A spring evening
"Eeeee!" squeals Fluttershy as she swings her head through the air, pink mane trailing. "Look! Look over there! O-oh, and there's one! There's one, too!" She dances across the mirrory surface of compressed cloud walkway, like what makes up Rainbow Dash's floor - this sky park is a ritzy place. "Look at their little gossamer wings, a-and their little glowy antennae! Oh--do you think they would talk to me, Rainbow?" She lifts off the cloud a little and swings around a tree, watching the butterflies flock toward the park's center fountain as its dewy water sparkles in the sun. Somepony works VERY hard to make all this possible. Fluttershy can appreciate that. The surface of a cloud makes for nice rolling hills, too.
Skyheart is relaxing in one of the more sceneic areas of the park, finally finding a nice niche where he can write better. Having gotten away from the nastiness that happened when the airship showed up, he finally has some quiet to work. Still, Cloudsdale has high winds and he has to watch his bags or else they blow away.
"Uh, you know I'm not really good with animals, Fluttershy," says Rainbow Dash. Tank is, of course, the exception, but he's also a turtle and doesn't make many demands like squirrels or birds or cats. Still, she's not so jaded to be unaffected by the beauties of nature. She tracks the butterflies as they float about, marvelling in wonder at their scintillating hues.
"Well...I suppose it couldn't hurt to try. I-I wonder if they speak the same language we do." She flutterflits right over to the fountain, hovering next to a pretty little winged jewel of a butterfly. "Hello there, little friend. I heard you just flew in to Equestria. I--oh, how nice of you to say! A golden bell? I...what? Break your body? I-no--the Red Bull? Um..."
Skyheart hears a familiar voice as he cautiously turns his head up. Fluttershy was talking to the strange butterflies in the area. They added a nice ambience to the place. "Hmm... Hey, Flutters," He interjects, "What should I write about next?"
Rainbow_Dash crosses her forelegs and just watches as Fluttershy somehow manages to start a conversation with the animals, feeling a little left out by her friend's unique ability. She didn't really mind, though; she's already decided that animals don't have very interesting things to say about her favourite topics, like flying or sports or war museums. Her thoughts drift towards the breezy leader...what was his name? See Leaves? He seemed pretty cool, even if he was basically a frilly little fairy thing. "Whoa, good to see you Skyheart. Looks like you made it out of there, too." Yes, there, which we'll never speak of again.
"Oh, um...well, you could always ask the butterfly. He seems to have a very...*creative* mind." The butterfly wiggles its antennae. "What? I didn't go down any roads...soccer scores? You'd have to ask Rainbow."
Skyheart blinks a few times and nods slowly. "Uh... huh...." He glances over to Rainbow Dash and gives her a polite nod as well. "Hey there, Rainy. Maybe you can help me with this. What should I write about?"
Rainbow_Dash furrows her brow just a little at Skyheart. "I dunno. Something in...in a war! Yeah, wars usually make the best love letters! I think. Yeah." She scratches her head. "Say what, the butterfly what?"
"Um..." Fluttershy actually turns away from the butterfly, which decides to nest in her mane. "W...what? I-I don't think that's - oh, the butterfly wanted to know the scores for...where'd he go?"
Skyheart smiles brightly. "Ooooh. Very nice. You never disappoint me, Rainy!" He says a he starts to scribble something down. "Let's see... should this be a letter from or to a lover and a soldier on the front? Or perhaps one of a forbidden passion for somepony met on the other side...? So many possibilities... I'll just write them all and see what you like better." He comments before he resumes writing.
Rainbow_Dash blinks at Skyheart. "Wait, you're really gonna run with...never mind." Who knows how the minds of poets work? "Fluttershy, he's in your mane," she points out quickly, directing a hoof towards the errant insect.
Well, that was easy to solve. Fluttershy blinks. "I think these butterflies are from farther away than I thought. They speak a whole different language, or...m-maybe it's some kind of code?"
Skyheart continues working at a fairly good pace. He's getting at least one or two pages done by this time and shows no signs of abating. He's mumbling to himself as he does so.
Rainbow_Dash lets Skyheart busy himself with his weird poet stuff. "I wouldn't know, Fluttershy. You're supposed to be the expert with animals and stuff!" Still, she gives the butteflies a good once-over to see what's so strange about them.
"Oh! I know!" Fluttershy touches down opposite Rainbow Dash. "How about a secret lover who sends messages by butterfly? I...um, I-I don't mean to impose. Sorry." The butterflies, by the way, have wings like stained glass and antennae that glow. Like the legendary Glow'n'Show Ponies. Not all legends are glamorous.
Skyheart continues to write, a few papers stacking up nearby, almost as if handed to the girls for proofreading. The were just the sort of dramatic stories Rainbow Dash was talking about, as if they were written from a war long-forgotten to a love from home that hasn't been seen in years. Letters to and fro were given for a total of about four or five.
"Whoa, that's weird," Rainbow Dash observes, staring at the butterflies. Skyheart, though, is proving an equally interesting spectacle as he churns out verse after verse. Rainbow blinks, looking at the stacks of paper and then, as she is wont to do, she throws caution to the wind and takes up a page to read.
"Oh, yes. Aren't they lovely?" Flutters' wings give a little...flutter. "These butterflies only appear at the tops of the very highest mountains. That's why they can come all the way here to Cloudsdale. But they're so rare." The butterfly flaps its wings, sending sunny rays scattering.
Fluttershy is much too polite to take a page without being explicitly told to. Oh dear.
Skyheart continues to write, polishing off the ideas Rainbow gave him on top of the one Fluttershy did. With the stack nearing completion, they were still there for the reading. He still dosen't seem to be entirely seeing the world around him.
The new poems were some of what Sky wrote about when getting carried away. This one looked like a descreet love letter to a soldier on the other side sent in the guise of a swarm of butterflies with the letters on their wings. The message is actually drawn out on the back page.
Rainbow_Dash makes a funny face and drops the paper. Ugh, gross, she touched it! "Ah, heh...good job, Skyheat! Real, um...yeah." She forces herself to pay attention to the butterfly instead, gazing at the reflective wings.
"Awww! This is so sweet, Skyheart!" Fluttershy beams a little. The butterfly's wings amplify it, shining soft rays all over Cloudsdale. And Rainbow Dash.
Skyheart chuckles a little, holding up a hoof to shield himself from the light. "Glad you girls liked it. I'm trying to branch out a little and write about more than just metaphors in rivers and lakes, you know?"
"Yeah, sure, great!" is all Rainbow Dash has to say to that. She need to get that image out of her mind, of the grizzled veteran pining for his love like the force of thunder and- "Those butterflies can get real bright," she observes suddenly.
"Oh, yes," says the ever-more-radiant Fluttershy. "I suppose it's just one of those little magical mysteries." More and more butterfies spiral around the fountain, drawing a crowd. "And I'm glad to see you branching out, Skyheart. I know what it's like to feel like you're in a rut."
Skyheart looks at Rainbow Dash and her somewhat deflective reply. He smirks. "Oh, don't be like that, Rainy, I could see it on your face. You were /there/ for a few minutes. To feel the pangs of distance of the one person who makes the sobering reality of not knowing whether or not you'll see each other again all too real? To wait in anticipation of the next letter, spending the days and weeks thinking of what to say in your next one the moment you send yours out? I mean we might not live in such timultuous times, but you've dated some military boys before." He gets right up to her face and smiles. "I'm willing to bet that hit a little further home than you're willing to admit." While this is all going on, FLuttershy gets a feathery surprise of her own as Orpheus has finally crawled out of Sky's bag to say hello.
Sadly all of Rainbow Dash's previous romances haven't turned out so well, and she's beginning to think that a military pony is too much of a clash with herself. "No, it's 'cause you write icky frou-frou lubby-dubby stuff, is why!" she retorts, sticking her tongue out at Skyheart. Yeah, that was the reason. "Oh, hey, forgot you had that guy for a pet."
"Rainbow," says Fluttershy disapprovingly, but then, "Orpheus! Hello, little guy. How are you? I hope the air isn't too thin up here..." She goes on like this for some time.
Skyheart looks at Rainbow Dash rather unimpressed by an insult that could be bested by a schoolfilly. He rolls his eyes and glances to Orpheus. "Yeah, he's with me almost everywhere. Pocket-sized pets will do that." Orpheus hops up by Fluttershy, thankfully being able to rest on some things that are adhered to the cloud for the sake of sitting before flying up to the pegasus and landing on her back. The poet chuckles a little at this. "You never do stop being 'mommy' to the animals you raise, do you?"
Rainbow_Dash was never very good at insults, but she's content to have the animals as distraction. She's not much for small animals, as she somehow vaguely remembers from that time she had to take care of Fluttershy's animals. Wait...wasn't that a dream?
"Oh," Fluttershy coos, rubbing Orpheus' head, "I guess not. You know, it's just hard to let them go, even if they wind up with a good home." The sky park is full of butterflies now. Weren't these things supposed to be rare? This must be the entire population right here.
Skyheart smiles gently and reaches a hoof out to gently shake her shoulder. "You're certainly one of a kind, Fluttershy. That much is certain. Speaking of..." He glances around at the butterflies flying around. "This is a marvelous sight. I'm amazed all the activity hasn't scared the little guys off. At least I've gotten a few more... Hold that thought..." He dives back into his papers and starts writing again.
"I thought these guys were supposed to be rare!" Rainbow Dash declares, looking at all the butterflies. "Somepony went through a lot of trouble to get them all here, I bet."
"Do you think so? They haven't *mentioned* anypony guiding them here...oh, but it is a strange coincidence." Fluttershy gives her shoulderfly a tiny, tiny nuzzle. So tiny.
Skyheart looks around at the marvelous little butterflies and thinks for a bit. "Is there a migration?" He asks Fluttershy, "I mean... That would make sense, right?" Orpheus is rather well-behaved around Fluttershy, oddly enough, but he does seem to tug a little on her mane to try and guide her closer to Sky and Dash. Sky then gets an idea. "I need a volunteer..." Without skipping a beat, he looks to the two girls expectingly. The gears were turning again.
"Or maybe they just really like it up here," says Rainbow Dash. When Skyheart mentions something about "volunteers" she becomes visibly nervous. "Uh...what're you planning, exactly?"
Fluttershy blinks. "Eep! Okay, okay, Orpheus. Easy, boy." She trots back over to Skyheart and Dash Associates. "W-what's up?"
Skyheart looks between the two girls for a moment before spreading out his wings and flapping them gently in one direction, causing a bit of a spiral to form. This causes the butterflies to swirl around in a pattern. Hopefully it won't be too bad for them. "Now then..." He reaches out and randomly pulls Rainbow Dash out, holding her hoof and placing another on her waist before spiraling up into a dance around the butterflies. The twirling further influencing their flight patters to create a sort of flowing orb of them in the moonlight.
"Whoa! Hey! What!?" Rainbow Dash utters as Skyheart takes her on an unwilling, whirlwind performance. Before she knows it the two of them are in the air spinning the butterflies around. "WhhooooOOOoooa!"
"OOOOOooooh." Fluttershy leans back. "That's amazing. THese little butterflies are so talented. Don't you agree, Orpheus?" She takes a bite of popcorn.
Skyheart continues to twirl and dance without much care for his partner's objections and the butteflies had little choice in the matter, too. Orpheus pecks at some popcorn, wherever the hay /that/ came from. The poet seems to be humming a tune to himself.
"WhhoooOOOOaaa!" Rainbow Dash continues to shout as Skyheart takes her for a wild ride. Eventually, she manages to break off Skyheart's grip, but she continues to wobble about in the air as she tries to get her bearings. "Hey w-w-w-watch i-it! You should t-tell me first!"
Fluttershy watches them twirl, her mane flowing in the breeze. "Um," she says, getting a word out on each revolution. "Sky...heart? Maybe - you - should - let - Rainb - oh, you did it. N-never mind."
Skyheart seems to snap out of it the moment he loses his dance partner. "H-Huh? O...Oooh. I ah... heh... Sorry, got a little carried away." He scratches the back of his head. The butterflies disperse back to their flowing collective now that they're free of the whirlwind.
It's a while before Rainbow Dash stops seeing butterflies spinning around her head. "Oookay! That's enough of that." She bears off a good distance before Skyheart can 'volunteer' her again. "I think I actually gotta go right about now; it's time for my scheduled power nap!" And that was totally the truth, actually. "See you ponies later!" Waving at her friends, she lets the next breeze help her along the way back home.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014