• Published 16th Nov 2012
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Address Unknown - remedy



Derpy's suffered scorn for a mold she doesn't fit. Will a chance meeting change her life for the better?

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20. Exceeding Expectations

Chapter 20 – Exceeding Expectations

Twilight’s room gradually illuminated as the Monday sunrise peeked over the horizon. The dim light awakened very few ponies, but Derpy happened to be among them. Her early internal clock reminded her that work beckoned, and though free time was always appreciated, she was enjoying her new job enough to not mind the early mornings.

She looked affectionately to the side, Twilight resting peacefully next to her. The previous day had been her most enjoyable in a very long time. She was able to make several strides forward socially, had received great news from Twilight regarding their spellcasting endeavors, enjoyed some amazing intimate time with her marefriend, taken a relaxing afternoon nap, and finished their evening with a quiet snuggle on the couch.

Twilight had laid across Derpy’s lap reading – though Derpy had insisted she read something not connected with studying – while Derpy absentmindedly continued the massage from earlier. The two had headed off to bed at the end of the night completely relaxed, and had fallen asleep in each other’s embrace almost instantly.

Derpy smiled down at Twilight’s sleeping form and gently placed a kiss on her cheek, causing the unicorn to stir slightly. Twilight gave a small, happy sigh and snuggled back into the blankets, a slight smile playing across her face.

Derpy eased her way out of the bed and proceeded down the hall silently so she wouldn’t disturb Twilight or Spike so early in the morning. She made her way to the bathroom, hopping into the shower for a short scrub down. She finished, brushed her mane into as normal as she could get it, and exited in the direction of the kitchen to grab some toast before heading out for work.

Normally, she would have taken her time getting ready, but this morning she had to get to work early for two main reasons. She wanted to get a head start on her day so she could be assured to be out in time for the spa date with Rarity and Fluttershy. The other reason was much more practical – she had left her mailbags and hat at home the previous day in her haste to meet Twilight at the library, and she needed to make sure the post office had a spare set she could use for the day. She threw a fond glance back toward the bedroom where her closest friend lay sleeping, and then noiselessly slipped through the front door.

Post Haste was at his desk as normal when she arrived, presumably going through some important paperwork as his face registered a look of concentration and mild irritation. He didn’t look up right away at the sound of hoofsteps entering the building, though his face instantly lightened in intensity.

“Good morning, Derpy!” he announced in a jovial voice, seeming much too happy for a Monday morning. Derpy supposed being an early riser must just come naturally to mailponies.

“Good morning, Post,” she returned, though a curious expression crossed her face as he finally ended his focus on the paperwork. “How did you know it was me coming in?” she queried.

Post offered back a smile in response. “Derpy, I’ll be quite honest with you – you’ve only been working with us for a week, but you’ve been early every single day since I hired you. I can’t say that about anypony else, so I naturally assumed it was you coming in. My intuition wasn’t wrong, either, as you can tell.” He smiled at her again, though his face registered slight confusion for a moment.

“I have to say though, that this is early even by your normal standards,” he raised an eyebrow at Derpy. “Is there some reason that you’re here so much earlier than normal? Not that I disapprove, mind you.”

Derpy blushed at the compliment from her boss. It wasn’t often that she received compliments, but Post seemed to have a knack for making her feel appreciated.

“Actually, I did have a reason to come in early – well, two reasons, actually,” Derpy admitted.

Post cocked his head slightly, and one of his ears perked up in interest.

“First, I’ve been invited out this evening, so I wanted to make sure I was able to finish on time.” Derpy replied bashfully.

Post grinned at the first announcement, though the second slightly puzzled him. “You’ve been invited out this evening? Is there a special somepony I haven’t heard about?” He gave her a sly wink, and she blushed slightly and nodded. “You’ll need to let me know how your evening goes, then.” His grin broadened into a full smile. “Though I doubt you’ll need much extra time, given your job performance.” His eyes shifted momentarily back down to his paperwork at that statement. “So, what’s the second reason?”

“Well, I kinda left my bags and hat behind yesterday, so I wanted to make sure there were extras I could use for the day.” Derpy sheepishly admitted, her voice dropping slightly in volume at the embarrassment of showing up to work unprepared.

Post looked puzzled at the statement. “You left them at home yesterday? Why weren’t you able to get them this morning?”

Derpy blushed a furious crimson, but she couldn’t find a reason not to be honest with Post. “Well… I stayed at the library last night.” She bit her lip nervously. “Twilight is my special somepony,” she admitted, her flushed face intensifying in color.

Post gave a jolt of surprise at the announcement, and his eyes drifted off in thought after a moment. Derpy’s stomach tied itself in a knot at his reaction. Oh Celestia, why did you have to bring that up right away? That’s most likely not something he wants to know.

“Umm, sorry… I guess I probably shouldn’t have brought that up…” Derpy stammered.

Post shook himself out of the haze. “Oh, no, that’s great news! Congratulations! It just… gave me an idea that just may help us both out. I’ll let you know after I finish figuring out all the details.” He gave her a pleasant smile. “We have plenty of extra bags and hats over this way,” he motioned. “Help yourself to them, and have a good day out there, okay?”

Derpy nodded and headed over to the supply room Post had pointed out, and she noticed that he had dropped back to his paperwork, but looked much happier than he had before. She grabbed some bags and a hat, collected her deliveries for the day, and headed out for her walk around town, noticing on the way out that Post had begun humming happily to himself.

****************

Twilight sat at her study desk in the library, looking through various texts and references. She was surrounded by several open books at a time, each one being replaced by another from a very substantial pile every time she decided there was nothing further to be gained from it. She had promised Derpy a study free night, but now she was free to research as much as she wanted.

There was only one problem with her research – she had never heard of a cutie mark ever changing from the time it originally appeared, and she realized, as she neared the end of the pile of books she had collected, neither had anypony else. They were full of information about the origins of cutie marks, their significance, average time of appearance, statistics regarding delayed or early appearances, even multiple interpretations on similar or identical cutie marks that occasionally appeared on separate ponies.

However, the subject of a cutie mark ever changing had not been even alluded to remotely. Considering the complete lack of literature on the subject, it seemed that Derpy may very well have been the first case in which a cutie mark changed after it had appeared. Twilight was certainly not going to let a discovery such as this go undocumented. She levitated over a quill and parchment and set herself to writing.

Her mind returned to the details of everything she had seen, the quill scribbling furiously over the parchment as she thought. She knew for a fact that the previous week the bubbles had been normal; her musings over their meaning had allowed her plenty of an opportunity to inspect them, so it was obvious that something recent had caused them to change.

Her mind drifted to what the changes had looked like, her quill jotting down notes on the specifics as she recalled them. Only two bubbles had changed out of the seven, and they had become transparent and colorful, looking like true bubbles did in life rather than a simplified mark. A spark ignited in her chest as she recalled her emotional conversation with Derpy on that night many weeks ago.

“Bubbles are ever-changing; they’re unique, showing brilliant colors and endless possibilities to those who look for them…” Twilight’s mind filtered through the conversation, small links forming between her interpretation and how Derpy’s cutie mark had changed. “You have a deep inner splendor that can only be seen best when you accept yourself and somepony else accepts you as you are.”

Twilight’s brow furrowed. She knew there was a connection to be found. She returned to what else had set the changes apart, and the colors imbued into the bubbles floated through her mind’s eye. A slight mulberry color… sapphire and rose… cerulean… red, green, and violet… Something about them seemed very familiar, but it eluded her, taunted her for her oversight of something she should be recognizing without a second thought.

She gave a frustrated groan and dropped her head forward on her hooves, eyes closed in concentration. She sat, her brain filled with fleeting ideas and continuous fragments of thought, each initially promising enlightenment before vaporizing before fully developing. Twilight opened her eyes with a disappointed huff, pushing strands of her mane from her face, only to have her breath catch in her chest as her eyes widened.

Her mane hung next to her hoof, and the connection crystallized in her head. Sapphire and rose strands crossed themselves in front of her eyes, contrasted against her mulberry coat. She thought for a moment about the second bubble, and it immediately struck her. Rainbow Dash. Celestia, they represent us… But, what’s triggering them to change? Her thoughts roamed back again, and settled once again on her interpretation.

Somepony else accepts you as you are. She had obviously accepted Derpy, and Rainbow Dash had realized how badly she had misjudged Derpy after the night at her house, asking for forgiveness and friendship. Twilight smiled to herself; she was now confident that Derpy’s cutie mark wasn’t changing so much as it hadn’t fully developed, and it would develop as each of her friends came to know and accept her.

Still, she couldn’t be sure that her hypothesis was correct until she had proof; as it stood right now, it could be mere speculation combined with coincidence. To add to the mystery, she reminded herself that Derpy’s cutie mark had seven bubbles – if the bubbles truly did represent Twilight and her friends, then that would account for only six of them. She rubbed her temple with a hoof.

Whatever it could be, she would have to settle for observation until the next change appeared to be sure her explanation was right. She jotted down the last of her thoughts on the parchment and sat down with a happy sigh. Since she would have to wait for further data, she was free from studying the subject for the rest of the day.

Twilight smiled to herself as she began thinking about her previous night with Derpy, and how her marefriend had gone out of the way to make sure Twilight enjoyed herself immensely. It was her turn to do something exceptional for her special somepony, and her mind raced with ideas, until one specific plan stood out. It gave Twilight a fluttering feeling in her stomach, but it was a wonderful idea, provided that it was possible in the first place.

Twilight resolved to make this her next goal, and set out to make some visits with other ponies who would no doubt be crucial in her plan. She giggled happily as she trotted out the door toward town hall – after all, there’s no time like the present to get something done.

****************

It was early afternoon as Derpy was delivering the last of her mail. Even by her typical standards, she was faster than normal, due mostly to a lighter load of mail than usual combined with her enthusiasm for her spa night with Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy. She hummed idly as she trotted through the market, depositing letters in various business mailboxes happily, with a spring in her step.

Her mind had been wandering for most of the day, reflecting over the strange turns things had taken. Her changing cutie mark intrigued her, and she was sure that Twilight had not wasted any time in beginning to study it. She wondered if Twilight would have found an answer or not, but she was sure that regardless of when it happened, Twilight would figure something out.

Derpy had also been puzzled by Post’s behavior that morning. He had been happy enough, but the way he had been ruffling through papers at his desk, especially with the concerned look he’d held, had unsettled her slightly. Ultimately, that worry had been pushed away as well. He had promised to talk to her about an idea he thought would benefit them both, and remembering that had changed her worry to curiosity.

Finally, the spa date added the final piece to her curiosity and excitement, resulting in a very distracting day. With all that was going on, it was no wonder she hadn’t heard the cheery voice a small distance behind her, calling her name several times over the last minute, until the voice was directly behind her.

“Ground control to Major Derpy! Come in Major Derpy!”

Derpy ground to a halt at hearing her name uttered in such an odd way. The speaker paid no mind to the fact that Derpy had finally heard her, and she continued bouncing merrily on ahead for several yards before seamlessly reversing herself, bouncing just as exuberantly backwards, and landing next to Derpy with a wide smile.

“Pffft, where were you off to there, Derpy?” Pinkie Pie giggled back a snort. “I’ve been calling you for forever! Or a few minutes. I can’t tell.” She smiled radiantly again, unaware of the confused look the mailpony was giving her.

“Oh, uh, hi, Pinkie Pie! Sorry I didn’t hear you, I was sort of daydreaming while I finished up my work for the day.”

“Oh, that’s okay, silly!” Pinkie chuckled back. “I’m usually daydreaming too! Unless it’s nighttime – then I’m normal dreaming. Rainbow Dash says I have my head in the clouds, but I’m always like DUH, I can’t fly, how can my head be in the clouds? Unless, of course, it was fog, but I never get a chance to jump through fog. I wonder what it would taste like. I think it would be like whipped cream but wetter.” Her face brightened.

“Hey, you’re a pegasus! What does fog taste like?” Pinkie looked at Derpy, who stood with a stunned expression crossing her face, frozen in time.

Derpy finally came back to her senses, and gave a shaky grin. “I’ve honestly never tasted fog, Pinkie. I’m sorry.”

“You really are a silly!” The raspberry mare chuckled. “Fog looks icky anyway. What you really need to stay away from are liquid rainbows, though! Now those are spicy!”

Derpy resumed her pace, still not sure what to make of the overjoyed ball of energy that began hopping along beside her. She still wasn’t sure exactly what Pinkie was talking about, and would never comprehend it in the slightest even if she knew, not that she really wanted to know. She simply gave the hopping pony a smile and a nod as she continued about her route, the pink mare bouncing behind her giddily.

“So then, whatcha up to, Derpy?” Pinkie interjected, though it was clear to everypony else what she was doing. The mailbags and postal hat made it a somewhat obvious conclusion. Derpy simply shook her head in amusement.

She walked to the next deposit box. “I’m just delivering mail, Pinkie. What are you up… to…?” Derpy turned to find an empty street behind her. She stood a moment looking around the desolate streets for the party mare, but she was nowhere to be found. Derpy shrugged in confusion at the strange antics, though she had to admit that they were quite amusing.

Derpy turned back to the large mailbox in front of her, one of the last deliveries of the day, thankfully. She opened the mailbox, only to be assaulted with confetti, a pink hug, and a very bad case of nervous tics in her eyes and ears.

“Pinkie! How- what- When did you get in there, and why did you scare the feathers off me like that?”

“Oh, I dunno, it’s just something I like to do to kinda spice things up.” Pinkie grinned, and then cocked her head to the side slightly, looking at Derpy’s still twitching ears. She burst out laughing. “Ohmigosh, you and Twi are gonna be absoposilutively perfect together! You even have the same nervous twitches!”

“Wait,” Derpy was confused again. Constant confusion must be a theme when talking with Pinkie Pie. “Twilight gets tics?”

“You betcha!” Pinkie chirped, then giggled more as the two continue their walk to the next destination. “Last summer, I was explaining my Pinkie Sense to her, but she really didn’t get it. I warned her, and she still got a piano dropped on her!” She giggled at the memory. “She was all kinds of twitchy that day.”

Derpy was beyond confused now. “Wait. What’s that about a piano?”

Pinkie gave a high-pitched squeal of laughter. “She never told you? She was following me around all day trying to prove my Pinkie Sense wrong. I told her that when my tail gets twitchy stuff will start falling from the sky, but she didn’t believe me. It got twitchy, she ignored it…” Pinkie paused for dramatic effect, “and an entire vanload of junk crashed on top of her!” She snorted through her giggling again.

Derpy’s eyes fell at that, and she dejectedly admitted, “Yeah, that was me and Raindrops that dropped all that stuff on her…” She poked the ground with a hoof, expecting sounds of disgust or disdain. Much to Derpy’s surprise, though, Pinkie dropped to the ground, clutching her sides through peals of laughter.

“Oh Celestia, that was YOU? That was so hilarious! Twilight learned a lot about trust that day, that’s for sure.” Pinkie grinned at Derpy, wiping a tear away from her eye with a hoof.

“Just be careful not to get her too twitchy, though. After the hydra came after us, she got super extra twitchy, and then – she exploded in a fireball! I’ve never seen somepony light their mane and tail on fire before, but I guess that’s just a Twilight thingy.”

Pinkie grinned at Derpy’s expression at the thought of Twilight bursting into flames. Apparently Derpy’s vacant stare was highly amusing, because the pink pony broke out into tearful laughter again.

Derpy smiled at that. Apparently what she had thought was one of her giant failures was a lesson in trust that the friends looked back upon with fondness. The weight shifted from her chest fully as she realized nopony held her personally responsible for it.

Pinkie stopped laughing abruptly and hopped to her hooves, the bounce continuing for multiple rebounds before she slowed to a stop, resting on the ground.

“So, how many more deliveries do you need to make?” Pinkie pressed.

Derpy glanced through her bags. “Only a hoof-ful to go!” she said cheerily.

“Great! Mind if I tag along until you’re done? Then afterwards we can grab a treat from Sugarcube Corner, on me!” Pinkie began bouncing in circles, waiting for an answer.

“You really wouldn’t mind spending time with me?” Derpy cautiously asked.

“Of course not, silly! Friends hang around each other all the time, duh! It’d be boring if I didn’t want to hang around with you!” Pinkie jumped at Derpy, wrapping her in a tight hug.

Derpy smiled to herself. There was that word again – friend. She grinned, her pace picking up, along with her enthusiasm. “Sounds good to me! Let’s get these delivered, and then I’m free until I have to go meet Twilight.”

The pair walked off together, though Pinkie hopped more than walked, inane banter floating between them as they deposited a few more letters and moved on to grab a deliciously sweet snack.

****************

Derpy skipped her way into the post office with a large grin playing across her face. Her side trip after her mail rounds had been incredibly fun, and Pinkie’s constant stream of joy was definitely infectious. Not only had she been treated to one of the largest cakes she had ever seen, but she had also received an impromptu party for two at Sugarcube Corner.

She wasn’t sure how on Equestria Pinkie had gotten hold of a cannon that shot confetti and streamers, but she wasn’t complaining. The Cakes hadn’t even blinked at the production of all the noise and merriment. Derpy surmised they must be used to Pinkie Pie’s antics by now.

Regardless, Pinkie certainly knew how to make a pony feel special, and the entertainment of the afternoon, combined with the sugar rush of the cake and Pinkie’s contagious enthusiasm, had put her in a mild state of euphoria. She hummed excitedly as she skipped to the supply room to return her borrowed gear, unaware that Post Haste was watching her from his desk with a raised eyebrow and a looked of amused bewilderment.

“Derpy, do you have a minute to talk before you get going for your special night out?” Post’s question caught her by surprise, halting her trek toward the exit. Normally the question would have put butterflies in her stomach, but Pinkie had left her feeling so happy that she turned and nodded with an almost uncharacteristic cheeriness. She bounced back over to Post’s desk and gave him a smile.

“Sure, Post! Is there something you needed?”

Post nodded, smiling back. “I have a few changes that I was hoping I could make around here, but I wanted to talk with you first to see how comfortable you’d be with them.”

Derpy felt a few butterflies try to force their way into her stomach, but it was too full of cake and they failed miserably. “Of course! What can I help with?” She noticed Post’s smile widen, and she giggled to herself. Pinkie’s happiness was undeniably contagious.

“Well, I noticed how well you do handling your normal route, and I was wondering if you might be open to expanding it a bit.” Derpy nodded, listening intently. “Ever since Miss Fluttershy’s mishap with Mr. Zippy, she has been avoiding him a lot more than normal. Like I mentioned last week, she felt pretty bad about the whole incident, and I wonder if having him continue to deliver her mail is reminding her of that every day.”

Derpy nodded again, wondering where Post was going with this.

“When you mentioned this morning that you were together with Miss Sparkle, it gave me the idea that Miss Fluttershy might be more comfortable having you delivering her mail. Seeing as the two of them are close friends, and I’m sure you will be too, if you aren’t already, I thought it just made more sense that way.” Post continued his proposition.

“What I was wondering was if you would be willing to take over that portion of Mr. Zippy’s route. Miss Fluttershy’s cottage is the last stop there, and he would certainly have more normal days without that section. Given your speed and aptitude, I don’t think it would be anything you couldn’t handle.”

Derpy blushed at the compliment. “Sure. That would be fine with me.”

Post smiled again. “I had hoped you would say yes. That leads me into the second reason I wanted to talk with you.” Derpy looked at him inquisitively. “I’m not sure if you noticed, but this morning I was somewhat… distracted by some paperwork. I was looking through your employment files from the Cloudsdale Postal Service.”

Post could see the confusion growing on Derpy’s face, and he pushed ahead, unwilling to make her wait for his point. “I was a bit aggravated, to say the least, at where they had placed you in their pay scale. Your pay is far below where it should be for your job performance, and I intend to correct that.” Post grinned, watching Derpy’s jaw drop as the words sank in.

“In addition, the expansion of your route, as we just discussed, brings a raise with it. I believe that, between your inadequate pay from before and the additional pay from the new route, it would amount to an increase of about thirty-five percent. Would that be acceptable to you?”

Derpy stood dumbfounded. Never before would she have imagined that she would be commended for her ability, given more responsibility, and rewarded with a substantial raise. She couldn’t comprehend even getting one of those results, but having all three happen simultaneously left her utterly speechless.

Her eyes misted over with emotion as she stared at her boss, feeling completely overwhelmed by the offer. Her legs quivered, and she crumpled to the floor in shock, silent tears running down her cheeks at the generosity she was being shown. “I… I don’t know what to say,” she spluttered. “I can’t even begin to describe what this means to me. I’ve never been rewarded like this for anything before. I just hope I don’t let you down. I’ll do my best to meet your expectations.”

“I’m sure you’ll meet them and more, Derpy. You’ve exceeded my expectations more than you know, and, to be honest, you’re the most dedicated mailpony I’ve ever hired. You deserve recognition for that – I’m just sorry that it took so long for you to receive it. Now, go on – I’m sure that you have an exciting night ahead of you.”

Derpy slowly made her way to her hooves, still stunned by the news. “Thank you so much, Post. I’ll keep working as hard as I can.” She walked toward the door on wobbly legs, casting a final glance back at Post as she opened the door. “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow!” Post gave her a warm smile back, and she headed out the door.

Outside, she paused for a moment to let out a foalish squeal of excitement, one phrase repeating over and over in her head. Best. Day. Ever. To make it even better, the day was only half over. The only thing that could have possibly improved the day further would be if Pinkie had lent her the party cannon.

****************

Twilight eagerly waited for Derpy at the library, looking forward to a relaxing evening with her marefriend and two of her best friends. Her trip to town hall that afternoon had been productive, and all she needed now was wait for the appropriate papers and approval to be finalized. She was excited to tell Derpy about it, but wanted to keep it a surprise until everything was ready. She was content to keep her focus on Derpy’s cutie mark, in order to test whether her hunch was correct.

She busied herself sorting and putting away books as she waited, only stopping to read one, or two, or ten of them before they made it back to the shelf. Normally she would have delegated the task to Spike, but he was still enjoying his week off, even if most of it was spent just oversleeping. Needless to say, it took Twilight much longer to clean up given her tendency to remove more books than reshelve them, but the job eventually got done.

Her feat of cleaning accomplished, Twilight promptly removed a book she had just put back and settled on the couch to read until Derpy arrived. She didn’t have much time to read, however, as a small knock at the door fifteen minutes later announced the arrival of the pegasus. This time, though, Derpy didn’t wait for an answer; she bounded inside happily, making a beeline straight for the couch to tackle Twilight in an enthusiastic hug.

“I take it you had a good day?” Twilight asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. Her eyes roamed over Derpy as she gave her marefriend an appraising look, a smile playing across her face.

“Good doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was an incredible day!” Derpy radiated cheerfulness, giving Twilight a quick peck on the cheek before settling on the couch with her, laying her head in the unicorn’s lap.

“I met Pinkie Pie while I was finishing up my rounds; we talked for a while, then went to Sugarcube Corner for the best cake I’ve ever had!” Twilight smiled widely at that news, while Derpy continued on. “She told me all kinds of fun stories, though most of them either didn’t make sense or didn’t end up going anywhere. She even hauled out a cannon that shot confetti everywhere!”

Twilight chuckled. “That’s pretty normal for Pinkie. I have a feeling you’ll see that cannon a lot more often than you’d think, and just to prepare you, her stories usually never bear any resemblance to reality. I guess that’s what makes them so fun, though.”

Derpy grinned back. “She said that I needed to be careful not to make you mad, or else you might explode in a fireball.”

“That only happened twice,” Twilight admitted with a blush, “though one of them was just because I accidentally drank some of Pinkie’s hot sauce. I wouldn’t worry about it – I think the only way you’ll get me to spontaneously combust would be with some other ways of getting me fired up.” She gave Derpy a mischievous wink, and Derpy giggled in response.

“So anyway, after I met up with Pinkie, I went back to the post office to bring back the bags I borrowed.” Derpy looked annoyed with herself at that. “I really need to remember to take my stuff with me if I plan on staying over. It’s too far of a trip for me to head all the way home to get it before heading to work in the morning.”

Twilight gave her a sly grin. “I don’t think that will be too much of a problem, so don’t worry about that too much.”

Derpy responded with a curious look, but pressed on with her story. “Anyway, you’ll never guess what happened at the post office.” Twilight sat up a little straighter, her curiosity piqued.

“Post asked me to wait around for a minute to talk, then he asked me if I would be okay with adding a new part to my route, since he was so impressed with how well I’ve been doing. Not only that, but the route means I’ll get to deliver Fluttershy’s mail, so I can see her more often, too.” Twilight clopped her hooves together happily and wrapped her forehooves around Derpy in a tight hug.

“I knew you were doing a good job! I’m glad he’s so confident in you.” Twilight smiled happily, though her smile was halted momentarily by an excited look on Derpy’s face. “Wait, is there more?”

Derpy nodded vigorously, taking a deep breath to compose herself so she wouldn’t squeal from the excitement. When she actually spoke, the exhilaration was so intense she could only manage a whisper. “He gave me a thirty-five percent raise.”

Twilight sat dumbfounded. “He… what?”

Derpy nodded in acknowledgement, looking somewhat awestruck herself. “He told me I was grossly underpaid in Cloudsdale, plus the added route added an even bigger amount.” She beamed with pride that her boss placed so much value on her.

Twilight wrapped her in a tight hug again. “I suppose this calls for an extra special celebration tonight, but I’m afraid it will have to wait until after we meet Rarity and Fluttershy. Our spa appointment is coming up quickly.”

“I think I can manage to wait. Let’s get going! A spa treatment sounds perfect after all the excitement I’ve had today.”