• 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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Bats!

Episode 72 – Bats!


My eyes were a little tired, but that didn't stop from finishing my special treat. Eyeing the perfectly sliced and separated apples on the plate, I carefully used my horn to drizzle some caramel over each slice. Ultimately, I let the flow of the caramel leak over to the middle of the plate. There, I placed a large juicy strawberry with some whipped cream.

I observed the meal from all sides to see its perfection, just as she deserved it. I heard something hop in, causing me to glance over to the lower part of the door. I saw Angel with his head held up high and curiously sniffing the air for what smelled so delicious. I picked up the plate and cautiously stepped over to the door to make sure nothing became unaligned and incorrect.

Angel hopped onto my back to get a closer look at what was on the plate. He continued to slowly inch his head towards the food as the aroma brought him closer and closer.

I moved the plate further away from him. "No, Angel. This is for your momma." As expected he furrowed his eyebrows angrily and crossed his front bunny legs. I sighed and picked up just one and gave it to him. "Fine. Here. But please leave Fluttershy and me to ourselves, okay?"

He didn't really return an answer. With his licked lips, he hopped off to begin nibbling on the slice with caramel.

I climbed up the stairs to see Fluttershy still safely asleep in bed. I placed the plate softly on her nightstand. In a matter of seconds, her nose was active as it lightly stretched back and forth. She tenderly opened her eyes to look around and eventually notice me.

"Oh. Good morning, Alex. What smells so yummy?" She asked while rubbing her eyes.

"I made you some breakfast." I responded, bringing the plate to her. "It's nothing special, but I thought you'd like it."

Fluttershy gazed over the meal and even licked her lips a bit as well. "It looks so…delicious. This is wonderful. I love it." She answered with a soft smile.

"Go on." I encouraged. "Take a bite."

She adorably brought one to her mouth and chewed it with closed eyes. "Mmm." She moaned happily. "Did you make all this from scratch?"

I shrugged embarrassingly. "I just kind of threw some things together. You know…I'm really creative…"

Fluttershy giggled softly. "Of course you are. Thank you, Alex. I love you."

With a warm smile, I answered. "I love you too."

Afterwards, we both leaned in for a sensual kiss.


Fluttershy enjoyed every last bit of what I made her. In fact, she literally cleaned her plate. However, I had used up the rest of the apples she had, so we decided to walk over to Sweet Apple Acres to refill our stock.

Fluttershy was delightfully rubbing her head against mine and holding herself close to me as if the weather was super chilly. I assumed she was very grateful for the meal I made her in the morning, and she was willing to return the favor.

"Is there anything you want to do today?" I asked.

"It doesn't matter." She answered, resting her head against me. "It's fine as long as we're together."

I looked out toward the skies. "It's a pretty great day outside. Maybe we can go swimming or something."

"That's a wonderful idea." She ended with a beam.

Suddenly, our delightful conversation was interrupted when we heard a loud bell ringing that directly came from Applejack's farm. We both looked at each other in surprise and then hurried off to the direction of the sound.

"Attention!" We heard Applejack announce loudly. "This is a Sweet Apple Acres code red! I need all hooves – and claws – on deck!"

When we trotted over to Applejack to see what the problem was, we also noticed the rest of the girls, including Spike join us, as if they were already nearby.

"Calm down, Applejack." Rarity steadily suggested to Applejack.

"Calm down?!" Applejack angrily exclaimed right in front of Rarity's face. "How can I calm down at a time like this?!"

"Applejack, what's going on?" I asked her, wanting to be informed of the issue.

"Vampire fruit bats are attackin' Sweet Apple Acres!" She explained, leaving me with a slightly puzzled face as I had not exactly heard of vampire fruit bats before.

"But I thought the fruit bats usually stayed put in the west orchard." Twilight brought up.

"The fruit bats do, but these aren't just your everyday ordinary fruit bats." Applejack clarified as she paced around uneasily. "They're vampire fruit bats! I'll be durned if they think they're gonna sink their fangs into my blue ribbon apple." She trotted over to something that was covered near a tree. What was obviously abnormal about it was that it was connected to the tree, and it was so heavy that it actually brought the tree leaning towards the ground. She revealed it to be a humongous bright and shiny red apple to all of us.

The girls expressed their awe for it while I only stared with astonishment.

"This here's our entry into the Appleloosa State Fair's produce competition." Applejack presented and then exhaled in front of it, allowing herself to wipe it after with her tail. "You know how much TLC goes into getting an apple to grow like this?"

"Applejack!" Rarity exclaimed in admiration, walking towards the apple and observing her reflection on it. "When you go big, you really go big!"

"Them vampire bats want to shrivel it up like a raisin!" Applejack returned while Rarity was too busy looking over her own beauty.

Fluttershy flew over to Applejack to offer her own thoughts on the situation. "Oh, I'm sure if we just let them know how special that particular apple is to you, they'll leave it alone."

"Yeah, right." Applejack responded skeptically. "Be my guest." She pointed over to the area they were supposed to be in.

Fluttershy grinned brightly and was about to move before I held her back.

"Are you sure you'll be alright?" I asked concerningly.

"Oh, I'm sure they're really not that bad."

"Okay…" I stated before she gently flew off.

"Fluttershy is great with animals." Twilight assured with a smile. "She can probably get them to leave the orchard, just like she did with that dragon."

Applejack scoffed and rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't exactly call them vermins animals."

"…so…are vampire fruit bats…really dangerous? Like to ponies?" I wondered fearfully with the thought of Fluttershy approaching them.

"They could be if they ruin my entire orchard. They can leave everypony in Ponyville without apples!" Applejack replied. Before I could elaborate more on what I meant by "dangerous". Fluttershy came back, shaking a few apple seeds off her mane. "Well?" She immediately questioned. "What'd they say?"

"Um... yes." She answered without a confident look.

Nonetheless, Applejack's faced beamed with happiness. "Huh?!"

"But... it could've been a no." Fluttershy added.

"Oh." Applejack's ears flopped down as she groaned with a lowered head in irritation.

"This is the first vampire fruit bat I've ever met and, well, it might take some time for me to really understand their language." Fluttershy softly and politely explained the reason.

"Uh-huh." Applejack answered unenthused and moved on into the problem. "And in the meantime, this pest and his vermin friends are gonna go after my prized apple!" She pointed defensively at her apple. "And while they're at it, every other apple in the orchard! These vampire bats are nothin' but a bunch of monsters!"

"Monsters?!" Fluttershy shockingly repeated in question. "Oh, that's a bit harsh, don't you think?"

"No, I do not." Applejack boldly expressed before they turned their attention towards the trees affected by the vampire bats.

"Those vampire bats will give you a fright

Eating apples both day and night" Applejack sang, expressing the horridness of the bats up front to both Twilight and Spike.

"They rest for a minute, maybe three

Then they're eatin' every apple in your apple tree" She once again pointed towards the literally sucked state of the trees.

"They don't care about nada," Applejack directly faced me. "…not zilch," She turned towards Rarity. "…no, nothin'" She ended with Pinkie.

"'Cept bringin' about an orchard's destruction"

"Now wait just a minute, there's another side to this" Fluttershy intervened, attempting to point the other side of the story.

"And if I did not defend them, then I would be remiss" She pointed out sadly.

"These bats are mamas and papas too

They care for their young just like we ponies do" She directed towards a group of vampire bats that actually didn't look all scary.

"Oh, give me a break, you're bein' too kind

These creatures have a one-track mind" Applejack determinedly returned.

"The orchard is not their restaurant

But do they ever think what others may want?

No! They don't! And that is just a fact

These bats, they simply don't know how to act!" She walked over to a couple of much terrifying looking vampire bats that were fighting over an apple. She tried to swipe it away from them, but only caused them to flee.

"That's where I have to disagree" Fluttershy resumed the lighter side of the story.

"They're loyal to their family

Spreading seeds both far and wide"

"You see one comin', you'd better run and hide!" Applejack suddenly cut off, greatly appealing to fear as she held a cover to represent the vampire bat.

"They're big and ugly and mean as sin

Will ya look at the state my trees are in?" She revealed the reality of the orchard.

"They help your trees, they'll grow stronger faster!" Fluttershy continued to attempt to convince.

"They've turned my life to a total disaster!" Applejack completely disregarded Fluttershy's persuasive statement.

"Well, I for one don't have a doubt

These vermin must be stamped right out" Rarity revealed her opinion on the matter.

"I second that, they've got to go

These bats, they've got to hit the road" Rainbow Dash joined in with Rarity.

"It comes down to just one simple fact" Applejack walked towards Fluttershy, decisive on being completely rid of the bats.

"They've crossed the line, it's time to fight them back!"

Now, everypony began circling around Fluttershy, chanting their arguments to change Fluttershy's opinion.

"Stop the bats! Stop the bats!

Make them go and not come back!

Stop the bats! Stop the bats!

Make them go and not come back!

Stop the bats! Stop the—"

"Wait!" I jumped in, standing in front of Fluttershy. "Stop this! You're scaring Fluttershy! …and me too a little…" I could feel Fluttershy shaking behind me a bit.

"I'm sorry," Rarity apologized. "…but I believe Applejack has made the better argument. These vampire fruit bats sound downright dreadful."

"So let's get to roundin' them up so they don't destroy the rest of my orchard." Applejack announced, beginning to step in further towards her field of trees.

"Fruit bat round-up, fruit bat round-up!" Pinkie Pie sung a familiar tune as she bounced after Applejack.

"Um, excuse me, but, um, what if instead of rounding them up, we... let them have part of the orchard?" Fluttershy hopefully tried to convince once more as the rest of the girls had begun leaving with Applejack.

Applejack stopped in her tracks, released a whinny, and quickly turned around. "Have you lost your pest-lovin' mind?!"

"They're only here because they're hungry!" Fluttershy poked out from behind me. "If we build a sanctuary for them, they could have their own apples to enjoy! After a while, they could even help the rest of your orchard! The vampire bats don't eat the seeds of the apples, and when they spit them out, they grow into even more productive apple trees!" Fluttershy walked and presented one nearby that stood proudly.

"Listen, Fluttershy." Applejack began responding, using more of a sensitive and soft tone this time. "That sounds real nice 'n all, but every second we spend buildin' this so-called 'sanctuary' is a second they'll spend destroyin' orchards! You don't know what it was like the last time there was an infestation! But Granny Smith has told me enough stories about it that just the thought of it gives me nightmares!" Applejack placed her hooves on the gate by her and looked worriedly out towards the orchard. "Granny says we lost a huge section of orchard one year when she was a filly. They had to ration out apples all winter!"

"What about the cider? There was still cider, right?" Rainbow Dash inquired about worriedly.

"Not. A. Drop." Applejack emphasized greatly.

"No cider?! No cider?!" Rainbow Dash switched over to Fluttershy as if she was seeing the end of Equestria in her eyes. "We need to round up these monsters, and we need to do it now!"

"If Granny Smith wasn't with Apple Bloom an' Big Mac checkin' out our produce competition in Appleloosa, she'd be here tellin' us to do just that!" Applejack asserted while Fluttershy looked away sadly.

"I'm sorry, Fluttershy, but I think Applejack is right." Twilight approached Fluttershy sympathetically. "I just wish there was another way we could convince them not to eat them in the first place..." Twilight thought to herself for a moment before coming out with a possible answer. "Maybe there is!"


Twilight led us back to her library, where she skimmed through her books and stopped at a particular one. She laid it out on the floor and faced us. "So, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that I found a spell that can get the vampire fruit bats to stop wanting to suck the juice from the apples." She analyzed a particular page in the book while holding it up with her magic. "But in order for the spell to work, I need the bats' full and complete attention." Twilight advised, directing the job to be done by Fluttershy.

Fluttershy widened her eyes and looked away, gasping. "Oh no."

"Fluttershy, I need you to do your Stare on the bats." Twilight called for.

"Oh, gosh, I don't know." Fluttershy shook her head uneasily.

"What's the problem?" Rainbow Dash raced over to Fluttershy. "You've used the Stare plenty of times before!"

"But Fluttershy only uses it in reasonable emergencies!" I intervened, feeling Fluttershy being overwhelmed and pressured with all this talk at her.

"This emergency is plenty reasonable to me!" Applejack returned, clearly defensive of her farm.

"Me too!" Rainbow joined, dramatizing the situation. She really became Rarity when it came to cider. "Think of the cider! Won't somepony please think of the cider?!"

Before I could explain how the cider might have been a good luxury to have, but it wasn't necessary to live, Fluttershy placed a hoof on my chest to stand up for herself. "I'm sorry. I just don't like the idea of taking away the thing that really makes the vampire fruit bats…" She paused quickly to inhale. "…vampire fruit bats! It just feels wrong!" She expressed dearly, only receiving a discounting look from Applejack.

"But if we don't do this, there won't be any apples left for anypony here in Ponyville." Twilight actually brought up reasonably. "Doesn't that feel wrong, too?"

Everypony looked at Fluttershy for her answer. Her nerves shook terribly as she stared back at everyone with an indecisive mind.

"I…I need some time to think about this…!" She rushed out the door, leaving me behind.

"What about you, Alex?" Twilight asked me. "Are you with us?"

"You have to be!" Applejack approached me. "You can't let yourself in Fluttershy's side because she's your girlfriend! You can't just turn away from the fact that my orchard is being sucked dry as we speak! We know Fluttershy cares an awful lot about animals, even if they're downright evil, and that's what's stopping her!"

Twilight sighed and talked to me more calmly. "I hate to admit it, but she's right, Alex. I know you really care about Fluttershy, but you can't let your relationship affect your decision with this."

"Ugh!" I turned away and growled. "Just stop this!" I squeezed my eyes shut and looked away. "I-I can see both your points. Yes, the bats are sucking all the apples dry, and…I… I think we need to stop them too…but… Isn't there a way to work together on this?"

"Alex." Applejack walked over to me. "Those vampire fruit bats have probably already sucked out half my orchard already. "We could probably come up with something if they didn't suck out all the apples so fast, but we honestly have no time to try to please Fluttershy. We need to do this for Ponyville. Those vampire fruit bats can get their fillings elsewhere."

I couldn't exactly argue, as I had no prior knowledge of vampire fruit bats at all.

"It comes down to just one simple fact…" Applejack sang, referring to the continuation of her argument before. "They've crossed the line, it's time to fight them back!"

All of the girls joined in except Twilight.

"Talk to her! Talk to her!

Make her see that they can't be!"

They began placing the pressure on me to convince Fluttershy to stand down on her side of the argument.

"Talk to her! Talk to her!

Make her see that they can't be!

Talk to her! Talk to her!

Make her see that they can't be!"

"Yes, it comes down to just one simple fact" Applejack emphasized.

"They've crossed the line, it's time that we attack!" Those who joined nodded their heads in unison.

I stomped my hooves on the floor, fed up with all this. "You all are crazy!" I spoke out of anger and ran out the door.


With a grumpy look on my face, I walked outside in Ponyville. I assumed Fluttershy left to her cottage to think things through, so I decided to head that direction. I knew that the vampire bats weren't exactly helping the orchards, well at least not in the moment, but the girls were going way too far. They made good points on stopping them…but…Fluttershy just can't be ignored…

All these thoughts were giving me a headache.

"Why, where are you off to in such a foul mood?" I heard, leading me to turn back to see a friend facing back at me. It was Octavia. She was carrying a paper cup with a heat sealing lid on top with her hoof.

I sighed, honestly feeling no intention to talk to her, even though I most likely would have wanted to had I not been upset. "Sorry, Octavia. I can't talk right now. I've got somewhere to be."

She began walking towards me. "Surely you could use some easing. I can tell you're tense." She offered me the drink she had been holding. I only stared at it. "It's some warm green tea. It should calm you down a bit."

"…thanks." I expressed and grabbed the cup. I could feel the heat coming from inside and decided to take a drink out of it. The taste took a small amount of time to get used to, but nonetheless, it was pretty sweet.

"Better?" She asked.

"I guess." I admitted, feeling some of my anger fade away. I returned the cup.

"I was on my way to Vinyl's, but you look like you could use some help." She informed.

"Thanks…but…" I looked away. "It's not really a problem you should get involved with."

"May I at least share a few words of encouragement?" She offered, taking a sip of the tea herself.

I couldn't help but find how funny it was that she seemed so cool and calm. "Wow, you look rather collected unlike last time." I manage to smirk due to this.

Not wanting to overreact, she turned away with closed eyes and an embarrassed blush. "Do you want my help or not?"

I sighed and turned away. "I'm just dealing with a dilemma right now."

"Could you be more specific?" Octavia requested, bringing herself closer.

I only really wanted to keep the outline of the problem open to her, rather than the problem itself. "You could say…a situation where I have to make two choices. And…well…those two choices each have something that I don't like."

"Why don't you take the time for another possibility? Surely those two choices can't be the only choices you have to make."

"Apparently there's no time to do that…and it's actually kind of true…"

"Hm…" Octavia rubbed her hoof against her chin. "Believe me, I've taken many risks myself…but…I believe…as long as you do what you think is absolutely best, you should come out alright."

"Hm." I managed to form a small smile. "Yeah… Thanks, Octavia…" I turned my head towards her. "My problem still may exist…but at least you managed to calm me down."

"Sorry I couldn't be much help." Octavia shrugged a bit as she apologized.

"Every bit counts." I mentioned. "I'll see you later, Octavia." I excused myself before I began trotting towards Fluttershy's.


When I reached her cottage, I knocked a bit and called her name. When nopony answered, I walked inside and closed the door behind me. I looked around the living room and noticed her sulking on the couch. She didn't look gloomy. She was more frustrated about the fact of having to choose between saving the farm or taking away the freedom of vampire fruit bats being vampire fruit bats.

I slowly approached her as she stared quietly at the floor.

"Hey…" I announced.

She glanced over to me and then lowered her ears.

"I don't know what to do…" She stated quietly and then faced away, resting her head on the hoofrest on the couch.

I took a seat by her on the couch and placed a hoof on her.

"I know it's hard…especially when you stand for the animals…but as much as you don't like it, you might have to go on ahead with the plan." She returned silence. "Trust me, I don't like it either, and I wish we could come up with something better to do, but…" I shrugged. "I don't know. They can spit out seeds that will have the trees grow stronger and faster, but everypony might starve if they take out the entire orchard. We will still have to wait for those spat out seeds to grow."

"…but…what about giving them a part of the orchard to stay in…?" She questioned softly.

I placed a hoof on my forehead and squinted my eyes. "I really don't know. I don't know how they work. I mean…it sounds like a good idea…but the others don't think so and I know nothing about how to do that and…" I sighed. "I'm sorry, Fluttershy. I wish I could be of more help to you."

"It's okay…" She slowly raised her head. "…I understand…"

In hopes to cheer her up, I thought of something we could do afterwards. "Hey. Maybe after Twilight uses her spell, we can work something out for the better, and then she can reverse the spell? I mean…they've had to have enough to eat already. I don't think they're going to live their life completely without being themselves."

"…okay…" She still felt uncertain, but she turned towards me and rested her head on me.

I comforted her for moments longer until she seemed ready to do her part.


When it was time, we headed over to Sweet Apple Acres where we saw all of the girls already waiting for us. I couldn't help but feel bad as I saw Fluttershy sulk along gloomily the whole way through.

"So what's it gonna be, Fluttershy? Will you do your Stare on the bats or not?" Applejack asked, surprisingly not as kind as she normally would be.

Proving she still held uncertainty and hesitation, she took a moment to respond. "Um... Um... Okay, I'll do it." She gave up.

"Good choice. I knew you wouldn't side with those icky bats!" Rarity praised and then whimpered at the thought of the bats.

"They're not icky." Fluttershy replied in soft anger, looking away.

"First round of cider's on me!" Rainbow announced loudly, getting ahead of herself.

"Hold it right there!" Applejack halted. "We've gotta round up these beasts with wings first. Time's a-wastin'!"

In order to gather them together, Pinkie Pie went out free-spiritedly with a mountain of apples wrapped on her head. Rarity, on the other hoof, took the extreme measures to wear a hazmat suit for these bats. I don't actually blame her, I didn't really want to get near them either. With determination to make sure she'd be receiving her cider, Rainbow rather flew up to every one of them and grabbed ahold of them with her hoof.

In the end, Pinkie Pie led them to the tree that was being served as bait. Seeming to be having a lot of fun, she giggled out loud, throwing the apples she carried to the floor for the bats. Rarity came in screaming with a few bats behind her, but they quickly changed their attention towards the tree. Twilight and Fluttershy placed several buckets on the trees for the bats that Rainbow carried. They all began filling their hunger with the apples on the tree. One of them tried to get out, but Rainbow pointed him back to his place.

"Good work, everypony!" Applejack praised out loud. "I think we got 'em all!" She turned to Fluttershy. "Now all we need is for you do to your Stare."

"Oh, um, are you sure I really need—" The others stopped her when they nodded their heads in answer. "Okay." She walked over to the tree and flew in front of them, facing the bats. "I really, really, really hate to do this to you... I just hope you can forgive me..." She closed her eyes for a quiet moment and then suddenly released out a focused and unintentionally scolding stare. All of the bats hissed at this, but they were quick to retract that reaction and only stare back blankly at Fluttershy in silence.

"Good..." Applejack nodded and then turned to Twilight. "Now you go, Twilight!"

"Alright." She walked over to the tree and then began working her magic. Several seconds took place as the magic aura surrounded the bats. The reflection of the magic's light appeared in Fluttershy's eyes as she refrained from blinking without any issue. Once Twilight was done, she turned over to Fluttershy who continued to stare. "You can stop staring, Fluttershy." Fluttershy's eyes twitched with struggle until she closed them and finally allowed herself to take over.

"Did it work?" Spike asked.

"Only one way to find out for sure." Applejack returned and then nodded in Rainbow's direction.

Rainbow Dash accepted the signal and then offered a recovering bat an apple. The vampire bat took a sniff out of the apple and quickly declined it, flying away.

"Ye-he-heah, whoo!" Rainbow cheered.

"My crop is saved! Yee-haw!" Applejack joined in, waving her hooves in the air.

"We'll be drinking cider all winter long!" Rainbow added loudly.

"I wanna thank you for your help. I couldn't have done it without you." Applejack expressed, mainly directing towards Fluttershy for her Stare.

"Aw, don't mention it, Applejack. It was my pleasure! Really!" Spike apparently received the wrong message as we walked away.

"Now all we gotta do is sweep up these cores so I can start buckin' fresh tomorrow mornin'!" Applejack disregarded and then pointed towards the sucked apples on the ground. They began walking back to the barn.

I kept a worried eye on Fluttershy. She looked around in silence and sniffed the air. She turned and looked towards an apple that wasn't affected by the vampire bats.

"Hey…are you alright?" I asked, placing a concerned hoof on her.

"Mmm." She groaned and placed a hoof to her forehead. "My head hurts a little."

"I can't blame you." I spoke understandingly. "You've had so much to do today. You must be stressed out, especially after doing your Stare. Come on. I'll take you home." I offered and then began walking her out of the orchards.


Applejack managed to understand about Fluttershy's condition. I assumed she was just happy to have the vampire bats out of her hooves. I was more concerned about Fluttershy, as she didn't look so good. I took her straight home to her cottage and helped tucked her into bed.

"Thank you…" Fluttershy expressed a little tiredly. "…will you please stay with me?"

"Yeah, of course." I answered. I placed a hoof to her forehead to feel she was a little warm, but fortunately it wasn't hot. "Just get some rest now. I'll stay the night with you."

"Okay…" She understood and then closed her eyes.

I had allowed myself to soon doze off and fall asleep by her bed.


I woke in the middle of the night to find that Fluttershy was missing, as the lump on her bed was gone. I looked around to try to find her, but I didn't see her anywhere. I walked downstairs, continuing to turn at every side.

"Fluttershy?" I called, wondering greatly where she went. I didn't find her in the living room, nor in the kitchen. I headed towards the front door to see if she went outside. Just as I opened the door, I was startled to see Fluttershy standing there and facing me almost emotionless. "Fluttershy!" I called out in shock. "You had me worried. Are you okay?"

She didn't answer. She only looked at me for a moment and then headed towards the stairs to her bedroom. I followed her and saw her climb onto her bed, pull the covers over her, and remain silent for the rest of the night. I didn't know what that was all about, but besides the weird looks and silence, she seemed fine…

Nonetheless, I decided to join her in bed. I placed myself by her. I closed my eyes to receive an unexpected embrace from behind by Fluttershy. Without a word, she held me close by. Hm. Despite that, I managed to fall asleep anyway.


When I woke up the next morning, I could feel Fluttershy's presence near me. I carefully and slowly turned around to see her resting by me peacefully.

Last night was weird. She had this kind of face as if she was some silent stranger, but viewing her face now as she slept, it was her usual self. It was almost as if she was…sleep walking…

I heard some soft mumbling coming from Fluttershy. I looked over to her to see her beginning to wake up. When she gently fluttered her eyes open, the first thing she saw was me.

She released a small groan. "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning…" I returned, growing a little concerned. "…what was up with last night?"

"Last night?" She questioned about, becoming a little puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"Last night…" I reminded. "I don't really know what you did, but when I woke up, you weren't in bed. Just when I was about to look outside for you, you were right there in the doorway. You were speechless, and even a little emotionless. You didn't say anything but only walked back upstairs and climbed into bed."

"…I…did…?" She responded as if didn't remember the act at all.

"Yeah… Don't you remember?" I asked.

"N…no…" Fluttershy looked downwards in surprising thought. "I don't."

"You think you may have been sleepwalking?"

"I don't think so…" Fluttershy shook her head. "I don't think I've ever sleepwalked before… I mean…you've never seen me do that until now, right?"

"Yeah… Hm…" I thought until there was a loud knocking on the front door.

Fluttershy and I removed ourselves from bed to see what it was. Fluttershy opened the door to realize it was Applejack.

"Fluttershy." Applejack announced and then noticed me by Fluttershy as well. "Alex. We need y'all at the farm right now. Our work isn't done yet."

Fluttershy and I exchanged a look with each other questionably.


We both followed Applejack back to Sweet Apple Acres, where we confronted the others staring at rotten apples on the ground. Twilight was analyzing one of them closely.

"The spell didn't work!" She exclaimed in surprise.

"You're darn tootin' the spell didn't work!" Applejack shot back, angry that she was going to have to deal with this for another day. "I think we're gonna have to take more extreme measures!"

"I hear ya, Applejack! C'mon, everypony! Let's track down those vampire bats!" Rainbow Dash led the group, taking us back where the vampire fruit bats resided.

However, everything seemed the way it should have been after Twilight performed her spell. The bats were looking around with no intention of sucking an apple dry. In fact, they were doing anything but the like. Rainbow Dash flew over to one of them that was apparently reading something and offered an apple. The bat merely slapped it away, uninterested in the fruit.

It landed on and through Rarity's horn, having her remove it with her magic with slight disgust.

"Wait a minute..." Applejack paused to think. "I don't think these bats are the ones that sucked my apples dry."

"But if the vampire bats aren't eating your apples..." Rarity questionably brought.

"Who is?" Twilight ended in question and then walked over to Fluttershy. "Fluttershy, you're our animal expert. Do you know of any other creature that might be capable of this?"

"I'm sorry." Fluttershy apologized and looked away, completely clueless of the scene. "I don't."

"Well, there's only one way to find out. We'll have to catch whoever it is in the act." Twilight suggested.

"And how do you propose we do that?" Rarity inquired.

"A stakeout!" Twilight grinned, confident that her idea would reveal the cause of the continued mishap. "Everypony, let's meet back here when night falls. Then, we'll find the culprit and put an end to this mystery."

Everypony agreed except Fluttershy and me.

We didn't go against it. We just weren't as following and motivated with it as the others were. For some reason, with this problem, we just felt a little distant from the others…

I sighed and turned away to speak under my breath. "I just hope this madness ends soon enough…"


As Fluttershy and I almost reluctantly joined the girls for their night search, I honestly wanted to get to the bottom of this and be over with it already. I don't know why, but all this nonsense about the bats didn't feel right. I was somewhat feeling that we were handling this separately instead of closely like we usually did. It just bothered me a lot.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" Fluttershy asked me worriedly as we walked inside Sweet Apple Acres on a windy night.

I sighed. "I haven't been feeling myself ever since this bat nonsense started." I looked out, wanting the feeling to go away. "I just want to be done with this."

"I know how you feel…" Fluttershy worriedly looked downwards. "I don't like it either…"

"The witching hour..." Rainbow Dash suddenly creepily voiced among us.

I didn't know that Sweet Apple Acres would almost be as frightening as walking through the Everfree Forest at night.

I wasn't sure if fear had taken over Fluttershy, or if she was more concerned about how I felt. "Maybe we should just call this off." She suggested. "Not sure about the rest of you guys, but I'm…" She turned her head towards the side and unexpectedly sounded entranced by something. "…really hungry..." Her mouth became agape, and she allowed her saliva to leak and drop out freely.

I gently caressed her head and turned her head towards me, fearing that she might have been receiving stress again. She seemed to come to her senses when she saw me.

"Oh, Fluttershy, it'll be okay." Rarity assured. "Don't forget, darling, we're all in this together."

Hm. Doesn't seem like it for the entire issue we've been dealing with…

"That's right. Nopony leaves this orchard until we've solved this mystery." Twilight included, sounding like one of us was actually the culprit. "Agreed?"

"Agreed!" Every other pony agreed, draining out the silence that Fluttershy and I returned.

"Does everypony have their pony signals?" Applejack asked, receiving a nod from both Twilight and Rarity as they used their magic to form a signal towards the sky. Pinkie Pie received a flashlight and carried it with her mane. "Now remember, Pinkie Pie, only use the signal if you see somethin' suspicious."

"I got it!" She answered, shining the light directly at Applejack and caused her to become shortly dazed. "Something suspicious..."

I felt Fluttershy by my side stop, leading me to turn around to see her. She was by a tree, delightfully sniffing an apple that hung on the branch.

"Don't worry, Fluttershy." I assured, walking towards her. "We'll be out of here soon enough. I'll get you something to eat."

A light suddenly appeared on Fluttershy's face, catching her attention.

"Whatcha doin'?!" Pinkie Pie screamed out loud, alarming Fluttershy. Fluttershy looked at the apple and then back at Pinkie Pie. She resumed walking, looking back at Pinkie Pie fearfully while Pinkie followed closely in a suspicious manner.

I walked along in a puzzled manner.

"Alright, now everypony split up." Applejack announced. "We'll each patrol our own row of the orchard. Whoever or whatever's destroyin' my apples has gotta be here somewhere." She released while the others began to separate into their own row.

"I have a bad feeling about this." Fluttershy worriedly told me as we walked inside. I could tell she really just wanted to head home. "A really bad feeling about this..."

"Don't worry." I assured. "I won't leave your side." I looked around the trees for anything "suspicious". "Let's just try to find what we're looking for as soon as possible and we can go back ho—" When I turned to face Fluttershy, she wasn't there anymore. She just vanished. "Fluttershy?" I called, quickly turning around in a hurried search for her. "Fluttershy!" I called out once again, almost feeling the need to panic as there was no way she could have left me on her own.

Now, I was terrified. It wasn't the creepy atmosphere that struck me. It was the thought of what could have happened to Fluttershy from her disappearance. I hurriedly trotted everywhere with no intention of looking for the cause of the rotten apples, but only for Fluttershy. In my search, I heard sounds of another pair of hooves. Hoping it was Fluttershy, I trotted through the maze of the trees to enter another clear path beyond.

After hearing a sharp gasp, I stumbled upon Twilight, who was startled at the moment of seeing me.

"Oh, gosh." She expressed, recovering from her short scare. "You scared me, Alex."

"Twilight." I anxiously walked to her. "Have you seen, Fluttershy?"

"No, why?"

"She was with me just a minute ago. I turned away for a few seconds and she just vanished!" I explained.

Twilight was confused at my explanation. "…how…?" She was interrupted when we saw Applejack's signal up ahead. We ended our conversation to hurry over to Applejack to see what she found. "Applejack, what is it?"

Applejack didn't answer, as she only remained staring in shock with a fallen jaw at something that was making loud slurping sounds. A sucked apple hit Twilight in the head, later falling towards the floor. We both turned towards the tree where it came from, where Pinkie Pie appeared. She was hanging on the branch and shined the light brightly on the culprit.

"Suspicious!"

From what I could see, this creature looked like a bat…but…a much larger bat than any other vampire fruit bat. No…what bothered me even more about it was how familiar it looked. Hearing Pinkie Pie's loud voice, the creature removed its sharp wings and hissed loudly at Pinkie. At this moment, I was severely stunned. Through her reddened eyes and sharp fangs, I could absolutely tell it was my dear Fluttershy.

The others finally joined us after seeing Applejack's signal as well. However, after hissing loudly, Fluttershy didn't seem to be hostile. She didn't attack Pinkie, but only another juicy apple in front of her.

"Fluttershy?" Pinkie questioned in surprise. "Yoo-hoo! Fluttershy!"

After returning immense and serious silence, she hissed loudly at Pinkie Pie, causing her to lose her grip and fall back towards the floor.

"That's not Fluttershy... That's Flutterbat!" Rarity corrected.

"We've gotta get her down from there!" Twilight recommended, growing worried about the situation as well.

"Uh... Fluttershy, sweetness, please come down, and... do stop being a vampire bat." Rarity offered. Of course, it wasn't that easy.

Fluttershy hissed loudly once again and retrieved another apple to slurp, suck on, and spit back out.

"Fluttershy! It's me, Rainbow Dash!" Rainbow flew up towards her, shouting directly in her ear. "Why don't you cut the bat act and come on down?!"

Hissing angrily, Fluttershy threw Rainbow Dash out of flight, flapping her own batty wings at her.

"Maybe we should just let her come down when she's ready…" Rainbow Dash suggested after being knocked back by her.

Fluttershy began flying swiftly around us, causing the other girls to duck down and cover themselves from her.

"Flutterbat on the loose!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed out loud. "Run for your lives!" She began digging quickly against the ground.

"Pinkie Pie, calm down!" Twilight tended to Pinkie and then turned towards the branch Fluttershy was on. "See? She's back on her... branch."

"She's just biding her time! Waiting for the right moment to pounce!" Pinkie Pie fearfully responded.

"Pinkie Pie, bats don't eat ponies. Not even vampire bats." Applejack pointed out.

"But maybe vampire ponies eat other ponies!" Pinkie remained in the hole she dug. "I'm not taking any chances!" Using her mane as a drill, she escaped by digging underground.

"How did this happen? That's what I don't understand." Rarity requested.

"I think this was actually our fault." Twilight believed.

"Our fault?" Rainbow Dash questioned surprisingly.

"And how'd you figure that?" Applejack inquired.

Using her magic, Twilight formed an electronic grid before us. She presented herself on the top left of the grid. "Okay, so this is me…" She formed the bats on the bottom center. "…these are the bats…" She finally depicted Fluttershy on the top right. "…and this is Fluttershy doing her Stare. The spell was supposed to go right onto the bats like this, but somehow the spell must have backfired. It took the vampire fruit bats' desire to be vampire fruit bats and transferred that desire into Fluttershy. C'mon! We'll reverse the spell and make it right!"

Appearing from within the ground, Pinkie Pie popped out. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's save Fluttershy before that thing eats us all!"

"Ugh!" I groaned out loud, feeling upset. "This wouldn't have happened if nopony pressured Fluttershy into doing something she didn't want to! We could've just—"

"Hit the deck!" Rainbow Dash suddenly cried out before I grunted and felt myself grabbed ahold of.

I could see myself soaring high above the ground with no idea what was going on. Soon enough, I was softly placed back on the ground, leaving me to quickly turn and see Fluttershy staring wordlessly at me.

I was silent as well until I decided to gently pick up my hoof and move it towards her. "…Fluttershy…?" However, she startled me when she suddenly shot out her tongue and brought back an apple from behind me. She stuck her fangs into the apple, but she didn't suck it out immediately this time. She only remained staring at me, as if she was waiting for me to do something. However, I only stared back, having no idea of what it is she wanted.

She then nudged the apple closer to me, mostly at my mouth. It was then when I guessed that she wanted me to take a bite of the apple. I only stared hesitantly at it. When Fluttershy saw that I wouldn't take the apple so easily, she dropped it in front of my hooves, which they quickly caught.

I stared at the apple and then lifted my eyes back at Fluttershy. She continued to stare at me. Even though she was heavily silent, I could…actually…kind of see her kindness in her eyes…which was only presented to me. She moved quietly closer to me. I only sat there motionless, unsure of what I should do. She then presented her fangs when she was only inches away from me. She slowly opened her mouth until a noise around us startled her.

We turned to see the girls had caught up and were carefully looking at us. Fluttershy hissed angrily and wrapped her forelegs around me to carry me off somewhere else, most likely where the two of us…could be alone…


Once she felt the two of us were safe, she landed once again.

She sat down and resumed her staring at me.

I sat down in front of her and decided to speak to her this time.

"Fluttershy…you…you know it's me…right…?" I asked.

Of course, she didn't return anything.

I lifted my hoof and gently grabbed hers. She only stared at my action and retained the same face. I continued to stare at her sympathetically, seeing if I could probably change her back with emotion somehow. However, she suddenly lunged at me with her mouth. To my surprise, she kissed me fervently and allowed her fangs to lightly poke me.

When she pulled away, I wasn't sure what to make of this. Did she really still see me…like she did before? However, her expression hadn't really changed. She continued eyeing me and then began moving closer to me, but not towards my mouth. She opened her mouth and allowed her fangs to reveal themselves more. Softly, she inched towards the side of my neck and aimed her fangs there.

I didn't know what she was doing. She…didn't look like she wanted to hurt me…

Nonetheless, just as she was about to tenderly bite down, she stopped and began sniffing the air. She retracted from her action and then looked out to get a better sense of what she was smelling. She didn't grab me this time. She stood up and began flying towards the source of the smell. With nothing really else to do, I spread my wings and flew after her.

When I was close enough to smell it for myself, I could tell it was an apple, but not any ordinary apple. The smell was overwhelming in intriguing aroma. I was actually able to see it for myself and find that it was that humongous apple Applejack had been protecting dearly. Fluttershy hissed, heading straight towards it.

Right before she could sink her teeth in it, Applejack kicked the apple out of the way, revealing a mirror that was directly behind it. Fluttershy immediately stopped in her tracks and stared at the mirror. She quickly turned and flew away, covering her eyes from the sight of her reflect. However, as soon as she opened her eyes, she was greeted with another reflection of her in the mirror Pinkie Pie was holding up. Fluttershy turned away and shook her head vigorously, attempting to flee away in flight. Lastly, she stumbled upon Rarity, who was yet holding up another mirror with her magic.

This time, Fluttershy couldn't escape her reflection. I didn't exactly know why viewing herself had her stop and stare. Nonetheless, this gave Twilight time to step up and work her magic to cast the reverse spell on Fluttershy. The magic enveloped her and kept her hidden inside like a cocoon.

As soon as she was visible, I could finally see that she returned back to normal. I quickly landed on the ground beneath her and caught her, preventing her from hitting the ground. I laid her on the ground, but kept my hooves on her caringly. I waited until she began slowly opening her eyes. Her eyes were staring at me, and then she looked around a little confusingly.

"Oh... where am I?" She asked a little weakly.

The girls only answered with loud cheers while I smiled in relief at her.

"Thank goodness you're okay!" Applejack expressed as the girls approached us.

"But... what happened to me?" Fluttershy questioned, completely clueless of what just happened.

"You turned into a vampire pony!" Pinkie Pie answered, jumping in front of Applejack.

Fluttershy gasped. "I tried to eat ponies?!"

"Of course not!" Pinkie returned, rolling her eyes backwards.

"So I wasn't a vampire?"

"Yes!"

"Yes I was, or yes I wasn't?"

"Yes, you were!"

"But I didn't try and eat ponies?"

"Yes!"

"I did?!"

"No!"

"I'm confused..." Fluttershy gave up, lowering her head and ears downwards.

"Me too... and I was there!" Rarity shared, recalling the past events that were downright…unexplainable.

"It doesn't matter." I spoke, shaking my head. "I'm just glad that you're okay and back to the way you are." I nuzzled my muzzle with hers. "Come on. We need to take you back home. It's been one heck of a night."


All of us gathered in the living room of Fluttershy's cottage while Spike wrote inside of a journal.

"Fluttershy, I'm real sorry." Applejack apologized to Fluttershy, who was resting on the couch. "I should have taken your suggestion instead, and we could have probably avoided all this mess. I shouldn't have pressured the both of you to do something you weren't really comfortable with." Applejack directed at Fluttershy and me. "I guess I learned my lesson. If I would have just left an orchard for them like you told me to, I'd probably could have still had my big Appleloosa apple intact." She chuckled a little, but still held a saddened look. "Starting tomorrow morning, I'll get that reserved orchard going." She assured.

"Don't forget." Fluttershy reminded. "You'll get seeds that will grow into even bigger and better apple trees."

"Does that mean what I think it means?" Rainbow asked, providing a grin that was holding back a lot of excitement.

"Yup! More cider too." Applejack clarified.

"Yea-he-heah, whoo!" Rainbow Dash performed several somersaults in the air, expressing her anticipation for the news.

"Okay, got the part about the spell, Fluttershy turning into a bat, plans to build a sanctuary..." Spike mentioned, referring to what he was writing about.

"Be sure to put in there that I came to see that my short-term solution was a little short-sighted." Applejack included.

"And that you shouldn't let anypony pressure you into doing something that you don't think is right." Fluttershy added, having Spike glance over to Applejack who only blushed at the statement in embarrassment. "Sometimes you have to tell even your closest friends 'no'."

Every one of the girls nodded their heads in agreement, even me.

"Now how about we celebrate our stronger than ever friendship with a nice, ripe, juicy apple?" Applejack suggested, holding an apple in front of Fluttershy.

"Stand back!" Pinkie Pie suddenly exclaimed, appearing between them. Applejack accidentally released the apple from her grip and had it drop to the floor. Holding a pair of fangs in her mouth, Pinkie Pie eyed the apple playfully. "I vant to suck its juuuice!" She expressed with a fake accent and attempted to take a bite of it. However, her fangs became stuck inside, having the others sound out in laughter in unison.


After the others left, Fluttershy and I began getting ready for bed, since I decided to stay one more night. I especially wanted to make sure she didn't have another episode like the night before. Lying on her bed in her bedroom, Fluttershy wanted me to tell her what happened when she was the batpony everypony was making a fuss about.

"Well…you certainly didn't eat anypony." I laughed a little at that thought. "You were only feeding on the apples, just like the vampire fruit bats. You were really silent and serious. You didn't even talk. Then…you kind of kidnapped me. But a strange thing happened… You kind of treated me…like…you normally would… Like if I was still your special somepony or in that case somebat. Of course…you still didn't speak or smile or anything…" I shrugged as I stared at the ceiling. "It was kind of weird."

"Oh…" Fluttershy looked downwards and blushed. "I just hope I didn't hurt you or anything…"

"Don't worry. You didn't." I placed a hoof to my chin in thought. "The closest you got was to biting me…I think."

"Biting you?" Fluttershy questioned. "…you mean…like this?" She stretched her mouth over to my neck and nibbled a bit.

"H-hey…" I blushed in embarrassment. Fluttershy pulled away and began giggling at her move.

I chuckled a little too until I looked out the window. "I guess we better get some shuteye."

Fluttershy nodded. "I'm pretty tired after everything that happened."

I agreed. "You definitely should get some rest. See you in the morning."

"Mm-hm. Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Fluttershy."

We kissed each other one last time, and made ourselves comfortable under the covers. Recalling the events that occurred earlier a few times, I finally fell asleep to prepare for the next day.


Spirit and I remained quiet as the two of us held our ice cream in our mouths. I would have been willing to share the story about today, but I had a strong feeling she already knew. Instead, she surprised me when she began the conversation.

"Hey, Alex…"

"Hm?" I turned towards her.

"How…" She paused and looked downwards in thought. "…how exactly does it feel like having a best friend?"

I tried to think about it, but those feelings weren't really easy to describe. You just felt them and enjoyed them.

"…that's hard to answer, Spirit." I thought about it some more and figured possibly the easiest way to tell her. "How do you think it feels?"

"Huh?" She answered a little startled.

"Well…" I shrugged a little. "I kind of see you as another one of my best friends…I mean…why wouldn't I? If you feel the same way about me, then I think you should have your own taste on how it feels to have a best friend."

She remained silent and swung her back hooves a bit. "…you're different…"

I became slightly puzzled. "So…I'm not your best friend?"

"N-no!" She quickly answered. "I mean…" She sighed, attempted to reorganize her words. "I'm sorry. I can't explain it."

"That's okay." I merely returned and looked back out at the sunset.

"But I don't mean it like you're not my best friend." She clarified. "It's just…you're not just my best friend…"

"I see…" I finished the last piece of ice cream on the stick. "Is it…a good thing then?"

"Yeah." She nodded. "It really is. I guess I just confused you. Sorry."

"Don't apologize." I mentioned and presented the stick in front of her. "I guess you just need time to sort things out. Everything out." I referred hopefully to the secrets she kept to herself. She quietly accepted the stick and added it to her collection. "Say…don't you…ever get lonely here? When I'm not with you?"

"Well…" She took a moment to answer. "I'm not really alone…" She shook her head and apologized for some reason. "Sorry. Can I ask you another question?"

"What is it?"

"Have you ever had anyone you kind of wanted to meet so much?"

I placed a hoof to my chin and thought about it. "…not that I know of… Like…I don't think I've ever wished I could meet someone specific like a celebrity or something."

"Oh…"

"What about you?" I asked, hoping she'd be willing to answer it.

"You could say that…" She returned and shrugged off. "But it's not that important… I mean…you know…it's probably more hurtful in meeting somepony who doesn't even know you exist, right?" She chuckled a bit at that thought.

I furrowed my eyebrows a little in concern. "You make it sound like if it's somepony you like and they don't even notice you."

"No." She shook her head. "It's not like that… It's…" She rubbed her temples, as if she was getting frustrated in thinking of a way to put it. "…let's…just leave it at as if I'm generally invisible…you know…"

"Oh…yeah…" I paused and thought about it. "I think I get what you mean…" I looked upwards. "Just like when I was little. Pretty much the lowest of the low. You know, invisible to everypony except one… Miss Cadence." I then laughed a little at the sight of her. "I guess I kind of see why you keep secrets. I wouldn't want to make you feel uncomfortable anyway. I'm just curious about you."

"Sorry…" Spirit apologized again, growing a little tense. "I kind of feel bad for doing that. It's like I said…I really don't mean to keep things from you. In fact, if I could, I would tell you everything, but that would be selfish of me. Besides, I wouldn't think you'd believe me anyway."

"Why would you say that?" I asked.

"I'm sure you've had things you've kept to yourself because you thought other ponies wouldn't believe you, right? No matter how true they really were?"

Looking back, I could count a few times where that was true. "Yeah… I kind of grew up believing that I had to see it to really believe it."

"And that's understandable." Spirit assured with a smile.

I managed to smile as well after seeing hers. "I guess I can try to cope a little longer."

She lowered her head and mouthed a few words.

I didn't question her about it. She's probably telling herself something and it wasn't really my business to know.

Still…there's so much I really want to know about her…and I'll keep hoping I'll find out soon enough.

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