• Published 8th Mar 2014
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Pony POV Series Season Seven: Not The Wedding You Remember - Alex Warlorn


It's time for the royal wedding between Princess Cadence and Shining Armor: except events spiral out of control in ways you are not familiar with. Nothing is certain anymore, the future is no longer set, will the future still have a happy ending

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Episode 149: Under The Stars 1 of 2
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Author's Note:

Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy do some star gazing.

"Discord is beaten. The world is restored to it's proper balance and sanity and Celestia rule the day once again. But it's the scars ponies bear that you can't see that take the longest to heal. What was going on in those three weeks between episodes two and three of the second season? How did they recovery and heal from this ordeal that we didn't see?"

If this was Kingdom Hearts, this is where we'd get a montage of the previous installments to the techno-beat theme song!

Reharmonized
Princess Gaia
Butterflies
Mind Games
Seven Dreams/Nightmares
Dark World
Shining Armor

The ponies of the reharmonized verse are BACK!!!!

Sorry that it took so long to get the last season all written up. :-) Thank you for sticking with us guys! I had butterflies in my stomach again for posting this, but meh, I decided to listen to the Princess Luna version of Let It Go, and I decided, go for it already.

Previous: http://alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art/Prince-Blueblood-Reach-For-The-Stars-Part-2-of-2-430538763

Next Chapter: http://alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art/Reharmonized-Pony-POV-Series-Under-The-Stars-2of2-432495666

First Chapter: http://alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art/Pony-POV-Series-Fluttershy-FlutterCruel-Pearls-260092460

Image by Atomic Chincilla. http://atomic-chinchilla.deviantart.com/art/We-ll-Make-it-Through-304909770

"MLP: FIM" Copyright Hasbro

Edited like mad by Kendell2 and Louis.

Pony POV Series
Fluttershy
"Under The Stars"
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfiction
Edited by Kendell2 and Louis
Part 1 of 2

Twilight insists stargazing is wonderful. But I prefer watching fireflies to stargazing. Oh! And Stargazing is wonderful for her. Not that I was faking my joy when we saw that beautiful star shower. But seeing it with my friends was what made it special for me. Its the stars near the ground that enchantment me the most.

I really like the music the crickets are making. It's so peaceful. Pleasant. Not at all loud or confusing. The same way Princess Luna's moon looked beautiful tonight. I might not be...best of friends with Princess Luna, but I've always enjoyed her night...maybe I should try to tell her that. Just because I drove a wedge between us doesn't mean we can't remove it.

Fluttercruel was saying nothing. And I know why and I'm proud of her, she's being polite. We had to fight her to go to the butterfly migration together (and er, they had to fight me to drag me to the dragon migration) and she wouldn't stop complaining about how boring the butterflies were. How could she think it was boring seeing such beautiful creatures creating a living cloud of colors in the sky? But I knew Fluttercruel preferred...erm, 'exciting' things.

How do I feel about her eating meat? I...I don't think she's less of a pony for it. And, erm, I know that timberwolves eat meat, and they're not bad for it and...

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): You're not the first mother whose child has developed traits that make them uncomfortable.)

I know. But eating meat doesn't sit right with me, even if it does with her. The problem is that sharing the same body...it really does make me...uncomfortable.

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): As her mother, or as her cohabitant?)

Um...I really think it's both. But! But it isn't making me want to conquer Equestria or anything! Promise!

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): PLEASE tell me we're not going down this road again. I thought we were done with this.)

We are! I mean I am! I accepted what I did. And the tornado helped everypony accept me as Fluttershy. But what about other ponies who see her eating meat?

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Stand up for her, like a mother should, as so will your friends. Opinions of strangers shouldn't control your life.)

(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): So how are ya gonna handle her eatin' meat when ya don't like eatin' meat?)

...The truth is that it's something I've got to live with. A parent is supposed to sacrifice for their child, not the other way around. And I know ponies are technically able to eat meat biologically, so she's not hurting herself or me. I'm just worried what other ponies will think of her and...and...I keep imagining her 'upgrading' to other creatures who...I guess 'think' more, and...

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Fluttershy, eating meat doesn't work that way. It's not a downward spiral. Fluttercruel has free will. She's not going to start eating other ponies.

(Griffons haven't eaten sapient creatures for a thousand years. They made a choice to be better than that. The majority of Griffon kingdoms are friends with Equestria. Ask any Hippogriff, who eat meat and are accepted by the way. Equestrian diplomats and some Guard Ponies learn to eat fish if needed for diplomatic reasons. And Fluttershy, you know what separates ponies from animals is that we can chose to be better than our instincts, they're always there, but we aren't slaves to them.)

That...That sounds like something Twilight would say. Thank you.

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Thank you for the compliment, Fluttershy.)

You're welcome. It's embarrassing really. My parents taught me to be tolerant of others and not to upset the applecart.

(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Your parents?)

Oh yes. I visit them every Mother's Day and Father's Day. They taught me not to rock the boat, and you shouldn't interrupt, and you should always be considerate of others.

(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): How do you feel about them now that you've taken back Flutterrage?)

I still love them. Those lessons are a part of me. If I got those lessons wrong, it's my fault.

Mom and Dad...had a lot of words for me after, after I made my biggest mistake. But...sniff, they...they say they don't hate me, couldn't hate me. I saw into their hearts when I was Nightmare Whisper: dad wishes I stood up for myself more, and mom wishes I had stayed in Cloudsdale. But...but I saw in their heart of hearts they do love me. I'm still their filly. And that's what counts, right?

(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Do they know about their...granddaughter yet?)

Um...not yet, I'm still trying to figure out how to tell them. But I'm sure when I do, they'll accept her. Fluttercruel couldn't choose how she was born or who her father is.

Oh look! See how that bat swooped down and ate one of the fireflies? They aren't ponies, so we shouldn't judge them like ponies. They don't and can't understand the world like we do. I try my hardest not to say so around Angel. Animals don't feel sorry for killing, either other animals for eating or defending their territory, or each other over a mate. They are not like ponies. Angel acting like he does...I need to accept he's an exception, not the rule.

"Heh, that was something else. That bat plucked that firefly out of the air like that."

"Yes dear, it was. Did you know bats use echolocation to hunt in the dark, oh my! Of course you do dear, you have all of my memories. So of course you know."

"Yes, Mom. Yes, I do," she said flatly, "I like watching them go in for the kill, so much skill and timing involved, but animals just aren't really my thing...There are times I wish I got a chance to learn all this myself instead of being born with it."

"You wished you had your own foalhood instead of mine?"

"Heh, maybe. But having a foal in your head wouldn't have been very neat and tidy. The closest I had to a foalhood was...Mom? I have changed right? I have grown right?"

"Now now, don't go backsliding into something you worked so hard to get past."

"But what if the old man's old magic, didn't just make me out of thin air? Night Princess said we don't get to know the truth. What if he took some bad feelings in you, and gave them a mind of their own? What if I'm just the cruelty that might have existed in Fluttershy? Am I still something then if I'm no longer cruel? Wouldn't that mean it's better if...if...if we did what Pinkie and Pinkamena did?"

"No! Absolutely not young filly! You're not a PIECE of me, you're yourself!"

I felt Fluttercruel mentally cringe.

"...Fluttercruel," I said kind but firm, "Look at our flank, young lady."

I felt Fluttercruel make us look back at our flank. I let her see my Cutie Mark before changing places with her, allowing her Cutie Mark to manifest. "Do you see anything similar? At all?"

"...No..."

"Would your Cutie Mark be a pair of hooves holding each other and mine a trio of butterflies if you were just a piece of me or me of you? From what I've heard, Pinkie and Pinkamena had the same Cutie Mark. No matter which of us, if either, is the 'original' Fluttershy, we're not just PARTS of Fluttershy. If we were, we'd have the same Cutie Mark. You can be kind, I can...I can be cruel, we're not pieces!"

"...Hehe, I see you're making good use of your anger."

"It's about time I did." 'Better than New Fluttershy, I should have known I'd need time to adjust.'

"Don't worry about it, Fluttershy. It was bound to happen one way or another, at least this way you had a chance to grow. And it's actually more justified than how it would have happened, not that the writing for that episode was bad or anything, there was a bit of fridge logic but that's par the course with us, so you really should just be proud of yourself."

"Pinkie Pie!" I felt proud at not hiding in the bushes at her sudden appearance.

"Ta-da!"

"But-but-but-what are you doing here?! How'd you get here?! And, but, how did you know what I was thinking?"

"Oh that's one's easy, I read the story text."

(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Hey! No filching our notes!)

"I was only borrowing them," Pinkie Pie said giving them back.

Fluttercruel sighed. 'We should be used to this by now...'

Sane 'Pinkie Diane' was still Pinkie.

"As for how I got here," Pinkie Pie said, "I trotted mostly. As for what I'm doing? Luna helped me figure out something very important to me recently, she was really nice about it too. I got to stay up all night with Twilight and Zecora. And got a recipe from a new friend. The point is that, Luna always wanted ponies to enjoy her night more, so I thought I'd try it out a little. And you were doing the same, so I thought why shouldn't I? And...it's something I really haven't done before."

"So you just happened to see us out here?"

"More or less. Life is made of 'coincidences'. Keeps it interesting...And I wanted to see it all. Just in case."

"Just in case of what?"

"Just in case, this is the night the world ends."

"What?!" I squeaked.

"Oh! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to scare you, Fluttershy! It's just...everything has to end some day. Even if the Shadow finishes up and our world keeps going, Entropy has to do Her job someday, right? And every night I wonder, is this the night the world stops?"

"Pinkie Pie...what's...what's the point of thinking something like that?"

"Because...it's a wonderful world, isn't it, Fluttershy?"

"Yes...yes it is."

"So we should enjoy it while we can, because you never know when it'll suddenly all be over and your life will be canceled."

"I...I suppose you're right, but you shouldn't fixate on that."

"Oh, I'm not."

I looked at her tell tale mane and, "Pinkie Pie? Is that a new mane style?"

"Oh just a little something that happened. Very good friends of mine helped me work out some things." Pinkie Pie settled down next to me. "Fluttershy, it's wonderful to have a mother isn't it?"

I blinked. "Yes, of course. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, that camp out I told you about? I learned a few things that made me appreciate how my mom could've been not with me. How we just take our parents for granted. I found out if not for a very dear friend of mine making a very hard choice, I might not have even had my mom with me. I owe her so much."

"Really? Who is it? Have we met? What is she like?"

"She's...not around anymore."

"Oh. I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm just so so sorry."

"It was...a long time ago. She loved to sing, but at first she had way too much stage fright to sing, heh, until I heard her, by chance, and convinced her she should share her voice with everypony."

"What was her name?"

"Starsong Melody. She was a pegasus. You could say she was my inspiration to be Ponyville's song meister."

I felt my brain burn, Pinkie Pie's memories, the memories of before, of before she was even born...I remembered. I couldn't remember every detail of every life of every pony my fog touched. But I could remember the general idea of them. Most of them I just...put away, it wasn't right for me to probe into the private lives of others. It was a hard decision what to do about what I had learned about my friends.

'Was Starsong her mother?' Fluttercruel asked.

'What? No! Mrs. Pie...Pinkie's Mom is alive and well! Starsong was...somepony else I think,' I told my child.

I felt dizzy, talking to each other without words was very confusing sometimes, and it got worse if we tried to do something else at the same time. Talking with Pinkie at the same time was even more confusing, one voice in my head and another outside.

"You okay, Fluttershy?"

"Oh just speaking with Fluttercruel. And...I'm sorry about Starsong. I wish I could have met her."

"So do I," she said with that sad smile I'd have never thought I'd see from Pinkie Pie almost a year ago. She opened her mouth to say something, stopped herself, then hit herself on the head. "Oh right, I forgot. You learned about them, about, about the shadows-who-watch when...when you..."

"When I was a Nightmare. And I've actually tried not to think about them. I know it's just the way things are."

"I know. But I've learned the more you try NOT to think about something, the more you end up thinking about it. So it's best to just think it through sometimes."

"How do you not end up overdoing 'thinking it through?'"

"Hmmmmm." Pinkie Pie tapped her chin. "Rely on your friends to tell ya when your stuck on a merry-go-round for starters."

"That's, very wise of you Pinkie Pie."

"Thanks! Not the sort of thing you'd expect from Old Pinkie Pie is it? Fluttershy, I never bothered to ask the others, but do you guys, well, like how I've changed?"

I make a warm laugh. "Don't worry Pinkie Pie, I love New Pinkie, I think she's great. It's wonderful how you've become a butterfly."

"No problemo, Fluttershy!" She hugged me. "We sure have grown and learned a lot since we beat Discord, huh?"

"I guess we have."

+++++

Ya know, it's funny. Not ha-ha funny, though.

If had a fun crossover with our Heart World selves now, we'd be like strangers. We have shadows who were with us at the beginning. But are there any NEW shadows who care to join in in a story this long? Are we still enough like who we used to be that the shadow who watch us are still going to care?

(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Please, no more.)

(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Yeah. You just grew in a different directions, nothing else to it. But you started out from the same seeds. But no two apple trees are alike ya know. And when you started out, that's where the shadows come in. Those who are willing to make the trip will follow you all the way.)

Okay okay! No need to get pushy. I was just thinking.

(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Seriously, don't worry so much about everything. You guys all have great lives, great families, great friends. You two have no right to be angsting all over the place!)

That's so sweet of you. Thanks!

(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Hey hey hey! Watch it with the kissing.)

+++++

Pinkie laid down next to me and looked up at the stars, which drew my attention away from the fireflies. Orion the Hunter still looking for the Ursas not knowing they were on the earth below now. I feel kinda sorry for him. "We're never getting back to the old status quo, are we? Trixie the selfish jerky-pants who only cares about herself. Just six Elements of Harmony. Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara being bullies to Applebloom and her friends, Spike only hanging out with Twilight and Rarity. Me not noticing things I don't want to. You...not having Fluttercruel around to play with."

"No we're not, and I don't want to. Anymore than I want to go back the old status quo we had before Twilight showed up. Me only going out of the cottage to go shopping or my weekly spa date with Rarity. Rainbow Dash and Applejack only being together when there was some contest in town."

"And me having friends, but not any best friends," Pinkie Pie added. "Though it would be simpler."

"Simpler isn't always better," I said. "It's like knitting, a simple pattern for a simple scarf is easier, but if you're doing it to look nice, it wouldn't be as satisfying."

"Hey, Pink," Fluttercruel spoke.

"Oh! Sorry for not saying hello to you too 'Ruelly, that was really really rude of me! But you're a pony who seems happy by herself a lot, I mean, besides being with Fluttershy so I thought you'd prefer just to be by yourself. Oh that's really no excuse. So Hi 'Ruelly! Lovely night we're having isn't it?"

"It didn't bother me, until you brought it up."

"Oh...sorry." Pinkie Pie lowered her head, her mane style didn't change.

"Pinkie Pie, can I tell you something bad I tried to do to you before I got my cutie mark? Please? Just sayin' somethin' isn't always the best things to do if it's over and done with but...it's really eating me inside and...but I don't want to UGH! I sound like mom!"

Pinkie looked uncomfortable, and looked like she was thinking it over. I choose to stay silent letting 'Cruel come forward.

"Alright 'Ruelly, if it's making you feel that bad: the Pink Pie confessional is open."

"First. I still hate that nickname. A lot."

"Okay."

"Second...When I hit you after I asked you if you had drank lots of Discord's chocolate milk? And asked you to swallow a blasting cap?"

"I remember, it had a bangy taste to it. Yes?"

"I was trying to make you explode."

Oh Dear.

"...I see. So you really wanted to just see what would happen?"

"No. I wanted you to cease to exist. I tried to murder you in cold blood. I wanted to dance over your ashes and Marshmallow, Purple, Orange, Rainbow's. I wanted Fluttershy alone and broken so she'd be a spayed steed I could ride instead existing with her. At least I HOPE that's why, otherwise I was just being a sadist doing it for fun. I wanted to watch small animals squirm as I tortured them. It was about me, me, me. I was...I was a total bucking psychopath!...I'm sorry. I really shouldn't have told you. I'm just being selfish now."

I felt Fluttercruel's tears in our eyes.

Mine joined hers. It was a reminder of what she had been like. Of what she could have become. She had been just a lonely filly, I knew how cruel foals could be from flight camp. Innocence and kindness weren't the same thing.

"...It's...okay, maybe it's not alright. I can't say I'm happy to hear about all that. Nope. Not in the least. But you're a better filly now. And you're big enough to admit it. If you can't take this burden by yourself: I'll take a little bit too, that's what friends do. Otherwise we'd be all pancakes from all the stuff we carry. Maybe it was a little selfish, but you're still a little filly deep down, and maybe a little selfish isn't that bad for a filly still growing. There are things from before that we should just and need help letting go of. Like those ponies in Sunnytown!"

"Yes, like those poor ponies in Sunnytown," I agreed.

"Those poor murderers, you mean," Fluttercruel said.

"Now, now, Fluttercruel, they were all just scared and ignorant, they didn't enjoy doing what they did to Ruby. They thought they were facing a return of the cutie pox."

"Mother, I love you. I don't like hurting your feelings anymore. But you're an idiot."

"Don't call your mother an idiot, young lady!"

"Yeah, that's not nice!"

"...Mother, you saw what you just did there, right? Your heart's bleeding all over the floor for a bunch of foal-killers...but name-calling...now THAT warrants a scolding! Remember history mom? When the Cutie Pox broke out doctors isolated ponies they thought were infected, and waited for symptoms to show. They didn't BURN THEM ALIVE. If Ruby had really had the Cutie Pox, that would have spread it to the lot of 'em! And did you forgot their 'she was going to ruin the party' speech-?! Wake up, Ma. They got what they deserved. And until they realize that their suffering is never going to end."

I spoke in the most firm tone I could. "Yes, I want my daughter to respect her elders, and to see the monsters she could have easily have been like can change for the better like she did. What they did was unspeakable, and they deserved to be punished. But they don't deserve to suffer forever if they can change, they're still ponies."

"Not anymore."

"Like you're 'not a pony' dear?"

"I repeat: Once they realize that they deserved to be punished THEN their suffering will have ended. THEN they'll have changed. They hold the key out of their own iron maidens. Since that hasn't happened yet, that means they're still have the hearts of ignorant foal-slaughtering murderers, and thus, are ignorant, foal-slaughtering murderers, not poor little dears."

"You had the heart of a sadistic murderer, so that means you were a sadistic murderer?"

"How can you lump me with them?!"

"Because I saved you! Like you saved me! And we can save them!"

"You think you can do that by cuddling them?!"

"I made mistakes as Nightmare Whisper, I helped them ignore their mistake instead of facing them. 'Kindest of Lies.' But they're still willing to trust me as their Princess Gaia, and maybe it's about time they saw cutie marks aren't all bad."

Pinkie Pie spoke, "Yeah! You grew from somepony who was nothing but cruel, but now you see what they and you did was bad! If you can grow-up, so can they! I think a thousand years of being unhappy zombies-"

"-of repeating their sin over and over-"

"-of throwing away their chance to grow all this time-"

"-Auntie Pink, you KNOW the way I said it is more right."

"Okay. Maybe you're right. But that's not how redemption works. I think. Fluttercruel, if they're finally ready to wake up from their nightmare, why shouldn't we all help them? A pony in need is a pony indeed!" Pinkie Pie supported.

"...Mom...no offense, but you'd let the Old Man out if you thought he wanted to redeem himself."

"Well, you gotta admit, a NICE Discord would be a much BETTER Discord than an imprisoned one!" Pinkie piped up. "He'd be one of the good guys!"

"We could have him LIVE with us!" I said, brightly. Pinkie Pie's fantasy of a GOOD Discord setting my imagination on overload, "Mama and Papa, together under the same roof, working as one to raise our daughter right!"

Fluttercruel felt ready to try to vomit in our mouth. "And when we're all living together, would Mama and Papa be doing the sort of 'Mama and Papa things,' late at night in bed? The sort of things that CREATES daughters in the first place?"

"Well. You're just going to have stay in your room during that time dear," I said in mock matter of fact, it was just a happy dream after all. Would I help Discord if I thought he ACTUALLY wanted to change? Of course I would.

"Well," said Pinkie Pie, with a giggle. "I'd imagine he'd at least be...flexible!"

"Then YOU should take him, Pinkie Pie!" snapped Fluttercruel. "After all, you don't have the heart to hold a grudge for longer than five seconds."

"That's not true," Pinkie said, quietly. "I felt angry for a long time at someone when I lost Starsong. Should I tell you a little story about the pony your dad turned me into? He was so friendly at first, like my new best friend, then he..." she shuddered, but her mane didn't go straight, "But what's the point of holding a grudge when they're really sorry they did it?"

"It keeps you from being naive."

"Uh uh! A naive pony forgets the bad thing they did ever happened; a forgiving pony just stops hating them for doing it, and gives them some trust so they can start earning back what they lost."

"...Does Mitta deserve to suffer, Fluttercruel?" I finally asked.

I felt Fluttercruel jump internally. She was then quiet. I didn't want to say it, I didn't want to open an old wound...but sometimes you DO need to make a cut to heal the real problem.

"You know how she feels, don't you?"

I heard my daughter sigh roughly. "You're not going to let this go until I completely give into your way of thinking, are you, Mom? I can't just call a child killer a child killer, can I? We can't just agree to disagree on this, can we?"

My filly gave one of her prize-winning eye rolls. "Fine, mother, you're right. Your wisdom is completely unquestionable."

I pretend not to pick up on her sarcasm, "Isn't seeing a pony find their way out of their darkness wonderful?" I wasn't talking about my daughter.

"Yes," said Fluttercruel tiredly. "Yes, it is. Especially if it'll get you to drop the subject. Though I will admit, I don't want Mitta to suffer anymore."

Fluttershy beamed. "That's my girl."

"The OTHER Sunnytowners, though-!"

Enough. "Like Three Leaf? Who just keeps walking out of the town in a daze until the curse drags her back under and drops her back in the middle of town? Or Grayhoof who won't stop staring at where Ruby's body in the fireplace was until we had them finally BURY it? Or Roneo and Starlet who keep crying in each other's hooves? Or Gladstone who wouldn't stop looking at the grave we had them finally place Ruby's body in? Applejack BROKE their lie Fluttercruel, and they broke with it, now we have to help them piece themselves back together. They've been punished for a thousand years and all it did was hurt them back! It's time to try something ELSE!"

"They're cowardly monsters with their heads up their flanks."

"Mitta was a coward who abandoned her best friend in her time when she needed her most. Maybe they would have killed her too. Maybe it's only her own guilt keeping her cursed. Sound like the mare you're sharing a body with? Would you have thought you'd have become a better pony? Is it just because you never got the chance to do your worst to Pinkie? They acted out of fear and ignorance, you wanted to hurt others for the sake of hurting others. If you can grow and change. Why should it be impossible for them?"

Pinkie Pie cheered. "Yeah! We're ponies! 'Don't give up on each other!' That's what Celestia teaching us remember? AND! I got Mitta to SMILE last time we visited! She was laughing! It was wonderful to hear! And Threeleaf's realized what she did is wrong now. I'm sure the others are too."

"They're monsters who can now become ponies dear . . . and you won't have to be one of a kind, anymore sweetie."

"...thanks mom."

After that, we just set there for a little bit, watching the stars...but even Pinkie needs sleep.

"Thank you Pinkie Pie, it's wonderful to have you here."

"Welcome! It's really great for us to hang out, I haven't seen you around Ponyville...kinda like the old days when you'd only spend time with Rarity."

"Oh yes. Rarity absolutely loves having Fluttercruel as a model. It's much better than working with equinquins she said. She said Fluttercruel has a real unique air to her. And...it's helped me get over being looked over, just a little. I really just don't like being displayed like candy."

I hesitated, Pinkie Pie didn't say anything. Seeing her...quiet was something that had taken getting used to.

'Gonna tell her about that time you starred for fifteen seconds in a clop-film?'

"That never happened!"

'Oh right, sorry, was thinking of one of my dreams.'

"You DREAM of me being in a WHAT-film?! Me?! Your MOTHER?!"

'You had one line, and didn't actually do anything. Though the producers did use your flank for the cover art.'

I blushed red.

"What did you say never happened? The Interviewers won't let me grab their notes."

"Uh! Nothing! 'Cruel just misremembering a dream."

"Oh, okay! So really, it almost feels like Fluttercruel is getting you all to herself, apart from your visits with Rarity."

"Well, I am a mother now. Didn't the Cakes have less time for you, Pinkie Pie, after the twins were born?"

"Oh! I guess, I guess they did. I didn't notice because of all the time I spent looking after the twins."

Pinkie Pie smiled. It was amazing how much she was proud of being trusted by her foster parents with her foster siblings. "Still, Mr. and Mrs. Cake are saying how it's important for Pound and Pumpkin to watch and listen to ponies even if they don't understand everything going on yet because they'll pick up bits and pieces."

"...Mom, I'm not a baby. I go to Ponyville with me in control the whole trip, and buy pet chow for you from the pet supply store, and coffee from Coffee Swirl."

"Coffee Swirl? Oh right!" Pinkie Pie then went off on a tangent on Coffee Swirl, I think he'd prefer if I didn't share it. He can be such grumpy sometimes. Coffee Swirl: a nice pegasus who didn't want to hurt Nightmare Whisper or excuse Princess Gaia.

"But the point is that Fluttercruel, you're our friend too, and we should see each other some more. Once upon a time, in another place there was a unicorn who loved books, and she had a pegasus friend who made cloud cover for her each day to read under, but one day the pegasus thought the cloud was just the unicorn blocking out her friends for when she wasn't inside and so took her in a flying trip to show her all she was missing." She put a hoof on our shoulder, "You're our friends. Don't forget the rest of us are here too. We're part of a set remember? It's no fun missing the last toy, even if you have to kitbash one because Hasbro won't make one. And 'Ruely, you wanna see the world for yourself now? How about we start with us? We all got to know the real you at your cute-ceañera, but how about you get to know us? I know you know everything Fluttershy knows, but ponies know different ponies differently, you understand?"

"...I know Coffee Swirl..."

"One new friend is nice, Fluttercruel, but what about the rest of us?" Pinkie asked. "It's like Twilight said when we were at the campout 'friends new and old, one is silver, the other gold'."

Fluttercruel looked hesitant. "But...how? Coffee Swirl made it easy...Sorta...after he came to mom's rescue...long story..."

I shuddered at the memory of that.

"Well, think about you and Dashie! You probably have a lot in common!"

"...She's right you know..." I finally said. "You and Rainbow Dash are both tough...you're both strong...you both...well..."

"Had a guilt complex. Yeah, I got that..."

"And?"

"...And we both...probably like wrestling and stuff like that...And scary movies..."

"Yeah, Dashie loves a scary movie! I think there's a few opening this weekend at the theatre!"

"...Think you could sit through one or two, mom?"

"As long as you keep control of the body, I think I can keep from fainting...maybe. Plus, I kind of know enough about what wounds are really like to tell a lot of it is fake. Remember when Rainbow dragged me to the opening of the first A Nightmare Moon on Elm Street film a little while before Twilight got here?"

Fluttercruel gave a chuckle. "Yeah, that's one of your memories I don't mind having. You freaked her out with all that freaky medical knowledge."

"See?!" Pinkie chimed in, looking at us both. "All three of you can enjoy a good movie!"

I did kind of wish we had a way to watch movies at home...but those are kind of expensive right now. The only film projector I know of is that old one we have for the Weather Patrol.

Applejack and Rarity had a sacred pact with each other to make sure none of the Cutie Mark Crusaders ever got to see a horror movie. Rainbow...she had a habit of telling scary stories...but I think she honestly doesn't think there's anything wrong with them. She loved it when they told ghost stories at flight camp...while I hid behind her or the cloud log we were using.

"And maybe Applejack wouldn't mind coming," I suggested. "She loves a thrill as much as Rainbow Dash..."

"Why not finally send a letter to Trixie as long as we're at it? She's supposed to be a storyteller too, so maybe she'll have fun!"

+++

"BLAGH! This garbage is devoid of any entertainment value beyond amusing the smallest of minds with the most base of appeals!" She couldn't believe she had let Lexy convince her to see this dribble! She had her dignity as a story-smith, after all!

+++

(Interviewer's Notes(Earth Pony): Pinkie Diane! Please stop looking at our notes!)

Sorry! I Pinkie Pie promise to try and not to sneak glances at them as much!

++++

"On second thought, maybe Trixie wouldn't like that kind of show. She seems more into the epic stuff," Pinkie Pie said, "It's great to have an excuse to see your friends, but you should make sure it's a good excuse."

"That sounds like a friendship letter," Fluttercruel said.

"And there is nothing wrong with that," I smiled.

"But maybe we can invite her over for one of those epic movies later," Pinkie suggested.

"That'd be great."

Fluttercruel chuckled. "Either that or next time one of those carnivals shows up with the rigged booths. Remember the Flim Flam Brothers?"

Pinkie Pie sweated slightly and grinned, "Of course I remember exactly how it happened with Trixie. But how about you get me started?"

Trixie had actually tried to steer Flim and Flam away from the Apples, but it was one (ex-)con-artist against two in practice, and Apple family honor was soon at stake. Trixie saw they were using the same trick she used to get proud ponies to dance to their tune, and they could just lose some business while the Apples could lose their home!

Applejack had been allowed to call for 'honorary family', and Trixie was part of it. She ended up goading the twins into betting the cider they'd made by playing on their cocksure overconfidence. Should've seen their jaws dropped when we started helping the Apple Family make cider! Turned out having TWO Elements of Magic instead of one made a big difference.

++++

Okay! Now I can remember! Having Trixie and Twilight meant them turning off their quality control a lot earlier than they did in the heart world. This meant they still won, by a really smaller, I mean really smaller margin compared to the huge lead they had before. But it also meant more of their cider was undrinkable, when they had to flee Ponyville's angry mob.

So the Apples got a smaller windfall from the good cider the Flim Flams abandoned. But of course, Trixie had no way of knowing that the Flim Flams would shoot themselves in the hoof, she'd simply wanted Applejack and her family to get SOMETHING if they'd won, instead of risking everything with nothing to gain. And Trixie's help DID mean the Apples had a LOT more cider, though the Flim Flams going crazy-desperate earlier meant a few more apple trees got destroyed...

But Applejack assured us it was nothing her family couldn't handle. She appreciated Trixie trying to help her family and they grew a little closer. If only we could make Trixie a regular character though, she's part of the team not a guest star. Though I guess that'd be harder on the Shadow Who Makes...

I guess I really should have taken what happened with Flim and Flam as a lesson to how even if we try to make something turn out better, like with the MMMM and my friends, things we didn't bet on could still happen.

You know I never thought about it, but on the plus side of not being strictly canon to the show, we don't have to reenact all the episodes. I mean, the shadow-who-makes hadn't even watched the third or forth season yet or the movie! I bet they won't even bother to include the season two finale, whatever it. We have enough subplots as is!

+++

"Um...Fluttercruel...I'm sure that Applejack appreciated you wanting to help Rainbow Dash turn the Flim Flam Brothers into 'jerk cider' when they mocked them for losing the farm..."

"Then why did you hold me back?"

"Um...because you've read all those self defense books...and probably would've gone a tad overboard..."

"Yeah...I probably would've..." I don't know whether to be proud of her or a little scared she admitted that.

Trixie also said if Rainbow had attacked them, they'd have been able to tell the Guards RAINBOW DASH was the one who turned it into a fight regardless of big the meanies they were. Trixie said she used the same trick herself when some of her 'challengers' for her old magic show tried to get their dignity back out of her hide.

"...But I wanted to give them the Stare too, it's one thing to win, it's another being a pair of big dumb meanies to a family who just lost their farm..."

"Hehe, that's my mom."

"The stars are beautiful tonight aren't they? Remember when they were pink fireflies? And Cheerilee used to read by them?" Pinkie Pie asked looking up at the sky, yawning again.

"No I don't," I said, "But I remember that you do."

"I remember when I first saw fireflies, I thought they were little stars that had wandered close to the ground like they say the Ursas did..."

"When I first saw stars, I thought they were millions of fireflies in the sky," I admitted.

"Heheh, that's funny," Pinkie Pie said as she snuggled close to us. We should get home, but...it wasn't so bad just staying out here...a little while longer...listen to the soft song the wind is making with the reeds...I can almost make out the words, maybe if I listen, just a little more softly...

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