Shadow Chaser

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About Shadow Chaser

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    Bunny
  • Birthday 03/31/1988

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  • Personal Motto
    Impossible is nothing.

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  1. @@Freewave, You're right. No one should ever ask for support or encouragement ever. Only the well known people that need no encouragement should ever get what they want in life.
  2. @@Freewave, Wow, that's really harsh. Why can't I just wish people would support her? Even she knows she'll probably never get on the show, but why dash her hopes on the rocks in such a harsh tone? And how is making a video about wanting to be on MLP stooping low? Maybe she just wants people to share in her love and her dream for a moment. I guess, overall, I was hoping you would show her some love, if even it doesn't mean anything in the long run, instead of just being super negative about the whole thing.
  3. So, this is Kate. She's a brony and a voice actress and she has a dream of being a voice actress for MLP. She's already and established VA and she can do the singing and I would be lying if I said I don't think she'd be great on the show. But give the video a watch and leave her some positive feedback on Youtube or something. Maybe we could start a petition to get a real VA brony on the show. http://youtu.be/hx7sxDNTHQ0
  4. Let's see, I've made Shadow here. And given him a bit of a long life so far. I've also given him two daughters with Rainbow Dash, Sky and Moon Chaser, both pegasi.
  5. I dunno. Things like her sitter and Shining Armor being in the royal guard could be explained away a little once she got Celestia's notice. I would think that if you want a particular pony studying under you, that you would help that pony's family. Even getting your own niece to babysit so that she could help her study magic. And who's to say they lived in Canterlot before Twi got accepted at Magic Kindergarten and became Celestia's student? Again, could just be Celestia taking care of Twilight's family.
  6. Walking back out into the deluge the evening had become, Shadow put up a small barrier to act as an umbrella of sorts. His time in Fluttershy's cottage had nearly dried him off and where he now headed he would have to be dry to make it in the front door. Rarity's Boutique lay almost all the way across town and Shadow walked slowly. Dark as the sky was it was only the late afternoon and Rarity would not stop working until the evening had come or someone brought her dinner. Walking through the market, Shadow caught Carrot Top closing up her shop and asked for a couple carrots. She handed them to him with a smile and told him his purchase was on the house. Shadow thanked her and continued his slow trek. Avoiding the mud puddles that had begun to form, Shadow made it to Rarity's Boutique at what would've been just before sun down. Knocking gently, he heard a sing song answer but couldn't make out the words and waited patiently for her to appear. Rarity cracked her front door only slightly. She had always dreaded being wet if she wasn't in a bath. When she spotted Shadow, she flung the door open and invited him in. It was the first time in a long time he had come to visit her, even before Rainbow's death. Rarity and Shadow had a rather strange past. Rarity had been Shadow's first crush and Shadow had been Rarity's first bully. Their troubled past and differences had long been laid to rest and were now comfortable friends. Shadow still held his feelings for Rarity but they were not as strong as when they had been children, though he would still do anything she asked of him. Rarity knew of his feelings and did not lead him on or abuse his helpfulness. She was more than happy to simply be good friends with a lovely stallion who treated her like a lady. "Shadow! I was expecting Twilight but you are a pleasant surprise." Rarity closed the door behind him. Shadow held up his bag of carrots. "I brought food. Are you still working?" Rarity smiling knowingly, "If you're offering to cook then I will certainly put everything on hold for a nice hot meal." Shadow chuckled softly, "Should I cook for three? You said you were expecting Twilight." "That would be nice but I'm not sure she'll make it in this dreadful weather." "If I can make it, she certainly can. I'll cook for three." They shared a quick hug before parting ways to the kitchen and the office, respectively. Shadow moved with a grace in the kitchen. He always had. He and Rarity often joked that if he were not a detective that he would mostly certainly have a chef's hat in place of his detective's hat. Rarity had even let slip once that had Shadow become a chef, her father would've been a bit more accepting of their old relationship. Shadow had laughed at the idea. Rarity's father was a jolly fat stallion, to be sure, but he wasn't sure her father would approve of anyone dating his daughter. Dads were like that. As Shadow lowered the temperatures on everything to await the arrival of Twilight, Rarity entered the kitchen and sat at the table, pouring herself some of the tea Shadow had also prepared. "It's been a long time, Shadow. We used to do dinner at least once a month. It's been nearly seven since our last get together. What brings you back to me today, of all days?" "Come on, Rare. You know why they stopped. We both know Rainbow never liked the idea of us having meals alone. She would never stop us and she would never say anything about it, but we both knew she didn't like it. And after she died... Well, I hardly felt like eating by myself, let alone with anyone else." Rarity nodded along. None of this was new to her. "That doesn't answer my question. What brings you out today?" "I.. I don't know. I was talking to Applejack and then I went to check on Fluttershy and I just thought some degree of going back to normal would help me." Shadow's voice softened as he spoke. He hated saying he needed help. Rarity rose from her chair and crossed her small kitchen to hug him once more. "I understand, dear. Anything I can do for you, I'm more than willing to." She had avoided using the word "help" on purpose. She did know him well. Shadow half-heartedly squeezed her, suddenly feeling awkward, "Thanks, Rare." A knock at the front door gave Shadow a moments reprieve as Rarity went to answer it. Shadow heard Twilight's voice in the hallway and he produced a bowl for each of them, giving each of them a generous helping of his special carrot soup, and placing it around the table. Shadow turned to the sink before Twilight entered. She had always somewhat intimidated him with her presence and he felt awkward waiting for her to appear. Washing off a few of the dirty dishes he had used he heard Twilight speak softly behind him. "Hi, Shadow," she said. He dried his hooves on a towel and turned to her, his half smile winning her over as it always did. "Hey Twilight. How goes the whole Princess thing?" Twilight blushed softly and tucked her wings in closer to her body. "Not bad. Still getting used to these things. Rarity said you made dinner for us? I didn't know you could cook." Shadow chuckled softly. "Twilight, I imagine there's a great many things you don't know about me. We'll discuss them over dinner. Now sit down and tell me if I've lost my touch or not." Their laughter still sounded strange to Shadow. It had been months since he made anything that resembled a joke, and he had avoided Pinkie for that reason, but he was steadfast in what he had said to Fluttershy. He would have to get back to normal eventually and laughter was a part of that. As they ate their small talk covered a wide range of topics: Rarity's current fashion obsessions and the large order still waiting to be completed; Shadow recounted one of his old cases for Twilight, just to fill her in a little more on who he was; Twilight spoke of some of the things she'd seen at Canterlot and some of the new things she'd learned about being a princess. She professed that her true passion still lied in the study of magic and that she had made a discovery recently about a kind of magic that could commune with the elements. She called it a shamanistic magic. The mention that it could be used as a harmony between life and death peaked Shadow's interests. "Are you saying that these shamans could use their magic to affect people who had died?" Twilight and Rarity shared a glance. "Maybe. I haven't learned much about it all yet, but I could look it up when I get home." Shadow nodded slowly, thinking about different scenarios, "Think I could go with you when you do? I like learning about magic that isn't done by the typical unicorn method." Twilight seemed to relax. "Sure, I loved having a study partner. We can catalog the information much faster with the two of us." Rarity looked back and forth between them, she wasn't convinced Shadow's interest was purely scientific in nature and she couldn't believe Twilight seemed to think it was. "Rainbow Dash was right. Book smart means gullible," Rarity thought, smiling to herself. "By the way, Shadow, this dinner was amazing. How'd you become such a good cook?" Twilight asked. "I haven't a clue, Miss Sparkle. Mom never showed any special interest in cooking and Dad couldn't boil water without burning it." They all shared a genuine laugh. Shadow's culinary skills had not suffered from disuse, nor had his humor. "Well, I'm going to head home. I'm stuffed." Twilight rose from her chair and stretched lightly. "I'll head with you," Shadow said, eager to research this new magic. "Think we could take a rain check until tomorrow? This meal will be enough to knock me out as soon I make it back to the library." Shadow's heart sank a little, he had been genuinely excited, but he nodded. "No problem at all. Food comas are not uncommon after a Chef Chaser meal." After a few more goodbyes, Twilight was on her way back to her home under her perfectly shaped magical umbrella. Shadow chuckled as he watched her go. "Now she's just showing off," he said to himself. Shadow returned to the kitchen with Rarity, where they sat in silence for a long time, just looking at one another. They had learned long ago that the silence between them often spoke volumes and both were happy to let it linger for a time. That was until Rarity could not contain her curiosity any longer. "Why do you want to know about those shamans?" Shadow averted his eyes from hers, looking at the cabinets around the kitchen, "I think it would be interesting to study that kind of magic." His eyes returned to hers when he finished speaking. "Did I ever tell you how I always knew when you were lying?" Shadow shook his head. "You don't look at me. Shadow Chaser, you will stare at me for days on end. You've never had a problem maintaining eye contact and I love that about you. But when you look away from me and speak, I know you're lying. You do that because deep down you can't lie to me, so you justify it by thinking you're talking to whatever you're looking at. Thinking that you're lying to it and not to me." The sat in silence for a moment before Shadow sighed and locked eyes with her. "If there's a way to bring Rainbow back..." "Shadow..." "I have to try, Rare!" Shadow caught himself and lowered his voice. Applejack might be polite enough to let him yell but Rarity would happily kick his keister for yelling at her. "I have to try. I miss her." "As do I, Shadow, but you can't expect that there's anything that will just bring her back. If that were an option, don't you think so many others would've found it by now?" Shadow swallowed hard, biting back a new wave of tears. "I need to, Rarity. I'm.. I'm starting to forget. The color of her eyes, all of her scars and how she got them, I'm starting to forget those things. I need to see her again. I need to save her." "Shadow, darling, this is one of those time when you need to let me save you, while there's still something left to save. The kind of thing you're looking for with those shamans... I've heard about things like that before." Rarity bit her lip in apprehension before continuing. "There's always a price for things like that." "Like what?" "Like you. To bring back one soul, you have to offer up another one as payment and I don't want you doing that." "Rarity, I wouldn't..." "Yes, you would, Shadow Chaser! Don't you dare tell me you wouldn't! You would do it for her and she would do it for you, because you're both the same foolhardy pony. The Elements of Harmony require loyalty and if you had been with us the day we defeated Nightmare Moon, instead of Rainbow Dash, you would've been loyalty. And that's commendable, dear, but you're both loyal to a fault. "Your loyalty to that lost loved one will carry you to make very foolish decisions on their behalf. The both of you would sacrifice yourself for the other. But with the both of you dying for each other, how do you think your friends feel? You think about how much you hurt but you don't think about the rest of us on the sidelines. We hurt the same as the both of you, Shadow. This is one of those things that you and Rainbow Dash have to accept. Death should be final. Not to be cheated, by any means, magical or otherwise." Shadow sat quiet, staring at Rarity as a tear rolled down his cheek. He couldn't argue with her. She was right. Death should be final. "I.. I think I need to go.." Rarity's heart sank for her friend. She had not intended to send him into yet another depression, but sometimes the words that need to be spoken are not the kindest. "Darling, I didn't mean..." Shadow stood from his chair but his legs buckled as he blacked out, falling sideways onto Rarity's kitchen floor. Rarity moved with a quickness, to his side. She could see him still breathing, and he didn't appear to be bleeding from his fall. This too was not new to Rarity. Throughout their years, Rarity had learned that Shadow had a tendency to be unable to deal with extreme emotional stress. She thought it odd that his line of work took him to such dangerous places that had no effect on him, but lay out a relationship in front of him and Shadow would literally pass out from the stress of it. The day Shadow had met Rarity's father had been one such day when the stress had gotten to him. He'd been unable to cope with meeting him and passed out while shaking his hoof. Truth be told, Rarity's father had liked Shadow, but he couldn't hide that he thought the colt odd and Rarity and Shadow had misinterpreted this as a sign of disdain. She sighed heavily and wrapped him in her magic, focusing intently she hefted him to her bedroom and laid him down. Though it was not proper, the soft bed would do him well for the night. She covered him with a light sheet of a blanket and crawled in beside him, listening to him breathe. Rarity draped one of her forelegs over Shadow in a gentle hug before drifting off to sleep.
  7. Shadow made his way through town as the world drowned around him. The storm was set to be a big one and last for a few days. He knew that because Rainbow had taught him the difference in cloud sizes and colors. He could see the puffy dark gray clouds bunched close together. They were in for a doozy of a storm. Approaching Fluttershy's cottage, a bolt of lightning nearby startled him. The flash doing more to surprise him than the thunder that accompanied it. For a moment, he thought about throwing up a small barrier to keep potential lightning strikes at bay but a shake of his head convinced him that he wouldn't be lucky enough to be struck this day. Finally stopping at Fluttershy's front door, Shadow hesitated for a long minute. He did not know Fluttershy as well as he did Applejack or Rarity and he knew she could be skittish around ponies she didn't know. The last thing he wanted to do would be to discomfort her. Especially if she was still mourning Rainbow Dash as he was. With a heavy sigh, he steeled his resolve and steadied his nerves, knocking gently but loud enough to be heard over the storm. When no answer came he thought perhaps that she wasn't home or did not feel like entertaining visitors. That was until the door opened a small bit and Shadow saw Angel appear through the crack. Shadow had only met Angel once but that once was enough to know he wasn't fond of the bunny. Shadow felt as if Angel only used Fluttershy as a punching bag and food delivery service. When he'd asked Rainbow about the rabbit she'd brushed off the idea of Angel being so terrible. She said that because Angel had gotten used to Fluttershy's kindness that he was able to be more demanding of her, even knowing she wouldn't give in most of the time. But regardless of his somewhat poor attitude, she had assured Shadow that Angel did in fact care for Fluttershy in return. He simply did not show it very often. Today would be the day Shadow saw first hand the extent of the rabbit's commitment to his caregiver. Angel stepped outside the cottage, motioning Shadow forward and into the house, hopping inside with him as Shadow opened and closed the door. Shadow looked around the cottage and everything seemed to be in place. He began to wonder if Fluttershy opted to clean things when over stressed, which would explain the immaculate state of her home. As Shadow looked around he felt a tugging at his hoof, and saw Angel was the one doing the pulling. He was also pointing frantically toward the stairs, clearly wanting Shadow to head that direction. "Alright," Shadow said softly. He extended a hoof to Angel who quickly hopped up onto Shadow's shoulder and kept his eyes locked on the stairs. Shadow felt an uneasiness at the rabbit's insistence, something wasn't right. Climbing the stairs Shadow opened his mouth to call out for Fluttershy but found a small rabbit paw in his mouth instead. Angel motioned for Shadow to stay quiet. Shadow was unsure if this meant not talking at all or simply not shouting. He opted for the former and continued his ascent. Reaching the top of the stairs Shadow could already hear Fluttershy's faint sobs. She was clearly still mourning her friend. He felt like a heel for not thinking of her sooner but she wasn't the only one who had lost. Shadow cursed himself for trying to defend his neglect of Rainbow's friends. They had never been anything but kind to him. He owed them more than he knew, Fluttershy especially. It had been her words of encouragement that lead Rainbow into Shadow's arms. Rainbow had never told Shadow that, and neither had Fluttershy, but without this meek yellow pegasus, Shadow would've never known the love of his life from any other mare in Ponyville. Pushing Fluttershy's already ajar bedroom door open Shadow paused. If he were to just appear next to her and speak, he would scare her to death. Standing stationary in the doorway, Angel seemed to sense his conundrum and hopped down from his shoulder and toward Fluttershy. As he climbed the bed he motioned Shadow forward, though Shadow did not comply. Sighing, and unhappy that he would have to do the work himself, Angel tapped Fluttershy on the shoulder gently. Barely moving the pegasus looked through her pink hair at the direction of the tap, her normally bright blue eyes looking dreadfully pale. Shadow could trace her vision as she looked to Angel and then noticed him standing in the doorway. She raised her head quickly, still hiding behind her long pink locks, and looked between Shadow and Angel. Angel did the same, looking between Shadow and Fluttershy. He felt his work was done but clearly the ponies were going to be difficult. Angel waved at Shadow and then pointed to a plate of food on Fluttershy's bedside table. Shadow thought Angle meant to say he was hungry and frowned at him but Angel quickly shook his head and pointed to Fluttershy, indicating the food was hers. Shadow felt lost for a moment before the wheels in his head began to turn. Fluttershy had not eaten recently and if it had been long enough to make Angel worry then surely it had been some time. Shadow stepped forward and hesitated. "May I come in, Fluttershy?" Shadow could barely see her nod in the darkness but he crossed the room and sat next to her on the bed. Shadow thought for a long time about his words. He had just yelled at Applejack for worrying about him and now here he was worrying about Fluttershy. He told himself this was different. Where he chose to spend his free time was his choice, Fluttershy not eating was a serious issue. A carrot to the side of Shadow's head broke his concentration. Angel seemed intent on getting her to eat sooner rather than later. Shadow picked up the carrot with his magic and held it out in front of him, "Would you like something to eat?" He could see her shake her head slowly and he felt his heart ache for her. "Do you not want to eat because of what happened to Rainbow Dash?" His question had been intentionally blunt and her reaction showed it had had an impact. Fluttershy perked her head up, her eyes meeting his for the first time since he entered the room. Her voice was nearly inaudible over the sound of the rain hitting the windows, "Ever since Rainbow... Since she... I just haven't been hungry. I don't want to eat." Shadow understood all too well. "I know what you're feeling, but you have to eat. If you don't, we could lose you too, Fluttershy," he placed a hoof on hers to emphasize his point. "You know Rainbow wouldn't want you leaving us because of her." Fluttershy nodded, and Shadow could see her tears already welling up. She reached for the carrot and took a small bite before leaning into Shadow. Sobbing gently against him, they sat in silence, save the rain pounding against the glass. After a time, Shadow finally spoke up. "Fluttershy?" "Hmm?" "I miss Rainbow Dash." "Me too." She sighed deeply. "But you know what?" "Hmm?" "I'm going to make sure I live a rich full life before I see her again. Because if we have eternity to spend with each other then I'll need some stories to tell her." Shadow smiled at his own words. They had been sincere enough, and he hoped to did get to spend an eternity with her. Fluttershy pulled away from Shadow and sat upright on her bed, wiping away a few remaining tears, "I don't have any stories to tell her though. She knows me too well." Shadow stroked her cheek and wiped away a final tear, "That's where your friends come in. Go see them. Make sure you're all still having fun so you can tell Rainbow about it one day. I'm going to keep working so I can tell her about all of my cases." At this point Shadow was only half lying. He would have to keep working so he could keep eating but he expected Rainbow would be watching each one closely. Or so he hoped. Fluttershy's eyes wandered down to the half eaten carrot still in her hoof. She nodded slowly before taking a large bite out of it. "Can I ask you something, 'Shy?" "Mhmm." "Do you keep your house this clean?" He hoped a simple topic would calm her. "Usually, yes. I'm just glad I was able to clean up the mess I made." "What mess? The first floor looked spotless." Fluttershy looked embarrassed by her story, "It's spotless now but.. Last week I got kind of.. Angry." "Why did you get so angry?" "It was the weather." Shadow furrowed his brow. "The weather? But the weather last week was beautiful. We even had a rainbow after one of the quick showers." "That's just it. I saw the nice weather and I saw the rainbow and, all at once, I just got angry. Why would it be so nice out this soon after her death? Why would the weather team make a rainbow when they all know what happened? And I just broke some things." Shadow nodded slightly. He'd lost a good chair and a few potted plants to his own anger. He hadn't expected a similar reaction from Fluttershy but he did understand it. "Can I ask you something, Shadow?" She asked, swallowing the last of her carrot. "Anything." Shadow smiled at her. "What would you do to bring her back?" She asked the question with no hesitation and locked her eyes on his own. Shadow's eyes spoke volumes. They were suddenly large and shifted slightly from Fluttershy to the window being pelted with rain. The question had disturbed him more than he thought because he could almost sense the line of questions that would follow his answer. After steadying his resolve, he spoke. "Anything." "What if it took the rest of your life? "Anything." "What if there was only a slim chance it would work?" "It's a chance I would have to take." "What if you had to kill for it?" "I've killed before." "What if you had to kill me?" This was a question Shadow had not expected, and his gaze locked onto hers once more as he pondered the question. Could he really kill her for Rainbow Dash? He'd killed to protect her before but this was different. True, his own pain would be gone, but he would bring his love back only to have her mourn a similar loss. It wouldn't be fair. But she would have him. And he would have her. That would be the difference. The more he tried to justify it, the more he couldn't. He shook his head at her. "No, I couldn't, Fluttershy." "Why not?" Another simple question Shadow found himself struggling to answer. "I just.. couldn't. I miss Dash but I couldn't do that to you. Or to her." Fluttershy nodded as if that was the answer she had expected to hear. "I think I'd like to be alone now, Shadow." Shadow turned gently toward her on the bed, "Are you sure you're okay?" Fluttershy placed a hoof on Shadow's and smiled the smallest smile she ever had before. "Yes, Shadow. I'll be fine. Because I have friends like you to help me through." Without hesitating she leaned in and kissed him on the cheek, bringing a blush to both their faces. Shadow smiled and patted her hoof gently. "No. You have friends like Twilight and Rarity. I'm just the old fool of a stallion that happens to come by when you really need him." Shadow elicited the faintest of giggles from her and knew she would be fine. Perhaps not immediately, but soon enough, she would be back to her old self.
  8. There comes a point in everyone's life that it all comes to an end. What lies beyond, no one knows. We speculate and guess and have a faith as to what it might be, but no one truly knows. When we reach a point that we would rather speed up our lives to see that side, that is when we become overly reckless. For someone like Shadow, who was overly reckless to begin with, that can lead to some serious issues. Death brings many emotions to the surface. Members of the Royal Guard, arguably, the toughest people in Equestria, can be reduced to a blubbering mess at the loss of a comrade. For some folks it might bring out their true feelings, or lack of feelings. Some are simply sad for a time and then move on, while some never really recover from the loss. When Shadow lost Rainbow Dash he was numb for nearly three months. The initial days were filled with more tears than many expected the hardened detective to have, but in the weeks and months that followed, Shadow seemed like a shadow of his former self. He would drift through town almost always headed to the graveyard to sit with his wife. As if, by some twist of fate, if he didn't go every night, the stone marking her place would too be ripped away from him. Many took notice and wanted to reach out to him. Few knew him well enough to be the one to do the reaching, and fewer still knew how to penetrate the walls he had thrown up since Rainbow's death. On one particular windy and overcast day, Shadow stood at the grave. The wind whipping around him and rustling his hair as he removed his authentic Sherlock Hooves detective hat that Dash had given him for his last birthday. He held the hat in place with one of his hooves, closing his eyes and bowing his head in a symbol of prayer. Shadow, however, did not pray. With the death of his wife at this early age, so too had died his belief in a just and loving God. Instead, he silently played back all the memories he had. Not all of them good times but each one representing a moment in his life that he'd been able to spend with his one love. When he heard the rustling behind him he silently wished that this would be the shadow of Death, come to take him away to wherever his Rainbow was being held. Replacing his hat on his head he turned slowly, hoping to face the face of mortality. Instead he was greeted with a southern pony's sorrowful face. "How long have you been out here, Shadow?" "Not long," he lied. "You know better than to lie to me." Her eyes had an almost pleading quality as they met his own. As if begging him to tell the truth and simply talk to her. "Have you been here every day?" "Not every day," he lied, again. "Stop it, Shadow." All at once, two months of contained anger at people being so worried about him came bubbling to the surface. He'd never needed to be worried about. He was always fine in the end. And since Rainbow had gone, he'd almost constantly received words those thinking about him or keeping him in their prayers. The piece of straw Applejack normally had in her mouth would be the one that broke the camel's back. "What do you want me so say, AJ!? Do you want me to tell you I've been out here all day every day since she was taken from me!? Well, I have! Do you want me to tell you that I'm having a hard time dealing with it!? That's not too hard to see, is it!? Do you want me to tell you I'm okay and that I'm learning to live with it!? Because I'm not! Every single day I wish to trade my life for hers. I hope that it's all just been some crazy joke and she'll come waltzing in the front door laughing. "Every day I wish for that, AJ, and every day it doesn't happen. Every day I'm not with her I lose a piece of myself. I lose some of the light she shed into my dark world. My job might be to live in the shadows but, right now, I live in darkness without her." Shadow sighed deeply; he reveled in being able to finally get it off his chest. Tears he did not think he still had within him stained his cheeks. Slowly he opened his eyes, realizing he'd had them clinched tightly shut and instantly deflated at the sight of Applejack. She stood a half step back from before he had spoken with one leg gently rubbing the other and looking intermittently between the ground and Shadow. Yet she remained silent, as if she were really polite enough to let him continue berating her. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry." Shadow sighed and hung his head, feeling worse now than he had before Applejack arrived. Though he had lost his love and was suffering, he would suffer alone if not for the five friends so entwined with Rainbow's life. "Do.. Do you want me to go?" Her voice was meek, almost matching Fluttershy's normal tone. Shadow brought his head up quickly. Had his words really cut so deeply? He felt his heart sink even lower. "No, AJ. I'm sorry, I really am. I just..." He paused and fought back another wave of tears; he was so tired of crying. "I just don't know what I'm doing anymore. Rainbow really was the light of my world. My name might be Shadow but with her around I lived in perpetual sunlight. And without her.. My world is a much darker place, AJ." Applejack nodded gently. "Ours too, Shadow." Shadow could only stare at her. How selfish he had been to think he was the only one so deeply impacted by Rainbow's passing. They were far better ponies than he for remaining by his side, even in the face of his loathsome behavior, lost loved one or not. A distant rolling thunder broke the silence between them. "Can I walk you home, AJ?" She nodded gently but as Shadow stepped beside her she moved to the head of Rainbow's grave. Kissing her hoof, she brought it to the stone, speaking softly. "Get some rest, girl. When I see you over there, we'll settle who's the fastest, once and for all. Even if it takes an eternity." Shadow said nothing of her actions or words. Only giving her a subtle nod as she rejoined him and they began their trek across town. They walked in a somewhat awkward silence. Shadow felt he had said more than enough for the day and Applejack didn't quite know what to think of his outburst and subsequent apology. Another rumble of thunder, this one a bit closer than the first, broke their silence. "Think we'll make it without getting drenched?" Applejack asked, hoping to feel normal, if only for a few minutes. "We should be fine. Without Rainbow, the weather team moves a lot slower than they used to. I imagine the storm will be behind us the whole way." The mention of Rainbow had hit both of them strangely. Shadow had meant it as a passing comment, it was wholly true statement. He simply hadn’t thought of the impact his words would have on the both of them. For several more blocks their silence returned, until Shadow abruptly asked, "Have you seen Fluttershy lately?" Applejack shook her head slightly. "I haven't seen much of her since the funeral. I should check in on her soon. "You say you should check on her like you're worried. Is there a reason to be worried?" Applejack sighed. "I don't think so, but Fluttershy can be so danged hard to read some days. She's taken Rainbow's passing nearly as poorly as you. Uh.. I mean.." She stumbled over her words, backtracking and trying to spare his feelings. "No offense taken. I'm aware of how I've been dealing with it. Not saying I'm proud of it, but, what's done is done." Shadow had barely even caught the slip. He knew she did not intend it as a strike, merely a comparison. "Sorry. Anyway, she's been just about as scarce as you have. Rainbow was her first friend, after all. They'd known each other a long time and I reckon that Fluttershy misses her almost as much as you, Shadow." Shadow allowed this to sink in as they closed in on the gates of the farm. Perhaps he should be the one to speak to Fluttershy. He didn't know her particularly well, but perhaps they could help each other with this loss. Another rumble, this one not far away and quite loud, brought him back to reality. "Do you want to come inside, Shadow? No sense getting soaked on your way home." Applejack smiled nervously. He could tell she was trying to make a connection. Shadow glanced at the sky. "No thanks. I barely sleep as it is. No reason to keep your family up when you have work to do tomorrow." Applejack's smile faded and she nodded. "Okay," she turned to head to the farmhouse but stopped and turned back, "Hey, Shadow.. Can I..." A mix of pride and nerves kept the question from coming out. "Sure, AJ." Without hesitation, Applejack embraced Shadow. She buried her face in his shoulder and just held tight. Shadow could feel the wet spots forming on his coat and held her for as long as she wished to remain. He didn't mind. Most of the girls hadn't really had time to properly grieve and sought him for answers and counseling, as if he had any answers to give. He certainly wasn't the best person to be mindful of their feelings. The afternoon's events had proven that. "It'll be okay, AJ. We'll be okay." Shadow hoped his words sounded more convincing to her than they did to him. Being 'okay' was a hollow concept to him at this point. He was not okay. He wasn't sure he ever would be. Though her words were muffled he could still understand. "I just can't believe she's gone, Shadow." "Me too." They stood at the entrance to the farm for several long minutes before another rumble of thunder shook them and a few heavy drops of rain began to pepper the ground around them. Applejack sighed against him and broke their embrace. The tears on her face were unmistakable but she didn't care. Shadow would be the last pony to care about tears right now. "Go inside, Applejack. I'm going to go visit Fluttershy before I head home." Shadow silently hoped that would be a good idea but Applejack nodded as he said it. "I think she might appreciate that. She doesn't do well with storms like this anyhow. Take care of yourself, Shadow." "You too." Shadow turned to leave but stopped short, "Tell Apple Bloom I'll give her and the other girls a lesson on being detectives when they feel up to it." He forced himself to smirk for the first time in months. Despite the handful they could be, he liked the Cutie Mark Crusaders and he hated seeing them so saddened by Rainbow's loss. Scootaloo especially. Applejack smiled weakly and nodded. "I think they'd like that." Without another word the two ponies parted ways. Applejack picked up her pace to escape the rain but stopped on the front porch, watching Shadow disappear into the downpour.
  9. Octavia Speed Vector for you viewing pleasure.

  10. My buddy Ezra recently did an Octavia drawing and I jumped on the chance to vector such a classy lady. Here's the finished product and the speed vector video to go along with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haz7vbj7xrc
  11. Harmonic, I've seen you around a lot and I've come to like you here on the forums but that comment sounds really rude. At no point did he ask for help. He seems to just be chronicling his day for those who would want to read or simply venting on an issue. Reading a blog is your choice, so please don't belittle someone's entries if you have nothing nice to say.
  12. I will be your first 110-115. In a Toyota Corolla in I-95 North near Savannah, Georgia. Hit 114 before I was forced to slow down because of cross winds and two semis on either side of me.
  13. Did these three last night. My lingering requests finally filled after month of life kicking the crap out of me. Anyway, everyone I drew these for seemed pretty happy.