• Published 12th Jan 2018
  • 4,407 Views, 124 Comments

I Am Awkward (Yellow) - J Carp

Two shy, yellow ponies meet and hit it off. But friendship problems don't stop just because romance is on the table.

  • ...

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Rainbow Dash was annoyed. Being annoyed was dumb.

She woke up early like a dummy, and she still couldn't find Fluttershy and neither could Applejack. So, not only had Fluttershy just wandered off from the party (a party the Wonderbolts were all at), she had gone and gotten lost somewhere in Canterlot. It was her own dumb fault for hiding in the dumb corner all the time! Twilight only cared that her dumb egghead unicorn friend apparently disappeared, too, and they all had to spend like half a dumb hour convincing her Moon Dancer really did enjoy herself. Pinkie had been weirdly unworried about the whole thing, but she wouldn't say why. Dumb Pinkie. Dumb Rainbow being up at dumb sunrise.

"Graugh!" she exclaimed, scanning over the buildings. Fluttershy was fine, probably. "Fluttershy is fine, probably!" she said to nopony.

"Yes, Fluttershy is fine," a voice replied below her. She blinked, then looked down. Spike was walking along, munching on what looked to be a fresh cruller.

Rainbow Dash zipped into his path. "How do you know?"

"Because I just saw her. She was at Donut Joe's."

"What? Why was she there??"

Spike shrugged. "It's the only place open so early. Hey, settle something between me and Twilight. Is it gross to eat food you find on the ground? It's totally not, right?" But Rainbow Dash was already gone.

Rainbow neared the donut shop suspiciously. Spike had been right: Fluttershy was right there, smiling in an odd way that was visible even though the window from the street. She was talking to some very boring-looking unicorn. They looked... very engaged with one another.

Rainbow walked to the shop and carefully opened the door. The owner cast her a friendly glance, but she ignored him and focused on the conversation that Fluttershy was having. Fluttershy looked.... weird.

"...so, remind me, you have to use books and records, even if it's about Everfree animals?" Weird Fluttershy was saying.

"Oh no," the egghead replied. "I just like books and records." They both giggled like idiots. "Celestia and Twilight were really specific: as long as it's about the Everfree, I can use any methods I want. And you've convinced me, if it's about cockatrices, I should ignore anything anypony has written about them and find some way to study them in the wild. Without, you know, turning to stone."

The idiot-giggling happened again, and Rainbow decided she'd had enough. "Fluttershy," she said, walking up to them crossly. "Are you okay?"

"Rainbow Dash?" Fluttershy looked over in surprise. "What's wrong?"

"What's wrong?! You just disappeared, Fluttershy. It's morning. We have to go soon."

"Oh!" Fluttershy looked out the window as if she was just noticing for the first time that the outdoors existed. "Oh my goodness, Moon Dancer, we talked all night! I didn't even realize it! I hope I didn't worry anypony, Rainbow."

Rainbow glared slightly at the dumb egghead Moon pony, then looked back at her friend. "No, but have you been here the whole time? Didn't you see Spike?"

"Spike was here?" Fluttershy asked, blinking. "I guess we got pretty wrapped up into our conversation."

Rainbow rolled her eyes. "Agh, whatever. Come on, we have to go pack to get ready for our train."

She turned around to leave, expecting Fluttershy to mumble an apology and follow, but instead she called out, "Wait a second, Rainbow!" Rainbow looked back, trying her best not to be irritated.

Fluttershy turned back to Moon Dancer.. "So... I guess I have to go."

"Yeah," Moon Dancer said. Rainbow Dash glanced at her watch.

"I... had a really good time," Fluttershy said.

"I did, too." Moon Dancer replied. Rainbow Dash glanced at her watch again, putting more of a show into it this time.

Fluttershy batted at the ground softly. "So... you move to Ponyville the day after tomorrow, right?"


"Well... when you get settled... I think... it'd be really nice to talk again?"

Moon Dancer looked dazed. "Yeah."

Rainbow officially ran out of patience. "Okay, yes, fine, we gotta go now." She grabbed Fluttershy and pushed her out of the donut shop. "Bye bye, whatever your name was. See you around."

Fluttershy, for her part, simply kept a glazed smile across her face as she trotted along next to Rainbow. Rainbow was annoyed to notice that when she looked back through the window, Moon Dancer had the same expression.

Twilight watched her blue friend pace back and forth through the train compartment. "So.... what's the problem?"

Starlight, Spike, and Fluttershy were in the sleeping car. Pinkie was who-knew-where. The rest of the group was watching Rainbow with varying bemusement. "It's not a problem," Rainbow clarified. "It's just... weird! The whole thing is weird."

"You're the one who's acting weird," Applejack sighed. "What's so weird about it, anyway?"

"Nothing! I mean... Fluttershy's shy, right? And you said Moon Dancer was shy. So why would they like each other?"

Applejack leaned back against the seat cushion, pushing her hat brim down over her eyes. "You're just not makin' any sense, there, Rainbow."

"Uh, I'm confused, too," Twilight piped in, hoping to avoid an argument. "Moon Dancer and Fluttershy became friends. Isn't that good? I mean, hello, Princess of Friendship, here."

Rainbow rolled her eyes, "I don't think it was exactly friendly, Twilight."

"It... what?" Twilight asked, confused. "They were... mad at each other?"

"No! Twilight, you know what I'm saying!"

Twilight blinked. "Um, I reaaaaally don't, actually." She looked around. All her friends were staring at her like she had three heads.

"It was like a date, Twilight," Rainbow said.

Twilight blinked. "What? But Moon Dancer and Fluttershy are both mares." Her friends were now staring at her like her three heads had each grown seven necks. "That would mean Fluttershy is..." Her twenty-one necks grew grapefruits. "What? No! Fluttershy can't be..."

Suddenly there was a blue whoosh, and furious red eyes glared into hers threateningly. "Hey!" Rainbow bellowed. "And so what if she was, huh?? There something wrong with that?"

"Agh, Rainbow!" Twilight exclaimed, jumping in fright.

Rainbow Dash blinked as if suddenly realizing where she was. She laughed nervously. "Sorry," she said, pulling back from Twilight's face. "That's kind of a force of habit I picked up at flight camp. I, uh, really made sure nopony bullied her."

Rarity cut in, bothered by the tension, "Yes, but of course Twilight would never judge Fluttershy for her preferences. Right?"

Twilight nodded vigorously. "Of course! But what I meant was... if Fluttershy was gay, wouldn't I have heard something about this already? Why did nopony tell me?"

"Oh, darling, it's not a secret," Rarity said smoothly. "I just don't think it comes up much, because the poor dear is so shy. Why, it's pulling teeth to get her to talk about her love life at all."

"But... did all you girls know but me?" Twilight sat down sadly. "Really? Everypony? Applejack, you knew?"

Rainbow gaped. "Um, Twilight, Applejack and Fluttershy used to date."

Twilight did not fall down, but she spent so much energy mentally congratulating herself for not falling down, she could not think of a response.

Luckily, Applejack spoke up. "Consarn it, Rainbow, don't say it like that! It was one date Pinkie set up right after she moved to town, and it took us ten minutes before we realized we liked each other better as friends." She looked at Twilight with empathy. "I don't think I would know about Fluttershy if it hadn't been for that. It's just not something she ever talks about."

"Oh, she talks about it sooommmmeee," Rarity sang, clearly happy to have the inside scoop. "She does want to have a special somepony, but it's not a big priority. And she gets crushes!" She scratched her chin. "Although, darling, your friend Moon Dancer is charming, but I didn't think that was Fluttershy's type."

Twilight raised a hoof. "Um, girls? Is it really okay to talk about this behind Fluttershy's back?"

Rarity nodded to her smartly. "I have explicit permission to talk about this with anypony, as long as Rainbow Dash is around. I think you saw why."

"I guess." Twilight knew she would regret her next question, but she could not stop herself from asking. "So what is Fluttershy's type?"

"She usually likes older mares. And earth ponies." Rarity beamed in recollection. "There was that musician? She didn't even know her name, so she just called her Bowtie. Oh, it was so sweet and adorable."

Rainbow nodded. "Maud Pie? For like a minute."

"Oh yes," Rarity mused. "Mayor Mare, of course."

"Oohhhhkay," Twilight cut in. "I have no idea what you just said because my brain rejected it, but if Fluttershy likes a different kind of pony, maybe Rainbow just... misinterpreted things?"

"Trust me, I could tell what was going on," Rainbow said, snorting.

"And these were just idle crushes," Rarity added languidly. "Perhaps it's different for an actual special somepony."

"Special somepony!" Rainbow barked with derision. She crossed her hooves in front of her chest with a humph.

"Um, Rainbow..."

"I'm not yelling!" Rainbow yelled.

Applejack rolled her eyes, making sure Rainbow could see it. "Anyways, Sugarcube, most of this came out before you moved to town," she said reasonably to Twilight. "I promise, Fluttershy probably thought you knew. And I'm sure she wouldn't be dating your friend if she didn't really like her."

"Nopony likes eggheads," Rainbow muttered.

"Moon Dancer is a very pretty mare," Rarity said quickly. "And very nice. I for one am looking forward to getting to know her, as Fluttershy's special somepony or otherwise."

"An egghead's an egghead," Rainbow grumbled.

"Rainbow Dash!" Twilight said sharply. She softened. "Come on, that hurts my feelings."

Rainbow sighed, looking exhausted. "I'm sorry, Twilight. Whatever. Look, I'm just upset because I thought Fluttershy was missing." She ran a hoof through her mane. "I'm going to go get some sleep. I'll see you later."

She quickly walked out the door and slid it closed behind her. The other three ponies looked at each other uncomfortably.

Rarity was the one to finally break the silence. "Twilight?"


"Just so there's no secrets between us, I like stallions."

Twilight snorted a laugh. Applejack rolled her eyes.

Rarity looked at them very seriously. "I like stallions a lot."

"Okay, Rarity."

"Come on, slowpokes, we're almost home," Applejack called in to the sleeping car, rapping on the door. The very idea that sweet, introverted Fluttershy might be dating made her happy, but she could not keep herself from having some irritation, too. It was simply just wrong to stay up all night and then to sleep during the day. Starlight was motion-sick and Spike was a baby; they had excuses. But Fluttershy should know better than to pull a Rainbow Dash.

She stopped in her tracks and shook her head quickly. Of course, she knew ponies were different; some of them enjoyed being up at night... academic ponies like Twilight and Fluttershy's new girl-beau especially. That didn't mean they weren't working hard. She was being no better than Rainbow carping and hooting about 'eggheads.' And Fluttershy's happiness is what matters!

But still, she couldn't help it. Nighttime is for sleeping. Nighttime is not for donuts.

She walked back to the group, bustling around and busily fixing their bags. Twilight was obviously still pretty keyed-up from the whole trip, and she was chatting frantically with Rarity and Pinkie.

"Oh!" Twilight suddenly froze, looking off into space. She smiled widely at Rarity as if proud of herself for figuring out a math problem. "Tree Hugger! Right?"

"Uh, no, darling," Rarity said. "They were just friends."

Applejack had secretly been wondering about that whole situation herself, so she could only manage a half-hearted, "Aren't y'all done gossiping about this?”

“Goodness me, it’s not gossip,” Rarity said. “I’m just catching Twilight up with some of the… friendship subtext she missed out on.”

“Friendships shouldn’t have subtext,” Applejack said.

“Come now, everything has layers of nuance,” Rarity insisted. “Why, I still think Tree Hugger liked her, but Fluttershy was adamant… oh, here they come.” She slyly winked to Twilight and Pinkie. “Let’s talk about it later.”

Applejack rolled her eyes, noticing, not for the first time, what different planets she and Rarity lived on. She tried to once again remind herself to be tolerant and once again had difficulty. Some ponies just liked to think about these things, these flirtations and non-romances and crushes. Some ponies liked to stay up all night. It took all kinds.

Three miserable-looking ponies and one chipper-looking dragon walked up to them, loaded up with bags. Starlight mumbled something, and Rainbow was clearly still ornery.

“Hi, sleepyheads!” Pinkie greeted. They responded vaguely. Luckily, the train doors opened, delaying any potential social discomfort for a few minutes. They stepped out onto the platform.

Starlight requested stomach medicine, so they all waited while she went into the small drug store just outside the station. Standing together in a group, it was very difficult to ignore the weird, chilly tension suffusing them all. Applejack did not like unspoken things, but she also could not think of what to say.

Twilight smiled brightly. She was still trying too hard, but she seemed much happier than yesterday. "Well! This was fun. Thanks for coming, everypony."

"No, thank you!" Pinkie replied cheerfully. "I never get to throw Canterlot Princess parties!"

"You did a wonderful job, Pinkie," Rarity said.

"Yeah, great floor-food," Spike added, ignoring Twilight's glare.

"Hey Fluttershy," Rainbow said bluntly and suddenly, "You're not really going to go out again with that egghead, are you?"

Fluttershy froze in place like a prairie dog sensing a predator. The others looked at each other with varying degrees of awkwardness.

"What's going on, anyway?" Dash continued. "You don't date anypony for years, and now this? Twilight didn't even know you were gay. This is super weird."

"Um." Sweat visibly began building up on Fluttershy's body as she cast her gaze around helplessly. "I. Twilight, I thought..."

Suddenly, a pink blur pounced between the two pegasi. Pinkie grabbed Fluttershy's shoulders, grinning maniacally. "Date??" she burst out. "You're talking about Moon Dancer, right? I can't believe it! I thought you two would be friends, but I never let myself DREAM you would like each other that much! That's so exciting!"

Fluttershy gaped at her friend. "Pinkie, you... set us up?"

"Noooo! I mean, kinda? Parties are complicated, you can't ever predict exactly how they'll go. But I thought maybe! Tell me all about it!" She led Fluttershy away, ignoring them all.

"Hey..." Rainbow said, too lost in her bewilderment to say any more.

Applejack disliked the subtlety, but she knew good social skills when she saw them. She pointedly trotted after her two friends, right past the flustered pegasus. She noticed with relief that everypony else followed behind her, trailing after Pinkie's continuous chatter and leaving Rainbow behind.

Less than a minute later, Starlight emerged from the drug store, looking around woozily at her solitary, angry friend and nopony else. "Um... Rainbow?"

"What's so good about it!" Rainbow snapped, launching herself into the sky.

"...What?" Starlight watched her friend whoosh away. Perplexed, she sat down in the road. "...Somehow, this is trains' fault, I know it."

Twilight poured herself a cup from Spike's fresh pot of coffee. Her life had been filled with surprises and new information recently, but for the moment all that mattered was it was morning and mornings are awful.

Especially this morning. Especially the morning when her good friend and brilliant colleague (and source of insecurity about her ability to be a decent pony) started working in the office next door.

She was definitely not in any state to think too hard about the previous few days. She had developed a sense of when a friendship problem was looming and when one was not, but this particular situation was confusing for a million different reasons. Her old friend had just moved to town and was about to start working with her, and she was maybe dating Fluttershy, who was gay, and maybe Applejack was gay?, and Rainbow was being weird about the whole thing, and Spike apparently had no problem with eating food directly off the ground...

As much as she loved Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, she trusted they could work out their own issues. But Moon Dancer... Twilight sighed and glared into her coffee. How could she be a good friend to a pony who made her worry very justifiably that she was incapable of being a good friend? Twilight mumbled non-words to herself. Mornings are awful.

A quiet trotting sound made her pause. She looked and saw Moon Dancer standing awkwardly in the doorway, a pained smile on her face. "Um... hey."

"Hi!" Twilight attempted friendly cheerfulness, but she ended up sounding like a creep. "Welcome!"

Moon Dancer looked at her, expressionless. "I was hoping to get a cup before we get started?" she asked, even though it was not a question.

Twilight nodded, and Moon Dancer began pouring coffee into a clean mug on the counter. There was a terrible, terrible silence, made more terrible by the fact that it was the morning, and mornings are awful. Twilight took a sip of her coffee. "Everfree!" she said.

Moon Dancer coughed slightly. "...Yeah."

"Lots of history to discover!"

"Sure. Gotta... do that research."

They looked around the room at whatever they could find that was not each other. Twilight wailed internally. Things had been so smooth and easy at the party, but now it felt like talking to a stranger.

"Um, so..." Moon Dancer began, "Um. Speaking of history... before I start work, we need to talk."

Twilight nearly dropped her coffee mug, but she did her best to keep her expression pleasant. "Oh? Are you... are you okay here?"

Moon Dancer managed a small smile, which had an extremely tension-releasing effect on her friend. "Yeah. I am, I'm excited to work here with you. But... I'm going to tell you two things, all right? And I'm going to tell you them in the wrong order."

Twilight was confused, which was actually somewhat pleasant compared to the awkwardness. "Oooookaaaaaay?"

"Um." Moon Dancer was blushing, but she still had that smile on her face. "I think I'm going to go on a date with your friend Fluttershy."

Twilight nodded and sipped more coffee. "Oh, yes. I knew that. Rainbow Dash told me."

"Oh. Right."

Another silence, less awkward this time. "Moon Dancer? What was the other thing?"

Moon Dancer looked at her over the rims of her glasses. Her mane was scruffier than usual. "I'm gay."

Twilight nodded again. "Yes," she said clinically. "I guess that makes sense."

Moon Dancer blinked at her in surprise. "Oh... that's it? I told Minuette and the others that, and they made a big deal about it."

"Good big deal or bad big deal?" Twilight asked, concerned there was a new, hidden Friendship Problem revealing itself.

"Good. But still, it was kind of strange."

Twilight sipped her coffee again. With the beautiful taste and the caffeine starting to kick in, it suddenly occurred to her that Moon Dancer was telling her important, personal information, and that her reaction had not been terrible, because of course she would react well; it's her amazing friend Moon Dancer. She wondered why she had ever felt awkward with her at all.

Moon Dancer looked at her, bemused. "What."


"You're giggling."

Twilight realized it was true: she had been giggling. "Oh. I'm sorry, it's just... you and Fluttershy. One of my best friends from school, and one of my best friends from Ponyville. It makes me really happy to think about."

Moon Dancer broke into a grin. "Really? I think she's pretty great." She giggled too, dorkily. They both giggled at each other.

"I'm rooting for you guys, Moon Dancer. Thanks for telling me."

Moon Dancer nodded. She paused, and then the next part came out in a burst: "I think one of the reasons the party thing hurt so much back then was... I was gearing up to tell you?" She looked down. "I mean, tell somepony. But it was going to be you."

Twilight's stomach dropped into the floor. She started to speak, but Moon Dancer held up a hoof. "Please don't apologize again. It's really okay. But. If you were confused about why I was so upset, that's part of it. I thought you deserved to know that."

There was a long pause as Twilight felt her vision misting over. Moon Dancer looked up at her with an uncomfortable smile. "Um.... so.... thanks for the job?"

Twilight threw her front hooves around her friend, tears shooting from her eyes like little geysers. "Moooon Daaaannnncerrrrrr!"

Moon Dancer stiffened but could not keep a smile from forming. She returned the hug.

A voice interrupted them. "What's going on?" Spike ran in, looking at them in alarm. "Twilight, are you all right?"

Twilight nodded, tears sill streaming down her face. "Moon Dancer is gay and I lovvveeee herrrrr!" she burst out.

Spike blinked. He blinked again. "Okay..." he said finally. "Well, just keep me updated on everything." He turned around and walked quickly out of he room.

As Twilight continued to sob, Moon Dancer sighed. "I'm simultaneously mortified and happy. That's, like, peak Twilight/Moon Dancer, right?"

Twilight just squeezed her tighter.