• Published 1st Nov 2015
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Path of Kindness and Blood - CommanderX5



Fluttershy was a very kind pureblood vampony who suffered a terrible tragedy. Will she find a place to call home in Ponyville? Will it be filled with friendship and acceptance, or will she face fear and hostility?

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Animals Emergency - Apology

Path of Kindness and Blood

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Chapter 2

Animals Emergency
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Part 1 - Apology

“Flutters…”

“Fluttershy…”

“You’re oversleeping, wake up!”

Fluttershy raised her head hastily and forced her tired eyes to open. Her breathing was slow and heavy, while drops of sweat dripped down her face. She slowly turned to the source of the voice, and saw her friend staring at her with worry.

“Woah, Flutters, you look as pale as if you saw a ghost,” Dash said as her ears drooped. She asked with a concerned and calm voice, “Another nightmare, huh?”

Upon receiving a weak nod, and noticing the tear trails under her friend’s eyes, she climbed up onto the large bed and sat next to her, placing a wing on her back. “It will be okay. Just… give it time.”

Fluttershy tried to examine her surroundings, but everything still seemed blurry. She rubbed her eyes, and glanced upon the weak sun rays peeking inside through closed curtains, her vision becoming sharper with each passing second. That's weird. I know Ditzy's father replaced the curtains, but I don't remember them being pink, or decorated with balloon shapes.

She looked up to the ceiling, now no longer filled with holes, and with several wooden reinforcements to keep it stable. Good thing Bright Eyes repaired the roof. At least now I don’t need to worry about the sun peeking inside.

The walls and the floor were hardly recognizable, the mix between yellow wallpaper and wooden planks being a big change from those old crumbling ones, or the white cloud walls in Dash’s temporary room. In fact, the fireplace was one of the rare structures in this house tough enough to not need repairs.

She looked down at the floor, which still begged for renovation as a few planks had cracks and holes in them. At least the pink carpet with balloons and cupcakes in the middle of the room helped cover it. Did Pinkie sneak in this morning? How could she even do that without waking us?

Fluttershy rubbed the soft bed she sat on, glancing at the two white pillows, and the duvet decorated with white-orange squares with bats and butterflies in them. The bed was large enough for both her and Rainbow Dash to sleep on. At the foot of the bed was a big green chest which Twisty Vision kindly provided, the armored saddlebag with packs of blood and bits now placed inside. To the right she could see a green cupboard with two shelves and a glass of water at the top, alongside a cupcake with a small message.

With her wing, Fluttershy picked up the message, unfolded and read it, “Happy Morning.” She placed it back onto the cupboard and sighed. I’m starting to think that Dash had the right idea. Pinkie really doesn’t know the meaning of personal space or privacy.

Fluttershy yawned while stretching her forelegs. She climbed down onto the floor, stretching her hind legs and wings before looking at her friend. “So, Dash, why did you wake me up so early?”

“Early? It is ten o’clock. You’re getting lazy lately.”

Fluttershy smirked. “Says the mare who enjoys taking a nap on a cloud whenever she can.”

Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her neck and smiled awkwardly. “You got me there.”

Upon noticing a forced smile, she jumped to Fluttershy’s side and pointed towards the stairs. “The bedroom is almost done, but the rest of the cottage is still crying for a solid renovation. How about we do something about it? We can’t let Bright Eyes and Twisty Vision do all the work after all.”

Fluttershy nodded before they both went downstairs. Her attention focused on a pile of junk gathered in the corner of the room: from broken planks, to shattered glass. The room itself was no longer as terrifying as before, though one look at the claw marks on the walls still caused a chill to go through her bones.

The sound of ticking reached her ear, and Fluttershy looked towards a clock on the wall. I’m losing my sense of time lately. Maybe I should move this old clock into the bedroom, she thought as her ears drooped. The memory of a maid thestral waking her up flashed in her mind. Don’t think about your past, it will only bring you more pain. You need a distraction. She looked at her friend, who approached with a pair of brooms.

Rainbow Dash placed one in front of her friend and spoke. “Let’s start by getting rid of the dust and spider webs… What’s so funny?”

Fluttershy giggled before answering, “Sorry Dash. It’s just that… I imagined you wearing a maid’s uniform… and it was slipping off because you were too small to wear it.”

Rainbow Dash blushed before chuckling. She smiled warmly and said, “It’s great to see you in a good mood for a change.”

***

Both mares took the next hour cleaning the floor, walls and ceiling. All the dust made a big pile in the corner when they were done.

Fluttershy coughed, releasing the cleaning device. She quickly examined herself before shaking the dust from her body and then looked up at her friend hovering in mid-air to clean the ceiling. “I will go refresh myself..”

“Mhm…”

With slow steps, she walked towards the still doorless bathroom. Fluttershy gave a quick glance at the wardrobe, which not long ago was hiding the entrance, and approached the sink. I’m lucky that this place wasn’t ruined like the rest of the cottage. I wonder why it was sealed in the first place.

She gently turned on the tap and stretched her dust-covered forelegs, waiting for the water to flow. Much to her shock, instead of water, a pink cotton candy emerged from it, with a pink head attached to it. Fluttershy screamed as by some miracle, Pinkie Pie emerged from the tap and stepped onto the floor. Her weight did not cause any damage to the sink.

Fluttershy rubbed her eyes and blinked them rapidly, wondering if she was still dreaming. “What… why… how?” She pointed at the young mare accusingly while Dash flew inside. “How did you do that?”

Pinkie smiled warmly and said, “Hey, Fluttershy. I just wanted to leave you a gift in the bathroom, but I sure didn’t expect to run into you.” With a swift move, she pushed her tail ahead and searched it with her forelegs. One item at a time, she pulled out a shampoo, towel, and in the end, a large mirror.

Both mares stared at this in disbelief. Fluttershy spoke, “You… you went through my sink… while transporting multiple objects in your tail…? None of that should had fit inside in the first place.”

Pinkie shrugged. “Pretty much.”

“She did what?” Dash asked.

Fluttershy’s eye twitched as she observed the party mare, who seemed busy relocating a mirror and placing it against the wall. It was large enough to show the reflection of a grown up stallion from top to bottom. “But... how?” She slapped herself in the face, but the scene in front of her didn’t disappear. “It must be a dream, I have to still be asleep.”

“No, silly,” Pinkie said before giggling. “Of course it’s not a dream. Why would you ever think that?”

The impossibility was too much for her to handle. After thinking for a moment, her mind just gave up as Fluttershy lost both her balance and consciousness.

“R-really?” Fluttershy asked as she looked at the entrance to the bathroom. She had a bucket of water and sponge by her side.

Dash just stared back at her and nodded. “I’m serious. After you passed out, I asked Pinkie how did she do that, but she just shrugged it off as if it was the most normal thing in the world.” She pointed at the wardrobe. “She also mentioned some rumours about the old owner. She said that he was some sort of researcher who was trying to discover the secrets behind the forest.”

“The Everfree Forest?” Fluttershy asked curiously. “Ditzy told me that she met many friendly faces while exploring it, and even played with a manticore in the deeper part of the forest.” She gestured over the wall. “Do you think they may have caused it?”

The pegasus approached and examined the wall, touching it with her forehoof. “Pinkie said that he sealed all windows and the front door with planks, blocked the rear entrance with some bricks, and bunkered himself in the bathroom using that wardrobe.”

Fluttershy entered the bathroom, keeping a safe distance from the sink as she examined it. “No wonder that this section of the house is untouched. It was probably sealed when creatures from the forest attacked this cottage.” She raised a forehoof up to her face, her heart beat increasing. “I hope that those creatures won’t try to hunt us as well.”

Dash looked at her reflexion in the mirror and spread her wings to admire them. “If they even try, I’ll kick their flanks. I mean, if Derpy can handle them, we can too.”

“I hope you’re right,” Fluttershy said before walking back into the main room to pick up a sponge with her wing. “Let’s forget about it for now and clean up this place a little.”

A loud noise coming from downstairs and a weak trembling of the bed woke up both mares. They jumped to the floor, their breath heavy.

Dash immediately flew towards the window while Fluttershy examined her surroundings, before both looked at the stairs. “Are we under attack?” she asked hesitantly, her ears flattened against her head.

“I hope not,” Dash said as she flew towards Fluttershy. “Stay behind me, I’ll protect you.”

The pureblood thestral stepped ahead of Rainbow even though her legs trembled. “No, Dash. I can’t let you risk your life.”

Dash stepped ahead of her friend. “And I can’t let anypony or creature hurt you.”

“If they hurt me, I can just heal myself, I should go first.” Fluttershy stepped ahead, now very close to the stairs.

“Do you expect me to use you as a meatshield?” Dash asked with growing anger.

“As a matter of fact, I do,” Fluttershy answered as she walked forward, just as did Dash, both trying to get ahead of each other. They flew downstairs and landed on the floor, staring at the spreading dust.

Rainbow Dash bent her legs in preparation to attack, but Fluttershy jumped ahead of her and said, “Ditzy?” quickly recognizing the silhouette in the dust thanks to her sharpened senses.

The half-breed thestral coughed as she blew the dust away with the help of her wings. The old dusty bricks that used to block the rear entrance were now lying in fragments on the floor. Noticing her friends from the corner of her eye, she looked at them and waved. “Hi Dash, hi Fluttershy.”

As they both landed in front of the clumsy mare, Dash spoke first, “What was this all about, Derpy?” She pointed at the no longer sealed rear entrance.

Ditzy smiled warmly and answered, “Mom asked me if I could demolish something for them, and I wanted to be useful.” She looked at the rubble and puffed her chest proudly. “It feels nice to destroy something to be helpful rather than doing it by accident.”

Fluttershy rubbed the floor, her ears drooped. “But… but we just finished cleaning here yesterday…”

Dash nodded and said with a hint of hostility, “Yeah, you could have crashed into the bricks from the inside.”

Derpy lost a bit of her enthusiasm as she lowered her head. “Sorry. My bad.” She raised her head and pointed towards the exit. “By the way, I saw a gift basket at the main entrance. You should check it out.”

“A gift basket?” Fluttershy said to herself before slowly walking towards the main door and opening it slightly, peeking outside.

Dash pushed the door fully open and picked up the basket, noticing a small memo attached to it. “Bon Apple...appet–”

“Bon Appetit!” Pinkie shouted as she emerged from inside the basket, a plate with piece of cake in her forehoof.

Rainbow Dash flinched, releasing the basket, while Fluttershy yelped and hid behind her.

The pink mare walked outside and stretched her legs before opening the basket, pointing at several sweets and some rock candy. All were unharmed, causing her teeth to show in a cheerful smile.

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow before massaging her forehead, her utter shock replaced by growing annoyance. “You’re making no sense, Pinkie. Go home.”

“How did we end up here in the first place?” Dash asked as she followed the energetic mare alongside her stressed friend.

“Well… we’re here because Ditzy’s parents–”

Dash cut Fluttershy off. “It was a rhetorical question.”

“Oh,” Fluttershy said as she looked to the side, away from the suspicious glances of passing ponies. You’re just walking with an umbrella through the town in the middle of a cloudless sunny day. Nothing suspicious at all. Her heart rate spiked at the uneasy attention, and her ears stood on guard for any suspicious sound.

“Come on, don’t be sad. We’re going to have fun while Bright Eyes and Twisty Vision fix your cottage. I even added a few improvements into their renovation plans,” Pinkie said as she ignored Rainbow Dash’s annoyed grumble. “We can eat ice cream, or get sweets at Sugarcube Corner. I work there so I can get the Cakes to give you a discount!”

Fluttershy's stomach growled in disagreement as her cheeks became green. She stopped and massaged her belly. “Ohhh… I’m not hungry…”

Dash stopped and turned to her friend. “Are you okay?”

“Y-yes…” she answered, slowly raising her head and eyeing Pinkie. “It’s just that… I have been eating way too many sweets.”

Rainbow Dash turned her head towards Pinkie and glared at her angrily. “Yeah, because somepony keeps bringing you more every single day.” Seeing how her friend was about to lose balance, she escorted Fluttershy towards the shadow of a nearby building.

Pinkie stopped in her tracks and approached her two newest friends as she looked at the sitting Fluttershy in confusion. “I just wanted you to feel welcome. How can one have too many sweets anyway?”

Fluttershy took a few slow breaths, feeling even worse than before. I know that my natural regeneration can heal even the most deadly poison, but this sugar overdose is really pushing it. She sighed. The very mention of sweets is making me sick. She raised her head to look at the ever so cheerful party mare, easily sensing how ridiculously fast the blood flowed through her body. It is almost as if Pinkie is running on sugar alone. How can she eat so many sweets and not get sick of them? Maybe her mind, not just her body, has adapted to it.

Noticing that Fluttershy didn’t respond, Dash looked at Pinkie and stomped. “Just because you enjoy them, it doesn’t mean everypony does!” She poked Pinkie in the chest. “I always liked sweets, but even I’m starting to get tired of your gifts.”

Pinkie tilted her head to the side. “If you don’t like my gifts, why do you keep accepting them?” Her cheerful smile changed into a more serious one as she gently pushed Dash’s forehoof away. “Why do you keep eating my cupcakes, cakes, and candies if you’re so tired of them?!”

Rainbow Dash took a step back, caught off guard by such an outburst. She quickly pressed her muzzle against Pinkie’s and said, “We tried to refuse your gifts, giving you hints here and there that enough is enough, but you refuse to listen! Not a single complaint or hint seems to reach you.”

She retreated her head and pointed at her friend. “Fluttershy isn’t the type of pony who refuses gifts, and the worst part is that she didn’t want any of your presents to go bad, so she ate whatever you gave her.”

“Oh… I forgot that refrigerator in the cottage isn’t working,” Pinkie said.

After crossing her forelegs, Dash continued with more relaxed tone, “When I was younger, I did whatever I wanted, getting into trouble all the time. I’m lucky that Fluttershy helped me see past my mistakes. You, on the other hoof, still need to learn to not break into ponies’ homes uninvited.”

Pinkie rubbed back of her neck, blushing. “I suppose I get a little forceful whenever I am excited.”

“A little?” Dash interrupted.

Pinkie cleared her throat with a cough as she looked at Fluttershy. “If you’re tired of sweets–” She paused upon noticing returning green on Fluttershy’s cheeks. “We can go to the park instead, play hide and seek or fly kites. I hid four there recently in case of kite emergencies.” She forced a smile. “We can all play together, tell jokes and so on. This is what friends do after all.”

Fluttershy rubbed her forehoof nervously upon seeing Pinkie's forced smile.

“We are friends, right?”

After taking a deep breath, she looked at the energetic pony and spoke in a sorrowful tone, “I’m afraid we’re not.”

Pinkie’s fur darkened a little bit as her ears drooped. “W-what? Why nooot?

Fluttershy stood up and walked forward, raising her foreleg. Her attempt to place it on Pinkie’s shoulder failed as she rejected the gentle hoof. “I understand what are you trying to do, and I appreciate it, I really do.”

She sat and looked at the ground, doing her best to ignore the sun’s rays draining her. “I know you have the best intentions in mind, and I really hate to say it, but we can’t be friends.” She bit her lips as she struggled to continue, “You’re not a pony I feel comfortable to be around. I’m really sorry.”

“Oh…” Pinkie’s mane deflated as she took a step back. “And I thought... “ She turned around and lowered her head. “I suppose you don’t want my company. I’ll take my leave...”

“I’m sorry.”

With slow steps and her head lowered, Pinkie walked away, leaving both pegasi alone.

Fluttershy approached her umbrella and picked it from the ground, hiding again under its protection. Dash stared at her in disbelief as she spoke, “Woah, Flutters… I know that Pinkie was being very intrusive lately, but I didn’t expect you of all ponies to be so blunt.”

The pureblood thestral looked at her friend, who only now noticed the tears sliding down her cheeks. “I know, Rainbow, and I really didn’t want to say it, but…” She wiped the tears from her face and continued, “I tried to convince myself that I can befriend her, but I couldn’t.”

She turned around, now back to the pegasus. “I’m simply scared of Pinkie.”

Dash approached and sat next to Fluttershy, placing a wing on her back. “Scared? But why? I know that she has been very obnoxious ever since we arrived in Ponyville, but to be afraid of her...”

“It’s hard to explain,” Fluttershy interrupted. “When I first explored my new home after I asked you to go with Ditzy to check your house, I found out how much being alone terrifies me. Things that in the past wouldn’t even make me blink now scare me deeply.”

She paused to once again wipe her watering eyes. “My nerves were on the verge of breaking, and then Pinkie arrived. Her every action and word scared me, and then…”

“And then what?” Dash asked impatiently as she looked around, making sure nopony was listening to their conversation. She didn't notice anything other than some worried looks in their direction.

“When she took out her cannon... when I heard its noise, I thought she wanted to take my life,” Fluttershy said as she pressed her cheek against Dash’s chest. “Pinkie is energetic and startles me every time. Whenever she is around, I feel as if she is an assassin. I know it’s just my imagination, but I can’t be friends with a pony I’m afraid to be around.”

She sobbed. “I can’t help it… I tried…”

Dash opened her mouth, but failed to say a word. Instead, she held her friend as she vented her emotions.

“Is something wrong?” asked a blue earth pony with a puffy mane as she sat next to the young Pinkie. “I’ve never seen you so sad before, what happened?”

Pinkie looked at her caretaker and boss. “What did I do wrong?”

“What do you mean, dear?”

“Fluttershy. She is sad and scared. I tried to make her feel welcome with a party. After this didn’t work, I tried to help her by giving her sweets and decorating her cottage… but it just made everything worse.” She looked down as Mrs. Cake stroked her mane gently. “She said we couldn’t be friends.”

Mrs. Cake pressed Pinkie’s face against her chest gently and kept stroking her mane. “If she didn’t appreciate what you did for her, maybe she doesn’t deserve to be your friend.“

“Fluttershy said she appreciated what I did for her.”

“If she did, than why would she refuse your friendship? She must be a very mean pony.”

Pinkie pushed herself free from the embrace and shook her head. “She isn’t a mean pony! I mean, I don’t know Fluttershy all that well, but she seems nice. Just depressed and scared.”

Mrs. Cake blinked in confusion before lowering her head to Pinkie’s face. “Than why would she refuse to be your friend? Did she say anything?”

“Flutters only said that she feels very uncomfortable around me. Her friend Dashie said that I gave them too many sweets, and that I shouldn't enter ponies’ houses uninvited.”

The taller pony looked around, making sure there weren't any customers that would require her attention. Upon seeing that they were alone, she approached a nearby table and gestured Pinkie to join her. “Please tell me how you tried to help them, from the beginning.”

Pinkie nodded and spoke hesitantly. “... It all started when I felt a doozy…”

***

“... And then I walked away and returned here. I thought eating something would cheer me up… but I don’t even feel hungry.”

Mrs. Cake rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “I think I understand what’s the problem.”

Pinkie raised her head and climbed onto the table. “Really?!”

Mrs. Cake raised her foreleg in a lecturing gesture. “Derpy did tell you not to use your party cannon when around Fluttershy because it scares her, correct?” After noticing a nod, she continued, “It sounds like this Fluttershy is a very fragile pony. By surprising her and entering her home uninvited, you’ll never earn her friendship, much less put her fears at ease. Both of your personalities seem to clash.”

“Derpy said something similar,” Pinkie said before peeking behind Mrs. Cake, “am I right?”

“Yes I did,” Ditzy answered as she approached the table, quickly getting the attention of Mrs. Cake.

“Ditzy? How long have you been here?”

“Long enough to hear the start of the story. I came to exchange some muffin recipes, but when I saw that you both were busy, I decided to wait and listen instead.”

“I see,” Mrs. Cake said as she examined the grey coat her customer was wearing… on a sunny day. “I suppose you wish to talk with Pinkie. I’ll leave you both alone and return to my work.” She stepped to the side and looked at her young worker. “And please, sweetie. I understand that you’re still young and learning, but next time just knock instead of sneaking into somepony’s bathroom.”

Pinkie nodded before turning to her cross-eyed friend. “Hello, Derpy… or is it Ditzy? I don’t really feel like exchanging recipes at the moment. Later maybe…”

“You made lots of friends very quickly in Ponyville. Why would one more or less make such a difference for you?” Ditzy asked.

Pinkie looked down at her tail and searched it before pulling out a picture of a party she once organized for her own family. She presented it to Ditzy and said, “Whenever I see Fluttershy, she reminds me of my family, of my past. I did my very best to keep my parents as happy as I could, but I wasn’t happy working at the farm.”

“So you left to spread happiness among other ponies, while also doing something you enjoy?”

Pinkie nodded energetically. “I did, and even though I miss my family, making friends and bringing smiles to ponies brings me pure joy. I feel such a pleasant warmth, and it only makes me want to spread it to others.”

Her ears drooped as her voice once again became depressed, “When I saw Fluttershy in the cottage, I felt as if I once again saw my family, but this time… even my party didn’t make them smile.”

Ditzy jumped over the table and caught Pinkie in a tight hug, squeezing her like a piece of gum. “That’s so sad… you poor thing!” She released the hug, freeing her in middle air. Pinkie started back motionlessly for an instant, when suddenly her body popped right back to normal. “I’m sure that if we think about it together, we can come up with an idea of how to bring happiness to Fluttershy, but please, don’t give in to despair.”

Pinkie’s mane returned to normal as her fur regained its brightness. “Sounds good. You seem smart, so with your help, we’re sure to turn her frown upside down.”

Both mares placed their heads on the now damaged table and tried to think of something. It was a couple of hours before either moved from that position.

“I must admit. Bright Eye and Twisty Vision sure are good at what they do,” Dash said before chuckling.

Fluttershy admired the renovated room, but just nodded.

“And to think that two construction ponies would give birth to a demolishing one.” Not receiving any response yet again, she looked at her friend and asked, “Still thinking about Pinkie? You did what had to be done.”

Fluttershy opened her mouth, but was interrupted by a knock on the door. She turned to the source of noise and said, “Who could it be? Maybe it’s Pinkie Pie.”

“No way, not after what happened today,” Dash said as she approached the door and opened it without hesitation. She rolled her eyes. “I stand corrected.” At the entrance was the party mare, sitting with her head slightly lowered while holding her forelegs behind her back. “What do you want, Pinkie?”

“C-can I talk with Fluttershy, please?”

Dash shook her head. “I believe my friend isn’t interested in spending time with you.” The words caused Pinkie to whimper quietly.

“Rainbow Dash, aren’t you being a little harsh?” Fluttershy scolded as she approached, keeping a few steps distant from the entrance even as she eyed her guest. “She did knock, and even asked politely. I will gladly hear her out.”

“If you say so,” Dash said before giving Pinkie a warning glare. “I have my eye on you. Appearing out of nowhere and not making sense isn’t allowed, am I clear?” Upon seeing a weak nod, she pointed at her own eyes and next at the party mare’s before walking away and sitting against a wall. Her forelegs were crossed, and her attention was focused on the entrance.

Fluttershy gave Pinkie an apologetic stare. “I’m sorry for Rainbow Dash. She may seems a bit overprotective at times, but she means well.”

“It’s alright, I understand.” Pinkie gulped and continued, “I tried to make you happy forcefully without considering your feelings. I… I want to apologize.”

“I forgive you.” Fluttershy tried to force a smile, but Pinkie saw right through her. “You’re a good pony at heart, and I can’t blame you for trying to help in your own way.” She held her forehooves up, slightly apart from each other. “I just wish you could be a itty-bitty less energetic when you’re around me, and not surprise me quite so often. That's all I ask.”

Pinkie nodded energetically, and slowly pressed one foreleg against her heart. “I, Pinkamena Diane Pie, solemnly swear on my name.” She tapped forehoof against her chin. “Awww, a normal promise just isn't good enough, I need to come up with something much bigger, something that can keep even me in check.”

“Umm… Pinkie,” Fluttershy interrupted. “I can’t help noticing that you are hiding something behind your back.” Something that is breathing and is filled with blood. Did she bring me a cat, or maybe a puppy?

“Oh, right,” Pinkie said before swiftly revealing a young squirrel, which was curled and sleeping in her forehoof.

Fluttershy approached the creature despite her fear of the party mare. This squirrel seems to be a bit dirty and dehydrated. Its– her stomach also seems too thin for her size. “Where did you find this poor creature?”

“In one of Ponyville’s alleys,” Pinkie answered as she placed the animal in Fluttershy’s hooves. “It seemed lonely, so I thought that you both could keep each other company. It’s a win-win situation!”

Fluttershy looked at Pinkie in confusion. “Alley? Why not in the park among the chestnut trees? Is there anything weird going on?"

“Well... Ponyville's park is rather small, and it doesn’t have any.” Pinkie looked around nervously before pointing at the forest in the distance. “The Everfree Forest isn’t exactly a safe place. The monsters scare the animals away, and they come to search for food in Ponyville instead.”

She stood on her rear hooves and pointed at the sea of trees in distance. “The apple farmers always have trouble with animals trying to steal and eat their crops.” She smiled awkwardly. “I even heard rumours that a dragon attack burned a lot of trees around Ponyville before the princess and guards could deal with it, so now Ponyville is filled with homeless animals.”

“Oh…” Fluttershy bit her lips at the tragic image. She lowered her head and gently nuzzled the squirrel with her muzzle, waking her up. “You poor thing.” The squirrel stared back before hiding under her tail in fear. She peeked from behind it to look back at the large pony. “Please, don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you. I will help you however I can.”

Fluttershy waited a moment for the little animal to smell her nose, memories of her old veterinary clinic surfacing in her mind. This squirrel is certainly a female. She felt a pleasant warmness in her chest when the squirrel started to nuzzle back. I can’t let this poor being starve, but where can I get her food?

She waited a moment for the squirrel to finish, and then raised her head to look at Pinkie, who had been emitting a high pitched noise all the while. She was prancing in place, as if she wanted to get closer but was afraid of something. "That is the most adorable thing I have ever seen!”

Fluttershy rolled her eyes. “Do you know where I can find or buy nuts, by any chance?”

“Nuts? Oh, right.” She pointed towards the town. “There is a stand in the market where I buy food for my pet, Gummy. I think the salespony carries some nuts as well, not many though.”

“Not many?” Fluttershy asked as she spread a wing to place the squirrel on it, who instantly nested against her soft feathers. Maybe there just isn't much of a demand for nuts around here.

Rainbow Dash approached and glanced upon Fluttershy’s spread wing. “Let me guess. You need somepony to go buy some nuts for you.”

Fluttershy blushed and smiled awkwardly. “Y-yes… if it’s not to much trouble.”

Dash shook her head and saluted. “Consider it done. I will find the nuts stand and be back in seconds.” She opened her wings and looked at the party mare, who was embracing herself while trembling. “And you, Pinkie, don’t go nuts while I go buy nuts. Got it?”

“I’m trying!” Pinkie answered while drops of sweat were sliding down her face.

As Dash flew away, Fluttershy looked at Pinkie and asked, “Are you feeling alright… you can use the bathroom if you need to.”

“N-no-no… I’m fine…”

“Okay…” Fluttershy said hesitantly, and walked deeper into her house. “You can enter if you wish, just be careful, the paint is still fresh.” Not bothering to look behind, she walked upstairs and approached her bed, carefully lowering her wing to a pillow. “Please, make yourself comfortable.”

The squirrel looked at her hesitantly, before jumping and perching itself on top of the pillow. They looked at each other for a moment.

“Are you thirsty?” Fluttershy asked, receiving a weak nod in return. I hope I can still understand animals, even if I am a little rusty.

Now smiling warmly, she raised her foreleg and said, “I’ll get you some fresh water, but I need you to wait right here.” Upon receiving another nod, she turned around with a raised foreleg, but failed to take a single step as Pinkie ran up the stairs, already carrying a glass of water. “T-thank you.”

“No biggy.” Pinkie smiled back.

Fluttershy tilted the glass towards the squirrel, who sniffed it before drinking eagerly.

“I think someone needs a bath.” The squirrel shook her head and hid behind the pillow. Fluttershy continued, “Okay, okay, no bath. How about I just clean you up with a wet towel?”

Pinkie dashed back down the stairs. “One wet towel coming right up.”

Fluttershy didn't have time to respond, before being given a fresh wet towel. “Thank you.”

Pinkie’s mouth stood agape the moment Fluttershy took away the towel, and pointed at her accusingly. “You… you smiled!”

“Yes, I did. Is something wrong with it?” the disguised thestral asked as she wiped the dirt from the squirrel’s fur as gently as she could. She was rewarded with a nuzzle to her foreleg, before the critter sunk into the soft surface of the pillow.

“Your smile. It’s honest, not fake,” Pinkie said as her body trembled, barely containing her excitement. “You’re happy!”

Fluttershy rubbed her foreleg, “I suppose I am…” She looked at the little animal sleeping peacefully, and her smile grew in size. “Helping this poor critter, it made me feel like I am doing something valuable… something I missed. Thank you.”

Pinkie grabbed Fluttershy in a tight hug, which caused her to yelp. In an instant, she released the disguised thestral and jumped back. “Sorry, sorry, sorry…” She stood on her rear hooves and pointed at her. “But just to be sure. By giving you this homeless cute little animal, I made you happy?”

Fluttershy nodded hesitantly as she recovered from the sudden ambush. “I suppose you did.”

Pinkie squealed before turning towards the stairs and taking a racing stance. “Perfect. I know just what to do!” Before Fluttershy managed to say a word, her guest was downstairs yet again.

“I’m back,” Dash said as she flew inside through the window and placed several nuts on the floor. She turned back and looked outside at Pinkie, who was running towards Ponyville. “What’s up with her? Did you two have an argument?”

Fluttershy turned to look at the sleeping squirrel. “Quite the opposite. She asked if bringing me this critter made me happy. After I confirmed it, she shouted that she knew what to do and ran away.”

Rainbow Dash rubbed her chin, when suddenly her pupils shrunk at realisation. She massaged her forehead and sighed. “This isn’t going to end well.”

Author's Note:

List of editors:
Soge
Alticron
Word Worthy

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