Scootaloo lay in her bed back at the Dash home. It had been seven years since she was adopted by Rainbow and Spitfire. In that time she never really got a chance to just kick back and think about how vastly it had changed her life. She could live fairly normally. Well, as normal as somepony could in her situation. Being raised by two mares and being a part of a band that was already attracting the attention of 0n3p0ny Records. She focused on the events that got her to where she was now. Not the most popular mare in school, but she was the ringleader among her circle of friends. She had always been more of a leader than a follower. It was a quality she liked about herself. She scratched her closely cropped mane. She preferred her mane short, it was easier to maintain. She had also cropped her tail short, about halfway down her legs. That served a more functional purpose. When she played a show, she stood on her hind legs. If she had a long tail she'd spend the whole show tripping over it. She thought about her band. Naturally, Sweetie Belle sang. Her beautiful voice combined with the smooth, powerful rhythms her band played made for awesomeness that could not be competed with. Then again everypony in the band was the best around at their position and would be irreplaceable in the event that one of them would need to be replaced. Applebloom had been working as an unofficial roadie and official head stage engineer since the band had been put together. This wasn't just because she was a close friend of the band, it was because there wasn't anypony better for the job. She ran the light show, sets and props, pyrotechnics, just about everything required to put on awesome shows. Inevitably, Scootaloo's thoughts drifted to Lightning Spark. He was the band's other unofficial roadie, Ponyville High's top athlete, Scootaloo's best friend and the object of her affections. His family had moved to Ponyville from Cloudsdale about three years after Scootaloo had been adopted. And ever since the day he arrived he and Scootaloo had done almost everything together. It was the Dash family that had first welcomed them to Ponyville. They had even beaten Pinkie Pie to it. Probably because they were the only family in Ponyville other than the new arrivals that lived in a cloud home. Scootaloo and Lightning had hit it off right away. Lightning came from a family of racers, and as the lightning bolt tearing through a checkered flag on his flank suggested, it wouldn't be long before he led his own career in racing. Scootaloo adored Lightning. He was both the most attractive young stallion she had ever seen and the best friend anypony could ask for. His deep blue coat contrasted beautifully with his closely cropped, brilliant white mane and tail. His unquestionable loyalty to his friends rivaled that of Rainbow Dash herself. He was also as kind as Fluttershy. Fortunately he was far more confident than she was. Scootaloo liked that in a stallion. She had been pining over him since the day they met. He knew about her feelings, but never gave a hint of feeling the same way. Well, nothing beyond the fact that he made a habit of wrapping his wing around her back and pulling her close. And the friendly nuzzles they made a habit of sharing. Scootaloo always enjoyed those moments. Every one made it feel like he was within her- "Something on your mind Scoot?" Spitfire asked. Scootaloo jumped up at her mom's unexpected presence, only to notice her wings had spread to their full length during her train of thought. She snapped them closed. "Uhh..." "Lightning on your mind?" "Yeah. You know you really shouldn't sneak up on ponies like that." Scootaloo never liked when ponies caught her off guard. "I wouldn't have to if you came to dinner when you were called." Spitfire responded. Scootaloo looked at the clock on her wall. It was 6:30. "Wow, I got lost in thought for a while." "Was it about screwing Lightning the whole time or just part of it?" Scootaloo shot a glare at Spitfire. "It never was." "Your wings say otherwise, but I guess I'll have to take your word for it. What were you thinking about?" "Everything that's happened during the last seven years. Mostly the band, and naturally that lead to Lightning entering my mind." Scootaloo blushed. "Scoot, no matter what you think of, if it happened in your life during the last four years Lightning was involved. You two have been inseparable ever since his family moved here. I don't get why he doesn't ask you out already. Rainbow and I have been waiting to scare the hay out of him since you two met. We've had a lot of time to plan it." Scootaloo sighed. Since she had started getting involved with colts, her parents had successfully scared off four of the eight she had introduced them to. "If I get him to ask me out and you scare him off you will be in HUGE trouble." Scootaloo said to her mom. "Aww, but that's our most important job as parents!" Rainbow chimed in from the dining table. Scootaloo sat next to her as Spitfire brought the night's meal to the table. Carrot Stew. The smell made Scootaloo realize just how hungry she was. "Not him. He's too good. You may have made the right choice scaring off Saint, but Lightning is too...perfect." Scootaloo knew few mares in her school were comfortable talking to their parents about their romantic desires. However, after a foalhood of having parents who she couldn't talk to about anything, Scootaloo was eager to share every detail of her life with her adoptive parents. "Just as long as you two don't have a foal anytime soon you have my full permission to pursue him. He's a good colt." Spitfire said as she poured stew into Scootaloo's bowl. "Basically, your mom is saying use protection." Rainbow winked at Scootaloo. Spitfire gave Rainbow a look akin to the stare. "Don't worry, I know a guy who will sell me the finest condoms at the best prices." Scootaloo joked, to which she received a stare of far greater magnitude than Rainbow had. "If you get sexually involved with anypony while you're living in my home I will mount his tool over the mantle. Even if he's using protection. Clear?" Scootaloo pictured Hearth's Warming with that particular decoration over the fireplace. She shuddered. "You got it mom." "I'm glad we've reached an understanding. Rainbow, if you give her permission to do that again-" "You'll taste the Rainbow anyway. My being in trouble has never slowed your sex drive before and it won't start any time soon." Rainbow was very confident in that regards. Probably because she was right. Scootaloo laughed. Spitfire blushed. "Speaking of foals, how is Fluttershy coming along?" Scootaloo asked. "Nurse Redheart says she'll be giving birth in about two weeks." Rainbow replied. "I've never seen her or Soarin' so excited." Soarin' had kept his promise to come back to Ponyville. After two years of constant battle between his job and his love, he made the decision to retire from the Wonderbolts and propose to Fluttershy. The Dash family was stunned when Fluttershy visited their home wearing her engagement necklace. Even more stunned when she asked Scootaloo's band to perform the music. They played soft, smooth melodies at the ceremony. It felt odd for the whole band, but they were doing it for somepony special so they were willing to make the adjustment. The hefty sum of bits Soarin' paid them helped as well. After Soarin' and Fluttershy married Soarin' got a job as the Ponyville High racing coach. It didn't pay much, but the small family didn't need much. Fluttershy gathered most of what she fed the family with, so food was something they almost never had to pay for. They lived far enough outside of Ponyville (And close enough to the Everfree Forest) that they didn't have to pay taxes to the town. The small paycheck Soarin' brought home from his coaching job, coupled with his savings from his time with the Wonderbolts, had them set for life in Ponyville. And with a foal on the way the couple couldn't be happier together. A familiar voice interrupted the Dash family from their conversation. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything." Lightning stepped inside. Scootaloo's heart fluttered. Spitfire grinned. "Hey Lightning! If you're hungry you're just in time. Stew's hot." She winked at Scootaloo. "That sounds fantastic Mom!" He had taken to calling Spitfire mom. Like Scootaloo, he chose "ma" for Rainbow as a means to differentiate. He was always welcome in the Dash residence, so knocking and other normal home entering etiquette had been voided for him. "Hey Scoot, how's it going?" Scootaloo regained her composure. Losing and regaining the ability to think straight had become a well practiced ritual upon seeing Lightning. "Not bad, yourself?" "Pretty good, just thought I'd drop by and hang out with my other family for a while. My parents are having one of their 'formal parties' again. The Dash family had come to learn that a 'formal party' in the Spark residence meant that Lightning's parents were kissing the flanks of new potential sponsors in order to increase their profits from racing. Lightning couldn't stand the occasions, so he used them as an excuse to make his daily trip to the Dash residence. Spitfire handed Lightning a bowl and poured him some of her stew. His heart melted after he took his first bite. "Spitfire, you always were the best cook around." "That's why I love her so much." Rainbow said. "That's a lie and you know it!" Spitfire feigned offense. "Everypony knows you love me because I'm unmatched in the bedroom." "No doubt about that." Rainbow agreed. "Mom, ma, I love you both dearly. But I really don't want to hear about your sexual endeavors." Scootaloo knew that it would make Lightning uncomfortable to hear about her parent's bedroom activities. She had grown used to it after living with them for seven years, and despite the amount of time he spent in the Dash household he had never gotten used to it. "Yeah, I have to agree with Scoot on that one." Lightning shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Oh, alright, we'll have a normal conversation for once." Rainbow feigned disappointment.

After dinner Scootaloo and Lightning stepped onto the front porch of the cloud home. Lightning had to head home, but the two always enjoyed the bit of peace Scootaloo's parents allowed them before he left. Lightning broke the silence. "I envy you Scoot. Have I ever told you that?" "Why's that?" Scootaloo was taken off guard by his comment. "Every time I come over here I wish my family was as tight nit as yours. It's not that I have bad family relationships, we just kinda do our own thing. It gets a little lonely there sometimes." Scootaloo gave him a comforting nuzzle. He wrapped a wing around her. Despite the fact that they weren't a couple, they sure acted like it. "You're welcome here anytime you want some company." "I know. It's why I come over so much." He lowered his head. "Sometimes I wish I could just stay here. I feel like a pansy complaining about my family life to you of all ponies, but I just wish we were a little more like you guys are here." "You're not a pansy, I understand entirely. The loneliness was the worst part about living with Jade." Scootaloo still referred to her father by his first name. Calling him /father/ just didn't feel right. "Thanks Scoot. I'm glad you're understanding about it." Scootaloo pressed farther into him. They shared a quick nuzzle before he took off into the night. Scootaloo sighed as he flew away. She always hated watching him leave.

Lightning always enjoyed those moments with Scootaloo after he hung out with the Dash family. He wanted Scootaloo just as much as she wanted him, but he was afraid that the drama of romance might end up removing her from his life forever. The prospect of losing Scootaloo's friendship terrified him. As much as it pained him to get so close to her and still not be close enough, he just couldn't bring himself to take the risk. Not with her. He loved her far too much to take that chance. He laughed at the irony. He was too in love with her to take the chance at loving her. The emotional battle had been tearing him apart every day since he moved to Ponyville. And he knew it would never stop as long as he and Scootaloo weren't together. There were times where he almost succumbed to his desire for her. It always tore his heart out when he had to up and leave her without a good reason just to prevent himself from the one thing he truly wanted. It pained him greatly, but he knew that it was best for both of them.