Classes started and a few monotonous weeks passed. You woke up at seven on every weekday to go to class, and arrived back at your apartment just after Fluttershy left for her classes, as she didn't return until the middle of the afternoon. Most of your friends from last year hadn't talked to you much since Mark left, so you had been in the apartment more than you would have been last year. This was fine by Fluttershy who appreciated the company, as she seldom left the apartment anyway. A month after school had started and Fluttershy received two tickets to a Wonderbolt's show with a note from Rainbow Dash, inviting her biggest human fan to come along too.
“You know that show is in Chicago right? That's a good...” you thought for a moment, “eight hours away by car?” Fluttershy had an irrational fear of planes, considering she had wings, so if worst came to worst she could just float right out of the plane, so you didn't even bother asking her to consider that.
“Oh, I know. Couldn't we drive there? I mean, if you don't mind?” She asked.
You laugh, “I don't have a car! Whenever I needed to get around last year, I always got a ride from Mark...” you trailed off. A recent chat with Mark had reminded you that he had left his car with a nearby family member of his, as roads in Equestria weren't designed for heavy automobiles, but pony-drawn carts.
“Hey Flutters, do you think Rainbow could get Mark a ticket to the show too?”
An hour of planning later and you had set Mark up with a free ticket and transportation to the show in Chicago, for which in return he let you borrow his car. You could hardly wait.
“So Flutters, when is this show anyways?”
“Um, October 7th?” You groaned. Three painful weeks of waiting before you got your chance to go to the show in Chicago.
She caught your look of disappointment, or maybe your groan. “I'm sorry. Maybe I could ask Rainbow if she could schedule it sooner?” she said quietly.
You laugh. “I doubt Rainbow could schedule it anytime sooner. The stadium they're going to be performing in has football games in it the previous weekend.” You only knew this because one of your Facebook friends had organized a competition for his Facebook friends to see who got the other ticket to go to the game with him. The event was so poorly attended he ended up calling it off and just sold the ticket, which led to him being laughed at by most people who had friended him on Facebook, including you. “Besides, it's fine.” You sat down and prepared yourself for another boring weekend on your computer.
“Well. Maybe if you want to see a movie or something?” she suggests. You grin at her. She had seldom left the apartment when she wasn't at school, which had irritated you when you wanted company to go out and do anything, which none of your friends from school had been willing to provide.
“Sure! Any movie in particular?”
“Oh, well I saw a commercial for a movie about little squirrels that sang. It looked... cute.”
You try to think about what she could be talking about while pulling up the movies app on your phone, “Alvin and the Chipmunks 14?” She grinned, “You realize that's for little kids right? Besides it got horrible reviews.” You scroll through the first page of your app. “How about Grenade Launcher Chainsaw Massacre 2?” The look of fear and a little disgust on her face reminds you who you're talking to. “Right, nothing too violent.” You exchange scroll down a few movies in search of something that didn't completely suck. A well reviewed and popular Equestrian-Hollywood collaborative film sticks out to you. “Oh! How about this: Derpy Python and the Search for the Holy Grail?”
She got up and sat down beside you on the couch to look at the title page on your phone. “Rainbow Dash loves Derpy Python films! It's not rated R is it?” She had told you about a scarring event she had while watching television one night and not realizing her movie had ended and another had begun. She shuddered at the memory.
“Nope, it's PG-13. You wanna go?”
“Oh, alright then.” You grab a hoodie and head out the door. It wasn't a long walk to the movie theater, but you had been dealing with very windy weather lately, which made it a bit of a pain. You held the door open for Fluttershy and walked in behind her, waiting a few moments to pat your wind whipped hair back in place. By the time you're done Fluttershy has returned with two tickets to the movie.
“Oh, I was going to pay for myself, but thanks, Flutters!” She smiles at you as you take the ticket from her mouth. The person taking the ticket stubs wasn't thrilled with having to take the ticket from her mouth, but you had gotten used to her way of holding things. He ripped off both of your ticket stubs and you started walking towards where snacks were sold. You probably should have sneaked some candy into the movie theater, but Fluttershy had a tendency to overpay people even if she could have gotten the same product somewhere else for cheaper. You pulled out your wallet and glanced up at the sign.
“Oh, i-it's okay Drew, I'd like to pay for this.”
You cock an eyebrow at her. You had never known a woman to refuse to be paid for on any date you had gone on before, although Fluttershy wasn't a woman of course, she was a mare. Even your best friend in high school would gladly accept your generosity if you hadn't decided to split the cost two ways. You also remembered how glad she was to let you help her pay for a car she had drove away to college in right after your rich grandmother died. You shook away the memory and reached out to stop Fluttershy, placing your hand on her back on the base of her folded wing. She froze.
“It's alright Flutters, you got the tickets already, didn't you? I'll get us some popcorn and sodas if you find us some seats.” You walked up and ordered, and looked back to where she was still standing frozen in place, wings perked halfway up as if she was about to fly. You gave her a face and pointed to where your movie was playing. She finally noticed you and shook her head, as if unfreezing herself in the process. She blushed, maybe realizing she had been standing completely still holding up the line of people behind her, and trotted off to the screen your show was playing at. You waited until your bucket of popcorn and fake buttery goodness appeared with two large drinks before grabbing them and finding where your show was playing. You pushed the door open with a knee since your hands were full and walked into a mostly uncrowded theater, just a few groups of people sitting in the back. Fluttershy had picked seats in the middle of the theater, and you followed her over there and put her drink in the cup holder next to her. She had become fairly good at placing straws in drinks with her hooves, largely due to a combination of your laziness to cook and her forgetfulness to go shopping causing many joint trips to fast food places.
The credits were still playing, so you helped yourself to a handful of popcorn. Not one to be inconsiderate, you offered the bucket to Fluttershy. A large explosion drew your face back towards the screen, where another trailer for another action-filled movie with lots of guns and violence and things that Fluttershy would never watch was playing. You finally peeled your eyes from the screen once the trailer ended, and noticed Fluttershy still trying to pin down a single piece of popcorn with a hoof. Some things were simply not done unless you had fingers. You decided to help out both you and her before she was forced to stick her muzzle in the bucket. You were pretty cool with touching things her mouth had touched, but eating them was another question.
You grabbed a handful of popcorn and held it a few inches in front of her face. She looks at it and then towards you, as if to ask if you were really okay with it. You shrug. She returns her gaze back towards the handful of popcorn in front of her. You do your best to restrain yourself from laughing when you feel her rough tongue meet your palm. You settle down right as the movie begins to start.
The movie was actually pretty good, well worth what the ratings gave it. There was enough action and adventure in it to keep you both entertained, but it seemed only you appreciated the humor it provided, laughing louder than you normally would in a movie theater, but then again almost no one was in the theater besides Fluttershy. It didn't help your laughter that Fluttershy's tongue still tickled whenever you offered her popcorn. The movie ended abruptly, and it took you a minute before you realized what had happened, which caused you to laugh again.
“So what did you think of the movie?” you ask as you walk back to the apartment with Fluttershy.
“It was... fun. I didn't understand why it was so funny though.”
“Well...” you begin to answer, trying to come up with a reason, “It just is, I guess!” You laugh again. “Still, it was a pretty good movie.”
“I had a good time,” she agreed. You walked the way back to your apartment in silence. When you reach there you flip open your computer and log onto Facebook.
"Just saw Derpy Python and the Search for the Holy Grail with Flutters. Great movie."
It didn't take long before you heard a chat open up.
Mark Willis: Dude, I saw that movie too! Hilarious. 10 stars. My girlfriend didn't laugh at all though.
You smile as you type a response.
Andrew Smith: It was great because barely anyone was at the theater today, so I'm sure half the soundtrack Fluttershy heard was me laughing. And hey now, I didn't know you were dating! I would have seen if Fluttershy could have sent you another ticket to the show if I knew.
Mark Willis: Oh! She's gonna be there! She works at the Wonderbolt headquarters here in Canterlot so she can get tickets anyways.
Andrew Smith: Oh, nice. I was reading an article online the other day that said lots of job opportunities were open to humans that found themselves in Equestria.
Mark Willis: I'm sure they are. My girlfriend asks me all the time for a wing massage. You have no idea how much a trained human masseuse can make in Equestria. Makes me wish I could go and change my line of work. Oh well.
You read the second sentence again.
Andrew Smith: Wing massage? Dude, you're dating a pony?
Mark Willis: Oh yeah! I probably should have mentioned that! Anyways yeah she's this really cool pegasus. Cool Breeze. Even her name is cool, literally. LOL. But really yeah it might be kinda weird over there on earth but here it's pretty much accepted. Course this is in the land that has allowed gay marriage for as long as it's been around. You'd be surprised by a lot of things here, man.
Mark, the coolest guy you know, was dating a pony? Your mind was boggled to say the least.
Mark Willis: You there? You aren't freaked out right? Like I said, it's pretty normal here in Equestria.
Andrew Smith: Sorry man, was just a bit surprised... Aha. I've never even heard of anyone dating a pony, but hey, I'm not judging you.
Mark Willis: Lol. Well she used to work at a restaurant I'm still working part time for, and we ended up spending a lot of time together. Anyways I have to go. Peace man.
Andrew Smith: Peace.
You closed the laptop and stared at your screen. Mark was always a pretty normal guy, you would have never assumed he would have been dating a pony. Of course, then again, if you were to take him at his word that his girlfriend was really cool, maybe it did work out. You couldn't think of anyone who was cooler than Mark after all.
You half yawned as you got up, opened your door, and flipped onto the couch, a move that had earned the couch a little squeaking noise anytime someone sat down on it. You grabbed a nearby T.V. Remote and flipped through the channels, finally settling on the News channel. You were reminded why you never watched the news after hearing about three straight tragic deaths in a row, and turned the T.V. off and grabbed your laptop. “Just a few minutes of Minecraft before I go to bed, that'll be nice,” you think to yourself.
You awaken half on the sofa and half off, head and shoulders on the ground and arms outstretched towards your laptop. You remember how a few minutes had turned into hours of Minecrafting, and although you had made good progress on your giant bridge, you were fairly sure that you were going to pay for your lack of sleep today.
You groan as you flip onto the floor and slowly stand back up, stretching your back. You don't feel nearly as tired as someone who just spent the majority of the night playing video-games should feel. You walk over to the kitchen area and grab turn on your phone. Settling on cereal and soda this morning, you pull out a coke and a box of Fruity Loops and pour it into a newly cleaned bowl. This was the doing of Fluttershy, as an unexpected benefit of having a pony for a roommate was that they were incredibly neat, or maybe Fluttershy was just a clean freak. Still, not a single dish had been unwashed for longer than a day since Fluttershy had moved in. Your phone vibrates in your hand. It was just a text from one of your friends, saying something unimportant about class. Something catches your eye as you shut your phone, so you flip it back open again and check the time.
“2:43. Damn.” You had missed your classes that morning. Not that it especially mattered, since none of your teachers took attendance much, but you hated the studying you would have to do in order to be prepared for any upcoming tests since you had missed an entire class. No such luck, as the text from your friend said that you had missed not the unimportant lesson you hoped for, but the opposite. You opened up Facebook on your phone to find 2 notifications awaiting you. A like on some status of yours, and a bunch of birthday reminders. It shocks you that Fluttershy's name is on the list, since she hadn't said anything.
Not only is her name on the list, but a quick check of the date confirms her birthday is today! Even though you had a legitimate excuse for not knowing about her birthday, you still would feel like a jerk if she thought you had forgot about it. Determined not to have her think you are inconsiderate, you wash up and run out of your apartment.
You hadn't often shopped for gifts for other people, not actually going out and looking for things that is. You mailed out Starbucks cards to your mother on Mothers' Day, that sort of thing, but not often went out with the only intent to buy a actual gift for someone, which led to a problem. You had no idea what to get Fluttershy. You start walking to the nearby target. A sudden gust of wind makes you shiver and wish you had remembered your hoodie. You remind yourself that it is almost fall, and the weather is uncommonly cold already, so your hoodie is going to be more of an everyday thing now. You hustle into the store as the idea hits you.
“A hoodie!” you exclaim to yourself, before feeling very silly and looking around. Fortunately it appears no one heard your outburst. You cross over to where all the clothing is. A few trips around and you decide to guesstimate her size and pull out one dark blue hoodie with a soft inside. You head over to pay for it, but you are stopped when you see Fluttershy standing in one of the lines. You stand in the aisle and wait for her to purchase her things and leave.
A good 20 minutes later, Fluttershy has been content to let everyone she sees pass her in line. At person number 11 you determine enough is enough, and dash over to a self checkout hoping she doesn't see you. Within 10 seconds you have scanned and paid for your item and gotten in a bag, years of experience with the self checkout paying off. You then walk over to where Fluttershy is about to let customer number 12 advance ahead of her.
“Flutters, has anyone ever told you that you need to be more...” you pause, searching for the right word. Decisive? Demanding? "Assertive? Because you do.” She whips around at the mention of her name, but softens when she sees it's just you.
“Oh, um, yes... I was just going to pay for this and then leave...” She holds up a single book in her mouth.
“Are you kidding me? You only have one item? Come on Flutters, consider this an extra gift for your birthday. I'll show you the wonders of the self checkout.”
You lead her over there and explain the self checkout, a process that takes way to long, due to Fluttershy attempting to let anyone that comes in the line behind her use the checkout before she does. Nonetheless, you manage to get her book checked out and leave the store before she succeeds in her goal to let everyone behind her ahead of her and before she sees whats in your bag. You reach the apartment and are about to open up the bag when you pause. Should you have bought a card? Should you have wrapped it? Is the hoodie even her size? Do ponies wear hoodies? And just when you had thought you had such a great idea-
“Um, you said something about a birthday gift?” she interrupts your mental punishment of yourself, “Not that I mind waiting, that is. I just didn't know if you wanted me to be here to get it now or later or-” she begins.
“Uh, yeah I remembered it was your birthday." If by remembering, you really meant that Facebook remembered, yes, you remembered perfectly. “I got you this." You hand her the bag and open the Coke you had gotten out earlier. She pulls out the hoodie and puts it down on the ground in front of her, staring at it, “Thanks for the, um...” she prods it with a hoof, “blanket?”
You sigh and reach down to grab the hood and hold it up for her. Her eyes light up with understanding, “Oh, I mean, the sweater!”
You laugh at her reaction, “It's a hoodie, but whatever. Hopefully it fits and all, I was just guessing your size. If it doesn't, I'll return it for you. Try it on!”
She struggles to lift it over her head and forehooves at the same time, and ends up getting her head and hooves stuck inside of it and falling to the floor. You control your laughter and help her up before guiding her hooves through the arms and head into the hood. You take a step back to see if it fits her, and she looks up and smiles. It is not only pretty much the perfect size for her, but quite honestly, the most adorable thing you have ever seen.
“Uh, you look. uh...” you trail off. “It seems to fit you just fine, yep!” She smiles and walks forward to you, unclear of her intent until the last moment where she steps onto her hind hooves and slides her forehooves against your sides, giving you an awkward hug, considering she doesn't reach to your chest even when she stands like this. You crouch down to a knee and return the hug, deciding to place your hands right between her wings. Within a second, her wings flash out and smack your hands off, reaching full extension in the process, making and audible “poof” noise in the process. You step back cautiously as she squeals and launches herself off of you before running to her room, Stunned, you stand up and walk back to your room, flipping open your laptop once you get there. Facebook holds no new notifications for you, but you realize Mark is online. Maybe a quick conversation with him will help you clear up what just happened.
Andrew Smith: Hey Mark, I gotta question.
Mark Willis: Shoot.
Andrew Smith: Well, I got Fluttershy a gift for her birthday, and she looked completely stunning cute in it by the way. I can see how she could be a model now. But anyways, off topic. Afterward she gave me a sort of thank you hug, but then smacked me with her wings and ran away.
Mark Willis: ...and the question is?
Andrew Smith: Well... I dunno! Did I do something wrong or something?
Mark Willis: Well, did you call her “Stunningly Cute”? Because that's not exactly the type of thing you'd expect to hear from your roommate... By the way your profile pic is adorable, have I told you that?
You gave the computer a questioning look you deeply wished it could convey in Facebook chat. Mark sent a message to clarify.
Mark Willis: That was a joke, just proving how weird it is to call your roommate cute.
Andrew Smith: Haha, I thought you were serious for a second. But anyways no I didn't say anything. Just kinda returned her little awkward hug.
Mark Willis: That might be it! Tell me how you hugged her.
Andrew Smith: Well I sorta knelt so it could actually be a hug and gave her a normal hug. Normal hug for a midget anyways...
Mark Willis: Fluttershy is a pegasus right?
Andrew Smith: Yeah?
Mark Willis: …Uh, okay. Basically, I'm guessing you touched part of her wing or something, which probably caused that reaction from her. Its like when a doctor hits your knee.... sort of.
Andrew Smith: Well that could happen to anyone! She didn't have to go running away afterward!
Mark Willis: Yeah... Is it cool if I just link you to a website?
Andrew Smith: Sure...
Mark Willis: Wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_Anatomy
Just read the whole thing.
You sigh and thank him for the link. Settling down for some reading, you take a gulp of your soda and get to reading.