• Published 8th Feb 2012
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Rainbow and Clyde - protractror

Rainbow Dash tries to impress Clyde Pie

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First Impressions

Rainbow and Clyde

Chapter 1, First Impressions

Pinkie's loft was like a cave, the lone dark point in what was otherwise a beautiful sunny day. The usual pastels were replaced with browns and greys, and the shutters were drawn so that candles were the only source of light in the room. Pinkie was making herself busy with dinner, her hair unusually flat in her newly sepia-toned room. However, even in the dark, brooding room Pinkie's face was nothing but smiles.

"You didn't have to do all this Pinkamina," said the other pony in the loft. Almost blending into the darkness of the room, Clyde Pie sat, stoic as always. Clyde was an old pony, the gray showing in his mane and mutton chops but not much else. He was tough from years on the toughest of farms, and he still carried himself like an able-bodied stallion. He had been relaxing on his old, rickety rocking chair until he finally decided to speak up. "You moved out to Ponyville, I expected things to change. In fact if the letters I've been receiving are even half as outstanding as they seem I'm quite proud of everything that's happened since you've left the farm. You don't need to hide all of this from your old stallion Pinkie."

"I'm not hiding it from gramps, daddy! It's hard to not hide something from Grampa, he hasn't been able too see anything past two feet for years now." Pinkie joked as she continued preparing dinner. "Unless of course you've started referring to yourself as an old stallion again. Daddy, you're still fifty-five years young!"

"Heh, you tell that to my knees. But I mean it Pinkie. When I got your invitation to come up and visit I didn't want to impose on you." Pinkie promptly put down her bowl of salad and rushed over to her father's side.

"Oh no no no! This isn't an imposition in the slightest! I'm just doing what I would have wanted when I came to Ponyville the first time. Sure everything's great and colorful but it's quite the change from the rock farm eh? It's like the rainbows here have two extra colours compared to the farm, and don't get me started on the noise! Sometimes when I first got here it would have been nice to just have a place like home for a little while. Anyway, I've been waiting for months for a reason for straight hair. Do you like it?"

"Hah, just as pretty as always Pinkie. But I have to ask, what in tarnation was able to straighten that out? Celestia knows we tried pretty much everything on the farm." Pinkie shuffled a bit nervously as her father recollected the last time they had tried to straighten Pinkie's hair. They lost three combs that day and they only ever got one back out of her mane before Pinkie left for Ponyville.

"Oh, nothing special," Pinkie Pie replied, "Just two industrial straighteners and the power of negative thinking."

"I knew it! The only time I ever saw your hair like that after your cutie mark was when Gummy got lost under the couch. Now I told you not to go through anything like this for me!"

"Well the hair's not all for you. I mean I knew you'd like it, and I wanted to see myself with it." Pinkie paused, but her father knew her too well. He always knew when Pinkie was only half telling the truth, from corncakes to curfews. Reluctantly, Pinkie squeaked out ,"And there might be a mare who I maybe want to impress."

A smile crept onto Clyde's face. It had been a few years since Inkessa had moved out, but rarely a day went by when he wasn't being a father somehow.

"Don't tell me she's going to have to get your approval Daddy." For the first time in the conversation, Pinkie got the slightest bit nervous. That melted away as her father pulled her into a big hug.

"No, I don't think any one of your friends is going to be needing my approval Pinkie. You're a smart filly. Just let me give'em the old eye just once and I'll be good." They both laughed at that.

"You know, my friend Fluttershy has a stare that beat a cockatrice. I don't think your 'eye' is going to scare me any more daddy."

"That's 'Father' to you Pinkamina! Now come on, dinner won’t make itself!" Clyde gave Pinkie a look from his trademark eye and Pinkie's heart started beating a mile a minute. Without a second thought, she leaped up and started setting the table with a cowardly “Eep”.

Pinkie only stopped once the blood stopped beating so loud she could hear her father's warm laughter.

"Meanie! That's what you are Dad! Do you know how terrifying that was?" Pinkie caught her breath, and realizing her misstep quickly added, "As a foal!"

"Oh I haven't done that in years! But you know what?” Clyde let out a loud hearty laugh. “I've still got it! And before you start calling me a monster, you come back to me after you've had three screaming kids and an alligator in your living room. Then we'll talk about the eye."

"This is the reason I have to resort to flour when I look after foals," Pinkie Pie mumbled under her breath. "Well you can get up, dinner is ready. I hope you like your salad extra hot after that," Pinkie said with a sinister gesture towards her hot sauce. Clyde slowly walked over to Pinkie before wrapping her up into a big hug.

"Who do you think introduced you to hot sauce?" Pinkie laughed, and as Clyde sat down in her loft, he really had to commend Pinkie Pie. He didn't feel like he had ever really left home.

Meanwhile, down below a certain pegasus was entering the bakery portion of Pinkie's home. Usually she always entered from the second level, because Rainbow Dash never missed a chance to fly. However when she tried to soar in today she was surprised to see the door blocked and the windows closed. Confused, and maybe the tiniest bit worried, she decided to go in through the main entrance.

Rainbow Dash walked up the stairs, feeling weird just coming in like anypony else. Her lean athletic body, having just woken up around an hour ago, was already alert, and she seemed ready for whatever the world could throw at her. Her mane even had been combed today, even if she would deny it the first chance she got. When she cleared the stairs, she once again was surprised to see the door to Pinkie's room was closed. This was a bad sign. Pinkie's door was usually not just open, but also with polka music or something ridiculous blaring out of it. Right now, the only thing that could be heard from behind the door was quiet conversation and a few chuckles. It was unsettling to say the least. Trying not to think about what she could be talking to herself about, Rainbow hesitantly knocked on the door.

When she saw the door open however, it was even slightly more shocking because Pinkie's hair was straight. Rainbow Dash knew from experience what that meant, but what really freaked her out was the giant smile on her face. The hair and the smile together was such a contrast of emotions that it screwed up Dash's “fight or flight” to the point she just stood still, jaw open.

"Oh hi Dashie! Do you like my new look? It took so long to get it this way, but who cares? Do you like it?" If Rainbow was on the spot before, now she had a million thoughts running through her head. It seemed that Pinkie wasn't having a mental breakdown but instead was trying out a new hair style. Important note.

However this was one of those rare opportunities for Dash to try and leave the friendzone. She could tell Pinkie how good she looked with straight hair, how it made her look serious yet fun. She could say that she loved the hair almost as much as the pony behind it. She could just say it looked sexy. Really, this was a golden chance she was presented with.

Ever since they had started hanging out Rainbow had a little crush on Pinkie. Of course, Rainbow never acted on it. She was the pony that ponies should be having crushes on. But as the days turned to weeks and they kept hanging out, Rainbow slowly started to realize they were entering the friendzone. Sure they'd joke and hang out all day, but instead of a goodnight kiss it would end with a high-hoof or a prank. If it kept going like this, Rainbow would be best friends for life in the worst of ways.

So, Rainbow had been trying to subtly hint that she was interested in Pinkie, but it all went way over her head. It was extra annoying because this was Rainbow’s definition of subtle. However, it was that obliviousness that was part of Pinkie's charm. The fact that she was so focused on her goals at the time, whatever they may be, was very appealing to Rainbow Dash. Rainbow for all of her confidence was never without worry, but Pinkie? She didn't have time to think about what could go wrong, because what she was doing was just so ridiculous she couldn't spare the peace of mind. This wasn't the only reason Dash liked Pinkie but it was just one of many. Pranks, laughter, and sweets were just the surface of a very sincere and happy pony.

However, as it happened far too often for her liking, Rainbow snapped under pressure.

"It's nice," Rainbow squeaked out, but she knew she buckled. This certainly wasn't going to take her out of the friendzone, and it wasn't even that great for a friendly comment. But to Pinkie, it was like the sun rising. With a “sproing”, her hair instantly inflated back to normal.

"Fiddlesticks! Oh well, I guess it’s for the best. Nice while it lasted though." Before Rainbow could use some of her moves, maybe saying how it was more than nice, a timer went off from the bakery below. "Ooh, that's for me! Dashie, feel free to make yourself at home, I'll be back up in just a minute!" Pinkie raced down the stairs, and from the aroma wafting up the stairs, it was probably for the best that she was running.

With a sigh, Rainbow hovered over to her usual spot on the loft. Even though it was Pinkie's room, this spot was entirely Rainbow's. It was as comfortable to her as her cloud house, and sitting in it let the world just fade away. That spot was the perfect release after a day of being chased by Applejack through town square or narrowly dodging a sowing needle or ten from an angry Rarity. Circling like a dog, Rainbow finally settled down on her favourite spot. She laid there all of two seconds until Clyde scared her halfway to the roof.

"Hello there," Clyde said from his rocking chair. His brown coat made him more like a chameleon than a pony right then, and Rainbow all at once realized she had been two feet from a fifty year old stallion watching her from the darkness in her friend's room. In her mind, her scared leap was completely justified.

"Holy Celestia! Who are you?!" Rainbow Dash said as she tried to regain herself while simultaneously using her friend's bed as cover.

"The name's Clyde Pie, but you can call me sir, young filly. Where are your manners? Where were you raised, in the woods? Over the woods?" Clyde may have sounded furious, but he was only feigning indignation. Underneath the tough rock pony look Clyde was first and foremost a loving father who just wanted what was best for his daughters. Currently, he had no idea if that was Rainbow Dash. The easiest way he could think of testing Rainbow Dash for the Pie clan was to see if she could take a joke. That was why he now looked like he had all traces of fun sucked out of him, and replaced that void with judgement. He was doing his fall-back, the angry dad.

If Rainbow's mind could be summed up in one word, it was terror. She had of course heard Pinkie's tales about life on the "rock farm", but Rainbow had always assumed that this was another one of her stories. Even though Rainbow had thought it was all fiction until today, the stallion before her screamed rock farmer before Rainbow even knew what a rock farmer was. He looked like the literal opposite of Pinkie Pie. If he was an element of harmony, he'd be the the element of not impressed. Basically, he was not what Rainbow had been expecting to be Applejack's father, let alone Pinkie. Feeling like she had just been caught skipping flight school, Rainbow managed to stutter out a response.

"Sorry sir! I uhm, didn't see you. Not that I'm saying you blend in with the brown, or that that's um bad of course. Sorry what I meant to say is uhm, rocks! Yeah, gotta love those rocks. You know what they say about rocks and all."

"What do they say about rocks Rainbow?" Strike one, but Rainbow was going out swinging.

"They rock?"

"They don't say that about rocks." Strike two. The silence that permeated the room was so tense you wouldn’t have been able to cut it with a knife. Rainbow Dash was sweating so much that the rainbow on her flank could have been from condensation.

However, before things could get any worse, Pinkie came back. No muffins in sight, but with a fresh tray of ash, she came in smiling as always. Then she jumped a little as her whole body started to shake.

"Pinkie sense acting up again?" Clyde inquired.

"How can I help it? This town is just so predictable. Oooh, this is a real doozy," Pinkie said as she literally started to inflate. "Oh, uhm this is awkward. Dad I'm going to go do something right now, no questions. Sorry, Pinkie sense and all!"

"No worries." Clyde was like a wall in his reactions. This wasn't his first rodeo.

"Dashie, can you stay with him today? He's visiting and if I'm not here he'll have nothing to do the whole day!"

"But, I don't even know him!"

"Oh Dashie, you can handle it! Daddy, this is Rainbow, Rainbow this is Daddy. But you can call him Clyde." Clyde gave Rainbow dash a stare that showed he had no intention of being called Clyde. "Don't let his looks fool you, he's a real hoot!" Clyde continued giving Rainbow a look that assured her he was no “hoot”. "I'll be back for dinner, bye daddy!" Pinkie gave her dad a quick kiss on the cheek before bursting out her window and racing off to parts unknown.

There was a pause after that, broken only momentarily by Carrot Cake's frustrated cry from outside at seeing his window smashed yet again. However, eventually Clyde broke the silence.

"They're balloons."

"Huh? I mean pardon?"

"Her cutie mark. Pinkie got them after she threw her very first party. You could say that they represent her ability for party planning, but I like to think that its more than that. I think it represents her uplifting spirit, always wanting to make everypony feel even the tiniest bit better." Clyde was almost friendly with his explanation, alleviating a lot of Rainbow's fears. Maybe spending the day with Clyde would be alright after all, even if he was a bit old fashioned.

"I've never heard that interpretation of her cutie mark before, uhm sir. I like it though."

"Good." Clyde had set the bait, and looking right at Rainbow Dash he pulled it in. "So now that that's cleared up could you please stop checking out my daughter's hindquarters?"

Strike three, and it felt like her entire body flushed into her cheeks. This was going to be a long day.

(Special author’s thanks to Vimbert for editing! I know it’s cliched, but he honestly made my piece at least 20% cooler, and probably a whole lot more readable to boot)

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