• Published 24th May 2015
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My Little Pony Bizarre Adventures - Part 1: Ponyville Central - LateBronyWriter



One Thousand years ago, the saints Celestia and Luna drew upon the power of the Red Stone of Aja to defeat the demon Discord. Now one thousand years later the Stone is destroyed, beginning the tale of six ponies and their quest to redeem the world.

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Chapter 18-Love Bug-Take 2

Love Bug- Take 2:


Applejack looks at the quiet schoolhouse before her as Fluttershy shivers behind her in terror. ‘So much fer a brave warrior…’ Applejack thinks.

Applejack, originally put off by the silence, walks in through the front gate, scanning the grounds. “It’s quiet… Too quiet. This yard here is usually packed round this time fer recess and the like, now it’s as silent as a ghost town populated by tumbleweeds!”

“Well, that’s good!” Fluttershy rambles, “No noise means no ponies! So we can just search somewhere else now!” Fluttershy attempts to fly off only for her tail to be grabbed by Applejack in midflight. With a mediocre amount of force the orange mare pulls her back to the ground and jerks her back up to her hooves just as quick.

“Look, Flutters….” Applejack says while dusting Fluttershy off, “I know yawl are scared an all but Ah need yer help. Mah brother an all the other fillies are in trouble an Ah can’t do this alone.” The farm mare smiles encouragingly. “So can Ah count on ya, Flutters?”

“……. No.”

Applejack rolls her eyes. “Just come on already, Fluttershy; yawl can hide behind me if things git bad.”

Though still visibly scared the yellow mare perks up and nods. “All… alright, Applejack, I-if you insist nothing bad will happen.….” They both look to the door leading into the schoolhouse classroom. “Now we just have to knock and hope some pony answers…”

WHACK!

With a single dexterous movement built up over years of apple-bucking, the orange mare shatters the door with a patented Apple Family kick, leaving hundreds of fragments of red wood on the floor and crude torn hinges as the only sign that a door ever existed.

“…or that works too.”

Both of the mares walk in through the back of the classroom, and are completely surprised with how silent the room is compared to how many young fowls are in it. Row upon row of students sit straight as measuring rods at their desks, working on problems displayed clearly on the chalkboard in the front. The little fillies and colts are so absorbed in their work that none even notice the fact that their back door has been bucked down with the force of a thunderclap. Only the sound of pens scribbling on parchment permeates the room as the mares make their way to the front and the proudly-grinning teacher who stands there. Sitting behind her desk like a ruler on her throne, Miss Cheerilee is so completely engrossed in the sound of her students working that she almost fails to notice the two mares.

“Well Well! Class, it looks as though we have some more guests!” Cheerilee applauds as all the students look up to the two mares. “Class, may I introduce Miss Applejack, proprietor of Sweet Apple Acres, and Fluttershy, a good friend of mine who had the top scores of her class in veterinarian’s school! Applaud.”

The entire class claps their hooves mechanically and without any passion as they stare at the mares before them. Applejack looks at the students in fear and disgust at how devoid of life and vigor they seem, how empty their souls are; granted it was a school but still it was way too creepy to be anything but abnormal. The orange mare looks over the class until she spies the face of her sister.

“Applebloom!” Applejack rushes over to her vacantly staring sister. “Applebloom! What’s going on here? Are yawl all right? What’s going on here?”

Suddenly a bit of the youthful vigor returns to Applebloom’s face as she interacts with her sister. “Oh, Applejack! Everything is more than fine! I’m at school and nothing bad ever happens at school. You simply worry too much!”

Noting a substantial lack of something in her voice, Applejack cringes. “Applebloom…. What’s…. what’s wrong with yer voice? Where’s yer accent?”

“Oh that!” Applebloom waves her hoof dismissively. “Cheerilee just helped me with a voice lesson so that I could learn to speak normally. Now others can better understand my diction!”

“Wha… what?”

“It’s nothing special, sister. Just some vocalization and proper Equestrian in addition to my normal school work. It took a little more effort but it was no trouble when I buckled down and did my work for once!” Applebloom beams with pride. “If only I had realized how important it was listen to my elders before, then I would have saved you a great deal of trouble. Just imagine how much schoolwork I can do now that I’ve learned to work quietly without any interruptions!”

“…Aaaannnnnnddddd Applebloom’s been brainwashed.” Applejack turns back to the teacher in the front of the class. “Cheerilee! What the buck do you think that yer doin?!”

“Applejack! Language please! Remember that there are fillies and colts in the room.” Cheerilee raps her hoof on her desk. “Class, forget that word.”

“YES, MISS CHERILEE,” the entire class responds in unison before turning back to their papers.

“And for your information, Applejack…” Cheerilee continues, “I am doing my job, which is to educate these students to the best of my ability using whatever means at my disposal…” Cheerilee extends her hoof as a large hoof-shaped ladybug lands on it. “And with my little friend here all it takes is a little love bite and they all hang on every word I say.”

Applejack readies herself as she looks at the strange-shaped bug. “Ah Stand power… That’s how she’s been doin it! Twi was right.”

“You brainwashed all these fillies? How could you?!” Fluttershy shouts.

Cheerilee rolls her eyes as the bug crawls off her hoof and onto her desk. “Well, every filly except for Diamond Tiara… I gave her the day off so that she and her father could spend some quality time together…”

………………

“Diiiiiaaaaaaammmmmoooooonnnnnddddd…. Come out of your rooooooommmmm!”

“NO! Now go away! Come back when you’ve gotten some intense therapy!!”

“No door can keep out my love, Diiiiiaaaaaaammmmmoooooonnnnnddddd! So you had better come out! We have so much to do together!”

“And as I told you the last seven times, NO. BUCKING. WAY.”

“Aw, Diamond… you're breaking your father’s heart!”

“You’re not my father! My dad loves coffee and the morning paper and is always serious about his work… not… this……”

“That was the old Filthy Rich! Now I’m new and improved!

“…more like new and deluded……”

“……And I want to spend all my time with you, Diamond! I’ve even read all those self-help books your mother bought for me! I’m a better father now!”

“Good! Come back when you’re a sane father again!”

“But, Diamond……”

“The answer is NO! I am not dressing up in my filly clothes and retaking all the pictures from the key moments in my life! Now go away!”

“………”

“………Phew, he’s gone…. Finally. This will give me a chance to reinforce my barricade. I thought that my dresser would be enough. But with how crazy Daddy’s acting I’d better barricade the windows too…”

THWACK!

“Um… What was that…?”

THWACK!

“It sounds like…. It’s coming from the door….”

THWACK! THWACK!

“OH MY GOD! HES GOT AN AXE!”

THWACK!

“I told you, Diamond, no door can separate you from my love!”

THWACK! THWACK! THWACK!

Through the splintered and cracked wood, the bloodshot and giddy eyes of a middle aged stallion peer at his daughter on the other side. Grinning like a foal who has found a new puppy, the stallion laughs manically, “HHHHHHEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRREEEE’SSSSSSSSSSSSS DADDY!!!”

…………….

“……she should be fine,” Cheerilee concludes. “It’s you naughty mares that should be concerned! I mean, running into class unannounced…. And without a hall pass of all things!”

“Ah don’t have time fer this…” Applejack takes a menacing step forwards. “Put mah sister and the rest of the class back ta normal right now! Or things are gonna get ugly.”

“And like I said Applejack…” Cheerilee looks at the farmer with disdain. “I’m doing nothing wrong! Look at this class!” Cheerilee points to the students. “Before, they were completely disruptive and unfocused; now every single one of them is reading at a tenth grade level! Before, they would barely listen to me! Now they hang on my every word!”

The teacher leaps to the table, a crazed look in her eye. “And guess what?! I happen to like it! I’m tired being the butt of everypony’s joke, the lonely spinster that wastes her life away accomplishing nothing! Now ponies can’t help but pay attention to me! They love me now!”

“Isn’t that right…… smoochikins?” She turns her head as a familiar red stallion come walking out of the hall. Big Mac’s eyes, though filed with a light of passion and awareness, seem off somehow as the stallion stares completely love-struck at the mare before him.

“Big Mac?!” Applejack stares dumbstruck at her brother as he continues to lose himself in Cheerilee's eyes. “Big Mac! Snap out of it!”

The red stallion turns to face his sister. “Oh, hi Applejack! Fancy seein you here! Do you want ta meet mah new marefriend?!”

“What.”

“Yep!” Big Mac nods multiple times with enough force to give him brain damage. “Cheerilee's mah new marefriend. Sorry if’n Ah didn’t come home ta tell ya. Ah didn’t mean to let ya worry, Ah was just so lost in mah date that…”

“Big Mac! Snap out of it! She’s not your marefriend! She’s manipulating you!”

“Nope,” the stallion responds. “She is mah marefriend, she said so. Isn’t that right, smookiekins?”

“You bet, snuggly bear.” Cheerilee responds.

“Aaaannnnnnnnnnddddddddddd, now Big Mac’s lost his mind too.” Foregoing any more attempts at small talk, Applejack leaps forward and manifests her Stand as she prepares to pummel Cheerilee with a flying tackle. Yet just as Applejack is about to bring a world of hurt to Cheerilee, a familiar red stallion steps between her and her prey. Big Mac stands, arms spread wide, in front of Cheerilee and the orange mare skids to a halt just inches away from her brother. “Big Macintosh!” Applejack says in her most authoritative voice possible, “Out of the way… NOW!”

“No sis.” Big Mac, unintimidated, stares right back at his sister. “I ain’t letting you hurt mah special somepony.”

“What… that… why….hunh…” The flabbergasted orange pony fumbles for any word to better express the lunacy of what is happening right now.

“Now, Applejack,” Big Mac explains in his most calming voice, “Ah know this might come as a shock ta you, and ya might not approve of mah relationship with smoochiekins….”

“There is no relationship, you big galoot!” Applejack yells, “Yer bein brainwashed!”

“But that ain’t no excuse fer violence. If ya just gotta know her…….”

“Big Mac, I’ve known her fer all of five minutes and she’s brainwashed her class, threatened me, and held mah brother against his will.”

“I know….” Big Mac looks back to the mulberry mare with googly eyes. “Isn’t she the best?”

“Do ya even hear yerself?!”

“I think snuggly bear understands perfectly.” Cheerilee walks up to her special somepony, giving him an intimate nuzzle that many foals in the class would retch at if not for the fact that their noses were embedded in their papers. “I love him and he loves me. It’s not his fault that you can’t respect our love….”

“That aint love, you….”

“In fact,” the teacher continues over the orange mare, “you’re the one who is causing trouble here…. Disrupting my class…. Yelling at your brother… and running around town like a banshee for Celestia only knows what reason.”

With a confident, cocky grin Cheerilee extends her hoof, causing the insect to appear, it’s proboscis ready to strike. “In fact… If you insist on being a disruption in my classroom, then I’ll have to silence you myself.”

Cheerilee flings the bug at Applejack, the creature flying towards the mare at incredible speeds. Applejack, sensing the danger even a small bite can inflict on her, manifests her Stand causing the bug to run into Foundation like a pegasus into a brick wall. With a quick and dexterous movement Applejack grabs the bug with her Stand, completely immobilizing it in the grip of Foundation’s strong hoof. The bug squirms and wriggles but finds itself unable to escape from the immensely powerful grasp, as the green leafy mane of Foundation drifts idly. Cheerilee flinches from the impact but looks completely unharmed as she stares at the ghostly figure that Applejack has manifested in front of her.

“Like that, hunh?” Applejack smiles. “That’s the power of my Stand, Foundation. Yer Stand seems to be fast an all that but has less power than Twilight’s. An now yer Stand is helpless. Now I’ll ask only once more, Cheerilee: give up, Ah don’t want to hurt you….”

“Stand?” the teacher mouths, “what’s a Stand?”

Applejack groans. “Yawl don’t know what a Stand is? It’s what yawl have been usin ta make these ponies listen ta you! Now I’ll ask again undo all this brainwashing right now……”

“Stand…. I see, that’s the power that I’ve gained, the power that allows me to summon my little love bugs……” Cheerilee smiles as she walks forward. “And when they bite a pony they have no choice but to listen….”

“That’s right, now… Wait… did ya say bugs?! As in plural?” Every hair on Applejack’s body stands erect as she feels multiple tiny feet on her flank, as if an insect were crawling over her body. Suddenly the orange farm mare feels a tight pinch on her flank and falls over as a strange new sensation begins to course through her veins.

“Yes, you’re right, Applejack.” Cheerilee extends her hoof causing two identical bugs to land on her outstretched arm. “I can manifest two of my little pets at once, and once they bite ….”

Applejack tries to shake the venom off as she stands to her hooves, charging at Cheerilee her Stand prepared to strike.

“Applejack! SIT DOWN!” the magenta mare yells with a voice of authority, causing Applejack to slump down to the floor unmoving. Applejack, unwilling to accept how easy it was to subdue her, struggles and wriggles like a mad mare trying to pull herself off the floor. “And stop flailing around like that, you’ll hurt yourself!”

Applejack stops moving, staring straight ahead. “Good, now see? Isn’t that better?” Cheerilee asks. “As you can see my power is very difficult to break out of, as long as the commands aren’t overly unreasonable. For example let’s try a very simple one….”

Cheerilee grins manically as she clears her throat. “Applejack, why don’t you apologize for disrupting the class like this? You were so disruptive earlier it would only be right if you apologized for your rude behavior.”

Applejack’s eyes widen like saucers as her mouth begins to open of its own accord. The farm mare struggles with all of her might, attempting to clamp down on her mouth. However, despite all her resistance and her best efforts Applejack finds her mouth opening and contorting itself into words she hates to say. “Ah’m… Ah’m sorry, everypony…” The words turn to ash in her mouth as the mulberry mare grins excitedly.

“Good job, Applejack! I’m glad that you’ve seen the error of your ways…” Cheerilee smiles gently as the orange mare turns back to Fluttershy, who is hiding behind one of the desks.

“Fluttershy… Help…. Me….” Applejack whispers just below the teacher’s range of hearing. Fortunately for Applejack, Cheerilee was ranting on and on to her ‘special somepony’ and completely missed Applejack’s near silent plea for help.

“Welllll… ummmm….” the pegasus mare stutters as meekly as possible, “Cheerilee isn’t really hurting anypony… and her students are so nice and quiet…… and…….”

“FLUTTERSHY!”

“Oh! I’m sorry, Applejack!” the yellow mare cries, “I’m just not good at standing up to ponies. If she were actually hurting them then…. But…”

Applejack raises her eyebrow, expressing the full range of her skepticism towards the pegasus. “Fluttershy, yawl were here for the brainwashing and the forcing ponies against their will, weren’t you?!”

Fluttershy gulps heavily. “Well…… maybe I should talk to her……” Applejack rolls her eyes as the yellow mare pulls herself out from behind the desk and tip toes towards Cheerilee, who is currently completely engrossed in her stallion friend. “Um…. Excuse me…… Miss Cheerilee…” The yellow mare raises her hoof gently as the teacher turns to face her.

“Yes Fluttershy? Is there something that you need?” Cheerilee asks amiably.

“Well, I was just wondering……” Fluttershy shuffles on her hooves. “... if you might… Maybe…… let everypony go and stop trying to brainwash them? Pretty please?”

Cheerilee blinks once at the mare, before breaking out in a short giggle. “Oh Fluttershy, you are so polite! But no, the students are staying like this.” Cheerilee puts her hoof over the yellow mare’s mouth. “I’m just making sure that they do their duty as students and pay attention to their teacher. I’ll put them back to normal after class is over, and they’ll be none the wiser. Well, that’s not entirely true; they’ll still remember all their knowledge, so they will be wiser!”

Cheerilee chuckles as Fluttershy mutters under the teacher’s hoof. “Now I know that you think that this might be ‘amoral’…” Cheerilee says as if reading the pink-maned pegasus’ mind, “….or wrong but rest assured they’ll be fine by the end of the day.” Cheerilee finishes as she removes her hoof from Fluttershy’s mouth.

“….Even Big Mac?” Fluttershy asks hopefully.

“HA Ha ha…. No. Big Mac is my special somepony. We love each other and are going to get married.” The yellow mare tries to object and is once again stopped by Cheerilee. “However, I greatly appreciate making your concerns made known to me and asking politely. Have a cookie.” Fluttershy tries to talk again but finds a large sugar cookie shoved into her mouth.

Cheerilee smiles at the stuttering pegasus, patting her on the head and walking back towards the class. Completely ignoring Fluttershy’s muttering, Cheerilee turns herself to face the rest of the class. “Alright, now that that inconvenience is out of the way every pony pull out your frogs!”

WHEEZE…. HACK….

Fluttershy chokes on the cookie in her mouth as she spits out the offending pastry. “…F-Frogs?” The yellow pegasus pulls a one eighty turn to face the teacher with a perplexed look on her face. “What frogs?”

“Oh, Fluttershy! Come now, surely you haven’t forgotten this project!” Cheerilee watches as every student in the class pulls out a tin with a frog on it out from inside their desks. “After all, it’s a requirement for anypony to pass their middle school biology. And being that you’re a veterinarian you must have done this before….”

Fluttershy gulps heavily, her throat drying up as she watches the students pull out long sharp instruments and plenty of needles. “Y-you don’t mean….”

“That’s right, Fluttershy!” Cheerilee sweeps her hooves across the glass as if literally embracing the knowledge. “Today is Class Dissection day! Now class, ready your scalpels!”

Every student in the class raises their miniature knife. “Now I know that this experiment may make many of you squeamish but it is a required part of coursework and is necessary for you to receive a passing grade in biology.”

Cheerilee pulls the yellow mare beside her into a deep hug. “Why even Fluttershy here was required to do such a course when she was a filly. Isn’t that right, Fluttershy?” Cheerilee turns her head, looking towards the yellow mare for confirmation, and their eyes lock for a moment.

Cheerilee jumps back from the quaking yellow mare as she gasps desperately for breath. Like a cornered animal Cherilee backs herself against the wall as she looks into the pegasus’ eyes, shivering in fear at what she sees. Two orbs of pure hatred and malice stare back at Cheerilee as Fluttershy turns to face the schoolteacher. “You’re asking me… if I would willingly allow… Nay, that I would take part in the torture of innocent animals……”

“What… what are you talking about, Fluttershy?” Cheerilee asks desperately, “you must have done a dissection if you passed….”

“SILENCE!” Cheerilee gulps heavily as Fluttershy continues to advance. “I would never… I repeat, NEVER, condone such cruelty to little animals, no matter how small they are. How could you even think of killing defenseless animals for your own amusement!? You’re sick!”

“But… But It’s not for amusement… it’s for science… and the frogs are already……”

“I said SILENCE!” Cheerilee flinches visibly as a very angry Fluttershy comes to within inches of her face. “The main reason that I DIDN’T graduate veterinarian school was because I refused to participate in this sick experiment when I was a filly. Now you are going to use your fancy-shmancy Stand power to force these innocent fillies to rip apart animals? I. THINK. NOT.”

Cheerilee sweats heavily on the ground as the mare continues to stare her into oblivion, every second that her eyes are fixed on Fluttershy’s becoming a moment of pure agony. Realizing that, unless she does something imediately, she is finished Cheerilee thinks up a clever scheme on the spot, a false smile crossing her face. “Oh Fluttershy, you’re right!” Cheerilee states as she places her hoof over her eyes, cutting off Fluttershy’s Stare. “How could I ever force my students to participate in something so evil! I’m such a bad pony……”

Fluttershy, relieved that her friend is beginning to see the light, relaxes her guard ever so slightly. “You… You mean that, Cheerilee?”

“Of course, Fluttershy!” Cheerilee says, “It was wrong of me to try and force these fillies to do something that they were obviously uncomfortable with, especially with ponies like you present who are so sensitive to the needs of animals.” Cheerilee turns her head and mutters under her breath, “... even if it was required coursework….”

Fluttershy perks up immediately, glad that another crisis has been averted. “Well I’m glad to hear that, Cheerilee! Apology accepted! I’m just glad that you decided to come to your senses before you did anything rash…”

“Yes… yes, Fluttershy…” Cheerilee extends her hoof up towards the yellow mare. “Say, could you help me up? I seem to be forced into a corner, pardon my expression.”

Fluttershy blushes as she realizes that Cheerilee has indeed been forced down into a corner by her Stare and is lying on the floor. Fluttershy extends her hoof to help her friend. “Well of course, Cheerilee! What are friends…”

“Fluttershy, no! It’s a trap!” Applejack yells.

Fluttershy turns her head to the farm mare as Cheerilee makes her move. Her Stand Love Bug manifests itself on Cheerilee's hoof as she tightens her grip. Fluttershy, feeling the intensity of the grip, turns her head back to the teacher just in time to see the bug bite her arm, injecting her with its poison. Fluttershy stares, betrayed, at the mare before her as the venom courses through her veins. “Cheerilee… What……. WHY?”

Cheerilee grins. “I’m sorry, Fluttershy, but this dissection is twenty percent of a pony’s biology grade and despite your feelings my students and their grades come first. It’s like I said to Applejack, if you are going to get in the way of my class you will to be made to behave.” Cheerilee laughs giddily. “And now you have to behave, Fluttershy! All I have to do is speak the word and…”

Fluttershy’s eyes ignite in red hot fury, pinning the teacher in the spot. Cheerilee tries to flinch, to move, to close her eyes from the visage before her but fails miserably each time.

“Teacher……” Fluttershy says with a voice full of mocking rage, “I have a question…. You said that once you bit ponies with your Stand that they would have to listen to any command you gave them. But let’s say that you were unable to give a command…… what would happen then?”

Cheerilee is stuck staring straight ahead, looking into the infinite pits of blackness that seem to encompass Fluttershy’s eyes. Her mouth dries up in fear as she attempts to manage the slightest of sounds only for her will to be crushed by the intensity of the visage before her. She tries to utter the one word that will save her from the mare’s wrath, ‘stop,’ however despite all her willpower she finds herself completely unable. To Cheerilee's rising terror she can’t even blink as Fluttershy pulls closer to her.

“Now you listen here, Cheerilee…” Fluttershy flies right up in Cheerilee's face, hovering a few centimeters away from the mulberry mare. “You’ve brainwashed fillies, kidnapped one of my best friends’ brother, and brought my friend to her knees……”

Fluttershy’s mane and tail burst into burning pink flames as all in the classroom gaze upon the terrible majesty of Fluttershy the Conqueror. “BUT DON’T YOU EVER THREATEN A CUTE LITTLE ANIMAL AS LONG AS I AM AROUND! NOW, YOU UN-BRAINWASH EVERYONE YOU HAVE FORCED TO GO ALONG WITH YOUR SICK SCIENCE PROJECT, GIVE BACK BIG MAC, AND APOLOGISE TO THE SOULS OF THE SWEET LITTLE FROGS YOU HAVE MURDERED RIGHT NOW!”

In the face of such a power, a mortal body has few defenses against such mind rending fear. Her senses overloaded in fear, the teacher is just able to groan weekly in response and fall to the floor as every pony in the classroom looks around in complete confusion. As Cheerilee lies on the floor covered in her own sweat and shame, the spell binding the fillies and colts breaks and they look around the classroom, free for the first time since the day started. And the sight that greets the fillies and colts is perhaps the third strangest one they have seen in Ponyville: their teacher Cheerilee lying face down on the floor covered in a foul smelling liquid of her own creation, as a vengeful demon with burning pink hair stands over her with eyes as empty as the abyss.

Applebloom blinks erratically as she walks up to her sister. “Um, Applejack? What’s going on? Why is Miss Cheerilee lying on the floor? Why is Fluttershy’s mane on fire? And what smells so bad?” The little filly looks around as her eyes spy another familiar face. “Big Mac?! There ya are? What are ya doin? We’ve been looking everywhere fer ya!”

Applejack looks over to her sister. “Applebloom? Are ya feeling better?”

Tilting her head, the filly looks back at her sister in confusion. “Um… I think so? Should I not be feeling better? Why would I not feel good?”

“Nevermind, Bloom, just go on home fer the day…” The orange mare turns back to the class. “In fact… all classes are canceled fer the day, so go on out an play er somethin….”

Needing no other excuse than that, the entire class piles out of the room, each filly and colt eager to leave behind the trappings of school. Even Applebloom dashes out of the room to meet up with her friends for another day of crusading, completely forgetting the entire incident. Applejack sighs contentedly that at least one thing went right as she watches the yellow mare’s mane return to normal.

“WHO’S THE MARE!? WHO'S THE MMMMAAAAAARRRRRE!?!” Fluttershy screams to the heavens as she lands on the floor with the force of a diving eagle. “YES I AM!”

Fluttershy suddenly looks at the teacher in front of her, scared half to death and sitting in a pool of her own urine. Her mane returning to its normal not-on-fire state, the pink-maned pegasus dotes on the distraught creature in need of some nurturing. “Oh, Cheerilee, I’m so sorry for that! Please forgive me!” All her bravery and strength forgotten, she tends to the shell shocked mare before her.

“Um… Fluttershy?” Applejack steps attentively forward. “How'd ya get yer mane ta burst inta fire like……”

“Twilight.”

“Figures.” The Applejack sighs.

Cheerilee, beginning to recover from the shock of a full force Stare, gazes at the floor with a look of shame on her face. “What… what have I done?” The teacher asks, “I abused my powers to force others to do what I wanted… Without any considerations for what they wanted…… I’m a bad teacher…… I was just…”

Cheerilee sniffles as tears stream down her face. “… I’m not a monster… I just wanted ponies to like me… I wanted Big Mac to like me… and I ruined it…”

Applejack looks into Cheerilee's hope-shattered eyes and sighs a deep, familiar sigh. “Give me a break… This always happens, every time a mare falls in love with Big Mac it ends in trouble.”

The red stallion walks up to his sister, his mind completely free of tampering. “Sis! Don’t be like that! All mah dates weren’t a disaster! What bout Crimson Blossom?!”

Applejack stares at the stallion. “Mac…. she set the barn on fire and threatened to call the police if you tried to take her out on a date again.” The orange farm mare sighs again. “Look, you two just wait outside for a while, I got ta have a talk with Miss Cheerilee fer a while.”

“But… but you won’t hurt her will you, Applejack?!” Fluttershy asks, “I know that she did some pretty bad things to you but….”

Applejack smiles. “Don’t worry, Shy; Ah'm not gonna hurt her. However she will wish that she was bucked in the head instead of having ta hear what Ah'm gonna tell her…”

……………

Fluttershy and Big Mac sit outside in the dust as Applejack continues to talk to Cheerilee about something that would best be left unsaid about Mac’s luck with dates. Fluttershy herself doesn’t know how much time has passed since she and big mac had sat outside. However from the deafening silence between the two most silent ponies in Ponyville she figures it must have been hours. Finally the mare’s sanity can endure it no more and she ventures into the forbidden zone of conversation.

“Sooooooooooo, nice day isn’t it?”

“Eeeeeeyup…”

“…… Is the farm doing well? I know that we’ve been needing your sister more and more often lately……. It isn’t interfering with your harvest… is it? Because if it is……”

“Nnnnnnope…”

“Um…… I’m lost, ‘no the farm isn’t doing well’, or ‘no Applejack being away isn’t causing you trouble’?”

“Eeeeeeyup…”

“…… ‘Yes it is causing you trouble’?”

“Nnnnnnope…”

“…. So Applejack being away doesn’t bother you?”

“Eeeeeeyup…”

“…… It does or does not bother you? Yes or no.”

“Nnnnnnope…”

“It doesn’t bother you that your sister is doing Celestia-knows-what and might be in danger?!”

“Nnnnnnope…”

“Well why not?!”

“… Jackie is strong; she can take care of herself.”

“…. Oh…. well, I guess that you’re right…”

“…………”

“………………….”

“…………………………”

“………………………………………”

“… are you doing anything latter?”

“WHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTT?!!” Fluttershy nearly jumps out of her skin as an enormous shout comes from the inside of the schoolhouse. Big Mac just sighs as he straightens up a little more, knowing with the way his sister handles explaining things it will soon be over and they will be on their way.

“Um… Big Mac? Was that Miss Cheerilee?” Fluttershy is interrupted as the door to the schoolhouse opens and out walks and incredibly red-faced and flustered schoolteacher.

Miss Cheerilee looks thoroughly embarrassed, and without any grace or poise walks over to the red stallion and flings herself in the dirt with a bow. “I’m SO sorry, Big Mac! I know that it was very, very inconsiderate of me…… I just… Well, love can make you do pretty crazy things…” Cheerilee rubs the back of her neck as she smiles awkwardly. “And I promise you, from this point on, I will never use this power for evil purposes. I just hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me…….”

The three ponies look back and forth between each other, searching for a sign of confirmation before turning back to the mulberry mare.

“Of course we forgive you, Cheerilee! We know that you weren’t yourself.”

“Yeah, wouldn’t be the first time a mare’s lost her marbles over my brother here!”

“Eeeeeeyup!”

Fluttershy takes the teacher’s hoof in her own. “We’ve already all forgiven you, Cheerilee, there’s no need to beat yourself up any further. In the end everything worked out for the best.”

Cheerilee looks back at the mare in front of her with tears of joy running down her face. “That… That is very… mature of you, Fluttershy, and you too, Big Mac! I…… Just, thank you. I’d give you a hug but I seem to be covered in……”

Cheerilee pulls her hoof free from Fluttershy’s as she prepares to leave. “You know, it's not important, now if you’ll excuse me I have to prepare lessons for tomorrow… A teacher’s work is never done!” And with that Cheerilee trots briskly off into the distance, sparing a single look back at the stallion behind her before muttering darkly under her breath.

“Well… I’m glad that Cheerilee is all right now….” Fluttershy looks at her bare wrist. “Oh would you look at the time! Based off the shadow of the sun from behind me…” Fluttershy judges the angle of her hoof’s shadow. “Two hours have passed! We really need to get heading back to the library. I hope Twilight isn’t too upset we left….”

“Aw, Twi will be fine as a pig in mud once we show her we found Big Mac.” Applejack slaps the yellow mare across the back. “And wait till I get to rub it in Dash’s smug face! Won’t they be surprised that we found Big Mac on our own?”

The entire group giggles as they start walking towards the library together. “…. So sis….” Big Mac turns towards his savior. “What excuse did ya use this time? Family curse? Purple spots? Familial marriage customs?”

“Applejack?! You…” Fluttershy gulps. “You lied?!”

“Yeah well….” Applejack blushes. “Ah learned real quick that honesty isn’t always the best policy, especially when Big Mac is involved. But no, Fluttershy, this time Ah didn’t lie Ah, just told her the truth….”

Big Mac narrows his gaze at his sister, the rumble in his voice evident. “An that would be….”

“Simple, Big Mac. Yer gay.” And with the force of those two words a half ton stallion and a petite mare fall over in complete shock, their eyes wide and their faces frozen.

Fluttershy’s mouth gapes open and closed as she stares at the stallion in front of her. “… I should have known…”

“Wait there a sec, Fluttershy.” Big Mac turns to his sister. “Applejack! Ah thought we had this discussion already! I aint gay! Just cause I don’t spend all mah time staring at mare’s flanks and just because Ah put all mah time ta making this farm successful doesn’t meant that Ah'm gay.”

Fluttershy paws the ground with her hoof, making hearts in the dust. “I should have known…. Why are all the good ones already taken or gay?! Why can’t I find a special somepony? I have neeeeeeedssss!”

“Right, Big Mac, right.” Applejack nods humoring her brother. “You ain’t gay. And I suppose that all the time ya spend with Turner and Thunderlane is just a coincidence.”

“Those are mah friends, Applejack! We go out fer drinks and have fun.” Big Mac continues to glare at his sister. “Ya don’t see me accusing you of being gay. An Ah've seen how ya look at Rarity when ya think that she’s not lookin. And that new unicorn, Twilight….”

“Now see here, Big Mac!” Applejack retorts, “Ah won’t have you saying anything…”

“It’s because I’m not assertive, isn’t it?!” Fluttershy sadly says as she continues to draw broken hearts in the dust, completely ignored over Applejack’s rant. “Everypony wants somepony assertive. IS IT BECAUSE I’M NOT ASSERTIVE?!”

This gets Big Mac’s attention and he turns to comfort the mare. “No, Fluttershy, yawl are perfect the way ya are and ya don’t need any stallion to tell ya otherwise!”

As Fluttershy’s tears begin to dry, Applejack gives her brother a knowing wink and a little nudge. “That’s right, Fluttershy, ya don’t need a stallion ta tell ya yer pretty. Just Like big Mac doesn’t need a mare ta tell him he’s handsome…”

“I. AIN’T. GAY!” Big Mac roars, “Just why in Sam Hill are ya jumpin ta conclusions like that, Applejack?”

Applejack rolls her eyes. “Well……yeah, Big Mac, maybe ya aren’t gay. Maybe ya keep that poster of Soarin hidden under yer bed because ya are a fan of the Wonderbolts. Isn’t that right?”

“And Ah told ya! That. Was. A. Gift! Sides, I happen ta like the Wonderbolts.” Big Mac turns his head to the side. “An Ah thought that Ah hid that well……”

Applejack laughs uproariously as she wipes the tears from her eyes. “Don’t worry, Mac. Yawl ‘little secret’ is safe with me and when yawl are finally ready to ‘come out’ Ah'll be here fer ya…”

“I aint GAY! I just haven’t met a mare Ah can take past one date! And ya better stop that snickerin right now, Applejack. Ah mean it!” However, despite all his false anger the red stallion finds himself just short of catching his sister as they both run down the path in front of them, back to the library and their good friends who are waiting on them.

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