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Written by: Strobe

        “What!? Whaddya mean she’s gone home?”

        “Exactly what it sounds like. She went home for the Pie family reunion!” Mrs. Cake was busy loading luggage into her and Mr. Cake’s saddlebags. “Bless her heart, she was going to throw them the biggest party they’d ever seen. Went two whole weeks early to get it set up.”

        “Two weeks?!” Rainbow Dash’s face fell. “You mean she’ll be gone for two whole weeks? Who’s going to throw the parties while she’s outta town?”

        “I’m not sure, Rainbow Dash, but it won’t be us, either. We’re closing down Sugarcube Corner for that long anyway. It’s time for our annual vacation, after all.”

        This is not good, she thought. I can’t go that long without something sweet! I can’t! But instead of saying that, she put on the nicest smile she could and simply said: “Thanks Mrs. Cake. Have a nice vacation!” She held the awkward smile and backed toward the door. Every step further away she got, the further it sunk in that she’d be without a sweet, sugary, delicious, moist - Stop it! She couldn’t deal with this! She had to find someway to get her fix. Somehow.

        She reached the door and was gone in a flash, rainbow trail receding quickly in the direction of Twilight’s library.

        “Take care of yourself while we’re gone now!” Mrs. Cake looked up from her packing only to find Rainbow loooong gone. “Huh, that’s odd. I would have sworn she was just here.” With an absent minded shrug, she went back to packing. Stopping only for a few seconds when a faint “NOOOOOOOOOOooooooo!” echoed across the town. “My, that wind is thicker than I thought. Better pack a jacket.”

*        *        *        *        *


        Twilight winced and looked up from her books to see Rainbow hovering in front of her, and another pane of glass missing from the library’s windows. “You know we have a door, right?”

        “Yeah, right you can tell me all about it later, but right now I’VE GOT A PROBLEM!” she gasped, uncharacteristically out of breath from the short flight.

        “Huh, what is it, and how can I help?” Seeing Rainbow like this had wiped the usual small smile from her face. Whatever this was, it was serious.

        Rainbow Dash took a deep breath before spilling it all at once. “Pinkie’sgonebackhomeforafamilyreuniontheCakesareoutoftownonvacationandIcan’tgetanysweetsforthenexttwoweeks!”

        Twilight’s smile found its usual place on her face again as she realized this wasn’t a life-threatening ordeal. “That’s unfortunate, but I don’t know how I can help with that. I’m not exactly the best cook in Ponyville. Certainly not as good as Pinkie Pie or the Cakes.” She thought back to the last time she’d tried to make anything more than toast. Huge flames had almost spread out of the Royal Bakery before the fire ponies had gotten there. Thinking of that brought a little droop to her ears and a grimace to her face. Never again. “Sorry, I just can’t help”

        “Ohhhh, this is not good!” Rainbow Dash had started actually pacing in mid-air. “Well, if you can’t help, do you have any books on it?”

        Now that was something Twilight could help with! “Of course I do! This is a library after all.” She turned to her assistant. “Oh, Spike! Would you fetch a copy of The Egghead’s Guide to Baking for me?” Spike appeared next to her a few minutes later with a nearly pristine hardcover book. “Ah, here it is. This should have everything you need to-”

        “THANKS TWILIGHT!” Twilight couldn’t even finish her sentence before Dash had grabbed the book and bolted from the library.

        Shaking a few strands of newly loosened mane out of her face, Twilight looked through the nearest window to see a rainbow rapidly fading over the crest of the next hill. “Huh, she must reeeeally want to get started. I’ll bet she makes great cupcakes!”

        Then she noticed all the books scattered about from Rainbow Dash’s quick entrance and exit. “Sigh. Spike, time to get cleaning.” The baby dragon just grumbled and started picking up books.

*        *        *        *        *

        “Okay, how do I get started?” Flipping through the book was irritating, to say the least. “Ugh, how can Twilight stand to live in a whole library? These things are so annoying.” Rainbow Dash was sitting in one of the apple trees on Applejack’s farm. Her favorite tree. She needed to calm down a bit.

        “Aha! Here we are. ‘Getting started,’” she read, “’Start by collecting all the ingredients you need to make what your making.’ Huh. Where does it tell me what I need?” She flipped through a few more pages until she found the pie recipes. “Oh man, this looks complicated. Uhh, let’s see. Apples, duh. Flour, eggs, water, milk, and sugar.” That was quite a list. This was gonna take a while.

        “Well, at least I can get the apples right here.” She took a few minutes to grab the biggest, juiciest looking apples from whatever tree she wanted.

        “Rainbow Dash, what d’ya think yer doin’? And what have I told ya about stealin‘ my apples!”

        Dash froze, turning to look the direction the voice had come from. “Uh, hey Applejack. I was just, uh, inspecting the crop this year.” She started out shaky, but finished strong, the lie coming together in her head as she spoke.

        “Evry apple on this here farm is perfect an’ you know it! Now shoo, I’ve got trees ta buck.”

        “Yeah, yeah, I’m goin’. Gotta take care of some stuff back at my place.” And with that, she blasted off, not towards her house, but Fluttershy’s of all places.

        Applejack noticed the direction, but didn’t really think anything of it. What would she be doing at Fluttershy’s anyway? With a shrug, she went back to work. These apple trees wouldn’t buck themselves.

*        *        *        *        *

        Rainbow Dash made it to Fluttershy’s in record time. She needed something sweet, and it was starting to get to her. She could feel herself getting more irritable by the second. Not good. This would be simple, just get a couple eggs from the chickens in the coop. No need to for anything to go wrong.

        Dash made it to the ground without anything going wrong, made it to the coop, still without incident, and even halfway into the chicken coop.

        Then it went wrong.

        Chickens went flying everywhere. There was a stranger in the coop! feathers flew from the coop in all directions, and squawks and bawks sounded so often it turned into one long note.

        “Forget this! Where are the eggs anyway?” A chicken chose that exact moment to land on her face. Then another. And another. “That’s it!” she shouted, sputtering feathers.

        “QUIET!” Somehow, it worked. Rainbow looked around, amazed that she’d been able to do that. Then she saw the chickens cowering in the corner, not looking at her at all.

        “Uh, hey, Fluttershy,” she said sheepishly, turning to look at the other pony. “Hope you don’t mind, I just needed to borrow a couple eggs.” Please don’t stare at me please don’t stare at me.

        “Oh, well why didn’t you just say so? I’d be glad to let you have a couple extras. What do you need them for, anyway?” Fluttershy was just striking up friendly conversation, but Dash wasn’t really in the mood.

        “No reason! Just gimme a few and I’ll be out of your mane.” She winced a bit. That had been a bit fast. Now Fluttershy might get suspicious. Or something.

        “Oh, are you in a hurry?” She had a quizzical expression on her face.

        Dash could feel the judging stare that wasn’t even there. What kind of weirdo needs eggs?        “Yeah! That’s it, in a big hurry! I’ve gotta get these to… someplace really fast!”

        Fluttershy went about collecting the eggs for a few agonizingly long minutes, or so it felt to Rainbow Dash. “Here you go! Be careful, they’re fragile.” The shy pony handed Dash a small basket filled with a half a dozen eggs.

        “Yeah gotcha gotta go bye!” Rainbow was out the door and all the way across town in ten seconds flat.

        “Okay, just flour, water and sugar left. I can get water anywhere, but where can I get flour and sugar? Usually the Cakes are the ones with that kinda stuff!” Rainbow Dash started panicking. The Cakes weren’t here! Not good! Where was she gonna ge-?

        With a devilish smile, Rainbow Dash knew exactly where to get that stuff.

*        *        *        *        *

        Two hours, a few bruises, a pair of tightly zipped lips, and an embarrassingly loud cow later, Dash had everything she needed for a pie. She was bolting for her cloudy house, and was halfway there before she realized something. No oven. How do you bake things without an oven? “AUGH! SO CLOSE!”

        Another fifteen minutes, more bruises, and another pair of tightly zipped lips later, Dash had a small, portable oven that she could use.

        WHOOSH! A rainbow trail threaded through all of Ponyville, headed through the woods a few hundred yards, and finally up to her house. The saddlebags she had appropriated were starting to feel like lead weights, and she couldn’t wait to get rid of them. She coasted through her front door, landed lightly, a shucked her saddlebags. They promptly fell through the floor.

        “NO!” She wasn’t about to be foiled by a stupid cloud ruining her pie, even if it was her own home. She didn’t even waste time going back out the door, just straight down through the floor. Dash caught the bag less than ten feet above the ground. “That was too close for comfort.”

        Being slightly more careful, Dash took her saddlebags, slung them over her back, and zipped back up to her cloudy abode. Without taking them off, she got ready to start with the pie. She got out the bowl, filled with most of her ingredients, minus the eggs in the basket Fluttershy gave her and the milk in the bottle she’d found along the way.

        Rainbow Dash was practically salivating at just the thought of getting a pie at this point. She got caught up, and rather obliviously set the bowl, along with most of the ingredients on the counter. The counter that unfortunately was still made of clouds. Just time for a quick “Not again!” and Rainbow was through the floor, desperately trying to catch up to the falling ingredients. Worse than just falling, the bowl had tipped over, and all the ingredients were spiraling to the ground in different directions.

        “No no no no NO!” she screamed into the wind, diving as fast as she could, frantically grabbing at the bowl first. Dash felt the wind buffeting her relentlessly as she desperately shifted course for the flour, sugar, and apples. She snagged the flour, then the sugar in no time at all, but now she had a half dozen apples tumbling toward the ground, and she was badly out of position.

        Rainbow Dash pulled the hardest turn she could, and swept in an arc under the apples, catching them in her saddlebag as she flew. Thankfully, none of them fell out again as she looped up moments from hitting the ground hard.

        “Stupid house, can’t cook anything up there.” With a sullen scowl, she shucked off her saddlebags in the middle of the clearing she had landed in. Might as well do it here. At least this stuff couldn’t fall through the ground. She hoped.

        The next challenge: figuring out how the oven worked. Which end was the hot end again? Or was it one of the flat parts? Uh oh. This was going to be harder than it looked.

        Rainbow Dash was just about frustrated enough to give up when she remembered the book she got from Twilight. “Oh yeah! Maybe that’ll tell me.”

        Flip, flip, flip, flip. There it was! The recipe for apple pie. “Okay, so I mix the flour, eggs, milk, and some water into a bowl. A BOWL! I need a bowl!”

        This was really getting old. ZIP pause ZIP. And she was back with a bowl to be returned later. “Okay, next problem. How do I mix the eggs? They’re… eggs. They’re not a powder or a liquid. Whatever, I’ll come back to it. Okay, how much of this stuff am I using? Eh, I’ll just eyeball it. What could go wrong?”

        Over the course of the next hour and a half, Dash learned just what could go wrong. The bowl overflowed, an egg broke (of course, that was probably a good thing, since that helped her figure out how to mix the eggs), she spilled everything, and even burned her hoof of the stove top. Then she learned she had to preheat the middle, not the top. Delay after delay after delay. She was about to go nuts.

        Finally, nearly a whole day after she started her quest for a delicious apple pie, she was ready to put it in the oven.

*        *        *        *        *

        “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” The cry echoed across all of Ponyville, all the way to Apple Acres, and Fluttershy’s cottage. Even to the edge of the Everfree Forest. Twilight was engrossed in her books and didn’t hear it. Rarity was frantically designing a dress for some bigshot back in Canterlot. Fluttershy heard the cry, but dismissed it as the wind and went back to helping the ferrets under her cottage find food. The only pony in all of Ponyville to hear the cry for what it was happened to be Applejack. She could plainly hear the distress in the yell, and ran for the source.

        She arrived to find Rainbow Dash, huddled over a blackened, steaming mess of something she could only guess at, muttering “My pie!” over and over. It looked like she was barely holding back tears. “Rainbow Dash? Are you okay?”

        “Ah!” In an instant, the blustery front was back. “Who, me? Of course I’m okay! I’m better than okay, I’m awesome!” It started strong, but by the end her voice was cracking, and her eye had this weird twitch in it.

        Applejack ignored the front, instead focusing on the blackened lump of… whatever it was. “Is that… a pie?”

        Rainbow Dash’s reaction was immediate. “NO!” she blurted. “It’s a, uh…. A…. Okay it’s a pie! Pinkie Pie left and the Cakes left and I needed a pie. I needed something sweet! I can’t go two weeks with nothing!” At the end she broke down, collapsing on the ground in a pile of dejected pony.

        “Well why didn’t ya say somethin’ sugarcube? I can whip ya up a pie right quick.” A kindly smile graced her face.

        “You..,” Dash sniffed, “you can?”

        “Ah course I can! What kinda apple famer would I be if I couldn’t make a simple pie?” Dash visibly brightened.

        “Yes! Uh, I don’t mean to rush you or anything but… could we hurry? I neeeeeed a pie!” Now she was up and prancing around, almost unable to contain herself.

        “Ayup! Now, it’ll take a bit to get some of the ingredients Ah’m a little short on bu- What’s that look fer?” Applejack stopped when she saw a look of pure horror spread across Dash’s face.

        “Uh, nothing! Nothing at all. Let’s go get those ingredients!” The look was gone, replaced by one of singular determination. With that, the two friends trotted back towards Ponyville. They had a pie to make!