My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
Healing Ponies POV Series Second Family
By every right, Trixie should have had headed straight back to Hoofington after Twilight had cured her. But Trixie was hesitant.
Trixie had to spend some time exercising inside Twilight's library to rebuild her muscles after being little more than a lump for the better part of a month. Then Twilight insisted she did so outside. Trixie then asked (not demanded, asked ) that Twilight please (she said -please-) that she be allowed to continue her self-therapy inside until she was introduced to the other bearers of Harmony.
And on TOP of that, with Trixie's memories repaired, Trixie was still trying to figure out the nuances of who the New Trixie was and wanted to be sure before going back to her family. Though she had sent a letter to them that she was now finally well, Trixie just hoped she recovered and was back home before her family arrived in Ponyville like a horde.
Trixie hadn't seen what had happened to her brothers or parents, but when Discord came to Hoofington he had turned her sisters into Merry-Go-Round ponies and dropped the unresponsive Trixie on Pixie. Half her sisters mentally reduced to delusional happy toys, and the other two fully sane and aware of their predicament. Discord had enjoyed half a ride on Mixie before wandering off bored again. Her sisters had hotly contested on who had it worse afterwards.
And Trixie felt the alien emotion of -guilt- for not being able to help them through their own recovery.
Trixie however found Twilight was there every step of the way to help her, and Twilight WOULDN'T take 'no' for an answer.
'I promised Zecora I'd help you see in the light once I led you out of the darkness Trixie and I keep my promises.' Twilight thought.
Twilight wasn't sure how to explain it, but by freeing Trixie, Twilight somehow felt she had been freed herself.
Twilight knew the best social teacher was experience, and was warming up Trixie to meet the others for the first time since she was cured of Discord's taint.
Twilight never thought the time would come where she was having light conversation with Trixie over tea!
Twilight wisely decided not to tell Trixie that while Trixie was catatonic the Cutie Mark Crusaders had taken photos of her and written (among many other hurtful stories) several fictional 'secrets' about the showmare, 'The Great And Power Trixie's Secrets Revealed' which climaxed in Twilight putting up a Cutie Mark Crusader sensitive force field to keep them out until they redeemed themselves (with a heartfelt apology letter). Given that pain was water under the bridge, Twilight decided there was no reason to tell Trixie, yet.
The conversation wandered from topic to topic, until Twilight ended up talking about the events that had happened soon after Discord's defeat last month.
Trixie nearly dropped her tea. "And you used a GEASS to make the entire town fall in love with your doll?!"
"I just meant it to happen to three little innocent fillies who I was then going to remove the spell right after..."
Trixie smiled slyly. "Maybe the One and Only Trixie should consider this sweet blackmail material."
Twilight said plainly. "Trixie. I was inside your head. I saw every last trauma and embarrassing secret in there."
"Princess Star Flower."
Trixie sighed and shrugged. "Fine. Fine. I thought you didn't care for mental magic."
"I don't CARE for it, but Celestia wanted me to have a well rounded education."
"Well the one and only Trixie can appreciate that. I... kinda sorta did the same thing once."
"... Oh sweet Celestia, please tell me you DIDN'T use the spell on yourself during one of your shows."
"Of course not... I tried to use it when I was a filly at the Mage Unicorn Academy except I didn't bother to read the counter spell... so after I was nearly buried in new admirers I had to hide in my locker until school let out and sneak back to the library for the counter spell."
"How did you manage to cast a spell like that as a filly?"
"Er, Trixie did no so much learn that spell yet so much as 'borrow' it. That... 'incident' made me want to be popular on my own... and nearly got me expelled. But my councilor argued I had been punished enough by the incident itself. The incident also left me with a rather unique impression of friendship."
"You mean the wrong impression."
"The one and only Trixie will say nothing. So, after that, the others decided you really DID need therapy like the rest of them?"
"Hehehh, maybe seeing all of Ponyville reduced to utter madness and chaos DID cause my fixation on having everything planned out and orderly to grow out of proportion a -tiny- bit."
"Tiny?" Spike said deadpan. "Twilight, you were making schedules on when to scratch your nose."
Twilight blushed. "Erm, well, come on Trixie, we don't want to be late. Spike you know the drill, watch the library."
"Yeah yeah I know. Spike gets stuck at home again with the owl."
"Oh you go back to sleep!"
"Never once has the One and Only Trixie been -hesitant- to be before an audience." 'Well, other than that incident when I was five.'
"Don't worry, this audience is going to be -very- forgiving. Trixie, you're one of us."
"Please don't say that Twilight."
"I -mean- you're part of something greater than yourself. Support from others makes you stronger Trixie, not weaker. Trust me, it took me forever to realize that lesson."
"Fine, let's go." Trixie said, still feeling like she was going before the Inquisition.
"SCOOTALOO! Get your junk out of the living room right now!"
"It's not junk! And I thought it was our living room!"
"It's my house, that makes it my living room, and it's not where it belongs and that makes it junk!"
"I thought you said this was my home now too."
"I said home, not garbage dump!"
"Like this place was clean when I came here anyway!"
"Don't talk back to me, you little filly!"
"You're not my mom!"
"No I'm not! But I'm the one looking after you so that's the closest thing you've got!"
"Maybe I don't want that!"
"There's the door! Oh right! I'd need to carry you down cause YOU-CAN'T-FLY."
Scootaloo's lips quivered her eyes glistening. Her underdeveloped wings folding tight against her.
Rainbow Dash looked at her charge in dismay. "Scoots, I didn't mean, I didn't-" Rainbow Dash tried pathetically to think of what to say.
Sniffing and turning red eyed, Scoots began to robotically pick the items she had scattered about the cloud home's living space.
"Scoots I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that."
The smaller pegasus looked at her sadly and forlornly. "Are you going to send me to the Rainbow Factory and put me in the Pegasus Machine?"
Rainbow Dash stared for one second before going, "WHAT-?!"
"That's what grown-ups do with bad fillies who can't fly right? They're put in the pegasus machine and turned into stuff for rainbows right?"
Rainbow Dash slapped her own forehead. "For the love of Celestia. Scoots, I'm going to tell you a secret that most fillies don't find out till they're older." She lowered herself to be on level with her and put a hoof on her shoulder gently. Then she shouted intensely. "THERE IS NO PEGASUS MACHINE! That's a myth! It's a story adults tell little fillies who won't behave! It's a ponytale like-" Rainbow was about to say Nightmare Moon before remembering that was particular ponytale had turned out to be real.
"-like there are Earth ponies who think we Pegasi can carry ponies back from the land of the dead! It's not real. THINK! Scoots! I know it's not something either of us are that good at but come on! There are how many rainbows made every day all over Equestria? And how many fillies are there? And now many final examine failures are there at flight school-? We'd have wiped out our own population by now! Besides ... if that was all true ... -I'D- be rainbow goop right now!"
Scootaloo stared unbelieving her tears dried up. "What? YOU failed flight school?"
"Failed? I was thrown out on my butt! For breaking pretty much every rule they had! I met a dear friend of mine that way actually. But the point is Scoots... no one's going to kill you or turn you into rainbow colored gunk because you can't fly. And besides ... "
"They'd have to get through me!" Rainbow Dash hugged her. She wiped some remaining tears away and said, "Now let's get you down to your friends, I'm sure they're waiting for you and I've got friends waiting for me too."
Scoots just smiled and hugged her back.
After a short unexplained relapse, the doctors had finally declared Cheerilee healthy enough to begin teaching again (though they insisted she continue to visit them once a week). Which meant school was finally back on for real.
The CMC had amazingly not gotten much hunting for their cutie mark done that month. Applebloom had been working through her nightmares, Sweetie Belle had been slowly learning how to look at dolls without screaming bloody murder, and Scoots had been working through her own grief. But Applebloom and Sweetie had proven very accepting of her 'running away' during the time of Discord.
There was however one project they had been united in their goal.
Silver Spoon had been spending a lot of time away from home. A lot. It was like she was scared of her own, no, she WAS scared of her own family!
"Come here dearie! Let papa make you a nice pretty trophy! You'll look great on the wall! And you'll never need to worry about loosing your looks like honey has! And think of all the weight you'll lose! Now just stand still for papa!" Silver Spoon screamed as her father brought down their ancestral weapon on top of her splitting the couch she had been cowering on two!
"Hey Spoony you okay?" Silver Spoon realized she had been screaming in real life again.
"I-I'm fine!" Her face burned. "You... you, blanks."
"You know there's school today?" Sweetie Belle asked, being the closest thing to a fellow high class pony for Silver.
"And you're going to be late if you just keep sitting on this park bench for the rest of the day."
"And what do a bunch of blanks like you care?"
"Because you're hurt." Applebloom said.
"DO I LOOK HURT TO YOU?" Silver snarled.
Applebloom looked at Silver Spoon. The way Silver's hooves always shook, the way she never stopped looking over her shoulder, the way she couldn't look at her name sake without breaking into a cold sweat.
"... yup." Applebloom said, having the eye for detail that Scoots and Sweetie lacked.
"Well I'm not!" Silver snapped back. It wasn't fair! Diamond Tiara was always there for her, to tell her what to do, what to feel, where to go, who to be with. She was the only guiding light for Silver Spoon, compared to a father who treated her like a business investment and a mother who told her how she was going to be an ugly nag one day so she had better become as educated as possible and score a husband before that happened.
"Yer lyin'." Applebloom said without a trace of loathing or condescending. The sweetness of seeing one of the two schoolyard bullies who had taunted her reduced to this mess before them had long since turned sour. The sense of 'what goes around comes around' had long ago worn off replaced with a horrid sense of 'wrongness' at seeing this spoiled anti-social filly scared of her own shadow and biting at everything and everyone.
"What does a blank know? Nothing!"
"Miss Cheerilee isn't going to be happy about you ditching school."
"MY FAMILY HAS MONEY! SO WHAT DO I CARE? I CAN -BUY- MY WAY THROUGH GRADUATING! That's all I am right-!? Having privileges is all that makes me special!" Silver said through clenched teeth.
The CMC turned their backs to her. And said lowly to each other. "One, two, THREE-!" And tackled her at once.
Silver struggled like a mad pony, but they brought her to the class room on time.
"Guess we're not Cutie Mark Crusader Truant Officers." Scootaloo said off handedly looking at their flanks.
"Scoots? Be quiet." Applebloom said in a tone that was more sad than agitated.
A few minutes later Sweetie Belle looked at Silver Spoon who smoldered in her seat. She stayed in there for only about five minutes until Cheerilee told her to spend the day with one of the school councilors instead.
But Sweetie Belle couldn't help but think. 'That's the longest conversation we've ever had with her.' Before she had ignored them or just snarled at them.
With all the drama, it only later occurred to the CMC that Diamond Tiara wasn't in class.
Mr. And Mrs. Cake were still not sure whether their foster child had been replaced by an imperfect alien clone or not.
She wasn't making a pig out of herself on custom orders that then had to be redone. She was working the register without breaking into long discussions with customers making everything else wait in line three times as long. Her cooking experiments while still outlandish weren't a mortal danger to their oven or the store in general (like the popcorn pie incident that had required a new oven and Pinkie banned from the kitchen for six months). Writing letters to her biological family when before she'd change the subject the moment they were -mentioned-. And she was even HELPING WITH THE BOOKS and making it easier to work with rather than making it more a jumbled mess!
And on a weird note, her musical numbers had a more reserve beat to them.
But what scared them and made them feel ashamed was the thought that maybe they hoped the aliens didn't return the real Pinkie Pie!
But Pinkie Diane Pie (as she was putting down on her signatures now) would just smile and say. "Don't worry. I'm still me. Like I said, this is just all of me. Besides this a fantasy setting, not science fiction! And people who try to turn every fantasy setting into a science fiction setting are big meanie heads!"
And with those words, they were fully reassured that this was indeed their Pinkie Pie.
The culinary abominations they had produced under Discord's influence had long since been thrown in the garbage, and the loving couple had excused each other for what they had done and tried to do to each another while under Discord's taint. In short, they were ready to resume their normal, relatively sane lives (as much as one could with Pinkie Pie). Let their daughter and her friends save the world like they were so good at.
Cup Cake and Carrot Cake were perfectly happy to live their lives in relative peace again.
"You see Trixie? Nopony's staring at you, nopony's laughing at you." Twilight said reassuringly. The pair trotting from the library to Sugarcube Corner.
Truth was, Twilight had been scared of a very different reaction when she first brought Trixie here. This was a relief to Twilight.
"It's... very weird. I -like- being noticed but... this is the one town in Equestria that I prefer not to be." Trixie said looking down.
"Well maybe it's about time you stop -saying- that you don't care what total strangers think and actually start doing it."
"Maybe you're right." Trixie said in a calm thoughtful voice.
Then she bumped right into two unicorn colts.
They stared at her. She stared at them. Trixie's eyes turn into little lightning bolts.
"YOU!" She hissed.
The two colts nearly soiled themselves.
"YOU RUINED MY LIFE!" She snarled. She was attracting attention now.
"We're sorry!" Snips and Snails echoed falling on their knees at once covering their heads.
"DO YOU HAVE -ANY- IDEA WHAT I WENT THROUGH BECAUSE OF YOU?! DO YOU?!" Trixie's aura was practically crackling with electricity now.
"TRIXIE!" Twilight said getting in her face.
"GET OUT OF MY WAY TWILIGHT!"
"Their parents already punished them Trixie! Who told a lie about defeating an Ursa Major? Who made it like it was fact rather than just a story?"
Like a switch had been pulled, Trixie's aura died down and the lightning vanished from her eyes. "To the moon." Trixie cursed in a low sullen voice.
Snips and Snails had taken the opportunity to flee.
"Come on Trixie, let's go or we're going to be late." Twilight said in a stern tone and trotted ahead.
"Twilight I..." Trixie began apologetically but couldn't find the right words to finish. She galloped to catch up. "I'm sorry."
AJ's family could agree on one thing that had changed about her since that visit with Celestia: it was post Applebuck season all over again. AJ was acting humble but enlightened to her family and a lot less stubborn to accept help.
But the stranger thing was when some ponies looked her in the her eyes they got downright uncomfortable and there was solemnness about her almost at those times.
And AJ was honest with herself enough to realize she had changed. Curiosity eventually got the better of her, and with her new privilege of being able to send letters to the Princess since the 'Smarty Pants' fiasco she sent a letter asking what would have happened if she had continued to look into the Truth after Applebloom had stopped her.
The letter she got didn't have the sun engraving seal but the moon. What? All the same, AJ read it in the privacy of her room.
'Dear Abigail Jacqueline The Fifth of the Fifth Line,
I have chosen to answer this letter in my sister's stead. Having had my own experiences with the Well of Forever, I can give you a fair extrapolation of what would have happened if you had continued to look into The Truth past where your little sister saved you.
You would have gained the power of precognition able to foretell the outcome of events even before they happened and even behold the outcome of alternate choices if you wished it.
But instead of just resting for one evening at the castle, returning that night, and spending the next day helping others, you would have spent ten years in a healing coma as your psyche and brain adjusted to this new power. Completely missing your little sister's foalhood and your brother would have had to take up the Element of Honesty in your stead in the meantime. Leaving your sister overworked and your grandmother would have died early from the extra workload.
As for what you would have beheld. Allow me to take some educated guesses.
You would have beheld the time when Equestria was joined to another world via the edge of the arches of rainbows. Not that it was called Equestria yet of course. This other world was thoroughly infested by great evils. But in spite of this, or perhaps because of this, this other world was also the greatest source of hope and belief in existence from the light that shined all the brighter in the darkness. Connected to this other world, the land that would become Equestria enjoyed a golden age.
Then you would have beheld the advent of Discord upon this utterly innocent world that had quashed all of it's own evils decades before.
You would have beheld Discord crush what was known at the time as the Rainbow of Light into six familiar pieces in his bare claw.
You'd have witness the unicorn Mimic, the most powerful mortal pony to ever live in her day and for many after, try to fight Discord single hoofedly. You ever seen a unicorn use high power magic with a broken horn? You would have. And you'd have witnessed the only mortal pony to ever injure Discord and learned the real reason he's missing one tooth. Trust me, that image IS real sweet, nothing beats seeing a golden horseshoe to Discord's face. A hundred times, at the speed of sound. And her VERY brutal death afterwards when Discord realized his 'beautiful' face had been 'ruined' involving her being slammed into the ground at near Sonic Rainboom speeds repeatedly after Discord had turned her bones to glass. Then vaporizing her body so she couldn't be given last rites.'
AJ noticed the part of the letter she just read had tear stains.
'Maybe you would have beheld one of the many, many timelines where madness claimed one or more of your friends or those you love forever. Oh yes Applejack, you would have beheld all of this! Just think! You could have seen all this! Aren't you disappointed your little sister saved your stubborn flanks when she did?
Her Nightjesty of Dreams And Nightmares Princess Luna Nyx Selena Equestria
P.S. I apologize for my sister's lack of tact Applejack. But she felt that, with your having been touched by Truth that you would be able to handle it. It is her way of showing that she has faith in you and the other Elements of Harmony. Though my link to the Elements is gone, they were able to send me the simple message that most of your have now found true freedom, and I have faith that the rest of you shall as well. Stay true to yourself and see that your friends do not fear the truth either Applejack, Element of Honesty.
Her Majesty of Life and Flames Princess Celestia Amaterasu Solaris Equestria.'
AJ silently put the letter in a drawer and locked it. "I promise princess... I promise." She then realized what time it was. "Oh horse apples gonna be late!"
Pinkie Pie was there first of course, since she -lived- there, followed by the super fast yet lazy Rainbow Dash! Fluttershy fluttered in next and politely greeted her friends. AJ galloped in huffing and was very surprised to find she wasn't the last one there.
Rainbow Dash was shocked at who walked in with Twilight Sparkle.
"What are YOU doing here-?!"
In a surprising calm and even voice the blue unicorn replied. "Twilight Sparkle said that for my recovery therapy it was best if I met all of you for real this time."
Pinkie Pie just hopped over to her as Fluttershy hovered next to the blue unicorn (she sure had been using her wings more since the ordeal with Discord).
"Hello hello! Twilight said she was bringing over her patient! So are you her patient? My name is Pinkie Diane Pie! Nice to meet you! Who are you? Are you friends with Rainbow Dash? She sure seems to know who you are!"
Thinking over the deceptively deep question in her head, she at last replied. "I'm Trixie. And... we met once."
"I'm Fluttershy, nice to meet you-"
"Yes I know her! She's that sham magician who nearly destroyed Ponyville with her stupid boasting and made me, AJ and Rarity look like fools! Twilight why'd you bring HER back to Ponyville?"
Pinkie and Fluttershy looked at each other surprised. This was the terrible and hateful Trixie? She looked so... so normal.
AJ said it first. "Because Discord HURT HER Sugar cube. Twilight brought her back to Ponyville to HELP HER. She's been grayed out since Discord was let loose like we were! Twilight only got her back to herself the end of last week!"
"You KNEW she was here?"
"Me and Rarity and Spike," AJ said firmly.
Rainbow Dash said flatly. "What?" Then crossed her arms. "Discord made her humble, helpful, polite, nice to other ponies and completely honest?"
"Try mindlessly robotic!" Twilight spoke first in a harsh tone. "And Rainbow, Trixie did do some bullying when she last came to Ponyville. But those are over and done with! I brought her here to MAKE FRIENDS. You know? Like you were all so eager to do with me!"
"You didn't treat us like... do-bad-things-to-to-make-the-audience-laugh-ponies!"
"Your mental thesaurus is awe inspiring." Trixie said the words jumping out of her mouth before she could catch them. RD was ready to charge.
Rainbow Dash started, "Did... did Trixie just say sorry?"
"Yes. 'Trixie' just said sorry. Happy?" Trixie said, for once her third person narrative sounded strangely ironic.
Twilight skidded between the two. "Rainbow Dash! Trixie! Harmony! Friendship! Remember those things? Or do I need to start casting memory spells again? Rainbow! As her healer, I can tell you that Trixie was hurting -badly- even before Discord hurt her. But the infection is out now and she's begun to heal! And I told her that since she has to spend a few days to get her strength back before going back to Hoofington to her family that she should make some friends! It's doctor's orders!"
"... you have a family?"
"Yes I have a family! Does the fact I was born and not made really feel that alien?"
Fluttershy shifted, her body language became tense, she gritted her teeth but everyone was focused on the two blue ponies.
"Then go back to them where you're WANTED!"
"I WANT HER HERE!" Twilight's voice echoed off the walls.
Rainbow Dash floated back down onto her haunches, just now realizing she had been flapping her wings so she could be looking down on Trixie.
"Rainbow, I can appreciate you being loyal to your friends! But Rarity and AJ have already forgiven her! How about your prove your loyalty and do the same?"
"Fine." RD turned her head away her nose up for a moment before looking back at Trixie and put out a hoof. "If the rest of the crew wants to give you a second chance I won't stand in the way. But I have my eye on you."
Trixie took the hoof and shook it.
"You have no idea how much that pleases the one and only Trixie."
"Welcome her to the club girls!" Twilight declared.
Pinkie Pie shook Trixie's hoof at once. "Welcome to the Friends Club! Please enjoy your stay! Once a part, you're a member -forever!-"
Twilight stared, that had sounded... welcoming rather than traumatizing!
"Welcome Trixie." Fluttershy said smiling happy. Then her eyes turn sly and a smirk flashed across her face for about two seconds. "I like your style." Fluttershy said lowly before the innocent happy face returned.
Trixie did her best not to blink at that, knowing some people had a near pathological adverse reaction to that sort of thing.
AJ just trotted up to Trixie and shook her hoof. "Glad to see you out of that fog, girl. A lot ponies never find their way out."
Trixie just politely accepted the odd metaphor which surprised Twilight greatly, and Trixie a little.
Pinkie Pie looked around and declared the obvious. "Hey guys! We're one Element of Harmony short! Where's Rarity?"
"It's not like Rarity to be this late." Fluttershy said concerned.
"Speaking of Elements guys-" Twilight began but then Trixie quickly shook her head. Twilight stopped but then spoke to Trixie.
"Trixie, I think that if something were to happen to me I think it would be best if your resources were to be known before hand to the others since if I -was- out of commission I don't think you'd have time to explain things or for everypony to get over the surprise."
"The... One and Only Trixie doesn't want to be known as simply an understudy of even the greatest of individuals. No offense Twilight."
"Trixie this isn't about you. It's about all of us... if you -really- want to make friends, then one of the things you need above everything is-"
"-Trust." Twilight finished.
"HEY!" Pinkie Pie snapped, "That isn't one of the Element of Harmony! That's cheating!"
"I wasn't playing a game Pinkie. Trixie. Listen. I've SEEN how badly being a 'you' means to you, it HURTS when you feel that you've been categorized or put into a mold."
Trixie sat down and looked defiantly. "If your friends think I'm worth something because of something I was apparently born with, then how's that different from a unicorn with a earth pony father being considered inferior?"
"Because this wasn't something you were -born- with Trixie. No more than your cutie mark, and it wasn't determined when you were born anymore than your cutie mark! It came into being because for a precious moment early on you embraced it. Like I did with Spike early on."
"Can someone PLEASE let us in on the conversation already?" Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash said irritated. Everyone looked at her, Fluttershy blushed and covered her mouth like she was worried what else might come out. Rainbow Dash shook her head realizing she and Fluttershy had echoed each other on something. That was just weird.
"Look Twilight. You said as my healer you wouldn't reveal anything you learned about me right? Well that was something you learned!"
Pinkie spoke up raising a hoof. "She has a point Twilight. Unless Ponyville is going to explode twice or something because you don't tell us or anything then you should keep your promise not to say anything and just let Trixie tell us whatever it is when she feels ready, if ever."
Twilight's head hurt still hearing reasonable logic coming out of Pinkie Pie's mouth but sighed. "Okay. I promise I won't tell anyone. But Trixie. If something bad happens and you're around and can do something, I want you to pitch in. In -any- way you can. It's nice to see you want be modest, er, that is, in your own unique special way of course, but if you have a gift to help others. Use it when it's needed."
Trixie let out some unnatural hybrid of a grunt and sigh and replied lowly. "Fine. You have my word."
Rainbow Dash had to have her say. "Uh Twilight, no offense, but I don't see how Trixie-"
"Greetings and salutations! Sorry I am late! I had a slight mishap at the shop yesterday but I hope I didn't keep you all waiting. I didn't want to miss Trixie's debutant."
Everyone looked and saw Rarity in the door to Sugarcube corner, she trotted in, but with a limp.
"Rarity! What happened?" AJ asked her friend.
Rarity looked at AJ, and spoke slowly, choosing her words carefully. "There was a very sad happening at the shop yesterday where I got stabbed by one of my own shears... terrible business really. I have no idea why it happened. Mades no sense really. But misunderstandings and accidents both happen."
AJ leaned in closer, staring deeper. That was when Rarity put on a pair of dark reflective sunglasses, instantly cutting off AJ's vision. "HEY!"
"My word." Rarity said theatrically and looked around in a over the top manner. "Is it a little bright in here?"
"I don't think so." Pinkie Pie said rather perplexed. "Oh I get it!" She laughed like she had already gotten it before her first response. She zoomed off camera and zoomed back on, now wearing her joker glasses. "Hey Applejack! Rainbow Dash is Princess Celestia's illegitimate daughter! Ditzy Doo is an amnesiac secret agent! Rarity's a vampire! All of Princess Celestia's beauty is in her armor! Our entire universe is the forth iteration of a half-hour toy commercial!"
"TAKE THOSE DANG THINGS OFF!" AJ said swiping Pinkie Pie's sunglass. "Ah swear if these things become the new fashion trend in Ponyville Ah'm bucking some flanks!"
"First law of showmareship, dear." Trixie said surprisingly relaxed around the pony whom she had utterly ruined the mane of before. "Never draw attention to the part of the trick you don't want the audience to notice. If it catches their attention, just move on before they see what you don't want them to."
"I'll... keep that in mind." Rarity blushed.
"Now take off the sunglasses Rarity." AJ said simply.
"No." Rarity said as firmly and uncompromisingly as if she had been asked to wear a saddle in public with clashing colors. She then looked at Trixie. "My dear. I deeply apologize for that display. After all, this is supposed to be YOUR party! Allow myself to introduce myself proper since we didn't when you were ill. Madam Rarity Belle, owner, proprietor, and manager of Carousel Boutique."
"The... I'm The One And Only Trixie. It's nice to meet you." Trixie said feeling rather awkward all things considered. Since when did SHE mind being the center of attention? Maybe it was cause nothing here was rehearsed like one of her shows. "Wait. Did you say party?"
Pinkie Pie pulled a cord, confetti blew everywhere and a 'congratulations' banner came down and music began to blare.
"Pinkie." Fluttershy warned.
"I PROMISE this party only lasts until our guest of honor leaves! Not three weeks this time!"
Trixie felt even more unsure... since when did she have a party for anything other than her birthday with her family: which she always managed and organized totally herself anyways.
"Oh cute, she's blushing!" Pinkie Diane Pie declared nuzzling her.
Trixie finally took in her surroundings. Pastries and treats. Music. A place rented out. Decorations carefully hidden to be sprung with a snap. And the pink pony -nuzzled- her... when... when was the last time anyone outside her family had ever done that for her? When... when was the last anyone outside Hoofington noticed her when she wasn't putting on her show, going full blast getting everypony's attention with the most eye catching garb and most over the top tales of impossible accomplishments? When was the last time?
Pinkie Pie took a step back asked in a pure apologetic tone. "Oh I'm sorry. Did you accidentally eat one of my hot sauce cupcakes?"
Trixie wondered what she was talking about, then noticed her vision was a little blurry. What? She held a hoof to her face. She was ... crying?
"No Pinkie Pie," Twilight said smiling. "This time you got it right."
Trixie couldn't remember when she had ever danced before, or what the big deal was. But somehow, at one moment or another, she finally let herself loose, and for a few precious moment she just didn't care what others thought of her for real rather than simply saying so.
Trixie still didn't know how to explain it, but she was sure she had some heavy weights she didn't even know she was carrying removed when Twilight had helped her escape the lifeless badlands that were her heart.
All Trixie knew, was that she had never felt so free.
"Karaoke!" Pinkie Pie's voice ran out and she grabbed Trixie and brought her over to some infernal contraption that looked like it had no business existing in the same time space continuum as Equestria.
"Pinkie Pie! What in tarnation is that!"
"Just something I got off of E-bray! Here ya go everybody! Don't worry the lyrics are color coded!"
"Huh?" Rainbow Dash spoke what they all thought. Pinkie Pie handed, shoved, or placed a small mike in each of their hooves.
"I think I saw one of these in one of Canterlot's research and development rooms," Twilight Sparkle said unsure.
"Just go with it! I had no idea what our guest of honors colors were gonna be so I just went with silver! Guess that works out huh?" Pinkie Pie lightly patted Trixie's silver mane. Trixie struggled against reacting negatively to the touch, her euphoria still running high.
Pinkie Pie flipped a switch on the bizarre machine and music began to play from it as words began to slowly scroll across a screen.
"Oh I know this one!" Fluttershy declared out-going for once.
"Not this one! It's the unofficially extended remix fan-made version using the song from the plushie! Took forever to get it in pitch with the rest of the song."
No one had a clue what she meant but the beautifully uplift introductory bars ran their course. 'In for a bit, in for a crown.' Twilight thought and sang.
My Little Pony, My Little Pony
Ahh ahh ahh ahhh...
Then the lyrics took a turn Fluttershy didn't recognize and Trixie found herself up to bat!
When I was young I was too busy to make any friends.
Such silliness did not seem worth the effort it expends.
But my little ponies, you opened up my eyes
And now the truth is crystal clear, like splendid summer skies.
And it's such a wonderful surprise.
(My Little Pony)
I used to wonder what friendship could be.
Then the lyrics flash both silver and purple and Trixie and Twilight sang together!
(My Little Pony)
Until you all shared its magic with me.
Rainbow colors. Big adventure
Bright pink. Tons of fun
White with sparkles. A beautiful heart
Bright Orange. Faithful and strong
Faded yellow with butterflies. Sharing kindness,
Purple again. It's an easy feat
And once again purple and silver.
It's an easy feat
And magic makes it all complete
You have My Little Ponies
Do you know you're all my very best friends?
Trixie felt a warmth wash over her with a slight tingle and a fullness in her chest. Was this some sort of enchantment?
Trixie looked down and saw a tiny flicker of blue light where her heart was and quickly covered it.
Pinkie Pie however broke out the streamers and cheered. "WHOO-HOO! THAT WAS FUN!"
She was joined by five, and eventually six nods.
"That was great Pinkie Pie, and me and AJ don't even LIKE singing!" Rainbow Dash praised.
"Thank you! Thank you!" Pinkie Pie grinned.
Someone was the center of attention other than Trixie. And... Trixie didn't feel the urge to trip her up with her own incomprehensible junk heap? Wha?
'I guess the Great and Powerful Trixie really is dead.' Trixie thought. 'But then who is the One and Only Trixie? I don't think I know yet.'
Trixie reached for a can of peanut brittle. Twilight's eye widened and forgetting her telekinesis flying tackled it out of Trixie's hooves.
"Wha? Huh?" Trixie said her brain not figuring out what was going on.
"Uh. Pinkie Pie." Twilight said as politely as she could not looking right at Trixie yet.
"Can you please add Trixie to your 'do not prank' list next to Fluttershy? She's... kinda sensitive right now."
"PRANK-?!" Trixie snapped every last one of her emotional defenses began to rise from their graves.
Twilight knew it was time to play peacekeeper before this turned into Gilda's Party Part Two. She looked right at the blue unicorn. "Trixie. When Pinkie pranks someone, she's not doing it to laugh AT them, she doing it so that person can laugh WITH her."
"That makes no sense." Trixie said completely lost.
Twilight's own brain struggled on how to translate this into terms Trixie would understand. "Trixie, what a stranger does to you, and what a friend does to you, are not the same thing even when they're the same action. A hug from your mother isn't the same as a hug from... er, one of your sisters right?"
Trixie dauntlessly search her heart before digging up an answer in an archeological site of the ancient past. "No. It isn't."
"It's the same with Pinkie and her pranks! As her friends we know she means well and doesn't mean any harm. So we know not to be offended."
"And what if someone pranked you?" Trixie said darkly to Pinkie Pie.
Pinkie Pie playfully waved a hoof and replied as if her answer was the most obvious in the world. "If it was a friend? I'd laugh with them duh!"
Trixie's egocentric's brain jarred a spoke and a gear went flying inside her head resulting in nearly a chain reaction that brought the entire apparatus down before Trixie steadied herself.
"I ... see ..." Trixie replied as her brain underwent an emergency defragmentation.
"I like you! I'd call you silly but that's what we call Applejack!"
Thankfully Trixie was still trying to come to terms that not everyone was as emotionally sensitive in the same places as her to hear what Pinkie Pie said and AJ strangely made no objection to being called such as she would have a few weeks ago.
"Trixie you okay?" Twilight asked in simple genuine concern.
Trixie put her hooves against her own skull and shook her head knocking cogs back into position. "I... I don't know. Maybe I just don't belong here. Maybe Rainbow Hair -"
"-Rainbow Dash is right, maybe I should just go back to Hoofington. My family's waiting for me."
"That's your choice and no one else's Trixie. But you're going to be welcomed with open hooves here as much as there, I promise."
"I'll take the optimistic interpretation of that statement."
Meanwhile the girls' had broken up into their own conversations. "So Rainbow Dash, I was wondering-"
"Pinkie I Pinkie Pie Swear, Cross My Heart, Hope To Fly, Stick a Cupcake In My Eye, my mane and tail are NOT dyed!"
"Okay okay, just asking! Geeze."
"Rainbow Dash." Rarity asked politely and conservatively. "If I may ask. Have you seen recently a pink filly with a purple and white mane? Likely wearing a small jewel encrusted mane piece?"
Rainbow Dash laughed. "So he got you too huh?"
"Onyx Tiara since last night's been throwing bits at every member of the weather team to comb every inch of Ponyville looking for that spoiled brat of his. Rich idiot would have gotten the entire weather team looking for her if he had just -asked- instead of adding bits to the equation! Now it's a extra job rather than what we should do anyway. Remember when Ditzy Doo's girl Dinky played hooky? The entire weather team ended up looking for her. The stallion doesn't get we'd have helped him look if he had just asked nicely!"
"Diamond's been missing since last night?" Rarity said obvious concern in her voice.
"Don't worry about it. Spoiled brat likely just got lost on the way home after seeing a dress sale or is staying over at a friend's house and forgot to tell her pops."
Rarity whispered. "Diamond Tiara doesn't have any friends right now. She's all alone."
"Huh? Well, serves her right. From what Scoots tells me she treats her, the rest of the CMC, and any filly without a cutie mark like dirt. She deserves to be all alone surrounded by whatever mountain of toys her father buys her on a daily basis."
"Rainbow Dash that's awful thing to say!" Fluttershy admonished.
Rainbow looked at her fellow Pegasus before shrugging. "Look Fluttershy, I know you'd coddle Discord if you thought it would do any good. But fillies like those are just bad news. They don't learn to care about others, they just learn to hide their loathing for everypony around them that doesn't worship the clouds they walk on."
"So I'm just bad news then?" Trixie asked, not wanting to get involved in what she suspected was a family feud, but what RD had said had struck a nerve.
"The jury's still out on you." Rainbow said.
"As it should be for Diamond." Rarity said. "She's still a filly. She's selfish, spoiled rotten to the core, a bully, has a completely unrealistic self image of herself, and her father's done his hardest to impart every drop of prejudice his father infected him with onto her. Which is precisely why she can't understand, let alone cope with how badly she's hurting inside."
RD now looked outright concerned for her teammate. "Rarity come on. Now you're just giving her excuses like some character in a soap opera!"
"No excuses. If she chooses to grow up from an awful filly into an awful mare it's her own choice. But if you just thrown her off with the idea that she -can't- change then she won't ... And the reason she likes making others feel worthless, is because she's scared she's worthless."
"Rarity I know you have that eye for detail. But seriously, you don't figure out these things just from seeing a filly walking down the street and what your little sister tells you about her. This is a fantasy."
"No. It isn't," Rarity hissed. "Diamond Tiara's cutie mark is her namesake. However, what a lot of parents forget to tell their foals is that their cutie marks aren't meant to be taken literally! I'm a fashion designer, not a jeweler! And Fluttershy is a veterinarian, not a entomologist! Twilight is a mage, not a astrologer! Diamond Tiara thinks her cutie mark means all she's good at is wearing jewelry!"
"Entomolo-what?" Pinkie Pie asked.
"Studying bugs," Twilight said flatly, at this point everyone had been pulled into the drama.
"Sounds fun," Pinkie Pie said simply.
"Okay, I gotcha," Rainbow Dash said. "But seriously Rarity, you can't know this stuff. You're super imposing your ideas of what going on in that filly's head. Isn't that wrong?"
AJ looked at Rarity, glaring right through the protective sunglasses. Rarity shook.
Rarity ... Rarity stammered. "If I tell you how I know. It would be breaking the trust of someone who...w-who... of someone who is dear to me."
AJ sighed at Rarity's acting as if her defenses had failed. "Rarity, I can't see your eyes remember? Please. If you think it's better. Just tell us. It's MORE betraying trust if you think it'll help that person and you don't."
Twilight saw this episode already. "No offense guys but can we please please PLEASE not have a repeat of the Fluttershy The Model Secret disaster again? Rarity if you know something about a missing filly it's -wrong- not to say something."
"I don't know where she is, I swear. The last I saw her was at my shop yesterday afternoon. Last I saw her she looked terrified, confused, and ashamed. If I knew where she was I'd tell her father right now."
AJ whispered close to her. "Maybe ya should check the nut house. There ain't a filly whose hurt and scared who ain't gonna run ta mama."
Rarity remembered AJ was already in on her own secret and figured AJ knowing more wasn't that strange and merely nodded solemnly.
Rainbow Dash managed to glean pieces of what AJ had said and declared. "The mental ward? Why'd she be there? ... And Twilight. I gotta know. I don't suppose there's some 'don't be crazy anymore' spell you can cast on all the mad ponies there is there?" Rainbow Dash said remembering one of the victims from Cloudsdale who had been chewing off her own wings when Rainbow had fled.
All three unicorns in the room shook theirs heads.
"Don't you think if there was such a spell, me, or CELESTIA would have used it by now?" Twilight didn't have a soapbox to stand on, but she made due going into lecture mode:
"The vast majority of mental magic adds onto what's there already or replaces or rearranges what's already there. It doesn't change how the mechanics of how the mind actually work! A charm spell for instance makes you see the caster as your best friend, but it doesn't work if you don't know what a best friend is or you're the type to treat your best friend like garbage anyway!
"And remember Smarty Pants? Mental magic can have unpredictable results because every pony is different! I just helped all of you recall clearly what Discord warped. The mental change that SEEM to change how the mind works in reality just lead the mind along to the conclusion and frame of mind the caster wanted, effectively making the pony brainwash themselves.
The brain is an incredibly delicate organ. Trying to rewrite how it's hard-wired to function has more often than not result in some very horrible results! Ever heard of Walter Freemare? Most selfless if proud pony you could meet. He thought he could cure mad ponies by disconnecting the dysfunctional parts of the brain from the rest... it didn't end well." And that ended that discussion rather quickly.
Trixie, in her heart of hearts still being Trixie, did some basic cantrips for the other ponies, the kind most ponies learned in magic second grade but Trixie was able to put her own spin on them. Rainbow Dash begrudgingly admitted that Trixie magic act wasn't that bad when she wasn't blabbing how great she was every other sentence or humiliating other ponies that weren't Rainbow Dash.
When the party ended, the ponies went to their homesteads or place of business, except Rarity who visited the ward hoping to find Diamond Tiara. When that failed she used her gem finding spell to search for diamonds like the kind in a tiara. When she came home later that evening Sweetie asked where she had been.
"I was looking for someone's very precious jewel. And I think it might mean something to me too."