Fluttershy peered over the edge, then backed away quickly, her wings gluing themselves to her sides.
“Ugh, we don’t have time for this!” Twilight groaned.
But Pinkie knew exactly what she was doing as she leapt over the ravine. “It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump!” she said to Fluttershy, who frowned at her quizzically.
“It’s just a hop, skip and a jump,
You can make it if you try,
Just move your little rump,
It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump, a hop skip and a jump, ahopskipandajump, ahopskipandajump ahopskipandajump!”
And as Pinkie landed for the last time, she saw Fluttershy climb to her hooves with a brave little smile. “Oookay, here goes…”
It was awful.
Everything felt dull and unexciting and unhappy and blurgh. She felt so hot, but she was shivering with the icy cold. Her whole body was crawly and itchy as if she was covered in bitey ants. And worst of all, there was no laughter. None at all!
But then Pinkie felt a hoof on her forehead, and a familiar voice murmured, “Oh, my. You’re burning up. Don’t you worry, though. Auntie Fluttershy is here…” And Pinkie smiled.
Fluttershy trembled in the wings. The wings of the stage, Pinkie meant, but Fluttershy’s own wings were trembling too. “I… I’m not sure I want to go out there, Pinkie Pie.”
“What?!” But this was so important! There were all those smiling ponies out there, waiting for the show to start! It would hardly be a show without Fluttershy’s birdsongs! How could anypony disappoint them?
But… Fluttershy didn’t think like that, did she?
Pinkie crouched down and nuzzled Fluttershy’s cheek. “You don’t like them all looking at you, huh?” Fluttershy just hid behind her mane. “Well, don’t do it for them. Don’t even think about them. Do it for me.”
Fluttershy looked back at her. “Do… do you really mean that?”
“Of course I mean it, silly! I love your music. It won’t be the same without you.”
“I… Okay. I’ll try.” And Fluttershy stepped out onto the stage.
The earth shook with the dragon’s roar. Fluttershy squeaked and ducked down.
“Come on, Flutters!” Pinkie pleaded. “Without Dashie, you’re the only one who can fly up there!”
“But I can’t!” Fluttershy peeked out from beneath her hooves. “I’m not brave like you or Rainbow Dash…”
“Are you craaaazy?!” Pinkie grabbed Fluttershy’s shoulders and pulled her to her hooves. “You’ve stared down bears and basilisks and chimeras and Discord and three-headed dogs and dragons WAY bigger than this one without even flinching!”
“W-what’s a basilisk?”
“Oops, sorry! That was next week! Point is, you’re the bravest pony I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lotta ponies, Fluttershy! You’re just amazing! I know you can do it. So go up there and save Dashie and let that dragon know just how disappointed you are!”
And she did.
Pinkie flopped down on her back, looking up at the night sky.
Her marefriend lay down softly beside her. “Is… Is this okay? I, um… Twilight gave me the idea, but I didn’t know if… if you’d like it…”
“Of course I like it!” Pinkie rolled over, pressing right up against Fluttershy’s side and making the yellow pony blush. “I’m a daytime pony. I never really get to see the stars! And even when I do, I never stop and look, because I’m too busy being busy! But when you look, they’re amazing,” Pinkie concluded in a whisper, gazing back up at Luna’s sky.
Fluttershy smiled and nestled her head against Pinkie’s.
They lay there peacefully for a few minutes. Then Pinkie exclaimed, “Look! Look over there!”
“See those bright stars just over there? They look exactly like a penguin in a top hat doing a tap-dance on the back of a tortoise!”
And Fluttershy gave a musical, beautiful giggle.
“Here, Flutters!” Pinkie offered Fluttershy… The Cupcake. “This is the bestest most speciallest cupcake!”
“Oh, um.” Fluttershy blushed. “Thank you, but I’m sure somepony else would like it.”
“No no no! I baked it just for you!” She thrust it forward, right into Fluttershy’s face. “Pleeeease?” she said with big, watery, pleading eyes.
Fluttershy had to cross her eyes to keep them on the cupcake pressed against her muzzle. “Just for me?” She blushed even brighter. Pinkie’s heart trembled. “Well… okay. If it’s that important to you.” She took the cupcake in her hooves and gave it a tentative nibble.
Pinkie cramped up in anticipation…
“Ow!” Fluttershy recoiled. “There’s something hard in he… oh.” She fell silent as she saw the object buried within the cupcake. It was smooth and round and shiny and Pinkie knew exactly what it was and it was a ring.
Ever the pony for tradition (what?), Pinkie went down on three knees and looked up at the pegasus of her dreams. “Fluttershy… Will you marry me?”
Fluttershy stared at the ring. Then she stared at Pinkie. Then she stared at the ring. Pinkie could see the gears turning in Fluttershy’s head — well, not really, it would be pretty funny if she had gears in her head! — and she recognised that hesitant little face.
Fluttershy was scared. So Pinkie did what she always did when Fluttershy was scared. She began to sing.
“A hundred doubts, a hundred fears,
But as long as you and I are near
I’ll make you grin from ear to ear —
There’s a hundred ways to spend our years…”
Pinkie never remembered what the rest of the words she sang were. It hardly seemed important. She was too engrossed in those shimmering teal eyes and that tiny, growing, adorable smile. She could see Fluttershy’s worries melting away — her body relaxing, her wings settling, her eyes and ears perking up.
And as the last note of Pinkie’s song faded away, Fluttershy said, “Yes. Definitely.”
This was really sweet. I liked the play between Pinkie and Fluttershy with Pinkie being encouraging and sweet, even if it took her a moment to parse out what it was Fluttershy needed. And the proposal was wonderful and adorable and just so Pinkie. This was really fun. Good job this week!