• 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 - Farm

Path of Kindness and Blood

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Chapter 2

Animals Emergency
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Part 2 - Farm

“Wet beaver on your six!” Rainbow Dash shouted.

“Six? What do you mean?” Fluttershy asked while giving her friend a curious stare, a bag of bird food in her forelegs.

Rainbow Dash frowned before pointing at the empty glass on the table next to a lying wet animal. “It means, right behind you. For an eggh… smart pony, you sure don’t remember much from flight school.”

“That’s not fair, Rainbow. I really tried to pay attention to the coach, but it is difficult to focus under the open sun,” she said as she approached the table. She lowered her head to the wet animal and started to dry its fur.

The annoyed pegasus went to place the empty glass in the still half-renovated kitchen. She hastily examined her surroundings, impressed. Doing anything with those critters running around is a nightmare. How Derpy’s family managed to accomplish so much with them running all over the place is beyond me.

She picked up a bowl and filled it with salad, studying the open cabinet with worry. Most of the recently bought food bags were already half empty. She quickly flew into the main room, only to leave the bowl on the floor halfway through. “Oh, come on!” Dash shouted as she flew over to an open bag of bird food left on the floor, scaring the gathered birds away with a shake of her foreleg.

“We’re going to run out of bits very quickly at this rate,” she said before giving the birds an angry glare. “And you guys... birds... whatever! Don’t get so greedy with the food. Go hunt for earthworms or something.” Her volume was enough to make the birds fly in random directions.

“Dash, don’t be so harsh, you’re scaring them,” Fluttershy scolded as she approached the open bag. “Let’s get organized, my little birdies. Form a line, please.”

The birds looked at each other before flying over and forming a line, all looking either at the food or the large pony expectantly. Tweets quickly filled the room.

Fluttershy cleaned up a portion of the floor and started distributing the bird food. She carefully dropped small portions of it into small piles, based on each bird's size. "Eat up," she said while smiling warmly.

The birds dived into their respective piles with reckless abandon.

“See,” Fluttershy started while gesturing over the birds, “You just need to ask calmly, no need to yell.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes, but then looked at the salad bowl she had left on the floor, now turned into a battleground between several mice and bunnies. She gestured over the room and said, “Yeah, sure. The question is, how are we going to keep this whole bunch under control?” She frowned. “Pinkie’s been flooding us with homeless animals for three weeks now.”

Dash stomped, causing the closest critters to flinch. She continued with an annoyed tone, “We still have some reserves, but if you haven’t noticed, we don’t have any income. We won’t be able to afford feeding all these animals for long.”

Fluttershy’s ears drooped as she lowered her head. “I’m sorry, I just…” She sat and stroked her tail. “Ever since I started to take care of those poor critters… I felt like a new pony. I haven’t felt like this ever since running my veterinary clinic in Cloudsdale.”

Dash rubbed the back of her neck nervously. “Yeah… It’s a shame your parents had to turn you into a filly so you could start over.”

“You can’t pretend to be an old lady for long. Sooner or later, ponies would get suspicious.“ Fluttershy sighed. “It was a happy life, one very difficult to leave behind.”

Dash took a few steps forward and sat in front of her friend. “Let me guess. You wish you could go back to being a veterinarian?” Noticing an energetic nod and seeing Fluttershy’s cheerful smile, she measured both of their sizes with a hoof and continued, “Well, if it makes you feel any better, you already gained a few centimeters. Once the age altering spell stops working, you’ll be able to become a veterinarian in no time.”

She looked away from her friend's face and examined the flying animal circus the cottage had turned into. I haven’t seen Fluttershy so happy and filled with hope in months… but to keep this going, we need bits. She grounded her hoof at the floor, her eyes closed and teeth clenched. I won’t be able to join weather management in Ponyville until I’m fifteen. What should I do?

“Is everything okay?” Fluttershy asked, getting her friend’s attention.

“Yes, everything’s fine,” Dash said as she raised her head and smiled awkwardly. She gently grabbed Fluttershy’s foreleg and looked her deeply in the eyes. “I need you to promise me something.”

“Of-of course, what do you want me to promise?”

Dash took a deep breath. “I need you to talk with Pinkie Pie and ask her to stop bringing more animals here. We can barely handle the bunch we have now, and we need to pay for the food.”

Fluttershy nodded. “I… I promise I will try.”

Rainbow Dash released her friend’s foreleg and sat next to Fluttershy, who looked back at her with pride and spoke, "I never expected for you to become the voice of reason. You're far more responsible than when we attended to school." She chuckled. "Or maybe I became blind to issues at hoof while taking care of those cute critters."

“T-thanks.” Dash blushed. She’s so happy, as if her memories weren’t bothering her anymore. "I know it may sounds off topic, but what was your last dream about."

“Dream?” The pureblood thestral looked at her friend in confusion. She tapped her own chin and said, “I don’t remember the details… but I think I dreamed about having a tea party, umm… with a ferret, yes, it was definitely a ferret.”

The nightmares must’ve stopped haunting her, thank Celestia, Dash thought, noticing that the usual slump to her shoulders was gone, and the lack of bags under her friend’s eyes. Her confidence also got a solid boost. I wonder if she's no longer as fearful as before.

The moment was broken as a knock came from the door, causing Fluttershy to instantly flinch and hide behind her. Dash could feel trembling forelegs holding onto her shoulder. I stand corrected.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes before approaching the door, flanked by two lines of rabbits and birds who looked at the entrance curiously. “Who’s there?”

“Your good neighbor, Pinkie Pie.”

“You don't live nearby. You’re not our neighbor,” Dash said in a deadpan.

“Details, details, who needs them?” Pinkie asked, her sound muffled slightly. “May I enter?”

“Yeah, sure,” Rainbow Dash said, but as she was about to open the door, she stopped upon hearing Fluttershy speak.

“Do you smell it too?”

The pegasus sniffed for a moment and shrugged. “Not really.” She opened the door and stepped to the side. “What kind of lost critter you bring this time?” Dash asked as she shot Pinkie a suspicious glare. “Is this another bunny, or maybe a cat? No, wait, I bet this time it will be a ferret.”

“No, no and once again no,” Pinkie responded cheerfully before picking up the animal who was sitting outside next to the door, out of Dash’s sight. “To be honest, I don’t know what kind of animal it is.” She placed the animal in front of the mares, its fur black save for a white belly, and a white strip running across its puffy tail.

Fluttershy stepped backward and bent her legs, a forehoof immediately placed on her nose. “Pinkie, that’s–”

“Just another animal,” Rainbow Dash interrupted with a firm stomp. She yelled, “This cottage is already overflowing with animals, and Derpy’s family have enough trouble renovating this place with all the critters getting in their way. Enough is enough!”

“Dash… I don’t think you should–” Fluttershy tried to intervene, her attention focused on the growling animal.

“Yes, I should. It’s about time somepony told her that she’s crossing the line.” She pressed her muzzle against Pinkie’s, who stared back at her in confusion. “I get it, you want to make Flutters happy, so do I, but you are once again overdoing it.”

She retreated and stomped again, her forehoof striking the black-white tail. “Oops, sorry,” she said.

Not wasting a moment, Fluttershy shouted, “Every critter, run!” She jumped through the open window, grabbing all animals she could on her way.

“Run, why?” Dash asked, before a strong scent reached her nose. Her pupils shrunk. Nonononono… Something resembling a biological attack covered her fur, and a terrible scent filled the room.

Fluttershy looked back at the cottage from outside as a green mist whisked out the window, and said quietly, “I tried to warn you. Angering a skunk is never a good idea.”

Dash walked outside with a deadly glare focused on Pinkie. At each of her steps, Fluttershy took one backwards.

“Oopsies,” Pinkie said as she tapped her forehooves together.

“Ex-excuse me…” Fluttershy said hesitantly while hiding her face behind her left wing, an umbrella held in the other one. “Do you, by any chance, have hydrogen peroxide, or something that can… suppress the smell of a skunk’s defensive pheromones…” she tapped her forehooves together and blushed in embarrassment.

The tall stallion blinked in confusion, staring at the young mare in pity. He slowly turned to the shelves, and then back to Fluttershy before shaking his head.

“I see… s-sorry for wasting your t-time,” Fluttershy said before walking backwards, accidentally bumping into another pony, “S-sorry!” she squealed before running behind the closest tent, hiding from the crowd. Calm down, Fluttershy. You’re just in the market, searching for something to help your friend and clean up the cottage. So what if there are hundreds of ponies outs there, it’s not a big deal...

She gulped before peeking from behind the tent, her attention on two lines of market stands filled with various objects: most of which had common food, and some occasional ones with party supplies and cleaning devices. Each stand had an awning, except for a lemonade stand, and a couple of tents.

Fluttershy’s heartbeat sped up, and she would retreat her head each time a pony passed near her. The area was filled with talking ponies, almost all taller than her. Think of the animals, Fluttershy, and of your friend. They need you.

Her ears perked up as she walked from behind the tent into the open area, her senses alert to even the weakest of noises. Keep it together, Fluttershy. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Nopony is going to hurt you.

“I found it!” Pinkie shouted, causing Fluttershy to jump and turn around in mid-air while releasing the umbrella, her flapping wings keeping her in the air. “Oops, sorry.”

Not wasting a moment, the party mare grabbed a mirror and said to herself, “Bad Pinkie, keep yourself in check!” She ignored the odd glances from passing ponies.

Fluttershy slowly landed, her head lowered and eyes half closed from the blinding sun. She grabbed the umbrella from the ground and took a calming breath. I can’t blame Pinkie for trying to help me… but she's still scary sometimes. She took a few hesitant steps towards the party pony, trying very hard not to look at the crowd near her.

“You found… what?”

“The thing to deal with skunk smell, silly,” Pinkie answered before presenting a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. “Dashie’s gonna forgive me, and your critters will be able to go inside your cottage without gas masks.” Without a warning, she threw the bottle towards Fluttershy, who yelped as it bounced on her forehooves. She juggled it for a few seconds, before firmly embracing it.

“G-great... “ Fluttershy said while looking around nervously. She quickly put the bottle into her saddlebag next to the baking soda that Pinkie had grabbed from her kitchen, and once again picked up her umbrella from the ground. She dashed around the closest tent, leaving the crowded area as she sneaked from one market stand to another.

“Are you playing hide and seek? Can I join?” Pinkie asked, and followed her trail.

***

Pinkie sat as they arrived at the entrance to the market. Her attention was focused on a sitting pegasus, who was supporting herself against a wall while holding an open umbrella above her head.

Remember, Pinkie, keep your distance, she thought, not daring to move an inch from her current position. She took a quick glance at the nearby market, and then back at Fluttershy’s distressed face. “Is it just me, or do you not like the market area?”

“It’s not that I don’t like it… The stands look nice, and the prices are quite low when compared to the shops in Cloudsdale.” She sighed and looked at her forehooves. “But crowds and loud places make me nervous.”

“Oh,” Pinkie said before rubbing her chin. Just like my welcome party. Note to self: Should I ever make a party for her, keep the number of guests low.

She rubbed her foreleg and asked hesitantly, “Do you, by any chance, know why Dashie was angry at me for bringing you more animals? I mean, they made you happy, and you take such good care of them!”

Fluttershy blushed. She shifted herself before speaking, “Dash was angry because you brought too many at once… I mean, too many for us to handle.” She tapped her forehooves together and looked to the side.

“I personally love to take care of those cute critters and birds, giving them all the shelter and love that they need.” Her ears drooped. “However, food costs bits and we don’t have any income. We can’t rely on Ditzy’s family to pay up for everything.”

“Oh…” Pinkie said before rubbing top of her head. “I suppose I couldn’t organize parties for everypony if I didn’t work at Sugarcube Corner. They even give me a huge discount on the food for my parties, and trust me, those aren’t easy to find.”

“Find?” Fluttershy asked.

Pinkie nodded. “Usually when I‘m in need of something to cheer up my friends, something that I can’t buy, I just find it in my tail or in some convenient location. I always had trouble getting enough for a party though, but after the Cakes gave me a job, I could make ponies happy left and right. They were even kind enough to provide me with a room.”

Fluttershy blinked in confusion as she pointed at Pinkie accusingly, “Are you saying that you can get what you want out of thin air. How?”

Pinkie shrugged. “I dunno, but it helps me bring smiles to everypony, so I don’t question it.”

She smiled warmly, “You know the saying: don’t look at the teeth of a pony that is giving you gift,” she looked up at the sky, “or something like that.”

Fluttershy massaged her forehead, desperately trying to collect her thoughts. “So let me get this straight. You could have got the peroxide or the baking soda in the cottage, so we could have dealt with the skunk's smell without this whole trip? Even summon food for my animals?”

“I dunno,” Pinkie responded. “It never crossed my mind to check.”

“Can you do it now?”

Pinkie shook her head, “Whatever for? I mean, I got you what you needed to help Dashie, so why would you want more?”

“I meant the animal food. I need it to keep the homeless critters fed and happy.”

“Ohhh…” Pinkie said, before taking a deep breath and moving her tail up to her face. She dived into it, her head and forehooves sinking into herself. Fluttershy could only see her legs and half of her belly sticking out. “No… not here… umm… maybe… ooh, I can sure use this…”

After several seconds of intense search, Pinkie’s face emerged from her own tail and looked at Fluttershy, who stared back at her expectantly. “Sorry, no food here.” Noticing that the ears on the shy mare drooped and her smile vanished, Pinkie pulled out her forehooves and presented a bear call. “But I found this.” She threw the gift towards Fluttershy, who grabbed it with her wing.

“Thank you,” she said in a quiet voice, lacking enthusiasm. “So much for the miracle I was hoping for.”

Fluttershy stood up and turned towards the road. “Maybe the bits will last long enough for me to find a job… on the other hoof, it will be difficult to take care of so many animals while working elsewhere.” She started to walk and Pinkie followed, still keeping a few meters distance. “I don’t like it in the least, but I really must ask you to not bring any more animals to the cottage.”

Pinkie kept walking as she observed the pegasus, whose head was lowered and the smile she adored so much no longer present. Don't lose the smile, anything but the smile. She looked ahead, deep in thought. I was so close to making her happy, as well as all those cute little animals. I can’t give up now. “Maybe I can bake some sweets for your little friends, would that help?”

“Not really, each animal needs its own type of food,” Fluttershy responded. “It would be easier if there were some chestnut trees nearby. I suppose the bunnies could eat grass and carrots, and birds can hunt for earthworms, but they would need to go far away from my cottage to find anything like that,” she murmured, “poor earthworms.”

Pinkie sighed. I wish I was smarter. Then I could come up with a plan… maybe I could ask one of my friends. Her thoughts were interrupted by the noise of galloping, her attention now on the running pony. Apple Bloom… what is she doing here? She seems terrified.

Pinkie bent her legs and stood in front of the scared filly, who was forced to press her flank against the ground in an attempt to slow down. She stopped right between the hooves of the party mare. “Hey Apple Bloom, why are you so scared?” Pinkie picked up the little filly and looked around. “I don’t see your big sis or brother anywhere, did you lose them? Why are you here alone?”

“Snakes, cow, poison, Ah need to tell Mac!”

Pinkie dropped the little filly, who yelped upon hitting the ground with her flank, but the pink pony was beyond caring as she raised her foreleg up to her face and shouted, “Oh no, that’s terrible!” She trotted in place, “What to do, what to do?”

“We need to talk to Big Mac, buy ant-don't!”

“Antidote,” Fluttershy corrected, now approaching the little filly who hid behind Pinkie, peeking from behind her leg. “What kind of snake? How much time has passed? Where’s the victim?” Upon not receiving any answer from the scared filly, she looked at Pinkie and asked, “Which way to the poisoned cow?”

“This way,” Pinkie pointed towards the farm, which was barely visible behind the lines of houses.

Fluttershy grabbed the umbrella with her forehooves and spread her wings, her stare filled with determination. “There’s no time to waste.” With a strong flap of her wings, she flew upwards, and then towards the farm, flinging wind and dust towards the nearby ponies.

“Who is she?” Apple Bloom asked.

“A friend of mine… I mean, she isn’t my friend yet, but I wish she was. I think she wants to help.”

“Can she help?”

Pinkie shrugged and said, “I dunno,” before grabbing and throwing the filly onto her back. “Hang on, I will get you to Big Mac in no time!”

Pinkie often prided herself in being a young energetic mare who could throw a party in a blink of an eye, was unbeatable in games of tag or hide and seek, and whose speed could put any pegasus to shame. This time, however, her speed was needed for something besides cheering up a sad pony.

With her attention on Big Mac as she tried to match his gallop, she asked, “So, what you need me to do is to take this antidote, run towards the farm as fast as I can, and give it to Granny Smith or Applejack who are in the barn with the poisoned cow?”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac responded. Apple Bloom held on to his neck with her little forelegs.

Pinkie nodded before glancing upon the antidote she held in her tail. She looked ahead and bit her lips before dashing, leaving a pink light trail and a dust cloud in her wake. Two minutes passed as she quickly galloped towards the farm. Almost there, almost there. She jumped over the surrounding fence and zigzagged around the apple trees, slowly closing the distance to the tall building.

Upon noticing two earth ponies sitting outside the tall entrance, she pressed her flank against the ground and grit her teeth, eyes closed. She managed to reduce her speed, stopping centimeters from the wooden door. The dust cloud finally caught up, causing them to cough.

Once the dust descended, Pinkie removed the mane from her face, which made it look as if she was using a gas mask. She looked up at an elderly pony, thin bones clearly visible across her skin. “Hello, Granny Smith, why are you outside?”

“Do mah eyes deceive me?” said the elderly pony as she wiped her eyes. “Ain’t that a cheerful youn’ seed? Sugar filled and energetic as ever.”

“That’s me!” Pinkie responded with a wide smile.

Granny Smith sat and rubbed Pinkie’s head. “What brings ya to our farm, young ‘un?”

Applejack rounded her granny and pointed at Pinkie’s tail. “Ah think she got the antidote. Did mah sister or brother send ya?”

Pinkie nodded energetically as she picked the bottle and gave over to Applejack. “Big Mac asked me if I could get it here quickly. How could I say no to that?”

“Well, no point wastin’ time now, let’s go!” Applejack said before opening the door to the barn and entering it, the bottle of antidote in her mouth. As the group entered inside, they approached a cow lying on a bed made of hay, a yellow pegasus sitting by her side.

Applejack placed the bottle on the ground and said, “We got the antidote. How’s she feelin’?”

Fluttershy stroked the cow’s head before pointing at the bandages on the leg. “There’s no need for that, I removed the poison already. It didn’t spread too far thanks to your quick aid.” She stood up and walked to the side, allowing the others to approach the patient. “She should be awake in an hour or two.”

Applejack’s mouth opened agape. “But… how?” She gulped while gathering her thoughts. “How did ya do that?”

Pinkie noticed an awkward smile on Fluttershy’s face, who took a nervous step back and poked her own saddlebag.

“I… I studied biology and medicine… of animals, yes, and I had antidote in my saddlebag,” Fluttershy said, curling a little under the suspicious stare of the elderly mare.

“Reaaally?” Granny asked

Fluttershy choked. “R-really.” She pointed towards the exit. “Nevermind me… what about the snakes? Where are they?”

Applejack stomped. “Those varmint hide in the holes in the field. Once Big Mac is back, we're goin’ to–”

“Wait!” Fluttershy interrupted, but covered her mouth with a forehoof a moment later. She continued in a quiet voice, not looking into the farm mare’s eyes. “What I mean is… I can negotiate with them.”

“Ya want to talk with these snaaakes?” Granny Smith asked with a disapproving tone.

“Y-yes, I do… I can at least try. Can I?”

The elderly mare frowned. “Fine, but be careful.” She turned to Applejack. “Be a dear and show our guest where those pests are hidin’, and if they try somethin’, buck a head or two.”

“Will do Granny, will do,” Applejack responded vigorously before gesturing for Fluttershy to follow.

***

Pinkie observed as the mares, both most likely her age, went outside, leaving her with the old one. She looked up at her and asked, “What happened here? Did Flutters heal the cow on her own?”

“She sure did,” Granny answered. “At first, when she came to mah farm speaking how she can heal a snake bite, Ah didn’t believe her. Ah thought, what can a young pony like her know? But she said her special talent was healin’ animals, and begged for a chance.”

“And you agreed?”

Granny nodded and continued in a tired tone, “Ah wasn’t sure when Big Mac would be back, so Ah took a gamble. She sent Applejack to get fresh water, towels and bandages, then told us to wait outside. That was when ya arrived.” She lowered herself to Pinkie's face and whispered, “Ah think there’s something odd ‘bout that one, but Ah can’t put mah hoof on it.”

Pinkie shrugged. “She seems normal to me.”

She stood up on her rear hooves and spread her forelegs, her smile wide. “Ever since I started to bring her homeless animals from Ponyville, she has been taking care of them with a smile she didn’t show before. I bet she wanted to become a veterinarian, but couldn’t at home, so she came to Ponyville to realize her dream.”

She sat and continued with a less energetic tone, “Or maybe her family loves to heal animals, but they're so good at what they do that she had to come to Ponyville to follow in their hoofsteps.”

“Seems so,” Granny said before walking towards the exit on her shaking legs. “Let’s see how she’s handling those pesky traitorous snakes.”

Pinkie nodded and followed, barely containing her enthusiasm as she struggled to walk at speed of the old pony.

***

“She did whaaat?” Granny asked in disbelief, staring down at Applejack as if she was a ghost. Pinkie was by her side, bouncing with excitement.

“She did what Ah said. She convinced the snakes to go live with her, and even promised to solve the rest of our animal troubles!”

Big Mac nodded and said, “Eeyup,” before pointing at the flying pegasus, who landed gracefully and wiped sweat from her head. Her umbrella was held firmly in her foreleg.

“I…” she started, but had to stop to catch her breath.

“I think I know how to solve the problem—” another quick breath “—with the fruit bats.” Noticing that four pairs of eyes were on her, she hid her face behind her wing and finished with a whisper.

“Speak louder, dear, I can't hear ya,” Granny said, approaching the shy young mare.

“I said... that fruit bats don’t eat much,” Fluttershy repeated calmly, but avoiding eye contact with the staring ponies. “I may be able to convince them to nest and eat apples in only a small part of the orchard so they won’t get in your way. In exchange, they can hunt bugs, and help spread apple seeds for you.”

Applejack massaged her forehead. “Ya beat me in apple bobbin’, and now ya can talk with snakes and bats too? Ah wouldn’t believe if Ah didn’t see it with mah own eyes!”

Granny looked down at Applejack curiously. “She beat ya in apple bobbing?” Upon noticing her hesitant nod and embarrassed blush, she turned to Fluttershy and said. “Ah’ll be the daughter of a Timberwolf, yer’ full of surprises little one.”

Fluttershy turned to the side, her face still hidden behind her wing. “... Thank you.” She took a calming breath and asked, “So, should I ask them to…”

“Oh, right,” Granny said as she rubbed her chin. She looked at Big Mac, who pointed north. “The hills over there are difficult to reach. If them bats settle up there and leave the rest, Ah won’t mind them.” Both siblings nodded.

“Oh… I’ll get to the negotiations right away…” Fluttershy said hastily. After a moment to gather her thoughts, she asked, “Are you having any other problems with animals?”

Applejack raised her forehoof and said, “Well… those beavers love to destroy our apple trees, there are bunnies stealin’ our apples and carrots, an infestation of caterpillars has hit the east part of the orchard, and those darn rats won't leave our seeds alone!”

“On it,” Fluttershy said before flying away, leaving the Apple family to stare at each other in confusion.

“She’s good,” Pinkie said to herself.

Granny Smith chuckled. “Good she may be, but she’s still too young. If she can handle all those problems, Ah swear y'all can call me Lady Orange for a week!”

Applejack grimaced at the idea. “Well. She did help with the snakes, and Ah will sleep better for it.” She continued with determination, “We owe her, and as Apples, we should repay her.”

Granny nodded. “And we sure will.”

A bulb flashed above Pinkie’s head, and she jumped to grab it. “That’s it!” Upon seeing that all the Apples were looking at her, she smirked and said, “I have an idea.”

Fluttershy yawned and spread her forelegs before rubbing her eyes, her vision slowly sharpening. The loud noises from the outside kept assaulting her ears. She looked at Dash, who stared back at her with crossed forelegs.

“What’s that noise? What is happening?”

Rainbow Dash raised her eyebrow. “You don’t know? Seriously?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “Know what?”

Dash massaged her forehead and sighed. “First, you invite snakes into our home, snakes of all animals! For the past three days I been having trouble falling asleep, and so did most of the other critters.”

She walked back and forth while speaking. “Next, you ask those snakes to help the Apples with their rat problem, and to not attack anypony or cow. You also get the birds to help with the caterpillars. The next day you brought bunnies into our cottage as if it wasn’t crowded enough, and even a few rats that agreed to not steal the crops and follow your rules.”

She approached the window and pointed outside, Fluttershy joining by her side. “And now we have a bunch of earth ponies doing Celestia knows what with the swamp surrounding this cottage. I hoped you could explain what is happening, because I don't have a clue.”

Fluttershy retreated from the window and sat against a wall. “I really don’t know. Oh dear, I hope that it’s nothing serious.”

Dash spread her wings and opened the window. “Well, only one way to find out. You wait here. I’ll check what’s going on.”

Fluttershy nodded, waiting patiently for her friend's return. Parties, trouble with bits, having to taste snake venom, infestations, and now this. Can’t we have a break? She lowered her head and stared at her hind legs. Her ears flattened against her head. Who am I trying to fool? I want to help and be useful… I want to take care of animals, and to help the Apple family. Anything that can give my existence some meaning.

Minutes passed as Fluttershy looked at the sunrays coming through her window. Her sharpened senses could pick up various noises from the outside. She shifted her attention to the ponies who were coming up the stairs. “Dash and... Pinkie?” She stood up, staring curiously at the approaching mares.

Rainbow Dash was the first to speak, “You won’t believe what this crazy mare pulled off. Come on, ask her.”

Fluttershy blinked in confusion. She looked at the bouncing earth pony and asked, “Pinkie, are you responsible for what’s happening outside?”

“I am!” she answered. “The moment the Apple family decided to repay you for all the good you did for them, I got the perfect idea.”

She stood on her rear hooves and continued, “I thought: Flutters wants to take care of animals, but she doesn’t have enough bits to feed them all. They wish to repay her, so I have many friends who may be willing to help.”

She dashed towards the window, causing Fluttershy to flinch and fall onto her back. “I told the Apples about your problem, and asked my friends in Ponyville left and right, and everything went great from there.”

Pinkie took a deep breath before continuing, “The Apples agreed to give you a discount for their products, and to assist you with fixing the area around the cottage. Ponies from Ponyville gathered to help plant trees, while Mayor Mare herself, after finding out what’s going on and talking with the local veterinarian, decided to give you funds for dealing with the animal problems in Ponyville.”

Fluttershy looked at the party mare in shock, her mouth agape and her mind struggling to grasp the situation. Dash, noticing it, said, “In short, Pinkie asked for help, and Mayor Mare will give us bits for taking care of animals. A great deal if you ask me.”

Fluttershy shook her head and closed her eyes, deep in thought. Am I dreaming? It seems too good to be true. But then, from what I learned from my parents and in school, earth ponies possess magic that can affect plants and the ground. They can revitalize the area around the cottage in no time. With those bits I can afford to buy food for animals, and once the trees grow, those poor critters will have new homes and other sources of food. Feeling a burst of happiness, she looked at Pinkie and grabbed her in a tight hug.

The party mare stood speechlessly for a moment before returning the gesture.

“Thank you, Pinkie. You’re the best friend I could wish for!” Fluttershy said, crying for joy instead of sadness for the first time in a while.

“Friend?” Pinkie said. “I thought you didn’t want to be my friend. I thought you were afraid of me, at least that’s what you said.”

Fluttershy released Pinkie and looked her in the eyes. “That’s true, I am afraid of you, but I don’t care. You did so much for me. How could I dare to refuse your friendship after that?”

She took a step back and took a deep breath, putting a forehoof on her chest. “You did your best to help me, and even tried to keep your energetic nature in check. It may take some time for me to get used to your loud personality, but I swear to keep trying.” She lowered her head and looked to the side. “Unless… you don’t want to be my friend anymore. I might be the one who doesn't deserve to be your friend after all.”

The pureblood thestral felt pain go through her entire body as she was trapped in a tight hug. Her teeth clenched, her wings and belly got squeezed, but she refused to complain.

“Of course we’re friends!” Pinkie shouted.

Author's Note:

List of editors:
Soge
Alticron
Word Worthy

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