• Published 1st Jul 2012
  • 4,144 Views, 112 Comments

Shipping Wars - Soothing Stone

When Fluttershy invites Spike to a romantic-ish dance, everypony tries to figure out why.

  • ...

Chapter 1

Throughout the house, many animals were sleeping as the sun was rising. Some of them were snoozing in holes in the wall, others in birdhouses, and some were sleeping in sleeping bags out on the floor.

Angel was one of them, passed out on the sofa. He was in the middle of a dream when he heard the sound of hooves trotting on the stairs, and he woke up to see Fluttershy coming down.

"Oh, hi Angel. Did you sleep well?" Fluttershy whispered as she arrived in the living room. "I hope I didn't wake you up coming in."

He shrugged and stretched out his arms, pushing the blanket away and getting up. Fluttershy trotted down the stairs slowly after that, careful not to wake any other animal up, while she pushed the front door open and sneaked outside. Angel gave a thumbs up to signal he would take care of the rest, and she shut the door behind her.

It was looking to be a nice day outside. The Pegasi in Cloudsdale didn't have any rain scheduled for a while, so Fluttershy took advantage of it by taking a walk. But she had left right when the mail pony was making his rounds, so she waved as he approached her mailbox.

However, her verbal beatdown during her "new Fluttershy" phase was still fresh in his mind, and he almost ran away when he saw the pink pony waving. But he had a job to do, so he slowly edged to her doorstep, shaking the whole time.

"Please don't hurt me. I promise this is your mail," he said as he dug into his bag and handed a stack of letters. She looked over them and saw that they were all addressed to her, so she smiled and grabbed them in her mouth, but she could see he was terrified of what she might do to him.

"It's OK, that was New Fluttershy, and she's not coming back," she mentioned as she put the letters on the ground to talk to him. "You're a good mail pony, I promise."

He didn't say anything though, and instead he slowly backed away, still shaking in horror. This was the first time he was afraid of somepony that was being friendly to him, but he wasn't taking any chances.

It got to her, thinking "was New Fluttershy that rude?" She pushed it away and looked down at today's mail, and there were a lot of things that came in.

The first was some advertisement to Inside The Palace Weekly, a tabloid over the things that happened inside the Canterlot castle, with false rumors that Cadence was pregnant. Next. A call by nature fans to plant more trees. Twilight lives in a tree, she remembered. It's nice and cozy inside...

Then she saw it. Nopony could avoid it, as it was bigger than most letters, as it was a poster. Its color palette of pink with a hint of purple demanded attention, and the main illustration was a couple of lovebirds dancing together.

"The Ponyville Palace Dance, in the old school gym room. Come and bring a stallion to the best dancing night of your life. Next Tuesday, formal attire is required, and a partner as well," she read.

She jumped at the name of the place. The Palace Dance was the closest event to the Grand Galloping Gala the town of Ponyville had, and she heard nothing but good things about it from Rarity. An event like this was something she slowly wished she could attend one of these days, and now that she finally had been invited, she was excited, but looked over her shoulder and remembered the animals sleeping inside, so she ran off to a meadow and hollered.

"It's here! I'm going to the dance! Wait a minute," she realized slowly. "I don't have a special somepony to take with me. And...I don't know many stallions in Ponyville."

Nevertheless, she enjoyed the thrill of going for a second longer, before the crushing defeat of acknowledging she would have to find somepony to take. And she wasn't the greatest at meeting new friends all that well. Twilight seemed like a good pony even when they first met, and she still couldn't find the words to say.

"Doesn't matter, Fluttershy. You're going to the Dance with somepony, and nothing is going to stop you," she assured herself. She started to trot over to Ponyville, her spirits uncharacteristically high for going into a social event like this.

Since it was a Saturday, Ponyville was crowded throughout its streets, especially with fillies all over. This was going to be a little harder than she hoped for.

She looked around nervously and looked at a high enough level to ignore them and just pay attention to the adults. There were a lot around, all unfamiliar to her. She looked around and spotted Thunderlane, remembering him from the tornado performance, and decided to see if he was available.

But as she got closer, she realized this was a bad idea when she witnessed him giving a kiss on the cheek to Cherry Blossom. It was too late to back away, as she had already poked him on the shoulder beforehand.

Thunderlane turned around to see who was doing that, but she was gone, flying off into the trunk of a tree.

"He didn't see me, right?" she quivered. "Wait, no he didn't. Whew. You really need to pay attention, Fluttershy."

She hopped down and tried again, but as she looked around it became a blur, with a stallion around every corner and every step. She started to hyperventilate, before she spotted Twilight Sparkle trotting around with a book in her face. She trotted as fast as she could in her general direction, and Twi heard her coming and lowered her book to get a better look.

"Oh hi Fluttershy. What are you doing out here?" she greeted.

"Twilight, I'm so glad to see you. Can we go to your house for a minute?" Fluttershy asked.

"Yeah, but are you feeling well? You look like you have a fever or something."

"I'll be fine, just take me to your place."

After a while, they went inside Twilight's treehouse, and Spike was upstairs sleeping. "I always let him sleep in on Saturday mornings, I read that's what you're supposed to do with fillies his age. Are you sure you don't need anything to feel better?"

"No, but thanks for asking," Fluttershy said. "But there is a problem that I need help with."

She took the poster and spread it on the table. Twilight looked over it and saw the problem as soon as she read what kind of event this was.

"You need a pony to take with you to the dance?"

"Yes, but I don't know who I should take. It needs to be a stallion, but I don't know many in Ponyville. You know many?"

"Oh, this is easier than you think. You should try--"

Twilight was interrupted when they heard a belch followed by a fire errupting, and they both looked up to see Spike was awake and waddling down the stairs.

"What's with all the noise? Oh, it's you Fluttershy."

Fluttershy's eyes lit up and she started to grin, and Twilight looked at her and realized what she was thinking. "You gotta be kidding..."

"Spike, do you think you could come with me to a dance next Tuesday?"

"A what?"

"A dance. It's a place where two ponies dance together, but I'm sure they'll allow a dragon if you dress up in a tux."

The thought didn't register, and he nodded his head a little. "Sure, next Tuesday you said? I can do that. I'm going back to bed."

He did so, going up the stairs and Fluttershy was hopping a little in glee, and Twilight couldn't believe what she was seeing. Placing a hoof on her head, she walked out and took a Daring Do book with her.

The whole idea was so weird to her. Yes, it seemed like Fluttershy was just being desperate and Spike was going to be a good friend. But at the same time, the whole idea of the two of them dancing...it was almost hilarious. Then again, she was told she wasn't the best dancer either...

Since this seemed like something Rarity would talk about, she put off reading Daring Do and went for the Carousal Boutique, surprised that there were so many stallions around today. When did the male population explode so soon?

The door swung open and Rarity was sitting on the front desk, going through her supplies before noting Twilight had come in. "Hello Twilight, is there anything you want to buy today? I just finished another lineup of dresses and I want to see how they look before I put them out in the store."

"No, not right now Rarity," Twilight mumbled. "It's been a weird morning, and I'm not sure how to feel right now."

"What's the matter, dear?" Rarity inquired, pulling up a chair for Twilight to sit on. "Go on, tell me anything."

"If you say so. You see, Fluttershy came in and said she wanted to go to this dance that's coming up, and she invited Spike to come, and he said yes--"

"Pardon me for interrupting, but is it...that dance?"

"What dance, Rarity? I didn't know until today we had dances in Ponyville."

"But is it...the Palace Dance?"

Twilight nodded, not sure what this meant. But when she did, Rarity's eyes exploded, and she dumped a huge glass of water in her face. "Really...THE Dance? With Spike of all people?"

"Seriously, what is it about the Dance that's so special?" Twilight puzzled.

"Why, you don't know? The Ponyville Palace Dance is one of the most romantic events of all of Equestria! It's a place where legends say everypony that attends will fall in love with their partner, and sometimes the stallions even ask the mares their hoof in marriage!"

It took a while for Twi to get the idea, but when she did her jaw went slack. "You...you can't be serious..."

"But I am, Twilight." She levitated Twilight's entire frame over to the couch, and the purple unicorn sank inside the cushions in disbelief. "I just didn't know she had feelings for..Spikey Wikey of all ponies."

Twilight's head was shaking all over the place, trying to process it. "There's no way...no way Fluttershy likes him in that way. There's no possible way!"

"Well, I always thought she had the potential to be romantic one of these days," Rarity noted. "She does seem to fancy--"

"You thought Fluttershy could be romantic one day? What's that supposed to mean?"

"Come on, just look at her. She's the kind of mare that when she does fall in love, she falls in love deeply--"

"But with a dragon."

"You still can't believe it?"

"I'm surprised you're so quick to think that. You know Spike doesn't like her like that. He likes you, and he was half asleep when he said he wanted to go out with her."

Rarity paused her thought, and sank back into her sofa, thinking about it a lot. It seemed weird when they really put thought into about it. There was no sign before today that Fluttershy loved him, and it did seem sudden. But it was so awkward that Rarity changed the subject and levitated three suitcases over to Twilight's field of vision.

"Let's put it away for a while. I did find everything I needed from that last trip in Canterlot, so tell me what you--"

"But why would she even like him the first place?" Twilight asked. This wasn't going to go away with fabric and string. And Rarity knew it.

As if to make the whole thing more uncomfortable, Applejack came in, laughing like she heard the funniest joke in the world. She had trouble saying anything for a while, and Twilight placed another hoof on her forehead.

"Can you believe it?" Applejack said. "I never knew Fluttershy likes dragons after all!" Then she saw Rarity grinning and Twilight shaking her head in disapproval. "Oh, so the word's out already?"

They nodded silently, and the three of them sighed with angst over the whole ordeal. It was getting more uncomfortable by the second, before they couldn't take it anymore.

"Why are we even upset over the whole shebang?" Rarity pointed out. "We should be happy that Fluttershy has found someone that--"

"But why would she like Spike in the first place?" Twilight said.

"I...I don't really know," she admitted. "Uh...could we talk about this in a more personal place? This really shouldn't be something we say out in the--"

Then, Spike burst through the doors, panting and sweating and looking like he had committed a terrible crime.

"I didn't know that was a romantic dance! I just thought it was someplace where they dance to music, not kiss and say they love each other! What do I do?" Spike panicked.

Applejack's suspensions were confirmed: Spike had no real idea what Fluttershy was doing.

"I reckon we all go upstairs. Don't let Fluttershy know about this yet," she commanded. They all did were they were told, while Spike found the nearest paper bag and breathed into it in panic.

"It's alright Spike," Twilight said as she patted the dragon on the back. "We'll get this straightened out."

He nodded in hope, as they went upstairs into the hallway. There they went to Rarity's bedroom, right next to Sweetie Belle's but much bigger. They went in one at a time, and Spike hopped up on the bed and kept breathing into the paper bag.

It took a while for the sheer awkwardness to fade away before anypony was willing to talk again. Whenever or not they admitted it, none of them were prepared for something like this. It was out of their expertise because not one pony had any real experience in it.

Eventually, Twilight was the first to speak, but her voice was not as certain as it usually was and instead was a little shaken up.

"Now...let's try to make sense of all of this, and whatever you do, don't worry about it. Be honest with each other, and don't be afraid to call one of us out on something."

Applejack and Rarity nodded in agreement, while Spike started to calm down and put the paper bag down to his side.