• Published 27th Mar 2013
  • 3,874 Views, 107 Comments

Birthday Wishes - StarFall825

Scootaloo's eighth birthday is coming up soon, and her life is going pretty well. Sure, she can't fly and doesn't really have any friends, but she has two parents who love her and a nice home. What more could she want?

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Chapter 3

Cypress hauled himself out of bed, groaning at the time displayed on his bedside clock. The early morning had come and gone, and he was now truly late for work. Oh well, he thought. I’m already late. May as well take the time to say bye to the wife and kid.

Cypress walked into the kitchen, yawning. Dawn stood next to the sink, finishing up the breakfast dishes on her own. She had always hated leaving a mess, so much so that she’d do all the cleaning herself if no one else would. Cypress walked up behind her and wrapped his forelegs around his wife in a gentle hug.

“Mornin’ hun,” he whispered into her ear. Dawn turned her head and rested it on his for a moment before the two separated. Turning around, he was greeted by the most wondrous sight: a plate piled high with steaming muffins on the kitchen counter.

“Oh, what do we have here?” he asked, reaching out to take one of the delicacies. Dawn’s hoof cracked down on his, and he pulled back with a surprised yelp. “What was that for?”

“Those aren’t for you, goofball,” she scolded him. “They’re for the mailpony; she was out sick all last week and these are a welcome back gift.”

Cypress sat nursing his hoof for a moment, a confused look on his face. “How did you make muffins with the oven busted?”

“I didn’t, obviously,” Dawn replied, regret in her voice. “I bought them from Sugarcube Corner.” Dawn didn’t have anything against the Cakes, but if there was ever any cooking or baking to be done, she prefered to do it herself.

“Oh, well, I guess that would explain—” Cypress paused, and confusion passed over his expression. “Scoots, what are you doing with that?”

Dawn whirled around to find out what crazy scheme her daughter was planning this time, but of course, nopony was there. “Cypress!” Dawn cried as she spun back around, but her husband was gone—along with one of the muffins. “Cypress, get back here!”

Cypress made a beeline for the front door, knowing he only had moments before his wife was after him. Scootaloo sat next to the door, putting her school books into her saddlebag.

Help!” he whispered as he ran passed. Dawn came flying out of the kitchen as he ran out the door, hot on his tail. Scootaloo grinned on the inside and jumped in front of the door, math book outstretched.

“Hey, mom, can I get some help with these problems before school?” Dawn screeched to a halt, barely stopping in time to miss hitting her daughter. Dawn looked out the open door after Cypress; Scootaloo could hear her grinding her teeth in frustration.

You’re gonna get it later, Cypress!” she finally yelled out the door after him.

Scootaloo could hear his very distant, “Worth it!” in reply. She hid her smile behind her math book.

“Okay, dear,” Dawn said to her, half-smiling. “What did you need help with?”

“Oh, you know, I just remembered that I didn’t need help after all.” Scootaloo stuffed her book into her saddlebag and ran out the door before her mom could react. “Bye, mom!” She ran down the street as Dawn yelled after her.

“Scootaloo, you’re as bad as your father!”

“Thanks, Mom.”

That wasn’t a compliment!”

The sun was already scorchingly hot, especially for the morning. Looks like I’ll get to find out just how bad school can be in this heat after all, Scootaloo thought. She walked along the street towards the school until she heard a soft voice beside her.

“G-good morning, Scootaloo.” Scootaloo jumped at the unexpected voice. She looked over to see one of her classmates walking along side her.

“Oh, hey, Sweetie Belle. How long have you been there?”

“Only a minute or so...”

“Well, you should have said something sooner, you sca—you surprised me.”

“Oh, sorry.” Scootaloo had met Sweetie Belle when they both started school together. Sweetie Belle had seemed cool at first; she was kind, enthusiastic, and fun. That changed after some kids started making fun of her voice.

Sweetie Belle’s voice was, admittedly, high pitched, but that only seemed to make her more endearing to most ponies. Sometimes though, her voice would crack, especially when she was excited or angry. It didn’t really bother Scootaloo, but some kids thought it was funny. Sweetie Belle, however, did not; she would get embarrassed whenever someone made fun of her. When she finally broke down and cried after some particularly nasty teasing though, she made herself a target for the meaner kids in the class.

To Scootaloo, it was almost a relief; she had been the one the others made fun of before Sweetie Belle. She always felt guilty for the sense of relief that swept over her when they moved on Sweetie Belle instead of her, but it was nice to have them ignore her, even if it meant that somepony else was miserable. She never made fun of Sweetie Belle though, and she never laughed at the others’ cruel jokes.

Eventually, Sweetie Belle had stopped talking entirely. She would mumble answers when the teacher asked her a question, and she spent recess and lunch on her own. That is, when she wasn’t being tormented; the slightest thing would send her into tears these days, and that only encouraged the bullies to try more often.

Scootaloo felt sorry for her, but she also felt a hint of fear when she looked at the unicorn. That could be me if I ever show weakness, she thought. A target. As much as she sympathized with Sweetie Belle though, she kept her distance. She didn’t want to give the other kids something else to make fun of her for.

“So, um, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle said, barely more than a whisper. “How are your wings doing? I mean, you told us all that you were going to be flying soon, and—”

“I have to go,” Scootaloo cut her off. She really didn’t want to talk about that. ”I have an errand to run before school.” Scootaloo turned off the main street and walked away from her classmate.

“Oh... okay, bye then.”

Scootaloo walked off, feeling slightly guilty at leaving Sweetie Belle like that, but she really did have an errand to do. Sure, she was planning to do it after school, but this was as good a time as any.

Scootaloo turned down a few more side streets before arriving at her destination, a shop tucked in between a dry cleaners and a small restaurant. Silver-Flower Repairs was brightly painted over the door, and a light-blue mare stood outside, sweeping the front steps.

“Hey, Mayflower, how are you today?” Scootaloo called out to her. The mare looked up and waved at her in return.

“Why, hello there, Scoot,” she replied with a smile. “Oh, I’m doing just fine. What brings you around here?”

“Mom sent me with a note for you.” Scootaloo pulled out the note and passed it to May. She then sat patiently waiting for her to finish reading it. Mayflower and her coltfriend, Silver Driver, were old friends of Scootaloo’s parents. Silver and Cypress were always together, and May was like an aunt to Scootaloo.

“Your oven broke again?” May asked, her brow raised. “We just fixed that four months ago?”

“I know. Mom wants to know when you can come over and fix it.”

“Hold on a sec,” May replied as she pushed open the door to the shop and reached in to grab a pocket calendar. “Let’s see... best I can do is send Silver over day after tomorrow.”

“The day after tomorrow? But that’s my birthday!”

“I know, Scoot.” May reached out and patted her head. “That’s the best I can do though; Silver and I have all kinds of work to catch up on. He’s been... distracted lately.”

“Oh, okay,” Scootaloo tried shrugged it off, but she was really disappointed; how was she going to get mom’s delicious chocolate cake for her birthday without an oven? “I’ll tell mom when I get home today.”

“Nah, don’t worry about that. I was going to stop in and see her at lunch today anyway, so I’ll tell her then.” The town clock tower rang out as the sun finished climbing over the roofs of the village; May cocked her head at Scootaloo. “Don’t you have school today?”

Scootaloo tensed up, and then took off down the street. “Oh, no, I’m going to be so late!” May shook her head, amused, as she walked back into the shop.

Rainbow Dash was lying down on a particularly fluffy cloud, relaxing after a hard days work maintaining the weather. Today’s extreme heat had called for extra cloud cover again to provide welcome shade for ponies going about their lives on the ground. Which, of course, required a long day of making sure the clouds stayed where they were supposed to.

It was next to impossible for a unicorn or earth pony to understand, but clouds often seemed to have minds of their own. They would get up to all kinds of mischief if not properly observed. Some pegasi even believed in small magic spirits called sprites that lurked in clouds to entertain themselves by making trouble for pegasus ponies.

Rainbow Dash laughed at these stories in public, but privately she often wondered if there was any truth to them. Clouds certainly have a tendency to ‘act up’ a lot, and sometimes, she was sure she heard voices—

“Hello there.”

“Gah!” Rainbow Dash sat up straight, her heart racing as she spun around to face the voice. To her surprise, it wasn’t a host of brightly shining spirits, but a brown earth pony in a... hot air balloon?

“Hello there,” he said again, this time stretching out a hoof to shake. “Name’s Cypress; sorry if I startled you.”

“Oh, no, it’s fine,” she said sharply, making it clear that sneaking up on her while she was napping was certainly not fine. She reached out her own hoof, but instead of shaking like he clearly expected, she hoofbumped him—hard. He pulled back his hoof, shaking it to try and get some feeling back as she smirked at him.

“Everypony wants to beat me up today...” he muttered under his breath. “So, I take it you’re Rainbow Dash, huh?” he asked her.

“Sure am,” she replied, that self-satisfied smirk still on her face. “Let me guess,” she joked, “you’re looking for my autograph?” He grinned right back at her.

“You’re absolutely correct.”

Rainbow was sure she misheard him. “Wait... really?”


Awwww, yeah!” Rainbow exclaimed as she shot a hoof in the air in celebration. “It’s about time ponies around here started to see how awesome I am. Wait here, I’ll be right back.” Before Cypress could stop her she rocketed off the cloud in a streak of color that flashed away towards the horizon.

“I have paper... right here.” He sighed as she disappeared. Well, she certainly is fast, he thought. Less than a minute later, he saw her streaking back towards him, slowing just in time to land gracefully on the cloud.

“Here you go,” she said as she passed him a—

“A signed headshot?” Cypress asked, stunned.

“Absolutely; it’s important to be prepared for your fans when you’re as cool and awesome as I am.” There wasn’t even a hint of a self-conscious blush on her face, just satisfied cockyness.

“Oh really?” Cypress deadpanned. “And just what have you done that makes you so awesome?”

Rainbow Dash looked at him confused. “Didn’t you ask me for an autograph?”

“It’s for my daughter,” Cypress explained. Rainbow slumped down slightly for a moment, but just as quickly regained her self confidence.

“Then I’ll tell you why,” she said as she struck a gallant pose. “You’re looking at a future Wonderbolt!”

“You got accepted to the Wonderbolts?” He asked, impressed.

“Well, not yet,” she answered grudgingly. “But I will be one day!” she continued when he started to scowl. “I’m just not quite old enough for the Academy. I did get through to the finals for this year’s Best Young Flyers’ Competition, though. I’m sure to win. I’ve got a move that’s guaranteed to win me the contest.”

“Young Flyers’ Competition? How old are you?”


“Seventeen?” Cypress looked at her with new respect. “That is very young to be on a weather patrol.”

“What can I say?” she asked. “I’m the greatest flyer to ever come out of Cloudsdale.” He rolled his eyes at that, but she didn’t notice as she reached for her pen. “Now, who do I make this out to?”

“My daughter, Scoot.”

“Wait,” Rainbow raised an eyebrow in understanding. “Is that the little orange filly who’s been following me around?”

“That’s her; why, has she been bothering you?”

“Nah, not really. In fact it’s good to see little fillies still look up to great role models these days. And who could possibly be a better role model than me?” Cypress stopped to seriously consider an answer to this question, but Rainbow clearly meant for it to be rhetorical. “Here you go.”

“So, what’s this great move you were talking about?” He grabbed the signed photo and put it next to him in the basket.

Cypress noticed her confidence slipped for a moment. “Oh, right, that. It’s a, uh, secret. Don’t want to give it away before the show.”

“Oh, then maybe you could show it to me?”

“Sorry, but today was pretty hard on the old wings. Tell you what,” she said as she poked him in the shoulder. “After I take first prize at the competition, how about I come back here to visit and give both you and Scoot a little show then.”

“Deal,” he replied, then stuck out his hoof with a smirk. “Shake on it?”

“Sure,” Rainbow replied then feinted as if to punch him in the hoof again. He didn’t even flinch; she grinned at that, and took his hoof in her own. “It’s a deal.” Cypress turned and began maneuvering the balloon to fly it back towards town, and Rainbow Dash lay back down on her cloud, a goofy grin on her face.

As Cypress flew back to town, he thought about Rainbow Dash’s question. ‘Who could possibly be a better role model than me?’ At first he had been skeptical, but as he thought about it more, it started to make a scary kind of sense. Of course, to her, it was an offhand remark to stroke her own ego, but it was also true. Scoot could learn an important lesson by looking up to her.

To Rainbow Dash, her desire to become a Wonderbolt wasn’t a dream, it was a certainty. Scoot would need that kind of confidence if she was going to be flying herself in a few years.

Cypress’ stomach rumbled loudly, and he grinned to himself. Almost time for dinner, he thought with satisfaction. He didn’t remember what Dawn had planned for tonight, but knowing his wife, whatever it was, it would be totally worth the wait.

“What is this?” Cypress stared at his plate in disgust. It was piled high with asparagus, cauliflower, and alfalfa, all covered in some kind of dressing. Olive, if he had to guess.

“It’s dinner, dear,” Dawn replied with false warmth before taking another bite. “It’s a new recipe I’m trying out. Alfalfa, asparagus, and cauliflower, cooked and covered in an olive oil dressing.” The three family members were seated around the kitchen table, Dawn and Cypress on both ends with Scootaloo between them. The young filly looked back and forth between her parents, an expectant smile on her face.

Cypress turned his stare on his wife. “I hate every one of those things.” Scootaloo choked on a snort of laughter that she barely caught in her hoof. He shot her a dirty look, but that only seemed to encourage her. She shook with silent laughter, unable to control herself.

“Oh, do you?” Dawn radiated embarrassment and concern, but there was a glint of amusement in her eyes that said otherwise. It was one of the most evil things that Cypress had ever seen. “Oh, well, you go ahead and eat it anyways sweetie. After all,” she said, her eyes and voice turning murderous, “it’s not like it’s going to kill you.”

He kept staring at her, but she met his gaze unflinching, eating her food calmly. “This is about the muffin, isn’t it?” he finally asked.

“Why, I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, dear,” she replied, sweetly innocent once more. “Now, go ahead and eat up. You too, Scoot.”

“Right,” Cypress muttered under his breath, and began to scoop the offending meal up. C’mon Cypress, he thought. It’s just food, you can do this. He gagged on the first bite, but managed to keep it down. That wasn’t so bad. Scootaloo sat there giggling at him for a moment before she started in on her own food.

The meal past in silence as no one made eye contact with anypony else. Scootaloo tried not to look at her dad, because every time she did she couldn’t help giggling. Cypress had finished off the cauliflower, his most hated of the batch, and was halfway through the alfalfa when Scootaloo cleared her throat.

“Hey, mom,” she said, “I don’t really like cauliflower—”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, Scoot, just give them to your father.” Cypress looked up, horrified as Scootaloo scraped the cauliflower onto his plate, a wicked grin on her face. He stared mournfully at her for a moment before turning back to his meal.

Ten minutes later, he pushed his empty plate away. “Done,” he said, smirking at Dawn, who just smiled sweetly back. She stood up and took his plate into the kitchen, while Cypress turned his smirk on Scootaloo. “That wasn’t so bad.”

He jumped as Dawn slammed another plate loaded with food in front of him. “Glad to hear it,” she said. The look of surprise and dismay on Cypress’ face set Scootaloo giggling again. “Because there’s just enough for seconds.”

Scootaloo burst out laughing so hard she lost her balance and fell off her chair. Her parents looked at her empty place in surprise as she lay on the floor. After half a minute, her laughter died down to a constant chuckle. Her orange hoof rose over the edge of the table and hauled herself up, gasping for breath. One look at the plate of food though, and she was back on the ground, out of control with laughter.

Seconds...” they heard her choke out. “Priceless!”

“And what did I do to deserve this,” Cypress asked, ignoring his daughter.

“Getting Scootaloo involved in your little stunt this morning.”

“What?! And she doesn’t get any punishment at all?”

You’re the one who roped her into it. And besides...” Dawn looked in Scootaloo’s direction. “If she ever tries anything like that again—” The laughter stopped abruptly, and a pair of violet eyes poked over the edge of the table.

“I won’t do it again,” came her much subdued voice.

“Good,” Dawn said as she walked back towards the kitchen. “Now sit back down so you can have some dessert.” Scootaloo sat back in her chair as Dawn brought in a plate of cupcakes. “I bought these this morning,” she explained as she put them on the table. “Two for each of us.” Cypress’ face lit up as he eyed the tasty treats. “Dad already had his dessert this morning though, so he won’t get any.”

His face fell, but Dawn continued unaffected. “So how about we split his cupcakes, Scoot?”

“Okay.” Scootaloo took the three cupcakes Dawn handed her. Cypress sighed and started to empty his plate again. Dawn nodded and smiled to herself.

Justice has been well-served today, she thought.

“Now,” Dawn continued, “I think I’ll go watch the sunset this evening. You’ll take care of the dishes tonight, right Cypress?” She turned and headed for the door without waiting for an answer.

“Yeah... sure,” he replied as she walked out the door. Scootaloo took a bite of her cupcake and moaned loudly at it’s goodness.

“Mmmmmmm... this is really good.”

“Stop that.” She laughed at him for a moment, then pushed one of the cupcakes at him. Cypress took it with a grateful smile. “Thanks, kid.”

Cypress breathed in its delicious aroma before taking a big bite. He let the sweet flavor sit on his tongue a bit before swallowing, then sighed in pleasure and shot Scootaloo a grin.

“And in the end, it was still totally worth it.” As Scootaloo fell off her chair again, laughing, Cypress quickly scraped some icing off one of her cupcakes.