Pony POV Series
By Alex Warlorn
"Do you feel it, sister of mine?" I asked, about to go to bed as the sun began to rise. We two royals looking out over Equestria. "The Heart World has begun to pulse again."
"Yes, little sister, I have," Celestia replied calmly, looking as her sun, herself, rose in the sky.
"And what shall we do, Celly?"
"Nothing, Lulu. Our link to the Heart World is no more, remember?"
"Yes but . . . the farther a reality like ours drifts from the Heart World, it is like a planet that drifts too far from your sun. The shadows become disinterested, it loses life, grows colder, and eventually stops before it matures and would no longer need a shadow-who-makes to give it life. And those pulses, without our chain, will push our world farther and farther from the Heart World."
"Yes, Luna. I simply MUST remember to thank dear Applejack for all that."
"It was Applejack's -choice- to face all truths, rather than run from them that shattered the bond we had with the Heart World."
"But sister! We could freeze out on our own! Time would simply stop and we'd be left in an unfinished world like the countless countless others that drift through the cold, dark void when their shadows-who-make abandoned them!"
"Don't judge all the shadows-who-make so harshly, Lulu. While it's true that some of them callously forsake their creations... not all of them leave their worlds incomplete by choice."
"That isn't the point! The point is that we'll be left with an incomplete fate, and incomplete fates literally just stop. We'd be unaware that each day has become identical to the last, and all things have become like a world of moving statues!"
"Like a half-finished movie, stuck on an endless replay." Celestia agreed.
"We must attempt at least to appease the Heart World!"
"Luna . . . have faith: our world can shine on her own and has become a Heart World of others. And do not forget: the PAST can be altered by the Heart World as much as the future."
"Of course, sister. But why bring that up?"
"Lulu, these pulses, they are related to our personal past."
My jaw opened.
"Exactly, Lulu. If Applejack had not broken the chain, it would be us who would have to sever it, to keep our past. While I do not challenge the wisdom and will and design of the Heart World, I would not trade away my memories of our mother. Surprise, Posey, they were all our friends. And while I know those versions of us who exist in the Heart World would have their own unique friends, with their own unique origins, I would not trade the friends and family WE had for anything. They are alive in our actions here and now."
I lowered my head.
Morning Star, we could all joyfully do without. Entropy, too. (Wouldn't it be the most scrumptious irony to have HER existence denied?) But never at the expense of the REST of them!
But Mimic, Galaxia... even Mother and Father! Omnipotent as Our Parents were... it was within the Heart World's power to deny THEIR existence. All my brothers and sisters dwelling in the Equilibrium!
"I completely agree, now, sister. Those memories we share are too precious to risk losing. So..."
I rose my head high, and let my voice be heard strong.
"So LET the Heart World say what it will! That is its right and its authority! But OUR mortal mother was Mimic the Unicorn of Paradise Estate, over two thousand years ago! Once upon a time there was a sweet version of Discord who was our friend and brother! There was once a war between the draconequus and Alicorns that raged across the heavens! THERE WAS AN AGE OF 'MYTHS' WHERE PONIES STRUGGLED TO SURVIVE AND DID SO WITH THE AID OF A HUMAN LASS! THEN THERE WAS THE GOLDEN AGE THAT PONIES MODELED AFTER HUMANITY AND ACCOMPLISHED MUCH! THEN CAME THE ERASED AGE OF DREAMS, THE NEVER-WAS PARADISE! AND FINALLY THE AGES PONIES ALIVE TODAY KNOW IS REAL!"
Celestia chuckled as the early morning staff looked up at the balcony in shock and awe, having only heard the final part of my speech. Oops.
"You did not need to say that last part in the Royal Canterlot Voice, Luna."
I smiled, "Perhaps, sister, but I felt it should be. And you're right, Celestia. I will not trade the past I know and have lived for anything. Let the Heart World go its path, and we'll go ours. Come what may."
"Dang," Applebloom said looking outside from the Cutie Mark Crusaders's clubhouse. "Everfree's been REALLY churnin' out the fog lately."
"Rainbow Dash told me ponies have been showing up at Fluttershy's, asking if she was back in the goddess business or somethin'," Scootaloo added. "Dash started answering for her, saying Fluttershy wanted to just move on."
Right next to Silver Spoon, Sweetie Belle stood wearing a thick sweater Rarity had insisted she wear outside or face her wrath, along with a Buffalo dreamcatcher, (also by Rarity's sisterly decree.)
Silver Spoon had to Pinkie Promise she'd drag Sweetie back home the instant she showed any signs of another attack, and enforce a timetable to keep track of Sweetie's comings and goings. The doctors and Twilight had examined Sweetie and concluded she'd suffered some intense magical feedback. From where no one knew.
Rarity had very much sent a letter to her parents about the incident. With my help.
"Well, Rarity told me that Twilight looked at the fog with her magic, and said it wasn't from Fluttershy."
"Doesn't mean the it's not from somepony else though," Silver Spoon said covered in the many sweaters her mother insisted she wear outside today.
"Now come on!" I, Spike, most awesome friend ever said. "Let's not start getting paranoid here. This is Ponyville. Everfree's always trying to hit this place with random weather, Twilight told me that's why Rainbow Dash's job as Captain of Ponyville's Weather Team pays so well."
"Really?" Scotaloo said, eyes gleaming.
"Yeah. Places like, say, Hoofington don't have to deal with random weather, ya know."
Sometimes reigning in my new friends was harder than when Twilight was having an anxiety attack. Thank goodness the doctors were helping with that mess. It meant fewer headaches for me.
Speak of the unicorn.
"Oh... howdy, Twilight," Applebloom said politely.
"Hi." Scoots' wings stiffened.
"Hello." Sweetie Belle moved in front of Silver Spoon.
Silver Spoon raised an eyebrow. "Greetings, Miss Twilight Sparkle."
"Hey Twilight, what's up?" I asked.
"What? A pony needs a reason to visit her good friends?" Twilight grinned.
The charter Crusaders withered a bit under that grin and it vanished instantly. When she spoke, it was in a more slightly normal tone of voice.
"What I mean is, you girls are always hanging out, and now that you're making new friends, it'll make a great friendship report."
Silver Spoon asked, "Friendship report?"
"Oh yes! Princess Celestia, as part of my stay in Ponyville, asked me to write anything I learn about friendship! Then all of my friends were ask to, too!"
"Princess Celestia wants you to write reports about friendship?"
"Yeah she, she really takes it seriously," Sweetie Belle said lowly.
"And I'm the one who sends the letters," I said, with a bit of pride. What? I'm not selling myself short anymore. I'm a direct line to Princess Celestia, not to mention one of the only, if not THE only, Dragons in the world to know ANY magic at all. How can that NOT be cool?
The look on high class filly face said, 'Million-year-old Princess Celestia wants to learn about friendship? How can she not know about that?'
"So WHAT are you girls up to today? Anything I can do to HELP?"
"Ah was, we were gonna introduce Silver Spoon an' Twist ta each other, this evenin'."
"Well! It's nice to see you, Silver Spoon! Spike has talked about you! You remind me a little bit of him! You two seem to have such FUN together! Hey! I have an IDEA!! You and Spike should hang out a bit more together on your own."
Twilight inched closer to Silver Spoon, with an unnervingly way-too-big smile. Sweetie planted herself between the two of them.
"Oh, Sweetie Belle! I'm SO sorry! How are YOU doing? I didn't think to ASK how you were doing since I last saw you at the hospital! HOW are you doing?"
"I'm not hurting now. But Rarity's now super-worried about me. She's gotten Silver Spoon to be my escort."
Twilight's eyes widened a bit.
"Chaperon," Silver Spoon corrected.
As Silver Spoon pursed her lips with a flustered look, Twilight Sparkle cut in.
"WELL! I'm sure you'll be okay!" Twilight continued in that cringeworthy preschool-teacher perkiness. "It's not like heart magic, can can do anything TOO bad. Silver Spoon, why don't you go and enjoy some ICE CREAM at SUGARCUBE CORNER? Tell Pinkie to hoof ME the bill! You're doing such a SELFLESS job of looking after Sweetie Belle. So you DESERVE a reward."
"If you want me to leave you can just say so." The light reflected off Silver Spoon's glasses.
"Oh," Twilight stiffened and lowered herself a bit looking at the filly. "I see. Well, I just had something personal I wanted to talk with the Crusaders about."
"She is a Crusader," I said sternly. "She stays, Twilight. Same with me."
Admittedly, I was staying as much for Twilight's sake as the girls, I was starting to get worried.
"Look, Sweetie," Silver Spoon said, "I can respect when somepony wants to discuss something in private. There's no need to turn this into a..."
Sweetie Belle put a hoof on her shoulder, "Silver Spoon. You don't need to go."
Silver Spoon twisted inside. Free will was a new and scary concept she was still struggling with.
"Well.... it's just I brought some gifts and I didn't think to get one for Silver Spoon or Spike so I didn't want to be rude."
Silver Spoon pawed the ground shyly. "I, uh... really don't mean to brag... but I already have more than enough toys. I'm totally fine with not getting a gift."
"And I'm family." I huffed, crossing my arms. "You can buy me something anytime. Uh, and I think it's better this dragon does without anyway."
"Oh, well," Twilight teleported a trio of wrapped packages inside the clubhouse.
The three foals eyed each other. Is it YOUR birthday today? Their faces asked.
"Come on, nothing bad's inside. See?" Twilight gingerly opened the boxes revealing a stack of comic books for Scootaloo, several music records for Sweetie Belle, and a book(of course) on basic alchemy for Applebloom.
Applebloom peered at her gift reluctantly. "Alchemy! Ah, that is, it's really nice Twili'," Applebloom glanced at the chained-up 'Do Not Open!' box in the corner.
Twilight's eyes widened. "OH! OH! It's nothing like- You and Zecora get along so well! So I thought this could help you get along with her better!! That's all! How'd you like me to help with your chores this afternoon?! I know you farm ponies always have chores!"
"Uh, Twilight?" Scootaloo began.
"OH SCOOTALOO! I hope you like those! They were just taking up space in the library's basement! NOT THAT COMICS ARE BAD! They're a legitimate artistic medium too and are completely NOT inferior to real books! Honest!" Scootaloo frowned.
Twilight grinned like a jack o'lantern... except instead of being scary, SHE was the one scared; sweating and nervous. "Do you like that kind of music, Sweetie Belle?"
"Twilight!" Applebloom said, "What is this about?"
"What is what about, Applebloom, dear?"
Applebloom stamped her hoof. "Applejack says 'Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth.' . . . But yer actin'... not good."
"Oh! . . . oh sorry." Twilight calmed down. "Was I coming on too strong? I was, wasn't I? I didn't mean to scare you. Any of you. I just wanted to make up for... for everything that happened."
"Huh?" Silver Spoon asked feeling like she had been dropped into the third act of a movie.
"Silver Spoon maybe it is for the best if you just-"
"She stays," Sweetie Belle said.
"She CHOOSES whether to stay or go," I countered.
Silver Spoon looked between me and Sweetie Belle. I think she's not used to making her own choices just yet. "In for a bit, for a pound."
Twilight lowered her head, "I just wanted to make up for what I did to you with the . . . the Want-It-Need-It-Spell."
"The what now?" Silver Spoon tilted her head.
"Huh?" Twilight looked up confused. "You don't know? But-but, half the town, how could you not..."
Silver Spoon let out a huff. "Look! If this is one of those 'Canterlot Secret' things, I'll just go! I don't want to upset your apple carts!"
"It isn't." I said quickly.
"Then tell me," The look on Silver Spoon's face didn't belong on any filly's.
I did. Twilight's nervous breakdown. Her one-day downward spiral. Her overblown paranoia about disappointing Celestia. And finally, magically manipulating the Crusaders like they were test animals. The other Cutie Mark Crusaders remained silent through the whole thing.
"Again, I ask: How can you NOT know about this, Silver Spoon?"
"Twilight," I said, "How many ponies actually talk about what happened?"
"Actually, now that you bring it up, I did hear about the town getting into some kind of strange free-for-all, and Princess Celestia broke up the fight. It was right after the day of chaos? I was still in my 'staying away from home' phase. But -- wouldn't you know it? -- seemed everypony was rather TIGHT-LIPPED on the subject. Just like with the Chaos Monster."
"Just like... the Chaos Monster." Twilight repeated glumly.
"And no wonder!" Silver Spoon continued. "Living through two separate instances of being magically brainwashed?! One right on the heels of the other?!"
"Same as... Discord..." Twilight stated, in an even smaller voice.
"Twilight, remember what the doctors said." I said, patting her reassuringly.
I looked at Silver Spoon. "Personally I think ponies were even less eager to talk about it than the day of chaos."
The Crusaders all silently nodded. Beating the hay out of each other over a doll none of them had actually wanted? Could anypony doubt that they'd want to leave such an awful memory buried? Especially since their last big fight… had been the in Royal Canterlot Statue Gardens. Somepony theorized that fight was what TRIGGERED Discord's break-out. Anypony who thought of accusing the poor fillies of this to their faces wound-up facing their big sisters' wrath first.
"So can you see why I want to make up for it?" Twilight stated.
"Twilight," I admonished, "Last I checked: the rest of Ponyvile accepted the explanation that Princess Celestia and your doctors gave: that you'd experienced a temporary mental burnout. Which you did. So of COURSE they were sympathetic: everypony in Ponyville was getting burnouts of their own!"
I frowned at her as she looked away. "They've moved on, Twilight. Why are you even bringing this up? Now, of all times?"
"Spike, be quiet!" Twilight snapped.
I was stunned silent. Twilight barely EVER talked to me like that.
"Girls," Twilight knelt on her four legs so she was on eye level with them. "No one can deny that you've made your share of mistakes. But I want you to know that I admire you."
"On Hearts and Hooves Day, you were mature enough to tell me what you did to Cheerilee and Big Mac after you returned the book. You didn't hide it. YOU apologized to me for Gabby Gums. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle... I apologized to your sisters for casting the Want-It Need-It Spell. But I never apologized to you for the Want-It-Need-It-Spell. So I want to say, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for using you, for hurting you, for . . . trespassing on you."
"Twili," Applebloom said, "Ah don't . . . Ah don't need a gift to hear ya say yer sorry."
"Rarity says forgiveness isn't something you buy." Sweetie Belle pushed the records back.
"Uh, I'll keep the comics as a token of your esteem." The other girls frowned at Scootaloo, who grinned guiltily and wouldn't meet their gaze. "All the same, Twilight... the whole Smartypants incident is old news. So much has happened in Ponyville since then: us messing up with Cheerilee and the school paper, Fluttershy, Iron Will, making friends with Spike and Silver Spoon… it's really NOT been on our minds."
Scootaloo looked from Applebloom to Sweetie Belle, who each nodded in agreement.
"I mean, what made you even think about it? Did something... happen?!"
All the Crusaders -- me and Silver Spoon included -- drew in a sharp breath, and leaned forward, as though we expected Twilight to reveal that the Smartypants affair was somehow tied into a recent string of gruesome murders.
"Nnnnnno." Twilight admitted. "It's nothing that's happened. It's just been, building up. It wasn't there for a long while after Gabby Gum, and wasn't there for a little while after Heart and Hooves, but . . . brushing my teeth this morning, I randomly thought of you three and, and then all the guilt came crashing down again."
Applebloom smiled at her. "Look: don't you fret about it, Twilight. We don't. In fact, right after it happened, Applejack told me to bury the hatchet. So Ah have."
"Yeah!" said Scootaloo. "I got over all that long ago, and so should you!"
" . . . Did it have to be a doll, Twilight?" Sweetie Bell whispered.
Sweetie felt her head. Her eyes weren't seeing us, she was seeing her parts disconnected, and switched with another filly's. "Did you have to choose a doll?" Sweetie Belle hugged herself and shivered in her sweater. "I was seeing Smarty Pants in my nightmares."
I put a claw on her shoulder, Silver Spoon's hoof went to the other.
A rather disgraceful look of relief washed over Twilight at the sight of Sweetie's distress. "Oh! Okay! And what can I do to make up for it?" she asked brightly.
"ENOUGH!" Everypony and me turned to look at Silver Spoon, who stomped over to the personal apprentice of Princess Celestia herself and glared.
"I don't buy this! I KNOW selfish! I've BEEN selfish! I've walked alongside selfish inside my best friend! And I know ulterior motives when I see them! I live among ponies who say one thing and mean another!"
"I'm sorry, Silver, but what are you getting at? Just how are my actions 'selfish?'"
"Your crazy unicorn spell drove more than my friends crazy! It drove half of Ponyville crazy!"
"Celestia's forgiven me for that."
"Miss Twilight," Silver Spoon bowed her head in deepest reverence, regretting what she was about to say. "I'm sorry but... Princess Celestia isn't everything!"
Gasps all around.
"Being forgiven by a head-of-state for things you did to other ponies is what they do in politics! So why not go door-to-door and apologize to EVERYPONY ELSE?"
"Because they all just wanted to move on. I'd just be reopening old wounds."
"And what do you think you're doing now?!" Silver Spoon retorted. "Everyone standing in this room has been telling you repeatedly: LET IT GO. So why AREN'T you, you obsessive, patronizing, freaky-smiling adult?!"
Twilight looked cornered and small. "You, you three girls where the targets of my stupidity, instead of just victims."
"It wasn't stupid Twilight, it was selfish," I whispered lowly.
Not low enough. "Spike." Twilight gave her tell for an urge to escape.
"Just who are you doing this for? Applebloom? Sweetie? Scootaloo?" She looked at each filly in turn, in particular Sweetie Belle. "Or yourself? Because of some sudden... GUILT ATTACK you got while brushing your teeth this morning?"
"I . . . it wasn't JUST this morning." Twilight looked sadly at the core Crusaders. "Back on Hearts and Hooves Day, I thought giving you that history book would show I trusted you, that I was sorry I used you."
"And there we go," said Silver Spoon. "This isn't about restitution or broken bonds. You want your guilt to go away!"
Applebloom said, "Silver Spoon!"
"You know Sweetie's hurting already! You knew she was past this already! But you had to open the wound and poor salt in it!"
"Hey!" I said.
"No . . ." Twilight whispered. Her eyes misted a bit. She looked in a small mirror in the clubhouse. "She's right." Twilight breathed in deep and stood, and let out a shuddering sigh. "Silver Spoon. Thank you."
The silver filly's jaw dropped.
"I think I needed that. I think I ... keep the gifts if you want, girls! Spike! I'll-I'll see you at the library!"
Twilight teleported away. The others looked at Silver Spoon. As did I; with boiling anger.
"I can see EXACTLY what a snot like Diamond Tiara saw in you as a friend," I hissed.
"HEY!" Sweetie Belle snapped.
Her ears wilted looking like I just stabbed her through the heart. "I wasn't..."
"I'll have you know that 'obsessive, patronizing, freaky-smiling social adult' SAVED you from Discord. She saved you from Nightmare Moon and Nightmare Whisper! And she'll save you again from whatever comes next!"
"I didn't mean..."
"Twilight's never had any real friends before coming to Ponyville. She's had family, she's had Princess Celestia and me, but not any friends. She's scared to death of losing them. She won't say so, she's too 'mature' for that. But the whole reason she went crazy wasn't just fear of disappointing the Princess. She was scared Celestia would separate her from her friends. Remember all those ideal worlds of Princess Gaia? Want to know what Twilight's was? All her friends moving to Canterlot with her!"
"Spike, stop." Applebloom asked.
"Spike, please..." She was beginning to cry.
I wheeled upon all four of them. "Would it have KILLED you girls to just take her dumb little presents? Accept her apologies? Let her leave with a smile?"
"Hey! Don't look at me: I'm enjoying her gift." Scootaloo said, already a quarter-way through her first comic book defensively.
"So she'd just feed the guilt until it got hungry again? Like dad?" Silver Spoon was trembling where she stood. "It never bothered me before but, but being with you guys I . . . I realized I'm sick of seeing adults buy forgiveness and apologizing for all the wrong reasons. Spike, you know what I mean? Right?"
I just fixed her with my most smoldering glare and made to shove past her, out the clubhouse, back to the library. But she bit down on my wrist. Not hard enough to draw blood, or even to hurt, just enough to hold me back.
"Please . . . don't leave me."
She spoke the words clearly and piteously, even with my arm in her mouth.
"It was killing me Spike. I'm sorry." Sweetie Belle looked at me as she hugged Silver Spoon. Silver Spoon gratefully nuzzled her.
I realized where I had seen that look on Silver Spoon's face before. It was the same look Twilight had when she thought about to or had lost her friends. Great. Wasn't I supposed to be the mature one here?
"Guys. Spike. Did you mean that? Am I still just a bully?"
"NO!" Sweetie Belle hugged her tighter. "No you're not! Why did you do that?"
"Because . . . because I didn't want to see you treated that like that. You were done with what happened but she had to dig it up. After she told me she used you first to fake a report, then to make her guilt go away with the book she should have never given you, and then trying to do the same thing again to you. I . . . I just couldn't. I felt like I was back with Tiara."
I turned to find Applebloom blocking my path.
"I'm plum sick of this stupid 'they be a jerk' 'she be a jerk back' 'ya be a jerk back-back to her' hogwash." Applebloom said. "Yer ticked and wanna cool off, Spike fer Silver blowin' off Twilight? Fine. But ya ain't tellin' Silver Spoon she's still the same bully for caring about Sweetie Belle!"
"That isn't what I meant," I said. "Twilight's always more sensitive than anypony ever gives her credit for. You hurt her."
"And hurtin' Silver Spoon makes it right?" Applebloom pointed to the crying silver filly. It all comes down. What was I doing? Beating up a bunch of foals? Who hurt Twilight! But . . . aren't I supposed to be the mature one here? What kind of example did I just make?
"No it doesn't." A filly who barely understood how to make friends, or what friends actually were, and was scared to death of losing them. Twilight said Silver was like me? I think she was off the mark.
"Silver Spoon." I said swallowing my pride and anger in one bad tasting gulp. "You're a real friend to Sweetie Belle and the others."
" . . . Tell us about the real Diamond Tiara."
I didn't go to any of my normal friends. I couldn't face them right now. That wasn't where I teleported. Once upon a time I said that teleporting was a lot easier once I knew a place. For other unicorns such a long-distance teleportation across time zones, based upon one single visit was impossible. I wasn't every other unicorn.
I teleported right on target and banged on a window. Why not the front door? I didn't want to get her sisters involved in something that wasn't their business. Yes. I was maybe not quite thinking clearly.
Yes. I know the chances of her being home, with her travel habits, her attitudes to being tied down, and social habits, were low. I had several spying, I mean scrying spells, capable of locating her anywhere; when she was in the little filly's room, or out on a date on some distant mountain! I had her magical aura memorized down to the last wavelength!
"Hello?" The window glowed light blue and swung out.
"TRIXIE!" I leapt through the window and tackle hugged her. I finally let go of the tears I had been holding onto.
"T-T-T-Twilight?! WHAT ARE YOU-What's wrong?! What's going-are you? TWILIGHT!"
I reluctantly broke the hug. "Great to see you too, Trixie."
"Likewise." She hugged me. "It's wonderful to finally see you again. But . . . did you have to come in like a stalker into my bedroom-?!"
I gave out a few nervous laughs. "I didn't want to stir things up with your family."
"You needn't worry. Father is at the monthly Veteran's Meeting. Mother is at a demolition site. Puck and Robin are at the Lulamoon Theater watching Lexy perform. Nyxie at a interview to get a story of hers published at mother's insistence. Pixie is at a recital with Mixie watching. And I'm just taking it easy at home."
She gave a stretch.
"Why aren't you there?"
"Do you attend every public event your brothers and sisters set-up?"
"I, I don't have any brothers or sisters."
"Yes. I was sure I told you."
"No I'm pretty sure you told me you didn't have any sisters. Not about brothers."
"I think it was part of why having you as my sister was part of my fantasy with Gaia's illusions. I've always wondered what it's like to have siblings. Those who are there to pick you up when you're down who are just there."
Yeah. That does sound nice. Would have logically given me some foundations for being friends with other ponies.
"I'd say they were more trouble than they're worth, but I've had to greatly reconsider that position. No matter how badly I ignored them, they were still BSBFFs."
"Brother Sister Best Friends Forever."
Wow! What a fun nickname for family!
"Ah. I have to remember that in case mom and dad ever have another foal."
"Hope for a colt, they're at least predictable."
Heh. That reminded me how mom and dad said the same thing sometimes.
Like . . .
Like with him.
"I don't need to imagine, I have a big brother."
"What?! You just said you didn't have one!"
"Of course I do. He's Captain of the Royal Guard."
"Then how much you've never mentioned him?!"
"He's been on a world tour. I think, maybe. It's, been forever since I thought about him."
"How do you forget your own brother?!"
"No I . . . didn't-"
"Yes you did! A second ago you were saying you didn't!" I searched my memories. She was right. She was right! "So how did you forget him?"
I...I don't know..."
"Twilight...What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost..."
I was suddenly trembling, an alien sense of dread I couldn't describe. "I...I don't know...That's what scares me, how could I forget my BBBFF?"
"Big Brother Best Friend Forever?"
"Yes! But how?!..How did I forget him?"
"...Twilight, when was the last time you saw him?"
"Before...before the Summer Sun Celebration." I couldn't believe I hadn't given him one thought since we last saw each other.
"And since then you've defeated three mad gods, made seven new friends, including myself and Fluttercruel, saved Equestria from a dragon, and had more misadventures than I can count, while, according to you, your brother has been on a world tour. There's been nothing TO remind you of him. It's not hard to imagine he slipped your mind in the heat of the moment."
But...I still wasn't completely at ease... Let him be okay…please Celestia let him be okay… "No...I guess not...Thanks, Trixie...I needed that..."
"You are quite welcome," Trixie composed herself. "So, Twilight Sparkle, what inspires you to honor Trixie with your presence?"
"I just wanted to visit?"
"Leaping through my bedroom crying and hugging me for dear life? Not to mention being so worked up you had a momentary slip of memory involving a large part of your childhood."
"Oh, hehehe! . . . "
"I was practically expecting you to declare you were in l..."
"EH...Heheheheheehhh!!!" I had never given a faker laugh. I lowered my head. "The truth is Trixie. I . . . I . . . I'M A HORRIBLE PONY!!!"
I let it all out. Everything. And I began crying again. I couldn't stop. I couldn't stop rambling or crying. She already knew about the Want-It-Need-It spell. She already knew the Cutie Mark Crusaders. I had to fill her in about Silver Spoon, and Diamond Tiara, and Spike's new friendships. Trixie uncharacteristically listened silently. I hiccuped a few times. I felt ashamed that one filly I barely knew was enough to stab me so deep that I couldn't stop bleeding tears. I felt ashamed I couldn't face Celestia or my friends about this when I should have been able to trust them.
"But Twilight," Trixie whispered, "Why come to me?"
"I didn't want to dump this on any of my friends!"
"So I'M NOT a friend?!"
"OTHER FRIENDS! FRIENDS IN PONYVILLE!"
"So because I live in a different town, it's okay to bare your soul out to me, because I can't ruin your image?"
"No-No-No! NOT AT ALL! NO! I just-I just, that wasn't, give me a minute! Do you have any paper?! I need to organize my thoughts! Okay! I need a check list! Ink! Paper! Quills! At least three for the check lists, and checking the checklists and-"
A bucket of water was dumped on my head and was placed besides me. I stopped.
"Stop, Twilight. Just stop."
I stared at her. At least the bucket didn't end up on my head this time.
The look on Trixie's face wasn't that of a selfish showpony seeing another pony humiliated to build up her own self esteem.
"Are you calm now?"
"Twilight. Trixie is very happy to see you."
"But you're just being selfish all over again, wanting me to feel sorry for you for being selfish." She pointed at herself. "Sound familiar?"
"And did you stop to think how this would make me feel?"
"No, I didn't."
" . . . Now that I think about it? That it would make you feel like you were considered extra. After I spent so long telling you you weren't a 'spare' anything. After the dust had settled with Princess Gaia, and you finally were back together with your family, I first chose to visit you when I NEEDED to."
"I am sorry."
"I'm sorry for not thinking about your feelings. I'm sorry for not thinking about what this translated to for our friendship. I should have gone to you because you know what it's like to treat your problems the wrong way and make others suffer for it. I shouldn't have smashed in here in the middle of the night like you were just waiting for me to show up with something for you to fix."
"Heh, I actually, didn't mind that part too badly. And to be honest?" she smiled kindly, while levitating a handkerchief to my eyes. "I'm not HALF as upset as I'm pretending to be."
I blinked as it dabbed at my tears. "You aren't?"
"Oh, good heavens, no. One: I'm simply enjoying the novelty of being the morally superior one for once."
My smirk quirked a bit.
"Two: It actually feels rather nice to be somepony's first choice for much of anything."
"Three: if ANYONE can be said to DESERVE a small moment of selfishness like this... it is you, Twilight. You've done so much for everypony, and me, so nobly, that I can't bring myself to be THAT angry with you. Just accept that you did wrong -- as you should have accepted with the Crusaders -- learn from your failure, know that I forgive you, and move on. Enjoy the LUXURY of being able to fail and be forgiven. After all, you may be good, but be grateful no one's holding you to The Celestial Standard of Incorruptible Virtue."
I actually shuddered at the idea of that.
"Four: at a certain point... you simply have to love your friends, warts and all."
I knew I wanted her to elaborate, but I didn't quite know how to phrase the question, so I settled for giving Trixie a inquiring sort of look.
"Let me ask this... if our entire relationship was founded solely on ADMONISHING one another, on endless PREACHING and JUDGING, instead of taking the good with the bad... would there be any room left for actual friendship?"
I choked out a laugh. "I guess not. We'd be nothing more than a pair of fault-finding nags."
"Just promise you'll leave the dramatic entrances to the One And Only Trixie from now on please?"
"So what would you say you've done wrong at the heart of things?"
"I treated those I hurt, and those I wanted help from, with how they related to me not how they felt about what I had done. Princess Celestia taught me forgiving yourself is a big part of forgiveness, but I was so fixated on just making my bad feelings go away, that I didn't think about whether what caused them was already fixed or not. Or how I should have healed it or not, instead of paying compensation."
"Very good." Trixie said. Then she spread her forehooves dramatically, "Then by the Harmonious power vested in me, as an Awakened Bearer of the Element of Magic, I, the One and Only Trixie, do hereby absolve you of your sins."
I could feel my whole face crinkle up wryly.
"Go forth, to love and serve Celestia! Lead others towards the light! Donate to your local charity! Support your local theater troupe! Practice house-tree fire safety awareness at work and home! Buy my book...!"
"You wrote a book?" I said, eyes shining.
"I'm... writing a book." She replied. "Memoirs."
"I think you mentioned something about that during our fight against Gaia."
"It's a work-in-progress. I won't be revealing anything TOO confidential, of course, but let's be honest, my memoirs as the very first Second Element of Magic ought to prove a VERY lucrative story, wouldn't you say?"
"Could I read it?!" I begged. "Oh, please, please, please, PLEEEASE?"
It was a quick fifteen pages; well articulated, but barely begun. I had calmed down considerably, and I did feel better. "When did you get so good at helping up ponies when they're down and leading them along to helping themselves?"
"I had a very very good teacher." Trixie nuzzled me as I finished reading. "Twilight? Can I please share a personal burden with you?"
"Twilight . . . I had a dream recently. I dreamed I lived in a world where Discord never preyed upon me directly. He never left me a gray broken mess."
"Doesn't sound so bad."
"In this world, I had no sisters as an excuse for . . . erm, how I acted. And Twilight, since I was never hurt by Discord, my sisters never took care of me, you never saved me. We never became friends! You were never in a position to teach me what friendship actually means. And . . . I actually became worse. Not greater, not more powerful, but crueler, greedier, more deceptive and self-serving, quicker to laugh at ponies I humiliated, no, ponies I hurt! Like I was rotting from the inside. And any brief spurt of compassion felt for me, even from Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, just dissolved in light of the ugly monster I really was. No, monsters at least are grand and mighty, I was like a disease to be cured. I don't want to see where such a black road leads. T-Twilight, we're . . . you and I . . . we're going to STAY friends aren't we?"
Trixie, she look scared, no, mortally afraid. I hugged her again, nuzzling her gently, sharing my body warmth. I whispered in her ear.
"Trixie, good CAN accidentally come from bad actions, just like bad can accidentally come from good intentions, but this doesn't make that good any less real! Trixie, the healing you've been given, you've earned, is REAL. The Trixie I'm hugging right now? This is the real Trixie for me! You're the Trixie I've gotten to know, you're the Trixie I care about! You're the One And Only Trixie remember?"
She hugged me back. "HA! Twilight, you're such a geek, always wanting to redeem ponies with just words!"
I gave her a playful nudge. "I'm a mare of action too, don't ever forget!"
"Ah, of course. Of course."
"And words Trixie, are more powerful than anypony ever gives them credit for! And Trixie . . . "
"I know it's late, but can I sleep over? And can we spend the next day together? You and me?"
"I was practicing for a new show next week-"
"And why Twilight? Think carefully now." Trixie said in faux-cautious voice.
"A PART of me wanting to make up for treating you 'out of sight, out of mind' before. But the REST OF ME wants to hang out with my friend. I want to enjoy time with you as just friends not me trying to heal you or saving the world."
". . .I shall like that very much, Twilight."
What did we do? Not that really important. The point is that we did it together. Just a pair of ponies enjoying each other's company. I was sure to let Spike and Owlowiscious know where I was. Trixie and I toured Hoofington's art gallery, and we saw masterworks from the Earth Pony, Transition, and Unicorn dominant eras. Also several theatrical works (including the end of Pixie's recital). We ate out. We spent time with Trixie's family, when they all came home. And I got to hear Trixie sing.
"This is the self I have chosen to be
There's no charade
This is the choice
That I have made
Under the Sun
I'll walk this path I've begun
Regardless of what I
Could once have become
Of that chain I am now free.
I was once so un-unique that I felt worthless.
But now thank to you all
I know how special I really am.
I won't leave you when you need
Someone to help guide you through
The hard times that come while
We walk along together.
We did not start out on this path
But we're on it now so we should keep
Thanks to you I'm better
Than what I would have been."
When it was time to leave, I promised to tell the others that Trixie had said hello and her warm regards to them as well. And if we all could visit Appleloosa for one friend, maybe we could all visit Hoofington too!
I was back at home. All the Cutie Mark Crusaders seemed to have been waiting for me to reappear, rushing to meet me.
"Listen, about last time…" Applebloom began.
"I'm sorry for what I said," Silver Spoon said slightly forced. "I could have put it better, that's not how a lady acts."
I nuzzled her. "Just this once was okay. I'm going to do the grown up thing, and admit I was in the wrong." I looked at the girls. "This time I'm going to simply say I'm sorry for being selfish. I'm sorry, Scootaloo. I'm sorry, Sweetie Belle. I'm sorry, Applebloom." I kissed them on the foreheads. "And I apologize for making you fight each other, for cursing you, for using you. I'm the adult here. I'm supposed to know better. I'm supposed to be responsible with my magic.
YOU are fillies who have a wonderful friendship. YOU have a friendship that would have been near-impossible two thousand years ago. YOU clash and are STILL friends is proof how STRONG it is. YOUR friendship is a living, breathing thing. Not an object to be studied for a research paper. I apologize, and I hope you accept it."
"And Sweetie Belle. I am sorry both for opening old wounds when you're already hurting, and for agitating it when it was fresh. That was not the adult thing to do. No treats, no treasures, I only hope you'll accept my special apology to you."
" . . . I will." Sweetie Belle nodded. Spike looked very relieved.
Silver Spoon stepped forward.
"Yes, Silver Spoon?"
"Part of the reason why I lashed out at you, the way I did, was because I'm very used to grownups trying to buy their way into easy forgiveness. But at the same time... I know, on a very personal level, that while grownups can sometimes be stupid and tactless in the way they go about seeking to make amends... in the end, it's a cruel thing to shut your hearts against them. For all their flaws, I'm lucky that so many wonderful ponies WANT to be my friend. So Twilight... I'm going to do the same thing I did to my father, when I first realized this."
And she ran over and hugged me. She was joined by Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Spike, and Scootaloo, in that order. Six way hug all around! And with them, I'm free too.
"This is who I am, this Is Me,
This is the self I have chosen to be
There's no charade
This is the choice
That I have made
Under the Sun I'll walk this
Path I've begun
No matter what I think
about what I've done.
Of those chains I am now free.
I was once so guilty that I had ignored
About how you would feel
When I started opening old wounds.
Won't leave you when you need
A shoulder to cry on
But I won't be the one
Who made you start crying
We did not start out on this path.
But we're on it now so we should keep
Thanks to my friend I know
How selfish my path was."
Thank you, Trixie.
"Hi, Applebloom! Hi, Twist! Welcome to Sugar Cube Corner!" Pinkie Pie cheered. "The rest of your friends are already waiting for you inside! Go on in! The table is rented just for you!"
"Applebloom, are you thure she's no'th going to-"
"Just give'er a real chance, Twist! Oh, Hi, Silver Spoon!"
"Hi, Applebloom! Nice to meet you Twist."
"We've met before."
"No, we've talked to each other before."
"Hello... Thilver. Friendly word of warning: One. Little. Crack. About my glasseth. About my lithp. Just ONE and I'll be thure to..."
"Twist, before you finish that thought, there's something I'd like to ask." The other glasses pony said.
"...What ith it?"
"If you had a choice when spending time with your friends, would you rather, brood about morality issues? Have fun with them?"
"What's good and bad."
"I'd... I'd rather have fun with them, of course."
"Good. Twist, I did a lot of wrong things to a lot of other foals. Including you. And I'm sorry."
"Huh? W...What did you thay?"
"I'm sorry. I just saw you as a filly to tease with Diamond Tiara when you didn't have a cutie mark . . . and I was just being a shallow tagalong bully. I can't apologize for Tiara. But I do apologize for myself. I knew right from wrong, and I chose wrong. I chose to stand by and let Diamond Tiara do wrong, too. I was like a doll doing whatever Diamond Tiara wanted me to, no matter who we hurt. I'm truly sorry for all of it."
"Heh ... HAHAH! Okay, girlth! Great prank! Did you get Rarity to cast an illusion or-"
"She's real." Applebloom took Twist's hoof and had her touch my shoulder.
"Tiffany CandyCane! I, Silvia Soyala, am sorry I was a bully to you!" I knelt down and lowered my head.
Twist poked me a few times. "No way. No way. Your joking, this has to be a joke, who-"
"I'm just Silver Spoon. You're friends with Applebloom. And so am I. So maybe we should give being friends a try now. You're free not to believe me. To keep hating me for all I did to you. You're right to. No skin off my muzzle. But I intend to continue staying the best of friends with Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo. We'd love you to join in our fun, but if your resentment towards me would get in the way of that, let us know now."
"No way. No way. You're joking, thith HATH to be a joke! You're NOT thorry, I won't believe you, not until I thee you apologize to every other foal in our thchool...!"
"Let me ask Twist: which do YOU THINK is a better way to apologize? Saying I'm sorry to a hundred ponies? Letting them yell at how awful I am and me saying how wrong I was? Making me cry, sitting ashamed? Actually becoming a good pony? Be friendly to everypony from now on, instead of. . . cruel?
"I want to make amends, but I want to do it by moving forward. Letting bygones be bygones instead of digging up old bones and reopening old wounds. If Pony Heaven's real, I'll wait till then for everything to be tallied up."
She was open, I moved in the kill! "Come on, already, Twist! Do you want to have fun with us, or not? We're FOALS for crying out loud! Let's act our age! Let's fall, skin our knees, get grass stains all over our coats, and get back up again! Let's invent a new letter that comes after Z, and petition all of Ponyville to add it to the alphabet! Let's head down to Froggy Bottom Bog and not leave until we've all caught ten frogs to take home! Let's have a beauty contest and battle of the bands with all our toys! Let's shove me in a empty barrel and roll me down a hillside!"
The others fell on their flanks at the sudden explosion from me. I didn't, I didn't care. The mere idea of doing so many foalish thing with tomboys and girlie girls! It was like a dam had burst inside me. I began to hop like I had frog's legs!
"You... want to be rolled down a hill in a BARREL?!"
"Why not? Sounds like a fun thing to try. Get me nice and dizzy! Mother means well, but I'm tired of being so busy being a 'proper lady' that I can't be a filly while I have the chance."
"But your glasses!"
" . . . I can trust a friend with them can I?"
"You? Trust somepony?"
"Not somepony, some friend. A friend of Applebloom's can be a friend of mine can't she? And we're both glasses fillies, you're not a bully, you'd never do something that mean."
Twist's eyes widened in surprise like I'd reminded her of something important she'd forgotten.
"Alright, the barrel rollin' sounds like fun!"
We did. Then we hugged. Cheers and claps came from every filly, baby dragon, and adult present. Applebloom looked like she'd been given an early Hearth Warming Eve's present. Sweetie was relieved. Spike grinned. Scootaloo just cheered. Pinkie Pie cried rivers for five seconds before snapping back, "It's just so beautiful!"
"Want to share a sundae before we set out?"
"Make mine peppermint!"
"I should've guessed! The rest of us have ordered."
"We're all friends here aren't we?"
"Whoa! Mr. Spike?! Applebloom, you didn't say-"
"Does it matter?"
"Jus'th didn't see that one coming!"
"Yeah, isn't it great?" Spike grinned.
"Tho, Thilver? What happenth when they find Diamond Tiara?"
Twist didn't know it, but her saying it that way, 'when' not 'if' made my heart feel a bit lighter. And I knew I still didn't hate Tiara. " . . . I'll tell her what I've told you. And I'll try my absolute hardest to make her friends with my other friends. Because she is my friend. And I'll finally act like one and help her remember she's just a filly too."
" . . . okay. I . . . I guess . . .that . . . does for now."
"Twist?" Silver Spoon asked.
"Thank you for . . . giving me a chance."
I don't know why. But I felt a tiny bit like a pegasus who was able to fly just a little bit higher. I'm happy. I'm the Silver Spoon who exists now. This is the road of my own choosing. And this is good ice cream! That's what it means to be free.
"This is who I am, this Is Me,
This is the self I have chosen to be
There's no charade
This is the choice
That I have made
Under the Sun I'll walk this
Path I've begun
Regardless of what others
May have chose for me,
Of their chains I am now free
I am forgiven of the past I once lived
I have become your friend
I choose to never leave you behind.
I won't forsake you when you need
Someone to watch out for you
I have your back and I know that
Wou will always have mine.
We did not start out on this path
But we're on it now so we should keep
And maybe Diamond will
Walk along with us too."
Dear Princess Celestia;
Today I learned an important lesson about friendship. It's one thing to feel sorry for hurting someone, for wanting to make it up to them...but its selfish to dig up the painful past just to make your own guilt go away. I've seen times where you do need to open an old wound to heal it properly...but sometimes, the wound is already healed, and it needs to be left alone. You should always think about the right way to deal with your feelings, and how they effect others, not just yourself.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
Dear Princess Celestia;
Hello...Princess, you don't know us. At least we don't think you do. We learned a valuable lesson about friendship. Just because somepony did something bad in the past or that kind of pony hurt you, that doesn't mean you should shut your hearts to them. If you do that, sooner or later you'll shut your heart to the world. Ponies change, and what one pony did doesn't reflect on them all. To be a good friend means you need to be willing to forgive and move on.
Twist and Silver Spoon
"This is who we are, this Is Us,
This are the selves we have chosen to be
There's no charade
This is the path
That we have chose
Under the Sun we'll walk this
Path we've begun."