• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Scare Master

"I've got it!" Spirit exclaimed in front of the variety of dresses that Rarity had presented before her. "How didn't I think of this before?" She dashed and drifted her way inside the boutique over to me. "Hey, you were a wolf last Nightmare Night, right?"

"Yeah, why?" I responded.

"Well, what else is more perfect than to be Red Riding Hood? Get it?! Miss Red and the Big Bad Wolf?"

I liked the thought behind it, but there was one small problem with it.

"That sounds great, Spirit." I praised first. "But…I was thinking of being something else this time." I didn't know what I wanted to be at that exact time, but I figured I'd come up with something as I looked at my options.

"Come on!" She practically begged. "It's so perfect!"

"Does Rarity even have that kind of outfit?" I brought up.

"I don't believe I do…" Rarity took the liberty of joining in on our dispute and answered that question herself. "However, I can whip something up quite quickly! Besides, I'd just love to work with your mane! I have just the most adorable look in mind right now! It's so perfect!" Rarity's excitement had suddenly escalated at the thought of giving Spirit a makeover.

"Ohhh." Spirit groaned and slightly flinched at the favor Rarity offered. "Rarity, why do you get so excited when it comes to dressing me up…"

"Because you're simply adorable, darling! Everything about your eyes just brings so much inspiration to my mind. Hurry! Hurry! Come over here before it wears off!"

Rarity nearly dragged Spirit over to her "work station" and immediately got started on her mane. I couldn't help but laugh at Spirit's moaning misery.

"Don't look at me." I said as she gave me the same pouty eyes for when she wanted me to play along with her costume idea. "You're the one who wanted this."

As I waited for the two to finish, I thought back over unexpected recent events. The Cutie Mark Crusaders had finally gotten their cutie marks. It was almost completely out of the blue for every one of us. And just days after? Princess Cadence and Shining Armor announced to us that they were going to have a baby! I mean, it's not that it wasn't entirely unexpected, but still.

My eyes found themselves hovering over Twilight's direction. She had been looking over the new costume she was going to be wearing this Nightmare Night. Instead of donning the attire of Starswirl the Bearded, it looked to be some kind of set of ancient royal pony armor worn literally ages ago. It may have been worn by some pony great from the past, but only Twilight would know such information from her studies.

"Hey, you still in shock about being an aunt?" I asked, popping up over by her side.

"Huh?" It had appeared that I interrupted her from thinking to herself. "Oh, yeah! Kind of. What about you? You're going to be an Uncle, aren't you?" She playfully bumped me with her foreleg.

"Ehhhh." I stretched out a little too much. "I'm going to be some kind of relative all right, but I wouldn't know if I'd go as far as to call myself an uncle."

"Why not?" Twilight's teasing smirk was switched out for a curious and possibly even concerned frown.

"I know we like to think of each other as brother and sister, but I feel like it's something just between us. After all, I don't think I'd want to cut in and start calling your mom and dad my parents, you know?" I chuckled lightly.

"I totally get that." She responded. "But if I'm not mistaken, family titles like that can be used informally too."

"Yeah, I guess you're right." I casually agreed with her, but at the same time, I didn't really want to confuse myself with what dictates family and blah blah blah when we were supposed to get ready for Nightmare Night.

Twilight seemed awfully quieter than usual. Usually, I'd think she'd continue messing with me a bit more, but ever since I brought up about the deal with me being an Uncle, the worried look on her face seemed to stay afterwards.

"You, alright?" I asked.

"Ah—" Her head slightly jerked backwards and she turned her head around as if keeping an eye out for anyone. "Yeah, um… I just hope I'm not keeping you from talking to anyone else."

Huh? Talking to anyone else? Why would she say that all of a sudden?

"What do you mean? Why would you think that?"

"Well…" She expressed what looked like a guilt-ridden face that slowly aimed towards the floor.

Before she could say any more, the door to the boutique burst open, and a wailing scream cried out loudly, giving me and most likely everyone else a frightening leap.

"Ow!" I heard Spirit exclaim in pain.

"Sorry, dear." Rarity apologized, making some adjustments to Spirit's mane.

"Fluttershy?!" I recognized the pony who had been shivering behind the front door with her hooves covering her eyes. "What are you doing here? I told you I'd pick you up."

When she spotted me, she immediately galloped towards me and almost threw me to the ground with her aggressive embrace. "I-I-I forgot to stock up on food for Angel, s-s-o I tried going out to get some for him, b-b-but then I came across Granny Smith and she s-s-s-said all these scary things about b-b-b-bones and-and-and eyeballs!"

"Oh, Sugarcube!" Applejack walked over to us to comfort Fluttershy. "She was just kiddin', you know? It's just for the maze they're makin' for Nightmare Night."

"O-oh…"

"You said you were trying to get some food for Angel?" I repeated. "You want me to do it?"

Fluttershy quickly shook her head. "N-no. Angel only likes certain things… It'd be better if I went to go get them…but…I'd really love to have you around. I don't know if I can be outside by myself any longer."

"Of course, I will, Fluttershy." I wanted to practically exclaim. "I'm sorry I couldn't be out there with you in the first place."

"Don't be. It's not like you could have known anyway."

"I don't mean to interrupt…but you both should probably get going." Rarity advised as she continued to tame Spirit's mane. "It's going to get darker and scarier later on tonight."

Fluttershy took in a rather large gulp. "…right."

"Come on." I gestured her towards the door. "Just stick close by me. You'll be fine."


Outside, Fluttershy literally stuck close to me as if we were glued together. At some points, she'd close her eyes and let me guide, which didn't work out as great as she hoped, considering she was the one who knew what to get for Angel and where.

"Hey, Fluttershy…" I began speaking out of concern. "Do you want to even be out here tonight?"

"O-Of course I do!" She continued to slightly shiver from fright. "Everyone's together for Nightmare Night. I'd feel horrible if I ruined the fun for anyone just because of all the scary things out here."

"You sound like you're forcing yourself to come out to make us happy…"

"N-No! I like being with you all. I really do." She adverted her eyes to the side with, what appeared to look like, shame. "I just…really don't like Nightmare Night."

I had to admit that I really wished I could somehow show her how there was nothing to be scared of, but in reality, there was nothing I could really do about that. Then again, I suppose it all came down to what a pony likes and dislikes. Nightmare Night just so happens to be one of those things Fluttershy really dislikes.

"You know…you don't have to spend Nightmare Night with us…really."

"I couldn't do that! After all, you said it wouldn't be the same without me being with you…"

When she said that, I did remember saying something like that last Nightmare Night. It was the truth. but I didn't want Fluttershy to feel like she had to stay for my sake.

"I'd feel even worse if you're making yourself miserable for my sake." I responded truthfully. "Yeah, I'd rather have you along with us to enjoy the night, but if you'd rather not be here tonight, by all means, I'd want you to stay home."

Fluttershy appeared to be conflicted for a moment by what I had just said. "Why don't I stay with you all for the night and see what happens? If I get too scared and can't take anymore, I'll let you know, okay?"

Still unsure about her suggestion, I reluctantly agreed. "Alright…"

Once we got the food, we traveled over to the cottage, so Fluttershy could do what she needed to do.


"There you go. Fresh carrots just for you, Angel." Fluttershy served up a plate towards him. He immediately licked his lips, rubbed his paws together, and began gobbling down his meal. "That should hold you until I'm back." She turned my way and approached me. "Okay, I'm ready to go."

Before I began leading her out of the cottage, I looked her over and brushed her mane a little with my hoof. "You have any idea what you want to dress up as tonight?"

She blushed slightly at my sort of 'babying' actions. "I don't really know, to be honest. Nothing scary, of course. But something that's easy to move around in. Last Nightmare Night, when I was a butterfly, I found the wings were too…wide. I'd hate to be vulnerable because of a silly costume."

"Don't forget." I ended my attention-giving by caressing her cheek with my hoof. "I'll be with you every single step of the way. You can count on me to protect you from anything scary tonight." I doubted that there was going to be anything dangerous tonight unless there was an actual monster or something on the loose. However, whatever the case was, I definitely was going to keep my promise. After all, Fluttershy was doing more than enough by pushing herself to spend tonight with us. It's a surprise, especially since the trouble last time with Princess Luna. I couldn't imagine how scared Fluttershy was if everypony else was too afraid to stand within Luna's presence.

"Of course." Fluttershy stated as she gazed into my eyes and placed her hoof onto mine. "I know things will be okay with you around."

"Tell you what." I thought of a reward afterwards. "I'll spend the rest of the night with you when we're done. We can do whatever you want."

Fluttershy turned her head to the side as she thought about what she'd want to do. "Well…there's something I'd usually do when I wanted to hide inside every Nightmare Night. We can…cuddle together under my bed…" She began to blush heavily as it must have been very embarrassing to bring it up in the first place.

I couldn't help but react quite bashfully myself, considering the scenario. "If it's what you want to do, yeah, I'm up for it."

With a beaming yet tender smile, she grew extremely close and rubbed her head against me, all while embracing me at the same time.


As we arrived back at the boutique, Rarity welcomed us with gusto. She was practically dancing in excitement, and I had no idea why until she revealed the sight of somepony to me. "I present to you, the classy yet adventurous, elegant yet free-spirited, Red Riding Hood!"

She literally unveiled the curtain on her newest production. It took a few seconds to realize that the pony that had been behind the curtains was Spirit. What now differentiated her from how she usually looked was her mane and what she wore.

Obviously, she wore the well-known velvet cape, but what extremely caught my attention was what I could see under the hood she currently had covering most of her mane. For the first time ever, she had braids, one for each side of her head, that extended downwards to the top of her legs. At the end of the braids, a small red bow resided. The front of her mane was brushed over to her right side of the face, the ends drooping over towards the top of the mentioned braids. At the left side of her face, below her ear, parts of her mane still clung to her coat behind the braid, but that was mainly due to the small outfit she wore.

The way she was currently dressed, in some way, allowed me to see much more of her as a pony. In example, her ears were usually covered with her pretty wild mane, but I could now fully see her left and even a bit of her right ear. Observing the details into her tail, I think Rarity may have even added a little flair by curling certain points in a frisky manner. I was more than willing to honestly say that nothing you could find in a store could beat this in a landslide.

"Sooo? What do you think?" Rarity asked while Spirit now appeared to be getting a little uncomfortable with all the attention on her.

"Wow!" I exclaimed. "I don't know how you did it, but this is like…a masterpiece of your dressmaking expertise!"

"I know, right?!" Rarity excitedly agreed. "It came out possibly even better than I had originally imagined! Ohhh, I have so much more that I want to do!"

"Easy, Rarity…" Spirit stepped down from the stage and joined us. "I'm not going to lie. I really like how I look, but I'm still not too sure about being your guinea pig."

"Oh, darling!" Rarity slightly pouted. "When you put it like that, it doesn't sound good at all!"

"I'll think about it." She quickly responded before she turned towards me. "Hurry up! Get into your costume! I wanna complete this fairy tale set already!"

"Come with me, Fluttershy!" Rarity already began grabbing at Fluttershy's hoof to lead her on. "I'll show you the immense variety of costumes I have for you to wear!"

As I watched Fluttershy being almost dragged towards an array of hanging costumes, Spirit nudged me, nearly impatiently. "Alright! Alright!" I said before I searched for my previous costume to put it on.


It appeared everypony had now been dressed up for tonight's festivities. Fluttershy unveiled her costume last, seeing as she was also the last one to pick one out. However, it admittedly didn't seem much like a Nightmare Night costume at all. Rather, she wore something more like a simple, yet exquisitely beautiful, black dress.

In summary, Pinkie Pie was some kind of roller-skater, Twilight was the old ancient pony warrior I mentioned earlier, Rainbow Dash was apparently an astronaut for some reason, Applejack was a lion, Rarity was a mermaid pony, Spirit and I were Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, and Fluttershy was…well…just a pony with a black dress.

"Hey, Fluttershy, where's your costume?" Rainbow Dash brought up.

"I'm wearing it." She innocently answered.

"I get it!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed with a loud gasp. "You're a robber escaping into the night!" She skated past Fluttershy, earning a little shake of the head. "You're a ninja escaping into the night!" Fluttershy repeated her gesture. "You're black licorice escaping into the night!"

"Close. I'm going to a masquerade ball. Without the mask." She answered with a soft glee.

Despite the surprise and even awkwardness the others felt, I stepped up to give my thoughts on how she looked. "I think she looks absolutely stunning, exquisite, x-cellent, and youthful."

Seeing as she was the only one who knew the kind of message I was secretly sending out, Fluttershy immediately widened her eyes for a brief second before she covered her red-hot cheeks with her hoof.

"Ahem." Rarity cleared her throat. "Shall we get started with tonight?"

"Yeah!" Twilight agreed. "We've been saving up the spooky stories!"

"Spooky stories…?" Fluttershy began to uncomfortably shift her eyes around.

"Oh, they're not that spooky, darling." Rarity assured.

Twilight snuck in between Fluttershy and me to whisper something. "Besides…spooky stories are never real."

"They're not?" Fluttershy returned a small smile of hope.

"Well, most of the time, as far as I know." She mentioned honestly, leaving Fluttershy partially unsure.

I placed a hoof around her slightly quivering body and brought her closer to me. "Don't worry. Remember, I'll be right next to you."

After a small gulp, she nodded hesitantly.

Seeing that we'd have adequate space at the castle, we took a walk back over there. It allowed us to see how other ponies were spending Nightmare Night. There were already stands and activities set up just like last time. However, although Fluttershy managed to keep herself composed pretty well, it was obvious she was still being easily spooked by our surroundings.

Once we stepped hoof into the castle, she seemed to allow herself to breathe again, but seeing as the castle had been pretty dark, she remained tense. We sat around in a circle in the castle library. I suppose the library was chosen due to its closed yet roomy size.

Fluttershy and I didn't leave each other's side. In fact, she took the first opportunity she had to press herself as much as she could against me. I assumed Spirit stuck close by, seeing as she wanted to keep up the illusion of our costumes.

"Alright, who's going first?" Twilight asked as she looked among the seated ponies.

"Ooh, me!" Rainbow Dash threw her hoof up. "I've got the perfect story! It's about one of the first Wonderbolts that mysteriously went missing. One night—"

"Eeeee!" I suddenly heard a pain inducing and high pitched shriek pierce through my right ear. This caused me to press my hoof against my affected ear and turn to the source of the sound. Fluttershy had been sitting there wide-eyed with her hooves curled towards her chest.

There had been an almost unending moment of silence between the rest of us until Rainbow Dash broke the unexpected ice. "Y'know…I think I'll pass."

"Well, there was one time when I was baking a giant cake, and, all of a sudden, the lights flickered—"

"Nooo!" Fluttershy then turned towards me as she covered herself defensively with her wings.

Another awkward silence ensued.

"Uhh…" Applejack spoke. "This one time at the farm, a bunny—"

"Not the bunny!" Fluttershy cried out, practically in tears.

"Aughh! Come on, Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash sprouted up from lying on the floor. "We haven't even gotten to the scary part yet!"

"How about this?" Twilight began suggesting an idea. "Fluttershy, do you have anything spooky to share with us? If you're the one doing the scaring, you won't have to be afraid of anything. I hope…"

"Spooky…?" Fluttershy looked back in thought. "Oh, I know! There's something I know that's really scary. Something straight out of nightmares!"

While the others looked genuinely intrigued, Rainbow Dash didn't erase the unenthusiastic half-lidded eyes from her face.

"Um, okay." Fluttershy began as she attempted to compose herself enough to tell the story. "This one is about a mare and a really scary tea party she had."

"Tea party? That's not scary!" Rainbow exclaimed.

"Would you let her just tell the story, Rainbow?" Applejack responded in frustration.

Once Rainbow Dash ceased her complaints, Fluttershy was allowed to continue.

"Once upon a time, a sweet young mare invited her best friends over for a tea party. However, she would have no idea what she'd end up getting herself into until her friends arrived. When everypony was settled down in their chairs, she asked one of her friends to pass the sugar. To everypony's surprise, there wasn't any sugar on the table to pass."

"Ooh!" Pinkie interrupted from excitement. "Did a scary ghost take the sugar?"

Fluttershy calmly shook her head. "No. The mare hosting the tea party forgot to have sugar on the table."

"Huh…?" Pinkie Pie questioned, not expecting Fluttershy's answer.

"That wasn't the worst part." Fluttershy continued. "If the embarrassment from having no sugar for her guests wasn't enough, she had to quickly cover up with a coat!"

"Why?" Applejack now asked. "Did the room suddenly grow cold? Y'know, because of somethin' spooky?"

Fluttershy shook her head again. "No. Something even worse. Nopony had complimented the dress she had been wearing." Applejack didn't respond with anything after, and she only shared the same look of confusion with Pinkie Pie. The still silence allowed Fluttershy to resume. "This nightmare of a tea party had only just begun. The mare looked to her left to ask her friend for some cucumber sandwiches…"

"Let me guess." Rainbow intervened. "There weren't any cucumber sandwiches either?"

"No, there were. This time, the mare was completely shocked to see one of her best friends missing!" Everypony that gave Fluttershy a chance immediately reeled their heads in, waiting to hear the reason behind this missing pony. "When the sweet little mare realized the reason why, it was so terrifying! Absolutely terrifying!"

"Yeah?!" Every pony interested exclaimed in unison.

"Her best friend…" Fluttershy momentarily paused for dramatic effect and suspense. "…didn't bother to show up!" She exclaimed as loud as she could while keeping the volume at her usual soft and quiet levels. The others had slightly flinched, due to Fluttershy's unexpected shift in tone, but they didn't scream as Fluttershy possibly expected them to. "That's not the end of it! Everything grew horribly worse after that! Unplanned guests arrived! There was no food for them at all! Then, a poor little kitty showed up at the doorway, absolutely in dire need of a home! But you can't help! You are over-scheduled enough as it is! Oh, oh, all this was just too much! So much that you could—"

"Die from boredom?" Rainbow Dash stated bluntly.

The tone Fluttershy had used to tell the story definitely grew more intense near the end. In fact, I believed she began reacting to her own story at the mere thought of experiencing the said scary things for herself. However, it was safe to say that no pony else was shivering from fright. Well, they weren't shivering at all.

"Huh?" Fluttershy fragilely returned her look at everypony else. "What do you mean? Aren't you guys scared? A tea party that didn't go as planned at all! Everypony disappointed! Can you imagine anything more frightening!?"

"Yeah. Listening to that story again would scare me away for sure."

Twilight immediately scolded Rainbow Dash by bumping her with her foreleg.

Rarity, on the other hoof, attempted to attend to Fluttershy gently.

"It was a really good try, darling, but the scares at Nightmare Night are of an entirely different nature."

"It was really creative, though." Twilight stepped in. "Really. I can honestly tell you that I would have never been able to tell a story…like that."

Despite their efforts at damage control, it already seemed to be too late. Fluttershy looked heavily disappointed, perhaps just as disappointed as the ponies in her story were. "Oh, I'm just not cut out for this. I should just stay home."

"Oh, heavens no!" Rarity sprang up with emotion. "We don't have to tell stories, darling. We can do something else!"

Fluttershy solemnly shook her head. "If I can't even tell a spooky story, how else am I supposed to do other Nightmare Night stuff? I may have been out for the first time last time, but all I did was pretty much cower and cry. I thought I would be stronger by now, but I guess there's just some things you can never get over." She stood and turned around to begin walking out. "You guys go on without me. I'll be perfectly fine at home. It's what I've always done in the past anyway."

"Fluttershy, hang on!" I trotted after her.

She didn't stop until we were both out of the room.

"Alex, I really wanted to be with you all for Nightmare Night." She began telling me. "But…it's just something I think it'd be best to skip. I'm just not good at it. You know that. All I'll ever do is get in everypony's way. If it wasn't for everypony being scared of Princess Luna last Nightmare Night, I would have been the problem instead."

"Come on… Don't say things like that. You know we all care about you." I replied.

"I care about all of you too. And for that reason, I'm going back home. I'm sorry."

I adverted my eyes to the floor. I knew I couldn't convince her out of her decision. In fact, even if I tried, it would be utterly selfish. Sure, I wanted to spend Nightmare Night with her, but I couldn't force her to do that because that would only be me thinking for myself.

"Let me come with you then." I suggested, surprising her.

"What? Oh, no…!" She shook her head devotedly. "You should stay with the others."

"At least let me walk you home, please?" I said, even though I hadn't made my decision, whether to stay with Fluttershy or the others the rest of the night, yet.

She took a moment to think back on that and ultimately accepted. "Okay."


Fluttershy returned the dress she borrowed for Nightmare Night before we made our way back to the cottage. At her door, she turned around to face me instead of going inside first. "Thank you for walking me back…" She appreciated with a hint of despair in her voice. "I'll see you tomorrow…maybe…"

Usually, she'd offer me a kiss goodbye, but it seemed she didn't have any energy or will to do so. Instead, she turned back around and proceeded to retreat into her home.

"You're not going to invite me in?" I asked with a joking yet soft smile, stopping her from shutting herself in completely.

"Huh?" She questioned without a clue.

"You don't want to be a bad host and leave out your guest, do you?"

"B-but, you…"

"I want to be with you. I know you want to me to celebrate the night with the others, but…I can't just let you be all by yourself. It doesn't feel right."

Fluttershy sighed heavily.

"I'll feel even worse if you spend tonight with me instead. Everypony's expecting you to come back. I think it'd be worse to keep them waiting."

Knowing Fluttershy, I couldn't deny that. Even if I did stay with her, she'd be too busy worrying about how the others are. "Fine. How about this?" I suggested. "I'll spend tonight with them, but as soon as it's over, I'll come straight to you and spend the rest of the night with you."

Fluttershy managed to pull up a tender smile, but it was difficult to tell whether it was forced or genuine at the time. "That works." She responded with a nod. "Have a good time." Afterwards, she shut the door.

I stood there for a while, almost expecting for something else to happen, but I really didn't know what else to do. I know I said I'd go on and get back to Nightmare Night with the others, but I still felt really bothered. I couldn't figure out what the right thing to do was.

"You coming back?" I heard, giving me an unexpected fright. "Or are you going to stay?"

I found Spirit standing behind me. Her eyes gave off a different kind of reflection under tonight's moon.

"What do you think?" I asked, earnestly requiring an answer. "I'm kind of in trouble here."

"Why are you asking me?" She responded. "She's your special somepony, isn't she?"

"I just thought you might have something to set me back on the right path." I mentioned, remembering the previous times she's talked me through different things.

"It's really none of my business…" She silently turned her head to the side with half-lidded eyes. "I can't stop you from doing what you really want to do."

"That's the problem." I cleared up. "I don't know what I really want to do. If I stay with Fluttershy, I might just upset her more because she'll know I'm not spending Nightmare Night with the others. If I go back, I'll worry about Fluttershy…and I'll feel bad because I'm not there for her."

Spirit approached me, grabbed my hoof, and looked directly at me with her differentiating eyes. "You can't always be there for somepony you love. Maybe you should just…give her some space tonight. I think…caring too much about somepony can be the very thing that drives you apart."

"What makes you say that?" I answered in almost the same level as a whisper.

"It's just what happens." She gently let go of my hoof. "If you really want my opinion…you should probably get back. Things will probably sort themselves out. There's always tomorrow. After all, you don't always want to be the one having to solve other ponies' problems, right? If Fluttershy's as strong as you believe she is, this should be nothing serious to her."

As much as it hurt to hear and even believe, she was probably right. I most likely wouldn't be able to be there for Fluttershy all the time, so there's going to be times she'd have to stay strong without me.

"Alright." I somewhat agreed. "Let's head back then."


Spirit led me back into Ponyville, notifying me what the others had planned to do.

"They said they were going to wait at the front of the corn maze." She mentioned as we passed various stalls with others playing at them. "They weren't expecting for Fluttershy or you to come back… I guess they were thinking Fluttershy wouldn't budge, so you'd end up staying with her."

"I can't blame them." I returned. "I almost did."

The others had been saddened but not surprised when they only saw Spirit and me approach them.

"You weren't able to convince her to rejoin us?" Rarity asked.

I shook my head. "I didn't want to talk her into doing something she didn't want to do in the first place. If you ask me, I think Fluttershy was pushing herself to do this to make us happy. As much as I'd love for all of us to spend tonight together, it's just something that's not going to happen, I guess."

"Even so…" Applejack began speaking. "I'm sure as hay she wouldn't want us to be moping about."

"Applejack's right." Twilight approved. "She definitely wouldn't feel any better if she knew that we were too busy worrying about her rather than enjoying the night. If she hadn't felt so pressured to join us, I'm sure she'd be just as happy staying home while the rest of us tackled Nightmare Night."

"Yeah…" I agreed, as well, but still found it hard to move forward. "But it's hard to get over something like that so quickly. It's like…I can't get over it until she genuinely tells me that everything's alright. But knowing her, she'd even feel worse for having everypony worry about her. In the end, it's just a cycle that repeats itself over and over. It's so frustrating."

Rarity placed a hoof on my shoulder. "As much as we care about Fluttershy, I believe we should just move on forward with the maze, so we can occupy our thoughts with something else. As the majority of us already agree, it won't do anypony good to be upsetting ourselves like this."

"Yeah! Fluttershy will get over it. Come on!" Rainbow Dash spoke before dashing over to the entrance of the maze.

I never understood how Fluttershy and her were best friends back when they were young. Rainbow Dash was always so blunt, especially with Fluttershy. At times, it may even look like Rainbow doesn't care at all.

Spirit had caught a hold of my hoof and gazed at me with a gentle smile. "Come on, Alex. We should put these costumes to use."

The girls had a brief scare at the front of the maze. A pony had greeted them by removing the hood from their head and revealing some kind of exaggerated whimsical horse mask. They managed to have a laugh after realizing the absurdity of the mask, and they were allowed to move on once the pony silently welcomed them in. After having a momentary glance at the bony and rickety legs of this same pony, I realized it had been Granny Smith in disguise.

Nevertheless, once inside, I found myself lagging behind the others, but Spirit stayed by my side. I wasn't sure if she wanted to be with me or if it was because she didn't want to be separated, due to our costumes, but she seemed to have been enjoying herself either way.

As I looked forward, I had noticed Twilight take a glance my way. From the short amount of time we had looked at each other, I sensed that she wanted to do something. Interact with me, I guess. But she didn't. She turned her head back forward, which caused me to grow some kind of concern after witnessing that.

"You know if something's up with Twilight?" I asked softly enough for only Spirit to hear me.

"Not that I know of." She casually answered back.

"Hm…" I decided to grow a little closer to the group.

Is there something she wants to tell me? Or is it something about me that's bothering her…?

It didn't take long for somepony to come out from the shadows and provide a scripted scare between us.

"Boooo... Eeyup." Big Macintosh spookily crept out, but it didn't seem like he could resist an old-fashioned 'Eeyup' along at the end of his attempted scare. The girls had held their breath for a moment, but just like with Granny Smith, they soon burst out into laughter and continued on. Big Macintosh had been dressed up as a mummy, but he didn't look too pleased with his progress as he retreated back into his hiding place.

If I wanted to know whether there was really something bothering Twilight or not, I'd most likely not find out here. With all the so called "spooky" distractions, it'd be a pain to even bring the subject up.

"What. Is. That. Sound?" Rarity almost reluctantly asked.

There had been dry cracking coming from underneath our hooves, but it sounded a lot like breaking sticks.

"It looks like... bones!" Pinkie screamed at the sight below her, causing the others to return the same reaction.

"Looks like a bunch of dried sticks painted white to me." Rainbow muttered her complaint under her breath.

"Hey, try to keep up the illusion, would ya?" Applejack overheard and responded to her in a hushed voice.

As they continued on, I took a moment to stand among these sticks and picked one up. I noticed the faults Rainbow Dash had pointed out. There had been spots and patches that hadn't been painted over, so the natural colors of these twigs were still open to see.

More and more, I began feeling that going through this maze was sort of a waste of time. I hadn't been really having fun since I started going through this maze. Whether it was because of the cheap scares or from what happened with Fluttershy, I just really felt off.

"We're going to lose the others if we stay behind." Spirit mentioned, stepping in front and appearing willing to take the lead. "Then it'll get really scary."

"Yeah, yeah." I practically carelessly answered and followed her.

On our next turn, we came across some kind of darkened grove of corn that had leaned over each other above, so that they formed a ceiling to block the moonlight. Spirit had been handling the corn maze pretty well so far. It was just now that she stopped and her level of fear genuinely appeared to rise up.

"Uh…yeah…I'm not so sure what's in there." Spirit said.

"It's probably nothing." I answered. "It's just really dark so you get scared."

"But you never know what could lurk in the darkness." Spirit sounded as if she was trying to warn me instead. "That's what makes it so scary."

"Let's just get through it so we can catch up with the others." I began walking forward. I only hoped that there was nothing in there that was going to be all grabby. Now, that'd really disturb me.

Speaking of grabby, Spirit called out to me to slow down, so she could catch up to me before I entered the darkened corridor of corn and latched onto me like a leash.

"Oooh…" Her voice lightly shook. "I don't like this…!"

"It's okay." I attempted to put her worries at ease. "This Big Bad Wolf will make sure nothing hurts you."

There was a brief silence between us until Spirit suddenly screamed.

"Ahhhh! There's something on me! Get it off! Get it off!" I could feel her hooves violently swinging around. Before I could actually try to do something about it, I could feel a gush of wind rush past as a pair of hooves galloped on. It honestly wasn't even that long before we reached the end of the tunnel. I found Spirit heavily breathing on the other side as she held her hoof to her chest. "You could have lit it up for us or something, y'know?!"

"I didn't want to ruin the illusion." I repeated Applejack. "After all, imagine how a pony with no magic feels going through there?"

"They'd be scared to death just like me?"

"Exactly."

She attempted to shake off the rest of the lasting scares away, seeing as it had already been over. "I wonder what the heck it was that touched me anyway."

"Probably just some of the corn that was hanging above us." I offered a reasonable answer.

"Yeah, I don't know." Spirit returned rather doubtfully and turned around to look ahead.

I took a look for myself at what laid in front of us, and it soon caused me sigh. "There's three ways to take, and none of the girls are in sight. You think they'd realize we're not with them and wait for us."

"Maybe they got spooked by something?"

I could only shrug at that suggestion and decided we would be on our own until we could find them again. We looked at our options and pondered over which one to take, involving what we'd believe the others would take. However, if they were really spooked to the point of running on without us, they'd most likely run wherever they could.

There was a path immediately to the left of us, there was a path straight ahead, and there was a path to the right ahead on the beginning of the straight path. There was no way to think rationally about where they would head off.

"I could just fly up and try to get a look at where they're at…" I proposed.

"No way!" Spirit immediately turned to me and objected. "That would ruin the whole point of the maze! C'mon, weren't you all bored before? This makes it tons more fun!" She turned back to having an overall look at our options. "Let's try the right path!" She pointed.

Spirit had a point, I guess. Besides, if any pony else saw me fly up, they'd probably go and complain about ponies cheating or something. With no other lead to go on, we proceeded to take the right path, as proposed by Spirit. On this path, the only thing we could do is keep a look out. We hadn't come across any scary traps, at least, not yet anyway. This led me to believe that the real fear of the maze was practically having no sense of direction of where to go or even where you were. This definitely had some merit of fear if somepony was completely alone.

Eventually, we came across somepony sticking her head into the thick walls of corn. It was immediately recognized that this pony wasn't any of the ones we were looking for by the color of her coat. In fact, we noticed that she had a pair of wings that did not match her coat color at all. However, it turned out that those wings were fake and rather seemed to be a part of the costume she wore. Soon enough, she pulled back her head and revealed not only her worried eccentric eyes but who she was.

"Derpy?" I asked.

Hearing my voice and catching a glimpse of me, she immediately grinned in relief and raced over to me. "Alex! I'm so glad to see you!" She tightly squeezed me for a moment before she pulled away and allowed me to get a better look at her.

She had been wearing what looked like a paper towel roll on her head that was colored purple to resemble a horn. Adding the wings with that, she was dressed up as an Alicorn this Nightmare Night. Almost overlooking the purple formal royal shoes on her hooves, she was an Alicorn Princess for that matter. Hold on… Is her costume what I think it is…?

"Are…are you Princess Twilight…?" I assumed, surprised that I didn't even truly notice the mane and tail before.

"Yup!" She cheerfully answered as she got a good look at Spirit and me. "Oooh! I really like your costumes!"

"I know. Perfect, right?" Spirit responded with a subtle smug grin.

"Did you come with someone?" I asked Derpy. "Or are you by yourself?"

This caused her to return to the worried state she had been in earlier before we arrived. "Vinyl, Octavia, and I were all together when we started this corn maze. But at some point, we all lost each other. At least, that's what I think happened."

"Yeah…we're looking for our friends too." I explained. "Have no idea where they went. I'm guessing the Apple family have more tricks up their sleeves than just cheap scares if they're causing us to separate like this."

"Either way, I'm glad you showed up when you did." She admitted. "It was getting scary being by myself. I just wish I could find the others, so we can finish this maze."

"Alright. Let's stick together then. We'll probably find them." I suggested. "You have any idea where they went?"

"I'm thinking this way, but I can't be too sure since, you know, it's a maze after all."

"Right… We'll let's just keep on this path and see where it takes us."

"Okay." She nodded and stuck close by as we moved on.

We continued on until we came across another darkened corridor. Remembering the last time we went through one, Spirit shivered at the thought of going through another.

"Maybe we should try another way…" Spirit recommended.

"Well, you should know what to expect if we go through here again." I responded. "After all, it'll literally only take seconds to get through. That's how small it was last time."

"I don't know." Derpy mentioned as she sort of took a look around the area in front of us. "It might just be me, but this one looks a lot bigger.

"Exactly! So, we should find a different way!" Spirit voted.

"Derpy said she thinks the others went this way, so if it gives us any chance to find them, I say we take it."

"Hmm…" She turned her head to the side and lightly puffed out her cheeks. She looked like she was super unwilling to go.

"I don't get you sometimes, you know?" I said. "Weren't you the one who was all excited to explore the Castle of the Two Sisters? You weren't afraid of anything."

"Well, duh! That's because I knew the whole place! Besides, at least in the castle, you could see what you were looking at."

"But this is just a corn maze, and it's not really even scary to begin with." I admitted. "Honestly, I think the scariest thing about this maze is your imagination. If you're thinking scary thoughts about what you may run into or what may happen, of course it's going to seem really scary."

"Fine!" She stated after sighing heavily and ended up skipping towards the darkness without us. "Off to grandmother's I go!"

"I don't think it's a good idea to go headfirst into the 'scary darkness' by yourself."

"Well, hurry up! I just want to get this over with as soon as possible!"

Derpy and I caught up with her, allowing me to ask her a question before we went in. "You want me to make some light?"

She had to think about her answer for a moment, but it didn't take her long to return one. "You know, as much as I hate going into the dark, I guess you do have a point of it ruining the whole point of going into the darkness in the first place. Besides, I'd probably rather not want to see whatever lurks in there. Ignorance is bliss after all."

"Gotcha." I responded and faced Derpy. "Ready to go?"

"Yup."

As we began making our way inside, I could feel Spirit's body press closely against me. Her shivers and shakes were easy to sense. It made me wonder how scared Derpy was. Either way, she seemed to be handling it better than Spirit was.

"Aahh!" Spirit suddenly shrieked, and I could feel her body separate from me.

"Hey, you okay?" I asked. I looked around in the darkness, even though it was utterly useless. "Where are you? You know we can't see in here!"

"There's something in here!" She stated through a trembling voice. "And it isn't any corn! It touched me!"

"It was probably just Derpy. Derpy?" I called out to her, but I heard nothing. "Derpy, don't tell me you went off too?"

"No, I'm right here!" I heard a short distance behind me.

"Good. Now, let's get back close together, so we can make it out without losing anyone."

"Uh-huh…" I felt Spirit reluctantly press her body against mine again.

After, I felt something tap my body, starting at my flank and making its way near my neck. "Derpy, you back?"

"No! I got stuck on some corn over here, I think!"

Her voice was definitely not as close as whatever touching me was.

"Then…who's…?"

"Alex—"

"Whoa!" As soon as I had heard the whisper and felt its breath brush against my ear, I immediately fumbled from where I was and found myself falling against something…alive.

"Ah!" Another shriek sounded, but it didn't sound the same as Spirit's a while ago.

I decided to light up what was in front of me with my horn and I had to say what I saw was unexpectedly shocking. A familiar pony had been lying on the floor in front of me. I rather stood over this pony to where our faces were right in front of each other. There was a brief moment of absolute silence as I spent the time figuring out who this pony had been.

"…Octavia? Is that…you?"

With a seemingly heavy blush and a furrow of her eyebrows, she responded rather angrily at me. "Why, yes! Of course, it's me! I've been stuck in this blasted area, Vinyl ran off, and I haven't been able to get out since!"

"Sorry… I had no idea…"

She remained quiet for a moment, adverting her eyes away from me for some reason. "C…could you let me get up?"

I had just realized that I still had been hovering over her, so I immediately moved aside and stuck out my hoof. "Sorry…"

She accepted it and allowed me to pull her up. "It's quite alright…" She began to dust herself off, allowing me to see the kind of costume she had been wearing. It looked like something that belonged back in the Victorian-era. In other words, it was fancy, 'exquisite', and something Rarity would most likely wear and has probably already worn in the past. "I didn't expect to see you here…but I have to say I am really glad to have found you."

"That's what I said!" It seemed Derpy had managed to catch up with us as I found her besides us in the small light I held.

"Where have you been?!" Octavia practically barked out. "We thought you had been with us until we realized you weren't in here!"

"Sorry…" Derpy merely apologized.

"Well, I'm glad we managed to find someone that we were looking for in here." I stated. "Now, we're all together, right? No strays hanging around?" I asked, especially directing it towards Spirit.

"Uh-huh..." Spirit popped in within the visibility of the light.

"This place is a maze of its own." Octavia mentioned. "I must say, the design of this was quite clever yet extremely annoying at the same time!"

"It can't be that big." I thought. "It's probably just one circular path or something. It doesn't help when you can't see what you're looking at."

"Thank heavens you can light up the way for us." She appreciated.

"Guess so. Unless, you still want the light out, Spirit?"

"Well…you didn't come across anything scary, did you?" Spirit asked Octavia.

"Not at all." She answered. "The only thing about this part of the maze is that it's absolutely difficult to find the exit in here, much less the entrance as well."

"In that case…keep the light on." Spirit suggested. "I'm not too keen on staying in the dark forever."

"You got it." I acknowledged and proceeded to lead the way as the others closely followed. "You must be one tough mare to have lasted as long as you did without any kind of sense of direction in here, Tavi."

"Yes, well…let's just say the frustration that had built over time had clouded any sense of fear I may have previously had."

I chuckled lightly. "I guess it's not that surprising, coming from you."

"What exactly is that supposed to mean?" She almost shot back, her angry embarrassment returning once more.

"Oh, nothing."

"You're lucky you're guiding us out of this mess." She borderline muttered before she seemed to keep quiet.

"Don't worry, Tavi." I assured. "We'll get out. Just keep close, so no one loses each other again." I felt her throw herself against me lightly enough to where it could technically be counted as a shove. I supposed she was still lightly upset. "Well, I didn't mean that close, but okay."

With the light, it didn't take any longer than a few minutes to find the right path to get us out of the darkness. However, to our surprise, it seemed as if the dark area was actually the final area right before the exit to the maze. There had been a straight path which led to a completely unbordered field. Outside, ponies stood around and talked amongst each other. Nevertheless, there had been one pony in particular that stood by the corner of the end of the maze.

With the fangs that stood sharply at the corners of her mouth, she chomped onto a fresh apple. She noticed us as we approached her at the exit. "Oh, hey! You made it!" The last pony missing from the bunch, Vinyl, greeted us while wearing a vampire costume.

"'Hey'?! That's what you say?!" Octavia immediately began storming her way to her. "Do you know how long I had been in that dark place for?"

"Uh… I donnu. A few minutes?"

"Long enough!" Octavia finished. "Just where did you go?!"

"Right where I am right now. Thought the Derps might have found the exit before we did."

"Ugh." Octavia sighed and planted a hoof on her exhausted face. "I'm never doing another one of these mazes with you again."

"Aw, come on, don't be like that."

As they argued with each other, I took a quick look around for any other of the others we had been searching for. It didn't seem like they were here.

"Hey, Vinyl, you haven't seen Twilight, Pinkie, or any of the others pass by here, have you?" I asked.

"Nope, don't think so."

"I'm sure they haven't finished yet. They definitely would have waited for us." I thought out loud.

"You think they're still in there?" Spirit asked.

"Yeah, probably. We know the way out. Maybe we can go look for them…"

"We're going to head out." Vinyl announced, as the three of them prepared to leave. "You wanna come with?"

"No, thanks." I answered. "We gotta find the rest of our friends."

"Kay, then. Catch you later!"

The other two waved goodbye as they left the area.

I began thinking to myself after they were gone. I couldn't help but still find the entire situation weird in a way. There's was just something about it that didn't seem right, and it felt as if it stemmed back to their disappearance after we had made it through the first dark corridor of corn.

"You thinking about the others?" Spirit asked, her guess being on point, possibly due to the look on my face.

"Yeah." I admitted. "I may just be overthinking things, but I just can't help but feel a little…worried about them."

"I guess we should start looking for them, huh?"

"I just hope we can come across them soon."

Before we could start making our way back in, Spirit suddenly gasped as her ear twitched from some kind of stimulation.

"You alright?" I asked.

"I heard something…! Something like…a high-pitched scream."

"…how? Where?" I felt my heart begin racing as I shot my inquires towards her.

She immediately turned her head towards a specific direction and suddenly pointed out. "There! At that cliff!"

I turned towards the direction she had been pointing at and found a summit as a result. Looking closely, I noticed that a group of ponies had appeared to have been cornered at the very edge of the cliff. If they were to move so much of an inch, they could easily fall off!

That wasn't the worst part of it. The costumes these ponies wore were heavily familiar. There was no doubt about it. I didn't know how or when, but the group of ponies being cornered at the edge of the summit were definitely the friends we had been searching for!

"Spirit, we've got to go!" I began taking off without sparing a word afterwards.

As I began closing the distance between the target destination and me, I could see that the others had been horrendously frightened by something. It was then when I noticed a silhouette of something staring towards them in flight.

Was it somepony that was taking Nightmare Night way too far?

Or was it an actual threat?

Either way, I had to stop it!

Before I could allow the flying pony to make another move, I immediately dove in and restrained the one responsible. Without really thinking, I chose to tackle this pony to the ground. Once I was able to bring myself up, I began to take a good look at who I was up against.

To my shock, I only really needed a quick glance to realize who this pony had been. It had been Fluttershy in her vampire fruit bat form. However, seeing as I had a super close look, it was just a costume. Her altered wings, ears, and even fangs had all been fake.

"Fluttershy?!" I immediately removed myself from hovering over her and helped her up from the ground. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you! I-I-I thought you were…!"

She immediately wrapped her hooves around me, almost apologizing frantically as if she was the one to blame. "No! I'm the one who should be sorry! I only wanted to try my hoof at Nightmare Night again, but it seems I made things much more worse than ever before!" She pulled away from our tight embrace and faced the others that had remained motionless from utter shock at the cliffside. "I'm so, so sorry! Can you ever forgive me?"

"It was you the whole time?!" Rainbow Dash unexpectedly asked both in shock and astonishment.

"I can't believe it!" Twilight added into the commotion, causing me to ponder about what exactly I had missed after we had been separated.

"That... was..."

"THE BEST THING EVER!" Pinkie Pie screamed, finishing Rarity's comment.

"It was way more terrifying than the most terrifying thing I could have thought of!" Rainbow Dash praised as she swirled around Fluttershy from excitement.

"You out-nightmared the scariest part of the corn maze!" Applejack stated.

"How did you do all this?!" Twilight asked.

"Well…after I left the castle, I thought there was no way I could ever fit in with celebrating Nightmare Night with the rest of you, but I realized that leaving so unexpectedly made things worse for everypony. I knew I couldn't just give up and hide in my cottage. I had to keep trying, so I ended up asking Granny Smith if I could try to make the maze even scarier for my friends. Although, it doesn't seem like all of you were together at the time…"

I wasn't sure if I was supposed to feel guilty about not being with them or relieved…

"You came up with all of this?" Rainbow fired yet another question.

"I had some help." Fluttershy proceeded to offer an explanation to whatever happened between them. At the same time, three flying bedsheets appeared at Fluttershy's side. Flipping the sheets over, a trio of Fluttershy's bird were revealed to have been the cause. "Angel was the scary figure that kept scurrying after you in the maze. Fuzzy Legs made the sticky wall that made it difficult for you to see and move. And, of course, Harry was the especially scary monster."

All of her animals that had taken part in this apparently overwhelming yet entertaining scare presented themselves, especially her giant but friendly bear.

Just how much did I miss?!

"Wow! That was inspired!" Twilight complimented.

"You have to do this every year!" Pinkie requested, earning comments of approval from the rest of the ecstatic ponies.

"We could celebrate Nightmare Night together every year." Fluttershy paused, foreshadowing a statement that said otherwise. "But the truth is I really don't want to."

"You don't?!" Pinkie reacted with shock as she lightly bounced on her fluffy pink tail.

"But you've done it." Rarity pointed out. "You found a way that we can all have a fabulous time together."

"Yes, but I've also realized something." She mentioned as she began stripping herself of her costume. "You all may love Nightmare Night and I may be good at being a part of it, but it's no fun for me to see my friends feel like they're in danger, even if I know they're not. I really don't like it. It's just not my cup of tea."

"Spoooooooooky tea?" Pinkie felt the need to close the distance between Fluttershy and her as she dramatically held a flashlight amongst the two.

"No. Just regular tea." Fluttershy gently pushed Pinkie Pie back towards the others. "We do lots of fun things together, but I'm afraid this just isn't gonna be one of them. Actually, I'm not afraid. I'm perfectly fine with it."

"Then we are, too." Twilight understood as the rest of them gathered together to share a group hug.

Next, Fluttershy approached me with slightly concerned eyes. "I hope you're not disappointed. I know you've told me how much you love having me around for gatherings like this…"

I softly shook my head. "If you don't want to do something, then I never want to force you do it. I should've known this ever since our first Nightmare Night." I chuckled lightly from embarrassment. "Guess I was too dumb to really put your feelings into consideration. I remember how scared you were that night, but even so, I convinced you to come out because, you know, it would have felt a little lonely without you."

Fluttershy sincerely smiled as she caressed my cheek with her hoof. "I was scared…but you can't expect me to run away from my fears than face them. It's true. I'm still quite scared of Nightmare Night, and overall, I find it unpleasant, especially if I have to see fear in my friends' faces. But because of you, I was able to face this fear head on. I didn't let Nightmare Night get the better of me. Now, I realize that Nightmare Night really isn't something for me. It isn't because I'm too scared about Nightmare Night. It's just…well…not for me." Fluttershy giggled lightly. "I don't really know how else to put it."

"I get it." I welcomed her hoof with my own. "If I was given the opportunity to have a tea party with Discord, I'd totally pass."

The two of us laughed lightly at the idea of that, and afterwards, things were able to go back to how they were.


As promised, I had spent the rest of Nightmare Night with the others, knowing that Fluttershy had no longer been feeling guilty about not being along with us. It wasn't until we decided to call it a night when I began heading towards Fluttershy's cottage with a bag of candy that Pinkie had made herself just for Fluttershy.

Spirit accompanied me along the way, expressing her afterthoughts of having spent, I would say her first Nightmare Night, with us.

"I know you weren't exactly looking forward to being the same thing this Nightmare Night…" Spirit mentioned. "But…thanks. I know you did it because deep down inside you really love me."

I decided I would mess with her a bit. "Nah. I just did it, so you would shut up." She lightly punched me with her hoof, causing me to almost spill the contents of Fluttershy's candy bag onto the ground. "Kidding! Kidding! You might want to take your costume back to Rarity's or leave it at the castle. I promised Fluttershy I'd stay with her after I was finished with tonight."

"Yeah, yeah. I know." She seemingly understood. "I'll go ask Rarity if I can keep it because I actually really like it. You know, Rarity is really good with fashion."

"You've just realized that now?" I almost couldn't tell if she was being serious or not.

"Ah, come on." She tried to explain her reasons. "I guess I just needed to…experience it for myself. And seeing how cute I looked…" She couldn't help but giggle briefly. "It was just so amazing."

"Well, now you know who to go to if you ever want a makeover or something."

We arrived at Fluttershy's door, which led to Spirit taking her leave.

"Alright, I better go ahead and leave the two of you alone. And don't worry, I won't spy on you or anything later on."

"That…kind of makes me feel uncomfortable now…" I mentioned, realizing that technically Spirit could pop in or out without given notice if she really wanted to.

"As if I'd want to see a couple of ponies being all mushy and stuff! Yuck!" She protested the sight by sticking her tongue. "Goodnight!" She said before running off back towards Ponyville.

Inside the cottage, I found Fluttershy under her bed as she had told me where she'd be. Even then, the light, which came from underneath her bedsheets, was a dead giveaway. Surrounded by her stuffed animals, books, and some light snacks, I found her reading calmly as if she had been unaware of the world outside her bed.

"I hope there's enough room for me." I mentioned as I squeezed my way through.

She had lightly jumped at the sight and sound of me. Nevertheless, she was extremely relieved to see me. "Of course, there is!"

She patted the pillowed area besides her, inviting me to sit down. Despite it just being a tiny bit cramped, I had to admit it was still pretty cozy. "This is actually kind of nice."

"Isn't it?" Fluttershy asked as she rested herself on top of me. "It's like my own secret hideout, and having you here with me, I can sleep through any kind of spooky night."

When she believed it was time to get some shut-eye, she turned out the light and nestled her head on me while adorably releasing sounds of comfort from her lips. I decided to close my eyes and lightly brush her mane with my hoof.

It had seeming been a long time since we had spent a night like this, and despite earlier, I felt that being here with Fluttershy was more than worth it.

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