Lone Ranger looked up, he had a new visitor. "And what are you going to do? Throw me a party for being arrested?"
Pinkie Pie's face became strangely serious. "No." Then she smiled surprisingly gently for her. "I know what it's like to be in a story that you don't fit in."
She gave him a cake, and kissed him on the cheek. "... but I found my place, and so can you."
I was so happy that my birds were okay! Oh! That's not to say I wasn't really happy everypony else was okay too! But my little birdies, the last time I saw them was during the wedding, I mean the wedding with Chrysalis. I was so worried about them! It's not that I thought Philomena wouldn't protect them, she managed to protect all of Canterlot from me when I was Nightmare Whisper. I was worried something could happen to them on their way to her!
You have to understand, my birds, Angel, all my animals, they're like my family. It's not that I don't love my real family, I mean, that's not to say I don't love my animal family either, I truly love them both. And...my animals need me. Applejack...even though she suffered a lot, she was able to take care of herself and protect her heart from Chrysalis. My little birds...they can't protect themselves. They can take care of feeding, but how could a flock of little birds manage to protect themselves from big, dangerous Changelings?
Sorry. I was just so jumbled by everything...at least I didn't spend all the battles just cowering and covering my head, I was able to help my friends! And...I admit, it felt good to let Fluttercruel help as herself, she made me so proud.
I'm so grateful Philomena protected them, she did a wonderful job! My birds told me how she didn't let any changelings get inside Princess Celestia's room with her! They also told me Philomena was surprised I'd trust her like that, but why shouldn't I? She apologized for the stunt she did, and Princess Celestia forgave her, why shouldn't I?
But they told me something else too.
I bury myself so deep in guilt sometimes, I get so obsessed with punishing myself, that I forgot how I'm not the only pony, or creature who can feel horribly guilty about something. Even if that something isn't their fault to begin with. Even having some many of those feelings inside me as Nightmare Whisper only made me aware it exists.
"Philomena!" I called out to the bird on her perch where she was resting right now in the royal garden. This time I just let the animals be.
The fire-bird turned her head to look at me.
"I just want to say thank you for protecting my chorus, they're precious to me like all my animals, they told me how you helped them, and I don't want to think about if something did happen to them." I nuzzled the phoenix, "Thank you."
She smiled the best she could with her beak.
"And Philomena, don't blame yourself."
Her eyes widened...It's odd, back in Ponyville, and everywhere except Canterlot, most ponies expect me to know what had been wrong with them when I was Nightmare Whisper, now it feels strange to speak with somecreature like this whose heart I never touched.
"My chorus told me that too. The only one who's been with Princess Celestia longer than you is Princess Luna. And she had to be separated from her for a thousand years. You protected all of Canterlot by yourself against my fog. But you couldn't protect your master against one witch. You weren't even there. So you couldn't do anything to help her. And Canterlot right is now full of ponies who in their hearts just wish they could have done more. Just like you. I don't need to be Princess Gaia to know that...I just need to be willing to see it.
"But Philomena...nopony else might have noticed, nopony else might have cried, but, if anything had happened to my birds, I would have cared, I would have cried. We saved Equestria, but I still would have lost something precious to me. I know you couldn't protect Princess Celestia, I couldn't, the Royal Guard couldn't, Twilight Sparkle and Princess Luna couldn't. We all did what we could do! I'm the Element of Kindness, but in the end, I couldn't get Chrysalis to stop what she was doing, we had to MAKE HER stop, and I'm sorry for that, and wish I could have done more, if I could have ended the fighting earlier than it did, even if it seems foalish to everypony else.
"I know I'm the only one in Canterlot who cares about them, but Philomena, THANK YOU! You were the one who DID protect them, you did that instead of throwing them away to fight Chrysalis when you couldn't win! And they told me how you were a wonderful protector for me! You didn't let those changelings come near them! Don't EVER tell yourself you're weak, or what you do doesn't matter. Philomena, to me, you'll always be a hero."
I hugged her. My chorus then flew in and was eager to give their hero a big hug as well. Phoenixes are so warm, like hugging a blanket. I wish we could have held it longer, but we a wedding to rehearse for. And...well, I ...eep, have to prepare to see somestallion, I mean somepony!... Oooh, I feel faint.
The elderly Mr. Green Hooves, better known as Hayseed to his friends looked at the heart warming sight of the yellow trouble maker and The Princess' fire-starter hugging each other and giving thanks for watching over her animals during the coup.
Some ponies mistook him for a blank flank, but in truth he simply covered his mark with his blanket, a simple blade of wheat, his talent for taking care of his precious plants the way the yellow trouble maker took care of animals.
Nopony paid him mind, even during the coup the changelings had ignored him and allowed him to simply continue to tend to his precious royal gardens. Only problem he'd had was some guard eating the hedges. He could fade into the background and be as unnoticeable as his plants. He was probably the most unnoticeable pony in Canterlot.
"It's a lovely sight ain't it miss?" He asked the pink earth pony with the blond mane in the black robe next to him.
"!... You can see me?"
"How could I not see such a lovely beauty such as yourself?"
"Oh. It's just I have no business with you, and most ponies don't notice me unless I do."
"That's how it is with me too youngin'."
She blushed, "I'm older than I look...a good bit older..."
"So am I. So ain't it a pretty sight?"
"Yes it is, she has wonderful bright eyes..."
"You okay there beauty? There was a lotta trouble 'bout here the last few days. Dangerous time."
"I know. I was worried that once it was all finished, I'd have a very big extra workload. But thanks to her," she gestured at the yellow trouble maker, "and her friends, I ended up not having any extra work at all. My manager says I'm only allowed to thank one of them, but I realized it was a group effort between all of them. Not just from them, but from a lot of ponies. Thanking just one wouldn't be fair."
"Ya could'all just do'em a favor later if yer paths cross, that's how Ah roll at least."
"It's a nice thought, but my manager insists that I'm not allowed to play favorites."
"Is that so? Doesn't sound like a fair boss ta me."
"He's actually the most fair pony you could meet. That's why I can't play favorites."
"If you say so beauty. But if ya really do feel like ya owe 'em, you'll find a way."
"...You're right. I'm sure I'll will! Thank you!" She gave Hayseed a hug.
"No problem beauty, hey-, those black wings magic? You're an Earth pony if ever there was one."
"They're a gift from my boss, one of my job perks. You've been tending Princess Celesia's gardens for a long time haven't you?"
"Longer than most ponies can remember."
"And I'm sure you'll be keeping them beautiful for a long time to come...see you later."
"See ya later beautiful. And tell yer hubby for me he's one lucky stallion."
"What? How did you-"
"Beautiful I ain't blind, even I know a wedding ring when I see one."
"Oh right. I will. See you again some day."
It's common knowledge there's no pony in Ponyville braver than me, and until AJ proves otherwise that's he way it's gonna stay! When there's danger, I'll be there for my friends. Parasprites, Mare-Do-Well, okay I'm not perfect, I've been down that road already thanks.
The point is The Dash doesn't scare easy . . . man I've been hanging out with Trixie a little too much, or did I do this sort of thing before?
Yeah yeah yeah I'm getting to the point! The point is that I got forced to see how much I've hurt Derpy! Not just for the accusing of cheating thing, but how I've treated her not just as dead weight, but like she was a retarded filly. I never once thought she wasn't a good mom, but the electric shocks from the thunder clouds incident, the smashed Town's Hall, getting the directions for the birds wrong for Winter Wrap-Up twice in a row? She isn't a good weather pony, she's the opposite of one, and as Captain of Ponyville's Weather Team, I had to always clean up her messes.
I'm going in circles? I'm . . . I'm sorry . . . Tell Derpy that, not you? I know that already!
I know there are lots of things she's perfectly good at! Mail delivery, baking muffins, holding her breath, blowing bubbles . . . I just.
'Fundamental attribute error?' What's that? . . . Okay, I got it, I got fixated on when I had to deal with her.
No I'm not dragging my hooves! Am I pony who drags her hooves? No Siree Bob!
Yes I want it over with! Yes I just want us to . . .
"Hay Rainbow Dash!" YIKES! Don't do that!
"Oh! Uh, hi Derpy!" No I'm not chicken! I'm not channeling Fluttershy!
"Sorry I wasn't here to help Rainbow Dash. I'm sure The Doctor and my fillies would have been lots of help." She said that coltish voice of hers.
"Uh, right, I think it's better that you were . . . helping somewhere else."
"Yeah, Dracozilla was being really cranky and tried to eat Neighpon."
"Uh, Derpy," I clapped my mouth shut before I asked if she had been sticking her head into the lightning clouds again. "That sounds really cool."
"Almost as cool as the time I stop a bunch of evil alien robots by sitting on their evil machine."
Clapped muzzle again, this time my response nearly burst through the dam. "That's . . . really interesting. Look! Derpy! Forgot about all that! There's something I've really wanted to tell you since this entire mess exploded, and the longer I wait the more it's gonna drive me nuts!"
"Okay!" She just smiled.
That's Derpy . . . she takes everything without complaint, no matter how rough her seas get, she just endures.
"Derpy, about the time you messed up with Winter Wrap-Up twice and damaged Town Hall . . ."
"I swear I didn't know they gave me a thunder cloud instead of a raincloud!"
- Persona 4 "Face Myself" (after battle, peaceful version) -
"And I believe you! It's just . . . the way I thought of you because of those things . . . they weren't right . . . I . . . I KNOW this is selfish, but I was thinking less of you as a PONY because you weren't cut out for weather duty. And . . . " I looked down folded my wings. Humble And Ashamed Dash, doubt they'll be making a action figure out of this one. "I'm sorry. Maybe if I hadn't acted that way, maybe Foal Services wouldn't have been so eager to try and take Dinky from you, I'm just so sorry."
Derpy looked at me with those odd eyes of hers, what was her expression? Shock? Surprise? She just stared at me for a bit, then patted me on the head, if I was demeaning, I'd earned it. "There there Rainbow Dash, I forgive you."
"Derpy, that's not all . . . " I swallowed. "Do you . . . Do you remember back in gradeschool? . . . That test?"
Derpy stiffened, her face became even more unreadable, was she calm, angry? Her eyes were narrowed at me. "Yes, I remember."
"I . . . what I did to you was wrong, it was petty and small, and no different from what Dumbbell and his buddies did to Fluttershy. I couldn't stand the idea that I tried so hard to get a passing grade on that test, I really tried that time, and still failed, and you passed with flying colors. I told myself you had to have cheated or just been given a pity grade, and that's what I told everypony else, I . . . I wasn't being a good pony." I lowered my head lower. "In fact, I was being awful. I defended Fluttershy from bullies, I stayed with her when everpony else treated her like a waste of space, I believed in her, I didn't care if it made me one of the uncool kids . . . but, when . . . when you disappeared after that . . . "
"The accident with mom's flying lesson," Derpy said.
"Right, when they couldn't find you . . . I . . . I was the bully that time. I thought you had wandered off and couldn't find your way home and ponies would bring you back a-okay out of pity or dumb luck . . . I didn't once think it might have been my fault, or that you'd be hurt . . . that wasn't the right thing at all, I made the exact same mistake with Fluttershy . . . please, I know it's selfish to bring this up now, but . . . please Derpy, I needed to tell you, I'm sorry."
Derpy's ears moved like she was listening to somepony, hey are you guys talking with her too?! . . . Right of privacy, okay.
I remember that day. I was so happy when the test was turned in. My parents were so happy, more happy than I remember them being. I was so happy that I didn't notice Rainbow Dash crying.
Then . . . then the rumors started . . . saying I cheated, saying I didn't earn it. Saying it really was given to me just because our teacher felt sorry for me . . .
Ponies saying that a friend of a friend told them so . . . the teachers worried . . . my parents wondering . . . and my perfect beautiful little thing, the little thing I could say I did right . . . it all went to dust.
I was sad . . . I didn't like it . . . I . . . I was hurt . . . I was . . . I was . . . I was . . . I was angry . . . the happiness of my parents taken, the pride from my teachers taken . . . the idea that I wasn't useless taken . . . stolen. I didn't like it at all.
. . . I really really really dislike . . . no . . . I . . . I hated it. I just wanted my one happy day . . . and I couldn't have that . . .
I looked down at Rainbow Dash . . . I notice she's crying.
"Yes, I did something bad and I'm the one whose crying, I told you I was being selfish."
"Are you sorry?"
"Are you really really really sorry?"
"YES! I wish I'd never done it, and if I had it over again I'd wouldn't do it! Not because it's making me miserable, but because it hurt you!"
Derpy looked to be thinking over something, like she had an idea she wasn't sure if it was a good one or not.
" . . . Well, maybe thing would be too different if you didn't but . . . Rainbow Dash, I . . . " Derpy breathed in deep, this is a lot calmer and deeper than I think I've ever seen her. "Dash . . . I . . . Can you tell my parents, I mean, my first parents, that I really did earn that A+?"
"If . . . if it'll earn your forgiveness, I Pinkie Pie swear! Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!"
"Silly Dash." She folded her wings around me, and nuzzled me, "I already forgive you."
You have no idea how happy I was when I saw Her Momjesty, I mean Princess Celestia was alright, it was a wonderful gift, it was the safety and comfort that comes seeing the sunrise each morning. I still shudder thinking about how I just watched her be struck down with a smile on my face.
I apologized to her so many times, repeating how I apologized to my friends to my reckless and self-righteous behavior, I had been right, but how I carried myself and my message destroyed any chance of any reasonable pony paying it mind. That I'd mess up.
No. I never once blamed Her Momjesty, and it had nothing to do with her being Princess Celestia who could do no wrong. So happy to disappoint you! She had already shown me the depths of her most destructive mistakes. So if you were hoping to drag Princess Celestia's name through the mud with this, you'll have to look somewhere else.
Chrysalis had been right about one, she was an actress, and she had put on a show that had fooled a goddess. That was another thing fate would never be able to take away from her. I wonder if her...new self would get her acting talent as well.
But I was hurt for slightly different reasons, deep down, I've always thought of Her Momjesty as family, whether we're related by blood or not (like me and Spike). But when it looked like I had been the one to hurt Cadence, and I had been sorry, and 'Cadence' had run off in tears...she had chosen to check on her niece, instead of stay with me.
"Twilight, if Cadence had brought you to tears, and you had run off...I would have checked on you instead. I love you both. And don't worry about me. I'm fine. You have a real wedding to put together and a city to begin repair work on. It's time to show the world Equestria is strong and we will not crumple in the face of what's happened."
But you also have no idea how many hugs and kisses I gave Her Momjesty when I saw her with Princess Luna. It was almost as many as when I saw my parents again.
"Twilight, I'm so sorry, a father is supposed to protect his foals, and I couldn't protect either of you, I'm so sorry. The adventure happened in our hometown, and I still couldn't help while everypony else and their filly did, I'm sorry I failed you. I couldn't save you, or your brother from that witch. I'm so sorry my little foal."
"Dad! You DIDN'T fail me! You did exactly what I would have wanted you to do! You kept mom safe! I couldn't ask more from you than that! She needed you, and you were there for her! You kept her safe in a city full of invaders! That's no easy task! Thank you!"
And I meant every word of that. And yes, before you ask I did thank Shiny's squad for rescuing them. And every deity in creation.
When Cadence and Shining's love had swept over Canterlot, that much pure selfless love, it had healed the hearts of the many ponies who had been violated by changeling magic, or been stricken by fear and pain by the changelings' invasion.
The good news was that with the changelings now bound by their iron clad traditions to serve Cadence, ponies at least didn't have to logically worry about another changeling invasion, and since Chrysalis was technically neither dead nor had Cadence intended to kill her, they had no one to seek revenge on.
In a more cynical time, I'd have pointed out that if a few changelings could go rogue under a wicked queen to do good, that the opposite was possible too...but...it didn't FEEL like that would happen...Cadence had given the changeling what they wanted, a home under the sun, and all the love they could handle. They were home.
There was certainly a lot of surprises and awkwardness when the other half of the changeling kingdom arrived, but Cadence was a diplomat, compared to everything else, that was easy peasy.
Then there was the fact a previously unknown kingdom had suddenly revealed themselves with an invasion, but Cadence said she could handle all of that. Another of Cadence's first mandates as queen was their zebra slaves who had been born in the changeling Hive, had their control geass' removed and were made legally full members of the Swarm, it was the only culture they knew, throwing them back to the countries their ancestors had been kidnapped from would have been crazy (but were now free to leave the hive). They were now free to convert if the chose to rather than if their 'superior' decided or not. Many did, many others were perfectly happy to remain zebra.
There was some concern by them that their purpose was over, but Cadence replied that now that it was known love was infinite, their purpose was even greater. I think she meant it.
But healed scars didn't mean everycreature instantly forgave the Changelings for what they'd done. The Changelings who'd taken part in the invasion would still face consequences for their actions and the Changelings' treasury (primary used for spending while in disguise) was opened up to help pay for damages caused by the invasion. Yes, they did offer us money...some of my friends did take it. I just donated mine to the archeological digs, especially the ones that Celestia said would help ease things in between the Changelings and the world.
As part of their punishment, the changelings also had to do most of the rebuilding of Canterlot themselves. This wasn't just to make them pay for their crimes...it forced them to face the reality of what they'd done up close and personal. Of the lives they'd damaged and the pain they'd caused. And I think that's better punishment than torture or extermination could ever hope to do. It wasn't their entire punishment, it was a part of it, but I think for many of them, it hit home and made them see the light.
But being Changeling Queen also meant Cadence had the chance to give them mercy, especially since they'd surrendered peacefully. The Changelings who'd stayed at the Hive, mainly the civilians, were not punished for the actions of Chrysalis and the military, and those who had taken part would be treated more mercifully than they otherwise would have. We're forgiving, not naive. We give mercy, not leave evil deeds without justice done.
The Changelings who'd sided with Cadence in her challenge and those that had been living in peace with Equestria? The defectors were shown lenience and the peaceful ones were permitted to remain as such. The cat tribe also gave them cake.
The Wedding would go on. It was our way of showing the world Equestria was still strong. That we wouldn't crumble because we'd faced an invasion and been hurt. We'd stand strong and be united. The Hoof Maidens would SHARE being Bridesmaids with us now. Chrysalis might have given us the job as a distraction and to get Cadence's real bridesmaids out of the way, but Cadence felt we had earned it, and... there was no way she was just going to just forget about her friends.
I was still best mare, so Princess Cadence now officially had eight bridesmaids! Normally Applejack wouldn't have been caught dead in a dress, and Rainbow Dash I think doesn't like ponies to know she likes looking pretty (Rarity speaks), but the marriage of a princess (and now a Queen) and a goddess doesn't happen every day, they amazingly stayed on. So Cadence's side of the altar was going to be pretty crowded. Though Minuette, Twinkle Shine, and now Lyra, were given the front row.
My friends had helped save the day, we all had, but this was Cadence's special day, best to be shared with her closest friends. And Twinkle Shine told Lyra if she wanted to be a hoofmaiden, she was gonna have to learn with deal with things like this. I swear the three of them looked as happy as us. This was a special day for a very dear friend of theirs as well. And Lyra, well, wedding of the goddess of your special talent who you were the Champion of (Cadence didn't revoke that and let her keep the harp).
Bon Bon and Lyra also sent letters to Tootsie that they were alright. A lot of us had messages to send after days of our families not knowing. Lyra, Moth, and Bon Bon were going to be on the first train back to Ponyville, to be with their adopted child. But that was going to take too long so Cadence just had the Speedster Pegasi pick her up and bring back to Canterlot instead. That filly was too excited. She actually put the Cutie Mark Crusaders to shame.
Thankfully, nopony brought up the words 'flower filly' around her, things were complicated enough as it is. Tootsie was too distracted by being in Canterlot to even think about that though. And she was given the royal tour! I think that started Bon Bon and Lyra as much as anypony!
Lyra of course bragged about being the Champion of Music and helping save the world...hehe, I think Tootsie acted like she'd just found out Superstallion and Batmare were her parents... And that they had fought alongside 'The Mare-Do-Wells' just made it even sweeter for her. It never hit me how for foals like Tootsie, there was just now more of Mare-Do-Well to love.
As for meeting Moth for real...I don't think Tootsie was old enough to quite realize what it meant.
"So you're a good bug pony Auntie Moth?"
"Cool! So Bon Bon's a bug pony too?!"
"Uh, no, Moth's adopted," Bon Bon explained.
"Oh. Does that mean I'm a bug pony?"
"No," the sisters said together.
"What about Lyra?"
Heh, none related by blood, but they were as close any family.
I was surprised when she hug tackled Sparkler (don't ask me how Derpy's family even got here) when she saw her, apparently that mare was her favorite foalsitter.
She also talked about having made a new friend down in Ponyville while she'd waited for her family, but that wasn't my life, so I didn't listen in too much. I did however overhear what she said when she saw the wedding itself...
"Whao. This is way bigger than the wedding I was the flower filly for," Tootsie said.
Oh, Ponyville's newest couple were doing great. I think they're taking their honeymoon to some of the most beautiful places Cranky had visited.
The donkeys stared at the blue box that had appeared out of nowhere. Doctor Whooves' head stuck out with Fluttershy's.
"Hmmm, this isn't Sunnytown before it was cursed." The Doctor observed.
"You again!" Cranky snapped.
"Oh! Hi! Bye!" Doctor Whooves retreated pulling Fluttershy back inside his time machine as it vanished leaving the married couple to their honeymoon.
Cherry Coke, Banjo, Caramel, and Note Worthy had turned up, along with Prince Blueblood (who would attend the ceremony on Cadence's side of the pews) and his friend Arcane Spell, having fought alongside Shining Armor's squad this whole time too. However, Banjo was going to have sit out the wedding, had another day of rest and healing to do at least.
Banjo didn't ask for a apology from Shining, and didn't want one, he knew Shining wouldn't do that if he was himself, and that was that. And that sums up a lot with how I felt about Shining being made to fight me to the death, I had already seen my friends turned into heartless mockeries of themselves, I was only happy that nothing terrible had happened that couldn't be undone and my family was back together.
My BBBFF was made of iron, even after everything that happened, he just picked himself back up and got on with his happiness, and being joined to Cadence's soul to defeat the evil witch who had hurt them I think did a lot of good.
I think he had a long talk with his squad too and that was another benefit. This life is much easier to get through when we have friends to aid us.
Blueblood, to the shock of all, chose to take a seat clear in the back (with the 'commoners') to watch after Arcane because there wasn't room for two wheelchairs in the front row. In fact Vinyl Scratch apparently accused him of being a Changeling or a pod pony or something...I don't know, I wasn't there...
Princess Celestia was very very happy at the news though. And Cadence...Cadence was sad Blueblood wouldn't be clapping for her from the front row...but I think she was happy that he had finally figured out where to place his priorities. Nopony argued with him, but not for the reasons they would have before.
Rarity for her part...well...
"Great, when he's single, he's an intolerable jerk, but when he's finally a proper gentlestallion, he's taken!"
Apparently Shining had offered his squad to be among his Grooms Stallions, but they'd turned him down, saying they'd just done their duty as soldiers and didn't need a reward. So attendants to the royal couples were still unbalanced in numbers. But he also gave them front row seats and...well, some miscommunications happened, and Rarity insisted on things being balanced somehow and...ugh. This was going to be a challenge.
But before we began the real wedding preparations, I spoke with Cadence, alone.
All hurts on the soul due to Chrysalis' magic had been healed by the power of love. All marks on the mind that had been due to the invasion had been undone.
But for Princess Celestia's student, for the Element of Magic, for the leader of the Elements of Harmony, for me, there was one mark that hadn't gone away that easily. One damaged bond that needed a personal touch to heal, now that the fighting was done, and the danger was over, and we could all breath and think again without looking over our shoulders.
"Twilight, are we ready to go over the wedding preparations?" She was so happy to see me, and to rest in her own bed again, have a bath, have breakfast, and not have to fear. Even if she was now technically royalty in two countries (which no one was sure how to handle that, considering the last time something like this had happened was after the Windigos were destroyed). The little…filly that used to be Chrysalis slept peacefully in a crib nearby, sucking on her hoof. There was a massive pile of finished paperwork and scrolls on the table next to her bed. The fact there were song birds flying all over the place that seemed exhausted indicated she'd needed a bit of help.
"Yes, but there's one major preparations that needs to be done first," I said, my voice quivering. "The wedding's best mare...when she first met the queen disguised as the bride, the best mare was overjoyed, 'the bride' remembered her and welcomed her with their old hoof-shake...
"The Best Mare was certain everything had turned out alright. But then the 'bride' acted cruel and callous, when the best mare knew Cadence would never act that way.
"But never once did the best mare think this Cadence was a fake until it was too late. Feelings do not follow logic, feelings do not bow to reason. The best mare began to connect the horrible feeling of the witch with the face of her favorite foalsitter... and... and she's ashamed that she feels that way! Even after meeting the real bride, the best mare still felt that horrible feeling, even after the witch had been defeated...I know it wasn't you now but..."
"Twilight, I understand."
"We all worked so hard to climb out of the pit! I don't want fall into this hole again! Please, I don't want this black cloud hanging over me on your day!"
"Twilight," Cadence asked so carefully, like she was performing surgery, "Are you asking me to use my magic to touch your heart and heal you?"
Cadence blinked. "I'm used to ponies saying they'd prefer to make the journey themselves. Telling me that life has no easy answers, that couples should work toward fixing their relationships themselves, and-"
"Cadence. It's you. I don't mind when it's from you. Because I don't want these feelings of doubt and loathing at you for things you didn't even do! The one that loathing was meant for is gone, so it has no purpose at all anymore. I was overjoyed when I learned that Shining Armor was marrying you. All the anger I had just went away. Give that joy back to me. Please Cadence, give it back to me," I sobbed.
"Twilight, my magic isn't meant to be a quick fix solution, I've tried that before...It didn't work. Yes, I healed a lot of ponies today, but it's up to the ponies to take the rest of the journey themselves and forgive the Changelings for what happened. I just healed the wounds so they wouldn't scar."
"I've seen you use your magic to heal the bonds between so many couples, friends, and family. Please. Use your magic to restore what I WANT to feel between us! What I'm supposed to feel without the witch's poison!"
Cadence nuzzled me, it felt so warm, "Twilight, is this really truly what you want?"
"Then..." Cadence flared her wings. "As Alicorn of Harmony, I'll answer your prayers." She touched her horn to my heart, "And repair the bond between us."
I looked into her eyes, and felt only absolute trust. No, I also felt love, endearment, friendship and I remembered the times she spanked me, the times she wouldn't let me have my own way, all the times we played and smiled, I felt Cadence. "Cadence, thank you. Thank you so much."
And you know how the preparations went.
Delicious apple treats. Beautiful bird chorus. A upbeat and lively party. A beautiful dress.