Cloudsdale, home of the wondrous pegasi who roamed the skies of Equestria and brought forth the weather and seasonal changes that helped the land prosper. A birthplace to many of the greatest heroes in Equestrian history, most notably the WonderBolts and its many stars throughout the years. Within the high-flying city lay the Cloudsdale Flight School where young pegasi colts and fillies learned to become true to their kind in learning the proper methods of flight and weather manipulation.
The school itself was usually rather calm, though the infamous competitive spirits of pegasi did rile up every now then. Even on a day like today, when certain rainbow-haired pegasus challenged colt to defend her friend from his taunting. A race to see who could complete the school obstacle course the fastest. One would think such a competition would be simple, but on this day, nothing could ever be such.
A bubble of magic tore open into a space just outside the obstacle track, a swirling vortex of temporal energy within it. From this opening came three beings: a pale pink unicorn with a slightly curled, purple and aquamarine mane, a violet coated alicorn whose dark navy mane sported a single striping of pink, and a young, purple dragon with green scales lining his head and back. The dragon rode on the alicorn’s back as they glared angrily at the unicorn who landed on a nearby cloud, said pony looking even more furious at the pair.
“You don’t know what it’s like to lose a friend because of a cutie mark,” Starlight Glimmer told them. She glanced off to the side as the younger version of the alicorn’s friend flew off to beat the schoolyard bully. “But once I stop the rainboom, you will!” she declared as her horn ignited. The teal colored magic latched onto the baby drake’s backpack and snatched it away, making it reappear in front of Starlight. From within it, she ripped out an ancient scroll that had gotten the three of them into this situation. “And when I destroy this scroll, there’ll be no way for you to change it!”
Twilight and Spike watched helplessly as Starlight began to rip the scroll apart, knowing that should it be destroyed, they’d all be stuck in the past, unable to return to the present that they knew.
“Starlight, you’re right! I don’t know what you went through! But I do know you can’t do this! I’ve seen where this leads, and so do you!” Twilight pleaded with the enraged unicorn. Her words rang true as all three had been witnesses to one terrible future after another, each one getting worse and worse as new changes were made to the timeline. The final one being the one burned into Starlight’s mind, seeing the destruction of not just Equestria, but all life within it as well.
But Starlight’s rage pushed her to look over what she say, unable to accept such an outcome. “I only saw what you showed me! Who knows what’ll really happen?”
“I’ve seen it a dozen times!” Twilight fired back, with a plea. “Things don’t turn out well for Equestria without my friends!”
Starlight growled under her breath. “What’s so special about you and your friends?! How can a group of ponies so different be so important?!”
Twilight watched as Starlight began to struggle with the concepts she’d been trying to show her. Taking this chance, she moved towards Starlight, looking up at the younger mare with hope. “The differences between me and my friends are the very things that make our friendship strong!”
Tears welled up in Starlight’s eyes as she looked away from the subject of her ire, memories of her past freshly opened from their visit to her home. “I thought Sunburst and I were the same. But we turned out different, and it tore our friendship apart!” she shouted at the young princess.
“So try again!” Twilight cried, jumping into the air above Starlight, her wings holding her and Spike aloft. “Make new friends! And if something you can’t control happens that changes things, work through it together! That’s what friendship is! And it’s not just my friendships that are important to Equestria! Everypony’s are! When yours ended, it led us here. But just imagine all the others that are out there waiting for you if you just give them a chance!”
The struggle inside of Starlight’s heart began to give way as a fresh light of hope began to grow, the crying mare looked up at Twilight, a question burning inside her. “How do I know they won’t all end the same way?”
“I guess it’s up to you to make sure they don’t,” Twilight told her. She landed directly in front of the mare, holding out her hoof. Starlight watched as little Rainbow Dash sped by, knowing it was only seconds away from the past being corrected. She hesitated as her worry and anger started to quell, slowly reach out her hoof until it met directly with Twilight’s. The two smiled as Starlight let go of the scroll. Thankfully, Spike managed to grab the ancient parchment before it could fall away completely.
Beneath the trio, a large explosion detonated as the very first sonic rainboom occurred around them. The colorful waves rippled across the sky, being seen for miles across the entire country, enlightening several unique souls to find their destinies. One such soul went rocketing above the time travelers, just as the temporal spell activated and sending them home. Spike, Twilight, and Starlight held close as they were taken back to the future.
However, as they passed through the barriers of time and space, each set of eyes briefly glowed as images were burned into their brains. Before it could be dwelled on, they arrived back where they started in Castle Harmony, the time warp ripping the scroll from Spike’s hands and absorbing it into oblivion. For a brief moment, they looked at one another, a single question unspoken between them:
What did we just see?
“I missed you, Roxas,” Naminé’s voice echoed through the emptiness, rousing Roxas from his sleep. The young man lay there not far from her, as she sat there on the edge. Her blonde hair lay against her pale skin, covered only by a small white dress With a groggy groan, he sat up rubbing his eyes as they became accustomed to his surroundings.
“Naminé? Is that you?” he asked, still trying to regain his sight and bearings. Ruffling his golden blond hair, Roxas found himself one on of those strange mural pillars, this one depicting himself and those close to him. He looked at himself, seeing he was still wearing the black and white double jacket and similar matching pants. There was a small smirk as he was glad the old, black coat was gone.
“I'm right here Roxas.” He turned to see her sitting at the edge, her legs dangling off the side. Looking around, Roxas tried to take in their surroundings, but couldn’t see much.
“Where are we? How did we get here?”
She giggled, shaking her head. “We’re in Sora's heart. I told you we wouldn't disappear.”
“So this is what’s inside a heart?” Roxas stood up and started looking around, not seeing much past the pillar they stood on. He looked down, seeing the familiar stained glass he’d seen before. “I thought there’d be a little… more.”
“At least you have me,” she pointed out, giving him a shy smile.
“Yeah,” he said, getting a small smile as he sat down next to her on the edge. They looked at each other with matching smiles before looking out upon the abyss. “But, what do we do now?”
“I guess we just...talk,” Namine offered.
“Sure, we can do that.”
The pair talked and chatted for what felt like hours on end. The laughed, they comforted, even accepted what the other had done. They spoke of their pasts, of the dreams they held, and even what they believed was to come in the future. But even something so nice, does come to an end. When all had been said what needed to or wanted to be said was done, they simply sat there together in silence. Two beings who were never meant to be, never truly alive, couldn’t have felt more so in that moment just having a special someone to talk to.
But, like it was said, even nice things come to an end.
“Hm?” Roxas perked up, looking around at the endless darkness.
“What's wrong Roxas?” She asked, looking at him curiously.
“I could have sworn I heard something.” Cautiously, he got back to his feet and looked out again, scanning through the abyss for anything. Softly to the ears, even Naminé could hear tiny drip, as if a single drop of water had fallen into a pond. “There it is again.”
“Is it that other boy?” Namine asked, rising to her feet.
“No. I can feel him further in Sora’s heart, but this? This is much closer. Almost as if…” Roxas’ eyes widened as he turned around as another drip echoed across eternity. There, in the middle of the stained glass, was a shimmering little bubble. The bubble was odd, strange little designs resembling clocks flowing over its surface. Every so often it would make that sound again, echoing into Roxas’ being as if it were calling out to him. Slowly, he started to approach it.
“Roxas!” She reached out, grabbing his hand. “What are you doing?”
“It’s calling out,” he told her without glancing back. “There’s… something about this thing. I need to know what it wants.”
“I don't think that's a good idea,” she countered, shaking her head. She tugged on his hand, trying to dissuade him. Roxas resisted, though not enough to cause her any harm, trying to pull himself towards the bubble.
As the two Nobodies continued their back and forth, neither noticed that the subject of their conflict was beginning to grow. It was unnoticeable at first, but with every drip, the bubble expanded more and more. Within mere moments, it had grow to encompass the entire inner circle of the mural.
“Roxas, we have to get away from it,” Namine pleaded, taking a step away from it. “Please.”
Naminé’s pleas finally broke Roxas from the spell as he looked at her, seeing the look in her eye for him to stop. “Naminé, I.. I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
“It's okay.” She stepped back, pulling him along. Though as she did so, she happened to look over his shoulder and see that the bubble had grown much larger and was already about to overtake them. She moved up to the edge of the pillar, squeezing his hand.
Roxas stared down the bubble as they quickly ran out of standing space. Pulling on her hand, he pulled her close to him before turning his back to the bubble. “Don’t worry, Naminé, I’ll keep you safe.”
She nodded, glancing between him and the bubble. “I trust you Roxas.”
The edge of the bubble overtook them only moments later, both clenching their eyes shut as a blinding light forced them to look away. Once they were fully consumed, the bubble popped with a quiet pop, as if it had only been an ordinary bubble. But it couldn’t have been ordinary, as Roxas and Naminé were gone.