To be a Brother

by SilverKaizoku

The mistake


“Take that back!”

“Make me!”

Flash groaned from behind a mountain of papers. The shouting match between his younger siblings, First Base and Scootaloo, persisted.

“What are they fighting about now?”  Pushing away from his desk, he walked out of the library.

As he made his way down the hall, he spotted Twilight, who was speaking with two other guards. Passing by them, the guards saluted him and Twilight gave a small wave, with a grin accompanying it.

Flash’s scowl briefly melted away to return them before shifting back. Opening the doors to the castle’s living room, he found the twins, butting heads and yelling.

“Take it back now, Scootaloo!” First Base growled.

“I’m only saying it cuz it’s true. You’re a liar and a jerk!” Scootaloo shot back.

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Enough!” Flash screamed, quieting both. Flash walked over to them, his gaze shifting between the two. “What is going on?! Why are you fighting?”

The two shared a look, before turning back to Flash. “Scootaloo shoved me into Princess Twilight’s photo of her friends and broken it.” First Base said, point his hoof in Scootaloo’s direction.

“What?!” Scootaloo screeched, teeth bared. “It was your fault you-"

"Quiet!" Flash interrupted her. "I've heard all I need to hear."


"I'll talk to mom and dad once I'm done with my duties here."

"I didn't-"

"Scootaloo, I expect you to behave yourself until then."

She stared at him, mouth slightly open. Her eyes fell to the floor, looking past its crystalline construction. "Uh-huh. Sure thing... bro."

With a nod, Flash walked out of the living room and back to his office.

"I don't get what's going through that filly's head sometimes. You think she'd know better by now."

Of all the things Big Mac expected to happen, finding his friend Flash Sentry - Captain of Ponyville's royal guard and personal bodyguard to Princess Twilight Sparkle - at his door was not one of them.

They weren't the best of friends, neighbors, or anything of the sort. Although Flash came to Sweet Apple Acres every now and then, it usually wasn't to visit, it was usually to drop off Scootaloo or pick up a delivery for the castle.

Yet, here he stood wearing a look of uncertainty. Mac stared at the pegasus for a few brief seconds before speaking.

“Howdy, Flash,“ he began. “Everythin’ alright?”

The smaller stallion shook his head. “Not really. Can I talk to you about something?”

The apple farmer’s eyebrow rose. Nodding, he moved aside, allowing the smaller pony entrance.  Flash removed his helmet, placing it on a nearby table before taking a seat on the couch.

“So, what did ya wanna talk about?”

Flash shifted uncomfortably in his seat before replying. “Mac, what does it mean to be an older brother?”

If Mac wasn’t taken aback by Flash’s presence, his question certainly would have done the job. Mac sat there, a hoof placed under his jaw, lost in thought. Taking a quick peek at the petite pegasus, Mac found his expression was of confusion mixed in with sadness.

Breaking the brief silence, Mac spoke. “Flash? Ah’m a tad confused. Why are yah questionin’ this?”

Flash cast his gaze downward. “Well, something happened a few days back. With First and Scoots, and it just got me thinking.”

“What happened?”

“They had gotten into a fight over something. I broke them up. First Base explained what happened and...”

“And what?” Mac pressed.

“And… I sided with him without giving Scoots a chance to explain herself.”

Mac stared at the orange pegasus, brow raised. While he could see the issue with taking sides, especially when to came to fighting siblings, this did not seem like it should have spurred such a thought

"Flash, ah don’t mean ta sound rude, but why'd that make ya wonder about yer role as a brother?”

Flash played with his hooves for a brief moment. “Because...this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I’d been taking First Base’s side a lot. I just never noticed until…”

Mac quirked a brow. “Until?”

“Scootaloo ran away from home a few days ago.”

Mac’s jaw fell open as he jumped up from his seat. “What?!”

Flash raised a hoof. “Hold on! She’s fine. She ran to Miss Cheerilee’s place.”

Mac sighed in relief. “Thank Celestia.”

“Once I found out where she was, I went to go get her, but…” Flash slumped back in his chair. “She didn’t even want to look at me.”

"Think she hates ya?”

Flash nodded somberly, ears lowering. “I asked her why and she brought up the thing with First Base and how I’ve always sided with him. The look she gave me, Mac. I… I hurt her bad.”

Mac stared at his friend, getting up from his seat, he placed a hoof on Flash’s back. Flash looked up to see Mac’s warm grin. Returning it with a weak one of his own, he spoke. “Thanks, Mac.”

Mac nodded. “So, where’s Scootaloo now?”

“At home. I let my parents know about this. So, likely they're with her right now."”

The room went silent as Mac pondered his next question. After a few seconds of thought, Mac spoke. “How are ya doin’ after all this, Flash?”

“Horrible,” Flash replied bitterly. “My little sister ran away from home because of me, Mac. Because I didn’t give her the benefit of the doubt. I’m an awful older brother.”

Mac shook his head. “No ya aint, Flash.  An awful brother wouldn’t have searched all of Ponyville for the siblin’.”

“But, she wouldn’t run away in the first place if-”

Mac put both hooves on Flash’s shoulders. “Partner, look. Ya can’t beat yerself up over this. If ya really wanna patch things up with Scootaloo, then talk to her.”

“She won't even talk to me.” Flash pulled away from Mac, facing the window. “ I went to check on her today and she didn’t look me in the eye.”

Mac cupped his chin, thinking hard. Seconds past before an idea sprouted in his mind. “Flash?”

He turned to face Mac. “Yeah?”

“Earlier, ya asked me what it means tah be an older brother? Well, Ah got one.”

Flash blinked. ”Okay. What is it?”

"Plannin', protectin', and makin' time.”

Flash stared blankly at Mac, head tilted. “Um… what?”

“Thinkin’ on how yer actions affect ‘em, guardin’ ‘em from problems like bullies, and bein' ready to help 'em when they ask. Don't matter if it's chores or bein' a shoulder for some cryin', ya always gotta be ready.”

Flash placed a hoof under his chin, absorbing Mac’s words. He shifted his gaze back to the window. He spotted Apple Bloom playing with their family dog, Winona. Not too far from her was Applejack, hard at work on the farm. Mac slowly approached Flash.

“Ah’d do everythin’ in mah power tah keep Bloom and AJ safe. Ya get me?” Mac exhaled softly, his lips curling into a smile. “It’s mah job too. Even if they don’t need it, Ah’ll always watch over em. It’s why older brothers are born first. To protect the ones that come after ya. Y’know?”

Flash remained quiet, lost in his own thoughts. He shifted his gaze back to the window to find Applejack had joined Apple Bloom and Winona. A smile slowly crept across his lips.

“Yeah. I do. Thanks, Mac.”

“Not a probably, partner,” Mac grinned. “What're ya gonna do now?”

“Pay Scoots a visit and try to fix things,” Flash answered, trotting to the door. As he placed a hoof on the knob, he turned back to Mac. “Thanks again, Mac. I’m glad I came to you for this. You’re kinda like the older brother I never had.”

The compliment caused Mac’s cheeks to flush a light shade of pink. “Err, uh… D-don’t mention it, partner.”

Chuckling, Flash opened the door and walked out. Mac breathed a sigh of relief. Taking a glance out the window, he spotted Flash exiting the farm, waving to Applejack and Applebloom.

Grinning, he chuckled to himself. “Yer gonna be fine, Flash.”

Flash took a deep breath as he knocked on the door of his parent’s home. After a few seconds passed, the door opened, revealing an orange earth pony. “Hm? Oh, Flash!”

“Hey dad,” he greeted, giving his dad a hug. “Is Scoots here?”

Landslide nodded. “Yup, She’s in her room.”

“Good. I’m gonna go talk to her.”

“Okay, buddy. If you need anything, just shout.”

Flash gave a nod before disappearing up the stairs. Once at the top, he trotted down the hall until he came upon a door with a pink shield and below it, a baseball bat.

Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door. It was opened by a dark orange earth pony colt. Upon seeing Flash, the colt’s eyes lit up as he tackled the pegasus into a hug. Flash stumbled back slightly as he caught the energetic colt.

“Flash!” the colt yelled excitedly.

“Hey, First Base.” Flash coughed out a chuckle, ruffling his dark blue mane. Taking a peek inside, he found Scootaloo laying on her bed, face scrunched up into a scowl.

Flash’s heart sunk. Putting First Base back on the ground, he spoke. “Hey, lil bro? Can I have a moment alone with Scootaloo?”

First Base cocked his head to the right. “Okay, I guess. Is something wrong?”

Flash shook his head. “Nah. I just need to talk with her is all.”

First Base’s brows lower for a moment before shrugging it off and walking down the steps. Flash stuck his head into the room. “Scootaloo?”

She didn’t answer, turning away from him. Flash grimaced. Should have expected as much.

“Do you mind if I come in?”

She shrugged. Flash sighed calmly, walking into the room and taking a seat next to her.

“Hey,” he began. “Scoots, I want to apologize for what happened a few days ago. I should have given you a chance to explain yourself before siding with First.”

Scootaloo gave no reply, her scowl remained.

Flash bit down on his bottom. “Scoots, please. I really want to make this up to you.”

Scootaloo remained silent. Sighing, Flash stood up. “Okay. I get it. I’ll leave.” As he made his way to the door, Flash looked over his shoulder. “If you want to talk, I’ll be at the castle.”

As he opened the door, Scootaloo mumbled something. Flash turned back to her. “What?”

“I said why should I believe you?”

“Because I messed up big and want to fix things.”

“Why?” she replied coldly, “So you can feel better?”

Flash shook his head. “No. So, you can,” Trotting back, he knelt in front of her. “What I did wasn’t fair to you and I don’t want you to think that I’ll always play favorites.”

Scootaloo looked up to face him. Looking into his eyes, she could see the regret of his past action and sincerity in his words.

“I love you, sis and I promise I won’t ever do anything like that again.” Flash gave her a weak grin as he held open his forehooves. Scootaloo hastily brushed some tears away before hugging him.

The two stayed there for a few seconds before Scootaloo broke the hug. Flash ruffled her mane up and then stood back up. “So, how about you, me and First go get some ice cream?”

Scootaloo’s eyes lit up at this. “I’d love too! But, I can’t.”

“Why not?” Flash asked.

“Well, mom and dad weren't happy that I ran away, so… I’m grounded for a week.”

Flash winced upon hearing this. “Ouch. Sorry, squirt.”

Scootaloo shrugged, picking up a comic book. “Eh. It’s only a week, I’ll live.”

“Still, I’ll see if I can’t talk to mom and dad to reduce your sentence some. It was my fault, after all.”

Scootaloo folded her arms, lost in thought. “Yeah. It was, huh? Maybe you’re the one who should get grounded?”

A low chuckled flew from Flash’s jaw. “Sorry, sis. I’m a bit too old for that.”

Scootaloo giggled. “Worth a shot.”