A nice little side-story, for when I get bored with Equal and Opposite Attractions. Enjoy.

Rays of the noon sun cast long shadows against the bedroom wall as dust motes danced in the beams. Tucked up against the bay window lay a wood-carved bed with deep purple covers pulled up to the headboard. A lumpy mass moved underneath the sheets as a sleepy mumble emanated from the white down pillow now jutting from the mass of purple.

Once the movement ceased, the head of the bed's occupant, Twilight Sparkle, was now visible. Her normally placid mane was a frizzy mess; the infamous bed-mane having claimed another victim. She sighed deeply to herself, still asleep and blissfully unaware of the world around her.



The purple unicorn was immediately ejected from her cocoon of covers and tossed into the air. Her eyes snapped open as she plummeted face-first back onto the spring-filled mattress. With a garbled yell, her head was buried in a cloud of floating feathers as her pillow exploded.

"It's about time you woke up you sleepy head." Twilight groaned as she pulled her face from the impact site.

"Pinkie Pie," she groaned. "Why?"

"Why," the cotton-candy pink pony asked. "Well, you've been asleep all day and I was afraid something happened and then Spike told me you were up all night and I was like 'HUUHHH' and then I waited and waited and – " Twilight put her hoof to Pinkie's mouth, silencing the hyperactive pony.

"What do you mean 'all day'?" Twilight asked, looking over at her alarm clock on her nightstand.

"I mean that it's already lunch time silly filly." Twilight wanted to rebuke her friend, but the clock's hand's did not lie. It was already a quarter past noon.

"Wait, how did I sleep in? I set the alarm for eight this morning."

"That one was me Twi'," The purple dragonling nudged the bedroom door open with the corner of a breakfast tray he was balancing on the top of his head. "Owlowiscious told me you pulled another all nighter, so I got up extra early and turned off your alarm clock."

"Spike," Twilight moaned. "Wait, since when did you and Owlowiscious talk?"

Spike grinned as he placed the tray on Twilight's desk, nudging aside several books in the process. "Well, we came to a gentleman's agreement. He's really quite talkative once you get to know him."

"But isn't his entire vocabulary one word?" Spike shrugged as he brought Twilight over a plate.

"There you go, one peanut butter and apple sandwich."

"Spike, you know I hate peanut butter."

"OH," Spike hastily withdrew his fingers as Pinkie Pie bit the sandwich out of his hands. "Datch one's mime." She announced, trying to speak through the copious amount of sticky residue in her mouth.

"Ok," he sighed, reaching for another plate on the tray. "Here, some celery and carrots, along with a freshly toasted corn muffin. Oh, and Granny Smith sent over some more of that apple and cinnamon tea you like."

Twilight sighed to herself as she floated the china teacup to her lips. "Mmmm, that's wonderful."

Pinkie Pie, however, interrupted the unicorn's moment of bliss. Almost immediately, the curly-maned pony began making frantic motions with her legs; her hooves flailing about in wide patterns.

"Um, Pinkie Pie, what's wrong?" Twilight asked, setting the teacup down on her nightstand. Pinkie continued to wave her arms around while making spitting noises with her tongue.

"Umm, you wanna start a cart-wash for Sugarcube Corner?" Spike suggested. Pinkie shook her head before putting a hoof to her lips and opening her mouth.

"You need a bullhorn?" Twilight asked. Pinkie shook her head again. This time, she made grabbing and pulling motions with her hooves, all while grunting and groaning.

"Umm, I'm not sure I wanna know what that is supposed to be." Spike announced.

Pinkie slapped a hoof to her face and sighed. Twilight cringed as the pink party pony opened her mouth, revealing a mass of gooey peanut butter clinging to the insides of her cheeks.

"I meedpth milmk." She shouted; her words muffled by the sticky obstruction.

"Well why didn't you just say so in the first place?" Twilight asked. Pinkie's mouth snapped shut as she leveled a flat stare at her unicorn friend.

"Downstairs, in the fridge, behind the turnips," Spike told her. Pinkie saluted with her hoof before galloping out of the room. "And don't touch the sapphires in there. They're my dessert for tomorrow!" There was a series of loud thumps as Pinkie Pie dashed out the door and down the stairs to the library's kitchen. "You think she heard me?" Spike asked. Twilight regretfully shook her head.

"Alright Spike, since I slept in today, we need to tweak the schedule a bit."

"There isn't anything scheduled for today Twi'." Spike announced.

"What about helping Applejack fix the barn roof?"

"That was two days ago."

"Well, Rarity wanted my opinion on a new line of summer wear she was planning for the Carousel Boutique."

"You're doing that tomorrow."

Twilight paused, astounded that her plans were all muddled. "I still need to write that letter to the princess about the parasprite migration." Seemingly out of nowhere, Spike pulled a sealed scroll. He tossed it into the air before bellowing a burst of emerald flame. The scroll vanished in a puff of smoke, which snaked its way out the window and up into the air. Spike turned back to his caretaker grinning sheepishly.

"How late was I up last night?"

After finishing her breakfast / lunch, Twilight came downstairs into the library proper. The shelves were neatly lined with row after row of books of all shapes and sizes. It was one of the rare times when Twilight's studies did not interfere with Spike's seemingly endless task of keeping Ponyville's public library neat and orderly. Only a smattering of books lat strewn across the desks and tables that dominated the library floor. Much to Twilight's surprise, Pinkie Pie was leaning over one of these books; a frosted glass of milk perched beside her.

"Twilight, what's an elf?" The mare asked. Twilight trotted over to her and looked down at the book she was reading.

"Elf, Pinkie Pie, where did you hear that word?" Spike asked.

"From this book." Twilight announced, nudging a paperback tome toward the dragon.

"Hmm. The Lord of the Rings? I've never heard of this book?"

"Neither have I," Pinkie announced. "After I got my milk, I was looking around because I knew Twilight wanted to talk to in private, so I looked at this book here on the table. I don't normally read as much as Twilight, but I could tell it was different, so I opened it up and I was all like 'HUUHHH'. Because there's so much stuff in here I don't know about."

"That's because it's fiction Pinkie Pie," Twilight told her. "This book is a part of the human mythology."

"The what?" Pinkie Pie and Spike asked together.

"Human are mysterious creatures that often appear in books that nopony seems to write. The Canterlot Library has a collection of all the books on humans that have appeared throughout the centuries."

"Wait," Spike asked. "You mean these books just, appear?"

"Spooky." Pinkie Pie whispered, wiggling here forelegs in a supposedly scary manner.

"That's right Spike. For some strange reason, books about humans just seem to appear. The strangest part is that these books don't seem to be connected in any way."

She levitated the paperback tome into the air in front of her. "For example, this book, The Lord of the Rings, talks about a Middle Earth, and a dark lord named Sauron. But I've read a few other books about humans, one of them was even a play. And none of them even approach any of the topics mentioned in this book."

"That's amazing." Spike announced. Even Pinkie Pie seemed stunned for a moment.

"Wait a second," she finally said. "How come you believe in these humans, but not in my pinkie sense?"

"First off Pinkie Pie," Twilight retorted, levitating the book back onto the table. "I don't 'believe' in humans. I find these books fascinating pieces of literature and nothing more. Second, they're only books."

Twilight turned her head and motioned to the books surrounding them in the library. "They hold knowledge and wisdom beyond comprehension. They tell stories of grand adventures and aspiring romances. But that's all they do. Anypony can write something down on paper. Within the realm of a story, anything is possible. What you were doing was in the real world, which warranted closer investigation than the tales between the pages of a book."

"Umm, what did half of those words mean again Twi?" Spike asked.

"Oh, well that makes sense." Pinkie announced.

"Thank you for seeing it my way." Twilight sighed, glad things were straight with her friend.

The two ponies and young dragon made their way down Mane Street, idly passing the multi-colored ponies that shared the thoroughfare.

"So what were you planning on doing today Twilight?" Pinkie Pie asked, bouncing alongside the unicorn.

"Well, I thought I had a whole lot of stuff to do, but according to my favorite assistant here, I've got nothing."

"Then you should totally come down to Sugarcube Corner with me. Cheerilee from the filly school is having the annual End of School party, and I could really use some extra hooves. I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Cake would appreciate it too."

"A party at Sugarcube Corner? I am so there!" Spike announced before zipping off toward the bakery.

"I guess that's my answer," Twilight told Pinkie, as the two fillies made their way after the dragon.

"I Pinkie Pie Swear that this is going to be fun Twilight." She announced.

"I have no doubt Pinkie," Twilight agreed. "You've never let any of us down with any of your parties. I'm sure this is going to be a real hit."

However, when they reached the door to the bakery, they were greeted by a pair of eyes full of tears.

"Applebloom, what's wrong?" Twilight asked.

"Twilght," the young pony cried, running up behind her. "It-it-it's them again."

"Who?" Pinkie Pie asked.

"S-s-silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara," Applebloom replied, trying to bury her face in Twilight's coat.

"What did they do?" Twilight asked, turning to face Applebloom. The earth filly sniffed once more before launching into her story.

"Ms. Cheerrile went ta go talk ta Mr. and Mrs. Cake for a bit, and then Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon started talking about me."

"What did they say?" Twilight asked.

"They, they said that bad things happen ta fillies who don' get their Cutie Marks. Like, like they get sent ta some place called a glue factory, or get banished ta the Everfree Forest."

Twilight scoffed. "That's absurd. Nopony gets banished for not having a Cutie Mark," Twilight leaned over and nuzzled Applebloom's wet face. "You'll get yours when you find your special talent."

"But that's just it Twi'," she cried. "What if I don'. What if there's nothin' special 'bout me?" Applebloom resumed her crying as Twilight put a foreleg around her shoulders.

"Of course there's something special about you Applebloom. You just need to find it."

"But ah'I can' Twi'. Ah'I can' find what's special 'bout me. Not me, not Sweetie, not Scooots, not none of us." Applebloom began crying in earnest rubbing her face into Twilight's soft coat.

"Applebloom," Twilight sighed. "Come take a walk with me."

"But, but what abou' the party?" The filly asked, trying to keep her tears in check.

"I think this is more important." Twilight momentarily stuck her head into the bakery, noticing all of the students celebrating the end of another school year. "Pst, Twist." She whispered.

"Whatpst the matter Ms. Twilight?" The framed candy making pony trotted over to the door.

"Could you please tell Ms. Cheerrile that I'm taking Applebloom out for a walk?"

"Applebloom, are you alright," Twist asked. "Do you wantst some candy?"

"Not, not right now Twist." Applebloom replied, trying to hide herself behind Twilight.

"I'm sorry for not standing up to them for you," Twist confessed. "They've been making fun of me. They keep saying my Cutie Mark is a failure."

"It's alright Twist," Twilight told her. "But if you could just tell Ms. Cheerrile about what's been going on, I think it'll help everyone."

Twilight Sparkle walked side-by-side with the young filly as she tried to regain her composure. She lead the child away from Ponyville proper and down one of the many winding roads that crisscrossed the countryside.

"You know, it was right here that I ran the Running of the Leaves last year Applebloom."

"Ah'I know Twi." She replied; her eyes fixated on the ground.

"Look, Applebloom, I think I understand now."

"You understan' wha'?"

"I understand why you and your friends what your Cutie Marks so soon. It's because you want to feel special."

"It's cuz I wanna be special Twi'." Applebloom insisted, stomping her hooves into the dirt path. "All the other fillies have their Cutie Marks, cuz they're all special in their own way." She waved her hooves in the air, adding sarcastic emphasis to the last few words. "But Ah'I can' be special without mah Cutie Mark. Until ah'I get mah Cutie Mark, I'm just gonna be Applejack's little sister."

Twilight couldn't help but smile at her plight. "You've got it backwards there." Applebloom looked up in confusion. "It's not your Cutie Mark that makes you special," she nudged her in the shoulder. "It's you that makes you special."

"Ah'I don' get it."

"Look, what's Applejack's Cutie Mark?"

"It's apples. E'rypony knows that."

"So if Applejack's special talent is apples, why is she also such a good athlete?" Applebloom sat in the dirt as she scrunched up her face.

"Ah'I guess cuz she works so hard at the farm."

"Exactly. But what do sports have to do with apples?" Again Applebloom paused for thought.


"Exactly," Twilight announced. "A Cutie Mark appears when a pony discovers her special talent. But at the same time, it doesn't mean that she is restricted to just her special talent. Like Applejack and sports, or Fluttershy and fashion."

"But wha' does that all mean?"

"It means that you're already special Applebloom, and what makes you special has nothing to do with your Cutie Mark."

"Ah'I don' get it."

"You will soon."

Applebloom sighed, standing up off the path. "Ah'I just wish those two'd stop pokin' fun at me."

"Look Applebloom, I know how hard bullies can be. Back in Canterlot, a lot of ponies thought it would be funny to make fun of me for being Celestia's personal student. You just can't let it get to you. Nothing Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon say about you or your Cutie Mark is true. And if you're not sure, just ask any of us."

"Really?" Applebloom asked.

"Of course. Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, any of us will be glad to set things straight."
For the first time that day, Applebloom smiled. "Thanks Twi'. I really appreciate that," she looked back toward Ponyville. "But Ah'I really don' wanna go back to the party."

"Well, where are Sweetie Bell and Scootaloo?"

"Scoots is up in Cloudsdale signin' up for Young Flier's Camp. And Sweetie Bell said somethin' bout workin' with her sister."

"Well that's strange," Twilight announced, scratching the back of her head with her hoof. "Rarity doesn't normally accept help with her projects; not even from Sweetie."

"Ah'I know. But she said this was real important-like."

"Well, how about we head over to the Carousel Boutique? I'll just tell Ms. Cheerrile that you're with me, and we can go say 'hi'."

"Really Twi'?"

"Of course."

"Oh Twilight, thank Celestia you're here!" If there was one thing Twilight was used to after living in Ponyville for a year, it was the way some ponies said 'hello'. Today, Rarity opted for a more dramatic approach. After Twilight opened the door, Rarity practically leapt into her hooves, shouting for help.

"Calm down Rarity. What's the problem?"

"Problem? Oh Twilight, this is much more than a problem. This is an emergency!" Rarity seized hold of Twilight's shoulders and shook her back and forth.

"Easy sis," Sweetie Bell squeezed her way into the doorway and helped Applebloom pry her sister off of Twilight. She stood there for a moment; eyes spinning like tops in their sockets. "She's just overreacting a bit."

"Overreacting," Rarity shouted. "Overreacting? Is it overreacting when my shop is a shambles? Is it overreacting when my refrigerator breaks and all of my food goes bad? Is it overreacting when you know that your parents are showing up in three hours for dinner?" Rarity stopped, and threw herself to the floor. "Momma and poppa are coming in from Fillydelphia on a stop during their trip to San Franstaillion for their second honeymoon. They're expecting me to host them for dinner tonight; showing off how successful I've been at running my own business. But look at it!"

Twilight regained her composure as she and Applebloom took a good look inside the Carousel Boutique. Dresses and ponyquins were lying all over the floor while thread, fabric and paper were strewn about from ever possible place. At the center of it all, Rarity's cat Opalescence lay at the center of a maelstrom of dirt, grass, and mud. The cat gazed at the four ponies; looking very smug with herself as she stretched out and went to sleep.

"What happened?" Twilight and Applebloom asked.

"I stepped out earlier with Sweetie to gather some fresh herbs for tonight's dinner," Rarity began, picking herself up off the floor. "However, while we were out, some mice got into the store, and Opal took it upon herself to chase them all over the place."

"She got into everything," Sweet continued. "The dresses, the fabric, Rarity's supply of designing paper. She even got into the kitchen and messed up the fridge."

"A mouse must have made its way into the refrigerator and muddled up the temperature settings. It went from an ice box to an oven. All my food is ruined, my shop is a mess, and I have just three hours to fix everything."

Twilight and Applebloom exchanged a glance for a moment. "We'll gladly help you Rarity." Twilight announced. "Yeah, anythin' for a friend."

"Oh thank you both." Rarity sighed. "You have no idea how much stress I'm under right now."

"Alright," Twilight began as she walked around the shop. "So we've got two problems. The place is a mess and Rarity can't cook dinner tonight."

"Ah'I'll go get Applejack," Applebloom announced. "She's the best darn cooker in Ponyville. If anypony can whip up a lip-smackin' dinner in three hours, it's her." Rarity trotted over to her upturned register and pulled out a small bag. With a flick of her head, she tossed it to Applebloom.

"There's thirty bits in that bag," Rarity announced. "If it's not enough, then consider it a down payment." Applebloom looked at the purse with confusion.

"Ah'I'm sure Applejack don' wanna get paid for helpin' her friend out."

"But I insist Applebloom," Rarity pressed. "At the very least offer it to her. I don't want to seem like a freeloader."

The young filly looped the purse's string around her neck. "Ah'I'll be back lickity split. Don't you worry none." With that, Applebloom shot off like a rocket toward her family's farm.

"I'll go get Fluttershy." Sweetie Bell announced, making her way to the door.

"I appreciate all the help we can get, but why Fluttershy?" Rarity asked. Sweetie motioned to the portly cat lounging in the middle of the store.

"Because she's the only pony in Ponyville who can deal with Opal."

"That's brilliant Sweetie," Rarity told her. "Just, don't tell Fluttershy what happened to the mice. It would break her heart."

With a nod of understanding, Sweetie left the boutique, leaving the two unicorns alone with the cat.

"Come Twilight, let's fix the kitchen first. I would rather we wait until Opal is out of the way before we tackled this mess."

"No offence Rarity, but why do you have her as a pet when she acts out so much?" Twilight asked.

"Opalescence was a gift from my aunt before I moved out here to Ponyville. I love her to death, but her attitude could use an adjustment." Twilight nodded in silent approval as the two entered Rarity's kitchen.

Compared to the lavishly decorated store proper, the kitchen space was relatively Spartan. A creamy white floor tile was accented by a pale yellow paint job around the rest of the room. Glossy stone countertops sat on top of birch cabinets, which flanked a simple stove and refrigerator. It surprised Twilight greatly. Rarity enjoyed surrounding herself with lavish beauty; not so as to make one feel uncomfortable in the face of wealth, but to feel welcome in the face of comfort. It was similar to how the princess decorated her personal chambers; lavish but not suffocating.

"Wow Rarity, I didn't know your kitchen was so…" she paused, trying to find the right word.

"Simple," Rarity finished. "Yes I know, it is a bit drab. But I'm a pony who works with style, not silverware. I'm not exactly the best cook, and a simple kitchen is much easier to clean." Twilight nodded in approval as the approached the fridge. Rarity grimaced as the white door loomed in front of her like a monolith. "Well, here it is I suppose." She grimaced, flinching heavily at the mere sight of the appliance.

"What's wrong Rarity?" Twilight asked.

"Oh nothing. It's just absolutely filthy in there." "I'm sure it can't be that bad." She replied, opening the door with a telekinetic tug.

Needless to say, it was 'that bad.'

A wave of heat struck the two ponies, followed closely by a nauseating stench. Twilight's eyes began to water as she beheld the mess in front of her. Gristly lumps floated in bottles of runny-looking milk, the orange juice had turned brown, bundles of vegetables had begun to wilt, while a large bushel of apples looked more like prunes. And Twilight was sure that hay wasn't supposed to be that shade of orange. On impulse, she slammed the door shut.

"On second thought, let's just drag this old thing outside," she suggested, her voice a bit louder than intended. "I'm sure you could use a new one anyway."

"That's just what I was thinking as well." Rarity agreed as her horn began to glow.

It took the two ponies about ten minutes to drag the offending appliance out the back door. It was heavier than normal and they had to move slowly so as not to upset the delicate balance of putrid food inside. Once they had returned, they found Fluttershy and Applejack in the main store, gaping at the carnage wrought within.

"Golly Rarity, Ah'I never knew this place could look so messy."

"Well," Rarity huffed, tossing her mane. "I can't always be held responsible when my cat acts out."

"Don't worry Rarity, I'm sure Opal just needs a little time outside the shop." Fluttershy nudged a wicker basket at her hooves with her nose, eliciting a rather unpleasant growl from inside.

"Thank you so very much Fluttershy. And thank you Applejack. Oh you've both saved me from an extremely difficult afternoon."

"Now ya'll don' need ta go thankin' me Rarity. Ah'I know you're the one wit the Element of Generosity, but that don' mean I won' go out of mah way to help mah friends." The two of them descended into a discussion of how the dinner should be planned, while ideas for dishes to prepare. Meanwhile, Fluttershy was making her way toward the exit, Opal's basket in tow.

"I'm sure Opal wouldn't mind staying at my cottage tonight. I'll be back as soon as she's comfy to help you guys clean." Taking the basket up in her mouth, the shy pegasus lazily lifted up into the sky. However, just as she was out of sight, a muffled squeak drew everyone's attention. Twilight peeked out the door to find Fluttershy flying upside down, holding a now yowling Opal's basket in her forehooves, and Rainbow Dash tangled up in the boutique's hanging sign.

"Hehe, sorry Fluttershy. Kinda lost control there for a second."

"Oh, Rainbow Dash, you're not hurt are you?" She cried, floating over to where the cyan pegasus was untangling herself.

"Don't worry Fluttershy, it'd take a way bigger crash than that to knock this pegasus out of commission."

"I told you to watch out for Fluttershy."

Twilight Sparkle nearly jumped out of her hooves as Pinkie Pie spoke. Spinning around, Twilight came face-to-face with the magenta pony; her diminutive assistant perched on Pinkie's back with a befuddled look on his face.

"Pinkie, what," Twilight stammered. "How did you get here? What happened to the party at Sugarcube Corner?"

"Oh, Ms. Cheerrile canceled it after you came in the second time which was a shame because I was winning at Pin the Tail on the Pony, but then my right ear started tingling, but it was a good tingle, not a bad one. So I said to myself: 'Pinkie Pie, Rarity needs your help.' And I realized that you'd be here to so I got Spike to come with me and here we are."

"And I saw Pinkie Pie over here heading towards Rarity's," Rainbow Dash explained. "So I decided Rarity might need a bit of real muscle with whatever she's got planned." Twilight blinked before standing aside to let Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie have a good look at the inside of the boutique. "Jeeze," Rainbow gasped. "Did Ditsy Doo let a hurricane in here?"

" Wow Rarity, you really let this place go." Pinkie Pie announced.

"I know, it's a disaster!" Rarity moaned, flopping onto the floor.

"Yeah, you're not getting the usual crowd you used to," Pinkie continued, trotting over to Rarity. "But here's what we're gonna do. We'll put up a sign out front, saying we're having a big party. A party so big, it'll knock everypony's eyes out. And once their eyes are out, they won't be able to see what a mess this place is."

The entire boutique was silent as the sound of a crow echoed in the background.

"Pinkie Pie," Rainbow Dash sighed. "You are so random."

Twilight wasn't sure where the afternoon went after Pinkie Pie's incredibly strange suggestion. Soon, She was busy organizing Rarity's fabric rack while Pinkie Pie and Applejack went to work in the kitchen with Spike and the fillies. Rarity nearly had a heart attack several times when Rainbow Dash tried to pull off some stunts while she was fixing the unicorn's upper shelves; but in the end, everything seemed to work out just fine.
It was quite a surprise when a loud knock on the door nearly made Rarity jump out of her coat.

"Oh my goodness, they're here already," she shrieked. "Oh no. Applejack, please tell me the food's ready. Oh Sweetie Bell, go put on that new dress I made for you!" Rarity quickly descended into a long ramble as she continued running around the store. Twilight took it upon herself to open the door for their guests.

"Is this the Carousel Boutique dear?"

With all of her knowledge of Rarity, Twilight had already formed an idea of Rarity's parents. She imaged two 'stuffed saddles', brimming with all of the same upper class fluff most of the royal court had. What she saw, was drastically different. A unicorn couple stood on the threshold to Rarity's shop, loaded down with full saddlebags and apparently trailing two pieces of rolling luggage. Rarity's father was a tan-colored stallion with a pair of small glasses perched on his face and Cutie Mark in the shape of a geometric compass. The mare accompanying him was about a hand smaller, with a soft, cream colored coat, sky blue eyes and a painter's pallet as her Cutie Mark.

"Oh yes, I'm sorry," Twilight apologized; moving aside to allow the couple into the store. "Yes, this is the Carousel Boutique. I'm Twilight Sparkle. Are you Rarity and Sweetie Bell's parents?"

"Of course," the stallion announced. "I'm Cornerstone, and this is my wife Watercolor."

"A pleasure to meet you Ms. Sparkle." His wife greeted, extending a hoof to Twilight.

"Momma, Poppa!" Rarity snapped out of her confusion just in time to gallop over to the couple and throw her hooves around the mare.

"Oh Rarity, it is good to see you."

"Mommy, daddy."

"And Sweetie, oh c'mere you little scamp." Twilight couldn't help but smile as she watched the display of family love in front of her.

"Well hello Ms. Older Rarity." Twilight couldn't help but groan as Spike waltzed out of the kitchen. He licked his claw and ran it through his head spikes, approaching Rarity's family with a ridiculous swagger. Twilight took it upon herself to nab Spike's tail with her mouth, dragging him back into the kitchen.

"Not today Spike." She scolded him, depositing the young dragon on the tile floor.

"But c'mon Twi'. Everypony knows that the way to a lady's heart is through her parents."

"Parents that Rarity obviously haven't seen in a while," she told him. "We should give Rarity some space."

Spike began to open his mouth and reply when two things happened. One, his cheeks bulged out as a distinctive bubbling sound erupted from his belly. Two, a loud series of bangs and thumps came from the other side of the kitchen door followed by Pinkie Pie's signature holler.

"W-w-w-woah," she screamed. "T-t-t-there's a real – "

"Doosey coming." Twilight recoiled as a burst of emerald flame erupted from Spike's mouth. Almost instantly, the swirls of smoke gathered together into a scroll, which floated down in front of Twilight. Spike made a motion to pick the parchment up, when he yelped in pain and recoiled.

"Spike, what's the matter?"

"Yeow," he shouted, waving his claw back and forth. "I dunno. That message just zapped me."

"Zapped?" Twilight asked.

"Twi', wha' in the hay is goin' on here?" Applejack and Applebloom walked over to the unicorn and her assistant, worried looks plastered across their faces.

"I dunno Applejack." she announced, picking up the scroll with her magic. Her stomach flip-flopped when she saw that the seal wasn't the princess' usual crimson, but a foreboding black. She turned the scroll over in the air. "But whatever it is," she beheld red lettering scrawled across the back of the parchment. "It's a real doosey."



I decided to post this on my account, seeing as how that would give me a more accurate projection of how popular this story is, based on it's reviews.