• Published 23rd Sep 2018
  • 2,581 Views, 774 Comments

Playing House - Krickis

When Sunset learns about problems in Fluttershy's home life, she invites her friend to live with her instead. For Fluttershy, it’s a shelter from the storm she lives in fear of. For Sunset, it’s the hope to be part of a family for the first time.

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5 – Following the Wind

Chapter Five

Following the Wind

For the second day in a row, Sunset found herself waking up beside Fluttershy. At least she wasn’t confused about why they were together this time, but she was still just as confused about what to do. Although if their sleeping position was any indication, Sunset’s subconscious had already made that decision. At some point during the night, Fluttershy had turned away from her, and Sunset seemed to have seized the chance to curl around the smaller woman.

As near as she could tell, Fluttershy was still sleeping peacefully. She was up before Sunset on most days, so it was a little odd that she would still be asleep. Come to think of it, she had been asleep when Sunset woke up the day before as well. Was she specifically sleeping in because they were cuddling?

There were too many questions to worry about that one though. And since Sunset didn’t have answers for any of them, it was time to get another opinion. Bringing it up with Applejack had been a given – she was Sunset’s best friend, and someone who knew the whole situation. But she had been telling the truth about not being knowledgeable on romance, so it was time to ask someone who was.

And Applejack had even been right about the perfect people to ask. Or the perfect ponies, to be more precise. As carefully as she could, Sunset pulled her arm away from Fluttershy. The sleeping woman shifted in place a little, but didn’t wake up. Slowly, Sunset got out of bed.

At least the journal was out in the open. It was sitting on the bedside table, where Sunset could easily retrieve it without making much noise. She tucked it under her arm and exited the room as quietly as she could.

The living room was a little chillier than the bedroom had been, but Sunset ignored it. She sat at her computer desk and flipped to the first blank page in the journal. After taking a moment to think of what to say, she pulled a pen out of a nearby jar and began writing.

‘Dear Twilight or Fluttershy, whoever winds up getting this. I’ve got kind of a strange situation going on with a friend who might be interested in becoming more than a friend. The thing is, I’m really not sure how she feels. I was hoping one of you might have some advice on what I should do.’

Sunset wondered if she should explain things better. How much was she supposed to say, anyway? She didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

While she was wondering, words appeared in the journal. She recognized the penmanship before even seeing the name. ‘Hi, Sunset, it’s Twilight.’

Even though Fluttershy might have been whom Sunset hoped to speak with, she still smiled at the words appearing. Talking to Twilight always made her feel better.

‘I’m not sure I’m the best pony to turn to for this kind of thing, but I’m happy to help if I can. How long have you known her?’

Telling Twilight that it was Fluttershy could cause problems. Although she and Fluttershy had been a couple for a while now, it was still her first relationship, and she had issues with jealousy that she was struggling to overcome. Sunset had made an offhand comment once before about dating the human Fluttershy, back when Twilight was still chasing her crush. Even though she wasn’t Twilight’s marefriend at the time, the joke still seemed to upset her. She was in no hurry to find out how much that insecurity had developed now that they were actually dating.

No, admitting to that this early was sure to cause problems. It would be easier to just stretch the truth a little for now, at least until she knew what was going to happen. ‘A few years. Her name’s Morning Breeze, and I went to high school with her.’

‘Morning Breeze? I don’t think I met her any of the times I went to CHS.’

Sunset felt a little guilty, but she was happy to see Twilight accepted the fake name. ‘No, I don’t think so either. She’s become a pretty good friend of mine recently though.’

‘I see, so what makes you think she’s interested in you?’

‘Well, okay, but don’t read too much into this… Last night she came over to my house and we kind of wound up sharing my bed.’

‘What? Sunset, how am I not supposed to read into that?”

‘We didn’t, you know, do anything. Well, we didn’t do that much, anyway.’

There was a short pause before Twilight responded. ‘I don’t want to even know what ‘not that much’ means, do I?’

‘We cuddled! That was all!’

Sunset could practically hear the sigh she knew had to be coming from Twilight. ‘Anyway, I think that’s a pretty good indication. I mean, you don’t normally just go cuddling your friends, do you?’

Sunset sighed and rolled her eyes. ‘No, I don’t normally cuddle my friends. But it wasn’t really a normal night either. We were talking about some pretty serious things, and she said it was because she feels safe with me.’

As soon as she wrote it down, Sunset realized how that sounded. Still, Twilight made sure to remind her. ‘If she said something like that then it’s probably safe to say she is interested in you.’

Sunset glanced back to the bedroom door to see that it was closed. ‘She’s still asleep right now. I don’t know what to do when she wakes up.’

‘You have to talk to her about it. Ask her what last night meant to her, and then figure out if you’re both on the same page with it.’

‘But I don’t even know which page I’m on to begin with!’

‘Well, how do you feel around her?’

Why did everyone keep asking that? If it were that simple, Sunset could’ve figured it out on her own. ‘I don’t know, I’ve pretty much only ever thought of her as a friend.’

‘That’s not what I mean. Just how does she make you feel, even as a friend?’

Even though she thought the question was silly, Sunset still gave it serious consideration. She closed her eyes and thought for a minute, and realized she had an answer after all. ‘I guess she makes me feel happy. I feel good about myself around her, like I can be a better person because she believes I can.’

‘If she makes you feel that, then why not go for it? She sounds really special to you, and it sounds like this could be something really good. The worst that can happen is she says no, and then you’re back to being friends, like you were all along.’

‘I guess that makes sense.’

‘I know you’ll make the right decision. And Sunset?’


‘You’re a good person no matter what. Don’t forget that.’

Sunset couldn’t help but smile. Twilight never failed to support Sunset whether she deserved it or not. That always made her feel like she could be better, too. ‘Thanks, Twi. I guess I’ll try to talk to her, I’ll let you know how things go.’

‘Good luck!’

Sunset closed the book and sighed. Twilight had a point, and it wasn’t like it would be hard to follow up on. Just talk to Fluttershy once she was up. Worst case scenario, they’d just keep being good friends and that would be the end of it.

A glance towards the bedroom door was all it took to shake away that confident feeling. Sunset decided if any conversation was going to happen, coffee was a prerequisite. It was frankly astounding that she’d waited as long as she had for her morning caffeine fix.

She stood and stretched, then shuffled slowly into the kitchen. Once the immediate concern of writing to Twilight was taken care of, Sunset’s body seemed to remember it was supposed to be tired. She thought about possibly going back to bed, but that felt more than a little awkward. It was one thing to cuddle up while they were sleeping, but to actively put herself back into that position? Better to just get an early start to her day.

Not that it was anything to be excited about. Sunset managed only minimal enthusiasm as she started the instant coffee machine, then sat down and fell face first against the table.

The day’s events played out clearly in her mind. For efficiency’s sake, she’d start with multitasking – she could hold an awkward conversation with Fluttershy while skipping breakfast at the same time. She’d then wait entirely too long before she so much as started to get ready for work, then she’d get ready too quickly and maybe wind up forgetting something. Right around that time, she might start to regret skipping breakfast; if not, then that would come half an hour after the start of her shift. She’d leave early so she could give Fluttershy a ride to school, extending the cold bike ride, which she’d pretend to be indifferent to.

All of that before she actually arrived at work. As far as she was aware, there was nothing out of the ordinary about the work day ahead of her, but that just meant that she’d have to wait and see what miserable experiences awaited her today. Would it be the manager or the customers that had it out for her this time? Or perhaps both? Truly, the possibilities were endless!

Even when the coffee pot finished filling, Sunset was reluctant to get up. But the day would be ever so slightly more tolerable with coffee, so she forced herself to rise. She got a mug out of the cabinet, poured herself a cup of coffee, and sat back down. She blew on it, more out of habit than to make it cool faster, and wondered how long she’d have before the inevitable conversation.

Not very long, apparently. Before she even took her first sip, Fluttershy walked into the kitchen. “Good morning.”

“Morning,” Sunset said, managing a smile despite her nerves. “Sleep well?”

“I did.” Fluttershy got herself a cup of coffee and sat beside Sunset. She mirrored the action of blowing on the hot beverage.

Sunset wondered how to start the conversation. Sure, talking was all well and good in theory, but in practice? The last thing Sunset wanted was to say the wrong thing and make Fluttershy feel guilty for the night before.

And so instead, she just sat in silence and blew on her coffee some more. She took a sip before Fluttershy, which made the other girl smile. “I don’t know how you drink it while it’s so hot.”

Sunset shrugged. At least this was a conversation she could handle. “I don’t know, I just like hot things.”

“You’re going to burn yourself.”

“You’re not much better.”

“I guess that’s true.” Since they had started living together, Fluttershy had been drinking her coffee and cocoa almost as hot as Sunset did. “I think I’ll let mine cool a bit more today, though.”

Sunset took another small sip of hers. It really was probably too hot, even for her standards, but she wasn’t sure where to take the conversation.

It wasn’t like Sunset thought Applejack and Twilight were wrong in their advice to talk to Fluttershy, but now that she was face to face with it… It was all well and good for them to say Sunset should talk to her, they weren’t the ones who had to do it.

And so Sunset found herself saying nothing at all, the same as Fluttershy. After a few minutes passed, Fluttershy joined Sunset in silently sipping her own coffee, but no other headway was made.

Eventually it got to the point where Sunset resigned the conversation to a loss. She stood up and placed her empty mug into the sink before walking to the doorway. “Guess I should get ready for work.”

“Yeah, good idea,” Fluttershy said.

Sunset walked into the bedroom and closed the door behind her. Rather than get dressed, she collapsed onto the bed. Was this going to be a regular thing now? Would she be sharing this bed with Fluttershy again?

Ever since the night Fluttershy moved in, Sunset had been wondering what to do around her constantly. She had thought that once it was settled that they’d be living together there would be nothing left to think about, but she’d then spent almost two weeks learning how wrong she’d been.

When it came down to it, Sunset was tired of trying to figure out what she was supposed to be doing, and that included figuring out how to talk to Fluttershy about whatever it was they were doing together.

Sunset sat up. Whatever was happening, Fluttershy seemed happy with it. And if she was being honest? The only thing Sunset wasn’t happy with was the constant worry over what to do next. So fuck it. They’d shared a bed, and maybe they would again. Or maybe not. Whatever was going to happen was what would happen, and Sunset was determined to enjoy it for whatever it was going to be.

Smiling to herself, Sunset stood up and changed into her uniform. She felt better about everything already.

She continued to smile as she left the room. The bathroom door was closed and a light was coming from underneath it, so she figured Fluttershy must be getting ready for school. Sunset took the chance to return the journal to its place beside the bed. She briefly wondered what she’d say to Twilight, but then wiped that thought from her mind. That was another thing that would just come when it did.

As she returned to the living room, so did Fluttershy. Sunset smiled at her, which she returned. Checking the time showed they were a little ahead of schedule, but only by a few minutes. “Ready to head out?”


They each put on their leather jackets – faux leather, in Fluttershy’s case – and left through the kitchen. Fluttershy’s had been a birthday gift from Rainbow, along with a bike helmet for when she rode with Sunset. She looked a little out of place in it, but Sunset found it oddly charming.

Although she doubted Fluttershy felt very comfortable on the bike, Sunset suspected she was growing more at ease with it. She no longer hesitated before mounting it, in any case.

“Ready?” Sunset asked before putting on her helmet.

Fluttershy, who was already wearing hers, gave a thumbs up.

Sunset started the engine, and Fluttershy’s arms wrapped around her waist. Was she imagining it, or was the way Fluttershy held onto her just a bit less stiff than usual?

It didn’t matter. Whether it meant anything or not, Sunset enjoyed it all the same.

No amount of good mood could make work anything but awful. Although, Sunset supposed, awful might be too strong of a word. Sure, she didn’t enjoy her day, but it actually wasn’t really that bad.

The end of her shift also had an unexpected surprise. While Sunset was preoccupied by watching the time tick past minute by minute, Fluttershy and Pinkie walked into the store. Sunset smiled as they approached her at the register.

“What are you two doing here?”

Fluttershy started to speak, but Pinkie beat her to it. “Well, we wanted to get some snacks, and I told my mom I’d pick up a few things, and uhm… Oh yeah! We came to see you, silly!”

Sunset chuckled and wondered why she had ever expected a straight answer with Pinkie around. “Well, I’ve still got ten minutes. I’ll meet up with you two when I’m done.”

Pinkie and Fluttershy went to browse the store while Sunset finished her shift. The brief interaction managed to snap Sunset out of constantly checking the time, which made the final few minutes go by much more quickly.

When the afternoon cashier finally arrived to free her, Sunset wandered the store to look for her friends. Unsurprisingly, they were on the candy aisle. “Don’t you get enough sugar at work?”

Pinkie just smiled and shook her head. “Silly Sunset, candy and baked goods are way different!”

“Of course, how could I be so naïve?”

As Sunset walked over to stand beside her friends, Pinkie wrapped an arm around her shoulder while using her free hand to gesture towards the wall of candy. “There’s a world of possibilities, Sunset. We can’t let ourselves become slaves to just one kind of sweetness!”

“Anyone ever tell you that you might be just a little too into sweets?”

“Oh, psh, all the time!” Pinkie let go of Sunset to take hold of Fluttershy instead. “But of course you think that, you get to live with Fluttershy! She’s sweeter than candy any day!”

Fluttershy blushed. “W-what?”

Sunset smirked. “Yeah, you’ve got a point there, Pinkie.”

Although Fluttershy only blushed harder as she turned away, Sunset noticed her smile as well.

“So what’s going on?” Sunset asked, hoping to get a real answer.

“Pinkie and I went out for lunch after my class ended,” Fluttershy said. “Then we were thinking the three of us could go to the mall.”

“Sounds fun, but I’m pretty broke.” Really, Fluttershy was too, but there was no need to remind her of that.

“Yeah, but window shopping doesn’t cost anything,” Pinkie pointed out. “We don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun together!”

“The mall’s kind of far.” Sunset was already thinking about the cold motorcycle ride it would take to get there, not to mention the colder one when they left in the evening.

“We could go somewhere else,” Fluttershy said.

“Ooh! We could have a snowball fight, or make snow forts, or maybe go ice skating!”

Those all sounded much worse. She was about to say that the two of them should just go have fun without her, but then she noticed Fluttershy’s hopeful expression. “On second thought, the mall sounds alright.”

Fluttershy smiled, so Sunset did too. She regretted it a moment later when Pinkie looked between the two of them and gave a knowing smile of her own. Sunset turned back to the candy. “Want to get anything here before we leave?”

“Nope, just you!”

“Alright then, I’ll grab my things and meet you there.”

Sunset left the others to go to the employee break room, where she’d left her jacket and helmet. She vaguely wondered if she had made a mistake in agreeing to go. Window shopping never really appealed to her, and the less time she spent in the cold, the better. But she’d already said she would, so there wasn’t much point in dwelling on it.

She retrieved her things, said goodbye to the coworker who was in the breakroom, and left for the front of the store. At least the jacket covered her uniform, ensuring that no customers would ask her for assistance while she was off the clock.

Stepping out into the cold wasn’t enjoyable, but before she could curse her luck too much, she saw Fluttershy standing beside her motorcycle. Despite the cold, Sunset managed a smile.

“I thought you’d go with Pinkie,” Sunset said as she walked up to Fluttershy.

“Oh, uhm, should I have? I just thought we’d go together.”

“It’s fine with me, I just figured you’d rather not have to go on the motorcycle.”

Fluttershy smiled. “Oh, I don’t mind. It’s kind of fun.”

“More like cold.” Sunset mounted the bike and Fluttershy climbed on behind her.

“It’s not that bad.”

“Maybe not for you. You get to hide behind me while I take all the wind chill.” Despite her protests, Sunset was smiling. The ride seemed a little better with Fluttershy’s arms around her. “Ready?”

Fluttershy put on her helmet and flashed a thumbs up. Sunset put hers on as well, started the engine, and drove out of the parking lot.

There was no sign of Pinkie when they arrived at the mall, but there was no way they were waiting in the parking lot for her. Despite Fluttershy’s claim to the contrary, she had to be cold from the ride, and Sunset for damn sure was. Once the bike was securely locked up, they entered the mall to wait in the food court.

“Nice and warm in here,” Fluttershy said as she took off her helmet.

Sunset nodded and removed hers. “Maybe I’ll even be able to feel my fingers by the time Pinkie shows up.”

Fluttershy giggled. “Maybe we should try to get you a car.”

“I think a car is pretty far out of the budget.”

Sunset pulled off her gloves and flexed her fingers. After a moment, she found Fluttershy’s hands cupped around hers. “Maybe I could get a job too? That’d make things easier.”

While Sunset didn’t want to push Fluttershy into getting a job, there was no denying that it would make things a lot easier on both of them. She decided to defuse the conversation with a joke for now and come back to it another time. “Yeah, once you’re making those big veterinarian bucks, we’ll have it made.”

Fluttershy laughed, but quickly changed her composure and pulled her hands away. Sunset was confused until she heard Pinkie speak from right behind her. “You two are just so cute together!”

Oh yeah, Pinkie definitely had some kind of idea about what was going on. Fluttershy squeaked something about just trying to warm Sunset’s hands up, while Sunset herself decided to ignore the comment. Instead, she addressed the fact that Pinkie had an armful of food. “What’s all this?”

“Well, Fluttershy and I ate, but you didn’t, so I stopped by a drive thru on the way here! I also accidentally ordered some cocoa, but I don’t really want it, so you two can have it.”

Sunset quirked an eyebrow. “You accidentally ordered cocoa?”

“I know, I’m such a scatterbrain!” Pinkie handed a bag of hot food to Sunset and a cocoa to Fluttershy. Sunset couldn’t help but notice Pinkie had only ‘accidentally’ ordered one drink for the two of them.

Again, Sunset didn’t address that. “Thanks, Pinkie. Here, I’ve got a few dollars on me, I can pay you back.”

“Don’t worry about it, it’s on me this time!” Before Sunset could protest, Pinkie was already leading them to a table.

Pinkie sat on one end, while Sunset and Fluttershy sat on the other. Sunset pointedly avoided looking at Pinkie, since she could already imagine the knowing look perfectly. Instead, she preoccupied herself with opening the bag. Inside of it, she found a veggie burger from her favorite fast food place. “Thanks, Pinkie.”

“No problem!”

Fluttershy sipped on the cocoa while Sunset unwrapped her burger. “Mmm, it’s perfect. Thank you, Pinkie.”

Although Pinkie’s suspicions may have been grounded in reality, Sunset wasn’t in a hurry to confirm them. At least not unless she and Fluttershy did decide to actually become a thing. But then when Fluttershy offered the cocoa to her, it was just too good to pass up. Even though Sunset really was just interested in the warm drink, the look Pinkie gave them as they shared confirmed that she would believe what she wanted.

Oh well, they weren’t sitting around there for long anyway. Since she felt a little awkward that she was the only one eating, Sunset finished her burger quickly. “Either of you have something specific you want to do?”

“I don’t,” Fluttershy said.

“Nope, we’ll just see where the wind takes us. Mall adventure, go!”

The wind took them all over the place. They stopped in at least half the stores and tried out most of the merchandise on display. They tried on outfits that they couldn’t possibly afford, and made notes on what to come back for when they had more money.

They had a lot of fun, and Sunset was surprised to find she was glad she went out. She wasn’t really sold on window shopping, but the company couldn’t be beat.

“Oh wow, isn’t Sunset just beautiful in that dress?” Pinkie said as Sunset stepped out of a changing room.

Fluttershy blushed. “Uhm, mmhmm.”

It made Sunset blush too, if only a little. “I don’t know if this one is really my style. I think it’d look even better on Fluttershy.”

As Fluttershy’s blush increased, Sunset found herself thinking that maybe window shopping wasn’t so bad after all.

They put back the clothes they had tried on and left the store. Things seemed to be winding down for the day, and unless Pinkie wanted to buy them all dinner after she had already bought them lunch, it would have to come to a close soon.

But before they left, Pinkie stopped and pointed towards the wall. “Ooh, let’s do that!”

There was a small photo booth along the wall, which Pinkie was pointing to. Sunset looked to Fluttershy and saw she seemed interested, so she smiled. “Sure, why not?”

The three of them climbed in, Sunset in the middle. It was crowded, of course, but she didn’t mind. A small touchscreen in front of them advertised the booth, which Sunset found a little odd. What was the point? Anyone who was already sitting inside could safely be assumed to be an interested customer.

Pinkie put a dollar in the machine and a menu popped up on the screen. “Ooh, we can do effects too!”

While Pinkie tapped through the menu, Fluttershy rested her hands on Sunset’s. Her instinct was to wonder if she had done it on purpose or if it was just because the booth was so small, but Sunset pushed that thought away. Instead, she turned her hand around and laced her fingers around Fluttershy’s.

“How’s this one?” Pinkie asked.

“Looks good to –” Sunset stopped when she actually noticed what Pinkie chose. “Hearts?”


Fluttershy’s hand squeezed Sunset’s. “I, uhm, I think it’d be cute.”

Sunset just rolled her eyes. “Fine, hearts it is.”

“Okay, we get five pictures. Ready?”

“Sure, start it up,” Sunset said.

While she and Fluttershy just smiled for the camera, Pinkie made a silly face. Once the flash went off, she shot them a dirty look. “Come on, you gotta do something fun!”

“Fun? Like what?” Sunset asked.

“Well, like –” The second flash went off while Pinkie was explaining. “Oh come on!”

Sunset snickered, then decided to humor her. She put one arm around Pinkie’s shoulders and the other around Fluttershy’s, and pulled both of them closer to her. She saw Pinkie giving her rabbit ears on the screen, while Fluttershy looked happy despite her blush.

The third picture went off, and Sunset let go of the others. “Now what?”

“Silly faces!” Pinkie exclaimed, then sucked in her cheeks and crossed her eyes.

Sunset shot a worried look at Fluttershy, who held her face in her hands. Then, surprisingly, Fluttershy pulled her hands back, using her fingers to pull her mouth open while sticking out her tongue.

Well, if even Fluttershy was going along with it… Sunset used her hands to squish her cheeks together and puff out her lips.

The flash went off and all three of them started laughing. “One more,” Fluttershy pointed out.

They both turned to Pinkie, who didn’t miss a beat on giving them one last prompt. “Ooh! Fluttershy! Let’s make Sunset a kiss sandwich!”

“What?” Sunset and Fluttershy said at the same time.

Pinkie didn’t seem to note their confusion, though. She just leaned in and kissed Sunset on the cheek, keeping her lips in place while they waited for the camera.

Right before the flash went off, Fluttershy mirrored her, kissing Sunset’s other cheek. Sunset just stared dumbfounded at the screen. It was the only picture where she blushed more than Fluttershy.

They left the booth and Pinkie retrieved the prints. Two strips of photos popped out of the machine, each one having one copy of each picture. “Hey, these came out pretty good!” Pinkie exclaimed.

“Except the one where you yelled at us,” Sunset teased.

“I wasn’t yelling!”

Fluttershy giggled. “I like all of them.”

“Hmm, only two copies, though…” Pinkie said.

Sunset shrugged. “You take one, we’ll take the other. No big deal.”

“Okie dokie.”

Sunset took a look around. They had been through most of the mall by now. “So what do you say, Shy? About ready to head home for dinner?”

“That sounds nice.”

“Alrighty, thanks for coming out with me!” Pinkie said.

Sunset laughed. “Pinkie, we should be thanking you. You’re the one who paid for everything.”

“Oh, psh. I only bought a few things, and everything was super duper fun!”

“Still, thank you,” Sunset said. Fluttershy echoed the sentiment.

They backtracked to the front of the mall while talking casually, then went their separate ways once they reached the parking lot. Pinkie had managed to find a spot closer to the entrance, so they waved her off as she climbed into her minivan.

“Brr, it got cold out,” Fluttershy said, wrapping her arms around her torso.

“Yeah, it did.” Sunset stepped closer and put and arm around her. “Guess we should try to keep warm then, huh?”

Although it was only a short distance to the motorcycle, Fluttershy pressed up against Sunset as they walked. “I think that’s a good idea.”

Maybe it meant something more, maybe they were just cold and wanted to keep warm. Maybe in some way, those two things weren’t so different after all. Either way, Sunset wasn’t going to worry about it anymore. Wherever the wind took them, she was more than happy to simply enjoy the ride.

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