"Um, Twilight? Are you drunk?" Fluttershy had to speak up to be heard over the sounds of laughter and general carousing that filled the library. Six ponies certainly could make a lot of noise, especially when cocktails were involved.
"No!" Twilight Sparkle stomped her hoof hard enough to make the pegasus wince. A pause. "Yes." Another pause. "...maybe."
"Well, um." Fluttershy bit her lower lip, "I don't mean to presume anything. But. Um. You might want to lay off a little bit. Drink some water, maybe? I know it's a party, but it's not even the weekend yet, and I'm sure you have a big day tomorrow. So, uh, why don't you just relax a little. Please?"
"I am relaxing!" Twilight said, and took a long pull at her drink. "That's why Princess Celestia sent me here. To drink. Er- relax. By drinking. I know what I'm doing." The unicorn shook her hair out of her eyes. "Besides, there are some scholars who argue that alcohol is the foundation of pony civilization. It's said that a pony named Moonshine figured out how to ferment alfalfa long, long ago...and, uh. Now we're here." Even after several cocktails (or perhaps because of them), the purple unicorn slipped into academic pontification. Twilight sipped at her drink, only to peer down into it in frustration. "And now my glass is empty."
"Um." Fluttershy said.
"Ladies!" Pinkie Pie bounced over, "Enjoying yourselves!"
"Definitely!" Twilight said, and sat down on her haunches.
"Neato!" Pinkie pie said, and trotted happily over to the rapidly dwindling array of bottles. "Whatcha drinking, girls?"
"Um. Water. Please. Or, uh. Juice? If it wouldn't be that much trouble..." Fluttershy said.
"Lighten up, Fluttershy." Twilight said, swaying a little on her hooves. "If I can have a few drinks, so can you. I'm sure the rabbits or squirrels or whatever you're looking after now won't mind."
"I sort of wanted to get the juice for you. Good source of vitamins. Not that, uh, you look malnourished or anything, but I'm just a teensy bit worried about-"
"Oooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know!" Pinkie Pie brimmed with excitement. As usual. "Screwdrivers! There's the orange juice, so you get your vitiamins and grow up big and strong and you don't get scurvy-" mixing screwdrivers was likely a waste of Pinkie's bartending skills, but she didn't seem to mind as she poured the drinks together. "I think I heard somewhere that only pirates get scurvy. You're not a pirate, are you Twilight? Because you'd be the prettiest, best-smellingest pirate I've ever met. Not that I've met any. Oooh, I know! Let's go find some pirates! We'd need a boat, though. But you don't have a boat- just a balloon- OOOH! What if they're SKY pirates? In a zeppelin? That would be SO COOL! Except for the scurvy."
"Whatever you say, Pinkie." Twilight said, and leaned forward to slurp up some of the vodka and orange juice. "You know, that's pretty good." she said, smiling broadly.
"Of course it is!" Pinkie Pie downed her own screwdriver in a single, unladylike gulp. "Orange juice is delicious, vodka is delicious, and so once you put them together-"
"Um. Are you sure that's the very best idea right now?" Fluttershy said, leaning forward just a little bit.
"Mmm. You're right, Fluttershy." Twilight said, resting one hoof on the table to steady herself.
"Oh, good. I'm so glad you-"
"Gimmie the vodka straight!"
"Yay!" and Pinkie Pie started to do just that.
Yet before she could even get the shot glasses out, Rarity's shrill but insistent voice came from the other side of the room. "Twilight Sparkle, don't you dare!"
Startled, Pinkie Pie fell over. To her credit, she didn't spill any of the vodka- on the floor, at least. She 'accidentally' caught the open bottle between her lips as she fell.
The white unicorn dashed in from across the room, having just noticed the goings-on around the liquor cabinet. Applejack and Rainbow Dash came along hot on her hooves, looking both puzzled and concerned. It was the sort of look anypony tended to take on at some point or another whenever Pinkie Pie was around.
"Honestly, darling-" Rarity huffed, "it pains me to see you drinking such swill. If I'd known we were having a proper celebration, I would have brought something from my wine cellar. In fact, I've a pinto noir that I've been saving for a very special occasion-"
"But it is a special occasion!" Pinkie Pie popped up. "It's Tuesday!"
"Aw heck, Rarity-" Applejack said, nudging the unicorn playfully, "Ya don't have ta do that. 'specially since this ain't a party so much as a...schindig."
"There's a difference?" Twilight said. She still had most of her screwdriver, and swore to herself that she would finish it, Rarity's judgment or no.
"Sure there is! This? This is just us, sittin' round, havin' some drinks, havin' some laughs. Schindig. But a party- well, way I see it, it's a bigger operation. Ya get out decorations 'n have Pinkie Pie make some cake or somethin' 'n invite the whole town."
"Yeah, we shoulda invited your brother Macintosh at least!" Rainbow Dash said, grinning broadly.
The other ponies just stared at her.
"What?" Dash said, giving her wings a little flutter. "He's hot."
As the tipsiest, Twilight spoke first. "I'm sorry, Dash. It's just that I- er, we-...we thought you didn't like-"
"Ponies without wings?" Dash laughed aloud, and took to the air, circling playfully over the heads of her friends. "Usually! But there's just something about the big guy that makes me wanna take a bite outta that apple on his-"
Applejack coughed. Loudly.
"Oh, c'mon. It's not like I'm the only pony here who's-"
Applejack coughed again. Louder.
"Psh, fine. Spoilsport." Dash said, landing on the ground once more.
"First thing," Applejack held up a hoof- "Ew. Second thing? Big Mac's spoken fer, ladies."
"What? No way! Who?" Dash said.
"Ditzy Doo. The mailpony. Macintosh's been wakin' up 'fore sunup every day, just to get the mail, and...well, I hear she's had her eyes on 'im for awhile now-"
"More like she's had her EYE on him!" Dash laughed- only to get another pointed glare from Applejack. "Jeez, tough crowd."
"Psh." Twilight shook her head again, "I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like Applejack's brother is the only boy in town-"
"Just the hottest!" Dash said, smiling.
Applejack coughed again.
"Oh no, Applejack- are you getting a cold?" Fluttershy said, "Maybe you should have some juice-"
"More screwdrivers!" Pinkie Pie piped in.
"-or, uh. Maybe some soup."
"I'll be fine, Fluttershy. So long as SOMEPONY learns the definition of too much information..." Applejack glared at Rainbow Dash, who looked fairly unfazed by the look.
"As I was saying," Twilight spoke up again, changing the subject, "there's other boys in town, y'know. Like Doc."
"Doctor... Who?" Rarity peered at Twilight from over the rim of her martini glass.
"Not Doctor- just Doc. At least, I think that's his name." Twilight said, "Y'know, brown pony. Doesn't talk much. Hourglass cutie mark? I've seen him around every now and again."
"Twilight!" Rarity gasped, extra-melodramatically, "are you saying you have a crush on a boy whose name you don't even know? I am scandalized!"
"I know his name!" Twilight stomped her hoof, hard enough to make Fluttershy wince. A pause. "Sort of." Another pause. "Maybe?"
"Well! I imagine it'll be simple enough to find an answer, hm? Because WHO knows everypony in town?"
"Oooooh, who? Tell me! Tell me!" Pinkie Pie bounced. "I'd love to talk to the pony who knows everypony! That'd be fun!"
"...I was referring to you, dear." Rarity said, and took a much-needed sip of her martini. "Please, enlighten us on the identity of Twilight's crush."
"I don't have a crush on him!" Twilight said, only to get the disbelieving stares of her five best friends. "Maybe." Another pause. "yes." she said in a very small voice.
"Right. So, brown pony, scruffy hair, hourglass cutie mark. Who's he?"
"I have no idea!" Pinkie Pie said, cheery as ever. "I mean, I've seen him around, but I don't really know him as well as I know you guys- or anybody, for that matter! I don't think he actually lives in Ponyville- he just sorta goes wherever, y'know?"
"Ah." Rarity said, "...I see. Well, Twilight, don't worry. You're the smartest pony I know. I'm sure you'll be able to get to the bottom of this mystery once you put your mind to it, hm?"
"You're right, Rarity!" Twilight said, furrowing her brow in determination, "this demands research!" Twilight made it about three steps towards the bookshelves before she tripped over her own hooves and landed in a drunken heap.
"Oh, Twilight! Are you okay?" Fluttershy said, bowing down low.
"Just. Fine." Twilight said, her voice shaky. "I'm...actually kinda comfortable right here."
"Honestly, darlin'?" Applejack pushed her hat up, "you look drunker than a skunk on payday."
"I've been drunker." Rainbow Dash said.
"I'm sure you have." Rarity deadpanned, and neatly set her empty glass aside.
"WOO! Tuesday!" Pinkie Pie said.
"I'm okay!" Twilight said as she rolled over on her back. "I'm...just gonna stay here for awhile. Keep going. Don't let me ruin the party."
"WOO! Party!" Pinkie Pie said.
"Yeeeah. Well, uh. If it's alright by y'all, I think I'm a gonna get goin'." Applejack said. "Got a big day tomorrow- them apple trees ain't gonna watch themselves, hm?"
"Mmm, I concur." Rarity said, "As enjoyable as this evening's been, I'm afraid I wasn't planning on carousing- I shouldn't have to worry TOO much about the backlog so long as I get started early tomorrow morning..."
"Aw, you guys are boring." Rainbow Dash said. "If you don't wanna get down anymore, I'm going home."
"We're out of vodka!" Pinkie Pie said, horrified. "And it's only partly my fault this time!"
"Um, Twilight? It's kind of late, and it's a long walk back to my cottage- do you think I could stay here tonight?"
"Yeah, sure. Whatever you like." Twilight said, rolling to a more awkward position on the floor. Fluttershy looked on with concern, while the others fidgeted, somewhat embarrassed. One by one, the other ponies left (even if Applejack had to drag Pinkie Pie out).
"Oh hey. Everybody leave?" Twilight said, pushing herself up onto unsteady hooves again.
"Not everybody." Fluttershy said, taking a step forward. "I, um. I hope you don't mind if I stay. It's just with all that you've had to drink-"
"Yes!" Twilight staggered back over to the bar, and knocked over a few empty bottles in the process. "More drinks! I know how to have fun!"
"Oh no! That's not what I-" Fluttershy beat her wings a few times, fidgeting nervously, "I mean, uh, Twilight, I don't think it's a good idea to-"
"I'll...I'll be just fine." Twilight said, woozy. "I just need to...ugh...I just need to..." and as hard as Twilight tried to produce the right words, something else entirely came out of her mouth instead.
"It's okay." Fluttershy said, "I'll get a mop."
"Dear Princess Celestia."
"Today I learned a true friend will take care of you, even when you're at your worst. Nothing says friendship like someone holding your mane at three in the morning when you just can't stop being sick."
"Also, it's good to eat something before you go to a party."
"That's it?" Spike asked,
"Yes, that's it. Now don't talk so loud." Twilight pulled the pillow over her head.
"Alright, if you say so..."
"Would you look at that. Twilight Sparkle's growing up. Her first hangover!"
"...she's not going to send you a report when she loses her virginity, will she?"