The Night Fluttershy Exploded starring Fluttershy and Princess Luna
Fluttershy made almost no noise as she picked her way up the mountain path. The mountain itself rose up before her, and in the darkness of the night it was more a negative void among the stars than a real physical thing. She would have liked to have flown, but in the darkness flying was much too dangerous – much, much too dangerous! Of course, Rainbow Dash had no problem with night flying, but then she was a brave pony, unlike Fluttershy, and she'd had special training at Cloudsdale Flight School. And yet Fluttershy sometimes preferred to feel the earth beneath her hooves – it was a comforting feeling to her, and it helped give her courage on this dangerous journey.
She looked up and was relieved to see the moon hadn't risen yet. It was important for her to reach the glade before it did this time. But the darkness of the mountain's shadow on the path before her made the going all the more perilous. Her heart was already fit to burst from her chest. This was only the second time she had made the climb, and her anticipation at finding the glade and seeing them again had mixed with the dangerousness of the climb to fill her with nervous excitement.
Back down in Ponyville, in her tree-house, all of her animal friends (except the owls of course!) were fast asleep, and she had put Angel to bed early, which had elicited a sharp, accusatory glare from the little rabbit. But Fluttershy would brook no nonsense from him tonight of all nights, and he was given his evening carrot and sternly put in his hutch.
"Sorry Angel Bunny," Fluttershy had told him, "I do so love you, but this is my special night tonight."
She knew she was nearing the glade now. The moon had still not risen, and as the summit came closer, stars suddenly blossomed from behind the mountain and filled the sky with a million jewelled points. She recognised the low rocky ridge between her and the secret mountain glade, and she sighed with relief. She had made it in time.
A month ago Twilight had come to visit her at the tree-house to show her something she had found in a book she'd been reading.
"Fluttershy, you know a lot about flowers, right?" asked Twilight.
"Oh yes!" Fluttershy replied. "I love ALL kinds of flowers. All kinds of flora, actually – and fauna!"
"Well, then this will be right up your alley…" Twilight floated the book she had brought with her over. It hovered in front of the two of them, flipping swiftly to the relevant page.
Fluttershy's eyes opened wide at what she saw on that page. "Moonflowers?" she said. "I've never heard of moonflowers before…"
Twilight nodded. "I knew you'd be interested to see this. 'Moonflowers,'" she read, "'are the rarest flowers in all of Equestria. Only opening their blossoms to pollinate in the light of the full moon, they are invisible at all other times, and are therefore nearly impossible to find except by chance.'"
"Impossible?" sighed Fluttershy. "Oh, I wish I could see them."
"It says 'nearly impossible'," said Twilight. "Which is the not the same as impossible. And you're in luck!" She hovered another book she had brought with her in front of them and turned it to the bookmarked page.
"'Legends tell of a grove of moonflowers on a mountain near Ponyville?'" read Fluttershy.
Twilight nodded. "The same mountain we had that adventure with the dragon – which," she added, "was maybe your finest hour, Fluttershy."
Fluttershy said nothing, lowering her eyes with a blush. But when she looked up again, excitement and determination filled her eyes. "But tonight is the full moon!"
"You should go and try to find them," suggested Twilight.
Climbing that mountain? At night? She shivered at the thought. "Um, Twilight… why don't you come with me?"
The unicorn pony shook her head. "I'd love to. Unfortunately, I'm always doing magical experiments during the full moon. Moonlight dramatically increases the effectiveness of all magic. So I really can't come – but you should definitely go!"
And despite the fearful, dark climb up the mountain, Fluttershy had finally found the grove of moonflowers just as the moon had started to set. They had just begun to shut their blossoms and fade away, but the beauty of them for those few precious seconds had taken her breath away, and she had vowed to come back on the next full moon and see them in full bloom.
And now, as she poked her head around the outcrop this second time, the full beauty of the moonflowers was revealed to her at last.
The moon had just begun to rise and its silver-blue light spilled over the little mountain glade, and wherever its glow pooled tiny flowers had sprung into being. Their petals glistened like quicksilver around delicate, ice-sharp points of crystal light, and it seemed to Fluttershy as if all the stars in the heavens had fallen and carpeted the earth, making it a mirror of the sky. Her heart felt like it was being drawn up into the sky and she stood rooted to the spot, her eyes brimming with tears of happiness that reflected the exquisite blue-silver glow of the field of moonflowers.
At last she shook herself out of the moon-dream that had held her in its spell, and she took the first few steps down towards the glade itself. She ached to be among the flowers themselves, to smell them and touch them, to gambol among them like a new born foal. But something stopped her – a strange feeling that barred her way, and made her shiver with fear. She shied away, and galloped back behind the safety of the outcropping – and as she did, the glow of the flowers deepened and intensified, until it seemed as if the moon itself had descended into the glade.
Her heart fluttered and leapt in her chest, but the intoxicating desire to look upon the Moonflower's beauty gave her courage, and she poked her head around the rock again. And there, among the flowers, she saw her. It was Princess Luna herself.
As her hooves touched the ground, Luna folded her great wings and landed lightly among the moonflowers. Her coat was as blue as the night shadows that appear under starlight, and her mane was the colour of the sky on the edge of night, and she looked about her with shy green eyes like frozen emeralds.
And then, as Fluttershy watched, Luna began to dance.
She reared up onto her hind legs and, closing her eyes in abandon, she tossed her mane, which flowed behind her in the night breeze like the shimmering robes of the aurora. And when her forefeet touched the ground again, she broke into a canter, and as her slender legs lifted her gracefully and lightly among the moonflowers, their pollen puffed up in tiny glittering clouds like ground diamond dust.
The moonflowers had bewitched Fluttershy with their beauty, but their beauty was utterly eclipsed by that of the Princess of the Moon as she played among them. And Fluttershy found herself entranced, her gaze drawn along every fluid movement of Luna's dance, every sparkling silver trail left by her hooves, every leap and flutter of her wings– and Fluttershy's heart ached to be out there alongside her, gambolling among the moonflowers as well.
She had just summoned enough courage to take the first tentative steps down into the glade when Luna made a sudden high leap and unfurling her wings fully she rose swiftly into the air. And Fluttershy could see the tears, sparkling silver-blue, spilling from the Princess's eyes as flew. Her heart broke at the sight, and she gasped out loud.
Luna stopped in mid-air, hovering, her ears twitching. She turned towards where Fluttershy was watching her, and her eyes flashed with dark green fire.
Fluttershy was gripped by sudden terror and she turned and fled, half-flying half-galloping down the steep mountain path, scree coursing around her hoofs with ever hoof-fall she made, and she didn't stop her headlong flight until she had reached the door of her tree-house and slammed it behind her.
In his hutch, Angel Bunny woke up suddenly and glared sleepily at her.
"Sorry, Angel Bunny," she gasped. Her heart was still coursing in her chest. "Did...did I wake you up?"
The rabbit shook his head – in annoyance rather than as an answer. And then he hopped back under his blanket so that only his little cotton tail was visible.
Fluttershy galloped to her own bed and threw herself on it, burying her face under the pillow. And for a long time she couldn't sleep, for the flash in those green eyes had reminded her of the terrifying Nightmare Moon. But at last Fluttershy's eyelids shut from sheer exhaustion and she fell into a fitful sleep.
Fluttershy found herself walking in an ink-black field and all about her were tiny points of light. The blackness splashed up with every hoof-fall and gentle ripples spread around her, making the white points wobble and waver.
"Where am I?" she said out loud. Her voice was immediately swallowed up by the darkness that surrounded her on all sides and she felt a sudden surge of fear in her heart. A breeze, fresh and cool, wafted about her face, setting her mane fluttering and ruffling the feathers on her wings.
"You are in my domain," replied a voice, seemingly from everywhere around her, "The dark space in the sky which is my home." It was a deep and sonorous voice, warm and feminine, but it echoed as if the sky itself were speaking. Fluttershy looked about in alarm. To the left, not far from her, she saw two points of green light bobbing up and down, growing steadily larger. And soon she realised they were eyes, deep green eyes framed by long night-black lashes.
Just as the moonflowers had coalesced into existence, so did the rest of Luna's body – for it was indeed her. The stars at first were visible through her translucent blue body, but they rapidly vanished from Fluttershy's sight as the princess materialised fully. "You are most welcome here, Element of Kindness." Her voice no longer echoed in the reaches of space, but was the soft, boyish contralto she had heard from Luna, once she had been stripped of the spirit of Nightmare Moon.
Fluttershy stepped back. She wasn't as afraid as she had been on the mountain a few hours ago, but nervousness flooded her under the divine gaze of those eyes. She knelt down – the fluid of space was warm against her legs, but it didn't wet them at all – and she lowered her gaze. "I'm so sorry, Princess Luna. I never meant to disturb your dance on the mountain."
Luna laughed, and as she laughed the stars about her head bobbed about. She came close to Fluttershy, and with a touch of her night-blue muzzle she indicated the Pegasus pony should lift her face, which she timidly did. Luna was smiling at her – and her eyes, though as green as arctic ice, were kind and warm.
Fluttershy stood up and stepped backwards, blushing. "Is... is this a dream?" she asked.
Luna nodded. "Your dream – and mine as well." She cantered about the Pegasus pony, tossing her mane, her eyes laughing. Fluttershy scrambled to follow her, turning on the spot with a skittering and splashing of hooves.
"So... this isn't real?" Fluttershy felt a wave of strange disappointment flood her.
Luna stopped her play and looked sternly at Fluttershy. "This is a dream, but a true dream," she said. "Like every dream that is dreamt under my full moon." She suddenly broke into a trot, and, turning her head, she indicated that Fluttershy should follow her, and the Pegasus pony did.
Soon Luna's trot turned into a gallop, and Fluttershy struggled to keep up with her. The stellar wind coursed past them on the left and right, and their hooves shattered the star's reflections as their true forms flew overhead.
And now their hooves were no longer splashing on the liquid of space, but on a path of silver dust that arched away before them into the heights overhead. And Fluttershy now realised that they had been travelling upon the surface of the night sky itself.
"This is the shore of the Milky Way," said Luna.
"It's so beautiful!" Fluttershy replied.
They were no longer galloping but had slowed to a walk, and Luna slipped back beside her. "And you are to thank for that," she smiled. "For although I am here in spirit, this is your dreamland – and the beauty here is a reflection of the beauty of your heart."
Fluttershy looked around and gasped. "I made all this?"
Luna nodded. "Only those with a love of my night can invite me into their dreams," she explained.
"The night?" Fluttershy wondered. "Of... of course I love the night. The stars in the sky are so beautiful, and... and I love the silence, the solitude. And so many of my animal friends live their whole lives in the night!"
"It's kind of you to say that, Fluttershy," said Luna. The Pegasus pony blushed at the sound of her name. "You know – you shouldn't have run away. You should've stayed and joined me among the moonflowers and danced!" Luna's green eyes glistened. "I've waited so long for someone to dance with me..."
"I...I wanted to," said Fluttershy, "But you scared me. Your eyes..." She dropped her gaze. Her fears seemed so silly to her now.
Luna laughed suddenly – and the laugh of the Princess of the Moon was so pure and light and clear that it rang like crystal in the void of space, and Fluttershy listened in wonder at it.
"You merely startled me," said Luna, "Nopony other than my sister has ever seen me dance among the moonflowers. I was… embarrassed that you saw me. "
Fluttershy looked up, amazed that the shyness in the Princess's voice. "I... I'm so sorry, Princess…"
Luna laughed again, and she came up next to Fluttershy so that their shoulders were level. She slipped her neck over the Pegasus pony's and whispered in her ear.
"You have another chance, though," she said, "Will you dance with me now, here, on the shores of the Milky Way?" Luna cantered away from her, along the glittering silver sand which crackled under her hooves. "This is the secret place dearest to my heart. Nopony but my sister has ever come here. But I'm so glad that I have you to share it with now."
Fluttershy started forward, but she was afraid. She wanted to be with Luna, to play among the stars, but what if she couldn't dance? What if she did something wrong? What if she... ?
Luna's eyes flickered green. "If you never risk anything, Fluttershy, you'll never have what your heart desires. You will be forever alone, just as I was for those thousand years, and you will remain as lonely as you are now."
"But I'm not lonely," protested Fluttershy.
"Is that really true?" asked the Princess. Again her glacial eyes flashed behind their prison of night-black lashes.
Was it true? Fluttershy wondered. Perhaps her shyness did keep her away from the others. She often wished she had Rainbow Dash's bluster, or Applejack's sturdy confidence. Making friends would be so much easier! And perhaps it was her shyness that made her prefer the company of her animal friends to the other ponies of Ponyville. And maybe THAT was the reason why she had never had a... partner.
Stallions had always shown interest in her, but she had always been too frightened to let them get too close to her. It would just take a single touch, and she would be galloping away, her heart beating fit to burst. That sort of thing was so unknown to her, and the unknown frightened her more than anything else. But deep inside, she knew she wanted somepony special to be close to, to share everything with, to love and be with.
Tears started at the edges of her eyes, and her sadness welled up, hot and real in the dream-world.
Luna drew her face close to Fluttershy's. She could feel the Princess's breath against her face, and it was cool and smelled of night-loving jasmine.
"Princess Luna?" Fluttershy felt suddenly nervous and unsure of herself.
"Shshsh..." said Luna. "You don't need to say anything. I've read your heart. Loneliness knows loneliness," With short tender touches of her lips she kissed away Fluttershy's tears. "I saw that loneliness in your eyes earlier tonight, on the mountain."
Fluttershy closed her eyes as Luna nuzzled her cheek. Somehow, the princess's chill kisses, the cool feeling of her coat against Fluttershy's own, calmed her. She suddenly felt that here, in her dream-world, with Luna beside her, she could do anything she wanted. There was no longer any need to be afraid.
And so Fluttershy opened her deep blue eyes and said "I'm not so scared anymore, Princess Luna."
Luna nodded. "Then shall we dance?"
Across the silver expanse of the shore of the Milky Way the two ponies chased each other, laughing and leaping together over the drifts of stellar sand. Pure joy surged through Fluttershy's heart as she galloped with Luna beside her. And then they flew, Fluttershy gasping as the stars streaked past them in dizzying spirals and even though she couldn't see anything else, only the blue streak of Luna flying just ahead of her, the fear she had always felt slowly turned into excitement, and she cried out in exhilaration.
Luna suddenly streaked like a blue comet straight up, perpendicular to their path, and she flew back down onto Fluttershy, sweeping her up in her forefeet, and after spiralling high into the sky they fell together, the darkness slipping past them at incredible speed.
"Princess Luna!" shrieked Fluttershy, "We're falling too fast!"
Luna just smiled at her and said "Nothing bad can happen to you as long as I'm here." She swept out her great blue wings, and they slowed, floating down to the silver sands of the Milky Way. Luna's wings still enveloped them both as they landed and Fluttershy's heart was beating rapidly. The princess brought her face close to Fluttershy's, and she whispered "What's the matter, Fluttershy? Was that a little too exciting for you perhaps?" to which the Pegasus pony blushed and nodded shyly.
Luna stroked her muzzle against Fluttershy's neck and ear – she was still shivering with the excitement of their flight – and she tilted her head and swiftly kissed the Pegasus pony on the mouth. Fluttershy's eyes grew wide, and she stepped backwards, startled. Luna's touch had been making her tingle all over, but her kiss had surged through her like icy electricity. It was all so new and strange to Fluttershy, and it scared her. The pleasure of the closeness of Luna's body and the fear welled up in her, mixing together in her heart. She could feel the cold fire that Luna's lips and breath had lit, flowing up her veins like ruby-ice, and it was more exhilarating and terrifying than their plummet towards the sands of the Milky Way had been.
"Stay with me here, tonight, Fluttershy," breathed Luna.
The words, like ice-chimes, filled with promise, echoed in her ears, as Luna began to kiss her coat softly, and with each kiss Fluttershy shivered, for wherever the Princess's lips touched they left behind a trail of cold fire.
And then she felt the fire flare up and engulfed her. It was as if all of her body was a living flame, and it sped all over her – bursting at the same time in two places at once, in her mind, and in that other place... farther down, between her haunches. A liquid fireball of boiling pleasure that drove the dream from her, drove all sense form her, shattering the heavens and sending the stars falling like flowers made of ice in the wind – and Luna dissolved away as well, melting like frost in the morning sun, and her touch, the touch that had lifted to Fluttershy to such heights was gone – but the pleasure it had wrought remained, flowing over her in waves.
Fluttershy was back in her bed in the tree-house, her face stuck under the pillow. She felt hot everywhere – and wet. There was sweat all over, and it had sunk into the bed. And another part of her was wetter still, the part between her legs.
She reached down with a hoof. Was it... blood? she wondered. But the stickiness wasn't blood.
She wanted to get out of bed and clean herself off, but she found herself unable to move, and the tiredness in her limbs carried her back into sleep – a dreamless one this time, dark and empty of those gorgeous green eyes like sea-ice, and the burning touch of those cool lips.
"Can a pony... explode?" Twilight repeated the question. She shook her head. "What do you mean exactly, 'explode'?"
"Oh, you know Twilight... just explode. Like, bang!" Fluttershy threw her forefeet open wide. "A big explosion ripping through your body with everything catching on fire. And you melt away... well, in places." She blushed.
"Places?" Twilight furrowed her brow. "That is the strangest question anypony has ever asked me. Maybe you mean a magical explosion of some kind?"
Fluttershy nodded. "Oh yes. It was definitely magical."
Twilight scratched her head. "I'll take a look in my books, but I'm not making any promises I'll find anything."
"Oh, thank you Twilight!" Fluttershy was suddenly perturbed. "And um, Twilight?"
The unicorn pony looked up from her book again. "Yes?"
"Do you think that if a pony ... exploded... that it would be possible for them to explode again?"
Twilight rolled her eyes. "Well, if they survived the first explosion, I guess they could survive as many explosions as they wanted!"
Fluttershy beamed. "Oh, thank you Twilight! You've been such a great help!"
"Oh, by the way," Twilight said as Fluttershy was about to leave. "Did you ever find those moonflowers again?"
Fluttershy shook her head. "Actually, no."
"That's a shame," replied Twilight, returning to her book. "Better luck next full moon I guess."
"Yes... next full moon," said Fluttershy with a shy and secret smile.