This story is a fan-fiction of MLP:FiM. I don't own any of it. It belongs to Hasbro, etc, etc.
Don't sue. Seriously. That would be so uncouth.
My mood didn't get better in the morning. I went to Sweet Apple Acres glum and depressed. But it didn't stop there. The next six days went by quickly as I went to work in the mornings and came home in the afternoon only to sink into a state of sadness.
“What's wrong with him?” I overheard Spike ask Twilight say one day.
“He'll get better. Just give him some time.” she replied sadly.
Throughout my week off depression, my friends tried to cheer me up in their own way. Rainbow offered another sparring match. Pinkie asked me to come foalsit again. Rarity praised my looks and told me my uniform was ready and how it would look amazing on me. Applejack was the most upfront about it, blatantly asking me what was wrong each day at work. Twilight stuck to what she told Spike, gaving me space and waiting patiently. But none of their attempts worked.
It was the sixth day of this gloom when I was finally cured.
I was finishing up work at Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack and I were pulling the cart back to the barn in uncomfortable silence. Applejack had become angry with me over the week since I wouldn't tell her anything. I was pulling the cart next to her, too encased in my oppressive depression to care about whether she was angry or not.
When we pulled up to the barn and got out of the cart-pull, we found Fluttershy waiting for us.
“Um. Excuse me, Applejack? Do you know where Big Mac is?” she asked meekly.
“Gosh darn it!” she exploded, letting all her anger towards me cascade over Fluttershy. “Didn't I already tell ya; he's in Canterlot ta show our wares. We need ta sell ta them fancy-ponies this fall.”
Fluttershy shrunk back. “I'm sorry.”
Applejack sighed “It ain't yer fault Fluttershy.” she jerked her head in my direction. “Some things jest got me riled up while we was workin', right Crimson?” she said bitterly.
I just nodded my head in silence, not caring. Applejack saw this and uttered an angry sigh.
“We're done workin' fer the day. Go on, git.” she said to me.
I started to walk out of Sweet Apple Acres slowly, knowing that I had a long day of moping at the house when I heard a soft fluttering and then a gentle land next to me.
“Don't mind her Crimson.” the gentle mare said. “She just want you to feel better.”
“Really?” I asked sardonically.
“We all do. I still owe you for helping me with my yard. Why don't you come back to my cottage for that nice massage?”
I was reluctant to take up her offer. I knew she held no bad intentions, but I wasn't sure she could actually help.
I started to decline politely, when I noticed we had taken a different turn at the fork in the road. Fluttershy had been leading me to her house the whole time without me noticing. She might have been a gently, shy mare, but she was crafty. When I noticed we were about to come to her house, I finally conceded my defeat.
“Oh alright.” I blurted out. “If it makes you feel better, you can do that massage thing.”
Fluttershy smiled. “Thank you Crimson. I'll meet you in the back.” she said as she entered her house quickly. I walked around the back and sat down on her back porch. I looked out at the forest angrily and put both of my hooves under my chin. I grumbled when I heard Fluttershy come out of her house dragging something. I turned to see her dragging a large wooden table out from the cottage. I got up and begrudgingly helped her mumbling under my breath the whole time.
We moved it out onto the lawn and dug it into the ground a little, just to make sure it wouldn't go anywhere.
She looked at me and said “Would you please lay on it?”
I looked at her quizzically. A massage on a wooden bed? It didn't sound that comfortable, but hey, I could tell her to stop at any time. I clambered up and laid on my stomach, finding out that table was actually exquisitely comfortable. I felt my body automatically relax as I laid there. But then I tensed up again as Fluttershy placed her hooves on my back gently.
“It's alright Crimson. Just let it go.” she told me softly as she started to work on the muscles along my back. She went slowly and carefully, kneading through the tight muscles and my stress. Each time I tensed up, my body reacting from years of training to not let anypony touch me, lest they kill me, she slowed down and went at me rhythmically.
“You're extremely tense Crimson.” she said as she worked, her voice as soothing as her hooves. “You're harboring too much stress. Why have you been trying to do that?”
“I don't want to put my burden on other ponies.”
“We're all your friends, so your burden is our burden. So why have you been so depressed this last week?”
I sighed and turned my head away from her. “It's complicated.”
Her hooves worked slowly. “I have time.”
I took in a deep breath. “I'm gonna tell you something that's very private to me. Twilight is the only other pony who knows.”
“I understand Crimson. I won't tell a soul.”
I told her the story of my last mission and how I lost Oakleaf. At the end she had a horrified look on her face, and I could see tears brim on her eyes. She had stopped massaging me as I got deeper into my story, and now she held her hooves at her mouth.
“Crimson, I'm so sorry.” she said as she hugged me.
I patted her on the back. “But that's only been part of what's been bothering me this week.”
I let myself lay back down. “It was after Pinkie's dinner, when Twilight and I went home....” I started as I told her of how I almost slept with Twilight.
I covered my head with my hooves. “I'm so angry at myself. I just can't deal with all this.”
Fluttershy took that as the time to continue with the massage. “Talk to me. It will help you feel better.”
“This week I've been depressed because I felt like I betrayed my wife. My family has been dead two months. Two months! And already I act like this. I shouldn't even try.”
“I'm sure Twilight understands. You told her right?”
“Mostly. I want to love her, I really do. But, my past is a tangible thing. It haunts me with my attacks and a constant hurt.”
Fluttershy gently worked out a knot in my muscle. “Then don't try to fight it.” she said as I felt the muscle lose it's tension and a wave of relief washed over me.
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
“You keep on thinking about your dead wife before you let yourself have any joy. You also try to keep it all bottled up, but maybe that causes your attacks. Your story tell it to everypony, and don't let the memory control you. You can mourn for her, but that shouldn't mean you can't ever experience love again.” she said calmly.
Her words were truthful, and that was what hurt the most. But it was a good hurt, like removing a bandage for the last time.
“Thanks Fluttershy.” I said to her graciously and sincerely, getting up off the table. From what she had said, I knew what I had to do.
She waved at me as I started galloping to the library. I knew I had to apologize to all my friends, starting with the most important mare. I slowed for a minute trying to plan out what I'd say, but I shrugged it off and galloped away at full speed. A best plan is a plan made up on the fly.
I entered the library a little winded from my run to find Applejack and Twilight animatedly discussing a book, Twilight sitting on the pull out couch and Applejack sitting in the chair across from it. However, both saw me enter and an awkward silence fell between all three of us. Instead of going into my room and sulking like I had done for the last six days, I walked up to the mares.
Applejack refused to look at me with anything other than a glare, and Twilight looked at me with a mix of nervousness and sadness. I sat down next to Twilight, surprising her. Then I made sure I had both mares' attention and I spoke.
“I'm sorry I was so.......unsociable the last few days. I had a lot of conflicting feelings and I'm sorry.”
Twilight was the first to speak. “It's alright Crimson. I know you had felt messed up, that much was obvious from how you acted.”
“The least ya could do is tell yer friends what's wrong.” Applejack said a little angry. Twilight gave her a look that silenced her, but I waved it off.
“I understand Applejack. You want to hear what's bothering me?....” I said as I told her the story of the last mission. At the end of it she was chocked up.
“An here I was angry that ya didn't trust us with yer feelings.”she said in a wracked breath. “I more of a fool than a filly in the summer. Could ya fergive me Crimson?”
I pulled her and Twilight into a hug. “I forgive you, but I'm the one who should be sorry.” I held it for a little while as I felt Applejack cry a little and Twilight relax.
“I had a chat with Fluttershy today, and she set me straight.”
Both mares pulled out of the hug and looked at me like I was a new pony. I certainly felt like one.
I heard Spike calling down the stairs .
“Twilight, I finished sorting the books upstairs!” he called as he 'plumped' down each step.
I suddenly felt like doing something fun, something to celebrate my loss of the depression, for now. I got the same manic smile that Luna taught me. Twilight and Applejack looked at me with a mix of curiosity and apprehension as I hid near the bottom of the staircase.
“Twilight? Did you hear me? What do you want me to do next?” Spike asked obediently as he stepped off the last step.
“Try to escape the dragonnapping monster!” I shouted as I lunged at him. We went head-over-tail for a minute, until I got him and threw him onto my back. Then I proceeded to gallop out the front door.
I heard Twilight moan “Males” as we left both making us laugh.
“Do you have any idea where we're going Crimson?” Spike asked me after the escape.
“Nope! You got any ideas?”
“Why don't we go to Rarity's.” saying Rarity's name with a loving sigh.
“Oh! So it's like that huh?”
“It's not her fault she's the most beautiful mare in the world.”
“Whatever kid.” I said rolling my eyes as I sped off to Carousel Boutique.
We arrived there shortly and Spike knocked on the door, since I was catching my breath. Rarity came to the door wearing her half-moon glasses, which must have meant she was working. However, her mood didn't show it.
“Crimson! Spike! How delightful to see both of you!” she said her eyes growing wide. Then she gasped dramatically “Are you hear to pick up your uniform?”
I looked over at Spike who was starting at Rarity, his eyes heart shaped and his mouth open.
“Sure, something like that.” I said amused to Rarity.
“Well come in, come in! You will love it!” she said motioning us into the Boutique.
As usual, I marveled at the lavish extravagance of the inside of the boutique. It was much more richly decorated than any other place in Ponyville, and yet it could still be called a workshop. It emanated a feel of princeliness, but also of determination and long hours spent perfecting a craft. The evidence for that was in the racks of beautiful dresses. Some were intricate, some simple, some covered in jewels, and some lacked any decoration at all. All were what could be called priceless in my mind, and they all felt loved. I knew right there that all my doubts about her work on my uniform from earlier were in vain.
“Woah.” I said feeling one of the dresses on the rack. It felt velvety, but a little rough too. Not unpleasantly so, though.
“I know” Spike said still gazing at Rarity as she went into one of her curtained work rooms. “she's so beautiful.”
“Damn kid, you're really lovestruck.”
He turned to me and he looked dead serious as he said “I'm gonna marry her one day.”
I was about to laugh but the way he said it made me stop. He was a kid, but the way he said that made me know he was telling the truth.
“Good luck with that.” I said as she walked back out of the room pushing a cart. On it stood a mannequine that was covered in a sheet. She pushed it in front of us and then gave a beaming smile.
“I present to you Crimson, the restoration of your beautiful uniform. It is tre magnifique now, thanks to my wondrous talent!” she proclaimed before pulling the sheet off with a flourish.
The sheet fell away to reveal a mannequine that I thought was naked for a minute, until I saw it. I gasped as I saw it anew. She had managed to clean it magnificently with her magic, so much so that it looked like it did the first day I put it on. The gray was no longer a dingy gray, but the gray of shadows in the moonlight, the gray of a being's sleep. It also had a new hem on the sleeves and the neck. The hem was a midnight black, but it didn't stand out from the gray. She had chosen the color so perfectly, it had blended in an amazingly handsome way. There was also a hem on all the patches, a stark moonlight silver which was intimidating to look at on such a dark article of clothing, yet it didn't menace you; it made the uniform look alive. I stood in a joyed shock as Rarity took it off of the mannequine and held in front of me with magic.
“It's rude to keep a lady waiting.” she prompted me.
I reverently put my uniform on, feeling it's familiar and comfortable embrace once again. I zippered it up and felt myself automatically loosen up and yet my senses became sharper too. I felt in my element, and I knew I would always have somepony, or actually a uniform, that would fight alongside me.
I looked to Rarity with glistening eyes. “Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. If there is any way I can repay you...”
“On no darling. Seeing you this happy is payment enough” she said gladly.
I insisted that I repay her somehow, and she put a hoof to her chin.
“There is one thing...” she said as her eyes brightened.
Before I knew it, Rarity had taken my uniform off and put it back on the mannequine and I was standing on her stage. I few seconds later I became a living mannequine. Rarity had pieces of different fabrics on me and I was holding pins in my mouth as she worked.
“Ow! Watch the pins!” I said as one pierced my skin.
“Stop breathing so much then. I simply can't make the right colors work if you move so much.”
Spike watched the spectacle amused as he sat on a dramaticly large couch eating some gems. He laughed smugly as another pin got me.
“Hey Rarity,” I said mischievously “Spike was saying how he wanted to clean your cat's litter box today.”
“What a dear! Why Spike the....” she said before looking at Spike to find a sick looking dragon.
Spike belched a loud, but short green flame. Out of the fire came a neat little scroll, emblazoned with the royal seal. Spike quickly caught it, undoing the wax seal and reading it with a puzzled look. Then he became really happy as he reached the bottom of the scroll. He jumped to his feet.
“Crimson we gotta get back to the Library! I gotta tell Twilight about this!”
“What did it say?” I asked before wincing as yet another pin found a small home in my flank.
“Shining and Cadence are coming for a visit tomorrow!”
There was a large gasp from my side. “Princess Cadence! Shining Armor! If the rumors are true I could be making some foal clothes for royalty!” the fashionista said too herself.
“I'm sorry Crimson” she said removing the fabrics from me, along with all the pins. “But you must simply go” she continued pushing me and Spike out the door before throwing my uniform at me with magic. “I have to create a masterpiece!” she shouted as she slammed the door on us.
“I still don't get what you see in her.” I muttered sourly to Spike.
He jumped onto my back, held onto my mane with one claw, my uniform with the other and shouted “Yee-haww!”
I grumbled, but I felt just as excited as he did. After all, Shining and Cadence were not only the cutest couple ever, but also close friends of mine. I went through Ponyville and reached the Library. Applejack must've left earlier and Twilight was no where to be seen. Spike jumped off my back and scampered up the stairs to Twi's room as fast as possible, calling her name the whole time. I simply went to my room and hung up my uniform, staring at it in awe for a bit. I still couldn't believe it looked this good. I saluted my uniform, and closed the doors of the wardrobe. I was so happy my most confidential friend was this beautiful.
I came out of my room to shouting and a lavender, green, and pink blur spinning around the room.
“Shining's coming! Shining's coming!” It shouted in a cacophony of two voices, muddled by the speed they generated.
I grabbed onto a chair to avoid from being pulled into the fray.
“HEY! CALM DOWN!” I shouted in vain. Then I thought about something pretty vital. “WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO STAY? ALL THE ROOMS IN YOUR HOUSE ARE USED UP!”
The tornado of joy stopped in an instant. Twilight stood in front of me with an 'oh yeah' look on her face while Spike was flung across the room, embedding his head in the wall. Twilight moved her lips in silent thinking, then had a look of anguish on her face.
“Spike, what are we going to do??” she whined.
“Urmmumghrrr.” was all that was heard from the dragon. I went over and pulled him out and he looked up at me dazed. He raised a claw to say something, but became unconscious. Twilight saw and came over to him and tried to wake him up.
“Spike! This isn't a time for sleeping! Come on!”
I pulled her off of him. “Jeeze, Twi. Just let him sleep. Why are you so frantic? I'm sure one of our friends wouldn't mind putting him and Cadence up for a night or two.”
“You don't understand!” she yelled crazily. She noticed the level of her voice and quieted. “He's my bbbff.”she whispered.
“Um, Ok. But still, you have a pull out couch. I could sleep on it while they take my room.”
“I couldn't do that to you Crimson.” she said. “Ughhh. If only we had another...” she became wide eyed and smiled at me ferociously.
“Crimson!” she shouted while advancing towards me. I slunk back, only to be trapped by the wall.
“You said plant life was the easiest to control for your earth pony magic right?”
“Uhhh, yeah. Why?” I asked, but I already knew what she was thinking.
“You can make another room!” she said in triumph.
“I don't know Twi. I mean, this is some pretty big stuff. The biggest I ever did in the Battalion was make a bridge.......”
“Pleasepleasepleaseplease?” she begged, almost crushing me against the wall.
“Yeah, yeah! Just lemme go get my gauntlets...” I took the opportunity to escape from between the rock and a hard place. I went to my room as fast as I could and took my sweet time getting my gauntlets and putting them on. I was more than apprehensive about this whole ordeal, I was a little scared. If I screwed something up, it could cause irreversible damage to Twilight's home. My thoughts were cut short by a manic banging on my door.
“Crimson! Come on!” screamed the insane lavender mare.
I shuddered but opened the door. She came barging in and looked around my room frantically for some reason. Then she calmed down, sat on my bed, sighed, and looked out the window.
“So where do you want this new room?” I asked.
“I don't know.” she said, now sounding crestfallen. “My house is a tree, so it's mostly circular. I don't know where we could add another room without it distorting the whole home.”
“Well instead of out, can we go up or down?”
She looked at me open-mouthed, then smiled and tackled me.
“You're a genius!!! Let's go!” she said, getting up from the ground and racing out my bedroom door. I heard her hoofsteps on the stairs, so as soon as I got up, I followed in pursuit. I slightly realized that this was the first time I had been upstairs, but was overtaken by the heat of the moment to care. I came up into a small loft that had smaller shelves of books than downstairs, but still looked mostly the same. However, it was homelier, with a bed, a telescope pointing out the window, a writing desk covered in papers, books, and candles, and other small knick-nacks that told me that this was truly Twilight's room. Twilight was inspecting her ceiling, so I took this time to look at some of the books Twilight had up here. Many were study books pertaining to things like 'Advanced Magical theory' and 'Quantum-Multi-dimensional Plane Mathematics'. But to my surprise, I saw a few other more known books, like the Daring Doo series, a large book of Legends, and even a romance book!
“That should do it!” Twilight said, breaking my interest in her books. She had put a large shield around the lower base of the ceiling. “Can you raise the roof?” she asked.
“You know I can.” I said as I did a little disco move. She facehoofed herself. “But yes, I can. Hold that shield tight, I don't know if my magic will work or not.”
I started to focus and loosen myself to the earth. True, I was standing on wood, but it is the best conductor, so my magic started to flow with the earth's flow throughout the tree. I willed the tree to move, but soon found myself exhausted. I stopped the connection and looked at the ceiling. It had only moved five feet up! Not nearly enough for an extra room. I took a deep breath and tried again, but decided to change my strategy. If I couldn't move and bend the tree to my will, then I would take what it wanted to do naturally, and boost it. I willed to grow taller, and grow it did. I felt a rumbling in the room as the ceiling rose an extra ten feet. I then cut off my magic to allow it to grow and it stopped.
Next, I had to make a sturdy floor and stairs to it. I started with the stairs, willing the tree to grow a part of it inwards. This caused a little disturbance though, as the sudden growing of stairs made Twilight's books fall from their now distorted shelves. I paused and realized I was about to pass out, but I struggled on. I climbed up the stairs and stood on its last step. If I moved any further, I'd fall a seven foot drop to Twilight's room. Here was where I started the floor of the bedroom. I reconnected to the earth for the last time and I willed small branches of the tree to grow inwardly, connecting in the middle of the soon-to-be floor. The connection made the floor look like a large wheel with spokes, but I was about to change that. I willed more to come and connect to the center. Next, I willed them to grow wider, flowing and connecting with their siblings and making a sturdy floor. I disconnected and took a step onto the floor to make sure it was sturdy. Luckily, it held when I fell to it unconscious.
I woke up a couple of minutes later cold and wet, gasping for air.
“Oh, good. You're fine. You gave me such a scare when I couldn't wake you up alone.” Twilight said, lowering the bucket to the floor. All I could do was sit up, and hope I didn't go under again.
“Crimson, the room is beautiful!” she commented. “But it could use a few windows.” she said as her horn lit up and four circles, each at the points of the compass, glowed on the newly formed walls. The circles faded and four, equal sized chunks of wall fell inwardly, producing four perfect holes for window-glass.
“We'll need some drapes, a carpet, and a large bed of course, and...” she went on verbally listing what she'd need for the room as I fell back asleep.
I woke up in my bed with my gauntlets still on at night for the first time since I had arrived in Ponyville. It felt normal, but for some reason, strange at the same time. I didn't notice the true effect of Ponyville on me until now. My sleeping habits had been changed, but so had my outlook on my condition. I knew I had friends I could share my troubles with, friends who would cry with me, but also friends who would cheer on my victories. They were just like my Battalion-family.
My candid thoughts were cut short by my stomach which rumbled angrily. I walked out of my room, used to darkness, and straight into the kitchen. I rustled through the fridge, foraging and eating until my stomach didn't pain me so much.
I sat down at the table in this midnight hour finishing my snack, and I thought about what happened earlier. I remembered falling asleep as Twilight was talking, but.....the room! I decided I needed to see how it turned out.
I rose from the table and started my sneaky journey up the stairs. I tiphoofed up the stairs into Twilight's room. I saw Spike in his basket-bed at the foot of Twilight's bed, and then I saw her. My heart melted as I looked upon her sleeping face. She was so beautiful, and Luna's moonlight which drifted through the window only made it more pronounced. I wanted to go kiss her, but Spike snored loudly, scaring me up the second set of stairs and into the new room.
I saw the room had gotten glass for the windows and Twilight had put up dark green drapes around them. The drapes matched the leaves of the tree which hung outside the windows. Other than that, the room was still bare. There was no bed, no dressers, and I knew we wouldn't be able to get all the furniture before the couple arrived the next mid-morning. So, I got to work.
First, I connected to the earth through the tree and made the floor of the room smooth and caressing, an easy feat. But then came the hard parts. I decided to make the bed. I started knowing just what I wanted. Like earlier, instead of forcing my will, I decided to direct the tree with my will. From the center of the room, four pillars grew up from the floor to the ceiling, spiraling themselves by a touch of force be me. Next, I the center of the four pillars, I grew a large base up, one that would be able to hold a mattress.
I eyed my work, thinking there was something missing. I realized it was a top to the poster bed, so I grew a large sweeping top from the ceiling. I hoped that Twilight would be able to put drapes around the bed as well, but I knew I had more work cut out for me.
I turned to the walls between the windows. From the north-eastern wall, I grew a small table. From the north-western, I made a small conclave that would serve as a shallow Closet. The south-eastern wall held longer table, one that covered the whole corner. The south-western wall held nothing, as it was where the stairs came up.
I looked around the room tiredly and nodded to myself. All that we needed to do was buy things like lamps, a mirror, and a mattress. I started to tiphoof back down the stairs when I realized the room didn't have a door. I facehoffed myself. I mean, they were a relatively new married couple. Of course they'd need their privacy. I went back up and grew a small sliding door, which was much more complicated than I originally thought.
When the door slid closed, I realized I was exhausted again. I went over to the new bed and laid on it. For a bed without a mattress, it was pretty bucking comfortable. I looked up at the ceiling and thought. I thought about what I had just done and looked at it with surprise and pride. I never could have thought I could have made a room. I didn't think I could be even close to strong enough to make something bigger than a bridge. Any time I used my magic in the Battalion, I would feel like I did now, but I would carry on until I could get some rest. I guess I still did that, but to be able to create something this big? I wondered what I could truly achieve, if I went all out and used nothing but my powers.
I drifted off to sleep wondering what my true limits were, and hoping to Faust that they were enough to protect the homey town and the ponies I loved in it.