Pinkie and Dash streaked higher, ever higher into the sky. Layer after layer of black, boiling cloud had slipped past them, and then they had escaped the storm and were out among the normal white clouds, the cumulus and cumulo-stratus that floated above Equestria like great white fairy castles. But even those clouds were gone as well now, far below them, and they flew through the clear frosty-blue silent expanse at the top of the world.
Pinkie leaned against Dash and shouted in her ear to be heard over the air coursing past them. "But Dashie? Where are we going? Isn't the storm right back down there?"
Dash shouted back: "We've got to get as high as possible, Pinkie. That way gravity can give us the extra boost we'll need to trigger the sonic rainboom."
Pinkie gulped. "A s-s-s-s-sonic rainboom?" she stuttered. "Straight into the centre of the storm? Are you crazy!?!?"
"You're really asking ME if I'M crazy, Pinkie?" Dash laughed. "That hurricane was born from the rainbow of darkness, so the only thing that can stop it is rainbow magic." She took a deep breath in. "But we have to trigger it at just the right moment, or else we'll rainboom straight into the ground or miss the storm entirely if we pull up too soon. We've only got one shot at this, Pinkie. We've got to make it count. Everypony is relying on us."
Pinkie didn't reply, but looked back over her shoulder at the rapidly dwindling landscape below them. They were so high now that everything had shrunk to tiny proportions, and Pinkie could make neither ear nor tail of what she was looking at. Ahead of them, stars had started to appear, first one, then another, and then more burst into existence until soon the sky glistened with them as if night had fallen.
Dash started to slow her flight, and soon she came to a halt entirely. Extending her wings out to their full extent, she flapped them slowly, but there was no real need up here, in the silent expanse at the top of the world.
"Dashie, why aren't we falling?" asked Pinkie. They seemed to be floating up here in space, the sky above them almost as black as the night sky and studded with glowing stars, while below them the land, impossibly wide, stretched away to a gently curving horizon.
"We're up too high for gravity to affect us," explained Dash.
"Gravity?" asked Pinkie.
"Oh, you know that thing that keeps us from flying off the face of the world while it spins around." Twilight had explained it to her, but Dash was sure she was messing up the explanation. "It keeps the moon from flying away from the earth."
Pinkie's eyes went wide with understanding and she nodded. "Oh, so 'gravity' is just another word for 'love'!"
Dash frowned. "Love? Uh, no Pinkie..." but then she gave up trying to explain. Once Pinkie had made her mind up about something, there was as much use trying to straighten it out as there was trying to straighten out one of her crazy pink curls!
"Where's the storm? I can't see it!" cried Pinkie. She'd taken her flight goggles off and was stretching her neck this way and that. "Has it... has it disappeared?"
"No, it's still there Pinkie," said Dash, slipping her own flight goggles off and pointing down. "See that little black smudge, between the big blue smudge and the big brown one?"
"Oh yeah!" Pinkie could see it now. "It looks so teeny-tiny! But what's that big blue smudge?" She pointed to their right.
"The sea," said Dash. "I always wanted to see that one day well, I guess today's the day, then!"
"And what's that big brown patch?" asked Pinkie, pointing to the left.
"The Swayback Mountains I think," replied Dash. She was panting. The air up here was so thin!
"I never realised that Equestria was so big!" whispered Pinkie in amazement. "Or so beautiful!"
"Neither did I," said Rainbow Dash. "This is at least twice as high up as I've ever flown, I think."
"I thought that was impossible?" said Pinkie, her eyes wide.
Dash looked behind her at the little pink pony clinging to her back and she grinned. "You know, Pinkie Pie, with you with me I don't think anything's impossible anymore!"
Pinkie had turned her attention the sky above them. "Look up at Princess Luna's moon!" she said, raising a hoof. "It's almost like you can touch it from here!"
"Yeah, that's sure something," Dash panted. She took great deep breaths. "Hey Pinkie, get off for a short while. I just want to catch my breath a bit all that dreaming has made me out of condition!" She took hold of one of the earth pony's hooves in her own, and slipped from under her.
Pinkie cried out in surprise. "But Dashie! I'll fall!"
"You always said you hoped to fly, Pinkie!" laughed Dash, and she took hold of Pinkie's other hoof so that the two of them, hoof in hoof, were spiralling slowly together in a gravity-less dance. "Well, up here you can!"
"But I'll faaaaaaaaall!" yelped Pinkie. And then she looked down at the earth far below. It wasn't coming any closer!
"Trust me!" said Dash. "Up here you could float forever if you wanted to!"
"Forever?" asked Pinkie.
"Forever," Dash nodded.
As they floated high above the surface of Equestria, between heaven and earth, Pinkie looked and into Dash's deep rose eyes. She blushed.
"Dashie," said Pinkie shyly. "I... I always wondered what it was that you loved about me..."
Dash frowned. "Aw jeeze, Pinkie!" she said, turning away. "You know how I feel about all that..." But the Pegasus pony's voice dropped suddenly away when she remembered another time she had said those words. She sighed and looked into the little pink pony's deep blue eyes. "It's all kinda stuff, Pinkie. I've thought about it a lot, you know."
Pinkie nodded. "It's just that I totally understand why you loved Star Catcher," she said. Then she lowered her gaze again. "But... I'm nowhere near as beautiful as she was, and I'm not graceful or sophisticated.... and I don't have that super-cute figure she had!" Pinkie looked back over her body at her bottom. Floating high above Equestria it looked even bigger than it usually did. "I mean, look at it! That thing is humungous!"
Dash chuckled. "Aw, it's nowhere near that big, Pinkie," she said. "And it's just part of the whole package!" The Pegasus pony looked suddenly thoughtful. "But you've got life in you, Pinkie. So much life!" Dash's eyes grew wide. "I... I look at you and it's like... a massive pink explosion of life! An explosion of love and light and goodness and... you make everything better," Tears welled up in her eyes. "Just one smile from you makes everything better. The sun shines brighter, rainy days don't seem so sad even vanilla lemon drops taste sweeter! Being with you, I... I don't feel afraid anymore. I don't feel alone anymore."
Pinkie's eyes were glistening with tears now as well. She nodded. "I feel the same way about you, Dashie. Everything gets soooooo confusing inside me sometimes, like all the ribbons and the balloons at the party have got tangled up," She gazed into Dash's eyes and her blush deepened. "But...but when I look at you, when I see those super-gorgeous eyes of yours, I... I can untangle everything, even if just for a little while." She looked away and across the great expanse of sky that surrounded them. "It's like... that party inside me had always been missing a special guest, somepony for me to throw the party for. And then you came along and..." She smiled. "Well, I just know the party won't ever end as long as I'm with you, Dashie. I think it'll just keep going and going and going forever!"
At "forever" Dash looked suddenly serious.
"Pinkie," she whispered. "You know this might not work, right? We might not..."
Pinkie shook her head, and droplets of happy tears floated away from them, sparkling in the starlight. "What are you talking about, Dashie? Of course it'll work. If you can't do it, nopony can!"
"Oh Pinkie Pie!" whispered Dash. "You..." but she didn't finish the sentence.
Pinkie let go of one of Dash's hooves and kicked her hind legs as if she was swimming until she was beside the Pegasus pony. She clambered onto her back again, then leaned over and kissed Dash on the cheek.
The Pegasus pony blushed, raising a hoof to her face. "What was that for?"
"Just a kiss for luck!" said Pinkie with a shy giggle.
"No need for luck," said Dash with a grin. "I've got Ponyville's premiere party pony beside me." She slipped her flight goggles back on and adjusted them until they were sitting just right. "Let's go."
In the beginning the flight back down towards the earth was almost leisurely, with little of that strange magic called gravity pulling them down. But soon Dash's speed dramatically increased as the earth took hold of them, and within heartbeats their speed doubled, then tripled, and it gave no indication of slackening off.
Behind them, Pinkie saw that the stars had now disappeared and the sky had changed to a rapidly deepening blue, while in front of them, the tiny, toy-land appearance of the earth as it flew up towards them had quickly shifted into a haze of white as they punched down through layer after layer of first stratus, then stratocumulus, then cumulus clouds, until finally they were hurtling towards the great black eye of the nightmare storm itself. It revolved slowly, staring up at them balefully, and cataracts of lightning scored across it with furious white-yellow flashes.
They were flying blindingly fast now. Pinkie clung to Dash's back for dear life as the air speared past them with a roar. But they weren't going nearly fast enough yet.
"Auuuuuuugh!" Dash groaned, her forelegs spearing out in front of her and pressing against the invisible barrier that separated the universe from the scintillating source of all rainbow magic. Sparks of colour began to leap out from the tips of Dash's hooves as she pressed forward faster, faster, even faster! but they remained sparks, and although the barrier seemed to bend ever so slightly, it steadfastly refused to break. The storm covered their entire world now, and individual banks of cloud could be made out. It screamed up at them, and Dash cried out in frustration.
"I'm just not
enough!" Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes and flew past Pinkie's face, shattering into mist at the speed they were going. "I'm sorry Pinkie
we're not going to make it
. this time! It's
Pinkie pushed her face against Rainbow Dash's mane, smelled the mixture of sweetness and perspiration that she loved so much, and whispered in her ear. "Nothing's impossible for you, Dashie." She reached down and, drawing her forelegs along Dash's, she placed her hooves on the Pegasus pony's and as soon as they touched, the shower of sparks dramatically increased, spraying out now in thick streams, and the barrier started to bend backwards.
"Pinkie!" cried Dash. "It's working! We're doing it!" Her voice was stretched back by the bending barrier, the sound sucked immediately backwards by the bending of space so that it seemed to echo from somewhere far behind them. The sparks were so thick now, a stream of red and yellow, green and orange, indigo, violet and blue and now pink as well, that the two ponies could barely see through them.
And then Dash and Pinkie both cried out as the air seemed to be sucked away from them, and in an instant the universe collapsed backwards and they plunged into a world of pure boundless white light.
And then they broke through the barrier. Bending, it slipped back into infinity behind them and snapped, and what had been streams of multicoloured sparks coalesced into radiant bars of pure, blinding colour that radiated out in a starburst that painted the universe with all the colours of the rainbow.
Suddenly they could see again. The earth leapt up before them, and Pinkie shouted "Pull up Dash!" as she desperately lifted her friend's hooves up. With a great cry of effort the Pegasus pony straightened out her death-dive and they were right in the middle of the storm, which by now had developed titanic strength.
They were flying impossibly fast now, rainbow light pouring from them in a steady stream of brilliance, and Dash banked sharply to the right, plunging into a circular course that took them directly against the full brunt of the storm. Pinkie had expected to feel torrents of rain and wind against her face, but it was like the time she'd rode in Twilight's hot air balloon there had been no feeling of wind blowing past them as they'd flown through the sky. And that's how it felt now with rainbow energy coursing before and behind them, the wind instantaneously dissipated away, the clouds dissolved and the rain was scattered into a superfine mist by the wake of the sonic rainboom, and as Pinkie looked back at the multi-coloured contrail, she saw the darkness receding away and blue sky appearing everywhere and she cried out in joy.
"Dash! It's working!" Pinkie yelled. "It's working!"
"That's great, Pinkie!" Dash yelled back at her. "But we've still got a few problems of our own!"
The Pegasus pony was struggling to keep her course straight. The agonising speed, the blinding light, the dizzying circular course were all taking their toll. But at last the final banks of grey-black clouds scattered and boiled away in their wake and Dash let out an explosive lungful of air. Another quick bank to the left, and they were flying straight towards the lake not far from Fluttershy's treehouse.
"Hold on Pinkie Pie!" Dash yelled. "This is going to be one vanilla-frosting of a landing!"
And an instant later they were swallowed up by water, and everywhere was a confusion and chaos of bubbles and flailing hooves. At last, Pinkie struggled to the surface
and immediately afterwards Dash's face appeared as well, her goggles knocked askew by the impact and her mane sopping wet.
"We did it! We did it!" yelled Pinkie, throwing her forelegs in the air. Before them, as they bobbed in the water, they could see the buildings and trees of Ponyville sopping and stretched and bent, but intact.
"Look Dash! Sugarcube Corner! The Library! Fluttershy's treehouse! Mr Breezy's Fan Emporium!" Pinkie laughed, swimming over to the Pegasus pony. "We did it! We saved them! We saved them all!"
But Dash was busy looking upwards, and then she burst out laughing and pumped a fore-hoof into the air, slipping back under the surface of the water for her trouble. She spluttered as she bobbed back to the surface, and then, grabbing Pinkie, she pointed up in the air and yelled ecstatically. "Pinkie! Look! The rainbow! The RAINBOW! Ha ha ha ha ha!"
"The rainbow?" Pinkie looked up. And she didn't realise what she was looking at straight away. Before them, born of the Sonic Rainboom and the last, shimmering remnants of the great storm, glowed the largest rainbow Pinkie had ever seen. It arched across the sky from horizon to horizon, from the Whitetail Woods to Dragon Mountain. It wasn't a triple rainbow, and not even a double one but it was the most amazing rainbow that had ever appeared over the town of Ponyville, or indeed anywhere in all of Equestria.
"One, two, three, four
" Pinkie counted quickly on her hoofs. "Eight?" She turned to Dash. "Dashie, does a rainbow usually have EIGHT colours?"
The Pegasus pony shook her head. But there they were: eight colours! For along with the red, the orange and yellow and green, the blue and indigo and directly underneath the violet ran a vibrant strip of pure, glowing pink that stretched across the whole sky.
"BEST. RAINBOW. EVER!" yelled Dash, and leaping at Pinkie she threw her forelegs around the little pony's neck and kissed her so hard that they both fell back beneath the water.
Although it was a struggle to get out of the lake, after lots of laughing and horsing around they managed to do it but Dash was so exhausted at the end of it that Pinkie had to lift her up on her back and carry her.
"Are you sure this is OK, Pinkie?" asked Dash, as she lay her head against the earth pony's waterlogged pink mane.
"Of course it is, Dashie," Pinkie replied, looking back at her. "You carried me RIGHT up to the strat- strater sky! so the least Pinkie Pie can do is carry you the short way back to Ponyville!"
Sunlight lit their way, that glistening sunlight that only appears after rain and which seeps across the landscape and makes everything glitter.
"Do you think everypony is alright?" asked Dash in Pinkie's ear. Her eyes were closed, and she was half-asleep from exhaustion.
She heard Pinkie chuckle. "See for yourself, Dashie!"
And when Dash opened her eyes and lifted her head, she saw a huge crowd of ponies waiting for them on the road that led to Ponyville. Everypony had come to meet them!
Applejack was the first to spot Pinkie and Dash, and tearing her hat from her head she waved to them with it. Even from a distance they could see the huge smile that had broken onto her face. And soon, with Twilight Sparkle at the lead, all the rest of their friends galloped up to meet them.
"How did you know where we were?" Pinkie asked, as they were swamped on all sides by hugging, kissing and nuzzling ponies.
Twilight rolled her eyes. "Oh Pinkie!" she said, pointing up into the sky. "We followed your rainbow of course!"
Pinkie clopped her hooves together in delight. "Did you notice the new colour!?"
Applejack chuckled. "It's pretty hard ta miss, Pinkie."
Rarity was nuzzling Dash's wings with her muzzle. Somehow, in the time between the dissolving away of the storm and the journey to the lake, her hair had been restored to its elegantly-coiffured state. "Oh my dear," she said, tutting, "We have to get you to the Boutique at once, Rainbow! These feathers need to blow dried IMMEDIATELY or else they'll get all FRIZZY!"
Dash chuckled, moving away from her fastidious ministrations and stood next to Pinkie. "I promise I'll come round and see you tomorrow, Rarity!"
"What about my hair?" asked Pinkie, curling it around a hoof. "It's all scooshy and squishy as well. Should I come to the Boutique too?"
Rarity's eyes opened wide in shock, and then she laughed gaily. "Oh Pinkie, frizzy or curly or... or whatever that is..." She brought a hoof to her chin in thought. "Poofy perhaps? Anyway, however your hair looks, on you it will always look PERFECT."
"But where's Fluttershy?" asked Dash, looking around at the steadily increasing crowd of ponies who had come to congratulate them. "And the rest of my Squad? We saw them on the way up but..."
The crowd parted and Cloudkicker, cradling a bruised and battered Fluttershy in her forelegs and wings, stumbled forwards.
There were tears in her eyes. "Oh Dash," she sobbed. "Fluttershy... she was magnificent! She held on until the very last moment..." She lowered the injured Pegasus pony to the ground, and Dash and the others immediately surrounded her.
"Fluttershy, are you OK!?" cried Dash. She brushed the pink mane from her face, and Fluttershy stirred and looked at Dash through bleary, squinting eyes.
"Is... is that you, Rainbow Dash?" she asked, her usually soft voice now even less than a whisper.
Dash nodded. "It's me and Pinkie and everypony!"
"Is... is the storm gone?"
"It's gone," replied Dash with a sigh of relief. "Thanks to you, Fluttershy. We couldn't have done it without you!"
Fluttershy raised her exhausted face up, a gorgeous beaming smile suddenly flashing across it.
"yay" she whispered.
Dash saw other members of her squad in the crowd many of them nursing injured wings or legs, and poor Derpy was there, Nurse Mercy wrapping a bandage around her head.
"Derpy, are you ok?" cried Dash, galloping up to her.
"Muffins!" said Derpy, nodding her head.
"Oh, do be careful Ditzy!" Nurse Mercy complained as she struggled to tie the bandage. "You're just lucky that you crash landed near my infirmary tent!"
"You crash landed?" asked Dash.
"On her head," nodded Nurse Mercy.
"Phew!" gasped Pinkie. "She'll be ok then!"
Suddenly, a little unicorn filly came galloping up, covered in mud, and threw her forelegs around Derpy's feet.
"Mama! Mama!" squealed Dinky. "You're ok! You're ok!"
Derpy, tears in her eyes, lowered her muzzle and kissed the dirty little filly on the top of her head.
"Muffin!" she sobbed. And the sight of the valiant mail mare and her daughter melted every heart that beheld it.
Nearby, Twilight was talking to Dash.
"Zecora said that the Sonic Rainboom would be the only thing that could work!" Twilight was gushing. "So you flew clockwise, right? Just like I suggested?"
Dash was rubbing the back of her head with a hoof. "Ah, yeah Twilight," she muttered sheepishly. "Just like you said. Clockwise."
Twilight clopped her feet together. "So you saw what it looked like on the other side of the light barrier!" She put a hoof on Dash's shoulder. "You have to tell me everything about it! You actually looked straight into the primal light of creation, the source of Princess Celestia's power! I need to know everything...!"
Dash slipped from under the unicorn pony's hoof. "I'd love to help you, Twilight. But maybe tomorrow?" She looked at Pinkie, was hugging a crying Spike. "Right now I think me and Pinkie need a bath!"
Pinkie looked up in mid-hug. "But Dashie," she protested. "We just flew through the BIGGEST rainstorm in Ponyville history, and then we dash-crash-landed into a lake! I mean, don't you think we...?" But then Pinkie noticed the look on Dash's face, and her eyes went wide and she blushed crimson. "Ooooh!" she said.
"Uh, so what should I do with Gummy?" asked Spike. The little alligator was hopping up and down at his feet in an attempt to leap up into his arms.
Twilight smiled as she looked at the Pinkie and Dash staring into each other's eyes, and she put a hoof on Spike's shoulder. "I think that maybe we can look after Gummy for just a teensy little while longer," she said.
Spike looked down at the little alligator, who stared back up at him with his crazy pink eyes and squeaked.
"Aw no. You can't just turn those eyes on me to make up for all those gummings you gave me earlier
" muttered Spike, annoyed.
Gummy squeaked again.
"Well, maybe you can. Just a little," sighed the little purple dragon.
"We'll see ya'll later!" said Applejack. "Ah've got to go check out the farm to see if the apple trees are ok." She looked across to where Big Mac and Caramel were talking to each other, their faces close together, and she shook her head.
"Oh brother!" she muttered, and then she smiled tolerantly. "Ah guess Ah'll hafta be the one to keep the Apple family line goin' after all!" She looked about at all the happy but dishevelled ponies close to her. "Nah who's a likely can-dee-date for the future Mr. Apple?" Her gaze went from Snails to Pokey Pierce to Mr Breezy, and by the end of it she shook her head in despair. "Aww ponyfeathers!"
"AND just what do you THINK you're doing, AppleJack?!" Rarity had come up behind her, a furious look on her face. Applejack looked at the unicorn pony's flashing, imperious eyes and she smiled soppily.
"Ah, nuthin' Rarity," she said. And then she offered the unicorn pony the crook of a foreleg and said "Shall we?"
Rarity sniffed. "We most CERTAINLY shall!" And the two walked off, hoof in hoof, along the path that led to Sweet Apple Acres.
And soon everypony began to leave, until only Dash and Pinkie were left, holding hooves and gazing into each other's eyes.
"Hey Pinkie?" said the rainbow-maned Pegasus pony at last.
"Yes, Dashie?" asked the little pink earth pony.
"Let's go home."
"I think the rainbow looks so nice with the extra colour," said Celestia from the battlements of Caterlot. She looked down at the smaller purple-coated alicorn pony at her side. "Don't you agree, little sister?"
Luna nodded. But then she sighed. "It was so hard to watch them struggling, Celestia," she whispered. "What if Twilight hadn't been able to save Pinkie Pie? And what if she hadn't been able to save Rainbow Dash? And what if...?"
Celestia laughed. "So many 'What if's!" She smiled indulgently at the Princess of the Moon. "I know you wanted to go and save them yourself, Luna you are the Queen of Dreams, after all but sometimes it is only through a trial that true love has a chance to blossom fully. Look at the poppies that grow up here on the mountainside," Celestia indicated with a nod of her head a patch of the blood-red flowers growing beneath the battlements. "If you give them too rich a soil, they never grow. But throw the seeds upon a rocky wasteland, and they will thrive. Sometimes love is the same."
Luna looked at the poppies. Sometimes her sister's wisdom frightened her.
"So what did we learn from everything that happened today, little sister?" asked Celestia at last.
Luna looked up at her, her eyes doleful. "Do I really have to say it?"
"That I should always trust my big sister," said Luna, an incongruous hangdog expression on her divinely beautiful face.
And then Celestia laughed, and she slipped her white neck across her little sister's smaller, purple-coated one in a hug. "And that I love you, Luna, and I would never let anything happen to the one you love more than anypony else... more even than you love me."
Luna's green eyes went wide in shock. "You... you know?" she whispered.
"Well, of course!" laughed Celestia. "I am the Princess of all of Equestria after all!" She smiled softly. "And I approve of the match. But it may take longer than you think to capture that little pony's heart." And then she drew Luna to her and kissed her. "I wish you the best of luck, little sister."
"Poor Spike," said Dash. "I think he's going to have his claws full with Gummy!"
"Oh, Gummy is a sweetheart!" replied Pinkie. The huge porcelain bath at Sugarcube Corner was filling with hot water, and the little pink pony leaned over to add bubble bath to it.
Dash shook her head as she watched Pinkie put too much of the mix in again and there was a sudden explosion of pink foam and bubbles. She laughed.
"Hey Pinkie," said Dash suddenly. "I've never asked you, but why do you like pink so much?"
Pinkie turned away from the bath. She was wearing a handlebar moustache made of pink foam, but she quickly blew on it and it turned back into a flotilla of bubbles that floated off across the bathroom. "Pink, Dashie?" She beamed at the Pegasus pony. "You really have to ask? Bubblegum, cotton candy, strawberry milk what's not to like?" She turned off the faucet and dipped a hoof in the water. "Ooooo! Toasty!" She turned back to Dash. "Well, hop in!"
Dash clambered into the big tub and eased herself into the bubbly water and immediately leaped out. "Hot-hot-hot-hot!" she yelped.
"Well, of course it's hot!" giggled Pinkie. "A bath has to be hot, otherwise it's not a bath it's just a swim!"
Dash soon got used to the heat, and she felt herself relaxing. She lay back and closed her eyes, but straight away opened them again when she realised that Pinkie had made no move to join her and was looking down at the bathroom tiles, a sad look on her face.
"What's the matter, Pinkie?" asked Dash.
"Oh, nothing!" she said, rubbing a hoof against the tiles absentmindedly. "It's just..." She looked up at Dash and the Pegasus pony could see tears starting in her big blue eyes.
Dash's heart broke. "Oh, Pinkie..." she whispered. "Are you remembering the last time we... we were here?"
Dash sighed. "C'mere, Twinkie Pie!" she said, beckoning with a hoof.
Dash grew mock-angry. "I said, 'Get that little pink rump of yours over here now!!"
Pinkie trotted up to the edge of the bath. "Yes Dashie?" she asked, but that's all she managed to say before Dash threw her pink-bubble-covered forelegs around her neck and brought their lips together, hard.
And as they kissed, Pinkie grew limp in Dash's embrace, bubblegum scented foam covering the two of them and for a long time neither pony let go of the other.
Finally, Dash broke the kiss. Pinkie's mouth lay open in an O, and her eyes remained closed.
"Pinkie, are you... alright?" Dash asked, concerned.
And then Pinkie exploded in every direction at once. She flew into the air, rocketed off the walls, bounced across the tiled floor, ricocheted off the ceiling, until at last she cannonballed into the bath and bubbles, pink water and laughter erupted everywhere.
Chuckling, Dash searched through the mountain of foam and water with her forelegs, but Pinkie was nowhere to be found.
"Uh, Pinkie? Where have you..."
And then suddenly Pinkie exploded out of the water and threw herself onto the Pegasus pony crying:
"I LOVE YOU RAINBOW DASH!"
Dash hugged her back, gazing into those blue eyes that had stolen her heart away. "I love you too, Pinkie Pie," she said, tears in her own rose-coloured eyes. And together the two ponies slipped under the screen of pink, bubblegum-scented bubbles and they didn't reappear for a very, very long time.
Dash and Pinkie lay next to each other on the little pink pony's huge four-poster bed. Pinkie was staring up at the ceiling, while Dash was nervously twiddling her fore-hooves together.
"Hey Pinkie?" Dash said at last, scooting across the bed and drawing the earth pony down into the darkness under the covers with her.
"Yes Dashie?" Neither pony could see the other, and only their voices could be heard.
"Uhh, I have a confession to make."
"Yeah. Promise you won't laugh?"
"Oh Dashie, I would never laugh at you! I mean, unless you were telling a really funny joke, like that one about the oatmeal that..."
"Aww, c'mon Pinkie. This is kinda serious."
"Oh, I won't laugh, Dashie. Cross my heart and..."
"OK, Pinkie I believe you. You don't have to say the rest of the rhyme."
"You see, Pinkie. Uh, the thing is....is that I'm...."
"I'm a... a..."
"A virgin? You mean you've never..."
"Nope. Never. I've never done it before."
"But I thought..."
"Yeah, everypony thinks that."
"But what about with... with Gilda?"
"Gilda?" Dash laughed. "Oh, we never did anything except wrestle each other and kiss."
"Oh? Are you... disappointed, Pinkie?"
"Oh Dash! Of course not! And being a virgin is nothing to be ashamed of!"
Pinkie suddenly threw the covers off as jaunty music started to play unbidden from somewhere above them, and bouncing up and down on the bed she began to sing:
Oh Dashie dear, no need to fear!
We all pony-paddled before we learned to swim!
Just take my hoof, I'll draw you near...
"Uh, Pinkie?" Dash looked up at the prancing pony with a grin. "Maybe just this once? we can skip the song and do things my way?"
Pinkie stopped dead in mid-pirouette and looked at Dash with wide-open eyes. "Your way, Dashie? Which way is that?"
But Dash had already thrown herself headlong at Pinkie, screaming "Geronimo!!!!"
Dash woke up to find Pinkie asleep beside her. The little pink pony was flat on her back snoring loudly, her round tummy rising and falling with each snore.
Dash looked at her and sighed. She leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, and Pinkie squirmed a little and smiled.
Lying back, the Pegasus pony put her forelegs behind her head, and as she stared at the ceiling she smiled as well.
"So that's what sex is like!" she whispered to herself, and then she threw her forelegs up in the air and cried: "SO. TOTALLY. AWESOME!!!"
Hey, you don't have a clue
This party never ended - not for me and you
I know you're just pretending
You're hiding from yourself
Yes you are, yes you are
Like golden rays of sun in the cloud
I will make you see
Haven't you got, haven't you got it yet?
Just lay down for a while next to me
Didn't mean to make you panic
I didn't mean to put you off
Baby, it's the way that you've got me
I listen to my heart and it takes you high
And you ask me how, can I show you how?
I need your love right now, now, now
On the road that led to Ponyville, a little black-coated foal was crying. He was so deep in his misery that he didn't notice the little pink filly bouncing along the road until she was right next to him.
"What's your name, little guy?" asked the filly, her round, open face frowning in concern.
"Don't know!" sniffed the little foal. His green eyes were red from crying. "I can't remember!"
"Well mine's Twinkie Pie!" The little pink filly took a hoof-full of her mane and handed it across to the crying colt. "Here! Dry those eyes of yours!"
He looked at the curly pink blob in his hoof. "Is it really ok?"
Twinkie nodded her head rapidly, and the colt rubbed his face on the mane. He would have realised that it smelled liked popcorn and candy if he'd known what those things were, but as he dried his tears his heart seemed lighter. He didn't feel so frightened anymore.
He looked up at the filly and a tiny smile tried to struggle onto his face. "Thank... thank you," he said. The words seemed so strange in his mouth, almost as if it was the first time he'd ever said them.
But Twinkie didn't seem to think they were strange. She hopped up and down, a beaming smile exploding onto her face. "Yippeee!! You're all better! Now let's get going!" She started to trot towards the village but then she noticed the foal wasn't following her. She turned and saw him still standing in the middle of the path.
"What's wrong?" asked Twinkie, concern filling her face as she trotted back.
"I'm scared," the foal said. Tears threatened to burst out again in his eyes.
"Oh, there's no need to be scared!" said Twinkie. "You know, whenever I feel scared, I just go and eat a muffin and it makes me feel soooooo much better!"
"Muffin? What's muffin?" asked the little colt.
Twinkie's mouth gaped open in horror. "You don't know what a muffin is?" she cried. "This is serious!" She took his little hoof in her own and started to lead him along the path towards the village.
"Where are we going?" asked the foal. He hadn't started crying again after all, and he looked up at the filly with his green eyes wide with curiosity.
"We're going to Ponyville, of course!" she replied. "All my friends are having a party there and I want you to meet them!"
"Friends?" asked the foal. "I... I don't think I have any friends..."
Twinkie stopped and looked at him seriously. "Oh, what a silly, silly thing to say!" She kissed him on the cheek. "I'M your friend! And I'm sure all my friends will be yours as well, just as soon as you meet them!"
The little colt felt the wet spot on his cheek with a hoof. And then a big smile burst out onto his face but it was painful, as if he'd never used those muscles before in his life.
"Now we just have to think of a name for you," said Twinkie Pie as they neared the village called Ponyville. "Tell me if you like any of these ones!" She cocked her head, thinking. "How about Midnight Glitter?"
The foal shook his head.
"How about Starry Night?"
The foal thought for a second, then shook his head again.
"Hmmm...." Twinkie scratched her head. "Oo! Oo! I know!" And then she brought her mouth close to his perky little ear and whispered into it.
And a huge smile burst onto the colt's face and he nodded. "It's perfect!" he said. And then he nuzzled Twinkie's shoulder and said "Oh, thank you, Twinkie Pie!"
And Twinkie replied "No, thank you... " And then she said his name. But by now they were too far away for anypony else to hear it. Still, I'm sure it was a most fitting and most beautiful name, seeing it was given in love by the purest of all pure hearts.
THE END OF THE PARTY HASN'T ENDED by Butterscotch Sundae