Chapter 4: Moments When Time Stands Still.
Twilight had been running from the party for a good five minutes before she finally stopped. She wasn't even trying to hide the tears anymore. She'd been sent to Ponyville two years ago from this very night with the responsibility of making friends. Of course, that mission had an entirely different meaning in the grand scheme of things, seeing as how it was that mission that brought her closest friends, those that bore the Elements of Harmony.That night two years previous, they'd cleared the darkness controlling Princess Luna, and through that journey, had created what Twilight believed to be an unbreakable bond.
"A lot of good that turned out to be" She thought to herself. That bond she once thought would never break was now shattering before her eyes, and for what, some silly little crush she had.
"No!",she blurted out at herself, slamming her hoof on the ground in front of her angrily. This wasn't some simple crush. This wasn't some some random little filly that you might give some random assortment of Flowers for on Hearts and Hooves Day, telling that you'll love them forever when you know that's a lie . No, this was Rainbow Dash, this was the mare Twilight had been paying attention to for weeks, trying to understand what drew her to her cyan friend. This was the mare that cared enough not to whine about how much she hated prepping for the festival no matter how roughly Twilight brushed her mane. This was the mare who stayed grounded on the way to the party just walk next to Twilight. This was the mare Twilight loved.
Yet, was it worth it all? Was it worth watching the friendships she'd worked so hard to create crumble beneath her? She just couldn't understand, the decision should be easy, yet, the answer just didn't present itself to her.
"Now what would such a pretty young face like that need to cry over," came a familiar voice behind her. Her eyes, which she hadn't realized had been shut the entire time she was sobbing, shot open as she turned on the spot. There he was , standing behind her, the shine of the moon bringing a certain brilliance to his blue mane. She mentally kicked herself for a moment, her brother, Shining Armor, had caught her crying.
"Brother," Twilight yelped through one final sob," it's so good to see you again."
She trotted up to him and threw her hooves around his neck in a big hug, but his face remained focused when she broke the hug and looked him in the eyes. There was no getting past him, and she would have to explain herself sooner or later.
"Come on Twilie," Shining spoke, a hint of playfulness in his voice as he attempted to get the answer out of her when a good minute of the silent act failed. "You can tell your brother what's wrong."
Twilight broke," I'm just, and promise me you won't tell Mom and Dad about this. . .having mare troubles." She spoke the last words slowly and with emphasis, knowing her brother, dense as he was at times, wasn't always the fastest to catch up with these things.
"Oh," her brother responded, then after a moment, when the weight of the subject hit him he recounted,"ohhh." His eyes widened slightly at the revelation of what his sister just told him, then he started to laugh as he suddenly came to terms. His sister was into mares, and he was totally fine with that.
Big Macintosh was a colt of work, not play, so it was always obvious why he was a no show at the celebrations. What people didn't know was that there was a much different side to him. A side that no one other than his two sisters knew everything about, a side that nearly got someone killed.
He kept the secret safe from anyone who he didn't trust, and that meant that hardly anyone knew about it. In fact, the only way anypony, other than the sisters he trusted with his life, would know is if they were his secret. That night, while all the ponies of Ponyville had their party, he was having one of his own in a very discrete meadow in Sweet Apple Acres, one that he'd come to call his own.
Of course, you can't have a real party with only one person, and that's where Mac's secret lies. There in the meadow they sat, side by side, each entranced with the other, Big Mac's coat a sharp red that contrasted beautifully with the dull tones of the night, and his companion blending with those very same tones.
"Thanks for this, Jack," Mac said, nuzzling his coltfriends neck soothingly," ah needed it after all the things that have been happening lately." His companion, Jack Haykness (or Captain Jack, as he preffered), merely smiled at the bright red colt happily.
The two of them laid together throughtout the night, Mac knew that his family would be at the festival, selling their famous Cider as much as they could. He was safe as long as they were there, no one would know what he was doing here with his grey coated lover.
Big Mac admired his lover deeply, taking in every detail from the streak of blonde through his mane and tail that countered with his usual grey coat, to the bright Cutie Mark that rested on his flank. Jack's mark, like the Cutie Marks of all the ponies of the world, meant amazing things to him; however, it also could mean a lot to any pony he met.
Jack's mark was a stopwatch, but not just any stopwatch. The stopwatch on Jack's flank had no hands, a fact that very few ponies took notice to. Those who did were soon thrown into the craziness that was his life, ot at least, what little bit of his life their lives could take up. For you see, the great Captain Jack Haykness was immortal. A fact that wasn't lost on his current apple loving companion.
"What's it like," Mac asked after a moment of sweet silence between the two," living forever?"
"It's hard to explain really," Jack replied, racking his brain for a moment before continuing," it can be fun, at times, loads of times honestly. Then there's those times you just wish it would be over, that the ends of time just came crashing over each other and the forever ceased to exist."
Mac frowned, he knew he really shouldn't have asked, but it was just in his nature any more to be curious about the grey colt laying beside him. After all, Jack was an enigma, always trying to act like the world around him was beautiful and that everything about the life he had was amazing, but inside a storm raged.
"I've had a lot of friends," Jack continued, bringing Mac back from his storm of thoughts about Jack's sorrow," a lot of good friends, Angelo, Ianto. The list just keeps getting longer and longer. Of course, that's not the only list that keeps growing, I've seen a lot of people die."
Big Mac nodded, kissing Jack softly, a tear flowing freely from his left eye. He knew exactly what that meant, and he could only wonder how long it would be before his name was on both of those lists.
Twilight and her brother sat on the hill overlooking Ponyville, Twilight's sour mood had long since past and she was now happy to be sitting with the brother she hadn't seen in a year. Reminiscing on the old times happily.
"I remember the first night you came to us Twilie," Shining Armor spoke, his eyes glistening happily in the moonlight," Mom and Dad told me about Celestia having a mission for us all, and then you walked into the door, scared as could be. I was so mad at them for the longest time for just bringing in some random filly, even under Celestia's word, but after a while we got to be great friends." He smiled at Twilight, then chuckled hardily. "Funny how I hadn't realized it until now Twilie, but if it hadn't been for you coming into our lives, I'd have never met Cadance."
Twilight smiled at the revelation. Then suddenly she was hit with a wave of memories, herself as a young filly wandering the streets of Canterlot, tired and alone. Walking up to a small carriage and trying to steal an apple, only to come face to face with the Princess of the Sun herself. Running as fast as she could, losing control of her magic as a sudden burst of color filled the sky. The princess taking her up as her own personal student.
"Twilie," Shining Armor shouted, waking her from her revelry. She had been crying at the sudden wave of nostalgia that had crashed upon her. "You OK sis?"
Twilight nodded, smiling at her brother awkwardly. She didn't like the idea of crying in front of him, he had taught her to be strong, to not cry.
"So, how about Cadance, things going alright between you two?", Twilight asked, giving her brother a playful jab.
"Well," Shining started nervously, mouth curling in an awkward smile," apart from the baby, everything's ju-"
"BABY!", Twilight yelped in surprise, cutting off her brother quickly. "When did this happen?"
"We found out that it's for sure a baby just last month, should be six months 'til it get's here."
Twilight shook her head and smiled at her brother. The thought of being called 'Auntie Twilie,' occured to her and her smile widened. She made to say something about the baby, but was cut off herself when a dazzling light came between them as a familiar alabaster alicorn landed beside Shining Armor, who bowed respectfully and walked way, smiling awkwardly at his younger sister.
"Hello Twilight," Princess Celestia started,"I heard about what happened, and I wish to talk to you about it."
Twilight gulped audibly, something deep within her made her feel like she would not like where this went.