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“How about Patty Cakes?” I asked the aloof lavender filly for what was probably the third time in as many minutes.
“No, Patty Cakes is for foals. I’m not a foal.” She retorted, offended.
“Sorry, but that and Miss Mary are the only hoof clapping games I know.” I said, guiltily. Some foal sitter I was. I didn’t know how to teach a filly how to play any more than she did.
Our first try at playing together was going about as well as two ponies who had spent their lives in recluse could expect. Except for me that reclusiveness had been involuntary, and I was going to change that sad fate for this lonely little filly no matter what.
“Oh well~.” Twilight sang wryly, and went to pick up her book that I had finally gotten her to put down on the grass as we started our first lesson in play. I yanked it away with my telekinesis and she scowled.
“Well, if we don’t know one, we’ll just have to make one up.” I announced, not having any idea of what I was getting myself into.
“Make one up?” she asked, doubtfully.
“Sure. How hard can it be?”
Ten minutes later….
“This is boooorrriinnng~” my filly charge whined as I wracked my brain for something other than pat or patty or putt putt to say in our combined-effort-made-up-hoof-clapping song.
“Just write sunshine or something and let’s do something else.” She groaned, and shrugging, I wrote it down on my parchment paper. It was a start.
“Why don’t we try something easier?” I sighed getting up from the grass, dusting myself off, and tucking the parchment in a saddle bag I carried. Twilight just stared at me, waiting for me to tell her what to do, it seemed. I didn’t want her to just be enduring this time of playtime, though, she should be enjoying it. So I decided to turn the tables on her.
I stood stock still in front of her and didn’t say a word as she peered up at me with her investigative wide eyes. She came closer and I smirked. “Uh, what are you doing?”
I raised my hoof and tapped her on the shoulder. “You’re it.” I said and then ran off, figuring she’d follow me. I got all of a hundred hooves before I turned around to see her still standing where I’d left her. I trudged back.
“Why aren’t you chasing me?” I tried not to demand, keeping my voice level. I was more mature than her, I had more patience, I wasn’t going to let her get to me.
“We already played tag.” She muttered.
“No, you just ran away from me. Now it’s my turn.”
The filly looked from me over to her book and back, anxiously and I suffered to ask her.
“What is wrong now?”
“I don’t wanna leave my book there all alone.” She mumbled.
“Got it.” I said and picked up the book in my magic and envisioned her little thatched roof house, then proudly watched the tome disappear in a flash of my indigo light magic. “Better?”
“Whoa, where did it go?!” Twilight gasped in amazement, her eyes growing as large as saucers.
“I sent it back to your house.” I replied, smugly. I could always keep her attention with magic at least.
“You teleported it??” she cried, rearing up on her hind legs, and startling me.
“Uh… yes…?” I murmured.
“Can you please, please teach me how to teleport something? I always wanted to do that!” The little filly begged at my hooves and I frowned.
“Sorry, kiddo, I can’t teach you something that advanced. You need to reach at least a magic level three to learn it.” I explained, wishing she hadn’t asked me that. I truly wanted to be able to teach her magic, but it took me almost a year to learn that spell, and I still couldn’t teleport living things. I watched, guiltily as she got back to her hooves, her little ears hanging down in disappointment, and then suddenly, I knew. I knew what to do to make this impassive child enjoy playing with me. I just had to mix in magic with the games we played.
“Oh, I see…” the evening coloured unicorn sighed, sitting down in the grass.
“But I can still teach you other magic. Why don’t you show me what you can do so far?” I offered. She perked up at that and pulled a small notebook out from her saddle bag and dropped it on the ground.
“Well… I can do this…” she leaned down in front of the notebook and gritted her teeth as she struggled to concentrate on the levitation spell I guessed she was performing. Slowly, but surely the notebook began to rise up to her and she grinned, proudly, almost letting it drop, but I caught on to it.
“Awesome.” I said, and then took off with the notebook still caught in my magic. This time I heard her hoof beats right behind me.
“Hey! That’s mine, give it back!” she squealed as she gained on me. I guessed I wasn’t the fastest galloper.
“You have to catch me first!” I called, as I galloped along the hills, feeling the wind in my mane and the sun on my shoulders causing me to break out into a smile at the rush. It didn’t last long, because suddenly I was tackled to the ground by a small purple ball. I wasn’t that much bigger than her but it still surprised me to be taken down so easy.
“Give it back!” Twilight snorted as she stood over me. I had lost my concentration in the tumble and didn’t even know where the notebook was anymore.
“I guess I’m it now.” I gave her a sheepish smile and then rolled over, shrugging her off of me.
“Whoa, you have wings.” She suddenly spoke up as I flexed said appendages in a stretch to check for any injury. I blinked and then giggled.
“You know, for a unicorn with such big inquisitive eyes you’re kind of oblivious.” I said, finding the notebook near me and passing it over to her.
“Don’t call me things I don’t know the meaning of.” She grumbled.
“Sorry, it just means you take awhile to notice things. I thought you knew that already about me.” I spread my wings for her.
“I thought you were a unicorn like me.” She started, than raised an eyebrow. “But you’re a pegasus?”
“No, I’m an alicorn.”
“An alicorn? Like Princess Celestia?!” she cried. This was starting to get a little stale.
“Pretty much.” I grinned, slyly. “I’m only about a century old though.”
The look on Twilight’s face was priceless and I burst out laughing. “I’m kidding, silly filly, I’m only thirteen.”
The silly filly took a minute to process that and then continued.
“But you’re still an alicorn?”
“But I thought Princess Celestia was the only one.”
“Yeah, most ponies do. We’re kinda rare, but sometimes unicorns within the royal family have an alicorn foal. That’s what I am.” I explained, absently, with no real pride in my tone. I still wasn’t comfortable being a member of the sacred race, and no filly’s admiration was going to change that.
“Can you fly?” Twilight switched the subject back, to which I was grateful.
“Yeah. My aunt taught me.” I gave a little flutter of my wings.
“I’ve never really seen a pegasus before. Except the royal guard…” the filly looked down, shyly. I knew where she was going.
“You wanna go for a ride?” I spread my wings out for her and she jumped on my back so quickly that I fell over.
“I’m sorry, are you OK?” she cried, worriedly, the first time I’d seen her show some sort of empathy for another pony. It made me believe I might just be getting through to her.
“I’m fine. Now hold on tight.” Making sure she had a good grip on my mane I took off into the sky and was rewarded with a truly happy squeal from my passenger.
“We’re flying, we’re really flying!” Twilight cried into the wind and I laughed. Maybe being an alicorn wasn’t so bad anymore. At least I seemed to have found a way to entertain my difficult charge. For now.
But as we flew over the green hills and nearer to the towers of the castle, and I felt her clutch my tied back mane tighter in her tiny hooves, I realized my initial aversion to being a foal sitter to this strange and inscrutable child was starting to lift. I really did want to pull her out of her shell. I felt bad for her to be such a recluse, and it ticked me off she was doing it to herself while I had suffered through it at the behest of my parents. I had found a common goal with working with her and I wasn’t going to give up, no matter how much she fought me. One day I’d show this little filly exactly what she was missing. And that which I had missed all along.
That night, just before Twilight’s mother came home I sat with the lavender unicorn as she slept somewhat fitfully. It would be an early night for her, for the rest of my time as her sitter I would never get her to bed that early. But after chasing me around, exerting her magic, and flying through the air with me she had been sleepy even before dinner time. She had thanked me for the ride, but I still couldn’t say whether or not she felt any affection toward me. She really was a strange little filly, troubled by something other than her own unwillingness to open up, I could see it as she tossed and turned in her sleep. How she seemed to long for something, something she no longer had. Being able to sense her emotions this way was a part of my special talent. Before I could give love I had to know that it was missing.
“Cadance’s mane tastes like cotton candy…” I was pulled back from my thoughts by the young filly’s sudden mumbling in her sleep as she sucked on her hoof, and smiled to hear my name mentioned in a somewhat positive light, (she hadn’t been the first to make the comparison.)
“…I miss you, BBBFF…” she sighed, and then turned over away from me. I frowned, unsure of what she meant by her strange words, but sensed her loneliness from them. Sighing myself, I brushed my hoof through her mane to calm her.
“It’s alright. I’m still here.” I whispered.
The next day as I greeted Twilight’s family and her again she acted just as indifferent and aloof as our first encounter, and I felt my heart break at losing the trust I had worked so hard to show her. Until her parents left and she came up to me shyly, with her notepad in her mouth, and gave it to me. Then she sat on her haunches without a word waiting for me to read it.
Clap your hooves and do a little shake.” I read aloud, and she smiled up at me.
“I wrote out the rest of the song.” She said, just as calm and cool as she always was, but I knew for sure this time, that I had reached her.
Shining Armor is coming soon. This was more of a continuation to the last chapter. I couldn't get in all I wanted to say before. I wanted to show how difficult Twilight originally was to work with, which makes a break through all the more rewarding. I work with children for a living, hence the similar theme in both my stories. Thanks!