Fluttershy opened the door to her cottage, the day teeming with a new brightness. The mare she had hope loved her with the same passion loved her back. She could have burst at the seams from being so tremendously overjoyed at the news, but she couldn't help feel a bit of remorse for the kiss. Sure, she had enjoyed it with every fiber of her equine being. The feeling of her lips still rested heavily on her lips; it almost felt as if they were still there. Something here didn't make sense though. Fluttershy replayed through the events in her mind, a slight 'squee' after re-enacting the touching of their lips, the flow of her breath, and the look in her eyes in her mind.
'If Rainbow really does love me... then why... did she run away?' Fluttershy asked herself aloud, setting it on repeat in her mind.
All Fluttershy could ask herself was why. Why would she just fly away? Why was the only question she could ask herself. She took the letter in hoof, placing the cyan feather in her own mane as a reminder. She flapped her wings a single time, thrusting her body into the air. Fluttershy gracefully flew through the air, over the various animals that were feasting on their breakfasts. She glided up her staircase, the grain of each stair seeming to be embedded with an image of Rainbow Dash. A smile threw itself across Fluttershy's face, her mind filled to the brim with the cyan mare.
She arrived at the top of the stairs, slowing slightly to turn into her bedroom. A profound 'SQUEE' escaped her mouth as she threw her entire body onto her mattress. Fluttershy landed heavily, grunting as she bounced on the squeaking mattress a few times before coming to a rest. The air that flowed through the room seemed to be filled with an aura of joy; everything in the room seemed that much greater in her eyes at the moment. The sun was brighter, and the flowers perkier than they usually were. All her emotions, the love in here heart burning furiously and the joy in her soul shining bright, stemmed from the feather that was buried inside of her mane. She lifted her hoof to touch the feather, a slight spark shocking her as she touched it, Fluttershy retreating to hide behind the footboard. It was nothing more than that of a simple static shock, but it was enough to startle her.
Fluttershy climbed back onto her bed, grasping the cyan feather between her hooves and bringing it closer to her eyes to examine it. The thought that it may have just been an elaborate prank ran through Fluttershy's mind, but for some reason she just knew that it couldn't possible be a prank. From the way Dash had acted earlier, she was more scared and embarrassed more than anything. If it would have been a prank of any kind, she would have stayed around and been barely able to keep any sort of composure. But why. Why did the feather give her a slight shock? It didn't matter if it was a prank or not, she was obsessing over one of the smallest gifts that Rainbow Dash had ever given her. Her heart was wrapped around this gift, and no matter how small or insignificant any other pony thought it was, it was the thought and love that Dash had put into it. Dash was never one to part with her wings, they were everything to her. Her life, her personality, and who she was made to be. For her to take a part of something that was everything and give it to somepony, she must really care.
'She cares...' Fluttershy mumbled, tears of joy forming in the corner of her eyes.
Fluttershy closed herself into a tight ball, a content grin forming on her lips. Her eyes closed as she thought back to the most cherished moment in her life. She brought her hooves closer to heart, the cyan feather emitting a shallow aura of light. As she brought it closer, the aura slightly grew brighter. The contact with her breast stunned her and drew the breath out of her lungs. She lay there as the feather transferred its love into her body, her mind suddenly rushing through the times that Fluttershy and Rainbow had spent together. The images flew through her mind faster than light, but she was still able to see the detail of every image as it passed by, almost as if it was a movie playing out before her. The realization of the affection Rainbow held for her sent a wave of energy coursing through her body, Throwing her eyelids open as she took a deep breath in, filling the void in her lungs. Everything started to become clear as the actions and words of Dash became more and more understandable. She loved Fluttershy back, but why had the bravest mare in all of Equestria failed to tell Fluttershy about her feelings? Even though Dash wasn't one to talk about feelings or any of that 'mushy' stuff, she never backed down from anything. Never.
'Is... she scared?' Fluttershy asked herself in a low melancholy tone.
Her mental state dipped momentarily to depressing thoughts of how Rainbow Dash must have felt if she was, in fact, scared. She never thought that such a brave pony could ever be scared of love. It meant showing emotion and letting that pony into her heart. It even meant letting her guard down to let that pony in.
She wasn't always like this, Fluttershy thought to herself. She was brave and never let anything get in her way in Flight School... Her mind went back to the letter that lay on the mahogany nightstand by her bed, faintly remembering something about flight school in the letter. Fluttershy sat up on the edge of the bed, pulling the feather away from her heart and setting it next to her on the bed. She picked up the letter, scanning it for anything that had to do with flight or Flight school. Half way through the page, she found it.
She found the source of Rainbow's every fear and what made her so scared to love again. It was Flight School, just before her and Fluttershy had become friends.
Fluttershy sat alone on a puff of cloud as she watched all of the other fillies fly around and play with one another. She envied them. She envied how free that they were being able to fly where they wanted. She envied their friends, because they actually had some friends. Fluttershy just sat where she was, a sandwich in her hooves. She leaned her head forward and opened her mouth to take a bite of the hay-fry sandwich as a pair of young fillies whizzed past her, knocking the sandwich out of her hooves. It fell onto the cloud on which she sat, bounced slightly and fell off of the cloud, plummeting towards the earth far below her. Fluttershy stared off of the cloud, her eyes beginning to water as she was on the brink of a tear fest.
Just as she let a tear drop from her eye, she heard a low OOMPH as a brown colt came tumbling through the air in her direction. Fluttershy ducked just as he passed over her head, landing head first in a cloud behind her.
'Oh... my... Are yo – ' She tried to ask the colt before being interrupted by a streak of rainbow.
Fluttershy sat there, hiding behind her mane as the rainbow streak tackled the colt. He let out a groan of pain with the initial impact. However, he was not ready for the barrage that Rainbow Dash would soon release on him.
'WHY!' Rainbow called out.
'Ple – ACK – ase – NGHN – stop...' the colt managed to get out as Rainbow released her fury onto him, kicking and punching relentlessly.
'Can... you please stop that? You're hurting him...' Fluttershy asked quietly, the rainbow pony ignoring her. 'Please... YOU'RE HURTING HIM!'
Rainbow stopped her hoof mid air as it was coming down onto the colt, staring back at the pony who had spoken up. Fluttershy was now standing on all four hooves. She soon realized what she had said, and fell in refuge behind her pink mane.
While Dash was distracted by the actions of the yellow filly, the brown colt managed to escape her wrath due to the help of his friends carrying him off.
'Do you KNOW what you just did? YOU let him GET AWAY!' Rainbow yelled at Fluttershy. Fluttershy tightened up and sank her head, the flowing pink mane completely blocking her sight.
'You... YOU... l-le-let hi-him...' Dash said towards Fluttershy, her voice dripping with sadness.
Fluttershy cringed, the sound of the ponies voice hinting of betrayal. She used her hoof to part her hair back around her ears to see a small rainbow pony sitting on its haunches where the colt had been. Tears were streaming from the ponies eyes it continued to bawl. Fluttershy studied the pony for a few moments before deciding to comfort Rainbow Dash. She hopped off of her cloud, emitting a small 'EEP' when she descended to rapidly. She struggled to regain her flight, ascending back up to the cloud that Rainbow Dash sat on. Her hooves were to her eyes while she wailed, and all that Dash could have wanted was for all of this to be over.
Fluttershy landed on the cloud Dash sat on and walked over towards the troubled pony. She slowly approached her, gently placing a hoof on her shoulder before embracing her in a comforting hug.
'He... he and her... why...' Dash mumbled, tears streaming down the sides of her cheeks while a line of snot began to run from her nose.
'Shhhh... it's ok, it's all going to be OK. Just quiet now...' Fluttershy told her in a soothing, motherly voice.
Rainbow Dash continued to cry in Fluttershy's embrace, letting the tears and sorrow flow from her body. Fluttershy felt that she had made a new friend, even if it wasn't under the best of circumstances, at least she was there to help. If it wasn't for her, what would be of the colt now? She didn't want to know what would have happened to him if she hadn't intervened, but she was at least happy she could care for something in pain; somepony that was in pain.
Fluttershy had tears in her eyes, remembering how much pain Rainbow Dash had been in that day. That was a day that she wished that she could forget, but she couldn't. She made a dear friend that day, and even if it was the worst possible day in the world, she wouldn't forget something that held a special place in her heart. She glanced back over the page, reading part of it aloud.
'I saw him holding hooves with some other pony,' she read.
Fluttershy remembered that Dash was crying about him that day, and since this was in flight school... That was when she lost faith in emotion and trust in anypony, no matter how much they were there. He was the pony Dash thought would be there until the end. She thought that he was the one, but he broke her heart into a million different pieces, irreparable even through the expanse of time.
'She doesn't need to be scared... I never want to leave her... but what if she only likes me?' Fluttershy asked herself, a lone tear sliding down her cheek. 'She may have written me a letter, but what if it was only meant as a like letter?'
She looked out the window towards Ponyville, the Ponyville General Hospital in view. She watched it and the surroundings carefully, knowing Dash's tendency to accidentally get hurt. She just stared towards the hospital, wishing Dash safety wherever she was now.
But the question remained in her mind.