Doing Science

by dashie76

Chapter 15

She was crying again.

Sighing, the mare shifted her body and tugged the blankets close. Facing the wall, she shut her eyes and tried to ignore the sobs. The combined noise of the howling wind and the rumbling engine seeped in through her bedsheets relentlessly.


Deciding that sleep was no longer possible, she rose from the hammock, stretching. Rubbing her eyes, she slid out of her bed and strode forwards with her head down. Each hoof felt like a bucket of lead, and her eyes were moist and set deep into her face over dark shadows that told of a slumber that had never come. Shuffling towards the door connecting the two cabins, she felt the train rumbling on beneath her hooves, taking her farther and farther away from her quiet, peaceful life and ever closer to her dark, dangerous future. A future shrouded in uncertainty and pain and suffering and...

She shook her head.

Can't afford to break down now.

She reached her hoof towards the handle before she remembered to use her magic. Sighing, she turned the doorknob with an eerie lavender light. As the door creaked open, a bright light ambushed her tired eyes, and squinting, she looked down at the pony responsible - partially, at least - for her early awakening.

"Go to bed, Fluttershy."

The timid pegasus in question looked up to the speaker. Her eyes were bloodshot, her soft and soothing mane stained with the tears of a broken soul. An orange earth pony sat next to her, hugging her. Comforting her.


"It's practically dawn. You need to get some sleep for tomorrow."

This brought on a fresh batch of tears as she buried her face in Applejack's neck. The farmer gave Twilight a halfhearted glare as she rubbed Fluttershy's back. Twilight groaned and mentally kicked herself. "I...sorry..."

"N-No..." the pegasus sniffed, drying the last of her tears. She lifted her head to meet Twilight's. "I shouldn't be this...this emotional about it..."

"Well...Alright, I don't know about that. I don't blame you at all for feeling-"

"That's not what I meant."

A few moments passed. The wind flew coldly across the railroad as the train rumbled along, dragging the tired group of friends forwards, ever forwards, to their destination. Each bump in the tracks, each whistle of the wind served only as a bitter reminder of their progress.

"I need..." she shakily stood up. Applejack quickly rose, reaching out to help the pegasus. She brushed her off and looked into Twilight's eyes. "I need to be strong. For her."



"I...I'm sorry...I'm going to go" Twilight nodded. Fluttershy cast her eyes to the floor and plodded down the hallway. The door was heard sliding open and then softly shutting.


"Well, that's that. I'm getting some sleep, and you should, too." But as Twilight turned to walk back to her cabin, she felt a hoof on her shoulder. Applejack gave her a sad look.

"You really shouldn't be so hard on her. You know how close the two of them were."

Twilight sighed. "Applejack, I'm out of patience and out of time. I've got to be strong, not just for her, but for everyone. None of us can afford to break down - she needs to put her emotions aside and sleep. We need to stay focused...and prepared."

After a few minutes, Applejack's hoof fell. She pulled her stetson over her eyes.

"You're acting different, Twi'. This is changing you in a way that I don't think any of us like."

The unicorn slid open the door and walked through. "I'm just doing my best, Applejack."

The door shut behind her. She slumped against it, her body collapsing against the cold, hard floor. Her coat grew matted and damp from the tears. As the chilly air seeped through her tear stained fur, she felt herself slipping into a cold, unfeeling sleep. As all thought and emotion left her body, she thought of the day that was ahead of her. A day filled with heartbreak. Sorrow.


"I'm just doing my best..."