Chapter 9 - Laughter is the best medicine
"Dusk and Spike are new, and that's a good thing // Well, they'll know every pony in the place! //
Now sing, dance, jump and laugh // While Ponyville welcomes you, with a huge party!"
With that last verse Pinkie Pie finished singing the song dedicated especially to Dusk and Spike, all with a huge cheer, while confetti and streamers magically came out of nowhere. This left a bittersweet feeling in Dusk and Spike, they didn't want to admit it, but the joy of the pink mare and her song was infectious, they were about to join singing with Pinkie Pie and the other ponies of the place.
"That was great!" Said a young brown colt who had joined Pinkie Pie's choir.
"Yes, it was really fun! By the way, when will the welcome party be Pinkie Pie?" Asked another white mare who was also in the choir and approached Pinkie Pie while other ponies who had also sung were already returning to their respective routines.
"Huff... It... It will be this afternoon, I'll send the invitations, don't worry..." Said a very exhausted Pinkie Pie as she tried to catch her breath.
As the remaining ponies of the choir returned to their routines leaving Pinkie Pie alone again, Dusk approached her.
"That was awesome! I had no idea you were so passionate about parties." Dusk said with a smile as he approached the mare.
"Yeah... Huff... that's what I really like to see..." Pinkie Pie began to speak with effort, but couldn't finish, as soon as she closed her eyes she immediately fell faint in front of Dusk, who by reflex reached to grab her before she fell face first to the ground.
"Hey! Pinkie Pie, wake up!" Dusk said as he held Pinkie Pie in his hooves. "Gosh... I cannot believe that she's fallen asleep again, is she anemic? or maybe-"
Dusk suddenly stopped talking and frowned.
"What's wrong?" Spike asked, approaching Dusk and Pinkie Pie.
"She... She's burning up with a fever!" Dusk said in awe as he put a hoof to Pinkie Pie's forehead.
"Well... what should we do? Take her to a doctor?" Spike asked, getting nervous.
"I don't know, I don't even know if this town has any kind of hospital or something." Dusk said something agitated, trying to reassure himself against such a situation. "Maybe it's not so serious, maybe it's best to take her home..."
Then Dusk gently shook Pinkie Pie to make her wake up without being too abrupt.
"Hey! Pinkie Pie, where do you live?" Dusk asked softly, bringing his face closer to the mare's as soon as she opened her eyes.
"Huff... it's in... Sugarcube Corner..." Pinkie Pie whispered as she struggled to speak, then fell back unconscious.
"Did she say Sugarcube Corner? That's-" Spike said excitedly, before being interrupted by Dusk.
"Yes, I remember, it's the bakery that Scootaloo showed us!" Dusk completed the phrase, at the same time he gave thanks for not having breakfast and therefore remembered in detail where the bakery was, to visit later.
Dusk immediately thought of bringing Pinkie Pie quickly to what should have been her home, but hesitated for a second on how to do it. For Dusk the best option would be teleportation, but the bakery was out of his field of vision, so it would take a lot of energy to concentrate, and he didn’t want Pinkie Pie to get queasy as was know to happen to those not accustomed to teleportation. Then he thought of levitating her magically over him as he ran to the bakery, but it would be very strange for the towns ponies to see him running alongside a Pinkie Pie magically levitated like a puppet, which could only cause more misunderstandings. Finally Dusk chose the simplest and at the same time more uncomfortable means of action for him, since Dusk was quite reluctant when it came to physical contact.
Dusk placed Pinkie Pie gently on his back, her whole body on Dusk's back as the mare's four legs fell inert without reaching the ground. The young unicorn could feel the warmth of the pink mare's body above him, something that made Dusk blush with embarrassment, since he had to admit that feeling the soft skin of Pinkie Pie on his own skin felt very good.
“Do not think anything perverted! Do not think anything perverted!” He mentally repeated to himself as he finished accommodating Pinkie Pie.
"Is something wrong?" Spike asked innocently as he looked at his brother get nervous.
“N-No problem! Let's get going!" Dusk answered quickly as he began to walk.
This is how Dusk was charging the unconscious Pinkie Pie, with a slow but steady pace for not to shake the mare too much, while Spike walked behind Dusk making sure the mare didn't fall off his brother's back.
As Dusk and Spike walked in the direction of Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie Pie's mind was fadding between consciousness and unconsciousness.
“What was I doing? I... Where am I?” Pinkie Pie thought as she tried to regain consciousness and with some effort opened her eyes a little. “Am I moving?” She thought something uneasy.
Pinkie Pie could not distinguish much through her cloudy vision, only some shadows of what seemed to be the road, but she could tell something that was holding her, something lavender, something that smelled nice, something soft and warm to lie on.
“Is someone carrying me? Who is? I... I have to get up!” Pinkie Pie thought, regaining some more consciousness and opening his eyes even more. “I have to... I must...” Pinkie Pie mentally repeated herself as her thoughts lost conviction.
“But...” Pinkie Pie thought quickly, as her strength left her, again she fell asleep while her mouth drew into tender smile. “But... it feels so good...” Pinkie Pie finished thinking before falling soundly asleep in a pleasant dream.
It didn't take long til Dusk and Spike finally reached Sugarcube Corner, the building left no doubts that it was a bakery, in front of the door were pillars that resembled candy canes, its ceiling was designed such that it appeared to be made of a layer of chocolate and meringue, even the upper floor and attic was designed to look like a cupcake sitting on a huge cake. Undoubtedly it was a very striking building, a bakery that made whoever saw it immediately crave to eat cakes, as happened to Dusk at that time, who for a second forgot why he came there in the first place, as his guts reminded him that he had eaten nothing all day.
Dusk and Spike approached the door of the bakery, however before they could knock, it opened to giving way to two ponies leaving the place, a couple, made up of a rather thin yellow stallion with orange hair, wearing a bowtie and a small baker's hat; The other was a turquoise mare with some extra weight and pink mane, she wore an apron and pink earrings; They both had cakes like cutie marks and they both seemed to be in a hurry.
"Oh! I'm sorry but can't go in." The mare said as she looked at Dusk and Spike as the colt closed the door behind him. "We need to leave on an urgent appointment, so the bakery is closed for today."
"I... I didn't come to buy cakes," Dusk said, who really wanted to do it, but giving priority to the important thing. "I found this mare in the town square and apparently she has a fever."
Dusk turned to show the mare he carried on his back, an act that made the pair of ponies look with astonishment at the pink mare.
"Pinkie Pie!" Said the turquoise mare horrified, coming up to touch the mare's cheek. "Honey, take her inside, to her room."
"Yes, hun," said the yellow pony obediently, who was apparently the husband of that plump mare.
The yellow pony gently took Pinkie Pie off of Dusk's back and placed her on his own, and opened the bakery door again to enter.
"What happened to her!? How bad was she when you found her!?" the turquoise mare asked Dusk nervously.
"Well... Spike and I found her floating motionless with balloons in the town square, there she looked pretty tired, then she sang a song and fainted in front of me." Said Dusk also somewhat nervous, greatly summarizing the encounter with Pinkie Pie, hoping that they would not misinterpret him or accuse him of something bad, for a change.
"Oh my gosh! I knew something like this would happen!" Said the mare turning around and also entering the bakery. "I warned Pinkie Pie that it would be dangerous to come out in her condition."
For a second Dusk didn’t know what to do, should he turn around and just leave or waited there, but then again that lady had aroused his curiosity, so he ventured to follow her and entered the bakery.
"What do you mean by her condition?" Dusk asked as he entered the bakery.
"A few days ago she had gotten sick, nothing too serious, but the doctor recommended that she stay in bed." The turquoise mare answered, stopping in front of some stairs and looking up. "Pinkie Pie is very restless but was willing to follow the doctor's orders, however the next day she got out of bed and went out to walk the streets. She said it was because her Pinkie sense had warned her that someone new had come to town and she had to throw a party, I warned her that it wasn't good for her to go out sick, but she wouldn't listen. That's how she spent all these days looking for this supposed new pony, but she didn’t find it, all she did was to make her illness worse day by day. Finally she could hardly stand today, I begged her not to leave because she could hardly walk, but she refused and simply tied some balloons to her body to be able to float and not have to walk and went out to look again for this alleged new pony."
Dusk was finally able to fit the missing pieces of the puzzle and understand why Pinkie Pie had been floating inert in the town square, it was not that she was tired, it was because she was sick, and apparently it was because of Dusk, at least indirectly, since he was the new pony in the town that Pinkie Pie was looking for.
A few hoof steps were heard from above, drawing Dusk from his thoughts. The yellow stallion was coming down the stairs trying not to make too much noise.
"I left her lying on her bed, I hope she can rest well and not go out again or her fever will only get worse, I think all she needs now is to rest." The yellow stallion, looking at his wife with concern.
"You're Pinkie Pie's parents, aren't you?" Dusk timidly asked, noticing how worried they were for the welfare of the pink mare.
Both ponies were surprised at the question and then, to Dusk's surprise, both smiled sadly.
"No... we're not her parents, but she works and lives with us here." Said the yellow pony. "Besides everyone loves Pinkie Pie, she's the funniest pony in town. And we, even though we are not her parents, we love her a lot."
"That's right, she's like a daughter to us. Although... I hope someday I can be a real mother..." The mare said sadly.
Dusk swallowed and cursed himself for becoming skilled at hitting touchy subjects without realizing it, just as he had that morning with Scootaloo. Apparently the issue of motherhood was a delicate issue for both ponies, Could it be that pair had trouble conceiving?
"Honey, we're late for our appointment with the doctor." said the yellow stallion, looking affectionately at his wife.
"I know, but... we can't leave Pinkie Pie alone, what if she tries to leave again?" The mare replied to her husband.
Dusk went blank while his brain split in two and internally he had a conflict about what to say and how to act in that situation. The two sides of Dusk argued with each other, the one side of him that had usually won all his life, and another side of Dusk that had remained hidden for many years, that had resurfaced just a few days ago and was gaining more and more strength against the old Dusk, and was winning even now.
Against all thought of leaving and not getting involved in problems that didn't involve him, against any antisocial feelings he normally had, and without any obligation or promise to fulfill, Dusk spoke.
"I... I could take care of Pinkie Pie if you can't, I mean... if it's okay with you." Dusk said timidly as Spike gasped at his brother's words.
"Really!? That would be great!" Replied the turquoise mare with a big smile of thanks as she gave Dusk a big hug.
The unicorn froze, as Spike did with Pinkie Pie, not knowing how to react to such displays of excessive affection.
"By the way, you're not from here, are you?" Said the yellow stallion looking at Dusk and Spike as his wife finished hugging Dusk. "I don't remember seeing you before in town, and I would definitely remember seeing a little dragon before."
"Ehh... no, I'm Dusk and this is Spike... we're new to town, in fact... we are the ones Pinkie Pie was looking for..." Dusk replied, realizing that he had not yet introduced himself.
As soon as he finished speaking, Dusk immediately noticed another detail, both he and Spike were complete strangers to this couple, the fact that two strangers offered to look after their home and their sick ‘almost’ daughter could generate a lot of mistrust, the sensible thing would be that they say no.
"That's perfect!" the yellow pony said joyfully, to Dusk's complete surprise. "If you're the ones Pinkie Pie was looking for, that means there's less of a chance she'll leave the house again."
Dusk just laughed nervously and realized that, like everyone else in town, this couple trusted other ponies a lot, something Dusk hadn't gotten used to yet.
After that the couple quickly explained to Dusk that Pinkie Pie's room was on the top floor and that he should do everything possible to keep her in bed. But as the couple talked, Dusk began to realize that he still did not fully understand why he had offered to help this pair of strangers, that is to say, it was empathy, but he felt that there was something more... and that was how, the more time passed, Dusk felt more that he had said too much and that he should simply leave.
"By the way, as gratitude you boys can eat some cakes in the display case." the yellow stallion suddenly said as he opened the door to get out.
Those words made Dusk's stomach growl, causing in turn that any idea of leaving the bakery disappear from his head, since if he needed at least one reason to stay, now he had it, He needed to eat!
"Alright, we'll be back later, goodbye Dusk, goodbye Spike!" The couple said goodbye as they left the bakery.
"Good-bye, Mr. and Mrs. ..." Dusk said good-bye, without finishing his sentence since he had realized that he still didn’t know the name of that couple.
"Mr. and Mrs. Cake!" They both completed as they started running since both were late for their appointment.
"Of course, very suitable for a bakery." Dusk smiled, talking to himself.
Once he lost sight of them, Dusk closed the door and walked, then he could see his brother, who looked at him with utter disbelief.
"Why... why did you offer to take care of her?" Spike asked, still confused.
"Well, you heard 'em, they had an appointment with the doctor, an important appointment for them that they probably could not afford to lose. Besides..." Dusk said quietly, until he reached the end of his sentence, as he finally realized what the other reason he had stayed was. "I think that Pinkie Pie getting sick is partly my fault, because she got sicker from trying to find me."
"But you didn't force her, that is, I also heard about this Pinkie sense madness, but it's not your fault." Spike said, trying to understand Dusk's behavior.
"I know that, but... I still think it's the right thing to do." Dusk said, unable to shake Pinkie Pie's smiling face out of his head, and then when Pinkie fainting on his hooves.
Spike was still surprised by Dusk's answers, he realized that his brother was changing, a change that seemed fortunately for good, so he couldn't help but smile a little.
"Okay, I guess you're right." Spike said trying to sound indifferent and trying to change the subject so as not to force those new emotions that surfaced in Dusk. "So... what should we do now?"
Spike stood silently waiting in vain for an answer, as Dusk had stopped paying attention to Spike and had his sights totally focused on something else. Spike followed his brother's eye to see what was so intriguing. As he did so, he could see Dusk looking at a large display case with many cakes, then Spike looked at his brother's face, Dusk had his eyes fixed on the cakes and a small thread of drool fell from his open mouth.
Before Spike could say anything, Dusk teleported and appeared right in front of the display case, with his hooves and face resting on the glass in the display cabinet.
"They said I could take what I wanted..." Dusk was salivating as his stomach growled loudly. At first he didn't know which to choose, there was a great variety of cakes and they all looked tasty, but finally Dusk couldn’t take it anymore and took out the one that was closest, so he took a strawberry cake with cream and ate it as fast as he could.
"That was delicious!" Dusk said cheerfully after savoring the creamy remains on his hooves. "First Applejack's apples and now these cakes, why is the food in this town is so tasty!?"
"You're right, this one is delicious too." Spike said suddenly, who had also approached and grabbed a chocolate cupcake.
"What?" Spike asked as he realized that Dusk was looking at him disapprovingly. "I did have breakfast but that doesn't mean you're the only one who can have cupcakes."
"Okay, but just one more, I don't want to repeat what happened with Applejack’s apples." Said Dusk sighing and taking another cupcake, eating it slowly to enjoy it even more.
Although the idea was to eat just a few cakes, Dusk and Spike finally ate all the cupcakes in the display case, once they finished eating, they both sat and rested in a few store chairs while they smiled happily satisfied.
"We ate more than we thought... again," Spike said with a small smile of guilt. "Although there are still more cakes in the back."
"No, that's enough!" Said Dusk startled. "We've eaten too many, we can’t continue to abuse the hospitality of these local ponies."
Spike wanted to argue that idea by saying that Mr. Cake wouldn't mind, but decided that Dusk was right this time.
"So... Now I repeat." Spike said, changing the subject as he looked at Dusk. "Now what? We just gonna stay here all day making sure Pinkie Pie doesn't come down stairs?"
"I guess so, although... she must keep absolute rest, that means she should not even get out of bed." Dusk replied, scratching his head and wondering what would be best to help Pinkie Pie recover soon.
"So we should see if she's still in bed or not?" Spike asked.
Dusk swallowed and got a little nervous.
"I-I guess so." replied Dusk stammering, for he now had an obligation to sneak into a mare's room without her consent, a common fantasy of young colts his age, but one which he had never before thought to do in reality.
Dusk and Spike started up the stairs to the top floor, Spike quietly and Dusk hiding his nervousness. In his mind, Dusk began to imagine what a young mare's room should look like, neat and clean, with some stuffed animals and a pleasant smell of perfume, a perfect, feminine room.
As soon as they arrived in front of the room, Dusk slowly opened the door as to not wake Pinkie Pie.
The loud sound of a balloon bursting inside the room completely dislocated Dusk, who was shocked at what he saw. Inside the room were a mass of blown balloons scattered all over the floor along with serpentine streamers and colorful confetti littering the room, the room also had a sweet scent, but not a soft fragance like Dusk expected, but a strong smell of candies and cakes, an odor even stronger than that of the bakery on the lower floor. However, what most astonished Dusk was that in the center of the room was Pinkie Pie, up out of bed and fruitlessly trying to inflate a balloon.
"What's all this mess!? And what are you doing up?!" Dusk said rather upset at the surprise.
"Oh! This... this is your welcome party..." Pinkie Pie struggled, smiling as she teetered and could barely stay standing.
"Well, this doesn't look like a party at all" Spike said to Dusk's side after seeing the mess in the room.
"I... I'm sorry, I just... I can't inflate these balloons very well, but... just wait a minute and... I'll call the village ponies and we'll make a great... welcome party..." Pinkie Pie said between sighs as she tried to walk towards Dusk.
"Stop! This is ridiculous, you can throw me a party some other time." Dusk shouted decisively at how weak the mare was.
"But... I always throw a party... the new ponies, since I got to town... I always do parties for others..." said Pinkie Pie staggering and approaching to Dusk.
"Why are you so passionate about parties?" Dusk asked holding her up, remembering that he'd asked that same question to Pinkie Pie before she collapsed in the town square.
"Because... I like to see others smile..." Pinkie Pie said as she fell faint again into Dusk's hooves.
Dusk stood for a moment holding Pinkie Pie in silence, he couldn't understand that Pinkie Pie's response was as simple as she liked to see other ponies smiling, she went through all the trouble of organizing a party just to get a simple smile? In his opinion, that was ridiculous.
After carefully taking Pinkie Pie, Dusk carried her to the bed and laid her down gently, making sure she was asleep and tucked in.
"Hey, Dusk! Look." Spike whispered as to not wake Pinkie Pie.
"What's that?" Dusk asked, approaching Spike who had come up to a table in the room and held a notebook in his claws.
Dusk took the book with his magic and opened it to read it. The notebook was an agenda type calendar that had marked the name of dozens if not hundreds of ponies in it.
"It seems to be the birthdays of all ponies in town, at least I recognized the names of Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Big Mac, the Mayor, even to that damn rabbit named Angel." Spike said in surprise. "And not just birthdays, but also anniversaries and the dates of when they first came to town. Look, see how almost all the pages are marked? That means that this mare celebrates and throws a party almost every day!"
Dusk was also surprised, even more so knowing that she was apparently solely responsible for throwing the parties in Ponyville, that meant she had a lot of work to do each day organizing all these different parties.
As soon as he lowered the notebook, Dusk put it back on the table and his gaze went to a ledge on which was a pile of framed photos. Dusk took some of the photos and could see that there were three patterns in all the photos, one: the photos had been taken at a party; Two: in the photos appeared Pinkie Pie laughing, dancing or doing some madness; And three: always the pony that appeared at her side appeared posing with a natural and bright smile. In the different photos Dusk was surprised to see the Mayor smiling, the Apple family, all the different pegasi who had trapped him the day before, but for all that he looked, he couldn’t find a photo that featured Fluttershy, Applejack or Rainbow Dash .
"Looks like she's crazy about parties, right?" Spike asked with a small mocking smile.
"No... she's crazy about seeing others smile." Dusk contradicted him after having a revelation, as he realized that Pinkie Pie's response had not been simple, the truth was that parties were only the half of it, for what she really strived, worked hard and for what she had demanded upon herself to achieve with Dusk, was to make others smile, to make them truly happy if even for a moment, and that was no simple task, that was something admirable.
Dusk turned and looked at Pinkie Pie while she slept, but this time he saw her with new eyes, he now felt that he really wanted to take care of her, not only because he felt indirectly responsible, but because she also deserved to smile.
"What should we do now?" Spike asked again, whispering. "I don’t think she will fall asleep for long, and if she wakes up she'll try to do a party again."
Dusk meditated for a few seconds until a bright idea came to him.
"I know what we'll do! Follow me." Dusk whispered, as he and Spike headed for the bedroom door.
Pinkie Pie had a dream that she never had before, she was near a cliff looking down towards the bottom of the ravine and a moment later the ground gave way beneath her and she fell, however instead of crashing to the ground, she fell on a comfortable and warm giant pillow which she cuddled with great joy, but as time passed Pinkie Pie began to realize that what had fallen on to was not a pillow but huge lavender hooves that held her strongly and had prevented her from falling to the bottom of the ravine, then she looked up and tried to see the face of that pony, but the sun was just overhead head and prevented her from seeing the face of her savior, even so she recognized those hooves, she had already fallen into them before, so while remembered that feeling, the face of that pony became clear.
"Dusk?" Pinkie Pie said in her dream. Then she was startled and remembered that she hadn't thrown a welcome party for Dusk. "It is true! I still haven't thrown him a welcome party! I... I've got to wake up!" Cried Pinkie Pie in her dream, causing her to wake up and come back to reality.
Pinkie Pie slowly opened her eyes after having that crazy dream, she looked down and remembered that she was sick and that she was in bed, she immediately saw her room was full of balloons, something normal for her bedroom, so she started to get up until she suddenly realized that the last thing she remembered was that she had failed to inflate the balloons for Dusk's party and that her room was full of half filled and deflated balloons.
“Wait... How come the room is full of inflated balloons?” Pinkie thought, trying to remember what had happened before falling asleep.
"Psst... Hey, she's awake!" Pinkie Pie heard a voice, but she couldn’t see from who or where as the room was almost entirely filled with balloons.
"Surprise!!" Dusk and Spike suddenly shouted, popping out from under the balloons and tossing some confetti. "Happy welcome party!"
Pinkie Pie was very surprised to see Spike and Dusk appearing suddenly and celebrating as she always did, but she didn’t understand why they were trying to throw a party.
"Huh... W-Why are you having a party? I'm supposed to throw you a party." Pinkie Pie said, still surprised.
"Well... it's just that you can't get up right now, you should stay in bed." Dusk said nervously. "I know that you like to throw parties for others because you love to make them happy and see them smile, so I thought maybe this time I'd like to give it a try and see you smile."
Dusk's words were true, but he also had another intention besides that, what he most wanted at the time was that Pinkie Pie stay in bed and to rest, so it occurred to him that if she couldn’t make a party, a good deterrent would be if that party came to her.
"Besides..." added Dusk. "You said that ever since you came to town you started throwing welcome parties for other ponies, right? That means that nobody threw you a welcome party. So now we can celebrate YOUR welcome party and celebrate mine another day."
Dusk puffed out his chest, being proud of his logical reasoning, now to wait for that crazy and illogical mare to follow his reasoning and finally want to rest instead of trying to get up and make up a party for him.
Pinkie Pie was speechless, she just stared at Dusk, however thousands of thoughts crossed her mind. She had parties thrown for herself before, but rarely, in fact even most of her birthdays were parties that she organized, but here was this colt she had only just met and had tried so hard to throw a party for her, that's what she always did for others and now someone else did it to her.
“So is this what everypony feels when I throw them a party?” Pinkie Pie thought, feeling her heart fill with joy. “Is this happiness that I feel the same as they felt?”
Then Pinkie Pie looked more intensely at Dusk as the last words he had said repeated in Pinkie Pie's mind. What Dusk had said was true, no one had given her a welcome party, that's why she invented the welcome parties, though neither she nor anyone had noticed it before and Dusk had surprised her with such a gesture, it made Pinkie Pie's heart beat even faster, not just from happiness, but from something else, a new feeling was coming out and one that made Pinkie Pie unable to look away from the tender eyes of Dusk Shine.
"Oh no! Pinkie Pie, are you okay?" Dusk said worriedly, moving closer to her. "Looks like you still have a fever, your face is all red."
"Huh?" Pinkie Pie came out of her reverie without realizing that she had blushed the whole time she was looking at Dusk.
Dusk decided that it would be best to take Pinkie Pie's temperature, which was a simple thing he had learned from his mother, where one had to touch their horn to the sick one's, since unicorns horn was very sensitive and this way a unicorn could easily check the temperature difference. However Pinkie Pie was not a unicorn, so he decided to come a little closer.
While Pinkie Pie still slightly out of it, Dusk dimly lit his horn and approached extremely close to Pinkie Pie's face to touch the mare's forehead with his horn. Dusk closed his eyes to concentrate more, unlike Pinkie Pie who opened her eyes wider in surprise and blushed all the more.
“This is not OK! I'm supposed to be the one who surprises ponies! But now I'm surprised!” Pinkie Pie was mentally told that for the first time in a long time she had been caught off guard.
"Well, I'm no expert but I'd say you still have a fever, though not much, so you'd better stay resting in bed." Dusk said, that once he had finished taking her temperature, he turned his face away from Pinkie Pie.
"Yea... the doctor said that with one or two days rest I would be fine." said Pinkie Pie, somewhat distressed after Dusk had left.
"Well then, back to the party, here's something for you." Dusk said turning around and heading for Spike.
The instant Dusk turned, Pinkie Pie was surprised again looking at her own tail, which for some reason had begun to shake.
"Two turns to the left and three turns to the right... that's-" Pinkie Pie whispered to herself, but couldn’t finish speaking because she was interrupted by Dusk.
"This is for you, happy welcome party!" Dusk said with Spike while Dusk held what appeared to be a cake, since it's shape was very irregular and it seemed to be fuming for some reason.
"Thank you!" Pinkie Pie smiled with her usual joy.
Pinkie Pie pushed the cake to her mouth and unceremoniously took a bite, something she regretted at once. Pinkie Pie's eyes widened in horror as her mouth stopped chewing.
"Is something wrong?" Spike asked, confused at Pinkie Pie's expression.
"N-Nothing, it's... delicious..." said Pinkie Pie smiling with her mouth full and a strange expression on her face. "Did you make the cake?"
Dusk and Spike looked at each other and then smiled proudly.
"That's right, I made the dough and baked it, and Spike made the filling." Dusk grinned. "We both ate all the cakes from the display case, so to not take another one out of the kitchen we decided to cook one."
Then Dusk began to remember when he and Spike had gone down to the kitchen to prepare the cake while Pinkie Pie slept, Spike had refused the idea of cooking, since neither had done it before, however Dusk had told him that cooking was like making a magic spell, just follow the instructions in the book and the cake would come out just fine.
“That is, just follow the steps, How difficult can it be?” Dusk thought at the time.
Now, with Pinkie Pie's horrified face, Dusk's confidence in how well his cake came out began to dwindle drastically. So to have no doubts about it, Dusk approached and took a piece of Pinkie Pie's cake, and shared it with Spike. As soon as they both tasted the cake, they had the same look of horror as Pinkie Pie.
"What the!?" Dusk asked annoyedly at Spike pulling a lollipop out of his mouth. "A lollipop!? Why did you use lollipops as stuffing!? Since when do cakes have something so hard in them!?"
"Well, my cakes always have gems, I thought the candies would give it a similar texture." Spike said a little annoyed. "Besides, you told me to put something sweet in the filling, well, lollipops are sweet."
"That doesn't serve as a filler! No wonder the cake's so bad!" Shouted Dusk.
"Oh yeah? So what about the dough?" Spike replied, shouting. "All the crust and the top is burnt!"
"Huh? Well..." Dusk said embarrassed. "We didn't have much time and the cookbook said that it should cook at 200° for 30 minutes, meaning that if it doubled the heat would take half the time, it's basic math." Dusk finished saying proudly.
"That's not how an oven works!" Spike yelled.
"Pfff!" There was a noise that distracted Dusk and Spike from their argument.
"Pfff... Hahaha! Hahahaha!" Pinkie Pie laughed loudly, unable to hold back her laughter after listening to the follies and arguing of Dusk and Spike.
Pinkie Pie's laughter continued as Dusk and Spike looked at her in surprise, then both looked at each other and couldn't resist join in the the pink mare's contagious laughter. The three of them they laughed for a long time until they couldn't do it any more, what had begun as a horrible cake and an argument, had become a show of nonsense that appealed to them all.
"Do not worry! Hehe! I'll teach you how to cook when I get out of this bed." Pinkie Pie finally said when the laughter ended.
"That would be great!" Spike said enthusiastically, though he didn’t want to admit it, he had enjoyed cooking.
Pinkie Pie started to get up, but Dusk lifted a hoof and stopped her.
"Stop right there, you must rest completely if you want to get any better." Dusk said seriously.
"But I feel better." Pinkie Pie said pouting like a foal. "Besides, if I stay in bed, what else could we do?"
"Hmm... what fun thing could we do without you getting up...?" Dusk replied looking up and trying to think of something to keep Pinkie Pie in bed. "I know! What if we tell stories? Anecdotes of funny things that happened to us!"
"Ohh..." Pinkie Pie said, opening her eyes with excitement and settling into her bed with a smile.
Bingo! Dusk had achieved his goal, catching Pinkie Pie's attention and thus preventing her from getting up.
"Yeah... that would be fun." Spike said to Dusk's side, looking at his brother with a devilish grin. "I have many stories about my dear brother, hehe."
Dusk saw Spike's evil grin and swallowed nervously, now he regretted having given the idea about the stories, unfortunately for Dusk, he had many embarrassing stories in his past.
Spike told many stories of when he and Dusk were younger, like when they had dug all around the royal garden believing that some treasure was hidden in it or when Dusk tried a new spell and blew up his room; each story usually ended with some particular 'punishment' given by Dusk's teacher that humiliated him in some way, so each story ended with a comical ending accompanied by Pinkie Pie's laughing. At first Dusk was ashamed of the things Spike told about him, however Pinkie Pie's contagious laughter had rapidly changing his mood and finally he accompanied the mare’s laugh every time Spike told something funny.
"... And that's how we got in a sack to Ponyville." Spike finished telling another story, which this time had coincided with how they had been sent to Ponyville.
"First class! Hahaha!" Said Pinkie Pie crying with laughter.
"That's right, hahaha!" Spike laughed too. "And now it's time to tell you everything we've been through here in Ponyville, get ready to laugh even harder! It turns out that the first day we met with this mare called-"
"We're back!" A voice came from the first floor that interrupted Spike's story.
"Oh, must be the Cakes." Dusk said looking at the door and then at the window, the sun was almost gone, to Dusk's surprise. "Is it nighttime already!? Time sure flies!"
"That happens when you have fun!" Pinkie Pie said with a smile.
Dusk stood for a moment meditating on that phrase, which was very true, not only did Pinkie Pie have a good time, without realizing both Dusk and Spike had also enjoyed that afternoon of laughter. At that moment Dusk went through his mind to the day before, he and Rainbow Dash had played a joke on her coworkers and also had laughed and had a good time, but that time, when later saw that those mares had ended up crying and upset, Dusk couldn’t help feeling a little guilty; But now it was different, this time he had also laughed, but not at the expense of others, but in sharing it with them, this caused that laughter felt different, even Dusk would say that it felt even better.
"Well, the Cakes are back and it's getting late." Dusk said looking at Spike and then at Pinkie Pie. "I think it's time to go."
Pinkie Pie lowered her head sadly and prepared to get up to say goodbye to Dusk and Spike, however Dusk quickly approached and stopped.
"Listen, you've got to promise me you'll rest for the days the doctor asked you to do." Dusk said seriously. "I don't want you to be sick anymore."
Pinkie Pie blinked a couple of times in surprise and then lowered her head.
"You know... normally I'm more cheerful and funny, so it bothers me a little that you've seen me like this..." Pinkie Pie said seriously, then lifted her head and showed a big smile. "So yes, I promise! I will rest and recuperate before the Summer Sun Celebration and then you'll meet the real and festive Pinkie Pie!"
"Uh... Good! Then we'll see each other at the celebration." Dusk said a little blushed and also smiling.
“What a beautiful smile... I will really love to see her again.” Dusk thought, not daring to say it out loud, to see Pinkie Pie's jovial, vibrant smile.
Finally Spike also said goodbye to Pinkie Pie and then, with Dusk, they left the room while Pinkie Pie looked at them from her bed, especially Dusk, she had the feeling that she forgot to say something to the unicorn but couldn't remember what.
As soon as Pinkie Pie thought of Dusk and saw him disappear behind the door, her fluffy tail vibrated, something that took her by surprise.
"Again with that weird vibration..." Pinkie Pie said to herself as she watched her tail, then opened her eyes and realized what she had forgotten to tell Dusk. When she had met Dusk and Spike she explained to them that her Pinkie sense had given her a strange signal, Dusk said that maybe it was because he was coming with a dragon and then she had been excited to see Spike, but she was forgot to tell him that that strange sign was not due to Spike! That morning when she had felt the strange sign of her Pinkie sense, her right hind leg was flushed and her hair bristled, something that had happened to her once before, which meant she would meet a scaly creature, probably a Dragon, that was a known sign; However immediately after that signal Pinkie Pie felt the new signal, when her tail took two turns to the left and three turns to the right as her heart pounded, she had never felt it before, and only felt it that day: when she found Dusk, when he approached to take her temperature and now when he left. There was no doubt, that signal must've belonged to Dusk, but why had her body reacted differently just because it was Dusk? That was the question that Pinkie Pie began to ask, something that was unconsciously responding in herself, since the more she thought about Dusk, the more her heart beat louder and filled her with great happiness just thinking about him.
As soon as she began to smile with joy, Pinkie Pie opened the drawer of her bedside table and took out a picture, the photo she treasured most.
"Maybe... he's as special as my friends." Pinkie Pie said as she looked at the photo she was standing next to her four best friends: a earth pony, two pegasus and a unicorn. Then she brought the picture to her chest and looked up at the ceiling with dreamy eyes.
"Or maybe more, maybe he's... special to me." Pinkie Pie said with a big smile as she laid down to start falling asleep while basking in that pleasant sense of happiness.
Meanwhile, Dusk went down the stairs without knowing the thoughts and feelings the pink mare felt at that moment. When Dusk and Spike reached the floor below to meet the Cakes, Dusk noticed that both were in an excellent mood, in the opinion of the unicorn that it could mean that they received good news from the doctor, so he was glad for them but he didn’t want to ask, as not to intrude on their privacy.
"So everything went well with my dear Pinkie Pie." Mrs. Cake said cheerfully and relieved after Dusk had told them what they had done all afternoon and how they had finally got Pinkie Pie to rest.
"No problem." Dusk replied proudly.
"Honey, didn't we leave a lot of cakes in the cabinet?" Mr. Cake said doubtfully as he scratched his head and checked the display case.
"Well... I-It's time to go..." Dusk said nervously walking quickly to the door next to Spike while the pride he had felt a few seconds ago was blurred and replaced by shame.
That's how Dusk and his brother began to walk the streets of Ponyville as night fell.
"Now we head to the inn?" Spike asked simply followed his brother not knowing where they were going.
"Yes, I'll finally be able to sleep in a decent bed." Dusk sighed wearily. "By the way, is there any money left over from Applejack's?"
"Yea, the inn is very cheap." Spike replied, as a good assistant to Dusk he was good with math. "It is enough to pay for this and the next night, just to cover the whole stay before the Summer Sun Celebration."
"Good." Dusk said cheerfully. "Only two more nights, then the night of the celebration and finally I will return to my warm room in the palace."
As soon as Dusk said these words, for some reason his heart clenched, as if his determination to return to Canterlot had wavered for a second. Dusk didn't know it, but that certainty in his words was not shared by his own feelings.
Oblivious to everything, as Dusk and Spike continued to walk, a figure hidden in the shadows laughed silently as it watched Dusk walk away.
"Fufufu! There you are." said a female voice, the voice from the figure in shadows. The moonlight only showed a pale hoof holding a photo of Dusk next to Spike and Princess Celestia. "At last I found him, a true prince charming."
# End of Chapter 9
Chapter 8 - A Tour of Ponyville
The sun's rays began to enter through the window of the cell, passing through the bars and striking Rainbow Dash directly in her face. The mare slowly opened her eyes, gave a big yawn and stretched her legs.
"Hmm... I slept great! Nothing beats sleeping in a comfy cloud!" Rainbow Dash said cheerfully, then she glanced to her side and saw the bed of her cellmate. "Hey, Dusk! How did you sleep?"
"Mmmnngh..." Dusk muttered annoyedly from his bed, immediately got up and glared at Rainbow Dash.
Poor Dusk had dark circles under his eyes and they were very red from lack of sleep.
"Whoa! What happened? Didn't sleep well?" Rainbow Dash asked innocently, which made Dusk look away even more annoyed.
"Something like that..." Dusk replied, avoiding telling the truth.
During the first few minutes of last night, Dusk had slept peacefully in his bed, nevertheless in the middle of the night a rumble made him wake up. After opening his eyes, Dusk didn't take more than a few seconds to realize that that rumble came from his cellmate, specifically the strong snores of Rainbow Dash that; once began, did not stop nor allowed the poor unicorn to fall asleep and revisit his dreams in what remained of the night. So Dusk spent the night awake, until finally Rainbow Dash stopped snoring, which happened only seconds before the sun came up, so when Dusk finally managed to start falling asleep was when the pegasus woke up and prevented Dusk from going back to sleep. Dusk immediately thought of reproaching her for snoring, but given the volatility of Rainbow Dash's character, Dusk decided not to talk about the subject to avoid another possible argument.
"All right! Time to clean the room." Dusk spoke again, rising from his bed resigned to not being able to sleep.
Before Rainbow Dash's watchful eye, Dusk easily used his magic to quickly make his bed with great elegance, then his magic was positioned in the cloud that Rainbow Dash had slept on, then Dusk used his magic to levitate the cloud, making it pass through the bars and climb back up to the sky, were it belonged.
"It's better no one knows we used a cloud as a bed without permission." Dusk said looking at Rainbow Dash as his magic did everything without even trying.
"You're really handy with magic..." Rainbow Dash said approaching the window and watched as the cloud floated away with Dusk's magic. "Hehe! But not that much," the pegasus added quickly as she continued to look outside.
Dusk didn't understand what Rainbow Dash meant, so he went to the window to see what she was talking about. Soon Dusk understood the reason for Rainbow's giggling. As soon as Dusk had stopped levitating the cloud, it had begun to slowly fall to the ground, instead of remaining in the sky as Dusk had expected.
"Why didn't it stay in the sky?" Dusk wondered aloud.
"Because it's too dense, remember that yesterday I had to make it stay flat on the floor." Rainbow Dash answered flatly. "Don't worry, someone from the weather patrol will notice, think it's a cloud of fog and put it back in circulation."
Dusk stared at the cloud, not looking at Rainbow Dash but listening intently to her words. What she had mentioned was so basic, so fundamental, that he had never thought too much about it, but now that he did, it seemed astonishing to him. No matter how powerful his unicorn magic was, the weather and clouds responded to the pegasus, just as the land and crops responded to Earth ponies, or in other words, crops and climate responded to Magic, but not the magic Dusk used. This was taught to all ponies as foals, but the reality was that in Canterlot, a city in which unicorns predominated, he had never given it a second thought and had only focused on studying and learning new spells, but now both things he saw with great clarity, and he had discovered them in only two days after he had left his studies in Canterlot and had reached this little town called Ponyville, where unicorns, pegasus, and Earth ponies lived in harmony. This made Dusk wonder: How much magic do I take for granted, that I don't really know about or could handle? Magic that I can only see through others, that I can only achieve with the help of others, magic that I could never achieve by being alone...?
"Hey, Dusk!" Rainbow Dash said, embarrassed, pulling Dusk out of his thoughts. "It's not like I was belittling your magic, I think it's really great all you can do with it!" She finished, Rainbow Dash thought that Dusk had stopped talking because she had criticized him for not getting the cloud to stay up.
"What? Oh no, don't worry, I was thinking of something else." Dusk corrected her, so she wouldn't worry. "Moving on... how much longer will we be here?"
"Who knows..." Rainbow Dash replied with a shrug and sitting on the bed. "It's bad enough I've seen your face all night, now I have to see it all day."
"What do you mean all night? You were asleep." Dusk asked curiously looking at Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash blushed and looked away.
"Er, I-It's just a saying..." Pegasus said awkwardly, who couldn't help but remember that she'd dreamed about Dusk all night and how he'd said she was cute.
"Thank Celestia no one can see dreams." Rainbow Dash said softly to herself as she covered her face with one of her hooves.
A long silence ensued between them as the morning progressed, one to which Dusk was accustomed since he normally studied in silence, yet this was something that Rainbow Dash was not accustomed to, so she decided to start talking, about anything.
"By the way Dusk, how many days have you been in Ponyville?" Rainbow Dash asked suddenly.
"Let's see... Not counting today, I've been here three days, but the first two I spent on the outskirts of town." Dusk answered quietly.
"Hmm... still, it's strange that you haven't had a ‘Welcome Party’ yet..." Rainbow Dash said thoughtfully.
"What do you mean?" Dusk asked confused.
However, Rainbow Dash didn't answer, for the ears of both prisoners were instantly alerted when a door opened and someone approached. The steps sounded until they finally reached the cell, in front of them behind the grate was the Mayor, followed by a pegasus with gray coat and blonde mane, in addition the pegasus had some bubbles as a cutie mark, nevertheless its most distinguishing feature was that her eyes looked in different directions.
"Derpy!" Rainbow Dash shouted with joy, approaching the bars.
"Hello Rainbow Dash!" Replied the gray pegasus cheerfully.
"How come you didn't get lost!?" Rainbow Dash asked, startled, seeing that Pegasus had returned to Ponyville with only a day's delay.
"Well..." Derpy replied ashamed, avoiding Rainbow Dash's look (somewhat difficult because of her eyes). "The truth is; instead of arriving in Canterlot, I don’t know how but I arrived in Cloudsdale, then by mistake I came to a town called Appleloosa and finally I flew all night so I could reach Canterlot... but I flew back without getting lost, hehe!" She finished with pride.
Both Rainbow Dash and Dusk tried to look annoyed while Derpy told her story, but it was impossible after hearing how despite everything, she had tried her hardest, even flying all night just to help them, this feeling of sympathy was greater for Rainbow Dash, who knew Derpy more and knew that although she was very clueless, Derpy never gave up and was always willing to help.
"At Canterlot I spoke with a guard and as soon as I mentioned the name of Dusk Shine, they took me to the Princess." Derpy continued, looking at Dusk with curiosity. "The Princess met me in person! I told her about you being in jail and how I got lost... And then, well, she herself confirmed that Dusk was no criminal."
Derpy then handed a note to the mayor, who took it and read aloud:
"I confirm that the unicorn known as 'Dusk Shine' is no delinquent and is a respected student of magic in Canterlot.
Signed, Princess Celestia."
"Well... that confirms your story." The Mayor added, looking at Dusk. "You're free to go, I'll open the gate immediately."
The mayor took the keys to the cell she was carrying and began to open the cell.
"No need." Dusk said mischievously, who in a blink used his magic to teleport him and Rainbow Dash out of the cell and appeared next to the Mayor, much to the astonishment of her.
"You need to improve your security." Dusk smiled the Mayor.
"Eh... yes... it will be an issue to be addressed at the next assembly..." The mayor smiled somewhat ashamed.
"And how come you didn't get lost again?" Rainbow Dash asked Derpy, as she still didn’t understand how Derpy didn't get lost like she always did.
"When I was about to return to Ponyville the Princess told me to fly to Fillydelphia, I don’t know why she asked me to do that but I did, and by mistake I got to Ponyville." Derpy answered naively.
Both Dusk and Rainbow Dash smiled nervously as they realized that poor Derpy had not realized that the Princess had told her to fly in the opposite direction so she would fly without realizing it was the right direction.
"By the way, the Princess told me to give you this." Derpy added, handing a letter to Dusk.
Dusk was surprised to hear that and instantly was glad to know that his teacher was still worried about him. Dusk took the letter with joy and read it:
The helpful Derpy has told me that you will spend the night with a mare.
As your mentor, I think it's my duty to remind you: Use protection. (Remember our sex education talk.)
Signed, Princess Celestia."
Dusk couldn’t have been more red with embarrassment after reading that letter. All the joy that had filled him when he saw that his teacher had written to him, had vanished seeing that in spite of the distance, 'Princesa Trollestia' still mocked him.
"What's the letter say?" Rainbow Dash asked, approaching to see the letter.
"N-NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL! Haha!" Dusk answered quickly, laughing nervously and tearing the letter into a thousand pieces.
The three mares present looked confused without understanding Dusk's reaction, however none had decided to ask, so finally the four headed to the exit.
"I apologize again for all the trouble," the Mayor said to Dusk and Rainbow Dash, bowing her head. "I'm sorry I locked you up unjustly."
"Don't worry, it's no problem." Dusk said sincerely with a smile.
"Thank you. Well, time to go back to work." The Mayor said again, turning and heading for one of the halls of her office. "While you are in town, if you need anything, don't hesitate to contact me."
With that, the three ponies said goodbye to the Mayor and left the town hall.
"I'm leaving too, there is still a lot of mail to deliver." Derpy said flapping her wings softly to fly. "Bye!"
"Bye Derpy! And thank you!" Dusk and Rainbow Dash called out, shaking their hooves as the gray pegasus flew away.
After Derpy left, Dusk and Rainbow Dash stared at each other for a long time, not knowing what to say to each other.
"Anyway... I think it's time for me to go." Rainbow Dash broke the silence, scratching her head and looking to the sky. "I promised the weather patrol I'd do extra work, so I'll be very busy, best start now."
As Rainbow Dash got in a position to fly, a feeling surfaced in Dusk, something that had not come up when he said goodbye to Derpy or the Mayor, but he did recognize that he had felt before, with two other mares in town, a feeling of not wanting to let someone go...
"Wait!" Said Dusk quickly. "So... I won’t see you again? I will only be in Ponyville for three more days."
Rainbow Dash stared at him for a few seconds.
"Hahaha, are you going to miss me?" Rainbow Dash laughed, patting her hoof on Dusk. "Any pegasus would take weeks to do the extra work, it'll take me only two days."
"So... we can see each other for the Summer Sun Celebration." Rainbow Dash added, blushing slightly and looking away so Dusk wouldn't see her like that.
"All right! Promise." Dusk grinned, stretching out a hoof.
"I promise." Rainbow Dash smiled, hitting her hoof with his.
“I promise.” A third voice said in Dusk's mind, the voice of a mare who had also said those same words to him a long time ago and had not kept her promise. This memory made Dusk shiver and his face stopped smiling immediately.
"See ya!" Rainbow Dash cried, flying away as soon as they had hoof bumped and missed the sudden change in expression on Dusk's face.
Dusk watched as the pegasus flew away, leaving a rainbow trail, while the bad memory that haunted his mind disappeared as fast as it had appeared, but the bitter feeling it left in Dusk's heart did not.
"Promises... Friendship... I... What am I doing? I promised I wouldn't make the same mistake… "Dusk wondered aloud, looking worried to the ground and holding his head in his hoof.
"WATCH OUT!" A voice shouted, interrupting Dusk's monologue.
Immediately Dusk looked up only to see a pair of wheels crashing against his face at great speed.
"Oh... I couldn't talk to Rainbow Dash..." said a childish voice, the guilty’s voice of hitting Dusk.
The guilty one was a small orange pegasus with magenta mane in a style that, in Dusk’s opinion, gave her an air similar to Rainbow Dash, in addition the filly was standing on what appeared to be a scooter with a cart that, Dusk had concluded, was what had struck him.
"Hey you! You've got to be more careful!" Dusk said annoyed, trying to catch the attention of the filly that still looking up at the sky.
"What? I said ‘Watch out!’ It's your fault for not moving." Replied the filly, annoying.
Dusk's irritation rose quickly at that response, however as quickly as his anger came, it vanished, as Dusk thought it would not be right for a mature colt like himself to stoop to arguing with a small filly, despite having the reason to. In addition, that thoughtless response to him and her arrogant attitude only confirmed Dusk's thought that this filly was like a miniature version of Rainbow Dash, and perhaps just as he had done with Rainbow Dash the day before, had only started on the wrong hoof and maybe this filly was not really as bad as she looked.
"Whatever!" Said Dusk annoyed, wanting to change the topic. "Anyway, why were you going so fast?"
"Oh! It's just that I was told that Rainbow Dash would be here so I wanted to show her my new scooter." The filly responded, showing off her scooter with pride.
"And why did you want to show your scooter to Rainbow Dash? Are you family or something?" Asked Dusk, wanting to clear up his doubts, seeing that the personalities and styles of both ponies were very similar.
At this, and to Dusk's surprise, the filly immediately lowered her head sadly and put on a sad smile.
"No... it's not that... in fact I don't have a..." said the filly sadly. "It's just that Rainbow Dash is Ponyville's coolest pony, maybe even Equestria, I... I've always admired her." She finished talking the filly, with a little twinkle in her eyes when she mentioned how cool Rainbow Dash was.
Dusk swallowed uncomfortably realizing that he had apparently struck a chord with the filly. Without wanting to delve more into what seemed to be the small filly's lack of family, Dusk decided to change the topic to try boosting her spirits.
"Umm... Oh look!" Dusk pointed out to the filly, pointing his hoof to the sky. "You can still see the rainbow streak left by Rainbow Dash! If you hurry you can still reach her, just fly and follow her!
As soon as Dusk said what was meant to motivate the filly, the filly's head lowered further into depression.
"It's just... my wings have problems, and I... I can't fly very well..." The little filly said sadly, looking down.
Dusk internally began to curse himself for having depressed the filly even more instead of encouraging her, "How could you screw this up any worse!" Dusk mentally shouted to himself.
An uncomfortably long silence followed while the filly was still immobile and depressed and Dusk still didn't know how to handle this situation. The unicorn wanted to break the silence but didn't want to say anything wrong and depress the pegasus even more, he didn't know what to say for certain that wasn't a sensitive topic for the filly, except one...
"S-So you like Rainbow Dash, do you?" Dusk said shyly. "You know... I know her, maybe I could talk to her so you can get together sometime and talk."
As soon as Dusk said those words, it was like the little pegasus had been injected with pure adrenaline, the filly raised her head and jumped for joy looking at Dusk with huge eyes.
"Really!? You can do that!?" The filly asked with bright eyes, bringing herself almost face to face with Dusk. "So, you're a friend of Rainbow Dash!?"
An uneasy sensation touched Dusk as soon as the filly asked him that question. He... was he a friend of Rainbow Dash? Dusk thought about it but the only answer that came to mind was: No ... Not yet.
"Well... I wouldn't say we're friends," Dusk said uncomfortably. "We're rather..."
Before speaking, Dusk didn’t know how to finish that sentence, but it wasn't necessary either, since before he could finish, he was interrupted by a voice coming from afar.
"Hey! There you are Dusk!" Spike's familiar voice said as he approached Dusk. "How was sleeping with Rainbow Dash?"
Both Dusk and the filly turned to see Spike, the filly with a face of confusion and Dusk with a face of shame given the question Spike shouted.
"Did you sleep with Rainbow Dash?" Asked the filly. Dusk watched in awe as the gears were turning in her mind, make her come to an erroneous conclusion.
"ARE YOU RAINBOW DASH'S BOYFRIEND?" She shouted with surprise, after which Dusk immediately approached her and covered her mouth, as the shout had gotten the attention of several ponies passing through.
"Shhh! What will every pony think if you scream things like that!?" Dusk whispered to the filly as he continued to cover her mouth. "You're wrong, we're not dating, it's just... it's complicated." Dusk finished speaking, not knowing how to explain everything that happened the previous day in simple words.
After that Dusk released the filly, who only looked at Dusk with an accomplice smile.
"Riiiiight... Chill out, your secret is safe with me," She said, zipping a hoof over her closed lips. "Rainbow Dash is my idol, if she wants to have a secret boyfriend, it fine by me."
"What's going on?" Spike asked once he got to where Dusk and the filly were.
Dusk couldn't help glaring at Spike for always showing up at the worst times, and now because of him there was a misunderstanding which Dusk didn't know how to deal with, he didn't want the image of her idol Rainbow Dash to fall apart because she found out Rainbow had been in prison, and he couldn't think of any credible lies to explain why they had spent the night together.
"Listen, Spike, don't mention anything about what happened yesterday." Dusk said, looking seriously at Spike to avoid talking about his night in prison in front of the filly.
"Eh... ok..." Spike said confused after seeing his brother's face, then he looked at the filly who also looking at him. "And who're you?"
"Oh! My name's Scootaloo." The filly finally introduced herself, looking at Spike closely. "And you, what are you?"
Spike quickly became annoyed at the question, he had already been lowered to 'iguana' when he met Rainbow Dash, he would not be humiliated again.
"Well, obviously I'm a dragon!" Spike said annoyed, blowing small flames through his nose. "My name is Spike and my brother and I are proteges of the Princes-"
Dusk quickly covered Spike's mouth so he would not say anymore than necessary.
"We are visitors from Canterlot, we're in Ponyville for the Summer Sun Celebration." Dusk quickly said, not wanting other ponies to know their true purpose. "And by the way, my name is Dusk Shine, a pleasure to meet you." completed Dusk, introducing himself appropriately given that Scootaloo had done so as well.
"Woooooow! So you have a dragon companion... That's great!" Scootaloo said, putting her confused look aside and looking at Spike with amazement then Dusk. "Now I understand why Rainbow Dash goes out with you. You must be cool, too!"
"You really think so?" Dusk and Spike said in unison, with their chests puffed out and looking toward the horizon with dreamy looks trying to look cool; since it was very uncommon for someone to tell them, straight to their face, that they were cool; and if they had anything in common, it was that both brothers were weak in the face of flattery.
"Wait a sec," said Spike returning to reality and looking at his brother. "She said you're dating Rainbow Dash?"
"Uhh... yeah... I'll explain later." Dusk whispered to Spike.
"Then they're both new to town," Scootaloo spoke again. "Hmm... it's weird that they haven't had a ‘Welcome Party’..."
This caught Dusk's attention, this was the second time he heard about parties. "Were ponies town that accustomed to welcome parties for strangers like him?" Dusk thought.
"Well, that doesn't matter." Scootaloo kept talking before Dusk could ask. "I guess you guys still don't know your way around town, do you?"
"Well... no, not exactly," Dusk answered honestly.
"All right! Then I'll give you a ride through town!" Scootaloo said cheerfully, climbing onto her scooter. "Come on, get on! Anything for Rainbow Dash's friends!"
Dusk and Spike looked at Scootaloo, her scooter, and the little cart she was hitched to.
"You want us to get on that?" Spike asked confused, reading Dusk's mind perfectly.
"Yep! You'll be my first passengers!" Scootaloo said excitedly.
Dusk didn't like this idea, but he liked seeing the little filly smiling, so without further consideration he climbed into the small cart, followed reluctantly by Spike. They both settled down as best they could and gave Scootaloo the ‘go-ahead’.
Scootaloo started pulling the cart while holding on to the handlebar and used one of her hind legs to give herself momentum, the cart began to move slowly at a speed that didn't surprise Dusk at all. According to his calculations his weight plus Spike would be too heavy for little Scootaloo to move them easily. Dusk began to devise some way to help Scootaloo with his magic so that they could go faster and not disappoint Scootaloo again, however that wasn't necessary, because while Dusk was thoughtful and without realizing it, the cart had started to pick up speed and now they were really going fast. Dusk stared in amazement at the filly, who to his surprise had begun to beat her little wings at an astonishing speed, which had given it the boost and speed enough to move the cart. While Spike was hanging on for dear life at this speed, Dusk could not help smiling seeing that despite her limitations the little pegasus had found another great way to move at high speeds and feel the wind under her little wings.
They slowed as they reached what appeared to be the center of town, going near town hall and it's surroundings, seeing the other side that Dusk hadn't been to yet.
"This is the main square and the fountain of Ponyville," said Scootaloo, who began speaking as a tour guide.
In the square they passed several ponies, it seemed like a rather cheerful place, in turn the fountain showed the statue of an earthen pony waving its forelegs cheerfully. However, what most shocked Dusk was that in front of the fountain was a flock of balloons holding what appeared to be a mare, this mare seemed to be asleep as she floated ground level around the fountain. Dusk looked to Spike hoping he was seeing the same thing, but when he looked up again he was surprised to see that no other pony in the town paid any attention to the sleeping mare floating on balloons, not even Scootaloo, who already started flapping again to go to the next place. Dusk thought about asking Scootaloo about that spectacle, but he had already ruined too many conversations for unnecessary words, so he simply chose not to pay attention to it, just as the other ponies did. Dusk recalled an old saying: 'When in Equine, do as the Equites do'.
After that Scootaloo took them to other town locales, the theater, the town market, a bakery called Sugarcube Corner that Dusk remembered vividly, especially since he had not eaten anything all morning, etc.
"And that's the library there." Scootaloo said as they advanced near a large tree with windows.
"LIBRARY!?" Dusk shouted excitedly as he heard one of the most beautiful words he knew.
"Yeah... But it's currently closed, I think the librarian went to work in Manehattan a couple of weeks ago and no one has reopened it since." Scootaloo said trying to remember to fulfill her role as guide.
"The village library is closed!?" Dusk said altered. "That can not be! It's an outrage! It's barbaric! It's un-mnnngh!"
Spike covered his mouth to kept Dusk from talking, knowing that otherwise his brother would never shut up.
"Let's go Scootaloo, to the next place," Spike said embarrassed at the confused Scootaloo.
As they went, Dusk did not take his tear filled eyes off the library, tears from seeing a temple of knowledge totally abandoned.
"And this is the clock tower." Scootaloo said after reaching the summit of a small ridge.
This place was very beautiful, a very rustic tower but it fit perfectly with the architecture of the town, besides from here you could see most of the town.
"It's okay, but in Canterlot there are a lot bigger towers," said Spike, who, like every child, was most impressed by the height, and also perhaps by some personal complex.
"Hey, Scootaloo," Dusk asked, looking toward the village. "What building is that?"
Dusk had noticed that between the library and the clock tower there was a large red hut with a big yard and a playground for foals, a place apparently Scootaloo had deliberately avoided.
"Oh... that! Well... that's...the school." Scootaloo said timidly.
This stunned Dusk, who set aside his fear of putting his hoof in his mouth again and decided to ask what, in his opinion, was something very important.
"And why aren't you not there? Today's a school day." Dusk asked, eyeing Scootaloo closely.
"Well... I just don't like going to school, I prefer the outdoors." Scootaloo said, looking away somewhat annoyed. "Plus, I still have so many places to show you, such as the spa, the bowling alley, Carousel Boutique..."
"That's no excuse!" Dusk scolded. "Aren't you interested in learning!? Reading about ponies of the past, Civics, Math, Science, Philosophy... You cannot not want to learn! Knowledge is the greatest force in the world! And school is home to that knowledge!"
This was all a great speech, something that if some pony had told him as a foal, Dusk would probably have been moved to tears! But Scootaloo didn't seem to care, for she just yawned and looked away. Dusk was immediately annoyed, this filly was not serious about something as vital as going to school, but a bright idea came to mind, one that made Dusk smile sinisterly.
"You know..." Dusk spoke into Scootaloo's ear. "Rainbow Dash doesn't like ponies that don't take their studies seriously."
Scootaloo's ears immediately rose and her eyes widened.
"A-Are you serious?" Scootaloo asked uncertainly, looking back at Dusk.
"Of course, why do you think Rainbow Dash goes out with me? It's because I'm very studious." Dusk said winking at the filly.
Scootaloo turned and looked suspiciously at the school for a long time.
"Hmm... okay, I guess I could try to go more often..." Scootaloo said slowly.
"Well said! You must go to school every day, starting today!" Dusk said excitedly, getting off the cart with a smile.
"Yeah, okay!" Scootaloo smiled even more excitedly, feeling happy that someone would smile and care for her.
As soon as Spike got out of the cart, Scootaloo waved her wings and said goodbye, heading to school.
"Goodbye Dusk, goodbye Spike! And Dusk, remember what you promised!" Yelled Scotaloo as she goes away.
"I will!" Shouted back Dusk, who now would have to convince Rainbow Dash to have a play date with the little filly.
As soon as Scootaloo left and was out of sight, Spike turned towards Dusk with a mischievous smile.
"So... you're dating Rainbow Dash now?" Spike asked smiling.
"O-Of course not!" Said Dusk quickly. "But if I say that to convince a little filly to go back to school, I suppose a little white lie is okay."
"Hmm... maybe you're right, though I doubt Applejack would have approved," Spike said thoughtfully, causing Dusk to bow his head in embarrassment.
"Hehe, I guess you're right..." Dusk said, accepting that Spike had a valid point.
"Now what?" Spike asked, knowing that now that both were free from guilt and without Spike's obligation to make friends, they had only to wait until it was the Summer Sun Celebration and meet up with Princess Celestia again.
~Growl!~ Dusk's stomach growled hungrily.
"I'm starving, I need breakfast." Dusk said, holding his stomach. "But first, there's something much more urgent to solve." Dusk said, filled with determination.
"So you just left town hall. And now you want to go back?" Spike asked as he followed his brother around town.
"That's right, this is something that even if Celestia forgave them, I never would." Dusk replied annoyed.
Anyone would think that what Dusk was talking about was an extremely delicate subject, yet Dusk had told Spike what he was talking about as they headed towards the square. What Dusk wanted to do was ask the Mayor to hire a librarian as soon as possible to reopen the library. This would have been a banal subject for all other ponies, for all but Dusk, who could find no greater crime than having a library closed.
"Dusk really, I don't think it's such a big deal." Spike said, trying to calm Dusk down.
"Of course it is!" Said Dusk annoyed. "I can forgive the Mayor for locking me up like a criminal, but I can not forgive her keeping knowledge locked away from those who seek it."
As soon as they both turned a corner, they found themselves in front of the town square, which was the only thing that stood between Dusk and the town hall.
"It's unforgivable." Dusk said trotting briskly across the square. "At least she must have left an intern librarian or-"
As Dusk's speech stopped, so did he, while passing near the village fountain he realized that the floating mare was still there in front of the statue. Dusk was more than annoyed, but slowly it was giving way to rising curiosity, since questions without answers was one thing that really bothered him.
Dusk looked at the ponies in the plaza and again verified that no one paid any attention to the strange phenomenon, something that seemed equally peculiar, so he approached one of the locals to find out why.
"Excuse me miss." Dusk asked, approaching a lilac mare strolling around.
"Can you see that pony floating with the balloons?" Dusk asked, pointing to the floating pony.
"Well yes, I'm not blind." The mare replied as if she had been asked an obvious question.
"Why doesn't anypony do or say anything about it?" Dusk asked again, wanting to quickly understand if this was some kind of street show or a strange habit of the place.
"Oh, that!" Said the mare, smiling. "It's just Pinkie being Pinkie, you'll get used to it."
Then the mare continued on her way, leaving Dusk equally, if not more confused than he was initially. Then the unicorn turned and looked directly at the floating pony, thinking that there was only one thing left to do, which was also the most direct way to find out, would be to approach and ask that strange pink pony.
Dusk looked carefully at the mare before doing any action, she was a pink mare and fuzzy mane, at her waist she had tied some balloons that made her float, coincidentally her flanks also had cutie mark of balloons. The doubt of this peculiar spectacle was killing Dusk but he was not sure what to do since the mare kept floating without moving and with her eyes closed, and Dusk didn't know if she was meditating, sleeping, fainting or perhaps even worse. But finally Dusk braced himself and touched her cheek.
"Hey! Are you okay?" Dusk asked nervously, wishing with all his might that the mare was not a terrifying floating corpse.
Slowly the mare's eyes widened to show bright, heavenly sky blue eyes.
"Huh...?" The mare replied sleepily, barely opening her eyes, speaking with effort and looking all around. "What's going on?"
Both Dusk and the mare stood staring for a few seconds until Dusk spoke again.
"Well... I... I wanted to ask you if you're okay," Dusk said uncertainly, relieved that the mare had woken up. "I mean, I saw you floating a while ago and no one seemed to pay attention to you, so..."
Dusk stopped talking as he heard some soft snoring and noticed that the mare had fallen asleep again.
"Hey, wake up!" Said Dusk somewhat annoyed, stomping his hoof hard so the noise would wake the mare back up.
"Hey? What? Oh yeah, I'm sorry." Said the tired pink mare, waking up with the startle and again looking at Dusk with a somewhat shabby face. "It's just that I have to look for a new pony that came to town a few days ago-"
Suddenly the mare stopped talking and looked at her tail, which for some reason was shaking. She looked at Dusk again, and for the first time she opened her eyes wide with great enthusiasm.
"It's you! The new pony in Ponyville is you!" She said looking at Dusk with a huge smile. "You have no idea what it cost me to find you! Three days ago my Pinkie sense alerted me a new pony that had come to town! But I wasn't really sure, because it was a new signal. Something my Pinkie sense had never done! But my Pinkie sense never fails, so it definitely had to be something new! And that excited me a lot! That's why I've been looking for you for so long!" She continued to speak swiftly as she floated in circles around Dusk and drew her face close to Dusk's face.
Meanwhile, Dusk didn't know how to respond, to think this sleeping mare would have been so talkative and outgoing had taken him by surprise, that and Dusk had several questions for her, like why she was floating, or why she was looking for him, or how she knew he had arrived three days ago, but nevertheless the first question he asked was something else, something he needed to know to understand the tangled speech the pink mare had just given him.
"Wait... First of all, what's Pinkie sense?" Dusk asked confused, stopping the mare with his arm so she would stop hovering around him.
"Oh! It's just a sign my body gives me to warn me that something will happen, like when my left ear itches and my mane bristles, it means it's going to rain, or when my tail shakes three times to the right that means someone new will come to town," explained the mare as if it were the most normal thing in the world. "And obviously it is called Pinkie sense because that's my name, Pinkie Pie! By the way, what's your name?"
Dusk again had no immediate answer, since he wasn't accustomed to how fast and scattered the mare's speeches were, and he was not sure whether to make fun of the absurdity of what she had just said. However, first things first, and since the mare had introduced herself, the proper thing was to do the same.
"I-It's a pleasure, my name is Dusk Shin-" Dusk again stopped talking since as soon as he had bowed as a greeting and raised his head again, he realized that the mare had fallen asleep again.
"AHEM!" Dusk coughed to wake the mare.
Pinkie Pie again opened her eyes in surprise.
"What…? Oh I'm sorry! It's just that I'm kind of... tired... and when I feel that way sometimes I fall asleep." Pinkie Pie said lethargically, with a small smile.
Dusk noticed that Pinkie Pie had wanted to say a different word instead of 'tired', but had a change of heart. Nevertheless, Dusk didn’t want to say anything in order to limit the questions that this singular mare had generated.
A short, uncomfortable silence followed after the mare spoke and Dusk was lost in thought, nevertheless Dusk spoke again when he noticed that Pinkie Pie began falling asleep again, something he didn't want to happen till his questions were answered.
"So then... you've been looking for me for three days? And did your Pinkie sense warned you that I arrived at Ponyville?" Dusk asked incredulously, speaking loudly so the mare wouldn't fall asleep, again.
"That's right! Although like I said, my pinkie sense did something strange to alert me about your arrival, something it had never done before when other ponies arrived in town..." Pinkie Pie said thoughtfully as she continued to float in front of Dusk.
Dusk smiled a little at the absurdity of what the mare said, he had heard and read that certain ponies believed in superstitions, amulets of good fortune and other things without scientific or magical merit, but that certain body parts of a pony shook to alert her to certain random events was the most absurd thing he had ever heard.
"Well, maybe your Pinkie sense 'shook' differently because I came with a dragon." Dusk said mockingly, pointing to his partner next to him.
"A dragon?" Asked Pinkie Pie, who immediately looked down at the little dragon standing next to the unicorn.
Spike just gave a shy and awkward greeting because until that moment he was grateful that this mad mare was set on Dusk alone and not him.
"Wow, a dragon! I haven't seen one for a long time! Although you're smaller compared to others I've seen." Pinkie Pie said with a big grin. "Anyway Mr.Dragon, I cannot call you Mr.Dragon, so tell me, what's your name?"
"My... my name is Spike..." The dragon replied somewhat uneasily, stretching his claw to greet her.
"It's a pleasure to meet you little guy!" Pinkie Pie said giving him a big hug.
The hug was short enough, but it was enough to make Spike petrified since, like his brother, he was not very accustomed to receiving hugs, especially from a strange pony.
In Dusk's opinion, this mare's attitude was too unpredictable for his taste, he liked things orderly, consistent, but she spoke super fast and crazy, then fell asleep for no reason and then she didn't respect the personal space of others and was getting way too close. This was the time for Dusk to leave, that's what he thought persistently, however first he needed to finish clearing up all his questions.
"So... why were you looking for me?" Dusk asked, wanting to get an answer quick, then ask why she was floating, answer all his questions and quickly get away from this mare.
"Well, for your welcome party, what else?" Said the mare with a big smile.
Dusk fell silent staring at the mare, she was again talking incoherently, "Throw him a welcome party? Why? Has she been looking for me for three days just to throw me a party?" Dusk thought, but immediately the memories of Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo came to mind, where they both had mentioned something about a welcome party.
"Wait a second... In Ponyville are you accustomed to throwing parties for visitors? And you're responsible for that?" Dusk asked in disbelief.
"Of course!" Said the mare, who at times seemed to fall asleep at any moment. "Although it's not my responsibility, I just like throwing them."
Dusk could not help thinking that the more he spoke to Pinkie Pie, the more questions he had, but he had to ask.
"Why would you want to throw parties for ponies? Especially if they're strangers... " Dusk asked confused.
As soon as Dusk asked the question, as if it had been some sort of cue from the mare, Pinkie Pie's balloons burst, causing her to finally fall to the ground. Once standing, she ducked her head and inhaled sharply.
"Because..." began Pinkie Pie, leaving a small pause, something that did not last long as the pink mare immediately began to sing, to the utter surprise of Dusk and Spike.
"Having a party is always fun~ getting to meet new ponies and making lots of friends~ //
Whether earth, pegasus or unicorns~ everyone's a winner at a party!~ //
Griffins, dragons or a friendly monster~ all the more that come, and the fun never ends!~ //
I am Pinkie Pie, the Party mare~ If you wanna smile then just come to me!~"
Pinkie Pie continued to sing as she began to jump from side to side, dancing around the town square, all to the perplexed look of Dusk and Spike. For a moment they wanted the earth to swallow them up, standing in front of a crazy mare who danced without shame and sang in front of the whole town for no specific reason was something that no refined pony of Canterlot would do, he would find it embarrassing, just as they did at that moment.
While Pinkie Pie was still singing and dancing, Dusk glanced back to see if any other pony in town was as perplexed or embarrassed as he was, yet he saw no one, something that didn't last long, for as soon as he returned his gaze towards Pinkie Pie, he saw that the town ponies instead of being embarrassed or backing away, they were all next to Pinkie Pie singing and dancing right along with the pink mare.
"What the hay is going on?" Spike asked in an uncomfortable whisper, who hadn't moved and was just as perplexed as Dusk.
"They… they are all singing…" Dusk said uncertainly as his mind made use of its rationality. “I think it's a 'Song from the Heart’…"
Dusk had learned that term long ago, a ‘Song from the Heart’ was a type of archaic magic. When a pony had a strong feeling inside them, their heart and magic aura could vibrate and attune the hearts of other Ponies, which made them both sing in unison without even knowing the lyrics and dance in unison without practicing even once. This was something that was not totally unknown to Dusk, in fact the servants of the castle sometimes sang when doing some tasks or celebrating some festivity, nevertheless the ease with which Pinkie Pie had started singing and had that great a number of ponies in town singing and dancing with her, had totally surprised him. This was something he had never seen on the streets of Canterlot, at least not so spontaneously and naturally, every inhabitant of the town sang in perfect harmony to the tune of Pinkie Pie's feelings, feelings that seemed only to come from the fact they were talking about parties, a feeling whose attunement was even taking away the embarrassment that Dusk and Spike had initially and even now warmed their hearts more and more with each new verse.# End of Chapter 8
Thank you so much to Ecchidonzablue for his help with the correction in the translation to English
So if you liked, thank Him to it too
Author's note: three things
First: the chapter ends abruptly compared to other chapters because chapter nine came out very long, and the chapter 8 was shorter, so I completed this chapter with the beginning of chapter 9, but don't worry, chapter 9 will upload very soon
Second: for those who ask themselves the phrase "When in Equine, do as the Equites do." This is the pony version of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." But obviously I couldn't mention the city of Rome (this refrain is not the same in Spanish, but its English translation mentions Rome, so I had to change it) I hope the change is good
Third: if you ask, "Song from the Heart" is a term I created to explain the 'musical numbers' of the show
That would be, soon the next chapter.