• Published 10th Feb 2012
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Of Stars Descending - Taldaer



Human, deceiver, martial artist all these words have been used to describe me. Hi name's Stormcloud

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Ch 16. The weight of worlds

Chapter 16 The weight of worlds

Hey…
You’re awake
And it keeps you where you wanted to be known
That’s alright
You know that you’ve been framed
All the way
And it keeps you where you wanted to be known
But that’s alright.. you’re only human, boy…
Take your inhibitions going home

Have you ever stood before a choice between two things? Of course you have, it is part of our daily life after all. However, have you ever had the displeasure of having to choose between two things of near equal value? Some of you might’ve been put in that position and for that you have my sympathies. Choices come in all shapes and forms, some easy and some hard to the point of cruelty. Worst of all are the choices where there’s no right answer, at least that’s what you try tell yourself…

*~*

I was tired, not only had I stayed up later than I had expected to. The little rest I had gotten had been fleeting at best, but in the end I had to try and see the bright side of my situation. For I had at least managed to get Swiftmend to agree to help me. Now all I had to do was to play my part, and maybe just maybe everything would click in the end. This was more of a gamble than I would normally have taken but my options had run dry rather quickly. So with a large yawn and a complete stretch of all my muscles, new and old, I left my room for my morning spar with Rainbow Dash.

Finding my way to the guard room where Rainbow and I sparred was one of the few locations in the castle I felt confident in finding now. It was rather refreshing that I was finally beginning to get some grasp of the layout. Better late than never I suppose. I thought as my hooves led me to the familiar set of doors leading into the guards training rooms. Pushing the door open I found the polychromatic pegasus already waiting for me. For all the naps I saw her take in the show she seems to be an early riser if she had enough of a reason to wake up. I thought as I walked toward her. Rainbow looked up a second later and zoomed over as she spotted me.

"Oh oh, Cloud can we do weapon practice today?" she asked, a wide grin splitting her muzzle.

I groaned inwardly. I had let slip at one point that traditional Karate from earth incorporated weapons for reaching the black belts, well at least the style I had learnt did. So now at even intervals Rainbow would ask if I could teach her what I knew. I had explained why it would be impossible for me to teach her multiple times already, and I was semi certain that she just asked to see if she could rile me up at this point.

"We’ve been over this Dash. I cannot teach you how to handle a weapon designed for human hands, especially not when I’m a pony myself. Not only am I lacking the dexterity that my hands would provide, you aren’t familiar enough with my version of Karate yet to properly make the jump over to practicing with any of the weapons I’m trained to use." I patiently explained for what was probably the 3rd time.

"Aw, well it didn’t hurt to try this time too. So shall we get started?" Rainbow replied cheerfully.

"Aight, any ground rules for today?" I asked, having learnt that she liked to set certain restrictions to further focus on a specific set of techniques when we spared.

"Hmm, let’s see… How about only attacks using you fore hooves the first three rounds and for the two following that we’ll have to try and sweep your opponents legs whenever possible?" Rainbow suggested.

"Sure why the hay not." I said before dashing in only to be quickly countered by Dash.

Rainbow responded with a fierce grin, and then responded in kind by attacking my face. An attack that I quickly sidestepped, meeting her grin with one of my own. For a second we stood there waiting for the other to move, and then with a flurry of motion from both of us the dance was on.

I was not particularly worried about injury when sparring with Dash. She had practiced more than enough to know her own reach and more importantly she had control over her body’s motions. The only part of today’s menu that I dreaded a bit were the takedowns, as such techniques had never been my forte. But I guess that’s why she added it as one of the conditions for today. She liked when both us got something out of the session, and I suppose I could agree with that.

My contemplations were quickly interrupted as Rainbow got inside my guard with a quick instep, boosted by her wings. Forcing me to return my full focus on our daily brawl. That I had allowed her that close before reacting had of course not gone unnoticed by the speed devil I fought.

"You’re slowing down Storm! Stop thinking and just fight me!" she shouted as she retreated back from my attempted counter.

Rather than responding to her taunts I flared my wings and boosted myself forward in an attempt to catch her off guard. However as I had just recently started to try and incorporate my wings into my fighting style I misjudged the generated momentum greatly, causing my balance to break. Before I had time to recover Rainbow was there with a quick one, two combo.

"First match goes to me Storm." she said with a smile, offering a hoof to help me get back up.

"Well now that I’ve warmed up a bit let’s see if round two will be as easy shall we?" I replied with a smile of my own before grasping her hoof.

The moment I was back up my hooves the game was back on as we started to circle each other once more, both waiting for the other to make the first move. Betting on my offense for a second time I feinted high and struck low, forcing Rainbow back into a defensive role. Although the dance was just beginning for this session, it felt like it would be a good one.

*~*

Freshly showered I left the training area about an hour and a half later. After the sparring Rainbow had suggested that we’d practice the usage of wings while fighting, something she had been quite adamant about for quite some time. I could only wonder for what purpose she felt that I needed to know about it, but it was nice to acquire a new set of options so I was not one to complain.

Slowly my thoughts shifted toward what was next on my schedule, and as I stood there thinking a large yawn that I failed to stifle surfaced.

"Perhaps breakfast with coffee is a suitable next step of today." I muttered quietly to myself.

The yawn had been a painful reminder of the lack of sleep I had gotten the night before. Pushing such thoughts out of my head I set off to find a dining room serving breakfast, I could rest when all this was over and I needed to find the rest of the girls today. All for the sake of the plan. I thought as I guided my steps away from the training hall and towards what I hoped was a dining hall.

Luckily for me my nose caught the distinct smell of freshly baked bread just after a few minutes of searching. Following the scent I eventually heard a pair of voices that I recognized, streaming out from an open door further down the corridor that I currently found myself in. As I got closer I started to make out the words of what was actually being said, and judging by what I heard it seemed to an argument of some kind.

"Ah’m tellin’ ya Pinkie. Apple pie ain’t no breakfast food!" I heard what had to be Applejack herself exclaim.

"And I’m telling you Jackie that you should at least try it!" the second voice, most likely belonging to Pinkie Pie, growled.

As I reached the door I found Pinkie with a heavy scowl, dangerously close to force feeding Applejack with a large serving of apple pie. Applejack of course stared back stubbornly refusing to admit that a dessert was a proper way to start the day. So before either could start up the argument again I decided to make my presence known.

"Good morning, am I interrupting something?" I said, announcing that I was there. Both ponies jumped in surprise at the third voice suddenly joining them, but both recovered quickly when they saw who had spoken.

"Nopey lopey! Just a friendly discussion." Pinkie said cheerfully, as Applejack silently mimed “thank you” to me.

"Yes, friendly… Anyhow a good mornin" to ya Stormcloud.’ Applejack added.

"Thank you Applejack, Pinkie, now would there possibly be a chance that there’s some breakfast left in this dining room?" I asked, hoping that there would at least be something edible left for my rather late arrival.

"Oh yeah there should be plenty of food left! The only ponies who ate their breakfast in this room today was me, AJ, Fluttershy and Rarity!" Pinkie exclaimed happily.

"Great, then I won’t have to make a trip to the the kitchen yet." I said gratefully, as I moved over to the trolleys containing the assorted breakfast articles.

After quickly snatching up an assortment of spreads and a whole heap of toast I walked back to the table, but stopped to grab a pitcher of orange juice with one of my wings. Fully loaded with what I considered to a sufficient breakfast I sat myself down and started munching. Apparently it was quite a sight to see me wolf down piece after piece of toast since Applejack interrupted me in the middle of reaching for the next slice in line by clearing her throat. Turning my head to face the orange earth pony I heard Pinkie give a disappointed sigh.

"Aww, don’t interrupt him Jackie. He was about to break his first “I can eat x pieces of toast in less than ten minutes” record." Pinkie said sadly.

"His what now? I’m sorry Pinkie but Ah just don’t follow ya right now." Applejack said, sounding confused.

I on the other hand was more confused that Applejack just didn’t roll with it.

"No, the moment is gone Jackie. Now he’ll have to wait a week for the achievement to reset." Pinkie explained patiently.

"Well then that sounds unfortunate, but perhaps we should save this conversation for another time?" I asked, after taking a quick swig of juice.

"Okie dokie!" Pinkie exclaimed cheerfully.

"So Cloud, what’s yer plan fer today?" Applejack asked.

"Nothing much really, I was hoping to able to spend some time with all of you girls." I answered truthfully.

"Well ah think yer of to a fine start with that already." Applejack answered with a short but mirthful laugh.

"Yeah, I suppose I am. Speaking of which, do you two have any plans for today?" I asked, returning Applejack’s previous question.

"Well I was planning on going down to the city to buy some candy canes later." Pinkie quickly answered to AJ’s disapproving stare.

"Ah, was planning on spending the day helping Mac keep track of Applebloom and the rest of the crusaders." Applejack added.

I nodded thoughtfully as the two mares spoke. It was surprising that I had not run into any other ponies that I might’ve recognized, seeing how all of Ponyville had been evacuated to Canterlot. But I suppose that it was for the better in the long run, I couldn’t have too many distractions if I wanted things to proceed in a smooth manner.

"Sounds like a fine way to spend your time." I commented before asking

"You two wouldn’t happen to know where I could find either Fluttershy or Rarity would you?"

"Naa, can’t say tha-" Applejack began before being interrupted by Pinkie.

"Oh, oh! I do! I do! Pick me!" she cheered loudly while waving a hoof wildly in the air.

Barely containing a chuckle, Applejack looked like she would murder me if I laughed, I turned to Pinkie.

"Well go ahead then Pinkie, where are they?"

"Rarity said she and Fluttershy would meet for lunch down in the garden of statues later today." She supplied quickly.

"Okay, thanks for the info Pinks." I said before wolfing down the remaining toast.

I thanked Applejack and Pinkie for the company and left the dining room. As I started down the corridor I heard the argument between AJ and Pinkie start up again.

"Tell me that you’re joking Pinkie! Are you really going to buy more sweets later?" I heard AJ’s voice drift from the room I had just left.

Allowing myself a small chuckle I started to search for the next pony on my list for today. I was making great progress and hopefully my luck would hold.

*~*

If I know Twilight right she will already be in the study that she commandeered when she began her research. I thought idly as I let my hooves guide me in the general direction of the study.

After an extended search for Twilight’s research room I finally decided to swallow my pride and ask a passing servant for directions. The short talk that followed was not a boost to my self-esteem concerning navigation. Turns out I had walked past the room Twilight occupied four times already. Starting over once more I head toward the indicated room only to find it empty. A quick search of the room rewarded me with a small note explaining that she had run down to the library to cross reference something that she had found.

Well this puts a wrench in my plans. I mentally complained as I left the room behind. What do I do now? Should I wait for her to return or should I try to catch her at the library? That being said where the hay is the library? I was so lost in my thoughts that I did not notice that I was about to reach an intersecting corridor, nor did I notice the pony just coming around the corner of said intersection. Next thing I knew I had bumped into the pony and in the process fallen down rather heavily on my haunches.

"Oh dear, are you okay? I’m so sorry I did not see you there." a refined yet apologetic voice called out from above me.

Still a bit dazed I responded before looking up.

"Oh no, it’s partly my fault, I was deep in thought myself."

A white hoof appeared in my field of vision, a silent offering to help me back up onto my hooves. Accepting the hoof I was quickly back onto all fours and I raised my gaze to finally look at the pony who had helped me up.

"Thank you..." was all I managed to get out before any further thoughts of speech were obliterated. The pony I had bumped into was no one other than Blue Blood.

"No need to thank me my good stallion." he quickly replied.

Strange, I thought he would be more obnoxious than this? I thought slightly bewildered. In the meantime Blue Blood seemed to have had taken a closer look at me for he suddenly exclaimed.

"Oh wait I know you! You’re the one called Stormcloud yes?"

"That would be me." I answered carefully, bracing myself for a personality reversal.

"Oh most delightful, I’m prince Blue Blood. A pleasure to make your acquaintance." Blue Blood continued in his strangely joyful tone.

Okay, is he high or something? I wondered as my confusion only grew with each passing second. I refocused back to Blue Blood and found him studying me quite thoroughly.

"Is there anything I can help you with prince Blue Blood?" I asked him, leaving a bit of caution in my voice.

"Ah no, I was actually about to ask you the same thing good sir. I assume you’re looking for my aunt, yes?" came his smooth reply.

"Err, no I’m looking for Twilight Sparkle actually." I answered before I could fully register what he had asked.

"Ah Lady Sparkle. I believe I saw her return through the main gate a few minutes ago. If you go now you might be able to catch her." Blue Blood supplied helpfully.

"Thank you?" I said carefully once more. This entire encounter had been nothing but bizarre.

"Again, no need to thank me my good stallion." he said with a small laugh, his eyes once again sweeping over my body.

"Aight, I’ll just be going then. Nice meeting you." I said before walking past the white unicorn.

"Oh no the pleasure was all mine." Blue Blood called after me softly.

Okay that was beyond strange. He knew about the budding relationship between Tia and I, but that’s not exactly a secret. His demeanor though... Actually I’ll just save myself a headache and ask someone who might know later today. I started to think but stopped myself when I realized that I didn’t really need to solve this one mystery, nor was I sure that I wanted to. I did have something else to do right now after all.

That being said, I had no idea of how to get down to the main entrance from where I currently was. While silently cursing my sense of direction, and adding a few select words for the watered down curses I was stuck with, I eventually found a passing servant to give me clear directions to finding my path.

So after hurrying down a set of stairs that I had previously overlooked, I found myself trotting at a brisk pace down the main corridor of the bottom floor. The activity on this floor was significantly greater than the other ones. Here there was actually bustling activity with both castle staff, and normal ponies that came to have questions answered by the princesses at court or to sell their wares to the castle. Either way I quickly realized that it would be next to impossible to find Twilight from my current point of view.

As soon as I reached the entrance hall I stomped off the ground took to a lazy hover a few feet over the passing ponies, earning more than a few a weird looks from both staff and citizens. Apparently my ingenious idea broke some sort of social taboo, but at the moment I couldn’t care less. Finding Twilight was of great importance right now, it was in fact one of the most important meetings I’d have today. Come on, come on, where are you Twilight? I wondered as my eyes flickered back and forth, scanning the crowd.

Wait, there! I mentally cheered as I spotted a familiar mane moving through the edge of the milling ponies. It was pure dumb luck that I had seen her at all since I had been searching near the door, and had thrown a random glance toward that direction. Well, luck is not a factor to be underestimated. I told myself as I flapped my wings to catch up with the studious mare.

"Twilight!" I called out as I grew close, causing her to make a startled jump.

"Argh! Why would you do that Cloud? You nearly gave me a heart attack, it is bad enough when Pinkie pops up out of nowhere." she started to lecture in a stern tone.

"Ehehe, sorry ‘bout that." I said sheepishly, my ears dropping slightly as a response before perking back up as I continued.

"How about I make it up to you?"

Twilight cocked her head slightly to the left, continuing to give me a stern gaze, although an almost invisible smile lessened the impact.

"You know Cloud, you’re quite easy to see through at times. I don’t know what it is but you’re hiding something again. Never the less, I’ll bite. Mostly out of curiosity of what you’re offering, but I also want to see if I can figure out this new scheme of yours." She finally said after a few moments of thought.

"Okay, how about we do another study session today. But this time instead of focusing on finding a way home for me I’ll teach you some more about my world." I offered.

"Really!" Twilight almost shouted, her ears perking straight up.

"Yes really, the time limit is until lunch though and that should be abo-"

*Flash*

"-ut two hours from now." I finished slowly as the scenery had suddenly changed around me.

No longer were Twilight and I standing in the grand entrance to Canterlot castle, instead we were standing in a room that I identified as the guestroom Twilight currently stayed in. Well I was standing at least. Twilight was rushing around searching for quills, ink and parchment.

She must’ve teleported us. I slowly came to realize as I watched Twilight struggle to fit everything she had gathered into her saddlebags.

"You know, we don’t have to go to your study for this right? We could just do it here, it would give you more time for questions." I spoke up, fearing that if Twilight put any more magical pressure on the poor bags something would break.

My words caused her to pause for a second and then follow up with a frustrated groan.

"Augh, you couldn’t have said that a bit earlier?"

"Calm down Sparkle butt, it’s not like you’ve actually lost any time yet." I replied, a small smirk playing on my muzzle.

Twilight adopted a weird facial expression at the nickname but seemed to eventually file it under another of my quirks. Twilight lit her horn again and in a nimbus of quills, parchment and ink bottles the contents of her saddlebags came flying through the air, neatly arranging themselves around her on the ground.

"Well then shall we start?" she asked as she simultaneously dipped a quill in ink and readied a piece of parchment.

"I’m ready to start any time you want Twilight. Which topic would you like to explore today?"

"Hmm, how about entertainment on your world? I think that a lighter topic would be a nice start." Twilight answered thoughtfully.

"Entertainment huh? Sure that’s an easy enough topic, but it’s also one that could span this entire session. There’s a lot to cover in human entertainment after all."

"Okay, we’ll start there anyway, I’ll tell you if I want to explore a different topic." Twilight decided.

"Aight, then let’s start with a quick rundown of what is considered entertainment in modern human society, and then you can pick a more specific topic from there." I suggested.

When Twilight responded with a quick nod I continued.

"Okay then I will start by grouping them into three major categories and then we’ll work ourselves down from there. First of would be physical activities, here I would put sports and hiking to give you an idea of what you can expect if we explore this branch. Secondly I’d say would be social interaction, this would entail parties, hanging out with friends and other similar activities. Thirdly and last we have the digital realm, and this one is a bit tricky to describe. There’s social interactions happening all the time here as well as a type of sport, but neither of these would fall under the two previous categories." I quickly summarized.

After a moment of consideration Twilight spoke up.

"I think that we’ll start with the social interactions part first, I have a feeling that I’ll have an easier time relating to this topic without getting too sidetracked."

"Okay, then might I suggest that we start by you giving me a quick rundown of what you normally do here in Equestria? It would be beneficial to us both if I didn’t spend time repeating things you may already know about." I suggested.

"Hmm, that’s not a bad idea actually. I’ll give you a quick rundown on the activities that I have been enjoying during my time in Ponyville. First off we have…"

*~*

"Okay so you mean to tell me that everypony with the ability to access this mass of information also has the option to interact with each other?" Twilight asked, her voice carrying a slightly bewildered tone.

Not that I was surprised by the way she was reacting, quite the opposite really. The time limit I had given Twilight was almost up, and I had just been faced with the challenge to describe what I had meant by the digital realm. I thought I had done a pretty good job explaining some of the key-features, but unfortunately one can only do so much without any real aid. Or actually showcasing it for that matter. Sure I had shown her the phone that I had brought with me, and while it had fascinated her immensely it was old by today’s standards.

"In short yes, if they want to interact with others they have the option to do so. There are of course many steps involved in this process however."

"Like what, could you give me an example?" Twilight rapidly asked.

It was amazing really, Twilight’s thirst for knowledge was truly something fearful. During this two hour session her questions had never stopped coming, the only pauses I had observed were the ones when she’d have to dip the quill in new ink. Now however I’d have to disappoint her, I was not ready to start describing how a modern computer used the internet to acquire new software.

"I’m afraid that will have to wait Sparkle butt, I said our session would run until it was time for lunch." I said.

"But can’t you just give me a quick rundown?" Twilight asked, her facial expression begging me to accept. I almost caved in under that innocent desire to learn, almost.

"I’m afraid I can’t do that. Not only would a quick rundown spawn more questions than answers, it would also intrude on my lunch." I finally replied.

"Aww, okay then. How about tomorrow?" she asked hopefully.

"Tomorrow." I simply agreed, it would be easier this way.

"Yes!" Twilight cheered. "Let’s say after lunch tomorrow then?"

"Anything is fine really, but that’ll work. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to get going."

"Mmkay, see you tomorrow then Cloud."

With that I rose and walked out of Twilight’s room. I threw a final glance over my shoulder just as I exited, seeing Twilight deeply engrossed in reviewing her new information. Well then, time to get some lunch and then perhaps to meet up with Tia? I pondered as my hooves carried me in the general direction of the kitchen.

*~*

A quick salad later I was back on track for finding Celestia. Strangely enough finding the kitchen had been a simple task today. Now that I think about it, finding my way has been considerably easier today. Perhaps I’m actually starting to learn the basic layout of this place. I mused to myself as my hooves guided me towards the throne room. My plan to find Celestia was rather simple after all. I would just check the two most likely locations I could think of before asking for directions. Now if you’re sharp you may have noticed that I had decided to save asking for directions for last. In my defense all I can I say is that I’m male and my pride has a tendency to get in the way in situations like these.

The long corridors of the castle eventually led me to the throne room. Its large doors were wide open with two guards stationed on each side. Other than these guards I didn’t see anypony else in the immediate vicinity. While I didn’t hear Celestia from inside, she might still be in the room, I reasoned with myself as I approached the doors at a casual pace. After all it would look rather stupid to just turn and walk the other way. With that gnawing in the back of my head I simply walked past the guards and into the throne room. The room however was devoid of any princesses, in fact the only activity was a couple of servants that were busy with cleaning.

It seemed that I would have to continue my search for Celestia at her personal quarters after all. So after letting my gaze sweep across the grand room one last time I turned and headed back out. As I passed the doors again one of the guards called out to me.

"Sir, can we help you with anything?"

"No no, I’ll be fine. Thank you for asking though." I answered before moving on.

Once more I let my hooves guide me through the long corridors, trusting my subconscious to guide me to the correct area again. However after fifteen minutes of walking it seemed that I had managed to get myself lost as per usual. I guess that’s the extent of my luck today, eh? I thought to myself with a small sigh. Okay if I don’t recognize where I am after the next intersecting corridor I’ll ask for directions. I finally conceded.

Of course reaching the intersection ahead held no grand revelation relative to where I currently was. So with an annoyed exhale I started looking for someone to ask. The only problem was that the entire area seemed to be deserted. What followed was ten more minutes of me searching for somepony to ask for directions. Eventually I ran into a maid that gave me a clear description on how to reach Celestia’s quarters.

Thanks to maids clear instructions I was able to find my way to the correct corridor in a mere ten minutes. It was also clear to me where I had gone wrong, or rather where I had taken a left turn instead of a right. This area of the castle was another one full of activity, members of the castle staff were performing their respective duties and further down you could see the guards stationed at Celestia’s door.

As I approached one of the guards noticed me.

"Ah Stormcloud. Here to see her highness?" he said.

The familiar greeting made me come to a rather abrupt stop. The confusion must have been pretty clear on my face as guard spoke up again before I had a chance to say anything.

"Right, you probably can’t distinguish one guard from another. I’m Light Keeper I helped you find Luna yesterday." he explained.

"Oh, yes I do remember you. I didn’t get an opportunity to thank you yesterday though." I said as I indeed recalled the stallion now.

"No need to thank me, I was just doing my job. I’ll tell the princess that you’re here." He replied, before knocking on the door he was guarding and went inside when a low ‘enter’ could be heard from inside.

A few moments later he returned.

"She’s waiting for you inside." he said before returning to his post, leaving the door open for me to enter.

With a grateful nod I walked inside and found Celestia sitting by a desk studying a collection of what I assumed was reports. Her white coat shone in the afternoon sun that filtered in through the large window, giving no doubt that she was still the reagent of the sun despite her now smaller stature and pink hair. When she heard me step into the chamber, hooves against marble isn’t exactly quiet, she turned to face me.

"Cloud, how nice of you to visit me." She said with brilliant smile.

"Hello Tia, are you busy?" I asked in response.

"I was, but I was about to take a break anyway. We’re finally able to start sending some ponies back home know that Rage was defeated and Grief is in hiding." she said with a small sigh.

"That must be a relief for both you and your sister." I commented, silently hoping that I didn’t let any of my personal concerns from yesterday evening bleed into my voice.

But when she answered me I was once more secure in my deception.

"Yes, it is good to see that my little ponies are able to bounce back. Even from something as harsh as this."

"Well back to my intentions with this visit. I was hoping to catch you on a break actually." I said, bringing the conversation back into the track I wanted.

"Oh? Why is that?" Celestia asked, amusement tingling in her eyes.

"I thought I could share some of the music from my world with you." I offered.

Celestia adopted contemplative look as she threw a glance at the afternoon sun. When she turned back to me there was determination in her eyes yet her body language showed that she was quite nervous about something.

"I’d love to Cloud, but before that I think it is high time that I told you why I’m in this form. You see I-" she started but I held up a hoof to stop her.

"Don’t force it Tia, I can tell that you’re still not really comfortable telling me this and I can wait." I said, although part of me was screaming to find out what the truth was. A part that I crushed ruthlessly. I did not dare to have anything compromise the resolve I had built during the day.

"Are you certain you don’t want to know now?" she asked.

"I’m positive, now let’s listen to some music." I said, giving her a calming smile.

"Thank you Cloud." she said before continuing with a question

"How are we going to listen to music though?"

"Oh, sorry I keep forgetting that I never told you what this is." I said as I pulled my cellphone out of my weird hammer space pocket.

"Is that the device you were using the day before yesterday?" Celestia asked, a hint of curiosity finding its way into her voice.

"Yep. This is called a cellphone and is primarily used to talk to other people over long distances. But over time we have added more technology to these things, so that they can perform multiple tasks. One of these would be playing music." I quickly explained.

"That small thing contains music?" she asked raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah, last time I checked I had a couple of hundred songs on it." I replied casually.

Celestia’s eyes grew large and a surprised expression covered her features as I dropped my comment. It was quickly replaced with a smile though, and when she spoke next I understood why.

"You almost had me going there for a second Cloud. It’s not nice to joke like that." she said mirthfully.

"Ah but I wasn’t joking Tia." I said equally amused.

"Truly? Well you better prove me wrong then, otherwise I’ll be really upset with you." She responded before moving up beside me, giving me a light nuzzle. A gesture I returned before starting to explain how to navigate my phone’s menus.

Celestia seemed to grasp the concept rather quickly and was soon ready to select a song. So I plugged in the earbuds and offered on to Celestia who levitated it to her ear.

"Now remember what I showed you, use the keys to the side navigate through the menus and select the one you want with the one in the middle." I instructed again as Celestia held the phone in her magic.

"Okay let’s go with this one." she suddenly declared, using her magic to start a track.

Soon I could hear the familiar sound of Queen’s Radio Ga Ga, coming through my earbud. I snuck a glance to see her with closed eyes, completely focusing on the music with a small smile on her lips.

As the last tunes of the song played out she opened her eyes and looked at me.

"That was wonderful, what else is there?" she asked, leaning into me.

"We’ve only begun Tia, I think you’ll like this one." I said as I leaned back into her while reaching for the phone to select another song.

*~*

An hour and a half passed with just Tia and I listening to the music in my phone, making comments about genres and generally just enjoying eachothers company. Well that wasn’t entirely true we both snuck a peck or two in occasionally, but nothing lasts forever.

"It’s been a wonderful break from my work Cloud but I believe that I must return to my work again." Celestia declared, levitating the phone over to me.

"I agree this was nice, but you should keep the phone for the rest of the day. I already know all the song on it anyway and I’d like for you to enjoy them too." I said with a smile.

"Are you sure that you don’t need it?" she asked.

"Again Tia, I’m positive. I can’t call anypony anyway so music is the one function it has right now. Besides you being happy makes me happy. Err… Actually that sounded incredibly sappy, forget that last part." I started to ramble.

Celestia instead responded with a hug tackle.

"Thank you Cloud, I really mean it. For sharing this with me I mean." she whispered as she hugged me.

"No problem Tia, but I believe that you said you had work to do?" I said softly, letting a hoof lightly stroke her pink mane.

"Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. Are you free for tomorrow evening?" she asked as she retreated from the hug.

"Yeah, I should be." I answered.

"Good, I’ll see you then." she said warmly.

"Bye for now then Tia." I excused myself, leaving the pony I quite possibly was in love with to her work.

*~*

The sun was setting and I hadn’t been able to find Rarity or Fluttershy. Not that it truly mattered at this point. I ultimately decided as walked through the streets of Canterlot, my steps guiding me to a certain inn.

My right hoof knocked on a certain red unicorn’s door for the second time in less than 24 hours, and a few seconds later said unicorn opened it.

"Hello Swift did you manage to get everything?" I asked, keeping my voice neutral.

"Yeah, it’s all in the satchel on the bed." he said motioning with a hoof, his voice holding an almost sad quality to it.

"Then all that’s left to do now is wait." I said, stepping inside while Swiftmend closed the door behind me.

Author's Note:

Well what can I say? This one took a lot longer to finish than I had intended. At the beginning I suffered from writer's block and towards the middle and end life got in the way. For those of you still around, waiting after all this time. This chapter is for you.

As per usual I truly hope you enjoyed reading this chapter and I would appreciate a thumb up if you did. I'll leave you with the promise that the next chapter will come faster than this one, much faster even.