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Chapter 3: A Most Unusual Reaction
“So… what exactly happened between you two?” Rainbow asked quietly as she flew around Titan’s raised head, the rest of her friends suddenly looking up at the huge red dragon from the shadowy gravel road, to show they too were curious. “Because as far as we all know Fluttershy’s always been...well... literally terrified of dragons.”
“Once upon a time we were friends…” Titan sighed, growling to himself and shaking his head in shame at the memories. “But a while back I made a bad decision that destroyed that. I guess I’ll have to admit her fear of dragons... is partially my fault because of that… bad choice… other than that I’d rather not go into details.”
Silently Rainbow Dash looked down at Applejack, who was walking along beside Titan's right front claw; the amber pony simply nodded in reply to her questioning expression,simply to confirm what Titan had said was true. By now it was getting dark the sky was beginning to fill with thousands of stars, it made however no difference to Titan, as he could see the world just as well in the darkest night as he could during the day. He knew it was late, but he was determined to after all the years of being gone at least see Fluttershy before he bedded down for the night, and despite their yawns showing they were exhausted, his small companions had decided to stick with him until he did.
“No matter how she reacts…” Titan thought to himself, an image of the small yellow pegasus on one of their better days spent together creeping into the front of his mind. “This was the right thing to do.”
No matter how he prepared, however, a tight knot still formed in his gut as the wall of trees parted, and a quaint tree carved cottage came into full view, looking exactly the same as it had when he had seen it for the first time some fifteen years earlier. He stopped, and for just a moment ran his red eyes over its features; the small wooden bridge that crossed a gentle flowing stream in the front, that he had helped dig out with his talons, the thin gravel path that led up to the doorway that was lined by a tiny fence, no matter how he tried not to think about it, he felt the claws of guilt tearing at him inside at the very thought of what he had done. Finally he closed his eyes and let a single tear roll down his cheek; there was only one word in his mind that described how he acted that day, and that word was heartless.
“You okay big guy?” He heard Applejack ask from beside him as she put a hoof on his foreleg, the gentle touch bringing him back enough to pull his senses together. “This can wai…”
“No…” Titan said firmly, grating the dirt of the road with flexes of his ivory talons. “This has waited long enough… It’s time I stopped running from what I did.”
Within a few moments Titan found himself standing before the tiny wooden doorway to the cottage, his head just in line with the bedroom window on the top floor, the one he had once enjoyed sticking his head through to say good morning to Fluttershy. Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves he stepped back into the shadow of the house a little, and then nodded, indicating to the five ponies and one hatchling he was ready to confront his past; with a simple nod in reply Twilight turned her attention to the door, and knocked on it three times with her hoof, the rest of her friends and Spike crowding around to calm Fluttershy if she freaked.
“She’s still terrified of dragons, so just be aware of that,” Rainbow said gently, her head darting from Titan’s uneasy face to the door as it creaked open, and the delicate form of Fluttershy stood in the doorway.
She had grown up in the years since Titan had last seen her, but there was no doubt that the pegasus standing in the doorway in front of him was the same Fluttershy he had known; the soft yellow of her coat matched his memories exactly, as did the long pink mane that ran down the side of her face. The pure sight of her brought forward two sudden feelings, one being joy at finally seeing her again, and the other being hatred of himself for ever hurting her.
“Oh… hi girls… and you Spike…” She said quietly, her eyes looking between each of them with, what seemed to Titan, to be an edge of fear in her eyes. “Um… can I ask why you’re here… if… that’s okay with you?”
“We’re here with a super-duper-really-awesome old friend of yours and new friend of ours!” Pinkie laughed, bouncing rapid circles around the shy pegasus, which only caused her to shrink back a little. “And he said he’s here to say sorry for something he did a long time ago.”
“Oh… really… who?” Fluttershy asked quietly, tilting her head a little in confusion and flicking her eyes between her friends. “I don’t have many old friends other than y…”
That was when she looked up in the air at the hovering Rainbow Dash, and noticed Titan standing in the shadow of the cottage behind her, her eyes growing as wide as dinner plates in an instant as they met his red ones.
“Hello Flut…” Titan began as he began lowered his head to her.
“YOU!” Fluttershy roared as she shot upwards through the air toward him, the pure volume of her voice matching the equivalent of the loudest roar of any dragon Titan knew, and startling even him
Fluttershy’s friends, who had been calmly standing around her, literally jumped and fell back on their rumps in fright, while Rainbow was unluckily caught in Fluttershy’s unexpected angry lunge, and failing to get out of the way in time found herself being bowled into and painfully slammed against the wooden wall of Fluttershy’s cottage, the cyan pegasus slowly sliding down to the ground with a thud. The brunt of Fluttershy’s rage, however, was directed at Titan, and hence he got the most painful reward of them all; to her friends’ amazement, Fluttershy spun around in front of Titans face, and gave him a mighty double back leg buck right on the end of his snout. The impact itself came with a loud smack followed by a surge of pain which rippled over Titan’s entire face; if it had been any other pony he would have probably torched them in an instant, but he did nothing more than growl and rub his sore nose with his claw, after all he knew he had deserved it.
“Hello to you too Fluttershy,” He groaned, the pain slowly subsiding as he replaced his claw on the ground, and then turned his attention to the enraged yellow pegasus who was hovering in front of him.
“What the hay do you want Titan?” She snapped, folding her front hooves across her chest as she glared at him angrily, her nostrils flaring and her tail slashing at the air.
“I came to try and put things right between us…” He sighed, sitting back on his red scaled rump and returning her gaze, as she continued to glare daggers at him in the moonlight. “I know I was a total jerk all those years ago, but it’s only recently that I realized what I did was so wrong… so the first chance I got a flew out here, and I was hoping I could apologize, and... we could... talk.”
“Oh, so you think that just because it’s been thirteen years that I’ve moved on… we’ll you’re wrong you overgrown, backstabbing, scale-brained, waist of my time!” She snarled angrily, flying even closer so she was hovering right about his red scaled forehead, the fires of seething built-up rage in her eyes burning into Titan’s own. “I still have to live with nightmares about that day, so if you think you can just fly over here and say you’re sorry when you feel like it… and that for some slim-minded crazy reason you actually think I’ll forgive you, then you’re wasting your breath Titan.”
“Fluttershy look… I know I was a jerk, I know I was heartless, and I know you’ll never forget what happened, but you have no idea how much it hurts me just to think about what I did to you. For the last thirteen years I lived with it buried at the back of my mind, but now I can’t escape it and it’s eating away at me… all I want to do is at least try and see if we can both move on from what happened and maybe… if possible… be able to call each other friends again.”
Fluttershy gave off an angry snort at the words, like they were simply lies to her ears, a reaction that tore Titan up inside. Everything he had said was true; for the last thirteen years he had kept what had happened locked away inside him, away from the ears of others, the true extent of his pain at his actions only ever told in full to one other dear friend years earlier, when it had almost broken him emotionally.
“Ah… Fluttershy… can I say something?” Applejack said from below the two of them, her sudden interjection of the amber pony reminding both Titan and Fluttershy, that they were in the presence of her rather shocked and astounded friends. “I don’t exactly know what he did… but I know he’s truly sorry for whatever it was… so do you think you could at least give him chance to make it up to ya? You are after all the element of kindness.”
Titan saw a single flinch run across Fluttershy’s face, a moment before she let out a loud frustrated scream and once again delivered an angry double kick to his face, this time however aiming the strike right between his eyes, which the impact ended up hurting more than the first one. Once the second wave of pain had died down and he had pulled his senses together, he returned his eyes to her; she was defiantly still angry, but for the first time there was a slight touch of defeat in her expression as she glared at him.
“You’re lucky my friends somehow see more in you then just a giant fire-breathing jerk…” She snapped, flying a little higher, so her yellow figure stood out against the star-studded night sky as she glared at him. “So… I will THINK about POSSIBLY accepting you’re apology, Titan… if I do that is another matter entirely. As for your wanting to talk, I am too tired for that right now so come back tomorrow afternoon… other than that I have nothing to say to you other than good night.”
Without another word she dropped to the ground, and stomped inside with a huff, followed quickly by Rarity, Twilight, and Spike, who apparently weren’t ready to just let her run away from the problem. Titan however had decided he had enough action for one night, and was rather looking forward to getting some sleep, hence in silence he turned and headed back towards the road.
“It ain’t much, but I got an old barn you could sleep in,” Applejack offered as she, Titan, Pinkie and Dash headed back into the trees and left Fluttershy’s cottage behind in the night.
“Thank you...” Titan yawned, raising his head spreading his huge jaws wide open for a moment before closing them again, his huge tail lashing at the air as he did “And I’m sorry you had to see that… I knew she would be angry, but I guess even I under estimated her emotions.”
“We all get mad sometimes…” Pinkie giggled as she bounced along beside Titan, her somehow humorous view of the current situation only confirming Titan’s prior belief; she truly was an exact female pony version of Thane, although she made him smile a little none the less. “Even I get mad… but that’s usually because somepony didn’t come to one of my parties… oh my gosh! I should throw you a party!”
“At least you talked to her… that’s the important thing big guy” Dash chuckled as she landed on Titan’s rough scales that sat right between his long horns, taking no notice of Pinkie’s outburst. “So don’t beat yourself up.”
“Yes…” He murmured, taking a final look over his shoulder as he walked into the trees and saw Fluttershy’s cottage disappear into the darkness of the night. “At least I talked to her.”
Good…now just a few more notes before I let you all go on with life
1) I know you’re all probably wondering what the hay was this ‘event’ which took place…but relax…you’ll find out soon
2) After seeking a few outside opinions (rightly or wrongly) I’ve decided to follow the saying ‘cool story bro, needs more dragons’, so Thane will be playing a bigger part towards the end then I had first planned as will a few others…you’ll see why in the coming updates.