Pirates of the Equestrian Mane
Written by Pineapple Skitter
Edited by Morkskittar
Chapter 1: Water way to go
Twilight sighed heavily, collapsing into the archaic ceramic monstrosity that had kept librarians in the village clean for generations. Exotic scents wafted occasionally from a solitary candle she'd set up a corner, while steaming water rose as she descended, pulling the young unicorn into a watery embrace.
The temperature was scalding at first, but soon any discomfort was washed away with a pleasantly warm numbness, and Twilight felt the hours of pouring over ancient tomes and keeping the library clean dissolve into hot steamy nothingness. Reaching out with her magic, her horn probed the water gently before agitating it into complicated patterns. With both mind and body occupied, she sank into oblivion with a contented smile spreading across her muzzle.
"Now t'en, you swear that this 'ere bat 'll help my leg?"
Fluttershy smiled warmly, nodding gently at the agitated southern drawl.
"Oh, of course! When Angel bunny strained himself helping me round up the small woodland creatures he could barely hop. B-but then I made up a soak for him and he was right as rain soon after. I'm sure it works with ponies too, and I always feel better after a spa trip."
The yellow pegasus beckoned Applejack into the tub, trying to overcome the workpony's apprehension at doing something too, as she put it, "fru-fruey" Fluttershy managed to coax a couple more steps before indecision halted the orange pony again.
"An... 'an you won' tell anypony abou' this 'ere trip?"
Fluttershy giggled slightly, nodding as the orange earth pony blushed so deeply that she took on the colour of her older brother.
"'specially Rainbow dash?"
"Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake..."
Fluttershy swiftly completed the complicated dance that invoked the sacred Pinkie swear, then nodded supportively. Reassured, Applejack walked the last couple of steps to the hot spa's edge, and gingerly slid herself in.
"Well I'm in now, bu' I don' see wha... ahhhhhHHHHH!"
Her speech ceased suddenly, interrupted by the ecstasy from the bubbling spa that now surrounded her. There was silence for a while as Applejack enjoyed the new found sensation of pampering, and soon the two filly friends were stretched out fully, aches flying from their bodies as they discussed the recent weather and their friends, and what plans they now that the grand galloping gala was behind them.
"THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FOOD FIGHT CUTIE MARK!"
Rarity breathed heavily, trying not to lose all of her ladylike demure at the sight of cakes, condiments and assorted confection smeared along every surface of her boutique. Even the mannequins hadn't been spared, wooden eyes staring timidly from facials of icing and crumbs. The white unicorn's features twisted and turned, settling on a look half between fury and total shock, although it was softened slightly by the wide-eyed innocence of the three youngsters staring upwards apologetically.
"We're sorry Rarity."
The chorus of replies sounded heartfelt, and the white unicorn's expression slowly lost its edge. They were only young fillies after all, and it wasn't like the damage would be permanent.
"Well..." she looked around. Although it would be difficult to remove some of the raspberry stains from the ceiling, at least the crusaders had taken down the dresses and cleaned the worst of the gunk from the floors.
The two unrelated trains of though suddenly found themselves on the same line, and what little colour there was in her face leached out as they slammed into one another derailing her mind.
"G-G-Girls? W-W-Where are the dresses I h-had out? You KNOW that they were the ones that Hoity Toity is picking up for tomorrow's show..."
Applebloom looked up reproachfully with eyes as big as saucers, gesturing guiltily towards a pile that Rarity had first taken for rags.
"Well, ya see we gone an' made an teensy mess and then we saw all the fabric you had on them there horse-doll things and so we thought we could get a cleaning cutie ma..."
The youngest member of the apple family received a sharp poke in the ribs from Sweetie Bell, and realising her mistake changed course mind sentence.
"...we thought we should go an' clean the shop for you! So we used them dresses too..."
Rarity had already lifted the top rag from the heap, and unfurled it to see the sopping, jam-stained mess that tomorrow would be draped around the flanks of some Canterlot model. She was out the door and halfway down the street towards Ponyville's only laundrette before the trio of young fillies were aware of what was happening. They bolted out after the fleeing figure.
"We said we were sorry..."
The furthest from bliss Rarity had been in a LONG time.
Rainbow Dash soared through the air, wonderbolt costume hugging her form tightly and bringing her already slight frame to even greater aerodynamic levels. The silky-smooth fabric dropped wind resistance to but a whisper, and allowed her to put on even greater turns of speed than usual. The crowds down below oo'd and ah'd at the wondrous sights, gasping as the pegasus went into a tight corkscrew that twisted the rainbow streaming behind her into a complicated pattern of light.
"RAINBOW DASH! RAINBOW DASH! RAINBOW DASH!"
"RAINBOW DASH!" She hollered back, sitting bolt upright in bed and throwing the covers back in jubilation.
Dash suddenly flushed as deeply as Applejack had, looking around her house to make sure that no pony had been around to see her outburst. Muttering darkly, she settled back into the clouds that formed her bed and drifted back off to the land of Rainbow Dash: Most Awesome wonderbolt in the history of Equestria.
"Not that I'm less awesome outside my dreams."
She added to herself, smiling contentedly as sleep took her again.
Pinkie Pie leapt high into the air, landing in the muddy puddle with a loud SPLASH, spraying a tsunami of sodden dirt up into the air and watching it rain down on the surrounding pavement, somehow managing to keep herself pristine in the process.
This situation was quickly rectified by flipping onto her back in a move that made reality wince slightly and then rolling around in the brown water. She was momentarily distracted however as she felt someone invoking her name to keep something secret.
"Oh Fluttershy, you silly filly. YOU don't need to Pinkie swear! You could NEVER break even a normal promise!"
She giggled slightly and once again she was on all fours, again causing causality a rather painful migraine. The pink earth pony shook herself slightly and then began the short trot back to sugarcube corner before she felt a tremor ride through her rear hooves and tail.
"Hoof wiggle? Tail twitch?"
Her ears began oscillating up and down, gently slapping her cheeks, while her eyebrows started dancing across her forehead.
"Ear flap AND eyebrow shuffle? REALLY? Okie dokie!"
Sighing in resignation turned back to the puddle that was now frothing violently, and after placing the clothes peg she'd been carrying for just such an occasion on her nose, cannonballed into the puddle.
"Pinkie Pie? What are you..."
Lyra had opened her door at the sound of splashing, and watched slack jawed as the puddle swallowed up the pink pony whole, who disappeared with a loud splash and yet another giggle.
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of Pinkie Pie as she fell through the puddle was "Oh no, not again". Many ponies have speculated that if we knew exactly why Pinkie Pie had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
 Okay, so I may have copy/pasted that last paragraph from a certain book, but I'm sure all is forgiven... right? Perhaps I can placate you with a terrible brilliant joke? No? Well, tough. Q: What happens when two fillies love each other very much? A: They get mare-ied. BAZINGA!
In a rainbow blur, Dash alighted on the coliseum floor and shook herself. The moisture in the air that hadn't already slid off her suit flew out around her, with the light diffusing to create a rainbow that surrounded her.
The crowd went wild, with foals and fillies leaping from the stands and galloping across the clouds towards her.
"WE LOVE YOU RAINBOW DASH!"
The newest wonderbolt smiled joyfully, but as the wave of ponyflesh approached the smile flickered and died on her face.
"There's no need to come all at once! I'll be signing autographs at..."
She was interrupted as the first pony reached her, barrelling into Dash's flank and pushing her into the closing ring of rabid fans.
"STAY WITH US!"
"WE'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!"
"BE MY WAIFU!"
For the second time that evening, Rainbow Dash found herself bolt upright in bed, although this time she woke with a scream on her lips rather than her name.
But the hooves and muzzles still gripped her.
Looking around in shock she saw that her home was slowly collapsing inwards, tendrils of cloud unravelling and wrapping themselves around her legs and chest.
"No... no! Let me go!"
Her cries for assistance when unheard, and soon the house was a ball of dense cloud that eventually collapsed into a ball of water that crashed from the sky to the earth far below. A few damp posters and sodden items of clothing fell with it, but there was no sign of a living creature amongst the remains.
Galloping down the main street of Ponyville, Rarity kept her eyes glued to the road in front of her while here horn strained with the effort of keeping the bundle of soggy dresses levitating behind her.
"Right, ALL I have to do is get to the laundrette's, get the clothes washed and dried, then fix any stains, then prepare NEW dresses for any that are too far gone, and then maybe sleep and eat? Oh MY... AND I have to restock that lovely purple, although where I'm going to get more of that stuff at this hour I've NO idea. Maybe... the regal blue would suffice?"
Occupied with the infinite number of tasks that needed done and the finite time she had remaining to do them, Rarity didn't notice the puddle in front of her suddenly rear up like an ocean wave until it came crashing down on top of her, swallowing her and the pile of clothes whole.
"Ah you SURE it's mean' ta do d'at?"
Fluttershy stared at the swirling spa water. She'd never seen it whirlpool before.
She shrieked as she felt the water pool her inwards, and she lost her grip on the slippery tub sides.
Applejack bit down on the pegasus' tail, her back legs struggling to gain purchase on the spa bath's sides.
There was another sudden jerk from the vortex of water, and she felt her hooves slide along the smooth edge.
"Horseapples" she whimpered through a mouthful of tail, and she felt the two of them being dragged downwards.
Twilight's reverie was broken as the hot, pleasantly scented bathwater was replaced with an icy void, and as she snorted the water around her the unicorn tasted the acrid tang of brine. Panicking she flailed wildly for the sides of the library's bathtub, but was shocked to realise that it wasn't there.
With no clue of what was going on, she managed to concentrate enough to raise herself up above the icy water.
Her jaw dropped.
She saw Fluttershy, Dash and Applejack bobbing up and down in waves of frothing green and blue, trying desperatly to get a line of sight to the nearest piece of land. Nearby Rarity appeared to be clinging desperately to a heave of white fabric, while Pinkie Pie appeared to be, well...
Twilight shook her head in disbelief, suspecting that that sight of the pink earth pony aboard a small ramshackle raft of wooden jetsam was just some salt-water induced mirage.
At this thought she could have sworn that Pinkie shouted something about "it's flotsam", but it was probably just her imagination.
"Right all I have to do is get everpony to that raft and then..."
The light in her horn fizzled out, and she fell exhausted into the briny depths below.
Twilight shivered and pulled herself upright. She appeared to now be on the raft, and by the looks of exhaustion on the other ponies faces they were likely responsible for getting her and themselves onto the small raft.
"Ar-ar-are you okay?"
The uncorn nodded at the worried looking yellow pegasus, and attempted to pull herself upright, but her legs felt numb from cold and she ended up collapsing backwards into an ungainly heap.
Groaning, she looked up at Fluttershy again, and felt a terrible guilt for the look of fear on her face.
"Fluttershy, don't worry, I'm just a bit co..."
"Tw-tw-twilight? Behind yo-yo-you. Sh-sh-sh..."