• Published 12th Mar 2013
  • 1,650 Views, 120 Comments

Secluded Once More - AgentSnail



With Dash and Jason re-drafted into the military, Scootaloo is left alone, without that spark that made her life turn around. Now she's back where she started, and the chances that her situation's going to get better don't look good,

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Night Terrors

Night Terrors

The duo landed on Dash's front yard, and Scootaloo took a moment to stomp a bit of loose cloud back into place before walking inside. She turned and gestured for Rumble to follow with her hoof, giggling at his resistance to entering.

"You're sure Dash or Jason won't get angry at me?" He asked, tentatively taking a few steps forward.

"I don't see why they would, we aren't doing anything wrong." She disappeared into the kitchen, some rumbling sounds filtering through the door. Rumble shifted on his hooves, walking towards the couch to sit down before deciding against it. A drop of blood made its way into his eye and he cringed, trying to wipe it out.

"Here, Rumble." She tossed over a bag of ice, applying one of her own to her cheek. She walked over to the couch and laid down, resting her head on the arm. She stayed there for a moment before turning to look over at Rumble. "Sit down, come on." He sighed and walked over, gingerly reclining onto the cloud sofa. He let out a sigh, apparently enjoying the softness.

"I wish I had a cloud house."

"You don't?"

"No, my mom's a unicorn."

"Well you're free to come by anytime, you've definitely earned that right."

"All I did was beat up Silver Spoon. I kinda already wanted to do that."

"Yeah, but you did it for me, and you got pretty beat up because of it."

"I only took a couple punches, you were the one with the bloody muzzle."

"But nopony else would've done that for me, and you just did, with hardly even a question." She moved the ice bag on her face, reminding Rumble to do the same. There was a long silence, the only sound the occasional shifting of ice.

"Is someone watching you while Thunderlane's gone?"

"Yeah, Flitter is, I think. One time Cloudchaser came by, so I don't really know."

"We should probably go tell them where you are, it's almost dark out." Scoots said after some more silence. "I don't have much to do, I guess I'll tag along if that's alright."

"It's fine." He yawned. "I'm really tired."

"Yeah, same here." She got up before she could fall asleep, walking over to Rumble and shifting him around to keep him awake. "Come on, you know what ponies will say if we fell asleep together like this?"

"Probably that we must've been comfortable."

Scoots giggled. "I'll start throwing ice at you..." She warned. He groaned and got up, getting to his hooves before turning and grabbing the bag. They started to walk over to the door and he tripped, bumping into Scoots and causing them both to blush.

"S-sorry." He said, looking away to hide his pink tinted face.

"U-uh, no big deal." She got to the door first, letting out another yawn before she took off. "Normally I'd ask if you want to race, but I guess at this point I'm not going to risk it."

"Since when did you become so careful?"

"I'm just not a very good flyer."

"What are you talking about?" He lifted off, hovering next to Scootaloo. "You've been flying for what? Two weeks? Two and a half?"

She blushed again. "Well, when you put it that way..." Scoots went into a little dive, pulling up before she hit the cloud. Rumble let out a chuckle and simply started on his way, disappearing over the side of Dash's front yard. She took chase, starting an unofficial race. She got over the side to see that he had gone into a dive, and was already pretty far ahead. She pulled in her wings, launching over the side after him.

She gained ground quickly, coming neck and neck with him more quickly than she would have expected. Rumble looked over and grinned, speeding up his pace considerably and edging out a lead as she flapped her wings with more resolve. She realized a little late that she had no idea where she was headed.

She pulled behind Rumble, streamlining behind him as he banked to the right and dove a little further down, gliding over one of the streets. He started to slow down, clearly headed for one house in particular. Scootaloo grinned and waited a fraction of a second longer before she splayed her wings and decelerated, landing in front of a rather large house. She excitedly turned to find Rumble, who had touched down maybe half a second after the filly.

"I won, I won!" She pranced around in a circle, stopping as she realized that a few ponies were staring. Rumble grinned as her face turned red, and she leaned over to punch him. "You're not supposed to be the one laughing here!" She pouted.

"Okay, I'm sorry." He pulled a key out from...somewhere, and unlocked his door. "Wanna come inside?" He asked, holding the door open and pulling a note off the front, reading it over.

"I'm not sure..."

"Come on, you can at least warm up before you go home." Her wings gave an angry twitch, apparently annoyed at how much she had exerted them.

"Fine, a few minutes." She'd have to find somepony to take her up there, or sleep at Fluttershy's now, great. Thanks a lot, brain. "What's the note say?"

"Cloudchaser left it, she says she can't show up tonight because of some weather stuff, and if I do anything wrong or don't get to bed on time she'll--well, you can guess."

"She always was the vulgar one, huh?" Scoots asked, earning a chuckle from the colt.

"You don't even know the half of it."

Scoots absentmindedly followed rumble through a few rooms, before he led her into what she assumed to be his bedroom. Her jaw dropped slightly as she looked around. There were posters everywhere about some of those rock groups that had sprung up recently, but were still mostly unpopular. That was partially because of the popular power of Canterlot nobles and their irrational hatred towards the stuff. She couldn't say she disliked the music, especially from what she'd heard Dash and Jason play.

She focused on one of the posters, Metalli-pony, and tried to figure out why the bands ponies looked a little off. Jason had said that the ones from his world took things called drugs, but from how few humans she'd seen out of his magazines, they all kinda looked weird, just in different ways. Especially with their tiny little eyes.

"So, what do you think?" Rumble asked. "My brother got annoyed when I started doing all this stuff, but I think it kinda looks cool."

"Yeah, definitely." She replied halfheartedly as she moved down the wall. Her eyes came to a cork board, with brightly colored string stretching all over the place. A newspaper cut out caught her eye, the headline read, Mysterious Changeling Takes Control of Canterlot Resistance. She took a step back.

"What's this?" She asked, eyeing him suspiciously.

"I thought it'd be cool if I solved the whole changeling case your dad was part of, but that kinda solved itself."

"Oh, that's kinda awesome, actually." She paused. "So what's this yarn mean?"

"I have no idea, I just stuck it on there to make it look like I knew what was going on." She heard him shifting his hooves nervously. "I wasn't very good at detective work, I guess it's not my cutie mark." Scoots giggled, before hurriedly pulling the pad of paper out of her miniature foal sized saddlebag.

"I need to send a message." She said, sitting down and putting the pad on the ground in front of her. "Uhh..."

I'm fine, I got it back with a little help from a new friend. She wrote, sliding the paper back into her saddlebag before putting it back on.

"So that really works?" He asked.

"What, the paper?"

"Yeah, I mean Cherilee kinda freaked out about it, it just seemed kinda weird."

"It works, yeah. I'm really glad it does, it's way better than letters."

"I would imagine." They were silent for a few moments.

"Okay then, I'll just be going. Thanks for all the help." Much to her annoyance, her wing twitched again as she turned to leave.

"Is your wing okay?" She sighed.

"Yeah, it's fine, it just does this sometimes." It twitched again, a bolt of pain lancing down from the sensitive flight muscles.

"You're not fine, Scoots. How're you going to get home like that?"

"I'll figure it out, I can go stay with Fluttershy."

"Her house is on the other side of town!"

"I can walk."

He let out a sigh. "Why are you so stubborn?"

"About what?"

"Asking for help. You can just stay here if you want, no one will mind. You have a good reason."

"But-"

"You hungry? I can go grab some dinner." He walked out of the room and into what she assumed was the kitchen.

Scootaloo sighed. At least she didn't have to ask... But still, when did he become so assertive?

She followed the sound of drawers being opened and closed into the room, barely reacting quickly enough to catch an apple as Rumble tossed it. He got a few more things out of a cabinet before stumbling over to a table and setting them out in a pile.

"This is all the snack food I have, so feel free to dig in."

"Not much of a cook, eh?" She asked with a giggle as she grabbed an unopened bag of nacho flavored hay chips.

"I can be when I want to be. I cook things like charcoal, carbon, and dust. It's a pretty wide selection of stuff."

"I can tell." She took out a couple chips and shoved them into her mouth. "Ahm sho healthry." She said through her mouthful as Rumble reached in to grab a hoofful of chips as well. Their hooves brushed past each other's and they both blushed, silence descending as they continued to slowly nibble on the snacks.

"Hey, I got something we can do, hold on." He turned and rummaged through a cabinet, before pulling out a bunch of grapes. "Come on." He ran out into his living room, standing at one end. "Go over there and catch one of these in your mouth."

"Oh, I haven't done this for forever! Go ahead." He pulled off a smaller bunch, setting the rest down on the table before pulling off a specific grape and tossing it over. It went a little high, and Scoots jumped up, watching as it maddeningly bounced off the end of her muzzle and rolled under the couch. They both stared at the place the grape had just occupied before returning to their task with a shared chuckle. She got a few, quickly improving on her initial screw-ups.

"Hey, you wanna switch?" Rumble asked after a while.

"Ha, sure." She walked over and pulled off a couple grapes, tossing one over.

"I'm great at this, don't make it easy."

"Fine, you asked for it." She grabbed a few more grapes, before lobbing one towards the ceiling and following it up with a lower shot. Rumble snatched the lower one out of the air before jumping to the side and catching the other one as he slid across the hardwood floor.

"I told you." He said with a smug look.

"How do you get that good at this?"

"Lots of grapes." He said. She giggled.

"Ready?" She asked. He squared up his footing and nodded, watching the grapes in her hoof intently. She clamored up onto an ottoman, before chucking one to the right, then another to the left. She jumped off the ottoman, tossing another one towards the middle as she lost her grip on the last one and it slowly arched through the air. She landed heavily on her hooves, turning over to look at Rumble triumphantly. He opened his mouth, showing her the four uneaten grapes.

"How did you even do that?!" She asked, looking at him suspiciously. He chewed for a moment before swallowing.

"I got the first two easy, then jumped up for the middle one and slid for that last one."

"Wow."

"And Thunderlane told me I'd never impress anypony with that."

"Is that why you learned it?"

"No, I just like grapes. And throwing things."

Scoots giggled and yawned again, her wing twitching in annoyance. "I probably shouldn't have tried so hard to beat you." She said, stroking her wing with a hoof in an attempt to calm it down.

"At least you succeeded, it would have kinda sucked to do all that and lose."

"You didn't let me win, did you?"

"No, I kinda thought you were further behind." He blushed, scratching the back of his head. "Probably should've tried harder." He sighed. "At least let me live it down."

"Hey, I may like winning, but I'm not a jerk about it. Not that much of a jerk, anyway."

"That's good, I guess." He yawned. "Why'd you yawn, now I'm doing it!"

Scoots giggled. "Oh no, we're both..." She paused, her face taking on a sinister look. "Infected!"

"Aaaaah, I'm too young to die!" Rumble yelled, shaking his hoof at the ceiling melodramatically.

"And the only way to avert the sickness--quarantine!"

_________________________________________________________________

"Do you see any infected, sergeant Rumble?" Scootaloo asked, pulling her eye away from the paper towel roll she had turned into a telescope.

"No infected attacking Fort Impenetrable, general." Scoots leaned back from one of the walls of the pillow fort, squinting her eyes as she watched for any sign of the disease. She saw movement as a piece of paper fell off one of the tables.

"It moved! Hit it!" She reached back and grabbed a smaller pillow, chucking it over the wall as Rumble followed suit. Rumble's throw landed on the paper and they both sank down behind the wall, peering over the top at the enemy.

"Target down, sir." Rumble said, pulling up another pillow just in case. Another paper slid off the table, and they quickly took care of the culprit. Rumble leaned back and yawned.

"Noooo! Rumble, you brought it here with you! You've doomed us all!"

"I can--I can still fight!"

Scoots stifled a yawn. "It's all over, there's no hope!" She swooned and fell over onto Rumble, leaving a pile of giggling foals on the floor.

"We should probably get to bed though, Scoots, especially if you want to go crusading with your friends tomorrow."

She giggled and got up, nimbly hopping over the pillow wall. "Cherilee might not like us being dead at our desks either." She followed Rumble into his room, and watched him throw a pile of blankets onto the small couch.

"You can sleep on my bed, and I'll just sleep here, okay?" He asked.

"I don't want to keep you from your own bed..." She replied.

"It's fine, I've slept here before."

"But--"

"Scoots, it's fine." He trotted over to the couch and laid down, worming into the blankets until only his head was visible. Scoots smiled and looked at the pad of paper on the floor, finding a returned message: who? She grabbed a pencil off the floor nearby, taking a glance at Rumble as she wrote his name. She scampered over to his bed, laying down in much the same way as he had, making a cocoon of the covers.

"Thanks, Rumble." She said as he got back up and the room was plunged into darkness.

"For what?" He asked as he landed on the couch again.

"Just, for everything. For making this day a lot better then I thought it would be. And being there when I needed somepony." She felt a little pressure in her chest, like there was a yearning to say more, but that she couldn't find words to express.

"I was just helping out, it's not like it wasn't a lot of fun for me too."

"I'm glad, I wouldn't have wanted to take away anything from you." There was a silence between the two. "Do you want to come crusading tomorrow?"

"You want me?"

"Well yeah, you don't have a cutie mark, and you're a lot of fun to be around. You fit the bill."

"I guess I'd have to ask Flitter or Cloudchaser, but I should be able to."

"Cool! Hey, you have an alarm or something set so we don't miss school?"

"I'm surprised you care as much as you do."

"Jason told me not to miss school, he said he'd find out one way or another if I did."

"Ha, okay. Night Scoots."

"G'night Rumble." She shifted amongst the warm blankets and found an even more comfortable position as she quickly drifted off to sleep with thoughts of the day swirling in her head.

_____________________________________________________________

Thud!

Scoots' eyes shot open, looking around in the darkness for the source of the noise. She jumped out of bed and trotted over towards Rumble, keeping her eyes on the door.

"Psst, Rumble." There was some light clattering, and then...

Thud!

Scoots yelped and jumped onto the couch, hoping to take the high ground against whatever was out there. She took a step back and stumbled as her hoof landed on one of Rumble's legs that was hidden below the blanket. She fell backwards onto him, a fierce blush burning across her face as Rumble woke up and tried to figure out what was going on. Before he could figure out why there was a filly on top of him, another thud sounded through the door.

"What's that?" He asked, immediately going rigid and sitting up. Scoots shook her head.

"I don't know." She breathed, returning her stare to the doorway.

THUD!

"What the fuck is going on?" Scoots whispered as she backed against the wall with Rumble. They sat stock still, pressed against the corner of the couch for several minutes, finally breathing a sigh of relief after they thought the trouble had passed. Scootaloo was the first to notice their positioning and eased herself away, blushing like a mad pony.

"Sorry, I just--I was a little scared, sorry." As far as she could tell in the light, Rumble looked about the same.

"I-it's fine, I was too." He paused for a minute, as if debating whether he wanted to continue. "AndI'mgladyouwerehere." He let out a sigh, as if he had just finished a tongue twister in record time.

"What?" She whispered, giggling as his demeanor reversed direction.

"I'm glad you were here, I--I dunno, I felt better, safer maybe. Or at least, less alone." He blushed and hung his head. Scoots didn't know what to think, usually she had just thought of her own feelings about Rumble, not the other way around. It made her feel empowered, though, to know that she, the filly that had been alone for so long, could actually make other ponies get the friendship they deserved. Scoots had always thought herself more on the receiving end of problems rather than a help to others.

"You really mean that?" She asked after what must've been a while.

"Yeah, I wouldn't have just said it for no reason, I me--"

Scratch scratch scratch scratch scratch

"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH" They yelled in unison, retreating back to their corner, arms automatically wrapping around each other's form. They became silent as the scratching continued, looking around the room and trying to find the source of the sound.

"It's coming from the window." Rumble breathed. Scoots looked over, catching a glimpse of what was indeed a claw of some sort swipe over the corner. Rumble pulled a couple pillows towards them, setting up a somewhat futile pillow wall. The scratching stopped, leaving a tension as the foals waited for the next noise that they knew would come.

Thump!

_________________________________________________________

Cloudchaser trotted happily, a few groceries carefully stuffed into her saddlebag. She looked up at the gently rising sun, admiring the yellow light it cast across the landscape. It was funny for her, usually she just ignored most of this nature mumbo jumbo. But today seemed kinda intriguing. She turned down a side street, setting her eyes on Thunderlane's house.

It annoyed her to no end that he had left for the war, just when he was finally seeming to notice her. It wasn't fair. She'd taken this house-sitting job as a good sign, that he at least acknowledged her as a trusted friend. That was something, at least.

She sighed and paused a moment to grab Thunderlane's house key out of her saddlebag before turning into his frint yard and walking past his dog. Grey Thing, they called him. Thunderlane had said Rumble came up with the name, actually. Something about how fuzzy he was when they got him. Guess Rumble'd forgotten to let the poor guy in last night. She chuckled to herself as she put the key into the lock and turned it, opening the door.

The mess she found caused her jaw to drop, but not because of how messy it was. It was just such a strange mess, so orderly. A small pile of pillows there, a grape here. She started to walk across the room, the pile of snack food in the kitchen catching her eye as she walked by the door. Her hoof came down on a grape and she slipped, landing face first on a pillow. She cursed under her breath and got up, carefully stepping over the pillow and checking out the little fort Rumble had made instead.

It was pretty complicated, for something made out of such simple blocks, she mused as she slipped on a pillow and landed face first on a grape. More cursing followed as she scraped what was left of the berry from her forehead and onto the floor, deciding that she'd need to yell at Rumble for all of this. Something that actually came as a surprise, given how quiet and introverted the kid seemed, and how usually things stayed fairly orderly.

"Rumble, where are you? You forgot to let Grey Thing in!" Cloudchaser walked down the hallway leading between the living room and the bedrooms, entering his door at the end of the hall. She looked around, her eyes scanning across Rumble against the corner in the couch. She took half a step towards him before her eyes caught the orange and purple filly that Rumble was leaning against.

"Rumble!" She yelled, causing the duo to react in what looked like more fear then was necessary.

"Please don't eat me!" He paused as his vision came into focus. "Cloudchaser?"

"Yeah, it's me, what're you doing with a filly in your bedroom?"

"W-well, she--"

Scootaloo spoke up. "I'm Rumble's friend, Scootaloo." She looked around suspiciously, worried that the thing from last night would come back. "And he let me stay here after I kinda killed my wings racing him. So he took the couch here, and let me sleep on his bed, but then there were all these thunks, and something was scratching on the window, and we got scared."

Maybe she'd misjudged the situation, Cloudchaser thought. Hopefully she'd misjudged the situation, anyway. "So if you're friends, how come Rumble's never mentioned you before?"

"Probably because we kinda became friends yesterday..." She twiddled her hooves, blushing a little given the fact that she was still leaning against Rumble. But she wasn't embarrassed enough to move, she kinda liked it, in fact. "It's a long story."

Cloudchaser grabbed a chair from the desk behind her and pulled it into the middle of the floor. "Oh, do tell." She sat in the chair and alternated staring between them, waiting for one of the foals to speak. Eventually Scootaloo started.

"I was in class, writing my parents on this little magical pad of paper that sends the text automatically. It's that right over there, actually." She pointed to her discarded saddlebag and the pad that had fallen out next to it.

"Okay, Rumble's mentioned a student with something like that. Go on."

"Diamond Tiara stole it, and I--" she hung her head. "I couldn't handle the loneliness. Rumble found me in the park crying, and he cheered me up. I asked him if he would help me get the paper back and he agreed, so we went over to Tiara and took our stuff back."

"So that explains the bruises, I guess. You're okay, I take it?"

"Yeah, we're fine." She paused, waiting until Cloudchaser seemed to be done studying their injuries before continuing. "Anyway, then we went to my house and got some ice, and I ended up accompanying Rumble here, mostly because I wanted to race him. But I kinda overdid it, and Rumble let me stay here."

"What about the grapes and pillows?"

Rumble shrugged shyly. "We played some games."

"The grape thing, really?"

"We had fun, leave me alone!" He yelled, his face turning slightly pink. Cloudchaser snickered.

"Fine, you're off the hook. Go get ready for school, you little lovebirds." Their faces turned a brilliant shade of red, as Rumble stumbled over a few words of denial.

"W-we aren't--"

"I'm just joking with you, make sure you clean up before you leave, though." Rumble nodded and started to get up before was stopped by Scoots.

"We have time. And you're soooo comfortable." Rumble blushed again. She eventually got up, stretching a few times before jumping to the floor and quickly putting her saddlebag back together.

"Hey Scoots, did you get the homework done?"

"Yeah, took me like five minutes, why?"

"How'd you do that? It took me forever to do half of it!"

"Oh yeah, you had to estimate." She scoffed. "Grab it, I'll show you something cool." Rumble pulled a saddlebag out from under his desk and extracted a folder, sliding a piece of paper out of that.

"But how'd you skip the fractions here?" He pointed to one of the problems that asked for the estimated slope. "The best we could do was take close numbers."

"Wanna see what Jason taught me?" She asked, grinning like a mad pony as Rumble nodded. "See this equation here, 2X^2 +6X?"

"Yeah..." He replied, not seeing where she was going. "Well you take the exponents and multiply the number in front by whatever number the exponent is, and then you subtract one from it." She scribbled on the paper. "So it becomes 4X+6"

"Where'd the second X go?"

"It's to the zero power, so it equals one. One times six is six."

"Okay, so what are you supposed to do with this?"

"You plug in the X, so in this case 4.5, and Y is the slope."

"So Cherilee doesn't know this?" Rumble asked, a smirk dawning on his face. "This is going to be fun." He hunched over the paper and started working on the rest of the problems.

"I can go start to pick up..." Scoots offered.

"No, it's fine. I'm the host, you're not supposed to do anything. I guess I can't stop you though."

She giggled and walked into the hallway, taking a sniff and smelling some breakfast. Her task forgotten, she turned to walk into the kitchen, but was taken out as Grey Thing tackled her over, slobbering all over her face as he bounced around in the normal happy go lucky dog fashion.

"So it was you!" She poked the dog in the chest, and he tilted his head comedically. "You were the one making the noise!" She heard the clattering of a food bowl and Grey Thing bounced away into the kitchen, nearly taking out Cloudchaser's hind legs as he ran past.

"Why you little--" Cloudchaser mumbled as she turned back to the stove, breaking an egg into one of the pans. "I see you're awake," she said, not turning away from the pan. "You better hope that you told the truth back there."

"I did, I--"

"I know the story, and I know how hard it is to be away from your parents, especially with them in the position they are. I don't want to come over as mean, but you did kinda make it look like you two were involved, so to speak." Scoots blushed.

"I'm sorry."

"Oh, there's nothing to be sorry for, it was just Rumble being a nice kid. Usually he's pretty shy, I'm not sure how he had the courage to keep you around." She chuckled. "You think you know somepony..." They became silent, the only sounds emanating from the pan as Scoots moved over to the table and sat down, feeling slightly out of place.

"You like eggs?" Cloudchaser asked. "I can't really make them in any form specifically, but at least they don't burn." She scraped one out of the pan with a spatula. "This looks like over medium, that okay with you?" The filly nodded quietly, still feeling weird around the strange mare. Cloudchaser slid the plate across the table to her, following it up with a glass of milk and a jar of salsa.

Rumble walked through the door, immediately lessening the tension as far as Scoots was concerned. He sat down across the table, being met with the same set of plates and cups.

"I cleaned up the room." He said quietly, picking at his food with a fork.

"Already?" Scootaloo asked, disbelief clear in her voice as she turned towards the door. "How could you--" She paused, blinking as she stared at the clean room. "How'd you do that?"

He shrugged, a smile breaking out on his face. "I dove for grapes, is this really that different?"

"Well yeah, it is."

"Okay, I just clean things up quickly. Because I dropped a lot of grapes."

She giggled. "I see."

"You gonna finish those eggs?" She turned back to look at his empty plate.

"How are you finished already?"

"I ate a lot of grapes."

"Is everything you do tied to catching grapes?"

"No, just those things." He reached across the table and grabbed part of her egg, bringing it over to his plate before she could react. "And I'm hungry." He paused to swallow. "What happened to your scooter? Don't you pretty much always have it?"

"I forgot it yesterday, I was worried I'd be late for school."

"Sooo, isn't a scooter faster, at least for you?"

"Well yeah, but I can't fly it down from the house, so I asked Pinkie if I could keep it at Sugarcube Corner, and that was a little out of the way when I could just fly over."

"Rumble, you can get to school on time, I hope?" Cloudchaser asked, "I have to get to work on the weather, we have to make sure a cloud bank doesn't float over the Everfree."

"Sure, we have a half hour, it shouldn't be hard to get there on time."

"Okay, don't be late." She walked by and pinched at his cheek, causing the kid to squirm as Scootaloo giggled.

"You don't have to embarrass me every chance you get, Cloudchaser!"

"You make it too easy! I'll see you later, alright kid?"

"Sure, I'll be waiting with a few hundred fillies this time."

"Funny." She replied. He heard the door open and close again as Cloudchaser left the house. He turned in time to watch Scoots swallow her last bite of egg and take a sip of milk.

"So," He twiddled his hooves. "Are we crusading today?"

"I think so, I think Sweetie and Applebloom aren't grounded anymore. I guess we should stop by Fluttershy's before we go to class, I told her I'd be staying over at a friend's house because I knew Diamond's thing would take a while, but I never really expected to actually stay over. So just a quick check in, I guess."

"You think Diamond's going to act differently?"

"I dunno, maybe a little. Doesn't seem like something she would do, but at least we can make threats."

He chuckled. "I'm already getting benefits from this."

"It's nice, huh? We should get going, though, Fluttershy's house is only kinda on the way." Rumble got up from the table, leaving the room. He returned a few seconds later and tossed over her saddlebag, putting his own over his back. "So how exactly did your dog make that noise last night?"

He blushed. "You figured out it was him too, huh? Well he kinda bumps into the door when he wants to get in. He's not really that smart, and he's also pretty heavy, sooo..."

"But what about the scratching?"

"He's really determined."

"Yeah, we were afraid of a dog, I'm embarrassed."

"At least we're the only ones to know. Besides Cloudchaser I guess." Rumble paused. "How're your wings?" He asked, leaning slightly to try to get a glimpse.

"They're better, I'm just going to be safe and not use them though, we have time to walk anyway."

"Okay then." He opened up the door, letting her outside before locking the door behind himself.

"But you know..." She continued, "We can always just race on foot."

He smirked. "Oh, I see."

They stared at each other a few more seconds before sprinting off down the road.

Author's Note:

This is so different from the main story. It's weird. You know, cute kids playing fort compared to ponies dying every other chapter. There's a little bit of a difference there.

I always complain here, it might as well just be called 'Author's Complaints.' No, I don't like that. It's too hot in here. MacArthur has one too many capitalized letters. Plastic bags remind me too much of Michael Jackson. I think I'm sitting on a fork right now. My left earlobe is a little longer than my right one. This suspension company stole my initials. Kiddie scissors get stuck on my fingers. This ten-in-one tool only has nine tools. That last one didn't sound as petty. I hate complaining, it's too hard.

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