Trick or Treat

by Bronyxy

First published

Angel Bunny makes Fluttershy go out on Nightmare Night when she would rather stay at home, but a chivalrous Bat Pony soon brings a blush to her cheeks. Even Zephyr Breeze inadvertently helps bring the couple together and somepony gets a new hairdo!

Angel Bunny forces Fluttershy to go out on Nightmare Night when she would much rather stay at home, but a chance encounter with a chivalrous Bat Pony soon brings a blush to her cheeks.
Even Zephyr Breeze inadvertently helps bring the couple together and somepony gets a new hairdo!

1 Nightmare Night

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The beginnings of a crisp autumnal chill had hung in the air since the sun had set over an hour ago and by now, the sounds of celebration in Ponyville could be heard as far away as Fluttershy’s cottage. Unlike previous Nightmare Nights, the primrose pegasus did not hide under her bed shaking, but ever since the time when she and the woodland creatures had worked together to scare her Ponyville friends, she had developed a less stressed view towards the social event, although she would still stay at home out of choice.

However, rebellion was stirring, and Angel Bunny had galvanised support amongst his fellow woodland creatures that they would all like to go into town to share in the atmosphere and maybe play a few games. Fluttershy was not keen, but as she looked around at the woodland creatures, all of whom seemed to be wearing a mask or a cape or something reflecting the event, she found herself unable to say no. However she did put her hoof down as hard as she could by insisting that if they were to go, then they should all return before it got too scary (just to protect the little ones).

So it was that an unlikely looking procession of animals large and small set off to enjoy some of the fun on offer in the town. Some were lured by the lights, others by the games, but the youngest ones were more focused on free candy. They had been warned to be on their best behaviour because Nightmare Moon may come and frighten them, and although they believed deep down that it was probably Princess Luna dressed up, they still harboured a degree of trepidation, so all promised to behave, at least in line with the spirit of the occasion.

To get things started, Fluttershy took requests for candy apples, pumpkin muffins, and cinnamon rolls and just when she had memorised the list she went over to the Sweet Apple Acres refreshments stall to place her order. She recited the list over and over to herself, head down, focusing really hard on not forgetting anyone when she bumped into the dark grey flank of a Bat Pony.
“Oh my – I’m so sorry” whispered the timid pegasus as the detail of her order evaporated behind her eyes.
“Pardon me Ma’am” came a polite but gruff voice belonging to the owner of the flank.
“Eeeep!” whimpered Fluttershy, looking up into his citrine eyes, centred in which were vertical black reptilian irises. He stared back into her startled wide teal orbs and noticed the extended canine tooth that resided incongruously with the rest of her demure image.

“Beg pardon” he responded in an attempt to put her more at ease “But I can’t help noticing your tooth. Do you perhaps have Bat Pony or Thestral ancestry?”
“Umm, no” whispered Fluttershy uncertainly, pawing at the ground with her forehoof “I sort of got it when I banished an infestation of vampire fruit bats ...”
This piqued his interest, and he separated from his Bat Pony friends to turn and face her head on, focusing completely on his chance companion to the exclusion of anypony else.
“Sounds like you’ve got an interesting story to tell, Miss” he said with a gentle smile forming “My name is Noctis Blaze and I would be delighted to hear you tell it to me.”

Now the centre of another pony’s attention, Fluttershy looked down at the ground where she continued to paw nervously. Angel Bunny realised pretty quickly that the prospect of his getting a tasty treat were receding rapidly, and fixed her with an angry glare while he thumped his hind foot repeatedly against the boarding of the refreshments stall. The reverberations echoed loudly, breaking the primrose pegasus out of her withering indecision:

“Oh Angel Bunny” she doted, suddenly forcing herself to refocus “I’m so sorry. I forgot all about you and your friends. Now I’ll have to check what they all wanted again.”

Angel Bunny rolled his eyes at Fluttershy’s audacity to relegate his interests to second place and turned to give Noctis an evil glare. In his turn, the Bat Pony leant forward and reached down with his large hoof, gently rubbing Angel Bunny between his ears, oblivious of the volleys of evil daggers the lapine was firing at him.

Fluttershy looked up briefly from the smaller creatures she had been checking on to see Noctis petting her white rabbit and said “Awww”, then took the bold step of looking into his eyes, only to blush bright pink when she saw that he was looking back at her with the same genial smile across his face. Sensing her awkwardness, he chuckled and straightened up “Perhaps we could meet up another time and you could tell me your story, Miss?”

Fluttershy had turned so red she was unable to speak and brought up a forehoof to cover her mouth, but she couldn’t betray the sparkle in her large teal eyes. Noctis drew his forehoof up and threw her a playful mock salute before turning away to rejoin his friends; momentarily stunned, she sat back on her haunches and watched transfixed in his general direction, long after he had disappeared into the crowd.

Angel Bunny threw a comically exaggerated sigh and thumped his rear foot repeatedly against the stall once more to get her attention, but it wasn’t going to happen quite yet; she had other things on her mind, just for the moment. The spoiled rabbit gave up thumping, crossing his forelegs over the front of his body and contented himself with giving her an evil stare.

Fluttershy’s party did eventually get some nice treats, although what the primrose pegasus eventually ordered bore little semblance to what they had requested. However, none minded as they all got to stay a whole lot longer than they had been expecting. They also stayed long enough to see the arrival of Nightmare Moon in her chariot, and contrary to Fluttershy’s earlier concerns, even the little ones weren’t scared, all of them getting into the party spirit. Even when Princess Luna addressed the crowd in her Royal Canterlot Voice, some giggled and some hid, but peeked out with one eye so as not to miss the spectacle.

With the party in full swing, an aquamarine pegasus stallion with a yellow mane came out of the crowd and gave Fluttershy a playful punch on the shoulder. Instantly, he was pinned to the floor by a dark grey shape that had materialised as if by magic from the crowd.
“What do you think you were doing to this mare?” threatened a deep voice laden with menace.
“Don’t hurt me!” screamed the aquamarine stallion in a surprisingly high falsetto.
“Noctis!” commanded Fluttershy with more force than the Bat Pony thought possible “Leave him alone – he’s my brother!”
“Oh …” he whispered apologetically, helping the shocked stallion to his hooves.

The crowd that had been suddenly stunned into silence gradually resumed a myriad of individual conversations and began milling around between attractions once more; whatever having happened now being over.
“Hey, Hey, Hey” said the aquamarine pegasus still unable to control his shaking “That really wasn’t cool, y’know?”
What was that for?” demanded Fluttershy, her gentle voice now raised “Have you been spying on me?”
“I admit” confessed Noctis “That I happened to have come back to where you were and couldn’t help but check up and see you were alright, what with all the little ones you were looking after.”
“Really …?” questioned the primrose pegasus.
“Yes” continued the Bat Pony “Because I like you and then I saw this guy punch you …”
“You big silly” she said, shaking her head and then looking back up at him with her big eyes, Noctis deflating visibly before her eyes.
“Yeah” said Fluttershy’s brother shakily “You were lucky you caught me by surprise.”
Noctis turned to look into the face of the aquamarine pegasus and just stared him down, not needing to say anything further.
“He’s not too bad as brothers go” said Fluttershy “His name’s Zephyr Breeze. You might want to say sorry.”
She could see the hurt he felt as he swallowed his pride and extended a hoof to her oftentimes wayward sibling. Zephyr hoof bumped readily, back to his usual self now that the threat to his person was passed.
“Thank you all the same” whispered Fluttershy, and the Bat Pony’s feeling of humiliation washed away.

“Oh I could so do something with your mane …” said Zephyr wistfully.
“What the …?” exclaimed the Bat Pony.
“He’s a stylist” explained Fluttershy.
“Not with my mane he isn’t” retorted Noctis flatly.
Fluttershy giggled at this and Zephyr just looked deflated.
“Well, just so long as nopony’s picking on you, then I’ll go” said the Bat Pony and turned to leave.
“See you round big fella!” shouted the aquamarine pegasus in a voice that sounded a little too high-pitched for a mature stallion and waved a forehoof just outside his peripheral vision.
“Seriously” he said in a more assertive voice, the very instant he thought Noctis was out of earshot “Where‘d you find him?”
“Oh, he’s really sweet” said Fluttershy, little pink patches forming on her cheeks while Zephyr made an expression like he was gagging on something very distasteful.

By now it had gotten late and Fluttershy rounded up her woodland creatures ready to head for home, Harry helping to carry some of the younger ones who were falling asleep as they had stayed up way beyond their bedtime. Fluttershy sang them all a gentle lullaby on the dark and winding way home and by the time they arrived at her familiar front door, all were ready for bed.

Although Fluttershy was tired and knew she would have to be up early to feed the woodland creatures, something nagged away at her thoughts, possibly even her emotions. Who was this Noctis? Did he want to know her better? What should she do?

It would be some time before she finally snuggled down to sleep tonight.

2 The Morning After

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Zephyr decided that he would hang with his sister for the rest of Nightmare Night, ostensibly to spend time catching up with her, but possibly also because he felt safer with her around to protect him. It was because of this that he awoke the next morning to a cacophony of woodland creatures, playing, tussling and readying themselves for breakfast.

He tried to stretch but found he was constrained rather uncomfortably on a green upholstered couch rather than in a nice big, soft bed and let out a self-pitying moan. It also seemed uncomfortably early; certainly not any hour of the day that he wished to become closely associated with and let out another, even more soulful groan. As nopony came to his aid, he tried again with another self-pitying whine then lifted himself off his haunches as a tentative first attempt to get up.

Eventually he heard a gentle humming from the kitchen and Fluttershy came in with breakfast for the woodland creatures.
“Good morning, sleepy head” she teased gently.
“What time is it?” he groaned.
“A little after six” replied his cheerful older sister.
“You mean it’s evening, right?” he enquired disbelievingly.
“No, silly” she giggled “Sun’s been up an hour already”
He slumped back down on the couch with another groan as the woodland creatures all tumbled over one another like a furry waterfall to get to their breakfast.

“Well, mister” she said cheerfully “I’m going to have to shop this morning or the woodland creatures aren’t going to get their lunch, so you can either come with me or keep house while I’m gone.”
He opened one eye and regarded the pandemonium breaking out around him. He did not want to be responsible for this.
“OK sis” he mumbled into the couch, one forehoof raised in acknowledgement “I’ll come with you. Just give me five more minutes …”
“Your breakfast is on the table too” she said sweetly “I’d give it about 30 seconds before Harry adds it to his. Your call.”
“That’s blackmail!”
Fluttershy continued humming her happy little song and suppressed a quiet giggle as Zephyr stumbled off the couch with random precision, blearily avoiding the furry bodies milling around the floor about him.
“So unfair …” he grumbled to himself.

So it was that Fluttershy set off for Ponyville wearing her saddle bags, with a barely lucid Zephyr as reluctant escort while Harry was left to look after the cottage. His mood didn’t improve much as they traipsed around from one supplier to another, picking up all the special little treats for each of the woodland creatures; all of which his sister knew by name and particular preference. He was left wondering just how and indeed why she chose to remember the fussy details about each one of them.

The primrose pegasus made calls to a whole range of stores, stopping briefly at each for a quick catch up about the lucky individuals that the specialist purchases were for, Zephyr rolling his eyes in frustration at the endless stream of delays.

When they emerged from a pet grooming supplier in one of the less frequented parts of town with a special soft tipped slicker brush for grooming Angel Bunny, they heard sounds of somepony in trouble.
“Zephyr, go!” instructed Fluttershy with quiet urgency.
“Why don’t you go” he retorted, visibly cowering “You probably know who it is better than me anyways ...”
“I can’t - I’m wearing full saddle bags” replied his sister “Now go!”
“I’m a lover not a fighter …” he whimpered.
The primrose pegasus opened her eyes wide and began to stare at him, drilling into his eyes. The Stare.
“OK, OK …” he sighed reluctantly, knowing he was beaten.

As Zephyr rounded a corner following the sounds of distress he was surprised to catch sight of a band of colts and fillies mobbing a grey adult that they had cornered in an alley. Zephyr looked back towards his sister and received another glimpse of The Stare and turned back to face the baying mob in preference.
“Hey, hey, hey little dudes!” he called out “What’s the skinny?”
“This guy’s got the coolest fake teeth and contacts!” yelled one.
“Yeah and have you seen the wings!” shouted another.
“And the ears!” piped up a third.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa little dudes!” he interceded “Chill. This guy is one of the legendary Bat Ponies, and …” as he slipped through the crowd to stand beside the grey stallion “… one of my close friends.”

“Zephyr?” he stammered.
“Look dudes, Bat Ponies come out at night and have really good night vision and sharp hearing, but their senses don’t work so well during the day, so your shouting and hollering must be really fouling up his hearing. You’re lucky he didn’t lash out. Know why?”
All the young ponies had by now gathered in a quiet and respectful semi-circle to hear the green pegasus speak and all shook their heads.
“Because they are the most feared fighters in all of Equestria” completed Zephyr “And if you give him any more grief, he will hunt you down under cover of night, and you will never be heard from again!”
The colts and fillies all squealed and gasped as one.
“So vamoose!” concluded Zephyr “And leave me and my buddy to shoot the breeze, OK?”
At this, they all got up and ran away as fast as they could.

“Zephyr” said Noctis, taken aback “You were the last pony I would expect to come and help. I didn’t think confrontation was your thing. I misjudged you; thanks.”
“No worries big fella” said Zephyr preening himself “Hey, it’s what I’d do for anypony.”
Just then, Fluttershy rounded the corner and saw the two stallions chatting together in an otherwise deserted alleyway.
“Oh my goodness” she whispered “Noctis – what happened?”

“Some of the local colts and fillies thought I was a left over decoration from Nightmare Night. I tried to ignore them, but they kept screaming and it overloaded my hearing, so I tried to walk away from them, but found myself cornered in this alley where it’s so bright I could barely see. I didn’t want to lash out in case I hurt them, so without my hearing and sight I was stuck until your brother came to the rescue.”
“Weren’t no big thing” said Zephyr, oozing with false modesty.
“Yes, I know” said Fluttershy looking pointedly at her brother who wore a nauseating smile, then turning to Noctis “But I’m very pleased to see you’re both safe.”
“And I was straight in there – like bap – bap!” said Zephyr self-deluding his heroism even further.
“Come on home with us” said Fluttershy tenderly “You could probably do with a little time to recover before you go home.”
Noctis gave an appreciative nod.
“Can I take your bags for you?” he asked.
“That’s alright” whispered Fluttershy, rather pleased that his vision was impaired lest he see the redness creeping across her cheeks.

They arrived home to see Angel Bunny standing on the doorstep tapping his hind foot impatiently and staring theatrically at a watch he had with him. Once Fluttershy had offloaded all of her purchases, she showed her irascible lapine the new grooming brush and suddenly his demeanour changed completely, doing a little dance on the spot.

Once Fluttershy had fed the woodland creatures, she set about preparing tea for her visitors and Noctis drew up alongside her.
“Is there some way I can repay your brother for having helped me earlier” he enquired.
“Oh, you don’t need to do that” replied Fluttershy, blushing a little to have him in such close proximity once again.
“We Bat Ponies are driven by a code of honour that demands recognition of good and brave deeds.
“Trust me” reiterated Fluttershy “He’s just fine.”
“Didn’t you say he was a stylist?” he asked.
“Uh huh” said Fluttershy, just nodding slightly.

Tea was served and polite conversation followed, everypony present laughing at every other pony’s stories. During a brief lull Noctis turned to Zephyr:
“You were looking at my mane last night” he queried “What is your expert opinion?”
Zephyr was beside himself that somepony should want to talk about his passion and even paused his self-congratulatory monologue.
“Well” he said “There are so many things I could do. Why, are you offering?”
“Just so long as whatever you do can be undone before I leave” stated Noctis firmly.
With this, Fluttershy made some space for her brother to perform with his new found model and set about grooming Angel Bunny.

An hour later, Zephyr stood back and admired his work. It had been intense, but the Bat Pony had shown infinite patience and now he was ready to see for himself. The stylist passed his model a mirror and waited for the anticipated praise to follow. Fluttershy looked up and giggled as Noctis viewed his new look.
“What style do you call this?” he enquired keeping his shock under admirable control.
“It’s a bouffant” said Zephyr, matter-of-factly “Really suits you.”
“That’s as maybe” replied the restyled Bat Pony “But you did promise it could come out before I left, right?”
“Hard to imagine you’d ever want to go back to how it was” said the green pegasus with slight affront “But if you must, then yes.”
“That’s a relief” said Noctis to himself.

“Well I really like you however you wear your mane” said Fluttershy going pink again.
“Hey, hey” said Zephyr “Some praise for me?”
“You have had enough praise already for one day, little brother” said the primrose pegasus “But this stallion deserves a little bit of recognition too.”

With that, she leaned forward and gave him a tender kiss on the cheek; now it was the Bat Pony’s turn to blush.
“You never did tell me about that tooth of yours” he said recovering quickly.
“Oh, it’s nothing really” she replied “It happened by accident when Twilight cast a spell on the vampire fruit bats while I was holding them in my Stare.”
“Wait” he interjected “Do you mean the Princess of Friendship; that Twilight?”
“The very same. Her spell turned me into a yellow Bat Pony – no offence …”
“I should have liked very much to see that” he said raising an eyebrow.
“Then they caught me and she turned me back; all except my little tooth” she said giving him a coy smile that she knew showed it off.
“Well, speaking as a Bat Pony, I find the idea very attractive.”
Fluttershy blushed. She wasn’t sure why she was opening up so much to this stallion she hadn’t even known for a full day yet, but there was no doubting his charm and the attraction she felt.
“You’re the first pony I’ve ever met who has said that they would have found it attractive; most ponies find it scary.”
“It must have been spectacular” he said staring deep into her eyes “Especially as almost all of us are grey.”

“Rarity said I should be called Flutterbat.”
“That’s a cute name” he smiled.
“But then I tricked them at the next year’s Nightmare Night, by dressing up as Flutterbat again and scaring them.”
“So, you’re a practical joker too then?”
“No, not really” she confided “I felt bad afterwards, so I won’t do it again.”
“The more I find out about you” he said wistfully “The more I like you.”
Fluttershy couldn’t take this amount of flattery any longer and broke eye contact to look down to where her forehoof was nervously pawing at the ground; infatuated, but uncertain what to do next.
“Would you like me to go now?” he asked, picking up on her discomfort.
“Oh, no” she said, uncertain of herself, but equally not keen to see him leave so soon.

“Would you like to say hello to all the woodland creatures that live here with me?” she asked, before suddenly correcting herself “You won’t eat them will you?”
“No” he sighed “That’s just a bad rap we’ve got because we look scary. In fact we’re just the same as you.”
“Well I think you look very dashing” she responded, reasserting what little self-assurance she had left “Although I’m not too sure about the hairdo.”
This time, she had the courage to look up at him as she gave him the compliment.

She showed him round the menagerie and introduced him to each animal in turn, Harry being especially smitten and giving him a big hug.
“Well, they all like you” she said happily.
“Does that mean I’ll be able to come here to see you again?”
At this she went red once more.
“Yes, that that would be very nice; I do hope you will” then she added as an afterthought “But you don’t have to go yet; not unless you want to, that is.”

She bit her lip and braced herself to ask a question that had been gnawing at her since the Flutterbat incident.
“I can see you’re thinking something behind those big blue eyes of yours” he noted “What’s on your mind?”
“Um …” she began uncertain whether she had the courage to ask “Do those fangs hurt when you kiss?”
Assuming this to be an invitation, he moved forward and gave her a gentle kiss.
“Eeep!” she cried in surprise going bright red.
“Oh I’m sorry Fluttershy; I thought …”
It was now his turn to look embarrassed.

“Oh … um … what I meant was I haven’t kissed anypony since I got my fang because I thought I might hurt them …” she flustered “But that was nice anyway.”
Explanation over, she moved forward to give him a gentle reassuring kiss in return, but tripped and pitched herself into him rather more enthusiastically than she had intended. He was a little surprised at how forward she had become, but engaged happily.

Having overcome the shock of her most recent faux pas, she did not fight to pull herself away as she would have always done in the past, but was instead instantly bombarded by a lot of random thoughts; like the chivalrous way in which he had fought to protect her, how he had not lashed out at the fillies and colts that had been mobbing him, how the animals all liked him and how he conducted himself by his code of honour, and more importantly how much she like him. Somehow this didn’t seem wrong and she relaxed into the kiss.

He had made a big impact into her life in a very short space of time and she liked him; a lot.

It was late when they both finally decided it was time for him to leave. Zephyr had gone to bed a long time since, not wanting to listen to his big sister smooching with this Bat Pony he was still rather scared of. She let him go eventually, only on the understanding that he would come back and visit her soon. This suited him just fine and they shared one more goodnight kiss before he flew off back to his home in the Hollow Shades, still with his mane in a bouffant.

He took a minor detour to a waterfall where he quickly washed his mane out before anypony could see him with his dubious new hairdo, then cast his mind forward to when he would next be seeing Harry, Angel Bunny and the other animals – but most of all the demure primrose Flutterbat.