• Published 15th Feb 2012
  • 16,655 Views, 629 Comments

Tears in the Snow - Wintergreen Diaries

Twilight sees a vision after casting a spell to see the future and ends up saving a mysterious colt.

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Chapter 10: Home

The last remnants of the memory disappeared from her sight and Twilight once again found herself sitting next to Cerulean in the clinic. He was staring ashen faced at the bed, the burden of using so much magic combined with the trauma of reliving the experience had drained him of any desire to move. His body was drenched in an icy dew just like when he slept, and Twilight's mind was reeling from what she had been shown. During the vision she could feel the anger, the sadness, the absolute hopelessness and betrayal that he had felt in those final moments.

"I was expelled the next day," Cerulean spoke in a strained voice. "I never got to see Lemon before I left, wasn't even allowed to grab my belongings. Bangles told the principal that I had forced myself on her, and I was jailed shortly after."

"She did what?" Twilight yelled, stamping a hoof angrily. Cerulean winced as it made connection with his leg. Twilight immediately apologized, and he continued.

"I was found not guilty, as she dropped the charges halfway through the proceedings, but the trial stripped me of my schooling, my friends... even my parents told me I wasn't welcome anymore. I had nowhere to go, and nopony to go to. So, I left Canterlot, and wandered from town to town, accepting odd jobs where I could and learning to make ends meet. For the first year though, I had to sleep outside of city limits." Twilight cocked her head to the side, not following the implication. "My nightmares caused miniature blizzards. It's not something I can control, it’s simply my heart trying to cope with what’s inside. I did some... stupid things, those first few weeks after. I'm pretty pathetic, aren't I..." Cerulean's voice was now a pained whisper.

"You're wrong again, you foalish colt," Twilight said as she sat down atop his middle, her tone soft. He looked up at her with confused, hopeful eyes. "Even if it was the wrong choice, you put the wellbeing of your friends before yourself, and that is quite noble. However... There are some lines that should never be crossed..." she said ruefully. Cerulean dropped his gaze, all too aware of the fact. "I don't think any lesser of you as a pony. If I were in your position, I probably would have done the same for my friends. The fact that you can still smile and laugh after all this tells me you're not dead inside." Cerulean snapped his head up, staring at her intently.

"Do you mean that?" Twilight nodded, smiling. "So... you accept me as I am... even knowing my past?"

Finally, he’s starting to get it. Took him long enough. Still, it makes me happy that he knows, now... Twilight stretched out, laying atop his chest and nuzzling her head into his shoulder while wrapping her arms around his neck. The warmth of her body seemed to fill him from the inside out, and caused his cheeks to flush slightly. "I do." Never before had two words held so much meaning for Cerulean, and he felt as though the piece of him that had died had returned to life.

No, that isn't quite right. It's more like it's being replaced by something else. Something better. He wrapped his hooves around Twilight and held her, feeling more content then than he had ever dared to hope was possible. Cerulean began stroking her mane, amazed at how perfectly smooth it felt, like pure silk. Twilight sighed softly and snuggled closer, unwilling to try and ignore the acceleration of her heartbeat. They lay like that for a long time, and though they spoke no words, a sense of mutual understanding pervaded their hearts. Twilight raised her head and looked into Cerulean's eyes, which she again discovered to be nothing short of captivating. "You have beautiful eyes." she whispered. Cerulean's blush grew a shade deeper.

"They're not even in the same league as yours, they truly honor your name, Miss Sparkle," Cerulean beamed. Twilight giggled, shaking her head.

"Such flattery will get you nowhere, Mr. Snowgleam," she retorted, pinning his hooves at his side with her own and fixing him with a mischievous grin.

"If this is nowhere, then there's no place I'd rather be." The sincerity of his voice caused a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach as her body seemed to suddenly catch fire, so strong was the surge of warmth that swept over her. She found air to be a scarce commodity, and she noticed that she was shaking as she leaned closer to Cerulean's muzzle. She closed her eyes, and Cerulean did the same. Closer... Closer... Then they both jumped as Nurse Redheart walked through the door, dropping the medical charts she was carrying to the floor as her jaw made a break for the floor.

Cerulean stayed at the hospital that night to continue recovering, though he was glad to hear he should be able to leave in the morning. Having eaten her first real meal in three days, Twilight crawled into the bed she had been letting Cerulean use and let a deep sleep take her as she clutched a few strands of his teal hair to her chest. The calming of scent of his mane filled her senses, gently lulling her to the land of dreams - dreams she was glad nopony but her could see, as the things that occurred when Cerulean came to mind were more than slightly shameful even by most ponies standards. When she awoke late the next morning she gave a deep stretch, feeling extremely refreshed. The house felt strangely empty without Cerulean, and she was glad he was coming back.

"I'm glad to see you finally got some sleep, Twilight. You really needed it. You've gotten rather behind on your studies, ya know," Spike said walking over and climbing onto the bed, motioning to a week's worth of checklists that had collected a fair amount of dust. Twilight gave him a tight squeeze, knowing just how much she had been making him, and everypony else, worry since Cerulean came into her life. She held him a moment, smiling.

"That's not true, Spike. I've just been studying... something new." Spike looked up, curious, when he noticed the dreamy look in Twilight's eyes. Suddenly, what everypony else knew from the start dawned on Spike. Twilight saw the comprehension kick in and laughed briefly, then lowered her voice.

"Can you keep a secret?" she whispered. Spike nodded vigorously and leaned in closer. "I have a crush... on Cerulean." Spike gasped and nearly fell off the bed.

"Well, duh, everypony knows that!" Pinkie Pie said cheerily as ever, popping her head over the side of the bed, causing a very surprised Twilight to tumble to the floor.

"Pinkie? H-how did you get in here?" Twilight stammered, scrambling to her hooves.

"Third story window," Pinkie replied with a grin, leaving Twilight to ponder just how it was that she escaped the laws of physics so easily. They turned as knock sounded at the door, and as Twilight opened the door via magic, her friends filed in.

"How are you feeling, Twilight? You looked really tired yesterday, I hope you slept well," Fluttershy said.

"She looks a whole lot better today. Must be because she slept in Cerulean's bed!" Rainbow Dash's comment caused Twilight to fiddle with her hooves a little, trying not to think about the faint heat that rose to her face on account of the vivid recollections of her dreams.

"We're glad to see you're alright, Twilight. You've 'ad a rough time of it since Cerulean came 'round." Applejack said softly, hoping her words wouldn't be taken offensively. Twilight simply nodded, then motioned them closer and wrapped them in a group hug.

"Thank you, everypony, for always being there for me. I know things have been pretty crazy with me recently, but I want you all to know that I truly appreciate your friendship, even if it didn't seem like it," she said, recalling her behavior the last couple of days. "You're the best friends a mare could have." She sniffed, trying to stifle the tears that were beginning to rise to her eyes.

"Cerulean's presence sure has made you weepy, Twilight," Rainbow Dash teased, reaching over and wiping her eyes. "What happened to the calm, rational egghead that I knew?"

"She's falling in love, of course," Rarity said dreamily, eyes shining.

"Rarity!" Twilight chided, her facial features their usual lavender hue in exchange for a soft pink.

"Well, is she right? Is our little Twilight finally growing up?" Rainbow Dash pressed.

"Oh, oh, I know this one! She's totally mmmhmhmff!" Pinkie was mid-sentence when Twilight bodily tackled her and covered her muzzle.

"Pinkie, I was telling Spike a secret! Secret!" she yelled.

"Since when do you keep secrets from us, sugarcube?" Applejack prodded, a devious smile forming on her lips.

"Well, I..." Twilight stammered, too embarrassed to speak further.

"C'mon, out with it!" Rainbow Dash said, tackling Twilight and pinning her to the floor. Her friends gathered and aided in pinning her limbs, all save Fluttershy who sat nervously to the side watching the scene unfold. Rainbow Dash spread her wings and motioned to Fluttershy, who with great reluctance walked over and sat on Twilight's chest.

"What are you..." she started, then burst out laughing as Fluttershy began to gently stroke Twilight's ribs with her wings. Twilight was utterly helpless against the onslaught, and took several moments to gain enough composure to beg for mercy.

"No, please! Stop, I'll do anything!" Twilight yelled between gasps of air as her body quaked with laughter.

"I'm sorry, but you have to tell us the secret, Twilight," Fluttershy cooed sweetly, wings poised near Twilight's ribs, ready to begin again at a moment's notice. Spike stood idly by, smiling and offering no help whatsoever.

"Ok fine, you win, you win! I think I'm falling in love with Cerulean!" Twilight yelled, admitting defeat. Rarity squealed loudly, Fluttershy covered her mouth with both hooves, Rainbow Dash snickered, and Applejack heaved a massive sigh. Pinkie, on her part, was astonished that she had revealed her secret so easily. Without a word she then bolted upstairs and jumped out the third story window, leaving her friends exchanging confused looks.

"Twilight, you've known this colt scarcely a week, how can you say that you love him already?" Applejack inquired. "Love takes time, Twi. You may like him and that's all fine an' dandy, but there's no way you can say it's love. Not yet." Twilight's response was far more rational than Applejack was expecting.

"I know, Applejack. It's far too soon for me to be making such ridiculous assertions." she muttered, dropping her gaze. "But... I know that I care for him deeply, and while the feelings I have when I am around him are new and even a bit frightening, I want to explore them. I think he's worth the risk." Applejack relented, unable to refute the determination in her words.

Cerulean, having been released that morning, was making his way to Twilight's house when he heard a commotion coming from inside. Curious, he trotted to the door and pressed his ear against it. It sounded like Twilight and her friends were fighting over something inside. He closed his eyes, hoping it wasn't about him; he couldn't stand the thought of causing the ponies in this calm town any more trouble than he already had. His eyes opened halfway as he heard Twilight's laughter coming from inside. It was a beautiful sound.

"Ok fine, you win! I think I'm falling in love with Cerulean!" Cerulean's jaw dropped. Had he heard that right? He rested his head against the door, listening to Applejack's rebuttal and nodding. His momentary gloom turned again to joy as Twilight made her declaration.

"Twilight... I don’t know if I can say whether I’m in love with you or not, but I... I’ve never felt such a comforting warmth the way I do with you. Maybe I am in love," he whispered. "But am I... am I really worth..."

"You should tell that to Twilight, not the door!" Pinkie Pie's sudden voice from behind him caused him to jump, letting out a yell. Cerulean wasn't sure he'd ever get used to this mare, her uncanny ability to pop in at the most random times could be quite vexing. Upon hearing the shout, Twilight and her friends walked over to see what was going on and, opening the door, they found Pinkie Pie pushing Cerulean towards them. "Twilight, Cerulean has something to tell you," she sang cheerily.

"Pinkie Pie!" Cerulean said, half-heartedly glaring at the bouncing bundle of energy.

"Cerulean, what is it? Is something wrong?" Twilight stared intently at him, but grew similarly nervous as she saw color rise to his cheeks.

"Twilight, I..." He stopped. Pinkie's eyes narrowed, her mouth curling into an extremely disconcerting grin.

"We we have another secret keeper. Assume positions!" Pinkie cried, tackling him and pinning his right fore leg. Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Rarity each took a limb, pinning him down. Cerulean made no motion to struggle, knowing it would be useless, though having four mares on him at once caused his mind to wander. He shook his head violently to try and erase the bizarre thoughts that assailed him, having little success with both thought control and keeping his horn from glowing. Twilight walked over and sat on his chest, causing him to turn bright red, his already overreacting mind moving to even farther fetched limits. He could feel his heart beating wildly, each beat sending a pulse throughout his body.

"I'll give you one chance. What secret is Pinkie Pie talking about, hmmm?" Twilight said sweetly, leaning close to his face. He caught a whiff of her mane and turned his head away, losing the fight to restrain his mind as the comforting scent pushed his hallucinations over the edge. "Ok, if that's how you're going to be, then I guess I have no choice." Cerulean opened his mouth to respond, but what came out were not words but uncontrollable laughter. He lay helpless as she furiously tickled him, tears streaming from his eyes as he was subjected to the cruelest of tortures.

After a full minute, Twilight gave him a brief rest, his face nearly matching her coat due to oxygen deprivation. "So, are you ready to talk?" In truth, he was ready from the start, but he was rather enjoying himself. Countless ponies had tried to tickle him, but it had never garnered any kind of reaction, and he hadn't laughed like this in years.

"What... is that... all you've got?" Cerulean managed, grinning ear to ear. Twilight redoubled her efforts, not noticing her friends had let go and backed away, leaving just the two of them. Cerulean made no attempt to escape though he squirmed as his body convulsed of its own accord. Finally Twilight withdrew her hooves, resting them on his shoulders. Cerulean lay there recovering, their eyes locked. "Twilight?"

"Yes?" Twilight replied, leaning forward and eager to hear what he had to say.

"I heard what you said, and... I feel the same way." Twilight's eyes slowly closed as she leaned in deep, gently pressing her lips to his. As sparks shot through Cerulean's spine and his heart rate pulled triple time, he raised his arms and pulled her close. Every insecurity, fear, and apprehension melted away as the blizzard inside was repelled by the flame being kindled within. For the first time in four years, he felt like he had found a home.

A home that was in shambles due to his idiocy, he realized as she pulled away and rational thought again became a possibility. Twilight stood up and helped him to his feet, a little more than slightly embarrassed as she realized she had kissed him in broad daylight where anypony on the road could see. Cerulean took a moment to let his brain reboot, making a point of not staring at the lavender glow emanating from the mare’s horn. When he had sufficiently calmed down, he then looked at each pony in turn, making sure to make eye contact before speaking.

"I know... That my presence in this town has brought nothing but trouble and concern." Applejack muttered something he couldn't hear under her breath. "I truly am sorry for the worry and hurt that I've caused, not just to Twilight, or you her friends, but to all of Ponyville. I know I have no right to make any kind of request, but I want to fix what I've broken. I want this town to be my home, and it's community my family. I'll do everything I can to help with the repairs around town, but after what's happened I seriously doubt they will welcome me with open arms without somepony interceding. So, can you find it within yourselves to give me another chance? A chance to set things right." Twilight's friends cheered with the exception of Applejack, who fixed him in a piercing stare. He met the gaze, his mind set to take whatever the mare dealt him. If this was truly to be a home for him, he’d go to any length to make things right.

Ah can’t believe Twilight and everypony else can fergive ‘im, just like that. Well, I ain’t convinced he belongs here. This is a nice town, with lots of nice mares, and we don’t need some brain dead stallion t’ come in ‘ere and buck everythin’ up. If it weren’t for Twilight... fine, one chance, and one chance only. That’s all he’s gettin’ from me. "All right then Cerulean, let's put those words t’ the test. Meet me on my farm tomorrow morning at sunrise, and be ready t' work yer flank off."

"Thank you, Applejack." Applejack couldn't overlook the honesty and conviction in his voice. She knew he meant every word, but it was going to take more than that to convince her, and her orchard would be the proving grounds.