As you walk into Fluttershy’s cottage, you are met with a scene you thought you may never see. There are animals everywhere. There are birds in various birdhouses on the ceiling. There are little creatures running around the floor. The sheer amount of animals in the place surprises you, although Fluttershy just happily walks in and starts talking to the animals. You hear her apologising for being away for so long --Twilight had been looking after them, Fluttershy had told you-- and introducing you. A few animals come up to you and look at you for a few seconds before Hopping/Flying/Running away. Then you are blinded as something drops on top of your head and slaps something on to your face. You stumble around blindly for a moment, trip, and cry out in pain when you not only land awkwardly and hurt your leg, but you fall on top of your injured wing. You hear Fluttershy run over and then you can see again when a blindfold is taken away from your eyes. She is looking at you with concern in her eyes. You lay there for a few seconds, staring into each others’ eyes. Then she shakes her head and looks up, a blush on her face.
“Angel, that wasn’t very nice. He’s our guest. There’s no reason to do that. He could have been seriously hurt.” She offers you a hoof and pulls you up. She lets you put your weight on her as you try and get the crutch back on. After a few seconds, you step away and see a small white rabbit sitting with it’s arms crossed, a contemptuous look on it’s little white face. You guess that this is Angel. You limp over to him and look at him, with what you hope is a friendly smile on your face.
“Hey there, Angel. Nice to meet you.” Feeling slightly stupid, you offer your good hoof. He looks at it like it’s made of toxic waste and after a few seconds slaps it away.
“Well... That was kind of sad. Rejected by a bunny.” You say, trying to hide your embarrassment. Fluttershy walks up next to you and puts a hoof on your shoulder.
“He isn’t used to strangers. He’ll warm up to you.”
“I don’t think so...” You hobble over to Fluttershy’s couch and sit down awkwardly, leaning forward so as not to put pressure on your wing. You take a few minutes to properly take in your surroundings while you are alone, as Fluttershy had gone to check on her other animals. One of the things that confuses you is the smell. In a house full of animals, you had expected it to smell disgusting. But this one had the soft smell of flowers, and something else, something subtle... Vanilla? Lavender? Sandalwood? All three, by the smell of it. And you had expected it to be messy. This one was perfectly maintained. You notice that it isn’t as loud as you expected, either. But then again, this is Fluttershy’s home.
It is nice and cool in the living room. Fluttershy walks into the room and smiles again.
“What would you like for breakfast? I was going to make some pancakes, but if you would like something else, I’ll go and get the things I need to make it.”
“Of course not. Pancakes sound great. I almost never have homemade meals, so it would be nice to have one for once, ‘Shy.” She smiles softly at your use of her nickname. You both stay there for a few moments, then Fluttershy widens her eyes and says;
“Oh! I need to go and feed my chickens. Please, make yourself at home. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” She trots slowly out the door and as she does you wriggle off of the couch, and stand up awkwardly. Your leg is starting to throb, and your wing is hurting a bit. But other than that, you feel fine. It hurts a little to breath, but you get past that by just taking shallow breaths. You decide to have a look around the house, and go to the stairs, and after about thirty seconds of just staring a them, you figure out how to get up them. You slowly make your way up them, the crutches actually being of some help as opposed to a wheelchair. You eventually get to the top of the stairs and look around. You are on a landing, with two rooms on either side. In front of you is the door to what you guess is a linen closet. You open it to make sure and see nothing but sheets and blankets. You can smell them, and they smell cleaner than any of the blankets you have at your apartment. Then again, most things smell better than the linens at your apartment. You close the door and go to the far door. When you eventually reach it, you can smell soap, and fresh flowers. You inch the door open, wincing at the lack of squeak. All doors should squeak a little bit. It’s like a universal law. You peek inside and see an immaculate bathroom. There are some flowers in a vase on the counter, and you can smell their perfume from where you are standing in the doorway. You limp in and go to the basin. You look in the mirror with some apprehension, as you didn’t get to see yourself at the hospital, being confined to a bed and all. You take in the familiar face, with it’s few alterations. The same eyes, although with some bruising and cuts around them. The same nose, although with a large scrape on it. The same mouth, although with quite a scar running through the middle. The same cheeks, although with other cuts and bruises, and a few little pieces of skin missing. All in all, you look like you have been in a few bar brawls in the past. You smile at your beat up reflection and it smiles happily back. You put your head close to the sink and turn the water on, splashing water over you face with you good hoof. You shiver as the cold water runs down your neck and down your legs.
You turn around and leave the bathroom, happy that you are becoming familiar with the layout of Fluttershy’s home. You shut the door quietly, testing it a few times to make sure it definitely doesn’t squeak, and then turn around and start walking to the other door. The carpet is soft under your rear hooves --Your forehooves being raised by the crutches-- and there is still a cool breeze coming from the open windows, even though the sun is slowly inching it’s way up the sky. You keep walking and eventually get to the other door. You push it open slowly and find yourself in what you guess is Fluttershy’s bedroom. You look around, taking the small room and it’s details in. There is a large double bed up against one wall, with a small window behind it, to the right. There is a chest at the foot of the bed, with a circular red rug under it. There is a desk next to the bed, with various books on animals on it’s shelves. There is a lantern sitting on it as well. There is a fireplace on the right wall, with a small shelf over it. Sitting on the shelf is a candle, a clock, and a picture of Fluttershy and her other friends, who you recognise from their visiting you in the hospital. There is a painting behind the shelf, a simple painting of flowers sitting in a blue frame. The smell of vanilla/lavender/sandalwood is stronger in here. It isn’t unpleasant, in fact it is quite calming. You look at the wall next to where you are standing, and see a small cot sitting up against it. It looks big enough for one pony to sleep uncomfortably. And Fluttershy wanted to sleep in that? Never. She can sleep in her bed, and I will sleep in this, you think.
You turn around and leave, slowly going down the stairs. You can smell pancakes cooking, and try to hurry down the stairs. You are about halfway down when something darts in front of you and you trip, falling down the stairs and landing in a heap. You have to resist the urge to scream as you land heavily on your wing. You suffice with biting down on your tongue. To bad your leg also decided to ask for some payment for the fall. The sudden burst of pain makes you bite down harder and you suddenly taste blood as you bite through your tongue. You look up and see Angel darting around the corner of the landing. Damn rabbit. I won’t tell Fluttershy it was him. I doubt she wouldn’t believe me anyway. You hear Fluttershy trot up to you, and suddenly she is kneeling over you. She puts her hoof behind your neck, worry showing clearly in her eyes.
“Are you alright? I heard a thump. What happened?” You try to swallow the blood in your mouth, but naturally, some slips through a gap in your lips, as you try to speak. Fluttershy’s eyes widen and she helps you up, taking you into the kitchen, where you can still smell pancakes cooking. She takes you to the sink, and props you up over it. She rubs your back.
“Spit it out, I’ve seen worse. Go ahead... I don’t want you to choke.” You gratefully spit out the blood in your mouth, glad there isn’t too much, glad that Fluttershy was able to help. You weren’t really looking forward to swallowing your own blood. Fluttershy guides you over to the table and sits you down, then goes over to the sink and turns the hot water on, cleaning away your mess. Then she walks back over to you.
“What happened? Are you okay?” You answer her, your tongue hurting with each word;
“I-I was going down the stairs too fast and I tripped. I didn’t want to scare you, so I bit my tongue. But when my leg started hurting, I bit through it.”
“Well, you’ll have to be more careful, won’t you? Next time call me, and I’ll help you down... If you want me too.”
“I would gladly accept your help Fluttershy.” She smiles and walks over to the preparation area of the kitchen, turning the heat down on the pancakes, lest they burn. She then gets a piece of ice out of the freezer.
“Here, put this in your mouth. It will help.” You take it gratefully and suck on the ice cube, the coldness of it soothing your stinging tongue. You both are silent for a little while, before Fluttershy puts a plate stacked with pancakes in front of you.
“Here, I hope they are good... I made the syrup myself... I hope it’s good enough.” She smiles softly and sits across from you. You chuckle and say;
“Fluttershy, if the syrup is even half as sweet as it’s maker, it’ll be fantastic.” Fluttershy laughs quietly, a blush quickly appearing on her face. You blush a little bit too, wondering why you said that. Well, it is true. You just shake your head and dig in to the pancakes, which are just as tasty as you thought. The syrup is extremely good. You have never had such a homemade meal. Everything you eat is prepackaged in some way. They are definitely the best thing you have eaten since you left home. Better get used to it. You think, a smile on your face.
As you and ‘Shy eat your breakfast --which isn’t really very easy, as your tongue still really hurts, even after sucking on the ice cube--, you look across the table at her and realise you don’t know anything about her, aside from her skill with animals, and that she is the Element Of Kindness, as well as a few other miscellaneous things you learned in the hospital.
“Hey Fluttershy, care to tell me more about yourself?” She smiles and looks away.
“Oh, you don’t want to know...”
“Yes, I do, Fluttershy.” You realise you might have to try harder than just asking about her, and you come up with an idea.
“I have an idea. I’ll tell you something about me, and you tell me something about you, alright? That way it’ll be even.” You smile as she looks up, although she isn’t meeting your eyes.
“Okay... Let’s see... When I was a little colt, I was terrified of Slendermane.” You chuckle and scratch the back of your head with your good hoof, remembering when you would barricade your bedroom whenever you heard a noise outside. You had always been ashamed of such a childish fear. Fluttershy however looks scared.
“What’s that?” She asks, her eyes wide. You curse yourself for talking about Slendermane; Fluttershy would probably be scared out of her mind of she knew what he was, even though he wasn’t real --Allegedly--. You rack your brain and come up with:
“Oh, it was just a thing that happens to your mane, making the hairs thin and dead.” You hope this will be enough. Fluttershy calms and looks away.
“Your turn, ‘Shy.”
“Umm... Alright. When I was a teenager I went to Junior Speedster’s fly camp in Cloudsdale. But when I got my cutie mark after falling to the ground, I never went back. Not just to Flight Camp, but Cloudsdale. I visited it every now and then, but I hated living there. I just stayed on the ground. My parents came to find me, but I said I was happier on the ground. They were really supportive, and helped me buy this cottage when I was old enough to have my own place.”
You realise that you are going to have to work hard to top that. You didn’t realise until later that Fluttershy was opening up to you more than she normally would. You were just excited to be learning more about her, and having her learn more about you. You didn’t think anything about why she was doing it.
“Hmm... Let’s see... When I was a teenager, I ran away from home. I hated life at home. So one night I just left. I hated the way my parents were always fighting. I doubt they even noticed me leave.” You sigh heavily, and Fluttershy looks at you with concern.
“Did you ever go back?”
“No. And I will probably never go back to Cloudsdale as long as I live. Not even to visit.”
“Where did you live?”
“Well, when I got to Manehattan, I lived wherever was convenient. A cardboard box, an abandoned carriage, a large suitcase --Boy, that was fun to explain-- whatever was easiest. Eventually I got a job as a paper-colt, and after three years I was one of the bosses’ secretaries. Another two years of hard work later, I was one of the ones running the place. But then some idiot decided to bet the company in a game of horseshoes. We tried to get it back, but the other guy had won it fair and square, apparently. All of our money was gone. All I had was my pitiful savings --I realise now I should have been putting more money away-- and the stuff I had taken from home before I left. That stuff is all so important to me. But I’ll have to wait until the renovation is finished to see it again.” Fluttershy is looking at you in awe. You just smile and say;
“Your turn, Fluttershy.”
“Oh, sorry... Um... When I was a teenager, I had a bit of a crush on Soarin’, in the Wonderbolts.”
“Woah, you? He is a bit...” You wave your free hoof around wildly to indicate ‘out there’ “For you, isn’t he?”
“That was why I liked him. He wasn’t afraid to just be himself. But that went away after I found out he was dating Spitfire...”
“What? Those two?”
“Yes. But I guess, it isn’t much of a surprise. They are mostly seen together.”
“You have a point. Alright, about me... Okay, while we are talking about crushes, I used to have one on Celestia.” Fluttershy practically falls off of her chair as you say this. She squeaks;
“C-Celestia? Wh-what? Why?”
“She was just so beautiful, so powerful, so intelligent. She is wise, and I love her ability to solve any problem. Well... Except for Nightmare Moon, Discord, and Chrysalis. But, I was just a colt who saw her as a beautiful mare, not the goddess-princess of Equestria. I tend to do that. But then I got older, and realised how absurd it was that I could ever be with her. Your turn. We’ll tell each other one more thing, and then we’ll figure out what to do today, alright?”
“Alright... Um... Once, I used The Stare on a colt in the marketplace, who was trying to get away with more change than he was supposed to have. I don’t know where it came from... I just approached him and... Well... Ponies call it Flutterrage, so... I did that, and ended up using The Stare on him.” You remember Fluttershy telling you about The Stare in the hospital, and grin as you think of a colt being on the receiving end of it.
“Alright, my last one... I have never been in love. Like, love love, not just a crush.” You don’t know where this one came from. Maybe you meant to say it all along... But why? Fluttershy lowers her voice and looks away. You have to lean in to hear her as she says;
“Oh... Um... Me neither. I have n-never really connected with anypony enough to f-fall in l-love before...” You both sit in awkward silence for a while, until you both finish your breakfast and Fluttershy takes the plates. You stand up and stretch your three good hooves, before moving your good wing about, to make sure it doesn’t end up stiff as a board, when you are ready to start flying again. It’s bad enough that you’ll have one that stiff. You shake your head a bit, to clear it of some residual fuzziness from the fall down the stairs.
Then, you try moving your bad leg a bit. Just side to side at first, and you feel a small twinge of protest from the muscles. Then forward and back, still that little twinge. You look over your shoulder; Fluttershy is washing the plates still, humming a small melody under her breath. She would probably stop you if she saw what you were about to do. Against every doctor in Equestria’s advice, you try to bend it upwards, as if you were flexing. You immediately stop as you feel a stinging, burning feeling from the entire leg, even though you have barely moved it an inch. It feels as if the bones in it were suddenly dipped in acid. You bite your lip --Not your tongue again-- and slowly put it down.
Now, just because I feel like being an idiot today... You try to unfold your injured wing. But you get the same feeling and have to stick your good hoof in your mouth to stop from crying out. You put the wing down and slowly get your breath back. You take a deep breath and look back towards Fluttershy. She is finished with the dishes, and is cleaning the inside of the sink. She finishes her job, still humming, and then turns around, looking at you with a small smile. You limp over to her --having put the crutches back on-- and ask;
“So, what are we doing today?”
“Well... I haven’t got much in the way of chores... Actually, I was thinking about seeing my friends today. I need to talk to them all. Would you like to come with me and meet them properly?”
“Yeah, sure. Let’s go.” You are excited to be meeting some new ponies. And, maybe, some new friends.
--As always, if you feel like it, I will accept all advice. I have said this in the past, I think, but here it is again: In all honesty, my biggest worry is the storyline. Is it easy to follow? Is it too fast? Too slow? Is it cliche? --If I ever become too cliche I will consider myself a failure in a way. I hate cliche stuff, although I accept that some of my stuff will be.-- Can I do anything to make it better? Are burritos better than tacos? These are all things I worry about when I am writing. Spelling and grammar come next. If I make any mistakes, let me know. Please. I can pick up on the obviously misspelt ones with spellcheck, but I’m thinking about ones that would be considered spelt properly by the bloody thing. Like, when I am writing, instead of saying ‘you’ I accidentally hit ‘R’ and it becomes ‘your’, or if I go to type ‘like’ and miss the ‘K’, it end up being ‘lie’. --In fact, I made that mistake while writing that example. I only just picked it up now.-- I don’t notice it until I read through it. And I only do that when I feel I need to. And even then, I think I miss quite a few. Another important thing, how is Fluttershy’s character? I tried to give a bit of an explanation --however vague-- as to why she was willing to open up to ‘you’. But I’m not sure. Sorry this note is so long. I tend to have a lot to say. :D--