The Party Hasn't Ended Part 3 starring Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash
Pinkie was busy with the dishes in the kitchen as Dash lugged the heavy bags of trash out to the back alley behind the bakery. But there was already a pile of garbage there, and it was difficult to find any space for the bags she was carrying.
Dash shook her head in annoyance. "Smoggy and Patchy – you guys! What a time to be taking an extended vacation!" She flew up and placed one of her trash bags gingerly on the top of the already teetering pile. "You'd think the Mayor would have organised somepony other than Derpy Hooves to be in charge of the trash collection while they're away." Flying back down, she collected another bag and flew it to the top of the pile. "When will– " she grabbed another bag, "–everypony learn–" and another, "–that Derpy just isn't the most–" and another. "–dependable of ponies?"
The last bag was on top now, and the tower began to sway.
"Uh oh." Dash flew over to the side that was threatening to collapse and she gave it a gentle push, but it went too far the other way, and she flew back and forth, pushing and pulling, until it seemed stable enough. She landed and wiped the sweat from her forehead.
"There!" she said, dusting off her fore-hooves. "If you want something done properly, you just gotta call on the …"
Crash! An avalanche of trash bags swamped the Pegasus pony as the tower collapsed on top of her. She'd just managed to poke her head out of the pile of bags when Pinkie came rushing out, her hooves and hair a mass of soap-suds that made her resemble a pink poodle. "Rainbow Dash! Are you alright?"
Dash shook her head to dislodge the banana peel that was stuck in her hair. "Yeah, I'm OK I think." She looked at the endless expanse of black trash bags and slapped her head with a hoof. "D'Ohhhh!"
Pinkie smiled. "I'll be out to help you in just a jiff!" she said. "I've only a few more dishes to do!" She disappeared back into the bakery.
Dash pulled herself out with difficulty, and started piling the bags up in much smaller and less precarious stacks. She was lugging the final bag – the largest and heaviest one of all that had landed on top of her – when the bottom suddenly split open and the contents inside spilled out.
"Oh perfect! Just… perfect." She had just started collecting up all the popped balloons and streamers, shovelling them back into the bag, when she noticed that they weren't the pink ones from the evening's party.
"Huh," she thought. "I didn't know Pinkie organised a party recently. I wonder who it was for?" She looked at the rainbow-coloured streamers in her hooves. "These are really pretty."
The last item was a rolled-up banner, and it was extra heavy, so Dash lugged it onto her back. She was about to toss it on top when it slipped off and fell onto the ground, unrolling itself as it went. With a sigh, she turned to roll it back up – but she stopped in her tracks when she saw what was written on it.
Welcome to your surprise party, Rainbow Dash!
"Ohhhhh Dash!" All of a sudden Pinkie's voice came from inside Sugar Cube Corner. "Sorry I took so long – those hot-sauce stains are just the worst!"
Dash froze mid-air for a single heartbeat, eyes wide, but then she recovered and scrambled to collect the banner, crumpling it up into a clumsy ball. "Uh… no problem, Pinkie Pie! I'm just finishing up now…" She quickly shoved it under the largest heap of trash bags and had just managed to do so when Pinkie came out.
"Wow!" said the pink pony, looking at the neatly piled bags. "You did a super-awesome job!"
Dash blushed . "Uh… thanks, Pinkie Pie." She ruffled her hair and confetti fell out of it. "D'you think maybe I could take over from Smoggy as the garbage pony?"
Pinkie nodded, then giggled. "But then we'd have to call you Rainbow TRASH – and 'Dash' is soooooo much cuter than that!" But when she noticed how dusty and dirty the Pegasus pony was, she leapt into the air with a gasp. "Oh, Rainbow Dash! There's dust and grime and dirty yucky stuff all over you!"
Dash rubbed her face with a hoof and it came back black. "Uh, yeah. It's OK though – I'll just find a nice, big raincloud and fly through it. That's what I usually do."
Pinkie Pie frowned. "Oh, no no no no no no! You need a nice, hot, soapy bath with piles and PILES of poufy bubbles!"
"Listen, Pinkie. It's fine. I'm just going to go and…" But Pinkie had already swept Dash up in a whirlwind, and before she knew it the Pegasus pony found herself lying in the big, white porcelain bathtub on the second floor of the bakery.
Pinkie hummed as she turned the taps. "Now, just tell me if it gets too hot, OK?"
Dash nodded. She knew better than to argue with Pinkie once her mind was made up about something. "Uh, Pinkie. Gummy's not anywhere nearby, is he?" She looked about the bathroom nervously.
Pinkie chuckled. "Oh no! Twilight said that she'd look after him tonight at the library so he wouldn't get under our feet while we tidied up. I'll be back in one second!"
Dash felt her body start to warm up from the hot water. This is actually really nice! she thought. It sure beats flying through a raincloud – although that is pretty fun. Maybe I should do this more often. Dash lay back and let the water rise up and cover her. She had a lot of things to think about. Why would Pinkie Pie have held a surprise party for her, and then not invited her? Had she thrown that banner out in the trash accidentally? That was a pretty Pinkie Pie thing to do, she admitted. But something strange was definitely going on, and she needed to get to the bottom of it.
Suddenly Pinkie trotted back in the bathroom holding a big bottle of pink liquid in her mouth. She came over to the bath and squeezed it tightly, squirting a huge stream of liquid into the running water and making the bath suddenly explode in a riot of bright pink bubbles.
Dash struggled to pull herself up so she could breathe, and as her head popped up out of the mountain of bubbles she saw herself in the mirror wearing a huge afro of pink foam.
Pinkie laughed. "Oh, Rainbow Dash! You look just like my Uncle Fizzy!"
Dash shook her head and bubbles flew off in every direction, some of them splashing onto Pinkie's face and head and giving her a goatee and beret. She looked in the mirror and said "Now I look like my Uncle Ginzie!"
"Oh Pinkie Pie," said Dash, shaking her head and smiling. "You're such a… such a… Pinkie Pie!"
Pinkie blew the goatee away and shook off the beret. "Who else would I be?"
Dash nodded. "Y'know Pinkie, I'm so jealous of you sometimes. How can you always be so… you know, ON all the time?" She frowned. "Don't you ever get tired?"
Pinkie shook her head. "Nope – never! Never ever!"
Dash was thoughtful, and she splashed at the bubbles. "I guess it must be all those sugary treats you eat."
Pinkie nodded. "Well, that's part of the reason," she said. Her heart skipped a beat when she realised what she was going to say.
"Hmmm?" Dash blew at the heap of foam in front of her and watched as little pink bubbles split off and floated away.
Pinkie knew the moment had come. Her tail started to twitch, her hooves began to sweat, and she felt suddenly cold all over. She closed her eyes – if she saw Rainbow Dash's face right now, with all the feelings exploding inside her like fireworks, she was afraid the words might get all tangled up inside her and come out all wrong.
"Well…." Pinkie began. She felt as if she was on a rollercoaster which had just reached the top of the highest peak on the track, and was looking down at the dizzying bottom far below her. "The cakes and cookies and muffins are what give me my perky Pinkie-Pie energy," she explained, "But what really keeps me going is the party inside of me."
Dash chuckled. "Wait – you've got a party inside you?" she asked. What a totally cute and random and… well, Pinkie-Pie thing to say!
Pinkie opened her eyes and nodded, and walked over to the bath so she was face to face with Dash. The Pegasus pony looked at her quizzically, but Pinkie had already started to speak. "Ever since I was a little Twinkie Pie I knew I wanted to make everypony happy," she explained. "Then one day I got my cutie mark –" She wiggled her rump in the air, showing off the three colourful balloons. "– and I knew straight away that I was supposed to be Ponyville's party-pony… and that's when the party inside me started!"
Dash looked at the open, cheerful face in front of her with its huge, sparkling eyes and couldn't help but smile. Pinkie's face always did that to you. Pinkie was right – she DID make everypony happy, Dash realised, even if the little pink pony DID get out of control sometimes. But Pinkie was just so bubbly and crazy all the time that it was easy to forget that she was a pony just like any other. I mean, she must get sad and tired sometimes? There's got to be more to her than just jokes and pranks and partying and her voracious appetite for baked goods, right? But what did she want? Dash wanted to become a Wonderbolt. But Pinkie? She already had everything she ever wanted, right?
Pinkie hadn't finished. "But there's somepony very special to me," she said, dropping her gaze, and Dash noticed a… a tremble in her voice? "She's the one who keeps the party inside me going." She lifted her face again, and her eyes were glistening as she spoke. She was so close to her now that Dash could feel Pinkie's breath on her face – and it smelled of hot-sauce and cupcakes, the spicy, sugary scent that always made her think of Pinkie Pie. "Without this super-special pony, the party inside me would just slow down and end, and I don't know if I could ever party again if that happened!"
Dash's eyes went wide. Pinkie sounded so serious! "So who's the pony?" Was Pinkie going to tell her about a... secret crush she had?
But Pinkie said nothing and just leaned forward and kissed her on the mouth. Dash's eyes went even wider still, and if she hadn't scrambled against the slippery sides of the bath she probably would have slid under the bubbles in shock.
Pinkie broke the kiss. "That pony is you, Rainbow Dash." Her eyes grew misty and she closed them. "I love you," she whispered.
With her eyes closed, Pinkie's sense of hearing became ultra-sensitive. But there was no sound, no movement in the bathroom for what seemed like forever. She squeezed her eyes tighter, feeling the start of real tears. But she knew she had to open them – she couldn't stand there forever.
When she did, she saw Dash still lying in the bath. She was staring up at the ceiling, an unreadable expression on her face.
"Dash?" began Pinkie, her voice soft and pleading.
"Hmmm?" Dash turned her head and looked at Pinkie. "What is it, Pinkie?"
Pinkie's heart rose up into her throat. "Did you… did you hear what I…I said?"
Dash nodded. "I heard it alright."
"So… what do…what do you think?" Pinkie felt her knees trembling and a sound like the rushing in of water filled her ears.
Dash climbed out of the bathtub and shook herself off. Her face was serious. "I think… I'm going to go home." She stepped towards the window of the bathroom and opened it, letting the night breeze in which set the bath curtain fluttering. She turned to Pinkie. "I've… I've got a lot of things I have to do, Pinkie," Her eyes were sad. "Thanks for the bath. And I'm glad you enjoyed the party! You really… really, totally deserve it." She spread her wings and, climbing over the windowsill, she turned back a final time. "Goodbye, Pinkie Pie," she said, and then she jumped.
"Dash! Dash! Please … please wait!" Pinkie galloped up to the window and peered out of it. The night air was cold on her face, but not cold enough to cool the hot tears that ran down her cheeks. There was no sign of Rainbow Dash – it was if the darkness had swallowed her up. "Please… don't go." Pinkie fell back inside and slumped onto the floor. "Don't go," she said, again and again, her voice echoing in the emptiness of the bathroom and in the emptiness of her heart. "Don't leave me here all alone." She started to sing, slowly and softly, as her tears fell onto the tiles, "don't you see… that you've got me… a little pony who… loves you?"