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Out of Time · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
This Happened Because Rarity Reads Too Much Chick Lit
Rarity and Twilight sat across from each other at a table for two at the Bluestone Cafe.

“Is everything in place?” Rarity asked, sipping from a cup of tea.

“Yeah,” Twilight said, frowning. “It’s just…”

“Just what?”

“Isn’t this a little drastic and convoluted?” Twilight asked.

Rarity laughed. “Darling, romance is always drastic and convoluted.”

Early the next morning, there was an explosion in the library of Twilight’s castle. It was mostly an explosion of books, but also some bookshelves, crystal drywall, feathers, a pony, and maybe a tortoise.

Sitting together at the library table, Twilight and Spike exchanged a bored glance. This wasn’t the first pony explosion in her library, and was hardly the worst, so Twilight took another drink of her coffee, continued reading the newspaper, and said, “Morning, Rainbow Dash.”

Rainbow Dash shook off the last of the drywall and galloped to her friend. “Twilight!” she cried. “We need to travel back in time!”

“Uh huh,” Twilight said, not looking up from her newspaper.

Spike mumbled something about being late for an important appointment in the room next over, gave Twilight a covert thumbs up, and got up and left.

“It’s an emergency!” Rainbow Dash said.

“Okay,” Twilight said, and sipped her coffee. “But Princess Celestia has banned all time traveling spells.”

“But you used a time traveling spell that one time for that one thing!”

“That was an emergency,” Twilight said.

“And so is this!”

Twilight downed the rest of her coffee, yawned and stretched. “What’s the emergency?”

Rainbow Dash leaned in and lowered her voice, saying, “We have to travel back in time to, and get this, save the world.”

Twilight blinked at her.

Rainbow Dash blinked back.

“From what?” Twilight asked.

“That’s the best part!” Dash grinned. “We have to save the world from, and best sit down for this one, certain destruction.”

“Have you started roleplaying again?” Twilight asked. “Because you know this isn’t how roleplaying is supposed to work, right?”

“It’s called dramatic action performancing,” Dash said. “And no, because my lame group kicked me out after I lit the building on fire. I was just staying in character. I was a dragon. Dragons burn things down. Can’t blame me for taking my performances more seriously. But this isn’t that, This is real.”

Twilight shrugged. “Okay, sure.”

“Really?” Dash asked.

“Yeah, no problem,” Twilight said, standing up. “Let’s go for it.”

Dash eyed her suspiciously. “I kind of thought you would take a little more convincing than that. You usually don’t go for these things so easily.”

“It’s on the schedule now,” Twilight said.

“What schedule?”

Twilight pulled a scroll off the table and held it up for Dash to see. “I now have ‘Unexpected shenanigans with Rainbow Dash after she crashes through the library wall’ permanently scheduled from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every other morning. Just so as long as we get this done in the next hour and a half, I have no objections.”

Dash read through the scroll. 9:00 to 9:30 was labelled ‘Clean up Rainbow Dash’s mess. “Uh, thanks,” Dash said.

“Celestia told me I need more spontaneity in my life,” Twilight explained, rolling up the scroll.

“So you scheduled for it?”

Twilight shrugged.

“Whatever,” Dash said. “And I didn’t crash. I never crash.”

Twilight turned to the hole in the wall and the bookshelves lying on the floor.

“That was a preplanned and coordinated impact,” Dash said. “It’s for emergencies. Using the door would have taken too long.”

“Sure,” Twilight said. “So where are we supposed to be time traveling to and why?”

“Last night,” Rainbow Dash answered, “and we have to change history, have to keep something terrible from happening that can never be undone otherwise.”

“Last night?” Twilight narrowed her eyes. “You mean Pinkie Pie’s party? Is this just about you losing to Applejack in hoofball? Because I don’t think I can bend the rules of the universe just to help you cheat in a casual game of hoofball.”

Dash groaned. “First of all, Applejack didn’t beat me, because she obviously cheated. I mean, that last hit was totally in the line, and everypony knew it!”

“It definitely wasn’t in li—”

“And secondly!” Rainbow shouted her down. “Secondly, it wouldn’t be cheating. It would be taking advantage of alternative tactics. It’s called thinking outside the box. Nowhere in the official hoofball rulebook does it say you can’t travel back in time in order to give yourself a slight but still fair advantage. I checked. I mean, I skimmed most the official rulebook. At least, I asked Tank to.”

“I’m still not helping you che—”

“And that doesn’t even matter,” Dash said, “because that’s not what we’re doing anyway. How petty do you think I am? I don’t care about some stupid hoofball game. And I definitely don’t care that Applejack currently has the title of ‘Ponyville’s best hoofball player.’ Why would I care about something like that?”

Twilight stared at her, and Rainbow Dash smiled back.

“Okay, fine,” Twilight said. “So what are we traveling back in time for?”

“Something terrible happened this morning,” Rainbow Dash explained, a haunting look in her eyes, her whole body slumped. “Something just… indescribable. But we can stop it. All we have to do is leave a blueberry pie in a specific location last night, and certain disaster will be averted.”

Twilight sighed. “A blueberry pie?”

“Yup,” Dash said.

“And what is the terrible something that happened this morning?”

Rainbow Dash puffed out her chest heroically. “If my mission is successful, which it will be, you’ll never have to know.”

Twilight yawned.

“It has to do with friendship!” Dash added quickly. “And books. Lots of bad things happening to books. And, uh, whatever else you like. Me! You like me, right? Bad stuff happens to me too.”

“Okay,” Twilight said, rolling her eyes. “We’ve got a schedule to keep. Let’s get to it.”

“Awesome!” Dash did a hoof pump. “So all you have to do is send me back to just before Pinkie’s party, and I’ll take care of everything.”

“No, no, no,” Twilight said, walking past her. “No way I’m letting you go back by yourself. I’m coming too.”

Dash’s eyes went wide, and she jumped in front of Twilight. “You can’t! I mean, you really can’t, because didn’t you say that time travel spell you got that one time could only work on any single pony once? You already used it, so you can’t use it again. I’ll have to go alone. It’s a heavy burden, but I know you’re counting on me, and I won’t let you down.”

“I made a new one,” Twilight said.

“A new what?”

“A new time travel spell,” Twilight said. “A better one.”

“Can you do that?”

Twilight shrugged. “I’m a magical princess pony.”

“Fair point,” Dash admitted.

“Do you already have a blueberry pie?” Twilight asked.

“A what?” Rainbow Dash looked distracted.

“A blueberry pie. You said you need one to avert certain disaster.”

“Oh, yeah. Uh, no, I didn’t think to bring one.”

Twilight frowned at her. “Do you have one ready, should we prepare one now, should we get the ingredients together and prepare one there, or should we just buy one once we’re there.”

“Uh, yeah,” Dash said. “You get the ingredients and we can bring them with us.”

“Okay,” Twilight said. She walked past Dash and out of the library, towards the kitchen.

Less than ten minutes later, Rainbow Dash and Twilight were standing together in the library. Twilight worse saddlebags full of baking ingredients. Rainbow Dash wore a triumphant smirk.

“And remember,” Dash said, “make sure you get us to right before Pinkie’s party. We need lots of time to prepare.”

“Sure,” Twilight said. “Are you ready?”

“I was born ready.”

And then there was a flash.

Rainbow Dash blinked and looked around. She and Twilight were standing outside, towards the outskirts of Ponyville, on a path near Dash’s house.

“Did it work?” Dash asked.

“Yes,” Twilight said. “We’ve traveled back in time.”

“Are you sure this is right before Pinkie’s party? Then why is it dark out? Didn’t her party start in the afternoon?”

“Actually,” Twilight said, glancing up at the sky, “this is about forty-five minutes after Pinkie’s party has ended.”

“What?” Dash jumped in the air. “I specifically said we needed to get here before her party. You’re, like, putting the world in jeopardy and stuff. Why would you do that? ”

“So you wouldn’t try to cheat at the hoofball game,” Twilight said, simply.

“Ugh,” Dash groaned. “I wasn’t gonna cheat. I was just gonna… spectate. And prove to you that last hit was definitely in line.”

“Sorry,” Twilight said.

“Whatever.” Dash hovered in the direction of her cloud house, her tail twitching irritably. “At least we won’t have any problems putting the pie together now that I’m asleep. No chance we’re waking me up after that party.”

“The version of you from this time period won’t be asleep yet,” Twilight said.

“Um, why not?” Dash asked. “I always go right to bed when I get home after one of Pinkie’s parties.”

Twilight gave her a quizzical look. “Um, because I brought you home.”

“So? I thought you said the party ended forty-five minutes ago. It only takes like five minutes to get to my house from Sugarcube Corner. I should have been asleep forever ago.”

“Uh.” Twilight tilted her head, looking a little worried. “It always takes a long time to walk you home.”


“You really don’t know? Walking you home at the end of the night is one of my favorite parts of Pinkie’s parties.”

“What?” Dash asked, starting to feel worried herself. She couldn’t really remember much about the end of the night. Applejack had brought some of her hard cider supply to the party, and Rainbow Dash had drank a healthy dose of it. “Does something happen when you walk me home?”

Twilight’s face reddened. “Well, it’s kind of hard to explain. Maybe you should just see for yourself. We should be coming down this path pretty soon.”

Twilight walked off the path and around the side of a house, and Rainbow Dash followed. They peered out at the path from behind the corner together. Soon after, Dash heard the sounds of two ponies, and soon after that, she and Twilight came in view.

Dash didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Sure, she looked sort of stumbly, and Twilight was acting really giggly. But, hey, it’d been a pretty cool party, besides Applejack cheating at that hoofball game, why not act stumbly and giggly?

Dash began to be able to make out their voices.

“Jeez, I’m really lucky to have a friend like you,” the other Dash said, sounding sleepy, holding a hoof over the other Twilight.

“Thanks,” the other Twilight said, laughing.

“No, I’m serious,” the other Dash slurred. “You’re the best… the best friend I’ve ever had. You’re awesome. And you’re so pretty, and so good at magic... and that little pink swirl in your mane is like… my favorite thing...”

It seemed like pretty standard post-party talk to Rainbow Dash. But then the other her and the other Twilight paused. And then they leaned close together. And then they moved their faces close together. And then—

“Are we kissing?” Dash asked.

“Yeah,” Twilight answered, casually.

“What the hay?!” Dash cried, falling backwards.

“What’s wrong?” Twilight asked, looking at her like she was crazy.

“Why are you not freaking out about this right now?”

“Why would I?” Twilight asked. “That’s what you always do when I bring you home after a party.”

Dash’s head felt like a helium balloon that had just made contact with a lit match—tattered, in pieces and on fire. “What?! And you’re okay with that?”

“You told me it was normal. You said that’s just what friends do when they walk each other home,” Twilight said, sounding confused.

Dash groaned. “What? Have you never walked a pony home after a party before?”

“No,” Twilight said. “You’re the only one. Why? Is this not normal?”

Rainbow Dash stared at Twilight for a moment, putting all the pieces together in her head. Then she cleared her throat, stood up calmly, and dusted herself off. “Uh, yeah. Totally. That’s totally normal. Never talk to anypony else about this, because it’s normal. I just freaked out because I saw a… bee. I’m allergic.”

“No you’re not,” Twilight said.

“Oh,” Dash said. “I guess I forgot.”

Twilight raised a brow at her. “So do you just want to wait for the version of you from this time period to go to bed?”

“Um, you don’t stay the night with me, right?”

“No,” Twilight said. “Why?”

“Nothing,” Dash said, breathing a sigh of relief. “And yeah, let’s just wait.”

They waited. While they waited, Rainbow Dash decided she wasn’t going to think about the noises she heard the two ponies on the path making, and she wasn’t going to think about how those two ponies were actually her and Twilight, and she wasn’t going to try to count how many times Twilight must have walked her home in the past, and she definitely wasn’t going to think about the little pink swirl in Twilight’s mane.

Nope. Wasn’t gonna think about it at all. Dash was just gonna tuck it all away in the ‘Gonna deal with that later’ file in her mind. Hoofball. Hoofball. She was gonna think about hoofball. She’d come here for hoofball, and that’s what she was gonna think about.

She glanced over at Twilight, and found that Twilight was watching her. And that Twilight looked a little disappointed. For some reason, Dash felt a little disappointed in herself, too.

About one hour, a goodnight, and way too many overheard slurpy kissy sounds later, Twilight and Rainbow Dash stood in the kitchen of her cloud house, listening to the other Rainbow Dash snore in the other room.

“That’s weird,” Dash said. “I never snore.”

Twilight shrugged.

Dash tried to focus on the task at hand. “So, uh…”

“The blueberry pie,” Twilight said. “We should prepare it now, right? To save the world?”

“Uh, yeah…” And then Dash had an idea, and she grinned. “Hey, Twilight, I sort of suck at making pies. It’s, like, the one thing I’m bad at. How about you prepare the pie, while I go prepare… you know, the other stuff. Like, uh, the blueberry pie drop location.”

“If you think that’s best,” Twilight said, and then added, seemingly innocently, “but before you go, you don’t have anything else to say to me about our walks home, do you?”

Dash cleared her throat. “Uh, nope, definitely not. Don’t have anything to say about that ever, so let's never bring it up ever again.”

“Okay,” Twilight said, her voice neutral, her expression unreadable. “See you later then.”

“Just like that?” Dash asked.

“Just like that,” Twilight said, beginning to unload the pie ingredients from her saddlebags. “I trust you.”

“Uh, okay, thanks.”

With that, Rainbow Dash lept through a nearby window and out into the night sky. As she flew away, she definitely didn’t think about how Twilight had apparently begun scheduling time for her and Twilight to be together every morning. She definitely didn’t think about how Twilight had said walking Dash home was her favorite part of Pinkie’s parties. And she definitely, definitely, definitely didn’t think about that stupid pink swirl in Twilight’s mane.

A half hour later, Twilight slid the finished pie into the already heated oven. Honestly, she thought this whole plan was ridiculous. But it’s what Rarity had told her to do, and Rarity knew about such things. At least, Rarity read an awful lot of romance novels, and Twilight knew better than anyone how much knowledge could be found in a book.

Rainbow Dash tumbled inside through the same window she had left, looking half dead, stumbling, mane and tail and wings a mess, dark circles under her eyes.

“Uh, hey, Twilight,” she muttered, leaning against the counter. “You’re still here?”

“Yup,” Twilight said brightly. “I just finished the pie.”

“Pie?” Dash mumbled. “What pie?”

“The one you asked me to bake.”

“Oh, okay, whatever,” Dash said, and then slowly slid off the counter and fell on the floor. “Good job, we saved the world, yay.”

Twilight leaned down next to her. “Hey, Rainbow?” she asked.

“Uh huh?”

“Did you lie to me about needing to travel back in time with a blueberry pie to save the world, because you really just wanted to have another chance to beat Applejack at hoofball?”

“Maybe,” Dash said, sounding half-asleep.

“And then when you left here while I made the pie, did you find the Twilight from this time period and convince her to help you travel back in time, too?


“And then did you get stuck in a nearly infinite loop of trying to get different Twilights from different time periods to help you travel back to beat Applejack at hoofball?”


“And then when you finally did get the chance to try to challenge her again, were you so exhausted that you still lost?”

“Can I go to bed now?”

“Sure,” Twilight said, helping her friend up.

Dash leaned heavily against her. “You smell nice,” Dash mumbled. “Like blueberries. I like blueberries.”

“Thanks,” Twilight said. "And just so you know, Applejack just got a lucky break. I think you could beat her at hoofball any day."

But Dash was already asleep.

Back in their own time, Twilight put Rainbow Dash to bed and tucked her in tight.

The next morning, as Twilight and Spike shared their morning coffee, they heard a loud knocking at the front door.

“There she is,” Spike said.

Twilight went to the door and opened it.

Rainbow Dash, covered in soot and holding several dozen blankets and Wonderbolts posters, pushed past her and inside. “Hey Twi, I’m gonna crash here for a while, okay?”

“Why?” Twilight asked.

“My house burned down,” Dash said, dumping her blankets on the floor. “Apparently somepony left something in the oven all night.”

Twilight smiled.

Step one: Complete.
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