• Published 30th Sep 2015
  • 4,742 Views, 41 Comments

Seasons: Falling Leaves - Wodahseht



It's fall and the trees beginning to go bare prompts Fluttershy to do the same.

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04 : (The Other) Sunset Approaches

Before long they were mostly dry and sitting on their towels on the outcrop. Fluttershy had her feet dangling in the water, but Sunset was happy enough to keep hers dry. They sat for a time in peaceful silence enjoying the sun and scenery. The shushing of leaves blowing against each other, the occasional patter of some animal going about its pre-winter tasks, and the quiet sloshing of water each time Fluttershy wiggled her feet were the only sounds.

Sunset was enraptured by the entire experience. And she was actually happier that she wasn't enjoying it alone. There was something special about knowing there was someone else she could look back on this time and reminisce with.

"I wish I'd taken the time to enjoy nature like this back in Equestria," Sunset whispered, more to herself than anything. In the quiet surroundings though it was more than loud enough for Fluttershy to hear and respond to.

"I would have thought you'd be surrounded by nature all the time there if you were all ponies."

"There is a lot of nature, and we have more control over it there, but we also have cities. I grew up in one and never actually left it before coming here."

Fluttershy looked over at her. "Never?"

"Never." She shook her head slightly. "The castle had remarkable views out at the open country, but it wasn't anything like this where you can completely forget cities exist for a while."

Fluttershy turned back to the scenery and leaned back on her elbows. "I know what you mean. That's why I come out here... I just feel so overwhelmed by even a quiet town like ours sometimes. It's a bit like I'm suffocating. Here I can breathe again and imagine a life where I didn't need to return to all that...a life where I could just...live."

"Huh." Sunset pulled her knees up and rested her arms and chin on them. "I'd get lonely if I did that. Until you all decided to be my friends I was lonely even with everyone around."

"Well, I'd have the animals. For most of the year at least." Fluttershy sighed. "You're right though. I couldn't imagine life now without my friends."

Silence fell again for a few minutes before a thought struck Fluttershy. "If you aren't trying to get away, why did you come out here?"

"Oh, I never said did I?" Sunset grinned over at her. "It's a bit silly really. Even after all this time in this world, I'm still not entirely comfortable with having to wear clothes all the time. I take them off pretty much anytime I'm home, but it gets stuffy inside and starts to feel like a cage. I wanted to get outside for a bit. I might have gone somewhere else, but I'm just a bit..." she struggled to find the right word, "Anxious? Yeah, anxious about going to a nude beach or resort on my own given... well, I just figured that Applejack would know somewhere I could go and she did. I wouldn't even have guessed this area existed. I just thought it was all orchard."

A little of Fluttershy's own nerves came back at Sunset's admission to feeling anxious about going to some public place. "I thought you said nudity wasn't anything bad."

"What?"

"Earlier. You said nudity isn't weird, but now you said you're anxious about going somewhere public."

"Oh that..." Sunset straightened up and looked over at her directly. "That’s not about the nudity itself. I honestly believe that it’s perfectly fine to do what makes you happy if it doesn't hurt someone. It's just that I got teased rather harshly about some of the mistakes I made trying to learn human customs when I first came to this world...including ones concerning clothing norms in public. I understand the reactions now, but it did leave a bit of an impact. I wouldn't have any trouble going to some public place where nudity is allowed if I didn't have to go alone though. I'd want to have someone else there that I know at very least. I may not be entirely comfortable with it all the time, but clothing in this world is sort of like armor and I'd like to know I have friends around when I take it off around strangers."

Fluttershy didn't respond or look up and, after a bit, Sunset returned her attention to the scenery. The sun was nearing the horizon and she realized it was probably about time to be heading back. She hadn't brought a flashlight and the night would be a good deal cooler. She was just about to say something about it when Fluttershy finally responded.

"I guess I see what you mean. I'm nervous enough trying to interact with anyone new if I don't have friends with me as support, and that's in normal circumstances. I always get terrified at the thought of going to a beach or resort, but a lot of that might be what you said about dropping the armor and not having someone safe nearby...on top of my usual shyness." She paused briefly and looked over, "But maybe it wouldn't be so bad with someone...if you wanted to go sometime."

Sunset smiled warmly at her, "I think I'd like that."

That got a small smile in return. Then Sunset broke eye contact to look back at the evening sky again, "But right now, perhaps we should consider heading home before it gets dark."

Fluttershy twisted to look toward the low-hanging sun and immediately scrambled to her feet. "Oh my, you're right! I need to get back and feed Angel!"

In short order they were dressed and ready to head back. Sunset was going to be heading back to the farmhouse before returning home while Fluttershy was planning to cut through the property in a shortcut back to her place, so they quickly came to their parting of ways.

Before they split up though, Fluttershy gave Sunset a hug. "I'm glad you came out here. It was much nicer to have company and I really enjoyed the chance to talk."

"I agree completely," Sunset replied as she returned the hug and then stepped back. "I'm already looking forward to the next time. Let me know alright?"

Fluttershy nodded, "I will."

They smiled at each other one last time, then went their separate ways.

Author's Note:

Well, that's the meat of the story done. You'll get a small epilogue tomorrow and, if all goes well, at some point in the relatively near future I'll start on a follow-up with a bit more than conversation.