PART TWO – Pinkie, Pinkie
Pinkie Pie felt betrayed – not by Surprise, but by herself.
She had stood up for herself and fought to keep her friends – her super-special Elements of Harmony friends, no less – so why did she feel so bad?
"It's not fair!" she muttered.
She plodded down the stairs and into Sugarcube Corner's main room, where numerous partygoers – including her friends – were still frozen in shock after seeing Surprise's teary exit.
"Sorry, everypony," said Pinkie, her eyes downcast. "Surprise and I got in a fight, and I don't think she'll be coming back." She sighed glumly.
"Oh, that's simply awful news, dah-ling," said Rarity, putting a front hoof to her mouth in dismay. "I thought you two were getting along so well!"
"Yeah!" agreed Rainbow Dash. "She couldn't stop talking about you!"
"Really…?" said Pinkie, her brows knitting in confusion.
"Totally!" Rainbow Dash swept a hoof out in a wide gesture. "I mean, on the way to the Boutique…"
"…Speaking of lift, I can't believe that Pinkie Pie can walk on clouds, even though she's an Earth Pony! That's amazing! And is it true she drank a rainbow?" Surprise could barely contain her eager excitement.
"Well, a Unicorn we know actually did that cloud trick with a spell, but she SO drank one, yeah – right outta the mixing vat! I thought she was gonna EXPLODE!" Rainbow Dash laughed at the memory. "Oh, and get this: she built her own FLYING MACHINE!"
"NO…WAY!" Surprise pressed her front hooves to her cheeks. "That is so…AWESOME!"
Pinkie Pie's eyebrows rose. "She…she said that?"
"She thinks the world of you, dear," said Rarity. "Why, while I was styling Rainbow Dash's coiffure…"
Surprise gasped. "Really? The whole town? How did she do it?"
"It was music that soothed the savage little beasts," said Rarity. She clucked her tongue and magicked the cape resting around Rainbow Dash's shoulders into a skin-tight wrap, binding the fidgeting Pegasus while she ran a levitating brush through her tangled mane. "She played a one-Pony band and danced them right out of town!"
"She plays music, too…?" Surprise whispered, awestruck. "Wow!"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa…this is a kwa-foor?" said Rainbow Dash with a touch of horror. "That wasn't part of our deal!" She stirred her hooves on her mane, trying to undo the fine braid.
Rarity slapped a hoof to her forehead in annoyance.
"I don't know about any of that," said Twilight Sparkle, "but Surprise was definitely pretty excited to hear about how you always seem to be able to find the right book when we need it."
"…An' she couldn't hear enough about all the cake-eatin' contests you've won," added Applejack.
Fluttershy cringed and mumbled something inaudible in Pinkie's direction.
Pinkie trotted over and leaned in close. "Hmm…?" she said.
Fluttershy gulped. A soft blush rose up on the bridge of her nose. "S-She apologized a-about…about dropping me," she whispered, "and she said she was just trying to do what you would have done." Fluttershy cringed lower. "She was right, too…you always try to help me. That's, um, that's…that's why I didn't tell you this time. B-Be…B-Because…" Fluttershy's blush had brightened to a deep cherry red and had spread to her whole face.
"I getcha," said Pinkie, patting Fluttershy on the head.
Fluttershy murmured unintelligibly.
Pinkie Pie turned to face Twilight Sparkle. "Twilight, I need you to do that cloud-magic thingy on my hooves again. There's something I gotta take care of…Pinkie Pie Style."
Surprise plodded numbly into her cloud-built living room. Her dragging hooves left divots in the floor which her flat tail smoothed out behind her. She sat down heavily on a wide pillow.
She looked over to the opposite wall, where a collection of clippings from the Equestria Daily newspaper were pinned up between two windows. One headline read: Six fillies avert eternal night. Another read: Grand Galloping Gala a 'Fiasco': Pr. Blueblood. A third: Ponyville Six defeat Discord. Surprise sighed a self-pitying sigh.
And then a pink Earth Pony piloting a hoof-cranked flying machine smashed through the wall.
The contraption spun wildly as it careened into the room, but the pilot managed to guide it to a skidding upright stop.
"Okay, I really hope this one is the right house," said Pinkie Pie, dismounting and dusting herself off. "Those last four Pegasi were super rude!" She turned, and her blue eyes met Surprise's morose purple gaze. "Oh…!" Pinkie smiled triumphantly, but not for long. "Oh. Uh…hi," she said softly, and meekly waved a front hoof.
Surprise frowned and turned away. "Wh-why are you here?" she muttered, clearly putting no small effort into keeping her voice from cracking.
Pinkie rubbed one foreleg with the other nervously. "I'm sorry I was a meanie before. I talked to my friends, and they said – well, I mean they explained…" Pinkie Pie grunted in annoyance. "If you knew who I was and you thought I was so awesome, why didn't you just say so?"
"Are you crazy?" said Surprise, rolling over to face Pinkie once more. "I couldn't just talk to you!"
Pinkie Pie raised an eyebrow. "Uhhhhh….why not?"
"Well, DUH – maybe because you're just the most famous party-Pony ever?" Surprise pointed at the clippings on the wall. "It took me forever to work up the courage to get your attention, and after that joy-buzzer bit I was fresh outta material! I mean, how could I measure up to you? You can throw a party together in a minute flat! You saved Equestria! Twice! You're my idol! I even got my Cutie Mark because of you!"
Pinkie shook her head until it rattled. "I am? You did?"
"Yeah! When I was a little filly…"
Surprise sat on the lone cloud and heaved a heavy sigh. She brushed a lock of straight blonde mane out of her eyes with a hoof. "Dumb popular Pegasi," she muttered. "Oh, come play hide-and-seek with us, Surprise! I bet you're reeeaaally good at hiding!" She stomped a hoof on the cloud. "Yeah, right! Hide-and-seek? More like hide-and-get-left-there-on-purpose! …By jerks!" She scowled. "I spent the day crammed inside a rain cloud, AND I missed a Sonic Rainboom! A SONIC RAINBOOM!" She growled in frustration.
She leaned over the edge of the cloud and looked down at the world below. "Maybe I should just give up on bein' a Pegasus," she lamented. "Maybe I should just hit the dirt and go farm rocks like those boring Earth Ponies…"
The family in question trotted out of their farmhouse, looking for all the world like the least exciting Ponies who ever lived. But then a frizzy pink foal burst out of the silo door, accompanied by raucous music and several escaping balloons. The Earth Ponies were having a party!
Surprise watched the balloons as they rose up to meet her. They were backlit by the morning sun, silhouetted in the bright light. As Surprise reached out a hoof toward one of them, the heat and altitude made them pop. She yelped excitedly and leaped backward on the cloud, and then collapsed into a fit of giggling. "Forget those stupid popular Pegasi!" she exclaimed. "If that Earth Pony can be happy, then I can, too! I'll have fun, and laugh, and play pranks! I'll be…" She rubbed her head on the cloud's cottony surface. Static electricity sparked through her hair, and her mane popped into a mess of frizzy tangles. "...A PARTY-PONY!"
A shimmer of destiny sparkled on her flanks, leaving a trio of balloon silhouettes in its wake.
"I never forgot that, and then years later I found out you were famous, too!" said Surprise, a touch of her former excitement returning to her voice. "I read all about the awesome stuff you and your friends did…" Surprise's delight faded. "…But then I made you mad, and now you totally hate me." Her frown was so heavy it seemed to pull her entire body toward to the floor.
"Hey…!" said Pinkie. "That isn't true! I told you already – I was the one wearing the meanie-pants back there!" Pinkie looked down at her front hooves. "I just got so…jealous! I was scared they'd…they'd all like you more than me. I mean, you know all about flying–"
Surprise raised an eyebrow. "I'm a Pegasus."
"And you know how to wash with clouds…"
"Pegasus," Surprise repeated.
"Yeah, but what about–"
"Pinkie, I get the feeling your friends don't like you for being just like them. I think it's the opposite of that, actually. Nopony is quite like you! That's what makes you so cool!" Surprise's tone was brightening once more.
"Awww…" said Pinkie, flushing slightly. "You aren't a friend-stealer at all, Surprise! You're…you're a ton of fun!"
Surprise perked up further. "I…I am…?"
"Totally! I might have Ponyville covered, but you would make a great party-Pony for Cloudsdale!"
"F-for the whole city?" a faint glimmer shone in Surprise's eyes. "You really think I could?"
"I know you could!" Pinkie smiled a massive smile. "C'mon – up high!" She raised a front hoof.
A tiny little grin creased Surprise's mouth. She slapped a hoof to Pinkie's, and both Ponies shuddered in place as their joy buzzers went off. The shock made Surprise's mane and tail burst back into clouds of frizz. Once they parted hooves, Surprise pulled Pinkie into a hug.
"Thanks, Pinkie," she whispered. "I mean it!"
Pinkie Pie hugged back. "Anytime! I'm so happy things worked out!"
Both Ponies burst into joyful weeping, releasing twin fountains of tears.
"HEY!" Surprise recovered instantly.
Pinkie did likewise. "…You know what this calls for…?"
"A PARTY!" they said in unison, spreading their front hooves upwards and releasing clouds of confetti.
A few hours and a great deal of aerial merrymaking later, Pinkie Pie stowed her cycle-copter-majig in the small shed she'd assembled not far from Rainbow Dash's floating home. She nosed the door closed and turned to trot back into Ponyville.
Pleased with recent events as she was, Pinkie couldn't help but happily hum as she bounded down the dirt road. She proceeded that way for a time, until she passed by a large pond.
A gentle wind stirred the reeds at the water's edge, and carried a faint sing-song sound to Pinkie's ears:
Intrigued, Pinkie trotted over to the pond and stared down at the water. For a brief moment, it seemed like her reflection wore a slightly different smile than she did…and had fins.
"Nahhh," said Pinkie, turning back to the road, "maybe next time."