The bustling market street was noisy that day, not that the center of Ponyville wasn’t always loud with the sounds of various mares and stallions haggling over prices for their wares, but today it just seemed like everypony was trying to yell over each other. Big Macintosh didn’t mind though. If being bombarded with a little noise was the only price he had to pay to spend this afternoon with Fluttershy, he would gladly pay it. With winter slowly coming to an end, the various vendors of Ponyville were trying to sell off the last of their wares before the new produce was ripe for the coin making. This is why the market was so chaotic. Everything was being sold cheaper than normal.
Fluttershy had asked for him to come along with her to the farmers market because he was better at dealing with some of the ruder merchants that they may encounter. While he didn’t mind being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of large groups of ponies, he much preferred the quiet and rustic life that Sweet Apple Acres provided.
As for Fluttershy, Macintosh was not completely sure how she was responding to the market. She wasn’t good at bartering for anything; usually she just paid the price that the salescolts asked for. But there was something about just being in a farmers market that seemed natural to her. Maybe it was just that these places were so homely that it just seemed like a natural environment for her. In any case today was a day spent with his special somepony, so Macintosh followed along quietly and just enjoyed the time he was spending with her.
After buying some grain for her hens, Fluttershy stopped in front of the book kiosk that a very bored looking Twilight sat behind. “Hello Twilight,” Fluttershy said cheerfully, “how are the books selling?”
“Ugh,” Twilight gave an exasperated groan and rolled her eyes, “nopony ever appreciates fine literature anymore. Rainbow Dash stopped by earlier to pick up the latest Daring Do book, but really nopony else seems to want to buy anything.” Twilight propped an elbow onto the table and leaned her face on her hoof. “I think I’ll just take down the kiosk and go back to the library. Make sure Spike isn’t sleeping in…again.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that Twilight.” Fluttershy said, concerned for her friend. “I was actually stopping by because I was hoping you would maybe have a book on…bee…farming…” Macintosh gave her a quizzical look as Fluttershy gave a wide, awkward smile as she lied to her friend. She normally wouldn’t lie to anypony like this, but Twilight seemed so down about the lack of customers.
The lavender unicorn gave her friend a suspicious look, but decided not to question the sudden interest in bee keeping. “Yeah…I think so.” Twilight stepped out from behind the desk and walked over to a shelf that was labeled neatly with a sign the said Agriculture and Farming. After levitating a few books off of the shelf, quickly scanning them and then replacing them in their proper places, Twilight walked back with a small stack of three books. “Alright,” she said, spreading out the books for Fluttershy to look at, “I have Anypony’s Guide to Bee Keeping, The Beginners Guide to Honey Collecting, and Ouch! Beestings and How Best to Avoid Them. Any of these sound useful to you?”
“Umm,” Fluttershy’s eyes darted nervously between the triad of books lying before her, “I’ll take…all of them?” She gave Macintosh a look pleading for help but the best he could give her was a shrug in return, he was an apple farmer, not a bee herder. Fluttershy turned back to Twilight, “All three of them, please.” She said, more confident in her decision than before.
Twilight scooped the three manuals into a cloth bag and placed them on the counter. Big Macintosh picked it up and hung the bag from his yoke with the rest of a series of bags he was already carrying for Fluttershy. She had originally protested to this, telling him that he would strain himself and that she could carry most of it, but Macintosh wouldn’t let up. He did let her carry some of the smaller things in her saddlebag; some bushels of carrots and a bird feeder, but he insisted on carrying everything that seemed too heavy for her, and these were some big books.
“I think that’s everything we’ll need.” Fluttershy said, walking slowly out of the shop, Macintosh following close behind. Fluttershy let out a small sigh of relief and Macintosh looked down at her with an amused look on his face. “Bee farmin’?”
Fluttershy blushed and giggled, “Well it was the only thing I could think of really quickly.” Her face fell a little, “But I do feel bad for Twilight, nopony wants to read anything from the library. I wish there’s something we can do to help her out.” Macintosh shrugged to readjust the bags hanging from his yoke as he contemplated a solution. A serene smile spread across his face as one presented itself to him.
“Maybe we can pick up a few books every now an’ again, sit down on the couch an’ read ‘em.” He playfully nibbled on the tip of her ear.
“That sounds nice.” Fluttershy responded, her ear flicking him on the chin. They were silent on the rest of the walk back to Fluttershy’s cottage. When they entered the solitary home, Macintosh walked into the kitchen and placed the bags of produce onto her table. Walking back into the living room he placed the final bag holding the books Fluttershy had gotten from Twilight onto the coffee table. He stretched his neck now that all of the excess weight had been removed.
“Alright sweetie, I gotta lot of chores I gotta take care of on tha farm, so I gotta go.”
“Ok, do you need any help with anything?”
“Eenope. Just some repairs and Ah gotta make sure that that trees are startin’ ta grow back their leaves proper so we can grow our apples. Maybe find one or two ta uproot and send ta Appleoosa this summer.” He walked over to where she sat on the couch and tickled the end of her nose with his. “You need me to come back later?”
“I would appreciate the company.” Fluttershy said airily. Leaning in she gave him a quick kiss on the lips. Macintosh took a moment to enjoy the lingering feeling of her lips on his before detaching.
“Then Ah think I’ll come back.” He said with a wink. Looking back onto the coffee table he gave a smirk as he remembered that the books were there. “What do ya plan on doing with those?”
Fluttershy shrugged. “Maybe I’ll read them. Bees are pretty cute. And they can help my flowers grow.” Macintosh gave her a large smile and a peck on the nose.
“Well, if you do I hope you enjoy ‘em. Ah’m glad Ah got to spend tha mornin’ with ya.” With that, he left her cottage and began his long walk home. Fluttershy watched him leave out his window and sighed as his form finally disappeared When he was out of sight she walked into the kitchen and poured a glass of iced tea, walked back into her living room, took the copy of Anypony’s Guide to Bee Keeping off of the table, rolled into a small ball, and began to read.
“Fluttershy, where are you taking me?” asked Macintosh. A week had passed since his trip to the farmer’s market with Fluttershy. He hadn’t been able to see much of her in that time. Work on the farm was much harder for the time of year than it normally was. ((rephrase this for sure!!!!!!)A lot more rocks had risen from the ground into the field this year, big rocks.)) Macintosh had been spending the past few days pulling them out of the ground himself, using a strong length of rope, his harness, and his own massive strength. Today was the day he had set aside to rest, and he had been excited to spend it with his marefriend. But rather than the picnic that he had planned for them, Fluttershy had told him that she had a special surprise planned out for them. She had put a blindfold on him and was now leading him by a hoof to some unknown destination.
“Don’t worry; we’ll be there in a minute, sweetie.” Fluttershy said. If Macintosh hadn’t had his blindfold on he would have seen the sly wink that Fluttershy gave him as she pulled him a little faster. After a few more minutes of walking in silence, save for the excited giggles that Fluttershy occasionally gave, she put a hoof on his chest to stop him. “Alright, we’re here, when I count to three you can take the blindfold off.”
Macintosh held his breath in anticipation and tried to guess what this surprise was. Sniffing the air it was thick with…something, he wasn’t sure what, but the scent was sweet. “One” said Fluttershy somewhere in front of him. He bit his lip, not sure what to expect. “Two” he let his pent up breath out slowly, “Three”.
Macintosh reached up and removed the strip of cloth covering his eyes. He stood still for a minute and allowed his eyes to adjust to the light before surveying his surroundings. He stood in a large clearing somewhere in the Everfree forest. Inside the clearing there stood multiple white boxes next to each other. Roaming among those boxes, with smiles and adventurous wonder was Applebloom and her group of friends. They were all laughing and chasing after small things that were buzzing through the air over their heads. One of the things flying around his sister landed on his nose and he gave it a cross eyed look. On closer inspection he was able to make out the round yellow bodies and black stripes that decorated the insect’s body. His eyes grew wide as he realized what he was looking at; a bee.
Macintosh panicked, Applebloom and the rest of the Cutie Mark Crusaders were playing in a whole swarm of the buzzing creatures. Shaking his head furiously to get the bee off his nose he charged straight for his sister. He had to get them out of there before they were seriously hurt. “Applebloom, get outta there before they start ta sting ya!” he shouted from across the clearing.
Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Bell stopped their frolicking and looked at Macintosh as he ran towards them. “Wait, Mackie!” he heard Fluttershy call. Looking over he saw Fluttershy waving frantically with a scared look on her face, but he continued his desperate charge. Fluttershy began her own mad dash, trying to intercept Big Macintosh. How she planned to stop him if she did manage to get in front of him was anypony’s guess, but she managed to get in-between the group of fillies and the stampeding stallion. “Macintosh, they’re Stingerless Bees!”
Macintosh didn’t have to try and process the words Fluttershy was screaming. All he knew was that Fluttershy was in his direct path, and if he didn’t stop right then he would run her over. He dug his hooves into the ground and pushed himself back. He left a shallow trench where his hooves pushed into the ground as he came to a screeching halt only half a foot away from Fluttershy. She looked utterly terrified from the close call, but didn’t budge.
Macintosh was breathing heavily and kept a scared eye on the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who were staring wide eyes back, still in the thin cloud of bees. “What did ya say?”
“I said they’re stingerless bees. They can’t hurt anypony. All they do is collect pollen and make honey. I wouldn’t let Applebloom play in anything that could be dangerous for them.” She laid a reassuring hoof on his chest, “It’s alright sweetie, and I promise they’re not in any danger.”
Big Macintosh took a deep, steadying breath and exhaled slowly. “Alright, Ah trust ya Fluttershy. It just gave me a right fright was all.” He smile down at her, and she smiled in return. “So this is what ya’ll been doin’ in yer free time this week?’ He took a closer look around the clearing, still concerned for the fillies who had resumed their playing, but trusting in Fluttershy’s knowledge on animals and other creatures that inhabited the forest.
“Mmhmm.” Fluttershy nodded. “Well I had to do something with the books that we got from Twilight. And you were busy, so Carrot Top, Rose, and I planted some buttercups to bring them here and set up the hives.” She gestured with a hoof and blushed cutely, tucking her chin against her chest. “Do you like it?”
“It’s beautiful.” said Macintosh as he plated a soft kiss onto her forehead. She giggled again and took him by the hoof.
“Come on; take a closer look at the hives.” She pulled him behind her like an excited school filly, laughing and talking excitedly about how they had set up the small bee reserve. Macintosh was glad to see that she was so at ease. He was afraid that his nearly trampling her would have scared her too much but she seemed perfectly alright to him.
The air was thick with pollen as Macintosh entered the cloud of happily buzzing insects and he sneezed a few times before he was able to get used to the sensation. “And the bees live in these little hotels inside of the hives and make honey.” Fluttershy said as she pulled a cardboard tab sticking up out of the top of one of the makeshift hives.
Macintosh inspected the little alcoves, which were a golden brown and already had some honey oozing out of them. “Ah’m surprised there’s already this much honey. How long have ya had them?”
“Only three days so far. But stingerless bees are a lot quicker at making honey than other bees.” Fluttershy dabbed the tip of her hoof with a little honey and held it up for him. “And, they make the sweetest honey there is.”
Macintosh licked the gooey substance off the tip of her hoof and smiled. She wasn’t lying. This was the sweetest honey he had even tasted before. “Maybe so,” he leaned in closer to Fluttershy and pressed his forehead onto hers, “but it ain’t as sweet as a certain mare Ah know.”
Fluttershy leaned in to kiss Macintosh, slowly, and romantically; enjoying every second of electric tingle pulsing through her as she felt his lips only a hairsbreadth away from hers.
“Ewww!” The sudden exclamation from beside her shook Fluttershy out of her romantic haze. Both Fluttershy and Macintosh’s heads snapped upwards to where the sound had come from. Standing on top of the beehive was Scootaloo; her tongue hanging out and a look of disgust on her face. “Jeez guys, can’t you keep it down until Hearts and Hooves Day? Or at least until we’re gone from here?”
“Oh hush Scootaloo, can’t you see that they were having a romantic moment together?” Sweetie Bell said, trotting over to the hive where the orange pegasus was perched. “I think it’s adorable.”
“Yeah, well I think it’s gross.” Scootaloo retorted, sticking her tongue out mockingly at Sweetie Bell. “Just like that crush that you have on Pipsqueak.”
Sweetie Bell gasped in shock and got ready to pounce. “I do not have a crush on Pipsqueak!”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t!”
“Umm, girls?” Applebloom said, trying to get a word in edgewise. “Ah don’t think…”
“I am not going to stop until she takes that back!” Sweetie Bell shouted, not taking her eyes off Scootaloo. “I do not have a crush on Pipsqueak.”
“You totally do.” Scootaloo said with a smirk, “I bet you wanna kiss him, and hug him and stuff. Totally gross.”
“Oh that is it! It is so on!” The small white unicorn shouted as she rocketed into the air at Scootaloo. But Scootaloo had been expecting it and jumped out of the way just in time. “Get back here!” Sweetie Bell shouted as she jumped from the hive towards Scootaloo again.
“Heh, no way.” Scootaloo called back. “You’re going to have to catch me first.” With that, she ran off in the direction of Ponyville, laughing as Sweetie Bell followed in hot pursuit. Applebloom shrugged and took off after her friends, calling for them to wait up.
What none of the Crusaders had noticed however was that Scootaloo and Sweetie Bell’s rough housing had completely toppled over the hive Scootaloo had been standing on. It had fallen over, knocking Fluttershy into Macintosh and spilling its sweet substance all over the both of them and the ground. Bee’s buzzed annoyed around their heads as Fluttershy tried to regain her footing. Only, her hooves weren’t touching the ground. Her eyes grew wide in shock. She wasn’t flying, but she wasn’t touching the ground. She flailed her legs in a panic and squeaked.
Regaining her senses she realized that her side was stuck to something very solid and she was suspended uncomfortably in midair. The thing she was stuck to started to rumble and she heard a hearty laugh. Looking up she realized that the thing she was stuck to was Macintosh’s side and he was laughing hard.
“Ah guess ya didn’t know that this was tha stickiest honey ever made by bee’s too, did ya?” The red stallion said in between chuckles. Fluttershy gave a sheepish grin and moved her legs helplessly.
“I guess not.” The two of them shared a good laugh for a minute; Fluttershy bouncing up and down with each heave of his side, making her laugh sound bouncy and ridiculous, making Macintosh laugh even harder.
“Come on, let’s go wash this stuff off.” said Macintosh once his chuckling receded a little.
Walking around with a mare completely weighing down one side of his body wasn’t easy, as sometimes Fluttershy’s swinging legs got caught in his and he had to untangle them every now and again. After an hour of humorous struggling however, Macintosh managed to make it to a stream. Carefully, he lowered himself into the water, laying on his stomach and leaning to the right so they could let the water soak the honey off of their hair.
“Well this ain’t what Ah was expecting for today.” said Macintosh as he felt Fluttershy slowly starting to peel off of his side.
“Neither was I.” Fluttershy said, digging her hooves into the stream bed and pulling herself off her coltfriend. Finally tugging herself off his side, Fluttershy regained her footing in the brisk water. “But I think it’s still nice.”
Macintosh rolled onto the side Fluttershy had been recently stuck to and rubbed it free of honey on the rocky bottom. Standing up, Macintosh shook himself free of excess water like a dog, playfully splashing some water at Fluttershy and she squeaked, surprised by the sudden spray.
“You did not just start that!” exclaimed Fluttershy, opening up her wings quickly, flinging the droplets that hung to them at Macintosh.
“Ah think Ah just did.” With that Macintosh and Fluttershy started to splash around in the stream, sending jets of water at each other and soaking one another to the bone. They played like this in the water for an hour before, panting and out of breath; they crawled up onto the shore, laughing all the way.
Big Macintosh rolled over onto his back, letting his stomach dry off in the sun’s rays. Fluttershy crawled up onto his chest and lay on her side, resting the top of her head under his chin. He hugged her like a large stuffed animal and relaxed on the stream bed; everything was so perfect to him. But Fluttershy was restless.
She pulled herself out of his grip and crawled up so that her chin now rested on his. Fluttershy looked up at him with joy and tenderness in her eyes. Leaning further upwards and closing her eyes she tried to recapture what had been interrupted by Scootaloo. The electricity was again shooting through her veins, filling her whole body with an electric tingle. The whole world seemed to slow down in that moment, everything was right. She was merely inches away from the stallion she cared for the most in this world and showing her affection for him when a hoof gently placed on her lips stopped her. Fluttershy looked back into Macintosh’s eyes with questions, and even a little bit of annoyance.
“Not right now Sweetie.” Macintosh said, keeping the tip of his hoof on his marefriend’s lips. “Later, Ah promise, but not right now.” Fluttershy pouted a little and looked like she was about to say something but Macintosh gently shushed her. “Listen; Ah got a surprise for you too. Just come down to Sweet Apple Acres tonight and Ah’ll show it to ya.”
Fluttershy bit her lip, impatient to kiss the stallion beneath her, but she managed not to say anything against it. “Alright” she said quietly, lowing herself back down so that her head lay on his chest, and it wasn’t long before she was comfortably dozing in the afternoon sun. The gentle red giant gave a soft stroke down her back and pecked her on the head. “Ah promise.”
“Where are you taking me, Mackie?” asked Fluttershy as she stumbled along behind her coltfriend, holding onto his tail. When she had arrived at Sweet Apple Acres Macintosh had put her put on a blindfold and guided her off into the direction of the Everfree Forest. Her heart beat heavily in anticipation for whatever his surprise for her was. Her break left small clouds in the chilly air as she walked blindly behind Macintosh.
“Don’t worry Sugarcube. It ain’t far from here. And if Ah told ya, it wouldn’t be a surprise.” Macintosh said as he stepped around a thick tree. He wasn’t lying. In only a few short minutes he had Fluttershy come to a halt. “Ok Sugarcube. You can take off your blindfold now.”
Fluttershy slowly took off the cloth covering her eyes. Looking around Fluttershy grew confused. They were standing at the edge of Macintosh’s glade. The same one he had taken her to the second day they had spent together. “Umm, Mackie…”
“Give it a second.” Macintosh said, sitting down and staring patiently into the center of the glade. Fluttershy sat down quietly next to him and looked where he looked.
Nothing happened for a few seconds but then there was a spark of light; soon followed by several more small sparks. The suddenly, as if somepony had plugged in a sting of small lights, the whole glade lit up brilliantly with small points of light shooting around in random patterns. Fluttershy was transfixed with the hypnotic movements. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” asked Macintosh from beside her.
“It’s amazing…” said Fluttershy, an airy tone in her voice. Macintosh took her by the hoof and led her towards the center of the flickering movement. “But it’s winter, shouldn’t they be somewhere warm?” asked Fluttershy, looking left and right trying to follow a thousand small movements.
“Nah, these are fireflies; they’re different from lightnin’ bugs. They produce their own warmth.” He held out a hoof and one of the fireflies alighted onto the tip of his hoof. He lowered it down to Fluttershy’s eye level and it crawled onto the end of her nose. Now it was her turn to inspect the bug at the end of her nose. Small and black, with a thorax that was glowing a fiery orange, the little insect moved around before it jumped off and joined its brothers in the air. “They’re pretty,” Macintosh looked down at Fluttershy, “but not as pretty as a certain mare Ah know.”
Fluttershy looked back up at him. A few of the bugs had nestled themselves into his mane, making him look like he was on fire and giving him a handsome radiance. “Now?’ she asked, hope etched into her voice.
Macintosh nodded, “Now.”
Fluttershy didn’t hesitate for a moment. She immediately pounced at Macintosh, knocking him onto the ground. There was no slowing of the Earth this time. No electricity coursed through her veins. Only fiery desire as she kissed Macintosh as hard as she could. She attempted to force her tongue into his mouth. After he recovered from the sudden attack Macintosh happily obliged her. When they finally broke apart to get some air Macintosh looked up at the mare that sat atop his chest.
The fireflies danced around her head, outlining her in what looked like a golden sunset. She looked like a goddess, and he was her subject. With this thought in mind Macintosh leaned in and planted a much softer kiss on her lips, which she returned.
“You like it?” Macintosh asked, letting Fluttershy climb off his chest and sitting up.
“It’s wonderful.” Fluttershy once more enthralled in the hypnotic dance of fireflies. They sat side by side and enjoyed the sight of ten thousand fireflies lighting up the world around them. It was hours later before they decided it was time to go home. And they walked home in silence, the sight still swirling before their eyes.
Macintosh looked up into the sky and heaved a sigh. It was Hearts and Hooves Day, and he wasn’t able to see his special somepony. The previous week the two of them had decided to make that Hearts and Hooves Day extra special, so they had agreed that for the past week they weren’t going to see each other. It had been a lonely week for the both of them. Macintosh had driven himself into his work in order to distract himself from the loneliness, but there was only so much to do on the farm before the work ran out.
Every evening after dinner Macintosh would spend with Granny Smith. She was helping him put together the present he wanted to give Fluttershy when he could finally see her again.
“No boy, you need ta use tha cross stitch when yer sewing them cloths together.” Granny Smith said, observing Macintosh at his work. Macintosh grimaced, because as much as he loved his grandmother she was a real stickler for her sewing, and it got rather irritating sometimes. Besides, every time he used the cross stitch he ended up sticking himself.
Fluttershy was a bit more fortunate though. Animals were just starting to poke their heads out of their holes for the winter. Not enough to actually come out, it was still much too cold for that. Rather, they were just poking out to see if any food was close enough to grab and run back into their burrows. Fluttershy made sure that each of the animals was able to provide for themselves and anyone else that may be living with them by putting down small piles of nuts and berries just outside the entrances for them to retrieve.
But for all of the help she provided the animals, they were still in hibernation, and Fluttershy very rarely had any visitors, so she took to visiting Rarity more regularly. She told her friend everything that she and Macintosh did with enthusiasm. Rarity absorbed all of her stories like a sponge. Even though most of the stories were simple, a walk in the park, a date at the pastry shop, or a day spent at the farm, each of them were beautifully romantic in their own way.
Macintosh was doing another walk through on the corn fields to make sure he hadn’t missed any rocks. He’d already checked on the fields multiple times but he needed something to get out of the house and away from Granny’s stories of previous courtships. He shuddered at the thought. He was kicking a stray pebble across the field when he heard his name being called. Turning around he saw Applebloom running towards him. A warning sign shot up in his mind, remembering the events of the previous Hearts and Hooves Day. “Note to self.” He muttered under his breath, “Do not drink anything Applebloom gives you unless you know what it is.”
“Hey big brother” Applebloom said excitedly, a smile on her face. “Miss. Cheerilee needs you over at tha school.”
Macintosh raised an eyebrow, the warning signs flashing bright red. “Why?”
Applebloom shrugged, “Ah don’t know. She said she needed help rearranging tha classroom or somthin’. Anyways she sent me here ta get ya.”
Against his better judgment Macintosh decided to trust his sister on this one. If this was some kind of weird plot constructed by her and her friends it would be a little more transparent. Besides, his sister knew his special somepony was Fluttershy and Applebloom loved her. And he needed something to do away from the farm anyways. “Alright lil sis, I’ll go ta help. I should be back in an hour or two.” But Applebloom was already gone, Macintosh guessed in search of her friends. So Macintosh began his walk to school.
It wasn’t long before Macintosh arrived at the familiar school ground. Entering the large red building he reminisced about his former school days here. His adventures with Heart Gold and Rainy Morn’, who he still had to write to, and his old classroom. The layout of the school hadn’t changed much since his days there and he found the only classroom in the school with ease. Cheerilee was waiting patiently in the classroom behind her desk; she stood up when Macintosh entered.
“Hello Mr. Apple, I’m glad Applebloom was able to get you to help me.” she said cheerily, walking up to Macintosh.
“Yes ma’am Miss. Cheerilee. She said ya’ll needed some help rearranging yer classroom?”
“Yes, if you don’t mind.” Said Cheerilee, walking back to her desk. “I need this desk moved so that can have my back to the window please.” Macintosh inspected the desk she was asking him to move. It was made out of heavy oak and looked rather cumbersome to carry. But he had nothing better to do with his day, so he contemplated how best to approach the task at hand while the dark pink teacher looked expectantly out the window towards Ponyville.
“Hey Fluttershy!” Fluttershy looked over her shoulder at whoever was calling her. It was Twilight, casually trotting towards her.
“Hello Twilight. Do you need something? asked Fluttershy. She hadn’t had a lot of company that day as Rarity was busy trying to take care of all of her suitors around Ponyville. But that was alright because she was finally going to be able to see Big Macintosh again today.
“Yeah, I have a message for you.” Twilight said. “Cheerilee said that the class pet is sick and she needs you to find out what’s wrong with it.”
Fluttershy gave Twilight a quizzical look. “The school has a class pet?”
Twilight shrugged, “I guess. Must be new or something. Anyways, are you having a nice Hearts and Hooves Day?”
“So far, yes. But it will be better later, when I can finally see Mackie again.” A careless smile spread across the canary yellow pegasus’ face. “What about you? How’s your day been?”
Twilight giggled excitedly. “It’s been amazing so far. Smooth Jazz wrote me a ballad and played it outside my window this morning. He’s right over there.” Twilight pointed to a white unicorn, with long blond hair that was chatting and laughing with a light red pegasus. He had a saxophone both as a cutie mark, and hanging from a strap around his neck. Fluttershy had heard him play his saxophone before, and he was amazing at it, playing even extremely difficult pieces of music with ease. “He tells me he wants to be a rapper, but there’s no way.” Twilight laughed and Fluttershy laughed a little with her. “But I’ve got to go meet up with him to go on a double date with Cadence and Shining.”
“Alright, I’ll go help Cheerilee.” With that Fluttershy and Twilight went their separate ways. Twilight to her coltfriend, and Fluttershy to the school.
“Is here alright?” asked Macintosh as he strained to push the desk under the window. Cheerilee stood silently looking out the window before turning back to Macintosh with a smile.
“Oh yes Mr. Macintosh, right there will be perfectly fine.” She approached him, slowly, like a tiger surveying its prey. “Say, Mr. Macintosh, do you remember what happened last Hearts and Hooves Day; with the love poison Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Bell gave us.”
Macintosh chuckled nervously, “Yeah, but Ah don’t think there’s gonna be a repeat of that this year. Applebloom knows I got a special somepony this year.”
“Oh yes, Fluttershy, isn’t it?” She stepped even closer and Macintosh shuffled backwards a little, uncomfortable with the shrinking distance between the two of them.
“Yes ma’am. You got a special somepony this year?”
“Oh no. That is to say, not yet, that is.” Cheerilee got even closer and her voice dripped with venomous seduction. Macintosh took another step back, sweating a little now. “You know the reason your sister slipped me some of that love poison was because I’d told her that I didn’t need a special somepony for Hearts and Hooves Day. That I was satisfied with just teaching the young minds of Ponyville.” Macintosh had backed into a wall now and looked wide eyed at Cheerilee as she put her face near his, their noses separated by only an inch. “But that isn’t the case this year Mr. Macintosh. This year, I need a little something more than just the satisfaction of teaching. No, this year I require something much more…physical.”
With that Cheerilee plunged in. Forcing her mouth against his and kissing him ravenously. Macintosh didn’t have any time to respond, and when the deed had started he was so shocked that he was unable to do anything but sit with his back against the wall and take it.
“Mac…Mackie?” The voice was like a bolt of lightning to Macintosh; the soft whisper shaking him out of his stupor. His head snapped in the direction of the classroom doorway, hoping against hope he wouldn’t find what he thought he’d find. But sure enough he did. Standing in the hallway, looking into the classroom with tears streaming down her face, was Fluttershy. Her body rocking with silent sobs.
“Wait, Fluttersh…” but it was too late. Fluttershy had already bolted away and Macintosh could hear her crying as she ran out of the building and the door slamming behind her. Macintosh looked back at Cheerilee who had an all-to-innocent smile on her face. “Did you…were you tha one who……”
“Oh yes dear. Most definitely. After all, I had to find some way to free you from that terrible romance you were in with that Fluttershy trollop. It was easy; I just had to bring you here, and then lure Fluttershy here so she could catch us locked onto each other. Of course, a few more minutes and it would have been a much better time for her to walk in. Now come on; teachers been naughty, and she needs to be punished.” Cheerilee stroked his chest seductively and leaned in for another kiss.
Macintosh just pushed her off of him. And stood up, a towering mass of angry red stallion. “No, Miss. Cheerilee, Ah don’t wanna even get mad with ya, and it’s nearly impossible right now. But don’t you try and make this any worse. Ah’m gonna fix this right now. An’ don’t you try an’ stop me.” With that, Macintosh ran from the schoolroom. His charge pointed in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres. He had to get something before he would be able to confront Fluttershy.
“Fluttershy, sugarcube, please let me come in and talk to you.” Big Macintosh called gently through the door. Fluttershy stopped her sobbing momentarily and took her head off of her hooves when she heard the voice of her coltfriend. But she remembered what she had just witnessed and the tears started flowing again. But instead of sinking into her pillow she stood up. Fluttershy felt, not sadness, but a rage that she rarely ever experienced. She felt the need to lash out at the nearest pony; and who better than the one who had just hurt her?
“Fluttershy, sweetheart?” he called softly again.
“What do you want?” asked Fluttershy coldly through her door.
“I want to come in and talk to you. Please let me explain.” Big Macintosh could clearly imagine the look she was giving him on the other side of the door; her eyes full of contempt, her body tense, and her brow furrowed in rage. And his imagination wasn’t far off mark.
“I don’t think you have much explaining to do,” she said steely “I saw everything.”
“No, Fluttershy, no, you didn’t.” he said worriedly “Please let me…”
“No!” she yelled
“No, Big Macintosh Apple, You listen! I know what I saw. If you weren’t content with me that’s fine; but you should have come and told me.” her voice shook as her tears poured “We…we could have worked something out, or broken up. B-but you didn’t have to go find another marefriend.” She broke down behind the door, openly sobbing again.
“Fluttershy” Big Macintosh whispered as he put his forehead on the door and closed his eyes. “Fluttershy I’m so sorry. Please forgive me and let me talk to you.” He gently lifted a hoof and started to slowly open the door. Fluttershy saw the door knob turning, the door started to open and she considered letting him in. But her anger got the best of her. She quickly slammed the door in his face. “NO!!!” she screamed “No! Just go away. Just…just leave. I never, ever, want to see you again! Go away forever!” she furiously hit the door with each sentence.
Big Macintosh looked at her door for a moment and hung his head. He pushed the package towards the door with his muzzle. “This was for you at tha end of today,” he said, his eyes downcast, “but if that’s how ya feel I suppose ya don’t want it. I’ll leave it here though; you do what ya want with it.” He put his head back on the door and breathed for a moment. “Goodbye then I suppose” he said sadly
“Goodbye forever.” Fluttershy voice responded angrily.
Big Macintosh turned around and started walking home slowly. He only looked back over his shoulder once, but Fluttershy wasn’t watching him. His eyes stung with the beginning of tear and he shook his head to clear them before they fell. He knew he needed time to be alone so, when he knew he could find it, he turned off the well beaten path and started walking to his grove in the Everfree Forest.
Fluttershy watched from her window as her ex-coltfriend walked away from her cottage, quickly ducking down when he turned around. “Good riddance.” She told herself. But even with as infuriated as she was with him she couldn’t help but feel bad with yelling at him. And when she saw his red form finally disappear as it went over a hill she suddenly felt like a hole had opened in her heart. She sat with her back up to the wall, pulled her legs up to her chest, and silently cried, rocking herself back and forth, wishing that somepony would come and comfort her. She sat there for a long time trying to compose herself. When her tears subsided enough to see clearly she wiped her face and stood up on shaky legs. She walked into her kitchen and splashed cold water onto her face. She got a glass of water and sipped it as she stared down at the wood of her dining table, feeling the emptiness in her home. Once she had finished her glass she slowly walked to the door and opened it. Looking down she saw the small, pink wrapped gift that Macintosh had left on her front door step. She looked at it in contempt, she wanted nothing more than to stomp on it and throw it away. But she stayed her hoof and instead picked it up and brought it inside.
She placed it on her living room table and stared at it. Fluttershy was afraid to touch it, like it would shock her if she did. The minutes ticked by and Fluttershy just looked at it. Tentatively she reached out a hoof and lifted it onto her lap. She gently unwrapped the paper, exposing a white box. She lifted the top and was greeted by a small envelope, resting on top of yellow gift paper, with “Fluttershy” written across it. She grabbed the note, tore it open and read the contents of the note, written in Big Macintosh’s hoofwriting.
To my Dearest Fluttershy
I ain’t much of one for fancy words but I wrote you this poem because you’re the most special mare in the world to me
In darkest nights and hardest strife’s I give my heart to you
When you’re feeling sad or so alone, remember I’m here too
The feelings we have, I can’t describe but this is what I’ll do
I’ll give you this and with a kiss, I promise we’ll make it through
From Big Macintosh
P.S. You can thank Granny Smith for the gift later. She taught me how to do this.
Fresh tears welled up in Fluttershy’s eyes as she read the note again. She set it to the side and reached into the bow with a shaking hoof. She rummaged through the yellow paper until she felt something small and soft. She lifted it out of the box and looked at whatever it was. She looked at what she held in her hand and started crying again. It was a small, hand sewn pair of dolls. One was deep red with fire orange yarn for a mane and tail and two small green buttons for eyes; the other was light yellow and had neatly combed pink hair on its head and cyan blue buttons sewn to its face. Both of the dolls had a single hoof reaching outwards and sewn to both of their hooves was a heart connecting the two of them. Fluttershy felt immense amounts of guilt flood over her as she looked down at the dolls in her hooves. She had chased away the stallion that had taken the time and effort to make something so beautiful for her.
She gently placed the dolls down on the table and rushed to her door. But before she could open it her hoof stopped itself. Why should she chase after him? Slowly, she backed away from the door and sat down on the couch. Her mind filled with anger and hate towards Macintosh as she considered what she had just witnessed. If he didn’t want to be with her, fine. If he hooked up with some mare then fine. But if he had the nerve to come back to her cottage and tell her it was all a mistake. That he cared about her. She was not going to put up with it. She was not going to be trodden on like some ignorant filly. Her anger prompted her to move, so she knocked the pair of dolls off of the table and paced furiously.
Suddenly her angry movement stopped and she looked at the dolls crumpled on the floor. Tears brimmed in her eyes again and she picked up the pair. Brushing the hair straight with a hoof she placed it back down on the table. She couldn’t keep moving so she sat down in a chair at the far end of the room. The tears were flowing freely once again. “Maybe I’m the problem.” She thought sadly. “Maybe if I’d been a better marefriend. Maybe if I hadn’t agreed to not see him before today. Maybe if I wasn’t such a loud mouth. Maybe if I wasn’t so pitifully weak and defenseless. Maybe if I…if I…” But Fluttershy could finish the thought; instead she broke down into tears again. She sat down in the chair and cried until she couldn’t cry anymore.
She moved off of the chair and moved back over to the door. Staring at the wood, her thoughts shifted once again. “I can forgive him. I can give him another chance. After all, it doesn’t matter if he cheated on me, he still cares for me.” She looked at the coffee table. “There’s the proof of it. We can work this out. We can start over. I can forgive him.”
But no matter what she told herself she couldn’t bring herself to open the door. So she moved to the center of the room and struggled with herself. “He’s useless you know.” Fluttershy looked over to where the voice came from. There she was, sitting on the couch. Her hair disheveled. Her scowl radiated hate. “He’ll do nothing but walk all over you. You just need to forget about him. Move on and get over it.”
“But it’s not his fault!” Fluttershy’s head whipped around. There she was again. Her hair lifeless and drooping. Tears running down her face in an endless waterfall. “I’m the one who messed up. It’s my entire fault. I wasn’t good enough for him. I’m not good enough for anypony.”
“Yes you are. You’re good enough for him.” A third Fluttershy stood in front of the door, glaring angrily at both of the others. “What we’ve got to do is just forgive and forget. He won’t do it again. He said he’s sorry.”
“Yes he will and you know it!!” yelled Angry Fluttershy. “He’s wicked, and rude! He cheated on you for Celestia’s sake, can’t you show a little selfishness for once in your life!?”
“She’s right. He will do it again. Because I’m so worthless. Why do I have to be so horrible? I try my best to be a good pony. But I’m so pathetic.” Responded the Tearful Fluttershy.
The Doorway Fluttershy stomped a hoof angrily. “No! We will forgive him. We are not worthless! It is not our fault! And it is not his fault!”
“Why is it that you want to get crushed beneath other pony’s hooves so much? You don’t have to forgive them! You don’t have to be sorry! Just give them what they deserve, and what Macintosh deserves right now is NOTHING from you.”
Fluttershy’s head had been whipping about in a triangle, trying to make sense of what was happening. They were fighting over her. They were fighting for her. The three Fluttershys yelled at each other. Each screaming their argument over each other. Fluttershy head was caught in a whirl as she closed her eyes and tried to block the noises out. But they didn’t go away. She covered her ears. The voices only got louder. “Please be quiet.” But none of them stopped. “I said, please be quiet.” She said a little louder The yelling continued. “I said Shut Up!!” She finally yelled.
Now all three of them had stopped. Each looking at her with looks of animosity, hatred, and curiosity. “I can’t.”
“Yes you can.” Said the Doorway Fluttershy. “You care about him right?”
“You want him…”
“Hey now..” started the Angry Fluttershy to interject but Fluttershy shot her a look that silenced her.
“You want him back, right?”
“…You love him?”
Fluttershy shook with resolve. “Yes.” She whispered. “I love him. I love him with everything I am.”
“Then you need to listen to him.”
Fluttershy walked back to the door. Passing through the Doorway Fluttershy she looked back. The other two Fluttershy’s were still looking at her. “You know when you walk through that door, your decision is made right? There’s no going back.” The Angry Fluttershy commented in a last ditch effort to get her to stop. But Fluttershy simply nodded and blinked. When her eyes opened again they were all gone.
Turning around she took a steadying breath and opened the door. “Mackie!?” she called, but he was too far away to hear her. She ran out of her home, calling Macintosh’s name over and over. Knowing where he would be right now and running straight for his glade.
The doll, with two hooves sewn together, connected by a small red heart watched her run into the woods, and watched as the sun began to dip down into the horizon.
Resounding THUDS rang throughout Macintosh’s glade as he hit his forehead against a tree repeatedly. He didn’t know how long he had been doing it; he didn’t even know why he was doing it. All he knew was that it helped him feel better about himself because he was punishing the colt responsible for what had happened. He wasn’t even mad at Cheerilee. He could have run away. He could have resisted. But no, he had sat there like a useless lump and had wrecked his relationship. “Why did that have to happen?” he thought as a small trickle of blood ran down his face. “Now I’ve done gone and lost the only mare I’ve ever cared about, outside of mah family.” He snarled to himself and hit his head even harder against the tree.
“Big Macintosh Stop!!” somepony yelled to him. The sudden call startled him out of his rage and he stopped. “Big Macintosh please stop hurting yourself. I-I’m sorry.” He recognized the voice of Fluttershy but didn’t turn around.
“Fluttershy?” he asked, his voice thick with his guilt and anguish.
“Yes Mackie, it’s me and I’m sorry I said all of hose hurtful things to you. I’m so sorry.”
“Please Fluttershy. You were right to tell me to go away. I knew from the start that I’d hurt you. I don’t want to do that at all. It’s better if you avoid me.” He felt the familiar weight of Fluttershy on his back as she gently landed there. Fluttershy wrapped her hooves around his neck and pushed her face into his mane.
“No, Mackie. I don’t want to avoid you.” she rubbed her face into his mane hard and stroked his neck. “I’m willing to listen. Please Big Macintosh…don’t leave me.”
Macintosh rested his still bleeding head on the tree and took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry Fluttershy.” he whispered. Big Macintosh then explained everything that had happened that day. About how he had been tricked to the school by Cheerilee and how she had forced herself on him. He felt his chest tighten with every word he said, feeling his anger with himself rise. Fluttershy just lay on his back and listened. She wanted to cry when he started talking about how the school teacher had kissed her coltfriend but she held back her tears and listened to him, almost not wanting to believe him, but it didn’t stop her from believing him.
“Oh Big Macintosh, I’m so sorry I-I didn’t listen. I believe you, please stop hurting yourself.” Big Macintosh kept his eyes closed
“Fluttershy I never want to hurt you again.”
“It’s ok Mackie. Its ok.” she said soothingly, trying to comfort him. She felt his muscles relax as she brushed her hoof across his neck. She floated off his back and landed on the ground next to him. “Mackie, look at me.” Big Macintosh turned his head towards Fluttershy but couldn’t look her in the eye. “Big Macintosh Look at me!” she said firmly. Big Macintosh slowly turned his eyes towards the mare and looked down into hers. He saw the compassion there and he felt no other desire than to be with her.
Macintosh leaned his head down towards her and she took his face in her hooves. “I forgive you.” she whispered. They leaned into each other and gently locked lips. When they broke apart they put their foreheads together and looked into each other’s eyes. “Promise me you’ll never leave me Fluttershy.” Big Macintosh whispered. Fluttershy took her head off of his and gently kissed the area that had been bleeding from his self-abuse.
“Never.” she said, looking back at him with her small smile.