Today was going to be the greatest day ever for Rainbow Dash. Well, maybe second greatest. The greatest had been when she had pulled off a Sonic Rainboom and won a day to hang out with the Wonderbolts, and saved Rarity too. Speaking of the Wonderbolts, if they ever invited her to join them, that would be the best day ever, hoovesdown. So today would hopefully be the third best day ever, because today was April Fools, and Rainbow Dash was going to pull off some of the best pranks Ponyville had ever seen. At least the best pranks her friends had ever been subjected to. The best part though was that she was so awesome that she'd finish all her pranks before lunch, then nap the rest of the day away on a cloud far out of reach of any prank retribution.
The first prank Rainbow Dash had pulled actually had been the day before. For the past few days she'd been acting as if she had pulled a muscle during a rather intense rain storm she and the other weather pegasi had put together. Yesterday she had challenged Firefly to a race, with the loser having to take care of the weather on April Fool's. All the weather pegasi knew better than to race against Rainbow Dash, but Firefly had though she had an advantage with Dash's sprained muscle. Dash of course had won easily and now Firelfy was stuck on cloud duty.
Rainbow Dash had woken up early for April Fools, the sun had only been up for a couple of hours when she left her house. She double checked her preparations, making sure that her supplies were in order, then dashed off to her first victim.
Applejack had been up for several hours already that morning. Although it was spring, and the harvesting season was months away, there was still plenty to do around the farm. The trees had to be pruned of dead branches, the pigs had to be fed, the barn cleaned, the apple cellar's door fixed, the list went on and on. She had already seen to most of the easy things on her list, but still had the dauntingly long task of pruning ahead of her.
On her way out to the orchards, Applejack paused and appreciated the beautiful morning, which was shaping up to be an equally wonderful, warm spring day. The buds on the trees were just about to bloom; there were even a few that had burst their confines a little early. Applejack knew that in a week or two the whole valley was going to be a sea of delicate flowers, which would eventually grow into delicious apples.
While it was going to be a beautiful sight, Applejack also knew that it would be much less pleasant when the petals fell from the flowers. They'd be underhoof for weeks to come, and their sickly sweet smell would eventually become overpowering. But that was simply another part of living on an apple farm that one eventually had to get used to.
She turned her attention back to the task at hand. During the winter, the thick snow had rested heavy on the bare branches of the apple trees. The weight had caused several of the branches to crack and break, leaving dead branches that might fall and injure somepony when they were harvesting apples. So Applejack carefully mounted the ladder she had placed against a tree the day before when she had left off pruning the branches. Sometimes she wished that their farm didn't have quite so many trees.
A gentle breeze blew through the orchard and tickled her nose with a few loose flower petals. Applejack spotted a branch that was bent away from the tree unnaturally and didn't have a single bud on it. She stretched out her neck and broke the dead branch off with her mouth, then spit it out toward the pile below of other damaged branches. She turned back to the tree to search for more deadwood, but her concentration was broken, and her ears twitched as she heard a strange sound.
It sounded almost like a rattle, but it was coming from somewhere in the branches of the tree, rather than from down on the ground. She jerked her head back and forth to find the source of the sound, when without warning the arrow of a snake's head thrust itself out of the branches just inches from Applejack's face.
With a high pitched screech of surprise she leapt down the ladder, running for the barn so fast that her hat was swept off her head. Winona, startled by Applejack's scream, was barking and running toward the earthy pony as fast has her furry legs could carry her to find out what was wrong.
"Rattler! There's a rattler on the loose," Applejack cried out as she sprinted away from the orchard.
She was halfway to the barn when she heard over her pounding heart a loud and hearty laughter. Applejack slowed down and looked back towards the tree she had seen the snake in, and where the laughter seemed to be coming from. Up from the branches lazily flapped the familiar blue form of Rainbow Dash. She was holding her stomach with her hooves as she continued to loudly laugh.
Applejack's panic was quickly turning to first confusion, then anger, and she took a few steps back towards the ladder where her hat sat on the ground. Rainbow Dash calmed down enough to wipe the tears from her eyes with one hoof, while with the other she wiggled a stiff fake snake and in a high pitched voice mimicked Applejack. "Oh it's a rattler, save me! Someone save me from the deadly snake!"
She swooped down and landed near Applejack and in her normal voice said, "You should have seen the look on your face Applejack, you were sooooo scared." She burst into another brief spat of laughter and weakly waved the snake towards Applejack again.
Applejack angrily batted the snake out of Rainbow Dash's hoof and angrily stomped over to her hat. She made sure it was in its rightful place before she turned back toward Rainbow Dash.
"Ah wasn't scared," she declared. "Ah knew no rattler could ever climb a tree. Ah was just playing along s'all."
"Ha, is that why you jumped halfway to Ponyville screaming your head off?" asked Rainbow Dash.
Applejack just regarded her friend in angry silence for a bit before she imagined what a funny filly she must have seemed running from the snake, and chuckled lightly at herself.
"Ah guess maybe I was a little scared," she admitted. "You got me this time Rainbow Dash, but watch out. What goes around comes around, and somepony's going to get one over on you."
Rainbow Dash let out a derisive laugh and replied as she began to flap away, "Like that'd ever happen. I'm the queen of pranks, and today is my day." She was still giggling every once in a while as she disappeared in the direction of Ponyville.
Applejack shook her head as the Pegasus pony left. She caught sight of the fake snake lying inert on the ground, and a mischievous smile came to her. She picked it up with her mouth and started thinking about the best place to put it for Big Macintosh to find.
Rarity's morning had been quite peaceful. It was the weekend, so her boutique was closed, and since she had not only finished, but had delivered her outstanding orders the day before, she was left with a whole day to relax. Sweetie Bell had divulged the fact that she was going to be playing with her little friends that day, so Rarity could look forward to the day being as peaceful and as quite as her morning thus far had been.
She hummed merrily to herself as she sat in front of her vanity and removed the rollers from her mane and tail. With the final one safely put away, rarity swung her mane back and forth, her curls perfectly bouncing into place. She smiled at herself in the mirror as she admired her appearance. It was perfect, as always. It wasn't easy to be the most beautiful pony in Ponyville, but it was a labor of love. Equestria would be a dimmer place if Rarity denied it even the smallest part of her beauty.
She spent a moment longer making sure that her mane fell exactly right, and that none of her makeup had inadvertently fallen on her snow white coat. Then, with a final smile and wink for her reflection, Rarity sashayed over to her model stand next to her bedroom window. It held the saddle Rarity had set aside to wear while doing her rounds today. Not her fanciest, but still quite resplendent in its simplicity and practicality.
The morning breeze carried with it the scents of the wonderful day through the nearby open window as Rarity gracefully donned the saddle. She thought she heard a rustle in the tree outside, but put it down as simply being the birds doing whatever it was that birds did. With the saddle on, Rarity eyed herself once more in the vanity's mirror and yet again was left marveling at her ability to be so stylish. The saddle brought out the color in her eyes, while its hem matched the subtle tones of her mane.
However something was off. There was a slight itch running between her shoulders, unfortunately under the saddle, and thus difficult for her to reach. Rarity didn't want to go through all the trouble of taking off and putting back on her saddle just to scratch a minor irritation, so she tried to just ignore the itch. What was a little discomfort in the name of fashion?
But instead of abating, the itch only worsened. It seemed to just keep getting deeper, and had begun to spread, until soon her whole back was one giant itch. Rarity's irritation was quickly becoming desperation. Using her magic she ripped the saddle off her back and flung it away, to where she wasn't really concerned. She twisted her head back and forth but couldn't find an angle for her to reach her back.
With a whine of frustration, Rarity dropped to the floor and turned over on her back, wiggling as she did so. But the soft carpet of her boudoir, perfect for cushioning the delicate hoofs of a lady, wasn't stiff enough to adequately scratch her back. Realizing the ineffectiveness of her methods, Rarity sprang back to her hooves and in a tense voice called out, "Opal, where are you darling? Be a dear and come scratch mommy's itch."
Opalescence meanwhile was lying on a pile of crushed velvet and had cracked an eye to watch Rarity's antics. Having her name called caused the cat to close her eye and tuck her head down in a pretense of disinterested sleep. Rarity let out a neigh of frustration at her pet's refusal to aid her in her time of need. She then cast about for anything that might sooth her condition, and noticed a nearby pin cushion bristling with a multitude of the stiff pins. Rarity picked up the soft part of the ball and turned her head to use the pins to scratch at her poor back.
Finally being able to scratch the irritating itch caused a wave of near euphoria to spread through Rarity. But while she was awkwardly bending her neck to better reach the part of her back above her shoulder blades, Rarity became aware of unrefined hooting laughter coming from somewhere outside her window. Her curiosity was piqued and she stopped scratching long enough to trot over to the window. There she saw Rainbow Dash, still chortling, disappearing around the corner of a nearby building's roof.
Confused, but not surprised by the other pony's unrefined and unladylike mannerisms, rarity absently kicked against a small bottle on the floor of her room. It rolled and bounced against the wall under her window and she bent down to read the label of the truant bottle.
Itching powder. Rarity's first thought was how such an uncouth item had found its way into her room. But almost immediately she placed the clues together and realized that she had just been a victim of a prank perpetrated by Rainbow Dash. She frowned in the direction Dash had left in, then smiled. Rarity could appreciate a prank just as well as the next pony, and she had to admit that her methods to alleviate her malady could be construed as humorous to an outside observer.
Now she just had to think of a way to repay Rainbow Dash. Another wave of itching assaulted her, and she frantically turned to scratch it with her pin cushion. Further planning would have to be put off until after her bath she resolved.
Today was going to be a wonderful day Twilight Sparkle had decided as she opened several of the library's windows to let in the bright sunlight, and to air out the musty smell that seems to develop around large collections of books after a while.
Spike was still asleep in his basket; Twilight had felt that it would be nice to let him sleep in since he had worked so hard the previous day. They had done a marathon session of sorting and cataloguing the many books the library held. Twilight had become fed up with the disorganization of the books which seemed to become an acute problem whenever a crisis cropped up and she needed a particular volume, but was unable to readily lay hooves on it. It also irked Twilight that Pinkie Pie seemed better able to navigate the library than her.
But now, with all the books properly ordered and in their assigned places, and with a master list prominently displayed on a nearby wall, Twilight was content that she could find a book on any subject in a matter of moments. Satisfied with a job well accomplished, Twilight settled down to enjoy the morning to its fullest by reading an interesting looking book she had discovered while they had been doing their cataloguing.
She had just sat down in front of her reading table, on the cusp of opening her book, when a muted thud attracted her attention. Twilight looked over, and across the room, lying on the carpet, was an unshelved book. She cocked her eyebrow at the errant tome. It hadn't been lying there a few minutes ago. It must have fallen from somewhere, somehow.
Twilight stood up and walked over to the book and read its title. According to her new system of cataloguing she discerned that it belonged on the topmost shelves far overhead. She had thought that she had securely shelved all the books the previous day, but perhaps she had been lax in her attention to details last night and had left this particular book close to the edge of the shelf.
She shrugged her shoulders, and using her magic, levitated the book up, far up. She carefully marked its progress, and this time made sure it was snuggly placed in the opening it had left amongst its fellow books. Satisfied by a task well done, Twilight returned to her reading table, and her still uncut book.
A beam of sunlight had fallen directly on the book she had set aside to read, causing it to appear newer and less worn than she remembered. Twilight settled herself back onto the comfortable cushion in front of the table and thought she heard a short burst of stifled chuckling. She looked over at the slightly snoring Spike, the obvious cause of the noise, then turned back to her table.
She lifted a hoof to open the book, but strangely, instead of the cover opening to reveal the expected pages filled with text beneath, the whole book flopped over, as if it were all one piece. Puzzled, Twilight tried opening the book again from the rear cover. Again it remained closed and simply turned the whole book over. Twilight was bewildered, such a thing had never happened to her before. She grasped the book with both hooves, a cover in each, and with a high pitched cry, strained to pry the book open. The pages continued to refuse to part, and Twilight slammed the book down, her chest heaving from the effort to open the stubborn book. Obviously when the book had been made, the binders had allowed glue to spread amongst the pages, cementing them closed.
However, this was no longer a mere whim to read a book on Twilight's part. No, it had become personal. She backed up a few steps from the table and her horn began to glow as magic surged through it. An answering glow surrounded the book and levitated it above the surface of the table. Twilight gritted her teeth and poured more magic into her effort. Both the glow around her horn and the book became brighter, but the book remained steadfast in its refusal to open.
Twilight redoubled her efforts and the aura around her horn intensified, making the sunlight streaming in seem feeble and dim in comparison. Dark eldritch powers began to flow around the room, faint echoing whispers began to sound from the corners, and the power being called upon began to shake the tree's foundations. Several books, scrolls, quills, and other loose items began to fall to the floor around Twilight.
With a great cry and a bright flash of light, she fell to her knees, exhausted. A loud crack reverberated throughout the room and the book fell to the ground, finally open. But instead of the expected pages, Twilight found that it was only a wooden box designed to look like a book, neatly split in half thanks to her magic.
Unsure what to think, Twilight stared at the fake book until a bright blue and rainbow colored pony jumped up from behind Twilight's bed and shouted out, "HA! April Fools!" Rainbow Dash then began to laugh uproariously at either her trick, or Twilight's uncomprehending expression.
Well used to Twilight Sparkle's magic, Spike had remained asleep during her attempt to open the book using dark and forbidden powers, but Rainbow Dash's exclamation had caused him to jump up and out of bed. Unfortunately he unbalanced his basket and it flipped over on top of him. He quickly pushed it back off his head and sleepily asked, "What's going on?"
Rainbow Dash turned to Spike and her grin seemed to only get bigger. "Oh nothing. Just the best prank ever!" she announced excitedly. She put out her hoof for a highfive, and Spike, still not sure what was going on, uncertainly reached over and met her hoof with his hand.
Twilight was rather perturbed by Rainbow Dash's trick, but she smiled and let out a small twitter when Spike turned questioningly back towards her, and she saw the black marker Fu Manchu drawn on his face.
Rainbow Dash flew over to Twilight, wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes. "Oh man, I got you good," she declared.
Her spirits raised by Spike's fake mustache, Twilight rolled her eyes and humored Rainbow Dash. "Yeah, you really got me. That was a good one."
"You know it!" Rainbow Dash eagerly agreed. "Now I just have two more pranks to pull, and everyone will know me as the Queen of April Fools."
"Two more? Who else have you pranked?" Twilight asked as she began to reshelf the fallen books.
"Well, I've already gotten Applejack, Rarity, and you. So that just leaves Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy," Rainbow Dash counted off.
"Fluttershy?" Twilight asked. She put away the book she had been holding and turned back to Rainbow Dash with an uncertain expression. "Are you sure you should pull a prank on Fluttershy? I mean Pinkie Pie can take a joke, but Fluttershy is …" she searched for the appropriate term to describe their friend for a moment before she settled upon, "sensitive."
"Yeah, yeah, sensitive smensitive," Rainbow Dash dismissed. "Fluttershy is tougher than you think. Remember the Dragon? Besides I won't be too hard on her, I can be sensitive to sensitivitiness too."
"If you say so," Twilight hesitantly answered.
"I know so," confidently replied Rainbow Dash. "Now, I've got some pranking to do, so I'll see ya later." She gave a final wave and sped off through a nearby open window. Her jet stream caused a few more books and loose papers to fly to the floor.
"What was that all about?" Spike asked, sounding slightly more aware of his surroundings than he had earlier.
Twilight sighed as she surveyed the damage left behind by Rainbow Dash's exit. "Oh nothing, just Rainbow Dash having fun because today is April Fools." As she began to clean up again, the beginnings of an idea began to solidify in her mind. After she was finished cleaning, she was going to go pay Rarity and Applejack a visit.
Pinkie Pie carefully watched the other pony from behind a screen of hedges, through a telescope borrowed from Twilight Sparkle. The distant pony's rust orange mane was bent over as she inspected the rows of delicate green carrot tops which were just now sprouting above the soil of her carrot farm. She was a third of the way down one of the neat rows, and Pinkie Pie could barely contain her excitement for when she reached the last plant in the row. One that Pinkie had put there the night before.
Abruptly someone tapped Pinkie on the shoulder, and she spun around to see who it was, only to find nothing. Eagerly she looked around for whoever wanted to share the joke with her. A couple of seconds later, and there was a tap on her other shoulder and a voice over her head saying, "Up here Pinkie."
She looked up and found her friend Rainbow Dash hovering in place over her. "Hey Rainbow Dash," Pinkie brightly greeted her. She quickly remembered her intended target and waved the blue pony down out of sight, while she returned to her telescope to make sure the carrot themed pony was still unaware of their presence. The diligent carrot farmer was nosing at some loose soil around one of the stalks, completely engrossed with her field.
Without looking back up, Pinkie Pie said, "You're just in time to help me with a really fun prank."
"Uh huh, what kind of prank?" Rainbow Dash asked.
Pinkie looked up from the telescope at Dash, who seemed to find something giggle worthy, and pointed with one of her hooves at a nearby contraption. It seemed to be a large pastry bag puffed up and connected to a hose which disappeared under the nearby shrub in the direction of the carrot field.
"I've got twenty pounds of cream cheese frosting in that bag, connected to a fake carrot stalk over there." Pinkie pointed to the orange maned pony. "When she's in range, I'm going to jump on it and spray the frosting all over her. If we both jump on it, it'll spray twice as hard and be twice as funny."
Rainbow Dash still seemed to be in a good mood and was smiling widely as she asked, "Why cream cheese frosting exactly?"
"Cause that's what goes on Carrot Cake, duh." Pinkie replied. She looked over at Rainbow Dash and asked, "So do you want to help?"
Rainbow dash chuckled slightly as she replied, "No. I think my work here is done, and I've got uh something else I need to go do."
"Oki dokie," Pinkie Pie said brightly and returned to observing the carrot colored pony via the telescope. "If you change your mind though, she's almost to the creaming."
"Yeah, I'm good," Dash decided. With only a breath of sound she took to flight and called out, "I'll see you around Pinkie."
Pinkie absently waved, her entire attention focused on the carrot patch, unconcerned with the ring of black grease around her eye from where Rainbow Dash had coated the eyepiece of the telescope. It was fine if she was on the receiving end of a prank, a good prank was funny whether you were the pranker or the prankie. Besides, Pinkie would be returning the favor later in the day.
In the distance, the pony with carrots on her flank paused in confusion over the fake carrot sprouts, and with joyful glee Pinkie Pie leapt onto the frosting stuffed bag, sending the gooey white substance surging through the hose and a moment later spraying all over the other pony's face.
Fluttershy was having a good day. She had finished feeding her many animal friends breakfast, and had plenty of time to devote to her annual spring cleaning. She had replaced the straw in her chicken coup, mended the few holes in the fences that kept her friends safe, skimmed away the slimy scum that sometimes accumulated in the slower parts of the stream in front of her house, and had swept and dusted her home. Of course since she routinely kept it clean, there hadn't been too much that needed the full spring cleaning. Other than taking the carpets out to beat them, dusting the tops of the door frames, repainting a few of the faded bird houses, cleaning the windows both outside and in, and of course resoding the parts of her roof that had turned yellowish under the winter's snowy cover. Just routine chores.
She was vocalizing a catchy upbeat tune she had picked up from somewhere as she patted down the final clump of fresh green grass.
"Hey Fluttershy," a voice boomed from right behind her.
Startled, Fluttershy let out a squeak and rapidly spun around, instinctively cowering away from the unexpected threat. Thankfully though it turned out to be her friend Rainbow Dash.
"Oh, hello Rainbow dash," Fluttershy softly said as she stood up slightly straighter and gave a small but genuine smile.
"So whatcha doing Fluttershy?" Dash genially asked.
"Oh, you know, just finishing up a few chores around the house. And you? Didn't you have weather duty today?" Fluttershy politely asked.
Rainbow Dash waved Fluttershy's first question away and skipped to the second. "Ah Firefly lost a bet to me, so I got her to cover for me today." Dash acted as if a sudden thought had come to her. "Hey Fluttershy, on my way over here, I thought I saw a weird looking flower. Wanna go check it out?"
Fluttershy considered Dash's offer for a moment, mentally checking off the things she had done that day against the list of things she had needed to do. But soon she smiled up at Rainbow Dash and replied, "Well, I was going to take a short break, and it would be fun to see a new type of flower."
"Great," Rainbow Dash said jubilantly. "Just follow me." She dashed off into the air, while Fluttershy sedately followed her.
A few minutes later and Dash had come to a stop near a tree in the middle of a meadow between Fluttershy's home and Ponyville. The sun was shining brightly without a cloud in the sky, and there were several fat bumblebees buzzing nearly as loudly as buzzards, flitting amongst the plethora of flowers poking through the tall grass.
Fluttershy appreciated the wonderful scenery, but diligently floated over to where Rainbow Dash was impatiently waiting.
"See, that one right there." Dash pointed at an unusual flower which was growing near the base of the tree.
"Oh my, it is very pretty," Fluttershy declared as she landed to take a closer look at the flower. It appeared to be a relative of the tulip family; its petals were stiff and conical, the tips dark violet fading to white at the flower's base. Its coloring reminded Fluttershy of her friend Rarity, and as she leaned in to sample the flower's fragrance, the delicate smell even reminded Fluttershy of Rarity's favorite perfume.
Engrossed as she was with the flower, Fluttershy didn't notice Rainbow Dash's disappearance, or how a few moments later the sky darkened over her. She most definitely noticed though when with a ferocious clap, a small bolt of lightning struck the tree a few feet above her head, and a localized torrent of rain began to pound down. With a shrill shriek, and without the aid of her wings, she made an impressive leap into the air. Unfortunately with the scary shock, all her appendages, wings and legs both, froze up completely, causing her to land roughly on her side. The cold rain fell down, quickly turning the ground beneath her to mud, and trying its best to dampen her mane which was sticking nearly straight out from her body.
"Ha, April Fools!" Rainbow Dash loudly proclaimed above her. Fluttershy glanced up to find the other pony leaning against a small dark cloud. Rainbow Dash laughed for several seconds, but seemed to notice that Fluttershy wasn't taking the joke as well as she had thought she would. She batted the cloud away and the rain stopped falling on Fluttershy. Slowly Rainbow Dash started to descend to the ground.
"Uh, Fluttershy, you okay?" Dash asked. She landed and carefully approached the other pony.
Of course Fluttershy wasn't okay. She had just been scared out of her wits by someone she had trusted. And just because Rainbow Dash had thought it was funny. Fluttershy could feel her heart racing a mile a minute, and only the faintest feeling was returning to her legs.
"You know it was just a joke right? Ha ha …" Rainbow Dash's laugh was hollow and forced. She walked closer to Fluttershy, but just before she reached her, Fluttershy rolled away from her and struggled to her hooves. Her mane hung heavily over her face, but it parted enough for one eye to peek out at Dash. Seeing Dash's concerned face for some reason caused tears to spring to Fluttershy's eyes, and she could feel them drip down her face.
"Are you okay?" Rainbow Dash asked again. "You're not hurt or anything are you? Cause I was just going for the rain thing, I didn't think it would go all out on the lighting too."
There was a lump in Fluttershy's throat that refused to let her reply, and all she wanted to do was to disappear. To be alone where no one could see her, where no one could laugh at her. With a sniff and a near silent whimper, she turned and took a few stiff steps before dejectedly forcing her wings open and launching herself into flight. She instinctively turned toward her home, having difficulty telling where she was going due to the thick tears blurring her vision.
"Oh man, I'm so sorry Fluttershy," Rainbow Dash said loudly from behind her. A few seconds later the other pegasi caught up with Fluttershy and continued to explain. "It was supposed to be a joke. You know, all in good fun." Dash tried to catch Fluttershy's eye, but Fluttershy stubbornly turned her head away. Rainbow Dash did a barrel roll to get to Fluttershy's other side, but again Fluttershy brusquely turned her head in the opposite direction.
"I said I was sorry, what more do you want me to do to make it up to you?" Dash implored.
Fluttershy knew that Dash was being sincere in her apology, but she just couldn't speak, or even calm down. The tears just kept coming. With a loud and heartbreaking sob, Fluttershy launched herself forward with a burst of speed that took them both by surprise. She left Rainbow Dash behind long enough to reach her home, and slam the door closed, locking it securely, before collapsing in the entryway, surrendering to the sobs.
By the time Rainbow Dash had caught up to Fluttershy, she had already sealed herself in her house and had locked her out. Dash had knocked on the door, but had received no response. She then hovered near a large window and tapped on it to get Fluttershy's attention. But Fluttershy's pet bunny Angel appeared instead of the pony, and with a glare of hatred and anger, pulled the window's curtain down. A few seconds later and Rainbow Dash could hear the other window curtains also being closed one by one in rapid succession.
But above the unrolling curtains, Dash could hear the sound of quiet, soothingly soft, but heart breakingly sad crying. Unsure of what to do, Rainbow Dash stayed near the windows, listening to her friend weep, for several minutes. Eventually, sad and defeated, she drifted into the sky in the direction of her home in the clouds.
Rainbow Dash felt horrible. Of all the few friends in her life, none of them had ever looked at her in the way Fluttershy had. As if Rainbow Dash had betrayed something valuable to her. As if she had taken something precious and maliciously destroyed it and then rubbed it in Fluttershy's face. The reproachful and questioning look, begging Dash for a reason why, was seared into her brain, and refused to leave. As she flew home, Dash's eyes began to tear up slightly; in sympathy for the pain she had inadvertently caused Fluttershy.
Unenergetically Dash landed on the cloud that was her house's front lawn. She sighed deeply before looking up to find that the rainbow streams and pools decorating her house had all become putrid green. Near the now murky pool, Rarity and Twilight Sparkle stood, with the latter's head bent over the pool, horn glowing.
Rarity was the first to notice Dash's arrival, and warmly greeted her, "Happy April Fool's day."
"Hey Rarity, hey Twilight," Dash answered without enthusiasm.
"We've pulled a trick on you darling, can you tell?" Rarity asked with excitement. "We've made your passé rainbows this garish green, and I can assure you it looks absolutely horrid with your coloring."
"Don't worry though," Twilight spoke up, coming to stand near her friends. "The colors should go back to normal in a few days," she reassured Dash.
"Oh, okay," Dash said disinterestedly. To be honest, even if she were in a normal state of mind, the prank was kind of lame, and Dash didn't think she would have been able to summon too much outrage over the two naive pony's actions. But with the whole Fluttershy thing, Rainbow Dash couldn't find even the smallest bit of energy to care.
Noting Dash's odd behavior, Rarity asked, "What's wrong? I thought you'd be surprised, or even upset. After all, nopony accessorizes with green before Neighbor day you know."
"Eh, I just feel kinda bad because I pulled a prank on Fluttershy and she overreacted." She looked squarely at her two friends and in a single breath rapidly explained, "I mean it wasn't even that harsh a prank, and maybe I overdid it, but it was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't funny, because she didn't laugh, and that made me feel bad, and now she hates me, and I don't want her to hate me, and what should I do?"
Twilight and Rarity exchanged a look while attempting to figure out exactly what Rainbow Dash had just said. Rarity was the first to turn back to Dash and say, "Let me see if I have this correct." There was a hint of anger in her tone. "For some reason you decided it would be a good idea to perform some sort of mischief upon Fluttershy in a similar vein to what you subjected me to?"
Rainbow Dash shrugged. "Well, yeah."
Rarity let out a rather angry huff. "Are you some sort of simpleton? What possessed you to even contemplate tricking Fluttershy? She's much more emotionally delicate than we are."
Dash's competitive nature automatically flared up in response to Rarity's anger, and she heatedly replied, "Well I knew she was a scaredy cat, but I thought she was tough enough to take a little joke. I didn't think that she'd run off crying over a little prank."
"Oh no, you didn't really make her cry, did you?" Twilight asked concernedly.
Rarity though didn't wait for Dash's reply. In a scarily level tone she said, "Rainbow Dash, I always thought you were an arrogant and brash pony, but I never thought you were a mean one. You turn around and go apologize to Fluttershy this instant!"
"Don't you think I already tried to apologize?" Rainbow Dash asked with frustrated anger. "I said I was sorry like a million times, but she didn't say anything. She just kept crying and flew home."
"Well you just fly yourself back there and you keep apologizing until she accepts it," Rarity declared, turning her nose up ad Dash. "Otherwise I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive you myself."
Rainbow Dash looked over to Twilight for help, but Twilight also had an uncertain but disappointed look on her face.
"I think that you should go back and apologize too," Twilight said. "Fluttershy is a very meek pony. She doesn't have the same kind of strength we do. I'd hate to see something like this come between you two and damage, maybe even end your friendship."
"Yeah," Rainbow Dash agreed disheartenedly. She lowered her head until she was staring at her hooves. "I am sorry."
Rarity appeared a bit less upset and kindly said, "I'm sure that once she's calmed down, Fluttershy will see that you're sincere, and accept your apology. But don't wait too long, the longer this rift is between you two, the harder it will be for you to overcome it."
"Yeah yeah, I'm going," Dash said dismissively to Rarity's admonishment.
She put her words into action and speedily flew away towards Fluttershy's house. However she made a detour to the tree she had pranked Fluttershy under. In its shadow, in a small patch of mud, the strange flower was leaning close to the ground, its stem bent.
Dash was by no means an expert on cheering ponies up, or apologizing to them, but she knew most fillies appreciated flowers for both occasions. So she reached down and plucked the flower, not by biting through the stem, but rather by tugging it up, roots and all.
Again she took to the sky, angling towards Fluttershy's home. She went slowly so as to not further damage the flower, and to give her time to mentally practice her apology. She ran it through her mind a few hundred times, and nearly felt ready by the time she landed in front of Fluttershy's door.
Before her panicky fear could overcome her, Rainbow dash knocked loudly on the thick wooden door with her hoof. The knocks faded into the silent depths beyond. After several long agonizing minutes, the door opened a crack and the familiar, but red rimmed eye of Fluttershy peered out at Dash.
"Ear, dis is fur ewe," Dash said around the flower's stem. She spit it out onto the ground and nosed it over to the partially opened door. She raised her head slightly and quickly said in as few breaths as possible, "I'm so, so, so, so sorry Fluttershy. I thought it was going to be a fun prank, but it was only a mean prank because it's only fun if both of us think it's fun, and you didn't think it was funny, and I'm so so sorry. Please forgive me, I'll never trick you again, and Twilight said that you might not be my friend anymore and I want to be your friend, so please, please still be my friend."
Dash panted heavily after her rambling but heartfelt burst of speech. Fluttershy was silent for a few moments, contemplating the distraught Rainbow Dash. Finally though she softly said, "It's okay, I forgive you Rainbow Dash." She pushed the door further open, and her mane fell away to reveal more of her face, still stained with the remnants of her tears. "I was upset when you tricked me. It brought back some memories that I didn't want to remember. But then I realized that you hadn't been trying to be mean, so I forgive you." She stood slightly out of the doorway invitingly asked, "I was just about to have some tea to calm my nerves. Would you like to join me?"
Even though Rainbow Dash hated tea, she smiled in happy relief and quickly answered, "I'd love to." She walked past Fluttershy and paused in the entryway as Fluttershy retrieved Dash's offered flower.
"Just a moment and I'll go put this in some water." Fluttershy walked past rainbow Dash and disappeared into the depths of the house.
While she was gone, Dash looked around, and found Angel sitting on a nearby set of stairs, staring intently at her. Their eyes met and Angel's narrowed maliciously and he raised his paw to point first at his eyes, then Dash's, then back at his own. He then slowly hopped up the stairs, never breaking eye contact with Dash until he had disappeared upstairs.
Slightly weirded out by the bunny's odd behavior, Dash jumped slightly as Fluttershy reappeared and announced, "I set up the tea things in here."
Dash smiled nervously at Fluttershy and followed her into a well lit and cheerful kitchen. On the modest table was a tea set, as well as several brightly decorated cupcakes. On a nearby windowsill, haloed by sunlight, was the flower Dash had brought, now in a rather pretty vase.
Fluttershy took a seat at the table, and Rainbow Dash sat opposite from her. In a few moments Fluttershy had daintily poured the tea, and had nosed a cup and saucer in front of Rainbow Dash. There was an awkward silence, broken by Fluttershy. "I just got these cupcakes from Pinkie Pie yesterday, so they should be quite good. Which kind would you like, chocolate or vanilla?"
At the mention of Pinkie Pie's name, Rainbow Dash was instantly on alert. Pinkie Pie was almost a big a prankster as Dash was herself. She wouldn't put it past Pinkie to have put something special in her cupcakes for April fools, like hot sauce, or salt, or radishes. Rainbow Dash glanced suspiciously at the innocent looking cupcakes, then back up to Fluttershy's open and honest face. With a sinking heart, Dash knew that no matter what happened, she couldn't disappoint Fluttershy so soon after hurting her.
"Uh chocolate I guess," Dash decided.
Fluttershy nudged one of the cupcakes over to Dash, its bright pink icing deliciously sweet looking. With a nervous smile in Fluttershy's direction, Dash leaned down and took a small bite. As she did, she noticed Fluttershy's unrelenting and strangely intense gaze on her.
"How do you like the cupcake?" Fluttershy asked, putting emphasis on the word cupcake. Rainbow Dash immediately stopped chewing, from the way Fluttershy was acting, she knew that there had to be something wrong with the confection. With her cheeks bulging and a questioning look on her face, dash tried to tell what was wrong with the sweet tasting cake. But after running her tongue through the masticated remains of the sugary treat in her mouth, she had to admit that she couldn't tell what was off about it. It tasted just like a normal cupcake.
"It's good," she said through the still unswallowed cupcake.
"Really? Is it just like what you wanted?" Fluttershy asked intently.
Rainbow Dash swallowed and contemplated Fluttershy's odd question. The cupcake's vanilla taste was both mellow and sweet, and easily melted upon the tongue. Suddenly she realized, "It's vanilla, I thought you gave me a chocolate cupcake."
"April Fools!" Fluttershy merrily announced. "You wanted a chocolate cupcake, but I tricked you and gave you a vanilla one." She let out a breath of air. "Oh, I was so nervous." She guiltily looked over at the silent Rainbow Dash. "Are you angry?" she quietly asked. "I'm sorry. I have chocolate ones too." She quickly nudged another cupcake over to Rainbow Dash.
But Dash had merely been stunned at the simpleness and naiveté of her friend's deceit. She smiled and answered, "No, I'm not angry Fluttershy, and vanilla is fine. It was a good prank though."
"Oh, I'm so glad," Fluttershy said with relief. "I was worried that you'd be upset that I tricked you. But you know, you're right. It is kind of fun to play pranks on other ponies."
The two friends laughed and had quite an enjoyable tea party. One which passed quickly away with talk about the joys of flying, the beauty of flowers, and the antics of their friends. Eventually twilight began to replace the afternoon and Rainbow Dash decided that it was time for her to take her leave. Fluttershy saw her off, but unbeknownst to them, Angel also watched from a nearby window as the Pegasus pony took to flight.
He smiled malevolently as he watched her leave. Any moment now and the laxative he had slipped into the cupcake meant for her would take effect and …
His thoughts were interrupted by a pink and yellow blur which rushed by him with a, "'msosorry." A nearby door slammed shut and Angel contemplated it for a moment before turning back to the distant dot that was Rainbow Dash. Slowly he raised his paws and began to clap in acknowledgement and appreciation of his foes brilliant maneuver. Truly she was his intellectual equal, but while she had won this battle, ultimately the war would belong to him, and Rainbow Dash would rue the day she had crossed Angel the Bunny.
Dash arrived home just as the last rays of sunlight were disappearing behind the horizon. She was ecstatic that she had smoothed things over with Fluttershy, and her jubilant mood wasn't even dented by the still nasty green that flowed over her otherwise pristine clouds.
She trotted up to her front door and opened it. An avalanche of apples that had been piled up against the inside of the door flooded out and knocked her off her feet. Dazed, she stumbled up and accidently brushed against a board that had been propped just inside the door. The bucket that had been balanced on it fell, and Dash was covered with a sticky, thick syrup. The gooey liquid covered most of her, and several of the apples from the pile she was still in, stuck to her.
With an unamused breath of air, Rainbow Dash blew her sodden bangs out of her eyes, and began thinking of ways to get back at Pinkie and Applejack. Suddenly she smiled, as she wondered if Fluttershy would be willing to help her with a couple of pranks.