"Surprise!" Pinkie Pie threw her front hooves up, tossing an improbably large amount of streamers and confetti into the air. "Oh man, I'm glad I got here when I did, or else you would've gone to sleep! And then I would've had to come back in the morning and surprise you then, and that's what got us into this trouble in the first place!"

"What are you doing here?"

"What's it look like, silly?" Pinkie Pie beamed, "I heard you've been down and sad all day, so I decided to throw you a surprise party! Or, well, a surprise private party. It's just the thing you need!"

"A private..." Twilight squinted at Pinkie Pie, making more details out in the relative darkness. "Are you wearing fishnets?"

"Yep! I got them in Appleoosa! You like?" Pinkie giggled. She rolled to the edge of the bed, adopting her best approximation of a pin-up pose. This lasted for maybe three seconds before Pinkie Pie lost her balance and toppled to the floor. "I'm okay!" she said, laughing.

Twilight just shook her head. It didn't make sense; more often than not, Pinkie Pie (along with everypony else in town) went without clothing at all. The mere addition of a few scraps of satin fabric shouldn't have made her nearly as scandalous as she did.

"Look, Pinkie-" Twilight finally said, "I don't think you should-"

"Oh! Oh! I almost forgot to give you your present. It's a naughty teddy!"


"Right here!" Pinkie Pie pulled a white box from under Twilight's bed, and foisted it upon her. Twilight blinked a few times, and slowly undid the red ribbon holding it shut.

There was a small stuffed bear inside.

"Oh, he looks cute, but he misbehaves a lot! Or should it be mis-bearhaves? Either way, he tried to eat all the chocolates before you got here!"

"There's chocolate?"

"Of course! Its a party! There's always chocolate!" Pinkie Pie thrust another box into Twilight's hooves. "And don't worry, I even included a little chart so you can tell which candy is which without having to bite halfway into them first only to find out that one of them's like mint creme or something. Or maybe you do like mint creme, which means you'd be okay, but it's still kind of a gamble, y'know? And I know how much you don't like chaos and confusion even though you hang out with me and Rainbow Dash and everypony else all the time."

"That's...very thoughtful of you, Pinkie."

"Oh, no it isn't! I barely thought about it at all! I just kind of got the idea in my head so I went ahead and did it and now we're here!"

"You know, that explains a lot," said Twilight.

"Anyway!" Pinkie Pie pulled a pair of wineglasses and a bottle from somewhere, and poured accordingly. "You look more confused than cheered up right now, but that's alright! Just relax, have a drink, and then we can-"

"No." Twilight said.

"Oh, not thirsty? That's got to be a first! Well, I guess I can't blame you if you just wanna skip to the-"

"Not that," Twilight said, and drained the wineglass in a single, unladylike gulp. "It's...it just doesn't make any sense. This morning, you said I'm not you're type, and now you're..." Twilight searched for the right word to figure out just what Pinkie Pie was doing. She failed to find it, and settled for saying,"now you're here."

"You say that like it's a bad thing!"

"It is!" Twilight shook her head, and pushed away from Pinkie. "I mean, I'm flattered, I am, but you're doing this for the wrong reason."

"I'm doing this to make you smile, Twilight. I can't stand seeing you sad, so I'll do anything to make you happy. Anything." Pinkie Pie struck another pin-uppy pose. She did a little better this time, hanging off of Twilight's bedpost for a few long moments before her grip faltered and she toppled to the floor again. "Feeling better yet?"

"No." Twilight sighed, "look, you said it yourself this morning. I'm not your type, and you don't think of me like...ah, that. You're obviously just trying to please me, but it's not...well, it's not genuine. I'm looking for love. Not pity." Twilight sat down, and breathed in deeply. "Well, I was, at least. I think it'll probably be better if I just stop looking. I mean, why would anypony want to be with me? Honestly, that is, not out of some misguided desire to...help."

"Why? Why not?" Pinkie Pie said, "seriously, Twilight, I think you need to go look in a mirror! You're totally cute in an adorkable kind of way and you're always good to all of your friends and you're really the smartest pony I know and smart is kind of sexy and you're really good at magic-"

Twilight blinked, epiphany striking her. "Pinkie, that's it!" she cried aloud, and shook the pink pony by the shoulders. "You're a genius!"

"I am?"

"Of course! Why didn't I think of it earlier? I've been doing this all wrong! I don't need matchmaking, and I don't need pity sex...what I need is magic!" Twilight leapt from the bed, levitated the barricade from her bedroom door, and dashed down to the arcane section of the library.

"Uh, Twilight?" Pinkie followed, furrowing her brow in concern, "you're not gonna do something crazy like make a love potion, are you? 'cause I'm pretty sure that'd end really badly. Or, oooh, you're not gonna get all creepy and make yourself a boyfriend out of like spare parts or something, are you? 'cause I saw that movie and it was really creepy. Especially the part with the lightning and the cackling and stuff."

"Making somepony love me through a love potion would be immoral and wrong, Pinkie. So would be creating some sort of animated love-golem...thing." Twilight nodded, falling comfortably back into 'lecturing,' mode. "Besides, I just don't have the proper materials here."

"Oh, okay." Pinkie Pie said.

"But, what I do have is a small selection of divination spells!"

"You mean like fortune telling? With crystal balls and fancy cards and hoof reading?"

"Not quite," Twilight Sparkle said, laying a magical tome out on a reading stand. She paged through it, finally finding the spell she was looking for. "Precognition is hard...and dangerous. Remember all the trouble I went through when I came back from the future to tell myself not to go through all the trouble? Closed time loops and paradoxes are...tricky. Thankfully, that's not what we're dealing with. Instead, I'm going to make an adjustment to an existing dowsing spell- so this time, instead of finding gems or water, it's going to find somepony who could love me."

A slightly mad gleam shone in Twilight's eyes as she began to lay out the necessary components for the spell: paper, ink, candles, a mirror, and so on.

"Uh. Are you sure that's a good idea?" Pinkie Pie surprised herself as she provided the voice of reason.

"Nope!" Twilight said, "but, desperate times call for desperate measures! Or maybe just desperation calls for...more...desperation! Either way, I'm gonna find my special somepony, and there's nothing that can stop me!"

"Uh, okay?" Pinkie offered, "but, um, you've got that crazy look in your eye that you get whenever you're going to do something that you have to tell Princess Celestia about in a letter afterward."

"I do not have that crazy look in my eye that I get whenever I'm going to do something that I have to tell Princess Celestia about in a letter afterward! I have that crazy look in my eye that I get when I'm about to be absolutely brilliant and then I will tell Princess Celestia about it in a letter afterward!"

"Okay, you've lost me," Pinkie Pie said, "why don't we just settle down and have a few drinks and talk this out?"

"NO." Twilight Sparkle said, "this is the only way!" She pulsed magic through her horn, and the components of her spell began to glow. Even while she had to concentrate on the spell, Twilight found the willpower to explain it to her friend as it played out. "You see, Pinkie, it's simple! Based on a psycho-magical profile of, well, me, I can tap into the Loom of Fate, and work out a pattern from there. And if I apply that pattern to the ink, it should sketch out a drawing of the one pony who could POSSIBLY love me, and therefore I will know who it is and then I can go find them and we will kiss and hug and it will be the best thing ever!"

"Well, it beats the personal ads in the newspaper." Pinkie Pie deadpanned.

"Stand back!" Twilight said, "because this is the good part!" She squinted her eyes shut, and focused her not-inconsiderable will into the effort. Her horn pulsed, her body shook, and the spell began to work its magic.

A stream of ink streamed its way out of its pot, like a cobra rising from a basket. It swayed back and forth in midair, and then pounced upon the blank page. The ink splattered, and streamed out onto the paper. The black liquid curled and twisted about. Twilight squinted her eyes, and looked at the emerging picture. Big eyes. Curly hair. Sunny smile.

"Pinkie Pie?" Twilight said.

"Oh look, it's not done!" Pinkie threw one hoof across Twilight's shoulders, and pointed with the other.

Sure enough, the ink continued to stream across the page. The image of Pinkie Pie was evident enough, but another pony materialized next to her. Short mane, wings, a roguish smirk-

"Rainbow Dash?" Twilight blurted, "but that doesn't make any-"

The ink didn't listen. As soon as it scribbled out Rainbow Dash, it showed Rarity next. Then Applejack. Fluttershy. Spike. Celestia. Luna. Somepony in a wizard hat. Applebloom. Scootaloo. Sweetie Belle. Big Macintosh. Cheerilee. Carrot Top. Ditzy Doo. Roseluck. Four Color. Benchpress. That one brown pony with the hourglass cutie mark. And so on. Soon enough, Twilight couldn't even name the multitude of ponies sketched out on the page.

"But...that doesn't make any sense!" she said, backing away from the expanding collage, "this spell was just supposed to find that one rare pony who'd love me! Not..."

"Oh! Don't you see, Twilight?" Pinkie Pie smiled, broadly. "It's perfect! Because, if you think about it, you've saved all of Equestria, and twice. And even if most ponies are pretty dumb, there's still a lot of ponies out there that somehow or another realize all the hard work you've put into making sure all of us don't die! When you think about it, it's simple! Everypony loves Twilight Sparkle!"

"You're not just saying that to make me feel better, are you?"

"Nope!" Pinkie Pie pointed to the parchment. "See for yourself! You did it with your magicky whatchamacallit! Now will you just relax? You're a really neat pony and I'm sure you'll have some wonderful storybook romance with some lucky pony, but you just have to let those sort of things come to you."

"Like...how you came here?" Twilight said.

"Sure!" Pinkie Pie said, "that is, if you still want to. I mean, what's a little fling between friends?" She winked. "Y'know I love a good time."

Twilight bit at her lower lip, and finally shook her head. "No, Pinkie. I'm...well, I'm tempted, but I don't want to jeopardize our friendship with...complications, y'know? Besides, I don't think I'm ready for just...flinging anything. Sorry."

"Don't apologize!" Pinkie Pie smiled, "I mean, when you really think about it, I'm not your type." She winked.

"Wait. I have a type?" Twilight said.

"Sure you do! We just don't know what it is yet. But, I think we've got a good idea of where to start..." she looked at the ink picture of dozens and dozens of ponies. "Hey, that guy in the corner looks pretty cute."

Twilight laughed, and slumped back to a sitting position. "After all the trouble I've been through today, I don't think I'm gonna start asking anypony out anytime soon. Getting too...focused on that sort of thing is what got me into all this trouble in the first place. I was just coming off to ponies as desperate, and they could see it, and that meant they'd reject me and that just made me more desperate and...well, it's like you said, I've got to let these things come to me naturally."

"So now what?" Pinkie Pie said. "Should I go?"

"Well," Twilight looked out the window, and yawned, "it's late, and you went through all this trouble...tell you what, if you'd like, you can stick around for, like, a slumber party? Y'know, between friends?"

"That's a great idea!" Pinkie Pie beamed.

"But this time, why don't you sleep in the guest bed?"