A&E: The Case of the Everfree Escapades

by TGM

Chapter 1: Prologue

The Everfree Forest, one of the least explored places in the kingdom of Equestria. Some say that, after the rise of Nightmare Moon, the forest became cursed. Others say it is a place where forbidden magic was practiced, and it left its mark on the land with its corrupting nature. Others say it is a wonderful place to go play hide and seek.

Actually, only one pony really says that.

The clip-clopping of hooves silenced the nocturnal cacophony of the Everfree. Several voices made themselves known as three fillies walked into a small clearing.

“We’re lost, aren’t we?” Apple Bloom spoke up.

“We’re so not!” Scootaloo chirped. “Zecora’s hut has to be right around the corner!”

“Wait,” Sweetie Belle stopped, then turned to give Scootaloo a confused expression. “You wanted to go to Zecora’s? If you wanted to go to Zecora’s, we had to take a left at the poison joke, not a right!”

“Oh, what do you know?” Scootaloo trotted ahead with her head held high. “You’ve only been there like, once, Sweetie Belle.”

“And you’ve never been there, Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle shrieked. Her voice cracked slightly as she shouted her friend’s name.

“How’d you expect to get us there if you’ve never even been there before?” Apple Bloom tilted her head.

“Easy.” Scootaloo turned in place and then placed a hoof onto her head. “Intuition.”

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle looked at each other. “Intu-whatsitnow?” Apple Bloom arched an eyebrow as she looked back towards her friend.

“Intuition! Pegasus ponies have to know where they are at any given time. I knew that I’d be able to lead us to where we needed to go if I just let my intuition guide me!”

Sweetie Belle slapped her hoof to her forehead while Apple Bloom just shook her head. “Your intuition’s gotten us lost.” Apple Bloom chided. “Besides, what did ya’ll even want to take us to Zecora’s fer? I thought we were coming in here to play some hide and seek and get our seeker cutie marks?”

“Or hider cutie marks!” Scootaloo grinned. “Well, I figured we’d need a point of reference, right? But I guess I kinda… forgot where she lived.”

“You got us lost!” Sweetie Belle yelled. “Our sisters are going to be furious!”

“Ya’ll really goofed up this time, Scootaloo.” Apple Bloom sighed.

Scootaloo was about to reply, when a fourth voice spoke up.

“Uh, you do know where we’re going, right?” Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom turned to look behind them. Button Mash, Pip, Snips, Snails, Rumble, and the rest of their class followed close behind them.

“You followed us out here?” Apple Bloom asked. Snips nodded.

“Yeah, Hide and Seek sounds like it would be a lot of fun! We asked Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon if they wanted to come too, but they were like, “We wouldn’t hang out with you losers!” Snips tried to imitate Diamond Tiara. Poorly.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders giggled nonetheless. “Gosh, I wish she sounded like that. She couldn’t bully anypony with a voice like that!” They burst into laughter.

Their joy was interrupted by a long, deep growl.

The foals went rigid. “What was…” Scootaloo began.

Button Mash swung his head around in a panic. “That sounded bad! I know bad sounds, and that was a bad sound! Like, really, really—”

Quiet!” Apple Bloom hissed, cutting him off. “Lemme listen.”

Silence surrounded them. Apple Bloom scanned the area straining to catch even a hint of the sinister noise from moments ago.

But there was nothing...

“S-S-Scootaloo?” Sweetie Belle managed to choke out.


“P-Please tell me that was your stomach growling.”


“Okay…” Sweetie Belle squeaked.

A low hiss rose from the forest around them. Apple Bloom stepped forward. She held her head high and put on a brave face. The foals and fillies pulled together behind her and formed a circle, looking at the forest all around them.

“What ith that?” Twist whispered. She pushed her glasses back onto her face and pulled in close to Pipsqueak.

“I don’t know,” Rumble replied. “But whatever it is… it isn’t good.”

“Oh, I told you this was a bad idea! Bad! Idea! But nopony listens to Button! Oh, no! Nopony ever—”

“Will you please shut yer pie hole?” Apple Bloom spat. “I need to listen!”

The hissing slowly faded, and Apple Bloom scanned the treeline. Tree… bush… tree… rocks… branches… trees…

“I’m scared,” Pipsqueak moaned.

Scootaloo stepped next to him, and hugged him with a foreleg. “It’s okay.”

Tree… branch… bush… something ain’t right…

“I wanna go home!” Snails cried. Snips nodded vigorously.

Branch… rocks… tree… Wait a second…

Twist started sobbing.

Did that branch just…

“Okay everypony,” Apple Bloom said calmly. “Ah’ need y’all to keep your cool. Start backing away slowly. Scootaloo, lead the little ones. Sweetie, ah’ want you to try to remember how to get back to town. Lead everypony that way.”

“Why? What’s going on?” Button demanded.

“Not the time, Button. Not the time.”

Button glanced at Apple Bloom and then nodded furiously.

Apple Bloom’s eyes never left the treeline. Her jaw set, and sweat trickled down her face. “Keep it cool… keep it cool…”

The ponies slowly formed a line behind Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo led the younger ones, and they all walked away from Apple Bloom.

Apple Bloom stood stiff as a board and faced the darkness. “Now, you don’t get to follow them, ya hear?” She whispered into the dark. A soft growl answered her. Despite the chill it sent down her spine, she gulped and didn’t budge.


Twist’s shriek shattered the relative calm that remained. Apple Bloom snapped around just in time to see Twist come running back toward her.

Apple Bloom! Help!” Twist threw herself forward, tears streaming down her face. The other foals and fillies screamed as well, and they all followed Twist back into the clearing.

Scootaloo was pale as she trotted up to Apple Bloom. “Apple Bloom, it’s—”

“Ah know.”

“What do we—”

“Ah don’t know.”

I don’t want to die!” Snips wailed.

“Whaddowedo? Whaddowedo? Whaddowedo?” Rumble repeated over and over.

“Stay calm, everypony…” Apple Bloom whispered frantically.

“No. No. Nonono…” Sweetie Belle muttered.

“It’ll be alright… It’ll be alright… It’ll be—”


With a bloodcurdling snarl, the branch-like creature Apple Bloom had been watching leapt into the clearing. His eyes burned an unnatural red, and his cracked skin groaned as he moved. Yellow liquid dripped from his fangs. With a broken gait, he slowly strode forward.


Another vicious creature leapt from the shadows. And another. And another. And another…

Scootaloo began to hyperventilate. “What do we do?!” she screamed.

The monsters crept forward, step by step.

“Ah…” Apple Bloom began.

A shadow with piercing yellow eyes leapt from the dark to join the pack.

“Ah don’t…”

Closer and closer.

“Ah don’t know…”


Run!” Sweetie Belle screamed.

The pack pounced.

The colts and fillies ran.

Darkness filled the clearing.


It was a peaceful, serene night in the town of Ponyville. The crickets chirped their nocturnal tune, the cool breeze caused the dandelions on the edge of town to emit their peaceful melody, and all was quiet and at ease.

The same could be said for a particular building in this small town. A structure that looked more like an office than a home. Still, Amethyst had deemed the building her home for the time being. Even now, she lay fast asleep on the only couch in their office. It was obviously not meant to be a bed. Amethyst’s hind legs hung over one of the arms of her couch, her body turned to the side underneath the pink blankets that covered her prone form. Her head lay on the opposite arm, and she breathed softly as she slept.

Eventually though, duty called. An alarm clock on the desk next to the couch rang loudly. Certainly loud enough to wake Amethyst, whose eyes reluctantly opened.

“Euugh.” Turning to lay on her belly, her forelegs feltaround the desk. She knocked her cup of pencils over and a few pieces of paperwork fell off of her desk before she finally found what she was looking for. After reaching out and clicking the alarm clock off, she face-planted back into the cushions of the couch. She made several loud groaning noises as she tried to prolong the inevitable.

After a minute though, her horn glowed brightly and the covers lifted off of her. They folded themselves and slid into a nearby storage closet. Amethyst turned onto her back, then slowly sat up. Her messy mane fell over one half of her face, covering one of her eyes. Amethyst yawned, then stretched her forelegs above her head. After a sharp crack however, she winced and slowly set her hooves back on the couch with a soft whimper. She rubbed her unconcealed eye with a hoof, then took a moment to look around the office. It was lit by the nightlight she’d plugged into the nearby wall before she went to sleep last night.

Amethyst squinted her eyes, barely able to make out the door to the bathroom in the distance. She reluctantly stood and let her forelegs impact the floor. Her back legs stayed up on the couch as she walked forward a little. Her body stretched taut as all the muscle tension slowly let up, not without a sharp twinge of pain to remind her that it would probably bother her for the rest of the day, though.

“I really need to make it to the spa one of these days…” the detective grumbled to herself, letting her back legs finally hit the floor. She sauntered towards the bathroom, flicking on the light switches as she went. The office became bathed in artificial light as Amethyst opened the bathroom door and quickly stepped inside.

The shower came on first, and she allowed it to heat up before she stepped inside. Sighing, she felt the hot water run across her unruly mane and soak her coat. It helped her to relax, and she began to hum a soft tune to herself as she picked up her mane conditioner.

After a while in the now steamy shower, Amethyst turned the water off and slowly stepped out. Her coat shone a teeny bit more, and her droopy, tired eyes were now wide and alert. She lifted a brush from under the sink and ran it through her mane.

Once she deemed herself presentable to the general public, she stepped out of the bathroom with a deep sigh. Amethyst didn’t usually wear any makeup, but she would put some on now and again to keep Ember from nagging her about it.

Amethyst pulled her chair out from her desk and sat down. She levitated paper off of the floor and from some of the cabinets around the room. After lining them up perfectly, she levitated a nearby quill, dabbed it in some ink, and began to write.

“Roseluck’s job gave us quite a bit of money, and I earned a surplus from the house. So if we spent it on other resources…” she mumbled to herself as she jotted down some notes and did the math in her head. There was a long day ahead of her, and she had a lot that she needed to do.


Sunlight filtered through the windows to a well furnished Ponyville Apartment. A mother bird perched in the outside windowsill and sang a sweet song to her babies, who joined their own inexperienced voice to her chorus. The melody filtered through the untinted glass, wafted past the lacy curtains, and reached the ears of a drooling pegasus mare. Her red mane flowed over her pillow and down the side of her bed in a beautiful picture of serenity. The drool slowly creeping from her mouth may have slightly taken away from the peaceful imagery , but the way that her dark pink blankets covered her resting yellow form almost made up for it. Almost.

Said mare rolled over in her sleep and let loose a very unladylike snore. She hummed unconsciously, joining in with the bird’s melody, but quickly stopped and tossed violently over onto her other side. One of her forelegs flopped quickly onto her nightstand and managed to bump into her alarm clock. Her hoof clipped the bell on top of the clock.

Ding! A soft chime sounded, and the birds outside paused just long enough to see the alarm clock slowly fall to the hardwood floor, where it burst into many pieces. The mother bird shrugged, and resumed her song. The little baby birdies shrugged as well, since that seemed that the proper thing to do, and sang along.

The mare didn’t do a single thing, because she was still blissfully asleep.


Amethyst glanced up from her writing to look at her clock. She set her quill down and pulled a small notebook from the top of a nearby filing cabinet. The pages flipped quickly, then stopped once she found what she was looking for. She gasped softly and set the book back, then darted up out of her chair and galloped for the door. On the way out, she grabbed the office keys and another notebook, as well as a pencil that she tucked behind her ear. She paused at the door, one hoof resting against the doorknob. She heard the growl of what sounded like some angry beast. In her haste to get her work done, she’d totally forgotten about breakfast!

Grunting in annoyance, she ran into the kitchen. Also known as their break room. The cupboard doors flew open as she parsed what little they had. Amethyst was hoping to find a little snack she could eat on the go, but all that awaited her in almost every cupboard was emptiness and a spider web or two. Just when she thought she was doomed to a hungry morning, she spotted a box of ‘oat bars’. She grabbed whichever one was on top. The wrapping practically flew off of the snack as Amethyst scarfed the bar down. Of course, she could only fit about half of it in her mouth, so the rest of the food stuck up awkwardly in front of her eyes. She chewed on it as she dashed back for the front door. She suspected that their lack of food supplies was due to Ember’s ‘diet.’ A passing thought to stop by the store on the way home crossed her mind.

The door flew open as she stepped outside. Her momentum quickly came to a halt as she paused, then turned around and locked the door behind her. Usually, ponies didn’t actually bother locking their doors around here. Everypony was generally friendly, and everypony knew everypony else, but Amethyst wasn’t going to take any chances. She vaguely thought about Ember showing up and the door being locked, which would probably prompt her to go back home. Amethyst had every right to nag her about it later though; she was already a little bit late.

A short canter down mane street later, and Amethyst was at the town hall. On the side of the llarge building was a rectangular brown board with paper pinned to it. Amethyst levitated her pencil from behind her ear and squinted as she approached the board.

While the OCD case had given them some notoriety, it seemed that ponies simply didn’t need any investigation work done lately. The worst thing they’d had to do in the last week was retrieving a cat from a tall tree, which Ember did quickly and easily, and with only moderate amounts of complaining.

It seemed to still be the case, as the most, and only, notable job on the bulletin today was Time Turner asking for help in determining if his stock was still upside down or not. He seemed pretty paranoid about it, despite them not looking any different no matter which way they were turned. He insisted that they just weren’t right if they were turned upside down. Something felt ‘off,’ or ‘wibbly-wobbly’ about them. Why he couldn’t tell if they were upside down or not based on that feeling was beyond her, but that was just Time Turner being Time Turner.

She shook her head, sighed, and then tucked her pencil back behind her ear. She hoped another job would come soon; it would be nice to be able to make that sort of money again and not have to live off of scraps and barely make payments for a while.

With that done, Amethyst trotted towards her destination: Carousel Boutique.

Amethyst approached the fashion shop, then carefully knocked her hoof on the door. “Miss Rarity? Are you in there?”

“Come iiin!” Rarity’s singsong voice quickly replied.

Amethyst pushed the door open. She was met with the odd smell of something cooking.

“Miss Rarity, nothing’s burning in here, is it?” Amethyst scrunched up her muzzle. Her question was met with a laugh.

“Oh, not at all dear! And please, just call me Rarity. I’ll be out there in a minute, I was just making myself some breakfast when you arrived! Would you like any?”

“No thank you, that’s fine. I already ate.” Amethyst glanced around at some of Rarity’s dresses, and couldn’t help but wonder if the mare had made a small fortune off of her dressmaking business.

Her thoughts were interrupted as the mare in question strode into the room, looking as her usual graceful self. “Ah! Miss Breeze! I was not expecting you this early!”

“Just Amethyst is fine.” The detective mare gave Rarity a wide smile. “And yes, being early for everything was pounded into my head early on in the Guard. Not to mention my father was pretty harsh about tardiness.”

“A good lesson to be certain,” Rarity said as she began to search through the dresses hanging in the rack behind her desk. She needed one in particular. “Being early is certain to impress any clients you may procure, yes?”

Amethyst chuckled. “Tell that to my partner.”

“You mean Ember?” Rarity glanced back to look at her. “Will she not be joining you today?”

“Oh, she’ll be joining me.” Amethyst rolled her eyes. “Probably just three hours later than she was supposed to.”

Rarity clicked her tongue. “Well either way, your friend does have a simply marvelous taste in clothing. Speaking of which…” Rarity levitated a beige colored trench coat from the rack, accompanied by a fedora of the same color. “Are you sure you don’t want me to dye these another color, darling? I think you’d look ravishing in a darker shade, or maybe in a different kind of outfit altogether?” Rarity stroked her chin and stuck out her lower lip as she looked at Amethyst’s attire.

Amethyst shook her head. “No thank you, I’ll stick with what I have. I appreciate you making the offer, but these just feel… right.” She took them with her own magic, levitating the fedora over to sit atop her head.

“Hm, suit yourself darling, but I think it might benefit you if you explored your options a little more.” Rarity frowned slightly.

Amethyst chuckled. “Well, we can’t all be successful fashion ponies, now can we?”

Rarity smiled. “Oh nonsense! Everypony has a little fashion sense in there somewhere. It just needs to be coaxed out! And I know the perfect place for you to start.” Rarity pulled a magazine titled Style With Flair! The subtitle read ‘A deeper look at what’s new in the fashion world of Canterlot.’ She flipped the pages until she came to a page with a rather long article on it. “This magazine is the premiere source of fashion info on Canterlot. Surely it can’t hurt just to take a look, no?”

Amethyst rolled her eyes, but took the book and began to read through the article. After only a second though, her eyes widened and she calmly set the book back down on the counter.

“Thank you again Rarity, but I’m really not interested in that sort of thing.” She levitated some bits from her saddlebag and placed it on Rarity’s counter, then quickly made for the door. “Have a nice day.”

“But wait! What about—” The door slammed, and Rarity cringed. “Dear me, whatever did I say?” Rarity glanced down to look at the article, and began to read over it herself. She stopped, as she reached the author’s name.

Written by: Pristine Breeze, Canterlot Journalist.



Ember stirred in her bed. The sun was up, the birds were still singing, and Ember felt moderately hungry, but not hungry enough to do anything about it. Groggily raising her head, she swished her mane out of her eyes. She looked at her nightstand, but when she couldn’t see her familiar clock, she rubbed her eyes and blinked.

“Wha…” She shook her head and looked again. It still wasn’t there. Confused, she sighed and rolled over to the side of her bed. It would have been easier to get up, but that was just how she rolled. By rolling.

She looked down at the floor and saw the scattered remains of her poor alarm clock. Glass and gears littered the floor, and the main chassis lay strewn on the beautiful oaken planks. “Aww, man… ‘Nother one…” Ember grumbled. She turned back over and put her hooves on her eyes.

“Guuurh,” She grumbled and wiped her eyes. She squinted at the window and saw that the sun wasn’t shining too brightly just yet. Flopping over, she inhaled deeply into her pillow.

“Meh.” Snores filled the room once more.


Amethyst’s eyes squinted as she scanned over the stall owner’s wares. One item in particular caught her eye, and she levitated it closer to her face so she could read it.

“Low-fat, sugar-free oat bars.” She grinned. “Perfect.” Amethyst levitated some bits to the shop keeper who nodded in thanks. Amethyst flipped the box over in her magical grip, then trotted away from the stall. She studied the nutrition facts on the back of the box carefully.

“She will eat this if I have to shove it down her throat.” Amethyst grumbled and placed the box carefully alongside the other groceries in her saddlebags. “I am not spending all these bits on groceries again.”

Her thought process came to an immediate halt as she bumped into something, and stumbled a few steps back. She took a moment to recover, then noticed a mint green unicorn sitting on the ground and rubbing her snout.

“Ow…” she groaned. “I’ve heard of bumping into ponies you know occasionally, but that was a little harsh.”

Amethyst’s ears perked. “Oh! Lyra Heartstrings!” She began to pick up some of Lyra’s belongings. “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going!”

“Ah, it’s fine. You should see how clumsy Bon-Bon is. I’m actually used to it at this point.” Lyra laughed as she stood back up. “So, how are you doing? How’s the business going?”

Amethyst flicked her tail, then levitated her fedora to sit back on her head. “The business is going fine. Word’s been going around since the OCD’er incident, but publicity means nothing when there aren’t any cases to solve.”

“Oh, give it time!” Lyra grinned and punched Amethyst lightly on the shoulder. “It took Bon-Bon a while to get her business off the ground too. She only really kicked off once it got into the local paper.”

“Tried that, too.” Amethyst sighed. “All that got us was a few leaves stuck in Ember’s mane, and all the complaining that implies.” She paused. “Oh, and a few new claw marks on my cheek.”

“Yikes.” Lyra giggled. “Speaking of Ember, where is she? Out looking for jobs while you shop around?”

“I wish.” Amethyst rolled her eyes. “She’s probably still waking up. I imagine she’ll be among the world of the living in another hour or two.”

“Late riser, huh? I know that feeling.” Lyra’s ears perked. “Oh, I almost forgot!” She reached into her saddlebag and pulled out a popsicle stick with a large, round object wrapped up at the end.

Amethyst took it in her magic and examined it closely. “And this is?”

“It’s one of Bon-Bon’s new treats: Candy Apple!” Lyra pointed to the label on the wrapper as she spoke. “She wanted you to be the first ones to try it, since you helped us out so much.”

Amethyst spun the treat around to look at the label, before slipping it into her own saddlebag. “Well, thank you. I’m not one for sweets, and Ember is supposed to be on a diet, but maybe I’ll give it a try if I’m feeling peckish.”

Lyra nodded her head enthusiastically. “By the way, did you see Time Turner’s paper on the job board?” Lyra covered her mouth with a hoof as she snickered. “He still can’t figure out of his inventory is upside down or not! He’s been flipping his merchandise all day!”

“Yeah…” Amethyst looked around, biting her lip a small bit. “Look Lyra, I’d love to stay and chat, but I need to pick up some things, and I have a bunch of things to do back at the office…” She began as she slowly started to walk away.

Only for Lyra to block her escape. “You’re bucking right you have things to do! The other shopkeepers wanted to thank you personally too! C’mon!” The mint green mare grabbed Amethyst by her tail with her mouth, and began to drag the detective away.

Amethyst made a useless attempt to dig her hooves in the ground, then began to sputter. “N-no, it’s perfectly fine! The payment was enough, really!”


“Just… Just one more enchilada…” Ember kicked her legs softly, moving the blanket in which they were tangled. “I’ma… I’ma get some sauce… Mhmmm…”

Slowly, she licked her lips and gradually opened her heavy eyelids. Then she inhaled deeply and stretched out her limbs. She turned to look at the birds in her windowsill and cracked a smile. “Morning, birds!”

She kicked off the blankets and plopped her hooves onto the hardwood floor. She continued to gaze out the window. “Morning, sunshine!”

Running a hoof through her tangled mane, she yawned and smacked her lips. The sleepy pegasus sauntered into her bathroom and gazed into the mirror. She rubbed her sleepy eyes and grinned at herself. “Morning, sexy!”

Ember flipped her mane back and smiled into the mirror. Noticing her teeth, however, she grimaced. “Eww. That’s not so sexy though…” She grabbed her toothbrush and quickly got to work.

After a short but intense battle with the toothbrush, a hairbrush, dental floss, mouthwash, and a hoof file, Ember strutted into her kitchen and dinette area. She opened the curtains on her windows to allow the sun to shine inside, and she flipped her radio on.

“—and here’s a favorite from one of Canterlot’s golden colts! He’ll be on tour there later this month, and you won’t want to miss him! Take it away, ladies!” Music came from the radio, starting with a few notes from an electric guitar.

“Yes! Mayor!” Ember flapped her wings excitedly as one of her favorite artists began to sing.

It’s not a silly little moment,
It’s not the storm before the calm…

Ember slowly spun around the room and swayed in time to the music. As the chorus hit, she sang along quietly. “Slow dancing in a… Mmhmmm…”

As the music played, she grabbed her blender from in a cupboard and plugged it in. She pulled a few fruits and some veggies from her other cupboards and her freezer. She stuffed them into the blender as she kept dancing around the counter. “Burning room…” she sang.

Soon, she sat at her table and grabbed a magazine while sipping her juice smoothie. She nodded in time with the song and hummed along distractedly. Her stomach growled and she grimaced. The smoothie was okay, but after that beautiful dream about enchiladas, it was a bit of a letdown. “Stupid diet,” she muttered.

She flipped through the pages of her magazine. “‘Prim and Proper Princess, or Perpetual Party Pony: Princess Luna’s Weekend Habits EXPOSED!’” Ember rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on. The princesses don’t do interesting or funny stuff. Everypony knows that.” She flipped through the pages. “‘Wonderbolt Lineup Changes! The New and Improved Team!’ Ooh, neat!” She read silently and sipped almosted contentedly on her smoothie while the soft music washed over her.

After finishing her drink, she put away her magazine, turned up the radio, and stepped into her bathroom to hop into the bath. She cracked her neck and turned on the hot water. “Okay, plan for the day…” she said distractedly while she ran a hoof through a tangle in her mane. “Take bath, out to Moonbucks for a…” She groaned. “A low-fat-sugar-free-double-skinny-nottalatto-coffee…” She pursed her lips. “Diet, schmiet.”

The water slowly rose to an acceptable height. Ember gently lowered herself into the bathtub and gazed up at the ceiling. “Get coffee, go to spa, grab something healthy for lunch to take to work, don’t buy any more cheat food, and go to work.” She shut her eyes and stretched out as the warm water covered her body. She smiled. “This is gonna be a good day.


Roseluck hummed a happy tune as she gripped the handle of a watering can with her teeth. She carefully tipped it over some of the smaller flowers, smiling as she did.

Once she was done, she carefully set the watering can on the floor. “Oh, Elena, you look absolutely lovely this morning! Your petals are so colorful. Is it that season again?” Rose bent down to pick up the watering can again.

A loud crash caused her ears to fold against her head, and she accidentally dropped her watering can, spilling water all over the floor.

She looked up towards the source of the crash, ready to deliver a through verbal thrashing to the offender, but her words left her. Amethyst Breeze stood braced against the door. The unicorn’s horn lit, quickly turning the ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’.

“Amethyst?” Roseluck called. “What are you—”

“Shh!” Amethyst hushed her, then quickly pressed her ear to the door. A few moments passed, and an equine-shaped shadow passed by one of the windows. She gasped softly, then her horn began to glow. The doorknob glowed the same color, just as it began to turn.

“Aaaammmy?” A voice Roseluck recognized as Lyra’s droned from the other side of the door. “Are you in here?”

Amethyst closed her eyes and her horn glowed brighter. Roseluck’s eyes widened and she took a few steps back.

The doorknob stopped turning. “Huh, the store’s closed. Guess she’s not here.” The shadow passed on, and Amethyst collapsed to the ground with a tremendous sigh of relief.

Roseluck looked between Amethyst and the door. “What was that all about?”

Amethyst lifted her head from the floor.

“One word.” She held up a hoof. “Lyra.” She slowly climbed back to her hooves.

“Oooh,” Roseluck giggled. “That pony can be almost as bad as Pinkie when it comes to getting what she wants.” Roseluck got a towel, and began soaking up the new wet stain on her floor.

“Something new I learned today, unfortunately.” She sighed. “Anyways, I really need to get the rest of my groceries and get back to the office. I’m sorry for bothering you, Ms. Luck.”

“Oh, don’t be sorry! I’m actually glad that you’re here, I had something I wanted to ask you.” Rose carried her watering can over to the sink. the sound of running water could be heard.

Amethyst stopped at the door, then rubbed her right leg with her right hoof before she turned to face Rose’s direction. “Well, sure. I’ll answer what I can. What is it?”

Please don’t be a question about Ember, please don’t be a question about Ember… Amethyst silently repeated in her mind.

“Well,” Rose turned off the water and carefully set the watering can on the store counter. “I was wondering if you could tell me a thing or two about Ember. Something that she doesn’t seem to be comfortable discussing. With me, at least.”

Amethyst blinked, then flicked her tail to the side. “I don’t know, Ms. Luck.”

Rose smiled. “Just Rose, please.”

“Alright… Rose.” Amethyst cleared her throat. “If she’s not comfortable discussing them, I don’t think I should be the one you talk to about it.”

“I realize that,” Roseluck took a small step forward. “But she knows so much about me. Where I grew up, my family, what I like to do…” She stamped her hoof every time she spoke.

“Okay…” Amethyst tilted her head to the side a little. “But that’s good, right?”

“Well, yes, in most relationships. The problem here is that I don’t know a thing about her.” Roseluck began to pace. “Every time I try to ask her a question about her fillyhood, she changes the question. Every time I try to ask her about her family, she changes the question.” She stopped pacing to look back at Amethyst again. “The only thing I know about her past is that she grew up with you and the story of how you two got your cutie marks. So please,” She slowly cantered towards Amethsyt. “Is there any reason why she would be hiding things like that from me?”

Amethyst inhaled sharply, then spared a quick glance at the door to see if she could make it out before she could be stopped. After a moment though, she released her breath and looked at Roseluck with a frown.

“Rose, Ember is... complicated. She may act goofy, ridiculous, cocky, annoying…” Amethyst’s ears fell more and more, her frown deepening with each word. “But underneath that, she’s different. I wish I could tell you why she acts that way, but it’s really not my business to say.”

Rose’s hopeful expression fell, and she lowered her head slightly. “...Oh.”

Amethyst put a hoof on Rose’s chin, and carefully lifted her head up. “I’m sure she’ll tell you everything… in time. Ember isn’t exactly an open book, as oblvious as she is.” Amethyst and Rose chuckled. “I’m sure if she sees something is bothering you, she’ll do everything that she can to resolve it.”

Rose smiled, and lifted her head. “I suppose you’re right.” She wrapped a leg around Amethyst and pulled the unicorn in for a tight hug. “Thank you, Ammy.”

Amethyst flailed. “Earth pony strength… can’t… breathe!”

Rose quickly released her, and she crumpled to the ground.

“Oh my gosh, are you alright?” Rose quickly helped her up.

Amethyst sprang back to her hooves on her own. “Oh don’t be silly, I’m fine!” She gave a large smile. “Well look, this has been great! I really need to get to the office though, it’s been fun talking to you okaygottagobye!” She quickly opened the door. She cast a glance outside, then departed.

Rose waved. “Have a nice day!” Once she was gone, Rose frowned slightly. “Well, she seems rushed.”


Amethyst opened the door, slipped inside, and quickly closed it behind her. She sighed with relief as the familiarity of her surroundings put her at ease. Wearily, she trotted over to the kitchen, depositing the bags she had balanced on her back.

Once she carefully put everything away, she took her spot at her desk once more. She cracked her neck by turning her head to the left, then to the right, then settled down into her chair.

“Okay…” She picked up her nearby quill with her magic. “Let’s get started!”

Then, the large pile of paper stacked on her desk began to wobble.

“Oh, no, no, no, no no, wait!” She dove to catch the papers just as they began to fall. This proved to be a mistake, as it scattered the rest of the papers all of the floor and left Amethyst herself buried in them.

She groaned as she levitated a paper off of her face. Just then, the front door opened and her partner trotted in, a paper cup of coffee clenched in one hoof. Her hooves looked shiny, like they’d just been polished. Her mane was combed and she smelled like lilac.

She carefully set the cup down on her desk. Amethyst watched as she trotted past the pile of papers, ignoring her completely. Then, she face planted onto the office couch.

“I’m so exhausted!” She complained loudly.

Amethyst simply let the paper drift back down onto her face, then sighed.

Author's Notes:

And we're off!

I appreciate everyone who's decided to follow this series, and I sincerily hope that you enjoy it.

And for those new to A&E, welcome! We hope you like what you find!

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