My Little Pony-Friendship is Magic
The Romancing Quest
By Doctor Scraps
Disclaimer: My Little Pony- Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro and all affiliated parties involved, and the author claims no rights to any characters, settings, or events. This story was written for entertainment purposes only.
It was a glorious early afternoon in the village of Ponyville. The sky was clear, the birds were singing, not too hot, not too cold, the rodents were minding their manners...And it was all ignored by a set of Ponies lounging around on the balcony of a tree house dwelling where lived the resident bookworm and organizer extraordinaire, Twilight Sparkle, protégé of the honorable Princess Celestia herself.
Twilight herself, and her close companion Rarity, were spending the afternoon with their snouts buried into some books. Usually, Twilight Sparkle was more fond of intellectual material, and the occasional Choose-your-own-adventure once in a blue moon. Crypto zoology, astronomy, mathematics, scientific principals, journals of other researchers...This time however, she found herself a few chapters into a paperback novel riddled with folded pages placed in turn of bookmarks, the cover featuring a lady Unicorn in the arms of an idealistically muscular stud pony set against a sunset, with what looked to be a pirate ship in the background.
Rarity had her own nose tucked into a paperback, featuring almost an exact copy of Twilights cover, except this time the lady Unicorn and the stud pony were set against a midnight sky with a crescent moon overhead.
Rarity looked like she was enjoying herself, giggling at times, and appearing outright riveted at others. Twilight on the other hand was nearly forcing every turn of the page. As far as she could discern, it was about the daughter of a land baron, stuck in an arranged marriage to which she did not approve, and had chosen to run away before being captured by Pirates, and as the story stood now, was in midst of being seduced by the roguish pirate captain, while her fiancé struggled to find her.
To her count, Twilight had rolled her eyes approximately forty times since she started reading, minus the one after she read the summary on the back. It was just so pretentious and full of itself, full of unnecessary drama, and convoluted speech. Not to mention the pirate captain was depicted in such a historically inaccurate way for the period it was supposed to be set in, and the fact that it seemed like his overly dramatic wooing of the main character was actually working made her brain hurt.
He stroked her cheek tenderly with a chipped and battered hoof, worn with the hard life on the seas. Her gaze captivated him, like a pool of gems plucked from the richest of coffers set under moonlight. She was far too beautiful to belong in the hooves of a landed Noblepony. No, she would be his and his alone. "Of all the treasures I have ever accumulated, you are the one I prize most..."
"But I am not yours, Del Mar...I belong to Lord Turfway. They will find me, and they will kill you." Sarahtoga tried to sound defiant, but her body betrayed her mind. She found herself nuzzling the battered hoof that lay against her cheek. Never before had a colt been so forward, or so affectionate...Not even Lord Turfway, her future husband.
"Let them try." Del Mar laughed. She shivered under him as he mocked even death to claim her as his. She let out a soft whinny as he thrust her back onto the bed, trotting up over her, peering down at her with want and desire.
"No...I'll scream..." Sarahtoga gasped as he loomed over her.
"Then let me silence you..." His lips drew near...
Barf. Twilight stuck her tongue out. She wasn't sure what annoyed her most, the fact that it was written with this much cheese in mind, or that someone actually believed that this is how 'romantic' encounters were supposed to happen. You're a unicorn...blast him out the window...
After a few minutes had passed, or an eternity by Twilights observation as she stomached yet another scene where the main character was getting her dressed pawed at by unsavory pirates, only to again be rescued by her dashing rogue, Rarity drew her attention with a contented sigh and stretch. "Ooooh, I think that calls for a break." She fanned herself with her hoof, a small blush creeping across her cheeks as she sat up on the balcony. "How are you enjoying The Silver Horeshoe? Isn't it just steamy?"
"Steamy...Yeah..." Twilight folded the corner of a page in to mark her spot rather than wasting a perfectly good bookmark, rolling her eyes for the forty first time. A break sounded excellent.
"Are you not enjoying it?" Rarity asked, growing suddenly so very concerned. "I've read that one so many times myself, that I was certain it was a classic."
"M...Maybe I just haven't gotten to the good part yet..." Twilight forced a smile. She didn't want to seem unappreciative that her friend had thought to share her small collection of trashy romance novels. "I'm only on...chapter fifteen..."
"Oh my, you are indeed on the threshold of the 'good part', dear Twilight." Rarity trotted over and pointed out one of the many dog ears in the book. "This one in particular. I can hardly finish the chapter without needing a break in between paragraphs." Again, more fanning.
Twilight raised a brow and skipped to that chapter...
She barely made it past the second paragraph alone before she shut the book entirely, holding it down with two hooves as though it were some beast trying to get at her, a fiery heat burning her cheeks.
"Oh my ponies...I really hope you keep this stuff away from Sweetie Belle."
"But of course, Twilight. Sweetie Belle is FAR too young to understand and appreciate a tale of adventure, a tale of romance!" Rarity gestured dramatically. "These are stories that speak the very language, of the unbridled chaos of love!"
"Right...Unbridled chaos and love..." Twilight cleared her throat and ventured back inside to go fix some iced tea. "Well, when I find myself being swept off my feet by someone with more muscles than sense, I hope you don't take offense if I decide to skip the 'kidnapped by pirates' phase of the whole experience, okay?"
"Haven't you ever been in love, Twilight? Swept up in those fiery emotions, where the universe seemed to spiral out of control all around you in the arms of your celestial equal?" Rarity feigned a damsel-like feinting pose on the balcony.
"Nope. I really can't say I have." Twilight responded from inside.
Rarity glanced back, feeling slightly annoyed, her guilty pleasure lost on this philistine bookworm pony. Then again did it surprise her? "Hmmm...I suppose you wouldn't..."
Twilights head suddenly appeared out the doorway again, raising a brow suspiciously at Rarity. "What was that?"
Rarity just waved a hoof dismissively as she returned to her reading. "It makes sense I suppose. You are certainly 'married to your work', as they put it."
"What is that supposed to mean, exactly?" For some reason, Rarity's comments annoyed her.
"Well, I know I've never seen you out with anypony."
Twilight trotted heatedly back out onto the balcony, putting a hoof over Rarity's current page. "You don't think I can manage it, do you?"
"Oh, I would never dare accuse you of such, Twilight." Rarity glanced away smugly. No, no she did not think she could manage it.
"How about you? I never see you prancing around in 'unbridled chaos'," Twilight made air quotes with her hooves. "With anyone either."
"I keep my private life private, thankyouverymuch..." Rarity looked the other way, nose still up in the air. "Besides, it would break so many hearts if everypony knew I was exclusive."
"Fine then." Twilight 'hmmph'ed, turning to trot back inside. "We'll see about that."
"Wahtever do you mean, dear Twilight?" Rarity was only half listening at this point. Twilight certainly was cute when she got annoyed.
"Love is just another element of Harmony," Twilight tossed her head back as she paused in the doorway. "And as such it's my duty as a royal researcher to comprehend every angle of my subject. That includes relationships."
Rarity sat up and watched Twilight retreating form, shaking her head in dismay. "You silly filly, romance is not something that you study."
"Just you wait Rarity." Twilight glanced back with a determined grin, an expression that usually meant the gears of a great mastermind were at work. "In the name of all of my research into the magic of friendship, I, Twilight Sparkle, will not rest until I have a Coltfriend!"
...Across Ponyville, a radiant coil of pink energy known as Pinkie Pie hummed to herself as she bounced along the road in step with an inconspicuous yellow Pegasus known as Fluttershy. Suddenly, the pink one stopped in mid air and started vibrating from ear to hoof before crashing to the ground.
"Oh my, Pinkie Pie, are you alright?" Fluttershy leaned over her friend, who now saw little birdies orbit around her vision.
"Oh wow! That's a new one!" Pinkie Pie rolled back onto her feet, suddenly vibrating all over the place again.
"What does this one mean?" Fluttershy asked, a little afraid to find out.
"I dunno! It tingles! I hope it isn't a portent of doom or something!" Pinkie Pie was enjoying the sensation too much to sound worried...
"—Now then, Spike, help me find every book that covers the subject of 'love'." Twilight stood in the middle of the impressive collection of bookshelves that made up her sitting room.
"On it!" Spike declared enthusiastically as he took to the shelves while Twilight prepared her study area.
"Out of sheer curiosity, Twilight, how are you planning to go about this venture?" Rarity was choosing to be only mildly involved in proceedings while continuing her own book from before.
"Very simple, Rarity. I'm going to research every book I have that covers Love and Romance, and then I'm going to apply what I've learned for the practical purpose of attracting a mate." Twilight stated simply as she prepared her notebook and quill.
"Goodness, you make it sound so…Sterile and lifeless." Rarity made a face like she tasted a fresh made Baked Bad. "Are you absolutely certain you're not going about this a bit…half cocked?"
Twilight waved a hoof in Rarity's direction. "You said so yourself that love is like chaos, and if it can be chaos, it can also be logical."
Rarity could only smile and shake her head. The poor dear was going to have to learn the hard way, no doubt. "I won't stand in your way, then, Twilight dear…"
"Thank you. Spike, those books?" Twilight asked, noticing her desk was still bare.
"Um…Just a minute…still looking…" Spike called from the shelves. "Uh….Twilight? I don't think you have any books on love."
"Are you serious?" Twilight asked, "I have one of the most extensive personal libraries in Canterlot. Are you saying I have nothing at all on the subject?"
"The librarian should keep record of her books…" Rarity said in a sing-song voice.
"Quiet, you." Twilight glared at Rarity.
"Wait! I found one!" Spike waved a book in his hand from the ladder. He scrambled down from the ladder in sudden excitement, tripping on a rung and crashing the rest of the way.
"Ah, thank you Spike." Twilight said as she used her magic to levitate the book away from the crumpled heap that was her assistant on the floor. "…Tales of Love and Chivalry…It's a book of fairy tales, I can't use this, can I…?" She opened a page and the image of a fire breathing dragon lunged out at her, making her squeak. It was also a pop-up book, apparently. Twilight sighed. "Is this really all I have?
"Afraid so, Twilight…" Spike dusted himself off. "I found it wedged between two encyclopedia's. I don't even think it's yours."
"Fine. Then book work is out of the question." Twilight stated.
"Ah, good, you're starting to make sense." Rarity commented from behind her novel.
"We skip right on to field work." Twilight continued with a high level of confidence. "Spike, grab my notebook. We're going out."
"Right on it, boss!" Spike grabbed the book and quills from the desk.
"Wait, what? What is your plan this time?" Rarity put the book down now, giving Twilight a quizzical expression.
"I'll interview everyone in Ponyville about what they think love is. If I collect a sufficient amount of data from inquiry, maybe I'll be able to put together a hypothesis to work with and be able to continue on from there. It's all part of the scientific theory."
"W-well?" Rarity asked.
"Aren't you going to ask me first?" Rarity held a hoof to her chest and smiled sweetly while batting her eyelashes.
"Oh I already know about how you feel about love. All that unrestrained passion and stuff. Could you lock up when you're done?" Twilight asked as she put her notebook and things in her saddlebag and prepared to leave on what, in her mind, was a truly intellectual persuit.
"Oh…Of course, Twilight. You can count on me." Rarity said softly, doing her best to smile, but feeling a bit put off.
"Later then." Twilight and Spike ventured forth, the heavy wooden door closing punctuating their exodus.
Rarity rolled her eyes and returned to her reading. She was on the best part, and she was not going to let Twilights lapse in sanity ruin it for her. "...Oh Darius, you dirty dirty pony..."
"So then…" Twilight asked. "How would you define love?"
Derpy Hooves pondered for a moment, scratching her chin, walleyed gaze rotating. It then suddenly struck her. "Love is like…a Muffin! A muffin, with frosting on it!" She began making a motion like she was holding a ball in her hooves.
"You mean like a cupcake?" Twilight asked questionaly, raising an brow as she looked up from her notebook.
Derpy stared at Twilight with a dumbfounded expression. "Whoa…"
"A coltfriend? Yeah I've had one of those." Rainbow Dash said, very matter-of-factly, as she reclined on a low flying cloud. She had been enjoying a perfectly good snooze after a long morning of monitoring cloud comings and goings, when Twilight had decided to prod her with weird questions.
"Well, how did you two meet?" Twilight asked from the ground.
"He came up to me after flying practice, and was all 'hey, you wanna?', and I was all 'yeah sure'. So we did."
"Yeah, pretty much."
"What's a coltfriend? Is that a boy? Cuz boys are kinda icky, Twilight." Scootaloo said.
Twilight sighed as she stared at Fluttershy, with her head buried in the ground like a kind of ostrich, trembling.
"Right…Sorry I asked."
"It's like a warrrrmmmm apple pie." Granny Smith said.
"Love is like the most super duper most awesomest thing ever! It's like a never ending party, but a party hugs and kisses and stuff!" Pinkie Pie stated with the usual overabundance of energy, hopping around Twilight.
"I see…" Twilight jotted that down. "And have you ever been in love?"
"Love, huh?" Applejack mused as she chewed on the end of a piece of straw, taking a break to converse with Twilight. "Well, shoot, sugarcube, I was always too much o' a tomboy for anything like that. Most boys were either 'fraid of me, or treated me like one o' the guys."
"Ah, I see…" Twilight sighed, but smiled to her friend. "Well, thanks anyway, Applejack..."
"Now, hold on, Twi. What's with the sudden interest in love and whatsuch?"
"Well…Rarity brought over some books to share after lunch…" Twilight ran a hoof over her mane.
"Ah, she hauled out her stash of dirty Clop novels huh?" Applejack shook her head in sympathy. She'd been on the end of that generous exchange before.
"You too, huh?" Twilight managed a laugh. "Anyway…She started teasing me about how I've…well…I've never been in love before." She settled under the shade of the tree, looking up at the leaves dancing in the breeze. "So, I lost my temper and kind of boasted I could use my studies in friendship to the same extent as with love, and use that to attract someone. It's…kinda childish now that I stop and think about it."
"Well…" Applejack settled down beside. "Is there anyone out there that's caught your eye in particular? You could probably have yer pick o' the herd."
"That's the thing…The only people I have any sort of deep emotional relationship with is you guys." Twilight lowered her head onto the grass. "But…that's not love-love…That's…Friendship-love." She looked up at Applejack, smiling sheepishly. "You know…like sisters."
Applejack smiled and ruffled Twilights mane. "That's sweet, sugar. You know what? Don't give up. You'll find your steed in shining armor sure enough as spring comes. It's easy for people like Rarity. All she has to do is bat her eyes at some Colt and he's willin' to follow her off into the Everfree Forest."
"…I still feel like a foal for all those things I said to Rarity. I shouldn't have taken her teasing so seriously…Thanks for the talk, Applejack."
Rarity was still at Twilights when the purple Unicorn returned to her dwelling, propped up on Twilights couch, in a bathrobe, a cup of hot tea and another novel in hand.
"Ah, welcome back…How was your field trip? Learn anything earth shattering?" The white Unicorn asked, not taking her eyes from her book.
"Not really…" Twilight said, head hanging. "Look…I'm sorry for—"
"No no…It's quite alright dear, I understand perfectly. I know how your pride works, and you took my jesting as a challenge, to which it is I who must apologize." Rarity lowered the book , gesturing with her reading glasses towards Rarity. "That is why I want to make it up to you."
"Eh? Make it up to me? How?" Twilight blinked.
"Well, it is no secret that I am not without a lack of admirers, which means that I know many a young Colt, so I have arranged for a few blind dates!"
"B..B…B…" Twilight sputtered, feeling a cold chill shoot through her.
"It'll be magnificent! Now, tomorrow, I'll arrange a dinner date with Thunder, and then on Tuesday, a stroll through the park with Barnyard. Ooh, and what are your feelings of tandem base jumping on Wednesday?"
"D…D…D…" Twilight sat down, a twitch overtaking one eye as she stared off into space. "Date?"
"Oh, maybe Base Jumping is more of a second date endeavor, no? Oh, Spike what do you think?"
Spike scratched his head in thought for a moment. "If it was me and you, Rarity, it would be classical music, a starry night, and all the gemstones we could eat."
"A moonlit dinner, marvelous, however I don't think anywhere in Ponyville serves rare gems for consumption…" Rarity stroked her chin in thought. "Oh! Just had a thought! Oil mass-"
There was a heavy thud as Twilight feinted in the middle of the room.
"Well, I would have loved a deep tissue oil massage, but if you're going to be a child about it…" Rarity stared down at Twilight, shaking her head.
"Dear Princess Celestia…
Today I learned that, even though they are your friends, they can still sometimes say things that can get under your skin, and what was meant as a joke can be taken in the wrong way, and things can be said or done that just make you look foolish. Being able to laugh at yourself, together, is also an important part of friendship.
Your ever loyal student, Twilight Sparkle.
PS: If I may be allowed a personal question, your majesty…In your opinion, what is love?"
To Be continued.