Rarity never slept that night.
She was in the hospital, her eyes bloodshot from fatigue. She couldn't remember how many times she was here. The first rays of morning had already pierced into the room, shining brightly onto the figure before her.
Spike laid on the bed, his face slightly bruised. The monitor beeped beside him, with Rarity watching over him through her half-closed eyes.
"Spike..." she whispered into his ear, her heart now hanging from a thread of despair, about to snap at any moment.
The mare remembered everything. How he was so demonic, so brutal to her. She trembled, a small tear falling onto the sheets.
"Spike..." she tried again. "Wake up... please wake up..."
Rarity placed her ear to his chest, hearing the faint, slow thumps of his heartbeat. He was pale, shivering slightly, as if the crystal had sapped a part of his life out.
She couldn't help but sniffle quietly, recalling her shouts to the dragon. How could she not know it was Spike? How could she not see he was in trouble?
The mare let out a broken sob, her tears dampening the dragon's chest. Guilt stung and rooted inside of her, the black shadow of it engulfing her mind. Her white hooves gripped onto the bed sheets, burying her face into them.
Her throat ached and croaked, mostly from swallowing all the cold pain she had while sitting down, listening to the doctors' explanations and the nurses' attempts of comfort.
She was alone, with only a half-dead dragon sleeping in front of her. Nopony else could hear her now.
With all her remaining energy, Rarity screamed into the sheets. She screamed and screamed, letting out all the despair and anguish from within her. Tears streamed down her face, the dangling resilience in her heart finally tearing apart.
"S-Spike-!" she shouted his name out. "Wake up. Just wake up!"
Rarity shook the dragon's body frantically, grasping at his claws.
"Please..." she managed to mutter. Her body stiffened with exhaustion, her hooves tingled with numbness. She whimpered one last time, before blacking out.
Silence filled the room immediately, with Rarity now sleeping on the dragon's chest, her tears still slowly trickling down in her sleep.
A small groan suddenly erupted from Spike. His claws clenched up, his eyes slowly opening.
The dragon looked around, with one claw massaging his pounding head. He felt something soft tickling his chest, looking down immediately in surprise.
Rarity was there, lying on his chest, her hoof wrapped around his body in an embrace. Spike blushed a little at that, trying to help the sleeping mare up.
"She must be here all night," he concluded to himself. The dragon brushed her frazzled mane aside, gazing down at her tear-strewn, dozing face. Despite her fatigue, she still seemed graceful to him, making him smile.
He lifted her up, wrapping his claws around her waist as he settled the sleeping mare to his side. With a sigh, he snuggled close to her, making her smile.
The sunlight shining across her face, with the calm, quiet atmosphere, made Rarity look more surreal to Spike. He nuzzled her snout gently, pecking her on her cheek.
His heart was ravaged in a mix of guilt and passion. A small mewl escaped the mare's lips, her eyes starting to open once more as she began to smile.
"Of course, Rarity." he said, rolling his eyes slightly as his snake-like tongue licked a drying tear off her cheek, making her moan.
"You know I won't leave you like that."
Rarity could only whimper as her skin tingled at the smooth texture of the dragon's tongue.
"Enough of that, Spike...." she said, her cheeks reddening.
She pushed the dragon against the wall. Hard.
"Ow!" he cried out softly.
"At least go eas- mmffph!"
The mare quickly smashed her lips against his, instantly cutting his words off. Spike did not protest, instead letting the white pony take the lead. His vision was turning smoky, but he didn't care.
Rarity moaned lightly, feeling heat blossoming across her chest. She want him... no, need him!
The dragon's green claws ran down her body, reaching dangerously close to her flank. The mare felt disgusted yet aroused by this, her addled mind now drugged with lust.
Their long kiss was vicious, sensational. Spike managed to smirk from beneath it all, feeling the world warp around him.
"C-Celest..." Rarity could not finish, giving in to the hunger growing inside of her. She squeaked, her face pouting slightly as Spike's claws sank a little into her skin, the mare biting her lip slightly.
Rarity squirmed in the dragon's tight embrace, her back arching against the dragon with her head turned, still continuing their pleasurable kiss. Spike was now fondling her mane, twirling it around his claw like a makeshift curler.
"S-Stop it...haah..." the mare cried out as soon as their kiss broke, gently and playfully pushing him away.
The dragon give her a mischievous stare as he said:
"You? Asking me to stop? You're the one who started it."
She pouted, although Spike could see from her still-blushing cheeks she was only pretending. The mare giggled slightly, leaning closer as she whispered quietly into his ear:
"Let's do it again...... Spikey-Wikey."
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"You're sure ya want to see this, Shy?"
Fluttershy nodded at her friend, her face steeled with determination under the glaring light of the afternoon sun.
"She would've want me to be there for her."
The two mares stood, looking up at the fortress-like building before them. It seemed inviting for any unwary pony if not for the large, granite sign that stood beside, the black words on it spelling out:
Cloudsdale Downs Penitentiary
"This is it, Applejack..."
The yellow pegasus turned to her friend, letting out a sigh.
"Would you... follow me in?"
Applejack chuckled slightly at her friend. Even at hard times like these, Fluttershy was still the timid pegasus she knew.
"Why, sure." the orange pony said warmly, giving her a grin.
"Just remember to stay strong in there!"
"I will..." Fluttershy said doubtfully as they stepped through the double doors.
Charter wasn't one to oversee an execution, despite all his life being a police officer. Maybe it's just something new on the lines of a district attorney: to see 'public figures' like Ravenshy accepting death.
Sometimes, he wondered, the criminals here seemed to embrace the feeling of passing on so gracefully, yet the ponies that captured them already shivered at the slight click of a gun.
He chuckled. Cruel irony.
Ravenshy was strapped to the seat, recently sparked out from her insanity. Charter could see she was struggling inside, whipping up an emotional storm.
The judge was merciless. The sentence was put down. It's settled.
"You alright?" he said to the purple pegasus, who managed to give him a smile.
"I'm just... waiting, I-I guess..."
Ravenshy looked longingly at the doors, her eyes filled with hope.
"There's so much I want to talk to her about..."
Charter chuckled slightly. Like mother, like daughter.
"She resembles you a lot, Raven," he said with a grin.
The pegasus chuckled a little, her wings flapping about from laughter.
"Was I really that shy?"
"Depends." he exclaimed, chuckling along with her.
"I mean, I've been your friend for the past forty-five years! I should already know how you act like!"
The pair continued their small chat, the old friends finally getting the chance to talk after so long. It felt longer than it actually was, as Charter found out. Not that he hate it or anything.
"So," he finally said, looking at the watch on his hoof. "It's time, I guess?"
Ravenshy sulked with realization. A small tear dripped from her eye, the mare biting her lip as she replied:
The wooden door finally opened, with Fluttershy and Applejack stepping in slowly. Ravenshy beamed as her daughter came close, embracing her tightly with a small grin on her face.
"It's nice to see you, Flutters." the older mare whispered into her ear.
"Um... it's... nice to see you too..."
The purple pegasus chuckled, smiling at the yellow pegasus.
"Well, this is it, then?"
Her daughter couldn't help but nod. Fluttershy felt her heart curl at the sight of her mother's hooves, still shackled to the chair, yet her mother's seemingly warm smile overwhelmed any small trace of fear.
"I'm so proud of you. You've made it so far on your own, have wonderful friends...."
She turned to Applejack, who gave her a warm grin.
"...and helped out in saving the world. Twice! Who wouldn't be more proud of a filly like you?"
Fluttershy blushed a little at her comment.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there for you, Flutters. I really am."
Her mother's smile was faltering slightly, holding her breath as she continued:
"Just remember to be strong, be good to others..."
The older mare beckoned her to come closer, whispering into her daughter's ear.
"...be yourself. That's all I really want."
A small tear leaked out of Fluttershy's eye. She hugged her mother one last time, her heart dampening with warmth.
Charter wouldn't want to break the moment. It was too emotional, too... wrong to do it. But he had to.
"Let's go, Fluttershy."
The three of them stepped out of the room into the next one. A few seats were arranged just for the occasion, making Charter grimace at them in disgust.
Ravenshy smiled at her daughter from the glass chamber, a small tear falling out her eye as she mouthed out:
"I love you, Fluttershy."
The yellow pegasus was starting to break down. Applejack gripped her friend's hoof tightly, watching as Fluttershy trembled in her seat.
"I love you too... Mother..."
A pony stepped into the room, his hoof clutching on a silver syringe, with its contents swirling with mist. Ravenshy held her breath as the needle glinted in the light.
Fluttershy could somehow feel the terror, as if something was connecting both mother and daughter. The needle grazed against the purple pegasus's skin, making her tremble as it searched for a point of entry.
The yellow pegasus closed her eyes as the misty fluid finally punctured into her mother's veins, her skin tingled with a chilling feeling. Ravenshy winced slightly, her mind beginning to haze.
Applejack could only watch her friend close her eyes, trying not to see her mother's slow, painful death. Charter had already turned away, busy filling up a few papers to draw his attention away.
Ravenshy was still awake, yet her purple tone was already paling into a slight violet. She could feel her pulse throbbing louder and louder as the sounds around her turned into a faint echo, mixing into a void of noise.
Fluttershy watched yet again. She had just finished crying for the fourth time in Applejack's lap, who was still stunned at the purple pegasus's tight grasp on life.
She had closed her eyes, yet Fluttershy could see her mother's chest steadily rising and falling. Charter had left the room, obviously unable to take in the pressure.
"It won't be long now..." Ravenshy muttered to herself. She held her breath.
Ravenshy's breathing turned shallower, her vision fading to white. She take one weak glimpse at her daughter, who was now crying in Applejack's hooves.
She breathed in one last time, before exhaling, letting her life flow along with it.
Ravenshy Fallows, as she was known, had left the world.
Fluttershy cried harder as the doctors pronounced her dead aloud. She gritted her teeth in exasperation, hitting Applejack's lap in a tangled state of despair.
"We have to go now." Applejack whispered to her friend.
The yellow pegasus nodded with a sniffle. Both ponies rose from their seats, striding towards the door.
Applejack had never seen her friend this miserable. Fluttershy's pink mane was tossed around, with strands sticking onto her face from her tears. Her wings were disheveled, with feathers loosened up from their roots.
Fluttershy take one last glance back at her mother. The purple pegasus seemed to sleep with a small smile on her face, somehow warming her heart.
It was the most serene face that she had ever seen from her.
"Be yourself. That's all I really want." her voice echoed in the yellow pegasus's head. She clenched her hooves tightly, wiping her crippling tears off her face as her heart burned with a passionate desire.
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Crimson would've wanted to help out his marefriend on organizing her music sheets, but, for reasons unbeknownst to him, hunger was always the apex factor.
"So, 'Tavi," he called to the grey mare, who was busy looking about the corridor. Palgiot Palace was peaceful today, with no sign of Mirror Mare laying a hoof on the ponies living inside.
"What's for lunch?"
"What do I look like, a cook?"
Octavia rolled her eyes. Crimson was one hard stallion to tame.
"If you don't mind, I'm planning a picnic with Rarity today. Right over there."
She pointed to a distant pine forest, the trees swaying gently in the breeze. Crimson could only chuckle a little.
"Why a picnic? I thought you like those fancy restaurants around the town!"
"Oh please! I'm not even asking for such tastes that others would endeavor in. I mean, besides,"
Octavia let out a small sigh, gazing back at the woodlands.
"it's pretty nice to have some peace and quiet, after all."
"Peace and quiet, eh? Reminds me of something..."
Crimson suddenly hummed a small tune, making Octavia blink in surprise. To her, it sounded so familiar, as if a long lost memory had been magically conjured by the voice of her coltfriend.
"What are you playing at?" she asked him, giving him a suspicious look.
"Come on!" the stallion said with delight.
"You remember this well, don't you 'Tavi?"
"If you're toying with me I'll kick your flank out the window."
Crimson laughed as he continued humming, the tune beginning to clear up the fog in Octavia's head. He started mumbling out a few words, which only fueled the mare's curiosity.
"Alright. I give up."
Octavia threw her hooves into the air, sighing with defeat. The red stallion just shook his head with a small, hearty laugh as she asked:
"What song is it?"
"For one so small, you seem so strong~" Crimson playfully whispered the lyrics in her ear, giving her a smirk.
"My hooves will hold you, keep you safe and warm~"
"Can't you just tell me?" Octavia whined, trotting her hooves in anticipation.
"Can't you just guess?" Crimson mimicked, letting out a snicker as her marefriend shook her head.
"This bond between us, cannot be broken; I will be here, don't you cry~!"
Octavia's eyes widened in realization, letting out a squeak of delight. Crimson gestured a hoof towards her, beckoning her to sing.
"No. No, no, not in my life, no!"
"But 'Tavi!" he whined like a young colt, scrunching his lips with his eyes watering.
Octavia couldn't resist it. She giggled at the stallion's attempts of breaking into her, before raising her hoof in defeat.
"All right, all right... just this once."
Clearing her throat, she began to sing the next few lines:
Yes you'll be in my heart.
From this day on, now and forever more~
You'll be in my heart.
No matter what they say, you'll be in my heart.
Crimson immediately applauded, letting out a cheering whistle as Octavia bowed, slightly blushing with embarrassment.
"Bravo, 'Tavi, bravo!" he cheered, twirling the mare in his arms.
"Remember it now?"
"Our first dance." she mused.
"The day you sneaked out from your house and broke my window with a few pebbles..."
She sighed with a small blush as she continued, her voice turning into a small whisper:
"Our first kiss..."
"Strike one for Miss Philharmonica!"
The couple chuckled, continuing their stroll down the terrace. Crimson nuzzled his snout affectionately against Octavia's cheek, making her giggle.
"Stop it, Crim~!"
"Why would I? I was hoping some of your beauty will rub off on me!"
The grey mare rolled her eyes, brushing his face away.
"Crimson de la Creme, you tease."
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Solaris Followfirm frantically squirmed around in the air, her four hooves extended outwards by the tight, metallic grip of chains shackled around them. Her wings were tied together, her feathers ruffled by the thick rope over them.
She couldn't believe it! One minute she was in her office, doing all her paperwork, the next thing she knew, somepony blindfolded her and now here she was, chained like a filthy animal with a gag over her eyes.
"Hello?" she called out, her voice pulsating in an echo. Seriously, if her friends were pulling yet another prank, she's going to murder them for this.
Something scuffled from somewhere around her, making her ears perk.
"Lottie? Is that you?" she cried out. That pony was always the clumsy one; she was not surprised if she ruins whatever plans her friends were concocting right now.
"Lottie isn't available at the moment..."
The mare tensed at the sound of that voice. It was unlike anything she heard before.
"Arch? Lottie? Come on guys, it's not funny. I've got work to do."
"I'm sure you do, Miss Followfirm."
That voice... it sounded too cold, too rigid even for a prankster like Arch Fleetfall to make. Fear instantly froze inside her like ice, the mare trying to see through her blindfold.
"W-Who are you?" she asked, trying to retain her composure.
"Classic question. With every classic question like that, I'll give the same, classic yet uttermost boring answer."
Solaris could hear breathing. She cringed at the sound of it; the broken voice, the mangled tone.
"I. Am. Nopony."
"Nopony huh?" she challenged. Her mind was built for this after all.
"Then explain why you're here talking to me, you prick!"
"Wow, Miss Followfirm..."
From her point of view, the pegasus could hear the clops that the unknown pony was making.
"Already starting to underestimate your opponent, I see."
"Oh, it must be one of you competitors again."
She groaned in frustration. Her sugar empire has grown so big, it's not surprising the smaller firms would do such a thing.
"Okay, enough with the games. How much is it that you want?"
"Nothing much. Keep your damn-forsaken empire, for all I care."
Solaris gasped at the comment. What does this pony think he is? She's the CEO of Followfirm Sugar Trades! Not some darned failure from a slum! That snobbish, no-good fiend!
"Well, as if you could do better!" she scoffed, gritting her teeth angrily.
"Oh, but Miss Followfirm,"
The pony seemed to have approached her, as she could now feel the shallow breathing on her face.
"I have ventured into places. Experienced things that you could have not possibly have in your whole lifetime. To make a long story short, doing better, as you have abhorrently put it, is a pure understatement."
"So what, you rose from some backwater place that you call your home?" Solaris sneered, before letting out a 'hmph'.
"What else did you do? Become a janitor for my office?"
"Miss Followfirm, I believe you have a powerful voice. A voice like no other that makes the young ones flee from terror. A voice that matches those uttered by the Princesses of Canterlot!"
Solaris could only gape in disbelief. Was this pony actually complimenting her?
"Wh- why... um... thank you, I guess..."
"To think! How such a vengeful voice have stirred your followers. Especially that one day..."
No. That's not possible.
Solaris shook her head. This pony couldn't have known...
"Remember Miss Everflower?"
Her heart sank at them mention of that name. How could this pony know?!
"Don't you dare...."
"Sad thing, isn't it? Stealing the hard-earned money of the tramp to raise your empire, only to leave her in her woes, to bite the dust of your creation..."
The voice laughed coldly, making Solaris tremble at that and the memory of Kirlen Everflower.
"...driving her to the only way out: suicide."
A fresh tear crawled down her cheek as Kirlen's bright yellow face smiled within her. It was so genuine, so filled with life.
What have I done...
"Amazing, isn't it?" the pony continued with a cackle.
"How your voice manipulated such an innocent pegasus like her to feed your greed. That mouth of yours must be severely punished!"
Suddenly, something slid with a clang on her snout, making her yelp suddenly in pain.
It took her a while to register what was happening. Something was hooked deeply into her upper and lower lips, closing her mouth shut while making her wince in pain. Blood seeped onto her tongue, the mare trying to spit it out in vain.
"What a weird feeling it must have been... to have your own mouth sealed.... no matter now..."
Her ears perked at the sound of whirring gears, the hooks starting to open up her mouth. She clenched her hooves in pain with tears falling from her eyes, flailing her wings about despite their bounded state.
"What's wrong?" the cold voice laughed at her torture. "You're free to speak now, aren't you?"
She wanted to scream. She wanted to kick this pony so badly.
The hooks were now pulling her lips up to her snout. Solaris could feel the metal spike gripping tightly into her jawbone, with sweat now running down her hooves.
"Go ahead, scream!"
She felt two hooves grip her face. Her blindfold was yanked away, her eyes widening in fear as a white, morbid mask stared back at her, the lips of it stitched together.
"Scream for me!"
Without hesitation, she screamed into the pony's face. It seemed to last for eternity, only faltering as the muzzle around her snout started to strain her tendons, the searing pain around her cheekbone starting to spread.
Her eyes closed as her jaw was forced open. The machine wasn't stopping, the gears were whirring faster.
A small crack made her eyes flutter open, with the severe feeling of her jaw tearing apart.
Her mind was ringing at the sound of it. Her hooves were flailing about, the chains clinking against one another.
"Almost there, Solaris." the masked pony in front of her cooed. She could see it was standing on a scissor lift, a small seam of light shining onto the both of them with the mask glinting from it.
Another scream. She could feel her cheekbones starting to dislodge, her muscles all straining. Yet the hooks pulled effortlessly, her eyes bulging out from her sockets.
Blood ran down her lips. Solaris felt the world around her turn into a blur. She could feel her face turn blue with horror, the muzzle around her snout working faster and faster.
Mirror Mare watched with a smile as blood poured in streams from the pegasi's mouth, forming a large puddle of red on the cement floor below. The machine had worked well.
The masked pony got up closer, slowly inspecting the work of art as it let out a laugh. Her eyes were open, staring lifelessly into the sky with blood splattered around her face. Her head dangled upwards, yet her chin hung low, no doubt the work of the marvelous contraption.
Her jaw had snapped into two, just as anticipated.
Without hesitation, it reached around the dead mare's pockets, flipping the phone open.
Pressing a few numbers, the masked pony waited as it hummed, before a voice finally crackled:
"Cloudsdale Police Department. What's your emergency?"
"Hello, miss." it said with its cold voice, looking back with a smile at the pegasus still hanging from the chains.
"I'm here to report a murder..."