Staggering Against The Wind
“Today is the day,” Scootaloo said to herself as she put on her helmet, stepping onto her scooter. Her small wings began to beat, and in an instant she took off, scooter zooming down the road to the tune of her merrily buzzing wings. Flapping at full tilt, the little pegasus was able to make the trip across Ponyville to Sweet Apple Acres in just a few short moments. As she spotted Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle coming into sight in front of her, Scootaloo slowed her flapping and began to skid to a halt. She came to a full stop right in front of other two fillies, removing her helmet with a smile and a flourish.
“Hey Scootaloo!,” said Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle in unison.
“Hey guys! Are you ready for today's CUTIE MARK CRUSADE?,” Scootaloo replied with a grin.
“We shore are!,” yelled Apple Bloom excitedly. “Let’s get started and find us our cutie marks!”
“To the kitchen!,” Sweetie Belle declared, leading the charge into the Apple family’s house. The crusaders made their way into the kitchen, full of energy, ready to start their first crusade of the day. It had been decided that today the crusaders would try cooking apple-related recipes, in the hopes that Apple Bloom would find a special talent to match her family heritage. The trio of fillies gathered any and all ingredients that they could conceive of a use for, and began to look for recipes in the cookbook.
“Let’s try this one!,” Apple Bloom exclaimed, pointing to a recipe in the worn, water-stained cookbook. “Apple Strudel! It looks so yummy!” The filly licked her lips in anticipation of a treat. “Let’s see, we need 1 pound of thinly sliced apples...,” she began, whereupon Sweetie Belle swiftly fetched a basket of apples, “2 slices of stale crumbled bread, and a fourth a cup of....”
Apple Bloom was interrupted by Scootaloo, who abruptly swiped her cookbook and threw it out the open window. “Hay! What'd ya do that for, Scootaloo! Ah was reading that!”
“We're not gonna find our cutie marks by following some dumb recipe” Scootaloo replied matter-of-factly, jumping athletically onto the table. “If we could just follow some recipe, we’d already have our cutie marks. We have to just follow our instincts if we want to find our special talents.”
Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle looked up at their friend. Scootaloo was standing tall and confident, beaming down at the other two fillies as she finished her impromptu speech. “The only way we can make these strudels is with our hearts! We'll decide what the ingredients will be ourselves, and we'll become great chefs!” Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle were captivated by every word Scootaloo uttered. The way she could carry herself with such confidence and passion was something they both greatly admired about her.
“Alright then!,” Apple Bloom exclaimed, a big confident grin returning to her face. “Cutie Mark Crusaders... let’s get baking!”
The small yellow earth pony continued, handing out assignments. “Sweetie Belle, use your magic to start cuttin’ some apples. Scootaloo, get me some stale bread.” The small unicorn and pegasus saluted officiously, grinning with merriment, and set about working the tasks given to them.
Meanwhile, Apple Bloom placed a large mixing bowl on the counter in front of her, tapping a hoof thoughtfully and pondering recipe ideas, as she waited for her friends to bring her the requested ingredients. When she was satisfied that she knew where to begin, she stared directly down at the bowl, calling out, “Apples.”
“Apples!” echoed back as Sweetie Belle brought her the apples she had cut. Apple Bloom tossed them into the bowl without looking, not noticing how poorly cut they were (or that there was a core or two in the mix.)
“Bread,” Apple Bloom said. When there was no response, she looked up to seek out Scootaloo, but the small pegasus pony was nowhere to be found. Apple Bloom glanced over at Sweetie Belle, who just shrugged.
“Bread!” said Scootaloo, as she suddenly appeared in a flash beside Apple Bloom, dropping the pieces of bread into the mixing. Apple Bloom startled a moment, then shook her head rapidly to clear the surprise from her expression. “Ah, thanks, Scootaloo!,” she responded bashfully.
“Okay, now some flour...,” Apple Bloom continued, dumping a hoof-ful of flour into the bowl, then staring thoughtfully into it. “Hmmm” she said, scratching her head with a hoof. “Ah' think this strudel needs.....Cinnamon!,” she exclaimed, as she poured a hefty amount of cinnamon into the bowl.
“And sugar,” Sweetie Belle chimed in, as she started pouring sugar into the mix.
“Yeah! Yeah, and, ummm....” Apple Bloom said, trailing off into thought, with her hoof to her chin and her eyes gazing upwards towards the ceiling. “Something spicy!,” she exclaimed.
“Perfect!,” responded Apple Bloom, as Scootaloo threw a few hot peppers into the bowl. “Now, what this really needs is some...,” Apple Bloom started, screwing up her face in concentration, determined to think of the perfect ingredient. “Ah' got it!,” she cried. “Galoshes!,” she concluded, with a huge smile on her face. A second or two later, though, she began to frown. “Wait... That don't even make a lick of sense.”
“Yeah, who would want to eat a boot?,” asked Scootaloo.
“And an ugly boot at that... I don't think anypony even wears galoshes anymore,” added Sweetie Belle, wrinkling her nose in disgust at the thought of the horrible hoofwear.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, out in the apple fields, a certain orange-coated farm pony was carrying two brimming bushels apples across the field, when suddenly... “AHHCCHHOOO!,” the earth pony exploded, dropping half of the apples she was carrying.
“Bless ya, sis, that was a mighty powerful sneeze,” came the low, calm voice of Big Macintosh, walking up beside his sister.
“Thank ya kindly Big Mac,” Applejack replied, rubbing her nose with her hoof and sniffling. “That sneeze darn well came right outta nowhere”
“Maybe somepony is talkin’ about ya. They say a pony’ll sneeze if somepony else is thinkin’ about 'em,” responded the large red earth pony, punctuating this with a nod and an “Eeyup.”
“Aw, that's just a bunch of superstitious hullabaloo,” scoffed Applejack. “Now help me pick up these apples, we still got lots to do today.”
* * * * *
“Okay, now that we’ve mixed everything together, we just bake it in the oven... right?,” Sweetie Belle asked of her fellow crusaders.
“Ah' think so,” Apple Bloom responded, a little uncertainly. She carefully slid the strudel concoction into the oven and turned up the temperature and timer dials. “Now all we do is wait!”
As the oven slowly heated up, the cutie mark crusaders anxiously waited about for their creation to finish baking, so they could see if they had found their callings or not. After what seemed like an eternity, a loud ringing from the oven alerted them: The timer was up! The apple strudel was ready! The three little fillies rushed over gleefully to see the result of their efforts.
The moment Apple Bloom swung open the oven door, any sensible pony would be able to see that nopony would ever eat this...this abomination of a strudel. Its color was not even something that could be described using mere words. It was lumpy in some places, overly smooth in others, completely burnt in yet others. In a few corners, an unappetizing brown goo was oozing out of the sides of the frankenstrudel, flecked with uncooked white flour.
None of this seemed to register with the three young fillies-- not yet, anyways. Without even giving a second thought to the matter, all three ponies took a piece of the strudel and hungrily tossed it into their mouths. It only took a few chews to realize that this was a terrible mistake.
“Blehhhh!,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed, making a face as she spit out the inedible substance. Scootaloo had managed to make her way to a garbage can before her body forced her to get rid of the horrible strudel. Poor Apple Bloom just stood there, with her cheeks full and her eyes watering. She tried her hardest to push their creation down her throat, but she quickly lost that battle. The little earth pony coughed and spluttered, bits of the failed strudel spewing everywhere.
The cutie mark crusaders slumped dejectedly to the floor, exhausted from their brief but messy ordeal. After spending a few minutes recovering her senses, Scootaloo offered, “Okay, so maybe baking apple strudel isn’t our special talent.”
After cleaning up the mess they had made (and thoroughly disposing of the horrible strudel), the three fillies went into town to do some more crusading.
It was business as usual in Ponyville. To the left and to the right, as far as the eye could see, there were ponies of all descriptions going about their business and enjoying their day. As the three young fillies walked through the bustling small town, they looked around for anything that might lead to them discovering their special talents. They searched the streets of Ponyville for over an hour to find something that they hadn’t yet tried, but came up emptyhooved. Worn out and a little disappointed, the trio decided to take a break and relax in the nearby park.
“Jeez, I can't believe we can't find anything that might be our special talents,” Scootaloo huffed, clearly frustrated.
“Ah' know, gosh darn it!,” added Apple Bloom, equally upset. “We just gotta find what our talents are. They haveta be something!”
“Maybe we just aren’t looking hard enough,” Sweetie Belle suggested, looking down with a frown.
Scootaloo let out a deep sigh. “Yeah, maybe you're right. Guess we'll just have to keep looking,” she replied, as she laid back on the grass and gazed up quietly at the bright blue sky. Looking over the clouds as they drifted by, she let herself soak in the sun's warmth and relax a bit. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle followed the example of their pegasus friend, and soon both began to doze off.
The orange pegasus was about to close her eyes as well, when something interesting caught her eye. There was something coming towards her from the sky! Her first thought was that it was just some other pegasus pony flying through the sky, but that theory was quickly dismissed as the approaching object rapidly grew larger, its approach seeming to come faster and faster.
“Something’s about to fall on us!,” she thought to herself in a panic. The only words that escaped her mouth were “Sweetie Belle! Apple Bloom! Run!”.
Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom startled awake, shock and fear quickly apparent upon their faces as they noticed the strange object hurtling towards them out of the sky. Scootaloo, her body moving on its own, quickly pushed both her friends out of harm’s way. Then she made the mistake of looking up, seeing the menacing shape about to flatten her.
Cringing, frozen in place, Scootaloo could only close her eyes and try to prepare for the worst. And yet, after a moment, she was still there. “Where was the crash?” she thought to herself. She wished that it would just happen already so she could get it over with, but nothing happened. All she felt was the soft rustling of wind about her.
The orange pegasus nervously opened first one eye, then the other. What she saw was the mysterious object suspended in midair, seemingly floating on top of what appeared to be a small tornado. The next thing she knew, she felt herself being carried away-- by what or by whom, she did not know--, with her eyes still captivated on the strange whirlwind that had saved her life.
“Hey, are you alright?” a voice called out to Scootaloo. The voice did not belong to Apple Bloom or Sweetie Belle; instead, it sounded like it belonged to a young colt. Scootaloo finally snapped back to reality as she watched the tornado dissipate, allowing the large object it was suspending to fall harmlessly to the ground.
“Scootaloo! Scootaloo!' Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle shouted, as they ran towards their friend. “We thought you were a goner” Apple Bloom exclaimed, as she and Sweetie Belle hugged her tight.
“Yeah,” said Scootaloo, her tone uncharacteristically quiet. “I'm actually alright...somehow!” The little pegasus pony looked very confused, as she tried her best to figure out what exactly had just transpired.
“Scootaloo, this pony saved you!,” responded Sweetie Belle, sensing her friend’s confusion, as she pointed with a hoof. The young orange pegasus followed the unicorn’s indication, looking up over her friends to see a third pony, this one a stranger, standing behind them.
It was a young pegasus colt. His coat was a smooth light gray and his mane was medium purple, with a lighter purple streak highlighting it.
“Y'all should have seen it!,” Apple Bloom chimed in in wonder. “Me an' Sweetie Belle were watching you about to get crushed, when this pony flew past us out of nowhere, made this giant tornado right in front of you, and stopped you from gettin’ smooshed!”
“You...You saved me?” Scootaloo asked, directing her gaze to the gray colt, who stood a few feet away.
“Yup! That's me!,” the small colt answered, grinning. “Name’s Tornado Bolt.” Scootaloo just stared at her rescuer, still a bit in shock, as she tried to take in everything that had just happened.
A moment later, she remembered her manners, and stopped gaping. “Thanks a lot for saving me,” Scootaloo said with a smile. “But how in Equestria did somepony my age make a tornado that strong?” The little pegasus was trying her best not to look skeptical, but she was definitely still confused.
“Oh, that's easy for me,” Tornado Bolt replied. “Just watch.”
The young pegasus then proceeded to run in the opposite direction from the three fillies, jumping into the air, his wings flapping. The gray colt then veered about, and began to spiral inwards in smaller and smaller circles, until he was barely more than a fast-moving gray blur. As he did this, the wind about him rapidly strengthened and took visible shape. Scootaloo watched in awe, as a small tornado appeared directly beneath the fast-moving young colt.
After spinning about above the newly created whirlwind for a few moments, the gray colt dove away from the swirling winds, heading in the general direction of the three crusading fillies. Leveling off his flight, he landed a few yards away from the trio. The powerful gust of wing Tornado Bolt had created dissipated after a brief moment, as he strutted back towards the group with his wings spread wide and a grin on his face. “And that's why they call me Tornado Bolt.”
“Whoah...,” Scootaloo managed, clearly very much impressed. Her eyes were wide as she gazed with a new respect-- and a little bit of envy-- upon this proud, confident pony.
“I know! It’s pretty awesome, right?,” Tornado Bolt exclaimed, clearly impressed with his own handiwork. “Well, I gotta get going now. See you guys later!,” the small pegasus finished, as he ran off.
“That was cool, wasn't it, Sweetie Belle?” Apple Bloom chirped happily, as she turned towards the little white unicorn.
“Mmhmm,” responded Sweetie Belle. “Very cool. Don't you think so, Scootaloo?”
Scootaloo did not respond. She still stood there, staring blankly in front of her. Apple Bloom, thinking that maybe her winged friend simply hadn’t heard her, cantered up next to the pegasus and called out, almost directly into her ear. “Scootaloooooo! Scoot-Scootalooo!!” This time, the orange pegasus definitely heard her, as she jumped up in shock.
“What, what?” Scootaloo asked, as she managed to finally come back to reality.
“Y’all looked like you were lost in space!,” Apple Bloom replied. Scootaloo looked back at her, still a bit disoriented.
“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle added. “After Tornado Bolt showed us how he makes tornadoes, you got all spacey like that.”
“Uh-huh,” Apple Bloom started again. “Y'all wouldn't stop staring at him... your eyes got all big...”
“And your wings spread out!,” finished Sweetie Belle.
“Why, if ah' didn't know better, ah’ would say y'all.....like....him!,” said Apple Bloom. These words lit a spark in Apple Bloom’s mind, and she burst out in a grin towards Sweetie Belle. The unicorn, in turn, stared blankly back for a few seconds, then returned the same grin. They both then looked directly at Scootaloo, who now looked approximately half-confused and half-annoyed.
“What?,” she asked.
“You like Tornado Bolt, don't you, Scootaloo?,” Sweetie Belle teased.
“Ah' bet y'all wanna soar the skies with him” Apple Bloom said, joining in on the fun.
“No I don't!,” Scootaloo responded defensively.
“Yes ya do!”
“No I don't!”
“Yes, you do,” replied Sweetie Belle, grinning.
“No, I don't!”
“Oh, look, Tornado Bolt’s comin' back this way!,” said Apple Bloom, looking up towards the sky.
“Ahhh! Where?,” Scootaloo cried, blushing, as she looked in every direction for the small gray pegasus. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle both laughed at how frazzled their friend was.
“Relax, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle explained. “It was a joke. But there's nothing wrong with having a crush on him.”
“Yeah! Y'all should just tell him how ya feel. He’s sure to like you,” Apple Bloom added.
“No way!,” Scootaloo immediately responded. “I mean... I couldn't. What if he doesn't like me?”
“Now that's just silly. Why wouldn't he like ya?” Apple Bloom asked. “Y'all are one of the coolest fillies ah' know.”
“I don't know,” Scootaloo said, looking down and tracing a hoof absentmindedly over the grass. “What if he doesn't think I'm...pretty enough?” Sweetie Belle suddenly perked up, an excited expression on her face, as an idea popped into her head.
“Hey, we could help make Scootaloo prettier!,” the young unicorn filly cried, jumping up and down. “We can get makeover cutie marks!”
“I guess, if it’s for crusading, it wouldn't hurt,” Scootaloo responded bashfully, trying to force a smile.
“Let’s go to my sister's shop!,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed, as she began running. “She’s got all kinds of stuff to make fillies look their prettiest!” Apple Bloom immediately took off behind the white unicorn, but noticed that Scootaloo was dragging her feet. Letting out a sigh, she got behind the orange pegasus and began to nudge her forward with her head. Finally, Scootaloo began to trot after Sweetie Belle, hoping that her friends could not see the huge blush growing upon her cheeks.
“Ya know, ah' wonder how that thing fell from the sky anyway,” Apple Bloom asked, as they passed the object which had been the catalyst for this new crusade, a somewhat jostled wooden shipping crate labeled “FRAGILE”. At that moment, high above the clouds, there flapped a trio of pegasus ponies. One of them, seemingly the leader, looked to be quite displeased at the other two, particularly the small grey mare with the blonde mane and tail. Her eyes seemed to wander in two different directions, but even she could see that the first pegasus's discontent was directed primarily at her. “Soggy trumpets!” were the only words she uttered in response to the other two pegasi, who just sighed.
* * * * *
The three fillies arrived at Rarity's boutique and stormed through the front door. Rarity, who was busy sewing at the moment, heard the excited jangling of the bells upon her door and got up to greet whoever had come into her shop. She was only able to take a few short steps before her little sister, accompanied by her two friends, sped past her, inviting themselves into Rarity's home. For a brief moment, she stood there uncertain of what had just happened. Regaining her composure, the classy white unicorn followed the crusaders deeper into her home, only to find that they were in her bathroom-- apparently raiding her makeup supplies.
“Sweetie Belle! Just what do you think you three are doing with my makeup,” Rarity asked, frustrated.
“We're gonna make Scootaloo pretty, so she can talk to this colt she likes!,” Sweetie Belle answered, a smile on her face. Rarity's annoyed expression melted at the thought of that little filly wanting to doll herself up to impress a male. With this, she was quickly won over.
“Alright, fillies, say no more. When I'm done with little Scootaloo here, this colt of hers won't be able to take his eyes off her!,” Rarity said proudly, using her magic to fetch some supplies out of a cabinet behind her. “But we're going to use my spare makeup kits. Can't have you little fillies using my special makeup for grown-up ponies.” As the purple-maned unicorn mare was preparing to begin her work on Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom stepped in front of her, fixing her with two stern looks.
“We gotta be the ones to make Scootaloo pretty,” Apple Bloom said.
“Yeah! So that we can get our cutie marks!,” Sweetie Belle added. Rarity just looked at them both, trying her best to come up with an argument that would convince the two fillies to step aside.
“But....but....surely you want Scootaloo to be the prettiest filly in town? And no one can do that better than me,” Rarity argued, a bit of pride evident in her voice.
“Maybe our special talents are doing it even better than you, big sis,” Sweetie Belle responded. Without thinking, Rarity laughed a bit at this statement.
“Better? I... Well, darlings, that may be so, some day,” replied Rarity. She had never considered the possibility that her own little sister might some day outshine her-- though, she had to admit, it wasn’t entirely impossible. “But your friend wants a sure thing, doesn’t she? And-- at least for the moment-- nopony in Ponyville does beauty better than Rarity”.
Apple Bloom just shook her head. “Nuh uh. We're gonna do it, and y'all can't help,” she stated assertively, stomping a single small hoof. Rarity, realizing that she was not going to persuade these two stubborn fillies, sighed, setting the beauty supplies down on the counter.
“If you insist, dearies,” said the unicorn. “I suppose I’ll just go back to what I was doing. Just... please try not to make a mess in here.” Rarity gave a nervous smile and headed out of the bathroom, letting out a little sigh, then a slight giggle. Who knew what sort of disaster the two youngsters might unleash, armed with her makeup kit?
“Alright! Sweetie Belle, let’s get started!” Apple Bloom said, her voice full of enthusiasm. She and Sweetie Belle turned to look at Scootaloo, who by this point was starting to get a bit uneasy...
From brushes and sprays to powders and gloss, the two young fillies used just about every item from Rarity’s makeup kit to make Scootaloo beautiful. Or, at least, that's what they wanted to believe they were doing. When at last they were through, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle each took a deep breath, and took a good hard look at their second creation of the day. Then they looked back at each other, somewhat nervously.
“Well? How do I look?,” Scootaloo asked her friends.
“Ah'... uhhh,” Apple Bloom started, not sure how to tell her winged friend of the mess they had just made.
Sweetie Belle looked back to Scootaloo, then glanced down in embarrassment. “Yeah, I don't think our special talent is giving makeovers.”
Scootaloo turned to face the mirror to see just what had become of her. She looked in shock as she saw what her friends had done to her. Her mane was now curled on one side and straightened on the other, with blue dye in some spots in an attempt to complement her natural color. Her face looked as though she had crashed headfirst into a shelf of makeup supplies, and was that glitter on her wings? No, wait, her wing; it was just on the right one.
Just as the orange pegasus finished examining herself, Rarity walked into the room.
“Hi girls! I just wanted to see how you were...,” Rarity began, but stopped dead in her tracks when she caught sight of Scootaloo. Her face contorted into a grimace, then the pale unicorn gave a single twitch and promptly fainted.
“Uhh, is yer sis alright, Sweetie Belle?,” Apple Bloom asked, concerned, gazing over at the passed-out unicorn.
“Yeah, I think she'll wake up in an hour or so” Sweetie Belle replied, obviously not too worried about her sister. Quickly, she added, “She does this sometimes...”
“Well, you guys were right about one thing,” Scootaloo began, as the three carefully moved the unconscious unicorn into her bedroom.
“What d’y'all mean, Scootaloo? We did an awful job,” Apple Bloom sighed, looking down in disgrace.
“Well,” Scootaloo replied with a bleak smile, “I'm pretty sure no colt in Ponyville would stop starring at me now!”
“You're right about that,” Sweetie Belle agreed with a quiet sigh. “But let’s clean up this mess, or my sister will just faint again if she wakes up and sees you looking like that.”
* * * * *
After cleaning up their messes-- including Scootaloo's rather shocking appearance-- the Cutie Mark Crusaders left Rarity’s boutique, taking care to lock the door behind them. Scootaloo let out a sigh. “I don't think being pretty works for me anyways,” she said, with her head toward the ground.
“Now that just ain't true at all, Scootaloo, and you know it!,” Apple Bloom exclaimed, upset at her friend for getting down on herself like this.
“Yeah! You're pretty in lots of ways,” Sweetie Belle added helpfully.
“What do you mean?,” Scootaloo asked. “I'm not pretty at all. I don't have a beautiful mane, my wings are too small, and I'm just not girly. Why would any colt want anything to do with me?”
“Scootaloo!” Apple Bloom shouted, now angry. “You're the coolest pony ah’ know. Ah' ain't ever seen a pony as confident as you. You're always ready to do anything!”
“Mhmm,” added Sweetie Belle. “And whenever we're sad about something, you always cheer us up.”
“And nopony in all of Equestria is faster on a scooter than ya! Its like mah big sis tells me, what makes a filly pretty is whats she like on the inside.”
“A filly who's pretty on the inside also becomes pretty on the outside,” Sweetie Belle concluded, giving a slight nod.
“Wow. You guys really think all that about me?,” Scootaloo asked bashfully, as a smile started to return to her face.
“Sure do, Scootaloo!,” Apple Bloom answered. “And if that Tornado Bolt can't see you for the great pony that ya are, just cause y'all don't got a fancy mane, then you don't need ‘im anyway.”
“Mhmm!,” said Sweetie Belle, nodding “That’s right!”.
“Yeah. Yeah! You're right, guys! I'm fine just the way I am, and if Tornado Bolt doesn't like it, its his loss,” Scootaloo said, her pride and confidence returning to her. “In fact... I think I'm gonna go tell him how I feel right now. I'll catch you guys later.” With that, Scootaloo ran off to find her crush.
“Aren't we gonna follow her Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle asked, as she turned to her friend.
“Of course we are, silly,” the little earth pony answered with a mischievous grin. “But y'all just don't start followin' somepony right after they leave. Y'all gotta wait a few minutes first.”
“Ohhhhhh” Sweetie Belle replied.
“Yup, ah'm good at this sort of thing” Apple Bloom said, her head held high. She watched the pegasus filly disappearing into the distance, until she was satisfied that Scootaloo had gone far enough that they could trail her undetected. “‘kay, lets go.”
The pair of fillies began to run in Scootaloo’s direction, making sure to keep a safe distance away from her lest their fun be spoiled. Ahead of them, Scootaloo trotted her way across town, looking everywhere for the gray pegasus she admired so much. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle followed close behind, making an effort to keep out of sight by hiding behind barrels, walls, and other ponies. Just as the orange pegasus was getting tired of searching with no results, she saw something gray out of the corner of her eye. Sure enough, it was Tornado Bolt, trotting his way through town.
“Alright, Scootaloo, this is it” Scootaloo said to herself. “Just go and tell him how you feel.” She began to walk towards the gray pegasus, but the closer she got, the more nervous she became. She suddenly forgot everything she was going to say, everything she had planned during her search of the town. The orange pegasus's legs began to shake, and suddenly, for once in her life, she felt like running away. Meanwhile, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle quietly watched from the shadows, as their friend struggled against herself.
“I wish there was something we could do, Apple Bloom” Sweetie Belle said sadly.
“Well, we can't just jump out and push her, that'd ruin everything,” Apple Bloom responded, her ears folding a bit in sadness.
“But look at how nervous she is. It’s not like we can make it so Tornado Bolt can fall for Scootaloo the same way that she fell for him!,” Sweetie Belle replied.
Apple Bloom just grinned. “Or can we?” Sweetie Belle looked back, confused.
“Sweetie Belle,” asked the little earth pony, “could y’all lift up that box over yonder and make it fall on Tornado Bolt?”
Sweetie Belle thought for a brief moment, pondering the limitations of her magical abilities. “I think so, but why would you want to do that? Wouldn't it be dangerous?” The little unicorn clearly hadn’t caught onto Apple Bloom's plan. Apple Bloom let out a little sigh and explained.
“Yeah, it’ll be a little dangerous, but that's the point. If Scootaloo sees Tornado Bolt in danger, she'll stop being so nervous and go save him. And then she'll have to talk to him!”
“Oh! Okay. I get it now,” Sweetie Belle said with a smile. That smile, though, quickly faded. “But it’s still awful dangerous. Are you sure Scootaloo will be able to make it in time?”
Apple Bloom beamed. “I know she’ll be able to, or my name ain’t Apple Bloom.” She blushed a little. “And... umm, if she won’t make it on time, I know you’ll be able to catch the box and save him yourself.”
“Alright,” said Sweetie Belle, nodding. “I hope this works. Here goes...” Sweetie Belle's horn began to glow, as she concentrated as hard as she could to make the box float.
Scootaloo was still hovering about the shadows, watching Tornado Bolt, but far too nervous to approach him. In fact, she was just about to turn around and slink away, when she saw something else falling out of the sky. It was another box, and it was falling right for Tornado Bolt! The orange pegasus's anxiety melted away, replaced by the urgent need to save the object of her affection. She rushed forwards with incredible speed, desperate to move the colt out of the way of the falling box. Running as fast as her legs could carry her, wings a blur, the little pegasus filly tried to squeeze every last drop of speed out of herself. She cried, “Look out!,” as she tackled Tornado Bolt away from danger. The box hit the ground where Tornado Bolt had been standing with a deep thud, crumpling on impact.
The two young pegasi rolled off against a nearby apple cart in a heap, prompting a small cascade of apples. The gray colt, dazed, looked around himself at the scene of confusion. Then he looked up at Scootaloo, who he just realized was lying on top of him. The orange filly, quickly realizing the awkwardness of her position, blushed and immediately got off of Tornado Bolt.
“Are you alright?,” Scootaloo asked, trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Yeah, thanks to you,” Tornado Bolt responded with a smile.
“Yeah, well.....I wanted to find you and thank you for helping me out earlier today,” the orange pegasus began shyly, looking down at the ground and rubbing her leg with her hoof. “And when I saw that box about to fall on you, I just knew I had to save you.”
“You didn't have to thank me, but I'm glad you came around when you did,” the little colt replied, smiling again.
“Yeah...and, umm, there was something else I wanted to say...,” Scootaloo began, once again becoming nervous. Under her orange coat, her blushing cheeks were positively crimson.
“What is it, Scootaloo?” Tornado Bolt asked, only making the little filly even more nervous. She wanted to just say that it was nothing and end the conversation there, but something within her would not let her give up like that. She kept thinking back to what her friends had told her before-- those wonderful things that had given her the courage to find this pony again in the first place. From this, she drew enough confidence to finally say how she really felt.
“Tornado Bolt, I think you're an awesome pony, and if you want...maybe we could...ya know...hang out sometime? I'd really like to see those cool tornadoes you can make again,” Scootaloo said, a timid yet hopeful smile on her face.
“Hey, that would be rad!,” Tornado Bolt responded. Scootaloo's eyes-- and her smile-- grew wide as saucers upon hearing this. “Ya know, Scootaloo, I think you're an awesome pony too.”
“R... really???” the orange pegasus asked, barely able to contain her joy.
“Totally!” the gray pegasus replied. “I've seen you race all over Ponyville on your scooter. You’ve got such awesome moves! Truth is, when I saved you today, I wanted to tell ya how I felt, but I was too scared.”
“What would a pony like you possibly be scared of?” Scootaloo asked, a confused expression on her face.
Tornado Bolt rubbed the back of his mane with a hoof. “That a pony as cool as you wouldn't like me,” he said.
Scootaloo began to laugh. “It’s funny, I was thinking the same thing about you,” she said. “I thought all colts only liked pretty fillies, so I was afraid you wouldn't like me.”
“But you are pretty, Scootaloo,” the gray pegasus stated.
“Wha-...you...really think so?,” Scootaloo asked, her blush deepening even more. Tornado Bolt nodded.
“Sure do,” he said, smiling at the filly.
“Well, you're quite cute yourself,” the little filly said, which made the young colt blush as well.
“So... want to go somewhere and hang out?,” Tornado Bolt asked. “I really wanna see you do some moves on your scooter.”
“I'd love that!,” Scootaloo replied. “I think I just got a sweet idea for how we can combine my moves with your tornadoes. Its gonna be awesome!”
“What are we wasting time here for? Let’s get going!,” the gray colt replied, as the pair ran off together. From their hiding spot, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle could only smile as they watched their friend run off.
“You were right, Apple Bloom!,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. “Your plan really worked.”
“Only cause ah' had you to help me,” Apple Bloom said, giving credit to her partner in this endeavor. The two fillies than gave each other a big high-hoof.
“Hey!,” Sweetie Belle suddenly shouted. “Maybe our special talent is matchmaking!”
“Yeah! Maybe it is!,” Apple Bloom yelled back, immediately excited. The pair looked to their flanks, in hopes of seeing their cutie marks-- but, to their dismay, they were still blank. “Ah well. Guess we'll have to keep trying, Sweetie Belle.”
“Yeah, I guess so” Sweetie Belle replied, a bit disappointed. She then looked up at Apple Bloom with a new smile, and asked, “Wanna spy on Scootaloo's date?”
“Y’all bet I do!,” Apple Bloom exclaimed.
Meanwhile, off in the distance, Scootaloo remarked to her new colt friend, “Isn’t it weird how all these boxes have been falling from the sky today?”
* * * * *
Back at Rarity's boutique, the unicorn was finally regaining consciousness. “Ugh,” she said, rubbing her head with one hoof. “Such a horrible nightmare... something ugly created in my boutique...” She staggered into the bathroom to wash up, opening a cabinet to look for something to fix her bad case of bed-head. Then, she noticed that her entire reserve supply of makeup was gone... and fainted again.
Story by: Vanderblast
Proofreading and Editing: Purple Tinker
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic belongs to Hasbro. All thanks to Ms. Lauren Faust!