High above Ponyville, Rainbow Dash flew through the sky with her usual flair. She sped through cloud formations with ease, taking advantage of the few that were there for practice. Whenever she eased off from a sharp turn, she caught a glimpse of the ground below. Every time she did, she spotted one thing: A foal playing in a pond with her mother.
“Ugh, foals... I do not want a foal, EVER. It would totally slow me down,” Rainbow said during a longer turn.
She spent the next hour in her continuing show-to-no-one before stopping. She bucked the clouds away quickly and flew towards Ponyville's town centre to grab a quick bite to eat. A barely bustling barrage of ponies awaited during the supper rush. Rainbow quickly trotted through the streets to find Applejack's apple cart.
I feel like apples right now,Rainbow thought as she pressed through the small crowd.
To the left, Rainbow heard a foal start crying, mother instantly cooing. To the right, she heard a foal screaming while slamming something, mother sweetly saying, “please stop.” Up ahead, Rainbow spotted a mother cleaning up a mess of oatmeal made by a giggling baby. Turning her head slightly, she found a foal chewing on his bottle's bottom. Rainbow frowned at every sight of an out-of-control foal, further supporting her distaste of a foal.
“Slow me down, AND annoy the hay out of me. Not worth it,” Rainbow grumbled before reaching a familiar apple stand.
Rainbow stepped forward and looked at the bushels of apples while Applejack dealt with a customer.
Golden delicious or red gala... I guess I'll take a small bag of golden delicious apples,Rainbow thought as the customer picked up his bag and left.
“Well howdy Rainbow. What brings ya here t'day?” Applejack asked, setting the bits in a small register.
“Well, just finished a bout of flying and I'm hungry, so I thought, 'why not apples?' So now I'm here,” Rainbow said, quickly grabbing two bits and dropping them on the counter.
“Well, an apple a day keeps th' doctor away, as they say,” Applejack chuckled happily.
“I'll say. So, I'll take a small bag of golden delicious apples please,” Rainbow said with a small bounce.
Applejack quickly fetched a small bag and handed it to Rainbow.
“Help yerself,” Applejack replied.
“Thanks!” Rainbow exclaimed, quickly knocking five apples into the small bag with a hoof. She bit the handles and prepared to take off. “Shee you later, Applejock,” Rainbow said with a muffled voice.
“Heh, see ya 'round, RD,” Applejack said.
Rainbow took off for her house, forced to smell the scent of fresh apples from the bag. She looked down, giggled at the sight of the food, and focused on flying once more. She touched down on her front door moments later, opened the door and was met by Tank. The slow tortoise looked up at Rainbow, eyeing the bag she had brought.
“Jusht applesh, Tank,” Rainbow said, kicking the door closed before she walked to the
She set the bag down on the island top and sat down on a bar stool. Tank flew to the counter top with his little propeller contraption and slowly lay down. Rainbow dumped the contents of the bag on the counter, and set one of the apples in front of Tank, who immediately began nibbling on the golden treat. Rainbow hungrily got to tearing apart an apple with her teeth, swallowing each chunk she tore off.
Within a few seconds, Rainbow looked over to her kitchen sink, spotting a full sink, a borrowed copy of the latest Daring Do novel, 'Daring Do and the Redsteel Brigade' sitting on the edge of the sink, and the little compost bin next to it all. She took one last bite of her apple and tossed the apple core over her shoulder, towards the compost bin.
Instead of hearing a satisfied “thunk” as the apple fell into the bin, Rainbow heard a different “thunk”, followed by a splash. She ignored it and looked over at Tank, watching as he continued his slow nibble of the apple.
“Aww, you're such a little cutie,” Rainbow said with a giggle. “But if you tell anybody I said that, we're through. Professionally,” she warned him.
Rainbow promptly pushed herself to her hooves and trotted over to her room quickly, opening the door and looking over at her desk.
My Daring Do novel is due at the library tomorrow... I'll take it now, or, after I use the bathroom,Rainbow thought, stepping back and trotting down her hallway to the bathroom.
Tank continued nibbling on his apple, as slowly as possible. Soon, he finished eating the skin off of a small portion of the apple, taking his sweet time. He eyed the sink for a second before going back to eating. A quick flush was heard, followed by a sink running tap water. It stopped and a few seconds later, the door opened and Rainbow Dash trotted down the hallway. She spotted her apples still out and about on the island and trotted over, picking the bag up. She walked over to the fridge, opened it, and set the apples in the fruit drawer before closing it and the fridge. She spun around, now facing the sink, only to have fear burst into her mind.
Apple core, on counter... book, not!? NOT!? IT'S IN THE SINK!Rainbow thought, allowing her adrenaline to spike.
She dashed across the kitchen, using her wings for an extra burst of speed. She stabbed her hoof forward like a spear, creating a mess as she splashed it into the sink. She fumbled around, touching a scrubby, a cloth, and finally the book. She put it in the arch of her wrist and pulled it out, looking at the soaked novel.
“Oh... oh no. Oh no no no NO! This can't be happening,” Rainbow said as she opened it up, only to see the pages falling out from their own weight and soggy state.
Rainbow stared in horror as the pages fell out and the realization kicked in.
This book isn't mine,Rainbow thought, her eyes shooting open wide and her jaw dropping.
“Tank, do you have 12 bits 5 cents?” Rainbow asked in a panic as she attempted to 'fix' the book.
Tank slowly looked over at Rainbow just as the pegasus turned her head over to the tortoise. He blinked and shook his head before slowly turning back to chew on the apple.
Rainbow Dash sped through the streets of Ponyville, zipping around. She did not feel like talking to Twilight and explaining how she had ruined a book due to carelessness. She needed money, and fast. She asked around for quick jobs and all she got were part time jobs throughout the week, none of which she could get, then quit when she got the money; they all had her starting the next day and the paycheck... her own Weather Team paycheck wouldn’t come in until Friday.
She couldn't go five seconds without spotting a foal in tears, or making a scene. Even the two Cake Twins couldn't prevent themselves from joining the bandwagon of problematic foals. Rainbow trotted over to one of the stand owners, none needing help.
“I need to make money fast, by tomorrow. Need help?” Rainbow asked a random pony.
“Uh, no,” Bon Bon said before trotting away.
“I need quick cash, need anything done?” Rainbow asked another.
“Hmm... nah,” Carrot Top said before trotting away.
“I need money, I'll roll around in the mud for quick bits!” Rainbow exclaimed in desperation.
Rainbow got no reply from this pony, Derpy just gave her a deadpan stare before flying off. Rainbow sighed, not getting anything. She hung her head, ears drooping as the situation seemed hopeless. A pair of ponies, carrying a sleeping foal on their backs trotted over and tapped Rainbow on her shoulder. The spectral maned mare turned around to spot the mare and stallion approaching. The mare was peach coloured with a cyan mane with a short cut. A horn protruded from the mane. The father was a brown stallion with a shaggy black mane. No horn or wings; an Earth Pony.
“Um, hello... I heard you need money, Rainbow Dash, and I was wondering if you could foalsit for us tonight?” The mother asked.
Rainbow's eyes widened at the request and she leaned over, spotting the sleeping foal. She grit her teeth, but stopped, letting out a very long sigh. She needed cash, and if this could get her it, fine.
“Okay, how much?” Rainbow asked.
“Well, about 40 bits. We'll be gone from seven PM to one AM,” the father stated.
Rainbow rubbed her chin, pretending to think about it. In reality, she had settled on her choice but didn't want to seem too desperate. She let out an 'um' and 'ah' now and then to try and seem less desperate before shrugging.
“Sure, I'll take it. Just show me the place and I'll begin,” Rainbow said as nonchalantly as possible.
“Alright, thank you!” The mother exclaimed.
“Well, please follow us,” the father said.
Minutes later, Rainbow arrived outside a humble little house in Ponyville. It looked like any other house with the exception of a few toys in the window: A rattle, a ball, and a little cow. Rainbow had to smile, if only slightly, at it. She didn't know these ponies but had seen them here and there... and the parents knew her from various events. The front door opened, and all four ponies entered. The mother sat down on the couch, lifting her foal off of her back with unicorn magic.
“Alright, this is the living room. The foal has a little chair over there.” The mother pointed to a small moon chair. “Near the window is the playpen,” the mother said as she cradled the baby, gently waking it up.
Rainbow looked over towards the window and saw the rattle, little cow, and ball. In front of it lay a small area with a net and several more toys inside, along with a little blanket and pillow. A few seconds passed before the father emerged from whatever hallway he came from. In his mouth was a piece of paper which he set down on a table near the couch before sitting down next to his wife.
“This is a list of things to do, not much since our foal is generally well behaved. Thanks, miss, for helping us on such short notice,” the father said while he looked over at the foal.
“Oh, I totally forgot to ask, but what are your names?” Rainbow asked, scratching the back of her head.
“Oh, I don't blame you for not remembering us. I mean, you're the greatest flier in Equestria,” the mother replied in her same sweet voice as the foal giggled away. “I'd expect you to get mobbed often.”
Rainbow felt her face glow red and an uncontrollable giggle escape from the praise.
“Aww, I'm not that awesomely known,” Rainbow said, refusing to make eye contact.
The parents watched their foal before it burst out giggling. The three adults giggled and Rainbow started losing her doubts.
“My name is Left Wing,” the father said through his giggles.
“Mine is Winnie, pleasure to formally introduce ourselves. We only met once at Sugarcube Corner.” She looked over at Rainbow, who was trying her very best to remember. “We walked in to buy some sweets and there was a party there hosted by your pink friend for a filly and her friends, about her Cutie Mark if I remember.”
Rainbow smirked at the memory. Apple Bloom wanted her Cutie Mark, and she had spent the whole day trying things out with me. I probably gave the Crusaders the idea of trying as many things as possible, as quickly as possible... heh, sorry guys,Rainbow chuckled, no longer feeling any doubt from the upcoming job.
Half an hour later, the parents had left. Rainbow was left alone with the foal, who turned out to be a filly. Rainbow idly watched as the filly paraded around her playpen like she was King of the Monsters. She roared about, knocking down blocks and shaking the little cow around in her mouth. Rainbow found herself watching the small filly for a few minutes, giggling at the little one's antics.
“Oh, I guess I should look at that list,” Rainbow said to herself, losing most of her smile as she pushed herself to her hooves and trotted over to the table.
She looked at the note, seeing a small list:
1: Allow her to take a few naps between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
2: Feed at 9 PM.
3: Play the song in the player at 9:30 PM to help her relax.
4: (Advise) play with her at 9:45, but be gentle. Try to ease her into her crib.
5: Bed by 10 PM.
6: Keep an eye on her until we return. If she wakes up, check the necessities.
Rainbow scratched her head. Necessities? What are those, again...? Uh, check diaper... burp... bottle? Babies can drink cider, right? Or is that apple cider or... milk? Jeez,Rainbow sighed. She looked over at the foal romping around as she allowed another smirk. Maybe babies aren't so bad...
Rainbow trotted over to the couch and sat down, staring directly at the wall. Then it hit her.
“I have nothing to do but watch the foal,” she said to herself.
The foal obliviously turned her head towards Rainbow, teething on the small cow before going back to destroying Pokyo. Rainbow looked back at the foal, watching her in utter glee as she reduced the fictional city to absolute rubble. Rainbow frowned, tilting her head to the side. Should I let the little filly engage in such acts of awesome destruction?She pondered, coming to her logical conclusion that, yes, she should. She decided to allow the little filly to explore.
She stood up and trotted over to the playpen, then opened it up, allowing the baby to stumble out into the wider living room. The baby still had the cow in her mouth as she slowly trotted towards the couch, attempting to crawl onto the cushiony softness of the sofa. Rainbow quickly hoisted the foal onto the couch and watched her immediately dig in between the cushions. Rainbow watched curiously, only to discover the filly simply wanted to burrow itself.
Rainbow frowned, leaned forward and bit the tail of the filly, gently pulling her out of the sofa. The foal twisted its head and looked at Rainbow with her eyes wide, slowly watering before her mouth started quivering.
“Oh no,” Rainbow said, the horror hitting her.
“Ubwah... WAAAAAH!” the foal burst out crying.
“Oh, no, I'm sorry... uh, what's your name again?” Rainbow tapped her head, thinking.
“Our little filly, she's named Whiskey. She takes after her father, being an Earth Pony,” the flashback Winnie said in Rainbow's mind.
“Oh, yeah. I'm sorry, Whiskey!” Rainbow said as she flipped the foal around and held her upright.
Whiskey continued to bawl and Rainbow looked around. She quickly flew over to the playpen to grab the little cow, stopping when she set the foal down. Oh, the little cow is in the couch,Rainbow thought. The bawling foal's crying slowed down when she began to rip apart the rubble, stacking it once more. Rainbow dove back into the couch and fumbled around before finally wrapping a hoof around the little cow. She yanked it out and spun around to face Whiskey, only to see the foal was gone.
“Uh, what?” she asked herself.
She frantically looked around the living room for any sign of movement. Nothing. Her panic meter exploded and Rainbow's mind went frantic. Oh no, oh no no no. The baby’s gone! Where is Whiskey!?She thought, taking off down a hallway to the right. She saw one door and a dead end. She galloped over to the door and threw it open, feeling a rush of cold coming from inside. She peeked inside, seeing nothing but a bit of light illuminating a staircase to the basement.
Rainbow shuddered and closed the door. No way any foal would willingly go into a basement...she thought, turning back to the living room. She ran as fast as she could, slipping on the rug and letting out a grunt upon hitting the floor. She quickly pushed herself to her hooves and looked at the living room.
Behind me was the hallway and the playpen. In front of me is a bookshelf and some chairs. To the left, the front door. To the right, the couch and another hallway,Rainbow thought quickly before darting down the next hallway. More confusion followed, as on the right hand wall were two doors, the nearest one with the words “Whiskey's Room” on the wall while the furthest one has just “Master Bedroom”. To the left was the kitchen itself and Rainbow stuck to her gut, opening the door to Whiskey's room.
Inside, she's met by an otherwise clean room with the exception of one remarkably cheerful filly sitting in the centre of the room, staring back at Rainbow... with the little cow in her mouth.
“Woah, how did...” Rainbow dropped the question, instead rushing forward and lifting the foal onto her forelegs. “Okay, I have you, lets go... um, play?” Rainbow asked, quickly shuffling out to the living room.
She set the little foal down in the playpen and closed the gate as fast as possible, making sure the foal stayed in.
“Okay, stay there. I'll be back, gotta go find some way to keep you occupied,” Rainbow said, cantering into the kitchen.
I'm starting to remember why I don't want foals... they can teleport, or something,Rainbow bit her lip at the thought. Unlike Twilight, there's no sound. Ugh, I should get a little bell collar, or something.Rainbow chuckled at the thought and forgot why she went in there. Food? No... wait, find a way to occupy the little tyke. Yeah. I should probably check the food before I do. I mean...Rainbow shook her head and looked around, spotting several cupboards. She trotted over to the closest one and ripped it open, only finding cake pans and mixing bowls. She grit her teeth and closed the cupboards, then shuffled to the ones over the stove.
“Next to stove, door. Closet? I dunno, but I should check after,” she said to herself before she opened this one.
She found spices and salts of various kinds in the cupboard, neatly organized. Rainbow saw nothing related to baby food and closed the cupboards. That covers this wall,Rainbow thought. A rattle was heard in the living room, throwing Rainbow off slightly before smiling. Well, I guess they can be nice when they don't teleport,Rainbow thought as she quickly moved over to the sinks. She opened the cupboard and finally found an assortment of baby things.
“Baby Formula, pureed vegetables, oatmeal? Seems simple enough. I'll just serve her oatmeal and formula, I guess,” Rainbow said.
She closed the doors and turned around, forgetting her original reason for coming out here only to freeze. There is no rattling...Rainbow thought.
“Oh no,” Rainbow said.
She ran back out to the living room to see the playpen's gate wide open and the toys sprawled about the room. Rainbow facehoofed quickly and began to gallop, only to stop when she remembered the rug. She peered down the hallway with the basement staircase and saw the door slightly open. Rainbow's eyes widened and she frantically shuffled her hooves to the basement door. She opened it, the door ominously creaking. The pegasus gulped and stepped onto the first stair, another ominous creak escaping from it as she did so. She fumbled around for a light switch, not finding anything. She sighed, and spread her wings out just in case this staircase decided to give.
She placed a hoof on the rail, not providing much support. Every bit counts, I guess,Rainbow thought as she found herself stepping down at a normal pace. Finally, her hooves made contact with solid concrete ground and she let out a huge sigh of relief... but discovered that being downstairs was an even worse experience.
Drips of water could be heard a few seconds, an odd growl reminiscent of a dark cave was heard. Darkness surrounded Rainbow with a little glow from the top of the stairs.
Of all the places to put a window, they put them right next to the door?Rainbow thought to herself, trying to keep her nerves in check.
“Um,” she tried to speak through the lump in her throat, “Whiskey? Are you here, lil' gal?” Rainbow asked, nervously turning her head.
Rainbow sighed, a failed attempt to appear unphased by the looming darkness. She attempted to swallow the lump in her throat, only to lightly choke. If she spoke, her voice would be cracking. She stepped to the right of the staircase, heading towards what could only be the front of the house.
A quiet giggle echoed throughout the dark basement and Rainbow stopped dead in her tracks, frozen by fear. Wait, what am I scared for? Just a baby... in a basement... that's dark and very ominous,Rainbow thought as she slowly stepped forward. Another giggle sounded and Rainbow felt the hairs on the back of her head stand up as goosebumps flushed throughout her body, the chilling sensation of the experience almost dragging out a shiver from the otherwise brave mare.
“EYAGH!” the foal screamed out, slamming her rattle on a metal bin.
“AUGH!” Rainbow screamed, startled by the sudden outburst.
She quickly shuffled backwards, to the bottom of the stairs and was shaking from the paranoia of being startled. She kept her body low as the baby's giggles echoed throughout the room more. She smiled while keeping her brow arched, doing her best to hang onto what little composure she had left.
“Heh, o-okay, little... Whiskey, it's time for your... uh, fav... favourite flier Rainbow Dash to take you upstairs. Maybe some snacks? Uh, yeah. Sna-snack time!” Rainbow sputtered out through her shaking.
The foal's giggling stopped and Rainbow was left with her consciousness to keep her company. The eerie silence made way for the sound of Rainbow's own heartbeat and breathing to occupy the area, and Rainbow felt her panic button being slammed over and over again, regardless of her attempt to stay collected.
A slap to the rump from a rattly object ended that.
“AUGH NO!” Rainbow screamed, jumping up into the air, flapping her wings as she latched herself to the ceiling.
She immediately looked at what hit her to see Whiskey, giggling on the ground while slapping the rattle on her head. Rainbow grunted and dropped to the ground. She gave Whiskey a long hard stare before scooping her up in her forelegs once more and looking around the room. She then paused, tilting her head up to spot a light with a pull string. She didn't move, unable to believe she missed that and reached up and gave the string a tug with her teeth. The basement was illuminated with three lights and Rainbow sighed.
“Just a laundry room. Of course,” Rainbow cursed at herself as she shut the light off and quickly flew upstairs, closing the basement door as she did.
Minutes later, Rainbow had set the foal in a high-chair in the kitchen while she looked at the box of oatmeal. The belt keeping the foal in place had been fastened as tight as Rainbow could manage without actually hurting her... and for extra insurance, she was tied to the chair by the leg. The kitchen was humble, having a stove, cupboards, and a standard island. No back door, oddly enough.
“Okay, I have the mix, and I have the water, just... add the blueberries,” Rainbow said to herself.
She quickly trotted across the kitchen, around the island, and opened the freezer. She peeked inside and grabbed the bag of frozen blueberries with her teeth, then trotted over to her mixing bowl on the island. She turned her head to check the stove. Water, boiling, she thought before looking to the other side of the island to spot Whiskey sitting in her high-chair, playing with the little cow and a few blocks.
Rainbow immediately went to open the bag of blueberries and poured them in, not thinking about the amount she actually needed. Satisfied with what some could call 'the Mount Olympus of Berries', she set the bag aside and grabbed a wooden spoon, looking up to make sure that Whiskey was still firmly in place.
“Ughwah!” Whiskey exclaimed in an excited giggle fit from her high-chair as the little cow collided with a block.
Rainbow smiled again before letting out a sigh. “Okay, I guess that little scene in the basement was funny,” Rainbow chortled. “You win this time, Whiskey.”
The foal obliviously giggled at Rainbow, which the pegasus could only assume was a gloat from those without words. Rainbow chuckled and switched the wooden spoon from her hoof to her mouth and began mixing the oatmeal and berries together. A few seconds later, what some would call 'blueberries with oats', Rainbow decided was adequate enough for her eventual food-making.
She looked up again to see Whiskey hadn't moved. Rainbow let out a sigh of relief. Looks like the worst is over. She's let out that freaky foal energy, I hope,Rainbow thought before she picked up the bowl and trotted over to the stove on her hind hooves. She checked the water, making sure that it was, in fact, boiling.
“Hmm, I dunno...” she muttered as she continuously looked back and forth between the bowl and the water as it boiled away. “Eh, what could possibly go wrong?” Rainbow chuckled to herself as she tilted the bowl, dumping the berries and oats combo into the water.
She shuffled back, eyes glued to the pot as she set the bowl back on the island. She picked up the wooden spoon next and shuffled back over to the stove and attempted to blend her creation into something resembling cooking oatmeal. She smirked and allowed herself a moment to gloat.
“Ah, something that didn't result in me saying 'oh no'. Thank Celestia, because if I did, I'd be...” Rainbow paused, scratching her head. “It's too qui...” she shifted her gaze over to the high-chair and noticed it was gone entirely. Rainbow stared with wide eyes, unable to believe that this happened again.
“OH NO!” Rainbow shrieked, stumbling forward as she held back a freakout.
Instead, Rainbow decided to stick with slamming her face into a mess of oats she made on the island. She slapped her hooves on her head and half pushed, half dragged her head across the mess of oats before she ran into the living room. She looked at the clock near the door to gauge her time.
“Wait, it's already 9:03 PM? Shoot, the baby needs to be fed for real! How long did... ugh, I just HAD to find rope,” Rainbow cursed at herself as she redid her routine from earlier.
She ran down the short hallway. She ran downstairs (without hesitation this time). She ran into Whiskey's room... nothing. She ran back into the living room and decided to check out the room itself. She ran to the couch, bending over and checking under the flaps to find an old knitting magazine, a doll of a rock monster, and the little cow.
The little cow.
Rainbow gulped, feeling the paranoia from earlier settling in. Again, she realized how quiet the house can get when the baby wants to be a ninja. She stood up and looked around frantically. She trotted over to the bookshelf on the opposite side of the room and looked on all shelves and then over at the chairs. Without any regard for keeping it tidy, she lifted the edge of the chairs up and found... no baby. She bit her lip, stood up and looked around the room one last time. She saw the front door slightly open and unlike before, Rainbow's mind blocked out everything.
“OH NO!” She cried once more before dashing towards the door, opening it...
... and to her relief, she saw something good. Trails. The baby dragged the chair out and left trails with the legs but... how did she open the door?Rainbow shuddered as she pondered possible Pinkus Piecus-genes in the baby. Don't need another one in Ponyville.
She stepped out into the dark outside, and was met with a warm breeze providing the perfect cool. This is the ideal night, I couldn't ask for better,Rainbow thought as she allowed herself to savour the moment. She quickly focused on the task at hand and followed the trail as it went around the house to the right in the little patch of grass with a ball. The high-chair was tipped over, the part where the rope was tied leading into the bushes, where a giggling filly could be heard.
All anger and frustration once again diminished as Rainbow smiled at the display of innocent, harmless fun on the foal's part.
“Whe~ere's Whiskey?” Rainbow said in a mock playful voice.
A little giggle came from the foal and Rainbow did her best to suppress a laugh. She took a few more quiet steps forward towards the bush.
“Whe~ere's Whiskey!?” Rainbow said a little louder.
More giggling came, but no rustling. The baby must not be moving anymore, Rainbow thought as she leaned in to pounce. She took a step forward and lunged a hoof into the bush, pulling the leaves out of the way.
“THERE SHE I....” She stopped, not finding a baby.
Her face contorted into an expression of confusion and she pulled a few more leaves out of the way as she frantically searched. All she found was a torn rope, still tied to the high-chair. She heard a door close, followed by a click. Rainbow shot to her hooves and quickly galloped around the house to the front door and saw the door had indeed closed. She gripped the handle with her hoof and tugged on it.
“What th... the foal locked me out!” Rainbow exclaimed, grunting as she tugged harder. “She wasn't in the bush, that rustling was her running! The little criminal!” She almost screamed as she began to pound on the door.
Inside, the little foal was giggling away, oblivious to the problems with what she was doing... Rainbow groaned, trying not to break down. She pounded several more times on the door before admitting defeat, slamming face first into the door and sliding down, allowing her face to rub against the door. A click sounded and Rainbow's ears perked up as she shot to her hooves. The door opened slowly and the foal dropped to the ground, stumbling as her hooves made contact with the surface. The foal immediately ran off into the kitchen, giggling uncontrollably. Once again, Rainbow found herself unable to hold onto her grudging hatred of this job for long.
The pegasus quickly flew around, lifted the high-chair up and flew in, closing the door as fast as possible. She flew into the kitchen and set the high-chair where it had been before, legs down and watched as the foal circled it, the little cow in her mouth once more. Sighing for probably the 100th time, Rainbow trotted over to check on her oatmeal. She looked into the pot to discover her oatmeal's frozen blueberries had wound up turning the oatmeal into blue mush with oats.
“Argh, what the...?” Rainbow asked herself as she quickly turned the burner off and removed the pot from the element.
She looked over at her mush and frowned. “I spoke too soon, I guess,” Rainbow said, letting out a long sigh. “Jeez, the gals will never let me hear the end of this if the word gets out... which is why nopony will ever hear of this,” Rainbow said to no one in particular.
Rainbow Dash opened up the cupboard with dishes and fished out two bowls and two glasses. She set them down one-by-one on the island and trotted over to the stove once more, grabbing the handle of the pot and lifting it over to the island and tilted it into the bowls, releasing the yogurt-y food into edible proportions. She set the warm pot down on the counter and stirred the bowls with the wooden spoon before finishing up. Rainbow tilted her head, looking at the 'food' from another angle as if she could find one that made it look half decent to no avail. She sighed again, and picked up the smaller bowl and took it to a window, opening it to allow it to cool. She looked over to see the foal hadn't left, still making the little cow seem like it possessed divine powers by emulating flying effects. Rainbow looked to the wall, spotting a clock. It read 9:45 PM.
“We're behind schedule, little buddy. We need to hurry up. I'll go give you a bath,” Rainbow said as she looked over at the window for a second.
She quickly trotted over and grabbed the bowl, closed the window, and set the bowl down on the island before trotting over to the base of the high-chair, and lifting the rather compliant foal up onto her forelegs.
“Wait, where is the bath?” Rainbow asked out loud as she looked around the kitchen.
She looked over at the door next to the stove and shrugged, trotting over to it and opening it, revealing another staircase leading upstairs. She quickly pulled the string and turned the light on, revealing a slightly more cared for staircase than the one in the basement. She flew up the stairs, finding another door at the top.
“Jeez, somepony went a little nuts with the doors, here... and they aren't even saloon doors,” Rainbow muttered as Whiskey waved the little cow around.
Rainbow stepped into yet another darkened room, this time with moonlight as an added luxury. It was a little dusty in one corner, Rainbow could tell, but the rest of the room remained a mystery. She quickly looked up for a light string and found nothing. She turned her head to beside the door and found a switch. She quickly flicked it and the lights came on, revealing a rather spacious attic with several mats and a few chairs... and to top it off, a large window showing most of Ponyville's centre. Rainbow let out a whistle of awe before turning to spot another room on the far side of the attic, the word 'bathroom' inscribed on a plaque nailed to the door.
“Thank Celestia for labels,” Rainbow said out loud.
She flew slowly to the door and looked down to face the little foal in her forelegs. Whiskey was happily giggling away, holding the little cow out as if it were flying. Rainbow opened the door as gently as she could. She took one step inside the moonlit bathroom before fumbling around the walls inside the door for a light switch. Hitting one, she flicked it and saw a bathroom, well taken care of and a little large for a typical household. It was as large as the living room even.
“Okay, little gal. It's time to give you a bath,” Rainbow said.
She set the little foal down and closed the door, locking it just for insurance. She watched as the foal immediately stumbled towards the bathroom toys located in a bin next to the tub itself. Rainbow trotted to the porcelain tub and examined it. Clean, decent size, and to top it off, it had childish taps with dinosaur silhouettes on them. Rainbow looked around for the plug, spotting a rubber one on the rack with the toys. She bit it and quickly tossed it into the tub, happening to score a bulls-eye on the drain.
“Alright, plugged, and baby is prepped except for the diaper.” Rainbow turned her head, watching Whiskey as he dumped the basket onto the floor. “Whiskey, we may have time to play after we clean you, but not right now.”
Whiskey stuffed the little cow in her mouth and looked up at Rainbow, wide eyed and curious. Rainbow smiled before turning back to the tub and twisted the taps for hot and cold water. The tub spout started spewing the water at a gentle pace, prompting Rainbow to turn them up a little bit more. It came out at a satisfying speed and Rainbow watched as the tub slowly filled up. She stuck a hoof into the tap water and felt it wouldn't be hot enough for her and almost turned it up.
“Oh, right, babies are more sensitive,” Rainbow said to herself.
She turned around to check on Whiskey and saw the toys all over the floor and Whiskey nowhere to be found. Once more, Rainbow felt herself panicking.
“Oh n... okay, if I say that again, I'm going to snap for real,” Rainbow mumbled. She looked over to the door. “Okay, it's closed and still locked.” She turned her head towards the windows in the room. “Closed, Whiskey hasn't fallen out yet.” She turned her head back to the tub to see Whiskey had firmly planted herself in the centre of the tub, a little boat floating in the wavy water, and that little cow planted on top of the boat. “Okay, please don't do that again? I like the concept of being fast, but I don't want to lose you. I really need this cash,” Rainbow said with a pleading voice, her brow arched upwards.
Whiskey stared at Rainbow with a dumbstruck look, expected of a foal, and Rainbow facehoofed when she realized.
“I think my brain cells are dying one-by-one,” Rainbow sighed as she leaned on the edge of the tub.
Whiskey went back to giggling while pushing the boat around as the tub filled up to a nice volume. Rainbow twisted the taps off and watched as Whiskey splashed around a bit before turning her head to the wall to see a clock.
“They sure like their clocks around here... but, it's 9:58 PM. Jeez, I'm way behind schedule. Never thought I could be sl...” Rainbow stopped, her eyes widening at the realization. “Sl... slouching like a lazy oaf,” Rainbow said to herself as she immediately pushed herself into a standing position. “Yeah, that's it. I'm slouchy.”
She quickly turned to the rack, desperate to ignore what she thought. She looked through several bottles on the rack and found one that stuck out.
“Johnson's No Tears Baby Shampoo,” Rainbow said to herself as she grabbed the bottle quickly and turned back to the tub, only to see that Whiskey had apparently utilized Foal Instant Transmission and vanished without a trace once more. “A ninja. This baby is going to be a ninja. Plain and simple. No doubts about it,” Rainbow grunted as she sighed out loud.
She slowly turned around, expecting to see the door open and having to chase the foal. Instead, she was met with her legs being shoved and Rainbow herself fell backwards into the tub head first, splashing into the ankle deep water. She closed her eyes, preparing for the hard contact with the porcelain tub only to hear a squeak and something soft pressing against her head; the little cow. She opened her eyes, watching the ceiling. Through the water in her ears, she heard the muffled giggles of Whiskey and light clopping, obviously the foal running around in the bathroom. Rainbow growled and pushed herself up to her hooves, shaking the water out of her mane. She stared directly at the foal, growling as she resisted the urge to lash out at the little menace. Whiskey stopped running and stared back at Rainbow, noticing something off. The joys of facial recognition at work.
“Listen, you will get into the bath and you will get clean, and I don't care if it wasn't on the list but you are going to be clean within the next five minutes, missy... AND THAT. IS. FINAL.” Rainbow stomped her hooves on those last three words as she approached the foal.
Whiskey stared at Rainbow for a few seconds before her eyes started to water, and her lip quivered. Rainbow's anger immediately vanished, replaced with worry and regret. Her face contorted, expressing her regret fully as her prowl towards the toddler lost all malice. She quickly and quietly made her way to Whiskey, just as she started to howl, completely broken by Rainbow raising her voice.
“Oh no, I'm so sorry, Whiskey. I didn't mean to lose my temper,” Rainbow spat out as she quickly lifted up the foal into her forelegs, flying over to the tub once more.
Whiskey only cried harder and buried her head into Rainbow's sopping wet mane, allowing the waterworks to spill. Rainbow didn't know what to do then, but she sighed and leaned her head, cradling the baby's head between hers and her shoulder. She pet the back of Whiskey's mane and cradled her properly.
“I'm sorry, Whiskey. I didn't mean to lose my temper. I'm just too used to living life in the fast lane and... winning, all the time. Just, c'mon, be a good girl and take a bath,” Rainbow said as softly as her voice could allow.
The softer voice seemed to work, as Whiskey's crying slowed down and she loosened up. Rainbow gently set Whiskey into the tub and Whiskey sat there, slowly playing with the small boat and the little cow, still in there. Whiskey started giggling slowly as she started to forget Rainbow's loss of temper. Rainbow smiled, the feeling of regret and guilt washing away.
“That wasn't so hard,” Rainbow said to herself as she picked up the shampoo. Kinda forgot the diaper, but...she erased the thought, setting the shampoo back down.
She quickly reached in and unwrapped the diaper from around Whiskey's bottom and pulled out the soggy mess, tossing it into a nearby trash bin.
“Now, let's bathe you, lil' Whiskey.”
15 minutes later, Whiskey, all wrapped in a towel, happily nibbled on blueberries with oats in her high-chair. She occasionally pretended to feed the little cow and giggled whenever the food slid off of her spoon and splotched onto the tray. To Whiskey it was being eaten by the littlest cow, and to Rainbow, it was a cute mess. She discovered that her oatmeal attempt turned out to have the sweetest taste allowable for enjoyment and happily ate the mess... of course, after cleaning the mess of oats on the island. She peeked at the clock to spot the time at 10:18 PM. Whiskey was supposed to be in bed by now.
Rainbow quickly finished up the rest of her blueberries and oats and set the dish in the sink, turning the tap to fill it up for soaking. She trotted over to Whiskey who managed to devour half of her food and left the other half as a pile at the feet of the little cow. Rainbow trotted over to the high-chair and quickly unfastened the buckle on Whiskey. She hoisted the foal out of the chair and set her comfortably in her forelegs, keeping herself up with her wings yet again. Whiskey reached out, grabbed the little cow and giggled as she squished it, extracting a squeak from the toy.
“Okay, it's time to get you to bed,” Rainbow said, flying over to the door to Whiskey's room.
Whiskey let out several laughs of glee as Rainbow flew. Rainbow gently pushed the door open and turned the light on. Whiskey's room, now that Rainbow had a good look, was rather clean and even had a nice scent to it. A caramel fragrance added to the creamy coloured walls of the room felt just right and Whiskey's room itself seemed to favour super-deformed versions of normal items, such as ponies, carts, even castles. Everything had a cartoonish look and by comparison to some of the toys in the room, the cow looked beat up and old. Why did the foal favour this toy above the others?
Rainbow set Whiskey down on the floor to let her play with the little cow some more and quickly trotted over to the crib. She looked at the rail and quickly unlatched the metal hooks and slid the edge down. She turned around to see Whiskey had vanished. She suddenly recalled she left the door open.
“Oh for the love of Celestia,” Rainbow said in a dull tone reminiscent of an automated message.
Rainbow dashed into the kitchen and quickly looked around for any sign of the foal. Nothing so far, but as usual, that was the way this baby seemed to work. Rainbow flew over to the living room and landed in the centre. It had been cleaned up from the earlier mess, including the bit of dirt tracked in from the high-chair. Rainbow snorted in annoyance, arching her brow in order to get her game face on.
“This baby really wants to do this. She really wants to compete for who's in charge, it seems. I'll meet her stupid challenge and I will prove I can do this. Because I. Need. CASH!” Rainbow shouted out as she took to the air once more, no longer relying on her legs to carry her around.
She flew down the hallway to the basement door and flung it open. She took off into the dark basement and gave the light string a quick tug, illuminating the room. She looked over to the right to see the bin with the washer in it and, now that she studied the room, there was a back door covered by an old blanket. She cocked her head before shaking it and looked to the left, spotting multiple baskets of clean laundry, yet to be folded. Rainbow stepped quietly and slowly, using her wings for leverage to reduce noise as she walked towards the laundry. She was a few inches away from the first basket which was filled with clean towels. She reached out a hoof and poked the pile and a giggle came from the towels.
“GOTCHA!” Rainbow shouted, lunging forward and wrapping her forelegs around the the towels in a mock tackle.
Rainbow tumbled forward, knocking down the towels into the cold concrete floor of the basement and she wrapped her hind legs around the pile of towels as well. She patted the towels a few times to make sure she got her target, only to find the pile falling apart in her legs.
“Oh for the love of... WHISKEY!” Rainbow shouted out into the basement.
The foal's giggling was now heard upstairs before a slam indicated the door was shut. Rainbow shot up to her hooves, leaving the towels on the floor, and flew over to the stairs, up the stairs, and right to the door. She wrapped a hoof around the doorknob and twisted it, pushing the door gently. It didn't budge. She put her other hoof on the door and flapped her wings harder, pushing harder in the process. The door budged a little bit and a foal's giggling on the other side served only to increase Rainbow's determination. She stopped pushing, flew back and prepared to ram the door. She flapped her wings hard and flew into the door, pushing it open with ease and then slamming into the wall just outside. She tumbled to the ground and Rainbow quickly pushed herself up, staggering from the impact. She saw the image of Whiskey taking off down the hallway towards the living room. She spun around and closed the door quickly, noticing nothing was used to hold the door shut. Rainbow's eyes widened in realization.
“Oh,” Rainbow groaned, “Pegasus foals fly all over the place, Unicorn foals get surges of magic, makes sense that Earth Pony foals get bursts of strength from time to time. Explains how she knocked me in the tub,” Rainbow said to herself, her anger vanishing.
Instead, Rainbow was replaced with a desperate determination. She just wanted this foal to stay in line and get to bed and she found herself regretting taking this job even more. She flew into the living room and saw nothing, prompting her to drop to the floor in front of the couch. She moved the flap and saw Whiskey sitting underneath, little cow in her mouth, and giggling when Rainbow found her hiding spot. Rainbow grinned maniacally and lunged a foreleg forward to grab the foal. Whiskey effortlessly bucked her leg away and shuffled out from under the side of the couch and took off into the kitchen. Rainbow grunted and yanked her leg back before hovering in the air and flying into the kitchen.
Whiskey was sitting on the stove, slapping the panel with the dials and Rainbow lost her desperation, filling up with panic instead. She dashed forward and lifted up Whiskey, just as one of the elements turned on, the small fire starting. Rainbow quickly touched town, holding the foal in her forelegs. Whiskey looked at Rainbow with a dull look before peeking around Rainbow's head, catching a glimpse of the fire on the stove. Rainbow realized that she left it unattended and quickly set the foal on the ground and spun around. She trotted to the stove and turned the dial off before realizing the fire wasn't going away. Something was burning on the stove.
Rainbow's panic button had been smashed to pieces by now. She dived for the sink, barely missing Whiskey who began to pout and tear up. Rainbow looked in the sink, spotting one of the dishes she left to soak. The water had cooled off by now and Rainbow couldn't be more thankful. She wrapped a hoof around her larger bowl and spun around, tossing the water in the general direction of the stove. The water extinguished the flames and then Whiskey burst into tears once more. Rainbow allowed her softer nature slip through once more and she set the bowl down, stepped forward, and lifted Whiskey into her forelegs.
“There there, it's fine, the fire is gon...” Rainbow paused.
She looked around the floor, looked at the crying Whiskey, and looked around the kitchen next. She didn't want to look at the stove... but she did. There, she saw what had happened. What was burning was now charred, black and falling apart from the water hitting it. A burnt mess is all that was left of the little cow toy Whiskey had paraded around all night.
“Oh no... no no no,” Rainbow said to herself, shaking her head in denial.
She flew forward, landing on her hind legs in front of the stove. She leaned forward and removed one leg from Whiskey, cradling her with the other as she poked the charred mess. It broke apart and crumbled like a cookie. Rainbow forgot all aggression and frustration she felt the entire night and then she began to tear up herself.
“I'm so sorry, Whiskey... I couldn't take care of you properly, I ruined the schedule, I lost my temper at you, and now, because I'm the worst foalsitter ever, your... favourite toy is burnt. I'm... I'm sorry,” Rainbow said, unable to hold back the tears.
Rainbow was too caught up in the current events to notice or hear the front door opening, or to hear the hoofsteps of the two parents.
“Hello, we got off early and...” the mother spoke, stopping when she saw the scene inside the kitchen.
Rainbow looked over to the mother who looked at the scene in confusion. She looked over at the soaking stove, then to the charred cow toy, then to the two ponies present and in tears.
“What is going on here, Rainbow Dash?” Winnie asked.
“Hey, what happened dear?” Left Wing said as he entered the kitchen.
Rainbow looked at the two parents with her mouth agape, tears flowing freely. She looked over at the charred cow toy and then down at Whiskey. Whiskey had calmed down a bit since her parents arrived at home and reached out for them.
“I'm sorry. I'm a bad foalsitter,” Rainbow said.
She wrapped her free hoof around Whiskey before holding her out to her parents. Winnie levitated Whiskey over onto her back and Whiskey calmed down entirely, wrapping her legs around Winnie's back before slowly falling asleep, sniffling now and then. Winnie and Left Wing looked back at their daughter before back at Rainbow, no anger present on their faces.
“I'm... I'll send money in to replace the cow later. Don't,” Rainbow hiccoughed, “worry about paying me,” Rainbow said, slowly trotting to the short hallway.
Left Wing and Winnie didn't move, instead stepping forward. Rainbow looked up at Winnie through her tearful eyes. Winnie only smiled back and Rainbow let confusion fill her mind.
“Mistakes happen, don't worry about it. The important thing is that Whiskey didn't get hurt tonight,” Left Wing spoke softly.
“The safety of our daughter is all that matters. Even if that was her favourite toy, we can always replace it. Don't worry about the money, we'll still pay you. You sounded like you needed it for a reason.” Winnie set a hoof on Rainbow's shoulder.
This only served to make the Pegasus cry more. She still didn't wail like some folk who cry but she did sniffle and snort every few seconds.
“I needed it because I'm an idiot. I ruined a library book and the library is owned by one of my friends. I wanted to hide what I did by buying a new book and replacing the one that was ruined. I was being selfish and I was nowhere near qualified to foalsit for you,” Rainbow choked out.
Rainbow felt a huge weight lift off her shoulders. I admitted I did something wrong and even if it felt bad to admit I ruined something borrowed, this feels muchbetter than trying to cover it up, Rainbow thought. Left Wing and Winnie shook their heads.
“No matter, you ruined something and wanted to replace it. That is a true sign of taking responsibility, even if it is dampened by an attempt to cover it up. Take the money and tomorrow, tell your friend the truth. It's worth it in the end,” Winnie replied.
Rainbow smiled. It's a relief to know they aren't getting angry at me... even if I deserve it,Rainbow thought. She quickly wiped away her tears, sniffling a few times as she felt herself losing that urge to bawl. In just a few seconds, the only evidence of her crying would be her puffy red eyes.
“Thanks, that's actually something neat to learn. I'm really sorry I messed up... but, I did actually have fun with Whiskey a few times. Even when she was being a little nuisance, no offense,” Rainbow said, waving a hoof. The two parents nodded in agreement. “I did find parts where I could overlook the things she did. The pros outweigh the cons in terms of foalsitting. Enjoying those few moments are worth the otherwise chaotic night I went through,” Rainbow chuckled.
“Just imagine it happening the entire day for ten years,” Winnie chuckled out, nudging Rainbow's wing.
Rainbow's eyes widened in fear at the realization, but she soon rolled her eyes.
“I may take up that challenge, some day.”
The following day, Rainbow had checked her saddlebags. All on tight. She checked her forehead for any signs of a fever, just in case. She checked her hooves to find any shaking, none. She sighed and took a deep breath. She pushed open a door and stepped into the door, closing it behind her.
“Oh, hello, Rainbow Dash. Here to drop off your library book, I assume?” Twilight Sparkle asked.
The lavender unicorn was just finishing up a report, from the looks of it, as she was cleaning up a mess of parchment on the floor.
“Yes and no,” Rainbow said, stepping towards Twilight.
She craned her neck and reached into the left bag and pulled out the soggy remains of 'Daring Do and the Redsteel Brigade' and held it out for Twilight to see. Twilight's eyes shot open wide and she obliviously released her magical grip on a parchment she was picking up.
“Bu... th... you...” Twilight sputtered out, unable to form words.
“Listen, Twi, just take this,” Rainbow said as she turned her head, digging her nose into the other bag and pulled out a brand new copy, setting it on the floor next to the ruined copy. “I accidentally knocked the book into a sink full of water and I'm truly sorry, so I bought a new copy after earning some money at a quick job.”
Twilight's look of shock didn't last long after that and was replaced with a smile instead. She lifted the book up with her magic.
“Is Spike here?” Rainbow asked.
“Yep. Just upstairs,” Twilight replied. “Spi~ike!” Twilight called.
A door opened elsewhere and Spike soon followed, running up to Twilight. He looked at the ruined book on the ground and shot Rainbow a look of utter sympathy.
“My condolences,” Spike said, bowing in Rainbow's direction.
“What? No, I replaced it,” Rainbow said defensively.
“Oh, right,” Spike said, sheepishly grinning.
Twilight trotted to the bookshelf where the Daring Do novels were set. Spike cocked his head. Rainbow sure is in a good mood for having destroyed a Daring Do book,Spike thought, scratching his head.
“Spike, take a letter!” Rainbow exclaimed, sitting down on the floor.
“Huh?” Spike said, broken from his train of thought. Rainbow stared back blankly. “Oh, right,” he said, running over to Twilight's desk and grabbing blank parchment and a quill.
“Dear Princess Celestia, no matter how badly you may mess something up, and no matter how much you think somepony will get angry and yell at you for being a klutz, it's always better to tell the truth and be honest about a mistake. If you hide all your mistakes, you'll be hiding most of your life, because everypony makes mistakes,” Rainbow said, full of pride. “Signed by your loyal future Wonderbolt, Rainbow Dash!”
Spike nodded, finishing up the writing. He rolled up the scroll and and took a deep breath. He held it in front of him and blew a burst of green flames over the paper. Spike and Rainbow watched as the letter teleported to Princess Celestia and Rainbow couldn't have felt better at that moment.
“Thanks, Spike, for writing my letter,” Rainbow said as she looked over at the little dragon.
“Don't have to thank me, it's kinda my job, and all,” Spike said, rubbing the back of his head to appear modest.
Rainbow smiled and looked over at Twilight. “And thank you for not exploding when you saw the book,” Rainbow chuckled.
“Don't worry, we all make mistakes. It's impossible to be mad at a friend for long, especially when they admit, own up, and even try to fix their mistake,” Twilight said, putting the book in its proper chronological order.
“Right... and another thing I learned, which I'd rather not embed on paper, is that no matter how chaotic a life of watching over a foal may be, the joy of helping a life grow into something beautiful is always worth the mess that comes with it,” Rainbow said as she thought of the many times Whiskey expressed her glee, even through her anger.
“Woah, you foalsat? I didn't think you’d have the patience,” Twilight said while walking back to Rainbow and Spike.
“You must have been really scared of Twi's reaction, hehe.” Spike laughed as Twilight gave him a playful smack on the head.
Rainbow rolled her eyes and chortled, looking back at Twilight and Spike.
“If anybody questions this, let's just say that I needed cash...”
Author's Note:Greetings readers. This is a one-shot I made after being given the idea to write one around Rainbow Dash foalsitting. I didn't think much or even use Baby Cakes as much as a reference, opting to try and recollect a babysitting experience I went through with my baby sister. The result was a little less happy than this fic, mostly because real life is harsh.
Thanks to all who read this fic. I hope you enjoyed it and are able to look at it and smile, and maybe even agree with or relate to Rainbow Dash.
This fic was edited by Void Chicken and Scootalloo of FiMFiction.net.
Thanks, Mr. Masato/Arby Works.
Edited by Arby Works, 17 May 2012 - 12:56 PM.