"There we go little one," Fluttershy said, removing a tiny cast from a mouse's tail, "that feels right, doesn't it?" The mouse sniffed and twitched its tail and then looked up and squeaked happily at the pegasus. "Good," Fluttershy said, setting the mouse down on the floor, "Now run along, and be more careful where you sit while eating. You don't want to get caught under another shifting rock." The mouse squeaked thankfully and scampered toward one of the mouse holes in the wall. Fluttershy smiled and walked over to her couch, where Angel was stretched out contemplating the ceiling. "It's almost lunchtime," Fluttershy told the bunny, "What do you want today? A carrot?" Angel cast a sideways glance at the pegasus before returning to his study of the roof beams. "How about some lettuce then? Spinach?" Angel made a gagging noise. "Well, you have to eat something," Fluttershy said, "unless you're getting sick or something…" She put a hoof on Angel's forehead to check his temperature. "You feel OK to me. Oh! I know! How about a cucumber sandwich?" Angel mulled that over and then nodded. He hopped off the couch and walked toward the kitchen. Fluttershy started to follow him when there was a knock at her door. "Oh," the pegasus said, surprised, "Uh… just a minute!" She glanced toward the kitchen as the knocking repeated with more urgency. "Oh dear," Fluttershy said, "Angel, you be careful in there; don't try cutting anything until I get there." Fretting, she turned and walked to the door. Taking a deep breath, she opened it slightly to see who was outside. It was Twilight Sparkle, horn aglow as she held something Fluttershy couldn't see.
"Fluttershy?" the unicorn asked, peering through the small gap in the doorway.
"Hello Twilight," Fluttershy said, opening the door the whole way, "What brings you here?"
"This," Twilight said, pulling forward the red wagon she'd had behind her. Inside it was a blue… creature of some sort. It was soaking wet and unconscious, a large tongue hanging out of the corner of its wide mouth.
"Oh my goodness," Fluttershy gasped, moving closer to the creature. She listened closely and managed to hear a heartbeat and faint breathing. "Oh, the poor thing," she said sadly, "what happened to him?"
"I don't know," Twilight said, "Bon Bon found it lying on the banks of the river near the park. I tried to find some mention of it in my books, but I couldn't find anything. The closest thing I could find that looks like it is a koala, but they're grey, not blue, and they don't have such big ears. I figured I should bring it to you so you can nurse it back to health and maybe find out just what it is."
"Oh, of course!" Fluttershy exclaimed, "I'll do my very best Twilight; you can count on me."
"Careful," Twilight said as Fluttershy took the wagon handle in her mouth, "He's a bit heavier than he looks." Fluttershy nodded and rolled the wagon into her cottage. "Good luck," Twilight said as she turned to leave. Fluttershy waved good-bye and then closed her door. Taking the wagon handle again, she rolled it over to her couch and then grabbed the blue animal under the arms. She huffed in surprise at its weight as she lifted it onto her couch. "You are a heavy fellow," she said to it, "I wonder what you eat to make you so heavy? Maybe you should be on a diet." With a shrug and a smile, she went upstairs to find a towel to dry the creature off.
When she came back down, it was moaning and rolling its head slightly, tongue sliding back into its mouth. Moving carefully, she walked over to the couch and began to gently rub it with the towel. As she finished, the animal's eyes slowly opened and Fluttershy swallowed a gasp of surprise when she saw they were solid black. The creature closed its mouth and regarded Fluttershy for a moment. "H-hello," the pegasus said.
The creature blinked and then opened its mouth. "He-he-hello," it said in a slightly raspy voice.
"Oh my," Fluttershy exclaimed, "You can talk?" The creature sat up suddenly and sniffed her mane and then began to look around the room. It sniffed again and its ears went up as it looked toward the kitchen door, from which Angel was emerging with a cucumber sandwich in his front paws. "Oh, are you hungry?" Fluttershy asked. The creature licked its lips. "Ok, Fluttershy said, turning to look at Angel, who was regarding the blue thing with suspicion. "Angel," she said sweetly, "do you mind if our new friend has that sandwich? I'll make a new one for you." The bunny transferred his suspicious gaze to the pegasus and then, unable to resist the look on her face, sighed, hopped over to the couch, and held out the sandwich. The creature sniffed the sandwich, and then snatched it out of Angel's paws, opened its mouth, and stuffed the entire sandwich in, chewing noisily. "It seems we're going to have to work on your table manners," Fluttershy chided gently. The creature glanced at her, swallowed, and then belched noisily. Fluttershy stepped back in surprise, eliciting a maniacal laugh from the blue koala-thing. Angel rolled his eyes and hopped back to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich.
"Well then," the pegasus said, collecting her dignity, "Now that you've eaten, let's have a look at you shall we?" She turned away and went to pick up her bag of medical supplies. As soon as her back was turned, the blue creature turned its gaze back to the kitchen. Deciding that he was still hungry, he slid off the couch and crawled toward the kitchen, veering off at the last second to climb the wall and enter through the top of the door. He crawled across the ceiling, looking down at Angel, who was sitting on a tall stool as he finished layering slices of cucumber on a piece of bread. He put the other piece of bread on, picked up the sandwich, and froze as the blue creature dropped down onto the counter. The two stared at each other for a few seconds, and then the creature snatched the sandwich. Not willing to let another one get away from him, Angel jumped forward to grab the sandwich back. A back-handed slap from the creature sent the bunny flying across the counter into a pile of dirty dishes, sending several crashing to the floor. Regaining his feet, Angel ran and tackled the creature as it tried to take a bit from the sandwich. The two rolled to the end of the counter as the sandwich fell to the floor and was quickly forgotten as the blue creature threw Angel off, teeth bared in an angry growl. Undeterred, Angel blew a raspberry as he dodged the creature's flying tackle and then kicked it in the head when it face-planted onto the floor. The bunny winced as his foot throbbed from the blow- the thing's head was like a rock! Moaning, the creature picked itself up and gave Angel another swat that sent him flying upward to crash into a cupboard, destroying the door. He fell to the counter, briefly dazed. The blue koala-thing kept an eye on him, waiting for the bunny to try again.
"What is going on here?" Fluttershy demanded from the kitchen doorway. The creature turned to look at her, and the reached up and snagged Angel by the foot as the bunny came at him with a flying kick. "Angel," Fluttershy said, "I'm very disappointed in you. Why are you fighting with Mr. Blue Koala?"
"What?" Fluttershy asked, surprised that the creature had spoken again.
"My name Stitch," the creature said, ignoring the fuming bunny in his grip.
"Ok, why are you fighting with Stitch?" Fluttershy asked Angel. The bunny curled up so he could pull his foot out of Stitch's hand, dropped to the floor, and hopped over to the fallen and ruined cucumber sandwich. To the best of his ability he mimed out making the sandwich and preparing to eat it, and the pointed to Stitch and pretended to steal the invisible sandwich. He looked at Fluttershy hopefully, willing her to understand. "He… stole your sandwich?" the pegasus guessed. Angel nodded vigorously. "I see. Well, it's still not nice to fight you know. You could have just made another sandwich; we've got plenty of cucumbers." Angel face-palmed and gave Fluttershy a disgruntled look. "And as for you," Fluttershy said, turning toward where Stitch had been, only to find he had vanished again. "Stitch? Where are you?" She looked around and found him digging around in her refrigerator, tossing out apples, celery, and a bottle of milk that Angel barely managed to catch before it smashed onto the floor. Fluttershy walked over and tapped Stitch on the shoulder. "Excuse me," she said as Stitch paused to look at her, "Please don't make a mess. If you were still hungry you should have told me. It's not nice to steal. Now," she turned her gaze to the interior of the fridge, "What do you want? I've got some fresh spinach in here. Or maybe a salad? Angel makes wonderful salads, and I'm sure he'd love to make you one to apologize for fighting." Angel rolled his eyes and face-palmed again. Stitch had started it!
Stitch looked at the rest of the fridge's contents. "Bleh," he said, tongue rolling out. He turned and walked away, going on all fours for speed as he headed for the main room.
"Wait," Fluttershy said, "I can't help you if you don't-" she was interrupted by a crashing sound followed by the upset cries of many of her birds. She ran to the doorway to see Stitch in the process of destroying the little hutches and houses that had been built into a corner of the room. The floor was covered in birdseed and the remains of several water bowls. Stitch punched his fist into a squirrel's hutch and gulped down the nuts he extracted, ignoring the incensed occupant's protests. "Please, stop," Fluttershy said, feeling suddenly overwhelmed.
Angel decided that enough was enough. He stuck a paw in his mouth and gave a shrill whistle, getting the attention of the animals running around the cottage in a panic. The bunny cracked his knuckles and pointed firmly at Stitch with a dark expression on his face. The animals blinked, and then several stepped and flew forward, equally determined looks coming into their eyes. Stitch paused in his raiding to look down at the gathered animals, unsure of what was happening. Angel signaled the animals with a stomp of his foot, and the tiny army charged the blue koala-esque thing that was destroying their home and their peace of mind. Growling, Stitch dropped down to the floor to meet the charge, arms spread wide as he flexed his claws threateningly.
"STOOOP!" Fluttershy was suddenly standing between the animals and Stitch, her eyes hard and intense as the dreaded Stare kicked into high gear. She turned it on Angel and his group first, and they backed away quickly in fear. "You know better," Fluttershy said, "We do not fight in this house. If you have a problem with somebody else, you try and settle it peacefully, right?" Several nods answered her, and the animals hung their heads in collective shame, even Angel. "And as for you," the pegasus said, whirling on Stitch, "how dare you attack these poor little animals? I took you in when you were cold, wet, and half-drowned. I've done everything I can to make you feel better, and how do you repay me? You steal food, fight with Angel, and break houses! You should be ashamed of yourself." Stitch tried to snarl, but the force of Fluttershy's gaze triggered a response he wasn't even aware he was capable of: guilt. His ears drooped as low as they could go and he felt like his eyes were actually shrinking as he stumbled backward, trying to escape but unable to look away. "Well?" Fluttershy asked expectantly, leaning in closer, "What do you have to say for yourself mister?"
Stitch's mouth hung open for several seconds before he could get his voice to work. "S-suh-sorry… Flutter… shy," he stammered.
"Anything else?" Fluttershy asked, backing up a few steps.
Stitch's gaze was freed enough to wander around until he spotted Angel, who was tapping his foot as he glared at Stitch. Stitch started to growl at the bunny, but swallowed it with an audible gulp as the pegasus caught is eyes again. With a sigh, Stitch looked at Angel and said, "Sorry bunny. Sorry… everyone. Stitch will be good."
"That's better," Fluttershy said, all sweetness again as she patted Stitch's head, "now, be a good… Stitch and go help gather the wood we'll need to fix everything, and then we'll go find something for you to eat. What do you like to eat anyway?"
Stitch thought for a second before smiling and saying, "Coffee. Stitch like coffee."
"You'll need something more solid than coffee," Fluttershy said, "but, I guess I can get you some if you eat a good supper. Come on everyone." She walked toward her front door with Angel and the other animals in her wake. Stitch watched them for a moment before crawling off after them. Angel caught his eye, and the two shared a small, knowing smile. Things weren't fully settled between them, and they were both looking forward to their next, more private encounter.