…Don't ask. I don't know where this came from. Wait, yes I do. Being sick two weeks ago and watching the ENTIRE FIRST SEASON of MLP: FIM in two days, and then having four days off in a row, with a weekend in between, then being told I have another tomorrow, and being so bored that I resort to playing the games on the official website. For the record, I am the QUEEN of applebucking behind Applejack. I had a top score of 1500 in that mini-game before I got bored and changed to go mess with Rainbow Dash. And believe me, that game could have gone on FOREVER if I hadn't quit.
Random drabble for the Crusaders, because they are adorable. And we never see ANY of Scootaloo's family, which bugged me. Also, IN WHAT WORLD IS HER MANE HOT PINK? Someone go whap whoever put it as that color on TV Tropes [dot] com and Wikipedia, it is very much PURPLE in the series. This is a two-shot, so I'll get to the next chapter at…some point. I'm not sure when. I have novel chapters I'm trying to write for a class at the moment, so whenever I get more pages written tomorrow, I'll turn to work on this.
Story Summary: Scootaloo is not happy when her cousin comes for a visit. With Little Miss Perfect showing up the Cutie Mark Crusaders all afternoon, perhaps there is something they are missing behind that "perfect" façade? Only a thunderstorm will reveal the truth…
Chapter Summary: Rarity is sympathetic, Cousin Miss Perfect arrives, and there's so many customers, it may be too much for even Pinkie Pie!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything MLP related, this is all for fun and no profit was made. I do own the concept of Locket (not from the 80's show, new one), but that's about it.
Normally, where you saw one of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, you saw the others not far behind. So to see the bright orange pegasus by herself wasn't just odd, it made Rarity stop and take a second look. No, there was no sign of her sister, or of Applebloom. Concerned now, both for the safety of the other two fillies and the one by herself, she dismissed her need for a snack between projects and trotted over.
"Scootaloo, is everything alright?" she asked, lowering her head so she was closer to eye-level with the little dear.
Looking dejectedly through her purple bangs, she murmured, "'Ello, Rarity. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom are at Sugarcube Corner getting snacks."
"I asked about you, darling," Rarity gently corrected as she lied down next to the filly under the tree. While the shade was nice, she doubted that was why Scootaloo had chosen it. "Now, what has you so glum?" Admittedly, the girls were a handful (even after their sleepover at Fluttershy's that she still hadn't heard the full story of), but Rarity couldn't bear seeing one of her sister's friends so upset.
She got a look out of the corner of violet eyes, before Scootaloo focused on the grass tickling her nose again. "My cousin's coming to Ponyville for a visit," she grumbled.
"Your cousin?" Rarity prodded.
"Yeah… From Cloudsdale…"
"Surely they aren't that bad?" Scootaloo gave her a look that could peel paint. "Or perhaps they are," Rarity conceded. "When are they set to arrive?"
"This afternoon." Scootaloo raised her head, shaking it in complete disgust. "I have to show her around, and she's going to be here for three whole days."
Rarity twisted over what to say in her mind. She couldn't very well offer to see to the cousin for Scootaloo, since she suspected the filly's parents wanted her to actually spend time with the other. However… "What if you ask her to join you and the other girls for today?" she asked, a slight tone of coaxing in her voice.
"Because she already has her cutie mark!" Now Scootaloo just sounded furious, and Rarity sensed she had hit on exactly what had the young pegasus upset with her cousin. If the two were close in age, that would no doubt make it even worse.
With a sigh, the unicorn lowered her head and gave Scootaloo a reassuring nuzzle. "Perhaps she'll have fun helping you three find yours," she suggested, "It shan't hurt to ask, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess so…"
"Then let's gather the others and go meet…what is your cousin's name?"
An expression of grumpiness on her face, Scootaloo stood up and answered sullenly. "Locket. Her name is Locket."
Rarity herded the excited Crusaders (even Scootaloo couldn't stay glum in the presence of her friends) towards the edge of town where the now-infamous cousin was set to arrive. Both Sweetie and Applebloom were bouncing off the walls due to being given free sugar canes by Pinkie Pie, and the elder unicorn couldn't help but be glad that they weren't in her shop at the moment.
"Oh, oh, what does your cousin look like, Scootaloo?"
"Does she fly yet?"
"What's her cutie mark?"
"Why'd her folks name her 'Locket?'"
"Now girls, calm down," Rarity gently chided, which made the questions stop for at least a minute. "She'll be herself in a minute, and all your questions will be answered." Judging from the scowl on Scootaloo's face, she was also saving the pegasus from having to answer about the cousin she obviously didn't care for.
"Aww, but we're just curious," Applebloom defended. However, the familiar sound of wing beats made them keep from arguing with Rarity too much, and the group looked up just in time to see a pegasus land down the road.
Much like Rarity had expected, the filly wasn't much older than the trio in her care. Purple hair hung in slightly messy curls down her neck and from her tail, making the white of her coat seem even brighter, as Rarity could attest to from experience. One particularly rebellious curl was pulled back with a bright blue clip with a gold heart on it, while a matching blue collar held a locket at her throat. Folding her wings, she trotted forward curiously, blue eyes bright and friendly. "Scootaloo!" she called eagerly breaking into a canter. "Hello!"
Reluctantly—with a shove from Rarity—Scootaloo came out from behind the unicorn and greeted her cousin who immediately wrapped her neck around her stiff one in a hug. "'Lo, Locket," she muttered, obviously relieved when the other pegasus backed up a few steps. Her cousin's cutie mark was practically glaring at her, the gold crescent moon with pale blue clouds having not been on her flank just a few months ago. When Rarity pointedly cleared her throat, she gestured to her side. "My friends came with me."
"Oh, hello to you too! It is so nice to meet Scootaloo's friends!" she said taking a few steps forward to touch noses in greeting with the other fillies.
"Welcome to Ponyville!" Appleblossom took over introductions. "This here is Sweetie Belle, and I'm Applebloom—"
"And this is my older sister, Rarity," Sweetie Belle piped up as she looked up to her big sister.
Nodding her head, Rarity was charmed when Locket did an impromptu curtsey. "A pleasure, darling," she greeted, and Locket beamed at her, practically bouncing in place as her wings fluttered. "Now, I trust you girls to stay out of trouble this afternoon," she said as she prepared to depart for her shop as she belatedly remembered she left in the middle of a huge project. "And Locket, I hope you enjoy your visit to Ponyville." As she turned hoof and walked away, the pony of Generosity briefly wondered if it was a mistake to leave such a complex situation behind her. However, she knew the girls would need to straight out their relations, and there was little she could do to make them do so peacefully. With a sigh, she just hoped they didn't ruin anyone's property in the process.
Once the adult left, the four fillies stood around awkwardly, Locket in particular looking uncomfortable. Finally, she asked hesitantly, "So… What do you all usually do in the afternoons?"
"We try to find our special talents!" Sweetie immediately offered, however it only disgruntled Scootaloo.
"Not that you need to…" the orange pegasus muttered.
Her Earth pony buddy heard her, but Applebloom wasn't sure what the fuss was about. "We're determined to earn our cutie marks no matter what," she added to Sweetie's comment, before asking curiously, "How'd you go about gettin' yers anyway?"
"Why don't we do what we planned to do last week?" Scootaloo interrupted—loudly—even as Locket opened her mouth.
The other three looked at her, then shared shrugs. "I don't mind," Locket admitted, "I just came to spend time with my cousin."
"Well, we can show yah around Ponyville in the process," Applebloom offered, and Sweetie nodded in agreement. "Now, where to first? We talked about goin' to help Applejack with the harvest again, and Sweetie Pie thought we should try helpin' Pinkie Pie again too."
"Pinkie Pie is swamped today, though," Sweetie pointed out worriedly, remembering how frantically the pink pony had been running around the shop. Still cheerful, but obviously half-crazy trying to keep up with orders. They looked to Scootaloo expectantly, used to her immediately insisting that they needed to try anyway.
"Maybe then she could really use the extra help?" Locket pointed out when Scootaloo didn't offer anything. "I mean, it's worth a shot, if you think that one of your talents lies with sweets…" She looked slightly unsure of her advice, but it was what the other two needed to hear.
Beaming, Sweetie and Applebloom said together, "Cutie Mark Crusaders, GO!" at full volume, then looked over at Scootaloo when she didn't pitch in. "Scootaloo?" Applebloom questioned, giving her friend a nudge. "You alright?"
"Huh? Oh yeah, Cutie Mark Crusaders!" she said, forcing herself to sound enthusiastic. It was enough to relieve some of her friends' worry, and her cousin was just waiting patiently to find out what was happening next. With that, the group took off at an eager walk for Ponyville properly. Along the way, they pointed out different landmarks, like Twilight's library and the town square. Locket looked properly impressed by the front of Sugarcube Corner, and the quartet trotted inside…where it was utter bedlam.
Ponies were demanding their treats, and Pinkie Pie kept darting between the front and the back to fill them, always a smile on her face, but even she was looking a little strained. Cupcakes, lollipops, sugar canes, cookies, every treat imaginable was going out the door but more customers kept coming in. It took ages for the four fillies to work their way to the counter.
"Heygirls, can'ttalk, whatcanIgetcha?"
It took a moment for the girls' to follow what exactly the hurried pony was saying. "We wanted to see if we could help yah out any," Applebloom offered, though reluctantly. She remembered her failed attempt at cupcakes a little too clearly.
"Oh, Icouldtotallyuseanextrahoof! Oreight! Comeonback!" Using her nose, Pinkie raised the split-counter, and the four fillies hurriedly ducked back. Taking a breath, Pinkie finally slowed down as she brought the girls to the kitchen around back. "I've got help making the treats, but I'm losing so much time going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth—"
"Pinkie…" Applebloom cut her off to bring her to the point faster.
"—that I am totally losing time! So why don't you girls fill out these orders here as I send them back, and then one of you bringing them to the counter, kay? Alright, see yah!" With her half-listed instructions, she darted back front.
It took a moment for the girl to spot the orders she was talking about, but when they did all four fillies just stared, mouths open. There had to be at least twenty-five orders waiting to be filled, and they had passed by at least sixteen other ponies in the shop!
Shaking her head, Sweetie moaned, "How can we possibly get through these?"
Scootaloo, however, had regained some of her spunk. "Well, we won't unless we try!" She approached one, squinting to read the hasty handwriting.
Locket, however, tilted her head as if thinking. "I don't think we can if we work on our own… Look how it's wearing out your friend," she pointed out, which didn't help the dejected Sweetie. However, she continued, "Why don't we split up jobs? Like Scootaloo, you can read out the orders, and Sweetie, you can gather them up. Applebloom can package them up, and I can take them up front to Pinkie. Or whatever other order you guys want."
"That is such a good idea!" Applebloom immediately pounced on the idea. "But I'll switch jobs with Sweetie, she likes decoratin' stuff more."
Scootaloo's wings ruffled, but she reluctantly turned back to the orders. "Alright then, Crusaders!" she barked, "Let's get going! Order One, two sour apple lollipops!"
"Two sour apple lollipops!" Applebloom repeated before gathering the necessary treats, using wax paper to protect them as she brought them to the counter where Sweetie had already made herself at home. She quickly had the treats wrapped in colored cellophane and ribbons before sticking them in a clear sack with more ribbon. Meanwhile, Scootaloo was already calling the next order.
Locket took the chance to find a saddlebag that was hanging on a hook, obviously meant for deliveries outside of the store. Grabbing it, she swung it over her haunches and then walked over to Scootaloo's post. "Which tickets are called?" she asked. "Maybe you should give them to Sweetie as you read them off so we can stick them with the sacks and boxes…"
Scowling, Scootaloo had to admit it was a good idea. "These three are the ones I already called," she said, pointing at the top three. Standing up on her hind feet, Locket took them with her to the table and labeled each sack and box before she grabbed a load in the saddlebags and took them up front.
The girls worked well together, with plenty of chatter in between when they finally reached lags in the orders. Locket told them some of her stories from Cloudsdale and her two friends, Sweetkiss and Dawnrise, making the others laugh, even a stand-offish Scootaloo. Things were going well till the Cutie Mark Crusaders saw that the normal workers of the store had things completely in hand now, and they weren't needed anymore. Walking to the front where Locket had just disappeared, they found that she had been waylaid by a customer as Pinkie handed out the last of their treats.
"Aren't you a sweet heart, helping while you're on vacation," the old mare cooed, giving Locket a pat on the head. "Your parents must be so proud of you!"
"Thank you, ma'am," Locket answered modestly, ducking her head down and smiling, "but my—"
"And so polite," she continued, cutting off the pegasus filly, "Pinkie, you should consider having her help you full time, she must have been so good for business."
"There's no way I would have kept up with orders today without her," Pinkie easily admitted as the stallion at the register took a box of cupcakes from her and helped the old mare leave.
Applebloom couldn't help herself. "What about us?" she protested.
The pink pony blinked, obviously confused by the offense written on the other three fillies' faces as she turned around to face them. "Well, duh, of course I meant you three too! I mean, you all did such good jobs today!" she said, even as she slid open the glass display case. Locket nodded her head, obviously quick to agree as she stared at the other three with wide, innocent eyes. Slowly, the Earth pony and unicorn calmed down, realizing that obviously Pinkie hadn't meant to exclude the Crusaders and the old mare hadn't known they were even in the back. And Locket had been up front all afternoon, so it was to be expected that people thought she was working alone. However, the expression on Scootaloo's face was pure rebellion. She obviously hadn't forgiven quite yet.
"There! Some of the house favorites, your reward for helping me out today!" Pinkie said, taking a few steps back and holding out a hoof in an obvious ta da gesture. Eagerly, the girls approached and appropriately oohed and ahhed over the various sweets on the counter. Sweetie instantly went for bag of strawberry salt water taffy, while Applebloom grabbed another sack, this time with milk and white chocolate bonbons. However, Scootaloo's eyes narrowed when she saw Locket hesitating between one of the sour apple lollipops, her own favorite candy, and another in cherry-flavor. Darting forward, she snapped the green candy into her mouth where her cousin couldn't deprive her of it.
Obviously startled, Locket took a step back, but finally smiled. "I thought you liked those," she admitted, "but I wasn't sure." Reaching over, she agreeably took the bright red lollipop into her mouth and the four left the candy store.
"To Sweet Apple Acres next?" Applebloom suggested, "We could hang out at the clubhouse than go see if Applejack still needs help with the harvestin'."
"I'd like a chance to eat my candy," Sweetie admitted, and it was quickly agreed. Only Locket hovered at the edges of the group, like she wasn't quite sure how to interact with them. However, the pegasus smiled, nodded, and agreeably followed them as they led her to the edge of town, towards Applebloom's home and their next adventure.
Yeah, I'm cutting it off there. There's some heavy stuff that accompanies that candy, like why Scootaloo doesn't like her cousin (since we all saw that Locket is just an awkward, unsure little darling, or so I hope you saw her like I see her in my head), and of course they still need to meet Applejack and some of the rest of the mane cast (I'm only down TWO. Out of SIX).
Next Time: Scootaloo recounts childhood horror stories, Locket tells about how she got her cutie mark, some applebucking, and a thunderstorm that may be what cures the rift between these two cousins.