Shortly after Nightmare Night
Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Spike
Cold autumn nights tend to make a warm evening drink an attractive proposition for many, hence the large crowd nestled snuggly into many spaces at the Cafe Tobiano. Some soft jazz is playing from the jukebox, and the sweet, acrid smell of coffee and tea permeates the upholstery. Rainbow Dash is having a nice, relaxing drink at one of the window booths, her mug of pumpkin ale bubbling next to her pita bread bowl. She leans on the table and peers outward, glad to be away from work and worry.
The customers stream in and out as their business takes them. The door it rarely closed for three whole minutes in a row, which is probably why Rainbow didn't notice when it opened to admit her friend Applejack. AJ for her part slips through the crowd with as much finesse as she can (only one brief apology for stepping on someone's hoof), and shortly flops into the booth opposite the cerulean pegasus. "Boy howdy! Mah dogs're barkin' somethin' fierce today! Sorry Ah'm late, Rainbow. Wouldn't ya know it, last cartload o' th' season, an' th' dang thing throws a wheel! Couldn't get away 'til Mac an' Ah had everythin' squared away proper." She smiles at the waiter. "Pineapple shake, please! Much obliged!" And back to Rainbow Dash. "How's it goin', sugarcube?"
Rainbow_Dash is pleasanty surprised when she turns her head and suddenly one of her best friends is there. "Yo, Applejack!" she exclaims happily, her stentorian voice gladly discernable above the common din. "Uh, I mean, hey!" she says in a much quieter voice. "Oh, it goes. Winter practice here, Patrol meetings there, briefings...ugh, /briefings/." She sighs aloud and grabs another pita, dipping it deep into the nearby bowl of tzatziki. "I wish I was in Vanhoover district: did you know they're gonna have a sunny November? I mean, yeesh!"
Applejack grins. She was late, but it looks like Rainbow forgot their plans entirely, then went ahead with them anyway. Beautiful. "Ah'm always torn 'bout that kinda thing. Warmer fall's a longer growin' season. Then, that don't matter out there, do it? Ah ain't never been ta Vanhoofer, they even GOT a farm out there?" She breaks off and takes the shake, which arrived surprisingly quickly. Slurp. "Heh. Ah hear ya, though. Sure am glad we ain't got briefin's an' meetin's an' bureau-cockamamie whatever on th' farm. Then again, what WE do ain't gonna fall on hundreds o' ponies, is it? Heh! Unless all y'all throwin in a freak tornado or suchlike! Heh!" Slur-THP! Must have been a chunk of pineapple. "Reckon there ain't a job don't got SOME part ya don't like, though. Wishin' don't bring th' harvest in."
"It's like the mildest part of Equestria," Rainbow Dash explains. "I heard that it never gets colder than -10 centigrade. Can you believe that?" She nibbles on her pita, a little miffed and jealous of such easy conditions. "Hey, AJ, we all kinda need the apples you guys make, you know?" she says, trying to emphasize the importance of agriculture. "I mean, you guys grow the best-selling apples in Equestria."
Frosty autumn evenings have more or less spirited away Rarity's time as of late. The fashionable fashionista has been hard at work lovingly restoring the ancient hanging tapestries wrapped about the Castle of the Twin Sisters and hasn't made a public apperance in several days- but tonight it looks like she's taking the night off. Nothing fancy, no wonderful ensamble, or fantastic hat. No no, the mare trots in with her perfect indigo mane and a slow, sluggish 'bounce' to her step. She smiles a thin lipped, exhusted smile, and turns to trot towards her friends when she spots them; That rainbow head of hair is hard to miss, after all.
Applejack blinks at Rainbow, a little bit confused about THAT change of subject. "Yer darn tootin' we do! Ain't no apple nowheres better'n a Sweet Apple Acres apple, you can bet ter tail on it! Or yer wings, heh." She gives Rainbow's wings a funny look for a fraction of a second, then sips the milshake, and that's what she's doing when Rarity makes her entrance. Actually, she might not have noticed so easily, except when a mare at the next table slapped her date for staring at something, she looked up to see what it was. "Howdy, Rares! Magic all plumb tuckered out? Here, let me scooch over a bit fer ya!" And indeed she does, shifting a bit towards the window.
"Yeah, darn tootin, heh," says Rainbow Dash, but there is a very slight air of unease, of concern, in her voice. Expressing it, though, would likely have to wait, since Rarity has entered. Rainbow waves at her from afar. "Yo, Rarity!"
Rarity staggers over quietly, and dips her head when Applejack scoots over for her. She slumps down with a more or less unlady like WHUMP and leans her head back with a groan. "Princess Celestia was SO moved the first tapestry I showed her in my restoration project, that she commisioned me to restore ALL of them. "The unicorn whines quietly.
Applejack emits a low whistle. "That sounds like a whole peck o' work there. Pays good, Ah hope? 'Course, if'n ya hadn't made yer name before, Ah reckon this'll do it. We got th' best apples in Equestria, but Ah reckon folks'll come from far an' wide ta visit th' shop o' th' pony who reworked every tapestry in Princess Luna's palace! Ya thirsty, sugar? They got th' best shakes Ah've ever had in this here cafe!"
Rainbow_Dash almost completely forgets what was agitating her. Almost. "And the pony who made those designs for the Canterlot crowd, and fixed up that weird hippie farm, and all that other stuff! AJ,s right, too; shakes here are totally awesome!" Speaking of, she remembers that she has a drink and carefully takes up her mug for a swig of ale.
Rarity sighs quietly. "Hippie farm? The signs?" She looks confused for a long few seconds, before glancing at Applejack for assistance. "Well, yes, Applejack. The bits are lovely, it's a ROYAL commision, afterall. I'm doing quite well for myself, but it is VERY tiring. I've had to trek back and forth from the castle to my boutique all day, and each tapestry is tons of work. I wonder if Twil- Err, Princess Twilight, will request a tapestry too. It's very strange thinking of her as a princess, isn't it?"
Applejack laughs and elbow-nudges Rarity! "Ha! Yup, an' alla that! Yer really th' pony everypony gotta know, ain't ya?" She sips her drink. "Mm. Good money, Ah just b-" She stops suddenly when Rarity mentions Princess Twilight, and seems to choke for just a moment. "It's real hard, it is. But Ah reckon she, uh, earned it. Nothin' but th' best fer royalty, ain't that right?" She sips hard on the shake.
Pinkie_Bye bounces in the door wearing a big, black tarp like a cloak. She screeches to a little halt when she sees her friends assembled together! "Whoa! I thought this might be a lukewarm spot to hang out but now it turns out it's the HOTspot! Hi everypony! Whatcha talking about?"
"C'mon, guys, Twilight's still our best friend!" Rainbow Dash says reassuringly. "I mean, she has a couple of guards outside the library now, but she hasn't really changed much as a pony. Like, she's still into books like nopony else." Why's everypony being so downer about this? Once again, her deep thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of yet another friend. "Whoa, Pinkie!" she declares, waving at this newcomer. It's turning into a party over here, no pun intended!
Rarity holds up a hoof. "Apple Cinnemon, with a large helping of vanilla and almond, please! Oh, and don't forget the chocolate sprinkles and whipped creme!" She announces to a waitress, passing by who gives a deep sigh. "One Rarity special." She mumbles, forcing the unicorn to blush. "...I've been here once or twice."
Applejack sighs. "'Course she is, Rainbow. Ain't never said dif'rent." She squints at Dash a bit. "Ah'm... doin' it again, ain't Ah? What y'all were talkin' 'bout there th' other week when ya visi-BWAH!" AJ holds a hoof over her heart for a moment! "PINKIE! Consarn it! We're just, uh, we're..." Pause. Blink. "What ARE we talkin' 'bout?"
"Ooh, I'll have all that stuff Rarity's having!" pipes Pinkie Pie, interrupting the waitress before she can get away. "Vanilla, almond, whipped cream, apple cinamon, chocolate sprinkles... Oooh! I might even go with some coffee to go with it! What do you think, Rarity?" She turns to Applejack, and then looks over the group. "How should I know? I just got here. OOH! I bet you were talking about Twilight and how she's changed but she hasn't really changed! Or am I wrong?"
Rainbow_Dash blinks, finding herself at the cusp of memory. Yeah...that time at the farm. She scrobbles lightly at the table, wondering how it is that all of them seem to be gravitating towards that topic, even Pinkie. She takes a sip of ale and sighs. No use avoiding this now. "Guys...I think we gotta talk, because there's something that we're all thinking of that's kinda starting to bother all of us."
Pinkie_Bye nodnods! "Yup! Namely, who really IS the Daringest Pony? Are there any dares left we haven't thought of to try? Or... could it be..." She lowers her voice. "...could it be the daringest pony is somepony somewhere who we *don't* know??"
Rarity shakes her head quietly. "I don't think so. "She murmurs. "Twilight is our friend, yes, but she's also a princess now, but there's some changes to be had along with that. "She explains. "Frankly, Rainbow, you'd be crazy NOT to notice it.
Applejack blinks. "Bother ALL of us? Ah thought Ah was th' only one bein' both- oops." She takes a long sip on her shake to try to cover that, but as usual it doesn't work very well. AJ sighs. "All right. Yeah. There's... a few things been on mah mind. 'Specially since Twi's coronation, though Ah reckon it mighta been th' story BArdigan told me really drove stuff home... Don't mind me. Y'all go on, Ah'll listen..."
Rainbow_Dash is, as expected, stubborn. "C'mon, guys, really? Are we still get worked up over Twi being a Princess? I mean, all of us at this table already got access to the /original/ Princesses, and...wait what? What story?" She looks towards Applejack pointedly.
Rarity tilts her head to one side. "Ugh...the time it takes to get a drink in this place. "She groans. Still, she's attentive to Applejack. "Story, darling? Go on, we're listening to YOU."
Applejack oops. Put herself on the spot there. "Well, uh... Ah was makin' a delivery up in Owl City there a few weeks back, an' happened on Bardy, who was on th' little stage they got set up there an' tellin' a story. Ah sat down ta listen, an' just kept gettin' madder an' madder. Th' story was pretty normal stuff, some pony's quest ta save his girlfriend, kinda thing, but he was an Earth pony, an' got all mixed up with a unicorn an' a pegasus, an' all th' characters were just... dumb! Not dumb like they ain't got enough brains ta sink a paper boat, but dumb like... stereotypes, Ah reckon. Th' unicorn was snooty an' noble an' magic-like, th' pegasus was harsh an' arrogant, an' th' earth pony... didn't have or do nothin' but tryin' ta grow somethin'. An' Ah just got madder an' madder, an' he made it worse, he kept throwin' in things that were s'posed ta make me HAPPIER with it, but it was all just more o' th' same, an' that was worse 'cause now he thought AH was a stereotype, too! Never mind that unicorns an' pegasi can be princess, never mind we CAN'T, now Ah gotta listen to some pegasus tell ME what AH can an' cannot do, an' what th' goldarned STORIES are tellin' EVERYONE about ME AN' MAH FAMILY AN' MAH PEOPLE!!!" She stops suddenly and looks around. The cafe is silent. Customers are staring at her. Aj blushes darkly. "Aheh... uh, aheh heh... beg... pardon." She slumps down in her seat and fails to beocme invisible as the regular ocnversation resumes.
Pinkie_Bye is sitting pretty far back in her chair by the time Applejack's done. Her hooves aren't even touching the front of the seat, let alone the floor! She slowly leans forward, eyes fixed as if they know it's important, and places her front hooves on the table, facing Applejack. "Am I your people?" she asks quietly.
"Hello, everypony. I-I, um..." FLUTTERSHY stops in her tracks, one hoof still in the air. "Is...this a bad time?"
Rainbow_Dash blinks, stunned into awkward silence. For a moment she is tempted to entertain thoughts of stuffing Bardigan into a barrel, but that would just be dodging the issue. At the back of her mind, rationality dictates that this situation be resolve in a sensitive and delicate manner, but sadly Rainbow is lacking in those qualities, so she'll have to do this her way. "Your people?" Rainbow states with a hard tone. "I thought we were all ponies in this room, that we all did everything together. Right?" She looks at Pinkie, suddenly taken by a fit of anger. Why is /she/...wait. Maybe she has some odd kind of sense. A familiar voice, and she glances up, spotting Fluttershy, and the look of agitated panic in Rainbow's eyes ought to say much.
Rarity looks...thoughtful. Not angry, or vexed, frustrated or sad, but simply pensive and quiet. (Of course she's angry, Anypony who makes one of her friends upset, makes her angry) She reaches over, resting a hoof atop Applejack's and offers a quiet smile. "There are certain social circles, Rainbow. "She says softly. "But those aren't 'here.' But they do exist. "She explains, and frowns. "AND WHERE IS MY ORDER?! THIS IS ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!" She barks suddenly. "Can't let YOU have all of the attention, can I, Applejack?" She grins.
Applejack rubs her face, deeply embarrassed. She smiles thanks at Rarity... not just for the semi-explanation. "Ah'm real sorry, y'all. Don't right ly know what came over me." She nods to Pinkie. "Ah... prob'ly shouldn't'a said it that way, but Ah meant Earth ponies. Rares, Rainbow, Flutters... Howdy, Fluttershy, when'd y'all get here?... yer mah dearest friends an' Ah wouldn't wanna change ya, but just every now an' then somethin' happens makes me think o' how dif'rent we really are." She sips again, and the gassy slurping sound at the bottom of her glass heralds the end of *that* stalling tatic. "Ah just... ah dunno. Ah feel like folks sometimes think... we're... not good enough..." She takes a deep breath and says, quietly enough to be hard to hear over the ambient noise, "sometimes ah'm worried they're right."
Pinkie_Bye looks around nervously from face to face at the others. Apparently she never ever thought of this ever before, and it's all hitting her at once! "They think we're not good enough?" she asks fearfully. A pause, and she seems relieved. "Oh--like, I'm not good enough at bucking clouds to be on the weather team? Because that's fine, because I *know* I'm not! And I'm downright *lousy* at magic! So I guess that's okay, isn't it, Applejack?" Pinkie is sitting next to Applejack on her seat now, holding her shoulder. "And you know what? Maybe everything I do *is* about growing things! Like happiness! And friendship! And balloons!"
FLUTTERSHY walks in and sits (SFX: hooves on floor) across from PINKIE at the table, glancing aside at APPLEJACK. "Um...A-are you going to be okay?"
"Pinkie's right," Rainbow Dash asserts, seizing the opportunity. "We're friends, and that's what really matters, not whatever powers or abilities or whatever that we all got. Being different...is why we can be friends, because it means we have to know other ponies to know what...what anything is like." She's surprised at herself for having stated such wisdom, but she's not complaining, no sir. Then, she finds herself reaching forward with her own hoof, too, to touch Applejack's. "We've kinda proven lots of times that we'll always be together, no matter what." )
Pinkie_Bye turns to smile at Fluttershy, her mane bouncing a little... but then Rainbow makes her frown. "Was that what I was saying?" She crinkles her face in thought. "I thought I was saying that stereotypes are fun! But your thing works too." She extends her own hoof toward the two of theirs. (SFX: hoofclack!)
Rarity smiles. "If we were all snobby uptight dirt hating socialites, do you think we could have managed to defeat Nightmare moon? I think not!" She grins. "It didn't take an Earth pony...it honesty. And kindness. And loyalty. And laughter. And Generosity. "She explains. "Qualities we all share darling. We can't all fly, or use magic, or turn anything into a joke. "She smiles quitely at Pinkie. "So we have to rely on one and other...or else we aren't going anywhere in this world.
Applejack shakes her head and smiles a little, then hugs the poines on her side of the booth. Rarity and Pinkie, as it happens. "Ah don't mean like that. 'Course we will. We'll stick together no matter what, 'til th' stars burn out an' fall! Ah don't know WHAT Ah'd do without alla y'all! Ah woulda been in pretty sad shape if'n Ah'd stayed in Dodge Junction. It ain't y'all in partic'lar, it's... ah dunno... Ah told Flutters this once. Did y'all know once upon a time Princess Cadance was a pegasus? An' Twi... Princess Twilight... was a unicorn only a few months ago. Ah wondered: do Earth ponies ever get ta be princesses?" She sighs. "Ah got ta thinkin'. Ah got a lotta time ta think durin' th' harvest; Kicks an' Bucky pretty much know th' drill their own dang selves now. So... we got th' pegasi bein' most o' th' army, an' runnin' th' sky over everypony. We got th' unicorns who are th' artists, th' wizards, an' th' noble folk, kinda th' rulin' class. Top of everythin' ya got th' alicorns; Ah always used ta think there WAS only one, an' she was kinda the one special thing in th' world... that was only a couple years ago, now there's four? An' whatever they are, they're in charge?" A pause. "Why? An' where do WE even fit in?"
"Um..." Fluttershy has heard all of this before, honestly. But the rest of the ponies are hearing it for the first time...um, right? "...I'm sorry." What else can Fluttershy possibly express but mute sympathy? The greatest obstacle to kindness is that little bit of hesitation in your throat, but social justice is usually just a bit beyond her pale.
Applejack sighs and favors poor Fluttershy with a tired smile. "We... meanin' th' Earth ponies again. It ain't really about me. Ah ain't princess material. Ah'm barely MARE material. But what about AB, or Mac? Or if'n they eventually got foals, them? Or their grandfoals, or THEIRS? CAN we ever hope that one day there might be a princess that remembers what it's like never ta have magic OR wings? How come we gotta be defined by what we CAN'T do...?"
Pinkie_Bye is again caught by surprise by Applejack's speech. She accepts the hugging easily enough, but doesn't hug back as hard as usual, even though her own equivalent to Kicks and Bucky--Suzie Ricotta and Penelope von Squeezlebaum--also know the drill. "Where do we fit in? Um..." She looks around the cafe, a familiar scene for her, even though it's built into a house--the counter, the till, the tables and plates, the server. This is like Sugarcube Corner in a lot of ways. "We provide?" she tries, though her voice carries doubt. "We make the whole thing possible? I mean, is that a good enough answer, Applejack? 'Cause it's pretty much good enough for me and I'm sorry if that just makes you feel more alone and not less, but it's how I feel and once I start talking like this I can't switch to telling pleasant little lies because my truth spigot is on!" She squeezes harder now. "And I don't know if an earth pony can be a princess but that's okay because there are plenty of other amazing things beside princesses in th
e world. Like... clowns! And stacks of donuts you have to move from one peg to another! And... and friends who put up with your parties." She sniffles, wiping away a tear. "Sorry, where was I?"
Applejack wipes her face. Somewhere in all that, she started, very slightly, crying. She smiles a bit and noses Pinkie's mane. "Don't never wanna may ya tell nothin' but th' truth, sugar." She turns back to the others. "Ah... Ah guess this's been kinda botherin' me since that time in th' maze. Discord snapped his fingers, an' yer horns an' wings were gone. At th' time all Ah cared about was helpin' y'all an' savin' Equestria, but it kinda struck me. Rainbow, Flutters, Rares, Twi... y'all screamed an' screamed, terrified that ya might end up... like me."
Spike has been quietly listening, unnoticed in a corner, while he eats an ice cream float. Finally, he clears his throat and speaks up. Um...not to interrupt, but I think Twilight would say that earth ponies have their own magic, different from what pegasi and unicorns have. I mean, look at Pinkies Pinkie sense, or Applejacks skill at growing stuff. I think its not appreciated as much as it should be, cause earth ponies are kinda naturally not flashy about it.
Rainbow_Dash finds herself bereft of words. What was it like to have no wings, for life? She can't even fathom such a situation, a twinge of horror filling her at the very idea, at the very memory of that time in Discord's maze. She wants to understand Applejack's perspective, but it is difficult, so inculcated are the values of pegasus tradition into her own vantage. She curses herself for the limitations of her empathy, and for an instant she experiences a longing for a kind of omniscience that transcends particular existance, able to see the truth of one's heart; for an instant she comprehends the actualization of the words of the Prophets, and the Sages, and the wisdom of generations, but like a fleeting breeze it escapes from her. But it's these moments that she truly understands what it's like to not have something. "Applejack..." she utters. "We're all afraid of not being ourselves."
Fluttershy nods. "I never felt at home until I got to the ground."
"And *I* never felt at home until I got off the rock farm!" chimes in Pinkie. "I guess that's something--no matter what kind of pony you are, you know you've got a home somewhere, and you've just gotta find it!" She slaps her cutie mark with her tail, which may or may not be a Pinkie Twitch. But Rainbow's words still seem to echo in the air, despite Pinkie's babbling. She breaks the silence with a real twitch, sitting up straight. "OOH! I know how we can really tell whether Rainbow's the most Daringest Pony!" She looks around for dramatica effect, and then: "Rainbow, I *dare* you to go for a week without flying!"
Rarity has been quiet for a long time now. Sitting there, musing, thoughtful and stoic. She wants to say something to make Applejack feel better, but she frowns, opens her mouth and nothing comes out. "You are defined by what you CAN do, not what you can't do. "She says softly. " Applejack, You are not one of my best friends, because you are an earth pony. You're not one of my best friends because of wings, or a horn or lack thereof. You're not one of my friends, because you're orange. You're Applejack. And there is no other Applejack. No other Rainbow Dash, or Pinkie Pie- Except for the one time with the mirror pool, but we're not going to go there. Applejack, darling, To be a princess means you need to have all three. THREE. You cannot be a princess without being a pegasus. You cannot be a princess without unicorn. You cannot be a princess without an earth pony. By that logic, dear, there are earth pony princesses.
Applejack sits silently and listens. She seems to not want to open her mouth again, afraid more bad news will fall out. But her ears perk at Pinkie's suggestion, then droop again. "What would *Ah* do ta compete with that?" That didn't last long. "Rares, folks say that, but... how can Ah know that? An' even if it's true, ain't s'posedly bein' sorta-Earth-ish kinda dif'rent from actually growin' up as one before turnin' Princess?"
Spike listens as the others talk. He has his own feelings of alienation, of course -- he lives among ponies, but will never be a pony; yet he doesn't fit in among his own kind, either. He looks thoughtful, then adds, "I don't really get any say in it, but *I* think an earth pony would make a really wise and thoughtful princess. You have to be a lot more clever and patient to do stuff without magic. I dunno how likely that is, though, only 'cause the job doesn't seem to open up that much." Left unstated is that of everyone here, he may be the only one who has any chance of living to see a vacancy.
"Whoa, whoa," Rainbow Dash reacts to Pinkie. "I need my wings to work, you know!" She blinks as Spike appears out of nowhere and has his say, Rarity's view joining his. You know, that /is/ a good question but... "Does it really matter?" Rainbow points out. "We already know what's the real deal: friendship is what matter. Isn't that enough?"
Fluttershy nods along with Rainbow again! That's how it should be.
Rarity Takes a long few moments before she looks around. "What in tartarus is taking so long with my drink? Did the waitress up and run away? Ugh. I have a very strong mind to write a VERY harshly worded letter!" She snorts and taps a hoof against the table. "By the by, we DO know several princesses. We can simply ASK them, I'm sure. But as you recall, A pegasus turning into a princess happens, and a unicorn turning into a princess happens. There is NOTHING to exclude you or Pinkie from joining them. We have banished gods, TWICE, together. We have seen a million pinkies (Shudder) Sprout out of a lake, and toppled impossible odds. Are you really so worried, that there isn't such a thing as an earth pony princess? Have you been paying attention at ALL darling?" She grins.
Applejack shrugs. "Maybe she would. Ah dunno if'n that even CAN happen. That's mah point, Ah s'pose. Friendship's what matters pony-ta-pony, but everypony ain't friends with EVERYPONY, an'..." She stops dead and stares at Rarity for a long moment. "Ah reckon... Ah DON'T know it don't happen. Huh." She thinks. "An' mosta what Ah'm thinkin' here, it's about what folks think of us. Folks we ain't even met. When did Ah start carin' 'bout THAT?" AJ looks out the window. It's just starting to get dark, and the grass is gently touched with some of the first frost of the season. "Ah reckon... yer askin' me ta have faith, is that it? Ah ain't sure Ah'm too good at faith."
Pinkie_Bye leans grinningly toward Rainbow. "*Is* it? Or is what matters those floppy flappy things on your back?" She snort-giggles and climbs up onto the table to put herself face to face with the weatherpony. "Do you *really* need your wings to work? Or can you get someone else on your team to take charge and maybe make the clouds line up on the ground so you can buck them there, or--I don't know! I bet you can find *some* way around it for one teeny tiny little week! Or aren't you the daringest pony in town?" She swivels back to Applejack, spililng napkins off the table. "If you want to compete? Hm. I can't really ask you to not be tough for a week, 'cause how would we tell?" She's confused now and looks to the others. "How do we earth ponies start earthing? I never really tried befo--AHA!" She goes face to face with Applejack. "Do no WORK for a week! *That's* it!" Triumphantly, Pinkie leans over to Spike, still sprawling on the table. "Spike, could you maybe do some research or get Twilight to do it and find out
whether there ever *was* an earth pony princess? 'Cause now I want to know and I'm no good at researching except when books fall on my face."
Spike finishes his float, and slips his long tongue into the glass to lick up the last bits of ice cream. "Mmm. I could sure try to find out, but there's a lot about the princesses we still really don't know. Celestia can be really selective even about what she tells Twilight. Sometimes she seems to want her to figure it out for herself." He slips off his chair. "I gotta go back to the library now, but this has been really interesting!"
Fluttershy smiles. "Take care, Spike. I-I'll see you tomorrow." And she waves a little yellow hoof.
"We all gotta have faith in each other if we're gonna be friends!" Rainbow Dash states matter-of-factly. She lifts her mug up, but quickly realizes that she's drinked every last drop. Ah, well. "Really, there's only so much to say. Sometimes...sometimes you just gotta do it."
"So you're gonna do it?" gasps Pinkie, accidentally inhaling some whipped cream as the server finally arrives with her order. "You're not gonna fly for a week?!"
Applejack looks thoughtfully out the window for a bit, then turns back to the others, finally smiling. "Yeah. Sometimes ya just gotta do it. An' wishin' don't bring th' harvest in. Never mind that, Pinkie. Dash without her wings ain't quite Dash an' that just ain't fair ta wish on nopony." She squirms out of the boosh, squeezing past Rarity (in a MOST unladylike manner). "Pardon, Rares. Listen. Ah'm sorry fer pourin' it all out on alla y'all tonight, but Ah'm real glad Ah got friends like y'all who'll listen. Ah think Ah feel better. So... thanks. Ah'd better get goin'. Early mornin' tomorrow, we're startin' th' cider press!" AJ hugs each of her friends in turn, then trots off out the door, humming something.
Rainbow_Dash smiles at Applejack and nudges Pinkie playfully. "You guys are the best, you know that? Anyway, I should go too. Good to know we all came together to cheer up AJ!" he gives hoofbumps to whoever deigns to receive them and trots off, too.
Saturday, November 30, 2013