37w, 5dThe Proofreader Group
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12w, 15hDusk Shine's Love Life
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3w, 4dCrystal Empire
Dusk Shine galloped as fast as he could to the Canterlot Library. Nothing could distract him, for he was on a mission! Party invitations? No way. Stopping to say hello? Not a chance in the world! Doors into the library? HA! HE LAUGHED AT DOORS!
“Spike? SPIIIIIKE?!” Dusk Shine hollered for his assistant. “Where are you? I’ve got something important!”
Where Spike was, pe say, was implanted in a wall via the door that Dusk had carelessly swung open. The young dragon groaned in response. Dusk Shine apologized for the minor concussion and got to the matter of business.
“Quick, we need to find Predictions and Prophecies!” said Dusk hastily.
“Why’s that?” inquired Spike.
“No time to explain! Just get it!” With such a flawless argument on Dusk’s side, Spike got the book in record time. Dusk flipped to the index with great haste and impatience.
“Elements of Harmony: see Mare in the Moon?” Dusk Shine read aloud. Spike raised an eyebrow.
“You woke me from my nap to do research on a bedtime story? I think you’ve been reading too much of the Equestrian Inquirer,” Spike joked. Dusk Shine shot his assistant a deadpan look.
“One: I’ve already told you that paper is for hacks,” Dusk Shine said matter-of-factly. “Two: My research is based on cold, hard facts that happened a thousand years ago. Three: The results of this study might determine the fate of Equestria, so I’m not taking any chances.”
“You said the same thing last week about the humans,” retorted Spike, still not taking his surrogate brother seriously.
“Like I said, fate of Equestria,” repeated Dusk, disregarding Spike completely. “And besides,” he muttered under his breath, “Lyra talked me into that, you know how she is.”
Spike sighed. “So, do you want to write to the Princess about this, or what?” he asked.
“Excellent idea, Spike,” said Dusk Shine. “You’re always thinking ahead. That’s why you’re my number one assistant!” Dusk cleared his throat.
Dear Princess Celestia,
It has come to my attention that Nightmare Moon's release shall happen at the longest day of thousandth year, which is tomorrow at the Summer Sun Celebration. Considering the common knowledge of Nightmare Moon cannibalistic habits, it’s imperative that we act now.
Your faithful student,
Not soon after the letter was sent, the reply came belching out of Spike.
“Well?” asked Dusk, “What does it say? Scramble the troops? Evacuate Canterlot? Call my brother to lead us into a final battle of good versus evil?”
“It says to get a life,” answered Spike with a completely straight face.
My dear student,
Get a life. You are a grown stallion, and therefore too old to be looking into old pony’s tales. There is more to a young colt’s life than studying and looking at late-night porn on Ponichan. (Yes, I have seen your internet history. That’s not the point.) To expand on your social life, I have scheduled you and Spike to oversee the preparations of this year’s Summer Sun Celebration, hosted in Ponyville.
Your concerned teacher,
P.S. There is an ulterior motive to this task: Make some friends!
Dusk Shine sighed. He had never been more degraded in his life. To be challenged, he was familiar with. To succeed, he strived for every single day! But to be dismissed as some crackpot conspiracy theorist with too much imagination?
…Well, he had experience with that, but he was just a foal that thought Slenderpony was hiding in his closet at night. This was different! This was Princess Celestia! Celestia, who had taken each of his findings and hypotheses into deep consideration! Celestia, who had swept him off his hooves to be her personal protégé, a position he only dreamed of! Celestia, who-
“Dusk, we’re here! Let’s introduce ourselves,” exclaimed Spike. Dusk blinked a few times, thrust out his train of thought. He looked around Ponyville with boredom and cynicism. He sighed, and trudged over to the nearest pony he saw, a pink mare with three balloons for a cutie mark.
Dusk took a deep breath. “Hey, could you tell me where Sweet Apple Acres is? I need to-” Before he could finish, the pink pony jumped two feet in the air as her eyes became as wide as dinner plates. The crazy mare then let out loud gasp, and bolted away to Celestia-knows-where. (To Dusk Shine, this was grounds for reporting this pony to the hospital. To us, it was a warm security blanket called “continuity.”) Dusk Shine shrugged, silently prayed that he would never meet that mare again, and asked somepony else for directions.
Eventually, he and Spike found Sweet Apple Acres. As he approached the farm, he heard a loud “YEE-HAW!” and saw an orange-coated mare in a hat bucking an apple tree. He trotted over to introduce himself.
“Hello, my name is Dusk Shine, and I’m-“
“Howdy there, name’s Applejack, proud member of the Apple family,” said Applejack as she shook his hoof vigorously. “What can Ah do ya fer, Sugercube?” She crossed her front hooves and winked. The action caught Dusk off guard.
Is she flirting with me? he wondered. He shook the thought away. No, it’s just a little hospitality. Better return the favor. He bowed slightly, and kissed her hoof. “I have come to oversee the banquet the Apples have prepared for the Summer Sun Celebration.” He announced with formality and confidence.
Whoa, nelly, thought Applejack, Is this city-slicker a-flurtin’ with me? She subconsciously bushed some hair out of face. Nah, tain’t possible. she dismissed bluntly. She trotted over and wrung the dinner bell. “SOUP’S ON, EVERPONY!” she yelled in caps-lock. “Y’all lucky ta come here first, purty boy,” said Applejack. “Yer just in time fer the Apple family reunion!”
Dusk Shine shook his head. “Oh, nononono,” he said. “I just need you to tell what food you’re serving. You really don’t have to introduce me to your whole family.”
“That’s th’ great thing about our family,” Applejack said with pride. “Ah can both at once!” She took a deep breath. “We got Apple Cobbler, Apple Strudel, Carmel Apples, Apple Pie, Apple Cider, Apple Salad, Cousin Braeburn Apples, Apple Juice, Ant & Uncle Orange, along with Squeezed Oranges, Orange Crush, and mah side of the family: little Applebloom, Big Macintosh, and finally, Granny Smith.” Applejack gestured over to a sleeping elder. “Come on Granny Smith, we got company!” Granny Smith awoke from her nap to join the festivities. “Ah think they like you.” said Applejack. “I’d even say that yer already part of th’ family! So, how ‘bout a little taste test?”
Dusk Shine gazed upon the mountain of food that was on the table. “Actually, I’m not that hungry,” he confessed. “Besides, I’ve got a lot to do today, preparing for the apocalypse and all that.” The Apple family made an “Awww” of disappointment. The filly known as Applebloom walked up to him.
“Aren’tcha gonna stay fer brunch?” she said with big, teary eyes. Dusk Shine looked into those eyes. Those soul-crushing eyes of sadness that-
NO! thought Dusk with great resistance. I… must… prepare… Nightmare… Moon…
Silly Dusk, you can’t fight the all-consuming power of a depressed Cutie Mark Crusader! You must submit!
STAY. FOR. BRUNCH.
Fine, if you really can’t stay for brunch, just tell it her to her face.
Fine, I will!
Dusk Shine bravely looked into Applebloom’s eyes and…
I can’t do it! I’ll stay for brunch! Just please, PLEASE stop her from making that face!
Good, my little slave, you are learning your position well.
As Dusk chowed down, Granny Smith leaned over to Applejack. “He sure is a cute one,” Granny whispered.
“Granny!” snapped Applejack, cheeks blushing.
Dusk Shine trudged through the streets of Ponyville, his stomach so full he thought he could burst. “What’s next on the list, Spike?” he groaned.
“Weather patrol,” Spike answered. “The pony in charge of that is somepony named Rainbow Dash.” Dusk looked at the cloudy sky.
“Well, she’s obviously slacking off,” snorted Dusk. “How are we going to admire the sunrise with all these clouds in the sky?” Suddenly, there was a rainbow-colored blur, then darkness.
Dusk Shine struggled to breathe. He was covered in mud. A soft, warm pillow covered his face. It took a moment for Dusk to realize that said pillow was somepony’s flank. He tried to say, “Get off me,” but it came out more like “Hudda-hudda mmmph mmph!” but it must have meant something offensive to the pony that was sitting on him. Why is that, you ask?
Because said pony switched from suffocating him to bucking him in the face.
“Ow!” yelped Dusk, “What was that for?!”
“For stuffing your ugly face in my plot, you sicko!” retorted a tomboyish rainbow-manned mare. “Are you one those pervs in my fan club?”
“What? No!” Dusk protested. “I’m from Canterlot! I don’t know anypony here!”
“Canterlot?” said the rude pegasus, her mood automatically changing. “That’s where the Wonderbolts perform! Have you seen them? Have you met Spitfire? What’s she like? Tell me!”
The load of questions took Dusk back by surprise. After careful consideration, he decided to act like the face-in-flank issue never happened. “Are you Rainbow Dash?” he asked.
“The one and only!” said Rainbow Dash with pride. “Captain of the weather team, future Wonderbolt, and fastest flier in Equestria!”
“And slacker,” scoffed Dusk.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY, PUNK?!!” roared Rainbow Dash, her rage flaring at the remark.
“No offence, but the sky needs a little tidying up, and you’re off doing stunt-flying all day,” Dusk criticized.
“Hey, I could clear this sky in ten seconds flat, easy!” bragged Rainbow Dash.
Dusk Shine looked Dash straight in the eye. “Prove it,” he smirked.
In a blink of an eye, Rainbow Dash took off in a blur of motion. There was no pony actually timing her to prove her claim, but by Dash’s patented Laws of Awesome (which, according to Rainbow Dash, were 20% cooler than the laws of physics) she did in fact clear the sky in ten seconds flat.
Dusk Shine stood like a statue, his mouth agape.
“What did I say?” said Rainbow Dash. “Ten. Seconds. Flat. And to make it up to you for kicking you in the face, I’ll blow-dry your mane, tornado-style!” Before Dusk could object, he was swept up in whirlwind created instantly by Rainbow Dash flying in circles. After the Rainbow-nado died down, Dash looked at her results.
“What?” Dusk Shine asked. “Is there something funny?”
Spike answered his question between giggles. “Your mane!” Spike chortled, “You look like a circus clown!”
“No, no,” Dash corrected. “He looks more like Neighpoleon Dynamite!” They both howled in laughter.
“Ha-ha, very funny,” Dusk Shine said, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to finish overseeing this year’s celebration so we can prepare for Nightmare Moon! You know, Spike? The important thing?”
“Whoa!” exclaimed Rainbow Dash. “You’re planning on facing off against Nightmare Moon? That old pony tale that talks about that one alicorn the eats ponies?”
Dusk Shine frowned. “It’s not an old pony tale,” he protested.
“That… is… awesome!” Rainbow Dash squee’d. “We have GOT to hang out more!”
Kill me, thought Dusk.
Dusk Shine walked into the town hall. The next thing on his list involved a volunteer decorations expert named Rarity. Ribbons adorned the pillars of the building in luxurious display of color and fashion. Good, he thought. It seems everything’s in order here. Maybe I can just slip out of here without talking to anypony.
“Beautiful…” said Spike dreamily.
“Yes,” agreed Dusk, “The decorations are perfect. Now, let’s leave.”
“I’m not talking about the stupid ribbons, idiot!” Spike snapped. “I’m talking about the drop-dead stunning princess of all things gorgeous over there.”
Dusk Shine looked over to the center stage. There, a pure-white unicorn with purple locks of perfectly brushed hair was choosing which ribbon to put up next.
“Her?” Dusk said with confusion. Then a realization dawned on him. “Spike de Draco, are you crushing on somepony?”
Spike didn’t even try to deny it. “You HAVE to be my wingpony!” he pleaded. “I will do the dishes for the year, make my bed for rest of my life, never tattle on your mom for looking at Playcolt again, and I’ll even believe you on your ‘Mare in the Moon’ thing for the rest of the day!”
“Let’s point a few things straight,” said Dusk. “One: You do not have a snowball’s chance in Tartarus with this girl. Two: You do all those things anyway. Three: I told you, that wasn’t a Playcolt, it was a Spitfire issue of Wonderbolts Illustrated. Four: Did you even know what a wingpony is? Five: Did I mention that you don’t have a snowball’s chance in Tartarus with her?”
“Do it, or I tell everypony we know about how you still sleep with that stupid doll,” threatened Spike.
“You leave Miss Smartypants out of this!” glared Dusk. Spike was unmoved. “Fine,” relinquished Dusk, “I’ll put in a good word for you, just this once!” He approached Spike’s crush. “Hey, baby,” he said with false enthusiasm. “I’m Dusk Shine. Let me introduce you to my good friend Spi-”
“Your MANE!!!” the white unicorn screeched. Dusk felt the top of his head, and realized he still had the worst manecut ever.
“Um, I was going to fix it when I got home…” he improvised.
“Sweet Celestia, you’ve been going out in public with that style? Such bravery! Who was the terrorist who committed such an act against fabulousity??”
“Um, her name was Rainbow Dash,” Dusk Shine said uncertainly. After letting that slip out, he immediately decided to save Dash from whatever fate this fashionista might have in store for her. “B-but it was an accident.”
“Well then,” said the diamond-flanked filly coldly. “I suppose I must have… words with Little Miss Speedster, won’t I?” Dusk had to swallow the lump in his throat before he could speak.
“Spike?” he whispered. “Are you sure that you want to chase after this psycho?”
“Sorry,” said Spike in some kind of trance. “But I can’t hear you over the sound of how incredibly hot she is.”
“Enough talk,” proclaimed Psycho-Mare. “We must fix that train wreck on your head!”
Dusk fumbled an excuse. “Actually, we were just leaving…”
“I insist, darling,” she said. “And I never take no for an answer. Understand?”
“Y-yes ma’am,” Dusk squeaked.
As Dusk Shine’s “captor” styled his mane, he learned that her name was Rarity, volunteer decorations expert for the Summer Sun Celebration and owner of the fashion store they were now in, Carousel Boutique. He also learned that Rarity was a good friend of Rainbow Dash, which ensured Dash’s safety… right?
“And what is your name, Darling?” asked Rarity.
“Dusk Shine,” Dusk replied.
“Dusk Shine?” Rarity gasped. “The Dusk Shine? The personal protégé of Princess Celestia?”
“You know who I am?”
“Darling, please,” Rarity passively dismissed. “A colt preforms the magical equivalence of nuclear energy at age eight, earns his cutie mark in magic itself, and becomes what Celestia called ‘the son she never had?’ I’d be surprised if it didn’t make the papers. It’s almost like you're a prince!”
Dusk considered this for a moment. “It still didn’t get me a date to senior prom,” he mumbled grudgingly.
“Oh, but who am I to discuss my dreams with a complete stranger?” sighed Rarity.
“Dreams?” wondered Dusk. Don’t tell me this girl wants to BE me, he thought to himself.
“You see Dusk,” Rarity fantasized as she tried different outfits Dusk, “it’s always been my dream to meet handsome prince, fall madly in love with him, and have him sweep me off to a life in Canterlot. As his princess, of course.” Dusk personally thought that this was a shallow dream, but held his tongue. Spike, however, saw an opportunity.
“You know,” Spike said smoothly. “I’m basically Dusk’s brother, so I guess that makes me a prince too!”
Rarity raised an eyebrow. “And you are?”
“I’m Spike!” said the little dragon enthusiastically. “You know, the handsome dragon that’s been helping you to change Dusk’s clothes for forty-five minutes now?” But Rarity was already at Dusk Shine’s side again.
“Oh, I just know we’re going to be the best of… companions,” she said with a sly smile. Dusk Shine’s eyes widened by the implications of that statement.
When Dusk Shine finally convinced himself that Rarity wasn’t chasing him down wearing a wedding dress, he slowed from his full-on gallop to a swift, nervous trot.
“So, do you think we hit it off?” Spike said.
“What?” said Dusk, still panting.
“Me and Rarity!” Spike exclaimed. “I think she’s totally into me. I mean, who could possibly resist this?” he boasted while flexing his muscles. Dusk simply rolled his eyes.
“Spike, you’ve helped me learn an important lesson today,” Dusk proclaimed.
“Love has the potential to make anypony stupid and oblivious.” Dusk deadpanned. “As such, I have resolved to never fall for anypony without judging them first.”
“Never?” gasped Spike, a worried look on his face. “But what if you can’t help it?”
Dusk laughed at this. “Spike, my mind is an impenetrable fortress,” he explained. “There’s no way in million years a pony as logical and level-minded as me would ever do something so irrational as fall in-SWEET MOTHER OF CELESTIA, WHO IN THE HOOF IS THAT???!!!!”
And that’s when Dusk Shine met… her.
She was a butter-yellow pegasus with a pink mane the flowed down to her ankles like a waterfall made of silk that was woven on the top Mount Olympus. She was leading a chorus of songbirds with a voice so innocent & pure, it made the angels of heaven weep in pure shame. Her cutie mark was a trio of butterflies that delicately rested on her perfectly shaped flanks that…
…Oh, almighty deity Lauren Faust, DAT PLOT…
Meanwhile, back in reality…
“Uh, Dusk? Buddy? You scared her birds away. I think you gotta apologize to her. Plus, you’re drooling,” said Spike.
An awkward silence fell. The yellow sex-goddess did her best to hide behind her mane. This snapped Dusk out his trance. Somewhat.
“HIWHAT’SYOURNAME?MINE’SDUSKSHINE!DOYOUBELIEVEINLOVEATFIRSTSIGHT?!” he hollered as he ran up to his crush.
With sheer terror in her voice, the love of his life squeaked her response. “My name is Fluttershy.” she said inaudibly.
Dusk Shine removed a bit of dust from his ears. “What was that, my love?”
“Fluttershy,” she mumbled even quieter.
“Butter-dye?” asked Dusk as he invaded Fluttershy’s personal space to get a better listen. Against her better judgment, Fluttershy leaned over to his ear to whisper her name.
“I said my name is-THAT A BABY DRAGON?!!”
“GAH!” screamed Dusk in pain. His ears were ringing with sheer volume of his beloved’s outburst.
“Oh, sorry!” said Fluttershy at normal volume. “Fluttershy, you’re such loudmouth,” she scolded herself. She then raced over to Spike. “Wow, I’ve never even seen a real live dragon before. What’s your name? Can I pet you? Tell me every detail you know about dragons!”
“Umm…” Spike muttered. “M-my name’s Spike, and I really don’t know much about dragons. To be honest, I’ve never seen another dragon myself.”
“Oh my, you poor thing,” cooed Fluttershy. “You’ve never been with your own kind? It’s okay, Spikey-wikey, you can tell Mama all about it.”
Spike and Dusk exchanged a look, and they each immediately understood two things: The first was that this was exactly like the situation with Rarity, only with a role reversal. The second was that they both knew exactly what going to happen here: Spike was going to tell Fluttershy his life story, and she won’t even LOOK in Dusk’s direction. Spike was going enjoy to every minute of this, and there was nothing Dusk Shine could do about it.
“Okay,” said Spike smugly as he hopped on Dusk’s back. “Well, I first started out as a purple-spotted egg…”
The following was the worst three hours of Dusk Shine’s life. From every time-out Dusk got to the embarrassing braces he wore though middle school, Spike spared no detail about him. He even told Fluttershy about his Smartypants doll! HOW DARE YOU, SPIKE?!!! THAT CONTRACT WAS SIGNED IN BLOOD!! Finally, the trio reached the library.
“…And that’s my life story until today. Do you want to hear what happened to today?”
“Well, we’re here,” interrupted Dusk. “I guess it’s time for your nap, Spike,” he said though gritted teeth.
“But I’m not even tired!” protested Spike.
“Nonsense,” Dusk said as he “accidently” let Spike fall off him. “Why, you’re so tired you can’t keep your wittle balwance!”
“Oh my,” said Fluttershy with concern. “Any growing child needs her beauty sleep. Okay, Mister Dusk, I’ll leave, but you’ve got to promise to feed Spikey-wikey her leafy greens, so she’ll grow up big and strong!”
“Goodbye Fluttershy, I will!” said Spike as Fluttershy flew away. Then, realization dawned on him. “Did she just call me a girl?” Dusk just chuckled and went into the darkness of the library.
Well Dusk Shine, you’ve finally done it, Dusk silently congratulated himself. You’ve done every single thing on the list, and you’ve made it in one piece, too! Now we can prepare for Nightmare Moon in peace and-
-quiet. Dusk facehoofed. Of course there’s a surprise party. What are the odds? I swear, if I find the pony who did this, he is so getting a piece of my mind!
“Hi!” said a high pitched voice that Dusk immediately despised. “I’m Pinkie Pie, and I threw you this party!” Oh look, it’s that pink maniac from earlier.
The annoyance rambled on as Dusk Shine walked over to get a well-deserved drink.
“I was walking down the street and I haven’t met you yet, you see? And if I haven’t met you yet, that means I was either in a rerun or in a fanfic! So I was wondering: Rerun or fanfic? Rerun or fanfic? Rerunorfanficrerunorfanficrerunorfanficrerunorfanfic… anyway, then you showed up as a super-cute boy! And if you’re a super-cute boy, that must mean I was in a shipfic! So if I was in a shipfic and I found you super-cute, that must mean I was at least one of the female leads! And if I was one of the female leads and I saw you before anypony else, that must mean I must get you in the end, because finders-keepers losers-weepers, right? Oh, and Dusky?”
“What?” Dusk said flatly.
“You’re drinking hot sauce.”
“…I knew that.”
Dusk Shine brooded in his bedroom with a pillow muting the noise of the party. Spike walked into the room with a lampshade on head.
“Hey Dusk, you’ve to check this out!” he began. “They’ve installed a diving board in the punch bowl and-“
“Move it, Spike!” interrupted Pinkie. “I haven’t got enough character development yet!”
“Leave me alone, Pinkie,” Dusk Shine grumbled underneath his pillow.
“But if I don’t get enough screen time, we won’t become the reader’s OTP!” she protested.
“I said lemme alone.”
Pinkie let out an exasperated sigh. “Can I at least talk to you in words that your puny fourth-wall-restricted brain can easily understand?”
Dusk returned the sigh. “Sure, whatever.”
“Okay, you’ve been waiting all day to find a way to defeat Princess Lu-er, Nightmare Moon, am I right or am I left?” asked Pinkie calmly.
“How do you know about Nightmare Moon’s return?” Dusk said, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s a bedtime story, silly!” Pinkie giggled. “Everypony knows about Old Black Snooty! Now, answer my question: right or left?”
“Now, are you going to find out what you’re looking for under that pillow?”
“I’m saying that instead of making friends or finding a way to stop eternal night,” Pinkie explained with growing impatience, “you’ve been cooping yourself up in here like a total mopey-dopey pants!”
“Wait, you’re actually making sense, Pinkie!” Dusk Shine realized. “Time is slipping away though our hooves! Come on, it’s time to hit the books!”
“Uh, Dusk?” Pinkie pointed out. “The ‘time slipping though our hooves’ has already slipped through.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean it’s already time for the ceremony! We’re like, ten minutes late already.”
Dusk’s heart sunk. “Then all hope is lost,” he drooped.
“Well, how ‘bout a smooch for luck, Honey-bunch?” hopefully said Pinkie, pecking him on the cheek. Dusk chalked it up as “not the weirdest thing that happened today,” and mentally prepared himself for the worst.
Ponies gathered around in the Town Hall, making idle chat and clambering with anticipation. If Dusk Shine had fingers, he would be crossing them in every way he could. He prayed that even in times of peace, Celestia would at least consider calling his brother, Shining Armor, in case of an unexpected crisis. Dusk Shine looked to the royal guards. Shining was not among them. Looks like Dusk had to face this one alone…
“Hey, ten bits says me & Rarity hook up tonight!”
Correction: Dusk had face this one alone with Spike.
Correction: He had to face this one alone with Spike and Pinkie Pie. Be brave, Dusk Shine. Even on the brink certain destruction, one must retain a mask of stone-cold resolve to retain his respect and dignit-Oh, look, Fluttershy’s conducting for those birds we saw with her earlier. That’s so cute!
The Mayor of Ponyvile cleared her throat. “Fillies and gentlecolts, it is with great honor to introduce to you the ruler of our land, the one who raises the sun & moon each and every day, Princess Celestia of Equestria!”
The curtains opened, and everypony gasped. Dusk Shine’s warm feeling was dashed away with a cold shudder of fear. The guards spread their wings in a natural flight-or-fight response. And then the panic started.
“What?” said Nightmare Moon with an evil grin. “Were all of thee expecting somepony?”
“What have you done with our Princess?” yelled Rainbow Dash. “Also, why are you talking so weird?”
Nightmare Moon only laughed at the second question. “Your beloved Princess?” she said as she struck down the guards with a bolt lightning. “We’ll tell what happened when we approached her: she surrendered without a second thought.”
“Yer lying!” Applejack protested. “Th’ Princess would never give in ta a varmint like you!”
“WE SPEAKTH NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, OUR SUBJECTS!” bellowed Nightmare Moon in the Royal Canterlot Voice. Immediately seeing that speaking in that tone only succeeds in leaving everypony in the room in fetal position, she decided to reserve the occasion for when somepony tried to back-talk to her again. That said, she continued in normal caps-lock. “BUT WE STILL DIDN’T TRUST HER, SO WE IMPRISONED HER THIS. BEHOLD!” she held up a silver necklace, adorned with crystal glowing with a faint golden light. “CELESTIA CLAIMED THAT DURING OUR BANISHMENT, SHE HAD ALWAYS KEPT US CLOSE TO HER HEART! AND NOW,” She put on the necklace with a satisfied smile. “WE SHALL FOREVER KEEPTH HER CLOSE TO OURS!”
Dusk Shine couldn’t believe his ears. Celestia surrendering? Why? Why would she just hand Equestria over on a platter to a monster like Nightmare Moon? Didn’t the Princess care about her little ponies? Didn’t she care about him?
Nightmare Moon saw that a least half the crowd accepted the truth, and was satisfied. Suddenly, a small voice cried out.
“P-p-p-please d-don’t eat m-m-me, if y-you d-d-don’t m-mind!” Fluttershy stuttered. Nightmare Moon only looked at her bemusement.
“We do not wish to feast upon your innards, druid,” the Mare in the Moon said softly.
“Indeed, for we only desire for THE NIGHT TO LAST FOREVER! MUHAHAHAHA!”
With an “Eep!” from Fluttershy, Nightmare Moon evaporated into her signature cloud of smoke, and flew into the Everfree Forest. Rainbow Dash tried to chase after the villain, but apparently the fastest flier in Equestria was no match for a shape-shifting magical cloud of gas. As Dash was flying back to tell Fluttershy that “the scary queen is gone, so it’s safe to let go of Angel now” the speedster noticed that the new unicorn in town was heading a beeline to the library with his pet lizard. This calls for breaking though the window!
“All right egghead, start talking!” interrogated Rainbow Dash. “I ain’t smart like you ice cream cone-headed unicorns freaks, but I can deduce a few things. First question: Are you a spy?”
“What?” said Dusk Shine. “What makes you think I’m a spy?”
“An excellent question! First of all, while everypony else is going to their loved ones, YOU go to the library.” she accused.
“My loved ones are all the way in Canterlot,” he deadpanned. “In fact, I’m just visiting here. I wasn’t even here yesterday!”
“That’s another thing: You’re from out of town, and the day you show up, Nightmare Moon just HAPPENS to overthrow Equestria. I even heard you talking about it earlier!”
“That’s because it was exactly what I was trying to prevent!”
“LIKELY STORY. Third thing, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from every Con Mane movie I’ve ever seen, it’s that all spies have this ‘ladykiller’ vibe going on. And let me tell you something bub, you’re emitting downright suspicious levels of swag!”
“…Is that supposed to be an insult or a compliment?”
“There! You’re doing it again!” blurted out Rainbow Dash with a blush.
“He ain’t no spy, Rainbow Dash,” Applejack defended while walking through the door with the rest of the ponies Dusk met today. “but Ah reckon he does know what’s going on, don’tcha Dusk?”
Dusk sighed. “I’m going to need to look at all you’ve got on the Elements of Harmony,” he said.
“Got it!” said Pinkie, pulling out a book. “Elements of Harmony: A Reference Guide. It was under ‘E,’ like always!”
Dusk read from the book aloud. “There are six elements, but only five are known: Honesty, Kindness Laughter, Generosity, and Loyalty. The sixth element was a mystery kept a mystery, so nopony could use the power for evil. After Celestia used the Elements on Nightmare Moon, her Majesty hid them in the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, which is now in…
…the Everfree Forest!” six ponies cried out in unison. They stood at the entrance to the woods. Spike was left behind, due to him passing out after a whole night of partying.
Dusk Shine took a deep breath, and made an announcement. “I’m going in alone.”
“What?” said everypony.
“I appreciate you all for following me this far, but this is where we part ways. Since I was one that foresaw Nightmare Moon’s return, it’s my responsibility to stop her. And I don’t want anypony else to get hurt along the way.”
“That’s awfully sweet of you, Sugercube,” Applejack spoke up. “But Equestria’s our home too. Plus, ya forgot ta put a few facts together: Yer goin’ in th’ most dangerous area in a thousand-or-so miles ta get an ol’ fancy-schmacy weapon, (That, mind you, might not even work ‘cause we don’t even know what th’ sixth element is) jus’ ta go lock horns with a immortal demon-goddess that’s dead-set on casting th’ world in eternal darkness!”
“Somepony’s gotta come with ya ta watch yer back!” said Applejack like it was the simplest issue in the world.
“Yeah, we’re not gonna let you totally hog all the glory to yourself!” said Rainbow Dash. “That’s MY job!”
“Fine,” said Dusk while the girls followed him the forest. “I guess I could use some backup.”
Six little ponies walked through the woods in darkness. “So,” wondered Dusk out loud. “What exactly makes the Everfree Forest so dangerous, anyway?”
“You s-say you’re not s-s-scared?” trembled Fluttershy.
“Actually,” admitted Dusk Shine, “this is the creepiest place I’ve ever laid eyes on. But I’m just wondering, what precisely make these woods so unnatural? Why do the animals eat each other here? Why do the clouds move all on their own accord?”
“Nopony knows,” said Rainbow Dash in the spookiest voice she could muster. “You know why? Because anypony that’s came in here has… never…. come… OUT!” As if on cue, the ground gave in as soon as her voice rose to a shout! Dusk scrambled for his balance as he tumbled down a steep, newly made slope of gravel and debris. In the blink of an eye, he found himself hanging on to Applejack’s hooves while the rest of him dangled over a cliff.
“Applejack!” he screamed in panic. “What do I do?”
Applejack looked into Dusk’s eyes with a completely straight face. “Let go,” she instructed calmly.
“WHAT? BUCK NO!”
“Ah’m not gonna lie, th’ situation looks none too good fer you, but be honest with yerself: Why would Ah want anypony like you ta get hurt?” she said, and with the most trustworthy face Dusk Shine had ever seen, she smiled. The two looked at each other, unblinking. It was the longest minute of Dusk’s life. Finally, he brought himself to speak.
“Damn those beautiful eyes of yours,” he whispered, and released his grip. Applejack shook her head to grasp what she had just heard.
Welp, she thought. Never saw that one comin’. Ah guess he WAS flurtin’ with me, after all.
Dusk, however, was thinking a few different things at the time:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *oof* OhmygoshI’maliveI’maliveDashandFluttershycaughtmeandnowthey’reholdingmeandI’malive…
After Dusk descended down to sweet, sweet ground, our heroes continued on their quest. While Rainbow Dash was bragging about how she “totally saved Dusk’s flank in the most awesome way possible” for the 75th time in a row, Dusk Shine casually approached Applejack.
“Um… back there at the cliff,” he tried to explain.
“I just want to tell you, that what was kind of a heat-of-the-moment, thinking-I-was-totally-gonna-die thing,” he said with untold amounts of embarrassment. “I want to tell you that I don’t think of you that way, okay?”
“Sure, partner!” said Applejack knowingly. “Ah understand perfectly.”
“Oh, thank goodness,” he let out the breath he was holding. “I was worried you might take it the wrong-“
And that’s when Dusk Shine found out that Applejack could buck much, much harder than Rainbow Dash.
Dusk nursed his black eye while he and friends walked down a narrow passageway, never saying a word. Sure, everyone saw the farmer kick him in the face, but none of them, not even Rainbow Dash, had the nerve to ask Applejack the reason why. (Although Rarity was glaring daggers at her for tarnishing the face of the fashion designer’s precious “Prince Charming.”) Suddenly, the roar of a huge beast that jumped out of nowhere finally broke the awkward silence!
“It’s a manticore!” our heroes screamed. Surprisingly, it was Rarity who attacked first by doing what she had in mind at the time: bucking the manticore in the face. In response, the monster roared again, this time with much more fury. Screaming in fright, Rarity ran back to safety of her friends, the threat chasing after her.
The manticore was just about to swipe off Rarity’s hide when it felt something land on its head. It was Applejack, riding the monster rodeo-style. The manticore expelled orange mare off its back, only to be encircled by Rainbow Dash. Dash flew faster and faster, creating a mini rainow-colored hurricane. The beast swung its tail, and in a mighty THWACK, Rainbow Dash was propelled backward. She recovered, and charged along with her friends to the manticore in a valiant-
“WAAAAAIIIIIIT!!!!!” shouted Fluttershy, stopping the fight. She quietly walked toward the enraged enemy, and began to soothe him with baby-talk.
“What’s the matter, you big old fuzzy-wuzzykins?”
Dusk blinked a couple times in confusion. “…What? What are you doing? Run, Fluttershy! Run away before that thing eats you alive!"
The manticore showed Fluttershy thorn that was stuck in his paw. “Oh, you poor thing. Don’t worry, I’ve got it. Now this is going to hurt just for a teensy-weensy second…”
“…There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, if don’t mind, me and my friends will be on our way.”
The now-friendly manticore repeatedly licked Fluttershy’s hair in thanks until it resembled a massive cowlick. Fluttershy just giggled, and skipped on her merry way.
“…What just happened?” said Dusk.
“Dusk, you’ve got to learn that something’s big and scary, doesn’t mean that you can’t offer your hoof in kindness for it,” lectured Fluttershy. “Besides, you should see how my pet bunny gets when I give him a time-out. That old softy back there is nothing compared to Angel!”
“Yeah, remind me never to let me meet your bunny,” gulped Dusk, thinking how scary Angel must be compared to the manticore.
Our heroes advanced further down the path, and closer to the castle ruins. As the Everfree Forest grew thicker, the branches shaded them from what little light the moon offered. Soon, Dusk Shine couldn’t see the very horn in from his face. Of coarse, this could just be solved by simple illumination spell, but the plot hole was interrupted by a squishing sound.
“Ugh,” said Applejack. “Ah think Ah stepped in something.” Just then, Fluttershy howled in fright.
“It’s just mud, Flutters,” snorted Applejack. “Y’all don’t hafta get so worked up about-AAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!!! TREE-DEMONS! EVERYPONY FER HERSELF!!!” And all the trees had glowing faces and they were scary and everypony screamed and the trees were scary but they were doing absolutely nothing but this was the Everfree Forest so everything in it could kill you and the trees were really, really scary…
One musical number via youtube link later, the tree-demons were vanquished with power of laughter, and six little ponies went out of the heavily-forested area unscathed. However, none of them were prepared for what came next. A fifty-foot wide rapids!
“How the hay are we supposed to cross this?” exclaimed Dusk Shine.
Rainbow Dash thought for a moment. “Fluttershy and I could fly each of you across the river one by one,” she suggested.
“But I’m not used to carrying anything bigger than a bunny!” Fluttershy complained.
“Don’t give me that, Fluttershy,” said Rainbow Dash, rolling her eyes. “You just saved Dusk’s life with my help. You can do this with me! In fact, with our combined strength, I bet we could fly a whole wagon full of ponies over a speeding train!”
“I’m not sure…” muttered Fluttershy. But before the plot hole could be exploited anymore, there was an uncontrollable sobbing from downstream. Our heroes walked to the overdramatic weeping to find a fabulous-looking sea serpent.
“What seems to be the problem, sir?” asked Dusk Shine.
“Well, I was minding my own business,” said the sea serpent, (whom will be this point forward be referred to as Steven Magnet) “When a purple wind just whisked pasted me and sliced off part of my beautiful moustache! Now, I’m completely hideous!” he splashed up a torrent of water, leaving the six ponies drenched.
“Uh, Mister Magnet?” objected Pinkie Pie. “It’s pronounced ‘mustache,’ not ‘moustache.’”
“That’s what I said,” said Steven. “My once-elegent moustache!”
“Mustache,” Pinkie corrected with determination.
“Moustache!” snapped Steven Magnet.
“Mustache!” said Pinkie with growing irritation.
All the while, Dusk Shine didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to either of them, for because all of them were soaking wet, he made the most important discovery in the history of Equestria:
When Rarity got her mane wet, she became the hottest thing ever to be seen with mortal eyes.
She looked like a mermare from Atlantis. The water made her mane shine in the moonlight as liquid and hair simultaneously trickled down her neck and onto her pearly-white coat as they wrapped around her skin like a tight swimsuit.
He looked at Fluttershy. Nope, Rarity pulled it off a million times better. Back to her now.
The water dripped from flank, looking like quicksilver as it ran down her tail that…
…Her tail that…
…Her tail that she just cut off, for some reason. Huh.
“Thank you for restoring my beautiful moustache-“MUSTACHE!!”-to its former glory, Madame Rarity!” thanked Steven Magnet with tears streaming down his cheeks in joy. “Is there anything I can do to repay you?”
“You can start with helping us cross these wretched rapids, Darling,” said Rarity modestly. “And afterward, you can give us some dry towels and a few brushes. My mane is a terrible, ugly mess!”
Dusk Shine opened his mouth out to protest, but after considering he already got enough black eyes for the evening, he remained silent.
Finally, Dusk and his friends approached the Castle of Royal Pony Sisters, and only one this stood in their way: a rope bridge that was cut down.
“How do we get across?” Applejack said. “That drop’s steeper than Granny Smith’s armpit!”
“Oh, whatever shall we do?” Dash said sarcastically. “Gee, if only we had a totally awesome PEGASUS with some WINGS, she could just FLY over gorge and repair the bridge.”
“Rainbow Dash, are you still mad about what happened back at the river?” Fluttershy inquired with a hint of guilt.
“Forget it,” Rainbow Dash grumbled. “Let’s just to the Elements.” And with that, she flew to the other side of gorge. She was just about to tie the final rope that would make bridge accessible again, but stopped when she heard a soothing voice call out her name.
“Who’s there? Show yourself! How do you know my name?” Dash asked, challenged, and wondered all at once.
“Your fame and reputation exceeds yourself, Rainbow Dash. We heard that you were the most talented flyer in all Equestria”
“Oh stop it, you’re embarrassing me!” said Rainbow Dash. She paused for a moment. “Actually, I’m pretty used to this. What else ya got?”
“We also heard you’re the only one to ever pull off the legendary Sonic Rainboom,” said the voice, as its owner came out of the mist to reveal that it was a pegasus mare in black spandex, escorted by two stallions with the same race and uniform.
“Yes, it’s all true,” said Dash with pride. She focused on her flatterers. “But who are you, anyway?”
“We are the Shadowbolts,” the mare said. “We’re the fastest flying team in the Everfree Forest, and soon, all of Equestria!”
“Well, if you’re so sure of that, why aren’t you more popular than the Wonderbolts yet?” questioned Rainbow Dash, protecting her idols' reputation. “I’m pretty certain that it’s impossible to be the best of the best when they’re around.”
“W-we can be as cool as the Wonderbolts!” snapped the mare defensively. “In fact, we just need… a captain.” she improvised.
“Who do you have in mind?” said Rainbow Dash with a knowing smile.
Meanwhile, all the way across the broken bridge, Dusk Shine saw Rainbow Dash conversing with the Shadowbolts. “Don’t do it Dash, it’s a trick!” he yelled, but a fog rolled in to muffle him mid-sentence.
“We need somepony with speed,” said the Shadowbolt leader.
“Yes…” said Rainbow Dash, savoring the moment.
“We need somepony with agility,” added the Shadowbolt leader, building up to the moment.
“But most importantly, our captain must have an unlimited amount of swag!”
“Aw yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!”
“We need… you,” said the Shadowbolt leader, whispering the last part in Dash’s ear.
“Girlfriend, you got yourself a deal!” cheered Rainbow Dash. “Just let me tie this bridge up, and we’ll talk.”
“NO!” rejected the shady mare abruptly. “You have to come with us NOW. It’s either them or us!”
Rainbow Dash contemplated her options briefly. Would she choose the fame & glory she dreamed of and strived for every day, or the friends that supported her and stuck with her thick and-
“You guys are Nightmare Moon’s goons, aren’t you?” observed Rainbow Dash.
“WHAT?!” panicked the Shadowbolts, transforming back into Nightmare Moon. “HOW COULD THOU POSSBLY HATH PRECIVED THROUGH OUR DESGUISE? WE EVEN DROPPED OUR ACCENT!”
“Well,” said a surprised Rainbow Dash. “I didn’t say that you were Nightmare Moon herself, but c’mon, the ‘Shadowbolts?’ Really? You couldn’t think of a better name?” she criticized.
“THE ‘SHADOWBOLTS' WAS A BRILLIANT-NEVERMIND,” the moon princess said as she had another idea. “OUR OFFER STILL STANDTHS TALL AND PROUD, FOR NOW WE HATH EVEN GREATER SPOILS TO OFFER!”
”JOIN US,” she continued. “AND WE SHALL IMBUE THEE WITH THE SANTANIC POWERS OF DARKNESS, MAKING THEE MORE POWERFUL THAN THOU COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE!”
“Um… how about no?” said Dash. “I’m pretty sure that signing a contract that came from Tartarus would instantly drive me criminally insane.”
Nightmare Moon desperately searched her options for another reward that Rainbow Dash would get for joining her. ”JOIN US… FOR WE ART… THINE FATHER!”
“NO!” gasped Rainbow Dash. “That’s impossible!”
“SEARCH THINE FEELINGS, FOR THOU KNOW IT TO TRUE!
“Actually no,” said Dash. “That’s like, literally impossible. I know, I’ve tried to be Scootaloo’s father once, and you don’t even want to know how that turned out.”
Nightmare Moon looked at Rainbow Dash for the longest moment. “Look,” the Mare in the Moon said in her indoor voice. “Thou art embarrassing us at this point. What dost thy wish? We will grant it tenfold!”
“How many time do I have to say the word NO?!” ranted a very irritated Rainbow Dash. “I’d rather have my wings ripped off and the rest of me baked into cupcakes than join you! I’d rather lobotomize myself and spent the rest of my life being baby-sat by Fluttershy! I’d rather make my living grinding up orphans and making them into rainbows! HAY, I WOULD RATHER SWALLOW EVERY LAST INCH OF PRIDE I HAVE AND DRESS IN BUCKING, CLOP-WORTHY STYLE THAN BOW TO THE LIKES OF YOU!!!!”
Nightmare Moon gave Rainbow Dash a look at would make a cockatrice soil itself, and leaned down to whisper something in the daredevil’s ear.
“Very well,” hissed Nightmare Moon in a tone that made Dash’s veins turned to ice. “We shalt await thee in the castle. Know this Rainbow Dash, thou hath made a powerful foe tonight. Thou shalt suffer a thousand tortures, each more painful than the last, right after we’re done with thy precious friends.” With that, Nightmare Moon disappeared into the mist. Rainbow Dash shook herself, took a deep breath, and muttered under her breath as she repaired the bridge.
“You can’t die tonight, Dash,” she reassured herself. “You’re too cool to die. You’re destined for a long, glorious life with the Wonderbolts. Besides, you haven’t even banged that one geek yet.” Her friends went running over bridge to greet her.
“Dash, you came back!” exclaimed Dusk Shine with happiness.
“Of course I came back,” she said with pride. “I’d never leave you guys hanging!”
Our heroes entered the ruins, finding several perfectly round rocks resting on some kind of important-looking pedestal.
“The Elements!” everypony cheered. With little effort, they got the Elements down to ground-level. Rarity counted the rocks.
“There’s only five!” she said with despair. “And we don’t even know which Element is which! The only way of identification is these meaningless symbols etched on each one. Dumb rocks!” she kicked one of the Elements.
“We don’t need to tell which is which,” Dusk explained. “They only work as a group anyway. As for the sixth Element, the book said when all the other ones are present; it will appear in some sort of spark.” He crouched down and lit up his horn. “Stand back, I’m going to tinker with ancient artifacts of untold magical power, and I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“Let’s go, ladies,” said Applejack. “We’d better guard th’ door in case Nightmare Moon shows up,” The mares stepped out of the room, leaving Dusk Shine completely alone. Even though Applejack’s guard-the-door plan was thoughtful and pretty solid, she forgot one important detail: Nightmare Moon could just teleport Dusk & the Elements of Harmony into another chamber in the castle, where she could do whatever she wanted with him.
Which coincidentally, was exactly what happened.
Dusk opened his eyes to find himself a long, corridor-shaped room. Nightmare Moon stood between him and the Elements, laughing victoriously. At first, he considered abandoning hope, but then he caught sight of the glowing necklace where Nightmare Moon imprisoned Celestia.
No, he thought. This is not what you wanted, Celestia. I will make the sun rise again! He assumed a sturdy stance, snorted violently, and pawed his hoof at the floor a few times.
“THOU SURELY JEST!” bellowed Nightmare Moon, seeing what he was about to do. Dusk Shine charged with all his might. In response, his opponent galloped toward with her horn lowered. They ran closer to each other by the second.
At the last moment, Dusk teleported to the Elements, safely past Nightmare Moon. After collecting himself, he immediately focused his all his magic on the Elements. After what seem like forever, a spark emitted from his horn and danced around the stones.
“WHAT? THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!” said Nightmare Moon. Dusk beamed as the spark multiplied into a thousand little jolts of magical electricity. The Elements levitated slowly in the air annnnnnd…
…Did nothing else in particular.
”MUHAHAHAHAHA!!!” laughed Nightmare Moon as she grabbed useless rocks via telekinesis. ”WE ART VICTORIOUS! THOU SHALT NEVER SEE THINE PRINCESS, OR THINE SUN, AGAIN!” Dusk Shine could only look in horror as the newly-crowned ruler of Equestria broke each of the Elements one by one. A lump welled up in his throat as he feared for his own safety. Nightmare Moon seemed to know what Dusk was thinking, since she suddenly ceased her evil laughing to approach him.
“W-what are you going to do with me?” stuttered Dusk.
“Need not worry, young mage,” said Nightmare Moon as she dropped her Royal Canterlot Voice to normal volume. “For we will not kill thee.”
“Wait, what? Really?” he said with unexpected hope.
“Indeed, for thy delicate features and larger-than-average horn size has earned thee a much more… useful purpose,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. Her horn lit up, and instantly the room was transformed. While the castle still was in crumbling ruins and was covered in moss and vines, brand-new red silk adorned the walls and pillars as Nightmare Moon removed her armor piece by piece in a slow fashion that made Dusk very, very worried on what “useful purpose” the villainess had in store for him. As Dusk felt the cold stone underneath his hooves be replaced with soft fabric, he found he and his enemy were lying upon a luxurious heart-shaped bed, surrounded by scented candles. “Thy first task as our personal royal pet,” Nightmare Moon whispered in his ear, now fully naked. “Is to grant thy princess… pleasure.”
“I NEED AN ADULT!!!” Dusk screamed at the top of his lungs while scrambling to escape.
“WE ARE AN ADULT!!!” shouted Nightmare Moon, returning to the Royal Canterlot Voice as she easily caught Dusk with her magical smoke-mane. “NOW, DOST THOU WANT THE TOP, BOTTOM, OR SHALT WE COMMITT THE ACT DOGGY-STYLE?” Dusk was just about to reply with repeatedly crying out for his mommy when five certain mares charged into the chamber.
“Omigoodness!” gasped Fluttershy as she saw what was going on. “Are we interrupting something? Sorry, we’ll come back later.”
“Ah think ‘interruptin’ something’ is exactly what Dusk was prayin’ fer, Sugercube,” said Applejack.
“YOU GET YOUR FILTHY HOOVES OFF MY PRINCE, YOU WHORE!” screeched Rarity.
“YEAH!” agreed Pinkie Pie. “NO CLOP SCENES, REMEMBER?”
“Lady,” said Rainbow Dash darkly. “You’re about ten seconds away from getting a Tactical Rainuke dropped on your head!”
Meanwhile, Dusk Shine’s pupils grew impossibly huge as something clicked in his brain. “You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony so easily?” he said with a triumphant smile.
“Th’ Elements got destroyed?” interrupted Applejack.
“No! Well, yes. Not exactly. It’s complicated!” stammered Dusk. “Let me explain: The Elements lie in each and every one of you.” he resumed as the shattered remains of the Elements began to float in the air. “In fact, everypony that went with me in this adventure represents a certain Element!”
“Dusk, you know you’re talking a huuuge amount of manure, right?” said Rainbow Dash bluntly.
“Just hear me out in this one, okay girls?” grunted Dusk. “For example, Applejack reassured me back at that cliff (and gave me a black eye, but that’s not important), represents the spirit of… Honesty!” Suddenly, a few shards of the Element of Honesty flew over and orbited around Applejack. “Fluttershy, who calmed an angry manticore, represents the spirt of… Kindness!” Fluttershy winced as she was careful not to let any sharp pieces of her respective Element cut her skin. “Pinkie Pie, who laughed in the face of those horrific tree-demons, represents the spirit of… Laughter!” Pinkie grined as she embraced her Element. “Rarity, who…” Dusk blanked out for a moment. “…did that thing with the gay sea serpent, represents the spirit of… Generosity!”
“Hack*horseapples*wheeze,” coughed AJ as the fragments of the Element of Generosity floated to Rarity. “She never had a single discount in th’ entire time her stupid fru-fru store was open.”
“And Rainbow Dash, who wouldn’t betray us no matter what you offered, represents the spirit of… Loyalty!” the pieces of Rainbow Dash’s Element came to her. “And when all five are present, the final element will appear… and that’s Friendship!”
“Magic,” corrected Pinkie.
“What?” said Dusk. “But Pinkie, Princess Celestia sent me to Ponyville to make friends, you all became my friends as soon as I came here, it only took up until this time where you saved me from losing my virginity to a crazy demon-goddess to realize that it and it ignited a spark inside me and-”
“Nope,” said Pinkie with a completely straight face. “It’s Magic, trust me on this one.”
“Look, I’m not gonna let any us be held back by the whole ‘friend zone’ thing, and we are DEFINITELY not going to stray this far from the continuity, so the last Element is Magic, and that’s final!” yelled Pinkie. And with that, the shards of rock morphed into jeweled necklaces and our six ponies hovered into the air. A swirling rainbow appeared, and shot toward Nightmare Moon.
”NNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!” she screamed in terror as all of them blacked out.
Dusk Shine awoke with a start. I think I just orgasmed, he thought. His friends were all awake, admiring their newly-acquired jewelry.
“Nice to see you up and about, Dusk,” said Rarity. “I say, you look smashing in that tiara!”
“Wuh?” said Dusk, still groggy. He felt the top of his head, discovering his Element looked like the accessory of a belly-dancer.
“You look pretty girly to me,” Dash snickered.
“What are you talking about? You’ve got a girly necklace!” defended Dusk.
“Yeah, it would totally lame,” she explained. “But mine’s got a bad-flank lightning bolt on it. You’re just stuck with a sparkly princess-crown.”
“Whatever,” huffed Dusk. “I’m going to see if I can free Princess Celestia from that magical necklace-prison.” Suddenly, the necklace in question flashed a brilliant light, and with a mighty CRACK, Celestia broke free.
“Did somepony mention me?” said Celestia.
“Celestia! I thought I never see you again!” Dusk said as they hugged. “I have so many questions! How did you know that Nightmare Moon was real? Why did you surrender to her? How did you know that all the Elements representatives were all in Ponyville? This must have took decades of-“
“Hush, my student,” Celestia said in the kind, knowing tone that she always used. “If you listened to the tale of Nightmare Moon, you would’ve known that she was actually my sister, whom I wouldn’t dream of hurting, even if she was consumed by evil.”
“Oh,” said her protégé, feeling a little stupid.
“And now,” she resumed, “I must ask for forgiveness once more.” She turned and walked over to Nightmare Moon, whom had reverted back to Princess Luna, with light blue, unmoving hair covering her face. “Luna, for a thousand years I have banished you, the only flesh and blood I’ve ever known, and for a thousand years I’ve hated myself, gorging myself with cake and ice cream while watching cheesy soap operas every night…”
“A little too much information, Your Highness,” Rarity cut off.
“…Sorry. The point is, I’ve missed you more than you can imagine, so I would mean everything in the world to me if you would just forgive me and rule by my side again.” Luna looked up at her sister, tears welling up in her eyes. Finally, the moon princess burst into a wail.
“W-we’ve *sniff* m-missed you too, sister,” she managed too slur out between sobs. It was the most adorable and heartwarming scene in the history of Equestria, hands down.
When they all returned from the Everfree Forest, they were welcomed with cheers and a huge party (that Pinkie Pie planned, despite her being with them the whole time). During the celebration, Celestia walked up to Dusk Shine, seeing that he was a little sad.
“What’s the matter, Dusk? You’ve done a wonderful thing, and you’ll be returning home to Canterlot in no time,” she said.
“That’s just it, Princess,” said Dusk Shine glumly. “After discovering what it means to have friends, I have to leave them behind.” Celestia smiled.
“Spike, take a note please,” she announced. Spike pulled a pen and quill out from hammerspace and began writing. “I, Princess Celestia hereby decree that Dusk Shine is to take permanent residence in Ponyville to study the magic of friendship. He will report to me on his findings each week via dragon-fax.” She paused for a moment. “Decree #2: I now proclaim that the ‘magic of friendship’ to be an official and legitimate field of study, for all purposes legal or otherwise.” Everypony applauded.
Dusk never partied so hard in his life. He was going to live in Ponyville now, HOORAY! He couldn’t wait to tell his brother about this. Dusk never felt so happy since-
Oh hey, Princess Luna wanted to talk with him. “What seems to be on your mind, Your Majesty?” he asked.
“We are… not sure how to put this, Dusk Shine,” said Luna, a little embarrassed. “But we are truly sorry for attempting to… have our way with thee.” Dusk’s face turned bright red.
“Nonono, it’s okay, you were… megalomaniacally insane at the time,” he blubbered.
“Which bringth us to the second reason we speak with thou,” she continued.
“What’s that?” he asked obliviously.
“We wish to thank thee for freeing us from our madness,” she whispered while closing the distance between them.
Before Dusk could understand what the buck was going on, they were locked in a passionate kiss.
When they ended their unexpected embrace, Celestia chuckled from a distance while Dusk stood frozen his mouth hung wide open. He really has no experience with fillies, the sun princess thought. Perhaps I should try the old “Gala tickets” prank that I did with Clover the Clever VII…