Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by JohnPerry


The Fight Comes to the League

Chapter Three: The Fight Comes to the League

“I don’t understand, Doctor,” Derpy muttered. “Why don’t I remember her?”

The League of Fanons were gathered aboard the TARDIS, along with each of the Elements of Harmony, which they had managed to drag along with them. Fluttershy had been particularly difficult, as they had to surprise her and tie her up in order to get her out of her cottage. Her condition seemed to have worsened: her mane was messy and she continued to mumble incoherent things as she stared off into space. At the moment she was lying with her hooves bound on the floor of the TARDIS near a caged, chained and gagged Pinkie (no one wanted to take any chances with her escaping), who was still looking strangely cheery.

Derpy had been tending to Dinky all day, but it wasn’t like she had much choice in the matter as Dinky had stayed close to her mother the whole time. At the moment however, Lyra and Bon Bon were playing with Dinky, allowing Derpy to finally speak with the Doctor.

“I mean I’ve seen her around town…” Derpy continued. “But she’s never spoken to me before. I don’t have a daughter…do I?”

“In this reality you don’t,” the Doctor explained. “But in Dinky’s fanon reality you do. Together here you are simultaneously her mother and not a mother.”

“It’s all so confusing…” Derpy mumbled. “I’ve only known her for a few hours but she knows me so well, I can tell she must be my daughter. She’s exactly the little filly I would want to raise. What if I did something wrong? What if I was supposed to have Dinky all along? What if-“

The Doctor interrupted her. “You’ve done nothing wrong. You’re just from a different reality than her. We’ll get her back to hers, this one will go back to the way it was, everything will be fixed.”

“Fixed…” Derpy’s gaze grew stern and she gave the Doctor a hard look. “How can you possibly speak of ‘fixing’ this? How can I go back, knowing what I know now? I may not have a daughter, but that little filly there looks up to me. Am I just supposed to cast her aside as if this never happened?”

The Doctor had nothing to say.

“If it makes you feel better, Derpy…” Twilight muttered. “I know how you feel. Perhaps I could cast some kind of happiness spell to make you feel better?”

NO!” Lyra and Bon Bon screamed simultaneously before looking embarrassed at their outburst. “I mean…” Bon Bon stammered. “No dear, that’s quite alright. You should just try to relax…”

Octavia lifted an eyebrow at the two of them. “What was that about?” she whispered to Lyra.

“Do you know how many stories involve Twilight messing up a spell?” Lyra whispered urgently. “Twilight tries to do something and winds up switching bodies or time traveling or getting horn rot…the last thing we want is that girl doing any magic.”

“Anyway Derpy…” Twilight continued, oblivious to Lyra. “I know how you feel. How could life ever go back to normal for me now that I know of my love?”

“That’s not the same thing at all!” Rainbow Dash hollered. “I don’t know how you could possibly fall in love with that jerk The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie. Now what I have with Applejack, that’s real love,” at this she then started nuzzling Applejack’s mane.

“NO IT IS NOT!” DJ Pon3 yelled. “You’re not in love! You were never in love! It’s a stupid fanon trope and the sooner we put an end to it the longer I can hold my lunch.”

“Are y’all threatening to take mah Dashie away?” Applejack shouted angrily, leaping to her feet.

“Oh no, not at all…” Octavia said in a sarcastic tone, rolling her eyes. “Heaven forbid something would happen to ‘yer Dashie.”

“Don’t make fun of Applejack’s accent!” Rainbow Dash yelped.

“Everypony, really!” Rarity cried. “This is hardly polite conversation in front of such nobility as Tom here!” She turned to the boulder and began cooing at it softly again. “Don’t you mind them Tom, they can be such fillystines sometimes…” How they managed to get Tom inside the TARDIS was nothing short of a miracle, and the Doctor wondered if the scratches the boulder left on the doorway would ever come off.

“Mommy, why is that pony talking to that rock?” Dinky whispered to Derpy.

“Err…” Derpy paused. “…I don’t really know, dear.”

“Speaking of that rock,” the Doctor began. “Does anypony else here notice a strange pattern among our friends here?”

“You mean strange besides the obvious?” Octavia muttered.

“I mean among their conditions,” the Doctor replied. “Of all six ponies, Rarity being with Tom is the only condition that happened in our reality. All the others hold no relation to anything that happened in this world, but Rarity and Tom did in fact happen.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s not a fanon trope,” Bon Bon pointed out.

“But still, doesn’t that strike anypony else as odd?” the Doctor asked.

Before anypony could answer there was a thunderous crash that violently shook the TARDIS and caused everypony to be thrown to the floor. DJ Pon3, who was closest to the door, grunted as she got to her feet, her goggles now pushed up to her forehead as she trotted over to the door.

“What in Equestria…” she muttered as she opened the door before peeking outside. “Um, girls? We have company.”

“I’ll say you do!” the voice of Gilda came from outside as the griffon snatched DJ Pon3’s neck, gripping it tight in her claw before flinging her out the door, into the air, and flat on her back. The other members of the Legion of Gloom watched on nearby.

“OH YOU WANT TO TANGLE?!” DJ Pon3 roared as she leapt to her feet and pulled her goggles back over her eyes.

“THEN IT…IS…ON!” At the last syllable she unleashed a blast of magic from her horn and the sound of a stereo blast heavy with electronic feedback engulfed Gilda, causing her to drop to the ground as she covered her ears with her claws. She gritted her teeth, but they seemed to be rattling in time with the heavy bass beat emanating from DJ Pon3’s horn.

“MY CUTIE MARK AIN’T MUSIC FOR NOTHING, YOU KNOW!” DJ Pon3 screamed over the din. She looked enormously confident in her element, concentrating the loud, mixed beats of a nightclub into one single, overwhelming wave of magical energy.

But it was not to last for much longer, as one of the Diamond Dogs had just enough sense amidst all the noise to launch a flying tackle at DJ Pon3, sending her sprawling on the ground as she lost focus on her magic. The faint echoes of the din reverberated across the nearby landscape as the ringing in everyone’s ears finally subsided, with the exception of Gilda who looked like she was wound so tightly that if she bit on a rock it would probably be a diamond by the time she spit it out.

“The noise…I made it stop!” the Diamond Dog said cheerfully to his companions.

“WHAT?” Gilda hollered, raising a claw to her ear. “DID YOU SAY SOMETHING?”

The other members of the League of Fanons emerged out of the TARDIS along with Dinky, Twilight, Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Twilight took one look at The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie before bounding towards her, grasping her in a tight hug.

Akph! What in Equestria do you think you’re doing, foal?” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie grunted, shoving Twilight off of her and using her magic to restrain the purple unicorn.

“Oh Great and Powerful Your Royal Highness Princess Trixie!” Twilight swooned. “Oh, how I missed you! You don’t know what I’ve been through, the feelings I’ve held back…tell me you feel the same way!”

“What…the…wha-huh?” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie stammered, almost releasing Twilight in her shock.

“Great and Powerful Your Royal Highness Princess Trixie…” Twilight began. “…I…I love you!

There was a long, deafening silence after this, as everything seemed to have stopped. There weren’t even birds chirping or the sound of wind. No one said a word. It was as if somepony had flung a switch and plunged the whole world into silence.

A silence which The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie eventually broke. “I…” she looked down at her hooves before raising her head to look Twilight in her shining eyes.

“I…I love you too, Twilight Sparkle.”

You do?” Twilight squealed with delight.

Pbbbbbtt! Of course NOT, you stupid foal!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie cackled, falling on her back in her wild laughter. “Ah-HA-HA-HAAAH!!! You just fell right into it! The look on your face!” She was clutching her sides, rolling on the ground as tears of laughter streamed out her eyes.

Twilight was crestfallen. “But…but…but Great and Powerful-“

The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie finally recovered as she interrupted Twilight with a hoof to the purple unicorn’s mouth. “Now now silly little filly, The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie knows that her bewitching good looks are impossible to resist, but did you really think that you had a shot? The worst enemy of The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie?”

“Besides,” she continued. “The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie already has a mate. He’s handsome, he’s rich, and best of all, he’s royalty.” She grinned slyly at Prince Blueblood. “You see Prince, you’re not the only pony here who knows how to break hearts.”

“You manage to continue to surprise me, my dear,” Prince Blueblood simpered. Feeling a renewed spark in their relationship, the two unicorns locked horns and began savagely kissing once again.

Twilight looked grief-stricken. Her eyes were brimming with tears as she watched the scene play out before her. Finally she shut her eyes from the horrid sight, gritted her teeth and ran off into the distance, weeping loudly. The League of Fanons watched on in shock.

“You…you…YOU BASTARD!” Bon Bon screamed. “How could you be so heartless?!

“It’s called tough love, foals,” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie said, breaking from Prince Blueblood’s embrace just long enough to do so.

“That does it,” Applejack announced. “Twilight may have been mighty foalish to fall for her, but that ain’t no excuse for treating a pony like that! Come on, RD! Yee-HAH!” Applejack reared into the air.

“I love it when you say ‘Yee-hah’…” Rainbow Dash muttered softly to Applejack, giving her a loving smile.

“Zis shipping…” Photo Finish muttered darkly. “I can not take zis much longer!”

“WHAT?” Gilda yelled again, both claws to her ears now. “WHY IS EVERYONE BEING SO QUIET? SPEAK UP!”

“Wait a second, we’re missing somepony…” the Doctor said. “Photo Finish, Gilda, The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie, Prince Blueblood, the Diamond Dogs…” He turned around to face the TARDIS only to spot Sir Lints-a-lot, Madame LeFlour, Rocky and Mr. Turnip standing in front of it, now frozen in place by the Doctor’s gaze.

“They’re after the TARDIS!” the Doctor yelped. “Stop them! And don’t blink, or they’ll be able to move again!”

But it was to no avail. Just as the League of Fanons were preparing to stop them, The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie launched an array of firecrackers she had saved from her old magic show at the League of Fanons, and while nopony was hurt they all instinctively flinched and blinked as a result of all the bangs and flashes around them. In short order the “inanimate” objects had entered the TARDIS and chucked Rarity along with the still-bound Fluttershy and Pinkie outside before returning. The door of the TARDIS shut behind them as the time machine began dematerializing on the spot, making its loud wheezing noise.

“Wait a moment!” the Doctor cried, examining the “inanimate” objects sitting in front of the TARDIS. “You’re all outside so…who’s piloting the TARDIS?”

Rarity stood up and began beating on the door, weeping loudly. “TOM!” she cried. “What are you doing? Don’t leave me!”

The TARDIS dematerialized completely, causing Rarity to fall to the ground where the TARDIS had been standing. She laid there weeping as Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Dinky and the League of Fanons stared, trying to comprehend what had just happened. The last time they had battled the Legion of Gloom, they had held the upper hand nearly the entire time. Now they had lost so much in such a short span of time and they had barely started fighting yet.

“Ha-HAH!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie cried in exuberance. “Yes my foalish little subjects, you thought Tom was just another boulder, didn’t you?”

“Wait, you know about Tom?” Applejack asked, managing to miss the larger implication of what The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie was implying.

TOM is piloting the TARDIS?” Derpy cried in disbelief.

“Mommy, what’s going on?” Dinky asked fearfully, seeing her mother’s anger and remaining close.

“How is a boulder piloting the TARDIS?” the Doctor asked forcefully. “Is Tom even a boulder? And what does Tom want with the TARDIS anyway?”

TO-O-O-OM!!!” Rarity cried in anguish to the sky.

“Remember this day well, League of Fanons!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie yelled triumphantly. “The day that Harmony failed and Equestria fell to the Legion of Gloom!” She flung her hooves into the air before throwing down one of her smoke bombs which shrouded the area in a dense fog. Rainbow Dash and Derpy worked together to clear the air, but by the time they did so the Legion of Gloom had vanished.

***

The library door burst open with an ear-splintering crash as the Legion of Gloom rushed inside.

“Quickly, it’s somewhere on one of these shelves!” Prince Blueblood yelled.

“Ooouuuggghhh…” a low moaning sound came from nearby. The Legion of Gloom froze momentarily to spot Spike, lying on the floor in what looked like considerable pain.

“Wha…wha…are you…Hrgmph!” He belched loudly, and the green cloud of flame coalesced into a grand piano, which crashed to the floor, shaking the entire treehouse. Now that the Legion of Gloom looked, they could also see a pile of bricks, a twin-sized mattress, several encyclopedias, a suit of armor, an anvil, and dozens upon dozens of opened cans of soda.

“Why does the Princess keep sending these?” Spike cried, burping up another can of Colta-Cola. “She should know they make my burping worse!”

“It’s okay, Spike!” a small voice came from the next room. A second later an adorable black filly with glasses bounded out, levitating a bottle of dragon medicine with her. Before she got to Spike however, she froze and started looking around anxiously.

“That’s strange…” the filly said slowly. “I just got the weirdest feeling that I’m only present here because some insecure writer inserted me into this scene to satisfy the demands stated by his fans after he posted the previous chapter.”

She looked around anxiously for a moment more before waving a hoof. “Naaaaaah, that’s ridiculous! I guess I’m just being a scaredy filly again! Tra-la-la-la-la!” she sang happily as she trotted over to Spike.

“Ignore them,” Prince Blueblood announced, turning his attention back to the room. “Find that book!”

“BIND THAT COOK?” Gilda said rather loudly, a claw to one of her ears. “Why would we do that?”

“NO! Find…that…book,” Prince Blueblood repeated. “But which one? Where would Twilight Sparkle keep a book with the Elements of Harmony?”

“Oh, the book about the Elements of Harmony?” the black filly asked. “It’s under E,” she told them, pointing at a shelf on the opposite side of the room. The members of the Legion of Gloom glanced at each other for a moment before making a mad scramble to the E shelf, yanking out every book within reach.

“We’ve found it!” the Diamond Dogs cried, opening a book to reveal a shining golden crown and several bejeweled necklaces.

“Right then,” Prince Blueblood said. “While our enemies are too weak and divided to use the Elements of Harmony, it certainly doesn’t hurt to take them for ourselves. Consider it a trophy of our victory,” he smirked. “Now if you don’t mind, I’ll be taking-“

“I CALL CROWN!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie yelled. “I mean…The Great and Powerful Her Royal...oh heck, you know what I mean,” she muttered as she snatched the crown out of the book and replaced her star-studded magical cap with it while Prince Blueblood looked on with some envy. Finally he shrugged and took Rarity’s necklace. Gilda took Rainbow Dash’s, Photo Finish took Fluttershy’s and Pinkie’s necklace wound up in the hands of the “inanimate” objects when no one was looking, leaving the Diamond Dogs to squabble over Applejack’s necklace.

With these tokens of their victory, the Legion of Gloom strode outside into the chaos of Ponyville, ready to claim it as their own.