"You live in a...tree." Trixie bluntly stated as they approached a large tree in Ponyville. It was past dark by now, and many ponies had already gone to bed. It eased Trixie's anxiety, seeing how awkward it was being sprawled on the back of another pony.
Thankfully, Spike lit the candles for when I got home. Twilight thought to herself, almost not hearing Trixie's comment. Arching her head back, she jested. "And you weigh too much for a pony your size. You really let yourself go." She smiled and turned back to open the front door with her magic.
Trixie just grimaced at the comment. It was obvious she was joking, but it hurt any mare's self-esteem to have their weight made fun of. She turned her head around to see that the inside of a tree actually turned out to be a library. She lives in a library? Figures. She seems like the bookworm type.
Without warning, Twilight lit her horn and raised an aura over Trixie, lifting her off of her back. The sudden lifting brought a much appreciated relief from her legs.
Trixie however, was not so quick to feel relief. Again, the sudden loss of a solid object beneath her startled her. But this time, she calmed down quickly. Upon being lowered to the ground, she made sure to hold her hind leg off the ground, so as to not injure herself. Once she was secure, Trixie turned to Twilight. "Just why are you so powerful, Twilight?" The question had been bugging her ever since the Ursa incident. And it tore at her. She needed to know.
Surprised by how quickly the conversation had turned to a sour note, Twilight shrank a bit, turning her head from the wounded Unicorn. She didn't like boasting or showing off. She was an introvert. "Well, I've been studying magic non-stop ever since I was just a filly. I forced myself to be able to use magic earlier than the others, and I-"
"No!" Trixie interrupted. Not loud, but very firm, drawing Twilight's attention back to her. "No, there is no natural way you became that strong. Strong enough to lift a bear the size of a house, lifting me with ease." She took a deep breath, hating to admit the lavender mare's excelling talent. "What's your secret?"
The stare that Trixie gave proved that Twilight wasn't going to get out of this by being bashful. Sighing, Twilight raised her head up high, meeting Trixie's gaze. "I am Twilight Sparkle. Personal Protege and student of Princess Celestia. I also represent the Element of Magic of the Elements of Harmony. My and my friends defeated Nightmare Moon and restored balance to Equestria during the last Summer Sun celebration." She sighed again, shaking her head, "You happy now?"
Trixie was expecting some sort of illegal training, but this was just too much for her to interpret all at once. She stared at the Unicorn, confused at first. Looking around the room, at all the different books and shelves, thoughts still buzzed around in her head. "So, you aren't just a regular Unicorn, then?" Was all Trixie managed to say. Anything else would have been yells of disbelief, but she wanted to control herself. Why would Twilight make that big of a lie?
Twilight could easily identify the look of confusion on her face. She saw it on her friends' faces all the time when she used too big of words. But this, she wanted Trixie to figure out on her own. It was a lot to take in, but it would make sense. "No, far from it. I'm very well educated, and don't do much besides practicing magic."
She couldn't think of anything to say. Trixie just kept staring at a certain bookshelf, completely in disbelief that she even heard everything correctly.
Before Trixie could ask another obvious question, Twilight changed the subject. "Hey, why don't we eat something? I'm sure you'd be hungry by now, right?"
Trixie just nodded, but that was all Twilight needed. Without another word, the librarian trotted up to the staircase, only to come back down in another second. "My assistant Spike is asleep, so we're gonna have to fix for ourselves." Twilight giggled, and headed over to a closed room.
Trixie limped her way in and noticed that the library had it's own kitchen. She just scooted over to a small table meant for 2, and took her seat.
Twilight quickly made a few sandwiches for the 2 to fill their bellies, and hovered them over to the other Unicorn, who caught her sandwich in her own unique magical aura. She knew Trixie probably wouldn't talk much, so she was going to wait until the other started a conversation, to respect her privacy.
Trixie munched slowly on her veggie and fruit sandwich. She was grateful for eating tasty food again. Too long had she grown used to forest grass. But her thoughts had settled in on the stunning information just laid upon her. On one hoof, she was glad it was the Princess' protege who outshined her that night. On the other, that fire of jealousy and hatred was still alive in her chest, maybe burning brighter than before. That part didn't want to accept Twilight's kind gesture, not one bit.
Eyeing her guest carefully, Twilight could see that Trixie was at least angry with her. It made sense, but this was hopefully the best thing for her. Seeing her covered in all of those bandages made Twilight positive that it was her responsibility to do this. "Well, I'll set up my guest bed upstairs. If you need any help just holler." She got up and softly walked over to the stairs, leaving the blue Unicorn to finish her meal.
After the hoofsteps were no longer audible, Trixie let out a loud groan, and threw her front legs over the table. Why couldn't her innards just agree on one side? She wasn't sure if she should be grateful or tell Twilight to mind her own business. A full week had passed, so one would think that Trixie would have all but discarded her stage persona. But it was something she spent years to build up, so it was not going to go away without a fight.
Before she could actually think, Twilight had already come back down, wondering where Trixie was, and was standing beside the table. "Trixie?" She asked, starting to grow concerned. "Are you okay?"
Shaking herself out of her trance, Trixie got up. "Trixie is fine." She didn't even realize that she was angered by the question until after she responded. Limping her way towards the stairs, Trixie paid no attention to Twilight.
The lavender Unicorn followed behind, to make sure Trixie could make it up on her own. Upon reaching the top, the two walked into the bedroom, where both beds were up another flight of stairs. Trixie refused help on the smaller steps, and made it just fine.
"Oh!" Twilight nearly yelled, but then clamped a hoof over her mouth, nearly forgetting Spike was asleep. She leaned closer and whispered this time. "Before we go to sleep, you still need that medicine applied."
Rolling her eyes, Trixie looked back at Twilight. "Of course. Fine, I'll lay down. You just apply it over the injury. It never takes Zecora very long." She laid herself flat on a bed with a pink blanket, leaving her rear legs facing Twilight.
Twilight carried the medicine over from her nightstand with her magic, and unscrewed the lid. She then proceeded to gently unwrap Trixie's bandages with a second aura. Upon seeing the wound for the first time, Twilight momentarily dropped the jar of medicinal gel. She caught it again, but only after letting out a short shriek, cut off by her hoof in her mouth again.
Trixie was puzzled, and arched her head over. Still being quiet, she asked, "What is the matter?" She couldn't see her leg, but she could see Twilight's expression. Trixie had been unaware of how bad her injury really was this whole time.
Twilight could feel bile coming up her throat, but managed to avoid getting sick. The wound was so shocking, with bright red muscle contrasting Trixie's dark blue coat. She had never seen anything like it before, and wasn't ready for how deep it actually was. The purple Unicorn only wondered how Trixie hadn't felt this yet, or if she always feels it, but keeps the pain hidden. Memories flashed about how she stopped the Ursa Minor, and caused all of this to begin with.
"I said, what's wrong?" Trixie asked again, this time a little louder. A chill ran down her exposed leg as a bit of cold air washed over it.
It seemed to shake Twilight out of her trance. "N-nothing. I just wasn't expecting what was underneath." Focusing now, Twilight squinted as she managed to pull out just a small portion of gel away from its source with a concentration of magic. She carefully levitated the free green glob over to the afflicted area, nearly getting sick again when she saw a bright white line in the middle of red flesh.
Twilight quickly, but carefully, spread the goo over Trixie's leg, which made Trixie arch in surprise of how cold it felt. But that was all she felt from her leg.
After it was spread, Twilight applied new bandages and tied it snugly. Afterwards, she nearly stumbled while making her way to her bed. The image of the bone and muscle still fresh in her mind, as if she was still staring directly at it.
Trixie gave Twilight a questioning look, and scratched at her shoulder, which was still wrapped up, before rolling to get under the covers. Feeling a lot warmer beneath the soft bed, Trixie quickly fell asleep.
Twilight, however, was much slower to sleep. As she lay there, Twilight wondered of all the "what-ifs": What if Zecora hadn't saved Trixie? What if I never stepped in? All nightmarish alternate possibilities were running through her mind. She had told herself time and again that it wasn't her fault, but she still looked for ways of how she could have handled the whole situation different. Twilight caught herself shedding a tear out of guilt, before forcing herself to sleep.
A bright light shining in Trixie's eyes was what awoke her. After having such a comfortable sleep, it felt horrible to be woken up by the sun of all things. She dragged her upper body up to support herself by her forelegs. She noticed Twilight was awake, seeing her bed empty, and decided that she should get up as well. The wood made a nice thud as she pulled herself out of bed, careful not to land on her rear left leg.
5 days. That's how long she had been at Twilight's house. 5 days, and the most productive thing she managed to do was read through a book about advanced magic practicing. Luckily, Twilight hadn't told anypony of her being there yet. She said she wanted to break it in the right way. And her assistant, Spike the Dragon, seemed to finally warm up to her. She thought back to his first reaction, which was rather humorous.
The days hadn't been very eventful. Trixie wanted to explore the library, but Twilight only allowed her to come down for dinner, after it was closed to the public. There had been a close call when she was in the kitchen after dark, and a few ponies busted in, nearly causing a heart attack for the 2 Unicorns. Twilight explained later that they were her friends and needed help, so she rushed off, leaving Trixie with Spike.
The Unicorn and Dragon got along well after the awkward first day. He was very well informed for his apparent youth, but that was to be expected of a Dragon raised by a nerdy bookworm. Spike would usually sneak upstairs to get a break from the work in the library, and the two would talk for a bit before Twilight caught on, dragging him back to work.
There had only been one incident so far where Trixie had been mad at her caretaker. It was after a nightmare on the third night. Similar to what she had the night she left Ponyville. Twilight was using her magic to humiliate Trixie in front of the whole town, and Trixie was merely a rag doll to the other Unicorn's superior magic skills. She refused to speak to Twilight that day, even when she needed her medicine. Right before bed, Twilight had said goodnight to Trixie, even after being shunned all day. And with a quiet whisper, said "I'm sorry."
Trixie apologized the next day of course, told her it wasn't her fault. But Twilight couldn't have argued more after hearing that it was because of Trixie's nightmare. They were uncomfortable around each other, but made up that night.
Surprisingly, they had kept up with Zecora's instructions: To apply the herb gel at morning and night. Sure, that's not exactly what she said, but Twilight got the gist of it. And according to the Lavender Unicorn, Trixie's "Little cut" was healing pretty well. She hadn't been able to see it, but was glad Twilight never showed that face of pure disgust again. Trixie had wondered since then how bad it actually was. And if it was bad, what did Zecora do to not allow her to feel it?
Now, after 4 days of waking up in a warm bed, with somepony downstairs waiting for her, Trixie started to feel a bit more inclined to Twilight's offer of staying in Ponyville. But she knew that she would be unable to house up in the library for the rest of her life. It would have to change, whether she expected it or not.
Carefully descending to the first floor of the library, Trixie noticed that Twilight was talking to 3 other mares, when Twilight turned her attention to Trixie. "...and there she is now!" She said excitedly.
The other 3, however, were far from excited when they saw Trixie. The white Unicorn's eyes widened, and she placed a hoof over her mouth. The orange Earth Pony squinted funny, as if she was unsure that she saw what she thought she did. The cyan Pegasus though, and her unmistakable rainbow mane, locked on with her eyes and flapped her wings, nearly charging into Trixie.
"Hey! What are YOU doing, showing your face back here?" She hovered right in front of Trixie's face, causing for quite an intimidating effect.
But before Trixie could answer, the mare was dragged away by her tail by Twilight's magic. "Rainbow! That's what I was trying to explain!"
"Well, sugar cube, y'all coulda mentioned that it was this here show off you was talkin' about." The orange pony adjusted her brown hat, not turning from Trixie.
"Applejack, I said I was getting to-"
"You!" The Unicorn finally spoke up stomping her hoof firmly. "Do you know how long it took to get that horrid green color out of my mane!? Nearly 3 days of constant pampering before I could see my beloved purple again!" The white mare just turned her head upwards and away from Trixie with a HMPH.
"Agh! Will you all be quiet!?" Twilight yelled, catching everypony off guard. Satisfied by the silence, Twilight continued. "Now then. The mare that Zecora saved is Trixie." She gestured to the blue Unicorn, who was still at the bottom of the staircase. "I took her into my care until her injury is healed. Zecora said that would be 7 days, and it is day 5. So, she will stay with me for at least another 2 days. But, I want her to see if she can fit in around Ponyville, and I'd like you guys to help. I already asked Pinkie and Fluttershy, but I wanted you 3 to meet her personally."
Trixie moved her eyes back and forth between these now familiar ponies. They were the 3 that she humiliated in front of the whole town. She couldn't hear what Twilight was saying. She could just see those 3, highlighted compared to everything around them.
After not hearing any responses from her friends, Twilight continued. "If you guys don't mind, I would like it if you each spent some time with her, and forgive her for what she's done."
Twilight's request got everypony to turn their heads to Trixie, who shrank under the combined stares. Rainbow Dash shook her head quickly. "No way, Twi. Not with her." And before anypony could object, she had rocketed out of the front door.
That display brought a painful guilt in Trixie's gut. Twilight walked over to the blue Unicorn and placed a comforting hoof on her shoulder. "Try not to take it too personally. Rainbow is just one of those ponies who holds a grudge against ponies who are mean to her...friends." It sounded a lot more comforting in her head.
"Yeah. But I ain't one to just forgive and forget like that either, Twilight." Applejack spoke up. "Ah'd rather see herself prove that she actually wants our forgiveness. Ah'll wait till after her legs healed up before ah say yay or nay." Nodding to Twilight, the farmer pony took her leave.
At least that was a better response. She was going to wait for Trixie to get better. Finally, the white pony sighed, being the only one of the three left. "Very well, Twilight. But like Applejack said, she will need to prove herself to me as well. Now then, I have an unusually large order to fill out before noon, so I'll be going. Bye bye Twilight!"
And with that, all 3 had left just as soon as they arrived, leaving Trixie mentally exhausted. She hadn't even had breakfast yet, and wanted to go back to sleep. But Twilight kept her hoof on Trixie's shoulder, reassuring her that it would be fine. Remembering something, she made a strange noise. "I almost forgot. Now that you're up, let's rub some gel on that leg."
"Well, Trixie! I'm glad you're up to doing this." Twilight stated as she slowly walked next to Trixie. The next morning, after they applied Trixie's medicine for the morning, the pair of Unicorns were heading slowly through Ponyville. Many people did a double take when they saw Trixie, faces usually changing to that of a glare. The blue Unicorn was surprised no one said anything to her directly. But after thinking about it, being near Twilight Sparkle probably helped.
They soon arrived at a large, 2 story building. It consisted of bright blue and pinkish colors. The curtains were a light orange, and the whole building seemed to be a mimic of those carousels at carnivals.
"Now remember, you are going to TRY to get along with my friends, alright?" She remembered Twilight say from last night. The lavender Unicorn was pretty much forcing the situation on Trixie.
"Yes, Twilight. I get it. But why do you care whether or not I can get along with anypony?" That was all Trixie couldn't understand. Her life was her own, so why did Twilight want to interfere with her business?
Twilight groaned, and turned back to face Trixie. "I told you already. I want you to try because I want you to make friends! If even a selfish, boasting show pony like yourself can do it-" She was stopped by a glare from Trixie. "N-no offense." Trixie shrugged, so Twilight continued. "Then I can learn even more about the true power of friendship."
Trixie sighed, then nodded. That's all Twilight seemed to focus on: Friendship. She had just gotten used to Twilight's dorky personality, and now Trixie was expected to get along with her friends. There was also another problem. "But... you saw how they reacted when they saw me. That Rainbow one obviously hates my guts. And I'm not particularly good at dealing with those bumpkin types."
"Trixie, you have to learn how to see past all of that sort of stuff. That's the only way it's going to work. Didn't you say you felt guilty? You do want their forgiveness, right?"
She lowered her head, letting her white mane touch the ground. She had confessed to Twilight that she did want forgiveness, more than anything at the moment. "But what if I don't get it?" Trixie asked bluntly.
After a moment of silence, Twilight spoke again. "Then you can go wherever you want. I wouldn't force you to stay in Ponyville." She let it hang in the air for a while, letting Trixie think on it.
Twilight's voice snapped Trixie out of her little flashback. "Y-yes. I'm ready."
The lavender Unicorn opened the door, ringing a small bell connected to a string. Trixie got but a moment to look around the bright pink room before her attention was drawn to the Unicorn coming into the room.
The white mare was about to yell out a traditional welcome for a customer, but then she saw 'her'. Her eager expression soon vanished, turning to Twilight. "My turn so early, is it?" Her tone was very non-enthusiastic.
Waving a hoof in a playful manner, Twilight responded. "Oh come on, Rarity. You know Rainbow Dash wouldn't get along being first."
Rarity sighed. "Very well, I'm not terribly busy today. I'll send you whatever is left of her later." Turning a cold stare to Trixie.
That, Trixie couldn't tell if Rarity was joking or not. But Twilight just laughed. "I'll be sure to check my mail." She turned to Trixie, "Have fun!" and without any warning, quickly skipped out the door, closing it behind her. "I'm so glad that my friends are going to get along." She said to herself as she continued skipping.
Trixie's eyes were pleading desperately at the door. She wanted to stop Twilight from leaving. She wanted out of this game now. Turning back slowly, the blue Unicorn was met with the same stare. Swallowing hard, Trixie forced a smile. "H-hello?"