The Friend Zone
Just then! It was a cold day in February with snow fresh from last night’s scheduled fall. No doves sang their morning songs as they had all flown south. Icy air bit the senses and formed sharp icicles beneath the roofs of all the homes in Ponyville. Hardly a soul worked in these winter conditions, though Rainbow Dash knew one shop in Ponyville that was still ripe with enthusiasm and life. Maybe not with work, but with plans and adventures. Folding in her wings, Rainbow Dash landed on the cold porch of the bakery. She could not hear anything inside. She was just there for some breakfast, if anyone asked.
She raised a hoof to knock, though held it in the air and contemplated the action. Before she knew it, she heard the almost thunderous boom of the oak door as her hoof knocked against it, as if the entire town would know where Rainbow Dash was. Well, who would bat an eye? She was visiting a friend for breakfast, right? No, not anymore. Rainbow Dash planned to change the relationship between the two of them by the end of that freezing day.
Thumps rolled down the stairs and stopped at the other side of the door. Swinging open, the door revealed an ecstatic smile glowing with warmth and she beckoned Rainbow Dash out of the cold. Her pink hair seemed even livelier today, Rainbow Dash noticed. She smelled something sweet from her, though Rainbow Dash stopped herself from delving further into the sensory exploration of her friend.
“Thanks, Pinkie Pie!” Rainbow Dash said, crossing the threshold into the aroma of spices and icing.
“No problem, Rainbow Dash! I’ve invited you here because I’ve got something to show you!” Pinkie Pie beamed, giving Rainbow Dash a friendly embrace before trotting over to the counter. Rainbow Dash followed.
Pinkie Pie picked up a colorful piece of paper in her teeth and showed it to Rainbow Dash. She tried to speak, though her speech was garbled with the object in her mouth and she set it back on the counter. “Lookie! I drew you a picture! Do you like it?” Pinkie Pie leaned in, eyes wide with hopeful wonder.
Rainbow Dash was shocked, her heart thumping in her chest. She barely managed to thank her pink friend before examining the paper. The cover held a crudely drawn crimson heart, the kind drawn when you hold the crayon in your mouth at a weird angle, though to Rainbow Dash it was a masterpiece. There were more stick figures and attempts at art, though Rainbow Dash honed in on the blurb of writing at the bottom:
“Out of all of Equestria, you are my best friend!
We have so much fun, from beginning to end!
I can’t rhyme well, so I’ll make this quick:
I hope we’re always friends, through thin and thick!
~Your friend forever,
Rainbow Dash heard something shatter somewhere.
“Don’t you like it, Dashy?” Pinkie Pie wondered, looking at Rainbow Dash’s speechlessness.
Rainbow Dash snapped out of her stupor. “Of course I do Pinkie Pie. It’s great. But…Is that it?”
“Huh? What do you mean?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“Erm, nothing. It’s great. Thanks!” Rainbow Dash smiled.
“You like it? Really?” Pinkie Pie reached critical levels of excitement. “That’s so awesome! I’m gonna’ make one for Twilight, Fluttershy, and all my other friends in Ponyville! Wowie, I guess that means I have a lot of work today!”
Another once sturdy pane of glass in Rainbow Dash’s mind crumbled into millions of pieces. Lightning flared in her eyes as she recalled her sleepless nights mulling over her heart’s agony and got back on course. “Sorry I didn’t make you anything heh…but…” Rainbow Dash searched for the proper way to progress. “I have something to tell you, since I’m here.”
“You do?” The thought of new information, perhaps a juicy secret, got Pinkie Pie’s mind racing. “Tell me!”
Rainbow Dash’s mouth felt like concrete. As the cement slid down her throat and she gasped for words, she knew it would be now or never. This drawing was the foundation of her eventual banishment from her friend’s life, or at least the involvement Rainbow Dash wanted. Her heart jumped and she felt millions of butterflies take flight and form hurricanes within her. Pinkie Pie was still there, on bated breath, waiting for Rainbow Dash to speak. Sweat beaded on Rainbow Dash’s forehead and the chills of winter gripped her bones.
“Here it goes. Okay, well, Pinkie, you know how we’re such good friends?” Rainbow Dash began.
“Well, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and well, I’ve been feeling something else about you and I, like…”
“I’m going to tell you the honest truth about what I’m feeling.”
“YYEEESSSSSSSSS?” Pinkie Pie could barely contain her enthusiasm.
“I’m not hiding from it anymore.” Rainbow Dash walked closer to Pinkie Pie. “Pinkie, I think I lo-“
“Hey! My ‘Double Cupcakes’ are ready!” Pinkie Pie chirped as she skipped away from Rainbow Dash’s inner turmoil to answer the call of her beeping oven. Rainbow Dash sighed a bittersweet sigh, though she was still at square one. She followed Pinkie Pie into the kitchen.
Pinkie Pie retrieved a large tray from the buzzing oven. Budding cupcakes piped with heat and sweet smells. The treats quieted Rainbow Dash’s storm of emotions as Pinkie Pie carefully moved the goods from the tray to the nearby counter.
“What are you making, Pinkie Pie?” Rainbow Dash asked, attempting to craft a new mood between she and her friend who she wanted more than a friend wanted a friend.
“‘Double Cupcakes’! You take a regular cupcake and then you make a bigger cupcake and stuff the smaller one into the bigger one. I love eating cupcakes, yet I can only eat so many, so then I was all like: ‘WAHHH! What if I just put a cupcake in my cupcake? Then I can eat cupcakes while I eat cupcakes!’ I can’t wait to show the Cakes when they get back. Here: I’ll show you!”
Pinkie Pie readied a cupcake covered in icing to be fused with her own larger creation. Rather than cutting open the larger cupcake shell with any sort of tool, Pinkie Pie dove in with her hooves to unhinge the treat. Her hoof worked delicately, almost lovingly, in opening the confection, jamming her hoof into the warm slit. She circled her hoof in it, burrowing a space as bits of cupcake fell across the counter. Withdrawing her hoof, she licked the crumbs hungrily off and reached for her iced cupcake.
“It’s not even sweet yet!” Pinkie Pie smiled, looking to Rainbow Dash. “Time to fix all that!” Rainbow Dash could not turn away.
Careless of the icing, Pinkie Pie gripped the cupcake with her hoof and shoved it into the larger cupcake. Icing oozed from the confection as Pinkie Pie pushed her hoof deeper and deeper into the cupcake, relentlessly penetrating it. Her hoof swirled and spun, growing faster with speed and not letting up. The icing was so smooth and only made Pinkie Pie’s fun all the more efficient. Finally, icing erupted from the cupcake and engulfed her hoof, friction heating the sugar and making it smell so heavenly to Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie withdrew her hoof, content with her work and smiling. She licked her hoof hungrily, swallowing all of the icing with glee.
Pinkie Pie looked at her work. “Wow, that made a mess,” she giggled, “I think I’ll use a knife next time. That didn’t really accomplish anything.”
Rainbow Dash didn’t quite hear what Pinkie Pie had said. Something about her cupcake stuffing had Rainbow Dash’s mouth watering. For some reason she was really hungry now.
“So, what did you want to tell me, Rainbow Dash?” Pinkie Pie asked, searching for a knife through the kitchen drawers.
“Oh! Yeah…” That courage she had mustered before seemed fleeting, though strands grew into storm clouds to aid Rainbow Dash. She cleared her throat. Pinkie Pie was still rifling through the drawers. She closed her eyes and blurted it out.
“Pinkie Pie, I think I’m in lo—“ CRRRRASSSSHHHHH
Metallic utensils and cutlery clattered on the floor as the overzealous party pony yanked a little too hard on the drawer and it slipped off its tracks. Rainbow Dash bit down on her teeth and looked to see if Pinkie Pie was okay. She was, of course, and giggling all the way.
“Wow, that was loud! Sorry, about that.” Pinkie Pie began picking up the kitchen ware, Rainbow Dash craning her neck to help as well.
Rainbow Dash picked up the last knife and set it on the counter. Frustration grew in her and usurped her initial shyness. She stared intently at her friend. “Pinkie Pie! I—“ A fresh clatter cut Rainbow Dash off as the pot Pinkie Pie was elevating slipped from her grip and collided with the stove top.
“Boy! I’m so clumsy today. Something about today is pretty kooky, huh?” Pinkie Pie mused, eventually shrugging it off and returning to her cooking.
Rainbow Dash indeed thought something here was “kooky”. Clumsiness was awry in the kitchen, but could it really be Pinkie Pie? Rainbow Dash shuddered. An icy chill rolled through the radiating warmth of the bakery and even stifled the party pony’s endearing smile. Rainbow Dash’s mind ran scared at a million miles an hour.
Rainbow Dash went to Pinkie Pie’s side. As Pinkie Pie released her grip on the pot’s handle and safely (and quietly) set it on the stove, Rainbow Dash faced her. Pinkie Pie was motionless as well, staring back. At first they were both expressionless, though Pinkie Pie began breaking out into a confused giggle.
“Heh, what’s up Dashy? You finally gonna tell me what’s going on with you?” Pinkie Pie wondered, seeing the passion rage in her best friend’s eyes.
“Yeah, I’m trying, believe me.” Rainbow Dash exhaled deeply and looked to the floor, inhaled, and began. “I don’t want what I’m going to tell you to ruin our friendship, so please, just hear me out.”
“Ruin our friendship? No way! We’re the best of friends as best friends could ever be the bestest friendliest! Go on and tell Auntie Pinkie Pie.” That word choice cut Rainbow Dash deep, though she tried her best to continue. She smiled back.
“Thanks, Pinkie Pie. Here goes…See, I’ve had this crush on somepony for a long time. Ever since I met them, something about their presence makes time freeze for me, you know? Like between the two of us, the world is nonexistent. Have you ever felt that way, Pinkie Pie?” Rainbow Dash asked wistfully.
“You’re talking about love?” The word seemed foreign to Pinkie Pie, though her eyes shined as she realized her friend’s dilemma. “You’ve got a crush?! Awwwwww!! That’s so CUTE!” Pinkie Pie began skipping joyfully around the kitchen.
After a lap around the room, she stopped in front of her friend. “Tell me, Dashy! Who’s the lucky pony?”
Rainbow Dash gave a nervous giggle. “You see, that’s the funny thing. Heh, you know the pony really well.”
“I do?!” Pinkie Pie gasped, mentally running through her index of stallions.
Rainbow Dash put a hoof to Pinkie Pie’s cheek, almost caressing it. “Silly pony, I love yo—“
A hellish buzz erupted throughout the room. The ceiling screamed with alarms as water rained down on the room and the friendly pair. Smoke leaked from the oven across the room and alerted the smoke detector of foul play. Pinkie Pie left Rainbow Dash as she tended to the wailing alarms and burning cakes. Frantically she flipped switched and turned on fans to salvage her work.
“Pinkie Pie!” Rainbow Dash called amid the pounding rain and alarms.
Pinkie Pie couldn’t hear. She continued her work without noticing her friend’s words.
Rainbow Dash could barely hear her own words, seemingly mouthing her declaration. No response. Water from the sprinklers drenched her mane and it stuck to her face. Rainbow Dash couldn’t even hear herself scream her feelings, her friend equally as oblivious. For a moment, the whole world seemed to fall mute. She blinked. No sounds were heard.
Rainbow Dash felt something stop in her throat. It was as if something took the words from her before she could finish. She tried again, yet she could never finish the most important word. Pinkie Pie still worked furiously to silence the room.
Finally, all the alarms and sirens had ceased. The bakery was drenched and the ugly stench of smoke hung in the air. Pinkie Pie finally heaved a sigh of relief. Her precious “Double Cupcakes” had fallen into mushy piles of dough. Her morning of baking had been ruined, though the mess was not too catastrophic.
“Phew! Sorry Dashy, I—“
She looked to meet her friend, though Rainbow Dash had left the bakery.
Just then! Twilight Sparkle lounged beside a roaring fire to finish the last few chapters of her book: “Ailments and Conditions Relative to the Visible Spectrum”. Just then! Frigid winds swarmed her home and her door burst open. Defeated, Rainbow Dash shuffled into the library and shut the door behind her, her mane drenched and her teeth chattering uncontrollably. Rainbow Dash barely managed to say, “Hey, Twilight.”
“Rainbow Dash! How’d it go?” The purple pony asked, looking up from her book.
Rainbow Dash sighed. “It could have gone better.”
She trotted over to Twilight, a puddle trailing from Rainbow Dash’s mane and tail. “What do you mean? …Why are you all wet? Sit by the fire so you don’t catch a cold. Spike should be up soon. He said he’s downstairs doing ‘stuff’.”
Rainbow Dash shook the water from her body and plopped down by the flames, basking in the crackling warmth.
“It’s a crazy story, Twilight. Well, it’s not like she rejected me. I never even got the chance to tell her. There was just too much stuff interrupting us, so eventually I just walked out. I had to get away or I might have exploded.”
The fuchsia pony raised a hoof. “Woah, slow down, Rainbow. What exactly happened?”
“Well I tried to tell her, but her oven went off, so that interrupted us. Next, she started dropping stuff. Finally, when I was building up for the big finish, the smoke alarm and sprinklers go off. Some strange day.”
“That is strange.” The lavender pony offered, pondering the circumstances.
“She was so oblivious, too!” Rainbow Dash buried her face in her hooves.
“Did you make her something like I suggested?”
“Well...no. I didn’t want to seem forward! Though she did make me a drawing.” Rainbow Dash felt the pull of guilt.
“See? That’s a sign!” The magenta pony smiled.
“Pfff, yeah.” Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “You know what she called me in the picture? Her ‘friend’.” Rainbow Dash punctuated the word with air quotes.
“You know, being a friend is the first step.” The eggplant pony offered didactically.
Rainbow Dash looked emphatically at Twilight. “She wants to be ‘friends’ forever, Twilight! That’s what the card said. Forever!”
The amethyst pony sighed and put a hoof on her friend to console her. “Sorry Rainbow, but like I said before, you just have to confess to her, or you’ll always be left wondering ‘what if?’.”
“That’s just it!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “Whenever I try to tell her, I feel my whole body shut down. My mouth stops working and I get chills. I can’t even finish a sentence or even a word.”
The mauve pony giggled. “That may just be stage fright, Rainbow. I know how much you talk about her.”
Rainbow Dash shook her head. “But listen, here’s the weird thing. When I was with Pinkie Pie, I was yelling at the top of my lungs, yet she couldn’t hear me. I couldn’t even hear myself. Whenever I said the words, they were silent!”
An uneasy chill slipped into the room. The fire spun in the gust and both ponies’ manes were picked up in it. The grape pony thought of something and ran to her massive bookshelves.
“What’s up, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked as her friend began sifting through titles. The violet pony’s magic cycled books until one rather thick text caught her eye. Dropping the rest of her books, she tossed the text on her desk. Rainbow Dash attempted to read the title without stumbling.
“What is this supposed to be? ‘Super...Floris’?” She gave up.
“‘Superfluous Magical and Temporal Barriers’. When I first came to Ponyville and began my exploration of the magic of friendship, this book enlightened me on a powerful product of certain kinds of friendships. The kinds that only the most powerful of magic can hope to break.” The color mixture of blue and red pony explained, cracking the book open and turning the pages rapidly. “The books explains the occurrence of an enchantment on friends of a very strong bond. The enchantment, though personifying the strength of the friendship, also acts as a failsafe to secure the friendship from ever degrading.”
“What? An enchantment…on our friendship? Something is keeping Pinkie Pie and I ‘just friends’?” Rainbow Dash asked, dumbfounded by the phenomenon.
“I’m afraid so. It’s like her ‘Pinkie Sense’. It knows when something is going to happen that may jeopardize the friendship and, well, cuts it off.” The orchid pony shut her book and looked sullenly at her friend. “I believe you have unknowingly entered the ‘Friend Zone’.”
“The what?! Well, how do I get out?” demanded Rainbow Dash.
“One does not simply leave the Friend Zone.” The mulberry pony replied. “Only the strongest of magical abilities can hope to override it. For instance, Discord’s magic turned us against one another and evaded the enchantment. It’s that rare.”
“Oh, I see.”Rainbow Dash’s gaze fell to the floor. The plum pony struggled to find something to cheer her friend up.
“Hey! Think of it this way: It’s what’s kept us all such good friends, even when we didn’t want to be; whenever we’ve fought or argued, the Friend Zone has always pulled us back and anchored us to our friendship. When the power of our friendship defeated and banished two ancient evils, this was bound to form. The delicate balance of harmony is protecting us. Without it, who knows where we’d be?”
Rainbow Dash sighed. “I guess you’re right.” A malicious glint grew in Rainbow Dash’s eye. She thought of an idea. “Well that doesn’t mean we can’t try?”
“What are you—OOF!” Rainbow Dash had leaped from her space by the fire and pinned Twilight beneath her hooves. The lilac pony struggled, though she could not escape.
“If this ‘Friend Zone’ is so powerful, then if I try something on you, it will stop me! You always like tests!” Before the heliotrope pony could argue, Rainbow Dash pursed her lips and went in for the kill.
That’s when Rainbow Dash heard the basement door creak. Spike, a tray of drinks in hand, watched in astonishment at the romantic tests being conducted.
“Eww gay.” Spike said with disgust as he set the tea down.
Like a lightning bolt, Rainbow Dash swiftly met Spike at the doorway and bucked the door shut. Spike flew back into the basement and tumbled down the stairs. Rainbow Dash turned to face Twilight. The jelly pony watched in horror at Rainbow Dash’s dismissal of Spike, though she quickly eyed the door and sprinted towards it. Still, she knew couldn’t get away from the fastest flier in all of Equestria.
Rainbow Dash blocked the door and stopped Twilight in her tracks. The pegasus grabbed Twilight and flew into the air to minimize Twilight’s hopes of escape.
“Rainbow Dash, you really don’t have to do this!” The wine pony pleaded to the crazed Rainbow Dash. “These kinds of unexplainable phenomenon have powerful ways of making ponies believe! Trust me!”
Rainbow Dash laughed.
“YOU wanted to be my councilor, Twilight! Besides, if I can’t have Pinkie Pie, who knows what I’ll do?!”
Just then! Something fell through the roof of the library and struck Rainbow Dash on the noggin. Twilight leapt from her grasp and Rainbow Dash fell to the ground. It looked like a package filled with bricks. Following the initial drop, dozens of other boxes and packages tumbled through the hole in the roof and rained upon the pegasus. She was buried beneath the shipments.
A gray pegasus flew in through the gap and surveyed the damage apologetically. “Sorry Twilight.” She began, her blond mane picked up by the icy breeze. “Here’s all the books you ordered. Sorry they came through the roof, but it’s okay! I know what went wrong!”
Twilight sighed in relief as the Friend Zone worked its charms yet again. “It’s alright, Derpy. I’ll sort the books later. Thanks anyway!”
Derpy smild and bid Twilight farewell. With that, she was off into the world.
Twilight levitated the packages into proper stacks and dug for Rainbow Dash beneath the pile. When the packages were collected and sorted, Rainbow Dash was nowhere to be found.
Just then! The clouds overhead might as well have been thunderstorms. Rainbow Dash sighed in the frigid morning, but a voice caught her before she could ascend into the air. It sounded melodious. Was it her? No, it couldn’t be. Rainbow Dashed winced when she heard it, as if expecting something to fall on her. Only one pony’s voice could get that kind of reaction from Rainbow Dash.
“Rainbow Dash!” cried the familiar voice. She stumbled a bit as she ran to catch up with her friend. Rainbow Dash groaned unnoticeably as the grey pony approached her. “How’s it going?”
“Hey Derpy.” Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes as she was forced to engage in conversation, but there was an uncomfortable silence that followed. “Uhh…Do you need something?”
“No, I just wanted to see if you were okay. You look like you were hit by a ton of bricks. Need any help, Rainbow Dash?”
Rainbow Dash felt compelled to leave, though she spotted something odd hanging out of Derpy’s bag. “What’s with the carrots?”
“Huh? Oh!” Derpy tucked the carrots away into her bag. “They’re for Carrot Top. She likes them. Where are you headed, Rainbow Dash?”
Rainbow Dash laughed nervously. “Nowhere really, I’m just out here thinking.” Derpy paused, perhaps wondering what one did when thought occurred. Rainbow Dash gave in to Derpy’s attempts to understand, mainly because she was the only one around on the icy streets, and Twilight was no help. She stopped in the cold air and faced Derpy. “I’ve got a question for you.”
“Huh? What is it, Rainbow Dash?”
“Do you think friends can somehow become more than friends?”
“Hmm?” Derpy wondered. “Why do you ask?”
Rainbow Dash tried to avoid context as much as possible. “I don’t know. Well, do you have an answer or not?”
Derpy could see the impatience grow in Rainbow Dash.“I know me and Carrot Top are really close! Does that count?”
“Oh yeah. How is she?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“She’s great! She’s the best roommate ever and a really great friend!” Derpy said confidently.
“I don’t know, Derpy. You never know. Ponies are really strange these days. I was just at Sugar Cube Corner and Pinkie Pie was acting really weird. Weirder than normal. It’s like she didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Twilight gave me some reason, but I think she’s just trying let me down easy.”
“Pinkie Pie?” Derpy questioned. “Sounds like her normal self. She’s so random sometimes.”
“It’s not that! It’s like something or somepony was trying to get between she and I.”
Derpy cocked her head. “Huh? Get between you two?”
Rainbow Dash nearly jammed her hoof in her mouth. “Nevermind!” Rainbow Dash waved a hoof in front of Derpy to dismiss the topic. “I gotta go.”
Derpy put a hoof on Rainbow Dash before she could take off. “Why don’t you come eat breakfast with me? I know a pony who can make a great muffin! You look hungry.”
Rainbow Dash was ready with an excuse at the helm, but something in Derpy’s sweet disposition caught her and reigned her back down to earth. Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but smile at the extension of kindness, Derpy’s own smile wildly infectious. She had nothing else to do and he breakfast was cut short.
“Sure, Derpy. Why not?”
Just then! As young sunlight began to break through the window panes of the village, Carrot Top was already wide awake. She had just finished preparing breakfast when Derpy and Rainbow Dash entered through the front door. Walking across the room, Derpy took in the smell of the cooking and her mouth began to water.
“Good morning Carrot Top! I got these for you.” Derpy smiled, revealing the bouquet of carrots to her friend.
Carrot Top’s eye widened. She looked to the bouquet lovingly. “Thanks Derpy! What a nice present.” Carrot Top smiled and placed the carrots on the counter to wash them. “I see we have company. Please, sit down Rainbow Dash! It must be below freezing outside.” Both Carrot Top and Derpy were smiling so cheerfully. Rainbow Dash and Derpy both gathered around the table to take in the plethora of Carrot Top’s cooking and the table ripe with fresh muffins. Carrot Top tended to an oven nearby. “How did your morning deliveries go, Derpy? ”
“It went really well! Probably the smoothest run all year. Nothing damaged that the company can’t cover.” Derpy beamed as she dove into the muffins voraciously.
“Good to hear...?” Carrot Top wasn’t sure what to make of the information.
Derpy stopped her chewing and recalled something else. “And at the post office, they keep giving me all these wrong name tags. It’s like they don’t even know what to call me! How hard is it to spell ‘Derpy’ huh?” Derpy laughed. “Someponies are so clumsy.” She got back on her furious muffin eating pace, crumbs flying in all directions as she ate.
Rainbow Dash ate as well, tasting the perfection of flavors in the muffin. Tender berries and sweet dough melded together beautifully in each bite, reminding Rainbow Dash of another pastry chef. Rainbow Dash felt compelled to talk to Carrot Top. She was washing an empty tray as Derpy was content with her bounty of muffins. Rainbow Dash met her by the sink, peering behind her to see if Derpy was paying attention, and laughed at the thought.
“So, Carrot Top.” Rainbow Dash began.
“Oh! Hey Rainbow Dash. What’s up?”
“Well, I ran into Derpy.”
“I’m sure she ran into you.” They both exchanged light chuckles. “It’s so ironic that, for somepony with the cutie mark of bubbles, she’s such a klutz. It’s gotten her into trouble before, but I’ve always been there to help get her back on four hooves.”
“It sounds like you and Derpy have been friends for some time. So how long have you been with Derpy?”
“Huh? Well, we’ve been roommates for a few months now. She’s a lot of fun to have around, and definitely full of surprises.” Carrot Top’s mind seemed to wander and find herself in memories of Derpy’s mishaps.
“No. What I meant was how long have you and Derpy been together together?” Rainbow Dash clarified.
Carrot Top thought for a moment on the exaggeration of the word, then promptly blushed. Her cheeks swam with deep reds as she shook her head violently. “N-no way! What stories has Derpy been telling you?” Before she could answer, Carrot Top turned to Derpy and her fervent enjoyment of muffins.
“Derpy, what did you tell Rainbow Dash on the way here?!” Carrot Top demanded.
“That muffins are scrumptious!” Derpy replied in between bites.
Derpy finally swallowed and replied clearly. “Just how you and I are such good friends. She seemed to be having friend troubles of her own. Like I told her on the way here, friendship is like a package: to be shipped properly, not only does the package have to be in a sturdy box, but you have to know where you want to go, otherwise the whole thing falls apart. You can’t let anything stop you when you want to ship something. If it’s gotta go somewhere, you make it your life’s purpose to get it there!” Upon finishing, Derpy winked to Rainbow Dash and dove back into her muffins.
Carrot Top shook her head. “Sorry for any misgivings, Rainbow Dash. Derpy is a little absent minded sometimes. Though she’s a good pony.”
Rainbow Dash smiled. “I think you’re right Carrot Top.” She thought for a moment. “Thanks for having me over, but I have a pony I need to see!”
Quick as a flash of rainbow, Rainbow Dash dashed out of the house, leaving a dashing rainbow trail of rainbows.
Just then! Rainbow Dash burst through the front door of Sugar Cube Corner, finding Pinkie Pie and Twilight talking across the room.
“There you are, Dashy!” Pinkie Pie smiled at her friend. “Twilight and I have been looking all over for you.”
Rainbow Dash felt less tense and trotted towards them, though Twilight seemed unusually giddy. “Yeah, I’m fine. What has Twilight told you?”
“Me?” asked Twilight. “Trust me, there’s nothing I could say. I just thought I’d help Pinkie clean up.”
“Oh really?” Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, really. Don’t you have something you want to tell Pinkie, Rainbow Dash?”
Pinkie Pie gasped and grew with glee. “Oh yeah! You were gonna’ tell me something before you ran off. What is it?”
Rainbow Dash felt it again. The pull of the universe around her and gravity’s crushing grip. Time stood still in its place as Rainbow Dash just looked at Pinkie Pie and her anticipation. She was in the hold of the zone again, yet she pressed on, knowing she could break it down. To obliterate the rampart between the two, Rainbow Dash just had to move.
She trotted towards Pinkie Pie, but her weight felt almost unbearable beneath her hooves. Outside forces were pushing down on Rainbow Dash’s frame and stifling her movements. Simply putting one hoof in front of the other proved to be an arduous task. Gravity struck her to the floor. Pinkie Pie and Twilight watched in confused horror. Trembling, Rainbow Dash tightened her resolve and raised herself up amid the dominating pressure and thoughts attempting to silence her will. Bones felt like rubber and her mouth could barely function. Her vision swam. She stumbled and collapsed at Pinkie Pie’s hooves.
“Rainbow Dash! What’s wrong?!” Pinkie Pie could not wrap her head around what was happening to her friend.
“Pinkie Pie...” Rainbow Dash managed to get out. Her lips felt millions of needles in them, every syllable an ordeal to get out.
“What is it?!”
“Will you...” There it was. A moment of relief and freedom. Words flowed and she was given a chance. “Will you be my special somepony?”
Zen occurred for Rainbow Dash. All pressure and forces lifted immediately. Rainbow Dash felt weightless with her question finally being asked and got back on her hooves to see Pinkie Pie’s reaction.
Pinkie Pie was smiling widely. “Yes.”
Rainbow Dash’s eyes widened. “Looks like you and I have some baking to do.”
Twilight couldn’t help but smile, especially with how much joy she got from Rainbow Dash’s expression of relief. She reveled in the warmth of a learned lesson.
Spike came down the stairs of Sugar Cube Corner and met the three. “Hey lesbos!” Spike greeted.
“There you are Spike. I thought you were at home. What were you doing upstairs?”
“Oh you know.” Spike said. “Stuff.”
“Anyway, I’m glad you’re here. Take a letter please.”
“With pleasure!” Spike pulled out a scroll of parchment and a quill and prepared himself to scribe.
Rainbow Dash broke in. “Let me handle this one, Twilight.”
“Dear Princess Celestia,
I’ve learned that friendship can be a really strong thing between two ponies, though that shouldn’t mean that they should only be friends. When it really matters, you have to rise above everything and just come out and say it. You can’t let stuff get in your way or fear rejection. I thought I knew that, but it took close friends to remind myself of that, and an even closer friend to give me the courage to go for it. Stick to your guns and you’ll always get the girl in the end.”