Equestria Daily Speedfic Challenge entry. Very minor editing done after submission to ED so I don't spell Rainbow Dash's name wrong. >.< Enjoy!
"Hey Twilight! You gotta help me!"
Poking her head out of the covers, the purple unicorn pony saw the blurry outlines of a rainbow maned pegasus hovering over her. After a few seconds, Twilight Sparkle finally realized that a pegasus watching you sleep three inches away from you is not a normal thing. So she screamed and tossed all her pillows as Rainbow Dash to buy her some time to escape (as instructed by "The Young Mare's Guide to Defending Herself From Unsavory Home Invaders, 3rd Edition").
"Eh, Twilight? Can you stop running away?"
Of course, since this is Rainbow Dash who was invading her home there's really no escape. Twilight ran halfway across the library only to notice that Rainbow Dash is still hovering above her. Upside down, no less.
"Rainbow Dash! What in Celestia's name are you doing?!"
"I need a cookbook."
"Have you considered just looking at the shelf labeled cookbooks instead of waking me up like a creepy stalker?"
"It's more fun waking you up?"
"Or maybe you can try the card catalog?"
"I... kind of knocked it over on the way in." Rainbow Dash pointed to a pile of cards and a cabinet lying on the floor. Twilight let out a sigh and, with a look of disapproval, magically rearranged everything in a few seconds with her awesome unicorn magic. Good thing she memorized the All-Purpose Alphabetization spell last night before going to sleep. Also, she thought to herself, mental note: move the card catalog away from the windows or any opening that Rainbow or Pinkie Pie could come crashing in through.
"Fine. What do you want?"
"Well. I challenged Applejack to an apple pie baking contest and I need to learn how to bake an apple pie."
"Wait, you don't know how to bake an apple pie?"
"And you challenged Applejack to an apple pie baking contest?"
"You know, Rainbow, she's got the word 'apple' in her name."
"And apples are her cutie mark."
"WHY WOULD YOU CHALLENGE APPLEJACK TO AN APPLE-RELATED CONTEST ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU CAN'T BAKE?! It's like... it's like... if I challenged you to a race!"
"Eh, remember Running of the Leaves last week?"
"The point is, Twilight, I like winning. And I especially love winning against Applejack. Imagine how wonderful I'm going to feel when I beat Applejack at her own game. It'll be like making TWO sonic rainbooms. At once!"
"Haven't you learned anything about the magic of friendship, especially when it comes to Apple---"
"Oh Twilight please please please please please?"
"Fine." Twilight pulled out a book from a nearby shelf and handed it to Rainbow Dash. "All the royal cooks in Canterlot use this cookbook, so it should have everything you need."
"It's... thick." Rainbow opened it up and flipped through it. "It's got so many pages and words and---"
"It's a book, Rainbow."
"But where am I going to find---"
"Use the table of contents. It's there for a reason."
"But it's too hard! I just want to start baking."
"Fine." Twilight used her unicorn telekinesis to flip the book to the right page.
"Thanks Twi! I owe you one! Let me just mark this page and---"
Before Twilight Sparkle could bring forth the full might of her magical librarian powers and give Rainbow Dash a taste of rage that even Fluttershy could never muster, the blue pegasus pony has already dogeared the page and flew away in what seemed like ten microseconds.
It was a perfect fall day in the Ponyville commons. And Rainbow Dash is about to bake for the first time. Celestia help us all.
"Fillies and gentlecolts! Welcome to the first Pony Chef competition!" Spike the dragon was happy to play the announcer role again. He first tasted the power last week at the Iron Pony competition, then the Running of the Leaves, and now he couldn't give it up. "For this special occasion, we invited a panel of special guest judges---"
"Ah'm sorry, Rainbow, to make a big deal like this. But ah reckon if you're being a silly pony and challengin' me to a bakin' contest you'd like to be aaas hu-miliated as possible."
"That's nice. Too bad I'm going to win."
"Will the contestants please stop trash talking while I'm announcing?"
"Sorry Spike." Rainbow wasn't sorry.
Spike cleared his throat and nearly incinerated the microphone. "As I was saying, we invited a panel of special judges for this apple-pie-tastic event! First, from the mysterious Everfree Forest, Zecora the Zebra!"
"Spike the dragon, what is this pie? Was promised cake, but that's a lie."
"Sorry Zecora." Spike wasn't sorry either. "Next up, from our town's very own pastry shop, Pinkie Pie!"
Rainbow raised her eyebrows a little. "Seriously? Pinkie Pie?"
"Well, it's the best I could do on short notice. Now, the third and final judge: Canterlot's most famous pie-eating champion, who once ate seventeen apple pies after a long day of flying and only had a mild stomachache for three days. Fillies and genlecolts, please welcome Soarin of The Wonderbolts!"
At that moment trumpets started playing for no reason and a spotlight appeared on the third guest judge. Somehow, that all just made his hungry grumbling even more grumbly.
"A Wonderbolt? Here?"
"Yep. To watch you fail, Rainbow Dash!"
"Oh, Applejack, you think you're so clever. Wait till he eats me super delicious apple pie and ask me to be the new captain of The Wonderbolts because my pie's so delicious."
"That don't make no sense at all."
Two minutes into the contest, Rainbow opened the cookbook for the first time since she closed it in the library.
"Okay. Step 1. Prepare the crust. Flour, blah blah blah, flatten, roll, blah blah blah, place in fridge overnight? What?" Rainbow was confused.
"Now, remember, contestants, you have exactly two hours for this contest! So get moving and do something cool already so I can narrate!"
"But Spike, my cookbook said that I need to leave the crust in the fridge overnight and---"
"You didn't know that?" Applejack wasn't even laughing. She was just completely dumbfounded. "You mean you ain't never read that cookbook 'til now? Like, you ain't never prepared last night?"
"Rainbow Dash doesn't need to prepare because Rainbow Dash is awesome."
"Eh, hate to break it to ya, sugarcube, but baking's all about preparing. Preparation, and patience."
"Well, I don't need either of them! Just you watch, Applejack! I'm gonna do this Rainbow Dash style!"
As soon as she finished her sentence, Rainbow kicked the buckets of flour and water into the air. In a maelstrom of multi-colored fury she created a vortex that consumed and mixed everything in the air, and then she slammed the flour-water mixture on to the countertop with the fury of seven trainponies.
"Step 1, done."
Rainbow took one second to pose and make sure that Applejack and Soarin were aware of how awesome what she just did was, and then grabbed the pie "crust" and flew towards the nearest mountaintop. Ten minutes later, she returned with a perfectly "chilled" "crust", still with some snow stuck to it.
"Step 2, done."
In the meantime, Applejack has just put her pie in the oven. "Ninety more minutes and this pie'll be perfect!" She was smiling, satisfied at another day's good work. Soarin, however, wasn't. "Aww, I'm hungry now. Can't it be any faster?"
Rainbow Dash, with her Impress The Wonderbolts sense on high alert, caught that wist and flew right next to the blue-suited pony. "Don't worry sir, I'm gonna bake my pie in ten minutes flat."
"Ten minutes?" The crowd gasped. "That's... impossible!"
"So's my patented Sonic Rainboom!"
At that, Rainbow Dash grabbed a bucket of apples and her pie crust and flew towards the sky. On her way up she slammed the apples up into a group of migrating birds at full force. Through the magic of their claws and anger the apples came out all chopped up and gooey on the other side. Rainbow Dash expertly catches the goo in her crust and flew upwards.
Underneath her, all the crowd saw was a rainbow streaking up towards the sun and disappearing into the light. The crowd murmered. Did Rainbow Dash make it? What's going to happen? What the heck is she doing?
In exactly ten minutes, Rainbow returned. With her feathers slightly charred and some brown clump under her left wing, she proudly declared "by Celestia's glory here is the pie I promised!"
The "pie" was really an apple-scented glob, charred black by the sun's mighty rays. There was a white feather sticking out of it. Zecora poked at it, but refused to eat it. Pinkie Pie was ready to dig in but then had a flashback of the Baked Bads incident. Soarin was hungry, and he dug in.
"This is the BEST PIE EVER!"
And then he collapsed.
"How in the hay did Rainbow Dash win?"
"Well, Applejack, the rules say that since the judges didn't all eat your pie, you lose automatically."
"That's because Rainbow darn near killed one of 'em!"
"Hey, he said it was the best pie ever!"
"It ain't even a pie!"
"Ladies!" Twilight broke in. "If I may? Actually, according to this book, it was a popover."
"A what?" Rainbow and Applejack are now both confused.
"So you both lose. Again." Twilight shook her head. "Didn't you learn anything last week?"
"Eh, no." "Nope."
Dear Princess Celestia,
My friends are idiots and they never learn.
But I still love them anyway because they are my friends.
Your faithful student.