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Ugh, where am I? Trixie winced at a slight pain in her head. What happened last night? She attempted to remember the events that might have led her to her current predicament. Okay, there was some road and a forest, a bunny thing, and water. None of that really helps. Maybe if a take a peek...
Trixie opened her eyes and slowly raised her head up off an incredibly soft pillow. Okay, I'm in a house. That's a good start. Hey, what's thi- Trixie didn't get the chance to finish the thought as the something barreled into her. The breath was shoved out of her chest as the something proceeded to squeeze the life out of her.
"Trixie, you're okay! Thank Celestia! Please don't ever do something like that again!"
"Oh! Sorry, Trixie!"
Twilight stood up off of Trixie, finally allowing her a view of the room she was in. The first thing she noticed were all the animals scurrying about, around and through the room. It was very peaceful here, no noise except for the scurrying animals. Trixie immediately thought of Fluttershy's cottage.
"Twilight, where are we?"
"Oh, right now we're in Fluttershy's cottage."
"How did we get here?" Trixie questioned, "The last thing I remember is laying on the ground soaking wet."
"You don't remember?"
Trixie shook her head.
"While we were walking back to town from Fluttershy's cottage, Rainbow Dash lost control of her flight and crashed into the lake. The pressure wave winded me and knocked you by the water," Twilight explained, "It was just good luck that Rarity and Fluttershy were coming on the way back from the spa at the same time. From what I could see after they rushed over, you dove in after Rainbow and somehow shot the two of you over to the shore from the middle of the lake. Fluttershy and Rarity went to help Rainbow and I came over to you. I think that's when you passed out."
Trixie stared as she listened to what Twilight told her. It was a bit hard to believe. That she risked her life to save somepony that most likely hated her. Would she have done the same for me? Probably not. Right now Trixie wasn't too concerned with herself, she just wanted Rainbow to be okay. "Is Rainbow alright?"
"Why don't you see for yourself?" Twilight replied while turning towards the door. "Girls! You can come in now!"
There was a shuffling of hooves on the other side of the door before it slowly opened. Inside came two pegasi and a unicorn. The unicorn had a snow white coat and a beautifully styled purple mane with three diamonds as a cutie mark. One of the pegasi was light blue with a rainbow colored mane with a lightning bolt for a cutie mark, Trixie guessed that she was Rainbow Dash. The second pegasus had a light yellow coat with a pink mane and three butterflies for a cutie mark.
"Trixie, this is Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy," Twilight introduced with a gesture at the three, "Girls, this is Trixie."
An awkward silence descended on the room. Trixie looked back and forth between Twilight's friends, unsure of what to say. Are they going to still hate me? Oh what if I did something wrong already? The silence was deafening. Finally somepony got up the courage to speak.
"Umm, thank you Trixie," Rainbow said, "If you hadn't jumped in and got me out of the water, I don't think I would have made it." Rainbow slowly held out a hoof to Trixie, who gladly shook it.
"I guess you really have changed since the last time you were here," Rarity commented.
"You all saw the worst of me when I was here a year ago," Trixie said, "Twilight, have you talked to them at all?"
"Umm..." Twilight stuttered.
"My dear, Twilight has been sitting by your side since we brought you back here. She hasn't even eaten anything," Rarity explained.
"Oh, how long have I been out?"
"The whole evening...it's Tuesday now," Fluttershy meekly replied. It was the first time she spoke since the three came in. Trixie had almost forgotten she was there. It really wasn't that hard; Fluttershy was attempting to hide herself behind Rainbow and was doing a pretty good job of it.
"Come to think of it, I am a bit hungry," Twilight said.
"Well, Fluttershy and I made a few sandwiches while you two were in here," Rarity spoke, her horn beginning to glow. Five sandwiches floated through the doorway above their heads and landed on the table. Rainbow eyed them expectantly, as if they were taunting her.
"Ugh, can I finally eat one now?" Rainbow groaned.
"Yes you may Rainbow, thank you for being so patient," Rarity replied.
"Awesome, I'm starving!"
The five of them gathered around the table and each picked a sandwich. Rainbow demolished hers in just four bites, much to Rarity's dismay. Twilight chuckled at the scene, and Trixie cracked a weak smile. Maybe I do have a chance to make friends here.
"So, why are you all of a sudden so nice, Trixie? Last time you were here you were a bit of a bitch," Rainbow asked bluntly.
"Rainbow!" Twilight scolded.
"No, no. It's understandable," Trixie cut off Twilight's rant before it could start, "I have a bit of an ego problem. Right now this is me, the real Trixie. But when my ego is fed I become, well, what all of you saw a year ago. I am truly sorry for showing-up all of you and bringing the Ursa to town. I hope you can all forgive me."
"Already done, my dear," Rarity replied, "In fact, that ego reminds me a bit of a certain blue pegasus." She slowly nodded towards Rainbow while taking another bite.
All of them except Rainbow burst out laughing, and she joined them a few seconds after. This was the first time in years that Trixie had honestly felt happy and enjoyed herself. This was the first time she actually had friends, or at least she hoped she could consider the four of them her friends.
"So Trixie, if I may be so bold, what is or was it like traveling from town to town with a magic act?" Rarity asked.
Trixie gulped down a chunk of sandwich before speaking. "Well, when I first went onto the road, it was quite fun and enjoyable. I had many good shows where ponies enjoyed themselves and so did I. It was very nice traveling across the countryside, taking in the sights of the landscape and various towns. Although at times it did get quite lonely but, for the most part, I enjoyed the time performing and entertaining. But unfortunately as I got older, my ego started getting bigger and bigger when I was on stage. It eventually got to the point where ponies were booing me out of their towns. Ponyville actually saw me at my absolute worst when I came here. But now, I'm glad that I have somewhere to stay with...umm..."
"Friends?" Twilight supplied.
"Yes, friends." Trixie smiled happily at the others, who all returned the gesture.
"Oh my! Have we already been here for so long? I'm sorry girls, but I must go pick up Sweetie Belle from school," Rarity said, looking at the nearby clock on the wall. The clock looked like a kitty.
"Trixie and I should be heading back to town as well, would you like some company?" Twilight offered.
"Sure, maybe we can show Trixie around the town as well," Rarity said with a smile.
"That sounds nice, last time I was here I didn't really get a good look at the town," Trixie replied.
"Yeah, after being out for a day I got some catching up to do with the weather patrol," Rainbow said, "I guess I'll be seeing you all some other time. Thanks for the sandwiches girls, and uh, saving me from drowning and all that."
Trixie got up with Twilight and Rarity, each levitating the plates into the kitchen. Rainbow stretched her wings before speeding out the nearby open window. Hmm, no wonder she crashes so much. With that carelessness, I’m surprised she hasn't gotten seriously hurt already. Trixie offered a polite nod to Fluttershy who returned it with a wave and smile.
The three unicorns exited the cottage and slowly made their way down the path back towards Ponyville. Trixie looked up towards the sky and saw a beautiful rainbow stretching from over their heads towards the skies above the town. She cracked a smile. Finally, things are starting to go right for me.
The weather wasn't perfect; there were a few stray clouds floating around the sky. That's probably because Rainbow wasn't working yesterday or today. I'm sure a pegasus as fast as her will get the sky clear in no time. Trixie turned back to Twilight and Rarity, who were both enjoying the peaceful walk back to town. Trixie's mind started to wander about random things, like the upcoming meeting with Twilight's two other friends. Well if that meeting goes as well as the last one, I might have a chance! Trixie hummed optimistically at the thought and before she knew it, they were already walking through the town square.
"Rarity, if you were with us at Fluttershy's cottage last night and this morning then who took Sweetie Belle to school?" Twilight asked.
"Oh, I took her over to Applejack's farm so she could have a sleep-over with her friends."
"All three of them!?" Twilight asked in disbelief. "How did you manage to get AJ to agree to that?”
"Oh, I hosted the last sleep-over of theirs, so it was her turn this time," Rarity giggled.
Trixie had no idea who they were talking about. She had a vague idea who Applejack was, the mare she tied with a rope on her performance night. She took a wild guess that Sweetie Belle was related to Rarity.
"Is Sweetie Belle..." Trixie started. Rarity could already tell where she was going and cut her off before she could even finish.
"She is my sister, and just so you're prepared, she and her two friends are in a group called The Cutie Mark Crusaders. They are very energetic."
"Sounds fun," Trixie joked.
The three of them continued their walk through Ponyville, Trixie taking in the sights of the small community. She noticed that she was still getting looks from other ponies, but they weren't the hateful glares from the day before. Trixie swore that she saw smiles as ponies looked their way. Is it possible that word spread about what happened at the lake? Well, I guess that would be a good- before Trixie knew what had happened a pink blur shot right in front of them, nearly scaring her out of her hair.
“Hi, Twilight! Hi, Rarity! Hi, Trixie! Is everything okay? I heard what happened at the lake yesterday and was so super worried about Rainbow that I decided to throw her a ‘Hurray for Being Alright Party’ once she was all better but now I see that it was you who saved her so now I'm going to throw a ‘Thanks for Saving My Bestest Friends Ever Party!' Oh! I have so much work to do to make the bestest party ever! Okay! No time to chat, I'll see you three later today at the most super spectacular party ever!" Just as fast as the blur had appeared it disappeared without a trace.
"Umm, what just happened?" Trixie asked.
"That was Pinkie Pie, and it looks like she's throwing you a party," Twilight replied.
"Should I be worried?"
"Not unless you dislike games, candy and music," Rarity answered.
"Is she always like that?"
"Yes," Twilight and Rarity said simultaneously.
"You'll get used to it," Twilight continued.
"Eventually..." Rarity finished.
Okay, so that makes one, two, three, four, five friends. Who am I missing? We have Twilight, Rarity, Rainbow, Fluttershy and now the pink one. Umm, oh! The orange one! Now what was her name again… Oh well, I’m sure we'll run into her at some point. Hmm? What is that ringing? The loud noise was emanating from a bright red building down the block. Perhaps that is the schoolhouse?
Her thoughts were soon proved correct as an avalanche of fillies and colts poured out of the front doors. The three of them had to move to the side of the path as the mob passed by to avoid being trampled. After the main herd had passed, Trixie could see three energetic fillies making a beeline for their position.
"Hi Rarity! Hi Twilight!" the three fillies practically yelled, "Hi miss blue unicorn!"
"Hi girls! How was the sleep-over last night?" Rarity questioned.
"It was great! We stayed up all night telling ghost stories!" the white one replied.
"Oh dear, I hope you three didn't give Applejack too much of a headache," Rarity joked.
"Nah, mah sister was out before midnight and we stayed in the clubhouse!" the yellow one explained, "Oh, who's yer friend?"
Before Trixie could say anything, Twilight already started. "Girls, this is Trixie," she said while gesturing to the azure unicorn. "Trixie, this is Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo," she said while motioning to each of them.
Trixie finally took a look at the three of them. Applebloom had a yellow coat and red hair with a bright red bow. Sweetie Belle had a pure white coat with a pink and purple striped mane and a horn. Scootaloo had an orange coat, purple mane and a pair of folded wings. None of them had their cutie marks.
"Hi girls," Trixie murmured, pulling off an impressive Fluttershy.
"Hi Trixie!" Applebloom and Sweetie Belle replied cheerfully. Scootaloo on the other hoof was standing there wide eyed and mouth agape staring at Trixie. This didn't really help boost her confidence. Applebloom noticed their unresponsive friend and started waving a hoof in front of her face. "Hey Scoots! Yah there? Equestria to Scootaloo! Hello-o!"
"Umm, is this normal?" Trixie asked, getting slightly creeped out by that staring pegasus.
Before any of them could reply, Scootaloo jumped at Trixie and proceeded to hug her like there was no tomorrow.
"Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” Scootaloo cried out, never releasing her death grip on the unicorn.
"Can't...breath..." Trixie choked out.
"Scootaloo! Get off'a her!" Applebloom yelled, poking her friend.
Scootaloo reluctantly released Trixie and got back to the ground, sheepishly stealing glances as the gasping unicorn. Rarity, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle were staring in shock at the orange pegasus while Twilight was doing her best to comfort Trixie. She decided against hugging her, right now Trixie needed some space to breathe.
"Ack-" *gasp* "-what is with-" *gasp* "-ponies choking-" *gasp* "-me today," Trixie muttered.
"Oh my! Now what was that all about?" Rarity questioned.
"Yeah! Why'd yah almost strangle Miss Trixie?" Applebloom joined in.
Scootaloo just shuffled her hooves and looked at the ground. "Well, umm, I heard what happened at the lake yesterday and how you saved Rainbow Dash," she said meekly, turning towards Trixie, "She's my idol, th-thank you for saving her."
Trixie was stunned. I guess word about what happened did get out into the town. I guess that's a good thing? Her head agreed; her windpipe cried out in protest. Trixie finally caught her breathe enough to respond.
"Is that some kind of greeting here? Strangling and choking new ponies?" Trixie joked.
Twilight and Rarity stifled a laugh. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked between each other not understanding the joke. They were at least glad to have cut the tension that had filled the air.
"Now that introductions are out of the way, are you ready to head home Sweetie Belle?" Rarity asked.
"Yep!" She replied cheerfully.
"And I trust Applejack will be here soon to pick you two up?" Rarity said, turning to Applebloom and Scootaloo.
"Yeah, mah big sis should be here in a few minutes," Applebloom replied.
"Great, shall we ladies?" Rarity said, looking back at Twilight and Trixie who had finally regained their composure and got up off the ground.
"Yes, I suppose we can go now," Trixie said.
The three fillies said their goodbyes as the group started moving away from the school hall towards the town square. Trixie and Twilight were idly chatting, Trixie wanting to learn a bit more about Ponyville as she would be staying there for a while. Rarity was talking to her sister about her day in school.
"Was there anything interesting in school today?" Rarity asked.
"Yeah! Pinkie Pie came into the class near the end and was handing out invitations to a super huge party later tonight! Can we go sis? Pleeeeeeeeeeease?" Sweetie Belle almost begged, not surprising Rarity one bit. Pinkie Pie parties were legendary in Ponyville as being “The biggest, bestest, most funnest parties ever!” to quote a certain pink pony. The mention of Pinkie caught the attention of Twilight and Trixie who both turned to Rarity and Sweetie Belle.
"The invitations got out that fast? Wow. That's a new record for Pinkie," Twilight said, slightly impressed.
"That's for, uh, my party?" Trixie asked skeptically.
"I would think so," Rarity replied, "and it seems that Pinkie Pie isn't pulling any punches this time around." In a slightly sarcastic tone, she added "Lucky you," before continuing, "Pinkie's parties are the most fun around, but sometimes they're a bit much. A perfect example was when Gilda came to Ponyville and she unwittingly blew her top from all the pranks at a party."
"When is the party, Sweetie Belle?" Twilight questioned.
"It's at 6pm at Sugarcube Corner!" she happily chirped. "Oh! One other thing happened today! We got a new teacher's assistant!”
"What, Cheerilee wasn't enough for all of you?" Twilight joked.
"Miss Cheerilee said that she would be staying for a few days helping out teaching." Sweetie Belle continued on with her ramblings, Twilight now fully attentive at the mention of a new educational figure in Ponyville.
Trixie was barely paying attention to the conversation. She was mostly watching the town pass by and thinking about the party later that day. She wasn't sure whether to be scared or to look forward to it. Oh I hope it doesn't go terribly. Maybe Pinkie won't make a big deal out of it? Maybe...
"Trixie? You awake there?" Twilight asked, poking her in the shoulder.
"Hmm? What now?" Trixie muttered.
"We're here," Twilight gestured with a hoof towards the tree library. "You're so cute when you space out like that." She giggled, Trixie blushed.
"How did we get here already? Weren't we just talking with Rarity?"
"They turned towards Carousel Boutique a while ago. You just kept walking beside me towards the library," Twilight answered.
"And I didn't bump into anypony?" Trixie questioned.
"Well, I had to nudge you out of the way one or two times..." Twilight stifled a laugh.
"Oh, hah hah, laugh it up," Trixie prodded. "Could you please open the door now?"
Twilight walked up to the door, still giggling and magicked it open. The two of them walked into the foyer of the library, Trixie closing the door behind her. Twilight quickly walked across the room leaving Trixie by the door.
"Wait here Trixie. I have something for you," Twilight called while heading upstairs to the bedroom.
"If it's another death hug, I think I'll pass," Trixie said half sarcastically. She plopped herself down on the couch and looked around the room. There were full bookshelves along every wall, a couple chairs along with a desk and two doors that lead to the kitchen and basement respectively. There was also a faint smell of apples emanating from the kitchen doorway. Mmm, that smells delicious. Ah, it's probably Spike cooking something.
This time by herself gave Trixie an opportunity to reflect on the last few days. Aside from the loss of magic, the near death drowning and being strangled twice the last few days have been the best I've had in years. This really is my chance to start over. Oh I can’t- Trixie's thoughts ground to a halt as she saw Twilight walking back down the stairs. Her horn was glowing as she floated two objects behind her.
Trixie's hat and cape.
"Here, Trixie, I managed to salvage these from your trailer after the incident," Twilight said while floating the two accessories over to Trixie. "I'm sorry, but these were the only pieces from the trailer that were intact."
Trixie slowly picked up her hat and cape turning them over in her hooves, trying to authenticate if they were actually hers. To absolutely anypony else, these accessories would seem insignificant. To Trixie, her hat and cape had immeasurable value. They were the only objects that she had kept with her since she started traveling, everything else she had gained from performing. Trixie's vision started to blur slightly as she looked back up at Twilight. A single tear rolled down her cheek. She really couldn't believe it, that somepony would go to such great lengths to help and be kind to her. For all the years she had spent traveling, Trixie almost felt as though she didn't deserve it.
"Trixie? Are you okay?" Twilight slowly asked.
Trixie could feel her emotions start to well up inside her. This was the single most thoughtful thing anypony had ever done for her. She slowly got up and approached Twilight. Without saying a word Trixie put a hoof over Twilight's shoulder and pulled her into a warm embrace. Twilight had no idea what to do so she just hugged Trixie back.
"Yes, I'm fine," Trixie murmured, trying to hold herself together "I...Thank you Twilight. You have no idea how much this means to me."
"Of course, Trixie, that's what friends are for," Twilight soothed.
The two unicorns held each other like that for a couple minutes until Trixie had finally calmed down. Very slowly she released Twilight and took a step back trying to collect her thoughts, awaiting the inevitable question.
"May I ask why you value your hat and cape so much?" Twilight questioned.
Trixie took a deep breath. "It's not just the hat and cape I value, but the whole persona of ‘The Great and Powerful Trixie.’ When I was only four or five, a traveling magician came to my hometown. I went with my mother to see the show and was amazed by the display. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a traveling magician myself." Trixie sighed before continuing, "After I finished magic high school, my mother gave me this hat and cloak right before I left on the road. She said that she had received it as a gift from my father before he passed away. At that time everything was going great. I was amazing crowds with my performances and living the dream. I was keeping in touch with my mother with monthly letters.”
Trixie took a pause, unsure of whether to continue. She was basically crying again at this point. "After around three years I received a letter that said my mother was very ill. I put my tour on hold and traveled back to my hometown. By the time I returned home my mother had already passed away." Trixie was now leaning against Twilight, sobbing into her shoulder. "When I left home the second time, I vowed to continue my tour and become the greatest magician ever. But after that, my performances rapidly began to decline in quality. I eventually reached the point of well, what you saw me as a year ago.” Trixie lifted herself off Twilight and looked her right in the eye. "Do you have any idea how lonely it is being a traveling magician? I never stayed in one place for long and I wasn't able to make friends. I didn't even want to make friends." This was the real Trixie. Not the stuck up performer, but the lonely, scared mare.
"No. You can stay here as long as you want. You have friends here in Ponyville, you have a family. And with Pinkie's party tonight, I'm sure the whole town will get to see the real you," Twilight said calmly, nuzzling Trixie's neck.
*sob* "Th-" *sniff* "Thank you, Twilight,” Trixie slowly murmured.
"It's going to be okay Trixie. You don’t ever have to be alone again," Twilight soothed.
The two unicorns, the two friends held each other for what seemed like hours, finding warmth and companionship in the other. Eventually though they would have to let go and continue with their lives, but for now Trixie was content to live and let live.
Big thanks to Dr. Jekyll & Nikitakitten for prereading/editing the chapter!