Cupcakes 2: Silence of the Hares
Edited by The Color Twelve
Chapter 4: Fluttershy
Rain dripped loudly against the window of Twilight's library. She was trying to sleep, but couldn't. She knew that Pinkie knew where she was. She also knew that even with the Royal Guard's protection, she was exposed. She tried to calm herself down, but nothing seemed to work. She had read books about the subject of psychology, and knew what she was suffering from, but that didn't help her cope with it at all.
Her fearful reverie was interrupted by three muffled knocks that rang through the house. Twilight sat up with a jolt. She paused, waiting for something to happen. 'Must be my imagination,' Twilight said to herself as she laid her head back down on the pillow. Then the sound came again, three more quiet knocks. "Is someone there?" Twilight called, walking towards the door.
"Twilight? Can I talk with you?" A soft voice spoke through the door. Twilight was already sure who it was, but she still wasn't taking any chances. She looked through the peephole and saw a drenched, shivering Fluttershy standing outside.
"For Celestia's sake, get in here!" Twilight said as she undid the deadbolt and chain. "Fluttershy, why would you need to see me at an hour like this?"
"I'd like to help you, but I can't risk getting caught; I don't want anyone to know." Fluttershy spoke softly but clearly.
Twilight wore a puzzled look for a moment, then shook it off and said, "I'm sorry Fluttershy, but this is too-"
Fluttershy interrupted. "Too scary? Too gruesome? I've seen far worse than anything Pinkie Pie could do, and after what happened, I don't think I could live with myself if I let another one of my friends die."
"What do you mean, Fluttershy?" Twilight asked.
"The winter before you came here, during Winter Wrap-Up, since we were so unorganized, the pegasus ponies, they-" Fluttershy stopped, choking up.
"They melted the snow too early, didn't they?"
"Yes. Oh, how those poor little woodland creatures wailed and screamed. The birds could fly, and I was glad they were safe, but all the others, there were simply too many to save." Small tears ran down Fluttershy's pained face. "I figured if could save just one, I would be happy. That's how I got Angel."
"You just wanted them to stop screaming, didn't you
You just wanted silence." Twilight said with a strong, solemn look.
"Please Twilight, if there's anything I can help you with, I'd be honored to."
"Well, there is one thing. I'm positively stumped as to the whereabouts of her hideout. I got a map of Manehattan, and a list of where the ponies that had gone missing were last seen, but I can't figure out where she's doing this from."
"Well, Twilight, I can't seem to pull anything from this either."
"That's okay, I'll talk with Apple Bloom tomorrow, and I'll start investigating the neighborhood, starting with this house." Twilight marked a house down.
"Hm. Okay, see you later." Fluttershy said as she walked out into the night.
The next morning, Twilight headed for Sweet Apple Acres, ready for a torrent of protest from Applejack. She was willing to put up with it. She knew that she had to speak with Apple Bloom again.
"You know Ah don't like it when you come over here to stress my sister." Applejack complained.
"I'm sorry Applejack, but this is too important to worry about staying within your comfort zone." Twilight retorted.
"Oh, so it's like that, huh?" Applejack said, stomping her hooves in protest. "You think just because you got special permission and whatnot you can come in here and make the house yours? Ah'm telling you Twilight, when this is over, we're going to need to have a serious talk."
"I'd love to. When this is over, of course." Twilight replied with finality as she approached the glass stable.
"Hi Twilight!" Apple Bloom greeted Twilight almost cheerfully. Then she noticed a small saddlebag draped across Twilight's side. "What's in the bag?"
"Apple Bloom, I need you to help me find where Pinkie is."
"Really? Well, show me what's in the bag then."
Twilight pulled out a map of Manehattan, which was covered in dots, and slid it through to Apple Bloom. "I need you to use this to help me find her." Twilight said.
Apple Bloom stared blankly at the map for a moment, then turned back to Twilight. "Tell me Twilight, are you afraid of losing somepony else? Pinkie told me all about it, about the, uh, abso- absolution in a pony's eyes as they're about to die. But she lied to me about one thing: That she could actually care for anypony. She said that Ah was her favorite, that Ah was too good for cupcakes
But she forgot about me."
Twilight tried to think of something to say, but she could only let her mouth hang open dumbly. She stared into Apple Bloom's eyes, seeing the tortured soul trapped inside.
Apple Bloom started again. "Ah'll help you Twilight, but promise me this: You find the real thing that keeps pulling you along, the real reason you haven't just passed this on to somepony else."
With that, Twilight got up and left. She thought about what Apple Bloom said; she knew why she was doing this, but she couldn't express it.
Twilight spent that entire night with her spare map, trying to figure out where Pinkie was hiding, but all the disappearances seemed random. She eventually got an idea that Pinkie could have hidden at the rock farm by the town, the one she had grown up on. Twilight didn't have a search warrant, however, so she decided to continue her investigation in Manehattan. She sent a letter to Princess Celestia outlining her suspicions, and quickly got her reply:
My faithful student, Twilight:
We have had the same suspicions, and are now on route to capture Pinkie Pie. I guess great minds think alike. Hope to see you soon.
Soon after Twilight had left to check on the first house on her list, Fluttershy passed by the library and saw a small stack of papers on Twilight's front porch. She decided glanced over them, and saw that they were some of Twilight's case files. 'Why would she leave them here?' Fluttershy wondered as she started sifting through them. She stopped at the map. 'Twilight, doesn't this random assortment of disappearances seem a bit strange?' She thought about it as she scanned the map. She froze when she noticed that each disappearance was along one route that lead back to one house in Manehattan.
"Oh, no." She said aloud.
To Be Continued