiar blue and yellow tones. "No way! The Wonderbolts Flight Maneuver Manual! I'd ask where you got it, but I've got an inkling of how you managed this... but anyways, let's start!"

"Eager to begin now, are we?" The smile still remained on Twilight's face.

"Uh... nah. It's just Wonderbolts' stuff, after all. You know how I am about them," she quipped nonchalantly. However, she couldn't help eyeing a certain book in the stack labeled Pegasi Recipes and other Non Sequiturs, recognizing the title as part of a pegasi humor compilation. She made a mental note to pick up the newest copy as soon as she could, and perhaps show it to Twilight. The hilarity of the Pegasi Parody Parade was not limited to skyward ponies.

"Well, then, shall we begin? We can read the same book, or we can read different things. It's up to you, Rainbow."

"Well, I'm just gonna read my book. What are you going to read?"

Twilight patted a thick tome with Celestia's seal on the cover. "Just going to do some light reading on Princess Celestia's most recent research endeavor."

Dash snorted. "Yeah, good luck with that. You're going to read through the whole thing?"

"Oh, no! Of course not. I'm just going to take notes on the first chapter and note any possible discrepancies with notable research documents!" The erudite mare remained true to her vocation as a faithful student and began writing down notes as she opened the book to its first page. "Hmm... note to self: contact the Princess about horrid font choice."

Grabbing her own book, Rainbow grabbed as many spare pillows as she could to create a mountain of comfort to relax herself on. "Oh, one more thing, Twilight." The unicorn looked up from her notes to see Rainbow Dash giving her an even, serious glare. "No one is to know about this, okay? Not a single pony."

"Well why not, Rainbow? I'd hardly think it's something of worth to note."

"No, it's because... well, you haven't been in this town as long as I have. Some ponies in this town are... crazy. About finding people who enjoy their hobbies, even if they're tangentially related."

"What do you mean?"

"Let's just say... books are a pretty big topic among a handful of ponies here. Not including you, of course." Dash coughed to accentuate the awkwardness.

"Is it any pony I know?" Twilight pushed her glasses back up to her eyes with a hoof.

"I'd say it's pretty easy to guess, but if you don't know I'd rather not risk getting pulled into a book club. No offense, of course." Rainbow Dash reclined into her pillow pile and cracked open the book. "Haha! Look, there's a picture of Spitfire making fun of Soarin'!"


Twilight glanced up at the clock, pulling her head off the table in a daze. She could easily judge from the shade of the sky outside that it was somewhere in the late afternoon. Had she been out that long? It was an insult to her mentor if she found out that her studious student fell asleep reading one of her works... or at least Twilight thought in her mind. She didn't dare overreact like with her friendship reports, but this was fairly minor, and not one on a schedule.

She was brought out of her thoughts by a series of giggling snorts emanating from her right. Looking over, Twilight saw Rainbow holding a book in her hooves, gleefully peering through the pages. The pegasus was surrounded by towers of books, not unlike the forest she had in the cloud house.

"My gosh, Rainbow... did you read through all those books?"

"Huh? Oh, you're awake. Sorry for taking your book, Twilight, but I ran out of material to read and I wanted to save Pegasi Recipes for last. I didn't understand it at first, but I saw that Princess Celestia put in a whole section for basic explanations! Totally awesome. Oh, by the way, you should tell her that her magical resonance equation is just a bit off. I saw the proper version in Vertical Magical Cascades, volume... three? I think?"

"You can understand magical equations, Rainbow?" Twilight wasn't sure how to take this.

"Nah, I just read about them. Pretty cool stuff, though. I think in the fourth volume it talks about how magical cascades are the realm of pegasi magic, and—bahahaha! That's a funny one!" Rainbow clutched her book unevenly as she shook herself with laughter.

Just as Twilight was about to get up, a knock rang out through the library. The sound was dulled due to the duo being on the second floor, but both were still able to hear it. Rainbow glanced at Twilight and nudged her head toward the staircase frantically and urgently. Twilight merely rolled her eyes and trotted downstairs, answering the door with a flourish only to come face-to-face with an aquamarine unicorn.

"Oh, hey Twilight. I was wondering if you had the most recent edition of Pegasi Recipes and other Non Sequiturs?"

"Oh, interested in some humor, Lyra? Come on inside, I'll go get it right now."

Lyra obliged, and entered the library as Twilight went back upstairs to grab the book. Unfortunately, Twilight arrived back upstairs to find Rainbow still reading the book, face barely inches away from the text. She was obviously enjoying the humor found in the book as she wore a wide grin on her face while her eyes dashed across the pages.

"Rainbow, Lyra wants to borrow the book you're holding. I'm afraid you're going to have to give it up."

In a manner similar to Rarity, Rainbow adopted a look of incredulity and shock, shifting her gaze from Twilight to the book, and back several times before sighing and giving the book to Twilight's magical aura. "I guess I can just pick up a copy the next time I'm in Canterlot for weather reports. Speaking of which, I hate it when a story starts out with those! 'It's a bright and sunny day', they say. Of course it is, especially if the awesome Rainbow Dash on the weather team."

Twilight could only laugh at her friend's statements, knowing all too well that many novels started out with weather intros, and the fact that Rainbow Dash would have cleared the skies quite easily. Rainbow picked up a book and cracked it open, blissfully unaware of Lyra's entry onto the second floor of the library.

"Oh my gosh, Rainbow Dash!"

"Gah!" Rainbow tossed the book up into the air, watching it neatly land on top of a shelf. "L-Lyra! What are you doing here?" She grinned sheepishly as her eyes darted about, looking for an avenue of escape.

"Did you change your mind? I always knew you liked books! Bonbon's not much of a book reader herself since she has to work, but I think you're a great reading buddy!"

"Look, Lyra. We only did it once, okay? It was for—"

"The Fast and the Flying, I know. Why didn't you reply back, Rainbow? You were one of the first ponies in this town to really touch on some good, old fashioned reading, and I thought I found somepony else in town who I could read with."

Twilight couldn't help but feel a bit sad for Lyra. It was obvious to her that there was some shared past with Rainbow Dash, but she knew better than to butt in. "Well, I'll just leave the book here. I'm going to go organize the books downstairs."

"Okay. See you later, Twilight." Lyra never broke her gaze with Rainbow Dash as Twilight went back downstairs, steadily moving closer until she was face-to-face with the pegasus.

Lyra sighed, surprising Rainbow. "The least you could have done was reply back. I always see you in town but I was afraid to talk to you. I thought I had done something wrong."

"No!" Dash didn't realize that the word came out of her own mouth. "No. It-it's my fault, really. If you don't mind, I'd like to sit down and have a chat with you some time."

"Well, that certainly sounds great! But we are going to read books, okay? I have a really cool book about pegasus music! Did you know some pegasi use their wings to play instruments?"

"I think Spitfire said she could do that, once." Although speed was one of the ways to get into the Wonderbolts, a bit of extra talent could never hurt.

"Great. I guess I'll see you tomorrow, then? I know you usually work in the morning, so I'll just meet you at my house in the afternoon. Is that fine?"

"Uh, sure. That sounds alright. I'll see you tomorrow!" Lyra departed, Rainbow Dash wearing her best grin as the unicorn went back downstairs. As soon as she was out of sight, she sighed. This day just kept getting better and better for her.

Dash slinked back downstairs, sitting down across from Twilight, who was now re-reading Celestia's research tome. "Ugh, if this keeps happening my reputation will be ruined! Ruined, I say!"

Twilight laughed. "Oh Rainbow, what's the problem? So somepony finds out you're reading, what about it?"

"You don't understand, Twilight! If everypony in town finds out that I've been binge reading, they'll laugh at me! Or even worse, they'll call me an egghead! Or even worse, those other mares I've been telling you about might start asking me to read with them! And you know I just can't resist!"

"Rainbow, are you referring to Lyra? That's rude!"

"What? Oh, nononono. I'm not saying anything else. She has eyes like a hawk, and ears like... a dog? Either way, I'm not saying her name."

"So it's a 'she', hmm?" Twilight couldn't help but chuckle as she saw Rainbow Dash's gears turning in her head.

"Gah! Okay, fine. Let's just get back to reading, okay? I took today off for a reason and I'm not going to let anypony else ruin my book time."

The two settled back down on the second floor, silence overtaking the library. Rainbow pursed her lips as she looked around at the mess of books scattered about the ground. "Well, there goes the one book I wanted to read."


"Can you believe this, Twilight? Check it out!" Rainbow brought over her book and laid it out on the table. A picture of a yellow pegasus mare stood out on the page, wearing the traditional uniform of Cloudsdale's Highwing University. "Look at her glasses! They remind of Rarity's work glasses. Hehe."

"My gosh, look at her! Didn't we see her at the Gala? She looks like she came out of the School for Gifted Unicorns here!"

"This is why I love reading. I get to find out about all this awesome stuff, and read about cool things. I think I can see why you love surrounding yourself with books, Twilight."

"Well, certainly! I'm glad you think that way too, Rainbow. Most ponies only use the library for reference, and only the foals read in their spare time. I guess that's part of being an earth pony town: everypony's busy working, so they never have time to read."

Rainbow put a hoof on her friend's shoulder. "Hey, don't be like that, Twi. Everypony in town appreciates you, and I know a few ponies in town read some books. I'm sure even Princess Celestia is too busy sometimes to read books, you know how it is. I just know it'll pick up during winter. Nopony can keep their hooves off books then."

Twilight beamed at Rainbow's praise. "Thanks, Rainbow. Sometimes I forget that ponies are busy. It's really easy to just forget sometimes that ponies are just as equine as I am." She looked at her hooves and fidgeted. "It used to happen pretty often when I was in Canterlot. I treated almost everypony like an object, even the guards. Only Princess Celestia was a 'pony' to me. Oh gosh, it was so embarrassing when I realized what I was doing! I went around to everypony apologizing, and I remember when I got to the guards I was crying."

Rainbow laughed. "Boy, that must have been awkward for them! And you were just a little filly then, right? Still preoccupied with your books?"

Twilight nodded, a smile coming to her face as she reminisced. "It was really funny. You remember when the guards came to Ponyville, and how they were always stone-faced? I think I managed to startle them. They were so scared that they had done something wrong, and called for the Princess herself."

"No way! I would have loved to see the looks on their faces!" Rainbow flew around the room, perusing the shelves for more reading material. "I usually save the bigger books for winter. It's really cool flying then, and I literally mean cool. Pegasi are usually resistant to colder temperatures, but it's still pretty uncomfortable."

"Isn't everything regulated, especially since Ponyville is so close to Cloudsdale?"

"You bet. Aside from Canterlot, Ponyville is the most heavily regulated town for weather. Something about keeping up appearances, and all that. After that stunt we pulled with the tornado, a lot more ponies took notice of our little town. And I'm in charge of it all!"

"If you ever need help with paperwork..."

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyways, I gotta go. I'm going out for some afternoon lunch with Flutters, and it's totally not cool to be late." She finished stacking all of the scattered books on the table. "I'll see you later, Twilight! I think I've read enough books for this week!"


Rainbow Dash flew out the window she usually crashed into, thankfully this time without any incident. She was content with the happenings of the day, especially reconnecting with Lyra, and smiled to herself as she flew towards Fluttershy's cottage. If she were paying attention, she would have noticed a pony enjoying the afternoon sun outside one of Ponyville's cafes, nearest the library.

The pony put down her cup of tea and looked skyward, watching Rainbow disappear into the distance. She grinned, realizing that the pegasus would no longer be able to hide her love for books.

"Now, Rainbow Dash, I have you. There is no escape!"