ScootsQuest: Cool Girl Has Chill Day

Mar 28th, 2020
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  1. >You are Scootaloo
  2. >Sixteen years old, recent owner of a driver’s license, and rising star of the CHS soccer team
  3. >It’s a warm but damp spring day, and the sky above your head is heavy with clouds, the air carrying the tangy smell of rain
  4. >You jog off the field, having stayed back by yourself to dribble up and down the field a few times
  5. >Wet turf always gives you more problems than most of the other players, for reasons that are pretty obvious when you wear your athletic shorts
  6. >Your legs end right above where your knees would be, and everything below there is sleek, glistening metal
  7. >Neither you nor your two “aunts” actually know how that happened, and you’re pretty glad you don’t remember it
  8. >Either way, the unusual injuries plus your natural talent has made you a star even beyond Canterlot; you’ve already heard rumors of prestigious universities looking to drop an athletics scholarship on your shoulders
  9. >You pause right at the edge of the field and take a deep breath of the clean, stormy air
  10. >It feels good to be you, right now
  11. >You’re just about to head in when you hear a familiar voice from the stands
  12. >”Hey, Scoots!”
  13. >You look up, and see a rainbow-haired girl a few years older than you, reclining in the bleachers and sipping from a plastic water-bottle
  14. “Coach Dash! Hey. You’re still here?”
  15. >”Got nowhere better to be. And I wanna be here if you faceplant.”
  16. “Har har. Making fun of a cripple? That’s pretty low.”
  17. >Rainbow chuckles at that
  18. >”Hey, you fall less than anyone else on the team.”
  19. “It’s the extra weight from these babies.”
  20. >”And you’re just good at what you do. You’ve got serious chops, kid.”
  21. >You feel your entire body go warm and fizzy from Rainbow’s compliment
  22. “I mean, yeah. I know,” you say, trying to play it cool
  23. >But you’re blushing like an eleven-year-old in front of her crush
  24. >”I’m serious, man. You’ve definitely got a shot at a free-ride to any school you want.”
  25. “That’s what Harshwhinny said.”
  26. >”She knows her stuff. You got big stuff ahead of you, kid.”
  27. “Thanks, Rainbow.”
  28. >”No prob. Now go get showered up. I can smell you from here.”
  29. >You stick your tongue out at her, then head to jog for the showers
  30. >Before you make it far, though, she stops you
  31. >”Hey, wait. I did wanna ask you something.”
  32. “Sure, anything.”
  33. >”Just, uh… you doing anything tonight?”
  34. “Tonight? I mean, no, but…”
  35. >Your heart feels a little fluttery in your chest, and you can feel nervous energy building at the back of your throat
  36. >”No reason. I just haven’t seen you with your friends lately. Wanted to make sure everything is alright, y’know?”
  37. “Oh, yeah. Things have just been weird. Applebloom is crazy busy with the farm. Sweetie is… I dunno, acting a little different.”
  38. >”Alright. Just wanna make sure you’re not lonely.”
  39. “I’m good.”
  40. >”Cool. But if you’re looking for something to do, I’ve got fuck-all going on too.”
  41. “Yeah?”
  42. >”Mhm. So, if you wanna hang, just text me or whatever.”
  43. >Hanging out?
  44. >With THE Rainbow Dash
  45. “Y-yeah! Sure! I’ll let you know right after my shower!”
  46. >You jog away, giddiness mixing with the post-workout high
  48. >In the locker rooms, you strip out of your athletic wear, wrap yourself in a towel, and head into the showers
  49. >There’s a special shower in one corner of the room, one made specifically for the disabled: it’s got a waterproof compartment that fits your legs and a plastic chair for you to sit on
  50. >All in all, it’s pretty convenient, but you’d die from embarrassment if any of your teammates saw you using it
  51. >Throughout your shower, you can’t stop thinking about what Rainbow said
  52. >You play her words back to yourself over and over, trying to make sure you didn’t miss anything
  53. >She wants to just… hang out?
  54. >Rainbow is already in college—a sophomore at UCan, and their star soccer player—and she’s pretty much a legend to the entirety of CHS, a soccer and track champion and apparently a total party animal during her day
  55. >You’ve more-or-less idolized her since you first heard of her
  56. >And now she’s your *coach*
  57. >And she wants to *hang out*?
  58. >It’s almost too good to be true
  60. >When you finish your shower, you shut the water off and head back to your locker, where you dress in your school clothes
  61. >Your phone glows with several message notifications, and you answer them to find texts from Diamond Tiara, of all people
  62. >What does Diamond want?
  63. >You only have her number because she awkwardly made amends with your friend group back in Freshman year
  64. >You don’t exactly *like* her, but you suppose she’s cool now
  65. >Still, why’s she texting you?
  66. >You flip the phone open to check the messages
  67. >[Hey. This is Diamond. I’m having a party tonight, at my house, 8:00. Wear the best dress you have, if you own one. Let me know if you’ll come.]
  68. >You read the text three times, your head spinning
  69. >Is this some kind of weird, cruel prank?
  70. >That doesn’t seem like something Diamond would do—not the current Diamond, at least
  71. [For real?]
  72. >Barely a minute later, she replies
  73. >[Yes. Are you going to be there? I need to know. Now.]
  75. >You start to type, then hesitate, then start again
  76. >There’s no way she’s serious… is she?
  77. >Eventually, you remember Rainbow sitting outside, as well as your promise to her
  78. [i’m supposed to hang out w rainbow dash. can she come?]
  79. >Diamond’s reply is immediate
  80. >[THE Rainbow Dash?]
  81. [yeah?]
  82. >[Of course. I’ll people know. See you at eight.]
  83. >You put the phone down, already feeling a little giddy
  84. >A party at Diamond’s house, *and* you get to hang out with Rainbow
  85. >Forget rising star, you’re a full-blown supernova!
  86. >You rush outside to tell Rainbow the good news
  88. >She stares at you, a confused smile spreading across her face
  89. >”A high-school party?”
  90. “Yeah, I guess. But it’s *Diamond Tiara*. Her parents own, like, half the city. It’s gonna be crazy!”
  91. >”I dunno, fam. Aren’t I a little too, y’know, *old* for that?”
  92. “Old? You were in high school like two years ago!”
  93. >”Yeah, I guess… feels kinda weird, though. I remember when Diamond was a little brat with braces. It’d feel like, I dunno, like I’m hanging out with a bunch of kids, or something”
  94. “Kids?”
  95. >”I mean, not kids, but… just seems weird.”
  96. “I guess.”
  97. >You shrug, and you can’t hide the disappointment in your face
  98. >She still thinks of you as a kid?
  99. >Dash bites her lip
  100. >”Hey, I didn’t mean it like that. I just… don’t know if I can vibe with that, you know?”
  101. “Right. I guess I understand.”
  102. >You avert your eyes from Rainbow, feeling confused
  103. >She was supposed to be this crazy party animal, back when she was still at CHS
  104. >Why does she seem so shy and… well, kinda lame, all of a sudden?
  105. >You can’t help but be a bit disappointed…
  106. >You want to roll up to Diamond’s house with Rainbow as your wing-girl!
  107. >Rainbow reaches out and gently places her hand on your arm
  108. >”Hey, listen. I know it’s no Diamond Tiara party, but do you want to just, y’know, hang out? I’ve got my PS4 set up. Fuck it, I can grab us a six-pack if you want. Let’s just bro out for a night, you know?”
  109. “Just… bro out?”
  110. >”Yeah, man. Chill. You and me. What do you say?”
  112. >For a moment, Rainbow’s words hang in the cold, rainy air
  113. >You need a moment to figure out how to respond
  114. “I guess.”
  115. >”It’ll be cool, I promise.”
  116. “Alright.”
  117. >You fiddle with the strings of your hoodie, mixed feelings squirming around inside your gut
  118. >Something about this feels wrong, but you’re not sure what
  119. “Rainbow?”
  120. >”Hmm?”
  121. “Is everything, y’know… alright?”
  122. >Rainbow raises her eyebrows
  123. >For a moment, she looks surprised, but she quickly hides that behind a bright, confident grin
  124. >”Huh? Yeah, of course! What do you mean?”
  125. >She fake-punches your shoulder
  126. “I dunno. You sure you don’t want to go tonight?”
  127. >Rainbow sighs
  128. >”I’m sure. Listen, between you and me, I…”
  129. >Dash hesitates
  130. >”I… pulled a muscle. Last time I was at practice. My leg kinda hurts like shit right now. I wouldn’t want to make it worse dancing and stuff, y’know? The team would fall apart without me.”
  131. “Oh, yeah. I guess that makes sense.”
  132. >”You can totally go without me, y’know. Don’t feel like you gotta slum it with me just because I’m staying in. But hey, if you wanna laze out together…”
  133. “Yeah, sure,” you blurt out before you’ve even fully decided
  134. >Dash beams, genuine joy and relief shining through on her face
  135. >”Awesome! Text me your address, I’ll come pick you up at, like, seven?”
  136. “Yeah. Sure!”
  137. >You sound a bit more excited than you feel
  139. >The whole drive home, you can’t help but feel like something is wrong with you
  140. >Hanging out with *Rainbow Dash*, like friends!
  141. >And she said she’d buy you beer!
  142. >This is the kinda chance that you would have killed for, even just a year ago
  143. >But tonight, things seem… weird
  144. >You head up into the tiny apartment that you technically share with your aunts, but they’re nearly always out, so the place is pretty much yours
  145. >You crash on the couch, trying to get a few minutes of sleep
  146. >Almost immediately, though, your phone is buzzing with a new message from Diamond Tiara
  147. >[So? What did she say?]
  148. [she said no. think i’m gonna stay in.]
  149. >This time, she doesn’t reply immediately
  150. >[Stay in? What are you talking about?]
  151. >[Did she give you a better offer? Answer me.]
  153. >After taking a minute to think, you text your reply
  154. >You can practically feel Diamond fuming on the other end; it does bring a little smile to your face
  155. [she’s not feeling well so i’m gonna hang with her for a bit. will come by later]
  156. >[Fine. I’ll send someone to get you at 10:00.]
  157. [i’ll be at rainbow’s place]
  158. >[Okay.]
  159. >Man, does she text everyone like this?
  160. >Anyway, you slip your legs from their prosthetics and set them by the door, reclining in the couch and resting your stumps up on a pillow
  161. >A powerful wave of fatigue crashes over you, both physical and mental, and you quickly dip down into a nice, hazy midday nap
  163. >When you wake, it’s too the buzzing of your phone
  164. >[eyyy you still down to hang out?]
  165. >You don’t even have to look at the name to realize it’s Rainbow and not Diamond
  166. [ye, come get me whenever]
  167. >[hell ye. heading by the store first for some supplies ;)]
  168. >A tiny, fluttering bulb of nervous energy starts to form in your chest
  169. >By the time Rainbow gets to your place, the bulb’s expanded into a baseball-sized wad of anxiety
  170. >Her car is surprisingly plain: just a plain old Volvo station wagon, battered and old
  171. >You always kinda imagined her tearing down the road in a Harley
  172. >When you pull the door open you, Dash flashes you a peace sign
  173. >”Sup, fam?”
  174. “Hey.”
  175. >You glance in the back seat, where you see a few shopping bags bulging with bottles
  176. >The energy-ball in your chest grows a bit
  177. >”Figured I’d splurge a bit. You ready to head out?”
  178. “Pretty much.”
  179. >You’re having a hard time thinking straight
  180. >You feel Rainbow’s hand on your shoulder, and she gives you a gentle jostle
  181. >”Hey, relax. It’s just a chill night.”
  182. “Y-yeah. Sorry. It’s just, y’know, pretty cool to hang out with you.”
  183. >”Ha! Don’t worry, man, I get it. Now let’s get going!”
  184. >She plugs in her phone and cranks up the speakers, blasting some edgy, sizzling metal music
  185. >Now *this* is more like the Dash you imagined!
  187. >The drive to her place is quick and easy, and the nervous energy shrinks to almost nothing in your chest
  188. >The two of you chat about the usual topics: teams you hate, teams you respect, locker-room stories
  189. >It’s mostly you doing the talking: Rainbow asks you a lot of questions, but seems to avoid talking about what she’s been up to lately
  190. >You press her for information about the team, and she tells you a lot about their record—mostly all the wins she’s personally responsible for—but she avoids talking about any of the juicy topics you really want her to hit
  191. “C’mon, I bet you’re partying like crazy!”
  192. >”Hah, I mean, you know me. I was. But… I’ve been kinda just chilling lately. I still gotta pass my classes.”
  193. “Since when do you care about classes?”
  194. >Rainbow shrugs
  195. >”Gotta keep my scholarship, you know.”
  196. “Makes sense.”
  197. >A long silence descends over the car
  198. >You sneak a glance at Rainbow’s face, and you can see that her eyes are far away
  199. >She stays silent for the last few minutes of the ride, but she perks back up when you get to her place
  201. >Her car pulls into a large lot that faces an eight-story dorm building
  202. >”Alright! My place is at the top. The view is fucking sick! Just, real quick…”
  203. >She stuffs the bottles into her backpack and slings it over her shoulders, giving you a conspiratorial wink
  204. >Your heart swells with admiration
  205. >How did you ever doubt that she’s the coolest person ever?
  206. >The two of you smuggle your booze in like a pair of master criminals, and then Dash leads you up to her room
  207. >It’s an all-girls floor, and a bunch of women a few years older than you are lounging around in their pajamas, eating instant noodles, bending over textbooks, or just gossiping in hushed tones
  208. >You get a few weird looks: even though you’re a highschooler, you look more like you’re twelve, and with the shorts you’re wearing, your prosthetic legs are on full display
  209. >You strut through like you own the place, though: after all, you’re hanging out with *the* Rainbow Dash
  210. >Rainbow unlocks her dorm and lets you in, revealing a cramped but well-furnished room
  211. >It’s got a couch, a TV, and two bunk beds in the corner
  212. >”Here it is! La casa de Rainbow. Take a seat, lemme fire up the PlayStation.”
  213. >You plop down onto the couch, taking in the place: posters of metal bands line the walls beneath pennants for the Wonderbolts
  214. >Clothes and some food trash are strewn all over the place, along with open textbooks and old homework
  215. >It’s a mess, and it looks pretty much exactly like your room
  216. >You feel at home almost immediately, so at home that you’re already unstrapping your legs and slipping them off
  217. >Dash turns back just in time to catch you doing that, and you blush
  218. “Sorry. Should I leave ‘em on?”
  219. >”Nah, dude. Get comfy. You’re welcome to stay the night, if you want.”
  220. “I…I am?”
  221. >”Uh, yeah? What, you think I’m gonna kick you out? We can bro out all night!”
  222. >She ruffles your hair, then plops down on the couch next to you
  223. >It’s a tiny loveseat, and even your two slender bodies don’t quite fit on it: Rainbow sits with her shoulder pressed right up against yours
  224. >On the dorm’s tiny TV, the start screen for Street Fighter IV pops up
  225. >The tiny ball of nervous energy flares in your chest again, but now it’s mixed with something else: guilt
  226. >Rainbow cracks the tops off of two ciders: one for herself, and she passes one to you
  227. >As the cold bottle is pressed into your hand, though, Dash raises an eyebrow
  228. >”Alright, my turn. Are *you* alright? You seem really nervous.”
  229. “I, uh…”
  231. >You raise the cider to your lips, but you don’t drink any—its sweet apple tang fills your nostrils, though, and your mouth starts to water
  232. >You lower the bottle into your lap, feelings its chill seep into your thighs where it touches your skin
  233. “Can I ask you something?”
  234. >”Huh? Yeah, sure.”
  235. >Rainbow adjusts her posture on the couch, turning until she’s half-facing you
  236. >Her warm right knee presses against the stump of your left leg
  237. “I actually came here to, I dunno, to check on you.”
  238. >”Check on me?”
  239. >Rainbow laughs, though it feels a little forced
  240. >”Dude, I’m fine.”
  241. “Are you sure? You’ve just seemed a little… different, today.”
  242. >Rainbow waves your concerns away, though you notice that she can’t quite meet your eye
  243. >”Nah, you don’t gotta worry about me. I’m good. Let’s just vibe, y’know?”
  244. “Okay, but… I kinda told Diamond I would still go to her party. Just later.”
  245. >The cheer slowly fades from Rainbow’s face
  246. >”Oh.”
  247. “Sorry. I didn’t know you’d want to spend the whole night together.”
  248. >”Nah, nah! It’s totally cool, dude,” Rainbow says
  249. >Her voice jumps back to its usual cheery rasp, but it feels off
  250. >She gently punches your arm
  251. >”You don’t have to slum it here with me all night, if you don’t want.”
  252. “You can still come to the party. I want to hang out with you.”
  253. >Rainbow shakes her head
  254. >”Sorry, man. I really just wanna stay in.”
  255. “Okay.”
  256. >Dash raises her bottle of cider to her lips, and drains nearly half of it over the course of several long swallows
  257. >You raise yours and take a sip
  258. >Though you’d never admit this in front of Rainbow, it’s your first alcoholic drink
  259. >It tastes like apple juice that went bad a few weeks ago: behind the sweetness there’s a bitter, foul tang
  260. >Still, it’s crisp and weirdly refreshing
  261. >You put the bottle back down, and for a second you and Dash are both silent
  262. >She takes another long draught, then tosses her bottle to the floor
  263. >”You still down for some video games?”
  264. “Yeah!” you say, grateful that things are still pretty normal. “Ready to get your ass kicked?”
  265. >”Is that you asking me to go easy on you? Because that’s not gonna happen.”
  266. >Dash passes you a controller and sets up a two-player match
  267. >You actually haven’t played much in the way of video games: your aunts never bought you a system past the PS2, and you don’t have the money to get one yourself
  268. >So, as expected, Dash just destroys you in the first few rounds
  269. >She cackles and teases you, and you don’t really mind
  270. >She’s having fun, and you’re starting to feel pretty pleasantly warm and fuzzy from the cider
  271. >The two of you squish in together on the couch, and all that nervousness you felt earlier seems to melt and spread throughout your body, forming a nice, floaty sort of feeling
  272. >Eventually, you even start winning!
  273. >It’s probably because Dash is just trying to be nice, and she pretends to get pissed when you start beating her
  274. >But you notice her missing combos and occasionally just taking her thumb off the buttons, so that you have a chance to get a few hits in
  275. >That makes you feel good
  276. >You almost feel like you’ve been kicked in the chest when your phone buzzes with a message from Diamond
  277. >[Waiting outside for you.]
  278. >Rainbow pauses the game and looks over at you
  279. >”That’s your cue, huh?”
  280. “Yeah, I guess.”
  281. >She nods
  282. >A smile still stretches across her face, but you can tell she’s forcing it now
  283. >”Enjoy yourself, kid.”
  284. “You’re *sure* you don’t want to come?”
  285. >Rainbow nods
  286. “Can… can I ask why?”
  287. >Rainbow shrugs
  288. >”I dunno, man. Just… be careful, okay? Because a lot of those people aren’t your friends. They’re there for themselves, and they won’t care what happens to you.”
  289. “What do you mean?”
  290. >Rainbow shakes her head
  291. >”I can’t really explain. Just… promise me you’ll be careful, okay?”
  292. “Of course I will. It’s just Diamond Tiara. Nothing bad’s gonna happen.”
  293. >Rainbow looks like she wants to say more, but she doesn’t
  294. >”I’ll see you at practice, a-alright?”
  295. >You’re surprised to here a slight quiver in her voice
  296. >Later, you’ll assume you just imagined it
  297. >You start strapping on your prosthetics, getting ready to leave
  298. “I’ll see you. And I’ll text you when I get home. Promise.”
  299. >”Cool. Take care, kid.”
  300. >Just as you stand up to go, Rainbow stands up too and pulls you into a tight, warm hug
  301. >And then you’re heading out of the door
  302. >You make your way out of Rainbow’s building, feeling a little twisted up inside
  303. >A part of you wants to be back there with her, but another part has to see what kind of insane party Diamond is going to throw
  304. >You sigh
  305. >One the way out, you pass a woman who looks to be about Dash’s age: twenty-ish, with slicked-back blonde hair
  306. >Unlike Rainbow, though, she’s taking pulls from a cigarette
  307. >”Hey,” she says the minute she sees you. “You a friend of Rainbow Dash?”
  309. “Oh, Rainbow Dash. Yeah. We were hanging out. Just chillin, you know.”
  310. >You match the girl’s confident posture as you lean up against a railing
  311. >”Nice.”
  312. “Dash is a pretty close friend of mine. Do you know her?”
  313. >”Yep. I’m on the soccer team. Her… replacement, kinda. We hang together a lot.”
  314. “Wait, for real? That’s awesome!”
  315. >As cool as you wanted to look, you can’t match that
  316. >A cocky grin stretches across this girl’s face
  317. >”I taught her half of what she knows. Just wish I hadn’t taught her so well. I hardly get a chance to play, now.”
  318. “Were you from CHS too?”
  319. >”Nah, Crystal Prep. You one of the CHS girls?”
  320. “Yeah! Rainbow’s my coach,” you say, puffing out your scrawny chest a bit
  321. >”Ah, no shit? What’s your name?”
  322. “Scootaloo. Just call me Scoots.”
  323. >”Lightning Dust.”
  324. “That’s a badass name.”
  325. >”Hell yeah it is.”
  326. >She reaches out her hand and you slap yours into it, locking fingers with her
  327. >Lightning grips you almost hard enough to break your fingers: that just makes you respect her more
  328. >She holds her cigarette between her lips even while she talks to you, and the thin line of smoke curling up past her cheek makes her look like an Old West gunslinger
  329. >You’re enamored
  330. >Lightning points to the parking lot behind you
  331. >”Looks like you got someone waiting for you, Scoots.”
  332. >You can see that a slick black BMW with tinted windows has pulled up alongside the curb
  333. “Oh, sick! Yeah, I’m heading to a party.”
  334. >”No shit?”
  335. “Yep. At Diamond Tiara’s. She invited me personally. I invited Rainbow but…”
  336. >”Aww, she wasn’t feeling it?”
  337. “Yeah.”
  338. >”That’s too bad. The Rich family is throwing this party, you said?”
  339. >You nod, feeling like a big-shot
  340. >You hardly even remember that weird moment with Rainbow, just a few minutes ago…
  341. >”Sounds like a great time. You gonna let loose?”
  342. “Oh, you know it.”
  343. >”Hell yeah. Have fun, kid.”
  344. >She punches your shoulder, just like Dash would
  345. >But Lightning’s is just hard enough to sting, making you feel weirdly tingly in the center of your chest
  346. >Maybe…
  348. >…nah
  349. “Hey, it was really cool talking to you! Could I, y’know, have your number?”
  350. >Lightning throws her head back and laughs
  351. >”You got serious guts! Don’t think anyone’s asked me for my number in years. You know what? Here.”
  352. >She holds out her hand for your phone, and punches it in as soon as you give it to her
  353. >”Don’t think you’re gettin’ a booty call outta me, though,” she says with a wink
  354. “W-what? That wasn’t what I meant!”
  355. >”Hah! Man, look at you blush. Hit me up if you wanna hang.”
  356. “Maybe you, me, and Dash could practice sometime?”
  357. >”Eh… maybe.”
  358. >Her smile fades a bit at that
  359. >”I see Dash all the time. But if you wanna see some serious action, call me.”
  360. >She ashes her cigarette and flicks the butt into the bushes
  361. >”I’ll see ya around, Scoots.”
  362. “Yeah! Yeah, I’ll see you!”
  363. >She heads into the dorm building, leaving you to stand there and wait for the glow of her praise to fade
  365. >Inside the car, you find that Diamond didn’t actually come to get you herself
  366. >Instead, she sent you with a private driver, a stodgy old man who barely even talks to you
  367. >Not that you’re complaining—you just plop down in the back seat, stretching out like you own the place and practically bouncing in place with excitement
  368. >The night is warm and springy, and you feel the fireball of nervous energy flaring up in your chest again
  369. >When you arrive at Diamond’s house, your mouth drops open
  370. >The place is *huge*
  371. >For someone who lives in a tiny, cramped apartment, it feels like pulling up outside a palace
  372. >Its built from tasteful gray stone, and its three-level structure sprawls over rolling green hills
  373. >A garden stretches out in front, with a pathway leading up to the front door
  374. >For a moment, you’re painfully aware of your appearance: dressed in a hoodie and short-shorts, your plastic legs in plain view
  375. >You generally don’t give a shit how you dress: you look great, you’re in top-tier shape, and you know that
  376. >But man, you feel out of place
  377. >The driver leads you to the front doors, and they swing open to reveal Diamond Tiara
  378. >Your breath catches in your throat for a moment: she looks *stunning*
  379. >Again, you don’t normally notice how other girls dress, but Diamond’s appearance does something to you
  380. >Her hair is pinned up in an elegant series of waves and rivulets, and it’s been lightly dusted with glitter
  381. >She’s wearing a frilly pink dress, covering her body in layers of silky, semi-transparent material that suddenly stop right above her chest, leaving her neck and shoulders bare
  382. “Uh…”
  383. >You actually can’t get any words out
  384. >Diamond just rolls her eyes
  385. >Before you have a chance to say anything, she grabs you by the hand and pulls you inside
  386. >”Ugh, *finally* you’re here. Coming to *my* party at ten o’clock? You’re lucky I didn’t leave you at the gate.”
  387. “Sorry? I told you, I was with Rainbow Dash.”
  388. >”Yeah, yeah. Just come on, get upstairs before anybody sees you.”
  389. “Upstairs? Wait, what’s going on? I thought this was a—ah!”
  390. >Diamond tugs you down the hall, throws open a door, and pulls you up a dark, narrow staircase
  391. >You can hear pulsating dance music and the slush of voices coming from somewhere deeper in, but she’s pulling you away from the core of the party
  392. >You end up in a small, surprisingly plain room: it looks like a study, maybe a room where Diamond does her homework or something
  393. >She motions for you to sit, and she sits across from you
  394. “So, do I get to know what’s going on?”
  395. >”I’ll be brief. I want you to be my date tonight.”
  396. “Uh… yeah, you’re gonna have to explain more than that. I mean, I know I’m in high demand, but—“
  397. >”I want to make Silver jealous.”
  398. “Silver Spoon? Aren’t you guys, like, best friends?”
  399. >”Were.”
  400. “I see. Why me?”
  401. >Diamond shrugs
  402. >”You’re the only remotely cool girl in our year. And Silver will hate it if she sees us dancing together. I haven’t even *spoken* to her all night.”
  403. >In the middle of talking to you, Diamond whips out her phone and starts light-speed texting
  404. >”It doesn’t look like she’s with anyone else, either. This is the perfect opportunity. Ugh, but we’re going to have to dress you better than that…”
  405. “Yo, yo, slow down already. I’m here as… as bait for Silver Spoon?”
  406. >”Not bait. Revenge.”
  407. “Wait, were the two of you…”
  408. >Diamond blushes furiously
  409. >”We were not!”
  410. “Ooooh. And that’s the problem.”
  411. >”It is not! She… while she and her family were in Miami, they… ugh, never mind! Are you gonna help me or not?”
  412. >”Diamond, is something wrong~?”
  413. >An older woman’s voice sounds from outside
  414. >Both you and Diamond turn, finding a woman who looks to be in her forties leaning against the doorjamb
  415. >She’s dressed in a loose-fitting purple dress, with one strap slipping down her shoulder
  416. >A glass of red wine is clutched in her hand, and the pink in her cheeks makes it obvious that this isn’t her first drink of the night
  417. >”Mom! Go away, I told you, this is private!”
  418. >”Aww, you aren’t bullying this poor little boy, are you?”
  419. >She struts into the room, slipping up next to you
  420. “I’m a girl, actually…” you say, though your voice comes out as a nervous mumble
  421. >This woman—Diamond’s mom—has an aura around her, and you have a pretty good idea why it’s making you feel so weird…
  422. >”A girl! Oh my, but you have such a sweet little face. Oh, aren’t you adorable~”
  423. >She touches your chin, and Diamond grits her teeth
  424. >”Mom! Leave!”
  425. >”Okay, sweetie~. But you should let me fix your little friend up. Imagine how cute he’d—SHE’D—be in a dress like yours…”
  426. >She runs her hand up your cheek and then through your hair
  427. >The fireball of anxiety in your chest melts and floods through you
  428. >Your body and mind *definitely* want different things right now…
  430. >…and, maybe for the first time in your life, your mind wins out
  431. >Something about Spoiled just *really* creeps you out
  432. >And, to be perfectly honest, you’re not sure if you really want whatever it is she seems desperate to do to you
  433. >Obviously you know what sex is, and you even know the kinda things two girls can do with each other—personally, you’re interested to try them out
  434. >But the idea of having this drunk mom as your first time makes you feel… kinda slimy, in a way that you could never wash off
  435. >You push away from Spoiled, suddenly feeling like spiders are crawling all along your body
  436. “Actually, uh… Diamond said she had a dress for me.”
  437. >Spoiled looks disappointed
  438. >”Did she now? Well, maybe I can help you try it on. Make sure it fits this skinny little body~”
  439. >She bends over, her breasts nearly slipping from her loose dress, and starts to run her hand down your side
  440. >For a moment, you can only stare
  441. >Then a feeling overwhelms you, like spiders crawling along your skin
  442. >You push away from her, feeling thoroughly creeped out
  443. “Yeah, uh… no thanks! Diamond can help me out.”
  444. >You grab Diamond’s hand and pull her along beside you
  445. “C’mon, let’s uh… let’s go up to your room.”
  446. >You slip outside and run off, dragging Diamond behind you
  447. >The two of you stop when you’ve put a few corners between yourselves and Diamond’s mom
  448. “What *was* that?” you ask Diamond, an accusing tone in your voice
  449. >She glances away, her face flushed with shame
  450. >”Ugh, I hate how she always does that! She gets all… grabby, when she drinks.”
  451. >You open your mouth to say something, then the implications of what Diamond said hit you
  452. “Oh. Fuck. I’m sorry.”
  453. >Diamond shakes her head
  454. >”Ew, no! Not like that! She never even touches me.”
  455. “Oh.”
  456. >You aren’t sure how to respond to that
  457. >Diamond turns away, still fuming
  458. >”Always trying to ruin everything…”
  459. >She shakes her head, then turns back to you
  460. >”Anyway! I still need you. According to Silver’s Instagram story…”
  461. >Diamond flips out her phone, mad-tapping the screen like a hacker
  462. >”Ah! She’s already dancing! We don’t have any time, come on!”
  463. >Diamond waves for you to follow, but you stop her
  464. “Wait. Explain to me what’s going on, first. What’s the deal with you and Silver?”
  465. >Diamond’s face deepens to a deep, glowing red
  466. >”That’s not something you need to know.”
  467. “If I’m going along with your plan, it is.”
  468. >”Ugh, fine, fine. She hooked up with some boy when they were in Miami, probably. I think.”
  469. “You think?”
  470. >”He was all over her story! And she barely texted me all trip! She betrayed me for some… some random Chad she met on the beach!”
  471. “How did she betray you if you two weren’t, you know, dating?”
  472. >”We aren’t like that!” Diamond practically shrieks. “We’re very close friends, and your very close friend should *never* be second to some boy! Agh!”
  473. >Diamond looks like she’s about to cry
  474. >”Now just get down to the dance floor. I want to see Silver squirm!”
  476. >Diamond grabs you by the arm and tries to pull you along, but you resist
  477. “Hey, wait.”
  478. >”There’s no time! Silver’s down there already, we need to—“
  479. “Maybe you could just, y’know, *enjoy* yourself? Then you win either way. Sounds like people are having a pretty bitchin’ time, too…”
  480. >Diamond rolls her eyes
  481. >”You don’t get it. You just don’t get it.”
  482. >All the feisty energy has drained out of her, and now she just looks sad
  483. >”Are you in, or not? Because I can find someone else, or whatever. Obviously.”
  484. “I’m in,” you say with a grin. “But you better have something for me to drink.”
  485. >Diamond’s thumbs are already flying across her phone screen
  486. >”Fine. I’ll have Randolph rustle you up something.”
  488. >You follow Diamond down the twisting hallways and switch-backs of her manor
  489. >As you get closer to the party’s throbbing heart, you spy more and people scattered around the halls, usually sticking to the shadows to make out… or more
  490. >Your own heart starts to hammer in your chest, and you feel as if the throbbing bass music is constricting it, urging it to beat faster
  491. >Diamond pauses and slips her hand into yours
  492. >”Remember. You are *my* date. Understood? Make sure Silver sees us together.”
  493. “Sure, but—“
  494. >Whatever protest you were about to make gets drowned out as Diamond pulls you forward
  495. >The two of you round a corner and emerge into a heigh-ceilinged stone hall
  496. >The floor is a tangle of gyrating, sweat-slicked bodies, all of them dressed in the most expensive clothes they own
  497. >A balcony circles the room, about twenty feet up, and you can see a DJ bobbing her head at one end
  498. >Next to you, Diamond is suddenly a different person
  499. >The flustered, miserable girl you saw earlier is gone, replaced by a smug socialite strutting into the hall like she owns the place
  500. >Which she does, you suppose
  501. >As the two of you stride in, a cold glass is pressed into your hand: chilled red wine, but the looks of it
  502. >Man, the Riches’ manservants work *fast*
  503. >Diamond’s eyes flick around, and you assume she’s scanning for Silver
  504. >Immediately, though, the two of you are mobbed by classmates
  505. >”Diamond, hey! Great party!”
  506. >”Hey, Diamond! You look great!”
  507. >”Is that Scootaloo?”
  508. >”Hey, Scoots! Remember me? We were in Algebra I together…”
  509. >”Are you two together? That is *so* brave!”
  510. >Diamond waves off their compliments
  511. >”We’ve been keeping this a secret for a while,” she says. “I’m not sure how the school will react. Or if my parents will accept us.”
  512. >”We’ll support you two no matter what! You’re seriously brave, and you’re super cute together!”
  513. >Before you know it, phones are flashing
  514. >Diamond someone manages to pose for each shot, while also looking like she’s not posing at all
  515. >You, meanwhile, feel like the world’s youngest rockstar
  516. >You puff out your chest, trying to pose alongside Diamond, smiling at your fans
  517. >The booze hits you quickly, turning pride into a bit of a frenzied, fun-hungry mania
  518. >You fistbump a few excited classmates, grab photos with others
  519. >And then you spy it: there’s a path through the mobbed dancers, leading right to the center of the floor
  520. “Hey!” you say to Diamond, taking her hand. “There’s room in the middle! Let’s dance!”
  521. >”Wait, but Silver—“
  522. >Her complaints are drowned out, though, and you pull her into the center of the room
  523. >The mob immediately closes back up around you, forcing Diamond to press tightly against your body
  524. >She’s actually an inch shorter than you, and has a soft-skinny figure that you can feel through her dress
  525. >The heat of holding her and the intoxication of alcohol start to float up into your head
  526. >You squeeze Diamond against yourself and just let your body do what it wants to do
  527. “See? They love us!”
  528. >”Hmm. Yes.”
  529. >Diamond doesn’t sound as enthused as you are
  530. “Aren’t you at least *kinda* having fun?”
  531. >”We’ll be the school’s new gossip for at least two weeks. That should get to Silver…”
  532. >You sigh, then shove Diamond away from you
  533. >”Gah!”
  534. >She cries out, but you grab her by the arms and spin her around
  535. >”That was completely uncalled for!”
  536. “If you don’t start having fun, I’m gonna do it again.”
  537. >”I told you, this isn’t about fun— agh! Stop it, already!”
  538. >You spin her again, then pull her against you
  539. >You try to do one of those flamenco dips with Diamond, and to your slightly-drunk self, you feel like you did it masterfully
  540. >A few cheers go up around you, making you flush with pride
  541. >When you pull Diamond back up, she’s fuming
  542. >”I see picking you for this was a bad choice.”
  543. “Why, because I’m too much to handle?”
  544. >”Precisely.”
  545. “Thank you.”
  546. >Diamond rolls her eyes, then presses back up against you
  547. >”You realize you nearly dropped me back there, right?”
  548. “I did? Sorry.”
  549. >”Hmph. Next time you try it, hold my back more tightly.”
  550. “Next time?”
  551. >”Mhm. In three, two, one…”
  552. >Diamond follows you as you spin her in a tight circle, then arches her back like a natural dancer, forming a perfect arc as you dip her
  553. >More whooping cheers sound
  554. >And as you’re bending over, you both look up, your eyes meeting
  555. >A single blip of tension passes between you, and something *shifts* inside your body
  556. >Right not, you want nothing more than to—
  557. >”Diamond!?”
  558. >Both of you look up, and this time to do drop your partner
  559. >Silver Spoon is standing not far from you, alone, her hair slightly disheveled
  560. >”I’ve been looking for you all evening,” she says. “Where have you been? Why aren’t you answering my texts?”
  561. >Diamond quickly scrambles to her feet, blushing, and she flings herself into your arms so hard that she nearly bowls you over
  562. >"As you can see, I'm a little busy."
  563. >She's suddenly all over you: her head on your shoulder, folded in your embrace like some darling little waif
  564. >Whatever predatory part of you just woke up now writhes inside you, sending urges through your body that you don't fully understand
  566. >But Diamond’s eyes aren’t on you
  567. >She’s wrapped around you, her lithe form radiating body heat that’s tangible even in the hot party-hall
  568. >But despite all that, her gaze is locked on Silver Spoon
  569. >You sigh and push Diamond away
  570. >She lets out an indignant yelp and nearly falls
  571. >Silver rushes forward to catch her, but Diamond pushes her away
  572. >She rights herself and stamps her foot, glaring at you
  573. >”Hey! What was that for!?”
  574. >The tiny predator inside you whines in dismay at letting her go
  575. >But you don’t exactly want to be strutting around with a girl who’s spending her night thinking about someone else
  576. >And you definitely don’t want to be doing *other things* with her, all while she’s imagining Silver in the back of her mind
  577. >The little scene has already attracted some attention
  578. >People are breaking off from the dancing throngs and gathering around, ready to watch the drama
  579. >Diamond looks between you and Silver, mixed anger, hurt, and confusion on her face
  580. “Hey,” you say to Silver Spoon. “Diamond has a crush on you.”
  581. >You… maybe could have worded that better, if you were sober
  582. >Silver’s face stretches in shock, while Diamond’s twists in fury
  583. >”W-what? No! How dare you! That is *not* what this is!”
  584. >You ignore Diamond and stay focused on Silver
  585. “She’s dancing with me to make you jealous. You two should talk.”
  586. >Diamond looks ready to claw your eyes out
  587. >”Is that true?” Silver asks, her mellow voice somehow audible even over the pulsating music
  588. >”No! Especially not after you betrayed me with that—ugh, never mind! Scootaloo is lying! I can’t trust any of you!”
  589. >A full-on crowd has gathered now; the DJ has even lowered the music, probably wondering what’s going on herself
  590. >”Betrayed you? What do you mean? What did I—“
  591. >”You know what you did! You and that guy. Zip or Zephyr or whatever his name was…”
  592. >Silver looks dumbstruck
  593. >”Zephyr? He and I just—
  594. >”I don’t care what you *just*. I don’t care! And YOU.”
  595. >She whirls on you and shoves you away
  596. >You land awkwardly and one of your prosthetic legs slips out from under you, sending you spilling to the ground
  597. >”Get out of here! I can’t trust you with anything! I can’t trust any of you.”
  598. >Diamond looks around and realizes that plenty of phones are now turned in her direction, filming her little meltdown
  599. >She covers her face, but not before you see tears leaking between her fingers
  600. >”All of you, just… get out!”
  601. >And with that, she turns and runs for the exit, her heels clacking against the stone floor
  602. >You and Silver just turn to each other, neither of you sure what to say or do
  604. >Throngs of other party-goers almost immediately try to swarm the two of you, buzzing with questions like drama-hungry locusts
  605. “We should get outta here,” you say to Silver
  606. >She nods to you, and the two of you slip away from everyone
  607. >You have no idea where you’re headed, but Silver nudges you and points to an unassuming doorway
  608. >”There’s a secret passage through the kitchens.”
  609. “Oh. Sick.”
  610. >As it turns out, she’s one-hundred percent right: the two of you duck into the kitchens—which are themselves larger than the entire main floor of your apartment building—then follow a narrow stone path that lies at the back of the pantry
  611. >The pathway is only wide enough for you two to walk single-file, so you end up trailing behind Silver as she shuffles along
  612. >The two of you follow the path through several switchbacks until it ends in a set of stairs, which deposit the two of you into a storage room full of covered furniture
  613. >Silver takes a seat on plastic-wrapped divan, and you sit on the floor across from her
  614. >She sighs and drops her face into her hands
  615. >”I wondered why she was acting so weird…”
  616. “Yeah. Any idea what that was all about?”
  617. >She shakes her head
  618. >”It seems like she told you more than she told me. I thought I was her best friend.”
  619. >The hurt is obvious in Silver’s voice
  620. “She told me a lot. I was telling the truth back there. She really does… have feelings for you, or whatever.”
  621. >Silver glances away from you, looking uncomfortable
  622. >”That makes a lot of things make sense.”
  623. “Guess you don’t feel the same way?”
  624. >Silver bites her lip
  625. >”She’s been my best friend since I was a little girl. My *only* friend.”
  626. >You nod; Diamond’s the school’s most popular girl, but Silver has pretty much always just been Diamond’s shadow
  627. >”So, of course I love her. But…”
  628. “Not like that?”
  629. >”I don’t know. I don’t really know what ‘like that’ even means…”
  630. “Like, you don’t wanna kiss her or, y’know, other stuff.”
  631. >”We have kissed,” Silver says with a shrug. “A few times, nothing serious. I thought it was just normal girl-stuff. Fooling around, figuring things out. Practicing.”
  632. “Don’t think it was practice for her.”
  633. >”I guess not. I never realized she was so serious.”
  634. “So, what are you gonna do?”
  635. >”I can’t lose her. But I don’t know if I can… *feel* that way about her.”
  636. “Did you like kissing her?”
  637. >”Well, of course. I liked everything we did together. Except fighting…”
  638. “Then why not go for it?
  639. >”Because… I don’t know! I love her, and I love being around her. But I guess I don’t just want to be Diamond’s… girlfriend, or whatever. I don’t understand why. Am I just a bad person?”
  640. >Silver raises her head and buries her fingers in her hair
  641. >She looks equally ready to scream or burst into tears
  643. “Nah, you’re not. This whole thing just *sucks*. For all of us.”
  644. >Silver nods
  645. >”It really does. Why can’t she and I just be friends, like we always were?”
  646. >You open your mouth to say something, but there’s no simple answer rattling around anywhere inside your head
  647. “I don’t know. Things just… get messy sometimes, I guess.”
  648. >You think back to your hangout with Dash, how sad and unlike herself she seemed, and your guts twist a bit in worry
  649. “Guess it just happens.”
  650. >Silver lays down across the couch
  651. >”You’re probably right. Am I stupid if I still hope things can go back to normal?”
  652. “Nah. But you might be disappointed.”
  653. >”What if… what if Diamond and I stop being friends?”
  654. “Then you’ll make new friends.”
  655. >”Mmm. I don’t want new friends…”
  656. “Then you’ll figure something out. Maybe even… you know.”
  657. >Without even thinking about it, you unstrap your prosthetics and set them aside
  658. >Your fingers start massaging your sore stumps as you lay across the floor, a few feet from Silver
  659. >The plush carpet is so comfortable that it’s hardly like being on the floor at all
  660. >”Yeah, maybe…” Silver eventually whispers to the ceiling. ”I hope I will. I hope we both will.”
  661. “Guess that’s all you can do right now.”
  662. >”Hmm. Yeah, I guess so.”
  663. >A stiff silence settles over the two of you
  664. >At some point, Silver reaches into her purse and pulls out a little contraption: a fake glasses case with a flask hidden inside
  665. >She takes a long drink, shudders, then passes it to you
  666. >You take your first sip of straight rum, and you nearly throw up as it burns down into your stomach
  667. “Oh, bleh!”
  668. >”It’s awful, isn’t it?”
  669. “Yeah, but… whoa.”
  670. >You flop back against the ground as a warm buzz rolls through your body
  671. “It’s not too bad, though.”
  672. >The two of you pass the flask back a few more times, enjoying the relative silence after the storm of music and drama
  673. >”…isn’t this kinda weird?” Silver says after a while, once both of you are nice and swimmingly drunk
  674. “What? Hanging out in here while the party of the year is going on over there?”
  675. >”Well, that. And it’s just weird that we’re talking now. I see you all the time, but we’ve never just…”
  676. “Hung out?”
  677. >”Yeah. You’re a good listener, though.”
  678. “You can thank Sweetie Belle for that. Her and the rest of her family are the yappiest people I’ve ever met.”
  679. >Silver giggles
  680. >”Sweetie seems so cool. And Applebloom too. I always wished I could talk with the three of you more. But, you know…”
  681. “Yeah. Man, that seems like another world, now. Back when we were at war with each other.”
  682. >”Stupid kid stuff.”
  683. “Yeah. This is chill, though. If you wanna hang out more in the future, just lemme know.
  684. >Silver nods
  685. >”I think I will. Thanks for talking to me, Scootaloo.”
  686. “Thanks for not freaking out over what happened back there.”
  687. >”Yeah. I can’t believe she didn’t just *talk* to me.”
  688. “I think that was probably much scarier to her than concocting this whole plan.”
  689. >”Maybe. I guess… I have a lot to think about, now.”
  690. “Enough to drive you crazy.”
  691. >”Yeah…”
  692. “But if you need someone to vent to, just shoot me a text. And make sure you bring more of *that*, because daaaaamn.”
  693. >”I will!”
  694. >You sit up and stretch, and begin fumbling with the straps to your legs
  695. >It’s pretty hard to do while inebriated: your fingers feel like jelly
  696. >When you finally get them on, Silver is sitting up next to you, staring at her hands
  697. >She sighs
  698. >You open your mouth to say something, but before you can reply, she wraps you in a tight hug
  699. >”Thanks again. I’ll see you at school, okay?”
  700. “Yeah. School.”
  701. >”I should probably go now, I guess…”
  702. “Yeah, me too.”
  703. >”Do you want a ride? I can have my mom come get us.”
  705. “For real? That’d actually be sick. I kinda don’t have a way to get home, now that Diamond’s…”
  706. >”Yeah.”
  707. >Silver rubs her arm
  708. >”Well, she’s on her way. I live pretty close, so it should only be a few minutes.”
  709. “Cool, cool.”
  710. >The two of you head out of the storage room; Silver seems to understand the layout of the manor, leading you down the serpentine passages without even needing a moment to think
  711. >You, meanwhile, are totally lost
  712. >The two of you reach a large, well-lit hall, with several heavy oak doors on all sides
  713. >As you head towards the far end, you see a familiar figure leaning up against the doorjamb
  714. >Diamond’s mom smiles at you; her face is rosy with drink and her eyes are half-lidded
  715. >Instead of a dress, she’s now dressed only in a bathrobe, which even as you watch, she slowly begins to loosen the belt of
  716. >”Hey, Silver~”
  717. >”Hello, Ms. Rich.”
  718. >”You aren’t about to steal this little cutie from me, are you?”
  719. >”I’m just taking her home.”
  720. >”Oooh, lucky girl. Are you sure you two don’t want a room? A few of them have waterbeds…”
  721. >Silver blushes furiousy
  722. >You take her by the arm
  723. “I think we’d better get home. After all, we’re *kids* and shouldn’t be out too late.”
  724. >Spoiled shrugs
  725. >”If you say so. In that case, mama’s going to enjoy some ‘alone time’.”
  726. >She lets the robe fall open just as she shuts the door, and you force yourself to tear your eyes away
  727. >You and Silver share a quick, awkward glance
  728. “Is she… always like that?”
  729. >”Usually just with boys. But yes. Kind of.”
  730. “Poor Diamond.”
  731. >”Yeah, their relationship is… not god.”
  732. >The two of you eventually make your way out of the manor, and Silver leads you towards a low-riding Lexus
  733. >The two of you clamber into the backseat, which has the smell of rich leather and the comfort-level of an armchair
  734. >You sink into the material, already feeling a little tired
  735. >Silver’s mom is a surprisingly plain-looking woman, tired-looking and dressed in her PJ’s
  736. >She greets you with a smile, but doesn’t make much in the way of conversation before she drives off
  737. >Silver is seated next to you, and she passes you a bottle of water from a cooler stored under the seat you
  738. >You rest your forehead against the window’s cool glass
  739. “So…” you say, just to break the silence. “Any idea what you’ll do next?”
  740. >”None. When she’s ready, I’ll just talk to her. And we’ll see what happens.”
  741. “Good luck, for whatever that’s worth.”
  742. >Silver smiles at you
  743. >”Thanks, Scootaloo.”
  745. >She hugs you again when the two of you reach your shabby apartment
  746. >Silver doesn’t make any rude remarks about it, though you can see in her face that the place creeps her out a bit
  747. “Take care.”
  748. >”Yeah. You too. See you soon.”
  749. >She holds your gaze as the window slides back up, then you’re left to let yourself in on your lonesome
  750. >As soon as you get to bed, the energy just drains out of you
  751. >You flop onto your mattress, then awkwardly fumble with the straps of your legs
  752. >They clatter to the floor and you finally let out a relieved sigh
  753. >Not a bad Friday night, in all
  754. >You’re just about to pass out when you remember your promise to Dash
  755. >You whip out your phone, think about texting her, then dial her number instead
  756. >She picks up almost immediately
  757. >”Scoots! Hey, bud. Is everything alright?”
  758. >She sounds genuinely worried
  759. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. Man, I have a crazy story to tell you though.”
  760. >Dash sighs in relief
  761. >”That’s good to hear. Nobody tried to do anything… weird to you?”
  762. “What? No, of course not. I mean, sort of.”
  763. >”Sort of?”
  764. “I’m fine! I promise. It was just a little awkward, you know. High school stuff.
  765. >”Okay…”
  766. >She doesn’t sound entirely convinced
  768. >You roll onto your side and curl your body around a pillow, holding the phone in front of you
  769. “You got time for a story?”
  770. >”Always, man. But if anyone hurt you, I’m gonna—“
  771. “I’m fine! Seriously, looking back, it was fucking hilarious. So…”
  772. >You rush through the story; normally, you’re the kind of person who’s prone to exaggerating her stories a little bit
  773. >But this time, you don’t even need to
  774. >Everything that happened at Diamond’s party is plenty crazy without any of your embellishment
  775. >Dash laughs along with you, and she even tries to call bullshit a few times, but you assure her that this is all real
  776. “It was nuts, man. Is this what being one of the popular kids is like?”
  777. >”More or less. It’s… it’s a weird scene to be in, that’s for sure.”
  778. >A bit of the energy drains from her voice, and silence falls between the two of you
  779. >You roll onto your other side, staring into the blank rectangle of your phone
  780. >For a brief, intense moment, you desperately wish Dash was really here, and you hug your pillow more tightly
  781. “Hey. Is something… like really wrong?”
  782. >”Huh? Nah. Like I said, just tired. Stressed. College life is hell.”
  783. “Okay, but, you were crushing the college thing. Until now.”
  784. >”Yeah, it just got…”
  785. >Rainbow sighs
  786. >Once again, she falls silent
  787. >This time, you don’t break the silence, and you wait until she speaks up again
  788. >”It’s not a fun story.”
  789. “That’s okay.”
  790. >”I… I had a bad time. With people I thought were my friends.”
  791. “Oh. Are you alright?”
  792. >”Yeah, I mean of course I am. But, like…”
  793. “Can I come over again?”
  794. >”Huh? Yeah! Yeah, of course. I got practice all morning, but if you wanna grab lunch, that’d be awesome.”
  795. “Cool! I’ll see you then, okay?”
  796. >”Yeah! Yeah, that… that actually sounds really good. Looking forward to it, Scoots.”
  797. “Goodnight, Rainbow.”
  798. >”Night.”
  799. >She doesn’t hang up
  800. >Neither do you, for a second
  801. >”And hey, Scoots?”
  802. “Yeah?”
  803. >”If you see any… *weird* stuff. Like, about me. Please just ignore it.”
  804. “What do you—“
  805. >You cut yourself off; it feels wrong to make her explain this now
  806. “Okay.”
  807. >”Thanks. Seriously, thanks. I’ll… I’ll see ya.”
  808. >She hangs up before you can say goodnight again
  809. >You flop back into bed, feeling weird
  810. >Part of you is fuzzy and glowing from getting to talk to Rainbow so much
  811. >Another part is just drained, and a little worried for reasons you can’t begin to place
  812. >You square the difference by just passing out
  814. >You sleep for a solid ten hours, and wake up to a mid-morning sun pouring through your windows
  815. >When you check, your phone, you have plenty of time to meet up with Rainbow
  816. >You also see you have a new follower on Instagram
  817. >Your heart leaps, then you read the tag
  818. >@ThunderKunt
  819. >They’ve also sent you a message
  820. >You open the message, but don’t read it yet
  821. >You look out the window, watching the trees outside your apartment sway
  822. >It’s a nice day already; you can’t wait to hang out with Rainbow again
  823. >You read the message
  824. >[hey it’s lightning. you’re dash’s friend right?]
  825. [yeah, scootaloo]
  826. >You figure that’ll be enough for now, but you’ve barely started to drag yourself out of bed when you get another message from Lightning
  827. >[wanna see something hilarious?]
  828. >Following that message is a link to a private video
  829. >The thumbnail is blurry, but you clearly recognize a shock of rainbow-colored hair
  830. >Your hands feel simultaneously dead and jittery, and your thumbs hover over the screen
  832. >You told Rainbow you wouldn’t look, but…
  833. >A part of you has to know
  834. >You open the video
  835. >For a moment, as you can see are jumbled smears of light as the person holding the phone dances and pushes their way through a crowd of people
  836. >Then Rainbow Dash comes into view
  837. >She’s in the middle of a throng of people, all of them around college age, undulating to music that sounds fuzzy and distorted in terrible phone quality
  838. >Rainbow’s swaying on her feet, clearly pretty drunk
  839. >”Heyyy, bitch!” the person holding the camera cheers
  840. >It’s Lightning’s voice; you recognize it even over the music
  841. >Rainbow staggers over towards Lightning, saying something you can’t hear
  842. >Lightning grabs Rainbow by the shoulder, steadying her
  843. >She says something you can’t quite make out
  844. >”…’t …off!”
  845. >Rainbow giggles
  846. “No! There’s so many people around!”
  847. >”C’mon, don’t be a puss! Just ta… ‘ff…”
  848. >Rainbow’s laughing hysterically, her head lolling from side to side
  849. “Lightning, stooooop!”
  850. >”C’mon, take it off! Take it off!”
  851. >Lighting starts, and soon voices all around the party are joining in
  852. >Dash throws her head back, her laughter uncontrollable
  853. >She starts to tug her tanktop upwards, but fumbles drunkenly with it and can’t get it over her head
  854. >Lightning helps, grabbing the garment and yanking it off
  855. >Rainbow’s breasts, sleek and only slightly bigger than your boyish chest, are bared for everyone to see
  856. >A whooping cheer goes up from the crowd
  857. >An awkward smile goes over Rainbow’s face
  858. >She tries to cover herself, but Lightning pulls her hands away
  859. >”Dance with me! C’mon, let’s slut it up!”
  860. >She pulls Dash close and turns the camera
  861. >Through a shaky, hazy lens, you see Lightning plant a fat, sloppy kiss on Rainbow’s mouth, which Rainbow is too drunk and too overwhelmed to resist
  862. >People are cheering and hollering in the background now
  863. >Dash goes limp in Lightning’s arms, surrendering
  864. >And then the video ends
  865. >[funny shit, right?]
  866. >[she’s crazy]
  867. >You immediately block Lightning and delete the messages from your history
  868. >You feel gross
  869. >How could Rainbow let people do that to her?
  870. >She’s so cool!
  871. >But they treated her like… like just some dumb, scared kid, who they could push around and…
  872. >You shudder, feeling kinda sick
  873. >When your phone buzzes again, you nearly drop it
  874. >This time it’s Rainbow herself, texting you
  875. >[hey little dude]
  876. >[we still on for today? i’m free now, down to meet whenever]
  878. >You almost immediately start typing, but nothing you write makes any sense
  879. [hey yeah cool hope you’re doing okay whenever is good let’s just go to maybe my place yours whatever…]
  880. >You erase everything, then a take a slow, deep breath
  881. [hey! you wanna go to scc?]
  882. >[ye sure. when?]
  883. [gimme like an hour]
  884. >[sounds cool, meet you there!]
  885. >And that’s that
  887. >You don’t bother strapping your legs on; instead, you just haul yourself into the bathroom and draw a nice, warm bath
  888. >As you relax in the warm water, you let the events of yesterday wash over you
  889. >Maybe you should check up on Diamond…
  890. >And Silver…
  891. >But Dash is your first priority
  892. >You shake your head, already feeling overwhelmed
  893. >Hanging out with Applebloom and Sweetie is so much easier than this
  895. >After your bath, you dress yourself in your usual getup: high-cut athletic shorts and a loose-fitting t-shirt
  896. >And when you head towards Sugarcube Corner, you’re surrounded by a bright, warm day, with the electrifying smell of spring lending its tang to the air
  897. >You get to the restaurant and head inside, just in time to see Rainbow already waiting for you
  898. >She’s waiting in line to be seated, and you go and stand next to her
  899. >”Hey, kid. You look like you had a bit of a rough morning.”
  900. “Do I?”
  901. >You raise your hand to your face, and Dash laughs
  902. >”I recognize a hangover when I see one. Get yourself some greasy food, it helps.”
  903. “Heh, yeah. Good idea.”
  904. >Dash doesn’t look great herself: she has the beginnings of bags under her eyes, and the way she slouches makes her look exhausted, instead of her usual too-cool-for-you laid-back self
  905. >A weird urge rises in your gut
  906. >Before either of you have time to react, you throw your arms around Rainbow’s waist and wrap her in a tight hug
  907. >She feels so skinny beneath her clothes: she’s built just like you
  908. >Rainbow staggers a bit, but she gently returns the hug, resting her hand atop your head
  909. >”What’s gotten into you, man?”
  910. “Nothing. Just… you looked like you needed it.”
  911. >”I mean, I ain’t gonna argue with you.”
  912. >You wish you could just hold her like this forever
  913. >But, as if attracted by the potential awkward moment, Pinkie Pie just materializes next to you
  914. >”Heeey, girls. Got room for one more?”
  915. >Dash snaps out of the hug, her face flushing
  916. >”Pinkie!”
  917. >Pinkie giggles
  918. >”It’s okay. Saturday mornings put me in a bit of a huggy mood too. Hey, Cutie-loo.”
  919. “H-hey,” you stammer out, blushing in spite of yourself
  920. >You’ve always liked Pinkie, but she can be a lot to handle
  921. >”I’ve heard you’ve been partyin’ hardy-in’ lately. Pinkie approves!”
  922. >She slaps your back, even as she leads you and Dash over to a nice, private table in the restaurant’s corner
  923. “You heard? How?”
  924. >”You think a party goes on in Canterlot without me knowing about it? I’m like, the *goddess* of parties. Plus you’ve been all over Instagram,” she says with a wink
  925. “Oh, no…”
  926. >Rainbow bites her tongue between her teeth
  927. >“Keep up the good work!” Pinkie says. “And if you ever need advice on who to come to to handle party fallout… well, need I say more?”
  928. >Pinkie bows low, then skips away
  929. >”I’ll be back with some drinks!”
  930. >Rainbow watches her go, then turns to you
  931. >The two of you are sitting across from each other now, only a sticky plastic table between you
  932. >Rainbow reclines in her seat, looking like she’s feeling a little better
  933. >She takes one look at you, gives you a small smile
  934. >”Something on your mind, squirt?”
  936. “Huh? Oh, no. Just, man, last night. It was crazy.”
  937. >”Hah, yeah…”
  938. >That seems to sap a little of Dash’s energy, and it’s not hard to figure out why
  939. >Maybe the subject of parties is best avoided, for now
  940. >So, your mind races for anything to talk about
  941. “Oh, I actually wanted to ask you about something.”
  942. >”Hmm?”
  943. “Are you and the Rainbooms still going? I know Twilight and Rarity are off at U of Manehattan.”
  944. >At the mention of her band, Dash immediately perks up again
  945. >”Yeah, we’re still a thing. We play together every time the others are back in town. But it’s not enough, man. I’m losing my chops!”
  946. >She mimes playing air guitar
  947. “You should look around and see if anyone needs a guitarist. You’ve gotta be the best in the city.”
  948. >”Heheh. My problem is being too good, if it’s anything. Nobody knows what to do with me!”
  949. “Start your own! I bet a lot of people around here would kill to play with *the* Rainbow Dash.”
  950. >”You know, they totally would! Not a bad idea there, Scoots,” Rainbow says
  951. >She leans back, and you feel your right leg shudder as Rainbow’s foot brushes against your prosthetic
  952. >”But man, where am I gonna find anyone who’s on my level…”
  953. >While she’s deep in thought, Pinkie appears carrying two glasses of water and two frothy pink smoothies
  954. >”On the house, for my favorite guests! Now, what can I get ya?”
  955. >Dash orders the both of you some food
  956. >As Pinkie’s about to hurry off, though, you stop her
  957. “Hey, uh, Pinkie?”
  958. >”What’s up?”
  959. “Do you wanna sit with us for a bit? If you get a break.”
  960. >”You betcha! Just gimme ooooooone minute.”
  961. >Pinkie skips off
  962. >”You wanna talk to her about something?”
  963. “Nothing in particular. Just wanted some advice on the whole thing with Diamond and Silver.”
  964. >”Love advice? From Pinkie?”
  965. >Rainbow chuckles
  966. >”Good luck. She’s a fuck-and-forget type.”
  967. “O-oh. Seriously?”
  968. >”Seriously. Her bodycount’s gotta be in the triple digits by now. You should have seen her in high school. She was into *everyone*.”
  970. “Whoa. That’s kinda awesome.”
  971. >”Dude, you get her even a little drunk and she’ll tell you the craziest stories.”
  972. “Yeah? Like what?”
  973. >You try to act casual, but you can’t deny that you’re getting a little excited
  974. >”Stuff that would make your sixteen-year-old head spin.”
  975. “C’mon, tell me.”
  976. >”Hmmm…”
  977. “Please?”
  978. >Dash grins
  979. >”Do you remember seeing her in the cheerleading team?”
  980. “Y-yeah.”
  981. >The memory of her in that short skirt is burned into your memory
  982. >”You remember Flitter and Cloudchaser?”
  983. “From your year? They were sisters, weren’t they?”
  984. >”Twins, yep. Pinkie got with both of them.”
  985. “Nice—“
  986. >”At the same time.”
  987. “Yooooooooo.”
  988. >”I know, right? She swears she even met up with a CHS teacher at a strip-club, once.”
  989. “Which one?”
  990. >”She Pinkie-promised not to tell, apparently. But I’m certain it was Harshwhinny.”
  991. “That makes *way* too much sense.”
  992. >”And get this: they didn’t just meet at the club. That teacher, she was the *dancer*.”
  993. “No!”
  994. >”Pinkie’s not a liar. Not that she’d need to be. I witnessed plenty of her exploits myself. See Mrs. Cake over there?"
  995. >She points to the store's counter, where a plump, adorable middle-aged woman is laying out a fresh tray of steaming buns
  996. "Yeah?"
  997. >"Pinkie nearly broke their marriage up when Mr. Cake found his wife with Pinkie's head between her legs. Right behind that very counter. Of course, until Pinkie eventually fixed things by letting him have a turn too."
  998. "She's a genius."
  999. >"The best," Rainbow agrees. "Oh, and if you ever want to make Rarity blush, apparently she used to send Pinkie these *really* desperate texts, begging her to…”
  1000. >”Hey, girls. Not talking about me, are ya?”
  1001. >Both of you snap to attention
  1002. >Pinkie is standing next to you, two platters of burgers balanced on one arm
  1003. >She has a wide, painfully cheeky grin: you can tell she heard everything
  1004. “N-no.”
  1005. >”Just a bit. Telling Scoots the war stories.”
  1006. >Pinkie giggle-snorts
  1007. >”An old veteran, that’s Pinkie! Just make sure you don’t tell her about the battle wounds.”
  1008. >”What, like how you couldn’t sit for a week after—?”
  1009. >”Shhh!” Pinkie says, even as she’s giggling like mad. “You’re gonna spoil Cutie-loo’s innocence.”
  1010. >She ruffles your hair
  1011. “Nah, nah, I wanna hear!”
  1012. >”Well, you got my number. But don’t think you’re gettin’ any pics outta me,” Pinkie says with a wink
  1013. “I wasn’t—“
  1014. >Now both she and Dash are laughing
  1015. >Pinkie skips away, leaving you two to eat
  1016. “She really is something else.”
  1017. >”She’s a nutjob, and I love her for it. Man, we had some good times back in the day…”
  1018. “I’m kinda surprised. She doesn’t seem bothered by it at all.”
  1019. >”She’s not. It’s the kinda way she likes to live. Seems lonely to me, honestly, but I think I’m just… dunno, wired differently, or whatever. I like to stick to one person.”
  1020. “Me too.”
  1021. >Dash laughs
  1022. >”You too? What, you got some secret little boyfriend hiding somewhere?”
  1024. “What, no!”
  1025. >Dash laughs
  1026. >”Look at you blush! You totally do!”
  1027. “I do not! I don’t even like—“
  1028. >You lower your voice, realizing you were practically shouting
  1029. >Your face is red-hot and flushed from embarrassment
  1030. “I don’t think I actually like boys, that much.”
  1031. >Rainbow raises an eyebrow
  1032. >”Yeah?”
  1033. “I dunno. I don’t really have any… y’know, experience, yet. Heh.”
  1034. >”Hey, take it from me, man. Don’t rush into it.”
  1035. “I was trying to look for someone at Diamond’s party. But, wooooow that didn’t work.”
  1036. >”Hah, yeah. Hey, hope it’s not too corny if I give you some love advice.”
  1037. “No, of course not!”
  1038. >You lean forward, ready to cling to Dash’s every word
  1039. >”You aren’t gonna find someone at a party, man. I mean, maybe for a night, but not like… not for something *real*, you know?”
  1040. “What do you mean?”
  1041. >Dash shrugs
  1042. >”Honestly, I don’t know either. Like I said, I don’t really do Pinkie’s thing. I want somebody to stick to.”
  1043. “Right. I like that.”
  1044. >”Yeah?”
  1045. >You nod
  1046. “It just makes you that much cooler.”
  1047. >Dash looks away, simultaneously incredibly pleased and also pretty embarrassed
  1048. >”Hey, it’s just my style. I wait until I find the right person and then, hey, I just make it work.”
  1049. “You’re not… with someone now, are you?”
  1050. >”Now? Nah. College, sports, all that makes it hard to… yeah.”
  1051. “I get it.”
  1052. >”So I guess we’re in the same boat, eh? Couple of lonely bachelorettes.”
  1053. >She nudges you under the table again
  1054. “Heh, yeah. It’s not so bad. More time to just hang.”
  1055. >”You said it. Speaking of hanging out, if you aren’t doing shit tonight, you wanna?”
  1057. “Yeah! I’ll have my place to myself tonight. I mean, I usually do anyway, but you know. We could have a party!”
  1058. >Dash grimaces
  1059. >”I-I dunno about that, man. I was thinking more just… you and me, lowkey. Like last night.”
  1060. >She raises her hand up to awkwardly scratch the back of her neck, glancing away from you
  1061. >Tiny blotches of pink appear on her cheeks as she realizes how lame that probably sounded
  1062. >”Or, y’know, party is cool too.”
  1063. >”Did somebody say…”
  1064. >In the space to your right, where once there was no Pinkie Pie, there is now Pinkie Pie
  1065. >”…party?”
  1066. “I was thinking of having a few people over. You’re welcome to come.”
  1067. >”Ooooh, well, my Friday nights are usually pretty booked, but I *might* be able to make an exception.”
  1068. >She winks at you, then pats Rainbow Dash on the shoulder
  1069. >”What do ya say, Dashie? Throw down at Cutie-loo’s?”
  1070. >”I… I dunno, I’m really not feeling up to too much…”
  1071. >Pinkie glances over at you, sees the worried expression on your face, and then she just *knows*
  1072. >You’re not entirely sure how it happened, but somehow you can tell that information just passed between the two of you
  1073. >”Rainbow P. Dash. Who do you think you’re talking to? Ol’ Pinkie knows how to throw more than just one type of party.”
  1074. >Rainbow looks up
  1075. >”I’m thinking: pajama party! What’s more lowkey than pajamas? I’ll bring all the soda, cheesy horror movies, heart-attack inducing snacks, and fluffy floor-pillows I can! Oh, and maybe something a little extra for us grownups.”
  1076. >You shoot her a hopeful glance
  1077. >”…and maybe the honorary grownups too,” Pinknie says with a wink. “How’s that sound, Dashie?”
  1078. >A relieved smile crosses Rainbow’s face
  1079. >”That actually sounds perfect, Pinkie. Thanks.”
  1080. >Pinkie snaps to attention and gives Rainbow a corny salute
  1081. >”Just doin’ muh duty, ma’am.”
  1082. >Rainbow giggles, and then Pinkie skips off again, calling out “I’ll text you guys later!” over her shoulder
  1083. >With a sigh, Rainbow settles into her seat
  1084. >“She really is the best, eh?”
  1085. “Second-best.”
  1086. >Dash grins, and you see more of her usual self shining through
  1087. >The two of you eat in silence for a bit
  1088. “Hey. It’s been really cool. Getting to hang out with you like this.”
  1089. >”It has. You’re a good kid, Scoots.”
  1090. >Rainbow nudges you under the table again, and you beam at her
  1092. >Eventually, the two of you part ways: Rainbow wants to finish some homework and rest up
  1093. >You, meanwhile, head home, thinking about tonight
  1094. >You’re having Rainbow Dash over to your house
  1095. >For a *party*
  1096. >Sure, it’s not gonna be a crazy blowout, but still, it’s like the kinda thing that the Scootaloo of a few years ago could only dream about
  1097. >Still, in the back of your mind, you keep seeing the image of her, drunk and scared, dancing topless for a crowd of strangers
  1098. >It sours your happiness a bit
  1099. >Not that you’ve lost respect for her, more that, well, you never thought you would have to *worry* about Rainbow Dash before
  1100. >She seemed untouchable, but now that you know she’s vulnerable, you realize that you’d go crazy if something were to happen to her
  1101. >So, in your own way, you’ve made up your mind to protect her, however you can
  1102. >It’s the least you can do for her, with how she’s helped you over the years
  1103. >As you flop onto your couch, you can’t help but lose yourself in memories of her
  1104. >It wasn’t that Rainbow believed in you when nobody else did, or anything cheesy like that
  1105. >In fact, the soccer coaches you had when you were a little kid were unbearable in how much they believed in you: they treated you like you were made of glass, always making sure other kids passed to you, putting you on the first rotation in every game
  1106. >Rainbow, on your first day with her as your coach, ordered you out on the field like you were anybody else
  1107. >When you did well, she praised you
  1108. >And when you fucked up, which even you occasionally did, she busted your ass like she would with anybody else
  1109. >And it was only then, when she was treating you like you were just anybody else, that you realized you actually *were* pretty special
  1110. >Warmth towards Dash blossoms in your heart, and it quickly sours and turns to rage towards Lightning
  1111. >She seemed so cool!
  1112. >How could she do something like that!?
  1113. >And to Rainbow Dash, of all people
  1114. >You lay back on the couch and slip off your prosthetics—there’s not much you can do right now, is there?
  1115. >Just… try to be there for Rainbow, in the way she always was for you
  1116. >Speaking of Rainbow, the party!
  1117. >You gotta figure out who you’re inviting…
  1119. >Well, obviously you have to invite your girls
  1120. >You have your own groupchat with AB and SB, and you just send a simple…
  1121. [thing at my place tonight]
  1122. >…text to them
  1123. >Applebloom responds almost immediately, as she always does
  1124. >[family board-game night, sorry y’all]
  1125. [rip]
  1126. [sweetie? you up?]
  1127. >[yo i’m down. who else is gonna be there?]
  1128. [rainbow dash and pinkie pie. and maybe a few others]
  1129. >[real shit?]
  1130. [real shit]
  1131. >[yeah i’ll be there. c’mon, ab!]
  1132. >[aj will be soooooo mad if i skip board game night.]
  1133. [weak]
  1134. >[c’mon! peer pressure!]
  1135. >[aaaaagh, fine]
  1136. >She sends a winking face, and you feel a little warmer knowing that your friends will be with you tonight
  1137. >Somewhere next door, you hear your neighbors getting into some high-pitched, screeching argument again
  1138. >As far as you can tell, there’s three sisters living in that one tiny apartment
  1139. >You don’t have any sisters, but from what you’ve seen of Sweetie and Rarity, it seems like a constant murder-drama-bloodbath just waiting to happen
  1140. >You scowl at the wall until they stop hissing at each other, then turn your attention back to your phone
  1141. >Now, for a slightly less easy task…
  1142. >You go back to your conversation with Diamond
  1143. >For a moment, you consider calling her, just to flex
  1144. >But that seems like a bit much, so you just write her a quick text
  1145. [hey. gonna have a small party at my place tonight. you wanna come?]
  1146. >[Are you seriously texting me after last night?]
  1147. [hey none of that was my idea]
  1148. [and i wanted to thank you for inviting me. don’t come if you don’t want but you can. my address is 322 Pegasus Way]
  1149. >[No. I hope I never see you again in my life. Die.]
  1150. >…
  1151. >Well, you guess you can just write her off the guest list
  1152. >You don’t feel too hopeful now, but you message Silver too
  1153. [hey. i’m having a thing tonight, if you wanna come. 322 pegasus way. just a chill night.]
  1154. >[that sounds great! when?]
  1155. [whenever I guess. does 8 work?]
  1156. >[sure!]
  1157. >You didn’t expect this enthusiastic of a response
  1158. >And that’s when you remember what Pinkie said earlier
  1159. [oh, and this sounds stupid, but bring pajamas]
  1160. >[???]
  1161. [it’s a pajama party. it’s lame, I know]
  1162. >[Sounds fun! thanks for telling me. i think i can come but i’ll let you know if something comes up with diamond.]
  1163. [have you talked to her?]
  1164. >[no…]
  1165. >[I tried to but she’s been ghosting me.]
  1166. [same]
  1167. >[I hope she’s okay. I’ll 100% be there tonight. Need to get out of the house. Anything else I should bring?]
  1169. [just yourself!]
  1170. [oh maybe if there’s a movie you really like, bring that]
  1171. >[sure!]
  1172. [oh and this is weird, but you have any extra pajamas…]
  1173. >[what, did you run out? haha]
  1174. [there aren’t really any that fit my… you know]
  1175. >[oh, right! sure sure, i’ll bring over some extra stuff]
  1176. >[see you at eight!]
  1177. >Well that’s that, you guess
  1178. >Now there’s not much left to do but wait
  1180. >Pinkie shows up around 7:30, just as the sun is disappearing and dark-purple dusk covers the street outside
  1181. >She’s decked in purple polka-dot pajama bottoms and a bright-pink oversized hoodie
  1182. >”Heeey, Cutie-Loo! Sorry we’re a little early, but I wanted to get set up. Dashie has all the supplies.”
  1183. >Rainbow Dash staggers up the stairs behind Pinkie, sweating like a hog and carrying three full shopping bags tucked under each arm
  1184. >”What… the hell… is in these… bags?” she pants
  1185. >”I told you to take two trips, silly.”
  1186. >”Never.”
  1187. >”Anyway, we got Pinkie’s Party Essentials, all ready to go! I got soda, cupcakes, chips, movies, pillows, cards, a Ouijia board, and a few extra rations to spice things up~.”
  1188. “Wow! You didn’t have to do all this for me.”
  1189. >Pinkie giggles
  1190. >She lets herself into your house, ruffling your hair as she goes past
  1191. >”When a party calls, ol’ Ponk must answer! Now let’s get everything set up!”
  1192. >Dash struggles in after her and collapses to the floor, wheezing
  1193. >”Guess I… got my workout for the day… huh?”
  1195. >By the time eight rolls around, your apartment is looking more festive than it ever has
  1196. >You’ve stored all your dirty clothes in your room, and Pinkie’s thrown comfy floor-pillows all over the… well, the floor, obviously
  1197. >The kitchen counter is stocked with drinks—some in plastic bottles, and some in glass—and bowls of snacks are laid out on the coffee table
  1198. >Rainbow Dash is just slipping Robotic Policeman vs. The Vampire Holocaust into the VHS when you hear a knock on the door
  1199. >You run to answer it, expecting to see Sweetie or Applebloom
  1200. >But it’s Silver
  1201. >She’s dressed in a simple gray nightgown that trails past her knees, and her feet are clad in fuzzy pink slippers
  1202. >She has a backpack slung over one shoulder, and she gives you an awkward wave
  1203. >”Hey. I’m not too early, am I?”
  1204. “Uh… no! We actually just finished. C’mon in.”
  1205. >You invite her in, and Silver looks around the place
  1206. >She gives a small, polite wave to Pinkie and Rainbow; Rainbow just nods back, but Pinkie beams
  1207. >”Heyyyy!” she says, bounding over. “You’re Diamond Tiara’s friend, right?”
  1208. >You see the flash of pain in Silver’s face, but she still smiles
  1209. >”Yeah, that’s me. Silver Spoon.”
  1210. >She extends her hand to shake, but Pinkie wraps her in a hug instead
  1211. >”Is it alright if I call you Spoonie?”
  1212. >”Um… yeah. Kinda makes me sound like a drug-dealer, but… why not?”
  1213. >”Hah! It totally does! Aaaah, but it’s soooo cute!”
  1214. >Pinkie throws her head back, laughing, and that gets a smile out of Silver
  1215. >When Pinkie bustles over to the kitchen to start pouring drinks, Silver turns to you
  1216. >”Is this place yours?”
  1217. “Nah, my aunts’. But they’re never around, so it’s pretty much mine.”
  1218. >”That’s awesome!”
  1219. “Eh. It’s a dump compared to where you or Diamond live.”
  1220. >”Yeah, sure, but I have to share that place with my parents and like fifty caretakers. You can just do whatever you want. Do you have parties like this a lot?”
  1221. “First one, actually.”
  1222. >”What’s the occasion?”
  1223. >You glance over at Dash
  1224. >She’s pretending to be disinterested, focusing on her phone instead, but you can tell she’s listening in
  1225. >That’s when a pretty crazy idea hits you
  1226. >You drop your voice to a whisper, but keep it just loud enough for Rainbow to be able to hear you
  1227. “I’m trying to impress Rainbow Dash.”
  1228. >”Oooooh,” Silver says, nodding. “I got you. Good luck.”
  1229. >She gives you a wink
  1230. >You sneak a glance at Dash
  1231. >She’s still totally focused on her phone, but now there’s a small, satisfied smile on her lips
  1232. >”Oh, by the way!” Silver says as she opens her backpack. “I brought you the stuff you wanted.”
  1233. >She hands you a big pair of fuzzy pajama pants with little Roadrunners printed all over them, and a matching button-down top
  1234. >”If you wanna modify them, or whatever, you’re totally welcome to. Sorry if they don’t fit.”
  1235. >You can barely keep from laughing as you take them from her
  1236. “It’s perfect.”
  1238. >Fifteen minutes later, once you’ve finally managed to cram your bulky prosthetic legs into the fuzzy pants, Applebloom and Sweetie finally show up
  1239. >They just let themselves in, and both look surprised at the state of the place
  1240. >”Uh, Scoots? Since when does it *not* look like a tornado’s been through here?” Applebloom asks
  1241. “What? I can make the place look presentable, sometimes.”
  1242. >”And, uh, any reason everyone’s wearing PJ’s?”
  1243. “Oh, heheh. I guess I forgot to tell you…”
  1244. >”Hey girls!” Pinkie calls out from behind the bar. “What can I get you?”
  1245. >Your friends hurry over, and their jaws drop
  1246. >”Is that… *whisky?*” Sweetie asks
  1247. >”Yes indeedy!”
  1248. >”Straight Jack-and-Coke! Oh man, Rarity would be *pissed* if she heard that.”
  1249. >“Because you’re drinkin’ underage?” Applebloom asks
  1250. >”No, because it’s not a fifteen-dollar cocktail.”
  1251. >Applebloom eyes the booze suspiciously
  1252. >”Just some juice for me. Applejack said that if I ever come home drunk, she’s gonna wake me up the next morning, make me drink vodka, then drive me over the state border and leave me there.”
  1253. >You and Sweetie exchange a weird look
  1254. >Pinkie just shrugs
  1255. >”Juice it is!”
  1257. >Once everyone is beverage’d up, you sit around in your living room, watching the weird movie Rainbow put on
  1258. >It’s from the eighties and produced for pennies in China, so there’s plenty of kung-fu action and terrible special effects
  1259. >Once you’ve had a few sips of the sugary, burning drink Pinkie mixed for you, it starts to become the funniest thing ever
  1260. >When the robot-man crane kicks a zombie into the blades of a helicopter, all of you collectively lose your shit, going into hysterics
  1261. >Pinkie wipes tears from her eyes, sitting up
  1262. >She’s with Rainbow on the couch, and you’re sitting by Rainbow’s legs
  1263. >Silver is sitting a bit of a distance from the rest of the group, and Applebloom and Sweetie are platonically resting against each other in the narrow space between the table and the TV
  1264. >Pinkie claps her hands together once the movie ends, mischief gleaming in her eyes
  1265. >”So, girls. We’ve got a proper slumber party going on, now. So… what kinda girls-only party game are we gonna play? I’ve got all the classics!”
  1268. >Pinkie elbows Dash in the ribs
  1269. >”You feelin’ up for a little Truth or Dare, Dashie?”
  1270. >Rainbow squirms in her seat, and she averts her eyes from the rest of the group even as she forces a laugh
  1271. >“C’mon, every time we play that, it just gets weird. Mostly because you make it weird.”
  1272. >Pinkie giggles
  1273. >”That’s the best part!”
  1274. >”I dunno…”
  1275. >You decide to speak up, and you nudge Pinkie’s leg to get her attention
  1276. “You said you had an Oojie board, right?”
  1277. >Pinkie giggles
  1278. >”Ouija! Wee-juh!”
  1279. “Whatever.”
  1280. >Applebloom goes pale
  1281. >”Applejack said those kinda things’ll summon the devil!”
  1282. >A wicked smile crosses her face
  1283. >”Let’s do it!”
  1284. >Dash looks relieved
  1285. >”Dude, I’m down to fuck around with some ghosts.”
  1286. >Sweetie looks pretty into the whole thing too
  1287. >”Let’s ask it how we’re gonna die!” she says
  1288. >You guess she’s not as past her Freshman-year “goth” phase as she likes to pretend she is
  1289. >You turn to Silver
  1290. “You up for this?”
  1291. >Silver smiles
  1292. >”Of course! Isn’t this kinda, y’know, little kid stuff, though? I mean, Diamond and I played with one of these when we were, like ten.”
  1293. “I don’t think you can complain too much about kid-stuff when you’re hanging out with you-know-who,” you say, pointing to the embodiment of childhood glee sitting just a few feet to your right
  1294. >Silver giggles
  1295. >”Point taken. Alright, I’m in.”
  1297. >It only takes Pinkie a few minutes to get the board set up
  1298. >By then, everyone has refilled their drinks, and you’re starting to feel warm and a little dizzy all throughout your body
  1299. >You end up seated between Silver and Rainbow, with Pinkie directly across from you
  1300. >Somehow, she’s dressed in a full-length black cloak, making her look like a pink, cheerful Emperor Palpatine
  1301. >”Now, gathered friends… we may begin the ritual, woooo~”
  1302. >She waves her fingers over the board
  1303. >”Let the spirits of the damned flow through us, wooooo~”
  1304. >You see Silver roll her eyes, but she’s smiling nonetheless
  1305. >”Who will be the first to aaaaaask~?”
  1306. >Everyone turns to look at you
  1307. “Alright, me, I guess.”
  1308. >”And who’s presence will you invooooooooke~?”
  1309. “Uh… fuck it, my parents. C’mon out!”
  1310. >Across the table from you, Applebloom perks up
  1311. >Sweetie squirms a little too, trying to restrain her excitement: yeah, she’s *definitely* still in her goth phase, deep down
  1312. >”Aha! May the mother and father of this poor little orphan join us at the table… now, place your hands in the center, wooooo~”
  1313. >Each of you lays your hand atop each others, forming a warm, intimate ring atop the plastic triangle
  1314. >Outside, as if on cue, thunder rumbles and makes each of you jump a little bit
  1315. >”Speak your question noooooooow~” Pinkie instructs you
  1316. “Uuuuuuh… how’s it going, guys?”
  1317. >To your surprise, the plastic does move beneath your fingers
  1318. >It trails to W…E…
  1319. >L…O…V…E…U
  1320. >You resist the urge to roll your eyes
  1321. “My parents are saps, I guess.”
  1322. >You don’t put as much punch into those words as you intended, though
  1323. “Love you too…” you whisper under your breath
  1324. >Everyone is still looking at you
  1325. >Guess the spirits are still around, or whatever
  1326. >Outside, rain is beginning to plink against the windows, steadily picking up in intensity as its joined by a moaning breeze
  1327. “Okay, uh… who am I gonna fall in love with?”
  1328. >The question just sort of tumbles out of you, and for a moment, it really *does* feel like somebody out there is pulling your strings
  1329. >A collective intake of breath occurs around the table, and the plastic puck begins to move…
  1331. >D…I…A…M…O…N…D…T…
  1332. “Oh hell no!”
  1333. >You don’t get any further before Applebloom and Sweetie Belle start laughing hysterically
  1334. >”Guess the Other Side has a sense of humor.”
  1335. >”I saw that video of you two at th’ party! It’s meant to be~”
  1336. >You throw a pillow at your friends, but they just go on laughing
  1337. >Pinkie joins in, though you’re pretty sure she just wants an excuse to go into a crazy giggle-fit
  1338. >Rainbow shakes her head at the antics, though she’s smiling too
  1339. >The only one who isn’t smiling is Silver Spoon
  1340. >She doesn’t look upset either, just… uncomfortable
  1341. “Alright, somebody else go. Stupid-ass game. You guys pushed it there to mess with me, didn’t you?”
  1342. >”Not me~!” Pinkie assures you. “It’s the spirits! They know the truth, woooo~”
  1343. “Hmph.”
  1344. >”My turn!” Sweetie says, slapping her hands down on the plastic puck
  1345. >The rest of you join her
  1346. >Outside, the storm has built to a howl of rain and wind
  1347. >”Spirits from beyond, guide my hands and tell me… how will I die?”
  1348. >Yep, that goth phase is just coming out now
  1349. >Z…Q…L…X…U…V…”
  1350. >”Oh, come one! It worked for Scoots!” she squeaks indignantly
  1351. >Applebloom snickers
  1352. >”My turn!” she says. “Spirits from th’ beyond… am I gonna be stuck workin’ on the farm forever?”
  1353. >NO
  1354. >”Aww, yeah! Thanks, Satan!”
  1355. >She immediately claps her hands over her mouth, as if worried that Applejack somehow heard her say that
  1356. >You try to pass the puck to Silver, but she waves it away
  1357. >”I… don’t have a good question yet. Let Rainbow Dash go!”
  1358. >”Aww, hell yeah! Gimme that.”
  1359. >She takes the puck, and you all join in
  1360. >”Ahem, spirits? Lucifer, my guy? Who’s the coolest girl in the room.”
  1361. >You start trying to push it towards the R…
  1362. >But the puck resists
  1363. >”Hey! One of you is blocking it!” Rainbow whines. “It totally wants to go to the R.”
  1364. >”Nuh uh. It clearly wants to go to the P!” Pinkie insists
  1365. “Nah, it’s going for the R!”
  1366. >”I think it’s goin’ for the A…”
  1367. >The puck trembles between your fingers, until sweat is pouring down everyone’s face
  1368. >All six of you look up, lock eyes…
  1369. >And then you collapse backwards, laughing hysterically
  1370. “Guess the spirits can’t decide, huh?”
  1371. >”Yeah, guess so… hah!”
  1372. >Rainbow jumps forward, grabs the puck, and slams it down
  1373. >”R…A…I…N…B…O…W! Bam! Spirits declare it: coolest in the room.”
  1374. >Pinkie gives Rainbow a polite golf-clap, then slips out of her goofy robes
  1375. >”Well, coolest person in the room. I think you win the honor of pouring me another drink!”
  1376. >”Fine, fine. It’s the least I can do for my adoring fans. You want anything, kid?” Rainbow asks you
  1377. “Yeah! Anything is good!”
  1378. >You pass her your cup, then watch Rainbow as she struts over to the counter
  1379. >Man, she’s so cool
  1380. >She seems just like her old self
  1381. >You just sit there and vibe, until you feel your phone buzz
  1382. >You whip it out, and your heart constricts in your chest when you read Diamond’s name
  1383. >[I saw Pinkie’s Instagram story. Why are you hanging out with Silver?]
  1384. >[Answer me.]
  1386. >You glance down at your phone, then over at Silver
  1387. >She catches your eye, and clearly reads the worry in your expression
  1388. >Around you, your friends are all having a great time: Pinkie and Dash are taking shots at your counter, getting pretty red-faced and sloppy while Applebloom and Sweetie gossip over in the corner
  1389. >You scoot up next to Silver, sitting conspiratorially close to her
  1390. “Hey, uh…”
  1391. >You don’t even know how to explain things, so you just show her the text
  1392. >Silver frowns, then she drops her face into her hands
  1393. >”Uuugh, Diamond… why is she still being like this…?”
  1394. “I was kinda hoping you could tell me.”
  1395. >”She just kind of shuts down whenever she isn’t getting what she wants.”
  1396. “You’re tellin’ me.”
  1397. >”She *does* probably feel a little betrayed. Seeing you and me together.”
  1398. “I invited her too! She acted all, y’know… like her usual self.”
  1399. >”This isn’t her usual self,” Silver bites back, almost immediately
  1400. >You raise an eyebrow
  1401. “Seems like it.”
  1402. >Silver sighs
  1403. >”Okay, yeah, that’s fair. But she has other sides to her. Sides that I guess only I see, really…”
  1404. >An incredibly awkward silence falls between the two of you, and you both take long, long sips of your respective drinks
  1405. “What should I say?”
  1406. >”I don’t know.”
  1407. “Should I ignore her?”
  1408. >”Oh, god no. That would drive her crazy. I don’t want her to be hurt. Maybe I should go see her. Or call her, or something…”
  1409. “Are you sure that wouldn’t just make things worse?”
  1410. >”I don’t know. Aaagh, why is this so complicateeeeeeeeed?”
  1411. >Silver flops back on the ground
  1412. >”Is this just my life now?”
  1413. “Hey, you’re the one who picked Diamond Tiara as your best friend.”
  1414. >”She picked me.”
  1415. “Oh.”
  1416. >”Yeah.”
  1417. >A tiny, dreamy smile appears on Silver’s face
  1418. >”Long story. Weird story, too. But I’m not gonna hurt her, even if she’s being a total hyper-biiiiiiiiitch right now.”
  1419. >That gets a solid drunken giggle out of you
  1420. “So? What do we do?”
  1421. >”Aaaaaah… I don’t want to ignore her. But maybe, let’s just… wait a bit, to see if she says anything else. And I need time to think…”
  1422. “Yeah. Good idea.”
  1423. >You flop down next to Silver, staring up at the ceiling
  1424. >Strange: you’ve spent two nights like this now, just commiserating with her
  1425. >But you’re starting to find you kinda like it
  1426. >Somehwere in the other corner of the room, Rainbow is singing Evanescence at the top of her lungs
  1427. >Man, she’s so cool…
  1428. >You just close your eyes, letting the nice, pleasant cocoon of booze flow around youBZZZZZZZZZZ
  1429. >BZZZZZZ
  1430. >BZZZZZZZZ
  1431. >You sit up and check your phone
  1432. >Diamond is calling you
  1433. >You and Silver share a look
  1435. “I really shouldn’t make her wait anymore, should I?”
  1436. >Silver shrugs
  1437. >”It’s you she really wants to talk to, I guess.”
  1438. “Yeah. I’ll be right back.”
  1439. >You take your phone back to your room
  1440. >You’re so engrossed in the drama with Diamond that you don’t notice Rainbow stepping out onto your back porch, her phone in her hand as well
  1441. >Inside your room, you collapse onto your bed, letting out an exhausted sigh, then you answer the phone
  1442. “Hey.”
  1443. >”Start explaining.”
  1444. “Hey, would you relax? I invited you, you know. And you told me to die, remember?”
  1445. >Diamond goes silent for a long time
  1446. >”Look, clearly I didn’t mean that. You shouldn’t take things so seriously.”
  1447. “Alright. Look, I don’t know what you want from me.”
  1448. >”I want you to back off of Silver Spoon! She. Is. Mine.”
  1449. “I’m not ‘on’ her at all. I invited her. She’s having a good time. You could have been here with us, if you hadn’t—“
  1450. >You calm yourself down
  1451. >Dealing with her is starting to drive you crazy, but you force yourself to remember how much she must be hurting, how torn up she must be
  1452. >You’re in a tiny apartment full of good friends who like you: she’s in a massive house alone with her psycho mom
  1453. “Look, I’m sorry about how last night went. And I’m sorry things are so weird with Silver.”
  1454. >”Hmph.”
  1455. >…
  1456. >”I suppose that’s an acceptable apology. I might also owe you the same, for dragging you into such a mess unexpected.”
  1457. “I’ll take that.”
  1458. >”Why didn’t you tell me Silver was coming?”
  1459. “I didn’t think she would. And you told me to die, so…”
  1460. >”I told you, I didn’t mean—“
  1461. >Diamond sounds like she’s about to start screaming at you again, but she quiets down
  1462. >”—I didn’t mean it. I *am* sorry for that too, I guess.”
  1463. “You’re fine. But you realize that shit with Silver isn’t going to get better if you just hole up and pretend she doesn’t exist, right?”
  1464. >”Of course I do! But… I don’t know what else to do.”
  1465. “You want to come hang out with us? There’ll be other people around, if it gets awkward.”
  1466. >”Other people meaning…?”
  1467. “My friends. Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie.”
  1468. >”You got Rainbow *and* Pinkie to come to your party?”
  1469. “Oh, they actually invited themselves.”
  1470. >You can’t keep the smugness out of your voice
  1471. >”I suppose I would be willing to. But, um…”
  1472. “What?”
  1473. >”My mom won’t let me. If she knows I’m going to see a—well, you know. A commoner. She’ll kill me.”
  1474. “Jeez. What a bitch.”
  1475. >”Hey!”
  1476. “I’m just calling it like I see it!”
  1477. >”She just has extremely high standards for me, as a member of the Rich family lin—“
  1478. >Diamond cuts herself off with a sigh
  1479. >”I don’t know what to do.”
  1480. “Can’t you just drive yourself over here? Tell her you’re visiting, I dunno, whoever.”
  1481. >”I don’t have my license. Randolph drives me everywhere.”
  1482. “Dammit, Tiara…”
  1483. >You raise your hand and flex it in front of your face
  1484. >You’re still pretty sloshed…
  1485. >Everyone has had at least a bit to drink, except for Silver Spoon…
  1486. >”Hello?”
  1487. “Hey. Yeah, I’ve got an idea. I’ll call you back, one sec.”
  1488. >”Fine.”
  1489. >You hang up, then go out to the living room just in time to see Rainbow Dash returning from outside, her phone held at her side
  1490. >The cheer has disappeared from her face: she just looks pale
  1491. >When she sees you, she averts eye contact
  1492. >”Hey, kid. Sorry. Something came up, and I gotta head out.”
  1493. “What, now!? But we’re just getting going! And you’ve been… y’know, you’ve been drinking.”
  1494. >”Eh, I’ll be fine. I really need to go though.”
  1495. >She pushes past you and heads for the door
  1496. >Pinkie shoots you a worried look
  1497. >Silver is in the center of the room, glancing between everyone
  1498. >Applebloom is sloppy-drunk and nearly passed out, and Sweetie Belle is furiously texting someone
  1499. >Suddenly, your comfy evening feels like it’s falling apart at the seems
  1501. “Wait, what? Why?”
  1502. >”I can’t tell you.”
  1503. “Whatever. Don’t know why you’re acting like such a bitch about it, though.”
  1504. >”W-wha… hey!”
  1505. >Dash goes red in the face, and she looks like she’s about to start swinging
  1506. >The alcohol definitely made that come out… different than how you’d hoped it would
  1507. >You recoil a bit, but you don’t back down
  1508. “Pinkie, don’t let her drive, okay?”
  1509. >Pinkie nods, looking unusually solemn
  1510. >”Pinkie promise.”
  1511. >Rainbow glares at the both of you
  1512. >”What’s up with the two of you? This is my business! I’ve driven way drunker than this, I’ll be fine.”
  1513. >You just sigh
  1514. “You’re not acting like the cool Rainbow I know.”
  1515. >Rainbow winces, as if you’d just slapped her in the face
  1516. >”Hey, wait…”
  1517. >You shake your head
  1518. “I gotta go. We’ll be back soon. Silver?”
  1519. >”Yes?” Silver asks
  1520. “You’re good to drive, right?”
  1521. >”Of course.”
  1522. “Cool. Let’s go.”
  1523. >You nod to your friends as you head out
  1524. “We’ll be back soon.”
  1526. >Silver leads you to her car, a darkly gleaming Mitsubishi
  1527. >You pile in the front seat next to her, wrapping your arms around yourself against the midnight chill
  1528. >Rain splatters gently against the windshield as the two of you drive out towards Diamond’s place
  1529. >You’ve texted her to let her know you’re coming: currently, the plan is for her to just sneak out one of the back doors, avoiding her mom entirely
  1530. >Both you and Silver are mostly silent on the drive over
  1531. >It isn’t until you’re near Diamond’s neighborhood that she speaks up
  1532. >”I’m… not so sure about this, honestly.”
  1533. “Me neither.”
  1534. >You’re starting to sober up, feeling weirdly distanced from the world around you
  1535. >”Sorry you’re in the middle of this, by the way. We haven’t really been that great to you in the past…”
  1536. >You shrug
  1537. “It’s not too bad. You’re actually pretty cool, Silver.”
  1538. >”Heh. Thanks.”
  1539. “Diamond’s not too bad either, in her own way.”
  1540. >”She has a good side to her. She’s just really, *really* bad at showing it.”
  1541. “Yeah. With her family, I can see why.”
  1542. >Silver winces
  1543. >”Her mom is a lot.”
  1544. “You can say that again.”
  1546. >The two of you pull up outside Diamond’s place
  1547. >You shoot Pinkie a quick text while you wait for Diamond
  1548. [is rainbow ok?]
  1549. >[she’s maaaaaaybe having a tiny bit of a cry in your bathroom]
  1550. [oh. did she tell you anything?]
  1551. >[a lot, but i don’t understand most of it]
  1552. >[tbh she isn’t good to drive. neither am i. is it okay if we crash at your place, pretty pretty please?]
  1553. [yeah. i’m coming back with another friend]
  1554. >[sounds super! i’m sure dashie will be fine when she’s had some rest. her phone keeps buzzing tho. someone named lightning?]
  1555. [oh. don’t let her answer it.]
  1556. >[wasn’t planning to! see you soon]
  1557. >You sigh, and stow your phone away
  1558. >You really do have a talent for getting into the middle of other people’s drama, don’t you?
  1559. >As if on cue, Diamond emerges from a garden pathway and runs towards the car
  1560. >She’s dressed fairly plainly, for her at least: designer jeans and a fuzzy pink sweater
  1561. >However, she stops short when she catches Silver’s eye
  1562. >Diamond and Silver both look away from each other: Diamond’s pouting, and a faint blush colors Silver’s cheeks
  1563. >”This is gonna be so awkward…” she mumbles
  1565. >And, as you’d expect, she’s 100% right
  1566. >The three of you drive back in silence, with nothing but the drumming of rain and the gentle sighing of Silver’s indie-rock playlist
  1567. >Tension coils in the air, and you feel about ready to toss yourself out of the car to escape it
  1569. >Hey, you could go for a dive… what’s the worst that could happen?
  1570. >A few more prosthetics would just make you a bit more badass
  1571. “So…” you eventually say to Diamond, just to break the silence. “You missed some crazy shit earlier.”
  1572. >”I’d imagine so,” she says, ice-cold. “You *did* invite some… unusual people, what more could you expect?”
  1573. “Got me there. Rainbow is at least pretty normal. But man, I wasn’t ready for Pinkie Pie.”
  1574. >”She’s a legend. Her Instagram feed is like something out of Project X. Every week.”
  1575. “Man, I should hang out with her more often. Tonight she just made us break out the Ouija board. God, that was embarrassing.”
  1576. >”I can imagine.”
  1577. “You and I are fated to fall in love, in case you didn’t know.”
  1578. >Diamond snorts, which you think is about as close as she’ll get to genuine laughter
  1579. >”I see. I may as well just throw myself right out of the car, then.”
  1580. “And leave me all alone?”
  1581. >”Perhaps. Though maybe I’ll just be haunting you, if you believe in all this stuff.”
  1582. “Nah, I don’t. Or I didn’t. I’m pretty sure *something* was watching and just trying to stir up drama at the party.”
  1583. >”You know, up until last night, I wouldn’t have believed.”
  1584. >”There’s definitely something screwing with our lives…” Silver mutters. “Things got really weird, really fast.”
  1585. >”Yeah…”
  1586. “Yeah…”
  1587. >Another silence stretches over the car, but it feels less tense, more just like quiet commiseration as each of you considers how strange your lives have gotten in just 48 hours
  1588. >Teenage years really are a wild ride, aren’t they?
  1589. >You’re starting to get what all those old songs sing about…
  1591. >When Silver pulls up outside your place, you pull the other girls aside before the three of you head in
  1592. “Just so you know, uh… there was some drama with Rainbow,” you tell Silver and Diamond. “She might not be doing so great.”
  1593. >”Oh no!” Silver says, clamping her hands over her mouth
  1594. >”Okay,” is all Diamond has to say. “To be honest, I’m not exactly expecting this to be the craziest party I’ve ever been to.”
  1595. “Thanks for your vote of confidence.”
  1597. >You let the other two into your place, to find Applebloom and Sweetie Belle passed out on your couch: Sweetie’s head is resting on Applebloom’s shoulder
  1598. >Pinkie steps out from the bathroom and gives you a tiny wave
  1599. >”Hey, girls. Hi, Diamond. Everything good?”
  1600. “Think so. How is…?”
  1601. >”Dashie’s gonna be okay. She just had a teensy bit too much, and she’s a bit of a sad drunk when there aren’t a lot of people around.”
  1602. “Is she sick?”
  1603. >”Nope, she’s out cold. Can I carry her somewhere?”
  1604. >You look at the occupied couch
  1605. >Looks like this really has turned into a proper slumber party, but not the way you thought…
  1606. “Let’s take her to my bed, I guess.”
  1607. >You help Pinkie lift Dash up from where she’s curled in a ball on your bathroom floor, and the two of you carry her into your room
  1608. >Gently, you lay her on the bed
  1609. >It’s really, really weird seeing her like this
  1610. >Rainbow was practically a god to you when you were a kid; now she looks vulnerable and sad, kinda lonely, atop the same bed you’ve had since you were five
  1611. >You place the blanket over her and rest your hand on her forehead
  1612. “Thanks, Pinkie.”
  1613. >”No problemo! I’ll probably just find a spot to crash myself. I got all sorts of spare fuzzy blankets in my car! Brb!”
  1614. >Pinkie skips out of the room, leaving just you, Silver, and Diamond alone
  1615. >You wonder if she planned this…
  1616. >Diamond is already helping herself to the alcohol, and Silver takes a bit as well
  1617. >The three of you sit on the floor, all of you holding plastic cups that you occasionally sip at
  1618. >You no longer feel buzzed, just kinda loose
  1619. >”It really was a great party,” Silver eventually says, to break the silence. “Thanks for having me, even if stuff did get… y’know.”
  1620. >”What, weird? Because I’m here now?” Diamond asks, as bitter as the booze she’s drinking
  1621. >”No! Just…y’know…”
  1622. >Silver sighs
  1623. >”…yeah, Diamond. It’s weird. You’ve been weird. I’ve been weird too, we’ve both been kinda… kinda just weird.”
  1624. >Diamond sighs
  1625. >”I know.”
  1626. >…
  1628. >You raise up your cup, take a long drink of whatever swill you mixed in it, then slam it down on the coffee table
  1629. >It’s made of plastic, so it makes little more than a gentle *thwack*, but it’s enough to get the others’ attention
  1630. “Alright, we’re gonna crazy if we talk like this all night. So here’s what we’re gonna do.”
  1631. >Diamond raises an eyebrow
  1632. “Rarity used to make me and the others do this whenever we were fighting over stupid shit. Each of us is gonna get a turn to just say whatever’s on her mind. Got it?”
  1633. >”Oh, excellent. Therapy. You certainly have odd taste in parties,” Diamond drawls
  1634. “You want us to drive you home?”
  1635. >Diamond crosses her arms and says nothing
  1636. >”Well, you start, then.”
  1637. >You sigh
  1638. >You’re just opening your mouth to speak when Silver interrupts
  1639. >”Actually, if it’s okay, I’d like to go first.”
  1640. >Both you and Diamond turn to look at her
  1641. >She blushes slightly, but doesn’t flinch away
  1642. >”I have a lot I’d like to say. And I really like Scootaloo’s idea.”
  1643. >Diamond shrugs
  1644. >”Fine.”
  1645. >She tries to act bored, but you can plainly see her stiffen and start fidgeting with the hem of her sweater
  1646. >Silver sighs
  1647. >She polishes off whatever’s left in her hand, then covers her mouth for a moment
  1648. >When she takes her hand away, the words just tumble out of her
  1649. >”I can’t ignore how you feel about me. And that really freaks me out, because I don’t know if we can be just regular friends anymore. I mean, we could try, but… there would always be that weirdness. And I don’t want things to be weird between us. You’ve been my best friends for so long. My only friend, for so long… living without you is scary. But I don’t know if I can be what you want me to be.”
  1650. >Diamond’s face stays cold and impassive
  1651. >But when Silver finishes, you see her bottom lip tremble ever so slightly, and she blinks as her eyes start to moisten
  1652. >Then the moment is gone, and she’s back to being stone-cold
  1653. >”But I… I want to be. If that makes any sense. I really do like you, Diamond. And I want to keep being your friend, or… or whatever makes us work. But I don’t know if I can be. It’s scary, and I feel like I’ll lose you, or myself, or everyone, or…”
  1654. >Silver drops her face into her hands, suddenly weeping
  1655. >Diamond goes pale
  1656. >”Sorry…” Silver says between sobs. “I didn’t mean to… s-sorry…”
  1657. >She tries to calm herself down, but the crying hits her again in a wave, and she lets out a tiny, miserable wail between sobs
  1658. >”I’m just r-really scared… I hate when you i-ignore me like this. It makes me f-feel like I’m n-nobody…”
  1660. >Diamond drops her eyes to the ground
  1661. >Despite a slight twitch in her shoulders, you wouldn’t even suspect she was feeling anything
  1662. >So, you suppose it’s up to you, once again, to try and make these two play nice
  1663. >First, you grab poor, crying Silver and pull her against yourself
  1664. >She lets out a squeak of surprise, but buries her face against your shoulder, more to hide her weeping than anything
  1665. >Diamond raises her head, and she shoots you a hot, jealous look, as if to say “how dare you touch my Silver?”
  1666. >But before you can say anything, you grab her by the arm and pull her closer
  1667. “C’mere, you.”
  1668. >You tug Diamond into the group hug
  1669. >She resists at first, but you maneuver just enough that she ends up squished against Silver
  1670. >And that, of course, drains all the resistance from you
  1671. >Diamond wraps her arms around Silver, and Silver lets herself fall into Diamond’s embrace, and you end up holding the both of them
  1672. >Silver bawls and bawls, and you can see muscles bulging on Diamond’s neck as she fights to keep from crying herself
  1673. >You trail your arm along her back until it comes to rest on her shoulder
  1674. “Hey.”
  1675. >She glances over at you, her face an almost comical mask of rigor
  1676. >”What?”
  1677. “Let it out. It’s alright.”
  1678. >”I d-don’t know what you’re talking about…”
  1679. “Yeah, you do.”
  1680. >Diamond snuffles
  1681. >”S-shut up. I’m fine. This whole thing is s-so… so…”
  1682. >Diamond lets out a wail, and she throws her arms around you and Silver
  1683. >”I’m sorry! I’m s-so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you! E-either of you! I’m so, so sorry… please just d-don’t ever hang out w-without me again… I know it’s my fault, I’m so sorry, just please…”
  1684. >She turns to incoherent babbling, and the two weeping friends cling to each other, both of them wrapped securely in your arms
  1685. >You raise your head when you see motion beyond your darkened windows
  1686. >Outside, Pinkie Pie gives you a big thumbs-up
  1687. >You glare at her, and mouth “mind your own business!”
  1688. >She covers her mouth, giggling, and slinks back into the darkness
  1690. >Eventually, Diamond and Silver turn off the waterworks, lapsing into quiet cuddling
  1691. >”I missed you,” Silver is eventually able to say
  1692. >”I’m sorry,” Diamond says
  1693. >”It’s okay. I’m just… I’m glad we’re still together. Even if…”
  1694. >”…I know. I’ve ruined a lot.”
  1695. >”Not ruined, just… it’ll be different.”
  1696. >”I love you,” Diamond blurts out. “… and I’m sorry.”
  1697. >”No, it’s okay. I know. I’m glad.”
  1698. >”Okay.”
  1699. >Diamond sighs
  1700. >”Okay…”
  1701. >The three of you stay like that a little longer
  1702. >Just outside, you can see Pinkie peeking up over the edge of the window
  1703. “Maybe… let’s just watch a movie, alright?”
  1705. >And thus, your second insane evening in a row begins to wind down
  1706. >You plop down on the couch, and you’re feeling buzzed and comfortable enough to unstrap your prosthetics and toss them aside; once their weight is gone, your legs feel free and you truly start to feel comfortable
  1707. >Diamond is seated on one side of you, and Silver’s on the other
  1708. >The three of you aren’t cuddling as intensively anymore, but you’re still sitting close enough that the other girls’ shoulders are pressed up against yours
  1709. >Pinkie is sprawled on the floor, wrapped in a massive fuzzy blanket-cocoon
  1710. >You glance to your right; Silver’s still a little bleary-eyed from crying, but she looks comfy and a little sleepy now
  1711. >Diamond is much the same, though you realize she neglected to bring pajamas
  1712. >On the TV, you’re watching an old Scooby-Doo VHS; it’s that one with the rock-and-roll goths, who you remember awakening some strange feelings in you as a kid
  1713. >It’s a pretty simple evening, and you could definitely end it here, unless…
  1715. >…eh, nah
  1716. >Things are weird enough, and you’re not drunk enough to push your luck *that* far
  1717. >You pretend to adjust your position on the couch—which is actually pretty hard to do, when you don’t have much in the way of lower extremities—and use that as an excuse to wrap an arm around Silver and Diamond’s shoulders
  1718. “How you two feelin’?”
  1719. >”Good,” Silver says
  1720. >She clearly appreciates the company, and she snuggles up against you
  1721. >Diamond shrugs, but she doesn’t pull away
  1722. >”Fine. I suppose I shouldn’t have bothered dressing up.”
  1723. “Want me to find you some pajamas? Or are you more the, y’know, sleepin’ nekkid type?”
  1724. >”Gross.”
  1725. “Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.”
  1726. >”Please don’t subject us to that.”
  1727. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
  1728. >”And I’d like to keep it that way.”
  1729. >…
  1730. >”…though I wouldn’t mind something to sleep in.”
  1731. “No prob. I’ll be right back.”
  1732. >And then, just sort of ignoring the fact that you have guests over, you slide out from between Diamond and Silver and plop onto the ground
  1733. >Using your arms to propel yourself, you scoot across the floor on your butt, heading for your room
  1734. >Silver stifles a giggle; Diamond just watches you go, her mouth agape
  1735. “Hey, beats putting my legs back on.”
  1736. >Silver bursts out laughing
  1737. >Diamond just stares, her face looking like it doesn’t know what shape to form into
  1738. >You slip into your room and pull yourself up besides the bed
  1739. >Rainbow is totally passed out; if it weren’t for the gentle rise and fall of your chest, you’d think she was dead
  1740. >Her limbs are tangled in your blankets, and her phone is by her head
  1741. >You can’t resist the temptation
  1742. >You reach out and check to see if anyone’s messaged her
  1743. >Dozens of texts from Lightning appear on the screen, ranging over the last few hours
  1744. >[head over now. need homework finished by tomorrow]
  1745. >[u there? better get here soon or this video’s going out to everyone.]
  1746. >[where you at?]
  1747. >And then there’s the notification for the call, which you remember her answering
  1748. >You sigh, and replace her phone
  1749. >It’s not hard to put two and two together on this one…
  1750. >Funny; she seems so small like this, so delicate
  1751. >You lean across the bed and give her an awkward, horizontal hug
  1752. >Then you grab some of your favorite sleeping duds: a pair of running shorts and an XL Black Veil Brides t-shirt
  1753. >You can’t wait to hear Diamond complain about these
  1755. >”Seriously? Please tell me you washed these, at least.”
  1756. “Hell yeah, washed ‘em just a few weeks ago. Only worn ‘em three or four times since then.”
  1757. >Diamond grimaces
  1758. “I’m kidding.”
  1759. >”Hmph.”
  1760. >She takes the clothes from you and struts off to the bathroom
  1761. >When she emerges… oh man
  1762. >Next to you, Silver goes into an uncontrollable fit of the giggles
  1763. >”If you take even a single picture of me in these, I’ll claw your eyes out,” Diamond says
  1764. >She’s blushing furiously
  1765. >The shirt reaches almost to her knees, making it look like she’s dressed in the baggy garb of some poor medieval peasant
  1766. >A medieval peasant with a mid-2000’s emo phase, more precisely
  1767. “Trust me, I’m never gonna forget this.”
  1768. >Diamond clenches her fists
  1769. >She stomps back over to the couch and plops down next to you
  1770. >You can’t help but notice that she’s still sitting in arm-around-shoulder range
  1771. >When you grab ahold of her again, and she doesn’t complain
  1772. >The movie continues to play, but Diamond’s eyes are far away and glassy now
  1773. >You can tell she’s thinking hard about something: Silver, meanwhile, is nearly passed out
  1774. >Her head has nodded onto your shoulder
  1775. >”…thank you, I guess,” Diamond says
  1776. “Huh?”
  1777. >”Thank you.”
  1778. “Uh, you’re welcome. What’s this for?”
  1779. >”Not for the clothes, definitely. But for… bringing me out here. I’m sorry for… being difficult.”
  1780. >Diamond speaks each word like it’s taking her physical effort to get them out
  1781. >”I’d like to… hang out more with you, if that’s okay.”
  1782. “Definitely. Just, uh, not at your place, alright?”
  1783. >Diamond winces
  1784. >”Right. It’s nice to have an excuse to get away from my mom…”
  1785. “I bet. You’re always welcome here, Di.”
  1786. >”Di?”
  1787. “Hey, if you’re gonna hang out with us, you gotta have some kinda dumb nickname.”
  1788. >”Hmm. I suppose.”
  1790. >Eventually, the movie winds down, though you’re nodding off by the time the credits roll
  1791. >Diamond, however, doesn’t seem quite able to sleep
  1792. “You alright?” you mumble
  1793. >”Fine.”
  1794. “Want me to grab you a sleeping bag?”
  1795. >”Mmm. I suppose. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep, though.”
  1796. “Something wrong?”
  1797. >”I’ve… never slept on the floor before.”
  1798. “Heh. Heheh. That makes *so* much sense. Unless you wanna share the bed with Dash, though…”
  1799. >”I do not.”
  1800. “Then you’re outta options.”
  1801. >”I suppose so. Grab me whatever you can. I’ll be fine.”
  1802. >You raise an eyebrow
  1803. >Diamond winces
  1804. >”Grab me whatever you can, *please*.”
  1805. “Man, you really are a different person.”
  1806. >”Hmph. I try.”
  1808. >You bump your hip against Diamond, and she rolls her eyes
  1809. >Then you slip back to the floor, and do your little scoot-motion across to the hallway closet
  1810. >Diamond’s eyes don’t leave you the entire time: she’s not laughing at you, though
  1811. >It’s hard to tell what she’s thinking, really
  1812. >Still, you jimmy the closet open and start rooting around for sleeping bags when an idea hits you
  1813. >You glance over to the door to your left, which is almost always kept shut
  1814. >Beyond that is a giant double-bed, where your aunts sleep on the rare occasion they’re staying here
  1815. >You shuffle back over to Diamond
  1816. “Hey. How about I do you a *huge* solid?”
  1817. >”What, you’re trying to make me owe you a favor?”
  1818. “Nah. Just wanna put my money where my mouth is. In this new friendship. Or whatever it is.”
  1819. >”Whatever it is?”
  1820. “You know what I mean.”
  1821. >”I really don’t. Anyway, go on.”
  1822. “There’s another bed in there. Queen sized. Like new.”
  1823. >”Oh?”
  1824. “Yours if you want it. And you can share with Silver.”
  1825. >You wink, and Diamond’s cheeks go pink
  1826. >”I couldn’t… I mean, we’ve shared a bed plenty of times, but now…”
  1827. >You shrug
  1828. “Wake her and ask her.”
  1829. >”But… she looks so peaceful.”
  1830. ”Yeah, and she’ll wake up feeling like shit if she spends the night on that couch. Trust me, I’ve done it before.”
  1831. >”Fine…”
  1832. >Diamond frowns
  1833. >Gently, she shakes Silver awake
  1834. >Silver blinks, looking confusedly around her
  1835. >”Diamond? Where…”
  1836. >”Scootaloo’s. There’s a bed we can share. If you’re okay with that. If not, I guess you can have…”
  1837. >”Mmm, bed…”
  1838. >Silver is already half-asleep again
  1839. >She flops against Diamond, going limp in her friend’s arms
  1840. >”Carry me.”
  1841. >Diamond is blushing furiously now
  1842. >She looks at you, as if waiting for advice
  1843. >You give her a “go for it!” kinda look, and Diamond lifts Silver and helps her walk into the other room
  1844. >Together, they collapse into bed
  1845. “You can thank me later.”
  1846. >”Are you *sure* this isn’t weird for me to do?”
  1847. “Just don’t make it weird.”
  1848. >”Right…”
  1849. >Diamond snuggles up under the covers, then drapes the other end of the blanket over Silver’s sleeping form
  1850. >You do notice that Diamond keeps her distance from her friend; they’re at opposite sides of the bed
  1851. >Diamond rolls over, and you can only see her eyes glittering in the dark
  1852. >”Well. I suppose this is goodnight.”
  1853. “Yep. Night, Di.”
  1854. >”Goodnight.”
  1855. >Then she rolls over, and that’s that
  1857. >You slip back into your room, where Dash is still passed out on your bed
  1858. >She’s curled into a ball now, making her look much smaller than you tend to imagine her
  1859. >Something warm and protective swells in your chest
  1860. >Seized by a sudden strange desire, you climb into bed next to her
  1861. >In your tiny bed, there’s hardly enough room for the both of you, so you press up against Dash’s body and end up practically cuddling with her
  1862. >It feels amazing
  1863. >She’s like a furnace, just pouring off body heat
  1864. >You don’t even need a blanket
  1865. >You rest your head on the same pillow as hers, both of your faces now so close that your nose is nearly touching Rainbow’s
  1866. >Her gently breath caresses your cheeks, and you shut your eyes and just relish the closeness of her
  1867. >She’s amazing, and you love her
  1868. >Plain and simple, that’s what this feeling is
  1869. >Whether it’s like a sister, like a mom, like a best friend, or like something else…
  1870. >Well, you’ll figure that out some other time
  1871. >For now…
  1873. >…
  1875. >It feels like you just closed your eyes, and now it’s already morning
  1876. >You sit up in bed, hardly feeling hung over at all
  1877. >Sun streams through the blinds, and you feel toasty warm from—
  1878. >Oh shit, you just woke up in bed next to Rainbow Dash!
  1879. >Man, this is the kinda story you wish you could tell to ten-year-old Scootaloo, just to see the look on her face
  1880. >Rainbow must have felt you shifting next to her, because her eyes slowly flutter open
  1881. >She sits up, looking groggy
  1882. >”Yo, what the fu… where am I?”
  1883. “Hey.”
  1884. >Her gaze focuses on you
  1885. >”Scoots? Hold on, what am I doing in your bed?”
  1886. “You passed out last night.”
  1887. >”And you… just kinda got in here with me?”
  1888. “Yep. Nowhere else to sleep.”
  1889. >”Huh. Yeah, alright.”
  1890. >Dash shrugs and starts to stretch
  1891. >”Nothing, like, weird happened, right?”
  1892. “Weird how?”
  1893. >”Uh, you know, like… ah, never mind. A little cuddling with the homies is always okay,” she says with a wink
  1894. “Hell yeah,” you reply
  1895. >Rainbow seems almost like her old self again
  1896. >However, once she’s finished stretching, she reaches for her phone
  1897. >When she reads the screen, her face goes pale
  1898. >”Oh. Oh, fuck.”
  1899. >She drops the device into her lap
  1900. >”Hey, kid. I’m really sorry. I gotta go.”
  1901. >She starts to stagger to her feet
  1902. >”I’m so screwed…” she mutters
  1904. “Wait.”
  1905. >You grab her arm and pull, sending her stumbling back into bed
  1906. >She falls against you, momentarily landing in your lap before she rolls off
  1907. >”It’s alright, Scoots. I promise, we’ll hang out again soon. Maybe tomorrow, or—“
  1908. “I know about the video,” you blurt out
  1909. >Dash’s face changes quickly: first to surprise, then to hurt, then to anger
  1910. >”Video? W-what are you talking about!?”
  1911. “Lightning sent it to me. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I didn’t want to embarrass you.”
  1912. >”I… but…”
  1913. >Rainbow shakes her head
  1914. >”Why did you open it? I told you not to open anything weird.”
  1915. “Sorry. I didn’t know what it was.”
  1916. >”Hmph.”
  1917. “And I… I was curious, I guess.”
  1918. >”Well, fine. Now you know the truth.”
  1919. “The truth about what?”
  1920. >”That I’m a fucking loser! I’m just a toy for people to drag around and laugh at.”
  1921. “What? No!”
  1922. >”Come on. If you saw the video, then you saw… everyone was laughing. They thought it was great. Seeing me just turned into… c’mon, I looked like Lightning’s bitch.”
  1923. >Rainbow shudders
  1924. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
  1925. >”Blech.”
  1926. >Rainbow turns away from you, folding her arms across her chest
  1927. “Lightning treated you like shit. Whatever happened in the video is her problem, she’s the one acting like a bitch.”
  1928. >”I guess. But she said she’ll share it with anyone if I don’t…”
  1929. “Don’t what?”
  1930. >”Give her my position on the team. Do her homework. All that stupid stuff.”
  1931. “If she shares it, everyone will see what a cunt she is.”
  1932. >”But they’ll also see my… y’know.”
  1933. >Rainbow can’t look you in the eye
  1934. “They will, but hey. They looked pretty great.”
  1935. >That gets a small, nervous laugh out of Rainbow
  1936. >”Yeah, maybe. Still… I don’t want anyone to see it, man. That shit was so, so embarrassing…”
  1937. “If she shares it, she looks like the asshole. And you could probably get her kicked off the team, if you really wanted.”
  1938. >”Maybe…”
  1939. >Rainbow sighs
  1940. >”Sorry, Scoots. I shouldn’t dump all this on you.”
  1941. “No, it’s totally cool. You’ve helped me so much. I’m actually kinda glad that I can… y’know, help you back.”
  1942. >Suddenly, Rainbow’s arms are wrapped around you
  1943. >You gingerly raise yours to return her hug, patting the small of her back
  1944. >”Thanks. I just… yeah, thanks.”
  1945. “Yeah. It’s all okay. It’ll be okay.”
  1946. >You and Rainbow share your hug a bit longer, then eventually she pulls away
  1947. >”I don’t really know what to do now…”
  1948. “Maybe we should figure out some kinda breakfast? I’m fucking starving.”
  1949. >”Heh. Good idea.”
  1950. >Rainbow glances at her phone
  1951. >She sighs, then shuts it off and tosses it onto your bed
  1952. >”C’mon. Let’s go wake your friends up.”
  1954. >Applebloom and Sweetie are sprawled out in the living room: nothing cute going on there, they just look like hungover girls
  1955. >Pinkie is as snug as she was when she went to sleep
  1956. >When she hears mention of breakfast, she zips into your kitchen and starts frying pancakes, even though you’re pretty sure you didn’t have any pancake ingredients in your place
  1957. >Rainbow goes to help Pinkie and you, meanwhile, strap on your legs and go to your aunts’ room
  1958. >Inside, Diamond is already awake, though she’s still in bed
  1959. >Silver is clinging to her like a baby, still peacefully snoozing
  1960. >”Good morning.”
  1961. “Hey, Di.”
  1962. >”I’m not getting out of bed, if that’s what you’re here for.”
  1963. “Well, we have pancakes cooking…”
  1964. >”I won’t disturb her.”
  1965. “Yeah, I can see that…”
  1966. >Diamond is lying supine in bed, as stiff as a vampire in one of those old movies
  1967. >Silver is draped all over her, though, snoozing away
  1968. >”I haven’t touched her. Just so you know. She did this all on her own.”
  1969. “I wasn’t accusing you of anything, fam.”
  1970. >You look at how Silver’s face is perfectly cuddled against Diamond’s neck
  1971. >There’s no way she did that while asleep…
  1972. “Y’know, she might not mind it if you held her back. Just a little.”
  1973. >”I don’t want to make this creepy.”
  1974. >You roll your eyes
  1975. “Trust me, you won’t. Hold your girl, Di.”
  1976. >”She is not my—“
  1977. >You close the door, leaving the two of them to it
  1978. >You can’t help but feel a little happy: at least someone got a nice ending out of last night
  1979. >Meanwhile, though…
  1980. >Rainbow looks like her old self, but you know she’s still hurting
  1981. >Applelboom and Sweetie are perfectly fine, though they both look beat to shit from spending a night drunk on your floor
  1982. >You could probably stand to finish some homework and get ready for tomorrow’s practice
  1983. >But there’s still so much swirling around in your head…
  1985. >After breakfast, Applebloom and Sweetie both head home: Sweetie wants to collapse into her own bed, and Applebloom needs to help around the farm, as usual
  1986. >Pinkie collects her party supplies, looking totally unperturbed by last night
  1987. >She gives you and Rainbow just enough space to have a private conversation; it really is like she has a sixth sense for this kinda thing
  1988. “So…”
  1989. >”Yeah?”
  1990. “What are you gonna do after this?”
  1991. >”I don’t know. Go back to my place, maybe. See what comes up.”
  1992. >You scowl
  1993. “That doesn’t sound like the Rainbow Dash I know.”
  1994. >”What do you expect me to do? Roll up and kick Lightning’s ass?”
  1995. >You shrug
  1996. “Maybe.”
  1997. >”Hmph. I mean, I could totally take her. She’s got, like, no endurance.”
  1998. “So let’s go whoop her ass!”
  1999. >”It ain’t that simple, kid. I’d get kicked off the team for sure. But man, I’d love to just…”
  2000. >Rainbow’s hands curl into fists, then she sighs
  2001. >”But it won’t solve anything.”
  2002. “Then lets just go tell her to go fuck herself. Tell her you don’t care about the video and you’re not gonna be her bitch anymore.”
  2003. >Rainbow straightens up a bit, and a smile starts to form on her face
  2004. >”Just put her in her place, yeah?”
  2005. “Yeah! I’ll come with, too. We can totally dunk on her.”
  2006. >Rainbow laughs
  2007. >”You know what? Her dorm’s only a floor away from mine. Let’s do it.”
  2009. >Before the two of you leave, you quietly knock on the door to your aunt’s room
  2010. “Di?”
  2011. >”What?”
  2012. “We’re gonna head out for a bit. You guys stay as long as you want.”
  2013. >”Hmm. Understood.”
  2014. >Maybe you’re imagining it, but there’s less bratty bite in her voice right now
  2015. >She sounds unusually content; you can imagine way
  2016. >A big, sly grin is plastered over your face as you and Rainbow head back to her place
  2017. >Rainbow’s clearly vibing pretty hard too; she cranks up some edgy speed-metal music, rocking back and forth to the beat as you cruise up to her dorm building
  2018. >Inside, you take the stairs together until you reach Lightning’s floor
  2019. >Rainbow strolls right up to the door and bangs on it
  2020. >A few other people in the hall give you dirty looks, but Rainbow’s vibing too hard right now to care
  2021. >She slams on the door a few more times, and eventually it opens, revealing a disheveled-looking Lightning
  2022. >She’s wearing only a U of C hoodie and her panties, and she glares at Rainbow
  2023. >”Took you long enough. Why the hell didn’t you answer me?”
  2024. >”Because fuck you.”
  2025. >Rainbow flips off Lightning
  2026. >”Do your own homework. And if you try to show that video to anyone else? Especially kids? I’m telling Coach Spitfire.”
  2027. >Lighting’s mouth works silently for a moment
  2028. >”Hey, since when are you so uppity? Know your fucking place, you—“
  2029. >Rainbow just shuts the door in Lightning’s face
  2030. >She’s giggling like a maniac now, and she grabs you by the hand
  2031. >”Come on! Let’s get back to my room before she recovers!”
  2032. >Rainbow leads you up the stairs, and you collapse onto the couch together in her messy dorm
  2033. >Rainbow throws her head back, laughing until tears stream down her cheeks
  2034. >”Oh. My. God! Did you see the look on her face?”
  2035. “You straight-up dunked on her!”
  2036. >”I know! She was just standing there in her underwear, like *bleh*.”
  2037. >Rainbow makes a face, sending you into hysterics
  2038. “She didn’t even know what to say!”
  2039. >”I know! Not talkin’ so big now, is she?”
  2040. >Rainbow’s jittery with nervous energy; you can feel her shaking as she presses up against you
  2041. >It’s great; her energy is infectious, to the point where you feel like you could sprint back down the haul and whoop Spitfire’s ass yourself
  2042. >You lean up against Rainbow, beaming up at her, a girl staring at her hero
  2043. “That was so awesome! *You* were so aweso—”
  2044. >Out of nowhere, Rainbow kisses you on the mouth
  2045. >You experience a split-second of intense shock and bliss, before she pulls away
  2046. >”Whoa, whoa. Fuck, I’m so sorry. I just…”
  2047. >You raise your hand to your mouth
  2048. >”I got too into it. Shit. I’m sorry. Oh my god, Scoots. I didn’t mean…”
  2050. >She doesn’t even get a chance to finish that sentence
  2051. >You grab her by the shoulders and practically pull yourself into her lap as you kiss her back
  2052. >Rainbow doesn’t resist
  2053. >She keeps her arms at her sides, and lets her mouth rest against yours until you break away
  2054. >You flop back on the couch, feeling dazed
  2055. “Don’t worry. That was… that was *awesome*…”
  2056. >You touch your hand to your mouth again, as if trying to seal the kiss there forever
  2057. >Rainbow is staring at you, shocked
  2058. >You look away, feeling your cheeks flush
  2059. “I can forget about it, too. If that’s what you want.”
  2060. >Rainbow shakes her head, then buries her fingers in her hair
  2061. >”Oh man…”
  2062. “Did I do something wrong?”
  2063. >”You? No, you’re fine. I shouldn’t… I shouldn’t have done that, man.”
  2064. “Why not? I didn’t mind.”
  2065. >”Yeah, but… you’re a kid. Was that— oh my god, was that your first kiss?”
  2066. “It was.”
  2067. >And then the realization hits you: your first kiss was with *Rainbow Dash*
  2068. >It doesn’t get any cooler than that
  2069. >You gingerly put your hand on her arm
  2070. “And it was good. I’m glad it was you. You’re, like, my dream first-kiss.”
  2071. >”For real?”
  2072. >You nod
  2073. “But… I can forget about it, if you think it shouldn’t have happened.”
  2074. >”I don’t know what to think. I just… I was so excited, and it’s been so nice hanging out with you like this, but… *man*, that was too fast. Even for me.”
  2075. “Yeah. I understand.”
  2076. >You place your hands in your lap and drop your eyes to the floor
  2077. >Everything feels electrified and hot, like your own guts are twisting around inside of you
  2078. >”Your first kiss, huh?”
  2079. “Mhm.”
  2080. >”Think this is what you like?”
  2081. “What do you mean?”
  2082. >”Like… you think you like doing stuff with girls, more?”
  2083. “Yes. Maybe. I don’t really know. But I like this.”
  2084. >You snuggle up against Dash
  2085. >She doesn’t pull away, but you can feel her shaking
  2086. >You’re making *the* Rainbow Dash nervous!
  2087. >The mixed power and temptation rolling through you make you feel light-headed and a little crazy…
  2090. >You push yourself against Dash, wrapping your arms around her
  2091. >”Uh, Scoots? I really don’t know if this is such a good idea.”
  2092. “Why not? I like it…”
  2093. >You raise your head and go in to kiss her again, but Rainbow stops you
  2094. >”At least… slow down a bit, okay?”
  2095. “Huh? Why?”
  2096. >”I don’t want us to do anything… crazy, okay? Nothing we’re gonna regret.”
  2097. “I’m not gonna regret this. C’mon, I wanna… I wanna know what it’s like. To do it.”
  2098. >”Do it?”
  2099. >Rainbow’s blush deepens into her face is nearly scarlet
  2100. >”Dude, we just kissed. We’re not gonna go straight… holy shit, man…”
  2101. >She runs her hand through her hair
  2102. >”You really think about me that way?”
  2103. “Yeah! I mean, I think I do. I don’t know…”
  2104. >You shift away from her on the couch a bit, the excitement beginning to drain from you
  2105. “I don’t really know how any of this works.”
  2106. >”Yeah…”
  2107. “You can show me though, right? I bet you’re fucking great at… y’know. That kinda stuff.”
  2108. >Dash smiles
  2109. >”I know a thing or two. But, listen… I don’t really like doing this kinda stuff just with anyone.”
  2110. “Right. Yeah…”
  2111. >You sigh
  2112. “Am I ‘just anyone’ to you?”
  2113. >”Huh? No! But you’re… I don’t know what you are, honestly. I do like you a lot, kid. But you’re…”
  2114. “Too young?”
  2115. >”Kinda. And I don’t know how I think about you. Sometimes, it feels like you’re my little sister or something.”
  2116. “Oh. Hm…”
  2117. >”Not what you wanted to hear, huh?”
  2118. “I don’t really know. That kiss, though… sisters don’t kiss like that.”
  2119. >”Don’t tell Pinkie Pie that…” Rainbow mutters
  2120. “Huh?”
  2121. >”Nothing. Hey, like… I wanna figure this stuff out too. But it’s really weird. I just feel all cut up, you know? Like everything is just… blah.”
  2122. >She mimes her heart exploding, then flops onto the couch, coming to rest against you
  2123. >”I do love you though, kid.”
  2124. “Whoa.”
  2125. >”Like a sister! I think. Or… maybe…”
  2126. >She sighs
  2127. >”I don’t know.”
  2128. “Yeah… let’s figure it out slow.”
  2129. >”That’s cool with you?”
  2130. “I think. Yeah, yeah it is.”
  2131. >”Awesome.”
  2132. “But… I do want to try and figure stuff out. About me. And about… doing stuff with girls. What should I do?”
  2133. >“Honestly, dude? Just find someone you like. Someone you trust. And if you just want to play around, there’s plenty of people who want that. And… I dunno, squirt. You heart knows what it wants. Or your body, or whatever. Man that sounded so gay…”
  2134. >You chuckle
  2135. “Right. Wouldn’t want that, now would we?”
  2136. >You and Rainbow share a gentle laugh
  2137. >”Listen… I wanna keep hanging out. No matter what happens between us, okay?”
  2138. “Yeah, same.”
  2139. >A long silence stretches over the two of you
  2140. >You can still taste Rainbow’s lips on yours, and that fire in your chest is unquenched
  2141. >It’s weird; now that you know it’s not going to happen, you *really* want it to
  2142. >But if Rainbow wants to wait then… well, you’ll figure it out
  2143. “Anyway…”
  2144. >”Yeah. I gotta rest”
  2145. “…gotta go check Silver and Diamond. Yeah.”
  2146. >Dash sighs
  2147. >She gives you a quick, chaste hug
  2148. >”I’ll text ya, okay?”
  2149. “Yeah.”
  2150. >”See you at practice.”
  2152. >And with that, you leave
  2153. >You still feel dazed as you walk out of Dash’s dorm and into the parking lot
  2154. >And that’s when you remember: Rainbow drove you here
  2155. >You don’t have your own car with you
  2156. >Walking up and asking her for a ride now sounds *really* awkward
  2157. >But what are your other options…?
  2159. >You open your phone, and that’s when you see Pinkie is still near the top of your contacts list
  2160. >Several thoughts pop into the back of your mind, the kind of thoughts that make your slightly-horny adolescent mind spin
  2161. >But you push them away… for now
  2162. >Pinkie would probably be the best to go to for advice
  2163. >That girl has zero filter, and if what Rainbow told you is true, she has a *ton* of experience
  2164. >Your hands shake slightly as you type out your message
  2165. [hey, sorry, could you come and get me? i’m at RD’s dorm]
  2166. >Pinkie replies quickly
  2167. >[sure! be right there]
  2168. >You have a few minutes to yourself now to sit on the curb and just think
  2169. >Instead of calming down, though, you feel more and more jittery, almost full-to-bursting with desires to…
  2170. >Your thoughts are interrupted by a honking horn
  2171. >You look up to see Pinkie roll up in her battered Sedan; colorful bumper stickers on the back label it as the “party wagon” and assure you that there’s “plenty of room in the trunk”
  2172. >You feel yourself sweating despite the pleasant spring weather
  2173. >Pinkie gives you her signature cheery grin as you plop down in the passenger seat
  2174. >”Heya, Cutie-loo~!”
  2175. “Hey.”
  2176. >She pulls out of the parking lot and onto the main road
  2177. >You start fidgeting with the hem of your shorts, trying to keep your leg from bouncing
  2178. >Pinkie sneaks a glance at you
  2179. >”Everything alright?”
  2180. “Yeah. Sorta.”
  2181. >Pinkie fixes you in her gaze for an uncomfortably long time, until you’re about to start squirming in your seat
  2182. “I…”
  2183. >”…need a milkshake.”
  2184. “Huh?”
  2185. >”Yep, I’ve seen plenty of ‘I need a fat chocolate milkshake with the works’ faces in my day. And that’s one of ‘em. Hold tight!”
  2186. >Pinkie wheels the car around like something out of Tokyo Drift, flinging you against the door
  2187. “Gah!”
  2188. >”Heehee. Sorry!”
  2189. >She practically races to Sugarcube Corner, then orders you the promised milkshake
  2190. >It’s cold and dripping with frosting and spinkles, and it tastes delicious
  2191. >”Perfect, huh?”
  2192. “It’s really good. Thanks, Pinkie.”
  2193. >”No problemo! And now that I’ve bribed you…”
  2194. >Pinke wriggles her eyebrows
  2195. >You sigh, smiling in spite of yourself
  2196. “I have to tell you what’s up?”
  2197. >”Yepperino! You and Dashie have a little fight?”
  2198. “No, not a fight.”
  2199. >”But things got real weird, didn’t they?”
  2200. “Kinda, yeah.”
  2201. >”Poor Dashie. She’s having a reeeeal bad time, you know.”
  2202. “I do, yeah. I tried to help out, but I think I might have made things a lot weirder.”
  2203. >”Heehee. Take it from me, kiddo. There’s no way to make weirdness normal again. You just gotta make it into a better kind of weird.”
  2204. “Huh. That… kinda makes sense.”
  2205. >”Just a little Pie Family Wisdom! You’d be surprised at just what ol’ Pinkie knows.”
  2206. >She winks
  2207. “Y-yeah?”
  2208. >”Ab-so-lutely!”
  2209. “I actually… did wanna ask you about something.”
  2210. >Pinkie's already-bright face brightens
  2211. >"Yeeeeeeah?"
  2213. “If I like someone, how do I get them…”
  2214. >”To wanna get down and dirty with ya?”
  2215. >You blush, and Pinkie throws her head back, laughing until her whole soft body is juggling with glee
  2216. >”Awww, Cutie-loo, I can read you like a book! You got it bad for someone, doncha?”
  2217. “I don’t ‘have it bad!’ There’s just… someone I’m kinda interested in.”
  2218. >Pinkie’s still watching you, which a little nerve-wracking, seeing as she’s driving
  2219. >Miraculously, though, she seems to steer without even needing to look
  2220. >Her eyes sweep over you, and Pinkie’s face goes from cheery to deadly-serious
  2221. >”Hmmm…”
  2222. “Uh, everything okay?”
  2223. >”Who could it be? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…”
  2224. “Pinkie?”
  2225. >”HMMMMMMM.”
  2226. “Look, you know who it is already!”
  2227. >Pinkie snorts
  2228. >”I do! I just wanna hear ya admit it.”
  2229. “It’s Diamond. Tiara, obviously. And I already know she’s into girls. Found that out the hard way. So that’s step one, or whatever.”
  2230. >”Oooooh. But she’s got it bad for Silver Spoon. Drama~.”
  2231. “It’s not like that! I mean, it is. But still…”
  2232. >”Hey, not like you and Silver can’t share.”
  2233. “I don’t think that’s how it works.”
  2234. >Pinkie winks
  2235. >”You’d be surprised. Anyhoo, boy do I have some advice for ya! Rich girls like her, they all want the same thing.”
  2236. “What?”
  2237. >”Just think about it. She’s get every single things she wants. Dresses, fancy parties, big house… she has *the* life. But what doesn’t she have?”
  2238. >Pinkie strokes her chin as if she had a beard
  2239. >She’s still not looking at the road
  2240. >Somehow you’re both still not dead
  2241. “I don’t know. A girlfriend?”
  2242. >”Well duuuuuuuh. What else?”
  2243. “Does it have to be a riddle?”
  2244. >”Yep!”
  2245. “Fine. She…”
  2246. >You think back to your night at Diamond’s house
  2247. “…she doesn’t have her dad around very often. And her mom’s a psycho.”
  2248. >”Bingo! She has everything she wants. But who wants her?
  2249. “Silver. I guess. And me.”
  2250. >”And who else?”
  2251. “I… I don’t really know.”
  2252. >Pinkie nods, looking suddenly solemn
  2253. >”Then you know what you gotta do?”
  2254. “I gotta… *want* her?”
  2255. >”Bingo!” Pinkie says, pointing finger guns at your face
  2256. >The car is now moving totally uncontrolled
  2257. >Somehow it’s still on the road; she actually drives better without touching the wheel than you or Rainbow Dash do normally
  2258. >”You gotta want the *fuck* outta that girl. And you gotta make her know it.”
  2259. “But like, how? What does that mean?”
  2260. >Pinkie shrugs
  2261. >”You think I’m gonna do all the work for ya? That’s no fun!”
  2262. >She winks
  2263. >”But I can give you a teensy hint. Annoy her.”
  2264. “That… sounds like the worst advice ever.”
  2265. >Pinkie giggle-snorts
  2266. >”Good advice usually does! That girl’s got everyone kissing her little princess booty 24/7. They’re afraid of her, or they want something from her. So you gotta treat her a little rough, knowhatimean?”
  2267. “I think?”
  2268. >”Good! Don’t worry, you’ll screw up no matter what. But that’s why being sixteen is so much fun!”
  2269. >With a screech of tires, you realize Pinkie’s pulled up outside your house
  2270. >She shoves you out of the car
  2271. >”Now go put the moves on ‘er, tiger.”
  2272. >She purrs, then drives off
  2273. >She’s barely been gone for forty-five seconds when you get a ping on your phone
  2274. >”[oh and btw, if you need any toys or a demonstration, text me ;)]
  2275. >A heat-flash hits your whole body, and you walk up the stairs to your apartment in a daze
  2276. >Your first kiss was barely twenty minutes ago
  2277. >Now… are you seriously gonna try and put the moves on Diamond?
  2278. >You open the door, and find that she’s seated on your couch, buried in her phone
  2279. >She’s dressed in her usual clothes now, though you notice that the ones you gave her are neatly folded on the couch next to her
  2280. >You stand in the doorway, looking dumbstruck, and Diamond glances up from her phone
  2281. >”Oh. Welcome back. Silver had to go, but I wanted to stay a bit. So we can talk.”
  2282. "Talk? About what?"
  2283. >Diamond shrugs, averting her eyes
  2284. >"I don't know. I should thank you again, I guess. And... I want more of your advice. You're way better at this than I am. What do I do about Silver? Last night was amazing. I want it to happen again."
  2286. >You shrug
  2287. “I’m not an expert on this stuff, Di.”
  2288. >Diamond raises an eyebrow
  2289. >”Then, the advice you’ve given me…?”
  2290. “I just go with what feels right. That’s all you can do.”
  2291. >”I see. I don’t exactly have any idea what feels right, though.”
  2292. “Yeah, I can tell.”
  2293. >Diamond scowls
  2294. >You plop down next to her on the couch and start unstrapping your legs
  2295. >Diamond politely averts her eyes from the whole process, though you can tell it makes her a little uncomfortable
  2296. “But hey, you like her and she likes you. That’s a start.”
  2297. >”Perhaps. You’re *sure* she has feelings for me? Or that it’s at least possible she does?”
  2298. “Why wouldn’t she? Sure, you’re a turbo-bitch on the outside—“
  2299. >”Hey!”
  2300. “—but you’re actually pretty cool. I mean, if I can start start liking you after you called me Scoota-lame for six years, then she must be head over heels.”
  2301. >Diamond buries her face in her hands
  2302. >”I totally forgot about that. Pleeeeeeeease don’t make me relive it.”
  2303. >She peeks out at you from between her fingers
  2304. >”I’m sorry, obviously. God, how embarrassing…”
  2305. >You chuckle, elbowing Diamond’s shoulder
  2306. “Y’know, the teasing was totally worth it just to see your face right now.”
  2307. >Diamond frowns, but says nothing
  2308. >When she drops her hands from her face, she’s blushing furiously
  2309. >”About Silver…”
  2310. “Mmm, right. So, where do you want this whole thing to go? You wanna take her on a date? Cuddle more often? Fuck her?”
  2311. >”F-fuck her!? That’s way down the line! I haven’t even thought…”
  2312. “Heh. Yeah, you have. C’mon, it’s nothing weird. You’re hot and you know it. She’s cute. You could probably make it happen, if you wanted to.”
  2313. >Diamond is so flustered she can hardly speak
  2314. >”I am *not* ready for anything like that yet.”
  2315. “You can say that again.”
  2316. >You smirk
  2317. >Diamond folds her arms over her chest
  2318. >”I just want to spend more time with her. And I do want to be close to her physically, more.”
  2319. “Just say ‘cuddle,’ you weirdo.”
  2320. >”S-shut up. I want to… to *cuddle* with her more. Or whatever. That was nice.”
  2321. “Then there ya go. Now grab your phone.”
  2322. >”Huh?”
  2323. “You’re gonna shoot her some texts. First, say you’re still thinking of her.”
  2324. >”If this doesn’t work…”
  2325. “Then you’re still better off than how you started. Now get textin’.”
  2326. >Diamond picks up her phone
  2327. >[Hey. I’m still thinking of you.]
  2328. “Why do you text like a weirdo?”
  2329. >”What do you mean?”
  2330. “Like… Jesus, that sounds like something a serial killer would write.”
  2331. >”I’m using proper punctuation and grammar! Because I’m educated.”
  2332. “Yeah, alright.”
  2333. >You roll your eyes, and Diamond looks like she wants to strangle you
  2334. >Silver texts back quickly
  2335. >[heyy, me too!]
  2336. >[everything going okay at scoots’?]
  2337. >Diamond glances up at you
  2338. >Her thumbs are starting to shake
  2339. >”Do you think she knows?”
  2340. “You’re too paranoid. Tell her you’re fine, and that you miss her.”
  2341. >[I’m fine. We’re both fine. I miss you.]
  2342. “God, how do you make everything sound so creepy?”
  2343. >”I’m just saying what you tell me to say!”
  2344. >[haha i’ve only been gone for an hour!]
  2345. “…okay, maybe that was a bit clingy.”
  2346. >”It was your idea!”
  2347. “Look, I told you, I’m not an expert!”
  2348. >”Gah…”
  2349. >Diamond’s hands are trembling badly as she tries to think up what to type next
  2350. >”Come on, help me out!”
  2352. “Quit freakin’ out and just ask her to hang out tomorrow!”
  2353. >”Where?”
  2354. “I dunno, figure it out.”
  2355. >Diamond grits her teeth
  2356. >She looks like she’s trying to diffuse a bomb, not just make plans to meet with her crush
  2357. >”A-ah, um…”
  2358. >[Do you want to go to Sugarcube Corner with me tomorrow? After school, of course.]
  2359. >[sure!]
  2360. >Diamond lets out a sigh of relief, and her entire body goes limp
  2361. >”Why was that so hard?”
  2362. “You tell me, fam. You’re making this, like, a hundred times weirder than it needs to be.”
  2363. >”Well, how do I un-weird it, if you’re so smart?”
  2364. “Just… do what feels right. If the two of you like each other, it’ll happen.”
  2365. >”Hmph. It’s not that simple, and you know it.”
  2366. “It…”
  2367. >You think back to Rainbow Dash, and the kiss that you promised to forget about
  2368. “…yeah, you’re right.”
  2369. >You lean over and bump Diamond’s shoulder
  2370. “Good luck though. I mean it.”
  2371. >”Mm.”
  2372. >She stares at nothing for a bit, lost in thought
  2373. >”…thank you for your help.”
  2374. “No sweat.”
  2375. >”I do have to ask: why *are* you so interested in me and Silver getting together?”
  2376. “H-huh? What do you mean?”
  2377. >Now it’s your turn to look flustered
  2378. >Diamond turns her cold, bright-blue eyes on you
  2379. >You realize she has that same kind of soul-scrutinizing gaze that Pinkie does; only instead of jocular and friendly, hers feels eerie, like she can see all your insecurities lined up and tagged before her
  2380. >”You’ve put in a *lot* of work, just getting me and her together. Not to say that we’re *together*-together, of course, but still. Why? You don’t have someone of your own, that I’m aware of. Why do all this?”
  2381. “I… I dunno.”
  2382. >Diamond’s eyes don’t leave your face
  2383. “I just kinda like you guys. You’re cute together. And I want to see things work out for you.”
  2384. >”I see.”
  2385. >Diamond finally looks away
  2386. >”Well, I am grateful. If you want something from me in return, you’ll definitely get it.”
  2387. “That’s not what this is about, c’mon.”
  2388. >”I know.”
  2389. >…
  2390. >”But still. I owe you, I guess.”
  2391. “Alright. Let’s say… twenty-thousand dollars, cash.”
  2392. >Diamond glances at you, one eyebrow raised
  2393. >You hold her gaze, trying your best to look serious
  2394. >Then you burst out laughing, clutching your gut and trying not to slide off the couch
  2395. “Holy shit, did you actually believe me?”
  2396. >”I told you, I was serious!”
  2397. >In spite of herself, Diamond is smiling too
  2398. >”And you’re lowballing yourself, too. Twenty-thousand? I’d replace your dump of a car with a Maserati, if you asked.”
  2399. >Your jaw drops, and Diamond smirks
  2400. “Okay, I think I’m gonna take back all that selfless stuff I said…”
  2401. >Now it’s Diamond’s turn to laugh
  2402. >It’s strange hearing real laughter out of her; not the derisive stuff you’d get back when you and her were little kids, but genuine, giggly peals that just make you wanna hug her
  2403. >You *really* wanna hug her, you realize
  2404. >Diamond covers her mouth, looking happier than you’ve ever seen her
  2405. >She glances over your shoulder, then sighs
  2406. >”I probably should go home, though. My mom has been texting me constantly, and she’s…”
  2407. “Yeah…”
  2408. >Diamond sighs
  2409. >”If she finds out about this, she’s gonna kill me.”
  2410. “Oooh. So it’s forbidden love, now?”
  2411. >”S-shut up. Maybe. Honestly, that’s pretty accurate. My life isn’t going to stop being weird anytime soon, is it?”
  2412. “It’s highschool. I don’t think normal exists at all for us, right now. Probably won’t until we’re all forty.”
  2413. >”There’s a comforting though,” Diamond says, a wry grin on her face
  2414. >She stands up and starts gathering her things, then heads for the door
  2416. >You grab her in a quick, friendly hug before she leaves
  2417. >Diamond leans into the embrace, a little stiff, and she awkwardly pats the small of your back
  2418. >You get the vague impression that this girl doesn’t receive a lot of hugs
  2419. >Just as she opens the door though, you stop her
  2420. “Hey. Real quick, do you have Pinkie Pie’s number?”
  2421. >”Number? No, but I follow her instagram. Easily one of Canterlot’s best. Why?”
  2422. “Just sayin’, if you want some advice on getting *intimate* with Silver…”
  2423. >You wriggle your eyebrows
  2424. “…she’s the girl to go to.”
  2425. >Diamond blushes furiously
  2426. >”I do *not* think about her like that.”
  2427. “Heheh, yeah ya do. C’mon, it’s cool.”
  2428. >Diamond drops her eyes
  2429. >”I mean, a bit, but… but that’s *so* far away, if it ever happens at all.”
  2430. >You shrug
  2431. “I dunno, man. Look at yourself.”
  2432. >”What do you mean?”
  2433. “What do you think I mean? If anyone’s gonna make her realize she’s into girls, it’ll be you.”
  2434. >Diamond’s blush deepens
  2435. >”…maybe.”
  2436. >She turns to leave again, but this time she stops herself
  2437. >”Wait. *You* don’t think about me in that way… do you?”
  2438. “I mean, kinda. Yeah. How could I not? You’re really fuckin’ pretty.”
  2439. >”I suppose so,” Diamond says
  2440. >Her voice comes out as little more than a squeak
  2441. >”Well, t-thank you for the compliment. But I really should be going.”
  2442. >She haughtily flips her hair over her shoulder and struts out the door
  2443. >You watch her go, only now realizing how much heat has pooled in your own face
  2444. >Man, Silver is one lucky girl…
  2445. >Speaking of, you set up their date for them tomorrow, didn’t you?
  2446. >You pick up your phone and shoot Pinkie a text
  2447. [hey. things going well with diamond.]
  2448. >[ooooooh, nice work! when’s your first date!?]
  2449. [actually, she’s going to meet with silver spoon tomorrow. they’ll be at sugarcube after school.]
  2450. >[wait, you’re not going with!?]
  2451. [i have practice. but I need your help. can I call you?]
  2452. >[sure can!]
  2453. >You call, and Pinkie picks up immediately
  2454. >”Pinkie Pie’s Conquest Consultation Service. This is Pinkie speaking. How can I help ya?”
  2455. >She snickers, and you start trying to think of how you want to plan this
  2456. >If Diamond and Silver really do get together… what will that mean for you?
  2458. “Hey, Pinkie.”
  2459. >”Ready for orders, ma’am.”
  2460. “Just… keep them for a while, alright? I’m gonna try and come by after practice.”
  2461. >”Oooh. I can give ‘em some reasons to stick around~.”
  2462. “Hell yeah. You’re the best.”
  2463. >Pinkie snorts
  2464. >”I know! I’ll pull out the works. Milkshake with two straws, tiny booth so that their legs are touching under the table, *maybe* I’ll accidentally spill a drink and…”
  2465. >Pinkie cuts herself off
  2466. >”Well, I don’t wanna give away *too* many of my tricks.”
  2467. “Sounds perfect. I’ll probably show up with my usual group.”
  2468. >”You’re turnin’ this into a proper party.”
  2469. “Hey, it’s spring break next week. I just wanna make sure there’s some action lined up.”
  2470. >”I feel ya there!”
  2471. “Oh, and speaking of action…?”
  2472. >”Oooh?”
  2473. “…do you know anyone around, like, CHS who might secretly be into me?”
  2474. >”Ha! Oh man, Diamond, Silver, and now you’re looking for some mystery girl? You really get around, doncha Cutie-loo?”
  2475. “I’m just trying to see what my options are.”
  2476. >”Eheheheheh…”
  2477. >Pinkie’s laugh sounds disturbingly Palpatine-esque
  2478. “What’s so funny?”
  2479. >”I don’t really know what the drama is back at CHS. But I do happen to have a very eligible and *very* lonely sister.”
  2480. “For real? I mean… is she, y’know, gay?”
  2481. >”No clue!”
  2482. “Oh.”
  2483. >”But she sure hasn’t shown interest in boys before! Or anybody, really. Except her weird rock collection.”
  2484. “Huh. *This* is who you’re trying to set me up with?”
  2485. >”Yep! Don’t worry, she’s super smart, *really* sweet, and I must say, she’s a fox.”
  2486. “Bruh. That’s your sister.”
  2487. >”We inherited the same fox gene!”
  2488. “Hmm. I dunno. How old is she?”
  2489. >”Twenty-three.”
  2490. “Gah! That’s, like, double my age! I mean, okay, I kinda suck at math, but… Jesus, that’s kinda old.”
  2491. >”Twenty-three isn’t old!”
  2492. “I dunno. Sounds kinda weird…”
  2493. >”I’d be happy to set up a little triple-date for us! Trust me, she needs, needs, *needs* the company.”
  2494. “I’ll think about it.”
  2495. >”Yay! Well, it looks like we’re all set for tomorrow! Now, if you’ll gimme a moment, I got some *business* to take care of~.”
  2496. “Wait, what’s that supposed to…”
  2497. >*click*
  2498. “…mean.”
  2499. >You set your phone down and lay back in bed
  2500. >Diamond and Silver’s date…
  2501. >Your friends…
  2502. >Pinkie and her sister…
  2503. >Rainbow Dash…
  2504. >All seven of them just kinda dance through your head
  2505. >It’s already getting late, and you decide to text your friends before they head off to bed
  2506. [hey. you dudes wanna come to scc with me after practice?]
  2507. >Applebloom: [can do!]
  2508. >Sweetie: [omg yessssssssss. i’m already sick of this week and it’s barely started]
  2509. [what’s up?]
  2510. >SB: [rarity’s break is this week and she’s coming home. she’s being such a biiiiiiitch]
  2511. >AB: [more than usual?]
  2512. >SB: [lol ye. anything to get me away from her]
  2513. [cool! see you two tomorrow. let’s do, like, 4:30]
  2515. >And so, tomorrow comes
  2516. >You generally don’t see Diamond much around school, but today you catch her eye once or twice
  2517. >She gives you a weird look each time: she’s not smiling, but you can tell she’s happy to see you, in her own weird way
  2518. >You do smile back at her, and you relish watching how that makes her blush
  2519. >During a break between classes, though, Silver is actually the one who approaches you
  2520. >She catches you just as you’re shutting your locker
  2521. >”Hey, Scoots.”
  2522. “Oh, hey.”
  2523. >You lean against the wall, and Silver stands back a bit, clutching her books to her chest
  2524. “What’s up?”
  2525. >”I just wanted to… ah, blech. I forgot what I was going to say. But… thanks, for yesterday.”
  2526. “What do you mean?”
  2527. >”You know what I mean,” she says, a sly smile crossing her face. “Diamond trying to act all bold and romantic. That was you.”
  2528. “Oh, heh. I mean, yeah. She would have ended up just pissing her pants otherwise.”
  2529. >Silver chuckles
  2530. >”I love how nervous she gets. It’s cute. It’s really cute.”
  2531. “She’s a cutie, alright. You’re a lucky girl, Silver.”
  2532. >Silver glances away
  2533. >”I am. I guess… I do still kinda want your advice. I liked our night together. I liked being close to her, letting her hold me. It felt good. But… I dunno, I still can’t imagine, like… *going further*, with her.”
  2535. >You give Silver a sly smile
  2536. “Hey, you can always give it a shot.”
  2537. >Silver’s face goes red
  2538. >”I know. But I don’t know how. What if… what if I don’t like it? I’ll kill her.”
  2539. “It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just fool around a little, y’know? See what you like.”
  2540. >”I guess…”
  2541. “Know what? How about we have a spring-break party? A little booze, a few *adult* party-games…”
  2542. >Silver’s blush deepens, but she holds your gaze
  2543. >”And you think that’ll work?”
  2544. >You shrug
  2545. “It’s a way to play around without just going for it. If you like it, great. If not… oh well, I guess.”
  2546. >”That’s not a bad idea. It’ll definitely be easier if I’m a little drunk. But…”
  2547. >Silver chuckles
  2548. >”I sound so awkward. I don’t even know, like, what to *do* with her.”
  2549. “You’ve got the internet.”
  2550. >”Yeah, but… blech.”
  2551. “And there’s always Pinkie Pie,” you say with a wink. “That girl knows *everything* about fuckin’.”
  2552. >”I-I think I’ll just focus on kissing for now! But yeah. I guess… if we really do become a thing… that’ll happen, won’t it?”
  2553. “Probably, yeah.”
  2554. >”And I guess some practical advice wouldn’t hurt. I don’t know her that well, though.”
  2555. “Trust me, *nothing* is awkward with Pinkie Pie.”
  2556. >”Right. I… I might have to chat with her. If I can get up the nerve.”
  2557. >Silver sighs
  2558. >”Man, this is weird.”
  2559. >She’s a little shaky, but a big, wild smile spreads over her normally-placid face
  2560. >”But it’s a good weird. It feels exciting, kinda crazy.”
  2561. “Hell yeah. That’s how it’s supposed to feel. I think.”
  2562. >You realize that she’s feeling pretty much the same thing you did when you hung out with Rainbow
  2563. >That wild, jittery abandon, wanting to just throw yourself at someone without really knowing what the outcome will be
  2564. >You bump your shoulder against Silver’s arm
  2565. “Hey, I gotta head off. But text me, alright? Let’s hang out more.”
  2566. >”Sure! Definitely, sure!”
  2568. >The rest of your day at school is… well, a day at school
  2569. >The fresh, crisp spring smell has made its way through the halls, though, drowning out the normally sour smell of highschoolers
  2570. >So you’re feeling energized and bouncy when you make your way out onto the soccer field
  2571. >Rainbow Dash is standing there, a ball under her arm as she barks orders to some of your teammates
  2572. >She turns when she hears you coming, and your eyes meet
  2573. >For a brief moment, she glances away
  2574. >But then she puts on a smile
  2575. >”Hey, Scoots! Go ahead and get warmed up! We’re gonna run some skirmishes today. You guys are playing Crystal Prep on Friday, and it’s looking like that’ll be the last game of the season.”
  2576. “Right. Can do!”
  2577. >You just try to ignore the weird thoughts buzzing in the back of your mind
  2578. >Just a day ago, you were in her lap, kissing her
  2580. >As you run through practice, you can feel Rainbow’s eyes following you
  2581. >That’s normal: she’s your coach and you’re her star player
  2582. >But it feels different now
  2583. >She’s practically *only* watching you
  2584. >The afternoon sun is rich and golden, and you’re slick with sweat by the time practice ends
  2585. >While the other players head out to shower, you stick around on the field to practice a few more kicks, as you usually do
  2586. >Then you head into the locker room yourself; it’s silent now, and it seems empty
  2587. >You strip out of your sweat-soaked practice uniform and wrap yourself in a towel, then head into the showers
  2588. >As you approach them, though, you can hear that the water’s already running
  2589. >You grit your teeth: you *hate* showering around other people; not that you give a shit about being naked, but it makes you feel weird and gimpy that you need to use the handicapped bench
  2590. >So you peak around the corner, just wanting to see who’s even in there
  2591. >It’s Rainbow
  2592. >She’s standing in the corner by herself, lathered with soap, water cascading down her lithe body
  2593. >The parts of her that aren’t colored by a sporty olive tan—namely her hips and around her breasts—are surprisingly pale and glisten in the shower room’s fluorescent light
  2594. >You stare for a moment, then duck back behind the wall
  2595. >Your heart’s pounding
  2597. >For a moment, you consider just hiding in a bathroom stall until Rainbow leaves
  2598. >But then you might be late for your meeting with your friends…
  2599. >You sigh, then stand up and head in
  2600. >It’s just Rainbow…
  2601. >You’re both girls, it’s not like she has any special equipment you haven’t seen before
  2602. >But god*damn*, she’s so hot…
  2603. >Rainbow glances over
  2604. >”Scoots? You’re still here?”
  2605. >For a moment, she covers herself
  2606. “Hey, yeah. Stuck around for a bit of extra practice.”
  2607. >”Oh. Cool.”
  2608. “Yeah.”
  2609. >You slip your towel off and hang it up
  2610. >Though your back is turned, you can feel Rainbow’s eyes on you, running from your knees, to your thighs, to your petite, boyish upper bidy
  2611. >She’s eyeing you up, you realize
  2612. >The thought makes you giddy, and your legs tremble as you walk over to the handicapped shower, nearly spilling you to the ground
  2613. >You take a seat, feeling cold, rough plastic dig into your bare butt
  2614. >Then you unstrap your legs
  2615. >Rainbow has her back turned, but you catch her stealing glances
  2616. >Just once, you let your eyes catch hers
  2617. >She looks away, trying to play it cool
  2618. >”You were lookin’ good. Out there, I mean.”
  2619. “Thanks! Yeah, I feel really good. It’s been a good season.”
  2620. >”It has.”
  2621. >You stow your legs in a little waterproof bin, then start the shower
  2622. >It sprays cold at first, chilling you to the bone, but it quickly warms up to near-scalding
  2623. >You get it as hot as you can tolerate, letting it sooth the aches from your muscles
  2624. >Dash runs her hands along her wet body, wiping away the last strands of suds
  2625. >Hey figure is pure, sleek muscle: no hair anywhere but on her head and a tiny bit near her crotch
  2626. >She shifts her weight from foot to foot as she washes, and you can see the muscles in her thighs and in her buttocks flexing hypnotically
  2627. >You look away, instead busying yourself with the business of washing yourself
  2628. >”Hey. You been feeling okay today?”
  2629. “Huh? Oh, yeah. Really good, actually.”
  2630. >”Nice. That’s great, dude.”
  2631. “How about you? Is everything cool with Spitfire?”
  2632. >”More than cool. She’s, like, super freaked out around me now. I think we scared her good.”
  2633. “Aww, yeah. Man, that was so cool.”
  2634. >”It was awesome. Really awesome…”
  2635. >Rainbow falls silent
  2636. >You can tell she’s thinking about The Kiss too
  2637. >You glance over your shoulder and catch her looking at you
  2638. >Not at anything lewd, just… looking at you
  2639. >This time, she doesn’t look away
  2640. >She gives you a small smile
  2641. >”You wanna hang out some more this week?”
  2642. “Yeah, sure. I’m gonna be busy after school today, but…”
  2643. >”Hey, no worries. Our season is winding down this week too. Maybe over break? You’re always welcome at my place. And if you want me over, just call me, little bud.”
  2644. >She does that thumb-and-pinkie phone signal with her hand
  2645. >You nod
  2646. “Yeah. I will.”
  2647. >”Cool. Well, I gotta go get dressed, but I’ll see ya tomorrow, ‘kay Scoots?”
  2648. “Yeah. See you!”
  2649. >Dash heads out of the shower, and you can hear the slap of her bare feet against the tile floor trailing away into the lockers
  2650. >You sigh
  2651. >Man, that felt weird
  2652. >Your heart is still racing, and your body feels red-hot, not just from the shower
  2653. >You turn the water a little colder, trying to put that fire out
  2654. >She’s so *hot*
  2655. >You knew she was,
  2656. >You close your eyes and try to imprint that image of her naked body in your memory
  2657. >You… might have a need for it later
  2659. >After a nice amount of time sitting under the cold water, you towel off and dress in your usual clothes
  2660. >Then you head off to meet your friends
  2661. >You’re a little late to Sugarcube Corner, on account of the distractions, but you still find Sweetie and Applebloom standing outside
  2662. >And man, Sweetie’s goth phase must *really* have been rekindled at the party: she’s wearing a lacy black gown and heavy, clonky leather boots
  2663. >You raise an eyebrow
  2664. >”What? I’m just doing it to piss Rarity off. It’s *so* funny, how much she hates this look.”
  2665. “You look like the coolest girl at the middle school prom.”
  2666. >Sweetie play-slaps your shoulder
  2667. >Applebloom, meanwhile, is pearing through the window
  2668. >”Hey, girls? Diamond Tiara’s already here,” she says
  2669. “Yeah, I know. We’re cool with her now, remember?”
  2670. >”Yeah, she’s fine now and all, but are we sure we wanna hang out with her?”
  2671. “Hell yeah I’m sure. C’mon. Let’s see what Pinkie’s cooked up…”
  2672. >Inside, you see that Applelboom was right: Diamond and Silver are squished together in a booth, chatting
  2673. >As Pinkie promised, a single frothy milshake lies between them, but with two straws
  2674. >Man, that’s cute…
  2675. >Diamond looks up when you enter, and her face registers surprise, then a bit of relief, and then finally settles into her usual “I’m better than you” scowl
  2676. >”Oh. Hey.”
  2677. >Silver looks over her shoulder
  2678. >Unlike Diamond, she just looks genuinely happy to see you
  2679. >”Hey, Scoots!”
  2681. “Eyy, fancy seeing you two here!”
  2682. >”What? This whole thing was *your* idea,” Diamond sarcastically reminds you
  2683. “Yeah, and it was a great idea. You two look so cute together.”
  2684. >Both girls drop their eyes, blushing furiously
  2685. >”Thanks,” Silver manages to force out
  2686. >”Well, *obviously*…” Diamond mutters
  2687. >You snicker and slide into a booth directly across from theirs, alongside your friends
  2688. >Innocent little Applebloom hardly seems to take notice of the interaction that just went on, and she starts browsing the menu
  2689. >Sweetie, however, glances at Silver and Diamond, then at you, then back at the two of them, and then finally back to them
  2690. >”Uh…”
  2691. “What?”
  2692. >”Are the two of them, you know… you know?”
  2693. “I think they’re getting there.”
  2694. >”Wild. I mean, there’ve always been rumors about the two of being, well… you know.”
  2695. “I do know. Guess everyone else figured it out before they did.”
  2696. >”Heh, yeah.”
  2697. >”We can hear you, you know!” Diamond says from their table
  2698. >Her face is flaming red, and Silver looking like she’s trying really, really hard not to laugh
  2699. “Hey, it’s rude to listen in on other people’s conversations.”
  2700. >”It’s also rude to go around talking about—“
  2701. “About what?”
  2702. >Diamond pouts
  2703. >”You know what. Never mind.”
  2704. >She takes an incredibly angry sip of her and Silver’s milkshake
  2705. >Silver bites down on her hand to keep from giggling
  2706. >Applebloom is still watching all of this unfold with puzzled interest
  2707. >”Wait, what’s so funny? Diamond and Silver hang out all th’ time.”
  2708. >You glance at Sweetie, grinning
  2709. “You gonna tell her? Or should I?”
  2710. >”Tell me what? Man, y’all are always keepin’ secrets from me.”
  2711. >”We’re not keeping secrets. You’re just sheltered with a capital S,” Sweetie says, smirking
  2712. >”Hey, it’s not my fault Applejack won’t buy us a computer. C’mon, tell me what’s goin’ on!”
  2713. >You and Sweetie can’t help it, and you just fall to pieces laughing
  2714. >Across from you, Diamond has her face buried in her hands, looking about ready to die from embarrassment
  2715. “Oh, man, Applebloom…” you say, wiping tears from your eyes. “There’s *so* much we’re gonna have to catch you up on.”
  2716. >”Y’all are always keepin’ the good stuff from me! Like memes, rock n’ roll music, and whatever the heck an ‘only fans’ is supposed to be!”
  2717. >This just kills you and Sweetie all over again
  2718. >You both laugh until tears are streaming down your face and you’re practically falling out of your seats
  2719. >”Heeeeey, girls!” comes a bubbly voice from behind you. “Somebody mention OnlyFans?”
  2720. >Pinkie appears, carrying a plastic tray full of glasses of water
  2721. “Hey, Pinkie,” you say, dragging yourself back up into a sitting position. “We’re just, uh… educating Applebloom.”
  2722. >”Oh, fun! You know, her big sis probably a few more stories than she’s letting onto…”
  2723. >”Stories? ‘bout what?” Applebloom asks
  2724. >”Heehee. Just ask her about that night during the big storm two years back, when she spent the night with Rarity and Twilight,” Pinkie says with a wink. “So what’s up? It’s been a while since I seen all three of my favorite crusaders hanging around here!”
  2726. “We just wanted to hang out. And, y’know…”
  2727. >You nod your head towards the budding couple sitting next to you and wink
  2728. >Pinkie snickers
  2729. “So, what’s all this about Applejack? You can’t just tease us with that juicy shit!”
  2730. >”Seriously, what’re y’all talkin’ about my sister for? What’s so juicy?”
  2731. >Now you, Applebloom, and Sweetie are all staring at Pinkie, who has this massive, smug grin plastered across her face
  2732. >”Oh, man. Where to begin, where to begin…” she muses to herself
  2733. >Then she plops down at the table, slinging an arm around Applebloom’s shoulder
  2734. >”You ever go poking around your big sister’s closet, Bloomie?”
  2735. >”Uh… like once, I guess, when I was lookin’ for a Remington to scare off a rabid badger.”
  2736. >You and Sweetie exchange a glance: man, life on the farm must be nuts
  2737. >Pinkie nods
  2738. >”Uh huh, uh huh. And did you find anything funny?”
  2739. >”Funny? I mean, I found a few weird, frilly dresses… some short skirts… I figured they were just stuff our mom gave to—“
  2740. >Pinkie can’t handle it anymore, and she bursts out laughing
  2741. >”Hah! Oh man, I knew it I knew it I knew it!”
  2742. >”Knew what? Why’s everyone actin’ like they know my sister better than me?” Applebloom pouts
  2743. >”I know a few things you don’t~” Pinkie says. “Those fancy outfits were a ‘special present’ from Rarity. The two of them used to be *pretty friendly* back when you were still little.”
  2744. >”You don’t mean like… huggin’ and kissin’ and stuff, do ya?” Applebloom asks
  2745. >Her face has gone pale with shock
  2746. >”A little more than that, kiddo.”
  2747. >”But… but that’s illegal!”
  2748. >This time, all three of you howl with laughter
  2749. >Applebloom goes beet-red
  2750. “If it was illegal, Pinkie woulda been locked up a long time ago. Me too, I guess.”
  2751. >”Scootaloo! You… you’re…”
  2752. >You shrug
  2753. “Fuck it, yeah. This is me coming out, I guess.”
  2754. >Applebloom looks like her whole world has collapsed around her
  2755. >”My sister… my best friend… and Pinkie Pie…”
  2756. >Pinkie gently pats Applebloom on the back
  2757. >”Aww, don’t worry about it, lil’ Bloomie. It’s just people enjoying themselves! Nothing to worry about.”
  2758. >”But… but what if I’m, secretly, y’know…”
  2759. >Pinkie winks
  2760. >”Hey, you never know~”
  2761. “And don’t worry. It isn’t so bad.”
  2762. >Applebloom gulps
  2763. >Pinkie stands up, looking like she needs to head off and deal with another table
  2764. >But before she leaves, she turns back to the three of you
  2765. >”And, and speaking of girls enjoying themselves, there *might* be a few videos of Applejack in costume floating around. Professionally shot by Rarity, of course.”
  2766. “Holy shit.”
  2767. >”Rarity was *really* into short little skirts. Just google RariJack Cosplay, you’ll find ‘em.”
  2768. >Pinkie winks, and then skips off
  2769. >Applebloom looks like she wishes she could just sink into the floor and disappear
  2770. >”Mah own sister. This whole time…”
  2771. “You kidding me? Dude, you’re so lucky.”
  2772. >”I don’t know what you’re so worked up about. *My* sister was involved too. Though I’m not at all surprised.”
  2773. >Both you and Applebloom turn to stare at her
  2774. >”What? Come on, you know she’s camming for strangers. At least I think she is. She’s camming for *someone*, with all those weird noises coming from her room.”
  2775. “Yo… you wanna gimme a link?”
  2776. >”Eww, no! Ew, ew, ew.”
  2777. >Sweetie shakes her head
  2778. >”I have *no* idea why everyone thinks she’s so hot. She’s *such* a slob when she’s home alone.”
  2779. >A silence stretches between the two of you as you all process the weirdness of that conversation
  2780. >”So,” Appleblooms eventually says. “Y’all are really… like that, Scoots?”
  2781. “Like what? Gay? I mean, I guess.”
  2782. >”Huh. Alright.”
  2783. >Applebloom drops her eyes
  2784. >Sweetie looks nonplussed about the whole thing
  2785. >She leans her cheek against her hand, turning her mascara-lidded eyes on you
  2786. >”Is there, like, someone you have a crush on?” she asks
  2788. “Honestly? I’m into *everybody* right now.”
  2789. >That gets a wry laugh out of Sweetie Belle
  2790. >Applebloom shifts in her seat, looking a little nervous
  2791. >”Even… like, even me?”
  2792. “Hah! Okay, no, you’re safe.”
  2793. >”Oh? And what about me?” Sweetie asks
  2794. >She bats her eyelashes at you
  2795. >You can tell she’s joking—just a bit of gay chicken between friends—but there’s no way anybody’s beating you at gay chicken
  2796. “Oh, you can definitely get it, if you keep looking all hot and goth.”
  2797. >Sweetie lets out a slightly nervous chuckle, blushing
  2798. >”You like it?”
  2799. “It’s fuckin’ great.”
  2800. >”It *kills* Rarity. She says I look like a Hot Topic manager from 2006.”
  2801. “Well, she’s not wrong. But you’re super making it work.”
  2802. >Sweetie curls a little of her hair around her finger
  2803. >”You think I should dye this too? That would be the nail in the coffin. No pun intended.”
  2804. “Oh my gooood, yes. Do it.”
  2805. >”I might~”
  2806. >Applebloom glances between the two of you
  2807. >”Is… is something goin’ on here?”
  2808. >”Oh, I don’t think so. Is there?” Sweetie asks you
  2809. >She still has that “I’m just playing around” tone in her voice
  2810. >So you’ll call her bluff
  2811. “Maybe. I’m just looking to play around though, y’know? Find out what I like.”
  2812. >”Oh, sounds fun. I wouldn’t mind being played around with…”
  2813. >Sweetie’s foot touches your thigh under the table, making you jump
  2814. >She bursts out laughing
  2815. >”Hah! Oh man, that’s the gayest thing I’ve ever said.”
  2816. “Maybe not the gayest. But it was up there.”
  2817. >You’re laughing too, but your heart is hammering
  2818. >Beneath the joke, there was definitely some sexual tension, you’re pretty sure of it
  2819. >Applebloom is still totally lost
  2820. >”Wait… were y’all talkin’ about gay stuff again?”
  2821. >That just kills you and Sweetie all over again
  2823. >After that, though, the moment fades
  2824. >Whatever just happened, it’s over for now: the three of you are just friends again, eating some burgers and then getting ready to head out
  2825. >Next to you, Silver and Diamond are chatting, giggling, just like you remember they used to
  2826. >It seems like everyone is having a decent time, it seems
  2827. >You’re not really sure where that leaves you now, though
  2828. >Pinkie, Rainbow Dash, Diamond Tiara, and maybe even Sweetie Belle
  2829. >Your head is just spinning with girls
  2830. >Diamond and Silver get up to leave while you and Applebloom are in the middle of a pointless argument about whether it’s possible to do a backflip and land in a handstand
  2831. >Diamond gives you a curt nod, and Silver gives you a bright smile and waves
  2832. >”Later, Scoots! It was cool to see you!
  2833. >”Mm,” Diamond agrees. “We’ll see you tomorrow, I suppose.”
  2834. “Huh? Oh, yeah…”
  2837. >You wave to her, feeling a little twisted up in your chest
  2838. >She really is so insanely pretty
  2839. >As she walks away, your eyes drift down Diamond’s back until they come to focus on her booty, swaying slightly as she walks and cradled by tight-fitting designer jeans
  2840. >Silver or no Silver, you’re going to find a way to get a piece of that
  2841. >You can already feel yourself beginning to sweat, just at the thought…
  2842. >Sweetie elbows you in the ribs, a sly smile on her face
  2843. >”You really weren’t kidding. You’re just into everyone, eh?”
  2844. “Hey, man, *look* at that. How could anyone not stare?”
  2845. >Sweetie follows your gaze
  2846. >”I can kinda see what you mean…”
  2847. >For a moment, you two have your eyes focused on Diamond’s prize, until she steps out and is lost in the night
  2848. >You sigh
  2849. >”Same, though.”
  2850. “Man, I just wanna… *gah*.”
  2851. >You mime sinking your fingers into something, and Sweetie giggles
  2852. >”Feeling a little pent-up?”
  2853. “You could say that.”
  2854. >”Well…”
  2855. “What?”
  2856. >”Nothing.”
  2857. >Applebloom seems like she’s finally starting to figure out what’s going on
  2858. >”Wait, were y’all just staring at Diamond’s butt?”
  2859. “You weren’t?”
  2860. >”If any girl has a butt worth staring at, it’s her.”
  2861. >”Eeeew. Y’all are so weird today.”
  2862. “Hey, what can I say. I’m just kinda in a weird mood.”
  2863. >You shoot a glance over at Sweetie Belle
  2864. >That flash of tension is back
  2865. >She catches your eye
  2866. >”Yeah, me too.”
  2867. >Applebloom shrugs
  2868. >”Well, whatever. I gotta be gettin’ home for evenin’ chores anyway. You two go… do whatever weird stuff you’re talkin’ about.”
  2869. >Applebloom skedaddles off, looking happy to get away
  2870. >You look back at Sweetie and raise an eyebrow
  2871. >”What?”
  2872. “I’m just sayin’, we totally could. Just as friends.”
  2873. >Sweetie smirks
  2874. >”We could what as friends? Have a little ‘study session.’”
  2875. “I mean, if you’re okay having me over. I do have a lot of homework to get done…”
  2876. >Sweetie laughs
  2877. >”You’re *so* not smooth.”
  2878. “Hey, I just wanna get to the point. Am I coming over or not?”
  2879. >”Well, Rarity will be home, but…”
  2880. >A devilish grin flashes across Sweetie’ face
  2881. >”You know what? Why not. I’ll drive.”
  2883. >And so the two of you head off towards Sweetie’s place
  2884. >The drive over is tense; you feel flushed, frantic, and an urge to get your hands on Sweetie burns in your gut
  2885. >You’ve been best friends with this girl since the two of you were eight years old
  2886. >Are you seriously gonna…?
  2887. >What are you even expecting to happen?
  2888. >You don’t know, but something about her goth look, her flirtiness…
  2889. >There’s nothing wrong with a little playing around together though, right?
  2891. >At Sweetie’s place, she lets you in, and neither of you are saying much to each other
  2892. >The tension sizzles between you now; you can tell she’s nervous, and it takes her a few attempts to get the key into the lock
  2893. >When she opens the door, though, you find Rarity already sprawled across the living-room couch
  2894. >Now, you’re used to Rarity being the prim, proper, diva she usually is
  2895. >So, seeing her sprawled across the couch and wearing only a stained tanktop and her panties is a little weird
  2896. >Rarity sits bolt upright, immediately flinging a blanket over herself
  2897. >”Gah! Sweetie!”
  2898. >”What? Put some pants on when you’re lying around the house.”
  2899. >”You should tell me when people are coming over!”
  2900. >”What, you being all gross and half-naked is my business now?”
  2901. >”It’s just polite!”
  2902. >Rarity glares at her sister, then gives you a cursory nod and a small, though extremely embarrassed, smile
  2903. >”Hello, Scoots, dear. I hope you’ve been well.”
  2904. “Uh, yeah. Fine.”
  2905. >”Splendid! Rainbow Dash talks about you all the time.”
  2906. “Oh.”
  2907. >”Anyway, if you’ll excuse me…”
  2908. >Rarity sprints out of the room, her face beet red
  2909. >Sweetie half-laughs, half-sighs
  2910. >”God, she’s such a mess. College changed something about her.”
  2911. >You’re half-curious, but you don’t press the issue
  2912. >There’s something you’re eager to get down to, after all…
  2914. >Sweetie leads you up into her room; you’ve been there a thousand times before, and it isn’t much different
  2915. >She’s got some embarrassing Jack Skellington posters on one wall, with plenty of boy bands on the other, and various little girly accoutrements scattered around the place
  2916. >Her bed is covered in stuffed animals and lacy pillows; you plop down on it, and she takes a moment to pop in a CD
  2917. “You aren’t gonna make me listen to MCR, are you?”
  2918. >”No way. That’s such poser goth. We’re gonna play some Sisters of Mercy.”
  2919. “Oh, man. Nice.”
  2920. >”You know it.”
  2921. >Sweetie slips her socks off and plops into bed next to you
  2922. >She sits cross-legged, her hands in her lap, sitting just a few inches away
  2923. “So…”
  2924. >”Yeah…”
  2925. “Are we…?”
  2926. >Sweetie sucks in a nervous breath
  2927. >”It seems kinda crazy. Now that you’re here. Are we?”
  2929. “Maybe I could just… get a little closer?”
  2930. >”Hmm, yeah. Yeah, that wouldn’t be too bad.”
  2931. >You scoot up until you’re sitting with your shoulder resting against Sweetie’s
  2932. >She’s *so* soft, way more than someone like you or Rainbow is
  2933. “One sec,” you say as you unstrap your prosthetics
  2934. >Sweetie watches as you slide them off, revealing the bare stumps of your legs
  2935. >She’s seen you do this a million times before, but this time, you notice she’s paying extra attention
  2936. >When you sit back up, she lays a hand on your bare leg
  2937. “Mm?”
  2938. >”I always thought this was really cool. Kinda, like, badass.”
  2939. “Hey, that’s how I like to think of it, too.”
  2940. >”But it’s cute, too. It makes you seem kinda… vulnerable, I guess. It makes me wanna…”
  2941. “Wanna what?”
  2942. >”Mm, well, I dunno…”
  2943. >She leans up against you, and you immediately realize she wants you to put your arm around her
  2944. >You do, and Sweetie sighs in content
  2945. >She rests her head on your shoulder
  2946. >Your heart is hammering in your chest, and you’re sure Sweetie can feel it
  2947. >In fact, that might be her own heartbeat you’re feeling as well, keeping time with yours
  2948. >Just two super-nervous girls, cuddling in a bed full of stuffed animals while moody goth-rock plays in the background…
  2949. >The warmth from Sweetie’s palm is still seeping into your leg
  2950. >She hasn’t moved her hand
  2951. >You try to speak, but your mouth is strangely dry
  2952. >Holy shit, it’s just Sweetie Belle
  2953. >You’ve had more sleepovers together than you can count, you’ve changed in the same room, shared food, clothes, secrets, everything…
  2954. >Why does this feel different?
  2955. >Sweetie takes a short, shuddering breath
  2956. >”Do you wanna lay down?”
  2957. “Huh? Oh, sure…”
  2958. >You scoot away from the wall and lie back on Sweetie’s bed
  2959. >She crawls over and flops down besides you
  2960. >You extend your arm and let her rest her head atop it
  2961. >Up close, you can smell flowery lilac shampoo in her hair, and her body heat blankets you
  2962. >Both of you are facing each other, and Sweetie’s hand now comes to rest on your hip
  2963. >She swallows
  2964. “So… is there something you wanna do?”
  2965. >”Mm, this is pretty nice. But…”
  2966. >She shuts her eyes
  2967. >Is that the go-ahead for you to kiss her?
  2968. >Her lips are glossed with slightly-smudged black lipstick, and they’ve never looked so tempting
  2969. >You swallow a lump forming in your throat
  2970. >Is she asking you to make the first move?
  2972. >You force the worries out of your head, and you lean in and kiss Sweetie Belle
  2973. >It’s not a long kiss, just a quick, probing peck on her mouth
  2974. >You can feel her dried lipstick flake off and stick your own lips as you kiss hers
  2975. >When you pull away, you open your eyes to see how she’ll take it
  2976. >Sweetie smacks her lips
  2977. >”Whoa.”
  2978. “How was that?”
  2979. >”You know… pretty good. But I’m gonna need a little more to decide…”
  2980. “Yeah?”
  2981. >”Yeah~”
  2982. >Sweetie’s eyes meet yours, and she flashes you a quick wink
  2983. “So, should we…?”
  2984. >”Wait. Just hold me like this for a bit, okay?”
  2985. “Oh, sure.”
  2986. >Sweetie wraps her arms around you and hugs herself against your scrawny chest
  2987. >She is *soft*
  2988. >You don’t really know how else to describe it
  2989. >Whereas your body is entirely scrawny muscle and bone, she has this layer of warm, plush girliness all over her
  2990. >And holy shit, she has *boobs*
  2991. >Since when does she have boobs!?
  2992. >The lacy dress she’s wearing hides them a bit, but when Sweetie pressing up against you you can feel her developing chest smushing against yours
  2993. >Sweetie giggles
  2994. >”You’re so nervous.”
  2995. “It’s not… you’re just… bruh, when did you get *hot*!?”
  2996. >”You didn’t notice?”
  2997. “I guess not. Goddamn…”
  2998. >”Well, I’m glad you’re appreciating it now~”
  2999. >Sweetie rubs herself against you, making you clench in suppressed delight
  3000. “Gah…”
  3001. >”Oh, come on. You can touch me.”
  3002. “You sure?”
  3003. >”Do it. Just… hands on my my back. Go with what feels right, or whatever…”
  3004. “Right…”
  3005. >Both of you are breathless, tittering, and incredibly nervous
  3006. >Your hands go to Sweetie’s back, feeling her hot skin beneath a thin layer of silk
  3007. >Then, well, they go a little further
  3008. >Her back arches outwards, a soft swoop of flesh eventually rounding out into her perky little butt
  3009. >Your hand rests against the curve of her ass, and Sweetie smiles
  3010. >”Okay.”
  3011. “Okay what?”
  3012. >”This is good. I like this.”
  3013. “Hell yeah.”
  3014. >”Fuck it. Let’s make out.”
  3015. “You wanna?”
  3016. >”Mmm, yeah…”
  3017. >Sweetie closes her eyes, then presses her mouth up against yours
  3018. >You clench for a moment, then loosen, allowing yourself to just meld against your friend, your arms cradling her soft little figure and your mouth meeting hers in a wet, awkward embrace
  3019. >Sweetie plants two small pecks on your lips, then goes in for a longer kiss
  3020. >You keep accidentally opening your eyes, just to see what she’s doing
  3021. >But as soon as her mouth is on yours, they close again
  3022. >Her third kiss is longer, and you feel her open her mouth
  3023. >It’s the clearest invitation you’re going to get
  3024. >You gingerly slip your tongue between her lips
  3025. >Sweetie’s own tongue touches yours, and both of you shudder
  3026. >It’s so weird, slimy, fleshy, and writhing like a snake
  3027. >But it feels *good*, too
  3028. >Sweetie breaks the kiss for a moment to breath; each time she exhales, you can feel her breath wafting over your face
  3029. >There’s something bizarrely intimate in that, and each breath Sweetie takes makes your heart tremble in your chest
  3030. >When you kiss her next, she’s the one to start the tongue action
  3031. >She starts exploring your mouth, letting her tongue wrestle with yours
  3032. >You start to feel simultaneously red-hot and totally drained, as if your body heat were seeping into the room around you, consumed by the weird goth atmosphere
  3033. >Sweetie sighs, grunts, occasionally squeaks in pleasure as your hands continue to explore what you can reach
  3034. >You’re mostly interested in her butt, since it’s right there
  3035. >Unlike yours, hers feels so… god, like the rest of her, it’s just so damn *soft*
  3036. >You sink your fingers into her, and Sweetie grunts in delight
  3037. >Is she into this?
  3038. >You’re starting to feel a little light-headed
  3039. >You could really go places with her tonight, couldn’t you?
  3040. >Sweetie seems to sense this too
  3041. >She wraps her arms around you, clinging tightly to you
  3042. >You keep your eyes, closed, focusing on the kiss
  3043. >Her mouth is somehow deliciously hot and also cooly refreshing
  3044. >The two of you take a break every few seconds to breathe, then continue kissing
  3045. >Honestly, just this isn’t so bad…
  3046. >But you could go further…
  3048. >As if teasing you forward, Sweetie kisses you again, then trails her mouth down to your neck
  3049. >Immediately, your whole body clenches in delight as strange, ticklish pleasure trickles across the surface of your skin
  3050. >Sweetie laughs
  3051. >”You like that?”
  3052. “It feels *super* weird.”
  3053. >”Yeah? Do it to me next…”
  3054. >She closes her eyes and lifts her chin, revealing her pale, tender neck to you
  3055. >For a moment, you feel like a vampire as you bend in and place your mouth to her neck; you resist the urge to make a “bleh!” noise, because you feel like that might ruin the mood
  3056. >On second thought, you do it anyway
  3057. >Sweetie half-laughs, half moans as you press your mouth against her flesh
  3058. >And then, just to try it, you nibble on her a little too
  3059. >She squirms under you, gasping
  3060. >”Whoa… whoa, whoa…”
  3061. “Good?”
  3062. >”Really good…”
  3063. “Hell yeah…”
  3064. >You keep going, and Sweetie starts breathing *really* hard
  3065. >You realize that you’re panting too, and your skin is flushed and starting to feel sticky with sweat
  3066. >Maybe you could lose some clothes…
  3067. >The thought pops into your head, and you don’t waste time worrying about it before you lift your shirt up and over your head
  3068. >Beneath it, you’re not wearing a bra: you’ve never used one in your entire life, what with your skinny little chest
  3069. >Sweetie’s eyes widen
  3070. >She’s seen you naked before, in the changing rooms at school
  3071. >But here and now, it’s different
  3072. >”Oh.”
  3073. “This cool?”
  3074. >”Uh… yeah?”
  3075. >She reaches up and presses her palm against your right breast
  3076. >”You seriously look *so* good. I always thought you were super cute.”
  3077. “What, so you’ve been waiting for this for years?”
  3078. >”No, not like that. Just… mmm, I really like these. So adorable…”
  3079. >She grabs your other breast and massages her fingers against your little nubs
  3080. “Adorable isn’t the word I’d use…” you grumble. “But I don’t mind the attention.”
  3081. >You tilt your head towards the ceiling, sucking in your breath as Sweetie’s hands run lower on your body, until they reach your hips
  3082. >You’re wearing only a pair of short-cut athletic shorts; it’d be so easy to slip them off…
  3083. >You open your eyes and glance down at Sweetie’s chest
  3084. “Your turn.”
  3085. >She laughs, dropping her hands to the hem of her blouse
  3086. >”You really wanna see?”
  3087. “Uh, duh? Yeah.”
  3088. >”One sec. I got a bit more to take off…”
  3089. >You scoot to the other side of the bed while Sweetie extracts herself from her lacy gown
  3090. >She fumbles with the zipper for a moment, then finally gets it undone, dropping it to reveal a bright pink, girly bra underneath
  3091. “Hah!”
  3092. >”S-shut up. I didn’t think I’d be showing off my underwear today, okay?”
  3093. “It’s cute. Really funny, but also cute.”
  3094. >Sweetie playfully slaps your leg
  3095. >Then she casually reaches up and unclasps her bra, letting it fall away
  3096. >”This is, uh, what I got. I guess.”
  3097. “Goddamn…”
  3098. >Sweetie’s dress wasn’t doing her any favors; now that her chest is free from its confines, her tits hang full and creamy pale against her chest
  3099. >You gingerly reach out and touch one; it’s big enough to fill your hand, and then some
  3100. “Whoa…”
  3101. >”Seriously? Come on, they’re not *that* great… okay, maybe they are. But they’re such a *pain*…”
  3102. “Don’t you dare complain about these. Oh my god…”
  3103. >You grab a fistful of her chest with each hand, embarrassed to realize that your mouth is watering
  3104. >Sweetie does the same, though she can’t exactly grab what little you’ve got
  3105. >She just presses her thumbs up against your tender nipples
  3106. >”I’m actually a little jealous…”
  3107. “Wait, what? *I’m* jealous of these fucking puppies.”
  3108. >”Yeah, but… mm, I just really like the way your body… looks?”
  3109. “Heh. Same to you, I guess.”
  3110. >The two of you lock eyes, both blushing furiously
  3111. >Sweetie’s makeup is smeared a bit, and her lipstick is a mess from kissing so much
  3112. >A single moment passes where the two of you just admire each other
  3113. >And then you’re tangled in each others’ arms again, trading sloppy, greedy kisses
  3114. >You start trying to drag your shorts down with one hand, and Sweetie helps you out, sliding them down until they slip over your stumps
  3115. >You’re totally naked now, and Sweetie moans into your mouth, running her hands along your body
  3116. >”Oh man, this is so good… you’re *so* hot…”
  3117. “Yeah… yeah, you too. C’mon, take the rest off…”
  3118. >”Yeah, yeah okay… okay…”
  3119. >She struggles out of her skirt, then flings aside her panties: a lacy white pair with a tiny cartoon bear over the butt
  3120. >The two of you are both totally naked now, and you drape your body over Sweetie’s, feeling the rush of her smooth, warm skin against yours
  3121. >You kiss her mouth, then her neck, then let her nibble on your ear
  3122. >This isn’t even sex, you realize
  3123. >But it feels so *good*
  3124. >You’re gonna devour Sweetie—as far as she wants to go, you’ll go
  3125. >As if sensing what you’re thinking, Sweetie breaks away
  3126. >Her chest is heaving, and a thin strand of your mixed spit still connects her mouth to yours
  3127. >”Are we gonna… y’know, do it?”
  3128. “Yeah. I want to.”
  3129. >”I think… I think I do too. But, uh… heh. How exactly do we…?”
  3130. “Wait, I thought you knew!”
  3131. >”Huh? I don’t do stuff like this! You’re the one who’s all… all gay and stuff.”
  3132. “You’re as gay as I am!”
  3133. >”I am not! Remember Button Mash?”
  3134. “Look, just… maybe I can…”
  3135. >You drop your eyes to Sweetie’s crotch, where her milky thighs lead up to a small bush of hair
  3136. >She blushes
  3137. >”Sorry. Didn’t know I’d be having company…”
  3138. “It’s cool. I kinda like it.”
  3139. >”I like yours. No hair. Looks smooth. Cute.”
  3140. >She puts her hand on your thigh
  3141. >You put your hand on hers
  3142. >The two of you share a kiss, closing your eyes and each daring the other to make the first move…
  3144. >You lean into Sweetie’s kiss and dare yourself to be a little brave
  3145. >Your hand trails up Sweetie’s inner thigh and comes to rest against her vagina
  3146. >Sweetie’s whole body clenches when you touch her
  3147. “You good?”
  3148. >”Mhm. Sorry. Just d-didn’t expect that.”
  3149. >She’s shaking, though you can’t tell if it’s because she’s nervous, excited, or just that horny
  3150. >Probably a little of each…
  3151. “You want me to do something crazy?”
  3152. >Sweetie gives you this look: you don’t really know how to describe it, but her eyes are half-closed and her face is rosy and beautiful
  3153. >Your heart does a little somersault in your chest
  3154. >”Kinda, yeah…”
  3155. >She closes her eyes again
  3156. >”Go for it…”
  3157. “Right, okay…”
  3158. >You adjust your position on the bed, scooting away from her so that your head is now level with her crotch
  3159. >Sweetie opens one eye
  3160. >”Wait, are you seriously gonna…?”
  3161. “If you want.”
  3162. >”Totally. Yeah. Oh my god.”
  3163. “Cool. Cool…”
  3164. >You have a bit to learn about bedroom talk
  3165. >Sweetie covers her face as your mouth starts to approach her sex
  3166. >”Aaah, sorry, I can’t watch. It’s… kinda embarrassing.”
  3167. “Aw, c’mon.”
  3168. >You reach up and grab one of her hands, pulling it away from her face
  3169. >In the process, your fingers interlock with hers
  3170. >Sweetie looks you in the eyes, blushing furiously
  3171. “Just gimme a squeeze if it feels wrong.”
  3172. >”Right.”
  3173. >She closes her eyes and leans back against the pillows
  3174. >You can feel her hand trembling; you’re shaking too, but more from excitement than anything
  3175. >This is it!
  3176. >You never thought Sweetie would be your first, but…
  3177. >You take another look at her blushing face, smeared with black makeup
  3178. >…yeah, you’re not gonna complain
  3179. >You tighten your grip on her hand and touch your lips to her delicate petals
  3180. >Sweetie stiffens, and a low, squeaky moan escapes her
  3181. >You start with just a few kisses, tasting Sweetie as well as smelling the faint musk of her privates
  3182. >She squirms beneath you, and you feel her legs start to close around your body
  3183. >Her foot is pressing against your hip, and her right thigh comes to rest against your cheek
  3184. >There’s something strangely intimate about that
  3185. >You open your mouth and start probing with your tongue
  3186. >”Whooooooa~”
  3187. >Sweetie reflexively presses herself against your mouth, urging you forward
  3188. >You tease the tip of your tongue along her slit, feeling smooth, wet flesh and bristly hair slide against it
  3189. >When you reach the tiny nub of her clit, Sweetie groans
  3190. >”There. Right there..
  3191. >Sweetie lets out a surprised, choked yelp
  3192. >”Oh. My. God. There, there, keep going…”
  3193. >With her spurring you on, you lean into what you’ve already been doing, swirling your tongue around her sensitive little nub
  3194. >She’s shaking now, though not from fear
  3195. >”I, uh… I’m gonna… like, for real, I’m *really* about to…”
  3196. >You mash your face against her, totally ready for what’s about to come
  3197. >”…to…to… AH! Cum, gonna cum, oh my god…”
  3198. >At that moment, three things happen simultaneously
  3199. >Sweetie’s juices spill into your mouth, coating your tongue with the alkaline taste of her
  3200. >Your phone starts to buzz beneath the heap of clothes at the foot of the bed
  3201. >And, lastly, somebody knocks on Sweetie’s bedroom door
  3202. >”Sweetie Belle? Is… is everything all right in there?”
  3203. >You expected Rarity’s voice, but it’s not: it’s Sweetie’s mom, because of course it is
  3204. >The two of you glance at each other
  3205. >Sweetie is wide-eyed, and you’re sure she’d be deathly pale if she wasn’t colored with lusty blush
  3206. >Meanwhile, your phone continues to buzz…
  3208. >”I-I’m fine, mom!” Sweetie calls out in a nervous, high-pitched squeak
  3209. >”Are you sure? I’m coming in, okay?”
  3210. >”Wait, um…”
  3211. >Sweetie turns to you and gives you a “get the fuck out of here!” look
  3212. >You don’t need to be told twice
  3213. >You grab your clothes up in one arm, your legs in another, then you drop to the floor and roll beneath Sweetie’s bed
  3214. >It’s dusty and dark down here, and you’re sandwiched between piles of Sweetie’s goth outfits and glittery, pink junk she probably had in middle school
  3215. >Sweetie shoves you further under the bed, and you crawl as far as you can go
  3216. >Just as you’re pretty sure you’re totally hidden, you hear the door to Sweetie’s room open
  3217. >Sweetie yelps
  3218. >”Mom! H-hey…”
  3219. >”Oh, dear. Sweetie…”
  3220. >You hear Sweetie rustling around on the bed above you, trying to cover her nudity with a blanket
  3221. >”I”m sorry if I embarrassed you,” Sweetie’s mom says. “But, um… you were being pretty loud.”
  3222. >”Oh, yeah…”
  3223. >Under the bed, you can only see Sweetie’s mom’s feet as she crosses the room to the bed, then sits down
  3224. >The mattress groans above you, and you suck in your breath
  3225. >Is… is Sweetie about to get a *talk* from her mom?
  3226. >”Sorry,” Sweetie mumbles
  3227. >You can tell she probably wants to die from embarrassment, and you clench your fingers between your teeth to keep from laughing
  3228. >”It’s okay! You’re a young woman now, and this is part of growing up. I hope you know that you’re free to explore your sexuality in any way you want.”
  3229. >”Um… thanks? I guess?”
  3230. >”Lord knows your sister already does…”
  3231. >”What was that?”
  3232. >”Nothing. Listen, you’re developing into a *very* pretty young woman.”
  3233. >You hear the gentle slap of skin on skin as Sweetie’s mom pats her daughter’s bare back
  3234. >Through the mattress, you can feel Sweetie squirming with discomfort
  3235. >”And I want you to have a healthy relationship when you start seeing boys.”
  3236. >You’re practically having a seizure, you’re trying so hard not to laugh
  3237. >Sweetie is writhing like she’s being tortured
  3238. >”Mom, I know about all that stuff already…”
  3239. >”I know you do. You’ve got the internet, after all. But if you want some… you know, some *toys* to help you figure out what you like… you just let me know, okay?”
  3240. >”Mom!”
  3241. >”What? Dear, the whole house just heard you having the time of your life in here. There’s no point hiding it now. Just, um, maybe keep it down while we’re trying to have dinner.”
  3242. >”Aaaaagh…”
  3243. >Sweetie’s mom giggles
  3244. >”Sorry to embarrass you, kiddo. Nobody’s judging you! But maybe save it for after dark.”
  3245. >”Right…”
  3246. >”Like your sister.”
  3247. >”AGH.”
  3248. >”Anyway, I’m gonna go finish my bacon-and-carrot casserole! You just come join us when you’re good and ready, okay?”
  3249. >You hear Sweetie’s mom plant a fat, wet mom-type kiss on her daughter’s cheek
  3250. >Sweetie squirms again
  3251. >And then she leaves
  3252. >Sweetie flops onto her bed, groaning
  3253. >”Hey, Scoots?”
  3254. “Yo.”
  3255. >”Get up here.”
  3256. >You squirm out from under the bed, though you’re stuck on the floor without your legs
  3257. >Sweetie rolls over in bed
  3258. >”You can just kill me now, okay?”
  3259. “…”
  3260. >And then you can’t hold it anymore
  3261. >You fall into a laughing heap, smothering your mouth so that the whole house won’t hear you
  3263. >Eventually, you calm down enough to clamber up into the bed, with a bit of Sweetie’s help
  3264. >The two of you sit together, her leaning against you, unable to look you in the eye
  3265. >”I’m sorry you, uh, had to see all that.”
  3266. “Sorry? That was the funniest shit I’ve ever seen.’
  3267. >Sweetie pouts
  3268. >”My mom is *so* weird.”
  3269. “She’s pretty cool though.”
  3270. >”Cool?”
  3271. >Sweetie looks like she’s gonna throw up
  3272. >”Whatever. Ugh. Talk about killing the mood…”
  3273. >Sweetie folds her arms over her chest, glaring off in to space
  3274. >You, meanwhile, finally check your phone
  3275. >As it turns out, Pinkie was the one calling you
  3276. >And she’s left you a message to
  3277. >[heyyyy cutie! i got somethin big to talk to u about! call me soon!!]
  3279. [okay! hanging out with sweetie belle rn but i’ll be free tonight]
  3280. >[oooooh, sounds funnn ;) okie dokie, see u soon!]
  3281. >You replace your phone and turn to Sweetie, who still looks half-ready to die from embarrassment
  3282. >”So, I guess you’re gonna head home now, right? Like, bleh, I don’t think I can even *think* about sex after all that.”
  3283. “You kidding? She just said there was casserole.”
  3284. >”She didn’t invite *you*. She doesn’t even know you’re here.”
  3285. >You nod your head towards the window
  3286. “I’ll just sneak out and come in the front door. C’mooooon. Besides, you kinda owe me for rockin’ your world, back there.”
  3287. >Sweetie rolls her eyes, unable to keep herself from blushing
  3288. >”Y-yeah, I guess. But be subtle, okay? I don’t want them knowing that I…”
  3289. “Totally just got laid?”
  3290. >”Mhm. That.”
  3291. >Sweetie groans and starts slowly rooting around for comfier clothes to wear
  3292. >You do the same, tugging your shorts back up and replacing your tank-top over your chest
  3293. >When Sweetie’s dressed again—in simple pajama bottoms and an oversized Black Veil Brides hoodie—you slip your legs back on, then head for the window
  3294. >Sweetie peers out
  3295. >”It’s kinda far down…”
  3296. “Nah, I’ll be good. Besides, it’s not like I can break my legs, right?”
  3297. >You wink, then swing out over her windowsill and drop to the ground
  3298. >Your shoes squish into the mud, and the impact jars your tender stumps a bit
  3299. >But other than that, you’re okay
  3300. >You give Sweetie a thumbs-up
  3301. >She rolls her eyes, then motions for you to hurry up
  3302. >You wait a minute for her to get downstairs, then walk up and ring the doorbell
  3303. >Sweetie opens the door for you, looking unamused
  3304. >Her eyes sweep over your face, and then widen
  3305. >”Wait…” she whispers. “You still have some—“
  3306. >”Sweetie?” calls her mom from behind her. “Who is that?”
  3307. >Sweetie slaps her forehead
  3308. >”It’s, um… it’s Scootaloo, mom. I invited her over to, um…”
  3309. >You wriggle your eyebrows at Sweetie
  3310. >”…to study.”
  3311. >”Oh, great! She can join us for dinner. You hungry, Scoots?”
  3312. “Yes, ma’am.”
  3313. >You stride in past Sweetie Belle, heading through the living room and into the kitchen
  3314. >The table is set for three, and Sweetie’s mom and sister are already sitting there
  3315. >Rarity’s hair is wet from a shower, and she’s dressed in sweatpants and a faded Warped Tour shirt
  3316. >You think this goth line might run deep in her family
  3317. >Rarity looks up at you, then at the door, then at Sweetie Belle
  3318. >She raises an eyebrow in suspicion
  3319. >”Wait a minute. Scootaloo, darling, weren’t you just…?”
  3320. “No idea what you’re talking about!”
  3321. >The girls’ mom eyes you up, and her gaze settles on her mouth
  3322. >That’s when you remember: Sweetie was wearing all that black lipstick, and you made out with her for the better part of half an hour
  3323. >So, uh, her mom definitely *knows*
  3324. >You freeze for a moment, caught in the older woman’s gaze
  3325. >She just chuckles
  3326. >”Well, it’s a pleasure to have you, Scoots! Been a while since I’ve seen ya! Here, fill up a plate.”
  3327. >She sets some silverware and a floral-patterned plate down in front of you, then heads to the fridge
  3328. >”You want anything to drink?”
  3329. “Just soda’s good, thanks!”
  3330. >”Gotcha,” she says, bending over to grab you your soda
  3331. >You, of course, get a quick glance at her plump booty, barely restrained by tight-fitting Mom Jeans™
  3332. >Sweetie notices you looking, and she mimes stabbing you with her fork
  3333. >You shrug—hey, how can she blame you?
  3334. >Rarity, oblivious of all of that, is staring daggers into you
  3335. >”What did you do to my sister?” she whispers
  3336. "What do you mean?" you ask, the picture of smug. "I just got here."
  3337. >Rarity scoffs
  3338. >She takes an extremely angry bite of her dinner as you serve yourself a big steaming portion of casserole
  3339. >The girls' mom plops down across from you, beaming
  3340. >She fixes you in her gaze, a sly smile playing on her lips
  3341. >Oh, she definitely knows
  3343. >You answer her smile with one of your own, trying your best to look innocent even though that’s pretty much impossible, what with her daughter’s lipstick smeared all over your mouth
  3344. “This is really good, ma’am.”
  3345. >The older woman giggles, waving away your compliment
  3346. >”Oh, please, it’s just three ingredients. And please, call me Cookie.”
  3347. “Sure thing! Thanks again for having me. I haven’t had a good dinner in forever.”
  3348. >”Aww, you’re so sweet! Just tell me if you need anything else, okay?”
  3349. >Cookie is positively beaming at you now
  3350. >Looks like that ol’ Scoots charm has her hooked
  3351. >Sweetie sinks lower in her chair, looking like she wants to melt into the ground
  3352. >Next to you, Rarity just rolls her eyes
  3353. >You shoot he a sly glance
  3354. “That’s a cool shirt.”
  3355. >Rarity glances down, as if only now considering what she’s wearing
  3356. >The slightest hint of pink touches her cheeks
  3357. >”Ah, yes. I… still have a bit of a soft spot for that type of music, I suppose.”
  3358. >”More than a bit,” Sweetie mumbles. “You still have a Never Shout Never post up in your room.”
  3359. >”For old time’s sake! It’s nostalgic.”
  3360. >”Mm, whatever. She used to be absolutely *obsessed*,” Sweetie whispers to you
  3361. >”I was not obsessed, I just liked the kind of music that was popular at the time! Every girl my age had a pop-punk phase, it’s perfectly natural.”
  3362. >Sweetie gives her sister an absolutely vicious grin
  3363. >Cookie, meanwhile, just has a tired “my daughters are going at it again” look on her face
  3364. >She gives you a sympathetic smile
  3365. >”Most girls your age didn’t cut half their hair off, though.”
  3366. >Rarity’s face goes from delicate-pink blush to deathly pale
  3367. >”Oh, don’t you *dare*.”
  3368. >Sweetie winks at you
  3369. >”Wanna see some pictures?”
  3370. >”Sweetie, do not! I’m serious, if you let those pictures see the light of day—“
  3371. >But Sweetie is already up and running towards the living room
  3372. >Rarity sprints after her, but her fuzzy socks slip on the tile and send her sprawling dramatically over the floor
  3373. >”No! Sweetie, no!”
  3374. >From the way she’s overreacting, you’d think her sister were on her way to join ISIS, or something
  3375. >Sweetie grabs up a plastic photo album and sprints back towards the dinner table
  3376. >”No, no no no! Please, Sweetie, I’ll do anything, noooooo…”
  3377. >Sweetie flips it open, and you get an eye-full of middle-school Rarity
  3378. >She was surprisingly gangly compared to the model-esque figure she has now, with an awkward, pimply face nothing like the beauty queen you know now
  3379. >She’s sprawled across the couch—the same couch you saw her sprawled across earlier—and holds the camera in a moody stare
  3380. >Her jeans are incredibly tight around the thighs, but flare up near her feet, which are clad in heavy boots, even indoors
  3381. >Her chest is covered by a ripped Papa Roach t-shirt, with striped elbow-length gloves covering her arms, and she has a spiked collar around her neck
  3382. >Honestly, you think her outfit is kinda badass
  3383. >But her hair, holy shit
  3384. >Three quarters of it is shaved off, and the rest is died in horrible shades of yellow and green
  3385. >For a moment, all you can do is stare
  3386. >Then you burst out laughing, and Sweetie joins in
  3387. >Even their mom has to hide her smile
  3388. >”She begged me to let her get it dyed. And she dressed like that all the time, even when she was by herself.”
  3389. >Rarity curls into a ball on the floor, her face in her hands
  3390. >”It was a phase! I was just experimenting! Besides, you’re not one to talk. Mall-goth.”
  3391. >Sweetie glares
  3392. >”Hey, at least I wasn’t some kinda pop-punk poser!”
  3393. >”Oh, it is *on*.”
  3394. >Rarity and Sweetie descend into petty insults, the kind that only siblings can lob at each other
  3395. >Cookie just sighs, shrugs, and serves you both some more dinner
  3396. >She must be used to all this, by now…
  3398. >After the two sisters eventually calm down, the four of you finish dinner
  3399. >You help clear the table, which earns you even more points with Sweetie’s mom
  3400. >Cookie positively enamored with you by the end of things
  3401. >”You wanna stay a bit longer, Scoots?” she asks you just when everything’s finished. “I know you’ve probably got plans with Sweetie, so if you wanna spend, you’re more than welcome.”
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