To all ponies who had, had the pleasure of visiting, it was a unanimous agreement that there was no nicer place to spend a quiet afternoon then visiting Fluttershy’s cottage. It was cozy, secluded, and the yellow pegasus never seemed to run out of tea.
Winter wrap up day was always stressful to Twilight, but of course that was to be expected, after all she organized the whole affair. Being in charge of everything was a rather taxing job, and so the purple unicorn had chosen to spend the day after, relaxing at the most peaceful place in town, and Fluttershy was happy to accommodate her friend.
The two sat in the living room on comfortable cushions, talking quietly about nothing in particular. They sipped tea, munched shortbread, and just talked. It was wonderfully relaxing.
After a time, the conversation turned to the winter.
“And so, Spike and Owlowiscious finally stopped fighting over the cereal and we got the place cleaned up in time after all.” Twilight finished her story.
“Well, it’s good to hear that those two finally made up.” Fluttershy laughed softly.
“And what about you? Did your two smaller tenants cause any trouble?” Twilight asked, pointing a hoof at Angel who was fast asleep next to Fluttershy.
It took Fluttershy a moment to understand what Twilight meant.
“Oh, you mean Scootaloo and Angel?”
“Oh, um, well they were fine. They argued a little bit, but Scootaloo usually won… probably because she can actually talk though.”
The two of them giggled.
“So, how has Scootaloo been? I know that her moving in must have been a big change for both of you.”
“Well… we’ve gotten to know each other much better. There are some things I never would have guessed about her.”
Twilight looked intrigued.
“Well… she’s an orphan…”
Twilight smiled softly.
“I figured as much…”
“And she can dance. She’s, um, really good at it…”
Twilight looked rather surprised.
“Really? I always assumed that she’d be good at the sort of stuff Rainbow Dash does.”
“Yeah, it was a real surprise.”
The two chatted for a while longer until the sun began to dip, indicating that midday had long since passed.
With a warm smile, Twilight stood from her cushion and stretched.
“Thanks so much for having me over ‘Shy, I really appreciate it.”
Fluttershy stood as well.
“No, it was nothing Twilight, feel free to come over whenever.”
Twilight thanked her friend once more before turning to open the door, only to have it swing open and just barely miss her face.
There, in the doorway stood an angry looking Scootaloo. The filly registered the surprise on the purple librarian’s face and her expression turned apologetic.
“Oh, uh, sorry Twilight. I didn’t know you were there…”
“It’s quite alright. Something the matter?” Concern cracked Twilights voice.
Scootaloo scowled at the ground.
She stormed off to her room, leaving the other ponies confused in her wake.
“Well, that was strange…” Twilight muttered, “Anyway, take care Fluttershy, and I’ll see you around okay?”
Fluttershy smiled and waved as her purple friend stepped through the doorframe and into the evening air.
Fluttershy watched Twilight disappear down the path before turning back into her house. She began to clean up the slight mess that had appeared on her floor from her friend’s brief visit. It was while she was picking up cushions and putting the teacups away that she heard a sound she hadn’t heard in a whole season. A sound that hadn’t fallen on her ears since the day she had first taken Scootaloo in.
The filly was back in her room, crying.
Twilight trotted home, slightly worried. Scootaloo had looked very upset. She hoped that Fluttershy would be able to deal with her.
She sighed as she opened the door to her tree-home. Fluttershy’s place was nice, but nothing really could ever beat being in your own home.
“Spiiiiike.” She called out cheerfully, “I’m home.”
The sound of a ladder rung collapsing and the muffled thump of a small form falling into a pile of books indicated that Spike was still doing his chores, and she had interrupted him.
She trotted to one of the back bookcases to see a purple tail poking out from a pile of books. It looked like Spike had fallen from a ladder and brought the entire juvenile fiction section down with him.
Twilight’s horn glowed and the books moved off of him. The dragon underneath looked dazed.
“Spike? What’s wrong? You should have gotten your chores done hours ago.”
He sat up rubbing his head.
“I know, but Rainbow Dash showed up a little while ago and I had to set up a bed for her.”
“Rainbow Dash is here?”
Twilight looked around the room, confused.
“She’s upstairs, laying in the spare bed. So Twi… would you mind helping me with these…”
Twilight was already upstairs.
Spike sighed and went back to work.
“Rainbow?” Twilight asked to the motionless form on her spare bed, “Rainbow Dash? Are you alright.”
The pegasus sat up slowly. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face wet from crying.
“Oh my gosh, Rainbow Dash, what happened to you?”
The cyan pegasus looked at her friend helplessly.
“I-I… I tried to apologize…”
Twilight sat down next to her friend, putting a hoof around dash, trying to comfort her.
“Can you start from the beginning?”
Fluttershy sat next to Scootaloo. It had taken some time to calm the filly down, but once she had, Scootaloo slowly recounted the events of the day.
Fluttershy sighed internally. Rainbow Dash hadn’t handled that right at all. She still wasn’t taking Scootaloo’s feelings into account.
Fluttershy also felt very proud. Proud that Scootaloo hadn’t let anger take control of her. She hugged the smaller pony, doing everything in her power to cheer her up.
Scootaloo hugged her back, and a small smile broke through on her sad face.
“I… not everything was bad today though…” Scootaloo mumbled.
“Oh? What else happened?”
“I signed up for the talent show.”
Fluttershy backed up, looking very pleased.
“Wonderful!” her face fell and her voice grew quiet again, “Um… I-I mean, that’s great….”
Scootaloo giggled just a little bit. Some things would never change about Fluttershy.
After a while, Angel bunny became curious where fluttershy had gone. He hopped back to Scootaloo’s room and found the two other residents of the cottage talking happily. It had only taken a conversation with Fluttershy, a simple chance to talk, to cheer Scootaloo up and make her feel true joy once more.
Scootaloo realized this too. She felt so happy whenever Fluttershy took the time to talk to her. There had been a time where the only other ponies who would listen to her were her friends, but even then she couldn’t speak freely. She had to keep up her façade of Rainbow Dash-esque coolness.
This was a feeling that she would never tire of.
The rest of the day was spent in the house. Scootaloo began laying out her routine for the show, Fluttershy offered quiet encouragement and a little bit of timid critique here and there, Angel watched them go about it, wondering when dinner would be.
They were like a family.
Twilight listened as the broken Rainbow Dash finished her story. The pegasus’s tears had returned during the tale.
“S-she was r-right.” Rainbow Dash sniveled, “N-nopony was cheering… I’ve j-just been making an ass of myself…”
Twilight let her friend lean against her, she knew that sometimes the best thing you could do was listen.
“You could always try to make it right…” Twilight mumbled.
“Rainbow Dash sat up and looked her friend in the eye.
“How? I-I traied apologizing, and you saw h-how royally I screwed that up…”
“Then don’t apologize. The one thing Scootaloo ever wanted from you, was some attention.”
“B-but I don’t… how can I…” Rainbow wasn’t fit to think straight. Her mid was simply too scattered right now.
Twilight stood, leaving her friend on the spare bed.
“Rest. I’ll tell you tomorrow, but for now you need sleep.”
Rainbow laid down, and the lights went out.
“Good night.” Twilight called from her own bed across the room.
Dash simply laid her head on her pillow, trying to make sense of the jumble of thoughts in her mind.
“… Did you know she’s been staying with Fluttershy?”
“Yes I did.”
“Do…” Dash’s voice cracked, “Do you know why?”
Twilight was silent for a moment, before whispering her response.
“Because she is an orphan.”
Dash’s heart pounded.
Her mistakes came flooding back to her.
Everything she had ever said to Scootaloo that might have hurt her, every moment of confusion, every crack of sadness she had ever seen in the filly’s face; It all made sense now.
Oh dear Celestia. Dash thought, She’s just like me.
Dash spent the night troubled. Worrying for a filly who she feared she had hurt more than one so young ever should be.
Phrases thrown at the orange filly returned to her mind.
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?”
“Squirt, I need some space. Go back to your house”
It was during that night that Dash’s perception of Scootaloo changed. She remembered such phrases thrown at her as a filly. Things that seemed like normal things to say, still carried pain.
She finally fell asleep, with her final thoughts being how painful it is to be told to go home, when you have no family to go home to.