Little present for the ever wonderful Kits from the Enchanted Library supporter discord!
The wheels of the old toy wagon scraped the icy early morning snowed-on pavement, almost but not quite buckling under the weight of the portable guitar amplifier and the portable power generator it was plugged into. Christmas decorations hung all over the ritzy neighborhood apartment, each looking like it wanted to outshow its neighbors.
The wheels came to a stop, the handle falling to the ground with a soft thud as Rainbow adjusted the electric guitar hanging from the back of her coat and said:
“Okay, I know it’s noon, and it’s technically not illegal, but we have about, like, one hour tops before someone calls the police on us, so let’s make it count.”
Pinkie giggled, rolling her eyes. “Daaaashie!” she said, waving a finger at her friend. “It’s the holidays! No one’s gonna call the police on us! We’re doing this for a good cause!”
As if to highlight this, she shook the little bucket she was carrying, decorated in vibrant colors and with a little note pasted on it that read: “Donations for the 6th Street Crisis Hotline Center Pastry Fiesta!”
Rainbow snorted. “Man, to have your faith in rich people.”
Pinkie frowned, crossing her arms. “Dashie!”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry,” Rainbow replied, not really very sorry at all, but it was okay.
After all, Rainbow was her closest friend and… well… sometimes she wondered if they could be more than that, but it was always reeaaaally hard to figure out how to bring it up, and if it would work, and—! It was a lot! And besides, Pinkie was happy just to spend time with Rainbow, regardless of the circumstance.
She looked into her bucket and the big empty void within, hopeful at the prospect that it would be filled with donations by the end of the day. Once it was, she would be able to make sure to have the BEST of the BEST pastries ever for her co-workers on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, which she knew was… well… one of the hardest days of their job.
Speaking of which!
She took out her wallet, gathered up all the money she’d been saving for weeks, and dumped it in. After all, she couldn’t ask others for kindness if she wasn’t the first to give it!
Rainbow peered over her shoulder. “Oh, hey! Good thinking! If they think their neighbors donated, they’ll feel like they need to donate, too! Nice, Pinks!”
Rainbow Dash was a little cynical about the holidays, Pinkie knew, but that was okay. That’s why they worked so well together! It’s all about balance, Rarity had said once about relationships. Except sure, those were romantic, and she and Dash weren’t romantic, but maybe they would be one day, so—
“Okay, we should get started,” Rainbow said, interrupting Pinkie’s train of thought while kneeling down to grab the wagon’s handle. She inspected the nearby houses and gestured to a one-story high house decorated with large, dancing snowmen. “That one!”
“Oh! It looks cute!”
She took a step forward and then stopped. She wasn’t one to ever be nervous, but…
“What’s wrong?” Rainbow asked, having noticed her friend’s hesitation.
Pinkie smiled awkwardly. “Oh! Nothing!” She then faltered and confessed, “I just… I really hope this goes well, I guess!”
“It will, Pinks!” Rainbow insisted. She walked over and held Pinkie’s hand in hers, giving it a comforting squeeze. “Between the two of us, there’s no way that bucket won’t be full of cash by the end of the day!” She offered Pinkie a confident, charming grin. “I won’t let you down, okay?”
Pinkie giggled, her heart warm and reassured. “You’re right! We’ll do great.”
At the sound of three knocks, an elderly woman dressed in a long blue night-gown opened the door, squinting at the two girls through her glasses.
“Oh, hello!” Pinkie greeted with a little hop. “My name is Pinkie Pie, and this is Rainbow Dash—”
“And we’re here to collect donations to keep the local crisis hotline center warm and fed during this tough season!”
“And if you donate,” Rainbow added, pulling up a list written on a nice, baby blue sheet of paper, “you get to pick one of ten super unobtrusive Christmas songs for me to sing for you! They’re also, like, one minute tops. Super fast.”
“Oh, goodness! Well, doesn’t that sound lovely! One moment, dears…”
The old lady shuffled off into her house, and then came back not just with her wallet, but with four little pajama-clad grandchildren.
“Awww, hello!” Pinkie exclaimed, endeared, and even more so when four little voices greeted her back. Even Rainbow Dash was endeared, smiling just a teensy bit at them.
The grandmother opened her wallet and handed each of her grandchildren a few bills.
“Now, give them to the nice young girl.”
One by one, they deposited the money, each receiving an enthusiastic “Thank you!” from Pinkie, and once they were gone, Rainbow stepped up.
“So, did’ja want a song, or nah?”
“Oh, yes, please!” said the woman.
Pinkie watched as the children argued for a minute over which song should be played, and once they settled on one, she felt a great warmth in her chest when Rainbow sat down on the floor so she could play at the children’s eye-level.
She and the elderly woman swayed along to Rainbow’s soft, gentle singing, while the children watched her play with great fascination. Once she was finished to great applause, the two teens bid their farewell and walked off.
“That went so well!” Pinkie exclaimed, chuffed.
“Yeah! Maybe this’ll go faster than we thought.” Rainbow looked around and pointed to another house—this one two floors high, filled with decorations and two high-end cars. “Let’s try that one.”
“And if you donate,” Rainbow said, holding her blue sheet of songs, “you get to pick one of these super unobtrusive and quiet holiday songs for me to sing for you and your family. They’re also one minute tops.”
The young thirty-something tech professional stared at the two teens with a great, big frown. “No,” he said. “Now, get out.”
“But, sir,” Pinkie said, gently, “we don’t need much! Every bit helps.”
“Listen, kid, I don’t do charity and—”
“Awh, come on, man!” Rainbow exclaimed. “You have two beemers! You can totally afford—”
“It’s okay, Dashie,” Pinkie interrupted, grabbing her hand. “Some people just don’t like helping.”
Rainbow seemed about to protest, but instead, she made a great show out of sighing. “Yeaaaaah, you’re right. Ah well.” She then grabbed her guitar and plugged it to the amp. “Well—”
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” the man demanded. “I didn’t give you any money, and I don’t want you singing your crap at my door.”
“Sorry, dude,” Rainbow said, shrugging her shoulders. “Only donators get to pay to shut me up.”
“You can’t sing here! This is private property!” he protested.
Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah. Come on, Pinks.” She grabbed Pinkie’s hand and led her away, rolling the wagon behind them. “It’s not illegal to carol on the sidewalk,” she said loudly, ignoring the man shutting his door with a slam.
Pinkie followed her right up until they were on the pavement in front of the house’s sidewalk. It was then that Rainbow stopped right in her tracks, and said to Pinkie:
“Hey, did you bring those earmuffs that I gave you yesterday? Put them on.”
Pinkie frowned. “What? It’s not that cold!”
“Trust me, you’re gonna need something to cover your ears,” Rainbow replied as she turned up the volume on the amp. “Now put ‘em on, like, right now. And go stand a little bit over there.”
“Dashie! What are you doing?”
“Giving this guy what I call a ‘threatenin’ carolin’,” she replied with a grin from ear to ear. “Now, come on, go! Over there!”
No sooner had Pinkie skipped a few feet away and put on the earmuffs, Rainbow grabbed her guitar, took a breath, and then strummed her now very loud guitar:
“LIVING IN HOUSE 213 IS EBENEZEEEER, CAN’T DONATE TWO DOLLARS EVEN THOUGH HE OWNS, LIKE, THREE BEEME—”
After having been given a very nice ‘shut up’ donation from the man, the two girls continued on their path, visiting most houses on the streets. As much as Pinkie had been ready to do it all on her own, she was grateful Dash had come along.
Not just because she was a great performer, and her songs usually earned them double donations, but because… it was really nice to have her there.
In fact, it was so nice to spend the day with her like that, Pinkie couldn’t help but be just a teensy bit sad that it was coming to an end. A good end, though, despite her sadness at her hangout being done! The bucket overflowing with money was the absolute best end she could hope for, covering not just Christmas Eve and Day at the center, but even New Years.
“Thank you for helping me today, Rainbow,” Pinkie said later that day, the two girls having arrived at Pinkie’s house.
“No problem!” Rainbow exclaimed, putting down the handle of her wagon. “It was fun! I got to help you and practice my tunes. Totally worth it.”
“It was!” Pinkie replied. She opened her front door and turned back to her friend. “Don’t forget to text me when you’re home!”
The two girls stood there for a moment, neither making a move to leave. And truthfully, Pinkie didn’t want her to leave. She also, truthfully, wanted to do something else, but…
“Somethin’ wrong?” Rainbow asked, genuinely concerned, having noticed the hesitation between them. “You okay, Pinks?”
Pinkie wanted to reply that nothing was wrong, but the truth was that she wasn’t okay. She wanted to do something potentially very silly very badly, and she knew this would be a good moment to do it, but—
Rainbow’s sentence cut off when Pinkie quickly jumped forward to give her a big kiss on the cheek before immediately turning around and absconding into her house with a flustered, hurried, “Okaythankyoubyedashie!”
Once she was inside her home, she leaned against the door, grinning with excitement and nerves and nervouscitement. She prooooobably shouldn’t have immediately run inside her house and closed the door, though, but it was okay! Not everything could go perfectl—
Blinking, she stepped away from the door and opened it to find Rainbow Dash still there. As sort of expected, Rainbow was also as flustered as Pinkie, her cheeks bright red, but what Pinkie didn’t expect was Rainbow holding her guitar as if ready to play.
Still flustered, Rainbow cleared her throat. “Ah, uh, hello, miss!” she stammered, having a hard time not giggling when Pinkie did, delighted. She cleared her throat again and changed her posture into a more debonair, serenading one. “As, uh, one of our donors, you too are deserving of a song as cool and, uh, awesome, and—” Her blush increased. “Cute as you! So… yeah! What will it be?”
Pinkie crossed her arms behind her back, trying and failing not to grin like crazy. “Huuuuum… Is this a super short song, or can I get a super long one?”
Rainbow grinned. “For you, miss, it can be as long as you want.”
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