Sweetie Belle: The Future of Friendship Enforcement

by Blueshift

Chapter 1: The Story

It was another beautiful summer’s day in Ponyville. In the fields, the cows were going moo, the sheep were going baa, and the foxes were saying whatever it was that foxes say. Above all that though, was the noise of little fillies doing what they do best – happily cheering on some new trauma.

“Ah don’t think this is a good idea!” Apple Bloom wriggled against the wooden chair in which she was tied, looking down at the tank of bubbling, hissing liquid beneath her. “Ah’m supposed to be at mah best for the Sisterhooves Social tomorrow, Ah don’t think Applejack would appreciate me bein’ dumped into a pool of acid!”

“It’s not acid!” Scootaloo gave the tank an almighty thump with her forehoof. “It’s fizzy pop! Don’t be such a little foal, Apple Bloom, this is gonna be great!” She turned to the watching crowd, and was met with a dozen pairs of little eyes staring back at her. Everyone from school was there to watch, even Diamond Tiara. All there to watch her success, when she would become the hero of the schoolyard.

“Why can’t Sweetie Belle be up here instead?” Apple Bloom squawked, rocking the chair from side to side and testing the tensile strength of the ropes.

“Because –” Scootaloo paused. ‘Because it might not work’ probably wouldn’t go down well in the Apple Bloom camp as an excuse. “Because Sweetie Belle needs to pull the lever! She’s better at pulling levers ‘cos her sister is a dressmaker.” Sweetie Belle looked around in shock at her name being mentioned, but Scootaloo just gave her friend a pat on the back. “Okay!” She hefted a small, heavy balloon in her forehooves, and passed it up to Apple Bloom. “So Apple Bloom here is trapped above a pool of acid. What- ”

“You said it was fizzy pop!” Apple Bloom yelled down.

Scootaloo carried on regardless. “-What could a pony do in such a situation? Why, she could use Scootaloo’s amazing new invention, the patented Scootaloo Life Preserver! It's a balloon full of strawberry preserve! Or jam! Or jelly, if you are colonial. The pony in trouble can throw the balloon into the water where it will explode, instantly releasing the jam and turning the water solid, saving the pony’s life! I know it’ll work because Rainbow Dash said so!”

Scootaloo thought back to earlier that day, when she had breathlessly explained her amazing idea to her hero, Rainbow Dash, who had been so deep in thought she had to place a book over her head, validating the eager Scootaloo’s earth-shattering brainwave with a much-appreciated “Yeah, whatever.”

“If this works,” Diamond Tiara stepped forwards, a smirk running across her features, “I will depart this realm through the magical mirror over my fireplace, and adventure through time and space with a talking purple cat, and when I return I will speak only in rhyme.”

“See!” Scootaloo called up at Apple Bloom. “Even Diamond Tiara believes in me! Literally nothing can go wrong! Sweetie Belle, pull the lever!”

“Okay!” Sweetie Belle hefted her weight against the lever that held Apple Bloom’s chair up, straining with all her might. Then she pulled the lever the other way.

There was a splash as the balloon hit the water and sunk. Then a larger splash as Apple Bloom crashed into the tank, a stream of apple-related expletives pouring from her mouth.

“Hah, you stupid Scootaloser!” Diamond Tiara rasped smugly, turning to leave with a perfect flick of her mane.

The crowd erupted into laughter and began to wander away, leaving a bemused Scootaloo, a confused Sweetie Belle, and a syrupy, drenched Apple Bloom. “Well…” Scootaloo cleared her throat nervously. “At least it wasn’t sap this time!”

Apple Bloom wrung the liquid out of her bow, trying desperately to resurrect the drooping, dripping fabric. “Ah don’t know how ah’m gonna explain this to Applejack! Ah said Ah’d not get messy for tomorrow, an’ now look at me!” She sniffed at her coat. “An’ it’s not even appleaid!” With that, Apple Bloom turned and trudged off, leaving a neat set of damp hoofprints in her wake.

“Mmm, I should go too!” Sweetie Belle squeaked. “Sorry Scootaloo, it’s getting late, and Rarity’ll be wondering where I am, and it’s a big day tomorrow, so…”

“Oh yeah!” Scootaloo’s eyes widened with excitement. “Tomorrow! Tomorrow’s gonna be great! I can’t wait to play Roboclop! I’m gonna be Roboclop this time and you can be my assistant an’ we’ll go round Ponyville blowing up the criminal scum!”

“Wow, uh…” Sweetie Belle scuffed her hooves nervously on the ground. “I kinda forgot about that. I’m supposed to go to the Sisterhooves Social with Apple Bloom. Not as sisters you understand-” she added quickly “-but, y’know with our sisters. You can watch though! That’s fun too, watching. Right?” She smiled a wide, desperate smile as she slowly backed away, before reaching a far enough distance that she felt safe turning to run.

“Huh.” Scootaloo sat on her own in the centre of Ponyville, with only her ruined experiment for company, as her best friend legged it. “Huh.” She sat down heavily on her haunches, a frown furrowing across her brow. “Huh.”


Sweetie Belle slept the sleep of the righteous. A gentle breeze wafted the cool night air around her room, as she lay cozily in her bedsheets, curled up with her favourite soft cat toy snugly in her hooves. It was a cat toy in the literal sense, a toy for cats, but she had been very young when she fell in love with it, and no-one had had the heart to tell her otherwise.

She was just in the middle of a rather splendid dream in which she had fulfilled her life’s ambition and was drinking a milkshake from a glass as big as her head (Sweetie Belle’s ambitions in life did not stretch far) when a black-clad hoof clapped around her mouth.

“Mmmf!” Sweetie Belle shrieked, eyes flicking open in alarm. Her little toy flew out of her hooves and hit the far wall, making a squeaking noise. Her first thought was that it was bath night again, but that had been last week, and Rarity was usually more subtle about picking up her sleeping form and dumping her in a tub of hot suds. She squirmed against her attacker, blinking in the dark at the figure. Suddenly, horribly, she knew what was going on.

“G-g-ghost!” Sweetie Belle yelled, pulling the hoof from her mouth. “Help, help, ghost!”

“Shh!” A voice hissed in her ear, and the hoof snapped back over her mouth. “Quiet, you’ll wake everyone up! It’s me, Scootaloo!”

Sweetie Belle’s mouth dropped open in shock. “Scootaloo! You’re a ghost? What happened, didn't you have a patented Scootaloo Life Preserver on you?”

“No, no.” Scootaloo pulled the balaclava off her face, letting her bright purple mane tumble out. “Ghosts are white, Sweetie Belle, not black. Otherwise they wouldn’t show up against the night and that’s cheating.”

Sweetie Belle nodded. “Yeah that makes sense, but uh, it’s…” She squinted at her bedroom clock, “Little hand up top time! I’m not supposed to be up that late, Rarity says a pony should get at least eight hours sleep or they won’t be beautiful.” She frowned. “But then she also said that helping her restitch the curtains would be more fun than a rollercoaster, so…”

“Yeah, okay, look.” Scootaloo peered about in the darkness conspiratorially before taking out a tattered sheet of paper and thumping it down on the bed. “This is important! It’s a map, see! A treasure map!”

Sweetie Belle looked at the dark splotch of bed where Scootaloo had put the dark bit of paper, handily black against the night. “Can I turn the light on?”

“No!” Scootaloo hissed. “We don’t want to wake anyone up! This treasure map leads to buried treasure and we’ve got to find it now, because…” her voice turned into a low, quavering whisper, “...because of the ghost!”

“The ghost?” Sweetie Belle cried out in alarm.

“Yes, the ghost! The ghost pirate!”

“A ghost pirate?” Sweetie Belle’s face flushed white with horror. “That’s like the two worst possible things!”

“I know!” Scootaloo nodded eagerly. “The ghost pirate wants the treasure, Sweetie Belle, and because we’ve got the map, he’ll get us. Our only hope is to find the treasure first, then he’ll go away to pirate heaven! And if we don’t…”

“Oh nooooo!” Sweetie Belle’s mouth dropped open in abject terror.

“And he’s got hooks! Hooks for hooves! All four of them!”

Sweetie Belle burrowed one of her marshmallowy hooves as far into her mouth as she could to stop herself from screaming in fear. “Mpph mpp!” she said, before removing her hoof. “That sounds like the sort of thing we should be telling Rarity!”

Scootaloo shook her head. “No, Sweetie Belle, because this ancient pirate map says‒” She picked up the map, thrusting it into her friend’s face, “It says ‘this ancient treasure can only be discovered by ponies what are Cutie Mark Crusaders!’”

“Then it’s our destiny!” Sweetie Belle stood up straight, a new wave of determination washing over her. “You can’t argue with destiny! It’s got fate in it and stuff! Let’s get Apple Bloom and get going!”

“Oh, uh no.” Scootaloo snatched back the paper. “It actually says ‘this ancient treasure can only be discovered by ponies what are Cutie Mark Crusaders and also not an Apple’, so I guess it’s just you and me against the world, just like old times! Can’t argue with fate, eh?”

Sweetie Belle nodded grimly at this news. “Okay, lets go! We’ve got a map, it can’t take that long. And we will be back for the Sisterhooves Social, right?”

Scootaloo was already scrabbling out of the window. “Sure, sure,” she called back. “Unless something ironic and unexpected happens! But the chances of that are a million to one!”


Ponyville at night was different to the day, Sweetie Belle reflected. It was darker, for one thing. Also colder. Scootaloo had put her black balaclava back on to sneak past the houses without waking anyone else up, but Sweetie Belle elected to just stroll through the town. If anyone saw her, she reasoned, they would assume they were just seeing a ghost. She made several “woo-woo” noises as she walked, to keep up the clever pretence. Scootaloo made hissing noises at her, presumably, she thought, to disguise herself as a snake.

Finally, somehow, they made it through Ponyville undetected, and Scootaloo led her to a raft that lay by the waterside.

“Wow, Scootaloo,” Sweetie Belle gasped in admiration, “you’re really prepared! This raft’s made from wood and everything!”

“Aw shucks.” Luckily, the dark hid Scootaloo’s blushes. “Thanks. It’s actually Diamond Tiara’s front door. I didn’t think she’d mind if we borrowed it tonight.” She started to push the makeshift boat into the water, testing it gingerly with one hoof before putting her full weight on it. “Yeah, brilliant!” she cried in delight, motioning to Sweetie Belle in the gloom. “Quick, hop on! And uh, push that chest on as well!”

Sweetie Belle looked beside her, stabbing out a hoof in the dark to hit a large wooden chest. She cried out in surprise, before staring suspiciously at the item. “Is… is that the treasure?” she offered with a confused quaver. “Did we find the treasure? Is the ghost pirate gone now?”

“What? No!” Scootaloo shook her head. “If I had the treasure I wouldn’t need to find the treasure. That’s my uh, treasure hunting gear, we’re gonna need that!”

With a shrug and a heft, Sweetie Belle pushed the chest onto the raft. There was an almighty splash as it hit the wood, nearly submerging both the raft and Scootaloo, but it bobbed back. Triumphantly, Sweetie Belle hopped onto the raft, stopping only to stumble against the bank and fall head-first into the water.

“Quit messin’ about!” The dark shape of Scootaloo loomed above Sweetie Belle, carefully pulling the dripping wet filly out of the water and onto the raft where she lay panting, soaking wet. “We’ve got to get going!”

Sweetie Belle shook her head to remove the water from her ears. “Do you know where we need to go?” she squeaked at her friend, trying to dislodge the nagging voice of doubt that kept creeping into her head. “I mean, Cutie Mark Crusader Water Patrol ended badly…”

Scootaloo shrugged dismissively. “This won’t be another Cutie Mark Crusader Water Patrol, Sweetie Belle. We don’t have any gasoline for one thing. No, I’ve got the map, and we’ll navigate by the stars! She looked to the heavens, and was met by a pitch black sky, muggy with clouds. “Clouds. Yeah. We’ll navigate by the clouds.”


The makeshift raft sailed through the night with its two passengers and allegedly precious cargo. Sweetie Belle lay on her back, looking up at the stars, or at least trying to make them out through the occasional break in the clouds. Every so often, Scootaloo would make a great show of studying her map in the pitch black gloom, before paddling furiously on one side of the raft. It impressed Sweetie Belle as to how well Scootaloo could see in the dark, and she resolved to actually eat her carrots once she got home, rather than just hiding them under the kitchen cupboard. The cupboard was getting a bit smelly, come to think of it.

At some point, Sweetie Belle had become overwhelmed with shivers from her soaked fur, and Scootaloo had dived into the chest, angling it away from Sweetie so she couldn’t see the contents, and produced a thick blanket, which she gave to her friend. She shivered under her blanket, slightly warmer now, as she watched the sky. It wasn’t just black, she realised. There were patches of black, yes, but also dark blue and dark purples, mottled blobs of cloud drifting by like wads of cotton wool dropped in a jar of ink.

“Scootaloo…” she whispered, and was immediately startled by the loudness of her voice against the silent night and slowly lapping waves. “Do you think there’s somepony up there, looking down at us?”

“Hmm?” Scootaloo paused from staring out across the water at the bow of the raft, trotting back with a few wobbles to sit beside Sweetie Belle. “What, like Princess Luna?”

“Oh right, yeah.” Sweetie Belle gave an involuntary shiver as a pang of cold iced up through her, bunching up the blanket. Rarity would be mad if she caught a cold, especially if she was sneezing all through the Sisterhooves Social. She fell into silence again, the sound of the waves lapping against the side of the raft the only noise she could hear, soothing in its natural rhythm. “This is quite nice actually. Apart from the ghost pirate.” She shivered again, and this time it was not from the cold. “I’m scared of ghosts. I saw a ghost, once.”

“What, really?” Scootaloo’s ears pricked up. “That’s awesome! What happened?”

“Well…” Sweetie Belle pulled the blanket half over her face at the thought of that terrible encounter. “It was late at night and I was staying with Rarity at the Carousel Boutique. I woke up in the middle of the night and was really thirsty, so got up and went downstairs for a glass of water, and that’s when I saw it!”

“Saw what?” Scootaloo breathed in anticipation. “What was it like? Did it have twelve heads?”

“Nono.” Sweetie Belle shook her head. “It was the ghost of a unicorn. It was all white, and it sat at the chair that Rarity usually sits at, and it was using her sewing machine! Luckily it was busy sewing so it didn't see me, so I ran upstairs and hid under the bed for the rest of the night. It was so scary!” She pulled the cover the rest of the way over her face for protection from the memory.

“I.. uh…” Scootaloo’s face fell. “And did Rarity have a large dress order to complete, by any chance?”

“Yeah!” Sweetie Belle’s eyes were wide under the blanket. “It was due the very next day! So spooky!”

“Okay.” Scootaloo patted the quivering blanket reassuringly. “You get some sleep, Sweetie Belle, try and dry off. I’ll keep watch. Don’t worry.”


The warmth of dawn coursed through Sweetie Belle’s body as she awoke, stretching with a contented sigh. Instinctively she reached out her hooves for Mr Fish, but her beloved toy was not there. She peddled her hooves in the air in a panic, kicking the blanket off her, feeling the wooden door underneath instead of her mattress.

She was on a boat! And that warmth wasn’t coming just from the sun!

Sweetie Belle’s eyes snapped open, to be greeted with a small but well-stocked fire burning in the middle of the raft. Scootaloo stood over it looking rather pleased with herself.

“Morning, sleepy head!” Scootaloo beamed. “I was feeling bad that you got soaked so I rustled up a quick fire to warm your hooves on. Pretty clever eh? Nothing’s too good for my best friend in the world!”

“Wow, you’re the best!” Sweetie Belle leapt to her haunches, waving her still-chilly hooves over the flames. Now that light had re-entered the world, she was able to look around at her surroundings a bit more clearly. Their small, door-shaped raft was bobbing in the water, floating on strange misty tides towards an unknown destination. She tried to stare into the distance, but was immediately put off by the glare of the rising sun.

Scootaloo carefully shuffled round the raft to creak open her chest, re-emerging with two skewers and a bag of marshmallows. “I thought we could get some marshmallows cooking, just like the old days, right Sweetie Belle?” She impaled a helpless marshmallow on each skewer and handed one to her friend.

“Thanks!” Sweetie Belle waved her marshmallow over the fire. There had been a period where she had gone off marshmallows, imaging herself to be a gigantic marshmallow, but Rarity explained to her that this was just a catastrophic misunderstanding of biology. Or something. “Yeah, this does remind me of the old days,” she chirped happily. “Just like… just like…” Her eyes bulged wide in horrified realisation. “Just like Cutie Mark Crusader Water Patrol!”

As if on cue, the fire fizzled, popped, and then fell through the neat hole it had burnt in the middle of the raft.

The two fillies started to scream as their raft began to sink. “Quick!” Scootaloo pointed through the morning mist towards a green blur in the distance. “Land!” We’ve got to get paddling!”

Sweetie Belle plunged her hooves into the icy water and paddled for her life. The more she paddled, the more the raft seemed to sink, until it was inches beneath the water, and then, suddenly, gone.

Scootaloo leapt for the chest, wrapping her forehooves around it in desperation. “C’mon, we’ve got to get to land!” she croaked through mouthfuls of water, furiously kicking her hind legs.

Splashing and crashing, Sweetie Belle puffed and panted her way to the land. With one final effort she heaved herself onto the muddy shore, letting her limbs collapse beneath her as she regained her breath. “Phew, that was close, huh Scootaloo?” she began, but quickly realised that her friend wasn’t there.

“Scootaloo?” Sweetie Belle turned round, to be greeted by the sight of the little orange filly thrashing about in the water, still clutching onto the heavy case in a desperate fight to the shore line. “What’re you doing?!” she cried in alarm, racing towards the waters edge once more. “Just let go and swim for it!”

“Can’t!” Scootaloo blubbed back, head vanishing under the murky water for a moment, before bobbing back up with a gasp. “It’s too important!”

“But - I - you - Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle flapped her hooves uselessly at her friend, before giving in and diving back into the water for what felt like the upteenth time that day. She doggy paddled her way to Scootaloos’ side, splashing and coughing the whole time, eyes squinting to try and keep out as much of the water as possible. “C’mon!”

“I’m not leaving it!” Scootaloo huffed, hugging the chest tighter even as Sweetie Belle tugged on her. “We can do it! Together!”

Sweetie Belle’s little heart sunk as Scootaloo thrashed against her. “Don’t drown, Scootaloo,” she cried, “I’ll help, I will!” She tried to position herself against the chest, floundering momentarily as one of Scootaloo’s frantically flapping wings caught her in the face.

With all the grace of a tap dancing halibut, the two little fillies splashed and coughed and choked their way towards shore, finally landing in a panting heap with their precious cargo.

Sweetie Belle regained her composure first, acutely aware of the orange and purple lump shivering on the muddy shore next to her. The moment Scootaloo started to choke, she was by her side, carefully lifting her head to let Scootaloo throw up what seemed to be half the ocean.

“Uuh, you’re a good friend,” Scootaloo smiled back giddily, experimentally testing the strength of her hooves before falling onto her side hard with a huff. “Ooh, some trip, eh?”

“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle began, “I guess it wa-” She paused, eyes wide as she traced the position of the sun as it slowly rose in the sky. “Oh no,” she squeaked. “It’s almost… sun slightly high o’clock! I’ve gotta get back for the Sisterhooves Social! Where… where are we?”

She raced up and down the muddy shoreline in a panic. Towards the left and the right it curved off into almost a perfect circle. “An island!” she gasped, “we’re on an island!” She remembered the broken raft, now just a door with a catflap for fishes, sunk at the bottom of the sea. “We’re marooned on an island!”

A wave of determination washed over her. “We can do this, Scootaloo!” she called back to her fallen friend. “You get your breath back and build another raft outta… stuff, and I’ll find the treasure so we can stop the ghost pirate!”

“Wait, no!” Scootaloo’s head shot up in alarm, but Sweetie Belle was already at the precious chest, frantically throwing the lid open as if time was of the essence.

Sweetie Belle stared into the chest in confusion. She looked at the contents, then up at Scootaloo, then back at the contents. She wasn’t sure what would have been in the chest, but had imagined it would be themed around treasure finding. Perhaps a spade, or a compass, or one of those little spike things that archaeologists run along the ground but no-one was ever sure what they did.

Not this though. It was full of waterpistols and fireworks and a patented Scootaloo Life Preserver, and what looked suspiciously like… “A Roboclop costume?” Sweetie Belle fished out a garment that had tin foil and various baking trays stuck to the sides, and a helmet that consisted of a colander with a red wire mesh visor glued on the bottom. “How does this help us look for the treasure? I thought…”

Scootaloo stared at Sweetie Belle in guilty horror, her sodden mane plastered across her eyes to slightly spoil the startled look. “Now, don’t get mad, I just uh…” she slumped her shoulders, breaking eye contact with Sweetie Belle and looking at the ground instead. “I just thought that we could, y’know, play Roboclop.”

“Oh, Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle threw her hooves up in despair. “We don’t have time for this! We’ve got to find the treasure before the ghost pirate gets us, so I can get back in time for the Sisterhooves Social before its too late!”

“Yeah, uh…” Scootaloo bit her lip, scratching awkwardly at her neck. “See, the thing is, there isn’t a treasure. I just thought we could come out here and play Roboclop like I wanted and discover that the true treasure is really friendship or something.”

Scootalooooo!” Sweetie Belle wailed, feeling frustration building in her belly. “The next thing you’ll tell me is that there’s not even a ghost pirate!”

“I… I thought that was kind of obvious with the treasure being made up!” Scootaloo looked at Sweetie Belle with a tremble of desperation creeping into her voice. “But it doesn’t matter now, does it? I mean, we can still play, and…”

“I’m supposed to go to the Sisterhooves Social!” Sweetie Belle yelped “Everyone’s gonna be there! How were you gonna get me back in time?”

Scootaloo just remained guiltily silent. “I wasn’t going to be there,” she finally whispered. “I thought… maybe we could just hang out instead. You know, like the old days. You’re my oldest friend Sweetie Belle, you’re like…” she paused, embarrassed. “You’re like a sister to me. That counts, right? I guess I just got a bit jealous…” She gave a weak attempt at a winning smile. “So uh, friends?”

Sweetie Belle just stood swaying in shock at Scootaloo as the bottom fell out of her world. “No!” she yelled back, slamming the lid of the chest in frustration. “I can’t believe you’d do that, Scootaloo! Trick me with ghost pirates, an’ try and strand me on an island just so you can play a dumb game and stop me from hanging out with my real sister! I could almost scream!” She took a deep breath and let out a quiet “Aaaaah”. She shook her head. “I can’t even look at you right now, you… you…” she searched for the right words, “you stupid Scootaloser!”

Scootaloo’s sodden form slumped on the muddy ground. “I’m sorry, I just thought…”

“No, you didn’t!” Sweetie Belle snapped, “You never do, that’s your problem!” She turned her heels and started to march off. “I’m gonna cool off before I do something I regret like stamp about more. You go make another raft to get us off this island and back to Ponyville in time for the Sisterhooves Social, and I might - might - just think about starting to forgive you!”

Sweetie Belle marched off without another word. If she thought she heard Scootaloo crying, she gave no indication.


Sweetie Belle trudged on for a few minutes, stumbling through thickets and brambles as she pushed forwards, making her way anywhere but near Scootaloo. “Dumb Scootaloo,” she angrily muttered to herself. She was miles from civilisation, stranded with no hope of rescue, and worst of all she was going to miss the Sisterhooves Social, all thanks to her orange ‘friend’. There wasn’t any…

She pushed her way through an outcropping of reeds and paused. In front of her, a duck quacked loudly, lazily flapping its wings in the water. The water stretched away from the island a good few metres before reaching the shore at the opposite end, where the distant rooftops of Ponyville could be seen.

“Huh,” Sweetie Belle turned around and surveyed her domain. She poked her head around the sides of the reeds and took in the view. “Huh. It was the duck island on the lake the whole time.” The duck quacked again, as if to drive home this point.

Sweetie Belle’s heart leapt. In the distance she could hear the cheers from the sports field as the social was beginning. There was still time! She could get back and take part and not get in trouble with Rarity. To her delight, she wouldn’t even have to get wet – there was a small rowboat moored up down the shore.

She was just about to step onto the boat, when she heard a the clop of hooves in the distance. Her blood ran cold - was it the clop of hooves, or was it the clop of four hooks for hooves? Was Scootaloo wrong? Was there really a ghost pirate on the island?

“Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle hissed urgently as she crashed back the way she came. “Scootaloo, there really is a ghost pirate!” She emerged back where they had originally come ashore, but Scootaloo was nowhere to be found, just the chest lying in the mud with a curious duck perched on top of it. Sweetie Belle gulped hard. Had the ghost pirate taken Scootaloo away to wherever it is that ghost pirates lived?

No. There was a single line of hoofprints leading from the mud into the centre of the duck island. Scootaloo had obviously wandered off, unaware of the danger from potentially murderous nautical apparitions. She followed the hoof prints as quickly and quietly as she dared, skipping up a small dirt hill before stumbling to a stop at the top.

She was wrong. It wasn’t ghost pirates - it was worse! She crouched down as far as she could to hide her body against the skyline - beneath her she could see Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. They had been pulling some sort of go-kart across the island with what looked like a pony-shaped piñata in it. Scootaloo was there too - she couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Scootaloo just sat in a sad slump while Diamond Tiara waved a stick at her. Any moment Scootaloo could get hit on the head, but… Sweetie Belle bit her lip. This was all Scootaloo’s fault, wasn’t it? Perhaps she deserved it. A flash of light in the distance caught her eye. She turned her head to see Ponyville in the distance. The Sisterhooves Social would be starting any moment. If she stayed to rescue Scootaloo, she’d be too late for the event. But if she didn’t…

Sweetie Belle clutched her head. There was only one thing to do.

She turned and ran back the way she came.


“You know,” Diamond Tiara leered over Scootaloo, clutching the stick between her two front hooves. “We did come here to play with Piñata Pete,” she waved in the direction of the piñata, which had been unceremoniously dumped from the cart, “but now you’re here, I think you’d make a better piñata, don’t you, Scootaloser?”

“Whatever,” Scootaloo mumbled dejectedly. On a normal day she would just take Diamond Tiara’s tiara and try and shove it somewhere, but she just couldn’t summon the willpower. “I probably deserve it anyway.”

“Heh, excellent!” A grin broke across Diamond Tiara’s face. “Silver Spoon, go grab some sweets. We’ll stuff her mouth with them and them hit her with this stick.”

Silver Spoon gave an apologetic shrug to Scootaloo. “Sorry, she’s been in a bit of a mood since someone stole her front door last night. I - argh!” A jet of water blasted down from on high, striking Silver Spoon square in the glasses. “My eyes, I can’t see!” she screamed as she fell over into the mud.

“LOOKING FOR ME?” Yelling from the top of the hill came a shining figure clad in tin-foil armour and wearing a colander on its head, twirling a now empty waterpistol in its hooves.

Roboclop!” Diamond Tiara hissed. “Not that, uh, I know who Roboclop is,” she quickly added to the fallen, squirming form of Silver Spoon. “My parents don’t take me to incredibly violent plays that are clearly intended for adults, they’re not irresponsible! I uh, read about Roboclop in a magazine or something.”

“No, not Roboclop!” The figure threw off the helmet, revealing the bobbling purple locks of Sweetie Belle. “It was me all along!” She paused as the helmet bounced down the hillside to land in a puddle. “Also doing that was sort of symbolic, that helmet’s probably going to come in quite useful in a moment.”

“Sweetie Belle?” Scootaloo looked up wide eyed. “Y-you came back for me?”

“Pff!” Diamond Tiara raised her stick threateningly. “I thought you were going to be at that dumb event with your sister!”

“Well maybe I’m at this dumb event with my other sister!” Sweetie Belle snapped back. “Scootaloo, duck!” She had brought as much with her from the chest as she could - a waterpistol, a box of matches, a patented Scootaloo Life Preserver, but more importantly, a small box of possibly illegal fireworks. She threw a string of firecrackers as hard as she could, the explosives popping and banging as they hit the ground, causing the three ponies below to scatter in various stages of panic.

Sweetie Belle started to slide down the muddy hill, desperately trying to remember what it was Roboclop said in that incredibly violent play that Rainbow Dash had taken them to see. “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me - argh!” She tripped and stumbled head-first down the hill, spilling out her arsenal across the ground as she went.

Diamond Tiara stopped running as the last of the firecrackers fizzled out, and fixed the fallen Sweetie Belle with a glare. “I’m gonna get you now!” she yelled, but she was cut off with a wince. Scootaloo was behind her, tugging on her tail!

“You get away from her!” Scootaloo cried out, her tiny wings buzzing with fury. “She’s my best friend in the world!”

“Bye bye, sucker!” Diamond Tiara scrambled into her go-kart and started to pedal hard, faster and faster as she tried to escape the chasing Scootaloo. Too late, she realised she was more interested craning her neck around to see how close Scootaloo was than actually looking to see where she was going, and with a scream she ploughed the go-kart into Piñata Pete.

Piñata Pete exploded in a flurry of tissue paper and sweets, spraying Diamond Tiara in the face with delicious yet painful confectionary, and causing the go-kart to swerve out of control. It sailed over a hump before twisting in the air and upending on the ground with a heavy thump.

“Yeah! I got you!” Scootaloo punched the air. Her victory was short lived, as a well-thrown stick flew out from beneath the go-kart hitting Scootaloo square on the head. She staggered about dizzily, falling face-first in a muddy puddle.

Diamond Tiara carefully extracted herself from the go-kart wreckage, dusting herself off and wincing at the slight blemishes to her perfect coat. Hoofsteps in front of her caught her attention, and she looked up to be met with the sight of a tin-foil clad Sweetie Belle stalking towards her, a look of fury etched across her little features.

“I give up!” Diamond Tiara squeaked, raising her hooves. “Finsies! No tagbacks!”

“This isn’t the schoolyard!” Sweetie Belle continued to move forwards. “It’s over, finished!”

Diamond Tiara’s look of horror quickly turned to victory as Sweetie Belle took one step closer, directly underneath the tree that Silver Spoon had been hiding in. In seconds, a heap of branches, leaves and pinecones was unceremoniously dumped from the tree straight onto Sweetie Belle’s head, causing her to vanish from sight with barely time for a scream.

“Yeah!” Diamond Tiara raised a hoof for a virtual hoof-bump.

“Yeah!” Silver Spoon made the same motion from her vantage point in the branches.

“Yeah!” They both turned but too late, as Scootaloo momentarily lifted her head from her muddy puddle to let loose a firework that screeched towards the tree. There was a thump, and then a lot of smoke and swearing. “Right in the cutie mark!” Scootaloo grinned woozily, before splashing her head back into the puddle.

“That’s it!” Diamond Tiara grabbed a package from the go-kart, leaping towards the fallen and helpless Sweetie Belle. She clambered over the pine cones and branches, standing on Sweetie Belle’s chest, holding a tube of sweets in one hoof and a bottle of fizzy pop in the other. “I’ve had it with you!” she hissed, starting to push the sweets into Sweetie Belle’s mouth. “This is a tube of Mentos. And I’m gonna shove them all in your mouth. Then I’m gonna pour this fizzy cola down there and you’re gonna explode!”

Sweetie Belle struggled to shift under the rubble but couldn’t, trying hard to chew down the delicious sweets as they were poured into her mouth. Only her head and right hoof were free, there was no way she could push Diamond Tiara off. Her hoof searched around desperately for something - anything - to use as a weapon. It hit something.

Diamond Tiara finished feeding Sweetie Belle the sweets, and hefted up the pop bottle triumphantly. “Sayonara, Roboclop!” she rasped in victory.

Sweetie Belle’s hoof quickly rose up in an arc, clutching the patented Scootaloo Life Preserver she had found on the ground, bringing it down as hard as she could on Diamond Tiara’s tiara. The balloon exploded, sending jam everywhere.

“Argh!” Diamond Tiara staggered back, clutching her head as thick strands of strawberry preserve sprayed out in jets. “My beautiful mane!” She stumbled about in a puddle before collapsing in a rapidly expanding pool of jam. Silence reigned on duck island once more.

Scootaloo scrambled up to her hoofs, mud dripping down her face. “Sweetie Belle, I’m a mess!” she called with the hint of a smile, trotting over to her friend.

With a huff, Sweetie Belle pushed the branches off her, surveying the wreckage. “Don’t worry,” she called back. “Rarity’ll clean you. She’ll clean everyone.” She rolled over onto her back, kicking her legs into the air. Tiny shards of tin foil scattered about as her costume finally disintegrated. “Hey,” she added with a smile. “That was a great game of Roboclop.”


The four fillies sat around the roaring fire in the Carousel Boutique, each clad in warm blankets and clutching a mug of hot chocolate. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo huddled next to each other, casting the occasional wicked glance at Diamond Tiara, but it was hard to stay too mad. Her mane was still red with jam, and besides, they had chocolate.

Rarity shook her head. She had given up on shouting at Sweetie Belle for running off, and at all four of the fillies for getting in a fight. “Just don’t do that again,” she added for the tenth time. “I spent all day looking for you, I was worried out of my mind. You don’t see me getting in fights!”

Sweetie Belle’s mouth flapped open. “Apart from when Canterlot got invaded and when Discord popped up and‒”

Rarity’s hoof pressed against her mouth with a ‘shh’. “Now girls, say you’re sorry, and we’ll hear no more about it.”

Sweetie Belle turned to Diamond Tiara. “Sorry for blowing you up with jam,” she mumbled in a half-hearted apology.

Diamond Tiara grimaced. “Sorry for trying to make your head explode with fizzy pop and Mentos.”

Silver Spoon turned to Sweetie Belle. “Sorry for throwing a tree on you.”

Scootaloo turned to Silver Spoon. “Sorry for shooting you in the cutie mark.”

Rarity’s eye started to twitch.

“And uh…” Scootaloo continued, turning to Diamond Tiara. “Sorry for stealing your front door.”

What?” Diamond Tiara almost threw off her blanket and leapt on Scootaloo again, but was held back by a firm hoof on her back from Silver Spoon. “Yeah, well…” she grumbled. “It was a rubbish door anyway.”

“What’s up y’all.” A fifth figure thumped themselves down in the middle with a sigh.

“Apple Bloom!” Sweetie Belle squeaked happily. “How did the Sisterhooves Social go?”

Apple Bloom wrinkled her nose. Her mane was scorched and her ribbon hung around her head in tatters. “Ah don’t really wanna talk about it. What’ve you two been up to?”

“Oh, you know,” Sweetie Belle shrugged. “Same old, same old.”

The friends laughed. And so it went. Once upon a time in a Ponyville summer.

Author's Notes:

This was the story I wrote specially for the Fimfic charity stream, and was premiered live in a frankly harrowing reading by Arcanium and me.

Thanks to Midnight Shadow, Arcanium and Amacita for editing help (and anyone else I forgot!)

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