• 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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The Show Stoppers

Episode 18 – The Show Stoppers

I woke up, already feeling a little hungry and thirsty. As I walked downstairs, I decided I would probably go to Apple Acres for some breakfast…but first… I wanted to bring Fluttershy along with me. Once I was outside, as I walked through town, I began thinking as usual.

Not only were my feelings for my friends growing stronger… but for Fluttershy as well… I still did not know what they were… and I have no idea when I will… but I trusted the Princess to wait to find out. Fluttershy… she's just so… different from any pony I've met in the past… I mean… the feelings I have for her are just so different… I just feel…so—

Suddenly, I heard a motor sound coming from a distance. Fast enough, it sped towards and past me in an instant, causing me to jump back and out of the way. I could only see an orange blur… was that… Scootaloo? I faced the direction she was going, which seemed to be Applejack's farm. To the right of me, I could see many ponies outside in a group, possibly talking about what had just happened. Regardless, I continued walking over to Fluttershy's cottage.

When I spotted her with her bunnies, I walked across the small bridge towards her.

"Hey, Fluttershy." I greeted her lightly.

"Alex!" She turned her head towards me. She finished feeding the bits of food she had for the bunnies and flew over to me, landing in front of me. "How are you doing?" She asked.

"I'm okay…what about you?"

"I'm better…now that you're here." She smiled warmly.

For some odd reason, I started feeling a little nervous, even a little shy. "I was wondering… if you wanted to grab a bite at Applejack's?"

"I'd love to." She responded.

I felt a pinch in my heart… a good feeling pinch… as we began walking towards Applejack's farm, together.

As we entered Sweet Apple Acres, we saw Applejack lying near a tree with a straw of wheat in her mouth and her cowboy hat leaned over her eyes.

Fluttershy and I walked over to her.

"Hi, Applejack!" Fluttershy greeted her.

Applejack tipped up her hat and noticed us. "Oh, howdy y'all." She smiled. "What brings you two over here?"

"Do you think we could have breakfast here?" I asked.

Her eyes suddenly opened wide, but then she smiled oddly and pulled back her surprised expression. "Sure…" She responded as she started getting up. "I've got some buckets full of apples over here in the barn… I can make y'all some fritters or apple pie…" She chuckled weirdly.

"Um…" I responded hesitantly. "…No thanks… we'll… just… have some apples…"

"Of course, Of course… now, Fluttershy, why don't you get yourself settled over here while I have a word with Alex?"

"Okay." She sat on the grass and waited while Applejack began leading me somewhere else. I walked by her side, very confused.

"Applejack… why did you want to talk to me in private all of a sudden?" I asked.

She stopped when we were far enough and chuckled again. "I see where this is going partner…"

"Sorry?" I responded, still very confused in the bizarre situation.

"Fluttershy… was she the pony you shared apples with last time?"

"You mean the time when you and Rainbow Dash were playing horseshoes?"

"Mm-hm!" She nodded boldly.

"Yeah…why…?"

"Let me tell you something partner…" She placed a hoof around me. "You…" She looked around and then whispered to me. "…like her…" She then spoke in her normal voice. "don't you?"

"Well… of course I do… I like all you ponies…"

She shook her head. "No, not that kind of like… I mean you like her."

"Um…" I stood, still confused. "I don't think I follow… what's the difference between 'like' and 'like'?"

"Are you serious?" She asked and sighed. "Like means that you like her more than any other pony. Like if you've got very special feelings for her, do you know what I mean?"

My heart jumped and suddenly started pounding. "Um…" Is that what it really was? I did have special feelings for Fluttershy… but I had no idea what they were… is that what Applejack means?

"So…do you?" She asked once again.

"I…" I felt a little speechless. "I think so…"

"What do you mean 'you think so'?"

"I don't know, Applejack…" I looked away and stared at the ground. "I mean… I do have these feelings for Fluttershy… but I have no idea what exactly they are… I've never experienced them before."

"Oh…really…?" Applejack responded, more softly now.

"Yeah…so… I don't know…"

"Hm…" She rubbed her hoof on her chin. "I see… well we'll get to that later! I should go get you ponies the apples before Fluttershy wonders what we're doing here."

She turned around to begin walking back towards the barn, but I stopped her. "Wait. Applejack."

"Hm?" She turned her head towards me.

"You won't tell anypony about this… will you…?"

She chuckled again and smiled. "My lips are sealed!"

When we returned, Applejack went into the barn to get us the apples while I sat by Fluttershy, still feeling a little weird about my talk with Applejack.

"Is everything alright?" Fluttershy asked, after noticing my expression.

"Um… yeah…I'm okay…"

After a moment later, Applejack came out and brought us several apples to eat.

"Well here you go! Eat up!" She sat near us, taking a bite of one of the apples as well. "Y'know, I gave my old tree house to my little sister and her friends. Y'all should come with me to see what they've done with it!"

"Oh! That sounds great." Fluttershy replied with a smile.

"Yeah…okay." I responded a little weakly.

Once we finished our breakfast, Applejack led us towards a private part of the farm. We passed some bushes and trees until we spotted a nicely built house on a tree. The house was neatly painted a light pink color. It had hearts on the windows and door. We began walking up a ramp that was painted a greenish color and had steps for climbing. Outside the house were railings for safety reasons as well.

"They all say that you will get your mark, when the time is really right…" A voice sang sweetly as we looked inside the clubhouse through a window.

"And you know just what you're supposed to do…" Applebloom added along with Sweetie Bell, who sang the first verse.

"AND YOUR TALENT COMES TO LIGHT!" Scootaloo's voice suddenly shouted, causing Applejack to lose her sweet expression, as well as piercing our ears.

Applejack placed her hooves on the window sill and poked her head inside. "Well, uh... I'll be, Cutie Mark Crusaders. You've done one fine job with this place. So, what's next?"

"Well…" Applebloom began and walked over to Applejack. "now that we have a real life clubhouse..."

"And a map of Ponyville." Scootaloo added as she presented the map on the wall.

"And a Cutie Mark Crusaders theme song. " Sweetie Bell announced.

"Theme song?" Applejack questioned.

"We're gonna go out in the world and discover our talents." Applebloom replied.

"A new adventure!" Scootaloo said.

"And earn our cutie marks." Sweetie Bell expressed.

"We'll leave no stone unturned!"

"No mountain unclimbed!"

"No meal uncooked!"

"No song unlearned!"

"Well okay then!" Applejack suddenly cut off. "Sounds like you have a plan. I gotta, uh... Leave no apple unpicked! See y'all later!"

Applejack ran off. Before Fluttershy and I followed her, Fluttershy poked her head in the window and commented. "I think what you girls are doing is great! I'm sure you'll get your cutie marks real soon!"

"Thanks, Fluttershy!" They all exclaimed.

Fluttershy smiled and turned back to me.

We caught up to Applejack who seemed a bit freaked out.

"What was that all about?" I asked.

"They're really serious about getting their cutie marks…um, not that it's bad or anything… just, I don't know."

"Well… at least their doing it together… that's something new…"

"Yup… I just hope they don't cause any trouble…" She suddenly changed her expression. "Hey, you ponies going to the school talent show tonight?"

"School talent show?" Fluttershy asked.

"Yep! All those little ponies from the school are going to perform at the talent show in town tonight, y'all should come and watch!"

"Sounds like fun!" Fluttershy replied with some excitement.

"Well then, I guess I'll see you both there then?" Applejack asked.

Fluttershy looked at me, hoping that I would come too. When I saw her face, I turned to Applejack and nodded.

"Well alright then! See you at the talent show!" Applejack began walking to the barn but stopped and looked over at us. "Oh… and if you see Applebloom and her friends, can you please make sure they aren't getting into any trouble or doing anything dangerous?"

"Alright." I responded.

"Thanks!" Applejack resumed walking back to the barn.

"I wonder what we can do to pass the time for the talent show…" Fluttershy told me.

I thought for a minute. "Maybe we can see what Twilight's up to?"

Fluttershy released another soft smile. "Okay."

On the way to Twilight's home, we actually spotted her with another pony.

Twilight noticed us and waved over to us. "Hey, you ponies!" They walked over to us and Twilight introduced the other pony she was with. "This is Ms. Cheerilee. She teaches at the school!"

"It's a pleasure." She held out her hoof to us. She was a dark pinkish colored pony. Her mane and tail was a sort of a sweet cotton candy color; there were waves and swivels of pink and light pink. She had light green eyes and her cutie mark was three smiling flowers. She also had a saddle with green bags on the side. We both shook her hoof and introduced ourselves. After, we began walking with Twilight, who was heading to her home as well.

"Ms. Cheerilee was just telling me about the school talent show that she is putting up, have you ponies heard?" Twilight asked.

"Yes!" Fluttershy answered. "Applejack told us about it!"

"Oh, it's going to be spectacular!" Ms. Cheerilee spoke very excitedly. "The talent show will really bring out the creativity in the little ponies' minds! They will all have a blast while expressing their very own special talent too!"

"I see…" I replied as I looked a little uneasy.

As Twilight was nearing her home, she continued talking to Ms. Cheerilee. "Well, I could surely help if you need some organizing for the talent show!" She opened the door and began walking in. "I could really—

"I had nothing to do with this!" Spike exclaimed as soon as Twilight walked in.

"What is going on here?" Twilight asked in shock as she and Ms. Cheerilee looked inside the home.

Applebloom, Sweetie Bell, and Scootaloo had made a messy pile of books, which covered most of the library floor. They were each reading different kinds of books.

"Hmm... Well, we sure aren't gettin' our cutie marks for bein' librarians." Applebloom commented.

"Huh. I should think not." Spike replied. Twilight gave him an irritated stare. "What?"

Twilight began walking towards the fillies. "Girls, I think you're going about this the wrong way. Instead of trying to do things in areas you're not familiar with, why not try doing things in areas that you already like?"

"And I have the perfect place to start!" Ms. Cheerilee opened her bag and took out a poster. She laid it out in front of the three girls. It was the poster for the talent show…

"'Showcase your talents...'" Applebloom began as they read the poster out loud.

"'...for all to see...'" Scootaloo added.

"'Perform in the Ponyville school talent show!'" Sweetie Bell finished.

"There'll be all sorts of awards. Best dramatic performance, best comedy act, best magic act... Surely you can find your talent!" Ms. Cheerilee encouraged.

"This would be the perfect place to discover our talents." Applebloom exclaimed as the three of them were fascinated over the idea of it. "Jugglin'!"

"Acting!"

"Magic tricks!"

"Square dancin'!"

"Tightrope walking!"

"Tiger taming!"

"My little ponies!" Twilight interrupted. "You're missing the point. Think about the things you already enjoy doing. Think about what you're already good at."

"Sure! We can do that." Scootaloo responded.

"Yeah! Sure we can." Sweetie Belle added.

"Well, whatever we do, we'll do it as..." The three of them both exclaimed. "...The Cutie Mark Crusaders!"

They smacked their hooves together and ran out the door.

"Oh, those three…" Ms. Cheerilee said. "So full of energy."

"They're wonderful, aren't they?" Fluttershy added.

"So…" Twilight cut in. "About the talent show… I could organize the events for you, Ms. Cheerilee."

"Oh, that would be great! It would certainly help."Ms. Cheerilee replied. "Although, I could use some help for carrying the equipment…"

"I can help with that…" I offered.

"Me too." Fluttershy offered as well.

"Oh, that's wonderful! Thank you. I appreciate all your help."

Ms. Cheerilee led us to area where they were setting up the stage and equipment for the talent show. Twilight grabbed a clipboard and began creating a checklist of items and tasks in it. While Twilight began doing her own thing, Ms. Cheerilee looked at Fluttershy and me to decide on what we can do.

"I suppose you two can put on the stage curtain, is that alright?" She asked.

Fluttershy and I agreed.

"Great!" Ms. Cheerilee smiled. "The curtain should be over at the front of the stage. Good luck!" She walked off.

Fluttershy and I traveled over to her directions and found the stage curtain folded on the front of the stage. Fluttershy grabbed the curtain with her teeth and began flying upwards towards the top of the stage while I straightened it out to make sure it was placed the right way. Fluttershy and I managed to place the curtain on in several minutes.

"Great job, Fluttershy." I complimented as she flew back towards me.

"Thanks, you did great too." She looked over at the job we completed. "We make a pretty good team…"

"Yeah…" I responded with a hint of nervousness.

However, Twilight had come along to check up on us. "Hey guys, how's it going?" Twilight asked.

"We finished putting on the curtain." I replied.

She looked up to see our task finished. "Wow! It looks amazing! Great job, guys!"

Suddenly, the three fillies, Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle popped up from behind her. Scootaloo was on her scooter, wearing a purple helmet. There was a small wooden cart attached to her scooter. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle were riding in that cart, along with other materials such as fabric, a fan, wood, nails, paint, paint brushes, and other things.

"Hi Twilight…" Scootaloo said, causing Twilight to turn around to face them. "I was wondering if we could borrow a book from you."

"Sure thing girls… what's with all the stuff?" Twilight asked.

"You'll see! Now let's go get that book!" Scootaloo began riding her scooter towards Twilight's house.

"I'll be right back!" Twilight announced and left to fetch the girls the book.

There was a moment of silence.

"Alex…" Fluttershy called me.

"What is it?" I asked, turning around.

"You should make sure the girls are alright…"

"What do you mean?"

"Well… they have a lot of things that could be really dangerous for them. You should make sure they don't get hurt."

"What about the talent show?"

"Don't worry. I'll be here to help Ms. Cheerilee."

"Alright… are you sure, Fluttershy?"

She nodded her head. "I'll see you in a bit." She released another warm smile.

I nodded as well and began walking to Applejack's farm.

By the time I reached the girls' clubhouse, it seemed that they had already arrived long before me. I walked near a pond, looking for them. Suddenly, I saw a roll of fabric rolling downhill and heading straight towards the pond of water. I placed my hoof on it, just in time before it plunged into the water. It stopped underneath my hoof. Sweetie Belle had come running after it and noticed I stopped it. She ran towards me, relieved.

"Phew, thanks Alex!"

"Yeah…" I responded as I began rolling the fabric uphill. "What are you girls up to?" I asked.

"We're practicing for the talent show!"

As I finished rolling up the fabric, I heard Scootaloo, who was nearby on a piano, try to come up with lyrics for the talent show. When the fabric was fully rolled, Sweetie Belle gathered different pieces of a variety choice of fabric and began sewing a costume.

"Careful…" I warned. "I don't want you girls getting hurt…"

"Don't worry, Alex! I'll be fine!" She replied as she carefully kept her hooves maneuvering the cloth underneath the sewing machine. When she finished, she held up the costume and counted the amount of legs attached to it. "One, two, three, four, FIVE?" She released a groan and sighed.

Applebloom came over, walking in a disoriented matter and fell backwards.

"Applebloom…" I called as I helped her up. "Be careful…"

"Alex? What are you doing here?" She asked.

"I'm here to make sure you girls are safe…"

"Oh… well that's nice of you!"

"How's the spin coming along?" Sweetie Belle asked Applebloom.

"I think I gotta just stick to punches and kicks." She replied and then looked at Sweetie Belle's work. "You know, ponies only have four legs."

Sweetie Belle moaned again. "I'll never be a designer like my sister Rarity."

"Hey, it's no big deal. Why don't you use the dress form?" She pointed towards one nearby. "It'll help you with your patterns and help you put all the pieces in the right places."

"Oh, is that what that's for?" Sweetie Bell questioned.

"Uh... maybe you should also clean your paintbrush between each color." Applebloom announced after noticing the messy paintings near as well.

"Oh, I was wondering why all the colors looked like mud…"

"You're not using power tools, are you?"

"Um…" Sweetie Belle remained silent.

"Applebloom, what exactly is every pony doing for the talent show?" I asked.

"Well… Scootaloo is writing lyrics for a song, as well as being the main singer. Sweetie Belle is designing the clothes and doing the decorations. Me? I'm doing the coordination for the dances!" She released a grin.

"That's a bit… off…" I replied, a little confused.

"What do you mean?" Applebloom asked.

"Well, coming from your knowledge on paint and fabric… you seem better suited for doing the work Sweetie Belle is doing. Remembering how loud, but well, Sweetie Bell sang when you girls slept over at Fluttershy's, I think she should be doing Scootaloo's work. And seeing Scootaloo's crazy stunts on her scooter from this morning, she would probably be better off doing your work, Applebloom."

"Hey! That's kind of what I said!" Applebloom responded.

"But I can't sing in front of tons of ponies!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed.

"And Scootaloo would rather sing a rock ballad." Applebloom added.

"Well…" I rubbed my head. "I can't force you girls to do anything… I'm just giving you some suggestions."

"Thanks, Alex, but I think we are doing well so far." Applebloom replied.

I took a glance at Sweetie Belle's costume. "Um… okay… well just stay safe girls, okay?" I began walking out of the area but Applebloom called me back.

"Wait! Alex!"

I turned around.

"We're going to start practicing our performance, want to be the first one to see it?" She asked.

"Um…"

I had no idea how they managed to do it, but they ended up having me watch their practice while they continued to struggle with their dance moves.

"Oh! Sorry, Scootaloo." Applebloom apologized.

"That's okay. Ugh!"

"Oops! Sorry, Scootaloo. Ouch!" Sweetie Belle followed.

"Oh, my bad, Sweetie Belle. Let's sing the chorus again!" Scootaloo advised.

"Well then…" I sat up. "Just keep practicing alright? And don't get into any trouble." I walked out of the tree house, which the three girls soon followed.

"I think that sounded pretty good." Applebloom said.

"Me too. You think we're ready?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Ready as we'll ever be." Scootaloo answered. She looked over to the bottom of their clubhouse and noticed Applejack. I hadn't seen her there before. "Hey! Did you see us practicing?"

"Uh... Yeah." She answered, very uneasily.

"Well? How'd we do? How'd we do?" Applebloom asked.

"Uh..."

"Speechless!" Scootaloo exclaimed. "See, girls? I told you that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna leave them speechless."

"YAY!" They all cheered, clapping hooves.

"'Speechless' is right…" Applejack muttered as I walked towards her.

"Hey, Applejack. Did you come to check up on the fillies?" I asked.

"Yeah… looks like you beat me to it." She chuckled a bit nervously. "C'mon let's go." She said as she began walking me out of the area. She sighed as we walked. "Oh, those girls aren't ready for the talent show…"

"To be honest… I know what you mean…"

"Well…" She looked at me. "I guess we better hope for the best…"

The sun began setting, alarming Applejack and me.

"C'mon, we better head to the talent show." She suggested.

I nodded and we began walking towards the event.

When we arrived, Applejack joined the crowd while I went backstage. I spotted Fluttershy sitting near the dressing room. I immediately walked up to her. "Fluttershy, I'm sorry I've been gone for a long time." I apologized.

"Oh, don't worry about it. How were the girls?" She asked.

"Well… they were okay with being safe and all… but as far as their performance… um…"

Suddenly, the three girls joined us backstage with their new…costumes. Their appearance surprised both Fluttershy and me.

"Hey, Alex! Hey, Fluttershy!" They greeted. They wore hooded clothing, but I could see they wore bizarre make up on their faces. They also styled their manes differently…

Fluttershy and I could only remain silent as we observed their odd appearances.

We began hearing the performances of the little ponies.

"...and on the count of three this rabbit will disappear and something tasty will reappear in its place. A one, a two and a three! Hey! Where are they? Snails, where are the... carrots. SNAILS!"

"Uh, how about a round of applause for the S&S magic act?" We heard Ms. Cheerilee's voice, along with a stomping of hooves on the ground. "Now for our next act we have Sunny Days and Peachy Pie reciting their favorite poem... on rollerskates!"

A couple of ponies passed by us, on rollerskates.

"Break a leg!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed, who had her hooves on top of a wooden box with Applebloom and Scootaloo.

Applebloom looked shocked and responded to Sweetie Belle's comment. "Sweetie Belle! What a thing to say!"

"No, no, no." Sweetie Belle explained. "You see, in the theater it's considered bad luck to say 'good luck'. So you say 'break a leg' instead."

"My little ponies!" Twilight had come by. "How are you doing?"

"Nervous..." They all answered, holding their hooves toward their mouths.

"Don't worry. You're gonna be amazing." Twilight encouraged. "Remember, just stick to what you know best. I can't wait to hear you sing, Sweetie Belle."

"Why does everypony always think I'm gonna sing?" Sweetie Belle asked, annoyed.

"Actually, Twilight Sparkle, I'm the main singer tonight." Scootaloo answered.

"Oh?" Twilight questioned surprised.

"And I'm the main dancer. Hai-ya!" Applebloom released a chop.

"Oh?" Twilight repeated, more worriedly.

"And I'm in charge of..."

"Costumes?" Twilight answered for Sweetie Belle.

"And sets and props. How'd you know?"

"Really, girls? Are you sure...?" Twilight released a smile, in hopes to change their minds, which was pretty much too late now…

"Cutie Mark Crusaders, you're on next." Ms. Cheerilee announced nearby. "Break a leg."

"Break a le..." Twilight repeated until Applebloom tripped while running towards the stage. "…Uh... good luck…!" The three threw their hooded capes backstage as they began their performance. Fluttershy and I walked with Twilight to near the stage to watch and see how they do…

The music began playing and the lights dimmed on the stage. The stage curtain opened to a dark set until Scootaloo's face was lit as she started singing.

"Look, here are three little ponies" The faces of Sweetie Belle and Applebloom were lit.

"Ready to sing for this crowd

Listen up, 'cause here's our story

I'm gonna sing it…

"VERY LOUD!" They both screamed out loud, causing Twilight, Fluttershy, and I to stand in shock and silence. I could only imagine how Applejack was feeling at this moment.

"When you're a younger pony…" Applebloom danced very…um…

"And your flank is very bare" Sweetie Belle began pulling a rope which revealed a wooden sun, which it's planks of wood were cut unevenly and all the nails were just… messy…

"Feels like the sun will never come

When your cutie mark's not there

So the three of us will fight the fight!" Applebloom made karate moves.

"There is nothing that we fear…" Sweetie Belle released a rope which lowered fake bats, spiders, and ghosts.

"We'll have to figure out what we'll do next …

The three of them began singing. "Till our cutie marks are here!"

"We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders" My eye started to even twitch at this point.

"On a quest to find out who we are

And we will never stop the journey…" Scootaloo fell off a piece of the scenery.

"Not until we have our cutie marks!" Sweetie Belle activated a fog machine, causing the stage to be engulfed in a fog.

They began jumping around, even bumping into each other again and releasing grunts. Scootaloo began singing solo again.

"They all say that you'll get your mark…

When the time is really right…" Sweetie Bell ran across with a clock in her mouth but tripped over Scootaloo.

"And you know just what you're supposed to do…" The spotlight was accidentally set on Applebloom, who released another kick, but getting her leg stuck on one of the cardboard trees.

"And your talent comes to light

But it's not as easy as it sounds

And that waiting's hard to do

So we test our talents everywhere…" Sweetie Bell ran upwards on to the top of the stage to place a blue filter on one of the spotlights.

"Until our face is blue!" Scootaloo positioned her face on to the blue spotlight.

"We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders

On a quest to find out who we are!" A sudden large wind blew throughout the stage, causing everything to be in complete chaos.

"And we will never stop the journey

Not until we have our cutie marks!" Applebloom finally released her trapped leg from the cardboard tree, only to cause the other cardboard drawings to fall. Sweetie Belle noticed this and ran on top of a platform to prevent it, even as she continued to sing.

"We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders

On a quest to find out who we are…" Another one of the cardboard houses began falling as well, causing Sweetie Belle to lift her other hoof to catch it. As she continued to struggle, holding up the scenery, I could only place my hoof in front of my face.

"And we will never stop the journey

Not until we have our cutie marks!"

Everything in the stage tumbled and crashed upon the girls, creating a very destructive noise. They poked their heads out, smiling at the audience, but they only received an awkward silence and finally laughter. The three fillies widened their eyes in shock and soon began walking back backstage with their heads held low in shame.

"Wow. That did not go as well as I expected." Scootaloo commented as she walked passed us.

"I can't believe they're laughin' at us!" Applebloom added.

"Was it that bad?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Back on stage, girls. It's time for the awards!" Ms. Cheerilee announced as Spike walked by her.

"Back on stage? No." Sweetie Belle answered in a demanding tone.

"They'll just laugh some more." Applebloom tried to reason.

"Yeah, what's the point?" Scootaloo asked.

"Now girls, let's be good sports. You made a great effort. You should be proud. Now come on!" Ms. Cheerilee, along with Spike, walked out into the stage and addressed the audience. "Let's hear it for all our talented fillies and colts." The ponies began stomping their hooves.

"Despite their performance… I hope they get an award for their efforts…" I announced to Twilight and Fluttershy as I looked worriedly out into the stage.

Twilight and Fluttershy could only agree with me by doing the same thing.

"Our first award goes to..." Ms. Cheerilee began. "Snips and Snails, for best magic act."

Spike had placed the awards on their necks. As they moved to the front, I noticed that the girls were trying to hide behind the ponies in order to cover their appearance.

"Hey! Mine's at least shinier." The short one, who must have been Snips, expressed.

"Well, mine's bigger." The tall one, who must have been Snails, argued.

"Oh yeah, well..." Snips tried to counterattack. "Well, mine is, um... heavier?"

"The next award goes to..." Ms. Cheerilee announced as the two left the stage. "Sunny Daze and Peachy Pie for best dramatic performance." Spike walked up to them and presented them with their medals. "And finally, the last award of the night goes to..." The drum rolls began and with my worried expression, I hoped that the girls would receive it. "The Cutie Mark Crusaders!" Ms. Cheerilee exclaimed, leaving the girls very shocked and surprised.

"What?" They questioned.

"For best comedy act." Ms. Cheerilee announced, which the audience followed by cheers.

Spike presented them with awards as they bowed in front of the audience.

"Well… it wasn't as I expected… but… at least they got an award…" I commented.

The three girls ran over backstage very excitedly.

"Can you believe it? We won!" Applebloom exclaimed.

"I knew our act was awesome." Scootaloo stated.

"You know what would be the best?" Sweetie Belle asked. "If we won and we got our cutie marks."

The three of the removed their costumes in hopes to find their cuties marks on their flanks, but groaned in disappointment when they found out they didn't. Twilight, Fluttershy, and I walked over to them.

"Congratulations, ponies!" Twilight exclaimed. "Job well done."

"Thanks, Twilight…" The three of them responded sadly.

"Hey, you don't sound too excited."

They sighed. "We worked really hard and won a prize but we still don't have our cutie marks." Scootaloo replied.

"Which is the prize we really wanted." Sweetie Belle added.

"Oh, girls..."

"But we think we know why." Applebloom said.

"Yes. We know why." Sweetie Belle joined.

"Oh? Tell me. I'd love to make a special report to the Princess." Twilight replied.

"Well, maybe we were trying too hard?" Sweetie Belle guessed.

"Yes? And..."

"And instead of forcing ourselves to do something that's not meant for us..." Scootaloo continued.

"Yes? Yes?" Twilight pursued

"We each should be embracing our true talent!" Applebloom finished.

"And that is...?" Twilight asked.

The girls looked at each other for a moment and answered. "Comedy!"

Their answer did not only shock Twilight, but destroyed the high hopes we all had for the girls, who had a strong chance of actually finding out their true talent…

"Apple Bloom! You did it!" Applejack exclaimed who was on the empty stage with Rarity and Rainbow Dash.

"Did you see our award? Weren't we funny?" They asked excitedly as they ran towards them.

"One day..." Twilight giggled. "One day..."

"I suppose you thought that they'd realize their actual true talents, huh Twilight?" I asked while the girls continued to have an excited conversation with the others.

"Yup." She giggled again. "Isn't it obvious?"

"Yeah…" I looked over at the girls as they continued to jump around while trying to recreate their performance. "They just have to find out themselves… and I have no idea when that will happen…"

"You got that right…" Twilight responded.

"Well, I think they still did a great job!" Fluttershy added.

"Yes…" Twilight replied. "…for comedy."

Twilight and Fluttershy began laughing as I observed the girls behavior with the Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash. I could see that spark in their eyes… the spark that shows how determined they are into finding their cutie marks, but the only thing they are missing is that piece to show them how close they actually are towards their cutie marks.

"I can see how surprised they'll be when they realize how close their cutie marks actually were… when they finally get them…" I muttered.

"What was that, Alex?" Fluttershy asked.

"Oh." I glanced back at her. "Nothing…"

After several minutes, the girls went home with their new awards.

Twilight walked over to the dozing Spike, picked him up, and placed him on her back. "C'mon Spike, time to go." She said softly. She looked over to Fluttershy and me. "I'll see you guys tomorrow!"

"Goodnight." We responded as she began walking towards her home.

After, I began walking Fluttershy home.

"Do you think they'll get their cutie marks soon?" Fluttershy asked me.

"Maybe…" I answered. "…may take a while as well as dropping a lot of hints, but… I'm sure they'll get theirs."

Fluttershy giggled. "Yeah…"

We arrived at her front door.

"Thanks for having me, Alex. It was fun today." Fluttershy spoke.

"…I'm still sorry about leaving you to do all the work in the stage…"

"Don't worry about it, Alex." She lightly touched me. "It wasn't a lot of work anyway…"

"Well… I'll try to make it up to you somehow…" I offered.

"Oh, you really don't need too…" She looked away and said something too soft to hear clearly.

"Huh?" I asked.

Fluttershy blushed and smiled at me while she responded nervously. "Oh, nothing!" After a moment, the redness in her cheeks disappeared. "I'll see you tomorrow then?"

"Yeah." I answered.

She hugged me and told me Goodnight. I responded to her with the same answer. Afterwards, she safely entered her home, and I headed off to mine.

When I entered the comfort of my bed, I began thinking about what Applejack had said this morning… Like means that you like her more than any other pony. Like if you've got very special feelings for her, do you know what I mean? I did have those kind of feelings for Fluttershy… but I didn't know how to deal with them. Although, even though Applejack answered my feelings partially right… it didn't feel like just a "like". No… that word is not special enough…

My feelings were much more… deeper maybe? I know they were more special… but as I've said before… I have no idea what they are… all I know… is that… Fluttershy is really special to me…

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