By Conner Cogwork
Twilight and her five friends are transported during a botched spell, across dimensions to... Ponyville, Equestria? But not the same one that they knew. Sitting on a bench is Harpsy and Babar. The Doctoress avoids apples from an aspiring Applebuck. And in a library across town, six stallions join their forces as they try to decipher the appearance of filly look-alikes of themselves around Ponyville!
Image credit to KtKat! Thanks SO much!
Of a Fruit Forbidden
"Spines, can you be a sweetheart and get me 'Rules of Causality 101?"
"Sure thing Dusk, hang on."
The lavender stallion nodded to his assistant as she rushed off, before turning back to his book. It was a book that he had managed to find only a few minutes ago. A mysterious title labeled 'Exploring the Aether for Fun and Profit'.
He had seen it earlier today, but had been distracted by a rather high powered anomaly outside the library. When he had returned, a sick Butterscotch had been present, bundled up, his voice softer and higher than usual. At the time, he had thought nothing of it. He did ask for 'Supernaturals' after all, though Dusk still thought he could have cleared him up with a good spell.
However, that seemingly innocent event was resurfacing in his mind, after reading halfway through his current tome. A spell for instant long-range teleportation was positioned above another spell for dimensional viewing. He had been intrigued by the thought of long-distance teleportation, and for a second, entertained the idea of calling the gang together to try it out... Maybe Applejack would have some ideas on where to go...
Butterscotch wouldn't have been able to make it though, he's sick. And so he had shelved the idea, read the next spell, and spotted its rather long list of warnings.
That was when the alarm bells went off in his head. Usage of this spell in conjunction with the above might result in accidental dimensional displacement. Use with extreme caution. Reference the Rules of Causality before using.
"Here we are Dusk." Spines spoke up, plopping a rather hefty volume next to the unicorn's current book. "Whoosh. Anymore heavy lifting like that, and I'll be as ripped as Applejack."
"There's a disturbing thought." Dusk joked, before his horn lit and the book opened up. "Say... when Butterscotch was here earlier today, did you notice anything... odd about him?"
"What, you mean besides the fact that he sounded kinda like 'Butter-babe' again?" the dragoness replied. "Not really, no. Not that I could see a lot of him, his face was pretty wrapped up."
"It was, wasn't it?" the colt murmured, a hoof stroking his chin. "I can see why AJ would give him his hat, but Elusive's scarf? The Boutique is clear on the other side of Ponyville from the farm."
"Maybe he was visiting." Spines suggested. "I know I wouldn't mind a visit from that stallion anytime soon." Her feet left the ground, as a dreamlike expression spread across her face. "Oh Elusive... why yes, I'd be mad to refuse anything from you... to lend Butterscotch his scarf? He's so selfless... Oh, whatta man!"
The purple pony could only roll his eyes, he'd dealt with this fangirl side of his assistant before. "Yes yes, we're all aware he's the Element of Generosity, I was there. Back on task. You didn't see anything weird about Butterscotch at all?"
The little lizardess blinked, before she landed softly on her haunches. "N-no, I didn't... why, is there something wrong, Dusk?"
He hummed for a bit longer, his eyes running over a particular passage in the heavyset tome, before speaking again. "It's just a hunch... it may be nothing at all, really. Hey, I know!" He stepped away from his desk, a smile on his face. "Spines, grab the tea. We'll pay Butterscotch a visit!"
As Spines saluted smartly and rushed off, Dusk Shine clopped over to a saddlebag and slipped it on, grabbing his wallet. As he waited, his eyes darted back over to the open chapter of the book he'd left.
The chapter titled “Alternate Universes and You."
Fluttershy clopped into Ponyville, a saddlepack around her waist and a purse filled with bits in her mouth.
She had volunteered to do the shopping. It was clear that the bushes that made up the HEDGE were inedible to any degree, and if they were going to wait for three days, they would need food and supplies. So they had pooled their bits, given the money and bags to the pegasus, and set her on her way. They had all agreed that in this alternate world, she was the least conspicuous of the six.
She looked around furtively as she entered town, spying and identifying every pony she saw. A blue mare with a saxophone played outside a delicatessen, an orange stallion with a carrot cutie-mark ordering a carrot-dog, and fluttering along the sky, a cross-eyed pegasus colt delivered the mail. They made no effort to single her out, which she noted with no small relief.
Her luck held up as she entered the marketplace. Her eyes steadily avoided the Sweet Apple Acres stand, as she instead directed herself to another fruit stall. Nopony recognized her, but she was greeted friendly and warmly by every stall owner, much to her relief. I should have known Ponyville's friendliness to new ponies would have held up. she thought to herself.
It didn't take long to fill her bags, she noticed, and as she stuffed a bunch of bananas into one of the pockets, she realized that she'd bought more than she'd expected. N-not that that's a bad thing. We ARE waiting for three days after all.
After settling a deal for a pack of strawberries, she finally did an about-face and left the market, eyes still wandering about the place. She spotted Harpsy and Babar outside of Sugarcube Corner, her path instantly directing itself away from the establishment. She still thought the two, as colts, made a cute couple, but they had also seen her once before recently, and she didn't want to risk-
She hadn't been looking where she was going, having collided with another pony. On top of that, the collision had popped the top off one of the bags, fruit spilling everywhere.
"Oh! I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going." She immediately set about gathering the loose produce back up.
"Oh, n-no, it was my fault, I was distracted." came the other pony's voice, who bent down and began assisting her with the corralling.
"Oh, think nothing of it, I didn't mean to disturb you."
"No, it's okay, here, let me help you. I didn't mean to make you spill your stuff."
"It's alright, this happens more often than you would think."
"Um, if you say so. I'm still responsible though, here."
"Oh, well, thank you, sir."
"Oh, you're welcome miss... I mean, that is... if you don't mind..."
There was one apple left, and two hooves alighted on it at once. Two butter-yellow hooves.
Fluttershy's eyes widened as she tracked the other hoof back up to its owner. She was met with a pair of aqua-blue orbs that returned her gaze, apparently seeing her for the first time as well. He was a pegasus, with wavy pink hair that was cut slightly short. From here, she could tell that he had at least one butterfly for a cutie-mark.
He was... her.
Her eyes shrunk and her cheeks flushed, as somewhere in the back of her mind, a warning bell rang off that said at any moment now, she would be exploding. Twice.
A full minute passed as they stared at each other. Nothing happened.
".... um.... hi." the colt managed to squeak out.
"...hi...." she managed to squeak in return.
The male pegasus dipped his head low as he blushed slightly, a gesture that she found endearing. "I... I haven’t seen you around before. I'm... I'm not usually the forward one, but... what's your name?"
She dipped her own head down as she pawed at the ground. "I'm... i'm fluttershy." she whispered.
Apparently he had good hearing, as his ears perked and a smile came across his face. "Hi, Fluttershy... I'm Butterscotch..."
"Butterscotch..." she echoed, looking back up at him again. The same name Dusk and Spines had used when she'd met them. So this really was her male self. Despite the awkwardness she felt, a smile graced her own lips at she looked him over.
Another round of awkward silence descended, before Butterscotch spied the apple again. He scooped it up with his hoof, and offered it to the filly, shy blush still in place. She accepted the fruit, taking the stem in her mouth and placing it in her bag. "Thank you, for helping me." she squeaked, as she closed the flap precariously over the bulging baggage.
"Uhm, It was no trouble." he replied, eying the luggage she was carrying. "Are you sure you don't need any help carrying all that? That looks like an awful lot of fruit."
"Oh, well, it's nothing I'm not used to." Fluttershy responded, a hoof pawing at the flap's snap. "I always carry as much as I can whenever I'm feeding the animals."
Suddenly, the yellow stallion's eyes sparkled. "You like to take care of the animals too?"
She looked towards him, and seeing his joyed expression, somehow caused her own face to light up in tandem. "Oh yes! It's one of the most special things to me in the world."
"Oooh, the same with me! It always fills me with joy to help feed the ducks,"
"And the help groom the ferrets,"
"And shine the turtle shells,"
"And do you feed the otters by cracking the clams just slightly too?"
"Oh yes, so they can still feel strong when they open them themselves." The thought caused the pair of ponies to devolve into a giggle fit.
At length, they looked into each other's eyes again. The mare felt any trepidation she had before, slowly dissolving away. Having met her own self... she felt something. Like... a lightness. It tingled in her hooves and worked it's way across her body. As they continued staring, she got the distinct feeling that at any minute now, she was about to fly away, without even having opened her wings. Does... does he feel the same way?...
Finally, Butterscotch opened his mouth to speak again.
"I like you." he stated, the blush more prominent than before.
She was surprised when she found her own mouth saying "I like you too."
They stared at each other for a few seconds more. Around them, Ponyville continued on with its business, heedless of the two yellow pegusai. "Uhm... would you like to eat somewhere? I could take you to Sugarcube Corner, one of my friends works there." the small stallion suggested, as he pointed a hoof over to the store. "I mean, if that's alright..."
Fluttershy made as if to accept, but then another thought flitted across her mind. "Ooh... oh, I would love to, believe me Butterscotch. But I have friends that are waiting for me, for these." she made a motion back to her bags. "If I can though... another time, I would love to go eat somewhere with you."
He nodded, his blush still matching his female counterpart's own. "Okay then, I understand. I'll, um, keep an eye out for you. Until next time, Miss Fluttershy?"
She got onto all four hooves and trotted up to him, snout-to-snout, before she whispered. "Until next time."
Two things happened at once then. The first thing that she was cognizant of, was that she was running full-tilt back towards the forest, her bag miraculously staying intact.
The second thing that she became aware of, turned her face bright-red, as she realized she'd done it first, before breaking into a gallop.
She had nuzzled him.
Back in that street, a pink-maned pegasus stared off in the distance at the retreating form of what he felt was, his better half. The brush against his cheek was quite warm, and as it sunk in, a goofy smile began to spread across his face.
"Yo! Hey there brony!"
There was a rush of wind as another pegasus stallion landed next to him, spiky multihued mane sticking out in all directions. "Yo 'Scotch! Been lookin' around for you, what've you been up to?"
There was no reply.
"...ummmm... 'Scotch? Yo? Equestria to Butterscotch?"
The blue pony waved a hoof in front of his friend's face. No reaction.
Now the stallion grimaced, as he clopped his forehooves together in front of the yellow equine's eyes. "Hey! Butterscotch!"
Finally, the aforenamed colt blinked as the noise registered. Slowly he looked up, aqua eyes meeting with rose ones. "Oh... Hi Rainbow Blitz... lovely day out today, isn't it?"
An eyebrow was arched. "Um... yeah, real nice weather we've been having." the cyan one replied, a slightly sarcastic tone in his voice.
It went unnoticed. "Yes..." Butterscotch turned his head back in the direction that the mare had gone. "Absolutely.... beautiful..."
Now Blitz was confused, as he took to the air again to hover upside-down in Scotch's face. "Hey there, pony. Something wrong? You look like you just let the mare of your dreams get away from you."
This caused the smaller pegasus to let loose a distinctly un-manly giggle. "Well... she did go away, but, she asked nicely. I didn't mind. She said she'd love to come back another time."
This, Rainbow had not been expecting. He turned his head in the direction his friend was looking in. However, all he could spot was a settling cloud of dust. That didn't matter. A grin had blossomed on his face, as he righted himself and wrapped a hoof around the yellow one's shoulders.
"Ahhhh-HAH, it finally happened, didn't it 'Scotch!? Y'found yourself a fillyfriend! Tell me, what's she like? She cute? She sassy? Tell me, you going steady? Oooh just WAIT ‘till Berry hears this, I bet the bash he'll throw'll be AWESOME!"
Butterscotch was turning a deeper shade of red as his friend had continued, before finally squirming himself free. "P-p-please, Blitz! I JUST met her today, and all we did was talk! Well, we first, um, kinda bumped into each other, and she, um, spilled her groceries, but still. We talked, and, we discovered that we both liked animals, and, she was really cute, a-and then, well..."
"Kindred spirits, eh?" the blue pegasus gave a playful hoof-punch to the shoulder. "Lucky buck. Then what happened?"
"W-well, th, then I said.... that i.... liked her."
It was not the way that Rainbow Blitz would have gone about it, but he couldn't argue with the results, a surge of pride building in his chest as he pulled his friend close and gave him a noogie. "You STUD! I always knew there'd be a gal out there for you, and whaddya know! Oh, I have GOT to tell Dusk about this, he'll SO put it in his next letter to the Prince!"
Now Butterscotch's face was a deep red. "Oh no, Blitz, you WOULDN'T!" he gaped, mortified.
All he got in return was a sinister grin. "Say, what is her name? I'm guessing she's another pegasus, right?"
Shyly, the yellow one nodded. "Her... her name is Fluttershy..." his voice took on a reverent tone as he said her name, which gave Blitz a cause to roll his eyes.
"Oh she was just so... so wonderful. She was very calm, and polite, and she was wonderfully timid, which I found so very cute. It made me all but forget the visit that Dusk paid me earlier today. I still don't know why he thought I was sick. I-.... Blitz? Rainbow Blitz?"
Apparently, the blue stallion liked hearing stories of scoring, not romance. A couple of feathers were all that remained next to Butterscotch's hooves.
Fluttershy had managed to catch her breath, once she had returned to the HEDGE. Twilight was waiting for her outside, and with a little assistance, they managed to fit the crowded bags through the diminutive entrance.
"O-oh my!" the shypony exclaimed, once she got inside. The interior had undergone a dramatic transformation, a few colored blankets hung on the walls, a small firepit had been dug out and constructed, and there were plenty of haystacks for seating. Hanging from a root in the ceiling was a firefly lamp, and the stone table from earlier was now festooned with a tablecloth and a vase full of daisies.
"Oh Fluttershy, welcome back!" Rarity called out, tail sweeping busily at the floor, while Pinkie, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack worked on tacking on the door to a makeshift pantry.
"Rarity's done a good job sprucing up the place, don't you think?" Twilight asked, a hoof unbuckling one of the bags.
"Oh yes, this all looks so WON-derful." the pegasus replied, taking in the cave's homey atmosphere. "I had no idea you were carrying so much with you, Rarity."
"My darling, one must never leave her house unprepared." the unicorn drawled, while Dash made faces behind her. "It would simply have been unbecoming of me. Besides, I simply had to do something. If this is to be our little home away from home, then let's do make it our own, right?"
"Can't argue wit' that'." Applejack added, as she strolled over to the saddlebags. "Say, y'got any apples in thar? Ah'm hungrier thanna pig that's gone a coupla days wit'out slop!"
"Oh, yes, I brought enough for everyone." Fluttershy smiled, as she opened the other bag, a few strawberries falling out. "Everypony dig in!"
There was no need to say anything else. All six fillies proceeded to partake of the feast that had been retrieved, much smacking and nomming filling the cave. After a bit, the yellow pony herself stopped eating as she noticed she was holding an apple. Slowly, a faraway look appeared in her eyes.
Twilight brought her head up from the date she had been chewing on, her eyes noticing her friend's odd state. She trotted beside her, poking at her hoof. "Fluttershy? You alright?"
The pegasus started a bit as she focused, but gave a calm smile to the unicorn. "Yeah, I'm okay. It's just that... uhm..."
Inquisitive, the student leaned in. "What? Something happen?"
"Well... I just..." aqua eyes dipped down to the floor, before she spoke the following. "I... I think your other theory is wrong too, Twilight."
For some reason, despite the volume of the words spoken, they had managed to grab the attention of everypony present, and the sounds of eating quickly died down, eyes homed in on the pair of ponies off to the side.
"Wh... what do you mean?" Twilight asked, a suspicion already forming in her mind as her pupils began to shrink.
"I... I mean that I... I... didn't explode..."
Pears and grapes were dropped, as the other four horses gasped, Applejack in particular looking like she was about to faint.
"Fluttershy..." The lavender unicorn was now all business. "What happened while you were out there?"
Fluttershy could now tell she was in trouble. She began to shrink down in her spot as she mumbled. "I... i met btrscth"
"What was that, 'Shy?" Dash asked, now hovering over the pony's other side.
"I... i ran into btrschatthmrkplace..."
"One more t-HAIme?" Applejack asked, her face getting into Fluttershy's own. That was enough to provoke a reaction.
"I Ran Into Butterscotch!"
There was a mass of sighs and moans as the words confirmed their worst fears. "Quite literally, actually. I wasn't looking where I was going, a-and we both walked into each other, and then he was nice enough to help me pick up all those fruits and vegetables, and then we got started on talking about ani-"
"Yeah yeah, we get it." Dash interrupted, her patience quickly running low. "Geeze 'Shy, sometimes you're just as bad as Pinkie. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you'd found yourself a new colt-friend."
At this, Fluttershy blushed heavily as she cast her gaze down, a hoof pawing at the ground.
Rarity's eyes widened at this, recognizing the signs immediately, before pointing at her. "Fluttershy! Y... You didn't!"
"... he... he said that he liked me."
"And what did YOU say?" Dash leaned in, accusingly.
"... i... isaidthatilikedhimtoo!"
"Ooooooh-nonononononono~!" Twilight suddenly chanted, her expression having evolved from shock to outright panic. "This is NOT what we need! That's the LAST thing we need! Fluttershy, do you REALIZE what this MEANS?! If you start crushing on yourself, and vice versa, then the whole of reality itself could be doomed!"
"But Twilight!" Pinkie interjected. "You said that if we met ourselves we'd all go poof, and Fluttershy's still here, she and her boyself haven't gone poof!"
"I KNOW. That was just a theory though, and Fluttershy's managed to disprove it. But what's happening instead could be FAR more devastating over the long run!" The librarian ran her hooves through her hair as scenario after scenario rampaged through her mind. Scenarios involving dimensional physics getting mixed up with that one science that she had yet to do any real study on. Romance.
"I'm sorry Fluttershy." Twilight began, as she rounded about back to her friend. "But this... this just isn't going to happen. I don't want to do this, but the truth is, if you've got these... FEELINGS, for Butterscotch? For your own male self? We can't let you do the shopping anymore."
"B-but, but Twilight-!"
"End of discussion." she stated, the finality evident in her words. The unicorn turned to look at the rest of her group. "This goes for all of us. We can't meet our own selves, or something like this might happen."
"Twilight, you can’t be serious." Rarity stated, stepping forward. "These are matters of the heart you speak of! You can't expect to simply lock Fluttershy up in here and deny her any kind of closure to the bonds she's forged in herself!"
She got a look that told her that was exactly what she had been planning on doing. "This is NOT. OUR. WORLD." she stated, each word punctuated with a stamping of a hoof. "We have no place in it. None at all. And we need to make sure we DON'T leave ANY kind of mark here! We've probably already caused who knows WHAT untold damage when we enlisted the Crusaders, and now Fluttershy has a crush on her male alter ego?"
"The fabric of reality is a delicate thing! Rarity, you can appreciate this metaphor I'm about to use. Imagine our reality as an afghan quilt, weaved out of yarn. Every piece of yarn used, is in fact, a pony. So what happens if a couple of pieces of the same yarn try and occupy the same stitch?"
The white one could already see where this was going. "An... an ugly quilt, for certain. And if it stayed in there..."
"Yes, then things could happen. BAD things. We don't know WHAT, but rest assured, they would be BAD. VERY BAD."
There was silence all around. Out of it, came a very timid voice. "I... i'm sorry..."
Twilight looked towards the pegasus, expression softening, if only for a second. "No, I'm the one who's sorry, Fluttershy. The last thing I want to do is to deny you something... But trust me... this is the way it has to be."
She only got a single nod in reply. Rarity moved first, taking Fluttershy aside, while Applejack hefted the bag and dragged it towards their newly-built pantry, the remaining two ponies assisting her.
The student sighed, as she let her eyes rest on a green tome, levitating it up to her face. It was going to be a long three days.
There was a tapping at the window. Somewhere in the back of the library, there was a snort, followed by a feminine 'Five more minutes, pleez Dusk?'
The unicorn rolled his eyes, before lighting his horn and swinging the window open. In came a familiar blue stallion, crooked rainbow tail swinging as he glided in towards Dusk's desk.
"We have a door you know, Blitz."
He got a lopsided grin in return. "Now where would the fun be in that?"
There was a shaking of a mane, with an amused grin. "What brings you by here, today? We all know you're not the reading type."
"Oh man, I've got a juicy piece of news for you. It's about Butterscotch!" The pegasus was obviously in glee as he clopped his hooves together.
Dusk on the other hand, was not amused. "Oh gosh, something about Butterscotch? Let me tell you something weird about Butterscotch. Apparently, either we've all gone crazy, or there's two of him lurking around Ponyville."
This caught Blitz by surprise. "Two of him? Whaddya mean by that?"
The lavender equine collected his wits, before starting from the beginning. "Okay. Earlier today, Butterscotch shows up in my library, decked out in AJ's hat and a scarf. He claims he's got a cold, and his voice is so tinny that I'm inclined to believe him. He checks out 'Supernaturals'. Fair and good. Later in the day, I get worried about him, gather up Spines and some tea, and go visit his cottage. Wanna know what I find? Not only is he hunky dory and okay, but he's got no memory of ever even BEING in the library today, and 'Supernaturals' is nowhere to be seen."
The rainbow colt sat there for a few seconds, absorbing the information. "So... you're saying that 'Scotch was... lying to you?"
"He wasn't lying, at least when we met him at his place. You and I both know him, and the poor guy couldn't belt out a whopper under pressure even if he tried!"
"That much is true..." Blitz hummed as he crossed his forehooves. "I wonder if his girlfriend has anything to do with this..."
Now it was Dusk's turn to blink. "Girlfriend? What?"
Rainbow shook his head, as the original purpose of his visit resurfaced in his mind. "Oh yeah, that's what I came here to tell you! Butterscotch met the filly of his dreams today!"
The unicorn blinked awkwardly. "Aha... that's, that's great news, actually! Did you see her?"
"Nope. She was already gone when I got there, but the fella was positively dripping with puppy-love. It was written all over his face!" He snickered at the memory.
"Well, did he describe her to you?"
"Well, from what I stuck around to find out, apparently she's an animal-lover like him. And that she's got twice the number of shy bones that he has, if that's even possible."
Somewhere in the back of Dusk's mind, a suspicion was growing larger with every word his friend spoke. "Did he tell you what she looked like?"
Here, the blue colt took on a sheepish expression. "I.... can't remember if he did or not, exactly... oh, he DID say she was a pegasus too!"
There was a massaging of temples. "And her name?"
"Hmmm..." the pony tilted his head back as he wracked his brain. "Flooty? Floosytoot? Shooty? Solaris, what WAS it... Flooter... shay? Flut, Flutter!" he suddenly sprung on all four hooves. "Flutter... Shy! Fluttershy! Yeah, that was it! Fluttershy!"
"Fluttershy..." the student rolled the name around on his tongue, his eyes unfocused in thought. "Butterscotch... Fluttershy... Butter-SCOTCH... Flutter-SHY!" His expression took on a gape of shock, scenarios running through his mind. "Of course! It HAS to be!"
Now Rainbow Blitz was completely confused. "Has to be what? What's going on here Dusk?"
"I'm not sure yet." Dusk replied, now trotting back towards his desk. "But I have a feeling this isn't the end of it. Blitz, if you see any ponies that you don't recognize, walking around Ponyville, come and tell me immediately. I need to start keeping a record." His horn glowed as a piece of parchment and a quill pen came into view.
"Um... if you say so, brony." the pegasus replied, lifting himself up towards the opened window. "A record of what, exactly? I-is it somethin' big?"
"It's something." came the reply, as a couple of names were written down on the paper. "Whether it becomes big or not, we've yet to see. Just keep an eye out, okay? Oh, and watch yourself! We don't know what these ponies are capable of!"
The stallion pshawed. "C'mon Dusk, I'll run circles around them. I'm Rainbow Blitz, remember? I'll find your 'weird ponies' in ten seconds flat!"
With that, he left through the window in his trademarked multihued blur. Dusk couldn't help but chuckle at the nature of his friend's exit, before returning his attention to the paper, and what he'd written.
Parallel genderswapped universe?
Future cases to go below.
For an instant, an absurd thought flashed through his mind, one that both amused him, and frightened him at the same time.
"TWO Rainbow Blitzes?" he chuckled out-loud to himself. "I don't think Equestria would be able to survive THAT!"
To Be Continued...
Rainbow Dash held her breath as she heard the figure enter the bedroom. There were sounds of rummaging, before another call came out. "I know you're still in here! The window's still closed! C'mon out, so I can teach you something called 'private property laws'!"
She didn't of course. The filly scooted as quietly as she could into the bowels of the house. Judging from her position, she figured she was now over the living room. A screened airhole allowed her to peer down and confirm her location.
It also allowed her a good look at the sky-blue stallion who was making his way back down the stairs, wild rainbow mane flailing about as his rose-tinted eyes searched the premises for the intruder. Snorting, he stomped a hoof onto the floor.
"C'mon, show yourself! I'm not afraid of you!"
Now that she was actually seeing him for herself, she found her body reacting in a way she hadn't expected. That was to say, she was feeling a rock in the bottom of her stomach weighing her down. The same weight that she had felt back at the Best Young Flier's competition.
But I'm afraid of YOU. she realized with shock. I don't know why....
But I'm afraid of you.