59w, 5hAdventures - Alternate Universe
Citizens of Equestria, We have found that there are some most peculiar ponies among those we call our subjects. These ponies are not only stronger than normal, but have powers far beyond even mine. I wish to inform all citizens that these ponies with peculiar powers are most graciously welcome to join my Husband and I in our fair castle, to be raised along side our son, Desmond. If these ponies of whom I speak are willing to join us, I am sure my son will be grateful to have fellow children to play with that are at his same level.
Signed, her Royal Regent of the Unicorns, Queen Platinum, Wife to King Hurricane of the Pegasi.
Rarity squealed, and another giggle rattled through her system as Aloe banked more coals in the corner of the sauna she and Fluttershy occupied. “Oh, Fluttershy, darling, out of everything that could have possibly happened, this is the BEST. POSSIBLE. THING!”
Fluttershy, in her usual manner, blushed and hid behind her bangs before responding in her gentle tones to her psyched friend. “Oh, um, th-thank you, Rarity, b-but, you didn’t have to take me to the spa for this. It’s just a date…”
Rarity’s eyes widened, shock evident on her face as she reached new levels of theatrics. “FLUTTerSHY! This is a first date we are talking about! Not just any date! This is something that a pony remembers for the rest of their life, and as your friend, I, Rarity, have taken on the responsibility of making sure that you look your most fabulous when you go on your date tonight! I know we were here just yesterday, but you simply must look your best!” Rarity nodded, secure in her knowledge of all that was fabulous and proper in the matters of the heart.
“But… I don’t want to be too perfect, Cerberus likes me the way I am, and- and- um…” Fluttershy blushed, her cheeks a bright, vibrant red that was like a beacon through the steam. Rarity tsked; clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth like a teacher would at a misbehaving student.
“Fluttershy,” Rarity began, much more calmly this time, “I understand how you feel. You’re just nervous. And that is the main reason why we’re here. You’re going to need to be more assertive. Now, what have I taught you?”
“Calm and control.”
“Soft and elegant voice.”
“Right. And the last one..?”
“Good! Those are the elements of a romantic date!”
“That’s… nice, b-but…”
“And, Darling, do remember to give him a nice, big kiss after dinner.”
“Now, now, Fluttershy, don’t worry! Just show him how you feel, and everything will be alright. Don’t hold back. If he can’t stand being smothered by your affection, then he’s not worth your time. Aloe and Lotus, if you would be so kind as to help me with my friend here, she requires a full facial.”
“A pedi will also be in order.”
“Now, Fluttershy, this is for your own good. Don’t you trust me?” The unicorn and the twins all surrounded the butter-colored pegasus, attacking her with various relaxing and rejuvenating products.
“Rarity, thank you so much for your help, but-“
“We’re not done yet, my dear!”
“We’re… not?” Fluttershy grimaced at the thought of what else Rarity could possibly do to help her further.
“This is me you’re talking to! We must find the perfect outfit. Anything less than perfect would simply be a travesty!” Rarity levitated a rack of several overly fancy dresses, gowns and headwear over to Fluttershy. “So, what color is in for a first date? Perhaps lime green? You’ve always liked that. Ooh! Maybe hot pink! This hat accompanies your hair quite nicely. Mmm, no, less feathers. More glitt- no, no, no, I will not make that mistake again! Let’s see, blue? Red? I simply cannot decide, what do you think, Fluttershy?”
“I think I’m late.”
Rarity glanced at the clock, her pupils shrinking when she caught the time. “OH! There’s no time! You’ll have to make do with how you are!” She ripped the most recent dress off of Fluttershy and scooted her out the door. “Remember, dear! Passion!”
“Rarity! The neck-“ slam! “-lace.” Fluttershy examined the fine jewelry held around her neck. It was a simple gold chain holding a ruby-and-amethyst butterfly. She took another nervous glance at the boutique’s door before trotting off towards the park.
He was sitting there, lazily staring at the fountain through half-lidded eyes with a small smile on his face. His cloak was partially concealing his wings, but his hood was off. Fluttershy had been trying to get closer for a few minutes now, but was making only the smallest bit of progress, usually ending up even further away. C-come on, y-you can do this… She closed her eyes and started forward, head lowered.
“Oh! Good evening, Fluttershy. I hope you didn’t get lost, I didn’t realize there were three other fountains in the park.” Fluttershy looked up into Cerberus’ warm, kind eyes as he easily excused her tardiness as his fault. But…I’m the one who was late…
“No, I’m sorry… I was late, and, um…”
“You look beautiful, Fluttershy.”
She blushed. She didn’t know why, but whenever he spoke, he made her blush. And she liked it. It wasn’t just embarrassment; it was… something… else. “O-oh, um, thank you?”
He got up off the bench, stretching a wing over her as he started to steer her through the park. She leaned her head against him, resting against his withers as she felt her face burn even brighter. “Heh, Fluttershy, you’re cute when you blush. It’s like a signal being turned on.”
“Mmhmm. I like to think that I can take it as an okay to do… this!” He rubbed his cheek against hers, nuzzling her as they giggled.
“W-well, then, I, um, m-might just do, um, this!” Fluttershy bumped into him with her hip, causing him to yelp in surprise before she got her head beneath his, loving the feel of his chest on her cheek, his heartbeat a symphony of bass, other percussion joining as he let out a great laugh.
“Oh-ho! It looks like the meek ones are the ones who like it the roughest. How about… this!” He dove his head beneath her as he got her onto his back, before rolling over so she was laying on his chest, his cloak keeping the dew from being able to wet his coat.
They lay there for a few moments, just gazing into each other’s eyes as the day gave way to night. “Mmm. Fluttershy, we should get going. We wouldn’t want to be late.” Fluttershy blinked as she shifted slightly on top of Cerberus.
“I got us a table at the Sunset Soiree, and, we still have time to get there. If you want to.”
“Cerberus,” Fluttershy breathed, “that restaurant is the most prestigious in all of Ponyville!”
“Ah. Then their cuisine shall fall short of the food a mare such as you should dine upon daily. But that is to be expected, since you cook the best food around.” Cerberus nuzzled her as she let out yet another giggle, her face redder than a tomato. “Come on, then.”
Fluttershy looked at the fancy decor, her attention on everything but the stallion in their way. “Aie emm Zorrie, but you cannot come een wizzout wearing ze propear attaire. Zees cloak works, yes, but zeh madame ees wearing nuszing but a nehcklahce, and ve requaiur a fourmall attaire. You could daine on zeh uppah balconeigh if you wish for a leetle protecshun from zeh whethur.”
Cerberus began to steer Fluttershy towards the stairs. “Of course, dining outside would be far better than being in here. We’d actually be less likely to disturb the other patrons, and I understand that we would not wish to make a scene.”
The unicorn with the thick accent smiled, relief evident that he was at least dealing with a pony that was able to hold himself with poise, even though he was denying the couple access to the inner sanctum of the barely filled restaurant. “Raiht zees vey, Monsieur, Madame.”
Once seated, Fluttershy had eyes for only one thing. Or, more to the point, one pony: Cerberus.
"You can’t order me, if that’s what you’re thinking.” There went her cheeks again. “The menu has many good choices to pick from, Fluttershy. What would you like?”
Fluttershy finally glanced at the page of stiff paper before her. Hay and Alfalfa Salad, Oat Salad, Wheat Soup, Apple Soufflé, Apple Soup, Roasted Chestnut Salad… Oh, there’s just too many good choices! Her gaze drifted down the page until a particular dish caught her eye.
“Um, I-I’ll have the, um, um, I’ll have this one.” She pointed at the menu, their waiter reading the entry being pointed to with approval.
“Ah, zat is a good choice, Madame. Carrot and Cabbage lasagna is a good choice indeed. And for ze gentlecolt?”
“I shall have the roasted chestnut and carrot salad with some zucchini and alfalfa instead of fries, with a side order of Ruby red-potato soup. Does that come with actual rubies?”
“Ah, zorrey, but, non. We just yewze zat term foar ze colohring of ze potatoes.”
“That’s all right,” Cerberus said, “I brought some of my own.” He pulled out a sack of gems and began to chew on a small emerald.
The waiter, looking as if he’d just seen a tap-dancing Manticore sing a duet with a cockatrice, left without another comment.
The food was great, the cider even more so. “Cerberus…” Fluttershy had asked a few questions of him over the course of the dinner, and the answers she got usually brought along more questions.
He’d only been with his mother a year or so before she had disappeared. He had begun to run at that young age, for Royal guards everywhere would attack him for nothing if he was ever seen in a town.
He’d met Judas when she had helped him when he was on the verge of starving to death. He’d lived with her family, under the guise of being the Butler’s son. When the Butler passed away and left the small amount of bits he had to the young colt, he had to move on. Judas’ parents weren’t going to let him live there any longer, anyways. He’d disgraced their family.
They’d met another disgraced noble who was small, but a few years older than them. They were united in blood and in cause, a family of renegades against the world.
Solstice drifted into the group and never left. She was just… there. Nopony knew her story.
“One more question.” Fluttershy was blushing, but this time it was because she was trying to stop herself from jumping over the edge of the balcony and flying away.
“Alright, what’s your question?”
“Why… why do you like me?”
“It-it’s okay. You don’t have to- oh!” Fluttershy was suddenly wrapped in a hug as Cerberus held her in his forelegs. His strong, toned forelegs. Fluttershy could feel all the blood rushing to her face as she reveled in his strong, loving embrace.
“Fluttershy, I… I like you because you are who you are. You know what I am, and yet don’t find me abhorrent. You… you spend time with me doing nothing more than just lying there and watching the sun set. With you, I feel… calm. Safe. I don’t need to run, I can sleep peacefully for the first time in a long while. I’m not afraid.” He ran his muzzle through her mane, rubbing his snout against her neck, cheek, and ear. “I love you, because you’re the only pony to ever love me back.”
It was time. She knew it was. She had every opening necessary. She could steal a kiss from his lips right here and now.
She nuzzled his cheek, giving him a small lick. Salt. He was crying. She continued to rub her face against Cerberus’, finally kissing his nose before looking into his eyes. They were puffy and tinged with sadness, but that sadness was outshone by the love and trust that he felt for her.
Another chance. He was open again. She closed her eyes, bringing her lips closer to his, and- “Ahem, jour beel es heer, monsieur. I weel be bauk to peek eet up laturr.” Fluttershy beat a hasty retreat, her face even redder than she had ever felt it. Cerberus paid the bill, and left a handsome tip.
Thus began the trip back home, underneath a cloudless night sky. As the couple passed through the town square, Cerberus gazed upon the sky with a new expression of comfort and inner peace. "I'll have to thank mother for providing the perfect atmosphere." His face then had a twinge of doubt. It was only for an instant.
Fluttershy didn't pay much mind to that. Soon, their date would come to an end, and although Cerberus was obviously satisfied, she still had an obligation to fulfill. Don’t worry! Just show him how you feel, and everything will be alright. How did she feel? Simple. She loved him, more than all the wonders of the world. But, could she really, really find the courage to kiss him right then and there? Manticores, Cockatrices, evil embodiments of chaos and destruction? She would take them all on again without pause, but intimacy was beyond her. When she took Cerberus into her care, he was just another little animal in need of her caring touch, except he could talk back. When he did talk, she felt like her soul could melt.
"You know, I'm glad you didn't go to great lengths to impress me tonight. Somepony like you doesn't need to hide behind some dress to look beautiful."
How does he do that? He always knew just what to say and it never failed to set her cheeks ablaze with every word. He had pushed her over her limit. She just couldn't restrain her feelings anymore. Don’t hold back.
Fluttershy lost control and threw herself at Cerberus. She thrust her forelegs around his neck and held on like he was the only thing separating her from life and an imaginary fall to her death. He hardly budged from her affectionate assault, but he certainly was amused by it. He made a triumphant laugh. "Ha ha! You'll have to try harder than that to take me down."
"I just... wanted to get closer. I'm trying to be more assertive."
"You could have just asked, love."
"Love..." His soothing voice had stopped her short of what she wanted to say to him. Here she was, on his back, with a loss for words. What now?
"If you want to say something, just go ahead and say it."
Fluttershy let it all out at his request. "I just want you to know that you mean more to me than anything else, and that I loved you from the moment I first saw you. I know that sounds sappy, but I did, even if you were scary. I'm not scared anymore. I... I..."
"Take your time. We're in no hurry." Cerberus was gazing into her soul... again. This was it. Nopony would stop her from puckering her lips, moving her head closer to the love of her life, crossing the bridge of overwhelming emotion and euphoria, until... "Hold on a second." Cerberus was the one red in the face this time. Fluttershy had finally punctured through his dexterity. Heck, he was so thrown off balance, he had to pull his hood over his head to cover up his flaming cheeks.
"Are you okay?" Fluttershy asked by instinct.
Cerberus shook his head and regained composure. "I'm better than okay. You just caught me off guard."
"HEY!" A chilling voice echoed through the air, filling Fluttershy with a sense of dread. She saw one of Princess Celestia's royal soldiers approach from the alleyway. His golden armor glistened in the moonlight. He continued to shout. "Stop right there, criminal scum!" Fluttershy's newly found assertiveness counted for nothing when she was being yelled at by authority. She cowered, even though she knew she had nothing to be guilty for.
She felt a hoof nudge her. "You'd best get out of here, love." Cerberus trotted forth and crouched into a battle position. He called out to the guard. "It's me you want, right? She's not involved."
What was this? Cerberus standing up to a royal guard... the better question was, why was a royal guard in a remote town such as Ponyville, and what did he want with him?
"What are you still doing here?"
Fluttershy was too confused and too scared to even move. She could only ask. "Wh-what's going on, Cerberus?"
"It's my turn to be assertive. I'm sick of running from these guys. NOW GO!"
The sounds of fabric being torn apart, and a deafening blast of wind accompanied Cerberus spreading his dragon wings. Just doing that caused curtains to fly and the grass to bend. He kicked off the ground and accelerated faster than anypony Fluttershy had seen before. The royal guard didn't even have a chance to dodge, and he was thrown into the air, twirling many times before falling to the ground with less in his stomach than he had before. The dragon colt touched down as the guard managed to get his second wind. "I should have known better than to take you single hooved, freak." He said between breaths. Cerberus shot a menacing glare at him and proceeded to knock him unconscious by slamming both hooves into his chest.
Cerberus then gazed back at Fluttershy. She was not smitten when he did so, because there was no love or contentment in his eyes. Only confliction. She didn't know what to say... again. Apparently he did, though.
"Goodbye." He turned away from Fluttershy as if it pained him to just look at her. He flapped his wings and soared away...
"Cerberus!" Fluttershy yelled. He wasn't going back to the house, and that made her anxious.
The guard groaned a struggled to his hooves. "Bloody stupid 'a me to attack widout reinforcements. You awright there, miss? He didn't hurt you none, did he?"
"Yeah, the freak that was just wit'cha. He's a wanted convict, y'know. The princess personally ordered 'im to be arrested."
The guard was just as confused as Fluttershy. He shook his head. "Don't rightly know, meself. I'd rather see the beast dead in a corner than given a proper trial as a pony, but I don't make the rules. I best bring in the cavalry fer this one." The guard spread his own wings and glided over the town, searching for Cerberus. Like he could actually find him, he was unconscious for his target's getaway.
Fluttershy knew where Cerberus went, though. She looked up to the sky and could just barely see him flying across the night sky. She needed to talk to him. She still had to give him a kiss. She wouldn't lose him, not this time.
Fluttershy tried to keep up, but Cerberus was just too fast. She was losing him, even though she was straining her rarely used wing muscles. I… I can’t do it. Fluttershy’s eyes began to tear up, her pace slacking somewhat. But… Fluttershy looked at Cerberus’ fleeing form, the tears blurring it until he looked like no more than an azure speck. I-I love him, and… She wiped the tears away, her wings straining as they started flapping even faster to make up for the lengthened distance between them. I… I want to be with him! I… I won’t let him suffer like this! Not to those big… Fluttershy closed her eyes as she strained her wings to shuddering speeds. Dumb… She could feel her whole body reverberating as it was buffeted by the air around her. MEANIES! She couldn’t hear anything but the whistling of the wind, and- WHAP! Fluttershy slammed right into Cerberus, getting tangled in the remains of his cloak as he struggled to keep in the air. She had thrown him off balance, and the two plummeted into the outskirts of the Everfree Forest, thankfully with only a scratch or two. Before Cerberus could stand up, Fluttershy forced herself on top of him. She was not going to let him out of her sight until he gave her some answers.
“Cerberus! You can’t just try to leave every time somepony calls you out! You don’t need to run anymore. I... I love you for who you are, and... I...”
“Fluttershy, it would be best if you just forgot about me.”
“...How could you ask me to do that?”
“Trust me, it’s what everypony else has done.”
“...b...but what about everything you said back there?”
“I did mean it. I love you, but I can’t stay.”
“...Okay, do you really want to know? Fine. There’s a reason the royal guards want me. There’s a reason I was left for dead in the Everfree Forest." He sighed. "All I wanted was to see my mother.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m the assassin.”
“I’m the assassin! Celestia cast me from the her throne room all the way to the Everfree Forest. Unfortunately for her, I survived.
“She isn’t the great ruler you think she is. She hates my kind. She won’t stop until me and everypony who knows me are dead. That’s why we can never see each other again. I don’t want anypony else to die. Especially not you.”
Every word was like a knife in Fluttershy’s heart. She couldn’t comprehend what was worse: that this beautiful dragon colt was one of Celestia’s attackers and she has fallen head over hooves for him, or the thought of never seeing him again. She was left without the ability to respond, only to start crying again. Cerberus would be there to comfort her, right?
No, he wouldn’t. His mind was made up. Fluttershy had lost all sense of reality, the only thing she could do was lay on the grass and call out to the half-dragon she only caught a glimpse of before he disappeared into the light of the moon. Just like that, the only pony Fluttershy had ever been in love with was gone.