Chapter Nine: New Players

Gilda glided through the air, squinting against the wind that pierced into her sharp yellow eyes. Her brown and white feathers and fur rustled in the air’s currents as she streaked through the sky, holding her claws straight ahead of her face.

She had wondered weather to go at all. After all, there was little chance that Rainbow Dash was any less lame than when Gilda last saw her. On the other hand, maybe Gilda could handle Rainbow being a little lamer. Rainbow had also come out, and was entertaining the possibility of having a girlfriend, so perhaps Gilda could rekindle their old flame and convince her to return to Cloudsdale with her.

Gilda had learned about Rainbow’s coming out and subsequent availability from her friend Trixie, an entertainer Unicorn. Gilda had met her on the Pie rock farm about a year ago, while she was casually exploring the skies. She had stopped near the farm to take a brief rest, and there her eye was caught by the blue, silver-maned Mare.

Gilda found her to be quite attractive, especially with the sweat running down her figure from exertion. Gilda had smirked, licked her beak, and approached Trixie. “Hey, good-lookin’,” she said.

Trixie turned to her. She smiled vainly. “Why, hello. The Great and Powerful Trixie thanks you for the compliment.”

Gilda narrowed her eyes. “Trixie, huh? Well, Trixie, you wanna get a drink or something? Say… my place?” she purred.

Trixie blankly gazed at Gilda for a moment before laughing. “I’m sorry, but Trixie only likes men,” she said. “Trixie is flattered by your interest, however. Trixie doesn’t believe she knows your name…?”

“Gilda,” the Griffon replied. She began circling Trixie. “What’s a hot babe like you doin’ on a rock farm?” Gilda asked.

Trixie huffed. “What is the Great and Powerful Trixie doing on a rock farm, indeed! I’ll tell you why she is: Trixie was a great entertainer once, before it was all taken away from her! Trixie is on a rock farm because of her humiliation at the hands of that little witch, Twilight Sparkle!”

Gilda flinched at the name. “Twilight Sparkle? You mean the lame-o purple Unicorn from Ponyville?”

Trixie gaped in surprise. “You know her?”

Gilda sneered. “Yeah. I used to be friends with one of her friends- a Pegasus named Rainbow Dash. But ever since Dash started living there, she’s gotten so much lamer. She’d rather be with her stupid new friends than with me now.”

Gilda felt deep pain at this last statement, but didn’t show it. “Whatever. I didn’t need her anyway.”

Trixie sniffed. “Indeed. I know this Rainbow Dash as well. She thought fit to challenge the superiority of the Great and Powerful Trixie! Trixie defeated her, of course, but when Trixie was run out of town that Pegasus spread word of her humiliation far and wide! Now Trixie can only work on a rock farm!”

Trixie and Gilda gazed at each other. At that moment a friendship was forged between them on the fire of their hatred for a common enemy.

Gilda idly sat and talked with Trixie about their lives. Trixie told Gilda about her travels on the many roads of Equestria, and her magic shows, and the exotic locales and intrigues she’d encountered while performing. Gilda told Trixie about Cloudsdale and her move there. Gilda soon decided that she liked Trixie, and said to her, “So, you said you were an entertainer?”

“Yes,” Trixie replied.

“You wanna keep working on a rock farm, or you wanna ‘nother job?”

Trixie’s eyes narrowed. “You can get me one?”

“Yeah. There’s this… um, club up in Cloudsdale, and they’ve never had a Unicorn performer.”

Trixie’s eyes widened. “Is this a… burlesque club?”

“Yeah,” Gilda replied, looking away embarrassedly. “Just a suggestion.”

Trixie thought about it for a moment, then smiled and shrugged. “It might not be that… dignified, but honestly at this point Trixie has little dignity to lose. It’d definitely be a decided improvement over this place.” She contemptuously kicked one of the rocks.

Gilda grinned. “Wanna crash at my place for a while?”

“Yes. Trixie thanks you most greatly,” Trixie replied.

“Wait- how will you live up there? You can’t walk on clouds!”

Trixie chuckled. “Trixie can enchant some flooring for her sleeping-quarters. When Trixie’s awake, she can cast a spell allowing her to travel over clouds that she’ll just have to renew every hour.”

With that settled, Trixie immediately quit her job and went up with Gilda to get the one Gilda had offered.

At the club, Gilda gave the owner her endorsement of Trixie, and after a small display of her entertainment abilities she was immediately hired. Gilda then assisted Trixie in moving her things into her cloud-house. Trixie bought some wooden boards, brewed a potion with the consultation of a book, then smeared the boards with the potion. She was then able to construct a sturdy flooring in one of Gilda’s extra rooms, upon which she placed her sleeping-roll.

Trixie quickly became one of the club’s most popular entertainers. In addition to her looks, she was able to utilize her flashy magic to create a unique, memorable impression on the patrons. Gilda often entered to watch her perform, but was a little disappointed that all she could do was look.

Nonetheless, Gilda and Trixie got along quite well and began to form a very strong bond over the next few months. Eventually, Trixie discovered the existence of an ancient artifact known as the Alicorn Amulet, and as soon as she had enough bits to get it she did and returned to Ponyville to seek vengeance on Twilight.

However, when she came back, Gilda found that Trixie was on much better terms with Twilight. She soon began exchanging letters with Twilight, and they became friends. Gilda was greatly annoyed at this- but still, they were ponies. Making lame friends was something all ponies did.

Gilda had told Trixie about her relationship with Rainbow Dash, and how they were once best friends and sexually involved, if not romantically. Trixie had asked Gilda if she wanted to be more than friends with Rainbow, which Gilda reluctantly confirmed. When Trixie asked why she didn’t pursue Rainbow romantically, Gilda pointed out that Rainbow seemed to have no intention to be exclusive with anyone; she had a similar relationship with Fluttershy, and on the side she would often pick up strangers. Gilda also reminded Trixie that her friendship with Rainbow was in shambles, and so all in all she had little to no chance of getting Rainbow back.

However, one day Trixie received a lengthly letter from Twilight, and after reading it she immediately went to her roommate.

“Gilda!” Trixie shouted, galloping into the Griffon’s room.

Gilda had been sleeping at the time, and growled annoyedly as she looked up. “What?”

Trixie levitated the letter up, displaying it beside her head. “Twilight’s just told me- Rainbow has come out to their friends, and she might become somepony’s girlfriend soon!”

Gilda immediately bolted up. “What?!”

“According to Twilight, Rainbow has expressed some interest in having a girlfriend.” Trixie grinned at Gilda. “Trixie suggests you take this chance before it disappears, Gilda.”

Trixie left Gilda alone with her shock. Gilda sat still for several minutes, attempting to wrap her mind around this new development. Rainbow Dash, perhaps the most commitment-averse girl Gilda had ever encountered, wanting a girlfriend? It was almost unthinkable. What the hay happened? Gilda wondered. How did Twilight know? Gilda knew Fluttershy was every bit as infatuated with Rainbow as she was; would Fluttershy become Rainbow’s girlfriend now?

Of course, Gilda wanted to immediately go to Ponyville and make a move on Rainbow, but she immediately hesitantly flinched at the thought; her last encounter with Rainbow had ended with Gilda insulting her and rudely storming out, crushing their friendship. Why would Rainbow want to see her again? What the hay made Gilda think she could just brazenly walk back to Rainbow and make as if nothing was wrong between them? Gilda shuddered at the thought of baring her soul like that to Rainbow and having it mercilessly rejected and ripped to shreds.

Of course, she could try apologizing to Rainbow, but that idea too made her gag in disgust. Like all Griffons, Gilda was tremendously proud and arrogant. Admitting any mistakes or weaknesses was one of the most painful, humiliating things she could do.

On the other claw, Gilda really, really wanted Rainbow back. Her two conflicting desires- her desire for Rainbow, and her desire to keep her own pride- battled in her head, and it was fought long and hard. However, eventually she made her decision: she wanted Rainbow more.

So Gilda had set off for Ponyville and Rainbow’s house. On the way there, she tried to decide what she was going to say. Never before did she have a more difficult task; she’d never tried to speak to a former friend before. However, she was so immersed in attempting to decide her opening speech that she found that Rainbow’s house came into view in, though it seemed to be minutes, was truly hours.

“Buck this,” Gilda growled, though she kept flying. In a few moments she was at Rainbow’s doorstep.

Gilda hesitated. She shifted uncomfortably before Rainbow’s door, attempting to gather the courage necessary to knock. Every time she was about to, however, the thought of Rainbow slamming the door in her face flashed in her mind and she backed back down.

After several such attempts, Gilda glared and growled at the ground. “Come on, Gilda,” she muttered. “Just do it!”

She reached her claw up to knock, but when she reached forward she pawed at the air; the door had opened, and Rainbow stood beyond.

Gilda stared at Rainbow, who was surprisedly staring back at her. After a few moments of silence, Gilda awkwardly smiled and quaveringly said, “Hey, Dash.”

Rainbow frowned at her. “Hey, Gilda,” she said coldly.

Gilda continued to shift her weight. After a few moments Rainbow asked, “What do you want?”

Gilda gulped. “Um… I, uh… I wanted to… um…”

Rainbow raised a brow. “Yeah?”

Gilda cringed. “I wanted to apologize,” she growled through gritted teeth.

Rainbow’s eyes widened. “What?”

“I’m sorry for blowing you off, alright? I’m not sayin’ it again.”

Rainbow stared at Gilda for a moment before sighing. “Okay. Apology accepted.”

Gilda grunted.

They again stood silently for a moment before Rainbow suggested, “So, uh… you wanna come in or something?”

“Yeah.”

Rainbow stepped aside, allowing the Griffon to enter. Once Gilda was inside, she sighed relievedly. Now that the lame part was over, she could go after what she actually wanted.

Once Rainbow had closed the door, Gilda turned with a sultry look to her. “So,” she purred, “want me to… make it up to you?”

Rainbow turned surprisedly to Gilda. “Wait- you mean you wanna… do it?”

“Yeah.”

Rainbow blinked a few times, then swallowed. However, she shook her head with a small smile. “Sorry, G, but I gotta say no.”

Gilda frowned surprisedly. “Huh? Why not?”

Rainbow shrugged. “Just not doing that anymore.”

Gilda leered at Rainbow. “What, you have a girlfriend now?”

“Not exactly…” Rainbow said, frowning and looking to the side.

“What?” Gilda pressed.

Rainbow swallowed again. “Um, I’m kinda sorta dating someone… I think. She might be my girlfriend. I dunno.”

“Who is she?” Gilda said, visibly angered.

Rainbow glared at her. “What, Gilda? Are you upset that I found someone else? I didn’t think I had to remind you- we were never girlfriends.”

Gilda flinched in shock before embarrassedly looking away. “Yeah, but…”

“Wait- Wait, you… you wanted to be?”

Gilda snorted derisively. “N-no! Don’t be stupid! I don’t need anyone!”

Rainbow was silent for a moment, then she smirked. “Then why did you come here?”

“I-” Gilda said, but she was unable to continue. She sat, speechless, as Rainbow smiled triumphantly at her. Eventually Rainbow asked, “Who told you I was open to having a girlfriend?”

“T-Trixie,” Gilda admitted reluctantly.

Rainbow softly laughed. “So Twilight told her.” She closed her eyes. “Well, Pinkie and I have only been on one date, so I might be open to other offers.”

Gilda blinked. “Wait- Pinkie?! Wasn’t that the lame Earth pony who wouldn’t leave me alone?!”

Rainbow glared at Gilda again. “That lame pony is my best friend,” she growled. “And the way you treated my friends was completely uncool. If you want any hope of being my friend again, let alone my girlfriend, you have to apologize to them.”

Gilda gaped at Rainbow in shocked anger. “What the hay, Dash?! Why do you gotta be such a buzzkill? Why do I-”

“You have to apologize to Pinky and Fluttershy especially,” Rainbow interrupted her.

Gilda stared at Rainbow silently. Rainbow was demanding that she make amends to her enemies who competed for Rainbow’s affections. Gilda thought she would have preferred it if Rainbow had demanded that she cut her wings off.

Gilda let out a low, barely audible growl.

“If you’re not gonna apologize to my friends, you can go buck yourself,” Rainbow said, her voice dripping with venom.

Gilda was struck by the utter sincerity of the vitriol behind Rainbow’s words. Her choice was clear and inescapable: either do as Rainbow said or permanently lose her. Gilda groaned with anxious agony, but at last spat, “Fine. I’ll apologize to your dumb friends. Happy?”

Rainbow shook her head. “No. But it’s a start.”

Rainbow stood. “Come on. Let’s go to Pinkie and Fluttershy first, so you can get it over with.”

Gilda groaned again, but stood as well. She followed as Rainbow opened the door and flew out.

* * *

Pinkie knew she couldn’t be any happier than she was now. She was euphoric, still completely high on the excitement and joy of last night.

Rainbow had kissed her. Never in Pinkie’s wildest dreams did she dare hope to get that from her. Pinkie had brushed, bathed, and gone to bed grinning and gently singing to herself in ecstasy. Rainbow had napped on the train ride back, and Pinkie had spent the entire trip gazing fondly at her.

When they arrived at Ponyville’s train station, Pinkie gave Rainbow one last hug before saying goodbye and returning to Sugar Cube Corner. The Cakes didn’t have to ask how it went; they could tell just by looking at her.

Pinkie was again singing to herself as she prepared the shop’s muffins for the morning. When she heard the shop’s bell ring, she sang, “Be right there!” as she skipped to the front door. There she saw Scootaloo, as usual.

Pinkie grinned. “Hi, Scootaloo!”

“Hi, Pinkie,” Scootaloo softly replied.

As Pinkie looked at Scootaloo, her smile disappeared; she knew real smiles, and Scootaloo’s was not real. Her smile was desperate; hopeless.

Pinkie grow quite concerned. “Are you okay, Scootaloo?” she asked, tilting her head.

Scootaloo nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Pinkie blinked a few times. “Do you… want your muffins?”

“Y-yeah.”

Pinkie went to get Scootaloo her muffins, and as she did she wondered why Scootaloo looked so defeated. When Pinkie came back and gave the muffins to Scootaloo, she only nibbled at them. Pinkie stood for a moment, watching her. “Is something wrong?” she asked.

Scootaloo shook her head. “No,” she said.

Scootaloo continued half-heartedly eating her breakfast for a moment before looking up and asking Pinkie, “How was your trip to Canterlot?”

Pinkie immediately smiled fondly at the memory. “It was wonderful,” she said.

Scootaloo nodded. “Glad to hear.” Her voice cracked a little as she said this.

Scootaloo placed the muffins on the counter before Pinkie. “I’m sorry; I’m not very hungry,” she said. She walked back out, and Pinkie heard the buzzing of her wings as she rode off.

Pinkie looked at Scootaloo’s muffins, worrying about the little filly. However, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door being opened again. When she looked up, she saw that it was Rainbow.

Pinkie’s mouth immediately stretched into an enormous grin. “Hi, Dashie!” she sang.

“Hey, Pinkie,” Rainbow replied pleasantly. “I’ve brought someone,” she said, and she stepped aside to reveal Gilda.

Pinkie flinched in shock, then gasped. “G-Gilda?!” she shouted.

“Yeah,” Rainbow said. “She came here to tell you something.”

Rainbow nudged Gilda with her hoof, and Gilda looked away from Pinkie and angrily muttered something so low Pinkie couldn’t hear.

“Huh?” Pinkie said.

“Louder,” Rainbow commanded.

Gilda let out a low growl before saying through clenched teeth, “I’m sorry I was such a bitch to you.”

Pinkie stood in stunned silence. “You… you are?” she gasped.

“You heard me,” Gilda said, and Rainbow smiled and nodded in approval. “Good. Now on to Fluttershy.”

After they had left, Pinkie broke into another grin and leapt into the air, cheering, “Hooray!”

Pinkie bounced around the shop. “This is so great! Gilda’s not a mean meanypants anymore!” She began singing to herself, “I’m gonna make a new frieeeend, I’m gonna make a new frieeeend…”

* * *

After Rainbow had overseen Gilda apologize to Fluttershy, as well, she declared to Gilda that she was going to visit Twilight. Gilda said that she wanted to walk and fly alone for a while, so they agreed to meet back at Rainbow’s house that evening. Rainbow set off for the library, and when she knocked on the door she was greeted with a smile by Twilight. “Hi, Rainbow!” she said cheerfully.

Rainbow smiled back. “Hey, Twi. Mind if I come in?”

“Not at all,” Twilight replied, and she stepped aside to let Rainbow inside.

Rainbow found Scootaloo curled on the ground before the fire with a blanket over her little body, melancholically drinking a cup of hot chocolate while looking up at her. “Scoot?” Rainbow asked surprisedly.

“Hi, Rainbow,” Scootaloo said, giving her a small, sad smile.

Rainbow’s brow furrowed in concern. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

Scootaloo looked away. “It’s kinda personal. I don’t wanna talk about it,” she said.

Rainbow gazed at her with some suspicion, but nodded. “I get it,” she said.

Twilight asked Rainbow, “Is there something you want to talk about?”

Rainbow nodded. “Yeah. That’d be nice.”

“You want to go outside?”

“Why?” Rainbow asked confusedly.

Twilight nodded at Scootaloo. Rainbow looked at Scootaloo for a moment before shaking her head. “Nah. She can hear it.”

Twilight was visibly slightly concerned, but said, “Alright…”

Twilight walked over to the fire, where a pot was hanging over the flames. “Want some hot chocolate?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Rainbow replied, and Twilight levitated two mugs to the pot, filled them with boiling water, then mixed cocoa into them before placing them on the table. Rainbow sat across from Twilight, ensuring that she had a good view of Scootaloo; Rainbow was deliberately having her hear what she was about to say to gauge her reaction.

“So,” Twilight said, “How was your date?”

“It was nice,” Rainbow said. She smiled. “After we ate and saw the Wonderbolts, she gave me a signed copy of Daring Do and the Fountain of Madness. It was so awesome and I wanted to thank Pinkie so much that I… um…” Rainbow began blushing, then cleared her throat. “I, uh, kissed her,” she said.

Twilight’s eyes widened with surprise and concern, and Rainbow’s eyes darted around nervously. However, she used her embarrassment as an excuse to take a glimpse at Scootaloo and see if anything had changed. It hadn’t; Scootaloo’s ears were still flattened against her dejectedly bowing head.

“Did…” Twilight said. “Did you-”

“I didn’t do anything else,” Rainbow assured her. She leered down at her mug. “Not that I didn’t want to.”

Twilight blinked a few times, then frowned. “Rainbow, have you thought that you might be moving too fast?”

Rainbow scoffed. “Oh, I know I am. But I’m not moving as fast as I want to.”

Twilight sighed, then Rainbow said, “Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Twilight gave Rainbow a quizzical look. “What do you mean?”

“Gilda came and apologized to me today.”

Twilight gasped. “Really?!”

“Yeah,” Rainbow replied. “And, Twilight… she’s one of the two girls you knew was in love with me, isn’t she?”

After a moment, Twilight smiled and nodded. “Yes.”

“So, Twi, I’m having a problem. Gilda wants to be my girlfriend-”

“But you’re dating Pinkie,” Twilight interrupted her.

Rainbow nodded. “Yeah. But, uh…”

“What?”

Rainbow took a deep breath. “I don’t know, Twilight. I think Pinkie’s hot, but I don’t know if I like like her.”

Twilight nodded. “I understand.”

“But… I don’t know if I like Gilda either. I mean, I’ve…”

Rainbow flinched, then looked at Scootaloo. Clearing her throat, she tactfully continued, “I mean, I’ve been involved with Gilda before, but… I dunno, I guess I don’t know if I like her either.”

Twilight tilted her head. “Is there any girl that you do like, Rainbow?”

Rainbow blushed and rubbed her head. “Well, yeah, there is one girl I know I like…” she said.

“Who is it?” Twilight asked.

Rainbow’s face burned as she decided wether or not to tell Twilight, but ultimately she said, “It doesn’t matter. I mean, she’s totally fine without me. Why bring it up? Besides, she probably wouldn’t want me anyway. She has lots of other friends, and they’d all be better for her than I am.”

“Why do you think that?” Twilight asked.

Rainbow let out a small groan. “Honestly, I’ve been a terrible friend to her. She deserves way better than me.”

When Rainbow looked back at Twilight, she saw that Twilight was gaping at her in surprise. Rainbow asked confusedly, “Uh… Twilight?”

“Rainbow… what did you do that makes you think you’re a terrible friend to her?”

Rainbow suddenly realized that if she said any more she’d reveal the secret of who held her affections, so she turned away and said firmly, “I’m not telling you anymore. It’s stupid, anyway. Like I said, she deserves better than me.”

Twilight gazed concernedly at Rainbow for a moment before saying, “Rainbow, I think you should still try.”

“Well, I’m not gonna.”

Twilight sighed. “Well, if you’re sure you aren’t, maybe you could keep trying with Pinkie or Gilda. Who knows? Maybe you do like them, or maybe you’ll start to like them.”

Rainbow nodded. “…Yeah. I guess you’re right.”

Rainbow finished her beverage, stood up, and went to the door. “Thanks, Twilight. Bye,” she said, and then she left.

Scootaloo took another sip of her chocolate. Her lips were spread in a deeply triumphant smile.

She’d thought that all hope had been lost when she’d heard from Sweetie that Rainbow was going to Canterlot with Pinkie. When she heard Rainbow say that she’d kissed Pinkie, Scootaloo was utterly convinced that it was all over.

However, it was not so. Rainbow didn’t seem to return Pinkie’s affection, and though Gilda had made a stake for Rainbow as well she didn’t seem to have any better chance. Because she knew Rainbow might be watching for her reaction, she kept her ears flattened and her head bowed as though she was still depressed when she learned this. There was still hope.

But by far the best thing Scootaloo had heard was the last thing Rainbow said. She was infatuated with someone, someone who wasn’t Pinkie or Gilda. Someone with other friends, friends who would be “better” for her than Rainbow was. Someone who Rainbow thought wouldn’t want her, who Rainbow thought she’d been a terrible friend to.

Who else could Rainbow be referring to?

Scootaloo wanted to scream with joy, but remained silent. Once she was able to regain her composure and fake a sorrowful frown, she got up and said drearily to Twilight, “Thanks, Twilight. I’ll be going home now.”

“Are you going to be alright?” Twilight asked.

Scootaloo nodded. “Yeah. Good night.”

Once Scootaloo had gone outside, put on her helmet, and ridden her scooter a good distance away, she loudly laughed and cheered, “YES, YES, YES!!” into the air.

It was time. Tomorrow, at long last, Scootaloo would confess her feelings to Rainbow.

Scootaloo smiled softly to herself. “Tomorrow night,” she whispered, “I’ll sleep in your embrace, Rainbow.”

* * *

Gilda was fuming with fury as she walked through the town. She wanted desperately to break one of those stupid ponies’ carts, but she was in enough hot water with Rainbow as it was.

Gilda growled and pounded the ground. Rainbow had forced her to apologize to Pinkie and Fluttershy!

Gilda hated both of them passionately, but of the two she hated Fluttershy more. Fluttershy had taken Rainbow to this lame little town in the first place, and even before then Rainbow obviously favored her over Gilda as an… intimate companion.

Gilda might’ve been fine with it if she’d gotten in on some of that action, too. After all, Fluttershy was really hot. Hotter than Rainbow, even. Gilda might have let their competition for Rainbow slide if she had gotten some of Fluttershy’s flank, too. The idea was appealing enough that Gilda sometimes wanted to suggest to Rainbow that all of them have a threesome.

Of course, that timid little crybaby only had eyes for Rainbow, and so she could only ever be an enemy to Gilda.

Gilda angrily kicked a tree, causing a few leaves to slowly drift to the ground. As she was growling frustratedly at it, she heard a familiar, cheerful humming behind her. She turned to see Pinkie Pie happily bouncing toward her. “Hi, Gilda!” she said.

Gilda closed her eyes and gritted her teeth. “What do you want?” she growled.

Once Pinkie was close to her, she said, “I wanna be your friend, silly!”

Gilda glared at her. “…What? You wanna be my friend?”

“Yeah!” Pinkie cheerfully replied. “And then I can throw you a ‘new friends’ party and we can pull pranks and make cup-”

“No,” Gilda said firmly.

Pinkie stopped bouncing. “Huh?”

“I. Don’t. Want. To. Be. Your. Friend,” Gilda said with slow deliberation.

Pinkie frowned sadly. “Why not?”

“Leave me alone,” Gilda said.

“Why don’t you want to be my friend?” Pinkie asked incessantly.

“Buzz off,” Gilda said, swearing to herself that if this obnoxious loser wouldn’t go away-

“Why not? Why don’t you want to be my friend? Why-”

“BECAUSE YOU’RE THE MOST ANNOYING THING I’VE EVER MET!!” Gilda roared.

Pinkie ducked, her eyes wide with terror. “What? I-” she whispered.

“You heard me,” Gilda replied. “You’re the most bucking annoying loser in the world! Celestia, can’t you take a hint?!”

“But…” Pinkie said, beginning to tear up, “I…”

“Why would anyone want to be your friend?!” Gilda shouted. “You’re so obnoxious I want to crush my head under a bolder every time you open your bucking mouth! I can’t even imagine why Rainbow would go on a date with you! I bet she did it just so that you’d SHUT UP-”

“HEY!!” Gilda heard someone shout behind her. She froze, and slowly turned around. It was Rainbow, and her eyes aflame with fury.

Gilda’s fur stood on end, and Pinkie sobbed. Rainbow stepped forward and said, “Pinkie, I-” but before she could continue Pinkie galloped away, sobbing.

Gilda chuckled nervously. “Uh… Hey, D-”

“Get out,” Rainbow muttered.

“What?”

“Get out,” Rainbow said, “and never come back.”

Gilda stepped forward, but Rainbow raised a hoof at her. “Get out,” she said. “Now.”

Gilda took a step away from her. “C’mon, Dash, y-”

“You have ten seconds, Gilda, or I’m pasting your brains against the ground. One. Two. Three. FOUR!!”

Panicking, Gilda yelped in fright and took to the air. She flapped as fast as she could, but as she flew she looked back at Rainbow. There was nothing but pure, burning hatred in her eyes.

As Gilda flew and night fell, tears began to fill her eyes. She’d done it. She’d destroyed her friendship with Rainbow forever.

Gilda had been a fledgling the last time she wept.

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