Then Tomorrow Came

by PonyAmorous

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Think think think think think think think! Don't just leave her hanging there, say something! Twilight searched her brain for something to say. Something compassionate, meaningful, and articulate.

"...What?" Great job there brain, really coming through for me in my hour of need.

Fortunately, this seemed to prompt Fluttershy to repeat herself much more slowly. Twilight had actually heard and understood her confession perfectly fine, but she desperately needed the time to get her thoughts together. Fluttershy's occasional stammering, combined with her frequent hesitant pauses and backpedaling that would normally try the patience of most ponies, were now blessings that worked to stave off the impending awkward silence for a few more seconds. Giving about 10% of her attention to listening, Twilight started thinking faster than she had in a long time.

Fluttershy liked her. No, Fluttershy had romantic feelings for her. Why her? Why wasn't important, she could ask about that later. The important thing right now was that these feelings existed. According to Fluttershy, these feelings had existed for a while now. How long? There had probably been signs. Little hints that she should have picked up on but didn't notice because she was too wrapped up in her own problems. She searched her recent memories for clues. Had Fluttershy been shy or nervous around her recently? It was hard to tell, given her normally timid nature.

Twilight felt a wave of guilt for being so neglectful a friend as to miss something so important, but quickly squashed it. This wasn't a productive line of thinking. It didn't matter when they started, these feelings existed now and needed to be addressed. Fluttershy needed an answer.

Okay, just tell her how you feel. Quick, clean, honest answer.

The challenge was figuring out exactly how it was she felt. She had never thought about Fluttershy that way before, but she didn't have difficulty imagining it now. The fact that she didn't feel the exact same way now was no reason to reject her out of hoof. They got along well enough. It was plausible that she could develop stronger feelings over time. There was of course the significant problem of her still being crazy for Dash.

Part of her mind screamed that saying yes would be tantamount to cheating on Dash. She had to remind herself that Dash was not in a relationship with her, and at this rate probably never would be, so it was impossible to cheat on her. Still, the thought of getting another marefriend felt like a betrayal, if not to Dash, then to herself and her own feelings that she had started to accept as a core part of her identity. She was Twilight Sparkle, talented at magic, exceedingly well read, personal student to Celestia, and madly in love with Rainbow Dash.

Twilight realized this wasn't a healthy reaction. If she made pain an important part of who she was, she would never allow herself to be happy again. She needed to find somepony else, to get out there and try dating before these toxic sentiments could calcify any further, before she doomed herself to a lifetime of pining away in misery. But should that somepony be Fluttershy? It would be cruel to treat her and her feelings so cavalierly by making her only a quick rebound.

"-was hoping you might go out with me sometime."

Twilight snapped back to attention and realized that Fluttershy had finished talking and was now looking at her expectantly. The pitiful pegasus stood there, doing her best not to show the trembling in her legs. Her knees were locked and her wings were pressed firmly against her sides, as if to keep her from galloping out the door or flying right out the window. Twilight realized that the poor pony was probably trying to keep herself from doing just that.

Standing here probably took every scrap of courage she had. Twilight wondered if she would fare any better in the same situation. Was this how she would look to Dash? Had Fluttershy been dreaming about her every night? Been agonizing over what to say? How many weeks had it taken for her to work up the courage to come over and knock on the library door? How many more would it take to get past the devastation of rejection?

Another glance at the still trembling Fluttershy tore Twilight's heart in half. Her head filled with visions of Fluttershy running away in tears, spending weeks locked in her house and crying into her pillow. She couldn't bear to let that happen. What kind of monster would she be? At that moment, she wanted nothing more than to jump forward and give Fluttershy a reassuring hug, tell her that everything would be alright, make everything alright. And she had the power to do so. All she had to do was say yes. The alternative was unthinkable really. Nopony should have to go through the same suffering she had over Dash, much less one as fragile as Fluttershy. She didn't have the strength of will to inflict that on anypony. She couldn't say no.

NO! Twilight's conscience shouted inside her head. Whatever you do, you cannot start a relationship built on pity. It will only breed resentment and hurt her more in the end. No matter how much it hurts, it's better to stop it here instead of stringing her along on a lie. Do not accept unless you actually mean it!

Would she actually mean it though? Twilight still didn't know how she felt about a relationship with Fluttershy. She realized that she had been painfully lonely lately. She did want a marefriend, and Fluttershy could more than adequately fill that role. She had already told herself that she needed to go out and try dating. Was it really fair to reject Fluttershy for caring too much? To say 'sorry Fluttershy, I'd date you if only you liked me a little less'?

Then again, she didn't see her attachment to Rainbow Dash fading away soon. She would probably start unintentionally comparing Fluttershy unfavorably. She might even start resenting her for not being Dash. She certainly wouldn't make a good marefriend if she was pining away for somepony else all the time. Another horrifying thought came to her. What if while she was dating Fluttershy, Dash became available again? Dumping Fluttershy to pursue Dash would be a horrible thing, but Twilight knew she would probably do it. Dash probably wouldn't think too well of her for that, but Twilight wouldn't hesitate if it somehow ended up with the two of them together.

Twilight didn't know what to do. Every option seemed like the wrong one. She looked again at Fluttershy, who was fidgeting uncomfortably. It had been about ten seconds of silence. She was running out of time. She needed to respond. Unable to come to a decision, she decided she would just be as honest as she could.

"Well...I...I don't know."

Fluttershy gave a puzzled expression of equal parts hope and fear.

"I'm not sure if I'd make a very good marefriend."

Fluttershy opened her mouth to say that she would be a wonderful marefriend, but Twilight quickly cut her off.

"You see, there's already somepony that I like, but I can't exactly be with them because of...certain reasons. It's very unlikely that I'll ever be able to be with them." That last admission stung as she said it aloud. Fluttershy shifted, unsure whether this was leading to a yes or a no.

"so...that means that...?"

"What I'm trying to say is that I'm not against giving us a shot, but it might not work out. I might be distant, thinking about this other pony, and that wouldn't be fair to you."

"But you'd still be with me right? Still give it a chance?"

"Yes, but you'd always be second in my thoughts! Even if it's unlikely, if I had a chance to be with them instead I'd take it. You shouldn't want a marefriend like that. It would be horrible!"

"Well...if I'm second, that would still mean you care a lot about me right? You just care about this other pony more."

"Yes, of course. I would still care about you."

"And we could still do things together like a couple?" Fluttershy's cheeks turned a bright pink.

"Well, yes but-"

"Then yes." Fluttershy's face hardened with a look of determination.


"Yes. If you're okay with it, and if there's any chance at all things could work out, then I'm willing to take that chance no matter what the risk. I understand if you don't feel the same way, but I want to try." Twilight had trouble believing that the resolute mare in front of her was the same shy pony known to cower at the sight of her own shadow.

"Well...if you're okay with that, then I guess I'm willing to try as well." Twilight was suddenly startled by the yellow forelegs thrown around her neck as Fluttershy leaped forward.

"Oh thank you so much Twilight! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

Twilight already started to feel guilt and regret knotting her stomach. She had tried to deflect responsibility by making it Fluttershy's decision, but what kind of choice was it really? Of course she would say yes. She could hardly expect Fluttershy to rationally and objectively weigh the potential pros and cons on the spot. If Dash had made her a similar offer, she would have jumped on it without a second thought. She would see any kind of relationship with Dash, no matter how dysfunctional, as preferable to nothing. It could possibly be more painful in the long term, but nopony could be expected to make that call correctly.

After making plans for a first date Saturday afternoon, Fluttershy had left, literally walking on air, and wearing a smile so large it looked almost painful. Twilight still had no idea if she had done the right thing. She felt terrible, but doubted she would feel much better if things had gone any differently. She walked upstairs, knowing she wouldn't be getting much in the way of sleep tonight.


Twilight waited by the fountain in the center of town. She had been waiting for about 15 minutes. Not because Fluttershy was late, the arranged meeting time wasn't for another 10 minutes, Twilight had simply found herself sitting around the library doing nothing while waiting for the time to leave. She had figured she might as well get some sunlight and fresh air instead of driving Spike crazy with her pacing.

They had agreed to meet here, where Fluttershy would fill her in on what they would be doing. She had insisted that their main activity for the day remain a surprise, though she had at least told Twilight that there wouldn't be any need to dress up. Seeing the pony in question walking up the road towards her, Twilight guessed that she had probably had the same problem.

"Oh, Twilight. I didn't think you would be here yet."

"Yeah, I wasn't doing anything so I thought I'd just head over early."

"Me too. I almost didn't because Rarity said I should be 'fashionably late'. Sh-should we wait?"

Twilight gave a small internal groan. She wasn't surprised that Rarity knew, she and Fluttershy's were very close after all, but things were going to get tedious and complicated if she insisted on giving her special brand of 'advice'.

"No, there's no reason we can't start early as long as we're both here," Twilight responded before adding "besides, this way we get to spend even more time together."

Her last comment had put a smile on Fluttershy's now blushing face and Twilight was glad she was off to such a good start. Fluttershy quickly explained that their main activity for the day wouldn't be ready for a little while longer and suggested a brief nature walk to fill the time. Finding it a perfectly agreeable idea, Twilight let her lead the way. It was the same as any other walk they had taken as friends. Since they already knew each other well, they were able to skip completely past the awkward getting to know each other phase, to their mutual relief, and fall right into comfortable conversation.

Not paying attention to where she was walking, Twilight accidentally bumped up against Fluttershy's side, and heard what sounded like a sharp, but nearly silent gasp. A quick sideways glance at Fluttershy's glowing cheeks confirmed it. Continuing on as if she hadn't noticed, Twilight got a devious idea to have a little fun and make their walk more entertaining. As their walk continued, Twilight would pretend to be distracted by the conversation while she brushed up against Fluttershy or 'accidentally' whipped her tail against her side while turning to look at an interesting sight. Twilight grinned as she pretended to be oblivious to the symphony of adorable squeaks she was pulling out of the poor pony. She was practically playing her like an instrument and it felt good. Twilight knew she probably shouldn't tease her like this, but Fluttershy certainly didn't look like she had any objections. She finally gave the beleaguered pegasus a break.

Having led them back into the center of town, Fluttershy finally revealed her surprise. Two passes for a free day at the spa. Fluttershy and Rarity had apparently visited enough times to become diamond club members, which came with several vouchers for free visits for them and their friends. Twilight had to admit, Fluttershy knew how to plan a good date. They spent the day being pampered. Hooficures, facials, massages, but the very best part was the large hot tub. As she slid into the steamy, turbulent waters, Twilight felt tensions flowing out of muscles she didn't even know she had. She quickly found a nice jet to settle down and melt in front of.

Closing her eyes for a few minutes, she started to hear an intermittent sloshing sound just barely audible over the jets. It came irregularly, but usually no less than forty five seconds apart, and in short, quick bursts. She cracked an eye open to see Fluttershy hesitantly trying to inch herself closer, wearing a look of nervous apprehension that had no business being in such a relaxing environment. With a grin, Twilight slid herself sideways and wrapped a foreleg around her. Fluttershy gave a short, startled "eep" but soon relaxed and leaned her head against Twilight's shoulder, giving a contented sigh.

Things were definitely going better than expected for Twilight. Her ego was certainly satisfied. It felt good to know that somepony liked her so much that she could manipulate their mood with her slightest action. She could make Fluttershy tense or relaxed at will. It made her feel important, powerful, and she was enjoying exercising that power. More specifically, she was enjoying using it to make Fluttershy happy. She looked even more adorable than normal as she rested against Twilight's shoulder.

Hunger eventually overcame both of them and they set out in search of dinner. They settled on a small nearby restaurant, respectable, but not overly stuffy. They had good food and good conversation. Wanting to see how bright she could make Fluttershy blush again, Twilight decided to work in a compliment of her beautiful eyes. The answer was very very bright. As they left the restaurant, Twilight thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She also had the strange feeling that she was being watched.

As they continued walking, no set destination in mind, just letting their food settle, the feeling of being watched grew. As she turned to look behind her, Twilight swore she saw a flash of white and pink in her peripheral vision. All she saw now was a bush with a stylish camouflage hat sticking out of the top and a very suspicious looking crate with an exclamation mark painted on it.

"It seems we have a couple of nosy spies." She muttered under her breath to Fluttershy.

"What? Who? Where?" Fluttershy looked about in confusion.

"Pinkie and Rarity. It seems they've been following us since the restaurant."

"What should we do?"

"I've got an idea. Just hold still."

Twilight's horn began to glow as she started focusing magic into it. A violet aura began to grow until it surrounded both of them. Then the world briefly blinked out of existence before snapping back into place with different scenery. Fluttershy stumbled a bit, dizzy from the unfamiliar experience, and fell against Twilight who had moved to catch her.

"W-What happened?"

"I teleported us back to the library. I thought we'd give them the slip and hang around here for a while until they give up and go home. I hope you don't mind. I just don't like the idea of being followed all the way to your place."

"Oh no, that's perfectly alright with me. I would have been uncomfortable being watched as well."

They both went inside and said hello to Spike, who was just on his way to bed. He made them some tea before bidding them goodnight and heading up to his room. They enjoyed their tea in peace, speculating on how Pinkie and Rarity were doing. The conversation eventually turned to the work Twilight did in the library. Before she knew it, Twilight was showing off her lab and explaining what all the different pieces of equipment did. She almost never let anypony else in her lab. She rarely let Spike come down here, and that was only when she really need the assistance.

"Wow...It's all so impressive Twilight. You're even more talented than I thought." Now it was Twilight's turn to hide her blushing.

It had been two hours before they finally noticed the time. It was getting late. Pinkie and Rarity had surely given up and gone home by now, and Fluttershy needed to get home so she could take care of her animals in the morning. Magically tucking away the deck of playing cards they had been using, Twilight followed Fluttershy out the door. She could easily fly home on her own, or Twilight could have easily teleported them both to Fluttershy's house, but there was no need to rush. No reason not to squeeze one last walk out of the night.

It was slow going. It was obvious that Fluttershy was trying to drag out the night with a more than leisurely pace. Twilight didn't mind though, she was perfectly content to enjoy the fresh night air and admire the moon and stars. The path ahead of them was lit by a brilliant full moon, and the stars hung like dazzling jewels in the soft mix of black and dark blue hues that made up the night sky. Luna was really on her game tonight. Soon she was pointing out the various constellations to Fluttershy, slowing their pace even further as she stopped to trace a hoof through the air and lecture about astronomy and the history of navigation.

After mentioning that the stars were never this visible from Canterlot, because of all the light pollution, Twilight encountered one of those rare moments where she couldn't think of anything else to say. Fluttershy had nothing to add, so they walked on in silence. The only sound came from hooves hitting cobblestone. The hypnotic rhythm lulled them both into a serene state of calm. When the sharp sounds of cobblestone shifted to the muted thuds of a dirt road, signaling that they were almost at their destination, the calm faded from Fluttershy's face. She slowed to a crawl and finally stopped.

"Something wrong Fluttershy?"

"It's...It's just that, well...I really don't want this night to end. I know it has to eventually, but I'm scared, never mind, I'm just being silly." Fluttershy attempted to shrink back into her mane.

"What? What is it?"

"Well...I'm...kinda afraid that I'm going to wake up soon, or that when I go to bed and wake up in the morning, I won't be able to tell if any of this was real." Hearing how ridiculous her words sounded out loud, she quickly turned away.

Chuckling to herself, Twilight plucked a nearby flower and magically changed its colors to a swirling pattern of violet, yellow, and pink. There was no way anypony would think it was natural. "Here. Keep this with you, and you'll know it wasn't a dream." She lowered the flower into Fluttershy's mane and with as much casual smoothness as she could muster, said "Besides, if tonight never ends, then how are we ever going to go on a second date?"

If Fluttershy's smile had been any brighter, Luna would be having angry words with Celestia as to why Equestria suddenly had a second sun that was cutting off her night. "Really? You really want to go out again? With me? Again?"

Twilight rolled her eyes. "No, with Angel. Of course with you. It was a lot of fun and I'd like to do it again."

After a quick aerial somersault, Fluttershy touched down and started walking again. Turning quietly around the large chicken coop, the cottage came into view, a large dark shadow against the treeline of the Everfree forest. A small lantern hung from a post by the front porch, a guiding light for darker nights when the moon wasn't quite so bright. From inside came the quiet sounds of many sleeping animals. They finally reached the front door, said their goodnights, and stood there. Twilight waited for Fluttershy to open the door and go inside, while Fluttershy seemed to be nervously waiting for Twilight to do something.

Is she waiting on me? What does she want? Wait, is she expecting me I supposed to...uh oh. She tried to look to Fluttershy for some kind of cue, but all she saw was anxiety. Okay, so she's definitely not making the first move. You're gonna have to take charge on this. You can do this Sparkle.

With only a small intake of breath as a warning, Twilight tilted her head a few degrees, pushed her lips against Fluttershy's, and felt...nothing. Sure there was a tactile sensation, she felt lips against her own, but that was it. Her head wasn't filled with fireworks. Quite the contrary, she was clear, lucid, and able to examine every second of the experience. Fluttershy's lips didn't taste sweet, divine, ambrosial, or anything even slightly poetic. They didn't taste like anything at all. They felt like what one would expect mucus membrane covered skin to feel like. Soft, squishy, and moist. Overall, it felt as if she were pressing her mouth against slightly warm, damp rubber.

Twilight wondered if one or both of them were just bad kissers, but Fluttershy appeared to be having quite a different experience. The unexpected force of the kiss had pushed her back into a sitting position with her back to the door, which was being pressed into quite forcefully by her now fully flared wings. She seemed lost in a daze, her eyes closed, clearly enjoying herself. Twilight took this all in as her eyes darted about, having nothing in particular to focus on, and wondered how long she was expected to keep this up. Finally, a break for air gave her a chance for an exit. With another hastily uttered goodnight, Twilight teleported out of sight, leaving a speechless Fluttershy on her front porch to stare dreamily into space for several minutes.

Lacking the focus to teleport all the way back to the library at the moment, Twilight Sparkle reappeared down the road and just out of sight of the cottage. She mulled over the events of the evening as she walked home. Things had gone well, great actually. She had enjoyed herself, and she was telling the truth when she had said she wanted to try it again.

Then there was that kiss. Why had it felt so wrong? So lifeless? Did she have damaged or missing nerves in her lips, leading to a complete lack of erogenous response that others had? Was it something that was supposed to get better with practice? Was Fluttershy just a terrible kisser? Since it was her first kiss, she didn't exactly have any prior data to compare.

Twilight stopped dead in her tracks as a realization struck her like a wave of cold water. That was her first kiss. Her first kiss, and it hadn't been with Dash. Feelings of guilt and betrayal began to rise once again in her mind.

No! This is ridiculous. I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty over this. This is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. Besides, first kisses aren't even important, I don't even care about those kind of things. It's better to get them out of the way to start getting experience and become better at it anyway. Then I'll be really skilled and able to impress Dash when we're finally together.

Twilight paused again. Where had that last thought come from? Had she been thinking of Fluttershy as practice? Training in how to be a marefriend? Was she honestly going into this relationship expecting it to fail so she could resume her futile pursuit of Dash? Twilight didn't like what her introspection was starting to dig up. Part of her did want things to work out, for her to actually develop stronger feelings for Fluttershy, and for them to be happy together. But far more, she still wanted to be with Dash, which meant she wanted failure of both of their current relationships.

It wasn't right. Her best case scenario shouldn't involve breaking things off with Fluttershy and having her be okay with it because Fluttershy had spontaneously stopped loving her. Twilight continued walking home, trying desperately to regain some of the happiness that had characterized the rest of the day. There was always the second best scenario, that if she couldn't be with the pony she loved, she would someday come to her senses and love the pony she was with.


It was almost noon by the time Twilight woke up. It seemed she had been up far later than she thought. In the fog of her groggy mind a thought nagged at her. It felt as if there was something she had forgotten to do, something important she was supposed to have taken care of at the earliest opportunity. She couldn't imagine what it was. The library wasn't officially open today and there was nothing written on her calendar. She dismissed it as she rolled out of bed and gave a long stretch, a satisfying pop coming from the area between her shoulders. If she kept sleeping in this late, she wouldn't be able to yell at Spike with a straight face anymore. As she emerged downstairs, she saw the dragon in question reclining on the couch and flipping through the large Sunday edition of the Ponyville Express.

"So, I take it your date with Fluttershy went alright?"

"What? Who said it was a date?" Twilight didn't like the assumption, even if it was completely correct.

"Right. I'm sure the fact that I had to re-shelve the first four volumes of 'The Egghead's Guide to Dating' yesterday was a complete coincidence." Twilight refused to dignify such ridiculous airtight deduction with an answer. Maybe that had been what she forgot to do? "Anyway, somepony left a note for you at the door. I left it on the table."

Twilight walked over to the kitchen table where she saw an envelope covered in bright polka dots. Inside was a note written in bright pink crayon and a familiar sloppy mouthwriting.

Twilight! Please come to Sugarcube Corner at exactly noon. It's super duper important! You have to be there for stuff! Important stuff! I mean, it probably won't be the end of Equestria if you don't show up, but it could be!

She wasn't sure what it was Pinkie wanted, but it wasn't as if she had made any other plans for the day. A quick glance at the clock revealed that she only had about a minute until noon. Charging out the door, she summoned some magic and flung herself through space, arriving just up the street from Sugarcube Corner. There was a reason she had never been tardy to a class.

She was surprised to see Fluttershy arriving from the other direction, a note with bright pink text held under her wing. After sharing a quick hello and a look of concern, they headed for the door. This was odd. Had each of their friends gotten a similar note? No, if they had they should all be arriving at the same time. What could Pinkie need that required both Fluttershy and herself to arrive at the same time? The pieces suddenly fell into place and Twilight remembered what she had forgotten to do, but it was too late. Fluttershy had already pushed open the door to the darkened room.

"SURPRISE!" Twilight was nearly bowled over from the concussive force of a large number of ponies yelling at her. With the lights now on, she could see that half the town was there. There was a large banner hanging from the ceiling with the words "Congratulations Twilight + Fluttershy" stretched across it and covered in hearts. Of course Pinkie would want to throw a party for them, and of course she would invite as many ponies as she could. Twilight had forgotten to intercept her and ask her to hold on the party. She had meant to do it, if not immediately after the date, then first thing in the early morning, but somehow she had forgotten. She had started worrying about that kiss and then had been so tired when she got home that she had gone straight to bed.

As she walked deeper into the sea of smiling faces and congratulations, Fluttershy cringing at her side, all she could think was that this was bad. Very bad. She hadn't exactly planned to keep it a secret forever, but that didn't mean she wanted it broadcast to all of Equestria! They had only had one date, but now they were the hot new couple of Ponyville. Now everypony knew and they all had expectations. If things didn't work out, she wouldn't just be crushing Fluttershy, she'd be letting down everypony in town. They had to work out now. Or at least continue on until they were no longer newsworthy.

Finally, she saw what she had been dreading most. The sea of ponies parted, and Twilight could see a beaming Rainbow Dash walking her direction. Panic put an icy grip on all her internal organs and sent her pulse racing. She had to suppress the urge to teleport away that instant and hide under a bed somewhere.

"Hey Twilight! Congratulations! I was wondering when you'd finally find a special somepony of your own. I've been friends with Fluttershy since flight school, and let me tell you, you couldn't have picked a better pony to fall for." Twilight felt that she deserved some kind of acting award for managing not to cringe.

But I did!

If only Dash knew how cruel her kind words really were. "Same goes for you Fluttershy. I always knew you'd land a nice catch, and I gotta say, you've got good taste." Dash added with a wink and a nudge. Was Dash doing this on purpose? Was this some kind of cruel joke? It was amazing how a compliment that would normally make Twilight swoon could be so devastating with a little context. "Well enjoy the party. If you'll excuse me, a certain apple farmer now owes me ten bits."

As she watched the oblivious pegasus fly off to collect on her wager, Twilight felt herself and Fluttershy being herded by the party goers towards an impromptu stage in the center of the room. The plywood raised on cinderblocks, the large banner overhead, the tables full of refreshments, they all triggered a sense of deja vu. Of course, there was no confusion over where she had seen these familiar elements before. It was still permanently etched in her mind as the worst day of her life. Now up on top of the stage, her horror grew as she realized what the crowd was expecting from her. The happy couple was supposed to give some kind of speech and then kiss.

She couldn't do that. She might be able to cobble together a few words about being surprised by their turnout and support, but she couldn't just kiss Fluttershy up on stage. Not with half the town watching her. Not with Dash watching her! Twilight looked out at the crowd of gawking faces, their eager eyes boring into her, and began to feel resentment, then anger. She wasn't there to perform for their entertainment. Didn't any of them find this intrusive? How was her personal life any of their business anyway?!

The worst part was that she knew they all really did mean well. They all wanted to support her and thought this party was a wonderful idea. It hadn't even been their idea though. They had been assembled and organized by a certain pink ringleader to whom Twilight owed her current position. As she spotted Pinkie happily bouncing in the crowd, Twilight's anger started to grow, until it was suddenly cut off by a whimpering noise next to her.

Glancing to her right, she saw a quivering Fluttershy huddling by her side for security, and looking as though she might faint any second. That was quickly becoming a real possibility as her breathing indicated that she was starting to hyperventilate. Now that the crowd had started to quiet down, Twilight could hear a faint and desperate whispering between gasps.

"T-Twi-light! Please. H-H-Help!"

Even if Twilight hadn't been able to hear, the look Fluttershy gave her would have said it all. Eyes wide with fear, she was looking to Twilight as her savior, her one and only hope of rescue. A protective instinct moved inside Twilight and stirred her to action. She might have stayed and suffered through this party if it was just her own misery she had to worry about, but if Fluttershy didn't want to be here either, she wasn't going to stay a second longer than necessary.

"Thank you all for coming but it seems Fluttershy isn't feeling very well and I just remembered I think I left the sink on fire! GOODBYE!" And with a flash of magic, the stage was empty.


There was a bright flash in the center of the library, followed by the appearance of two ponies. Twilight felt something wet pressing into her side and saw that Fluttershy had grabbed onto her and was now crying into her side, sobs partially muffled by her lavender coat. Twilight guided them over to the couch to give Fluttershy time to finish, and herself a chance to breathe. After a few minutes, the crying subsided and her breathing became slow and regular again.

"I'm sorry. Sorry I ruined our party."

"Don't be. I actually didn't want to stay there either."

"I'm also sorry about...this." Fluttershy gestured at Twilight's dampened and tear stained coat.

"No problem at all. Besides, I think I have some towels upstairs anyway. Come on."

As they headed up the stairs, Twilight paused, noticing something stuck to her door. Upon closer examination, she found it was actually two somethings. A note and a scroll. The note was from Spike. He had stepped out to get a few groceries and restock their stationery supply. It seemed that as he was about to leave, a message from Princess Celestia had arrived, so he stuck it on her door with the note. Twilight wondered what the princess could possibly want as she quickly opened the scroll and began to read aloud.

My faithful student Twilight Sparkle,

It has recently come to my attention that you have finally found somepony special, and have started your first romantic relationship. I can not tell you how happy I am that you have taken this step. To be honest, I was concerned that you might never express any interest in the subject, and would deprive yourself of a world of new experiences. You have grown so much in your studies of friendship from the filly who would spend all day isolated in the tower, but there is still more to a young mare's life. I wish all the best to you and Fluttershy. May you both bring each other great happiness in the days to come.

Twilight's right eye gave a small twitch. She briefly pondered if this situation could get any worse until she noticed the post script.

PS: Your parents wanted me to send along their congratulations as well. They are thrilled and can not wait to hear more about the mysterious mare who has, as they put it, "thawed the heart of the ice queen". Your father is not yet entirely convinced that she is not some kind of golem made out of books.

Calmly and silently, Twilight rolled up the scroll with her magic, opened the door to her room, and gently deposited the scroll and note on her nightstand. Without a word, or even a flicker of emotion across her features, she walked slowly and purposefully over to the side of her bed, climbed in, and pulled one of her pillows over her head. She heard the muffled sounds of hoofsteps on the floor and felt the weight of Fluttershy dropping onto the bed beside her and pulling the other pillow over her own head. Twilight reached behind her to lazily throw the covers over both of them, and Sheetland welcomed its two miserable diarchs.