Scootaloo zoomed past Ponyville on her scooter. She wanted to get away. Why couldn't everypony leave her alone? She zoomed to the outer rim of Ponyville.
She dashed past her surroundings and it all blurred into nothing. The tears in her eyes made it even harder to see. Scootaloo rubbed her eyes, but didn’t stop. She was glad. She had made her decision. Finally she would leave! Her moment of triumph was ruined when she was stopped by a pair of blue hooves.
"Hey squirt! Where is the fire?" Rainbow said. Scootaloo had stopped, feeling the tears running down her cheeks. She tried to hide the evidence by rubbing her eyes. Not sure if it worked, she added a large smile.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Rainbow asked in a much softer voice.
Scootaloo immediately dropped the smile and felt her feelings wash over her again. She tried to explain, but the words wouldn't leave her mouth. "Dia...Dia...Diamo..." Scootaloo said, sobbing. She jumped off her scooter and into her sister’s embrace, all her plans left behind.
"Diamo? Do you mean Diamond Tiara? You know whatever she said isn't true. Right, squirt?"
"Of course it’s true!" Scootaloo yelled, jumping out of Rainbow’s embrace. "But how could you understand. You are the great Rainbow Dash," Scootaloo said, throwing on her helmet and jumping back on her scooter.
She heard Dash’s cries in the distance, but she ignored them. How could Rainbow understand? She had everything! Family! Powerful Wings! Scootaloo loved Rainbow, but she was also angry at her.
How could she understand what it was like to be Scootaloo? How could anypony understand?
Scootaloo kept buzzing her wings, moving faster and faster. She didn't know where else to go. Should she still leave Ponyville? No, she changed her mind. She wasn’t a coward. She wanted to run away more than anything. But could her final words to her big sister be filled with regret and anger?
She couldn't apologize to Rainbow now, she was still angry at her. But what was she supposed to do now? She didn't want to go home and she couldn't go to Rainbow.
There was only one other pony she could think of at the moment, who wasn't Rainbow, the CMC or related to the CMC. It was Twilight Sparkle, who always said she would be there for the fillies if they ever needed it.
Scootaloo needed a place to stay now. She hoped Twilight would let her in. She dashed on her scooter to the castle and pounded on the door. The door opened seconds later and there stood Twilight.
"Scootaloo, what's wrong?" Twilight asked.
"I...ah..." Scootaloo said, trying to stay strong and not fall to pieces. "I um..." She didn't know if she could say it.
"Scootaloo, why don't you come in and tell me about it." She jumped off her scooter and nodded. She hesitated for a moment, but she didn’t have any other options. She couldn’t go to Rainbow and she didn't want to go to the CMC.
Scootaloo knew that her fellow Crusaders didn't have any spare rooms and she didn't want to share with anypony. She wanted to deal with this by herself. She was no charity, after all.
She didn't really want to talk about it. But she slowly walked inside, and stood in the middle of the hall.
"Now, why don't you take off that helmet while I get Spike to prepare his famous cookies? Then we can talk, if you want you can even stay the night. In my book, it says that sharing your problems and talking is the perfect thing to do at a slumber party.”
Scootaloo didn't really care, but she needed someplace to stay tonight. She nodded her head. "Great! I'll go get Spike and grab some blankets and pillows. You wait right here," Twilight said, running off and leaving Scootaloo all alone with her memories.
Scootaloo stepped outside, it was quite late to be at school. But she had detention, because of stupid Diamond Tiara and her dumb notes. She was walking by herself, both Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle had offered to wait for her, but she wanted to go home by herself.
Besides, she never walked home with anypony during the day, her friends all lived in the other direction, so why was the night any different?
Anyway, she thought. Tonight was going to be the best night ever. She was going to go to Rainbow Dash and ask if she could have a sleepover.
It had become their thing to have surprise sleepovers at Rainbow’s house. It began when Scootaloo couldn’t go home because of her mum. She timidly asked Rainbow if she could stay over that day.
Rainbow, of course, agreed. From then on, she would occasionally pick Scootaloo up from school. Then they would practice flying and afterwards they would go to Rainbow’s.
Those were Scootaloo’s favourite days. Her worst days were when she had to go home to her mum. They lived alone and never spoke a word to each other, they only yelled and fought.
Her mother was constantly out, partying and ignoring her daughter. Once Scootaloo was considered old enough she was left home alone in the large dark house.
The first time it had happened, Scootaloo was barely four and begged her mother to stay. She didn't want to alone in the dark where the scary monsters hid. But her mother shrugged her off and continued to head towards of fun.
She had gotten use to it over time, sometimes it was even a blessing in disguise. Her mother was mean and cruel, she always Scootaloo of what a disappointment she was. It became hard to be around her mother, even though she desperately wished she had a parent.
But she tried her best not to focus on that. By avoiding her mum, Scootaloo learned how to use her scooter masterfully.
Scootaloo couldn't focus on that though, she had to focus on remembering how to get to Rainbow’s.
She walked into the deserted field, navigating her way to Rainbow’s house. Scootaloo wondered if Rainbow ever got lonely living out there.
There were only a few houses and hardly any ponies around. But Scootaloo wasn't scared.
"Well, look who it is! This is the flightless Pegasus I was telling you about, brother," a voice said, a voice Scootaloo could recognize anywhere. It was Diamond Tiara.
She turned around quickly. Every Daring Do book Rainbow had ever read to her said never turn your back on your nemesis.
"I'm not flightless!" yelled Scootaloo, stomping her hoof.
Scootaloo saw Diamond Tiara and a stallion she had never seen before. He had a pink coat just like Diamond and a black mane, which resembled the dark night sky.
“Look brother, it’s a chicken. Flightless and stupid,” said Diamond Tiara, pointing a hoof at Scootaloo.
The stallion agreed immediately, "You are right, she does look stupid."
"I am not stupid!" she yelled, trying to defend herself. "If anypony is stupid, it’s you."
"What did you say, Punk?" the stallion said, stepping forward threateningly. "You know what filly, it’s your lucky day. I, the great Cobalt Crown, will help you fly. Go home, little sis, I will take care of the brat."
Scootaloo felt scared, she looked at Diamond Tiara, begging her to stay, but the spoiled filly ran off. Scootaloo wished Rainbow didn't live so far away from town. Then maybe somepony would help her and Scootaloo wouldn't be alone with this jerk.
After Diamond Tiara quickly ran off, the stallion began to speak once more. "Now, come on little pegasus. Let's begin, flying 101," he said, walking to the filly menacingly. She tried to run, but he was stronger and faster. He quickly picked her up, using his hooves, and ran towards one of the distant buildings.
Scootaloo closed her eyes and tried to kick free. Why was this happening to her? The only thing that made happy, at the moment, was that the other Crusaders didn't walk with her. Otherwise they might be right beside her.
She tried to wriggle free, once more. But it didn't work, he tightened his grip. Scootaloo began panicking. She refused to open her eyes, instead she tried to figure where he had taken her by smelling the air. But it smelt bland and plain. All she smelt was the stallions awful stench, he smelt like dirt and vinegar mixed together.
She felt herself be carried higher and higher, what was he doing? Why was he doing this? Scootaloo cried for help, but nopony heard her except for the bully tormenting her.
Scootaloo couldn't remember anymore, she didn't want to either. All she knew was that she woke up somewhere unfamiliar many hours later covered in bruises and some of her feathers were missing.
She shakily lifted her head, Diamond Tiara’s brother was gone, Scootaloo thought she was a goner. She had somehow survived, but for the cost of being sore all over.
She tried to move, but found it difficult. She could barely keep her head up. Her vision was blurry. It was nearly impossible to see anything but outlines.
Scootaloo felt her head collapse and she closed her eyes. She didn't feel ready to move.
Scootaloo laid there for some time until she felt somepony lift her body and move her, she opened her eyes to thank the stranger but they were already gone. In their place was the outline of her prized scooter.
She crawled towards her scooter and leaned on it, and waited. Scootaloo was never a patient pony but in this case she had no choice. When she could finally see again, she decided it was the time to go. She jumped on her scooter and began flapping her aching wings.
She began to move slowly. Scootaloo didn't know where she was going, she just wanted to escape. She wanted to leave the awful place that had caused her such pain. But... Scootaloo immediately stopped flapping her wings, skidding to a halt. Was that really what she wanted? Did she really want to leave it all because of the pain and the bullying?
Scootaloo may not have had the best life, but she did have many great things in her life. She had Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, who always stood by her, Twilight, who always offered to help no matter how busy she was, Applejack, who always made sure she had something in her stomach, Fluttershy, who was brave and kind, Pinkie Pie, who always made her laugh, Rarity, who had let her stay for sleepovers, and Rainbow Dash, the most awesome pony in her entire life. Her big sister.
Without all of these awesome ponies, Scootaloo wouldn't have been able to stay here as long as she had. But did she really want to leave? Leave all these awesome ponies? They would move on, she was sure. They would be able to survive without her.
Scootaloo buzzed her wings again, she knew what she wanted. But could she do it? She dashed home, this was the moment of truth. Scootaloo quietly opened the door, and poked her head inside. She breathed a sigh of relief, her mother wasn't home.
Scootaloo carefully crept into her room and looked around. Her room was sparely decorated, she only had a bed, some posters on the walls, a set of drawers and a few pictures.
She opened the set of drawers and grabbed a saddlebag, she took down the pictures and looked at them. She was smiling and happy in every one.
That wasn't her anymore, she couldn't be that filly anymore. Scootaloo grabbed everything and ran. She couldn’t bear it anymore. She had to leave. She couldn't deal with the bullying, she didn't know how to.
Scootaloo was scared to tell somepony, she didn't want to be viewed as the poor Scootaloo. The one they must protect.
Scootaloo opened her saddlebag sitting next to her on the crystal floor. She pulled out the photos taken from her room, the one she was looking at had all the CMC standing side by side in their capes.
“That’s is a nice photo,” said Twilight.
"Ahhh!!" Scootaloo yelled, jumping.
"Sorry to scare you." Twilight rubbed her neck sheepishly.
"You didn't scare me, I just felt like jumping," Scootaloo said, awkwardly.
"Well, I just wanted to let you know that Spike has agreed to join our slumber party. This is going to be so much fun!" Twilight grinned, clapping her hooves.
"Great," Scootaloo said, sarcastically.
"I also wanted to ask if you are ready to talk?"
Scootaloo hesitated, she wanted to talk to Twilight. She trusted Twilight, but she also trusted Rainbow and didn't tell her. But Twilight was a voice of reason, or at least that's what Rainbow said she was.
She decided to trust that Twilight could be her voice of reason. The one to help her decide what she should do. Should she leave Ponyville? Abandon her friends? Or should she ignore the bullying in hope it would get better?
"Well...I...I..." Scootaloo said, trying to start.
"Take your time, we've got all night and Spike can spend hours making those cookies. I brought a few with me,” Twilight said, using her magic to bring the tray of cookies in front of her.
Scootaloo wondered how did they get there, for she didn’t see Twilight bring them with her. She shrugged it off and took a cookie off the plate. She placed it in her mouth and slowly chewed. It tasted delicious, it was exactly what she needed.
She felt better; it seemed easier to talk to Twilight now. "I was walking home late because I had detention. Then I ran into Diamond Tiara’s brother, he said he would teach me how to fly and I don't remember anything afterwards," Scootaloo said, tears in her eyes. It didn't seem very traumatic but it was to her.
The Alicorn didn’t say a word, she just dropped the cookie plate and hugged the filly close. “It's going to be okay. You are going to be okay.”
Scootaloo snuggled into Twilight’s hug. She had never had a hug for as long as this. Her mother had stopped hugging her long ago, Scootaloo wasn't sure if her mother had ever hugged her, and her father had disappeared before she could even remember.
She didn't know what had happened to him, her mother refused to talk about it and only said that it was Scootaloo’s fault.
The only ponies who hugged her now were her fellow Crusaders, Twilight and...Rainbow Dash.
"You know, you gave me the perfect idea for a guest for our slumber party."
Scootaloo wriggled her way out of the hug, "I'm talking to you about my...my...feelings and you are thinking about a party?!" Scootaloo yelled as she ran upstairs and went into the first room. It was empty besides the bed, Scootaloo jumped on it and began to cry again.
Hours passed and nopony disturbed Scootaloo. The silence reminded her of her normal day, they reminded her of the feelings she hated. The feelings of loneliness she had not had in a long time. The young Pegasus was sick of it, she never wanted to be alone. But she wouldn't go to Twilight, the Alicorn had already let her down once.
Scootaloo rolled over and saw a window. She was tempted to jump out the window to reach for a cloud. According to Rainbow, clouds were the best for naps and Scootaloo needed something to do, something to fend off her loneliness.
Scootaloo walked over to the window and looked down. Her wings spread by themselves, it was as if they were saying this was her moment, her time to fly. But the castle was so high, and even though she wasn't scared of heights, looking down made her realise that if she jumped out the window, she would fall and it would hurt. Scootaloo shook at the prospect of more pain..
She backed away from the window and pushed her wings down using her hooves.
She refused to jump, she wouldn't be able to make it. She knew she wouldn't and she didn't need another reminder of how she was flightless.
Scootaloo crawled back over to the bed, and ignored her dreams of flying. She wouldn’t do anything except wait. Her boredom would eventually fade away.
Her musing was interrupted by a knock at the door.
"Don't come in, Twilight!" she cried.
"I'm not Twilight," said a soft voice. Scootaloo turned to face the pony. She saw a tall pink Alicorn standing in the doorway. It was Princess Cadance!
"Princess?" she squeaked, shocked. What was Princess Cadance doing here? Scootaloo jumped off the bed.
"Hello Scootaloo, Twilight explained everything to me. She thought I could help."
"I don't need any help and even if I did, how could you help me? You are a princess, you have never been treated this way. Never thought of running away from everything"
"Just because I am a princess doesn't mean I haven't experienced similar things. Do you know how long Twilight has known me?"
"No? I bet she just met you at the castle."
"That's not exactly true. I met Twilight even before she was a student. She was just a filly and I was her foalsitter."
"You were never foalsitter. You being a foal sitter is like Rainbow being a turtle or being transformed into a turtle." Scootaloo felt outraged, why was the princess trying to relate to her through lies? Princess Cadance was born a princess and always would be a princess!
"I'm afraid you best be on the lookout for Rainbow Dash then. Because I was a foalsitter. But before being a foalsitter, or a princess. I was a village pony."
"Really?" Scootaloo said, interested now. Maybe they were more similar than she expected.
"Yes, I was. I was dropped off on the doorstep of my parents’ house in an Earth pony village. I was the only Winged Unicorn, the only pony there with either wings or a horn. The only other ponies who had either were outsiders, which made some ponies treat me like an outsider. When I was six years old, I started to attempt to fly. I kept falling and all the other village kids stopped and watched me fall. I thought they would encourage me, but instead they laughed and joked," Cadance said, she stopped for a brief moment and then flapped her wings.
"I had the tiniest wings, even smaller than yours.” Scootaloo stared at the princess’ massive wings. She couldn’t believe they were once smaller than hers. “ I was ridiculed for trying to learn how to fly. When I was unable to do it, they said I would never fly and I believed them. Because I had no idea how long it took the other pegasi to fly and I thought I was behind. So I gave up and started to wear a jacket and a hat to hide my differences. However, one day an outsider saw me in my disguise and smiled. He stopped and spoke to me, like to a normal filly. I wasn't anypony at that point, but he saw I needed help. He eventually discovered that I couldn't fly and offered to help. He taught me when no one would and found out why I could not fly. My wings weren't preened," Cadance said. Once she had finished talking. Scootaloo was in shock. She couldn’t believe that the princess went through these things.
"How did you deal with those bullies?" Scootaloo asked shyly.
"I just ignored them. I worked on my flying to prove them wrong and I hanged around with my family."
"I can't do that. My mother doesn't care, she says that I am a burden and a disappointment." Scootaloo said, lowering her head. Princess Cadance placed a hoof underneath her chin and raised her head.
"Family is not always just blood. I loved Twilight like a sister even before I married Shining. Do you have anyone like that?"
Scootaloo thought for a second. "I have Rainbow Dash, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle."
"Then maybe stay with one of them for a short amount of time and try to talk to your mum."
"But there are still the bullies." Scootaloo didn't know if she could stay in Ponyville if she had to deal with them every day.
"They will go away with time, just stay away from them and report them to the school. I’m sure your new family members will help you deal with them," Cadance said with a wink.
"And the flying?"
"Practice and take care of your wings. I know you will get there one day." Scootaloo spread her wings and looked at them. She compared them to Princess Cadance’s massive wings. She could only hope that her wings would be just as grand one day.
"Thanks, Princess Cadance."
"You are very welcome. Now, how would you like to join Twilight, Spike and myself downstairs?" Cadance said, removing her hoof from under Scootaloo’s chin.
"Sure." Scootaloo hopped down the bed, following the Princess. Cadance had given her some things to think about. She would go visit Rainbow tomorrow.
But for now she could enjoy the movies and legendary cookies.
Scootaloo woke up from a lovely dream about her flying for the first time and then beating Rainbow Dash. When she woke up, everypony else was still asleep.
She ran out of the room, carefully. She didn't want to wake anypony. Scootaloo grabbed a piece of paper, that she hoped wasn't important, and wrote a note that she was going to Rainbow and would be back later.
She wasn't sure where to put it, so she decided to place it on Twilight’s face. Scootaloo was sure she would find it. She then clipped on her helmet and ran.
She ran out of the room and towards the castle exit. She opened the door, grabbed her scooter and zoomed below Rainbow’s cloud home.
"Rainbow! Rainbow Dash!" Scootaloo called. A rainbow streak zoomed out of the sky, and flew on to the ground where Scootaloo was.
"Squirt! Where were you? I was so worried after you left last night."
"I'm sorry, Rainbow. I didn't want you to see me as poor Scootaloo, the charity case."
"Let me finish. I realised something. You didn't see me any different after I told you I was scared. So why would you see me any differently because I couldn't deal with bullies, right?”
"Of course, I wouldn't Scoots. Wait, bullies? As in more than one? Did they gang up on you? Is that why you were…”
“Yes, but I don't want you to do anything about it. I want to figure out on my own how to deal with this,” Scootaloo said as she tried to pull herself together.
Rainbow pulled the filly into a hug. “Just don't ever do that again. From now on, I’ll walk you to school and back.”
“You don't have to...”
“I don’t have to, but I want to. I was worried about you, you are my little sister! I don’t want you to get hurt, promise you won't do this again.”
Scootaloo nodded her head, and muffled her tears by burrowing her face into Rainbow’s coat. She then pushed herself away from the mare.
“I don't want to be hurt anymore. Please don't let anyone hurt me. I just want to belong, to have a family. I’ve never had a family, I’ve had a pony pretending to be my mother. She said I didn't deserve a proper family and that was why my father left. She said I was nothing but a blank flank who couldn’t fly. Is that true? Do I deserve this? Am I nothing?”
“You aren't nothing, I wanted you to be my sister for the same reason you wanted to be my sister. I was alone and admired you, you never gave up and always tried. In fact, I was afraid somepony as awesome as you might say no.”
“Really?” Scootaloo asked, she had never thought of herself that way. She never knew Rainbow even noticed her.
“Of course, after all, us awesome ponies have to stick together,” Rainbow said, pulling the filly back into the hug.
“I don't want to be alone anymore. I want to have a family.”
“We are family, I’m your big sister and I will always be here for you,” Rainbow said. With a smirk, she added,” You know families do live together?”
Scootaloo stopped, had her big sister just suggested…? “Scootaloo, do you want to live with me everyday and be my awesome little sister?”
Scootaloo didn't say a word. She just started screaming.
“What did I do? You don't have to if you don't want to. Or are you hurt? What do I do?” Rainbow asked, panicking. She released the filly from the hug.
Scootaloo stopped screaming and spoke, “I’m fine, Rainbow. I’m happy. I’m no longer alone.”
“You mean we’re no longer alone,” Rainbow said, placing a wing over her sister's back.
"Hey Rainbow, can we work on my flying?” Scootaloo asked, her determination had returned after talking to Princess Cadance. She would fly one day.
"Sure, now let’s make you twenty percent more awesome," Rainbow said, picking up her little sister.
“Wait! Not right now, my wings still hurt!” Scootaloo said, panicking, she wasn't ready to try flying yet.
“I won't rush you squirt. We can make you twenty percent cooler whenever you're ready,” Rainbow said, flapping her wings and taking to the sky.
Scootaloo closed her eyes. She wasn’t completely comfortable with flying yet, it made her think of the pain from yesterday.
But it didn't bother her right now, she was happy. More happy than she had ever been, she had followed Cadance's advice and had found a new family.
A family who made her happy and cared for her. She was no longer alone.