Rainbow Dash had escorted Luna home that night so that Luna would be able to get some sleep before her next lesson. Luna hadn't slept much at all though because she was too busy wondering what pink pie would taste like. Perhaps it was some sort of fruity flavor. Luna placed Abby upon her bookshelf. She didn't know what she was in for today and after last night she worried that she might break her dear friend so today Abby stayed home.
Luna made her way through Ponyville that afternoon with her saddle bag stuffed full of bandages and various other first aid. A pony could never be too careful, especially when the circumstances were unknown. Luna had also decided that day to strip herself of her princess decor and opted instead for a purple cloak. She didn't want to feel too out of place. She also didn't want to make other ponies feel uncomfortable hence the normal sort of clothing that she chose if you could call a cloak mid day normal.
Ponyville was busy as ever as ponies were rushing about to prepare for an outdoor festival. Everypony had something to do or somewhere to be and many passed by Luna without a second glance. As Luna trotted through Ponyville she enjoyed the sounds of ponies laughing and chatting, the sounds of birds singing and the smells of fresh baked breads and morning bucked apples in the air. Luna couldn't resist the look of the delicious apples that lay upon carts in the streets and so she decided to try one. Picking an apple from the stand Luna handed her two bits to the yellow earth pony who thanked her kindly for her business. As Luna bit down into the juicy apple she suddenly came face to face with Rainbow Dash who loomed upside down in front of her. Luna let out a surprised yelp almost dropping her apple.
"Heh, sorry about that Luna. Oh hey Applejack!" Dash said, turning towards the yellow earth pony that was adorned by a tri apple cutie mark.
"Well hey ther' Rainbow Dash. What ar' ya up to today?" Applejack said.
"Me and Luna here are going to have some flying lessons today. Heading over to Sugarcube Corner to pick up some supplies from Pinkie Pie."
Applejack raised an eyebrow. "Yer goin' to get supplies from Pinkie? What's goin' on in yer head that ya think that's a good idea?" Applejack paused for a minute. "Wait... Luna? As in Princess Luna?" The yellow earth pony stared at Luna who had now pulled the hood up fully on her cloak seemingly trying to disappear inside of it.
"Erm... would you mind not letting it slip that she's here AJ?" Rainbow Dash said as she hovered up and landed next to Luna, covering her form slightly with her outstretched wings.
"We're just hanging out so she doesn't want to draw to much attention."
Applejack seemed to be making a strange face that resembled something between concentrating and a glare. "Well... ya'll better be careful with whatever ya end up doin'. We dun wanna upset Princess Celestia cause somethin' happened to her dear sister cause of you Dash."
"Oh no... It's quite alright." Luna spoke up softly. "My sister knows I'm out and she's glad that I'm no longer stuck in my room all day. She would probably even laugh if I came home injured."
"She would laugh at you for being injured?" Applejack said suddenly worried.
"Well, no not at the fact that I'm injured but because she could see that I was trying to have fun and that would make her happy. When my sister is happy she tends to laugh."
"I see...," Applejack said warily, eyeing the purple alicorn. "Well I reckon that ya'll better get a move on if ya wanna catch Pinkie Pie before she gets all caught up in baking for the festival." The earth pony turned her attention back to her cart and began to fix the placement of the apples so they sat perfectly. Luna was very tempted to buy another. The first had been so delicious. She then remembered the last half of the first apple and quickly ate it, enjoying the flavor once again. These apples were better than the ones that her sister had flown into Canterlot. She needed to remember to buy some before she went home tonight.
"See you later then Applejack. Come on Luna. Were off to Sugarcube corner." And with that Rainbow Dash took off flying through Ponyville.
"Hey! Wait for me!" She yelled as she trotted after the blue pegasus as fast as she could without drawing attention.
She hung her head and caught her breath once she caught up to Rainbow Dash. The pegasus had landed next to a sweet smelling shop in the middle of town and now as Luna caught her breath she suddenly felt hungry again. Luna looked up to say something to her friend but she only got as far as opening her mouth for Dash was gone.
"Eh..." It was the only thing she could manage to say. Luna looked frantically around and then caught the last glimpse of a rainbow mane disappearing into the pink colored shop. Luna liked how the shop seemed to resemble a ginger bread house but she didn't take too much time to observe it before hurrying in after Dash.
"WELL HI THERE PRINCESS LUNA!" A pink pony exclaimed, jumping right in front of Luna.
"Ahh!" Luna screamed.
"Pinkie what did I say about it being a secret?" Dash's voice was aggrivated.
"Oh! Hehe silly me." The pink pony laughed. "Hi there Princess Luna," she whispered.
Rainbow Dash put a hoof to her face and shook her head then sighed. "Luna this is Pinkie Pie. She's going to help us out today."
Luna remembered the completely pink pony. She had been the element of... laughter. That's right. It was somewhat befitting of her Luna decided as she watched the pink pony bounce up and down around the room. Luna blushed half embarrassed and half nervous. How was she going to make friends when she kept feeling so out of place among other ponies? If only her sister was there to give her some advi-
"HEY LUNA!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed catching Luna off guard again. "Can I be your friend too? Can I? Can I? CAN I?" The pony grew progressively closer to Luna until they were almost nose to nose.
"Uh..." Luna said, baffled and unable to form words for the expecting mare.
"GREAT! Here have some of these. I just baked them~" Pinkie cooed as she held out a plate of fresh baked cupcakes. The cupcakes were hot and straight out of the oven. The scent was amazing. The white cake topped by hoof whipped pink frosting covered in sprinkles made Luna's stomach rumble. Graciously Luna took one of the cupcakes and had herself a bite.
These. Were. Amazing.
She quickly gobbled it down and then caught herself and blushed. She felt very un-princess like for stuffing her face as she did but the two ponies only laughed.
"Yeah, Pinkie Pie's cupcakes tend to have that effect." Dash laughed as she bit down into a cupcake of her own. "So Pinkie you going to let me have the supplies or what?"
"Right! I almost forgot. They're outside in the back. Come on!" Pinkie Pie said as she hopped her way through the shop and out the back door. Luna only stared with slight bewilderment. This pony was quite...strange.
Luna and Rainbow Dash both followed silently until the light adjusted Luna's vision and her jaw dropped.
What in Equestria was that contraption?
The hot air balloon stood tall next to Sugarcube corner with a basket attached underneath, it's heat radiating on Luna's coat. Dash had already taken off and was flying around it, inspecting it and Pinkie Pie was bouncing around the balloons base.
"Isn't this great, Luna?" Dash yelled down to her. "Now you can get used to flying without working up a sweat!"
"It's my super special high flying slow soaring hot air balloon. It's super duper amazingly fun!" Pinkie smiled.
Luna remained with her mouth agape. Did Dash want her to... get into this thing? She didn't have words to express her discontent with the situation. The looming hot air balloon made Luna weak in the knees. 'I would rather fly on my own than get in there,' Luna thought. And on top of everything the hot air balloon was a bright, vibrant shade of pink perfectly matched to the coat of the hyperactive mare. 'Oh Celestia... what have I gotten myself into?'
"Come on Luna," Dash yelled. "Get over here. You can't hang out in the doorway all day with a face like that." Rainbow Dash chuckled a bit.
Luna got a hold of herself and trotted over cautiously. She wanted very much to make Rainbow Dash happy and to spend time with her new friend but the balloon made her knees feel shaky. She wasn't too sure about the idea of flying lessons anymore. She caught her thoughts. No, making friends was something she wanted to do for a long time and she wasn't about to let some stupid balloon get in the way of that. Maybe...
"Hurry up Luna!" Dash called again as Pinkie Pie began undoing the weights holding the balloon down. Luna sped up her pace considerably and managed to jump in just in time before the balloon ascended upwards into the clouds. She could hear the cheers of the pink pony below her and the laughter of her pegasus friend that soared above but as Luna lay in the basket having fallen in she could only see the sky above her floating closer. Luna felt a weight on her chest. The lingering feeling of how the situation was a bad one held tight to her form. She curled up inside the basket hoping to make herself feel a bit safer. It was all she could do at the moment for the sounds of the cheers had quieted and the laughter had stopped. The sound of the passing breeze was all that Luna could hear and it scared her to think that she was now all alone in the sky.
She gathered up a bit of courage after all she couldn't remain hiding in the basket forever. She needed to stand up and slowly she did, her knees steadying. And then she found herself without words.
The view was marvelous. The rolling hills led off past the Everfree forest and Luna was able to see more of Manehattan than she ever could from her room back in Canterlot. Ponyville lay beneath her still busy with many a pony rushing about setting up decor for the celebration. They all looked so small from such a height. Looking upwards towards the clouds Luna caught glimpses of Rainbow Dash as she cleared out the clouds for Luna's trip. Luna smiled. It wasn't so bad as she first thought it would be. Maybe she could have fun after all.
Luna squinted. 'What's that...?' she thought as something in the distance began to approach. "It almost looks like -," she began but stopped as she froze up with her eyes wide.
Luna and her sister locked eyes momentarily as Princess Celestia passed by Luna's balloon atop her stallion pulled coach. She sheer bewilderment of her sisters expression made Luna turn bright red in the cheeks. The glance was only for an instant as her sisters coach took off into the distance past her but Luna knew instantly that her sister would never let her live this down.
'I knew this was a bad idea...' she thought as she slowly sunk to the bottom of the basket once more.