Looking up at the sky, Fluttershy could see the weather team working diligently on moving in the clouds. Sweet Apple Acres needed a lot of rain after the last few sunny days, and Applejack had ordered Rainbow Dash and her team to get some clouds in, pronto! Well, as quickly as possible anyway. Shaking her head, the shy mare shrank a little at the very idea she could be so... so... "Wishy-washy." In her own thoughts, no less. She didn't like the idea of force behind the words, but all her friends commanded it with such power, and such conviction.
Fluttershy blushed slightly, shaking her head. "It'd be so... exciting." She murmured, starting up her trot again. Looking to her side, she wondered what it would feel like, to be so sure of oneself. To just... know what you wanted, when you wanted, and how it could be delivered. Looking up once again, she saw her friend Rainbow Dash streak across the sky, looking for bigger and bigger rainclouds to bring to Ponyville.
Fluttershy had tended to her animals this morning and began her tiny trek into Ponyville, intent on getting a couple supplies to wait out the impending storm. As she continued, however, she already could see Dash returning with what looked to be a huge raincloud, and it seemed to threaten her as it flew above her, carried by the proud pegasus pony. She sped up a little, continuing her trot under the cover of trees, almost to hide herself from the raincloud.
As she entered Ponyville, she surveyed the area. Some ponies were out in their daily routines, but far less than yesterday. The looming cloud cover set up by the weather team had cautioned the more play-minded ponies to stay inside, lest they get wet from whenever the rain started to poor. Regardless, Fluttershy moved as quickly as she could to her first destination - the Apple Stand set up on Sugar-Cube Corner. However, as she arrived, she found a blue fabric tarp over the stationary stall, with a quick message written on it.
Closed due to Weather/Wagon broke down.
"Oh no." Was all Fluttershy could say, looking it over again as if it would read differently a second time. She had waited too long to go get food for herself, waiting until she was completely out of her usual stores. Her hooves started moving in tandem on the spot, as she worried and wondered on who else she could trust to buy from on short notice.
"Fluttershy?" A sudden voice asked. The pastel yellow pegasus yelped quickly, before turning to see the orange Earth Pony who's voice was familiar to her. "Now don' get yer apples in a bunch, Sugarcube, s'only me." Applejack mentioned, a smile on her face. The pegasus relaxed quickly as the Earth Pony looked her over. "Now what're you doin' out here anyway? Storm's about ta hit any minute."
A low grumble emanated from the Pegasus pony's stomach, which caused her legs to freeze up unceremoniously. She hadn't been paying much mind to her own hunger so far, but the mare realized she hadn't eaten at all today - tending to Angel's feeding habits was a difficult task. Between realizing her food stores were empty and getting the rebelling rabbit to eat from his stores, she seemed to have missed her mark slightly. "I.. um, Well you see I'm... Out of food at home, and uh... Well-"
"Outta food?" Applejack blurted out. Looking between Fluttershy and the closed down stand, she shook her head in apology. "Ah knew ah shouldn't ah let Caramel close up early. Ah'm dreadful sorry 'bout this." Applejack mentioned, looking about to see if any of the other stores were open still. She could only see Sugar-Cube Corner, and right now sweets were likely the last thing on Fluttershy's mind. As she did, a stray thought filtered itself into the Earth pony's mind. "Look, Lemme make it up to ya. Come to mah place with me, stay the night, and we'll have ourselves a right ol' slumberparty." She said. As soon as it came out she wasn't entirely sure where it came from, but there it was.
"Oh. Oh! Um, well." Fluttershy began. She didn't want to be a bother to her friend, but Applejack just looked at her with a caring smile that backed up her words so well. Staring at her green iris, the shy mare mumbled something about not wanting to impose before the Apple farmer waved her excuse away.
"Ah know you wouldn't of come here without tendin' to yer animals first, Fluttershy. Ain't no way somepony's gonna argue that ta me." She mentioned unexpectedly. There went Fluttershy's only real excuse. Applejack always knew what to say, it was so... comforting, to have someone who just knew. Looking away a moment, she gave the impression that she was actually thinking it over, before simply smiling and nodding. "Thas' the spirit! We'll feed you good back at the farm, an' don't hesitate to ask fer anything, ya hear sugar-cube? You're an Apple Family guest tonight."
Fluttershy smiled softly, being led toward Sweet Apple Acres by her friend. As they trotted, Applejack related to Fluttershy her day, and the yellow mare simple smiled and nodded, simply enjoying her time, before the low rumble of thunder threatened the sky above. "Eeep!" She squeaked, and Applejack paused, looking up.
"That pony's been cookin' up one mean storm, Ah tell ya." She muttered, shaking her head. "Jus' wanted a rainstorm, but that pony's always gotta impress somepony. Come'on Sugarcube, we better trot a bit faster if we're gonna beat the-" A loud crash of thunder shook the ground as the sky lit up with lightning, causing Fluttershy to squeal loudly as the rain decided to cascade downward, as if in taunting Applejack's prediction. "Horsefeathers." Applejack mused, looking toward Fluttershy. "Come on, Fluttershy, we gotta hoof it." She said, as if Fluttershy needed any more compelling.
"Now whaddya mean the guest bed's taken?" Applejack stomped her foot down, frustrated. Fluttershy was in the kitchen with Applejack and Big MacIntosh, and they were discussing sleeping arrangements for the night. In front of her were some apple slices, which Applejack had prepared for her just before Big Mac came in with the bad news.
"S'what I said." The red, muscular pony said. He stood a full head over Applejack, and was taller than anypony in town, for sure. However, against Applejack, he seemed somehow more manageable a stallion, much to Fluttershy's content. "Caramel hurt himself runnin' here 'fore the storm. Slid on a wet patch 'o grass and sprained himself. Hopped the res' the way here on three hooves."
"That clumsy colt." Applejack muttered, before looking to Fluttershy, and then back to Big Mac. "Ah figure he's already up there, restin' his worries away already."
"Horsefeathers." Applejack muttered again for the second time in the hour. Placing her hat on a stand nearby, she looked it over quickly to make sure the rain had caused it damage of any sort.
Fluttershy had only eaten a single slice, looking down that she had complicated things. She got up quickly, causing Applejack to hold up a hoof in retaliation. "Oh, uh.. um, I was... gonna go home- There's really no bed for me here, and I don't want to be of any trouble."
Shaking her hoof about, Applejack followed suit with her head, smiling. "Nonsense, Fluttershy. Jus' means you're bunking with me tonight. Ah said we'd have a slumber party tonight and that's jus' what were gonna do." The Earth pony mentioned, gesturing Fluttershy to sit back down. "Now go on, Ah'm not convinced that las' rumble came from the sky now, so you eat up and Ah'll be right back. Gotta see if that lazy colt needs anything." She muttered. Always hospitable, Applejack hurried herself upstairs, leaving Fluttershy alone in the kitchen.
Letting out a long breath, Fluttershy calmed down a little. The low rumble of thunder was almost calming among the sound of the sweeping rain. Closing her eyes, she took a couple more bites of the apples as she tried to keep her train of thought. She blushed slightly, her thoughts turning to Applejack. She would never, ever admit it, but that Pony was always on her mind. Her confidence, her strength, her honesty... She sighed, a red tint appearing on her cheeks.
"Whatcha thinkin' about, Fluttershy?" A little voice popped up.
Again, a small squeak escaped from her as Fluttershy looked around, seeing one of the three Cutie Mark Crusaders staring up at her. "Oh, Applebloom." She muttered first, before smiling. "You surprised me, I didn't hear you come in."
The pale little filly smiled and leapt up upon a seat at the table Fluttershy was sitting up at, and looked over what food there was that was out. "Aw, horsefeathers. Usually when we have guests Applejack has the caramel apples out." She muttered, before turning to Fluttershy, completely changing gears. "Hey Fluttershy, what're you over for? It's awful rainy out for you to make the trip."
The older mare took a look at herself, still fairly wet from the run to the home. She had completely forgotten about it because her stomach growled loudly and Applejack herder her straight into the kitchen. "Oh, no, I came with Applejack. And um, I guess I'm staying the night here."
"Oh! A sleepover then! Like we had at your house!" Applebloom cheered, causing Fluttershy to smile warmly.
"Yes, kind of like that." The mare mused, before realizing that the CMC had all slept in the same bed, and at this moment she realized that she'd be sharing one with Applejack, causing her cheeks to flare up something fierce.
The caused Applebloom to tilt her head slightly. "Huh? What's wrong Fluttershy?" She asked, putting a hoof on the table and leaning on it. "You're all blushing." She mentioned.
"Oh, um, no, I'm just." She cleared her throat. "I just. Um. Get this way during storms. I'm a little light headed, is all." She smiled, but Applebloom didn't look very convinced.
"Are you sure? I don't feel any different." She said, touching a hoof to her face and pushing it around. "Ah donb fheel dibberent ab all." She muttered, her hoof pushing her cheeks around, forcing her mouth to move in weird directions as she spoke.
The display made the pegasus a bit more at ease, as she tried to banish the feeling from her face. "No, it's just... a pegasus thing. Um." She murmured, hoping that would satisfy Applebloom enough to drop the subject. However, the filly just raised an eyebrow slightly. If only she could put a little more into it.
"But I've never seen that happen with Scootalo-"
"Applebloom! What are you doing up this late on a school night?" Called Applejack, enunciating her words for effect. The filly squeaked a bit and quickly rushed past Applejack, muttering a mix of excuses, apologies and rebellion as she went upstairs to her room. Turning to Fluttershy, the mare simply smiled and chuckled a little. "It's not that late, Ah reckon. Cloud're makin' it all a bit darker 'n normal. Still tho', should give us a little peace 'n quiet 'round here fer a couple hours." She said, sitting at the table.
Fluttershy coughed. "Oh, she really wasn't bothering me. Um. Much." She stated, feeling terrible for even admitting a little bit to how uncomfortable the filly was making her. She didn't want to admit to anything today, it seemed. "Thank you for the delicious apple, Applejack." She mumbled, nosing the plate toward the center of the table. There were still a couple slices on it, and Applejack leaned over and took one, smiling warmly.
"Ain't nothin'. Don't you worry 'bout Applebloom, she just get's excited whenever yer around. Sorry she mighta embarrassed you." Applejack noted, seeing the light pink that played on Fluttershy's features.
However, the mere mention caused them to become redder than the Applejack's cutiemark, and she shrank into herself a little. "Oh. No, she wasn't... um." Closing her eyes, she wasn't sure what to say. That she was having conflicting feelings about the true nature of their friendship? That she had a crush on Applejack since the day with the dragon? Banishing such thoughts, she simply gave a soft, half-hearted smile. "It wasn't... important." She said, her cheeks slowly returning to their normal complexion.
"Yer sure?" Applejack asked. "'Cause Ah don't want her thinking it's arright to jus' say anything to anypony."
Fluttershy shook her head. "Oh, no, nothing of the sort. She was just bein' friendly. She, um." She swallowed. "She just surprised me is all."
From above, there was a bit of a thump as Applebloom's voice could be heard. "Cutie Mark Crusader Ninjas!" It called right above them.
Blowing a piece of renegade hair from her face, Applejack merely shook her head and smiled. "Ah reckon we should move to thicker walls." She muttered, putting a hoof to her face. Fluttershy merely nodded, not wanting anyone to just listen in on her. The idea, frankly, scared her a little, and the pegasus was soon having her eyes dart toward every window and every corner of the room. The storm rumbled outside as the worst of it rolled nearer.