Touched by an Angel (with a carrot)

Description: In the wake of a certain Gala, a certain rabbit decides to explain a few things to the animals of the Royal gardens. Rated K+ for violence and root vegetables.

Angel checked up on Fluttershy, leaving the tossed salad he was making for her to look out of the door. The pegasus pony was nervous as she went around feeding the many animals that lived around her cottage. It was as if she expected them to bolt, or even claw at her. Her normal serene confidence was absent, and had been since the night of the Gala.

For all the brave face she put on for her friends, Angel knew how much that night had cost the pegasus filly. He'd been with her ever since she'd fallen out of the sky, and calmed the forest animals during the Sonic Rainboom. In all that time, he'd never seen her meet an animal she didn't like, and vice versa, even when she used 'the stare'. Except maybe that cockatrice, but that was understandable. It _had_ been turning her to stone at the time, after all.

She even charmed him, and he'd been the toughest rabbit in the forest, and still was, and when the forest in question was the Everfree, that meant something. Her one problem, if it was a problem, was that she cared too much. She was often so busy caring for the animals that she forgot to take care of herself, missing meals, or sleep, appointments with her friends.

He'd quickly decided that she needed someone to take care of her, and appointed himself to the job. Of course she saw the relationship differently, but that wasn't his concern, except when she tried to mother him. He did his best to make it clear he didn't need it, but she never stopped trying, and a part of him that he wouldn't admit to hoped she never would.

He was also the one she talked to, things she wouldn't even have told her friends, and so he knew of the events of the Gala,and what she felt about it. He could still remember sitting by her as she lay in bed, hugging a pillow with her forelegs, tears dripping onto it.

"Oh Angel, it was terrible, I was terrible!" she sniffled. "I acted like a monster! I called and called, and they wouldn't come! I only wanted to make friends! Why did I try to trap one? Even though it was my only chance to ever see them,and I'd waited my whole life for the chance... they ran away from me, they were scared of me! I'd have been scared of me! I went completely crazy!

"I always thought I could befriend any animal, but now... What if my animal friends here stop liking me? What if they already are? Oh, I don't deserve my cutie-mark!"

She plunged her head into her pillow and sobbed. Angel was there, but he didn't know how he could help, so he just placed one paw on her wing,comfortingly. Though Fluttershy came closer than most, no pony could understand the languages animals used among themselves. It was why he was reduced to a game of charades when he needed to tell her something.

Angel thought back to that night, and his expression hardened. Fluttershy, for all her occasional ditziness, would never just 'go crazy'. She'd been _driven_ crazy, and now she was suffering for it. Well, he knew who was responsible. Time to see if he could hop aboard a pegasus truck to Canterlot, and return the favour.

Angel hopped into the main clearing of the gated Royal Gardens of Canterlot. One of the rabbits already grazing there lolloped on over.

"Who are you?" He asked in Lapine, the rabbit language. "This garden is off-limits to wild animals. It's only for the most exotic animals specially selected by Princess Celestia."

"Shut it ponce!" Angel went up on his hind paws and spoke back in woodland common, since he noticed other animals gathering. The commotion had attracted attention and now birds were alighting on the trees, while the other animals were starting to ring around the arguing pair. He wanted everyone to understand exactly what they were in for.

"The name's Angel, and I want to see the guy in charge! I hopped a cargo flight from Ponyville special-like."

"Oh, a common pet!" The royal rabbit sneered. "Be off with you!"

"Yeah, I'm a common pet, and you're a pampered pet, so don't get airs. I live with a pegasus pony, yellow coat, pink mane, butterfly cutie mark, name of Fluttershy." He saw the animals shrink away. "I see you know her, or rather you don't, and that's why I'm here!"

"The one thing she loves more than anything else is taking care of cute, fuzzy critters like you. She's the nicest, sweetest, kindest person I know. She's been on about this Grand Galloping Gala for months, just because she'd get a chance to see you. For some reason she thinks you guys are something special." He looked around and sniffed. "Can't imagine why."

"So she comes back, and she's devastated. She tried to make friends and you hid from her, didn't even give her a bucking chance! She may have put on a brave face for her friends, but I've seen how she really feels. She's hurting really badly, worried she's loosing her ability to understand animals, and that the animals around Ponyville will stop being her friends, and it's all your fault!"

"Hey, she chased us!" exclaimed one of the other rabbits.

"She panicked!" Angel yelled back. "She's befriended a raging manticore before now! She was desperate to meet you, and couldn't understand why you wouldn't meet her even half-way. But I'm not here to justify her, I'm here to teach the lot of you some respect."

One of the biggest squirrels chuckled. "There's a whole garden full of us, and just one of you! Why don't you just hop off back to your freaky master!"

If Angel was nervous, he didn't look it. He folded his forelegs and slouched nonchalantly.

"Oh yeah, I'm so scared! A whole garden full of pampered pets versus one rabbit… who grew up wild in the Everfree Forest, you does! I faced scarier things than you lot when I was a kitten! If you want me to leave, you'll have to make me, if you've got the nuts!"

He posed, ready for action, and made a 'come on' motion with a fore-paw. "So who's first? Anyone?"

One of the buzzards buzzed in annoyance and swooped in to remove the pest. Angel leaped straight up and grabbed one of his legs, swinging him round and slamming him into the ground. Jays swooped in to rescue him, and the other animals swarmed in, and the whole thing devolved into a big ball of fuzzy and feathered violence.

When the cloud of dust cleared, the ground was scattered with feathers, fur, scales and bruised and battered creatures. They were either groaning in pain, or just staying still and hoping the scary rabbit didn't notice them.

Angel had a snake three times his size by the scruff of the… had a snake held just below the head with one fore-paw and was slapping it's head back and forth with the other.

He stopped and asked in a school teacherish manner. "Now, what have we learned today?"

"Don't disrespect Fluttershy." The snake whimpered, not caring that he was making a complete asp of himself.

"Very good. And what else?"

"We are not worthy to kiss her hooves. She is a kind caring and wonderful person, and not the horrible monster Philomena made her out to be!"

"Correct. Now, if you'd been this co-operative… wait, what?" Angel dropped the snake, who slithered back a few curls and kept his head down.

"It was Philomena, Princess Celestia's pheonix. She told us of how this pegasus had kidnapped her on her burning day when they visited Ponyville, and tortured her."

"Oh she did?" Angel glowered, and the other animals quailed, especially the quails.

"She didn't happen to tell you that all Fluttershy was doing was trying to cure her, because she looked sick. Besides, the way she sneaked off and let them a chase around Ponyville, she could have escaped at any time.

"When she burned up, Fluttershy thought she'd killed her! Do you have any idea how that made her feel? Celestia told Fluttershy directly the pheonix did it all as a prank, and Fluttershy, because she's a really nice person, accepted it. Oh, the bird gave her a feather to apologise, but that doesn't make it right."

The squirrel who'd earlier been so smart mouthed, levered himself painfully up into a sitting position. "That's not what Philomena told us. She even described the pony in detail. So when she appeared in the garden, of course we hid! The way she tried to trap us and chase us made us think she was right."

"Like I said, she panicked. But you could have said this before and saved yourselves a beating." The rabbit turned away and started to hop out of the garden.

"What… what are you going to do?" asked the rabbit who'd first met him.

"It seems I'm late for a very important date." Angel called back over his shoulder. "I've got to go and teach an Equestrian Fried Chicken a lesson in manners!"

Philomena, pheonix companion of Princess Celestia, sat on her open perch and took in the view. This was fairly spectacular, as the perch sat on the balcony of the Princess's private apartments, high in the main tower, and looked away from the mountains Canterlot was built into, and out over the plains of Equestria.

The big problem with being immortal was boredom. She was speculating whether she should go tell the animals in the gardens another terrifying tale, or go roost in one of the palace kitchen ovens, when her eyes lit on the distant hamlet of Ponyville. That visit had been fun, the perfect prank to relieve her tetchy feelings when burning day came around.

Suddenly, there was a scraping from the balcony edge, and a furry paw appeared over the edge. She watched with amusement as a rabbit, or all things, pulled himself up over the low ledge that guarded it (railings were unnecessary, considering who used this place).

He looked up at her, and nodded matter-of-factly. "I knew if I followed the smell of burned feathers long enough, I'd find you."

"Who are you, and what are you doing here?"

"Don't recognise me? I guess a common rabbit is a bit beneath your notice, you overheated chicken! Ponyville. Fluttershy's house."

The pheonix tilted her head to one side, amused. "Overheated chicken? My, you do seem annoyed with me… oh yes, your that rabbit that hung around with that silly pegasus. Most fun I've had in a century!"

"Well here's another laugh for you." Angel growled. "Fluttershy got a ticket to the gala, went to the gardens, and the animals all hid from her because you'd told them she was a monster! It ended up with them stampeding through the Gala!"

"That was how it happened? I knew…" Philomena went into a fit of squawking laughter. "Oh, that's fantastic! I've always wanted to liven up those dreadfully dull so-called parties Celestia has to go to. She enjoyed herself for the first time in years!

"And it's all because of that silly story I told those garden creatures! They never get out of the gardens, so they believe whatever I tell them about the outside world. But I never expected them to actually meet her. Oh, this couldn't have gone better if I'd planned it!"

"Yeah, look at me, I'm rolling on the floor!" Angel said, in a tone which would have had wolves running for cover. "Fluttershy didn't want much, just to make some new friends. But you wrecked it for her!

"Now she's scared she's no good at understanding animals an longer! She's hurting, and frightened, and you think it's funny! Okay, that's it, I'm going to have to teach you a lesson!"

The pheonix stopped dead, looking incredulous. "You're kidding! Tell me you're kidding!"

"I think that's what Nightmare Moon said too…" Angel replied.

She spread her wings and rose up on her perch, a halo of flame forming around her (it was a fireproof perch). "I'm a pheonix, an immortal bird of flame, a powerful magic creature, and you are, not to put to fine a point on it, a rabbit. A non-fireproof rabbit. What're you going to do big boy? Assault my sense of smell with burned fur until I submit?"

"No, I'm going to beat you like a drum." He pulled out a large carrot from carrot-space by the green top, and started smacking the free end into his other paw like a club.

"Then, if you ask nicely, I may let you go down to the garden and explain to the animals there that you lied through your beak. Then you can apologise to Fluttershy. Or I may just drag you back to Ponyville and use you to toast marshmallows."

"I'd like to see you try!"

"Be careful what you wish for…" Angel leapt up, and the perch went over right away.

The big ball of violence was a smaller big ball than the one in the garden, but more intense, and wreathed in flame. Of course, there could be only one outcome. When the dust cleared, Philomena was on the floor, smouldering and looking like she was ready for another burning day, while Angel was standing over her, munching on a cooked carrot.

"Now, what have we learned today?" Angel waved the carrot at her, and Philomena flinched.

"Not to tell stories that could hurt people?"

"And?"

"That I should do whatever you say, if I value my continued existence." the thoroughly subdued pheonix added. It wasn't sure even it's immortality could save it from the rabbit's wrath.

Angel just nodded. "And people say teaching is hard! Now, I believe you've got some explaining to do! The gardens are that way."

He pointed with the carrot, and the pheonix peeled itself off the floor and flew off, gliding down towards the gardens. Angel watched for a second, then pulled out a large handkerchief, grabbed the corners and parachuted down after her.

Authors Notes: This was a very random plot bunny. People think Angel is mean to Fluttershy because of that one scene in Dragonshy. However, he's far more often helping her out, and making sure she's organised. Add that to the tough attitude, and you had the basis of this story. I may add a postscript, a reunion with Fluttershy, but I have so many other ideas that need to get out...

Edit: Yikes! I must have been more tired than I thought, putting this out the way it was. There were several spelling mistakes, and some grammatical errors. I wanted to get it out so I could get on with more important stuff, but that doesn't excuse my lack of spell-checking. I have started on an epilogue, but I really want to get back to 'Best Night Ever Extended Edition'. I did add a page of set up, to give some context and allow me to strip down Angel's rant, which was to verbose. Hopeit works for everyone.