Not long after the six little ponies divided into groups and went their separate ways, both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie arrive at the edge of the woods. The cyan pegasus with the rainbow-colored mane is flying above the trees, trying to scout ahead. Unfortunately, the darkness of the night makes it difficult. The pink pony with the puffy mane is just below the other, skipping merrily through the forest.
Realizing it is hopeless, the tomboyish Pegasus flies down to rejoin her friend, "It's so dark I can hardly see anything in front of me!" she complains.
"Oh come on, Rainbow Dash. It's not that bad. I mean I agree it is darker than usual, but that wont break our spirits, right?!" Pinkie Pie bubbles.
Rainbow just rolls her eyes and sighs, "I can't understand how you can be so cheerful after all this. I mean, seriously!"
Pinkie pie stops and tilts her head in confusion, "What do you mean?"
The frustrated Rainbow turns to her friend and explains, "Lets see...Oh yeah: One, we lost our home to that monster; Two, all our friends and families are serving him against their will; Three, and the most important, we have to go searching for help from the most unlikely creatures that we don't even know are there or will help us!" Rainbow Dash exclaims while huffing, "Does that answer your question?!!!"
Pinkie pie ponders that, then replies, "Yep!" She resumes her skipping and humming.
Rainbow Dash just sits there with her only reaction to Pinkie's response: a face hoof.
"Come one, slowpoke! We have a long way to go!" The hyperactive pony calla out as she is getting on ahead of the other.
Rainbow Dash's ears perk up at the word "slowpoke" and quickly takes flight to catch up, "You are you calling slowpoke?! I bet I could beat you in a race with my wings tied!" she challenges.
Pinkie Pie smiles big and runs on ahead, "Okie Dokie then. Lets race!"
The two ponies gallop through the woods, side by side, determined to see who will get the furthest before tiring out. As they run, Pinkie is happy knowing she is able to help take Rainbow's mind off the pain she is feeling.
The two ponies soon find themselves deeper in the woods than they thought; All thanks to the race that Rainbow Dash obviously wins. She lays on the ground, resting her tired legs. Pinkie Pie finally catches up with her and giggles.
"Whats...so...fun...ny...?" pants the exhausted Pegasus.
"You, silly!" Pinkie joyfully answers as she hops in little circles around her friend.
"Oh...yeah? Well...I won...so...*pants*...I should...be the one...*pants*...who's...laughing!"
Pinkie stand right in front of Rainbow Dash and continues hopping while in place, "Oh Rainbow. It wasn't about winning. It was about having fun. I mean I noticed how sad and grumpy you were, and I TOTALLY knew a race would be the thing to cheer you up."
Rainbow is able to catch her breath and stand back up on all fours. The next thing she notices is Pinkie Pie's big bright smile.
"So did it work? Huh-huh-huh? Did it, did it, did it?!" She asks over and over, while bouncing faster.
Rainbow Dash stands there and shrugs, "I guess it did."
Pinkie Pie smiles more and turns around...bouncing off in the other direction, going deeper into the woods. Rainbow Dash follows from behind in the air.
"Don't get too far ahead, Pinkie! It's really dark and I am already having trouble seeing where I'm going as it is!" She calls out.
"Don't you worry one bit. Your auntie Pinkie Pie knows exactly where she is going,"
Rainbow Dash has no idea how to respond to either of those things Pinkie said: One, Rainbow is slightly older then her...and two: how can she know which way to go when it is so dark?
The happy pink pony continues hopping along through the forest, clearly showing no signs of where she is going, at least from what Rainbow Dash can see as she follows.
Feeling the need to speak up about the direction Pinkie is heading in, Rainbow sees her hopping right towards a small river, which has a few stepping stones that will make crossing easier. However, when Rainbow gets closer, those stones...are not stones at all: They are alligators!
Pinkie is hopping right towards them, and apparently does not notice them. The panicking Pegasus flies down in a hurry to grab Pinkie before she reaches the river, but it is already too late.
Pinkie hops happily from one stone to the next, not realizing they are alligators. Once she makes it to the other side, she continues on. The gators however rub their heads and growl, clearly upset with the headaches they now have. Rainbow is coming in too fast towards the gators and pulls a quick maneuver to avoid them, but not before they take a few snaps at her...unsuccessfully.
Rainbow wipes the sweat from her forehead at the close call, but she feels something is different from behind. She turns her head, and the next thing she sees is her tail slightly shorter than before. Her jaw drops at the sight, and notices one of the alligators spitting out the hair and disappearing into the water. This infuriates Rainbow Dash greatly, not at the gators, but at Pinkie Pie.
Before the angry Pegasus can confront the pink pony, she has already hopped her way into an area of the forest that is covered in thorn bushes. Rainbow dashes to try and catch her this time, but once again she is too late. Pinkie has disappeared into the thicket and Rainbow ends up flying right into the bushes.
"Owowowowowowowow!!!!" Rainbow screams as dozens of thorns prick her coat.
The thorns hurt, but she refuses to lie there and do nothing. The thorn-covered Pegasus gets up and makes her way through the thicket, avoiding as many thorns as possible. The ones she does hit hurt her, "Owwwww!!!" Rainbow Dash cries.
It takes a few minutes to find her way out, but the experience feels longer since there are painful thorns involved. Rainbow finds herself on the other side, where Pinkie is sitting; She does not a thorn on her, compared to the other.
"How did...Why aren't you..." Rainbow Dash can not find the right words when she sees Pinkie sitting there, with her usual cheerful smile.
"Oh dear Rainbow, those are some nasty thorns. Might want to get those removed soon. They can be quite painful," the pink pony suggests.
The thorn-covered pony can not believe what she just heard. She wants to yell, but with all those pointy thorns on her, it will have to wait.
Pinkie Pie watches as her friend spends the next half hour pulling thorns out of her coat. The experience of removing the thorns, as well as watching them being pulled out, is painful for them both. The pink pony walks over to her, hoping she can cheer her up.
"Hey Rainbow, why don't you let me help you with that," Pinkie urges.
"I got it..."
"No really, I can help y-"
"I SAID I GOT IT!!!" The angry Pegasus screams.
Pinkie Pie backs away a little, confused and slightly terrified by her friend's sudden outburst, "I...I was just...trying to-"
Rainbow Dash pulls the last thorn out and glares at her friend, "Help?! I think you have helped me enough!!"
Pinkie Pie feels saddened by Rainbows words, plus confused why she would say such a thing.
"Look here!" Rainbow shows Pinkie where the alligator bit off part of her tail, "You see this?! This was from when I was trying to save you from the alligators that you just hopped across, and they DID THIS TO ME!!"
Tears start to form in the pink pony's eyes as Rainbow Dash continues blaming her for recent events, "OH, and lets not forget when you tricked me into running a stupid race, the thorns I had to endure, and finally...you act as if you know where you're going! The only thing you have led me to was THIS! You are NOT being helpful...AND I DOUBT YOU EVER CAN BE!!"
Pinkie Pie says nothing as more tears start to form. Rainbow is so angry she does not notice. All of a sudden, Pinkie turns and runs off, crying as she goes; She wants to get as far away from Rainbow as she can.
As she runs off, Rainbow soon realizes she has made her best friend cry, and she is running off into the woods. Afraid she will get lost, Rainbow flies after her.
"Pinkie Pie!!" Rainbow calls out, desperate to find her lost friend, "Pinkie Pie!!" There is no answer or any sign of her. Rainbow starts to regret all that she has said to Pinkie.
"Pinkie Pie!! Please come back! I didn't mean those things I said!!" Rainbow pleas.
She searches on and soon finds herself in a small open part of the forest. Rainbow realizes that not only is her friend lost, but so is she. Suddenly, strange noises are heard from all around.
"W-w-what...was...that?" Rainbow asks herself. Although as brave as she is, being all alone in the dark in an unfamiliar place, along with different sounds coming from all over, make her cower in fear.
The formerly brave Pegasus pony shivers as the cold wind blows past her. The sounds of owls hooting, branches rustling in the woods, and the growling of creatures unknown are too much to handle.
Too afraid to move, she curls up on the ground, trying to cover her face. Rainbow Dash is now all alone; First she lost those she cares about back in Ponyville, and now fears she has lost one the only friends she may have left. No longer able to hold it back, she breaks down and starts to cry.
"I'm...*sniff*...I'm so sorry, Pinkie...*sniff*...Pie," Rainbow Dash weeps, "Please...I...I didn't...mean those...things I said...*sniff*." She continues to cry for her friend, even as the scary noises can still be heard, "Please...come back...don't...*sniff*...don't leave me alone!!"
Rainbow's cries with much sorrow. She wishes everything will be alright, and that she will be home again with all her friends. But as she lays there, the weeping Pegasus fears that what she wishes for may never come to pass. Suddenly, she feels a gently hoof stroking her mane. Rainbow looks up, with her eyes filled with tears, and sees her friend before her.
It is her: the pink pony that represents the Element of Laughter. She has tears in her eyes as well, and is so relieved to find Rainbow Dash safe.
Overwhelmed with joy, Rainbow throws her front legs over her friend and embraces her tight, "I'm so sorry...I shouldn't have yelled at you, Pinkie!"
"No, it isn't. I was *sniff* so angry...and yet...it wasn't you I was really angry at. I should never have taken it out on you. You're my best friend, Pinkie Pie...and friends should never do things *sniff* like that to one another, even when...they were just trying to cheer the other up."
Pinkie Pie understands what Rainbow is going through, because she feels the same; They both lost many friends to the Darkness, and fear they may never see them again. Pinkie hugs her friend back, "I forgive you, Rainbow...because you're my best friend too."
Rainbow Dash feels more joy hearing her friend accepting her apology. The two eventually break the hug and wipe their eyes clean of tears. They both spend a little time...letting all their sorrows pass by before they continue their journey.
"So...How are you feeling now, Rainbow Dash?" Pinkie Pie asks.
"A little better I guess. I sure could use some of your "Pinkie charm" to help me smile again."
Pinkie Pie ponders for a moment, and then has a sure fire way to make Rainbow Dash smile again: She smiles big and using her front hooves, she brings them to her friend's sides and tickles her.
Rainbow rolles around on the ground all while laughing uncontrollably, "Pinkie....Hahahahah...stop...hahaha...that!!!" she pleads, but Pinkie Pie refused, since this was making her friend smile again.
As the pink pony tickles the rainbow-maned pony more and more, the scary noises that are all around them disappear; Everything is now looking their way.
After the tickling stops, the two ponies get ready to leave the clearing and continue towards the Hayseed Swamp. But as they leave, little do they know is that a pair of glowing eyes are glaring at them...from within the trees.