Apple Bloom: *runs at top speed through Ponyville after being dropped off by the Royal Guards* SWEETIE BELLE. SCOOTALOO. WHERE ARE YOU?!
Scootaloo: Apple Bloom! You're back from Canterlot! How was it?! Did you get your cutie mark?!
Apple Bloom: No. *sulks* Princess Tia said that I just have to wait, but it's SO COOL up there, Scootaloo! Oh my gosh! If I get to go again, I am SO bringing you and Sweetie Belle! Besides, Princess can't always be right, we have to make them appear, we just HAFTA!
Sweetie Belle: *comes running out of the boutique* Applebloom! Didja get it? Didja get it?
Apple Bloom: No. *sulks* Princess says I have to wait just like everypony else.
Scootaloo: That's right! Besides, what sort of cutie mark would you get hanging out with a Princess? We're gonna get COOLER cutie marks!
Sweetie Belle: Aw horsefeathers! I really thought it was gonna happen.
Apple Bloom: Have you girls come up with anything new to try while I was gone?!
Sweetie Belle: I thought maybe we could be coal miners!
Scootaloo: We tried a couple things! But CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CHOCOLATE EATERS just made me sick.
Sweetie Belle: *stifles a burp in reply* Me, too.
Apple Bloom: I missed out on the chocolate one?! You guyyyyyyyyys.
Scootaloo: You got to see the Princess! You had to have a ton of chocolate there! What were we supposed to do, WAIT for our cutie marks?!
Apple Bloom: There wasn't a lot of chocolate there! Mostly alfalfa. but Princess Luna likes to play games like us! She's fun!
Sweetie Belle: *shuffles her hooves* Sorry, Applebloom. We were just so sure you'd get yours when you were with the princess...
Apple Bloom: Aww, it's okay. I'll have to try it at home sometime when AJ ain't lookin'.
Scootaloo: Princess Luna was there too?! UGH. There was NOPONY fun here, Rainbow Dash was in Manehattan with YOUR sister!
Apple Bloom: APPLEJACK went to MANEHATTAN?! She NEVER leaves!
Scootaloo: I was surprised too! I couldn't find Dash anywhere, so I checked your farm. And FLUTTERSHY was there, of all ponies! And she told me that Dash and Applejack went to Manehattan the same day you left! I was SO BORED. Sweetie Belle was here, but she just kept following RARITY around all day!
Apple Bloom: Yeah, Fluttershy is dating my big brother. AJ says I'll understand it when I'm older but right now all I have to say is BLECH I WISH I COULD HAVE BROUGHT YOU WITH! But it was all so spur of the moment. One minute I was sitting at home playing outside and the next minute AJ came running in and saying that I was going to CANTERLOT and the chariot was coming to get me and then WHOOSH I was gone.
Scootaloo: Eeeewww, she's dating Big Mac?! Gross!
Apple Bloom: YES. Oh my gosh. He all nuzzles her at night and she nuzzles him and BLEHHHHHHH.
Scootaloo: I just I could have seen some of Princess Celestia's guards! They're really mysterious! Did any of them talk the whole time you were there?! Rainbow Dash told me that they NEVER say anything! And EEEWWWW!!! You WATCH them?! What's wrong with you Apple Bloom?!
Apple Bloom: Only when it was bedtime! "Miss Apple Bloom, it's time for you to go to your quarters!" But then I'd stay up anyway and watch Luna raise the moon and then she'd come and tell me stories and we'd play until Princess Tia came in and said that she had to go to sleep right now or the sun would be late. AND NO I DON'T WATCH THEM. GROSS. I just saw them at the door once saying goodbye when AJ was shuffling me off to bed.
Scootaloo: Why would ANYPONY want to do that mushy stuff? YUCK. But what sort of games did you play with Princess Luna? Anything COOL?
Apple Bloom: Tag! When we could go outside we played tag. She said she wants a scooter like yours!
Scootaloo: What?! You told the Princess about my scooter?! Did you tell her how AWESOME I am on it? Was she jealous?!
Apple Bloom: She TOTALLY was! She doesn't have a lot of friends, since she was trapped in the moon for so long. So she wanted to hear ALL about the Cutie Mark Crusaders!
Scootaloo: AWESOME! Princess Luna needs to come to Ponyville so she can meet us! You had to have missed SOMETHING when you were telling her about me. I'm at least twenty percent cooler that what she probably thinks!
Apple Bloom: I told her all about how awesome you are on your scooter and how awesome Sweetie Belle's voice is when she sings and how good I am at kung-fu and how we're gonna be best friends forever even after we get our cutie marks and that she needs to come down here sometime and hang out with us and we'd show her all around and maybe she could help us get our cutie marks!
Scootaloo: Of course we're gonna be friends forever after we get our cutie marks! Rainbow Dash helped everypony else get their marks, look at how close THEY are! And if we stopped being friends when we got our cutie marks, we wouldn't be friends for much longer cause we're TOTALLY going to get them soon! Probably before Luna even gets here! We still haven't tried CUTIE MARK CRUSADER DENTAL HYGENISTS! Nopony I asked wanted to help! Hey! Do you think Princess Luna would let us try on her?!
Apple Bloom: Maybe she'd let us! We'll have to ask her if she ever comes down here!
Scootaloo: Well go find Twilight! Tell her to write a letter and get her to come down!
Sweetie Belle: Wait....Big Mac and....FLUTTERSHY?!
Scootaloo: It's TOTALLY gross! I can't believe either of them!
Sweetie Belle: Yeeuch! I'm never gonna let a colt nuzzle me!
Apple Bloom: YES. It's so gross.
Scootaloo: Ohh, but what if that's your cutie mark, Sweetie Belle?! Being nuzzled by a colt. *gag* You'll be a blank flank forever!
Sweetie Belle: I think I'd rather be a blank flank. Maybe. It depends on the colt. Maybe.
Scootaloo: Eewww! Like who?! Snips or Snails?! That's GROSS Sweetie Belle!
Apple Bloom: EWWWWWWW.
Sweetie Belle: What?! Ew, no! Nopony here! He lives waaaaay elsewhere. Why are we even talking about this? Did you girls figure out what we're doing next? No coal mining?
Scootaloo: He? *gasp* SWEETIE BELLE HAS A COLTFRIEND! *dances around SB* SWEETIE BELLE HAS A COOOOLTFRIEND!
Apple Bloom: Scootaloo is saying Dental Hygenists.
Scootaloo: Yes! Dental Hygenists! We just need a volunteer!
Sweetie Belle: DO NOT! I don't even like colts! They smell funny!
Scootaloo: You do tooooo!
Sweetie Belle: Can I use the drill? And I DO NOT! You're the one who has a crush on another pony!
Scootaloo: I DO NOT! And why should YOU get to use the drill?! I'm the one who found it!
Sweetie Belle: YOU DO TOO! And I want to use it because I have a steadier hoof than you. You'd drill somepony's nose!
Scootaloo: NUH UH! And I would not! Nopony has a nose in their mouths! How would I drill that?!
Sweetie Belle: *gets all worked up enough to say something but then crossed her legs in front of her and deflates.* Oh nevermind. So what can we do before my big sis realizes I'm gone?
Scootaloo: We could go look for Rainbow Dash!
Sweetie Belle: Okay! Pinkie Pie said she got presents. Maybe they got US presents, too!
Apple Bloom: My sister BETTER have gotten me a present!
Scootaloo: Yeah! Come on Apple Bloom! Do you know where Dash is? Since she's always with your SISTER.
Sweetie Belle: They're best friends! Of course they're always together.
Apple Bloom: I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN MY SISTER YET SINCE I GOT HOME.
Scootaloo: We need to go find her then! She probably didn't get me anything, but I KNOOOW Dash did. She'd never forget me!
Apple Bloom: *follows along as quick as her stubby little legs will carry her*
Sweetie Belle: *follows after both of them*
Scootaloo: Come on, guys. You're walking too slow! Ugh!
Sweetie Belle: What's all this white powdery stuff on the ground?
Scootaloo: What white powdery stuff?
Apple Bloom: I have no idea.
* * * * *
Applejack: *helps Rainbow get stood up on her four feet again and checks her over, nuzzling her*
Rainbow Dash: *stands uncertainly, not quite steady but not ready to fall over just yet.* Why'd you stop? You could have won.
Applejack: You're more important than some silly race.
Pinkie Pie: Well guess my work here is done! Lalalala! *bounces back to the bakery*
Rainbow Dash: *shakes her head vigorously once, then leans forward to nuzzle Applejack* Thanks. I haven't hit anything that hard in awhile.
Scootaloo: *yelling in the distance* DASH! DAAAASH! RAINBOW DASH!
Apple Bloom: Applejack! Rainbow Dash! *runs up to them* Hey, why're you nuzzlin' AJ?
Rainbow Dash: *ears perk and she sits up a bit straighter* Uh oh....
Scootaloo: *upon seeing Dash, she rushes ahead* Rainbow Dash! There you are, I-- *sees AJ nuzzling her* Wha, huh? Dash?
Applejack: Uh... she was... *given her element of harmony, AJ is a notoriously bad liar and it shows* She was thankin' me for helpin' her.
Sweetie Belle: *watches Pinkie and Redheart pass with a confused look on her face, then turns that look to AJ and RD.*
Scootaloo: Thanking with a nuzzle? That doesn't sound like something Rainbow Dash would do! *looks at Rainbow Dash, very confusedly*
Applejack: Uh... would ya look at the time? I gotta go do... somethin'.
Scootaloo: Dash, what's going on? What were you two doing nuzzling? Does everypony cool do that in Manehattan?
Rainbow Dash: It...I WAS thanking Applejack. Um..I wasn't watching where I was flying and she helped me up. Aren't you all up late?
Sweetie Belle: Rarity nuzzles me when she thanks me. Which isn't very often.
Scootaloo: Nopony's ever nuzzled me when they were thanking me! *completely ignores Dash saying it's late so as not to contradict her*
Applejack: Yes! that's it! Ponies do that in Manehattan all the time.
Scootaloo: Maybe you two stayed in Manehattan too long. That's really weird! For a second I thought you were being GROSS like Fluttershy is with Big Mac.
Rainbow Dash: Oh, yeah! You're not cool if you're not nuzzling someponyelse. *avoids looking directly at Applejack but feels a blush betraying her* Uh...I should probably get back to Cloudsdale!
Scootaloo: Really? *wide eyed* Do... do you think I could nuzzle with you Dash, so I can be cool?
Apple Bloom: I want to be cool too! Somebody nuzzle me!!!!
Sweetie Belle: *trots over to Scootaloo and nuzzles her with a big smile.* Thanks, Scootaloo!
Scootaloo: Eewwww, not YOU, Sweetie Belle! Yuck!
Sweetie Belle: *pouts a little and sits*
Applejack: *is thankful that it's dark enough that the CMC can't see her blush* Apple Bloom, you're supposed to be in bed!
Rainbow Dash: M-maybe some other time. it's late and you girls really should be at home.
Scootaloo: Awwwwwwww. *very clearly disappointed*
Apple Bloom: *runs up and nuzzles Sweetie Belle* Better?
Sweetie Belle: *giggles and nuzzles her in return.* Much!
Applejack: Apple Bloom, are you comin' home or not?
Apple Bloom: No! I'm staying out here with my friends!
Rainbow Dash: Anyway! Applebloom, I think your sister said you're headed home. I'll walk these two home. Or...try to. *flaps her wings but is clearly unstable in the air. She gives a tight laugh.* Let's walk. It's a good night to walk.
Apple Bloom: Hmph! *plops down* I ain't goin'!
Scootaloo: Sure Dash! I love walking! *trots next to Dash, practically tripping over her own hooves to keep up*
Sweetie Belle: *looks back and forth between Scootaloo and Apple Bloom* Um...I guess we'll see you tomorrow.
Applejack: Home. Now!
Apple Bloom: *pouts a little* Bye bye.
Scootaloo: Oh... yeah... Good night Apple Bloom! *doesn't take her eyes off of Rainbow Dash while she speaks*
Apple Bloom: *follows along behind Applejack, sulking the entire time.*
Applejack: Alright you. You need to get to bed, you've had a busy week. Up you go.
Apple Bloom: Awwwww. *pouts and goes to her room*
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash: Let's go girls. *glances back at Applejack as they begin to walk away.*
Sweetie Belle: *walks on the other side of Dash, looking around as they go but saying nothing.*
Scootaloo: *As they head toward home* So Dash, what did you get me while you were in Manehattan? Did you find me anything awesome?
Rainbow Dash: I did get all three of you something. But it's in my saddlebags. Back at Applejacks. You'll have to wait for tomorrow I guess
Sweetie Belle: Oooh, a present? Really? Thanks, Rainbow Dash!
Rainbow Dash: Save the thanks for when you see what I got you, Squirt. You may not even like it.
Scootaloo: I KNEW I could count on you, Rainbow Dash! *sees Rarity's boutique looming in the distance* Hey, I'll stay with Sweetie Belle tonight, so you can go home after we get there!
Rainbow Dash: Uh...okay. Does Rarity know you're spending the night? Because she's the one pony whose temper I'd rather avoid.
Scootaloo: Of course she does, Dash! Rarity loves it when I stay over with Sweetie Belle!
Rainbow Dash: Okay then. Here we are. Catch you girls tomorrow. *She makes sure the girls are safely inside before trotting back toward SAA*
Scootaloo: Goodbye Rainbow Dash! *waits for Dash to leave before she turns to Sweetie Belle* Hehe, ready to go?
Sweetie Belle: Not yet! I haven't even brushed my teeth! I can't go to bed without brushing my teeth!
Scootaloo: *stares at Sweetie Belle for a few seconds* Who said anything about going to bed? Come on, let's go see Apple Bloom!
Sweetie Belle: But you said....Oh! Go! Wait, won't we get in trouble?
Scootaloo: Why would we get in trouble? And who cares! We've got crusading to do, we can't do that in bed! Besides, Rarity doesn't even know we're here!
Sweetie Belle: Oh yeah! But wait! *sneaks into the boutique and comes back with something in her mouth. She sets it on the floor and dips a hoof into it, coming away black. This she smudges under her eyes.* We have to do this if we don't want to be seen!
Scootaloo: Oooh! Good idea, Sweetie Belle! *she dips a hoof in the black make-up and follows suit* How do I look?
Sweetie Belle: Like a pony ninja! Come on, let's go!
Scootaloo: *the duo sneaks back to SAA, going around the back of the house. They reach AB's window, Scoot taps it with a hoof*
Apple Bloom: *opens the window* Hey, Crusaders!
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash: *walks quietly up onto the porch to try and grab her saddlebags without drawing any attention.*
Applejack: *is sitting out on the porch* Hey, you wanna come in?
Rainbow Dash: Oh, hey. Um...I don't know. I should try and get home. You know. Make sure everything is okay and stuff.
Applejack: Oh, alright. *she nods* I'll catch you tomorrow then?
Rainbow Dash: Sure. *She tightens her saddlebags and winces but quickly turns away to hide her discomfort.* See ya tomorrow.
Applejack: Are you sure you're going to be able to fly home?
Rainbow Dash: Are you kidding? Nothing's ever stopped me from flying. I just got the wind knocked out of me earlier. That's all. *She stretches her wings, flaps. cringes, wobbles, and lands with a heavy and clumsy thud. And then tried again.*
Applejack: Yeah, no. I think you better stay here tonight.
Rainbow Dash: *lands with another heavy thud and kicks the ground* Fine, but I'll leave before anyone else wakes up.
* * * * *
Scootaloo: Hey Apple Bloom! Didja miss us? *she climbs through the open window*
Apple Bloom: *nods emphatically* I hated to have to come home!
Scootaloo: It wasn't so bad. I told Dash I was gonna stay the night with Sweetie Belle and she left me there!
Sweetie Belle: Apple Bloom! Here, put this on. We might be *whispers loudly* CUTIE MARK CRUSADER PONY NINJAS! *passes her the black stuff*
Apple Bloom: *dips her hooves in the black stuff and paints her face* This is totally awesome!
Applejack: That's fine.
Scootaloo: Definitely! *hears AJ talking* Hey, who's your sister talking to?
Apple Bloom: *peeks out the door* Rainbow Dash!
Scootaloo: *shouting and whispering at the same time* What? Dash is here?! Let me see! *she sneaks over to the door and peeks*
Apple Bloom: SHHHHH.
Rainbow Dash: *yanks off her saddlebags and tosses them on the porch. With a grumpy attitude, she makes herself comfortable next to AJ*
Sweetie Belle: Dash said she was going back to Cloudsdale. You'd think she'd know the way by now without getting lost.
Scootaloo: *steps back from the door* They're cuddling! Apple Bloom, what is your sister up to?!
Applejack: *nuzzles Rainbow* Oh, simmer down, it's gonna be alright. You just got your bell rung pretty good.
Sweetie Belle: I wanna see!
Apple Bloom: They are?! *scrambles over to look* Oh my gosh.
Rainbow Dash: *relaxes just at the touch, though not completely.* Not that I'm worried about.
Applejack: What're you worried about then?
Scootaloo: I don't get it! Why are they still trying to be cool, there's no one around! *shoves AB over and looks again*
Rainbow Dash: I don't know. *She feels the heat rising in her face for a third time that day and it only serves to agitate her more.*
Sweetie Belle: *sticks her head in between the two* Rainbow Dash looks mad.
Applejack: *feels a definite change in Rainbow's demeanor and mood and pulls away*
Apple Bloom: *elbows Scootaloo* She's MY sister, I get to look!
Scootaloo: Owww, that hurt Apple Bloom! *pushes her head back into the doorway* Is Rainbow Dash mad at her?
Apple Bloom: OWW, don't do that! *looks* AJ looks sad all of a sudden.
Scootaloo: Are they fighting? I can't tell what's going on!
Sweetie Belle: I wonder if Dash said something that made her sad. maybe they're having a fight.
Apple Bloom: I don't know! *tries to listen*
Rainbow Dash: Applejack ...*trails off, not knowing where to even start* I...you're my best friend. There's nopony else I'd rather spend time with. And I wish I could say it was this past week that changed things but I think I was feeling it before we even left. *shakes her head and looks away* I don't even know what I'm trying to say. Forget it.
Scootaloo: Shush then! I can't hear them!
Applejack: *turns and looks at Rainbow quizzically* You're my best friend too, Rainbow. And... Rainbow? C'mon, don't turn away. I ain't gonna forget it, cause I think you're sayin' what I've wanted to say for a while too.
Rainbow Dash: *slides her gaze to Applejack* Somehow I highly doubt that.
Applejack: Try me.
Sweetie Belle: They're talking too quietly! I can't hear anything!
Apple Bloom: SHHHHH.
Scootaloo: Maybe we can get closer... it's dark! Give me that! *grabs the black stuff and begins to cover her whole front side*
Rainbow Dash: Okay *takes a deep breath in* When Celeste kissed me I got really mad and for awhile I couldn't figure out why. It's not like she did something really horrible. And then I realized that when she kissed me I wished it was you. *looks down* And so then I just got even more angry and hoped that a week away just having fun like best friends so would make the feelings go away but I think it only made them worse.
Sweetie Belle: Scootaloo, you're doing it wrong! Give it to me, I'll show you. *tugs at the black paint and starts covering herself in it.*
Applejack: You know why I got so mad when she kissed you?
Rainbow Dash: Because you're my best friend and when I get mad you're supposed to be mad on principle?
Apple Bloom: Somepony paint me too!
Scootaloo: Hey, give it back! *she pulls at the paint and practically pours it all over herself* There! *she opens the door and sneaks closer*
Applejack: Well, there's that... but. because I wanted to be the one to do that. I mean, I woulda asked first, but. An' then when you were so mad and sayin' it was wrong... I thought you hated the idea of it, so I never did it.
Apple Bloom: *shakes her head and gets painted up, and tiptoes out after Scootaloo*
Rainbow Dash: I hated the idea of it because I thought everyone else would. And I didn't want to be shunned and made an outsider. I didn't want any of you to think I was...wrong.
Applejack: I would never think you were wrong. Like I said that night... I ain't got a problem with fillyfoolers. Never have. And that goes double if it's my best friend who I also have a crush on.
Scootaloo: *whispering* What does Dash mean get shunned? Why would anypony shun her?
Apple Bloom: I think... *plops down and scratches her head* I think she thinks that likin' other fillies would make people shun her.
Sweetie Belle: Wait for me! *follows after, also completely covered in black.*
Rainbow Dash: *tries and fails not to grin* Why didn't you ever say anything?
Scootaloo: Liking other fillies? I like other fillies, lots of them! I like you Apple Bloom! You're my friend! Why would that be weird?
Apple Bloom: *shrugs* I don't know. Lets watch and see.
Applejack: Cause... I don't know why I never said anything. *she smiles*
Apple Bloom: *by jove, now she gets it* Oh my gosh!
Scootaloo: What, what? What is it?
Rainbow Dash: Guess it doesn't really matter now, does it? *She moves closer to nuzzle against Applejack's cheek.* I always liked the way you smell.
Sweetie Belle: *Has no words. Her jaw just drops*
Applejack: *nuzzles Rainbow back, but this time, she's not blushing* I always liked the way you smile at me. Made me think it was just for me, like I was the only pony in the wide world.
Scootaloo: *sees Dash nuzzle AJ again, it clicks. She sits down where she is and stares blankly at the two*
Apple Bloom: Oh my gosh, you guys.
Sweetie Belle: *tilts her head and rubs her eyes* What's going on? I mean REALLY.
Apple Bloom: *leans in and whispers* Applejack and Rainbow Dash are in LOVE.
Rainbow Dash: It's weird. Now that I've finally told you I don't even really care what the others think. *closes her eyes*
Scootaloo: T-t-t-this isn't real. I-it can't be. *stunned*
Applejack: I don't either. *tugs Rainbow a little closer and puts a leg gently over her to snuggle her close.*
Sweetie Belle: *makes a face* But they're both GIRLS! Isn't that illegal? How can they have foals?
Apple Bloom: She's... AJ's a... what? *bites her lip and turns, running back to her room*
Rainbow Dash: *makes no move to protest* I think I realized it that night you had wings. When i wished it was just you and me. I wanted my special place to be something I shared with only you.
Sweetie Belle: Oh, Apple Bloom! *follows quickly behind, not caring about how much noise she makes in the process.* C'mon Scootaloo!
Scootaloo: *staring blankly at AJ and Dash, she slowly begins to step closer, not really thinking about what she's doing*
Applejack: Maybe sometime Twilight can give me wings again, and it can be our special place to go.
Rainbow Dash: That would be...*She sits up suddenly, hearing the clamoring of tiny hooves. It's then that she sees a black Scootaloo and blinks, both shocked and speechless for a second*
Scootaloo: *stares up at Rainbow Dash, her eyes welling up with tears* D-dash?
Applejack: Oh gosh. Scootaloo...
Apple Bloom: *is laying on her bed, black paint everywhere all over the sheets, crying her little eyes out*
Sweetie Belle: Unsure what to do, Sweetie Belle starts crying too and runs back out on the porch.* Applejack, Apple Blooms crying!
Scootaloo: *she finally breaks down and starts sobbing, dripping black paint everywhere, including her eyes... which only makes her cry harder*
Rainbow Dash: Scootaloo? *She can only focus on the color change for a second, but then it sinks in.* How long have you been listening?
Applejack: Thank you, Sweetie Belle. Why don't you come with me?
Sweetie Belle: *follows after, sniffling and getting paint everywhere*
Scootaloo: *trying to breathe enough to say something, she sobs raggedly*
Rainbow Dash: *bends down on her forelegs and nuzzles the little filly, getting paint on herself* I'm sorry, Scootaloo. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Any of it.
Scootaloo: *pushes her face into Dash while crying, getting even more black paint on her. After a minute, she sniffles* I... I don't understand, Dash. I just don't! *sob*
Rainbow Dash: *thinks back to when she was a little filly and how her mom calmed her down. Feeling awkward but deciding to try, she says* First off, you gotta calm down enough so I can understand you. *Realizing she may sound a tad abrasive, she switches tactics. She asks in a softer, calmer voice,* Why are you so upset?
Scootaloo: *takes a few deep breaths, trying to get back in control* I don't know! I... I saw you with her and... and you started getting close... and... and I... I just hurt so bad... *she breaks back down*
Rainbow Dash: *resists the urge to hit her head on the porch floor* Just because there's a pony I care about doesn't mean there's any less room for you, Squirt. I'm still your surrogate big sister, right? Still the same AWESOME Rainbow Dash who can clear the sky in ten seconds flat. Right?
Scootaloo: *sniffle* Y-yeah. You... you wouldn't f-forget about me, Dash. *her eyes are still spilling tears, bloodshot and irritated by the paint*
Rainbow Dash: *frowns* You need to get that stuff off. Come on, Climb on my back.
Scootaloo: O...okay. *she struggles up onto Dash's back, laying her head on Dash's withers*
Rainbow Dash: *ignoring the pain in her ribs, Dash takes to the sky and flies as fast as she can. upwards as though they're going to try and reach the stars themselves. But eventually they crest and rainbow tucks her wings in.* Hold on tight!
Scootaloo: *she squeezes Dash tight as she can manage*
Rainbow Dash:*She dives down through soggy clouds, giving them both a rather chilly bath in their descent. Dash lets out a whoop, always loving the feeling of flying, even if she'll pay for this little stunt later.*
Scootaloo: *shivers in the cold cloud water, but gathers enough courage to let out a shaky whoop*
Rainbow Dash: *spreads her wings and lets the updraft carry them for awhile* Feeling any better?
Scootaloo: Y-yeah! I still c-can't fly yet, t-this is great! .... I-I'm sorry, Dash. *lays her head back down on Dash's back*
Rainbow Dash: Nothing to be sorry for. And one of these days you'll be an awesome flier. How could you not be with me teaching you? And now that you're clean and frozen, I think it's time to head back down to where it's warmer. *And down they go.*
* * * * *
Applejack: *gets to Apple Bloom's room* Apple Bloom, sweetie, you okay? *she reaches out and touches AB's cheek*
Apple Bloom: *sniffles* Scootaloo made it sound like something bad, like you're a bad pony and you're not bad!
Sweetie Belle: *climbs up on Apple Bloom's bed to sit and sniffle next to the wall.*
Applejack: If that's what Scootaloo wants to think, that's her right to, I guess. *she shrugs* I know I ain't a bad pony. I'm happier than I've ever been. I care very much for Rainbow, and have for awhile. And fillyfoolers... Ain't nothin' new. You know Lyra and Bon-Bon?
Apple Bloom: Mmmhmm. I do. Them too?
Applejack: Them too. There'll be ponies that don't like it, but... what the hay. There's more girls around Ponyville than than boys anyhow. It's inevitable.
Sweetie Belle: I still don't get it. *wipes her face on a hoof, which really doesn't do much good.*
Applejack: What don't you get?
Sweetie Belle: How do you have foals?
Applejack: Uhm... well. We... won't, Sweetie Belle. I never really planned on havin' any anyway, and really... can you picture Rainbow Dash with a kid?
Sweetie Belle: *shakes her head* No, I can't. Well if everypony's gonna be a fillyfooler, I want to be one too!
Applejack: Maybe someday you'll be this cool. *she grins* Now both of you need to get in the tub. *nudges Sweetie Belle onto her back*
Sweetie Belle: *obliges, smearing paint all over Applejack, too* This stuff is gross. Why would Rarity put it on her eyes?
Applejack: Because that's just how Rarity is. *she gets Sweetie Belle up to the tub and then goes down and gets Apple Bloom. She runs a nice hot bath with bubblebath and gets both the little fillies into it*
Sweetie Belle: *nuzzles Apple Bloom* Don't cry anymore, Apple Bloom. I don't like it when you're sad. it makes me sad.
Applejack: I don't either. It'll all be okay, Apple Bloom, I promise. And I'm always gonna be your big sister, no matter what
Apple Bloom: *sniffles* Okay. *nuzzles Sweetie Belle* Thanks.
Sweetie Belle: I have to go home when I'm dry. Rarity'll be mad if she finds out I'm gone.
Applejack: I can go run a note over to Rarity. Maybe you and Apple Bloom should stay together tonight. I think she needs her best friend.
Sweetie Belle: *immediately perks up* Okay! CUTIE MARK CRUSADER SLEEPOVER AT SWEET APPLE ACRES!! YAY!!
Apple Bloom: *looks to Sweetie Belle* Please stay, Sweetie Belle. Please!
Sweetie Belle: Of course I'll stay, Apple Bloom! I like sleeping over here. Breakfast is always way better than what my sister makes.
Applejack: Good! Alright, you two soak a bit longer, I'm gonna run over to the Boutique and leave Rarity a note. *dashes off*
Note to Rarity: Just so you know, the CMC decided to have a sleepover at the farm. Sweetie Belle is there. Just so you don't panic.
Applejack: *Applejack dashes back to the farm to check on the fillies in the tub*
* * * * *
Scootaloo: *when they land, Scootaloo slides off Dash's back. Still shivering* Y-you'll really teach me how to fly, D-dash?
Rainbow Dash: Why not? This town's gonna need a new fastest flier when I finally get accepted into the Wonderbolts! You should get inside and see what the other two are up to. get warmed up.
Scootaloo: O-okay, Dash. I w-will. *she stumbles into the farm. She goes to Apple Bloom's room, finding it empty* A-apple Bloom?
Apple Bloom: We're in here, Scootaloo! *calls from the bathroom*
Scootaloo: *Scootaloo finds the bathroom and walks in, still shivering. She blushes, her ears going flat* Are you m-mad at me?
Apple Bloom: *shakes her head* Climb in, the water's nice and warm!
Scootaloo: *wasting little time, she scrambles over and hops in, huddling into a tiny ball until she begins to warm up*
Applejack: I'll leave you three to play for awhile. Holler when you're ready to get out.
Sweetie Belle: *in her blissful ignorant moment of happiness, she nuzzles Scootaloo too, forgetting how she was yelled at earlier.*
Scootaloo: *tired and emotionally drained, she doesn't pull away, instead just leaning her head against Sweetie Belle*
Apple Bloom: *joins in, nuzzling her friends*
Sweetie Belle: *her bottom lip quivers and she squishes the other two in a hug.* I love you girls!
Scootaloo: Ooof, ow. *mumbles* I love you too.
Apple Bloom: I love you too!
Sweetie Belle: I can't wait to get all snuggly warm under the blankets. *A thought strikes and her eyes get wide.* Are Big Mac and Fluttershy going to have foals?!
Scootaloo: *moans weakly* I don't know, Sweetie Belle. I don't think I WANT to know tonight.
Apple Bloom: *eyes go wide* I don't know! AWWWW, that would be SO CUTE. And we could babysit! CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS BABYSITTER'S CLUB!
Sweetie Belle: Maybe then we could FINALLY get our cutie marks! But what would a Babysitter cutie mark look like?
Apple Bloom: Baby blocks maybe?
Sweetie Belle: Oooh, or little diapers and pins!
Scootaloo: *Scootaloo just slides down lower in the water rather than reply*
Apple Bloom: *looks at Scootaloo* Maybe we better not talk about this right now.
Sweetie Belle: Okay. My hooves are getting all pruny. Maybe it's time for bed.
Scootaloo: Yeah... I think I'm falling asleep. I'd better get out so I don't drown.
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash: *waits until Scootaloo's inside before collapsing into a chair and hugging her ribs*
Applejack: *wanders down to Rainbow and nuzzles her gently* You alright, Sugarcube?
Rainbow Dash: Nothing a couple of days without flying won't fix. *This is clearly not a favored choice, though she's happy to have Applejack back there with her.* Are the girls okay?
Applejack: They will be. I think Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle are trying to cheer Scootaloo up now.
Rainbow Dash: Good. Holy cow, was that dramatic! The good news is that none of them can keep a secret so by mid-morning tomorrow all of Equestria will know. *Her smile up at Applejack is sarcastic, but she nuzzles against her and loses her snark.*
Applejack: Well, I guess we'll find out how the rest of town feels about it then. Considering how long Lyra and Bon-Bon have been an item, I reckon that there won't be so much as a head turned.
Rainbow Dash: Good point. *She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath in* This has been a really weird day.
Applejack: Yep, it has. After those three get outta the tub, I reckon we should go to bed too. Not on the porch though. Might not be so good feelin' for you.
Rainbow Dash: *opens her eyes* I just assumed Fluttershy was staying in your room but if she's not I can take the couch again.
Applejack: Chances are she's in Big Macintosh's room. Aaaand that was a mental image I didn't need or want. You... don't have to take the couch.
Rainbow Dash: *can't help but laugh* Yeah, I don't really want to go there, either. I was thinking about just crawling in bed with you but since everypony is here I didn't want to embarrass you or make you feel uncomfortable. I can be thoughtful when I want to be.
Applejack: I want you to crawl in bed with me. Heck, we shared a bed in Manehattan all week cause it was cheaper than getting a room with two beds. I think I'd miss ya if ya didn't get in bed with me now!
Rainbow Dash: That's what I like so much about you, Applejack. No beating around the bush. You want something, ponies know it!
Applejack: *grins* Life's too short to beat around the bush!
Apple Bloom: APPLEJACK! WE WANNA GET OUT NOW!!!!
Applejack: O.O Apparently I'm bein' beckoned.
Rainbow Dash: Then I'm heading inside while you take care of the girls. Can't promise I won't hog the blankets.
Applejack: *runs up the stairs and one by one, helps the girls out of the tub anddry, and then over to Apple Bloom's room*
Sweetie Belle: *Happily jumps into Apple Bloom's bed and gets comfy.* Goodnight Applejack!
Apple Bloom: *hugs her big sister* I love you, AJ! G'night! *hops in beside Sweetie Belle so she can lay between her two best buds*
Scootaloo: *looks at Applejack as if she has something to say, then drops her head, shying away instead. She crawls into the bed next to Apple Bloom and lays down* ... Goodnight everypony.
Applejack: G'night, Scootaloo. *clicks off the light before Scootaloo can see her face break* Sweet dreams, girls.
* * * * *
Rainbow Dash: *heads inside and to Applejack's room. She gets tentatively under the covers and breathes a sigh of release when her head hits the pillow.*
Applejack: *wanders to her own room and crawls in beside Rainbow, tugging some of the blanket back and sighing.* I think Scootaloo's gonna hate me for awhile.
Rainbow Dash: I think she'll be fine in a few days. * She rolls over to snuggle close to Applejack.* Man, we could have been sleeping like this all week!
Applejack: I know! Silly us.
Rainbow Dash: *almost kisses her but decides to hold off on that. Instead she just whispers,* Goodnight, Applejack.
Applejack: *smiles* G'night Rainbow.