The Pony Infatuation

(Scene: Leonard and Sheldon's apartment)

It was a typical Friday night, with the usual group settled into Sheldon and Leonard's for dinner. The two sat in their usual places, joined by Howard, Raj, Penny, Amy and Bernadette. The seven of them were watching television and eating Chinese food.

"You know," Sheldon spoke up. "Something just occurred to me. If you all once again leave after dinner, this will be the fifth consecutive week that the attendance for Vintage Video Game night has dwindled to just me."

"Hey, he look, he finally noticed!" Said Howard. He turned to Leonard. "Leonard, who had this week in the pool?"

"Hm... let's see..." Leonard reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. After pressing a few buttons, he looked up. "It's you, Howard."

"Really?" Howard smiled, excited. "All right! I'm gonna take this and buy my mom and the wife a nice lobster dinner."

"Howard, I thought your mother was a very observant Jew?" Asked Amy. "Lobster is decidedly not kosher, it seems unlikely she'd eat it."

Howard shrugged. "Eh, I won't tell her what the meat is. After she inhales three of them I doubt she'll even care. Plus, maybe luck will be on my side and she'll have an allergic reaction." Bernadette rolled her eyes and patted Howard's shoulder.

Raj leaned over and whispered something into Howard's ear.

"Raj, no one needs to hear an announcement of you going to the bathroom." Howard replied, clearly annoyed. Raj whispered again. "It's not gonna happen again, just go."

"Well, Sheldon, how about disbanding Vintage Video Game Night on a temporary basis, to make it fresh again?" Leonard asked while Raj headed for the bathroom.

"I suppose I could, if there were a suitable theme to replace it with." Sheldon responded.

"Well, how about an anime night?" Leonard asked. "Where we watch new anime every week. I mean, we can only watch Oshikuru Demon Samurai so many times. I mean, I can quote the opening scene from episode seven by heart."

"And thanks to you, so can I." Penny remarked, annoyed.

"Very well, then, Leonard." Sheldon stood up. "Starting tonight, at 8 P.M., we shall begin our test run of Anime Night. Rest in peace, Vintage Video Game Night, 2005-2012."

Howard stood up as well. "Bernadette and I will come with you to the store. We're going to look for a movie to watch tonight. If I have to watch one more non-Avengers Scarlett Johansson movie, I'm gonna start thinking about divorce."

"Howard!" Bernadette said, clearly angry.

"Kidding!" Howard replied. "But seriously, no more, please?"

The six of them gathered up their things and headed out the door. The sound of a flushing toilet followed as Raj came out, looking at the empty apartment.

"...son of a bitch." Raj groaned. "This is the sixth time in six years, but, nooo, Howard says it won't happen again."

Raj walked over to the couch and plopped down on it. He reached for the remote and pressed a button.

"Well, let's see what's on. Hm... since they left me, I think I'll go for a little on demand. And not the free one, either." Raj laughed, trying his best to make it sound evil. "Hey, what's this? My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic? Ugh, for a grown man to watch that it would take a real pathetic loser with an extremely sad, pitiful life."

About an hour later, Raj now sat on the couch, a big smile on his face. "Oh, Pinkie Pie, you say everything everyone wants to say, but you're the only one who's crazy enough to do it! Oh, My Little Pony, I think is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." He smiled, raising his can of soda to the television.

(Scene: Video store)

"Leonard, I would like to suggest we choose this one as our choice." Sheldon held up a DVD case. "The protagonist of this series has the ability to smite his enemies simply by writing their names on a piece of paper. It's like they wrote it directly from my 7th grade Sheldon's Log."

"That seems a little scary." Penny interjected. "Look at this one, it looks so cute! See, all these little two foot tall aliens talk and act like people, and the box says no one takes them seriously, because they're adorable!"

Sheldon shook his head. "Penny, I think we should consider Anime Night as a once a week chance to learn more about the Japanese culture. And as far as I know, there's no two foot tall, amphibious extraterrestrial creatures in Japan."

Leonard spoke up. "Okay, then, how about this, we go to that authentic sushi house, learn about Japan there, and then watch cute little aliens on TV afterward?"

Sheldon turned to Leonard. "Why are we bringing her to Anime Night?"

"Sheldon, leave her alone." Leonard replied. "Besides, I already bought one. Look, this teenage girl is a ninja! It looks pretty funny."

Sheldon sighed. "First of all, Penny's rubbing off on you in horrible, horrible ways, Leonard. Second of all, the art of ninjutsu is mostly extinct in Japan, with only a few practitioners, and I can assure you that the number of teenage girls in that number is very close to zero. Or, the more likely case, is zero."

Leonard sighed in exasperation. "But people in Japan don't kill each other with notes, either!"

"No, but it is an interesting social commentary on the general values of life, death, killing, and so on and so forth."

Leonard threw his arms up. "I give up, go buy your DVD."

"Howard, how about this movie?" Bernadette asked, holding up a DVD case.

"Oh, come on, this is a total chick flick!" Howard pointed to the cover. "That's the only reason why this guy's abs are showing!"

"Oh, give me a break, after the boardwalk you always fall asleep ten minutes into the movie!"

"Gee, I wonder why?" Howard asked, pointing to the case again.

"Oh, you're going to the boardwalk today?" Amy asked.

"Yeah, we try to go once a month." Bernadette replied. "Both because we love the walk, and Howard loves the Chicago-style hot dogs this vendor sells."

"I've always wanted to go." Amy replied. "I've been trying to get Sheldon to come with me, but he's adamant in his belief that in the - admittedly quite likely - event he were to trip, due to the faulty construction he would set the world record for most simultaneous splinters."

"Well, why don't you come with us, then?" Bernadette asked. "You don't mind, right Howard?"

"No, the more the merrier." Howard replied. He looked to Amy. "She always gets so sad when I can't talk because the relish and mustard burns my tongue a little."

"Oh, I'm so happy!" Amy excitedly said. "For one night, it'll be like I'm on the romantic date I've only dreamed of. Except I'll have two significant others instead of one!" She put one arm around Bernadette and one around Howard, both now looking very uncomfortable. "Oh, happy day!" She sighed happily.

(Scene: Leonard and Sheldon's apartment)

With Raj apparently gone, Leonard, Sheldon and Penny sat on the couch, watching TV. Sheldon had a pouty look on his face, apparently not enjoying it at all.

"I can't believe we're watching this." Sheldon grumbled. "Anime night is not about little ninja girls. We could've been watching my choice."

"Well, why aren't we?" Penny asked.

"He left it in the car." Leonard replied.

"Wait, so why doesn't he just go get it?"

"That ornery tomcat is out there again." Sheldon muttered. "That thing bites me, there's not enough Neosporin in the world to make me feel like I'm not rotting from the inside out." He turned back to the TV. There was a a 'Ding' sound, followed by Leonard and Penny laughing hysterically. "Oh come on, how many times can you find that character getting hit in the groin funny?" Sheldon asked. "Well, I suppose it is somewhat amusing that his groin region landed in a tea bottle. Heh heh."

(Scene: Boardwalk)

Howard and Bernadette were walking hand-in-hand down the boardwalk. In Howard's other hand was one of the hot dogs he had been looking forward to.

"This is so nice." Bernadette said, while Howard wolfed down a large bite of his hot dog.

"Mmhmm." Agreed Howard through his mouthful of food.

"What do you think, Amy?" Bernadette continued.

Amy, who was holding Bernadette's other hand, smiled. "It's everything I dreamed. I should submit this to become a fairly tale. A man, a woman, and Amy Farrah Fowler. The only way this could be better is if I was you and you were Penny and Howard was Sheldon." Howard and Bernadette gave her a look. "Well, okay, it could be better, but this is fun."

"Well, how about after this we go to that nice little coffee shop on the way back and grab some tea?" Bernadette asked.

"I'd rather stop at Dairy Queen." Replied Howard. "Nothing follows a Chicago dog better than a Strawberry Cheesequake Blizzard."

"I have a simple suggestion." Amy said. "In the name of fairness, I'd like to suggest that we put it to a vote, as to appease a larger percentage of the group."

"Great." Howard smiled. "So you vote for Dairy Queen?"

"No, I'm voting for the coffee shop." Amy replied. "Though it should be noted I might've voted differently if I was holding your hand. No offense, Bernadette, but a woman's hand just doesn't have the same appeal as a man's. Or Penny's."

Howard rolled his eyes. "Hey, I had to have a hand free for my hot dog! Oh, forget it, let's go-ow!" He flinched a little. "I swear, that mustard gets spicier every week."

"By the way, Amy, why don't you hang with us tomorrow? If you don't have plans with Sheldon, that is."

Amy shook her head. "No, Sheldon set aside the next few Saturdays to have debates with Barry Kripke from the university he works at, to be taped and uploaded on YouTube for a vote to decide. Unfortunately, I can't see it ending well for Sheldon. That Kripke is an internet sensation waiting to happen."

"Well, Howard wants to order a pizza play the Star Trek version of Trouble after watching The Phantom Menace..." Bernadette began.

"Star WARS!" Howard corrected her. "And it's because once we watch the Phantom Menace, we can appreciate the original trilogy even more!"

"But I want to go to the arboretum to see the blue jays before they go into their nests for the night, and then go to this nice Italian bistro. It's a little pricey, but it's amazing."

"A little? It's cheaper to eat money!"

"What do you say, Amy?" Bernadette asked.

Amy pondered for a moment. "Tough choice, but I'm gonna have to go with your pick, Bernadette." This brought a smile to Bernadette's face. "What about Sunday? Do you two have plans then?"

"Sunday is Bernadette and my alone time." Howard replied.

"Actually, I'd like to vote in favor of Amy joining us, with the option of continuing for the rest of the week."

"Me too!" Amy added, raising her hand.

Howard sighed. "Oy, this is gonna suck..."

(Scene: Raj's apartment)

A few days had passed. It was now a Wednesday night. Raj was walking around his apartment, speaking on his phone. He was wearing a T-shirt featuring a purple pony, that read 'Twilightlicious'.

"I'm telling you dude, that Scootaloo shirt is gonna be all the rage. You better get one before they sell out like the Fluttershy "Yay" shirts. I've been snacking during the eps, so it might be a while before it fits. Dumb fabric." He began to giggle.

There was a knock at the door.

"Listen, someone's here. I'll call you back in a little while." He paused while the person on the other line spoke. "Pinkie Pie swear! Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye! Okay, later." Raj answered the door to find Howard. "Hey, Howard! What brings you to my stable?"

The clearly annoyed Howard walked in. "Well, I was hanging with Amy and Bernadette, but they voted that I was a "fuddy-duddy" and I should wait with you while they get matching mani-pedis." He walked over and dropped on the couch. "So, what do you wanna do?"

"Well, I was going to do a marathon of the two-part My Little Pony episodes." Raj replied, joining Howard on the couch.

Howard began to laugh. "That's funny, Raj. Seriously, what are we gonna do?"

"I am serious!" Raj replied. He sighed. "Alright, I knew I'd have to tell the world about this some day... and I'm glad that you, my best friend, are the first to hear."

Howard stared, wide-eyed. "Oh, lord, everyone was right. I tried to defend you for all these years, Raj, really, but it's just so much easier now that you're admitting it."

"What are you talking about?" Raj asked. "I'm talking out being a Brony!"

"A... Brony?" Howard asked. "You mean one of those losers who watches ponies all day and have their bathtub fantasies thinking about horses?"

"Hey, that is an unfair stereotype!" Raj's voice began to escalate. "We're normal guys, and the show is amazing. It's like, I didn't even know who I WAS before I found this show!"

"I'm sorry, Raj, you're right. How could I doubt the life-changing ability of a show that has a character named Pinkie Pie?"

"Stop it, Howard." Raj gave Howard a serious look. "Maybe you see it as a big joke, but I take it seriously. I love this show."

"Sorry, sorry." Howard replied. The two sat quietly for a few moments. After a few seconds, it became obvious he was stifling laughter. "So, when are you and the future Pinkie Koothrappali getting hitched?" He burst out laughing hysterically. Raj turned and glared at him.

(Scene: The university cafeteria)

It was now the next day. In what was a familiar scene, Sheldon, Leonard and Howard sat at a lunch table, sharing a meal and a conversation.

"So, Raj kicked you out because you made fun of My Little Pony?" Leonard asked.

Howard nodded. "Yeah. He's going off the deep end."

"This from the guy who's letting his wife and his wife's girlfriend boss him around?" Leonard asked.

"Yeah, they've outvoted me on everything so far." Howard grumbled. "Don't have much of a choice, Bernadette has the car and... the good stuff. And just this morning she texted me that she and Amy voted for us to go to the opera tonight."

"Then just don't go." Leonard replied.

"That's what I would do. But, in addition to the aforementioned... good stuff, my mother invited my aunt Cheryl over. I think you'd have to watch two extremely overweight women rip through a brisket like a pride of lions on a gazelle to truly appreciate how disgusting it is." Howard went back to his food.

"Sheldon, doesn't it bother you that Amy's spending time with Howard and Bernadette and not you?" Leonard asked.

"No, not not at all." Sheldon replied as he wiped his mouth. "I find our more limited schedule of interaction to be quite a nice change of pace. She's happy spending time with the Wolowitzes, and I have more time to spend on important things, for example, planning my next debate with Kripke. I have to bounce back from my loss this Saturday. But I have this suspicion that his victory wasn't based completely on his argument. Actually, I'd say it's the only explanation."

"Greetings, everypony!" Raj walked up to the table, holding a tray of food. He was wearing yet another pony-themed shirt with a jacket over it. He sat down. "Check it, just came in the mail!" Raj smiled and held up his arm, showing his wristband that read 'BRONY'.

"Raj, do not take this to be judgmental." Sheldon began. "But couldn't you invest your time in a more worthwhile and age-appropriate pastime? Like Legos or Justice League comics?"

"Sheldon, don't start with me." Raj cut him off. "Howard's already gotten on my nerves. There's nothing weird about it. Well, except that dream I had last night." Raj dropped his voice to a whisper. "Stupid, sexy Pinkie Pie... oh, I forgot my sarsaparilla." Raj stood up while the group looked at him. "What? It gives you extra sass!"

"...fascinating." Sheldon said, watching Raj walk off. "I think I shall become a Brony as well." Leonard and Howard stared. "...bazinga!"

(Scene: Leonard and Sheldon's apartment)

For the second consecutive Friday, Sheldon sat in his usual spot on the couch, while Leonard and Penny sat together on the other side, once again watching anime.

"Leonard." Sheldon began.

Leonard sighed. "What is it this time?"

"I know that we wanted to branch out with our interest in anime..." Sheldon turned from the screen to look at Leonard. "But I find this one confusing. For what reason would a sexually available man scream and run from a group of five different women who are virtually throwing themselves at him?"

"It's called a harem anime, Sheldon." Leonard replied.

"I'm aware of what it is." Sheldon responded. "I'm just saying that the entire sub-genre seems extremely unlikely. I mean, even in modern day Japan, the society is fairly androcentric, and the man choosing to have coitus with all of them might not necessarily be frowned upon, as long as the knowledge didn't reach many people. And from a biological standpoint-"

"Sheldon!" Leonard interrupted. "I get it, you don't understand it. But I wanted Penny to enjoy our new anime night, and she wanted to see this one."

"Ignoring the fact that we watched a Penny pick last week, why on Earth would you choose this?" Sheldon asked, giving Penny an annoyed look. "This is an opportunity to learn about another country through their animation, and you choose THIS?"

"I thought it was really cute..." Penny replied. She reached over and picked up the DVD case from the table. "Look how nervous this guy is when the girl with the pink hair is close to him!" She giggled. "Look at that little sweat mark! It's like when Leonard and I first met." Sheldon just sat there, giving Penny and Leonard both an angry stare.

"Fine, Sheldon, we'll watch one more episode and you can put on one of your DVDs, okay?" Leonard asked, clearly not in the mood to continue the conversation.

"Very well." Sheldon replied, settling back in to the continue viewing the show. "I'll choose something more believable than this. Like the one where people in giant robots try to destroy aliens in other giant robots."

"Aw, look how cute that little one is!" Penny gushed. "She looks just like my little niece!"

"Ugh". Sheldon groaned. The viewing was interrupted when Sheldon's phone rang. "Hello? Yes, president Seibert, how are you? Rajesh Koothrappali? Yes, I know him, but why did you try to call me? Did you not try Howard Wolowitz? Oh. Well, why didn't you try Leonard Hofstadter? I take offensive to that, just because we share the same residence doesn't mean we are interchangeable! I'm sorry, shut my what? I can assure you that orifice doesn't open quite frequently. I keep a food intake schedule to remain regular. Fine, I'll take the message. Okay. Okay. Alright. Goodbye." He hung up.

"What was that?" Leonard asked.

"President Seibert sending a message for Raj." Sheldon replied. "Apparently he's not answering his phone. And for some reason, I had to be the one he informed. It's like he's a character out of this show that Penny chose."

The three continued their show for a few moments, before an other interruption came outside of their door.

"Screw the democratic process, I'm going to Sheldon and Leonard's!" Howard's angry voice traveled through an apartment.

"Come on, Howie, be reasonable!" Bernadette's voice followed.

"How can I be reasonable when I spent the last half hour in the car listening to you two singing along with and re-enacting..." Howard opened the door to the apartment and entered. "I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth!" He sang mockingly, doing the matching motion.

Amy and Bernadette followed. "Hello my boyfriend, and my bestie. And Leonard." Amy greeted them. "Sorry for the intrusion, Howard's taking the decisions for the three of us into his own hands."

"Of course I'm taking them into my own hands, when you two "voted" for me to ask the guy at the Italian ice stand to take his shirt off and give you a wave during his break!" Howard exclaimed. "And may I also add, I wanted to get gelato."

"And we wanted Italian ices, see how that works?" Amy asked with a smirk.

Sheldon picked up the remote control and pressed a button, pausing the show on the television. "You know, normally I would object to such a sudden intrusion interrupting anime night, but we're on episode three and so far the most interesting thing about this show is the fact that they haven't noticed the cat is having human reactions to their conversations."

Howard sighed. "All day long, Amy and Bernadette have been teaming up to out-vote me on everything." He complained. "And by the way, that spicy Malibu roll that you two voted for, is why I spent twenty minutes in the bathroom."

"We didn't mind that, silly." Bernadette touched Howard's arm, clearly trying to be reassuring.

"Yes, Bernadette was teaching me how to play Patty-Cake." Amy responded, smiling happily. "It took me a while, but I finally got it right. By the way, is your face feeling better, co-bestie?"

Bernadette put a hand over the right side face. "Well, it hasn't swelled, so I think I'm in the clear."

"Well, I DID mind that, because I had to call my mother and asked how SHE handled the situation!" Howard replied. "The phrase "too much information" does not even begin to describe it."

The door opened once again, and in entered Raj. The three stared at Raj, who was wearing a baby blue hoodie, hood over his head, that had a cloud with a rainbow-colored lightning bolt coming out of it on the lower left side. And even more oddly, a rainbow tail sticking out of the back.

"Hey, everypony!" Raj greeted them, smiling.

"Oh dear God..." Howard said, burying his face in his palm.

"I just came back from my first Brony meet up!" Raj said excitedly. "It's great, everyone greets each other with brohooves, we have discussions, we watch clips on our phones, we have sing-a-longs. We even play games. The teams are chosen based on which pony they think is best. I was the captain of Team Rainbow Dash."

The others looked at each other, with an uncomfortable expression.

Raj continued happily. "And no one judges me for bringing a flask of apple brandy to chat with the Pegasisters! It's all good, 'cause it was Applejack." The others just sat there, staring at Raj. "See, because it's the name of the brandy... and it's the name of one of the... six main ponies... why are you looking at me like that?"

Leonard ushered the others close to him. The six of them gathered close to one another.

"Okay, it'd be a little unfair if we all came at him at once about this" Leonard said. "One of us is going to have to do it. Howard, you're his best friend, why don't you go for it?"

Howard shook his head. "No, that wouldn't be a good idea, he's still kinda miffed about the time I told him his Happy Bunny poster wasn't appropriate for a man's room."

"Let me, I'll do it." Penny volunteered.

"You?" Scoffed Howard. "The last time you took the time to talk to someone about something, I spent three days in bed. And I broke my nose when you pun- er, made me slip and fall on my tub."

"Howard, everyone knows Penny punched you out." Amy stated. "We laugh about it when we have nothing else to note to talk about."

Howard rolled his eyes. "You guys are just the best friends an engineer could ask for, you know that?"

"I'd say as an engineer, you should be lucky to have friends of some intelligence, as opposed to the type who'd, say, make cat calls at women passing by." Sheldon added.

"Sorry to interrupt, but don't you think he's gonna get suspicious about us talking quietly without him for this long?" Bernadette asked.

The group spread out a bit and looked at Raj. Raj was looking at his phone and giggling.

"Thiiiis is whiiiiniiiing!" Raj said in time with the speakers on his phone, then giggled once again.

They all got close to each other again.

"Come on, that was a long time ago, let me try" Penny said.

"Really? Penny gets to decide our anime and now she gets to tell Koothrappali that he looks like Kal Penn fell into a cotton candy machine and promptly dropped into the Eight Annual East Rutherford, New Jersey, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance Luau?"

"And Sheldon's out of the running." Leonard commented.

Sheldon sighed. "You know, while Penny is deciding everything, how about we ask her highness to officially declare today, and all future June 8ths as Penny Day, where we do everything Penny says, and as a sign of our devotion, we all strip down to nothing but Cornhuskers jerseys and flip-flops, dye our hair blond and bring Penny a pint of Ben and Jerry's fro-yo every hour, on the hour?"

"I'd be down for that." Amy said, giving Penny a smile.

"Guys, I'll do it." Bernadette volunteered.

"Okay, go for it" Leonard said.

"Aaaaaaaand break." Howard said, the group dispersing.

"Raj, sweetie, listen..." Bernadette began. "Look, we know you have a hobby, and it's a little, unusual, but, we only say this because we love you and support you, but-"

"This is the most ridiculous thing I've since that time Howard went to the gym in a muscle shirt and hot pants!" Penny cut in.

Howard walked over to the door. "You know, I'm just gonna lay down under a rain cloud with my mouth open..."

"Oh, I know why you're saying that." Raj smiled. "You haven't seen this!" Raj took off his hood, revealing that his hair was now rainbow colored.

"Oh dear God..." Howard said once again.

"Isn't it great?" Raj said. "The other Bronies bet me that I wouldn't have the guts to do it, but I totally did! I had Applejack cheering me on, after all." Raj took his flask out of his pocket and jiggled it for his friends to see. "They said I'd chicken out, but I totally showed them!"

"Yeah, you win." Remarked Leonard.

"And after I did, one of my Bronies, Anthony, stepped up and finally got that Fluttershy tattoo he always wanted!"

The group settled into their chairs finally. "Raj," Sheldon began. "The university called for you. They said you weren't answering your phone."

"Of course not!" Raj replied. "Brony time means Brony time. Not phone-y time."

"President Seibert was calling for you." Continued Sheldon. "He was calling because the university had just decided on expanding on their astrophysics department, and would like you to be one of the people spear-heading it. Most likely without the knowledge that you would show up looking like that."

"Wow, really?" Raj said. "This could change my entire career. This is the best day ever!"

"Yes, well, the official interviews for candidates for the position will be three weeks from this Sunday" Sheldon continued.

"Oh... that's too bad, I can't go then." Raj picked up the remote. "I think I've seen this series before."

"It's not a hentai." Leonard said.

"I haven't seen it."

"Raj, why can't you go to your interview?" Penny asked.

"Because, that's the day of BronyCon!" Raj replied. "If I did all this and didn't go to BronyCon, I'd look pretty ridiculous, wouldn't I?"

"The hell is BronyCon?" Penny asked.

"I'm assuming it's similar to Comic-Con, but with the principle theme being My Little Pony." Sheldon chimed in.

"Yes, it takes place in New Jersey." Raj added.

"Hm, if I heard that you were going to a meeting in New Jersey, I would have assumed you would be going to the Eight Annual East Rutherford, New Jersey, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance Luau." Sheldon said.

"Well, say hello to my mother for me." Leonard said, heading for the kitchen.

Howard looked over at Leonard. "Just because it's in New Jersey doesn't mean your mother will be there."

"A renowned psychiatrist in a convention hall full of thousands of grown men and women with an unhealthy devotion to a show aimed at prepubescent girls? They might as well give her a license to print money." Leonard grumbled while pouring himself a glass of juice.

"Well, I gotta run" Raj started walking for the door. "There's going to be a live internet chat with Lauren Faust in a little, and I dared one of my Brony friends to ask her to show her boobs!" He giggled while heading for the door. "Bye, now!" Raj re-donned his hood and left.

Leonard sat down on the couch again. "Oh, man, this is terrible."

"Yeah." Bernadette nodded. "There's nothing worse than trying to present your work only for your audience to ask you to show your boobs. Trust me, I know." The group gave Bernadette an odd look.

"No, he means that Raj is about to throw away the biggest break in his career to go to a convention hall filled with grown men, who may, honest to God, think that liking My Little Pony is their best bet at meeting a woman." Howard spoke up.

"Well, we've gotta do something." Penny said.

"Yes, Penny is correct." Sheldon stood up dramatically. "My office hangs in the balance!" The group stared. "Also Raj's career. If you can call it that."

(Scene: Sheldon and Raj's office)

The door opened and in entered Raj. "Morning, Sheldon." He said without looking up, closing the door. "Sorry I couldn't see you guys this weekend, but we-" Raj turned around and gasped. In addition to Sheldon was Leonard, Howard, Penny, Amy and Bernadette.

"Hello, Raj." They all said in unison.

Raj hastily reached into his pocket and pulled out a flask. He took a quick drink from it. "What are you all doing here? Is this a surprise deportation? Oh, I should've seen this coming."

"Raj, no, it's not." Penny said. "We're here because we want to talk to you."

"And please realize, it's because we care." Howard added.

"Rajesh, you've been an adequate friend to me for these many years." Sheldon began. "And for that reason, I must tell you this: You're ruining my only chance of getting my office back."

"Sheldon!" Leonard interrupted. "Look, Raj, it's just that... well, look, we're not judging you in any way, I mean, we're no stranger to odd hobbies. I mean, at one point, Howard had quite a reputation as a major writer of erotic Avatar: The Last Airbender fan fiction."

"Dude!" Howard exclaimed.

"Sorry."

Bernadette continued. "But we all think you're throwing away what could be the best thing of your life, just because you've dove so deep into your hobby."

"Additionally, your insistence on keeping that hair just obliterated the last argument we could possibly make for your heterosexuality." Added Amy.

Raj sighed. "Look, everyone, I appreciate your concern, but I've made my decision. This stallion is BronyCon-bound."

"Okay, Raj, this is ridiculous." Howard stood up. "Come on, I know you're lonely, but you've been clinging to this pony stuff for the last few weeks, and now it's reached the point where it's become completely pathetic! You're my best friend, and I think you need to hear it from me. Raj, grow up!"

Raj stood and looked at Howard, completely stunned. "Grow up? That's what you think of my hobby? Is that what you all think?" The rest of the group gave a few weak nods.

"I'm sorry, Raj, but in all good conscience, I just can't sit here while you throw away your future." Howard said.

Raj looked over the group. "So, that's how you see things. Well, let me tell you something. Where you just see a show designed for little girls, I see something special. No matter how old you get, the lessons that come from the show are true for people of any age. And right now, I wish you had watched a few episodes, because then you'd learn what it's like to be a friend."

"Be a friend? We know what it's like!" Howard argued. "That's why we're all here, trying to help you! This could make the rest of your life better, but you're too blinded by your pony goggles to see it!"

"Howard... in fact, all of you... you all have great jobs, and what you've been working for had lead you to great careers. Well, except Penny."

Penny just sort of rolled her eyes at this.

"I spent years and years of my life studying, putting everything into it. I didn't bother trying to work on my selective mutism or my social anxiety disorder, I figured everything would just fall into place once my career took off. Well, it didn't. And three years ago, I was about to be kicked out of the country, and forced to work at the mercy of a horrible, inhuman creature that possibly came from another planet. Or as you know him, Sheldon Cooper."

Sheldon looked offended. "Mercy? I'm just steering you in the right direction! It's not my fault you're always going in the wrong one!"

Raj continued, blowing off Sheldon's comments. "I'm thirty years old. All my friends in the world are in this room. I have to drink just to speak in front of half of them. I've barely had any serious relationships, and the future's not looking good either. But you know what? I've found something that helps me make it through the day. And if you were my friends, you wouldn't be trying to take it away from me. Yes, maybe I can make a career out of this interview. But there's just as good a chance that I could end up in the same place I am now, and I won't even have the memories and friends I've made from being a Brony to help me and make me happy. You know, my attire and taste in ponies may scream Team Rainbow Dash, but when I look in the mirror, I see Fluttershy."

The group just looked at him, bewildered.

"You see, because Fluttershy's the pony that's really timid and quiet and she doesn't talk much and- you see, this whole thing would have been so much easier if you'd just watch an episode or two with me like I asked. Point is, I have a chance at a magical weekend, that could change my life, that could make up for the years and year of loneliness and heartbreak, and I'm going to take it over going for the same exact thing I've already spent so much of my life on, that amounted to nothing. And if you all are my friends, you would understand, and support me."

The group, minus Sheldon, froze. They all stood quietly looking at Raj, emotional looks on each of their faces.

"Raj..." Bernadette looked at him, clearly touched by his speech. "I'm so sorry."

"Yeah, me too." Leonard added.

"Me too" Added Amy and Penny.

"Sorry, Raj..." Howard said sadly. "I'd give you one of those brohoof things if I knew how."

"I'll show you later." Raj replied. They all stopped and looked at Sheldon.

"I understand Raj's point of view, but he just threw away the solitary chance of giving me my office back." Sheldon pouted, crossing his arms. "Therefore, I apologize for nothing."

"I don't think we really realized how much this meant to you." Penny said.

Howard walked up to Raj. "Raj, we'll do anything we can to make it up to you."

Raj looked at them. "Really?" All but Sheldon nodded.

"Get out of my office and we'll talk." He griped.

(Scene: Meadowlands Exposition Center)

The convention center was buzzing with thousands of My Little Pony fans. Raj entered, with what could be described as the biggest smile on his life. "I'm home!" He stepped into the center. "Come on in, guys!"

The door opened and in entered Howard, Leonard, Penny, Amy and Bernadette, all five of them dressed in pony gear.

Howard, who had on a purple unicorn horn and a pink and purple wig with a Twilight Sparkle shirt entered first. "Note to self, never say 'Anything' to Raj again."

Bernadette, who had a curly pink wig on and all pink clothing walked in next to him. "I second that."

Penny, who was wearing a cowboy hat and yellow clothing walked in. "I don't know what's sadder, the fact that I'm doing this, or that I already owned this outfit and didn't have to buy it."

Amy entered next to her, her actual hair apparently dyed purple, wearing all white and with a white unicorn horn. "I offered to switch with you, bestie. Though upon a quick look at the ponies, I do see you as fitting either Applejack or Rarity." Penny just gave Amy an annoyed look. "But look, I have purple hair! I feel so crazy."

Leonard entered, wearing a winged, tailed hoodie similar to Raj's, except yellow and with a pink tail. Underneath it was a black T-shirt featuring a picture of the pony Fluttershy that read 'Yay'. "It's only two days, we can do this for Raj. Besides-" Leonard froze.

The reason he did so was immediately apparent, as his mother Beverly was standing there. "Hello, Leonard."

"Hello... mother." Leonard replied sheepishly.

"I'm not sure which surprises me less, the fact you came back to your home state and didn't bother to inform me, or that have become such a devoted fan of a television program aimed primarily at five year old girls. Though neither is of any surprise."

"Yes... sorry mother." Leonard said, not sure where to look.

"Well, I will be calling you by the end of the night. I'm going to give you a private session. Judging by your dress, hopefully you can help me to find out why this Fluttershy character appears to be the one that these men are most attached to."

"Yes mother. Bye, mother." Leonard sighed as Beverly walked away.

Raj put an arm around Leonard and the other around Howard. "Do you see, now? Friendship is magic."

(Scene: Leonard and Sheldon's apartment)

Sheldon sat on his couch, a bag of take out emptied onto the table. "Well, I once again have the apartment to myself. Let's see, what shall I watch this afternoon? Ooh, I'm like a regular hippie with no properly organized television schedule whatsoever." Sheldon smiled and pressed a button on the remote. "Ugh, My Little Pony. The last thing I need is to end up just like Koothrappali, and- hey, that pony just made a squeaky noise when it smiled! That's most amusing! Hm, why is this Rainbow Dash character that Raj loves in a hospital? Surely he must have been a weeping mess the day he saw this." He sighed. "Well, I suppose I can watch this just on a basis of scientific research..."

An obvious amount of time had now passed, judging by the fact that it the night sky was visible through the window. Sheldon sat in his spot, looking to his left. "If I could surely put aside my common love of knowledge with Twilight and declare the obvious truth that Pinkie Pie is the best pony, why can't you do it, too?"

In the recliner sat Barry Kripke. He pondered a thought for a second, then shook his head. "Nope. Sowwy, Coopew, but it's gotta be Wawity."