• Published 27th Dec 2012
  • 2,012 Views, 93 Comments

Pick an Apple in a Thorn Bush - June Silver

When Fluttershy's life takes a turn, she needs all the help she can to get over the catastrophe and start again.

  • ...

Chapter Two: A Kind Gesture

The morning sun shone through my bedroom window. It was early, judging by the color of the sky. Pink and purple, I shook the thought out of my head. I stretched my hooves out in front of me and yawned. One of the sun's ray's lit up Angel's list on my bedside table. I still need to get his things at the market. I jumped out of my messy bed, and lazily flew to the bathroom. What do I need to do today...?, I thought, grabbing my green toothbrush and laying the toothpaste layer on it's softened bristles. I need to make breakfast, water the plants, feed the chickens, and go to the marketplace, I planned in my head as I brushed my teeth. Maybe Angel can come with me and pick out what he needs himself. He's very picky., I peered over to his room. He was snoring. If he's awake by then, of course. He sure likes to sleep through noon. I rinsed my mouth with water and brushed my mane so that it didn't look so out of control. The floor creaked as I headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. I'll make some breakfast sandwiches, I thought getting the bread, eggs, lettuce and tomatoes. Something easy and quick.

I was flipping the eggs in a pan when the bag of apples returned into my head. That was very kind of Big Mac to give them to me without charging anything, I slipped the eggs onto two pieces of bread, topping them with the slices of tomato, lettuce, and another bread slice. I should probably do something to show him my appreciation for it. He did lose some money from it. I put aside Angel's sandwich on the counter, and bit into mine. Maybe I could make him something. But what? The bag of apples were sitting in the middle of my dining table. What about using some of those apples for an apple pie?

I smiled, that's a great idea!

A while later, I was out watering the plants that hung on one of my windows. Some of them were starting to bloom. "Don't worry little ones, winter will be over soon." I reassured them. When the sound of my voice died down, I realized that there were no other noises outside. All the critters were either hibernating, or have left for the season. Winter can be so beautiful, but it's always one of the loneliest time of the year.

When the watering can has run out of water, I head to the chicken coop to see if they need any food. I looked inside, and they were all sleeping, huddled on a pink blanket I brought out for them yesterday. The trough that sat in front of them was full. I always keep it there when it snows, so that they don't have to get out into the cold snow to eat. I try to remember what was next on my list of to do things. The market place.

I went back inside, and into my room. My saddle, that sat next to my bed frame, was empty. I pushed my mattress, and grabbed a bag of bits to put in my bag. My father used to keep his money under his mattress too. He told me that he didn't trust banks. I took the list and put it in as well. I reached for my blue coat that I've wore the day before and threw on my saddle bag. As I started to walk to the door, I looked into Angel's room. He was sound asleep. I kind of expected him not too be up.

My door quietly creaked, when I opened it. The snow was more calm today. Instead of a thick blanket, the hills were covered in a light layer. On my way to the market, I noticed random snowmen. Each had a different face. One of them, resembled Rainbow Dash. That was the one that made me laugh a little. Last night, I overheard the Cutie Mark Crusaders, talking about getting their cutie marks by becoming "snow sculptors".

When I arrived at the marketplace, I was greeted by warm signs and colorful festivities. I almost forgot that today was Hearth's Warming Eve. There were signs everywhere, saying "Happy Hearth's Warming", there were bright streamers and decorated trees. More stands were open today. I could finally get Angel's list done.

I quickly went from stand to stand, getting done more quick than I predicted I would. One stand was right next to the apple cart. Maybe I should go see if Big Mac is there... My wings opened to fly over there. The stand's owner interrupted my thoughts. "I'm sorry?" I said.

"I said, are you going to buy that?" He pointed to the sack of flour I held in my hoof.

"Oh yes, I apologize." I replied, throwing him two bits from my bag. I put away the flour into my near-too-full bag, when he said:

"Have a good day. Next," He then attended to the green mare behind me. I slowly flew over to the apple stand. Might as well say a quick hello, now that I'm here. I expected to see the red stallion, but instead found an orange mare.

"Applejack?" I said surprised.

"Howdy, Fluttershy. What can I do ya' for?" she happily told me.

"Um, where's Big Mac?" I didn't want to ask, but curiosity got the best of me.

"He's at home, shovelin' snow. Since today wasn't as cold as yesterday, I told 'em that I could takeover for today. Did ya' need him for somethin'?"

"Oh, no. I was just wondering."

"Well, now that I've got ya' here, I just want to remind ya' about comin' to the train station today. Twi wants to make sure everypony comes to the Hearth's Warming Eve play." added Applejack.

"Of course. Thank you for reminding me, I've been forgetting a lot of things lately." Oh, gosh. The play. If this wasn't so important to Twilight, I don't think I would have agreed to being in it.

"I'll see 'ya there, then!" She said to me as I started to fly away.

"Okay, bye Applejack." I replied. The Hearth's Warming Eve play. Why did I have to be in it? I have stage fright, I'll just crack underneath all that pressure. I hope I don't embarrass myself. And if I do, I hope Big Mac isn't there to see it.

" I can't believe that Princess Celestia chose us to put on the most important play of the season! Do you guys know what an honor this is? For all of us?" shouted Twilight in her excitement as Rarity patted her cheeks with a powder. Twilight, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, AppleJack, Rainbow Dash, and I were all preparing ourselves for the play backstage. I was standing in front one of the brightly, lit, mirror, trying to brave-up myself.

"Oh, I wish she hadn't honored me quite so much... I can't go onstage! I don't want everypony looking at me!" It slipped out of my mouth. And when it did, there was no turning back. I hid in the closest thing to me, a box of decorations. I shook with fear as my face buried more into it.

"Fluttershy, darling, there's nothing to feel nervous about." Rarity's voice cooed as she walked close to the box. Her purple cape followed her.

"No?" I peeked my head above the box. She grabbed me and pushed me with her front hooves, back to my mirror.

"Of course not. All across Equestria, ponies are preparing their own pageants for Hearth's Warming Eve, in their own towns. It's tradition." she added, combing my mane, and harshly added black mascara. Phew, I thought.

"So you're saying they'll be too busy to come to our play?" I smiled. That meant there won't be that big of a crowd in the audience!

"Well no. We're in the Canterlot pageant, the biggest, most important production in all of Equestria. A lot of ponies will come to watch us." She patted some of the powder she put on Twilight, on my face now.

"A lot?" I don't think Rarity is helping. I look into the mirror. Why do I have to be apart of this?



"Maybe even thousands!" She gasped in glee. That's it, I'm heading back to the box. I stayed in that box for a few minutes. I really didn't want to get out there. Rarity just made it worse. There is possibly thousands of ponies out there. I don't want to be humiliated in front of that many! A cold gust of wind hit my flank, and I guessed that somepony opened the window. I was startled when my tail started to be pulled by somepony.

"Fluttershy, you've got to come out of there!" said Twilight, whom I assumed was the pony that was pulling my tail. I grabbed onto anything that was in the box.

"Curtain in two minutes!" shouted a male. Eep! I tried to dig myself even further into the small cardboard box. I heard pinkie mumble something. My tail was pulled even harder.

"PINKIE!!" Twilight yelled. Another gust of wind passed by. I had no idea what was going on since my head was buried underneath all of the decorations. For some reason,Twilight jumped into the box with me.

"Hello, Twilight." I quietly said. She gave me a stern look.

"Fluttershy, you need to be out there with us. We need this to go well for Princess Celestia! Ugh, I can't think in this cold!"

"SHUT THE WINDOW!!" Pinkie, Twilight, Rarity and I shouted in unison. Applejack and Rainbow Dash were too busy arguing about something to close it. Everypony continued to yell at each other, as Spike slipped in and out of the curtain. The lights dimmed, the curtains were pulled, and the music began, as Spike began to narrate.

"Okay, everypony calm down!" Twilight said. "It's time for the play, and I'd hate for all the hard work to go to waste just because of one silly window." She faced Applejack and Rainbow Dash. "Fluttershy, I know you're scared. It's okay to be scared. There are a lot of ponies out there. I myself, am nervous. Just relax. You'll be great out there." she looked at me.

"R-Relax?" I looked at her, and was reminded of my mother.

"A very important thing to know, is to always relax. Even in the scariest situation, you must be brave. I could hear her say.

"Relax" I muttered to myself. It's just a play. All I need to do is saw a few words and everything will be good.

"Is everypony ready?" Twilight asked looking at all of us.

Various "Yes", "Yeah", and "Yup" followed. I nodded. Everything is going to be fine. I just need to relax and be brave.

The play went smoother than I thought it would. At the end, I actually had a lot of fun. After we sung The Fire of Friendship, we all took a bow. Backstage, we all couldn't stop talking about the play.

"We should be so honored that Princess Celestia chose us! She must really think we exemplify what good friends are!" said Twilight. Pinkie Pie came close to Rarity and gave her a hug, but then was blown away by a gush of wind. Someone forgot to close the window before we went on.

"Applejack, I thought you closed all the windows." Rarity said a little annoyed.

"Don't blame me. Rainbow Dash should've flown up there and shut it. After all, she's got wings." Applejack added, pointing a hoof at Dash.

"Why do I always have to do all the high up chores? Why can't Twilight use her magic for a change!" She replied. The bitter fight started again. Everypony's anger grew by the second. Before anything else could happen, a Windigo-like roar echoed from far mountains. We all stopped and stared at each other, in shock. That can't be the real Windigo. Could it?

"Y'know what? I got it." said Rainbow Dash after a moment. We all laughed as she closed the door. The room instantly felt warmer.

"Thanks, Dash." said Applejack.

"That was amazing!" shouted a filly's voice from behind the curtain. We all turned our attention to the Cutie Mark Crusaders who appeared from the other side of it. Scootaloo was the one who said it. She immediately went up to Rainbow Dash. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom followed her. I couldn't breathe when I saw a red stallion come behind the three.

"Good evening, ladies." greeted Big Mac. His rich southern accent made me blush. Applejack has the same accent. Why do I go all red when I hear his?, I thought trying to calm myself down.

"What are ya' doin' here big brother?" Applejack asked. He nodded towards the Cutie Mark Crusaders who were getting a tour of backstage from Rainbow Dash. "Oh, they wanted to come to the play?"

"Eeyup," he said. "Congrats, Sis." Then he glanced at us. "Congrats to everypony." he corrected himself. When he looked over at me he smiled. I wanted to smile back but I was frozen. I couldn't even say 'thanks'. For some reason, the green in his eyes wiped my mind clean. I quickly stared down at my hooves. Why is it so hard to just give a small grin? He's a friend. I smile at my friend's all the time. There was something different about him, but what? Sometimes these questions give me a headache.

"Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo!" he called them. "Your parents are waiting for y'all!"

"Aww!" The three said in unison.

"But we just came here!" piped up Sweetie Belle.

"Maybe next time, kiddos." Rainbow Dash told them, ruffling Scootaloo's mane. They headed towards Big Mac.

"We best be on our way. Goodnight, Ladies." he told us nodding.

"Goodnight," everypony replied. A small squeak came from me in an attempt to say 'goodnight'.

"Bless you," said Rarity. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were the first to go through the curtain. They were saying something about acting being their calling. Big Mac followed them. Before he disappeared through the curtain he looked back at us. Most specifically at me. That's when our eyes met, and everything went silent. Then, he was gone.

"Fluttershy?" asked Twilight.

"Hmm?" I replied not moving my eyes from the spot Big Mac had been standing only a few seconds before.

"Are you okay?"

"M hmm," I glanced back over to her. All my friends were looking at me like I was crazy. "What? Did I say something?"

"No. Ya' just been standin' there quiet for a while." said Applejack.

"Oh, I'm fine. Thanks for asking." I lightly said. Oh my, he has wonderful eyes. I thought. It's okay to like your friends eyes right? Speaking of green... "Applejack?"

"Yes, sugar cube?"

"Do you think I can come by your house tomorrow? I was wondering if you could help me bake something."

"Bake? I can help bake!" Pinkie excitedly said.

"What were ya' plannin' to bake?" asked Applejack

"I wanted to bake an apple pie, for Big Mac. Just a kind gesture of gratitude.."

"Can I help? Can I, can I, can I?" Pinkie repeated. "Oh, pretty please?"

"It's up to Fluttershy, she's the one that want's to bake." replied AJ.

"Sure, Pinkie."

"Yipee!" she ran to me and squeezed me tight in a hug. "I'll bring the apples! Ooh, and we're going to need flour, eggs, some sprinkles--"

"Sprinkles? On a pie?" Applejack said surprised.

"Why not?" she giggled, letting me go.

"Look at the time!" Rarity exclaimed. "It's almost midnight, and our train leaves in half an hour!"

"We better hurry or we'll miss the train than." said Twilight. Everypony started to collect their things and pack up. I didn't bring much so I helped Rarity. She brought so much luggage to Canterlot, I thought we were going to miss it!

But we didn't, we were actually right on time.

"Wow. The play took longer than I thought." Rainbow Dash said once we got on the train.

"I agree. Although the time was a bit odd, it was fun. We should ask Princess Celestia to help with next year's. Don't you think, Fluttershy?" Rarity admitted. I was over by the window, watching the plains and meadows pass as we drew nearer to Ponyville.

"Oh, yes." I quietly said. "It was wonderful." It was silent in the cabin for a while, I felt their eyes on me.

"You've been awfully quiet, Fluttershy. Is everything alright?" Rarity asked.

"Everything's fine, Rarity." I didn't notice I was so quiet. I thought. "Trust me." I said looking straight at her.

"Did you guys see? The crowd loved me!" Rainbow Dash boasted as she got off her seat and did a small pose in the air. The conversation changed and the cabin filled back with excitement as the girls started to argue with Rainbow Dash playfully. "What do you mean? I totally was the star of the show!" She loudly replied to a comment of Applejack's. I stayed staring out the window. It was so dark outside, I mostly saw my reflection rather than outside. I could see behind me, my friends playing around. Everypony looked happy, but the yellow mare that stared back at me looked confused. What is it? Why am I so quiet? Is it because of Big Mac?, I asked myself in my head. Is it because of how nervous I was when I saw him today? Or how I blushed when he spoke? Is it because my heart kind of skipped a beat when our eyes met?

Why am I acting like this? Am I catching a cold?

"Stop it," I mumbled to myself. "You're going to drive yourself crazy, Fluttershy."

"Are ya'll hungry?" asked Applejack as she reached into one of her bags sitting beneath her hooves. I walked over to my friends. Stop thinking and start talking. You're acting strange., I commanded myself. Everypony started asking Applejack what she had in her bag. "It's like ya'll don't even know me. What else would I have?"

She pulled out one, shining, green, apple.

Oh, brother.

Author's Note:

This chapter would have been submitted earlier if I hadn't accidentally erased it. Please comment, if you've found something wrong! I feel as though the end was a bit rushed. Or Fluttershy was out of character at some times.