• Published 16th Jul 2012
  • 6,880 Views, 731 Comments

Pony POV Series Season Three: Butterflies - Alex Warlorn



Discord beaten. Reality restored. But invisible wounds must heal too. Time for butterflies to fly.

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Pony POV Series Episode 42: "Fluttercruel's Best Pet"

Pony POV Series Fluttercruel POV May The Best Pet Win Behind The Scenes Side-Story

Written By lz0291 and Edited By Alex Warlorn and Kendell2

Optional-Canon

Geeze, first you guys won't shut up about Trixie and now you won't stop asking me questions? Why don't you talk to Purple or Marshmallow? Rude? But when I say it it's with endearment!

Huh? I was the one complaining about her stealing my spotlight? Got me there, fine.

Sigh. So you want to hear about Rainbow getting Tank from my point of view? Whao-kay, just don't bet on a lot of ponies reading this interview! Yeah this took place between getting our trick from Celestia and the festival. Like I said, don't expect many ponies to read this one.

I don't mind the pet outings that much. Surprised? It's mostly cause I like Angel's attitude. I like how he was able to keep 'Shy on track before I came along. So anyway, after the pet fivesome had nearly given Rainbow a heart-attack and Rainbow was given the low down, Fluttershy asked actually surprised.

"I thought you knew. You didn't know? She didn't know?"

I, on the other hoof, groaned inside and mentally facehoofed.

' Of course she didn't know, blondie! She spends most of her day napping. '

Shy ignored me however, too busy fretting about letting down Rainbow. Pink, though, was explaining, and I decided to take a look around while 'Shy was freaking out.

Pink rambled off. "We were totally gonna invite you, Rainbow, then Twilight remembered that you don't even have a pet..."

'Which makes bringing you to a pet playdate dumb.' I don't technically have a pet but I don't have a choice in the matter, and don't tell 'Shy that, you'll see in a moment what I mean. Besides, like I said, I like Angel. Maybe Rainbow should bring that orange filly?...

"...and Rarity remembered that you really like to take naps in the afternoon..."

'See?'

'Shy ignored me in favor of more mental fretting.

'Please don't be mad at us please don't be mad at us....'

"...so Applejack figured you wouldn't be missing out on anything anyway, and Fluttershy and I nodded our heads in agreement like this."

I was looking at Pinkie in the corner of my eye, but my co-habitant wasn't all there.

'Please don't be mad at us EEK WHAT'S THAT?!'

I thought fast before Fluttershy took control back and yelped -not as fast as I could have- but faster than 'Shy screaming out loud because somepony has no definition of 'personal space'.

"Please don't be mad at us!" I said to everypony else, hoping it sounded like 'Shy.

Neither of us was really in charge enough to stop our head moving back and forth, but there were more pressing matters. How does the whole one body locomotion thing work when we're ponies of two minds? I know I use the word 'control' but it's not so much one of us pushing the other out out of the driver's seat as it sounds. I read somewhere of Siamese twin pegasi who could fly in spite of having only one set of wings, so I think it's like that. Don't forget I have a full set of 'Shy's memories up until the Old Man zapped her. It's like we're a pilot and copilot who switch places every so often.

'Calm down, it's just Pinkie grabbing you. Me. Us.'

'Oh. Right. Sorry. '

Rainbow was replying at the same time.

"...Not much point of a Pony Pet Playdate for me if I'm a pony without a pet, right?"

"Eeexactly. So, if'n you'll excuse us... " Applejack replied to her.

Direct and to the point, no reason to drag it out. I approve.

Everypony got down to business playing with the animals.

This wasn't my first Pony Pet Playdate, or my second. But for the first few 'Shy had me on a mental leash and muzzle with me wanting to dangle Angel in front of a starving Opal or Owlowiscious and throw Opal and Winona in a bag together and giggle like some sick buck. What? I know I was messed up!

Owlowiscious was flapping from one leg to another holding a chat with Twilight only they seemed to understand.

Pink was using herself a trampoline for Gummy (heh, I imagined when Gummy would be three times her size and she could use him to bounce on, or eat her, whichever happened first).

Rarity was being coy with one of Opal's fake mice (it amazed me the spoiled fat cat had enough muscle to go rabbit hunting when Rarity wasn't looking).

Winona and the orange apple? Playing fetch.

'Shy naturally just watched Angel run around... in circles?

'You brought him to the park to run around in circles in an area smaller than our kitchen table?'

'He wanted the fresh air remember?'

Yeah. He did. Fluttershy explained for Angel these were his 'imagination rounds' he'd imagine entire worlds and adventures on the adrenaline high as he jogged in circles. Considering that was about all I used to be able to do while locked up in my own head other than wallow in self-pity, I can understand.

Rainbow's never liked anyone stealing the spotlight from her.

"Hey, now wait a minute! Just because I don't have a pet now..." Rainbow began to say.

'Isn't she called Scoopapoo?' I snarked.

'Sssh!' 'Shy scolded me.

"...It doesn't mean I never want a pet!" Rainbow finished.

Oh horseapples.

Click.

"Oh! Y-y-oh really?" Fluttershy said. Ka-pow. And me hit by a tidal wave of smilie faces.

"You really want a pet? Really? 'cause I've got so many wonderful choices at my house." 'Shy buzzed around Rainbow like a bee that had had too much honey.

Just for your information, sharing a body with somepony who just became more excited than a cat in a silo full of catnip is not much fun when it happens without much time to brace.

"Oh, and I know you'll just love them, and they'll love you, oh! And you'll be best friends forever and ever! Oh!"

She then began to drag, quite literally drag, Rainbow Dash back to our house. The others just watching in awe. Rainbow took off eventually, but I could tell Dash wasn't enjoying the ride. Angel caught a lift on our tail.

"Uh, Fluttershy? Can you let me fly myself?" Dash asked.

"Oh there's... Oh, sorry. I'm just so excited!" She gave out a little charged-up squeaking noise as Dash was freed. "Oh, there's so many pets that might work for you!"

Fluttershy then descended into excited rambling, both inside and out. Dash seemed to zone her out.

'Oh, she might want a kitty... Or a puppy. Or a birdy....'

'Honey Badger' I suggested. If Rainbow Dash wanted a fearless and tough pet, she couldn't do much better than one of those.

"...Oh, maybe a... no, wait, what about a..."

'A beehive!' Shy thought suddenly.

'NO, NOT THE BEES!'

Honey Badger, not Honey Makers!

'Oh, there's so many different pets that would be great for Rainbow and that Rainbow would be great with! Ohmygoshohmygosh this is so exciting! So many of the animals want to be pets and this is just so so super I, I... Yay!'

I'd had enough. This was too much.

''Shy, can I ask for a little warning next time before you go crazy, please!' I moaned without really thinking.

Almost instantly, she seemed to deflate. She cut herself off mid-babble outside and in, enough for even Rainbow Crash, a pony who could accuse mountains of 'coming out of nowhere' to see it.

I'd messed up, big.

"Uh, Fluttershy? Are you okay?" She asked as she landed. Home was barely twenty meters away.

'Fluttershy?' I asked as well.

She was silent. She actually lowered our head so our mane was covering our eyes.

'I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that! It's-it's okay 'Shy! You weren't being bad I swear! I was, agh! Can we please move on? You, we still have to figure out Rainbow's pet right? ' I tried desperately.

"?...Your pet?..." She said outside gathering herself back together.

"What about them? Is something wrong?" Dash said.

She shook our head.

"...It's, um, it's fine. I guess I just... I was just a little too excited. I... I really want to..."

I sighed.

'I'll explain it. Just calm down a little...'

"It was my fault. I said something stupid. I'm sorry," I said our color and cutie mark shifting to mine. I rose our head and looked at her.

Rainbow's eyes narrowed.

"Fluttercruel?"

"Yeah. Who else would it be?" I said almost automatically, then I saw the look on her face. Open mouth, insert hoof.

"What did you do to her?" RD asked.

I cringed. "I said something stupid. Don't worry. She just needed a second to calm down."

"Well, try and think before you speak will you?" She said in my face. Hypocrite.

I gritted my teeth, "Don't need to tell me twice." Chatting with 'Shy was so much easier when we had a mirror handy.

"Whatever. She's okay though, right?"

I nodded, even if I wasn't actually sure.

'You're okay, right?'

'I... I'm okay. I shouldn't have run my mouth off like that?...'

'Trust me 'Shy, it's an improvement. I'm the one who shouldn't have ran her mouth off.'

"As long as she's okay change back. No offense, but I don't want you suggesting a pet for me. You'd give me a pit viper or something..."

"Honey Badger," I said. Seriously? A pit viper? A skunk maybe, I'm not THAT cruel...anymore...

"...Really? Those are kinda cool. Too bad they don't fly."

I sighed, and let 'Shy slip into my place as we went around the back, her colors and markings replaced mine. She seemed happy again, but far more subdued as all the animals sprang out to meet her. I zoned out a little, remembering when we'd first 'met', Dash had been pretty suspicious of me...

And then I felt 'Shy really perk up. Wait. Is she...

"Now, Rainbow my dear, I cannot express my delight..."

She is.

'Okay, I'm out of here.'

Abandon ship! Please find a band on the ship and please make them play metal pony instead of the song she'd sing!

I've nowhere to run.

Oh what the Smooze, just go with it. 'Shy can carry a tune even better than Pink.

Rainbow Dash couldn't wait to get started, but first she set a few rules, it was of utmost importance the pet that she get but super and awesome and cool!

"Awesome, cool, got it!"

She needed something real fast like a bullet to keep up with her.

"Sure! How 'bout a bunny?

They're cutesy and wootsie and quick as can be!"

Cutesy? Wootsie? Have you even met her?

"Rainbow, have faith

You see, I will bet you

Somewhere in here is the pet that will get you."

I admit I did get a laugh when 'Shy presented Dash with the cutest kitten in Equestria.

"I have so many wonderful choices for you to decide

There are otters and seals

With massive appeal."

Otters and seals don't fly 'Shy.

"Maybe not, but I've seen this particular seal catch ten feet of air when he breaches the water!"

But we had to refill the pool from the splash down. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm with 'Shy on this one, that rocked!

Next came lady bugs and cute crickets, did she really think that was going to fit the ticket?

"I've got just the thing in that tree, Dash

Meet your new fabulous pet, Squirrely."

Come on 'Shy, you know the flying squirrel won't get adopted without the moose, he's his best friend.

Fluttershy, pal, this won't cut it

She needs a pet to keep up with her

Something awesome, something flying

With coolness that defies gravity!

"I'm sensing you want an animal that can fly."

'Ya think?'

"Ya think?" Rainbow said at the same time.

"I have plenty of wonderful creatures who soar in the sky

Like a sweet hummingbird or a giant monarch butterfly."

Better, but cooler.

"I see. How 'bout an owl," I shoved myself in! "Or a wasp!" Then 'Shy shoved out of the spotlight, "Or a toucan?"

Oh no you don't Fluttershy!

Shy's not the only singer in this family tree! I took my turn!

"There's so many wonderful creatures the likes of that.

There are falcons and eagles

They are both quite regal

Or perhaps what you need is a dark and mysterious bat!"

"Now you're talking!" Smiled RD. See 'Shy?

"But instead of just one standout, now that's too many. So many choices, and such riches aplenty."

"Not a bad problem to have, if you ask me." I said.

"The bat would be awesome, but the wasp I'm digging too

D'you have something in a yellow striped bat?"

"No." Then Shy stepped in.

"I've got a hot pink flamingo, just dying to meet you."

Then Rainbow took off in every sense of the world. Her brain working as fast as her wings as she declared she'd put the animals who wanted be hers through her version of the Equestria Rodeo.

"Don't forget style, that should be considered!" I threw in.

"Then we'll know for sure who's best of the litter!"

"The one who is awesome and cool!" I said back excited as 'Shy now.

"Just like me

Can't settle for less, 'cause I'm the best"

"So a contest we will see!"

"Who's the number one, greatest, perfectest pet"

In the world for me

May the games

begin~

"And may the best pet win!"

And it was like a spell was broken. Had I really just sung? Had I actually -enjoyed- singing? -With- Shy? Sure I sung before but I was making fun of her before but . . . but now?

I resisted the urge to shake our head and played dumb.

'Is it over? Can I come out now?' I cautiously asked.

'Yes, we've stopped.'

Phew. I don't know if she really didn't notice or if she was being kind.

'So, did she pick one?'

'Not yet. She's wanting to have tryouts.'

Meanwhile, Rainbow was talking, as we stared off into space like Derpy on a good day.

"Okay, uh, Fluttershy, can you bring, say, a dozen or so to the town square that might fit the bill so we can have tryouts?"

"Certainly, Rainbow Dash! We'll bring them along shortly!"

Dash nodded, "Great! I'll tell the others and get everything set up! See you there!" And flew off.

"So... Angel, 'Cruel, what do you think we should take? You both pick out four?"

Angel was happy that we finally remembered he was there and tossed aside the carrot chips he had been eating for our musical number.

Ever pragmatic, Angel would point out the Falcon, Eagle, Hummingbird, and plus a brown duck.

Dangit, there went three of my top choices already. If I didn't know Angel better I'd say the little rodent had done that on purpose.

I took control for a second to point at...

"The Neighsian Giant Hornet, the Bat, I guess the Owl, that sort of works . . . would it kill us to have a wyvern?"

'Just pick four out.' 'Shy gently instructed as the three creatures in question backed up nervously.

"...Those three and that duck."

'But Angel already picked that one.'

"The other duck." I pointed at the green and grey one.

"Oh... Right, that duck. Uh, okay. Add the Ladybug, Flamingo, Toucan, and Our Monarch Butterfly."

"You want Him as Rainbow's pet?" I asked surprised at her picking Our Butterfly.

"If he's picked he can help out Rainbow in more ways than one."

Then something nudged us on the hind leg.

It was a turtle. Or a tortoise. Either way he gave me an idea...

"Oh? Do you want to come and try too?" 'Shy asked.

He slowly nodded.

"You realize he's completely the opposite of what Dash wants, right?"

"But he looks so desperate to try..."

"Oh, I know, I think he should have a go at least?...."

We grinned. This should be fun...

Watching as Fluttershy began to round the animals up and politely lead them into town wasn't, so I decided to zone out a little again... handling animals was 'Shy's special talent not mine. Pst. Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not some lazy flank parasite who comes out when she wants something. 'Shy's simply more delicate with animals then me. Made we wish we had a honey badger to submit too while we were at it.


Rainbow Dash already had her competitors lined up and sure enough, we were moving forward so 'Shy could recommend a certain shelled competitor.

"Now, you just pay attention, and try your best, and..."

"Seriously, Fluttershy! The turtle? What did you bring that thing here for?"

Then all my fun and games changed. That thing? Thing? My blood boiled. Okay Dash, I hope this turtle was trained by a radical rat just so he make you eat those words! I knew that little guy was really old, 'Shy said he predates Ponyville, so maybe he has a few tricks up his shell.

"Technically he's a tortoise, and he's always dreamed of being somepony's pet. He just wants a chance to compete, he won't get in the way. You won't even know he's here. " 'Shy clarified.

Ah, so he's a tortoise: yeah, I don't pay attention to 'Shy's animals as much as I should.

The turtle blinked slowly. Dash just stared at him with a 'what the buck' expression.

Reality informed me Rainbow won't know he's there because the rest are gonna make him eat their dust.

"No," She said.

"Oh, just let him try!" 'Shy begged.

"But there's no way he can possibly keep up. Look at him!"

I found myself rooting for my 'joke application.'

'Shy kept up her pleading, and in the end Rainbow gave in. You know how hard it is to resist 'Shy's puppy dog eyes. She warned him the games weren't games, making me glad I wasn't in control at the time. She then added to her want list what I and Twilight Sparkle would call five things.

"Speed, agility, guts, style. Coolness. Awesomeness. And radicalness," Dash sounded off.

"Aren't those all the same thing?" Twilight Sparkle asked.

"You would think that Twilight. And that's why, you would never qualify to my pet."

I'll trust the purple encyclopedia's opinion more than yours, Rainbow.

Lucky I wasn't in control. Dash might get the wrong idea about me saying something like 'your face is coolness, awesomeness and radicalness.'

We moved along, heading for a small race track. Fluttershy seemed to notice something at this point.

"Where's Trixie?"

"Oh, she's still freaking out a little over the festival. She's got an idea for her magic act but she wants it better than perfect. Still, at least she's got her plan now, if she was still worried about coming up with an idea it'd be a lot worse..." Twilight answered without actually saying where Trixie was.

'I guess she's in the library? ' I wondered.

'Probably.' 'Shy replied. 'Which explains where Spike is.'

++++

"You're not touching that spell book!"

"Oh yes Trixie is touching that spell book!"

The entire library shook followed by blue smoke slowly rising from all the windows.

"...I'll get the broom..."

++++

We reached the little race course. Rather obviously, Dash wanted to test the speed of her potential pets.

I just sat back figuratively and watched the fun. By the end of it though...

'Our little turtle didn't even cross the line...' I said.

'Tortoise.' 'Shy corrected.

Whatever.

"That's just sad," Dash muttered.

We then moved onto agility testing, heading for a bunch of things Dash hadn't even built yet. She seemed to be struggling with some of the poles and stands.

"...Uh, y'all maybe need a helping hoof there?" Applejack offered.

"We could lend a horn as well," Rarity suggested, earning a nod from Twilight.

"Ooh! Ooh! Let me help! It'll be a blast!" Pinkie said.

There was a moment where all six others, and all thirteen potential pets, gave her a look.

"Not literally!"

Once it was done and everypony had put some distance between them and Pinkie during the work, just in case, Dash deemed the course to be sufficiently awesome.

"Okay, thanks for helping, Everypony. I might need a hoof later too, that cool?"

Everypony nodded.

"I know we'll do a bang up job!" Pinkie said with a smile.

That was when a little gremlin crept into my brain and I got a wonderful idea.

'Saaaay, 'Shy. I have an idea. What's Rainbow planning to do to test out how brave these pets are again?'

'Oh, uh... I'm not sure. I think she was going to set up a haunted house.'

...Given that setting up a bunch of obstacles on poles had given her trouble, I doubted her haunted house was going to be ready by the end of next year's Winter Wrap-Up. I had a mental image of her looking for a cool spot to build the house on for three hours. By the time she was done our little turtle would probably be the only pet left alive to even try it.

'Well, I can think of something much faster to set up...'

And so I laid the plan to Fluttershy, and she duly let me take it to Dash, who agreed it would be quicker. So did Rarity.

"Opal won't get hurt will she?" Rarity asked.

" Opal get hurt? That's a good one." I actually laughed.

Eventually, Dash's obstacle course was done with minimal casualties. Everypony looked at their handiwork.

"Agility!" Dash said, even though we all knew since we'd been waiting there or helping build her obstacle course.

In this one, the turtletoise had been deemed the 'opposite of agile.' The others had varying skill and agility, but Our Butterfly crashed. Not too strange, but he really should have made it...

"I'll go ahead and make sure she's ready for you, Dash!" Rarity said as Dash was tallying the scores for this round, and she trotted off.

The winner was the Hummingbird, but she shaved a point off when it failed to high-hoof her. With one of the wings he had to use flying. Even I thought that was a little cruel, but it still won the course by a good margin, and we were on our way.

I felt Angel give me one of his signature kicks to the flanks. He looked at me expectantly.

"Fine." I sigh and handed him two bits for Our Butterfly not coming in first.

And the next part of my little plan was on the way too. I decided to sit back again... It was funny, first time I saw Opal I imagined installing a cat-proof fence around a bumper crop of catnip...


It seemed my little scheme was bearing fruit. Fitting I was pondering catnip...

"Which of you has the guts to try and get Opal's favorite toy away from her?" Dash said to the potentials.

Out came the cat of doom. I'm convinced she has Wolverine heritage. Maybe even Honey Badger.

I wonder if that's even possible? Eh, if I'm the spawn of Disharmony anything's possible.

The pets were terrified of the ball of furry claws and death that was Rarity's little whatever-sickeningly-cute-nickname-she-gave-it-was. I'm glad the one pony catzilla likes is the one I'm sharing a body with. Anyway, the end of it was that they were frozen with fear....all except Our Butterfly. He just flew forward, while I watched and...

He seemed to hypnotize the felidae mortis ...Everypony else could only think that what it did was very odd. Impressive, but odd.

I could see Twilight out of the corner of our eye. At first she was as impressed as Dash was, and then she frowned.

"Fluttershy... About that butterfly..." She began, and 'Shy turned us to face her. Just in time to hear a clattering and an angry meow.

We looked back to see the turtle had nudged Opal's basket over. The angry possible-wolverine-in-disguise leapt upon the hapless reptile and began fruitlessly clawing his shell. It resembled an army of ponies armed with butter knives trying to tear down a castle.

Dash, however, simply walked off without any comment.

It was fun watching the irresistible force wail away at the immovable object.

"...Fluttercruel? You suggested using Opal, didn't you?" Twilight challenged.

"....I might have."

Twilight sighed.

"Rarity's going to be furious if Opal breaks a claw you know. And what would happen if she'd attacked another pet?"

We shrugged.

"She'd need to get used to the other pet eventually if Dash is joining the pony pet playwhatvers."

I stood back and 'Shy finished up.

"She's right, Twilight. It's kind of cruel but that's just nature. Cats are predatory animals. She has to adjust. And if they're going to enjoy the play dates, they have to get used to being around her."

I have to admit, I was actually proud of 'Shy for that.

"...So this was actually a sensible test? What was Dash going to do originally?"

"A haunted house I think."

Twilight seemed to groan. "I dread to think what kind of things she'd call scary."

Dash however wasn't listening to us. I was paying attention to her though, in case the next madcap test was another time-waster.

"Okay, Rarity, gonna need your help again. Next contest: Style!"

I think me and Orange Apple both fell asleep through that one.

Pink cheered, "Rainbow Dash always dresses style!"

"No she doesn't, she usually doesn't even wear clothes." AJ pointed out.

"Sorry, this just brings back memories," Pink said. No one asked her what she meant, almost like our brains just rolled over it.

At least 'coolness' was short and to the point.

Owlowiscious I think approved of his distant cousin winning the 'awesomeness' leg of the contest. So much for Spike's opinion of owl head spinning being 'creepy.'

Needless to say, the old turtle failed at both. So much for being a secret animal martial arts student or something.

The turtle and the radicalness contest? Yeah, me and 'Shy both helped set up the death course he wanted to try. Not a bad idea since being indestructible was a proven talent of his. Too bad he tripped on his first jump. Points for the guts to try it, not so much being as nuts as his potential master.

Rainbow started to get creeped out by an elderly turtle that wasn't giving up no matter what. Personally, I could appreciate not giving up till the end, but there was such a thing as picking your battle.

RD declared the last contest would be a race against her, with the Owl, Bat, Eagle, and Falcon as the finalists.

'Shy gave a hug and pat on the head to the wasp and Our Butterfly for trying their hardest while Angel took the rest back to the cottage but would hook back up with us at the gorge the race was to be at.

And not just any gorge.

We'd flown down here looking for a missing bunny last week.

Those poor Quarray Eels. They got Stared so hard when they gave us trouble.

Wait, they weren't poor at all. They deserved it! Plotholes!

I spotted our forlorn little turtle...

'Hey, 'Shy.... Don't you feel a little sad for that turtle?'

"Tortoise."

'Whatever. Point is, I think Dash might have made an unfair assumption. He can be a pet for her... We should take him with us. I'm pretty sure those Eels are in more danger of breaking a tooth than he is of getting hurt. '

This should be fun. Seeing Dash have to put him in.

Through a place like Ghastly Gorge? Likely the only one to not come out as bones and a few feathers.

Maybe he'll even win. I was half expecting him to be the only one brave enough to give it a shot.

The look on Rainbow's face. Turtles can't fly, after all... That would be hilarious.

Did you know Griffons used to use turtles like weapons? They used to just drop them to try and break the shells but they soon learned they were pretty tough. So instead they just dropped them onto the heads of other things...

 


Of course Rainbow would turn the introduction to the final examine into a tribute to herself. 'Honor and glory' of being her pet? Oh come on. And of course she'd never imagine any living thing being able to pass her.

Spike had chosen to join us. When Twilight reminded him she had told him to keep an eye on Trixie, Spike responded with a few words I didn't hear that made Twilight face burn slightly and she whispered they'd talk more when they got home.

None of the finalists chickened out. Dash sure had picked animals that were like her.

After the turtle began to slowly trot across the bottom of the gorge Twilight teleported us the relatively short distance (for her) to the finish line.

Don't ask what we did while waiting. It was very boring. Pink kept playing Tic-Tac-Toe with herself when no one wanted to loose to the reigning champion again.

At least with Rainbow Dash leading the pack at least it was going to be a short wait. To kill time I imagined little Opals attacking castle turtle with buckets of water getting dumped on them. Hey, I said imagined, don't push your luck! Angel looked as bored as us. Skipping a lot of details? Nothing important.

"Yeah, he sucks at consistency. It'll be over soon though." Pinkie suddenly blurted out.

"...What?" Applejack asked.

"The owl. Haven't you noticed he keeps having short bursts of speed instead of a level race?"

The winners were approaching. The Falcon crossed the line, then the Eagle. The Bat and the Owl brought up the rear, but everypony seemed to be nervous.

"Something's not right here..." Twilight said, raising binoculars.

I knew what wasn't right. I barged my way in behind the binoculars.

"...Where's Rainbow Dash?"

Applejack then barged in too.

"...Great galloping galoshes! There's been an avalanche in there!"

'Silly Applejack, that's snow. Avalanches are snow. That's a landslide....' I thought.

Wait.

' LANDSLIDE?!'

Everyone else was instantly concerned. Fluttershy just started quietly mumbling something even I couldn't make out.

There was only one logical reason that a landslide would have stopped RD. I pictured her wing pinned under a rock and her having to cut it off to avoid being a sitting duck. Then an image of Dash flashed through my mind buried under tons of rock bleeding to death before she'd get a chance to suffocate.

No no no! This isn't right! I just wanted to see Rainbow put down a peg! Like during the mess with the Mare-Do-Well! Please no! Dash had given me a scare a week back during my cute-ceañera but I didn't want this.

"Wait, look!" Pinkie shouted. Despite not having binoculars.

I dared hope.

"It's the turtle!" I said, quickly looking through them.

"TORTOISE!" Everyone shouted.

"...Whatever."

"And he's carrying something on his back..." Twilight noted.

It was Rainbow Dash. She was alive. Mostly in one piece. Looked like the tortoise kept bandages in that shell of his not just sunglasses. I relaxed a little, relieved.

The look on Rainbow's face, she looked small, but happy, maybe, enlightened?

Had I worn that face when 'Shy made me see I had a life and I couldn't just throw it away?

I'd just been playing a game with the tortoise. He had apparently saved Rainbow. Still it would have been fun if he had won... Heh, now I sound like one of 'Shy's pony-tales.

"...But I said whoever crosses the finish line with me gets to be my pet." Dash said, breaking me out of my little funk.

Wait.

That means.... She has a pet that can't fly!

I stopped laughing in our head eventually. 'Shy was not too happy.

Dash meanwhile, was saying how 2-D she had been for wanting only a pet that was focused totally on winning and a top athletic. Apparently the tortoise had something of more value.

The Falcon looked surprised, sad, then resigned when RD spelled it out that the pet that chose to stop and save her flanks was worth more than any contest winner.

Seriously you know all this, why are you having me repeat it all? You're going to bore your readers to tears. Me? Fine. I felt relieved Dash was safe after the nasty things I had been thinking about her all day and she could have been eaten by Eels. I felt sad for the Falcon coming in first but getting his positioned handed off because he had acted like a simplified version of Rainbow caring only for the win. I guess I was a relieved that none of the animals had gotten themselves killed in Rainbow's death race. And I was happy for the old turtle too I guess, having broken out of his role as the 'joke competitor.'


++++

Back home, 'Shy insisted we give the Falcon a talk after coming in second, he and the rest were, after all, still under our care. I agreed.

"Hey, so if you're ever ready, I'm right here. Until then, CHIN UP! Rainbow wanted you as a pet because you-, er, look . . ." Giving speeches to animals was 'Shy's department.

'So let me try instead.' "Just because you didn't get Rainbow Dash as your master isn't the end of the world. I know if you want a master that bad then you'll find a pony for you. But only if you don't give up. You came in second place, out of the dozen other animals that took part. I'm sure you'll find a master someday."

It actually felt good to see the bird nod. I knew what it was like to seemingly be just chaff.

"Hey 'Shy, I'm a good Element of Kindness aren't I? I'm not just a one trick pony right?" I said out load, the mental chatting was proving a bother anyway.

"You helped Tank continue."

"I just wanted to get under Rainbow's hide. Just because something good came about from it doesn't make it good."

"Then be happy that some good came about anyway, and learn from it. You're a different kind of Kindness than I am, don't judge yourself based on me."

Yeah, we ponies are good at dishing out advice we have to have served back to us later.

You know what that's like? How? Fine, keep your secrets.

++++

We went to the library to get Dash some books on tortoise care to completely ignore. We didn't ask why the library smelled like blue or why Trixie's eyebrow needed regrowing. I was too busy basking in the comedy. Of all the possible pets...

The next day, Fluttershy was going to meet Dash to see if she had any more questions. Possibly questions like 'how do I stop a tortoise from falling out of a house made of clouds?'

He's tough. He'd bounce. Remember what I said about them and griffins? And there was Twilight's cloud-walking spell.

"Rainbow Dash? Are you and Tank in?" Fluttershy shouted at her cloud-house.

I really don't get the name. What's a tank meant to be anyway? A water tank? Weird.

Of course I had made the mistake of saying so around Twilight.

"Well Earth Ponies during one of Equestria's previous wars had to rely on their physical strength and invented heavily armored mobile artillery, powered by their own muscles. At first they were treated purely as blockade breakers, and to shield them from air-born enemies dropping rock on them, but were eventually seen as highly effective at other functions. Tank was actually a code word short for water 'tank' when the weapon was first produced in secret in the year-" Yeah. That one lasted a while. Need to ask Rainbow what a bullet was sometime too.

Rainbow called from inside. Scootaloo was at school. "Yeah, there in a sec, 'Shy."

Ah, she probably had to hold onto him all night...

Oh.

That's not fair.

Pink built him some sort of flying thing! She was the only pony in Equestria who'd have invented such a gizmo!


My fun was ruined, but 'Shy and Dash simply watched Tank fly like a brick with his dumb fun-ruining flying propeller hat thing. Meh. He'd get used to it.

Rainbow asked, "Uh, 'Shy? I kinda... I've got a little question about Tank. He... Okay, he's tough. I doubt a volcanic eruption would stop him..."

Sure can't slow him down then. One is his top and only speed...

"...But... How long has he got? He looks kind of... old."

We both laughed at that. Me and 'Shy.

"Oh, Rainbow Dash. He'll probably outlive you..." 'Shy began.

"...After all, tortoises can live for over a hundred years!" I finished. Made me wonder what stories behind those beady eyes.

Dash blinked, then smiled

"That's good to know!"

Then she took on a serious face.

"But for future reference you two finishing each other's sentences is creepy as hay."

I smiled.

"I know." I looked at how excited Rainbow was, just enjoying Tank's company. It didn't matter if he was perfect, what she wanted, or if he had overstepped his role. He had beaten the odds, he had shown compassion and devotion to someone who had kept telling him to give up and go home. It hadn't mattered. He had helped her anyway. And she was so, gentle with him.

Was this the Rainbow Dash who had always existed underneath all that boasting?

"Hey, Dash."

"Yeah?"

"You . . . " I made tiny circles in the cloud we were standing on, I let my colors and Cutie Mark appear. I wasn't sure how to get started, I didn't want her to be mad at me. "This isn't easy for me to say but, but I think you've grown a little thanks to Tank."

"Hey! That's the whole point of the letters to Princess Celestia remember? We're telling her what we learn."

"Yeah. Heh. I guess. Ya know Dash, you're alright after all."

Rainbow didn't talk for a bit, I think she was thinking something over. "...Hey, I don't think I ever thanked you..."

"Thank me? For what?"

"That was you back at Sugarcube Corner, wasn't it? The one who helped Pinkie pull me back from becoming a Nightmare?"

Needless to say, that surprised me.

"H-how did you know?"

"Did you really think I wouldn't figure it out?"

"...AJ told you, didn't she?"

"...Uh...N-no! Not at all!" she replied, not really hiding her surprise well. "...Anyway, I just wanted to thank you...I'd be Nightmare I-Don't-Wanna-Know right now if you hadn't been there...I guess you're not just Discord's evil minion after all."

"...You're welcome, I guess...But hey, as much as I hate to admit it, without 'Shy, I'd still be the Old Man's little wind-up toy."

"Yeah, I guess so...I gotta admit, I'll take you over your 'Old Man' any day," she said, putting her hoof on my shoulder.

I said lowly, "That's not a very high mark to fly past."

Rainbow cringed. She wasn't good at these kind of speeches either. "Look, I'm sorry for my attitude. I just don't believe in 'forgotten' along with 'forgiven.' I'd say I'm not used to having my flanks saved but, dangit, I'm sayin' that I'm sorry I was a jerk, I'm sorry I put a black spot on the day that was your day, and I'm really happy you're around! Rainbow Dash -never- turns her back on anypony who's ever helped her and that includes you!" Then she smiled at me, "Pal."

I smiled, I felt my eyes soften. That was the Rainbow most ponies knew, but I could finally see the real Rainbow Dash behind it too. "Thanks Rainbow."

Now You want to hear about my cute-ceañera? After making everypony fall asleep from that one? Heh. It's about time.

(Author's Notes: This chapter is the black sheep of the pony POV Series, mostly due to it originally being meant as a framing device for Cruel's cutie mark party. However I felt the party didn't feel right as a background tale and so it was separated. The result is this tale feeling kinda tasteless. I've uploaded it for completeness sake.)