pIt was a lovely day in Multimedia, but it started out a bit less so for three certain young fillies at the park. One of them had discovered that she and her friends didn't have their Cutie Marks from the show they came from - and she didn't take the news well./p

p"I can't believe we're not getting our canon Cutie Marks in this universe!" Scootaloo yelled in anger. "This is the lamest, dumbest thing in the whole wide world!"/p

p"Come on, Scootaloo, it doesn't have to be that lame," Apple Bloom told her./p

p"And especially not that dumb," replied Sweetie Belle./p

p"What makes you say that?" Scootaloo asked. "Our characters were build 'spefically' around trying to get our Cutie Marks! Without them, we're probably as useful as any trio of kids!"/p

p"Yeah, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun together!" said Sweetie Belle./p

p"Yeah, there's lots of things to do in Multimedia," Apple Bloom said in agreement. "We can visit some of these buildings, make new friends, and find new places to play."/p

pScootaloo didn't look like she believed her. "What could this dumb place have that Equestria doesn't?"/p

pJust after she'd finished asking that, however, she saw something that completely changed her way of thinking. Her eyes went wide in excitement and she smiled widely./p


pApple Bloom and Sweetie Belle turned to look at what she was looking at, and immediately became excited as well. They saw a slide, monkey bars, three swings, a sandbox, and a tower that had a little ladder, another slide, and just enough room for the three to stand in it together./p

p"Playground?!" both of Scootaloo's friends cheered./p

pAll three of the fillies galloped over to the playground, and when they became close enough, they stopped to marvel at the equipment it had./p

p"Oh, man! All this looks awesome!" Scootaloo commented. "I guess Multimedia isn't so bad after all!"/p

pApple Bloom climbed up the ladder that led to the big slide, then sat on the top for a moment, and finally slid down to the bottom. She couldn't help but laugh; it was an exhilarating feeling./p

p"Hey, that looks like fun! Let me try that!" Sweetie Belle said, having seen Apple Bloom go down the slide./p

p"Me too!" Scootaloo replied./p

pApple Bloom hopped off the very end of the slide, then trotted out of the way. She stood next to the slide and watched as Scootaloo climbed to the top of the slide and looked ahead of her. Sweetie Belle sat behind her, looking just as excited./p

p"Alright, you ready?" Scootaloo asked./p

p"Let's do this!" Sweetie Belle cheered./p

pThe two fillies went down the slide together, hollering and laughing as they reached the bottom. They could now see - or rather, feel - why Apple Bloom had enjoyed the slide so much./p

p"Oh, my gosh! That was so awesome!" said Scootaloo./p

p"Yeah, let's do that again!" Sweetie Belle commented./p

pWhen they got off the slide, however, they saw Apple Bloom swinging on one of the swings. Out of interest and curiosity, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle made their way over to the swings, being careful enough not to get hit, and then had a look at them. They could hear Apple Bloom laughing; these must be fun, too. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle hopped on the two free swings, and began to swing along with their friend./p

p"Whee~!" said Sweetie Belle with an adorable laugh./p

p"This rocks!" Scootaloo called. "I can't believe we didn't discover this place before!"/p

p"I know, it's so magical!" Apple Bloom agreed./p

pUnbeknownst to the three fillies, this playground was where three more little girls - who also lived in Multimedia - were heading. The first of these girls, Audrey, had brown hair in pigtails and wore a pink shirt. The second of these girls, Dot, had dark skin and darker-colored hair, and wore a cute blue vest covered with large dots. And the third of these girls, Lotta, who was larger in size than both of her friends but no older, had blonde hair and wore a blue t-shirt. Together, these girls called themselves the Harvey Girls./p

pAs the Harvey Girls made their way over to the playground, they noticed the three little pony girls who were already on the swings. None of them were disappointed that the swings were being used, however; in fact, they looked happy. Dot, in particular, couldn't recall the last time she'd seen a foal, let alone three foals, use the playground equipment; and Audrey looked like she was interested in introducing herself to the ponies. Lotta, however, put her hands together as her eyes sparked in adoration./p

p"Awwww. Those ponies on the swings, they're so cute..." Lotta cooed./p

p"Oh, they are," Audrey said in agreement. "And I never thought I'd call something cute."/p

p"I don't know about you guys, but I would personally like to get to know these ponies," Dot stated. "As cute as they are, they also look like they would make some great friends."/p

p"Totally," said Audrey. "Hey, maybe we should go over there and push them while they're still swinging!"/p

p"That sounds like a great idea, Audrey," said Lotta. "I just hope they won't find it weird or anything..."/p

p"I don't think they will. In fact, it sounds like a great way to bond with them before we even introduce ourselves," Dot replied. "Shall we join them?"/p

pAudrey and Lotta nodded, and then the three of them made their way over to the playground. Then, without the Cutie Mark Crusaders knowing, the Harvey Girls each stood behind one of the ponies and began to push them higher. Audrey stood behind Apple Bloom, Dot stood behind Scootaloo, and Lotta stood behind Sweetie Belle./p

pThe three fillies, who were laughing and having fun, didn't notice they were being pushed at first. But as it became clear to them, they just laughed some more and held onto the ropes that they already had their hooves wrapped around./p

p"Hey, guys? Who's pushing us?" Apple Bloom wanted to know./p

p"I don't know, but they're doing it way better than I ever could!" Sweetie Belle replied./p

p"Oh, you said it!" Scootaloo said in agreement./p

pAfter about a few minutes, the fillies decided they had had enough. Without looking to see who was pushing her and her friends, Apple Bloom asked for it to stop./p

p"I'd like you to stop pushing us, please," said Apple Bloom./p

p"Yeah, me too," Sweetie Belle replied./p

pWithout a word, Audrey, Dot and Lotta stopped pushing the swings. Within a few seconds, they slowed to a stop. Happy that she had been obeyed, Apple Bloom stepped off with a polite, "Thank you very much."/p

p"That was great! We should totally do that again sometime!" Scootaloo said./p

p"I never knew the playground could be so much fun!" Sweetie Belle agreed. "But there is one thing I'd still like to know."/p

p"What's that?" Apple Bloom asked./p

p"Who were the ones who were pushing us on the swings?"/p

p"That would be us," Dot's voice said./p

pThe orange, purple and green eyes of Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle widened slightly when they heard that voice. Almost in perfect unison, the three of them turned around to see Audrey, Dot and Lotta behind them, just in front of the swings./p

pNow that they had seen who had been pushing them, none of the Cutie Mark Crusaders knew what to say. They just looked at the trio of human girls, not saying anything for a long moment, as the Harvey Girls looked at them in return./p

p"Uh, who are these girls?" Scootaloo asked Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, without letting herself sound too audible./p

p"I'm not sure," said Apple Bloom. "But I think they want to talk to us."/p

p"Sure looks like it. Let's just be nice and let them know who we are," said Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo nodded in understanding and looked back at the Harvey Girls. Apple Bloom was the first to break the silence./p

p"Hi there!" She waved to the Harvey Girls a little with her front hoof. "I don't think I've met you girls before."/p

p"Neither do I," Dot replied. "What's your name?"/p

p"My name's Apple Bloom," Apple Bloom replied./p

p"It's very nice to meet you, Apple Bloom," Dot said with a smile. "My name is Dot." She turned to look at Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. "And what are your names?"/p

p"I'm Scootaloo," Scootaloo replied./p

p"And my name is Sweetie Belle," Sweetie Belle added./p

p"Those are some nice names!" Audrey admitted. "By the way, my name's Audrey." She then gestured toward Lotta. "And this here is Lotta."/p

p"It's so nice to meet you fillies," Lotta said./p

p"It's nice to meet you, too," Sweetie Belle replied. "We call ourselves the Cutie Mark Crusaders."/p

p"Really? May I ask why you chose that particular name?" Dot asked politely./p

p"In the show we came from," Apple Bloom started, not knowing if the Harvey Girls would know what she was talking about, "we were on a journey to obtain our Cutie Marks for the longest time. Because as you can plainly see, we don't have any."/p

p"And when we finally did get our Cutie Marks," Scootaloo mentioned, "they disappeared right when we got to Multimedia from Equestria. You wouldn't believe how mad I was! It's like this universe doesn't WANT us to have our Cutie Marks!"/p

p"Um, Scootaloo?" Sweetie Belle chimed in. "Can we not go there? I don't want to see you get upset again."/p

p"Alright. Sorry." Scootaloo took a deep breath and sighed to regain herself. "Anyway, it's not something I wanna talk about, like... ever."/p

p"I understand," Lotta said with a reassuring smile./p

p"And if you don't count this conversation, we won't ever talk about that," said Audrey, who also had a reassuring smile on her face./p

pScootaloo smiled as well. "Thanks. By the way, do you girls call yourselves anything?"/p

p"As a matter of fact, we do," Dot said./p

p"We call ourselves the Harvey Girls," Audrey pointed out, "because we lived on Harvey Street back when we were on our show. And coincidentally, when we moved here, the neighborhood we wound up in was ALSO called Harvey Street! Isn't that cool?"/p

p"Yeah, it is cool!" Sweetie Belle replied./p

p"We wanted to come to the playground today when we saw you girls playing on the swings," said Lotta./p

p"We didn't want to interrupt your fun - not that I think we did - but we wanted to give you some company," Dot mentioned. "Hence why we pushed you on the swings for a while."/p

p"Gee, that was awfully nice of you," Apple Bloom said with a smile. "Thanks, Girls!"/p

p"So now that you're done with the swings, what would you like to do now?" Audrey asked./p

p"If there's anything you need our help with or just want us to be a part of, all you have to do is ask," Lotta agreed./p

pThe Cutie Mark Crusaders took all of their words in, then thought for a few seconds on what they wanted to do next. After almost an entire minute had gone by, the Harvey Girls could see some big smiles appear on their faces./p

p"Audrey, Dot, Lotta..." Apple Bloom started./p

p"I think all we really want..." Scootaloo continued./p

p"...is to spend as much time with you as we can," Sweetie Belle finished for them./p

pAudrey, Dot and Lotta slowly began to smile as well. They could tell that all three of them, and all three of these fillies, were in for a fantastic day together./p

pFor hours on end, the Harvey Girls played with the Cutie Mark Crusaders in different ways. Audrey challenged each of them to a go at the monkey bars and was surprised when they all came close to beating them. Dot taught the fillies how to make complex sand castles with only a few molds and a shovel. And Audrey and Lotta jump-roped with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, with Sweetie Belle singing a parody of Pop Goes the Weasel that Audrey and Apple Bloom found hilarious./p

pWhile they were playing, the Harvey Girls discovered that the Cutie Mark Crusaders weren't that much different from them. Audrey discovered that Scootaloo was particularly less girly and more tomboyish than Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, similar to her - aside from her attitude, she rode a scooter when she wanted to get somewhere quickly. Dot discovered that Apple Bloom was a bit more level-headed than her friends, but no less of a fun-lover like Dot was. And Lotta discovered that although Sweetie Belle was usually very nice, she wasn't afraid to defend her friends, much like how Lotta wasn't afraid to defend her friends./p

p"I should've known Multimedia wasn't that lame!" Scootaloo said to herself. "Heck, it's even more awesome than Equestria!"/p

p"And I have a feeling it's gonna get more awesome from here," Sweetie Belle said in agreement./p

pJust then, the fillies and the Harvey Girls heard music from what sounded like a music box. They turned their heads toward the source of the music and smiled in excitement. An ice cream truck had stopped by the playground. All six of the girls ran to the truck, while Audrey, Dot and Lotta stopped at the opening and began their orders./p

pAudrey asked for two chocolate ice cream cones, while Dot asked for two vanilla ice creams and Lotta asked for two strawberry ice creams. They all split the price evenly, with their own money, and then thanked the driver and went over to the Crusaders./p

p"Why'd you get two of each flavor?" Sweetie Belle wanted to know./p

pBut the Harvey Girls didn't even have to speak; they just handed one ice cream to each of their counterparts. Apple Bloom received one of the vanilla ice creams, Scootaloo received one of the chocolate ice creams, and Sweetie Belle received one of the strawberry ice creams, and the ice cream that Audrey, Dot and Lotta still had in their hands were the ones they kept for themselves. All three of the fillies smiled in happy surprise and began licking away at their frozen treats./p

p"By golly, these are delicious!" Apple Bloom said. "It tastes almost as good as apples!"/p

p"I know, right? I never knew chocolate ice cream could taste this great!" Scootaloo replied./p

p"Audrey, Dot, Lotta," said Sweetie Belle, "thank you so, so very much for buying us these ice creams!"/p

p"You're welcome, Sweetie Belle," Dot replied./p

p"No problem," Audrey added. "If there's anything else you want from us, all you have to do is ask."/p

p"Besides, we didn't want you to be the only group of three we could play with," Lotta said, "and we didn't want to be the only group of three you could play with."/p

pApple Bloom smiled as she blushed. "Gee, thanks..." As she and her friends finished their ice creams, they decided to make an announcement. "Since you were so nice to us..."/p

p"It's time we all came to an agreement," Scootaloo said./p

p"This is the day that the Cutie Mark Crusaders..." Sweetie Belle continued./p

p"And the Harvey Girls..." Lotta said./p

p"Shall unite and become one," said Dot./p

p"Together..." Audrey said./p

p"We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Harvey Girls!" Audrey and Apple Bloom said./p

p"Yeah!" Dot, Lotta, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle called in joy./p

pIndeed, that day - which certainly was the opposite of lame - was the beginning of the Harvey Girls' friendship with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. It was a friendship as strong as Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle's friendships, as well as Audrey, Dot and Lotta's. Now that they were united, their friendships would grow even stronger together - and so would the new ones that had formed between each member of each group./p

pIf anything, what the Harvey Girls had done were among the best ways to form new friendships - and certainly the best way to become the new friends of the Cutie Mark Crusaders./p