The pony shot down towards the earth like a black missile.
Before he smashed onto the ground, he unfolded his wings and landed with a sharp crack, throwing up dust into the air. The dust cleared, and Bruce was standing in the crater, completely unharmed. It was amazing
. No one else could do this without breaking their bones, yet he could land without breaking a sweat.
He emerged from the crater and was tackled by a blue blur. Bruce lay on his back with Rainbow Dash standing on top of him, talking at an incredibly fast rate.
"ThatwasseriouslyamazingIdon'tevenkno-"She squealed, before realizing she was standing on top of Bruce. "Oh, sorry, Darknight." She said, climbing off of him.
"No worries, it's fine." Bruce said.
That hurt like hell, actually...
They continued to practice their flying, teaching each other new tricks and racing.
* ** ** ** *
Suddenly, screams emerged from the center of the town.
"The horror, the horror!" Somepony shouted.
Bruce nodded at Dash and they both ran towards the source of the shouts. However, a huge crowd of ponies circled the main square of the town. Bruce approached an old stallion.
"What is going on?" He asked, confused. "Why is everyone crowded around the square?" The old pony nodded towards the center, where a gigantic beast stood, roaring and stamping it's paws. It had a comically over sized body of a lion, wings, and a threatening looking scorpion tail.
"Holy cow!" Dash whispered. "It's- It's a manticore!" She gulped in fright. "How'd it manage to get in the town?"
Just then, a collective gasp was heard when a pale-yellow pegasus walked timidly over to the hostile animal. She appeared to be trying to coax it.
"Oh, man," Rainbow Dash groaned, a look of dismay on her face. "Fluttershy is trying to calm it down!"
It looked as if it were working. While she talked to it, Fluttershy took tentative steps towards him.
Suddenly, it appeared to have changed it's mind and swatted Fluttershy aside. She flew a few feet in the air before landing, unconscious, too far away for her to be rescued. The manticore walked around her, growling as if he was going to eat her. He raised his paw to deliver the killing blow-
Bruce ran out from the crowd, shouting to divert the beast's attention. It saw him and bared it's teeth, then charged. Bruce dodged swiftly to the side, and the manticore crashed into a building, crushing a stall and making a hole in the building.
The animal whipped around to face Bruce, then charged once more. Bruce dodged again, but the hostile manticore shot his scorpion tail towards his attacker.
With a jump, Bruce narrowly missed the tail, then kicked the stinger. The beast roared in pain and Bruce smiled with satisfaction. The manticore turned once more, backing away. This time, he was cautious. The manticore attempted to scare him off with a fierce roar, but Bruce stood his ground. The manticore charged again, but turned as Bruce dodged, managed to strike him on the flank.
Bruce gritted his teeth and flew upwards, and the manticore bellowed and swatted at the air.
At a decent height, Bruce smiled. Then he dove downwards, folding his wings. He sped towards the ground like a bullet, a cone of air visible around him. He unfolded his wings and stuck his good leg out, striking the manticore in the face. A huge cloud of dust rose around the scene, and the surrounding ponies watched nervously.
The dust cleared, and Bruce jumped off of the manticore's head.
The animal's eyes had rolled up into the back of his head and he lay on the floor, unconscious.
Sudden, furious clapping echoed around the entire town of Ponyville as everypony cheered, and two paramedic ponies rushed out of the crowd, putting Fluttershy on a stretcher. Everypony emerged from the corners of the town square and lifted Bruce onto their shoulders, clapping and shouting and crying tears of joy. They chanted his name, carrying for a victory lap around town while others carried the manticore back to the forest.
"Darknight! Darknight! Darknight!" Bruce vaguely wondered how they all knew his name.
Eventually, the moon rose up above the sun, and everypony had gone home, tired over the excitement of the day. Bruce walked nowhere with a dazed kind of expression, and was tackled once more by a cyan pony.
"Darknight! I can't believe it! YousavedFluttershyandprobablythewholetownand-" Rainbow Dash looked down. "Woops."
"It really wasn't any trouble at all," He started. "The manticore was a predictable attacker." Rainbow Dash grinned, but her eyes started to water.
"Thanks, Night." She replied. "I wouldn't know what to do if Fluttershy-" Her eyes widened. "Omigosh, we should go see how Shy is doing!" Dash flew away in a hurry.
Bruce stood, not sure if he should follow. Rainbow turned around and beckoned towards him. Bruce shrugged to himself, and flew, following the rainbow-maned pony.
After a quick fifteen minutes in comfortable silence, they finally reached the hospital.
Rainbow Dash pretty much smashed through the doors and Bruce slowly trotted behind. Rainbow hurriedly walked up to the receptionist.
"Hey, we need to know where Fluttershy is," She said, quite rudely. "The one that got hit by a manticore awhile ago?"
The receptionist raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry, miss, but she's not accepting any-" Just then, Bruce walked up to the counter.
"Hello, ma'am." He said, shining his most charming smile.
* ** ** ** ** *
They walked up the stairs to Fluttershy's room, talking as they went.
"Good thing you could be pretty persuasive." Rainbow Dash started. "Otherwise we wouldn't even be here." Bruce nodded.
"I can be if I want to." Bruce replied.
They reached their destination, and pushed open the door.
Fluttershy was in a pretty bad shape, three long cuts along the side of her wings. She looked up and beamed when she saw Rainbow Dash.
"Oh, Rainbow! I'm glad you came, I was-" She trailed off when she saw Bruce. "Oh...I didn't..." She started squeaking. Rainbow Dash sighed.
"Fluttershy," She said in an exasperated tone. "This is the guy that saved you!"
Fluttershy's eyes widened.
"Oh- oh my.." Fluttershy whispered. "So...er, sorry to inc- inconvenience you..." Bruce shook his head.
"No, it was no trouble at all, really." He said, calmly. "Besides, you saved me when I got lost in the Everfree Forest, right?" Fluttershy looked thoughtful, then recognition overtook her face.
"Oh, yes. I was just looking for animals to help, and I-" She talked fast, the aura of shyness surrounding her a second ago turned into a sudden confidence and enthusiasm. A few minutes later, though, the door burst open and four other ponies streamed into the room.
"Oh, Fluttershy, darling, you really scared us for a second there!" The white one spoke first. She caught sight of Bruce. "Now, now, Rainbow. Who's this fine young stallion?" The pony asked, batting her eyelashes.
"Fluttershy, we're glad you're okay." Said a purple one.
"Yeah, Shy. Ya dang near gave me a heart attack." Said the orange one.
"Geez, Flutters! I was, like, sitting there, making cupcakes, when boom!" A pink one chimed in. She raised her hooves over her head. "It was like, hey, manticore in the town square, and Fluttershy in the hospital!" The pony's pink mane seemed to have a life of it's own, wobbling at every word. Her head whipped around to face Bruce.
"And whoooo's this?! I've never seen you before! I'm Pinkie Pie!" Her mouth stopped moving and turned into a frown. "And if I've never seen you before, then..." She stopped, then gave a long, sharp, gasp. Pinkie sped out of the room, leaving a trail of pink smoke in her wake.
A few seconds of uncomfortable silence later, she stuck her head in the doorway once more.
"Oh, and get well soooon, Flutters!" She gave a quick smile and disappeared. The purple one coughed.
"Aaaanyways, I'm Twilight Sparkle." She said. "On behalf of Princess Celestia, I welcome you to Ponyville." She gave a kind of uncomfortable smile.
"And I'm Applejack, nice to meet you." Applejack blurted. She tipped her cowboy hat and shook Bruce's hoof vigorously.
The white one pushed Applejack aside, much to her indignation, and gave a ladylike bow.
"I'm Rarity, Ponyville's resident tailor, and I might add," Rarity said in a cooing voice, "The most stylish pony you will ever see." Bruce nodded.
"Well, I'm Darknight, Dashes friend." He nodded towards Rainbow.
"And, the guy that beat up the manticore!" Rainbow added. "And the super awesome flyer that beat me in a race!" The other five's jaws dropped, staring at Bruce.
"That is excellent news!" Twilight burst in. "No one has ever faced a manticore and lived! I'd love to jot down your tale sometime." She grinned.
"And ain't one pony beat Dash in a race before ya!" Applejack said. She tipped her hat once more. "And thanks for savin' Shy."
This was starting to get uncomfortable.
"Really, it was no big deal." Bruce said. He was unused to praise, people in Gotham saw him as a threat rather than a hero.
"I, uh, gotta get home."
"Night, you don't have a home." She interjected. "You just got here." Her eyes lit up. "Hey, maybe you could sleep at my house! It's probably the best around Ponyville!"
"Er- I could just gather up some clouds, really."
"No way, bub. Come on, lets go." She waved goodbye to the girls and walked out. Bruce raised a hoof, as if to object, but thought better of it and followed her out, waving goodbye as well.