The Way You Lie

by ThaStrangr

First published

When Blueblood arrives at her cottage, Fluttershy offers to help the prince with his romantic issues. But what are the stallion's true intentions?

On an average day in Ponyville, Fluttershy receives a visit from Prince Blueblood, who seeks a relationship with the kind mare. Fluttershy agrees, and likewise attempts to aid the young stallion with his problems involving romance. But, as time moves on, she realizes that change may not have been his intention after all. And his true nature is revealed. Will Flutterhy's friends be able to change things in time, or will Fluttershy forever be entrapped by the way he lies?

Edit: I finally finished putting together the cover art, so I'm gonna go ahead and credit all of the sources.
Fluttershy's Cottage Exterior (night): DaringDashie
Sad Fluttershy: PressToShoot
Prince Blueblood: Skylark-Torch

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Fluttershy was humming a cheerful tune as she fed all of her animal friends. Angel hopped up to receive his breakfast directly.

"Oh, good morning, Angel. You hungry?" She asked rhetorically, before reaching onto her table and grabbing a plump, fresh carrot. Angel's mouth watered at the sight, and he extended his paws, desperately grasping at it. Fluttershy giggled at this endearing display, and sat the carrot down in front of him. He worked at the treat immediately as Fluttershy scratched him behind the ears, earning a content smile from the little rabbit. Fluttershy opened her front door and glanced out. The sun had just begun to ascend over the horizon. The fading shadows of night cascaded beautiful pink hues across the sky. It truly was a gorgeous morning.

With a quick glance to the sky, she saw a cyan blur dashing through the air. Rainbow Dash was busy pushing clouds this way and that. Fluttershy called to her but, knowing just how quiet she was, was not sure if her friend could hear her. Clearly she was loud enough, as Rainbow bolted around and caught sight of her friend.

"Hey, 'Shy. Been workin' on your volume control, I see."

"Yes, Rainbow. Thanks for teaching me. So, what are you doing?" Rainbow scoffed and waved a hoof.

"Some newbie forgot to move some clouds yesterday, so now I have to clean the mess up. I tell ya, some ponies."

"Well, I'm sure you could have let a few clouds go." Rainbow chuckled at this.

"What, and ruin a perfect day like this? No chance! Besides, I'm Rainbow Dash, the fastest pony in Equestria! I can get this cleared up in ten seconds flat!" And she proceeded to do just that. She darted back to the clouds and, methodically, bucked each one into nothingness. *Oh that's why she was moving them* Fluttershy thought *so that she would have them assembled for this. I guess she wouldn't be Dash if she weren't showing off a bit.* Fluttershy chuckled to herself at that last comment. As Rainbow came back down, Fluttershy noticed that there was still one cloud in the sky. She already knew what it was for.

"Another day of napping planned, Rainbow?"

"Hey, moving clouds is tiring work." Fluttershy simply laughed. For some reason, she continued to laugh. Eventually, Rainbow Dash joined in as well. Soon enough the laughter became near guttural roars. They didn't know what was so funny, but they didn't care. They were enjoying themselves too much. After a few minutes, the laughter silenced, and they broke down to simple smiles.

"All right, 'Shy," Rainbow began, "As good as it was to see you, that cumulus is calling my name!" Fluttershy stifled a giggle.

"It was good to see you too, Dash. Enjoy your nap." With that, Rainbow Dash said her goodbye and practically tackled the cloud before dozing off to a peaceful, albeit noisy, slumber.

Fluttershy playfully rolled her eyes at her lifelong friend. *Who else but Rainbow?* She then turned to Angel.

"Angel, I need to go into town for a little while. Keep an eye on things for me?" The little rabbit snapped to attention and saluted his care-taking officer. She chuckled and gave him another scratch behind the ears, which he accepted gratefully, before closing the door and walking towards town.


Many words could be used to describe the town of Ponyville: small, old-fashioned, friendly. Quiet was not among these. As Fluttershy walked through the market, she brushed past lines upon lines of ponies, saying a pleasant "I'm sorry" here and there as she collided with them. Halfway through the market, Fluttershy noticed a familiar apple cart being run by an even more familiar orange earth pony. When Applejack noticed Fluttershy, she smiled and waved her friend over.

"Howdy there, sugarcube," AJ greeted, "What brings you into town today?"

"Rarity asked me to help her with a few designs. She wants me to model to see if they're proportional."

"Well, that sounds like a nice time. Have fun!" She managed to utter the final word just as a large crowd of ponies gathered at her cart. Applejack face-hoofed. Clearly this was not a day to work solo.

"Applejack... um, I could help, if you want."

"Ah, couldn't ask ya to do that, sugarcube."

"You didn't. I offered." Fluttershy smiled, and AJ couldn't help but smile back.

"Well, I could sure use the help. Thank ya." Applejack hugged her friend and they set to work. After twenty minutes, the line had been cleared.

"Well, you certainly seem to be doing well today," Fluttershy began after a large breath, "What's going on?"

"It's just that this is prolly the nicest day we've had this year. Everpony seems to think that means they need to stock up fer the winter." Applejack sighed heavily. The day had clearly taken its toll.

"I can stay and help if you want. It's probably pretty tiring, doing this on your own."

"Nah, Ah couldn't take any more of yer time, you got plans. 'Sides, I'm prolly just gonna pack up. We've made plenty of bits today. And don't think Ah forgot 'bout yer contribution." AJ hoofed over a small bag of bits.

"Oh, thank you, Applejack. But, I couldn't..." AJ gave her a dead-panned look, eliciting a small gulp from the pegasus.

"Yes, you can. If not fer you, that last crowd would've eaten me alive. You helped me, this is your money."


"The only 'but' I care about is yours takin' this bag and goin'." Fluttershy sighed in defeat and took the money, but AJ wasn't finished.

"Look, sugarcube, y'know Ah love ya. And Ah know you love me and the other girls, and that yer willing to do anything for them. But sometimes you should expect ta get a lil' something in return for it. And y'know, sometimes it's more rude to turn down somethin' a friend offers than it is to take it. What Ah'm sayin' is, ya gotta stop bein' all give, no take. Ponies WILL take advantage of that." Fluttershy nodded and gave her friend a smile, who exchanged it for a hug.

"Now you best git goin', 'fore Rares finds a new model." Shy gave a look of realization as she remembered her plans with Rarity. She darted off to Carousel Boutique at a speed that would make Rainbow Dash's jaw drop.

"ThanksAJgottagobye!" She yelled to the earth mare, who just gave a light-hearted chuckle.


"Hmm. Could you turn to the left a bit, darling?" Rang the voice of Fluttershy's closest friend and Ponyville's designer extraordinaire, Rarity.

"Oh, um, sure. How's this?" Fluttershy was always nervous being observed, even by her best friends.

"Perfect! Oh, Fluttershy, I simply must thank you again for agreeing to assist me. I don't know what I'd do without you!"

"It's nothing, really. Anything for a friend."

"It most certainly isn't nothing. I know you keep yourself preoccupied with your animals. You hardly ever have time for yourself. I just wish you would let me give you something. Business has been slow as of late, but I'll gladly spare what I can."

"That's really not necessary. I don't mind helping you. No charge. But now that you mention it, I have been wondering lately, what do you do with all of the money you save?" Rarity's face gained the slightest shade of pink to it.

"Well, I was hoping to keep that quiet. But you are my closest friend, Fluttershy. So, I'll show you what I've been doing with my money. The next is in three days."

"Next?" Fluttershy questioned. Rarity winked.

"You'll see."


Fluttershy stepped into her house and breathed deeply, the strain of the day's events finally taking it's toll. She decided to feed the animals their dinner and get some early sleep. Just as she set out her final dish, however, an unexpected knock sounded on her door. She was a little nervous at this, as she didn't get many visitors, especially this late. She had considered just pretending she wasn't home, but curiosity got the best of her. She quickly trotted to the door and opened it. However, the answer to her original question simply raised others. The most confusing of which: why was the Canterlot prince on her doorstep?

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"Miss Fluttershy. I must say you are even more elegant than I was made to believe." Spoke the enticing voice of Prince Blueblood. Fluttershy's face grew to a noticeable shade of crimson.

"Oh, why, th-th-thank you, y-your m-m-majesty." Fluttershy was more nervous than when she faced the dragon. She attempted to bow, as customary when faced with royalty, but the prince stopped her.

"Please, now, that isn't necessary."

"O-okay. What can I do for you, your majesty?"

"Blueblood, please. And I actually came for several reasons. Where do I begin? Well, first off, you are an element of harmony, and therefore practically royalty yourself. I believed it was time for us to meet properly. Also, when I saw your work with Photo Finish, I thought you were the most beautiful mare I had ever seen." At this, Fluttershy's entire coat had at last managed to convert to the shade of Big Mac.

"I..uhm...well...hmmmm..." Fluttershy was at a complete loss for words. As though reading her mind, Blueblood spoke out.

"Perhaps we could discuss this inside?"

"Oh, umm, of course. Please, come in."

He slowly walked by her, sending her a curt nod as a thank you. When he was at the center of the living area, he looked around, noting all of the creatures she cared for, both big and small. Fluttershy closed the door behind him and followed him toward the couch.

"You can sit down... if you would like." She was still considerably nervous having to entertain a guest; not to mention nobility. Blueblood smiled and sat on her small sofa.

"Thank you. Now, where were we?" The prince asked. Noticing how Fluttershy avoided looking him in the eye, and shuffled her hooves nervously, he remembered. "Ah, yes. It's late. I'm certain you're soon to retire, so I'll just cut to the chase. Miss Fluttershy, would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow evening?" He placed one hoof on his chest and bowed respectfully as he spoke. Fluttershy expected to have a new hole in her floor, considering how fast and hard her jaw had struck it. She shook her head in an attempt to clear her thoughts. This action was completely in vain.

"I'm not certain," was what she intended to say, but it came out as, "Ah-mneh-sa-tiyon." Blueblood raised a brow, himself befuddled. Fluttershy finally managed to straighten herself out. She cleared her throat.

"I'm sorry. I said I'm not certain that I should." She gave a genuinely sorry smile, which was immediately shot down by his disappointed look. "Well, it's just, I know what happened between you and Rarity at the Gala. I don't think she'd want me to. She's my best friend."

"Are you referring to that purple-maned unicorn?" He asked.

"Yes," Fluttershy responded.

"The one that began clinging to me with absolutely no warning and followed me around?"


"One of the thirty-plus mares that have chased after me knowing nothing about me simply because I was royalty?"

"Yes..." Fluttershy sighed.

"I'm not saying my behavior that night was justified. I was just tired of being manipulated. I know I reacted harshly. I intend to apologize during my stay in Ponyville."

"Oh, you'll be staying in Ponyville?" Fluttershy asked, intrigued. The prince nodded solemnly.

"Indeed. I've been meaning to take a vacation, and Twilight Sparkle has spoken very highly of this little town in her letters."

"I didn't realize you and Twilight were close."

"Yes. After Auntie Celestia noticed her magical ability, she took Twilight in as her pupil. Twilight was raised in the Canterlot castle from that point on. We grew up together. We were practically family." Blueblood smiled as countless memories flooded his mind.

"Why hasn't Twilight ever mentioned any of this?" Fluttershy questioned. A look of shame crossed Blueblood's face.

"Every family has that one member everypony else in the family is too ashamed to claim. I wasn't the best pony in my younger years. I made a lot of mistakes, did some bad things. She probably doesn't like thinking of that." Fluttershy suddenly felt very sorry for the poor stallion in front of her. She began to reconsider his question. Fluttershy had to admit, he was very attractive. Ever since he had arrived at her home, he'd been a true gentle-colt. And she could understand why he would have reacted the way he did to Rarity's advances. She smiled.

"Yes," she said, almost enthusiastically. He looked up at her.

"Beg pardon?" He had a quizzical expression glued to his face. She giggled slightly.

"Yes. To dinner. After some thought, I realized it was foalish to allow your history with Rarity to determine my opinion of you. I can find out what type of pony you are for myself," she stated, plainly and to the point. His mouth grew into the largest grin she'd seen on anypony (aside from Pinkie) as he bowed lower, nearly melting into the floor. He took her hoof in his and kissed it.

"Thank you, miss Fluttershy. Thank you. I promise, I will make sure you do not regret giving me this opportunity. Say, tomorrow, approximately seven?" Fluttershy was flattered by his enthusiasm.

"Sounds wonderful. Where will we go?" He chuckled and winked at her as he began walking toward the door.

"Ah, ah. That is a surprise."

"How will I know what to wear?" She regarded him with curiosity. If they were going somewhere classy, she would want appropriate attire.

"You needn't wear anything," he responded. After re-assessing his statement, he face-hoofed. "Let me rephrase that." Fluttershy giggled.

"Don't worry, I understand," she spoke, slightly awkward now.

"Okay. I'll pick you up at approximately four."

"Four? Why so early?"

"There's a fantastic restaurant in Canterlot I think you would enjoy. And I eat there often, so we won't need to worry about being hassled."

"That sounds perfect." Fluttershy hated being in the public eye. Having so many ponies looking at you was not a pleasurable experience for such a timid pony, which was one of the reasons she gave up on her modeling career.

Blueblood turned and noticed the sun had almost completely sunken below the horizon. He decided he had taken enough of his host's time.

"Well, the sun has almost set," he said, "I should be going now." He bowed once more, and turned back toward town. Fluttershy closed the door softly and began trotting upstairs. Halfway across her living room floor, she could no longer contain herself. She let out a filly-ish squeal she didn't know she was holding in. Not only was she going on her first date, she was going on her first date with a prince. She couldn't wait to tell Rainbow and Twilight and Rari-.

Rarity. She definitely wouldn't take this news too kindly. Fluttershy would need to think about how to tell her. Fluttershy yawned. She decided she could figure that out in the morning, as she wasn't good to do anything without sleep. She trotted up the stairs, pounced on her bed, and wrapped herself in the covers, her thoughts aiming towards tomorrow as she drifted away to dreamland.


Fluttershy stretched as her eyes adjusted to the light encompassing her room. She began going through the events of the previous night in her head, and a content smile crossed her face. It dissipated an instant later, when another little detail entered her mind.

"Rarity," she sighed. This was going to be tough, Fluttershy knew. Rarity was, admittedly, Fluttershy's best friend. That were together all the time, even having a day set aside every week to spend together at the spa. They liked many of the same things, both taking an interest in fashion.

Fluttershy wasn't sure how exactly to tell Rarity about Blueblood. But she knew she needed to. Ponyville was a very small town, after all. Word traveled quickly. She was certain that either somepony saw Blueblood enter her house, or would at least see them together that night. She didn't want Rarity to hear from anypony else, it would only make things worse. She decided to just walk over to Rarity's that minute and just have it out. She got up, fed her many animals, and walked through the door.


Fluttershy knocked quietly on the door. She shuffled her hooves nervously on the doorstep. After a moment, she realized her friend probably hadn't heard her, so she knocked again, slightly louder this time.

"Coming," sang a voice from inside the building. A few seconds later, the door was pulled open. Rarity looked over her guest with concern.

"Fluttershy," she said, "whatever is the matter, dear?" The yellow pegasus rubbed the back of her neck.

"Good morning, Rarity," she began with a slightly forced smile, "Could I come in for a bit? There's something I need to talk to you about."

"Well, of course, darling. Please, do come in." Rarity stepped to the side to give her friend room to enter. Fluttershy smiled to her as she entered. She walked over to Rarity's couch and sat down. Rarity herself closed the door and sat down next to Fluttershy.

"Would you care for some tea? I have a new flavor in. Just imported from Prance." Fluttershy shook her head in response.

"No, thank you." Rarity was blind-sided by this. Fluttershy never refused tea from her. Something must have been troubling her terribly.

"Oh, alright," Rarity spoke, "Well, then, what is it you need to discuss with me?" Fluttershy took a deep breath.

"Rarity, do you remember Prince Blueblood?" She looked at Rarity from the corner of her eye. She was feigning being nauseated.

"Ugh! That so-called "Prince Charming"? I don't think I'll ever forget that name. Why do you ask?" That was a bit less pleasant than Fluttershy had anticipated.

"Well, he kind-of stopped by my home last night." Rarity's mouth fell to the floor.

"He WHAT?!" She screamed so loud, Fluttershy could have sworn she'd heard a window shatter. "Now he's attempting to hurt my best friend?! I will not stand for this! I'm going to ride into Canterlot and kick that bruiser in his smug, pretentious muzzle!" She began to stand up, but Fluttershy grabbed her, gently pulling her back down.

"Rarity please," she said in a soothing tone, "You'll just get yourself thrown in a dungeon. Besides, it wasn't like that. He came to... Well..." Fluttershy took a deep breath and faced the floor. "He invited me to dinner, Rarity." She looked up to the mare next to her. Rarity was staring back with her jaw ajar.

"He... asked you out?" Rarity said in disbelief. Fluttershy nodded. Rarity's expression did not change as she asked another question.

"And you said?" Fluttershy looked deep in her friend's eyes.

"Please don't hate me." She felt her eyes beginning to moisten. She knew how melodramatic Rarity could be, and she didn't want to lose her closest friend.

"I... I'm not sure what to say to this," Rarity responded, "Why did you say yes?"

"Well, he was being so sweet and he said I was beautiful and..." Fluttershy began sobbing slightly, "Please don't hate me." Rarity finally noticed just how distraught her dear friend actually was. She pulled the shy pegasus into a tight embrace.

"Fluttershy," she began in a slightly more relaxed tone, "there is nothing you or anypony else could say or do to ever make me hate you. You're my family. I love you." She began slowly rubbing Fluttershy's back in an attempt to calm her. "I don't want you to ever prevent yourself from speaking your mind to me out of such fear. I'll always be here for you, no matter what." Rarity pulled away and wiped tears from the weeping pegasus' eyes.

"I'm sorry, Rarity," Fluttershy said with a sniff, "I was just so worried you wouldn't want to speak to me after I told you about Blueblood."

"I'm sorry for how I reacted. I should support any decision you make. But, you do remember how he treated me at the Gala, don't you?" Rarity asked with concern. Fluttershy fiddled with her hooves.

"Um, Rarity. What did you know about Blueblood before the Gala?" Rarity was slightly blind-sided by this question.

"What exactly do you mean, dear?"

"Well, did you know what activities he enjoyed?"

"Well, no, I don't think I did."

"What kind of music he preferred?"


"What types of books he read?"

"... No."

"I can't imagine how he must have felt, being pursued by so many mares as a simple trophy. I'm not excusing his behavior, I know he over-reacted. It's just, I understand why he did it." Rarity appeared to be contemplating what the pony next to her had said. Eventually, she sighed.

"You're right, Fluttershy," she said, "I didn't know Blueblood that night. I was after his title, not his love. Perhaps he is a gentlecolt and I just wasn't able to see it. I suppose I owe him an apology. Next time we're in Canterlot."

"Well," Fluttershy stated, "He actually intended to apologize to you while he was in town. You could go to his hotel." Rarity raised a brow

"He's staying in Ponyville?" Rarity questioned the yellow pony seated beside her, who replied with a simple nod.

"He's been wanting to take a vacation for some time apparently. I'm sure royal business can get quite stressful."

Rarity smiled lightly. "Then I shall pay him a visit once we have concluded our business." Fluttershy glanced over to the wall clock, noting it's time at approximately 11:00.

"Okay, "she said, "We still have five hours before the date. Plenty of time between." Rarity gasped.

"Only five hours?!" she exclaimed as her horn ignited and her magical grip began engulfing her beauty supplies. "Oh, nonononono. Apologies will have to wait for later. We need to start getting you ready this instant." She began running one of her twenty mane brushes through Fluttershy's mane magically as she walked toward her closet, searching for the perfect gown for the evening.

"Ummm, Rarity?" Fluttershy attempted to acquire her friend's lost attention, but her quiet demeanor stepped in the way. She spoke again, slightly louder this time. The unicorn across the room had this time noticed that her guest had been speaking.

"Sorry, darling. I was a tad pre-occupied. I still need to find the right dress for you."

"Rarity, I appreciate that you want to help, but this isn't necessary. It's going to be a casual evening. He said I didn't need to wear anything fancy." Rarity let out a stunned gasp as though Fluttershy had just slapped her. She walked back to her model and threw a foreleg over her shoulders.

"Why is it the date was arranged to be so early?" Rarity questioned as she stared at the other with a serious expression. Fluttershy sighed, as she was sure the fashionista knew the answer.

"He's taking me to Canterlot," she spoke with a groan. "But he told me it wasn't necessary to formalize."

Rarity let out a light-hearted chuckle at such a ridiculous notion. She released her hostage and trotted back toward the over-sized closet abound with many a different variety of dress.

"Darling, please. This is Canterlot we're talking about." Rarity pulled out one of her finer Honeydew pieces. She used her magic to hold the gown aloft, and mimicked dancing with it. "You must be graceful. Elegant." She trotted over to her friend and held the dress next to her. When the designer felt confident that the dress was complimenting to coat and mane color, she began to gently curl Fluttershy's lashes.

"All eyes will be on you, dear." She had a content smile on her face as she considered the night in her mind. One pony, however, was not so excited.

"No," Fluttershy managed to squeak out, "Nonono. No eyes. I'd like to keep myself eye-free, please." She began feeling squeamish at the thought of dozens of ponies surrounding her, watching her, judging her.

"I know it sounds rather unnerving at the moment, Fluttershy," as she attempted to comfort the shy pony, she brushed a hoof tenderly through her mane, "but trust me. Once those Canterlot ponies gaze upon you with sheer admiration and awe in their eyes, you will warm up to the idea." Fluttershy groaned, realizing she was essentially speaking to a walking boulder. As Fluttershy began imagining the scene in her head, she this time didn't focus on the many ponies surrounding her, nor the music playing, nor the food on her plate. Her attention was wholly dedicated to the charming stallion seated across the table, smiling a dashing smile as he placed his hoof on hers.

And she smiled.


"Perfect!" Rarity screamed triumphantly as she applied the finishing touches to her masterpiece. She looked up and down, admiring her work, noting every exquisite detail. She dragged a mirror over to the center of the room, and Fluttershy gazed into it. She was pleasantly surprised. Though Fluttershy had specifically requested Rarity not give her a makeover, she was glad that she did. Fluttershy wasn't one to recognize her own beauty, but in that moment even she found herself simply stunning. She turned and threw her hooves around the gifted designer.

"Rarity," she exclaimed with utter glee, "Thank you. It's amazing."

"It was nothing, dear," replied the unicorn, waving her compliment off, "This beauty has always been in you. I simply helped bring it out." A small hint of red found it's way to Fluttershy's cheeks as Rarity turned to check her clock.

"Ah, finished with thirty minutes to spare. We need to get you home straight away." Fluttershy looked at the clock, noting that there was actually about forty-five minutes left before the date.

"But Rarity," the yellow mare said with a raised brow, "we still have a good forty-five minutes before Blueblood picks me up."

"We need to cross the whole of Ponyville to reach your cottage, and if we move too quickly your mane may ruffle. Plus, a true gentle-colt arrives early, and we don't want to keep the prince waiting, now do we?"

Fluttershy didn't want to be late for the date that had already been scheduled. She began to stand, but Rarity urged her back down. When her flank was back on the floor, Rarity lifted her hooves and placed a type of pad on each. Fluttershy raised one to her face and eyed it for a moment.

"What is this for?" she asked, still regarding the pad.

"Dear, these are designed to protect your hooves from the dirt," the fashionista stated matter-of-factually, "You don't want those freshly shined hooves sullied by soil. And done. Let's go."

The two stood and practically glided through the door of the boutique. At least, Rarity did. Fluttershy was a tad more hesitant, as she knew this new look would attract some attention. Rarity turned to see her friend still frozen in the doorway, eyes dashing back and forth nervously. Rarity always found these habits cute. She wore a heartfelt smile as she trotted back to the petrified pegasus, and began pushing her into the street. Fluttershy had her eyes tightly locked at the moment, so she could just pretend the other ponies weren't there. She began feeling a minor pressure on one of her forelegs, and heard Rarity whispering her name. She opened her eyes to see her friend's smiling face staring back at her.

Rarity's tone was soft and reassuring, as though she were speaking to a frightened young filly.

"Dear, open your eyes. There's something you may want to see." Fluttershy was hesitant, but she trusted Rarity, and knew she was only acting in her best interests. Slowly, cautiously, Fluttershy looked away from her friend, toward the surrounding area. Ponies were staring at her. But not the uncomfortable, judgmental kind of stare. These stares were filled with awe and wonder. Fluttershy actually began to feel a bit better. A familiar cyan pegasus trotted up next to Rarity, unable to see the third pony in the group.

"Wow, Rarity. You sure are getting some looks today," Rainbow Dash illustrated her compliment by pointing at all of the surrounding stallions. Rarity chuckled.

"They're not looking at me, darling," As she spoke, Rarity gestured to her other side. When Rainbow glanced around her, her jaw fell and her mind went utterly blank, causing her to trip over a rock. Though it wasn't until her face had connected with the ground that she realized what had happened.

"Ponyfeathers!" she swore. The other two mares walking turned back to her. Rarity let out a light chuckle as Fluttershy slowly began retreating behind her mane. Rainbow dashed to her hooves and looked around nonchalantly. She wouldn't allow her pride to be bruised by a simple rock.

"I didn't fall. I was... admiring this grass. Yeah, that's it! It's just so nice and...grassy. On an unrelated note, 'Shy! You look pretty..." Rainbow saw Rarity's smug expression and realized she was gushing. She cleared her throat and regained her composure.

"Uhhh... awesome. You look pretty awesome." Despite her 'correction', Rarity's smirk had not dissipated. In fact, it seemed to grow. Rainbow glared at her, which caused her to giggle satisfactorily. Fluttershy didn't notice any of this, still stricken by the fact that she just caused her oldest friend to face-plant into the ground. She wondered if she really did look that good, and how the prince would react to it.

"Thank you, Rainbow. Rarity gave me a makeover for tonight." Rainbow shot a quizzical expression at her.

"Really? What's the occasion?" She looked between the two of them. Fluttershy seemed lost in thought. Rarity looked a bit too enthusiastic to share the news. Rainbow Dash completely ignored the white unicorn's excitement and attempted to fish the information from the yellow pegasus next to her.

"'Shy?" Her words fell on deaf ears. Fluttershy was in deep contemplation with a content smile gracing her lips. Rainbow groaned.

"Rarity." She huffed. The unicorn leaped with joy, finally breaking the yellow pony from her stupor.

"Fluttershy has a date tonight!' Rarity practically squealed it out. Her smile hadn't fallen as she gracefully landed back on the soft ground. It took a moment for Rainbow's mind to discern the information it had just been given.

"Wait, what?" She rubbed her ear to ensure it wasn't blocked by something, and that she had truly heard what she had just heard. "Did you just say Fluttershy has a date? FLUTTERSHY, Fluttershy?" She looked over to the aforementioned pegasus, who appeared rather hurt by her friend's words. Rainbow didn't mean to sound so blunt. It's just that, as long as she had known Fluttershy, she had never once seen her in a relationship.

"Sorry, Fluttershy. I didn't mean anything by it." Fluttershy plastered a shining grin over her features.

"Oh, it's okay Rainbow. I know what you meant." Rainbow wiped a hoof across her forehead.

"So, who's the lucky stallion?"

"Ummm... Prince Blueblood." A loud thud could be heard as, for a second time, technicolor mane met brown dirt. Fluttershy let out a small squeak at the sudden noise.

"You bagged a prince?!" Rainbow Dash shouted as she 'dashed' to the side of the timid mare.

"I wanna know EVERYTHING! Don't skimp on the deets!" The white mare giggled like a little school filly at this particularly uncharacteristic display, though she attempted to contain herself as she knew she would never again actually observe an instance of Rainbow Dash gossiping. Fluttershy began recalling the details of the prince's short but productive visit. The two mares walking along side her listened closely and patiently as their destination, a small cottage at the edge of the city, came into view.


They watched the clock in almost total silence. The confidence Fluttershy had ushered earlier that day had been utterly depleted, and her small form shook with every breath she took. Just a few more minutes and- She heard something. The sound of flapping wings. All of her thoughts melted into oblivion and she suddenly felt short on breath. She fanned herself with a hoof.

"Do you girls find it hot in here? It feels hot in here." Rarity trotted over toward her and gently rested one of her hooves on her shoulder.

"Darling. I understand you're nervous, but you need to calm yourself. If you're so stressed through the evening, you'll receive no joy from it." Fluttershy responded with a subtle nod and inhaled as much air as she could before releasing. A knock sounded on the door. It was a confident, reassuring knock. Fluttershy calmly, against her anxiety, began a weak pace toward the sound, taking one final moment to fortify her will before placing her hoof on the knob and gently pulled the wooden barrier to.

Fluttershy was slightly confused. On the steps of her cottage stood, not the prince, but an entirely different stallion she had never met. The pony at the door smiled at her confused expression.

"Ah, I see this disguise has had the desired effect." With a quick flash of his horn, he was replaced by the elegant form of Prince Blueblood. Fluttershy blinked away the light emanated by the spell.

"Disguise?" She feared for a moment that the prince didn't want to be seen with her. His calm and caring smile quickly relieved her of such thoughts.

"Well, you see, I noticed how very nervous you were last night. I assumed it was a symptom of being in the presence of royalty, until I remembered how much time you've spent with auntie Celestia. So I began to check around your small town. I discovered that you are the shy pony. So, I fashioned this disguise to avoid any public attention over the course of our evening." After speaking, he looked over her. "Though, you may find more difficulty in that regard than I would." Fluttershy's face felt warm and changed to a familiar pinkish hue.

The prince chuckled and looked beyond the object of his attention to her guests. His eyes locked on a hint of white and he requested permission to enter. Walking toward the back of the room, he knelt down in front of the unicorn.

"Miss Rarity. I wish to extend my sincerest apologies for my behavior on the night of the Gala. It was despicable and completely unjustifiable."

"No, your majesty," Rarity responded with a respectful bow of her own, "I completely understand your reaction to my advances. I simply pursued you for your royalty, and it was deplorable. I apologize." The two rose from their leaning positions and shook hooves with satisfied grins. The prince turned to acknowledge the third mare, a cyan blue pegasus he had not met prior to this evening. He extended a hoof casually to her.

"Prince Blueblood," he spoke, "Charmed to make your acquaintance. And you are?" Rainbow slapped on a smug expression and bumped her hoof against his. Blueblood withdrew his hoof and eyed it awkwardly.

"I'm surprised you haven't heard of me. Rainbow "Danger" Dash. Fastest flier in Equestria." Rarity connected a hoof to her face.

"As you can probably imagine, she's not known for subtlety. Sorry." Blueblood chuckled into his hoof.

"Nonsense. I admire her enthusiasm. Actually... I think I have heard of you. The Best Young Fliers Competition, correct? You created that beautiful rainbow." He turned to Rarity. "Weren't you there, too?" Rarity cast her eyes toward the ground.

"Perhaps we could change the subject?" She continued to scold herself for her selfish and despicable behavior on that day. Blueblood flinched at her reaction.

"Oh, dear. I've hit a sore spot. I am sorry." Rarity looked up with a forced smile, waving off his apology. Clearing his throat, Blueblood bowed to the two mares before him and began slow trot back to the front door.

"As much of a pleasure as it was to officially meet the pair of you, we really must be on our way if we wish to make our reservation." His horn was engulfed by a bronze aura as he quickly donned his disguise.

Fluttershy pondered something. "I thought we wouldn't need to worry about being bothered."

"Well, we shouldn't. But one can never be too careful. And I'm certain you would like to avoid such major public attention." Fluttershy thanked him internally for his consideration. "Are you set to depart, Fluttershy?"

Fluttershy nodded and waved to her friends on the opposite edge of the room, who returned the gesture. Albeit, a tad over-enthusiastically. With not a word more, Blueblood opened the door- chivalrously holding it for his company to pass first- and the pair trotted side-by-side toward the train station, boarding the familiar old freight to the neighboring city of Canterlot.


They had been walking for a good few minutes, discussing anything that would pop into their minds. His duties as prince, her work with the animals, general city life, et cetera. For a moment, Fluttershy had forgotten what she was even in Canterlot for. That is, until Blueblood pointed out their destination. A single-level building, colored teal with lime-green canopies. Fluttershy did respect the look of the place, and assumed it was considerably high-class. Her assumption was confirmed when she saw the interior. Murals covered the walls, chandeliers hung from the ceiling, a rather large fountain was positioned in the center of the room. It positively screamed high society. Fluttershy had to admit, she was slightly intimidated by this scene.

Blueblood walked toward the reservation desk. It was inhabited by a brown unicorn stallion in a black waistcoat. He looked down to the new faces quizzically.

"Good evening. Do you have a reservation?"

"Last time I was here, oh two weeks ago, you said I didn't need an invitation, Nova." Nova leaned in and squinted his eyes.

"Prince Blueblood?" Blueblood smirked at his friend's reaction.

"Apologies for the ruse. My date is shy and I'm just trying to keep the other ponies' eyes from us." Nova looked to the date and his jaw smacked the table.

"I think you may have needed a little more work on that." Fluttershy rubbed one of her forelegs awkwardly, nervously smiling away. "Cute."

"Hey, Nova. Remember, she's my date. You can look, but you'd best not touch." Nova chuckled.

"I won't make any promises." The stallions bumped hooves and Nova began leading the couple to a vacant table. Blueblood was glad he decided to disguise himself, as many of the ponies in the restaurant he had never seen before. When he had seated them, Nova had a question on his mind that was eating away at him.

"I'm sorry ma'am. But have we met? I'm certain I've seen you before."

"Ummm... well... I did some modeling work for Photo Finish some time ago."

"Oh, yes now I remember. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Please, the pleasure is mine."

"So structured. Quite the mare you've found, Blueblood."

"Isn't she, though?" The stallions smiled back to Fluttershy, who was crumbling under all of this praise. She wasn't accustomed to such treatment.

"Where did you meet her?"

"Ponyville." Nova raised his brows. He hadn't expected Blueblood to spend time in a such a small, quiet town.

"Ponyville. I've never been but I hear it's lovely. Tell me, dear, have you spoken with the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony? I would love to meet one of them." Fluttershy fiddled with her mane.

"Ummm... actually..." Blueblood smiled gently at her modest apprehension.

"As a matter of fact, she is one of the Element Bearers." Nova gasped and knelt in respect.

"It is truly an honor."

"Oh really, that isn't necessary."

"Of course it is, ma'am. You and your friends have, on several occasions, saved the entire kingdom, and have received nothing in return. I will at least show you the reverence you so deserve." Nova rose with a childish grin. "She's a former model and Element Bearer. And she looks like that. Good luck with your quiet date." He sat down menus for the two and walked to his desk.


That was perhaps the best meal Fluttershy had ever eaten. And it was only the appetizer. Though, she felt she should have conserved it a time longer. It seemed to be the only thing that was distracting her from the horde of eyes staring her down.

Suddenly, several of the ponies began moving closer to their table, clutching magazines, pictures and so on. Fluttershy's anxiety was reaching a peak and her breaths came with difficulty. Blueblood looked around to see the swarm bearing down on them. Or, more accurately, on her.

The ponies all began chatting her up, requesting autographs or aiming to take pictures with her. She couldn't think straight. Her mind fogged and her legs were weak. Blueblood would not allow them to traumatize the poor young mare.

His horn ignited, temporarily blinding all nearby life. When they could see again, sitting in the original stallion's place was Prince Blueblood's actual form. His mane was slightly frizzed by the spell and he wasn't wearing his typical jacket. Many normal ponies would easily overlook these inconsistencies. But these were the Canterlot elite he was surrounded by. Such an appearance could be considered quite the gossip.

As he anticipated, all of the ponies darted from her and huddled around him, cameras flashing to and fro. He looked to his date with a wink. She mouthed a simple "thank you" as she watched the mound of ponies converging on him. One or two ponies remained by Fluttershy, but she paid them no mind. All she could think about was the fact that he had taken on that storm with a smile... for her.

I Like the Way it Hurts

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The past month had been wonderful. Fluttershy’s relationship with the dashing prince had grown exponentially. So much so, that she was comfortable to allow him to stay with her to escape the dreary hotel. Every day she spent with him was better than the previous. She felt as though she were soaring toward the sun, floating higher and higher. But, as they say, what goes up must come down.


Fluttershy was hard at work folding and setting away the blanket she had used overnight. Blueblood had straightened the bed and had begun to clean the living area. Angel watched him suspiciously. There was something about this stallion Angel didn’t trust. Blueblood turned to regard Fluttershy.

“I wish you would just sleep in your bed and permit me the couch.” Fluttershy shook her head vigorously. Though most ponies didn’t realize, she could be quite stubborn at times.

“No. You are my guest. You take the bed.” Fluttershy grinned as she set the blanket aside.

“Now, ready for breakfast?” Fluttershy walked into the kitchen, Blueblood following close behind. She picked up a plate of fresh pancakes and a large mug of steaming hot coffee.

Angel was certain there was something he was missing. Something the “gentlecolt” went to great lengths to conceal. He wanted to test this intruder’s resolve, and considered just the way to do so as his eyes rested on the mug of boiling coffee positioned on the table. He smiled cheekily as he crept, unnoticed, toward the cup.

He had to time it perfectly. Just as Fluttershy stepped toward the prince to deliver the syrup, he quickly pushed the cup and lept out of sight, so it would seem his guardian had in fact knocked the scalding liquid over. It poured off the table and splashed onto the pony seated beside it, who practically squealed in pain. Angel could see everything perfectly from his position. And he had seen far more than he would have liked.


“It’s not at all like Fluttershy to be late,” Rarity stated, glancing to and fro worriedly. Twilight was also beginning to feel a bit uneasy. She, Rarity, and Fluttershy had agreed to meet for lunch at 12:00, and it was nearing a quarter to 1:00.

“Oh, there she is!” Twilight looked up to see Rarity more confused than relieved. Following her friend’s gaze, she understood why. A pair of thick sunglasses sat on Fluttershy’s face, as many other ponies were beginning to notice as well. Her smile still stood strong however.

“Um, Fluttershy,” Twilight began as the pegasus took a seat at her friends’ table, “Anything you’d like to share?”

“Hmmm? Oh, you mean these?” Fluttershy raised a subtly shaky hoof to tap the frame of the glasses. “Rarity made them for me years ago and I had completely forgotten about them until today.” The aforementioned unicorn glared at the shades.

“First of all, dear, I don’t make accessories. Second, if I did, I would not make something like that. The colors don’t match my usual designs. Now what are the glasses really for?” Rarity gave her a tender, caring smile. Fluttershy’s eyes darted between the two ponies before her as she tried to think of a way to alter the course of the conversation.

“Whew, it certainly is a warm day, hmm? How about that weather?” Twilight stood and gave the pony a very serious expression.

“Don’t try to change the subject, Shy. It won’t work. Take off the glasses.” Rarity looked sadly toward the unnaturally aggressive mare.

“Twilight, be gentle with her. Why so rash?” Twilight glared at the pegasus, who now appeared to have tears leaking from her eyes, and then looked to the ground.

“Because I know what the glasses are for,” she looked back to the weeping mare in front of her as she spoke. “I’m sorry. I should have told about his past when this first started. I should have stopped it.” Fluttershy couldn’t stand there any longer. She turned to leave, but was stopped as she collided face-first with a cyan blue coat.

“Woah! Sorry, Fluttershy. Are you o-” Rainbow was cut-off as she spotted the purple ring around her friend’s eye. She and Rarity stared. Twilight simply looked away. Fluttershy picked herself up and flew home as fast as her wings could carry her.

Rainbow maintained focus on the spot the other pony had just inhabited. Twilight, knowing the hot-headed pegasus all too well, immediately grasped Rainbow’s wings in her magic, an instant before she attempted to bolt into the air.

“LET! GO! OF! ME!” Rainbow was practically snarling, and her wings were moving faster than even Twilight thought possible. She staggered.

“Rarity! Help!” Rarity snapped out of her daze to assist in wrangling the blood-thirsty mare.

“I’M GONNA RIP OUT HIS ESOPHAGUS AND SKIP ROPE WITH IT!!” Twilight didn’t know what was more impressive: that Rainbow’s sheer power and rage was almost breaking the magical grasps of both her and Rarity, or that she knew what an esophagus was.

“Rainbow, calm down. Getting yourself thrown in a dungeon isn’t going to help the situation.” Rainbow glared at the lavender unicorn.

“Why didn’t you tell us about this?!” Twilight cast her eyes to the ground.

“I thought he’d changed. I’d hoped she could help him change.” In her mind’s eye, Twilight briefly recalled the many times she had witnessed the stallion being hauled away in chains. 30. 40. She couldn’t remember how many. Not that it mattered. Nopony dared lock up a prince of Equestria for more than an hour, regardless of the circumstances. The bar fights, the random acts of assault. Nothing. Not until that time.

She remembered seeing it when she was still barely out of fillyhood. The final straw. That poor, broken young mare. Barely breathing, lying almost motionless in that hospital bed. Celestia sentenced him to three days in a dungeon, and seven months in a camp devoted to reforming rebellious youths. Celestia found him unrecognizable when he had returned. But Twilight knew, deep down, that nothing had changed. She had lied to herself. Attempted to forget the horrible things his anger had brought on. And now her friend was suffering the consequences.

“This is my fault. I shouldn’t have let her get into this. But... I WILL get her out. Come on.” The three mares began walking towards their friend’s small cottage at the edge of the city, their anger, concern, and guilt rising with each step.

Maybe I'm a Masochist

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“Fluttershy, open this door or I’m gonna break it down!” Rainbow leaked pure hatred toward the wooden surface blocking her path.

“Rainbow Dash,” Rarity pleaded, “you’re only making matters worse.” She wrapped the cyan mare in a magical grasp in an attempt to hold her should she charge.

“Sorry,” they heard from behind them, and turned to see a lavender unicorn approaching them, “I had to get something from the library.” She gestured toward her back, from which was hung a set of bags. Twilight walked forward and tapped gently on the door with one of her hooves. “Fluttershy? Could you open the door? We really need to speak with you.”

“I… I’m not feeling too well right now. Come back tomorrow?”

“Fluttershy, please,” Twilight pressed her forehead gently against the door, “We’re your friends, and we love you. Please just give us a chance to speak.” For a moment, she stood there listening, waiting. Slowly, the door began to creak open. Twilight took a step back to avoid falling. Before progressing, she glanced quickly back to the other two.

“Before we go in, I need to know that you can control yourself, Dash. Trying to drag her away from the edge will only push her closer to it. We’re here to talk, and if you can’t do that, you’re staying out here.” The cyan pegasus scoffed and crossed her forehooves as she sat, illustrating her already apparent frustration.

“Dash. For Fluttershy.” Her muzzle rose into the air, but quickly drooped as she let out a sigh.

“For Fluttershy,” she echoed, “But you’d better make sure he stays out of the way. If I so much as sniff his rotten hide… well, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

Twilight quickly poked her head inside and looked about. She turned to Fluttershy, who shook her head.

“It’s alright, Dash. He’s out. C’mon.” She led the others inside and used her horn to gently close the door behind them. As she stepped into the small home, she gave a curt nod to their host.
“Thank you, Fluttershy. We won’t be long. There are simply a few things we feel we should discuss.”

Fluttershy squirmed, obviously uncomfortable. “If this is about my eye, don’t worry. I merely tripped.” Twilight shot her a ‘not buying it’ look. Fluttershy sat and focused on the floorboards. “I-I really did…” This elicited a groan from the unicorn.

“Fluttershy, you’re not the first I’ve talked to. I’ve heard all of the stories.” Before Fluttershy, countless others were left at the mercy of the short-tempered prince. Twilight took a moment to recall the scenes in her mind. Shattered windows, with reflective shards strewn across the grass. Thick red splotches here and there, staining the carpeted floors. A weak, innocent mare, huddled in the corner. She rocked, back and forth, singing a sweet melody silently, washing reality away. She would search the recesses of her brain to find an excuse. ‘I fell down the stairs’. ‘I tripped and bumped my head’. Her fear of the beast is what chained her to it.

Always, it was the same. But not this time. Twilight would not allow it. With a flash of her horn, the bags lying upon her back slowly lifted. The drifted through the air and came to rest at her hooves. The flaps swung open freely, allowing the contents to display. Photographs. Dozens of them assembled and organized. She pulled one and held it for all to see. A pink unicorn could be seen, lying in bed, a large gash on the left half of her face. Her muzzle seemed off-center and her hair was singed.

“I took a photo each time one was hospitalized. Fluttershy, there are 42 photos in these bags.” The yellow pony’s gaze shifted to the bags in question. She pondered over the stories they told. Stories of lives ruined; of innocence lost; of pain undergone. As Twilight shifted through the photos, they became progressively more gruesome. One, a much older image, of a turquoise filly with bothe forehooves broken. Next, a yellow mare with a small chunk taken from her ear. What followed was an orange mare with a completely dislocated jaw.

Fluttershy couldn’t bear these images. Though try as she might, she could not look away. Her eyes were affixed to these horrible sights. After several agonizing moments, she broke free from the spell cast upon her by the pictures, and looked up to regard her friend.

“I know you’re only trying to do what you think best, Twilight,” she said in almost a whisper, “But you don’t need to worry. Blueblood actually cares for me.” Rarity, whom had remained nigh invisible during the course of this visit, stepped forward to offer her two bits.

“Fluttershy, no one who cares for you would do something like that to you.” The white unicorn lifted her hoof and straightened it towards the dark spot surrounding Fluttershy’s eye. Rainbow flinched at the sight of the mark, though continued to remain silent, lest she say something they all regret.

“I know he has his problems, Rarity, but I can help him move past them. I can help him change.”

Twilight was finished. Her hoof plunged into the depths of the cloth container and resurfaced with one final photograph.

“Do you want to see what happened to the last pony who said that?!” She raised the picture high, allowing it’s message to wash over the misguided little pegasus. It was a white earth pony, eyes closed as though sleeping. Fluttershy examined the image carefully. Here and there, were small red spots died into the mare’s coat. Fluttershy assumed the coat had an odd polka-dot design for a moment, before the realization hit her that the spots were dried blood.

“Three shattered ribs. Minor depression in the skull. All limbs broken. She’s been comatose for two and a half years. If you don’t listen to us… THIS IS GOING TO BE YOU!!!” Fluttershy jumped at the sudden outburst. She drooped to the floor and began quivering as though a large draft had just passed through.

“I swore I’d never let this happen again, Fluttershy. I always tried SO HARD to warn them. They never listened to me, and look what happened to them. I can’t see you like that. You have to come with us!” She grabbed the trembling yellow puffball and began trying to pull her out through the now open door. Fluttershy let out a yelp of surprise and attempted to drag herself out of the unicorn’s grasp.

“Twilight!” Fluttershy shrieked in a panic, “Twilight, stop! Just get out! Go home!”

“I am! And you’re coming with me!” The crazed lavender unicorn began to charge toward her target, but was stopped short as the room’s other occupants gripped her tightly and started dragging her outside.
“Wha-? No. No, what are you doing?! Let go!” She looked into Dash’s eyes. Why would she be stopping Twilight from trying to help Fluttershy? Dash had always looked after the timid little pegasus, since they were fillies. Rainbow’s expression was hard, serious.

“It’s like you said, Twilight,” Rainbow responded to her inaudible question, “‘Trying to drag her from the edge will push her closer to it.’ If we force her out, she might lose all faith in us and become completely reliant on him.” Twilight saw something in those cerise eyes. Something resting in there. Something that had never inhabited her space before. Twilight saw true hatred in the cyan pegasus. She saw her friend contemplating the many awful, painful things she would do were that prince to cross paths with her right now.

Rainbow had a valid point, Twilight was willing to admit. But she didn’t care. She had seen too much pain and suffering at those polished royal hooves. Now she was not only witnessing it again, but to a very dear friend as well. She couldn’t let it continue this way.

She pulled power into her horn, emitting a flash of violet around herself as she tossed her friends aside as delicately as possible. In an instant, she was practically nose-to-nose with her prey. She attempted to grab Fluttershy and teleport back to the library, but Rainbow had already recovered and pressed her against the floor until she and Rarity had managed to recover their advantage over her. Once more, they slowly hauled her to the doorway; and, once more, her horn began to energize. Rarity connected her horn to Twilight’s and absorbed all of the power she was attempting to contain. She became frantic, thrashing about this way and that. Her tears washed down her cheeks like waterfalls.

“No! Let me GO! Please! I CAN”T FAIL HER, TOO!!!”

As they walked away from the house, a figure moved in through the back door from the Everfree. His white coat was stained with mud from the boggy area. He had an enraged expression etched on his face. Fluttershy took a step back as the door closed, locking the coming events away from the world.


As she heard the hoofsteps receding, Fluttershy slowly rose to her hooves. She felt a small drip of liquid oozing from her mouth. She felt around with her tongue, thankfully realizing that no teeth had been knocked from their places. The blood came instead from a small cut on her lip. She walked into the restroom, careful not to disturb Blueblood. She started simply examining her lip to find the wound. Immediately, she widened her gaze to the entirety of the image displayed before her. She looked to the dark black circle outlining her eye, then to the fresh separation of her lip.

Her vision became blurry as liquid drained from her pupils. Her legs began to tremble, weak, and she felt over onto the sink. Her eyes scanned the copy once more, noting something she had at first overlooked. A square, white as the clouds in the sky, nestled itself in her hair. She motioned one hoof upward and grasped at the alien object. Pulling it into her range of vision, she once again was confronted by that white earth pony, deep in her peace-less sleep.

Carefully, she inspected it, noticing a few details she had overlooked initially. A dark circle surrounded the mare’s left eye. Fluttershy’s left eye was bruised. On her bottom lip was a small, barely noticeable cut, uncomfortably near to where Fluttershy’s lay. Fluttershy felt a pang of terror surge through her. She began to shake violently, but steadied herself. She needed to be quiet for what she was about to do.

She gently eased the door open, trying to avoid the creak. When she was through, she thoroughly began scanning the house for her little friend. It wasn’t long before the small white rabbit had hoped up to her and gripped her foreleg sympathetically.

“Hello, Angel. If you wouldn’t mind, I could use a little help.” She inched closer and spoke, just above a whisper, in his ear. Ever the valiant soldier, he gave a salute of respect before darting up the stairs. Meanwhile, Fluttershy made her way to each of the many cages and pens scattered across the ground floor.


The clock ticked the seconds away as they sat in the deafening silence. Rarity, being the only one amongst them with a level mind, offered her voice to break the unbearable stillness.

“The mares at the Gala spoke to me about Blueblood. They never gave any indication that he was… like this.”

Twilight’s eyelids fell over her eyes. She allowed herself a deep, slow breath as she prepared to reveal her biggest, darkest secret. One she had hoped never to tell another living being.

“That’s because they don’t remember.”