• Published 23rd May 2012
  • 20,886 Views, 960 Comments

Sweetie Crush - Ceehoff

After some time together with Connor, Sweetie Belle starts to see him in a new light.

  • ...

Chapter XI

Sweetie Crush

Written and Drawn by Ceehoff

"Sleep tight, Sweetie Belle," her mother whispered, kissing her forehead right next to her horn. "It's going to be another big day tomorrow. I'm sure this will all be better tomorrow morning."

The filly said nothing. She curled up tighter underneath her covers in shame.

"Good night, sweetie," her mother sighed. The black silhouette walked towards the bright yellow light, leaving a shadow directly on the little filly's face.

Sweetie Belle could not tell if eyes were playing tricks on her, but through the roundness of her mother's silhouette, she swore she could see an angry colt march out the door. Even though her mother closed the door gently, the filly could hear a mighty slam like it was closed in anger. Not bearing to hallucinate about it any longer, she shamefully pulled the covers over her head, basking in pity and tears in the dark.

She had really done it now.

She lost her friends.

She lost her hopes.

She lost her dreams.

She lost love.

She lost her sister, Rarity.

But, most of all, she lost Connor, her only ticket to happiness and comfort.

What seemed like forever, she tried to close her eyes and sleep, but she was afraid that those bad things were going to haunt her in her nightmares. She wished not to be reminded again. However, she also knew if she did not sleep at all, she was going to feel like crap the next day. She knew it was going to be a no-win situation.

However, sleep or not, she knew she could not be comfortable in doing anything else without doing something first.

Something she had to attempt to do again.


Connor was feeling really tired. From his cussing, cursing, fits, and frustration, his anger from earlier today wore him out like a rag. He felt like an empty walnut shell, feeling derived of his one pleasure in life: Fluttershy. He was never going to get her back now. It was all thanks to Sweetie Belle, the deceiver. He was not even sure if he was ever going to speak to her again. The nerve of trying to drug him with a freaking love poison! He thought it was downright dastardly to put somepony under control like that, when that somepony was trying really hard to make amends for his past life.

He lied flat on his back on his mattress, staring up into the curtained ceiling of the podium. The buttons that pressed the curtain into the ceiling felt like looking into endless abysses, because of how they look so shaded from the dropping curtain around them. He felt his own soul being sucked away, or what was left of it. What was to suck in? There was hardly anything left in him, except for the measly residue of disappointment and sorrow residing on the walls of his insides.

He cussed in his breath...

Clop, clop, clop, clop, clop...

He could hear the sound of delicate hooves descending down the stairs. His ears lead his head toward the sound to see Rarity with a straight poker face. As soon as she hit the floor, she stood and paused, looking at the reclined colt. As soon as their eyes met, she quickly looked away as did he. She cleared her throat.

"Let us never speak of this again," she simply said.

"Speak of wh--? Oh, right."

As soon as Rarity recovered from the love poison which she intercepted from earlier today, she had been told of the things she said and the things she did under its spell. She was told that she called Connor names like "Schmoopum-poopums," and the like. She was told that she nuzzled him greatly as well as repeatedly kissing him on the cheek, which had really made her feel embarrassed. She had no memory of the like. As for the other things that had happened, when she was being carried off by the two Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, she blew off the blanket covering her head with her magic and chased Connor all through the town. She caught him and had nearly made out with him in front of the crowd of ponies. Plus, she made Connor die from embarrassment after she called him even more mushy, lovey-dovey baby names. Luckily, the two Crusaders were there to explain Rarity's behavior to everypony and they knocked her out once more with a shovel they found near Carrot Top's carrot patch. This time, they used duct tape and wrapped wrap around her head and over her eyes, which explained Rarity's newly applied eye shadow and one of her fake eyelashes looking a tad askew.

"Yes, let's just live the rest of our lives like this had never happened," she said plainly. "Anyway, I'm going to the arts and crafts store to buy some colored feathers for the dress for my next client. I won't take long."

"M'kay. See you in a bit."

Snatching her saddlebag, she galloped out the door, not saying another word. She blushed to herself in embarrassment. She should not blame herself for any of what she did because she had no memory of it, but she still felt really off.

Connor was by himself, alone with his thoughts...

The nerve of Sweetie Belle! he thought. Trying to drug me with a friggin' love poison! Poison! I didn't even know that there was love 'poison'! Well, I sure know about it now! What the hell is wrong with her?! God...

Just to calm himself down, he grabbed his electric guitar and plugged it into his amplifier. He lied back down onto his back and crossed his hind legs, so one of his legs would hold the guitar up to his stomach. He plucked a few strings and adjusted the volume and level. Clean electric... That should be enough to calm him down. He plucked at the lowest string and then the top three strings all in a cycle, playing the intro to "Nothing Else Matters."

Behind the soothing sound of the strings, he heard the door creak open. He heard some small hooves slowly walk toward him. A little, "Ahem" shortly followed after the hiatus of the hooves. Connor's eyebrows furrowed deeper. He knew what that sound belonged to.

"Um... Connor?"

He did not respond. He kept on plucking the strings of his guitar. A part of Sweetie Belle's heart ached. She remembered when he used to play that song when he was cheering her up because of her sprained ankle. What soothing memories... However, they were the reason why she was hurting so much right now.

"Connor?" she said louder.

"Shouldn't you be in bed right about now?" he asked in a soft, yet annoyed voice.

"I can't sleep..." she moped.

"Take a sleeping pill..." He resumed playing his guitar.

She sat on her haunches. "Connor... I'm really, really, really sorry..."

"That was what you said last time. Look how that turned out."

"No, I really am! Seriously! Honest to Celestia! It was very wrong of me to do that to you. I'm really sorry!"

Heard that one, too, he rolled his eyes.

"I just--! I just don't know what over me! I just lost myself, and, well, it happened! It's just..."

Connor did not feel like listening to her. He turned the knob on the amplifier to "Distorted" and increased the volume. He galloped at the low strings, playing a more aggressive series of notes.

Nonetheless, Sweetie Belle kept talking underneath the loud noise. "I like you... No, I love you! You want to know why? Those times... Those times you spent with me and my friends, it made me so happy to know that somepony cared for us, seeing that we are pretty freakish without our cutie marks. Plus, the things you did for me, like helping me..."

The colt increased the volume.

"...With my homework, my problems, and especially through the tough time I had with my sprained ankle, it really touched my heart. You made me feel happy, you made me feel loved, you made me feel appreciated for who I was. I wanted to feel like that forever! If only you would see how much..."

The colt strummed faster. Would she ever stop talking??

"... I felt for you sooner, then all of this wouldn't have happened!"

TWANG! After a strong spasm flowing through his foreleg, his low guitar string broke, nearly slapping him in the face. His shoulders shook in rage.

"So..." he spoke softly. "You're saying... that this is all my fault now?"

The filly, seeing her crush about to explode, stammered in fear. Was it his fault? Was it? She did not know what to say for an answer.

SLAM! He placed his guitar roughly on the hard surface next to the podium.

"DAMN RIGHT, IT ISN'T! It's your fault! Your fault alone!"

Sweetie Belle squeaked in fright and shrunk back.

"It's your fault that Fluttershy and I have broken up! It's your fault that I am feeling like this! Everything I'm feeling now and in the future is your fault! The mare I love is gone because of you!! It's was all in your hooves!! And you say it was all because you love me?! That's a really funny way of showing somepony that you love him! Am I right?!"

"I... I..." her voice was choked with tears.

"And, do I have to say this again?? Look at me!! I'm older than you! You and I both know that we can't date! Are you trying to turn me into a freaking pedophile?! To hell with that! I'm not and never will be! Love somepony your own size and age, instead of chasing pointless dreams and desires that will never come true in a million years!! Even if I was a younger colt, I would still not date you! I'd rather bash my own brains out with my guitar than date anyone so low as you!!"

He paused to look at the filly's frightened expression. Just what he wanted. He huffed through his nostrils, showing that he was calming himself down.

"You know what? Just get out of here..." he said calmer than before. "It's your bedtime anyway, little filly... I don't have any more time for this. You're not worth the trouble. Get lost."

Sweetie Belle gasped. Her eyes were soaking with tears.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Get the hell out of here! Are you going to continue to waste my time? You've done enough..." he growled as he walked back to his bed. He hopped onto his mattress, angrily landing with a "thump!". He heaved an angry, stressed sigh. After a few seconds of silence, he began to hear bitter sniffling coming from the heart-broken unicorn.

"All right... I'll go.... I'm sorry that you feel that way... about me," she whimpered, voice croaking in clenching pain from the pent up desire to bawl. "No matter what happens, I still love you... forever and ever..."

Hanging her head miserably, she turned around, heading for the front door.

"I almost forgot..." she sniffed. "If you see Rarity, tell her that I'm sorry for accusing her for exposing my secret about my love for you. Tell her I was wrong to say such things to her since after I knew that she still loves and cares about me enough to keep my secret hidden. I want her as my older sister again. And tell her... I love her, too... Okay?"

He said nothing. Not a breath or a peep.

"Good-bye... my iron shield..." her voice cracked as bitter tears ran down her cheeks.

The door creaked to a close and Connor was alone again.

"Good riddance..." he muttered.

Clop, clop, clop...

He sat back up to she a displeased white unicorn. Her stare was cold as she looked at him from the kitchen.

"Rarity? That was quick. Wait... Where's all the feathers you bought?"

"The store was closed... I had forgotten that they closed earlier today. So, I came right back."

The colt twisted his face. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Her eyebrows furrowed deeper in response.

"You heard it?" he asked.

"From the start to the ending apology. I didn't want to interrupt, but now I see that I should've when I had the chance."

"Oh, jeez..." Connor pressed his hoof onto his forehead. "You, too?"

"Have you no shame??" Rarity scolded mightily.

"Why should I?! It's all true!"

"The nerve of you, unleashing all of that fury onto a poor, little filly like her! She's only a foal!"

"Well, foals need to learn somehow! All of this was her fault! If she hadn't shown Fluttershy those damn photos, I wouldn't be in this mess! Plus, she tried to freaking drug with a love poison! Poison, for God's sake!! You're saying that you are defending her?? What kind of cruel joke is this? Since when did this come out into the open? You don't understand how crappy I'm feeling right now! All because of her..."

Rarity eyed him grimly. She huffed, "Well, you were still the one who kissed Lily behind Fluttershy's back."

"Wh--? Th--! I--! Rarity, come on! Don't remind me abou--."

"Why shouldn't I? The only foal I see right now is you! You're the one who is acting a little foal."

"Jesus, Rarity..."

"You're the one who needs to be yelled at! Plus, you're not even teaching her a lesson; you're making her feel worse! No, you're lying to yourself into thinking you are teaching her a lesson, when you are really just frustrated with yourself for doing something wrong behind Fluttershy's back, and you're taking it all out on a little filly, for Celestia's sake!"

"How dare you!" Connor fumed.

"I dare!!" Rarity answered boldly. "Admit it! You are frustrated with yourself for kissing Lily while knowing you were with Fluttershy!"

"I...! I--ARRRGH! Fine! I am! However, that does not change the fact that she nearly tricked me into drinking that love poison!"

Rarity spoke softer, relaxing a bit. "Yes, I have to admit that was low of her, but you are still to blame."

"Oh, come on! Really?" he rolled his head.

"Yes! The very day you found out that Fluttershy knew about your little act, you acted so surly around Sweetie Belle. You even yelled at her, because you couldn't control your anger with yourself. That kind of attitude made her go even deeper into the dirt pit to do something that would get your approval. Plus, even if she was planning to frame you with another mare, you still kissed her, which made you more of the guilty one than her."

"I... but..."

"I'm glad that she caught you, because right now, you wouldn't be learning something important as this. Imagine how Sweetie Belle must feel now. She must feel so frightened and hurt. Rethink to the last time you got yelled at by your parents when you were small. Especially for something that you didn't do. You must have felt pretty scared and hurt back then. It did not feel so good, I presume? Now put yourself into Sweetie Belle's hooves. It's pretty much the same, isn't it?"

The colt stared at the ground. "Yes..." he spoke meekly.

"I know you are upset about what you did, but taking it out on other ponies, especially fillies, is never the right thing to do. I realize that now. If you do just that, then you will make yourself very foolish and bad. You aren't a bad pony, are you?"

"N...No... but, now I sure do feel like I am..."

"Well, you are not. You are a good pony. If you want to stay that way, then you will have to do the good thing. It's not too late to still be the good pony you were."

The memories of just a few minutes ago with Sweetie Belle rushed back into his head, along with the other times he acted so surly around her.

"Oh, God..." he said, his face frozen in sudden realization. He cupped his face with his hooves. "I feel like a complete jackass... No offense."

"None taken," a mule said as he chomped on Rarity's flowers in the window.

"Ahh! What are you doing? Go! Shoo! Shoo! Those are not for you!" Rarity yelped as she brushed the mule away. "Honestly... Anyway, that is a good thing, too. It's part of learning, part of life, my friend. Now, what are you going to do next?"

Connor pounded a hoof into his other. "I'm going to apologize to Sweetie Belle for my foolish behavior."

"There we go! There's the gentlecolt I know!"

Without another word, he dashed out the front door.

Wait... Really? Leave just like that?

He dashed right back into the boutique and gave Rarity a quick kiss on the cheek, who yelped in surprise. "Thanks, Rarity, for the wake-up call! You're really generous."

He ran back out the door.

"No problem, darling!" she smiled, blushing a little. "Yes, a gentlecolt..."

Outside, Connor galloped toward Sweetie Belle's house.

I'm sorry, Sweetie Belle. You have made mistakes, but so have I. I'm sorry for taking all of my frustration out on you. I was just so angry with myself that I couldn't keep it to myself. It was wrong of me to blame everything on you. Your corruption was all my doing. Please forgive me... he rehearsed in his mind as he ran.

He slowed to walking speed. What made him slow down like that? Just thinking about her made him feel even more guilty and nervous. The image of her crying expression throbbed in his memory. Seeing that he had hurt her badly, would she ever forgive him? She had to. She loved him, right? It would be easy for her to forgive him, right?

Without even realizing it, he saw himself one hundred yards away from Sweetie Belle's house. His heart sank. The house looked just as sad as she did before she left him alone. The dark windows showed lifelessness within the premises.

Ironic thing was, what heard inside was the exact opposite of lifelessness. There was action going on in there. He heard worried and panicked voices coming from inside.

Gravely concerned by what was going on, he rushed toward the house of muffled voices. He knocked on the door, revealing Sweetie Belle's father, who was wearing his bathrobe like he had slung it on in a huge hurry. His expression was tense with worry.

"Mr. Rar--... Uh, Mr. Be--... Sir, what's going on? I was just going to come by and--!"

Suddenly, Sweetie Belle's mother, pounced on him and shook his shoulders. She sure had some muscle.

"Did you find her?! Did you find Sweetie Belle?!" she shrilled. "Oh, please tell us that you did!"

Connor broke himself from her grip. "What's going on?"

"Our little pony has run away! She's gone!!" she bawled.

"WHAT??" he said, feeling his spine grow cold in fear.

"We found a note on her bed, saying that she was!" the white stallion said, holding his bawling, hysterical wife. "We don't even know where she went off to!"

Connor dazed off into the distance, looking around himself. He could not believe what he just heard. His eyes darted around the surroundings cloaked in Princess Luna's night.

"Don't worry, Mr. and Mrs. B--... Ra--. (Oy, do I need to know these guys names...) Don't worry, I'll find her!"

The pink mare instantly fell to the ground and hugged the colt's forelegs. "You will??" she asked.


"Oh, thank you, Connor! Thank you so much!"

"Don't mention it."

"Oh, please find her! Pleeheeheeze!"

"I will!"


"I will, just... Can you, uhhh, let go of my forelegs, please? With all due respect, I need them to run..."

"Honey!" the white stallion hissed at his wife, who immediately released the colt's legs.

"Sorry," she sniffled. "Please find her! Hurry!"

"I will!" he said before dashing away.

Connor pumped his legs against the dirt ground as hard as he could. Grunts of strength and frustration rung in his breath.

This is my fault he thought. This is all my fault. If only I'd forgiven her earlier, then this wouldn't happen. She ran away because of me! I've got to find her... before... something else does...

Soon, he stopped running. He fell to his haunches to take a breath as well as submission to defeat. His head whirled around, looking into the thick darkness. Hardly anything was visible. The ground looked nothing more than a pitch-black blanket. How the hell was he supposed to find hoofprints in this darkness? He did not want to just run around amuck. He would be way off course. He could be running in the opposite direction. He was sure as hell could not find her until morning. Lord knows what would happen to her. She could be gone far away. She could be hurt.

She could be dead...

His horrid imagination of what would happen to the little filly had him nearly weeping in despair and fright. What should he do?

"Hey, Connor! What are ya doin' out here?"

The colt flinched, startled by the voice directly next to him. He saw Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.

"Are ya all right?" the farm filly asked with concern.

"Girls! Sweetie Belle has run away!"

The fillies gasped in horror.

"She ran away?!" the Scootaloo gasped. "When??"

"Just recently. I need to find her! Oh, God, this is all my fault! I've caused this..."

"What happened? What didja do?" Apple Bloom asked.

"I was angry with her... I said harsh things to her... With a little talk with Rarity, I have realized how badly I have screwed up... Now, this is happening. I feel so bad, that I have to find her. Can you help me, girls?"

"Sorry fer yer sins! Now, that's what ah'm talkin' about! We'll help ya!"

"Thank you so much, girls. I suppose you have an idea on where to start?"

"Git Miss Rarity! She's her sister and a unicorn! She could use her magic to find her."

Connor slapped his forehead with his hoof. "Jeez, I can't believe I haven't thought of that sooner. Good idea!"



"RARITY!" All three ponies shouted.

"MOTHERBUCKER!!" shrieked the white unicorn. "It never fails!! Every time I use the needle at near-dangerous situations!! Honestly!"

She froze. Her expression became blank. She slowly turned her head around to look at the three ponies staring at her in surprise. Connor and two, small, innocent fillies...

Well, that was very unladylike of her...

Her entire face turned pink as she smiled sheepishly. "Did I just say that?"

"Rarity! I need your help!" Connor ran up to her.

"What's wrong, darling?"

"Sweetie Belle's run away!"

She gasped. "Oh, no! Not Sweetie Belle!"

"We need your magic to help us find her! Does your tracking spell help with ponies?"

"Of course! I was able to find you and Sweetie Belle with it before you drank that love poison."

"Good! Good, good!" Connor stuttered from his mind being overindulged by the spark of hope. "Now, come on! We gotta find her!"

The four ponies rushed out of the boutique, being engulfed in the unpredictable, blind darkness.

Don't worry, Sweetie Belle... I'm coming... the colt thought.

He did not know that the white unicorn was thinking the exact same thing.


The sounds of the wildlife composed of chittering, chirping, snarling, low warbling, rumbling, and growling...

As well as tearful sniffling...

"I'm sorry, Connor..." she sniffled. "I'm so sorry... (Sniffle!) You won't have to worry about me anymore... I won't be (Sniffle!) a burden to you any longer... You're life would be better without me... Rarity... I'm so sorry for the things I said to you... I want you back, but you probably wo--WHOA! OOF!"

She fell to the ground, landing roughly on her chest, which caused her saddlebag to skitter a few feet in front of her. She rolled on ground, clenching her chest and whimpering in pain. She looked up from the dirt ground. Her tears soaked in the dirt, creating two thin streams of mud trailing down her cheeks. She saw her saddlebag, alone on the ground without its owner. It looked desolate and alone like a baby that had been abandoned by its mother. Peeking out of the saddlebag was the smiling portrait of Connor. Whimpering in worry, she scrambled up to the fallen portrait and lifted it to her face level, making sure nothing broke. She moaned tearfully when she saw a long, wriggly crack trail directly across it, starting from the top left corner and ending on the bottom right corner like a big cross-out mark. the crack sullied the colt's smile, making it look more wriggled and tainted. The photo got wet because of the fallen tears that were traveling through the cracks of the broken glass. She pushed the portrait against her own chest, giving it a heart-broken hug. His image in the photo was the only presence of him Sweetie Belle had left, and she had broken it like she broke him. She was not sure if she could forgive herself anymore.

"Please forgive me..." she whispered, kissing the portrait behind the broken glass.

She placed it carefully back into her saddlebag and resumed walking, planning to leave Ponyville once and for all.

Unbeknownst to her, something else following behind her had some plans as well.


"Are we getting close?" Connor called to Rarity.

"Getting closer, but we still have a ways to go!" she called back.

Suddenly, she stopped and the other three ponies bumped into her from behind.

"Rarity, let us know when you're going to do that, all right?" the colt said, immediately backing away from her rump to prevent any wrong thought.

The unicorn said nothing.

"Rarity?" the colt said again.

He walked around her front, seeing a horrified expression on her face. "Rar--."

"Oh, dear Celestia, help us!" she said pointing her hoof out directly in front of her.

The colt's head turned to the direction of her pointing hoof.

"Oh, shhh..." he muttered.

What stood before his eyes were gargantuan, twisting, dark trees with jagged branches towering over them. Vines, tree moss, and big blades of bushes protruded from between the tree trunks. What lied past the trees was thick humidity mixed with darkness.

"The Everfree Forest," Apple Bloom shuddered.

"She went in there of all places?? What is she thinking?!" Scootaloo shrieked in worry.

"She could've walked in there without realizing it, but nonetheless, we're getting her out of there," Connor proclaimed.

"Are ya crazy??" the farm filly pulled at his hind leg. "We can't go in there! It's extremely dangerous in there in the dark! We'd lucky to get outta there alive! That forest has creatures and who-knows-whats like you wouldn't believe!"

"You... don't say?" he said, taking another look into the depths of the sketchy forest. He had never trekked the Everfree Forest before. Now that he took a closer look at it, he had a chilling feeling that there actually was something supernatural about the forest. If he took another step in there, he would be more vulnerable to danger than anypony else since this was his first time. He bit his lip nervously.

"Just stick with me, girls," Rarity tried to console them. "I've been in this forest before along with the others when we first met. As long as I'm around, you'll all be fine. Besides, I think I know who will help us, in case we run into any creature."

Connor felt his stomach wrench.

Just a few hundred yards away, Fluttershy's cottage was visible. They could see the bright yellow lights coming from the windows, which meant she was still home. They all galloped quickly up to the door. Rarity was about to knock, until she noticed the colt standing at an awkward distance, scratching his foreleg with his other.

"I know, darling. I know what you're thinking. It may feel odd, but you have to put all of your troubles and discomforts aside for now. Without her help, Sweetie Belle would be lost forever. You have to trust me on this."

The colt nodded after three seconds of self-debate. Rarity stepped aside, showing the colt the door. Butterflies grew in his stomach, but he quickly ignored them. There was no moment to lose. He knocked on the door. Just hearing the pegasus' delicate hoofsteps from behind the door made him feel nervous. The door creaked open and the yellow light poured out onto the four ponies.

"Hello? Who is--? EEP!" she squeaked when she saw Connor, standing in front of her.

"Fluttershy, I--."

"Please, Connor, leave me alone..." she said closing the door, which was stopped by his hoof.

"Fluttershy, listen to me!"

"No! Leave me be!" she said, trying to push her door shut. The colt winced in pain as his foot was being crushed by the door.

"I need your help! We all need your help!"

"With what?" she asked, still pushing.

"Sweetie Belle's run away, and she's gone into the Everfree Forest!"

She lost grip of the floor and instantly slipped, falling onto the floor, causing the door to swing open.

"Sweetie Belle?? Ran away?" she gasped. "The Everfree Forest??"

The colt nodded.

She gasped in fright. "Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!"

"We need you to help vend off anything that crosses our path or her path! We've got no time!"

Without another word, Fluttershy ran out of the cottage. If one of her friends' life was on the line, her fear for anything had completely vanished.


"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..." Sweetie Belle kept repeating as she walked by herself.


The filly gasped and froze in her place. Her head slowly turned to look behind herself. All she saw was a gaping chasm formed by huge, grisly trees. The path she walked was engulfed by the fog skulking over the ground.


She flinched as she turned towards the sound coming from the front. She swore she could see a dark figure cross the path, which sent a cruel chill down her spine. Noises came from all around her. The bushes and branches were being tossed around in the sudden breeze. Her mind felt suddenly awake after being foggy in sadness. She did not know where she was or how she ended up there either.

"Wh-wh-where am I... exactly?"

A large owl hooted loudly. The filly swallowed her fear and began walking again, doing her best to ignore what was behind her.

"It's fine. It's nothing. It's just your imagination, Sweetie Belle. It's just your imagination. Stop thinking so much. It's nothing. Nothing. Nothing at--."

The sound of a snarl rung loudly behind her. Having her fill of jump scares, she could not contain herself any further. She ran, pumping her little hooves against the ground. As she was running, she snuck a few peeks behind herself to make sure whatever was following her was gone. As soon as she looked back toward the front, something ran into her face. It felt stringy, sticky, and light as a feather, except for the area to the left of her head which had a black ball of fur and eight legs.

"AAA!" she squealed, throwing the web off of her face. She ran faster, dodging past bushes and tree trunks, praying that the worst would be over.

Instead, she tripped over a tree stump and tumbled down a large hill. Her eyes were blind, seeing nothing more than swirling blackness and bits of moonshine illuminating the leaves of the bushes she tumbled past. She spun furiously over the ground like a barrel. After what seemed like a half minute of falling, she had finally hit ground.

She groaned from the nausea caused by her dizziness as well as the pain from the newly formed bruise marks forming all over her body. She was lying on her stomach in the dirt. Feeling heavy from the action, she could hardly stand herself up. Her torso felt heavy as lead, and her limbs were weak. After her vision cleared, she could see her saddlebag lying six feet in front of her. Using the strength she could muster, she pressed her hooves into the ground and using only her forelegs, she crawled toward her saddlebag. Inch by inch, the bag was getting closer to her reach. The only thing that was between her and her bag was the thick fog lurking on top of the ground. The closer she got to her bag, the thicker it grew, until it was completely concealed.

However, she stayed her course. She kept crawling forward. She stretched her foreleg out further in front of her, feeling for part of it. Her hoof felt something.

Long... Slender... Made out of wood...

She felt her hoof moisten from something wet. and dripping.

"Ewww!" she grimaced. "Gross! What is this--?"

She heard something, which immediately made her stop talking. She heard a low, raspy sound, which was loud enough to vibrate in her hoof. The tingling in her forehead signified Sweetie Belle that the noise was coming from over her head. She saw a pair of angry, hungry, glowing, yellow eyes. At the same time, the fog began to clear, revealing a drooling, snarling, growling, huge timberwolf.



"Holy horseapples!" Scootaloo flinched, scared half to death by the sudden, high-pitched scream.

"That sounded like Sweetie Belle!" Apple Bloom exclaimed, holding her ear.

"She's in trouble! We have to hurry!" Connor said.

Fluttershy gasped in horror.

"Let's move!!" the colt commanded.

Once again, they ran at full speed toward the direction the filly's scream came from.

Please, just let us be there in time! the colt thought. Hang on, Sweetie Belle! You are not going to perish because of me!

"Watch the hill, darlings!" Rarity called. "Downhill drop!"

The elevation began to decrease quickly as the five ponies ran down the slope of the hill. Their strides grew larger as they used the gravitational pull for a boost in speed.

"The slope's getting too steep!" Scootaloo shouted as her hooves desperately dug at the surface, trying to find her grip.

Because of the loss of control in speed, they all lost their traction and tumbled down the hill together (except for Fluttershy, who was flying).

They landed roughly at the bottom of the hill, one by one, kicking up a large cloud of dust.

"Is everypony okay? Nopony hurt?" Connor coughed the dust out of his throat.

"Other than my mane being dirty, I'm fine, darling," Rarity replied.

"We're fine," the Crusaders said in unison.

"Fluttershy, you okay?" the colt called.


"What? What happened? Where are you hurt?!"

"No! Look!" the pegasus pointed.

Just a few feet away from them was a white saddlebag with a lime-green shoulder strap, stained with mud and peculiar and ghastly red stains.

"Is... is that...b-blood?" Scootaloo stammered, eyes filled with fear.

Without another word, Connor walked up to the lone, rugged, stained saddlebag. He stood as still as a statue, looking down at it like a vulture. He did not move for what seemed like ten seconds.

Then, he collapsed to the ground, pounding furious hooves on the ground. Angry, tearful snarls escaped from his lungs each pound he made.


He hurled one last punch into the ground, which was polluted with craters. Feeling all the air and energy leaving him, he fell back onto his haunches. His shoulders quivered. Bitter tears streamed down his eyes. His breath was shuddering, squeaking with the longing urge to weep.

"We're too late..." was all he was able to say from his aching throat. "We're too late... Sweetie Belle... I'm so sorry... It's all my fault... Forgive me..." his voice trailed off to spasmodic outbursts of weeping.

Suddenly, the bag was engulfed with blue magic. As if it was being gently lifted by fairies, it flew up to Rarity, who wrapped her forelegs tightly around it as she stained it with her bitter tears.

"Oh, Sweetie Belle!" she cried. "Why does this have to happen? Just why?? WHY?? If only we made it in time, you would still be alive! I have failed you!"

She pressed her wet cheeks once again on the bearer of bad news. She weeped harder when she smelled the filly's peach-scented perfume in the pores of the cloth.

Her crying calmed as her face twisted in confusion.

She smelled something else as well...

Boysenberries? That was the kind of fruit Sweetie Belle hated the most. She hated them so much, she would not even buy a Boysenberry-scented perfume. Yet, why did she smell--?

Her nose wrinkled as it felt something wet brush against it. Rarity wiped at it and saw the red stain on the tip of her hoof. She sniffed it again.

"Wait..." she said before taking another sniff. "This isn't blood..."

Connor's crying came to a halt immediately, but his eyes were still red and filled with tears. "It... It's not??"

"No. It's Boysenberry..."

"So, that means..."


"AHHHHHHH!!!" Sweetie Belle squealed between her breaths as she ran.

Driven by ultimate fear, she could feel herself running at a speed that Rainbow Dash would be jealous of. However, that was from only her perspective. She could feel the breeze kicked up from the running legs from the flock of timberwolves behind her, as well as their hot breaths lightly touching the back of her scalp. As soon as she took a quick peek behind herself, she could see the hungry maw of a timberwolf snap shut one inch in front of her face, which made her shriek in fright and coerce her to pick up the pace. However, even though she looked back for only second, she was able to see that there were about four timberwolves chasing her.

Through the passing and blurry foliage in front of her, she saw a horizontally overhanging vine about to catch her head. She immediately ducked down and heard one of the grisly creatures yelp in surprise. She heard multiple bodies fall upon the grass blade and the whines disappeared behind her. However, whether or not they gave up on her, she did not stop running. She had to get out of the forest quickly. She had had enough. She immediately regretted running into this damned forest.

Suddenly, she found herself face-first on the ground, skidding uncontrollably up to a huge and wide tree. She could feel the blood flow up to her face as her back slammed into the massive trunk, upside down. Her cranium was pounding painfully, each beat of her running heart worsening the pain.

Her eyes saw yellow, blinking, glowing blobs nearing her. The timberwolves growled viciously as saliva dripped from their fangs. Sweetie Belle jumped right side up, but fell back down again, because her brain was ethereal from shifting too quickly. She lethargically wobbled in her place as the vicious beast closed in on her. She shook her head, fighting the dreariness and searched desperately for an opening to slip through. However, the huge, protruding tree roots took away her attempt to run left and right. She could not jump up over them either. It was not use to jump dart forward and plow through them either. The wolves took away that chance as well.

She was cornered.

The beasts snarled viciously as if they were saying, "No way to escape, little one. You're done fore. Let the feast commence! We will enjoy ripping you apart."

Whimpering, Sweetie Belle's eyes flickered left and right, frightened to see which one would strike first. Her shaking grew more violent seeing the wolves close in on her at once.

This was the end... She never thought she would see herself end this way... She thought she would die peacefully at old age... However, fate was insensitive and cruel to allow a little foal to die a grisly, horrid, disturbing, painful death.

Fate and its sick sense of humor...

She gave up. She shut her eyes tightly, waiting for her death. I love you, Mom... I love you, Dad... I love you, Rarity... I love you, girls... and I love you--...

She heard hooves land directly in front of her.


"Get the hell away from her, you sons of bitches!" the colt's voice roared. "Don't touch her!"

The wolves backed away, surprised to see another pony come out from nowhere and defend the little one. However, they knew that there was going to be more meat available. Their teeth bared, ready to tear through the colt if it meant getting their original target.

"Sweetie Belle! Go! Get away from here!" the colt said to Sweetie Belle.

She hugged his hind leg, crying. "No! Don't do this! I don't want y--!"

"I said MOVE, dammit! GO! I want you safe!"

"Sweetie Belle!" whispered Rarity from a distance. "Come here! Quickly!"

Seeing her older sister at a distance behind some foliage, she began to run to her. One of the timberwolves noticed the filly trying to escape and instantly leapt at her, claws and sharp teeth ready to tear into flesh. It was knocked off course by a mighty buffet to the head by the colt's hind legs. It whined as it struck the ground. Seeing one of its companions down, another wolf launched itself at the colt, willing to make the colt pay for his deed. Connor ducked, and the beast slammed into the tree trunk. The other two wolves circled around him like sharks. One lunged to snap at his legs while the other waited for an opening. As the colt strafed, keeping his sights on both of the wolves, he picked up a large stick with his teeth. However, one of the wolves knew his strategy and grabbed the other end of it with its sharp teeth. The two were engaged in a tug-of-war, one holding him down, the other trying to get his weapon. Seeing the colt's outstretched neck, the other timberwolf tensed its muscled, ready for an attack. It leapt into the air and its mouth opened wide, unsheathing its sharp teeth. Connor noticed the growing shadow and instantly moved away, causing the attacker to attack its own companion. The wolf squealed in pain and released its grip of the stick. It tugged, trying release its wooden hide from the teeth of the other.

The colt thought he would help. With a mighty swing of the thick stick, he struck the head of the biter, and the biter was knocked off the other's hide. Tree sap (which was the timberwolves' blood) dripped from the teeth that belonged to Connor's attacker. The two got on their paws, and they bared their teeth at the colt, signifying him that he was pushing his luck with fighting them. Connor jabbed the end of his stick at them, backing them off.

Wait, what about the other two?

CHOMP!! The sharp teeth of the third timberwolf sank into Connor's foreleg. He hollered in pain as the wolf clamped its jaws tighter, nearly crushing his bones. Hot blood was dripping freshly from the wounds.

"GO TO HELL!" the colt shouted jamming the end of the stick repeatedly into the timber wolf's face. However, the beast held its grip, clamping down even harder.

The other wolf saw this as the perfect opportunity to attack his other foreleg and try to tear him apart. It charged, but was knocked off course once again by Connor's weapon. It sprung back up and charged again, thus the colt swung at him again. Connor had hit something, but he found the stick gripped tightly in the beast's jaws. It flung its head violently side to side until the stick was out of the colt's teeth, leaving him exposed without a weapon. Trying again, it pounced at Connor, but the colt ducked and the attacker's teeth landed directly on the face of the wolf biting his foreleg. It yelped in pain, thus it made it start to panic. It tugged and wrenched at the colt's wound, making it wider and bleed more profusely. Grimacing through the pain, he tried to drag the stick back to him with his foreleg, but the wolf was pulling him back, being in a state of pain and panic it was currently in now. He could only find a spear-head shaped rock in his reach. Using his foreleg to drag it in, he grabbed ahold of it and jammed it into the eye of the the beast chomping on his other foreleg. It screamed in pain and released its grip, also dragging the wolf that was still stuck on its face. Connor took his first weapon and slung it down on top of the muzzle of the beast like a sledgehammer, thus causing the wolf's jaw to forcefully close and bite the other wolf's muzzle completely off.

He was about to strike again, until his mind suddenly became heavy and dreary. His forelegs were up in the air as they gripped the stick, originally ready for another hammer attack. He felt blood drip profusely on top of his muzzle. His eyes felt like they were rolling back into his brain and he staggered to the ground, dropping his heavy stick. His head was tipping from dizziness. He was losing too much blood from his wound. His vision was foggy. His ears were giving out, making all sounds around him muffled and droning. All he could hear was vicious and hungry snarling. All he could see were glowing, yellow, angry eyes, closing in on him.

"Damn you... Damn you all..." he muttered. He knew he was about to lose.

"HOW DARE YOU!!" a white and light purple blob squeaked in front of him. "Don't you touch him ever again!!"

"Rarity!" he called, feeling lethargic from his blood loss. "You were supposed to keep her with you!"

"She just slipped from me! She was really quick!"

"Sweetie Belle!" he said. "Wh... What the hell are you d... doing?! Get away! Run!!"

She did not respond. She continued to glare at the wolves in front of her. "You will not touch him ever again, do you hear me, you mangy mutts?! If you do, then you'll all be sorry! I'll turn all of you into maple syrup for my pancakes!"

Rarity, Fluttershy, and the Crusaders could not help but sit and watch in horror as the little filly stood up to the horrid monsters.

"I love him! He is my iron shield! I will not allow you to take him away from me, even if it means that I will have to risk my life! Come on! Do your worst, you sorry excuses for tree sap! I dare you! I'm not afraid of you anymore!"

The wolves' growl only became more senile and bloodthirsty. Oh, were they willing to do their worst.

Fluttershy gasped in horror. Was Sweetie Belle really going to do this on her own? Despite her bravery, even Fluttershy believed what she was trying to express in front of them was suicidal. What could she do?

She knew exactly what to do.

She glided stealthily up to her and landed quietly behind Sweetie Belle.

Then, she opened her eyes, staring into the eyes of the wolves. Her eyes suddenly shifted from sweet and adorable, to chilling, angry, and overpowering.

The wolves noticed the yellow pegasus behind the oblivious filly. At first, they thought it was nothing.

Until they got a closer look...

They instantly backed down and started whimpering in fear as they stared into the wide, terrifying, glaring diamonds of the graceful, sweet pegasus. With their will to feed immediately obliterated by Fluttershy's stare, they turned around and ran away, whimpering and howling in embarrassing defeat. They had let a pony best them.

"That's right, you dirty dogs! You'd better run! Connor is mine!! PHBBBBBT!"

Fluttershy stifled a smile. Maybe, she should let the filly have her fun for now.

"Sweetie Belle!" she exclaimed before giving her a hug. "Are you all right?"

"Mm-hmm," she nodded.

Suddenly, Rarity ran up to her and snatched her up into a tight hug. "Oh, Sweetie Belle! I'm so glad you're all right! How dare you scared us like that! We were so worried about you! I was! Why did you run away from us?"

"Everypony was mad at me..." she muttered shamefully, kicking the dust on the ground. "Connor said I was not worth the trouble and that he'd never date me if he even was a little colt and--."

"Yes, darling, I know... I was there..."

"You... you heard everything?" she asked as her head rose up quickly in surprise. "Even...?"

"Yes, little sister," Rarity smiled, gently brushing the mud streaks on her face. "However, I should be the one to apologize to you. Those things you said about me were true. Plus, those things I said to you, I regret. I promise to be the better sister than I was before. Less spa time, more sister time."

"But I made mistakes, too! I want to apologize more than you do."

The older pony smiled. "We both made mistakes. Will you forgive me as I forgive you?"

Tears of harmony and joy welled in the filly's eyes. She pounced on her older sister and wrapped her forelegs around the unicorn's slender neck in a tight hug. Rarity hugged back, cooing in glee. The other two Crusaders joined the hug.

"We owe you an apology, too, Sweetie Belle," Scootaloo said after she released her from her forelegs.

"We're sorry that we acted so insensitive back there. Ya really needed our help, and we dumped ya right on the spot. We felt so darn ashamed..." Apple Bloom moped.

At first, the white filly was surprised. Then, she smiled. "And I'm sorry for deceiving you guys. I should've been more honest with you."

"Plus, we want ya back into the Crusaders, 'cuz this whole society thing was your idea. Also, we couldn't come up with any ideas without ya. Ya, know, you bein' the one with the most good ideas," the country filly added sheepishly.

"And we missed you sooner than we could imagine," the orange filly mentioned. "Pretty dang fast, if you ask me."

"Of course, I'll come back! Your offer is accepted!" Sweetie Belle squeaked happily.

They all gathered in for a hoof bump before engaging in another group hug.

"Ungh..." grunted a certain colt in the wedge of the tree.

It made Sweetie Belle's stomach jump to hear him. She saw the colt sitting dazedly in his place, holding onto his bleeding foreleg. His head was drooping over his deep wounds. After taking a few loud breaths, he shifted his injured hoof up into the air and placed it down onto the ground. He shifted all of his hooves underneath him until they were in position to stand up. He bared his teeth, groaning and fighting the clenching pain in his injury. The pain was too much, and he collapsed onto the ground again.

"Oh, no, no, no! No, Connor. Just stay right there," Fluttershy said. She pulled out a first aid kit from her tail, which she placed in there for emergencies.

Sweetie Belle could only watch in sympathy and guilt as Connor's former fillyfriend began wrapping his wound with bandage tape. She bit at the tape, tearing the roll off. She left a longer, free piece to tightly tie around his leg directly over the wound.

"Aghhh..." he hissed through his teeth. He could feel his foreleg trembling from the crippling pain caused by the tightness. The pain slowly numbed, but he could still feel the pressure.

"That will stop the bleeding," Fluttershy softly said. She backed away about a foot, staring at him. She knew what he did behind her back with Lily was cruel, but she could not allow him to suffer. She was not the kind of pony to let another pony suffer for her own revenge. She still loved him... but only as a friend now.

Sweetie Belle slowly walked up to the injured colt, who noticed her when she was about five feet away. She stopped and sat down, staring shamefully at the ground. She drew blind lines in the dirt. She felt that she was not worthy to look at him after what she did.

"Connor..." she said softly. "I'm really sorry... about everything. Plus, you got injured because of me. If you don't want to be with me, then I understand. I'm not worth your time, as you said earlier..."

The colt frowned. The latter of what she just said reminded him of how much of an ass he was being.

"No, Sweetie Belle. It's not your fault... I'm the one who should be sorry."

"But, those things I did! Sabotaging your relationship with Fluttershy! Nearly tricking you into drinking the love poison!"

"I'm more the guilty one than you are," he sighed. "I was mad at myself for kissing Lily knowing I was in a relationship with Fluttershy, and I was extremely foolish to take it out on you. You're only a young filly, and I had to act so sultry around you. I'm the real jerk. I should have been more forgiving and patient with you. I should have been more patient with myself... Because of me, you did those things. I've lead you down the wrong path..."

"Whether or not you caused me to do them, I still feel so ashamed of myself for doing those awful things," Sweetie Belle argued.

"You did me a favor. Especially with the photo part. Because of that, I have truly discovered who I really am... a coward..."

"No, you're not!" Sweetie Belle argued taking his hoof. "I think you are the kindest, most generous colt I've met!"

However, Connor was not convinced. He sighed sadly as he continued to stare at the ground in front of him. His eyes were dark with self-loathing.

"You don't want to fall in love with me, Sweetie Belle," he softly added. "I'm... I'm just... not worth your trouble."

"No... you're... NOT!!" she squeaked. "I know a good pony when I see one! That was why I fell in love with you! Nopony is perfect, you know! You just made mistakes, that's all! Even I did! We both did! I'm sorry for what I did. Are you sorry for what you did?"

The colt's ears slowly perked up in surprise. Celestia, she was smart little filly.

"Y... Yes... I am... I am sorry," he slowly said. "I am sorry for what I did. Will... Will you forgive me?"

He felt a small pair of legs instantly wrap around his neck. She pressed her cheek near the back of the colt's head. Her little chest was flatly pressed on his, and he could feel her breathing as she hugged him tightly.

"I forgive you, Connor..." she hummed happily. "I'm sorry, too. Will you forgive me?"

The colt wrapped his forelegs around her, hugging her back. "Of course, I do..."

Sweetie Belle hummed happily, nuzzling against her favorite colt. She felt a wave of bliss rush up her spine, making her hum deeper in joy. She could feel her eyes filling with happy tears. She did not even care. She was back with her favorite colt.

"But, there is one thing I don't understand," Connor said, releasing her from the hug.

"What?" she asked, nervous about what he was going to say. Was it going to be something bad? She did not know.

"Why would you go as far as to do things to make me love you..."

She stared at him with nervous eyes.

"...When I already do love you?"

She was lost. "Erm... Y-you do??"

"Of course I do. Before all of this. You were my friend ever since we first met. You're like my little sister. There can't be any friendship without love."

She could not believe what she was hearing. Plus, she was feeling really stupid. It all made sense. As a friend, he loved her the entire time.

"But, I wanted be with you forever! You're my iron shield, protecting me from all sorts of bad things! Without you always at my side, I'm too vulnerable and weak! I never wanted to feel that way again. With you, I was really happy. I wanted to feel like that for eternity!"

"I can't be with you forever, Sweetie Belle. Physically, that is. However, there is always one thing that would make us together for an eternity... Heart. As long as we don't forget about each other, we'll always be with each other," Connor smiled.

"Yeah," she sighed happily, before hugging him again.

The colt planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. Sweetie Belle's heart felt like it flew high into the sky.

The others watched as the two ponies hugged each other. Their hearts had melted before the beautiful and reconciling sight before their eyes.

"Come along, you two," Rarity said, smiling. "Let's head for home."

She used her magic to levitate a portion of Connor's body, so it would be easier for him to walk with his other three legs.

As they walked, the colt shifted his eyes to Fluttershy, who was floating delicately in the air.

Such beauty... Such grace... Such adorableness... Would he love to be back with her.

However, deep down, he felt like he was not worthy to be with a pony with such class and beauty like her.

Nor did he feel worthy to date a nice pony like Lily either...

He did not feel worthy for either of them...

After a quarter hour of walking, they made it to Fluttershy's house.

The other ponies waved and wished good night to the yellow, pink-maned pegasus as she floated delicately up to the doorstep to wave back. As soon as her eyes met with Connor's, she stopped. She shyly brushed her hoof over her other foreleg. The colt sighed through his nostrils.

"Well... Good Night, Fluttershy... And... and good luck with..." Screw it... He was lost in words.

He limped away with the rest of the gang, leaving Fluttershy to reach a hoof toward him.

She drew her hoof back. Her eyes cringed in uneasiness and self-questioning...

She closed the door...

To be continued...