Scootaloo stood, rubbing her backside a bit. "I'm fine," she said, starting aloud but quickly hushing to a whisper when she remembered the sleeping Rarity. She hadn't fallen too far, and honestly she was more worried about Sweetie Belle. The little unicorn had gone on quite a trip. But they couldn't think about that now! It was for Rumble, after all!
She took a deep breath and zipped over to the corner of the building, looking around to make sure they hadn't been spotted yet. Slowly, slowly, she moved along the side of the building, pressed flat against it to...reduce visibility, or something like that. Whatever those ninjas did. She started heading around the building to the usual entrance they used when they didn't want to be spotted. Honestly, she wasn't sure if what they were doing was wrong. Sweetie Belle said she had some spare material of her own, and it was in her room. They were all having a sleepover anyway. But still, maybe they weren't supposed to be out and about after dark? It was, Scootaloo decided in her own mind, better to be on the safe side. And however stealthy she was being, she did actually sort of need Sweetie Belle to lead the way. She knew the floor plan the best, after all.
Watching Scootaloo hug the wall and sidle around it to the back door, Sweetie Belle scrunched up her face in puzzlement. What in Equestria was Scootaloo trying to do? Did she have an itchy back? Was this really the time for a good scratch? Still, an itchy back was, well, itchy! And maybe Scootaloo couldn't help it. Like, mosquito-bite itchy. Though it was way too cold for mosquitoes. She just hoped it wasn't fleas.
Rarity would be furious if she came home from the sleepover with fleas!
The unicorn filly flipped up a corner of the welcome mat and retrieved the spare key. Unlocking the door, she took two cautious steps in, then stopped dead in her tracks and turned on Scootaloo with a fierce glare. "Wipe your feet!" she hissed. Once that was done though, she trotted through the kitchen, all smiles again.
Reaching the showroom, however, was a different matter. Carousel Boutique was the most elegant and lovely store in the world- When it was lit up. It was like being at the Grand Galloping Gala, or a Princess Party, or some other Splendid Soirée. The maneiquins were like ponies all dressed up in their best. But at night, all those dressforms seemed like silent, brooding ghosts. And their blank faces, which Sweetie Belle never noticed in the daylight, seemed disapproving at best. She stopped still for a second time.
"Y-You first." She whispered to Scootaloo, her brave, adventurous friend. "There's a little room behind that curtain where Rarity does some on-the-spot alterations for her customers. We'll use that machine."
The (potentially) first colt Cutie Mark Crusader walked around the clubhouse to take in the sights. Since he might be there a lot if he passed the last test he should get used to the place. Pinned to a wall was a map of Ponyville that one of them had drawn. A number of places were crossed out on it which was curious. Why did they cross out some locations? Why were they important? Those were questions he'd have to ask later. Rumble had a lot of maps in his room at home, but those were of far away places mentioned in books.
Near a windowsill were various crafting materials. Paper, pencils and crayons of various colors, paints, glue, and glitter were among the things he found. These were probably used to make the map on the wall, or the giant Hearts and Hooves day card the girls made for Miss Cheerilee one year. These would be great for school projects! They were probably also used to make the large X on the floor. Rumble didn't know what it was, but he wasn't going to stand on it.
The clubhouse looked really neat! It even had a telescope in it like his own treehouse! There was one facet that Rumble could have done without. The posters of Rainbow Dash that adorned some of the walls. There were so many ponies that were way cooler than Rainbow Dash, like Thunderlane, or Fleetfoot. His rivalry with Scootaloo over whose idol was better was an argument that could last for ages. Now that he thought of it... this would be a perfect time for Scoots to pull something on him. Suddenly the little gray colt was very suspicious of the snack Scootaloo said he couldn't eat.
Scootaloo peeked past Sweetie as she opened the door and walked in. She lifted her foot to step into the r-
Eep! She recoiled at the sudden acidity of the tone Sweetie gave her. She blinked, letting the involuntary shiver leave her tail before slowly wiping her hooves off, then staring at the filly as she trotted happily across the kitchen. Well, that was....weird. Anyway, no time for that! None! They had a mission! She entered the kitchen and slowly, slowly closed the door. Still sticking to the walls (more out of fun than necessity, if she were honest), she made her way to the entrance of the showroom. She stopped behind her pointy friend, tilting her head a little. "What's up, Sweetie Belle?" she asked in a low whisper, peeking into the room. Upon being invited to go first, she shrugged and located the curtain that was indicated, and the tip-toed into the room.
It wasn't until about half-way through that she realized why her friend had been so hesitant. Mostly because her field of view had been limited to the low-angled tunnel vision on that curtain. But, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed it. The blank face of a pony in a top hat staring straight at her. She let out the quietest, most high pitched of squeaks and froze in her tracks, her wings flaring out backwards. Swallowing hard and realizing the foolishness of her haste, she started slowly, slowly, sloooooooooooowly working her way further. Maybe their eyesight was based on movement...wait, they didn't have eyes....darn it!
Eventually, she made it to the curtain and ducked inside, holding it open for Sweetie Belle and really, really hoping that she was only a few steps behind.
Sweetie Belle... was not right behind Scootaloo. In fact, she was Nowhere to be Seen. Like in a horror or a mystery movie, she had completely vanished!
In reality, however, Sweetie Belle had taken a detour and gone upstairs. It took no time at all to retrieve the spare Cutie Mark Crusader's Official Cutie Mark Crusader Cape Patch from her own room, but the special gold silk for the lining was proving to be a slow, quiet, careful task. If there was any to be had, it would be in Rarity's room, and do you know what else was in Rarity's room in the middle of the night? Rarity herself!
Slowly, quietly and carefully, Sweetie Belle tiptoed across the bedroom. For the first time in her life, she wished her sister snored. It might be unladylike, but Rarity slept so quietly, the little filly couldn't tell if she was asleep or not. Every footstep seemed as loud as a drum, every floor squeak seemed like a shriek! Of course, if Rarity had been awake, she probably would have burst into laughter at Sweetie Belle's exaggerated efforts to be noiseless. Finally, she got to the shelf where the bolts of fabric were neatly stored and brushed up against something silky...Aha! Got it!
Sweetie Belle was halfway across the floor with it when an errant beam of moonlight, sneaking in from between the curtains, proved it to be a bolt of special green silk, notgold! Sweetie Belle gave a loud, exasperated sigh and immediately clapped her hooves over her mouth, glancing towards the bed! ...But it seemed not to have woken Rarity. The second time, she got a little closer, with bronze silk, but as they say, the third time's the charm, and at last she escaped with the bolt of special gold silk! Slowly, Quietly, and Carefully, she closed the door to Rarity's room, the soft click of the latch seeming to announce that the ordeal was over.
Pleased at her success at both retrieving the items as well as not waking Rarity, and ready at last to make a Cutie Mark Crusader's Official Cutie Mark Crusader Cape for Rumble, she bounced her way over to the stairway... and misjudged the distance, sending herself tumbling and skittering down the stairs!
Rumble paced around the clubhouse without much of a sense of purpose. He was fixating now on that pastry and trying very hard not to think about it. Did Scootaloo just want to save it, and this was her way of calling dibs? If that was the case why didn't she just call dibs? He had seen her do it before. This was going to bug him all night, or at least until they returned.
How long had they been gone? It was feeling like forever now. The colt began to worry about Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo. Hopefully nothing had happened to them. The little Pegasus now had two things on his mind getting him flustered. It wasn't long before he was going through things to see what was what. He found a deck of cards, some board games, a ball, a yo-yo, and a few other odds and ends. What got his attention though, was a book.
Rumble had come across the Cutie Mark Crusader ledger, a list of all the attempts at cutie marks. The list was in order of what they had tried, and while he could recognize a few, many were alien to him. They were up to this way more than he thought. One thing stuck out to him as he read: They only tried something once. There were no doubles, or notes of multiple tries. Maybe that was something he could bring up to them.
Scootaloo felt a panicked fear shoot straight through her. Sweetie Belle? Sweetie Belle!? Wait, shouldn’t she be saying that out loud? Hold on, just gotta...do that thing. Speaking.
But unfortunately, it seemed as though the demons lurking in the dark (KNEW they were real! Knew it!) had stolen her voice away. She looked around frantically, forcing her breath to work (they wouldn’t take THAT from her, darnit!) and trying to calm down.
…Well, that didn’t work. She needed to regroup. Well, with herself, or something. She hid herself in behind the door, biting her lip and shivering a little bit in the darkness. Where was Sweetie Belle? Had something gotten to her? Had she gotten lost? Lost in the horrible, horrible room? Maybe she should…
But then, just as she was starting to build up her bravery, her Dashery as it were, she heard a faint sound. A terrible, horrible, awful breath of frustration. An angry growl, obviously frustrated by the intrusion on some creatures territory at night, sent her straight back against the wall. Scootaloo swallowed hard. Something was out there. She didn’t know what, but it sounded like it was upstairs. It was moving around up there. Creaks and clops, pacing back and forth, filled with hatred and hunger and….gulp.
But...but Sweetie Belle was still out there, somewhere. She needed to go, she needed to save her friend from whatever monstrosity was stalking about! She steeled her nerves and, shaking so badly she felt like she might fall over, she made her way one hoof at a time out of the room and towards the…another gulp...stairs. She was gonna do it...she was gonna go up there. Sweetie wasn’t in the room, so she must be upstairs...right?
She heard a click from the next floor up. Alright! Now or never! What would Rainbow Dash do? She’d cry out in guttural superiority, charge up the stairs, beat up the monster, and save her friend! And that was exactly why Scootaloo gingerly made her way up the steps, one at a time, a nearly silent whimper escaping her parched throat. What she wasn’t expecting was such a violent reaction by the creature, as something came hurtling down the stairs and knocked her down the rather pathetically meager distance she managed to get up.
She struggled and flailed weakly, but pretty soon she figured out what had crashed into her. It was Sweetie Belle! She had escaped! Or she’d been used as an improvised throw weapon! Either way, she was here!!
“Sweetie Belle?” She croaked. “Are you alright?” She tried to get herself free to better check on her friend and help her down into their target room.
"Shhhh..."Sweetie Belle replied softly, listening. But there was no noise from upstairs, even after all the racket she'd made coming down. "Wow. Rarity really sleeps soundly." she added. Detangling herself, Scootaloo, and the fabric that had bounced down with her took a few moments, but eventually she was able to accept Scootaloo's helping hoof up. "I got the patch and the Special Gold Silk for the lining. The red velvet should be in the room already. C'mon Scootaloo!"
With her mind on the cape she was gonna make for Rumble, Sweetie Belle seemed not to notice the same showroom that had frightened her only moments before. She bounded through the boutique, gold silk trailing, and flicked on the lights in the fitting room. She tugged the dust cover off the sewing machine in one grand gesture, like she was unveiling a work of art, or a magician revealing a trick... and was promptly buried underneath it!
"Ehehe... Sorry, got carried away." She grinned apologetically at Scootaloo once she worked herself free again. "Okay! um! There's that bolt of red velvet. Get some of that unrolled. We need a square piece about this long on each side." Sweetie Belle demonstrated with her forelegs how big it should be, and then passed her friend a pair of sewing shears. "Then cut a piece just like it out of the gold silk. Hmmmmmmm..." Sweetie Belle's eye was caught by a shelf of trimmings, ribbons, and lace. "Oooh! What about adding Pink Ribbons!? that might look really good! No, wait. Even Better! Glittery Lace! No, no! I got it! Gold Fringe!" Sweetie Belle pulled down a length of the trimming to show Scootaloo, then looked down at it, frowning.
"But... maybe... that would make his Cape look more important than ours, wouldn't it?"
Scootaloo wasn't entirely sure what was happening. She was still terrified for her life, and yet her friend was bouncing along as if everything was fine. Wh-what was going on? Was she....was she possessed? It was way too late for her to head out to Zecora's alone, and she would need someone to watch over Sweetie anyway...maybe she should go wake up Twilight? But well, she seemed somewhat ok. Kinda back to normal. She poked her head into the room, still watching her back for the ghosts and the stairs for the beastie upstairs.
Then she was given instructions and she went to sort of doing them. She wasn't exactly great at this sort of thing, but she could probably cut a square...right? Right??
Well...not really. Whatever she cut, it wasn't a square. It might have sort of have a squarish shape, but the only edges that looked straight were the ones her shears never directly touched. She held up the pieces of fabric as her friend went on about accessorizing. "Uh," she started, poking around the gold fabric, "Let's keep it basic. We're on a time crunch here, and I really don't know how long he's gonna last. We can add the ribbons later!" Her voice came out as a bit of a hoarse whisper, her throat still dry from the confusion outside the room.
Regretfully, Sweetie Belle agreed that this was not quite the time to get creative, even if it was for Rumble's cape. Besides, that gold fringe would definitely make his cape look more important than theirs, and he was a new member, their first recruit since the founding of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. She took the squares peices of fabric from Scootaloo and laid them together. Despite not being the best (or even a decent) seamstress, Sweetie Belle was remarkably good at working the sewing machine. She had it threaded and ready in no time, and began sewing away diligently.
"Rumble will last," Sweetie Belle predicted confidently, over the whir of the machine. "There's no way he'll eat the turnover before we get back." Sweetie Belle didn't add that she knew Rumble wasn't the biggest fan of apples anyway, lest that information get back to Apple Bloom. She turned a corner of the cape and started down another side. "Anyway, since he's there and we're here where he can't hear us... How do you feel about Rumble? You looked pretty amazed when he smooched you like that!" Sweetie Belle giggled, remembering.
Scootaloo watched from a short distance away while Sweetie Belle worked. It was fascinating to see the filly go, as to the impressionable (and not really fashion savvy) youth didn't really have a full understanding of what was being done. She had next to no interest in seamstress...ing...? Whatever it would be called. She had next to no interest in it. Wasn't really her style. Rarity was cool and all, but she wasn't cool, you know? The filly tilted her head this way and that and she didn't quite seem to register the question the moment it was asked. Slowly, though, it wormed her way into her psyche and a frown slowly formed on her face.
"Yyyyeah, that tends to happen when some colt kisses you outta no where. Rumble's cool and all, but he's just kinda...cool. Ya know?" Scootaloo shrugged. Wasn't a big deal. At all. Definitely not. Shut up, stomach. We're not thinking about that anymore. "He'll make a great Crusader, though! Our list is getting a little scraggly, and I'm sure he can bring a few new ideas to the table. Plus, now that we're accepting members and all, having Rumble around will make it a lot easier to pull in the colts. I know I'd find it a bit weird if someone asked me to join a club that just had a bunch of colts in it." She finished with a light yawn. It had been a tiring day already, but darned if she was gonna give in to the accursed bedtime!
"...We're gonna have to draft more solid acceptance policies though," she said after a moment.
Sweetie Belle was disappointed in Scootaloo. Couldn't her friend even pretend to be a little in love with Rumble, just to keep things interesting? Sweetie Belle had been looking for romances among her friends all winter, because Rarity said that such doings made juicy gossip. She'd asked what kind of juice, and her sister had actually started laughing, and refused to explain. The white filly had the idea that when you told a bit of real juicy gossip, you got this really great taste in your mouth. That was why some ponies seemed to do nothing else.
But at this rate, Sweetie Belle would never find out what it tasted like. Honestly, saying Rumble was cool, but just kinda cool? What was that even supposed to mean? Sweetie belle met her starting stitch and flipped the machine into reverse to backstitch, like Rarity always did. The thread made a nice little snarly lump on the corner, like it never did for Rarity. But at least it was on the inside back, and wouldn't show. She snipped the threads and picked up the patch to sew it on. Scootaloo was interested in getting more CMC members, and how Rumble could help them.
"...I know I'd find it a bit weird if someone asked me to join a club that just had a bunch of colts in it."
Sweetie looked up, "Really?" she asked, surprised. "I wouldn't think you'd have any trouble fitting in with a bunch of colts. Actually, you'd probably get along with them easier than with a group of fillies. You don't like filly-things like tea parties or pretty clothes at all do you? And I bet you'd rather get a hoofball for your birthday than a doll." The unicorn wasn't trying to be mean, she was just being honest! She pulled the completed cape free of the machine and folded it up tight! "All done~" she announced as she pulled the dust cover back onto the machine. "We can go back now. Rumble's probably fallen asleep waiting for us."
"Think about it," Scootaloo said in the hushed there's-a-conspiracy voice she occasionally took on. "Snips and Snails walk up to me and tell me they want me to join a club they're in,'Who's in the club?' I ask," She threw on her best Snips impression. "'Just us,' they say. Now, you might think that it's cool that they want to hang out. But lemme tell you. Deep down, I know. I totally know. If I join this 'club', I'm getting hit with a water balloon." She squinted and looked this way and that as if looking for said offense. "Maybe I like some kinda coltish stuff sometimes, but that means I can also think like them. It's a dangerous responsibility, but it can save. Lives.
"And hey," She added, a bit taken aback. "I like a good tea party. Sometimes."
None of the other points were refuted, however, and then it was time to go. Scootaloo nodded and headed confidently back for the door. She wasn't sure if Rumble was asleep, but if he was they'd totally have to get the drop on him. Upon reaching the exit back to the main showroom, she suddenly remembered that she was terrified out of her wits of that place at night, and she slowed right down. Carefully, she poked her head out through the door to make sure the thing from upstairs wasn't going to swoop out of the darkness and devour them whole.
Sweetie Belle looked doubtful about the lifesaving ability to think like a colt, but the unicorn filly let it go. They had to get back to Rumble! She couldn't wait to see what it was like, having four Cutie Mark Crusaders! No, wait, Five! ...Even if one of the members WAS in Manehattan. They should really write a letter to Babs and tell her about all their recent attempts! She might try one of them and earn her cutie mark! Better yet, she might send them a few ideas that would result in their earning their own!
So despite the creepy and prickly feeling of the faceless-faced ponyquins staring at her from every corner of the room, Sweetie Belle followed Scootaloo back through the gauntlet to the kitchen, where she promptly swiped a hoof-full of cookies from a jar, locked the door, hid the key under the mat once more, and then split her booty with Scootaloo. "Just in case Rumble's eaten everything else but the Turnover!" She explained with a giggle!
The Fun Has Been Doubled! is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic moderate-to-advanced forum roleplay. Set after the events of the fifth season, we currently have no overarching plot. Instead, we simply have created the world of Equestria for you as a giant playground to have fun in and to explore the magic of friendship. Canon characters and original characters are available for you to play as, both ponies and non-pony species alike! Just remember that we are account-per-character and we'll be fine!
So why don't you stay for a while, look around, and let us know if we should get a welcome party started for you.