Chapter One: Autumn Leaves

The leaves rustled in the wind, falling one by one into the sweetly aromatic breeze. Autumn had come early this year, as the Pegasi had decided that Ponyville would need to have more time to clean up Winter in a few months. Not that anyone was complaining; it was pleasantly cool and gorgeous out today, and most everyone was out enjoying the vibrant reds and oranges of the great trees’ leaves.

Young fillies and colts were leaping into piles of fallen leaves, squealing in delight at the satisfying crunches they produced. There were more than a few young couples out and about, walking closely together or sitting on one of several hills, leaning on each other as they watched Celestia’s beautiful sun begin to set. There was sweet, romantic bliss in the air everywhere. It was the most perfect Hearts and Hooves day one could hope for.

Except for one pony.

Fluttershy was slowly plodding through the little dirt road, hanging her head and drooping her ears. It was a little strange to see this young Pegasus Mare so dejected and alone today; her custard coat, butterfly cutie mark, long, silky pink mane, and sweet blue eyes had turned more than a few heads, especially during her short-lived career as a model. With a little make-up and grooming she was considered more stunning than every other Mare in Ponyville- even Rarity, one of her best friends and the usual belle of the town.

But the fact remained: Fluttershy was alone. She was also painfully aware of it. As she walked over the path with two saddlebags draped over her torso, she tried as hard as she could to avoid looking at those mockingly affectionate couples. They only made it hurt more.

She attempted to hide her gaze behind her mane and look squarely at her hooves, focusing only on bringing her groceries home. However, something caught her attention at the corner of her eye, and she looked. She saw the mint unicorn Lyra and the blue-and-pink-maned Earth pony Bon-Bon walking toward her, smiling as their heads pressed together.

Fluttershy’s eyes began to sting as she felt a sob building within her. This hurt the most. Almost all the others were more “traditional” couples; pairs of one Stallion and one Mare, as was standard and acceptable. But here- here was one of those “unorthodox” pairs of two mares. Not only did they have the enormous courage necessary to confess their feelings to one another, but they also had the even greater bravery to show their… unusual love to the rest of the world. Bravery that Fluttershy didn’t have.

Fluttershy sobbed and began galloping towards her home. She didn’t even care that the was weeping for all the world to see anymore; there was too much pain. Too much pain.

She ran into her cottage and slammed the door behind her, then curled up on the floor and began sobbing more loudly. After a few moments she felt a small paw begin stroking her mane and looked up from behind her forelegs. It was her bunny Angel, as she thought. He could be fussy and he could be demanding, but this was why Fluttershy loved him so much; he was always there when she needed him the most.

Fluttershy wrapped her forelegs around her sympathetically smiling pet and continued sobbing into his soft, white fur. “Oh Angel…” she whispered. “It hurts so much. It hurts so much.”

Fluttershy hated this. More than heights. More than humiliation. More than dragons. She hated being in love. She had never felt more pain, or fear, than she felt now. She could think of nothing more horrible than being so completely in love.

Fluttershy hated Hearts and Hooves day. To her it was nothing more than a bitter reminder of all she would never have. She would have liked to have curled up with Angel, a good book, and a nice cup of hot cocoa today, and never venture out from her house. Shut out all of the reminders, all of the pain. She would have, too, except that when she had gotten up that morning and gone to her pantry to retrieve a box of animal feed for her little friends, she found an all-but-empty box.

“Feather,” she had muttered, mentally berating herself. She had forgotten to go shopping yesterday so she wouldn’t have to go today. What a stupid, stupid mistake to make.

Fluttershy had sighed and slipped on her saddlebags. If she had to shop, she would get it over with as quickly as possible, preferably before many of the couples were out and about. “I’m going to the market!” she called to her animal friends as she was leaving. “I’ll be back soon!”

For the first part of Fluttershy’s trip, things were going well. It was early enough that few other ponies were out, and it was a lovely morning. She was significantly more cheerful than she had feared she would be when she left. She had a small spring to her step as she entered the market and began shopping.

However, as she was just finishing buying some lettuce, she heard a friendly, western voice drawl “Hey there, Fluttershy!” and turned to see Applejack, another one of her friends.

Applejack was the very image of old-fashioned, neighborly, country sweetness. Like most other Apples, her fur was red and yellow; her orange coat and blonde, unruly mane, respectively. She kept her mane in a loose ponytail and sported an old, brown leather cowgirl hat. Under this hat were emerald-green eyes and a light spray of yellow freckles. Upon her flank were three apples, again resembling most of her relatives.

Fluttershy returned Applejack’s smile. “Hello, Applejack,” she said.

“You doin’ some shoppin’ there, ‘Shy?” Applejack asked.

“Oh yes,” Fluttershy replied. “My little animal friends have run out of food, so I’m getting some more for them.”

“Ah was actually goin’ to go to your cottage. We’re havin’ a luncheon out at Sweet Apple Acres, and Ah was wonderin’ if you wanted to come.”

Fluttershy flinched. She began to hide behind her mane and dig at the ground as she replied, “Well… um… you see-”

“Did ya have other plans?” Applejack asked a little surprisedly.

“Um, no,” Fluttershy said. “I… I just…”

“Are ya worried about seein’ couples there? Don’t worry, Fluttershy; none of us have dates, either. Ah actually set up the luncheon so we could all enjoy today, even without Special Someponies.”

Fluttershy felt a pang of heartache at these words. She wanted to ask Applejack to please not talk about that, but she knew that taking the conversation in that direction would probably lead to the subject of who it was that held Fluttershy’s affections. She wished to avoid that at all costs; with just a little pressuring Fluttershy would likely break down and spill it, and her friendship with the disapproving Applejack would then fall under strain. So instead she swallowed her pain, smiled, and said, “That’s very thoughtful, Applejack.”

“So, do ya wanna come?”

“Who else will be there?”

“Ah was just goin’ to ask Pinkie, then ya’ll. If ya both come, it’ll be everypony.”

Oh no, Fluttershy thought. She’ll be there. Fluttershy couldn’t see her; not today. Even thinking about her now made Fluttershy begin to ache. She tried to think up an excuse why she couldn’t go, but after a few moments of glazed-over stillness Applejack waved a hoof in front of her face and said, “Ya alright, Fluttershy?”

“Oh!” Fluttershy exclaimed, her trance broken. “Yes. I’m sorry, Applejack.”

It would be rude not to go, and Fluttershy was a terrible liar. She decided that she would go to the luncheon, visit her friends, leave as soon as was politely possible, then return home and go back to her original plan of reading until today slipped away. She put on a smiling mask and said, “That would be lovely. I would love to go.”

Applejack smiled back. “Great! We just have to ask Pinkie, and then we can go.”

They walked to Sugar Cube Corner in silence, which suited Fluttershy fine; the less they spoke, the less chance there was of the object of Fluttershy’s affections coming up. Fluttershy was glad they were going to see Pinkie Pie; though her energetic eccentricity could be bothersome at times, she could always distract you from your problems and knew how to make you smile. They didn’t have to walk long; the shop was in the middle of town.

Sugar Cube Corner was like a cross between a house and a pink cake, with brown shingled roofs and a candled cupcake-like spire jutting out of the top of it. They approached it and Applejack rapped smartly on the hot pink front doors.

“I’ll get it!” they heard a high, excited voice sing, and after a few moments they heard a rapid clopping followed by the doors being pushed open, revealing the completely pink, curly-maned Pinkie Pie. With enthusiasm befitting her cutie mark of three balloons, Pinkie ecstatically smiled and bounced upon seeing her friends. “Hi, Fluttershy! Hi, Applejack! It’s so great to see you here today! Why are you here? Do you not have dates? ‘Cause if you don’t, that’s okay; I don’t have one either! Unless, of course, you’re both each other’s dates, which is also great!”

Applejack looked affronted. Her eyes narrowed and she said quite irritably, “No, Pinkie, Fluttershy ain’t my date! Why would ya’ll think that?!”

A still-bouncing, unfazed Pinkie replied, “It’s Hearts and Hooves day, silly! Everypony has a date today!”

Fluttershy quietly asked, “Do you have a date, Pinkie?”

Pinkie’s bouncing abruptly stopped. “Umm… Well, no.”

Pinkie looked down and lightly dug at the ground, and Fluttershy was a little stunned to see that she looked dejected. It was incredibly bizarre to see Pinkie Pie show any sign of sadness. It caused Fluttershy to wonder, was Pinkie lonely too?

Applejack sighed, smiled, and said, “Well, Fluttershy and Ah were goin’ to my farm to have a luncheon with our other friends. We were wonderin’ if ya’ll wanted to come.”

Pinkie perked back up. “Who else will be there?” she asked excitedly.

Applejack was a bit taken aback, having heard that question asked by Fluttershy only a few minutes earlier, but she said, “If you’re there, it’ll be everypony.”

Pinkie Pie leapt straight into the air, gasping dramatically, then she happily shouted, “ARE YOU KIDDING?! YES, I WANT TO COME! THIS’LL BE GREAT!!”

Some confetti popped into the air above Pinkie, and she pulled out a noisemaker and loudly blew into it. She darted back into the shop and Applejack and Fluttershy heard her call, “Mr. and Mrs. Caaaaake, I’m going to Sweet Apple Acres to have lunch with Applejack and Fluttershy! I’ll be back soon!”

She then skipped back out, humming cheerfully. “Well, alright, then,” Applejack said, a little rattled. She turned back around. “Let’s all get goin’, then.”

Pinkie Pie continued humming and bouncing as they trotted down the path to Sweet Apple Acres. Fluttershy was trying to think of how she was going to cope with her there, and how she was too cowardly to tell her-

Fluttershy let out a little whimper, then shook her head. No, she would not allow her mind to go down that path. She didn’t need any questions, and especially not now.

Fluttershy took a deep breath and began engaging in one of her most common coping techniques: she let her mind begin slipping into a fantasy about Rarity. A small smile and blush began to creep onto Fluttershy’s face as she let out a sigh. All of her other closest friends were frequent subjects of her imaginings, but Rarity was her go-to retreat at times like these for several reasons: firstly, she really was astonishingly gorgeous. Secondly, fantasies about her were comparatively more plausible than the others, and therefore easier to believe could happen; Rarity was the only one who was aware of Fluttershy’s attraction to her (as a result, of course, of Fluttershy’s inability to resist admiring her on their spa trips). Though Rarity didn’t respond with anything beyond flattery, she was thankfully progressive enough to accept her and sympathetic enough to keep it secret. But thirdly and most importantly, though Rarity wasn’t Fluttershy’s favorite subject, the one who really was was of course the one who caused her need to cope in the first place; therefore Rarity, being her second favorite, was the one she usually used instead.

Fluttershy played her favorite scene: a scenario taking place in the spa. It began with the two of them going to get massages, but this time Rarity forwent her own, volunteering to instead provide Fluttershy’s herself. Fluttershy protested, saying she didn’t have to, but Rarity insisted.

Rarity began gently working Fluttershy’s back with her hooves and Fluttershy let herself fall into a satisfied bliss. After some time of enjoying Rarity’s skillful touch they went into one of the luxury saunas, where Lotus Blossom and Aloe steamed the room by pouring spoonfuls of perfumed water onto glowing embers piled in a hearth in the room’s center. Rarity closed her eyes and breathed deeply as she began to relax, but Fluttershy took the opportunity to drink in her glistening, delightfully curvaceous white body. After a few moments, however, Rarity opened an eye to look at her, and caught Fluttershy gazing down at her form.

“Ahem,” she said delicately, and Fluttershy gasped, blushed madly, and hid behind her mane. “Oh, Rarity! I… I didn’t…”

Rarity turned to Lotus and Aloe. “That’ll be all, thank you,” she said. The twins politely bowed and exited the sauna, closing the doors behind them. Rarity and Fluttershy were alone now.

Rarity turned back to Fluttershy, a coyly suggestive glint in her eye. “You like what you see, Fluttershy?” she purred.

Fluttershy’s blush deepened and her eyes darted around frantically. “I… I was-”

“Perhaps you’d like to do more than look?” Rarity said, slowly crawling toward her. Fluttershy stammered, attempting to say something in response, but she couldn’t decide exactly what to say; she wasn’t sure if she wanted to stop whatever Rarity was doing, or let her do it…

Rarity reached Fluttershy and gently pushed her down to the ground. She kissed Fluttershy’s neck, causing her to cry out in ecstasy.

Rarity softly bit Fluttershy’s ear, running a hoof down her leg-

“Fluttershy?” she heard the voice of Applejack say. “Huh?” Fluttershy said, returning to reality. “You alright?” Applejack asked.

Fluttershy blushed again. “Oh, yes. I’m sorry, I was having a little daydream.”

“What about?” Pinkie Pie asked curiously.

Fluttershy flinched, caught off-guard by the question. After a moment she responded, “A relaxing spa trip.”

It was a complete enough truth that Fluttershy had little trouble using it as her answer, and Pinkie Pie smiled, satisfied. “Okie Dokie! That sounds fun! Were you having a nice, hot bubble bath in it?”

“I didn’t get to that part yet,” Fluttershy said. How unfortunate, too. That was one of her favorite parts; Twilight got involved then.

“Well, we’re here,” Applejack said. Indeed, they were standing at the gates of Sweet Apple Acres.

This was one of Fluttershy’s favorite places. Everything about it was brimming with natural, country charm, from the quaint farm buildings to the sprawling apple orchards around them. The best part was that all of these were filled with animals, which Fluttershy always loved visiting. Fluttershy and Applejack walked while Pinkie Pie bounced the remainder of the distance between them and the farmhouse.

When they opened the front door, Applejack called out, “Hey, everypony! We’re here!”

From upstairs, Fluttershy heard the sudden rapid clopping of small hooves sound across the second-floor hall and down the staircase until Applejack’s little sister Apple Bloom emerged. She was a cream-coated, redheaded little filly with peach eyes, a large pink bow, and hadn’t yet gotten her cutie mark. Nonetheless, she was always almost as energetic as Pinkie Pie, and she and her also-markless friends Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle quite fervently dedicated their energy into discovering their hidden talents as the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Fluttershy smiled; Apple Bloom and her friends were the sweetest, most adorable fillies you could meet.

“Hi, Pinkie! Hi, Fluttershy!” Apple Bloom said. “Are ya here for lunch?”

“We sure are!” Pinkie said delightedly.

“Hey there, girls,” Fluttershy heard another voice say. They all turned to see the green, elderly Granny Smith hobbling out of the kitchen. The huge, cherry-red Big Macintosh was right behind her. “It’s sure swell to see the two o’ ya here,” Granny continued.

“Eeyup,” Big Mac agreed.

“Where’s everypony else?” Pinkie asked.

“They’ll be here soon,” Applejack replied. Indeed, just after she spoke they heard a cheerful “Hi, girls!” behind them, and they turned around to see the lavender, star-marked Twilight and purple-maned, diamond-marked Rarity entering the gate together.

“Oh good, you’re here too!” Applejack said, and all of them entered the house before Apple Bloom shut the door behind them.

“Where’s Rainbow Dash?” Pinkie asked, to which Twilight rolled her eyes. “Late as usual,” she said.

“She has no sense of punctuality,” Rarity added disapprovingly. “Of course a lady needs her beauty sleep, but Rainbow takes her naps a little too far.”

Pinkie’s smile got a little smaller. “Will she come?”

“Of course,” Twilight said, setting down her saddle bags. “She’d never turn down a free meal.”

“All righty then,” Granny Smith said. “There’s no tellin’ when she’ll show up, so let’s get started.”

Fluttershy set down her bags as well before she and the rest of her friends followed Granny Smith back into the kitchen.

They all helped set the table, and Twilight volunteered to serve the food. She levitated in a huge iron pot of bubbling apple stew, which she spooned into everyone’s bowls. When Twilight had served herself and set the pot in the center of the table, Pinkie shouted “DIG IN!!” and began wolfing down her meal.

Rarity and Twilight telikenetically lifted up spoons to eat, but everyone else patiently blew into their stew to cool it before drinking it directly from the bowls. As usual, Fluttershy loved it. “Who made this?” she asked.

“Why, little old me and there Applejack!” Granny Smith replied.

“It’s delicious!” Twilight said.

“Thank ya kindly, Twi,” said Applejack.

“It really is!” Pinkie added, slightly muffled through a full mouth.

“I agree,” Fluttershy said.

“Aww, you’re all so sweet,” Applejack said.

They all continued eating for a while before Applejack said to Rarity, “So, ya got any orders lately?”

Rarity smiled. “As a matter of fact, I have. Just yesterday, I got a letter from Hoity Toi-”

At that moment there was a loud knocking on the door. Applejack sighed. “I’ll get it,” she said. She hopped down from her chair, trotted down the hall, and opened the door.

Immediately a blue blur darted inside and hovered over the table. “Hey, guys. You all started without me?” said Rainbow Dash.

Fluttershy’s heart pounded and her mouth fell open, her lips forming a small “o.” As she stared at Rainbow she felt her blush begin to return. Rainbow was confident and athletic, with a cyan coat and messy, rainbow-colored mane. Her large, powerful wings were surely the fastest in all of Equestria, as signified by the lightning bolt flashing from a cloud on her flank. Fluttershy felt weak and lightheaded in her presence, and she began to swoon as she watched Rainbow descend until she stood upon the table.

“Hi, Rainbow!” Pinkie cried, standing on her chair and placing both of her hooves on the table. Rainbow turned and smiled back. “Hi, Pinkie.”

“Both of ya’ll, get off,” Applejack said exasperatedly, returning to the table. Rainbow smirked as she hopped down, but Pinkie simply grinned as she sat back down and said, “Okay!”

Fluttershy heard a soft voice say her name, and she blinked and looked at Twilight, whose head was tilted curiously. “Huh?” Fluttershy said.

“Fluttershy, wha-”

But Twilight was interrupted by Pinkie, who was bouncing up and down and asking, “Where were you, Dashie? Were you doing stunts? Or sleeping? Or maybe you were on a date?”

Rainbow’s eyes widened in surprise, but she smirked and shook her head. “Nah. Nopony’s cool enough to go out with me. I’m flying solo.”

Rainbow stuck a pose as she said this and Pinkie grinned. “That’s okay, Dashie! I don’t either!”

As Rainbow sat down, Apple Bloom turned to the rest of the table. “What about the rest of ya’ll?” She grinned and her eyes narrowed mischievously. “Do any o’ ya girls have a Special Somepony?”

Applejack shot a dirty look at Apple Bloom, but Rarity chuckled daintily and replied, “Not at the moment, dear. It’s rather nice to be free, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

Apple Bloom groaned a little disappointedly, but she quickly moved on to Twilight. “What about you, Twi?”

“Now, Apple Bloom-” Applejack began, but Twilight interrupted with “It’s alright, Applejack. No, not right now, Apple Bloom.”

Apple Bloom immediately turned to Fluttershy. “How about you, Fluttershy?”

A familiar pang of ache coursed through Fluttershy’s body. She began to blush and hide behind her mane. “Umm, no…”

“What?” Apple Bloom said. “You don’t have one? But why not? You’re so pretty!”

Tears began welling in Fluttershy’s eyes and Rarity and Rainbow Dash both awkwardly said, “Uhh…”

“Apple Bloom, stop,” Applejack said firmly, but Apple Bloom only gave her a puzzled look. “But it doesn’t make sense! Fluttershy’s one of the sweetest, prettiest Mares I know, but she still doesn’t have a Special Somepony!”

Fluttershy sobbed, and the entire table fell silent. After a few moments of weeping she tremblingly whispered, “Thank you for lunch, Applejack. I’d better go.” She pushed away from the table, walked to the front hall, put on her saddlebags, and left the Apples’ house.

Fluttershy went back to the market, finished her shopping, and now was back in her cottage, crying while holding Angel Bunny as twilight fell upon them.

When she had wept until no tears were left, Fluttershy stood, wiped her nose and bloodshot eyes, and went to her pantry. She was originally going to have hot chocolate today, but that wouldn’t suffice anymore. Now she needed something very expensive and fruit-based.

Fluttershy opened one of her high cupboards and pulled down a black, corked bottle. She checked the label. “Beaux Vin Rouge de Joseph Race Pure, Terrasse, la Prance, 871.” This would do.

Fluttershy was going to another cupboard to retrieve a corkscrew when she heard a knocking on her door. She sighed, set the bottle down, and went to answer it. When she opened the door, she was greeted by Twilight’s assistant Spike, a little purple baby dragon. “Hi, Fluttershy!” he said. Upon seeing her puffy eyes he asked concernedly, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, Spike,” Fluttershy replied, sniffing and wiping her eyes again. “Is there something you need?”

“Yeah. Twilight was wondering if you could come over to the library to talk.”

Fluttershy sighed again, but smiled softly and said, “Yes, I can come.”

It was beginning to grow dark as the two of them approached the library. While they walked Spike asked, “Did something happen?”

“I would like to not talk about it, if you don’t mind,” Fluttershy said.

Spike shrugged. “Alright.”

A small, real smile formed on Fluttershy’s lips. This was why she liked Spike; he didn’t pry. It only took a few minutes for them to reach the library, and once they did Fluttershy saw that the great tree’s many windows were glowing yellow with light.

Spike knocked on the door, and Twilight immediately answered. She smiled at them. “Hi, Fluttershy. Please, come in.”

Fluttershy did, and after Spike followed her in he closed the door. “Would you like some hot chocolate?” Twilight asked.

Fluttershy nodded gratefully. “Oh yes, that would be lovely.”

Twilight turned to Spike. “Time for bed,” she said.

“What?!” Spike yelled incredulously. “But it’s only seven!”

“Spike,” Twilight said gently, “Fluttershy and I need to be alone right now. Please go to bed.”

Spike sighed in exasperation. “Fine,” he grumbled, trudging up the steps to the little bed that sat beside Twilight’s.

Twilight dimmed the lights before she grabbed a small saucepan, retrieved a bottle of milk from her icebox, and heated some over the fireplace. When it began to boil Twilight poured it into two mugs, stirred some hot cocoa mix into them, and brought them to the table. When Fluttershy trotted over to sit across from her they could hear Spike gently snoring above them, so after sliding one of the mugs over to Fluttershy Twilight quietly asked, “How are you doing?”

“I’m alright,” Fluttershy whispered back, gently blowing into her cup.

As Fluttershy took a sip, Twilight’s pet owl Owlowiscious hooted from his perch. “Applejack had a talk with Apple Bloom. She wanted to tell you that she was really sorry and that she didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”

“It’s okay,” Fluttershy said, though there was a slight tremor to her voice.

Twilight took a sip from her own mug before saying, “Can I ask you something, Fluttershy?”

“Of course,” Fluttershy replied.

Twilight took another sip. “I promise I won’t repeat how you answer.” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, opened them again, then softly asked, “Are you in love with Rainbow Dash?”

Fluttershy flinched, staying absolutely still. They were both silent for a moment before Twilight kindly added, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

Fluttershy opened her mouth a few times before stammering, “H-h-how… how d-did you know?”

“The way you looked at her,” Twilight said, smiling sympathetically. “How long?”

Fluttershy’s entire face burned as she hid behind her mane. “Since we were fillies. Do… do you hate me now?”

Twilight sat up, stunned. “Hate you? What for?”

Tears began welling in Fluttershy’s eyes again. “For… for being a fillyfooler…”

“What was that you said? ‘For being a fillyfooler?'”

Fluttershy let out a tiny little squeak of “Mm-Hmm.”

Twilight shook her head. “No, of course not. Believe me, I’m the last pony who’d harshly judge you.”

Fluttershy looked up astonishedly. “What? Why not? Are… are you a fillyfooler, too?”

“Yeah. Well, technically, I’m bisexual, but that’s neither here nor there right now.”

Fluttershy stared at Twilight, stunned. “Why didn’t you tell us?” she asked.

Twilight shrugged. “It’s not been important until now. It’s not a big deal to me, but I’m not afraid to tell anyone who asks. Anyway, so you’re in love with Rainbow Dash. Have you told her?”

Fluttershy looked away again. “Umm, no…”

Twilight smiled. “Maybe you should.”

Fluttershy shook her head. “No. I can’t.”

Twilight tilted her head. “Why not? Who knows, she might like you too!”

Fluttershy’s eyes darted around. “Well, umm, I… I already know she’s attracted to me…”

Twilight’s eyes widened again. Fluttershy suddenly realized her mistake, gasped, and covered her mouth with her hooves. “Oh my gosh… I… I just…” She then reached forward, placed her hooves over Twilight’s, and pleaded, “Please don’t tell anyone! Dashie doesn’t want anyone to know about her, either…”

Twilight patted Fluttershy’s hoof reassuringly. “Don’t worry; I won’t tell anyone.”

Fluttershy sighed relievedly and slid back into her chair.

Twilight continued, “But how do you already know she likes you?”

Fluttershy kneaded the table with her hooves. “The same way I know I can’t tell her how I feel.”

“How’s that?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I’ve got plenty of time,” Twilight said, smiling.

Fluttershy stared at her for a few moments before she sighed and said, “Okay. Well, it began when I moved to Cloudsdale when I was just a little filly…”

Next Chapter >