• Published 13th Apr 2013
  • 5,756 Views, 236 Comments

When Kindness Met Hatred - Dramapony

Fluttershy tells the story of her brother, and the family that rejected him.

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Chapter 1: The Worst Birthday



Chapter One: The Worst Birthday

We had another successful Winter Wrap Up. As always, the tradition of preparing for spring was a long, exhausting, and big race against the clock. But we achieved our goal once again, thanks to careful planning and organization by my friend, Twilight.

Mission accomplished, I thought to myself, as I gazed out into the Everfree Forest. My efforts to wake the animals had payed off, and I've been rewarded. My hooves were sinking into the slippery new-born grass. I watched my animal friends welcome spring like an old friend, settling into their new, cozy homes. I felt the warmth of the sun, casting a radiant light over the field. The fresh aroma of the earth, trees and flowers filled my nostrils. My cotton candy pink mane flowed like a river, being softly caressed by the cool, gentle breeze.

Above me, I heard the voice of a mockingbird, joyfully celebrating the end of the long, cold winter. Every note felt like a sweet drop of bliss to my ears. I closed my eyes and politely listened to his song. I always loved the sound of a mockingbird. Their singing reminds me so much of him.

Yes, this was the moment that I've waited three months too long for. Spring was here at last. Watching the re-birth of mother nature has always been my favorite time of the year. Seeing all of my animal friends again brought happy tears to my eye. Everything was fitting into place so perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. However, despite its familiarity, there was one detail that I missed: this was to be no ordinary spring.

I snapped out of my trance when a voice, without warning, came from behind me. "What's up, Fluttershy?"

I yelped and jumped behind a tree stump. I carefully peaked my right eye above my hiding place to see Rainbow Dash, who mischiefly enjoyed a small giggle at my antics. "Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to scare ya, but you looked like you were kind of zoning out."

I grinned as my face turned a hot shade of scarlet. It's very easy to startle me, but whenever one of my friends did it, I couldn't help but feel a warmth of embarrassment. I picked myself off the ground.

"Don't worry, Rainbow Dash," I replied. "It's fine, really. I was just listening to the mockingbird."

She placed a hoof to her ear, and listened to the song. I could tell she enjoyed it, because I noticed a tiny smile that she was trying to hide. Since Dash was a very athletic mare, I knew she never cared much for my interest in animals. But when it came to a mockingbird's singing, even she couldn't fail to enjoy the soothing melody.

"You know, they are known for their endless singing and beautiful songs," I said to break the silence. "That's all they were meant to naturally do. Give nature a song and enchant us with their music."

"Kind of like your brother, Shy," Rainbow Dash added. At that mention, my mind started to fill with happy times of when I was a filly. How could I not remember my brother on a day like that day?

I smiled. "Yes, Dashie, they sound just like him. He has the sweetest singing voice. It's been an awfully long time since I've actually seen him. We've only been able to keep in touch with letters." Realizing what I just said, my smile started to fade.

Letters. All of our letters in the past have been so pleasant. We shared jokes, gossip and even reflected on our days from foal hood. I told him about my many adventures with my friends, he always kept me up to date with the family. However, the last letter I received from him was different. It brought the usual cheer and good news, but most of it came with something else that filled my heart with dread. Something that made me want to rush home and save him. My thoughts began to race. I lowered my head to the ground as I pictured what was going on with him, right at that moment.

"Something wrong?" Rainbow asked, wrapping her hoof around my shoulder. I raised myself to meet her violet eyes. While growing up, Rainbow Dash was as much of a friend to my brother as she was to me. I thought it would be fair for her to know.

"Well, today is his birthday," I began, anxiety starting to creep into my voice. Just hearing the news from him was terrifying enough, let alone trying to explain it. I tried to articulate some words, only to have my mind draw a complete blank.

Instead, I reached over to my saddle bag, opened the front pocket compartment, and took out a small folded piece of paper. I carefully unfolded the letter until it was completely opened. The message, from several weeks prior, crinkled in my grasp, but it was still readable to me—after looking at it so many times. I read aloud,

Dear Fluttershy,

Things have been going well here in Cloudsdale. Mom and Dad have been trying their best to stay warm, but you know it's never easy with the clouds constantly making snow. On a side note, I have some great news: I got in! Remember when I auditioned for The Canterlot Academy of Music? Well, I finally got a response yesterday, and they're giving me a full-paid scholarship! Guess I know where I'm going in the fall. Business with serving at the Sky Café has been slow as usual and I wish I was already in school; then again, what else can you expect from somepony who graduated flight school a year early?

Now, Shy, I have something very important that I need to tell you. I'm sure you know that the first day of spring this year will be my eighteenth birthday, and to tell you the truth, I don't think I can hold in my secret any longer. So far, the only two ponies who actually know about this are you and Rainbow Dash. I know Mom and Dad's beliefs don't necessarily support this, but it was already bad enough when I had to hide it in school. I plan on telling them on my birthday. I think I'm ready, and they are, too.

If you're wondering if I'm scared about this, the answer is obviously yes, but I can't spend my whole life living a lie to them. Who knows? Maybe if I tell them, they'll probably become more open minded when they realize their son is like this. I'm at least trying to think optimistically about this, Fluttershy. Please don't worry about me, I'll be fine. But if things don't go exactly as planned, I just want you to know that I love you very much, and that you're the best big sister that anypony could ever ask for.

-Love, Mockingbird.

Rainbow Dash's eyes widened. Her brows tightened to the center of her forehead. "Is he actually serious about this?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

"Oh, I just hope they'll still love him," I said, as my voice started to shake. "I can't handle to think of what will happen if he tells them." I could feel a tear starting to swim up to the surface of my eye, causing my vision to blur. My poor brother.

Dash pulled me into a gentle hug and lightly patted my back. "It's going to be fine, Fluttershy," she whispered in my ear. "Maybe he decided to back out, and hold off on it for a while. You know he can't make up his mind about these things." I understood that she was trying to make me feel hopeful, but I just couldn't believe her.

Still, I wanted her to know that I appreciated her efforts, so I just nodded and said, "Okay." It was the least I could've done.

She broke the embrace and ran her hoof through her rainbow striped mane. "Um, Pinkie Pie wanted me to tell you that her 'First Day of Spring Party' is going on right now at the town center. If you wanted to come, it will probably help you take your mind off of Mockingbird."

Maybe she was right. Spending some time with my friends has always been the best thing for me to calm my nerves. "Okay, Rainbow, that sounds fun," I said in a feeble attempt to sound excited. I tried to smile, but I knew nothing would make me cheerful at that time. However, much to my surprise, she still bought it.

"Alright!" Rainbow cheered. "Race you there!"

My memories of the party remain a complete blur to me. Pinkie Pie always loved it when I came to her parties, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't take my mind off my brother. When I saw the sun starting to set, I decided it was time to go home and feed Angel, my pet bunny. After I said goodbye to my friends, wishing them each a happy spring, I made my way for my cottage.

I didn't pay attention to time on the walk home. Generally, it was about a short five minute path from my house to the town, but that night the stroll felt even slower and longer than usual. The dirt road felt like fresh powder in my every step. The sky transitioned from a filtered bright blue, to a glowing orange as the day bridged from afternoon to evening.

When I finally arrived at the bottom of the hill of my house, there was somepony familiar at my door. I froze in my tracks. A young and slim stallion pegasus with a grey coat, long black mane, and treble clef cutie mark was leaning against the door. His hoof weakly rapped the wood. He wept as if he was about to die.

"Fluttershy!" the stallion cried out, in his watered down, raw sounding youthful voice. "I know you're home! Why won't you answer? Please open the door!" He continued wailing, slowly falling deeper and deeper to the ground.

Was this reality? My heart sank like a stone. Time stood still. I didn't move, cry, faint, or even blink. This can't be real, I thought. But no, it was all far too real. I could already feel the fragile world around collapsing. I was standing there frozen for about a minute, until I finally snapped back to full consciousness and found my voice.

"Mockingbird!" I called out to him.

I galloped up to my brother, who was laying face first on the welcome mat. He looked up at me, his face drenched in a waterfall of tears. Mucus trailed down from his nose. His orange eyes took the terrifying vision of two pools of blood. I lowered myself down to him, and placed my hooves on both his shoulders. They began to vibrate against his trembling body.

"Dammit, Shy," he cursed under his croaking voice. "I've been at this door for hours. Where have you been?"

My heart sank even deeper than my stomach, tears stinging my own eyes. I was beginning to wish that I never went to the party, just so I could of been there sooner to help him. "Mockingbird, I'm so sorry. What happened?"

He didn't speak, but kept scratching the door like a dog wanting to go in. I got the hint that he didn't want to stay outside any longer. Of course, I should've opened the door immediately, what was I thinking? I assisted him up on his hooves until he stood a head taller than me, unlocked the door and escorted him inside.

After I shut the door, Angel bunny hopped off from his spot on the couch and ran up to us. I could tell he was waiting for me to come home and feed him, so I snatched a whole carrot off the table and tossed it to him. Usually I take the time to make him a veggie salad. I only give him a full carrot when I'm in a hurry and he needs to eat. But with the crisis I was now dealing with, I wasn't focused on making his usual dinner. Still, the bunny accepted his vegetable, and scurried to a corner to dine.

With my hooves wrapped around Mockingbird, I continued to guide him across the room. His legs wobbled like jello with every step he took. His thin, but heavy, wheezing haunted my ears, sending the sensation of ice down my spine. Seconds began to feel like minutes, as the warmth of the room disappeared with the sunlight through the windows.

When we got to the couch, I lowered him into the soft felt cushion where Angel was laying. He lifelessly sank into the seat, the wooden legs creaking under his weight. I sat right down next to him and prepared myself to hear the unimaginable.

"What's the matter?" I asked nervously. He didn't even speak, but my face was already beginning to twitch.

There was a long pause. He choked on his voice and wiped his eyes dry. "Well, it happened after I got back from work at noon," Mockingbird began. His usually high voice sounded much deeper. I could tell that he was forcing himself to tell me this. I simply nodded my head, encouraging him to go on.

"Mom and Dad were waiting for me in the dining room. They made me my favorite lunch: hay stuffed pasta with tomato sauce and wheat balls. The room was decorated with balloons, streamers, and a banner that said, 'HAPPY EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY, MOCKINGBIRD! WE LOVE YOU!' In the center of the table, they had a birthday cake with the exact same message." That was one of the happiest traditions that my parents loved to participate in. For every birthday, they would each take a whole day off from work, just to celebrate with the entire family. A normal day, right?

"I don't know why I did it, but something was just making me want to tell them at that moment. So I sat down, took a deep breath, and said, 'Mom, Dad, there is something I have to tell you...'" He didn't even get to the bad news yet, but I could already tell what happened next. There could have been only one possible solution that made him this upset and broken. I knew that he told them the secret.

"I-I-I like colts," he forced out. Wheezing replaced his breathing. He took in a very deep breath before continuing. "For the longest time they just sat there silently. They did nothing but give me this very blank stare. Dad was the only one to speak. 'Is this true, son?' he asked. 'Are you telling us, that you are a coltcuddler?'" He stopped and started to sniff loudly as his nose became congested again. When he continued, his voice picked up speed like a train engine. "I was too afraid to respond. I could already tell that he was angry, so I just nodded. Then we tried to c-calmy talk about it, but we kept disagreeing and he only got more angry; he p-probably th-thought I wasn't listening or something. Then he rose up, and slammed his hooves on the table. I could feel the ground shake!"

"He shouted, 'My son is not a faggot!' He began ripping down all the decorations and tearing everything up. Then, he stormed over to me and violently whispered in my ear, 'We did not raise you to be an unnatural, sinning, filthy abomination to Celestia. There is no way you are a coltcuddler.' I snapped back saying, 'Yes, I am, Dad. I'm not lying. Please just listen to me.'" His face twitched. His voice became just barely audible under his sniffling.

No! No, it can't be true! I horrifically thought to myself. My breathing turned choppy. I began shaking, a thin stream of tears running from my eyes without control. I clapped both of my hooves over my muzzle. The story's words felt like a knife plunging down to the deepest pit of my heart.

Mockingbird uneasily continued, "He started raising his hoof, I was afraid he was going to hit me or something. But before he actually did anything, I grabbed his wrist and threw him to the wall."

WHAT?! My father never laid a hoof on either of us when we were children. He would have never done that. The knife twisted, causing me to painfully whimper. My pupils shrank to the size of pinheads. I refused to picture the scene in my mind. There was no way my dad could have possibly turned into a monster that quickly. He wasn't telling me a story anymore, he was telling me a nightmare!

"He became furious! His face turned a fiery red! He y-yelled, 'If you won't obey your father then you have no place in this home! Get out!' I looked to m-mom to h-help me, but s-she just sat there, doing n-nothing. Dad grabbed me, dragged me to the door, opened it, and threw me onto the lawn! H-He screamed, 'If you ever come near this house again, I'll have no problem calling the police! Enjoy the streets!' Then he slammed t-the door, and I just flew off!"

Did all of that really happen? It couldn't have, I thought. His birthday was supposed to be the happiest day of the year for him, but that day, it became his darkest. How could anypony's family stop loving them, after learning just one small thing about them?

I sat next to him in a phase of horror. My heart was officially butchered to bits. All light and happiness was gone from the world. It was like a black hole sucked out every little strength I had. My lips quivered. The skin under my yellow coat burned. My eyes painfully reddened from the salty substance silently gushing down my cheeks.

"D-Dear Celestia," I uneasily uttered. "I-I'm s-so sorry, Mockingbird, th-that I wasn't there to protect you."

Mockingbird couldn't hold it in anymore. He wailed to the sky. The tears cascaded once more. His breathing became hard labor, his chest rapidly rising up and down.

On instinct, I wrapped one hoof around his head, the other around his back, and pulled him in tightly. His weeping gradually soiled my shoulder. His moaning muffled against my chest. I gave my best effort to clench my eyes shut to halt my own crying, with little success. I softened my voice. "Shhh... shhh... it's okay. It's okay. Everything is going to be alright."

I didn't even know if what I said was the truth. Was everything going to be alright? I wanted to comfort him, but not if it was going to be with lies. He was just kicked out of our family. All those happy memories of him growing up and enriching our lives, now meant nothing to my parents. How could they have been so heartless? I held him even tighter.

As the sky grew pitch black and the clock ticked away, I proceeded to gingerly stroke his mane, accompanied with the soothing hushes of my voice. It was very rare to see him cry. I remember when we were both very young, our grandma, Nightingale, died. He was the one who stayed strong during the mourning, despite being four years younger than me. For about a week, I balled my eyes out like a foal, but he stayed at my side the whole time and gave me support.

He was always there for me, but that night, I had to be there for him. I never thought I'd see that day, but for the first time I had to be the strong one. Nothing else mattered to me at that moment. I just wanted to hold my baby brother and protect him from the world. I didn't want to ever let go. I only wished that it was actually possible for love to heal any kind of wound or injury.

When he finally lifted his head and sat up, his face was redder than before. I observed my shoulder and chest, to find a large Island of cold, wet and sticky residue. Mockingbird gave me a guilty look, like he thought I was angry because he got me all messy. Why would he think such a thing? I had no reason at all to be mad. He needed a shoulder to cry on and I was there. I gently nuzzled his nose, showing him that it was alright.

"I promise, we are going to get through this together," I said in my usual motherly tone. "Maybe they were just surprised, and needed some time to think it out."

Mockingbird shook his head. "No, you don't understand, Fluttershy. Mom and Dad now think I'm the worst thing in the world. They're never going to love me again!"

"That's not true. I know they still love you; it's all probably just a misunderstanding to them." I knew he didn't agree with me, but I didn't want him to feel hopeless. "How about I go visit them in a couple of days and try talking to them about it? I'm sure if they listen to reason, they'll let you come home again."

Mockingbird's voice raised in volume. "Fluttershy, you know very well that Dad is the president of that Traditional Pegasus Family group and Mom always followed his lead. What makes you think they'll listen to you?"

"Mocking, we're their children. Parents can never stop loving their children."

"They haven't even talked about you ever since you moved down here to Ponyville."

I sighed, beginning to wish that he didn't remind me of that. Still, I decided to put that memory aside for his sake. I carried on while massaging his arms. "Tell you what, you can stay here with me until we get this whole thing sorted out. You can stay here and still commute to your job, right?"

There was a moment of silence as he slouched over and thought about my offer. Did he really need to think about it? Where else did he have to go?

"Alright," he answered. "As long as I'm not a burden to you, I'll stay. But I don't think I'll be going to work for a while. I'm not exactly emotionally fit to be a bus pony."

"That's completely fine. Anything you need to feel comfortable, do so by all means. You won't be a burden at all. I couldn't ask for a better house guest other than my own little brother."

He grinned. "Thank you, Fluttershy. At least you still love me."

"I'll always love you, Mockingbird." I leaned in and gave him a tender kiss on his forehead. "No matter who you are, I'm always going to be your big sister."

Our moment was interrupted by my stomach, doing its Harry the Bear impersonation. I looked up at the clock and saw it was ten o'clock. Oh dear, it was that late and I didn't even eat yet.

"Are you hungry?" I asked him. "I can make something for both of us if you are." Mockingbird shook his head. I returned with a nod. "Okay, then, I'm going to have a nice spring salad. Feel free to join me if you change your mind."

I got up and went over to my kitchen counter. I took out my largest salad bowl, and all the ingredients needed. After preparing the meal, I sat at a spot at my table so Mockingbird was still in view. I began taking forkfuls of the dinner, small particles of lettuce escaping my lips.

"This sure is delicious," I said temptingly to him. "It's just so big. I wish I had somepony to share this with me." He didn't get up. He just sat at the couch, his arms crossed and his nose pointing to the floor. Periodically between bites, I would pierce a bunch with my fork and waved it in his line of vision, hoping he would come eat with me. He never came. I eventually realized that I couldn't make him eat if he didn't want to. Like animals, you can't just force feed them when they are not hungry. I just had to remind myself that he'll eat when he's ready. So, I finished my meal in peace.

After I placed the empty bowl and silverware in the sink, I decided it was probably time for both of us to go to bed. I flew to the storage closet and took out the guest bed linen sheets and pillows. When I got back over to the couch, Mockingbird silently rose and moved out of the way so I could make his bed for him. It wasn't much, but it was still a place for him to sleep.

I turned to him. "Okay, so if you need anything, my room is just upstairs. The bathroom down here is next to the den on your right; the one upstairs is the first door at the top of the stairs. Under the sink, there is a fresh toothbrush you can use with the toothpaste. The fridge is full of food if you ever get hungry in the night." He remained silent, but nodded in appreciation. I took him by the hoof. "We will all be a family again. I can guarantee you that."

He looked up, his eyes whiter than the moon. "Goodnight, Fluttershy," he said. "If you don't mind, I just want to be alone right now."

"Oh, okay," I said in understanding. "Goodnight, sweetheart." Right when I got to the stairs, I froze for a second. I thought he should go to bed with a positive thought. It would have been the best thing to say to make him feel better. I tilted my head in his direction and said, "Happy Birthday. I love you."

He gave me a smile. "I love you too." He then sat on the couch. Without another word, I went upstairs to my bedroom.

As I laid in my bed, a million thoughts ran through my mind. Why did this happen to him? He didn't deserve it. Will Mom and Dad ever love him again? I didn't know what to think of my parents. All at the same time, I felt neglect, betrayal, hurt, sorrow, suffering, shock, confusion, anger, rage, and a need for revenge. Why was I feeling that way? I'm the element of kindness; It wasn't me.

"He just loves colts," I whispered to myself. "It's not a crime. How could a colt, who just loves colts, possibly be a bad pony?" There was nopony I could go to to find the answers for these questions, but there had to be explanations. Where were they? Above all, I didn't know what I could do or say to fix this mess. I didn't even feel confident enough to fix it, but I couldn't let Mockingbird down.

I was praying to Luna that this was all just a bad dream. Yes, it had to be nothing more than a nightmare. Wake up, Fluttershy. Wake up. I hoped that it was still Winter Wrap Up. After I closed my eyes, I would wake up next to the bear cave, and continue my duties. Yes, that had to be the case. I surrendered myself to the spell of slumber, my lids closing independently. All went dark, and the rest was silence.