Once more Fluttershy is on her back looking up at Applejack. But this time, the two of them are by themselves and they have none of Twilight's magic: only their own.
They're out in the morning sun in a secluded patch of the farm. They have soft grass, tall shrubs for dappled shade, and no nearby apple trees to bring someone with tasks.
Fluttershy turns her head from one side to the other to see the reassuring spread of her own wings on the grass.
"Discord," she begins, her voice even quieter than usual on the name. "He took them away. Made them disappear." She doesn't say aloud how awful that was.
"I know, sugarcube," Applejack reminds her in her gentling tone. "I was there too. Was before we got all split up and none of us noticin' each other right."
Fluttershy nods once, feeling the memories crowding in of all of them wrong and greyed and not in harmony. How terribly she acted toward her friends.
"All of us back to right in the end," Applejack reminds her. "Even Rainbow Dash, and what a chase that was."
She touches her nose to Fluttershy's nearer ear. "You know you could have surprised her on that cloud? Not woke her up and warned her with asking about holding her down."
Fluttershy's answer is quiet but stubborn. "Someone's supposed to ask every time what's okay."
"Might get to skip that step when we're saving Equestria," Applejack says. "Could be that's enough reason to not go asking."
Fluttershy shakes her head, then peeks at Applejack through her disordered pink mane. "You always ask. Even when you've got a reason."
Applejack doesn't reply to that right away. Instead, she moves, almost kneeling; the joint of her foreleg presses down just a little on one of Fluttershy's wings. Putting weight, not pain, but Fluttershy can imagine how that would hurt if Applejack truly makes herself heavy. The idea has her trembling a little.
Applejack says, "I've got a reason this time. Asking—"
"It's okay if you remind me," Fluttershy interrupts in a rushed whisper before she can think too much of the dark and chaos and fear.
Because this is in the light and a pattern they form and Applejack gives her a place to be scared with love.