• Published 12th Dec 2014
  • 8,123 Views, 311 Comments

One More Dance - LightningSword

A troubled boy on the roof proves that Sunset Shimmer still has to account for her mistakes

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#2 - The Timid Courting the Timid

One More Dance

#2 -- The Timid Courting the Timid

Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Pinkie Pie left the school building together through the front entrance, talking and laughing together just like the good old days. It had been three days since Twilight left, but their camaraderie was fully restored, thanks to her. They talked of her often, always endearingly, and although they missed her, they stayed friends and kept anything from breaking their friendship, not just for her, but for themselves.

They heard a megaphone blaring someone's voice in the distance, and they turned to see a hall monitor arguing with someone on the western lawn. A closer look told them that the other person was none other than Sunset Shimmer.

“Hey, what's Sunset up to over there?” Dash pointed out first.

“I don't know, but she's certainly a grumpy-pants today!” Pinkie chirped. “Maybe she didn't have breakfast, or they ran out of tacos in the cafeteria, or she lost her favorite hairbrush or something!”

“Oh, dear,” Fluttershy mumbled, “you don't think . . . oh, I know it's terrible to think about, but . . . do you suppose she's . . . back to her old ways?”

“Oh, balderdash, darling!” Rarity assured her. “Sunset is a changed girl. We've all seen it for ourselves!”

“Hey . . . is there someone on the roof up yonder?” Applejack asked, pointing to a spot on the roof parallel to Sunset's position. The others followed where indicated, and saw that there was indeed a person standing on the roof, arms spread.

“Whoa! You're right, Applejack!” Dash exclaimed. “He looks like . . . oh, man! I think he's gonna jump!”

“Merciful heavens!” Rarity followed suit. “Who is it? Can you tell?”

“I ain't sure . . . but whoever it is, we can't let him! C'mon!” Applejack led the group to meet up with Sunset Shimmer; she saw them coming, and sighed with relief.

“Oh, thank goodness you're here!” she greeted them. “You have to help me! He's gonna jump if we don't do something!”

“Who is it up there?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“He's in my English class. His name is Dactylic Pentameter.”

“Dac?” Applejack asked, bewildered. “You're kiddin'!”

“No, it's true! He's going to get hurt if we can't help him!”

All five girls knew Dac, but would be shocked to know exactly how mutual their acquaintance was.

“He asked me out!” they all said simultaneously. The awkward pause afterwards was well-placed.

“Well . . .” Rarity spoke first, “this . . . this is highly unusual, though, isn't it?”

“Hold it!” Dash snapped, suddenly irritated. “He asked all of us on a date? Just what kind of player does this guy think he is!”

“Dash, try focusin' on the problem!” Applejack deprecated. “We'll talk about it later.”

“That's weird,” Pinkie Pie observed, “I don't remember even answering him. I remember seeing him, and I remember him being kinda nervous, but what did I say?” She slapped the top of her fluffy head with her hands. “Ooooh, think, Pink, think! Think, Pink, think!”

“Um, I remember him asking me,” Fluttershy spoke up, “but . . . well . . . I guess I . . . turned him down.” The last part came out in a near-whisper.

“Really, Fluttershy?” Applejack asked, surprised.

“Well . . . I didn't . . . well, I didn't really mean to . . . I just sort of . . . panicked.”

Sunset approached her (Fluttershy involuntarily flinched) and spoke softly, “What happened that day, Fluttershy? How long ago was it?”

“Hmm . . .” Fluttershy thought back to when it happened, “I think it was about three weeks ago . . . .”

“Ooh, go on, Angel bunny, back in the backpack. Hurry, before Sunset sees you!”

Fluttershy panicked as she urged her rabbit into her backpack. Sunset Shimmer consistently reminded her of what would happen if she ever saw Fluttershy with any of her animals in school, and that having them here was against the rules. Finally, she sighed when Angel jumped inside, and Fluttershy zipped up the bag just enough to keep him hidden, but open enough so that the tiny animal could breathe. They were both safe, for now. But Sunset had been increasingly good at catching Fluttershy and giving her a good tongue-lashing, especially lately. It was as if she was making her rounds, keeping students in her grip whenever they came close to slipping out. It was disconcerting, to say the least, and at most, it was frightening.


“EEP!” Fluttershy squeaked and jumped on hearing a voice behind her. When she turned, she was relieved to see that it was not Sunset catching her in the act. It was the guy who shared an English class with her, just as much a subservient as the other students.

“Oh, Dactylic Pentameter, it's you,” she sighed, her relief relaxing her. She didn't know Dactylic very well, but she knew he was nothing like Sunset.

“Uh, just Dac is fine,” Dac replied, blushing at the use of his long, rather complicated name. “Hi, Fluttershy. How . . . how are you?”

Fluttershy smiled at Dac's kind words. “Oh, I'm fine, thank you.”

“That's good. Look, I know it's not really my business, but if you were trying to hide your rabbit because of me, it's okay. I won't turn you in.”

Fluttershy felt her panic rise up again for a second, but it went away when Dac promised not to tell. “That's . . . really nice of you. Um, thank you,” she replied. He really was nice, definitely nothing like Sunset. She didn't know why she felt so nervous earlier.

“Listen, uh . . .” Dac went on, rubbing the back of his neck, “I was wondering if . . . you know, if you're not busy, maybe . . . .”

Fluttershy felt her panic slowly come back. If she didn't know any better . . . .

“. . . . I understand if you don't want to, but, if you do . . . .”

. . . . she could swear that Dac was about to . . . .

“. . . . I thought, maybe we could . . . get together sometime?”

. . . . yes, he was. He was asking her out.

Fluttershy's eyes widened, and she felt her face redden furiously. She felt her knees buckle under her, and the only response she had for a while was a brief, high-pitched squeak.

“Uhh, are you okay?” Dac asked, looking worried. “I didn't say something wrong, did I?”

“I . . .” Fluttershy mumbled, unable to form a cohesive sentence, “I . . . I . . . I . . .” She felt herself struggling to speak, and the effort only made her panic more. This had never happened to her before; she'd never thought about dating for even a second, and even so, she never thought about whom she'd consider dating. And she hardly knew Dac! What was she supposed to say?

“I . . . I . . . I gotta go!” she finally squealed before picking up her backpack and running away.

“Come on, Fluttershy!” Dash tried to console her. “You couldn't help it. You just panicked, that's all!”

“I . . . I wanted to find him again to see if he wasn't sad or angry, but . . . I was too scared . . . I didn't know what to say . . . .”

“I figured something like that would happen,” Sunset concluded. “I said some pretty awful things to him about a month ago, and I figured it was what I said that drove him to this. But a lot could happen in a month. I guess . . . I guess he just felt like he failed.”

Fluttershy gasped. “You mean . . . you mean . . . it's my fault? Oh, no! Oh, why did I run away like that! Why didn't I say something? Anything! I broke his heart! It's all my fault!”

“Now, don't you fret none, sugarcube,” Applejack comforted her. “This ain't nobody's fault. Dac's in a bad place right now, and if he don't get help soon, he's in big trouble.”

“Wait just a moment,” Rarity suddenly realized something. “Except for Sunset, he's asked us all out at least once, hasn't he?” The other girls nodded, and she continued, “Well, Fluttershy avoided the issue, and Pinkie Pie doesn't quite remember what happened. What did the rest of us say?”

Dash thought back to when Dac had asked her what he'd asked Fluttershy. “I guess I turned him down, too,” she lamented.

Applejack nodded. “Me, too.”

“As did I,” Rarity added. “So we have a fairly accurate idea of what the real problem is, don't we?”

“Did all this happen within the last month?” Sunset suddenly asked. The question was sudden, but made some sense, considering what Sunset said she'd done a month ago. They all agreed—Dac had asked each of them out within the past month.

“So, what does that mean?” Dash asked. “So he wanted to get fresh with all of us. Big deal.”

“It's not like that, Rainbow Dash,” Sunset replied morosely. “Now, we know exactly what the real problem is. And Applejack was wrong. This is someone's fault.” She looked back up the building to see if Dac was still there, and felt her heart crumble when she saw him, locked into position and ready for his first—and last—freefall.

“It's mine.”

Dac remembered the look of fear on Fluttershy's face after he'd tried to ask her out. He thought she was pretty, compassionate, and figured she would be the easiest to approach. He thought she would be the most likely to say yes; in fact, he was counting on her kindness to make it work. He thought he would be so happy, and would finally get a chance to prove Sunset wrong.

It didn't work.

So, a few days later, he'd gathered up the courage to try again with another girl. He'd always thought that Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash were just about perfect—pretty, sweet, smart, and all-around awesome. Each had their own different characteristics that made them even more wonderful, and Dac couldn't deny that he had a fairly big crush on each of them. So he'd vowed, a month ago, to prove to Sunset, and to himself, that she was wrong, and that he really was lovable.

But it had gone so wrong in so many ways. As he went from girl to girl, getting more and more desperate to fulfill his vow, the vow itself had changed from a need to prove Sunset wrong to a need to make it happen, one way or another. He'd tried, and he'd striven to find someone to love him, and he'd failed each and every time.

So here he was, about to prove Sunset right again. No one loved him. And once he'd landed, no one ever would. Ever.