"D-do you… really mean that?"
Sweetie Belle lay face to face with a certain pony she used to hate, under the radiant moonlight that shone down all around them on that chilly evening just outside of Ponyville.
All alone, they had nothing but each other and the darkness of the night to keep them company.
"I do, Sweetie Belle…" Silver Spoon admitted softly. She leaned in and gently flashed her tongue out and Sweetie Belle, lapping at her lips.
Sweetie Belle felt a sudden rush fill her face, and she drew back, before bringing Silver Spoon into a warm, passionate exchange of affection.
A bright flash killed the darkness for a split second, and it was followed be a cold heartless giggling from somepony else with them.
Diamond Tiara snatched the undeveloped film of a photograph from the camera propped up in front of her, and she motioned at Silver Spoon.
"Sweetie Belle!" Silver Spoon mocked, "I can honestly say, I never figured you for a filly-fooler!" she exclaimed in retort of her own actions.
"Later, dyke!" Diamond Tiara yelled coldly back at her as the trotted back to town. "Have a wonderful day at school tomorrow! See you there!"
A steady stream of warm tears broke the floodgate and begat to stream down Sweetie Belle's face, as she silently resented herself for not seeing this coming. She could hear them talking amongst themselves in the distance.
"I can not believe that actually worked!" Diamond Tiara bragged their accomplishments to nopony in particular. "I can not wait to see the look on her face when she walks into school tomorrow! That dyke is so busted!"
Silver Spoon just laughed at all of the snide remarks that Diamond Tiara made, all of those laughs leaving an even deeper scar in the surface of Sweetie Belle's soul. All of them drove her one step deeper into the pit of self-hate that they had helped her dig.
Sweetie Belle was greeted at her desk the next day by numerous notes on her desk, all of them concentrated on one common goal, burying her in her mind.
All of the notes appeared to be farely short, all save for one. The last one, the unmistakably sloppy writing of someone she used to consider a friend. She read through the note, every last word leaving a mental imprint on her mind. Until she read that last cold line.
"Sweetie Belle, you are alone in the world. You've lost everything in your life. You've lost everything that you once had. You are dead to me."
Her lip began to tremble, and with those last five words, the tears finally managed to find a way to break out.
Sweetie Belle stood slowly, and, with no regards of anyone around her, she walked slowly out of the school, her head hung low. She passed the flamboyantly late Scootaloo, who brushed past her, not paying her any mind. Or so she thought.
Scootaloo gazed back at the emptiness in her friends complexion. She didn't like it, it wasn't natural. It wasn't a kind of upset that was normal for somepony, this was something different.
The whole class period, she couldn't keep her mind off of the thoughts of her friend, letting the tears roll down her face. Scootaloo didn't understand why Sweetie Belle felt the way she did.
The rest of the day dragged along with the bitterness of anticipation of the final bell, which would finally open the gate, and allow her, her freedom from this self-doubt.
The whole day, everyone seemed so eager to tell her something, but she found herself unable to do anything but push them away. She didn't want to listen to them right now, she just wanted to think, to understand, to comprehend by some degree what was boring at her friends mind, that gave her that unique, indescribable sorrow that screamed from her complexion.
At last, the final bell rang, and she was released from the mental prison that deprived her of the only knowledge she cared about right now, the knowledge of her friends grief.
Scootaloo surged into a full body sprint for her friends home, unable to ignore the violent storm that raged on in her mind, and tore at her conscious.
She ran, driven by a selfish desire to clear her head of the doubt that rang through her skull.
The door to the boutique flung open on its hinges, to reveal a dark room, void of any visible ponies. She wanted to sprint inside, to find her friend, but found she couldn't bring herself to sprint into the wall of darkness. Instead, she just slowly crept through the main floor of the boutique, searching frantically for her friend.
Not finding her, she proceeded up the stairs, to Sweetie Belle's room, hoping, praying that she would find the answers she desired there.
Scootaloo nudged open the door at the ending of the stairwell. There was light in this room, enough light to see at least. She found herself staring at Sweetie Belle from behind, her friends body hiding her face, but failing to muffle the soft sobs and the agonized whimpers that leaked from her friend's voice.
Not saying a word, Scootaloo slowly snuck up to her friend, in hopes of understanding the cause behind her friends cries.
Sweetie Belle was staring at a small photograph, leaning against the window frame. She grimaced in anguish, tears glistening in the dim lighting of the boutique, as she slowly dragged the razor up her fore hoof. Blood trickled from the rich, deep wound in Sweetie Belle's clean white foreleg.
Scootaloo felt like she wanted to vomit at the sight of the flesh splitting along the crease, as razor divided the tissue, a tear in the fabric of her friends physical form. Scootaloo knew she had to do something, but found the only ability that hadn't fled her body in fear, was her ability to whisper.
"…Stop…Please, Sweetie Belle… Don't do this to yourself anymore…" was all she could manage while mesmerized by the sight of the thick blood flow.
Sweetie Belle abruptly dropped the small blade, and let her body drop to the floor, as she screamed in raw agony.
The sharp, piercing cries reverberated through the room, sending a striking sensation of sorrow and pain through her eardrums.
Scootaloo was completely immobile as she stared blankly, horrified at the scene which played out in front of her. She watched as her close friend cringed on the floor, cradling the self-inflicted injury that streaked up her fore hoof.
Scootaloo, unsure what she could do, if she could do anything, hid beneath the shell of herself, and involuntarily tried to block out the paralyzing screams of torment and misery.
Sweetie Belle made a desperate attempt to rise to a standing position, but all she gained was a shooting pain through her hoof as she tried to support herself on the battered limb.
Scootaloo dropped down to the floor beside her friend's quivering form, implementing herself as a support for Sweetie Belle, and she slowly rose to an awkward lean on Scootaloo's body.
As they rose, Scootaloo craned her head, and finally she saw why Sweetie Belle had done this to herself. She saw the photograph… it was of Sweetie Belle, in a passionate lip lock with a rather disturbed looking Silver Spoon. It was marked at the bottom, the neat writing of Silver Spoon. One word was all that it said, neat cursive streaking across the blank hillside. "dyke!"
She finally understood it all. Yet, that didn't change the fact that the rich blood seeped from the wound that was embedded in Sweetie Belle's soft, white foreleg. Scootaloo had only one choice.
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo plodded down the stairs, heading for the door, but soon found Sweetie Belle collapsed in a pile next to a neat pile of clean, white cloth.
A sharp screech invaded Scootaloo's ears, and blood spurted from the open wound as Sweetie Belle's hoof connected strongly with the floor. The crimson red liquid shot out from the cut and infected the white cloth with a red stain of impurity.
Only now did Scootaloo find the ability to reason, and she snatched up the cloth, and draped it lightly over the wound. She wrapped it tightly, being careful not to make this anymore painful for Sweetie Belle than she absolutely had to. She tucked it into itself, firmly securing it to Sweetie Belle's damaged leg.
Scootaloo joined Sweetie Belle in the floor, holding her tightly, comforting and reassuring her with just a slight pressure between the two fillies' bodies. Blood crusted onto Scootaloo's back and mane, but she paid no mind to it. She just leaned in, and spoke softly into her friends ear.
"It'll be okay, Sweets… I promise…" Scootaloo didn't know if there was any truth to the statement she'd just made, but she again felt Sweetie Belle's tense muscles begin to ease their stress and relax their effort.
Sweetie Belle rested her head on Scootaloo, using her shoulder as a pillow. They lay there silently, the sobbing had slowly dissipated, and while the tears remained, they no longer flooded down her face, they just presided on her white coat like droplets of emotion that had no desire to leave her. The whimpering stopped shortly after, and soon they found that the only sound that still remained, was the quiet hush of light breathing.
"Scootaloo…" Sweetie Belle pried, her voice quivering ever so slightly as she spoke.
Sweetie Belle sunk her head into Scootaloo's coat, seeming intent on submerging her head in a pool of light orange pony.
"…Thank you…" she said just loud enough to be heard, but just quiet enough to be truly understood.
Scootaloo licked the surface of Sweetie Belle's forehead. She felt a rush of heat light the inner surface of her cheeks as she lay in Scootaloo's warm caress, wanting nothing but to lie there, and be free from everyone but the one pony who truly cared about her. She wanted only to be herself.
Saturday melted away before Scootaloo's eyes just as soon as it had come, and Sunday had made it's greetings to her many hours before. The moon hung low above her head, falling, ever falling, to the black horizon.
Her mind raced with the images of that unforgettable day, even the most faded of which sent chills running down her spine. All that she saw reminded her, tore her from the world she saw before her and placed her perfectly back into that small room with her friend. A few minutes would pass, many times longer, and finally the crisp autumn leaves would rustle her back to her so-called reality.
Though that was another thing that bothered her about that afternoon. 'What did she mean? Why did she do that? ...Did she... kiss me as a friend, or...'
Then the leaves played terribly magnificent symphony through themselves and the trees, shaking her back out of the solitude of her mind and back into the life before her.
The autumn wind nipped at her body, it's cool caress engulfing her. She lay almost perfectly still in the bed of vibrantly coloured leaves that blanketed the ground all throughout the small grove that she had taken as her bedroom for that night, or last few nights. She hadn't moved in nearly three long days.
'...What would she think? She didn't leave to have me without a home... She'd at least want me to have some food so that I could actually fall asl-'
Scootaloo's eyes crawled open as the slowly dawning sun burned across the horizon. The birds made their cheerful, early-morning greetings to her. Climbing to her feet, she stumbled sleepily out of the grove, her eyes begging to be closed once again. Her hooves carried her shakily, and for a short while, all she did was walk, peacefully walk. Soon, however, the torments of her not-so-distant past began to return to her mind, coming mercilessly as they did.
She didn't bother with school. None of that mattered anymore, not for now at least. She knew that the one thing that mattered to her anymore, she wouldn't find at the school.
Blue Jays, Sparrows, Morning Doves, and the like flew over her head, no doubt headed southbound for the cold months drawing ever nearer. The few leaves remaining on the trees just sat there, lifelessly, uselessly. The ones on the ground rustled about in the light gusts of wind. She saw not far from her an elderly mare let out a group of three little fillies to go play in the leaves. They built up piles to jump in, forts by the trees--some of which were rather impressive--and threw them into the breeze to float away, so quickly forgotten.
Scootaloo didn't like it. Didn't like any of it. The leaves were too dull, yet to fetching at the same time. The fillies were too happy, and the birds were too loud and obnoxious.
Finding little comfort in the trifles of the surrounding scenery, she walked on, fighting the urge to just lay there and cry because nothing made any sense anymore. She was so confused about all of it--the picture, Applebloom, the... the cutting--none of it fit together. Or maybe she just didn't want to believe it, because it fit together all too perfectly. It made too much sense.
The sun's rays continued there almost monotonous crawl across the land, emblazing the sky with it's brilliant torment, and the boutique drew nearer, beginning to take an iridescent form in the sliver of sunlight that she had to see by.
She knew that knocking would do her little good, so she let herself into the large, dark main room of he towering building. It remained in the unrelieved silence of the night before. She proceeded up the large staircase.
Twisting the knob slowly, she opened the door to her friend's bedroom. The large room sat in a state of pure blackness. Wading throughout the darkness, she reached up and yanked on the pull-chain above her, and the lights flicked on.
There sat Sweetie Belle quietly, secluded to the corner of her room. Blood dripped, fresh, from the corners of her lips, and a faded purple colour rippled away from her eye. Her face seemed to somehow have grown paler even than it had been before. Her head was crooked to one side, and a horrible little grin lit her face. Not a grin of happiness, but that of pleasure.
"Sweets, W-what happened to y-"
A small, empty syringe lay on the floor beside her foreleg.
"N-no… P-please, no…
Sweetie Belle's pressuring smile faded finally, slipping into more of a fearful disgrace.
"D-don't tell Rarity!" Sweetie Belle shouted unnaturally loudly, "She's mad enough at you as it is! …M-me, she's mad at me, I mean…"
Scootaloo ran over towards Sweetie Belle, tripping over her own hooves and landing in a pile of blood-stained white cloth. Some of this blood was fresh, but some of it dried. It was probably the cloth she'd used to wrap her friend's leg in, but she couldn't remember. It was all such a blur now.
She crawled over to her friend, now laying beside her rather that opposite her. That's when she saw it. The streaked and crooked letters on the wall pleaded 'FIX ME' in a sanguine ink. Just beneath these letters, was the mark of lips, a kiss, in the same sickly red liquid.
Scootaloo reached over at the syringe. The sight of it was all too familiar. Her mother had gotten in a lot of trouble for this. After just a week and a half, she couldn't--wouldn't--live without it. A hot stream of tears ran down her cheeks and fell to the carpet beneath her. It had been three long years since she had cried for her mother. Too long.
"You look tired, dearest. Please, get some rest. You have a big day tomorrow, you know."
"I know, but it's not my first first-day-of-school!"
"But that doesn't change the fact that you're tired. Go to sleep now, honey."
Scootaloo sighed softly. She was tired, but it was over an hour from bedtime, and there was so much left to do with her time.
"Now, I want you to promise me you'll go to sleep. Okay?"
"Good. Now, Good night, Scootaloo. Love you"
The tears began to overwhelm her, taking over any reserve of self control she had left.
"…Not you too… Why couldn't I just tell her that I loved her, Sweets…? Why…?"
At that moment, something clicked in Sweetie Belles mind.
"Because she didn't need you to. She didn't want you to."
"You couldn't save her, no one could, she was already gone, and you, at just seven years old, you were smart enough to know that you wouldn't find your mother in the morning. You didn't want to make it harder for her than it had to be."
"Shhhh… You're tired. Just get to sleep now, okay?"
Sweetie Belle planted a soft, gentle kiss on Scootaloo's lips and wrapped her front leg around Scootaloo's neck, enveloping the filly in her own warmth. She soon began to slip back into the pony that she had become. Her eyes wandered, following nothingness all around the room. She began to breath irregularly, and murmur an incoherent sort of conversation with an invisible being. 'Maybe an angel. Maybe it's her.'
Scootaloo's tears began to dry, and her uneasy breathing began to return to a light, regular rhythm as she drifted off once more.
"…I love you too, mommy…"