• Published 9th Sep 2012
  • 14,773 Views, 616 Comments

Flipside - Bed Head

A retelling of the first two episodes in an Alt. Universe. Spike is the pony, Twilight the dragon.

  • ...

Chapter 5

Chapter 5

It was a peaceful trail that lead away from the buildings of Ponyville. A dirt road winding its way past a narrow stream, heading toward the forests in the distance. Numerous birds, rabbits, and various other tiny critters seemed to line the path. Most seemed to be enjoying the serenity away from the bustling pony-folk in town.

Most of the animals seemed content to watch the pair of strangers now using the road. Twilight's camera was out, snapping photographs of the local wildlife, as Spike carried her along.

"You know what?" he asked as Twilight's camera bulb flashed again. "I don't think we went this way with Ditzy earlier."

"You're not still harping on that, are you?" Twilight asked, giving the stallion an frustrated look.

"Well..." Spike flinched away as the dragon's claw went for an ear pinch. "Hey, she took us everywhere else in town."

The violet claw stopped before it reached its target. Twilight just rolled her eyes as she packed the camera back into the saddlebags.

"It's probably because of the forest," she pointed out, gesturing off into the distance.

Spike's eyes followed to where she'd pointed. The trail meandered on for a while, but even from here he could see where it lead. A tangle of overgrown trees in the distance, the very appearance of them sending a shiver down the unicorn's spine.

"Wait a second," he said. "That isn't... that couldn't be..."

"Time Turner told us, remember?" Twilight said with a roll of her eyes. "Ponyville was founded right on the edge of the Everfree Forest."

Spike swallowed hard. He could still remember the stories he'd heard as a colt. Tales of little ponies vanishing into those wild woods, never to be seen again. Even up in Canterlot the Everfree was a place to be feared.

"So Fluttershy keeps a house out that way?" Spike asked as his walking slowed noticeably. "Talk about valuing your privacy."

"Relax, Prose," Twilight encouraged him with a pat on the back of his neck. "Fluttershy's cottage should be at the edge, it's not like we're going in."

Spike nodded as he continued, noticing some of the animals at the side of the road watching him pass. He chuckled a bit to himself. It was actually getting harder to believe how close they were getting to one of the most dangerous places in Equestria. Between the bright sunshine, the fuzzy critters, and the birds singing he soon wasn't even thinking of the Everfree Forest.

He started to hum along with the birds, but his happy mood was brought to an abrupt end. Twilight's claw finally made good on its earlier promise and a sharp pain shot through his ear.

"Prose, hang on!" she exclaimed, releasing the hold just as quickly.

"Ow!" Spike complained, rubbing at his ear. "We've gotta trim those claws soon, Twi. Or maybe I should get ear studs..."

He mused over the idea for a moment, before turning back to the dragon.

"Hey, how do you think I'd look with pierced ears?" he wondered, only to be shushed.

"Listen," she whispered, cupping one hand next to her own ear fin. "Can't you hear that?"

Spike tilted his head a bit and closed his eyes. The only sound he could hear was the cheerful twittering of birds singing a happy melody.

His eyes went wide as he caught on. It was an actual melody being sung, not just random chirping. Stallion and dragon looked to one another before heading in the direction the sound was coming from. A cluster of bushes sat not too far from the trail, and Spike pushed his way through...

"Ooof!" he and a female voice both grunted.

There were two thuds as Spike and the mare he'd bumped into both fell to the ground. This was soon followed by a rush of feathery wings as a rainbow of birds scattered from a nearby tree.

"Ugh," Spike grunted, rubbing his sore nose. "Sorry about that—"

"Mommy!" a filly's voice called out.

Spike's eyes went wide as he got a good look at who he had bumped into. A familiar gray pegasus who was picking herself up from the ground. Next to her, with a worried look, stood a little unicorn filly with a pale purple coat.

"It's alright, Muffin," Ditzy said as she ran a hoof through the filly's blond mane. "It was just a little bump."

"Ditzy Doo?" Spike and Twilight both said at the same time.

The pegasus mare turned to them, one of her eyes drifting up to the sky as she did. A smile immediately split her muzzle though as her wings fluttered a bit.

"Mr. Prose! Twilight!" she said happily. "What brings you out here?"

Memories of his earlier meeting with the mailmare flashed through his mind. Spike's mind cast about, trying to find an answer that wouldn't inspire more "help" from the mailmare. Before he could speak up though, the little unicorn tugged on Ditzy's wing.

"Mommy," she asked in a whisper. "Do you know these ponies?"

"Heh, silly me!" Ditzy giggled a bit as she brushed her wing across the filly's back. "Dinky, this is the new friend Mommy met at the train station. The one I was telling you about, remember?"

The filly thought for a moment before nodding her head vigorously. She turned to Spike with a big smile on her face.

"Hi Mr. Prose!" she said cheerfully. "I'm Dinky Doo."

Spike smiled back at the foal, trying to ignore the feeling of his heart melting. Ditzy seemed to swell with pride as she placed one of her wings across her daughter's back.

"So, 'Mommy?'" Spike asked, green eyes appraising Ditzy. "She's really your daughter?"

There was no way the mare was that much older than him. Maybe a year at most as near as he could guess. Ditzy just smiled and nodded in confirmation (not noticing as Twilight pinched him again.)

"Dinky here's my little muffin," Ditzy declared proudly as she nuzzled the purple foal. "Sorry about leaving in such a rush before. I was almost late picking her up!"

"Well I think she's precious," Twilight said holding a claw out to Dinky. "Did your mommy mention me?"

"Uh huh," Dinky said with a nod as she held out one hoof. "You're Twilight, right? Mommy said you and Mr. Prose are writing about our party for the newspaper!"

"Yup, that's us," Spike said as he watched the two share a claw/hoof shake. "Actually we were looking for a pony named Fluttershy. She's supposed to live out this way and—"

Spike caught himself a second too late. Ditzy's yellow eyes had already lit up at what he had said.

"Ooh, Fluttershy's right here!" Ditzy exclaimed, gesturing toward the nearby tree. "We were on our way home when Dinky heard the birds so we decided..."

"Um, Ditzy?" Spike tried to interrupt the mare who kept chattering away.

"... turns out she's gonna have them sing for the princess..." Ditzy went on, not noticing Spike's attempts to silence her.

The unicorn looked to where Ditzy was pointing only to see nothing but the tree. A few of the birds had flown back and were nestled in its branches, but there was no sign of anypony else around it.

"Ditzy!" Spike winced as he tried to regain his professional demeanor. "Ummm... unless Fluttershy can turn into a tree, I don't see her around."

Ditzy stopped talking and looked around, her eyes rolling in opposite directions.

"Hey that's weird," Ditzy commented, one hoof going to her chin. "She was right here a second ago."

Dinky tilted her head curiously as she wandered over to the tree. She peeked around the trunk, then a smiled to the others.

"I found her, mommy!" she cheered, picking up something long and pink in her mouth and giving it a gentle tug.

A soft "meep" could be heard as Dinky pulled. Spike made his way over, notepad and quill already floating beside him as he rounded the trunk. Tucked up against it was a yellow pegasus, her long tail grasped in the filly's mouth.

"Miss Fluttershy?" Spike guessed, causing the pegasus to look up at him.

Her blue eyes suddenly darted down at the sight of the stallion. Her long mane fell over her face, covering half of it. She merely squeaked something out and gave a little nod of her head.

"Aww, it's alright Fluttershy," Ditzy encouraged as she came around the other side of the tree. "Mr. Prose here just wants to interview you."

"I-interview?" the yellow pegasus stammered out, shaking her head. "Oh dear, that's really- I wouldn't be very interesting..."

Her voice seemed to trail off, and Spike resisted the urge to just fling his writing equipment away. It looked as though Apple Bloom hadn't been exaggerating.

"Just a few questions?" he tried to coax Fluttershy with a forced smile. "It would really help me out."

As Fluttershy looked back at Spike to respond, Twilight plodded out from behind him. The pegasus pony's jaw went slack and her eyes sparkled at the sight of the purple dragoness.

"Is..." Fluttershy took a deep breath. "Is that a baby dragon?"

Spike looked back to Twilight, who suddenly seemed very worried. Before he could answer a blur of yellow zipped past him, sending him spinning in place. He staggered a few steps, barely avoiding falling over as the world swam around him.

In the meantime Twilight found herself with another pony right up in her face. Rather than Apple Bloom's curiosity though, Fluttershy seemed to be radiating adoration.

"I've only ever seen pictures," she said in amazement as she leaned closer to Twilight. "Oh she's just so cute! What's her name?"

"Um..." Twilight took a step back, clearing her throat. "I'm Twilight."

"Oh! You can talk!" Fluttershy gasped out, looking like she couldn't get any happier. "I never realized dragons could talk. That's just so wonderful!"

"Well that's a switch," Spike commented as he rubbed his head.

"Fluttershy gets really nervous around strangers," Ditzy explained to Spike as his eyes finally focused again. "But she really loves animals, especially babies."

"I think Twilight's even shier than her, mommy," Dinky spoke up with a little giggle.

Twilight was slowly backing away from the pegasus. Fluttershy, however, simply kept pace with her. The smile never left her face, and Spike grinned as his horn lit up. Twilight let out a yelp of surprise as a green aura sparked around her, and she found herself sailing through the air onto Spike's back.

"Ladies, if you'll excuse us for just one second," Spike requested, dashing off before they could answer.

Twilight kept a tight grip on her friend's mane as he galloped back to the trail. He stopped to take a few deep breaths before letting the dragoness hop down.

"Thanks," she said, wiping her brow. "Yeesh, that Fluttershy is kind of..."

She trailed off as she noticed Spike giving her a contemplative look. Immediately a sense of dread began to creep back into her chest.

"Hey Twilight," the stallion said, hooking one foreleg around her back and pulling her close. "We still need to get an interview with Fluttershy, right?"

"I don't think I like where this is going," Twilight answered, slipping loose from Spike's grip.

"Come on, Twi!" Spike begged, dropping down and grabbing one of her legs between his fore-hooves. "You saw her, she could barely look me in the eye! But she absolutely loves you!"

"Yeah, and it's kind of creepy!" Twilight answered, trying to her kick her leg free.

She stopped as Spike began to pout, his lower lip quivering as he stared up at her.

"Please?" he begged, still not letting go. "It's for the article. If we don't get something from Fluttershy—"

"Ooooh..." Twilight let out a relinquished sigh. "You owe me big time, mister."

She found herself being pulled into a tight embrace in Spike's forelegs. Sighing, she squirmed her way free and pointed right at the stallion.

"So just what are you going to be doing then?" she asked, tapping one foot.

"Well, um," Spike looked around before his eyes locked on a few clouds floating across the sky. "I'll handle talking to the weather patrol!"

"Seriously?" Twilight asked.

"Hey, can't forget anypony for this article," he pointed out. "Ink Blot said he wanted us to report on everything."

"Alright," Twilight said with a shrug as Spike levitated her a quill and spare notepad. "Seriously though—"

"When we get back to Canterlot I'll buy you a whole jewelry store," Spike promised, drawing a cross over his chest with one hoof. "You're the best, Twi!"

The two headed back, Twilight resisting the urge to cower again as Fluttershy immediately locked eyes on her.

She would have to tell Cadence.

Celestia ceased her pacing about the throne room. The glorious marble hall stopped echoing with her hoof-steps. No doubt the guards outside would be relieved at the end of the noise as she went over her only remaining option.

There was no doubt the younger alicorn would be horrified at the prospect. Chances are she would fight even harder to be allowed to go to Ponyville and try to stop this. Celestia tried to plan out what to say, how to phrase things so that her precious niece wouldn't be anywhere near the danger.

"Your majesty?" a stallion's voice cut into Celestia's thoughts.

She looked up to see a strapping young unicorn bowing at the throne room entrance. He walked up, his decorative purple armor clanking lightly as he approached.

"Captain Shining Armor," Celestia said, returning to her practiced smile. "You have something to report?"

"I'm just here to inform you that your chariot will be ready to leave shortly," the armored unicorn answered, snapping a quick salute. "I was also wondering if anything was wrong."

"Wrong?" Celestia managed to keep her tone even. "Whatever do you mean?"

Surprisingly, her guard captain actually seemed a bit nervous as he lowered one trembling hoof. It was an effect she was used to having on others at this point though. Something about realizing they were questioning a sun-raising alicorn seemed to put most ponies off.

"The guards outside said you've been pacing almost non-stop since lunch," Shining Armor reported. "That's the only reason I asked."

Celestia let out a small sigh, when a thought suddenly came to her. She looked over the stallion before her, a coy smile coming to her face.

"Now that you mention it, Captain," she said her magic closing the doors of the throne room. "I have a small matter that will need tending to while I'm gone."