When I opened my eyes, it was a perfect, splendifferific day outside. The birds were singing, and the outside world just seemed to be shouting, “Pinkie, come out and play!”
But I felt a teensy-tiny bit woozy. I jumped out of bed and onto my hoovesies, swaying a bit. My stomach churned like it was in one of those neat little taffy-pulling machines. Except that my stomach was made to eat the taffy, not be the taffy.
I grabbed my stomach for a bit until it settled down. I still felt a little bit weeble-wobbly walking to the kitchen, but at least I didn’t fall down!
I sat at my normal spot at the table, where the Cakes had already set my normal breakfast on a plate: a nice, big cupcake. Chocolate, with vanilla icing and extra sprinkles! Yum! I took a biiiiiiiiig bite.
Except this morning, it didn’t taste so yum. My stomach flipped and flopped like an acrobat. I pushed the plate away. “Um… I don’t think I feel like having a cupcake today, Mrs. Cake. Maybe some cereal instead?”
Mrs. Cake looked at me like she had seen Pumpkin fly or Pound do magic. “A—are you sure, Pinkie?” She walked over and picked up the cupcake and looked it over. “Maybe it’s just this cupcake? Perhaps a red velvet one instead? Or a marble cake?”
I shook my head. “No… I’m just not feeling like having a cupcake today.” My stomach flipped again. I pushed away from the table. “Actually… maybe breakfast isn’t a good idea at all. I think I’m just gonna jump straight into my day.”
I headed into the front of the bakery while Mrs. Cake watched and gaped. “Pinkie Pie? Turning down a cupcake?” she said quietly. “That mare never ceases to surprise me…”
I frowned a little, because I just didn’t see why it was such a big deal. I was just turning down a cupcake ’cause I didn’t feel like eating, is all. No big deal, really.
It was pretty much a normal shift at Sugarcube Corner. I ran the cash register and seated customers, then brought out their food to them. Seeing all the ponies lined up to enjoy our sweets always brought a smile to my face, so it was a really easy job, actually.
Except today it was a little bit harder. Normally, I’d be bouncing around, giggling and grinning and making Mrs. Cake admonish me even though I was just showing that I was really excited to be there. But the bouncing made my stomach do the weird flippy-flops again, and I was feeling kinda sore for some reason—even laughing hurt, and that took the fun out of all of it. So I just walked from table to table, smiling politely and trying not to drop the food even though the room felt like it was spinning sometimes. The customers seemed to appreciate this, although the regulars look at me kinda funny, like I was acting weird even though that’s how most ponies serve their customers.
Mr. Cake looked at me funny, too. He pulled me aside after the line at the counter was taken care of.
I looked him in the eyes and kinda-sorta smiled, not really sure what I was pulled aside for. I was doing a good job, right?
“That’s my name! Heh…” My eyes darted away for a bit. “I’m not in trouble or anything, am I?”
“Oh, nononono!” He waved his hooves in front of him, then kind of half-smiled back. “You’re, uh, you’re doing fine.” Mr. Cake fidgeted, which made me kind of fidget. “It’s just that Cup Cake and I were talking, and…” He looked away, as if his next words were written on the wall behind me. I looked. They weren’t.
“Pinkie, are you feeling all right?” he finally said.
I grinned. “Super-duper-luper, Mr. C.!”
He looked at me. “You’re sure? You seem a little… off.”
“Psh, no.” I waved my hoof. “I’m just fine. Everything’s fine here. Just super!” My grin widened, tugging at my face. It hurt a little bit, like my face was some piece of dough that just wouldn’t stretch, but someone insisted it should anyway. My stomach churned again, although I couldn’t tell if that was from whatever was going on or from lying to Mr. Cake.
“Okay…” Mr. Cake still had that same look as when he pulled me aside, but he let me go back to work. “If you feel like anything’s not right, just remember that Cup Cake or I could fill in for you if you need us to.”
I nodded. “Yupperooni! But there’s no need. I’ve got it all under control!”
With that, I went back to what I was doing earlier. My stomach kinda hurt now, and the churning was getting worse. Must be hunger, I thought. I’ll get some food after we handle the lunch rush.
My eyelids started feeling kinda heavy, and I yawned a couple times out of nowhere. I felt kinda like the time I went three straight days without sleeping ’cause I was so excited about the sleepover party I planned one time. I ended up being the first one to sleep when the actual party happened. But I definitely wasn’t underslept, unless somepony was secretly stealing my sleep from me.
Oh well. I guess I’ll take a nap break after I get some lunch. Naps are always nice anyways.
But the icky-sicky sensation didn’t go away. It struck again right as Mr. Cake was handing me somepony’s order. In fact, this time it came with a little bit more coming up with it. “Uh oh, gotta go.” I clamped my hoof over my mouth.
“Pinkie?” he called after me.
“Um, be right back, Mr. Cake!” I rushed off to the bathroom.
I’ll spare you the icky details, but I puked. That’s all you need to know.
A little bit later, I stood up from being hunched over the toilet. I wiped off my mouth, where some of the puke had splattered. My mouth still tasted yucky, so I poured myself a cup of water and swished it around. It didn’t get rid of all the ick, but it helped.
I walked back, smiling a little guiltily. “I guess I will be needing that break, Mr. Cake.” I didn’t even feel like giggling at that unintended rhyme. “I, uh, got sick.”
“Oh, Pinkie…” Mrs. Cake said. She turned to Mr. Cake. “I baked some extras in case this happened. I’ll be right back.”
“Right.” Mr. Cake nodded. He grabbed the order and walked away. “I can handle this!”
He walked back a few seconds later. “Er… where was this one going again?”
I smiled faintly. “Table twelve.”
“Right. Thanks.” Mr. Cake headed off again.
Mrs. Cake walked me to my room, which was super helpful because the spinning started again right when I was midway up the stairs. If she hadn’t caught me, I would’ve taken a tumble, and then there might not have been any more Pinkie. That would’ve been super sad!
We got to my room, and Mrs. Cake tucked me into bed. She got me some water and a bowl in case I got sick again and couldn’t get to the toilet in time.
“I’m sorry I got all sick and stuff.” My ears drooped.
Mrs. Cake smiled, though, just like she does at Pumpkin and Pound. “That’s okay, Pinkie. But next time you don’t feel well, just tell Carrot or I. We’d rather not take the risk.”
I nodded slowly. “Okay.”
She rose and started walking toward the door.
Oh my gosh! I gasped. “Mrs. Cake!”
She turned back, raising an eyebrow. “Yes, Pinkie?”
“I was supposed to meet my friends here later today. What am I supposed to do about that?”
Smiling, she patted my head. “Don’t worry, Pinkie. We’ll let them know that you couldn’t make it. They’ll understand.”
“Okey-dokey,” I said hesitantly.
A huge yawn came over me, and I laid myself back down. I smiled. “Good night, Mrs. Cake. Even though it’s not actually night.”
Mrs. Cake chuckled. “Good night, Pinkie.”
The door closed a moment later, and I was alone. I snuggled up super-cozy under my covers. Yawning again, I closed my eyes and drifted off into dreamland.
Even though Mrs. Cake was speaking quietly, she still woke me up. I rubbed the sleepy junk out of my eyes. “Hm?”
She smiled at me from the doorway. “Your friends wanted to visit you.”
“Really?” I sat up and grinned the biggest grin I could grin at that moment, which wasn’t actually all that big of a grin. “Send them in, please.”
One by one, my friends filed in. They all gathered beside my bed. Rarity, Twilight, Dashie, and Applejack. I frowned a little. “Hey, where’s Fluttershy?”
Dashie rolled her eyes. “She’ll be here. She just freaked out when Mrs. Cake told us you were sick. She flew straight to her cottage.”
I tilted my head. “Why’d she do that?”
Giggling, Twilight said, “Oh, you know Fluttershy. She likes to try to take care of sick friends.”
“But I don’t really need it. I’m—”
There was a kerfuffle outside near the stairs. No, a brouhaha! A broufuffle?
There was a broufuffle outside near the stairs. Somepony squeaked and I heard wings a-flapping.
“That must be her!”
Fluttershy knocked politely on the door.
“Come in!” I said in a singsong voice. Just because I was sick, that didn’t mean I had to stop being friendly.
Fluttershy slowly opened the door, then burst in, carrying a bag over her shoulder which must have been as big as she was. “I heard you were sick, Pinkie, so I flew to my cottage just as fast as I could to grab this.” She hefted the bag over to the other side of my bed, where it landed with a loud thud. She dug through it, pulling out assorted medicines, herbs, and other stuff for sick ponies.
I smiled and patted her head. “I appreciate it, Flutterbutter, but I’m fine. Really.” I waved a hoof. “Totally just a day or two thing.”
She smiled. “Oh, I know. But I want to make it as quick and pain-free of an illness as I can.”
Dashie just shook her head. “You really don’t have to worry this much, Fluttershy.”
“Oh, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy is just being helpful.” Rarity smiled and looked at Fluttershy. “I think it’s rather sweet.”
“Gag me with a spoon.” Dashie pretended like she was being gagged, only with her hoof instead of a spoon. But I guess she would have used a spoon if she had one. I probably would have, if that was really what she wanted.
I just don’t get Dashie sometimes.
Applejack coughed. “Well, I’d better get back to the farm. There are lots of apples left on the trees.”
I blinked. “I thought you didn’t have to harvest apples until fall came around.”
Well, that made Applejack back right up. “Uh…” She rubbed the back of her neck.
“They’re trying to get in two apple harvests this year!” Twilight smiled over at Applejack, who nodded and smiled back. “I’m going to be helping them, so I guess I’d better get going, too.”
“Oh, yes, I’d almost forgotten!” Putting a hoof on her chest, Rarity said, “I’ve got an order of dresses to make. Lots and lots of dresses. So many dresses.” She also smiled. “I’d better get going. Ta-ta!”
Dashie just stood there.
“Rainbow Dash, didn’t you have something to do, too?” Rarity winked at Dashie for some odd reason.
Dashie snorted. “Nah. I’ve got the whole day clear.”
Rarity smacked her in the side.
“Oh yeah! I, uh, have a new routine to work on. The Wonderbolts taught me it themselves. ’Cause, y’know, I’m just that awesome!”
I looked at Dash, staring hard at her. “Okey-dokey-lokey…” I coughed. “Good luck with that, I guess?”
“Psh. Luck? I don’t need luck. I’m Rainbow Dash!”
Applejack poked her head in. “Just get out here, ya big dunce.”
All four of them left the room, closing the door behind them. I could still hear them talking outside.
I turned to Fluttershy. “Well, that was weird.”
She giggled awkwardly, not looking at me. “Y—yeah. It was. Really weird, I mean.”
“I don’t think they were actually doing any of those things.” Pausing, I tapped my chin with a hoof. “Except maybe Applejack. She probably is doing something on the farm.
Fluttershy just shrugged.
I looked really closely at Fluttershy, making her step back a little. “You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
Fluttershy’s hooves shot out in front of her. Her wings flared like she was ready to take off. “Oh, no!” She coughed. “I wouldn’t have anything to do with it if our friends all lied about what they were doing to give me alone time with you.”
I stared at her a little more, then smiled, which caused her to smile back. “Hm. I guess you wouldn’t, ’Shy.”
She shuffled her hoof. “So, um, what do you want to do first?” Her eyes widened, and she dug back in her bag. “You don’t, um, need any medicine or anything, do you?”
“Nah, I’m good, Fluttybuddy.” I grinned at her. “We can just talk for a bit.”
“Oh, okay.” There was another pause, then she said, “So, um, how are you feeling?”
“A little bit tired, actually.” My grin faded a little. “I wish I could be the super-bouncy-happy-fun one right now, but I’m kind of pooped. Being sick really takes it out of ya.”
Fluttershy nodded. “You could, um, take a nap if you want, then.” She headed toward the door. “I’ll just, um… head out for a bit, I guess.”
I shook my head. “Nah, you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to.” I curled the blanket a bit closer to me. “It’s actually really nice to have somepony else around.” Looking away, I mumbled, “It’s kind of lonely sometimes when I’m just sitting in my room.”
“Ah.” Fluttershy sat next to the bed. She smiled in that shy way of hers. “I’ll keep you company, Pinkie.”
“Thanks, ’Shy.” I snuggled up into my blanket all nice and cozy. “Nighnight, Shy-Shy.”
She giggled a little at that. “Good night, Pinkie. Sleep well.”
With Fluttershy there to keep me company, the bed felt a little bit warmer. Or maybe that was just my fever or something. I don’t know. But as I turned onto my side, I couldn’t help but feel a bit giddy at the fact that there was somepony there with me. I know the Cakes have always been there in the same house, but it was a bit different this time.
Anywhoozles, I closed my eyes. The last thing I saw before I drifted off was a single butterfly fluttering right in front of my face.
I opened my eyes again, and it was noticeably darker. There was still a little bit of light streaming in from the window, but it seemed to be getting late.
I rubbed my eyes and rolled over. “Hi, hi, Shy-Shy!” I giggled, but there was no response.
“Shy?” Looking around the room, I saw nothing. I slumped. I thought Fluttershy was gonna be there for me. Was I just dreaming?
There was a soft snore beside my bed. Tilting my head, I leaned over and looked. There on the floor, curled up with her head on her bag, was Fluttershy. She looked so cute while she slept. I smiled as I laid there and watched her.
That’s not creepy, is it?
Her chest rose and fell slowly. Every now and again, her ear flicked. She shifted a little, making a cute little humming noise. There was a small smile on her face.
I stretched a hoof toward her. She would want to know that I was awake, right? But then I stopped myself, tapping my hoof against the sheets. She was so relaxed. It’d be a crime for me to have woken her. So instead I sat as I was, with my hoof dangling near Fluttershy’s side.
My hoof lightly brushed against Fluttershy, and I held my breath. Oh my gosh. That’s gonna wake her up and she’s gonna freak out ’cause the first thing she’ll see is me staring at her and she’ll be wondering if she’s got really bad bedmane or something, and then she’s gonna run away and look in a mirror, and then she’ll see that her hair is perfect like always, and then she’ll wonder why the hay I just sat there staring at her instead of waking her up. And I have no idea what to say to that!
But instead of waking up, Fluttershy just cuddled with my little hoofsie.
I giggled. “Oh, Shy-Shy.”
Her smile widened. She muttered something, but I couldn’t quite make out what she said.
And then things went bad.
Fluttershy rolled over, which was fine, except she was still holding my hoof. And I was still dangling on the edge of the bed. So when she rolled away from the bed, she dragged me away from the bed. And that means I fell off the bed. And by golly, I had no place to fall but onto poor little Shy-Shy.
We both grunted as I landed on her. Her eyes snapped instantly awake, and her smile immediately vanished. One of her wings smacked me in the tummy.
“Ohmygosh!” Her head jerked, nearing causing us to knock noggins, except I dodged just in time. She turned to face me, and her head tilted. “Pinkie?” She blinked. “Um, could you please get off of me?”
“I can’t, Shy-Shy.” I tugged on my hoof, which she still had in her cuddle. “You’re kind of cuddling my hoof.”
By the way, she’s got a tight grip. Must be useful when dealing with runaway animals or something.
Shy blushed and let go of my hoof. “Oh. Um, sorry, Pinkie. I get kind of… cuddly when I sleep. Goodness knows how many times I’ve woken up holding Angel.”
“Aw!” I rubbed Fluttershy’s mane. “That’s really sweet, Flutterpal!” I leaned in and hugged her. “Y’know, I wouldn’t mind cuddling up with you.”
Her face went really red then. Like, I’ve seen tomatoes that were less red than her face. Ripe ones, too, not the icky green ones that taste bad and make you sick.
“Um, thank you, Pinkie.” She nodded, except her face kind of scrunched up a little. Her wings twitched underneath us, whatever that meant.
I giggled. “No problemo, Shy-Shy!” I gave her a big ol’ Pinkie Pie grin.
Fluttershy squirmed underneath me. “Um, could you please get off of me now? Not that I mind you being close, but you’re kind of making it hard to breathe.”
“Oh!” My eyes widened. I jumped backward off of her, smiling apologetically. “Sorry, Shy-Shy.” I laid down. “You can lay on top of me if you want to get me back.”
She smiled a bit at that, but shook her head. “No thanks, Pinkie.” She stood and walked over to me. “I think I’d rather just stick to normal hugs and stuff.”
“Okey-dokey, Shy-Shy!” I pounced on her, wrapping her up in a hug. She said she’d still like hugs!
“Pinkie!” Fluttershy yelled. Well, as close as Fluttershy gets to yelling, anyway. She giggled, though, and she made no move to push me away.
I laughed evilly. “Ha, now you’re locked up in a Super Pinkie Pie hug! The only escape is to hug back even tighter!”
Fluttershy covered her mouth with her hoof, trying not to smile. “Oh no, Pinkie! I don’t know if I can escape!”
“You’ve got to at least try!” I said, beaming. “Otherwise, I’m gonna tickle you!” My hooves danced near her sides.
“Not the tickling! Anything but that!”
“Oh?” I grinned mischievously. “Are you tiiiiiiiicklish?”
She blanched, eyes wide. “N—no, not at all!” ’Shy smiled. It was a sweet smile, which is totally what I’d expect from her, but I wasn’t buying it.
“You totally are!” I cried, tickling her.
Fluttershy giggled and squirmed. She tried to push against me to get away, but I just wrapped my forelegs around her and pulled her back.
“Pinkie! S—stop!” She batted at me with a hoof.
“Only if you say pleeeease!”
“P—Pl—” Fluttershy burst into giggles. “Please stop. You win, you win!” Her wings came up to cover her sides.
I stopped, giving her a moment to catch her breath and stop laughing. “Hee. You should have known I’d win, Shy-Shy.” I wiggled my hooves. “I’m a master of tickle-fu!”
Fluttershy finally stopped laughing and smiled up at me. “You’re right, Pinkie. You got me good.” Her smile changed into a smirk. “But you forgot one thing.”
Tilting my head, I said, “What’s that, ’Shy?”
She pounced on me, pinning me onto my back. “I can tickle you, too!”
Her hooves attacked my sides, making me feel all silly and giggly. I gasped, and not just to catch my breath from laughing.
“Y—you tricked me!” It hurt to grin, but I couldn’t help it. Part of being tickled! “You’re so sneaky! We should call you… Fluttersly.”
Fluttershy giggled at that, but I got no relief from her tickly torment. “I can be when I want to be.”
I waved my hoof like a white flag. “Truce!” My sides hurt from laughing that hard. Y’know, for somepony so, well, shy, she really was good at cheering ponies up. I almost forgot I was sick!
I sneezed. Well, till then, at least.
But anyway, I looked at Fluttershy and really thought about this. Maybe she was better at the whole “not offending ponies” thing, but normally, I’d be the one cheering ponies up. I’d throw them a party, and we’d all sing and shake our tails and have a good time and smile! But Fluttershy—she was different. Maybe she didn’t say much, or do as much, or really do anything even close to the way I made ponies smile. But she had a quiet grace that just sorta… comforted you, y’know? And just by showing a little kindness and being her lovable self, she made the ponies around her feel better about themselves. It shocked me. Maybe we did things differently, but I could learn a thing or two from her.
We lay there for a bit, with her next to me. I nuzzled her. “Thanks, Shy-Shy.”
“Hm?” She furrowed her brow. “For what?”
Smiling, I wrapped my foreleg around her. Her wings twitched a little, and she blushed. “For being here. For cheering me up. I was feeling really, really down, and you picked me up again.”
She smiled back. Her ears drooped a bit, and she rubbed the back of her head. “Oh, well, I don’t know that I really did anything all that special…”
I giggled and booped her nose. “Silly pony! You did a lot for me. You stayed by my side, even though I was sleeping and you totally could have snuck out to just eat. You tickled me and made me laugh. And most of all, you showed you cared, just by showing up.”
’Shy’s blush grew a little bit, but so did her smile. She rolled onto her side and looked into my eyes. “I do care, Pinkie. Quite a lot…” Slowly, she leaned in. “More than I do about anypony else.” Her eyes closed, and she pressed her lips against mine.
My eyes widened, and I gasped. Or about as well as I could gasp with my mouth making contact with another pony. I broke away, and a huge grin spread across my face. “Fluttershy!”
Her eyes snapped open. She jerked back like I had pushed her as hard as I could. She looked away. “Ohmygosh, why did I do that?” She started breathing really fast and heavy. “I’m so sorry, Pinkie!”
Fluttershy turned around, wings flared. She bolted to the door.
I jumped to my hooves. “Wait! Fluttershy!”
It was too late. She made it out of the room and flew down the steps. I mean flew. I don’t think she even touched down once along the way.
I followed, taking the stairs two at a time. I’d have taken more, but my head was all fuzzy from the kiss, and I was dizzy, and icky-sicky Pinkie was enough to deal with, and icky-sicky hurt Pinkie would just be too much to deal with.
Mr. and Mrs. Cake stopped me at the bottom of the stairs. “Pinkie? What’s going on?”
The room spun a little bit, and I fell onto my flank on the last step. My eyes kinda misted up, and I couldn’t tell if it was from the fall, which didn’t actually hurt that bad, or my friend thinking I was mad, or having my first kiss go so horribly, terribly wrong. I just sat there, holding my head in my hooves.
“I just don’t know, Mrs. Cake,” I sobbed. “One moment, Fluttershy and I were happy and smiling, the next, she’s kissing me, and I’m just sitting there wide-eyed, and she thinks she messed up, and now everything’s wrong!”
The next thing I knew, I was wrapped up in a big hug, and I hugged back. I buried my muzzle into Mrs. Cake’s shoulder. Snot drizzled from my little nosie all over her shoulder, but she either didn’t care or ignored it, because she just held me that much tighter and rubbed my back while I sat there, crying little a baby. Maybe it’s because she was used to dealing with babies all the time. My ears drooped.
Mr. Cake put his hoof on my back and handed me a tissue. I blew into it, making a loud, wet, bubbly sound. I just kind of held it there until he dragged over a trash can to put it in.
When my tears turned into just sniffles, Mrs. Cake patted my back and pulled away to look me in the eyes. “Maybe it’s best if you just call it a night, hm?”
“Would you like any food before you go? It’s been a while since you’ve eaten.”
Slowly, I shook my head. “No thanks, Mrs. Cake. I’m not hungry.”
She rubbed my back. “Hm. Okay then, Pinkie.” She pulls me into another hug, a quicker one this time. “Good night.”
Mr. Cake came over and escorted me up the stairs. When we got to my doorway, I stopped him.
“I’d rather be alone, if you don’t mind.” I smiled apologetically.
He opened his mouth, then shut it, nodding. “Okay.” He wrapped me up in an awkward half-hug. “Good night, Pinkie.”
“Good night, Mr. Cake.” I retreated into the room, closing the door quickly behind me.
I flopped onto the bed, burying my face in my pillow. There were no tears; I’d already cried all of them. Instead, I just laid there, waiting for sleep to offer me some relief from the sudden disaster of my night. My stomach churned again, but not from the sickness.
It was a long time before I finally fell asleep.