So this will be a series of one-shots, maybe two-shots, for when I'm stuck on my multi-chapter fics. This is a sort of spin-off from Daughter of Discord. If you'll remember some of the OC's I created, I wanted to expand on them. The cover art was courtesy of Nstone53.
Prism woke up screaming to the sound of a whistle.
"Rise and shine, rookies!" her mother shouted. "We have a big day today and we're not going to waste it in bed!"
Her brother groaned as he pulled a pillow over his head.
"Ten more minutes..."
Their sister shook her head in pity. They knew better than to keep their mother waiting. Rainbow Dash blew her whistle again, this time, right in Thunder Dash's ear. The fifteen-year-old shrieked and fell out of bed.
"Save your laziness for afternoon naps!" their mother ordered. "It's your little sister's first day of school and you two have to take her!"
Lightning Dash, Thunder's twin, grumbled. "We wouldn't have to take her every day if she could..."
"Talking back, eh? Both of you! Drop and give me twenty! With legs!"
The twins whined, but obeyed their mother and began their twenty push-ups.
Prism rubbed her eyes wearily. Today was her first day of fourth grade, which meant goodbye summer, hello early morning exercises.
Once the twins were done with their push-ups, Rainbow blew her whistle and the three siblings hastened into a line.
"Run in place!" she ordered. "Now!"
They hurriedly jogged in place.
"You call that running?!" Rainbow shouted in Thunder's ear. "I've seen Tank run faster than you!" She turned to the tortoise that was sitting on Prism's bed. "No offense, pal."
Tank responded with a slow nod.
"Now on your hind legs! Go!"
The twins did this action with ease, but Prism wobbled as she stood up and fell back on her rump. Rainbow sighed and helped her youngest daughter up.
Prism panted as she attempted to run on her hind legs, trying her best not to fall over again.
"Now drop and give me twenty wing-ups! Go!"
The twins quickly moved to their position in perfect synchronization and pushed their bodies up with their wings. Prism simply dropped down onto all fours. She stretched out her tiny wings and flapped them at the pace her siblings went for wing-ups.
"Faster!" Rainbow commanded.
Prism squeaked and frantically beat her wings.
"Faster! Do you want to be a Wonderbolt or not?!"
"No, ma'am!" the filly piped. "I mean yes, ma'am!"
"Good! Now, the whole routine again! Get back up and run in place!"
They did five sets for each exercise and while the twins were only a little out of breath, Prism was panting hard and dripping with sweat. When both your parents were Wonderbolts, there was no escape from physical activity.
"Great job, kids!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. "Now stretch out your muscles while I go wake your lazy father out of bed!"
As their mother flew out of the room, the twins stretched out their strengthened wings.
"Is she our Mom or our drill sergeant?" Thunder wondered aloud.
Lightning huffed as she extended her foreleg across her chest. "Slave driver's more like it. We don't have to go to school anymore, so why do we have to wake up so early?"
"Yeah! Why can't she or Dad take Prism to school?"
"It's not our fault she can't fly!"
Prism wanted to scream that she was standing right there, but she knew it was pointless. As she did her stretches, she reflected on the harsh reality of her life.
Both her parents were Wonderbolts, part of the greatest aerial team in all of Equestria. Only the strongest and fastest of flyers were admitted into that group, which is why Rainbow Dash trained her children long and hard so that they may one day follow into her hoofsteps. The twins actually had a shot of achieving this goal. Not only were they able to fly before they could walk, but they already worked together as a team. They now had a job with the weather crew, particularly for thunderstorms.
Prism was not anything like them. She was nine years old and she still could not fly. Her wings were too small to carry the weight of her body, and that too was small for her age. If she did not have her mother's multi-colored mane and her father's green eyes and light blue coat, she would think she was adopted.
Every pony in her family was an accomplished flyer, so why was she so different?
Rainbow's whistle called the three down for breakfast. Soarin had prepared them flapjacks, Prism's favorite.
"There's my big girl!" the stallion exclaimed, kissing Prism on the forehead. "Fourth grade! You've got to stop growing, kid!"
"Dad!" the filly giggled, pushing him away.
Despite her inability to fly, Prism was her daddy's little girl. Although she told every pony she was embarrassed by it, she secretly enjoyed being the center of her father's attention. It was the one area where her siblings did not excel.
The Dash family was a colorful bunch, mainly because of Rainbow Dash's multi-colored hair. The twins had inherited that hair in a peculiar way. Lightning's mane was orange and yellow, with a thin streak of red in the middle of her head. Thunder's was blue and black, with a streak of purple. Both their manes were wild and thrown back like their father's. They had his light blue coat and their mother's violet eyes. Indeed, it was easy to tell they were all related.
"You have everything packed?" Soarin inquired his youngest daughter.
"Mmm-hmm," Prism replied, though her mind was on other things.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you," Rainbow Dash said. "As you already know, Aunt Rarity's moved back to town to re-open Carousel Boutique, so Gemstone will be in your class."
"I know you think her snobby, but I'll bet she's scared about her first day, so make her feel welcome."
"Okay, we're here," Lightning Dash gruffly announced. "Now get off."
Prism slid off her sister's back. "Thanks a..."
But the twins had flown off without saying goodbye. This did not surprise the filly, for this always happened.
She looked out at the schoolyard and saw the fillies and colts playing. She recognized them all from last year and winced at the memory of all the names she had been called. Then she caught sight of three fillies over by the merry-go-round. The three were identical with their poofy hair styles and their blue eyes. The only difference between them were their colors. The one spinning was blue with a mane of the same color, only darker. The two riding had the same color scheme, but one was red and the other magenta.
Seeing them calmed Prism's nerves and she race over to them.
The blue filly brought the merry-go-round to an abrupt halt and the triplets looked over at the foal running towards them. Their mouths broke into bright smiles.
"Prism!" they shouted in unison.
She realized too late that calling out to them was a mistake when they all leapt onto her in a dog pile.
"We're so glad you're here!" the blue one called from on top. "Aren't we, Raspberry?"
"You bet we are, Blueberry!" the magenta filly replied. "Right, Cherry?"
"Right!" the red one piped.
Prism grunted as she struggled to pull herself free. The Tri-Pies were her best friends, but they were just as eccentric as their mother, who had a reputation of being the most random pony in Ponyville, possibly Equestria. The only other beings who could measure up to her craziness were her husband Red Shoes and Discord. The triplets were a year younger, but they had started school early and were in the same class as Prism.
"Guys, I need to breathe!" she shouted desperately.
"Sorry!" they cried as they jumped off their friend.
"Are you excited?" Blueberry Pie inquired.
"Cuz we're excited!" Raspberry announced.
"We've never been so excited!" Cherry added.
"Except for our first year of kindergarten!"
"What can top that?"
They continued talking rapidly and finishing each other's sentences to a point where it drove Prism nuts and she shouted:
The three silenced and looked at the pegasus in concern.
"You alright, Prism?" Raspberry asked.
"You look a little blue," Blueberry said.
"So to speak," Cherry snickered.
"It's nothing," Prism grunted.
"Did you hear the news?!
"We're getting a new student this year!" Blueberry exclaimed.
"And guess who it is!" Raspberry urged.
Prism sighed. "I give up."
The trio squealed and began to tell her. "It's..."
The school bell interrupted them. Prism rolled her eyes, knowing what was to come.
The Tri-Pies gasped dramatically and jumped up and down.
"School! School! School!" they chanted.
"Okay!" Prism screamed, herding the bouncing triplets inside the red building. "How 'bout we get to class before Mrs. Cheerilee gives us detention?"
They gasped dramatically again.
"Detention's not fun!" Blueberry spat.
"Nope!" the other two agreed, shaking their heads.
They hastened inside and to their seats. The Tri-Pies always filled the row up front while Prism sat in the back, slouching and hoping no pony would notice her. While her head was down, she caught sight of the flank of the pegasus colt in front of her.
"Kicks?" she uttered. "You got your cutie mark?"
The green colt with red hair turned to look at the filly. He glanced down at the picture of the boxing glove on his rear and then back up at Prism. He gave her a smug grin.
"Yeah, this summer," he said. "What about you, Penguin? Got yours yet?"
"Nope," Prism groaned. "And my name's not Penguin."
"Really? 'Cuz you've got a lot in common with penguins. After all, they," he laughed as he spread out his wings, "can't fly!"
The filly gripped the edge of her desk, wanting to strangle the colt, but she was snapped back to reality by the tapping of a ruler on Cheerilee's desk.
"Class, please take your seats," the teacher gently demanded. "I trust you had a wonderful summer, but now we must resume our learning experience. I am proud to say that we have a new student joining us this year. Now, I want you all to be nice to her. She just moved from Canterlot."
The classroom atmosphere filled with a lot of "oohs" and "ahs." Kicks gave a long whistle.
"One of them Fancies," he uttered.
Cheerilee smiled and called out the door. "You can come in now, honey."
Prism did not see the filly at first, but she did notice Kicks and the other colts dropping their jaws and drooling. She stretched her neck to get a view, but could not see over Kicks' fat head.
"Every pony," Cheerilee announced, "I'd like you all to meet your newest friend...Gemstone."
Prism tumbled out of her seat, causing every pony's heads to turn to the back. When the pegasus stood herself up, her mouth fell open at the sight of the unicorn filly. There was no mistaking her white fur, her delicately curled dark blue mane and matching eyes.
As if she did not have enough problems.
"Well, Gemstone," Cheerilee said, breaking the silence, "you can sit next to Prism today, as you already know each other."
As soon as Prism was in her seat, she sank deep into it, hoping to disappear. She did not even look at Gemstone as she sat beside her.
"To start off," Cheerilee said, "why don't we go around and share what we did over the summer? Who wants to go first?"
Prism perked up and eagerly raised her hoof.
"This summer," the pegasus said proudly, "I helped defeat an army of changelings that tried to take over Equestria!"
There was a long silence. Then the class roared with laughter.
"Yeah, right!" Kicks exclaimed. "I'm sure you really picked a fight with them! I'm sure you did a sonic rainboom too! Oh, wait. You have to fly to do that!"
"It's true!" Prism insisted. "Ask the Tri-Pies! They were there!"
"Indeed-a-rooni!" Cherry piped. "We exploded those meanie changelings with our party cannons!"
"And Daddy smushed them with our giant bunny!" Blueberry declared.
"But in the end, true love conquered all!" Raspberry finished.
The class laughed harder.
"Children, please!" Cheerilee commanded.
Prism tried to make herself as small as possible. Then she turned to Gemstone, the only foal in the room, other than the Tri-Pies, who wasn't laughing. Instead, she was silently gazing down at her folded hooves
"Gemstone!" Prism pleaded. "You know what happened! Tell them!"
"Yeah, go on, sweetie!" Kicks taunted. "Tell us!"
The unicorn glanced up and blushed when she saw that all eyes were on her. She glanced around the room and then at Prism.
"I..." she muttered. "I don't know what you're talking about."
The pegasus sent her a glare and made sure Gemstone had received it before turning away from her entirely.
"Cherry Bomb!" Cherry Pie called as she bounced the ball high in the air.
Her sisters and Prism scrambled to catch it, but in their efforts they collided into each other. The ball landed outside of the four chalk-drawn boxes.
Gemstone rubbed her head. "Watch where you're throwing that thing!"
"Sorry," Cherry giggled. "We're playing by the Europonian rules! You know, from Europony!"
"Of course I'm a pony, silly!"
"You wanna play, Gem?" Blueberry asked.
"It'll be fun!" Raspberry exclaimed.
"It's four square," Prism snapped, "not five square!"
"Come on, she can play!" Cherry insisted. "She can just wait until one of us gets knocked out!"
"But I don't know how to play," Gemstone explained.
"It's easy!" Blueberry declared. "There are four positions. Right now, I'm the King, Prism's the Queen, Cherry's the Knight..."
"And I'm the Court Jester!" Raspberry squealed.
"The object of the game is to eliminate the others from the court. Usually you have to hit the ball into some pony else's square, but we're just passing it for this one. Just watch us play and you'll get it! Since I'm the King, I start. Remember, no pass-backs!"
The blue pony bounced the red ball across to Raspberry's square. She passed it to Prism, Prism passed it to Cherry and so on. After a few more passes, Raspberry got the ball, rushed to the middle and called:
The other three hastened to the center and laid their hooves on the ball. Cherry was the last one to reach it.
"Oopsie!" she snorted cheerfully. "Looks like I'm out!"
She moved out of her square, allowing Raspberry to move in.
"Now I'm the Knight," the magenta filly explained to Gemstone, "and you're the Court Jester."
The unicorn scoffed. "I, a Court Jester?! Why can't I be the Queen?!"
Prism rolled her eyes. "You have to earn it!"
"It works like this," said Blueberry. "If I get eliminated, I go out, Prism becomes King, Raspberry becomes Queen, you become the Knight and Cherry goes in as the Jester. If Prism goes out, Raspberry's promoted to Queen, you the Knight, Cherry the Court Jester. If Raspberry goes out..."
"She gets it, already!"
"If the ball bounces twice in your square," Raspberry said, "or bounces in your square first and then goes out, then you're out. There are also a lot of tricks you can do to get some pony out."
"Like Cherry Bomb!" Cherry Pie cheered. "That's my favorite! It's when you bounce the ball really, really, really high!"
"My personal favorite is Disco Ball! That's when we all gotta dance!"
"And you'll get the rest as we go along," Blueberry said. "We'll go easy on ya."
The blue filly bounced the ball to Gemstone's square and she caught it feebly. She glanced between the fillies, not sure what to do. After a pause, she tossed it to Raspberry.
"Silly!" Raspberry snorted, passing it back to her. "You're supposed to bounce it! Try again!"
"Ugh!" Gemstone whined. "This game is hard!"
"Then maybe you shouldn't play," Prism mumbled. "It would make every pony's lives easier."
"Maybe you should be the Joker, Prism!" Blueberry laughed, nudging the pegasus in the side. "Just bounce it in Rasp's square. Come on, Gem! You can do it!"
The unicorn cringed as she weakly did what the blue filly commanded. Raspberry grinned and tossed the ball into the air.
"Disco Ball!" she cried.
"What?" Gemstone asked.
The others danced in place. Blueberry was doing the moonwalk, Raspberry was doing the worm, while Prism was begrudgingly moving her hips from side to side. The unicorn just stood there in confusion.
"Come on, Gem!" Cherry shouted from the sidelines. "Shake 'em!"
"Shake what?" Gemstone pleaded.
Raspberry looked up and gasped. "Gem! Look out!"
The unicorn shrieked as the rubber ball landed on her horn and deflated.
"Oopsie!" Raspberry giggled. "Guess I miscalculated that throw!"
"Great going, Gem!" Prism groaned. "Now we don't have a ball!"
"Aw, it's okay!" Blueberry insisted. "We can get a new one!"
"Whatever," Gemstone grunted as she shoved the flat piece of rubber off her horn. "I didn't want to play this silly game anyway."
The unicorn turned her back on the group and stomped away in a huff.
"Canterlot snob," Prism muttered.
"Why didn't you tell me Gemstone was gonna be in my class?" Prism demanded.
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. "I told you this morning, but you didn't listen!"
"But why? Why my class?"
"Your school is the only one in Ponyville."
"Then homeschool me!"
"I don't get why you're so upset. I thought you and Gemstone were friends."
"No, we're not! She's prissy, rude, and a Canterlot snob!"
"Hey! Your Aunt Twilight, the princess, happens to be from Canterlot! Not to mention Rarity's lived there for about a decade now."
"Okay, so Aunt Twilight and Aunt Rarity aren't all snobby, but Gem's just impossible! You know she said I was uncouth?! What is uncouth, anyway?"
"Now look here! I don't want you talking that way about any kid of any of my best friends, okay? And I don't want one of my own kids acting like she's better than every pony else!"
Prism was taken aback by this. "What?! No! It's Gemstone who thinks she's better than every pony, not me!"
"Well, you acting the same way makes you no better than her! While we're gone, I expect you to be nice to Gemstone."
"Wait. You're leaving?"
"Our summer vacation ends this week. Your dad and I have to perform with the Wonderbolts. But don't worry. Aunt Scootaloo will be here to watch you guys."
This lifted the filly's spirits up. "Aunt Scootaloo's coming?"
"Yep. She and the band have finished their tour and I asked her to come down here for a few weeks."
Prism jumped up and down. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Aunt Scootaloo's the most awesomest pony every! After you and Dad, of course."
The idea of her favorite aunt coming to visit made her feel a lot better, but it still did not change the fact that she would be sharing a classroom with some pony she disliked.
As the week went by, Prism kept her distance from Gemstone. It was not easy, because the unicorn sat next to her in class and no pony would switch seats with her. The Tri-Pies would also invite her to play with them. She would often refuse, because most of their games involved getting dirty. When she did play, Prism would ignore her.
One day, they were all playing Monkey in the Middle when Kicks showed up and started laughing at them. The five turned to the pegasus colt in confusion.
"And what are you laughing at?" Prism demanded.
"I'm sorry!" Kicks exclaimed, though his tone clearly indicated he was not. "I just find it amusing that all the blank flanks are playing together!"
The pegasus filly put her hoof on her hip. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Don't you know? The five of you are the only ones in the class who don't have their cutie marks yet!"
"So what?" Cherry shrugged.
"We are the youngest in the class," Blueberry pointed out.
"That's no excuse for Penguin here!" Kicks scoffed, looking toward Prism. "Actually, it's no wonder she doesn't have a cutie mark, considering she can't even fly!"
Prism cried out and the Tri-Pies had to hold her back to keep her from strangling the colt.
"Let me at him!" she shouted, lashing out her hooves. "Let me at him!"
Kicks laughed again and turned to Gemstone. "What's a pretty filly like you doing hanging around these losers?"
Gemstone looked between the fillies and Kicks. "They're my friends."
"We are not your..." Prism started to scream, but was interrupted by the colt.
"You could play with us, instead! Or rather, since we're playing basketball, you can be our cheerleader!"
The unicorn blinked. "Cheerleader?"
"It's not hard. All you have to do is look pretty and cheer for our team."
"Well," Gemstone said, shyly running a hoof through her mane, "I can look pretty"
"But what about our game?" Raspberry asked with a pout.
The Tri-Pies watched in disbelief as Gemstone followed Kicks to the basketball court. Prism only scowled.
"I knew we couldn't trust her," she grunted.
"Oh, I'm sure she just wants to play with some pony else for a change," Blueberry insisted.
"That jerk called us blank flanks!"
"But Prism," Cherry said, "we are blank flanks."
"Yes, but he didn't have to rub it in our faces!" She glanced at her bare behind. "Bad enough that I can't fly, but he has to pick on me for this too?!"
"We're in no hurry to get our cutie marks," said Raspberry. "These things happen when they happen."
"And we can't fly either," Cherry pointed out.
Prism looked at the trio wearily and then back at her flank. "I'll show him! I'll get my cutie mark! And it'll be even more awesome than his!"
Prism was surprised to see who was waiting to take her home. It was not one of the twins, nor her parents. Standing at the gate, the crook of her foreleg leaning against the post, was an orange pegasus with a wild purple mane and dark violet eyes decorated with black eyeliner. Around her neck was a spiked collar and she wore a motorcycle jacket to go with it. This made her look twenty percent cooler than she already was.
"Aunt Scootaloo!" the filly cried, picking up the pace.
"Hey, Rainbow Junior!" the mare exclaimed, welcoming the filly in for an embrace.
As she took Prism in her forelegs, she ruffled her multi-colored mane.
"I haven't seen you since the Grand Galloping Gala," said Scootaloo.
"Yeah, you and the CMC rocked that party!" Prism cheered.
"And you've sure grown since then. How are those wings doing?"
The filly sighed. "Still a flightless bird. Are you flying me home?"
Scootaloo raised an eyebrow. "Fly? Kid, when are you going to learn that my way is the only way to travel?"
She pointed to the purple scooter leaning against the fence. It was a simple scooter with orange flames painted on the side, but Prism was in awe of it. Scootaloo tossed her a helmet while she strapped on her own. The mare stepped onto her scooter and gestured for the filly to hop on.
"Where to, RJ?" Scootaloo asked.
"Sugar Cube Corner!" Prism exclaimed eagerly.
"Got it! Hold on to your hooves!"
Scootaloo flapped her wings rapidly and pushed her hoof off the ground to get the scooter started. Prism held on tight to her aunt's waist as they got going really fast. Even though Scootaloo was not technically her aunt, she was still the awesomest pony in all of Equestria!
Pinkie Pie no longer worked at Sugar Cube Corner, since the Cake twins were old enough to run the store and the Tri-Pies made the place crowded. Instead, she and Red Shoes opened up their own shop called The Party Palace, where they sold party supplies and novelty items.
That was why the pink mare was not there to greet them at the bakery, but an adolescent unicorn with an orange mane.
"Oh, Scootaloo!" she exclaimed. "Good to see you again! How was the tour?"
"Oh," the pegasus said with a shrug. "You know. Good times, bad times. We did run into a buffalo stampede on our way to Appleoosa. They thought our bus was some sort of evil spirit. I told Sweetie Belle we shouldn't have made it look like a bunny!"
"Wow. That must have been exciting! Why don't you have a seat? What can I get you two?"
"The usual, Pumpkin," Scootaloo said, leaning back in her chair.
Pumpkin Cake nodded and went into the kitchen.
"So how have things been at school?" Scootaloo asked Prism. "I hear Gemstone's in your class now."
The filly grunted. "Yeah."
"That must be fun."
Prism pounded her hoof on the table. "Fun?! She's a real pain in the flank! Not to mention a dirty double-crosser!"
"Whoa, whoa, girl! What's this all about?"
Once Pumpkin Cake had handed Scootaloo her chocolate milkshake and Prism her rainbow fudge sundae, the filly explained what had happened at recess that day.
"She went to play with that jerk who had just called us blank flanks! And he called me a penguin! Again!"
"Gee, do I know what that feels like," Scootaloo said as she sipped her milkshake.
"But I'm going to show that dip face! I'm going to get my cutie mark and he'll be the one crying once he sees how amazing it is! I'm also gonna learn to fly too!"
"Slow down, squirt. Your wings aren't ready yet. As for your cutie mark, that takes time too."
"But I don't have time! I don't want to be known as the filly who was last in her class to get her cutie mark! I'll get mine before Gemstone!"
"Prism, listen to me. Life's not a competition. Okay, maybe it's got a little competition, but something like this doesn't happen overnight. You'll get your cutie mark and be able to fly in time, but that time is not now."
"But Mom was the first in her class to get her cutie mark! So were the twins! And they could fly before they could walk! Do you know how embarrassing it is to come from a family of flyers and to not be able to get off the ground?"
Scootaloo sighed. "You'd be surprised."
Prism tilted her head in confusion. "What?"
"I mean my family wasn't renowned for their flying, but I was a lot like you at your age. I was a blank flank too and my wings were too small to get me off the ground."
"What?" Prism said again. "You were a blank flank too?"
"Every pony's born a blank flank. Some ponies, like you and me, are just late bloomers. I was upset at first, but after a while," she spread out her wings, "my wings grew to their full size," she glanced at the red scooter on her flank, "and I discovered my special talent."
"How?" the filly begged, leaning forward. "How?!"
"I had a little help." Scootaloo grinned. "Do you know why Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and I named our band the Cutie Mark Crusaders?"
Prism thought for a moment and shrugged. "It sounds cool?"
"Well, yeah, but the three of us became friends because we were the only ones in our class without cutie marks. Then we started our own secret society so that we would help each other earn our cutie marks. Even after we got them, the name sort of stuck. You know, your brother and sister were Cutie Mark Crusaders too."
The filly scratched her head and then her face lit up in realization. "Oh, yeah! I remember!" She pouted. "They hardly ever let me into their clubhouse! Wait. Is that clubhouse still there?"
"It should be. It belongs to the Apple family though, so if you and your friends want to use it, you'll have to ask them first."
Prism stood up from her chair. "This is great! I'll get the Tri-Pies and together, we'll earn our cutie marks! Then Kicks will have one less thing to tease me about!"
"Now take it easy, RJ. I know you're excited and all, but remember, no matter how hard you try, you just can't force..."
"Yeah, yeah. So when can we go see the clubhouse?"
Scootaloo shook her head with a laugh. "You're a lot like me, you know that, kid? Before we go, I have to tell you the secret and you must promise not to tell any pony outside the Cutie Mark Crusaders."
Intrigued, Prism leaned in closer. "What is it?"
When Applejack answered the door, she was cradling her weeping pony-dragon infant in her hooves.
"Hush now, Applespike," she whispered. "It's naptime. Go to sleep."
She looked at the four fillies apologetically. "Be right back."
She shut the door and returned a minute later empty-hooved.
"Sorry, gals. Spike's runnin' errands in town and the kids are buckin' apples with Big Macintosh, leavin' me with the baby. If ya think an ordinary foal would be a hoof-full, try tendin' one that's half dragon!" She sighed as she wiped the sweat off her brow. "So what can I do y'all for?"
"You see, Aunt Applejack," Prism said, "the Tri-Pies and I were wondering if we could use your clubhouse."
"We're going to start our own secret society!" Raspberry piped.
"To earn our cutie marks!" Blueberry shouted.
"Shush!" Cherry whispered. "That's supposed to be a secret!"
Applejack chuckled. "Well, this seems familiar. Sure, y'all can use it. Cinnamon Roll can take y'all to it. She's over there yonder."
She stiffened as smelt something burning. "Whoa, nilly! He burped again! Excuse me, girls! I gotta get the fire extinguisher!"
Once the country mare had disappeared into the house, the four fillies walked up the hill to where a brown filly a few years older than them with platinum hair was bucking apple trees.
"Hey, Cinnamon Roll!" Prism cried.
The older filly turned to them with a smile and spoke in an accent that was not quite southern but had a hint of it. "Howdy, girls! What brings you around these parts? Come to get some apples?"
"Actually, your mom said we could use your clubhouse. See, we..."
"Want to be Cutie Mark Crusaders?" Cinnamon Roll finished with a smirk. "Was wonderin' when you gals were gonna come around! Follow me!"
She led them down the hill and through some trees, until they came across an old treehouse. It was not in its best condition, with the paint peeling away and the shingles sliding off the roof, but it was still standing strong.
"Now," Cinnamon Roll said, "did any pony tell y'all about the secret compartment?"
Prism nodded. "Aunt Scootaloo told me this afternoon."
"Then I guess my work here is done. I gotta get back to the orchard. Have fun, y'all!"
The older filly trotted off, leaving the younger fillies to stare at the clubhouse.
"It's so...old!" Cherry said with a cringe.
"So...tiny!" said Raspberry.
"So..." Blueberry said, her frown turning into a smile, "awesome!"
The other two grinned in agreement. "Yeah!"
The triplets zoomed forward and up the steps, running over Prism in the process. After spitting the grass out of her mouth, she followed the Tri-Pies into the treehouse. They all gazed at it in awe.
"Lookie, lookie!" Blueberry cried, gesturing to a drawing on the wall. "A map of Ponyville!"
"And a thinking spot!" Raspberry piped, pointing to a target on the floor.
"And a judging table!" Cherry exclaimed as she appeared behind a podium. She put on a serious face and slammed her hoof on the wood. "Order in the court!" Then she giggled. "This place is so cool!"
"This is going to be so fun!" Raspberry shouted, jumping up and down. "We're going to be Cutie Mark Crusaders!"
"Hold it, guys!" Prism said. "We have to find the secret compartment first."
"What is this secret compartment anyway?" Blueberry inquired.
"If she told you," Cherry said, rolling her eyes, "it wouldn't be a secret now, would it?"
"Aunt Scootaloo said it's the place where all the secret Cutie Mark Crusader stuff is kept," Prism explained, her eyes scanning the clubhouse. "Aunt Applebloom built it years ago, and it can only be opened using..." She gazed up at the lantern hanging above the thinking spot. "This!"
The pegasus leapt up and tried to reach it, but her hoof did not even make it close to touching. She tried again, but her jumps were too short. Ugh! she cursed to herself. I hate being little!
After several more attempts, Cherry Pie coughed and moved in front of her.
"Watch and learn."
Cherry glanced up at the lantern, crouched down low and shouted, "Cherry Bomb!"
With a loud sproing! she leapt up like a bunny rabbit and grabbed hold of the lantern. Her weight caused it to drop down with a click! The others turned around as they heard the sound of gears turning. A small door opened in the wall, revealing a cubby filled with...
"Stuff!" the Tri-Pies cheered, racing toward the cubby, thus knocking Prism over again.
"Wow!" Blueberry exclaimed, pulling out an array of red capes. "Check these out!"
"And this!" Raspberry said, withdrawing an old book.
She blew the dust off the cover, causing the three of them to sneeze simultaneously.
"The Cutie Mark Crusaders Memory Book," Raspberry read.
"I found another one!" Cherry said, waving another book in her hoof. "It says The Cutie Mark Crusaders Rule Book!"
"Let me see that," Prism said, snatching it from the red filly.
The pegasus opened the book to the front page and the triplets gather around her as she read:
"Fellow Blank Flank,
Congratulations on finding our secret stash with ease. The only reason you were able to find this is because a current or former Cutie Mark Crusader told you of its location. We started this club, because we were like you once. Unlike most fillies and colts, we were late in earning our cutie marks and we didn't think we were special because of it. We joined forces and helped each other in discovering our special talents. We're not going to sugar-coat it. It will be a long and tedious process, but if you all help each other, you will make it.
Inside this compartment, you'll find capes (which you can make more of if necessary) and a memory book filled with the adventures of past Crusaders. Be sure to have new adventures and put them in this book.
To get started, you'll find the newly revised Cutie Mark Crusaders Pledge on the next page.
Remember, you are not alone.
Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo."
"Wow!" Cherry marveled. "That must have been written like a hundred years ago!"
Prism rolled her eyes as she turned to the next page. "Okay, so all we gotta do is say the pledge and we'll officially become Cutie Mark Crusaders!"
"Ooh!" Raspberry piped. "This is so nervi-citing!"
"What does the pledge say?" Blueberry demanded. "What does the pledge say?"
Cherry leaned over to read it. "I, insert name here..."
Prism put her hoof to her head. "You're supposed to say your name, Cherry!"
"Oh, right. I knew that!"
"Okay, do you guys want to go one at a time or do you want to do it together?"
"Let's do it together!" Blueberry insisted.
"Things are a lot funner when we do them together!" Raspberry nodded.
"I agree!" Cherry exclaimed.
"Very well," Prism said, placing the book down. "Raise your right hoof and repeat after me."
The triplets obeyed with a smile.
"I, Prism..." they mimicked.
"Your own names!"
"Your own names!"
Prism shook her head, but had an idea and tried again.
"I, Blueberry, Raspberry and Cherry..."
"I, Blueberry, Raspberry and Cherry..."
"...hereby pledge to be loyal, caring, respectful and honest to my fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders."
"...hereby pledge to be loyal, caring, respectful and honest to my fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders."
"And to never give up..."
"And to never give up..."
"...to those who have shunned me and belittled me for the bareness of my behind."
The triplets snickered as they repeated this.
"I will wear my cape with pride and keep the secrets of the Cutie Mark Crusaders within the walls of the clubhouse until the day I earn my cutie mark."
"I will wear my cape with pride and keep the secrets of the Cutie Mark Crusaders within the walls of the clubhouse until the day I earn my cutie mark."
Prism put her hoof down and the triplets followed her movement.
"It's official!" the pegasus announced, grinning widely. "We are Cutie Mark Crusaders!"
Just to be clear, the Tri-Pies are the daughters of Pinkie Pie and my OC Red Shoes, Gemstone is the daughter of Rarity and Fancy Pants, and Prism is the youngest daughter of Rainbow Dash and Soarin. I think of the foals I created in Daughter of Discord, Prism was my favorite and I found her an interesting character to expand upon. And yes, in this universe, Applejack is married to Spike and they have a cross-breed baby named Applespike along with two adopted foals named Cinnamon Stick and Cinnamon Roll. This is supposed to be about twenty years or so after the events of the show.
That four square game was based on the rules my friends and I played, and yes, we bounced the ball instead of hitting it.
I liked writing this, because it's more light-hearted compared to the other stuff I've been writing recently. Also, this older version of Scootaloo kind of reminds me of my own aunt. Don't worry, I haven't given up on Twelfth Night. This was just a break, but there will be more one-shots in the future.