The Other Side of Friendship
by The Riph (Riph Kitsune)
an MLP:FiM fanfic
Stories come and go here in Equestria. You may have heard a few of them; like the time an Ursa Major started causing havoc in town, or the Nightmare Moon scare. Whether it was from fire breathing dragons, or tiny little Parasprites, there was always a group of ponies who all learned that the key to winning any battle or obstacle in their path was one simple word. One word that could overpower all. One word that stays within anypony’s heart. That word is, “Friendship”. With this one word, this group of friends overcame anything that stood in their way. Now, this story focuses on a different group of my fellow Ponies of Ponyville who, on their own, learned the ways of Friendship and Love. Come with me as we learn of their adventure. This story takes place on a beautiful summer morning in Ponyville.
Chapter 1: Introduction.
“Good morning, Equestria! It is I, Skylight Spinner, here to wake you up on this beautiful morning here in Ponyville. The sky is clear, the sun is shining, and if you are not out of bed WAKEY WAKEY! Open your shades, get that window opened, and let the sun shine in! It's not gonna stay there forever! On today’s news, Sugarcube Corner is having a fifty percent off sale on their delicious cakes and muffins. Believe me, you will never find a better bakery in all of Equestria, so everypony get yourself down there before Pinkie Pie eats them all!”
The young female voice trailed off as it was heard coming from a small radio sitting on somepony’s bedroom shelf. This room belonged to Starbuck, a blue coloured Unicorn Pony with a dark blue mane. He was still snuggled up in bed, trying to wake himself up. He gave a small yawn as he stretched, then gave his whole body a shake to wake himself up more.
He could still hear Skylight from the radio telling the news. “Yeah-Yeah, I hear you loud and clear.” He combed his mane to get rid of the messy bed-head, “I think it’s time to get a trim.” He laughed softly as he finished his wake-up routine then he headed out of his house to go to work.
As he was walking, greeting everypony that walked past, he felt his tummy rumble. He was in the mood for some baked goods so he made a stop to Sugarcube Corner.
“Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Cake.” Starbuck smiled as he entered the store.
The two smiled back as Mrs. Cake greeted, “Good morning Starbuck. Beautiful day.”
“Yes it is. Have I missed the raging haul of Ponies coming in?”
Mrs. Cake laughed still holding her empty cupcake tray. “Yes, you have. Thanks to your friend announcing it on the radio, we had a crazy morning!”
Starbuck's ears fell down now, thinking that there was nothing to eat. It looked like he was going to work on an empty stomach. Mrs. Cake looked at him. “Oh, don’t worry dear! Our assistant is making a new batch right now.”
Starbuck looked up in delight his blue eyes widen with happyness. “Oh goodie, I am starving!”
Mr. Cake walked over to the kitchen.“How are you doing in there, Pinkie Pie?”
Pinkie Pie could not hear him as she was singing a song about baking cupcakes, muffins and various other baked goodies. Mr. Cake sighed. “It will not take too long. Please stick around.”
Starbuck gave a small nod as he sat next to the counter. Mrs. Cake broke the silence. “So dear, how is the store coming?”
“It’s been slow.” Starbuck replied “I rarely get customers, since most Ponies use Twilight's Library. But she does pay random visits to the store to look for a book she hasn’t got in her library. So I guess it’s not too bad.”
As soon as he finished, the doorbell rang again. Mr. Cake greeted the new customer walking in, “Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! We bake with no mistake!”
Starbuck looked over at him funny. “That’s your motto?”
Mr. Cake laughed embarrassingly. “It’s a prototype, still working on it.” Starbuck’s smile became nervously looking at them in a funny manner, then turning his gaze around to see what Pony had entered. His nervous smile turned into a friendly one.“Oh hey, Radburn!”
The stranger gave a smile, walking over to Starbuck.“Morning, Starbuck,” the large red Pegasus Pony sat down next to him. “Aren't you supposed to be at the bookstore, Starbuck?”
Starbuck looked back at him innocently “I am, but I stopped here to get breakfast before I head over there. How long is Pinkie Pie going to be?”
Radburn smiled wondering where the pink pony was. “Yeah, I came here because of the sale going on.” He then looked over to Mr. Cake, “The sale is still on… right?”
Mr. Cake nodded politely. “How are things over at the bar?”
Radburn turned to look over at Mr Cake. “We got a new Apple drink coming in soon. Since the Apple family have been really busy with their own problems, I volunteered to help them at the farm. But they insisted that they can do it themselves.”
Mr. Cake gives a playful laugh .“Yeah, that’s the Apple family for you; stubborn but always so honest.” At that moment, a crash was heard in the kitchen. Pinkie Pie’s voice was heard coming from the kitchen. “It’s ok! No need to come in here! In no way have I spilled the cakes and muffins on the floor that has made such a big mess that will take a long time to clean up! So you see, there is no reason to come in here, so please do not come in!”
Mr. Cake sighed as he rushed into the kitchen. Leaving Starbuck and Radburn as the two of them started to laugh softly. Mrs. Cake shook her head. “That girl, so strange but she always helps around here. We would not be selling very well if it wasn't for her.” As she said that, she walked into the kitchen to check on the damage.
“So how is Skylight?” Radburn broke the silence, looking over to Starbuck.
“Well, as you can tell, cheery and full of energy. I don't know how she does it.”
“Well, you know her way better than I do. You both are Unicorns and went to the same magic school after all.”
Starbuck chuckled, “Yeah and even then, she was full of energy. Always wanting to do something and dragging me around.” Both Starbuck and Radburn shared friendly conversation until Mrs. Cake came out with a bag full of muffins.
“Sorry for the wait, dear. Here you go.” She placed the bag in front of Starbuck.
“Thank you... umm, are they…”
Mrs. Cake shook her head. “Don’t worry, Pinkie Pie did not touch or bite into them."
Starbuck gave a friendly wave. “Ok. Good. Well, time to go. Thank you so much. I will see you later Radburn, and tell Pinkie Pie 'thanks' for the muffins.”
Mrs. Cake smiled waving back at the blue pony leaving the store, “I will dear. You take care now!” With that, Starbuck grabbed the bag in his mouth walking out of the store leaving Radburn and the Cakes to share more friendly conversation.
Having enjoyed his delicious muffins, Starbuck was on his last one. Just as he was about to munch on the sweet tasty food, he heard a small whine from behind him. He turned around to see a bluish grey Pegasus pony behind him. Her mane was yellow-lime and her amber eyes stared at the one and only muffin on Starbuck’s hoof. At first, he was a little scared that this Pony was staring at the muffin like some crazed, obsessed stalker. She gave another whine, still looking at the muffin then it sunk into his head she was hungry and wanted something to eat. Maybe she missed the sale or did not have the time to visit the shop. Starbuck gave a soft sigh. “Fine.”
He handed the muffin to her. Her amber eyes lit up as a big smile formed. She gave a happy squeak and flew off with the muffin in her hoof. “Strange girl…” he muttered softly to himself.
He finally made it to the bookstore, quickly opened the door and entered. He turned the sign on the door from closed, to open. He gave one last sigh, as he readied himself for another boring day of caretaking.
Meanwhile, over at the radio station, a familiar female voice was heard still giving the daily news of what was happening around Ponyville. She looked over at the clock. Her lunch break was about to begin.
“And that is the daily news. Stay tuned 'cause in an hour, I will return to give you lovely Ponies the gossip panel. Who has a story to tell? Who has been sneaking into the cookie jar? Or who wants to shout out their friends? Find out in an hour’s time. This has been Skylight Spinner and see you in an hour!”
With that, she cut the transmission and stretched. She left the studio, revealing a Unicorn with a purple coat and a long black mane and tail, her cutie mark being the shape of a studio microphone. Her sky blue eyes spotted her boss walking toward her.
“Great job as always Skylight! The ratings keep increasing every day!” the boss smiled in delight, showing her the chart.
“Thank you, sir. Always happy to keep the show new and exciting!” She paused. “I’m sorry sir but is there a reason why you are here on this level?”
The boss smiled handing over a small note to Skylight,“Yes there is. I want you to head out into Ponyville and interview the town Ponies about how they feel about the sudden weather change.”
Skylight glared at him in, annoyance. “Awwwwh! Can’t you get Blues to do it? All he does is sit on his flank all day telling everypony his lame snow story!”
The Boss could only shake his head.“Now Skylight, you are my number one girl. If they see such a famous figure asking questions, they will flock to you! Remember! It was you who got Sapphire Shores onto the show. Your ratings went skyrocketing and this will only increase them more… so what do you say?”
Skylight was lost in her thoughts.“High ratings would be great, but did she really have a choice to begin with?” She looked down and muttered, “Alright, I will do it.”She sighed in defeat.
The boss clapped his front hooves against the floor with enthusiasm.“Great, I knew I could count on you! I will assign one of our dragons to report your answers and send them back to the studio.”
Skylight could only smile as the boss walked away. She then let out an annoyed sigh.
“Sometimes, I’m too nice. Maybe I should be a little tougher in these situations.”
Skylight’s tummy started to rumble. She didn’t have any lunch so she made her way to the nearest food cart.
With a soft groan of frustration, she was on her way to Ponyville with her rent-a-dragon mail service accompanying her. The small dragon hardly spoke at all during the travel to Ponyville despite Skylight's efforts to make small talk.
“So!” she continued, “We go into Ponyville, find some Ponies, interview them and then be back to the studio before you can say Celestia’s your aunt.”
The Dragon stared blankly into the distance as he followed the young Pony. Skylight looked around to find an innocent victim to interview.
“This would be so much easier if I could interview my friend Starbuck, but it would take too long to get to him. I would never get back in time.” Another groan slipped her lips.
She had no choice but to go on the full frontal assault but who would be her target? From the corner of her eyes, she saw a young female Pegasus Pony with a yellow-lime mane and greyish blue colours. It was the same Pony that Starbuck had encountered.
The Pegasus looked like she was having a good time, trotting happily and humming a tune that was playing in her mind. Then, in a flash, her peace was disrupted by Skylight who had pounced right in front of her. Both Ponies made eye contact as the rent-a-dragon readied his pen and scroll. Skylight spoke with a fast pace.“What do you think about the sudden change in the weather are you upset or happy!?”
The Pegasus Pony screamed as she took off, fast into the air to escape Skylight.
“Hey, wait! Come back!” She yelled to the fleeing Pegasus who was now long gone.
Skylight looked down at the Dragon who had wrote everything that happened. She glared.
“Now, you listen to me you rent-a-dragon thing. If you send that to the studio, I will come into your little rent-a-house and destroy you…”
The Dragon looked up at her blankly, unblinking and completely unfazed by her threat.
Suddenly out of the blue, Skylight was hit by some unknown force that caused her to fall on the ground. She was out for a brief second but when she came to, she felt some heavy force on her as she struggled to get up. She turned around to see a green coloured Earth Pony laying on her. His mane was three shades of green arranged from darkest to brightest. He finally spoke. “Hmmm… curious… curious indeed…”
Skylight growled.“Hey! Get off of me!” The male Pony suddenly got up, looking around the place. “Who do you think you are?! You should look where you're going! And more importantly… what the hay are you wearing on your head?!”
Skylight looked at this Pony who was wearing silver shades with rainbow lenses and a cap that looked like a massive silver bowl with wires all around it.
“This… whoever you are... is my latest masterpiece. I programmed it to show me the fourth dimension, something you don’t understand. Very sciencey and a bunch of codey wodey stuff. You see what it does… when I wear this, it shows me what everything in Ponyville would look like in the fourth dimension… but it seems like it was not coded right… hmmm, better go back to the drawing board.”
Skylight stared at him, confused.“Programming… codey wodey stuff… fourth dimension… are you ok? Did the bump make you go all cuckoo in that coconut head of yours?”
She looked down and gasped at the Dragon, who was still writing everything down. She growled and tried to stop the dragon from writing anymore.
“Not only does this show everything in a different perspective, it can tell weather patterns too. I coded that! Pretty easy for someone like me! I tested that out and did you know it's going to rain soon? I mean, come on! Such a nice week of sunshine and then boom! Rain! I mean rain! It’s an outrage I tell ya! Those Pegasus Ponies and their moving of clouds to make it rain! I really need to study more on that! I mean, how can they tell when it’s going to rain? They must have some sort of machine… Ohhh! I would love to find that and pick at its coding so much!”
As the strange Pony continued to ramble on about certain things that Skylight knew nothing about, she suddenly came back down to earth.“Wait… Did you just say something about the weather?” Skylight grinned as she hinted the Dragon to keep writing, “So tell me! What was all that you said about the weather change?”
The Pony began again, “Like I said, it’s a travesty! Making it sunny and nice one day then the next, shrouding us with rain! Who do those Pegasus think they are? What’s so wrong with leaving it nice and bright? That way, I can continue with my research and get this baby up and running!”
He smiled as he pointed to the gizmo mounted on his eyes and head.“I need to do some adjustments too. For some reason, the coding couldn’t pick you up. That’s why I bumped into you.”
Skylight rolled her eyes; still not knowing what any of this ‘coding’ business was about.
“Or maybe your lens was so thick, you can’t see out of them…” Skylight glared at him, still hurting from the fall.
“Still, I am deeply sorry Miss… errs…” He trailed of but Skylight finished his sentence for him.
“Skylight. Skylight Spinner.”
“Skylight… OH! The Pony from the radio! I love your show. I listen to it all the time. My name is Pinstripe. Hope we meet again. Take care, Skylight!” With that, Pinstripe walked back into town, still adorned with the weird machine on his head. All Skylight could hear in the distance was the sound of crashing and screaming.
She looked down at the Dragon who had finished taking everything down. “Well, looks like we got all we can get for now. We should head back to the studio. Why don’t you go and send that to the boss?” The Dragon nodded and with a deep breath, he blew green fire. The fire magically disintegrated the scroll and the green pixie dust moved in the wind straight to its destination.
“Hmm… Pinstripe, huh? Starbuck is going to have a blast hearing about this.” She giggled as she quickly ran back to the studio, ready to do the second half of her show.
After causing such a ruckus in the town centre, Pinstripe shook the contraption off of his head with rage. “Stupid thing!” he growled in annoyance as the other Ponies eyed him in awkward ways like he was some kind of nut ball.
Knowing that his mission was not accomplished, he quickly disposed of the strange machine and quickly trotted away before other eyes started to watch. He gave a sigh, keeping his head down.
“It’s no use. Everything I make just doesn’t work… What am I doing wrong? Is the coding off? Am I missing something? Maybe I should just give up this silly occupation and try to do something else… but what?”
Pinstripe looked around town and watched what the other Ponies were doing. He found it wondrous that every pony was moving about doing something, whether it was delivering mail, items, food and so on to running stalls across Ponyville. “Hmm, maybe I could get a job at weather control.”
He looked up and watched the Pegasus Ponies getting rid of the clouds in the sky. They did such a good job taking care of everything. But his smile was brought back down when he noticed that he doesn't have any wings.
“Guess that’s out of the question…” He continued to look around, “Ah! I could own a store! They always seem to bring in the bits!” Again, he was brought back down to the ground, “But what would I sell? I could sell all my old inventions… or maybe some stores are hiring. I could always go in and ask.”
He smiled and walked over to the nearest store, until something else caught his eye.
A lone Pegasus Pony was sitting on the soft green grass looking up at the sky and back to the trees in quick motions. Pinstripe walked over to the hypnotised Pony, moving slowly so as not to startle her. He couldn't help but wonder why she seemed so excited, looking at the trees and the sky from the ground.
“Umm… hello? Are you lost? Can I help you?” He said softly.
The mint coloured Pegasus turned around. Her green and brown eyes fixed themselves on him for a brief second until she gasped in excitement. Pinstripe looked to be in fright as he could only think of running away from this girl. But he was stopped when she spoke.
“OH. MY. GOSH! Your colour! What type of green is that? It’s not like the same green as the trees or the grass but look at you! You are all green! And your mane is different shades of green! That is so cool! I just want to draw you! You know what? I will! Stay right there! I want to colour you!”
Pinstripe stared in confusion at this energetic Pegasus then quickly spoke up. “Wait, wait!”
She suddenly stopped and turned around to look back at the Earth Pony. “Yes?”
Pinstripe walked over to her. “I have to know. Why are you not up there with the others, clearing the skies? Instead, you are down here screaming at how many different shades of green I look!”
She laughed softly, “Well of course! You have such an amazing palate of green around you. Were you born with a mane like that? Or did you recently dye it?”
“I was born this way.”
“Cool! I find it really awesome when I see Ponies with crazy manes. That’s why I had to draw Rainbow Dash… Wow, all those colours! So awesome!”
“You drew Rainbow Dash?”
“DUH! Can’t you tell? I’m an artist! Foxglove is the name! And art is my game!”
Pinstripe leaned his head forward to look at Foxglove's Cutie Mark, which consisted of a paint palate with blots of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.
“Hey! It’s rude to stare at a girl's flank, you know!” she growled with fiery eyes looking over at Pinstripe like some naughty pony.
Pinstripe quickly reverted his gaze back. “Sorry! Sorry!” he blushes softly feeling bad for staring.
She shook her head. “So, what is the deal with your mark? It’s very unusual.”
Pinstripe quickly turned his eyes back to the Pegasus hoping it was safe to look again, “I thought it was rude to stare at flanks.”
“Yeah, well, you're not a girl so it doesn’t count!” She grinned at him feeling like a winner so proud.
“Yeah, sure.” He sighed. Thinking that it’s unfair for a filly to stare at a colt, but never the other way.
“So, are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?” She sat down in thought, “Hmm… you have what looks like a window. Are you a window cleaner?”
“Are you a shop owner?”
“You just said window cleaner.”
“Are you a window cleaner?”
“I’m not a window cleaner!” Pinstripe yelled in frustration.
“Alright. No need to get snappy with me. What do you do?” Foxglove looked at him, having already given up on her guesses.
Pinstripe spoke up to break the tension between them, “I’m what you call a programmer.”
Foxglove's curious expression turned to confusion. “A pro-grammar... so you are good with words?”
“No, not that type of grammar! I guess you could say that I like to design certain things.” Pinstripe tried to keep it as simple as he could.
“Ah! So you are an inventor?”
“I guess you could say that.” He sighs still wondering what to do with this one and what she really wants with him. Foxglove looked back with another bright smile coming from her lips. “Great! You can tell me more along the way.”
“Along the way?”
Foxglove turns as her green and brown eyes stare into the colts dark green eyes, “Yes! Well, you weren't just going to leave a lonely girl who just got here all by herself are you?”Pinstripe could only look at her, knowing that it would be rude to leave her. He was curious to ask. “So, if you're not from around here, where do you come from?”
“I come from Cloudsdale; the city in the sky.”
“Cloudsdale. Really?! I've always wanted to go there. Why would you want to come down to a small, boring town like Ponyville?” Foxglove looked down at the soft grass “Well… life up there for me was pretty… bland. The only things colourful up there are the rainbows and even they get boring to look at from time to time. So, I figured why not come down to Ponyville and make a name for myself here? So many wonders!”
Pinstripe could only nod as if he was paying attention to her in the first place.“So, you went from bland to less bland then. Alright. Fair enough.”
Foxglove narrowed her eyes on him. He continued to speak in spite of it.“Anyway, that aside... when you say that you want to make a name for yourself, you mean as --”
She raised her hoof to the bright blue sky with confidence. “As an artist!”
“That’s nice.” Pinstripe continued, “We don’t have that many artists around here. In fact, I have only ever seen one painter in this town and even he doesn’t show up. But I wish you the best of luck on that!”
Foxglove smiled cheerfully. “Thank you! Now, if you could just stay there and let me draw you... you can be my first customer! So, I will need you to stay perfectly still while I do this. Art is a patient process and should not be rushed. So I hope you can stay still for a good hour or two.”
Pinstripe looked back nervously, trying to think of a way to get out of this situation. He quickly thought of something. “Hey! Wait! You said that you need somepony to guide you around. How about we do that first? I will be happy to show you around!”Foxglove's eyes widened.“Really? You will?!”
Pinstripe nodded and sighed in relief as he bought himself some time. “You know, Pinstripe; this is the start of a beautiful friendship.” She smiled as she took flight and hovered, her hooves barely touching the ground. Pinstripe laughed nervously. “Yeah… friends…”
With that, the two took off. Pinstripe started to show Foxglove around the always-busy town known as Ponyville even when Pinstripe was never comfortable about being around other pony's he preferred to be by himself when it comes to his programming or walks around Ponyville. But in the end Pinstripe, Foxglove, Radburn, Skylight and Starbuck. will have many great times in Ponyville. And who knows? Maybe even beyond.
And there we are. Now, I know what you are thinking. What do a bunch of random ponies all have in common? Well, as my star student once wrote, “Maybe your future friends are all staring at the same rainbow,” and this small group will eventually come to learn the same thing. Wherever you are or no matter where you go, your friends will always be with you. The best of friends are worth more than a heart of gold.
End of chapter 1.