• 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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Famiy Appreciation Day

Episode 38 – Family Appreciation Day

I calmly jolted awake when I heard the howls of wolves. I looked up to my window to see the full moon visible. I sighed and laid back on my bed. Hm… I feel like I want Fluttershy next to me right now…she's just so…comforting… I realized that I did feel alone at home when it was time to sleep… I know I have the girls as friends…but I still couldn't really shake the feeling of loneliness at home. Maybe I never really realized it before because usually I was always asleep during the time…but since those wolves woke me up… I feel it…

I closed my eyes, hoping to go back to asleep and be rid of the curse when I wake up tomorrow…but sleep wasn't coming…at least not easy… I tossed and turned for a moment until I was lying down on my back, facing the ceiling with a slight frown and tired eyes. I groaned and sat up, removing myself from bed after. I sat down near the window and stared out. However, that feeling that I was enduring seemed to be nearing me. I sat back up and walked down the stairs. I stayed in the kitchen for a moment, looking out the window and wondering what time it was. It looked to be around midnight or very early in the morning.

Sitting at the table, I placed my foreleg on top of there and rested my chin on my hoof, thinking. Hm…maybe I can sleep at Fluttershy's? I'm sure that'll remove this uncomfortable feeling when I know I have her as company… She must be sleeping, however… I don't want to bother her. But…I really dislike this feeling… I sighed. I hope she doesn't mind… I sat up and walked over to the door, opening it and closing it after me.

Once outside, I looked around and noticed every home with lights out. There was no pony in sight. The sounds of crickets were the only noise under the bright excessive amount of stars. It felt kind of nice. It actually removed some of that feeling that I felt inside the house. It was probably because of the fresh breeze that blew throughout the town. It was beautiful outside…but I was still tired. I began walking over to Fluttershy's cottage.

When I walked across the little bridge near her home, I reached the front door and looked around. Of course, every window of her cottage was dark. I stopped to think for a moment. Hm…maybe I shouldn't do this…but…I don't want to get that feeling again when I return home…will she mind…? I sighed and lightly knocked, hoping that I wouldn't startle her awake.

After a while of worried thinking, the door opened, revealing Fluttershy in her robe as she rubbed her eyes with her hooves. When she saw me, her eyes slightly widened.

"Alex? What's wrong?" She asked.

I looked at the ground. "I'm really sorry to wake and disturb you…"

"No, no. It's alright. Is something the matter?"

"Honestly…yes… You see… I had woken up not too long ago, but I was beginning to feel a little lonesome. I couldn't really sleep afterwards and… I thought I might be able to stay with you tonight…so I won't feel alone…"

"Of course you can, Alex. Here, come in." Her sleepy voice still comforted me. She invited me into her home. I walked in and lay myself on the couch. "Do you want me to get you some blankets?"

"No, I'm okay. I feel comfortable enough now… I can't tell you how much I appreciate this…"

She smiled lightly. "Anything for you, Alex… You know…" She shuffled her hooves a bit shyly. "You can…um…" She paused.

"What is it, Fluttershy?" I questioned.

She blushed a little. "Nothing…" She leaned over to me and kissed me. "Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Fluttershy." I smiled. "Thank you very much."

"You're welcome." She walked up the stairs to her room.

I closed my eyes and rested my head. I felt relieved. I didn't have that uncomfortable feeling anymore because I knew there was a special pony close to me…

When I awoke again, it was morning. I sat up and looked around. It seemed quiet. I don't think Fluttershy is up yet… I stood up from the couch and walked around. Hm…maybe I can make her some tea or something? I walked to the kitchen and looked around for the ingredients for tea. Once I did, I used them to make tea in my own way. I felt that I should serve it cold, so I let it sit in the fridge for a while. After several minutes, I removed it and brought it with me to Fluttershy's room upstairs. She was still asleep when I walked in. I smiled at her cuteness and walked over to the side of her bed. I placed the tea on her nightstand and suddenly came up with a romantic idea to wake her up. I leaned over to her head and gently pressed my lips on hers. When I pulled away, she was lightly fluttering her eyes. Then, she opened them fully and was partially surprised to see me.

"Alex? You're awake?" She asked.

"Yeah." I answered, smiling lightly. "I made you some iced tea." I gave it to her as she sat up in bed. "I doubt it's as great as yours, but it's just a little something I thought I could do for you."

She held it between her hooves and smiled. "That's so sweet of you…" She took a couple gulps of it. "It's amazing."

"Really? Thanks…" As she continued to drink it, I talked to her some more. "Hey, Fluttershy… Do you want to go out and eat at the café or something?"

She finished the tea and looked at me with a warm smile on her face. "Sure! That sounds lovely."

"Great. I'll let you get ready then." I took the empty glass. "I'll wash this for you."

"Thank you, Alex." She gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before I walked downstairs.

I washed the glass under the sink and allowed it to dry on the counter. After a moment, Fluttershy came walking down the stairs. I greeted her at the bottom. "Hey. Are you ready to go?" I asked.

She smiled and nodded. "Mm-hm."

I returned a smile and walked by her side to and out the front door.

In town, we talked a little, even sharing a few laughs, as we observed our surroundings. It felt great. And I am definitely looking forward to spending some time alone with her. I continued walking with her to the café until I turned my head to face the front of me and notice something…completely…off…

My mouth stood agape as I analyzed the two ponies resembling dark blue and grayish blue. One was a male. He wore a brown Fedora hat, and his mane was partially short. He also had dark blue eyes like mine. The other, a female, wore small glasses. She still looked pretty young. Her mane was long, almost like Rarity's but it didn't have the curls and perfection in it. Her eyes seemed to be almost the same color as her coat, but with a greater touch in blue. The male contained a cutie mark of a paper, which contained scribbles on it. The female's flank appeared to contain small luxuries on it. I felt as if I was paralyzed noticing all this.

If my vision was accurate…then these two ponies I was seeing were there… Those two ponies are my mother and father…

"Alex? Alex, are you okay?" I heard Fluttershy calling me, snapping me out of my daze.

"What…?" I responded, weakly.

"Are you okay? You just stopped all of a sudden…"

"I…" I looked over to where I was previously looking but didn't spot the same ponies. Oh…maybe it was just my imagination… "Uh…let's go get a table."

We sat across each other at the table. There were ponies around us, chattering and causing the area to become slightly noisy. Fluttershy and I took our orders, which consisted of two sandwiches that contained flowers. I was rubbing my hoof on the table, waiting, until Fluttershy spoke to me.

"Alex?" I looked up to see her wearing a worried face. "You don't look okay… What's wrong?"

"Um…" I looked back at the table. "I…I thought I saw my parents…"

"Your parents…?"

"Yeah…" I sighed. "If there's anything I'm really afraid of… it's them…"

"Oh…I'm sorry… Are they here…?"

I shrugged. "I don't know…maybe not… maybe it was just a loose memory on the run that seemed to escape my mind and plunge into reality somehow…"

"Well…" She grabbed my hoof and looked at me empathetically. "Whatever the case is…I'm here to give you all my support…"

I looked at her and smiled lightly. "Thank you, Fluttershy…"

We both shared a caring kiss. When we pulled away, our food was coming. Our sandwiches were placed on the table. Fluttershy grabbed hers and began biting it, chewing with a bright smile. Just as I was about to follow in Fluttershy's example, I dropped my sandwich suddenly, causing it to make a squish sound as it landed on the plate.

No…you can't be serious…

I saw them again…and they were heading this way!

"Alex?" Fluttershy questioned in concern and faced the direction I was facing.

Once my functions were working again, I quickly sat up from my seat and looked around for somewhere to hide. The area was basically open unless I ran into the building…but it would make too much of a scene and they were getting nearer! I looked below me to see the stack of hay I had been sitting on. Without question, I dove into the hay and hid myself beneath it.

After several seconds, I heard their voices…

"Hello miss, do you mind if you answer a question we have?"

"Um…" Fluttershy answered a bit hesitantly. "No…"

"We heard about the zap apple jam here in Ponyville. Do you know where we could get some?"

"Um…Sweet Apple Acres is the place to ask for that…."

"Can you point us to the direction?" I assumed Fluttershy did so. "Thank you."

I heard their hooves walk off, but one pair of them stopped. My mother began speaking. "Say…why are there two plates at your table if you're the only one eating here?"

"Oh, um…" Fluttershy began. Just don't give them my name or the fact that I'm hiding in the hay right now… "…my boyfriend is with me…"

"Where is he?" She asked.

I began feeling nervous.

"He's…in the bathroom, washing his hooves."

"Oh…okay…Well have a great day then." They began walking off.

"Yes, you too…" Fluttershy stated and sighed. After several more seconds, she called out to me. "They're gone…"

I removed myself from the hay and sat down again, sighing. "Thanks…"

"You're welcome…but…why do they act as if you're not even missing?"

I frowned and felt myself grow sad. "It's like I told you before…they probably forgot about me already, or if it's like I wasn't even there in the first place…"

"I'm really sorry…"

"It's alright…It's not your fault…"

"I just wish I could somehow make things better…"

"Well…"I began smiling lightly. "You do…"

She smiled lightly as well, and we finished our meal.

As we walked out of the café, Fluttershy looked over to me. "Are you sure you want to stay in town? We can go home if you want…"

"I know…but I don't want to keep you in your home for such a long time… Besides… they should be at Sweet Apple Acres, so I suppose we can spend a little while here… we just have to be careful…I definitely don't want them to know I'm here… I can't imagine what will happen if they know… They might harass me or something…maybe even cause me to leave Ponyville…" I sighed. "I don't know…"

"I'll do anything to keep you here, Alex. I can't bear the thought of you leaving…" Fluttershy responded.

"Me either…"

We walked into the marketplace, seeing a variety of stalls set up.

"Whoo! Why hello bees, Beatrice, Beecher!" We heard as we walked, stopping us due to the familiar voice. We looked over to a stall that contained bees. We saw Granny Smith with a beard of a bees as she poured the honey from the nest into a jar. Applebloom was by her side, wearing a bonnet. "Ooh, you've all been busy little bees, haven't you?" She began making buzzing sounds afterwards.

Applebloom lowered her head in embarrassment and looked around. "Granny, isn't there a less... silly way to get the honey?"

As she spoke, we saw another couple of fillies that were Applebloom's age. I analyzed them and remembered them from the school Applebloom goes to. All I knew was that they weren't friends, and were basically just trouble for Applebloom… They were walking past them. The one wearing a tiara, Princess Tiara if I remember correctly, was walking in front of her friend, Silver Spoon if that is correct, wearing an angry expression as if she was in a bad mood. However, her friend behind her walked with a bright face.

Nonetheless, Applebloom gasped at the sight of them and hid behind a nest of bees. I contained some slight confusion on why Applebloom was hiding from them… unless if it was the same reason I did earlier…but that doesn't seem to be the case.

"Oh, isn't this just precious?" Granny Smith commented loudly as she grabbed Applebloom and picked her up.

"Please stop!" She desperately asked in a whispered tone.

"And it is perfect for makin' our zap apple jam!" Granny Smith announced loudly, beginning to gain the attention of the other ponies around her.

"Shh! Stop it, Granny!" Applebloom pleaded, but the fillies that were walking by her stopped and began laughing. "Granny, please! Those ponies over there are watchin' me!" She pointed to the fillies.

"What?" Granny Smith questioned and looked at them. "Are those fillies your friends? Hello, Half-pint's friends!" She waved to them.

"Hiii, Granny Smith!" Silver Spoon waved as she greeted her. Princess Tiara began to wave as well, but by the look on her face, I could see she was up to no good. "Hi, Half-pint!" She resumed in a mocking tone and laughed with Diamond Tiara after.

Applebloom then lowered her head and looked around uneasily, causing me to form an irritated expression and intervene.

"Alright, alright, that's enough." I stated, walking in front of Applebloom, who was now burying her head in her hooves as she laid on the ground. "Go where you're supposed be, you two."

"Geez." Princess Tiara replied, talking to Silver Spoon. "I wonder who raised him." She shared as they continued walking, laughing afterwards. Her comment seemed as if they struck something sharp through my heart. I frowned a bit, but I lightly looked at Applebloom as Granny Smith continued to talk.

"What dolls. Why, when I was little, ponies didn't come that purdy."

I grabbed Applebloom's hoof and helped her up. When she stood up, she quickly walked behind Granny Smith and began to push her. "Are we done shopping, Granny? 'Cause I'd like to get back to the farm, fast."

"Hold on, smellybelly." She began walking on her own. "I got my honey, gooey-goo!" She hopped cheerfully as she sang, attracting much more attention from the ponies around her. "Got my honey, gooey-ooh! Got my honey, iddley-hoo!"

Applebloom placed her hoof on her bonnet and lowered it towards her face. I looked at her in slight confusion as she walked away, trailing behind Granny Smith who was obviously in the opposite mood she was in. What was all that about…? Maybe I could find out later…when my parents aren't here…

"Are you feeling okay?" Fluttershy asked me.

"Yeah…um…let's go back to your cottage…"

I had walked the way back in silence as Fluttershy could only offer a worried look towards me. When I lay down on the couch, I sighed and couldn't help but feel worry travel through my body. "If you don't mind, Fluttershy… I would like to stay here tonight again…"

"Of course, Alex." She answered as she caressed my cheek. "You stay here as long as you want to…"

"Thank you…" I kissed her gently on the lips. "I'm even too scared to sleep by myself at my own home… Honestly, I'll probably even have nightmares about them…" I sighed. "I've never been so scared in my life…" I managed to chuckle a little. "It seems as if my worst fear is my parents…"

Fluttershy rubbed my back and held herself close to me. "I'm sorry… I'll go get you anything you need, and you can stay here, if you want."

"Thank you, Fluttershy… I really appreciate this…"

"Anything for you…"

I spent the rest of the day in or around the house, as long as I was out of town. Other ponies probably would have thought I was taking this too far because they were just family…but…it was much more to it than that… I just couldn't be near them or face them. I was lucky to be at Fluttershy's cottage. It was a little away from town, so they wouldn't really have a reason to wander off here unless they were lost. Even if they did, I would hide inside the house.

Around the evening, Fluttershy brought some food for us to eat as well. However, I did feel bad that she had to go out to town by herself to get something for the both of us. I wanted to go out with her…but the fear of seeing them continued to strike me, almost making me paralyzed and unable to move. Fluttershy understood what I was going through…but I still couldn't help but feel bad for her… Not only did I feel bad…but I also felt like I was being a bad boyfriend…

"There you go…" Fluttershy said as she finished making the couch for my stay.

"Thank you again, Fluttershy." I sighed. "I just wish there's something I can do for you to show you how much I appreciate what you're doing for me."

"Oh, Alex. You already are…" She responded.

"What do you mean…?" I asked, with some slight confusion.

"Well…I enjoy being with you and having you for company." She smiled. "It's like a mutual relationship."

"Oh…I see… I still feel like if I'm taking advantage of you or something…"

"You've done things for me in the past. We both do things for each other, and that's alright."

"Alright…" I felt a little better. "Well, hopefully, they aren't thinking of staying here for some reason, so we can actually have a day out in town."

She smiled lightly. "Mm-hm. Now get some sleep. It will be good for you after worrying all day."

I nodded. "Okay…" I sat on the couch and began to lie down. She continued to smile and caress my face, slightly playing with my mane. This caused me to smile and gaze at her gently. "If I ever get sick, Fluttershy, you'd be the first pony I'd go to."

She lightly blushed, looking away and feeling a little embarrassed. "Oh, Alex…" When her blush faded away, she moved her eyes back to me and smiled. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Fluttershy…"

She planted a kiss on my lips for a few seconds and then pulled away. I gave her one last smile before I turned my head and closed my eyes. As I felt myself walking towards sleep's embrace, I could still feel Fluttershy by my side, continuing to sedate me as her soft hooves ran through my mane.

Fluttershy really is a special pony… When I woke up, I felt much better, and I had no memory of a nightmare… I looked around, slightly wondering if Fluttershy had stayed with me, but I guessed she went to bed after I had fallen asleep. I carefully removed myself from the couch and made the blankets afterwards. The cottage was quiet, so I assumed that Fluttershy was still asleep. To make sure, I climbed the stairs to her room and observed her bed. She was resting peacefully in it, slowly breathing in and out. I smiled at the sight of her.

I decided I would go check on Applebloom, and possibly do some other errands, at Sweet Apple Acres. Before leaving, I grabbed a piece of a paper and a pencil and wrote a note for Fluttershy. I'm going out to Sweet Apple Acres for a moment. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. So if you wake up and don't see me here, you'll know where I am. I'll be back in a while. Love, Alex. I placed the note on the nightstand near Fluttershy's bed. I added a rose I had retrieved from outside and kissed her on the cheek. After, I walked down the stairs and headed outside. Then, I began walking towards the farm.

I felt happier when I didn't see any trace of my parents during the walk towards the farm. Sure, I had a slight hint of paranoia, but that went away when I didn't see them at all. As I arrived at the farm, I saw Applejack hauling a small cart of tin cans used for watering flowers and plants. Big Macintosh was slightly ahead of her, pulling a larger cart of the same items. Applejack spotted me and greeted me loud and warmly.

"Howdy, Alex!" She waved.

I smiled as well. "Hey, Applejack." I began walking by her side as she pulled the cart towards a field of trees. "What are all these watering cans for?" I asked.

"Oh, it's the Zap Apple Harvest! You see, Granny Smith can tell all the signs of zap apples, which are these amazing apples that are magic!"

"Really? That sounds amazing. I've never seen zap apples before."

"That's because they only grow here in Ponyville!" She chuckled. "Can you believe that? Everypony in Equestria comes to Ponyville, just to get some of our jam!"

"Oh…so what phase are they in now?"

"Well…they're close to being ready to pick, but it's still a few days away." Applejack stopped inside the field of trees, which I assumed to be the zap apple trees, and began removing the cart from her as Big Macintosh watered the trees.

"Do you need any help?" I offered.

She looked at me with a slight grin. "I appreciate the offer, Alex, but we're going to be working all day, since these kinds of apples are too special too miss."

"What do you mean by that?" I asked, creating a confused expression with a slightly raised eyebrow.

"Well, after the fifth day of the Harvest, they disappear."

"Disappear?" I questioned, surprised. "You mean like vanish?"

"Yup!" Applejack grabbed a watering can with her teeth. "Like I said: Magic!" She began walking to a nearby tree.

"Well…" I began as I walked towards the cart of watering cans. "I can at least help you out a bit." I grabbed a can with my teeth as well and followed Applejack, but to another tree. "I can probably stay for a few minutes before going back to Fluttershy's."

"Well, thanks, Alex." She smiled as she watered the trees.

I followed her example and heard some small steps toward Applejack. Still watering the tree, I used my eyes to look at Applejack and see Applebloom walking towards her. "Applejack!"

Applejack finished watering the tree and looked at Applebloom. "Oh, hey there, Applebloom."

"Can you or Big Macintosh please come to class for Family Appreciation Day?" She asked as she followed Applejack back to the cart.

Applejack placed the can on the wooden cart as Applebloom looked at her worriedly. "I'm sorry, Applebloom. I already told you that we just can't take a break from harvest to come to your school. You know what'll happen."

I finished watering the tree as well and began walking towards the cart.

"I know... after the fifth day the zap apples disappear..."

When I reached the cart to place the can back on there, a sudden gust of wind began blowing through our manes. We looked up to see a sudden change in weather as dark clouds appeared, seeming as if there was a storm forming. Crows flew above us and cawed.

"Look!" Granny Smith rushed to us. "The third sign!" The crows had formed an apple pattern in the sky. "Right on time! Hot diggity!"

Unexpectedly, to me, small blue glowing round objects formed on the trees as electricity cackled around them. The blue objects literally bloomed and formed the base for the apples.

"Wow!" We all emphasized at the sight of the magic.

After a moment of taking in the sight of the pre-zap apples, Granny Smith made her announcement. "Alright, you lazy daisies, move your caboose!" She left, along with Big Macintosh, to continue whatever she was doing.

"I'm sorry Applebloom, but don't you fret. Granny Smith's got no shortage of entertainin' stories to tell." Applejack assured, winking after and resuming to her work.

"I know. That's what I'm worried about…" She muttered.

I looked at her, concerned. "Applebloom, what's going on between you and Granny Smith? Why don't you want her to speak at that 'Family Appreciation Day' thing in your school?"

"Didn't you see what happened yesterday in town, Alex? I was embarrassed!"

"Embarrassed? How did Granny Smith make you feel embarrassed?"

"When she was attracting all the attention of the ponies around us! Doing all those silly things! Ponies were looking at me as if I was some strange creature out of this world!"

I smiled lightly. "She's just being herself. You shouldn't care what people around you think. You have a loving family who cares about you."

She sighed and sat down. "You don't understand… I bet you didn't have a family who embarrassed you every time you were with them."

I lost my smile and immediately shifted towards a frown. I knew Applebloom didn't know…and that she didn't mean it… but it harmed my heart… I lowered my head and answered her. "You're right… I didn't…" I began walking away sadly. I wasn't sure if there was anything to fix this, but I knew for sure that it was going to take some time to restore myself. I decided the best treatment I could receive was from Fluttershy, so I started to head home.

I walked to Applejack, who noticed my expression. "Hey there, Alex. Somethin' wrong?"

"Yeah, I guess you could say that… I'm going to Fluttershy's to hopefully get rid of this." I responded.

"Alrighty then." She replied with a light frown. "I'll see you later."

"Yeah. I'll see you." I began walking towards the main part of the farm so I could take the path from there. However, when I reached the barn, something stopped me. My heart jumped at the sight. I saw them again! I quickly hid behind the barn, beginning to feel my heart racing again. But this time, they were talking to another pony… The pony's coat was a grayish amber color, and his mane was dark gray and had lighter highlights. He had three bags of money for his cutie mark.

They shared a laugh and continued to trade words.

"So I see you're here for the zap apple jam as well?" The pony with the money bags cutie mark asked.

"Yep, we heard from many ponies about how well it tastes, so we thought about coming here to Ponyville and taking some jars for all of us." My father replied.

"Ah! What about your daughter? How is she doing?"

"She's great! She has her own place back at Fillydelphia, but she still visits us from time to time. She seems to be leading a happy life."

"That sounds great. I'm glad your daughter is having a successful life. Did she ever have some difficulty being the only child?"

Only child…?

"No, we didn't really have any problems at all. She had her friends at school, and that was enough to please her."

"Speaking of schools… I heard something happen over at the school in Fillydelphia many years back. It was something about a teacher resigning from her job and leaving the town?"

"Yes, I remember that. Nopony really knew why she left without a word. I heard she moved to Canterlot, but those were rumors."

"Oh, well I should be heading back home. I'm glad you folks have been doing well!"

"Same here, Filthy Rich. We'll see you some other time? Maybe when we purchase the jars of the jam?"

The pony, who must have been Filthy Rich smiled. "Of course! Till then."

They departed their own separate ways back to town. I placed my back towards the wall of the barn and slid down to a sitting position. I couldn't believe it… What did they mean by that? Did they really forget about me? Well…I did expect that coming…but… I sighed and stood back up. I decided I would take the shortcut to Fluttershy's… the one that didn't go through town…

When I walked through the door to Fluttershy's cottage, I was instantly greeted by her. "Hi, Alex! How did it go at Sweet Apple Acres?" She asked happily. However, she noticed a gloomy expression on my face instead of a smile. "Oh no, what happened, Alex?"

I walked to the couch and sat down, having her join me right by my side. "…I saw my parents again…"

"Oh no…"

"…that wasn't the worst part… They were talking to somepony about how they were doing… And what they responded with sounded as if they never even had a son to begin with…" I sighed, starting to feel emotional again. "I couldn't believe it… and I'm pretty sure they're staying here until the zap apple jam is ready…which is like a couple of days… Do you mind…?"

"Oh, Alex…" She embraced me and rubbed my back. "Of course not… I'm sorry for what you heard… I really am…If there was only something I could do…"

"You help me feel better. This is just something that will stick to me because…well… they're my family in blood… And it's hard to forget about something that's that close to you…"

"I understand…" She carefully pulled away. Then, something tapped her hooves. We looked down to see Angel looking at Fluttershy and pointing to his open mouth. "Oh… hold on… Angel wants me to feed him. I'll be right back."

Angel followed her somewhere else, possibly outside, so he could receive his meal. I lay on the couch and sighed, continuing to think about the whole situation and scene.

When Fluttershy came back, she sat by me again. "Hey, I have an idea."

"Hm?" I turned my head to face her.

"Tomorrow, how about we have a nice little picnic, right outside the cottage? I'll make us some tea and get us some sweets from Sugarcube Corner. How does that sound?"

Her offer managed to make me smile, as I loved the sound of the idea. "Sure. That sounds great."

"Okay!" She softly exclaimed, closing her eyes and smiling.

I partially surprised her when I hugged and kissed her. "Thank you so much, Fluttershy… You're the best."

She accepted my hug warmly. "It's my pleasure…"

I spent the rest of the day at the cottage once again. I helped her with animals and with a little house work as well. When night fell, we prepared for sleep as yesterday. She made sure I was comfortable in every way. Being overtaken by her kindness, I told her that I was. She stayed with me until I fell asleep, which I assumed she left back to her room afterwards.

Sunday, I awoke again. I was feeling pretty excited about the picnic today with Fluttershy. It'd be nice spending some time alone with the pony I love most. Like yesterday, I carefully removed myself from under the blankets and made them. I wasn't planning on going anywhere, since my parents would probably be creeping around town. I decided I would be safe here. I noticed Fluttershy was awake earlier before me this time. She was making her own signature and special tea in the kitchen. She left it heating up and turned around to see me.

"Oh. Hi, Alex." She smiled beautifully.

"Hey." I returned a smile as well. "You're making the tea?" I asked.

"Yes. I'm going to pick up the sweets from Sugarcube Corner right now." She walked over to a table nearby and picked up her saddlebag. "I'll see you in a little while, okay?" She walked towards me and kissed me gently.

"Alright." I hugged her.

She nodded and began walking outside, heading towards town.

I sighed and thought for a moment. Hm…what can I do while she's gone? …I can probably make a couple of sandwiches for us. Nothing too much that we won't be able to eat…

I walked inside and began the process of making a sandwich.

Once I finished, I placed before me two sandwiches of fine detail. There was lettuce, tomato, a variety of flowers, and a slice of cheese between the two slices of bread. I suddenly heard the teakettle begin whistling, so I quickly removed it from the heat and placed it somewhere else.

Then, I heard the door open and quickly ran over to it to greet Fluttershy. I carefully took off her saddlebag and placed in on the table. "Hey, Fluttershy."

"Hi, Alex. Was everything okay while you were here?"

"Yeah. I made us a couple of sandwiches and took the teakettle off."

She smiled and gave me a quick kiss. "Thank you."

We placed a nice and comfortable blanket outside Fluttershy's cottage. I placed the sandwiches and sweet treats as she carefully handled the tea. Once we finally had the picnic ready, we sat down and began enjoying it.

"It's beautiful outside, isn't it?" Fluttershy asked.

I smiled and looked around. "It really is… It's nice just to be here with you… No worries… just a time of relief…"

"I feel the same way…"

We each ate our sandwiches and drank our tea, even sharing laughs every now and then. Then, we started consuming the sweet, soft, and tasty treats Pinkie Pie must have made. I took at glance at Fluttershy and noticed how cute she looked eating it. I chuckled quietly and continued eating my treat.

We spent most of the day being outside, which was a nice way to balance out being in the cottage from all the time I was staying there. I, once again, helped her out with her animals during the daytime, having fun during the time as well. Once the stars were out and the moon was lit, we lay on the blanket awake and visualizing the sky.

"Oh, Alex…I could just fall asleep here with you…" She nuzzled me as she was close.

I smiled lightly and placed a hoof around her. "Right…It's so amazing…" I continued gazing at the sky. "You know… I guess something did come out of my parents coming here…"

She looked at me with a concerned expression. "What do you mean?"

I smiled and returned another look at her. "If they hadn't come here, I probably wouldn't have had such a great time with only you here.

She looked away and blushed. "That's so sweet…"

"Well, it's true. I mean, sure, I have been worrying a bit… but you always take those worries away from me as if it was magic or something…"

"Maybe it's just my love for you…" She answered while her cheeks remained a little red.

I smiled lightly and kissed her. "Perhaps we should get some sleep."

She nodded and smiled.

This time, I walked her to her bed. When she was inside, I wrapped the covers around her and tucked her in.

"Thank you, Alex."

I nodded. "Is there anything else you need?"

"No. I'm fine… I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah, I'll be right downstairs. Goodnight."


Afterwards, she turned to her side and closed her eyes. As she did to me the night before, I gently comforted her by rubbing her back until she fell asleep. Once I heard her soft breathing, I lightly kissed her cheek and turned off the light. I walked back downstairs and looked around. I traveled out the door to retrieve the blanket and place it back inside. Then, I got myself comfortable for my sleep as well. I closed my eyes as I waited for Monday to come by.

I felt myself alive, once again, and stretched while yawning. I opened my eyes and looked around. I guess Fluttershy's still asleep. To be sure, I walked upstairs and checked on her. She was. I retreated back downstairs and thought. You know… I want to see what the results of Family Appreciation Day are for Applebloom... I'm going to go to her school to find out…

I began writing a note for Fluttershy, stating that I'm going to Applebloom's school to check out her Family Appreciation Day, and that I'll possibly be at Applejack's farm afterwards. I emphasized that I would be alright. For some reason, I felt like I was willing to take that risk… What was the worst that could happen if they saw me? I mean, judging by their conversation the other day, it seemed as if they completely forgot about me, so they probably wouldn't even recognize me and ignore me… yeah…

I placed the note on the same place near Fluttershy and began heading out.

Fortunately, I still hadn't seen any sight of them. Hm… I wonder if they're still asleep during this time of day…

Near the school, I spotted Granny Smith with another pony that looked to be the same age as her.

"Hey there, Granny Smith." I greeted, walking towards her.

"Well, howdy there…uh…I'm sorry. What was your name again?" She asked.

I smiled lightly. "It's Alex."

"Oh! Alex!"

I chuckled lightly as well. "Who's this?" I asked, directing at the pony besides her.

"Why, this is Uncle Apple Strudel! I was just about to fetch a train to visit him but it turns out he was on it!"

"I see…well mind if I join you on the way to the school?"

"Not at all, sonny!"

When we arrived at the school, Granny Smith walked through the open door and announced for all to hear. "Well howdy, my little ponies!" She continued walking with a huge grin on her face. "Howdy, y'all! I'm as happy as a pig in a fresh mudpile to be here!"

Applebloom quickly rushed over to her and spoke nervously. "Whuh- what are you doing here? Did you miss the train?"

"Er no, it came." She responded. "And Uncle Apple Strudel was on it." She presented him.

"Ooooooh, noogie noogie noggie!" He stretched a hoof to Applebloom's mane and messed with it, laughing madly after. Alright…

As Applebloom walked slowly back to her seat, that same light pink pony, Princess Tiara, spoke mockingly. "I can't wait to hear Granny Smith's presentation." She placed a hoof over her mouth and whispered to her other friend. "If she can remember any of it." They both shared a giggle under their breaths.

I looked at them with an irritated expression on my face, but I decided to not make a scene. I walked over to Ms. Cheerilee. "Is it alright if I hear her presentation?" I asked.

"Of course!" She answered brightly.

"Thanks." I sat by Ms. Cheerilee and waited.

Apple Strudel placed a small chair for Granny Smith to sit on, but when she sat down, she merely caused the seat to fly back. "Long ago, when I was a little pony…" She pulled out a map and showed it to the others while holding it with her teeth. "…things were very different here in Ponyville, 'cause there was no Ponyville! That's right, my little ponies. Me and my family were pilgrim pony folk, back when I was a little filly. Oh, we ventured far and wide, collecting new seeds and sellin' the old. But my pa was the finest seed collector in all of Equestria. Then, one day, the Smith family found themselves in the most brilliant, most grand, most magnificent of all cities. A place called... Canterlot. Well, I bet your hooves to hindquarters I had never seen anything like it before nor since. And as if the beauty of that city wasn't enough, suddenly, she appeared. Princess Celestia, the most regal of all ponies. When lo and behold, she stopped to look at my pa's seed collection. Then Princess Celestia saw that we were plumb-tuckered, and hankerin' to find our forever home. And bein' a royal Princess and all, she knew exactly the place for us to lay down our stakes. My pa gave the Princess a mighty thanks. We quickly found that land near the Everfree Forest, and we built our first home. Next, we planted our first orchards. But an orchard don't grow overnight, and we were getting mighty short on food. Now mind you, we were cautioned about the forest, and we knew that it was not fit to enter. But I knew there was critters livin' there. There must be somethin' to eat. It was dark and musty, and I won't lie, it was scary. But every inch was covered in plant life, and before I knew it wasn't I standin' in front of the most incredible apple trees! I had never seen anything that bore this kind of colorful fruit! Oh I started picking apples quick as a whip! But, somethin' didn't feel right. I turned, and there before me stood the timber wolves! I've never run so fast in my life. I did the only thing I could think of. I scared them away with pots and pans! The next morning, my pa and I planted those special apple seeds, and before our eyes they grew like wildfire. Well, we had full grown trees faster than you could say lickety split. Then each year, I paid close attention to the signs of the zap apple special harvesting times. How the weather affects the Everfree Forest, how the timber wolves howl when the zap apples first start growing, and how they zapped away if you didn't pick 'em all in one day! And the fruits of our labor were the best fruit we ever tasted. Soon enough I was mixing up batches of zap apple jam. Just like harvestin' the zap apples had its special rules, so did makin' zap apple jam. I learned that you gotta be extra friendly with the bees, otherwise their honey won't taste rightly sweet to mix in with the zap apples. Who'd'a thought that glass jars needed talking to? Or that zap apples like pink polka dots? But magic is as magic does. Just funny that way. Then ponies started comin' to our farm from far and wide just to get a taste of my zap apple jam. Some of them decided to stay, like Stinkin' Rich, Diamond Tiara's great grandfather. Matter of fact, the first thing he ever sold was my zap apple jam. And before we knew it, we had ourselves a nice little town, bustling with all kinds of ponies. And that is how Ponyville was founded."

When she finished speaking, she looked at the fillies as we were all shocked in a good way. My eyes were even widened and my mouth was slightly agape as the other fillies. Granny Smith was actually the pony to start the entire town of Ponyville… I couldn't really believe it…

Surprisingly, Silver Spoon began clapping her hooves, which everypony joined, including me but excluding Diamond Tiara.

"Oh, thank you kindly, little ponies." She announced. "Oh, now now, let's settle down."

"So if it weren't for you and the zap apples, Ponyville wouldn't even exist?" Scootaloo excitedly asked.

"Darn tootin', little filly!" Granny Smith answered, stomping a hoof on the ground.

"If it weren't for my Granny Smith, your daddy wouldn't have Barnyard Bargains." Applebloom told Diamond Tiara.

The rest of the fillies agreed as Applebloom sent her a "I've won" look, causing me to smile as well.

Diamond Tiara looked at all of them and raised her hooves up. "But— Granny Smith walked up to the chalkboard and licked the four off from the four plus seven equation, causing me to chuckle a little. "But she's just a... kooky old lady!" Diamond Tiara announced, causing the fillies to gasp.

Applebloom quickly sped towards Granny Smith as she was licking the chalkboard again. "She is not a kooky old lady! She is the most amazing pony in all of Ponyville!" She hugged her lovingly, sending a warm feeling to me.

The other little ponies agreed, causing Diamond Tiara to groan and let her head fall on her desk.

When class was dismissed, I walked with them to Sweet Apple Acres where they prepared the final stages of the zap apple jam. Once they began selling it, I hid while my parents purchased several jars and left, most likely heading back to Fillydelphia. Once I made sure that they were gone, I sighed and revealed myself behind the stand. Applejack saw me as the last of the customers bought the rest of the jam. "Alex? What are you doin'?"

"Well…I was hiding from my parents…"

"Your parents?" Applejack questioned with widened eyes. "They were here?"

"Yeah…" I answered frowning a little. I told her the description of them.

"Geez…I had no idea… I'm sorry, Alex…but…why would you hide from them?"

I sighed. "It's just a little complicated… I guess you could say I don't want to confront them for awkward reasons…"

"Oh…I'm sorry."

I formed a smile. "You know what? Forget it. They're gone now. Let's just eat some zap apple jam."

Applejack managed to smile as well. "You got that, partner." We walked up to Granny Smith and Applebloom, who were hugging. "So I take it Family Appreciation Day went well?" Applejack asked.

"Did it? My Granny Smith is super special!" Applebloom exclaimed as Big Macintosh joined us. "I just forgot that for a little while…"

"Aw, don't fret." Granny Smith added. "I forget things all the time. Now, I'll getcha... er... somethin'."

Nonetheless, Applebloom smiled and hugged her again.

"Who wants to help Granny sing to the water?" Applejack asked the foals before her.

"We do! We do!" They hopped in the air and rushed over to help.

Applejack and I shared a smile when we saw the little ones place on bunny suits and begin hopping over the watering cans.

"A, b, c, d, e f g..." They sang as they all hopped over the cans. They continued when Filthy Rich came over with Diamond Tiara, pushing her towards the children as she wore bunny ears. "Diamond Tiara?"

"But dad!" She tried to protest.

Nonetheless, she was pushed again towards the hopping.

Applejack and Applebloom looked at each other and began laughing. I could only smile as Diamond Tiara was forced to join the others. I knew it wouldn't stop her from a being a jerk…but at least it'll damage her "reputation".

I felt Applejack place something on my back. I looked at what she had placed and saw that they were two jars of zap apple jam.

"Two for you and Fluttershy!" She answered, smiling with her eyes closed.

I returned a warm and light smile towards her as well. "Thank you, Applejack."

"No problem, partner."

I walked up to her and gave her a quick hug. "I should go take these back to her. I'll see you later?"

"Yup, take care now!"

I waved and began walking back to Fluttershy's cottage, feeling finally relieved.

"Alex! Are you alright?" Fluttershy asked as I walked in.

"Yep. Applejack gave us some zap apple jam." I answered, heading towards the kitchen. I grabbed some slices of bread and spread some jam on them. "I actually have never tasted this…but from what I've heard… it's supposed to be amazing." I gave the slice of bread to Fluttershy and held another on my hoof. "Ready?" I asked her.

She smiled and nodded.

We both bit into the bread. As I tasted it in my mouth, it felt really amazing! Weird how rainbows weren't known for their tastes back in Cloudsdale, but with magic, it was probably the best jam ever!

"Mm!" Fluttershy moaned in pleasure as she chewed and swallowed.

"I can see why ponies from all over Equestria come here to buy this. It's incredible!" I commented.

When it was time to go back home, I stayed at the cottage for a little while longer to talk with Fluttershy.

"Thanks again, Fluttershy. I really appreciate you allowing me to stay here."

"It's like I said… It's my pleasure." She gave me a loving grin.

I smiled as well. "Well…I guess I should be heading home now." I looked out the window. "It's getting dark."

"Okay… To be honest…I'm kind of going to miss having you here…"

"Well maybe we can have a sleepover again sometime? When I'm not dealing with family issues."

She giggled a little. "That sounds nice."

I planted a passionate kiss on her lips and embraced her for a moment. "I'll see you tomorrow, Fluttershy." I pulled away. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight…" She answered with flushed cheeks.

I presented one last smile and waved before I headed home.

When I was upstairs on my bed, I felt as if I had not been in my home for a long time, when it really was just for a few days. Spending time at Fluttershy's house felt great… it probably would have felt better if my parents weren't in town… but then again, if they never would have stayed in town, I probably would have never stayed at Fluttershy's… Hm… I guess this proves that not every time, when something bad happens, there will always be a bad result… I suddenly widened my eyes in receiving an idea.

I quickly rushed out of my house and towards Twilight's. I knocked on her door, and she opened it moments after. "Oh, hey, Alex! I haven't seen you for a few days… Is something up?"

"No… I've just been…busy… Um. Is Spike asleep?" I asked.

"Not yet. Why?"

"I need to write a letter to the Princess…"

Her face glowed and she instantly brought me in. "Spike!"

Spike immediately raced over to Twilight. "Yes, ma'm?"

"Take a letter!" He pulled out his quill and scroll. Twilight looked at me. "You may go ahead, Alex."

"Alright…" I took a breath and began speaking. "Dear, Princess Celestia. Everypony always goes through bad situations and experiences in their lives, but that doesn't always necessarily mean a bad thing. Just because you go through a horrible day doesn't mean that nothing good came out of it… I learned that everything happens for a reason. If you just take a minute and look back, you'll find out that it may have actually opened new and better doors…doors that may have been missed if that "bad" thing didn't happen… Your good friend, Alex."

Spike rolled up the letter and sent it. I looked back at Twilight to see understanding eyes. "That was great, Alex…"

I smiled lightly. "Thanks, Twilight. I guess I'll be heading home now."

"Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Twilight." I waved and exited the tree and back to my house.

Back in my bed, I pulled the covers over me and thought about my letter. I smiled at the thought and felt great about what I shared. It's similar to what I've been through in my life. Sure, I endured a long time of being miserable when I was little…but that all seems worth it because I met the girls. If I hadn't been miserable, I wouldn't have run away. And if I didn't run away, I wouldn't have met them…

Well…I guess that's enough thinking tonight…

I made myself comfortable and closed my eyes, waiting for my sleep.

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