The Demon's Angel

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 14: A Broken Reverie

Chapter 14: A Broken Reverie

It's odd the way days pass for me, since I only have to sleep maybe once a week, if that. Time passes very quickly and the days blend together. Before I knew it, a month had already passed and I was on my first mission from Celestia.

A radical pony cult called the Lunar Republic – a group that was intent on bringing back Nightmare Moon and returning her to power – was my target, namely the leader, who was a stallion named "One-eye" Brass Bolts. Brass Bolts was a master machinist, and was fond of automated defense systems and surveillance around their little "hideout" – a place called Celerity out in the middle of a lake to the extreme west of Ponyville. It was a small island covered in trees and was unassuming…but what was most unexpected was the huge underground fortress that had been built underneath the lake itself, with the cave on the island as the only access point. The good news was that as far as I knew, this would be the only place they'd come out or go into. The bad news was that this entrance would be heavily guarded and monitored because of it.

I had been given a few pieces of equipment by Celestia herself, some of which I still didn't understand how they worked but was thankful for all the same. These included a small communications device with a video screen, magical explosive charges, and a personal cloaking device that could bend light to render me invisible. I found it odd that magic was used in lieu electricity as a power source, but then again it was much more abundant in Equestria than electricity was. Plus the fact that the ambient magic in the air would charge my devices when I wasn't using them.

All of these were not going to help me enter the base, however, as I could see cameras that were most likely thermal, along with a few tripwires connected to either explosives or alarm systems, and five heavily armed unicorn guards. As I watched the entrance from across the lake (dragon senses FTW) I kneeled down and pressed the button on my communicator, calling Celestia to report.

The device "rang" for a moment before a click sounded. "This is callsign Shine."

"Callsign Shock reporting." I responded.

I could almost feel Celestia's relief as she sighed. "Shock, we are glad to hear you're okay. What have you discovered?"

I peeked over the hill I was crouched behind, watching the cave entrance. "Target is heavily guarded and monitored. Is this the only entrance?"

I saw Celestia frown and nodded. "I'm afraid so, Shock. Can you enter without being seen?"

I shook my head. "No. I'm pretty sure those cameras are thermal. I don't have a way to hide my heat signature, so it would be pointless to use the cloaking device." I then had an idea come to mind. "Shine, what is my objective considering the target?"

"Capture the target if at all possible. If this is impossible, eliminate him." she responded in a monotone voice in an attempt to hide her disdain for this group.

I smiled evilly and nodded. "Roger that, Shine. In that case, I have this covered. Will call with sitrep upon capture or elimination of target. Shock out." I then closed the video screen and turned the device off before looking to the sky above the island. I quickly summoned large storm clouds and caused a torrential downpour upon it, quickly causing water to start running off of the sides of the island. Just for extra measure, I then placed my hand in the water along the bank of the lake and let my consciousness flow through it. I willed it to gather and flood the island, and upon this order the water began to batter the island repeatedly with large waves. From my vantage point, I began to see a large amount of standing water along the entrance of the cave, which meant that by now the lower levels were getting flooded as well. A large amount of ponies began to pour out of the tunnel's entrance, including my target. The problem was, he was surrounded by what I assumed was his personal security team – five very bulky and tall unicorns, their horns glowing with charged spells.

So…I now had my target in sight, but how to separate him from his guards?

I looked up at the swirling mass of clouds and raised my hand to it. I felt the familiar tingle as my consciousness wrapped around the cloud itself, so I began to pull the clouds down while moving my hand in a circular motion to give it some spin. This caused the cloud to quickly form into a large funnel that started ripping branches off of the trees as it descended lower and lower. The guards reacted just like I hoped they would, ordering Brass Bolts to flee with two guards while the rest stayed and prepared for whatever threat they thought there was. I smirked and activated my cloaking device, quietly and quickly flying towards the north bank, where they were retreating to.

When I landed, I heard the leader yelling at his guards in anger.

"What the hell is going on here? Come on, colts…we need to get out of here. Somepony is clearly out to get us." he said with a large amount of frustration.

I chuckled, casing all three of the stallions to turn and look at the seemingly empty space where I was. "I wouldn't say some pony…" I then deactivated my cloaking device and grinned. "More like some dragon."

Brass Bolts grimaced and turned to the black unicorn on his right. "Take him down, Sureshot!"

The unicorn nodded and charged a spell in his horn, but before he could fire I let a large bolt of lightning lance out from the palm of my hand, shooting into his horn. The unicorn's eyes widened and he collapsed to the ground immediately, his limbs twitching slightly as he tried to recover. I then activated my arm spikes, causing lightning to arc between the three points and reached down and grabbed him by the throat before letting a much stronger blast of lightning flow through my hand, directly into him. I let him scream in agony a few seconds until his skin started to burn, and then I released him and let him drop to the ground.

I looked at the remaining guard, who looked terrified. I inclined my head towards the open fields. "I'm just here for your boss. Go."

The young unicorn nodded and ran away, causing Brass Bolts to scream at him. "What are you DOING?! GET YOUR SORRY FLANK BACK HERE!"

I stepped forward and sighed. "I really hope you aren't planning on fighting me, because if you are, I'll kill you slowly and painfully. It would really be better for both of us if you'd just give up and come quietly."

The unicorn stallion growled and stood his ground. "Did you really think I'd just surrender? What makes you think you cou-"

I interrupted him with a punch to his jaw, and I heard a loud crack as a bone somewhere broke. I then held a hand to my ear canal. "What was that? Oh, I'm sorry…I couldn't hear you over the sound of your face breaking. So tell me again what you think I can't do to you." He tried to talk, but was interrupted as a loud crack sounded when his jaw moved, and he fell to the ground in agony. "Yeah…that's what I thought." I then proceeded to knock the kneeling stallion to the ground and sit on top of him. "Don't move. If you think you're going to cast a spell," I placed my hand on his horn, "I'll feel it before you ever release it. You'll get to feel what a few million volts directly to your horn feels like." I then activated my comm and called Celestia.

She looked at me as soon as she answered with a look of surprise on her face. "Shock? Well…that was fast."

I nodded. "Yeah, all's taken care of here. I'll be back in a few hours." I then pointed the camera of the device at my prisoner. "Where do you want me to bring this guy?"

She placed a hoof on her chin in thought for a moment before smiling. "Bring him directly to the palace to meet with Dizzy. I'm sure she'll want to meet that stallion personally." I nodded and closed contact.

The flight back to Canterlot was pretty uneventful, save for a few times when my charge tried to fight me while I was flying. A few claw marks along his underside and throat attested to just how slowly he learned to stop struggling. When we landed, an entire platoon of guards was waiting for us, along with Luna and Celestia.

Over the past month, we would often call each other by the names that we'd had back on Earth. Somehow it just seemed more personal that way, and I had noticed just how much the two girls I knew in the past had remained virtually unchanged as far as their personalities. Diz was still the playful and sarcastic beauty I remembered, and Lil was still the bubbly cute girl I considered a sister. They didn't let these personalities show in public, of course, as they considered it unbecoming of a princess…but whenever we were alone, it was like old times. Like Dash, my memories about them had been restored to show who they really were…so while there were still a lot of parts of my life on Earth that were missing, I remembered the three of us growing up together.

I set the prisoner down in front of the two princesses, still keeping a firm grasp on his horn in case he was going to try anything. A weird little chain-like thing was put around his horn, and the guard told me I could let go, so I did.

Celestia then stepped forward with an unnerving grin. "So…you are the one that plans to not only bring on the return of Nightmare Moon, but also remove me from power." She then glanced at her younger sister with a smile. "Dear Luna, what do you make of this?"

Luna looked down at the unicorn with a fierce glare. "The fact that thou would threaten Equestria is more than enough to cause Us to loathe thee…but thou also aims to resurrect Our darkness again…" Luna shivered before gritting her teeth in anger. "Tell me, hast thou ever wondered what it is like to reside in a place devoid of all light? To know not of color…nor any sort of vision." She then grinned evilly. "Well…thou shalt discover it." She turned to the guards and nodded. "Take this wretch to the void cell." The guards all nodded and ushered the wide-eyed unicorn towards the dungeons without another word.

I looked at the navy-blue alicorn with a grin. "Is it weird that you speaking in Old Equestrian turns me on a little?"

She giggled and shook her head. "I only do it to frighten him. Somehow that way of speaking seems to be more intimidating for some reason."

I chuckled and shook my head. "Good to know that you're still a good actor after all this time." I then looked at Celestia and smiled. "Well, was there another mission for me or can I go see Dash?"

The white alicorn shook her head with a gentle smile. "Nope, you're free for now, Koa. Go see her and tell her we both said hi."

I nodded and embraced the two of them tightly. "Love you both." I then released them and pointed to my earpiece. "You know how to get a hold of me should something come up. I'll be spending time with Scoots and Dash today at the park if you need me."

Luna stepped forward and smiled. "Don't forget that Rainbow Dash's birthday is coming soon. You need to get her some kind of gift."

I slapped my forehead and groaned. "Damn…is it November already?"

Celestia shrugged with a smile. "Time flies when you're having fun, Koa." She then levitated a large pouch of bits over to me. "This is your pay for the job with a bonus for bringing him in alive. Well done on that, by the way. There's no telling what sort of intelligence we can gather from him."

I nodded with a smile. "Well you're both welcome. I'm going to head off to meet Dash at the park then. You're both welcome to drop by if you have any time." I then raised my eyebrow, looking at the younger sister. "Speaking of time, aren't you usually asleep at this time of day?"

She nodded with a grin. "Yes, but today is also the day when Cadence and Twilight Sparkle are visiting, so I wanted to make sure I was awake to see the two of them."
I nodded with a smile. "Oh okay, well that makes sense. Well I guess the two of you will be busy then." I turned away and motioned to my earpiece again. "Like I said, call me if you need me. Bye girls." They both said their goodbyes, so I opened my wings and dove off of the landing area, angling myself towards Ponyville.

With Pinkie Pie and Rarity's help, I had eased into life in Ponyville pretty easily, and once the residents saw I wasn't some greedy fire-breathing dragon, they all relaxed. I was now just another friendly dragon, like Spike (who by the way was actually a great guy. Here's hoping Rarity notices him someday).

I landed gracefully next to the fountain in the middle of the park and opened my pack to pull out some beef jerky while I waited for Dash and Scoots. Thanks to Luna, I could get the stuff whenever I had a fix for some meat from a contact she had in the Gryphon Kingdoms. I had found that actually ingesting real meat made my dragon instincts easier to control, which had become very important. A good example of my instincts taking control in a bad way was when I was following Dash to Canterlot one day and she decided to race me. My chase instinct kicked in and I almost attacked her when I caught her, luckily noticing what I was doing just in time to keep from hurting her.

I called in Luna's favor for a steak dinner that very night.

As I sat on the fountain and munched on the dried beef, I couldn't help but think about just how much my career had changed my life. Even though this was my first "official" mission from Celestia, I had a few training exercises that I did prior, and there was already talk of me in Canterlot, though no one knew who I was yet. To them I was just a ghost, and that was exactly the way I wanted it to stay. After all, if any enemies knew who I really was, they could use that against me in some way…potentially putting my loved ones in danger.

"Hey Rider!" shouted a strong southern voice.

I looked behind me to see Applejack and Fluttershy trotting towards me, so I quickly put my beef away and stood with a smile. "Hiya, girls." I kneeled down and embraced the two of them in a hug, which they gladly returned. I then stood and smiled after releasing them. "So, what are you two up to today?"

Fluttershy blushed while AJ smiled wide, pulling the pegasus close to her with a foreleg. "Well, we're goin' on a little date, Koa. Whatcha think?"

I chuckled and nodded. "I think you should do it more often. I know Fluttershy loves spending time with you and loves the romance, and I know you like showing her off to the jealous stallions and mares."

"W-what do you mean?" Fluttershy asked, blushing.

I chuckled and shook my head. "'Shy, we all know you're one of the prettiest mares in all of Ponyville…probably all of Equestria. You and I both know that AJ has a lot of pride in herself for the work she does, so it makes sense that she'd be proud of herself that out of all the stallions or mares in Ponyville, you chose her."

The orange farm mare nodded and nuzzled her marefriend gently. "He's raht, sugarcube. Y'all maht not believe me, but ya coulda had any mare or stallion ya wanted. Yer real purdy 'Shy, and not just b'cause of yer looks. Even a blind pony can see yer beautiful, ya silly filly."

The canary-yellow pegasus was now blushing a deep crimson, but she extended a wing to cover her partner. Dash had explained to me that in Equestria, a wing-hug was considered very intimate considering just how sensitive wings were, and was only done between the very best of friends or most trusted and loved of special someponies. So the very fact that Fluttershy was making such a gesture in public said more words than her mouth ever could.

AJ also knew the significance of the gesture, so she leaned close and planted a gentle kiss on Fluttershy's cheek. "Ah love ya, 'Shy."

Fluttershy kept blushing, but smiled as well. "I love you too, Jackie."

I chuckled and shook my head. "Jackie? That's a new one." I then placed a hand softly on the pegasus' mane and brushed it gently. "Still…I know just how few of your friends you give nicknames to. AJ must be a very special mare to earn that."

Fluttershy nodded, but didn't break her gaze with the emerald eyes of the mare beside her. "She is…she's one of the most special ponies I've ever known."

I nodded in agreement. "Yep, I have to agree. It's a good thing I'm already with Dash and that you have Applejack, or I might fall for her myself." Fluttershy looked up at in me in shock and I shook my head. "It was a joke, 'Shy. Besides, you know full well that AJ only has eyes for you."

The farm mare nodded with a bright smile. "Yep! Ah mean Koa's a good dragon 'n all, but Ah'm perfectly happy with ya, 'Shy. Yer tha only pony fer me." AJ then looked at me out of the corner of her eye. "Y'all better not tell Dash Ah said that, or Ah'll find ya and buck ya ta next Tuesday."

I moved my fingers across my lips in a "zipping" motion and smiled. "I heard nothing." I looked off in the distance at some familiar voices I heard and smiled, pointing towards them. "Well, there's Dash and Scootaloo, girls. You have a good date, ya hear?" Both the mares nodded, so I flew off towards the cyan and orange pegasi.

I landed in front of the two pegasi, immediately receiving two enthusiastic hugs from two of my favorite ponies.

"Koa! Gosh, it's good to have you back." Scootaloo exclaimed.

I chuckled and released the mare and filly. "I was only gone for a week, girls. I didn't miss anything too big, did I?"

Dashie shrugged with a grin. "Not really. I mean Twilight started dating Big Macintosh but…"

I raised an eyebrow. "Wait, what? Twi's dating Mac? When did this happen?"

"The day you left, actually." the orange pegasus filly replied. "She was really nervous though. It was funny to watch her when he came to ask her."

I chuckled. "I wish I could have been there to see that. What does Spike make of all this?"

Dash shrugged. "Not really sure. Sweetie Belle keeps him pretty busy."

My jaw dropped open in disbelief. "Don't tell me…"

Scootaloo nodded with a smile. "Yep! Her and Spike are special someponies with each other now! You should have seen Sweetie Belle that day he asked her out. I don't think she's ever smiled that much all at once."

I raised an eyebrow. "Whatever happened to Rarity? Wasn't he like all in love with her?"

Dash shrugged. "I thought so too, but apparently he got sick of waiting. Rarity is actually pretty upset that he doesn't come by anymore."

"I expect so. She doesn't have her own personal boutique assistant anymore." I responded with a smirk.

Dash sighed and shook her head sadly. "No…that's not the reason why. The truth is that Rarity actually misses Spike…not what he did for her. You have to understand, there aren't too many stallions on Terra compared to mares. For mares like Rarity – who's as straight as an arrow – that makes finding a special somepony really hard to do. Most of the stallions around here are just looking for a quick rutting, not a relationship…and because there are so many love-hungry mares around here, they usually get what they want." The cyan mare closed her eyes in sorrow for her friend. "It's not fair to Rare. I know she's a little flirty sometimes, but she's actually a really good mare who deserves a good stallion. She's been depressed since Spike started dating her little sister because she thinks she blew her one chance because she didn't want to 'corrupt' Spike, as she put it."

"To be honest," Scootaloo added, "I don't see a relationship between Spike and Sweetie Belle lasting too long. Spike's really relaxed, and Sweetie Belle is really…well, you know how she is. I mean they're cute together and all, but I can tell she gets on his nerves sometimes."

I nodded solemnly. "Well, if Spike decided to ask out Sweetie Belle, it likely means that he's sick of being alone. If I know Spike like I think I do, his loneliness is soon going to be overcome by his incompatibility with Sweetie Belle. Celestia bless her because she's a nice filly, but I don't really see them together for long either. Personally I think she'd be better off with that colt named Pipsqueak."

"Pip? Why him?" Scootaloo asked, confused.

I shrugged. "He might be a little small for his age, but he's got a big heart. That and he likes to talk just as much as she does, so I think they'd get along great." I sighed. "Well either way, it's not really our place to meddle. We just gotta be there for Rarity no matter how this pans out, and if Spike ends up being single again, we need to let her know she needs to tell him how she feels."

Dashie nodded and smiled. "That sounds like a good idea, Koa. Right now Rarity's finishing up an order from some high-class pony in Canterlot, but she'll be free later today. Do you want to drop by later then?"

I nodded. "Sounds good, Dashie. It's been awhile since I've seen her anyway, and I miss her."

Dash nodded and smiled. "Hearing that from you will make her feel a little better. We'll meet her later on then." The cyan pegasus then looked at Scootaloo with a smirk. "For now though, let's see what you got, Scoots. I hope you've been practicing!"

The orange filly giggled and nodded. "Yep!"

I chuckled and pointed up to my house. "You think you're ready for that then?"

Both mares looked to my now-finished cloud house, high in the sky. It was a deep gray color with most of it being made of those hard cloud fibers, giving it a castle-like appearance. It was triple the size of Dashie's house and had a foundation nearly five times as thick. The foundation clouds were what allowed it to float, so to accommodate my heavier house I had to increase the amount of foundation clouds. It took a lot more work than I thought it would, but when it was finally done with furnishings, plumbing, and a working shower, I was very pleased with the result. I now had my own home on Terra…making Terra itself my home as well.

Dash looked at me in shock and whispered, "Koa, she can't fly that high!"

I nodded and smiled. "Yes she can. Don't doubt her Dash, she's a hell of a lot stronger than she looks. Just let her try." I then looked at the orange pegasus filly, noticing she looked pretty nervous. I smiled and nodded. "I'm going to fly with you, Scootaloo…but I'm not going to touch you unless you start to fall. That means you'll be doing the flying all on your own. You don't have to be scared…I'll protect you."

Her confidence seemed to surge at my words, and she nodded with a smile. "Okay Koa…I'll try." The filly spread her wings and took them to their normal ready position before crouching low to the ground. She then surprised both me and her mentor by launching herself into the sky with a force that made Dashie's eyes shine with amazement. With training from both myself and Equestria's best young flier, Scootaloo had learned to fly with agility, speed, and grace.

Dash leaned over to me while still keeping her eyes on the filly, who was now standing triumphantly on my house's front step. "Am I the only one who didn't think she'd be able to do that?"

I chuckled and nodded. "Maybe now you'll have a little more faith in her, Dashie. She's ready to get into the official Rainbow Dash training program."

The pegasus beside me looked up at me with those gorgeous rose eyes and smiled. "You're right…she's so ready!"

"Are you two going to stand down there and talk all day or are you going to fly up? Sometime this lifetime would be awesome." Scootaloo shouted.

I chuckled and motioned towards the house. "We better get up there before she starts breaking my house or something." Dash nodded so we both launched ourselves with one powerful flap of our wings, landing on the soft clouds of my front porch a few seconds later. I then looked down at the filly and smiled. "C'mon inside. I'll get us something to eat and drink. It's about lunchtime anyway." My two guests nodded and followed me inside.

This would be the first time either of them had actually been inside my finished house, so I wasn't surprised when they both gasped in awe. To me, everything was normal sized…but to both the ponies, everything was giant. The fact that I had a vaulted ceiling didn't help their awe, and they just stared and marveled at the room for a good two or three minute span.
I snapped my fingers at them a few times to get their attention, causing both of them to look at me. "Food? Drink? Anything?"

"Oh, umm…some apple juice if you have any. I'm not really hungry." Scootaloo replied.

Dash thought for a moment before smiling. "I'll have some apple juice too, and a daisy and tomato sandwich."

I chuckled and nodded before rifling around in the fridge. "You know, that's how you can tell I like having you girls over…because I don't stock the fridge with hay, tulips, and daisies for myself. That's for sure." I handed my two guests their food and drink with a smile before turning towards my stairs. "Well, I'm going to take a shower really quick. I have a TV now, so feel free to watch that until I get back." The two of them nodded, so I headed upstairs to my shower.

It always mesmerized me just how hot running water could come from a cloud, but then again unicorn spells were a lot different than the magic I used. Besides, Twilight Sparkle herself had been the one to put the spells on my house, so it would be unlikely I'd ever understand them.

After getting out of the shower and brushing my teeth (hey, a dragon doesn't necessarily have to have "dragon breath"), I walked back downstairs to see a cute sight. Passed out on my couch in front of the TV were Dash and Scoots, the smaller resting her head on the side of the larger as they lay with their hooves curled delicately underneath them, looking absolutely adorable. It was then that I realized just how close the two must be, as Dash had her wing draped over the smaller one's figure. Having already heard what this meant in pegasus society, it just made the sight even more endearing. I smiled softly and leaned down to kiss the two of them on the forehead before opening my door and diving off the edge towards the forest to the west of Ponyville - Everfree.

I landed right at the old ruins where the Elements of Harmony had originally been stored. Luna had told me that these ruins were actually the old castle they had lived in before she was banished. She told me she didn't feel bad in the least about moving to Canterlot…because it was in these very fields that I had been assassinated. Even with the morbidity of it all, I felt a strange connection to this place. This was the last place I had been known as Koa before becoming Zizzanasx the Skylord. It was going to be strange going back in time to do all this over again, only to give my life for…well, for me. Still, I had yet to figure out exactly how that was going to work. Luna had explained to me that I now had two pieces of eight within me (of myself), so the one that was known as Zizzanasx would be returning…while I would stay with all of my memories and life. It was still odd to me exactly how this all worked, but a strange pony that went by the name of Doctor Whooves told me he'd explain it all to me when the time was right…whenever that was. I just let it go and figured things would work themselves out whenever that time came.

As I wandered around the grounds, I noticed a great many headstones that marked the royal cemetery. Most of them were worn away and those that weren't had names I didn't recognize…but towards the area closest to the castle were three large mausoleums, with a statue upon each. The two on either side were of beautiful women, flawless in figure and poise. The center structure was the unmistakable shape of a dragon. The lettering was very difficult to read at first, as if it had been worn throughout the years into indistinguishable shapes, but the longer I had looked at it, the easier it was to read. I had already read mine, but every time it choked me up.


First Dragon King of Equestria, Last Casualty of the First War

Husband to Desiree "Luna" Kamakani, Father to Janice Kamakani

Born 4, November 1987

Died 22, July 2671 (171 NE)

"May thy wings always have wind beneath them, and may the moon light thy path in darkness.

Our dear husband, thy death shall not be in vain.

Equestria will forever remember thy sacrifice thou hast wrought to make her.

Slumber in peace, Our love…until we meet again."


I placed my hand upon the cold stone, feeling the pain that she must have felt as she wrote this. I then moved to the structure on the left, and began reading that as well.

Desiree "Luna" Kamakani

Queen of the Moon, First Queen of Equestria

Wife to Zizzanasx, Mother to Janice Kamakani

Born 12, March 1989

Died 16, January 2941 (441 NE)

"I miss you and daddy so much, mommy…but auntie Lily told me you will be back one day.

I love you both so much, and I'm going to make sure that I'm a good princess for our people.

We'll all be waiting for you, and I'm going to bake you a big cake, mommy."


Tears were freely running down my face now. My daughter lost not one, but both of her parents. Granted she still had Celestia to watch over her, but that still can't have been easy. I had to find her.

The fact that I had a daughter at one point was simply awe-inspiring. I'd never tell Lulu that, but I had always wanted to be a father for as long as I can remember…and it seems like sometime in the past, I got my wish. The thing I found odd was that unlike the other two, Celestia's grave was not written in a language I could decipher…and my daughter's grave was missing. I'd looked over the entire cemetery multiple times before, but found nothing. I knew I had to be missing something, as a princess wouldn't suddenly vanish off the face of the planet. Still…I had traveled through time, so stranger things had happened.

I strolled around the grounds for a little longer, just getting a feel for what was my past...and thus, my future in a way. To know that I was a king, and a was breathtaking. I wanted so badly to know who my daughter was that it hurt. I'd have to ask the two princesses at some point just who she is/was.

I figured now was probably a good time to head back home, so I quickly flew back to my cloud abode and walked in to find Dash lounging on the couch with a sleeping Scootaloo. My angel looked up at me and smiled as I walked in, and from that simple smile, I felt so loved.

"Hey awesomely-beautiful." I said with a grin.

The cyan mare giggled softly and whispered, "I like how you threw some awesome in there for me."

I nodded and smiled, beckoning to the door. "I saw Rarity walking around town on my way back. Want to go see her now?"

Dash nodded and prodded the filly sleeping in her lap. "Scoots...Scoots, wake up." The young pegasus groaned and opened her eyes, blinking a few times. Dash smiled down at her and brushed some of the messy violet mane away from her face. "We're going to head off to see Rarity. Will you be okay here on your own until we get back?" The filly nodded, so Dash scooted away and let her lay down on the couch before walking over to me. She could tell I wanted to ask a question about that, but she just shook her head and motioned outside.

When we stepped out on my front porch and closed the door, I looked back at my house with a frown. "Dash, I'm cool with you or Scootaloo at my house, but aren't her parents going to wonder where she is?" The way that my rainbow angel sighed, I could tell something was very wrong. "Dash, what's up? I know that sigh, so spill it."

The cyan mare looked up at me, clearly saddened and frowned. "Scootaloo doesn't have any parents, Koa."

My demeanor now matched my partner's, and I nodded. "She's an orphan then." Dash nodded in response. "Who has she been staying with?"

Dash shrugged her shoulders. "She used to stay with an uncle somewhere in Manehattan, but he just disappeared. To this day, neither of us know what happened to him. She basically wandered until she found Ponyville, and the orphanage took her in." She then tapped a hoof on her chin. "Usually though, she stays with someone called 'Zizzy'...whoever that is. She said she trusts him, but she won't tell me who he is. It kinda worries me, actually."

Okay...I had to talk to the princesses about this. I didn't want to keep lying to Dash like this, but they told me not to tell anyone else about who and what I was. One of the things I knew would ruin a good relationship was dishonesty...and even though this was like national-security-level secrets, I still thought Dash deserved to know the truth about everything. Hopefully if I presented my case strong enough, they'd make an exception.


I just smiled at my lovable mare and stroked her mane softly. "Well that's good enough for me. If Scoots feels safe enough around me to fall asleep in my house, she's welcome anytime...and I mean anytime."

She smirked at me and snorted a small laugh. "It's a good thing I know what you're talking about Koa, because you sounded like a pedophile right there."

I grimaced and face-palmed. "Ugh...well you know what I meant though, so it's all good. Thank Celestia I have you here to bring these things to my attention or I'd look like a complete tool."

My pegasus mare laughed and nodded. "Yep! You should consider yourself lucky I feel nice enough to grace you with my awesome presence."

I rolled my eyes with a smirk. "Yes, your majesty. I am humbled by both your beauty and charisma. I am not worthy."

She giggled and shoved me playfully. "C'mon you goof...let's not keep Rarity waiting."

We arrived at the Carousel Boutique a little over ten minutes later, just in time to see a white hoof turning the sign in the door to "closed". Dash quickly walked up to the door and knocked a few times before the resident could walk away, and the door opened to reveal a very exhausted-looking white unicorn.

She sighed and shook her normally beautiful violet mane out of her face, not even opening her eyes. "I apologize dear, but I am closed for the day." She then opened her eyes and her face change to an expression of surprise. "Oh my, hello Rainbow Dash." She then looked back at me and blushed softly. "And hello there, Storm Rider."

Dash just stared at her friend in awe of the unkempt look before shaking her head and frowning. "Rare, we need to talk. Can we come inside?"

The unicorn seemed a little apprehensive, but nodded. "Very well...please come in." We followed Rarity into her immaculately clean home and business and sat on the couch she motioned us to. She then sat beside us on a separate chair and sighed. "I believe I know what this is about, Rainbow Dash."

"Spike." Dash responded plainly.

Rarity was silent for a moment before she slowly nodded. "I..." She swallowed the lump that must have been in her throat. "I miss him, Rainbow Dash. I know I should not, but I do." In an uncharacteristic gesture, the mare slumped back on the chair with her left foreleg across her forehead, looking very...well, un-Rarity. "I am jealous of my own baby sister...and what is worse, it is because it is Spike."

"You didn't really think he was going to wait around forever, did you?" Dash quipped. I thought it was a little harsh, but I kept my mouth shut. After all, she knew Rarity better than I did.

Rarity kept her posture and just sighed. "I had never given thought to Spike in that way, dear. In all honesty, after seeing just how destructive he was when he allowed greed to control him, I was certain that a relationship between a pony and a dragon could never be." The white unicorn then brought her hind legs up and sat down properly, looking at us with a sad smile. "When I see the two of you though, I see that I was very wrong. Rainbow Dash, I honestly could not see a better fit for you in any...anyone. Yes...that seems to be the correct word. Perhaps love is not to be restrained by the bonds of species."

'You have no idea, Rarity'

I smiled and nodded slowly to her. "You should tell him that, Rarity."

She looked over at me with surprise. "Y-you truly believe that?"

Dashie nodded with a comforting smile for her friend. "Spike has had his eye on you ever since he met you. Even if the two of you don't hit it off, he needs to know how you feel." She then frowned a little and sighed. "Sweetie Belle needs to be there when you do it, though."

I looked over at Dash in confusion. "Umm...won't that be really awkward?"

She nodded but smiled. "It will be, but Sweetie Belle is her sister. It would be all kinds of wrong for her to go behind Sweetie Belle's back. All three of them need to be there so that all three of them can work through this together." Dashie then stood up and sat next to her friend on the small loveseat, wrapping a foreleg around her in a half-hug. "At the very least, you and Spike can get some closure."

Rarity sniffled a bit, keeping her eyes on the floor. "B-but Spike's special somepony is Sweetie Belle. I-I am not sure I can simply throw caution to the wind and confess my feelings for the poor dear." She then grimaced and stomped a hoof into the soft fabric of the chair. "How foalish I have been. All this time my perfect gentlecolt was right in front of my eyes, but I refused to even entertain the idea based off of a misguided principle." She then started to tear up and leaned into her pegasus friend as she let tears begin to fall. "I have lost my chance, Rainbow Dash. I had an amazing gentlecolt that may have loved me, and I have driven him away. I am a terrible pony...I do not deserve him."

"Hey!" Dash shouted, getting the attention of her sobbing friend. She looked into her eyes and glared. "You know what's not attractive? Self pity. If you're looking for a way to drive Spike away, that would be it. What you're going to do is stop doing that, and when Spike brings Sweetie Belle back today, you're going to sit down with the two of them and talk all of this out."

The unicorn overcame her momentary shock and stuttered, "B-but what if he-"

"No buts, Rarity." Dash interrupted. "The Rarity I know is strong, independent, and works hard for what she wants." Dashie's expression softened, and she smiled. "I guarantee, if you work even half as hard as you do on your career, you could have Spike in a heartbeat...because that's the mare he likes. For now though, he and your sister need to know how you feel about him...and about them. Get it off your chest, Rare. I promise, you'll feel better when you do." The door opened at that moment, causing the three of us to notice a specific dragon entering the boutique with a young unicorn filly. Dash then smiled and hugged her friend tight. "You've got this, Rare. I'll leave you to it."

Hesitantly, the unicorn nodded and smiled. "Thank you, Rainbow Dash. I will speak to you soon."
We quickly stood up and started to walk out the door, much to the confusion of the young dragon and filly. As we closed the door, we both smiled as we heard Rarity ask the two of them to sit down on the couch.

Dash looked up at me and smiled wide. "It's about time Rarity was honest with herself. We all knew she had a soft spot for him."

I nodded and sighed. "I just hope she doesn't try and steal him away from her sister or anything."

"No, I don't see that happening." Dash replied dismissively. "Rarity's a lot of things, but a thief is not one of them. She has a good heart, and doing something that bad to the dragon and filly she cares about most just isn't something she'd ever do. She'll be fine, Koa...I promise." She then looked at the horizon, noticing that the sun was setting. "C'mon, let's head back to your place. Scoots will probably want some dinner, and I'm sure you're hungry."

I chuckled. "I'm always hungry, Dash."

We arrived back at my home to find Scootaloo still sleeping. I chuckled and scooped up the small filly and took her to my guest bedroom, placing her on the soft cloud and tucking her in with a soft blanket before kissing her forehead.

I then turned to Dash as I walked out in confusion. "Doesn't the orphanage wonder where she is?"

Dash shook her head as she followed me to the kitchen. "No. I don't know how orphanages are on Earth, but in Equestria, they offer just a bed and one meal a day. There's no rule saying they have to stay or anything. It's more of a 'come-as-you-need' type thing."

I raised an eyebrow with skepticism. "What if someone wants to adopt one of them?" Dash gasped, but I waved a hand with a chuckle. "I'm not thinking about adopting her, I'm just saying. Besides, Scootaloo has made it clear that she wants to just be close friends with me." Because of not being able to tell Dash why that was, I had to just hope that was enough.

"Why not? What's wrong with her?" Dash said with a frown on her face.

I grabbed a few pans out from some cupboards and placed them on the stove (still not sure how this thing can physically work. Unicorn magic is still a mystery to me). I then shook my head solemnly as I started to heat up a bit of oil in the pan. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with her, Dashie. She's amazing...but she just doesn't want to be family with me." Suddenly, I could tell Dash thought that Scootaloo didn't like me, so I chuckled and shook my head. "Don't worry Dash, I'm pretty sure Scoots trusts me more than anyone else, so please don't take this as a bad thing." She looked at me with a raised eyebrow for a moment before shrugging and grabbing some vegetables out of my fridge, along with a large bottle of AJD (Applejack Daniels). She passed the bottle to me and I took a swig of it before handing it back to her, and she did the same. She then passed the vegetables to me before setting a bit of brown rice on to boil, so I cut up the veggies quickly and put them in the pan.

"So," she started, watching me as I sautéed the medley of vegetables, "I got a letter in the mail yesterday...from Spitfire."

I kept my eyes on the sizzling pan, rocking it back and forth to cook the food properly. "Oh? That's the captain of the Wonderbolts, right?"

"Yeah." she answered. "She uh...she wants me to come to Cloudsdale for tryouts..."

I nearly dropped the skillet at hearing this. It was no secret that Dash had wanted to be in the Wonderbolts for as long as any of her friends could remember...but for her to actually have a real was incredible.

The food had cooked enough, so I removed it from the heat and turned off the burner before turning to Dash with a big smile on my face. "Dash...that's amazing! I mean, Spitfire offered you a tryout? That's just...I'm so proud of you!" I enveloped her in a hug and kissed her passionately. When I set her back down, however, she didn't look all that happy. I kneeled down on the ground to look at her eye-level. "Babe, what's wrong?"

She sighed and looked down in what appeared to be shame. "I...I'm not so sure I want to do it, Koa...not anymore." She looked up at me with genuine tears in her eyes, and she sighed again, sadly. "If I get into the Wonderbolts, I'll be away for a long time from practice, tours...all of that stuff."

I was angel was actually thinking about turning down this chance of a lifetime. I quickly shook my head and tilted her chin up to look at me. "Dash, you're going. Scoots and I will be fine, and I'm not going to let you throw away your dream just because of me. Dash..." I groaned in frustration. "Dash, what if you and I break up at some point?"

Her eyes shot up and widened in shock. "You're breaking up with me already? It's only been a little over a month!"

I shook my head and sighed. "No, I'm not. What I'm saying is that you shouldn't give up this chance because of me. I hope we're always together Dashie, I really do...but facts are that life is unpredictable. If you and I should separate sometime down the road, I don't want you to have to sit there by yourself and regret not taking this opportunity." I then braced both hands on her shoulders and smiled. "You're going, Dashie. If it works out, awesome...we'll find a way to work with that. If not, at least you know you tried your very best and didn't waste the opportunity."

A few tears dropped down her cheeks, and she looked at me with remorse. "I don't know if I'll have the willpower to say no if I get in though."

I shrugged. "Then don't. If you make it, live your dream Dash. You've worked so hard for don't let all that hard work be in vain." I then cupped her face in my large hands and kissed her nose softly. "I'll always love you Dashie, but your life is a lot shorter than mine is going to be. You need to grab your dreams when they come to you, okay?"

She looked a little forlorn, but nodded. "Okay Koa, I'll do it." She then grinned and puffed her chest out with pride. "I'll destroy that tryout! I got this in the bag!"

I chuckled and ran my fingers through her mane affectionately. "There's my girl. Now come on, dinner's finished."

We ate dinner while finishing off the bottle of AJD, talking about all kinds of things. After finishing, I cleaned up and showered before heading off to bed with Dash. It was about that time of week that I needed a good rest, so I resigned myself to sleeping tonight. As I lay in bed next to Dash, she laid on her back with her hooves behind her head...which I found rather uncharacteristic for a pony.

"Hey Koa..." she whispered.

I looked over at her to see her looking right back at me. "Yeah babe?"

She averted her eyes for a second before looking back at me, a concerned look on her face. "If I do get'll watch out for Scoots, right?"

At that moment, said young pegasus walks in the room and hops up on the bed, laying down next to me and falling asleep. I covered her up and kissed her forehead before turning back to Dash with a smile. "Does that answer your question? I'd never let anything happen to her, Dashie. I swear it."

She nodded and settled herself into the soft cloud pillow. "Good. I feel better about this now, Koa. Thanks."

I nodded and kissed her once again before she rolled on her stomach, sleeping the way ponies normally do, but not before settling herself into my arm and laying her head on my chest.
I smiled at my angel and hoped with everything I possessed that she would make it. I'd miss her, but a dream is a dream...and not even love should stand in the way of it. Regret is a strong corrupting factor, and I didn't want it to be a part of what we had. With my mind made up, I pulled my two sleeping companions close to me and closed my eyes, quickly slipping off into sleep.