It was a sunny morning in Ponyville, with the birds singing and the clouds lazily drifting about. And amongst the many windows on many houses, there was one particular window through which, if one looked at the right angle, a purple unicorn could be seen opening her eyes and arising from her nightly slumber.
Twilight Sparkle gently placed all of her hooves on the floor and slowly climbed out of bed, all the while getting out a long yawn. Her eyes fell on the large basket in which her Number One Assistant and closest friend slept. Or rather, would have slept, if he was there. Spike had gone to Canterlot for his so-called 'Royal Duties' with Princess Luna. Twilight still vividly recalled the last moment she had seen him as he was boarding the train. She was missing him so much and it had only been two weeks. With her beloved assistant gone, she had been working double-time to finish his chores and duties around the library. She missed tucking him in at night, she missed caring for him and she missed him being there to care for her. True, he probably watched out for her more than she did herself. It pained her to think of the fact that there were two more Spike-less weeks that had yet to come.
She kept thinking about Spike as she trotted down the stairs to the kitchen. She made herself a breakfast of dandelions and eggs and ate slowly, knowing that she would need her energy for the hours that lay ahead of her. Oh, how she missed his pancakes. She finished her meal and made her way to her desk. There lay the scroll that had written on it everything that she needed to do for the next three hours. She had promised Rainbow Dash that they'd read the next book in the 'Daring Do' series together at noon today. And today was also the day in which she had to help Applejack with the new harvesting schedule. She reluctantly opened the scroll and watched as it unrolled itself all the way to the nearest bookshelf. She had never realised how hard Spike really worked to finish his chores.
"Note to self," she said out loud. "Change dusting to once a week and arrangement checkups to once every third day."
Twilight skipped happily through the Ponyville markets. Only three days remained until Spike returned to Ponyville. She had finished Spike's chores and her own (including a rather lengthy essay on herbal medicines which Princess Celestia had assigned) and was now heading to Sugarcube Corner. She felt that she deserved a treat for today's work. The unmistakable bakery now stood before her, seemingly inviting her to come inside.
"You've got to try some of these new butterscotch taffies we just got, 'Shy! They're Butter-ific!" said Pinkie, raising her forelegs into the air for emphasis.
"Oh, I think I've had enough for one day. Thanks anyway, Pinkie Pie." replied Fluttershy, who was standing on the opposite side of the counter.
"Fluttershy," said Pinkie flatly. "You only had a small muffin. Derpy usually eats FIVE of those things at one time. Come on, Flutters! You have to learn to INDULGE every once in a while. Tell you what, I'll give you a bag for no extra charge. It's on the house!"
"Well, okay then. If you say so."
Pinkie happily filled a small paper bag with wrapped goodies for her friend. "Here you go!"
Fluttershy reluctantly took the bag from the pink pony's hoof.
"Try one!" exclaimed Pinkie.
Fluttershy reached into the bag and unwrapped a sweet. After looking from Pinkie's smiling face and the ball of sugar in her hoof a few times, she popped it into her mouth. "Hey, that is yummy!" she exclaimed.
Fluttershy happily bit into another taffy from the bag.
"Ooo, another customer!" said Pinkie upon hearing the bell on the front door chime, a sound she'd recognise anywhere.
Twilight trotted up to the counter. "Hi girls!"
"Oh, hello Twilight."
"So, what's it gonna be? Cupcakes? Ice cream?" asked Pinkie, stating Twilight's two favourite sweets.
"Oh, Twilight, try these," said Fluttershy, offering her a taffy. "They're simply delicious!"
Twilight popped the brown ball into her mouth. "Mmmmm!" she exclaimed. "I'll take twenty!"
Pinkie began filling another bag with butterscotch taffies.
"Oh, and could you throw in a strawberry cupcake?"
"Now look whose sweet tooth is acting up today!" Pinkie walked over to the oven and pulled out a tray of cupcakes from underneath and put one in a bag. "Here you go! Four bits, please!"
Twilight handed over a ten-bit note. "Keep the change!" she said.
"So, what's up Twilight?" asked Pinkie. "You seem really happy today."
"I am! Spike's returning to Ponyville in three days!"
"Ooo, it's been almost a month now hasn't it?" said Fluttershy. "I miss the little guy so much."
"Yeah, that's great!" said Pinkie. "Heyyy, you know what this calls for? A welcome back party! Don't you think, Twilight?"
"Why didn't I think of that? That's a great idea, Pinkie."
"A party sounds fun. It's been a while since we had one," said Fluttershy.
"Yay!" exclaimed Pinkie. "We'll invite Applejack and Rainbow Dash and Rarity and Applebloom and Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle and Derpy and Big Mac and Thunderlane and Mr. and Mrs. Cake and of course you too, Fluttershy! And we'll have streamers and balloons and cake and all the butterscotch taffies we can eat and music and dancing and-" She stopped to inhale. "-and we'll bob for apples and-"
"Woah, woah Pinkie! I get the idea. But where are we going to have the party?" asked Twilight. "The Library isn't exactly an ideal pace for a celebration and I think your house might get a bit stuffy with so many ponies in it."
"Gosh, you're right Twilight, I hadn't thought of that."
"Oh, um, I think my cottage is free for the next few days, so we could have our party there," said Fluttershy.
"That's great Fluttershy! I'll start sending out invitations right away!"
"Oh, that reminds me, it's time to feed Angel. I have to get going. Bye!" said Fluttershy as she turned to leave. "Oh, and thanks for the taffy, Pinkie."
"No problem, Fluttershy!" Pinkie called after her.
"So, Pinkie, let me help you with those invi-"
"Oh, don't worry about anything Twilight! I have it all under control. Besides, you've been doing enough work already with Spike gone anyway."
"Are you sure you don't need any help?"
"Yeah, I'm sure! Now why don't you go relax by the lake near Rainbow Dash's house? She told me that she wanted to hang out with someone today but I had to work."
"Really? Thanks, Pinkie."
Twilight grabbed her two bags of sweets and headed out the door.
"I sure am looking forward to that party!" said Twilight as she walked towards the lake.
Unfortunately, Twilight Sparkle was soon to learn that things don't always turn out like you plan.