• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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28 Pranks Later

Animals wanted to go on a picnic in the forest. I'll be back before it gets dark!

Fluttershy left me a note, most likely because I had mentioned about stopping by around the evening. It seemed pretty clear that she wasn't back. The cottage was quiet, other than the occasional sound coming from the critters around her house. Even so, it was possible that she could have forgotten about the note and was in the bath or something, so I decided to call her out, just to make sure.


No answer.

I turned towards the window and noticed it was getting pretty late. She should definitely be heading back by now. I began to worry a little about her being in the forest this late. However, seeing as she's been through the forest many times, I convinced myself to think nothing much of it. I believed she knew how to take care of herself, and she had her animals with her to help protect her if anything happened. Even if anything did happen, I'm sure one of her birds or critter friends would come get my attention. Surely, I wouldn't be able to clearly understand them, but if they wanted me to go somewhere, I definitely wouldn't hesitate to go.

I sighed as I rested on her couch. I was overthinking things.

I'm sure it's only a matter of minutes before she walks through that front door.

A creak sounded as soon as I had just imagined her arrival. I quickly lifted my head and turned in the direction of her front door. When I spotted a pony walking in, I quickly hopped off the couch and began approaching her.

"Hey, you're back." I greeted her with a hug, laughing a little in embarrassment afterwards. "I was kind of starting to get worried about you."

"I'm so sorry!" She apologized, but there was something obviously off about her voice. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting."

Naturally, the first question I brought up was the change in her voice. It sounded sort of nasally and scratchy. "Are you okay? Your voice sounds different."

"O-oh!" She responded with slight alarm. "I kind of lost my voice today. I hope I'm not getting sick or anything…"

"You sounded completely fine earlier today." I brought up. "Were you doing a lot of screaming?"

"I guess you could say that." She answered ambiguously, coughing lightly afterwards.

"Hey, don't worry about tonight." I told her, seeing as she could use some rest. "You should go to bed."

"Okay." She nodded her head. "Can I have one kiss before I go?"

I couldn't help but feel something particularly off about Fluttershy. I couldn't place my hoof on it, but there was just something unnatural about her behavior. The only explanation I could come up with was that she was exhausted from whatever she was doing today. Either way, I decided I should let her get to bed and not keep her up any longer.

"Mm-hm." I moved in and placed a delicate yet firm kiss on her lips. In a way, I was trying to convey a "Get better soon" message through our lip contact. After all, I always disliked seeing Fluttershy under some kind of distress.

As I pulled back, I was just about to offer to stay the night to watch over her, but I immediately became puzzled when I found her snickering in an extremely…not Fluttershy way. Just before I could ask if she was okay, she pointed a hoof at me and soon began laughing out loud.

"GOTCHA!" She hooted with a voice that especially did not fit Fluttershy but belonged to specifically somepony else.

"H-huh?" I was nearly frozen with shock, as I had no idea what had been going on.

To add to the current dismay of things, the front door to her cottage opened up, and Fluttershy's voice cried out with utter confusion. "W-what in Equestria is going on in here?!"

"Oh, nothin'!" The brash-sounding Fluttershy turned and faced the one at the door. To both our complete surprise another pony emerged from what appeared to have been a costume. The unexpected voice was now adjacent to the uninvited pony before us. It was Rainbow Dash. "Just smacking some lips!" She teased irritably by literally smacking her lips.

"W-what?!" Fluttershy glanced over at me and back at Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow Dash!" She angrily scolded. "That is highly inappropriate!"

"Gotcha!" Rainbow threw her hoof and repeated. "Two in one, baby! Yeah! I'm awesome!" She began to laugh endlessly, holding her sides as she fell to the floor. "You should see the look on your faces! Alex is all 'Huh?!' and you're all 'Bad Rainbow Dash!' Hahaha!"

"This isn't funny!" Fluttershy assured seriously. "How could you trick somepony like that?!"

"Chill out, Fluttershy." Rainbow Dash pushed herself up off the ground. "It's just a prank."

"Oh, gee. A prank." Fluttershy returned in an angry and sarcastic manner. "Congratulations. I hope you're happy."

"Heck, yeah, I'm happy!" Rainbow Dash continued to only add fuel to the fire. "Never in a million years did I think I'd pull off something like that, but I did!" She now turned to me to properly take advantage of her bragging rights. "I told you I'd get you back! You had it coming, you know!"

The first question on my mind was how she was able to even pull off looking almost exactly like Fluttershy, to begin with. "Where'd you even get the costume?!" I asked, pointing towards the folded fabric on the floor.

"Pinkie Pie. Duh. At least she appreciates a good prank." She replied.

"Rainbow Dash. I think it's time for you to leave now." Fluttershy suggested sternly, holding her front door open.

"Ah, you'll look back one day and laugh at this." Rainbow believed as she began to take Fluttershy's advice and slowly fly towards the outside of the cottage. "You can thank me then." Just as she was about to pass the door way, her eyes shot open in realization. She quickly flew back in and picked up the costume she used to "prank" us. "Gotta give this back." She shared an uncaring grin and finally left the cottage.

Fluttershy nearly slammed the door close and flared her nostrils. However, she closed her eyes and appeared to meditate for a while before she breathed in and out slowly.

"You okay?" I carefully approached her and asked.

"I'm a little upset right now." She shared honestly.

I rubbed the back of my head in shame. "Sorry about…"

Fluttershy shook her head. "I'm upset about the fact that Rainbow thought she could just come in here and do something like that. It wasn't nice and it certainly wasn't funny."

"Yeah, I know…" I nodded in agreement. "I guess she did warn me, but I never expected her to do something like this."

Fluttershy sighed heavily and remained silent for a moment before responding. "Let's just forget about this for tonight, and I'll bring it up to Twilight tomorrow. We're going to have a serious talk about what just happened."

"Is it that serious?" I couldn't help but genuinely ask. What Rainbow did was pretty stupid, but I wasn't sure if it was something to make an intervention about.

"You know Rainbow." Fluttershy said, "What if it doesn't stop there? What if she starts pretending to be other ponies like Rarity or Applejack and make so much more trouble? She could get into a fight with somepony, and then that somepony could confront the real pony she'd pretending to be and start a whole problem that never should've been in the first place!"

I wasn't sure if I could fully be on board with Fluttershy's prediction, but I supposed it was better to be safe than sorry. If we could avoid an entire possible episode because of something stupid Rainbow Dash did, I guess it'd be best to spare a moment or two to do that.

"Alright. Either way, I'm at least glad you're okay." I brought up, confusing her for a second.

"Huh?" She inquired.

"Well, I was telling Rainbow Dash that I was worried about you since you were coming back from the forest pretty late. Plus, I almost thought you were feeling a little sick. At any point, like I said, I'm just glad you're okay."

"Oh…" She was surprised to hear this from me, considering what we had just gone through. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you worry. We lost track of time at the picnic."

Her response sounded similar to Rainbow Dash's, but I attempted to ignore any thought with Rainbow in it.

"Well, either way…" I approached and hugged her caringly. "Seeing you safe here in your cottage makes me able to easily forget what just happened." She seemed to melt in my hooves, and that was a good sign that she had calmed down immensely. However, I was pretty sure she would still stay true to her promise of creating an intervention because of this recent and unnecessary event.

On the next day, after bringing up the issue with Twilight first, every pony else was called upon. A few trickled in one by one, and the rest came in a group. It was no surprise to see Rainbow Dash with Pinkie Pie, as I imagined her retelling the entire story from last night. Pinkie giggled loudly as she hopped onto her throne by the table.

"Now that we're all here…" Applejack began, looking around to make sure everybody was at their places. Mind tellin' us what we all came for?"

Twilight turned to Fluttershy, who had her hooves crossed against her chest and her head lifted in such a way as if she was giving somepony the cold shoulder. "Fluttershy has a little something to bring up."

"Ahem." She cleared her throat and roamed her eyes among the ponies watching her. "Last night, somepony decided to inappropriately dress up as me, pretend to be me, and then went on to tricking Alex that they were me when they really weren't."

"Seriously?!" We heard an outburst from Rainbow Dash. "You called us over here because of that?! I mean, I know it was hilarious, but you didn't have to set up a whole meeting because of it!"

"I called this meeting because I don't want you to pull the same stunt you did last night and possibly hurt somepony else!" Fluttershy argued. "Who knows what kind of trouble you can get somepony in if you pretend to be them? Remember when you told us about Wind Rider? What if he got another pegasus to dress up as you and cause 'you' to do things you didn't actually do to get you kicked out of the Wonderbolts?"

"Are you that hung up over it, Fluttershy? I would never pretend to be somepony else only to ruin their lives." Rainbow Dash fell backwards against her throne, crossing her forelegs and appearing to be ignoring the big picture.

"I think what she's trying to say is that you could ruin somepony's life by accident if you end up doing something while you're pretending to be them." Twilight made a little clearer.

"Alright! Fine!" Rainbow threw her hooves up in surrender. "I won't 'pretend' to be anypony else for pranks anymore, okay? But, come on. You can't tell me that that prank wasn't hilarious! I mean, how could you not appreciate that? Did you, did any of you, ever think you'd see the day where Fluttershy would be smacking lips with Alex, only it wasn't Fluttershy but me! Haha! You should have seen the looks on their faces! It was priceless! I wish I had brought a camera!"

There was a long moment of silence from everybody in the room before Applejack broke it.

"What in the hay is wrong with you?"

"Aw, come on." Pinkie hopped on over to Rainbow Dash, coming to her defense. "It does sound pretty funny. I kind of wish I was there to see it too."

"See?" Rainbow presented Pinkie as solid evidence. "Everypony likes a good prank! They're just jokes!"

"Now, Rainbow Dash," Rarity spoke up, "I don't think Fluttershy would have called us all here to talk about this if she thought it was funny. Everypony has things they like and things they don't. Besides, that 'prank' sounds rather distasteful."

"And pretendin' to be Fluttershy so you can kiss Alex is just weird." Applejack crossed her forelegs, turning her head to the side in disapproval.

"Weird?!" Rainbow scoffed, deeply offended. "The whole point of that was the irony! It was a genius prank! Think about it! Heck, if Fluttershy hadn't come back to the cottage so early, I probably could have gotten him to clean my entire house! He'd do anything for Fluttershy!"

"Do you even know what you're saying?" I asked her with extremely narrowed eyes.

Before things could escalate any further, Twilight stomped a hoof on the round table and gathered everyone's attention. "Alright, forget the prank. The point is that a prank isn't very good if you're the only pony laughing."

"But what if it's really, really, really, really, really funny?" Pinkie asked.

"And I can do funny." Rainbow crossed her forelegs behind her head with confidence.

"I know you can." Twilight admitted as she returned to her seat. "I guess the trick is making sure that your idea of funny matches the pony you're pranking." Rainbow began stifling her laughter as she watched Twilight grow closer to her throne for some reason. "That way—"

As Twilight sat, an obscene and highly inappropriate prolonged noise sounded from her area, cutting her suggestion short. After several seconds of hearing nothing but the one uncomfortable sound, Twilight turned and shifted below, eventually pulling out a cheap whoopee cushion from her seat. Everyone else looked extremely unamused by this, but, on the other hoof, Rainbow's mouth looked like a dam that was breaking apart by a tsunami of laughter. As expected, Pinkie soon joined in. She moved in closer to have a better look at the "pranking" instrument before the two finally burst out laughing.

"Good one, Rainbow! Ha-ha!" Pinkie bumped hooves with Rainbow Dash. "You have to admit! That was funny!"

"Not really." Twilight tossed the whoopee cushion aside with a calm scowl on her face. Her positive mood had quickly deteriorated into a bad one.

"Wow. How long did it take for you to come up with that?" I asked sarcastically, resting my cheek against my hoof.

"Yeah. A whoopee cushion is like a joke shortcut." Applejack added.

"What?!" Rainbow and Pinkie screamed in shock.

"Honestly, Rainbow Dash, if you are not willing to put forth the effort required to pull a prank that everypony can enjoy, you may as well not pull one at all." Rarity advised, turning her head away in disapproval and perhaps even a little disgust.

"Oh!" Rainbow Dash suddenly bellowed out angrily, planting her hooves upon the table and bringing herself up from her seat. "Oh! Okay! I see how it is! You think my pranks are lame, huh?! Well, now you're gonna get it! That's right! Everypony and me! Right now! I'm bringing the big guns!"

With that, she flew out the window, leaving a sense of uneasiness with everyone else.

"I'm not sure she understood what we meant." Twilight mentioned, breaking the ice that lasted shortly between us.

"Oh, boy. You ponies really did it now." Pinkie shared a serious look.

"We didn't do anythin'." Applejack replied.

"So, what?" Rarity questioned. "Are we to expect that she has it out for us now and that she'll be pranking us very soon?"

"Yeah, probably." Pinkie shrugged, looking like she was anticipating eagerly for what was to come. "She already pranked Alex, Fluttershy, and Twilight, so I'm thinking it's going to be one of you next." She directed towards Rarity and Applejack. "Maybe even me! Oh boy, I can't wait!"

"Ugh." Rarity rolled her eyes and removed herself from her throne. "I don't have time to play silly games with Rainbow Dash. I'm in the middle of bringing Sweetie Belle's outfit for the upcoming Filly Guide Cookie Drive, and I will not be intimidated by some simple prank."

"I don't know…" Pinkie hinted at with the tone of her voice, "She can come up with some pretty clever pranks."

"Isn't that what you think of every prank she does?" I asked her.

"Yeah because they're all so funny!" She expressed lively with a short chuckle.

Twilight sighed heavily. "Whatever you ponies do, just keep an eye out, I guess. Rainbow Dash isn't exactly the type to bark but not bite."

"Oh, she's hunkerin' for a bite if she even tries to get near me." Applejack assured.

"Psst." I heard beside me and found Athena leaning her head towards my ear. "You think she'll want to prank me?"

I merely shrugged.

"Well, if at any point I start getting the heebie-jeebies, I know where to go. So, if you're with Fluttershy, and I interrupt something, you know why."

"It's okay." Fluttershy overheard. "If you feel scared, you can stay with us."

"Aw. That's nice, Fluttershy." Athena appreciated, "But, that's another thing. If she really is that serious about pranking, it sounds like she isn't going to rest until she pranks every one of her intended targets. And I don't like being hunted down."

Fluttershy sighed sadly and averted her eyes. "Maybe if I hadn't made such a big deal about what she did last night, this wouldn't have happened."

"Don't blame yourself." I placed a hoof on her shoulder. "I think it was something that needed to be addressed anyway. Worst case scenario: Let Rainbow prove how much of an 'awesome' pranker she is, suffer a little, and be done with it."

"I suppose it can't be as bad as a terrifying villain in Equestria." Fluttershy compared, managing to pull a soft smile from her lips.

I think everypony, including those of us that had already been pranked, were uncomfortably on our guards for the rest of the day. Since I hadn't been with Applejack, Rarity, or Pinkie, I couldn't know when or if they had been pranked. It was a little unnerving, and it kept me from efficiently doing any work I needed to do because I was afraid of stepping into any kind of booby trap. At times, I was just expecting for something to explode.

I stuck with Fluttershy for the night. Both of us figured that we'd stand a better chance together should we notice anything suspicious or dangerous. I had offered her to stay over at the castle, but she was worried about her animals over at the cottage. Knowing what Rainbow Dash could easily do, I was with Fluttershy on that one.

Despite not getting much sleep, as usual, we didn't seem to find ourselves the victim of any kind of prank the next morning. We had checked to make sure the animals were alright outside, and we didn't find any trace of Rainbow Dash having maliciously done something. Even so, that only begged the question. If nothing happened to us, then surely something must have had happened to Rarity, Applejack, or even Pinkie?

Figuring the best way to find out would be to see if they were gathered at the castle, Fluttershy and I decided to make our way over there after making sure the coast was clear. We had been expecting Rarity and Applejack to be there with a barrel full of complaints, but to our surprise, there had been many more ponies at the castle doors. Big Mac, Mr. Cake, and Cranky Doodle Donkey, not to mention Rarity and Applejack to be exact.

Before I could find out what happened, the castle doors opened, and Twilight came out with a sort of deadpan expression on her face.

"Let me guess." She announced, "Rainbow Dash pranked all of you guys too?"

There was a collective chatter of complaints until Twilight invited them in. Fluttershy and I followed in after them, where we began hearing them detail out their complaints as they gathered in the main room.

"Rainbow Dash replaced my sewing machine with a sewing machine cake!" Rarity voiced out angrily. "Now, I don't know where she placed my real sewing machine, and I can't find it! How am I supposed to work without my sewing machine?! That's like drawing without a pencil!"

"I worked nearly all evening yesterday to booby trap my room and keep Rainbow from prankin' me, but she did it anyway!" Applejack stated next. "I fell asleep in my room that night and woke up in the pig pen the next morning! Not to mention that she put a boulder into Big Mac's cart while he was workin'. Not only does that make more work for us, but it's just outright dangerous!"

"Mr. Cake. Cranky. What happened to you two?" Twilight turned and asked.

"She replaced my hair with a skunk! Matilda tried getting rid of the smell, but I can still smell it!" Cranky shouted out even more cranky than usual.

"She put a brick in my sandwich…" Mr. Cake mentioned rather softly.

Mr. Cake's prank seemed the least problematic of the group, but it was still completely insane. "She put a brick in your sandwich?!" I repeated. "You could have lost teeth because of a lame prank like that!"

"You're okay, right…?" Fluttershy asked a little worriedly.

"Oh, I'm fine." Mr. Cake flipped his hoof. "My jaw just hurts a little. That's all."

I could only hope he wasn't stretching the truth to keep us from worrying.

"Alex. Fluttershy. Did Rainbow get you as well?" Twilight asked us.

Fluttershy and I glanced towards each other before answering her.

"We haven't noticed anything different or wrong, so I don't think so." Fluttershy shared.

"Unless you count what happened the other night…" I brought up.

"Seems Pinkie was right." Twilight remembered from the other day. "It seems she's pranking those that she hasn't already pranked, including those that weren't even in the room with us yesterday. I just got a letter from Princess Celestia a while ago asking me why Spike was sending her so many blank letters, but Spike thought that the one letter he was trying to send wouldn't send. Turns out it was just another prank by Rainbow."

"If Rainbow's prankin' everypony that hasn't been pranked, then where in the hay is Pinkie?" Applejack asked.

"You don't think she's working with Rainbow Dash, do you?" Rarity turned towards Applejack.

"Pinkie apparently finds Rainbow Dash's pranks funny, so I don't think she'd be here complaining about it like everypony else." Twilight replied.

"That doesn't mean she isn't helping Rainbow Dash with these absurd pranks!" Cranky bellowed out. "I say we march on over to Sugarcube Corner and get things straight from the horse's mouth!"

"Well, I suppose I don't necessarily disagree." Twilight answered. "Whether she's helping Rainbow Dash or not, she's probably the only pony here that can put a stop to her charade of annoying pranks."

Like a quiet and calm yet angry mob, everypony in the castle made their way to Sugarcube Corner in order to confront Pinkie. If Pinkie really was innocent, then I felt bad for the incoming trouble that Rainbow Dash had indirectly brought her.

As everypony nearly tried to fit themselves through the front door at the same time, Pinkie appeared to be sprinkling the inside of a large box. Once she was finished, she placed the sprinkler on the table and closed the box. Grabbing a hold of the box with her mouth, she turned and was just about to cheerfully head past the front door until she noticed everypony in her way glaring at her.

"Pinkie!" Twilight surprised her, causing her to drop the box of sweets she had.

Finding that box invaluable, I couldn't help but keep whatever was inside from splattering all over the floor. Having a glimpse of the cupcakes that were inside, I used my magic to keep them from spilling out and placed the box back on the table that Pinkie had them on.

"Yes?" She answered giddily.

"Where's Rainbow?"

"I don't know." Pinkie happily shrugged her shoulders. "I've been in here making sweets all day."

"Are you honestly going to stand there and tell us you know nothing about all the pranking Rainbow Dash has been doing?" Rarity asked, almost as if she believed that Pinkie was feigning an innocent front.

"Oh, that? Oh, no! She's been pranking up a storm!" She seemed to find the case entertaining.

"Did she get you, too?" Fluttershy questioned.

Pinkie laughed out loud. "Oh, yeah! She and Gummy both!" She relaxed her face as she seemed to reminisce back to the prank 'they' played on her. "They got me good."

"Well, she needs to stop." Applejack ordered.

"Stop? But pranks are so much fun!" Pinkie objected.

"Not for everypony." Twilight assured. "And it doesn't seem like Dash is taking the time to find out who enjoys them and who doesn't."

"Yeah." I agreed. "Plus, we don't like being in the dark on whether Dash is going to get us or not. Some of us need stability in our lives, you know?"

Everypony else agreed in the matter of soft grumbling.

"Uh, since you and Dash share such an, uh, affinity for pranking," Rarity approached Pinkie and said, "we thought you might be able to get her to, um, uh... quit it!"

Pinkie took a glance at our faces and began to scratch the back of her head nervously. For once, she seemed to feel what all of us have been feeling about the plague of pranks that was uncertain to end. "Are you sure they're not funny?" She asked.

"No!" Everypony shouted in unison.

Pinkie sighed heavily and prepared to walk past us. "Alright, I'll go talk to her."

"Thank you." Rarity returned.

Once Pinkie seemed to reluctantly leave the premises, the rest of us looked at each other with the question of what we should do next.

"Should we wait for her to come back?" Fluttershy asked. "I really want to know what Rainbow Dash says. To be honest, I don't think Pinkie asking Rainbow to stop will actually get her to stop. You all know how Rainbow is."

"You're right." Twilight rubbed her chin in thought. "If Pinkie can just get to her stop then and there, that would be great. But if she refuses, then we'll just have to improvise. If she won't stop, then we'll need to make her stop. Give her a taste of her own medicine."

"What? You mean like prank her?" I inquired. "But she's been pranking for ages now. I would think she knows all the tricks in the book."

"Just because you're an expert prankster doesn't mean you're exempted from basic psychology." Twilight responded wittily, causing us to look at her with confusion. "It's like this. If everypony you know was to start behaving in a certain way, your mind is sort of trained to follow that unnatural pattern. Let me make things a little clearer and use an example." She walked on over to the box of cupcakes Pinkie was in the middle of delivering and opened them up. "You're concerned that Rainbow Dash would become suspicious for any possible prank that is planned against her, right? Well, if you ordered a box of strawberry cupcakes, and all the cupcakes were strawberry except for one that was actually blueberry, you'd immediately think something was wrong, right?"

"Yeah…?" I returned, not quite understanding what she was getting at yet.

"Now, look at it this way: If all the cupcakes were blueberry, and one was strawberry, it's likely that you'd begin questioning yourself about what kind of cupcakes you actually ordered. You'd probably start to think that you ordered blueberry cupcakes instead of strawberry, and that chance is even further increased if all the cupcakes were blueberry."

"Uh…but isn't that why you have the receipt?" I brought up.

"Forget the receipt!" Twilight shook her head. "I'm just using these cupcakes as an example. What I'm trying to say is that if one pony was trying to convince you that something was a certain way you didn't remember it being, you'd be unlikely to believe , if everypony was trying to convince you, you're more likely to believe their story. Get what I'm saying?"

"Okay, the way you're explaining all this is kind of confusing, but I think what you're trying to say that we should get everypony in on the prank? That way, it'd be harder for Rainbow Dash to figure out it's really just a prank?"

"Well, leaving out the psychology explanation and aspect of it, yeah, I guess you could say that." Twilight concluded.

"But, what's a convincing prank we can pull with everypony in Ponyville?" Rarity asked.

As every pony placed some thought into answering that question, Pinkie Pie returned a short moment later with a rainbow-colored mouth and a box of cookies she continued to consume. Rarity immediately noticed this and pointed it out.

"Aren't those the cookies from the Filly Guide? How in Equestria did you get a hold of them? They aren't supposed to be sold until tomorrow."

"Oh, these?" Pinkie continued chewing as she looked at the box on her hoof. "They're joke cookies Rainbow Dash is going to switch the Filly Guide cookies with. She thinks pranking everypony at once is the most hilarious thing ever, soo…it turns out I couldn't get her to stop." She frowned sadly, which was followed by another cookie being plopped into her mouth.

"You're telling me she's getting into my barn?!" Applejack yelled out. "That's where I'm keepin' the cookies until tomorrow!" Applejack now hopped out of her seat and began to storm out the front door. "Oh, I'm going to tell that dumb filly to think twice about switching those cookies or she'll be getting a mouthful of—"

"Wait!" Twilight suddenly stopped, causing Applejack to freeze at the door. "This isn't so bad actually!"

"What are you gettin' on about, Twilight?" Applejack turned, the aggravated frustration in her tensed face still burning strong.

"I'm saying that we can use this against her!" Twilight suggested. "She doesn't know that we know about her prank. We can totally make it backfire on her!"

"And how would we do that?" Rarity questioned.

"Oh, I might have a few ideas…" Twilight rubbed her chin and looked back in thought mischievously.

"Okay, everyone." Fluttershy gathered up all of her critters and began detailing the plan Twilight had come up with to spread amongst other family and friends. "We're going to play a little game tonight. Tonight, we're going to pretend to be cookie-eating zombies." She giggled jubilantly, almost as if she was excited about this counter-prank. "Here's what's going to happen. I'm going to buy a few boxes of cookies from our friends, and we're going to eat them. But, there's a catch. Your mouths will be colored rainbow, but don't freak out! It's all a part of the plan, and I need you all to help me scare Rainbow Dash, sound fun?"

Normally, Fluttershy never found the idea of scaring any pony fun, but I suppose the little "prank" Rainbow had pulled the other night was the last straw the broke the pony's back. At any point, I agreed with a lot of us here. Who knew how long this would keep going? None of us could stay awake all night in fear of being pranked with for the rest of our lives.

Her animal friends chirped, roared, hopped, anything to show that they accepted and agreed with her plan. In fact, I think they were willing to do anything in exchange for the care they had been given from Fluttershy for all the years she's been with them. Fluttershy now turned to me with a bright smile and playfully bumped my nose with her hoof.

"And you remember what you're supposed to do, right?"

I nodded. "Be one of the few ponies who isn't a cookie-crazed zombie. When Rainbow swings by here to check up on you, you and the animals will freak her out and I'll help her escape. Yeah, I think I got it."

Fluttershy returned a grin. "Oh, normally I'd be absolutely mortified over the idea of zombies, but pretending to be zombies sounds like a really fun game. Almost like a game of hide and seek."

"You sure you're just not upset that Rainbow laid her hooves on your very special somepony?" I asked, playfully sending a smirk over to her.

To this, a shade of red hovered over her cheeks. "N-no! Well, I mean, it just wasn't a funny prank, and she needs to know that. I didn't like the way she acted with you, almost like if she owned you. Let's just leave it at that."

Nevertheless, I felt touched that Fluttershy cared so much. Although I shared her feeling over the prank not being funny, I didn't take it too seriously. It was more like Rainbow being Rainbow, but I could still understand Fluttershy's feelings over what she did, even if she wasn't being serious about it.

I caressed Fluttershy's cheek and smiled warmly. "You give her a big scare, okay?"

The redness in her cheeks spread as she embarrassingly looked away. "I actually have a few funny ideas of my own. Of course, they're only funny because I know this isn't real." She glanced back at her critters and stretched her smile. "And it looks like they're going to have fun with this too."

Afterwards, Fluttershy began preparing a few things as we waited for Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders to make their way over here with the new batch of joke cookies to sell to us.

"Alright, I just need this bowl here…" She pulled out a mixing bowl from her cupboards and placed it on a counter next to the stove. "…and a little of this over here…" She pulled out a bag of flour and sugar and set it near the bowl. If I wasn't mistaken, it looked like she was going to make cookies of her own.

"So, what exactly are you going to do?" I asked.

Fluttershy giggled in response. "Oh, that's a surprise."

Several knocks sounded on her door.

"That must be them!" She raced over to the door with a couple of bits and took in a huge deep breath before placing a hoof on her door. "Okay, Fluttershy, don't look too excited. You don't want to give anything away."

She opened the door as I joined her by her side. Outside were Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle holding a couple boxes of cookies for us. "Thanks for the support, Fluttershy!" Sweetie Belle expressed in a loud and cheerful voice."

"Oh, it's a pleasure!" She grinned delightfully as she brought her bits onto Sweetie Belle's hoof.

Behind the three fillies, I caught Rainbow Dash observing the entire exchange with an odd smirk on her face. Since we had learned of her plan beforehoof, it was easy to understand what it was for. Even though she wasn't supposed to know that we knew everything, I lightly glared at her until her eyes caught wind of mine. I pointed my hoof towards my eyes to turn it back around to her.

"Oh, you need to chillax." Rainbow took lightly. "I could honestly prank you without even being anywhere near you if I wanted to."

Which was exactly what you were going to do, but you couldn't know that we knew that, of course.

"I'm warning you, Rainbow. Live by the pranks, perish by the pranks."

Rainbow laughed lightly. "Yeah, yeah." She returned with rolling eyes.

Fluttershy poked my side, signaling me that the exchange had already been made.

"Thank you all for the cookies!" Fluttershy expressed warmly.

"You enjoy them now!" Rainbow Dash snickered.

"Oh, I will." I could sense a sort of challenging vibe come from Fluttershy. She was really serious about getting back at Rainbow Dash, and I couldn't help but find it hard to believe that it was technically all because of me.

When we were back inside the cottage, Fluttershy almost quickly got to work in prepping herself up for tonight. Funnily enough, it was almost like she was getting ready for a special date.

"I should get started with my mane." Fluttershy said, placing the box of cookies onto the counter and racing up the stairs into her room. I followed her to find her observing herself in the mirror and running her hoof through her hair messily. "I want to look as convincing as I can for tonight." She then turned to me. "What do you think?"

I placed a hoof to my chin and observed her for a moment. "Good start, but maybe a little makeup to make you look like you haven't had any sleep in a long time?"

"Right." She turned back to the mirror and curved her head to have a good look all around. "I really need to look like there's no life in me. Alex, can you bring me a few things from the bathroom?"

"Sure thing." I leaned in, ready to follow her exact directions.

For the rest of the day, I helped Fluttershy with her "zombie" look, along with intentionally misplacing and making a mess of a few things in her home.

"Here you go, everyone." Fluttershy handed each of her participating critters a cookie. "Don't eat too fast. You don't really want your tummies to hurt, do you?" She watched them partake in their cookies for a moment before she brought one to her lips. "Well, here we go." She took a bite and munched for a while as a coat of rainbow settled on her lips. "Mmm." She expressed after swallowing, "It's actually pretty good."

"I think that's supposed to be the point." I told her, finding the rainbow in her mouth actually quite adorable. "I think the 'prank' is not realizing that they aren't normal cookies. If you had a date and didn't have a chance at glancing at a mirror, I can only imagine it'd be one of the most embarrassing moments ever."

"Oh, my." Fluttershy stared blankly at the ground. "That does sound pretty horrifying."

A squeak came from one of her squirrels, catching her attention.

"Oh dear." Fluttershy noticed the line of critters smiling back at her with a mouth full of rainbow. "I so want to wipe that rainbow coloring off you all, but I'm afraid we'll need to keep it until we're finished pranking Rainbow Dash." She lifted her head upwards to get a look at the setting sun in the sky. "Might I have a few of you come back with me to the cottage?" She asked, having one of her squirrels, Angel, and her big bear follow her inside the cottage.

My curiosity peaked at the sight of this, and I began to wonder if it had to do with the "surprise" Fluttershy had for Rainbow Dash. Her animals stood by her as she returned to the kitchen and began working with the ingredients she had brought out earlier.

She poured a small amount of flour into the bowl and made it really pasty using some water. She mixed in some sugar before pulling another joke cookie out of the box. Crushing the cookie into small pieces, she threw them into the bowl and mixed it all together, eventually producing a rainbow sugary paste.

"No one eat any of this." She made sure to tell her critters. "It's just for show and not meant to be eaten."

"So, what exactly are you planning to do?" I finally asked.

Before she answered, she turned towards Angel. "Angel, could you do Mommy a favor? Can I have you hop on in here? I promise I'll give you a bath afterwards." Angel seemed to think about it for a moment before he held out his paw as if expecting something in return. "You want a carrot?" He swung his paw towards his face, indicating that it wasn't enough. "Two carrots?"

He tilted his head silently for a brief while before nodding his head and evidently jumping into the bowl of paste. Fluttershy brought out a couple of carrots for him, and he grabbed a hold of one and began biting at it as he rested inside the bowl.

"Um…" It was all I could say as I still couldn't figure out what she had been getting at.

"You know how zombies work, right?" Fluttershy asked. "If I was a cookie-craving zombie, surely I'd do anything to get more cookies?"

"Yeah…but what does that have to do with Angel being in the bowl?"

"I'd do anything to get my cookies by any means necessary."

Remembering that Angel had eaten one of the cookies himself, it all started to make sense. Fluttershy wanted her joke cookies, and in theory, zombies would practically do anything to get any taste of those cookies in their mouth.

I took a glance at Fluttershy's face, and with this thought in my mind, I couldn't help but actually feel a little scared, especially with the fall of night from outside her window. If she actually found Nightmare Night as enjoyable as the rest of us did, I believed that she could actually pull off some amazing stunts. She did scare every one of the girls as Flutterbat last time. But, she also already told us how scaring other ponies wasn't her cup of tea, so Rainbow must've really gotten to her if she was so willing about this.

"Wow… That's actually pretty dark…" I couldn't help but mention.

"But it's all in good fun, right, you guys?" She turned towards her helpful friends. They each nodded and responded in their respective sounds while Angel waved his carrot from within the bowl. "Do me a favor, please?" She now asked me.

"I'm not getting into a bowl too, am I?" I almost immediately questioned.

She giggled lightly in response. "No. I just need you to keep a lookout for me. Rainbow Dash could be coming at any moment."

"Right. Got it." I walked out of the kitchen and proceeded to keep an eye out while not being out in the open in case she was already around.

I continued watching out her window nonstop for some time before I caught sight of our intended target.

"Hey, Fluttershy! I can see Rainbow Dash outside!" I notified as quietly as I could.

"Everyone, get into your positions!" Fluttershy directed, having Harry, her bear, lay flat on the floor with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. In addition, her squirrel took the same look on top of him. Fluttershy turned towards Angel next. He shrugged and left the carrot in the bowl with him as he hung the upper half of his body over the bowl and drew his tongue out in a silly manner. "You should stay upstairs until it's time to come out." Fluttershy suggested to me.

I nodded and trotted up the stairs before Rainbow could possibly come in and see me. Afterwards, I somewhat anxiously waited until I heard the eventual freak out from Rainbow Dash.

"Fluttershy!" I heard and poked my head out in order to get a safe enough view of what had been going on downstairs. "If you can hear me, don't touch those cookies!" She desperately searched around for the pony she had been looking for, but it took her a while until she seemed to have spotted her in the kitchen. "F-Fluttershy…?"

"…more…cookies…" She softly moaned.

There was a silent pause before she screamed out in horror. "W-what did you do, Fluttershy?! Your critters! T-they're…!"

I heard the backdoor open, and I believed next came the stomping and flurry of all the other critters participating with the prank. Rainbow Dash screamed once more, and a clash of pots and pans ensued.

"Cookies…!" Fluttershy repeated alongside the sounds of her animals' groans and moans.

"N-No! Let me go! No! Get away!"

If I wasn't mistaken, I believed that it was now my time to step in. Expecting Rainbow Dash to have been caught by Fluttershy, I scurried down the stairs and witnessed the disturbing sight for myself. If I hadn't known that this was fake all along, I surely would have been as horrified as Rainbow Dash most likely was.

Taking one last deep breath, I rushed and tackled Fluttershy as lightly as I could. As much as I wanted to ask her if she was okay afterwards, I couldn't exactly blow our cover.

"Rainbow Dash, run!" I ordered as I pretended to hold Fluttershy against her will.

The animals behind Fluttershy continued to slowly draw closer, causing her voice to become panicked and confused.

"A-Alex?! You're not like them! H-how did you—?"

"Quit asking questions and get out of here!" I shouted, acting as if I had been struggling with Fluttershy's hooves.

"But, what about you?!"

"I'll catch up! Just go! Hurry!"

I had begun to worry that she wouldn't leave like she was supposed to. The numbers against her were supposed to scare her off, but if she managed to get brave all of a sudden, it could really mess up the prank entirely. Nevertheless, I was able to ironically release a breath of relief once she nodded and scampered out the front door.

When she was gone, everything in the cottage kind of died down. Fluttershy ceased her constant moaning and seemed to unintentionally giggle.

"Having fun there?" I asked.

"Maybe a little." She slightly turned her head away from me and her face became lightly flushed. "You better get going. You don't want to keep Rainbow Dash waiting for too long."

"Yeah, you're right." I almost had forgotten that I had been on top of her as I pulled my hooves away from her. Just as I was about to feign a gallop out the front door, Fluttershy called me.

"Oh, hold on for a quick second." Just as I turned to face her, she brought her mouth towards my neck and lightly bit down, startling me. "You remember what happens near the end, right?" She mentioned as she pulled away.

I observed the area where she had bitten me and found a smudge of rainbow, along with an extremely faint mark of her teeth. "Right. Almost forgot."

"Go on then." She encouraged. "The rest of us will catch up when you're in the barn."

I nodded and shook my hooves for a second before I burst through her front door in a frenzied state. Rainbow Dash had been anxiously tapping her hooves at the bridge before she spotted me coming through. "Oh my gosh, are you okay?!" She spoke quickly. "I d-didn't know what to do! I was just going to come back for you, but then I didn't know if she had already gotten you, and I was just so scared I—"

I shook my head. "We can't be here any longer. They'll be out here any second!"

I began escorting Rainbow Dash outside the cottage grounds, and Rainbow followed closely behind as she questioned me. "What were you doing in there?! How were you the only pony who wasn't a complete zombie?!"

"Remember when you came by with the fillies selling their cookies? After Fluttershy ate and shared those cookies with her animals, she started feeling sick later on. So, I helped her to bed and kept an eye on her for the rest of the day. It wasn't until she started making weird sounds when I drew myself closer to check on her. That's when she lunged out at me. I had no choice but to hide in her closet. I didn't want to hurt her, but I didn't know what else to do. So, I waited in her closet until she finally left. It wasn't until I heard your voice when I came out and saw you. I'm just glad you're okay, Rainbow. What about the other ponies?"

"I think practically everypony in Ponyville has gone crazy!" She frantically exclaimed. "Everyone except..." She gasped sharply before she grabbed my hoof and began dragging me forward in flight. "Come on! We gotta make it before they eat any of the cookies!" In a matter of a short moment, we found ourselves at the center of Ponyville. Rainbow Dash panted and desperately looked around. "There!" She pointed in the direction of a large cart holding a pile of cookies still nestled inside their boxes.

Rarity had grabbed one of the boxes from the carts and opened them up for anyone to pick and enjoy. "…unless anypony wants a cookie...?" She offered before Rainbow stretched out her hind leg and knocked them out of her hoof.

"Don't touch those!" She cried out.

"Oh! There is certainly no call for that!" Rarity scolded. "There's plenty for everypony."

"Come on! We gotta get outta here!" Rainbow gravely advised.

"What in tarnation are you goin' on about?" Applejack questioned.

"There's no time! You have to follow me!"

I trotted in and decided to move the scene along forward. "Rainbow Dash is right." I tried to share my enthusiasm as much as she did. "Something not right with the other ponies."

"Not right? But what do these cookies have to do with…?" A crowd of moans sounded from a short distance away. We looked to see that a bunch of ponies, as well as Cranky and Matilda, were slowly reaching us in a frightening scattered yet united wave of motion. "Wh-wh-what... What's happening?" Rarity shifted the tone of her voice.

"I'll explain later!" Rainbow Dash grabbed ahold of Sweetie Belle and placed her on top of the cart. "Everyone inside the cart! Come on!"

Applejack helped Applebloom up while Scootaloo hopped on by herself, allowing Rainbow Dash to quickly hoist the cart and drive it further away from the group of zombies that were slowly but surely approaching us.

"We need to find somewhere to hide!" Sweetie Belle cried out after witnessing the sight of her former friends hungrily fixated on her.

"I know where we can go! Follow me!" Applejack took the lead and eventually led us on the path of the barn, just as planned.

The sound of hammers clanging onto nails replaced the eerie silence that once filled the partially deserted barn. Windows and doors were boarded up, and even if all of this was technically going over board, I suppose it was necessary to make it as real as possible. Applejack kicked the front door with her hind legs to make sure it was sturdy enough as Rainbow spat out her hammer from the other side of the building.

"Did we lose them?" She asked worriedly.

"Why are we running from the ponies of Ponyville?" Scootaloo asked with fear escaping her voice.

"What happened to all of our friends?" Sweetie Belle added.

Rainbow Dash sighed as she flew over to the cart they had brought inside the barn. "I think it's something in the cookies." She said as she opened a box.

"Ugh! That's ridiculous!" Applejack objected confidently. "Filly Guide cookies haven't changed for years! It's not like there's a new ingredient that's turnin' the whole town into cookie-cravin' zombies."

"Uh, unless there... is..." Rainbow returned hesitantly.

"What are you saying?" Rarity asked, immediately noticing Rainbow's small hint of a confession.

"What did you do?" Applejack followed sternly with.

"Are you saying that the entire reason Fluttershy and everypony else is like this because you did something with the cookies?!" I incriminated, trying not to reveal how much I knew as much as possible. "After all, I couldn't understand why the cookies had rainbow filling in them, but now it's starting to make sense considering you were the pony behind everything."

Rainbow tossed the open box she had to the side, allowing them to spill out near Rarity's hooves.

"I didn't know they'd turn everypony into zombies!" She defended herself. "I don't know! Maybe there's some kind of chemical in that rainbow food coloring, but I swear I had no clue before I messed with the cookies! It was all just supposed to be a joke! I never wanted anypony to get hurt!"

"Have you taken a look outside, Rainbow?!" Applejack stretched her hoof out the window. "Everypony is no longer in control of themselves! What are we supposed to do now?!"

"Alright! Look! We should just stay inside and see if the effects wear off." Rainbow suggested. "As long as nobody in here eats the cookies we should be fine."

"And what if they don't?" I brought up.

"Then we might have to find Zecora and see if she has a cure." Applebloom informed.

"Then, shouldn't we get lookin' now?" Applejack asked. "What if some of those ponies made it to her hut by now? If she's in trouble, then we gotta go help her!"

"Ugh!" Rarity released a scream of frustration. "I just cannot believe you, Rainbow Dash! All because you wouldn't stop with your silly little pranks! Now see where your 'jokes' have gotten us? Stuck in a musty rickety old barn with nothing but bundles of hay and a cart of toxic cookies!"

"A-All I wanted was—"

"Unless you know exactly how to get us out of this situation and turn our friends back to normal, I don't want to hear it!" Rarity intervened. "It's only a matter of time before the others find us, and it's all because you simply wouldn't learn to just—Waah!" Several hooves had broken through the boards nailed onto the window and grabbed Rarity's coat, literally dragging her out.

"Rarity!" Applejack and I tried to catch her by her hind legs, but we subtly allowed her to be pulled out as if the strength of the ponies outside had been too much for us.

Apart from the one that Rarity had been pulled out of, the other windows in the barn had been broken through. As if that wasn't enough, the front door had been bending forward by the weight of the other ponies outside.

"W-what do we do?! They're coming in!" Sweetie Belle choked.

"Cover the windows!" Rainbow exclaimed, taking a stack of hay and pressing towards an array of hooves poking inside.

"I'm going out for Rarity!" Applejack mentioned, looking for a spot that hadn't been taken by the others outside yet.

"Are you kidding!? There's too many of them!" Rainbow protested.

"Not if I can help it!" Applejack poked her head out of one before disappearing among the crowd of surrounding ponies.

"Applejack, no!" Rainbow cried out before a collection of wailing screams came from the fillies huddled up in the corner.

I turned towards the door and found that it had been the most susceptible piece out of every other part of the barn. The ponies outside looked as if they would break through at any moment. I ran up to the front door, my motivation for acting being the safety of the three crying fillies inside. I pushed myself against the door, feeling the believable weight press from the other side.

"Let me help you!" Rainbow Dash insisted before joining me at the door. She pressed herself against the barricade as much as she could until she suddenly gasped out loud and froze. "A-Alex?! W-Were you!?"

I turned my eyes in the direction she was looking at and found that she had been staring at the 'bite' Fluttershy left me. If it wasn't for the smudge of rainbow, I'm not so sure she would have noticed. It was at this point where I needed to pretend I had been suffering symptoms of weakness and the like.

"Fluttershy…" I recalled as I subtly allowed my hooves to slowly drag against the front door. "She must've bitten me back at the cottage."

"But, then…! That means you'll…!"

Normally, I'd argue against the idea of turning into one of the zombie ponies outside with a bite like that, but then again, practically everything going on at the moment didn't make sense, so I just went with it.

"It hurts… I can't feel my hooves anymore." I stated as I pulled away from the door.

The side I had been holding seemed to have been kicked open, leaving it ajar for hooves to stick through. On the other side, we could see a zombified Applejack, and this caused Rainbow Dash to cry out in fear. Next, she grabbed a hold of me and dragged me over to the other side of the barn. With no other means of escape, we helplessly remained there.

"I can't believe this!" She cried out with tears poking out of her eyes. "This is all my fault! If I hadn't switched those cookies none of this would have happened!" She turned towards the fillies shivering and crying in the corner. "I'm so sorry, girls!"

"Rainbow, you need to let me go." I encouraged her, seeing how I was bitten. "If I stay in here and turn, then all of you will be in danger."

"I'm not leaving you out there!" She unexpectedly wrapped her hooves around my neck. She turned towards the front door that was slowly being broken through. "They're coming in at any second! I…I don't know…what else to…"

It was only a matter of seconds before everypony at the front broke through. I had to believe that it was an extremely frightening sight for Rainbow. They slowly closed in, and she could only squeeze me tighter as they drew closer.

"Alex, I'm sorry for everything I ever did to you that was mean and hurtful!" She suddenly began to confess and apologize. "I know sometimes I might nag on you for trying to take my spotlight with your wings and horn, but I've always looked up to you as an amazing friend! The truth is…I…I…I've always thought you were pretty awesome!"

Well… That was sort of anticlimactic.

"It's okay, Rainbow…" I told her softly, watching everypony approach us. "It'll all be over soon…"

"N-no! Don't say that!" She pleaded with a breaking voice." Her eyes drifted upwards where everypony had now been staring down at her with an intimidating gaze. "Please! Stop! I never meant for this to happen! It was just a harmless prank! It was supposed to be funny! But this isn't funny at all!"

"Exactly!" A recognizable voice chirped out, ceasing all the moaning that had been filling the ambience inside the barn. A grin slipped out from everypony in front of us as they wiped off the rainbow from their mouths, bringing the prank to an official close.

"What? Wait... What's happening?" Rainbow Dash's voice began to revert to its original state as her grip on my neck loosened.

"Just delighting in pranking the prankster." Rarity combed through her mane, fixing whatever was unaligned from her earlier performance.

"Yeah." Applejack chuckled. "How does it feel to get some of your own medicine?"

"So... you're... not sick?" Rainbow nearly stammered and then turned to me. "None of you are?"

"Of course not, silly!" Pinkie cheerfully answered before gathering everypony for a boastful shout.


"This... was all... a prank?!" Her cheeks became flushed as she quickly pushed me to the side.

"Yep! And you can thank Pinkie Pie." Applejack credited, "After you told her about your plan to prank the whole town, she got everypony together and we all came up with a way to turn the tables on you."

"Aw, shucks, it was nothing!" Pinkie responded bashfully. "Besides, Twilight was the real mastermind."

"Uh..." Rainbow Dash was absolutely speechless.

"Wow! You should see your face!" Scootaloo pointed out.

"Talk about funny!" Applebloom laughed, rubbing salt into the already severely caved in wound.

Rainbow scoffed. "Well, I don't think it's very funny! And I'm the one that got pranked! I was really scared! I thought I made everypony sick! You can't just go around—"

"—pranking whoever you feel like?" Twilight finished.

"Without thinking about how it might make them feel?" Fluttershy added.

"Or if they'd even enjoy it?" Rarity continued.

"Or think it's funny?" Applejack settled.

"Yeah!" Rainbow Dash shouted out in agreement before realizing what had just happened. "Ohhh. I see what you did there."

"Pranks can be a lot of fun when everypony has a good time." Pinkie spoke, "Everypony here thought you just needed to see what it's like when they don't."

"I guess I did." Rainbow Dash shamefully turned away. "I'm sorry, everypony. I guess I really haven't really been thinking about how other ponies feel." She spared one glance at me.

With an accomplished face, Fluttershy responded. "Well, I hope you learned your lesson."

"Are you kidding?!" Rainbow suddenly barked out angrily. "I'm not going to let any one of you get away with this! It's only fair that I get you back! And ohh, I'm going to make sure each of you goes through exactly, if not more, what I just went through tonight!"

Everypony in the barn was immediately struck silent. They looked as if they had accidentally uncaged a monster in their attempt at conveying a meaningful lesson. However, the anger in Rainbow's face disappeared before she smiled brightly and pointed out an enthusiastic hoof.


The entire barn roared with laughter, but I had to believe that it was mostly out of relief than of enjoyment. Either way, with all this pranking mess settled, I was just glad that I'd be able to sleep peacefully tonight.

In the end, it didn't seem that anypony had plans to waste the "joke" cookies. From what I've heard, they were actually still pretty good, aside from the rainbow filling inside. Either way, since Rainbow apparently ordered those joke cookies herself, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Applebloom had an extra amount of Filly Guide cookies to sell. So, I suppose it was sort of a good thing as a result?

I found Rainbow Dash approaching me after I dropped Fluttershy off for the night. After all, she still needed to bathe Angel after he had stepped into the paste Fluttershy had made specifically for the prank.

"I didn't see you eat any of the joke cookies." Rainbow pointed out with a raised eyebrow. "You know they don't actually turn you into a zombie, right?"

I was tempted to respond with sarcasm, but I didn't. "Obviously. I was part of the prank. I just don't really want any rainbow in my mouth."

"You're such a baby." Despite having predetermined my objection, she shoved a cookie into my mouth. I didn't even need to bite as the rainbow filling had splatted over my lips from her forceful entry. I only sighed and proceeded to chew and swallow. "Good, right?"

It was kind of good, but I still didn't appreciate the fact that she rammed one in my mouth. "Yeah, I guess."

She began snickering as she observed the mess on my face. "Looks like you…got a kiss of Rainbow!" She began laughing out loud as I stood there not nearly as amused. I believed it was a reference to her prank on Fluttershy and me the other night.

"Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up." I encouraged. "Just remember that I haven't forgotten a single word you said back at the barn. You know? About me being awesome and stuff?"

Her laughter quickly died down. "S-so what?! You think I care?"

"I have to admit. There are times when it's nice to see the real you, Rainbow." I honestly shared. "When you're not trying too hard at being brave and awesome, you can actually be pretty cool."

"I have no idea what you're talking about." She turned away and closed her eyes, feigning ignorance.

"My memory does." I teased. "And what happened tonight is something I'll never forget."

"Okay, okay! I get it!" She appeared to have finally surrendered. "Could you just please stop talking about what happened and what I said?"

"Yeah, sure." I obliged with a small roll of my eyes.

"You know…" She added, catching my attention. She rubbed her head silently before she continued. "I've gotta be honest about something. When's the last time we've actually hung out? Like just the two of us? Maybe I've been looking at you more as a rival than a friend because, well, we haven't really done much 'friend' stuff recently."

"Well…if you're not doing Wonderbolt stuff, you're always trying to improve a speed record or something. Maybe we just don't have much in common?"

"Then we make something in common!" She nearly ordered, poking my chest with her hoof. "How about this? Let's play a game of ball or something soon. Nothing hardcore. Just a friendly game of ball."

"You sure you won't be crazy competitive?" I returned a playful smirk.

"Not unless you are." She furrowed her eyebrows as she held up a hoof with a confident smile.

"Fair enough." I decided as I joined my hoof with hers.

Rainbow Dash began to lift off the ground to most likely head for her home in the sky, but she unexpectedly stopped and turned towards me. "Hey… Listen good because I'm not going to say this again." I became slightly confused at her sudden statement. After a short pause, she finished what she meant to say. "You are pretty awesome…" She brought her hooves back on the ground, wrapped one around my neck for a few seconds, and then pushed me away before taking off once more. "See ya!"

I chuckled lightly to myself as I watched her leave. Realizing something was still on my mouth, I looked and found rainbow smeared all over my lips. Nevertheless, I shrugged and began walking off in the direction of the castle. I decided that the rainbow could remain there until I got home.

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