Fluttershy could see you sweating. But she didn't know why. Her reasoning was that you were still scared of Twilight. She also didn't like the fact Twilight seemed all up on your face. "Twilight....how do you even know it's our Anon? Why would Discord do such a thing? Why Starlight? Even for him, it doesn't make any sense. Plus, I've told Anon about Starlight. I think he would have told me if he ever ran into her. And then there's the fact that Discord isn't mentioned anywhere in the letter at all. Meaning she would have only have met Anon...and come on Twilight. Even you have to admit she has no actual reason to talk to Anon. And furthermore, somepony would have noticed if he was ever in danger. What proof do you even have to go accusing Anon like that?" Fluttershy stares right into Twilight's eyes. a motherly stare that bordered on protective anger.
"I...uhm...mnnn. I don't have any evidence actually. I just saw the letter and assumed it had to be him. It just seemed too coincidental. He's the only colt named Anon that we know of. That's not even a normal name. If not him, then who?"
"Well, I think you owe somepony an apology. ESPECIALLY after what you did before. Twilight, i know you have good intentions. But lately it seems like you have it out for Anon. First accusing him of being the changeling queen, and now this? And without any actual evidence either....for shame Twilight...for shame.."
Twilight's ears drooped. and she cringed hard. After hearing it said out loud. She felt absolutely terrible "Y-you're right Fluttershy, I haven't been a very good Princess of Friendship lately. With everything going on, and even the changelings trying to frame Anon and Discord. Well...maybe I just got too suspicious with all the coincidences.I'll have to look into this myself then, to make sure nothing sinister is afoot...."
Oh shiiit. That's not a good outcome either. Starlight was still obviously angry at Twilight. Or at least did not want anything to do with her. For her to suddenly just show up, suspicious of her? No, that would cause a problem.
Twilight turns to you, she took a heavy breath. Took in her own faults. and looked you straight in the eye "Anon, I'd like to apologize to you. Not just for accusing you of this. But for the way I've treated you since I've met you. I'm really sorry"
You cringe, and hesitate. ugh...the secret was already out of the bag. If you sat back and did nothing. Something bad could happen.
"....erm, you may want to hold that apology Twilight"
"O-oh I...ok" Now she felt extremely terrible
You look down, yeah...this was for the best.
"I...am the Anon in that letter"
They both gasp, full surprise that you admitted it. But of course, neither of them knew why or how.
"I Knew it! I knew it was you. and....wait...ahrm" Twilight still realized that she may have been being too much of an ass, and that this might not even be your fault. "A-anon..look. You're not in trouble. I promise not to hurt you. I just want to know why your father put you up to this. What is he up to? He should realize that this isn't a game. And I need you to do the right thing. I think in the end I could help Starlight if she's willing to listen. But if she's being ma-"
You put your hoof up, to signify to stop talking.
"You can stop right there Twilight..." You sigh again "Dad has nothing to do with this."
"Anon....look, you don't need to protect him on this. Whatever he's doing. It's wrong." Twilight tried to convince you
"I promise you, he has nothing to do with it.” You then look towards Fluttershy with a pout “Aunt Fluttershy, you believe me right?"
you just needed someone to believe you. You had to defuse this situation somehow.
Fluttershy looks directly into your eyes, and doesn't hesitate to nod "Of course I do Anon, it was very brave to even admit that it was you in the letter....considering" Fluttershy then eyes Twilight, a little more angrily this time "Somepony would make it a very scary thing to tell the truth"
"Fluttershy..I..." But Twilight couldn't think of anything else to say.
"Twilight, like I said. I understand that your days have been very stressful lately. Having to meet with the other princesses, having to make sure all the changelings were sealed, and having to look through all that evidence and trying to figure out what they were planning must be very exhausting. But Anon shouldn't have to suffer for it. He's a gentle and loving little colt. Now please...talk to him as if he's a friend, and not a criminal. And I'm sure he'll become more comfortable with you. I know this is very important, but I will..I....I..will...erm..." Fluttershy didn't want to be too harsh. But she couldn't let Twilight walk all over you. "...I will ask you to leave."
"I understand, I'm sorry Fluttershy. And Anon,again. I'm very sorry. I can understand if you don't want to answer my questions. but please understand, it's very important. How did you even meet her? That's what gets me the most."
You didn't want to not answer her questions. You also didn't want her to just go confront Starlight. No...in fact...If she did go, you had to make sure you went with her. You didn't even want to imagine what would happen if some cartoonish misunderstanding happened where Starlight thought the town was suddenly against her due to sending Twilight a letter. Man...that thought just hit your head and that seemed the most obvious conclusion to this dilemma.
"I'll answer it. You remember the party Pinkie threw for me right?"
"vaaaggueellyyyy...I was um. Sort of..well you know" Twilight gulped, remembering her state of perpetual guilt.
"Yeah, well after it. Starlight sort of..." You had to be careful with your words. "found me and led me into the cave she was hiding in the Everfree forest"
"O-oh my..a cave in the Everfree forest?" Fluttershy stuttered "That's dangerous.."
"Well, yeah but. She had a barrier to keep the forest animals out. She wanted to talk to me about the horn I have."
"...the horn?" Twilight gets suspicious "This wouldn't be the same horn I told your father to weaken, would it?"
You nod "Yeah, but at that point it was. But she thought it wasn't. She managed to figure out who caused the random shifting of the sun and moon and wanted to ask about how I did it and stuff."
Fluttershy was believing every word you said. even if it was mostly half truths. "Well...that doesn't seem so bad."
"Yeah, but. Things happened and-"
"What kinds of things?" Twilight interjects, becoming for inquisitive and suspicious
"Well....the barrier she had just happened to break. and some timberwolves came in and she couldn't stop them. So, using my magical map and a puddle. I saved the day by teleporting her and myself back to my house."
"Wow, that's amazing! I'm proud of you Anon, selflessly helping ponies like that is a very heroic thing to do.....just please don't get into those situations often please...and..Oh no..She didn’t hurt you did she?! Please tell me she didn’t..." Fluttershy said, the situation was so off to her she had nearly forgotten Starlight’s mean streak.
“She didn’t, it wasn’t really that bad a conversation actually. Until..y’know...Timberwolves.” You say, wanting to calm her nerves.
"Wait hold on, why did her barrier suddenly just break? Was there an actual reason?" Twilight asked
"I don't think that's important. Look, I just want to say this. I spent the entire night with her, and I even took her back to the town. She was hurting Twilight. Real bad. Relatively speaking, friendship pretty much stabbed her in the back. And that's why she was doing the things she was. She wanted to make Equestria safe and equal for everypony so they wouldn't have to suffer. And before you interrupt me, yes, I already know the way she was doing it was wrong. I managed to get her going down the right path. And since that letter doesn't seem to mention anything bad. I think she's still on the right track. Can't we drop this? please?"
"Wait...Anon. Does that mean, you weren't actually sick? But, then why did your father lie to me? Why didn't you at least tell me?" Fluttershy felt hurt that you wouldn't at least tell her the truth about when you were “sick”
You sigh...you didn't mean to upset her "I didn't want you to worry. And Starlight, well. She's still kind of upset about a few things that happened,namely with Twilight. So I kept her secret. Dad found out afterwards, and I managed to convince him to keep it a secret too. None of us wanted to see you hurt or worried Aunt Fluttershy."
"Oh...I g-guess that's ok...sort of. If she asked you to keep things a secret..Even though..erm...nevermind" Fluttershy looked like she was struggling. She wanted to stay on your side this time. But she mentally couldn’t believe that Starlight seemed so docile towards you, and yet. She remembered Starlight having some sense of care, albeit twisted, for those who followed her.
"Why would she need to keep things a secret though?" Twilight asks, finding the whole thing suspicious "Look, I trust you Anon. But Starlight has had practice manipulating ponies before. If she's really turned herself around, then I at least have to see for myself. It's not just because I want to check on her, but there are other ponies that could be suffering right now because she might have fooled you."
You couldn't figure out in your head if that was reasonable or just made her an asshole. Either way, you weren't just going to let her go see Starlight by herself.
"Fine, if you have to by duty. Then I understand. But I'm going with you"
"Anon wait.." Fluttershy chimes in, not liking that at all. "What about school? Don't you think you shouldn't miss anymore days? I can go with Twilight if you want. I'd actually like to see Starlight again, she didn't seem too bad" Fluttershy was making excuses with that one. She didn’t want you to be caught in anything dangerous if something did go wrong.
"Actually Fluttershy, I'd like to go this one alone. I need the rest of you here in case anything happens to me. That way, in case I'm gone for too long. You all can rally the rest of Equestria to come and help the town" Twilight seemed ready for battle. Geez, top notch work there Twi.
"Woah wait. You can't just do that. I'm her friend, I need to be there in case you screw something up. Yeah I said it. Because I know you will!" Nah, fuck that shit. You couldn't let her go alone.
"Anon...." Twilight puts her hoof to her forehead to take a breath and calm down. "Look, I believe what you had to say. So if Starlight has nothing to hide. Then everything will go well and there won't be anything to worry about."
You let out a patronizing chuckle "oh ho ho no no no."
You shake your hoof at her, in a "no" fashion. "I already know what happens when you go to do something by yourself. And just because you trust me doesn't mean I can trust you. Since you know, you tried to SEAL ME over a hunch! And I just happen to know that's not the first time that kind of thing has happened. I know stuff like the "Want it,need it" spell nearly destroying the whole town, the near war you all had with the yaks, oh, I even know when you used magic as a solution against vampire fruitbats, a solution that nearly turned my aunt into a permanent vampony! You couldn't even make amends with an old friend of yours, Moondancer, without calling in Pinkie for help which, surprise surprise, Pinkie had kept up her friendship with friends you had forgotten to make it all work. But hey, you managed to uncover the changeling queen and save Cadance during the whole wedding thing. Huh? There’s that I guess, compared to everything else"
Twilight cringed harder than she ever cringed before. It was like she never realized she fucked up that badly before. "....I...umm...I"
You could feel the tension in your nerves. You felt good, it felt good to finally tell the purple pony that she was a gigantic near world ending fuck up.
"Anon...how do you even know about all of that?" Twilight asked, she was again suspicious. But also emotionally devastated. Nobody had ever pointed out those things to her in such a way.
"How do you think? Dad told me. So yeah, You're not going alone. You either take me w-....."
You shift your eyes slightly, and look at Fluttershy. She was shaking. and muttering the words "please stop" over and over in a really low voice.
"Aunt Fluttershy? A-are you ok?"
Shit, you nearly forgot she was standing there. She looked like she was going to burst into tears.
"No...I don't like this. I don't like the fighting...I need a moment...I need...T-twilight..c-can you please step out..please...just for a moment?" Fluttershy was shaking, she had never seen you like this. And she couldn't fathom why Twilight was being like this towards you either, unwilling to compromise or even actually believe you. She said she believed you, but Fluttershy felt it wasn't entirely the truth. And she shuddered to think something sinister was going on.
"Fluttershy, I'm not go-" But Twilight is interrupted
"PLEASE!" Fluttershy lets out, her tears finally starting to flow.
"E-er...ok..." Twilight was now especially worried. But she could tell she was making it worse by sticking around. She couldn't figure out what set Fluttershy off. "mnnn."
Twilight went and stepped outside, glancing at you before doing so. She didn't like the turn this conversation took. She only wanted to check how things were at the town. At least that's how she thought of it. She didn't know why you exploded at her that hard. And what's worse, she was thinking of all the times she fucked up that badly. She was internally trying to balance it out with all the good she has done. But it was difficult. Surely it just sounded worse than it was...right?
Fluttershy slowly turned her head towards you, devastated. "A-anon....I'm not mad at you"
......goddammit....you completely forgot exploding like that in front of her would upset her.
"Aunt Fluttershy...I'm sorry I-"
"Don't be...I understand why you're upset. When I think about it. Twilight hasn't really been treating you right at all. It's very strange t-to me....but...at the same time Anon....don't you think that was a little....extreme?"
You grit your teeth a little. No..it wasn't...but
"Aunt Fluttershy...I. Just lost my temper.look, Starlight and I became friends. But she doesn't want to deal with well...Twilight..and you..and everypony else; But especially Twilight. Starlight had been spying on you guys for a while apparently. And she feels Twilight would be a suspicious snoop and ruin everything. And lo and behold, that's exactly what's happening. Come on Aunt Fluttershy, she nearly sealed me forever. She can’t handle this"
Fluttershy quivered at that. Now she felt bad due to her indecisiveness and worry "S-sorry...."
.....dammit. Now would have been a perfect time to be mary sue levels of perfect right now. Because if this was anyone else. then fuck, they'd probably be on your side completely. You loved the girl but damn, sometimes she's too sensitive.
You sigh. There had to be a way to do this without upsetting her.
"Aunt Fluttershy, all I'm saying is that I need a little support. Think about it. Just think. If Twilight goes alone, and I'm right, then we're gonna have one doozy of a battle in which really, nopony is going to win. Come onnnnnn. Think about it, don't you think it's a little weird she even became a princess by solving a spell that she herself invoked and nearly doomed you all with incorrect cutie marks?"
"Y-you know about that too?"
You nod "Yes....look, I'm not asking you to do anything bad. But Twilight doesn't seem to want to listen to me. She probably still thinks that despite all that, that she still should go alone. She probably thinks going alone would prove something now that I brought all this up. Please, just back me up in going. Please” You just needed her on your side. At least this once. You were scared she’d somehow side with Twilight. But goddammit, at this point, you were more her child than Twilight could ever be her sister….That’s how you felt anyway.
"mmnnnn...." Fluttershy began to stroke strands of her mane nervously. "....ok...but...I think I should go too...just in case."
"Aunt Fluttershy, I don't think that's a good idea. I want to show Twilight that everything is fine. And if you want to go, then probably everypony will want to. And that would just make things worse. Please...I'm asking you. Please, let me do this. And back me up. You know I'm right, right?"
Fluttershy didn't respond at first. She was having a hard time processing all this. She had been Twilight's friend longer than she has been your Aunt. But, she felt maternal instincts nagging at her. And considering how Twilight nearly sent you away. And how much sense you were making. She finally conceded, if only to get things to stop.
"...ok....I'll" She took a deep breath and wiped her tears away "I'll be behind you all the way....but Anon, can you please promise me one thing?"
Finally, she was jumping to the side of sense.
"...I don't want you or Twilight fighting. or arguing...or making mean remarks...sometimes she can be a little snarky, so erm..ignore that. But please, if you could do that. It'll make me very happy. Also...promise me you'll be careful...in fact..." Fluttershy leaves for a moment, and fills a flask with water and puts it on the table. "if...for any reason....I'm not saying Starlight still being evil or anything....but if something happens...you go straight home ok?" I know how your map works, so this should do"
"mnnn...I promise. But what IF something happens? What about Twilight?"
"If you couldn't escape with her, then we'd have to rescue her. and by we, I mean Rainbow Dash,Applejack,Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and myself. Plus the other princesses if we had to. But not you, I wouldn't want you to get hurt. But...none of this should happen because you said Starlight is your friend. But you never know, it's just a "just in case". Now Anon, I'm going to ask you one more thing. You don't need to do it if you don't want to...I know how upset you are, and you might not want anypony invading your personal space but....can I get a hug? So I know you're ok? Please?"
of course. No matter what, you'd never deny her a hug.
You embrace Fluttershy in a gentle hug. She cuddles you close, and you could feel the tears that soaked her coat, poor thing.
"Anon, You're a good colt. I trust you, I know you know what you're doing. A-and you know what?"
after the hug, Fluttershy sits up straight and gives you a militaristic stare. She summoned up all the courage and good will she could muster for this one moment. "If Twilight makes you upset, and I find out. I'll make sure to give her a stern talking to. You're my nephew, I accepted you into my family, and I won't let anypony...not even Twilight...hurt you."
You felt both a sting and warmth in your heart....oh Fluttershy...
"Thank you Aunt Fluttershy"
with that, Fluttershy let out a heavy sigh, as if she really had put all her energy into that, and took a moment before calling for Twilight to come back in.
"Twilight...you can come in now."
But there was no answer....
You try calling to her, as your voice is louder.
....she didn't...She wouldn't...
You and Fluttershy go to the door and open it.
"She left....SHE LEFT?!" GODDAMMIT
"......" Fluttershy made a gentle soft growl. She was not happy.
You look over to her, and notice she was making a menacing stare.
"ooooooohhhhhh, how could she just do that! I told her to wait! not leave! Ohhhhh! I'm so angry right now..I could...I could!"
Fluttershy flips over a pebble "There...now I'm slightly less angry. But I'm still angry. Anon..."
Fluttershy lowers herself and spreads her wings "Hop on, I'll fly you straight to the Train station!"
Goddammit, Godfuckingdammit. Why in the fuck would she do this?
You hop onto Fluttershy and grasp onto her.
"Hang on Anon, because here.....we....GO!"
Fluttershy hops up in the air, and flaps her wings as hard as she could......but she's not moving very fast...or high....and she was struggling.
Fluttershy had her eyes closed as she struggled hard. only making a few feet thus far. "N-not now Anon...we've got to get there in tiiiiimmmmmeeennggrrr!"
"Aunt Fluttershy...ummm...we're not really moving very fast..."
"We're not?...huh?" Fluttershy looks down, and then back........she was above her little bridge. the cottage not far behind. ".......I thought we were moving faster than erm...Rainbow Dash."
You move your head to see what could be making her that slow...and you think it was you. The way you were riding her wasn't allowing her wings to flap properly. You tried adjusting yourself, trying to sit on her like a human...but you couldn't quite balance yourself.
"We're not....Aunt Fluttershy can you land?"
"B-but...we have to hurry!"
"I know...but we're not going to do it this way. I got an idea though."
You hop off of her and sift through your bag for your horn....ugh...what a waste of a charge. Fuck you Twilight.
"I'll use my horn to catch up with her. It shouldn't be too much of a problem."
"Will it really work? I thought your father weakened it."
"He....did...but...erm...it should have enough juice to get me to where I need to go instantly. I can catch up with her with this."
"I hope so....Anon, good luck...but. Please, remember what I said. But also...mnnnnn...she shouldn't have run off like that. I...well...Anon, you know what you're doing right? You really think there's no danger in this at all?"
Again, she wanted to make absolutely sure before letting you off. It was almost baffling now that you thought about it. She was asking you, a “child”, if it was dangerous. You must have been fucking convincing. Or Twilight really did fuck up that hard by running off like that. Or both.
You nod "Yes, Starlight is my friend. And I really don't think she's going to hurt me or anypony else."
"Ok....then you go catch up with Twilight and you let her know that. But again...remember what I said."
"I know, I promise. But I'm not just going to let her walk all over my opinions. ok?"
"...ok...just...don't be too harsh"
You sigh and nod as you slap on the horn. "I'll try. I promise, for you, Aunt Fluttershy."
She gives you one last hug as you focus the magic on the horn.
...man, you hoped using today's charge on just catching up with Twilight didn't bite you in the ass.