In a small plot of land on the outskirts of Ponyville, a device that looked like dozens of antennas welded together in a ball and covered with blinking lights began to whirl. At the same time, a sound like the universe grinding together filled the air.
And next to the device, a blue box mark “Police” materialized from thin air. With a loud creak the double doors flew open revealing the Doctor and Derpy Hooves covered head to hoof in green goop and entrails, both in wide eyed shock, except for Derpy’s left eye which was swirling in shock.
“Well,” the Doctor said after clearing his throat. “That was unusual and,” he paused looking for the right word, “icky.”
Derpy responded by shoving a goo covered hoof over the Doctor’s mouth. The Doctor made a sour face at the taste. “I don’t want to hear another word out of you until I’ve had my shower.” Derpy then rustled her wings, giving the Doctor a slime spray down, and took to the air.
“I really didn’t think they’d explode,” the Doctor called out apologetically after his companion and then added to himself, “At least they didn’t last time. I think.” The Doctor sniffed the air twice and then held a hoof under his nose. He inhaled deeply and fell against the door frame of the Tardis, gasping for air. “Right, shower. Wow! That is fragrant.”
The Gala of Terror
Derpy Hooves exited her steam filled bathroom with a contented smile on her face and a towel wrapped around her head and tail. Derpy opened her eyes and promptly shrieked and stumbled backwards when she saw the Doctor’s face directly in front of hers. “Do you know that in hundreds of years of time and space travel that I’ve never been able to figure out how all girls of all sentient mammalian species are able to do that towel turban so perfectly. Especially with these things, “ he finished shaking a hoof in the air.
Derpy adjusted the towel on her head for a few seconds before just shaking it off. “It’s a magic, we don’t have to explain it,” Derpy smiled warmly. “Now what do you need? I’ve gotta head to work. Those letters aren’t gonna deliver themselves,” she said excitedly. Derpy then cocked her head to the side and began to pace in a circle. “Well they don’t yet, but I know for a fact that at least three unicorns in town are working on spells to do just that. I try to interrupt them every chance I get, but what if they succeed? I’ll be out of a job! And then there’s those dragons!” She halted her pacing and rambling to see the Doctor standing there with a bit of cloth hanging from his mouth pitifully.
Derpy grinned as wide as she could and she walked over to take the cloth from him. “Ah yes, the bow tie,” she managed to say with a mouth full of tie before she set to work.
The Doctor complained as the grey pegasus worked the fabric around his neck. “I’ve been practicing, but I am now almost certain that there’s no way for a pony to properly dress themselves.” She finished and stepped back giggling and blushing slightly. “And I really would prefer if you didn’t do that every time,” he paused to make sure it was straight in the mirror. “That’s cool,” he concluded.
Derpy’s face appeared next to his in the mirror, “Uh, Doctor, I have a request for our next destination,” she began and bit her lip anxiously.
“Lay it one me.”
Derpy inhaled deeply and spoke as quickly as she could, “I’d really like to go to Canterlot a couple of months back so we could go to the Grand Galloping Gala.”
The Doctor stopped preening and looked at her blankly. “You want to use my ship that can take you anywhere, anywhen in the universe, to go to a party a couple of towns over?”
“It’s not just a party,” Derpy pouted. “It’s the Grand Galloping Gala.”
The Doctor reached a hoof up to scratch his head, managing to kick himself in the process. “Okay, I see this is important to you,” he said as he reoriented himself. “But I barely know anything about this planet, I’m not sure if I want to go around creating paradoxes in my companion’s timeline already.”
Derpy began to pace and her eye swirled as she spoke, “But what if we were already there and I just didn’t know it. I mean, hardly anyone talks to me in town. What if you and I had already gone back in time to attend.”
“And how would you test this,” the Doctor paused looking for the most polite words, “Incredibly well thought out theory?”
Derpy’s eye stopped spinning and straightened out as she clopped her hooves together. “While I’m delivering the mail today, I’ll ask some ponies I know that went if they saw either of us there. And that leaves you free to play with your find-stuff-to-help-you-stop-being-a-pony device!”
Derpy grabbed up her mail bags and rushed out the door while the Doctor tried to talk to her, “Just remember to try to be,” the door slammed behind her as she flew out it, “subtle.”
The afternoon sun shone brightly as Derpy paced back and forth in front of Rarity’s boutique. Of the six ponies in Ponyville that Derpy knew went to the Gala, Rarity was the only one to get any mail today. Derpy swallowed hard and gathered her cool, “I have one shot at this!”
Puffing out her chest, Derpy strode over to the door and banged on it with all her might, cracking some of the paneling. Derpy gasped and jumped back, dropping Rarity’s stack of magazine’s into the dirt, the twine holding them together coming undone. And scrambling around in the dirt , with two books in her mouth, is just where Rartity found Derpy when she threw open the top half of her door. “Mail,” was all Derpy could manage with her mouth full.
Rarity looked at the bent, dirty, and slobbered on magazines disgustedly for all of three seconds before putting on her best smile. “Why, thank you, Derpy!” Her horn glowed as she gathered the books together.
“So Rarity,” Derpy began as Rarity wiped off each individual book. “I was looking at these fashion magazine of yours and I was thinking about all those great outfits in there and I started thinking about all the beautiful things that they must be wearing in Canterlot,” Derpy had started her circular pacing as Rarity got the last of the books together. “And I was thinking about all the wonderful dresses you made for when you and Twilight and Dash and Fluttershy and...”
“Thank you again for delivering my subscriptions,” Rarity said politely, ignoring Derpy’s rambling. “It’s always a pleasure to see you and do come by when you need a new outfit.”
“So I was just wondering if you saw me with the handsome new pony in town at the Gala,” Derpy concluded her pacing, turning to face the already shut door. She let out a heavy sigh and tried to formulate of a new plan.
“Hey Doctor,” Derpy called out as he was working on the antennae array by his Tardis. “So we were both totally there!” She again shouted as she landed.
The Doctor made no indication that he was listening as he continued to wave about his sonic screwdriver that was firmly clenched in his mouth. “Did the, uh, anti pony thing find something?”
The Doctor stepped back from the device and let his screwdriver fall from his mouth. “It’s having trouble,” he said as he lightly kicked it. “It has a lot of,” he paused to look at the pegasus, “weird to filter through. It needs to have the setting changed, Ms. Hooves, lend me your skillful mouth.”
The Doctor picked up his screwdriver and tossed it towards Derpy, striking her hard on the left side of her face. “Oh!” The Doctor cried out and slapped himself on the forehead with his hoof. “Ow. Yes! Sorry! I thought you were ready.”
Derpy shook her head once before going for the sonic from the ground. “It’s okay I just don’t see to well on that side sometimes.” The Doctor went about telling her the setting to put the screwdriver, where to point it, and for how long.
As she worked, the Doctor watched her left eye as it went about with a mind of it’s own. “You know, it’s a big universe out there. I’m sure I could find someone who could help you with that. Your eye, I mean.” He stopped and laughed once. “Eye, I.”
Derpy stopped and looked at the Doctor, moving the sonic to the corner of her mouth like a cigar. “There’s ponies here who could fix my eyes. You space people-folk didn’t invent everything, you know.” She rolled her eyes intentionally at him before resuming her work.
The Doctor stood thinking for a few seconds. “So then why don’t you do something about it? Surely it would make your life easier. Not just for seeing, but with other people as well, I’d imagine.”
Finished with the adjustments, Derpy quickly pulled her head back, banging it on one of the metal rods. Shaking her head, she spat the sonic back at the Doctor. “Because I like me the way I am. I’m Derpy Hooves, Ponyville’s dedicated, walleyed, mail mare.”
He smiled at that answer before his face contorted with confusion. “Wait, you said something earlier.”
Derpy’s eyes began to dart around the field so as not to look him in the eye. “Yeah! I said we were definitely at the Gala.” Derpy stopped talking and briefly made eye contact with the Doctor. “Also I was wearing a really pretty dress.” She again risked a look at the Doctor’s face. “Except I don’t actually own the dress I was wearing, but I know where I can get it.”
The Doctor stared at his the antennae array for a few moments before speaking. “Well, who are we to argue with history,” he smiled at Derpy. “So, Ms. Hooves, go get your dress and we’ll get ready for your Grand Galloping Gala.” Derpy’s smile could have blotted out the sun as turned around and ran a few paces before taking to the air.
Arriving at the library, Derpy stood up on her back legs and began to excitedly pound on the door with her forehooves before settling down to wait. Derpy listened to the loud series of clops as Twilight came running to the door and pushed it open. “Oh hi, um, Depry,” Twilight hesitated before saying ‘Derpy’, still unsure of whether that was actually her name. She looked Derpy over noting that she didn’t have her mailbags. “It’s a little late for a delivery,” she said laughing awkwardly and hoping Derpy would pick up the thread of conversation. With her only response being a swirling stare Twilight just asked, “Is there something you need?”
This was the right question as Derpy stood up placing her hooves on top of the lower section of Twilight’s door. “Twilight do remember when you helped out the theatre group with their play?”
“Yes, but what does...”
“And they let you keep that dress, right? I mean, I heard they did.”
“Well, yes but...”
“And do remember a little while back when I brought that book you special ordered and you were so happy and you said, ‘Thank you, thank you. Oh, I owe you for this’?”
Derpy inhaled deeply three times before speaking. “So I was wondering if I could please borrow the dress, it would mean so much to me that I’d consider your debt repaid.”
Twilight stared at her cock eyed for a moment before smiling awkwardly, “Okay sure, just give me a moment to put it in a dress bag.” Derpy waited, still standing against the door as Twilight walked to her closet. After a moment she walked out, levitating the dress bag in front of her. “Now just be careful with it. That was the first stage show I ever did, so it means a lot to me.”
Derpy took the hanger in her mouth and gave a muffled “Thank you” before spreading her wings. Twilight watched her fly away when a thought struck her. She called out to the vanishing mail mare, “Wait! You’re not going to wear it are you?! You’re wings won’t...” But it was too late, she was long out of ear shot. “Oh dear.”
Back on the Tardis shoved the waist of the dress into the Doctor’s mouth. “Bite down on this,” she said to the Doctor who hadn’t even heard her come in. In two nips, Derpy had torn a large rip on either side of the back. “Thanks!” She then pulled the dress from his mouth and flew up stairs and into an adjacent room.
The Doctor ran his tongue inside his mouth and spat out some lint. “Lovely girl,” was all he said as he resumed carefully flipping switches on the console. Derpy then came fluttering over the upper railing, gently landing next to the console and began twirling about in her blue and pink princess dress. She used her wings to help keep her upright before coming to a stop with a flourish next to the Doctor.
He stopped diddling with a knob to look over at Derpy, an astonished look on his face. “I just realized I don’t have anything to wear. Don’t I need some sort of pony tux?”
Derpy dropped back to all fours and glared at him for a second. He glanced confusedly around the room, wondering what she was glaring at. She exhaled sharply, blowing up her bangs, “You’re a boy. All you need is a jacket. I brought you one, it’s hanging on the hat stand by the door.”
“Oh thanks!” He pranced off to collect it. Depy stood still, tapping her right hoof. “Um, little help,” he called out.
As Derpy helped him with his jacket, the Doctor spoke giddily. “You know, I find it so fascinating there’s so many things in your society that are actually impossible for you to do alone. It’s as if your entire culture was made with the sole intent of creating comradery. I love it! It’s like a world run by kindergarten teachers!” He then added as an afterthought, “But without the fingerpainting.”
Derpy smoothed out his shoulders, “We just call it the ‘magic of friendship’.”
The Doctor ran over to the console and grabbed up his sonic screwdriver and shoved inside his inner jacket pocket. “Oh pockets, how I’ve missed them!” The Doctor kicked a final button on the console, smiling madly. “Next stop, Canterlot!”
The main console came alive as the engine sounded and the entire console room vibrated wildly. The Doctor and Depry both stumbled as the ship landed with a heavy thud. The Doctor smiled broadly, “Ms. Hooves, are you ready to party?”
Derpy was playing with her pointed hat that now sat on her right forehoof, like a puppet. “Yeah, sure.”
The Doctor scowled, thinking. “I missed something, didn’t I?” He paced around the console briefly. His eyes went wide and he slapped his forehead with with his hoof. “Oh! Ow,” He rubbed his forehead where he kicked it. “Your dress! I was supposed to say, ‘You look very-”
Derpy brushed past him, speaking qucikly, “Too late, Doctor, moment’s past.” She then swatted him lightly in the face with her tail and smiled. “For a ‘Time Lord’, you sure are slow.”
Exiting the Tardis, they both looked around taking in their surroundings. They had landed in the palace’s giant gated garden, it was late afternoon. They strolled around happily until the Doctor spotted a yellow pegasus with pink hair sitting barely a dozen meters from the Tardis and looking in their directions.
“This could be a problem,” the Doctor whispered before running up to the pony. “Hi there, about that box that just appeared. If you’ll just listen to me for a few minutes, you will see that there’s a perfect reasonable explanation and,” The Doctor stopped, she wasn’t even looking at him. He waved a hoof in front of her and got no response. “I think she’s gone into shock,” he said to Derpy.
Derpy just smiled as she sat next to the pony. “No, Doctor. Fluttershy is just very very very very very happy right now.” She spoke loudly into Fluttershy’s ear, “The garden sure is beautiful, isn’t it, Fluttershy?”
“Yes, it is,” she said dreamily followed by a contented sigh.
As Derpy got up, she poked the Doctor in the side and nodded back to Fluttershy. His eyes went wide, “Oh, right.” He called loudly to Fluttershy, “Your dress looks very lovely.” They then both walked away, leaving her in peace.
The two approached the large double doors leading inside the castle proper. The Doctor and Derpy both placed a hoof on either door. “Here we are,” Derpy said anxiously.
“Geronimo.” and with that, they pushed open the doors.