Chapter 1

Here We Go Again

It was another perfect day in Ponyville. The sun was shining, the birds were singing in the distance and one particular pink Earth pony was bouncing up and down, giddy with excitement. Pinkie Pie couldn't contain herself. In just a matter of hours, her and her friends will be attending the prestigious Grand Galloping Gala! Well, Pinkie tried to act excited. In reality, this would be the 39th or so time that Pinkie and her friends would be going to the gala. Pinkie remembered groaning a bit that morning when she received the prompt from HQ that tonight would once again be the 'Best Night Ever'.

Of course, they all ended the same way, a complete and utter disaster for her and her friends. Nevertheless, the story was one of the more popular ones of the 50 some odd stories they had done so far, and the public demanded to see more of it while they waited impatiently for the third season to begin later that fall. Such was the monotony of doing these summer repeats. Pinkie sighed. Better give the public what they want. It was the better option than the alternative, Pinkie had decided. With that in mind, the party pony began to hop up and down to begin the story.

"I can't believe that the Grand Galloping Gala is tonight!" she shouted in her usual bubbly tone. She kept her ear out for Twilight's next line, telling her to stop shouting so she could concentrate on the spell to create the carriage that would take them to the gala.

The line never came.

Right off the bat, Pinkie knew something was wrong. She took a look to her friend and she saw Twilight just staring ahead forcing out a big grin. Her fellow unicorn friend, Rarity, stood beside them, seemingly uninterested with the entire scenario. Spike, the baby dragon and Twilight's assistant, was just sleepy. He yawned as he tried to stay awake.

"That's right Pinkie! Tonight's the big night!" Twilight forced out. "And we're gonna have sooo much fun! Right Rarity?"

"Oh I suppose," Rarity agreed meekly. "I simply cannot wait to meet the *ugh* stallion of my dreams." It took her all her might to not throw up after saying that sentence.

Pinkie Pie panicked inwardly. We're not even 10 seconds in and we're already off-script! This isn't good, she thought.

"Yes! The Grand Galloping Gala!" Pinkie said, desperately trying to keep the scene on track. "I just can't wait until..." Pinkie had noticed that the librarian wasn't practicing her spell like she was supposed to.

"Um, shouldn't you be getting ready to cast that spell, Twilight?" the pink earth pony asked.

"That silly old spell?!" Twilight waved a hoof in amusement "Please! I can cast it in my sleep!"

"You can?" Rarity asked, now noticing that the story was going in an unexpected direction. "But I thought it was a complicated and you needed to concentrate."

"Well it was at first," Twilight explained, "But the fact is that I've done this SO many times now that, frankly, I don't even need that stupid apple anymore! Heck, I can even use this rock on the ground. Watch!"

Twilight focused her horn on a set of rocks laying besides them and with a flash, the rocks had turned into a spectacular white carriage.

"See? Piece of cake!" Twilight said, a few hair of her mane popping out of place.

"Um girls? This isn't how the episode usually goes," Pinkie whispered to her two friends.

"I know! After all, this is only, what? The umpteenth time we've gone to this gala?" Twilight asked hypothetically. "I think we ALL know how this story goes by now!"

It was at this time when Rainbow Dash and Applejack made their regularly scheduled entrance into the story.

"Hold your horses, girl! We're…" Applejack dropped her apple when she noticed the carriage was already on the scene. "Wait, why is the carriage here already?"

"Twilight cast the spell early on some rocks," Spike shrugged.

Rainbow Dash scratched her head in confusion. "But weren't we supposed to use…."

"Who cares!" Twilight shouted. "We have our carriage! Let's just go inside and get dressed, even though we don't normally wear clothes anyway!"

"Ah was supposed to say that," Applejack muttered to herself.

Pinkie, meanwhile, looked on to the entire scene in disbelief. The 'Best Night Ever' was already turning into a disaster, and they hadn't even reached the opening credits yet! Pinkie approached the unhinged librarian.

"Um, Twilight? Are you sure you're all right?" she asked.

Twilight's forced grin got even wider in response. "I'M FINE! This is the Best Night Ever after all! And we're all going to have the time of our lives! Now let's get dressed and get on our way so Fluttershy can start the song and… wait a minute. Where's Fluttershy?" Twilight asked, finally noticing her regular group of friends was short one yellow pegasus.

Rainbow Dash began to offer a sheepish laugh as she knew the missing pony's current whereabouts. "She's still in her cottage. She said she's not coming this time."

"She what?!" Twilight yelled.

"She can't just sit out a story, can she?" Rarity wondered.

"Nopony's ever did that before," Applejack noted.

Applejack was right. In all the episodes and all the repeats they had done, they had never dealt with a no-show before. That is until now. However despite the huge ramifications she thought might arise from this development, Pinkie couldn't help but to feel worried about Fluttershy's well-being. "Is she ok, Dashie?"

"Everything's fine," Rainbow admitted. "But she's had enough of the repeat stories. She said she was really sorry, but she decided to sit this one out."

Twilight took in the news with an eerie calmness. She then abruptly trotted away. "Excuse me everypony. I'll be right back," Twilight said as she exited the scene.

"Twilight, wait!" Pinkie shouted to the departing unicorn. "We still have to do the boutique scene!" The unicorn never listened as she disappeared from the scene.

Rainbow Dash threw her hooves up in frustration. "Well, this is going well!"

"Man! I don't think Twilight can take any more of these reruns," Spike said.

"Can't say that ah blame her, though," Applejack shrugged. "Ah swear, if Ah have to go through one more Applebuck Season by mahself, Ah might just go ahead and quit farmin' altogether!"

"At least you don't have to deal with Blueblood again," Rarity countered. "Just having to pretend that I'm still enraptured by that stallion for one second makes my stomach queasy."

"I can't believe this!" Rainbow Dash groaned in frustration. "The same stories over and over for an ENTIRE SUMMER! What have we done to deserve this torture?"

"Come on girls. You know the rules. It's not time to do new stories yet," Pinkie said, trying to calm down the group's frustrations.

"But can't we just, you know, switch things up a bit?" Applejack wondered.

Pinkie's eyes lit up in horror. "We can't! Remember what happened with Derpy the last time we did the scene from 'The Last Roundup'?"

"She was bored, so she tried to do the scene differently! Was that so bad?" Rainbow recalled.

"Did you see how the fans reacted to that?" Pinkie shouted. "They nearly started a riot!"

"Uh, girls?" Spike tried to interrupt.

"Well if you ask me, we should just forget even doing these reruns in the first place!" Rarity stomped her front hooves in defiance. "Having us do the same stories like this is just cruel and unusual punishment."

Applejack nodded. "Ah'm with Rarity. Ah say we call mutiny."

Pinkie gasped. "We can't do that! The fans will think we abandoned them!"

"Our fans are smarter than that, Pinkie," Rainbow Dash said. "We'd never leave the bronies and pegasisters hanging."

"Um, speaking of the fans…" Spike spoke up, still trying to point something out.

"I don't mean to sound rude, but I really hope they appreciate what us ponies do to get this show on the air," Rarity said, fixing up her mane a bit.

"Seriously, Pinkie. A few days without reruns ain't gonna destroy our fans." Applejack argued.

Pinkie let out a sad sigh. "Girls," she began. "I know these summer reruns are tough for everypony, but we wouldn't even be here if it weren't for our fans. We have to get through this stretch, for them! Trust me, this is just as rough for the bronies as it is for us."

"Yeah, about those bronies, Pinkie?" Spike said, finally able to get his word in.

"Yeah, Spike?" Pinkie asked.

"We're still on the air right now." Spike pointed to the camera.

Pinkie's eyes went wide. "What?"

She looked up. Sure enough, the camera that recorded their exploits to the masses was still in record mode. All four ponies present stood shocked.

"Oh shoot!" Pinkie swore. "Um… *ahem* My Little Pony, My Little Pony…" she began to sing nervously. Pinkie leaned over to her friends and whispered. "A little help here?"

The three startled ponies, plus one baby dragon, began to sing different parts of the show's title tune.

"Um… I used to wonder what friendship could be…"

"Big Adventure! Tons of Fun…"

"My Little Pony. Ah~"

"Uh… shoo-be-doo?"

"Magic makes it all… CUT TO COMMERCIAL!"