"Are you sure this is a good idea, Scootaloo?" asked Apple Bloom, a hint of worry in her voice.
"Trust me, this is going to work!" exclaimed the enthusiastic orange Pegasus, "Besides, we've tried everything else, so this has got to work!"
"I sure hope you're right," said Sweetie Belle, nervousness also evident in her tone.
Scootaloo made sure the harness around her waist was tightly secured. Next, she placed her helmet on her head and strapped it up snugly. Then, she made sure the elastic rope attached to the end of her harness was securely wrapped around a tree nearby.
When all the preparations were set, she walked over to the ledge of the cliff face that she and her friends were near. Scootaloo felt the blood in her tiny veins begin to flow and her heart starting to race; the adrenaline was beginning to rise. Her tiny orange wings began fluttering with anticipation with what she was about to do as a determined smile came across her face.
"Alright, here goes nothing," she said as she began to back up. While she did, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom began biting their lips, worry and fear beginning to kick in.
Then, Scootaloo began running to the ledge with all the strength her little legs could muster. Right before she reached the ledge, she yelled out, "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS BUNGEE JUMPERS!"
Scootaloo leaped into the air as far she could. Then, she looked down and, in the split second that she did, she saw the ground coming at her almost too quickly for comfort. Before she had any time to think or react, her face went into the ground, causing her nose to be buried into the dirt. Her flank was raised into the air and her tail swayed to one side.
Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom walked over to the ledge and looked at Scootaloo, who didn't seem to move at all.
"Are you alright, Scootaloo?" asked Apple Bloom in her southern accent. Scootaloo didn't answer, nor did she move.
"Maybe we should have made the rope a little bit shorter," suggested Sweetie Belle.
"Or we should have jumped from a higher ledge," added Apple Bloom.
Just as the two shrugged, Scootaloo's body fell flat as she groaned in pain.
"Ah told ya it wasn't gonna work," said Apple Bloom, as she went into a small chest and pulled out a white handkerchief.
The three of them were in their clubhouse now, located in a secluded area of Sweet Apple Acres. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom had helped Scootaloo to the clubhouse and were getting ready to mend to their injured friend.
"For Celestia's sake!" shouted Scootaloo, holding her nose to help stop the bleeding, "I was sure that was going to work! What's it going to take for us to get a Cutie Mark! We've tried everything we could think of. No matter what we do, we still keep coming up 'blank flanks!' I can't think of anything else we can do to get our Cutie Marks!"
"Maybe we should try something a little less dangerous," suggested Sweetie Belle, as she came into the main room with a box of bandages. Scootaloo had really hurt herself badly for such a short drop distance.
Apple Bloom gave Scootaloo the handkerchief, which she held firmly on her nose. All the while, Sweetie Belle took up a few bandages and placed them on the newly-cleaned cuts on her forehead.
"Thanks a bunch, guys," said Scootaloo, as she wiped her nose with the cloth, "It really means a lot to me."
"No problem, Scoots," said Apple Bloom, "We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders. We look after each other no matter what, right Sweetie Belle?"
"Right!" exclaimed the white unicorn, as she leaped up in glee.
"Now then," said the Pegasus, "What else can we do to earn our Cutie Marks?"
The three of them sat in the clubhouse and thought about it for a while. They began thinking of things they haven't tried doing, all the while, keeping their safety and well-being a priority.
"Why don't we try vegetable gardening!" suggested Apple Bloom.
"Nah, that sounds too boring," said Scootaloo, "We need to find something more action-packed and exciting, just like Rainbow Dash! Besides, there are plenty of ponies around Ponyville with some sort of fruit or vegetable on their flanks! Who needs another?"
They thought in silence some more.
"How about something simpler," said Sweetie Belle, "Like flower-picking or something?"
"Ugh!" exclaimed Scootaloo, "What part of 'action-packed and exciting' didn't you understand!"
"Alright, then," said Apple Bloom, "What do you have in mind?"
"Something like demolition or race car driving!" said Scootaloo, as she began jumping around the clubhouse, "You know, something that will really get your heart racing and your body pumped!"
"I think you've hit your head a little too hard out there," said Sweetie Belle, placing her hooves on Scootaloo's shoulders, "You just injured yourself not even ten minutes ago, and now you want to do it again?"
"Don't worry about me," said Scootaloo as a determined look came across her face, "I'm fine. Besides, I'm not going to let a small injury like this stand in my way from earning my Cutie Mark!"
Sweetie Belle, with a worried look still on her face, let out a soft sigh. Scootaloo noticed this and smiled again. Then, she walked over to her and gave her a small hug. This caused Sweetie Belle to blush uncontrollably.
"I appreciate your concern, Sweetie Belle," she said, "But you shouldn't worry about me so much."
Sweetie Belle said nothing. All she could do was return the hug to her friend. All the while, something began to develop deep inside of her. She didn't know what it was, but it caused her heart to race and her cheeks to go from bright pink to a small shade of red. She prayed that neither Scootaloo nor Apple Bloom noticed.
After they released their embrace, Scootaloo said, "Man, all this thinking is making me hungry! What say you guys to a treat at Sugar Cube Corner?"
"Alright!" said Apple Bloom, "I could go for a cupcake right 'bout now!"
"Okay," said Scootaloo, "Last one there's a rotten dragon egg!"
As Scootaloo and Apple Bloom raced out the clubhouse door, Sweetie Belle trailed behind them, her cheeks still a shade of bright red.