"On a scale of one to ten, do I have to stop organizing the library and do this?" Twilight asked as she tiredly looked down into her early, early, early morning cup of tea courtesy of her assistant.
"Twilight, you promised Applejack you'd help her out on the farm today. Besides, you've been spending all your spare time trying out arrangement after arrangement for the library to see which one is most efficient. It was great to see you happy for the first couple days but after that it just started getting weird," Spike answered as he pushed the tea cart back into the kitchen.
Twilight bit her lip in sheer delight as she slowly slid the drawer of index cards back into the library's brand new catalog file, relishing in the smell of brand new print and the sound the card's small bit of momentum made as they shifted in their prim and proper arrangement within. She let out a soft shudder and then turned to resume her work only to see a little baby dragon who had just entered the room carrying bags of groceries, looking at her in sheer confusion and causing her to flush beet red before hastily claiming that the cat they both knew she didn't have was on fire then fleeing through another door.
"But it's so inefficient and time consuming to walk all the way to the farm, spend otherwise productive hours doing menial labor, and then walking all the way back to here to only then start doing what I wanted to do in the first place!" Twilight countered as she leaned to the side in her seat to look into the nearby kitchen where Spike was washing dishes.
"Listen, I know you've got over a decade on me and all, but in my many attempts at having a life outside of helping you do stuff, the first thing I learned was that one of the basics of making and keeping friends is that you periodically stop doing what you want to do and start doing what somepony else wants to do," the little dragon called back over the sound of water rushing in the sink shortly before shutting it off.
"There has got to be a better way to do it though, I mean, we owe every advance that we've made as a species to somepony thinking that about various things, so why does friendship have to be the exception?" Twilight pondered while Spike stood in the kitchen doorway drying his claws off with a small towel. "Wait...wait, what if there was a big book, and everypony got a page to their own. They could put pictures of their face in the book, and then write a short description of themselves and list their interests for any interested pony to read. Then other ponies could use the blank space of that page to write comments to that pony who could then read them later at their convenience! We could even have a field to fill out when you wish to officially declare yourself a friend of somepony, and even keep a track of how many friends each pony has so everypony has a numerical metric of their social worthiness!"
"Twilight that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
Ruined Forever: Season One
"Thanks again for helpin' me harvest all these here apples Twi, ah know ya got a lot of studyin' to do, so it means a lot to me for ya to take time out of your schedule," Applejack told Twilight appreciatively, looking back at her over her shoulder as they made their way back to the farm laden with filled apple baskets.
"To be honest, I was just going to levitate them out of the trees and into the baskets all at once, but then you started talking about your brother wearing mare's undergarments. Speaking of which, what does Granny Smith's girdle look like exactly?" Twilight inquired with quite the bit of interest.
"Uh...well uh, it's just a plain white girdle...ah guess?" Applejack replied uncertainly with raised eyebrow.
"That's it? You don't have anything like a black lacy garter belt or panties for er...maximum humiliation when he loses the bet?" she asked, absolutely saturated with innocence.
"Ah sure as hay don't have any of those things, and if Granny Smith does, ah'd really rather not know about it."
"Well it's a good thing you have a friend with spare government money to buy some for you! He'll uh...never cross you again when he has to walk down Stirrup Street wearing those things, bringing emphasis to those powerful haunches of his, and making it impossible not to notice the bulge of his-"
"Ah don't think ah'm comfortable havin' this conversation anymore sugarcube," Applejack cut her off with a deadpan stare shortly before Spike ate a particularly lovely looking apple in one bite. "Spike, don't go eatin' mah merchandise, we gotta sell those to keep a roof over our heads!"
"Oh, sorry, I figured one wouldn't hurt and all, do you want it back?" Spike asked in reply.
"Well obviously not, just don't go doin' that again ya hear?"
"Right!" Spike nodded before his cheeks puffed out.
"Ah already said I don't want it back!"
The baby dragon belched up a gout of green flame that formed into a neatly rolled up letter complete with royal seal that Twilight grabbed hold of with her magic. "Letter from the princess actually," the unicorn corrected her.
"What the...ya get mail through Spike?" Applejack asked incredulously.
"Uh...yeah? It's faster than regular mail and such,."
"Ah could guess that much just, why Spike? Ain't like he's goin' to be around at all times, it seems like it'd be more practical to just zap a letter right to ya and then back to the Princess is all. Can't you do that?"
"..." Twilight frowned.
"Ah mean, only askin' and all, ah don't know much about magic so I don't really know what ya-"
"I can't yet okay?" Twilight replied sourly as she fiddled with the seal on the message. "Direct to entity spells take a level of concentration and sheer magic power I can't manage yet, so the princess enchanted Spike as a magical courier conduit because dragon fire inherently has very powerful magic in it. Now drop it, you're still on thin ice after almost making me piss myself in terror at that cliff," she elaborated before getting the note unrolled and reading it.
Hear ye hear ye, Her Grand Royal Highness is blah blah Grand Galloping Gala blah blah-
"For buck's sake I hate reading official documents, they take an essay to make two sentence's worth of a point like some school report with an arbitrary word count requirement," she sighed as her eyes wandered down the page trying to pick out the relevant information. "Okay finally!"
-extends an invitation to Twilight Sparkle plus one guest.
In a bout of good timing, Spike let loose another burst of flame to materialize a pair of golden tickets that he grabbed from the air.
"The Grand Gallopin' Gala?!" Applejack gasped in amazement as she hopped closer and looked at the note and tickets eagerly. "That's only the most high profile event in all of Canterlot! Heck, never mind Canterlot, all of Equestria!"
"I know! And I know exactly who I'm taking with me!" Twilight replied with a big smile and twinkle in her eye.
"Gala?" Twilight asked with that same smile and big sparkling eyes.
"Nnnope," Big Mac answered as he set a large hay bale on a wagon.
"Please?" Twilight asked again, her mood glowing a bit less brightly.
"Nnnope," Big Mac repeated, voice muffled by the hammer in his mouth as he nailed a loose plank on the side of the barn back into place.
"Pleeeeeeaaaaaaase?" Twilight asked a third time, now seated with raised forelegs pressed together pleadingly.
"Nnnope," Big Mac declined again as he helped Applebloom up a tree to retrieve the ball that had accidentally gotten stuck in its branches.
"GO WITH ME TO THE GALA OR I TEAR YOUR SISTER LIMB FROM LIMB!" Twilight threatened with a magically altered demonic voice as Applejack levitated off the ground in the grip of her aura.
"Twilight!" the farm mare scolded with a cross glare.
"Sorry," she apologized sheepishly before setting her down.
Twilight walked along with Applejack through the orchard hanging her head in defeat with the two tickets in front of her. "I don't suppose you'd want to go, Spike?"
"Heck no, every 'party' in Canterlot is a bunch of politicians and business ponies talking about stuff I couldn't care less about, I can only imagine the Grand Galloping Gala will be that times ten or so," Spike dismissed with a wave of his claw.
"Well if Spike won't go, ah sure will," Applejack offered. "Ah could sell mah wares to them business ponies he was talkin' about and make a whole bundle of bits that ah'd use to improve mah family's life here at the farm."
"Um, I'm not one hundred percent sure your business plan is going to pan out in that particular market, but you're sure welcome to try," Twilight replied as one of the tickets started floating toward Applejack. She was then slammed into the ground as a consequence of interrupting gravity's attempt to pull an unconscious rainbow maned pegasus mare down to the earth.
"Wha...what the...where the hay am I?" Rainbow Dash groaned as she blinked against the sunlight and looked around in confusion.
Twilight pulled her head out of the dirt and spat some of it out. "You know, I'd be angrier, but the last time this happened it left a crater, so this is actually huge progress."
"Seriously, where am I? The last thing I remember is Celestia sentencing Twilight," she asked as she weakly rolled off the purple unicorn.
"Ya'll started actin' like a dopey idiot when 'the real good stuff', as Twilight put it, from that flower you ate kicked in," Applejack replied as she helped Twilight back to her hooves with a grunt.
"Yes, the active ingredient in Gaudius Tripiscus causes hallucinations until the body breaks it all down into simpler components, which creates a small gap where nothing's the matter and everypony might think it's worn off. But then, once those simpler components actually kick in, it causes a conscious dreamlike euphoric state and more hallucinations, though thanks to the drug induced mood they're always pleasant," Twilight elucidated at length.
"Fluttershy offered to take care of ya, but Angel Bunny was havin' a bit too much fun with the situation."
"C'mere you little pancake fairy, I'm gonna catch you and get exactly seventeen wishes!" Rainbow Dash lilted with dilated pupils, her dumbly smiling visage focused on a yellow frisbee that Angel Bunny was waving back and forth over his head with a devilish smirk. He then tossed it into the nearby roaring fireplace, prompting the cyan mare to pursue it with oblivious gusto. The only thing that kept her from being seared was the yellow pegasus that tackled her out of the air.
"So then we figured it'd be better if ya stayed here since we don't have a bunch a' critters to look after, but, uh..."
The twinkle eyed pegasus chewed away happily at the red bow in her mouth as though it were the single greatest thing anypony had ever had the miraculous fortune to chew. Meanwhile the filly wearing that same bow in her mane sat there on her chair, glowering accusingly at her older sister.
"Look, Applebloom, she ain't right, just take that bow off and get another from the closet."
"Ah did! Twice! She stopped chewin' the one ah took off and started chewin' the one ah put on, both times!" she retorted while holding her hooves up for emphasis.
"After that we let ya loose outside and just tried keepin' an eye on ya, and ah guess this tree must've looked like somethin' really nice to ya at the time because you spent half a day snuggling against it and then a full day and a half sleepin' in it," Applejack concluded, prompting Rainbow Dash to jump up from the ground.
"Wait, what? How long was I out of it exactly?!" she asked in alarm.
"'Bout a week."
"What?!" Rainbow exclaimed, mane and tail alike going straight out in shock for a moment before she turned and raised her wings in preparation to take off. "I have to go see my boss and beg her to not fire m-holy shit tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala!" She abandoned her flight ready stance and gazed down at the tickets in wonderment, her professional crisis forgotten in the space of half a second. "Where did you get these?!"
"The princess just sent them to me. I was going to take Big Mac but he wasn't interested, and neither was Spike, so now Applejack is coming with me to try and make a lot of sales," Twilight answered before getting a face full of interrupting pegasus.
"Let me stop you right there Twilight. Applejack was probably all like 'blah blah family blah blah business blah' but let me tell you the actual reality of the situation. The Wonderbolts, the Wonder-bucking-bolts, perform at the Gala every year. If you give me that ticket instead of her, I will rush past security during the show, and attempt to grab all the attention away from the highly trained pegasi that are performing and show off my moves! They will in no way be irritated and will in fact be so impressed at my prowess, and grateful that I opened their eyes to my abilities, that they will immediately make me a Wonderbolt and give me several promotions, fulfilling my dream!" she explained energetically.
"Sugarcube how many times do ah gotta tell ya that ain't what's gonna happen?" Applejack replied as she stepped forward to stand next to her.
"Yeah I have to go with Applejack here, her plan at least rests in the relative realm of possibili-"
"Oh come on Twilight! She's going to take all that money and just fix a barn roof that's going to get knocked down a week later, buy a new plow that Big Mac doesn't even need, and Granny Smith a new hip she won't get to use for long anyway because let's face it she is on her way out in a bucking hurry!"
"Hey!" the workhorse retorted with indignation.
"You give me that ticket, the world gets the best Wonderbolt that ever has been or will be, and gets to enjoy that legacy forever! You can do something awesome for the whole world forever Twilight!"
"Because clearly getting bludgeoned to near death trying to save the world last week was insufficient," the unicorn replied with a roll of the eyes.
"Fine, we'll do this Cloudsdale style!" Rainbow Dash turned and pointed a challenging hoof at the orange farm mare. "You, me, hoof wrestling, and the winner gets the ticket!"
"Uh...seriously?" Applejack asked with a raised eyebrow, eyes briefly glancing down to assess the weather pony's build.
"Seriously! Let's go!" Rainbow Dash reaffirmed as she planted an elbow on a nearby stump.
"Ah'm not sure Rainbow, ah mean, you're a pegasus. Ya'll are built for speed, not strength. Hoof wrestlin' an earth pony might be dangerous for ya," the orange mare concernedly replied.
The weather pony gave her a flat stare of obvious offense. "Wow Applejack, I didn't pick you for a coward or a racist."
"You know dang well ah ain't either!" Applejack glowered.
Rainbow Dash sighed, deciding to give her the benefit of the doubt. "Look AJ, I'm as athletic as they come, I'll be fine."
Applejack strode over to the other side of the stump, having decided to do the same in turn. "Alright, ah guess you'd know your limits better'n ah would," she acquiesced as she took firm hold of the blue hoof being offered.
"Great, on three! One! Two! Three!"
"So you, a pegasus, tried to hoof wrestle an earth pony, and not just any earth pony, but the one who is well known to be the strongest mare in town," the doctor stallion with a limp and the outline of a house on his flank summed up as he examined her chart.
"Yeah, what about it?" Rainbow Dash growled from her spot on the examination table with a splint on her broken foreleg.
"Wow. That was dumb," he remarked glibly as he flipped to another page of information.
"Your bedside manner could really use some work."
"So could your right radius bone but you don't see me holding it against you."
"That got weird," Twilight observed as she and Spike strolled through town. "I'm just thankful Applejack was too preoccupied with setting Rainbow Dash's leg to notice us sneak away."
"That's not going to keep this thing from escalating though, one of them is probably going to tell the others," the little dragon observed.
"Perhaps, but I'm hoping they want the ticket enough to not tell anypony else about it, and if nothing else it'll buy me time to sort this out before something stupid happens and everypony finds out," Twilight replied before something stupid happened in the form of a pink blur that shot out of Sugarcube Corner for no apparent reason and tackled Spike to the ground, causing the tickets to fly into the air and start drifting down.
"Happy Unexpected Tackle Day!" Pinkie Pie greeted the baby dragon beneath her.
"Pinkie there is no way that is a holiday in even the most obscure of-" she began before being unexpectedly tackled, the two mares landing right next to the tickets.
"And one for you-OHMYGOSHARETHOSETICKETSTOTHEGRANDGALLOPINGGALA?!" Pinkie exclaimed as her twinkling eyes practically bugged out of her head.
"The Gala is the best thing ever, the greatest party ever thrown by the richest ponies ever that I assume looks exactly like the parties I always throw!"
"Uh, it's not-"
"Pinkie Pie what are you going on bothering Twilight abou-good heavens are these what I think they are?!" the suddenly present white unicorn asked in excitement.
"Twilight!" Rarity said while latching onto her fellow unicorn. "Please please please tell me you can spare one of those tickets! It's always been my dream to be the single most fabulous unicorn in all of Canterlot and then catch the eye of the Princess' handsome, suave, ravishing, muscular, capable, riiiiiiiiich nephew!"
"Yes! The most wonderful and eligible stallion in all of Canter-what's so funny Twilight?" she asked after her friend had collapsed to the ground, helplessly at the mercy of the laughing fit that had suddenly erupted from her.
"AAHAHAHAHAHANOTHINGAHAHAHAHA!" she managed to choke out, her outburst lasting a few more moments before she was left lying on the ground catching her breath and wiping a tear from her eye. "Oh wow...okay, where are the-"
Her eyes looked down to see not tickets, but rabbit tracks that lead straight to a rabbit holding two tickets making a beeline for a yellow pegasus mare.
"Um, Twilight? I'm sorry to intrude but, are these tickets to the Grand Galloping Gal-"
"Fine, let me hear your reason for going then Fluttershy," Twilight interrupted, not bothering to get up as her nightmare continued.
"Oh, well, there's a garden around where the Gala is held, and it's filled with so many wonderful plants that I've always wanted to see, and so many varied and exotic creatures I've always wanted to meet since I heard of the garden as a filly," she elaborated with a gentle smile and about as much enthusiasm as it appeared the gentle mare was capable.
"So you want to take my ticket to the Gala so that you can not go to the Gala?!" Rainbow Dash shouted from her spot somewhat precariously balanced on a rooftop beam, her right foreleg in a sling and cast.
"Oh no no no no no," Twilight lamented as she hid her face behind her hooves while her other pegasus friend descended to ground level, causing Fluttershy to shrink away a bit.
"Hey, at least she'd be taking mah ticket for somethin' plausible, unlike ya'll!" Applejack chimed in as she stopped Fluttershy from retreating further with a hoof on her shoulder.
"Buck my liiiiiiife," the purple unicorn groaned as the farm mare joined the fray.
"Yeah right Applejack, like the fancy ponies in Canterlot are going to want to buy your pastries instead of whatever fancy horse dove rays they have for free!" Rainbow Dash retorted.
"Oh right and the Wonderbolts are just gonna give ya a buckin' flight suit if ya do a few tricks in front of 'em!" Applejack shot back.
"Well that's a relief, here I had been worried you two would have some kind of claim on my ticket to true love, but here you'd both been planning complete nonsense all this time. And Rainbow Dash, if you're going to aspire to attend an event as high brow as the Grand Galloping Gala you should at least start with learning how to pronounce hors-d'oeuvres!" Rarity interjected as Fluttershy hid behind Angel Bunny, the rabbit glancing behind himself and giving a resigned sigh.
"SOMETHING SOMETHING OATMEAL CRAZY!" Pinkie Pie shouted helpfully while waving her forelegs around wildly.
"Now hang on a minute ya'll, these are Twilight's tickets to do with as she pleases, and ain't no amount of bickerin' between us is gonna change that," Applejack pointed out reasonably. "So who'll get the extra ticket Twilight?"
The purple mare, still lying on the ground, looked up at the hopeful faces of all five friends focused squarely upon her and for some reason felt even more out of sorts than she had when facing down a crazed dark goddess of the night. Fortunately, she was a pony of great intellect and steadfast determination, knowing exactly what to do in order to resolve the sticky situation as she got back to her hooves with a resolute expression on her face.
"All things considered I handled that one pretty well," Twilight mused as she examined the diner's menu.
"Since when is casting an illegal area of effect time stopping spell and running away considered handling something well? Isn't that a felony?" Spike asked, having already left his menu on the table after picking what he wanted.
"First off, when you're the apprentice of a princess and the savior of the world, felonies only get you a slap on the wrist. Secondly, it wasn't technically a felony, because I'd modified the spell to merely slow down time and progressively wear off bit by bit, which is only a misdemeanor and something a mare of my accomplished status won't be bothered with."
"Wwwwwwhhhhheeeeeeeeeennnn diiiiiiiid Twiiiiiiliiiiiiiiiiight geeeeeeeet sooooooooo ffffffaaaaaaassssssst?" Rarity asked as she walked along very, very, very, very slowly, her movement almost imperceptible and her voice pitched much lower just like everypony else from whom Twilight had just escaped.
"Jjjjjjjuuuuuuuuussssssst keeeeeeeeeeeep gooooooooiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnng thhhhhhhiiiiiissssssss waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, wwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeee'llllllllllll ffffffiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnd hhhhhhhheeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr," Rainbow Dash replied as her wings defied physics by keeping her aloft despite a flap rate of one per five minutes.
"Hhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeey I jjjjjuuuuuuuussssssst rrrrreeeeeeeemmmmmeeeeeemmmmmbeeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeeed iiiiiiiiit'sssssss Uuuuuuuuneeeeeeeexpeeeeeeecteeeeeeeed Taaaaaaaacklllllllle Daaaaaaaaaaaay!" Pinkie Pie recalled cheerfully before starting to launch herself into the air toward her four friends at a ridiculously glacial pace.
"Piiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnkiiiiiiieeeeeee nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooo!" the four ponies exclaimed as they tried their best to slowly alter course in a futile attempt to avoid the unexpected pink colored tackling that was imminently going to strike them sometime that week maybe.
"So what are you planning to do after it wears off then?" Spike asked.
"If you're so worried, then tell me what would you do." Twilight tossed the question back at him pointedly.
"Me? Why me?"
"Because you're not the one under pressure here Spike! I've suddenly got way too much friend, way too little ticket, and apparently not enough sense to keep from caring to the point of irrationality. I need objective outside input on this," she clarified.
"Fair enough. Just ask Celestia for more tick-"
"No no no, I can't possibly do that Spike! Do you have any idea how many strings she had to pull to get two tickets to the most grandiose and famous event in all of Equestria?"
"I'll expect two tickets to the Gala waiting on the table in my private chambers when I return from the day's legislative session," Celestia said in passing to an assistant.
"Only two, your highness?" he replied, prompting her to stop and look thoughtful for half a moment.
"You're right, I've run out of napkins. Make it twenty."
"If I asked for more tickets I would come across as the most ungrateful that I could possibly come across!" Twilight expounded.
"Alright, then why not pick Applejack? She has the only reason to go that isn't either flat out incorrect or entirely self centered. The Apples would really benefit from any business she can-"
"No, it's not that simple Spike!" Twilight interrupted again. "It doesn't matter if one of my friends has a measurably better reason than the others, choosing them will still make everypony feel like I'm choosing favorites and leave everypony else sad that their one chance at their stupid dreams is gone forever and it's all my faultand why do I care?!" she growled at herself in exasperation before letting her head drop to the mushroom table at which they were seated.
"Well if you want to resolve things without showing any bias, and don't care how well any of their motivations hold up under scrutiny, just have them pull straws, or pick names out of a hat, something that will pick one of them at complete random and-"
"No, that won't work either! I'll still have four friends with broken dreams and feel bad about it!" she interrupted a third time, now glaring at him for not solving her problem.
"Why did you even ask me, or anypony for that matter, if all you're going to do is shoot down every practical suggestion just because they don't accomplish the impossible by making things perfect while staying within your personal comfort zone? How does that even make any sense?" Spike inquired in earnest, scratching the back of his head in puzzlement.
Twilight let out another growl and got to her hooves in a huff, slapping her menu down on the table and fuming at him. "You just don't get it Spike! You don't get it at all!" she huffed before storming off and leaving him to blink in confusion in his seat.
"You're awful!" a nearby mare scolded the baby dragon.
WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DID!
"Stupid tickets, stupid princess, stupid friends, stupid Spike telling me to leave the library today and not offering to ask the princess for me," Twilight mumbled angrily to herself as she paced back and forth along the road. She'd been looking forward to lunch but one does not simply return after storming off, sandwich be damned! It was only the latest bit in this string of dilemmas that hung over her head like a dark cloud that rained on everything except for her because there was a hole directly overhead that let the warm sun shine down on her. "Wait, what?" She looked up to see a familiar silhouette peering through the gap in the non-metaphorical clouds above.
"Hey there super awesome friend who is enjoying the awesome sunshine because her awesome friend is awesome to her!" Rainbow Dash greeted her.
"Oh goddess damn it Rainbow Dash how are you here right now? Even at a dead gallop it should've taken you all at least another two hours to make it outside of that spell circle!"
"You'll want to ask Pinkie Pie about that one."
"-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-" the four mares continued to exclaim very slowly as they made incremental but futile progress in getting out of the pink flurry inching toward them.
"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-okay this joke's run its course, PEW!" Pinkie said in normal time before she rocketed into her friends and tackled them out of the circle nigh instantaneously because reasons.
"So then I was just going around, doing my thing when I spotted this totally legal, very much scheduled, entirely weather department policy abiding storm gathering and figured I'd give the best friend I've ever had a hoof and keep her from getting rained on while thinking nothing of any ticket related business at all!" Rainbow explained.
"You put this storm together illegally just now didn't you?" Twilight asked as the ponies in the street continued running for cover.
"Yep-I MEAN damn it!" she cursed, starting to bring a hoof to her forehead but then catching herself just in time to avoid falling on her face. "C'mon Twilight give me some credit here, do you know how hard it is to make a storm this big with one foreleg?! Doctor Residence said I shouldn't even be flying with my leg like this!"
"Hey, I didn't make you put a storm together, and choosing to rain on everypony else but me isn't going to score you any points. Now close that hole and get the buck out of here before somepony thinks I'm your accomplice!" Twilight shouted up at her.
"Fine..." the weather pony groaned before moving to pull the hole in the clouds shut, wincing a bit from the pain in her broken leg.
"Wait, move the stor-" Twilight didn't get to finish her sentence before the sunshine went dark and she was suddenly soaked to the bone in rain water, provoking another small growl from her throat.
"Hey, they brought your sandwich out, but it's all soggy now," Spike said as he walked up with a plate in hand, his scaled self apathetic to the downpour.
Twilight growled again a bit louder.
"Also, I took a few bites out of it while waiting for my hay fries!" Spike added.
Twilight closed her eyes tightly and growled quite loudly.
"Twilight! It's raining!" Rarity pointed out while safely dry beneath her parasol.
"WELL NO SHIT," the purple unicorn turned on her viciously.
"Alright show me what bribe you're going to attempt so I can turn it down and get this over with," Twilight said as she and Spike stepped out of the rain into the boutique.
"Moi? Bribe? Why, I'd never do such a thing Twilight," Rarity denied as she levitated a towel over to her friend. "I simply saw you outside in the rain and thought to invite you in to dry off."
"And that's very nice of you," Twilight replied as she started toweling herself off. "But I have a hard time believing that y-"
"But while you're here you may as well get a first look at these fabulous matching formal event saddles I made for the both of us entirely on a whim!" the fashionista interrupted while whisking her fellow unicorn over to a couple of dress forms bearing the garments in question.
"-and there it is," Twilight noted with a sigh.
"I just figured since we unicorns need to stick together, I might as well make the two of us a matching ensemble to show everypony else that we are just the best of friends!" Rarity purred as she moved to nuzzle her head against Twilight's neck. Things became slightly less adorable when they both heard the sound of something pointy piercing flesh, then went wide eyed as a rather alarming amount of blood started flowing down Twilight's neck.
"I still don't know why I had to burn the wound shut and put you through even more pain instead of just using a tourniquet," Spike inquired while looking up at the bandaged tied around the unicorn mare's throat.
"A tourniquet on my neck?" she reminded him.
"Oh...oh right, yeah good call," he nodded in understanding.
"I can't believe Rarity was trying to sacrifice herself to save me last week, and now she just tried murdering me for a ticket!" Twilight bristled as she contemplated the extent to which that tube of pain relief ointment she'd used on her seared puncture wound had been filled with lies.
"Aw c'mon Twilight, I bet she was just excited about the ticket and forgot about her horn. No way was she trying to murder you!"
Rarity, having just finished cleaning the blood off of her horn, sat down at her table, took a nice relaxing sip of water, and then levitated a quill to cross 'accidental' murder off her list of ideas to get herself to the Grand Galloping Gala.
"I'm a unicorn too Spike, and I know from experience that a unicorn never just forgets their horn," she warned him with narrowed eyes.
"Well lookie there, just the mare ah was lookin' for!" Applejack greeted the two with a smile as she approached them pulling a cart laden with all manner of baked apple related goods. "Ah had these here spare pastries after cookin' up a batch and figured ya could use an entire cart full of them tasty pastries ya kept eatin' last week until ya could barely walk for how terribly, nauseatingly, traumatically stuffed ya were!"
Twilight covered her mouth to hold back a heave that almost made it past her throat and then galloped away.
"Huh...probably could have thought that bribe through a bit better now that ya mention it," Applejack pondered as she looked back at her trove of triggering treats.
"Library is safety, library is love, library is Twilight being alone with nopony trying to get tickets," Twilight muttered to herself as she opened the door to Golden Oak Library and then stood there in abject horror.
"Oh, Twilight, um, I thought maybe you'd appreciate having the library tidied up a bit, so I got my wonderful animal friends to help," Fluttershy explained as she hovered in place holding a sponge next to one of the shelves, slowly turning upside down as the beating of her wings steadily grew out of synch.
The mare she was supposedly doing a favor continued gawking at the assortment of paw prints, bits of trailed in dirt, discarded birdseed, shed hair, molted feathers, occasional droppings, knocked over books, and scratched book bindings before her. It looked roughly as one would expect a library to look when a menagerie of assorted small woodland creatures had been allowed inside.
"Aren't they wonderful? They even re-alphabetized the shelves for you!"
Twilight's eyelid twitched once.
A few birds fled from their spots on the library branches in fright from the bellow of anger within. A magical aura then caused the door to fly open preceding a glut of critters surrounding a terrified yellow pegasus mare being hurled out at the speed of rage.
"AND STAY THE BUCK OUT!" Twilight shouted after them, making the mistake of sticking her head out the door.
"GET HER!" Pinkie commanded with a point of her hoof.
"Wha-" Twilight began before an assortment of hooves grabbed her and then tossed her into the air. "What is happening?!" she managed to cry out, flailing her hooves in confusion before gravity pulled her back down.
"Twilight is my bestest friend! Whoopie! Whoopie!" Pinkie sang as the gathered crowd of stallions and mares caught the lyrically mentioned unicorn and tossed her into the air again.
"Oh my god," she lamented while doing a commendable job applying hoof to face in mid air.
"She's the cutest, smartest, all around best pony, pony!"
"Well that's true enough," Twilight deadpanned as she was tossed a third time.
"This party'll get that ticket to the Gala for me, for me!"
"Nope," she disagreed with a flying glare that turned into a falling glare.
"And if this won't work we'll have a super fun orgyyyyyyyyyy!" Pinkie concluded with a hop into the air that somehow adjusted its hang time to accompany the final extended note.
Twilight's eyes widened and her cheeks went red as she was tossed into the air yet again. "WHOA WHOA WAIT STOP!" she commanded, causing the ponies below her to part and let her slam into the ground uncaught as per her request. She got back up, stopping briefly to rub the sore spot on her back from the impact before continuing crossly. "Pinkie what kind of mare do you think I am?!"
"The kind that's been cooped up for a decade studying while her fantasies have been getting progressively weirder and need indulging of course!" the party pony answered cheerfully.
"Well uh..." Twilight coughed awkwardly. "Be that as it may or may not, unless you can paint one of these stallions red and teach them to say 'eeyup' I am not interested."
"I can do that!" offered a stallion from the crowd.
"That was a joke. That would be creepy. You're creepy. Stop creeping! Creep!" she answered in a reflexive bout of sheer disgust.
"Wait, you mentioned a ticket to a gala?" one of the mares at the front of the crowd asked Pinkie.
"NO, NO SHE DIDN'T, SHE DIDN'T MENTION ANYTHING OF THE-"
"Yeah! Twilight has an extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala and hasn't picked anypony to go with her yet!" Pinkie Pie answered as she hopped in front of the panicking unicorn.
"Oh," the crowd said in unison, their disinterest obvious as they started to disperse leaving Twilight to blink in confusion at the metaphorical excrement that had unexpectedly avoided hitting the fan.
"You mean you're not going to all comically pursue me through town with gifts and favors?" she asked, causing another mare to stop and look back at her.
"After what you said about Ponyville before the Summer Sun Celebration? Pfft, not even the Grand Galloping Gala would get us to go somewhere with you," she explained scornfully before trotting off with the rest of the crowd.
"Hey it's okay, you're not a creep, we all know you just like kinky role playing," Pinkie Pie assured the crestfallen stallion that Twilight had told off, a foreleg laid comfortingly around his shoulders. "You wanna go play with the robe and wizard hat?"
He sniffed and then nodded.
"Okay let's go play with the robe and wizard hat," she repeated with a smile as they trotted off together leaving Twilight and Spike to stand there alone in front of the library.
"Huh...that's good we're not being mobbed and all," Twilight began.
"Yeah that would've been the worst case scenario right there," Spike agreed.
"Definitely," she nodded.
"Well we've got some oddly unoccupied time to kill all of a sudden, any ideas?" Twilight asked.
"Great idea Spike, I never would've thought of a tax payer funded day trip to Brisney Land on my own!" she said as she once again stepped into the darkened library wearing a souvenir antennae hat labeled 'Licky Louse', followed closely by a little smiling dragon wearing a sailor's hat with antlers that bore the name 'Blonald Buck'. She then reached over and flipped the light switch, revealing five disconcertingly smiling faces much too close to her own, prompting her to immediately fling herself back against the now closed door. "DAMN IT WHY DO I KEEP FALLING FOR THAT?!"
"So did you decide who gets the ticket yet? Did ya did ya did ya?!" Pinkie asked as she hopped forward wearing a light blue robe and wizard hat, her four friends closing in as well. Twilight's face darkened, and then a burst of magic flung all five of her friends backward onto their rumps, save for Rainbow Dash who had been flying at the time and was instead flung into a book case.
"Fine. This is a-..." she stopped, looked at Pinkie Pie's attire again, then grimaced as she magically tore the garments off of her and then flung them out into the street before setting them on fire.
"Aww," the party pony pouted.
"This is a story about a little unicorn filly who not only got accepted into Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, but was chosen by Princess Celestia herself to be her personal student. Nopony had really paid any attention to the little filly while she was growing up, and she had learned to be just fine with that. But suddenly, other little foals and even adult pony friends of her parents were paying her a lot of attention. She figured it was just because she'd done something amazing and it impressed everypony, and it felt good to have so many ponies saying they were her friends after being alone for so long.
Then one of her friends invited her to their birthday party, and asked if she could get Princess Celestia to make an appearance. 'Sure, I'll ask,' said the little unicorn filly. But as it turned out, Celestia couldn't do it because of course she couldn't she's busy leading a whole bucking kingdom. When the little unicorn filly told this to her friend but assured her they would all have fun together anyway, she was suddenly told that the party had to be rescheduled, but then never told when, and wound up never getting to go at all. That wasn't the first time that sort of thing was going to happen either. One by one everypony who said they were her friend would ask for some kind of favor involving the princess, and every one of them stopped talking to her when the little filly couldn't come through for them.
So then the little filly, after crying alone in her room for a long time, decided friendship was a lie, and that she liked being alone better, because at least loneliness was honest. And then she grew into a mare that now gets to deal with the first real friends she's ever made acting just bucking like all those 'friends' she had before when the Princess kicks a couple tickets her way," she concluded, glaring intently at her friends.
"OH MY GOSH TWILIGHT WAS THE FIL-" Pinkie started before Applejack stuffed one of her now numerous extra apple pastries into her mouth to shut her up, causing the pink mare to content herself with chewing the delicious treat.
"Listen sugarcube, we might've gone a bit haywire tryin' to get that extra ticket a' yours, but we're not your friends just because you know the princess. We're your friends because we want to be your friends, and ain't no choice you can make with them tickets is gonna change that, ya hear?" Applejack assured her while Fluttershy helped Rainbow Dash out of the pile of books that had fallen on top of her.
"That's for sure, because I am sending these tickets right the buck back to Celestia," Twilight replied as her horn levitated the tickets, a parchment, a quill, and an ink well over to her.
"What?!" her friends, Spike included, gasped in unison.
"Yes, I am not letting her ruin any more friendships of mine, and I'm going to give her a piece of my mind while I'm at it!" she continued, dipping the quill in the ink well.
"Hey, uh, remember that 'cooling off before sending a letter to the princess' thing we talked about?" Spike asked.
"Great, you know, just checking!" he wisely continued in retreat as Twilight put quill to paper, reading her words aloud as she wrote them.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Today I learned that two equals six. Now, I know your immediate thought is 'but Twilight, simple math says otherwise', but I was lead to believe this by somepony I hold in very high regard! You see, she needed six of a thing, but then in her infinite wisdom sent only two of a thing. Our lowly non alicorn brains can't process this doubtlessly superior brand of royal math, so I'm afraid we have to send the tickets back so that we have NONE of a thing to deal with.
In related news, today I learned the reason why rich ponies hang out with rich ponies and poor ponies hang out with poor ponies. It's nearly impossible to be friends with somepony who doesn't have the same amount of stuff as you, because you'll either resent their success and ask them favors, or resent their inadequacy and have to come up with all sorts of excuses to make them keep their hooves out of your coin purse.
Your Faithful Student,
She stopped writing, looked it over for a moment, began to roll it up, but then quickly unrolled it and frowned so hard at the page as she jotted down a post script!
P.S. YOU'VE KNOWN THERE ARE SIX ELEMENTS OF HARMONY SINCE BEFORE MY BLOODLINE WAS EVEN IN RECORDED HISTORY AND YOU SEND TWO TICKETS?! WHAT THE BUCK SORT OF KOBAYASHI MARE-U LITE BULLSHIT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL HERE?!
Satisfied with her addition, she rolled up the letter with the tickets, sealed it, and handed it to Spike who then forced himself to send it with an uneasy look belying his knowledge of impending doom.
"Goodness dear do you always talk to the princess like that?" Rarity asked with some amount of concern as the now ashen wisp of a letter went flying out the window.
"Yeah I mean, I don't like authority either and all, but this mare raises the entire sun Twilight, daily!" Rainbow Dash reminded her.
"Oh please what is she going to do to me? I'm not just her student now, I'm her secret bucking weapon," she replied dismissively just before Spike burped up a reply letter. "There? See? Just a normal reply, no fiery brimstone and doom." She levitated the letter in front of her and started to unseal it. "Let's see what she has to say for herse-"
The second she opened the letter, a high pressure torrent of the most freezing cold water she'd ever felt struck her in the face with sufficient force to keep her pinned to the wall behind her until the magically conjured spray from the enchanted letter mercifully petered out, leaving her to cough, sputter, and shiver as the letter floated gracefully into Spike's hand to be read for all to hear.
My Faithful Student,
Now that you are properly cooled off, allow me to explain the situation to you. I was in error sending only two tickets, and I apologize. I did not realize my mistake until seconds after it had already been sent to you. However, at the time, I had assumed you would simply ask for more if they were needed. To rectify this situation, I have enclosed seven tickets with this reply, so that you may bring all five of your friends to the Gala, and Spike may accompany you to assist you in behaving properly at such a formal event.
And by the way, I INVENTED half of the mathematical equations you derive so much self worth from having merely MEMORIZED.
If you need anything else, feel free to write me tomorrow, as I will be occupied tonight repaying my personal guards for the trouble I put them through during my sister's return.
Spike held up the seven enclosed tickets, prompting a cheer from everypony, save for Twilight who was wet and cold to a degree that did not at all agree with her.
"'Repaying her personal guards' huh?" Pinkie repeated with a suggestive smirk, prompting the shivering royal student to roll her eyes.
"P-p-pinkie Pie, Celestia is n-n-n-not like that," she corrected her.
"Oh my, yours is quite big," Celestia observed, looking downward as she stood before one of her personal guard stallions, both of them free of their usual barding.
"It is pretty large, if I may say so myself," he replied humbly, looking down with her.
"Yes, quite impressive, but it needs something more," the princess said, looking contemplative for a moment before her expression lit up to coincide with her finding the perfect solution. She levitated a can of whipped cream off the shelf, and then slowly sprayed it along the length of that which they were admiring. "There."
"Quite a fine choice your highness," the guard complimented with a nod of approval.
"It certainly does look delectable, would you mind terribly if I...had a taste?" she asked with a sultry smile.
"It is yours do with as you wish my princess."
She chuckled softly before she descended, humming with approval as she indulged and then rose moments later licking whipped cream from her lips. "Anything else you'd like my loyal guard?" she asked with a half lidded gaze.
"Hrm...nope, that's good!" he replied as he took his whip cream topped banana split to the table where his fellow guard was already sitting with his own sundae.
"Ice cream with royalty is quite the honor your highness," the other guard said appreciatively as Celestia sat across from them with a chocolate dipped ice cream cone.
"It is the least I could do after what I put you through during the Summer Sun Celebration. You both performed your duties admirably and I have already given my commendations to your commanding officer," she answered with a gentle yet bright smile before they each set to enjoying their desserts whilst nothing at all sexual happened.
Celestia took a moment to dab her mouth with a spare ticket before speaking. "So I trust you're both free for the weekly menage a trois tomorrow evening?"
They both nodded.
"Hey Pinkie, now that all the ticket shenanigans are done with, got a minute to help me with something?" Rainbow Dash asked as she landed to limp alongside Pinkie Pie.
"Sure! What's up Dashie?"
"Applejack thinks that pegasus ponies can't beat earth ponies at hoof wrestling, and I wanted to prove her wrong by beating you at hoof wrestling!" she explained while taking to the air again such that she could hold her good foreleg up in a gesture of determination without falling forward onto her face.
"But she's right Rainbow Dash, we're stronger and sturdier than you pegasuses!" Pinkie Pie advised while looking up at her.
"Okay, I'm willing to admit earth ponies might have an advantage in that area, but come on Pinkie Pie, Applejack is the strongest mare in town! She can't be representative of all earth ponies. So I figure I should try again against a more average earth pony like yourself, which will show her she's wrong to assume that stuff about us!" Rainbow Dash elaborated further as they strolled into Sugarcube Corner.
"Hrm, alright Dashie I'll give it a shot, but I'll go easy on you the first time just in case and we can try it again for reals!" Pinkie conceded, taking a seat at one of the tables and taking the hoof Rainbow held out to her after landing on the opposite side.
"Awesome, here we go! One! Two! Three!"
"I thought you said you were going to go easy on me!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed as she sat on the exam table once again, her other foreleg now in an improvised splint made out of a large candy cane and some licorice bindings.
"I thought I was!" Pinkie wailed, ears lowered sadly after having unintentionally hurt her friend.
"Your insurance is going to be pissed," Doctor Residence remarked as he examined the X-ray radiographs on the wall.