Written by Roy G. Biv
Edited by Purple Tinker
Fluttershy rolled over on her bed, tears streaming down her face, as she punched a hoof into her pillow furiously. This year was supposed to be different! "Every year...", she thought to herself... "Every year, the other ponies have all the fun! This was going to be MY year!" Burying herself even deeper under the covers, she pressed her face into her pillow. As she let the tears flow, her memories of the day came flooding back, every detail painfully clear.
It was April Foal's Day, a day of pranks, practical jokes, and general merriment. Since moving to Ponyville, Fluttershy had been seen as "off limits" on this holiday, in deference to her skittish nature. But not this time. This year, she'd been planning for the festival, and this year-- for the first time ever-- she too was going to join in the fun! In fact, she had vowed that this year, she was going to be crowned the top prankster of the town!
The normally shy yellow pegasus had used up a good portion of the earnings from her brief modeling career in preperation for today, but in her opinion, it was bits well spent. Finally... Finally, for once in her life, she was going to get in on the act!
The day's pranks were to begin with Angel Bunny. He was a dear friend, and therefore she knew his habits very well. She heard the rustling of the little rabbit in his bed and grinned widely to herself. Just WAIT until he saw what was waiting for him in the kitchen for breakfast! The pegasus giddily clopped her hooves in glee, waiting eagerly as she heard Angel hopping into the kitchen... only to be followed by the happy sounds of munching.
Fluttershy frowned. No squeaks of outrage? No laughter? Nothing? Just... Eating? Peering around the door frame, Fluttershy's smile changed into a look of shock as she saw Angel happily munching away on his breakfast: Not his usual single carrot, but a whole BUSHEL of them, as well as several apples and a head of fresh lettuce.
Fluttershy slumped to the floor as she shook her head. "That's alright...," Fluttershy said to herself, rationalizing thus: "Angel was just a practice prank, just to get me started. Really, it's fine! But I should get going if I'm going to see all my pranks unfold today!" Rising to her hooves, she eagerly trotted out the door, then took off flying as fast as she dared towards Ponyville.
Fluttershy's first stop was to peek in on the library, where three of her pranks were set to go off at once. She giggled to herself, putting the not-so-impressive results of her first prank out of her head, as she readied herself to laugh with her friends; surely, the next three were sure to get the desired reaction. Knocking timidly on the door, she then pushed it open, before calling out softly, "Twilight...? Spike...? P-p-princess Luna...?"
The inside of the library was slowly coming to life, Celestia's sun filling the inside of the tree with a soft glow from the windows as the wood under her hooves began to warm up. Fluttershy peered around, then noticed movement in the kitchen. Trying to hide her glee, she poked her head into the kitchen with a nervous look...
And saw a smiling Twilight Sparkle sipping some morning tea. The yellow pegasus gasped and shook her head. "T-Twilight? Are you okay?" This wasn't right! Twilight shouldn't be calmly sipping tea!
The slightly plumper than usual purple unicorn looked up from her tea, her smile growing wider as she waved a hoof. "Oh, Fluttershy! Good morning! What a surprise! I was feeling so nauseous this morning, what with the pregnancy, that I couldn't sleep! And then I came down and found this new tea blend on the counter! I tried it, and it helped ease my stomach! Here, try a sip!"
Fluttershy blinked in shock, and then trotted closer as she sniffed the air. Yes, that was the tea she had left: A blend of raspberry leaves, peppermint & ginger. She'd picked it out because it didn't have the caffeine Twilight's usual Canterlot Breakfast Blend had! She didn't expect this reaction! Shaking her head, the yellow pegasus backed up slightly. "Oh, that's okay, Twilight... I... I wouldn't want to take any tea from you. You sound like you really, really need it."
The unicorn shrugged and sipped the tea again slowly. "Mmm, if you say so... I would have had made Spike make me my tea, but I couldn't get him out of bed. He just kept mumbling about "'world's softest pillow' and some dragon fairy leaving him a midnight snack of rubies. Sheesh, the crazy dreams he has!"
Fluttershy winced again, the yellow winged pony hiding behind her long pink mane even more than usual, as inwardly she started to fume. Spike didn't feel that the rubies or the extra soft pillow were pranks either! Just like Twilight and Angel! What else could go wrong?
As if on cue, the two equines heard a loud squeal from upstairs. A dark blue streak zoomed over Fluttershy's head and the kitchen counter, before colliding with the purple unicorn. Blue forelegs were encircling Twilight's neck, as a blue feminine muzzle was covering the side of Twilight's face with kisses and loving nuzzles. "Oh, honey!" Luna cried out happily. "How could you afford this? It's a wonderful gift!"
Twilight gasped, enjoying the attention but a bit confused and embarassed at the same time. "Luna... Oh, man... Not my nape... Right there... I mean, Luna! What do you mean?"
The princess pulled her head back as she gasped. "Why, you know very well what I mean! The gift certificate for an all-expense-paid honeymoon for the two of us to Paradise Island! Just you, me, the ocean, and those black sand beaches for a whole WEEK! Oooh, you're the sweetest wife ever, Sparkle Bunny!"
Twilight winced a little as her mate used her pet name in front of her old friend, and coughed into a hoof. "Um, Luna dear...?" The purple pegasus began to point at Fluttershy, but Luna paid this no heed in her excitement.
"Oh, and Sparkle Bunny, why aren't you wearing your collar? I thought you promised I could lead my mare around on a leash again today? I promise to even call you my 'mule' or let you call me 'My Princess'! Oh, I'm just so excited!"
It was hard to tell who blushed harder at this comment-- Fluttershy for finding out so abruptly that her friends had a bit of a kinky side, or Twilight for having some of her bedroom 'quirks' aired out. Regardless, the purple unicorn gave a hard swallow, then pointed again at her pegasus friend. "Oh, I would, but you see _FLUTTERSHY_ had stopped by to make sure my pregnancy was going along well!"
Luna stopped, slowly turning her head to follow the pointing hoof towards the now nearly scarlet-faced pegasus before gasping. "Oh, Fluttershy! Why, good morning!" The princess and ruler of the night slipped away from Twilight's side ashamedly, biting her lip. "I, ah... Twilight and I were just discussing some military movements!" The alicorn began to nod rapidly as if trying to convince the shy pegasus. "We really wern't discussing Twilight as my love slave! It was... jargon."
Twilight poked her hoof against Luna's muzzle to quiet her as she sighed. "Ah, Fluttershy... What Luna MEANT to say is that we were just discussing a book we've been reading together... Every night... All night... Mmm, it is such a good book, too..." At this, a wistful look appeared in the unicorn's eyes, before she rapidly shook her head to snap herself back to reality. "I mean, it would be best not to discuss our nighttime reading habits with other ponies, okay?"
Fluttershy meekly nodded, beginning to slowly back out of the kitchen. "I-I-I... I understand. You girls have fun, and... I'm just going to go now, yes. Going now would be best." Turning on her tail, the pegasus darted out of the tree house as fast as her little wings could take her. Some things friends did not need to know about other friends!
Fluttershy flew away, rather embarassed and shocked. While the revelations about the newlyweds were a bit shocking, she had to admit that they DID fit Twilight's reserved nature. She'd have to tell Twilight later about "Madame R", as well as about the line of credit Fluttershy had for special bridles and bits... But, more than that, the shy pegasus was surprised that NONE of her three pranks had achieved the desired reaction. She'd been ever so stealthy last night setting up all of these pranks, and none of them were working out! It was all so very frustrating! Poor Fluttershy was so distracted by her thoughts that she didn't notice Pinkie Pie in the middle of the road in front of her... until she abruptly crashed into her.
The two ponies tumbled to the ground in a jumble of hooves, streamers, and balloons, Pinkie Pie's saddlebags falling open and spilling their contents willy-nilly. The pink earth pony poked her head up out of the jumble of assorted party and prank supplies as she blinked. "Fluttershy, are you CRAZY? You need to be careful today!"
Fluttershy tried to free herself from the jumble. "Oh, I'm EVER so sorry, Pinkie Pie... I was just so... distracted." She looked down, blushing in embarrassment.
Pinkie Pie expertly popped right out of the mess and shook herself out. "It's okay, Fluttershy! But be careful! Today's April Foal's Day, and I've got a BIG day of pranks ahead of me! After I have my favorite breakfast, of course!"
The yellow pegasus paused, her body going stiff as she mumbled out, "Y-Your favorite breakfast...?"
Pinkie Pie nodded rapidly as a pleased grin crossed her muzzle. "Oh, yeah! Mr. & Mrs. Cake must have left them for me! It was chocolate cupcakes topped with buttercream icing and hot sauce! My most favorite of favoritest of nummy yummy delicious cupcakey goodness! And JUST right to start a day of pulling harmless pranks!"
Fluttershy visibly wilted as she heard that yet another of her pranks had backfired. Covering her eyes with her forehooves, she heard a brash voice cry out from above, "Pinkie, are y' ready?," followed by the soft thumps of four hooves deftly landing upon the dirt. "Oh, heya Fluttershy!"
Fluttershy looked out from behind her left forehoof to see Rainbow Dash standing next to Pinkie Pie. "Hey guys, I just had the BEST morning to get me primed for pranking! Somehow, my cloud castle had turned in the middle of the night so the sunshine warmed up my bed as the sun was coming up. It felt SO wonderful! I think I'm going to have to keep it like that. I'd say it's about 20% warmer now!"
Fluttershy just covered her eyes with her forehooves, giving a barely audible sniffle. Pinkie Pie, happy to see her friend in such a good mood, replied, "Oooh, that's wonderful! But we gotta hurry! Our first stop is gonna be Rarity's boutique!"
"Naw, that prank's cancelled," Dash exclaimed, giving a little sigh. "I flew past her on my way here. Evidently, she woke up to find a gift certificate for a full day at the spa, so she was heading off there to 'dream up new designs while being pampered', or somethin' like that. She won't be home all day."
Letting out a cry of anguish that even her prank on Rarity had backfired, the yellow pegasus turned tail and took off towards Apple Acres Farm, leaving a trail of streamers and balloons in her wake. As she flew off, she could hear Dash say to Pinkie Pie, "Was it something I said?"
Pinkie Pie's voice answered back, "Oh, you know Fluttershy... She never liked this holiday!"
Fluttershy dashed through the sky towards Apple Acres, the pegasus's eyes now brimming with tears. Softly, she began to whimper to herself. "It's not fair! It's just not fair!" Flying over the apple orchards, she alighted near the farmhouse behind a bush, trying her hardest to be stealthy as she crawled towards the farmhouse itself. Just as she approached her goal-- that being the nearest window offering a view into the house-- she was startled by a low "Ahem" coming from behind her.
Turning in fear, she found herself faced with the crimson stallion Big Macintosh, standing there with a perplexed look on his face. "Fluttershy, what'chu rekon you're doin' crawlin' around the farm like this? Don'cha know Applejack is stormin' about on a rampage?"
A glimmer of hope flashed in Fluttershy's heart as she gasped. "Oh, no! What could have made Applejack upset? What happened?"
Bic Mac lifted his left foreleg, rubbing the back of his head nervously. "It's the strangest thing... We woke up'n found all the chores fer the day completed! Applejack's havin' a conniption fit, 'cause the chores were done better'n she coulda done 'em! She's madder'n all git out that now she dun have nothin' to do today but relax. 'Tween you an' me though? I think it'll be good fer her ta' have a day off."
The yellow pegasus slumped down further onto the ground, pitiful little whimpers escaping her mouth. With all her pranks backfiring, this was turning into a truly abysmal April Foal's Day. She looked up, worry tinging her voice, as she started to shake. "And... And you, Big Macintosh? Did anything happen to you?"
He just shrugged nonchalantly. "Well, ah reckon it's been a good day fer' me so far. Woke up'n found a bag of some sugar cubes ta' crunch on while workin', so today's bin' alright by me."
The fact that her final prank had failed was the final straw for the poor pegasus. Taking to the air with a slight *squeak!* of frustration, Fluttershy streaked back towards her house with a speed that would put Rainbow Dash to shame. Big Mac, meanwhile, just stood there dumbfounded.
Fluttershy sniffled to herself some more. The day's crying had helped some, but she still felt miserable that not a single one of her pranks had worked as intended. Biting her lip, she paused in her sobs as she heard a faint sound coming from downstairs. Her ears twitched, the pegasus listening intently to make out the sound. There it was again! It sounded like someone moving a chair.
"Could it be Angel Bunny?," she wondered, pulling her head out from under the tangle of covers to look around. The day had grown late, and Celestia's sun was setting in the sky, filling room with a pale golden-red glow.
Pulling herself out of bed proved to be a formidable task, the poor pegasus's body feeling drained from doing so much sobbing. "Oh, he must be so hungry since I missed lunch for him, and I've not eaten all day...," thought the pegasus, as she slowly trotted towards the door. "Maybe, after dinner, I can go to bed and forget today ever happened..."
Opening the door to her room, the skittish pegasus immediately stopped in her tracks. Before her was the sight of her living room filled to the brim with streamers, balloons, and a big table laden with good food and sweets. The whole room smelled of cake and cookies and punch, prompting the hunger in her empty tummy to switch into overdrive. Before she could react, Fluttershy saw all of her friends spilling out from the kitchen, cheering, "SURPRISE! CONGRATULATIONS!"
Fluttershy looked about, her mouth agape as she took in all the smiling faces of her friends. Pinkie Pie. Twilight Sparkle. Rarity. Rainbow Dash. Applejack. Spike. Even Big Mac was there with Angel Bunny sitting atop his back, the little bunny waving a small triangle flag with her cutie mark on it.
Fluttershy looked all around and shook her head in disbelief. "I... I'm sorry, everypony, but... what is going on?"
Pinkie Pie hopped over and gave the shocked pegasus a playful poke with a forehoof, before letting out a cheerful giggle. "Why, you won the title of Best Pranker this year! So turn that frown upside down!"
Fluttershy blinked. "But... But... but all of my pranks backfired! No one even got mad!"
Rarity smiled, the eloquent unicorn trotting up with a hoofkerchief to start cleaning up the dried streaks of tears from her friend's face. "Oh, Fluttershy... You made us all so very happy with all your pranks, we knew you had to be the one behind them. Now cheer up! This party's for YOU! It's our way of saying 'thank you'."
Pinkie Pie bounced about, nodding rapidly in agreement. "Oh, yeah! The BEST pranks are those that make people happy, not sad! And your pranks made everypony the happiest of happies today!"
Twilight cantered up and gently nosed the yellow pegasus. "If not for your kindness, I'd not have found a way to settle my morning sickness, and Luna and I wouldn't have a honeymoon to look forward to!"
Rainbow Dash nodded eagerly. "Yah, and I'd never have found out that my house is so much better when you turn it to that angle!"
Applejack kicked some dirt on the floor, trying to look gruff. But with a poke from her brother's hoof, she sighed deeply in resignation. "Aw, an' I guess ah DID need that there day off. It was right nice of you to do all them chores for us. Just... DON'T DO IT AGAIN, okay?"
Big Mac chuckled at his sister's reaction before giving a slow nod. "Eeyup."
Spike looked about and crossed his arms in frustration. "Right, right, right. I'm thankful for the new pillow and the rubies and all, but can't we PLEASE move on to the eating?"
Twilight shot a dark glare towards the baby dragon. "Spike! Don't be so rude."
Spike shrugged his shoulders and turned away. "Wha-a-a-a-at? I'm just sayin' what everyone else is thinking!"
Sniffling softly, Fluttershy nodded. "Oh, yes...," she said, as her tone brightened. "There's all this wonderful food and all these wonderful decorations, and all my friends are here... And I'm so very hungry." For the first time since that morning, Fluttershy smiled. "So let's all dig in!"
As the party stretched on long into Luna's night, the princess herself opted to make an appearance. She gave a knowing wink towards Big Mac before trotting over to lovingly nuzzle Twilight hello. Big Mac, taking the cue, trotted over and nosed at Fluttershy gently. "Hey, 'kin I talk ta' ya' outside f'r a minute?"
Fluttershy nodded softly, rising to her hooves before following the crimson stallion out the door. As they left, Pinkie Pie could be heard calling for a game of "Spin the Bottle", and in her heart Fluttershy was glad she was given this chance to escape.
The two ponies walked side by side across Fluttershy's lawn, Big Mac's flank gently brushing against Fluttershy's every few steps as a pleased smile began to cross her muzzle. Suddenly, the larger pony stopped and nodded. "This looks like a good spot."
Fluttershy stopped and looked at Big Mac questioningly. "A... a good spot for what?"
The stallion simply pointed his hoof up towards the sky and smiled. "Just watch, hon..."
Resisting the urge to shy away from hearing the strapping stallion calling her 'hon', the pink-maned pegasus looked up at the starry sky. "Oh, it's so beautiful..." she cooed, as she scanned the awakening night sky.
"Jus' watch, hon..." said Big Mac again quietly, as he looked up as well. Suddenly, a single white streak danced quietly across the night sky. This was followed by another streak, and then yet another, as the sky erupted into a brilliant meteor shower.
Fluttershy gasped, leaning into the stallion as her eyes flickered with the twinkling lights of the celestial display. "It... It's so pretty..."
Big Mac nodded gently before giving the pegasus a soft nuzzle. "Eeyup. Princess Luna wanted ta' give you a special think you fer' y'r gift. Now make a wish, ta' see if it comes true..."
Fluttershy thought for a moment. Her pranks had ended up being the best that year, she was under a beautiful sky seeing a brilliant shower of falling stars, and she was able to share this moment with the stallion who meant the most to her. Biting her lip, she shook her head nervously. "Oh... oh, no. This is all the VERY best it could get. There' nothing more that could make this a better night... Really!"
The stallion gently cupped the little pegasus's muzzle in his right forehoof before lifting her head to look at him. "Nothing? Ah reckon you still haven't gotten MY thanks..."
As the words left his muzzle, his lips met hers in a gentle kiss, the couple's embrace illuminated only by the twinkling lights of the meteor shower and the pale yellowish-white glow of the moon. "NOW I really DO have everything I could wish for," Fluttershy thought to herself, closing her eyes and deepening the kiss. "Best April Foal's Day ever..."