Title: Batpink: I AM THE NIGHT
Summary: Both Batman and Pinkie Pie are intensely intelligent, planning-oriented individuals whose justice-loving ways drive them to become vigilantes to protect the people and hometown they love. A FiM/Batman crossover was inevitable!
"Wow, Rainbow Dash, I think that was the highest you've ever flown!" Applejack cried, trotting over to her blue friend as she landed lightly on the ground, tossing her rainbow-colored mane over her shoulder.
"Yeah, probably." Rainbow Dash grinned cockily, surveying her beaming circle of friends. "But didja see how fast I went? I mean -"
"Yeah! You were like, WHOOOOSH! And we were like EEEEEK IS SHE GONNA CRASH? but you were like NO DUDE, I'M JUST PLAYIN, and we were like YAYYYYYY and you were like ZOOOOM! WHOOSH! FWOOOOSH!" Pinkie Pie exploded in glee, bouncing from hoof to hoof in an agitated dance of raw excitement, describing Rainbow Dash's flight of fancy with a myriad of sweeping hoof-motions, alternating her imitations of Rainbow Dash with her friends. "ZOOM KAPOW WHOOSH! And we were all WOOOOOOOOOAH and you were like YEAHHH I'M THE BEST FLIER and we were like YAAAAAY RAINBOW DASH! And then you landed and were like YEAH DID YOU SEE HOW HIGH I FLEW and we were like YEAH THAT WAS THE BEST THING EVER! And then I was like YEAH YOU FLEW SO HIGH, IT WAS LIKE THIS: WHOOOOSH-"
"Oh, gee, look at the sunset!" Twilight Sparkle interjected sharply, noting the way Fluttershy's eyes were beginning to glaze over. "Looks like it's time for us to head home!"
"I got a great idea, why don't y'all come on over to the barn tonight? We could have a sleepover!" Applejack whinnied, pigtails bouncing as she looked from friend to friend. "We just hauled out this year's crop to the storage shed, there'll be plenty of room before we harvest the next orchard!"
"Oh, a sleepover sounds ever so much fun!" Fluttershy beamed, glancing over to Rainbow Dash and their other friends. "You're coming too, right?"
"Oh YEAH I am! I wouldn't miss a sleepover for the world!" Rainbow Dash grinned, launching herself into the air, performing a sudden somersault in her excitement. "This'll be the BEST! SLEEPOVER! EVER!"
"We can have baked apples, and popped apple-fluff, and sugared apple slices, and-"
"That sounds ... pretty nice, actually." Twilight Sparkle interjected, a small smile curving her oft-stoic mouth. "Should I bring anything? Applejack's got the snacks, who's going to -"
"I'll provide the latest, most beautiful, most magNIFICENT pajamas, darlings!" Rarity interrupted, struggling not to mimic Pinkie Pie's happy dance from earlier. Her eyes widened and shone with joy, almost seeming to glow in her fevered imaginings. "They will be the most incredible - most fashionable - oh, I must run home right now and get to work! I can hardly wait!"
"Okay, so Rarity's got the pajamas, Applejack has food covered, and I -"
"I'll get the sleeping bags!" Rainbow Dash whinnied, pausing briefly from where she was currently cartwheeling over their heads. "I'll be there and back at Applejack's pad in ten - no, five! - seconds flat! Someone time me!" She laughed, and took off like a shot, disappearing from sight.
"Okaaay, we have food, bedding, and apparel covered, what else is there?" Twilight Sparkle frowned, then glanced back to their last friend, the only one not currently absorbed in the planning. "What do you wanna bring, Pinkie Pie? Some hot sauce? A silly song about sleepovers, perhaps?" Twilight Sparkle teased her gently, knowing that nothing short of a freight train could put a damper on the pink pony's mood.
"Oh, I can't come to the sleepover."
"CAN'T COME TO THE SLEEPOVER?" All of the ponies gaped as one, eyes widening to saucer-like levels of shock.
"Who can't come?" Rainbow Dash asked as she zipped back into view, all four legs burdened with sleeping bags in various rainbows of color.
"But Pinkie, you have to come, we're going to have so much fun!" Fluttershy protested in her soft, shy way, her eyelids lowering sadly.
"Well, tonight's the first night of the korblunk meteor shower, you know." Pinkie Pie beamed to her surrounding friends, thoroughly un-distressed by being forced to miss the sleepover. "And korblunk meteor showers are the besbestBEST time to eat hot sauce-covered cupcakes! I've been planning for weeks, I can't possibly miss this opportunity! But I hope you guys have lots of fun with your sleepover, too."
"Well, I guess if your mind's made up..." Twilight Sparkle murmured a little sadly, surprised to realize that she would be missing the spastic pink pony from their sextet. Now they would only be a quintet! "I hope you have fun."
"Yes, Pinkie, have a good time." Fluttershy added softly, trying to mask the gentle disappointment in her voice.
"Yeah, with your gro- delicious cupcakes and all." Rainbow Dash substituted quickly as she caught a heated glance from Rarity.
"Thanks girls! I'll seeya tomorrow!" Pinkie Pie chirped, bouncing once in place before taking off down the opposite side of the street, bouncing merrily out of sight.
"I hope she won't be lonely." Fluttershy murmured softly, watching the brightly-bouncing pony until she disappeared from sight.
"Nah, she'll be fine. She'll probably show up tonight and have no clue she was even invited." Twilight Sparkle mumbled, rolling her eyes as she followed the others down the path to Applejack's homestead, their laughter fading into the night.
Pinkie Pie bounced her way down several streets, passing by all of her daytime hangouts - the candy shop, the soda fountain, the saddle-smith - until she had left the boundaries of Ponyville entirely, her bouncing becoming far more subdued as she drifted into the shadows. No, she couldn't enjoy the company of her friends tonight; she had a mission to complete.
Her hooves had become silent as they carried her from shadow to shadow, her usual bouncing abandoned for her nighttime stalk, as silent and deadly as any manticore's. It was only a matter of moments before she found herself before the Evergreen Forest - or, as she knew it more fondly, home.
Pinkie Pie's parents hadn't intended to abandon her, not really. If they had the choice, they'd still be around, she just knew it. And she had her Granny Pie, so it wasn't like she was all alone, right?
The forest had once been the place she'd been most afraid of in the world. After what she'd witnessed there -
Nope, not thinking about that. She busied her mind with the mundane efforts of her costume, buckling all of the clasps tightly, making certain she didn't put the mask on backwards (again). Trying not to trip over the cape, she stepped towards the shaded pool of water, examining her appearance, checking to make certain that her face was properly shielded, protecting her from any recognition.
Granny Pie hadn't asked too many questions, after she'd seen the bloody scene left behind in the Evergreen Forest. She'd thought all of her daughter's family was destroyed, eaten up in one mighty gulp by the manticores that were said to live in the shadowed boughs. What else could have happened? There were no bodies, just the bloody smear and the unmistakable pawprints of the mighty lion-like creatures. But then she'd seen the little flash of pink, quivering in terror in the underbrush. After that nightmare, how could she ask the little filly to relive that night?
She had hoped the little filly was too small to remember what had happened that night, and when Pinkie had grown into a thriving, exuberant young filly, she'd been inwardly relieved. Surely, she must have no memory of that night, if she was such a giggly filly.
But Granny Pie was mistaken.
Sure, what she remembered was spotty, and inconclusive, but she knew one thing for sure: there was someone out there to punish, and as long as they lived, she would not rest until that monster had been brought to justice.
"Miss Pie, your grandmother would not like you running around at night like this, you know."
"I know, Francois." Pinkie Pie sighed, her cape fluttering behind her as she stepped into the low, heavily-shaded clearing. It hadn't been easy, finding the hidden cavern and then clearing it out. And it had been even more difficult to weave the brambles and stinging nettles around the wooden frame, forming a sort of living door to cover the wide opening. Unless you knew where to find the small tunnel to crawl through, you'd simply think it was an unremarkable flourish of greenery on the side of a mountain. It seemed impossible to do, looking back on it, but she'd gotten it done.
But the hardest step, without question, had been going back into the forest. She had been so afraid of the forest for so many of her fillyhood years, she wouldn't even go to the shops closest to the edge of town, for fear of catching sight of it. But in her own, soothing way, her Granny Pie had encouraged her.
"If you see anything scary, dear girl," she had beamed, her hooves dusty with flour as she kneaded the dough for her next pie, "just laugh at it! Then it loses all its power over you, y'see? Now pass me that jalapeno, I need a garnish."
Pinkie Pie came back to herself, realizing that Francois had been standing in silence for several moments, waiting for her to speak. Her eyes landed on the cream-colored stallion with a new, fervent energy, ignoring the way his mustache twitched gently when she awoke from her reverie.
"What's the news in the forest, Francois?"
"It would appear that the latest signs of the manticore have ... vanished."
Pinkie Pie looked up sharply from where she'd been working on her toolbelt, attempting to add on a Tabasco-sauce bottle holder. "Pardon?"
"That is precisely it." The stallion repeated, stepping a little closer to the filly, holding out the bit of leather that she was searching for. "The tracks that you had been following? They were not there when I arrived this morning. I had gone to make the plaster imprint, and they had been scraped away."
"The rain, perhaps." Pinkie Pie said simply, her eyes locked on her toolbelt, her frown increasing as she screwed the new holder into place. "Or another animal."
"No, Miss Pie. This kind of degradation would not have happened overnight." Francois said simply, letting the words hang in the air, heavy and deadly cold, like some kind of malignant disease.
Pinkie Pie sat quietly for a moment, her screwdriver held tightly between her teeth before she slowly set it aside. "So it would seem that these forests are no longer as inhospitable to ponykind as we thought."
Not even Francois' concerned calls could keep Pinkie Pie in her cave, not when there was some - some pony out there, trying to help a monster escape justice. What kind of pony would do such a thing? Manticores were vengeful and cruel, with no regards except for others of their kind, and even then they'd been known to be cannibalistic. Who would put their neck on the line for something that so clearly cared about nothing but itself?
All four hooves pounded the earth as she galloped through the forest, head down and cape fluttering behind her. Perhaps if she ran fast enough, she could catch this intruder, drive them from her forest. Who else had a right to it, but her? It only seemed fair, after losing so much, that she should be allowed some measure of ownership.
She came to a slow, thoroughly unbouncy stop as she approached the cobbled-stone floors of the Castle of the Two Sisters. She had often come here, when she was feeling particularly upset; it was like an oasis in the center of the inhospitable forest, and it had been the first place she cleared out. Had she not found her bat-filled cave, she would have likely set up her command center here.
Pinkie straightened sharply, unaware until that very moment that she had even lowered her head at all. "Did you run here, Francois?"
Francois did his best to look staunchly annoyed as he tilted his nose upward, his mustache making him look all the more snooty, although the panting ruined the image. "Hardly. But I could not just let you run off into the forest willy-nilly like some kind of - empty-headed filly." He sniffed, earning a small chuckle from the pink pony before him.
"How can I fight this, Francois? It's one thing to try and hunt down a manticore, but - someone came into my forest to help a monster. What am I supposed to do about that?" She asked, a hint of her usual high-pitched voice sliding in as she pounded one hoof angrily against the stone floor. "Dammit, Francois! Someone is helping the monster that might have killed my parents!"
"Well, Miss Pie, I have never known you to be someone who gave up easily." Francois said simply, his mustache twitching once before he held still, watching the younger pink pony stand silently, mulling over his words.
"You're right, Francois." She murmured, turning her head to face him, her eyes unreadable behind the mask that hid all but her pink muzzle. "It looks like I'll have to return to Ponyville."
"I am the terror, I am the night/
Gonna find you and fight fight fight!/
Look out bad guys, avoid my sight:/
Here comes Batpink, Green Lantern's Light!"
Pinkie Pie chirped out the energetic, whispered song to herself as she bounced from building to building, her hooves near-silent on the beams and shingles as they disappeared under her hooves. She wasn't sure what a 'green lantern light' was, but she'd heard someone mention it once, and she thought it was pretty catchy. She could try and fix her song before she came upon any REAL baddies, anyway; she needed to just find something else that rhymed with 'night.'
"Bite? Fright? Might? 'Here comes Batpink, fear her might!'" She whispered to herself, feeling the words roll over her tongue, debating their merit. "Not too shabby, Batpi- what ho!" She whispered, flattening herself to the top of one building as she heard something rustle beneath her, on the street below. The manticore! Or perhaps his wicked Ponyville helper, the Mani-Helper! Slowly, she crept up to the edge of the building, the pointed ears of her mask twitching forwards in time with her own ears, straining to make out what was being said.
"... have to order more rainbowberries, they're going out of season soon and all the ponies are buying them up like mad."
"Really? Well, what about cutting the rainbowberries with apples? You could call them 'rainbowberry-apple-surprises', you know how they all love surprises..."
Batpink sighed softly, inching away from the edge of the rooftop before taking off with another bouncing leap. No information to be had there, unless she was looking to discover some kind of rainbowberry trafficking ring. Which didn't exist, of course. Ponyville was basically without crime, except for crimes against friendship, which she didn't even have to don her costume to solve. Usually a song or two took care of the trouble, or maybe a cupcake with a sweet message inscribed upon it with frosting.
Yes, it would seem that the only misfortune that fell upon Ponyville was that of her parents' gory murder at the hand of a wandering beast, and in that moment, Pinkie Pie felt far too heavy to bounce across rooftops. For a moment, she settled down, letting her cape flutter to a halt behind her, gathering her hooves close. For a moment, it seemed that, perhaps if she became small enough, her problems would not seem so large. It was not as if she spent every waking moment missing her parents; when she had others around her, to distract and make her giggle, she hardly thought of them at all. It was only when night fell, and she had only the sound of her hoofsteps on the rooftops for company, that she felt the loneliness overtake her.
Perhaps she should visit her friends, just to make sure they were safe. No harm in sneaking up on the Apple family homestead, right? She'd just pop in, make sure they were okay, and head right back out. Completely harmless, more for their sake than hers, she tried to convince herself as she took off bouncing once again.
Before very long, Batpink had bounced her way over to the Apple family farm, darting between the shadows of the orchard, approaching from the far side so as not to be detected. Most of the Apple family should be asleep, but she wasn't about to go underestimating Granny Smith and get hit with a walker for her troubles.
Struggling not to give her stealthy, slow steps the dramatic sound effects they deserved, she padded over to one of the windows on the far side of the barn, peeking in as quickly as she could before disappearing from sight once more. Dimly, she could hear them giggling over something Rainbow Dash had said, something she couldn't quite make out. This was no good! She'd have to get up to the top of the barn, so that she could try and listen in between the old shingles. Applejack had been meaning to replace them for ages, but now her loss was Batpink's gain!
With a swift flash of pink hoof, Batpink retrieved her Pinkarang from its hook on her utility belt, throwing it into the darkness above her head. It disappeared for awhile, then hit the shingled barn roof with a dull, rusty-sounding clang. Batpink froze in place, waiting for a surprised reaction that never came, then began to climb.
She'd only gotten about halfway up before a flash of movement attracted her gaze, and she flattened herself against the wall of the barn instinctively. She had to avoid detection! Moving only her eyes, she scanned the barnyard below, her brows knitting in confusion when she recognized the bouncing movements below her.
What was Angel doing out at this hour?
Batpink watched as the small white rabbit hopped towards the forest, its path surprisingly determined for such a small creature. Then again, Angel was no ordinary bunny; the little fellow managed to keep a pretty sharp eye out for Fluttershy, should she need his assistance. Which was why it was all the more strange to see him trotting away from his mistress, and into the Evergreen Forest no less. Perhaps he has little bunny-business to attend to? The thought brought a brief smile to Batpink's face, and the tiniest of giggles. Bunny business, with little bunny-briefcases and bunny-billfolds and bunny-three-piece-suits.
The black-clad pony clung to the side of the wall, eyes dark with thought behind her mask, her giggling gradually fading as the small white bunny came to a halt, sniffing at a thistle. All that way for a snack? It didn't seem likely; but then again, what did she know of bunny digestive systems? Perhaps she should leave him to his snack and just go check on her friends, she thought to herself as she resumed pulling herself up to the roof.
But right as Batpink was about to pull herself over the lip of the barn roof, she heard something in the distance, fierce and loud. She had never heard a sound like it before in her life; it was almost like the firecrackers they set off at celebrations, but somehow louder. Although it sounded muffled from the distance, it still seemed loud to her ears, and she pulled herself over the edge hurriedly, heedless of the faint thump she made as she landed on her belly. From up here, she could hear the sound much more clearly.
Her eyes widened in horror as she took in the sight of Applejack's orchard burning before her, a rolling ball of fire spiraling into the sky as another one of the firecracker-explosions assaulted her ears.
From below, Batpink could dimly hear the sound of her friends crying out to one another, but her ears were not focused on them. She couldn't seem to wrench her eyes away from the explosions that continued to bloom over Applejack's orchard, fiery flowers that burst into light from some unseen source overhead.
"My apples!" Came the sharp, panicked cry, and Batpink's eyes were sharply tugged downward, as if pulled from her trance. But it wasn't Batpink's heart that leapt into her throat at the sight of her panicked friends, but Pinkie Pie's, and she watched in tight distress as Applejack fought Rainbow Dash's grip, trying to get to her burning orchard. But what could her friend hope to do against such a massive wall of flame? With each firecracker explosion, a new fire-flower burst into life, screaming to the skies as it fed on her beautiful apple trees. The ponies had never dealt with anything like this, nothing even close to this. Small fires, sure, those were impossible to avoid, and the blacksmiths had worked with fairly sizable fires, but something like this? Never.
Batpink's eyes sadly returned to the burning orchard, the smoky smell beginning to reach her pink nostrils now, and she felt something kindle inside of her. Something - angry. Who could have caused this to happen? Who dared to vandalize her friend's property? A rogue dragon? A fire-imbued manticore? No matter; she would find them, root them out, and bring them to justice!
But ... but how could she get down there to the fire, without scorching herself? There had to be someone down there, starting these fires; firecracker explosions didn't just happen, not without lightning to start them. Somepony was down there - and she was going to find out who it was.
A sharp sound distracted Batpink from the burning, instinctively whirling as she heard the sound of something cutting through the air. A strongly mechanical sound, one that she was not used to hearing in Ponyville, and yet one that was supremely familiar to her. But one that she should not be hearing up here, of all places, in the midst of a forest fire.
"I had a feeling you might be needing this, Miss."
"Francois!" She cried out, and indeed, there he was, pedaling her Bat-copter, looking just as staunchly snooty as ever even as he pedaled with all his might. "Francois, how did you -?"
He brought the flying machine down to rest on the barn roof, the whirling blades coming to a slow halt as he propped it up with one elegant hoof. Once it was steady, he pulled himself off, giving himself one brisk little shake before he trotted over to Batpink's side. "I have never heard such explosions in Ponyville before, Miss Batpink." He said simply, not a hair out of place as he glanced over to the fire that now raged in the orchard. "I knew you would need a little extra help."
She nodded gently, her eyes flicking back to the Bat-copter briefly. A marvel of modern engineering design, if she did say so herself. Sleekly designed and painted a glossy black, powered by pony-strength alone. It had taken her some time to build up the muscle strength to power it, but now it was almost as easy as galloping. The first prototype had been a silly-looking candy-coated thing, just goofy enough that her friends wouldn't give it much thought when they saw her pedaling around on it.
Batpink and Francois turned as one, eyes widening as they looked out into the night sky, only dimly lit by the glow of the orchard as it burned. There had been a sharp cry - but from where?
But then, there - no, there! - something darting through the stars, a dark outline against an even darker sky. The creature flew quickly, almost as quickly as Rainbow Dash, and the thought made Batpink glance down, immediately fearing for her friends' safety. But they were gone now, darting to the far side of the barn, filling buckets at the water pump before dashing out to the orchard. Awfully brave, Batpink mused to herself; but then, she couldn't imagine Applejack sitting around and watching her farm burn to the ground, either.
"Ssssuch foolisssh little creaturesss, running like antssss." Came the hissing growl, and Batpink barely restrained the urge to flinch; the voice was on the roof with them! Batpink whirled where she stood, planting all four hooves on the roof as her cape flared dramatically behind her.
"Show yourself!" She barked, her voice lower than her usual giggle, and far more serious.
"I have not hidden myssself, foolisssh pony; it isss you who do not have eyesss to sssee." The voice chuckled, and moved obligingly forward, coming into Batpink's range of view. It ... well, it looked like a pony, but it was strange. It wore a suit, like hers, dark and glossy in the moon's wan light, but the wings that unfolded from its back were no normal pegasus' wings. Instead of being feathery and soft, they were flat and leathery, with long bones connecting a webbing that brought to mind something sharply familiar. But she'd never seen a pony with bat wings before, and especially not one with fur as black as the night, with a mane and tail to match.
"Who are you!" Batpink barked, holding her position, head lowered, ready for any attack. The dark creature chuckled throatily and took a few steps forward, mouth opening in a wicked smile, revealing elongated canines and sharp, un-ponylike teeth.
"You may call me - Black Sssnootie!"