"Well, it’s nice to be back in Canterlot, so much is changed!" Twilight said as continued walking, excitement in her voice. Sure, she’d been here a few times since she’d moved to Ponyville, but this was really the first time she’d been there just to relax and reconnect with her roots, as opposed to a party or being called to save the world from an ancient evil that escaped it‘s prison. She remembered Rarity’s friendship report after Twilight’s birthday, don’t be ashamed of your roots. That’s what had compelled her to come do a little reconnecting with where she’d came from. "Isn‘t that right, Spike… Spike?" she asked, looking back at her assistant to see him falling quite far behind.
Spike panted, struggling to keep up. "Yeah, Twilight," he panted, stopping to catch his breath. "Can I... Can I please ride on your back?" he asked, unable to keep up with the excited Unicorn mare. "I know you're excited, but I can only move so fast."
Twilight stopped and turned around to fully face him, getting a slightly embarrassed look, realizing in her excitement she‘d forgotten Spike was just a baby dragon. "Sorry Spike, I‘ve just had a great day," Twilight said, horn lighting up with a pink glow, which surrounded Spike and floated him up, gently setting him on her back as she continued on. “What’s next on the checklist?”
Spike took a moment to catch his breath. "Thanks Twi," he said, taking out a checklist. He couldn’t help rolling his eyes, who made a checklist to plan out relaxing besides Twilight? "Lets see. Make checklist for day in Canterlot. Double and triple check the check list… Spend the early morning with Princess Luna..." he read, then gave Twilight a glare. "At 3 in the morning," he muttered, not liking getting up that early. "I know Luna’s nocturnal and all, but was getting up THAT early really necessary?" he asked, giving a yawn from lack of sleep.
"Yes, Spike. I don't think Princess Luna would have liked if we disturbed her in the morning while she‘s getting read for bed," Twilight said, walking around the road. A person nearly bumped into her, but changed his direction, in a hurry. Twilight looked back, he was long gone. Canterlot was so different than Ponyville, in Ponyville that probably would’ve resulted in a friendly conversation. Here everypony was in such a big rush they didn’t have time to even say hi. "What’s next?"
"Let's see..." said Spike, looking back at the list. "We ate breakfast with your parents, then we dropped off those deliveries for Rarity..." he swooned, saying Rarity’s name in a dreamy fashion. He caught himself as Twilight looked back at him with a raised eyebrow. "Oh... Sorry. Then we gave those apology letters to the animals in Canterlot castle garden for Fluttershy, got those tickets to the Wonderbolts air show for Rainbow... Stopped by Discord‘s statue so you could double and triple check the spell keeping him there."
Twilight looked down. “It’s just… I had to be sure he was still there, locked up tight…”
“I know, Twi,” said Spike, giving a kind smile. “I was there when he turned Ponyville into a madhouse and made the others bully you, I can’t blame you for having nightmares.”
Twilight shuddered. Spike wasn’t kidding, Discord’s “games” had given her nightmares, bad ones. She’d had to take a look at his stony mug and make SURE he wasn’t getting out to give her a little piece of mind. She hoped that’d make the nightmares go away a bit. “Is that why you decided to sneak passed the guards and write “Discord drools” on his face in permanent marker?” she asked, giving him a look over her shoulder.
Spike gave a laugh. “Yeah,” he replied, looking over to her. “You have to admit, it was really funny!”
Twilight chuckled. “Yeah, I guess it was… Until you got caught and we were arrested by the guards.”
Spike gave a nervous smile. “Yeah, sorry bout that… But at least the Princess got a good laugh out of it we she came to bail us out.”
Twilight nodded sheepishly, getting an embarrassed blush. “Yeah… I guess she did…” she replied, remembering how needlessly worked up she’d gotten waiting for Celestia to get there. She wasn’t sure why, considering she should’ve known Celestia wouldn’t imprison her, banish her, or imprison her in the place she banished her to. She just wished she’d realized that before made a foal of herself begging Celestia not to when she showed up to pardon them.
“After that we had lunch with Princess Celestia and talked with her for an hour…” said Spike, running through about half a dozen more items before looking back. “And lastly, ask Spike to recheck the checklist to make sure we got everything,” he read, then blinked in confusion. “Uh… Check,” he said, checking that item off.
"Great! Its still an hour till we planned to head back to Ponyville, what should we do in the meantime?" Twilight asked, dodging the oncoming traffic of ponies. Why were Canterlot ponies always in such a rush?
"Well... could I throw a stink bomb into Prince Blueblood's room to pay him back for how he treated Rarity at the Gala?" asked Spike, producing one out of nowhere. "Rainbow Dash gave it to me."
"No, Spike! We‘d get arrested… Again!" said Twilight, imagining Celestia's face if that happened. Even if she did laugh it off again, Twilight didn’t particularly want to have her mentor bail her out TWICE in one day. "...I think we should just go home," Twilight unwillingly said, though she was getting a tad homesick for Ponyville. And with a stink bomb in hand, she didn‘t particularly trust the little dragon not to use it. But when did he get it she wondered? He didn’t have they left Ponyville, and that was the last time she‘d seen Rainbow Dash since then. She got the feeling maybe one of there friends was around, particularly a certain rainbow haired pegasus with a love for pranks.
Spike grumbled, putting it away. "Fine, but you have to admit, he deserves it."
"Yeah, but it‘s illegal, Spike." said Twilight, looking around to see if Rainbow Dash really was around. Then Twilight saw something else, a homeless mare on the side of the street. The poor thing laid under a blanket, only her light blue tail and unicorn horn exposed. Her fur was mangy and filthy enough to show she hadn't bathed in a long time. Twilight frowned, she often forgot that, despite the Princess‘ best efforts, there were still some ponies suffering in Equestria, not many, but some. She couldn’t help thinking something seemed so familiar about this mare, why did she feel like she’d seen that tail and horn somewhere before?
Spike saw the mare as well, and quickly got out some bits. "Here you go, Twi," he said, holding them out. He knew nine times out of ten, if Twilight could help somepony, she would. Any of the gang would probably, when he thought about it. The mare seemed vaguely familiar to him as well, but he couldn’t put his claw on it.
"Thanks, Spike," Twilight said with a small smile and took the bits with a telekinesis spell. She walked to the mare and laid them gently down next to her, only for a blue glow to surround them and the bits to be telekinetically hurled right back in her face. “Ow! Hey, what was that for?!”
“Yeah, we’re just trying to help!” said Spike, a little miffed.
The mare groaned in announce. "I don't want your help... I don't need pity..." she muttered angrily, rolling over so her back was to them, revealing her Cutie mark in full view in the process.
Twilight‘s eyes went wide as she saw the Cutie Mark, a blue magic wand with a crescent shaped wisp of sparkling blue magic, and a memory surged full front in her mind. "T-TRIXIE?!" Twilight screamed, her sudden jump causing Spike to topple backwards off her back with a yell.
"Huh?" asked the mare, throwing the blanket off and looking up, snarling when she saw who it was. Her fur was matted and filthy, and to put it mildly, she smelled worse than a Diamond Dog, but there was no mistaking her. The blue unicorn before Twilight was definitely the “Great and Powerful” Trixie. "Oh, it's you," the mare said, giving a glare. "Come to show up Trixie again have you?"
Spike growled. "Hey! Watch it! If it wasn't for Twilight you'd be an Ursa's dinner right now!"
"Spike!" Twilight angrily shushed Spike, not wanting to make this worse. Her anger faded to sadness as she turned back to Trixie, trying not to put a hoof to her nose at the smell of the filthy mare. "No, Trixie, we were just passing by. And I never meant to overshadow you, if I had I’d have done it when you were issuing open challenges to all of Ponyville. In case you didn’t notice, I was trying NOT to show off.”
Trixie gave a sigh. “Point taken, now what is it you want?”
“Well for starters, what happened to you?" Twilight asked, she had guilt inside her. Was Trixie like this because of what happened in Ponyville?
Trixie looked down, then growled. "... It's none of your business," she said, turning away. "Trixie doesn't want your pity!"
"Well that's good enough for me, come on Twilight," said Spike, trying to walk off, only to be grabbed telekinetically and pulled back by Twilight.
"Trixie, this isn‘t pity, its concern. Can I help-” Twilight asked, eyes full of concern. Suddenly, Rainbow Dash ran up to Twilight out of nowhere until their eyes were about six inches away.
“Oh great," muttered Trixie, knowing this wouldn't end well for her in all likelihood.
"No way!" Rainbow said in anger. "Pinkie Pie, tell her!"
Pinkie Pie popped out of nowhere and hopped over. "Hi Twilight! Rainbow Dash wants me to tell you..." she said, then just stood there with a smile on her face, then one of confusion. “Tell her what?”
Rainbow Dash gave an annoyed groan and face hoofed.
"Rainbow and Pinkie, what are you doing here?!" Twilight asked, sure, she‘d THOUGHT Rainbow might be following her, but never expected it for real. And especially not Pinkie… Though it didn’t surprise her, Pinkie was the most unpredictable mare she’d ever met.
“We got a message from the Canterlot police saying you and Spike got arrested so we came to bail you out,” said Rainbow, glaring daggers at Trixie. “Good thing to! You were going to let this jerk sucker you!”
Twilight growled. “I was not! And that’s not a very nice thing to say, Rainbow Dash,” said Twilight, giving a disappointed glare. “Can’t you see she’s in trouble?”
Rainbow Dash looked at her like she was crazy. “Oh come on! Did you forget how she humiliated me, Rarity, and Applejack in front of the entire town and caused a rampaging Ursa Minor to tear the town apart?!”
Twilight gave a stern glare. “And she paid for that by being humiliated in front of the entire town herself, and you and I both know the Ursa was Snips and Snails‘ fault. Besides from the looks of things, she’s paid more than enough for what she did in the meantime.”
“And from the smell of things, hasn’t had a bath in a long time,” said Spike, holding his nose.
Twilight gave Spike a raised eyebrow, then looked back to Rainbow. “I’m not just going to leave somepony in trouble if there’s something I can do to help.”
Twilight turned to Trixie. Sure, she’d been a jerk, but she hadn’t done anything to deserve this. "Trixie, will you come with us-" Twilight got cut by Dash.
"No way, Twilight!" Rainbow said in a serious tone.
"...To Ponyville? Maybe you can get back on your hooves there. Don't mind them," Twilight asked Trixie, ignoring Rainbow. Normally, she’d listen, but quite obviously, Rainbow Dash’s perspective was a bit bias in this case.
"Trixie doesn't want your pity," said Trixie, turning her nose up and turning to walk off. “She can… She can do just fine on her own,” she stated, though even her attempts to sound confident failed, as a slight break in her voice revealed she didn’t quite believe that herself.
Pinkie blinked, having just set by and watched this until something happened. "Uh oh! Ear flop. Eye flutter. Knee twitch," she said, her body doing the exact actions, right as a door swung open and hit Trixie right in the face. A pony threw away some garbage and closed the door, Trixie sliding down it like a squashed bug.
"Ha-ha!" Rainbow laughed hard at Trixie. “Serves you right!”
Twilight shot Rainbow a glare before trotting over to the dazed Trixie. "Trixie, this isn’t a pity!” she said, then paused to think of just how to phrase this different to convince Trixie to let her help. Sure, Trixie didn’t seem to want help, but neither did Applejack at Applebuck Season, if Twilight hadn‘t forced the issue, Applejack might‘ve worked herself to death. Sometimes the pony who didn‘t want help was the one who needed it the most. A thought came to Twilight’s head. “Think of it as repaying a favor.”
Trixie shook her head to clear it. "And just what did Trixie do for you?" she asked, looking at her in confusion.
"Yeah, what did she ever do for us?" asked Spike, confused as Trixie. “You know, besides publicly humiliating our friends? I got to side with Rainbow on this one.”
Twilight thought out her words carefully. "Well, thanks to you, I had my weekly report for Princess Celestia in on time! And you helped me realize I didn‘t have to hide my talents from my best friends just because I was afraid of how they‘d react," Twilight replied. “So at least let me return the favor and give you a helping hoof.”
“Yeah! And if you hadn’t helped Twilight with that letter, it’d have been really bad! Last time-” started Pinkie, only to have Twilight put a hoof over her mouth and blush before the pink pony could reach the embarrassing part of the story. Still, at least she wasn’t against her like Rainbow.
"Princess Celestia?" asked Trixie, eyes widening in shock. "W-why did you have to send her a weekly report?"
"Twilight’s Celestia's personal student," said Spike with a smug smile. "And her personal envoy to Ponyville too," he stated, Trixie’s jaw dropped, she pretty much looking like she was about to go into shock. Behind her, Pinkie pie was glaring at people. Twilight could see the scared looks on their faces.
Before Rainbow could say anything, Twilight shot her a glare. "If you want, Trixie, you could be the guest of Celestia‘s personal student in Ponyville," Twilight spoke up before Spike could brag anymore. She hoped appealing to the unicorn’s ego would help sway her a bit.
Pinkie hopped over and got in Trixie‘s face. "Yeah, you can be our guest!” she exclaimed. “Come on come on! We‘ll have so much fun!” she stated in her typical rapid tone.
"I’ve heard enough of this, I’m going back to Ponyville, by myself! You can let yourself get suckered by this loser if you want to but leave me out of it!" Rainbow in an angry tone before flying off, seeing she’d not be able to talk some sense into Twilight and Pinkie was too… well, Pinkie Pie.
Trixie looked hurt. "I'm not a loser..." she yelled after Rainbow. "It's not my fault those two rotten colts ruined my life!" she growled, before realizing Rainbow was gone and couldn‘t hear her. She blushed in embarrassment and turned back to the unicorn and Earth Pony staring expectantly at her. "...So as your GUEST, not out of pity towards Trixie?" she asked. She had to admit, being able to say Princess Celestia’s personal student had invited her to be her guest was quite an ego stroke. With how powerful Twilight was during the Ursa attack, Trixie didn’t doubt she was telling the truth on that one. And even if she hated to admit it, Twilight had saved her life from that Ursa, so she did owe Twilight. You’d never hear her say it, but she did have some gratitude for that.
"I don't know what pity is, but having guests is always really really fun! So say yes! Say yes!" said Pinkie Pie with an excited smile. Then she continued to stare at people.
Trixie sighed, giving it deep thought. It’d be nice to sleep on a real bed in a real house after all. "Trixie supposes that it'd be better than that cardboard box... Trixie hasn't had a shower in two months," she muttered, disgusted with her own appearance. She hadn’t had a decent bite since then either, she was starving.
Spike held his nose. "Yeah, we noticed, you smell worse than those rotten Diamond Dogs," he stated, not caring about Trixie's feelings after what she did.
Twilight angrily glare at Spike. "Okay, let’s head to Ponyville. I hope you don‘t mind taking a royal chariot," Twilight asked, leading the way.
"On a... On a royal chariot?" asked Trixie, eyes wide in shock. She’d get to ride in a royal chariot? Embarrassing circumstances or not, Trixie wasn’t about to pass that up.
“Twi, you sure this is a good idea?” asked Spike. “I don’t trust Trixie as far as I could throw her.”
“Come on Spike, she’s not that bad,” said Twilight, calmly. “Besides, finding her a job will be a piece of cake with all the nice ponies in Ponyville, she‘ll be back on her hooves in no time.”
“Oh! What kind of cake?” asked Pinkie, smiling wide, forgetting about the people. “Is it chocolate? Vanilla?”
Twilight sighed, continuing forwards towards the chariot launching point. “Or cherry? Oh wait! Blueberry?…”
To be continued.