Chapter Two: Opportunity?
Fluttershy awoke the next morning feeling pretty much exactly how she thought she would. Horrible. Last night was definitely not one of her brighter moments. She nearly fell out of bed, unable to keep her balance, owing to the fact she was both extremely sore from tossing and turning all night and dead tired from the lack of any amount of good sleep she had been getting lately.
She stumbled lamely to her bathroom and prepared a shower for herself. 'Well,' she thought as she stared at the knobs for the water control, 'maybe this will wake me up a little.' She sighed as she fiddled with the temperature knobs, attempting to get a decently comfortable temperature, while trying not to make it too warm, seeing as how that would simply relax her and make waking up even more difficult. 'You're such a wreck, Fluttershy...'
Meanwhile, at the Library, Twilight had awoken in nearly the same way as Fluttershy, though she was a little more used to lack of sleep thanks to her all-night studying. The moment she woke up she headed downstairs to get some breakfast, only to find Spike already awake and making what appeared to be pancakes. She took a quick look at the clock and noted that she hadn't even gotten up late.
"Um, Spike," she began, "what are you doing up so early? I thought you'd still be asleep for another hour or so."
He turned to her and shook his head, "I could say the same for you, Twi'. C'mon, I know how late you were up last night." He then went back to preparing breakfast, wanting to leave it at that.
"...But, you were already asleep when-"
"Twilight. I know when something's bothering you...and I heard you...crying, you know, before I passed out." He turned back to her at this with a sad little smile, "I'm always looking after you. I'm your Number One Assistant, remember?"
Twilight smiled fondly at Spike, "Yeah...you sure are, Spike." She walked over to him and pulled him into a spine-crushing hug, "Thanks, Spike, for being here for me..."
He returned the hug, regardless of how much pain he should have been in, his expression brightening exponentially. They stood in silence for several minutes, beofre Spike reminded Twilight he was still making their breakfast. After he had finished them, he presented them to Twilight like some sort of fancy French waiter. Two plates of chocolate chip pancakes, four for Twilight, two for Spike.
She looked at the two plates, then at Spike, then back to the plates, then back at Spike. "...Spike...are you implying something?"
He quirked an...'eyebrow' at her in confusion, before realizing what she meant, "Oh, nonononono! I just already ate something. Had a couple rubies before you woke up. Geez, somebody's been touchy about that lately."
She blushed, embarrased. She had indeed been fussing over her figure more the past couple of weeks. She had a justifiable reason for it! Well...she thought it was good enough.
"But come on, we both know that's not the reason you've been so out of sorts lately. At least, not the only reason."
Twilight was surprised. Spike's expression was extremely serious now, and he wasn't even paying attention to his food. He could read her like an open book.
"...Well, um...I don't really think....you'd want to hear about it."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well, you usually hate mushy stuff..."
"Twilight. I woke up earlier than you, I made you breakfast, and I let you shatter my spinal cord. This is different."
"...Okay...well, um...actually..." She paused for a moment,thinking of how exactly to phrase this, or if she even wanted to tell him at all. In the end, she just decided to blurt it out. It seemed like a good idea at the time. "I have a crush on somepony!"
"...That's what's gotten you so worked up?"
"W-Wha? Well, yes, actually, it is! This is really stressing me out, Spike!"
"Well have you tried telling them about this?"
Her mouth fell dumbly open as she tried to come up with a quick response. Of course she had attempted to tell her! ...Well, sort of, anyway. Whenever she tried to confront her, she had always lost her nerve and started talking about something completely different. At least even through her failures she still kept her close to her...as a friend. Though she did have something to say for herself, finally.
"O-Oh, yeah!? What about you and Rarity!?"
"That's different. Twilight, yeah, sure Rarity's pretty and smart and pretty much all-around absolutely perfect..." He paused, "I forgot where I was going with that. Anyway, this isn't about me. I'm not the one losing sleep and bawling my eyes out over my crush."
Well. He had her on that one. "W-Well...urk..."
"So who is this stallion anyway? I want to meet him before you even think about any sort of relationship."
She nervously brought her eyes down to her once-forgotten pancakes.
"...Oh. Okay then. Who is she then? Somepony I already know?"
And again with the open book reading. Twilight didn't know where he was getting this, but she appreciated it. Hey, at least that last part didn't seem to bother him at all whatsoever. "Well, um...yeah, you know her...it's actually..."
Fluttershy stepped out of the now-cool water and shut off the showerhead. She grabbed one of the towels she had set out earlier with and proceeded to dry her coat and her hair with it. After taking some more time to style her hair in its usual fashion she headed downstairs for breakfast.
She paused on her way down the stairs as she observed the time on the clock. "8:43. I was in there for almost 45 minutes...well, at least I'm awake now..." She walked down the rest of the stairs and gave a warm smile for her critters to wake up to. "Hello, everyone. I'll get the food ready now, so you won't have to wait much longer."
She walked into her kitched and retrieved the animal feed and presented it as usual. After all the other critters had been fed, she grabbed a small bundle of carrots and took them over to her extremely impatient bunny rabbit. When she got close enough to him he grabbed the carrots, set them down on the couch beside him, and tapped his wrist as if he was wearing a watch.
"Oh, I'm sorry Angel., I know I'm late. I just had a..." she paused and kicked at the floor, "...a rough night."
Angel's expression softened and he gave her a sympathetic look. Then he remembered he had food to eat, so he turned to his carrots and proceeded to hungrily wolf them down as quickly as possible.
Fluttershy giggled at the sight and turned her thoughts to the day ahead of her. Yesterday the six of them had planned to meet up at the park and have a little gathering as opposed to the large party Pinkie had wanted to throw for no adequately explained reason so they could just hang out with each other instead of everypony in town.
Realization that this meant she would be spending a large portion of the day with Twilight hit her like her door had that last Nightmare Night. Her heart leapt with excitement. Maybe today she could finally try to talk to Twilight about this. Maybe she really was going to get her wish!
...Although, if that didn't work out, what would happen between them? What would happen between her and all of her friends? She hadn't even thought about the reactions of everypony else, she was too focused on her imaginary Twilight that always returned her affection and lived happily ever after with her like in those fairy tales she had read as a filly!
Angel interrupted her negative thought processes by yanking her mane as hard as he could.
"Oof! Angel Bunny, that was not very nice of you," she stated in as harsh a voice as she could manage. Though the effect was ruined by her usually quiet voice and the fact she was really shaky all of a sudden. She sighed, "Oh, forget it. I'm going to find something to eat..."
After preparing a rather small breakfast for herself, Fluttershy laid down on her couch and stared longingly at the framed picture that showed her and her friends all gathered together -- the same picture the six friends and even Princess Celestia herself all owned a copy of -- and focused on Twilight. that wonderful lavender coat, that dark mane with the pleasant, light pink streak, those wide, violet eyes...
Fluttershy was snapped out of this stupor by Angel, who had decided to hop up to the picture and wave his paw in front of her face. He then examined the picture and simply sat there for a few moments in deep thought before his eyes grew wide with realization. His eyes flew back and forth between Fluttershy and the picture, and finally stopped on the picture. He looked back at her once more, tilted his head sideways and pointed to Rainbow Dash.
"...No, it's not her."
He refocused his expression and thought for a few seconds, then pointed to Rarity.
"...No, but you are getting closer..."
He thought for another second, then his paw shot straight over to her -- Twilight.
At this moment Rainbow Dash flew in through her window and quite literally crashed right into the wall. She immediately got up and faced Fluttershy, who had grabbed Angel and darted behind the couch in fear and was now petting him slightly more aggressively than needed and whimpering.
"C'mon, 'Shy, what're you waiting for? The su-sue...what was that word Twilight used when he was talking about this party-thingy?"
"Yeah, right, that. It starts in about 15 minutes! I thought you'd have left early."
"W-well, I had sort of a r-rough night yesterday..."
"Oh. Anything you wanna talk about?"
"Well alrighty then," the blue pegasus fgave a few flaps of her wings and was out of Fluttershy's house before the yellow mare could even blink. "You comin' or not?"
Fluttershy placed Angel on the floor, walked to her door, locked it on the way out, and fluttered into the air to join her friend, "Don't worry, Rainbow, I'm coming." She gave her friend a small smile, and Dash returned it with a wide grin and they began flying off toward the Ponyville Park.
Twilight stepped out of her treehouse library and breathed in the scent of fresh air. This was exactly what she needed to get her mind off of Fluttershy. Spike had seemed rather accepting, and had even approved when Twilight had revealed her identity. But now she could just forget all about thes problems and go spend time with all of her friends...
...Which included Fluttershy.
Twilight facehoofed at this revelation. 'Really, Twilight,' she thought, 'You're supposed to be the intelligent one, right? How could you possibly skip over a detail like THAT?' She sighed and began walking toward the park. 'Well, this can't possibly be a bad thing, right? In fact, this is actually really good! Maybe I can finally tell Fluttershy how I feel about her!' She giggled excitedly at this thought...but of course, then came the conflict.
'...But...wait...what if she doesn't feel the same way? And what will the others say? I don't...I never even considered any of this! Grr! Why does the only thing I don't know about have to be so...so...complicated?!' She continued down the road without any further thought on the subject, but as she approached the park she becam more and more nervous. Right up until...
"Twilight, daarrling," came the familiar (but rather sing-song) sound of Rarity's voice, "So good to see you today! How are you?"
"Oh, hello Rarity," Twilight smiled at her friend, most of her nervousness forgotten, "I'm doing well. How about you?"
"Oh, just fabulous! I can't wait to get everyone gathered together again. We don't get a lot of this time anymore, and even though some of us may have our differences..." she paused and smiled, "...I still love to be around each and every one of our friends."
This suddenly gave Twilight a large burst of confience and hope. She suddenly knew that her friends would accept her if she revealed her affection for Fluttershy, and even if Fluttershy didn't return her feelings, she would always be her friend. "...Yeah, me too, Rarity."
As they trotted into the park Twilight noticed Pinkie Pie and Applejack were already there, apparently putting the finishing touches on the small amount of decorations Pinkie had alotted herself, saving most of them for a proper party, but still wanting to celebrate this occasion.
"Twilight, Rarity," The pink earth pony exclaimed, "I'm so glad you guys are here! Now we just have to wait for fluttershy and Dashie and we can start having our SUPER AWESOME FRIENDSHIP GATHERING TOTALLY NOT PARTY OF FRIENDS-"
AJ stepped over and put a hoof in Pinkie's mouth, "We get the point, Sugarcube," she nodded to rarity and Twilight and flashed them a bright smile, "Glad ta see you two could make it. We'd be mighty sorry if y'all couldn't show."
Rarity flashed her own dazzling smile, "It's good to see you too, Applejack. And, heheh, you as well, Pinkie Pie."
Pinkie smiled and nodded her head enthusiastically, AJ's hoof still in her mouth and all, causing the other three to giggle a little bit at her silliness. They chatted for a few minutes before they heard the sound of flapping wings.
'Hey guys! Start the party without us?" Rainbow Dash asked as she lowered herself to the ground, 'We aren't THAT late, are we?"
Rarity laughed, "Oh no no, of course not, we were just having a small conversation. The other three nodded in agreement. "Also, i believe i heard you say, 'we'. So where, may I ask, is Fluttershy?"
Dash quirked an eyebrow and looked around, "Huh, I could've sworn she was right behind me..."
"Don't you worry about me," a small voice called, "I'm right here."
As Fluttershy flew over to her friends, her eyes moved immediately to Twilight, but she forced them away so she could give each of her friends a friendly smile and a little, "Hi there."
Meanwhile, Twilight had also begun focusing immediately on Fluttershy, but had distracted herself by quickly returning her greeting and sparking a conversation with Rarity. But she knew she couldn't just keep blowing her off like that. She needed to confront Fluttershy, not to ignore her.
'No,' she thought as she looked over to Fluttershy again, who was now conversing with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, 'I won't be afraid...I won't turn this whole thing into a wasted opportunity!'