• Published 14th Jun 2012
  • 3,220 Views, 47 Comments

The Studies of Equestria: The Pony, the Brother and the Everfree Forest - Typewrittensoul



Kevin Costern makes his way back to Equestria to learn what happened to his brother.

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Prologue

At a quaint, moss-covered cottage situated between the hilly fields that led to Ponyville and the edge of the Everfree Forest, a peculiar creature opened the front door and walked inside. The floorboards under his shoes creaked softly, but from the way he carefully stepped, the creature was obviously familiar with where he needed to place his feet so that the loudest noises were prevented from alerting anyone to his presence.

"Hello? Is anyone here?" His deep voice asked out loud. Though no one was in sight from his spot in the living room, decorated by a couch, lamp, side table and various additions constructed for the use of small animals along the walls, the sound of running water carried down from the far hall.

"Just a minute!" A voice called back. Not expecting any visitors, Fluttershy had been busy giving her flying squirrel friend a bath in the kitchen sink after it had fallen into the mud from the previous night's rain. It would be a problem if Squirrelly wasn't washed off right away since he had a date coming soon.

After turning off the faucet and grabbing a small dish rag for Squirrelly to use to dry himself, the yellow pegasus made her way to the hallway, wiping herself with her own towel and came upon a surprising sight. "I'll be right...oh...h-hello..."

A hue-men.

From the deep voice, she had expected to see a mail pony or even another of the many stallions that passed by the cottage every so often hoping to initiate a courtship, or even ask her about one of her friends. Although the same could be said about the mail pony since sometimes a "secret admirer" would send her a present like a knick knack for the animals she took care of. More often than not however it would be mail sent to her cottage by accident.

The hue-man did not seem at all confused by the sight of a winged pony. In much the same way, she didn't seem to look any more surprised at coming across such an alien creature.

Even though she was taken off guard by the creature being able to speak to her, Fluttershy knew she couldn't have been mistaken to what she heard. With a gulp, Fluttershy asked, "Can I help you?"

The hue-men gave a sheepish smile and rubbed his hand against the back of his head. "Uh, sorry, it's been a while, so I might be a little rusty...could you say that again?"

Fluttershy blinked. "Oh..." Her eyes narrowed at the tall creature and even tilted her head as the hue-men's fairly hairy face became more and more familiar. "...oh my!" She gasped. The pony stumbled back for a moment as her eyes grew wide and wings unfurled slightly when the hue-men smiled in response to her reaction. "I'm the one who's sorry, I didn't realize...it's just that..."

"This?" He asked knowing full well what she was referencing and brought the flat of his hand to stroke a patch of his beard that grew on his face. "Maybe I should have shaved, huh?"

"No, no, you shouldn't!" Fluttershy said quickly. "I like it. It makes you look...distinguished!"

It was the hue-men's turn to blink as he repeated the unfamiliar word. "Deese...ting...wished...?"

"Oh, um...I mean to say that you look very handsome." She rephrased what she wanted to say without any sort of shame.

He blinked again, then gave a small smile. "...well, if that's the case..." Using the same raised hand he lightly scratched at his chin with one of his fingers.


Fluttershy smiled warmly at the sight of her friend. It seemed like only yesterday that he had to flail his arms about and exaggerate his facial expressions in order to communicate. At least four years since she welcomed him into her home after finding him cold and hungry and alone in the forest.

Speaking of which...

"Oh, darn. This was all so sudden, I almost forgot to..." Fluttershy stuttered out, catching his attention once more. She lowered her head slightly and glanced toward the hue-men from behind a pink bang of her mane. "I'm sorry, I know this might sound strange, but...could you close your eyes for a moment? A-and don't peek! A-and also, if you could take just a step backwards, that is, if you don't mind?"

"Hmmm? Ok, sure..." He agreed without protest.

As soon as he closed his eyes, Fluttershy quickly wiped at the tears threatening to fall down her cheeks with her hooves. She sniffled slightly. Some of the water from Squirrelly's bath must have simply splashed on her, leaving her to feel a slight chill.

"Is everything alright?" He asked with an arched brow while his eyes remained closed. "Maybe I should...?"

"NO! I mean..." Fluttershy nearly jumped at him in panic but barely restrained herself. She tensed her back muscles to keep her wings against her sides and took long, deep breaths to calm herself. "...I just need a moment...please, don't peek..."

"Ok, I promise I won't." He replied assuredly. "Take as much time as you need..."

She couldn't help but smile and blush. "...thanks." Wiping her wet eyes once more, Fluttershy took the opportunity to look over how radically different Kevin had become since she last saw him. Since he so suddenly disappeared that night, years ago. The hair atop his head was better groomed and of course, his face had gotten much hairier and rougher, although it was covered in short hairs in a sort of design meant to frame his more squarer jaw and pronounced cheek bones. At the very least he didn't seem to have starved for food over the years.

Fluttershy took one more final, calming breath, sure that she was able to control her tears now. "...alright...I think I can do it, now...you can open your eyes..."

"What can you do n-" His question was cut off as he was distracted.

Fluttershy nervously chewed on her lower lip and felt her heartbeat start to race. At long last, she could put into practice what she'd been rehearsing to herself for all these years. Opening her mouth, Fluttershy said in a series of un-ponylike growls and grunts while wearing a wide smile, "[Welcome back!]" Feeling the tears gathering on her eyelashes, the pony could almost laugh at the fact that she was doing exactly what she didn't want Kevin to see. Nonetheless, she took a step forward with wings spread open, barely able to contain her excitement at the prospect of hugging her dear friend after so long.

"[Kevin, are you there?]" Grunts and growls were heard from outside as another tall creature walked into the cottage. Kevin's attention had been directed toward the door as the other hue-men looked about in amazement at the living room. Placing one hand on Kevin's shoulder, the hue-men brought its other hand to cover its mouth while saying with a gasp. "[Oh my gosh! A real, talking pony...with wings, too!]" Its voice was much softer and higher pitched than Kevin's, as was its hair longer—down to its shoulders—and a much lighter color, close to being a similar yellow to Fluttershy's coat, but with a paler golden tint.

Fluttershy had since found her hooves glued to the floor and she "eeped" in sheer surprise. The shock caused her to shut her wings closed tightly against her sides at the stranger's intrusion.

Kevin smiled and beckoned the other hue-men to walk further inside before closing the cottage door. "Fluttershy, I'd like you to meet [Fiona]. My girlfriend."

"[It's finally great to meet you, uh...] Flittashoo?" She let out a small laugh and broke into a nervous smile. "[I'm sorry...I probably totally butchered that, but Kevin's told me so much about you! Uh...]" When there was no response, the two hue-mens exchanged glances as the pink-maned pegasus stood silently while the seconds ticked by.

"Fluttershy?" Kevin asked in concern and took a step forward, wondering what was wrong with the pony. He leaned closer and cocked his head at the pegasus pony's bizarre behavior.

While still smiling, wide-eyed, Fluttershy was frozen from embarrassment. Her whole body remained stiffened like a bowling pin as she toppled over to the floor just after letting out a soft bleat, rocking back and forth on her side.