49w, 1dThe Fillyfoolers.
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18w, 19hDamn Those Feels
Silence reigned for a long moment. Rarity stared at her motionless father. It was almost as if time had stopped.
“Psst!” She looked down into her forelegs. Fluttershy was looking up at her. “Rarity, I don’t think he understands yet. Quick, make love to me right here!”
Rarity shook her head. There was Fluttershy, as before. “I said... Um... I think your Dad might be a little shocked, maybe you should check to see if he’s okay?” Rarity laughed at herself internally. Really, darling, a fantasy now of all times? Still, I wish it had lasted a moment or two longer...
Her father finally moved, even if it was only to slump onto his rump on the patio. “Fine, Rarey, you win. You wanted my attention, you got it. We’re going to talk like adults about this. But first, I need you to go chat to your mother for a bit.”
It was too much to hope for to have him be able to discuss the matter so soon after finally understanding. But as a start, Rarity was willing to work with it. “Very well, come with me, darling. Let’s go visit Mother for a while, my Father needs time to collect himself.”
“Rarey, I said you should go. I need her to stay here.”
She looked back in shock. “But whatever for? I’m the one you need to be talking to!”
The stallion shook his head. “Rarey, you tell me you’re in love with this mare. You want me to accept that? Then I need to talk to… her,” he said through gritted teeth.
Rarity opened her mouth to protest, but was silenced by the soft touch of a yellow hoof on her lips. Fluttershy smiled gently. “Rarity, go speak to your mom. I want to talk to your dad. Is that okay?”
She nodded dumbly, unable to say more. Kissing Fluttershy’s cheek softly, she left to go talk to her mother, giving one last worried look back before entering the house.
Rarity’s dad sat down on a bench and motioned for the pegasus to sit next to him. He grunted in annoyance at the sight of charred tofu-links on the grill. No saving them now.
The pegasus sat down primly, waiting for him to speak. Polite, graceful, respectful, all good points in her favor. He sighed. This was not as easy as it should be. Time to come clean, I guess. “Kiddo... Sorry, do you mind if I call you that? I’ve already made a complete idiot of myself today, I’d hate to insult you with a nickname you don’t like.”
The pegasus mare shifted a little uncomfortably on the stone bench. “My name is Fluttershy, but I don’t mind if you call me Kiddo. It sounds... nice.” She gave him a dazzling smile. Okay... definitely understanding what she sees in this girl. If I were a younger stallion, and had never met my Wishes... He shook himself. These were definitely the wrong thoughts to have about his daughter’s... fillyfriend, get used to the word.
He sighed. “Kiddo, I want to apologize for that scene just now.” He rubbed a hoof through his mane nervously. “I... honestly have no idea how to cope with... this. Please don’t think I dislike you. You’re just not who I expected my daughter to bring home.” He sighed. “You must think I’m an old fool.”
Fluttershy put a hoof over his shoulders and hugged him gently. He looked up with surprise and gratitude. “Shush, you have nothing to apologize for. I think Rarity might owe you one instead, that was a mean trick to play on you.”
He shook his head sadly. “No, I definitely owe her one. Two really. This is the second time she’s brought home somepony she loved. I dealt with it badly the first time, too.” He lowered his head in shame. “I have a horrible sense of humor. When something makes me uncomfortable I laugh it off. I laughed at my own daughter, Kiddo.”
“You’re sorry, aren’t you?” The pegasus hugged him a little tighter. It felt good. Relaxing. A bit of penance after all the little (and not so little) mistakes.
“Of course I am. Sorry, this wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Let’s start the way I always intended to, when she brought home her special somepony.” He cleared his throat noisily. “Ahem! Young col— errr, sorry, filly: what are your intentions with my daughter?”
Fluttershy giggled. It was a good sound. To be honest, he looked forward to hearing it more. “Really? Um... Okay fine.” She put on a more serious face. “Mister Rarity’s Dad, I’ve loved your daughter for a long time now. Longer than I can even remember. She’s been my friend for years, now she’s agreed to be my fillyfriend. I want to make her happy. Maybe, if she’ll let me, I want to marry her someday. Is that okay with you?”
He jumped up, making a big show of looking her over. He leaned in close to her eyes and looked into them appraisingly. Then he put a hoof on her lips and checked her teeth. She sat stock still during all of this, somehow knowing an inspection when she saw one. Finally he nodded, satisfied. “It’s okay with me, Kiddo. All you gotta do now is talk my Rarey into it. I’m guessing from the way she listened to you that it won’t be too much of a problem. Neat trick, by the way. I wish I could have gotten her to mind me so well when she was a filly.”
“I wish I could tell you what I was doing, I d-don’t quite know myself,” she stammered out bashfully.
He reached up and ruffled her mane a bit. “Just joshing you a little, Kiddo, my wife has the same effect on me. I guess that was the first sign in your favor. A couple needs to listen to each other. Not just talk, but listen.” He straightened his back once more, slipping into the voice he used to command young colts to attention as he gave his pep talks before the big hoofball game. “So, young... filly. Tell me about yourself.”
“Um... let’s see. I grew up in Cloudsdale. I was always a weak flier, so other pegasus ponies made fun of me. They called me mean names, like ‘It’s Too High’ or ‘Klutzershy.’ One day my friend Rainbow Dash spotted two colts picking on me, so she challenged them to a race. But she got a little excited when she sped away from the starting line and missed that I had fallen off the cloud I was standing on. I panicked and my wings wouldn’t open...”
“...Then after I had gathered all the animals again, I got my cutie mark! But I was still a very weak flier, and I couldn’t get back to Cloudsdale by myself, so I went to try to find some other ponies. I came across Ponyville, but I was very frightened and obviously didn’t know anypony there. My parents and teachers had always warned me that the ground was a scary place, and that I should never go there without an adult. I was stuck here and I had nopony to help me get back home. I wanted to ask for help, but everytime I tried to speak up, all that came out was a little squeak. I was lonely and hungry, and I had nowhere to go. Much later that day I found a nice spot by a pond in the park and lay down there. I fell asleep and woke up the following morning. That was where I first met her...”
“Hello there! Are you new in town?”
Fluttershy turned her weary face towards the voice. She was being addressed by a cute little unicorn filly with a coat of pure white and a short purple mane. The filly’s cutie mark was of three blue gemstones. Fluttershy wondered what kind of talent that might signify. She opened her mouth but nothing came out. She sighed.
“Oh dear, is something wrong with your voice?”
Fluttershy shook her head ruefully. She tried again. “...”
“I think I almost heard that... you said you’re lost?”
Fluttershy perked up. Somepony finally understood her! She nodded in excitement. Then she was sad again, remembering why she was excited. She was still lost, only now somepony knew it.
“Oh, that simply won’t do, darling! Where is your home?”
The lost pegasus filly pointed up. The unicorn followed her hoof and laughed in self-depreciating humor. “Oh, of course, most pegasus ponies live in the sky. How very silly of me. But why are you down here, darling? Can’t you fly back home?”
Fluttershy began to cry. The unicorn looked startled and bit her lip in thought. Then she lay down beside the pegasus and put her foreleg around her gently. “There there, darling. It’s all right. So you’ve come down here and have no way to return?”
Fluttershy screwed her face up in concentration. The closeness of the filly should have made her cringe, but she found herself calmed somehow. “I fell.”
The unicorn looked at her in shock. “So you can speak! Oh, that’s good. That will make things much easier. So you fell from your home then? Are your wings injured? Can you not fly back?”
Fluttershy shook her head. “I’m too weak.”
The unicorn filly nodded in sympathy. “Don’t despair, darling, not everypony has a special talent that fits their tribe perfectly. Look at me, for goodness sake! I just found out I have a talent for finding gems hidden in stone. Now what good will that do me in life? I couldn’t have had something more practical like a talent for sewing. Oh no, my destiny was a rock! Mind you, I do sew very well regardless, but to my shame my magic has never been the strongest of my class. Those are lovely butterflies, by the way. What is your special talent if I might ask?”
Fluttershy found herself warming to this strangely talkative filly. She seemed content to carry on enough of a conversation for both of them, which was good, because the shy pegasus found it difficult to contribute much to it. “I can, um, talk to animals.”
“Oh my goodness, that sounds interesting! Hardly practical for you either though, sadly. Not many animals up in the sky. A few birds I suppose, but few indeed live as high up as you pegasi live. Look at us, we are a pair are we not? You, a pegasus with weak wings and a talent for communicating with animals you will rarely see, and me, a unicorn with weak magic and a talent for finding rocks in the middle of nowhere! Oh my, I daresay destiny has played a cruel prank on us.”
The unicorn blanched a bit as a thought seemed to come to her. “Oh, how rude of me! I haven’t even asked your name! I am Rarity, pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
The pegasus strained hard, and finally forced out the words. “Um... my name is Fluttershy.”
“Fluttershy, you say? Oh that’s a lovely name. But then you are a lovely filly so I suppose it fits, doesn’t it? Say, I was just about to sit down to lunch, would you care to join me?” She busied herself pulling a packed lunch from her saddlebag. Soon a nice picnic blanket was lay out, with a repast consisting of a daisy sandwich, a tossed salad, and a bottle of juice spread on top of it. Fluttershy eyed the meal hungrily, but said nothing. Rarity set about carefully divvying up the meal into two halves, then motioned for Fluttershy to eat.
“So tell me, what’s flying like? I’ve always wanted to try it but, needless to say, I lack the equipment. Do you ever get scared living up so high? Well, I suppose not since you have the wings. Oh but how did you fall so far? Are you sure you’re not hurt?” She got up and began looking over the pegasus filly, trying to check for bruising or signs of injury anywhere. “No, you look okay. Are you able to fly at all right now?”
Fluttershy let the questions and prods wash over her. She was making quick work of her half of the meal and felt a bit better now. “Thank you.” Then her stomach grumbled loudly. She blushed bright red.
“Please, darling, have mine as well. You must have missed a meal to be so hungry!”
The pegasus nodded gratefully, and daintily finished the food. “Thank you again.”
“Oh you’re quite welcome, darling. Sorry if I’m nattering on a bit, I must be coming off as a bit of a ninny. I hope you’ll forgive me.” She flashed a grateful smile at Fluttershy’s nod. “Thank you, dear. I suspect we’ll need to find you an adult now, won’t we?” Rarity’s grin looked strained. The prospect didn’t seem to appeal to her.
She... doesn’t want me to go?
“Um, well... we don’t have to leave right now, if you don’t want to.”
“Oh! Well I wouldn’t want to impose, darling, I suspect your family must be worried about you. My parents are a bit... busy at the moment. They were rather wrapped up so I thought I would go outside to get some sun.”
“Oh, my parents sent me to summer flight camp. The camp counselors will likely be looking for me, but nopony would think to look for a Cloudsdaler down here. Anypony else would have been able to fly back up, or wouldn’t have fallen at all. Only a weak flier like me would fall all the way down here.” She suddenly realized she was speaking normally to the pony, and shrank back again, hiding her face in her front hooves.
Rarity laughed, a warm friendly laugh. Fluttershy peeked up from her hooves curiously. “Oh good, you just made a little conversation yourself! Oh thank you, darling! I was quite afraid you would never come round. Please don’t be bashful around me anymore, it’s been so lonely for me without my little sister to play with.”
Fluttershy lifted her head in alarm. “What’s wrong? Is she okay?”
Rarity nodded sadly. “It’s nothing terrible, just an attack of the pony pox. Thank goodness I’ve had it already or I would be lay up too. Without her I really have nopony to play with. The other children find me... odd. They like to get dirty and dislike it when I correct their horrid abuse of the Equestrian language. Oh, sorry, I keep dominating the conversation. It’s a bad habit.”
Fluttershy gave a small laugh. She’s almost as self-conscious as me! “I don’t mind, I’m a much better listener than a talker. Would you like to spend some time together before we tell somepony that I need to get back to Cloudsdale?”
“Oh, would you mind? I could use a friend right now. Just for a little while. We don’t want to worry anypony excessively.”
“We spent the rest of the day together. It was... nice.” Fluttershy smiled happily at the memory. “We finally flagged down a pony from the weather team here and they got word to Cloudsdale. I was picked up that evening. She promised she would write to me, but I never got any letters. Still, after repeatedly failing in flight school, I decided maybe I should just embrace my true talent. I came back to Ponyville and started a veterinary clinic. I was in town buying some animal feed one day when I saw her again.”
“Excuse me, darling, I hate to bother you, but you seem so very familiar. Have we met before?”
Fluttershy turned, confused. Then she saw the gems on the mare’s flank. “Rarity?”
“F-Fluttershy? It is you, darling! Oh but what are you doing down here again? Don’t tell me you slipped off another cloud!”
Fluttershy shook her head, smiling just a little. “I live here now. I decided to live on the ground with my animal friends because I missed them too much. I also missed my unicorn friend. I thought you forgot about me...”
Rarity grimaced dourly. “Darling, I’m so sorry! I tried to write but nopony would believe me when I said I had to get a letter to Cloudsdale. My parents both assumed I had made up an imaginary friend because I was lonely. Oh but it’s all right, you’re here now! To stay, I hope?” At the pegasus’ nod she smiled brilliantly. “Oh, are you busy, darling? There’s a lovely-looking spa that just opened a few months back, I wanted to give them a try; a lady does love to be pampered you know. Would you care to join me? My treat of course, as an apology for my lack of correspondence.”
Rarity’s dad had been following along until he finally remembered something. “You! It was you she was talking about! She kept going on and on about how she had to get a letter to the sky. She talked about a pegasus with butterflies for a cutie mark. Oh, Kiddo, I am sorry. I thought she made it up! In my defence, working with animals is a pretty uncommon talent for a pegasus to have! All that time...”
“It’s okay, really! If she had written I might not have missed her as much as I did. Maybe I would have stayed in Cloudsdale.” She smiled gratefully.
Their first trip to the spa was memorable. Fluttershy kept marveling how beautiful Rarity had become when compared to the filly she had met that fateful day. She was so eloquent now, so refined. The mare before her had clearly spent years polishing everything about herself to a dazzling luster. For a time, as they lay back in a relaxing steam bath, all she could do was bask in the other mare’s presence.
“Fluttershy, are you listening?”
“Eep! I’m sorry, Rarity! What did you say?”
“That’s quite all right, darling. I asked if you wouldn’t mind making this a regular thing. I... don’t have many friends you see, and fewer still would I call close. I-I am a very sociable mare, but I have some... foibles that can make me difficult to like. Maybe it was just missing you after that fine day we spent together. But I somehow knew we would meet again one day, and now that the day has come... I won’t lose you again. Please?” She pleaded with a look of sadness in her eyes, as if expecting that this too would be denied her.
Fluttershy waded over to Rarity and put a foreleg around her in a hug. “I’m here now. Thank you, Rarity, thank you for being my friend.”
“So that’s it?” Rarity’s dad smiled as the story ended. It had been quite the moving tale, and quite new to him. His older daughter rarely talked about her friends in detail.
“Um... well there were other things. I met other friends, they’re all very nice. One of them is Princess Celestia’s personal protege! Oh and I met the princess, um... seven times? She’s very nice. I also met Princess Luna a few times, she’s a little scary, but nice. Oh, and I might have maybe saved the world a few times.”
If he hadn’t already heard about all of those events, often from the newspapers before Rarity herself, he would have laughed. But this... Friends with royalty, a national hero, and modest too! He shook his head in wonderment. “You’ve led quite the life, Kiddo.”
Rarity stepped quietly back into the house, trying not to fret over what was going on out there. She had faith in her Fluttershy, however; the mare had shown such great strength of character. She will be fine. I daresay she’ll win him over.
She found her mother busying herself about the kitchen, no doubt trying to make something edible as an alternative to tofu-dogs. “Hello again, Mother.”
Her mother turned, setting down the salad bowl she had been tossing chopped vegetables into. “Oh Rarey! How did it go?”
Rarity grimaced in frustration. “Well, I had to take some extreme measures to get him to pay attention but he is at last convinced I meant it when I said I was in love. He insisted on talking to her alone.”
Her mother nodded excitedly. She gestured for Rarity to sit, which she did gratefully. “Oh that’s wonderful news! He probably just wants to get to know her better.”
Rarity smiled, that would be nice. She did want him to like Fluttershy, after all. "Yes, I suspect you’re right. So, what do you think of her Mother?"
The plump older mare began to make daisy sandwiches. She turned her head back to her daughter as the ingredients flew about the room. "Oh she's lovely, my dear, but I have to say I'm surprised!"
Rarity watched the display, quite impressed. When it came to cooking her mother was no slouch. If only she could teach Sweetie Belle. Poor dear. "Really? How so?"
Her mother smiled in amusement, clearly getting ready to taunt her daughter just a bit. "Well after years of you going on and on about finding ‘Him,’ to see you falling in love with one of those is just a little..."
Oh I don’t like the sound of this. Mother please don’t be saying what I think you are... "’One of those?’ Mother, please don't tell me you have a problem with me dating a mare... I just got past that with Father, my heart could not bear another showdown!"
The older mare made calming motions with her hooves. "Oh not at all, to each their own after all, I just mean she's not a unicorn!"
Rarity froze. What could she possibly mean by that? "... Mother, are you a tribalist?"
The older mare wrinkled her muzzle in distaste. "Young lady! Such language, I raised you better than that! I'll have you know before I met your father I dated a very nice pegasus in college!” She paused, reminiscing with a dreamy expression; clearly some happy memories. “Oh, there was this one spot right below the primary coverts that just drove him wild..."
Rarity clapped her front hooves to her ears and closed her eyes, but the mental images would not stop. "Mother, please! I... I cannot hear any more for Celestia's sake!"
Her mother grinned saucily, but relented. "Oh fine fine, but yes, she is a wonderful mare. I'm sure you'll be very happy together."
Rarity took her hooves down thankfully. "Thank you, Mother. I know we haven't always seen eye to eye — my fault, mostly — but your opinion means a lot to me."
The plump mare nodded in appreciation of the intent. "I understand dear, just know that I always love you and want the best for you."
Rarity hugged her mother warmly. "I love you too, Mother."
The hug went on for some time. Rarity squirmed a bit. Don’t ask her don’t ask her she might actually answer stop thinking about— Augh! She just had to know. "... Mother?"
Her mother, still hugging her, mumbled into her mane. "Yes?"
"Where on the wing was that spot exactly?"