• 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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Sisterhooves Social

Episode 31 – Sisterhooves Social

I awoke and lifted myself from my bed. I shook my head lightly and stood up. Hm… I wonder if Fluttershy wants to do anything today…maybe I can go see her? I walked downstairs and out the front door. I sniffed the air as I headed towards Fluttershy's home. The wind brought a smell of flowers along with it, even a hint of sweets.

As I continued to breathe in the fresh breeze, I noticed something odd… I began smelling a faint burn. It smelled as if something was on fire… I looked around to try to find the source of the smell and found Rarity's shop nearby. I looked closely to see a faint sight of smoke protrude from the doors. By carefully focusing my hearing towards the shop, I could hear a faint alarm as well. I became immediately alerted and darted towards the doors.

"Rarity!" I exclaimed as I forced myself inside and looked around. I was stunned to see Sweetie Belle by the stove which contained a burning pan on top. Rarity was on the other side of the room, wrapped in her bed sheets. There were two more ponies at the table in the kitchen, who looked much older. All of them stared at me as the room was filled with high awkwardness and silence. "Um…what's going on…?" I questioned.

"Alex?" Rarity asked as she struggled to free herself from the covers. "Why are you here?"

"I smelled smoke and noticed it was coming from here." I explained as I walked over to her to help remove the blanket.

Once she was free, a pony from the table began talking. "Well! G'mornin', Rarity! Who's this fine looking fellow you have here?"

"Father! Mother!" Rarity exclaimed in surprise. Those two were her parents…? "Um…" She managed to say. "This is Alex… He's a good friend of mine."

"Well, nice to meet you, son! Any friend of Rarity's is a friend of ours!" He responded cheerfully as he held his hoof out.

With slight hesitation, I grabbed his hoof and shook it. "Thanks…"

I noticed that the plates on the table were highly burnt and smelled unpleasant to the nose. Sweetie Belle came by to place flowers on the table.

"I'll have you know that Sweetie Belle here cooked this yummy lookin' breakfast all on her own." Rarity's father told Rarity as he lightly nudged Sweetie Belle's mane.

Rarity walked over to the table with confused eyes and observed the contents. "I... figured." She lowered her head to one of the cups and sniffed it, pulling away after. "I didn't know you could burn juice."

"I've been giving her lessons." Rarity's mother answered, placing her elbow on the table which caused the plate of burnt eggs to hop for a second. "I wouldn't be surprised if she's got a cutie mark in fancy cookin' by the time we get back from our vacation."

"Vacation? Is that this week?" Rarity asked, shocked once again. "As in 'starting this very instant this week'?" Sweetie Belle placed a bowl of bubbling gray liquid on the table. "Uurh. Let me guess; apple sauce?"

"Nope. Toast!" Sweetie Belle answered. How can you make toast into liquid…? "We're gonna have the bestest time two sisters could ever have! I'm gonna go grab my stuff from Dad's wagon."

After Sweetie Belle left, Rarity continued her pursuit for the serious answers to her questions. "So, now, when you say 'a week'... is that, um, seven whole days?"

"And six nights, I know! Such a short time to spend with your little sis." Rarity's mother replied, taking the question the wrong way.

"You gonna eat that?" Rarity's father asked, pointing to a plate of unknown substance in it.

Rarity pushed the plate towards her father, who took it without hesitation.

"But I've got such a long to do list. Oh well, I suppose 'spend time with your sister' will just have to be added to the list."

A crash sounded in the kitchen, causing us to look where it came from. Sweetie Belle had brought in many bags from small to large as they lay on the floor. "Just a few necessities."

Rarity sighed but managed to present a false smile towards her parents.

Afterwards, her parents called a taxi carriage to take them wherever they needed to go. I stayed behind with Rarity because I assumed she was going to need help in cleaning up the mess in the kitchen.

"Now, let's get that kitchen all cleaned up." Rarity announced as we walked back into the kitchen.

"Cleaned up? But we haven't even eaten yet." Sweetie Belle responded.

"Well now, Sweetie Belle, I appreciate the gesture, but we simply can't eat this breakfast, it's burnt."

"It's not that burnt." Sweetie Belle answered as she analyzed the totally crisp and black unknown object on the plate.

"Never fear, my dear, I'll get a proper breakfast going." Rarity began taking out things from cabinets as she hummed cheerfully.

"Can I help?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Oh, er, of course, in one moment, Sweetie Belle. Let me just get things started."

"I'll just go ahead and remove the food from the floor…" I said and grabbed a few paper towels to wipe the floor.

Sweetie Belle waited patiently as Rarity began readying breakfast and I cleaned up the mess in the floor. However, after some time, I could see her patience was wearing out as she soon lay herself down in tiredness. When Rarity was mixing something in a bowl, Sweetie Belle finally spoke up. "Rarity! I thought you said I was gonna help!"

"You are! You... can..." Rarity tried to think of something. "…put the garnish on the plates."

"You mean this parsley?" She asked when she spotted it on the counter.

Rarity nodded. Sweetie Belle grabbed it with her mouth and walked over to the plate of eggs.

"Okay, now easy!" Rarity immediately warned when Sweetie Belle took position. "It has to be just right! No need to rush." Sweetie Belle began to carefully lower her head to place the parsley. "No! That's too slow." Sweetie Belle placed her hoof on the table to regain balance. "Careful! Back up!" Rarity placed herself behind Sweetie Belle when the stool she was standing on was wobbling. "Looking for perfection here..."

"Whoa, whoa!" Sweetie Belle lost her balance and fell on top of the table, throwing the food upwards in the air.

I quickly spotted the plates and caught them before they landed on the floor. The piece of parsley had slowly floated onto the plate of eggs.

"Not... bad." Rarity expressed and walked over to me. "Thank you, Alex. That was excellent."

"It's no problem." I responded as she picked up the plates from my back and fixed the table to place them on there.

After breakfast, Rarity and I used towels to clean up the rest of the mess, such as the water that spilled when the plates flew up in the air. Once we were done, we placed them in a pile on top of the table. Rarity looked at the clock and noticed it was two. She gasped. "There are some things I must attend to." She grabbed the towels and moved them towards Sweetie Belle, who was scrubbing the floor with a brush. "Can you take the dirty towels to the laundry room?"

Sweetie Belle held out her forelegs to catch them, but they were dumped on her anyway. "No problem, I'll make myself useful!" She exclaimed cheerfully as she placed them in a basket and with her head, pushed them to the laundry room.

"Sorry, Alex." Rarity told me. "But, I must get to work. Thank you for helping with the mess, however."

"You're welcome. I'll let you go then."

Rarity smiled and walked towards her room.

After, I headed towards Fluttershy's to see if she was hungry.

She opened the door after I knocked. "Hi, Alex!" She gave me a hug.

"Hey, Fluttershy." I replied, releasing a warm smile. "Are you hungry? We could go over to Applejack's to get something to eat."

"That's sounds lovely."

As we began walking over to Sweet Apple Acres, Fluttershy began speaking to me.

"Alex, did you hear about the Sisterhooves Social?"

"Sisterhooves Social?" I asked.

"Yes. It's this event that is hosted at Sweet Apple Acres. Sisters participate in a race with obstacles and whoever reaches the finish line first, wins."

"Sounds like fun. Only sisters can participate?"

"Um…I'm not sure… I've only seen sisters there…"

"Hm…oh well…"

We arrived to see Applejack setting up stacks of hay.

"Hey, Applejack." I greeted as we walked up to her. "Are you working on the Sisterhooves Social?"

"Yes, sir! This here hay is a part of one of the obstacles."

"Well the work you're doing looks great. By the way, I was wondering if Fluttershy and I could grab a bite here."

"Sure thing, Alex! We got a bucket of apples here already!"

"Thanks." I responded with a light smile and picked out some apples for Fluttershy and me. After, I walked over to her and gave the shiniest ones I could find. Fluttershy noticed the gesture and planted a kiss on my cheek.

After we finished eating, we saw Sweetie Belle walk over to Applejack's as well. I looked at the expression on her face, which returned a glum one. She walked over to a stack of hay and laid herself on top of there, blankly.

Applejack noticed this and turned to speak with her. "What's wrong, Sweetie Belle?"

"Nothing…" She replied in a dejected tone as she rubbed her hoof on the stack of hay.

"It sure don't sound like nothing."

Applebloom rushed over to Sweetie Belle in an excited manner. "Well, what'd she say about the Sisterhooves Social?"

"She didn't want to do it… she told me it was uncouth."

"'Uncouth'? She said the Sisterhooves Social was 'uncouth'?" Applejack asked, irritably.

Applebloom had dove into the bucket of apples and chewed on them. She popped her head out of the bucket as she continued to consume apples. "Yeah! Uncouth?" She threw the one she had in her hoof in her mouth and ate it, releasing a loud belch afterwards. "Wait. What's uncouth?" She asked, spraying out pieces of apple which seemed to ironically counterattack or answer her question.

"It's not just the Social. She thinks I'm uncouth." Sweetie Belle added.

"Honey, Rarity thinks everything's uncouth." Applejack assured.

Applebloom walked over to Applejack, continuing to drool and slobber noisily as her mouth was full with apples. "What's uncouth?"

"It means uncivil. Y'know, bad mannered?" Applejack answered. Applebloom released another loud belch and grinned. "Exactly!" Applejack replied cheerfully. "Sweetie Belle, just give Rarity some time. She'll come around. Sisters always do." She explained as both Applebloom and Applejack stood together. My eyes drifted away when a false claim arose from my memories.

"Not sisters like Rarity." Sweetie Belle responded, angrily.

"Come on, now. Applebloom and I got some chores to finish up on. Maybe you can help!"

"You sure you want me to help? I just mess everything up!"

"Oh, come on, that's just stinkin' thinkin'. Watch!" Applejack walked over to a tree, which contained dropped apples below it. She leaned and lowered her head towards a bruised apple that even contained a worm in it. She picked it up carefully with her teeth and threw it over to Applebloom who had pulled out a bucket and placed it on her head. They both giggled and laughed as they continued on with their game. "Good catch there, Apple Bloom! Whoo!"

"This is a chore?" Sweetie Belle asked as they tossed and caught a few more apples.

"Since we can't sell the bruised apples, we gotta collect them all for the pigs to eat." Applejack answered as she kicked another apple which landed inside the bucket.

Applebloom placed the bucket down and hopped in the air to bounce another apple with her flank and have it go inside the bucket. "It's a lot of work, so we make a game of it. Wanna try?"

"Um, okay!" Sweetie Belle accepted, leading Applejack to kick an apple towards Sweetie Belle. However, the apple landed on her horn instead. "Ow." She expressed and began rubbing her head with her hoof.
"You're right, it is hard work."

"That's why we do it..." Applebloom began.

"Together!" They both stated in unison.

"Hmph, Rarity never wants to do chores together." She expressed, returning that irritated look she had before.

I jumped off from the stack of hay Fluttershy and I had been sitting on and walked towards Sweetie Belle. "Cheer up Sweetie Belle. Rarity loves you and she always will. She's just busy at the moment and is feeling a little bit stressed out." Her expression hadn't really changed much. "If it makes you feel any better, I'll do stuff with you."

Sweetie Belle's face brightened up. "Really?"

"Sure." I responded with a smile.

"In that case, why don't y'all help us with some other stuff around the farm? It's a lot of fun!"

"Why not?"

Fluttershy flew over to me. "I'm sorry, Alex. But I need to go feed Angel." She placed a hoof on her chin and looked downwards with a wondering expression. "He's been a little antsy lately…"

"Okay, Fluttershy. I'll see you later."

We exchanged a kiss and she began flying towards her home.

"Well then…" Applejack announced. "Let's get started!"

Applejack walked us over to a large cylinder bucket. She placed several groups of grapes inside and called out to Applebloom. "Applebloom! You're up!"

Applebloom raced over to the job, bouncing happily until she caught up with Applejack and jumped into the bucket. After, she began pounding her hooves on top of the grapes. On the bottom, Applejack turned on the faucet which began leaking juice into a jar. "You're... making... grape juice?" Sweetie Belle asked as she observed the juice pour into the jar. "Rarity would call the fashion police on me if I got grape juice anywhere near her precious outfits!"

"Well that's silly!" Applebloom exclaimed from the bucket. She dove into the grapes, splashing a bucketful of grape juice on Applejack.

"Applebloom!" Applejack replied in an irritated tone.

"Please, Applejack, she didn't mean—

Applejack ran over to the bucket and dove straight towards Applebloom, who was standing on the edge. She playfully tackled Applebloom inside as she began giggling "How d'you like them grapes, y'little whippersnapper!" Applejack joked as she rubbed the juice on Applebloom.

I looked over to Sweetie Belle's face which grew a bright grin. I could tell she liked the kind of fun Applejack had with her sister.

After they finished with the grape juice, they herded the sheep back into their pen.

"Wow. It's as if they were just one pony." Sweetie Belle commented as we saw them cheer and slap hooves.

"Way to corral some critters, sis!" Applejack praised.

"You coulda just asked." One of the sheep expressed, but had the gate to the pen shut in front of her by Applejack.

As Applejack and Applebloom walked together towards the next chore, I noticed Sweetie Belle form a frown. "Rarity never high-hoofs me."

I looked at her and formed a light smile. I held my hoof down towards her. She looked up to me and noticed this. She managed to lightly smile as well and accept my high-hoof.

We walked to Applejack and Applebloom who were wiping their faces clean with a towel. Applejack turned to us and smiled. "Now that we have all our chores done, what do you say we all have a nice camp-out?"

"Ooh! Ooh!" Applebloom bounced joyfully. "That's a great idea!"

"Alex?" She asked me, awaiting my answer.

I smiled and nodded. "Sure."

Applejack had set up a green tent somewhere in her orchards. Even though we weren't really in the forest, it still gave that same feeling as apple trees surrounded us. Applejack made a fire and pulled out a bag of marshmallows. She placed one each on four sticks and gave each of us one. She took a seat on a log while Applebloom took a seat across. I sat with Sweetie Belle as we all held our marshmallows above the fire.

"Thanks for spending time with me, Alex." Sweetie Belle told me as she continued roasting her treat. "I knew you could have spent it on something more important than having fun with me."

"Don't say that Sweetie Belle… You're as much important as any of us are…" I looked over to the other girls and smiled. "Right?"

"Mhm!" They smiled back and nodded.

Sweetie Belle released a light smile to all of us until we suddenly heard a pair of hooves gallop towards us. "Sweetie Belle!" It was Rarity. She had rushed over to Sweetie Belle. "Oh, I have been galloping all over looking for you. I—

Sweetie Belle turned her face away from Rarity, cutting off her sentence and surprising all of us.

"Oh hello, un-sister. What are you doing here? Better be careful. You might get some dust on you." Sweetie Belle replied in a satirical tone.

Applejack, Applebloom, and I could only watch, unwilling to get involved.

"Oh Sweetie Belle, I want to apologize. I am not better off without a sister."

"I'm not better off without a sister either." Sweetie Belle turned her face back towards Rarity. "Spending the day with Alex, Applejack and Apple Bloom made me realize that."

Rarity formed a bright smile. "Oh, Sweetie, you don't know how happy I am to hear—

Rarity had raised her hoof to touch Sweetie Belle, but Sweetie Belle knocked it away. "And that's why I'm adopting Alex as my big brother!"

My eyes suddenly widened in shock and Rarity reacted in her own expression. "WHAT?"

Sweetie Belle dashed over to me and wrapped her arms around my foreleg, causing Applejack and Applebloom to react in shock as well. "A sister is someone who loves and takes care of another sister. Alex may not be a sister, but he can definitely be a brother! He's a real brother."

I analyzed Rarity's face as she grew an annoyed look. "Uh…" I tried to say something. "Sweetie Belle…Rarity's your true sister…I can't be a brother…only a friend."

"Or maybe he should be your brother," Sweetie Belle directed at Rarity. "So he could teach you what a good sister is supposed to be!"

"I…uh…" I couldn't really think of anything to say or reason with.

"But I don't need lessons on being a good sister, I, I promise!" Rarity desperately tried to reason with Sweetie Belle. "Listen! I'll show you how to cook my favorite quiche! Or, or I'll show you the proper way to beautify your mane. Won't that be fun? Hm?"

Sweetie formed an angry and annoyed look on her face. "Hmph!" She grunted as she began walking towards Rarity, forcing her to back away. "You want me to go home with you, so we can do what you wanna do?"

"Uh..." Rarity thought. "…yes?" She brought out a wide grin.

"Just forget it!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed and stormed off. Applebloom ran after her.

"Well, that apology went swimmingly." Rarity strained as she walked over to us. "Alex, why do you have to be so good and make me look so bad?"

"I know you're trying to be a good sister, and apologizing is a step in the right direction… but you have to do much more than that…You've got to understand that Sweetie Belle only wants to spend time with you. She doesn't want to hurt you…" I lowered my head and looked at the ground. "She only wants to feel like you love and appreciate her…"

"Alex is right." Applejack added. "Bein' sisters is like... apple pie. You can have amazin' apples, and you can have a wonderfully crispy crust, but only together you can have a perfect apple pie."

Rarity pulled back and thought about it. "...but apart, all we are is just a pile of mush and some crumbly dry mess..." Rarity gasped and stood proudly. "I know what I need to do! I just hope it isn't too late!" She dashed over to me and placed her hooves on my shoulders. "Alex! I need you to do something for me."

"What is it?" I asked.

She sighed. "I need you to enter the Sisterhooves Social with Sweetie Belle."

"What?" I asked, surprised.

"She'll only attend if she knows she's going with you!"

"But…Isn't the Sisterhooves Social for sisters?"

We looked towards Applejack for an answer. She sighed happily and brought that answer for us. "Well…I suppose I can make an exception." She chuckled.

"Then I guess I can…what do you have in mind, Rarity?"

"Well, you see…as much as I dislike the…unsophisticated manner of the sport…I want to participate with Sweetie Belle, but since she doesn't like me right now, she'll only go with you."

"I see…then what do you have planned?"

"I was hoping for some way to switch with you during the event. And I can't let her know it's me until after, otherwise, she might cause a scene in the middle of it."

"I think I can help with that." Applejack included. We looked to her to see her grinning. "Right in the beginning of the Sisterhooves Social, there is a giant mud pit. If Alex can 'slip' into there, you can switch spots with him. Sweetie Belle won't be able to tell the difference because you'll be covered in mud."

"So…you're saying that I'll have to wait inside the mud until it's time?" Rarity questioned with fear in her tone.

"If you really want Sweetie Belle as your sister, I suggest you take it."

Rarity sighed. "Ooh…Very well then… This is for Sweetie Belle!"

"One thing though…" Applejack added. "How will you be able to hold your breath for so long?"

Rarity presented her horn. "Magic. Duh."

Applejack sighed happily. "Well, we better get some rest before the big event."

"Yes…I must prepare for…" She shivered. "…the mud…" Suddenly, her face glowed in surprise. "A mud bath! Yes! I'll pretend it's a mud bath!" Afterwards, Rarity left the orchards, leaving only Applejack and me.

"I guess we aren't going to have that camp-out after all." I chuckled lightly as I helped Applejack remove the tent.

"It's okay. Some other time, especially when all these 'sister problems' are over."

"Yeah…you're right."

Once Applejack gathered everything she needed to return back, we headed back to the farm. After, she bid me goodnight and headed off to bed while I began walking over to Fluttershy's.

When I arrived, I noticed that her lights were still on. I walked up to her door and knocked lightly. After a moment, she slowly opened it and was surprised to see me.

"Alex! I didn't know you were coming…"

"Sorry." I apologized as I smiled lightly. "I just thought I could sleepover tonight so we could go to the Sisterhooves Social together in the morning. Besides, there's something I need to tell you."

"Of course! Come in." She opened the door enough for me to come inside and closed it after. We both sat on the couch. "What is it that you need to tell me?"

"Well…you know how Sweetie Belle was a bit upset with Rarity?" I asked.

"Mhm." She nodded her head.

"After you had to go, we continued being with Applejack until she decided to have a camp-out. During that camp-out, Rarity had found us and pleaded Sweetie Belle to forgive her. Instead, she…um…'adopted' me as her big brother. Just a little while ago, Rarity, Applejack, and I came up with a plan to fix everything. At the Sisterhooves Social, I'm supposed to participate with Sweetie Belle and switch with Rarity in the mud pit."

"Oh, my…well I really hope everything works out…"

"I'm sure it will…Sweetie Belle is just…a little misled right now…she'll see how good a sister Rarity is when she sees what she does."

Fluttershy managed to form a smile. "You're right." She stood up. "Let me get you some covers."

After a moment, she came back with some blankets and placed them on the couch.

"Thanks, Fluttershy." I told her.

"It's no problem, Alex. It's nice to have you here…"

I smiled and kissed her. "Goodnight, Fluttershy. I love you."

"I love you too." She embraced me for a moment and retired back to her bed upstairs.

I turned off the lights and tucked myself in. I had already felt a little sleepy, so it wasn't much trouble to fall asleep.

"Why did you do it…?"

"What…?"

"Why did you run away?"

I immediately woke up due to the sight of the very familiar pony. I sat up and placed my hooves on my closed eyes. Why did that pony look so familiar…? Could it be…? No. I shook my head. No, it couldn't…

"Are you awake already?" Fluttershy asked me from behind.

I turned around. "Oh…yeah…"

She walked over to me with concerned eyes. "Is something wrong?"

"Oh, no… I just had a weird dream…that's all."

"Oh, okay…but you're feeling better, right?"

I stood up from the couch. "Yeah, much better. Thanks for asking." I presented a smile and kissed her.

She smiled as she slightly blushed. "…you're welcome…"

"Do you think the Sisterhooves Social is set up already?" I asked her.

She recovered from her blush and answered me. "I think so. Want to go see?"

"Sure."

We began heading towards the site of the event after exiting the cottage.

Along the way, we saw Applejack, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle instantly noticed me and ran over to me, joyfully. She wrapped her forelegs around mine and smiled brightly. "Hello! Big Brother!"

"Uh…" I responded, uneasily on what to say.

Applejack looked to me and winked, indicating the plan we had in store to restore the relationship with Sweetie Belle and her big sister. "C'mon, Sweetie Belle. You don't want to miss the Sisterhooves Social, right?"

Sweetie Belle removed her forelegs and looked over to Applejack. "Oh, right!" She looked back to me. "C'mon big brother, let's go!" She began pulling my hoof towards where we were all headed while I could only give Fluttershy a helpless look.

It wasn't that I didn't want to be Sweetie Belle's…brother… It's just that…I'm not supposed to be her brother. I can't be her brother. Rarity is her sister, and as far as I know, her only sibling. That's the way it needs to stay. It wouldn't be right for this to continue. Luckily…we have a plan…which will hopefully work…

As we entered the annual event, a couple of balloons, helplessly floating upwards in the sky, greeted us. We immediately saw a couple of stands set up. One was currently active as we saw a couple pairs of sisters munching competitively on their own apple pies. The pair with the blue handkerchiefs shot their hooves up as soon as they had finished their pie. The referee brought a blue ribbon to their grinning and apple pie-filled faces. The other pair contained bits of pieces of pie on them and noticed how the other team won.

"...well, I guess it's a good thing Rarity isn't here." Sweetie Belle commented as we passed by more fun-filled events. "Do I see 'uncouth' written all over this contest?"

Applebloom and Applejack looked at each other to try to think of something to say, but Applebloom suddenly changed the subject and ran over to the pig pen nearby. "Look at the size of that pig!" She directed to pigs rolling on the mud with their ribbons attached to them. There were more sisters participating inside.

"He sure is a cutie." Applejack added with a grin.

On the contrary, Sweetie Belle continued her annoyed expression. "That's the last word Rarity would use." She began mimicking her. "Oh my, what a repulsive monstrosity! This thing needs a head to toe makeover!"

Applejack and Applebloom looked at each other uneasily once again, but the sound of horns saved them. "It's almost time!" Applejack exclaimed and both of them began walking towards the event.

"Well, you two have fun..." Sweetie Belle announced sadly. "…sure wish I had a sister to run the race with..."

I knew how Sweetie Belle felt. She made herself feel as if she didn't care about her sister anymore…but inside… she didn't want to forget about her. She really didn't want to lose her. She couldn't forget about her. Her heart wouldn't allow it. I wanted to fix this as soon as possible.

"Well, you have a brother, don't you?" I asked Sweetie Belle, smiling at her.

"Alex! Would you? Really?" She questioned my offer with bright and sparkling eyes.

"Sure, why not?"

She immediately placed her hooves on me and hugged me.

Suddenly, we heard a sound on the megaphone. "Is this thing on?" Granny Smith announced. She accidently rotated the megaphone backwards and placed her ear towards the front. "I don't think this thing is on." She told Big Macintosh who was standing near her. "Hello!" She shouted weakly into the front of the megaphone. Big Macintosh came over to her and began whispering to her, pointing at the megaphone. "What is the- e- oh. You have to say so. Confangled modern doohickeys." She raised her hoof from her rocking chair and smacked the megaphone, causing it to twirl until it switched to the right position. "Now, the event you've all been waiting fer! The Sister Soci- The Socialhoof- Oh, dabnabbit, you know, the big race! We have five teams this year fer the event! So y'all head on up to the finish line, y'hear?" Applejack, Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and I headed to the starting line as I looked at Fluttershy and nodded, reminding her about the plan. "Eh? The start line!" Granny Smith corrected. "That what I said…"

"That's us!" Sweetie Belle whispered excitedly towards me.

"Good luck!" Applejack and Applebloom expressed to us.

"You too." I responded and prepared myself…for the switch out. Before we started, Applejack placed her hat on my head and winked. Right…the horn…

"And may the best sisters win!" Granny Smith announced as she continued rocking on her chair. "On your marks... get set..." As the other sisters readied themselves, Granny Smith moved too far on her rocking chair and accidentally poked her eye with the megaphone. "Gooooo!"

We immediately started off in a gallop. As the others jumped over the mud pit ahead of us, Sweetie Belle hopped cheerfully on it like it was land. I took a deep breath. Well…this is it. I voluntarily allowed myself to fall in the mud pit.

"Alex, are you alright?" I saw Rarity who had formed a bubble around her and me.

"Yeah…I'm fine." I answered as I felt myself covered with mud. "You should get going, Sweetie Belle's probably wondering what happened to me." I placed the cowboy hat Applejack gave me on Rarity so her horn wouldn't be revealed.

"Of course! Thank you!" She looked as if she wanted to hug me, but I was covered with mud. "Remember…just a mud bath…" She told herself. She took a deep breath and jumped out of her bubble that she left for me.

After a moment of waiting, I exited the bubble and swam upwards. I poked my head out of the mud pit and looked at the status of the race. Rarity and Sweetie Belle were nearing the end when another pair of sisters suddenly raced past them. Rarity and Sweetie Belle saw this and immediately began running after them. They were now side by side, racing for first place. At the last gate, the two pairs both took a leap in hopes that they landed past the finish line. They created a large dust cloud, and I had to wait until it disappeared. When it did, I noticed how Rarity and Sweetie Belle hadn't made it by a few feet, yet neither did the other pair. The successful sisters to win the race were Applejack and Applebloom who flashed through the finish line and were walking proudly after the referee gave them a ribbon. They walked back towards Rarity and Sweetie Belle.

"Ooh, so close! You almost won!" Applebloom exclaimed.

"Thank you, Alex!" Sweetie Belle hugged Rarity. "You were amazing! I don't even care that we didn't win. That was so much fun!" Sweetie Belle excitedly hugged Rarity, but the force of her impact caused the hat to come off and reveal Rarity's white horn. "Huh?" She noticed the horn and scrubbed off the mud from Rarity's flank, revealing her three diamonds. "Rarity?" Rarity easily shook off the mud and presented herself. "Wait, where's Alex?" I pulled myself up from the mud pit and walked over to them, swinging off the mud I had. "I don't get it."

"We switched places in the mud hole." I explained as I formed a smile on my face. Fluttershy flew over to me and joined us.

"So... we did the whole competition... together?" Sweetie Belle asked Rarity.

"That we did, little sister. Well, except for the start line." Rarity answered.

"But you finished together!" Applebloom added.

"You mean... you were all in on it?" We all nodded. "You did this for me?"

"Us. I did it for us." Rarity replied. Sweetie Belle smiled and hugged Rarity, causing us to feel very much relieved to see the scene. "You see? We are apple pie!"

"Huh?" Sweetie Belle questioned, confused.

"Uh…" Rarity chuckled nervously. "I'll explain later. For now, I think we deserve a celebration!"

"Yeah!" Applejack, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle cheered.

"Where?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"The spa, of course." Rarity responded almost quickly, causing the girls to fall to the floor laughing.

"Oh, Rarity."

"No, I, I, I'm serious."

I analyzed Rarity's face and realized that she did deserve a trip to the spa, especially for what she sacrificed to restore the relationship between Sweetie Belle and her. "Come on. I say we all go." I offered, figuring I could probably receive some cleansing myself from diving into the mud.

After spending the rest of the day with the girls at the spa, I felt instantly refreshed. Applejack and Applebloom walked back home while Fluttershy and I stayed with Rarity as she walked with Sweetie Belle towards their home.

In the front of the shop, we saw Spike standing with a bright grin on his face.

"Spike, what are you doing here?" Rarity asked with a puzzled expression on her face.

"I just thought…the most beautiful one… could use any assistance today?" He replied, love struck.

"Actually…" Rarity answered as she tapped her hoof on her chin. "I suppose you could write a letter to Princess Celestia from us."

"Anything you need!" He instantly pulled out a letter and quill.

"Come along, then." Rarity led us inside where she and Sweetie Belle began to do their hair.

Spike sat near the fabric shelf with his quill ready as Fluttershy and I sat on the other side of the room, smiling. Once Rarity and Sweetie Belle finished fixing their manes in bows for some reason, Rarity walked over to her little sister. "Very well then, what should we write to the Princess?" She asked.

Sweetie Belle walked to the mirror and observed herself. "I'll start. Having a sister is just about the bestest thing in the world. But it sure isn't the easiest."

"I agree that being sisters is a wonderful thing, but it takes teamwork." Rarity added. "Sometimes it's about compromising. Sometimes it's about accepting each others' differences. But mostly, it's about having fun together." As much as I loved hearing their letter…I couldn't help but feel saddened when their letter brought up her in my mind again… My eyes lowered themselves to the ground and my eyelids slightly lowered as well. "Even if it means getting your hooves a little bit dirty."

"A lot dirty." Sweetie Belle challenged.

"A little bit dirty." Rarity reassured.

"A lot dirty!"

"A little bit dirty!"

"A lo—

Spike immediately intervened and placed his claws on both of their mouths. "Hold it, hold it! How about a medium amount of dirty, not too little, not too much, just right?"

"Deal!" They both exclaimed and hugged each other.

Fluttershy must have noticed the expression on my face because she looked at me with a frown as well. "What's wrong, Alex…?"

"Oh." I answered, slightly startled. "I, um…" I looked over to Sweetie Belle and Rarity. "I think I'm going to go. I hope you two have fun."

"Thank you, Alex." Rarity responded. "See you tomorrow."

Fluttershy and I began walking towards the door, but I felt something stop me from behind. I looked behind me to see Sweetie Bell smiling at me.

"What is it, Sweetie Belle?" I asked her.

"I'm sorry about the whole 'adopted brother' thing…but if it's okay… I still think of you as a big brother!"

"Really…?" I questioned, emotionally surprised.

"Yep! You're super nice and all that stuff! You'd make an awesome big brother!"

I managed to form a light smile along with the sensation of water in my eyes. "Thank you, Sweetie Belle…"

"You're welcome, Alex! Bye!" She raced back to Rarity to continue their fun together.

I continued walking out, feeling almost a tear drop escape from my eyes.

When I had exited Rarity's shop, I walked Fluttershy home.

"Well…I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Fluttershy…"

"Hold on." Fluttershy placed a hoof on me.

"Huh?"

She remained silent for a moment. "Come inside."

I did so and we both took a seat on the couch.

"What is it, Fluttershy?" I asked her.

"…I want to know what is bothering you." She answered, almost boldly.

"What do you mean?" I questioned.

"You were happy until you suddenly frowned. Something has to be bothering you. Will you please tell me what it is?"

I slightly looked away and sighed. "Well…when I saw Rarity and Sweetie Belle together…it reminded me a lot of my sister…"

"Your sister…?"

I lightly nodded. "Yeah… Sweetie Belle's really lucky to have a sister that cares about her. Sure…Rarity can be a little…too sophisticated at times…but she's a lot better than my sister…you know… I wonder how it feels like to have a sister that really cares about you. How it feels like to spend time together and laughing…" I shook my head. "…but it's over already. I have to get over it."

Fluttershy placed a hoof on my shoulder. "I wish there was something I could do…but that's between only you and your sister. Maybe she'll apologize to you? Maybe you both will settle things together…"

"I doubt it…she and her parents have probably already forgotten about me. But…" I shrugged. "Life goes on, right?"

Fluttershy embraced me passionately. "I really wish I could help you with that, Alex."

I lightly smiled and wrapped my hooves around her. "Hey, hey. It's alright… As long as I have you and the other girls…I'll be fine. You all are my family now."

She slightly pulled away. "Still…"

I replaced her worries with a kiss. "It's alright… You should get some sleep now. I'll go ahead and head on back home. We'll see each other tomorrow, okay?"

She smiled as well. "Okay. I love you, Alex."

"I love you too, Fluttershy." I stood up from the couch and headed towards the door. I opened it and looked behind me before stepping outside. I waved at her and offered one of my smiles before I left.

When I arrived back home, I jumped on my bed as usual. I began thinking about many things as I lay staring at the ceiling. I wanted to believe I was done with my old family, since I had the girls, but why did I still feel like I had unfinished business with them? Aren't they supposed to be forgotten now…? Just as they most likely forgot me? I sighed mentally.

Maybe a little sleep will help me rid of this plague in my mind.

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