Derpy Hooves stumbled over to Fluttershy's house, a letter clenched between her teeth.
Stupid eyes. Stupid lack of depth perception, she thought as she missed the mailbox.
"hello there," a soft voice said. Derpy was suddenly very aware of how stupid she must look, and an embarrassed red crept up on her normally flat gray face.
Derpy desperately willed both of her eyes to look at Fluttershy. She didn't need to look any stupider.
"H'lo," Derpy said, the letter still in her mouth.
"...um... is that a letter for me?"
Derpy nodded, and as she did, her eyes wandered in different directions. Crap.
Fluttershy nervously shuffled forward, taking the letter.
"oh my... are your eyes okay?" she said, studying Derpy's face.
Derpy bit back an angry retort. Fluttershy wasn't being mean. "Yeah, I just have this lazy eye. I know how stupid I look."
"No!" Fluttershy said, and Derpy jumped backward, surprised at how loud the soft-spoken pony got. "oh... i didn't mean to startle you... i just... don't say that. you don't look stupid..."
Derpy smiled a genuine smile. "Thanks." She knew she should be finishing her route, but something about being near Fluttershy just made her want to stick around.
Well, that's just creepy, Derpy told herself.
"i wonder who it's from... i don't get a lot of mail..." Fluttershy thought aloud.
"No you don't," Derpy agreed. "I don't think I've been to your house before."
"oh, i'm sorry," Fluttershy said, though Derpy had no idea what she could possibly be apologizing for. "did you find it okay?"
"Of course!" Derpy smiled. "I'm the best mail pony in Ponyville!" It was one of the few things she was very proud of, something nopony could argue with. She knew some of the ponies joked about her lazy eye behind her back - a few of the meaner ones did it to her face - and some thought she was mentally disabled, which she chose to believe was due to ignorance instead of malice.
"thank you for the letter," Fluttershy said.
"Oh! I didn't write it," Derpy said, and then felt quite stupid. Saying stupid things like that doesn't help the whole 'everypony thinks you're retarded' thing, she told herself angrily. Her face reddened.
But Fluttershy didn't laugh at her. She just gave Derpy a smile - not a mocking smile, but a real smile - and said, "thank you for delivering the letter."
"Oh! Well, you're welcome."
Fluttershy looked down nervously. "um... would you like to come in... i could make... tea... or something..."
"Oh, I'd love to," Derpy said, and she meant it. "But I still have some mail to deliver, and I can't be the best mail pony in Ponyville if I'm late."
"oh... okay. well, it was nice meeting you... uh... i'm sorry, i don't know your name."
Derpy knew that her name only added to her image as the stupid pony, but somehow she knew Fluttershy wouldn't laugh. "Derpy Hooves," she said, giving an exaggerated bow, "best mail pony in Ponyville, at your service!"
"i'm fluttershy. oh! but you knew that. my name was on the envelope. of course. how silly of me."
"Nice to meet you, Fluttershy." Derpy spread her wings and shot upwards, ready to continue her mail route.
I made a friend!
I hope she gets more letters. I'd like to visit her again.
Stop thinking like that, Derpy Hooves. You are being a creep.
Hi. It's Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia suggested that I start writing letters to my friends as well as to her. She says I should write to each of you at least once a week. To be honest, I'm not sure why. I see you almost every day! But who am I to ignore the wishes of Princess Celestia?
I was going to have Spike send this letter, but I thought that having a letter appear might startle you or your animals, so I decided to send it by mail pony instead. Please let me know when you get this letter, Fluttershy. I'm worried it won't reach you at all - the mail pony looks a little, well, scatterbrained.
Anyway, I don't really have a lot to say. But now that Princess Celestia has me writing these letters to you every week, I'm sure I'll eventually think of something.
Oh! I almost forgot. I'm supposed to tell you that you're welcome to send me letters back, as well. Even though I see you all the time... Well, it's not my place to question Princess Celestia.
P.S. Just as I was finishing this letter, guess who decided it was time to throw a party? Pinkie Pie. You're invited, of course. Wait, why is it at my house? Pinkie! I didn't - no, Spike, don't write all of this down!
P.P.S. Sorry about that. The party's at my house, tomorrow night. I guess by the time you get this letter, it will be tonight.
Fluttershy entered Twilight's house nervously, not really wanting to deal with a huge crowd of ponies. To her relief, it was a relatively small party, especially considering it was a Pinkie Pie party. It was only Pinkie Pie, Twilight, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack. And Spike, of course. It was Twilight's house, after all.
"Hey, Fluttershy!" Pinkie bounced over excitedly. "Isn't this exciting?"
"...yes... um... what's the occasion?"
"Twilight's new assignment, silly! Writing us all letters! I think it's great, don't you? I love getting letters, especially since I get them from Spike and so I never know when a letter might just appear in a puff of dragon breath! Wheee!"
"oh... i got mine delivered by mail pony."
Pinkie gave an enormous gasp. "Oh my gosh did you meet Derpy Hooves? She's like my bestest friend!" At the other ponies' looks, she added, "Besides you guys, of course!"
"Oh, that reminds me," Twilight said. "Fluttershy, I'm glad to see you got my letter okay, I was worried, that mail pony--"
"um... she just has a lazy eye..." Fluttershy explained. "she's not, you know... stupid."
Pinkie Pie frowned. "Twilight! I expected better from you of all ponies! Making assumptions about other ponies. You know what happens when you assume, don't you Twilight?"
"It makes an ass out of u and me!" Pinkie giggled.
Fluttershy wandered over to the table and grabbed a muffin, nibbling on it. She was always happy to hang out with her friends, but sometimes Pinkie's parties - even small parties like this one - just made her feel more awkward and shy.
Fluttershy looked up from her muffin. "oh, hello, rainbow dash."
"So you met Derpy Hooves, huh?"
"...yeah..." Fluttershy squeaked. "she seems very nice..."
"Yeah, she's cool."
Fluttershy was surprised. "...you really think so?"
"Yeah! She's got that weird eye thing, but that doesn't stop her from being the best mail pony in Ponyville. I mean, sometimes her eyes mess her up and she crashes into stuff -- which is kinda hilarious -- but she can fly." Dash quickly added, "Not like me or anything -- I'm the best flyer in Equestria."
"yes you are," Fluttershy agreed. Her friend's boasting could be annoying, but after pulling off that sonic rainboom, Fluttershy granted that Dash had every right to brag.
"HAH!" Twilight burst out. Everypony looked over at her. "I just got it! Assume... ass... u... me..."
Fluttershy found herself looking forward to Twilight's next letter, just for the chance to see Derpy Hooves again.
"oh, angel," she said to her bunny. "she's just the mail pony, right? i have lots of friends... i have all of my animals... why am i acting like this? why am i looking forward to seeing derpy more than actually getting twilight's letter?"
Angel made a lewd gesture. Fluttershy rolled her eyes, but wondered if the bunny was right.
Fluttershy awoke from a dream in which Derpy Hooves played a central part.
Yeah. So Angel was right.
"hello, derpy," Fluttershy said. The mail pony was at her house again, with another one of Twilight's letters, and Fluttershy could not be happier. It hadn't even been a week yet! Another letter, another chance to see Derpy...
"Oh, hey, Fluttershy!" Derpy smiled. "Good to see you again."
"i know you probably have more mail to deliver, but... you are welcome to come in... or, um..." She squeaked out something that Derpy couldn't quite hear.
"Actually, you were my last stop this time. I would love to come in, but if you were just saying that to be polite, I really wouldn't want to intrude..."
"no... please come in," Fluttershy insisted.
Don't screw this up, Derpy told herself, and very carefully walked inside, making sure not to bump into the door.
"Oh! This is..." Derpy started. The table was prepared, the shades were drawn, and the room was lit by candle.
Fluttershy's face reddened. "ANGEL!" she yelled. Yelled. Derpy was so startled that her wings twitched outwards, knocking over the candle.
"Oh no!" Derpy squeaked. Fluttershy was on fire.
Derpy flailed around helplessly, feeling stupider than ever. And then something hit Fluttershy and burst, and then the fire was out.
"...thanks..." Fluttershy murmured.
"I didn't --" Derpy started. A pink pony bounced into the room, carrying a bucket full of water balloons.
"Pinkie Pie?!" Derpy sputtered. "How did you-- What-- I--"
"My Pinkie Sense told me someone was going to be on fire, and I figured it'd be Fluttershy!"
"just what is that supposed to mean?" Fluttershy asked, but Pinkie didn't answer. She was looking around.
"Oooooh! Fancy! Fluttershy, you didn't tell me you had a date!"
"...i..." Fluttershy started. "um..."
Derpy Hooves didn't know who was more embarrassed, herself or Fluttershy. "I'm sorry," she said, and gave a nervous laugh. "I set you on fire. This was a terrible date."
"...um... i... i didn't... that is, i... i didn't mean for it to be... a... date..."
"Oh." Derpy looked down, embarrassed. Before the little fire incident, it sure seemed like it.
"Well, that's okay!" Pinkie said with a bright smile. "This means you can have a proper first date with no fire involved!"
"Pinkie... I don't think she..." Derpy started, but to her surprise, Fluttershy interrupted.
"...that sounds nice..."
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Pinkie screeched, and both Fluttershy and Derpy covered their ears. "Oh, this is so exciting! You two are adorable oh my gosh oh my gosh EEEEEEE!" Pinkie started bouncing around excitedly and soon she had bounced right out of the house.
"So..." Derpy said finally.
"i'm sorry about all of that," Fluttershy said.
"I'm sorry I set you on fire," Derpy said, and the two burst out laughing.
"so..." Fluttershy said as the laughter subsided.
"Oh, I - I guess I should get going, then."
"...oh... i guess... i mean, if you want to..." Fluttershy said.
"Are you doing anything later tonight?"
"...i don't think so..."
"Good. I'll take you somewhere far away from anything flammable, I promise."
Derpy headed for the door, but then turned to face Fluttershy. Forcing both of her eyes forward, she looked the shy pony in the eyes before giving her a brief kiss.
Fluttershy's wings had spread out. As she watched Derpy leave, Angel nudged her and gave her a knowing look.
"...shut up..." she mumbled, folding her wings back into place. Oh, I guess I should read Twilight's letter...
I'm sorry if you were expecting a letter from one of your friends. I just wanted an excuse to see you again.