3w, 4dVision Fan Art! 8 comments · 161 views
4w, 4dNew Pony Project Reveal! Siren Song figs. 7 comments · 137 views
14w, 6dNew Pony Project (also, Progress) 6 comments · 202 views
17w, 5dCute Twilight Pictures and Vision Update 5 comments · 194 views
18w, 6dIFIWT Fan Art 14 comments · 168 views
19w, 6dVision Progress and Seeking Co-Writer 5 comments · 144 views
22w, 3dWork Woes and the Vision Progress Meter 6 comments · 152 views
23w, 3dA Different Sort of Story 5 comments · 134 views
24w, 2dMessages in a Bottle: Green Apple and Character Design 12 comments · 177 views
25w, 1dMessages in a Bottle: Siren Song and Character Design 13 comments · 202 views
“Dear Princess Celestia,” Twilight began, pausing for a moment to glance at Sparkle. The library’s uppermost floor was, for once, sparklingly clean: the floor free of paper, the charts fresh, the equipment put away in neat piles. Even the nine-and-one-quarter inch katadioptric telescopes were finally properly calibrated. Sparkle had much the same idea at that moment, pausing in her contemplation of one of the telescope’s optics to meet Twilight’s gaze. The two held that look for a moment, before their expressions went to the floor.
It was only Spike’s impatient “Ahem?” and a tap of the quill that brought the two of them back to the matter at hoof. Sparkle hurriedly busied herself making superficial adjustments to the already-calibrated instrument; Twilight drew a breath to press on.
“We would like to thank you again for the help you’ve offered us—” Twilight paused faintly, at the use of the plural, glancing at her counterpart again before hurriedly continuing “—over the past several weeks. I don’t know how we would have been able to explain things to our parents and Shining Armor without your assistance.”
Sparkle raised her head as Twilight finished, nodding faintly and continuing where her counterpart left off. “Settling in together has occupied most of our time since you left. There’s a lot of work to go through, getting ready for Twilight settling in. Even simple tasks like getting two of everything have proven more difficult than we anticipated.”
“Oh, Twilight!” Rarity gushed the moment Twilight stepped into her store, all but leaping from where she was working to face the unicorn. Twilight jumped back in surprise, caught off-guard. “Just the mare I was looking for! I was talking your brother, and he gave me some absolutely divine ideas for your new wardrobe! I had no idea armor could be so fetching!”
“Err...” Twilight attempted to object, as Rarity led her across the boutique. One of the models there was already decorated with a surprising amount of cloth and steel.
“Of course, we’ll have to change it quite a bit to fit a mare instead of a colt. Not to mention it will need to be lighter! Much lighter. But with a little time in the gym, you could—”
“Rarity!” Twilight exclaimed, the powder-white unicorn turning to face her purple counterpart. “I’m sure it will look wonderful, but what new wardrobe?”
“Well, yours, dear, of course! I know it’s a bit experimental,” she started to insist, Twilight offering her an apologetic smile.
“Oh, that’s so thoughtful, Rarity. But I was just going to get a second copy of all the clothes I already have. They’re comfortable and I know they look good, and it’s not like anypony will really mind if the two of us wear the same thing, right?”
“Rarity?” Twilight asked, after a pause. “...Are you okay?”
“But the support of our friends and family has seen us through the worst of it,” Sparkle continued. She glanced to her counterpart, giving an encouraging smile to Twilight as she added, “When we forgot who we were, they were there for us, reminding us what qualities made us love them in the first place, and of all the wonderful lessons on friendship we’ve learned here in Ponyville.”
Sparkle’s smile brought a faint energy to Twilight’s steps, and she picked up where her creator left off, pacing about the room as she gave dictation to Spike. Her steps started hesitant, but as she spoke, they quickly gained energy.
“But it’s more than just the ponies close to us. All of the ponies in Ponyville have been so understanding, even if they do find the whole thing a little confusing at times.”
“Hi, Twilight! Looking good!” Lyra politely praised a particular purple pony in passing. The cheerful green lyrist was waiting for Bon Bon in the open cafe near Ponyville’s bazaar, a muffin on a plate in front of her. She always made it a point to be nice to Twilight, ever since the incident in Canterlot, and her tone showed the effort, ever upbeat and friendly.
“Oh, hello, Lyra! Good to see you again!” Twilight replied with a smile of her own. After a moment though, she paused, stopping and turning to face the pastel pony. “You haven't seen Shining Armor, have you? He’s visiting for awhile.”
“Oh no, Twilight, sorry.” Lyra shook her head. “I didn’t even know he was here! But I’ll tell him if he—”
From the far end of the bazaar, both of them heard a raised voice. Lyra and Twilight each turned to see Shining Armor, Twilight’s very image beside him, looking their way. The distant copy raised a hoof, indicating her counterpart with a point. “There she is!”
“Oh, nevermind!” Twilight laughed. “Looks like they found—”
“I know what you are, face-stealer!” Lyra shouted, the sharp impact of her hoof taking Twilight to the ground.
Twilight reached a hoof up to her face to poke at the horseshoe-shaped bruise surrounding her left eye. Sparkle chided her with a, “Don’t poke at it. You’re lucky she hit you with her hoof instead of her horn.”
“Don’t poke at—” Spike muttered, as he scribbled away with his quill, pausing halfway through one of the words with a grumble, scratching it out with a sharp motion of the feather. “I’ll rewrite it later.”
Twilight sighed at her counterpart and removed her hoof from her face, but Spike’s grumbling drew her gaze his way, to the table and the writing implements there. After a moment, her horn came alight, and one of those implements floated over to her—the ornate brush-pen Applejack and Rarity had given her. With the faintest touch of unicorn telekinesis, she tucked it in behind her ear, letting it find a snug fit.
“But there have been some difficulties,” she continued in the clear, crisp notes of dictation. “Twilight—” The use of her own name in the third person gave her a moment’s pause, and even if it was technically proper grammar, the urge to amend her statement to “The Great and Powerful Twilight” brought a brief, faint smile to her face.
“Twilight has started wearing some of the gifts our friends made for her in public, as a way to tell us apart, but despite our best efforts, mistakes still happen.”
“Hey, Twilight, can we use your nail gun?” Scootaloo asked, poking her head up into the library window, the other two Crusaders just behind her. “Sparkle said we could!”
“I am Sparkle,” Sparkle sighed, reshelving the books in the library and giving the three fillies a long-suffering look.
“Oh, uh, she meant... Twilight said we could, yeah!” Sweetie Belle contributed helpfully, all three of them nodding in the affirmative.
“I highly doubt that,” Sparkle countered, her tone dry as she shooed the three away with a hoof. “And no, you’ll just nail your hooves to the ground again. Go try something safe today.” She observed to her satisfaction that they actually seemed to take no for an answer this time, the three fillies trotting away.
That task done, Sparkle turned to another. Her horn started to glow as she levitated a bundle of books behind her. She turned to head out the back door of the library, towards the school, where the old volumes would soon make a wonderful addition to some young foals’ education.
“Oh hey, Twilight!” Scootaloo called, when she stepped out the back. “Can we use your nail gun? Sparkle said we—”
“Still me, girls.”
Sparkle opened her mouth for a moment as though to speak, her teeth making a faint click when she shut it again. Twilight turned, looking her way, Sparkle giving her a weak smile.
“Overall,” Twilight finished, “the worst of it seems to be behind us. All that’s left to do now is to... settle in and get used to this state of affairs.” For a moment, she trailed off, glancing up to the next level of the library, and only after it was clear that Twilight was not going to continue speaking did Sparkle press on.
“We look forward to hearing from you or Princess Luna as soon as you have some insight into the magic that caused this accident to happen.” A nod between them concluded the discussion.
“Your faithful students, Twilight and Sparkle.”
With a rush of green fire and twinkling light, the rewritten letter went on its way, a cloud of magical smoke weaving a path out the window towards distant Canterlot and Celestia therein. Twilight and Sparkle each watched it go, their gazes returning to the room once the smoke was lost to sight.
“Well!” Sparkle proclaimed, rising to her hooves. “That’s that. Thank you, Spike.”
“Sure thing, Twi—” he started to answer, catching himself only a moment later. “Er. Sparkle.” The young dragon reached up and awkwardly scratched at the back of his head. He gave Twilight a nervous glance as claw met scale, muttering a quiet, “Sorry.”
“It’s okay, Spike,” she reassured him, tone light, neither hurt nor offended by his error. “But could you run downstairs and find my day planner? Between mom and dad’s visit and all this craziness, we haven’t even had time to plan for this month!”
“You got it!” Spike hopped to his feet, tone diligent and pace swift. Twilight watched him dash out the door and down into the library’s main room, and it was only her counterpart’s loud “ahem” that caused her to turn. A sharp tug from Sparkle’s telekinesis pulled their day planner from its shelf, just behind Twilight, where her body had blocked it from Spike’s view.
“Heh heh… sorry,” Twilight mumbled, not sure exactly why she was apologizing, a blush rising in her cheeks even as her gaze fell to the floor. “The library’s just so clean. There wasn’t really anything for Spike to do, and you know how he gets when he thinks I—er—you—we don’t need him. I mean—” She crossed and un-crossed her hooves, as Sparkle looked on. It was only a few moments later that Sparkle sighed, trotting forward with the book floating beside her.
“You don’t need to apologize to me. He’s your assistant too. Though you may owe him something if he spends too long searching down there,” Sparkle assured her, a hoof tilting Twilight’s face back up. “Now come on. We have organizing to do! Celestia has two students now. That means she’ll expect twice as much from us!” Her assertive tone, full of energy, brought a smile to Twilight’s face, the second lavender unicorn rising to her hooves as well.
“Only twice as much? You didn’t assign us a bonus for increased efficiency? Not to mention being able to combine our magic, that’s sure to have some useful applications!” Together, the pair trotted to the desk at the far side of the room, laying the book open before them.
“Oh I did!” Sparkle replied, enthusiastic, “I just thought that we could take this as a chance to do those things we haven’t had time for! Like finishing that paper on zebra alchemy.”
“Oh, or that expedition to the castle of the royal pony sisters!” Twilight added, quickly following with another idea. “Even better, I bet with our powers combined, we could even finally get rid of that hydra in Froggy Bottom Bog! We would just need a spell to turn it into—” Twilight paused, tapping her teeth with a hoof.
It was only a moment later that two voices called out in chorus, “Spike! Can you come back up here? We need you to test something!”
“But Prince Ironhoof!” Sparkle pleaded, draping her hoof about the powerful stallion’s shoulder, her dress billowing about her in the cold night air, the scent of roses sweeping over the garden balcony. “How can you say you don’t love me? After that night in the Canterlot tower!”
“I thought you were Twilight, your mirror-twin sister! Though you are as beautiful as the sunrise itself, it is she alone I love!” The prince let out an agonized sigh, cloak billowing about him. A single powerful hoof swept Sparkle from him, casting her aside like so much detritus in the wind. The stallion’s eyes turned away from her, to the night sky as dark as his lustrous coat.
“But your Highness! I’m carrying your foa-”
“Watcha writin’ there, Rarity?” Applejack asked as she peered over Rarity’s shoulder, the unicorn letting out a shriek of surprise. Her horn flared with light as she snapped the scroll before her shut so hard that the force almost ripped the parchment, other patrons of the outdoor cafe looking her way with thinly veiled annoyance. Somewhere, a waiter began the same litany he uttered every week around this time, about how the tips are what matter.
“Nothing! Nothing at all! Why? What is it you think you saw?” Rarity demanded hurriedly. She whirled in place to face the orange-coated earth pony, hurriedly pushing scroll and quill back into her saddlebags. It was only after a long pause that Applejack answered.
“Right now, I’m mostly thinkin’ that we should start havin’ these little lunch dates at Sweet Apple Acres. Have a bit less of an audience next time y’all decide to go crazy. I could make some decent food too. It’d be real nice.” Applejack trotted around to her side of the table, matching Rarity’s look of relief with her own skeptical expression.
“Oh.” Rarity sighed, leaning back with a slump of her shoulders. “I’m sorry, Applejack. You just… startled me, is all!” She quickly levitated the menu in an unsuccessful attempt to hide the growing flush in her features. “I hope you don’t mind, but I invited Rainbow Dash to join us. I know for a fact that she’s been so busy training for this year’s Best Young Flyer competition she’s hardly had a moment for herself. A little break will do her good.”
“Sure thing. I was wonderin’ where she’s been.” Applejack reached down to open her menu, continuing her and Rarity’s little weekly ritual. “You think she’s got a shot at the Wonderbolts this year?”
“Well it’s hard to say, really,” Rarity replied, with a faint wave of her hoof. “Last year’s um… theatrics—” she brushed the term away “—certainly got their attention, and she is in a higher age bracket now, so she’ll be taken more seriously, but there’s no formal process. The only way to join the Wonderbolts is for them to select you, and there’s so much more to that than just speed. There’s discipline, attitude—”
“Awesomeness!” A roaring voice from above finished Rarity’s sentence for her, Rainbow Dash literally diving into the scene. The pegasus descended from on high as a rainbow-hued bolt of lightning, landing on all fours in a flawless pose: hooves down, head high, and chest forward. Every table about them jumped faintly off the ground with the force of her impact, Rainbow Dash oblivious to the glares of patrons whose tea and cake now adorned their faces and coats. “You bet I’ve got a shot at the Wonderbolts this year!”
Rarity quickly cast her gaze about, dropping a bit onto the tray of a glaring waiter—and after a moment, dropping quite a few more, with an increasingly embarrassed smile. “And just how long were you lurkin’ there waitin’ for the chance to make that entrance?” Applejack asked.
Rainbow Scoffed at Applejack’s suggestions, with an exaggerated roll of her eyes. “I don’t know where you get these crazy ideas, Applejack!” She hesitated under the strength of Applejack’s skeptical gaze, amending her statement with an insistent if not wholly confident, “I was just flying in and happened to overhear.”
“So the trainin’s going well then,” Applejack summarized, Rainbow Dash nodding enthusiastically.
“You bet!” She flared her wings sharply out to either side, showing her flank to the table. “I’m not saying I’m looking good, but if you were a colt, that would probably have killed you.” She preened proudly as Rarity struggled not to roll her eyes. “If I flew any faster, it would actually turn back time.”
“You do know that flying around the world backwards doesn’t actually turn back time, Rainbow Dash?” Rarity asked, that faintest trace of sarcasm escaping her despite her best efforts. Rainbow Dash’s feathers puffed with annoyance, as she held her ground.
“It does so! Flying faster slows down time, because of, um… Lorentz.” She insisted, Rarity fixing her with a level gaze.
“Lorentz? Is this something else from your adventure novels?” She asked, just about starting to regret asking Rainbow Dash to join them, when Applejack cut in.
“Lorentz contractions are the way length and time are proportionally distorted as y’all approach the speed 0’ light. It’s one of them predecessors to special relativity. But they can’t actually cause time to go backwards. Just slow it down as you…” She noticed the other two staring at her with a pair of incredulous looks. “What?” she asked, puzzled. “Twilight made y’all sit through educational movie night too.”
“I take it then,” Rarity picked up after a delicate moment, Rainbow Dash folding her wings, “that you and one of the, er, twins, have been spending time together?”
“Oh yeah! Twilight, mostly,” Rainbow Dash agreed. “You know, I thought having two of them would be weird. But it’s kind of growing on me. She has more time for friends instead of being stuck in the library all day.”
“You mean they have,” Rarity sternly corrected, Rainbow Dash giving her a faintly apologetic glance.
“Hey, hey! I’m careful not to hurt their feelings! I know it’s still sensitive and stuff. I’ve been doing low-altitude drills all day so Twilight and I can talk. She’s even helped! I remembered the Running of the Leaves last year, so I went and asked her if she had any books on flying practice. It’s like having a personal trainer!”
“Aww, that sounds like it’ll be good for her,” Applejack observed. “Let her spend some time with her friends now that Shining Armor and her folks are gone. Sparkle’s been doing the same with me—spending all kinds of time out at Sweet Apple Acres while Big Mac is away. She keeps me company. Is she any good at that whole personal trainin’ business?”
“It’s Twilight and there are books written about it.” Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Of course she’s good at it. We’ve even been practicing together for some of the endurance exercises.”
“Oh, wonderful.” Rarity beamed. “Now, if we can just get one of them to accept a new wardrobe, all will be right with the world. I don’t suppose you could nudge her that way while you two are practicing, Rainbow Dash? Maybe start with some exercise clothes and we’ll work our way up?”
“Sure! Twilight taught me to love reading—least I can do is teach her to be an athlete,” Rainbow Dash agreed, Rarity pausing for a moment, biting her lip as her eyes went down to the table.
“Would you two give me a moment? I just um… remembered something I need to write down before I forget.” She quickly pulled the scroll from her bag, crossing something out with the quill and jotting something new down in its place.
“But your Highness!” Sparkle pleaded. “You can never be with Twilight, for she is from the mirror dimension, where I love only… Rainbow Dash!”
“Uuuuugh.” Twilight groaned in pain, silently alternating between planning to shred her books on athletic training, and wondering why anypony would spoil such a beautiful day by using it to exercise. She lay on her back in the soft grass of the hills outside Ponyville as Rainbow Dash hovered over her, the unicorn's eyes stubbornly refusing to focus on the pegasus before them.
“It’s a flying exercise. Why does it use your whole body? I don’t even have wings!” she moaned. Rainbow Dash crossed her forehooves and summoned the full reserves of her patience, a faint, annoyed sigh betraying the effort.
“It’s okay, Twilight. Take a second. Breathe and stuff,” she replied, Twilight doing her best to obey. In fact, she was doing her best not to move at all, hours of running, stretching, and lifting exercises having taken their painful yet healthy toll. “You did pretty well for your first time! You know. Up until you fainted.”
When Twilight's only response was to groan and roll over, Rainbow Dash gave the faintest roll of her eyes, circling her exercise partner and landing before her on the grass so as to stay in her field of vision.
“Why are you working so hard anyway? You’ve always been kinda… you know.” She reached out a hoof to poke Twilight's side, electing another “mmph” of pain. “Booky.”
“Are you trying to tell me I’m out of shape?” Twilight demanded with a trace of irritation, Rainbow Dash grinning widely.
“I don’t know you tell me,” she replied, poking Twilight’s sore side with a hoof several times in quick succession. Twilight let out a sharp, pained sound, feebly trying to swat Rainbow Dash away.
“Okay, okay! I surrender!” she conceded, Rainbow Dash bursting out with laughter. With some effort, Twilight managed to come to sit on her belly, hooves tucked in under her. “Maybe I have been a little out of shape,” she admitted, gaze cast down. “I’m just trying to… you know,” she murmured, a pause hanging in the air before she finished, “keep my mind off things.”
Rainbow Dash gave Twilight a sympathetic glance, and though the unicorn’s dirt-focused gaze didn’t see her, she nodded her head firmly, a decision solidifying in her mind.
“I don’t know what’s got you so down,” she asserted in her best tone of upbeat confidence. “Having my own clone would be. Awe. Some. The only hard part would be deciding which one of us gets the title of fastest mare in Equestria!” She assumed a racing posture, legs tense, like she was about to leap from a starting line.
“We’d settle it the only way two ponies that awesome can—a race around the world!” She leapt forward, careful to keep in Twilight's sight. Her wings beat to carry her off the ground, bearing her through a series of tight loops and twists.
“I’m ahead, then she’s ahead, then me, then her! We’re wingtip to wingtip! To win this, I’m going to need to use my most awesome move—the sonic rainboom! But she’s got the same idea!” Rainbow Dash whirled through a series of quick, sharp turns, ending with her straightening up, hooves rushing to her face as she gasped.
“Oh no! The power of double rainbooms is destroying Equestria! My only hope of saving my friends is to defeat what I have created! But this may be my greatest opponent yet!” Rainbow Dash fell to the ground, rearing up with hooves raised, like she was ready to strike—but she was interrupted by Twilight’s giggle.
“Wouldn’t she have the same idea?” Twilight asked as she looked up to Rainbow Dash with a growing smile. The pain in her muscles did not seem so bad, the melancholy which had briefly affected her tone banished.
“Of course! That’s why it would be the ultimate pony battle!” Rainbow Dash asserted, shouting out a “Who! Ha! Waaah!” as she struck her hooves at the air.
Twilight let out a light, relieved laugh, regretting it at once with a cry of, “Ah! Stitch! Stitch!” Rainbow Dash giggled in turn as she fell forward, back onto her hooves, waiting for Twilight to recover from the pain in her sides.
“Thanks, RD.” Twilight finally spoke, when she’d recovered enough to breathe without pain. “Sorry if I’m being kind of mopey. This whole thing is just… weird. Weirder for me than it is for you, I think. You’re used to dealing with me, even if there is twice as much now. This is the first time I’ve seen myself from the outside.” She paused. “Is my flank really—”
“You’ve got a great personality,” RD assured her quickly. “Besides! You just don’t know how to hang out with her yet. I mean, you know a lot about each other, but you’re also kind of strangers. You need to find something you have in common. Like, you know,” Rainbow dash paused. “Everything.”
“Yeah…” Twilight muttered, her gaze starting to go back to her hooves, but her head had barely lowered halfway when she caught herself, looking back up sharply. “Yeah! You’re right, RD! It’s time to stop letting this bother me and go deal with it! I’m going to run down to Sweet Apple Acres and talk to Sparkle right now!” she asserted, moving to leap to her hooves.
Rainbow Dash winced in sympathy, letting out a faint hiss as she drew in a breath between her teeth, but still Twilight was undeterred.
“Limp! I will limp to Sweet Apple Acres and talk to Sparkle right now!”
After a pause, Twilight continued. “A little help, RD?”
“And the forty-fifth little piggy made his house out of rhodium, which not only kept the wolf at bay, but proved resistant against most forms of corrosion!” Sparkle read aloud, book hovering before her as she and Applejack made their way across Sweet Apple Acres, a pair of filled baskets over each of their backs. Applejack walked in front, Sparkle following her lead. “And the wolf huffed, and he puffed, but, despite platinum group elements’ typically low yield strength, he couldn’t blow the house down!” She turned the page, taking a breath.
“The forty-sixth little piggy made his house out of palladium—” she started, Applejack taking the opportunity to interrupt quickly.
“Yup. I’m getting the picture. I reckon you got a real future in writing foals’ books, Sparkle.” Applejack knew her only hope was to change the conversation before Sparkle could make it to the post-transition metals. “It’s awful nice of y’all to come out here and help out while Big Mac is away. Sure could use the company. But uh… mind if I ask a question?”
“Sure thing, Applejack!” Sparkle offered, horn alight as she put the book away, tucking it into the straps of her saddlebags.
“Well it’s just uh… y’all’ve had an awful lot of projects lately. Your um… writin’.” She continued after a moment. “Helping Cheerilee teach all them little unicorn foals magic. All those papers. Spendin’ time with me and Rarity. It’s good to see you branchin’ out! But uh…y’all ain't trying to avoid somethin’, are you?”
Applejack turned when Sparkle didn’t answer, and seeing the unicorn gazing at the ground, gave her an encouraging look. “’S just not like you to have hobbies, is all. Unless they’re studyin’-or-book-related.”
“Well… maybe a little,” she admitted. “I’m just trying to… you know,” she murmured, a pause hanging in the air before she finished. “Keep my mind off things.”
At the time, had she thought to give words to the sensation that struck her, Applejack would have described it as déjà vu. She would have been moderately proud of her appropriate use of a Fancy word, and Sparkle would have agreed that the descriptor was appropriate. However, as it happens, they would both have been wrong. In later years, a certain purple-coated unicorn would write a paper describing the phenomenon, and would give it a proper name.
Groundhog syndrome: the feeling one experiences when encountering events that, due to magical interference, have actually occurred before.
“Uh…” Applejack stammered, shaking her head as though to clear it. “Well, that’s probably for the best. A little hard work when somethin’s botherin’ you can be just the thing to clear your head.”
“Yeah…” Sparkle agreed, with a sigh. “Applejack, you think it’s okay that I’m… you know—”
“Nervous?” she asked. Sparkle nodded, deciding that the word, while not quite accurate, was close enough.
“Shucks, Sparkle, course it’s okay. Y’all been through a heck of a shock. No one expects you to be okay with all this right away!” Applejack reassured her. “Sometimes you just gotta bite down and make yourself move on. I know Twi probably makes you feel all kinds of uncomfortable, least of all ’cause I should be callin’ you that, but she’s still family and we love her all the same, right?”
“Of course!” Sparkle answered reflexively as Applejack trotted ahead. She then added a moment later, “We have so much in common and… she’s friends with all of you and… knows Shining Armor and mom and dad. She’s family.”
“Of course I love her,” Sparkle continued, as a follow-up. Just to make sure she wasn’t misunderstood.
“There, see?” Applejack nodded. “A few little awkward feelings ain’t nothin’ to worry about. She’s probably feelin’ worse then you, on account of bein’ the copy. Just tell her how much you care about her next time you see her. It’ll be fine.”
“I… guess. I mean, she’s like my sister. And I couldn’t make her feel like she wasn’t wanted. Not after…” Sparkle shivered faintly, with the recollection of her counterpart’s scream. “She deserves to exist just as much as I do! I’d be a terrible pony if I did that!”
“Don’t y’all worry none. You’re a good pony. I’m sure it’ll all go just fine,” Applejack assured her, spotting motion off in the distance—a pony that looked very much like the one beside her, save for a shiny silver writing brush distinctively tucked in behind one ear.
“Well ain’t that good timin’. Here she comes now,” Applejack observed, Twilight approaching them with a slow but steady trot, a tad stiff in the legs.
“Hey, Applejack! Hey, Sparkle!” she called out to her friend and mirror image, her tone upbeat and enthusiastic. “Rainbow Dash just gave me the best idea! So I was thinking, we could head back to the library and—”
“I’m glad you exist!” Sparkle burst out, in the middle of Twilight’s suggestion, the other mare taking a step backwards in surprise. “Like, glad that you were born. Well not born exactly. Glad that I created you? I mean, philosophically speaking, you created yourself—” she raised a hoof to gesture, stepping forward, as the pace of her speech increased “—and I’m glad you did that, but the point is, you’re like family. I mean, Shining Armor is your brother, and if he’s your brother, then I have to be your sister! And that means we have all kinds of sisterly bonding to catch up on, except we already did because we’ve kind of spent our entire lives together up to this point.” She drew a deep breath.
“The point is uh… I love you,” she finished with her best smile. Twilight took another step back, and Sparkle leaned forward in turn.
“Um,” Twilight managed, after a moment. “Good, that’s good. I uh… I love you too.”
“Great!” Sparkle agreed, with a forceful enthusiasm. “So, you wanted to head back to the library? I’d like that if you would!”
“Oh… um,” Twilight murmured. “Yeah. Okay. Yeah, let’s do that.”
Dear Princess Celestia,
This week, I learned that sometimes being a good friend means spending time with ponies just to remind them that they have ponies who care about them. To some ponies, it matters a lot what you think of them, and it can be very hurtful if they think you don’t care about them. Being a good pony means remembering the impact you have on others, even if it makes you unhappy.
Your Faithful Student,