Little Memories

by Skijarama

Finally Found Her

    As gorgeous as the view in the sky was, Rainbow and Twilight had to come back down eventually. Once they had drunk their fill of the scenery, they began their descent for the village below. As the fuzzy and distant streets came into clear focus, their eyes were met with the eagerly waiting faces of their friends looking back up at them.

Rainbow did one or two slow, lazy circles as they lowered in altitude, before finally coming to a steady hover a few feet above the ground. She released Twilight from her hooves, allowing her to land on the ground. Satisfied, Rainbow touched down right by her side and waved at their friends. “We’re back.”

    Rarity wore a knowing smile on her face and nodded emphatically. “We can see that. So tell us, darling,” her eyes focused directly on Twilight. “Did you enjoy the view?”

    Twilight nodded in return, a dreamy smile on her face as the memory of the sight played before her eyes again. “I did, yes. It was beautiful…”

Spike’s face broke out into a smug smirk, and he waddled up to Twilight’s side. He leaned in and lightly elbowed her in the ribs, getting her attention. “I told ya it was worth it,” he quipped lightly.

Twilight giggled at him. “Yes, you did,” she acknowledged before turning to look at Rainbow. Her expression softened considerably, and her smile turned more tender. “Thanks for showing me that.”

    Before Rainbow could answer, Pinkie Pie suddenly sprang forward, coming to a stop right in Twilight’s face and making her lean back. There was a giant, eagerly expecting grin on Pinkie’s face. “So, did it jog any of your memories? Did it?” she questioned, her entire body bouncing on that last sentence.

    The moment those words fled her lips, the mood became tense, and all eyes locked on Twilight. She looked between them all for a moment, taking in how each and every one of them was gazing intently at her. A bead of sweat slowly rolled down the back of her neck, and she struggled to find anything in her mind that may have resurfaced while she wasn’t paying attention.

Much like before, and much to her disappointment, there was nothing. With a pit forming in her heart, Twilight gave a slow, sad shake of her head. “I’m sorry everypony, but no…”

    As she uttered those words, the entire group began to deflate with their own disappointment. Twilight looked at each one guiltily, a hoof flying up to her chin while her mind frantically sought a solution to the dreary mood. They’d been so happy a second ago, and she couldn’t stand to see them looking like that so suddenly.

    Finally, she managed to speak out. “B-but that’s fine! Even if I can’t remember what came before, I’m quite happy with the memories I’ve made today!” she babbled, putting on her best smile. “I mean it. I’ve had a lot of fun so far. So please, let’s not let this ruin the mood, okay?”

    There was a mix of surprise and appreciation in their expressions. Much to Twilight’s relief, her words seemed to be enough to ease them, and Applejack visibly relaxed. She breathed out a small sigh and offered Twilight a warm smile. “Well, that’s good to know, Twi. Yer right. Besides, the day ain’t over, yet.”

    “Uh-huh!” Pinkie Pie cheered before backing off to stand by Applejack. “So, where do we wanna go next? We’ve been to all of our favorite places?”

    A brief silence fell over the group as they considered their options, leaving Twilight to just stand there and awkwardly wait. Luckily, it didn’t take long for Rainbow Dash to get an idea.

    “How about we head out and get something to eat?” She suggested hopefully, her face lighting up at the thought. “After all that flying, I could do with a big lunch!”

    Just then, there was a loud, ominous growling noise, causing everypony to fall quiet. The sound had come from Rainbow Dash, and all eyes zeroed in on her. She looked around sheepishly, and a faint red tint began to spread on her cheeks. “And, uh… I didn’t eat before we left the library.”

    Spike threw his hands up in exasperation. “She said she’d be fine, that it was no trouble and that I should focus on giving Twilight a good meal,” he recounted before crossing his arms and leveling a flat look in Rainbow’s direction. “How’s that working out for ya?”

    The red in Rainbow’s cheeks grew significantly more vivid. She looked away from Spike and sheepishly rubbed the back of her head. “Well, uh… I think we all know my track record when it comes to being right about stuff.”

    Twilight raised a hoof. “I don’t.”

    Spike got a predatory look in his eyes. “Oh ho, don’t you worry. We’ll tell you all about it later,” he cackled in an undeniably evil tone, making Rainbow squirm uneasily in place.

    “H-hey, can we just go have dinner or something?!” She asked in a squeak, her posture becoming very flustered. Her wings ruffled at her sides. “C’mon, guys, not in public with the teasing.”

    Applejack burst into an amused fit of chuckles and started walking deeper into town. “Heh, sure, why not? Some grub sounds nice. I know a place. Follow me.”

    There was a general murmuring of agreement from the rest of them, and soon enough, they were all trotting down the street, eager to put some food in their bellies.

    A few hours later, Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Spike, all with full bellies, stepped back into the inviting warm interior of the Golden Oaks Library. The sun was setting at this point, and the distant chirps of crickets in the nearby Everfree forest were starting to fill the air.

    Spike let out a relieved sigh and promptly made his way over to a chair before collapsing into it. “Whew… glad we’re home. My legs are sore…” he grumbled before glancing at Twilight, who was the last one in. She glanced over her shoulder before gingerly pulling the door closed in her magic.

    Rainbow nodded, following the drake’s example and collapsing onto the couch. “I hear ya, Spike. Today was a long day…” she moaned softly before looking up at the ceiling and closing her eyes. “Let’s all just take ten and relax for a while.”

    Twilight watched the two of them from her place by the door, unsure of what to do. It still felt strange to her, being in this building. Almost like she was a stranger in another’s home. Eventually, though, she settled for slowly trotting over and sitting down next to Rainbow. She couldn’t help but let out a long, relieved sigh as she finally took her weight off of her hooves and came to a rest.

    Several minutes came and went in which everypony was silent, and Twilight began to retreat into her thoughts. She didn’t get very deep before Rainbow Dash’s voice suddenly cut through her trance. “So, did you have a good time?”

    Twilight blinked open her eyes and looked sideways at Rainbow. She thought it over for a moment, then nodded. “Yes, I had a good time. All of our friends really made me feel welcome, and I can’t wait to get to know them again…” she trailed off, and her ears drooped. “But… I still can’t remember anything. Nothing jogged my memory.”

    Spike looked over at them, the corners of his mouth tugging up into a cocky smile. “Well, don’t worry. We’ve still got a few ideas we can try that might do the trick,” he stated in an encouraging voice.

    Twilight perked up and glanced over at him, a shimmer of excitement building in her chest. “Really?”

    “Yup,” Rainbow answered for Spike, shooting Twilight a grin. “I made a few arrangements while you were asleep this morning. Tomorrow, we’re gonna head up to Canterlot and visit your parents.”

    Twilight blinked, and her excited smile tapered off into a thin-lipped frown. “My… my parents?” she ventured uneasily, her shoulders starting to tense.

    “What, did you think you were an orphan?” Rainbow asked skeptically before rolling her eyes. “Look, they’ve been worried sick about you. I’m honestly surprised they didn’t come to see you up in the Empire while you were out.”

    Spike leaned back and breathed out a huff of dismay. “I think they were busy trying to help out with fixing up Canterlot. The place is still all kinds of wrecked from the battles.”

    Twilight’s brow furrowed, and she leaned forward again. “Battles? What battles?”

    At those words, an oppressive silence blanketed the room. Outside the window, the sun finally vanished below the horizon, and its golden light faded into a dim magenta glow. Rainbow Dash closed her eyes, took in a deep breath, and let it out in a long, tired sigh. She then opened them and gazed down at her right hoof. Specifically, at two small patches where the fur was missing, and scar tissue could be seen underneath.

    Twilight noticed the scar, and her eyes widened. “Oh my gosh… Rainbow, what happened to you?” she asked in a hushed voice, looking as if she wanted to reach out and take Rainbow’s hooves in her own.

    Rainbow grunted quietly, then set her hoof down. “You remember what we said about the changelings? Back at the spa?” she asked slowly and quietly, her voice far grimmer than it had been before.

    Twilight nodded slowly, taken aback by the change in atmosphere. “Yes, I remember… why?”

    Rainbow sagged, then held out her hoof to Twilight so she could inspect the scar. “Well, they’re another race. And there was a war between Equestria, the Crystal Empire, and them not all that long ago.”

    Twilight’s ears stood at attention, showing that she was listening, but she otherwise kept her gaze focused on the scar.

    “The queen of the changelings, Chrysalis,” Rainbow spat the name out as if it were bile. “Launched an invasion of Canterlot while we and our friends were away on a… trip. They saw a chance to take over, and they succeeded. In barely even an afternoon, Canterlot completely fell to the changelings, and the vast majority of the population, the princesses included, were imprisoned and out of commission.

    “We avoided the worst of it, and we managed to find some shelter in the Crystal Empire. We used it as our base of operations while planning how to take back Canterlot and get rid of Chrysalis. We had to deal with another tyrant at the same time, though, the former leader of the Crystal Empire, King Sombra…”

    As Rainbow spoke the name of the King of Shadows, her ears splayed back, and she shuddered involuntarily. “He was… terrifying, to put it lightly. And he was smart. Smart enough to worm us into a position we couldn’t back out of. Our best shot of beating Chrysalis and the swarm was made completely useless, so we improvised.

    “We hid the population in the palace, set out traps and thick fog all over the city to make it harder on the enemy. We had you and… Starlight Glimmer...” Rainbow paused on the name and licked her lips before she continued. “Form a barrier over the city to keep the swarm out for as long as possible. We were trying to buy time while Thorax linked up with an army of ponies to take back Canterlot while the Changelings were busy with us.

    “But Chrysalis got in. You and Starlight had to keep the barrier up, and nopony else in the group was any good at fighting. So… I went out to try and hold her off.”

    Spike looked down, a disapproving frown on his face. “I still think we could have come up with a better plan…”

    Rainbow shook her head dismissively. “Maybe we could have, but it doesn’t matter anymore. I fought Chrysalis, and…” her scarred hoof started to tremble as the memories seeped into the forefront of her mind.

Twilight watched as Rainbow’s face contorted into a pained grimace, and her hoof shook even more. At the sight, her hesitation finally evaporated. Twilight reached out with one of her hooves and gingerly rested it on the shaking limb. She stifled a gasp when she felt just how tense Rainbow felt underneath her fur. “Rainbow, it’s okay,” she was quick to utter in a soothing whisper. “You can stop now. You don’t have to say anymore. I think I understand…”

Rainbow shook her head, though. “No, Twilight. You were there for this, you should know what happened. It’s my job to tell you about what came before if you can’t remember, and that’s what I’m gonna do,” she denied before taking a deep breath. Her scarred hoof curled tightly around Twilight’s and steadily began to relax. “Anyways… I didn’t stand a chance. Chrysalis mopped the floor with me and gave me that scar when she bit me.

    “You came in to help me, despite my protests. Together, we lasted a little longer, but, well… we still lost. It all seemed hopeless until Thorax finished his mission in Canterlot. Mom, aunt Luna, Cadance, your big brother Shining Armor, and a few others teleported into the Empire and saved our necks. We got the chance we needed, and we took Chrysalis down.

    “After that, we had to deal with Sombra. We got lucky, though, and the deal he had sealed me into was broken. We found the Crystal Heart, we used it, and Sombra was blasted to bits. We won,” Rainbow paused and looked over at Twilight. “I was so relieved. But… but then…”

    Twilight tilted her head as Rainbow’s expression became visibly strained. Her hold on the hoof tightened in a comforting squeeze. “What…? What is it?” She asked quietly.

    Rainbow looked deep into Twilight’s eyes as if she were carefully looking for something very specific. The intensity of the gaze was making her feel a little uncomfortable. Finally, though, Rainbow shook herself and looked directly ahead.

“You… when we thought we had won, and that it was all over, y-you…” Rainbow tried, but her words caught in her throat. She looked down, cleared her throat, and tried again. “You got hurt. Really, really badly. You went into your coma, mom turned you into an alicorn to save you, but… when you woke up…”

    “I couldn’t remember anything,” Twilight nodded in understanding before looking at Rainbow’s hoof in hers. She gave it a reassuring squeeze, then released it from her grasp. “Thank you for telling me.”

    Rainbow nodded stiffly, then looked over at Twilight with a big smile and watering eyes. “You’re welcome… I’m just glad you’re back. Amnesiac or not, I dunno what I’d do without you…”

    Spike chose this moment to hop down from his seat and waddle over, offering Twilight a smile of his own. “Same. You practically raised me, after all. You’re basically my mom.”

    Twilight cocked an eyebrow in surprise. “I am?”

    Spike shrugged. “Well, yeah, but you always treated me more like a baby brother, I think. I mean, you were only ten when you hatched me, so…”

    Rainbow actually gave a small snort of laughter at that and gave the two an amused look. “Yeah, a bit young to be a momma, I think.”

    Twilight just looked at the two in confusion. “Uh… context?” she asked in a confused squeak.

    Rainbow chuckled again before leaning back far more casually. “Go ahead, Spike. This is your bag of worms, not mine.”

    Spike just stuck his tongue out at Rainbow, and then launched into his story, explaining to Twilight how she had hatched him during her entrance exam to Celestia’s school, and how she had raised him, albeit with a lot of help from Twilight’s parents, her big brother Shining Armor, and Princesses Celestia and Cadance.

    Twilight listened with rapt attention the whole time and even stopped Spike early on so she could find a notebook and a quill so she could take detailed notes. As the stories were told, Rainbow would chime in every so often with some insights of her own after she entered the picture.

    But eventually, it began to get late, and Spike’s words started slurring together. He was in the middle of explaining how he had felt when he’d first met Fluttershy when he wobbled on his feet and fell to his backside with a grunt. Twilight, eyes wide, chucked her notebook to the side and got off the couch to check him over. “Spike, are you alright?” she asked, worried.

    Spike looked up at her with droopy eyes and then gave an enormous and almighty yawn right into her face. Twilight got a nose-full of dragon breath and was unable to fight back the urge to stumble back and gag. It was rancid!

    Rainbow burst into a fit of hysterical giggles from her place on the couch before she hopped down to join them. “I think it’s the little guys' bedtime,” she said cheekily, earning a disgruntled pout from Spike.

    “I’m not… sleepy!” he tried to protest, but his sentence was cut off by another titanic yawn.

    Rainbow raised an eyebrow.

    Spike huffed indignantly and crossed his arms. “Shut up...”

    Twilight, although she was covering her face with her hoof to shield it from the putrid odor of Spike’s breath, managed to giggle quietly at their antics. She was becoming more relaxed around them, and somewhere deep in the back of her mind, she found her worries melting away, if only for the moment.

    A short time later, Spike had been put to bed and was now snoring contentedly in his little basket bed in the bedroom, right at the base of Twilight’s. Rainbow Dash had disappeared into the bathroom a few minutes ago to get ready for bed, according to her, leaving Twilight to her own devices. So, she had decided to step out onto the balcony and think.

The sounds of Spike’s snorting reached her through the open balcony door and reminded Twilight of his presence. The nearby trees rustled gently in the summer breeze. As she looked out at the night sky and watched the millions of distant, twinkling stars, she let that breeze wash over her face and stimulate her mind. She took in a deep breath through her nose and relaxed from the pleasant scent.

    Feeling so relaxed, she began to go over the day in her head again, recounting everything and analyzing each memory in-depth, hoping to find more clues or hints that could tell her a bit more about herself. Subtle nuances, references to past events, facial expressions, anything really. But, alas, without the frame of reference of her own past, whatever she found had the same odds of being a waste of her time as it did a genuine clue.

    She heard somepony approaching her from behind. “You gonna come in for bed?” Rainbow asked quietly so as to not wake Spike.

    Twilight turned to face her, taking note that the band holding her mane together had been removed, letting the prismatic hairs hang wild and free. “Sorry. I’ll be in soon. I just wanted to think for a bit,” she apologized softly. She then turned to look back out at the town. She heard Rainbow come up next to her and gave her a sideways glance and smile.

    Rainbow just smiled back, then sat down on her haunches while setting her hooves on the guardrail. The two were quiet for a time, just taking in the scene. Eventually, Rainbow looked over at Twilight with an inquisitive look on her face. “So, are you excited to meet your family?”

    Twilight jumped from the abruptness of the question, then looked back at Rainbow. She paused and gave the question some thought before looking down. “Uh… I guess?” she answered with a noncommittal shrug.

    Rainbow frowned, slightly incredulous. “You guess? C’mon, Twilight, this is you mom and dad we’re talking about. The ponies you come from, who raised you. If anypony has stories that’ll jog your memory, it has got to be them.”

    Twilight nodded at that, perking up just a little. “I guess you’re right. And I am eager to meet more ponies. But I’m just worried…” she shifted on her haunches uncomfortably. “I remember how our friends looked at me when I told them I couldn’t remember them in the bakery. I’m just afraid that it’ll be even worse with my parents. I…don’t even know what they look like, Rainbow Dash. I didn’t see any pictures of them in the album, or anywhere in the library.”

    Rainbow cringed and looked out at the night sky again. “Yeah, sorry… we never really had a chance to take any pictures of them since we moved here, and you didn’t really pack up a lot of things when we came here from Canterlot.”

    “Can you tell me about them?” Twilight suddenly asked, leaning towards Rainbow hopefully. “You and I grew up together, didn't we? We’ve known each other since we were really little. So you know my mom and dad, right?”

    Rainbow leaned back a little from Twilight, then smiled and nodded. “Sure, I can do that.”

    Twilight sat back and perked up her ears. “Alright, I’m listening.”

    Rainbow chuckled and slowly shook her head in amusement before she began. “Alright, well, your mom is named Twilight Velvet. You look a lot like her, actually. She’s got this really nice coat, just a little too dark to be white. She’s got bright blue eyes, and her mane and tail are both made up of bright pink and snow white stripes. She’s really smart and super insightful, so I think I know where your learning speed comes from.

    “But at the same time, she’s really hyper, energetic, and adventurous. I mean, apparently, she’s something of a thrill seeker. And she can be really mean with her teasing. If she pulls out your foal photos when we visit, I’m leavin’.”

    Twilight tilted her head in confusion. “How come…?”

    Rainbow shuddered with a distant look in her eyes. “I’m in some of them, and I’d rather not see them again. Trust me, you’ll understand when she shows you.”

    Twilight nodded slowly. She didn’t really get what Rainbow was getting at, but the pegasus had been leading her right so far. What could it hurt to take her at her word? “Alright… and my dad?” Twilight pressed, figuring Rainbow would be happy with a change of subject.

    She figured right, as Rainbow quickly leaped into her description. “Well, his name is Night Light. He’s pretty much dark blue across the board. You have some of his mane in yours, I think. He’s a lot more reserved and level headed than your mom, but at the same time, I think he’s a bit more of a pushover. He’s also smart, but for him it comes more from study and stuff, while your mom is just insightful and has some killer intuition. Unlike your mom, Night Light likes to keep things quiet and be more cautious. He’s super good at math, and he collects books.”

    Twilight gave another nod, soaking it all in. Her mother was a thrill-seeker, had good intuition, and was a master tease, while her father was patient, cautious, and had books. “Okay, then…”

    Rainbow’s expression softened. “And they really care a lot about you. I remember the first coma you fell into… they were so, so worried about you. I mean, we all were, but eh,” she absently shrugged her shoulders, then scooched a few inches closer to Twilight. “They’re going to be so happy when they see you. Even if your amnesia hurts them in the moment, they will never stop loving you. Believe me on that. They’re good parents…”

    Twilight visibly relaxed at the pegasus’ words, until she noticed something. There was a distant look in Rainbow’s eyes as she looked at Twilight before she turned and looked back out at the world with her smile fading away.

Twilight watched her for a moment, confused by her sudden loss of enthusiasm. But then, the memory hit her like a speeding train. Rainbow had lost her parents a long time ago. Twilight immediately tried to stutter out an apology. “Oh I, uh, I’m so sorry if I-”

    “You’re fine,” Rainbow dismissed her softly, not looking at her. What Twilight could see of her face was unreadable, and distant. “I’m fine.”

    The two were quiet for a long time, with Twilight watching Rainbow’s face for any signs of distress. She had clearly entered a melancholy state, but she didn’t seem to be in a bad place outright. Finally, after almost an entire minute, Rainbow spoke again, her voice soft and slow. “You know… I don’t think I’ve told you about mine, yet.”

Twilight’s ears drooped. “You mean… your parents?” she asked in a quiet and hesitant voice.

Rainbow nodded slowly, the wind playing with her freed mane a little and making it gently drift around her neck. “Yeah… Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles. My birth parents.”

“You don’t need to tell me about them,” Twilight gentle dismissed, trying to avert the subject. “I don’t want you to dig up any bad memories on my account. Just-”

I kinda wanna talk about them, though,” Rainbow cut her off gently, a fond smile spreading on her face. Her eyes lit up with memories from long ago.

Twilight fell silent. It seemed there was no talking her out of this, so she might as well let Rainbow say her piece. “Alright… I’m listening,” she relented.

Rainbow gave a slow nod of thanks and then began. “Heh… those two. They were always so proud of me, no matter what I did. They even cheered for me when I lost something. ‘Best last placer ever’ they’d cheer. It was so embarrassing,” she said quietly, her eyes going distant. She draped her forelegs over the guardrail again, her smile growing.

“But I loved them very much. I mean, they were my mom and dad. How could I not? They may have embarrassed me sometimes but they were good to me. They gave me a good home, great food, and the best family I could have asked for. They were so good…” her words drifted off, and her smile began to falter. “...Kinda makes me wish that I’d let them know how much I appreciated them before they were gone, y’know?”

“Rainbow…” Twilight breathed, but was unable to say more before Rainbow continued.

“I never got to tell them that I loved them one more time. Or thank them for taking care of me, or for being my parents. There were so many things that, looking back, I wish I had told them while I had the chance…” her voice grew a bit more despondent, and she gave a low sigh. She then let off a humorless chuckle and shook her head. “But before I knew it, it was too late. They were gone…”

“I’m so sorry…”

“Nah, don’t be,” Rainbow waved her off gently. “It wasn’t your fault.”

Rainbow paused, and her expression turned more thoughtful. Twilight watched her and felt a small sense of curiosity. “Uh… Rainbow?” she ventured carefully.

Rainbow just let out a weak chuckle. “Sorry. I was just remembering how I kinda blamed you for my parents when we first met.”

Twilight blinked in surprise and shifted back. Rainbow had blamed her for the death of her parents? “Me…? Why?”

Rainbow hummed for a moment, her eyes absently going skyward as she pondered her response. She then shifted and looked at Twilight again. “I told you how I did the sonic rainboom and got my cutie mark, right?”

Twilight relaxed somewhat and gave a nod. “Yeah, you told me about that while I was recovering in the Empire. We all got our cutie marks at the same time because of that, right?”

“Yup,” Rainbow answered before looking up at the sky. Her eyes latched onto the moon as it slowly inched its way across the heavens. “Well, just before I pulled it off, I caught a glimpse of two ponies. They hadn’t been there a minute ago, and neither of them made any sense. I saw a unicorn standing on the clouds, and I saw an alicorn in front of her that I didn’t recognize.

“They were both gone a moment later, but I knew what I’d seen. And it had me confused. I was so consumed by it that I was asking questions and thinking about it for months. And… thinking about it made me too slow to save my parents… then Celestia adopted me and I met you. And I realized that the alicorn looked just like you. You were practically identical.

“I’ll be honest, when we first met, I may have exploded on you in a fit of rage. I thought for sure that you were the same pony, and I wanted answers out of you. But, well, mom stopped me from doing anything rash pretty quick. We made up, and after that, I kept my eyes and ears peeled for ‘the lavender alicorn,’ hoping I could get some answers…”

Rainbow’s talking trailed off, and her eyes widened as a realization hit her. She slowly turned to look at Twilight, her gaze intent, and searching. Twilight fidgeted under it, before clearing her throat. “Rainbow? What is it…?”

Rainbow blinked, and a small smile appeared on her face. “You know… I just realized something…” she began in a low, quiet voice. She looked wistfully out at the horizon. “I spent my foalhood looking for a lavender alicorn…” she then looked at Twilight out of the corner of her eye. “...Well, I finally found her.”

The two were quiet for several seconds, just letting the atmosphere sink in. A few night birds shrieked in the distance, and the branches once again rustled around them.

Twilight fidgeted uneasily while she considered Rainbow’s words. There was clearly a deeper meaning to it, and her mind was eager to know. With a hesitant lick of her lips, she leaned forward a little. “What do you mean you finally found her?”

Rainbow glanced at Twilight again, her smile growing. “I mean that the alicorn I saw was you,” she stated before frowning. “Well, to be fair, it wasn’t you you, it was a different version of you from the future.”

The moment Twilight heard that, the information processing centers of her brain decided to go for a midnight snack. She sat there, completely dumbstruck by what she had just been told. Her from the future? Time travel was possible? She eventually shook her head to clear the fog and spoke up. “Really? You’re sure about that? Me from the future?”

Rainbow nodded casually. “Crazy, am I right?”

Twilight’s face slowly began to light up. “Crazy? Maybe, but it’s also amazing! Time travel’s possible?! Do you know how any of it works?”

Rainbow made a show of thinking it over, then shrugged. “Nope.”

Twilight pouted. “Aw…” she whined in complaint before leaning back. A thought occurred to her, then, and her brow furrowed in thought. “Wait… if it was me from the future, does that mean that I’m going to go into the past and be seen by you someday?”

Rainbow shook her head. “No. The version of you that I saw doesn’t exist anymore, and you’re not the same as she is. You’ve led a different life from her, and, if all goes well, none of us will be screwing with time travel,” she lowered her eyes and frowned solemnly. “...Time travel is what led to my parents dying. They were never supposed to, originally. But Starlight Glimmer went back in time, the other Twilight followed her, I saw them when I wasn’t supposed to, and here we are now.”

“Oh… I see,” Twilight nodded slowly. But despite Rainbow’s answer, the inquisitive part of Twilight’s brain still wanted more answers. She sat more upright and cleared her throat. “Would you mind telling me more about that? It sounds like there’s a lot to it.”   

With a quiet hum, Rainbow rose to her hooves and turned to trot inside. “Another time. Right now, I’m tired. I’m gonna go get some z's. Come in whenever you’re ready.”

Twilight watched her go and gave a slow nod. “Okay…” she called gently after Rainbow before turning to once again gaze out at the distant horizon. Her mind kicked into high gear as she tried to sort through everything Rainbow had just gotten through talking about.

It had been a lot to put out there. Her relationship with her deceased parents, her lingering regrets over lost opportunities, and the time travel. Twilight’s mind kept getting hung up on that one fact, and she found herself struggling to make heads or tails out of it. After a few minutes, though, her weary and tired mind began to relax, and she came to a conclusion.

Rainbow’s words from earlier rang in her mind. “It’s my job to tell you about what came before if you can’t remember, and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

While Rainbow claimed that was her job, Twilight had the feeling that Rainbow didn’t need to speak about her parents the way she had. If she had been so willing and open to share such painful memories with Twilight, though, then she was either way too open with ponies, or she trusted Twilight completely. And from what Twilight had seen of Rainbow, she got the feeling that it was the latter.

With that in mind, Twilight nodded to herself, spun around and returned to the interior of the library while closing the door behind her.

“Rainbow Dash trusts me… so I’ll trust her.”