• Published 25th Feb 2015
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Trials of Blood and Kindness - CommanderX5

Fluttershy is a very kind pureblood vampony, far too peaceful for her own good. Will she persevere in a world that sees her as threat? Will she find friendship and acceptance, or will she face fear and hostility?

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Flight School - Teacher and Student

Trials of Blood and Kindness


Chapter 3

Flight School
Teacher and Student

“...And that’s why our bones bend when we impact a solid object,” Fluttershy explained as she was gesturing her forehoof at the large picture of pegasus’ anatomy. I can’t believe it has been three years since I attended school. With biology lessons available this year; I’m finally within my element, Fluttershy thought, grinning all the while. After years of struggling under the sunlight while making herself a laughing stock, it was refreshing to study something she loved.

“Very good, Fluttershy. Your next question is: why is our anatomy so different from earth ponies and unicorns?” asked a tall mare with glasses on her muzzle and a tome with wings for a cutie mark. Her smile filled with satisfaction while her wings held a pen and notepad, ready to add another high evaluation on Fluttershy’s account.

Some classmates whispered to each other, and while the teacher didn’t hear any of it, Fluttershy’s keen ears detected every word. Words like ‘egghead’ and ‘teacher’s pet’ delivering weak blows to her self confidence. Doing her best to ignore the unpleasant whispers, Fluttershy answered, “It is just an adaptation that is passing from generation to generation.” She took a quick breath and continued, “While our inner magic allow us to fly at great speeds, increase and decrease in temperatures of clouds, can cause an electric discharge–”

“Her inner magic must be really weak. Even my younger brother can fly better,” a whisper reached her ear.

“I bet she doesn’t have any magic at all.”

Unnoticed by the teacher, Fluttershy rolled her eyes. If only you knew, she thought while speaking, “Our bones can endure dangerous crashes that would hospitalize or maybe even kill other races.”

“I wonder how long her bones will last when there won’t be a teacher nearby to save her every time?” another whisper followed.

“I think she will be fine. It’s not that she can even fly high enough for that to happen.”

“This speciality comes with a price,” Fluttershy stated. “While we can endure contact with solid obstacles at great speed, in return, we are more vulnerable to sharp objects and projectiles.” Caught up in her own lecture, she continued without a second thought, “Before the three tribes made a peaceful agreements with each other, earth ponies and unicorns often used spears and arrows against pegasi. They used pegasus’s natural speciality against them, taking advantage of...”

Fluttershy took a step back and raised her forehoof up to her mouth. She looked at the teacher who stared back with curiosity and small hint of confusion. That was close. I need be careful what I say.

“That’s quite interesting fact you just pointed out, Fluttershy. Pre-equestrian warfare is a topic that you will start learning about for five years.” The teacher asked, “Who taught you that?”

Fluttershy looked around in panic while searching for correct words to respond. After a few seconds, she laughed awkwardly and rubbed back of her neck. “I… read it in a book…”

“A book?”

“Y-yes… in a library… when I studied about anatomy.”

The teacher chuckled. “I see. I didn’t know you liked history so much.”

“J-just a small hobby of mine,” Fluttershy responded, sheepishly smiling, while massive numbers of comments about her being the teacher’s pet reached her ears. More and more memories and knowledge from my previous life are coming back to me. I need to be even more careful now with what I say.

After giving Fluttershy a high grade, the teacher looked at the watch and slowly turned to the class. “It seems the school is over for today. Do not forget to do your homework after the weekend break.”

The class murmured in annoyance at the reminder of homework as they grabbed their saddlebags and went for the exit. Fluttershy sat and waited for most of her classmates to leave before following. As she walked through the hallway, she noticed a few fillies and colts already waiting for her at the exit.

Fluttershy sighed, ready to face her usual dose of teasing and humiliation, when suddenly Rainbow Dash passed her and shot the group a hostile glare. It didn’t take more than a few seconds before they scattered while giving them annoyed stares.

“Spears and arrows, heh, Flutters? I didn’t know you were into that kind of stuff.”

Fluttershy blushed at her friend’s comment. Not that she was afraid that Dash would suspect anything, but their talks usually ended up one-sided, the energetic pegasus being the dominant one.

“You know… you don’t have to escort me all the time.”

The pegasus frowned. “And leave you to face the bullies alone? Not a chance.”

As the pegasi walked towards the exit with saddlebags across their backs, fluttershy pointed out, “Umm…you call me egghead from time to time too…”

Dash flinched and shook her head, “But… but… but that’s different! They call you an egghead to laugh at you… I call you that because… umm…” She walked backward while not taking her eyes from Fluttershy. After a moment of brainstorming, she responded, “Because you’re smart… that’s all.”

“Oh… and what about that time you called me a dodo?” Fluttershy asked as her friend’s panicked reaction made her laugh inside.

“It… it was an accident. You were talking about birds and stuff… I didn’t mean it that way. You have to believe me!”

A weak, innocent giggle escaped Fluttershy’s mouth. Ever since they met a few years ago, Dash saw her as a fragile and shy pegasus with a flying disability. I have to give Rainbow Dash some credit. For a self centered pony who loves to show off and pull pranks on the teachers, she can be very considerate of me.

Fluttershy looked around at the whispering ponies while her ears twitched, and next back to the somewhat tense pegasus. “I believe you, Dash. Would you mind if I ask you a question, though?”

“Shoot,” Rainbow responded as her wings flapped, now hovering above the floor. She pushed the double door open and flew outside.

Fluttershy followed hesitantly, ignoring the returning weakness she felt for hours almost everyday.

“Why are you my friend?”

Noticing the growing confusion on her friend’s face, she added, “You’re the most athletic pony in this entire school, and while I disagree with your idea of… entertainment,” She stopped at the memory of flour falling over Miss Snow’s head the moment she entered the classroom. Dash would probably have avoided punishment if not for placing a carrot against the teacher’s muzzle and calling her ‘Miss Snowpony’.

“You could be the star of your classmates,” Fluttershy said as with a quick action of her hoof, she pointed at a group of whispering fillies. It didn’t require the sharp hearing of a pureblood thestral to know that the topic of their discussion was Rainbow Dash. “Your reputation has been suffering over the years because of me. I heard that some even started calling you Rainbow Crash.” With lowered head, she continued, “Why go through all of this trouble for an uncool pony such as me?”

The hovering filly wanted to respond, to tell Fluttershy that she was cool and all, but her mouth failed to produce any words. Why was she friends with such a poor flier? She had friends in school and sports, she could even hang up more with the very cool griffin from the student exchange.

Fluttershy looked to the side and rubbed her own hoof. “Is this pity? If you’re forcing yourself to spend time with me, teach me how to fly and waste your time, than just stop. I won’t think any less of you.” Suddenly, she felt a hoof under her chin gently raising her head. She could see her friend flying in front of her with look of concern. “I may not look like it, but I can take care of myself. You don’t have to pretend you like me.” Sweat started to fall down Fluttershy’s forehead as rays of the sun weakened her. She could no longer sense her friend's heart beating and breathing speed. Nothing she could use to read her emotions.

“Listen Flutters. We don’t have much in common, I’ll give you that. Hay, I could hang up with Gilda or Surprise if I wanted.” Before the disguised vampony could retreat her head or nod in agreement, Dash added, “But I can assure you, I’m not pretending to be your friend. It’s true, I tried to help because I felt pity towards you.” She grabbed Fluttershy and flew upward, now holding her in mid air. “But after a while, I started to like you. You may not be a cool pony, but you are a nice one.”

“What?” Fluttershy asked as she tilted her head backwards a little and blinked in confusion.

“You helped me learn the boring stuff and with the homework. I got fifty-five percent on the last test thanks to you, and you stood up for me to the teachers,” Rainbow Dash said with excitement. She looked down and added in a more serious tone. “If it wasn’t for you, I would do a lot more stupid things, like locking a teacher in a bathroom, or flooding it!”

“Oh… that… Yes, it was a close one. Would you put me down… If that’s okay with you,” Fluttershy asked while wondering if she should ask her friend to learn about importance of personal space. “But what about your reputation? I know how much you want attention, to be admired.”

“Pffftt…” Dash frowned as she slowly descended and gently placed Fluttershy on soft cloudy surface. “Sure, I want to be admired, but if you think I will give up our friendship for a bit of spotlight, then you don’t know me at all.” Fluttershy took a step back and sat as her ears flattened. Rainbow Dash shook her head before perching her back against the cloudy surface and looked at the sky, forelegs under her head. “Until I met you, I never realized what kind of a jerk I was to the teachers and my parents. Thanks for that.”

“You’re... welcome,” Fluttershy responded hesitantly before standing up.

Rainbow Dash started to trot in place, her small wings spread and ready for action. “How about some flight lessons?”

Fluttershy sighed in an instant. While training with her friend was less humiliating than practicing flying in front of the entire class, she still remembered the burning sensation after pushups and weight lifting with her wings.

Noticing the hesitation, Dash resumed, “We can eat some ice cream during a break in our training. I got some allowance from Dad this morning.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t want to be a burden,” Fluttershy responded with a defensively raised foreleg. My family possesses quite considerable fortune gathered over centuries. It would be unfair of me to let my friend buy me somethi-

“Let's go, Flutters!”

Suddenly pulled by her friend and forced to fly under the rays of the sun, Fluttershy responded, “But… I didn’t agree yet.” Struggling to flap her wings as she hovered above the cloud cover.

“But you didn’t say no. Come on, it’ll be fun!”

Fluttershy rolled her eyes. Yes, fun. I wish we could practice at night, she thought while looking at the sun on the horizon, still a few hours away from disappearing behind the mountains. I must admit, the Princess is very punctual.

Rainbow Dash quickly flew back to catch her friend in mid air before pushing upward slightly. “You are doing fine, just put a little more effort into it.” Upon hearing a whimper, she asked, “Out of curiosity, why did your parents send you to flight school in the first place? From what I can see, you really like the egghead stuff… sorry.”

Fluttershy grit her teeth as she did her best to stay in mid air a little while longer. After gaining a few more seconds thanks to her willpower, she landed on the cloud and gasped for breath. No matter how many times she faced the day, the rays of the sun weren’t getting any less exhausting. On the other hoof, she was getting used to her weakness while fighting against it with all her strength.

The moment Rainbow Dash landed next to her, Fluttershy answered her question, “They know that I’m smart, but they are worried about my condition and flying skills. My dad hopes that I can get better at it in here, while mom told me that I should keep both my mind and body in shape.”

“Makes sense,” Dash responded as she once again walked by her friend's side. “But you prefer studying about pegasus anata… something over flying. Right?”

Fluttershy nodded as her attention focused on one of her mother’s servants, who was walking with an umbrella under his wing. “Well… when I learn about pegasus anatomy or about biology, I feel like a fish in a river… but when I fly…” Under the sunlight, she thought before continuing, “I feel as if walking in the middle of a hot desert.” Fluttershy ran ahead of her friend and turned around, now waving at her. “My mom and dad are waiting for me. I need to go, but we can hang out more tomorrow… if that’s okay with you.” If that’s okay with you… I am starting to use this line a lot when around Dash. I hope it won’t become a habit of mine.

Rainbow Dash waved her hoof as well. “See you tomorrow, Flutters. Now with some free time, we can hang out together much longer.”

“Or I can help you understand what we have been learning for the past week so you can do the homework by yourself,” Fluttershy suggested before running off to the servant who was sent to take her home.

“S-sure, whatever you say, Flutters,” Dash responded with a fake smile, waiting for her friend to climb up onto a servant’s back, who spread an umbrella above her head. The moment the elegantly clothed pegasus flew away with his passenger, Rainbow Dash kicked the cloud under her hoof and said with annoyance. “Stupid homework.”

After a refreshing ride on the thestral’s back under a protective umbrella, Fluttershy didn’t bother to wait until they arrived at the mansion. Her eyes flashed red the moment they were close enough, and her short pegasus wings bursted into red flames, transforming to their original, bat-like form. With a swift jump, she dove towards the mountain villa before landing on on the balcony with great speed, and just in time before the sun would exhaust her stamina.

Taking a glance at her short and thin, though strong, wings, she thought, I have to admit, my parents were right. Noticing that her mother and father already waited for her inside, she walked with firm steps and a proud smile. For Rainbow Dash or the coach, it seems like I barely made any progress over the years, but flying in such extreme conditions really works in my favour. She giggled. I wish I could show Dash what I’m truly capable of when I’m not completely drained.

“Welcome back, Fluttershy,” Clean Mouth said as she knelt and embraced her daughter. Before the hug lasted long, however, Fluttershy pushed against Clean Mouth, repelling her from the hug.

Fluttershy blushed as she looked into her mother’s eyes. “Mom… I’m not a filly.” Her forelegs trembled as she held her ground. The moment she was released, Fluttershy sat and took few quick breaths.

“I am sorry,” Clean Mouth responded as she stood back to her hooves and looked to the side. Her husband approached and placed forehoof on her shoulder.

“You need to forgive your mother, Fluttershy. It is easy to forget your real age when you look so young,” Sample Taker said before chuckling. He approached his daughter and rubbed the top of her head.

“Dad… stop embarrassing me,” Fluttershy said in annoyance as she gently pushed away her father’s foreleg. While she was still trapped in a young body, the returning memories from her previous life made her feel more and more like an adult. She sighed.

Both parents looked at each other before examining her daughter’s heartbeating and breathing alongside curled and obvious sadness. Clean Mouth spoke first, “Is something wrong, dear?”

Upon hearing a rumbling sound from Fluttershy’s stomach, her parents lead her to the dining room, escorting her from both sides and looking down at their daughter with worry. After several steps through a darkened hallway, Fluttershy asked, “Do I really need to lie?”

Sample Taker lowered his head and responded hesitantly, “We talked about this many times before… Fluttershy. You know we are doing this because we have to, not because we want too.”

“I know, I know.” Fluttershy frowned. “But it’s not making it any less difficult. I had to lie and hide my true self from others in my previous life, and now I’m doing it all over again,” She whimpered. “What would Rainbow Dash think of me if she found out that I’m not as fragile as she thinks, that I don’t have any disabilities?”

“My dear Fluttershy,” Clean Mouth said as she nuzzled her daughter’s cheek with her muzzle. “You are not lying as much as you think you are. You are a shy and fragile sweetheart in our eyes. You are not as helpless as you pretend to be, but in the end, your true self is not so far off.”

Fluttershy closed her eyes and waited for the nuzzling to end as she wondered if she should take her mother’s words as a complement, or feel even more depressed? Maybe my parents are right… maybe I don’t have issues with pretending because my persona is not so far off from my true self… She smiled slightly. Maybe the only thing I pretend to be is a filly. Still, I wish I could share my secret with my old friends or my new friends, maybe they would understand… should I trust them?

As the silence persisted for several seconds, Clean Mouth asked, “How was your time in school today?”

Broken from her thoughts, the young pureblood sighed. “They teased me again and laughed at me. I could hear their whispers. “Fluttershy, Fluttershy, Fluttershy can hardly fly.” is what they’d sing at every practice.”

“I am sorry you have to go through this. I knew from the start that you would have a hard time in flight school, but we are doing it with the best of intentions,” Sample Taker said with apologetic tone. “One day you will need to lead your own clan of thestrals and have more responsibilities than just a normal job.” He stopped Fluttershy with a hoof and pointed towards the window. The huge city made of clouds was clearly visible on the horizon.

Sample Taker cleared his threat and continued. “Peace is not something granted, it is something we must strive for. While our clan is very small, it is a shining example for others. An example of thestrals living among ponies without fighting for power, killing for food, and giving in to the corruption of dark magic. Four centuries of peace.”

Fluttershy nodded. “I understand. I need to be strong to protect peace, but also stay kind and understanding to maintain it… I think I can remember some of your teachings.”

Clean Mouth nodded. “And you will remember them all. Never hurt…” she paused and poked Fluttershy’s forehoof lightly.

“...never retaliate, never lose control.” Fluttershy finished.

“You once grew into a very kind, intelligent, caring veterinarian with a lot of love for animals,” Sample Taker started. “Your knowledge about ponies and medicine alongside your returning powers will make you a great healer one day, but to lead a clan and hold territory you need strength and skills too.”

Clean Mouth knelt to Fluttershy’s face level and added with sad tone, “We know that you struggle to fly under the sun, but it will make you stronger and help prepare you for the challenges ahead.” Seeing her daughter looking at her with uncertainty, she pleaded, “Can you forgive us?”

Fluttershy considered her parents words as more memories returned to her. She got used to constant teasing and didn’t mind it. She could restrain herself no matter how much others would provoke her. She was enduring the burning and draining effect of the sun, slowly reaching a point where she would ignore it and focus on the task at hoof. But there was one thing she couldn’t stand for. “What about Rainbow Dash? She is ruining her own reputation among her classmates by protecting me.” She looked to the side and took a quick breath before continuing, “I can ignore being a laughing stock, but she deserves better than that.”

“If she is willing to sacrifice so much for you, than she must be a great friend,” Clean Mouth stated.

“She is,” Fluttershy responded.

“And she must think the same about you,” Clean Mouth said while winking one of her eyes. “Just be happy that she is there for you, and if she ever gets in trouble, be there for her.”

In an instant, Fluttershy pressed herself into Clean Mouth’s chest, who embraced her in return, pulling her daughter deeper into the soft fur. Sample Taker joined in as the trio of pureblood thestrals stayed in a hug in silence for nearly a minute.

After they finally broke it, Sample Taker said, “Now allow me to remind you of another one of my important lessons.” Seeing that he had his daughter’s full attention, he went on, “Unlike many other clans, we never turn ponies into thestrals against their will.”

Fluttershy nodded. “I remember that one. Our clan is very small because of that. When other purebloods have hundreds of servants, our clan has thirty members in the mansion and forty over the entire Cloudsdale.”

“Correct,” Sample Taker said with a nod. “Once you prove yourself capable of leading your own clan and learn a memory erasing spell. You can…”

“Really?” Fluttershy took a step back as she placed the pieces of the puzzle together.

“Really. One day you will lead your friend into a dark sealed room and tell him... or her about your secret, and then offer her a place in your clan. Should she refuse, one quick spell and it will be like the meeting never happened. Should she accept, your clan will gain its first member.”

Fluttershy nodded as she knew exactly who her dad had in mind. It was still too early to consider this possibility as she was still young, unable to judge the consequences of offering her friend a chance for a long life and appetite for blood. In the end, it would be her friend’s decision, and she would respect it. With a shake of her head, she looked up at her father and asked, “What about Sunflower and Little Seed?”

Sample Taker took a step back, “Well… you are too young to turn them… but we can give them a choice to join our clan if you really want too…”

“No dad, that’s not what I meant. What I want to know is if they sent any letters yet,” Fluttershy interrupted while shaking her head. “I may not remember them all too well yet, but I am more than sure that they would never accept such an offer anyway. Sunflower will not want to be weakened by the sun she cherishes so much while Little Seed, who knows the rules of nature, will refuse to expand her own lifespan and go against natural order. Besides, we will always have eachother, right dad?”

“Why, of course, dear! Ponies around us will vanish into the sand of time, but we will be here together for centuries, maybe even millennia, this will never change.” Noticing his daughter’s nod and a cheerful smile, Sample Taker added, “Also, the letters from your friends arrived today, they are waiting for you in your bedroom.”

Fluttershy jumped and hugged her father’s neck, “Love you dad.” She did the same with her mother before running away.

The young thestral once again heard rumbling coming from her stomach and felt the desire for some blood, as she needed it in order to recover the damage done to her by sun as it crippled her reserves. She ignored it though and reached her own room before grabbing the mail from her friends.

She sat on the bed and unrolled them one at a time while several scrolls and a pen were lying on the table, prepared in advance. Each was already started with following sentences;

Dear Little Seed and Sunflower...