Double Date

by SilverKaizoku


The Chapter

Big Macintosh leaned against a wall, watching as his fellow students go about their day, conversing about the various plans for the weekend or laughing at jokes he couldn’t hear.

Setting his gaze on a nearby poster, he let out an exhausted sigh. Moments later, he pushed himself off the wall, striding down the halls of CHS. When he reached the track field, he saw Rainbow Dash running laps and another student, Soarin, bouncing a soccer ball on his foot.

As Rainbow made her third lap she slowed down upon spotting him. “Hey. Sup Mac?”

“Howdy,” he said with a wave.

Soarin, noticing Rainbow had stopped, jogged over to her. Spotting Big Macintosh, he greeted the senior with an energetic wave.

“Sup, Biggie Mac?”

Mac rolled his eyes at the latter’s greeting. “Soarin, Ah’ve asked ya a million times not ta call me that.”

“My bad, dude,” Soarin chuckled. “Anyways, what’s up? Need something?”

“Yeah,” Mac scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Well, y’all know about that travelin’ carnival?”

“Heck yeah!” Rainbow shouted, jumping in his face. “They got that super rad roller coaster that goes super fast. It’s so awesome!”

“I heard the food there is rad as heck!” Soarin added a small line of drool dripped from his mouth. “Man, I wish we could go.”

“Same here,” Rainbow sighed, as she slumped over and took a seat on the grass.

Mac cocked a brow. “Why can’t y’all go?”

“Well, Spitfire put us on training newbies and clean up after an… um, incident in the locker room.” Soarin explained, cheeks slightly flushed.

“An incident?” Mac asked, crossing his arms.

Soarin chuckled awkwardly, cheeks growing darker as Rainbow looked away, also flustered. Big Macintosh blinked, head bent to the side as the two awkwardly fidgeted about. The air quickly became heavy with tension as neither soccer player spoke.

Looking back and forth between them, Macintosh opened his mouth to speak before closing it.

“So…” Rainbow began, her cheeks returning to their normal color. “Why did you ask about the Carnival?”

“Well, Ah was plannin’ on askin’ Fluttershy tonight, but… Ah don’t really know that much about her. So, Ah thought about invitin’ you two tah kinda serve as back-up.”

“Oh, I get ya,” Soarin nodded. “You needed us to be your wingmen, right?”

Macintosh nodded.  “But, with y’all not bein’ able tah go, that plan got shot down.”

“Sorry, Mac,” Rainbow apologized, rubbing her back of her head. Macintosh gritted his teeth as he let out a small groan. Thanking them he turned to leave, only stopping when Soarin spoke up.

“Hold on a sec,” he began. “What about Flash? He knows a lot about Shy, too.”

“Yeah!” Rainbow nodded in agreement. “That dork is always looking to help people out!”

Mac stopped in his tracks, quickly turning back to them. “Ya think so?”

“I know so,” Rainbow stated confidently, flexing her bicep.

“Know where Ah can find ‘im?”

“He’s probably still eating lunch,” Soarin said, rolling his soccer ball along the ground.

Hearing this, a smile spread across the farmer’s lips. Running back to the door, Mac stepped in. However, before leaving he peaked out one final time.

“Thanks, y’all.”

Rainbow shrugged. ”Eh, don’t mention it. Just show Fluttershy a good time.”

“Good luck, dude!” Soarin added. Beaming with confidence, Mac made a beeline for the cafeteria.
~~~
As Macintosh entered the cafeteria, he scanned the tables until his gaze fell upon a familiar black hoodie and blue hair. Macintosh moved closer to the table, noticing that Flash was alone. Macintosh walked up and tapped his shoulder.

Flash quickly turned to see Mac waving. “Hey, Flash.”

Flash returned Mac’s wave with his own. “Oh, hi Big Mac. How’s it going?”

“Fine,” Macintosh said, taking a seat. “Mind if Ah ask ya somethin’?”

“My friends are all busy today. I was gonna wait for Soarin and Dash, but hunger set in,” Flash answered, taking a bite of his sandwich.

Macintosh titled his head. “Uh … okay. That wasn’t it.”

“Oh. Sorry. Nearly everyone who’s passed me asked why I’m sitting alone,” Flash gave a sheepish chuckle. “Anyway, what did you need?”

“Ya know that travelin’ carnival?”

Flash nodded. “Yeah. Isn’t tonight the last night for it?”

“Eyup,” Macintosh nodded. “Ah was thinkin’ bout askin’ Fluttershy tonight, but…”

Flash blinked, head slightly tilted. “Hm?”

“Well, Ah kinda need a wingman. Someone tah help smooth things over between us. Ah asked Rainbow an’ Soarin, but they can’t.”

“Hm?  Ah, right. The locker room thing. So, you came to ask me instead?”

“Eyup.”

Flash shifted uncomfortably in his seat, avoiding eye contact. “Um… I don’t know, Mac. It’d be pretty awkward with just be the three of us.”

“You could ask someone tah go with ya.”

“I guess… though, no one comes to mind.”

“What about Sunset?”

Flash shook his head before taking a sip of his drink. “She’s busy.”

“Trixie?”

“Ugh. No.”

“Tennis Match?”

“Pretty sure she hates me for some reason.”

Macintosh frown and cupped his chin. After a few seconds, another name came to him. “Well... what about Twilight?”

The mention of Twilight caused Flash to spit out his drink, coughing heavily. Macintosh quickly got up and patted his friend’s back. “Breath, partner, breath.”

“Th-thanks, Mac,” Flash said in between pants.

Macintosh nodded. “No problem, but… what was that about?”

Heaving a sigh, Flash tightly gripped his bottle. “It’s just… Twilight and I just got passed that awkwardness, you know? I finally managed to get past my feelings for the other Twilight and befriend this one.”

“And?”

“I’m worried that asking her may… reignite some of those old feelings.” Flash slumped back in his chair, gaze locked on the ceiling.

“Ah see…” Macintosh said, his brows lowering and grin slowly fading. Sighing, he rose from his seat hands stuffed into his pockets, he turned to leave. “Well, thanks anyway, partner. Ah’ll see ya later.”

Flash watched the redhead walk towards the exit, head hanging low. Biting down on his bottom lip, he shot up from his seat and grabbed Macintosh’s shoulder.

“Hold on a second, big guy.”

Macintosh, eyebrow-raising slightly, turned back to him. “Yeah?”

“You’re really serious about Fluttershy, aren’t you?”

Macintosh nodded with a small grin. “Eyup. She’s really kind-hearted. We talked a few times when she came tah the farm tah look at some of the animals. We hit things off so well, that… Ah just kinda fell for her.”

The pure sincerity of Macintosh’s tone as he spoke of Fluttershy lit something off in Flash’s mind as he remembered the first time he felt this way about a past crush. Chuckling, he patted Macintosh’s shoulder.

“Yeah. I can relate, brother,”  Flash sighed. “Alright, I’ll ask Twilight.”

“Really?”

Flash smiled brightly “Yeah. Who knows, being a wingman could be pretty-”

Without warning, Mac caught Flash in a tight bearhug, lifting him off the ground. “Thanks, partner! Ah owe ya big time. If ya need anything, let me know and Ah’ll come runnin’!”

“N-no problem, man,” Flash squeaked. “Could you let me go now?”
~~~
The clock in the science lab clicked slowly. Flash’s gaze shifted between it, the current project that he and Twilight were working on, and a window. He didn’t know if the sweat came from the heat of the bunsen burner or the fear slowly growing in the stomach.

He stole a few glimpses of Twilight, who was writing down notes for the project. His gaze turned back to the said project, a light blue liquid boiling over the bunsen burner. While Twilight dutifully charted down noted and other bits of information, he’d long since forgotten what exactly they had been working on.

“Flash, how’s liquid C doing?” Twilight asked, her eyes not leaving the notepad.

“Oh, it’s uh… it’s going strong,” he answered, inspecting the flask and writing down his own notes. “So, um… Twilight?”

“Yes?”

“I was wondering if you were doing anything tonight?”

Hearing this, caused Twilight to face her partner. “Uh… what?”

“Are you busy tonight?”

She shook her head. “No. I was planning on hanging out with the girls, but Sunset and Rainbow are going to be busy tonight. Why do you ask?”

“Well, I was just wondering if maybe you wanted to come with me to that carnival tonight.”

She froze, blinking twice. “Are… are you asking me out on a date?”

“N-no! Well, yes. But, ugh!” Flash’s head hit the table, causing the liquids to shake. Taking a long inhale, followed by an equally long exhale, he continued. “Okay, look. Big Mac wants to ask Fluttershy out to the carnival and he asked me to be a kind of wingman, I guess.”

“And what does that have to do with me?”

“I thought that if it was just the three of us, it may get pretty awkward. So, Mac suggested I ask someone to be my… date.”

“Hence, why you asked me?”

He nodded slowly. “Right.”

Twilight rubbed her arm, avoiding Flash’s gaze. “I… don’t know about that, Flash. I mean, helping Big Mac is an admirable thing to do… are you sure it’s a good idea?”

“Y-yeah. Why wouldn’t it be?!” Flash gave a very loud, uncomfortable laugh,  earning the gazes of other nearby students. Twilight folded her arm, eyebrow slightly raised. As she opened her mouth to speak, an odd sound cut her off. Peeking over Flash’s shoulder she saw the flask had begun to bubble over.

“Um, Flash?” she pointed the bubbling flask, causing him to turn around. Swearing under his breath, he scrambled to switch the burner off.

“Crap, I totally forgot about that!” Flash groaned, slamming his head on the table. Twilight slightly patted him on the back.

“Maybe we should continue this once class is over?”

Flash gave a weak thumbs-up, still face down on the desk. Twilight sighed as she returned to her notes.
~~~
With the ringing of the final bell, the students poured out the front door in droves. Many of them spoke among themselves about their plans for the weekend, others dreaded their impending jobs or other menial tasks they needed to complete, and others talked more excitedly about the final night of the carnival.

Flash and Twilight walked out in total silence, both avoiding the other’s gaze until they reached his car. The two stood around the car for several minutes. Twilight playing with her hair or adjusting her glasses while Flash scratched at his small stumble on his chin and kicking the dirt.

After five minutes of unbearable awkward silence, Flash spoke.

“So, Twilight? About the carnival…”

“I’m still not sure, Flash,” she interrupted.  “We just got past that bit of awkwardness. Are you sure this is the best idea?”

Flash bit his bottom lip, shoving his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. “Twilight, I know you’re worried, but I promise you; I’ve moved on from that. You and I are just friends and I sorted out my feelings for… that Twilight. We aren’t going to be anything more than friends and I’ve accepted that.”

Twilight remained quiet, giving her arm a rub.

“I just wanna help a friend. You can understand that, right?”

She looked at him and then the ground before sighing in defeat. “Okay, okay. I’ll go.”

Smiling brightly, Flash ran up and pulled her into a tight hug. “Thanks! Twilight!“

Twilight squeaked out a reply as Flash held her. “B-but remember, it’s not a real date! It’s just to help Big Mac.”

Flash nodded rapidly. “Right. I’ll call Big Mac, then we can go, okay?”

Twilight nodded as Flash broke the hug, praying he didn’t catch the faint blush on her cheeks. Peeking back at him, now on his phone, she sighed to herself, “It’s just to help Big Mac. It’s not a real date…”
~~~

‘It’s not a real date’ Was the phrase Twilight mentally repeated the entire ride home. Occasionally, she would steal a glance at Flash, noticing a small grin on his lips. She’d be lying if she said that grin didn’t make her smile some. Though the creeping fear of their ‘date’
lingered in the back of her mind.

Flash said that he sorted his feeling out and nothing would happen. I just need to trust him. Besides, it’s not a real date.  We’re just helping a friend… right? Twilight bit down hard on her lip as a million and one thoughts ran through her mind.  Groaning softly, her face fell into her palms.

So caught up in the storm of thoughts, she failed to notice they had arrived at her home.

“We’re here, Twilight,” Flash announced, snapping her back to reality.

“H-huh? Oh, right! Ehehehe. Thanks.”

He flashed a grin at her. “No problem. So, I’ll come to pick you up at around seven. That way, we can meet Mac and Shy at the carnival. Sound good?”

Twilight nodded. “Y-yeah. Sure. Um, see you then.”

With an awkward chuckle and shaky wave, Flash returned to his car and drove off. Twilight groaned heavily as she opened the front door. Walking in, she saw her parents sitting in the living room and reading. Closing the door caused them to tear their gazes from the books.

“Hello, Twilight,” her mother spoke. “How was school today?”

“Oh, um. It was fine…” Twilight replied weakly. “I made some progress on one of my experiments. Helped a few students with some math problems, and stuff like that. Nothing too major…”

“Ah. That sounds lovely, honey.” her father chimed in.

“Also…” Twilight began, rubbing her arm. “I… have a date tonight.”

Hearing this, her mother’s eyes widen as her father nearly spat out his drink.

“A-a date?” he asked. Twilight nodded, a blush creeping to her cheeks.

“Well… I mean, it’s just…”

“We didn’t think you’d be going on one so soon after the um… falling out you had with that other boy,”  her mother said.

Twilight gave an annoyed grunt. “Mom, it’s fine. I’ve gotten over Timber. Besides, it’s not a real date. We’re just going to help a friend of mine.”

Her parents gave a joint sigh of relief as Twilight walked up the stairs, shaking her head. Entering her room, she placed her bookbag on the floor and opened it, revealing Spike.

“Ah. Finally! It was getting cramped in there!” he said, hopping out of the bag. Twilight gave the puppy a small pat on this head before she flopped onto her bed.

Spike moved closer to his owner. “Twilight, if this is bugging you so much, why’d you say yes?”

“Because,” Twilight sighed, sitting upright. “He wants to help Big Mac and so do I.”

“And?” Spike questioned, brow raised.

“A-and nothing, Spike! I just want to help a friend is all!” Twilight hastily replied.

“Uh-huh. Still, I think you should call Sunset.”

“Why?”

“Because she’d probably have some advice to give. Didn’t she and Flash date at one point?”

Twilight turned away from the puppy, as she cupped her chin. Spike’s not wrong. Sunset could be a big help… A  few seconds passed before she turned back to Spike. “Okay. I’ll call her now.”
~~~
“Thanks again for coming, Sunset,” Twilight said as they walked upstairs.

The fiery-haired teen gave a shrug.“It’s no problem. I don’t have to meet up with Bulk for another hour, so I’ve got time to kill.”

Twilight opened the door and took a seat on her bed.  Sunset taking the chair at a desk. “So, what’s up?”

“Well, Big Mac is going to ask Fluttershy out on a date but wasn’t sure if he could go through it alone. He went to ask Rainbow and Soarin, but they couldn't so he asked Flash. Flash was unsure about it, so Big Mac suggested he bring a date to make it less awkward and-”

“He asked you?” Sunset cut in.

Twilight slowly nodded.

Hearing this, Sunset folded her arms, brow raised slightly. “Okay…”

“And I was wondering if maybe you had some advice to offer? Since you and he-”

“Yeah. I get you,” Sunset flatly stated. “Listen, Twilight, I think it’s cool of both of you to help Big Mac like this, but… are you sure going out now is the best thing? Especially after the whole thing with Timber Spruce?”

Twilight looked down at her shoes before slowly around her room as Spike rested in his basket. Her eyes locking firmly on a blank shelf. “I’ve moved past that, Sunset. And it’s not a real date. Besides, Flash said he worked all of his feelings out. He doesn’t feel that way about me.”

“That doesn’t mean something can’t change,” Sunset added. “Twilight, you and Flash are my friends and I don’t want to see either of you hurt.”

Twilight nodded, a small sigh accompanying it. “I understand your concern, Sunset, but I promise, everything will be okay.”

Twilight flashed her friend a sincere grin, though Sunset could see a few cracks within it. With a light sigh, she shrugged. “Okay, Twilight. I’ll trust you.”

Twilight leaped off her bed and pulled Sunset into a tight hug. “Thanks, Sunset!”

“Just remember what I told you, okay?”

Twilight nodded. “I will!”
~~~
Flash groaned loudly, gripping the sides of his bathroom sink tightly. “Why did I agree to this?”

Combing a hand through his blue hair, he looked at his reflection in the mirror. “Maybe I could fake being sick and cancel?”

Flash paused and thought about this for a moment, before rapidly shaking his head. “Stop it. You promised and a Sentry doesn’t go back on their word!”

A knock at the door interrupted his musing. Cracking the door, he peeked out to find Scootaloo standing there and tapping her foot impatiently.

“Come on, Flash! You’ve been in there for, like four hours!”

Flash rolled his eyes. “I have not.”

“It feels like it! Now, move!”

Flash opened the door and walked out. The second after, Scootaloo zipped by him and slammed the door. Shaking his head, Flash made his way down the stairs. Spotting his keys, he snatched them up and walked into the living room, plopping down on a couch.

“Ugh. Tonight is going to suck,” he moaned, hands covering his eyes. “Mac, you owe me big time for this.”

While distracted by his groaning, he failed to notice the front door open. From it, a tall, bulky man with dark pink hair walked in.

“I’m home.” Landslide announced, slipping off his dark blue jacket. Seeing the teen on the couch, he quietly moved closer, a devious smile spread across his lips.

“Hey, buddy!” Landslide shouted, throwing an arm around Flash’s neck and ruffling his hair.

Flash let out a small cry before turning around and coming face to face with his father.

“Hey, dad,” he muttered sadly, slumping further into the couch.

Landslide picked up on the dread in his son’s voice and, after releasing him, took a seat next to Flash. “You okay, Flashy? Did somethin’ happen at school?”

Flash shook his head. “No. Not really. I just… have a date tonight-”

“What’s wrong with that? You haven’t been on a date since…” Landslide paused, cupping his chin. “How long has it been, Flashy?”

“That time I took Sunset to the pier was the last real date I’ve been on.”

“Oh… right. And, if memory serves, that didn’t end so well, huh?”

Flash winced lightly, the memory of that night brimming up in his mind. “Nope.”

“So, why do you look so down?” Landslide asked.

“Because… the date is with Twilight.”

“Really?!” Landslide stood abruptly, his tone heavy with joy and excitement. “She’s back in town? That’s great-”

“No, dad. Not that Twilight. The other one. With the glasses?”

“Oh. Oh!”  Landslide nodded, fully understanding who Flash meant. “Yeah. I get ya. But, if you two are goin’ out that means ya managed ta work past yer issues, right?”

“Well, kind of.”

Landslide’s scratched his temple. “Huh?”

“See, it’s not a real date. I’m going to play wingman for Big Mac. Twilight's coming to make it less awkward.”

“Ohhhh. So, what are you worried about?”

Flash turned away from his father’s warm gaze and friendly smile. “I’m worried that… those old feelings may come back. After everything I’ve done to bury those feelings, realizing how the other Twilight and I can’t work as anything other than friends... after that long bit of weirdness, I finally became friends with this Twilight. I’m scared that I’ll screw all that up.”

Once Flash had finished talking, Landslide leaned back into the couch, clasping his hands together. An air of silence washed over the two, Flash staring off into space as Landslide thought deeply. Taking in a deep breath, then slowly releasing it, Landslide sat upright, faced his son and spoke.

“Flash, can I ask you something?”

“Uhh,” Flash blinked, rubbing the back of his head. “Sure?”

“Ya say you’re worried about messing up, but… would it be such a bad thing if ya fell for this Twilight?”

“W-what? I…” Flash stopped, his words caught in his throat. He thought deeply about Landslide’s question. Gripping his arm tightly, Flash groaned. “I… don’t really know.”

“Exactly. Ya don’t know. Ya could end up fallin’ for her or maybe not. But, freakin’ out over maybes isn’t good for ya, buddy.” Landslide stood up, gesturing Flash to do the same.

Placing his large hands on Flash’s shoulders, light pink eyes met with sapphire blue ones. Flashing a toothy grin, Landslide chuckled. “Flash, I want you to go out and just have a good time and help yer friend out. If something happens, let it happen. Don’t try to force it. Because trust me on this one, it will make you and her miserable, okay?”

Flash blinked twice, letting his father’s words skin in. Nodding, Flash returned Landslide’s smile. “Thanks, dad.”

Landslide pulled Flash into a tight hug. Flash squeaked out a short chuckle. “O-okay, dad. I gotta go, now.”

“Right, right.” Landslide released him, giving Flash a strong slap on the back. Flash gave a sheepish laugh as he walked out the door. “Have a good time, buddy!”

With a final smile, Flash waved as he closed the door.
~~~
Fluttershy stared at her reflection in the mirror, looking at the large, light green ballroom dress with uncertainty. “Um, Rarity? I don’t think I’ll need this kind of dress.”

“Nonsense, darling! This is your first date. You must look outstanding!”  Rarity countered, examining the dress further.

“I gotta agree with Shy, Rare. That dress is more for like, formal stuff. She’s just going to the carnival,” Soarin said, chewing on the butt of his pencil’s eraser.

“You’re totally taking this way too seriously. Just, like, fix her hair up or something,” Rainbow Dash added, bouncing a soccer ball on her foot.

Rarity shot a glare at the two athletes, her eyebrows scrunched up. “Well, excuse me for trying to help Fluttershy!”

“I do appreciate your help, Rarity,” Fluttershy began. “But, I have to agree with Rainbow and Soarin; this dress is too much for a simple date.”

“Very well,” Rarity said with a sigh as Fluttershy walked towards the bathroom. “I suppose what really matters is that you have a lovely time tonight.”

“Does anyone else think this is weird?” Soarin questioned aloud.

“What?” Rainbow asked.

“Big Mac asking Shy out. I mean, I’m happy for him and all, but like, have they even talked?”

“We have, actually,” Fluttershy answered from the bathroom. “I’ve been to Sweet Apple Acres a few times to check on the animals. Macintosh and I have spoken a few times since then.”

“Ahh,” Soarin nodded.

Seconds later, Fluttershy appeared from the bathroom, wearing her normal attire. “How do I look?” she asked.

“Looking cool, Shy.” Soarin gave a thumbs up.

“Yeah. That’s way better than that frilly dress,” Rainbow Dash added.

“Hmm. Yes. I must agree,” Rarity admitted. “Now, all that’s left for us to do is wait for Big Macintosh.”

“We probably won’t have that long a wait,” Soarin said, writing in his notebook. “It’s Big Mac and he’s not the most fashionable guy out there. “

~~~
“Tie or no tie? Hmm…” Big Mac let out a light groan as he held the two ties, switching between the two.

“Ah guess Ah could go with the green one. It’d match mah eyes… but, this red one looks nice, too. Hmm. What do you think, Thunderlane?” Big Mac turned to the blue-haired teen resting on his bed, a magazine covering his face.

“I think I don’t fricking care, Macintosh,” Thunderlane shot back from behind the magazine he was reading.

“Man, come on. You know how important this is ta me.”

“True. But, that doesn’t mean I have to care.”

Big Mac glared at Thunderlane, who returned it with a bemused eye roll. When Big Mac’s glare shifted from anger to sorrow, Thunderlane sighed. “Alright, alright. You want my honest opinion?”

“Eyep!”

“Lose the tie. Go casual.”

Big Mac blinked once. “Uh… are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Thunderlane nodded, arms folded. “Yep. It’s not like your going to some fancy restaurant or something. It’s a carnival. Go casual.”

Big Mac opened his mouth to reply but stopped. Looking at the ties, he nodded and tossed them onto the bed.

“There. See?” Thunderlane said, a small grin painted on his lips. “Casual.”

Big Mac nodded. “Eyep. Thanks, partner.”

Thunderlane shrugged. “Meh. No thanks needed. Now go get laid!”

“Thunderlane!”

“Ahahahaha! Calm down, It’s a joke… for the most part.”

Big Mac shook his head as the two friends walked down the stairs into the living room.

“Hey, Big Mac?” Pear Butter shouted from the kitchen.

“Yeah, ma?”

“It’s nearly eight. You should get goin’. Don’t wanna keep Fluttershy waitin’.”

Big Mac’s cheeks flushed as Thunderlane elbowed his ribs. “A-ah know, ma. Leaving now. Tell Jackie and Pa ah said bye!”

“Will do!”

Nodding to himself, Big Mac walked out the door, Thunderlane close behind him.

“Ya sure ya don’t need me ta drop ya off?” Big Mac asked, opening the door to his truck.

“Nah.” Thunderlane shook his head. “It’s not too far from the bus stop. I’m fine walking.”

“Alright,” Big Mac said, as he climbed into the truck. “Ah’ll let ya know how it went when Ah get home. Night, Thunderlane.”

With a wave and a nod, Big Mac pulled out of the driveway and drove down the road. Thunderlane shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat as he began his trek out of Sweet Apple Acres.
~~~
Flash pulled into the driveway of Twilight’s home. Exiting the car, he brought out his phone and glanced at the clock. It read 7:54PM.

“Whew. Just barely made it,” he muttered aloud. Walking up the stairs, he reached the door within a few seconds.

Sucking in a tight breath, he raised his hand to knock. Before he could touch the door, it swung open, revealing Sunset Shimmer.

“Sunset?” Flash stared in confusion at the sight of his fiery-haired ex. “What are you doing here?”

“Twilight called me. She needed advice. I gave her some.”

“I-I see,” Flash stammered, eyes slowly shifting to the left. Sunset caught his panic and chuckled, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t tell her anything too embarrassing.”

“Why do you torment me so?”

Sunset chuckled a bit louder. “You make it so easy. That aside, I’m gonna tell you what I told her; just because you say you’ve put your feelings aside, doesn’t mean something can’t happen tonight.”

Flash nodded. “Yeah, I know. Dad gave me a talk before I left.”

“I’m just saying, Flash. I don’t want to see either of you hurt.”

Flash nodded again. “Thanks. Twilight’s lucky to have you as a friend… and so am I.”

Sunset smiled upon hearing this, a small blush creeping to her cheeks. “Well, I’ve gotta go. Bulk and I have a date with a masked serial killer.” With that, Sunset walked passed Flash and towards her car.

Flash waved goodbye as she pulled out. Taking a deep breath, he turned back to the door to find Twilight standing there.

“Oh! Twilight! Uh… hey.”

Twilight gave a small wave accompanied by an uncomfortable giggle.  “H-hey. So, um… ready to go?”

“Y-Yeah! Let’s get going!” Flash said, adding in an awkward laugh of his own. Twilight groaned slightly at this.

“Bye, mom! Bye, dad! Bye, Spike!” Twilight shouted into her home as she closed the door and made her way to Flash’s car.

“Allow me,” Flash said, opening the door to the passenger seat.

“My, my. Such a gentleman.” Twilight giggled, getting in. Flash breathed a sigh a relief. So far, so good. Now, let’s see where it goes.
~~~
Flash’s car pulled into the parking area. After coming to a stop, he opened his door and began to scan the area until his eyes fell upon a familiar-looking green truck.

“Looks like Big Mac and Shy beat us,” Flash muttered.

Once Twilight stepped out, she marveled at the sight before her. The carnival was massive in size, with several dozen rides, games, and other attractions. The cheers, jeers, and shouts of people echoed throughout.

Flash watched Twilight’s reaction, a grin forcing itself to his face. She really is cute like that.  Flash lingered on this thought before his cheeks began to darken. Stop that, Flash. Remember what dad said; let it happen if it happens, but don’t force it.

“Um, Flash?” Twilight’s voice snapped him back to reality.

“Y-yeah?”

“We should go in and find Big Mac and Fluttershy.”

“Oh, right. Yeah. Let’s do that.”

Twilight raised a brow as she scanned the sweaty blue-haired teen next to her as they walked to the entrance of the carnival.

Upon entering, they were shocked by the sheer amount of people walking around, playing games, eating food and talking among themselves.

“Wow. I mean, I figured there’d be a lot of people here, but…” Twilight struggled to find words to express her joy.

“Yeah… It’s super impressive,” Flash said, just as in awe.

“Yo!”

A voice brought them both back to their senses. Looking around them, Flash spotted Big Mac and Fluttershy standing near a shooting gallery game.

“Twilight found them.” Flash pointed a finger in their direction. They walked over to Big Mac and Fluttershy, the latter who was facing the opposite direction.

“Hey, there, Shy,” Flash waved at his pink-haired friend. Fluttershy slowly turned towards Flash, showing him a small grin.

“H-hello.”

“Sorry, if we kept you guys,” Flash apologized, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.

Big Macintosh shook his head.  “Nah, yer fine. We just got here a few minutes ago ourselves.”

“Good to know.” Flash grinned. “So, what should we do first?”

Big Macintosh jammed a thumb at the roller coaster. “How ‘bout that?”

Upon seeing the giant green and blue steel construct, Fluttershy swallowed hard, her whole body shaking.

Catching this, Flash tapped Big Macintosh's shoulder. “Uh… Big Mac? Can we talk?”

Big Macintosh nodded slowly as Flash grabbed his arm and pulling him away from the girls.

“Somethin’ wrong?”

“Yeah. Starting off with the roller coaster? Bad move. Take Shy on something else. Something smaller, slower and, -most importantly- quiet. So you guys can talk.”

Big Macintosh cupped his chin as he scanned the area. Passing over the crowd, couples, and several larger rides, his eyes locked on to a large teacup.

“How bout that one?” Big Macintosh’s questioned, pointed at the teacup. Flash followed his hand. Upon spotting the ride, he nodded.

Flash followed Macintosh's finger to the teacup. “Yup. That’s perfect.”

Big Macintosh nodded with a grin before they returned to Fluttershy and Twilight.

“Hey, girls!” Flash waved. “Sorry about that. Mac and I were just talking.”

“It’s alright,” Twilight said. “I managed to calm Fluttershy some, but I don’t think going on the roller coaster first would be a good idea…”

Flash nodded. “I had the same thought, so Big Mac and Shy are going to grab a different ride.”

“If that’s alright with you, Fluttershy,” Big Mac interjected. Fluttershy gave a bashful nod, her gaze locked on the ground. Big Macintosh bit his bottom lip as he and Fluttershy walked towards the giant teacups.

Flash watched the two until they disappeared within the sea of people. With the two gone, he turned back to Twilight, who was playing with her hair.

“So, um… what do you wanna do?” he asked nervously, poking at a small rock with his foot.

“Uh, well… we could go on the roller coaster.”

“A-are you sure? We could join Big Mac and Fluttershy on the teacups.”

This comment combined with the shakiness of his tone earned a small giggle from her. “What’s wrong? You’re not scared, are you?”

“Me, scared?”  Flash gave a hearty laugh. “I barely see this baby coaster as a challenge.”

“Baby coaster?” Twilight pondered, brow raised.

“Yeah. My family, Rainbow, Soarin, and Fluttershy, go out of town to this super cool resort town during the summer. And they have this park that has this monster of a roller coaster! It’s thirty feet tall, goes through eight different loops, and travels so fast, your hair would turn at least three shades of white!”

Twilight blinked once. Twice. Three times. “Wow, Flash. I’ve never seen you so enthusiastic about anything before.”

Flash chuckled, cheeks turning light pink. “Thanks. So… shall we?”

Hooking her arm around his, the pair walked towards the roller coaster. Twilight saw several couples pass them, snuggling close, holding hands and even kissing. She blushed, pulling away from Flash.

“Is something wrong?” Flash asked eyebrow cocked.

“N-no. It’s just…” Twilight stuttered trying and failing to find the proper words. Flash looked at her, head slightly tilted. He looked around and saw various couples displaying affection. Immediately, it dawned on him; she was uncomfortable.

“Oh, right. Sorry. I forgot,”  he apologized, sidling his hands into the pockets of his jacket. Twilight bit her bottom lip, looking downward. A brief stint of silence fell upon them before Flash cleared his throat.

“Well, uh… Let’s hit up that coaster!”  

Twilight flashed an awkward grin as they walked towards the roller coaster.
~~~
Big Macintosh swallowed hard while standing in line with Fluttershy. He looked forward and saw only a few more people were ahead of them. Exhaling sharply, he faced Fluttershy, who was playing with her hair. Big Macintosh's cheeks turned a light pink as he searched for a topic to talk about.

“Urh, so… um… Fluttershy? How’s are things going? Still workin’ at that animal shelter?”

Fluttershy jumped at the sound of his voice. “O-oh! Um… Y-yes. I am and it’s going well. I’ve managed to help quite a few of them find new homes.”

“That’s amazin’,” Big Macintosh said with a warm grin. Fluttershy’s cheeks flushed, a small smile creeping on her lips. Big Macintosh let a steady sigh fly from his mouth. He noticed that she looked more relaxed, a development that made his grin grow in size. Several seconds passed and it was finally their turn.

“Shall we?” Big Macintosh held out a hand to Fluttershy, who took it. Carefully, he helped her in. Once both were seated, the teacups began to spin. Fluttershy gave a small yip at the spinning, clinging tightly to him.

“Ya alright?” He asked cheeks flushed a light pink.

She nodded. “Y-yes. I’m fine.” Her voice was shaky, but after taking several long breaths, her grip loosened. Despite her words, Big Macintosh could see a tiny hint of fear in the petit girl’s face. Without warning, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him.

“Better?”

With her face now burning red, Fluttershy rapidly nodded. Big Macintosh gave a short chuckle. Maybe that was a bit too forward...

~~~
As Big Macintosh and Fluttershy walked back over to their meeting spot, Fluttershy saw Flash and Twilight had already returned.

Seeing the two, she waved with Big Mac following suit.

“Hey. Y’all have… uh,”  Big Macintosh began before his words slowly ceased. Blinking, he stared at the two, the confusion plain on his face.

Flash’s normally combed and neat blue hair was ruffled, unkempt, and slightly swaying to the right. Twilight’s hair looked as if a cat had eaten her hair and puked it back out, then let it dry in the sun.

Fluttershy looked at the pair with wide eyes, scratching her cheek.

“What’s up, guys?” Flash pondered. “What are you looking at?”

Big Macintosh spoke, fighting back a chuckle. “Yer hair, partner.”

“Right,” Flash chuckled awkwardly. “So, Twilight and I ended up going on that roller coaster and man… it was nuts!”

“I think that’s an understatement,” Twilight chimed in with a giggle. “I nearly lost my glasses. It was faster than either of us had assumed.”

“Got that right! This certainly ain't’ a baby coaster!” Flash added, smiling brightly.

Big Macintosh watched as the couple before him shared a laugh. Smiling to himself, he cleared his throat, earning their attention.

“So, what should we do now?”

“Hmm…” Flash cupped his chin. “I don’t know. Do you girls have any ideas?”

Twilight shook her head. “I don’t.”

All eyes fell on Fluttershy, who fidgeted with her hair. “Oh, um… maybe we could try some of the games?”

“Sure,”  Twilight said, eagerly.

“I’m game!” Flash smiled.

The three turned to Big Macintosh, who nodded in agreement. With a goal in mind, the foursome trekked further into the carnival.
~~~
The search for a game was a bit more trouble than any of them had guessed. Finding the booths took around twenty minutes, the lack of a map aided in making their search all the more tedious.

When they had finally found the gaming booths, they took an extra five minutes to decide what game they should play. While deciding, Flash’s eye caught a glimpse of a shooting gallery and urged his friends into playing that first, to which they agreed.

When they got there, Flash beamed with excitement. The man who ran the booth gave a welcoming wave to the four. “Hey, kids. You wanna try your hand at my shooting gallery?”

Flash nodded rapidly, snatching up a toy gun. The man blinked twice at the eagerness. “Whoa. Looks like you’re ready to go.”

“You have no idea, sir!” Flash replied, chuckling devilishly.

“I like your drive, kid,” the man chuckled. “Alright, then…good luck!” Moving to the side, the man pushed a button and the game started. An image of a clown popped out from the box before them. Flash grinned, shooting it immediately as it rose. Flash repeated this action with every clown that popped, shooting them with precision and accuracy. Big Macintosh, Fluttershy, and Twilight watched the display of skill with shock and awe. As the game dragged on, a small crowd slowly began to form, drawn in by the fantastic marksmanship on display. When the final clown slipped back into the box, an alarm went off.  
The crowd began to clap and cheer, alerting Flash to their presence. Rubbing his head, he waved to them, a goofy smile on his lips.

The man let out a loud howl of joy as he took Flash’s hand and gave it a strong shake. “Wow! That was incredible, son!”

Flash’s grin doubled in size, rubbing the back of his head. “Ehehe. Thanks!”

Pointing towards the mass of stuff animals the booth owner spoke. “Pick whichever one ya want!”

Flash cupped his chin and closed his eyes. Slowly turning towards Twilight, he gestured to her.
Twilight cocked a brow as she walked over. “Something up?”

“Yeah. Pick one”

Twilight stumbled back, a blush creeping to her cheeks. “W-what?”

“Go on,” Flash replied with a smile.

Twilight’s cheeks flushed a deeper shade of crimson as she walked forward. Scanning the multitude of stuffed toys hanging from above, her eyes focused on a yellow pegasus with a vibrant blue mane.

“I’ll take this one!”

The booth owner nodded, grabbing the plush and passing it to Twilight. She thanked him before she and Flash returned to Big Macintosh and Fluttershy.

“Nice of ya tah let Twi choice the prize,” Big Macintosh said with a small grin.

“It really was,” Twilight agreed with a slight blush.

Seeing Twilight’s heated face caused Flash’s grin to break into a full-blown smile.” It’s nothing.”

“Although, this does raise a question.”  Twilight pondered, hand cupping her chin.

“How did you get to be such a good shot, Flash?”

The musician snickered. “Well, when I was about thirteen, my dad and uncle took me to a shooting range. It looked cool, so I wanted to give it a try. But, my dad didn’t think it would be a good idea to give an edgy thirteen-year-old a firearm. So, we compromised and I trained with a toy gun for a few years.”

“Really now?” Macintosh piped up, arms crossed.

Flash gave a sheepish grin with a nod accompanying it. “Yep. I guess you can call me ‘Flash the Stampede’. hahaha!”   

The remaining three teens stared at their chuckling friend. While Big Macintosh and Fluttershy exchanged a confused glance, Twilight looked uncertain and lost in thought. Seeing his joke failed, Flash’s laugh slowly ceased.

“Sorry about that,” Flash said with a blush. “I guess that was a bit too nerdy-”

“Oh! Trigun!” Twilight chimed in. “That’s why it sounded so familiar!”

Now all eyes were on her, Big Macintosh and Fluttershy still very confused. Flash’s jaw hung open. Blinking three times, he managed to gather up some words to form a sentence. “Y-you like Trigun?”

Twilight nodded proudly. “Yeah. It was the first anime I ever saw. I used to watch reruns with my older brother. It’s very special to me.”

Flash blinked twice. “W-whoa. So, um… are you into any other anime?”

She nodded rapidly. “Oh, a ton! I recently started watching Attack on Titan and am really loving it!”

“It’s really great!” Flash agreed energetically. “Oh, I’ve recently got into this kinda old series called Beck. It’s about this guitarist who saves a weird-looking dog and…”

Big Macintosh chuckled, stuffing his hand into his jeans pockets, as he watched the two gleefully speak amongst themselves. “And here Ah thought he was worried or somethin’.”

“Um, Big Mac?” Fluttershy’s small voice came out, regaining Big Macintosh’s attention.

“Yeah?”

“I was wondering if we could get something to eat? I’m pretty hungry.”

Big Macintosh smiled and nodded. “Yup. Hey, Flash! Twilight!”

Hearing their names called, the two broke off their conversation to face Big Mac.

“What’s up, Mac?”

“Wanna grab some grub?”

The two nodded, ending their conversation. As they returned to Big Macintosh and Fluttershy, Twilight grabbed Flash’s arm.

“Something wrong?”

“No, I just wanted to know if we could continue our talk later was all.”

A small blush crept to Flash’s checks. “S-sure. I wouldn’t mind it.”

Twilight smiled. “Great! Come on, let’s catch up before Big Mac and Fluttershy get too far ahead.”

Sighing, Flash jammed his hands into the pockets of his jeans and walked forward.
~~~
The foursome had found the area where the food stands stood. The girls found a green wooden table tucked away in the back, while Big Macintosh and Flash went to get food.

As they looked over the available options, Big Macintosh poked Flash with his elbow.

“Hey, so what do ya think Shy would like ta eat?”

Flash opened his mouth to answer but slowly stopped. Instead, he placed a hand under his chin in thought. After a few seconds, he spoke up. “Why not ask her yourself?”

Big Macintosh blinked.“W-what?”

“Mac, you and Shy have spent most of the night together. You’ve gotten to know her and became a bit more comfortable around her, haven’t you?”

“Eyep?”

“So, I don’t think you need my help anymore tonight, man.”

Big Mac opened his mouth to counter, but, he couldn’t find the words. Hands now firmly in his pockets, Big Mac’s gaze fell to the ground, which was littered with empty paper cups, soda cans, and candy wrappers.

Sighing, he kicked at a can. “Ya think so?”

Flash nodded, placing a reassuring hand on the farmer’s shoulder. “I know so, big guy.”

Steadily exhaling, Big Macintosh confidently walked over to Fluttershy, who was engaged in a conversation with Twilight. Lightly tapping her shoulder, she turned to face him.

“Oh, um is something wrong, Big Mac?”

He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, a faint blush on his cheeks. “Ah, uh… just wanted tah know what would ya like tah eat?”

Fluttershy’s cheeks flushed a light pink. “Um… well, I would love a salad,” she replied cheerfully. “Although, I don’t know if they would have anything like that here.”

Macintosh sighed. “Probably not. Ah could get something else for ya. Just tah tide ya over?”

“That would be nice. Thank you.” Fluttershy’s earnest grin pierced the orange-haired teen’s heart, his cheeks turning darker.

“Um...Right. Ah’ll see what Ah can find.”
~~~
Searching for something for Fluttershy proved to be harder than Big Macintosh anticipated. However, he did manage to convince the person working at the deep fryer to give him a handful of vegetables for a few bucks.

Flash, by comparison, had a much easier time grabbing to chillin dogs and an order of fries for each.

After grabbing a burger, fries and some drinks, he returned to the others. Taking a seat next to Flash, he passed the carrots and drink to Fluttershy.

“Oh my! Where did you find these?” She asked.

Big Macintosh jammed a thumb behind him. “The fellar runnin’ the deep fryer. He let me take a few.”

“That was nice of him,” she grinned, taking a bite out of the carrot.

The four ate in silence for a few moments before Big Macintosh cleared his throat.

“So, Fluttershy? You said things were going good at the animal shelter?”

Fluttershy’s head peaked up at his question. “Oh, it’s going wonderfully. In fact, it’s been too busy at times. My manager was even thinking about hiring a few more people.”

“That’s great tah hear, sugar cube,” Big Macintosh replied with a slow nod. “How bout, you Flash?”

Flash shrugged. “Meh. Can’t complain. Work is kinda irksome, but nothing too nuts.”

“That reminds me. Where do you work, Flash?” Twilight questioned, picking up a french fry.

“At a restaurant my aunt owns.”

“You a busboy?” Big Mac asked, taking a bite out of his burger.

“Yup. Also, a cook every now and then.”

“Really?” Twilight interjected. ”I didn’t know you could cook. After seeing your’s and Bon-Bon’s “cake” during the Friendship Games-”

“Y-yeah,” Flash gave an awkward chuckle, scratching the back of his head. “Pastries have never been my strong suit. But, if you give me some chicken or beef, I’ll make a meal that’ll blow your taste buds off!”

The boast earned a sly grin from the bespectacled girl. “I’ll hold you to that, Mr. Sentry.”

Flash folded his arms and returned her grin with one of his own. “Deal.”  

Big Macintosh watched as the two teens flirted, shaking his head and smiling.

Twilight then turned to her attention to the orange-haired teen. “What about you, Big Mac? You’re graduating this year, right?”

The farmer nodded. “Yup.”

“Any plans, big guy?” Flash chimed in.  

Another nod. “Eyep. College, obviously.”

“What are you going for?” Fluttershy asked, taking a sip of her drink.

“Agriculture. Ah wanna help expand what we grow on the farm. Maybe even start one of mah own.”

The three teens stared at Big Macintosh with wide eyes. With how close-knit the Apple family were, to say this came as a shock to Flash and Fluttershy would be an understatement.

“That’s awesome, big guy!” Flash gave his friend a pat on the back. “It’s cool you wanna help your family like this.”

“I agree,” Fluttershy smiled. “But, how does your family feel about you getting your own farm?”

“Haven’t told em, yet.” Big Macintosh answered flatly. “Ah do plan to, though. Ah'm just kinda worried."

“Well, whatever happens, I hope you can make your dream come true,” Fluttershy said, placing a hand on Big Macintosh's, causing him to blush.

“Thanks. But, enough ‘bout me. What about you, Shy?”

Fluttershy blinked. “Me?”

“Oh, right! Shy graduates this year, too!” Flash explained, slapping his forehead. Fluttershy pulled her hand away from Big Macintosh’s, twiddling with her fingers. “Oh, well… I want to try and become a veterinarian.”

Hearing this, Flash let a laugh slip out. “Should have figured.”

“Same,” Big Macintosh said with a chuckle. “Ah’ve always liked how passionate ya are about helpin’ animals.”

Big Macintosh’s compliment caused her cheeks to flush a bright shade of pink as she tugged at her hair slightly.

“T-thank you, Big Mac.”

The older couple looked away from each other, both blushing profusely. Twilight couldn’t help but giggle at the sight. Deciding to keep the conversation flowing, she turned to Flash.

“So, Flash? What are your plans after high school?”

“Let me guess,” Big Macintosh spoke. “Music teacher? Or Rock Star, maybe?”

“Wow, way to pigeon hole me, Mac,” Flash said sarcastically. “But honestly? I want to get into law enforcement.”

They looked at Flash with the same curiosity as a person who said their wallet tastes good. His answer was one they clearly were not expecting. Despite not knowing him as long as Fluttershy, Big Macintosh and Twilight were aware of how important Flash’s music was to him.

“Um, not tah offend yah or anything, partner,” Big Macintosh began, eyebrow raised. “But, any reason yah wanna get into law enforcement?"

“Well,... as cheesy as this sounds… I just want to protect people.” Flash said, poking his soda can. “I’ve seen so many people who have been hurt or have gone under the attention of the law. I want to help those people. The ones that the rest of the world just forgets about.”

There was a brief silence before he continued. “My uncle is a cop and my dad was in the army when he was younger. They both fought to protect others, my uncle still does and my dad tries his hardest to make sure none of his fellow miners are hurt or push themselves too far.”  Slowly placing a hand on his chest, Flash gripped his shirt. “I want to be the kind of person they are; someone who can make a real difference in the world.”

The other three sat in silence, completely taken aback by Flash’s explanation. Seeing the looks on their faces, Flash’s cheeks turned dark red. “Hehehe. Sorry. Guess that was too cheesy, huh?”

Immediately, the three all locked their gazes on the rocker and, without missing a beat.

“Nope.”

“Of course not!”

“No way!”

Flash nearly jumped out of his seat at the sudden and rather abrupt shouting. "Whoa!”

“Didn’t mean tah spook yah, partner,” Big Macintosh apologized.

“Yeah. Sorry about that,” Twilight added.

“It’s cool,” Flash replied, still shaken.

“And, for the record, I think your desire to help people is a very admirable one,”  Fluttershy smiled.

“Wait, for real?”

“Ah agree,” Big Macintosh nodded. “Ain’t nothin cheesy ‘bout wantin’ tah help folks.”

“Although…” Twilight chimed in. “That little speech of yours was a bit cheesy. But, still very nice.”

Flash laughed at the response, cheeks turning darker. “Um… thanks, guys.”

Big Macintosh nodded, as Fluttershy and Twilight smiled warmly.

“So, I guess that leaves you, Twilight.”  

Twilight nodded as she adjusted her glasses. “Right, well, I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to do with my life after school ends. And I’m pretty set on becoming a researcher.”

“Really now?” Big Macintosh said, intrigued. “What kinda researcher are ya aimin’ tah be?”

“Well…” Twilight shifted awkwardly in her seat. “I want to research supernatural things.”

Twilight’s answer caused Flash to briefly choke on his drink. Big Macintosh stood up and patted Flash’s back.

“Are you okay?!” Twilight asked with clear concern, standing from her seat.

Flash nodded. “Y-yeah. It’s just... After what happened during the Friendship Games, it caught me off guard.”

Twilight laughs awkwardly. “I’m not surprised it would. Actually, it was because of what happened during the Friendship Games and Camp Everfree that I’ve gained an interest in the supernatural.  Canterlot can’t be the only place with magic problems in it, right?”

“I suppose not,” Fluttershy stated.

“If there are, then I plan to investigate them and maybe even help some people if I can.”

“That’s very noble of you, Twilight,” Flash said with a smile.

“Thanks,” she replied, cheeks turning red. “In fact, I had planned on taking a cross country trip next year before I start college.”

“Ya ain’t doin’ it anymore?” Big Macintosh asked.

Twilight shook her head, a dejected sigh accompanying it. “No. My parents are worried about me going alone. I had planned on asking Sunset to go with me, but she told me that she was going to use that time to visit Princess Twilight.”

Flash’s smile formed into a frown at the sight of his crestfallen friend.  Big Macintosh, stealing a look from Flash, cupped his chin. Then, a light went off in his mind.

“Hey, Flash?" Big Macintosh turned to the guitarist, a sliy grin spread across his lips. "Why don’t you go with her?”

For the second time that evening, Flash choked on his drink, hacking heavily. Twilight’s whole face had turned a bright red from Big Macintosh’s suggestion.

“Um… w-what?” she squeaked out.

“Ah said, Flash should go with ya,” Big Macintosh repeated.

“Um… w-well…” Twilight stumbled, fiddling with her glasses.

“Hahahahaha! That’s really funny, big guy!” Flash laughed loudly and awkwardly. Big Macintosh stared blankly at Flash, who's laughing steadily slowed before stopping totally.

“S-seriously?!”

Big Macintosh nodded. The color drained from the guitarist's face as he sharply turned away from Twilight.

“Mac! You can’t just go around and say things like that!” Flash shot back, still flustered.

“Why?”

“B-Because it’s like… inappropriate or something?”

Big Macintosh gave the panicking musician a bemused glare. “Really?”

“L-Look! There’s a bunch of other people that could go with Twilight! And odds are, she wouldn’t even-”

“Actually, I-” Twilight spoke up, the three now focusing on her. “I… wouldn’t mind Flash’s company.”

“W-W-What?”  Flash squeaked out.

“I… wouldn’t mind if you came with me.”

Flash turned a bright shade of red as he leaned back, nearly falling out of his seat. Big Macintosh grabbed him at the last second. Taking a long sip of his drink, Flash’s face returned to its normal color.

“W-wow. Thanks, Twilight. I’m flattered.”

The small praise darkened Twilight’s cheeks, a smile soon following suit. Fluttershy giggled to herself as Big Macintosh beamed with pride. The four continued to speak among themselves until they finished eating. Big Macintosh collected everyone’s trash and walked to a nearby trash can.

“Okay! So, what should we do now?” Flash questioned as he stretched his arms.

“Ain’t much left tah do… cept the ferris wheel.” Big Macintosh spoke as he returned.

“I’m up for it,” Twilight said cheerfully.

“Sweet!” Flash grinned. “Shy, how about you?”

Fluttershy nodded slowly. “That sounds like a nice way to end the evening.”

“It’s unanimous, then,” Flash said. “Let’s get going before the line get too long.”
~~~
To the surprise of the four, the “line” for the Ferris wheel was a small handful of around eight people waiting.

“Huh. Not a long line,” Big Macintosh spoke, scratching the side of his head.

“Better for us, right?” Twilight shrugged.

Big Macintosh nodded as the four went to stand in line. The wait wasn’t long -barely ten minutes- and soon the four found themselves at the front. Flash and Twilight took the first car. A few moments later,  Big Macintosh and Fluttershy took the next one.

As they reached the top, Fluttershy began to fidgeting. Big Macintosh noticed and tapped her shoulder, eliciting a quiet yelp from her.

“Sorry, sugar cube, but are you alright?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “Not really. I haven’t been on a Ferris wheel before, so I’m a bit jumpy.”

Big Macintosh folded his arms and closed his eyes. Then, he put an arm around Fluttershy and pulled her closer to him. A blush rose to her face. Seeing this got a chuckle out of Big Macintosh.

“Ah did this with ya earlier, member?”

“I-I do. Thank you for that.” Fluttershy flashed a small grin, as she rested on his chest. This caused Big Macintosh’s heart to skip a beat, his cheeks turning red.

“Ya welcome, Sugar cube.”

~~~
Twilight awed at the sight. From above, the carnival glowed and flashed brilliantly with reds, greens, and yellows.

Flash sat and watched her, sporting a huge grin at her reaction.

“It’s so beautiful from here!”  she exclaimed joyfully. “Flash, come look!”

“Hahaha. I’m good,” he replied somewhat nervously.

Twilight huffed, walked over to him and grabbed his arm. “Come on. You have to see. It’s amazing!”

Heaving a sigh, Flash stood up and followed her to the window. The second he saw the view, Flash’s eyes widened.

“Wow...  you were kidding,” he said.

“Right? I could look at this forever.” Twilight smiled warmly.  The two watched the miniature light show. Flash’s gaze slowly shifted from the display to Twilight. He took note of many of her facial features, but he mostly focused on her grin. He’d never seen her so at peace and happy before.

Without thinking, he moved closer and took her hand into his. This caught Twilight off guard, but she made no effort to fight or pull away. After some seconds passed, she rested her head on his shoulder. Flash snuck a small glance at the bespectacled girl before returning it to the window.

“This is really nice,” Twilight said calmly.

“Yeah,” Flash nodded. “Yeah, it is.”
~~~
After they had left the Ferris wheel, the group decided to call it a night.  Returning to the parking lot, the two pairs exchanged goodbyes.

“You know, I was a bit worried, but I actually had a lot of fun tonight,”  said Twilight, hugging her pegasus doll.

Big Macintosh nodded in agreement. “Yup. Thanks again for comin’ with, Flash.”

The guitarist shrugged. “I’m just glad I could help, Mac.”

Big Macintosh placed a hand on Flash’s shoulder. “Ah really owe ya one, partner.”

”Yeah, you do!” Flash said with a grin.

“I…” Fluttershy began, gaining everyone’s attention. “I had a nice time, too.”

Big Macintosh smiled as he and Fluttershy walked towards his truck. Big Macintosh opened the passenger door for Fluttershy and helped her in. After getting into the driver’s seat, he started the truck.

“Night, you two. Try not tah take too long gettin’ home.” Big Macintosh said, winking at Flash.

“Whatever!” Flash replied, flustered.

With a chuckle from Big Macintosh and a final wave from Fluttershy, the truck pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the road.

When the truck vanished from sight, Flash turned back to Twilight. “So, ready to leave?”

Twilight nodded. “This was a nice outing, but I’m pretty tired.”

“I hear that.” Flash laughed, as they made their way towards his car.
~~~

Big Macintosh pulled into the drive of a large turquoise house. Fluttershy stepped out of the truck and walked to the front door, Big Macintosh close behind her. Once they reached her porch, the two stood there for a few brief moments.

Big Macintosh rubbed the back of his head as Fluttershy playing with her hair. Neither was sure what to say. Finally, Big Macintosh, taking a deep breath, spoke first.

“Ah’m, uh… Ah’m glad ya enjoyed yerself tonight.”

“T-thank you,” Fluttershy mumbled. Another bout of silence fell over them, both avoiding the other’s gaze. Biting down on his lip, Big Macintosh faced her.

“Do… do… do ya think-”

“I’d love too!” Fluttershy yelled excitedly. “I-I mean, y-yes. I wouldn’t mind another date.”

Big Macintosh's eyes widened.“Really?!”

She nodded. “Really. Although…”

Big Macintosh quirked an eyebrow. “Although?”

“Maybe next time, we could just stay in?” Fluttershy asked.

A hearty laugh came from Big Macintosh. “Sure, sugar cube.”

Smiling, Fluttershy stood of her toes and gave Big Macintosh a quick peck on the cheek. Big Macintosh blushed, placing a hand on the kissed cheek.

Fluttershy opened the door of her home, turning one last time to wave at him, then walked in, closing the door behind her.

Dumbstruck, Big Macintosh walked back to his truck, hand on the cheek Fluttershy kissed. Once he was on the road, he grinned.

“Huh.”
~~~
The drive to the Sparkle home was unlike the previous one. Twilight had fallen asleep, tightly snuggling the pegasus doll. Flash had a smile on his face for most of the ride, please with the outcome of the night’s events.

Within twenty minutes, he pulled up to the Sparkle family driveway. Parking the car, he lightly shook Twilight’s shoulder.

“Twi? We’re back.”

Yawning, Twilight stretched her arms up. Rubbing her eyes, she turned to Flash. “Hey.”

“Hey yourself,” Flash snickered. As they exited the vehicle and walked to the porch, Flash’s gaze was firmly on Twilight. His father’s earlier words echoed in his mind as he came to a stop.

Twilight, noticing he stopped, turned back. “Is everything okay?”

Flash gritted his teeth. “Not… really.”

She tilted her head. ”What’s wrong? I thought you had a great time?”

“I-I did! A really great time…” he sighed, facing the ground. “Too great…”

Now Twilight was even more confused. Walking back to him, she slightly grabbed his shoulder.

“Flash… what’s wrong?”

Groaning, Flash looked up to meet Twilight. “Before I came to pick you up, my dad talked to me. He said that if something were to happen between us, that I should just let it happen and try not to force anything.”

“Okay?” Twilight answered slowly. “And?”

Flash didn’t speak, his face heating up as he scratched his cheek. Twilight stared at him for several seconds before a spark of realization went off in her mind. “W-wait, are you saying that you… that you… like me?”

Flash nodded, face growing hotter. Twilight blinked a few times, her gaze wandering all over. Before long, she cleared her throat. “Flash, I… have something of a confession to make.”

Flash cocked a brow. “Hm?”

“I… I think… I may like you, too.”

Flash blinked. “What?”

“I… like you, too,” Twilight said, blushing profusely. “I’m not sure when I started to feel this way. But, tonight made it clear that I really do like you, Flash.”

As soon she stopped talking, a veil of silence fell upon them. However, it did not last as Flash began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Twilight asked, brow raised.

“Nothing,” he said, his laughter dying down. “It’s just… well, before we left, Sunset told me to be careful because my old feelings could come back and, well… that ended up happening.”

Now it was Twilight’s turn to laugh. “Yeah. it is pretty funny in an ironic way.”

“Hehehe. Yeah.”

“So,” Twilight began. “Where do we go from here?”

“Hm. Good question.” Flash folded his arms as he thought. “I guess we should try another date. Just the two of us.”

She nodded. “Okay. So, when should we have this second date?”

Flash shrugged. “Not sure. We can talk about it later, though.”

Twilight yawned, a nod accompanying it. “Good call. I’m dead tired.”

“Same here,” Flash said, a yawn following it. “So, you later?”

“Not just yet,” Twilight said with a sly grin.

Flash tilted his head as Twilight placed the stuffed pegasus down. Walking over to him, she planted a quick kiss on his cheek. “Thanks for inviting me.”

The guitarist nodded slowly. “S-Sure.”

With that, Twilight picked up the pegasus and walked to the door. Turning around one last time, she gave Flash a short wave before entering her home.

Flash returned to his car, hand slightly rubbing the cheek Twilight kissed as a smile slowly broke out on his face.

As he entered the car, his phone vibrated. Pulling it out, he saw a message from Soarin.

‘Hey, bro. How’d your 'not a real date' go? Message me when you get home. I wanna know what happened~”

Flash chuckled, shaking his head. Stuff the phone back into his pocket, Flash pulled out of the driveway and took off down the road.