Friendship is Shining: The Gala

by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

Chapter 1: Final Preparations

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Mrs. Cake looked up from behind the counter as she heard the door to Sugarcube Corner open, and smiled at two ponies that came in.

"Good morning Shining," she called out, "Twilight."

"Morning Mrs. Cake, ma'am." Twilight said, smiling up at her.

"Good morning," Shining replied. "Thanks for agreeing to watch Twiley." He reached out a hoof and ruffled his sister's mane. "She's really excited to get to spend the night here."

"Yeah," Twilight agreed. "I even found a book called Slumber 101: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Slumber Parties But Were Afraid to Ask. It has all sorts of fun suggestions that I can try with Pumpkin and Pound." After lifting her doll and setting it aside, she pulled out the book to show Mrs. Cake.

"I'm sure Pumpkin will be glad to have the fun," the mare responded. Her glance then slid over to the doll. "And who's this?"

"This is Miss Smarty Pants," Twilight explained as she held the doll up. "One of the smartest donkey fillies in her class and my best friend before Ponyville... after Shiny that is."

"She even has a pad and pencil to do homework," Shining added. "Now Twilight, do your remember what we talked about?"

Twilight cleared her throat and took a deep breath.

"Respect the Cakes and do what I'm told," she stated. "Have fun, but no magic until you return, and no crusading after dark."

"I would really prefer if you didn't crusade until I got back," Shining said, mentally adding or at all. "So at least keep it..." he sighed and rubbed his forehead. "You know what? Just keep breaks to a minimum."

"I'll try," Twilight replied, 'but no promises."

"Pumpkin and Pound are upstairs," Mrs. Cake said. "Twilight, why don't you go up, let them know you're here, and put find a place to put your things."

"Okay," Twilight said before heading toward the stair. "Bye Shiny."

"Bye Twiley." Shining Armor waved at his little sister as she left.

"So, is Pinkie Pie ready?"

"I'm not sure," Mrs. Cake replied, rubbing her chin. "I haven't seen her all morning."

"I'm ready," Pinkie Pie said, her head popping out of Shining Armor's tail. "Hi Shiny-hiney."

"Don't...." he looked at her head poking out of her tail. "How.... When..." He sighed and rubbed his head. "Whatever. So are you ready to go?"

"Yep," Pinkie said as she popped out of Shining Armor's tail and straightened up. "All packed up and ready to go. Where's Spike?"

"He volunteered to go get Rarity," Shining answered. "They should be on their way to the train station already."

"Okie-dokie-lokie." With that she bounced toward the door. "Bye Mrs. Cake. See you tomorrow."

"Bye Pinkie," Mrs. Cake called out. She suddenly reached out and grabbed Shining Armor, stopping him from leaving.

"Shining," she said gently, "Pinkie Pie means a lot to us. She's been like a daughter to my husband and me as well as a big sister to Pumpkin and Pound. She has never been to a city as big as Canterlot before, and she has never been to anything like a gala."

"Don't worry Mrs. Cake," Shining replied, giving her a pat on the shoulder. "I'll do my best to keep an eye on her."

"I know you will," the mare stated. "It's just.... I don't know... I'm just worried about what's going to happen to her I suppose."

"I'm sure my mom would tell you that's a natural part of parenthood." He gave her one last pat before heading toward the door himself.

"One last thing," she called out. "If I find out that any stallions have hurt her, I will hunt them down and turn them into geldings."

Shining Armor froze at the statement, eyes going wide. and jaw dropping slightly. He would have never suspected such a thing to come out of a mare that seemed as sweet and gentle as Mrs. Cake. He imagined her more as one who would be there to comfort a distraught pony, not threaten the one who caused it. That would be like... like...

He could not even think of something to compare it to, it was that shocking.

"So if anything like that happens," she continued, "I would appreciate if you could get their names for me. That would make finding them so much easier."

"...Uh... Yeah," Shining finally responded. "Yeah.... I.... I guess I can try to do that."

"Thank you," Mrs. Cake said. "Have a safe trip and a wonderful night."

"Thanks," Shining said. He slowly walked out of Sugarcube Corner and into the streets of Ponyville. Despite the clear sky and bright sun on this late summer morning, he still felt a chill along his spine.

Mrs. Cake watched him go before heading into the kitchen. She caught her husband's eye as she came in, walking up toward him.

"Well," she said, "they're off. Pinkie and her friends are on their way to Canterlot."

"I hope Pinkie will be alright," Mr. Cake said as he returned to the cake he was frosting.

"Don't worry." She gave him a wide grin. "I made sure to ask Shining Armor to keep an eye on her for us."

Next Chapter: Twiley: Cutie Mark Petsitters Estimated time remaining: 33 Minutes
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