Pony POV Series
Dark World Part 21 2/2
The Dreaded Next Scene Of the Big Knot
I don't know where the ferris wheel came from. I didn't care either. Wait. It had always been there. Silly me. It was here because I wanted to know what it was like to host a mini-carnival, and to give my friends a 'Best Day Ever' of course! Tee-hee! Where did this showpony hat and striped-jacket come from again? Oh right, they'd always been there.
Cheerilee. Rainbow Dash. Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo. Toola-Roola. Starsong Melody. It's great! They're all loving it! Which means I love it!
Everypony is friends with everypony else, but they're my extra-special friends.
How am I able to change costumes so fast? How can a little filly like me run a one-day carnival by herself? Where did the popcorn and ice-cream come from? Oh right, because it's more FUN that way!
Life is wonderful! Hmmmmm. Isn't there supposed to be a green filly around here? Wait. How would I know her? She's not one of my extra special friends. But I know she's super-important, somehow...
"Excuse me." Said a green pony. I look at her, is she a mare or a filly? Am I a mare or a filly? I'm suddenly kinda confused. But I move for her. She picks up the bright green leaf I was sitting on.
A funny picture appears in my head. It's like a videotape someone's trying to erase. Wait. What's a videotape?
"Thank you." The green pony says putting the leaf in a bag.
"I'm Pinkie Pie."
And just like that. So simple. No big adventure. But what's wrong with simplicity? I knew, somehow, that I could meet her a zillion other ways, if I really wanted.
"HEy everypony! Come over here and meet Minty!"
"There is nowhere you can escape from me!"
A big scary purple pony appears right in front of me! She's wearin' a bunch of bones, and her mane's on fire! Is she a pegasus or a unicorn? Both?
"All your silly escape mechanisms are for naught, in my purgatory, Pinkie Pie."
The witch began using her evil magic and Minty was being dragged away from me. I grabbed her. The world turned gray and withered.
"No switching over to an alter ego. No reliving a happier yesteryear. No forgetting. Amnesia is not allowed. There is only your SIN."
"Pinkie Pie! Please help me!"
All of a sudden there were over a dozen foals between me and Minty, they looked weirder. They all looked at me sadly. Shaking their heads in resentment. That's a big . Resentment. How they looked at me. Did they . . . did they hate me?
"Pinkie!" Minty begged, the witch was hurting her with her fiery mane. Again, and again, and again, and again. I tried to help her, but the other foals kept pushing me back. I couldn't fight them! I had no idea how to fight!
"There is no redemption. No salvation. No absolution. No friendship. No love. This purgatory is without end."
And then... more foals. So very, very, many, approaching from all sides; like ant colonies towards a sugar cube. They were different from the ones blocking me from Minty. They were so badly hurt all over! What kind of bully did this to them? Why do they all so . . . angry, at me?
"The foals have waited so long for your arrival. Welcome to forevermore, Pinkie Pie."
Then they attacked Minty.
"No, no, NO! PLEASE! Why are you all on HER SIDE?! PLEASE! You're all I HAVE! MOMMY'S SORRY! MOMMYSSORRY!MOMMYSORRY!!! MINTY! STOP HURTING HER! MINTYYYYYYYYY-EH-EH!!!" Angry Pie wailed, her eyes huge, crying rivers. Beautiful.
(Ha! Sounds to me like she's already found Hell! All that's left is to seal her in for good! Finish her off!)
With pleasure. I showed mercy to a devil. And my only reward was almost dying, and my friends almost dying. Never again. Ever again. I will never repeat that mistake. Not even atoms will remain of Angry Pie or her Element of Anger. The Destruction spell was charging, I could feel it, power, power enough to crush Discord like the vermin he was! Like the pathetic loser he was! A minor annoyance! A triviality! The rat who had crowned himself king! He'd suffer! Oh how he'd suffer! Heh.
(For everything he's done.)
And more. I won't be quick and painless either.
(No, he doesn't deserve such mercy.)
Yes, that's right…he deserves so much worse…
"TWILI! STOP! THAT'S ENOUGH!" Applejack? Why was she putting herself between my spell and the enemy? "FOR RD'S SAKE STOP!"
"Ya said she ain't bad, she's just sick! This ain't how ya help somepony sick! Ya don't give up on 'em!" Apple Pie? Why was she shaking me? Doesn't she know that could disrupt the spell?
"Stop. Just stop." Derpy. She looks like she just emptied the contents of her stomach. Didn't she know ponies weren't supposed to be able to do that?
"You said you wanted to save her right?" Rarity? Why were they all doing this?] "You were willing to dive through as many layers of MY soul as you needed to bring me out of the darkness. So what if she's fighting you a little harder than I was? She's said, straight out, that she doesn't want to be angry."
"When it's an unrepentant mass-murdering, unhinged psychopath with a very unquestionable Chaotic Evil alignment, you DON'T give that pony the BENEFIT of the doubt."
"She's a hurt and confused friend with the tainted essence of a unrepentant mass-murdering, unhinged psychopath with a very unquestionable Chaotic Evil alignment lodged in her brain!"
Spike's claw hugged me from behind. Huh? But why? She hurt them. She hurt them. This doesn't make sense. She hurt them.] She hurt them.] She's killed so many ponies.] She's a mad animal.] She has to be put down.)
"Twilight, you know I'm the first whose been saying you can't save everypony: because I was scared I'd lose you again. I thought I already did! I... I don't want to lose you now. Not ever again! You're my family!"
They don't understand.)
No they don't.)
The wicked have to be punished.)
The cruel must experience cruelty.) The merciless must be shown no mercy.) Monsters should not be redeemed.) Monsters must not be forgiven.) They must be made to suffer.) Cancers.) [Be disposed of.)
* Twilight! Stop! *
[Why should I?)
*This isn't how Trixie would want you to use her Element! *
[Trixie was always vindictive.)
*Then would her Element have saved your life? Dead or not, if Trixie's spirit didn't want you having her Element of Magic, you would NOT have found it in her grave! Besides, you're not Desire! You can't just TAKE an Element.*
[So Angry Pie's death would be permissible if RARITY were executioner?)
*I'm Not Talking about Angry Pie's Element! You couldn't have Trixie's if she didn't WANT you to have it! Just like Applejack couldn't have Applebloom's Element without being GIVEN it! Does saving your life sound 'vindictive' to you?!*
*This isn't what any of your friends want for you...*
[I know better than they do about this! I almost died for real! Know what that taught me? That the merciful are all eventually doomed to be victimized! THAT'S where mercy lands you! THAT'S what comes of being the Big Good!)
[She got turned to gold!)
[Cannibalized, poor thing.)
*...Or your parents.*
[I'm shocked they lasted THIS long, even as plants!)
*Or Smarty Pants.*
[…Where DID I put that doll? Maybe it disintegrated away.)
*Or Minty Pie.*
[Unable to help anyone. Lucky to be beneath Discord's notice... so far.)
*And this isn't what Pinkie Pie would want.*
[Heh heh! No doubt, since I'm about to KILL HER…)
*I thought you said you were about to kill 'Angry Pie.'*
[I! I did!)
*No! You said you were about to kill 'Pinkie Pie!' Your friend!*
*Who is she crying out for?!*
*You sure? Names are just labels.*
[I feel absolutely nothing for her anymore, her only cure is her permanent death, so she'll never hurt another soul.)
* So the guilty should be punished without mercy or pity or compassion? *
[Yes. Those things should be reserved for the innocent.)
*So you agree with Angry Pie.*
[No I don't!)
*The guilty must be punished without mercy? That's the innocent are the only ones who deserve compassion? That defines her sense of justice.*
[She kills in the innocent and spares the guilty!)
*Not in her deflowered mind.*
[ She can't be redeemed! )
*Who are you to say who and can't be redeemed? Is killing her what YOU want? What your heart wants?*
[What… my heart... wants…?)
*You heart that connects you to everypony. The heart that valued her friends more than anything.*
[I feel… my lips quiver.) I'm not at all surprised when a tear falls.)
*Twilight. Pinkie Pie's heart wants to connect with others. Always has. But she's afraid of being hurt. The taint tells her everypony is trying to hurt her. You can't say you can't remove Discord's sickness, you haven't tried every road yet. Twilight. Look around you. These ponies are still Pinkie Pie's friends. They're still willing to try and save her. Will you disappoint them?*
I dispersed the red sphere, canceling my Destruction Spell.) I feel a rain inside me.] I feel it does the flames and wash away the ashes.] I'm free again.
A magic wand shaped jewel emitted a burst of light, chasing the darkness away to reveal the polished purple crystal composing it.
"My, somepony is angry," Discord said, reaching into a candy bar and pulling out a fridge to snack on.
(Who?! Who was that interloper?! It was you, wasn't it?!)
"I'm strangely innocent this once. Even in the most tragic times we find small moments of magic that inspire us to continue on."
Everypony hugged me, cheering like I was the one who had just been saved. Spike shed tears that drenched my mane. Angry Pie just lay there like a broken doll. They checked on her too, she was still breathing. Thank Celestia whatever had been hurting her seem to have stopped.
How many times had I killed her? I couldn't even count. The worst part was, I had loved it every minute of it. I was free of Discord's curse, she wasn't. I was supposed to hate her, want to see her dead, because Discord's taint had made her do things . . . do things just as horrid as Twilight Tragedy had.
If Pinkie Pie had been brought back first, and I had been brought back last, instead of a screaming and cursing butcher, my friends would have faced an emotionless killer with all the empathy of a corpse who wouldn't care what they had to say and terminated them with clockwork precision as Master commanded.
What right did I have to pass judgement on her?
I trotted over to her prone gray mass. The other took in a fearful breath ready to tackle me on the first fiery spark.
"Oh Pinkie Pie," I said endearingly. I felt so small. "…I'm sorry… I'm so sorry… please, please hear me, hear my voice, hear me through the darkness. Through the nightmare. I'm right here for you. Please hear me. Please, I promise never to hurt you again. Please. Come home.
"Please come back now." She gave a gasp, and looked at me in confusion.
"M-Minty?" she asked… she looked so confused.
"…In a way…She's a part of me…"
(She's damaged goods. Leave her.)
I look at the others, "Going to try the memory spell, promise."
I charged up my horn. I remembered what Queen Cadence's spell had done to Pinkie five-hundred-years before. It had left her a twisted empty shell. But... if she had loved her foals, then anger and hate couldn't but all that was in there.
*How we think others think about us. Can greatly command how we think about ourselves.*
The other side of the coin. The lance couldn't pierce the darkness, maybe a staff could lead her out.
I touched my horn to her forehead smiling.
"Pinkie Pie. You have to see past Discord's taint. He's blackened your perception of the past. You need to see the truth of what you've done as the Element of Laughter. So let me help you. Let me share MY memories with you. Memories I have of how you've shaped me into the mare I am. Show you how I really saw you."
A pink pony who saw and gasped and -
-saw her best friend from a world that had never existed. Born from a wish.
-a pink pony, who wanted to be friends even with a perfect stranger. Because her happiness was a reflection of the happiness she was able to give others.
Not Minty. Would never be Minty. But a pony who was worth being friends with.
With a few laughs and a song, was able to banish phantoms of fear and give those around her the courage to take away the darkness' most potent weapon.
A friend who ultimately decided that a friend was more important than a ticket after all.
A pink mare who was trusted by her foster parents, even after someone she trusted churned out a bunch of baked bads. And without hesitation was trusted to help that same friend.
A pink mare who knew of things I didn't. How bad I felt when I realized I'd not taken her seriously when I should've.
Pinkie Pie. You taught me not to jump to conclusions about people. Being spontaneous didn't make you untrustworthy. Being playful didn't make you oblivious. Being imaginative, didn't mean you'd color the facts about somegriffin.
And yes, your pranks did manage to make me laugh at myself.
And just because I didn't understand something, didn't make it not real or fake. And someone's behavior will always seem strange if you don't have all the facts.
And Pinkie, those buffalo and cow ponies just had a different culture, there was nothing wrong with your song. It was just a language they didn't speak.
And you're a great skater Pinkie, even if I'm hopeless. Thank you for even letting me try.
And Pinkie, good intentions can backfire, horribly, and you can become so wrapped up in other ponies' problems that you end up forgetting your own, and that hurts those you want to help.
And through them all Pinkie Pie, even when I thought less of you, even when I doubted you, I never laughed at you. And none of our friends did. You made us laugh with you. You were our light of joy in the darkness.
We were in Sugar Cube Corner.
Angry Pie stood in front of me, cracking apart, color returning. Scars ran all along her body, like a rag doll someone had tried to sew together in a rush.
…She suddenly shattered but…each piece formed into a different Pinkie Pie. But…none of them was the pre-Discord Pinkie. Or Angry Pie, or even what Rainbow Dash had said about Pinkamena.
"We can't just…quit!" yelled a middle-aged, motherly Pinkie, looking furiously at the others. "We can get our foals back!"
"Our foals aren't worth it!" shouted another, this one looking closer to the Pinkie I knew, but still not quite there, she was covered in scars. "They aren't worth our friends!"
"Not worth it?! You heartless nag!"
"We…we don't deserve to go back…we should just stay here…" said another one, with a straight mane and colors that were a near lifeless graying of her normal color, her expression one of purest guilt. "We don't deserve our foals…we don't deserve our friends…we don't deserve anything but to suffer…"
A Pinkie looking like Pinkie Pie of the Lost Age just sat, watching the other Pinkie's argue in confusion. I was doing much the same.
A white Pegasus with a yellow mane stepped out of the corner of my vision. "Looks like someone needs to give them a little push in the right direction."
I blinked. "What?" Now SHE reminded me of Pinkie for some reason.
A filly stepped up next to me…Rarity? No…Princess Rarity? But…this is Pinkie…not Rarity. Are they like me and Minty Pie?
A"They need someone they'll listen to help them pull themselves back together," she said.
"Wait…you mean me?" I blinked in confusion.
"You read all those books on pony's brains…I think, what do they say to do when somepony's brain is like this?"
What did they say?… It was a case of split personalities. Not quite the same situation as me, Tragedy, and Sparkle, this was a different thing, these weren't different personas, they were fragments…Motherly instinct. Love for her friends. Guilt. Memories of the Lost Age. Hadn't Angry Pie mentioned something about pulling her mind back together by force? …I think I get it…I need to help her put herself back together RIGHT.
Lost Pinkie slowly regarded me. "Minty?"
I blinked. The group all looked at me suddenly. "Uh…sort of…She's a part of me, and part of another pony…but yeah, she's me."
"What do you think we should do?" asked Lost Pinkie, looking up at me expectantly.
How do you convince contradictory parts of a pony's personality to accept each other?
"Alright…well, first of all, I think you're ALL right to some degree, and you're all wrong." I turned to Motherly Pie first. "You care about your…foals. That's good…but you don't have your conscience or your friendship with everypony else to let you balance all that. You don't have the ability to see if it's really what's best for THEM to bring them back or just what's best for YOU. You're trying to make a choice without being ABLE to see the whole picture."
Next, I faced Friendly Pie. "Same goes for you. Don't you want to be able to know if you're doing what's right for the ponies you care about?"
Both them looked down, then to each other. I then addressed…what I assumed to be her conscience. Let's call her Guilty Pie.
"You're right, all you did was horrible. So was what I did. All six Elements of Chaos… we ALL did horrible things."
Guilty Pie hung her head. "What we did as a team was unforgivable. But the evilest thing I ever did... was what I did to you today. I treated my friends like cockroaches. Thank you for stopping me from murdering the others."
"Well, you need to remember there are ponies who care about you. You need to think about them too."
"Yes. Because I forgot you guys, I almost doomed the world. I wouldn't have even felt sorry."
I considered her for a while, before I just hugged her as tenderly as I could and moved onto Lost Pinkie. "And you're…you're the memories of her friends who never were…you're the part that remembered Minty when I came to Ponyville…You're important too."
"…Would us coming back make our friends happy?" she asked, paying genuine attention to me.
"More than anything."
I look back up at them. "It's up to you… every bit of you. What's best for your foals? What's best for your friends? What's best for you? And will it not hurt innocents worst?"
It had to be their…HER choice. If I forced them back together, it'd just result in a new version of Angry Pie.
"…We need to be together…" said Motherly Pie, finally.
"So we can do what's best for everypony we care about…" continued Friendly Pie.
"So we know we're not hurting anypony else…" Guilty Pie said.
"And so we can make our friends happy…" Lost Pie said.
The Pegasus smiled. "Good job, Twilight. Showin' we need each other, I'm not surprising, but happy!" she said, a part of me finding her so familiar…
The young filly nodded as well. "Let's all get back together, shall we?"
The fragments of Pinkie Pie's psyche all touched hooves, and there was a bright flash.
In the real world, I gave her a gentle kiss on the muzzle.
Her hair went completely straight. And all her colors returned.
Rarity didn't even try to act secretive when she took Twilight's original Element of Magic. She pressed the Center Element of both Chaos and Harmony, Magic, Friendship/Tragedy, against her flesh. It entered her body without leaving a mark. Now she had three hearts. "Halfway there," Rarity said to herself not trying to mumble or whisper. Most were focused on Twilight and Pinkie Pie. AJ and Spike looked at her silently.
Within her soul room, Rarity welcomed the impressions of Twilight The First and Minty to her endless Gala. This one was different from her original, not a micromanaged affair, but a genuine party were everyone was free to enjoy howsoever they pleased.
"So that new Element of Magic was Trixie's eh? Heh, too bad. Dad thought that pony in her loneliness had so much potential," Rancor said.
The heroes all turned, realizing the Draconequus was indeed still there, they formed a protective ring around the unconscious Pinkie Pie.
"Chill. Chaos is supposed to be my brother's department. I'm actually a tiny bit disappointed. That was one heck of a show you almost gave...or became a major annoyance, if Strife's to be believed. Oh well, I wanted to know for myself. I knew you couldn't be dead. Seeing how it's six against one... I'll be going now. We'll be seeing you inside. Don't worry, I'm sure you know your way around."
"Wait, please," said Rarity, looking up to the Draconequus. "If I may, why don't you seem angry I've killed your niece? You keep saying 'family is everything'."
EVERYPONY looked ready to clobber Rarity for looking a gift-horse in the mouth.
"Fluttercruel is dead?" Twilight gasped in surprise.
Rancor grinned shark's teeth, and laughed darkly. "You're right. See yah for the finale." She teleported away.
"Ow!…I'll be honest, I probably deserved that."
"Yeah, yah did darlin'."
"Rarity," Twilight asked carefully, "You killed Fluttercruel?"
"First I stole and assimilated her Element of Chaos after covering her with rocks. And having my army of ghosts using rock bodies to fight her army of robot pegasus she grew out of her own body. I ran her through with a stone sword while she was still speaking. And now I can use the Element of Cruelty for my own."
Even for Discord's world, if she wasn't the Element of Honesty, Rarity's friends would wonder. Eyes were huge all around. Her mindless stone puppets? Vessels for souls? All this time?
AJ thought of all the stone puppets of ponies she knew, and never spoke a word to them. Apple Pie thought of the stone puppets of her she had fought before. Derpy thought at least it sounded like they had all been happy. Spike wondered if Rarity would have let his soul come within her if he had died.
"Rarity . . ." Twilight said.
"Twilight I'm sorry, I really am. Maybe I am a hypocrite for saying this after all we suffered to save Pinkie Pie. Maybe I was being greedy. Maybe there were some good memories of Fluttershy in her . . . in her daughter. A thousand years and she was still a child. But I saw the cruel truth that Fluttershy was the only pony who could have saved her. I didn't see any truths where she could be healed by us. And I don't have the power to call back whoever I like."
"I'll accept that, Element of Honesty. So your golems were-"
"-ponies who were too scared or confused to move on after dying, but accepted the comfort I offered with my fantasies of micromanaged thoughts and actions."
"That's . . . almost generous for a greedy pony," Twilight whispered.
"Heh, I know. Though now I wonder, if they stayed, so all I had weren't just 'things' to keep me company. In their own way, they helped save me."
They then heard a groan and turned towards Pinkie Pie, who was slowly rising to her hooves. "Pinkie!" Twilight ran to her and hugged her. "…So…what did you decide?"
The straight haired Pinkie blinked, looking down at her chest…it didn't hurt…it just felt…strange…but she could feel it, her anger…was gone…
What do I decide? What should I do?
It's like I can think clearly again, all I could see for a zillion years was bullies where my friends were supposed to be.
…I could try to make them give up the Elements…save my foals…but they've suffered enough…I can see that now…I was wrong…Twilight was right…I made them killers…I can only hope whoever's out there had mercy on them…And if they are in Pony Heaven, anything I give them in Equestria could never hold a candle to whatever Paradise provides them.
But what if they're in Pony Hell like Twilight said? But how could I save them, if I brought them back by going back into the fog?
I could just…quit…curl up and cry, let guilt crush me…but that'd hurt my friends. After all they did to save me, it'd be wasting this second chance I've been given…It's like they told Dashie…laying down and dying doesn't fix what I did…
My friends…my…my niece…they're all here…they cared for me…they suffered to save me…they protected me…They cared for me…And I tried to throw them away…I can't make up for much…but I can make up for that…
I'm sorry for what I've done…But I don't have time to let it crush me…I love my foals…but I can only pray their souls are in Pony Heaven…I love my friends…and they're right here…I'm free.
Pinkie looked…serene, peaceful. "…I decided…I want to be your friend again…"
Twilight hugged Pinkie, then looked to the others, one by one…
"We…we did it…" Twilight said as it hit her, looking happy. "…I…I know we didn't save Fluttershy…but Cadence did…she's free…we're ALL FREE…" she said, tears in her eyes. "I…I didn't think we'd pull it off…but…but we actually saved all of us…"
"And the Doctor," Derpy added, giving a bright smile.
Pinkie merely gave a calm smile. "And the Doctor, yeah."
"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!…" Twilight chanted, bouncing around her friends in glee, practically hug-tackled Pinkie at the end. "Welcome back!…I…I'm sorry for what I did…I shouldn't have been so brutal…so savage… so heartless… what I did was… that wasn't right…I was a monster."
"You almost became a monster." Pinkie gave her a nuzzle. "…I forgive you. You weren't wrong. Mostly."
"I, I know you never abused your foals. I'm sorry. I was only trying to hurt you."
"I said I forgive you. Can you forgive me for trying to kill you? And Apple Pie? For everything I did?"
Twilight nodded. "If I hadn't forgive you... would we even be hugging right now?"
Pinkie gave a smile and hugged Twilight again. "Thanks…"
"Pinkie I need to know. Why did you give me Smarty Pants before you left?"
"...I didn't want you to die alone."
". . . No matter how much death Discord let you bring to the world, the kind you was still in there somewhere."
"Thank you Twilight. Do you mind if I talk to the others? We're all friends, right?"
Twilight nodded happily. "Sure, we need to rest and recuperate after that fight before we continue…glad to have you back Pinkie."
Pinkie smiled back. "I'm glad to be back."
Then Everypony (and dragon) hug tackled her.
"Hey AJ," Pinkie said, calmly, walking over to the farm pony a couple minutes later. Pinkie Pie had requested to speak with the others one-on-one, and AJ was the first.
Applejack smiled to her friend, but was surprised by her calmness. "Hey, Pinkie, good to see yah again."
Pinkie gave her a hug. "…I'm sorry about what I said…"
"Water under the bridge, sugar cube," Applejack replied, giving a smile.
Pinkie nodded slowly. "So…our families merged together?"
Applejack smiled. "Yeah…Applebloom married a descendent of Octavia, from what Ah understand."
Pinkie gave a warm smile, remembering her sister. Mentally, she channeled an unvoiced apology for not listening to Octavia and the rest of her family. She swore she felt comforting hooves on her shoulders.
"…Octavia never really wanted to work on the rock farm. Kinda funny how life can work out."
Applejack nodded. "Yeah, never thought Sweet Apple Acres would grow rocks either. But hey, they're doing a fine job of it."
"…Can you tell me about them? Our family?"
Applejack went on to tell her about each of the Apple Pies, though Pinkie seemed in a hurry to rush and hear about ALL of them, rather than linger on lengthy details about individual members... fun though their stories were. Pinkie explained that they shouldn't delay too long before refocusing on Discord and moving out.
"They all sound so nice." Pinkie stated, when Applejack finished.
"Yeah, they are…Ah guess that makes us related too, doesn't it?"
Pinkie nodded, smiling softly the realization instead of from ear to ear at . "Yeah, it does. I think... cousins."
Applejack nodded with a wide smile of her own. "Well, cousin, Ah'm sure they'd love ta meet yah."
"I'm sure it would be totally great."
"Derpy…" Pinkie said, sitting down next to the Pegasus, now healed from her stab wound. The Earth Pony seemed lighter, more relaxed and calm, but still guilty. "…I'm sorry I called you retarded…you're a very smart pony and I was mean to call you that."
The Pegasus gave a smile back to the pink pony. "No problem! I know you weren't yourself!"
"But that doesn't make it right."
Derpy gave her a hug. "Well, I forgive you, that's all that matters, right?"
Pinkie looked down at her chest, then gave a nod. "Yeah…It wasn't fun, was it?"
Derpy blinked. "What?"
"…I meant it…I know most of it was that dumb meanie Discord's lies but…some ponies really DID think I was THAT dopey. That doesn't justify anything I did…but I guess you really do know how that felt…"
Derpy looked back at her. "Yeah, it wasn't nice, but I don't let it bother me. Those ponies didn't know the real us. They can't see past the surface."
Pinkie nodded. "But our friends see who we really are, right?" she asked, giving a genuine smile. "That's what's important."
Derpy gave a nod. "Yeah, that's right!"
"So how'd you free yourself of the poison joke?"
"Oh I was thinking 'Why won't my body work?! I thought Twilight made me immune to this!…Wait…maybe there's too much inside me? I did eat a big muffin…Okay, then I'll just have to get it out and then I'll get better…I just need to think of things to make myself throw up…' I began thinking of a day a thousand years ago, and the worst muffins I ever had."
" . . . Baked bads did good!" Pinkie Pie smiled.
"Baked bads did good."
And the two simply talked about what they had in common. About how it felt to be misunderstood…and how it felt to finally meet ponies who really did understand.
Rarity sat next to Apple Pie. "Apple Pie, while fighting Fluttercruel, I met somepony who would like to say hello," she stated, looking to the young filly.
"Really?" asked Apple Pie, smiling up at the mare.
Rarity nodded, cutting herself to create a silver wall between the two of them and the others to keep this private like it should be.
Stone began to assemble itself together into an almost exact copy of the filly, colored rock matching her own coloring, except for the Cutie Mark, which was a poison apple.
Apple Pie gasped. "P-Poison Apple?"
"Her desire was to help me make sure you were safe…and to finally get to say goodbye."
"Goodbye? But-but-" The filly looked like she had been given a cookie then had it snatched away after one bite.
"I'm sorry, Apple Pie, but it's wrong for me to keep her here, on the mortal coil. But she wanted to see you again so badly she couldn't rest."
"That's cheatin'! That's not fair! That's cruel!"
"Death isn't kind or cruel. She wanted to make sure Fluttercruel could never hurt you the way she was. She wanted to see you again. She's held on this long. And now you've seen her. Once a spirit's unfinished business is completed, it must pass on."
"Come on! Poison Apple! Say somethin'! Please stay!"
The golem shook her head slowly, sadly, and nuzzled her.
Apple Pie shuddered, her eyes misted up.
"It's okay, Apple Pie, let it out. It's alright to cry."
Apple Pie did so.
"She can't speak, so I have to speak for her. Everypony is waiting for her. She stayed so you could be happy to see her again, just once. She wants you to be happy."
Apple Pie slowly looked her rock bodied twin in the eye, giving a smile. This wasn't exactly the oddest thing to ever happen to her, but that didn't change the fact of who it was. She and Poison hugged each other, the rock pony careful not to hurt her. "Poison Apple…thanks for helpin' Miss Rarity. It means a lot."
Poison Apple merely nodded and did the best she could to indicate her acceptance of it.
"Poison…Ah love yah…we all love yah…and tell the others up there with the Big Alicorn we love em to, okay?"
Poison Apple gave a nod. She gave a wave.
"Goodbye, Poison…" Apple Pie said, hugging her sister one more time, before the rock body fell apart in her hoofs and her sister passed on. Apple Pie wiped the tears from her eyes and looked to Rarity. "Thanks, Miss Rarity…"
"No problem, darling, it was her desire and yours," Rarity replied, she dismissed the shield.
"Rarity…" Pinkie Pie asked, coming over. "…I…"
"I was as deep in a fantasy as you were, darling," the unicorn replied, giving a small smile. "I'd be a hypocrite to forgive myself without forgiving you."
Pinkie smiled and gave her friend a hug. Rarity felt…something.
Pinkie then took a step back, looking thoughtful. "…Rarity…Do…do any of my foals want to see me?"
Rarity blinked in surprise…then nodded slowly. She created another silver divider for privacy's sake with her blood.
"Yes… She said she knew it was wrong…but she still cares about you… and wanted to watch over you…"
Pinkie's expression was hard to read. Somewhere between joy and…not guilt, but remorse. "…Could I see her?"
Rarity gave a nod. The rocks manifested into an orange Earth Pony filly, her mane and tail the colors of a sunrise, which was her Cutie Mark.
Pinkie couldn't keep the tears from her eyes. She remembered…she was the one that Pegasus had tried to bribe her with. "Morning Light…" she said, giving the little filly a hug, who returned it. "Why…why is she a little filly again?"
"It's how she wishes to manifest," Rarity shrugged. "I don't force a specific age upon them anymore. Her role is her own."
Pinkie looked back to Morning Light. "…Mommy was wrong…laughter isn't a bad thing…it can hurt, but it can be good…we were wrong to kill…but the one who tried to bribe me with you was still rotten…I don't regret taking you in…being laughed at isn't nice…but not every laugh was at us…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry," she explained, tears starting down her cheeks. The rock pony wiped them away, and Pinkie smiled. "Thank you…You know we were bad, right?"
Morning Light nodded guilty.
Pinkie kissed the foal's head. "Good…are you sorry?" she asked, getting another nod. "Then…then let go…I forgive you…let all those bad things go and move on…"
Morning Light nodded and hugged her again, Pinkie returned it.
"…Goodbye, Morning Light…Momma loves you…" Pinkie said, the foal nodding slowly before her spirit departed, leaving the rock vassal to crumble away. "See you again." Pinkie looked to Rarity, wiping tears from his eyes. "Thank you…Rarity…"
"No problem, dear…Pinkie…is something wrong?" Rarity asked, genuinely concerned.
"No, nothing's wrong," Pinkie replied, giving a passive smile.
Pinkie gave Rarity another hug before coming to Apple Pie, who'd let her have her moment in peace.
"Apple Pie, I think this is the first time we've met... properly."
Apple Pie gave a smile. "Yeah, so let's do it right this time! I'm Apple Pie!"
Pinkie couldn't help giving a small chuckle. Chuckling felt good. "I'm Pinkamena Diane Pie, but you can call me Pinkie Pie."
"Aunt Pinkie Pie," the filly corrected.
Pinkie nodded. "…Apple Pie, I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry for everyone I killed that you knew. For the pain I've caused our family."
"Ah can tell in yer eyes, yer changed. Yah ain't the same mare yah were then. So Ah forgive ya. Besides, yer family, what's family for?"
Pinkie hugged the little filly. "Thank you…" she said, then looked at her chest.
From where she watched, Rarity blinked, then gained a look of sad realization. She remained quiet, however. 'This is a truth I don't feel needs told,' she thought.
"So…Apple Pie, can you tell me a bit about yourself?" asked Pinkie.
Apple Pie smiled. "Well, Aunt Pinkie, Ah live on a rock farm, Sweetie Rock Acres, with mah family."
Pinkie smiled. "Really? I grew up on a rock farm too…"
"Spike…how are you doing?"
Spike gave her a warm smile. "Alright, all things considered, just trying to figure out a few new tactics for round three with Rancor, I need to talk to Twilight about it on the way…anyway, me and Rarity are doing well."
Pinkie gave a genuine smile. "I'm glad…Spike, I'm sorry…I know I wasn't me but…I tried to kill Twilight…I tried to take your only family from you… as the Element of Generosity. I'd have killed you too, I'm so sorry."
Spike reached down, picked the mare up, and gave her a gentle hug. He didn't want to hurt her if he could help it. "It's okay…I forgave the rest, I forgive you too. I'll admit, I would've tried to kill you if Rarity hadn't called me off…but she was right…I wouldn't have been doing what Twilight wanted, what she REALLY wanted. You're on our side again: heart and soul. I'm so unbelievably grateful that you could be saved, in spite of all the incredible odds. You're worth fighting for, Pinkie Pie. Never forget that."
Pinkie gave a smile and reached up to nuzzle him. He returned it happily.
Pinkie brought the group together, and while they rested and had snacks and drinks, six of the friends shared old stories while a seventh asked questions, learning about the world before Discord broke it. In a short time, they'd be fighting the final battle for the salvation of the world…but for now, they were just simple friends, delighting in one another's company.
Pinkie Pie looked up at Sky Ocean, the Seaponies split on lighting up the sky with her glowing forms or not in this strange alien twilight sunrise/sunset none of them had seen before.
"You know, it's been a thousand year since I sang." She didn't know if know she'd get a chance to later. "Everypony. . ."
Oh little pony, oh little pony,
It's been so long since I've seen you.
All the long nights we've been through.
Don't worry we'll make do.
Can you see the changing view?
Is that the sun I see rising?
Who'd think that'd be surprising?
My heart I no longer need to hide
'Cause I know That You're At My Side
Isn't it such a glee to be free?
I'll say it to the sky and sea
We have been gone for so long
But we're both back to where we belong
For a thousand dreams' sake we did roam
My Little Pony, My Little Pony
Oh please, weellcooome hoooome.