A few days after Episode 1.1, I decided to give the girls a bath. A few didn't get to join in: Applejack (her hair was pretty much perfect out the box and I didn't want to screw that up), Shining Armor (I don't think his hair would hold up), the Apple Bloom I was using at the time (Hair done up, bow in head) and the Glimmer Wings.
Everyone else though...
Can you guess who wasn't happy?
"I am DISPLEASED."
Of course you are.
"I DEMAND YOU GET ME OUT OF THIS... TUB IMMEDIATELY."
When you're clean, Trixie.
She huffed and puffed and generally made a nuisance of herself until I pulled her out of the water and gave her a rinse.
Once everybody was clean and had manes and tails wrapped around legs, they all went to the Shelf of Drying.
...and there was a whole lot of kvetching. I'll spare you all because it was the usual. Lyra and Luna argued the whole time, and blamed me because I was the one who put them side by side.
"Stranger danger! Stranger danger!"
Scootaloo, you've been sharing a shelf with her for a few days now, she's not a stranger.
So there was that. To get everypony to shut up I finally threw a blanket over the shelf and told them to can it. I got everyone set up again the next day, moved the Fashion Styles back to their shelf and swore up and down that I wouldn't make them move again.
Then there was today. A half-hour's drive and I found myself at Toys R Us, and I found myself with new ponies. My hand to god, crack would probably be cheaper, but not cuter.
But, because I'm tired of introductions, I decided to just get it all out of the way today.
"You better know by now that I get to meet one of them."
I exchanged a conspiratorial glance with Lyra and grinned at Luna.
You do. The last one, saving the best for last, of course.
Happy as a lark, Luna turned and snarked at Sweetie Swirl about her hair again. Lyra and I exchanged another glance (I swear I saw her wink) and I got to work.
Alright. Apple Bloom, hop hop. Front and center.
Yes you! Now come on!
I dragged a comb through her mane and moved her down to the new Shelf of Greetings.
She's so tiny. But she was brave, being down there all by herself, not knowing what was coming!
"Do you think maybe I'll get my cutie mark in introductions?"
I doubt it, baby, but maybe. Hang tight.
And I brought over the first of the new additions.
"*gasp!* Zecora?! Is it really you?!"
"That strange plastic prison filled my heart with gloom. How wonderful to see you, little Apple Bloom!"
Apple Bloom ran to Zecora and hugged her as tightly as her little filly legs would let her. There wasn't a dry eye at their reunion, let me tell you. After Apple Bloom had finished squeezing Zecora's neck, she turned to me.
"I know you don't usually do it this way, but do you think we can take Zecora up and show her to the other Crusaders? They've missed her too."
You know what, Apple Bloom. That's a fine idea! C'mon kids.
So, I helped them up.
"Y'all, look who she brought home!"
"Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, how wonderful to see you again! And I see you've met another friend!"
The girls wasted no time in pouncing at Zecora to hug her, and accidentally knocked her over.
"Wait, my little fillies, wait! Ouch, oof! You are crushing my ribs underneath your hoof!"
Star Dreams looked on, looking a little wistful. I guess being the new filly in town still has it's disadvantages. I patted her little head with my fingertip and made a mental note to work on the other girls to include her a little more.
Meanwhile, back up top, it was time to find some of the grown-ups to meet the others.
Hmmm... Blossomforth, c'mon.
"Aren't there more, er... outgoing ponies?"
Trust me, I think you'll like her.
"Fiiiiine. Just comb my mane."
While Blossomforth primped, I checked on one of my new charges.
"Are you sure about this? I'm so... unsteady on my feet."
Poor Flower Wishes has a bit of a defect. Her right front leg is shorter than her left front leg, so she's a little wobbly. Rather than bleat my displeasure loudly all over the internet, it's actually endeared her to me even more. She's rather insecure about it though, poor little thing.
Sweetie, I'm sure. You are PRECIOUS. And I'm sure everypony's going to love you.
"I... okay. If you're sure."
When she was finally finished, Blossomforth whistled and I helped her down.
Blossomforth, Flower Wishes.
"Hiya!" She giggled. "Nice cutie mark."
Flower Wishes smiled a real smile for the first time since I got home at noon.
"I like yours too."
So, I let them talk for a bit and then got them moved into place. I smiled at Blossomforth in thanks as I put her back into her spot before she started chattering at Dewdrop Dazzle.
I had a conundrum with this next one. WHO? I had three that I could conceivably use. Finally, I tossed a coin to eliminate one and then tossed again to decide.
You okay down there?
"It's awfully dark down here."
Oh, yeah. Sunglasses that don't come off. I'm sorry, Vinyl.
"Oh no, it's totally cool! Just a little hard to see!"
I brought down her introductee then.
"OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH IT'S YOU!!"
"Pinkie!! I haven't seen you in... minutes!"
Oh shit. I forgot that Vinyl had come packaged with a Pinkie.
I interjected quickly before Pinkie started thinking she had a twin.
Vinyl Scratch came in a playset with another... well. Another you. A different you. But you.
"Oh, cool! Okay!"
Pinkie turned to me.
"Does this mean we're going to have a party?!"
Um... er. Maybe? The Monster High girls might be throwing one sometime soon, maybe they won't mind if a few ponies join in.... we'll see.
"Because if Vinyl Scratch is here, that means we're gonna have awesome music and if you have awesome music, it means you have to have a party!"
I tried to follow Pinkie's logic but it just kind of derailed. This is why Pinkie and Minty get on so very well, they understand each other in a way that I just can't.
Pinkie chattered at Vinyl for awhile and promised to introduce Minty sometime soon and Vinyl turned to me, thrilled.
"This is so awesome!!"
At that, I moved the girls up, but the whole rest of the time, they were carrying on a conversation via shouting between the shelves. Oh good. They've discovered that now. They shouted at each other gleefully for awhile which turned into at least half the shelf singing a round while Vinyl beatboxed. I don't even know.
From the other shelf over, I heard a little throat-clearing and looked over to find Firefly looking more than a little perturbed.
"I know they're young, and I know that Pinkie Pie is really excitable. But can you please make them shut the hell up? The babies are trying to sleep, and frankly, so am I."
Right. Sorry, Firefly. Hey y'all? Keep it down, will you?
They dropped off and I glanced at Firefly again.
I tried to remember who was next... oh.
I'm really sorry. For the longest time, I called you Lemon Hearts because no one knew who you actually were.
"It's okay! Happens all the time."
Looking back up top, I motioned a finger at somepony and she hopped onto my hand.
Lemony Gem, Rarity.
"Darling! Your mane is incredible! The subtle shades of blue! Oh, once she gets you styled, you will be stunning!"
"*blush* Thank you."
"And your cutie mark! Diamonds like mine! Are you into all of the sparkly things too?"
"Oh yes! Very much so! I love to go hunting for them!"
"Then you simply MUST join me and Spikey-Wikey when I travel to Outer Shelflandia. I hear there are glittery gems there for the taking!"
It took me a minute to realize that she meant the glittery blind bag ponies. Clapping my hand over my mouth, I tried hard not to giggle out loud. The girls talked for a bit longer and made plans to meet up later for their sojourn and I got them moved back over.
That left just one more introduction to go. Before I had even gotten Rarity settled to her liking, Luna had zipped down to the shelf.
"Well? Where is she?! You said the best for last and here I am so where is she?"
She shot me a turquoise stink-eye.
Turn around. It's a surprise.
Turn. Around. Luna.
I heard that.
I got the last pony into place, nodding at her.
Okay. You can turn around now.
Luna turned. Lyra slid her way down off her riser and wiggled in beside Zecora, trying to peek down.
"State your name and your purp--- ..."
"I... but you... and the... how..."
"How wonderful to see you again..." she trailed her hoof along Luna's jawline and flicked her chin. "Princess Luna."
"Do you think you can withstand me again? To protect your little plastic subjects?"
Up above, there was giggling as Lyra tried desperately to hold in her laughter, but Luna didn't hear it.
"Oh, Luna, we have so much... catching up to do."
Luna blinked and flew back up to her spot on the shelf. Nightmare turned to me.
"Did I do okay?"
You did fine. Now, I told you the rules. None of that funny business from before. You're only here because you swore you'd be on your best behavior.
"I know, I know."
Alright. I'll introduce you to the ones your size later on. They're customs, but they're the real princesses. We let Little Luna harbor delusions. For now, get some rest. It's been a long day for everypony.
"Look few weeks for me, being stuck in all that plastic.
I'm sure. Alright, up here.
Nightmare squeezed in beside Cadance and smiled at her.
"Chrysalis says hey."
Cadance's response, if there was one, was inaudible. But Shining Armor began to vibrate, so I'm thinking whatever it was, it wasn't good.
Next week: A trip to Outer Shelflandia!
My many thanks to my dear friend blossomforth for help with Zecora's dialogue.