The next morning was just as dreary as the previous one, with Twilight once again getting singed on her rump by a very impatient Spike. "For crying out loud Spike!" Twilight shouted, rubbing her rear and scowling at him "Any more and I'm going to have to see Nurse Redheart about ointment!"
Spike gave her a look and shouted "Well maybe I wouldn't have to burn you if you would wake up when you were supposed to! Library is supposed to open today, you know, regular business hours?" Twilight sighed, nodding from her bed and waving a hoof at him. She fell back on her bed as Spike headed down the stairs, her eyes focused on the ceiling.
"Why do I even bother..." Twilight thought to herself, her eyes shifting to the glass door and that led to her balcony. "What's the point...really? Wake up, go through miserable day after miserable day, watching my friends be happy and be in love. Why not me...? Why can't somepony love me?". She whimpered as she felt tears rolls down her cheek, her own voice coming out in a quiet whisper "Oh great...the start of the day and I'm already crying...stupid. Stupid stupid stupid....". She rolled over on her side, staring towards the picture on her nightstand that showed her and her friends showing a group hug. She was happy for them of course...but there was no denying that she was jealous of the happiness they were relishing in.
After five minutes of crying and quiet whimpering, Twilight finally found the strength to heave herself out of bed and trot into the bathroom. The temperature knobs for her shower were illuminated in a purple aura of magic and immediately turned to their preset position, the perfect mixture of hot and cold water pouring down onto the shower floor. Twilight frowned as she stepped into the stream of water, plopping herself down on her haunches and hanging her head, the water cascading down her mane and down her face like tears. It was the only 'happy place' she could have ever made for herself, the cool, comforting touch of the water like a pair of massaging hooves, getting all the stress and ache out of her weary muscles and tense body. Her thoughts wandered as she turned her head upwards, letting the water fall directly onto her face and pamper her frowning lips. She thought about work, how she'd have to spend another day sorting through books and re-shelving every bookcase. She went over Sweetie Belle's presentation, the familiar pang of sadness tearing through her heart as she remembered all those questions the students were asking a blushing Macintosh. Finally, her thoughts unintentionally settled on the romance novel she had been reading the night before.
Her thoughts ran over the way Sparkling Sunshine had been pinned on her back, her marefriend pushing her belly against her lover's and sharing a passionate kiss. Twilight bit her bottom lip slightly, her own hoof running down her own belly just as she had read it in her novel. As sexually frustrated as she was, being a virgin and all, Twilight wasn't surprised at the sudden rush of heat she felt racing through her body. Her hoof traveled down her belly and over her thigh, a shudder racking her frame as she drew ever closer to another...blissful...satisfying...beautiful moment, all alone and all to herse-
The bathroom door was knocked on roughly, causing Twilight to jump a little and squeak. Spike's voice floated through the door as Twilight panted a little, staring towards the shower wall with wide eyes "Twilight, for Celestia's sake could you hurry up?! I've got to use the bathroom!!!" Twilight sighed, putting a hoof on the shower knobs and quietly turning the water off. What water was left from her sopping wet mane, dripped down her face and mixed in perfectly with a fresh wave of tears.
"Magical Maladies and Mishaps goes under 'M'...Unicorn Horns, A Study goes under 'U'..." Twilight muttered, quietly shelving all the books she had pulled from one of the bookcases lining the walls. She had already gone through four customers, each ironically checking out a romance novel. Every title that passed under the Unicorn's sad eyes, another painful reminder stabbed at her heart, remembering the nights she had spent up reading all those happy endings and wishing that she herself could have one. The Unicorn had just finished shelving Common Cures 101 when she heard the front door opening, her own voice echoing out like some bored, half-dead animal "Welcome to the Ponyville Library...if you have anything specific you're looking for I'll be sure to help..." The voice that spoke out however, made Twilight freeze instantly.
Her whole body seized up as a familiar, lunar voice whispered out to her "Greetings Miss Sparkle...um...I do hope I am not interrupting anything." Twilight whirled about and let out a high-pitched 'squeak', watching as Princess Luna quietly closed the door behind her.
"N...no! Not at all Princess!" Twilight stuttered, quickly trotting over to her with a smile on her face "What do I owe the honor of this visit?"
Luna smiled and looked towards one of her floor pillows, whispering "May I? I'd like to get off my hooves first." Twilight nodded and held out a hoof, motioning for the Princess to take whatever seat she liked.
As Luna situated herself on her haunches, Twilight asked "Care for some tea? I think I still have a fresh batch in the kettle!"
Luna nodded and smiled as she said "Tea would be lovely, thank you" The Princess let her eyes wander around the neat and clean library, going over in her head how she was supposed to Twilight what she needed to know without spilling the beans by accident.
She looked up as Twilight brought out two fresh cups of tea, taking her own seat on a cushion and exclaiming "I must say Princess I really wasn't expecting a visit from Royalty today! Is there a special occasion or something going on that I didn't know about?"
Luna smiled and said with a kind tone in her voice "I wish it were only so Twilight...I'm actually here on behalf of Tia' and myself concerning a little...problem...that has arisen in Manehatten." Twilight raised an eyebrow, nodding and motioning for her to continue. Luna did so after a heavy sigh and a hard sip from her tea "There's been reports of multiple thefts, vandalism, grand theft carriage, all sorts of things. Usually we would let Manehatten handle this type of thing on their own, since they pretty much run themselves, but Tia' and I are convinced that maybe this requires a more...subtle approach."
Twilight cocked her head in confusion and whispered "O...k...but how does any of that involve me?"
Luna looked away sheepishly for a moment before muttering "Well...we think it's a pony causing all the trouble, a single pony. From what I've seen of the situation it's a pony who's...a bit upset, more so lonely and depressed then anger. I know you are the Unicorn who helped unite the Elements of Harmony, and have such a good track record of keeping and creating the best of friendships here in Ponyville...so..."
Twilight nodded and took a sip of her tea, finishing Luna's statement with "Because of that, you'd like me to go to Manehatten and personally try and help this wayward pony."
Luna nodded but also said with a worried look in her eye "That is correct...however I must exercise a word of caution to you Twilight...the government of Manehatten is not one to be trifled with. They're a very proud, snobbish sort of people who operate outside the boundaries of The Sun Law. You're going to be on your own, nopony else nor Spike can come with you."
Twilight nodded, finishing her tea with a simple "I understand...when do I leave?"
Luna frowned as she whispered "Today...actually. I'm sorry this is on such short notice, but I believe it's better if we nip this problem in the bud now before it gets any worse and somepony does something they might regret."
Twilight nodded as Princess Luna stood, exclaiming "You can count on me Princess! Thank you so much for stopping by!"
Luna nodded and lit up her horn with magic, producing a single train ticket out of thin air that was stamped with her crescent moon cutie-mark. She spoke as she opened the door "Your train leaves in just an hour and a half so...I'll expect you back in a few days, ok?" Twilight nodded as Luna slowly walked out the door, calling back "If you run into trouble and can't handle the problem on your own, Tia' is just a letter away!" Twilight nodded again, giving a final goodbye wave to Luna and closing the door.
She turned and shouted "Spike!!!! Get down here!"
Moments later, the soft padding of Spike's feet were heard as he descended the staircase, his face one of question "Yeah? What's up Twilight?"
The Unicorn quickly ignited her horn, trotting past Spike and up the stairs as she spoke "I'm leaving Spike, for a few days. I know it's short notice but Princess Luna herself has tasked me with handling a friendship problem in Manehatten."
Spike blinked, following her up the stairs as he asked "Who all is going with you?"
Twilight sighed and flipped open a suitcase she had levitated from her closet, throwing a few pairs of hoof socks and scarves into the open container as she said "Nopony, not even you Spike. I need you here to manage the library and I can't have my friends be put in danger while they're with me...besides, I don't need them getting bored and doing inappropriate things while I'm around..."
She grimaced as Spike spoke with concern "Danger...? What's going on Twilight? Why is there danger, why can't you let everypony know you're going?"
Twilight sighed and pushed the suitcase shut as she muttered "Because it would be just like that night when Nightmare Moon had returned, whenever my friends noticed I was in trouble they came running. I can't have that happening this time Spike, I need them to be safe and not know where I am!"
Spike face-palmed and groaned, shouting "But what about the DANGER!? What's going on that's so dangerous?"
Twilight sighed, shaking her head as she whispered "Truth be told...I don't know. Princess Luna had reason enough to worry, so that's good enough for me! Be good...and keep up with the Library, ok?" Spike nodded and leaned up, giving the mare a tight hug around her neck and receiving a motherly nuzzle from her. "I'll be back before you know it!" She smiled, trotting past him with her suitcase in tow.
"ALL ABOARD!!!!!! Hoofington Express now departing for Manehatten!" A nearby ticket colt shouted, walking by the large train that was resting in the Ponyville Train Station. Twilight moved through the crowds, squeezing her way past the impatient ponies trying to catch their own trains. She flashed her ticket to the colt standing guard by the train doors and nodded, letting her pass and board. The Unicorn sighed as she made her way down the cramped hallway, pushing past other ponies who were trying to get by.
"Sorry, excuse me, ooooh sorry! Oh I didn't see you there, I'm sorry!" Twilight muttered, as she pushed her way through, finally coming across bunk, T-2. She dropped her suitcase on the bottom bed of the three-mattress bunk bed and crawled in, settling down with a heavy sigh. Opening her suitcase, she pulled out the romance novel she had been reading the night before and spread it out on her pillow, figuring that she didn't have anything better to do then to get lost in her own fantasy's. After all, it was going to be a loooooong ride to Manehatten, what else could she do? The Train's steam-pipe let out a loud whistle and lurched forward, slowly picking up speed and beginning it's journey to the city that never sleeps. Twilight read for what seemed like an hour, but it was evident that the Unicorn was growing weary, her eyes drooping and shutting slightly. Figuring she had enough travel time, she placed her book back in her suitcase and laid her head down, curling up on her side for a light snooze.
Twilight smiled with joy as she was pushed down on her back, a pair of hooves running down her belly as she was straddled by some unknown pony. She could tell the pony was smiling as she was, and kept telling herself that this was it, this was the moment! She wouldn't have to wait any longer, she found the true love she was looking for! The pony leaned over slowly, nibbling on Twilight's ear and causing the Unicorn to shiver with excitement. What she wasn't expecting though...was the voice of the stranger to be so...familiar..., her voice sweet and seductive "We're under attack..."
"W...what?" Twilight muttered, eyes opening slowly and her ears perking to the sounds of ponies screaming and hooves thudding against the hallway carpet.
"RUN!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES WE'RE BEING ATTACKED!" A mare screamed, running by as the train gave a violent screech and started to slow down rapidly. Ponies fell to the ground at the sudden shift of speed, Twilight herself nearly getting clobbered in the head by her own suitcase. She quickly looked out the window, wondering what was going on when she suddenly gasped. A group of several ponies was standing on a hill far off from the train, and from this distance there was no way Twilight could identify any of them. What she noticed was that the pony up-front's head started to glow, and she quickly deduced that it had to have been a Unicorn. Just as she was trying to peer closer, maybe even use a Scrying spell to see who it could be, the unknown Unicorn let out a giant bolt of Azure magic, barreling it straight towards the train. Twilight screamed in fright as the bolt collided with the side of the car in front of her, the whole train starting to tip from the force of the explosion. Fire and smoke flared up from the impact site of the train as the whole chain began to tip and crash into the ground. Twilight hung on tightly to the curtains near her bed, but still she could not hold on for long. With a final shout, Twilight fell down across the train and into the opposite side's bunks. She held her head in her hooves and groaned, not even noticing her own suitcase being dislodged from its crook in her bed and flying down, straight towards her head.
She looked up as she saw the container rushing towards and -