• Published 1st Nov 2021
  • 1,740 Views, 64 Comments

And I Hope You Die - Aquaman

“I’m not making you do anything, Flurry," Cozy murmured. “I’m giving you a choice. Me or your empire. And we both know what the right call is.”

  • ...

A Few Blocks From Here

Flurry slammed her bedroom door behind her and threw her saddlebags across the room, not even looking to see where they landed before heaving herself onto her bed and slamming her face into the pile of decorative pillows on top. Immediately, she felt a twinge of pain above her eyebrow where it pressed into the knot of a macramé tassel, and that just made her even angrier. What was the stupid point of having a million stupid little pillows that you couldn’t sleep on if they weren’t even good for slamming your stupid face into when you really, really needed to slam your stupid, dumb, idiot face into something?

She groaned, then let the noise grow into a throaty yell, muffled only slightly by the horde of tastefully coordinated cushions around her. Mom had probably heard that. Now she’d have to deal with her too, and tell her that everything was fine and she was just tired after school and to please shut the door behind her when she left her alone forever.

“Well, some-Princess is a little pouty today.”

Flurry squeezed her eyes shut, tensed all her muscles, and very strongly considered banishing herself to the moon. She’d probably miss her target and spend eternity floating helplessly in space, but even that would be better than sharing her room—or really, a whole planet—with Cozy Glow.

“What’sa matter? Gala dress not the color you wanted? Oh no, is Prince Charming charming other princes?”

Flurry grabbed the nearest useless decoration and squeezed it overtop of her head. Despite her best efforts, a low and livid growl escaped her chest.

“Wait, is it actually the Prince thing? Come on, it’ll all be arranged for you anyway. What’s a little loveless marriage between just friends?”

“Shut up,” Flurry snapped, raising her voice so Cozy could hear it through the pillows. “Leave me alone.”

“Why? This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. You know the tips of your ears turn bright red when you’re mad?”

With a snarl, Flurry flailed herself into a seated position and chucked the pillow she’d been holding as hard as she could at Cozy’s head. It sailed well past her and through the doorway she was standing in, skittering harmlessly across the hallway outside. Cozy’s grin got even wider. Flurry’s ears turned even redder.

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic,” Cozy said, hopping up onto the bed next to Flurry and, despite Flurry’s best efforts to avoid it, hooking her forehoof around her shoulder. “Plenty of fish with lower standards in the sea.”

“You’re one to talk,” Flurry said through a wrinkled nose, trying to shove Cozy away but helpless under the filly’s surprisingly strong grip. “When was the last time you showered?”

“The last time I wanted to,” Cozy replied. “Which waaaas… not today! Or this week. I think I got caught in the rain once last spring. That probably counts.”

Finally, Flurry extricated herself and fluttered to the door, pointedly showing it to Cozy once she’d landed. “Out,” she ordered her. “I don’t go into your room, so stay out of mine.”

“Fine,” Cozy sighed as she hopped down from the bed, evidently bored with Flurry already. That was hardly a surprise. Cozy had gotten “bored” of going to school pretty quickly too, judging by how quickly the Crystal Empire was running out of ones she hadn’t been expelled from yet. Now she just hung out at the castle all day, bothering the maids and making Flurry’s life a living hell at every possible opportunity. At least this opportunity had ended quickly.

“Seriously, though, why do you care so much?” Cozy sniped as she crossed the threshold. “It’s just a stupid colt.”

Or not.

“He’s not a… it’s not like he was my boyfriend or anything!” Flurry spewed, cringing as the words left her mouth within Cozy’s earshot. She’d been stewing over this for hours now, though. The stopper wasn’t going back into this bottle of raging hormones. “I didn’t even want to date him, I just thought it’d be nice to go to the Spring Fling as f-friends and…”

“Friends?” Cozy intoned.

Friends!” Flurry screamed. “Acquaintances! I don’t know, whatever he would’ve been comfortable with! Of course, not like he could even tell me what that would actually be. Stars forbid he just talk to me like a normal pony, like I didn’t grow a second head and four extra eyes the moment I asked him a simple question!”

“So he’s a beta,” Cozy said. “So what?”

“So he goes and gossips about it like a little beta bastard, that’s what!” Flurry said, wincing again at the harsh language. Cozy Glow was rubbing off on her in all the wrong ways—or just ways in general. There were hardly any good ways Cozy did anything. “And now I’m off the yearbook committee because I’m making things awkward and Coconut thinks I’d be disruptive if I kept editing his photos, which is rich coming from Little Miss Tyrant who micromanages everything and thinks everyone doesn’t know what she and Briar are off doing while I’m singlehoofedly keeping us on deadline for three moondamn months!”

Flurry ran out of breath with her final vengeful shout, and as her vision widened from the tunnel it had narrowed into, Cozy cut back in. “So what are you gonna do about it?”

“I’m going to… I don’t know. Why do you care? When have you ever cared about anything but yourself?”

“Oh, never,” Cozy answered. “Glad you finally noticed. But when you storm in all pissy and wake me up from a very nice nap, that affects me. Ergo, I care. So are you gonna fix this, or should I?”

“I’ll fix it. You will do nothing, except leave me alone.”

Cozy shook her head. Her simpering grin was back. “You’re not gonna fix it,” she said. “You know how I know that? Because ponies who run home and cry into their pillows don’t fix things. They whine and complain and bother all us hard-working folks just trying to get some well-earned sleep, and then they pretend nothing happened and live completely irrelevant lives doing exactly the same thing forever. Now me? I fix my problems. And I make sure whoever made that problem for me doesn’t make any more.”

“That’s what you call being a lazy delinquent who naps all day?” Flurry snapped. “That’s solving problems?”

Cozy winked. “Can’t nap all day if you don’t have free time. And you get free time by solving problems. Little Miss Tyrant’s name is Coconut, you said?”

Flurry’s heart turned to ice. “What are you… don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Whatever you’re thinking about, don’t. I’ll handle this. Go away.”

“I’m thinking about going back to sleep,” Cozy said as she turned to leave. “Good luck handling things.”

Flurry never even got a chance to try. When she got to school the next day, everypony was standing out in the front courtyard, and fire-ponies were streaming into the annex that housed the Yearbook Club office while Coconut wailed on her hooves and knees in front of their frowning headmare. Somepony had left the laminator on overnight, and a jam had started a fire that burned the room and everything in it to ashes early that morning. Coconut—and Briar—had been the last ones there the night before. Nopony else could possibly have been responsible.

With months of labor destroyed in an instant, the club had to triple their weekly meetings and work through weekends just to make their print deadline—and when Coconut resigned her role as president in disgrace, Flurry was forced to step in and steer the club back on track. It was exhausting and thankless work, and it was admittedly super awkward to share an editing bay with her sheepish lead photographer.

But in the end, they made their deadline. And when they voted on who would lead the club next year, Flurry Heart was the unanimous choice.