Stars shone radiantly as Twilight ran as fast as she could. Her heart pounded fast and ached from the strain she was exerting on it, but that didn’t stop her. Although the air around her was cool, allowing for temporary relief, her throat was raw and she breathed heavily from an open mouth. A full moon, overlooking the lengthy field the unicorn was running through, hung high in the night sky. It illuminated the slim yet toned form Twilight’s figure possessed from all the weeks she put into running and her sturdy hooves hit the ground with full force as she continued onwards. She could feel the weight of her body rocking forwards and backwards with every stride and, as much as it hurt, it felt good to run like this for her; she felt free and alive.
Somewhere above her head she knew her companion was there, presumably flying as fast as she could. Twilight looked up, straining slightly from lack of breath, and saw the shape of a pegasus flying far above her. Wings close to her body, and a look of concentration etched on her face, Twilight knew she was focusing.
Looking forwards again, Twilight could see a river coming up; the stopping point. Her muscles and body cried out for her to rest but she couldn't, she had a promise to keep.
Running onwards, she closed the gap between her and the river in quick strides. The bank came faster than she thought and, soon, Twilight felt her hooves and legs get soaked. Water sprayed around her sides as she charged through the river and, looking up again, she saw the mare accelerating upwards, gaining the speed she needed. Everything was going just as they had practiced.
Across the river now, Twilight came to a stop. Her body felt wrecked as she fell to her side, breathing heavily. Still, she strained her neck to gaze up—watching. Everything seemed to be silent for a moment as she observed the pegasus ascending higher, and higher, into the night sky. Then, a huge shockwave resounded throughout the air. She gasped soundly as she saw the night air light up in a swirl of colors.
The adrenaline in Twilight suddenly came rushing back to her as she jumped up and yelled in delight. She laughed, cheered, and watched the colors of yellow, pink, and white cascade outwards from the central point of the shock wave. After stomping her hooves on the ground several times she ran forwards a bit, farther away from the river. It was amazing, just as amazing as she thought—knew—it would be.
Stopping, Twilight smiled upwards as she waited for the pegasus to come down and meet her.
Presently her companion was visible, sporting a wide grin and slight look of disbelief on her face. She flew down to Twilight, hovering just a few feet above the unicorn's head. She was breathing heavily, her short cut mane wildly undone, and Twilight could see the sweat shinning on her coat from her exertion. Her body was just a tad more slender than Twilight’s own, perfect for flying at high speeds, and her wings flapped harder, and faster, than Twilight remembered them doing just a month before.
“Did you see that Twilight!?” Fluttershy asked, gasping for air.
“Of course I did!” Twilight answered, jumping slightly in happiness for her. “How could I not? You did great!”
“I can’t believe I did that…” Fluttershy muttered, turning her head to look back in awe at the slowly dissipating waves of color. “I didn’t think I would...”
“But you did and it was great!”
Fluttershy smiled before lowering herself to land gently beside Twilight. They both laid down in exhaustion before smiling at each other. After a moment’s hesitation, Twilight spoke.
“We practiced a lot,” she murmured, remembering all the hard days, and nights, on the empty plains they had spent training for today. It had finally paid off and she smiled widely as she looked Fluttershy in the eyes. “I knew you could do it.”
Fluttershy giggled softly, and Twilight could still see the slight disbelief in her eyes at what she had just done. She laughed with her.
“Yea,” Fluttershy spoke, after a moment. “You promised me that I would. Thanks for being there with me.” A few seconds passed before she continued, her voice more solemn this time. “I just wish…”
Twilight looked at her knowingly. Shifting closer, she put a reassuring hoof on the mare’s foreleg. “I know,” she whispered. “And she would’ve been proud of you.”
“Yea, I know. I was too late though…” Fluttershy whispered, her voice cracking slightly. “I should’ve learned this sooner…”
“Hey…” Twilight said, raising her hoof to Fluttershy's shoulder and looking her in the eye. “We didn’t know, nobody did, and it’s not your fault.” She watched as the mare shifted her head back to the side, sighing outwardly.
Besides the sound of a few discreet sniffs, stillness filled the air. Twilight could see Fluttershy blinking back the tears in her eyes. As much as she had changed during these years, into the bolder and more self-assured pegasus Twilight knew today, the part of her that made her uniquely Fluttershy clearly remained—her soft heart.
Twilight moved closer, wrapping the pegasus in a hug, trying to provide assurance.
“I know,” Fluttershy said after a few moments of silence. “And you’re right Twilight.” She smiled softly, looking up at the stars. “She would’ve been proud.”
Twilight smiled and leaned in to kiss Fluttershy delicately on the cheek. Turning her head Fluttershy blushed softly but returned the gesture with equal affection.
“I love you,” Twilight whispered into Fluttershy’s ear, eliciting a small shiver from the pegasus in response. “And she will always be right here,” Twilight said, placing a single hoof on Fluttershy’s chest.
Fluttershy smiled and nodded.
“I love you too Twilight.”
Each star above them shone brightly, a reminder of the earth, and heavens, that embraced their lives.