In loving memory of Nathan Maddox
Sept 25 1991 - Feb 12 2012
The white unicorn ran outside and towards the Hay And Stay hotel with Twilight teleporting just in front of her. "Out of my way Twilight!" She exclaimed
Twilight stood her ground. "Rarity, please calm down!"
"That filthy little ruffian is probably the main reason why Fluttershy is in that hospital."
"But this isn't what Fluttershy would want. You need to think straight!"
"I think I know what that worthless slim of a unicorn needs is a good kicking. Now move I say!"
Twilight didn't want to resort to this spell being used on her friends, but felt left with no other option. Her horn began to glow as the ground below her started to light up. Chunks of dirt and rock shot up and clasped around Rarity's hooves, stopping her in place.
"Wha- gah! How did
I can't move!" Rarity struggled.
"Good, that means the protective barrier I placed is working."
Rarity pulled her hooves, but to no avail. "Twilight Sparkle, remove this enchantment this instant!"
"Not until you've calmed down. Now you're going to stand there and listen to what I have to say."
The white unicorn thrashed about intensively to try and free herself and even attempted to use her own magic to break the barrier, but to no avail. She was more than furious after hearing about Trixie from Applejack and wanted nothing more than to face her right now.
After pouting more than a minute, Rarity finally submitted to her friend's demand. "Fine, Twilight. I'll listen to you."
They were both lucky that there weren't many ponies outside at this time in the morning. With Rarity stuck to the ground, their awkward situation would certainly raise some eyebrows and possibly gather a crowd towards the commotion.
The cashier rang up the total. "That'll be 6 bits ma'am."
Without saying anything, Fluttershy reached into her butterfly decorated saddlebag and presented the amount of pay. Her dull expression was fitted with a frown that seemed to show as little emotion as possible. The only thing she did was stare at the merchandise on the counter for a few seconds, as if hesitant to take the weed killer and rope she just purchased.
"Is there anything else I can get you?" He asked.
n-no. I'm fine. This is all I need."
The cashier pony didn't want to say anything to the silent pegasus at first. It might've been due to the lack of customers in line, or how he felt exceptionally considerate when he noticed a small tear falling down Fluttershy's eye. He wouldn't want to upset her, much less make her rush.
Half a minute went by. "Um, miss? Are you okay?"
I'm fine." She muttered.
The cashier dropped the bits into the box and shut it closed. He wasn't convinced in the slightest; seeing her slowly raise her hoof in hesitation to take the items off the counter. When she carefully placed them into her bag, there was a slight murmur under her breath. The cashier leaned in closer with concern.
"Are you sure that there's nothing else I can do for you?"
There wasn't anything she wanted, only to be alone. "No
I-I was just remembering something." The bell above the door rang as Fluttershy stopped just outside the store.
The bright sunlight made her eyes squint and face down at her own shadow. Sighing at the thought of being afraid of her own shadow, she was reminded of how weak and frail other ponies saw her. Even her friends might think that anypony else would seem just as brave and vigilant. But would it be worse than having them find out how much of monster she could become behind their closed eyes?
"Maybe nopony would miss me
" She cried inside.
Closing her eyes, Fluttershy turned the corner and started walking home in a dawdling fashion with her head hanging. She didn't want to stand out or have anypony notice her, especially her friends. Unfortunately, she'd bump into the last pony anyone would want to see.
"Ouch! Why don't you watch where you're walking?" Said a blue unicorn, falling on her flank.
I-I'm sorry, I didn't see-"
"You probably messed up my cape. Is this any way to treat the great and powerful-" The unicorn paused, staring at the recognizable. "
Wait, do I know you?" She hissed.
"N-no, I-I don't think we've ever met?" Fluttershy squeaked.
The blue unicorn raised her voice. "How could a resident of Ponyville not know about the great and powerful Trixie? Just who the hay are you are missy?"
Fluttershy didn't realize it was a rhetorical question. "Um
The mentioning of that name sparked a headline she recalled reading about in the Equestrian daily. Suddenly she looked in her memory and saw the link between the article and the soft yellow pegasus that stood before her. It had to be her.
"Wait- I've heard about you. You must be one of Twilight's friends, am I correct?"
"I've heard a lot about you ever since that foolish friend of yours Twilight boasted me out of town. Oh, the nerve of her!"
"But I thought she was trying to save Ponyville from that Ursa-"
"Be quiet! I thought I'd never have to walk by this town again. Frankly though, I'm surprised to see you still here, little miss timid."
Fluttershy crouched down. "What? But
why would you-"
"Don't play innocent with me! I've heard all about your little episodes."
The scared pegasus brought her entire body down on the hard ground, trying to hide part of her face behind her mane. She was frightened, being talked down to by somepony else made her too scared to even mutter a reply. This was payback at Twilight for all the humiliation Trixie had endured; she could care less about Fluttershy's sensitivity.
"News can spread pretty quickly from Canterlot, as I had heard about your little demeanor with the animals at the Grand Galloping Gala. You're the one that caused so much damage at the Gala that it had to be cancelled mid way through. All the animals were so frightened by you that I hear they all still won't leave their homes because of you." Trixie grinned.
"Bu-but I didn't mean to
I just want-"
"It finally makes sense to me. I wouldn't have been surprised if everyone in Ponyville had already kicked you out. After all, you killed that vicious wolf, am I right?"
Fluttershy's eyes widened, shocked to hear that somepony had seen her. "But
how were you-"
"I wasn't sure it was you until I've now just got a close look at that pitiful pink mane of yours. I saw the whole thing on my way into town that morning. I'm actually not surprised that you turned into such a cold blooded animal killer."
"I-It w-w-was an accident
" Fluttershy pleaded.
"I swear, you may look innocent on the outside, but on the inside you're just a
Fluttershy was starting to cry, terrified beyond comprehension as she relived those unforgettable moments. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't stop shaking. The beast inside of her was growing, expanding as if she could feel it becoming darker than Nightmare Moon and far fiercer than any Ursa Major.
"I'm so sorry." She wimpered. "I didn't mean to hurt anyone."
"Shut up! You're just a parasprite in this town and nopony would miss you. Maybe Equestria would be better off if someone like you didn't exist at all."
A spark of tears ignited and Fluttershy was set off and running away with her eyes clenched tight. She couldn't take it anymore, hearing voices inside that screamed louder than the biggest of sonic rainbooms. Everypony was staring at her as she ran down the path and out of town, trying not to cry as loud. Nothing else mattered to her at this point, except one thing.
Trixie sighed. "Well, that was refreshing."
Not even a few seconds went by when another pony came running towards the blue unicorn. She appeared a very bright orange wearing a brown hat on top. This pony was all too familiar for Trixie to forget.
what is it now?" She asked herself.
"At Fluttershy's cottage? When?" Rainbow asked.
"That's where I found the mangled mess, just after I left the hospital today. I'm sure that the poor thing must've been dead fer at least more than a few days. I'd never seen so much blood in all my life."
we should probably talk about this outside."
Applejack replaced her hat. "Good idea sugarcube."
Half of the hospital lights were dimmed as the night shift had just begun. Things were much quieter with only a few staff members walking around the hallways. The two ponies didn't want to say anything else until they were outside, which was now filled with chirping crickets and a white lunar light that covered Equestria.
Upon exiting the front doors, the blue pegasus started to fly as she felt her wings stretch for the first time all day. "So
you're telling me that
"Yeah, that's what it looks like." Applejack cut her off. "The rock is a pretty good size fer somepony ta hold, and I did find some hoof marks around the mud."
"Oh sweet Celestia. I had no idea that
" Rainbow's voice softened.
"Yeah, me neither. I'm sorry that this here news don't make the situation any better."
Rainbow Dash just hovered in place and shook her head in disbelief; frowning with her hoof scratching the back of her mane. She was so scared for Fluttershy but just couldn't bring herself to admit the guilt she felt in her heart for not knowing the truth.
"Rainbow? You okay there?"
The blue pegasus felt her head weigh herself down. "Applejack
do you think there's anything we could've done for her if we had known?"
"Don't dwell on it sugar cube. There's no way neither of us could have known about this."
Okay. So, what are you going to do now?"
Applejack started walking down the road again. "I gotta go tell the others."
"Wait!" Rainbow flew in front of the earth pony. "We can't do that!"
"And why the hay not? They all need ta know the truth."
"Now look Applejack, I don't like the idea of keeping more information from the others, but think about it."
"What's there to think about?" The earth pony dropped her eyebrows.
"You heard what Rarity said; we shouldn't rush ourselves into making Fluttershy tell us. How do you think she would feel if we told her about the truth? That we knew why she probably tried to kill herself?
Applejack raised both eyebrows while becoming conscious of the situation. Fluttershy was, of course, the most sensitive pony any of them knew. Discussing it out in the open like that would traumatize Fluttershy and could permanently scar her for life.
"I suppose you're right about that. If they all learned the cause of Fluttershy's depression from us and not her, they all might pressure her too much into talkin' about it."
"So, can we please keep this our little secret for now?"
"Well ya know I can't do that Rainbow. I am the element of honesty after all. "
Rainbow brought herself in closer. "Applejack, it's not like you have to lie. All I'm asking is that you avoid the truth."
The earth pony took a step back. "But
I can't be holding information from them either. It's just not the right thing ta do."
Rainbow stopped flying and just sat down on the cold ground. She desperately wanted to do everything to make Fluttershy happy and cheerful again. It was going to take more than any hug or speech could do to make that happen. If she failed to be there for her before, what could she possibly do to make up for it?
Applejack sighed. "Tell ya what sugar cube. I'll give ya till noon tomorrow ta talk with Fluttershy. Make her feel comfortable and then we'll tell the others about what we found."
Rainbow stood up and felt pleased by her friend's offer. "Thanks AJ, you're a really awesome friend. Say um
what are you going to do for the rest of the night? I don't think I can sleep."
Applejack started walking down the path. "Well you go on home and maybe take a shower. It'll do ya some good. I'm gonna get me some apple cider and then some bed rest."
"How can you think of drinking at a time like this?" Rainbow questioned.
The orange earth pony stopped and turned around. "I didn't say it was for me." She replied.
"Hello Ms. Cake, I was just wondering if Pinkie Pie was here." Twilight smiled.
Ms. Cake had to set down her platter before she could answer. "Oh, I thought she left about ten minutes ago. She said she had just finished putting on the final touches."
"Touches on what?"
"On some present I heard she made for Fluttershy, so she might still be upstairs. How is our dear little pegasus friend doing anyhow?"
Twilight was instantaneously filled with fear; as hearing anyone mention Fluttershy's name gave her a bad sense of judgment, but was this really the thing to be worried about right now? She knew by heart that nopony she knew would think that way of her friend.
"She's opening up to us a bit, but I doubt the worst is over yet."
"Oh, well I just want to let you know that I sympathize for her and that you have my total support sweetie. You just let me or Mister Cake know if there is anything we can do for her."
The lilac unicorn was warmed by the generous offer. "Thank you Misses Cake, I think I'll go get Pinkie Pie now."
The blue pastry chef pony went back to her humming in the kitchen as Twilight went up the stairs. There was an unusual sound that could be heard down the hallway as she reached the top step. She couldn't make it out until she was inches away from peering into Pinkie's room. It sounded like crying.
Being cautious and walking softly, Twilight took two steps inside of the room while staring at the pink party pony with her cotton candy scented mane completely deflated. She was sobbing on the floor with her back turned to Twilight, who was unaware of the damaged cupcake lying on the floor.
"Pinkie Pie, what's going on?"
She continued to cry, staring at her destroyed pastry. "It's broken Twilight. I can't do anything right. I honestly did think it would be this simple."
"It's alright Pinkie. W-we can just make another one. I'm sure you could even make a cupcake that'll be better than the last."
There was a pause. "It's not about the cupcake Twilight, it's much worse than that
The long maned earth pony turned around and was about to say something else, but fell short and could only let out another stream of sad tears. She had suppressed her emotions for too long ever since that long run to the hospital. It was, after all, in her best nature to be as happy and cheerful during the darkest of times.
"Fluttershy is going to be just fine Pinkie Pie, and it's all because she has a good friend like you for wanting to bring a gift that would make her happy."
"I-I'm sorry. I was about to go out and meet you guys when I dropped it on the floor. It's just
that I didn't think it was a big deal, but then I thought about how easily it fell apart
" Pinkie clenched her eyes. "
and then I thought about how easily Fluttershy fell apart. I-I just want to make her feel happy and special inside but-" Pinkie sniffled.
Twilight was on the brink of breaking into tears as well. The feeling was mutual among Twilight and all of her friends; she just hadn't realized it until now. An empty feeling of helplessness was being drawn inside her chest and was at a loss of words of what to say to make Pinkie stop crying.
"Pinkie Pie- w-we should
"Rainbow Dash was right Twilight. It's not like things will suddenly get better, but does that mean that
they get worse?"
A tear fell down the lilac unicorn's cheek as she wanted to cry more than anything in the world, but still had the willpower to resist. The sense of responsibility to her friends was of the most importance. However, the only thing she could think of doing right now was reaching in for a gentle hug around her friend. They rested on each other's shoulder to give comfort to one another as Twilight silently cried alongside with Pinkie.
"Y-y-yeah?" She replied; eyes still clenched.
"There is a saying that 'things will get worse before they get better.' I know how hard this is for
all of us, but I think you may be giving yourself less credit than you deserve."
Pinkie Pie then parted hooves length away before wiping a tear and noticing the one near Twilight's snout. "W-wha-?"
"Your attitude and enthusiasm has helped keep everyone's hope of that Fluttershy can have a happy and laughable life again. It's in your element."
"But how can that be true? What's so wonderful about laughing at a time like this?"
Another tear fell down Twilight's eye, smiling with just a hint of forced laughter under her breath. "There is also a saying that goes: 'laughter is the best medicine.'"
That joke made Pinkie Pie giggle a bit with her tears still soaking around her eyes as miniature puddles of rain. A smile rose in and the pink earth pony rose up to wipe face, as she now felt slightly relieved with her mane slowly starting to regain some of its composure.
"Come on Pinkie. Let's make an even better cupcake and then head on down to the hospital. I'm sure Fluttershy would love to eat some delicious baked goods."
Applejack's eyes were angered, making her intimidating stance right in front of the blue unicorn; feeling so tempted to leap at her, but stood fast. The last thing she wanted to do was make a big scene in public.
"What did you just say to Fluttershy?" She ordered.
"Oh, it's you. I remember you
A small memory sparked inside of both pony's minds, recalling their first encounter with each other atop of Trixie's staged performance, which resulted in Applejack having to hop away with a rope around her hooves. It was rather unpleasant for either of them to recall.
"I'll ask you again real nice like. What
did ya'll say to Fluttershy that has her running off like that?"
Trixie rolled her eyes and sighed. "She nearly ruined my cape and I got a little upset, that's all."
"If you'd be livin' in Ponyville, you'd know that Fluttershy is a sensitive pony."
Trixie started become annoyed, socializing with her past rivals was not the way she wanted to spend her day in Ponyville, if not anywhere else in Equestria. She still hated Twilight more than anyone else, but felt rather evoked to take her revenge out among her friends.
"Sensitive? Oh don't make me laugh." She snorted
"You should be feelin' real sorry for her missy. That there pegasus is the only one around here that cares deeply for everyone, unlike you."
Trixie held her head high. "It's not my fault that she's weak and frail. If anything, she should be sorry for all the horrible things she's done."
Applejack took two steps forward. "What did ya'll just say?"
Trixie smirked. "Oh you don't know? Why don't you go by the open field near the Everfree forest and see for yourself? Now if you'll excuse me, Trixie has a hotel to be in."
Trixie began walking away without so much as eyeing the earth pony. Applejack was about to step in front and ask what she meant by that, but felt rather confused by what the blue unicorn meant by her proclamation. What horrible things could she be talking about?
"Remember when I pulled off that sonic rainboom at the Cloudsdale's Young Flyers Competition?"
"Oh, yes I remember. You were so brave too."
"Well I remember how you screamed so loud for me when it happened.
Fluttershy fell silent again in her bed. Knowing that Rainbow was only trying to make her smile, she just couldn't find it in her to show one with so much sadness still suppressed in her heart. Sometimes getting her to say more than one sentence at a time proved to be difficult, but Rainbow would be patient.
don't you remember?" Rainbow smiled.
yes, I remember."
"Yeah, I never heard you sound so happy and out loud like that before."
Fluttershy grinned. "Yeah, it was such a wonderful feeling to see my friend do some so incredible that- I just didn't know what to say
So I screamed for you."
"Yeah and I thought only Pinkie Pie jumped that high."
Rainbow giggled a little with Fluttershy showing off a cute blushing smile while shrugging her shoulders. Though it seemed like her attitude was improving, Rainbow could still sense her surreptitious feelings and knew it was going to be hard to get Fluttershy to talk about her traumatic occurrence.
I never told anyone this but- it really made me feel so happy to finally hear you scream like that. I don't think anyone at that competition could yell over your awesome cheering."
"Oh yeah, I guess I was a little loud."
Yet another few moments of silence passed with Rainbow falling short of another subject to talk about and Fluttershy still too timid to be open about anything. Rainbow searched and searched through her head, trying to think of anything that would help Fluttershy. Her ears twitched, and a brilliant idea ensued.
Rainbow looked at the ground and closed her eyes. "I want to tell you something else I've only told to one other pony. Something I thought I'd never have the guts to tell anyone."
"Oh- you don't have to tell me Rainbow. I wouldn't want to make you sad."
Rainbow brought a hoof onto the bed. "No
you need to hear this."
Fluttershy leaned in slightly. "O-okay."
Inhaling a deep breath and then exhaling, as she had to prepare herself for a few seconds. It would take all of her courage to tell Fluttershy this deep secret she had never shared with anypony, but knew it would do her some good.
"I was just a little filly when this happened." She started.
"Now look. I know how much this ordeal has upset you and nopony else feels any different, but we don't have any proof that Trixie is the cause of this." Twilight explained.
"Applejack was the one that said Trixie made Fluttershy run off crying, so she must've said something that would push her to end up in the hospital. There can't be any lie in that if she's the element of honesty."
"Rairty I know that
but there's knowing the truth and then there's thinking that you know the truth. Applejack could've misunderstood her and we don't even know what Trixie meant by Fluttershy's horrible things."
"Is it a coincidence that our Fluttershy ran home and tried to kill herself an hour after Trixie had lectured her?"
"No, it's not, but this can't be the main reason why Fluttershy tried to commit suicide and you know that."
"I don't care Twilight. Anyone who makes Fluttershy miserable like that out to be beaten with stones and banished from Ponyville."
Twilight could see Rarity's anger was becoming tangible. Quickly, she changed tactics and turned the tables around on her friend. "How can you not care for the main reason why Fluttershy was sad to begin with? You know that she was feeling sad more than a few days ago, so how can Trixie be the cause?"
The tension in Rarity's legs eased up as she relaxed her body and raised both eyebrows with comprehension. For the second time now, she had let her anger get the best of her ever since she first heard about Fluttershy's traumatic evening. At the bottom of her heart, she knew that jumping out and pointing hooves wasn't what the element of kindness would do.
"Fluttershy is still in a lot of pain right now and needs us to be there for her, just like you said to Rainbow Dash. So that also means she needs you Rarity, can't you see that?"
Rarity's emotions were starting to catch up with a frown appearing in her expression. "You're absolutely right Twilight. I feel so like such a foolish little filly for wanting to be so reckless like that."
Twilight grinned and then casted her spell again to release the encrusted dirt around Rarity's hooves. The white unicorn collapsed to the ground on her chest, groveling in the grief of her own selfishness.
"I'm so sorry. Taking it out on Trixie was the only thing I could think of to ease Fluttershy's pain, but it turned out to be my pain."
"I know, but trust me when I say that everything can and will turn out just fine. We just need to remember the importance of friendship and stick together."
Rarity wanted to smile, but still had another thought lingering in her head. "You don't think I'm a foolish friend, do you Twilight?" She asked.
Twilight brought herself closer to her friend's face. "No Rarity. Your actions may have been uncalled for, but they also show me how much you really care for her."
With that, the fashion pony brought herself up, stood beside her companion as they began to walk back towards the hospital. Rarity started to recollect her happy thoughts of Fluttershy, as she would soon know what to say to her yellow pegasus friend.
Unbeknownst to either of the two friends, a purple eyed unicorn stood on the second floor of the hotel across the street; staring out her window where she had silently eased dropped. With her standing there in shock, a small gust of wind forced a hanging tear to fall off her eye and land on her cape.
End Part 5