• Published 19th Feb 2013
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The Lion and the Lamb - CrazyChickenLady

After following a baby griffon into a dangerous situation, Fluttershy finds herself rescued by a kind-hearted dragon and ends up befriending him.

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Chapter Fifteen: A Healing Visit

Chapter Fifteen: A Healing Visit

The large reptile returned the smile at Fluttershy, his fingers leaving her forehead to trace the side of her face and curl underneath her chin. “Well, she has been a wonder to have around. You all are fortunate to have a friend like her.”

“We know.” Twilight Sparkle smiled over at Fluttershy, having finished reinforcing the front door with assorted boxes placed in front of it with Applejack's help. The latch had broken right off the door frame when she and Applejack stormed in, rendering it unable to stay closed on its own.

“She’s a wonderful friend to us all. We don’t know what we’d do without her.”

“Oooh! Like when we took on Nightmare Moon, or Discord, or that dragon up in the mountains!” Pinkie Pie squealed.

“An’ she’s a wonderful babysitter for Apple Bloom an’ her friends,” Applejack said while helping Twilight Sparkle move several boxes in front of the window that went down during their heroic assault. It wasn't a pretty solution, but it would at least block the cold air from coming in until they could fashion a replacement .

Smokey’s eyes suddenly went wide in pure, unadulterated surprise. Were these mares the ones to defeat both Nightmare Moon and Discord, and bring peace back to the Crystal Kingdom? Now, when everything was settled down, the dragon had a chance to have a good look at the hurriedly assembled rescue party. He stared incredulously at Twilight Sparkle when he realized she was an alicorn, an incredibly rare species of equine. His gaze surveyed ponies that came with her, before going straight back to Fluttershy. Was this little shy pony he rescued from the cold hands of death actually one of the legendary Elements of Harmony?!

“What? Don’t believe us?” Rainbow Dash smirked, bemused at the look on the dragon’s face.

He turned his attention to the cyan pegasus, a smile tipping his scaly lips. “It’s not that. I just never figured I would ever get to meet the Elements of Harmony.” His facial features then changed into a playful and teasing expression as his eyes swiveled back to Fluttershy. “I certainly never would have thought this demure lady was an enchantress and a mighty warrior.”

“Oh, well, um, I…” Fluttershy's face went into a sweet shade of red and she hid one of her eyes behind a large lock of pink hair.

“Aw, don’t be bashful, Fluttershy!” Applejack chuckled. “Show some pride in your ability! After all, if it wasn’t fer you, we’d have never caught Dash an’ restored her to normal, to beat Discord.”

“And you were the one who stopped that manticore’s rampage when we first went to the Ancient Castle for the Elements of Harmony in the first place. If you hadn’t stopped him, we’d likely still be suffering under eternal night,” Rarity tacked on.

“Well, I… erm… don’t like to brag,” she whispered. “And I really don’t like fighting.”

Twilight Sparkle blinked. “Really? Because unless my eyes were deceiving me, I saw you beat up a bear!”

“A bear?” Rainbow Dash cocked a brow as disbelief dawned in her eyes. The sheer concept of the Element of Kindness, with her natural empathy and love for animals, dominating a bear by sheer physical strength was impossible for her to fathom. “Fluttershy actually beat up a bear?! When did this happen?”

“Wait, lemme git this straight. Fluttershy, OUR Fluttershy, friend-to-all-livin’-creatures Fluttershy, pummeled a bear,” Applejack stated incredulously, as Rarity and Pinkie Pie shared a look.

“Well, it was more like she was wrestling with it…” Twilight Sparkle said. “And snapped his neck.”

“You’re kidding,” Rarity lightly gasped.

“Oh, no, I never did any of that,” Fluttershy corrected, appearing shocked. “I was just giving him a massage!”

“A massage…” Twilight Sparkle deadpanned.

“Oh, yes. He had so much tension in his upper back. I see him every other week, except winter, to make sure he’s doing all right.” The pegasus smiled, before realizing something. “Actually, I think I have a session with him a couple weeks after Winter Wrap-Up.”

A massage? Well, that made much more sense. Of course this sweet little pony wouldn’t dare harm anyone. Smiling down at the mare, his clawed hand stroked over her head once, thoroughly relieved that Twilight Sparkle’s earlier accusations weren’t true.

“Then I’ll have to work extra hard to make sure you get better by then, so you may attend to him… and I could possibly make a few treats for him,” he said with a quick wink.

Fluttershy giggled lightly, blushing slightly. “Well… thank you.”

“Hey, wouldja lookit that,” Applejack snickered. “She’s blushin’!”

“My, my! Got ourselves a possible boyfriend, have we?” Rarity followed up. “I must say, I wouldn’t generally think of a dragon as my first choice.”

“Says the unicorn who calls our little friend ‘her Spikey-Wikey’.” Pinkie smirked teasingly at the alabaster unicorn.

Rarity snorted with indignation. “Call the kettle black much, Pot?”

“Silly Rarity, my name isn’t Pot!”

Smokey, himself, felt his cheeks flush a light rosy pink at Rarity’s offhand little comment, ear frills twitching once when they caught Rainbow Dash laughing. As cute and sweet as Fluttershy was, he didn’t think about her as a possible girlfriend. Not yet, anyway, since they just met. Though…even after such a short time he spent tending to her, he did come to think she was quite an admirable pony... but wasn’t one supposed to think that way about one’s friends, especially if they possessed such qualities?

Twilight Sparkle chuckled and rolled her eyes. “Alright, alright, girls. Fluttershy’s still sick. We should probably leave and let her get some rest.” She then turned to Smokey. “We’ll be back later, no later than tomorrow, to fix your doors and window. Again, I’m... we... are really sorry about all this.”

The blush on the dragon's face faded as his thoughts were brought back to present by Twilight Sparkle. He turned his gaze to her, acknowledging with a single nod and said. “It’s all right. Why don’t you all come at lunchtime? I could make something for us all.”

“Sounds good ta me!” Applejack grinned.

“Oh my! Takes care of animals and cooks,” Rarity chuckled, casting a quick glance at the cluster of doves and a rabbit. “A real man.”

“Oh! I’ll bring some cupcakes!” Pinkie Pie volunteered with a bounce. “Can’t have lunch without snacks!”

Smokey had found himself blushing again at Rarity’s compliment. This Rarity was quite a charmer, he thought. As Pinkie Pie suggested her own contribution to the newly scheduled lunch, his grin widened. “Sounds good. Do any of you have any preferences?”

“As long as there’s no meat, we should be good,” Rainbow Dash teased.

The dragon chuckled at that, shifting onto his haunches in order to get more comfortable. He noticed that Chenoa was now far more relaxed in the presence of the new arrivals. She even begun wriggling around, conveying her desire to get down. “There’s no need to worry about that. I’m not really into meat myself.”

“We’re pretty easy,” Twilight Sparkle said. “I mean--regarding lunch. We’re not picky--I know Pinkie isn’t.”

“I don’t have any preferences!” Pinkie gleefully informed. “I’ll eat anything!”

“You would.” Rarity rolled her eyes.

“I’ll be sure to make something absolutely delicious for you lovely ladies,” Smokey offered, before his attention was diverted to Chenoa, as she began babbling random syllables.

The little chick stretched her eagle paws up to touch Fluttershy’s cheeks, indulging in the softness of her fur. After a string of continuous “Ba ba ba ba ba’s” she tried concentrating more on her next utterance, just to be drown out by Twilight Sparkle.

“Mmm… Mmm… Mmmaaa. Mmaa.”

“That’ll be great. Thank you, Mr.--”

“Hush!” Pinkie Pie raised a hoof and shoved it in the lavender alicorn’s mouth, focusing solely on Chenoa. “The baby’s trying to say something!”

“Hmm?” Fluttershy blinked, turning her gaze down at the griffon chick. Listening closely, she smiled to her. “Are you trying to say something, Chenoa? C’mon, you can do it. Say ‘Mama’!”

“Mama?” Rainbow Dash questioned doubtfully, only to be shushed by Pinkie Pie as well.

“That’s right, sweetheart. Say ‘Mama’ ” It was Smokey's turn to encourage the tiny white bundle nestled in Fluttershy’s forelegs.

“Mmmm! Ummm! Mmmmaaa--pbbbbt!” Turning her head off to the side, Chenoa blew a raspberry after she muttered another string of syllables and hums. Bubbles of saliva were born from the tip of her tongue in the process.

Fluttershy started laughing warmly as she shook her head. Hugging the baby, she nuzzled top of her head tenderly.

“It’s okay, Chenoa. You’ll get it,” she reassured.

“That’s right.” Applejack nodded once. “Hoowee. Like mah Papa used ta say, ya spend th’ first year or two teachin’ ‘em how ta talk, then th’ next eighteen how ta be quiet.”

Chuckling, Smokey lowered his head to lightly nuzzle Chenoa’s head, sneaking a quick one to Fluttershy’s cheek too as he drew back. “Please do not remind me that she’ll become a teenager someday. I’m already dreading chasing off hormonal colts away from her.”

“So… If you two are adopting her, and Fluttershy’s the mom… then you’re the dad, right?” Rainbow Dash clarified, a suggestive grin inscribing itself upon her face.

Fluttershy blinked, looking surprised. “Oh, um, er…” She flushed once again, giving a nervous, self-aware smile.

“Indeed! How marvelous, darling!” Rarity beamed. “… I suppose I shall start looking into designing some bridal dresses.” She laughed, throwing a smirk over at Smokey. “Hmmm. I’ve never designed a tuxedo for a biped your size. This will certainly be interesting--but fear not! I’ve never backed down from a challenge yet!”

Twilight Sparkle laughed, before shifting her eyes to each of her friends and jerking her head into the direction of the front door--held shut by a few boxes from the bedroom. “Come on, girls. Let’s leave them be. Fluttershy needs her rest.”

“Oh, very well.” Rarity smiled, her attention directed to the yellow pegasus. “One more thing darling. I've noticed you’re missing a couple of your boots,” the unicorn added, eyeing the pair of Fluttershy's boots sitting off to the side of the fireplace.

“Oh… I’m sorry, Rarity. They were lost in the well...” Fluttershy mumbled, a bit ashamed.

“That’s perfectly all right. The boots were old and they were… out, anyway. I shall begin making you a new winter outfit immediately and should have it ready in a few days!”

“You don’t have to do that--”

“Pish-posh. I insist! Don't bother your pretty head with it and just rest well. I’ll let Aloe and Lotus know you can’t come by this afternoon, too.” She then blinked, with a distressed look on her face. “Oh! I hope they’ll be able to fit me in! I completely forgot the appointment!”

“I’m sure they’ll be able to squeeze you in,” Fluttershy assured. “You’re their best customer. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it, Rarity…”

“Nonsense, deary. You just recover your strength.” She turned, about to walk out the door after levitating the boxes out of the way. “We’ll see you later!”

“Yup! Just relax and sleep and drink lots and lots of fluids and you’ll be back on your hooves in no time!” Pinkie Pie grinned with a glint in her eyes. “Maybe I should bring some songs, too! That’ll cheer you right up!”

“Oh it's fine, but thanks.” The yellow equine smiled. “Having you all here cheers me up more than you can imagine.”

“Yeah, see ya later, Fluttershy.” Rainbow Dash was about to flutter out the door when she noticed the red dragon blushing all over again--this time, an even deeper shade of pink--his ear frills drooping and his head ducking slightly in embarrassment. “Ha-ha! Look who’s the one blushing now!”

Smokey knew they were only fooling around, but this was plain awkward, making him a bit uncomfortable. Nonetheless, he offered a generous and warm smile, without saying anything.

The others–sans beet-red Fluttershy--laughed a little more and began to depart.

“See you later, lovebirds!” Pinkie Pie called over her shoulder before erupting into snorting giggles as she bounced off.

Fluttershy sighed, resigned, and laid back down. She rested silently for a good few minutes, but eventually she looked up at the dragon.

“I really wanted to go back to sleep, but after that scare, I don’t think I’ll be able to…”

The large male was still blushing quite hard from Pinkie Pie’s not-so-subtle teasing. Turning to Fluttershy, he run a hand over flexible spines jutting from the back of his neck, in an attempt to mask just how embarrassed he really was. With an uneasy, but honest smile he tried to reassure his guest.

“Well, you should at least try… You… you do need a lot of rest…”

The pegasus returned the smile, giving a nod and a light yawn. She closed her eyes, but continued to hold Chenoa tightly in her embrace. Sighing contentedly, she felt drowsy again, slowly coming down from her adrenaline high.

“Again, thank you for everything.” She rolled over on the mattress. “I’m sorry for… my friends… I know they meant well… but they can be a bit too zealous sometimes.”

Smokey gave a hearty chuckle, his nervousness quickly ebbing away as his cheeks returning to their normal scarlet.

“It’s all right, my dear. What fun would it be if you couldn’t tease your friends once in a while?” Emerald pools swiveling over to a mug of tea on his lamp table, he scooted away and reached over to pick it up and offer it to the equine. “Perhaps Miss Pinkie was right. You should drink more fluids before drifting off.”

She gave a warm smile and a quick nod, before rolling back and sitting up. Setting Chenoa aside for a second, she reached up to take the mug. Mumbling a quiet “Thank you”, she brought it to her lips and took a nice, long swig. Since the tea had cooled over the past hour, she was able to down the rest of it quite quickly. Handing the cup back, she closed her eyes, and the feeling of sleepiness washed over her once again.

Smokey smiled softly, his eyes ajar as he gazed down upon the peaceful face of the pegasus. “I bought you some shampoos and a brush in case you want to take a bath,” he told her, stretching his arms out to grasp the blankets and pull them snugly over her and the baby chick, who was beginning to look quite drowsy herself.

Curling up against the winged equine underneath the layer of fabric, Chenoa opened her beak wide and released a squeaky yawn. Closing her mouth, the small child laid her head on Fluttershy’s foreleg, nuzzling it a few times.

The pegasus’ smile grew even broader as she draped her other foreleg around Chenoa, snuggling closer to her. Gazing up at Smokey, her eyes teared up a little.

“You’re wonderful,” she stated. “Rarity’s right--you’re such a gentleman. So sweet and generous… and so kind…” she whispered, closing her eyes. “I can’t… possibly thank you enough…”

The dragon couldn’t help but tear up himself, a pleasant warmth spreading inside his chest. No pony has ever said such kind words about him so sincerely…

“You already have by accepting my friendship…” he breathed to her. He sat there, watching the pair even after they fell asleep, thinking how lucky he was to have found someone as sweet as her. She really was a perfect angel…

Ear frills twitching at a soft thump that resounded from his rabbit as he jumped up on the couch and flopped over onto his side--the sign of a happy and comfortable rabbit. His doves were clustered on the wooden table, their eyelids sliding closer together with each blink as they prepared to nod off themselves.

With a sigh, Smokey’s attention returned to Fluttershy and Chenoa. He had to admit that everyone else’s drowsiness was rubbing off onto him. Why not take a nap himself? Deciding to do just that, the dragon crawled underneath the blanket at a steady pace, taking care not to stir the mare nor the griffon awake. Sinking into the mattress, he scooted closer on his side and curled inward to cuddle up to his guests.

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