Dusk Shine yawned as he woke up. He glanced at the clock next to him. It was two minutes before the alarm that he’d set for himself. This frustrated him to no end. As a pony who liked to stick to schedules, waking up this close to the alarm was terrible. If he wanted to wake up with his alarm, he’d have to go back to sleep, but there really wasn’t enough time to fall right back asleep before the alarm went off. However, if he got out of bed now, that would make him five minutes early in his schedule, and while being early was better than being late, he greatly preferred to just be on time. He sighed and closed his eyes, trying to fall back asleep despite everything. Maybe there’d be enough time to-
“Well, that worked out,” Dusk said, pulling himself out of bed. He made his way to the bathroom for his morning cleanliness routine, finishing up with a quick fix of his mane. Once finished, he headed downstairs, giving Spike a gentle nudge with his magic to wake him up as well. He always slept through his alarm.
After fixing up and enjoying a delicious breakfast, Dusk checked his schedule. As it turned out, the next thing on his agenda was to go visit Bubble Berry and pick up a cake. He glanced over to see if Spike wanted to accompany him, but Spike had fallen back asleep at the table. Luckily, Dusk had this exact scenario on his schedule. Otherwise, it would have likely frustrated him to no end. He grabbed his saddlebags, full of books for his friends, and exited the library. Dusk thought idly about how excited he was for this cake as he trotted along. Bubble’s cakes were the best, tied only with Applejack’s. He was suddenly distracted from his thought patterns by a rainbow blur whizzing past him.
“Rainbow Blitz!” Dusk yelled, just managing to catch his balance. “You have to be more careful!”
“Whoops! Heh, sorry Dusk,” Blitz said, landing alongside him. “I was just busy practicing my awesome moves. Wonderbolts tryouts are next week, after all!” Dusk rolled his eyes, then blinkblinked.
“Oh no!” Dusk moaned.
“What is it?” Blitz asked.
“I wasn’t supposed to see you yet!” Dusk said, facehoofing. “I was going to visit you third today, right after Applejack but before Butterscotch!” Blitz laughed.
“Oh come on, Dusk,” Blitz said. “You’ve gotta calm down with that schedule stuff. Live life as it comes! That’s what I do, and I’m pretty awesome.”
“You ARE pretty awesome, Blitz,” Dusk said, “But I’m on a very strict schedule. I have to get to Sugarcube Corner and pick up my cake from Bubble Berry, and-“
“Cake? I’m in!” Blitz said, perking up. Dusk sighed.
“Fiiiiine,” Dusk said, looking defeated. “You can come along. I guess I’ll replace the timeslot that was going to be taken up by visiting you with something else.”
“Kay!” Blitz said, grinning. “Now let’s go get that cake!”
“Cake?” Applejack asked, trotting up to the two. Dusk whirled around, surprised.
“Applejack?” Dusk asked. “What are you doing here? You normally don’t finish working on your farm for another hour, and I was going to come visit you afterwards!”
“Well shucks, Dusk,” AJ said. “Ah finished mah work early an’ figured Ah’d take a trot ‘round town.”
“But you’re supposed to still be at the farm!” Dusk said, kicking a hoof in the dirt.
“Ah’m so sorry ta disappoint, Dusk,” AJ said, rolling his eyes.
“No no, it’s okay,” Dusk replied. “Do you want to come with us to Sugarcube Corner and pick up our cake?”
“Sure thing, Dusk!” AJ said. “Ah could use some sweets after all that work!”
“Alright,” Dusk said, amending his schedule. “I’ll just move my visits to Carousel Boutique and Butterscotch’s cottage up to take over the slots meant for you two.”
“Um…what about me?” Butterscotch asked as he and Elusive appeared on the scene. Dusk groaned.
“You too?!” Dusk asked. “Is everypony just leaving their homes today?”
“Um…sorry…” Butterscotch said, looking down.
“Oh, no need to be sorry, Butterscotch,” Elusive said, smiling. “We are dreadfully sorry to interrupt you three, but we were heading to the spa and overheard your conversation. I hear that you are all visiting Bubble Berry?”
“Yes,” Dusk said, sighing. “And I’m running a few minutes late now, and I wasn’t supposed to meet up with any of you until afterwards! Elusive, Butterscotch, don’t you usually go to the spa on Thursdays?”
“Oh yes,” Elusive replied. “But we moved it up to Tuesday this week, because Butterscotch has to care for a sick bunny that’s being moved into his care tomorrow.”
“That’s right,” Butterscotch said. “We would have made it Wednesday, but Elusive has a very important pony coming over for a fitting tomorrow.” Elusive nodded.
“Ugh…fine!” Dusk said. “I guess I’ll just change my entire schedule!”
“Hey, you two wanna come to Sugarcube Corner with us?” Blitz asked.
“We’re gettin’ cake!” AJ said, smiling.
“That would be wonderful!” Elusive answered.
“Oh…yes…if you don’t mind,” Butterscotch replied.
“There,” Dusk said, having crossed most of his schedule out. “At least I can count on Bubble to be where he’s supposed to be at the time he’s supposed to be there.”
“Where am I supposed to be?” Bubble asked, pushing a big wagon with a cake on it up to the group.
“Bubble Berry?!” Dusk said, tilting his head. “I was just on my way to Sugarcube Corner to get that cake…”
“Oh! Whoopsie!” Bubble said, bouncing. “I decided to bring it to you instead! I hope you don’t mind, Dusky!” Dusk shook his head.
“Well…at least it all worked out in the end,” Dusk said. “Now how about we all go enjoy this cake?”
“YEAH!” the other ponies said happily. And with that, the group headed to the nearest bistro to enjoy their confectionary delight.
“Um…Pinkie?” Twilight asked as she finished reading the story.
“Yes, Twilight?” Pinkie asked, grinning.
“All of these stallion versions of us are exactly like the mare versions of us,” Twilight said. “Aren’t they supposed to be doing things differently? Like, being all masculine and stuff?”
“Why?” Pinkie asked. Twilight tilted her head. Somehow, that one-word response was a lot deeper than she’d expected.
I liked this a lot. The sentiment that there wouldn’t be much difference due to their genders is one that I share. I liked the angle that this was a story Pinkie had written, and the ending with Twilight questioning the validity of it was sound. I liked it! It was fun and the ending was well-executed. Good job!