Twilight Sparkle was not having a good day. All she had wanted was to practice her spell for Spike's suit for the upcoming gala, but such a plan was ruined the moment Pinkie Pie entered the scene. Thus had Twilight been introduced to the nonsensicality of Pinkie sense. Spending the whole day trying to figure this strange sense out, Twilight had nothing to show for it other than being battered, bruised, and brought to the hospital.
However, all that paled in comparison to the here and now, which involved her back to a chasm, and staring up at a very large, very hungry, and very mad hydra. Twilight was currently in the bog nearby Ponyville, with her friends Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Spike, and Fluttershy, the four of which were on the other side of the chasm. Twilight herself couldn't cross due to the fact that the stepping stones leading across had all collapsed, leaving Twilight stranded with the hydra. Meanwhile, the group on the other side were having various reactions to the event. Applejack was trying to come up with some way of getting Twilight out of there. Spike was screaming and hollering for help. Pinkie Pie was shaking her coat off, both from the scene and her Pinkie sense. And finally, Fluttershy was crouched on the ground, hooves over her tear streaming eyes, and was pleading for somepony, anypony, to save her friend.
"Fluttershy!" screamed Applejack, "What in tarnation are ya waitin' for? Put those wings tah use an' get Twi outta there!"
"I c-c-c-can't." Fluttershy whimpered back, her own fears and insecurities preventing her from even trying to open her wings.
"Fluttershy, if y'all don't do somethin', Twi's gonna get eaten!"
"Twilight! Try to teleport!" Spike screamed to the mare across the chasm. Twilight heard Spike, and could easily teleport over the gap, her head was too scrambled with terror to even begin focusing magic. She tried to move, but found herself paralyzed by the fear rushing throughout her being. Meanwhile, the hydra's third head recovered from the pain it had suffered breaking down the stepping stones of the ravine, and with a snarling howl advanced on the lavender unicorn.
"Twilight!!!" screamed the group in horror as the Hydra advanced. Fluttershy couldn't bear to watch. Once more she could do nothing to save her friend, just like last time.
"No no no, Fluttershy do something." her mind screamed at her, but her body refused to cooperate.
"Come on, you can get her out of there. You've got to save your friend." Desperately, she tried to get her wings, her body, to respond. Alas, her efforts were wasted as her wings and body remained right where they were.
"I can't do it. I can't save her. She's going to die and it's all my fault." Tears leaked from Fluttershy's eyes, manifestations of her despair. "I'm just too weak.". However, just as she thought that, a piece of a certain conversation she had quite some time ago sprang into her mind.
A friend of mine once told me this, a person, or in your case pony, is only truly strong when they fight to protect those precious to them. If your friends are precious to you, then fighting for them will give you the strength to protect them. And with that memory, sprang forth a buried determination that erupted within the pegasus with the force of a volcano.
'My friends are precious to me.' The tremors racking her body abruptly ceased. 'They are everything to me.' Her wings snapped open, ready to take flight. 'And I will not let them down again.' And the speed in which she took flight had the rest of the group wondering if Rainbow had dyed her coat yellow and her mane pink.
Meanwhile, the hydra had reached Twilight, who was backed up to the very lip of the chasm. Snarling, all four heads reared back, preparing to strike, and Twilight thought it was all over. The end however, was abruptly halted.
"How dare you!" Fluttershy screamed, her form level to the heads and her eyes locking onto the hydra's own eight.
"F-Fluttershy?" Twilight squeaked, having never seen her friend like this before, being able to stop a hydra cold. Said mare paid the unicorn no mind, having her attention currently on the hydra.
"Now you listen here mister, you do not get to eat one of my friends! Are we clear!?" Fluttershy roared, which was set on the correct volume for once. The hydra growled something, but soon went faces to face with the pegasus, her glare more petrifying than a cockatrice. "Well if you're so hungry, then pack up out of this bog and leave. You do not get to go around eating ponies. If I catch you chasing another pony again, so help me, I'll be very, very angry. And you will not like me, when, I'm, angry." Throughout Fluttershy's tirade, the hydra's heads had been sinking lower and lower, until they were nearly touching it's back, Fluttershy staring them down all the while. "So, you're going to turn around, walk away, and get something else for dinner, Now!" With a whimper, the hydra about-faced, and scurried away. Her job done, Fluttershy turned around, and soon became very aware of the entirety of the group's gaze upon her, their mouths dangling open, Pinkie Pie included. Feeling extremely self conscious, Fluttershy blushed whilst tapping her forehooves together. With the danger now passed, Twilight charged up her horn and teleported back to her friends.
"Land sakes girl. We thought y'all was a goner." came Applejack's relieved remark as she embraced her unicorn friend.
"I'll admit, I thought so too, but then Fluttershy came in out of nowhere, and well, you all saw that, right?" answered Twilight. Fluttershy then gently alighted back onto the ground with the rest of her friends.
"I'm sorry everypony, I don't know what came over me. Was I being mean? Was I too harsh?" Her panic attack was halted when Twilight, Applejack, and even Spike swept her up in a group hug.
"Girl, y'all were amazin' out there." replied Applejack.
"That was totally awesome, Fluttershy. Way to give that hydra the what for." Spike responded next.
"Fluttershy, you saved my life. I know Pinkie predicted a doozy today, and between you and the hydra, that was one hay of a doozy. Right Pinkie Pie?" However, said party mare was still shaking.
"That wasn't it." she replied.
"That wasn't? How was that not a doozy? What in all of Equestria could be doozier than that hydra, and Fluttershy gone super assertive?"
"Sasuke and Naruto having the friendship spat to end all friendship spats?" Spike offered, though his mouth was magically zipped shut for his troubles.
"I don't know, it just wasn't the doozy." Pinkie replied, and Twilight erupted into flames.
It was later in the day when Twilight returned home after spending some more time with her friends.
"Ugh, today took everything I had and then some." she moaned.
"Aw, is little Twilight all tuckered out?" came a voice that Twilight hadn't heard in years. Exhaustion completely cast aside she turned to the source of the voice. Her eyes were greeted by a coal black unicorn mare that stood a good head taller than her. She had a long mane of neon teal, and intense violet eyes. Upon her flanks were adorned a cutie mark of three jade dragonflies, and perched upon her muzzle were a pair of rectangular frame glasses.
"No way." was all Twilight could say.
"Hello Twilight, miss me?" Said the mare with an impish grin.
"Gossamer Wing!" Twilight shrieked in delight, charging right up to the unicorn. Soon Twilight was in her so called 'secret hoofshake dance' position.
"Twilight, no." Twilight's tail wagged about.
"Twilight, you're a grown mare. That's for fillies." Twilight shook her rump this time, causing Gossamer to face hoof.
"Ugh, fine." With that, their dance began.
"Sunshine , sunshine, dragonflies abound. Clap your hooves and twirl yourself around." The two sang together, and when it was finished, Gossamer soon found herself introduced to the floor as Twilight leaped onto her.
"Oh Gossamer, I missed you so much. Where have you been? How's Cadence doing? Oh my gosh, has Spike seen you yet?" An ebon hoof stuck in her mouth silenced any further questions.
"Calm yourself, Twilight, I'm not going to vanish into thin air." replied Gossamer Wing, and removed her hoof from Twilight's mouth. Twilight had the decency to look embarrassed.
"Sorry Gossamer. I just haven't seen you in the longest time." Gossamer had a small smile on her lips when she heard this.
"Well I'm going to be staying here for quite some time Twilight. I am on a research assignment after all." It was then that Twilight noticed the book in the viridian glow of Gossamer's magic.
"A research assignment?!" Twilight exclaimed in jubilation, hopping about around Gossamer shouting yes every moment.
"Twilight, this is not a caterpillar or ladybug hunt. This is a serious mission given to me by the Equestrian scholars of Entomology. I'm afraid where I'm going is not some place I can take you with me. Your brother, if not your parents, would throw a fit if I did." That stopped Twilight cold.
"But Gossamer, this could be huge. You could discover some amazing species, and I want to be there with you." Twilight whined, earning her a bop on the muzzle from Gossamer's hoof.
"What did Cadence and I tell you about whining?" Asked Gossamer whilst Twilight rubbed her muzzle. "Anyway Twilight, the only reason I even got clearance for this mission is because princess Celestia apparently has somepony extremely powerful charting out the Everfree Forest for her." Gossamer then looked about. "Now where in tartarus is he. Cadence told me he was living with you if I'm not mistaken, and rest assured, we will be going down that particular path soon, but where is that, human I believe his kind are called?" At that, Twilight perked up.
"Oh you mean Naruto. I haven't seen him today so I think he's in the Everfree Forest. He's always going in there when he has the time. He should be back sometime this evening." Twilight then thought of something. "Hey, Gossamer. If you need a place to sleep, I got some space available."
"No need Twilight. While I very much appreciate it, the scholars are paying for my room and board over at the inn. It would be an utter waste of their bits if I crashed here instead." At Twilight's despondent look, Gossamer pulled her into a hug. "Now no need for that Twilight. I'm quite tired from my journey here, so I'll be going back to the inn now. Rest assured though that we'll have all the time in the world tomorrow to catch up. I want to meet all your new friends and hear all about your adventures with them. So just be patient." At this, Twilight nodded, and Gossamer turned to leave.
"Hey, Gossamer." called Twilight, getting the ebon unicorn's attention. Said unicorn was then brought into a hug. "It's so good to see you again. When you moved away I thought I'd never see you again." Gossamer returned the hug in full.
"So did I Twilight, but it seems life saw fit to reunite us, so let's not waste the opportunity." Soon, farewells were bid, and Twilight was alone once more. Suddenly, her exhaustion returned with a vengeance. Blearily looking out the window, Twilight saw that the sun was dipping into the horizon.
"Whoa time flies. Well, bedtime." With that, Twilight trudged into her room and was soon asleep on her bed, memories of times passsed playing in her head.
To Twilight, it was as if Celestia herself was trying to make the day as perfect as possible for her. The mid morning sun was bright and warm, bringing cheer throughout the town of Ponyville. Currently, Twilight was heading to Ponyville park, where her friends would be gathering at her request. grasped in her magic was a basket full of baked treats, and upon her back rode Spike.
"So let me get this straight." said Spike, only freshly aware of the situation. "You're telling me that Gossamer Wing, co-foalsitter and Cadence's best friend Gossamer Wing, showed up yesterday evening."
"Yup." replied Twilight. "She's working for the Equestrian scholars of Entomology. Apparently they want her to team up with Naruto so she can document the species of insects residing in the Everfree Forest."
"Make's sense I suppose. Her talent was always bugs." Soon the two reached their designated meeting place, though they were not the first there. Applejack, Sasuke, and Rarity were already there.
"Hey Sasuke. Hello girls." Twilight greeted as she set herself down with her friends. After pleasantries were exchanged, the others began showing up as well. First came Pinkie, who hopped towards the group and began attacking the snack basket.
"Pinkie! wait until everypony shows up first." Twilight admonished her friend.
"Fwowie." muttered Pinkie through a mouthful of danish. Next to arrive were Naruto and Fluttershy, who sat down within the group side by side. Feeling a little bold, Fluttershy draped a wing over Naruto's shoulders, pressing herself into his side. finally, in a prismatic streak, Rainbow Dash skidded into a landing right next to the group.
"Woohoo, ten point landing!" she exclaimed, then she and Pinkie launched an all out assault on the snack basket.
"Hey! those are for everypony you two. Share!" hollered Twilight as she valiantly tried saving her baked treats from the two ravenous mares. Thankfully, Applejack and Rarity had brought there own baskets of refreshments. Applejack had brought a load of apple baked goods, whilst Rarity had brought tea.
"So Twilight," began Rarity as she poured herself a cup, "I have hardly ever known you to organize these kinds of gatherings yourself. What happens to be the occasion, darling?"
"Well girls, and of course you two as well Sasuke and Naruto, there's somepony special I'd like you two to meet. she's a good friend of mine from my days as a filly." Everyone snapped their attention to Twilight at that, as they had thought their current group were the only friends Twilight had.
"Whoa whoa, back up, what's this about a friend we haven't met yet?" asked Rainbow Dash, everyone else agreeing.
"Well, she moved away a long time ago and I'd honestly thought I'd never see her again." Twilight answered. Just then Twilight noticed a certain somepony coming up to the group. "Oh, here she is now. Everypony, I'd like you to meet Gossamer Wing." she introduced the new arrival.
"My my, Twilight. What a circle of friends you have." Said Gossamer as she looked upon the group.
"So who are you exactly?" asked Rainbow, catching the unicorn's attention.
"Well, as you know, my name is Gossamer Wing. I first met Twilight when she was a young filly. My best friend and I were her foalsitters, and well, she grew quite attached to the two of us. Now, I believe introductions are in order. You all know my name, but I'm afraid I haven't been given yours." She replied. Applejack was the first to respond.
"Well howdy miss Wing. Mah name's Applejack, an' ah run Sweet Apple Acres." she said, grabbing Gossamer's hoof and giving it a wild shake.
"Ah yes, I've heard of your orchard. I love the apples you grow there, and please, call me Gossamer. Miss Wing was my grandmare's name and I'm nowhere near that old."
"Well shucks, t'aint nuthin." Rainbow Dash was next.
"Yeah, yeah. Anyways, the name's Rainbow Dash, fastest flier in all Equestria." She boasted. Gossamer just raised a brow.
"Hm, that's nice." Was all she said. Fortunately, before Rainbow could blow her top, Rarity interjected.
"Hello Gossamer, my name is Rarity. I must say your coat and mane are a very striking contrast." Gossamer chuckled at that.
"The pleasure's mine Rarity, and yes I know about my colouring. I get that a lot." Gossamer then noticed something wrong. "Wait a minute. One... two, weren't there five of you mares?" At this, the group looked, and true to Gossamer's deduction, Pinkie Pie was nowhere to be seen.
"Oh, that's jus' Pinkie bein' Pinkie. Don't worry y'all, you'll meet 'er later. Fair warning though, she can be a mite…" said Applejack, though she struggled to find a proper word to describe Pinkie's behaviour to newcomers.
"Eccentric." Gossamer finished, amused.
"heh, eccentric maybe puttin' it mahldly." A burst of giggles exuded from the mares at this, and Gossamer then noticed the pegasus trying to hide behind one of the humans.
"So my dear, care to intoduce yourself?" she asked the pegasus, her tone gentle.
"Oh, me? Um, my name is…." was all Gossamer heard from the pegasus, as she had whispered her name too quietly to hear. Fortunately, Naruto came to the rescue.
"Sorry about her, she gets real shy around new ponies. Her name's Fluttershy." said Naruto as he brought an arm around Fluttershy in an effort to calm her down. It worked, as Fluttershy soon relaxed in the human's grasp.
"Oh my, are you two together?" asked Gossamer, excitement in her voice.
"Eep!" Fluttershy squeaked, her face flushing crimson, and buried her head within her mane. Her reaction brought forth a chuckle of merriment from Gossamer.
"Oh, I apologize dear, but that reaction." she apologized, though she continued to laugh. Soon, she had her mirth under control, and faced the final two members of the group. "Now then, I've heard of you two. Two new creatures suddenly appearing in Equestria, word like that tends to spread fast. So who exactly are you two?" she asked.
"My name's Naruto Uzumaki. Any friend of Sparkles' is a friend of mine." declared Naruto.
"Naruto!" Twilight screamed, her face blushing as crimson as Fluttershy's from embarrassment. Gossamer's laughing both resumed and intensified.
"My goodness Twilight, he lives with you and you have a pet name. Has little Twily gotten herself into a herd?" This got a laugh out of everypony, though nopony noticed Fluttershy hold herself closer to Naruto, a muted 'mine' on her lips. Soon everypony calmed down, and Gossamer addressed the last of the group.
"So human, may I have your name?" Gossamer asked.
"It's Sasuke. Sasuke Uchiha." Sasuke answered curtly.
"Not much of a lively one are you, Sasuke?" replied Gossamer, to which Sasuke said nothing.
"Ah, don't mind him." said Rainbow. "He's always like that meeting new ponies. Give him some time to know you and he'll start opening up." With that, the group chatted and learned more of each other. Rarity was slightly perturbed that Gossamer's hobby was caring for pet bugs, and was even revolted when she brought out a pet beetle. Rainbow however, thought it was awesome. Fluttershy was also interested in Gossamer's line of work, and Naruto told her of his friend Shino, who hailed from a clan that used their own bodies as a host hive to a special breed of insect that fed on chakra. Though the other girls-minus Fluttershy who understood how nature worked- were utterly revolted by this information, gossamer was absolutely fascinated by the information. Soon though, Sasuke stood up to leave.
"Well everypony, it's been nice hanging out, but I have work to get to." With that, the group bid him farewell, and he headed for the spa for another day of work.
Scootaloo was not having a good day. scratch that, her day absolutely sucked. Sweetie Belle was home sick today, so she and Apple Bloom couldn't go crusading. Then after school, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, along with a group of other fillies had chased after them, insulting them about them being blank flanks. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo decided to split up to lose them, but that plan didn't work out. Now the group of bullies were just chasing her, and the insults weren't stopping at a lack of cutie mark.
"Hey, somepony let Fluttershy know one of her chickens are loose. Oh hey, it's just Scootaloo." Jeered one.
"Scootaloo's a chicken! Scootaloo's a chicken!" Tears were beginning to burn in Scootaloo's eyes, but she kept running despite it. Suddenly, she crashed into a pair of legs, and after shaking off the slight daze from the impact, dove behind them in hopes that whoever owned them would shield her from the bullies. Those legs belonged to none other than Sasuke. The group of bullies then skidded to a halt before the Uchiha, glaring up at him.
So what's all this about, then?" he asked the group.
"None of your business, creature." said Diamond Tiara, "What are you anyway? Some sort of minotaur with no horns and mange?" A few members of the group snickered at that, but all were silenced when Sasuke's eyes went from obsidian black to blood red, the tomoe of his Sharingan lazily orbiting his pupils.
"What I am doesn't matter. Why are you all bullying this filly? She's done nothing to you."
"Pfft, so? She's a blank flank, and on top of that, she's a pegasus that can't fly. Who's ever heard of a pegasus that can't fly?" Sasuke could feel Scootaloo trembling behind him at their remarks.
"Doesn't matter. Stop your bullying. You have no right to do so." Diamond Tiara growled at that.
"Listen you, I don't know who you are but you do not tell me what to do. My daddy is the most important pony here in Ponyville, so I can do whatever I want." That hit a nerve on Sasuke. There were three kinds of people he absolutely hated; cowards, weaklings, and those who hid behind their family's wealth and influence. At this, Sasuke started to chuckle, but they did not convey a humorous mood.
"You know, you seem to really push at the whole blank flank thing, but I've got to ask which is worse, to have no cutie mark, or to have a cutie mark representing a completely useless talent." Gasps rang out from the crowd, and Diamond gritted her teeth.
"My talent is not useless. I am a princess, my daddy's princess, and that talent is far better than anypony else's."
"So as I said, a completely useless talent. And your father is either useless himself if he lets you do all this, or he's ignorant of the way his little 'princess' acts outside his watch." Everypony, even Scootaloo sharply gasped at that. Nopony had ever dared insult mister Filthy Rich. Sasuke then made a half ram hand seal. "So, such a useless talent," The air around Sasuke pulsed, and a second later, the entire group shrieked in shock. "doesn't deserve to be marked." Diamond Tiara's mouth hung, and her eyes widened in shock and horror. Her cutie mark had completely vanished.
"What did you do?!" she screamed at Sasuke. "My cutie mark, what did you do to my cutie mark!?"
"I took it away, until such a time comes when I feel you deserve it back." Sasuke simply replied, then he held his fingers up again. "Anypony else?" The rest of the group instantly fled, leaving Diamond Tiara alone. said filly immediately charged at Sasuke, only to slam into some kind of purple shield.
"Just you wait. My daddy will hear of this. You'll be sorry." With that, she stormed off, and the purple aura of Sasuke's Susanoo faded.
"That, was, Awesome!" squealed Scootaloo as she bounced out from behind Sasuke. "Did you see their faces? They looked they were gonna run each other over trying to get away." Her merriment was cut short when she noticed Sasuke's ordinary black eyes staring down at her, making her feel very small.
"You shouldn't laugh at other ponies' misfortune, else you're no better than those bullies." Scootaloo's joy was instantly replaced by guilt at that statement, but then she perked up.
"Hey, you're the human who healed Rainbow Dash's wings, Sasuke right? Sweetie Belle told me all about you."
"Sweetie Belle also talked about you, Scootaloo." Sasuke answered, remembering the filly who had got him to heal Rainbow's wings in the first place. Just then a cry pierced the air.
"Scootaloo!" hollered Apple Bloom, as she and her sister came running up to the two.
"Sasuke, what happened." asked Applejack. "Ah heard from Bloom those darn bullies were chasin' Scootaloo, so ah got here fast as ah could." sasuke glanced over in the direction said bullies had fled.
"I handled it." was all he said.
"He took away Diamond Tiara's cutie mark." said Scootaloo excitedly.
"Y'all did what now!?" exclaimed Applejack, nervously glancing at her own mark to check if it was still there. Sasuke for his part simply shrugged.
"If she was going to bully those without one, then she didn't deserve hers. And no, I didn't 'take' her cutie mark. I put an illusion over it to make it seem like nothing's there."
"Whoa! Scoots, why didn't y'all get Sasuke sooner? We coulda done this months ago." asked Apple Bloom.
"Apple Bloom, y'all do not get tah use Sasuke tah get back at yer bullies." Applejack scolded her sister. Then she turned to Sasuke. "In any case, I wants tah thank y'all, Sasuke. Diamond Tiara has been givin' Bloom an' her friends ah lot ah grief over them havin' no cutie mark yet. So thanks for defendin' 'em."
"I have a question though." said Sasuke. "Does Diamond Tiara's father have any idea how she acts around others." Applejack sighed at this.
"No, he don't. Furthermore, Filthy Rich is 'bout as important tah Ponyville as we Apples are, so nopony dares speak 'gainst him or his filly." At this, Sasuke nodded.
"I see. Well I'm running late for work, so if you'll excuse me, I trust you can get your sister and Scootaloo to where they need to be?"
"Sure as shootin'. Ah'll get these little fillies outta your hooves, well hands ah suppose. Take care Sasuke." Sasuke turned to leave, when a weight suddenly clutched his leg. Looking down, he saw Scootaloo looking up at him whilst hugging his leg, it being the only thing she could reach.
"Thanks Sasuke, for helping me and Rainbow Dash. You're awesome." With that, Scootaloo let go and hurried after the two Apples, leaving Sasuke alone.
"Hn, you're welcome kid." he said to himself.