It was cool for a summer day at Sweet Apple Acres. Big Macintosh stopped his plowing for a moment to look up. A slow grin spread across his normal blank face as he watched the white fluffy clouds lazily roll across the sky. “Maybe Miss. Dash can do her job right every now an’ again.” He thought as he set his eyes forward and started pulling the plow once more.
It felt great. The feel of the resistance that the earth provided, the sweat coating his body, and the strain on his muscles as he pulled the ground apart behind him. This is what he lived for. Every day, waking up as the sun rose over the mountains, enjoying a warm, hearty, bowl of oats, and then putting on his harness, which was now almost a part of him, and getting to work on the farm.
Macintosh stopped as he reached the end of the final row. Turning around to inspect his work he saw the fruits of his labor spread out behind him. Each row was straight as an arrow, the result of years of experience tilling the fields. The smell of freshly turned dirt filled the air and the red work stallion breathed in deep, filling his lungs with the sweet smell of good farm soil.
Opening his eyes he mentally went through the list of chores that he had to do that day. “Ah got the plowin’ done, fixed tha fence, and its AJ’s turn to go an’ get Applebloom from school today. Hmm I guess I already done everything there is to do on this here farm for tha time bein’.” Walking away from the field he pulled the plow back into the barn and relaxed his muscles for a second. “I guess I could go visit Pa and Pawpaw today.” He thought, standing back up.
Macintosh then began his long trek towards the edge of the Everfree Forest. He stopped along the way and gently bit some flowers off of their stems and continued carrying them delicately in his teeth.
The canary yellow pegasus had been up for hours taking care of her animals. “Now you be careful with that wing from now on Ok?” Fluttershy said in her quiet voice to the blue jay whose wing she had just mended. The bird hopped around and stretched its wing, testing to see if it could be flown on. Then with a small chirp of thanks to Fluttershy it fluttered around her living room and flew through the window.
Fluttershy gave a gentle smile as she watched her friend leave her home. She did so love to make her little animals happy. Ever since that day she had fallen from Cloudsdale and landed on the butterflies that had become her cutie marksake she had always found a type of profound joy in assisting the animals that inhabited the Everfree forest.
Humming to herself as she flitted around her home she checked up on all of the accommodations she had made for her woodland occupants. “Oh my,” she whispered to herself as she checked her rabbit holes “it seems like everyone decided to leave in such a hurry today.” The rabbit holes were all empty. The blue jay that had just left had been the last of her patients. Even Angel Bunny seemed to have hopped out of her home for the afternoon.
For the first time in months Fluttershy was alone in her cottage. “Well then I guess I’d better…umm” Fluttershy paused. It had been so long since she had had any free time to herself that she didn’t know what to do. She let out a small sigh “I normally have Angel here to talk to about his day but he seems to have run off too. I wonder where he could’ve gone. Maybe he found himself a cute little bunny girlfriend to spend his day with.” She giggled a little at the thought of her sweet little rabbit flexing his cute little arms trying to impress some lady bunny.
Her smile quickly faded though when she realized that she was still alone in the house. A pang of loneliness pierced her heart. “I wish I had somepony to spend an afternoon with” she sighed as she gently landed down on her sofa. She crossed her hooves underneath her chin and looked down at the table with sad eyes, not really paying attention to what she was looking at. Her mind wandered through her past like a ghost. “I’ve never really had a special somepony” she thought sighing to herself. She came back into reality and realized that she was looking at a small bell. “Oh no!” she said swiftly jumping off of the couch and alighting into the air. That bell was the one she had Angel Bunny wear around his neck whenever he left the house. If he was ever in trouble he was supposed to ring it and Fluttershy would know that her precious Bunny needed her and she could rush to his aid. “Ohdearohdearohdearohdearohdear” she was saying quickly as she grabbed the bell and rushed out of her cottage. “What if Angel needs mommy and he can’t get me because he left his bell.” She said in a panicked tone, quickly flying into the forest.
Big Macintosh stood looking down on two stones buried into the ground. He dropped the flowers down in front of the grave markers. “Howdy Pa, howdy Pawpaw” he said tilting his head in the directions of the respective men buried in Sweet Apple Acres ground. The tombstones that had his father and grandfathers names written on them both stood silent. But Big Macintosh could imagine their smiling faces as they looked down at the stallion that their descendant had become.
The red farmer stallion lay down on the hard ground and started talking to the stallions he had always looked up to most. Even in death they served as his role models; what he wanted to be like when he finally reached their age. Strong, wise, and hardworking; doing whatever it took to keep their farm alive. His one refuge whenever it felt like times were getting to tough, or they were about to lose the farm was that he knew, just knew, that his father and grandfather would still be proud of him.
That’s why; whenever he could he came down to their graves and just talked, stallion to stallion, with them. He would talk about the farm and how apple sales were doing. He would tell his dad how Applejack and Applebloom were doing physically and tell him about the adventures Applejack had with her friends. He would tell his grandpa how Granny Smith was doing and talk about how much she missed him and all the tales she’d tell them about him. He almost never talked to them about what he was doing personally. Even beyond their graves Big Macintosh didn’t want to burden them with his problems at all. This was the only time that the normally quiet work horse ever said more than a few words at a time.
“Angel Bunny?! Angel Bunny?!” Big Macintosh stopped his chatting with his relatives to look up into the Everfree Forest where a panicked voice was calling from.
Through the bushes there was a flicker of yellow and another call, “Angel Bunny?!” and a yellow pegasus walked through the bushes. She had a pink mane, yellow fur, and the little butterflies as a cutie mark. Big Macintosh recognized her as one of Applejacks friends, what was it; Fluttershy?
She seemed very distracted, not even noticing Big Macintosh, looking left and right all over and constantly calling for “Angel Bunny”.
Big Macintosh wasn’t sure whether or not he should intervene in whatever Miss. Fluttershy was doing, it was her own business after all. But looking at how panicked and scared she was his gentlecoltness took hold and he quietly followed after her. “Angel Bunny!? Angel Bunny where are you!!?” Big Macintosh felt a pang of sympathy for how sad she sounded.
“Excuse me miss?” He said gently, tapping her on the shoulder.
“Eep!!” The shy yellow pegasus let out a little a squeak of fear and dashed behind a tree. Big Macintosh’s eyes widened at how fast she had moved away from him.
“Excuse me miss? Are ya alright?” Big Macintosh slowly walked around the tree where Fluttershy had hidden herself.
She was lying on the ground using her hooves to cover her head and hiding her face behind her curtain of pink hair, lightly whimpering to herself. “Shoot I done went and terrified the poor thing.” Macintosh though as he looked down at the small pink and yellow ball at his hooves. “Please don’t hurt me sir…umm if that’s alright with you” whispered Fluttershy with a fragile voice, still hiding her face.
“Now, now there little one, I ain’t gonna harm you” said Big Macintosh in the gentlest voice he could muster.
Half of her face poked out from behind her hair, revealing a cyan eye that was glistening with the beginning of tears. “Umm I’m sorry mister I didn’t know that anyone was here” she sniffed out putting her face behind her hair again. Big Macintosh heard as she started to sob lightly.
“Oh sweet Celestia I made her cry” Big Macintosh thought, feeling incredibly guilty. Not completely sure how to deal with this situation he did what he did whenever either of his sister were crying.
Macintosh lifted one of his front hooves and gently put it on the cowering mare’s head, gently stoking it. “There, there little filly it’ll be alright. It ain’t your fault.” He said in a slow deep voice gently stroking her mane.
When he’d first put his hoof onto Fluttershy’s mane she had tensed up and shivered but after a few minutes of him soothing her she relaxed a little. But she still hadn’t stopped crying.
“Now, now Miss. Shy what’s the matter with ya?” he asked as he lay down next to her, trying to keep a gentlecolt distance from her. After a few more moments of sniffling she responded in her quiet voice
“Umm…I…um..I can’t find my rabbit friend.”
“Come again ma’am?” asked Macintosh “I couldn’t properly hear ya.”
“Umm..I can't’ find my rabbit friend Angel Bunny” Fluttershy whispered a little louder “you see I have this little bell that he’s supposed to wear whenever he leaves the house and he didn’t take it with him today and I’m scared that he may be in trouble and *sniff*” Fluttershy started to cry again, putting her muzzle down into her hooves.
Big Macintosh timidly reached over and started to pet her mane comfortingly again. “Now that’s OK, I’m sure that your little rabbit friend is just fine. He’s probably off pickin’ himself some carrots somewhere.”
They lay there in the shade of the apple tree for a few more minutes while Fluttershy calmed down. “I…I suppose.” She sniffed.
Big Macintosh put on a gentle smile. “There ya go Miss. Shy.” he said as he reached over and wiped her face “Now you clear those tears off your face.” Fluttershy blushed a little and wiped off her eyes, giving Big Macintosh a small smile.
She looked up into the red stallions face and blushed even harder. She hadn’t realized that it was Applejacks big brother Big Macintosh that she had been hiding from and it was him that had been comforting her. “Oh I’m so sorry Big Macintosh; I hadn’t realized that umm…that it was you” she said, standing up swiftly. She kept her eyes in the dirt and kicked it a little with her forehooves uncomfortably.
“Now that’s quite alrighty Miss. Fluttershy, I didn’t mean to scare ya none either” the gentle work horse replied standing up himself “I just saw a filly who looked awful sad and did what any good gentlecolt would do. I guess I was just a little imposing with mah size and all. Let me make it up to ya by helping ya find your rabbit.”
“Oh no please I wouldn’t want to be a bother to you” said Fluttershy as she gently floated up to Macintoshes eye level.
“There’s no problem Miss. Fluttershy” said Big Macintosh as he started walking back towards the farm house. Fluttershy was starting to blush fiercely
“Well umm I guess that, if you don’t mind, I could use a little extra help in finding Angel.”
And so the quiet work horse and the shy pegasus went out to search for a rabbit. Big Macintosh walking with his slow deliberate pace and Fluttershy hovering close by. After a few minutes of silently walking through Sweet Apples trees Macintosh spoke up “Miss. Fluttershy does your rabbit eat carrots?”
Fluttershy giggled “Well of course he does, it’s his favorite food in the whole wide world.”
“Then I think I might know where we can find him.” He said, shifting his direction towards the gardens.
Upon arriving at where the Apple family grew their other crops they found that the carrot patch had been raided. And smack in the center there was a pure white bunny, contentedly chewing on a carrot and kicking back in the sun. “Eeyup just as I’d though” grinned Big Mac as he gently grabbed the rabbit by the scruff of its neck with his teeth.
Upon being disturbed from his midday nap me glared angrily at his captor and started swinging his little fists at Big Macintosh but couldn’t land a single hit. “Is thish your critter?” Asked Big Macintosh as he turned around to present the carrot thief to the yellow pegasus.
“Oh my goodness Angel Bunny we found you!!” squealed Fluttershy as she pulled the bunny into a hug. “Oh I was so worried that you were hurt, or lost, and ohhh you shouldn’t scare mommy like that!”
Big Macintosh couldn’t help but grin as Fluttershy spun in the air holding her rabbit in her hooves, and Angel trying furiously to break from her grasp. It was an adorable sight to watch.
Fluttershy placed Angel back onto the ground “Now Angel you know you’re not supposed to leave the house without your bell” she said with as stern a voice as she could muster, while placing Angels little bell around his neck again. “And when we get home we will have a talk about why we shouldn’t steal carrots from other ponies.”
Angel Bunny defiantly took a chomp out of the carrot he was still holding trying to hold onto some of his dignity. “Now hop along home Angel and I’ll be right behind you.” said Fluttershy, giving the rabbit a nudge towards the Everfree Forest. Angel shot a look of contempt towards Big Macintosh and started to angrily hop back home.
Fluttershy turned to Big Macintosh “I’m so sorry that Angel got into your carrot patch. I’ll pay for everything he took.” Big Macintosh gave her a gentle smile, shifting his ever present wheat stalk from one side of his mouth to the other
“As a matter of fact Miss. Fluttershy I don’t mind. You don’ have ta pay for nothin’ that rabbit took.”
“Oh but you worked so hard to grow them. I couldn’t just not do something to repay. I insist. Well um if that’s ok.”
“Well,” said Big Macintosh after a moment of thought “are ya busy tommara?”
“I um well um…no.” she responded timidly, afraid of what the huge red horse was going to suggest.
“Well good then, cause tommara I’m gonna be plantin’ tha corn and fixin tha roof in tha barn and I guess I could use tha assistance of a pegasus wing.” Fluttershy sighed with relief.
“Oh well ok then, I guess I could come and help you tomorrow then.”
Big Macintosh stuck out his hoof “Then it’s settled, I’ll meet ya here at 7 in tha mornin’.”
Fluttershy gently took Big Macintoshes hoof and shook it. ”I’ll meet you here.” She floated into the air and flew back home. Big Macintosh watched as she floated down the path home. Watching the way her wings took her through the air. “Hmm…cute.” He thought to himself as he turn back home. Shrugging off those thoughts the concentrated on what he was going to be making his family for dinner.
Fluttershy floated back into her home where she found Angel Bunny still chomping on the carrot he took from the Apple family’s farm. “Angel Bunny sweetie I need you to do mommy a favor tomorrow please.” Angel looked up at the pegasus from his carrot and back. “I need you to feed the other animals for me ok? I’m going to be helping Big Macintosh in the fields tomorrow to help repay for the carrots that You took.” Angel looked up at Fluttershy and snickered a little. “What’s so funny..if um you don’t mind telling me.”
Angel grinned and then using his paws made a little heart. Fluttershy turned red almost instantaneously. “Oh no no no no no Angel it’s not like that at all.” The rabbit smirked and brushed aside the comment of the blushing Fluttershy. Fluttershy floated up to her room and lay on her bed. “Well then… I guess I have nothing to do again.” Fluttershy thought as she let out a sigh. Unbidden her mind walked back to the thoughts that she’d had earlier that day. Then she thought of how Big Macintosh had comforted her when she was scared. She fell asleep early, thinking about Big Macintoshes strong hoof running through her mane and his slow deliberate voice speaking to her.
Fluttershy opened her eyes just as the sun started to rise over the tree line of the forest. Fluttershy looked over at the clock on the bedside mantle and took in a sharp breath. “7:04 Oh Dear I’m late to meet Macintosh” she said jumping out of bed and rushing down the stairs and out the door. “Don’t forget to feed the others Angel!” she gently shouted behind her to the still sleeping rabbit.
Fluttershy flew as quickly as she could towards Sweet Apple Acres, feeling guilty for sleeping in when she had promised that she would meet him at 7 o’ clock.
When the farm came into sight she saw the large red farmer waiting patiently at the carrot patch. She slowed down a little and alighted on the ground trotting over to Macintosh.
“I’m so sorry I’m late I slept in and I came as fast as I could, and I’m so sorry Mr. Macintosh” she said, tears starting to form in her eyes.
“Now it’s ok Miss. Fluttershy I know ya didn’t mean ta be late.” He said gently “There’s no need for tears.”
Fluttershy sniffed a little bit and wiped her eyes off. “Ok Mr. Macintosh”
“Please Miss. Fluttershy calls me Big Macintosh or Big Mac” Big Macintosh said looking down at Fluttershy.
“And you can just call me Fluttershy…if umm you don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind at all Fluttershy, I don’t mind at all.”
With that Big Macintosh guided Fluttershy out to the fields. “Now I’m going ta be plantin’ them corn seeds in tha field. What I need ya to do is follow behind and cover up the seeds and water ‘em with this here can.”
“I umm guess that doesn’t sound to hard.” Fluttershy whispered as she picked up the watering can in her teeth.
Big Macintosh started slowly walking down the rows he had plowed into the field just the day before, slowly and deliberately taking seeds from a pouch he had at his side and placing them down into the ground. Fluttershy followed close behind him patting the ground, delicately, where he had placed the seeds. “Hmm Fluttershy, I think ya need ta pat the ground a little harder, just to make sure that the seeds are firm into the ground. I promise it ain’t gonna get mad at ya.”
“Eep, oh I’m so sorry I’ve probably messed everything up now.”
“Now it’s alright Fluttershy, if ya could just go back and firmly patted down them areas you already passed it’ll all be alright.”
Big Macintosh patiently waited as Fluttershy trotted back down the rows and started firmly tapping the soil with her hoof until she reached him again. Then they resumed their slow quiet routine of walking down the rows.
Clouds had started rolling in by the time they reached the end of the final row and it was looking like rain. Big Macintosh observed the sky quietly, chewing on his wheat stalk. “It looks like we’re gonna have to move fast if we’re gonna fix that barn roof before tha rain sets in.” he said moving with a slightly quicker pace towards the barn.
Macintosh entered the barn and walked out with a tool belt around his waist and a ladder and some plywood on his back. “Miss. Fluttershy, could ya please float some of this here wood up onto tha roof?”
“Oh of course.” She said taking some of the planks from his back and placing them on the roof. Macintosh set up the ladder against the barn and climbed up to the rooftop.
“Ah just need ya ta hold the planks in place from inside the barn while I nail it down and shingle this here hole.”
Fluttershy floated down into the hole as Big Macintosh placed down the first plank. Grasping the hammer in his mouth he placed the nail after nail into the board, hitting them into the roof. Fluttershy listened to the sound of Macintosh nailing down the plank. Holding it in place until she felt sure it was going to stay. Then she flew out of the barn and landed on the roof near Macintosh. She noticed he was intent upon his work and didn’t say anything, rather just watching as he laid down the roofing. Soon his work was done and the roof was fixed.
The wind was starting to pick up as thicker clouds started rolling in across the sky and Macintosh had a hard time getting back on the ground safely. Fluttershy glided down and landed next to him. “Well I thank ya for your help today Fluttershy, I truly appreciate it.” He said turning and looking down at Fluttershy.
“Oh but I don’t feel like I’ve really done anything to help you truly today, I mostly just followed behind you. Please let me really make it up to you…if you don’t mind that is.” She said looking back into his eyes.
“Well then I suppose; what’d ya have in mind?”
“Well I umm don’t know, maybe you could come over for tea at my cottage…if you'd like”
“Well I’d say that’s a mighty fine idea Fluttershy. Just let me go an’ tell ma sister where I’ll be if she needs me.” He replied walking into the Apple family home.
“Applejack!? Where are ya?!” Big Mac shouted as he walked into the house.
“Imma comin’ big brother you can quit yer hollerin.” Replied Applejack walking out of the kitchen. ‘”Whatcha need bro?”
“I’m going to be headin over to Fluttershys house for some tea; k?”
Applejack grinned at her brother mischievously “Oh well then brother of mine don’t you be getting too cozy over there.”
Big Macintosh felt a light blush forming on his cheeks and was grateful for his deep red color. “Now there little missy I don’t wanna hear it from ya. I’m goin over for tea and nothin’ more.”
Applejack rolled her eyes “Yeah sure Big Mac, you just be sure to keep them hooves of yours to yourself.” Big Macintosh quickly trotted out of his house. Applejack shouted out the door behind him “And you return home soon mister, it looks like it’ll be raining pretty soon!”
Fluttershy and Big Macintosh walked in silence towards her cottage. Applejack hadn’t been lying; the clouds had started rolling in fairly thick and by the time they arrived at her cottage it has started to lightly drizzle.
Big Macintosh opened the door and usher Fluttershy into her home, lightly closing the door as he followed behind her. “Um would you like a towel?” asked Fluttershy while she rummaged through her linen closet.
“Why thank ya very much I would appreciate it actually.” said Big Macintosh, admiring the pegasus’s home. He was awestruck at how the home just looked so…natural compared to all the other houses he’d seen in Ponyville. The entire layout of the house was built to accommodate all the animals she had to care for with branches for birds to land and rest on and small holes in the base of some walls for the mice and rabbits.
Macintosh took the towel that Fluttershy offered him and dried off the light layer of rain that the drizzle had made on his body. Fluttershy had gone into the kitchen to make the tea so Macintosh folded the towel and placed it on a table.
“Do you need any help in there?” he called lightly into the kitchen.
“No, I’m alright. Please’ make yourself comfortable in there while you wait, I should only be a minute.”
Big Macintosh carefully sat down on the sofa, afraid that it would break underneath his weight, but it held. Fluttershy walked into the living room holding a tray with two steaming cups in her mouth. She set them down on the table on top of the towel and took one into her hoofs.
They sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes listening to the sound of the rain on the roof as it grew harder and the wind picked up. “I don’t like the sound of tha way that storm is pickin’ up outside.” said Macintosh looking out the window at the trees slightly bending in the wind. Fluttershy shivered a little
“Neither do I,” she shivered a little “I don’t like the thought of all those little animals out there caught in the rain.”
“I’m sure they’ll be alright.” Macintosh responded, sipping at his tea. Fluttershy still looked uneasy as the sound of thunder rang in the distance.
After a few more moments of silence Big Macintosh piped up “How’d ya come ta be taking care of all these animals?”
“Oh it’s such a long story and I wouldn’t want to bore you.” Fluttershy said blushing slightly
“I don’t think I’m going to be going anywhere for a while.” Big Macintosh said, nodding towards the window
“Well it all happened years and years ago, at flight school…” Fluttershy then proceeded to tell Big Macintosh the story of how she got her cutie mark; falling from Cloudsdale and landing on a large group of butterflies, the Sonic Rainboom and how she discovered her influence over the creatures of the forest.
Big Macintosh seemed enthralled with the whole story, listening to every detail. When she was done he finally spoke up “Wow. That’s an incredible story Miss. Fluttershy.”
“Oh it’s not really all that special at all.” Fluttershy said, her face turning red at the compliment. Big Macintosh shook his head and smiled
“It’s an amazing story and don’t you let no one tell ya different, ya here?”
Fluttershy hid behind her hair once again. “Thank you.” she whispered.
“It’s all fine Fluttershy. Well I suppose it’s gettinn’ late and I’d better be getting’ home now.” Big Macintosh said as he stood up to leave.
“Oh no please I can’t let you do that Macintosh. The weather outside is frightful and you’ll catch a cold just being out there.”
“I’ll be alright Fluttershy. There isn’t a germ in existence that can get me down.” Big Macintosh said, strolling towards the door.
Fluttershy quickly flew in front of him and landed in front of the door before he could get there.
“Big Macintosh please; I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if anything DID happen to you. I insist that you please stay here for the night…if that’s alright with you..please?”
Fluttershy was looking up at Big Macintosh with a glistening of tears in her eyes. Big Macintosh couldn’t say no to those big blue eyes and he sighed. “Fine then little Miss but I don’t want to be a burden to ya.”
“Oh no please. I want you to stay and there’s no way anyone can be a burden when I want to help them.”
“Well then I guess I’ll stay down on the couch here tonight.” he walked back over to the couch and sat down.
“If you want you can stay in my bed and I’ll sleep down here on the couch…if that’s what you’d rather do.” said Fluttershy.
“No ma’am, that’s an offer I’m going to have to refuse. I’m going to stay down here and that’s final. No arguin’.”
“Ok. Let me go get a blanket for you at least.” Fluttershy said getting an old quilted blanket from a closet.
Big Macintosh took the blanket from her and walked over to the couch. Laying down he placed the blanket over himself. Fluttershy floated over and, out of reflex, tucked the apple farmer into bed. “Thank you Miss. Fluttershy.” said Big Macintosh, blushing underneath his red coat. Fluttershy realized what she’d done and turned almost as red as Macintosh.
“Well…umm…good night Big Macintosh.” Fluttershy blew out the candles and floated up the stairs. Big Macintosh watched the fragile pegasus leave the room and then settled down.
Big Macintosh lay there in the dark listening to the sound of the rain hitting the ceiling of Fluttershy’s cottage. He’d always enjoyed a good storm. The sound that the rain made was like a gentle lullaby that was accompanied by the wind and the sound of rustling leaves. Big Macintosh closed his eyes and grinned; letting nature sing him to sleep.
Big Macintosh was startled awake as a flash of lightning hit the sky and was instantly followed by a humongous clap of thunder. But it wasn’t the lightning or the thunder that had woken him up. It had been a scream and a shattering from upstairs. “Fluttershy!?” He called, jumping out of bed and dashing for the stairs. Although he had almost ran up the stairs when he arrived at the door to her bedroom he gently opened it, hoping that it had been his imagination and the mare was still gently asleep in bed.
When he opened the door to her room though, he was greeted by a different sight than he’d been hoping for. Laying on the ground next to Fluttershy’s bed were the shattered remains of a vase that had fallen from the bedside dresser. In the center of Fluttershy’s bed there was a small, moving, ball of sheets. Another clap of thunder lightly shook the house and Big Macintosh heard a small squeak from the ball in the bed and saw it shake.
Big Macintosh padded over to the bundle and slowly reached out one hoof. He lightly touched the bundle of sheets and almost whispered “Fluttershy?” Instantaneously Fluttershy tensed up under the blankets and let out a loud
“Eep!” Big Macintosh recoiled from the bed quickly, startled. He slowly moved back to the bed and said in the same slow, calming, voice that he had used just yesterday. “Fluttershy, it’s me, Big Macintosh. Are you alright?”
“B-Big Macintosh?” whispered a quiet voice from the bed.
“Yeah Miss. Fluttershy it’s me. Are you ok?” he asked, gently laying a hoof back down on her. While she shivered underneath his touch she didn’t scream again.
“*sniff* Yes I-I’m fine. It’s just the *sniff* whenever there’s a big storm I always get so scared of the thunder and lightning.” she whispered as she poked her head out from under the covers looking up at Big Macintosh.
The stallion felt a pang of sadness in his heart as he looked at the terrified little thing before him.
“There, there,” he said, stroking her head with his hoof “I promise ya that the weather ain;t gonna harm ya none. You got a strong house and the wind and rain ain’t gonna effect it.” Fluttershy sniffled a little, still shivering
“I know that, but no matter what I tell myself I’m always still so scared.” Big Macintosh gently picked her up off the bed and pulled her into a hug, gently rocking her back and forth.
“Shhhh it’s going to be alright. I promise I won’t let nothin’ hurt ya while I’m here.” He felt the small bundle in his arms stop shivering and start to relax.
“Feelin’ better?” asked Macintosh to the small ball in his arms.
“A little.” Fluttershy said, unwrapping herself from the blankets. Big Macintosh placed her back down on the floor and gripped the blanket in his teeth. Fluttershy watched as he remade her bed in the dark. “Now you make yourself comfortable again while I clean up this mess on the floor here.” Big Mac said turning towards the door and descending the stairs. Fluttershy slowly floated over to the bed when all of a sudden another flash of lightning illuminated the room. Fluttershy squeaked and zipped under the covers once again hiding from the world.
Big Macintosh reentered the room with a small broom clenched in his teeth. He looked at where Fluttershy had gone to hide once more and smiled a little to himself. “She’s just so innocent.” He thought as he swept the broken vase into a small pile. “I just wish I could protect her and hold her so’s that…” Big Macintosh stopped and viciously shook his head. This was one of his sister’s best friends he was thinking about. There was to be no room for those kinds of thoughts. Once all the vase had been swept up Big Macintosh looked over at where Fluttershy was. He saw half of her face through her hair as she watched him clean up the broken vase.
He stepped over to her and petted her back. “There now Fluttershy I’m done. I can leave ya to sleep in peace now.” He started to walk towards her door when he heard her whisper something. “What was the Fluttershy?” he asked, looking over his shoulder.
“I asked if umm if you could please stay in here with me, please? That is if you don’t mind.” Big Macintosh looked puzzled.
“Why would you want me in here?” “Well umm it’s just that when you’re around it makes me feel…safe and I’m not as scared. But if you don’t want to stay in here that’s fine.”
Big Macintosh walked back over to the bed and looked down at her. “Ok Fluttershy, but only because I can see that you’re scared.” Big Macintosh started to settle himself down onto the ground next to the bed.
“Macintosh you can…sleep in my bed...if you want that is.” Big Macintosh was even more puzzled by this but didn’t question it as he crawled onto the bed with the small mare. The bed was bigger than he thought it would be and easily fit both of them on it.
“If it’s all the same to ya though I’m gonna sleep on top of the covers; ok?”
“That’s fine” Fluttershy said, nestling her head against her pillow.
“Good night Fluttershy” he yawned as he dozed quickly back into sleep.
“Good night Big Macintosh” was the last thing he heard before sleep overtook him.
Big Macintosh dozed back into consciousness as a resounding BOOM!! of thunder rocked the whole cottage. Remembering where he was exactly, with sleepy eyes, he checked over to where Fluttershy had been sleeping on the bed. But she wasn’t there. He opened his eyes a little wider to see the whole bed and still didn’t notice her. Macintosh craned his neck upward to see if she’d moved off the bed and then he felt her.
He looked down at his chest and saw a small ball of yellow fur pressed up against him. She’d managed to slip out of the covers and he felt her warmth as she lay against him. Her tail was wrapped around her body and her head lay down on her front hooves. She wasn’t shivering or shaking at all, but rather, sleeping peacefully. Smiling at whatever dream she was having. Big Macintoshes heart melted at the sight of her. “Just too adorable for her own good.” he thought.
In his sleepy state he craned his neck down and nuzzled his nose into her soft pink mane lightly inhaling the scent. She smelled like morning dew and the forest, it was calming to him. “Just to adorable” he thought as he lay his head back down and fell asleep again.
Fluttershy woke up as the sun peaked through her window. She yawned and stretched a little bumping into something. She opened her eyes and looked up. She saw the large red stallion that she’d stay the night with. She didn’t get out of bed. Rather she cuddled closer to Big Macintosh and closed her eyes again.
She just lay down and listened to him slowly breathe as he slept peacefully. She pressed her ear against his chest. The slow rhythmic thumping of his heart set hers fluttering faster than it ever had before. She rubbed her head against him and felt his muscles, so hard beneath his soft fur. “He’s so strong and protective and I just wish that he could just…” Fluttershy removed herself from Macintosh gently. She blushed at the thoughts that she’d been having only a moment before.
She contemplated her feelings and thoughts as she floated back down the stairs. “Applejack’s brother? No I shouldn’t even think about that. Besides he probably needs a strong work mare like himself.” She floated into the kitchen and started putting together a breakfast for her and her guest.
Big Macintosh woke up as the sun rays hit his eyes. He shot his eyes open and jolted out of the bed. “Applejack is going to buck the hay out of me for oversleeping.” He thought, blinking the sleep out of his eyes. Then he realized where he was. He looked around the room for the small pegasus and didn’t see her. Climbing out of bed he descended the stairs where he was greeted with the smell of fresh pancakes.
“Fluttershy?” he asked as he searched downstairs for her. He found her in the kitchen, floating over the stove. She was humming to herself as she cooked pancakes. Her pink mane was done back in a ponytail and she moved it over her ear every now and again out of her face. Big Macintosh blushed and couldn’t help but gape a little at how beautiful and serene she looked. Big Macintosh cleared his throat as he recomposed himself gathering the attention of Fluttershy.
She looked over at her guest and smiled. “Good morning Big Macintosh.”
“Mornin’ Fluttershy” was the only response he could get out.
“I cooked up some breakfast for us.” She said, gliding over to the table with a stack of the pancakes.
“Well you didn’t have to do that Fluttershy.” Big Macintosh said as he shuffled over to the table.
“It’s my way of saying thank you for umm…taking care of me last night.” Fluttershy suddenly blushed as she brought up the previous night.
“It wasn’t no big problem ma’am.” He said sitting down at the little table. Fluttershy placed the pancakes in front of Macintosh and sat down across from him. Big Macintosh took a bite of his pancakes. “Mmm” he said “these are delicious Fluttershy.” Fluttershy looked down at the table and twiddled her front hooves
“Thanks. When you live by yourself you kinda learn how to take care of yourself.”
They both ate the rest of their meals in silence. Both mulling through their own thoughts. After finishing Big Macintosh helped clear the dishes and wash up the kitchen. “Well thanks for the meal Fluttershy but I gotta be goin’ home now. Applejacks probably mad enough as it is and the farm probably needs clearin’ up after that storm last night.”
“Ok. Goodbye Big Macintosh and….” her voice stuck in her throat as Big Macintosh walked out her door.
Fluttershy knew she couldn’t just let him walk away so she ran to the door. “Big Macintosh!!!” she called from the porch. Big Mac turned around
“Ummm th-thanks for comforting me last night. It was very, very sweet of you.” she stammered out.
“It was no problem at all Fluttershy. No problem at all.” he smiled back at her.
“Do you think...that umm….do you think that the next time a storm comes you can keep me company?” she said closing her eyes feeling ridiculous.
Big Macintosh looked at Fluttershy for a moment before smiling and walking back to her he said “Only if you call me whenever ya lose your animals.” Fluttershy opened her eyes, hiding her look of shock behind her downed hair. “D-Deal” she said.
Big Macintosh slowly walked back home not caring whether or not Applejack was going to chew him out. He was happy.