• 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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Stare Master

Episode 17 – Stare Master

Slowly opening my eyes and getting out of bed, I walked downstairs to the front door. I began walking outside, heading to Fluttershy's but it turns out I didn't need to. I saw her walking by in town, carrying a basket with her teeth. She moved her eyes to see me. She placed the basket down gently and greeted me.

"Hi, Alex." She smiled.

"Hello, Fluttershy. Where are you going with that basket?" I asked, walking towards her.

She looked at the basket and explained. "I just finished grooming Rarity's pet for her. I'm taking her back to her shop. Want to come?"

I nodded, almost immediately.

We began walking through town until we reached Rarity's shop. Fluttershy rang the doorbell and entered a moment after.

"Oh, sorry." Fluttershy apologized after she saw Rarity working with the sewing machine. "I thought the 'open' sign meant you were open, but I must have been mistaken."

Rarity gasped. "Fluttershy! Forgive me!" Rarity apologized as she walked toward us. "I was so wrapped up in my work that I forgot you were bringing Opalescence back from her grooming!"

"No worries, Rarity. I've left her there in the basket."

The cat poked her head out and hopped out of the basket, purring.

"Oh, she looks great! I just don't understand how you're able to do it! I can't get near her without getting a swipe from her claws." Rarity moved her head close to Opalescence, causing her to stop purring with Fluttershy and aggressively attempt to slash Rarity with her claws. "Ahh! Did you use..." Rarity paused for a moment. "…The Stare on her?

I raised an eyebrow. The Stare?

"Oh, no! I wouldn't! I couldn't! I-I don't really have any control over when that happens. I-It just happens." Fluttershy responded uneasily. "No, I'm just good with animals. It's my special gift, you know?"

"Well, you should have a picture of Opal as a cutie mark instead of those butterflies." Rarity winked jokingly.

"Ooh, ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh!" Rarity's little sister, Sweetie Bell, exclaimed. "Maybe I can be good with animals, too!" Rarity's pet glared at her annoyingly and gave a quick swipe at Sweetie Bells mane, cutting off a piece of it in an instant. "Or not."

Rarity and Fluttershy laughed.

"I'm sorry I can't invite you both to stay and chat. I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew with this order." Rarity said.

"But you're not eating anything." Sweetie Bell answered.

"No, Sweetie, it's an expression. It means that I've taken on more work than I can handle. I've got twenty of these special robes to make tonight! They're due in Trottingham tomorrow morning." She grabbed a gold and glittering cloth and presented it to us, causing Fluttershy to gasp. "See? I've lined them in a special gold silk. It took so long to make, but I think it adds just the right touch, don't you?"

"These are lovely," Fluttershy responded as she observed it. "but twenty by tonight? How will you get it all done?"

"Well, I, uh..." Rarity tried to explain.

"Oh, oh oh!" Sweetie Bell cried out. "Maybe I could..." Rarity gave her a cold and irritated stare. "…just... just stand over here and watch." She walked over to a corner.

"I'll manage." Rarity answered.

"Well, maybe we should get out of your mane so you can work." Fluttershy replied as she began walking out the door.

A couple of fillies suddenly rushed through the door, saying Hello to each of us.

"Hello, uh, girls..." Rarity grew another worried expression.

"Hey, Sweetie Belle!" They stopped and greeted her. It was Applebloom and one of her friends.

Sweetie Bell changed her gloomy look to a joyful one. "Scootaloo! Applebloom!" She exclaimed.

"You ready for tonight?" The little orange one, who must have been Scootaloo, asked. She had a pair of small wings, creating an equal diversity in the group. She also had a darkish pinkish mane with light purple colored eyes.

"Yup! Cutie mark planning session is a go!" Sweetie Bell answered, giving a salute.

"Tonight is the night we each try to find our own special talent." Applebloom announced.

"Even if it takes us all night!" Scootaloo added.

"I'm ready! You ready?" Applebloom asked Scootaloo.

"Very ready!" Scootaloo replied confidently.

"Cutie Mark Crusader sleepover at Rarity's!" The three of them shouted loudly. "Yay!"

"And... look what I made us!" Sweetie Bell represented a velvet cape with their insignia on it.

"Oh, wow!" Scootaloo and Applebloom replied as they combined laughs and gasps.

Fluttershy walked over to them, concerned. "What does that patch on your cape mean?" She asked.

"The Cutie Mark Crusaders! Yay!" They shouted.

"We're on a crusade, a mission!" Scootaloo responded.

"To find our cutie marks!" Applebloom added.

"Yup. And look. I lined them with this special gold silk. It took sooo long to make, but I think it adds just the right touch, don't you?" Sweetie Bell finished.

My expression instantly changed to a shocked one when I heard the words "gold" and "silk". I looked over Rarity to see her eye begin twitching. She rushed over to her desk and pulled out her other gold fabric to reveal square holes in it. "Sweetie Belle! What have you DONE? That was the last of the gold silk! Oh, now I'll have to make more! Oh, I hope I can make more. I'm gonna have to work all night! Which means... sorry, girls, I'm afraid the Crusaders sleepover is cancelled."

"WHAT?" Sweetie Bell exclaimed.

"I just won't have any time to watch you if I want to get these robes delivered on time." Rarity answered.

"But—

"No buts this time. I'm sorry, Sweetie Belle; it's just the way it has to be."

"Awwww..." They groaned in disappointment.

"I, ah, I suppose I could take them for the night." Fluttershy offered.

They lifted their heads and looked excitedly at Rarity.

"I couldn't ask you to do that." Rarity replied.

Their heads shifted to Fluttershy.

"Oh, it's no problem at all." Fluttershy responded.

The three of their heads continued to shift to each speaker.

"Have you met my sister and her friends? A problem is all it would be."

"Did I have a problem with Opal? You've seen how well I handle small creatures!"

"I suppose that's true... and I do have a lot of work to do..."

"Come on, it'll be fun."

"I assure you, they're quite a handful."

"These sweet little angels?"

They stood proudly and smiled innocently.

"Well..." Rarity thought for a moment. "…all right."

"Cutie Mark Crusader sleepover at Fluttershy's cottage! Yay!" They shouted out loud, causing our ears to be sore from the volume. They rushed out the door.

"So cute." Fluttershy commented. "W-wait for us!" She grabbed my hoof and flew out the shop.

I walked by Fluttershy as she flew lightly behind the running fillies.

"Oh, won't this be ever so fun." Fluttershy excitedly told me. "We can have a nice little tea party, and braid each other's tails, and sit quietly and color, and tell each other fairy tales, and—

She noticed the fillies rush past Twilight, spinning her around and making her dizzy. When Twilight regained her balance, she noticed us. "Hello, Fluttershy. Hey, Alex."

"Oh! Hello, Twilight." Fluttershy flew over to Twilight. "Where are you off to?" She asked.

"I'm heading to the Everfree Forest, to Zecora's, to get some of my favorite tea." Twilight replied.

"Th-the Everfree Forest?" Fluttershy suddenly returned a worried look. "Ah, you'll be careful, won't you?"

"Of course! How about you? What are you doing with the girls?"

Fluttershy landed as she responded to Twilight. "Rarity has a big order to fill tonight, so I volunteered to take the girls over to my cottage for a sleepover."

"Wow. Sounds like everypony has their hooves full today. Taking care of those three fillies all by yourself? You sure you can handle it?"

"What? These sweet little angels?" Applebloom, Sweetie Bell, and Scootaloo ran over to us, smiling innocently. "They'll be no problem at all."

"I could help you with the girls, if you want..." I offered to Fluttershy.

"Oh, you don't have too..." Fluttershy thought for a moment. "Well... okay! The more the merrier, right?" She smiled brightly.

Turning my eyes from the fillies, I looked at Twilight. "Do you want me to walk you over to Zecora's? I don't feel comfortable knowing that you'll be going all by yourself."

"Oh, Alex." Twilight laughed a little. "I'll be fine! What am I going to do? Stand in the middle of the forest like a rock?"

"Um… I guess not…?"

"Don't worry about me Alex! I'll be fine. Besides, I have magic, remember? If I get into a little trouble, I'll just use it then!"

I thought for a moment and trusted Twilight. "Okay… just be careful, alright?"

Twilight nodded. "Sure thing! Well I'll see you two later!" She began walking towards the Everfree forest.

"Well…" Fluttershy announced. "Let's get these three back at my cottage before it gets late."

I nodded and we walked them over to Fluttershy's.

As soon as Fluttershy closed her doors, the little fillies began their hyper activities throughout the home. Fluttershy could only stare confused at what she should do.

"No problem at all…Okay, girls, uh, what should we do?" Fluttershy asked.

"I'm gonna get my mark first!" Scootaloo exclaimed.

"Girls?" Fluttershy asked again.

"Nuh-uh!" Sweetie Belle counteracted.

"Should we—

"I am!"

"Girls, okay, now settle –

"I'm staying up all night!"

"Me too!"

"Me three!"

"GIRLS!" I shouted after I couldn't take the ignorance anymore. They all stopped what they were doing and walked over to us, in silence. Fluttershy sighed and blew the mane that was in front of her face. "Listen to Fluttershy… please." I told them politely.

Fluttershy smiled at me. "Thank you Alex." She looked over to the girls. "So! What do you wanna do? Play a game?"

"We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders!" Scootaloo exclaimed.

"And we want to crusade for our cutie marks!" Applebloom added.

"And, and, and, we, um- yeah! What they said!" Sweetie Belle struggled.

"Mmm, I don't know..." Fluttershy began looking a little nervous again. "how about a nice quiet little tea party?"

"Or... we could go adventuring in the Everfree Forest!" Scootaloo offered.

The rest of the girls agreed and began heading out the front door, but Fluttershy flew in their way. "Oh, no. The Everfree Forest is much too dangerous. It's filled with far too many strange creatures."

"But you could go with us and we could catch those creatures." Sweetie Belle tried to reason. "We could be, umm... creature catchers!"

"YAY!" They all shouted again, damaging our ears with the strength of their voices. "Cutie Mark Crusader creature catchers!"

Scootaloo and Applebloom dressed up with a rug and basket to look like a monster. Scootaloo began making noises. "Arrrr... I am a dangerous creature from the Everfree Forest! Rrrarr!"

Sweetie Belle stared at them in confusion for a moment, but then finally realized at what they were up to. "Halt, dangerous creature from the Everfree Forest. I am Sweetie Belle, the creature catcher, and I'm here to catch you!"

"You can never catch me! I am far too powerful and dangerous!"

"You cannot run from me!"

They began chasing each other as they giggled at the same time. Fluttershy tried to calm them down by trying to talk to them again. "Um, oh, maybe that's not such a- now, girls, how about we do some nice coloring. Dhh—

"Come back, dangerous creature, so I can catch you!" Sweetie Belle bounced off of Fluttershy's head.

"Never!"

After seeing them mess around in the house without any regard for safety or destroying things, I quickly took action. "Alright, that's enough." I said, walking over to them and pulling the rug and basket off. Scootaloo fell off from being on Applebloom and Sweetie Belle stopped running.

I placed the three of them in front of me and began trying to talk some sense into them. "Look, I know how you little girls are really excited about… well… being 'Cutie Mark Crusaders'… but you've got to remember that you need to watch what you're doing. Fluttershy and I don't want you girls to be getting into any trouble or harmed. So please, I don't want to have to continue asking you fillies, but Fluttershy is allowing you three to sleep over at her home and you need to respect that. You girls need to listen to whatever she tells you three to do…"

They sighed and lowered their heads, apologizing.

Fluttershy walked over and sighed as well. "Thank you again, Alex." She looked over to them and continued speaking. "Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way, how about a game?"

"A game?" Applebloom asked as the rest of them walked over to sit on the couch excitedly, but calm so far.

"It's called 'Shhh!'" Fluttershy answered.

"What's that?" Scootaloo questioned as they pulled back confused.

"Well, it's a game about who can be quiet the longest. Sound fun?" Fluttershy asked. The girls didn't say anything but only responded with bored expressions on their faces. Fluttershy noticed this and tried to lift their spirits by introducing a competitive mood. "I'm the world champ, you know. I bet you can't beat me!" Fluttershy released an adorable squeal as she smiled. She suddenly took in a deep breath of air and held it in.

"I lose!" Scootaloo immediately announced.

"Me too!" Sweetie Belle joined.

"Me three!" Applebloom added.

Fluttershy released the breath she held in. We both sighed as the girls returned to being hyper in the house.

"Okay, now what can we do?" Applebloom asked the others. "Oooh! How about Cutie Mark Crusader coal miners?"

"YEAH!" The others agreed.

"NO!" Fluttershy exclaimed.

"Awwww!"

"I mean, it's time for bed, don't you think?" Fluttershy responded, changing the tone of her voice. "Aren't you excited to get all toasty and warm in your snuggly-wuggly widdle beds?"

"Snuggly-wuggly? But we have more crusading to do!" Applebloom replied.

"We've got plans!" Scootaloo added.

"And capes!" Sweetie Belle presented the capes that were in her saddle.

"Um, okay, um. Maybe the crusading can wait until morning? When it's light? And not so... dark?" She began walking the fillies upstairs. "C'mon Alex, I may need your help…"

I nodded and walked behind her to her bedroom, where she was going to let the girls sleep.

"How are we gonna find our special talent in our sleep?" Applebloom asked.

Fluttershy blew out the candle that was lit inside the room. "Maybe you'll have a lovely little dream about your special talent."

"But we're not even tired!" Scootaloo stated as the three of them were under the covers in the bed.

"How about I sing you a lullaby?" Fluttershy offered.

"Mm-hmm, yeah!" They agreed.

Fluttershy cleared her throat, and in the most amazing voice, she sang.

"Hush now, quiet now

It's time to lay your sleepy head

Hush now, quiet now

It's time to go to bed"

The three girls began looking sleepy as they began closing their eyes and yawning. Fluttershy looked over at me. "Alex, do you want to try?" She asked.

"Um…" I began feeling a little nervous. "I'm not much of a singer…"

"Oh, I'm sure you'll do fine!"

I looked at her for a moment, but she gave me this sweet look on her face that I couldn't refuse… I sighed. "Okay…" I walked closer to the bed and looked at the girls. They looked back at me with their sleepy eyes. I looked at Fluttershy, who nodded for me to begin. I took a deep breath and hoped for the best…

"Hush now, quiet now

It's time to lay your sleepy head

Hush now, quiet now

It's time to go to bed…"

"Oh Alex…" Fluttershy spoke behind me. I looked at her. She returned a look with a warm smile. "That was wonderful…"

"You really think so…?" I asked, very surprised.

She nodded.

I looked back at the girls to see Scootaloo and Applebloom close their eyes. However, just when Sweetie Bell was about to do the same, she suddenly opened her eyes again. "I know this one!" She exclaimed, shocking the other girls.

"Oh, how wonderful!" Fluttershy responded. "Why don't you sing it with us?"

Sweetie Belle cleared her throat. She stood up from the bed while the others placed their hooves on their ears.

"Hush now! Quiet now!

It's time to lay your sleepy head!"

Fluttershy shook her hooves to try to quiet Sweetie Belle down… but that didn't work.

"Said hush now! Quiet now!

It's time to go to bed! "

"Okay Sweetie… that was—

"Driftin' off to sleep!

The exciting day behind you!

Driftin' off to sleep!

Let the joy of dream land find you!"

Her enormous and loud voice began causing things from Fluttershy's shelf to fall. I immediately dove to catch them in my hooves.

"Thank you, Sweetie, um..."

"Hush now! Quiet now!

Lay your sleepy head!

Said hush now! Quiet now!

It's time to go to BEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! OW!"

Sweetie Bell had caused her friends to be under the covers while Fluttershy had been on the floor covering her ears. I placed the items back on her shelf, but then heard chickens clucking and flapping.

"What is that?" Scootaloo asked.

Chickens continued squawking outside while I helped Fluttershy from the floor. As soon as we looking towards the bed, we noticed the girls were instantly gone. Fluttershy gasped and called them. "Girls!" We both looked out the window to see them near the chicken pen.

"Fluttershy, your chickens are on the loose!" Applebloom stated.

"I wonder what could have caused that..." Sweetie Belle wondered.

The others glared her for a moment.

"Don't worry, Fluttershy, the Cutie Mark Crusaders will handle this!" Scootaloo exclaimed.

"Cutie Mark Crusader chicken herders!" Sweetie Belle announced happily. "Yay!"

"No, I don't think that's a- ah, come back! Please!" I groaned and jumped out the window to catch the girls and possibly yell at them again. Fluttershy followed me and flew over to the chicken pen. "Come on, girls, the chickens are fine- oh, girls, um..." Just before I was about to shout their names again, a chicken came out of nowhere and attacked my face. I grabbed it with my hooves and lightly threw it at the ground. "GIRLS!" Fluttershy exclaimed for me, causing the girls to grow very quiet while the chickens continued to be bothersome. Fluttershy managed to group up the chickens and began leading them towards their home. "Come on, in you go." The chicken stopped at the entrance and refused to go inside. Fluttershy saw this and immediately changed the look on her face. She opened her eyes wide and stared right into the chickens' eyes. They immediately grew frightened and slowly backed off to the inside of their house. Fluttershy replaced her expression afterwards. "They're some good chickens." Fluttershy walked over to the fillies. "Okay, you three. Isn't it about time you got into bed?"

"BUT—

"Please? "

They looked at each other and finally gave up, lowering their heads. Fluttershy smiled and led them back into her cottage. I looked around the chicken pen and noticed something odd… there was hole in one part of the fence that surrounded the chickens. It was barely large enough for one to get through. In fact, there were footprints through the hole… I observed the footprints, beginning to follow them, however, Fluttershy called me.

"Alex, are you coming in?" She asked.

I looked back and responded. "Uh… yeah…"

I decided I would come back later and investigate. I didn't want Fluttershy to worry.

By the time I entered her cottage, she was walking down the stairs.

"I just put the girls into bed…" She finished and looked at me. She yawned. "Well, I guess I better get some sleep too… Alex, do you mind if you stay here and help me look after the girls?"

"No I don't. You deserve some sleep." I responded.

"Oh, thank you so much." She walked over to her couch and lay down, sighing. She closed her eyes and she continued to talk to me. "It really wasn't THAT hard ... I mean, all I needed to do was just show them who's in charge. Nothing's gonna get past Fluttershy! Good with animals, good with kids…"

I grabbed the covers from near the couch and placed them over her and she began to sleep.

"Good night, Fluttershy." I softly told her. "You've done enough for today…"

I turned around and walked towards the door, letting myself outside. I began looking for the footprints. When I spotted them, I began following them. They eventually led me to… the Everfree forest. I took a deep breath… this is going to be a challenge…

I continued walking through the eerie sounds of the forest. Owls hooted as I cautiously looked around for any dangers. I continued to search for the missing chicken, but I still hadn't found any yet. After some time, I heard a familiar voice echo through the forest.

"Scootaloo! Scoot-scootalooooo!"

I looked back to try to see where the voice came from. I studied the voice and finally realized that things have gotten much worse. It was Applebloom's voice… don't tell me…

I sighed. Not only do I have to look for the missing chicken… but the girls as well…

I was about to turn around… but I heard something slip by me. I quickly glanced around, searching for the mysterious noise. I walked a bit forward and noticed something shaded out by the night. It was some kind of figure, but I had no idea what it was, due to the fact that it was so dark. I slowly and cautiously walked towards the object. When I was close enough, I found out it was Twilight.

"Twilight?" I questioned her. There was no response. "Twilight?" I asked again, placing a hoof on her… but something was strange… her skin was cold… not only cold but…rock-hard!

"What the—

The dark clouds that covered the moonlight moved out of the way and uncovered Twilight's true state. I gasped when I saw Twilight's condition. She was literally turned to stone. I could only see how her eyes were widened as if she was suddenly surprised. Her mouth was agape to match the same expression.

"What did this?" I exclaimed, observing her. I looked around but there was nothing in sight. "What should I do?" I questioned to myself, worriedly. I tried to put myself where I could carry her but it was too complicated. She seemed too heavy as well.

"Hold on Twilight… I have to find the girls before they get hurt!" I immediately began running to where Applebloom's voice originated from.

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

I followed the voices as I continued to run hastily.

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

After swerving through branches and bushes, I finally spotted them. Applebloom and Scootaloo were arguing while Sweetie Belle was in the front walking.

"Girls!" I called them.

They quickly turned to me, looking very surprised.

"Alex?" They answered.

"Girls, what do you think you're doing here?" I exclaimed as I walked towards them.

"We were just looking for Fluttershy's chicken…" Sweetie Belle explained, lowering her head.

"That doesn't give you the reason to come out here all by yourselves!" I responded. "Don't you know how dangerous the forest is? Especially at night!"

"But…" Applebloom tried to speak.

"No excuses, I'm taking you girls home right now!" I began walking them out of the forest.

"But what about the chicken?" Scootaloo asked.

"Leave that to me, I am getting you three out of here."

Suddenly, we heard a voice call us from above. "Girls? Alex?" A pony flew above us.

"Fluttershy?" I questioned.

She heard me and flew down to us. "Thank goodness I found you!"

Applebloom tried to respond to Fluttershy's appearance. "Fluttershy, what—

"Girls, we have to leave the forest at once!"

"But... we haven't found the chicken yet! " Sweetie Bell replied.

"There's no time for that. There's a cockatrice on the loose!" Fluttershy warned as she began walking them back out of the forest.

"A cockatrice?" I asked.

" It's a frightening creature with the head of a chicken and the body of a snake. Now, come on!"

"The head of a chicken and the body of a snake? That doesn't sound scary, that sounds silly!" Scootaloo stated.

"Well, if I ever saw one of them cockathingies face-to-face, I'd laugh at how silly it was." Applebloom added.

"NO!" Fluttershy demanded. "Never look one in the eye. If you look a cockatrice in the eye—

Brush rustled behind us and a chicken came out, clucking.

"The chicken!" Applebloom exclaimed and the girls immediately rushed over to get it.

"Girls! Wait!" Fluttershy called as I began racing after the girls.

"Here, chick-chick-chick-chick-chick!" They said as they chased it.

They suddenly stopped and were cut off by a loud and distorted growl.

"There he is!" Sweetie Belle pointed to a chicken's head pointing out of a nearby bush.

"Girls!" I exclaimed, catching them and running towards the front of them.

Another chicken's head poked out of another bush in front of us. "Two chickens?" Scootaloo questioned.

"I thought only one escaped!" Applebloom wondered.

"Grab them both!" Sweetie Belle ordered as they began to stick their hooves out to grab them. I immediately placed my hooves in front of them to stop them.

"No! Stay behind me!" I commanded.

Suddenly, the chicken's head in front me gained altitude. It revealed its wings, which were full of scales, along with its snakelike body. It gave a terribly loud roar and flew over to Fluttershy's chicken that was running around in a panicking way. It landed on the ground and roared at the chicken. The chicken screamed and was instantly turned to stone.

The cockatrice began targeting the little girls. The girls immediately screamed and began running away. The cockatrice began following them but I instantly ran over and tackled it down to the ground, trying to keep it in place.

"Alex!" Fluttershy called after me.

"Get the girls!" I exclaimed, struggling to keep the cockatrice in place.

It continued to try to maneuver itself out of my hold but I wouldn't let it budge. It then tried a new tactic, which began being effective. It stared right into my eyes.

I knew that if I closed my eyes to prevent myself from turning into stone, I would lose concentration on holding the cockatrice and it would free itself and chase after the girls. However, I could give them time to escape if I kept my focus, but I would soon join Twilight. I instantly kicked out the "closing my eyes" choice and made sure the cockatrice didn't escape my hold.

I could slowly feel my back legs turn into stone. I was a bit afraid of what was going to happen, but my heart gave me the strength to proceed with it. The cockatrice continued clucking, struggling, and staring at me. I could already feel the stone halfway throughout my body.

I hope the girls made it out in time…

The stone was at my upper body now.

So what will happen when I'm completely paralyzed?

It was at my neck now.

Well… whatever happens… happens…

The stone was just about to completely surround my whole body now…

…for my…friends…

I was completely paralyzed… I couldn't move any part of my body. I could feel the cockatrice release itself from my grasp. I hoped that the girls got out in time…

However… for some reason, I still was able to hear voices…

"GIRLS! Behind me, NOW!"

Fluttershy? What are they still doing here?

I could hear the cockatrice roaring furiously, trying to capture them too…

"YOU!" I heard Fluttershy exclaim suddenly. "Just who do you think you are, going around turning others into stone?" The cockatrice squawked in fear."You should be ashamed of yourself. I have a mind to find your mother and tell her what you've been up to, young man. Now you go over there, and turn Elizabeak and my friends Alex and Twilight back to normal, and don't ever let me catch you doing this again! Do you understand me?"

After that, all the chaotic noise was gone… I heard footsteps near me.

"Alex…" I heard Fluttershy near me, sounding a little depressed.

Fluttershy…

I felt my heart tingle, despite my frozen state. Suddenly, a bright light emerged and I was normal again! I looked at my hooves and body to see that I was alright!

"Oh, Alex!" Fluttershy suddenly embraced me when she saw I was okay.

"Fluttershy…" I was still a little breathless.

"I'm so glad you're alright!" She looked over to the girls. "Are you girls all right? I was so worried!"

"Yeah, fine!" Scootaloo answered.

"Thanks to that stare of yours." Sweetie Belle added.

"You're like the queen of stares." Scootaloo agreed. "You're the—

"Stare Master!" The three of them shouted together.

Fluttershy blushed and giggled a little. "But, I believe it was Alex who gave me the confidence to stare at the cockatrice like that…" She looked at me for a moment, causing me to blush, and then pulled away from her embrace.

"We're sorry we snuck out of the house and into the forest." Sweetie Belle apologized.

"Yeah. We'll listen to you from now on." Applebloom nodded.

"We promise." Scootaloo assured.

"Oh, you DO, do you? Well, you better, or I'll give you..." Fluttershy focused her eye on them. "The Stare."

She made the fillies remain silent while they looked with fright at Fluttershy. Fluttershy began giggling, leading the other girls to begin laughing as well.

Twilight began walking over to us, very confused, as she looked very tired and sluggish. "What..." She shook her head. "What happened?"

We heard a chicken squawk behind us. It was Fluttershy's chicken, who was stuck in the ground, making all the noise. I walked over to it and pulled it out. It shook its head around, insanely confused on what happened. Fluttershy used her talent with animals to lead it back to her home as we followed her.

"So…" Twilight began as she walked by me. "Want to tell me what just happened…?"

I yawned lightly and looked at her sleepily. "Maybe you'll know in the morning… I'm drained out…"

When we arrived at the home, Fluttershy began placing the last chicken back into its pen and putting the fillies into bed. I walked into Fluttershy's cottage and straight to her couch. I threw myself lightly on it and shut my eyes. Right before I fell asleep, I felt something light cover me, as well as something being planted next to me on the couch. Too tired to even open my eyes to find out what it was, I mentally shrugged it off and continued my way towards slumber.

After I spent some time in darkness, I began hearing noises. I was in that type of sleep where you're still asleep… but you could hear noises in the background in your sleep.

I heard a light knocking. Something rose from the couch. Footsteps sounded. A door opened.

"Hey, Fluttershy." It was Twilight's voice. "Did Alex stay over?"

"Mmhm." Fluttershy's voice spoke softly. "He's still asleep so you'll have to be a little quiet."

"Oh, okay. Why don't we talk outside then? I'm still dying to know what happened last night."

"Okay, sure. Let me just get the girls… I wouldn't want them waking up Alex when they wake up."

I heard Twilight chuckle a little. "You're absolutely right on that."

I heard footsteps ascend above me and enter a room.

"Girls… It's time to wake up…" I heard Fluttershy faintly.

There was a moment of silence until they began to exclaim, "ALRI—

Their cheer was cut short. Fluttershy must have done something to keep them quiet…

"Come on now… let's go outside." Fluttershy stated.

I heard footsteps and tip toes walk. After a moment, a door closed and there was only silence.

I remained in this state for a moment until I had finally gained enough energy to slowly open my eyes. When my eyes focused, I noticed I was facing the window that presented the sun outside. I looked around for a moment while not moving my head. After, I picked up my head and my front leg that was hanging on the edge of the couch. I also noticed that I had covers on me, which I lightly moved to the side. I used my hooves to push me off the couch and sit up. I got off the couch and turned around to fold the covers nicely. I finished placing the organized covers on the spot near where I was sleeping. However, I felt that that part of the couch was still warm, which left me questioning a little.

I turned around and began to head outside. I opened the door to hear the sounds of nature, along with the girls running and giggling.

"And that's when it brought you back from stone." Fluttershy said.

I turned my head to see Fluttershy and Twilight both sitting on pillows which were laid on the grass. There was a table between them that contained two small cups and a large container for tea on it. Twilight was using her magic to write a letter above her.

"This is gonna make quite a letter to the princess. I was wrong about you. You certainly do know how to handle those girls." Twilight responded.

Fluttershy looked a little embarrassed. "Oh, I wouldn't go that far."

"Hmm? How so?"

"I assumed that I'd be just as good with kids as I am with animals. Boy, was I wrong. I really learned the hard way not to bite off more than I could chew."

Twilight finished writing her letter and rolled it up. "You and Rarity both."

I walked over to them and greeted. "Good Morning…"

"Oh, good morning, Alex!" Fluttershy answered.

"Morning, Alex!" Twilight added as well. We then heard footsteps behind us and turned to see Rarity. "Good morning, Rarity."

"Did you finish all those capes?" Fluttershy asked.

Rarity gave a sigh of relief. "Just delivered them. I have to admit, if you hadn't come along, I might not have. Thanks again."

"Won't you stay for some tea?" Fluttershy offered.

"I really must get back to the shop and clean up. Girls! Get your things. Time to go." Rarity called. However, the girls were too busy running around and giggling. "Girls! Girls! Time to- Girls! Your things! Girls! It's time to- GIRLS!" Rarity struggled with the little ones.

I looked over to Fluttershy, signaling for her to take care of it.

Fluttershy walked over to Rarity. "Allow me." She cleared her throat. "Girls?"

The fillies immediately stopped talking and ran over to Fluttershy.

"Yes, Fluttershy." Applebloom answered.

"You called?" Scootaloo asked.

"Go and get your things. Rarity is here to see you home."

"Of course, Fluttershy, right away!" Sweetie answered politely and ran with the girls to grab their things.

Rarity stood dumbstruck. "Ah, huh, ah, how did you... how did you do that?"

Fluttershy winked over to Twilight and me. "I guess I'm just as good with kids as I am with animals."

The girls ran out of the cottage with their capes. "Thank you, Fluttershy! Bye! Thank you Stare Master!" They said as they headed towards home.

"Ah, uh, speaking of which, I could use your help with Opal."

"Of course." Fluttershy responded. "How about later today?"

There was a fierce meow as Rarity revealed Opal, who was clinging on to Rarity with her claws. "How about now?" Rarity strained.

Twilight walked over to Fluttershy and me and observed this as well. They began giggling at the sight.

"I guess I could do that." Fluttershy pulled Opal off of Rarity. The cat began to purr sweetly around her.

"Oh, thank you so much, Fluttershy! I should take the girls home now." She began running after the fillies. "Girls! Wait!"

"I should probably head home too… I need Spike to send the letter I just wrote."

"Ok, goodbye, Twilight!" Fluttershy responded as I waved to Twilight.

She waved to the both of us as she walked home.

Fluttershy looked at Opal. "Let's get you groomed, shall we?"

Opal released a meow along with a purr.

We walked back into her cottage, where Fluttershy began Opal's grooming. As I watched Fluttershy take care of the cat, Fluttershy began speaking to me, a little shyly.

"About last night…" She began. "That was really brave of you…"

"What was?" I asked.

"You know… when you distracted the cockatrice to help us…"

"Oh… that?" I looked away. "It was nothing…"

"It was certainly not nothing. To see you sacrificing yourself to stone… just to help us… that's what motivated me to stand up to the cockatrice…"

"Really…?" I asked, calmly surprised, as I looked back towards her.

She nodded. "I don't know how you do it Alex…"

"Do what…?"

"Summon up courage. Just like that…"

I looked away a little gloomy, remembering the past. "I guess… you could just say it's experience…"

She stopped brushing Opal and looked at me. "What do you mean?"

I thought for a moment, wondering if I should tell her right now or not, but whenever I felt like opening my mouth to tell her…something inside just…prevents it…the emotions, maybe? "I…I don't know…"

She observed me worriedly for a moment, but then resumed brushing Opal. "If there's anything you need to tell me Alex… or want to talk about…I'll always be here to listen…"

Her response warmed my heart. "…Thank you, Fluttershy… I'll remember that…"

Fluttershy spent more time in grooming Rarity's cat.

After Fluttershy finished, we walked over to Rarity's shop to bring her back. Rarity thanked Fluttershy for her kindness once again. Fluttershy and I continued walking through town for the rest of the day. We even stopped by Pinkie Pie's to have a treat to eat.

During the night, I walked Fluttershy back to her cottage.

"Well… it's been really fun Alex…" Fluttershy told me when we were at her door. "Aside from the problems that happened yesterday night…"

"Yeah…" I replied. "Thanks for having me over."

"It was my pleasure…"

"Well…" I said, rubbing my head, as we continued to look at each other in the moonlight. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow…"

"Yes…Goodnight Alex."

"Night Fluttershy…"

She smiled warmly at me for a moment and entered her cottage. I returned home.

I entered through the front door and actually turned to the right towards the kitchen. I sat on the chair near the table and just thought in silence for a moment.

Now… I want to tell Fluttershy about many things… but my emotions leave them in… Hm…

I turned my head to the window and looked outside. I began receiving this feeling that I'm not such a fan of. It didn't really hurt me physically nor mentally… it just seemed to disturb me… I exited out of the kitchen and walked upstairs to my room.

I lay on my bed and closed my eyes. I decided that I wanted to go to sleep as quickly as possible, so that the next day would arrive and I would be able to see Fluttershy and my other friends again…

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