• Published 18th Feb 2013
  • 10,074 Views, 586 Comments

I Am Not the Actor - cleverpun

After one of Pinkie's clones wins the paint-watching test, she slowly finds that "being yourself" is never as simple as it sounds. Especially when everypony has a different idea about who you are, and who you should be.

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8. Can a Detail Correct Your Dismay?

8. Can a Detail Correct Your Dismay?

Pinkie bounced towards Sugarcube Corner, humming a little tune as she went. Rainbow Dash is so generous, she thought to herself. Taking time off from her busy schedule to have a late lunch with me, and then paying for it all by herself. And she double-checked the money she left, so she must’ve made sure that nice waitress got a big tip. I’m so lucky to have such great friends! And I bet everypony will be less busy tomorrow, so I’ll have time to make even more of them!

Pinkie walked into her house, and flicked on the light.

“Hi, Pinkie.” Twilight’s face was inches from Pinkie’s. A small smile sat on her face, though her voice was even.

“Hi, Twilight! How’d you get in here?”

Twilight waved a hoof. “Not important. I thought we could finish our baking lesson from earlier, since we were so rudely interrupted.” Twilight fished some books out of her bags.

“Sure, that sounds like fun!” Pinkie bounced into the kitchen. “This day has been so amazing. Lunch with my best friend. Cooking lessons with my other best friend. Hopping around town saying hello to my future best friends. One of my best friends waiting for me in my house so we can have fun together. Could it be any more perfect?”

Twilight continued rummaging in her bag. “Uh, No, I guess not. Ah, here we are; Remedial Cooking, 4th edition. Now we just need to—”

There was a loud knock on the door. By the time Twilight had turned her head, Pinkie had already opened it.

“Hi, Applejack!”

“Hi, Pinkie. C’n I come in?”

“Of course, of course!” Pinkie ushered Applejack inside. “I was just having cooking lessons with Twilight! Doesn’t that sound like fun?” She bounced back into the kitchen.

Applejack followed her. “Well, actually, I heard Twilight didn’t give very good cooking lessons.” She looked at Twilight, her expression neutral.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “Oh? And who told you that?”

“Rarity did.”

“I see.”

Applejack turned back to Pinkie. “So, Pinkie, I was hopin’ you could let me borrow Twilight for a moment. I need to talk to her about something.”

“Oh, is it about me? Or is it about another pet rabbit?”

“Uhm, it’s more about Twilight than anythin’ else. I’m worried about her, and I would like ta talk in private, if that’s okay.”

“Sure! You can use my room if you want. It’s upstairs on the left.”

“Right, thanks, Pinkie.” Applejack gave Twilight a look, and the unicorn reluctantly lowered her cookbooks and started towards the stairs.

They slowly ascended the stairs. Twilight paused halfway up, her ear flicking quickly, but she shook her head and continued up.

The moment they entered Pinkie’s room Twilight snorted loudly.

“So Rarity tattled on me, did she?” Twilight muttered.

Applejack shut the door. “Twilight, Rarity told me she was worried about you, and now I see why. You can’t expect this to work.”

“I'm not stupid, AJ. I know that’s not Pinkie, and I know I can’t replace her and I need to move on, but…” Twilight looked at the ground.

“But what?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Then help me understand.”

Twilight’s eyes flicked up and back down. “It wouldn’t help. It’d just make things worse.”

“You didn’t seem ta feel that way when you were talkin’ to Fluttershy.”

“You were following me?”

“I was worried about you! We all are.” Applejack took a step forward. “We all care about you, Twilight. Nothing you say would ever make things worse.”

Twilight scrunched her eyes shut and let out a sigh. “Do you remember the end of the test?”

“You know I do.”

Twilight didn’t open her eyes. “Do you remember that spell I cast at the end?”

“I remember you gettin' real quiet and falling over, sure. You were kinda panicky, I wasn’t sure what it was.”

“I was trying to cast a retrieval spell to get Pinkie Pie back. But all those wards I cast blocked it.” Twilight’s eyes snapped open. “But before the counterspells kicked me back I heard something. I…”


“I…I heard Pinkie Pie screaming.”

Applejack didn’t say anything.

Twilight didn’t take her gaze off the floor. “I’m not stupid. I know she’s gone. I know that better than anyone, because it’s all my fault.”

“Twi, nopony blames you for it.”

“No, they all blame that fake in there. But how long until everypony stops being angry and realizes whose fault it really is?”

“It’s no one’s fault, Twilight!”

Twilight turned to AJ “Of course it’s somepony’s fault! And this is the only thing I can do to fix it. It’s either this or t—it’s just this.”

AJ took another step towards Twilight. “Twi, I know accepting your mistakes ain’t easy, but sometimes fixin’ them and failin’ just makes it worse. Nopony blames you for it, and eventually they’ll, uhm, warm up ta Pinkie. Letting it go won’t fix things but it’s gotta be better than this.”

“Don’t tell me to let it go when no one else has!”

“That’s not true,” Applejack blurted.

“Oh really?” Twilight took a step forward. “Then why did Rarity talk to you instead of Pinkie?” Another step. “Why did you talk to me instead of Pinkie? Why did you wait until I got here to knock on the door? Why are you following me instead of her?” Twilight shoved a hoof in the direction of the kitchen.

Applejack looked to the side.

“That’s what I thought.” Twilight pushed past the earth pony. “I have to go.”

“An’ do what?”

“I dunno. Work on my lesson plan.” Twilight flung the door open and walked out.

Pinkie heard the two mares shouting about something. It was hard to hear through the door.

I sure hope they’re not fighting over me. Pinkie scooped exactly two cups of flour into the bowl. I mean, why else would they want to talk alone unless it’s about me? I have enough time to spend with everypony, though, so that’s not it. Pinkie added the eggs and sugar and milk, then started to vigorously stir the ingredients.

Pinkie put the bowl down, and took a half-step towards the door. Her hoof froze in midair. No, if it’s important, they would tell me. My friends would never ever lie to me about anything! Pinkie shook her head and returned to mixing. They trusted me not to eavesdrop or interrupt, so I can trust them to tell me things. Pinkie giggled softly to herself. I almost made a real big fox pass right there! And I know they’d forgive me no matter what I did, but it would still be awkward if I broke their trust.

Pinkie nodded at her reasoning. Makes perfect sense! She put down the bowl and grabbed a large spoon in her teeth. She scooped up some dough, leveled it off, and dolloped it onto the pan. She glanced at the picture in the book, and they looked reasonably similar.

She was halfway into the fourth dollop when she heard the side door being flung open.

She leapt over to the foyer, and cleared the archway just in time to see Twilight walking off. Applejack was standing on the stairs, staring at the open door and sighing.

“What happened?”

“Sorry, Pinkie. Twilight, uhm, ain’t feelin’ well.”

“Oh no! Was it something she ate? Or is she still upset about killing her friend?”

Applejack stared at Pinkie. “What!?”

“Rarity told me she killed Fluttershy’s pet rabbit, and they must’ve been friends if she’s taking it this hard, right?”

“Oh, uhm, yeah, sure. I, uh, guess that would make sense…”

“There must be something I can do to help. Rarity said she just needed to talk to somepony, so what if I talked to her?”

“Everypony grieves differently, Pinkie. I’m not sure it’ll be that simple.”

“Well, I’m sure we’ll think of something. There’s nothing you can’t fix with some help from your friends.” Pinkie smiled.

Applejack hesitated, then nodded. “Yeah, you’re right, of course.” She scratched her forelock and glanced back at the door. “So, uhm, Pinkie. Since I went and scared off Twilight, why don’t I give you a cooking lesson instead?”

“Really?” Pinkie’s eyes lit up. “You’d do that for me?”

“Uh, sure. We haven’t really spent that much time together since…since lately. Least I could do.”

“Ooh, that sounds great! What should we make?”

“Well, I know how to make a mean apple pie.”

Author's Note:

Pinkie only knows what a “tip” is because there was one of those generic notes printed on the receipt.