Fluttershy nudged open her front gate and held it open. "Don't you worry, Applejack," she said, bumping her friend with her nose as she walked out. "I'm sure Winona will feel much better in the morning. Just give her that medicine and everything will be okay."
Applejack gave her a tight, weary smile and dipped her head in thanks. "Yer the best, Fluttershy. Ah can't thank you enough."
"Now don't you forget to rest, too, Applejack. Big Macintosh doesn't need you getting sick, too," she scolded gently. She softened the light-hearted scolding with a light bump of her nose against Applejack's shoulder and a bright smile.
"Yes, mother," she chuckled, bumping her back. "Take care!" With that, she galloped down the road.
Fluttershy hopped forward onto her front gate and watched her friend go. She was so glad to have moved here, so far away from everything. It was so quiet and peaceful, and no one bothered her if she didn't want them to. Of course, she wanted them to, though she'd never be so bold as to come out and say it. She especially loved it when her friends came to her with problems. It made her feel so strong and useful. Applejack was the one who needed her most, with all the animals living with her on the farm, and Twilight was often up here with Spike, who was an absolute joy to work with. She giggled and hugged herself.
Not that she minded when they came just to visit, either. No no no! She enjoyed their company. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash were a bit harsh on her poor, fragile nerves, true. But she loved them all the same. Rarity was always a treat, because they could talk shop for hours and never get bored, and she didn't mind helping her with even the grossest of the gross chores she had to do. She did have a lot to do, after all.
She sighed and climbed down from the gate. There was one thing, though, that none of them could help with, and it was time to go take care of that one. She pushed her gate open one more time and trotted up to the treeline. "Dear? You can come out now. It's okay." She nosed at a stand of brush that had rustled when she came near. "There's no one here but you and me."
A massive green hand reached out of the brush and curled around Fluttershy's waist. She squeaked as it lifted her, legs and head dangling, and brought her up to an equally massive face. "You silly," she giggled, planting a kiss on the huge face. "You know I could have flown up. You didn't need to lift me."
Broad, flat teeth were bared as a smile split its vaguely simian features. "But Hulk like pick up pony. Pony is so cute." He mushed his thick lips against Fluttershy's face and gave her a sloppy kiss. "Hulk like Fluttershy."
Fluttershy squealed and wiggled her forelegs against Hulk's chin. "Blech! Hulk! What did I tell you about brushing, young man?" She furrowed her brows and harrumphed at the jade giant.
"Hulk sorry! Hulk got hungry and eat toothbrush." He put his hand on his head with a pained look and shrank backward into the forest. "Hulk not mean to."
Fluttershy giggled and stroked his cheek with a hoof. "It's okay, Hulk. I know you didn't mean to." She squirmed forward in his grip and nuzzled at his cheek. "Just remember that you don't eat your toothbrush until after you finish brushing, okay sweetie? Now put me down for a minute."
Hulk nodded and placed her gingerly on the ground. "Yes, Miss Fluttershy."
The little yellow pegasus' wings flared open and shook as she stretched them. "Did you do anything fun today?" she asked as she leaned backward and stretched her forelegs.
"Hulk punched dragon in face. Dragon fall down. It was funny." Hulk sat down and crossed his legs, a giant goofy grin on his giant goofy face. "Hulk say sorry, though. 'Cause Miss Fluttershy is nice, and Miss Fluttershy told Hulk to. Then dragon punch Hulk back and I fall down. It was funny."
She sighed as she climbed up into The Hulk's lap and turned slowly in a circle. "You shouldn't punch people, Hulk. You know it's not nice, even if you say sorry." She yawned widely and settled down in the makeshift nest Hulk's thighs made. "Oh! Excuse me." Her forehooves kneaded Hulk's calves as she laid her head down. "You should only punch people if they deserve it, or are trying to attack you." She looked up at him with one eye. "Do you understand, Hulk? No fighting unless someone bad is trying to fight you first."
Hulk heaved a gusty sigh and rolled his eyes. "Yes, Miss Fluttershy
" he said with petulant resignation. "No fighting."
Fluttershy closed her eyes and smiled, legs wriggling as she tucked them under herself. "Thank you, Hulk. You're such a good boy."
Hulk rumbled and looked away, embarrassed.
The sun sank slowly below the horizon, bathing the two in its soft, ruddy glow. Hulk's hand moved carefully along Fluttershy's back, gently petting the tiny pegasus. Every so often, he'd slide a finger up to stroke her cheek or run through her silky mane. The two sat in companionable silence as the last rays of the sun began to disappear, leaving only a few fluffy clouds reflecting its light back onto the world.
"Miss Fluttershy? Why you no take me to meet friends?" Hulk asked as the light faded from the clouds and twilight set in.
"Oh, Hulk. They just aren't ready for you," murmured Fluttershy. "You are very big, and a little scary. Soon, though." She yawned. "You'll get to meet them soon."
Hulk frowned and rubbed the back of his friend's neck with a calloused knuckle. "But, Fluttershy not scared of Hulk."
Fluttershy let out a pleased little murmur as she arched her neck into his finger. "Because I know you're not a bad person, Hulk. I know you're very sweet under all that anger and bluster you put up." She opened an eye and fixed him with a sad smile. "You're like me, in a way. You say you want to be left alone, but you really want friends." She yawned again and buried her nose in Hulk's hand, eyes falling shut.
Hulk sniffed and scrubbed a tear away from his eye. "Hulk love you, Fluttershy."
"I love you, too, Hulk," she cooed muzzily before sleep finally took her. Soft snores buzzed in her nose, and her sides rose and fell in a slow rhythm, only breaking it when she shifted position to wriggle deeper into her friend's lap.
Hulk leaned backward against the tree behind him and watched the moon come up through half-lidded eyes. "Hulk