Fluttershy stretched herself out on the cold grass, damp with the morning's dew. She rested her head on a rough, brown log, letting her head gaze up into the early morning sky. The stars had begun to vanish and the moon had started to slowly disappear. The sky started turning light blue, signifying that in a few minutes, the sun would rise. Surrounding her were trees, towering high into the sky with the tree tops joining together, forming a shelter over her. Fluttershy inched her way to her left, leaving a huge empty space on her right. Turning her head towards the uninhabited spot, the yellow pony started to speak.
"S-sorry I'm late today. I got held up
" Fluttershy diverted her eyes to her hooves. "You're
you're not mad
are you?" he kept silent as she stared at the empty spot beside her.
The minutes of silence had allowed the first rays of sunlight to appear, piercing the canopy with small beams of light. Fluttershy stared back at the grass next to her.
Remember when we first met?" Fluttershy asked in a hushed tone. "We were just fillies in flight school. I was being bullied when you
Fluttershy wandered the hallways of the Cloudsdale Flight Academy. A look of confusion was sprawled across her face as she frantically scanned the lockers which were lined against the cloud walls. Suddenly, a voice startled her from behind.
"Hey there squirt." Fluttershy turned around to see an older, taller pony with a cream colored mane and dark brown coat standing in front of her. Beside him were two other ponies, one sported an orange coat and a long, brown mane which covered his eyes and another looked similar except that his mane was black and he had a blue coat. "First day in flight school?" The tall pony leaned over to the short filly.
" Fluttershy could barely get the courage to say even one word. In her hooves she gripped three small books, her short pink mane drooped over the middle of her face.
"Well then, let me teach you a lesson here in flight school." The tall pony slammed his hooves against Fluttershy's books, causing them to fly out of her hooves and slide across the hallway. "This is my hallway. You do what I say and we don't have a problem, got it?" Fluttershy stared back at the bullies in front of her, her eyes welling up with tears.
"Hey Dumb-bell, looks like we got a crier." The orange pony said as he nudged the main bully.
"Well, well, well. I guess it's time we show you what we do to crybabies." Dumb-bell lifted up his front hoof, ready to strike down on Fluttershy. Fluttershy shielded herself with her small yellow hooves, even though she knew it would do no good. She shut her eyes tight, waiting for the pain to arrive. Without warning, she felt a strong gust of wind blow across her face, opening her eyes, she saw a strange filly standing in front of her. The filly had a bright blue coat and a unkempt, six-colored mane. She was standing in between the bullies and Fluttershy, taking a fighting stance, her teeth tightly gritted.
"What do you think you're doing to her!?" The cyan filly shouted out. Her voice was rough and sounded nothing like any filly Fluttershy had heard before.
"And just who are you?" Dumb-bell asked, his hoof still high in the air, itching to strike down on the cowering yellow pony in the back.
"I'm Rainbow Dash! Faster flier in all of Flight School!" The rainbow-colored Pegasus yelled back confidently.
"Oh yeah? Well, let's see about that." Dumb-bell slammed his hoof down but stopped in mid-air when he heard a loud, stern voice yell from behind him.
"And just what is going on here!?" A pink Pegasus asked. She held a ruler in her front right hoof, beating it down on her front left hoof.
"Oh! M-Miss Sky! We were
We were just showing them around the school!" Dumb-bell nervously explained.
"I sure hope so, if I catch you hurting any fellow schoolmates again. You will be in big trouble, do you understand Mr Bell?"
"Y-yes Miss Sky." As the pink mare walked away, the bully turned around, staring at the two fillies in front of him. "Next time, you won't be so lucky
" He warned before walking off with his two companions.
"Hey!" Rainbow turned around to face the yellow filly. "You okay? Those jerks didn't hurt you did they?" Fluttershy shook her head lightly, small tears flowing down her cheeks. Rainbow walked towards the pile of books on the floor across the hallway, picking them up and handing it back to the sobbing filly, who was still sitting on the ground, wiping the tears off from her face, "Come on."
Fluttershy took the books with both hooves, staring up at her savior. Rainbow lowered her hoof, allowing the butter-colored pony to grab it as Rainbow pulled her upright. "I'll show you to your class." As they took a few steps forward, Rainbow suddenly turned towards Fluttershy again. "Oh right! I completely forgot!" Rainbow stuck out her hoof one more time towards the trembling filly. "I'm Rainbow Dash!" A confident, friendly smile appeared on Rainbow's face.
Fluttershy slowly reached her hoof out, shaking Rainbow's as a smile appeared on her face too. With a meek voice, she spoke, "I'm Fluttershy
The sun was now fully up in the sky, drenching the forest in a cozy blanket of morning rays, the tightly woven canopy only allowing small rays through. Fluttershy shifted on the grass, turning her whole body to face the vacant area beside her.
"I still don't understand up to this day why you would stand up for a pony like me...but
" Fluttershy closed her eyes and gulped, trying to hold back her tears. "But you couldn't be there all the time
Rainbow burst through the door, the thick smell of medicine filled her nostrils. The sick bay was a small room, only containing one bed but many cabinets filled with pills and liquids of all kinds. Fluttershy was attended to by a mare with bright red hair wearing a nurse's cap and uniform.
"I flew here as fast as I could!" Rainbow shouted. The nurse didn't seem to acknowledge Rainbow's presence, continuing to check her clipboard for as she looked at the battered pony. The nurse then stood up and exited the room without even throwing a glance at the cyan filly whose face was flushed with fear. "Fluttershy! What happened!?" Rainbow flew forward, sitting down next to the bed where the injured pony lay. Fluttershy was covered in many cuts and bruises. The red blood, although dried, was still clearly visible on her fur, the crimson shade a sharp contrast to her soft yellow. Fluttershy managed to sit upright, with some help from Rainbow. Bandages wrapped a good length of her hooves and face.
" Fluttershy spoke hesitantly, diverting all of her gazes to the floor and cabinets.
"Those jerks beat you up again didn't they!?" Fluttershy remained silent as Rainbow screamed in frustration. She marched towards the door, her heart filled with rage. "I'll show them a thing or two about bea-" Feeling a sharp tug, Rainbow spun around to see Fluttershy's bandaged hoof gripping tightly on Rainbow's unkempt tail, her eyes filled with tears.
d-don't fight. Remember what the principal said
O-one more fight and you'll get expelled." The injured mare pleaded. Rainbow walked back to the bed, the idea of expulsion had completely slipped her mind.
"Fluttershy. You can't keep letting them do this to you! You need to stand up for yourself! Show them whose boss!" Rainbow's voice grew louder with each sentence, eventually growing into a booming command. Fluttershy reeled back in fear, her legs started to tremble. Rainbow glanced down at the shivering filly on the bed and realized how loud she shouted. "Look Fluttershy
I'm sorry okay? I guess I'm just mad that I wasn't there for you." Rainbow sat back on to the bed, right next to Fluttershy.
Fluttershy quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and looked at Rainbow, a broken smile emerging from her mouth. "Let's go
" The hurt filly tried to stand up but nearly fell from the sudden pain that shot up her leg. Rainbow stood up in reaction, managing to catch her mid-fall. "Thanks
" Rainbow gave a smile and a nod before slinging Fluttershy's right hoof over her shoulders.
As they walked towards the door, Rainbow glanced over at Fluttershy's light pink mane. Her mane was frizzled and various strands of hair were out of place. Rainbow giggled softly to herself.
"W-why are you laughing!?" Fluttershy asked, worried.
"Calm down, Fluttershy. It's just
your mane's in a mess!" Rainbow explained, trying to contain her laughter.
"Hmph. Your mane's not exactly neat too." Fluttershy replied. Rainbow looked up at her mane, it was exactly how she wanted it. Spiky, unkempt and unruly. Rainbow never bothered to comb her mane or tail like many other fillies do, resulting in bed-mane whenever she walks out in public. Turning her attention back to Fluttershy, they started chuckling. The chuckles soon turned into friendly laughs as they walked out of the sick bay
"After we'd earn our cutie marks, everyone in school was flocking towards you," Fluttershy giggled. "Your Sonic Rainboom was the talk of the school. You were the most popular filly in the academy
like you've always wished for. And yet
"Leave. Her. Alone!"
"Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it Rainbow Crash? Why do you care about Fluttercry?"
"And yet you still defended me. You-you still stuck up for me. Putting what you always wanted on the line. Reputation." Fluttershy turned, staring at the sky through the treetops. The sun was now at the peak of its climb, turning from a warm orange to a scorching white. The rays that snuck past the canopy shelter were blinding and hot. Yet, Fluttershy lay where she was, letting the few rays of sunlight bath over her.
"I knew my biggest fear would come true if you kept defending me. I didn't want you to defend me because I would rather be hurt and have you, than be well but lose you. But that day came anyway, the day when you were
"EXPELLED!" A large stallion stood over filly Rainbow Dash. He wore small glasses and a black suit and white undershirt, his red tie contrasting the rest of his outfit.
"W-w-w-what!?" Fluttershy yelled, her body frozen in shock and fear.
"But Mr Cloud, they were
" Rainbow tried to explain frantically but the stallion interrupted her immediately.
"I don't want to hear excuses Ms Dash. I gave you a fair warning just a few weeks ago. I saw you fighting with Mr Bell over here and I will not have such violence in my school!" The stallion pointed his hoof to the tall, brown-haired pony that was rolling on the ground, clutching his belly in pain.
"Please Mr Cloud, let me explain! Mr Bell
" Rainbow frantically gestured towards the yellow pony behind her who took a few steps back, whimpering in fear.
"Enough!" The stallion shouted, echoing his voice across the hallway. "Pack your things!"
"I wanted to explain but I
I didn't have the courage. You charged straight past me, I could hear you crying." Fluttershy's breaths got deeper and heavier the more she spoke. "I ran after you, chased you all the way back to your room. I-I was scared
scared that you were angry, scared that I may have just lost my best friend
Rainbow frantically stuffed her belongings into her saddlebags, tears streaming down her face. She swiped items off the table, not even inspecting them for what they may be before tossing them into the two blue pouches. Facing away from the door, she heard a few knocks.
"R-R-Rainbow?" Rainbow could barely make out her name from the sobs that were coming from outside her shut and locked door.
"I'm not in the mood to chat right now!" Rainbow shouted through the door before lifting her hoof to wipe her tears. She didn't know who was behind it and she didn't care.
" The constant whimpering had made the sentence near impossible to understand. Rainbow stopped her packing, staring down on to her now empty bed. Her ears strained to make out what the voice was saying. "P-please open the door
" Rainbow's eyes widened as she dashed towards the door. "I-I know you hate me but please o-open up! P-please open u-" Her sentence was cut short by the shock of Rainbow's door flinging open and the sudden hug that came with it. Tears fell down each of their cheeks as they clung to each other in a tight grasp.
"I'm sor-sor-sorry" Fluttershy spluttered out. "Thi-This is all my fault. You shouldn't have defended me! Please forgive me Rainbow!" Fluttershy dropped to her knees, taking Rainbow's hooves with hers. Rainbow was stunned at Fluttershy's reaction, her heart racing fast at the sight of the pony throwing her dignity away. "Please! I don't want to lose you as a friend! I don't -"
Rainbow immediately pulled Fluttershy off her knees and hugged Fluttershy tightly, silencing her words. Rainbow's eyes were sealed shut. "None of this is your fault Fluttershy." The six-colored filly took a deep breath, trying her best to stay as strong as she could. "There was no way I would stand around and watch those jerks treat you that way." Rainbow pulled Fluttershy an arms-length away, her hooves resting on her shoulders. "Let's go inside my room first. I don't want my reputation to be any worse then it already is," Rainbow joked with a playful smile.
"I didn't want you to leave. You-you were the only thing that kept me going every day. Your laughter. Your bravery. Oh how I wished I could be like you, standing up for other ponies. But you were leaving, not only Flight Academy but also
"P-Ponyville!?" Fluttershy knew what she had heard but she prayed she had heard wrong. She stood next to the door, her feet rooted to the ground.
My parents are pretty mad about what happened. So they're sending me to Ponyville until they think I'm 'mature' enough to return to Cloudsdale." Rainbow explained, slipping the last of her belongings into her saddlebags.
"I-I'm coming along!" Fluttershy turned to the door, ready to pack her things but stopped moving when she felt a warm hoof on her back. Turning around, she saw Rainbow's sad eyes, her saddlebags already on her back.
"Fluttershy, promise me something?" Rainbow asked.
"Promise me that you'll stay and finish Flight school, no matter how long it takes. No matter how many jerks try to stop you, finish this for us okay?" A long pause ensured, Fluttershy blinked at Rainbow's imploring eyes.
Fluttershy gave a reluctant nod, causing Rainbow's mouth to grow into that ever familiar grin. "That's great! Hey, when you finish Flight school, come to Ponyville. I'll be there for a long time if I stay till I 'mature'" The unkempt filly joked. "I'll see you soon, okay Fluttershy? And when I do you better have passed Flight school!" Rainbow gave the yellow pony one last goodbye hug before exiting her former dorm. Gazing at the bare, grey walls of a room once lined with colorful Wonderbolt posters and 6 colored striped, Fluttershy couldn't help but feel a sense of dread as she closed the door behind her.
"I didn't know how I was going to get through Flight school without you
but I did. It wasn't easy. With you gone, those bullies had no one to stop them. But I made a promise to you and I would never ever break my promises." Fluttershy sat up, a smile on her face as she stared into the canopy. The bright afternoon sky could be seen through the small holes in the shelter of leaves.
"After graduation, I flew down to Ponyville right away. I hoped that after two years, you'd still remember me."
"Coming!" Rainbow raced down towards her door. "I never get visitors! Who in Equestria could it be?" Rainbow pulled her door open and in front of her stood a familiar light-yellow mare. Her long, flowing and beautiful pink mane was now parted to her right, no longer down the middle of her face. In Fluttershy's mouth gripped a piece of paper. Rainbow walked up to her and as she inspected the paper, a large grin grew on her face.
This certificate is hereby awarded to
for completing Cloudsdale Flight Academy
Rainbow leapt at the familiar mare, gripping her tightly in her hooves.
"That is so awesome Fluttershy! You did it! You did it!" Rainbow spun her in circles, dancing just outside her house.
Rainbow?" Fluttershy wanted to grab her attention but Rainbow didn't stop jumping for joy. "Rainbow
" There was still no response as she was spun around again and again. "Rainbow!" The sudden outburst finally caused Rainbow to stop and pull Fluttershy away from her grasp.
sorry Fluttershy. I guess I got a little carried away there
I'm just so happy for you!" Rainbow was ecstatic to say the least and she didn't hide it.
thank you. For everything you've done for me. If it wasn't for you
" Fluttershy was cut-off by Rainbow.
"Hey, hey, don't get all sappy on me okay? This is a happy moment!" Fluttershy giggled softly, slipping the certificate back into her saddlebag.
"Then I have some more good news." Fluttershy continued. "I'm moving into Ponyville!" Fluttershy waited for Rainbow to jump for joy, closing her eyes for a hug she predicted would come. However, Rainbow kept silent, staring confused at the yellow pony. "Y-you don't want me to move to Ponyville
do you? I'm sorry
." Fluttershy's heart was broken. Turning around, she prepared to fly away to find another home in Cloudsdale.
"No, Fluttershy wait! It's not that I don't want you moving it, I'd love it more than anything but
but what about your family? Aren't they still in Cloudsdale?" Rainbow asked.
"I-I don't have parents
" Fluttershy admitted. "I've lived on my own for as long as I could remember, working to earn enough money to feed myself
"Fluttershy, I didn't-"
"It's all right
you couldn't have known." Fluttershy took a deep breath. "I managed to earn enough money to enroll myself in Flight School, hoping it would make a difference
" Rainbow painfully listened to Fluttershy's story, her heart aching with every word. "It did! Because of Flight School, I met you and I earned my cutie mark! And now I'm moving to Ponyville!"
"A-are you sure? I mean
where are you going to stay? How are you going to pay rent?" Rainbow asked hesitantly.
"I was going to buy a small cottage at the edge of town. It's really cheap and the rent's really tiny. I'll work as an animal caretaker to earn enough to survive. I'll be fine." Fluttershy explained her plan proudly.
"Wait, as in the cottage a few minutes away from Everfree Forest!? No way is it safe to stay there! There's a reason it's so cheap Fluttershy!" Fluttershy laughed softly at Rainbow's worries, angering her. "What's so funny!? Fluttershy I'm serious! The Everfree Forest is a dangerous place! Wait! I know! You can stay with me!"
" If Rainbow heard Fluttershy, she didn't acknowledge it.
"I mean I have an extra bed! The house is big enough and I'll pay the rent so you won't have to worry about anything!"
" Fluttershy was used to Rainbow's continuous rants, finding it somewhat funny when Rainbow gets so worked up.
"I can also
"Rainbow!" Fluttershy shouted once more, catching Rainbow's attention and silence. "I'll be fine. I promise!" She assured her.
"A-are you sure?"
Fluttershy answered with a nod.
"I better go now, I'll see you around okay?" Fluttershy took off to the skies to get used to her new home.
"I didn't want to talk to anyone on the way to my new home. It wasn't like
" Fluttershy lay back down on to the grass. Looking up, she saw through the small gaps in the tightly woven branches of leaves that the sun had started to fall and the hot bright rays had begun to vanish. "If only I knew how much Ponyville would change me. How Pinkie Pie threw a party for me at my new home, even before I had a chance to rest."
"Surprise!" Pinkie and most of Ponyville shouted as soon as Fluttershy entered the door. Fluttershy immediately froze in complete fear at the sudden shock. Pinkie happily bounced up to the new resident of Ponyville. "Hey! You're Fluttershy right? I'm Pinkie Pie! I host parties for everyone new in Ponyville! You'll love it here I promise you!" The grinning pink pony said in one quick breath.
Fluttershy slowly tried to back out of her filled home and away from the odd pink pony bouncing in front of her. "Hey you don't talk a lot do you? That's all right I'll do the talking for both of us! Oooo I can't wait, we're going to be the best of friends! Come on! This is your party!!" Pinkie pushed the frightened pony into her cottage, slamming the door behind her.
"How Rarity made my very own dress
"You'll look fabulous darling!" Rarity bit a pin in her mouth, walking up to Fluttershy who stood uncomfortably on a podium, dressed in a bright red gown. "Now just hold still a little longer
" The white mare spoke through the pin in her mouth. Slowly, she slid a pin into the edge of the dress.
Miss Rarity?" Fluttershy spoke using as little mouth movements as she possibly could.
"Please, just call me Rarity. There is no need to be formal! We are all friends after all!" Rarity walked back to a small cupboard, scanning her eyes through several of the drawers.
Rarity? I appreciate the effort but I can't pay for this dress," Fluttershy whispered, embarrassed.
"Fluttershy dear, I don't expect you to pay for this wonderful gown. I just couldn't bear to see that you had nothing to wear to formal occasions!" Rarity pulled her hoof out of the cupboard gripping a small spool of white thread.
I couldn't possibly take something for free
it'll feel like I'm stealing this dress
" Fluttershy reluctantly admitted.
"Nonsense!" Rarity's horn started to glow a bright purple as she threaded the white thread through a thin needle. "Consider this a gift! It's my way of welcoming you to Ponyville!" She started threading the needle through the dress, creating a beautiful white rose on Fluttershy's sleeves. "And
Done!" Rarity immediately levitated two mirrors to the pony on the podium, one in front of her and one to the sides. "Take a look, dear and tell me what you think!"
Fluttershy was stunned when she saw the pony staring back at her. The gown's main color was a beautiful rose red and outlines of white contrasted the main color. Several detailed white roses were present on the dress, from her hooves to just under her mane. As a finishing touch, a small red rose was stuck in her pink mane. She stood there in awe at the dress she was sporting.
It's gorgeous!" Fluttershy's mouth hung open as she continued admiring the dress but Rarity's sudden squeal of delight brought her back to reality. "But I still don't think I can take this without paying you
It's too beautiful. It must have cost a lot to make
" Fluttershy reluctantly admitted.
"Like I said, darling. Take this as a welcome present! Rainbow wouldn't stop talking about you when I was making her dress. It's only fitting that
"Rainbow wears dresses?" Fluttershy interrupted in disbelief.
"Well not exactly. She initially refused but after some persuading she did come into my boutique." Rarity explained as her 'model' stepped down from the podium. "Rainbow happily kept her dress and you should too!"
I don't know
" Fluttershy whispered her conscious conflicting with her wants.
"I won't take 'no' for an answer! If you like it you shall keep it!" The purple mane pony confidently said with her head turned away.
"Then T-thank you
" Fluttershy wanted to argue but knew that Rarity had already made up her mind and she didn't want to offend her.
"How I helped Applejack made a batch of cider during cider season
"Okay Miss Fluttershy now all you have to is give that tree a mighty good kick and the apples will come tumblin' down faster than you can say 'Cider Season'" Applejack pointed at the tree in front of her and the pony beside her.
"Y-you can call me Fluttershy. If
if you want to that is
"All righty then, Fluttershy. So all you have to do is give the tree a hard kick. Like
this!" Applejack landed her two back hooves against the trunk of the tree, sending all the apples falling to the buckets which were waiting below.
I'm not sure I can
" Fluttershy whispered with doubt.
"Come on now, ain't no harm in trying!"
" Fluttershy reeled her legs back and hit the tree as hard as she could. "Oh my... I'm so sorry," Fluttershy's cheeks blushed bright red when she saw that only one apple had fallen.
"Ain't nothing to be sorry about! Least you got one apple down!" Applejack cheerfully remarked, leaning down to pick up the apple before tossing it into a bucket. "All ya need is practice!"
"I spent the whole day trying to buck apples. I finally had my first taste of cider when the day had almost ended
Fluttershy stood outside the barn, overlooking the hills where the sun had begun to set, dying the sky a cozy orange. Applejack came out of the barn with a wooden mug on her head.
"This here's cider made from the apples you collected Fluttershy!" Applejack took the mug off her head and placed it on a small wooden table. Fluttersky picked up the mug with her hooves, hesitantly bringing it to her lips and nervous about her first taste. "Go on, taste it!" The yellow pony gathered her courage and started taking a sip of the cider. The fresh apple taste filled her mouth and before she knew it, the whole mug was empty. "I see ya really like cider huh?" Applejack entered the barn and brought out two more full, wooden mugs.
Fluttershy's mouth was now beaming with a bright smile. "It's really tasty!"
"It tastes so good because ya worked for it! Welcome to Ponyville!" Fluttershy and Applejack picked up their mugs and slammed them together in the air as the sun finally fell over the horizon.
Fluttershy stared through the breaks in the canopy above her. What were once holes for rays of sunlight to invade was now filled with sparkling diamonds which hung against the purple night sky. Turning to the empty spot, her voice started to break.
"And us. This was our spot. You remember don't you? We would come here every Friday night to talk about our events in the week, share stories
laugh." A tear rolled down Fluttershy's left cheek. "You used to tell me about the Wonderbolts, about your adventures, about your dreams."
Boom! Ka-pow! I was flying through the air like crazy!" Rainbow rested her head on the thick log. Her hooves were flying through the air as she acted out her story. Fluttershy rested beside her, laughing and listening as Rainbow described every detail that happened. "It was amazing! Fluttershy you should have been there." Fluttershy gazed away from Rainbow, guilt filling her heart.
"I'm sorry, Rainbow. I was busy. I needed to tend to the animals
" Fluttershy meekly explained.
"I understand but man, when the Wonderbolts see what I can do at the tryout in a few days, I'm a shoe-in to be part of the team!" Rainbow grinned at the thought.
Fluttershy chuckled softly. "I'm sure you would
Rainbow turned to Fluttershy, one of her eyebrows raised. "And what's that suppose to mean?" Fluttershy started laughing loudly, eventually spreading the laughter to Rainbow. Their laughter resonated through the forest.
"Hey it's getting late, I'd better go," Rainbow stated, recovering from her laughter.
" Fluttershy reluctantly replied.
"Well this place is right behind your cottage. Even for the fastest flier in all of all Equestria, it'll still take me a few minutes to reach my place!" Rainbow started to flap her wings, levitating above Fluttershy. "See you next week!"
Fluttershy stood up, turning towards the empty patch of grass. "Then Twilight moved in and well
" Fluttershy took deep, slow breaths as she looked on at the empty spot beside her.
we all cared for you. Pinkie, Applejack, Rarity, Twilight
me. We loved you." Dark clouds started to gather overhead. "Why Rainbow?" Tears started streaming down Fluttershy's face. "Why!? Did you think we didn't care for you anymore!?" Fluttershy slammed her hoof down on the empty spot next to her the same time as a loud roar of thunder echoed through the forest. Rain started to fall on the mare.
"We would have stuck by you no matter what happened Rainbow!" Fluttershy was now screaming in complete anger, smashing her hoof down onto the empty spot of grass next to her. The rain grew into a storm as strong gusts of wind howled around her, causing Fluttershy's mane to fall flat. "I would have traded my life for you!"
Fluttershy stood outside Rainbow's door. She had already knocked a few times but no response came.
"It's not like Rainbow to miss a Wonderbolt show
" Fluttershy said in a hushed tone. "Maybe she's out practicing
" Turning around, she looked to the skies. The next moment would be forever engraved into Fluttershy's mind. Rainbow was flying very high in the sky, much higher than usual. When all of a sudden, she stopped. Rainbow folded her wings closed, letting herself fall. Fluttershy didn't believe what her eyes had just saw. Her eyes kept track of Rainbow as she gained speed. Noticing what Rainbow was doing, Fluttershy flew straight towards Rainbow mid-fall, her eyes were clouded with her tears. Rushing forward, she finally managed to catch up to Rainbow, her hooves wrapped tightly around Rainbow's body.
"Rainbow!" Fluttershy screamed but the heavy winds were quick to make her inaudible. The ground was approaching fast.
Fluttershy flew under Rainbow, knowing that she would not be able to stop her in time.
Tears filled Fluttershy's eyes.
'Why Rainbow? Why would you do this to yourself?'
'Was it something I said?'
'If it was
"I would have traded my life for you Rainbow!" Fluttershy let her tears fall on to the small blades of grass. The storm continued to rage fiercely, showing torrents of rain all over Fluttershy and her flat, light-pink mane. "And I wish I did
"She's waking up!"
"Oh thank heavens."
"How are we going to
"Shhh, she's coming to, ya'll."
Fluttershy's eyes slowly opened. Her nose caught the scent of strong medications, a scent she was all too familiar with in Flight School. She felt thick bandages wrapped around her limbs, only allowing her to move slightly. When her eyes finally adjusted to the light, she saw Applejack, Rarity and Twilight standing beside her. Pinkie was at the other end, her mane flat and her eyes wide with tears but a smile had appeared.
"Fluttershy!!" Pinkie shouted at the top of her voice. "You're okay!!"
"W-what happened?" Her memories were in pieces, she remembered going to Rainbow's house but nothing after that. Scanning the ponies at her bedside, she noticed a certain cyan Pegasus was missing. That's when the memories flooded back to her. "W-Where's Rainbow!?" Fluttershy struggled as hard as she could against the bandages that held her. The other ponies looked on with expressions of sadness. "Girls! Where's Rainbow!?" She remained still, staring at her friend's solemn expressions. Glancing over at Applejack, Applejack simply shook her head lightly.
No! She has to be here! I took the fall for her! She has to be
" Fluttershy's heart started racing, the beeping of the heart monitor started to race out of control.
"I'm sorry Fluttershy. She just
didn't make it
" Twilight reluctantly admitted.
"You're lying! She had to make it! She just had to! She represents loyalty! She wouldn't do this to us! She wouldn't!" The injured mare couldn't understand what had happened.
"Please Flutters, you need to calm down. You've been asleep for two weeks
" Pinkie begged. However, this made her even more frantic.
"Two weeks!? W-what about my animals!? I-I need to go back and
"Relax darling. We all took turns to feed your animals. They're all well." Rarity comforted the panicking pony. After a minute of silence, the realization finally hit Fluttershy as her heart rate started to slow down.
Why? Why would she do this?" Fluttershy asked, fearful of the answer that was to come.
" Applejack tried to explain but couldn't find enough courage.
"They're gone. The news reached Rainbow just after her routine at the Wonderbolt tryouts." Rarity took over Applejack's explanation.
"We knew she took it hard
" Twilight continued, not managing to finish her sentence before Pinkie interrupted.
but not that hard. We tried to visit her every single day. I even took a couple of days off from Sugercube Corner to try and make her feel better." Pinkie admitted, staring at the sorrowful mare in front of her.
"But she just wouldn't answer the door. We didn't even know if Rainbow left her home!" Applejack continued.
"You're...you're lying... You're all lying!" Fluttershy screamed, kindness didn't seem to be a part of her anymore. "Rainbow wouldn't do this to herself! She knows we care for her! She-she knows we'll be there for her!" Fluttershy brought her right hoof to her face, the only hoof that was not bandaged. She tightly shut her eyes and pressed her hoof against her ear, hoping to drown out all the pain that surrounded her.
The other ponies started blinking nervously, throwing odd looks to each other. When Twilight's vision landed on Applejack and Rarity, they both shook their heads immediately, their face flushed with fear. However, when Twilight glanced at Pinkie, the pink pony simply took a deep breath before she opened her mouth to speak.
"F-Flutters..." She said softly, something the other ponies weren't used to hearing but the yellow pony seemed unfazed, opening her eyes to the heartbroken pink mare in front of her. "R-Rainbow came to me a day after she found out... she was looking... she was looking..." Pinkie broke her stare towards Fluttershy, small droplets of tears rolled down her cheeks. "She was looking for you, Flutters. She needed..." Pinkie couldn't continue her sentence but she didn't need to. Fluttershy finally felt the last of her defense around her heart shatter. She bit her lip as she opened her mouth to speak to the ponies in front of her.
"Why...Why didn't any of you tell me this!?" Fluttershy demanded loudly in anger. Her soft demeanor had completely vanished.
"You were in Canterlot Flutters. You went there to get supplies remember?" Fluttershy suddenly remembered the order of the events perfectly. She had went to Canterlot for three days to gather supplies for her animals. After she came back, she immediately went to Rainbow's house and that's when she saw Rainbow's...plummet.
this is my fault." Fluttershy said with a broken tone.
"This ain't your fault, sugercube. Ah think it was just too much for Rainbow, ain't nothing you could have done about it." Applejack tried to assure Fluttershy but it was to no avail.
"If I had been here for her
if I had just known
" Fluttershy finally broke down in tears, providing no resistance to the guilt, the dread, the fear that filled her.
"Fluttershy, you did all you could
" Twilight's heart sank as she looked on at her best friend. The friend who used to represent kindness. "You couldn't have..."
"Why didn't I just pass with her!?" Fluttershy shouted through her sobs, forcing the others ponies to stand in silence for a few seconds.
"Don't say that Flutters!" Pinkie ran up beside her. "Please don't say that!" Pinkie grabbed Fluttershy's right, unbandaged, hoof, grasping it tightly with both of hers.
"I'm no friend! I abandoned her when she needed me the most! I focused so much on taking care of my animals I forgot to take care of my friends!" With each second that passed, Fluttershy's will slowly drained out of her.
"I didn't understand why Rainbow
" Fluttershy sat on the cold grass, the rain had subsided into a drizzle as the clouds slowly started to clear. "This wasn't you
you knew we cared, didn't you? I didn't understand, that is, until I received it
Fluttershy hesitantly opened her wooden cottage door. She had shut out the world for the past week, accepting no visitors, only giving attention to her animal friends. Looking at the mare at her doorstep, she couldn't help but feel relieved it wasn't one of her friends that had tried to visit her every day.
" The shy mare muttered under her breath. Her throat hurt from all the days of crying she had done.
Flurtershy? I'm sorry I'm late for your mail
" The cross-eyed grey Pegasus said through the letter in her mouth
"Its Fluttershy but
just pass it to me please
" Derpy leaned her head down, leaving the sealed letter at her hooves.
"Have a good day!" The mail-mare smiled innocently before flying off. The yellow mare took the letter inside her hut, closing the door shut behind her.
Fluttershy sat herself on her couch, staring at the pure white letter she held in her hooves. Taking a deep breath, she opened the envelope and pulled out a small white piece of paper. Her heart started to beat extremely fast when she saw what was written on the front of the front.
The messy handwriting was unmistakable to the yellow peagasus who held the letter with trembling hooves. She wanted to see the contents of the letter but at the same time, felt fearful. The wounds of losing her greatest friend had just begun to recover and the piece of paper she held in her hands felt like a knife, ready to reopen those injuries. Trembling, Fluttershy finally worked up the courage to unfold the small letter. Upon, turning it over, she saw that the whole other side was covered with words written in a bright cyan pencil. She started scanning her eyes through the familiar, untidy writing
If you're reading this Fluttershy. I'm sorry I don't know when you'll be back but I'm sending this letter because I don't know how to tell you this pony to pony.. I know you must be mad at me and I don't blame you, but please don't blame yourself. This was my choice and my best friend deserves an explanation. When I heard that my parents passed, I ran. I ran as fast as I could to my house. I was
scared. I didn't feel brave anymore, I felt vulnerable. I know Twilight and the others cared for me but I couldn't face them, not like this.
The one thing that kept me up for nights was the thought of them never asking me to return to Cloudsdale. Was I never 'mature' enough? Had I disappointed them? I need to know the answer to these questions. I want to see them again and that's why I'm making this decision.
Fluttershy, I hope you'll promise me something. Promise me that we won't see each other again? For a long time?
I'm going to miss you
Fluttershy sat completely still, her mane had fallen over her eyes. The letter soon slid out of her hands but she didn't react, her cottage drenched in an eerie silence. After a few quick breaths, she finally opened her mouth.
"I-I miss you Rainbow. I-I
you." Fluttershy stared up at the now twinkling night sky, the moon was bright and round and the storm had ceased. Moonlight seeped through the holes in the treetops. "I miss you so much and...I'm... I'm sorry I wasn't there for you
but I do have some good news." Walking a short distance away, she found her saddlebag right where she left it, under a nearby tree, away from the open area.
Fluttershy brought the bag to the area where she had been lying down, reaching into the bag, she pulled out a light blue uniform with yellow thunderbolts emblazoned all around it, the Wonderbolt's official uniform. Placing it at where Rainbow would lay, she took out another item, a pair of yellow goggles, this time placing it on the log where Rainbow would rest her head.
The sun had started to rise again, banishing the dark night sky away. A genuine smile crossed her mouth. "Spitfire passed this to me, asking me to pass it to you. I'll tell her the truth tomorrow but be happy Rainbow! Celebrate! You deserve it! After everything you've done for me, after everything we've been through
" Fluttershy paused. Glancing upwards, she saw that the sun had created a large, beautiful rainbow a short distance away from her. A single tear fell, crossing paths with her smile.
We did it."