• Published 8th Jun 2015
  • 5,268 Views, 72 Comments

That Dumb Flower - Timaeus

The Chaos Rose is a very special flower that blooms once a year on Hearts and Hooves Day and is one of the greatest symbols of love and devotion. So, what will happen when Twilight gives one to Rainbow?

  • ...

Chapter 2

Rainbow Dash had never liked Hearts and Hooves Day. She watched the bustle of Ponyville Square with mild scorn, a practiced stare of apathy, and a frown tugging at her lips.

Couples, she thought bitterly, her face twisting into a grimace as Thunderlane surprised Cloud Kicker with a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. Before she could blink, the two pulled each other into a tight embrace and nuzzled each other’s cheeks, looks of tender love and affection shining in their eyes.

It was enough to make Rainbow gag.

No matter where she looked, similar acts flooded the town square. Her frown deepening into a scowl, she scanned the crowd and tapped a hoof against the ground. Her tail flicked behind her and she blew a stray lock of orange mane out of her face.

“Come on, Fluttershy, hurry up and get here already...” Rainbow spotted Lyra sneaking away from Roseluck’s flower stand, a terrifyingly large grin on her face and a bouquet of lilacs in her telekinetic grip. Letting out a huff, the increasingly irritated pegasus jerked her head away to stare at a bush. “How long can it take to buy animal feed?”

Everywhere she looked, Rainbow’s eyes were treated to even more overly romantic gestures befitting the holiday. Another couple, another hoofful of flowers. Two unicorns walked away from a jewellery stall, one wearing a newly bought necklace, the other wearing a light blush. Rainbow’s wings twitched at her sides as she briefly considered flying away from the swarm of mushy ponies and leaving Fluttershy to handle several bags of feed on her own. Directing her gaze skywards, she caught glimpses of the tips of wings and ends of tails poking out from the clouds dotting the sky.

Rolling her eyes and sighing, she folded her wings and leaned against a streetlight. At least on the ground she ran a smaller risk of stumbling on ponies getting frisky in the semi-privacy of the clouds.

She watched Blossomforth shuffle her hooves and stammer something incomprehensible, more to the ground than to Caramel. As the colt laughed and leaned down to kiss a very surprised and beet red Blossomforth on the cheek, Rainbow couldn’t stop a dull pang of jealousy from pounding in her chest. Another sigh pushed its way past her lips. Even Caramel had somepony to spend Hearts and Hooves Day with.

Rainbow huffed and stared at the ground, pushing such thoughts to the back of her mind. It wasn’t her fault nopony was awesome enough to handle The Dash. She stood and stretched out her wings and legs, looking herself over and confirming that she indeed had the hottest flanks and best wings this side of Equestria. Anypony with eyes could see that.

So why didn’t anypony bring her flowers or chocolates and say it already?

“Whatever,” she grumbled to herself, running a hoof through her mane and rolled her shoulders. “Not like anypony here’s worth my time.”

“Rainbow Dash!”

Rainbow’s ears flicked as she was pulled from her thoughts. Blinking, she turned in time to see Twilight Sparkle screech to a halt a few inches shy of her snout. A frantic, almost panicked look settled over Twilight’s face and she raised her head to greet Rainbow with a strained smile.

“Uh, hey, Twilight,” Rainbow said, taking a couple steps away from the alicorn. Her mane was a little frazzled and her left eye twitched every couple seconds. Rainbow knew these signs of danger well and prepared for the worst. “What’s up?”

“Hi, Rainbow,” Twilight breathed. She held a hoof over her chest, trying to catch her breath. Then, after sucking in a large gulp of air, a flurry of words flew from her mouth. “Listen, there’s something really important I need to ask you and I only have about thirty seconds to explain it before Pinkie goes crazy trying to find me so can you please, please, please do me a favour?”

“Sure?” Rainbow scratched the back of her neck, her eyes keeping a keen lookout for Fluttershy before returning to Twilight. “But I’m kinda waiting for Fluttershy to take some feed back her place. Can it wait for like ten minutes?” Her eyes fell to the extravagant flower nestled under Twilight’s wing. “And what’s with the flower? You’re not going all googly-eyed and sappy on me too, are you?”

“It can’t wait!” Twilight cried, dancing frantically on her hooves. “I’ve already wasted ten seconds just explaining that I need to explain something to you!”

“Okay, okay, sheesh.” Rainbow raised her hooves and sat on her haunches. “I’m all ears. Whaddya need, Twilight? It’s not another one of those experiment things again, is it?”

“Not at all! Well, kind of. Actually, here,” Twilight said, plucking the flower from under her wing in her mouth and passing it to Rainbow. Rainbow’s eyes widened as she felt the flower stem pressing into her mouth and Twilight’s cheeks brushing against hers.

Spitting the flower into her hooves, Rainbow fixed Twilight with an incredulous stare. “What’s the idea?” She looked from Twilight to the flower then back to Twilight. “The heck’s this for?”

“That’s the favour! I don’t have time to explain properly, but I need you to hold onto that until tonight.”

“What’s tonight?” Rainbow asked with an eyebrow raised.

“It’s our weekly reading night, remember?” Twilight bit her lip and looked over her shoulder with her jaw set, as if expecting something to crash into her at any moment.

“Oh yeah...” Rainbow trailed off, her gaze dropping to the flower in her hooves. Her brow furrowed as her eyes traced the patterns of the flower-shaped stamen. There was something particularly girly and almost romantic about it that made her stomach squirm. Her cheek tingled from where Twilight’s met it and her tail flicked. “Twilight, why d’you need me to—”

“I really can’t talk now, Rainbow,” Twilight said with a forced calm tone leveling her voice. “I’m already running late and Pinkie’s waiting for me at Sugarcube Corner. Just hang onto that flower and meet me at the castle tonight at the regular time, okay? I promise I’ll explain everything then and I’ll make this up to you.”

“Okay...” Rainbow answered slowly. She looked up with a frown. “But—”

“Thank you, Rainbow!” Twilight’s cheek met Rainbow’s again as she nuzzled the pegasus in thanks. She jumped to her hooves and spread her wings with a beaming smile. “I’ll see you tonight!”

“Yeah, but—” Before Rainbow could get a word in edgewise, Twilight’s horn glowed and she vanished in a flash of light and a whiff of ozone. Blinking the stars from her eyes, Rainbow sprang to her hooves. “Hey!” she shouted at where Twilight once was. “Get back here!”

Sparing a few seconds to tuck what was quite possibly the most girly and most uncool flower she had ever seen under her wing, Rainbow darted through Ponyville Square. She weaved through the ponies filling the streets, offering half-hearted apologies as she ran to Sugarcube Corner. She wheeled around the street corner, heedless of the shouts of other ponies, and was only mildly surprised when she crashed headlong into a warm, furry body.

“Eep!” Squeaked the pony as Rainbow collided with it, sending both of them tumbling to the ground in a mess of limbs, feathers, and... bird seed? She blinked open her eyes and was met with a wall of yellow fur and a bright pink mane blanketing her face.

“Fluttershy?” Rainbow asked, spitting out a small mouthful of seeds and disentangling herself from the prone pony she bowled into. Standing up, she looked down, an apologetic grin automatically spreading as she saw her friend staring up at the sky with a dazed look and surprised eyes. Fluttershy’s mane was splayed out across the ground, revealing more of her face than usual, and several bags of feed lay on the ground around her. One of the bags had ripped open in the fall, spreading seeds out on the street.

“Heh, whoops.” Rainbow scratched the back of her neck with a hoof as Fluttershy shook her head gently and began to slowly sit up. As an afterthought, she checked to make sure the flower was still in one piece. Once she saw the blue petals poking out from under her wing, she turned back to her friend. “Sorry about that, ‘Shy,” she said, offering her friend a hoof up. “I wasn’t looking where I was going. You okay?”

“Oh, I’m fine,” Fluttershy said as she took Rainbow’s hoof. She wobbled on her hooves before fixing her mane and regarding Rainbow with a demure smile. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going either. I should have figured that you might be getting a little restless by now. I’m sorry for taking so long. I know you hate waiting.”

“Eh, it’s whatever. I’m still sorry for running into you like that. Not cool.” Rainbow shrugged. “And it’s not like I was gonna ditch you for being a little late.”

“Where were you running to, then?” Fluttershy asked, cocking her head. “I thought we agreed to meet over by Golden Harvest’s stall?”

“Sugarcube Corner. I ran into Twilight while waiting for you and she said something about meeting her later tonight before magicking herself off to help Pinkie with some baking or something. She was acting all weird and jittery.” Rainbow frowned at the gingerbread store ahead of her. For a moment, she considered barging in there and demanding Twilight give her a straight answer.

“Oh dear, I hope everything’s okay.” Fluttershy looked over her shoulder at Sugarcube Corner. She met Rainbow’s eye and, as if reading her mind, asked, “Should we go check up on her?”

Images of Twilight’s relieved expression when she gave her the flower flashed in her mind’s eye and she chewed the inside of her cheek. She scrutinized Sugarcube Corner and ruffled her wings. “Nah,” she said after a time with a shrug and a smirk. “If it was really important, she woulda told me about it then and there. Besides, she said she’d explain it all later tonight anyways.”

“Okay... if you think so.” Fluttershy turned back to Rainbow, a thoughtful frown on her face. “What’s happening tonight with you and Twilight?”

“Reading night,” Rainbow answered immediately.

“On Hearts and Hooves Day?”

“Well... yeah.” Rainbow shrugged again, watching as couples filtered in and out of Sugarcube Corner in a steady stream of ponies holding hooves and sneaking each other quick nuzzles and kisses. She frowned as her mood began to sour again. “We meet up once a week after I get off work and read. It fell on Hearts and Hooves Day this week and neither of us have dates, so we thought why not? It’s better than doing nothing.”

“I suppose it is. Who’s idea was it?”

“Twilight’s. It was pretty funny, too. We were just finishing up last week when she looked at the calendar and nearly freaked.” Rainbow snickered at the memory. “She already had it written down and was about to scratch it out, apologizing for messing up my date plans for today. As if I ever have any.”

“I think it’s sweet that you two make time for each other.” Fluttershy smiled warmly before glancing up at the sun in the sky. “Goodness, is that the time already? We should get going. Some of the critters get a little cranky if I’m late with feeding them.” She frowned for a second at the torn bag of bird seed. “Sorry again for keeping you waiting for so long.”

“I already said it was no problem. But what was taking you so long, anyways? I was waiting back there for like twenty minutes.”

“There was a bigger line than usual at the store, and they had to check the back for the kind of feed I ordered.” Fluttershy looked through her mane sheepishly. “I didn’t want to be a bother, but Mr. Mouse and his family have a very particular diet. I couldn’t just change it on them without asking their permission first. I’m sorry I kept you waiting. I really do appreciate you offering to help me.”

“No biggie, ‘Shy.” Rainbow shrugged again and snorted as a pegasus with a blue coat and white mane stumbled into her, barely halting to apologize before catching up with his partner. She glared at the happy couple. “It’s not like I had anything better to do today, anyways. Everypony’s off with their boyfriend or girlfriend and there’s way too much romance gunk in the air to sleep. It’s toxic, I swear.” She lifted her glare skywards. “And the clouds are filled with cuddling couples, so flying’s out. Last year I stumbled on Cloud Kicker and Thunderlane going down on each other. I couldn’t look either of them in the eye for a week.”

Fluttershy’s snout turned red, but she offered a sympathetic smile in response to Rainbow’s deflating demeanor. “I’m sorry.”

Rainbow snorted. “Nothing to be sorry about. It’s not your fault everypony turns into a gibbering doofus on Hearts and Hooves Day.”

“You know that isn’t what I meant.”

“I... yeah, I know.” Rainbow sighed, the venom fading from her voice. Her shoulders slumped and she kicked a pebble, sending it clattering down the road. “It’s not your fault nopony in this town is awesome enough to handle me, either.”

“One day, somepony will be awesome enough. Just you wait,” Fluttershy said softly, resting a hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder. “You’re beautiful, Rainbow Dash, and an amazing pony. Somepony will see that someday.”

“Yeah...” Rainbow sighed, letting her ears droop and taking comfort in the gentle tone of Fluttershy’s words for a few seconds before she composed herself. She smiled at Fluttershy, though she knew it did not quite reach her eyes. “Thanks.”

“Anytime. Did you need to talk about it?”

“Nah, I’m good. Just those Hearts and Hooves Day blues, y’know?” Rainbow waved off Fluttershy’s hoof and turned to the scattered bags of animal feed. “Anyways, this all you need help with?”

After pausing for a moment with a concerned frown on her face that Rainbow chose to ignore, Fluttershy nodded. “Yes, this is everything. I’m normally fine carrying it back on my own, but Hawthorn the Owl brought his new friends from Whitetail Woods and those naughty raccoons got into my storage.”

“Yeah, I gotcha,” Rainbow said as she moved over to a bag of feed. She poked it and lifted it with a foreleg, testing its weight. “I don’t know why you let those raccoons get away with stuff like that all the time.”

“It’s in their nature. I couldn’t bring myself to change them like that.”

“You’re too nice to them sometimes, you know that?” Rainbow chuckled. “Actually, make that all the time.” She smirked as Fluttershy checked her saddlebags, overstuffed with more bags of feed. Her ears flicked, and she remembered the flower still nestled in her wing. “Hey, ‘Shy, before we get going, you got room in those saddlebags for this?”

“Room for what?” Fluttershy asked, lifting her head to be met with the deep blue flower held before her. The petals waved in the breeze, making her snout wrinkle as it tickled her nose. Rainbow was too preoccupied with stretching out her wing and realigning a few misplaced feathers to notice the expression of terror overtaking Fluttershy’s face.

When Rainbow looked back, she watched as her friend stumbled over one of her bags of feed in a poorly executed retreat. She was babbling incoherent nonsense as she tripped and fell to her haunches. She opened her mouth but all that came out was a barely audible squeak filled with fear.

“Fluttershy? You okay?”

“O-of course!” Fluttershy shrieked. “And I-I’m flattered th-that you think of m-me that way, Rainbow, b-but this is all so sudden!” She stammered, shrinking away from Rainbow and looking at everything except for her. “Y-you know I-I’ve never exactly dated anypony, a-and I’ve never really considered dating another mare. Not that I’m against it! I-it’s just that I need time to think, but I r-really am touched!”

“Fluttershy,” Rainbow deadpanned and stepped over the bag of feed, “what the hay are you talking about?”

Fluttershy’s mouth snapped shut. Her ears perked, she met Rainbow’s gaze. Confused stare met confused stare as a tense silence fell between them. She worked her jaw, her eyes flicking down to the rose held in Rainbow’s hoof, then back up to the bemused look Rainbow was giving her. “You mean... you don’t love me?”

“Love you?” Rainbow sniggered. “Last I checked, nope. Er, well I do, but as a friend.” She set down the flower on a nearby bag gently. “I know it’s Hearts and Hooves Day and all, but I’m not that desperate. What made you think that I did?”

“The, um, rose,” Fluttershy said, pointing at the flower.

Rainbow raised her eyebrows. “Yeah, what about it? It’s a flower. There are, like, hundreds of them everywhere.”

“I thought you were giving it to me. You aren’t, are you?”

“No,” Rainbow said slowly. “I was askin’ you to hold onto it for me while I helped you carry all this,” she gestured to the mess of bags, “back to your place.”

“Oh.” Fluttershy let out a relieved breath, her hoof hovering over her heart. “Thank goodness.” She stood up and smiled brightly. “Who were you planning on giving it to, then? Oh, if you don’t mind me asking, I know how personal a question that is.”

“I’m not giving it to anypony.” Rainbow rolled her eyes. “You know that’s not my style.”

“You mean somepony gave it to you?” Fluttershy’s face lit up.

“Uh...” Rainbow took a step back before sitting on her haunches as Fluttershy smiled at her expectantly. She shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

No sooner did the words leave her lips than Fluttershy darted forwards and threw her forelegs around her. “Oh my gosh!” Fluttershy squealed, squeezing Rainbow tightly. “That’s wonderful!”

Rainbow gasped as the air was squeezed from her lungs. She coughed as she caught her breath and stared down at the pegasus’ pink mane with a look of utter bewilderment. “It is?”

“Absolutely!” Fluttershy pulled back and beamed. “I’m so happy for you!”

“You are?”

“Yes!” Fluttershy nodded vigorously. Then, her smile faltered as Rainbow stared at her with a look of complete bafflement. “I think?” Her smile was replaced by a confused frown as Rainbow cocked her head. “Um... maybe it’s not so wonderful after all?”

“I don’t know, you tell me.” Rainbow pried herself out of the unexpected embrace and edged away from Fluttershy. “Why would it be so wonderful?”

“You don’t know what that flower is?”

“Does it matter?” Rainbow’s eyes flicked over to the flower in question with a scrutinizing gaze. Her eyes widened with fear and she jumped to her hooves. “It’s not poisonous, is it?!”

“Heavens no! Nothing like that!”

“Oh, phew.” It was Rainbow’s turn to let out a relieved breath. Chuckling, she wiped her hoof across her forehead. “You scared me for a sec there.” She watched as Fluttershy leaned down to sniff the rose. “So... what’s the deal with it, then? What does it matter if Twilight gave it to me?”

Fluttershy gasped, snapping to attention. “Twilight gave this to you?”

“Uh... yeah?”

That’s why she stopped to talk to you?” Fluttershy broke out into another smile. “Oh, Rainbow, I’m so happy for you two!”

“Thanks, I think?”

“She must really love you.” Fluttershy tenderly picked up the flower as if it were one of her animals. She cradled it in her hoof, staring at it with an admiring gaze. “And she must have hidden it so well for nopony to notice.”

Love?!” Rainbow burst out laughing. She tried and failed to hide her galing laughter behind a hoof and soon fell to her back with her forelegs wrapped around her barrel. “G-good one, Fluttershy!”

“Why is that funny?” Fluttershy asked, offering the rose back to Rainbow. “I hope you didn’t laugh like that when Twilight gave it to you. The poor dear would have been crushed.”

“Twilight! Loving me!” Rainbow’s laughter died down to a few low chortles. She looked up through tearful eyes at Fluttershy, who was watching her with a mixture of confusion and admonishment. “Wait,” Rainbow said, pushing herself back up to her haunches. “That’s what you think this is about? Seriously?”

“Well... yes.” Fluttershy nodded. A semblance of doubt crept into her gaze. “Why else would she give you this flower?”

“I don’t know, that’s what she’s going to tell me tonight.” Rainbow smirked and flapped her wings of the dirt from the ground. “Not exactly a love confession.”

“But she did give you this rose?”

“Yeah, so?” Rainbow deadpanned. She rolled her eyes and snatched the rose from Fluttershy’s outstretched hoof and waved it through the air. “Again, there’re like a hundred of these things floating around. It’s Hearts and Hooves Day, ‘Shy, flowers aren’t exactly hard to come by. Especially with Roseluck, Daisy, and Lily selling them across town.”

“Exactly, it’s Hearts and Hooves Day,” Fluttershy pointed out. She winced as Rainbow waved the flower around. “And that’s a very special and a very rare flower that Twilight gave you.”

“I still don’t get it.” Rainbow frowned at the flower, then at Fluttershy. “It’s just a flower. So what if Twilight gave it to me? And so what if it’s Hearts and Hooves Day? Twilight isn’t into me like that. Trust me,” she added with another wave of the rose as Fluttershy opened her mouth to retort, “I’d know. She’s not the most subtle of ponies. I can read her like a book.”

Fluttershy bit her lip, looking around at the questioning glances she and Rainbow were beginning to draw from passers-by. “M-maybe we should talk about this on the way to my house?”

Rainbow sighed. “Fine. Can you at least put this is your saddlebags so it doesn’t get ruined?”

“Oh, no!” Fluttershy shook her head and tightened the strap on her saddlebags. “I couldn’t possibly do that!”

“And why not?” Rainbow asked, nonplussed.

“Because it’s not mine,” Fluttershy said simply, drawing an irritated glare from Rainbow. “I’ll explain once we get in the air, but I couldn’t possibly take that flower from you. It was given to you, not me.”

“Yeah, I got that.” Rainbow huffed. “But what do you want me to do with it? It’ll get wrecked, and then I’ll have a pissy Twilight to deal with later today.”

“You could always, um, put it in your mane?”

Rainbow leveled Fluttershy with a stony glare. “Put it in my mane? Lame. Just let me put it in your saddlebags. It’ll only be for a little bit.” She let out an irritated snort through her nose as Fluttershy shook her head and took a step back. “Come on! Twilight won’t even have to know.”

“I-I wouldn’t feel comfortable. That flower was meant for you.”

“Ugh, fine!” Rainbow snapped, grumbling as she stuck the rose behind her ear. With fumbling hooves, she worked it into her mane and, once it sat snugly in her mane and rested comfortably behind her ear, set another glare at Fluttershy. “Happy?”

“It looks wonderful, Rainbow,” Fluttershy said with a small smile. “Twilight will be so happy to see you wearing it like that.”

“Yeah, whatever, don’t count on it.” Rainbow grabbed a bag of feed in her teeth and tossed it onto her back. “It’s just a dumb flower,” she said as she picked up a bag under each foreleg before jumping into the air. She spotted one of the blue petals in the corner of her eye and huffed. “You coming or what?”