[DISCLAIMER: first of all, let me say that anyone who is reading this, first off, thank you :), but you may pick up references to other fanfics throughout the story. These are merely references as they comply with the nature of the story’s universe, by no means am I trying to plagiarise my peers. Please also bear in mind that this story was written before the end of season 2, so the events in the last episode ‘never occurred’. ALSO! This is the first fanfiction I have ever written; it is the first 'serious' thing I have ever written in my life, so please don't be too harsh in the comment section… Right. Now that’s out of the way, I hope you enjoy the fic! ;) ]
You live your life for a purpose. Some sort of ‘duty’ fate assigns you. No matter who you may be, or where you are from, everyone has a dream. Something to aspire to and hope for in the challenges you face in life as you struggle towards it. For some, it is easier than others; finding out not only what you want to achieve, but how that knowledge shapes who you are in your uncertain life. But one thing we must remember, is that our fate is our own, and luck is our legacy. This world is flooded with anger, hatred and suffering, yet some hope eviscerates through the darkness, refusing to give in to the lurid calls of failed dreams. And these are the individuals that have the destiny to change the world.
To set an example.
For all of us.
Chapter 1: The calling
It was the most intricate batch of cupcakes she had ever made. Out of respect for her talents, most of the flavour that accompanied the usual little sponges came solely from the magnificent spectrum of coloured frosting that sat atop a mild vanilla essence which delivered the exact flavour they promised to hungry eyes. No, these were the first cupcakes she baked to have ingredients infused with the mixture. The fruit in question, kumquat, a personal favourite of the baker.
Sugarcube Corner was unusually quiet for the time of day, and despite the lack of business, the bright pink mare kept churning out cupcakes from her new line of experimental deserts like there was no tomorrow. Partly because she was exited from her newly discovered creation, but mostly because she enjoyed eating them on a regular basis, often for breakfast as well - an odd diet to those who were unfamiliar with this particular mare, but for her friends, this was taboo.
As she began icing the third kumquat-cake with a neon orange frosting, the door to the bakery swung open with a mighty crash, almost sending the cheery brass bell suspended above it flying and making the young pony squirt a huge line of bright orange across the bakery’s floor.
“Wassup, Pinkie Pie!?” called an exceptionally loud Rainbow Dash from the faded wooden doorway, putting her hoof to the corner of her mouth to amplify her voice's volume.
Pinkie pie instinctively grabbed a mop and started for the icing that lay over the floor with little acknowledgement for her baby blue prank buddy in the form of an “Oh… uh, hi, Rainbow Dash…”
Upon noticing the iced floor, Rainbow Dash quickly calculated that it was the outcome of her eccentric entrance. She lowered her wings and slowly walked over to pinkie, who had already nearly cleaned up all of the colourful kumquat-flavoured frosting.
“Heh... Sorry about that, Pink.” She said a little awkwardly after an embarrassed chortle.
“Oh, it’s alright, Rainbow Dash. Accidents happen!” Pinkie Pie replied light-heartedly, finishing up the rest of the cleaning then trotting off to try and find a ‘wet floor’ sign. Again, Rainbow Dash slowly made her way over to her friend, who had her head buried deep in the utilities cupboard under the stairs.
“Pinkie, good news!” Rainbow started. “The prince-“ She was cut short by a firm slap round the face from a bright yellow sign that caught her off-guard and knocked her to the wet stone floor, accompanied by a triumphant “Got it!” from Pinkie Pie.
“Ughhhhh…” Groaned Rainbow Dash as she raised a hoof to her sore cheek, propping herself up from the cold ground with her other forehoof.
“OH MY GOSH! I’m so sorry Rainbow dash! I- I didn’t know you were standing behind me!” Said a truly apologetic Pinkie Pie, dropping the sign and rushing over to help her injured friend to her hooves, then preceding to plant a gentle kiss on her cheek, which her seldom seen mother always did when Pinkie was hurt or (very rarely) upset, to ‘make everything alright’.
“It’s okay, Pinkie. I know you didn’t mean it.” Rainbow said with a smile. She bent down and picked up the wet floor sandwich board in her teeth and handed it to Pinkie. She took it from Rainbow’s mouth with a casual “Thanks.” She turned and placed the sign carefully over the patch of slippery tiles before returning to her rainbow-maned companion who instantly snapped her hoof away from her cheek to save her ‘tough-filly’ persona.
Trying to put the incident behind them, Pinkie Pie broke the silence by asking Rainbow Dash “So, what were you saying before I assaulted you?” with a humorous tone in her voice which, between the two friends, erased that negative event from the past.
Rainbow started once more… “I just came over from Twilight’s to tell you that,” she paused, “Princess Celestia wants us all to attend a ‘special get together’ she’s having at the castle.”
“A party!?” Pinkie Pie exclaimed in her anticipative tone, the slightest hint towards her favorite of favorite pastimes eliciting the usual feelings of joy in her heart.
“Maybe…” Replied Rainbow Dash. “But Twilight told me that the letter the princess sent said it was of the upmost importance that all of us be there.” She said, quoting the message.
“That still sounds like a party to me.” Pinkie replied with a wry view of her friend. "You don't think the princess wants a party?" She added, sounding a little disheartened.
“No,” said an apologetic Rainbow dash, “I doubt it…”
Pinkie Pie said nothing and scuffed at the floor with her hoof, not knowing what to think of the situation, her bright little mind whizzing through all of the possibilities that could have been such an importance as to be summoned on such short notice to the castle. All this happened in less than a second before Pinkie Pie remembered, inevitably, that she was Pinkie Pie and said joyfully, and in true Pinkie Pie fashion: “I’ll pack my party cannon, just in case…”
Rainbow Dash gave a small giggle at the randomness she enjoyed most about her pink friend.
“Twilight wants us all to meet up at her library and then we’ll head out to Canterlot.” Rainbow dash informed Pinkie. “I’ll go tell Fluttershy and Applejack, you go and get Rarity.”
“Okey dokey lokey!” Replied Pinkie Pie as the blue pegasus tore out of the bakery’s still wide open door, causing the welcome bell to jingle loudly once more, leaving a feint rainbow in her wake as he flew at ‘Rainbow Dash speed’ over the horizon in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres. Pinkie bounced off towards Rarity’s boutique, closing the door gently behind her and humming her new, but still work-in-progress song about the incredible anatomy of different 'species' of cupcakes loudly and gleefully to herself as she went along her merry way…
“What in tarnation!?” Exclaimed Applejack as Rainbow Dash thrust a scruffily written note on the back of a shopping list at her face.
“Read this! No time to explain. Got to get Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash ordered impatiently. She went to take off from where she hovered in the air.
“Hold yer horses, now.” Applejack quickly said, halting the pegasus with words. “What the hay here’s this note?” She asked, looking up towards Rainbow Dash.
“Ugh!” Replied the curt pegasus. “Just read it on the way! Like I said, there’s no time to explain if we want to get to Fluttershy’s house in time.” She went to take off again, but was caught, mid - flight by a confused Applejack.
“Hang on a sec there, Rainbow.” Called Applejack from the ground below.
Rainbow Dash sighed loudly to make her impatience clear and let her legs hang heavily underneath her, hovering in the air and staring out over the endless apple orchard that waved peacefully to her in the gentle afternoon breeze of the perfect late spring day.
“Carrots. Bread. Celery... Birdseed?” Applejack read aloud, her voice becoming increasingly lost in confusion as she read the list.
“No, no, no.” Rattled Rainbow Dash, who was becoming notably more irritated with every second that was wasted. She flew down to the baffled Applejack who wore a bewildered face and held the note loosely in her hoof, all the while keeping eye contact with the exasperated pegasus as she landed, but did not fold her wings. She then proceeded to snatch the note from Applejack and flip it over several times in the air before catching it and handing it back to her still lost companion and said with boredom “That’s my shopping list. This is the note.” wavering over the scruffily written sentence with her right hoof.
“Whad’da ya need birdseed for?” Asked the orange Earth pony with genuine curiosity with just a little grin for herself.
“I – ahhh” Rainbow Dash sighed heavily, “It’s a long story. Can we please just go now?” She whined, spreading her wings, ready to take off. She flew only a few metres into the air before being stopped once again.
“Meet up at Twilights house…” Applejack started reading, much to the great annoyance of Rainbow dash. She hovered uncomfortably in the air, crossed her forelegs, rolled her eyes and groaned. The orange pony noticed Rainbow Dash’s new level of impatience, yet decided it would be more entertaining to elongate her suffering.
Applejack continued with a smirk, “…som’mn about an emergency trip to the castle...” Applejack’s tone grew alarmed at the last word. “P.S. We need to be…” her voice trailed off at the end of the post script sentence. “Uh, Dash?” She said to the fidgety pegasus, “What’s this last word say?”
“Quick. It says quick. Something I wouldn’t expect you to understand!” Rainbow Dash said, with the slightest hint of anger in her voice.
“Oh, I see.” Replied Applejack, her smirk growing to a broad grin.
“What’re you smiling about?” Asked Rainbow Dash in an interrogative manner.
“Oh, nothin’” said Applejack, still grinning, “This thing about the castle seems important. We’d best be hurryin' along.” She said, trotting past Rainbow dash at a comfortable pace, much to the pegasus’ relief.
“Thank you!” She exclaimed grievously, making hastily for the sky.
“One more thing, R.D.” Applejack teased.
“WHAT!?” Screeched Rainbow Dash, who by now was just about ready to carry Applejack all the way to Fluttershy’s cottage herself.
“You don’t spell ‘quick’ with a ‘K’.” Uttered Applejack smugly, before bolting down the dirt track that cut through the fragrant orchard, dappled with sunlight and littered with pink blossom petals from the year’s future harvest.
“So you’re telling me that we are expected to attend a... a ‘surprise get-together’ at the castle-” Rarity started with a face that gave away no emotive clues as to how she felt towards the request, which would have made no difference to how the anxious pink earth pony reacted anyways.
“Yeah! I love surprises, don’t you?” Asked Pinkie, tilting her head slightly and locking eager eyes with Rarity.
“-as soon as possible?” Rarity finished.
“Oh, it sounds super-duper fun!” Exclaimed Pinkie pie, who then began bounding around the boutique, catching remarkable air and miraculously missing the fibreglass mannequins and half-created dresses that lay in ‘organised chaos’ around the room.
“Everything’s always about having fun with you isn’t it, Pinkie Pie?” asked Rarity, smiling gently as her eyes followed the ecstatic, leaping pony she often used for inspiration around her bedroom.
“Life’s a party!” Answered Pinkie abruptly, but still with all the truthfulness and philosophic meaning as a longer, more informed answer.
“I see…” Rarity commented, her mind returning to the unusual request. “And this really can’t wait?” She asked Pinkie with hesitance.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no! The princess herself asked us. You wouldn’t want to disappoint her would you?” Pinkie replied with wide eyes, positively shocked, partly because Rarity would even think to question such an order, but mostly because she, and only she was offended at the fact that her friend wasn’t all that fussed about finding out what sort of ‘surprise’ the princess had in store for them.
“Well…” Rarity said, looking for answers in Pinkie’s bright blue eyes that proceeded simply to batter their eyelashes at the skeptical white unicorn. “Okay. If princess Celestia needs us, who am I to refuse?” She asked, not looking for any particular answer at all. Pinkie Pie however, was slow to cotton on to rhetorical questions.
“Well, I guess it would make you a ‘bad subject’ or something. Princess Celestia wouldn’t be amused at all. She may even banish you to the moon for a thousand years!” she replied, growing worried by her own ridiculous ideas. “Or maybe she’ll even-“Rarity cut her off by closing her eyes and raising a hoof level with her horn.
“It was just a figure of speech, dear.” She sighed, turning around as she walked casually towards her large, wooden wardrobe. She opened the doors as slowly and carefully as she had ambled over to them. From the wardrobe, out drifted somewhere near twenty beautifully hoof-crafted dresses shrouded with Rarity’s pale blue aura, some simple, but elegant, others embroidered with all mannerisms of rare gemstones that screamed for attention, without the host having to say a word. These were the type of dresses Rarity loved; being able to achieve the center of attention simply by being present.
Her smile at this point quickly faded, then grew to a worried frown as she ran each dress in front of her in the full-length mirror she valued so. Her attitude was ‘what’s the point in only being able to see your beautiful face, when you have a stunning body?’ The fact that it may be useful for business came as a second priority to her.
“No... no... no, no, no, no, no!” she cried as the last dress flew away from her onto the pile of its rejected comrades which lay in a steep mound on top of Rarity’s four-poster bed.
“Wacha doin’?” Pinkie enquired, leaning in towards Rarity, who had a plethora of materials, pins, sequins, thread and a variety of other strange and funny-looking sewing equipment orbiting her and a blank mannequin, though it was quickly becoming layered with neutral colours and interesting patterns.
Pinkie asked a second time, “Wacha doin’?” Leaning even closer towards a concentrated Rarity who was frowning through a pair of fashionable red spectacles perched at the tip of her nose.
“Creating.” Rarity answered quickly. She was highly engrossed in what she was ‘creating’ that she didn’t have the time or multitasking abilities to converse with the pink pony and create a fabulous piece of fashion at the same time.
“What are you creating?” Pinkie insisted.
“A new dress.”
“Why are you making a new dress?”
“Pinkie, I really need to concentrate on this. I don’t have time to explain the details” Rarity replied, becoming irritated. If there was one thing she enjoyed and expected on demand, it was peace and quiet, something that was nothing less than a miracle when Pinkie Pie was around.
“Can’t you just tell me what you’re doing?” Pinkie pleaded.
“I’ll explain when I’m finished. Now would you please let me get on with this ensemble?”
“Okey, dokey, lokey!” Said Pinkie Pie happily.
“Thank you.” Said Rarity, sighing. No more than four seconds of blissful silence had passed before the excitable pink pony piped up again.
“Now that I’ve let you 'get on', can you tell me what you’re doing?” Asked Pinkie Pie.
“Pinkie, I really must-“
“Oh, oh! Are you making another dress for the Gala?”
“I – no, Pinkie-“
“Did you get a sudden burst of imaginative flare?”
“Are you making a dress for me?!”
“Pinkie.” Said rarity sharply, her voice becoming laced with frustration.
“Do you like kumquat?” Pinkie Pie insisted.
“PINKIE!” Screamed Rarity, the silk and cotton planets grinding to a halt in their orbit around the mannequin. The white unicorn turned to face Pinkie Pie, her cheeks glowing a vivid rose. She narrowed her royal blue eyes at Pinkie’s own sky-coloured ones and pouted.
“What?” Beamed Pinkie Pie, oblivious.
Rarity sighed a deep, ‘given up hope’ sigh. “What do you want from me, Pinkie?” She asked, defeated.
“Wacha doin’?” Asked Pinkie Pie a third time, still grinning eagerly at the stressed Rarity whilst rocking back and forth on her springy hooves.
Rarity sighed again, this time letting a little of her fair voice seep into it. She turned back to the mannequin, the fabrics and needles returning to their orbit, much slower this time, as she explained to Pinkie: “One cannot be expected to make an audience with the princess, without first making an effort to look presentable.”
“Yeah…” Replied Pinkie Pie, willing Rarity to continue.
“What I mean is, I can’t be seen by the princess wearing paupers’ rags, or even worse, nothing at all.”
“Why not?” Enquired Pinkie.
“Because it’s the princess!” Exclaimed Rarity, as if it was something obvious at a pre-school level. “The most elegant, beautiful and important pony in all of Equestria!”
“So?” Replied Pinkie.
“So? SO?!” At this point the dress was nearly complete, a summery yellow cotton vest with a transparent white silk cape, followed by layers of cream coloured cotton ruffles. Ideally not the most comfortable thing to have to wear in the heat of Spring, but after all, this was all for the princess.
“So!?” Rarity repeated. “Not only is it rude to not show dignity and grace in front of royalty, but you must learn to also respect yourself, and try to look as glamorous as possible at all times.” She said, finishing the dress by sewing daisies into the cape and affixing a daffodil behind her left ear. To complete the look, she added a butterfly-shaped broach made from beautifully cut orange topaz crystals to her shoulder, before planting her large spring-themed hat on top of her head and standing to admire herself from many different angles in her full-body mirror, pulling various fashion model poses and facial expressions.
“Uh, Rarity, shouldn’t we be going now?” Asked Pinkie Pie after a moment's private modeling, waving towards the door with her right foreleg.
“Gracious!” Cried Rarity, snapping back to reality from her world about… Her. “You’re right!”
“Opal?” She called for her white feline and scanned the room, her eyes falling onto the pile of dresses Opalescence was clambering out from underneath, unamused that her catnap had been interrupted. “Opal, I need you to be a good girl and watch the house while mummy is out.” Said Rarity in the motherish tone she talks to her cat with before pecking her lightly on the forehead and swiftly dodging a swipe from Opal’s sharp claws.
Rarity Followed Pinkie Pie out of her bedroom door, giving one last look back at her feline ‘friend’ as she settled down on top of the pile of Rarity’s dresses, closing her eyes and wrapping her bushy tail over her face, not watching her owner leave, and close the door behind her.
All of the windows in Fluttershy’s cottage were opened widely, the sound of graceful singing, which was relaxing to listen to even though there were no particular words drifted through the air, accompanied by the strong scent of tomato soup which seemed to speak: ‘get well soon’ all on it’s own. Fluttershy always valued her cooking skills, and admitted to herself that she wouldn’t feel out of place in the kitchen at the café in Ponyville. If only she were more outgoing... She took a long inhale through her nose over the soup before saying quietly as always to herself “Nearly…” She then made her way over to her herb garden that hung on the outside of her open kitchen window, a gentle breeze blowing through, carrying with it the scent of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and the one Fluttershy needed, consequently one of her favourites, basil.
She carefully selected a sprig of the basil and snapped it from the stem with her mouth, the smell of the fragrant ingredient filling her nostrils. She carried it over to the gently simmering soup and tore it up, sprinkling in the soft green leaves. She stirred it for a minute or so before tasting it again. She scooped up a tiny amount on the tip of a spoon before gently and silently blowing the fragrant steam from the smooth red liquid. She placed the spoon in her mouth and focused on the flavours the soup possessed. It was perfect. Just the right balance of tomatoes and basil to give it a strong enough taste for the lucky diner to know it was indeed tomato, all the while being complimented by a wonderfully slight peppery aftertaste – if she may say so, herself.
She replaced the copper-bottom saucepan with an old kettle, filled with water and engraved with a shallow floral design. She poured the soup into two bowls and then strolled carefully into her living room, balancing the soup on her back and carrying a bread roll atop her nose. No sooner had Fluttershy set the bowls down on the low, heavy coffee table and broken the roll precisely in half, when a poorly white rabbit waved a dark red rubber hot water bottle at Fluttershy, which was now cold, exhausted in carrying out it’s duty as a bearer of soothing heat.
“Okay, Angel, here you go.” Fluttershy said as she pushed her pet rabbit’s half of the roll to meet his bowl of fabulous soup which lay steaming on the edge of the table in front of him, longing to be enjoyed. “I’ve put the kettle on now, it’ll be a couple of minutes before it’s ready.”
Angel dropped the hot water bottle to his side where he was seated on Fluttershy’s sofa. He crossed his arms, sunk back into the cushion and pouted, staring past the soup but at nothing in particular.
“Now, Angel...” Cooed Fluttershy as she seated herself beside the sulking rabbit, “You know you really should eat something. Especially something like this soup, it’s got lots of vitamins and other good stuff in it. Not to mention how lovely it tastes.” Fluttershy blushed at her own self-promotion. “You could say it’s ‘good and good for you’.” She finished, remembering she had said the exact same thing to princess Celestia’s pet, Philomeena, which bore much less positive results than it usually did for her other patients.
Although Angel behaved like a spoiled child most of the time, even more so when he was ill, it took a very strong will to resist some of Fluttershy’s home cooking. Angel hopped onto the table and stared at the red liquid in the white porcelain bowl. He took a sniff before picking up one of the two spoons Fluttershy had set down for them. He dipped the spoon into the soup and carefully raised it level, trying hard not to spill any, even though it would have landed back in the bowl, angel didn’t like failure. Of any kind. He blew the steam off the top of the puddle of red, sending ripples across the surface, proceeding to place the entire spoon into his mouth. Pleased with the taste and perfect temperature, he sighed happily before returning the spoon to the well of goodness for another mouthful.
Angel enjoyed eating with Fluttershy for two reasons: one, that Fluttershy’s rustic cooking was to die for, and two, because it was one of those few things he and Fluttershy did together nowdays, given the fact that her vetinary carrer had skyrocketed over the past few months.
As he enjoyed his late lunch, which Fluttershy made especially, knowing how big a fan of all soups Angel was, he thought about this point carefully, occasionally looking at Fluttershy, who had her own bowl of soup perched on her lap with a spoon held in one hoof. Upon noticing Angel’s gaze somehow every time he looked at her, she would always stop whatever she was doing or looking at to make tender eye contact with her pet bunny and smile, which made these rare moments he shared with her all the better.
As he went to dip a piece of bread he’d torn off the half-roll into the soup, a loud knocking, which was more of a hammering at the front door broke the serene silence of peaceful swallowing and metal spoons ‘chinking’ on bowls. It was the kind of silence rarely heard most places, where the cliché “you could hear a pin drop” really made sense. Fluttershy jumped, very nearly spilling the warm, but now not steaming soup over her stomach. Angel simply looked in the general direction of the door, ever so slightly disheartened that his quiet lunch with his caring owner was interrupted so abruptly and violently. Though he showed none of this. As per usual.
The hammering continued, this time coupled with “Fluttershy! Are you home!?” from Rainbow Dash.
Upon hearing her friend’s voice, Fluttershy collected her mind, stood up and slowly walked towards the cottage entrance, speaking as she went: “Oh, um yeah. Coming Rainbow Dash.” at an almost inaudible level due to the knocking and yelling.
Angel popped the soup-saturated morsel of bread into his mouth and chewed slowly, standing on the table next to his half-empty bowl and narrowed one eye towards Fluttershy as his gaze followed her towards the door.
Fluttershy opened the door to a Rainbow Dash who was knocking on one thing, but focused on something else behind her.
A few taps onto Fluttershy’s forehead made Dash stop; the sudden change in what the door was made from and the shrill, all be it quiet cry from Fluttershy returned her attention to the timid pegasus.
“Oops, sorry, Fluttershy.” Rainbow Dash apologized.
“Oh, it’s quite alright, Rainbow.” She replied, “What do you need? Angel and I were just having some home-made soup because the poor little dear is feeling under the weather…” Fluttershy looked back into the living room where Angel stood on the table, tapping one foot impatiently; arms folded all the while chewing on another piece of soup-logged bread.
“Well…”started Rainbow Dash, “The princess has called us all over to the castle and hasn’t provided much more information other than it’s important. Pinkie Pie has gone to tell Rarity and I’ve already let Applejack know, so we need to hurry and meet up with the others at Twilights library.” She listed off all the main points of the message using a mental checklist, learning her lesson the hard way from the last method she used in the form of hastily writing a note ‘explaining’ the situation.
“Oh, that sounds… bad.” Spoke Fluttershy solemnly.
“Yeah, but it’s the princess, so… Let’s go?” Asked Rainbow Dash hopefully. Anticipating a much faster response than the Applejack fiasco.
“But I can’t just leave Angel; he’s sick.” Fluttershy replied, gazing into her living room where Angel had been standing on the table, now at her side, still with his arms crossed and tapping one foot heavily and meaningfully on the unvarnished wooden floor.
“Can’t he look after himself?” Inquired Rainbow Dash, who could already see where this was going.
“Well…” Fluttershy started, looking down at Angel, who closed his eyes and shook his head, reopening them into a frown. “I really think he needs me with him.”
“Oh, for crying out loud!” Moaned Rainbow Dash, “He’s just caught a cold! It’s not like he has some sort of terminal illness or something.” Her eyes widened with realization as to what she had just said to the sensitive animal lover as she saw Fluttershy’s aquatic green eyes glisten with tears. “I’m sorry, Fluttershy... I was just saying…”
Rainbow sighed, “Angel’s going to be fine. It’s just this could be really important. What if we need to use the Elements of Harmony again? We need you, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy withdrew her tears somehow. “Angel…” She calmly said crouching down to just a higher level than the rabbit, whilst maintaining eye contact. Angel closed his eyes and turned away. “This is really important and I’m sorry I have to leave you, but my friends need me.” She paused. “Do you understand?” She asked Angel, who after hearing this turned to face her, one eyebrow cocked. “Pleeeease?” She asked, looking deep into the rabbit’s eyes.
After a good ten seconds, Angel rolled his eyes and hopped off back into the living room and jumped onto the sofa. “I think he’s alright with it.” Fluttershy reported peacefully.
“So, can we go now?” Asked Rainbow, pleased with herself for making this recruitment so successful compared to Applejack’s one a little earlier.
“Okay.” Said Fluttershy, “Let me just say goodbye to Angel.” She went to take a step back into her cottage, when she stopped, nearly stepping on the small white rabbit who held a maroon rubber bag in his hand. “Oh, my.” Fluttershy winced as she turned her attention to the now screaming kettle which was filling her kitchen with steam.
She hadn’t noticed it before, but now it was clear, she gingerly backed into Rainbow Dash, who was staring at the thing she had been beforehoof, which turned out to be the large variety of colourful birdhouses dangling from a spindly - looking tree beside the path that she had somehow never realised were there.
“What is it?” Asked Rainbow Dash as she turned to face a trembling Fluttershy. She instantly became alert and defensive, stepping into Fluttershy’s house and standing strong in front of the pale yellow mare. After a short while, Rainbow asked what the problem was and Fluttershy replied shakily.
“K – k – k – kettle…”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“Mm-m-make it stop!”
Rainbow Dash lowered her wings for the second time that day. “Is that all?” She asked, “Turn the kettle off?”
“I-it’s screaming.” Mumbled Fluttershy. “C-could you f-f-fill up Angel’s water b-bottle, please?”
Rainbow took Angel’s bottle from him and unscrewed the top as she went, noticing that it was already full of cold water.
She took the cap off and set it down on the kitchen worktop and made her way over to the kettle that was turning Fluttershy’s kitchen into a sauna. When she entered the kitchen, she noted shelves on the walls constructed especially for potted plants. She also recognised the unmistakeable smell of the delicious soup Fluttershy made for her that one time she invited her over for dinner. Rainbow Dash kept the memory close to her; the dinner was a disaster, yet it gave her a chance to get to know her timid friend better. And she did just that.
Rainbow Dash first poured away the cold water down the sink next to the hob, then proceeded very carefully to pour the boiling liquid into the small hole in the top of the bottle. A few drops splashed up and pricked Rainbow’s arm, but luckily there were no major spillages. Rainbow turned the gas hob off and retuned the cap to the top of the water bottle. She walked over to the recovering Fluttershy and gave the bottle of fresh, hot water to Angel who hugged it close so that the heat penetrated deep into his chest.
“Why are you afraid of a kettle, Fluttershy?” Asked a puzzled and slightly compassionate Rainbow Dash.
“Oh, it’s not the kettle itself, it’s just the noise it makes when it’s boiling.” Replied Fluttershy, a little of her usual level of 'boldness' coming back.
“But the water bottle was already full when I refilled it. Surely you boiled the kettle at least once before I got here.”
“I did. Twice actually…”
“Then why didn’t you fill the water bottle yourself?”
“I put on a brave face for Angel. Whenever any of my animals are sick, and nopony is around to help me, I will go out of my way to help them, even if that means facing my biggest fears!”
“Like a boiling kettle?”
“Yes.” Fluttershy said with a firm, proud nod.
“I just don’t get how you become so worked up over, no offense but, such a silly thing.”
“It… It reminds me of... bad memories... From years ago” Said Fluttershy, wincing at her unforgettable past.
“Like what?” Asked a benevolent Rainbow Dash.
“I-I don’t want to talk about it…” Replied Fluttershy, who was frowning and turning away slightly to try and force the memories out of her head.
“I understand.” Said Rainbow Dash, smiling peacefully at her pegasus friend and placing a reassuring hoof upon her shoulder, which helped tremendously to get the dark and scary thoughts out of her mind and back into the darkest depths of her subconcious where they belonged.
“Thank you.” Fluttershy added with serenity backing up her voice.
“Now,” Fluttershy turned to Angel, “I’ll be back later tonight, okay?” Angel hopped over to the coffee table before bounding on top of it. He stood and waited for his owner (and only parental figure) to say more. “There are some carrots in the fridge in case you get hungry, but really, try to catch some sleep to let your body fight off the cold better. I shouldn’t be back too late, Angel.” Fluttershy said, watching Rainbow stroll out the door. “I’ll see you soon. Love you.”
She blew a kiss towards her pet before waving goodbye and shutting her door behind her and Rainbow Dash. The two pegasi then flew off into the cloudless sky together, leaving Angel alone in the house with a bag of hot water and half a bowl of cold tomato soup.