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Twilight Sparkle sat in a room of whitewashed walls and beeping monitors, the only other occupant of the room was the pony laid in the bed.
Time had not been kind to Twilight or Rainbow, Rainbow’s mane and tail had been reduced to shades of grey while her coat had paled considerably, no-longer the colour of the sky she had loved, now reduced to a powder-blue shade, more grey than blue. Her breathing was laboured and her wings had been bound to her sides to prevent her from escaping… again. Even in old age, Rainbow Dash wasn’t one to sit back and do nothing.
Twilight on the other hand, now had a full shock of white hair, her magical usage destroying most of her pigment and reducing her nervous system by half. Yet Twilight, for her older look, was sat by the bed of her wife. Nearly seventy years had gone by, seventy happy years of marriage and comfort and love. Twilight only regretted never making it to seventy-one.
A wracking cough broke her from her reverie; Rainbow had woken up and started hacking up phlegm and blood. With practiced ease, Twilight stood up and lifted a small metal dish from the side of the room with her magic, bringing it over to Rainbow and holding it in front of her mouth, rubbing her wife on the back slowly all the while.
Eventually, Rainbow stopped and Twilight removed the dish, glancing at its contents before removing them and placing the dish back on the side, just in case. She gently guided Rainbow’s hunched form back in to her laid-down position, still rubbing her back.
“Hey Rainbow, how’re you feeling?” She asked, smiling softly at her patient.
Rainbow turned her head, both her eyes, still vibrant, fixed themselves onto Twilight and she cracked a smile, “Like I’m going to die of old age probably.” She replied chuckling before coughing loudly again, the humour in the statement apparent only to her.
Twilight smiled, moving to knead Rainbow’s shoulder gently but remaining silent.
“Did you ever think we’d make it this far?” Rainbow asked between strained breaths.
“Never in a million years.” Twilight replied. “Did you ever make up any of your regrets?”
“I made up for the one that mattered.” Came the reply as Rainbow turned her head and smiled tiredly at Twilight who returned the smile.
“I think I’d like one thing before I go though…” Rainbow continued, “A goodbye kiss maybe?” she asked hopefully.
“You’re not going to die yet Rainbow, you’ve still got another day left in you right?” Twilight assured, not convinced on who she was reassuring. But she met the sombre look in Rainbow’s eye and her face fell.
“So this is it?”
“This is it… about that goodbye kiss?”
Twilight choked back a sob, “As if you’d need to ask…”
Twilight leant over the bed, pressing her worn lips against Rainbow’s old and cracked mouth. Both of them kept their eyes shut as they held the kiss, then Twilight felt, rather than heard, her marefriend give out her last breath before she died.
Twilight lifted her head away from Rainbow, opening her eyes and looking at her. Then she shut them as the monitors started flatlining, one by one as they finally realised that Rainbow was no-longer with them and as Twilight stopped interfering with them. She knew how much staying in a hospital had chafed with Rainbow, the least that she could offer her was a quiet death of her own choosing.
She stayed that way as she heard the door open and the doctors enter, as she heard them start their activities and as she heart them charge the defibrillator and as she heard one of them finally announce the time of death. At exactly ten minutes past three in the afternoon on the15th March 1082, Rainbow Sky had passed away due to a heart condition obtained as a result of her old age.
It was some time after she heard the door open to allow Rainbow to be transported to the morgue that she heard another sound.
The door opened again and Twilight heard a small tip-tapping sound on the marbled floor.
“Princess.” She acknowledged, keeping her eyes shut and refusing to accept that when she opened them, Rainbow would be gone.
“Twilight.” Came the reply Twilight had expected, she opened her eyes, glancing briefly back at the Princess of the Sun before she turned back to the spot where her marefriend had rested.
“How do you cope Princess? I mean, even when I lost Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy, it never hurt this much.”
“It’s because you never loved them as you did Rainbow, you loved them all as your friends, Rainbow went beyond that. She was your partner, it’s only logical that you’d mourn her more” The princesses voice was soft, but the chilly logic was sound, Twilight sighed.
“And the coping?”
“It doesn’t get easier, you’ll always remember her, more than anyone else will, you’ll remember her Twilight, and you’ll never forget.”
“That sounds more like a curse than a blessing now.” Twilight said with a bitter laugh.
The silence spoke volumes.
“How are you going to cope Celestia? I’m not going to live forever either. I might be a unicorn but nopony lives forever save for you and Luna.”
“Who said I would?”
Apple Slice watched the monarch quietly as the tears tracked their way down her face.
“That’s who she was, Twilight Sparkle and Twilight Sky, a pony who left a legacy.” Celestia finished, her eyes shut once more at the memories assaulted her.
Throwing caution to the winds, Apple Slice stood up and nudged Celestia on the shoulder, standing by her with a friendly smile, “Come on, your sister will be getting worried, let’s go and find her, Twilight’ll still be here later if you want to talk to her.” He said, fixing a smile on his face as he spoke to the ruler, offering her a hoof.
Celestia looked back at the young pony and smiled softly, lifting herself to her hooves with the aid of a small Earth pony. She was old, she had so many memories, and those of her Most Faithful’s were the most treasured of those.
One day, there would be another Most Faithful, there would always be another Most Faithful.
Apple Slice paused, letting Celestia walk on before glancing back at the pair of tombstones under the willow tree, Twilight’s grave, and the stone next to it, completely spotless despite the twenty years that it had stood.
Element of Loyalty
Jun 983 – Mar 1082
Loyal to the Last
Twilight Rainbow Skies Forever