• 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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May The Best Pet Win!

Episode 33 – May The Best Pet Win!

Three soft and light knocks gently startled me awake. Hearing the comfortable taps on the door brought one pony to mind, whom I guessed to be at the door. I quickly, but calmly, unequipped myself from bed and walked towards the front door. There was a beautiful and stunning mare beyond the door.

"Hi, Alex." She gently kissed me. "Guess what?"

"What is it? You sound excited." I responded.

"Today's the Pony Pet Playdate at the park. I would love it if you came…you can have one of the little critters at my cottage if you need a pet…"

"That sounds like fun." I smiled. "But we can both share Angel."

"You're going to be his daddy?" Fluttershy joked sweetly.

I chuckled lightly. "If you want me to be."

She blushed lightly and giggled.

Fluttershy and I met up with the others who all returned with their own pets. We then began our way towards the park, but as soon as Opal hopped off Rarity's back, the other pets grew too excited and ran after her, causing her to flee and climb up the nearest tree. I noticed that Rainbow Dash was on that tree as well. She had a pillow on the branch, on which she nestled her head and slept soundly. It wasn't until Opal's hissing and scratching as the other pets looked upwards, that Rainbow Dash had begun to look bothered. She tossed, turned, and suddenly launched upwards. She noticed Opal in front of her and looked below the tree to see the other pets under there. She wiped her forehead and exhaled a heavy breath.

The other girls were chattering happily as we all descended towards the area with the pets. Pinkie Pie began playing with Gummy as he opened his jaws and chomped down on her hoof. Next, he jumped and clenched on to her forehead with his gums and then moved on to her tail as she continued giggling. Owloysius had flown over to Twilight while Applejack threw a stick for her dog to fetch it and bring it back to her. Fluttershy was running with Angel. Rarity had walked over to the tree for Opal to climb down and nest on her back. Rainbow Dash flew down and met up with Rarity.

"Sincerest apologies, Rainbow, if our pets were bothering you." Rarity apologized and looked at Opal. "Say you're sorry, Opal." Opal turned her back to her and hissed. "She's... sorry."

"What are you all doing out here?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"Why, we always round up our critters for a regular ol' Pony Pet Playdate in this park." Applejack answered as she ran past Rainbow and continued to throw the stick that she held on to with her tail.

"Uh, you do?"

"Same time every week."

Fluttershy had stopped by Rainbow Dash with Angel on her back. "I thought you knew. You didn't know?" She looked at us. "She didn't know?" She began rubbing her hoof shyly on the ground.

"Well we had initially planned on inviting Rainbow, of course, except–

"We were totally gonna invite you, Rainbow, then Twilight remembered that you don't even have a pet, and Rarity remembered that you really like to take naps in the afternoon, so Applejack figured you wouldn't be missing out on anything anyway, and Fluttershy and I nodded our heads in agreement like this." Pinkie Pie interrupted Twilight and placed her hooves on Fluttershy, making her head nod.

"Oh, please don't be mad at us." Fluttershy begged.

"Oh, I'm not mad. You all are right. Not much point of a Pony Pet Playdate for me if I'm a pony without a pet, right?" Rainbow Dash replied.

"Eeexactly. So, if'n you'll excuse us." Applejack continued throwing the stick towards her pet while the other girls spent time with theirs as well.

Rainbow Dash flew back up to the tree and laid herself down as she crossed her forelegs behind her head. I walked up to the tree and looked at her. "Are you sure you don't want to join us Rainbow Dash? I mean… you don't need a pet. Fluttershy's sharing Angel with me."

"No thanks." She responded, waving her hoof while keeping her eyes closed. "I'm nice and cozy right here."

However, we began hearing the girls' chattering as they had fun with their pets, causing Rainbow Dash to open her eyes and look at them uneasily. She covered her ears with the pillow, but when that didn't work, she flew towards the ground, near me. "Hey, now wait a minute! Just because I don't have a pet now doesn't mean I never want a pet!"

Fluttershy's eyes immediately widened and her face contained so much joy and excitement. "Ohh! Y, y, Oh, really? You really want a pet? Really?" She flew around Rainbow Dash energetically. "'cause I've got so many wonderful choices at my house." Fluttershy began dragging Rainbow Dash as she flew. "Oh, and I know you'll just love them, and they'll love you, oh!" Rainbow Dash noticed that she was still on the ground, so she rolled her eyes and flapped her wings. "And you'll be best friends forever and ever! Oh!"

I smiled at the sight of Fluttershy being really excited and decided I would follow her, maybe in getting a pet as well.

I arrived at Fluttershy's home to see her flying above her little animals as Rainbow Dash walked with a bored expression on her face.

"Now, Rainbow, my dear, I cannot express my delight!" Fluttershy began singing.

"It's abundantly clear

That somewhere out here

Is the pet that will suit you just right."

"I can't wait to get started, but first let me set a few rules.

It's of utmost importance

The pet that I get

Is something that's awesome and cool!" Rainbow Dash assured, joining in her song as well.

"Awesome and cool, got it.

I have so many wonderful choices, just wait, you will see!"

"I need something real fast like a bullet to keep up with me!" Rainbow Dash presented her speed by flying above the animals.

"Sure! How 'bout a bunny?" Fluttershy grinned as she held out a brown bunny towards Rainbow Dash.

"They're cutesy and wootsie and quick as can be."

Rainbow Dash scrunched her face. "Cutesy? Wootsie? Have you even met me?"

"Rainbow, have faith.

You see, I will bet you

Somewhere in here is the pet that will get you.

C'mon, the sky's the limit!" Fluttershy led Rainbow Dash to a more variety of animals.

"Sky is good. I'd like it to fly."

I noticed a turtle seem to be near Rainbow Dash frequently.

"Really? Because I think this widdle puddy tat has your name written all over it." Fluttershy had pulled out an adorable kitten that stared at Rainbow Dash joyfully as it stuck its tongue out. "Yes, he does." The kitten released a highly adorable sound as it rubbed its head on Rainbow Dash's, but she seemed uninterested. "Aww, look, he likes you!"

"Pass."

I didn't care. I would have wanted to have him as pet. That kitten was too cute.

"I have so many wonderful choices for you to decide!

There are otters and seals

With massive appeal."

"Otters and seals do not fly." Rainbow Dash interrupted angrily.

"Maybe not, but I've seen this particular seal catch ten feet of air when he breaches the water!" Fluttershy grinned widely as the seal raised its front feet and clapped while it sounded happily.

"That's it. I'm outta here." Rainbow Dash began walking away, but I noticed the same tortoise slowly walking towards her.

" Wait!" Fluttershy stopped Rainbow Dash. "There must be a pet here

That will fit the ticket." I noticed how both of them didn't seem to notice the turtle, which made me feel a little bad for it. "How 'bout a ladybug, or a cute cricket?" She presented both of them to Rainbow Dash who returned an annoyed look.

"Bigger. And cooler." The turtle tapped Rainbow Dash on her back leg, but she merely pushed it away, causing it to wobble away. I even felt worse for it…really…

"Bigger. Cooler. Right." Fluttershy gently pushed Rainbow Dash to a tree.

"I've got just the thing in that tree, Dash!

Meet your new fabulous pet, Squirrely!" Fluttershy had revealed a squirrel in the most fashionable state.

"It's just a squirrel."

"Not just any squirrel." Fluttershy grabbed it and launched it towards the air. "A flying squirrel!" The squirrel floated back to the ground lightly.

"...Yeah. So, like I was saying...

Fluttershy, pal, this won't cut it.

I need a pet to keep up with me.

Something awesome, something flying

With coolness that defies gravity!"

"I'm sensing you want an animal that can fly."

"Ya think?"

Fluttershy placed a hoof around her and continued to lead her somewhere else. "I have plenty of wonderful creatures who soar in the sky!

Like a sweet hummingbird or a giant monarch butterfly!"

"Better, but cooler." Again, I noticed the turtle, but this time he sucked his head in his shell and then pulled it back out, wearing shades.

"I see. How 'bout an owl, or a wasp, or a toucan?

There's so many wonderful creatures the likes of that." Fluttershy grabbed Rainbow Dash's hoof and flew her further up in the sky.

"There are falcons and eagles

They are both quite regal,

Or perhaps what you need is a dark and mysterious bat?"

"Now you're talking. But instead of just one standout, now that's too many." Rainbow Dash wondered which one to pick as she looked at each one of them. "So many choices, and such riches aplenty."

"Not a bad problem to have, if you ask me."

"The bat would be awesome, but the wasp I'm digging too.

Do you have something in a yellow striped bat?"

"No." Fluttershy flew back towards the ground to introduce another animal. "I've got a hot pink flamingo, just dying to meet you!" The flamingo held out it's foot to shake with Rainbow Dash's.

"What to do, what to do?" Rainbow Dash suddenly gasped.

"A prize! That's it! There's really just one way!

To find out which animal's best!

Hold a contest of speed, agility, and guts

That will put each pet to the test!"

"Don't forget style, that should be considered."

"Then we'll know for sure who's best of the litter!"

"The one who is awesome and cool,"

"Just like me! Can't settle for less, 'cause I'm the best,"

"So a contest we will see!"

"Who's the number one, greatest, perfectest pet"

"In the world for me!" Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash sang in unison.

"May the games begin."

"And may the best pet win!" Rainbow Dash finished and looked at the pets she was in favor of. "Alright you guys! Line up and follow me! Double time!"

The flying animals lined up and began flying behind Rainbow Dash.

"The way Rainbow Dash is describing doesn't really sound like a pet to me…" I commented to Fluttershy. "It looks like she wants a player for a sports team instead of some critter to love and care for…"

Fluttershy shrugged as she didn't know what to exactly do with her. "I just want her to be happy with a pet she truly likes."

"Hm…" I thought and noticed the turtle that stayed behind due to his lack of speed. "What about that turtle over there?" I asked.

She noticed the animal I was talking about. "Hm? Oh, I don't mean to sound rude… but I don't think Rainbow Dash would want to have him for a pet…"

"Yeah…but still… I just feel so bad for him… he should at least have a chance…"

Fluttershy thought for a moment and nodded. "You're right." She flew over to the turtle and picked him up. "I'll get you a chance to be Rainbow Dash's pet, don't you worry." The turtle returned a weak and slow smile… but it somehow contained its adorableness. Fluttershy flew over to me. "Let's go to where Rainbow Dash is having the competition."

I nodded. "Alright."

We found Rainbow Dash with a cap and a whistle around her neck, lining up the animals in a straight horizontal line at Town Hall. We joined the other girls who were watching from behind the railings.

"Has she started yet?" I asked.

"Nope she's just about to." Applejack answered.

We watched Rainbow Dash blow her whistle loudly. The animals before her stood at attention. The girls began cheering loudly. Rainbow Dash saw this and blew the whistle briefly, causing the girls to quickly quiet down. "Shh!" She turned her head towards the assembled animals and began pacing in front of them. "So! You all think you've got what it takes to be my pet, do ya? Well, we'll just see about that!" She pressed her nose against the flamingo, causing it to take a long gulp. "If any of you don't think you can handle it, bow out now before you humiliate yourself in front of your peers. This competition isn't for the weak. You'd better be prepared to step up your game!" She noticed the butterfly and pressed her face closer towards it. "You call that flapping?" The butterfly began to flap much harder and faster. "That's better. There's only room on Team Dash for one of you, and my future pet needs to be able to take it to the extreme! Any questions?"

"I got one." Applejack whispered. "Does she understand what a pet really needs?"

"That's what I wondered too…" I added.

"Yeah, like care and attention," Twilight answered. Applejack and I noticed Winona begin panting near Twilight. "Love and affection—She suddenly licked Twilight on the cheek, causing Applejack and I to smile— ugh! And breath mints!"

We turned our attention back to the competition. I looked back to see Fluttershy, but I noticed that she was gone. I then saw her gently pushing the turtle towards Rainbow Dash with her nose. "Now, you just pay attention, and try your best, and—

"Seriously, Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash interrupted her motivational speech. "The turtle? What did you bring that thing here for?" She pointed towards him, causing him to flinch.

Seeing the turtle look slightly hurt saddened me a bit.

Fluttershy licked a white clean cloth and polished the turtle's shell. "Technically he's a tortoise," Fluttershy placed a hoof around his shell and hugged him. "…and he's always dreamed of being somepony's pet. He just wants a chance to compete, he won't get in the way. You won't even know he's here."

Rainbow Dash observed how he even blinked very slowly. "No."

"Oh, just let him try."

"Ugh, but there's no way he can possibly keep up." She pushed the turtle, causing him to roll on his back and return to his original position. "Look at him!"

"It won't hurt to let him try." Fluttershy repeated, holding him towards her.

"But—

"Please, Rainbow Dash…" I stated, walking over to her. "He deserves a chance…just like anypony or animal…" She returned a groan, looking annoyed. I fought back with a serious and demanding look.

"Grrgh, fine!" She surrendered. Fluttershy gently placed the turtle down, causing Rainbow Dash to fly up to his face. "But don't say I didn't warn you! This isn't a game, you know!" She turned her attention to the other animals. "Alright, now these games will determine which one of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for in a pet." Her paradoxical sentences caused me to shake my head. She suddenly sped away, causing the turtle to spin around on his shell. I walked over to him and placed it back right. "Speed!" Rainbow Dash shouted from a distance. After, she maneuvered through each animal very quickly. "Agility." She stopped by us and puffed herself up. "Guts!" She sped towards a cloud and created a figure with it using her flying. "Style!" She sped back down and presented herself. "Coolness." Then, she created a triumphed pose. "Awesomeness." Finally, she used the cap she had on and turned it backwards, crossing her forelegs together as she wore a pair of shades. "And radicalness."

Twilight had come by. "Aren't those all the same thing?" She asked.

Rainbow Dash lowered her shades to where she could see Twilight. "You would think that, Twilight." She began patting her head. "And that's why you would never qualify to be my pet." She raced away.

Twilight returned an annoyed look. I rolled my eyes. "Don't worry about her. She's just being herself."

"Of course…"

Rainbow Dash had led the animals, as well as us, towards the track for the first part of the test. However, Fluttershy had to pick up the tortoise and fly him over to the starting line and place him on there. She flew back to us as we stood outside of the track.

"Speed!" Rainbow Dash announced. I slapped my hoof on my head because I knew the turtle was going to have trouble with this one… I just wish something could just help him... "On your marks..." The animals lined up at the starting line. "Get set..." They prepared themselves. Rainbow Dash blew the whistle. Immediately at the sound of the whistle, the animals dashed themselves throughout the race. I noticed the turtle barely getting one step on the line. Rainbow Dash analyzed the animals that finished a lap. "Sorta speedy... not speedy... pretty speedy... could be more speedy..." The Falcon cried and instantly flew with a rapid speed and stopped at the line. "Yeah! That's speed!" The girls began cheering loudly. The other animals caught up with it as it stood, full with pride. The turtle had just finished a step on the line when Rainbow Dash walked up to it and clicked her tongue. "That's just sad." I sighed heavily, more in sadness than in anger, when I heard her say that to the innocent turtle.

Rainbow Dash began the next part of the test.

"Agility!" The butterfly began, swiftly moving through the hoops while remaining in control, but did it too soft for Rainbow Dash. "Sorta agile..." The flamingo tried to maneuver on a sort of see-saw obstacle, but failed by slipping and falling towards the ground. "not agile..." The toucan flew through the curved and covered hoop, pretty swiftly. "pretty agile..." The bat flew through a hoop, easily. "could be more agile..." After observing, the turtle tried to jump, but instead, it only remained stretched and fell to the ground. "Wanna know the opposite of agility? That." She directed towards the turtle, making me feel even worse. We all noticed the humming bird swiftly go through every hoop, precisely all while staying speedy. "Yeah baby, now that's what I call agility!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed as the others cheered. She pointed to her raised hoof. "Don't leave me hangin'!" The hummingbird slapped one of its wings on Rainbow Dash's hoof, but doing that caused it to halt flying and fall towards the ground for a moment. It quickly returned to Rainbow Dash with nervous eyes. "I'm gonna have to shave a point off your score for that." Rainbow Dash grabbed the clipboard and a pencil to do as she stated as the hummingbird flew away sadly.

Then… there is the next event…

Rainbow Dash placed a cat cage in front of her. "Okay! Which of you has the guts to try and get Opal's favorite toy away from her?" She placed the toy mouse in front of the cage and opened it. Opal revealed herself from the dark and hissed aggressively. She pulled out her paw and revealed the claws hidden inside, immediately scaring all the animals…except for the butterfly… It flew towards the toy mouse. Opal reacted by growling aggressively and rising up her claws to swipe. Instead, the butterfly opened its wings and stunned Opal with their beauty. While Opal was hypnotized, the butterfly grabbed the toy mouse and returned it to Rainbow Dash. "Now that takes guts!"

The girls opened their mouths in awe at the bravery of the butterfly. Meanwhile, the tortoise was trying to be the same by tipping the cage over Opal, but the sly cat saw this and jumped out of the way in time. She charged at the turtle as he cowered back in the shell. Opal continuously swiped his hard shell. Rainbow Dash saw this, slightly uninterested, and resumed her competition.

"Style!" Rainbow Dash announced as Rarity took pictures of her with her camera. She took several pictures. They consisted her with the bat wearing shades, another with the falcon on her shoulder and she stood valiantly, yet another where she was fencing with the hummingbird, then one where dressed up as the complete opposite of herself along with owl who was standing on several books, and one where she was playing something dealing with brooms with the hawk. She had just finished taking one with the butterfly. Rarity removed the accessories from her and puffed her cheeks with powder. "Any pet of mine's gotta look good, 'cause you gotta make me look good!" She turned her head to notice the tortoise standing on the stool beside her with a ribbon on his shell. Right when the flash appeared, he cowered into his shell as Rainbow Dash returned an uncomfortable look in the picture.

"Coolness!" Rainbow Dash sounded smoothly. She pointed at the owl. Hoot. "Sorta cool." She pointed to the duck. Quack. "Not cool." She pointed at the bat. It cried out. "Pretty cool." She pointed to the toucan. It cried as well, but in a much raspier voice. "Could be cooler." She then pointed again, but there was nothing there until she had moved her hoof towards the ground, revealing the wasp. Buzz. "Not what I had in mind." Next was the butterfly. It opened it mouth but no sound was heard. "I can't hear you!" The tortoise began coughing, dryly. "Eugh." She returned a disgusted look until the eagle cried out. "Now that's a cool sound!"

She then judged them on their "awesomeness" which seemed to make no difference, just as Twilight had stated. The bat began by hanging on a tree upside-down and flopping his ears, possibly sending out sound waves. "Sorta awesome." She looked at the toucan who only seemed to twirl his tongue and emit a strange noise. "Not awesome." The flamingo stood on one leg easily. "Could be more awesome." We noticed the owl twist its head three hundred and sixty degrees as if it was completely normal. "Hohoho, yeah, that is awesome!" However, the tortoise appeared before her and showed her how he made his head return into his shell. "Uh, you did that already. That's pretty much all you can do, huh?" I presented a slightly saddened expression with narrowed eyes.

The next event seemed to somewhat ridicule the animals in an odd fashion. The duck danced on the stage, tapping his feet as he pushed and pulled a cane around, as well as wearing an old-fashioned hat. The eagle knitted Rainbow Dash a sweater, even depicting her on the sweater. The falcon used card tricks, which he failed… The wasp weirdly managed to create shadow puppets with his stinger…again…how was that possible? I will never know. All these side show attractions bored Rainbow Dash… The bat's time to shine was up and he hung upside down again. There were several glasses below him and he created a soothing song as he lightly played them. Suddenly, he released a high-pitched squeal and shattered the glasses into bits of pieces. "Whoa! That was truly awesome! But... I'm afraid this is the radicalness competition, so I'm gonna have to take some points off."

When the tortoise was up to present himself, I was really astonished by his bravery and determined attitude to become Rainbow Dash's pet. He had went through the trouble to create an obstacle course consisting of jumping on a spring which would launch him over a pool of sharks, dodge through a continuously swinging guillotine, travel through a roller-coaster style obstacle, jump through a burning hoop of fire, and finally land at a sheet at the end. I truly commended his effort…but unfortunately when he set himself up at the beginning on top of a stool… he could not even make it across to the first obstacle. He jumped and only fell on his shell, helplessly. He waggled his legs as the curtains dropped on him. I saw Rainbow Dash sigh and walk over to him. I began walking towards her…just…just to see if I could do something for the poor animal…

"Listen, turtle..."

"Tortoise." Fluttershy corrected as she popped her head out of the curtains.

"Whatever!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed, sending Fluttershy back. "You've had your fun, but I think you and I both know who made the cut and who didn't." He reacted by slowly closing his eyelids and reopening them, looking as if he didn't understand her. Rainbow Dash only stared at him for a moment until he croaked. "You didn't." She pointed at him, then at the flying birds in the sky. The owl, bat, falcon, and hawk had made the cut. "I mean... A for effort and everything, you gave it your best shot, maybe I've got a gold star sticker around here somewhere you can have, but, seriously, go home. You're starting to creep me out…" Rainbow Dash released an uneasy grin. I know those words weren't directed at me… but they still managed to somehow hurt me inside… especially how the turtle could only present gleaming eyes at her, who took it to be uncomfortable. "So, anyway…" She turned around and noticed me standing there in front of her. "Oh. Hey, Alex. What's up?"

"Well…" I thought for a moment. "Is there any way that tortoise has a better chance to be your pet?" I began feeling a little more emotional for some reason… "I mean… he really wants to. I can see he's placed so much effort in doing so…it's just…" I sighed. "He's not used to doing the kind of things that you've set standards for…"

Rainbow Dash returned slightly understanding eyes. "Listen, Alex… I know what you're trying to say and stuff...but he's just not the type of pet I'm looking for…"

"But a pet's supposed to be something to love and care for. Something you have a bond with… not for their superior skills…"

Rainbow Dash sighed. "I like to fly." She pointed to the tortoise that was still on his shell. "He can't fly. So if he can't fly, I can't fly. I would have to stay planted on the ground. Besides, he's slow! Have you seen the way he walks?"

"Can't you make an exception? I mean, you can take a saddlebag with you and place him in there. Or I'm pretty sure there are other ways…"

Rainbow stopped me by shaking her head. "I'm sorry, Alex." She began walking away towards the other pets, leaving me to only stare at the turtle and feel depressed. "You're all outstanding competitors, but there can only be one of you who's number one. So the final, tie-breaking contest is going to be..." She turned the other way for a moment. "…pause for dramatic effect ...a race against me! Through Ghastly Gorge! Dun dun dun!"

As she began escorting the animals to their final test, I looked at the turtle and picked him up. "Don't worry…" I thought for a moment. "I know you'll win… You just have to show her how big of a heart you have…" He could only look at me and release another brief croak. I squinted my eyes and looked back to see the others walking to Ghastly Gorge. Fluttershy had spotted me and flew over to me before leaving.

"Is something the matter?" She asked, aware of my expression.

"This little animal deserves so much more than to be cast aside…" I answered as Fluttershy observed with a concerned expression. I thought for a moment and opened my eyes. "Can you do something for me?"

"What is it?"

"Can you take the tortoise to Ghastly Gorge and have him compete anyway?"

Fluttershy placed her hooves to her mouth. "Isn't that a bit too dangerous?"

"Yeah…I know… I just have faith in this little guy…" I patted his shell.

Fluttershy closed her eyes and nodded. "Okay." She grabbed the turtle and we began heading towards the next area of the competition.

We arrived just in time to see Rainbow Dash giving her speech before the start of the event. "Actually, Ghastly Gorge isn't scary. It's fun. Heh. I've flown through it a million times myself, so, obviously I'll be at the front of the pack." As Rainbow Dash continued to be herself, Fluttershy had flew slyly behind the others and placed the turtle behind them. She patted his shell, whispered a comment, and flew back towards us. "But whichever of you make it across the finish line with me will have proven you can keep up with me," She began doing push-ups. "…and will have earned the honor, and glory, of getting to be my pet!" She stood up and braced herself at the edge of the cliff, seeming as if she didn't even notice the tortoise. "Ready?" She asked and looked towards the gorge. "Setgo!" She quickly announced and sped off. The other animals had hesitated for a second but began flying after her. The tortoise could only release a frightened expression, especially since he couldn't fly. He looked below him and wondered how he would accommodate to this test.

I looked at him seriously and muttered to myself. "Come on…you can do this…" I closed my eyes and felt something immense inside me. When I had opened my eyes, I was surprised to see the turtle at the bottom of the gorge, slowly walking and severely trying his best to have a chance in winning. I had widened eyes and looked at the girls to see if they had an explanation on what happened, but they were too busy cheering for the others.

"Come on!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed. "Let's go meet them at the end of the finish line!"

The other girls agreed and ran ahead. I shrugged and met up with Fluttershy to head towards the finish line as well.

When we finally arrived, all I could think about was the safety of that tortoise.

Twilight also seemed to notice because she walked up to me. "Is something wrong?"

"I'm just thinking about that poor tortoise…" I answered.

"Because Rainbow doesn't want him as a pet?"

"Exactly…" I sighed. "He may not be good at the things Rainbow is expecting…but he has a lot of potential in him… I can feel it… He really wants to be her pet and I think he deserves to be after all the hard work he's putting into it."

"I understand…but you can't force her to take him."

"Yeah…you're right…" I responded, but still felt a strong confidence for him. "What about you?" I asked her. "Are you doing alright?"

She smiled. "Yeah, I told you it was nothing major. It just happens every once in a while. It probably will again soon…but it goes away. Like I said, it's nothing really bad."

"Oh…" I wanted to ask her what it was…but I felt as if it might be something too personal.

We all heard a cry in the distance and looked up to see the falcon arriving in first place. The girls began cheering for the winner and the rest of the animals as they crossed the finish line. However, their cheering slowed down as they noticed Rainbow Dash wasn't among them as they continued to fly past the end.

"Hm, something's not right here." Twilight commented and grabbed a pair of binoculars with her magic.

Before she could have a second with them, Fluttershy immediately rushed between her and the binoculars to see what happened. "Where's Rainbow Dash?"

Applejack then placed herself between now and looked. "Great galloping galoshes! There's been an avalanche in there!"

"Rainbow!" Spike reacted and the girls began gasping and talking worriedly.

"Wait! Look!" Pinkie Pie suddenly intervened and pointed.

"It's the turtle!" Fluttershy exclaimed.

"Tortoise!" The others corrected.

"...whatever..."

I carefully looked and through a billow of dust, I could see the turtle slowly walking towards us…carrying something…

"And he's carrying something on his back..." Twilight added.

When the dust cleared up, we all saw him carrying Rainbow Dash!

"Ahh! It's Rainbow Dash! It's her! It's Rainbow!" Pinkie Pie shouted and hopped excitedly.

The girls began cheering loudly again as I smiled at the sight of them. However, their cheering slowed down, once again, as they realized they were heading towards us at a very slow and awkward pace.

"Maybe we'd better go meet him half way." Fluttershy offered, grinning.

Twilight walked over to them, bringing the checkered banner and white line along with her and placing them firmly on the ground. The girls resumed cheering loudly as the turtle slowly passed the finish line. He stopped when we all met up with him.

"Huh. Way to go, little guy!" Spike praised as he patted him on the head.

"Oh, thank goodness you're not hurt, Rainbow!" Twilight exchanged words with Rainbow Dash.

"Just my pride…" Rainbow Dash returned softly and dusted herself off.

"I certainly hope all of this dreadful dust was worth it!" Rarity added as the dust flew over to her. She released a mighty sneeze.

"It sure was, if'n it means Rainbow gets to have her own little critter just like the rest of us from now on." Applejack expressed as she petted her dog on the head.

I noticed the turtle look up at Rainbow Dash, wanting to know what her decision would be.

"Uh... thanks." Rainbow thanked and hopped off of his shell. She lowered herself to see him face-to-face. "What you did... I owe you one." They knocked hooves…or feet… and that made me feel warmer inside, but I was still worried about her decision.

"Rainbow!" Fluttershy spoke happily. "Your new pet is over here waiting for you!" She presented the falcon, who spread his wings and flew over to Rainbow Dash, landing above her bandaged wings. The turtle looked at her sadly.

"Oh... right... yeah. That." Rainbow Dash sounded uneasily.

"What's the matter?" Spike asked, noticing this.

"You got your perfect pet, right?" Pinkie Pie added, placing her foreleg on his head.

"The best of the best like you wanted, remember? It can fly and it's not a squirrel!" Fluttershy emphasized. "Should we sing about it again?"

"A falcon sure looks good on ya, Rainbow." Applejack commented.

But is she really happy with it? That's what I thought.

Rarity placed her camera and took a picture, which caused the light bulb above it to flash brightly and scare the turtle. He cowered inside his shell.

"Easy, fella. Nothing to be afraid of." Rainbow Dash comforted the tortoise. "The falcon sure does looks cool... he's absolutely everything I wanted in a pet." She sighed.

"Yay?" Fluttershy expressed in a questionable matter.

"But…?" I asked, longing for her to choose the brave tortoise.

Rainbow Dash looked at me and smiled. "But I said whoever crosses the finish line with me gets to be my pet."

"You did! You did say that!" Pinkie Pie quickly reacted. "She did say that, that was the rule!" She exclaimed as she hopped over us excitedly.

"And the only racer who crossed the finish line with me, was the one who stopped to save me when I needed help." The falcon immediately looked around worriedly and embarrassingly when she had said that. "The tortoise!" She announced and held him up, nuzzling her nose against his. I finally felt warm again inside my heart. I was so happy to see that tortoise smiling in accomplishment. The falcon had cried sadly and flew off of her.

"But what about the—

Twilight had wanted to ask, but we all saw the falcon accept the exchange and shake wings/feet with the tortoise and walk away in defeat. Rainbow Dash placed her hoof on his shell, causing him to look back and smile very slowly. His expression made me want to laugh, but it was mostly because on how happy I was to see him be chosen.

"Wouldja look at that? He even smiles slow." Applejack commented and led the girls to chuckle and awe.

"Spike, take a letter." Rainbow Dash spoke. Spike pulled out a scroll and quill and began writing. "Dear Princess Celestia, I used to think that the most important traits to look for in a pet, or any best friend, were all physical competitive abilities. But now I can see how short-sighted and shallow that was."As she had spoke, I noticed Opal aggressively attack and bite that toy mouse she had in her claws. The winning pet noticed this and slowly walked over to her to take it away. However, Opal realized his attempt and began to furiously swipe her claws at him, but he had covered his head and feet by burrowing them inside his shell. He poked his head out, retrieved the mouse and dragged it inside his cage as Opal began to attack him. "Today I learned what the most important quality really is. A certain kind of spirit. A stick-to-it-ive-ness. A never give up, can-do attitude that's the mark of a real winner. And this tortoise has it." Opal had grown weary of attacking her pet and walked away as if he wasn't worth fighting. I smiled at her behavior and the tortoise's bravery.

"Tenacity." Twilight offered proudly.

"Gesundheit." Rainbow responded in the wrong way. "You just can't stop that little guy. He's like a... like a... Tank!" She placed her hoof on his shell. He poked his head out.

"But Rainbow! You didn't want a pet that couldn't fly because it would keep you grounded and hold you back, remember?" Fluttershy advised, causing his head to lower sadly.

"Hmm..." Rainbow Dash wondered, placing a hoof to her chin. After a moment of thinking, she raised it up and exclaimed. "I've got it! Everypony, go to the park. I have a surprised for all of you!" She chuckled and grabbed him, taking him with her as she flew away.

The girls and I exchanged looks with each other and shrugged.

We did as she asked and walked back to the park.

"What do you suppose the surprise is?" Fluttershy asked me as Angel hopped around her.

"Hm…" I thought about it and shook it away, smiling. "Whatever it is…I'm sure it's a solution for her new pet. I'm happy for him, really…"

"I'm glad you're happy… Are you sure you're still not looking for a pet?"

"Perhaps… I'll wait for now. I'm still not sure if I'm ready for a pet… I want to make sure that I am capable of being fully responsible for it and being there for it at all times. For right now, I'll just share with you."

Fluttershy grabbed my hooves and looked at me with loving eyes. "I'm sure you'd make the best pet owner ever…" After, we shared a kiss until we were interrupted by a loud announcement.

"Heh. C'mon, Tank! We're gonna be late for our very first Pony Pet Playdate!" Rainbow Dash shouted from the top of the hill. We both turned our heads to see her flying towards the others, but what caught our eyes was Tank. He had flying goggles on him and some sort of flying contraption strapped on to his shell with a belt. He was no longer slow and stuck to the ground. He flew over to the others happily. Fluttershy and I both exchanged looks and chuckled at the sight of him.

I spent most of the time on the pet playdate with Fluttershy. We messed around with Angel sometimes, even getting him angry for brief moments. However, Fluttershy would always calm him down by offering him a carrot or a treat to eat. Whenever Fluttershy and I would begin getting intimate or lost in each other, Angel would loudly tap his feet or even slap me, which didn't hurt at all, to gain our attention back to him. I didn't get mad. I would only chuckle at his silliness. I was too happy to lose my smile.

Once the sun had begun setting, everypony began preparing for their leave. Once all our byes were spoken, I walked with Fluttershy to her cottage as Angel hopped along.

"I had fun with you today, Fluttershy." I mentioned.

"So did I Alex. Even if Angel was being a little naughty about us…you know…" She slightly blushed.

I chuckled lightly. "It's all alright. He's just a baby bunny after all." I patted his head, causing him to return an annoyed look.

Fluttershy giggled.

Angel stopped hopping and instead hopped onto her back and laid down.

"Aww. He must have worn himself out."

Or he must be lazy. I chuckled at the thought and didn't bother saying it out loud.

When we arrived at Fluttershy's cottage, I opened her door for her to walk inside.

"Thank you, Alex." She smiled. "You're so sweet." She looked at Angel, expecting him to do some other type of mischief, but instead he was sleeping sounding on her back. "Well, I better put him to bed." She returned her look to me. "I can't wait to see you tomorrow."

"Me either." I smiled and I returned a compassionate expression at her.

She slowly pushed her face towards mine to give me a kiss, but Angel had suddenly woken up with an annoyed look on his face as he crossed his front legs together, standing upright. He tapped his foot on her back, causing her to stop and look back. She blushed. "I better get him to bed…now…" She walked inside and closed the door.

I stood outside for a moment, knowing what she was going to do. After a short while, she quickly opened the door again and surprised me with rapid kiss that lasted for a few seconds. After she pulled away, she blushed and apologized. "Sorry."

I smiled and hugged her. "It's okay. I better let you go before Angel finds out you ditched him."

She giggled slightly. "Hehe, thanks. Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Fluttershy." I kissed her one more time and waved.

She waved back and walked inside, closing the door quietly.

I walked back home, feeling amazing. I opened the front door and closed it when I was inside. I walked up the stairs and fell on my bed. My heart was happy. I was happy. I was glad to see Tank finally become Rainbow Dash's pet. He really deserved it. He wasn't that type to be selfish and spoiled. He didn't want something that he didn't want to work for. He wanted to be Rainbow's pet, and did everything he could to accomplish that. That's why I knew he would be successful. I sighed in relief. I guess he reminded me a bit...or a lot...of myself when I was young… only I didn't achieve anything a while after… but I did now. I'm with the girls, who are a real family.

I began to frown slightly. Still… I wonder if…

I shook my head. No. I'm going to sleep with a smile on my face tonight.

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