Alternate Title: The Elements of Harmony Will Kick Butt
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Hi, everypony. We're back. We promised we would be!)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): We were here at the beginning, of course we're gonna be here at the end!)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Just remember what we promised. That we wouldn't meddle in the outcome of events.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): That never stopped us before. Just means we can't cheat.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Then our job here will be done...)
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Do we really need to leave? We were born here, weren't we?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): We were still born from another Twilight Sparkle, not this world's Twilight Sparkle. Unless we want to forget everything we've done, or always be having to watch out for being erased, we'll eventually have to go to our mother's worldline.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Awwww...)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): I don't like it either, kiddo, but... Half-Light Midnight is waiting for us. She's family. We shouldn't just leave her.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Alright...then let's give everypony a big show!)
Season Title: The Last Battle
(Alternate Title: The Elements of Harmony Kick Butt)
= Reharmonized Soundtrack: We'll Make It Through (Elements Of Harmony) =
"For the Princesses!"
My Little Pony!
Everything's been broken, that is true!
My Little Pony!
But I know our bonds will see us through!
The world fell apart at the seams, every pony has ruined dreams!
Long friendships have been torn apart! With so much woe, can healing start?
But we all know where to begin! So now our hope's restored again!
Those fractured dreams we'll surely mend! Friendships don't break, they merely bend!
We'll get through all the worst together and come out even better than ever!
Though Discord's taint may still remain, he couldn't snuff out friendship's flame!
We'll keep those fires blazing bright! Guide every pony towards the light!
His darkest blight we'll purge away! Our friendship is here to stay! You have...
My Little Pony!
Do you know we're still the very best friends?
Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where...hello Applejack, have you finally decided to embrace your inner beauty? Yes, well, you can't blame a lady for dreaming.
Eh? Heh, is this some sort of changeling detection test? You should be able to tell with your, ahem, gift anyway, Applejack. Did you hear? Princess Pitcher Plant tried to attack the Wuv Cat Kingdom, and she got beaten. Ended up fleeing with her tail between her legs.
Yes, I remember it as well, how she had her Black Hive changelings brainwash Fluttershy's animals to try and kidnap our little sisters. I never thought I'd be so grateful that our little sisters had picked up such destructive talents for defending themselves. Fluttershy should be grateful her animals weren't hurt more...I doubt Pitch Plant's minions will be trying to terrorize Ponyville for a while after they got a taste of Fluttershy's and Fluttercruel's wrath. And after all the adventures they've had, I cannot imagine that those fillies would ever want to see horror movies, with or without you and I barring the way.
Oh, very well, Applejack. Yes, yes, I shall forego the sunglasses.
My name is Miss Rarity Belle.
Really, Applejack? Alright. After we defeated Discord, I was suffering from trauma brought on by that villain's brainwashing, along with practically all the rest of Equestria. But thanks to an unexpected little pony who needed my help in ways that Sweetie Belle unwittingly helped me recognize, I was able to understand the differences between my gifts and my virtues.
The time Rainbow Dash and I visited Princess Celestia, just the two of us? That had been...enlightening...it gave me a great deal to think about ourselves and... the responsibility of myself and Rainbow as Elements of Harmony. Her Majesty shared with us certain things that I believe are better left unsaid with the general pony. Now, Applejack, stop giving me that look, I know you and I differ on this, but please try to understand.
I know I've said this before, dear, but image is everything. Ponies won't understand certain sides of yourself if they're given the hard-and-fast versions and will easily take them the wrong way. For instance, that little nickname you used to have as a filly...Piggly Wiggly, wasn't it? It wouldn't be fun if ponies everywhere started using that nickname, now would it? Same if ponies knew of my 'object lesson' with the General.
I'll admit, perhaps I was rather foolish in how much I tried to hide I was from Ponyville from Canterlot's elite but...ponies can draw the wrong conclusions, and good luck with ponies who have already made up their minds.
And, of course, there's Sweetie Belle...I'm proud of her for coming forward to Mother and Father about her time with Chrysalis. And I'm proud that she seems to have finally accepted the true weight of what Chrysalis did to her rather than whitewashing her captor's sins.
But it's best most ponies think Sweetie was Chrysalis' slave, and not pet. I know that the changelings thinking of Sweetie Belle as honorary changeling nobility has its advantages, and might have helped things along, and possibly help lessen some of Pitcher Plant's possible trouble...but I don't want ponies to think my precious little sister is some little monster waiting to grow up.
Yes...Princess Luna did insist on teaching Sweetie Belle some basics on how to control the magic Chrysalis taught her...Yes, I asked if that knowledge could be just removed, but Princess Luna said it would inevitably come back, and it was best for her to learn how to wield this magic responsibly. You think I'd be more than willing to share my little sister getting some private tutoring with a Princess but given WHAT she's teaching her, it's better for Sweetie Belle's future career as a singer that it remain out of the public eye.
Yes... I have been more a mother to Sweetie Belle than mother has sometimes... PLEASE never tell her that! It's better for Sweetie Belle's emotional health that ... that she reconnects with our parents.
I'm not forcing her to move back in with them yet, but if they're sincere, I should help. She may tirelessly cause me frustration, in particular when she used the gold silk and cloth Pinkie gave me from her sister to make their capes. But I'd have made those capes, gold silk and all, if she'd asked me after I'd finished my responsibilities, and I'd leap into mud again for her.
Yes, 'Sweet Music' was a secret family song, passed down through the generations from mother's side of the family, much as our 'pruney hooves' come from father' side. Its origin is out of memory and record, much like your family's friendship with Nurse Red Heart's family. Though after Sweetie Belle sang 'Sweet Music' to all of Canterlot to power up the changeling army...No, I don't, mother and father don't hold it against her, that she was most definitely under mind control for. I have faith in Sweetie to come up with her own lyrics in time.
Our statue in Ponyville Square? Oh, it's lovely. (Though I could make some changes.) I'd still rather be a fashion giant, not a career world saver. We ponies like to carry on.
My friendship with Fluttershy is still as firm as ever. At least, I'd like to think so. Her responsibilities towards Fluttercruel do take their time. Taking care of animals and taking care of foals are two quite different skill sets, though given how smart her beasts seem to be at times, I'm not certain that they ever truly conflicted that much. We still have our weekly spa dates...it's my way of gently making sure Fluttershy doesn't retreat back into her bubble.
Fluttercruel is absolutely adorable as a model, though her own body has a long way to go so...I can appreciate Fluttershy letting her daughter borrow hers. I think she doesn't appear in her own body just so she can be taken seriously.
I knew you'd bring up Spikey-Wikey sooner or later. He's as darling as ever. And just as reliable, and just dauntless when it comes to being willing to help.
Really, Applejack! I'm a bit insulted by that question, I'd never hold what happened the day after Spike's birthday against him! I know that greed is in his blood. He can't be rid of it anymore than we can be rid of our equine instincts, but if any creature has proven they can be superior to their nature, it's Spike, surely.
And for the record, yes, I am very happy Spike finally made friends close to his own age. It's better for his social growth. No offense, darling, but we've seen what a socially retarded mess Twilight was when she first came to Ponyville. And no, I do not think Spike and Sweetie Belle are anything more than friends, thank you very much. And considering how things are developing between her and Button Mash, I doubt that's going to change.
What happened after the Great Dragon Migration? We went to Sugarcube Corner. Spike? Twilight remarked how she'd found out about Spike's family history a short while back. So no, darling, I don't remember Spike going on any sort of trip after. What do you mean? 'Never mind?' Alright.
When we were delivering the Cakes' cake to Canterlot for that kingdom wide baking contest on the Friendship Express? I'm just happy the cake arrived there in one piece. Er, yes, Pinkie Pie and I did have a late night chat about this and that. It's something rather scandalous that I'd rather you not repeat to anyone Applejack, please?
Trixie? Applejack, I was not, am, and will not, hold a grudge against her forever for that public humiliation. I have already reconciled with Carrot Top over her own misunderstand of my reaction to Trixie's violation of my mane. Trixie has more than made up for her past antics.
Mare-Do-Well? Since I hold the rights on the costume design, and we hold our group trademark on the character, I am making a pretty sum on the costume sales alone. Did Mayor Mare tell you yet? Mare-Do-Well is getting her own balloon in the Ponyville parade this year...Yes, yes, we all agreed that all the proceeds would go to charity, but I'm still getting plenty of word-of-mouth exposure with the brand name.
Since you asked, I'm still officially on the record books as the only unicorn to come in second place at the Young Best Flier's competition, and I may be the only one since they might have changed the rules. I truly never intended to cause Rainbow such trouble, let alone get Spitfire, and her friends and myself almost killed because I'd misjudged the durability of the wings...alright, I know that outfit was not one of my better days, moving on. I'd gone there truly for Rainbow Dash...good intentions can backfire, as I'm sure you're aware Applejack...hmm? No, I was not referring to 'Princess Gaia' and you know it, Applejack.
I am not surprised neither I nor Rainbow realized we both practice martial arts before, we were both focused on saving Fluttershy that day, not each other's fighting style. I am impressed Rainbow is a black belt.
Fluttershy is my friend, I wasn't about to let a little thing like having all my legs broken stop me. That being said, I am grateful that the Element of Generosity granted its power to heal me once again, doing orders in a body cast would have been awkward. I have never believed in having my works being 'lovely', I do spectacular...yes I suppose that IS something I have in common with Trixie.
Oh, I know Rainbow Dash and Derpy have made up for past transgressions...maybe that is part of what always drives me to reach for perfection, but I hope you understand, Applejack. I'd prefer not to dig up that business of the 'most creative kart award' again. It was a stinging blow at the time, but it inspired me to try harder still.
Cheerilee and I? We've been getting on. Yes, we have talked about stallions on occasion, I think both of us want to have somepony to share our lives and start a family with, but she's just...less open about it. Mmm-hmm, she does think I have a lovely voice, most of Ponyville does darling. I don't know what Cheerilee once having played soccer has to do with anything, why are you bringing it up? Yes, she's still on the 'Princess Fluttershy' newsletter.
Of all your questions so far, Applejack, that has to be the strangest: no, caterpillars do not 'freak me out,' I dislike parasprites for the disgusting way in which they reproduce. Caterpillars are weavers like me, and they too work hard to turn themselves from something plain into something beautiful.
No, I assure you, Mrs. Rich does not think I was gold-digging her husband when helping him through emotional problems he should have seen a professional for, but he didn't, so I helped. I would like to know how you learned that, Applejack! That was a very personal matter for the Rich family and it's better off as that!
My...my recent nightmare? E-excuse me. Please stop calling it a fainting couch, Applejack, it's a chaise longue. That nightmare...You can have all the same window dressings and mannerisms, but the you in your heart of hearts is still more than that. And HOW I express my love for others and myself is PART of that. I think Spike also became a giant dragon and protected me. So in the name of our friendship, Applejack, I'd rather NOT dwell on that and let it fade away as nightmares should.
A new hat for Granny Smith? Why, I'd love to make one for her! She certainly needs to get with the times, I think, no offense. Have to visit Rainbow Dash? Alright, dear, I'll see you later. And Applejack, while we may...disagree in regard to certain things...remember that I am your friend, and I won't stop being your friend, our friendship is part of what makes me Rarity, and thank you for that.
Come on, AJ, you know I don't care about all that pillow soft...I mean, all that philosophical touchy feely stuff!
You wanna talk while we trot a few miles? Sure, that's cool, I guess.
Yep, still reading Daring Do! I can't wait for the new trilogy! If you told me two years ago that I'd be into reading books, I'd have laughed my tail off. I mean, saving the world from the boogie-mare and chaos itself, that's totally me, but reading? Heh, who knew?
Hey, AJ? You better listen good, because I'm only saying this once, and if you repeat this to anypony I'll deny it three times, but...the whole Mare-Do-Well thing...maybe I can admit now that I kinda had that coming. My head was so high in the clouds (Pegasus only joke) that I wasn't even listening to what you girls were saying. So, I get why you had to do an intervention. And yes I get why the costumes too.
I kinda dreamed of things from the other perspective. It's not the first time I've had freaky dreams that ended up being a major wake up call.
Oh, and since I can't remember whether I thanked you already for it, thanks for saving me from the whole 'turn into creature of darkness born from my own inner demons' thing at Sugarcube Corner. Can't win all the time, and thinking about stuff you could've done differently will drive you nuts.
But it's good that I'm the same old Rainbow Dash I've always been, and is that really so bad? Sure, I bragged a lot, but I could always back it up, right? ...Yeah, I told Scootaloo and her friends not to rush into things like idiots. So? I admitted Mare-Do-Well might have done me well? Did I really say that? HA HA! Just kidding! Character development? Maybe if ya mean me getting even more awesome!
Come on, AJ, I'm just messin' with ya. Since when did you take every little thing so darn seriously?
Have I heard anything from Gilda? ...No, I haven't. It's been a year since I sent the letter, AJ. I want to be loyal to her, but maybe it's time I faced facts and admitted that Gilda just doesn't want to be friends again. I haven't totally given up, but I have to be loyal to the friends I have right here and now first.
Tank's doing fine. No, he hasn't gotten jealous over Scootaloo. Trust me, he's happy that me and Scoots are working out. Don't worry about it. Fine fine, if it'll get ya to stop talking about it, I promise to take some lessons from Fluttershy and read up on tortoises. Scootaloo's parents...they made sure she knew about taking care of herself, but looking after somepony else is...it's...it's another barrel of fish.
Yeah, I bet it's been good for Fluttershy too. I'm proud of her dealing with her problems and moving forward despite of all the horseapples she's had to deal with. From Flight Camp to Nightmare Whisper.
Fluttercruel? I guess me and Fluttershy really are in the same boat now, I mean with Scoot's parents not being right here for her I mean. Yeah I gave Fluttercruel plenty of tough love at 'Cruel's cute-ceañera, brat needed it. Sometimes...I almost begin to wonder if being a parent means sometimes being the bad guy.
AJ, you make sure you're at Apple Bloom's cute-ceañera. She only gets one, so you better be there! Sorry, there're foals who don't get family time.
That again? For the last time, Twilight never proved it was the food that gave her nightmares that time, and second she never proved it was my cooking on that blind tasting party, I mean, Scootaloo's not having...those kinda nightmares right? Scoots is healthy, just because cooking is my 'dump stat' doesn't mean...er, that's a inside joke about, something you'd totally have no interest in I'm sure! Point is, I know how to play it safe in spite of what you might think and - no I'm not saying I was trying to show off at that cook off! Geeze.
Hey, AJ... I wouldn't wish bug queen's brain voodoo on anypony, wish I'd known how to save ya right off, but at least we got the silver lining of me making up with Derpy cause of the wedding.
Thanks for being there AJ, for lending an ear even when I didn't know I wanted one, about the horseapples I went through while you had to deal with your own horseapples, and for putting my head on straight and, letting me open up to the others at my own pace, then finally making me face the music when I kept getting cold hooves.
The Wonderbolts? They're as awesome as they've always been, which is short for 'Can't get much more awesome than that!', and you know I'm going to Wonderbolt Academy this year! I'm gonna strut my stuff! I'll be a full fledged 'Bolt in no time! ...'Or maybe in a few years with hard work and hard study,' you say? ...Absolutely! The Dash's getting her uniform because she deserves it, not because anypony just gave it to her!
I may not have been wearing the uniform, but it felt wonderful flying with Soarin' and the others when we did our three pronged move on the changeling army. They even let me lead the charge!
Savin' Rarity and my idols from certain death, showing Spitfire what Ponyville could do when we made the tornado to bring water to Cloudsdale...and, well, she and me have gotten to be friends I'd say at this point. She knows she can rely on me if she needs me, like she would any of her team. And that's a team I want to be a part of. Don't worry, it's not about losing my old herd, I'm just makin' my herd bigger!
Seriously, I know what some ponies say about Spitfire, that she's all bark and attitude, but she gives praise when it's deserved, and she's a good pony once you get to know her.
Do I think I'll be able to juggle Scootaloo and my dreams? Don't worry AJ...I'd say I've been doing that for a while now already. I'm the one who has to spank her when she needs discipline and make sure she gets to and from school safe, feed her, look after her, make sure she knows that she's loved. I'm the one who has to give up living space, the stuff I can't afford because I have to think about her needs, can't just go and hang whenever I want because she's waiting for me...I get the satisfaction of seeing her fly, of her getting her cutie mark...of knowing she's safe, seeing her smile. Knowing she'll be a great mare someday. A great mare I helped her become.
I don't sound sappy, do I? ...
Do I ever feel like I could have been a mother in a past life? Okay, AJ, of all the weird dreams I've had, that has never been one of them. I have way too many goals and dreams in this life to believe in that bunk. Rainbow Dash always dresses in style, but that doesn't mean I wanna be Rarity's pet model. I can hold my own in a fight, but I don't want to be a royal guard, even if I'm sure I'd make general. And believe it or not, my family said I was good at meteorology and rainbow light, but that doesn't mean I wanna be an egghead for 'em. I could have been a lot of things, but this is the me I've chosen to be.
Me as an Earth Pony? I never meant Earth ponies are lame AJ, but flying is what makes me awesome... no, I take that back, I'm what makes me awesome, and I'd prove if I was an earth pony, a unicorn or a seapony: I'm who I am, not what I am.
I'm gonna tell ya up straight, AJ, I am DONE with mind controlling supervillains. Saving Equestria's cool and everything, but screw those jerks! Seriously done with them! If more of those losers show up I'm gonna knock 'em down, but until then, I have the Wonderbolts to join and an orange filly to look after. I can't dwell on all the horseapples that Discord and Chrysalis put us through, I've got the future to think about!
I'm guessing that's what you wanted to hear, right AJ? I see that smile on your face!
'Have to be somewhere?' All righty. See ya later, AJ. Yeah I know, sure was a fun run.
Oh! Hello, Pinkie Pie. Yes, you can come in. Please keep your voice down, if you don't mind. Fluttercruel is sleeping. I never mind sharing my body with her, of course, but I think we both needed some time alone with our thoughts.
Let me get some tea and cookies. Don't worry, Angel is watching Fluttercruel. Even after all this time they've lived together under the same roof, Angel still needs a little more time to see that just because Fluttercruel is, uh...not completely vegetarian...that she wouldn't ever consider eating him.
It still feels uncomfortable when she uses my body for eating...never mind.
Now, what would you like to talk about, Pinkie Pie? ...Oh my. That...that's a very long list. Do you need me to open the door so it can roll all the way out into my front yard? No? Alright.
Do you mind if I...skip some of these? Or maybe, just give very quick answers to them? Okay, thank you, ahem. I'd rather not talk about myself for hours on end.
Yes, I do consider the day Discord broke free to be Fluttercruel's birthday, that makes it a happy day. Yes, Fluttercruel is still another Element of Kindness in her own way, and I'm still as proud of her as any mother can be.
How did you find out about that? Only Fluttercruel and I were there when I rejoined with Flutterrage. Pinkie Sense? Oh. Okay. If you say so. No, that hasn't changed my attitude. Just because I'm not terrified of being angry anymore, that doesn't mean I want to punch ponies. Did I give the impression that I'd lost all sense of restraint? Oh, thank you, good to know that I didn't!
Maybe it does feel uncomfortable with Fluttercruel doing that with my body, but I'm there to keep her from going too far.
Why would I blame my parents for teaching me how to be polite and kind? I'm HAPPY they taught me that! All parents should! Even if they may have gone a little overboard. But I can be that way too! Just like Rainbow Dash wants to teach me to stand up for myself, and she can go too far.
I just don't like the idea of being a leader. I like to support others instead. I know, Cheerilee and Zecora still think of me as Princess Gaia, and it's their choice what they want to believe in, even if...even if it's me. I don't love being called it, but I don't hate it anymore either.
It does scare me how much alike me and bad creatures can be. No, I wasn't talking about Chrysalis (we fixated on opposite sides of nature, but she was a monster anyway)...I was talking about Gilda. We could have been each other.
Gilda was bullied by the same colts who bullied me. It's hard to believe that someone like Gilda was just as shy as I am, until she found a friend. Oh, you didn't know that? I guess Rainbow Dash doesn't like to talk about her.
Yes, Scootaloo and I did have some bad words between us over me not using my wings much while she couldn't fly if she wanted, but we've gotten past it before she learned to fly on her own.
If we spent every moment of every day thinking about every bad thing that ever happened to us, when would we have time to think of anything good? I thought you'd agree with that, Pinkie Pie, you always want things to be their brightest even if...you can be a little too exciting to be around sometimes.
Zephyr Breeze? Can we PLEASE not talk about my little brother, PLEASE? I sincerely don't know if I'll be able to stop if I get started.
...I refuse to talk about the 'Swarm of the Century' as the papers called it, nopony blamed me for it, you didn't, so I won't either. At least my mistakes with Philomena let me make a new friend.
I proved that my love for my friends is stronger than my worst fear when we faced the dragon, and that's something I'll always be proud of. Princess Luna even told me I should visit Dragon Town so I could get to KNOW dragons rather than simply being afraid of them.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders got me to see that foals and animals are different, even if I liked to pretend that friendship with animals was interchangeable with friendship with ponies. And...I guess I sort of became a hero to those fillies, saving their lives, and Twilight's life. I never thought about that before to be honest, I mean, it's strange thinking I did anything great that night.
I still hated every minute of being a model for Photo Finish, but at least the connections and money I made all went to good causes. Rarity was willing to sacrifice for my happiness, and she knows I'm willing to sacrifice for hers. That's something that makes me happy.
I've already faced my inner demon that rose to the surface during the Grand Galloping Gala, and I'm not afraid to go there again if Princess Celestia invites us.
I don't blame Iron Will in the slightest, I had my bursts of anger before I ever met him. Of course, I told him I wasn't 100% satisfied...you heard me say so yourself, didn't you, Pinkie? And I meant it, but I wish ponies wouldn't use him as a scapegoat for my mistakes. I hurt all of you, not him, and you all forgave me, and I forgave myself. And that's a strength nopony can take away from me.
I'm sure Rainbow Dash has told you everything there is to know about, erm, 'Hurricane Fluttershy.' It's so embarrassing when ponies call it that...my contribution was so small, really, but Rainbow was so proud of me. Every pegasus in town was. They accepted me as me! I'm free!
Of course I don't want to abuse the power, Pinkie Pie. It's something I have to keep a lid on or I might not stop. Please don't tell the others. I just want to keep being Fluttershy, not an impossible ideal or an unreachable Alicorn.
Yes I used Our Butterfly to comfort the dying at Ponyville Hospital. And I did as you asked, Pinkie Pie, and I helped make sure that the version of Diamond Tiara's mom that loved her truly stayed real, even if it cost me pretty much any real power I had left back then. I BARELY understand ANY of it anymore, Pinkie Pie.
Without the Eldar Horn, I know unicorn magic as much as Applejack. I'm not worried, I FEEL it's safe, you know what I mean.
That's...a drawing you did of me? As...as 'Princess Gaia SHOULD BE'? 'Princess of Organic Life and Mercy?' What's that Tarot card? Queen of Cups? Why? Just felt right? Okay. Sorry, I don't know the first thing about Tarot readings.
PLEASE, Pinkie! STOP. I DON'T like talking about this! No, it's not because it's painful or that I'm hiding from it, it's not that. Ponyville has finally let the past rest, and so will I.
Coffee Swirl is still best friends with Fluttercruel, even if he's only just forgiven me.
Sunny Town has finally accepted that what they did to Ruby and what they almost did to Apple Bloom was wrong! NOW they can start the process of forgiving themselves. I don't care if it takes a thousand years. I'm their 'Princess Gaia.'
Did Princess Celestia tell you about that? Pinkie Pie! I! I! UGH! Pinkie Pie promise me you'll never bring that up again! Of all the things I did as Nightmare Whisper, that was the worst. Forty-two million innocents could have been snuffed out because of me, and Princess Celestia would have been right to banish me to the sun for it.
I...I...I...STOP, ALREADY! MY ENTIRE LIFE IS NOT CENTERED AROUND ME BEING PRINCESS GAIA! I HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE THAT!
Sorry! Sorry! Don't cry! Don't cry! There there! Come here. It's alright, I...I forgive you. Let me give you a nuzzle.
It's not you Pinkie Pie. I'm just...tired about talking about it, and again, and again. Please. Let's just drop this subject. It's enough. I saw many ponies' private feelings as Nightmare Whisper, they should stay private.
(Reader's Notes (Pegasus): Sorry, Flutters… you're doing Hurricane Fluttershy all over again, with performance anxiety over your goddess powers.)
Well, I don't feel embarrassed or worried with how protective Rainbow Dash and Rarity are of me, it lets me know I'm loved. And that's a wonderful feeling, isn't it?
Yes, I still don't drink, or have salt licks, anymore than Twilight...and I MIGHT be part of the dry sisterhood with Cheerilee, Twilight Sparkle, and Miss Love Tap. 'May the dungeons stay empty and may Tartarus go up for rent.' That didn't sound too forceful, did it? We're proud of Berry Punch for beating her inner demons.
Yes I can use The Stare at will now, and I'm proud of that, it's a gift I can control, and I can use it to stop fights, and give creatures a chance to listen to reason, that is what it's meant for.
Do I remember being Zipzee, Bright Eyes, and Posey? ...A little. Those memories aren't mine anymore, Pinkie Pie. Though I'm happy to know that we've been friends through so many lifetimes, all of us. And if things ever change again, we will find each other again and again. Friendship carries on through the ages.
I'm done letting my inner demons give me trouble, I've adopted the worst of all of them, what do I have to fear from the rest? Just...don't ask me to sing in front of a crowd for a while, I'd rather not have all those eyes on me at once. Yes, I know it's silly, but I still prefer to stick close to ponies who have gotten to know me. Why are you smiling like that?
'Fluttershy, Browbeater of Dragons and Tamer of Demons?' That's what the bards are calling me now? Oh my! I think I'm blushing! E-Excuse me! I think I hear Fluttercruel calling me! Come again!
(Pinkie Diane's Notes: Hiiii everypony! This is so cool! Oh right, right. Okay, with Twilight Sparkle, I mmaaaaay have had to snip a few pieces here and there to make it all fit. You know how Twilight really loves to make sure she explains everything! )
(So Pinkie Diane's gonna have the remote handy to fast-forward things along at all times here!)
(Oh and yeah, I'm keeping my new mane style, just so you all know.)
"Welcome to the Golden Oak Library and...Hello, Pinkie Pie. No, it's not silly that I give a greeting like that! This is a library, after all! If something happened to it, where would Ponyville get all their books from? Ponies do too come here often! You guys just aren't here normally when visitors come by. Pinkie! I am not making that up!
Am I still afraid of snakes? How did you...I mean, why would I be afraid of snakes? Because of the way I freaked out near them at Winter Wrap Up that one time? I mean, what ponies WOULDN'T be terrified of those things when they pop and hiss in your face like that? And I'll have you know ophidiophobia is not---
Okay. You're joking, right? Why would I be scared of Mexicoltan food? Seriously, Pinkie Pie, of all the strange questions you ask, that has to be one of the oddest yet. I have it scientifically documented and everything. See, I have the list right here. Wanna go get some quesadillas later? My treat.
Since when do you have a checklist too? Let me see that! Too quick?! Ugh, fine! 'Things ponies aren't meant to know?' I think this one time, I'll take your word for it. If only because I think I might go crazy figuring out why you asked that question about me and cheese.
Yes, I still do some volunteer work at the mental ward. After what Discord did to all of us, I felt those ponies could use some extra understanding, even if I'm not a trained psychiatric professional.
What's wrong with my dancing? I learned all my moves from Mom. Dad tells me I'm as good at dancing as her! ...It's not that bad, is it?
Does the Element of Magic still allow me to copy spells I've seen in action? Last I checked. And so can Trixie. I'm sincerely impressed that she didn't sneak into the latest Equestrian Magics Convention and spell copy every spell she could get her hooves on.
Yes, Pinkie Pie, Trixie is still another Element of Magic, and I'm proud of her realizing that she's her own pony, not a substitute for me.
Nominally, there are only one or two Elements of Magic per generation, but I've begun to theorize any of my classmates could have become Magic if I hadn't been there, not because fate chose them, but because they'd prove worthy of it.
Lemon Hearts, Minuette, Twinkle Shine, Lyra Heartstrings. and then there's Moon Dancer herself, she was right besides me in most studies, and that was WITHOUT Celestia tutoring her!
It's comforting to know there's somepony to save the world if anything happens to me. It's not about being replaceable, it's good to remember that we aren't Equestria's only heroes.
Who were the Elements of Magic before me and Trixie? ... Princess Celestia had... a student before me but... bad things happened, and ponies don't like to talk about her, even Cadence doesn't mention their name or what they looked like! I'm sure I could find out, if I did the research, but the one time I brought it up with the Princess… I don't want her to bring up bad memories.
If Elements of Magic really do come in pairs, I have no idea who the other one could have been... But you'd think I'd have heard about an overwhelmingly powerful unicorn. She'd have to be living in the middle of nowhere for me not to have heard of her.
Anyway, I promised Moon Dancer and the others that I'd actually start visiting. They were good friends to me, but I was never a friend to them...which might be why Princess Celestia told me to 'make some friends' in Ponyville...
No, I don't think about what life might have been like if I'd been a true friend to Moon Dancer and the rest at that point in time. I'm a better friend now, and I think we've both seen enough to know that dwelling on might-have-beens isn't healthy.
Speaking of which, I promised Trixie that we'd all visit her family with her. We met her sisters during the Gaia Festival, remember? I know, I shouldn't have made a promise for all of you. You don't mind, do you?
Naturally, I'm proud of how I've helped Trixie become a better pony, but it was in large part because Trixie wanted to change!
All of her is still there, she's just using it right! Her talent at lying just makes her a good story teller. She may not have the temperament for advanced magical formulas, but she's still willing to work hard for what she wants, it's why I gave her the layponies' version of one of Starswirl's spell books. Element of Magic or not, she couldn't have learned to teleport unless she could on her own.
Oh, and I have been helping see that her sister's zebra/unicorn magic theory gets funding.
Spike? Oh, he's with Sweetie Belle and the others...of course I'm happy for him playing with ponies his own age, or at least his own maturity level.
You should really come to Lickety-Split's club, Pinkie Pie. I'm sure given your...unique experience, that you'd enjoy it maybe even more than me.
You...my little incident with the Cutie Mark Crusaders? I shouldn't have trusted them with the Hearts and Hooves book as a way of saying I was sorry for the Want-It-Need-It spell, or trying to 'buy' their forgiveness with gifts.
I even wrote a report about it!
Dear Princess Celestia;
Today I learned an important lesson about friendship. It's one thing to feel sorry for hurting someone, for wanting to make it up to them...but it's selfish to dig up the painful past just to make your own guilt go away. I've seen times where you do need to open an old wound to heal it properly...but sometimes, the wound is already healed, and it needs to be left alone. You should always think about the right way to deal with your feelings, and how they affect others, not just yourself.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
...Yes, Pinkie Pie...the Soapbox Curse on my family is alive and well...But I consider it a mark of honor now that I know where it came from. I think it mostly appears when I lecture for the sake of it.
Yes, I do have Smarty Pants back. I just needed a little help from Spike to get her back from Big Macintosh.
Spike is still family to me, biologically or not, and whether it's true in paperwork or not ...Looks like BBBFF was right about me raising him. Even if Celestia told me I overdid it on the anti-mind control wards on him...
Do I still call Princess Celestia 'Her Momjesty'? ...I've outgrown that...maybe, I think? Please don't tell my real mom I say that.
Am I still good with numbers and calculating things to two decimal places? HEH! What do you THINK?! Just because we had to do some tactical thinking doesn't mean I've lost my touch! All ponies use math somehow in their lives anyway, you're a baker Pinkie Pie, you should know that. Applejack and Rainbow Dash might like to pretend they don't use math, but running the logistics of a farm or a weather team is hardly all guess work. They just don't like to admit it.
Big Mac does most of the bookkeeping for Sweet Apple Acres? Seriously? I never really thought about him like...ahem, moving on!
...When I was brainwashed by Chrysalis?...It wasn't fast and dirty like Moon Dancer, and I couldn't see the truth of what I was doing like Applejack, and I wasn't spoiled rotten like Sweetie Belle, but I wasn't treated like equipment like Spike...It was more like...the other interviewer who was there, you know the old unicorn? I...I'm not sure quite what about what happened...yes yes she escaped, right. Now I remember. The point is, Chrysalis stole all the love and devotion Celestia's earned with me. That's what makes it so horrible in retrospect.
I may have cheated, asking Cadence to use her magic explicitly to repair the damage caused to her relationship with me but-- no. Cheating implies there are rules. Cadence used her talent to help me, like a friend should, hers and Shining's combined love magic did for most of Canterlot. We suffered enough from Discord, we don't need another round of misery.
Tricking me into fighting Cadence and Trixie AFTER her mind control magic was gone...I sincerely feel proud of Trixie for not trying to 'out brute force' me. And for both her and Cadence doing their hardest to save me twice over. Only real friends would go that far.
The almost fight to the death with Shining that would have left the winner her broken puppet that would have been BEGGING HER to take away the pain...Lying to Scootaloo, trapping her in that box 'for her own good' and having it all backfire and her saving me and Sweetie Belle...And having to earn back that trust.
No! That didn't make me fear my magic again, never again, because I know that I control it, it doesn't control me.
Why should I be upset that Sweetie Belle sang at the wedding reception instead of me? I'm happy for her, she got her cutie mark out of it!
I've already worked through the pain of what happened at the wedding, and I never blamed any of you, I was reckless in my accusations and Chrysalis took full advantage of that to make her seem like the victim in need. If anyone was to blame, it was her. You all did the honorable thing.
We made mistakes, that happens and friends forgive each other.
You weren't the first ponies willing to be my friends, but there in the Castle of the Two Sisters I was able to finally be a real friend to others outside my family. And-"
(And this is where I think I can hit the fast forward button, me and Applejack still need to have our part too!)
= Yakety Sax =
"-I think Princess Celestia was trying to teach me with the tickets to how choose between two goods rather than a good and a bad-"
"-And I'd say Gilda shows somepony isn't your friend just because you think they are-"
(You're in for a shock. Zip!)
"-and I'd say in retrospect there's plenty of blame to go around for the Ursa Minor, but there was nothing karmic about Trixie losing her home-"
"And Rarity and AJ's sleepover reminded me friendship isn't as simple as a rule book-"
"Just because it turns out curses are real doesn't mean Zecora wasn't being unfairly treated-"
"Fluttershy still worries about ponies blaming her for the parasprite swarm that ate half of Ponyville? I worry about ponies blaming me-"
(And yet nopony blamed me for not being more clear. Zip!)
"She's actually started a petition that earth ponies and pegasi either don't use their magic on Winter Wrap Up, or unicorns be allowed to use theirs-"
"No. Reading up on something doesn't always backfire. I'd say I did pretty well on the Running of the Leaves after reading up-"
"I don't see how anypony can think what Rarity does isn't real work after she worked herself to exhaustion making those dresses for us. And she knows more about presentation than me, ironically."
"Yes yes, I apologize for treating your Pinkie Sense as a fraud or dumb luck, Pinkie Pie. Alright, I'll say it, 'And Pinkie Sense has nothing to do with getting messages from alternate universe yous who that experience things ahead of you.' Happy?"
(Much so! Zip!)
"Just happy nopony tried to use me as a scapegoat, since I'm the one who cast Rarity's gossamer wing spell. Speaking of which, I've been practicing-"
"That cockatrice just goes to show that even the strongest and most powerful and level headed of us can get taken out if our guard is down. Thank Celestia the Crusaders DID go into the woods, and that Fluttershy DID follow them, and so did that chicken to warn her, and Sweetie DID use that gold sink of her sister's and they WERE having a sleepover there. I might have conceivably stayed frozen in stone for hundreds of years and emerged in a new and completely unfamiliar-"
(Fluttershy, Fate or Chance sure saved your bacon that time! Zip!)
"Yes, maybe I wasn't clear on what I was punishing Spike for that time with Owlowcious. Speaking of which-"
"At least that explains why Princess Celestia never let me attend the Gala BEFORE. Hopefully they'll have changed things up after last time-"
(They better have! Zip! Let's see. Twilight should learn not to be ashamed of her Canterlot roots either...Hey I'm not ashamed of my rock farmer heritage! Zip!)
"Greed growth is apparently not the only way dragons can grow, which is why Spike didn't have wings-"
(Zip! And I think we can skip all the historical oopsies for the Hearth Warming Eve play. Yeah, Twilight, I might have needed your help for Pound and Pumpkin that first time but you sure could have been less rude about it. Yep, it's cool that you finally got Dashie to read more than comics! Ooh, what about the time when you met yourself? Oh wait, that didn't happen, never mind. Or when Spike went on that self discovery quest, oh right that didn't happen either. Yes it was great you got Fluttershy to find her courage for the hurricane Twilight. And that time you and I bonded over playing detective on the Friendship Express.... right, didn't happen... And I understood why the Cakes banned the CMC, or 'Gabby Gums' from the store, and I wasn't happy either, but I think everypony was starting to go overboard.)
"Uhhhhh...I feel dizzy...I think I bit my tongue...somehow...give me a minute to lay down.
What we all learned about the world, ourselves, ponykind and Equestria, thanks to Bon Bon The First's journal? ...That was a lot, Pinkie Pie.
No, I still don't remember anything about being Minty or Clover's family...I'm sorry Pinkie Pie. I know...I know you loved her. But being created from the empty shell of the spirit of my ancestor, Twilight the First, combined with a mare who was born from the combined spirits of a mare and her husband and foal? Who was friends who some ponies I've been acquaintances with or dear friends with in this life? I think I'll leave thinking about 'soul biology' or whatever nonsense until I'm dead, thank you. I'm certain I'll remember everything then. No, I'm not just saying that.
...Yes, I get 'Minty' is where my so-called OCD came from, if you want.
I don't care that you were my imaginary friend twice removed by grand rewrites to reality, and you shouldn't either. I care about the Pinkie Pie right here that I've come to know and care about.
We ponies...we've come so far as a species. We get knocked down, but we get right back up. We refuse to go extinct or just become animals again. We'll get back to the level of the Age of Wonders, you'll see!
...It's just...Celestia trusted me with a lot more than that, not just the death of the Age of Dreams. She trusted me with the truth of where Discord came from. Of where she came from. Her family, all of them. Their families. Her hopes and dreams. Her sacrifices. Her worst mistakes. Everything she's done for Equestria...everything she's trusted me to tell ponies or not...
It's a lot Pinkie Pie and....thank you for the hug. And it was all because of the book I got from the interviewers that set everything off...I still don't know how they got it. I hate the idea of things ponies aren't meant to know...but I've found out a lot of things that I wonder if ponies are better off not knowing...You don't need to stop hugging me.
"How do I feel about my BBBFF and Cadence? ...What is there TO say that I haven't said already? I love them. I'm happy for them. I think they'll be great parents for Kifuko and any foals they have down the line. You can bet mom wants grandfoals.
Shining Armor is the bravest, strongest stallion I've ever met, he's a hero, he's an example of everything the Royal Guard should be! It's odd that we never saw him all those times we visited Canterlot before? He was on that world tour with Cadence. I didn't have so much as a picture of him? Well...I kinda forgot to go back home to pack when I moved to Ponyville. Never once mentioned him for two years? After I gushed so much about how close we were? ...I think you girls kinda overrode my social list I had in my head...It was kinda short before.
Yes...Cadence was born an Alicorn in Canterlot. "Found lost in the woods as a pegasus foal by Earth Ponies?" Ha ha ha, that's silly, Pinkie Pie! Who told you that? Sounds like a tabloid. Plus, I'm pretty sure it takes more than defeating a pony possessed by a corruptive magic amulet, reversing polarity on said amulet, or defeating an extremely evil villain to become an Alicorn or we'd all have wings by now. Shining Armor would have wings by now!
Cadence was the big sister I never realized I wanted, her foal-sitting me was a joy, we loved playing with each other. And Princess Celestia was proud of her. I'll admit, maybe I should have seen Cadence and Shining Armor becoming a couple when they met in High School. I love them Pinkie Pie, just like I love Spike, my parents, Celestia, and all of you.
(We spent some time hugging and nuzzling and playing Parcheesi. Of course I didn't accidentally call her Minty while playing Parcheesi! That would have been rude! I've learned to love my friends for who they are now. ...I'll never stop missing Minty. But I won't whine after Apple Bloom (I owe her for the rest of my life) finally gave back so many of my friends a chance to live again, and I wouldn't want Minty or Twilight separated because...they wouldn't be whole.)
Later that evening, Applejack and Pinkie met at the replica of Kimono's gazebo.
Ah didn't need to ask why Pinkie wanted to meet here, and not the farm or Sugarcube Corner. This was the park that Nightmare Whisper created, and Pinkie Pie had moved here, just outside Ponyville, spending bits Ah didn't know she had. Ah was among the few ponies who knew that this here park didn't have ponies livin' in it before. Not only that...the ponies livin' here hadn't existed before!
But only me, Pinkie Pie, the Princesses, and the Crusaders even knew that. For everypony else, these ponies had come from Ponyville and all over to be the live-in caretakers of Pinkie Pie's little public park. Parents in Ponyville were even sayin' how it was cheaper than a trip to Whinny Land.
This one mare, Star Beam, even gave me a friendly wave as Ah passed by...apparently we were classmates. Ah remember her huggin' me at Ma and Pa's funeral now. And her wearin' sunglasses one day and tellin' 'er honest how goofy she looked with'em on. Truth had changed, and Ah was down with that.
Over cupcakes and cider, the mares compared their notes.
"So, anythin' freaky to report?" asked AJ.
"Nope! Fluttercruel can manifest as a baby hybrid whenever she wants, but that's about it."
"That's a relief. Ah'm proud of 'Bloom fer not goin' overboard." AJ looked around at the new ponies. 'Mostly.'
"So that just leaves the two of us. Ooh, ooh, we can interview each other!" Pinkie Diane unrolled a list, and one end of it rolled off the table and right out of the gazebo. "Or...maybe we should keep this short. I've promised to foalsit the Cakes' twins tonight."
Applejack nodeed. "And the farm doesn't take care of itself."
"Alrighty, then!" Pinkie mussed her mane, somehow making it less messy and more professional-looking. "Question number one! Remember how when you got more medals than any other pony at the Canterlot Rodeo, but since none of them were first place, you sent an apology for your failure and went to get the money to repair Town Hall by yourself?"
"How could Ah forget? Ah 'fessed up the truth to everypony in my letter, and that's what split our world off from the 'Heart World'. ...And that you went nuts and tried to put a drill in yer head."
"Heheh...maybe I did go a little crazy, worrying that the world was going to end if we weren't 100% true to canon and that the shadows would all lose interest...which some kinda have, I can feel it. But we got a great chat with Star Catcher, I mean Princess Celestia out of it."
"We've seen some times, haven't we? Ah remember how Ah had to go inside myself and accept Orangejack from another universe to get a handle on the Truth, and we ended up fightin' the first Nightmare Mirror, and saw how many truths there are out there...And that life isn't fair...But Ah think Ah knew that one already from Ma and Pa."
"And I got all of myself back together after I learned that being sad won't make me never happy. You should have seen my super mode inside my head when I turned into Surprise! Gosh, I hope 'Cousin Surprise' is doing okay."
"Ah'm sure she is. She's got some good friends." 'And Ah got dreams now of bein' an Alicorn too, even Ah've got a lot to work out, Ah can do without the 'Princess crud' though... dangit. After becomin' a goddess and kickin' tentacles boy's behind, not payin' respect to the Powers-That-Be feels uncourtly.'
"What are you thinking about?"
"Oh! Well, when Ah got told and saw how uncomfortable ponies, including my friends, could be about my truth magic, Ah turned it off...and that's how Ah got sucker-zapped by Chrysalis. Those days of bein' her slave were horrible, 'cause that dang stupor couldn't work on me. Always on or always off weren't the answer on how to handle the Truth as well I'm gonna have ta."
"If you ask me, the whole 'mind control' and 'corrupt the heroes' thing is just dull, dull, dull now! Been there, done that! Sorry, we've already got one! I'm sick of fighting my friends."
"We'll, Ah still got the Truth...Ah didn't get to give mine away like Bloom, so Ah get ta remember everything, like it or not. Havin' that fake limb in that fake Equestria was the least rotten thing 'bout that nightmare. Ah'll never forget what that good Nightmare Mirror sacrificed fer me and Apple Bloom. She realized the real truth of what she was doing."
Pinkie teared up a bit, and hugged Applejack tight, the kind of bone-cracking hug that was only safe for earth ponies hugging other earth ponies.
AJ just grinned, more than able to withstand her enthusiasm. "Thanks fer that, Pinkie Pie."
"You're welcome! Did I mention that I still have the patent on party canons? I've made plenty of royalties!"
"Don't ya mean 'party cannons?'"
"Those too! And helicopters."
"Right..." They fell silent for a while, watching a group of foals gallop past, kicking a hoofball around. "Ah had to break mahself out of Nightmare Whisper's happy fake family reunion, you know. Now Ah know how Twilight felt, being the last one left standing up to Discord."
"Too bad things didn't work out with her kingdom...oh right...then Pound and Pumpkin wouldn't have been born...I think time and space have finally settled on when exactly they were born in our timeline. Let me tell you, several thousand years of foal-like innocence and joy doesn't get old. Just ask Star Catcher, I mean Princess Celestia. I'm not sad she unsealed my memories about what happened to Minty. Or that I got my other memories back after I joined together with the rest of me."
"You remember that, huh? Even having the Truth, Ah don't remember bein' old Applejack. Or apparently St. Sweetheart from what dark and ugly said. And somehow my ancestor Applejack the First in there somewhere, Ah think, it gets all way too confusin' fer me, no offense Pinkie Pie. Ah'm Applejack the Fifth of the fifth line, and Ah know now that my ancestor was somepony to be proud of! Princess Luna...she shared a lot wit me Pinkie Pie, and Ah mean a LOT! ...Ah've even learned...there was this Mare, Queen Majesty of Ponyland...things have changed a lot for ponies."
"Well, we're still friends now, so better than, well, I guess you don't want to know ...We were friends as Applejack and Surprise, before Surprise became the first rock farmer, and ...right, I didn't exist for that next part, but we were friends again as Applejack and Pinkie Pie before, not super close friends, but friends. And I'd say we're both now closer friends with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna." 'And I still have Princess Rarity's light of existence!'
"I'd say I make better plans and put stuff together better than before. And my Pinkie Sense can be a lot more precise now, I wonder if I can do some stuff with my eyes closed. I remember all about rock farming too, and I still think it's boring, but now I'm middle triplets with Limestone Pie and Marble Pie...and I got to keep Inky and Blinky! I don't mean they're toys, they're family...Thanks for the hug, Jackie! Most ponies still don't get what I say when I explain how the world works though. And I managed to do things a lot more smoothly with Cranky than in the heart world. ...Maybe I was seeking unconscious payback on Princess Luna on that Nightmare Night for what happened to Minty ...maybe...I dunno."
Pinkie Diane looked around at the park she and Fluttershy had effectively built, huffed, crossed her arms and pouted. "But I seriously don't think it's fair, this grand reveal about Apple Bloom giving all my friends who hadn't reincarnated from the Age of Dreams a second shot at life...and nopony seemed to even notice or care! Shouldn't more of those who know about this be happy about it? Or talk about it? Or CARE about it?"
"Pinkie Pie, why are ya readin' them cue cards?"
"Uh, no reason."
"...Well, I saw the Truth a million different ways from Sunday and a zillion possible futures and...Ah'm proud of the ponies Ah talked to...from RD to Mayor Mare to some ponies in Canterlot...Helping Apple Bloom face her fears of what happened in Sunny Town. If Ah helped even a little, it was worth it and...Ah'm happy to know ponies trust me enough to know that Ah'm not gonna go blabbing their personal problems to everypony...and that Ah'm always there to lend an ear to. Ah don't need magic eyeballs to be that for everypony."
"Maybe you can be a guru instead of-" Pinkie Diane began. A watch beeped that Pinkie Pie hadn't been wearing before, and wouldn't be wearing later. "Uh-oh, we're about out of time, so let's get the trip down memory lane into fast gear. Better buckle up in case we crash! But first. Fluttershy made clear we shouldn't hold a grudge against Iron Will for what happened when she took standing up for herself too far and said... mean things to all of us. I don't hold a grudge against Gilda for what she did when she last came to Ponyville. And nopony holds a grudge against you for the rabbit stampede or the baked-bads. Nopony holds a grudge against me for not being more clear about the parasprites. Or you and Rainbow Dash for cheating during the Running of the Leaves, mostly cause you cheated each other. Or blame me making clear how breaking promises could ruin things forever when Fluttershy was a model and hated it. Or blame you and RD for doing the opposite of helping the ponies and buffalo reach a compromise and were fixated on the buffalo not liking my music for some reason. Or you just explaining Rainbow and Fluttershy were going to be under Twilight to catch her when we saved the world the first time. Ahem...'calling out' true friends and family on something, wrong or right, after all the hugs and laughs have already been had, makes you look like a grudge nurser."
"Again with the cue cards?"
"Sorry! But I just want it made clear: we aren't holding any grudges."
"Hey, remember giving Apple Bloom my old club house? Heh, should have known she'd be a pro at fixin' stuff after she restored it in one night. And Ah'm happy that Bloom and Twist finally started talkin' to each other again. And Ah'm proud of Rarity for what she did durin' the Sisterhooves Social to show Sweetie how much she loves her."
"And remember Trixie was there to help against Flim and Flam, even if we still 'lost' at the end?"
"Ah remember. And Ah know Bloomberg is doin' good in Appleloosa, hope he doesn't miss me too badly. ...Ah'll admit, Rarity and me made a mess of it, but it was fun to have that sleepover with Twili.'"
"Not as much fun as that surprise birthday party you threw me, maybe I was a little too focused on other ponies' birthdays that I forgot my own...Applejack...Was that hat still your father's?"
"I won it bobbing for apples at the Ponyville fair."
"Who gave you the prize?"
"It still got ruined fighting Nightmare Whisper?"
"Do you blame Apple Bloom for not 'fixing' that?"
Applejack looked around at the new colorful ponies. "Ah'd say, she spent her time where it was most needed...And Rarity made me a new one, and it's a gift Ah treasure too...Just like Apple Bloom treasured Ma's ribbon (did that get damaged too somewhere?). Rarity made us a closet full of replacements as a gift and swore she'd never tell a soul."
"Still not gonna tell Fluttershy?"
"What would be the point now?"
"Yeah. Know what you mean. Applejack, don't you think it's weird how every pony (me included), says how me leaving the rock farm was a great idea, even though I'll now defend it whenever somepony insults it, and our family traditions...and meanwhile, every pony says how leaving YOUR home was a terrible mistake? I mean, I broke family tradition, and it was seen as a good thing, while you've stuck to family tradition and that's a good thing. It's totally crazy isn't it?"
Applejack hugged her.
"Sugarcube, it wasn't a terrible mistake. It wasn't right for ME. For THIS me...But somewhere out there, there's a me who made somethin' wonderful outta it. Trust me, Ah met her. Ah think those things are less about it bein' a mistake, and more about it not bein' the life we chose. All that matters is we're happy with that choice."
Pinkie Diane hugged her back. "Thanks AJ that...that means a lot! So, we'd better go, we're outta time."
"Eeyup. Thanks fer doin' this, Pinkie Pie. With our friends." She gave a slight nuzzle.
"No problem. Have to make sure all my party files are in order. It was great talking with you and everypony! Whatever's the future's got in store for us, we can take it!"
"Ya better believe it!"
AJ and Pinkie left the Ponyville of yesterday for the Ponyville of today, not afraid.