It was around 10:00 PM at "Pony Joe's Café." An apple-shaped carriage was parked outside with two male ponies chatting amongst one another. Inside the café, the lights were still on and the open sign was flashing. As expected, there were very few customers. The Grand Galloping Gala was being held not too far away in the royal palace, where everyone else was. However, inside Pony Joe's, laughter could be heard. It seemed the customers that did decide to come there were company enough.
Twilight Sparkle and her friends had all just gotten back from the Grand Galloping Gala which did not go as planned for any of them at all. Their dresses were torn up a bit and their hair was messy. Some of them had even lost some footwear from running out of the Gala so fast. Twilight had told everyone earlier that Pony Joe's would be the best place to settle down at. She also knew that Spike the dragon would be waiting there for them, and to her surprise, Princess Celestia herself decided to join them a few minutes after they arrived. Although the night ended horribly, they all were laughing it off and having the Princess there made things a lot more joyful.
" said Twilight to all her friends at the table full of donuts. "
I guess this night didn't end too horribly after all!"
They all nodded in agreement and started eating their donuts and drinking their coffee. Twilight decided to take her chance to finally talk with the Princess as she had hoped she would be able to do at the Gala.
" Twilight asked worried as if some unfortunate realization had just come over her, "
are you sure it's ok for you to be here with us?"
"Yeah, shouldn't you be back at the Gala helping greet the ponies coming in?" asked Spike setting his half-eaten donut on the table.
"Oh don't worry, you two, I've taken care of everything." The Princess explained. "Right after you left, I used a song spell on my animals to get them to calm down. They all came to me and I led them right out the door. My guards took care of the rest of the damage and the subjects and guests were all okay. And luckily for me, the rest of our invited guests had already finished entering so I didn't have to stay there and greet anymore. I told my guards that I would be leaving the Gala until midnight to take a break and see some friends. They're keeping watch over the Gala for me right now; it should be no problem at all."
"I'm glad to hear that." Twilight said sighing with relief. "To be quite honest, I was getting kinda impatient while you were constantly greeting everypony. I was wondering if I'd get any time to talk to you at all!"
"So was I, Twilight. I got a little worried when you and your friends decided to leave, that's why I knew I had to come here to see you all." She then bent over to whisper in Twilight's ear. "Between you and me, I've never really enjoyed greeting at the Gala." she said a bit deviously. "It's too plain of a job for me to do, but as the Princess, it's my duty."
"Is every Gala really as boring as that one was?"
"Yes, pretty much. It's just some social gathering for all the rich ponies who can afford to come. In fact, no one usually gets free tickets like you and your friends did. Since it's typically all just aristocrats and high-class ponies, there's nothing but a fancy, calm, and somewhat dull atmosphere. We talk amongst each other and eat and drink and that's all, nothing else. But like I said, I hoped you all could come and just find some way to liven things up, and I know you all tried to even if things just didn't go as planned."
"Yeah, sorry we kinda flattened the Gala
" said Twilight blushing and putting her ears down.
"Oh, it's alright, Twilight, no harm done. I know the animals gave everypony quite a scare, but it's all taken care of."
Suddenly, sniffling could be heard from across the table. Everyone turned to see Fluttershy with her head down starting to tear up.
"Fluttershy? What's wrong?" asked Twilight.
"It's all my fault those animals came in like that
" She said with a lump in her throat. "I still can't believe I did that. I don't know why that happened, everyone, I just wanted to socialize with those animals and they ran away and I lost my temper!" Her lips vibrated from trying to hold in her tears. She couldn't hold them in any longer and tears streamed down her cheeks and she tried wiping them away with her hoof. She bent her head down and let her long pink hair cover her face. She didn't want anyone to see her like this. "OH HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO CRUEL?!"
Everyone at the table had never seen Fluttershy this saddened before. They were so shocked with how badly she was crying that none of them could even talk to her or try to comfort her. Even a simple "It's ok, Fluttershy
" would have gone unheard under her wailing.
Finally, Princess Celestia walked over to the other end of the table and raised Fluttershy's chin up. She was scared at first and almost tried fighting back the hoof under her chin, but she looked up to see the Princess looking happy rather than angered.
"I forgive you, Child." said the Princess warmly. "We all have moments when we lose our tempers."
Fluttershy had stopped crying but her eyes were still full of tears and her mouth open. She was still so sad but finally listened to what her friends had to say.
" said Rainbow Dash next to the Princess. "It happens to the best of us, even when we least expect it."
"Yep! It sure happened to me not too long ago on my birthday, remember?" Said Pinkie Pie recapping the event where she nearly lost her sanity thinking her friends didn't love her anymore. "We forgive ya, Fluttershy!"
"Don't fret, dear." said the Princess, "The animals are doing fine. They're not used to being around ponies anyhow, most are actually rather wild. Had I known you wanted so much to see them, I would have warned you about that. But it's the past now, we're not going to worry about it anymore."
The Princess lowered her hoof and Fluttershy stopped crying. For a few seconds she just stood and waited to recollect herself. Finally a smile slowly started forming on her face and she sniffled and wiped her tears away with her hoof again. Any remaining tears were only tears of joy.
" She said happily. "I'm sorry, it's just I've never had an outrage like that before; it really made me disappointed in myself. But you're right; I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It's the past. It's good to know I'm at least surrounded by caring friends."
One by one, each of her friends came over to the table and hugged her for comfort.
"It wasn't that big of a deal, Darling." said Rarity after hugging her. "It could have happened to any of us you know. I've had some pretty bad temper tantrums before, I even had one at the Gala with the Prince, so you're not the only one. Ironic, isn't it?"
"Yeah, girl, things just didn't go too well for ya, that's all." Said Applejack. "Plus, no 'fense, but fer some reason, you were kinda funny when ya got all fired up like that!" Applejack giggled lightly.
now that I think about it, I guess it was a little funny." Fluttershy then started giggling a little over her outrage back at the Gala. "I mean, who would have ever thought I'd have gotten that angry, huh?" She said as she started laughing even more.
"Think you could show us that angry scream again?" Asked Rainbow Dash.
"Oh dear no! I'm too happy; I couldn't possibly do it now." Fluttershy said blushing.
"I think I can
" Rainbow Dash cleared her throat. "You're
They all laughed hysterically at Rainbow Dash and thankfully all the laughing brought Fluttershy out of her misery. The event at the Gala was now just a silly little memory.
The Princess was over near one of the windows of the café as if she was waiting for something. "Oh, and Fluttershy
" she said, "I know it's too bad you couldn't socialize with any of the animals back at the Gala, but there is one animal who would like to see you
"There is?" said Fluttershy tilting her head.
Suddenly a large, flamboyantly red bird flew in through the window and landed on Celestia's hoof. It fanned its wings, shook its head, and brayed happily.
"PHILOMENA!!" Shouted Fluttershy rushing over to see her old friend. "Oh Philomena, I missed you so much!" she said while nuzzling the majestic bird's beak.
"Philomena has missed you too ever since the last time you two met! Actually, she was flying around the palace looking for you while you were outside."
"Oh dear, I'm so sorry Philomena, I should have known." said Fluttershy with her ears down looking a bit disappointed.
Philomena cooed as if to say she forgave Fluttershy and flew down on top of her hoof.
"You won't believe how silly I got outside. The animals out there were running away from me and I just went crazy! It was actually quite hilarious, you should have been there!" she said as the phoenix chuckled along with her.
"See guys?" said Twilight, "Fluttershy's all good now thanks to friendship!"
"Her night sure ended on a positive note indeed!" said Applejack walking over to the table and eating a donut. She chomped on the pastry happily until a solemn look came over her face. She swallowed it and then remembered how unlucky her night had gone. "Ah sure am happy for her. And happy tonight ended good for us all. Ah just still wish Ah coulda sold them treats. Ah spent so much time makin' em and really wanted to help mah family. But in the end Ah only made a few bits. Who's gonna eat em now?" Applejack sighed looking down at the donut she now refused to finish eating.
The Princess then walked over to Applejack carrying a bag of 'bits' with her magic. "Applejack, if it helps, I would be willing to use this money to buy most of those treats." She set the bag on the table in front of Applejack whose mouth was hanging open at the sight of the amount of coinage in it. "I really enjoyed them at the luncheon I attended a few weeks ago and I'm sure some of my subjects would enjoy what I don't eat at the buffet later tonight. This is all the money I bought with me, I hope it will suffice."
"Oh Princess, thank ya kindly!" Applejack said with a grin on her face. The bag was so full of bits, it would be difficult to carry back home! "This here is just enough for me! Why, with this many bits, we should be able to fix our old roof AND the plow. And it might be just enough to help us to pay for most of a hip replacement for Ol' Granny Smith! She'd be so overjoyed if we could do that for her! In fact, Princess, Ah reckon this amount should be good enough to buy all of mah treats actually! They're all yours, Princess! After ya gotta go back to the Gala, I'll lend ya mah whole cart to take to the Gala and ya can just have yer guards deliver it to me or something."
"I'm so glad I could help out, Applejack!" Princess Celestia said kindly.
"Well, AJ, looks like you hit the jackpot! A night ended well!" said Rainbow Dash giving Applejack a hoof-bump. Then she walked over to one side of the table where there were more donuts left. She bent down and ate one of the crispy creams while listening to the others talk.
"So what will happen while you're gone from the Gala, Princess?" asked Twilight.
"Well, I believe they just got finished with the aerial acrobatics show by the Wonderbolts. Now they're doing some more fireworks, so we should at least be able to see them from here too."
"Oh good! Even our other folks from Ponyville can see those! I hope they all enjoy them!" said Twilight. "It's too bad we missed the Wonderbolts though
Wonderbolts. I wonder what they're doing now
" said Rainbow Dash gloomily. It would be quite hard to replace what she lost at the Gala.
"Oh, Rainbow Dash, did you get to talk to the Wonderbolts I hope?" Fluttershy asked eagerly.
"Just a little, not much." Rainbow Dash said putting her head down on the table among the crumbs. "I only got to say, like, a few words to them. I stopped Soarin from losing his apple pie and then they invited me to come in to the VIP seating area. I figured I'd be able to chat with them a lot, so I just sat down somewhere and snacked a little, but when I tried finding them, they were already talking to somepony and there was so much commotion I couldn't even get them to hear me. Even when I just about had their attention, the paparazzi just had to come along and ruin everything and get their autographs and take pictures and junk." Rainbow Dash would have gone on about how badly her night went, but the Princess rushed over to her as if to bring some urgent news, so Rainbow Dash drew her attention to her.
"Oh Rainbow Dash, I'm glad you said something! I almost forgot: I met with the Wonderbolts sometime after you all left the Gala, and they asked about you. Spitfire said they had been looking for you but were not able to find you in the crowd and they asked if I could give this to you
" She then used her magic to lift a little piece of paper with the Wonderbolt logo on it to give to Rainbow Dash. "It's a ticket to their next big air show, and they want you to see them after the show."
Rainbow Dash's eyes widened as she looked down at the ticket and then her excitement took over. "OMIGOSH OMIGOSH OMIGOSH OMIGOSH OMIGOSH!!!!!" She squealed joyfully. "THE WONDERBOLTS INVITED ME TO THEIR AIR SHOW?!?!? THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!!" She leaped in the air and started flapping her wings holding the ticket up high and screamed for joy.
"Wow! See you guys, what would we do without the Princess?!" said Spike as everyone clopped their hoofs for her.
"It was my pleasure everypony!" The Princess said gratefully.
"PRINCESS, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!" said Rainbow Dash hugging the royal mare.
"You're welcome Rainbow Dash! I look forward to seeing you there; I'm coming to the air show as well!"
"That's awesome! I can't wait till it comes around!" She looked up to the ceiling imagining herself at the air show meeting her heroes again, and then had a little fantasy of herself wearing their signature outfits soaring through the sky with them.
For the next few minutes, everyone talked amongst themselves about things in a much more positive manner now that the Princess had helped a lot of them out. Even Pinkie was happier now to be with her friends enjoying herself since none of the ponies at the Gala wanted to party.
Rarity's mood had improved much as well. After what had happened with Prince Blueblood, all she wanted to do was get her mind off of him and talk with her friends, although eventually she brought him up...
"So, Rarity, how did it go with the Prince?" Fluttershy asked her since she didn't see how he treated her in the ballroom.
"Oh Fluttershy, it was just awful. I've never met a grown colt so revolting and rude before!" Rarity complained. "All he cares for is himself, he would just go on and on about himself, and barely even got to know me! And he was NO gentleman at all; he kept having ME open the doors for him even though the man should open the door for the lady!"
"Wow, talk about rude!" said Rainbow Dash disgustedly.
"Oh 'rude' is an understatement, Darling, he was TERRIBLE!!" She said raising her voice a bit too high. She turned to Princess Celestia to realize that she had heard her the whole time. "I'm sorry, Your Majesty
I hate to speak like this, but your nephew, Blueblood, was just not the man I thought he was
"I understand, Rarity." The Princess replied. "That Prince Blueblood has been pampered in the palace for ages. He is rather arrogant indeed. If I knew you had your eyes on him, I would definitely have warned you about him."
"I should have known all along what he was like
" said Rarity. She wanted to talk more with the Princess about this because she seemed to be rather understanding on the matter, but she figured that talking about it would only make her feel worse. "
but I digress. Anywho, will there be another Gala next year, Princess?"
"Oh we have the Gala every few years actually. It takes so long to prepare for that we can't have it annually like we used to." The Princess explained.
"I see. Well
I don't suppose it would help for us to come back again
"Oh of course you all are most welcome to come back to the next Gala, if you want to that is."
"Well, I dunno
" said Twilight. "Do you guys all think it would be wise to go back after what we did there tonight?"
Everyone else just exchanged glances and thought about their answers. Would it help to come back to the Gala, especially after what had just happened?
"I'm sure everypony there will forget what we did
" said Rarity. "But I'm still not too sure about being around the Prince again
"Yeah, plus what's the point of going back if nopony there wants to party with me
" said Pinkie staring down at the table full of crumbs from all the donuts she ate.
"Well, doesn't matter, guys." Spike said putting his drink down. He wanted to do his best to get their minds off the Gala. He didn't want to see them all saddened, especially Rarity. "What matters is that we are all here together now and we're having the time of our lives!" He then turned to Pinkie to cheer her up. "And don't worry, Pinkie, you've got the best party-goers right here for ya. Those boring aristoponies may have ruined it, but we're still here."
"That's right, Darling." Rarity added. "Just because the party is over doesn't mean you still can't spend time with your real friends."
Pinkie smiled sheepishly. "Aw, thanks you guys! I know it's
er, wait. THE PARTY OVER?!" Pinkie exclaimed with a quizzical look. "PFFFFF! What are you guys talking about?! The party's just getting started!!" Then a big smile formed on her face and her eyes beamed with excitement.
"Uh oh, everpony
" said Rainbow Dash sarcastically. "Looks like she's just gone into maximum overdrive now! Prepare for one crazy party!"
"Hey, Pony Joe, does the juke-box work?" Pinkie asked Pony Joe who was standing nearby.
"The juke-box? Oh sure, it works great! You want me to play something?" He asked her.
"Yeah, does it have "Equestria Girls" on it?"
"Yup, here it is!" He then used his magic to press the on-button and Pinkie's favorite pop-song, "Equestria Girls" started playing.
"Oh yeah, this is my jam!" she said getting ready to jump high in the air. "COME ON, EVERYPONY, LET'S PAAAAAAARTAY!!!"
"Now THIS is a party!" Applejack said taking off her Gala dress. "Come on, gals, we don't need these here dresses! Let's get our groove thangs goin!!"
"You said it, Applejack!" shouted Rainbow Dash sliding onto the dance floor still wearing her olive branch garment.
"This will be fun!" said Twilight excitedly. "Um
I don't suppose you'd like to join us, Princess?" she asked wondering if the royal alicorn even dared participate in such activity.
"Oh why Twilight, I haven't danced in years!" She said happily. "All the boring long days in the palace keep me away from it! Of course I'd love to dance with you all!"
In a few minutes the whole restaurant was full of music and joy. They all removed their Gala dresses for freedom of movement but kept on a few articles of clothing just for looks. Even Philomena danced around above their heads performing stunning aerial acrobatics. Pinkie stayed in the center showing off her wild break-dancing moves that no one actually knew she could do. Applejack moved aside some chairs and tables to get enough room to do some bucking bronco kicks. Rainbow Dash for the most part stayed flying around in the air challenging Philomena with her acrobatics along with Fluttershy who just watched them in midair while cheering them on. Twilight danced with the Princess and was surprised at how well she was able to dance. For the ruler of Equestria, you'd think that she would barely ever have time to even know how to dance. Suppose she had been around for so long that she had seen enough ponies dance before and remembered it all?
The only pony who wasn't dancing was Rarity. She was still smiling and enjoying watching the others dance but she didn't feel like dancing herself. The night at the Gala seemed to be getting her down a little. She also kind of missed being at the Gala. Even though ponies like Pinkie Pie need music and dancing, Rarity was enjoying the sophisticated and exquisite atmosphere back at the palace. A donut shop wasn't the place she had in mind for her night out.
Spike was enjoying himself dancing with the others, but looked around for Rarity to see if she might want to dance with him. He realized Rarity was over by the table by herself. She didn't seem too happy so he thought he could do something to cheer her up. Thinking quickly, he ran outside to get his tuxedo he was wearing earlier when driving the apple carriage to the Gala.
"I'm so happy that we were all able to get this awful night off our minds
" Rarity said to herself. "I was afraid we'd all be so angry we wouldn't talk to each other for a while. I guess we owe half of it to the Princess for helping us out with certain problems and apologizing for how things didn't go as planned. Rainbow Dash got a promise to see her heroes again, Applejack managed to sell her treats after all, Twilight got to socialize with her mentor, Fluttershy was comforted by Philomena, and Pinkie is having the party of her life. And I'm happy too, but
but I just can't seem to get my mind off of that Prince Blueblood
" She hung her head and sat down on the floor. Now she went from being happy to being moody; there was seemingly nothing that could cheer her up.
"And to think that ever since I was a younger pony, I fantasized about him day by day. I thought he was a gentleman of stature and respect, and come to find out he's a living scoundrel! I know I shouldn't be dwelling on him any longer, but I'm in a severe state of denial, I still cannot believe he turned out to be like that
... I guess this means that I'll go on a solitary path for the rest of my life. And if I am to dance with my friends, I'll just go alone, unaccompanied by a fine gentleman like I was expecting
Rarity couldn't remove the image of loneliness from her mind. It was as if everything she had ever hoped for was gone and never coming back, and nothing in the world could cheer her up or fill the hole in her heart. Around her, loud energetic music was playing, but it was being drowned out by her emotions. She wanted to dance with her friends just to make them all happy and hopefully calm her mind, but she just couldn't pick herself up and get on the dance floor with the others and fight back the tears that were starting to fill in her eyes. Suddenly a familiar voice from behind came out of nowhere.
"May I have this dance, Rarity?"
Out of the corner of her eye, Rarity saw Spike in his tuxedo. This was coming from someone she knew and trusted, but HE wanted to dance with Rarity? A dragon and a pony, many ages apart? Rarity at first couldn't believe she was hearing this from Spike. She didn't come all this way to dance with a little dragon; she had been expecting a grown prince all along. At first she felt somewhat angered by this, but she slowly turned her head to see he had his hand out in front of him and a big grin on his face. He looked rather nervous yet confident as if he had been meaning to ask her for a while. The look on his face showed that he wasn't joking or teasing her, he was honestly here to comfort her and lift her spirits. A smile started forming on her face and all of a sudden she felt overjoyed. She was expecting a gentleman, and now there was one waiting right there for her, she was wrong about being alone!
" she said nearly crying from happiness, "
what a gentleman you are! Here I've been having such a horrible time after what happened to me at the Gala and then you come to cheer me up! You sure do know how to make a lady's day. Of course I'll dance with you, Darling!" Then she put her hoof in his hand lightly and they started walking towards the others.
Spike blushed and smiled even bigger. He looked as if he had really wanted this to happen for some time. Of course Rarity didn't know of his secret crush on her, but she started feeling as though he really did have feelings for her even if they were different in species and age. But it didn't matter to her, it was just a dance he wanted, and she wasn't going to let Prince Blueblood get her down, so she took her chance to let Spike make her day.
"Aw, no problem!" Spike said sheepishly. "I couldn't stand seeing you all sad, I hate seeing you sad."
"Oh, how thoughtful of you! I would certainly take a fine gentleman like you over that arrogant, pampered palace-brat any day!"
"Oh look, everypony, Rarity's coming!" shouted Pinkie.
"Awww, and she's got a partner!" said Twilight as Spike walked by with an expression on his face that read "I told you so!"
"Well, I'll be!" Applejack said proudly.
"I'm so sorry I'm a bit late, everyone." Rarity apologized. "I was just a little sad, that's all. But Spike managed to cheer me up!"
"Daaaw, how nice of him!" said Rainbow Dash giving Spike a light nuggy on the head.
"Well, Rarity, it looks like you really did find your Prince Charming after all!" said Fluttershy as Rarity and Spike both blushed.
"Oh, nonsense, Spike just wants to dance with me. But I'll tell you, he's much more of a Prince Charming than
oh, let's not talk about the Prince anymore, it's time for dancing, everyone, now let's get this party started!!" Rarity said wildly while undoing her dress and throwing it to the side so she wouldn't get it any dirtier than it already was.
Everyone got back to their dancing and Rarity was finally so happy that she forgot all about Prince Blueblood and didn't seem to miss him anymore. Spike danced with her and she was surprised at how good of a dancer he was.
Pinkie Pie remembered the male ponies that had brought them to the Gala and rushed out to welcome them in to dance. They were reluctant at first but obliged once they heard that there were some left-over donuts in there.
The atmosphere of Pony Joe's was so full of positivity and the events at the Grand Galloping Gala were nothing more than a memory that seemed like it happened so many years ago. For a night that had ended so horribly at the Gala, it ended wonderfully at the quaint little café in the heart of Canterlot. Who knew that they would all find their real "best night ever" in there?
" asked Princess Celestia after the music had ended and she was getting ready to leave for the midnight show at the Gala, "
have you learned any lessons tonight about friendship?"
Looking back at all her friends, Twilight gave the Princess her friendship report:
"I sure have Princess. Tonight I learned, that sometimes we expect too much of something and end up getting nothing, and when it does turn out bad, disappointment can lead to depression. But in the end, as long as you have an entourage of honest and loyal friends at your side, you can be sure that they'll make the worst time of your life the best time of your life instead. They can make lemonade out of lemons so to say!"
"I'm very proud of everyone tonight for having very positive attitudes. You all have even made my night much more enjoyable than I've experienced in years, and I thank you for that." said the Princess gratefully.
"You're welcome Princess! Thank you for making our night even more enjoyable than we thought it would be." Twilight replied.
"I'll be seeing you all now. Take care!" Princess Celestia and Philomena then left the café and headed back to the palace to conclude the Grand Galloping Gala.
Twilight walked out of the café and watched the Princess leap in the air flying away with her pet phoenix. She sighed contently and looked back to her friends who had already followed her out the door.
"Well guys, it sure is getting late, I guess we'd all better go home now." she said right before giving a long yawn.
"Yeah, Ah sure am partied out!" said Applejack yawning back.
"Well, Spike, you ready to take us back home?" Twilight asked, but she looked around and couldn't find Spike anywhere. "Spike?"
"I'm afraid we'll have to carry our little baby dragon back home instead Twilight
" said Rarity coming out with Spike sleeping on top of her back.
"Oh dear, looks like he's had too many donuts!"
"Great, now we're gonna be DRAGON him all the way home! PFFFFFF!" Pinkie said laughing.
"PINKIE!" shouted Rarity laughing hysterically while everyone else joined in.
And so ended a night worth remembering for Twilight Sparkle and all her friends; a night so initially displeasing but ultimately wonderful. Some may call it luck; others may call it pure coincidence. Well whatever it was, the power of friendship conquered all odds once more!
But what new adventures would await the ponies again? Well that, my friend, is another story yet to come our way