You both would cut across the town to the other side, to the outskirts to where Rainbow's house would be. Ponyville was the same as ever, ponies going about their day. Having fun, buying things, probably getting into their own zany hijinks. Though, as you walked with Fluttershy. You started to wonder how many episodes you might have fucked up. Obviously the cutie map episodes would go about the same way. You just wondered how many the second half of the season had.
From the looks of it. There seemed to have barely been any episodes centered on it. Or it was just calling Twilight a majority of the time. "Aunt Fluttershy, can I ask you a question?"
Fluttershy nodded as you both trekked through the town. "Of course Anon, what is it?"
"It's about that Cutie Map thing in Twilight's castle. How many times has it turned on?"
"Oh, well. Not that many actually. It's called us only a few times. Maybe two or three. But it always seems calls us in pairs. In fact. Aside from us being called all at once when we first discovered the map. Me nor Twilight have been called by the map at all. I guess Equestria doesn't have as many friendship problems as we thought. Or maybe, it just calls us when there’s a really big big problem. Like the first time it called us."
"The first time? Hrn" You were around for that. TV viewing wise at least. You were surprised there wasn't that many calls from the map. Your saturday morning instincts always told you that when a season introduces a gimmick. It usually spams said gimmick. Yet here, the cutie map was seemingly underused. "How did that go? As I ummm.."
You hold back, and think your words through. "As I uh, heard it. You and the others had trouble with somepony named Starlight Glimmer, right?"
"Oh yes, that's right actually. Did your father tell you about it?"
"Errr, yeah. But he wasn't too keen on specifics."
"Well, he only knows what I told him. I was actually surprised by your father's reaction. But then I tried to think about it like he would. And, I think I figured out why he found her so terrifying."
"He found Starlight Glimmer terrifying?"
"Well, not her really. It was more of what she was trying to do"
"You mean make everypony equal?"
Fluttershy nods "Mhmmm, It goes against your father's very um… spirit."
"Does it terrify you?"
Fluttershy shook her head, she didn't even show a hint of fear or anxiety from thinking about it. instead, she looked disheartened. "No, it actually makes me sad. I think I knew what she was trying to do. She just wanted everypony to live in peace and harmony as equals. But, the way she tried to do it, forcing everypony to give up what made them unique. Forcing them to not let them be who they want to be... She wouldn't even let them have their cutie marks back. And that's wrong. She wouldn't listen to anypony either, she wanted everything her way… even if she had to force it on you. I kind of wish she would have listened, she ran away after all of that. And I can't imagine how lonely things are for her right now."
Wait, Fluttershy felt sorry for her? Well, of course she did. But, why? The why was what made you curious. "You feel sorry for her?"
Fluttershy nodded, frowning at the thought "Well, Everypony did turn on her in the end. She probably doesn't have any friends at all. And now nopony would follow her now that she's been found out. It's just sad knowing that she's probably hiding in a cave, alone, scared. I think, if she wanted to try to be friends. I think I'd be willing to give her a chance, and I'm sure my friends would be too. But, none of us even know where she is. So all I can do is hope she's ok."
Ergh, you knew of that ONE sighting from the episode"Amending Fences". But was that really Starlight? it could have just been a huge coincidence. If only there was another sighting. Like her hiding in the bushes with some binoculars or something.
You wondered, if it really was her. Should you tell the others. Should you tell Fluttershy? It was jumping the gun. But you felt she'd be back for the season finale. You don't know what'd she do. But you don't throw away a villain like that when there’s so many unanswered questions.
You could possibly even change the season finale, prevent it altogether. But only if you were right. And if telling them didn't work, then maybe your previous notion of handling her yourself would work. You had the horn after all… which you now just realized you could also probably use to even the odds against bugbutt.
No, just leave it alone for now Anon. You don't have enough to go on. If only you had a little more foresight. You cuddle into Fluttershy to give her a little comfort, it was all you felt you could do. Who knows, maybe Starlight isn't as bad as she seemed. It could be like the whole Sunset Shimmer shit where she was nasty up until the end when it's revealed all she wants was a friend… or something… you forget. Equestria Girls was eggghhh…
"Well, if she isn't actually bad. Then I hope she's ok too. Actually, now that I think about it. I'd like a chance to talk to her"
Well, that made Fluttershy curious "You do?"
"Yeah, her philosophy is interesting. It sounds like a topic to debate about. I mean, she was trying to take away the strife and misery from ponies lives right?"
Fluttershy nodded reluctantly "Yes but, the ponies in the town that she was in. They weren't truly happy. Even when they said they were, it was all the brainwashing she did to make them think they we're happy. She tried to brainwash wash us too. I didn't like that at all..."
Hmm, Fluttershy was becoming more depressed with every moment the conversation lingered on the topic. Yeah, better just to drop it. Though, you wish you could have had an actual full conversation about Starlight. Because Fluttershy just wasn't the one to have the conversation with since she can and will be brought down emotionally by it. And yet she would probably still talk about it just so she wouldn't be rude.
"Err, well. Let's talk about something else then. I don't want to bring up any bad memories."
"We can still talk about it if you want to Anon, I uhm… I just didn't think you'd think so deeply into it. I didn't know you had an interest in philosophy."
"I just find the whole thing interesting is all. but, I can tell it's upsetting you to talk about it. So I just want to talk about something else now. Something… Ahh I know, why don't you tell me what flying is like. Like to really soar and stuff. Since I'm gonna be learning it soon. Is it scary, is it fun?"
"Oh, well. I don't know how to answer that Anon… oh wait." Fluttershy cringed "Yes I do, I remember when I was a filly, it was around when I got my cutie mark. I fell all the way from cloudsdale and it was… really really scary." Fluttershy then looked to you, frightened about what this could mean for you."Anon, erm. Before you train with Rainbow Dash. I think I'm going to have a talk with her first."
Oh come on, Surely she didn't think… "Aunt Fluttershy, please don't worry. I'm not gonna fly up that high. I'm just training after all. I'll just ask Rainbow Dash to keep it low to the ground."
Fluttershy couldn't take your word for it, she wasn't afraid of you screwing up. She was afraid Rainbow Dash would take it too far. "Anon, I'm sure I don't need to worry about what you'd do. But Rainbow Dash, sometimes she overdoes it. And I don't want her to get too show offy and try to make you do something you're not ready for. I just want to let her know to keep things safe but still informative, and still fun for you. Ok?"
Ehhh, you weren't going to argue this. You were sure you could handle Rainbow Dash's antics on your own. But again, you didn't want to argue or upset Fluttershy. And yeah, it was annoying. But you knew everything would be better when you saw that smile on her face when she sees you soaring in midair like a badass. "Ok Aunt Fluttershy, whatever you say"
She was happy to hear that, and you both continued on your way.
Along your trek, you saw in the distance two familiar fillies. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo… oh… they were enjoying an ice cream at a table… and. Oh, they didn't look happy. In fact, they we're pretty sweaty.
Fluttershy had noticed them as well "Oh look Anon, it's Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo! They look… erm.." Fluttershy noticed that they didn't seem too happy despite licking at their ice creams. "...they don't look very happy at all, I wonder what's got them so down?"
Given the sweat, they were probably working at the farm. Either they were done, or on break. "Well, they made a deal with the Apples to help with the farm to set up that fight thing for my cutie mark. So, my guess is they must have been working really hard."
Fluttershy didn't like the sounds of that "Oh no, they must be so tired… mmnn.." Then she got an idea she thought was great "I know! Let's see if they can come along with us. I know seeing Rainbow Dash would brighten up Scootaloo's day at least!"
Fluttershy skipped along towards them to greet them and invite them along. At first, you thought that'd be a great idea. Then you went wide eyed at the realization that you, YOU, would be flying with Rainbow Dash. She'd be teaching you. While Scoots would be on the ground, watching. Most likely feeling terrible that she couldn't join in.
You hold your hoof out to Fluttershy. "AUNT FLUTTERSHY WAIT!"
Well Anon, you dingbat. Yelling at Fluttershy caught the attention of the other two anyway. They get up with their ice creams and head towards you and Fluttershy. Fluttershy was wondering why you told her to wait. "Anon?"
"Oh ahm, I almost thought you were going to trip on a rock." You were cringing as they drew ever closer.
Fluttershy looked around herself, there was no rock. "Oh, don't worry Anon. There's no rock. See." She moved aside to show you,
"Hey Fluttershy, hey Anon. What's up..?" Sweetie Belle was the first to greet the both of you, she wasn't as enthusiastic as she usually was.
You spoke first, quickly, before Fluttershy could say something. "O-oh nothing, we we're just heading to Rainbow Dash's place to erm… to do something."
"You're going to Rainbow Dash's?! to do… wait, what's the something?" Scootaloo was still pretty enthusiastic until she was confused by the "something.", then again, her adoration for Rainbow Dash was second to none.
"Oh, well. Anon got a special gift from his father and..." Before Fluttershy could finish, you cut her off.
"Annnnnnnnd uhmmm. I wanted to show her it… that's all."
Fluttershy was confused, as were Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. But Fluttershy's confusion was caused by the fact that it was looking like you were trying to hide something. Were the wings supposed to be a secret? Because it didn't seem like that at all.
"Anon, are you alright?" You were trying to do good, you just couldn't let Scootaloo come.
"I-I'm fine, I'm just. er. I guess I got nervous all of a sudden about… Rainbow Dash. and erm. Maybe we shouldn't go"
Then, Fluttershy felt a sting of guilt from that "Oh no… I hope it's not because of what I said earlier..."
Scootaloo butted in on this, she saw an opportunity to go see Rainbow Dash for sure, and she wasn't gonna lose out. "Relax Anon, whatever it is. Rainbow Dash is one hundred percent professional. And if you need some extra support, well, I could come along."
Sweetie Belle looked to Scootaloo, with surprise "I thought you said you couldn't move another inch?"
"Well..." Scootaloo was taken aback, she didn't want to seem like a wimp "You know, I just didn't want to make you feel bad because you were so tired."
Sweetie Belle wasn't convinced, seeing through Scootaloo's bullshit "Yeah… because you didn't need me to take over lugging all those apple wagons right?"
"Y-yeah, well...." Scootaloo, started to get snippy "If Applebloom didn't fill them with so many apples I could have done it myself!"
"Girls, girls! please don't fight. Even if you're upset or angry with something. You shouldn't fight, it's not right" Fluttershy tried to settle them down.
They both stopped, and looked down with sorry faces. "Sorry Fluttershy.." They both said, at the same time.
Sweetie Belle sighed "I guess we let all that farmwork get to us, I didn't think it was that tough. Applebloom makes it look really easy. It's a lot harder than what we did back at Appleoosa"
"Yeah… a lot harder." Scootaloo said in agreeance.
"It's alright but, just remember that you shouldn't argue with each other just because you're angry about something. You should never take your anger out on your friends, or… well, anypony really." Fluttershy told them, it was stuff like this that baffled you on how Twilight ended up as the princess of friendship. Sure she had to write letters and learn all about it and stuff. But goddamn, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, ESPECIALLY Pinkie Pie, were much better at it than her.
You wondered about Discord's theory. If ideas could travel out one way, maybe they could also travel from your universe to here. It did fit the theory… hmmm...
"Well Scootaloo, if you wanna go with them. You go ahead, I'm just gonna go back to our table, finish my ice cream, and then maybe put my head down for awhile. I don't really feel like walking all that way." Sweetie Belle told her, she was bowing out from this adventure.
"You're gonna sleep right there?" Scootaloo found that irksome.
Sweetie Belle nodded "Yeah, right now, even the floor looks comfy. I just can't sleep on the floor because then Rarity will just say something about my coat being all dirty and stuff. So, the table will work just fine as a nice comfy pillow."
Christ, they must have worked really hard. And from the sound of it. They were done with today's work as well.
"Well, ok then." Scootaloo looked to you, with excitement and wonder, She couldn't wait. Feeling renewed vigor. "Come on Anon, Fluttershy! Let's go see Rainbow Dash already! I'm ready to roll!"
Ugh, no way you could convince her not to go see Rainbow Dash. You'd have to come up with a way to do this in a way that wouldn't upset her. But shit, once she knows exactly why you were going. She was not going to like it. She's a pegasus pony who can't fly, and she'd be witnessing an earth pony gain wings TO fly. Given if you were in her place, you knew you'd be pretty ticked about it. As far as jealousy goes.
But you three said your goodbyes to Sweetie Belle anyway. You tried to either avoid talking to Scootaloo, or just acting aloof. But nope, she wouldn't let it be. She was curious. "So Anon, what are you gonna see Rainbow Dash for? Is she expecting you?"
Fluttershy looked to Scootaloo "Oh, Rainbow Dash owes Anon a promise because well… erm… Rainbow Dash made him cry."
Scootaloo was now really confused "What? Rainbow Dash would never do that! Anon, what did you do?!" She felt it was your fault.
Fluttershy didn't like Scootaloo's reaction. "Scootaloo, Anon didn't do anything. Let me ask you something. Do you think it's nice to know that two ponies got eaten by plant monsters?"
Scootaloo was again, confused. Until she put two and two together "Oh, you mean those two guys that beat up Anon?"
Fluttershy nodded "Well, those would be the two I was talking about. But just the same. How would you feel? Knowing that they’re gone. Would you feel that it was your fault? Wouldn't you cry?"
Scootaloo shrugged "That actually sounds pretty cool to me, bad guys getting what they deserve? That's what Twilight and you and everypony else do too right? Like sealing up bad guys for a one thousand years and stuff? And didn't that Sombra guy blow up?"
Fluttershy was utterly flabbergasted by those words "SCOOTALOO! H-h-how could you say those things?! Even if they are bad, it's always better to want them reformed than just gone! You're not supposed to find it "Cool"."
"H-hey, I'm just saying. Those two guys sounded pretty bad, what if they always stayed bad? If Rainbow Dash didn't chase them down, they might have come back to finish the job on Anon. Right? Couldn't they have done that?"
If it wasn't for the fact that those two guys were actually Discord. That actually did sound like a good point to you. Especially since, Chrysalis tried to kill you over what happened before. Barging into your very home. It also seemed some information didn't get relayed that they were "changelings" or working with changelings, you forgot the exact details on that. Whatever, details on that weren't important anymore.
Fluttershy had to stop, she was trying to come up with a retort to that. But, she felt Scootaloo had a point as well. And considering how helpless you looked in the hospital. You wouldn't be able to do anything about it. "Well… maybe. But, I'm sure with all the doctors. And with us there, Anon would have been just fine."
"What if the bad guys dressed up as doctors and then poisoned Anon like in the comics?" Scootaloo was really hammering this point in.
"No more! I don't want to talk about this! Ponies being eaten is wrong! and liking it is even more wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!" Fluttershy just… lost it, and started barking at Scootaloo until Scootaloo just pulled back away from her. You rushed up between them to try to calm Fluttershy. She wasn't going to hurt her, nothing of the sort. You just didn't want Fluttershy to lose a gasket and burst into tears or something.
"A-aunt Fluttershy, It's ok. We get it. Ponies dying is bad. I totally agree with you. Please please calm down." You try nuzzling into her, it works like a charm.
She steps backwards and sits down. and starts to tear up. "I-I'm sorry… I..I didn't mean to scare Anypony… I.." Then she bursts into tears and lays her head in the dirt "I'm so ashamed! I… I got… s-so upset… I..I didn't mean to yell at you Scootaloo. I shouldn't be yelling at fillies… I-I hope I didn't scare you. I didn't mean to..."
You hugged onto Fluttershy, and rubbed your hoof along her back. "It's ok Aunt Fluttershy, I'm sure it's ok… right Scootaloo?"
Scootaloo, while having had to step back. Didn't realize what she did wrong to upset Fluttershy, but she felt that pinch of guilt. Just, didn't know why she was feeling it. "Y-yeah it's ok. I mean…I didn't really mean it like that"
Fluttershy was still having trouble calming down. Ugh, this is why you avoided that conversation about Starlight. And ponies dying being cool? Yeah, even if Scootaloo didn't understand that. for all intents and purposes, those two "stallions" actually "died".... Making light of it would definitely flip out poor Fluttershy. You look back at Scootaloo and tilt your head in rapid succession, motioning her to come give Fluttershy a hug.
Scootaloo, already feeling more and more guilty over Fluttershy, figures out what you mean, and walks on over, and joins in the hug. "I'm reeeaallly sorry Fluttershy."
Then she thinks about it right there in a split second. Diamond Tiara was her and her friend's own villain. Heck, they remembered when they tried to do in Babs Seed. She realized her mistake with that too. Yeah, maybe somebody getting eaten wasn't as cool as it sounded, even if they were bad. " I think I realized what you mean. Those ponies didn't deserve that. They should have been captured and brought to justice… Then maybe, they would have learned their lessons. That's the right way things should be done, right?...Fluttershy, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry..."
Fluttershy snuggled into the both of you until she herself began to calm down "I-it's ok Scootaloo, A-and I'm glad you understand what I w-was talking about. B-but, I'm still..I sorry… I really had no right to snap… l-l-like that"
Mental note, death and destruction makes Fluttershy sad, thinking it's cool or right will make her cry. Then again, you should already know this. Considering her reaction to when she thought Angel died in "Castle-Mania"
This went on for a little while longer. Until Fluttershy finally calmed herself. with apologies all around.
You both ask her if she's ok. "I'm alright, I… well… I just. I'm a little extra sensitive to those kinds of things. And I'm sorry that you both had to see me like that. I must look like a really big baby.”
Fearing Scootaloo might still say something insensitive, you immediately open your mouth to disagree with Fluttershy. "No Aunt Fluttershy, I think you're fine. I mean… that's how we even ended up going to Rainbow Dash's right? I did cry at pretty much the same thing…”
"But Anon… I'm much older than you. I should have a better stomach for these things. Some ponies tell me I need to toughen up. And I try. I've done better at being assertive I think… but I never want to overdo it, I don't want to turn cold and mean just so I'd never cry at times like these… but ponies being eaten..being gone forever? I guess what Scootaloo said… I thought about… what if you were gone… and… and" She started to tear up again.
Yeah, no. That'd do it. You thought she was being maybe a tad over sensitive after a while. But Fluttershy being Fluttershy. If she thought about anyone she cared about kicking the bucket. That'd definitely do it. No doubts whatsoever.
You nuzzle into her again. "It's ok Aunt Fluttershy, it's alright. I think you're fine the way you are. The way you are, the way you smile, or cry, or cuddle with me. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. And I bet your friends love you the way you are too. I mean, you're the Element of Kindness, it'd be depressing if you weren't all nice and sweet. That's who you are. You're my Aunt, and I love you. And I don't want to see you cry. Today is supposed to be a happy day. right?"
Scootaloo thinks she sees something she could add to this, and tries her very best to cheer her up "Yeah! We're going to go see your friend Rainbow Dash. And I bet she wouldn't want to see you crying like this either! I bet if she was here right now, she'd just… she'd just.."
Fucking Scootaloo… dammit. You'd finish this sentence yourself.
"She'd cry right along with you Aunt Fluttershy" You turn to Scootaloo, and gave her a dead serious face. "Right Scootaloo?"
You just wanted Fluttershy to calm down, you wanted her to be ok. You knew bringing Scootaloo was a bad idea. But not this fucking bad. But it was fine, it'd be ok. She's a kid, she probably didn't understand the concept of death.
"R-right. She'd totally cry along with you, and do everything to cheer you up too!" It worked, but slowly, Fluttershy took a few deep breaths until her sobbing had stopped. Her mane was a little messy. And that vibrant smile was gone. But, she stopped crying at least.
"I-I think I'm ok now."
You hug onto her again. "Aunt Fluttershy..." This pained you to say it, because you wanted her to be there. "Are you ok to come with us to Rainbow Dash's? I-if you want to go home, I understand."
Fluttershy immediately stood up hearing that, and brushed her mane back with her hoof. Taking another breath. She focused on trying to cheer herself up internally. "No, I won't be going home. I said I'd come to see your flight training, and that's what I'm going to do!"
"Flight training?" if ever there was a time Scootaloo was absolutely boggled, this was the time.
And holy shit… did you not need the conflict right now. Now you were just starting to feel this was all your fault. You should have just gone alone, just walked straight to Rainbow Dash's. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, you wanted to impress Fluttershy. You stupid halfwit.
"What do you mean by flight training Fluttershy? Anon can't fly. He's an earth pony" Scootaloo was thinking maybe Fluttershy was just delirious.
How to approach this? You almost felt like just being straightforward. But even with Scootaloo's fuck up. It was only because she didn't know any better. But how else were you going to explain it? It seemed just telling her was the only way.
You sigh. You open your saddle bag, and pull out the cardboard wings. "Scootaloo, see these?"
Scootaloo nodded, weirded out "Uhhhh… yeah… Anon… you know you can't fly with those things right?"
"Scootaloo, these wings were enchanted by my dad. When I put them on, they turn into Pegasus wings. And they allow me to fly."
Scootaloo was actually amazed by that "Woah really? So, if you put them on. You can fly just like a real pegasus pony?!"
You cautiously nod. "Yeah, that's about the size of it. And, that's why I wanted to see Rainbow Dash. She wanted to take me on a flight, but I wanted to see if I could cash it in as a flight lesson instead."
"Oh, that's actually!....actually.." And that's when it hit her, and her amazement turned into that of instant depression "...pretty cool… yeah. So, you're gonna go fly around with her? With Rainbow Dash?"
You cringe, ogh… why were you such a sucker for cute girl face? Hopefully bugshit never figures out any of your soft spots. "Y-yeah. And learn to fly.."
"From Rainbow Dash… with your wings..."
Scootaloo looked down, she felt utterly crushed. That you. a pony that didn't even seem impressed with Rainbow Dash. Was now going to go flying with her, with wings of your own… with wings that let you fly. "O-oh… I..mnn.. I think I should head back. I just remembered. I think I was needed back on the farm for extra work."
Scootaloo then looks to Fluttershy "And Fluttershy, I… I really am sorry about before. And… I'm… I'm just going to go now."
"It's ok Scootaloo, really. But. are you really leaving? I thought you really wanted to see Rainbow Dash today? I wouldn't mind telling Applejack that I was taking up some of your time. I'm sure it'll be ok then"
Now Scootaloo felt real bad. She didn't want her lie to have a possibility of being found out. To know how utterly crushed she actually felt. She wanted to leave as soon as possible. "No, it's ok. I really just need to go back. You two take care. And say hi to Rainbow Dash for me..."
"Oh… mmnn..if you really gotta go… Goodbye Scootaloo, and I will definitely tell her you said hi" Fluttershy gave Scootaloo a smile, but it wasn't returned in kind. Fluttershy was starting to pick up something was amiss. But didn't know what.
Scootaloo turned around, and didn't even really give you a goodbye like she did Fluttershy. No, you saw a tear or two leak from her eye as she turned and walked off. Was this worth it Anon? Should you really feel bad for her?
Dammit, you did. She really was Rainbow Dash's biggest fan. And now she had to see that some earth pony that had just waltz in onto her group was going to actually fly and learn from her idol. You felt this wasn't your fault. But you blamed yourself just the same. But you didn't want to let Fluttershy know what was actually going on. God help you if she was still in some oversensitive state.
"Aunt Fluttershy, I'm gonna go back for Scootaloo. I uhhh… I feel sorta bad she has to work on the farm. I mean, she made a deal with Applejack and all to work on the farm regardless if I got my Cutie Mark or not. And everypony else went through so much trouble and I'm still a blank flank. I bet she could really use some pepping up from her hero right now."
"Oh… Anon.." Fluttershy came up to you and gave you a kiss on the forehead "You're so sweet, you know that?"
Yeah, a real bang up guy.
"Well, in that case. I'll fly ahead and make sure Rainbow Dash doesn't fly off anywhere. I'll let her know you'll both be right along. Ok?"
Yeah, that was a good idea. "Ok, I'll meet you at Rainbow Dash's house then. Seeya in a bit Aunt Fluttershy"
You gave her a false smile. Which she accepts as a real one. You both nuzzle each other, and she flies off ahead as you head off in the opposite direction.
Why did you feel bad? Yeah, five years of watching pony mixed with getting to know your comrades better would have something to do with it. Empathy sucked sometimes. You even wondered if you'd actually feel bad for Chrysalis if she gave you some sob story and it turned out to be true. Or maybe not. Yeah, fuck empathy when it came to her.
And even though you tell yourself that empathy sucks. You rush over to Scootaloo just the same to fix everything.