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Pictures of Lily

by cleverpun

Chapter 1: Made My Life So Wonderful

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Pictures of Lily, Part One

BY: cleverpun

Fluttershy had lost track of how long she had been staring at the photo. She had long ago stopped counting how many times each day she just sat and gawked at it. Not bothering about how long each session lasted was a natural next step.

It wasn’t just the mare’s appearance. Any pony could just stand there and be attractive. Some claimed every pony looked the same anyway. Physical attraction was just that: simple and commonplace.

Not to say that the mare was unattractive. Quite the opposite. Every curve of her body, her simple manecut, the pink of her coat, the yellow of her mane, her gorgeous gold eyes, the lily tucked delicately behind her ear: they were all the pinnacle of aesthetics. She was the type of mare that was chosen to model for sculptures or the Marena Lisa, the type of beauty who honored ships as they departed.

It was more than just her looks, obviously. Fluttershy had felt the same way about other ponies before. This mare was something special. She looked so vulnerable, so afraid. And yet, if you looked at it the right way, the lily obscuring her eye made it look like she was winking. Shy and yet forthright, exposed and yet confident. Fluttershy had never understood what others saw in her modeling style, not until she had seen this picture.

A cursive, flowing signature printed in the corner of the picture listed the mare’s name as Lily Valley. It was as perfect as the rest of her: simple, unassuming, beautiful. Her hoofwriting captured every other detail about her so succinctly. It was pretty, curvy, yet still bold and striking. Fluttershy pictured the mare writing her name with hesitant confidence, signing the photo, or a cheque, or a love letter…

“Fluttershy? What are you doing?”

The sudden noise caused Fluttershy to promptly and ungraciously fall off her couch. A loud thunk echoed through her cottage. She let out an inaudible “eep” and swiftly slunk under it.

“Oh, uh, sorry!” Twilight peeked under the cushions. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I knocked like fifteen times and you didn’t answer, so I got worried.”

Fluttershy murmured something.

Twilight nervously rubbed the back of her neck. “Guess teleporting inside was a bad idea after all…”

Twilight glanced around. Her gaze caught on the calendar, and she picked it up with her magic.

“Fluttershy…?”

Another murmur.

Twilight began flipping through the pages. It was hardly risqué: you couldn’t see anything you wouldn’t see in a walk through town. But the facial expressions and haunch-heavy camerawork raised some questions.

“What is this?”

In a flash of pink and yellow, Fluttershy was no longer underneath the couch, gently tugging the pages from Twilight. “Don’t bend it!” she pleaded.

Twilight promptly dropped it. The sudden lack of resistance sent Fluttershy tumbling backward, but she quickly regained her balance, holding the uncrumpled papers to her chest defensively.

“Uhm, sorry…” Fluttershy tried to cover her reddening cheeks with her mane.

“Uhm, I guess I should be the one apologizing… Maybe I should go. I didn’t mean to, uh, interrupt you.”

“No, really, Twilight, I’m sorry.” Fluttershy loosened her stance slightly. “Guess I got carried away there for a moment.”

“Why do you even have that? I didn’t think pin-ups were an interest of yours.”

“I bought it at that nature fundraiser a few weeks ago.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. A fresh blush swept over Fluttershy.

“I…I always buy one of everything at fundraisers like that,” Fluttershy explained. “Even if I don’t really need it, it’s for a good cause, after all…”

Twilight rolled her eyes, just a little bit. “Sure…”

“No, really!” Fluttershy rushed over to a closet and opened the door. Inside was a neat, organized stack of dozens of pieces of random junk. “Stop the Cough: counter COPD today” posters, “WEE is not fun” bracelets, “Battle botulism” signs, a “Run against Rhinopneumonitis” Participant ribbon, and a number of unworn shirts emblazoned with slogans ranging from “Vote Prop 9: Whales are Ponies Too!” to “Save the Badgers” were but a handful of items that inhabited the massive pile.

Twilight stood there, silent.

Certain that her friend had gotten the point, Fluttershy quietly shut the door.

“Uhm, okay…why isn’t that in there with the rest of that stuff then?” Twilight poked a hoof at the saucy calendar still cradled in Fluttershy’s hooves.

Fluttershy answered by hiding under her mane.

Twilight’s eyes widened. “Oh…my…gosh! You have a crush!

“N-no I d-don—”

Twilight clapped her hooves together. “Oh, Fluttershy, this is wonderful! I just finished reading a book about helping your friends get dates! Wingmare 101 by Sweet Emotion. Three consecutive weeks on the New Yoke Times’ bestseller list. And Rarity said I would never use it for anything!”

“Uhh…”

Twilight was suddenly inches from Fluttershy’s face. “So, who is it?”

Fluttershy blushed. “Twilight, you’re really close to my face…”

“Oh, right. Sorry.” Twilight took a step back.

Fluttershy sighed. “Promise you won’t tell anypony?”

“Fluttershy, I would never betray a friend’s confidence. I Pinkie Promise.” Twilight smiled sincerely.

“Well, it’s, uhm…Lilvmph…”

“Sorry, what?” Twilight put a hoof to her ear.

“Llvlmvh…”

Twilight leaned in. “What?”

Fluttershy turned an even deeper shade of red than before. Her cheeks were so warm that her mouth simply refused to open. After several noticeable seconds of silence, she simply shoved the calendar forward.

“April,” she muttered.

Twilight frowned and carefully grabbed the stack of photos with her magic. In a single swift motion she flipped it open to the month in question. Her eyebrow shot upward shortly after.

Fluttershy felt a fresh wave of embarrassment wash over her. She shielded herself with her bangs again. “I know,” she whispered. “She’s too good for me.”

Twilight snapped her jaw shut. “No, no, it’s not that! Just the opposite, actually.” Twilight glanced back down at the photo. “Lily really doesn’t seem like your type—”

Fluttershy was suddenly inches from Twilight’s face. “You know her!?”

Twilight took several swift steps backward. “Well, uhm, yeah. She and some of her friends run Ponyville’s Botany Club. I go there every Tuesday, after my book club, and before my ancient pottery class and my welding workshop.”

Fluttershy closed the gap between them in the blink of an eye. Twilight’s mane wavered slightly thanks to Fluttershy’s breath.

“But you know her?”

“Well, not that well. Like I said, I just talk to her about gardening once a week.”

“Is she single?”

“Well, yes, but—” Both ponies found themselves on the floor, Fluttershy hugging Twilight tightly.

“Oh, Twilight, this is wonderful!”

“It is?”

“Of course it is!” Fluttershy picked herself up and stared off dreamily. “I just assumed such a perfect, subdued, elegant, charismatic pony like her would live somewhere like Canterlot or Manehattan. I had no idea she lived in town.”

“Really? She’s at like, every big event. And she’s always panicking ab—”

Fluttershy’s breath ruffled Twilight’s mane again.

“So…” Fluttershy smiled innocently. “When can you introduce us?”

“Like I said earlier, I really don’t think she’s your…” Twilight trailed off.

Fluttershy’s soul-melting pouts could cause any pony to lose track of their thoughts, and she knew Twilight was no exception.

Twilight looked to the side. “Uhm…”

Next Chapter: Helped Me Feel Alright Estimated time remaining: 10 Minutes
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