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Chapter Six: The Second Date


Jackson had waiting with heightened anticipation for the rest of the week.  Every morning after waking up, he never failed to cast his eyes to the circled day on his calendar whenever he passed it.  He was feeling especially energetic when Friday arrived.  It had been a sunny day throughout--it was as if nature was setting up the perfect weather for him, and he greatly appreciated it.

The young man rode up by the Gym, nervous and excited.  He could hardly wait to see her reaction to what he had set up for her.

“H... hey, Valerie! Ready to go?”

Valerie had chosen to wear a secondary costume this time.  Aside from her usual outfit that was redolent of an Audino, and her others, she managed to find her old Dedenne costume.  It, however, was small on her, reminding her of how long it had been since she had last worn it, and spent her spare time during the week making an entirely new one from scratch.

She was donning a cream bodice with a yellowish-tan dress and black leggings that went up to her thighs.  The dress was split down the middle on both sides to show off her stockings, and her sleeves flowed past her hands.  Her hair had been styled in two circular loops similar to Dedenne ears, and the bun in the back was held in place by sticks that suggested whiskers.  On her cheeks were patches of red blush that appeared similar to the Pokemon’s cheek pouches.

“Hmm.”

The woman nodded as she approached him.  As she did, the young man’s eyes traveled up and down her form, taking in her appearance in detail.

“Awesome outfit! You… did a great job!” With a wide grin, he extended one of the helmets to her. “We got… a bit of a ride ahead of us. I… um… have something set up.”

Valerie bit her lower lip.  She still didn’t like the motorcycle, and the helmet she knew would completely mess up her hairdo.  Sighing a bit, and placing the helmet on, she slid on behind him, slipping her arms around Jackson’s waist.  As the engine was revved up, they were off.

Jackson took them all the way out of the city, out into the eastern route where the landscape was populated by grass, trees, flowers, and a nearby river.  Coming to a stop, he gestured to a picnic he had set up, his Pokemon guarding it.  There was a large basket and cooler set in the middle of a blanket with bowls of food for Pokemon surrounding it, the actual blanket sprinkled with rose petals.

“H… here we are.”

A soft gasp emanated from Valerie as she absorbed the scenery of the natural environment--the green grasses, the vibrant flowers, the sparkling blue waters…  Of course, she had seen things like this before, but the beauty of nature never failed to take her breath away.

“Oh… wow. Jackson, this… this is amazing.”

Jackson grinned, waiting for her to dismount before he did so, and pulled off his helmet.

“I… thought you would like something like this.”

Valerie removed her helmet--indeed, her hairstyle was ruined by it, needing to take out the pins holding the bun in place, and the loops that were squashed needed to be let down as well.

“This place is beautiful.”

“I, um… even brought… food for… your Pokemon, too. If… you want them to join us,” he said, nodding to the extra three bowls.

Reaching into her dress, Valerie released her Pokemon.  Sylveon smiled, purring as he plod towards Shelgon while Mawile and Mr. Mime positioned themselves at the food bowls.  Shelgon glared at the Fairy Eeveelution and took a step back.  Sylveon retained his grin, raising a paw as if greeting an old friend, before hopping up onto the dragon’s back and curling up on his belly to rest.

As the woman took her seat, Jackson knelt by the basket to fish out fruit salad, potato salad, and grilled cheese sandwiches filled with three different kinds of cheeses and tomatoes.  Finally, he reached into the cooler to pull out two cold bottles of lemonade.  Offering her one of them with a bashful smile, a tinge of pink dusted over his face.  He wondered if the rose petals were too much, but he decided not to focus on that now.

Valerie smiled as she accepted the bottle.  It WAS a bit much, especially the rose petals, but she didn’t want to say anything to embarrass him right at the moment.

“You… certainly went all out for this, hmm?”

Jackson’s blush deepened a little bit and he popped the metal cap off where it was promptly fed to Aron.

“I-I… wanted to… make sure… you… um…” He trailed off, averting his gaze to Shelgon and Sylveon. “… It… looked good.”

She nodded, twisting off the cap to take a delicate sip.

“Ah. Well, it DOES look good… The… rose petals are a little much. But I love it!”

Jackson shifted his gaze to her, a slightly wider smile pulling at the corners of his lips.

“… I-I… I’m glad to… hear that.”

Lifting his free hand, he brought it to the back of his neck to rub it.  He went silent, uncertain of what to say, before his attention was stolen by Aron as the small Pokemon ran up to Mawile and nudged her, the Igglybuff plush in his mouth.  Mawile smiled, sitting herself down beside him.  The man let out a huff of a chuckle as Aron squeaked the toy and rubbed up against the female’s side.  In response, she extended her hand to pet the Steel-and-Ground Pokemon’s head.  Aron let out a muffled coo and stood up on his hind legs to playfully bat at Mawile’s hand.  As he shifted on his hind feet, the weight of his large round head caused him to lose his balance and topple over onto his side.  He immediately rolled onto his stomach and pushed himself onto his feet with a happy expression.

Jackson had to admire that Aron didn’t appear embarrassed after performing such a blunder, silently wishing he possessed such a quality.

“Pokemon are incredible… Whenever I mess up… I always feel embarrassed, but… Aron just acted like nothing happened… I don’t think I ever met a person like that.”

He smirked as Aron sprinted over and positioned himself between the two humans, pressing his head against Valerie’s arm.  The young woman smiled, stroking his head.

“We all make mistakes. The best thing to do is not to dwell on those mistakes, but, like Aron just did, to simply roll over and shrug it off. There is nothing you can do about it.”

“Yeah… but, it’s hard sometimes. Especially when… I end up looking like an idiot.”

Aron held still as Valerie pet his head, squeaking the plush between his jaws.  After a few moments, he unexpectedly whirled around and dashed back to Mawile, playfully hopping around her in order to encourage her to get up and chase him.  Giggling, Mawile pushed herself off the ground to do just that, despite the heavy set of jaws atop her head.

“Heh… He sure has a lot of energy,” Jackson amusedly remarked.

“I almost wonder what he’ll be like as a Lairon.”

Jackson’s smile faltered a bit.  He knew a Pokemon’s personality had the possibility of changing after it evolved.  While part of him was eager for Aron to evolve into a larger, stronger Pokemon, he had grown attached to his character.

“… Did… Sylveon change after he evolved?”

Valerie shook her head.

“Not really. He’s still the same sweetheart he’s always been.” As she turned her attention to the mentioned Pokemon, she caught him utilizing his ribbon-like appendages to tickle Shelgon’s back. “Well, he did become a bit of a prankster.”

Eyes snapping wide open at the sudden touches, Shelgon rolled her eyes up to Sylveon.  The fairy may not have gotten the reaction he wanted considering the shortage of nerves in the Dragon-type’s shell, feeling about as much as a human would if something touched their fingernail.

Valerie nodded.

“I understand. I wouldn’t want my Pokemon to evolve against their will.  Sylveon was quite happy to, though.”

The man nodded, the bowl of potato salad reminding him that he still had yet to dish out the food.  Pulling off the lids of the containers and retrieving plates and plastic silverware, he dished out a helping of the salads first.

“It… really bothers me when… trainers evolve their Pokemon without… even thinking about whether they want to or not.”

“Hmmm, I know. It’s quite distressing, really.” She sighed. “I dislike trainers who think of their Pokemon as merely… tools. Or machines incapable of thought or emotion.”

“I’ve seen it happen too many times.”

He unwrapped one of the sandwiches and added it to her plate.  Valerie nodded again and accepted the plate and a fork.

“It’s disappointing, isn’t it?”

She shook her head.

“Yeah… it is,” he said as he proceeded to serve himself, his eyes sliding over to Shelgon as she rolled over onto her side to allow Sylveon to fall right off. “Shelgon, that wasn’t nice.”

Valerie turned her head to the Pokemon.  Sylveon didn’t seem to mind, and simply nuzzled against the Dragon-type and rested against her again.

“Sylveon has no hard feelings.”

The man frowned gently, shooting his disapproval at Shelgon as their gazes met.  The dragon sighed and allowed Sylveon to nuzzle and rest on her side.

“Yeah, but… that still wasn’t nice. Even if she’s still holding a grudge.”

The woman smiled lightly.

“She’ll get over it. Besides, I think Sylveon likes her!”

Sylveon shifted his head to lick Shelgon’s side once and purred softly as he laid his head back down.  Observing his behavior, Jackson couldn’t help but chuckle, his smile coming back.

“It looks like it.” He laughed again as Shelgon scrunched up the muscles in her face and wiggled her legs a couple of times. “Shelgon will get used to him.”
Chapter Five: Costume Play


Meal paid for and Pokemon withdrawn--making sure to leave a generous tip for his friend--, Jackson escorted Valerie back to his motorcycle.  His boxed and bagged steak hanging from the handlebar, he and his date made their way to their next destination.

The exterior of Jackson’s home matched the others in the neighborhood, with the only differences being the garden hose coiled up by the house and the stone birdbath standing in the middle of the lawn, a decorative Dratini coiled around the stand holding up the actual bath.

Unlike the almost vacant exterior and front yard, the interior of the home was lavishly bedecked by paintings of dragons--both Pokemon and non-Pokemon-- and swords and even a set of chain mail armor that were possibly hundreds of years old restored to their former glory.  Along the walls were also shelves holding detailed dragon statues, a lot of them quite majestic and fierce with a couple bearing a glittery finish on the scales.  There were bookshelves sitting side-by-side on the wall in the back of the living room behind the couch full of roleplay games, fantasy and adventure novels, along with comic books and mangas.  Some of these items were vintage and kept in excellent condition thanks to gentle handling and care.  By the television set was another bookshelf stuffed with movies and anime.

Upon entering the house, Valerie was quite taken aback at the quaint charm of the vintage décor.  Her jaw partially dropped at the paintings, old swords, and the chain mail.  Reaching up, she very carefully drew her fingers along them.

“This reminds me of the Battle Chateau.”

Coming to a stop, the young man let out his Pokemon and turned to her with a wide grin.

“I… actually never been there,” he confessed, gesturing with a tilt of his head for her to follow him. “So! Costumes! I keep them in my room.”

“I’m a Marchioness, myself,” she informed with a light chuckle, moving to follow him down a hall where more wall art was displayed.

She was led into a room that was just as decorated as the living room, the walls home to paintings, a CostumeCon poster depicting people in various Pokemon costumes clustered together in one crowd and a DragonCon poster with every single discovered Dragon-type Pokemon amassed.  The bed was draped with a large and thick comforter with the image of a Dragonite rising out of the ocean and an old Dratini plush with a prominent stitch located on the side.  Right next to it was a nightstand with a lamp sitting on top of it and one of his comic books with a bookmark jutting out from between two pages.  On one side of the bedroom, next to a dresser, was a bench press and a set of dumbbells.

“A Marchioness? That’s awesome!”

Pulling open the closet doors, he pulled out the Charizard costume first.  It, like the others were bodysuits, bulk added and sculpted into the creature’s actual figure with a detachable head.

“Oooh…” Valerie stepped forward, reaching out to touch the scales sewn into the costume, appearing very much impressed. “Oh, yes, there are ranks at the Chateau. A trainer starts as a Baron or Baroness, move up to a Viscount or Viscountess, then to an Earl or Countess. From there, they join the ranks of nobility by becoming a Marquis or Marchioness, then a Duke or Dutchess. The topmost trainers are Grand Dukes and Dutchesses.”

“Nice… Maybe… I should go there sometime…” He looked down at the costume, then brought his eyes back up to her. “Want… to see what it looks like on me?”

The young woman’s smile extended.

“Yes, of course.”

Beaming, Jackson made an excited dash to the restroom to change.  Re-entering the room sideways as to not to disturb the wings, he stood before the doorway and uttered a dead-on impression of a Charizard.  Like his other costumes--and the Spinda he wore at work--it was restricting due to the bulk, but he was used to it.

Arching her brows with a light gasp of feigned horror, she brought a hand to her mouth, a grin gracing her lips.

“Oh, my! How frightening!”

Smirking from underneath the costume, Jackson slowly stomped closer with his clawed hands extended in front of him, releasing a deep, playful growl from deep within his throat.

Giggling, the woman moved to meet him halfway.

“Oooh? What are you going to do with those big claws, hmmm?”

Pausing to contemplate for a moment, he brings his hands to her abdomen to tickle her with another playful growl.

In response, Valerie squeaked and began laughing, partially shielding herself with her arms and long sleeves.

“That tickles! Hahahaha!”

Chuckling in his Charizard voice, he ceased tickling her and gently and bashfully took her hands in his.  Valerie wasn’t the only one surprised by this.  For some reason he didn’t even know, he felt more confident in costume.  Quickly releasing her hands, he removed the head of his costume to gaze down into her eyes with a blush.

Lowering her gaze, she chuckled softly.

“You look dashing in that costume,” she said, eyeing it over. “It doesn’t really look very heavy, either.”

The man’s blush deepened.

“I-I do, huh? It… it isn’t… I guess ‘cause I work out.” He flexed his arm once, though nothing would be noticeable thanks to the costume, then dropped it at his side. “… Is… your outfit heavy?”

She nodded once.

“Hmm. Thirty-three pounds.”

Jackson blinked, a look of unexpected surprise stamping itself upon his face.

“And you wear that ALL day? Dang! You must be strong.”

Valerie giggled again, a wider smile pulling at the corners of her mouth.

“I’m stronger than I look., believe me.”

“Heh… I believe it. You work out often, too, I’m guessing?”

“I do quite a bit of squats, curl-ups, and weight training,” she replied. “I often do it with my Pokemon--after all, training the body is important along with training one’s Pokemon.”

Looking quite impressed, the man nodded in agreement.

“Yeah, that’s true. Uh… so…” He trailed of as Dratini slithered into the room, slipping between his feet and nuzzling his head against Valerie’s leg. “Hehe… Dratini really likes you…”

Valerie smiled gently down at the small dragon.

“He certainly does.” She let out another giggle. “He’s very adorable. It seems like Fraxure is the one that doesn’t care for me.”

“Nah.” Jackson dismissively waved his hand. “It was just that meat discussion that put him off. I know my Pokemon.”

“Really?” she questioned, still retaining her smile. “Because I wouldn’t be surprised if your Pokemon didn’t like me because of my… preferences.”

“Fraxure isn’t like that,” Jackson assured. “Shelgon probably won’t like you at first. She, uh… tends to hold grudges against those who beat her.”

“The same Shelgon that Sylveon handily beat?” she ventured, figuring she already knew the answer but wanted to be sure.

“The very same.” His ears catching footsteps, he turns around to spot Shelgon entering the room. “Hey, baby.”

Shelgon regarded her trainer with affection, then glared up at Valerie.  The woman just gave him a warm smile, bending over to extend her hand to her, but not touch her.

“Such a sweetie.”

Continuing to glower, Shelgon averted her gaze.  Smile fading into disproval, Jackson shook his head.

“Come on, Shelgon. Be polite. She’s a guest.”

Sighing, Shelgon turned back to Valerie and reluctantly sniffed her hand.  Chuckling softly, stroking her body a couple of times before kneeling down and leaning in to plant o kiss on the top of her back.  The Dragon-type scrunched up her eyes at the physical contact, not really liking it, but allowed it.

“She’s adorable. All of your Pokemon are.”

Leaning away from Shelgon, she scooped up Dratini in her arms and pushed herself back up into a standing position.  Dratini sank in the woman’s arms and nuzzled into her neck with a soft coo.

Smile returning, Jackson reached back to rub the back of his neck.

“… Thanks. So are… your Pokemon.”

Valerie smiled with a nod in acknowledgement.

“You said you had other costumes besides this one?”

“Yeah.”

Slipping the head back on, he walked over to his closet to pull out the Dragonite and Pikachu costumes, placing them and them down on the bed for her to view.  The women looked them over, but her eyes were predominately on the Pikachu.

“This Pikachu one here looks pretty cute…”

“You wanna see me in that, don’t you?”

She turned her attention to him with a smirk, and even sending him a wink.

“I wouldn’t mind. I believe I have a Dedenne costume at home.”

Blushing harder underneath his costume, Jackson picked up the Pikachu costume and went back to the restroom.  Upon returning, carrying the Charizard in his short arms, he did his best impression of the Pokemon he was dressed as.

Eyes lighting up and smile broadening in delight, Valerie emitted a squeal.

“Awww! You’re so cute! How precious!”

His cheeks growing hotter, Jackson quickly waddled over to the closet to hang the Charizard back up and toddled up to her.  Shifting Dratini into one arm, Valerie brought her hand to the large head of the Pikachu costume to pet it.

“I prefer beautiful things, but you are just too cute!”

The young man’s face was practically burning, and was thankful she couldn’t see how flustered he was, but by the tone of his voice, it was distinguishable.

“Th-thanks. Eheh…”

Taking notice of the flustered note in his voice, she leaned in slightly.

“Hmm. You like that, don’t you?” she asked with a shred of teasing, caressing his cheek and chin.

Though he couldn’t feel her hand, he could see her arm, and he knew exactly what she was doing.  Stunned, and too flustered to form a complete sentence, stammers incoherence, growing more embarrassed the more nonsense he utters.

Retracting her hand, Valerie took a step back.

“You’re adorable, stammering like that. I take it you’re not used to women complimenting you?”

“N-not… that… often,” he managed to say.

She nodded in comprehension.

“I understand. You don’t often go out on dates, do you?”

“No. I don’t,” the young man confessed. “I… really appreciate you… going out with me.”

“Well, I noticed you were quite interested in me,” she stated, smoothing her hand over Dratini’s head. “I suspected you were, but until you challenged me and said the stakes were one date…”

She giggled, not bothering to finish.  He knew what happened.

“Heh… I guess… that was a bit… much.”

“Again, you didn’t need to put that as the stake. You could’ve just asked me,” she reminded him.

“I’ll… um, keep that in mind… Would… you like… to… go out again sometime?”

Taking her hand away from Dratini’s head, she tapped her chin, as if in contemplation, but she already had her answer.

“Perhaps.”

Jackson placed his costumed hands on his cheeks, filling with excited anticipation.

“Y… you might? You’d consider it?”

Beaming with eyes alight, Dratini gave Valerie an encouraging squeal.  She, however, didn’t need it, and reacted with a teasing smile.

“I didn’t say no, did I?”

Jackson couldn’t help but leap once, unable contain himself.

“Awesome! When would… you like… to go?”

The young woman found his enthusiasm amusing, her smile stretching a bit wider.

“… How does Friday sound? Before game night?”

“Yeah, sure!”

Jackson could hardly believe it.  The date didn’t turn out to be a disaster after all!  She must have had a good time with him if she was willing to go out with him again.  As he calmed a small dosage, ideas already formed inside his head.
Valerie's Admirer, Chapter 5
Jackson is an average citizen of Laverre City with a deep love for Pokemon. Developing a crush on the local Gym Leader, he awkwardly attempts to win her affections.

Fanfiction.net: www.fanfiction.net/s/10748649/…
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Chapter Seventy: Innocence Proven


There was a collection of mixed reactions, confusion being the most common--which was shared between Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Spike.  Exchanging brief glances, before returning their attention to Fluttershy, the blonde farmer opened her mouth to speak.

“Ah’m sorry?”

“We can test this,” Fluttershy repeated, a little louder this time as she whirled around to face her friends. “The blood! On this handkerchief! We can test it!”

Twilight Sparkle appeared indecisive.

“Fluttershy, that handkerchief’s probably been contaminated! DNA blood tests generally require a sample to be in good condition before it’s tested and compared. If it’s taken from a volunteer, it’s perfect, but samples found elsewhere and preserved are often degraded by heat, wind, or just time!”

“But we can still try, can’t we??” the pegasus questioned, her voice dripping with desperation. “Please, Twilight. Can’t we? Just… TRY?”

The alicorn was still apprehensive, but she caved in and nodded.

“I… suppose we could…”

Sighing and rolling his eyes, Angel flopped down on his bottom, relieved that Fluttershy caught onto his message far earlier than she does on other occasions when he had attempted to communicate with her.

“I think we should!” said Pinkie Pie.

Twilight Sparkle and the others turned to the pink equine.

“Pinkie?”

“Remember the National Dessert Competition?” she reminded. “The Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness, and what happened to it? Twilight, you taught me not to jump to conclusions. You have to find out all the facts before saying somepony did something! If you don’t, you could end up blaming somepony for something they never did!”

“But the handkerchief is covered in blood!” Applejack objected.

“But there’s the possibility it might not be Pendulum’s!” Pinkie disputed. “Don’t we at least owe it to Fluttershy to CHECK?”

Rainbow Dash nodded, then turned to Fluttershy.

“Okay, Fluttershy. But, if it is Pendulum’s blood, will you finally accept that Smokey bit him?”

Fluttershy stared at the rainbow-haired pegasus for a moment, then dropped her eyes to the floor.  She didn’t want to accept it if it was true, but if it was indeed the case…

“I… suppose…”

“Well, then.” Twilight Sparkle turned her body towards the door. “Let’s head out.”

“What about Chenoa? Are we taking her with us?” the cyan pony questioned, eyeing the sleepy and full child yawn and slowly shut her eyes.

Fluttershy shifted her attention to the chick in her foreleg.  She looked like she was ready to go back to sleep.  So did Spike, so he was out of the question--and the Cakes were likely looking after their own and tending to the morning rush…

“I believe… Chenoa will be fine with Angel for a while,” she said, turning to the rabbit on the floor. “… Angel? Would you mind looking after her for a little while?”

Surprised, yet willing, Angel nodded and sat up, extending his short arms to receive the child.  The creature was stronger than he looked, able to keep the baby hoisted up.  After all, he had been entrusted with holding her on several occasions when Smokey wasn’t around and the mare had her hooves full with the other animals.

Smiling at him appreciatively, she lowered her head to nuzzle him and Chenoa.

“I’ll only be gone for a short while. Chenoa, be a good girl for Angel,” she spoke softly, before turning around to head out with the others.

“I think we can head to the local law enforcement station here,” Twilight Sparkle stated. “I’m pretty sure they know where we can get this handkerchief sent off to have it tested.”

“Right. Let’s get going,” Rainbow Dash said.  Eager to get the task over with, she flapped her wings to lift her body off the ground as the lavender-coated mare led the way.

Once the mares and baby dragon were gone, Angel set the baby down on the floor by her toys, as she was beginning to weigh down on him.  Huffing, relieved, he suddenly felt hungry again.  Non-verbally commanding the child to remain where she was, he hopped into the kitchen to get a snack.

The griffon’s amber eyes slid to the direction to where her mother left, her sleepiness wearing off.  Upon noticing that the door was ajar, she got up and toddled over.  Body slipping through the opening, her eyes widened in delight at the sight of multiple puddles.

Pouncing in one, she splashed the browned water in every direction.  Once she was bored with that puddle, she went to the next one--a trail of tracks left by Smokey were filled up.  One-by-one, she bounced in them, following the line into the Everfree Forest.

When Angel returned to the room, he was shocked to find the griffon wasn’t where he left her.  In his panic-stricken state, he swiftly searched every nook and cranny downstairs before racing upstairs.  After his sweep was completed, he returned to the living room to notice that the door was partially open.  Anxiety shooting through the roof, he went outside to search the perimeter of the cottage.

***

It did not take the mares long to meander from Fluttershy’s cottage to town towards the local precinct.  Spike, still needing more sleep, headed back home.  While he was anticipating the results, he knew for certain that Smokey was innocent.  Twilight Sparkle had noticed, to some relief, that the rain had ceased--at least for the time being, as the smoke gray clouds were still lingering above.

It was only then she remembered the weather patrol had called for a temporary break in the rains to check ground moisture levels around town and the reservoirs, and would start up again if not deemed particularly sufficient.

Entering into the office of the local police station, one of the ponies behind the desk looked up.

“Oh, Princess Twilight Sparkle!” the stallion on the left spoke up, in a notable Irish accent. “Wot kin ay do fer ya?”

“Good afternoon, officers,” the alicorn greeted. “We’ve got a handkerchief here with blood we wish to have DNA tested. Do either of you know where we could get this tested at?”

“Oh!” The pony who had spoken blinked, his smile fading only briefly. “Well, then, yer in luck! We’ve got a stallion in th’ back room! He’s a natural at that sort of thing! You’ll want to see him. Shall ay let ‘im know yer comin’?”

“Yes, please,” the young princess answered.

“Certainly, Yer Highness!” the pony said, getting to his hooves and trotting off into the back.

As the equine disappeared into the back, he came back minutes later with a warm gray unicorn stallion garbed in a white lab coat, his mane a canary yellow with a colorful strand of DNA embedded on both flanks.

“I understand you need some blood to be tested?”

“Yes, sir.” The mare nodded once, levitating the soiled cloth before him. “We had a small… erm… altercation I wish to investigate. We suspect the blood on this handkerchief… may or may not belong to somepony we know. Could you test this and see if it belongs to a pony named Pendulum?”

“Of course, Princess Twilight. Come with me, if you wish.”

Accepting the cloth into his own telekinetic grasp, the stallion turned around to lead the six mares down the hall and into a vacant laboratory.  Fluttershy, right behind Twilight Sparkle, was apprehensive to see the results for herself.

The unicorn set the cloth down on his desk and took a step back, reaching for his inner mana.  A beam of light blue magic shot from the tip of his horn to the prominent patch of blood.  Tendrils of magic floated from the handkerchief, swirling above it.  After a minute elapsed, the swirls of magic began to take form.

“A trout?” The stallion’s eyes inflated, appearing quite incredulous. “Is this some kind of joke?”

Indeed, the shape-shifting magic had twisted and contorted into the shape of a trout.  The mares--sans Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie--were swept with bewilderment, their minds rendered almost numb.

“A… trout?” Applejack echoed.

“Fish’s blood,” said Twilight Sparkle. “Fish’s blood! That’s… oh!”

“You see!” Pinkie Pie’s voice rose up. “It WAS fake! Pendulum wasn’t bit at all!”

Fluttershy said nothing, merely turning to Rainbow Dash with an I-told-you-so sort of look.  Rainbow Dash didn’t even notice her.  Right now, she was too stunned at this revelation.  Fish blood…  It was just fish blood.  It wasn’t even pony blood at all!

“What is going on?” the stallion prompted. “Why did you ladies bring me fish blood?”

Twilight Sparkle was uncertain of whether or not to discourse her investigation, but decided that it was probably for the best this remained under wraps.  Taking the handkerchief in her magic, she flared her wings and gave him a grateful bow.

“Never mind. Thank you so very much for clearing this up for us.” Pulling her head back up, she whirled around to leave. “C’mon, girls. We have things to discuss.”

“Wait!” the stallion cried out, but the mares paid him no heed as they exited the establishment.

“I can’t believe it!” Rainbow Dash snorted as anger boiled within her. “How could Pendulum do something like this to Smokey!? To Fluttershy!?”

“I don’t know,” Twilight Sparkle replied. “But this is very suspicious. This calls for more investigation. Why did he trick Smokey like this?”

It was at that very moment, Fluttershy pulled up the answer.  It had to be the only reason why.  There was no other explanation.

“… He wants him.”

The others blinked in confusion as they shifted their attention to her.

“He… wants him?” Twilight Sparkle inquired, arching a brow.

“Don’t you remember the animals?”

“Oh, yeh!” Applejack piped up as realization dawned upon her. “He had a whole lotta unusual animals. Yew… think he took Smokey… ta--”

“Add to his collection.” Fluttershy nodded. “Yes.”

Huffing, the cyan pegasus allowed herself to land, digging all four hooves into the ground.

“Then what are we waitin’ for!? Let’s gather up some supplies and get going!”

“For once, I agree with Rainbow Dash,” Rarity stated. “Just standing around here isn’t going to get Smokey back any quicker.”

“Ah--” Applejack began, her face drooping into an expression of deep-seated guilt and remorse. “Wait. Wait a moment. Ah just got something ta say.”

Turning to Fluttershy, the farmer placed a hoof on the pegasus’ back.

“Ah’m sorry Ah doubted you, and gave you such a hard time ‘bout all this. Could you ever forgive me?”

A smile tipped Fluttershy’s lips.

“Of course.”

“Yeah… Same here,” Rainbow Dash followed, her face bearing a heavy frown.

“It’s… fine,” she reassured, flapping her wings and taking to the air. “Now, let’s go. I want to get Smokey back!”

“We’ll meet you in front of the cottage in an hour, and set out as soon as we gather what we need,” said Twilight Sparkle.

“Right!” Rainbow Dash nodded, her own usual fiery determination returning as she whirled to Fluttershy. “We’ll get him back, Fluttershy! What ever it takes, we’ll get him back home!”

Fluttershy’s smile returned.

“Thank you, Rainbow. That…” She paused as a tear formed in the corner of her eye, her breast filling to the brim with emotion. “Thank you.”

With that, she broke off as she and the others went their separate ways to prepare for the journey ahead.
The Lion and the Lamb, Chapter 70
After following a baby griffon into a dangerous situation, Fluttershy finds herself rescued by a kind-hearted dragon and ends up befriending him. Ultimately, they both decide to raise the child together in a platonic relationship. As Fluttershy and her friends spend time with the lonely dragon, the more he learns about friendship and the more he reveals about his tragic past.

Co-authored by: :iconekardshadowreaver:

Chapter One: fav.me/d3j6xzq

FIMfiction.net: www.fimfiction.net/story/84383…
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After the season finale, I went to work on typing the first chapter of this fanfiction that :iconekardshadowreaver: and I have been working on since... he first season. Das right, mang! This does not mean I'm going to stop working on 'The Lion and the Lamb'. Nope! I started on chapter forty!

www.fimfiction.net/story/18888…

Premise: Three centuries after Nightmare Moon's banishment, the tyrannical king from the dragon lands of Draconia arrives with his general to form an alliance with Equestria. During their stay, Princess Celestia connects with the young general, teaching him about friendship and everything that had been withheld from him during his life of deprivation.

Seven hundred years later, the Draconian king and general return, only for Princess Celestia to learn that she and everything she had taught her friend had been erased from his memory. Foraging an alliance, the general is left in Equestria to temporarily serve under the Equestrian Crown while the king puts his plans to invade in motion, creating secret ties with the Changelings. Princess Celestia attempts to rekindle her bond with the general, and with the help of Twilight Sparkle and her friends, teach him the magic of friendship.

  • Mood: Joy

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CrazyRabidPony
Jessica
United States
Current Residence: Rocking back and forth in a corner...
Favourite genre of music: Country/Western
Favourite photographer: Bob Langrish
Favourite style of art: Hmmmm... that's a tough one
Operating System: What does this button do?
MP3 player of choice: Mine is called Pearl
Shell of choice: Tortoise Shell!
Wallpaper of choice: Bunnies!
Skin of choice: My own skin! O_O;
Favourite cartoon character: I have many
Personal Quote: "Someday... us short people shall rule the world!"
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:iconfiretronthehedgehog:
FiretrontheHedgehog Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
:turbopoke:
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:iconfiretronthehedgehog:
FiretrontheHedgehog Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:poke: =(
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:iconcrazyrabidpony:
CrazyRabidPony Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
Hi thar!
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:iconfiretronthehedgehog:
FiretrontheHedgehog Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:tighthug: WHERE'VEYOUBEEN?!  SPACESHIP!!!
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:iconcrazyrabidpony:
CrazyRabidPony Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
HAI!!! :glomp:

WRITING!!! :D
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:iconmmdfantage:
MMDFantage Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Okay?...Ready?
Yeah, yeah, just go ahead.
Alright, alright..


Akaraaaaaai~nnnHeart 
Hai! YuruYuri hajimari yo~!Akari Akazaki (Wink) [V2] 
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:iconcrazyrabidpony:
CrazyRabidPony Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
HALLO!!! 8D
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:iconmmdfantage:
MMDFantage Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
YUS HI!
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:iconcrazyrabidpony:
CrazyRabidPony Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
*HUGGLE*
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:iconhandsomeharry:
HandsomeHarry Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
I still remembered that you had Rorik and Fyora together when we did our chats.
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