• Published 26th Oct 2012
  • 5,473 Views, 156 Comments

Potion Commotion - MellowMabari



Rainbow Dash is having an excellent day - that is until a desperate thirst drags her from the sky

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Apples

"And now I have no idea what to do! Pinkie, you've got to help me! If you could just distract her until I can get to the bottom of this..."

"Oh Twilight, lighten up! Of course I'll help you." The exuberant pink pony wrapped a foreleg around her, grinning hugely. "Besides, it's been waaaaay too quiet in Ponyville lately - this is exactly the kind of wacky, time wasting nonsense I've been missing!"

Twilight decided to ignore Pinkie's enthusiasm for the crisis that had been driving her batty for most of the day and instead latched onto the ray of hope her words offered.

"Thank you so much, Pinkie! I left Rainbow at the cafe with the Cutie Mark Crusaders," Twilight frantically searched the bakery for a clock - in between her rush to Sugarcube Corner and her hurried explanation of the plight to Pinkie, she figured she had about ten minutes before Rainbow imprinted onto someone new. If this thing abides by any sort of consistency at all. And who knows how she'll react with the next one? "Alright, I'm heading to Zecora's. You have to get to Rainbow before she - "

Twilight blinked. She was alone inside the bakery, the only sound coming from the kitchen, where the Cakes were undoubtedly plying their trade. Without wasting any more time worrying about Pinkie's logic defying abilities, Twilight bolted through the door, making a beeline straight for the Everfree Forest, and hopefully, the cure that would spare all of Ponyville from getting a turn on the non-stop Rainbow express.

* * *

"So then I was all like, porridge, are you crazy? You must be related to oatmeal!" Pinkie was bouncing happily in place outside Dusty's Neighborhood Cafe, seemingly unaware of the tension in her audience of one. She'd met Applebloom, in a state of mane-frazzled distress, halfway between the cafe and Sugarcube Corner, and the filly had accompanied her back, talking all the while.

"Pinkie, I dunno what Twi was worried about, but we need ta find Rainbow Dash! She left with Scootaloo and Sweetie went ta follow 'em, and I never looked in her eyes, but I dunno if anypony else has or what even happens if they do - "

"Hmmm..." Said Pinkie, bringing a hoof to her chin thoughtfully. The fact that she continued to bounce up and down on her other three somewhat ruined the effect of her Ridin's "Thinker" pose. "If I were Rainbow Dash, where would I be?" Pinkie scratched 'on the moon' and 'at work' off of her mental list of possible locations immediately. Those seemed silly, even to her. Before she had a chance to get through many more, however, her tail, left rear hoof and right ear all began to twitch and tingle spasmodically. "Oooh! She's in town square!"

"Your Pinkie sense can tell ya where Rainbow Dash is?" Asked Applebloom as she cantered off after the happily hopping Pinkie. She vaguely thought of how much Scootaloo would enjoy a super power like that.

"No, silly, but it can tell me when one of my friends is completely and utterly humiliating herself in a very public and possibly lewd way. That signal - the twitchy tail and left rear hoof, was combined with the tingly itch on my ear, which means that apples are involved." Pinkie pulled a bubble pipe from her null space and waved it good-naturedly, her voice taking on a high-class, affected tone. "And since Rainbow would hardly have had the time to propel herself all the way to Sweet Apple Acres in such a short period, I have deduced that she is in town square, where she has easy access to both apples and Apples. Thusly, hence, incorrigible."

Applebloom's nose scrunched up. "Um, sure." Pinkie Pie, after all, was Pinkie Pie, and if even her best friends couldn't understand her at times, Applebloom knew it was better to simply follow the party pony with as little resistance as possible and hope she could help.

"Avanti!" Cried Pinkie Pie, and she took off in a charge, looking for all the world like one of those gallant jousting ponies from the days of old. Applebloom galloped after her, doing her best to avoid the jet of bubbles that flew behind the pink pony's pipe like a slipstream. From somewhere in the sky, a wall-eyed pegasus gave an excited shout and hoof-pump of approval.

* * *

"Eenope."

"Aw, don't be like that, Big. You know you want me." Rainbow Dash did a precise loop-de-loop in front of the red stallion's nose, smiling cockily all the while. She'd gotten rid of Scootaloo by giving her some bits and telling her to buy them some ice-cream. From the good shop. Across town. Sweetie Belle had managed to follow them without attracting attention, and was now watching proceedings from behind a barrel of asparagus and hoping that Applebloom would hurry up and arrive with Twilight before whatever the unicorn had been afraid of happening, happened.

"Now miss Rainbow, I reckon yer a pretty filly and you'd probably make a very, erm, excitin' fillyfriend, but I just don't feel that way 'bout you. I don't mean it personal like, an' besides, that wouldn' be fair to - ”

"Big Macintosh, I leave you to tend the stall for five minutes and yer off havin' a conversation instead o' sellin apples. I don't mind ya talkin', just work while yer doin it." Applejack strolled over from where she had been conversing with the Mayor on the planned rain schedule for the following month, a slight frown on her face.

Big Mac, for some reason, appeared slightly uneasy. "Well howdy there, AJ. Rainbow here was just askin' me a few questions 'bout..." His eyes darted around for a reasonable target of conversation. They alighted on the stall behind his sister. "'Bout apples. Eeyup. She was wondrin' bout them zap-apples and if'n she could eat 'em right offa the tree, and I was just tellin' her how even she isn't shock proof enough to do it without turnin' 'em into jam, first."

Rainbow Dash scoffed, now fluttering lazily on her back. "Alright, one, I could totally handle raw zap-apples. Hello, they're rainbow coloured. If I were to sponsor a food, that'd be it - they should really be called dash-apples instead. And two, that is not what we were talking about." Rainbow flipped herself so that she was facing Applejack, who was watching her with a raised eyebrow. "We were talking about how much Big Macdaddy here wants to jump my bones." The pegasus stopped, letting her eyes trail very obviously over every inch of the stallion's barrel chest and toned legs. "And about how I just might let him."

There was a very pregnant pause, where one red stallion felt his coat crawl slightly under the focused attention and smoky gaze of a blue pegasus, and where one orange mare's eyebrows climbed so high they were in danger of dislodging her Stetson. Several nearby ponies, who had likely only wanted to innocently purchase some Apple family produce, now found themselves bearing witness to one of those situations where the desire is to look away but the ability to do so is momentarily denied to them.

"Ah, well, ya see, Rainbow, I don't exactly want to - "

"Rainbow are ya outta yer mind?" Applejack stomped forward, her bemused frown replaced by an angry glare. "Ya can't just go up ta somepony, in public, and say somethin' like that to them!" Her head whirled round to face a very flustered, very uncomfortable Big Macintosh. "And you - what d'you think yer doin', talkin to one of my friends like that? If ya'll want ta court, go ahead an' do it, but don't be flirtin' all tarty like while Ah'm tryin' to get some good honest work done."

Unbeknownst to Rainbow Dash, but painfully obvious to Big Macintosh, a watery glisten crept over the top of Applejack's eyelids. Before anything resembling tears could come to fruition, however, the orange mare shook her head furiously and returned to the stall across the square without a backwards glance.

"Oh, the poor dear," muttered a cream coloured earth pony, her curled blue and pink mane bobbing as she shook her head. Several other ponies in the surrounding area mimicked her sentiments. Some looked scandalized, and still others didn't seem to care in the slightest and continued to go about their daily business with nary a spare thought for the romantic shenanigans that had just occurred.

"Dashie! There you are!"

Rainbow Dash, who had been completely oblivious to Applejack's reaction, was still focused on Big Macintosh. She was fluttering above him and attempting to nip at his ears, much to the stallion's chagrin.

"Rainbow, A've made ma intentions clear. I don't wanna date you, and I would ah-ppreciate it if you respected mah opinion and let me get back to ma job." Still ignoring Rainbow's playful nips, he strode resolutely over to where Applejack was manning their stall. The two seemed to converse, faces flicking between confusion, anger and finally something akin to resignation before Applejack allowed her brother to take his place beside her and begin serving customers. Rainbow was just in the process of following the red stallion undeterred when a pink blur catapulted into her, pinning her to the cobblestones of the square.

"Hey! Watch it Pinkie Pie! Can't you see I'm in the middle of seducing somepony?"

"Well, Dashie, it doesn't seem to be working out all that great for you." Said Pinkie in a spunky tone that belied the negative connotation of her words. She pulled a pink pocket watch from...somewhere and grinned. "Besides, you should really be ready to seduce somepony else soon. It'll be like a big prank! We can make smoochie faces and run around being all silly and confusing everypony else, and then we can go wait at the library for Twilight to come back and then she can fix this whole thing up, before everypony starts thinking you're a - a strumpet!" Pinkie patted herself on the back for remembering the word Rarity had used to describe one of the mares that usually clung to that rich moustache pony, Fancy Pants. The unicorn had been in one of her more spiteful moods, and had taken it back later, but a new word was a new word to Pinkie. "Yep, you wouldn't want to be a strumpet, even though it sounds like crumpet, or trumpet, which are both really fun. One to eat, and one to play." Pinkie, who seemed to have no trouble subduing the struggling pegasus beneath her, leaned down conspiratorially. "The crumpet is the one you eat, in case you didn't know."

"Pinkie! I'm trying to make smoochie faces with Mac. You're great and everything, but I don't really like you that way. Now. Get. Off. Me."

Pinkie giggled. "Well of course you don't, Dashie. We'd just be doing pretend kissie faces for fun. And I can't let you up, as much fun as it might be to watch who gets picked next in Rainbow Roulette. Twilight would go all loco in the coco again and..." Pinkie glanced around the square, spotting Applebloom and Sweetie Belle standing not too far off, looking on in confusion. Scootaloo had yet to report back from her icecream mission, and was now considered MIA. Pinkie's gaze then found itself fixed on the apple stall, and her tone turned more serious. "And there are foals around, and other ponies might not be too happy with all this lovey dovey stuff."

"What in Equestria is going on here?" Came a new voice. Pinkie's eyes travelled to meet the sound, alighting on an approaching Mayor Mare, who had one grey eyebrow quirked and her mouth set in a stern line. "Miss Dash, I've heard you've been disturbing the peace with various bawdy proclamations. And Pinkie Pie, I understand that you get excited to see your friends, but you shouldn't actually resort to physically restraining them."

"Wow, you use really big words! I like that."

Though Pinkie Pie knew this was hardly part of the plan, (and she had an inkling that certain other ponies were unimpressed with Rainbow's current condition) she couldn't help but give a very throaty giggle-snort. Dashie and Mayor Mare? I would say that's a new one, but I can't be totally sure.

"Miss Dash, compliments won't get you out of punishment for your misdemeanours. There are foals around, and though I take no issue with what you do in your private time, I'll have to ask you to withhold your more - er - forward ideas for a less public area."

"Ooh, that's a great idea, Mare! Do you mind if I call you that? I could call you Mayor Mare, but it's a bit repeat-y. Not that I don't like your title! I love it! You're so smart, and wise, and...Mayor-ish. You were a great choice to run this town, you know. I'm pretty sure I voted for you - if I didn't, I'm so sorry, and I give you complete freedom to arrest me and make me your very own personal assistant as punishment."

While the Mare seemed to suffer a sudden aneurysm - there was enough twitching going on that it made Pinkie think it was either that or a sassparilla and sugar overload - Rainbow Dash scooted from beneath her still snortling captor and crouched by the elder pony's hooves. "Oh please let me be your assistant! Please! You can show me how to do paperwork, and file memos - and ooh, you can teach me some of those fancy words, too! Then I could get a matching pouffle-scarf thing and glasses, and we could be smart ponies together!"

"I - uh - Miss Dash, please contain yourself!" The Mayor spluttered. Dash was now in the process of grasping Mare's fore-hooves in her own and staring up at her beseechingly, resembling nothing so much as a puppy eager to please its master. "Please, this is hardly decent - I - " The Mayor's eyes skipped over the surrounding gaggle of ponies (many of the local drama-junkies had remained after the initial kerfuffle with Macintosh, and had found themselves in for a second bout of entertainment) and seemed to fix on a figure in the distance. Pinkie watched as a quick signal was exchanged between the Mayor and a grey stallion with a silver badge looking thing for a cutie mark. Her giggling fit was cut short. She'd fired her party cannon after hours (and in other unsuspecting ponies' homes) enough times to know exactly who he was. Long-hoof Law was not a pony anyone forgot in a hurry. If his no-nonsense party-pooper attitude didn't lodge itself in your mind as a trait worthy of remembrance, then his gigantic, swooping silver moustache and mutton chops would.

"I won't get in your way, I promise!" Declared Rainbow Dash, her voice cracking into a Rarity-approved whining octave. "Please! We'll be best friends, I'll do all your chores, fetch you lunch, take your calls. It'll be fun!" Dash's tail was practically wagging with excitement.

The Mayor fought back an obvious grimace and pulled the pleading pegasus to all four hooves. "You know, on second thought Miss Dash, I have decided to accept your offer." Another look volleyed between the Mare and Law. "You may, ah, accompany me to my office, and I'll get you all set up with a nice little desk next to mine. How does that sound?"

"This is gonna be so awesome!" Rainbow launched herself at the Mare in a Pinkie-Pie worthy glomp. Mare seemed to take it relatively well, smiling awkwardly and patting the pegasus on the head as she began to shuffle through the crowd in the direction of town hall. Pinkie Pie, however, noticed Long-Hoof quietly slip off after the odd duo, and it didn't take her Pinkie sense to tell her that Dash was in the sort of trouble that rarely resulted in laughter.

As the crowd cleared and Pinkie struggled to think of a solution, a familiar voice caught her attention.
"Well now I'm mighty confused. Why on earth is Dash all buddy buddy with the Mayor all of a sudden? And who's that big gloomy lookin' fella trottin' after them?"

"Applejack! Oh thank goodness." Pinkie grabbed her friend by the shoulders, blue eyes wide. "Dashie's drank some sort of love potion, or is under a spell, or something, and it keeps making her fall for random ponies. Except she isn't in love with all of them. She was all sistery with Scootaloo and now it looks like she's got some sort of hero worship thing going on with the Mayor."

For the third time that day, Applejack's eyebrows ascended to new heights. A look of dawning understanding, perhaps mingled with the smallest smidge of renewed hope, claimed her features. "So - so, all that nonsense with mah brother - "

"I don't know if deep down Rainbow actually likes Mac, but what you saw wasn't her." A faint smile returned to Pinkie's panicked face. "She also fell for Twilight earlier, so I'm pretty sure the potion is picking ponies at random."

"So the big one ain't followin' them just to offer his congratulations, then, is he?"

Pinkie shrank down a little, her mane seeming to deflate the slightest bit. "No. That's Long-Hoof Law. I think Dashie may be getting in over her head."

"Well then, what're we waitin' for?" Applejack adjusted her Stetson and her green eyes took on a determined gleam. "If our Dash is in trouble then it's our job to get her out of it!"

Pinkie poofed back up to her regular position, her mane and coat gleaming extra pink in the sunlight and her brain already spinning with ideas. Sometimes all it took was the presence of a good friend to make her realise that things weren't as bad as they initially seemed. "You're right AJ! And I think I have the perfect plan..."

* * *

Twilight tapped her hoof against the intricately carved mahogany table impatiently. Her gallop through the Everfree to Zecora's hut had been fairly uneventful. The only occurrence of note was her meeting with a shellshocked Lyra on the outskirts of the forest. The teal unicorn had been staring aimlessly into the sky, her mouth open and her hooves splayed in that awkward sitting/sprawling position she always seemed so fond of. After several attempts at making coherent contact with the other unicorn (one such effort included poking her with a stick) Twilight gave up and continued on her way. She figured she could always get Zecora to whip something up for the dumbstruck mare later if she had to. Ponies generally tended to think that Pinkie was off the wall, but Lyra had her own list of quirks that made her a good contender for Ponyville's second most off-kilter pony.

"Have you found anything yet?" asked Twilight, trying and failing to keep the anxiety out of her voice. "Rainbow could've made her way through half of Ponyville by now!"

"Hush, Twilight Sparkle my dear, the answer to your problem is swiftly becoming clear." The zebra was scanning through a ledger of her recent concoctions and the ponies who had requested them. "Hmm...a pear repelling potion for a doctor of renown, and a magical mischief mixture for one who bears a crown...Aha! Alas, I warned that mare, to treat her elixir with the utmost care!"

"What? What is it?" Asked Twilight, jumping to her hooves and scattering a flurry of ingredients in the process. "Did somepony order an evil love potion to prank Rainbow Dash?"

Zecora gazed at her levelly. "Do you really think, with all your brains, that I would offer remedies that bring others pain?"

Twilight's ears winced back against her head. "No! No, I didn't mean that. I just thought that maybe somebody may have snuck in and, I don't know, stolen your ingredients or something."

Zecora offered Twilight a small smile. "Do not worry, my frightened purple friend, I know that at heart you did not wish to offend." Her smile wilted into a grimace. "But this potion knowingly did I make, for another mare and her true desire's sake. It was to bestow upon her digits and palms, and with its parting I had many qualms. In the end, I relented, speaking cautions and warnings, but alas it seems they were not followed by the one Lyra, of the Heartstrings."

"Lyra? I seen her outside the forest. She looked... well I guess you could call it upset. But how would her potion end up in Rainbow Dash's stomach?" Twilight thought back to how Lyra had been gazing unrelentingly at the sky. Rainbow was out flying before she decided to use my chimney as an obstacle course... Memories of past instances with Rainbow Dash flooded her mind. Rainbow swooping down and raiding the library's fridge before leaping back into the air...Applejack constantly complaining about the blue pegasus stealing her produce and then zooming off without even saying hello...and that one time when Rainbow had snagged a thermos from a tipsily trotting Berry Punch in a bout of flight induced thirst. Everyone had learned that day why Rainbow never drank - the destruction wrought from a wobbly Sonic Rainboom meeting the ground made Derpy's property damage look positively miniscule in comparison.

"Ugh, Rainbow, I almost don't feel sorry for you." Muttered Twilight as her mind drew the obvious conclusion. No other pegasus seemed to lose all sense of self-control when they spent too long in the air. Normal ponies would go home, make themselves a sandwich and then get back to frolicking through the clouds. It was only Rainbow who decided that such efforts were a waste of time and resorted to petty theft instead. Granted, she did always make an effort to track down and pay everypony back when she managed to return to land. Twilight shook her head. Rainbow may be inconsiderate and reckless sometimes, but she still doesn't deserve this.

"So, how do we fix this?"

Zecora's muzzle twisted into a frown. "The potion itself is very strong, and will not wear off for a good two weeks long."

Twilight felt like her brain shorted out for a second. "Two - two weeks..." She managed to mouth weakly.

Zecora continued speaking, oblivious to Twilight's near brush with catatonia. "Heart's Desire is a powerful thing, its very presence causing dreams and goals to take wing. Another component is the plant Poison Joke, tempered in mixing, but still ready with fun and laughter to evoke. Where one plant finds truth, the other twists its tune, and the only cure is to find the one who can unite the two."

Twilight shook her head. "Um...I'm usually never one to turn down a good riddle, but just this once, can I have a straight answer? Please?"

Zecora rolled her eyes. "The one thing about ponies of which I will complain, is that if you listened you'd know I only ever speak plain. To save your friend Rainbow Dash and ease her heart, you will have to find the one who claimed it from the start. Where love is truth, the mind fools itself with denial and pain, but with a kiss from this pony the heart and mind shall become clear, one, again."

"So you're saying..." Twilight cocked her head to the side, struggling with the concept Zecora was outlining for her. It was childish, absurd. Even Rarity had moved on from her fairytale fantasies at the last Grand Galloping Gala. "That Rainbow has to get a kiss from her true love, or she'll be stuck awkwardly pursuing everyone and everything for the next two weeks?”

"Yes, it seems you have the gist." Replied Zecora. "Though, 'everything' is a bit of a miss. Rainbow can only fall for those with a sentient mind and a beating heart, so, say, a kitchen sink or a watermelon could never play the part."

Twilight stared, head still cocked. "Uh, Zecora, I don't mean to challenge your hypothesis or anything, but don't you think the whole concept of 'true love' is kind of, I don't know, childish? Played out? Some sort of wishful thinking?"

Despite Twilight's obvious reservations Zecora's face warmed with a large grin. "Twilight Sparkle, of this doubt I would expect you the least, for wasn't it friendship that led you and yours to conquer many a beast? True love vanquished changelings and toppled their Queen - would you really doubt it when it's time for Rainbow to come clean?"

Twilight mulled over Zecora's words. Really, when her and her friends were basically the power of friendship incarnate, and when her brother and her erstwhile foal-sitter had formed a corona of love magic powerful enough to banish an entire city's worth of changelings, was it really so strange or implausible to think that Rainbow Dash's current predicament could be solved with a loving kiss?

Twilight felt her own lips being tugged into a grin large enough to match Zecora's. She had a solution! All she had to do was...huh.

"Zecora, I really appreciate the help and everything, but how exactly are we supposed to figure out who Rainbow's true love is?"