Magic and Confetti

by MrAlterad

1.8 - Vanhoover, Finale!

First impressions are important. They set an expectation for anypony that meets you. That hears of you. That looks forward to your performance.

In everything that Trixie does, that first impression sets a bar. When Trixie gets on that stage, everypony present holds her to that bar.

And when you leave that stage, you want that bar to be completely shattered.

You want to exceed those expectations. You want to make them gawk in awe. Cheer in amazement! Laugh in wonder.

When the show is over, nopony is left doubting the mare on the stage. To be a showpony, to leave an impression that trumps the first, you must defy expectations.

That, is Trixie's first rule of the show!

The carriage bumped as it crossed onto the stone bridge, causing the sleeping filly to stir from her dream. She rubbed her eyes, a confused look on her face when she realized she was in Trixie's bed.

She rubbed the soft bedding, finding it unusual, but not unpleasant. Adopting a small smile, she grabbed Tiko, before slinking across the bed onto the desk, opening the shutters.

The moon was halfway through its journey, casting its white light on the bridge and carriage. The cart rocked steadily over the cobblestone, lanterns weakly lighting the span as Reina glanced to the front, seeing Trixie and Zecora walking side-by-side. The showpony let out a long yawn as Reina looked back, to Vanhoover.

Most of the buildings had gone dark, but there were a few lit rooms in each of them. The hustling noises were missing, giving the impression that the city itself was sleeping. With a tired look in her eyes, Reina waved goodbye to the amazing place, silently speaking the farewell with a sad smile. Leaving the window open, she returned to Trixie's bed, balling up in it before closing her eyes.

“This was the worst idea,” Trixie mumbled, shadows under her eyes, “Next time, let's take a boat or train instead,” she added, getting a small chuckle from Zecora.

“Here, a sip of this mix, and your fatigue, it will fix,” she said, pulling out a small vial from her robes to Trixie, who rose her nose in disgust.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie does not need such a—“

“Hey, Trixie! Prepare for trouble!” an annoying voice from ahead said, making Trixie's disgust shift forward, seeing Ember Dust floating ahead of them. “And this time, make it-” A firework zipped out from the carriage, making Ember disappear in a ball of sparkling light. Trixie then let out a sigh, the firework easily outshining the lanterns, its glow showing her annoyance as she glanced behind them.

Her eyes narrowed as she wordlessly took the vial Zecora still had in her hooves, and chugged it. Surprisingly, it went down like applesauce. Zecora looked to Trixie in alarm, her eyes following the empty vial as it was discarded. That was more than just a sip.

Great! Just great! It really was the worst idea!” Trixie let out, turning the cart to the side, before separating herself from it, seeing a figure blocking the way back to the city. A figure whose greasy mane shined in the moonlight.

The forward window of the carriage opened, revealing a confused filly who was now quite awake. “Reina, stay inside,” Trixie stated, getting a hesitant nod from the young lamia. Trixie's eyes then widened as the mix hit her, feeling that drooping feeling in her eyes melt away, her thoughts becoming more focused as her heart began to race. Her gaze sharpened as she glanced back to the dying embers of the firework, her horn glowing in preparation to fire the next.

“Double...” coughed out the pegasus, giving Trixie a heated look. “D- Don't do that again, or we'll blow up the bridge!” she shouted defensively, causing another firework Trixie had been guiding towards the surprised mare to shift past, flying high into the air before detonating, illuminating the whole arched bridge. Trixie kept her eyes on the mare, her ears perking at the voice behind her.

“G' evenin', Trixie,” Slick began, a neutral look in his eyes, “Ya know why we're here, and I've heard from a trusted source that ya ain't givin' up Reina. Ya gonna fight us?”

“Hah! Why wouldn't Trixie?” the mare asked confidently, “She's already shown you all just how outclassed you are.”

“Ain't gonna argue with that,” he replied, “We ain't really equipped to manage unicorns. Specially one of yer caliber,” he added, getting a smug smirk from the showpony, “But, we gotta job to do, and I'm not one fer quitin' a job. So, we'll just hafta use more desperate options,” he said, making the mare scoff.

“Yeah, sure. Blow up the bridge then, Trixie isn't buying it!” she replied, getting a bothered look from Zecora as the stallion tilted his head.

“Ain't no fur off my back. City this size can fix ah bridge like this before lunch,” he pointed out, making Trixie's gaze narrow.

Her eyes winced as a sudden plume of fire washed behind the stallion. A large boom followed, sending back a strong gust that rattled the carriage. Slick stood still, the light behind him casting him as a dark silhouette. Debris was sent flying into the air, a several yard gap forming in the city-side part of the bridge not too far behind him. As smoldering rock fell around him, he pulled out a comb, re-straightening his mane, his eyes cool as he looked to Trixie.

He then toppled over when a rock hit him in the head, breaking said rock, messing up his mane, and knocking his comb out of sight.

“Tch,” Ember let out, hovering from on high, “I told you you were standing too close, idiot!” she said, before glancing to the side. “Though, that was pretty awesome...”

Trixie's mouth hung open. She then shook her head, horn glowing, sending a firework at the distracted pegasus as Trixie turned back to the mainland side of the bridge. As Ember was swallowed up in the explosive present, Trixie paused, the boom of her effort being outdone by another explosion on the bridge ahead of her.

The fire and dust were quickly swept aside by the breeze, revealing a bridge that no longer was. Now, they stood on a roughly 'T' shaped island of stone, six yards wide, and twenty long.

In the carriage, Reina saw both explosions, her surprise as evident as Trixie and Zecora's. She was so surprised that she failed to notice the wagon's door opening during the loud display, and the weight in the cart shifting before the door closed.

Trixie's horn glowed as she looked to her home, activating the gem inside, ready to be used at her call. She then pushed Reina away from the window, to the filly's surprise, all the shutters being closed in the same motion. Three clicks rang out, three locks now set.

“Stay by the bed, Reina, Trixie will keep you safe!”

“I'll be fine, I've got Tiko!” Reina replied, “So show them who's boss!” she added, getting a smile from Trixie as she turned to the zebra.

“Zecora, keep your head down,” Trixie said, the alchemist giving the mare a surprised look as the carriage's hidden cache of fireworks opened. Zecora then gave Trixie a fiery gaze, before moving closer to the carriage, standing by the door.

“Don't think I'll just lie prone. You won't be fighting alone!” she replied, getting no comment from the showpony.

There was a brief pause, the warmth of the second blast brushing past Trixie as her eyes met Slick's, who was finally recovering from not wearing a safety helmet. She gave him a small smirk, and he responded with a determined look.

With a flicker of her horn, the ward activated, a pink glowing cage closing around him. He was trapped in a prison that was thrice as strong as the old one. Slick had an annoyed look in his eyes, which faltered as Trixie fired off a dozen fireworks of varying size. Six for him, and six for Ember.

“Oh you've got to be flinting me!” Ember shouted, apprehension in her eyes as she dived towards the quickly approaching volley. Trixie's mind raced, surprised by how easy it was to keep track of each firework. Guess she had the energy drink to thank for that. She smiled, her eyes darting between the two goons opposite of her, the fireworks hitting their marks.

Both of them disappeared in showers of deafening, multicolored lights. As the lights lingered, Trixie's eyes darted across the bridge, a missing detail drawing a bothered look from her. Where was Sid?

She looked to the carriage, her horn glowing for a sweeping spell. She could only sense Reina inside, a fact that didn't ease her concern.

Her ears then perked at the sound of metal hitting stone, drawing her attention to the further end of the bridge, seeing Ember flying towards her, a trail of smoke following the burnt pegasus. She had dropped a small black ball, a lit fuse in it. Trixie's eyes darted from it to the mare, who was quickly approaching. Ember dropped another ball, making Trixie raise an eyebrow as the pegasus lit a red stick, throwing it ahead of her. Trixie frowned as she caught it-

The very short fuse ignited, making the stick burst into a thick red cloud of smoke that quickly enveloped the two mares.

“W- What!?” Trixie let out, feeling Ember zip past her, the sound of something hitting the ground behind her.

“Gotcha!” Ember said smugly, Trixie's ears falling as she tried to reach out for the bomb, her gut telling her she wouldn't be quick enough.

“Aww bu-” she began, before the ball exploded. The flame-less blast sent Trixie flying, knocking the wind out of her, eyes widening as she realized which direction the burst sent her. She tried to clear the way, but trying to do so while being blasted and flying wasn't particularly easy. Trixie could say she was good at casting on the fly, but not this literally!

The second bomb went off right as she flew past it, accelerating her towards the third. The third blast changed her direction, her flight taking her over the side of the bridge, the shocked mare finding herself taking note of the moon's reflection on the quickly approaching river.

Inside the carriage, Reina looked to the locked windows, hearing a series of over a dozen small blasts, followed by three large ones. All of it transpiring in less than seven seconds. She looked from the window, to the cupboard, which was giving off a pink glow. She then glanced to Tiko, holding him tight, a troubled look on her face. Her ears then perked, an odd, worried feeling coming over her, making her look around in the cart. Her forked tongue darted out, licking the air, eyes widening when she tasted that she wasn't alone.

“W- Who's there!?” she asked, slinking off the bed with starling haste, feeling her scales rub against something unseen as she got under the mattress.

“S- Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you,” an unfamiliar voice replied, Reina's eyes narrowing as Sid discarded her camouflage, “I just want to talk...”

“You're one of those goons!”

“Those dum-dums!” Tiko added.

“Ahh!” Sid let out, flinching away from the bed. “I almost forgot about the haunted doll!” she added, making Reina blink, before adopting a sly smile.

Outside, Zecora watched as Trixie disappeared over the side of the bridge, shaking her head in disbelief. Her ears then perked when she heard chatter from inside the carriage, making her briefly glance to it, before looking back to Ember. The burnt pegasus clumsily landed not too far from her, rubbing her goggles free of red and black soot, before looking around.

“Did I get her? Is she gone?” she asked in a worried tone, getting a cough from the stallion as the cloud of smoke born of Trixie's barrage thinned, revealing he was still quite trapped.

“Look's like it,” he replied, tilting his head as he looked to Zecora, who had taken a defensive posture, a calm and collected look in her eyes. “Tell me toots, can ya swim?” he asked, making her blink, before nodding.

“Odd question, considering the determination you show. Tell me, why do you wish to know?” she asked, a hoof drawn under her robes, a small pouch in her grasp.

“So ya rhyme too. Guess it is a zebra thing,” he replied as he eyed his prison, running a hoof where the bars met the stone.

“Need help with that?” Ember asking in an amused tone, pulling out a small stick of TNT.

“Nah, I got it,” he replied, getting a confused look from the pegasus as he rolled onto his back. He then kicked his hooves, bucking the roof of the cage, making the ground crack. He did it two more times, singing the song of cracked stone as he did; A brief moment of satisfaction shined in Slick's eyes as the third try sent the cage flying. Ember's eyes followed it as it fell out of sight, letting out a low whistle as she flew closer to him.

“Okay, that was pretty good. Now, let's get Reina away from Ms. 'Princess Pet' and this outsider-” Zecora chucked the pouch at the pegasus, hitting her right between the goggles, making it burst in a puff of white dust, causing the pegasus to cough. “Oh come on! Why does everypony keep interrupting-” her wings then twitched. “Wait, what-” she then landed, the dynamite falling away as she scratched at her wings, before rolling around on the stone in annoyance. “What did you do!? M- Make it stop!” she cried out, Slick giving Zecora a guarded look as Ember was paralyzed with itchy fever.

All their eyes were then drawn to a flash of pink light, which was accompanied by a short 'pop', revealing a Great and Drenched pony standing close by, a very heated look in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Sid was busy being berated by a talking doll. She was laying with her face on the ground, looking to Reina, who was still under the bed.

“L- Look, there's no need to call me mean things,” she said, moisture gathered in her eyes, “I can be nice and fair! Oh! I know! How about a game!” she said enthusiastically, getting a guarded look from the filly, “We ask each other a question, one at a time, and the other has to answer it! And since I'm nice, you can go first!” she said, getting a considering look from Reina.

“Okay. Are you gonna foal-nap me?”

“Don't know,” she replied, making the filly blink. “My turn! Did you use your eyes on Trixie?”

“Hey wait!” Tiko interjected, “How're we supposed to play seriously if you give an answer like that, dum-dum!?”

“I, that is-” Sid replied, looking a little lost, “I don't know what I don't know,” she replied, a confident, yet oddly confused note in her voice. “So … did you use your eyes on her?” she asked sheepishly, making Reina look to Tiko with a bothered expression.

“No,” Reina replied flatly, “I'd never do that.”

“Oh, really?” she asked, sounding a little pleased. That didn't spare her from getting a cross look from Reina.

“You said one at a time, dum-dum!”

“I'm sorry!” Sid quickly replied, getting a satisfied look from Reina.

“Where were you taking me?”

“To The School,” Sid replied with a nod, before taking on a ponderous look. “So, does that mean Trixie is your friend?” she asked, making Reina keep a guarded look as she considered the question.

“Yes, she's my friend.” She then blinked at her answer, a smile looking to escape at the realization, but she didn't let it show. “So what is 'The School'?”

“Oh, that's an easy one!” Sid replied, sounding quite entertained, “It's a place where children of all types learn together. It's a great place, if you're good at making friends. I saw your show earlier, so I think you'd do great there,” she said, sounding a little envious. They both paused when another series of explosions went off outside, particularly close to the wagon. Blasts that signified one thing:

Ember wasn't itching anymore.

In fact, she wasn't doing much of anything anymore, besides being a passed out, smoldering scorch mark on the bridge.

Slick was now closer to the carriage, having used Trixie's focused barrage of revenge to approach unscathed. He looked from his smeared companion, to the two mares before him. He was now too close to them for fireworks, a fact he was quite aware of. Trixie eyed him dangerously, before glancing to the carriage.

“Reina, you okay in there?”

“It's nothing Tiko can't manage!” the doll shouted out, making Trixie frown as she glanced to Zecora, who nodded. The zebra then scooted closer to the door, but paused when Slick took a step forward.

“Alright,” Trixie began in an attempt to distract him, “what sort of sorcery did you use to dispel my cage?” she asked, getting a blank look from the stallion.

“I bucked it really hard,” he replied with a deadpan expression, making the showpony scoff.

“And you expect Trixie to buy that?”

“Well, yer cage is gone, ain't it?” he asked, getting an annoyed look from the mare. Despite her efforts, his eyes were still on Zecora, making Trixie frown.

“Are you quite done wasting Trixie's time?”

“Maybe, it is a bit late after all,” Slick replied in a put-off tone, getting a surprised look from the mare, “Honestly, we should all be asleep right now, instead of makin' all this noise.” From inside the carriage, Sid's ears perked, who then nodded. “But, we gotta job to do,” he then bounded forward, catching the mares off guard in his haste. Trixie's horn glowed, her magic ready to send off a firework, but she hesitated.

Her hesitation allowed Slick to slip past Zecora, knocking away another pouch she'd chucked. She turned to follow him, but paused when he placed his hooves on her glyph-marks. Everything seemed to freeze for a moment as the mares processed that. Zecora's face turned red.

“Y- You are much too frank! Now let go of my-” she began, her breath catching when Slick swung her around, leaving Trixie and Zecora's mouths agape as he casually tossed the zebra, sending her flying over the side of the bridge.

“Z- Zecora!?” Trixie asked with some concern, getting a loud splash in return.

“She'll be fine,” Slick assured, giving Trixie a cool look. “So, how'd ya get back up here?” he asked, getting a cautious look from her.

Magic,” she replied, horn glowing in preparation, before giving him a confident look. “You do know that you can't beat Trixie, don't you?”

“Didn't really plan on it,” he said with a sigh, his body glowing pink as he was swallowed up by Trixie's power.

Meanwhile, inside the carriage, two lamia were wearing considering looks.

“So what's it like, back where you live?” Sid asked, making the filly blink.

“What, you've never been there?” she asked, before waving her hooves about, “Don't answer that, it doesn't count.” She then looked to Tiko. “What's with her? Why does she care?” she whispered to the doll, getting silence in return as she looked back to the mare. “Home, well, it's sandy and dry, and there are a bunch of dangerous creatures there. And it's always hot. But,” she added with a smile, “it's home.” She then glanced to the side, noticing an oddly sweet smell in the air, making her let out a small yawn. “Why did you take me away from home?”

“That wasn't me, or Slick,” Sid replied defensively, “We don't like doing that sort of thing. We were just supposed to take you to The School,” she said, before letting out a long exhale.


“It's true,” Sid replied, sounding hurt. “...Reina, what's it like, having a mother?”

“It's awesome,” the filly replied, her head nodding several times as she tried to keep her eyes open, “She's always there when I get hurt. She smiles when I make something for her. She makes me … feel safe...” she said, letting out a yawn before looking to Sid. “Why am I sleepy...” she then blinked, before giving the snake a weak frown, “Oh, you're a lurker, just like mom... You cheater...” she finished, getting a hurt look from Sid as the filly passed out, Tiko rolling out of her limp grasp.

Sid eyed the doll worriedly, expecting its ghost to hop out and spook her. After several tense moments of nothing, she let out another sigh. A sudden and close crackle of thunder then made her jump, causing her to glance to the shutters, heart racing. After a moment of collecting herself, the older lamia considered Reina for a moment, her sleeping white mist hanging in the boxed in air, a conflicted look on her face.

Outside the carriage, Slick stood there, briefly reflecting on better days. His mane was now poofy and multicolored. His jacket was gaudy and riddled with stripes. His face was white, and his muzzle was painted red. The air smelled of ozone. Under the paint was a plethora of new scorch marks, carriage friendly scorch marks.

“Ya done?” he asked, getting an impressed look from Trixie.

How are you still standing?” she asked, making him tilt his head.

“I was still standin' last time, wasn't I?”

“Well, yes, but you gave up that time!” she pointed out.

“I sure did. Wasn't 'bout to pull somethin' on somepony as important as you. But ya had to go an' open the box!” he exclaimed, before shaking his head. He then took a step forward, making Trixie step back with a guarded look. He blinked, tilting his head, “Scared?”

“Hah! As if!” she quickly replied. “Trixie isn't scared, just, impressed,” she replied, her horn glowing threateningly as he considered her.

“Heh, a compliment,” he said with a small smile, making her blink.

“Oh, you liked that?” she asked with a sly smile, “Trixie admits, you're the first pony she's had to tackle with that wasn't bothered by her fireworks. Shame that being strong and tough isn't enough to best Trixie!” she said, her horn glowing brighter, before the light flickered away, along with the pony.

Slick blinked, Trixie was gone, making him look around with a guarded look. “After all, being strong means nothing if you can't touch her,” he heard, the source having no definitive direction.

“I knew we were poorly equipped,” he said dismissively, walking around for a moment, expecting an attack that never came, “Still, don't need to see ya to deal with ya,” he added, feeling a sense of hesitation in the air. Slick adopted a considering look as his hoof rolled over the abandoned bundle of TNT the itchy pegasus dropped. “Ember's explosives can manage that. It ain't a problem we can't work around,” he assured, before kicking the dynamite away, glancing defiantly towards the carriage.

“...What's with you?” Trixie asked cautiously, Slick's eyes softening as he adopted a flat look.

“Just doin' a job,” he replied, an awkward silence falling between them. His ears then perked, eyes widening as he glanced back towards the city, “Looks like it's over. Time to go!” he added, before turning away from the cart, approaching the scorched pegasus.

“What? You're leaving?” Trixie asked in a confused tone, her invisibility discarded, horn aching from the exertion.

“That's right, we ain't stayin' fer them,” he replied as he tossed the burnt pegasus onto his back. Trixie tilted her head for a moment, before her ears perked too, catching the sound of sirens in the distance.

“Wait, so you're gonna run, just like that?” she asked in a disappointed tone, before her eyes widened in alarm, making her look to the carriage, riddled with small burns and dents. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, horn glowing as she saw all the locks undone, the windows hanging open.

With amazing haste, she climbed up to the closest window, peering in, heart racing. She then let out a big sigh of relief when she saw Reina asleep, tucked in the bed, Tiko wrapped around her hooves. There was a faintly sweet smell in the air, one Trixie was sure she'd smelled before. She then blinked, “How is she asleep?” Let alone the unlocked everything.

She then looked back to Slick, noticing that the stallion and explosive bird were nowhere to be seen. She heard the sound of something big splashing into the water, making her frown. “Seriously! You're gonna just run and be all anticlimactic about this!” she shouted, sounding insulted, getting silence in return.

She then glanced back to the city, worry lining her features as she heard the sirens coming closer. She took in the sorry state of the bridge, her eyes widening at the conclusions somepony would draw if they saw it, along with her fireworks collection. She could also imagine what Luna would have to say after hearing about this.

“Right, nothing to see here!” Trixie let out, quickly strapping herself in and putting the cache away as she pulled the wagon to the far end, “Just going to, uhh, continue on our way!” she added, pausing at the short gap. As she considered how to get the carriage past it, a soaked zebra came running from ahead. Zecora paused when she saw Trixie, a worried look in her eyes.

“That toss gave me quite a sight, now tell me, is Reina alright!?” she asked, getting a nod from Trixie.

“She's fine, but we gotta go,” she said, eyeing the pony-sized gap.

“Then Trixie, allow me to offer my aid, and together our retreat shall be made,” she said, easily hopping over the gap, standing at Trixie's side as she nodded to the carriage. Trixie's eyes narrowed at her, before she noticed that both of their manes were still wet. They'd both shared in the dip, and Trixie had a feeling Zecora was the reason Ember was such an easy target in that last volley.

Trixie let out an annoyed sigh as she glanced to the side. With a flare of her aching horn, the straps shifted and changed, making the carriage go from one pony power, to two. Okay, one unicorn power, and one zebra power, but that was complicated math that Trixie didn't want to get into.

“Okay, we jump on Trixie's call,” the showpony decreed, both of them pulling back to get a running start, before they began galloping to the gap. “Now!” she let out, both leaping in unison.

Trixie's breath caught as they went airborne, expecting the back ends of the cart to catch in the fall, and pull the carriage and all along into the river. Their hooves landed in unison, their momentum carrying them forward. They both were jerked back briefly as the back wheels were caught, before the wheels were pulled over the edge, breaching the gap. Trixie could hear all manner of things being knocked around inside, making her free herself from the straps as she told Zecora to keep moving.

Running around to the back, Trixie effortlessly opened the door and hopped in, seeing the insides being in a sorry state. Reina was buried under several books and blankets on the floor, but was still asleep, getting a sigh of relief from Trixie. The showpony then sat down, eyeing the filly with wonder, before glancing back to Vanhoover, the run across the bridge ending as the carriage entered the forest.

She briefly glanced at the river with an annoyed look, before her eyes fell to the city. Adopting a small smile, she gave the city a small bow, before turning to put things back in order, letting the filly dream away, as the city grew distant behind them.


“That mare is a real brute!” Ember exclaimed, wincing as she stretched out her soaked wings, soot free, but still looking a little scorched. “Just look at my feathers!” she added, getting a sigh from the washed up clown.

“Sid, ya here yet?” he asked the open air, getting silence in return. He then glanced back to the bridge, now filled with ponies they didn't want the attention of.

“Present,” Sid said in a small voice as she came out of the woods.

“Wait, why isn't Reina with you?” Ember asked in alarm, her eyes narrowing. “Don't tell me after taking this,” she said, spreading her wings out in their glorious shame, “You couldn't even manage to save her from that- that- charlatan!”

“I ... couldn't do it,” she said as she glanced to the side, getting an appraising look from Slick, before he nodded.

“I gotcha,” he said in a calm tone, making Sid look all the more ashamed, “Did ya at least learn anythin'?”

“Um, I know they're heading to Horseshoe Bay,” she said as she looked back to him, “And they'll be going through Tall Tale to get there.”

“And just how do you know that?” Ember asked accusingly, barely keeping some semblance of sense at Sid's failure.

“It was hanging on the wall,” Sid said confidently, “Slick, Ember, I'm sorry,” she added as her ears fell.

“Just how incompetent are you!?” Ember shouted as she got in Sid's face, “We gave you plenty of time!

“Stop it Ember,” Slick said in a stern voice, making the mare hesitate, “Sid couldn't steal Reina away. That's all there is to it. Next time, Sid will just have to deal with the broad instead.”

“O- Okay,” Sid replied, giving them a determined look.

“...Wait, you said Tall Tale?” Ember asked, getting a nod from the lamia, “Then, that means we're heading there next!” she said with a hint of excitement, her altered mood getting a confused look from Sid.

“Well, yeah. We're headin' to Tall Tale,” Slick affirmed, getting a small smile from the pegasus, which disappeared when her wings flinched in pain. Just like that, her emotions flipped back, making Sid slink behind Slick as Ember glared out over the river.

“That foul mare! I'll make her pay for this, just wait and see!”


Reina came to with a start, worry breaking her from her dreams as she glanced around. She then blinked, feeling an odd warmth next to her. Her worry shifted to surprise, her face blushing as she realized Trixie was sleeping next to her. Her red deepened when she noticed that her tail was coiled around the showpony.

It was still dark, and Reina wasn't too sure what happened, but she was still in the carriage. Still safe, like Trixie said she'd be. The filly glanced to the side, eyeing her bed on the floor, considering it for a moment.

Talking to the odd lamia had made her think of home, of her mother. Her chest hurt for a moment as those thoughts came rushing back, but the pain slowly melted away from the warmth breathing next to her. Looking to the sleeping mare, Reina slowly closed her eyes.

She didn't want to leave.