After Iron Will left town, Fluttershy didn’t step foot in Sugarcube Corner for nearly a month. Pinkie never said a word about it, though. Never even questioned. Never let her smile flicker or falter for even a second.
That made it worse. Fluttershy wasn’t sure why, exactly, but it did.
Rarity was easy. She’d only avoided the Boutique for a week or so, and then Rarity came bursting into her cottage to demand that Fluttershy accompany the unicorn to the spa. Fluttershy couldn’t really say no, and so she didn’t. Once there, the Pegasus had tried to apologize, yet again—her words stuttering, stumbling—but Rarity had shushed her almost immediately.
“All water under the bridge, darling.”
“B-but, Rarity …”
And Rarity had smiled, a kind smile, a generous smile, and slowly repeated, “Water under the bridge.”
That had been that. They never spoke of it again and, as far as Fluttershy could tell, things were back to how they’d been.
But that wouldn’t work with Pinkie Pie—couldn’t work with Pinkie Pie. With Rarity, there were years of friendship to fall back on, shared interests, shared temperaments. With Pinkie, Fluttershy had … well, not nothing, perhaps, but not enough. Not nearly enough.
So Fluttershy simply returned Pinkie’s smiles as best as she was able and pretended everything was all right. Because everything was all right. More or less. Everything was back to as good as it had ever been.
As good as it ever would be.
“You … you don’t like me. D’you?”
The words were strangely slow and slurred. So much so that it took Fluttershy a minute or two to recognize the voice speaking to her. Once she did, she let out a squeak and whirled around, only to find herself gazing into a pair of eyes the color of the sky on a sunny day.
“O-oh!” Fluttershy could feel her face warm and her stomach give a lurch. She glanced down and smoothed out the folds of her bridesmaid’s dress as best as she was able. “Oh, Pinkie, you startled me.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do that a lot. A loooot.” As Pinkie leaned forward, resting a forehoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder, the pegasus caught a whiff of vodka. “S’that why you don’t like me? ‘Cause I scare you alla time?”
Fluttershy swallowed nervously. “Who … who said I don’t like you?”
“Nopony!” Pinkie laughed, but it didn’t sound like her usual laughs. It wasn’t as full, wasn’t as rich. The laugh didn’t sound out like a trumpet but vibrated like the string of a violin. “But nopony has to tell me that cupcakes are really, super tasty. Y’know? I’m a smart pony. I know stuff!”
Keeping her eyes firmly on the ground, Fluttershy stood there and tried to think of a response. Something that was true and yet something that was kind. Something that would help.
Pinkie’s hoof felt on her shoulder felt as though it weighed a ton.
“Just … just want you to like me, Flutters, is all. ‘Cause I like you.”
Fluttershy took a deep breath and, when she finally opened her mouth, the words tumbled out of her like a boulder rolling down a mountain: “You’re loud and obnoxious and have absolutely no self-control, and I still don’t understand why you’re so obsessed with parties all the time.”
Pinkie didn’t response, and Pinkie didn’t move. Almost involuntarily, Fluttershy lifted her head to look at her friend. Pinkie was just standing there and smiling at her. Just standing and smiling with that smile she’d had on her face for the last month.
Fluttershy hated that smile. After seeing it every day for weeks on end, she’d grown to a point where she hated it more than just about anything else in Equestria.
So she leaned forward and kissed Pinkie hard on that terrible, smiling mouth. It was more of an attack than anything else, but it accomplished the job—when she pulled away, Pinkie wasn’t smiling anymore. Instead, the pink pony stood with her mouth hanging open and her eyes wide and round.
“You’re loud and obnoxious and have absolutely no self-control,” repeated Fluttershy slowly, painfully. “You’re everything I’ve always been afraid of, and you’ve everything I never want to be.”
Pinkie simply took a step back, tripping a bit over her own hooves before sitting down on her rump.
“You’re right. I don’t like you. I don’t.” Fluttershy shut her eyes and gently shook her head. “I don’t like you a lot of the time, Pinkie, but … but I want you. I want you, and I don’t want to.”
Fluttershy didn’t open her eyes as the music of the reception was the only thing to be heard in the gardens. She didn’t open her eyes when she felt her fur prickle as a pony approached her. She didn’t open her eyes when a pair of lips touched her necks, tracing a warm, wet line up to her ear, and she didn’t open her eyes when those lips began murmuring words of temptation, words of forgiveness, words of blessed, blessed release.
She kept her eyes closed through it all, because she didn’t want to have to watch it all unfold as she finally gave in. As she gave in to the demons that whispered to her, in a voice so very much like the one which belonged to that infuriating pink pony. That whispered that it was all right to let go, to let loose, to let it all out. That whispered the sweetest and purest of lies.
Fluttershy kept her eyes closed, and finally Fluttershy came undone.
Whoooooa. This is a really good take on a pairing that I actually like a lot. The idea of Fluttershy being jealous or resentful of Pinkie is one I’ve always thought is really fascinating, and this is a great way to convey it. Good job!