We dreamed all four of us were baby foals in diapers.
We happily bounced around our nice little cloud heaven. Above and below us, stars twinkled in a pretty night sky.
We were the Cutie Baby Crusaders.
Baby Scootaloo raced comets from one end of the universe to the next. Stars waved as they passed.
Baby Sweetie sang without words to an audience of baby Silver Spoon, baby Diamond Tiara, baby Rarity, baby Spike, and many other toddler versions of ponies she knew, plus a couple green and red baby seaponies, and a baby earth filly with a pink mane, beige fur, and yellow eyes. Her audience cheered for her little song.
Baby Apple Bloom, meanwhile, hoof-painted the whole world into existence. The entire sky as her canvas, and endless rainbows to dip her hooves into, she painted the land, the oceans, the trees, the towns, leaving the ponies for last.
Baby Button Mash, played MegaPony Legends 3. The baby foals were each as happy as possible only be in a dream.
As we woke up, we thoughts for a little while we were still dreaming. Outside our guest room window we woke up to see sunny blues skies, the black sparkling monster clouds outside gone.
Sweetie's Diary: I figured out first we weren't still dreaming when I got that awful headache that Kifuko warned me I'd get when we spoke between thoughts when I was trapped in Kabuto's bubble world.
Lickety Split got me some medicine and water for the headache. I was REALLY insistent about 'em. If you ever had this headache, you would be too! Button Mash got me an icepack too.
I never thought I'd be so happy to see that haunted wall of normal white-gray fog around Split's house and the blue sky overhead. Lickety got us breakfast too, which surprised us to be all out pancakes, everypony else had already eaten. The fact we were all having the same dream from different views is weird. But not bad.
"Since there weren't any upside down waltzing dresses and we all dreamed the same, I think Princess Luna gave us those dreams," I said.
"Whatever," Scootaloo said, "I'm just happy we can all still dream nice things. Don't need nightmares while we're asleep when the world’s a waking one."
Apple Bloom and Blanky both confirmed everything we were seeing was real. So that left…
"Why didn't you wake us up when the evil-super-mega-flood-of-evil went away?" Scootaloo asked Lickety Split.
"Because... I felt in my gut, and so did Post-Haste, Silver Spoon, Miss Star, Spike, Twist, Featherweight... that... somehow this might be one of your last chances to rest before you finish whatever it is you need to finish...It's stupid, I know, and so did the others, but... something just said in my head you girls, and you too, Mash, needed to have your batteries full."
We didn't argue. I looked out the kitchen window, at the bright blue sky and yellow sun... so pretty, so wonderful, and... and I just started giggling. My friends looked at me weird, until Button Mash started laughing too, then Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom, even Blanky let out a happy bark. We ran outside, and began rolling around on the ground, still laughing. We rolled until we all bumped into each other, and just looked at that big blue pretty sky again! I laughed until my belly hurt. Sometime later, I dunno, we stopped doubling up and laid down.
Apple Bloom sat up some and looked at the fog wall. "... So somepony else went and beat that Nightmare Force tall tale."
"Wish we knew who just so we could thank 'em," Scootaloo said. And I'm happy to hear Scootaloo say that.
"Tall tale?" Button Mash asked.
Apple Bloom put a hoof on his shoulder and smiled. "Button Mash, we need to explain some stuff."
So we took a few minutes and explained what Apple Bloom had told us that Nightmare Applejack had told her about Princess Luna and Fluttershy. Button Mash accepted it REALLY fast. It was like in his gut he already knew. Or maybe that’s what playing so many video games did to you.
"It's kinda funny, ain't it?" Apple Bloom asked. "...We ponies like makin' new friends so much and are so forgivin', but were makin' excuses for Princess Luna bein' a new friend who was tryin' tah earn it."
We all got a laugh out of that, Button made a joke about a video game were if you work really hard you can even redeem the big bad aliens.
Spike was getting busy, pre-making papers we could use to stay in contact with him, half for him half for us. "And since Princess Luna doesn't have to worry about the Nightmare Forces any more, maybe she'll send me a letter, I'll let you know if she does...I don't really know where she is right now."
We all blinked. "Wait, did you say 'Princess Celestia never let poor Luna do anything'?"
He cocked his head. "Uh, no...I said she was preparing for the Nightmare Forces. Everypony knows Princess Luna is the one keeping her sister under control."
I think he realized how we were looking at him.
"Uhhhhhhhhhhh...this is like how Silver Spoon ended up remembering that thing at Pinkie's like it's always been that way, huh?"
Our eyes went wide. "When did you find out about that?" Scootaloo asked. Ugh! Can't you try being better at lying, Scootaloo? What's that beeping machine with you? Huh, an irony detector? I think it's broken.
Spike raised an eye...brow (do dragons have those?) "Silver Spoon needed somepony to talk to after finding out her memories got altered by you saving Pinkie Pie from that curse."
Oh right...we weren't the only ponies doing stuff.
"That obvious that's what happened?" Scootaloo asked.
"It's either that or you bumped your head fighting the mutant trees. ... Considering what you just said, I like this version better," he replied.
"And the REAL Princess Celestia isn't really bad! We'll break her curse too!"
(Scootaloo: Apple Bloom! Remember warning that spilling the 'universe is out of whack' beans could drive our friends crazy?!)
Spike gave a sincere smile. "So Twilight won't have to...that's great..."
We didn't WANT to know, we just hugged him.
Silver Spoon had taken the liberty of organizing our money while we were waiting, she was a lot better at organizing it than Button, who just kind of threw it in the bag. "Being rich has its advantages," she explained, giving us a hug. "And...if you see Diamond out there...tell her I miss her, okay?"
Apple Bloom looked nervous, I think we all did. "...What makes you think we will?"
Silver pointed to Bloom's eye. "You said that secret magic eye is leading you around."
Apple Bloom gasped. "How did ya-"
"You've been using it to guide Pipsqueak's ship the entire time. Am I wrong?"
"...Nah...it's a long story though."
"I understand...but I can dream, can't I? I can hope you'll find Diamond and bring her back, can’t I?"
We hugged her and promised we would...we didn't tell her probably would run into Diamond whether we wanted to or not.
Featherweight was still recovering, but gave us a hug, and gave us a letter for if we found his aunt. We didn't open it, but given what he'd been through, it'd be rude to do anything else.
Twist had managed to get enough materials to make us some candycanes for the trip. No one was complaining about having food. Apple Bloom hugged her and thanked her.
"Don't worry, I'll keep them safe," said Miss Shiny Star proudly to us, not bothered we were off somewhere.
"Scoots, good luck," Post-Haste said, bandaged on the couch.
"I'll take that and good skill while I'm at it, thanks Post-Haste!" Scootaloo laughed.
"Trust me, I know how that is," Likety-Split said balancing a ball on his back hoof. "See ya around, girls." He gave us a hoof-bump.
We gave Spike and Silver Spoon one last hug and kiss.
"Hey, it's not like we're never gonna see each other again," Spike said.
"Hey, of course not," Scootaloo smiled. We all high-hoofed/clawed.
"I'll figure a way out of this, you'll see."
Outside, we found our friend waiting for us.
"Hey girls... sorry we didn't run into each other before... I was... very busy." Razzaroo wore a traveling cloak and a bandage on one leg, looking dead tired as she leaned on her walking stick.
We gave her a hug on the spot.
"H-hey, don't worry, girls. I'm fine, really, just kinda tuckered out, was looking for a place to rest, this place seems fine."
"It is!" I said, "I'm sure you can rest here for as long as you need to."
"Thanks, but first, let me write down your adventure."
We told her everything we did since we last saw her, beating the Hound, finding out the truth from Featherweight, everything.
"Razzaroo?" I asked. "Uh, while you're here, uh, please look after Silver Spoon?"
"... I'll try my best." We gave one last wave before she headed for Split's house to rest. He happily accepted her as a guest without any real fuss. It's the pony way.
I... I know I've talked a lot more than the others, I'm, really really REALLY sorry about that. You're tired of ponies always saying 'sorry?!' I'm sorry, I mean, ugh.
Blanky was sleeping in my saddle bag. I think he deserves it. But...
When we left... I think of Silvery. She could be the one who can save Diamond. Even if we could give her another cape, so many things could go wrong. She hadn't 'leveled up' with us when we fought our clones, as Button put it. But... at the same time, I felt like we were abandoning her. What if another monster like the Hound or the Dark Spawn came for her? What if it's Alula or Tootsie?! Because Umbra Breeze doesn't want her freeing Diamond Tiara?
I... I want to leave Blanky here, as her body guard. But, if I do that, will Blanky think I'm abandoning him because of how scared I was of him after he ate the Hound? Am I just looking for an excuse to? What if we need him during our quest again? He saved us when we freed Rarity. What if there's more stuff like that out there?
I think of how we don't need Blanky to protect us anymore, not after we beat the Hound without anypony rescuing us. I think of asking Button Mash to guard her instead, after all, they're friends... but... I can't help but think it would kill him inside, that I was just ditching him.
I kept it all in. If I said anything, they'd protect Silver Spoon, because it was what I wanted, not what they wanted. It's... it's SCARY! I don't wanna be that kinda pony.
So... we leave, with Button Mash and Blanky. Please, please, please, PLEEEEASE, whoever's listening, please let this be the right choice!
We found Pipsqueak's plank almost where we left it, and it was the same ugly pink and charcoal outside Pipsqueak's bubble, but we didn't feel as gloomy seeing it again, halfway there, we wouldn't give up.
"We're all happy to see you survived that terrible invasion of dark magic and those tree monsters in one piece," Captain Pipsqueak cheered.
The Dark Spawn we pushed out meanwhile were nowhere to be seen. They didn't once question where Silvery, Spike and the others were.
Dinky, Noi, and Ruby Pinch were having fun playing card games. Thankfully, it didn't summon the monsters on the cards. And Pipsqueak shared what happened while the girls had been 'on shore leave.' Olo was at the wheel with Moonlight. She was smiling serenely at the ocean of fog, the wind weaving through her mane. Looking at the white sun/moon light in the sky.
Apple Bloom's eyes widened a bit... before, Moonlight's tribe kept shifting before her eyes, but now, she only saw an Earth Pony filly. Had her mane always been that dark, her coat always that pale? Had her eyes always been yellow?
But it was Button Mash who talked to the filly and asked, "Hey, Moonlight, are you okay? You aren't acting as-" Button Mash struggled for tact. "-serious right now."
"After that, I'm, I'm happy that I'm still me," She said calmly, sounding like a filly not a pirate's first mate.
"Yeah, I wouldn't want to get caught by those monsters neither... I wonder if Luna's happy I'm using a piece of her moon to keep me safe."
Moonlight smiled wider. "I sure she is."
"Pipsqueak," Apple Bloom said. "Ah just want ya to know, we're happy that ya and yer friends got through all that without needin' to get taken over or anythin'."
"Same for you Miss Bloom, same for you," Pipsqueak said giving a formal bow. The foals all shared hugs and cheers.
Apple Bloom stood at the bow of the ship again, and they were on their way again.
= Final Fantasy 6 - 'Zozo Town' =
But what they ran into first wasn't another fog bubble... it was an adult dragon skull with a sail and mast stuck in it. Painted on the side was 'The Skullinator.' And sailing the 'ship' was Phobia, in a cute little sailor uniform.
"Hail, MoonPearl! Do you have any damage from the evil storm that needs repairs?" the pegasus offered.
"Phobia!" Apple Bloom shouted. Relieved to see the colt was okay, but knowing he'd want this news first. "WE FOUND MAUD PIE!!! She's at Sugar Cube Corner with Pinkie Pie!!!"
"Who?" Phobia tilted his head.
Worry and alarm flashed in the foals hearts. "Yer caretaker! Are your memories distorted now too?!"
Phobia went completely silent, his eyes widened, he let out a small gasp. It reminded Apple Bloom of the look Twilight and Spike gave each other after they saw they'd been both rescued from Chrysalis' magic. It was like he world's heart skipped a beat.
"OH! Sorry. She never used her FIRST name with me, she always goes by Miss Pie. You do believe me."
"Ah do believe ya."
The foals all nodded in agreement. Moonlight scowled at Phobia so deeply it was like the dusk.
"Yeesh! What's with the nasty look?" Button Mash asked.
"He's a troublemaker," Moonlight said.
"I beg to differ!" Phobia stomped a hoof on the 'Skullinator'. None felt like questioning where he got it from. "My family provides an important service!"
"That doesn't mean I have to like you," Moonlight said. "You'll use anypony to get what you want."
"I do not!" Phobia scowled right back at her.
"How do two know each other?" Scootaloo asked.
"Neighbors in our hometown," Phobia explained.
"Not close ones," Moolight said. Pipsqueak was stunned his first officer's attitude.
"First Mate, that is enough."
"Yes Captain," She bowed.
"Phobia," Apple Bloom thought it best he prepare himself, even if it meant breaking his happy moment, but Moonlight seemed to have done that already. "Ah... Ah gotta warn ya... Maud Pie? She... she's lost her memory... she... she doesn't remember ya right now." Apple Bloom's heart shuddered at the look the colt had. "But we told her to trust ya! I'm sure ya'll get 'er to remember in no time."
Button Mash proved his sensitivity by NOT mentioning how that hadn't really worked with Sweetie Belle.
"... Apple Bloom," Phobia said solemnly. "Thank you. Thank you for telling me, and thank you for being honest. Maud Pie is a very very VERY IMPORTANT pony to me. Thank you so much. I'm so grateful. I only hope I can do something as good for a good filly like you."
"Yer welcome," Apple Bloom smiled. She didn't care how creepy or weird Phobia was, family was family.
The Skullinator and the MoonPearl parted way, with waving and cheers. Phobia was confident he could find Sugar Cube Corner no problem.
The MoonPearl arrived at the next bubble in record time, which seemed brighter. The foals checked their equipment and themselves one last time before descending Pipsqueak's gangplank. Ready to face with whatever ugly, depraved perversion of the ponies they loved awaited them!
= 'Kokiri Forest' - Ocarina of Time =
Inside, was the colors and style of the Equestria they remembered and loved. Apple Bloom confirmed none of it was an illusion. Blanky didn't growl, but the scents of all the flowers made his eyes nearly go in opposite directions.
Button checked his little menu and didn't find any optional side quests that might cause them trouble.
The landscaping was different, and many details had changed, enough to almost make the foals want one of the other strange art styles, but... just to see THEIR world again, even if it wasn't exactly the same. It was all ... normal. Almost. And they'd always recognize that cottage.
"Fluttershy," Sweetie Belle said.
"Stick to the plans, girls. Remember, Angel's our best bet."
"How do we free him if he's cursed?" Scootaloo NOW brought that up.
"Then we try and remind Fluttershy how much we love her ourselves!" Apple Bloom said. "Remember the thing with the Cockatrice? We've got some experience."
"I'm sure she'll appreciate it, no matter what."
The foals all jumped. Blanky bowed his head.
Now in front of them, was a little flower pegasus filly. Pale yellowish fur, smooth brown mane, brown eyes, and a winged-heart cutie mark. She was wearing a white cloak like something out of Roam and carried a basket of flowers with her. "Hi! I'm Aphrodite! It's a pleasure to meet you! I just finished selling some pretty flowers to the nice mare who lives here!"
Scootaloo asked, "Are you related to a colt with brown fur, crippled wings and-"
"Phobia? He's my in-law," Aphrodite said politely.
"Knew it!" Button Mash said.
"Are you here because Phobia isn't?" Apple Bloom asked.
"Well, he was going to help me with my flowers, but he and Miss Pie had important things to do today."
"When you say 'nice mare', do you mean..." Button Mash shuddered. "Nightmare Whisper?"
The foals gasped at the horrible thought of having to fight Nightmare Moon The Second, Herself.
"Oh no. No. No. Of course not!" Aphrodite said. "Miss Fluttershy isn't smothering like her! By way, anypony want to buy some love poison?"
"NO!" They foals all said.
"Good, cause I don't have any... Still," she took a flower form her basket and looked at it. "Love doesn't CARE where I came from. If it's true, it'll find a way. Love's a chemical. Choices make love real." She looked right at Button Mash. She smiled and shrugged. "Well, I have more deliveries to make, love be with you!" She speed her wings and flew off.
Looking at each other for a moment, the foals trotted forward, spotted a number of Fluttershy's animals in pretty clothes having a tea party. There was no sign of Angel. But Applebloom's eye and Blanky's nose confirmed the tea and the animals were harmless.
The CMC+1 pretty much forgot about the tea-partying animals in the next five seconds however.
"We are such, happy flowers, listen to us, sings for hours. Aren't we unbelievably cute? Listen to me play on this flute," the field of adorable sunflowers sang.
"I think I still have their record from when I was in diapers," Sweetie Belle said.
"Me too!" added Button Mash. "And the video game!"
"Do Ah see ya swayin' to the beat there?" Apple Bloom gave Scootaloo a nudge, smirking.
The swaying pegasus blushed and shook her head, "N-no! Of course not!"
"There's Happy Daisy!" Sweetie pointed behind Scootaloo.
Scootaloo looked. "Is she with Joyful Daisy?!... Uh, not that I know anything about that, uh," She looked at her friends' smiling faces. "Let's never speak of this again!"
"No problem, but nice to see something innocent here!" Apple Bloom explained with a chuckle.
Blanky trotted over and sniffed them, but seemed to find nothing wrong with them.
The flowers continued to sing.
"There's a pony on our lawn. We want ponies on our lawn! I know your type, short, bright, and sweet. We just want to give you all this treat! I'm just a sunflower, but here you see, us provide the music just in time for tea!"
Blanky pricked his ears and listened, then nodded.
Sweetie smiled. "Blanky doesn't hear anything weird," she explained, easing any concerns that the flower's song was somehow hypnotizing them. She let herself hum along with the tune.
The foals reached the door to Fluttershy's cottage without trouble, and politely knocked on the front door.
The one who answered however, wasn't Fluttershy or Angel.
"Don't laugh," said an adorable little voice made only more endearing by its surly attitude.
The foals simply stared for a good ten seconds, then fell over backwards laughing their guts out.
"What did I just say?!"
"S-sorry!" "YEAH!!! Real sorry!" The foals gasped out between chortles.
"...Fine...Just don't call me Flutternice. EVER."
It was a baby pegasus filly in diapers. But her eyes weren't the adorable solid color eyes baby ponies were legendary for. They were green and slitted. She had a darker yellow than Fluttershy and a deeper almost magenta mane (that was shorter and more unkempt). Along her torso were scars that they mistook for tiger stripes. One of her wings was that of a bat pony. Her rear leg was a lioness paw, and one of her forelegs was a yellow dragon's claw.
Button Mash looked REALLY uncomfortable looking at the baby and his friends. Blanky looked at her in disgust.
"So uh, I'm sorry my friends are laughing at you Fluttershy, so uh, you KNOW you're not supposed to be a baby pony chimera?"
The baby flapping in the air frowned deeper. "My name is Fluttercruel. Boy, are you out of the loop, kid. Fluttershy's my mom. And I'm supposed to be a spirit inhabiting her body, and before you ask, yeah, Discord's my dad, I hate his guts, next."
"Wow. Girls I think this is the most crazy nonsensical rumor yet!" Button Mash declared.
Fluttercruel growled. The girls remembered, they'd only found out Fluttercruel wasn't a split personality at Canterlot... which even in Button Mash's new timeline he'd been never on that adventure.
A minute of awkward questions and answers later.
"Shouldn't you be speaking in pictures if you're one year old?" Button Mash asked.
"Being half-draconequs has perks I guess. Though I didn't have animal limbs until a little bit ago. And out of all the weird things about me, that's the one you're hung up on?"
"It's the only one that I'm not used to in a video game," Button explained. "I think it's cool you're like one of those characters who's the foal of the big bad but's a good guy, I like those!"
"...Thanks, kid." Button couldn't believe he was just called that by a baby. "Nice earring, girl, your family seen it?"
"Uh, not yet," Apple Bloom stammered.
"What's with the braid, girl?"
"I just felt like a change! I can't believe there were any rumors about you," Scootaloo said, the girls having calmed down.
"There weren't... I... " Fluttercruel blushed. "I agreed to this."
"WHAT?!" The fillies echoed.
"It was the only way to save Mom!" She waved her little forelegs. "So it was like this! Mom had just fainted because we had two talking bears she'd made-up were now knocking on our front door.
"Since she fainted, I fainted. But a part of me was still aware somehow. I couldn't take control, I couldn't move our body. I dimly saw through our doorway a wall of fog appear around the cottage. And, I couldn't SEE them, but it was like there were invisible snakes with legs crawling everywhere. I saw the world turning into something like out of one my dreams... only now they weren't so funny when I saw mom's memories begin to change. I saw every single one of my dreams in her memories become what really happened, even the ones that contradicted each other! You don't want to know what they are! My memories stayed the same.
"Her colors changed, the world's colors changed. Then... then it was like I was being pushed OUT of her... no not like that! It was like, it was like when she was, er, being possessed by the-"
"-We know that's a lie now, Fluttercruel," Apple Bloom said.
"Oh! RIGHT! When she was turning into Nightmare Whisper, I was being dragged into the World of Nothing again. Oh, I never explained that? Remember what I said about my scars? That place...it's not somewhere you ever want to go. When suddenly, between me and the World of Nothing... was Nightmare Whisper, but... without the bloody horn, big gem in her chest, the torture barding and... basically not so freaky. And, her eyes were maybe Fluttershy's. Now this is where things get REALLY weird."
"Do tell," said the magical talking pony with a piece of truth itself in her eye.
"She... she told me she was a Fluttershy from another world, one where she'd made some really big mistakes. Where she'd ruled the world for 900 years and... made some really bad decisions on how she raised her Fluttercruel... and... she lost her world because she didn't see the REAL truth after being shown the cruel truth. And they couldn't save their Twilight Sparkle from herself. And that they were here to help make up for their mistakes. 'My Pinkie Pie is helping Trixie and her imaginary friend.' She added.
"I asked what any of this had to do with me, and if she could tell me what was going on. She tried, oh she tried, but the words kept coming out in jumbles, she said she was 'censored' from telling me the truth. She asked me, 'What would you do to save your mother? Who would you sacrifice?'
"Ya know it's funny. Me? I'd sacrifice the bad guys if I thought it would save the day. Don't give me that look. But there, right there? I had a feeling what she was REALLY asking. So I told her. 'Only myself.'
"I don't know how she did it, but she conjured up my birth certificate, one of them anyway. I had two. One said I was Fluttershy's age, the other had my real birthdate on it. She showed me the one year old one.
"Mom, my dreams that were becoming real? I knew all the horrible things she was going to do, all the horrible things that were gonna be done to her! What she'd do to Angel when trapped in the house with no food. What she'd do to Rainbow Dash when she wanted a baby she could care for. What she'd do to the rest of her friends when she wanted to use them to... grow butterflies. What she'd do... what she'd do to you when you wouldn't behave...Whisper was hurt and confused, not the Fluttershy in my memories.
"I knew what she wanted. I knew what the price was gonna be. And... I signed it. She nuzzled me, thanked me. Then she bucking stuck a funnel in my mouth, and apologized a bajillion times, told me this was 'natural' for me! And, she shoveled the invisible snakes down my throat! The worst part is? My instincts screamed at me to keep eating! Devouring them felt as natural as breathing! I wanted to consume as many as I could! It was...weird. I felt my body changing as I gobbled them up, like a caterpillar changing its cocoon or something. But it wasn't bad, it felt... Then, I felt the world changing again. Nightmare Whisper nuzzled me, told me that she hoped I was happy, and mom did a better job than she did. And BOOM!...
"I was in diapers and a cradle, and had different pieces...at least none of them were identical to the Old Man."
Applebloom covered one eye a blinked. She couldn't see the little snake things in her no matter how hard she tried. It wasn't like Redheart or even Split. It wasn't like when she'd gotten force fed those nasty things...The snakes were just gone.
"And... I saw mom, we were separate! It was actually really, really, REALLY scary! I'd never been separated from her except when thrown into nothing, we'd never been face to face except the mirror and when we'd been in our own head. I.... okay I cried! But just a little!
"Mom came over, and started to nuzzle and hug me, telling me it was alright, that nothing was going to happen. That nopony was going to hurt me just because I was different, looking at me like these weird pieces had always been there, but never mattered one bit.
"And... I knew things had changed again for real. She hadn't needed a baby because she had me. She had me to focus on, so she didn't need to be a surrogate mom to caterpillars who didn't eat meat anyway. And she'd had the experience, dealing with stressful little foals... no offense."
"And... I actually felt new memories. She'd been pregnant with me for a few weeks after Discord before ... I came out. No, I'm not explaining any more than that, even if you weren't foals I'd rather not remind myself of...that... Mom, she protected me when other ponies thought I was Discord in disguise, or could only grow up to be just like him...It didn't help I was talking in a couple days. But she protected me anyway. I'd also been chatting with her BEFORE I came out. Ponies did say I was brave when..." She eyed Scootaloo. "I helped Rainbow Dash when she was having... issues.
"Ya know? The thing I'm missing most? My mental room, all those deadly weapons gone forever, and mom won't let me near the knives. And ick, mom's as determined with the soap as ever whenever I say something naughty, I know a lot of flavors now. Kinda wish I didn't come pre-made with a very big vocabulary."
"I still model for Rarity just... smaller and more... ugh, adorable. Iron Will thought I was the cutest thing ever... and I should meet his wife and kid... yeah, real heart breaking moment there," Fluttercruel sighed sadly. The foals politely said nothing, then huddled.
"What's your eye say, Apple Bloom?" Button asked, being cautious.
"She's just...her...Ah think she hit the nail on the head when she said she ate those rumor things," the farm filly confirmed. "She checks out."
"So... are we upset that Nightmare Fluttershy and Fluttercruel beat us to saving Fluttershy?" Scootaloo asked.
"Are you?" Sweetie asked.
"Not really, Dash told me to be proud when I was happy somepony got saved whether I had anything to do with it or not. That, that was what REAL loyalty was."
"If this was a real video game I'd be upset, but... but this isn't," Button Mash said a bit solemn.
"Well, Ah say after the dog-monster we take our wins where we can. This ain't a contest."
"And Fluttercruel's really cute now!" Sweetie Belle replied, getting looks. "What? She is!"
The foals all nodded in agreement and broke the huddle.
Baby Fluttercruel opened her mouth when,
"Crue', I've finished baking the cookies!"
"Just ... just greeting some friends at the door, Mom!"
"The Cutie Mark Crusaders."
"Oh my! I'll be right there!"
And Fluttershy... looked exactly like the Fluttershy they knew and loved.
"Hello, girls! Won't you come inside?"
= 'Lemina's Theme' - Eternal Blue =
Inside, the cottage would’ve looked nearly normal, if not for the scattering of baby toys. Apple Bloom had to explain yet again, "The earring's a gift from Zecora." and Fluttershy, eying Scootaloo's braid, said nothing.
In the corner were two talking Grizzly bears with a pile of seashells and beach balls.
"So what’s your favorite beach ball in my collection, Harry?"
"I think mint and green speaks the most to me. What about my seashell collection, Harry? Hello, kids! What a beautiful day we're having!"
The foals dimly waved back at the talking bears. Apple Bloom's eye didn't see them as exactly made of fireflies or snakes. If anything, it was like they were made of blue feathers and yellow feathers. Apple Bloom officially gave up on trying to figure that one out.
This wasn't like the crayons of Pipsqueak's MoonPearl, or the watercolors of Redheart's hospital or Lickety Split's house. This was HOME! This was THEIR WORLD they were looking at. It was like the foals were going through a dream. They accepted the tea and cookies (mostly the cookies) that Fluttershy offered them. Blanky protectively sniffed them just to check and found nothing. Sweetie fed him a couple cookies that Fluttershy instantly forgot she made.
With Fluttershy distracted talking to the foals, Apple Bloom spotted Fluttercruel sneaking off and opening a box with the words '[3 From Coffee Swirl' on it from inside her toy box... Fluttercruel took a bite of bitter chocolate, and ... was that a hamburger?!
Apple Bloom forgot about that as Blanky's fur bristled, and she growled. Fluttercruel's ears perked looking around, looking at where Blanky but not really focused on him.
Out of nowhere, Angel leapt onto the couch from behind via what must have been a secret passage. He was in a black body suit with yellow lightning bolts and a big A on the front. He also had a big black and yellow cape, and a wrestler mask with a skull on the forehead that did nothing to hide his identity. Purple gloves and boots adorned his paws.
He struck a double victory pose and held up a butterfly in a jar with air holes. Hadn't Apple Bloom seen that butterfly before? Didn't butterflies die of old age in a couple weeks or something? UGH! Focusing on it was a mistake. It was so bright, it was like trying to look at the sun!
Angel tapped on a board that looked like a typewriter connected to a speaker, a voice came out as he typed. "HA HA HA! Now I'll conquer the world with the power of the butterfly! Cower before me, inferior creatures! The beer, I mean year, stupid auto-correct, of the rabbit has begun! Kneel before me! I'll kick puppies off tables and there's nothing you can do about-"
Fluttershy gave Angel the Stare. "NO! No villainy! No taking over the world! Is that understood, young rabbit?"
Apple Bloom saw the curse inside Angel scream and die on the spot.
'And here we thought we'd need him tah save her.'
Angel typed, "Uh... Okay?" Angel let the butterfly out of the jar. Apple Bloom had to deflect her truth eye from its brightness.
"Oh my! Are you okay, Apple Bloom?" Fluttershy asked.
"I'm... I'm fine, that's... a pretty butterfly ya got there."
"Oh yes, thank you. She's very special."
The butterfly just flew the room around happy. Angel took off the supervillain costume. 'Sorry,' he held up a sign, and hugged Fluttershy.
"It's alright, Angel," She nuzzled him.
For a few minutes, the foals and Fluttershy simply enjoyed the inopportune tea party. The girls were able to pretend for a few minutes that everything was alright with the world and things were already back to normal.
"Button Mash, I just want to say... I... that the virtual pet games were fun. It's my fault I couldn't pace myself."
The CMC looked confused.
"Oh, you girls don't remember? Button Mash wanted me to understand his games more after I told him he should enjoy the sunshine more, and he showed me his virtual pet games... I... might have gotten... a tiny tinny bit ... obsessed with them."
"Angel and me had to get her friends to stage, what does mom call them? Oh right, an intervention. Uh, how did that go? All I heard was a buncha... shouting."
Fluttershy blushed deeply. "They... they said I was ignoring Fluttercruel and my real pets, since I had an entire wall of computer pets, and Rainbow... decided help me give them to Good Intentions, I... I'm sure those bite marks I gave Rainbow Dash have gone away!" The fillies cringed. "Angel and Crue' helped me see I was going too far."
Fluttershy saw the looks on their face and quickly diverted course. "So, Apple Bloom! Threeleaf showed me some wonderful gardening techniques for wild plants from the Everfree! And I thought you'd want to know! Grayhoof says he's figured out the details for your and the others Cute-ceañera with your family! Mitta and Ruby say they want to help when it's time-OH! OH! I'M SO SORRY! Not that there's any pressure on you! You're prefect just the way you are, your cutie mark will come when it's time for it to come!"
"It's... it's okay, Fluttershy." 'Grayhoof of Sunnytown is helping plan my Cute-ceañera. If Ah hadn't seen 'em, Ah wouldn't believe it!'
"Fluttershy," Sweetie Belle said, "We were wondering. Could you um, pretty please unlock your part of the barrier around the World Tower for us please?"
Apple Bloom added, "There are ponies using our Gabby Gums name, and we gotta see the paper about that, and show 'em corrections to everythin' they're saying."
"Oh, why don't you just make an appointment with Princess Liza Doolots and Princess Animatia Erroria? They're always willing to listen, and so smart and nice," Fluttershy said with sparkles around her eyes.
"Bad guys lied to them and said we were bad ponies," Apple Bloom said.
Fluttershy gasped. "Impossible! Who could possibly trick wonderful Princess Liza Doolots and Princess Animatia Erroria?"
Scootaloo waved her hooves. "Evil Fake Anti-Princesses!"
Fluttershy slammed her hoof down. "Of course! Only those could possibly oppose the princesses!"
"Yeah," Sweetie Belle said, "But, uh, for your safety, it's better you don't go saying that to other ponies, it might, get their attention. Or that we're the ones trying to stop them! Especially if it's the Princesses, because it might be the Evil Fake Anti-Princesses!"
"... I supposed a battle between the princesses and their evil twins could have destroyed all of Ponyville, thank you, Sweetie Belle! Let me help you help the Princesses!"
There was brief vision of Fluttershy's Element of Harmony, already purified, and then the distant sound of something unlocking. Fluttershy's bird chorus sang up triumphantly. "There, I hope that helps you girls."
"So uh, Fluttershy," Sweetie asked tapping her hooves together. "How are things with all your pony friends?"
"Oh we're all good friends/dear friends/just friends/special together, I mean, RainbowDashTwilightSparklePinkiePieRarityApplejack are/is my true friend/special friend/dearest friend! Wait, did we, did I, or didn't I? I dunno, I-" Fluttershy blushed redder than a tomato, then fainted.
"Makes ya wonder how her mom ever made it to the maternity nest," Scootaloo said as Angel fanned Fluttershy.
"The what?" The others asked.
"... Never mind."
Fluttercruel giggled at her mother's expense. "You're better off not knowing the details from her memories, they're the most wooden actions, 1-D dialogue, and 'insert tab A into slot B' interacting in the history of interactions. Twilight Sparkle's love novel was better written. Uh.... the less said of that, the better."
While the foals truly wanted to stay, they knew it was better to get a move on, rather than waste the extra time Fluttershy's freebie had given them.
So it was with great reluctance the foals bid Fluttershy, Fluttercruel, Harry and Harry, the Butterfly, Angel, and the Happy Flowers farewell. And made their way back to the fog way outside.
A fence of blue energy spears conga-lined from above, encircling the foals. A giant one slammed into the middle of the circle right after.
Apple Bloom and Sweetie shouted together, "Get out NOW!"
Blanky seemed to snarl the same words.
Sweetie screamed in exertion as she magically threw Mash over the fence of spears. Less than a moment later Scootaloo scooped up her friends and carrying two other foals zoomed after him, her muscles on fire from her magic surge. Blanky dove into the shadows. Scootaloo's flight field shielded herself and her friends from the worst of the explosion a moment later as the spears detonated.
Scootaloo's ears twitched, and the foals insanely moved as more exploding energy spears came down behind them, leaving blast craters in the ideal perfect landscape. The animals panicked and run.
"I should've known that wouldn't work. Heroes fight straight-on, only bad guys use ambushes. I only hope it's not too late to stop you," Said a voice from the smoke of the first big explosion.
"... Tootsie? That you?" Apple Bloom whispered.
"Princess Liza Doolots, please. Apple Bloom, please, you and your friends don't need to ruin the world, don't make me fight you."
"Ruin the world?! We're UN-ruining it!" Scootaloo shouted. "Tootsie, are you and Alula, really part of Gabby Gums?"
"All those nasty rumors you printed came true because of a curse! We're trying to undo the curse! Umbra Breeze isn't a pony! He's an evil spirit!"
"Mr. Umbre Breeze is the spirit of what every pony secretly wants in their hearts."
"Horseapples!" Scootaloo shouted.
"Bad language is bad, Scootaloo... what anypony believes is true, becomes true, nopony is wrong, and everypony can have whatever world they want, and morals aren't making their lives miserable and unable to breathe. Everypony is happy. Please, tell me you're not really going to end that."
"Happy being monsters?!"
"They became what they WANTED to be! Who are you to judge them? Oh, hi Button Mash, didn't see you." Mash dimly waved back. "How about you help convince our friends not to do bad stuff?"
"... Uh, we're doing good stuff, and were just here talking with Fluttershy when you tried to blow us up, so, uh, can you realize you're helping the bad guy please?"
"LIAR! Alula wouldn't lie to me! Truffle is happy! My family is happy! We're all happy! You're bullies trying to take it all away! And... I need to protect them from you."
We had our fun sleepover in Alula’s room. We read all the scary ghost stories from the book Princess Diamond Tiara gave us out loud. And, of course, we let the little black fairy out of her jar, because that's what good fillies do. She had a bit of a potty mouth.
Then Lyra came, she said, "Diamond Tiara, she doesn't look so good."
We all rushed to her room, with the giant hour glass, big white bed, and all the magic floating windows (one was smashed, the others were turned off). Lots of writing on the walls now in the hy-row-griffic letters I can't read. She was laying on her bed shaking to her bones.
Bonnie and Moth were changing washcloths on Tiara's head.
"Four of the locks on the Tower's barrier are gone," she whispered.
I wasn't too surprised, but sad, sacred barriers always got lost so the heroes could have a big final fight with the villains.
"If that was the only thing that stopped mom... then now... " Huh? What was Diamond Tiara talking about? "Alula, Tootsie, the ones trying to unmake the world are..." I think I fell on my royal tush when she told me.
My family hugged each other in shock. We shook our heads in disbelief.
Apple Bloom and her friends would NEVER do anything like that! They fought the changelings, they were heroes. I... I guess this is the tragic part where the old heroes turn bad and the new heroes have to stop them. Alula sat down next to Tiara and gently folded a wing over her and stroked her mane. Tiara looked better with Alula near.
I quickly flew off and as Gabby Gums wrote up a new story were the Crusaders realized what they were doing was wrong and stopped and made friends with us. And... the text just... faded away!? What evil spell was this if it cheats the world's rules? It won't let me write a happy ending for them!?
I wouldn't give up. I wrote another story, and this one came through.
I flew back to Tiara's room, Tiara and Alula hadn't moved.
"Animatia... Tiara, you just get some rest, I'll stop Apple Bloom and her friends."
"Liza... you can't beat them on your own."
"I won't BE alone!"
The smoke cleared.
It was Tootsie, but she had a pair of glowing white wings. She stood on her back legs. She was also wearing heavily customized neighponese school filly uniform. It actually complimented her natural colors and wings. Floating next to her was a bow fit for a demigod.
"That dress, it's Rarity's work," Sweetie recognized.
"... I stopped by for a tea-party with your family Sweetie and she did the dress as a gift... PLEASE just give up."
"Yeah, you girls aren't really bad!"
"Uh! Whose Truffle?! I'm Tuxedo Hat!" Said Truffle wearing a tuxedo clearly of Rarity make, with a white domino mask and magician's top-hat.
"Truffle! Tootsie isn't your special friend! Twist is!" Apple Bloom shouted.
"Why would I want a filly who abandoned her friends as my special friend?" Truffle said automatically without thinking.
"Do ya even know where she ended up?" Apple Bloom asked.
Tootsie shrugged. "I'm sure she got what she deserved, the bad friend always gets punished off screen."
"Come ON Tootsie!" Scootaloo pleaded, "We've got you out numbered two to one! And we've already fought nasties a lot worse than you."
"I'm not a nasty! I'm the hero!"
"Is she still unbeatable?" Sweetie whispered to Button Mash.
"Dunno, she didn't sing a song warning she was coming, so maybe, maybe not? Maybe we just need to last long enough until help shows?"
"GIRLS! That explosion! Are you alright?!" It was the Flutters, the Harries, and Angel.
Tootsie sighed. She rose up one wing, and snapped her feathers.
A flaming barrier of pale blue-purple changeling magic spread out from the magical filly, it passed harmlessly through Truffle. The CMC+1 braced themselves, only to be knocked back like they'd hit the edge of the universe. Except Sweetie Belle.
The space the unicorn found herself in, was a lot bigger inside than outside. She saw her friends, the Flutters and their pets, silently banging on the wall. Poor Button Mash rearing up to ram through. Blanky ... he looked hesitant, after... Sweetie had been sad and scared about his recent acts of erasing.
"This is the Love Barrier," Tootsie said, not sounding excited. "Once formed, nopony can enter unless their special somepony is inside, and only I can let them out. I was warned not to fight you all together, so we'll fight you one by one!"
'Appeal to the enemy's honor and ego.' "But...if you're the hero, shouldn't you fight us all at once and win with the power of friendship?"
"... But then... I'd be ignoring my friends' advice, and that always backfires."
Truffle posed heroically at her side.
"I want to be your friend!"
"You sure showed that at the wedding didn't you?" Tootsie bite back. Truffle nodded.
"... I'm sorry! We were trying to fix everything up from the changeling battle that we didn't have TIME to get to know you! I've been there, Tootsie! I know you think you're doing the right thing but you've just been given power and TOLD you deserve it!"
"So I'm no good? Because my family is different I'm no good? Because I don't have any famous family or friends, I can't make a difference?"
And Truffle frowned at Sweetie.
"I didn't say that!"
"We're letting everypony decide how THEY want to be happy! You and your evil queen thought they could DECIDE how everypony should be happy! Well you can go to-"
"SWEETIE BELLE!" Button Mash ran through the wall of changeling magic like it was a summer breeze. Sweetie and the others looked at Button Mash in shock.
"Huh?! You and Button Mash?!" Tootsie blushed. Truffle blushed too.
"Oh come on!" Button Mash exasperated. "I know Sweetie Belle lost her memory of being my friend! But you too?! This is getting old! Come on Sweetie Belle, stop... stop giving me that look." The colt looked a little scared.
"... Sorry, Button Mash... " Sweetie Belle said. "Tootsie, he's here under false pretenses, just leave him alone. Just let him out. I'll fight you two on one like you want."
Sweetie Belle gasped. So did Truffle. And so did Tootsie. They looked at the colt who'd spoken.
"I'M STAYING! Whether you like it or not Sweetie Belle! If our friends can't help you then I will!" Button Mash snapped.
= Love Is In Bloom Orchestra =
"Hey you!" Truffle said to Button Mash angrily. "Your special friend told you to do something, therefore you can't say no!"
"Being special friends is why you should be able to say no to her! Just like she can say no if she doesn't want to play the game I do!"
"That's stupid! If you're special friend says something, you do whatever it is, no matter what, that's what being special friends is!"
"No, that's what being a video game character is! You're not even supposed to be Tootsie's special friend! You're Twist's!"
"Why would I be special friends with somepony who ditches her friends?" Truffle said like a recording.
"Why do you even LIKE Tootsie?"
"Because we're tied by the red string of destiny, we are fated to be one. Our love is eternal and pure. We'll be together forever. She is lovely, she is wonderful, why wouldn't we be together?"
"You sound like one of Rarity's novels!" Button Mash shouted. "I like Sweetie because she's pretty, she doesn't judge me, she understands me, she's not as great a Player 2 as Scootaloo, but she cares more about having FUN than WINNING. She encourages me but never tried to push me. She never tried to make me something I wasn't. She never called my video games worthless even if she didn't like them at first! She lets me have my player 1 time! And... she and her friends have done so many amazing things already, and I want to be like her! And that's why she's my special friend!"
Sweetie Belle's eyes went wide. The two colts were completely different? Why?!
Tootsie felt a little sick for some reason.
There was a jingle in the air. Button Mash's magic window appeared. A picture of him and Sweetie appeared.
'CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'VE SHOWN YOUR HEART AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP VALUE IS UPGRADED FROM 'FRIENDS' TO 'TRUE COMPANIONS.''
Sweetie Belle blushed.
Toostie pulled back her divine bow, a blue glowing arrow appearing in it. "I won't let you brainwash Truffle, and I won't let you steal everypony's happy world! En garde."
= 'Neo Chase Tragic' - Freedom Planet =
Sweetie began to charge up the strongest stun spell she could without permanently hurting Tootsie. Tootsie meanwhile shot an energy arrow into the air, and several rained down, Button and Sweetie scattered to avoid the barrage. "Rain Of Love!"
"Aren't magical fillies supposed to take turns attacking?!"
"That applies only for heroes' moves!"
Sweetie skipped finesse and channeled her anger at her situation straight towards Tootsie. Not expecting such a fierce attack, Tootsie blindly fired raw white magic at her opposition, the two forced clashed into each other in mid-air.
"Using dark magic? Now I know for SURE you're the bad guy!"
Truffle fired a barrage of roses stems first at the stationary Sweetie, Button Mash leapt in front of them and... time seemed to slow as he drew his sword and hacked them to pieces before they got close.
Then Truffle pulled a gentlecolt's cane out of his hat that extended at railgun speeds right at Sweetie. Button blocked it with the flat of his sword, and managed to push it back into the pudgy colt. "OW!" Truffle shouted, nursing the spot that was definitely gonna bruise.
"Truffle!" Tootsie shouted, but instead of getting distracted and overwhelmed as would be the logical outcome, instead Tootsie was empowered at seeing her 'true love' hurt, and overwhelmed Sweetie's magic, Sweetie switching from offensive to defensive at that moment and Button grabbing her out of the way being the only reason she wasn't blown up.
"Geeze, I didn't even mean to hurt him that time!" Button replied at the reaction.
Truffle pointed his hat at the pair, and out came a cannonball! Button's brain went into full-on Panic Mode, dropped his sword, and took out a giant leaf that he flapped at the projectile, sent it back where it came, Truffle ducked, the cannonball exploded as it hit the barrier.
"Come on, pal, yer gonna get hurt!"
"I fight for Tootsie!" Truffle charged, unlocking the head of the cane revealing a sword.
"I fight for all my friends!" Button Mash managed to block. As Truffle's super long sword clashed with Button's blocky blade, Truffle was peppered by a slew of low yield spell bolts, knocking him over, and Button kicking him away.
"Truffle! They were fighting one-on-one! You cheater!"
"You were gonna fight me two-on-one!"
"But the fight hadn't started yet! Only a bad guy would blind side somepony already fighting somepony else!"
"You ambushed us! This isn't a spell sparring session!"
"I bet the evil queen taught you that!"
"So did my big sister!" Sweetie leapt straight at Tootsie, taking the other filly off guard, and grabbed her bow right out of her telekinesis, surprising the magical filly. Sweetie felt such power in the bow, like it was more real than she was, pulled back the bow, and let loose when the arrow appeared. The feedback she felt through her magic made her dizzy, it was nothing like the light arrows from Button's game. She felt relief when the bow MISSED Tootsie! Tootsie looked angry, zoomed behind Sweetie with her glowing white wings, tapped Sweetie on the shoulder making the disoriented Sweetie look behind her, punched Sweetie in the face, grabbed the bow and flew in a circle around Sweetie letting out arrows that stayed put, but only until she finished the circle, and fired at once. Sweetie's defensive magic was poor at best, and her quick-fix fear-fueled barrier sent her upwards from the funneled force of the attacks.
Gravity pulled Sweetie head first to the ground. Button did pole-vault with his sword, and managed to catch his friend, grinding his teeth as his rear skidded along the ground. Sweetie got her bearings. "Thanks, Mash."
A terrible thought filled Sweetie's mind, 'If I keep holding back, she'll kill me.'
A scatterings of seeds covered the ground, thrown from Truffle's hat. In mere moments they sprouted into large vines, each one ending in a watermelon like bud that opened up to reveal sharp teeth and a drooling tongue. The pair stood back to back, turning as Sweetie blasted the monsters in the head turning them to coleslaw and Button Mash's sword reappeared in his grip and sliced and diced his way through.
Sweetie using more strength than she knew she had before or since, threw Button Mash straight at Tootsie, weapon drawn. She fired her bow at him in rapid succession, but time seemed to slow and he cut and knocked away the arrows coming closer!
The faux Alicorn gasped and flinched back, a barrier appeared around her the moment before Button Mash could smash into her. Button Mash running high on adrenaline spring-boarded off the barrier right at Truffle.
The colt panic seeing the angry brown comet headed towards him and lifted his super-long-sword like a pike. Button Mash came back to himself and ducked... just enough. He managed to land on four hooves, the earth pony reuniting with the ground with no hard feelings.
Button Mash felt something missing... he looked up, and saw his beanie was now stuck on Truffle's sword.
"Uh, can I have that back please?"
The enemy colt actually stopped, looking at it.
Sweetie Belle rushed to Button Mash's side, and gripped his hat with her telekinesis.
"Triple Blade Finale!" Tootsie shouted diving between them, and separated her bow into two blades, and caught both horn and sword with her own. Truffle took his cue and swung his super long sword at the two ponies. Instead of standing still however, the two ducked... Tootsie flew up to avoid the swing.
Button Mash's heart shivered as he saw his beanie get a giant slash in it... it slowly fell to the ground... still mostly in one piece. Until the return swing came... Button rushed for his hat only for Sweetie Belle's magic to grab his tail and pull him out of the range of the weapon he was running madly into... and Button Mash watched... time ticking away against his wishes... as his propeller beanie... was cleaved in twain, the little plastic propeller broken off... it stopped spinning.
Sweetie Belle glared at Tootsie. "What happened to 'interrupting a duel being what the bad guys do'?"
Tootsie actually hesitated. "I'm the hero, it's not bad when I do it."
"You were right! That arcade was fun!"
"Ya know, I helped design a lot of the new games in there."
"Really? You're super!"
"Excuse me. We have a liquidation sale on magical powered beanies... the design kinda forgot to include an off button."
"Hey, Button what do you think? Looks good on you?"
"... Thanks dad, it looks fun!" Button Mash said with the excitement he could bring to anything, looking up at the little magical beanie on his head, then giving his dad a hug.
"Only a baby wears a hat like that." "Why is it always spinning?" "He's weird."
"I don't care! It's my hat, and I'll wear it!"
"It's just you, dear, always in motion even when still," His mom smiled.
"I think your hat is kinda cool," Sweetie Belle said, looking at the hat. "It matches your fur well."
"Thanks! I never take it off!"
Channeling Scootaloo, Button made a disturbing noise and raced head on at Truffle, time slowing as he swing his sword near him, Button stabbed his sword into the ground at just the right moment, trapping Truffle's blade with the hit guards of Button's sword, and rolled right up to him. Making Truffle gasp in fear.
Channeling Apple Bloom, Button kicked Truffle into the air with his back legs, leaving the other colt's sword still trapped on the ground.
In a moment that defied gravity, Button and Truffle were again eye to eye. Button's summoned his sword, and slashed upwards, downwards, right left, left right, diagonal from every x-point, in brutal, vicious efficiency.
"It's over!" Button Mash snarled as he and the pieces hit the ground.
Truffle followed a moment later, seeing his top hat utterly destroyed. Button seethed at him. Truffle's sword burst into rose petals and blew away in the wind, followed by the mask on his face.
Truffle dimly tasted something in his mouth, he'd bitten his tongue when Button kicked him the face so hard... tears filled Truffle's eyes, and he began to sob, and hiccup.
"TRUFFLE!" Tootsie shouted, coming to his side in a streak of light. "YOU MONSTERS!" Tootsie shouted at them, and took him in her forehooves and took off like a right through the barrier and out of Fluttershy's bubble and beyond.
And then… silence.
As if coming out of a dream, Button dropped his sword and it vanished, and he began to cry.
"I hurt him!"
"You... you hurt him as much as you needed to stop him... " Sweetie reasoned, rushing over. "And, it kept me from... having to do something bad to stop Tootsie... I... thank you for that..."
"S-Sorry, I had to ruin one of Rarity's hats Sweetie."
"I could tell it wasn't one of hers."
"And...sorry I lost my temper over... a dumb hat."
"It... wasn't dumb to you and... are you more sorry you hurt Truffle?"
Sweetie nuzzled him. "That's all I needed to know."
He gave a smile as she continued.
"...Button...you didn't...make Truffle never heard from again, even though you were that angry...I think that says a lot about you."
Button blushed a little bit. "T-Thanks."
The unicorn gave a small blush herself. "You're welcome."
The pair gingerly picked up the remains of his hat as the barrier around the two dissolved into nothing.
"Tootsie?" Truffle gently whispered as she flew at top speed back to the World Tower with him. "I... I don't wanna play that game again. We could have hurt somepony."
Crying herself, Tootsie choked out. "...Okay Truffle, you, you don't have to play that game again, I Pinkie Promise, cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."
"... thank you."
Tootsie felt a weird tug in her heart.
"Come on! Don't you wanna kill us? We're full of tasty experience points and gold pieces!" said a fat stallion in a bicycle rider's outfit, his helmet with a painted number, like his identical looking buddies. He wiggled his body like he was trying to be seductive. "Come on, we're right here, you even get the first turn!"
"No! There won't be any violence of any kind on my property if I can help it. I must politely, and sincerely ask you, to pretty please go somewhere else if you want to get defeated by heroes to give them things," Fluttershy said firmly and calmly.
Tears welled up in the stallion's eyes and his friends, who all turned and ran away crying.
Scootaloo shivered as they left. "When I said I wanted to be able to do something, I meant to help our friends, not fight a bunch of disposable bad guys who showed up just to get beaten up!"
"Ditto," Fluttercruel agreed.
Like a crack of thunder Tootsie, carrying Truffle busted out of the barrier, and flew away at Sonic Rainboom speeds, and through the fog wall and away. The little Blank Wolf gave a confused growl at the fleeing false Alicorn, as if he didn't know if he should eat her or not. A few moment later, the barrier came down, their two friends safe and sound according to both Apple Bloom and Blanky.
There were hugs and kisses (and wolfie kisses) all around. Followed by praise and nuzzles, and the all around general love for their friends and happiness at their safe return. Fluttershy dried Button Mash's tears.
"There there dear, it's over. You're safe now. I'm sorry the princess and her coltfriend thought you were bad, I promise I don't think you are at all."
Button accepted the comfort.
"I'm just glad no one was seriously hurt," Fluttershy lamented.
"Yeah, not sure how you managed that," Fluttercruel said. "But glad you did, kiddos."
"Who’re you callin' 'kiddos?'" Scootaloo grinned at her, flustering the baby half-pony. "Button," Scoots then asked unsure, "What happened to your hat?"
Button Mash sadly presented the broken remains of his signature headpiece.
"I need to give it a funeral later." Button sniffed. No one called him stupid or silly. Instead they all hugged him all the tighter.
"It was a cool hat, Button," Scootaloo consoled.
Button nodded. "Yeah...yeah it was."
Their attention was then drawn to a worn out and thoroughly exhausted mare crawled into Fluttershy's bubble, looking almost nostalgic at Fluttershy's green fields, blast craters and all. She dragged herself to the herd and said.
"Hello Fluttershy, I think we've met."
"Razzaroo?" Fluttershy let a small gasp, covering her mouth.
Scootaloo turned her head at Kindness in surprise.
"Heh, so you do remember me after all Zipzee... " Razzaroo said, smiling to Fluttershy, then, "Hey girls, I needed a better place to nap, sorry I couldn't look after Silver Spoon longer, I think Fluttershy will be willing to provide... mind if ... mind if I save your progress?"
The foals didn't object and Razzaroo wrote their adventure down in her book. She was then carried by the Harries back inside the cottage, already asleep by the time she was inside.
The foals gave Fluttershy a new final round of hugs and nuzzles, her bird chorus singing them off. They offered to help fill in the holes, but she promised her gofers could handle it, they enjoyed that kind of thing. Angel gave the foals a respectful bow, a lot coming from the proud rabbit. Fluttercruel meanwhile said, "Knock some sense into them, trust me, they'll thank you for it later just. I know from experience... don't think because you're right that means you can do anything you want."
"Trust me, that one thing we're NOT forgetting," Sweetie said proudly, and she nuzzled the baby demidraconequus. And the foal passed through the fog wall, back onto the MoonPearl.
"So how was Tootsie and Truffle?" Captain Pipsqueak asked politely.
"How did you-"
"We saw her come by us like a shooting star, and then coming right back out the same way."
"We... had a big misunderstanding," Sweetie Belle said before Apple Bloom could. "Truffle got hurt, Button Mash's hat got ruined, and she decided to just go home."
"Wish she stopped to say hello," Dinky lamented.
"I'm sure she will when she realizes how stupid that stupid fight was," Scootaloo said. "She's just confused right now is all."
"It would be nice to have her part of the crew again," Ruby Pinch said.
"Girls," Sweetie said before they cast anchor and set said for either Rainbow Dash or Applejack. "I think... we need to show Tootsie she doesn't need to be some super-powered 'more insightful than everypony else, the world is about me' Princess to be special."
"Another feeling from Diamond Tiara?" Scootaloo asked.
"No, just, I think I know where she stands, and I want to help her out of that place. No matter how much the monsters saying they're her friends tell her she's the hero and we're the bad guys."
Her friends and pet hugged her.
"We'll get'er to see the truth."
"Everypony knows redeeming the bad guy gets you the best ending."
"And we will! Just you watch!" Scootaloo swore.
"Oh, and Sweetie Belle? Thanks for... all our great times together."
"You're welcome, Button Mash."