The sun was rising when they finally found the escaped chicken, roosting in a tree right at the edge of the Everfree. Pinkie pointed, and Fluttershy flew slowly up to retrieve the bedraggled-looking ball of feathers.
“Thank you for all your help, Pinkie Pie,” said Fluttershy, clutching the chicken in her arms. She blinked and it took a moment for her eyes to open again. “I’m sorry. I need to get home and get to bed.” Her eyes opened fully, a surprised look on her face. “Oh no! You have that fair with Twilight and Rarity today! Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry I kept you up all night.”
Pinkie smiled at her. “Don’t worr–” She was interrupted by a colossal yawn. “Worry about it, Fluttershy. I’m always happy to help my friends. Get Henrietta home and sleep tight.”
Fluttershy drooped her head in a grateful nod, and hovered away toward her cottage, her back hooves dragging in the dirt.
Pinkie watched her go, and turned her tired hooves toward home. She dragged herself the whole way there, barely managing to stay awake. Even for a pony of her boundless energy, an all-nighter was a steep price to pay.
She climbed the stairs in Sugarcube Corner, and passed her open bedroom door with a sad glance inside at her bed, beckoning her with its fluffy pillows and soft covers. But she resolutely turned her head aside, headed instead for the bathroom. She splashed some water on her face and pretended that it had made her feel more awake.
As she toweled off, a knock sounded at the door downstairs. Rarity and Twilight were here. She sighed, smiled, and went to greet them.
* * *
Half an hour later, they walked through the front gate of the 36th Annual Ponyville Horns & Hooves Fair. Rarity pulled them off toward the fashion and beauty pavilion, and Pinkie and Twilight followed with tolerant smiles, chatting idly about the stands they were passing, stocked high with horn wax and hoof wax and shiny hoof- and horn-crafted baubles of every shape and size.
They spent almost an hour in the fashion and beauty pavilion, and Pinkie’s head drooped more and more often, but she kept forcing herself to smile and stay engaged, because she didn’t get to be out with her two favorite ponies as often as she liked.
Once Rarity had made her purchases, fine silks and dress patterns, piled high in her bags, they left and went to the other side of the fair, the magic district, where the tents were low and made of dark cloth marked with arcane sigils. Twilight merrily led them along from one tent to the next, negotiating and arguing with one unicorn dealer after another, her smile growing along with the pile of spellbooks and arcane tomes she had purchased.
Pinkie smiled along with her, trying to ignore her fatigue by focusing on Twilight’s delight in books and knowledge. At last, they left the magic section of the fair, and the two unicorns turned to Pinkie.
“What do you want to look at, Pinkie?” An elegant hoof flew to Rarity’s face. “Oh, my.” Pinkie had fallen asleep, standing there in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the fair.
Twilight sighed. “Oh Pinkie, I wish you’d told us that you were that tired.” She gently prodded Pinkie to wake her up.
Pinkie smiled and blinked at them, her eyes heavy-lidded. “Are we having fun, girls?”
Rarity frowned at her, trying for severity but only reaching concern. “Darling, you should have begged off today. We’ve been dragging you willy-nilly all over this fair, when you’re bone-tired.”
Pinkie shook her head, and stepped sideways to catch her balance. “Nuh-uh, I’m fine. I wouldn’t miss a day out with my two most favorite ponies just because I’m a little bit tired.” Her voice trailed down to inaudibility, and she fell asleep again.
Rarity and Twilight exchanged a glance and a nod, and Twilight levitated Pinkie up onto her back. They left the fair with Pinkie snoring quietly atop her unicorn friend as they walked through the summer afternoon.
Soon they were back at Sugarcube Corner, and Twilight set her bags down and levitated Pinkie off her back and into her own bed, in a shaft of sunlight slanting in through the open window. Pinkie sighed and squirmed deeper into the mattress, and Rarity lifted the blanket to cover her, but the blanket froze in midair as Pinkie woke.
Pinkie opened her eyes a crack and looked around until she found Twilight and gave a logy smile. “Twilight, stay with me, please?”
Twilight smiled back at her. “Alright, Pinkie.” She climbed into the bed and laid next to Pinkie. Pinkie scooted closer with fitful movements and spooned up against Twilight with a happy little noise.
Rarity smiled affectionately at them. “I’ll let myself out. Sleep tight, Pinkie.”
Pinkie shook her head against the pillow and gestured behind her with her hoof, barely conscious. “You stay too, Rarity. M’favorite ponies. Wan’choo t’stay.”
Rarity hesitated a moment, then gave a little shrug and a smile. “As you wish, Pinkie. I’d love to stay.” She went around the bed and climbed in behind Pinkie, and snuggled up against her.
A clover-scented breeze wafted through the open window, and Pinkie made a happy little noise and burrowed deeper into the bed, tucked between the ponies she loved the most, in a shaft of summer sunlight, to sleep at last.
—- Author’s Note: This was written with the Tired Pie Tumblr in mind. I very much enjoy that blog and its incredibly cute take on Pinkie, so this is a sort of tribute to it.
Tired Pie is the most adorable thing and everyone who isn’t following it should but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. What I’m here to talk about is your story, which is really really good! It’s totally in-character for Pinkie to tire herself out helping one of her friends and overall the story is really cute. Good job!