• Published 15th Jan 2014
  • 3,871 Views, 107 Comments

Kinds of Love: The World - Rainedash



A series of short stories set in the 'Kinds of Love' universe.

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The Princess of Shipping vs Fluttershy

Shining Armor trudged along the trail to Fluttershy's cottage, letting out a little yawn around the halfway mark. It was early in the morning, the sun barely over the horizon in the distance. He looked ahead to his sister and wife happily chatting away about proper tiara wearing or something... he wasn't really paying attention. How do they do it? When they have a goal in mind, they can jump right out of bed at the crack of dawn and be fully awake. Maybe it's a princess thing. Next time I see Princess Celestia, I'm asking her if she has any other unfinished spells by Starswirl. Laughter from them broke through his morning grumpiness. Well, it is nice seeing them be happy together without any impending doom. They stopped and looked back at him.

“Shiny, dear, are you still with us?” asked Cadance.

He mumbled halfheartedly, “Somewhat.”

“Come on, shouldn't a guard be used to waking up early?' asked Twilight. “How did you become captain when you can't get up early?”

“A captain can create his own schedule, also it's my day off.”

“Don't whine.”

They glared at one another until Cadance giggled. “You two are adorable.”

Shining Armor chuckled as he saw Twilight turn and huff. Leave it to Cadance to make both of us feel foalish.

“Ahem, we're here,” said Twilight, pointing ahead of them to Fluttershy's cabin.

Shining Armor crossed the bridge over the creek that flowed just outside of her home after the princesses flew over the water. Shining Armor and Cadance stood back, letting Twilight be the one to knock on Fluttershy's door.

“Fluttershy, it's Twilight. I brought Cadance and Shining Armor with me.”

Fluttershy's voice called out to them, “Come in,” along with a chorus of animal sounds.

As they walked in, Shining Armor expected the cottage to be a disaster on the inside, considering all the animals she apparently took care of. Instead, it was fairly tidy. As he stood there, he felt a small tap on his right hind hoof. “Hm?” He looked back to see a mouse in a maid uniform along with a broom. It pointed to his leg and then up, so he lifted his leg, and the mouse dusted the spot under his hoof before giving nod and wandering off. Twilight wasn't kidding, she really is great with animals.

“Can I get you anything?” asked Fluttershy. “I can make some tea if you'd like.”

“We wouldn't want to trouble you,” said Cadance. “I simply want to talk to you about something, if you have the time.”

“Oh dear, I knew this was coming...” Fluttershy backed away from them, averting her eyes. “Applejack told me about that bet you two had.”

“At least that saves some time,” said Shining Armor as he looked at the animals and started petting a ferret that wandered by him.

“I'm not sure if I could-”

“It's so nice to see you having company over, Fluttershy,” said a rabbit, interrupting Fluttershy. Unlike the other rabbits running around the cottage, this one had yellow eyes and an overgrown fang.

“Anypony else hear the rabbit talk? That's not just me, right?” asked Shining Armor.

Twilight groaned. “...Discord,” she said through clenched teeth.

In a snap of it's fingers the rabbit changed into a draconequus. “Oh Twilight, it's always a pleasure to see you,” said Discord with a mischievous grin. “Ah, and nice to see you again as well, Princess Cadance.”

Cadance smiled and bowed her head in greeting. Shining Armor reluctantly gave him the same greeting.

“I know all about this silly little bet of yours and I must stop you now,” said Discord. A tuxedo appeared on him as did a pipe in his hand which had a never ending stream of bubbles coming from it. “I am a rather handsome old gentleman,” he ran a pair of fingers across one of his eyebrows, “Whose refinement is only surpassed by his ability to charm others. That, along with my friendship with dear, sweet Fluttershy surely makes me a top candidate. However, I'm afraid I must sink this little ship of yours.” Levitating water appeared with a ship floating on it's surface called The SS Discoshy. Discord spat out a small cannonball, literally sinking the ship and in an instant, the ship vanished. “My love for her is not romantic in the least. Why, she's the little sister I never had.” He lifted Fluttershy up and proceeded to nuzzle her. “Wait, did I have a sister?” He shrugged. “You tend to lose track of things when you get to be my age.”

“Actually, I never once considered you for dating Fluttershy,” said Cadance.

“...oh.” Discord dropped Fluttershy. “Well, it matters not. Either way, the answer would be no.”

“Um, Discord, I can answer it myself,” said Fluttershy.

“Just look at her,” he said, completely ignoring her comment. “What happens if she gets scared or worried? Who will be there to rescue her?”

“Discord?” Fluttershy tried again, getting no response.

“It's simply more stress than she can handle.” Discord started petting her. “This fragile creature can't possibly be asked to go out on a blind date.”

Fluttershy stomped her hoof, finally getting him to look at her. “Discord, that is enough!” Her stare was quickly becoming a glare. “I-I don't always need to be rescued. I'm not a little filly.”

“Are you sure? We wouldn't want you getting in over your head,” he said, his tone getting even more patronizing than it was before.

“Yes.” Fluttershy spun around to face Cadance. “I'll gladly go on a date with a stallion you choose,” she punctuated that statement with a huff. Her eyes grew and her lips twitched.

She just realized what she agreed to, thought Shining Armor.

“W-wait, I didn't... I-I...” Fluttershy stammered.

“Fluttershy, I promise that I'll be extra careful in finding a nice stallion for you,” said Cadance. “And I'll start right away. Come along you two.” Cadance turned to the door and walked out, along with Shining Armor and Twilight.

“Are you sure about this? She didn't seem happy with the idea,” said Shining as the trio walked back towards town.

“She's just a bit worried. Once the date is underway, she'll be fine,” said Cadance. “What do you think Twilight?”

“If he does manage to put her at ease, then it could go well. Otherwise, I'm not so sure.”

“I agree with Twilight,” said the talking tree they just passed.

Wait... Shining Armor's ear twitched. Slowly he turned his head to look back, seeing that the tree in question had a smiley face. It didn't take long for Shining to notice that they were the same yellow eyes from before. “Discord?”

“Nope. I'm just a simple talking tree. Don't tell me you haven't seen more around. My family was vacationing at the Crystal Empire just the other day.”

“Ha ha, very funny. Come on out, Discord,” said Twilight.

The tree's mouth opened and out slithered Discord, the face disappearing right after. “Twilight, you simply must learn to have fun once in awhile.”

“I have plenty of fun, for your information,” she replied.

“So, Princess Cadance, would you like to thank me now or later, after the date?” asked Discord.

Cadance stepped back away from him. “Thank you? You nearly ruined any chance we had of talking her into it.”

“Actually, no he didn't,” said Shining Armor.

“Glad to see somepony was actually paying attention.”

“What do you mean?” asked Twilight. Her and Cadance looked to Shining to explain.

“He tricked her. He patronized her on purpose to make her angry enough to agree to it without realizing it,” said Shining Armor.

Twilight turned to Discord, “So, you actually want her to find a boyfriend?”

“The other day I caught her reading a romance story and sighing oh so contently at the sappiness of it all. Underneath that shy exterior, I believe she loves love. And despite what you may think of me, I do want Fluttershy to be happy. Besides, if it goes wrong, I can always turn her into a dragon to scare the guy off.” With that he vanished.

“I can't believe I'm saying this, but that was actually a pretty nice thing he did,” said Cadance. “Perhaps he really isn't all bad.”

“No, he's still a jerk for the most part. He simply has a morality pet,” replied Twilight.

***

As the three of them got back to the library, Cadance asked, “Twilight, could you tell me about every musician that lives in town?”

“You want to pair her up with a musician?”

“Well, I remember you telling me before how much she loved that little group Rarity and Big Mac were in, and how she secretly enjoys singing, so it'll give us the best chance of success.”

“Um, Cadance, I'm not so sure about that. She can't sing in front of others.” While she's was doubtful that this could work, Twilight did pull out a town registry and starting listing each pony from it she knew to be a musician, either professionally or as a hobby. “You know, you can't just put together two random ponies that just happen to like music and expect them to fall in love.” Twilight felt Cadance's presence as she stood behind her and then felt a hoof gently patting her shoulder.

“Of course not. One would have to be crazy to think love of music alone would keep two ponies together, we will still have to find one with the right personality. However, it can be a good starting point. They will have something to break the ice and with a pony like Fluttershy, that ice must be broken if we are to get anywhere.”

“I know, but... there's just so much that can go wrong here. As sensitive as Fluttershy can be, if something does go wrong, she won't even try dating again for years. And if Discord has something planned for it... ugh, Discord getting involved.” Cadance's wing went over Twilight's back, pulling her tightly against her side. The close presence and warmth from her sister-in-law soothed away some of the doubt, turning Twilight's tense expression into a soft smile.

“Have I ever let you down before?” asked Cadance in a calming whisper.

“Never.” Twilight leaned against Cadance and nuzzled her neck. “And I know you never will. I'll have the list done in five minutes.”

***

The scent of flowers and grass hung in the air around the park, helping to calm Fluttershy's nerves... somewhat. I shouldn't have done this. I should just go to Cadance and-No. I'm not going to back out of this. I-I'm not a little filly. I know I can handle one da-

“Hello.”

“Eeeeeee!” Fluttershy leapt off the ground and landed as her body went rigid.

The other pony came out from behind her and walked around her, letting her see him out of the corner of her eye. “Sorry about that, kitten. Didn't mean to startle you none.” The stallion was blue, both in terms of his mane color and his fur color; though the mane was darker. “No need to be afraid of just little ol' me.”

“O-oh... okay.” I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid. Fluttershy took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, calming down her body. “I'm Fluttershy.” Now that she was actually getting a good look at him, he seemed familiar. “Um, have we met before?”

“Not sure if we'd ever been formally introduced, but I've seen you around town, and I make a point never to forget a pretty mare. My name is Blues Noteworthy, though just Blues is fine. A first date ain't a time to act all formal.” He had a smile that radiated a laid back confidence that matched well with his deep voice.

“So... where would you like to go?” asked Fluttershy, slowly gaining some hope that the date would go well.

“I know of a nice little watering hole in town that's perfect for this. But first, there's something I forgot to get.”

“Oh?”

Blues looked down around his hooves searching for something; though what it was, Fluttershy couldn't guess. “That should do.” He bent down and bit through a flower's stalk, lifted it up, and placed it behind her ear. “Meant to buy you one before I got here, but that should do.”

“T-thank you,” replied Fluttershy.

***

“O-oh my...” Fluttershy hid behind her mane as they reached the 'watering hole' he spoke of. She knew she had heard of the term before but she wasn't expecting this.

Blues held open the door to The Sweet Treat, a bar. “Ladies first.”

One tentative step after another and both were inside. He led her towards the bar counter as Fluttershy looked around. The occasional pony sat around at the tables and there was a stage with some spotlights hanging overhead. While there was plenty enough light to see, it was certainly darker inside, giving the bar an intimate atmosphere.

“Blues!” exclaimed the bartender, Berry Punch. “Always good to see ya!”

“Well, I couldn't think of a better place to bring my date,” he said as he sat down on one of the stools.

Fluttershy sat next to him. “You come here often?”

Blues nodded. “This place is one of my regular gigs. Every weekend I play on that stage over there.” He pointed to the one she saw coming in. “Oh, Berry, she's not much of a drinker I'm sure. Could you get one of your fruit punches without the liqueur. I'll take a mixed drink, with raspberry juice.”

“Coming right up.” In a moment Berry had both orders in front of them.

“So, Cadance told me that you enjoy to sing?”

Fluttershy's cheeks heated up. “Well, I do... but not in front of others.”

“Stage fright?”

She nodded.

“That's a shame. Twilight was there with Cadance and she said you had a beautiful singing voice.”

Fluttershy's cheeks grew hotter and she sunk down into her seat. “It's just that... when I'm in front of others, I can't do it. Even if I tried, I don't think I could force my voice to even come out. The animals I take care of are the only ones I sing for.”

“What if it was a small crowd? Say...” He looked around the bar. “Ten ponies?”

“Oh no. No no no no, I couldn't.”

“What if I said, I think I know a way around your stage fright?”

“Y-You do?”

“Maybe. But, you're gonna have to trust me, alright?”

Fluttershy went quiet, not sure what to say. She loved the idea of entertaining others with her singing, but the actual act of doing so... having all those eyes staring at her, watching her every move, ready to laugh at the first mistake she makes. “I...” She turned to him and saw him patiently waiting for her answer. “W-Will they laugh if I mess up?”

“Nah, you don't need to worry about that. No pony's gonna laugh at you. I should know, I've messed up plenty of times on that stage.”

“So... what's your idea for me to, um, not be afraid?”

He smiled. “Hey Berry, my spare sax is still in the back room, right? And you don't mind a little impromptu jam session?”

“Right where you left it and that's fine with me. Not like you haven't done it before.”

“Perfect.” Blues slid off the stool and reached out to Fluttershy. She took his hoof and slid off as well. “Now, I want you to close your eyes and use your wing to follow me.”

“O-Okay, if you say so.” She shut her eyes tight and brushed her wing against his side.

“I'm going to lead you and while we're walking, just picture yourself being back home with all them animals. Think you can do that?”

Fluttershy nodded and using her wing against his side, followed him around until she felt the hardwood of the stage under her hooves. She mentally replaced her surroundings with her back yard: picturing all the animals running around, the wood smell that came from the Everfree Forest, and sense of being the only pony around.

“Stay put. I'll be right back.” True to his word, he was only gone for a few seconds. “Now, picture yourself being in front of your animals. They're smiling and waiting for the pony that takes care of them to sing. You aren't singing to ponies, just a few cute critters.”

The animals in her mind drew closer, standing around her, waiting to hear her sing to them. After a couple attempts, she forced her mouth to open and lyrics came out.

“I may be shy, almost all the time

But I'm finally going to draw the line

No running scared, no warning chimes

I will be just fine.”

Her voice was shaky and quiet, but the words were coming out.

“Gotta be a little louder than that. They can barely hear you.” He started playing, the sounds of the saxophone going with the rhythm of what she sang already.

Fluttershy's voice rang out louder, making sure all her cute little animals could hear her.

“This isn't where I want to be

Locked away where they can't see

This feeling, won't define me

I'll soar into the sky...

I want to sing, a pleasant song

To be heard, that can't be wrong

On a stage, I want to belong

Please can you hear me?

I'll tell you when, I feel ready

Count the days, there's so many

But I'll stand firm, my legs steady.

Please can you hear me?

Ohhh ohhh ohh ohh....”

After the 'animals' started to cheer and stomp of their hooves, she cracked open her eyes. “I did it? Oh my gosh I did it!” She smiled from ear to ear having done something she thought she might never be able to do, but then she realized, “I did it,” and started whimpering as her eyes snapped back shut.

“Guess there ain't gonna be an encore, huh?”

She shook her head and ran behind him, hiding from all the eyes out in the crowd.

“That's enough excitement for one night, I suppose. Wouldn't want to overwhelm you.” He walked back to the bar, finished his drink, and left behind some bits, as well as his instrument. “Let's get you home, alright?”

Fluttershy squeaked and nodded her head.

***

The pair were about halfway to her cottage. Fluttershy stared down at the path as she walked, trying to think about what she just did. I did it. I really did it. I sang in front of others... and they liked it! “T-thank you,” she said, barely above a whisper.

“Think nothing of it. It's always a shame to see a talent go to waste because of a silly thing like stage fright. You did real good back there, kitten,” replied Blues.

“I can't believe you can perform in front of others every weekend.”

“Oh, not just every weekend. I have regular gigs during the week too, usually in Canterlot. Though sometimes in Manehatten.”

“Oh... you travel a lot?”

“Yep. A musician isn't any good if he gets stuck in a rut. Gotta always try to get your music to new ponies.”

“Hm...”

The rest of the walk was mostly in silence, except for the occasional bird chirping over head and crickets in the grass on either side of the path. Finally Blues spoke up once they reached the cottage. “You've gotten mighty quite there, something on your mind?”

“It's just that...” Fluttershy bit her lip, thinking the best way to say it. “You travel a lot and... and are always playing in front of others. And...” She shut her eyes tightly and was just about to finish that thought when Blues spoke up.

“And it simply ain't going to work out, right?”

Fluttershy nodded. Please don't hate me.

“Ya didn't have to be scared to say that. Hey, these things happen. Dating is like combining two different styles of music. Sometimes it sounds fantastic and other times its, to put it politely, a disaster.” Blues shrugged. “Better to find out that our songs just don't match early on than to try to force it to be longer, you know.”

Fluttershy looked down and rubbed her foreleg with her hoof. “S-Sorry for wasting you time.” Of all the responses she could have expected, he surprised her.

Blues laughed. “Wasted time, eh? I'm not so sure about that. Are you happy you went out with me?”

Fluttershy mulled over the question in her head. Today, she had finally done something she's secretly wanted to do for a long time: sing in front of others. Even if she never does it again, she'll remember that she got to know what it feels like to do it at least once and to have a crowd cheer for her. Also, if she was willing to swallow her worries to go on a blind date in the first place, perhaps she would be able to find stallion more her speed in the future. She blushed and nodded. “Yes.”

“And I certainly enjoyed it. Sounds to me like that time was used pretty well. Who cares if it didn't lead to anything if we both enjoyed it, right?”

“R-Right.”

“I'll see you around, kitten. Oh, and if you ever want to try singing in front of others again, just let me know. You can join my weekend gig.”

“That sounds... fun.” She waved goodbye before opening her door to the sight of a rabbit glaring at her and pointing to the clock. “Oh, I was supposed to feed you an hour ago.” Fluttershy rushed into her kitchen and began chopping up vegetables together. As she did so, she started humming and quietly singing, ”I may be shy, almost all the time...”

Author's Note:

Sorry for the long wait. With this chapter that brings the score to 2-1 with Cadance in the lead. Also, thanks go out to Videomaster (http://www.fimfiction.net/user/videomaster21XX) for coming up with the song lyrics for me.

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