• Published 22nd Mar 2018
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Pound and Pumpkin Tales 2 - Never2muchpinkie



The continuing adventures of the now seven years old Pound and Pumpkin

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2-4: A true, true friend

“Mmm… come on, Crystal,” said Flurry. “Do we really have to do this?”

“Yes!” she replied strongly.

Flurry sighed, her cheeks rosy.

“Just relax. All we’re doing is going for a walk.”

“It’s not ‘just a walk’ and you know it!”

“It will be if you’d stop making such a big deal out of it!”

“But… but you know how I feel about this.”

“Exactly! And that’s the point!”

Flurry groaned, a tear coming down her eye. “But it’s scary.”

Crystal hugged her. “And that’s why I’ll be by your side the whole time, so that it won’t be as frightening.

“Yelling at you was scary, but it allowed us to be real with one another, and made us true friends. And as your friend I don’t want you to let this one thing bring you down. I told you already: I think you’re perfect just the way you are. And if anyone can’t see that then it’s their problem, not yours.

“You got that?” She nuzzled Flurry’s cheek with her own. “You have nothing to be ashamed of for being who you are, so be more confident in yourself.”

Tears came down Flurry’s eyes as she hugged her friend back. “Thank you, Crystal. Your words mean a lot to me.”

“You chose me out of everyone else, and that means I have to show I’m worthy of calling myself your friend. And it all starts with helping you through your problems.”

Flurry was quiet for a while. “O-okay. I… I trust you.”

***

Things had been strange for Crystal since the day they had gone to Pound and Pumpkin’s house. She had seen the depths of Flurry’s heart and learned about the pain she had been going through, and her conversation with Twilight allowed her to see how skewed her thoughts were.

She had somehow seen the princesses as perfect, incapable of mistakes. Calling out Flurry had been the first step to seeing that her beliefs were wrong, and then hearing Twilight be real with her about her own errors towards the twins further dispelled that notion. Although their status did put some distance between them they were still ponies in the end.

When they returned to the Crystal Empire Flurry took her to properly meet her parents. It was somewhat scary, being in the presence of the rulers of their entire empire, but it wasn’t as terrifying a prospect as it had been before. She kept in mind that they were ponies too.

Without her bias coloring her thoughts she was able to interact with them fairly normally, but she just wasn’t as comfortable with them as she was with Flurry. She needed some more time.

She also was properly introduced to Flurry’s caretakers, Sunburst and Starlight Glimmer.

Having resolved her issues with Flurry the two of them had become fast friends, spending every few days together.

As they had spent their days together Flurry told her about her previous attempts at making friends and about some of the hurtful words lobbed at her, as well as about the crazy birthday party where she had made friends with the Ponyville ponies.

Crystal was especially interested in Mayhem and Discord. Their power to change reality to suit their whims sounded incredible, but scary. That kind of power could be used for great good, but also for great evil. She was glad they were on their side.

Flurry opened her wings halfway, moving them in front of her. “Mayhem actually offered to shrink my wings to a normal size, but I turned him down.” She sighed. “Maybe I should have accepted his offer.”

“Why didn’t you?” Crystal asked.

Flurry rubbed her hoof across one of her wings. “All of my Ponyville friends still loved me even after they saw them. I felt like if I had to change who I was just to be liked then it wasn’t worth it to be friends with those kinds of people.”

She let out another sigh, folding her wings up. “It’s easy to say in front of a whole bunch of people that already care about you, but I just don’t feel as confident about it now. A part of me would rather just be liked.”

She rubbed her front hooves against each other in small circles. “It feels like I’m always going to have to put in a huge effort with everyone just to get past those barriers, just like it did with you.” She hung her head. “Wouldn’t it be easier to just be more normal to make friends easier?”

Crystal’s eyes narrowed. “Sure it would, but would those friends actually care about you like I do?”

Flurry looked up, surprised at the venomous tone in Crystal’s voice now.

“You were right the first time! A true friend cares about you and loves you for all of you! If you changed your wings just to be liked then the whole time you’re interacting with others you’re going to know it’s a friendship based on a lie!”

“But-”

“No buts!” She hopped up, walking in front of Flurry. She extended her hooves, pulling on Flurry’s wings until they opened. “This is you! These wings are a part of Flurry Heart. They make you unique.”

A tear came down Flurry’s eye as she pulled her wings out of her grip and folded them back up. “What if I don’t want to be unique?” she said quietly.

“Then you’re being foolish. If you’re not unique then you’re common and boring. It’s the ways we stand out that makes us who we are. Didn’t you say you chose me because you thought I was different?

“There’s nothing wrong with you, Flurry.” She pulled on Flurry’s wings again, extending them as far as she could. “Just like I said when I saw them it doesn’t change how I think about you at all. I still think you’re an awesome pony, and as your friend I don’t want you fussing over something so unimportant.”

She could see a fire in Crystal’s eyes. “I’m glad it doesn’t make you look at me differently, but not everyone feels that way.”

“WHO CARES?” she shouted. “You didn’t choose to be born with big wings. If they look down on you for something you can’t help that’s their problem, not yours!

“I don’t care what it takes, but I’m helping you past these feelings about your wings, because that’s what being a good friend means to me.”

Despite herself, Flurry smiled. Crystal really was everything she had hoped she would be.

***

Flurry’s heart was pounding as they went out onto the streets of the Crystal Empire, Sunburst keeping his distance but being observant.

“Come on, Flurry,” Crystal said sternly. “You know what you have to do. Once you find confidence in yourself then you won’t care what they think.”

Flurry let out a heavy breath, gathering her courage, and then unfurled her wings. She already felt awkward.

Her face felt red hot as they walked. She could hear the mocking words of ponies she had tried to befriend, calling her a freak. It felt like every passing pony was looking at her derisively.

Flurry groaned. “Crystal, ponies are staring at me!”

“Then let them stare,” said Crystal comfortingly, rubbing Flurry’s head. “They’re probably just jealous, anyway, that they can’t have wings as awesome as yours.”

Flurry let out a tiny laugh. She couldn’t imagine anyone envying her giant wings, but Crystal’s suggestion did make her feel a little better.

Even with Crystal’s encouragement she still couldn’t go longer than five minutes before she felt too embarrassed to continue. Crystal congratulated her on the effort.

That became their daily routine. Flurry came to dread Crystal’s appearance for a little while, knowing what was expected of her.

Slowly, so gradually she didn’t notice it at first, she began to lose the stigma she had attached to her wings. It began to feel more natural. She could go longer and longer before her embarrassment got the better of her.

Crystal was endlessly encouraging throughout it all.

Eventually she got to the point where she barely noticed it, and her and Crystal would just chat as they walked, her wings out for the whole world to see.

She started to feel that Crystal was right. What did it matter what the rest of them thought? She had a close friend that was dedicated to seeing her improve, someone that was willing to fight for her and was comfortable with her. It was everything she could ask for in a friend.

She remembered her Aunt Twilight’s words. “Out of a hundred children you may only find three that see the true Flurry and appreciate you for all you are, but you’ll treasure those three far more than three hundred pretenders.”

Crystal really was a true friend, broadening her horizons to help her stay true to her own words. She was who she was, and she would rather put more weight on the words of her friend that loved her than on the jerks who treated her like trash just for being a little different.

In the end, she was still Flurry Heart, big wings and all. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

After their latest walk Flurry was surprised they had been walking for a whole half hour. In the past it had feel like every second was an hour, all her attention outwardly focused on the ponies they passed. Nowadays her attention was focused on Crystal and just being with a good friend.

As they reached Crystal's house the pair went inside. "Hello again!" Flurry said politely to Crystal's parents, her cheeks flushed with joy. Their walk had felt so invigorating.

"Hello, Princess," they replied, giving her a little bow.

Flurry laughed. "Come on, now. I told you like a dozen times. You don't have to bow to me. I'm just a pony like your daughter. i don't need special treatment."

Crystal put a hoof around her shoulder, laughing too. "Aw, they'll understand one day, just like I did."

They went to Crystal's room. "That was fun!"

"Wasn't it, though? Don't worry about my parents. I can understand how they feel because I used to be that way too." She rubbed her chin. "Maybe we should have a picnic with your family and mine."

"That sounds cool. Our families can get to know each other."

"My parents still find it hard to believe that I netted a princess as a friend. They even asked me some of the questions I asked, like how could I be so relaxed around you?" She let out a small sigh. "That's why this picnic is important. I want them to see you the same way that I do."

“These things just take time,” Flurry said, shrugging. “I have you here with me, and that’s enough for now.”

She extended her wings out and up. “I’m sorry for being so weak before.”

“What do you mean?”

“I told you about how Mayhem offered to shrink my wings. Even though the offer was tempting I said no because I’ve seen ponies that cared about me regardless, and I thought the friends I choose should be the same way.

“I was so self-conscious about these things that a part of me felt like I’d rather just be whatever made people like me, even if it meant not being true to who I was.”

She smiled. “You were right. I was being foolish, and I shouldn’t regret my decision to keep my wings the same size. You’ve shown me how much you care about me, by yelling at me again.” Joyful tears came down her eyes. “I truly appreciate what you’ve done for me, and I am honored to call you my friend.”

Crystal smiled back, her own tears starting. “That’s what friends are for, Flurry.”

“You know, these wings are really good for one thing.”

“What’s that?”

She extended them towards Crystal, pulling the filly to her. “They make for great hugs.” She put her hooves and wings around her.

“I love you, Crystal!”

Crystal let out a quiet sob, holding back with all of her strength. “I love you too!”

Author's Note:

What's this? A PAPT chapter without Pound and Pumpkin???

Flurry Heart is going to be making an appearance in the next arc too, and her increased confidence is going to play a big part in the resolution. Instead of her telling them about it I figure it would be more prudent to show it here, as it also gives Crystal some time to shine as Flurry's companion.

Crystal is an awesome friend. :rainbowkiss:

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