• Published 30th Dec 2012
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The Pinkiemian Rhapsody - Key Strix



"Is this the real life? Please tell me it’s just fantasy. I’m now tangled in strife with no friends left for me. With tears in my eyes I look up to the skies and plea: I’m Pinkie Pie and this isn’t my reality."

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Party Hardly

My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic

The Pinkiemian Rhapsody

Written by Key Strix
Editor and Assistant: hauntu4ever
Proofreader: RatherHomely
Grammar Nazis of the Highest Honor: Mooretis and Raryn

~This is a non-profit fan made story. All characters belong to their respective owners.~


“Is everypony ready? They should be here any minute.”

“I-I don’t know about this, Pinkie. Don’t you think it might be just a bit too much for the little guy?”

“Fluttershy, even if this isn’t what he wants, it’s what he deserves.”

“Yup. Ain’t no one better to give it to ‘im than us. If anything-ack!”

“Ow! Applejack, watch where you’re going!”

“Well fer’give me, Rarity! Jus’ way too dark in here! Can hardly see mah own hoof in front of mah face!”

“It’s fine, it’s fine! Just move that leg over a smidge before this gets awkward.”

“Ah did.”

“Then whose leg is...? Spike! Stop that!”

“Sorry, Rarity! It was an accident, honest!”

A splash of moonlight split the darkness as the door opened briefly, silhouetting a teal pegasus that quickly flew into the room. “Alright! They’re coming!”

“Good job, Dash! You are just the bestest of lookouts! Now grab a good hiding spot so they won’t know what hit them!” A menacing giggle filled the darkness.

“Already on it, Pink. Also, stop laughing like that. It’s super creepy.”

Everyone had stopped talking, but a soft, constant thumping noise kept complete silence at bay.

“Angel, dear,” Fluttershy whispered plaintively, “please stop kicking me. We’ve got to stay quiet now. I promise it won’t be for much longer.”

The soft noise of padded drumming faded moments before the same door slowly creaked open. Twilight Sparkle stepped in with Owlowiscious perched upon her back. Her horn glowed, giving off a light which washed away the darkness that shrouded her library.

“SURPRISE!!! Happy birthday, Owlowiscious!” All the ponies yelled as they leapt from cover behind tables that contained various foods and games. The ponys’ playful pets, Angel, Gummy, Tank, Opalescence, and Winona, also popped out to eagerly swarm around the birthday boy.

The owl blinked, appearing unphased. “Hoo.”

Twilight, who looked equally surprised, gazed around the colorfully decorated room, then from one pony to the next. “Happy to see that you all could make it.” She wore a weary smile and dark bags under her bloodshot eyes.

Pinkie, impatiently watching the other ponies offer their best wishes to the owl, was finally unable to stifle her giggles any longer. She ran over to Twilight’s side and beamed her wide smile straight at Owlowiscious. “You should have seen the look on your face! It was priceless!” The mare couldn’t help but slip into a high pitched rant. “Fluttershy was all worried that we might’ve scared you off, but I was like ‘no way gurl’ and then I was like ‘surprise!’ and you went all ‘gasp!’ and you totally flipped your stuffing! But, that’s okay! It’s your first birthday party in Ponyville! I was the exact same way during my first b-day here too, ‘cept with more feathers. A lot more. But, as your official party planner, I’ve got a lot of fun stuff lined up for you tonight!”

“Hoo.”

“That’s right! There’s gonna be so much to do, your head will spin! Kind of like it normally does, but maybe a little faster.”

Twilight’s mouth opened wide to let out a tiresome yawn before looking to the mare who excitedly bounced in place. “You really went all out, Pinkie. I’m surprised how you got so much set up so fast.”

“When you’ve been party planning as long as I have, big setups become a piece of cake! Oh, oh, oh! Speaking of cake, I made a nice big one for everypony!” Pinkie pointed a hoof to the table in the middle of the library. Upon it was a large, delicious smelling chocolate cake with strawberry and vanilla icing that spelled out Happy Birthday Owlowiscious.

“Good.” Twilight nodded. “But, what about the special order?”

“Oh, that? Not to worry! It’s good to go!” Pinkie grinned, facetiously adding a wink.

Spike had waddled over to the group and found himself groaning. “Aw, really?! You actually made that thing, Pinkie?”

Pinkie nodded. “Yuppers! Was quite an odd challenge. Not my best work, but I still think it turned out great.”

“Ugh.” The little dragon rolled his eyes, his repulsion now carrying him beyond the group. “Remind me to move out of town when you bring it out.”

Twilight watched as Spike wandered further away before turning her attention back to Pinkie. “Well, I can’t thank you enough for taking care of all of this while I’ve been busy.”

“Anything for a friend! I would’ve done this even if you weren't so busy!”

“Hoo.”

Pinkie snorted a chuckle and looked to the owl. “I know, right?! Though you might not want to say that out loud. Someone might get offended. Come on!” She held out a hoof. “Let’s give droopy eyes here a break. We’ve got some party games to play!”

Twilight kept her smile as she watched Owlowiscious hop from her back to perch on the other mare’s lifted foreleg. With the two leaving her to relax, Twilight stood off to the side and watched the others mingle.

Everyone else partook in the festivities laid out by the overseeing party planner, Pinkie Pie. But, it wasn’t long before curiosity overcame the guests, having noticed that the red-eyed Twilight was having a hard time keeping her head up and her eyes open.

“What’s wrong with Twilight?” Fluttershy nudged Spike before pointing to the pony who had managed to fall asleep whilst standing. “She’s been acting strange this whole party.”

“We’ve just been on a long study cram for something with Princess Celestia. I think she’s gotten one hour of sleep total during the past two days.”

Rarity couldn’t help but add in her thoughts. “Obviously. Just look at that tousled mane and those baggy eyes. She’s dreadfully-”

“-lacking her beauty sleep.” Rainbow Dash cut in. “Yeah, we know the line.”

Before Rarity could counter such a bold presumption, Applejack butted in between them. “Then Ah reckon we all get to singin’ and eatin’ in honor of our birthday boy. Maybe some good eats will help Twilight wake up so she can enjoy the party too. So, what do ya say, Party Planner? How ‘bout some grub?”

Pinkie looked up, her head soaked with water after a round of bobbing for apples. She spat out the fruit that was caught between her teeth, wildly shook her head dry, and then turned to Owlowiscious, who nudged his beak at the apple as it rolled in front of him.

“Well, you look pretty hungry! What do you think? Should we go ahead and eat now?”

“Hoo.”

“Woah! I know some pretty risqué jokes, but even I wouldn’t say that.”

The other four looked between each other, befuddled by the answer.

“Pinkie,” said Fluttershy, “could you teach me to understand owl speak?”

“Certainly! When I learn to do so, I’ll make sure you’re my first student!” Pinkie giggled as she brought Owlowiscious to his perch at the center table with the large chocolate cake. “Everypony, find yourselves a seat! Just hold tight on eating till I get everything ready!””

Twilight snorted and shook her head as she was disturbed from her sleep by Applejack’s nudging.

“Food time, girl,” She said, pointing a hoof to the table where everyone else was gathering. “Best take your seat right next to the birthday owl.”

Pinkie stood back and watched as everypony gathered around the table.

“So,” Rainbow Dash held a rather anxious smile as she looked around the crowded table. “You all read it, right?”

“It?” said Rarity. “Oh! It!”

“Yeah! So what’d you think?”

“I-uh… Fluttershy, care to take this answer?”

Pinkie decided to leave the group to their conversation as it was time for her to get to work. So, she turned and trotted to the kitchen.

Once inside, Pinkie Pie tried to be quick as she rummaged around for everything that she needed for the feast. However, she was forced to a stop as a line of twitchy reactions went off.

A tail shake.

A left forehoof stomp.

A neck spasm.

Two right eye twitches.

Afterward, she remained silent and still. An ominous feeling crept through her; she knew that such a long line of twitches usually meant something bad was going to happen. But yet, it was a pattern of jolts that she’d never felt before so she hadn’t a clue as what to brace herself for. Pinkie swallowed hard, then looked all around the kitchen and even out the window to try and spot what triggered her Pinkie Sense. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. “A false alarm?” she wondered aloud as she kept looking.

“Pinkie! What’s taking so long?! I’m starving here!” Dash shouted from the neighboring room.

“Nothing! Nothing at all!" Pinkie didn’t want to spoil the party, so she shortened her search for any sign of danger before giving up and continuing with her work. She prepared a tray, grabbed some silverware, and pulled out the surprise gift. After she placed it upon the tray, a smile crossed her lips that chased away her fears. “Oh... that must be what the warning was for! Getting all worried here for nothing.” She spoke only to herself before she playfully announced out loud for all others to hear. "So is everypony ready?! Because here it comes!” After equipping the biggest smile she could, the party planner made her way out of the kitchen. She had a small cake on a silver tray balanced upon her head and a bundle of silverware in her hooves.

A foul stench quickly filled the air. Everyone held a look of pure disgust as they watched Pinkie Pie pass by them while she hummed a delightful birthday tune. On the tray she carried was a small, mangled, dirt-brown cake with a sponge like texture that strongly smelt of fish. One after another, instead of singing along, they covered their noses and complained.

“What is that dauntingly wretched smell?!”

“Holy barrels of bad apples Pinkie! That’s a heck of a stinker!”

“Oh, oh my! So very awful!”

“Yuck! That thing’s totally rank!”

“By Celestia, I think I made a big mistake…”

“Don’t say I never told you so, Twilight!”

“Oh quit being such silly fillies! That’s not how you sing a birthday song!” Pinkie giggled and waved a hoof at them before she placed the plate in front of Owlowiscious and set the silverware off to the side.

“What is that made of?!” Fluttershy questioned with both hooves held over her nose.

Twilight responded with a nauseous look as she too shielded her own nose from the wretched smell. “Well, Owlowiscious doesn’t really share our same dietary choice. As usual with other owls, he eats insects, worms, spiders, small fish, and mice.”

“Oh. Oh no.” Rarity waved a hoof to try to shoo away the smell. “Do not tell me that thing is a compilation of them!”

Twilight tucked her head and whimpered, “I thought he would enjoy it.”

“Aw, gross!” Rainbow Dash made exaggerated gagging noises. “Pinkie Pie, how could you make that pile of gunk?!”

“That’s what I said!” chimed Spike.

“Come on, you guys,” Pinkie cheerfully spoke as she finished lighting the few candles on the nose-offending cake, “it’s not that bad, and making it wasn’t very hard work either. Well, catching a fish was. But, the spiders and bugs? Just had to scrape out-”

Applejack suddenly shouted over the mare, “Pinkie, Ah will pay you a filly’s weight in bits for you to not finish that sentence!”

Pinkie shrugged off concluding said sentence as she turned her attention to the birthday boy. “Okay, Owlowiscious! Blow out the candles and make a wish!”

“Hoo.”

The flames hardly shifted.

Pinkie kept her smile beaming at his adorably failed effort. “It’s okay! I’ll get that for-” a loud knock on the front door abruptly interrupted the party planner.

“Now who could that be?” Twilight asked while she pushed herself up from her seat, looking to have been fueled with energy, as if she had been shocked awake by the devastating stench. Everyone watched in silence with their noses held while she opened the door.

On the other side of the door was a tall stallion. He had a horn, a pitch-black coat, a white mane with a single blood-red stripe, and ruby eyes to match. His cutie mark: a white sword with a blue star on it that was engulfed in a black artistic fire. The scar over the Unicorn’s right eye claimed that he was dangerous, but the soft tone of his voice contradicted it.

“Hello, Twilight. It is I, your brother, Thornstar Ravenblack.”

Everyone around the table had a variety of confused expressions as they watched the two at the door.

Twilight looked as if she was staring at a ghost. “Brother?” she echoed, eyes slightly shifting as her weary mind was hard at work.

“Yeah. Don’t say you've forgotten all about me while I was away, Twi.” The stallion nodded with a sheepish smile. “May I step in? Or do you want me to stay out in the dark? It may be cold out here, but I’m used to it. I can understand if you don’t want me around.” Despite his large and well-toned figure, he strangely managed to pass off being rather timid.

A small glimmer passed through Twilight's eyes before she smiled and spoke up. “Oh, Thornstar! I hardly recognized you! It’s been so long and you've gotten so... big! Please, do come in. Make yourself at home.” She stepped aside for her brother and closed the door behind him.

Pinkie peaked a single brow, having a hard time understanding who just walked in, “I... really wasn’t expecting anypony else.” Her eyes shifted before deciding to hold up her smile. “I guess it couldn’t hurt to squeeze in another pony at this table! Plus, he’s family right?” She looked between Thornstar and Twilight. “Maybe we could turn this into a bit of a welcome party too.”

The stallion made his way over to the gathering, but didn’t bother taking a seat at the crowded table just yet. “So, these are the friends you’ve sent me so many letters about. It’s good to finally meet them.” Clockwise, he looked from one to the next.

“Funny,” Applejack quipped with a lifted eyebrow, “because Ah ain’t never heard of you befo-” She cut out as she looked the stallion up and down. “Oh! Ah remember now.” Her lips curled into a smile. “Twilight mentions you all the time.”

“Yeah! That’s right!" Rainbow Dash shot the stallion a challenging grin. "She said you were super-fast and all that stuff.”

“And that you were really good with animals,” Fluttershy added ever so quietly.

Pinkie’s look of excitement slowly turned into one of confusion as she looked between her chatty friends going off about the stranger. “Wait… what? I don’t remember any of this.”

“Oh, Pinkie.” Twilight stepped over to her side, “I must have told you hundreds of times about him. You really need to start paying attention more-” she yawned, “often.”

“Excuse me?” Pinkie spoke skeptically. “I’ve always been paying attention! Lots of attention! I have to if I want to be a super good friend and party thrower! The only family you’ve ever mentioned is Shining Armor and your parents!”

The stallion grimaced slightly as he looked to Pinkie. “If you don’t remember me, that’s fine. But I ask you to please not bring up our parents.”

“Huh?” Pinkie tilted her head with an inquisitive tone. “Why?”

“They died a long time ago, around when we were all just little fillies and colts.” Thornstar glanced to Twilight, who was clearly growing more depressed as he reminisced. “Shining Armor, Twi, and I grew up on the streets of Canterlot together till we went our separate ways.”

“That’s,” Fluttershy whimpered as she wiped a tear from the corner of an eye, “such a sad story! I never knew! How could you never tell us that, Twilight?”

Thornstar responded for her. “It was quite a rough life. I’m sure my sis didn’t want to bring your spirits down is all.” He nodded a smile to Twilight.

“Wait,” Pinkie Pie interrupted, drawing attention back to her, “that doesn’t make any sense! I saw your parents not that long ago!”

“Pinkie!” A clearly angered Twilight spoke up. “How could you make up such a thing?! That’s no way to joke around!”

“B-but I’m serious this time!” Pinkie stammered with a worried look as her eyes flashed from one pony to the next. “I met them! We all did! We were all with them at Shining Armor’s wedding!”

The stallion stepped around to face Pinkie, as if confronting her directly. “I’m sorry, but as much as I wish they were myself, a carriage crash long ago took them from us.” He had subtly switched from being timid to having a calm and almost emotionless tone. “There's no possible way they could have been there.”

Pinkie couldn’t help but show pure disbelief as many memories of the wedding flooded into her mind. “Nuh-uh! No way!” She raised her voice. “We took pictures and everything! And where were you the whole time?!”

“I’ve been away under special training. It’s… really secretive stuff.” He turned his gaze off to the side.

“Apparently you haven’t been training your memory!” She tapped at his chest with a hoof. “Mr. and Mrs. Sparkle are just fine!”

Twilight suddenly stepped around Thornstar so she wouldn't be blocked from view as she scolded the mare. “Alright Pinkie! Just stop it! I’m in NO mood for any more of this joking of yours!”

“Wh-what?” Pinkie blinked, having been caught off guard by the unicorn’s outburst and sharp eyes.

Twilight nearly snarled. “If you’re going to act so insensitive by continuously bringing up such a made up tale, then maybe you just should just leave!”

“T-Twilight?” Pinkie’s voice softened greatly upon hearing such a threat. “Why… why aren’t you listening to me? I’m... I’m not making this up at all. I’m just-“

“Don’t push this any further.” Her bloodshot eyes sharpened.

“But...”

Twilight stomped her front right hoof at the sound of Pinkie still opposing. “LEAVE!”

The word struck deep. Pinkie looked from one pony to the next. It was clear to her that the others simply felt too awkward about the unsettling situation and picking a side was too hard of a choice. With a disheartened expression, Pinkie turned to help Owlowiscious’ and blew out the candles on his cake before making her way over to Gummy. “Come on,” she held out a hoof. “Seems we’re not wanted here any longer.” The tiny gator jumped up and latched onto Pinkie’s foreleg with his toothless jaws, letting her carry him to the door. She paused for a moment to look back at the crowd, silently hoping that somepony would call her back.

Twilight had placed herself between Pinkie and the table, and continued to give a virulent stare.

The glare made it completely clear. Her friend was officially kicking her out of the party. Without another word to the angered Twilight, the new pony, or her other worried looking friends, Pinkie left.


The distance to her house was short, yet traversing it felt like forever.

“Why? Why did this turn out so badly?” Her voice was ripe with sorrow as she sluggishly dragged her hooves along the ground, looking only to them as she went. “Everything was going great,” she said aloud to no one but herself. “Everypony was happy. Was I really that rude? Rude enough to interrupt the fun? I didn’t mean to be.” Oddly enough for her energetic self, she felt tired and found herself leaning against the edge of the large town fountain. “Could it be that this really was all my fault? I should probably go back and apologize. Maybe Twilight will even forgive me then.”

Pinkie rested her chin upon the pearl fountain ledge and stared into the water below, spotting a pink, poofy-haired mare staring back her.

The mare’s returning gaze was accusingly sharp.

An uncomfortable feeling crept up Pinkie’s spine as she watched her reflection for only a moment. Rather than keep looking into those judging eyes, she quickly pulled herself away to continue onward.

It wasn’t long till she saw her house. “Maybe I should apologize later. She did just kick me out. She, being Twilight, and Twilight, being one of my best friends… kicked me out. Out of the only party I’ve ever been kicked out of in my whole life.” Her voice lowered; her throat swelled. Pinkie shook her head and sweetened her tone as she spoke up. “Maybe it’ll be rude of me, again, to return so early. Though, I hope this didn’t ruin any of the celebration for Owlowiscious. Maybe I should also say sorry to Thornstar. He seemed like a nice enough guy. I’m sure we could even be good friends.” She then looked up at the front door of Sugar Cube Corner. There, in the window of the door, was that same pony again.

That pink, poofy-haired mare gave Pinkie an even more intense stare than before. Her head tilted further downward and her eyes sharpened greatly. It was as if the pony in the glass had heard everything Pinkie said and loathed each and every one of her words.

Pinkie couldn’t put her hoof on why, but that judging stare suddenly got to her. Her forced smile faded. “What?” Pinkie snapped at the reflection. “You have a problem with that? Well, I’m trying my best here! I’m going to do just what I said. I will be going back to say I’m sorry. Twilight is going to forgive me. I’ll even be good friends with that new guy. So deal with it!” Pinkie immediately turned her attention to the full door of the shop and swung it open.

For a split moment, she actually felt the urge to slam the door behind her after she entered, but the thought that it might wake Mr. and Mrs. Cake, or their children, convinced her to shut it softly. She put Gummy down and watched him turn about to stare at her with his usual blank expression. After looking into those big purple eyes, Pinkie couldn’t help but realize her aggressive manner and the frustrated look upon her own face. “Oh! I’m sorry about that, Gummy.” She sighed deeply, trying to ease her tension away. “I didn’t mean to get mad like that. I won’t do it again, I promise. Also, I know you wanted to stay and play with your friends. I did too, but,” her swallow felt like rocks being pressed down her throat, “but, there’s nothing we can do about that now. We’ve been party banned and I don’t think we can go back till the party stops.”

Pinkie was briefly interrupted as her stomach growled, but she didn’t take her eyes from the gator for very long. “It’ll probably be best to rest. You know, just sleep off this bad night and work on everything tomorrow. I’m just going to grab a snack before we go to bed, okay?” She smiled as best she could to show him that she was relaxed.

Gummy turned around and waddled away.

Immediately, Pinkie regretted skipping out on lunch so that she could pig out at the party, which was no longer an option. Figuring that maybe something sweet would help ease her frustrations, she slowly lumbered off towards the kitchen. Each step of the way, images kept flashing through her mind. That accusing stare from the other pink pony. That intense glare of Twilight’s. But, most of all, images of Thornstar. Every time she tried to think on what he said, Twilight’s yelling popped into her mind.

LEAVE!

That word alone coming from one of her best friends hurt, and hurt badly. Every time it darted through Pinkie’s thoughts, her growling stomach tightened. She opened up the fridge and snagged a bowl. It was the one she used to store the leftover chocolate icing from the large party cake she’d spent all the other day making. Pinkie popped off the bowl’s lid, grabbed a silver spoon, planted herself at a table, and dug right in.

One bite.

Two bites.

Three bites.

Nothing. She didn’t feel any better as her thoughts kept straying back to the party.

LEAVE!

Pinkie felt a tear fall free from the corner of her eye and looked down to watch as it dripped from her chin and landed in the bowl. She pushed it aside and sniffed as she dried her cheek. “Twilight is actually really mad at me, isn’t she?”

“You got that right.”

Pinkie rapidly blinked and looked around for where the voice came from. Her eyes halted on the spoon in her right hoof. In it was that other pink mare, holding that same cold stare as it spoke.

“What did you expect when you started questioning the death of her parents in the middle of a party? You should really know when to keep your mouth shut.”

Instead of acting normal and flinging the spoon across the room while screaming in horror, Pinkie looked down from the distorted reflection as she whimpered. “I-I didn’t mean to...”

“Doesn’t matter,” the image kept scolding her. “What you did not only plucked all the wrong strings, but likely helped ruin Owlowiscious’ first birthday party. I doubt a simple ‘sorry’ is going to get Twilight to forgive you so easily. Don’t you even remember that twitch you had in her kitchen?”

Pinkie’s eyes watered even more and pushed tears down the side of her face. Each word dug further and further into her. She sniffed hard, keeping snot from dripping down her snout. “It-it wasn’t trying to warn me about bad smelling c-cake?” Her voice cracked some. “You think it was trying to tell me that... that...” Pinkie’s eyes felt like they could burst at any moment as the pressure from her overbearing sadness of the very thought squeezed around her throat, “that one of my best friends might actually leave me so easily? Over a single argument?”

“Now you’re thinking,” came the simple, cold response.

Her heart sank. She just wanted to bury her head in her forelegs and cease any effort in stopping her tears from soaking into the wooden table.

“But it’s okay.”

“Huh?” Though her vision was blurred, Pinkie noticed when she looked back to the reflection, its hair had lost its puffiness. It had fallen flat. There was even a subtle touch of color loss in her coat. “What do you mean? This is terrible! How could any of this possibly be okay?”

“Because it’s not really your fault.”

Pinkie perplexedly peaked a single brow. “But, you just said it was.”

The image shrugged. “Well, only on the aspect that you should know when to keep your yap shut.”

Pinkie kept whipping at her cheeks. “I... I don’t understand.”

The spoon sighed. “Of course you don’t. You might be thinking all that now, but you’re not thinking very well. Can you at least try to recall when things started to spiral out of control?”

The tears had stopped flowing as Pinkie’s eyes shifted while she pondered aloud. “Well, it was shortly after her brother showed up, and mostly when I started asking him about a bunch of things.”

“You’re doin’ good so far. There might be hope for you yet.” The image nodded. “However, you’re still forgetting something! Your memory, mainly when it comes to things about friends, is fine. You may not be the brightest candle on the cake, but you can remember the name of each pony that has shown up for Applejack’s family reunion. There’s no way you’d ever forget, or even make up, such important details about Twilight’s family.”

“So,” Pinkie lifted her head slightly, “you’re saying that I’ve really met Twilight’s parents? That I didn’t imagine the whole thing?”

“Exactly. You remember that and many other important things about Twilight as clear as a sunny day. As clear as the clean air of Ponyville. As clear as a glass of water. As clear as a crystal pony. Maybe even as clear as-”

“Just get to the point already.”

“Okay, fine, miss fussy flank! That dark unicorn guy. Once he stepped in, all this stuff you knew went all crazy-like. He may have been the real reason your Pinkie Sense acted up, and the real reason for Twilight’s attitude!”

“So… you think he could have done something to her? Maybe, cast some sort of hex? He didn’t seem like he was out for anything bad.”

“Duh, you dummy! Didn’t you see all of that hesitating? That strange look in Twilight's eyes? That looked like a hex if I ever saw one. How else could he have muddled up such important memories of hers? He’s probably just some stranger that’s out to manipulate her. You know I’m most likely right. So, are you just gonna stand by and let your friend be manipulated by this so called brother of hers?!”

“Well, no-”

“Then it’s settled! It’s time for Inspector Pinkie to get to the bottom of this mystery! You must expose this fraud and show the others that you’re NOT a forgetful filly! That you’re NOT a bad friend! And that you’d NEVER make such cruel jokes at your friend’s expense!”

Such inspirational words further helped Pinkie’s remaining tears run dry. Maybe this drama really wasn’t her fault. Maybe this was some threat that was manipulating her friend. “You’re right!” Pinkie declared as she looked from the spoon to the night sky just outside the window. “You better watch out, Mr. Ravenblack, because I’m on to you!”

“That’s the spirit!” The image grinned. “But, before you go charging head on and get yourself into more trouble, you might want a little evidence if you’re to start questioning him again. Once more, think back to the previous questioning. What claim did you make that you actually have evidential proof of?”

For a moment, Pinkie’s eyes shifted as she rummaged through her memories before gasping. “The pictures!”

“Very good. Now, go get them.”

Pinkie quickly set the spoon aside, made her way upstairs to her room, and pulled a box out of her closet that was filled with various things she collected. “First thing: check the photo book! I know I have a copy of that picture somewhere in here.” Pinkie fished out the book and eagerly flipped through it as fast as she could. “Aha! Found it!” She grinned as she stared upon her bit of proof.

A photo of Twilight and Shining Armor at the wedding with their parents.

“I knew it,” she muttered to herself. “How could he have done something so mean?” She looked closely over the picture, mainly focusing on the proud smiles of the older ponies who stood at the sides of their two children. “Making Twilight think her parents are gone? The nerve! It’s unforgivable! But... what could he possibly gain from making her think such a terrible, awful thing? Maybe once I show this to everypony, he’ll come clean and-”

Pinkie's attention was cut short as her right ear flinched. There was a soft knock that came from the front door. She knew it was one of her friends, but which one?

Rainbow Dash.

Opening the door, Pinkie could see that Rainbow, unlike herself, was doing her best to summon up a smile. Tank was by her side, just letting his head shift from one pony to the other.

“Hey, Pink,” said Rainbow Dash as she rubbed the back of her own neck in an awkward manner. “Just came to check on ya. You know, to make sure you’re okay and all.” Her rose red eyes looked over her friend's straight mane. “You… are okay, right?”

Even though she really didn’t blame her for what happened, Pinkie wasn’t able to suppress an irritated tone of voice, knowing that Rainbow didn’t defend her whilst the likely brainwashed Twilight threw her out of the party. “Just fine.” Nor could she get rid of the soft glare in her eyes. “Did you guys enjoy the rest of the party?”

“No. No, not really.” Rainbow shifted that same hoof to rub over her opposing shoulder, unable to look back into Pinkie’s sharp eyes. “Everything got all awkward after you left. When I told em’ all that I was gonna go check on you, everypony else started making up excuses to leave, so I think the party’s pretty much dead by now.”

“Hmph.”

“Look, Pinkie,” Dash was finally able to stare right back into those sky blue eyes, “I think the lack of sleep just really got to Twilight. She didn’t really know what she was saying and didn’t know how to take you being all…” Rainbow Dash drowned out as she took notice that Pinkie’s grumpy expression wasn’t fading.

“Being all, what?” she questioned with suspicion of being belittled.

“Well,” clearly not used to dealing with the serious side of Pinkie, Rainbow’s eyes shifted nervously and decided to bite back what she first had in mind. “Being all… talking… about, you know, parent stuff.”

“I’m not a liar you know. I know what I saw and I would never make up something so terrible.”

“I never said you were! And, I know such bad jokes are beyond you.” Rainbow innocently waved a hoof. "Just seems like you might be... confused. Maybe you just met some strangers.”

“Oh?! And this supposed brother isn’t a stranger? Where did he come from?! Do you know?!”

There was yet another uncomfortable shrug along with a brief moment of silence from Rainbow. “I dunno.” She glanced away and back. “Twilight did mention him to me before, though. Said stuff about him being awesome and what not.”

“When exactly?” Pinkie asked sharply.

Dash tapped a hoof upon her own temple, obviously having a hard time recalling before repeating, “I dunno! I just remember it, okay? It doesn’t really matter when, does it?”

“Oh, it does,” Pinkie’s lips curled into a grin, “when one's a fraud!” She exclaimed right as she held out the hoof that had the evidence. The family photo.

Dash picked the photo up and examined it with a baffled expression. “Pinkie,” Dash arched a brow, “this is–uh… interesting.” She looked from it to the pony that was grinning victoriously. “But, I think Twilight isn’t the only one who’s in need of sleep.” The picture was passed back.

“What?” Pinkie blinked. Her grin slowly faded as she turned her eyes to the picture in hoof.

Twilight’s parents were gone. It was just a photo of her and Shining Armor standing side by side with soft smiles.

At a loss for words, Pinkie could only stare at the photo.

“Just get some shut eye, Pink. You need it. You probably just overworked yourself preparing for the party, and you know how worked up you get, especially when it’s a first timer’s birthday bash.”

Nothing but silence came between them as Dash watched the saddened mare.

“Look, Thornstar wants to get to know us all and I’m gonna be meeting him over at Fluttershy’s place. You’re more than welcome to join. You might like him if you give him a chance. After all, you’ve given more than one to just about everypony that’s walked through Ponyville. Just do me a favor and get some shut eye first, alright?”

Pinkie slowly looked up from the picture to Dash, slightly, very slightly, comforted by the calm smile held by her friend. She responded with only a nod.

“Good.” Dash turned around and granted Pinkie an over the shoulder flash of her smile. “Sleep tight Pinkie.” That said, she took off with Tank following via rotary belt.

Pinkie quietly closed the door. She, alone, was left to stare at the baffling picture. Despite how chaotic her mind was with questions and worries, she found her way to bed. Hopefully, sleep would put her mind at ease and tomorrow would be a better day.

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