• Published 2nd Apr 2013
  • 11,620 Views, 408 Comments

To Be Young and Stupid - Crowley

Apple Bloom enlists your help in gaining her Cutie Mark. Adorable hijinks ensue.

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Part 9

Hurtling out of the fiery death-trap that used to be the Cutie Mark Crusader’s clubhouse, you trample over the broken door and down the tree’s simple stairway just as a rush of air causes the inferno to belch black smoke and fire, precisely where you and Apple Bloom were standing moments ago.

As your eyes recover from the stinging sensation that plagued your escape, you notice a shivering white figure curled up in mute fear, hugging her pink-and-purple tail out of shock. Sweetie Belle is watching the remains of the wooden building fall to pieces before her very eyes.

“W-w-when you two didn’t come out, Scootaloo ran off to get help!” she whimpers. Her vocals emit a squeak - or perhaps a tiny, muffled scream - when she notices Apple Bloom slung over your back, weak and motionless.

You set the earth pony filly down upon the cool, green grass as carefully as you can, laying her face-up towards the sky. To your relief, you can tell she’s breathing as soon as you see the gentle rise and fall of her chest. The cold air is already doing wonders for Apple Bloom; a weary pair of eyelids open partway, letting the filly’s tired eyes scan the fire raging in the background. Finally, her tired gaze turns to you.

“We did it.” she displays the smallest of smiles.

“Yeah. We did.”

You take her by the fore-hoof and pull her in for the most meaningful hug you've ever given to a friend. The filly’s head tucks itself into your shoulder, brushing against your neck. Her mane doesn’t quite smell like almonds anymore; far too singed for that. But all the same, you’re glad she’s safe and sound. The worst is behind you both.

And the hug makes everything better, it seems. Dispels the fear you had felt. She taught you that.

The moment is broken by the intrusion of pegasi whizzing overhead, a huge rain cloud dragging alongside them. Scootaloo reappears shortly afterwards, despite having to run without the aid of her scooter. Between her exhausted panting, she tells you that she’s been galloping all over Ponyville looking for help these past few minutes alone. She takes one look at you, then at Apple Bloom, lying on the grass outside, and then finally the burning clubhouse. It’s already started to rain a heavy downpour thanks to the pegasi’s efforts.

The four of you sit back in silence, watching the fire billowing from the windows and doorway die down slowly, revealing more of the blackened, burnt wood that had once been the Cutie Mark Crusader’s headquarters. Sweetie Belle’s bottom lip quivers. Scootaloo’s head droops solemnly at the loss.

Apple Bloom, however, is smiling.

“We can rebuild it.”

Every pair of eyes, including your own, cast an enquiring look at her. She jabs a wayward hoof forwards, “Look; the damage ain’t so bad on the tree itself. It‘s just the woodwork and the frames.”

The dainty unicorn’s eyes seem to dry a little. A challenging smirk appears on the lips of the young pegasus.

“If we can build a giant apple float in the space of a single night, rebuilding our clubhouse should be no problem at all!”

The three fillies’ hooves gather in the centre of them, one-over-another. All for one and one for all.

“Cutie Mark Crusa-!”


They stop in mid-chant, turning to the sheepish interrupter. That would be you.

“I wanna make up for… you know, setting your place on fire and everything,” you start feeling a burn of embarrassment as you speak. Though you’d prefer that to the burn of the fire you so narrowly avoided, “Can I help with rebuilding the clubhouse too?”

The Crusaders exchange looks for the shortest time, “Of course you can!” the leader grins, “I thought you wouldn’t even need to ask!”

In that case, you place your hoof in the centre too. You may already have a Cutie Mark, but to them, you’re just as much of a friend now more than ever.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders, Clubhouse Rebuilders! Hooray!”


Balancing a week of schoolwork with handiwork is tough.

By some divine miracle, neither you nor your friends were grounded for the whole ‘Clubhouse-burning-to-the-ground’ mishap. A mix of ‘Accidents happen’, ‘It could’ve been worse’, ‘Kids will be kids’ and ‘They learned their lesson’ helped a lot to smoothing the worries of parents and guardians alike.

Since it all worked out for the better, every single day after the end-of-school bell you’d walk back to Sweet Apple Acres with Apple Bloom and discuss the blueprints of the Cutie Mark Crusaders Clubhouse Mark II. At least, that’s what you call it. The others disagree.

Later, you would return home for a quick dinner where you‘d talk about your day with Mom (for the love of Celestia, don‘t mention Apple Bloom too often), after which you’d meet the fillies by the clubhouse itself. There, you’d help them rebuild in any way you can.

A school-week later, you arrive to help with the finishing touches; a lick of paint on the newly-crafted windowsills. The curtains weren’t pink this time, either, which is a plus.

With a sigh, you place the paint can on the fresh, wooden floorboards and open the brand new door to air out the paint fumes. The four of you step back, wiping the sweat from your collective brows, to admire the finished product. The clubhouse is now a little bigger - they had an extra pair of hooves helping, after all - but only a little. The tree itself could only take so much.

You leave the Crusaders to admire their handiwork and head out to the balcony hugging the outside of the wooden building. You could use the fresh air anyway. The late-afternoon sun casts a bunch of cool shapes and shadows off the surrounding apple trees as it slowly disappears behind a distant mountain.

“Pretty view, huh?”

You turn your head to the side. Apple Bloom, the cute, bow-wearing leader of the group herself, is leaning against the freshly built balcony railings.

“Yeah. Yeah it is.”

She sits down next to you. You don’t mind the girly scent, or her warm fore-hoof brushing against your own, perhaps by accident, perhaps not. Of all the fillies in the world, Apple Bloom’s the only one who you’d allow to do that.

"Look, there's somethin' I really need to tell ya," she says, "remember last week when I was really bummed out about somethin', but you didn't know what?"

"I remember," you smile, thinking back to it, "You felt way better after I hugged you."

"Of course," she turns to you, but only for a moment, "Because that's exactly what I wanted in the first place."

You sit there for a while with her, letting her words sink in, watching Celestia’s sun hang low in the sky as the late-afternoon breeze sways every branch in the orchard. You’d stay there for the rest of the day, but as kids, sitting still for more than five minutes is all but unheard of, especially out of school hours.

Even Apple Bloom is shifting and fidgeting. No, maybe she’s cold? The day was dragging on, after all. What else can you do? You take your foreleg and wrap it over her shoulders. Just to show that you’re there. In response, she takes a soothing breath and leans toward you.

At first, you think she’s just leaning in for a hug.

Imagine the shock when you feel her lips push up against your cheek, her snout scrunching up as it’s being pressed against your face. It lasts only for a second, maybe even less. But the theatrical, unmistakable ‘smooch’ sound made her actions clear to you.

Your beet-red face turns to meet her own, her smile complimenting her own faint blush. In that very instant, you forget how to speak normally.

“Sorry if that took ya by surprise,” she giggles, “Just my way of sayin’ thanks. For helpin’ with the new clubhouse and... pretty much everythin’ else.”

A few words of pure gibberish are what passes as your most refined response. Instead, you ignore the need for words and just enjoy the moment, you and the best filly in Ponyville, ready to face the changes life brings, and ready to take on the world.


Two little fillies are peeking out from their new clubhouse window. They’re spying on the two young ponies outside on the recently-crafted balcony. The fillies in question probably won’t be getting their Cutie Marks in spying any time soon.

“D’aww! Scootaloo, did you see that!? Apple Bloom just smooched him right on the cheek! It was so adorable!”

The pegasus’ ears flick in mild irritation. “Ugh. So Apple Bloom’s turning him soft?”

“Aw, come on, Scootaloo; just because they like each other, it doesn’t mean they’re all girly now! Besides, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge things for being soft.”

Scootaloo huffs, folding her wings by her side, “I guess so…”

“That’s the spirit!” Sweetie Belle squeaks, giving her friend a cuddle.

“Nargh! Geddoff me! Ah, whatever…”

(Spoiler; you now have a hnnng.) - Crowley

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Comments ( 199 )


well; a new story... interesting :trollestia: can anyone say, "Me Gusta"? b/c I think I jut did 10 times :pinkiehappy:


just what I never wanted but will still read, like, and favorite with gusto!


Am I gonna enjoy this?
You damn right I will.
It's Crowley, motherfuckers.

This may or may not be relevant, but...

Now I know what I'm doing tonight

You never cease to entertain me. Keep at it!:pinkiehappy:

To Be Young and Stupid.

Story of my life.

Mine is "To be Young and Crazy"
Always had a fascination with playing with sharp things...

2360450 Yeah, me too. I've gotten too many band-aids on my hands from even attempting to successfully play Five Finger Fillet. My friends keep calling me crazy for it, but I like the thrill of the imminent danger.

I just enjoy handling knives, so it's not a big surprise I took a liking to cooking- where you can play with both fire and knives in a socially acceptable manner.

Sweet and awesome:rainbowkiss:

So what about the scooter?

Yes....YES! I shall read it someday soon.

Commence read!

This should be interesting.

Thanks Crowley.

that spoiler at the end was HIGHLY inaccurate. i DO NOT have a "hnnnng".

i have a couple dozen mega-hnnnnng's :pinkiehappy:

I honestly would've expected Applebloom to get her cutie mark from rebuilding the clubhouse and kissing the colt for helping her get it.

All of the cute. This has it.


*Takes my newly earned Hnnng and puts it in his pocket for later use*

A second person fic done right..

I love you. Take all my everything!

2361278 You're fucked. Seriously, fuck off.

Aww, how cute. I AM having a hnnng.

... I can't believe that no one else saw this... If it took them a week to Rebuild the clubhouse, how could the thing where Applebloom is bummed out, which happened the day before the fire, have been yesterday. Fuck time?

I noticed that as well. My answer?
... Yeah, I got nothing. MUFFINS!:derpyderp2:

My answer? I dun goofed! The fic initially had them rebuild it in a day, and I forgot to change that bit accordingly! Fixin' that now! :derpytongue2:

Stayed up well into the early morning hours to finish reading this fic after I started. Was absolutely worth it! :rainbowwild:
Well done, Crowley! This story was a most excellent read! :twilightsmile:

2362084 The gutter is way too f[Buy some apples!]g high for me. Hell, it's bad enough trying to climb up to the sewers!! I've got a special level of hell reserved for me. Try watching this and not laughing.

You lied. I didn't have a "hnnng", I had an "EPIC HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGG!"

Oh, and as well:
"You sit there for a while with her, letting her words siink in, watching Celestia’s sun hang low in the sky as the late-afternoon breeze sways every branch in the orchard." Look at the sink. But, amazing story! Keep it up! For once someone puts the CMC in a story and has them act as they would.

That was so damn adorable. I normally stray away from the 2nd person narrative stories but this one was surprisingly refreshing. It really illustrated the begins of innocent love and was overall just a good quality story. I'll definitely have to look through some of your other fics with there of this quality. haha well when I get back from work today at least.

Crowley you utter genius, you've done it again! Can't wait for your next story :pinkiesmile:!

2360243 Mine is simply... To be young and absolutely insane. :pinkiehappy: Cause what fun is there in being normal? It's boring.

Sweet and heartwarming.:pinkiesmile:

Daww, so cute. Must smile!

I have a hnnnngggg indeed, but it was totally worth it. :heart:

One of the most adorable things I've read lately. You made my day :twilightsmile: thank you for writing this.

Just wondering, is your 'slightly bigger' clubhouse version the same as the one on ask the crusaders blog? I also have no idea if Drunk Crowley is you on tumblr. Cheers if it is anyhow

Okay, I just finished reading the whole story, and all I can say is that i'm sad it's over. Everyone else has said everything else that matters, so there.

This is quite possibly the most adorable fic I've read on this site.

Watch out, many of them are rather Mature! :twilightblush:

Yeah, that's me. I just watch other tumblrs though; I never post things! Can't draw to be able to!

A shame Apple Bloom was too busy trying to survive to have a cutie mark-level epiphany. Maybe she just doesn't realize some ponies aren't instinctual engineers. Ah well, still heart-meltingly adorable.

Also, not sure if implied Scootabelle. :unsuresweetie:


2363060 Welp, found you on Milky Way's tumblr. I also do not enjoy watching for certain qualities, nope!


But in all seriousness, I'm just surprised that no one asked if she's married, has a special somepony in mind (if she's not) or even kids.

2361685 I think all writers like ourselves have been waiting for this.

Good show, rather, fic, sir! Take a like and favorite from me! :raritywink:

2362090 ... I'm bad. I laughed. :applecry: :pinkiesad2:

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