Let’s see. Shutters closed? Check. Door locked and bolted? Check. Angel’s asleep? Check. Ah. Everything is finally perfect.
Fluttershy smiled in satisfaction as she surveyed the inside of her cottage. Finally, after hours of careful preparation, planning, and hasty excuses, she was alone. Alone, for an entire day, with absolutely no responsibilities or obligations. Free to do whatever she pleased, without any interruptions. Today was her day, and she intended to make the most of it.
The pegasus hummed happily to herself as she made her way upstairs to the bedroom, bouncing slightly along the aged hardwood steps. She reached the top, and after double-checking that Angel Bunny was truly sound asleep, opened the door and locked it behind her.
The bedroom was simple enough, just a dresser, a desk, and a neatly-made twin-sized bed tucked underneath a pair of circular windows. Fluttershy quickly drew the curtains over both of the portals, fighting back a small pang of guilt as she did so. She knew that the activity she had planned was nothing to be ashamed of, but that didn’t stop her from feeling just a little... dirty after she had finished. Oh, come on, Fluttershy, she chided herself. Lots of ponies do it. Why should you be any different? That much was true, at least. Fluttershy knew for a fact that Twilight Sparkle shared her fondness for her secret pastime, although she was much less experienced at it than the yellow pegasus.
Oh, yes, Twilight... Fluttershy thought, eyes temporarily glazing over. I’m sure she wouldn’t judge me if she found out. I wonder if I should invite her over next time. We could share techniques, or practice, or maybe even... play together. The pegasus repressed a delighted shudder.
Fluttershy blinked, her guilt now completely assuaged in favor of other, stronger emotions. Besides, she thought. Today was her day, and what fun was having all that time to yourself if you couldn't... indulge a little?
Humming another upbeat tune, Fluttershy trotted over to the one item that seemed blatantly out of place amidst the rustic, wooden aesthetic of the bedroom: a gleaming, top-of-the-line Equestrian Softworks computer tower and monitor, perched on her desk like a pair of exotic, silver-carapaced insects. Fluttershy had purchased the devices around two months earlier, hastily citing something about “animal records” when questioned by her friends. If they had known the true motive behind the acquisition... Fluttershy smiled guiltily. Well, what they don’t know won’t hurt them.
After double-checking that she was truly alone one last time, Fluttershy settled into the desk’s hardwood chair and daintily pressed the computer’s ON button.
There was a rush of air as the tower’s fans roared to life, throwing Fluttershy’s mane into a pink, silky tangle. The red LEDs on the side of the case began to glow one by one, bathing the bedroom in a flickering crimson light.
Fluttershy rotated her wings in their sockets, barely repressing a squeal of ecstasy as she felt the joints crack and pop. The appendages would need to be as limber as possible, what with all the... activity they would soon be getting. Unicorns might have magic, but sometimes, you just need the touch of a real pony, Fluttershy thought, smiling. Although I’m sure Twilight makes due nicely... The pegasus shook her head. Come on, Fluttershy, she scolded. You can ask Twilight about her tactile preferences later. For now, focus on the task at hoof.
Using the custom-made PegASSIST keyboard and mouse set beneath the monitor, Fluttershy quickly logged herself in to Zapple OS 10. With another well-practiced burst of keystrokes from her wingtips, she navigated the system’s browser to her desired destination. It’s been too long since I’ve gotten to have some real fun. Well, this time, nothing’s going to stop me from going until I pass out from exhaustion. She smiled. If only Twilight could see her now!
But first, some mood music. After all, what’s the point in rushing it when I have all day? Giggling to herself, the pegasus pulled up the Zapple Mytunes Audio Player, donning a pair of headphones as the program opened. She perused the tracklist for several minutes, finally settling on an old favorite. After a final, furtive glance around the deserted bedroom, Fluttershy ruffled her wings, leaned back in her chair, and clicked ‘Play’.
As soon the first strains of the music reached her ears, Fluttershy began to feel that familiar urge welling up inside her again, that pool of desire that she had kept secret and controlled for oh so many months. But now, with the remaining day stretching open and unoccupied, she was ready to run that well dry.
This time, there would be no interruptions, no awkward encounters and last minute cover-ups. No. This time, this day...
This day was hers.
The Legends of Equestria game login window flickered to life, and Fluttershy grinned, humming along to the music pounding through her headphones.
“Time to dunk some noobs.”
The next eight hours were a flurry of keystrokes, clicking, and the occasional cry of “Oh buck yeah!” Fluttershy was at the top of her game, dominating both new players and veterans alike in the fast-paced virtual battlefield. As the matches went on, she began losing track of where one victory ended and the next one began. They just flowed, disrupted only by the game’s announcer’s increasingly ecstatic exclamations.
“You have slain an enemy!”
Hah. Scrub. That’s what you get for trying to turret-dive, Fluttershy thought, clicking furiously as she maneuvered her champion around the battlefield.
Oh, you brought friends? Good. I could use some more gold and XP.
“Rampage! Triple Kill!”
Hey. Let’s try not feeding me kills. Just to change it up a bit.
Are they even trying?
“TheShyOne44 is LEGENDARY!” She saw her teammates running towards the enemy’s Nexus and smiled.
Find another match, rinse, and repeat. Nothing could stop her when she was in the zone like this. The pegasus was perfectly attuned to every little nuance and quirk of game, and ready, willing and able to exploit all of them them in her favor. Celestia might have held power on the terrestrial plane, but here, in the cell-shaded arena of Summoner’s Valley, Fluttershy was a goddess unto herself.
Eight hours later
With contented sigh, Fluttershy leaned away from her keyboard, stretching her now-aching wings as she basked in the glory of her latest victory. Her mane was slick with sweat, and her flanks felt slightly numb from being pressed against the chair all day, but the pegasus couldn’t remember feeling more relaxed or elated.. Ahh. I really need to do this more often.
As she scrolled down through the after-match chat, Fluttershy gave the computer’s clock a quick glance and started in surprise. 9 PM already?! It all went so quickly... oh well. I still have time for a few more matches. Fluttershy turned her attention back to the screen, wingtips clicking across the keys as she responded in the chat to a particularly vocal, not to mention irritated, member of the enemy team. The yellow mare rolled her eyes. Honestly. I think some ponies forget that this is all just a game. Sighing to herself, Fluttershy signed out of the chat window and clicked the ‘Find Match’ button again, eager to squeeze in a few more wins before she turned in for the night.
On the other side of town, in a room not so different from Fluttershy’s own, a purple-maned unicorn screamed in frustration.
“ARE YOU BUCKING KIDDING ME?! EIGHT GAMES! EIGHT! I’VE QUEUED FOR EIGHT BUCKING MATCHES STRAIGHT, AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, IT’S THE SAME PLAYER!”
Twilight Sparkle snorted in anger, resisting the urge to telekinetically lob her mouse through the library’s nearby window. Although it would have certainly been satisfying, the unicorn doubted that her future self would be too pleased about having to pay for a replacement. She instead settled for slamming a hoof down on her desk hard enough to rattle the shutters, prompting an irritated yell from the library’s first floor.
“Jeez, Twilight! Some of us are actually trying to get some sleep, ya know!” A couple seconds later, a disgruntled-looking Spike emerged from the stairwell, pillow and blanket in tow.
“What the heck are you getting so angry over, anyway?” The baby dragon peered over her shoulder. “It’s not that dumb Legends of Equestria thing again, is it?”
Twilight rolled her eyes. “It’s not dumb. It’s a highly competitive game of reflexes and strategy, which
“Yeah, yeah.” Spike was having none of it. “The only thing it seems to emphasise is your temper. Look, if you’re gonna keep playing, could you at least try and keep it down a little bit? I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks,” he said, yawning as if to accentuate his point.
Twilight sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Spike. I shouldn’t let my own emotions get in the way of more important things. Especially when those emotions are caused by something as trivial and silly as a game.”
“You can write the letter to Princess Celestia later,” said Spike, trying and failing to suppress another gigantic yawn. “For now, let’s just get some sleep.”
Twilight nodded. “Definitely.” She turned her attention back to the monitor. “Just let me finish up this one... AGH!” She gave another yell of anger, causing Spike to jump in surprise.
“What now?” asked the dragon, frowning in annoyance.
Twilight was fuming. “It’s this player! Just... Just look at this!” She swivelled the monitor towards Spike with a flicker of magic, revealing the chat log of her most recent match.
Coruscare: OMC. noob champ so bs. nerf pls
TheShyOne44: I’m sorry. If we get matched again, I’ll play a different champion, I promise.
Coruscare: shutup newb. only reason we lost is because my team doesn’t know how to play
TheShyOne44: Oh, really? I think they did very well, actually. You did, too!
Coruscare: shutup newb
“Do you see what I have to deal with?” said Twilight, gesturing furiously at the screen. Spike frowned in confusion.
“Wait. Are you TheShyOne, or Coo... Cooroo-”
“Coruscare. It’s Old Equestrian for ‘Sparkle’. But that’s not the point! How am I supposed get angry at somepony who’s so... so nice!” Twilight finished lamely. “I can say anything to them, and they’ll just spit a compliment back in my face!”
Her answer only seemed to confuse Spike further. “And that’s a problem... why?”
“Well, it means, they’re... Oh, forget it.” The unicorn sighed in irritation. “You wouldn’t understand.”
“Maybe it’s Fluttershy,” Spike suggested, grinning. “Maybe she’s secretly, like, the best player ever, and just doesn’t tell anyone because she’s too modest? I mean, that would explain why she’s so polite.”
“Oh, sure,” replied Twilight, struggling to hide a grin of her own. “I can totally see that. Fluttershy, hunched over a keyboard, tearing it up in Summoner’s Valley while she chugs a super-size cup of Icy Dew.” She managed to keep the straight face for a couple more seconds before collapsing into giggles.
“Hey, you never know,” said Spike with a laugh. “She could just be really secretive about it.”
Twilight rolled her eyes good-naturedly. “Trust me, Spike. Fluttershy’s a lot of things: Kind, good-hearted, compassionate, sensitive... but she’s definitely not gamer material. Now, stop throwing throwing around silly conspiracy theories and let’s go to bed.” She rose from the computer, wincing as she felt the vertebrae in her back pop back into place. I have got to stop doing this so often. Tutting to herself, the unicorn trotted over to her bed and flopped down onto her pillow, flicking the lights off with her magic as she did so.
“Good night, Spike.”
A few seconds later, both dragon and pony were sound asleep.
Fluttershy yawned, stretching yet again as the computer’s glow faded from the room, returning it to a soothing darkness it hadn’t seen since the night before. The pegasus rubbed her eyes sleepily. Oh my. Maybe I did overdo it a little bit... She glanced at her bedside clock and winced. Okay, maybe more than a little. Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now. Except get some sleep, of course.
Fluttershy snuggled under the covers of her bed, savoring the warmth and comfort after a day of being glued to her chair. She closed her eyes, feeling the last remaining bits of tension melt away into the softness of her pillow. That was the most fun I’ve had in ages, she thought, smiling faintly even as she drifted off to sleep. Maybe I should invite Twilight next