• Published 15th Feb 2012
  • 14,082 Views, 610 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.

  • ...

Healing the Scars

// Author's Note: This chapter contains shipping. I apologize if it offends anypony, but it's less about the shipping and more about the emotions behind the actions.

Chapter 22: Healing the Scars

Twilight and Lemon galloped straight to the royal castle, making it there around three in the afternoon. They slowed to a walk as they made it to the courtyard, and after asking around they discovered Cerulean was being kept in her old room. The guard outside the door lifted a hoof as they approached, himself staring at Lemon who was even taller than him.

"I'm sorry, Twilight. No visitors until he wakes up, Princess Celestia's orders," he said firmly.

"I see..." She thought for a moment then turned to Lemon. "I'm sorry for dragging you over here just to be turned away at the door."

"Don't be. To even have a chance to see him again, it was worth the trip. I've already left work for the day, so I will stay here until he awakes. He's got a lot of explaining to do," Lemon replied. Twilight led Lemon to a guest room and they sat in silence, each with their own thoughts. Twilight pulled out the parchment and sat staring at the blank page, trying to think of a way to apologize. She ended up drawing a picture not much better than Cerulean's card had been, and then shoved the scroll back into her bag, resigning herself to wait.

It was early evening when Cerulean awoke. He made no effort to move, as his limbs were leaden and a dull ache traced through his legs every time the muscles contracted. After a time he opened his eyes and looked around. Judging by the decor, he surmised he was inside the royal castle. With great effort he hoisted himself into a sitting position, noting the bloody towel that the guard had left on the table and the bandages around his legs. The guard saw his movement and immediately left the room to inform Celestia that he was awake.

Cerulean retreated inwards, mulling over what he had said to Twilight. He regretted his words but at the same time it felt like she had broken his trust somehow, anxiety rising in his chest as he pondered what to do about it. He wanted to apologize every bit as badly as he wanted to be apologized to, his mind repeating circular arguments without end. Celestia's entrance broke him from the cycle as he glanced away, not wanting to make eye contact.

"Cerulean, I am glad to see you are awake. How do you feel?" she said gently, stopping by the side of the bed.

"Confused. Hurt. The confusion is worse," he muttered. Celestia listened quietly as he attempted to put his emotions into words, but try as he may he couldn't quite seem to find a satifying way to say what he wanted to say.

"Tell me the conditions of the curse," Celestia commanded, changing the subject.

"I wasn't allowed to show anypony the markings, or tell anypony of them. And the closer I got to other ponies, the more pain the spell would store for it's eventual activation, multiplying in intensity. It's little wonder that it had the reaction it did, after meeting Twilight..." he said quietly, his vacant eyes staring into the distance. "I imbued those leg bands I always wore with magic daily, to keep the curse at bay. But then... Twilight removed them. No warning, no reasoning, I just awoke to complete agony. I... I could hear Bangles voice..."

"So, you're hurt not only by the physical pain it caused, but also the anger you displayed. Yet you also hold her responsible for taking matters into her own hooves without your permission which justifies your anger, is that correct?" Cerulean nodded, the summary as good as any. Celestia turned and walked to the door. "Before your anger grows any deeper, take a look at your legs, you may find cause to thank her. She's been waiting for you, I will tell her that you are awake." With that she left the room. Cerulean slowly unwrapped the bandages, and his eyes grew wide as he regarded his legs with complete disbelief. The words that had formed the curse had disappeared, the only trace of their existence being a few small patches of dried blood. The confusion and anger drifted away, leaving only sadness that he had raged against the one who had finally freed him of his curse. As his mental beating of himself reached full swing Twilight entered, approaching slowly and setting the saddlebag down beside the bed.

"Twilight, I just want to..." he started before drawing silent as she raised a hoof in the air.

"Cerulean, I'm sorry. I sensed the danger, but I ignored it. I wish I could tell you why, but I really don't know myself. It just felt like something I had to do." Cerulean looked into her eyes, seeing the sincerity mingled with regret. "I don't know if you can forgive me, but I have some things I'd like to share with you." Cerulean watched with curiosity as she pulled out a loosely bound manuscript with no title and handed it to him.

"Uh... And this is?" he questioned, looking at the volume and then at her. She motioned him to read and his eyes grew wide as he realized it was the copy of Daring Do he had never been able to retrieve. "But how did you?.." his voice trailed off as she pulled out her diary and handed it to him. "Twilight, you don't need to..."

"I looked upon something that was not for my eyes, so it's only fair you do the same. Just read it," she demanded, and he promptly obeyed. Twilight tried not to let his growing laughter get to her as he read the rather lengthy portions she had written discussing the finer points of his overall attractiveness in the more recent entries. After a short time he set it down and looked at Twilight. "Cerulean, can you forgive me?"

"Twilight, there's nothing to forgive. Look," he said, holding out his arms, free of the markings that had bound him for years. "Twilight, I would still be cursed if it weren't for you stepping in. It's true, I was very angry that you had done so without my permission..." Twilight dropped her gaze, looking at the floor. "But if you hadn't, the past would have continued to haunt me. Yet again, I am in your debt. The better question is can you forgive me?" Twilight climbed onto the bed and gently lowered herself onto his chest, touching her horn to his. He felt not just forgiveness but an overwhelming sense of thanksgiving as well. He stroked her cheek and felt a new emotion flare, and an incredibly stimulating one at that. His eyes opened to see Twilight gazing down at him, and he flushed as Twilight pressed herself against him, kissing him fervently as she locked him in her arms.

"Am I correct to assume that I may enter now?" They both whipped their heads towards the door as Lemon entered, rolling his eyes and blushing slightly at their display of affection. Cerulean's vocabulary left a quick "on hiatus" note and bailed, leaving his mouth open but extremely ineffectual for anything other than basic life support functions.

"L... L... Lemon?!?" he stammered as his friend towered over them. Twilight extricated herself and got off the bed, standing on the other side.

"I thought you might like to see him. Consider this another piece of my apology," she said with a grin. The two stared at each other for a long time. The stare was broken as Lemon suddenly whipped his hoof around and punched Cerulean full in the face. Twilight immediately jumped between them, her horn glowing dangerously and teeth bared. She relented as Cerulean placed a hoof on her shoulder.

"Twilight, it's ok. I deserved that." She shot Lemon one more glare before retreating to Cerulean's side on the bed, and it was then that she noticed Lemon's eyes had filled with tears. He stooped low and wrapped Cerulean in his lanky arms.

"Don't ever run like that again. I mean it, Cerulean, I'll beat you good if you do. I didn't know if you had just left or been murdered by an angry crowd or anything, you just disappeared. Do you have any idea how worried I was?" Cerulean hung his head returned the motion. "You better have a good explanation." Cerulean pulled away and cupped Lemon's face in his hooves, causing him to quickly yank away. "Look, I know you probably missed me too, but I don't swing that way. Besides, I believe your lady would be a bit peeved if we tried to recreate the moment you just shared together."

"Dude, seriously? Do I look the type?" Cerulean responded, dropping back to his old mode of speech much to Twilight's amusement.

"...Do I need to answer that?" Lemon laughed, grinning widely.

"Dazzle, your face. Here. Now," Cerulean commanded in mock anger. Lemon complied, and mirth drained from his face as Cerulean relayed his memories of the events just after the trial through his horn. After a time he pulled away, and Lemon's eyes blazed with frustration.

"Is everypony in this blasted town completely out of their minds? Since when does 'not guilty' mean 'make their lives miserable forever after?'"

"Lemon, let it go. It is what it is, and besides," Cerulean said, placing his hoof over Twilight's, "It led to me finding something wonderful." Lemon watched as they gazed starstruck into each other's eyes.

"Oh gag. Hello you two, third presence here. Stoppit, you're freakin' me out." Cerulean and Twilight both shot Lemon mischevious grins and then leaned into a deep kiss. "All right, that's it, I'm out of here." As he made for the door he dropped to a bow as Celestia swept into the room, Luna in tow. Lemon raised his head in time to see Celestia wrap both Cerulean and Twilight in a fond embrace, overjoyed that they had patched things up so easily. "Wait, you know the princesses personally?"

"And what of it? Who might you be?" Luna said, turning and staring him down.

"Celestia, Luna, this is my good friend Lemon Chiffon. He's probably the only pony who didn't turn his back on me after the trial," Cerulean replied in his stead. Celestia approached, staring at him for a moment before breaking into a smile.

"I see. Welcome, Lemon Chiffon. It seems Cerulean owes you a deep debt of gratitude. You are welcome to stay for the night, if you so wish."

"T-thank you, Princess," he stuttered, never having actually seen either princess up close. Twilight waved cheerily as they left, before turning back to Cerulean. Lemon watched in silence as the bantered back and forth, a smile slowly forminguntil they kissed again at which point it turned to a mock frown of disgust. "Ewww, stop that, it's so gross!" he wailed dramatically, faking dry heaves.

"Awww, I think he feels left out. C'mere you, give Cerulean some sugar," Cerulean replied as he dropped his voice suggestively low. Having forgotten the weak condition of his limbs, Cerulean attempted to jump at him but fell splayed on the floor, groaning.

"No thanks, you don't look like you'd be much fun right now," Lemon said casually, waving him off. The moon soon rose in the sky as the three friends passed the night catching up, swapping stories and poking fun at each other. As the clock struck twelve Twilight rose and led Lemon to one of the guest rooms.

"Lemon, thank you for coming. It was good to see him laugh like that." Lemon turned to Twilight, his face serious.

"Twilight, I don't know if you know it but you're already far more important to him than I ever was, or will be." Twilight's shocked expression told him that she was quite oblivious to the subtle signs that Lemon had easily seen. "Twilight, he would give his life for you without hesitation. Even after all these years, even with only a partial cutie mark, I can see that clear as day. You've awakened something in him, changed him for the better. So really, I should be thanking you. Thank you for saving him, Twilight." With that, he retreated inside the guest room and closed the door. Twilight pondered his words as she returned to find Cerulean chuckling quietly to himself as he continued to read her diary.

"Even though he was laying drugged on the floor, I couldn't help but trace the water drops that ran down his body. I had the sudden urge to lap them up, but as I realized that I too had eaten the frosting, I decided it best to lose my sanity elsewhere. Still, it might have been fun to stay there; who knows what might have happened?" Cerulean read aloud, causing her blush deeply. "What kind of things did you have in mind?" She said nothing and left the room. Cerulean sighed, assuming that he had crossed a line with his recitation, and with a groan dragged himself off the bed and entered the shower, thinking the warm water would help relax his muscles. The pain was mostly due to magical strain, so it had gotten much better as the day dragged on. As the warm water caressed his features, he closed his eyes and let his mind drift away with the steam.

Twilight had in fact left to try to get her mind under control, his teasing and the memory of the event having stimulated the more active parts of her imagination. When she returned to the room she immediately noticed the sound of the shower running, and the color again rose to her face as she imagined what it would be like to join him. How would he react? Would it be all right? As her mind returned from pondering these things she found herself standing in front of the door to the bathroom, her heart racing and hooves trembling as she opened the door. Was she really walking towards him, or was this a vivid hallucination? Cerulean was on his hind legs letting the water flow through his mane when she slid away the door and climbed inside, firmly wrapping her forelegs around his waist.

"...Twilight?" he questioned, his softly flushed cheeks deepening a couple of shades as he observed the lavender arms around his middle. "What are you?.." He turned around and she looked up at him, her breathing rapid and trembling.

"I..." she started, looking away as the reality of where she was and what she was doing descended. She could have run, and part of her wanted to. Truth be told, she was scared of being rejected for her bold advance. But she was already there, so she closed her eyes and took the plunge as she felt Cerulean gently stroke her face, turning it back towards himself. "Everything I am, I give to you," she whispered, pressing him against the wall and kissing him passionately. Her fear flared as he stood motionless for just a moment, until she felt herself wrapped in his embrace, pulling her close. One hoof remained on his chest while her other traced a path down his side, coming to a rest upon his cutie mark. He mirrored the motion, a trill of excitement coursing through them both as their body temperatures rose above the soothing cascade.

The shower water was shut off after a time, and Twilight pressed Cerulean towards the bed. She giggled quietly as she shoved him onto the soft mattress and jumped atop him, laying across his chest and gazing into his brilliant teal eyes. "You have a great flank," she said softly, before realizing that her mind had complemented the wrong body part, herself meaning to speak of his eyes. Cerulean stared at her in confusion for a moment before laughing uproariously, causing Twilight to look away, unable to blush any more deeply than she already was.

"Beat me to it, Twilight," he murmured, stroking her wet mane and watching as the water dripped down her muzzle and onto the bed.

"Please tell me you weren't actually going to say that," she asked, bopping him lightly on the nose as she sat up.

"Well, I've been thinking it plenty, but there's actually something else I wanted to say," Cerulean said with a smile, sitting up so he could make even eye contact.

"Oh? And what might that be, Mr. Snowgleam?"

"Twilight... I love you, with all that I am." Twilight's breathing stopped, the words penetrating into her heart as he said them to her for the first time. The stallion before her became her entire world in a moment, and she was overcome by the magnitude of her desire for him, and only him.

"Cerulean, I... I love you too." He gently placed his hoof on the sapphire heart around her neck, pressing gently as she lay back. He stood over her and hesitated, until her hooves slowly rose, one behind his head and one behind his back, drawing him near as they both gave themselves to each other fully, two hearts burning as one.

The blizzard disappeared as Cerulean was cloaked in a massive lavender inferno. The internal chaos melted away as the flames devoured the miles of snow that stretched in all directions, revealing a flower strewn meadow. He watched in awe as beams of light shot from the ground, sporadic at first but increasing in number until he was in the center of a column of soft, violet light. He raised his eyes to the sky to see that it was shaped like a heart, cast upon the single cloud that resided in the sky. He closed his eyes as the peace he had sought for so long descended like a flood, wiping away every sorrow he'd ever known.

Twilight awoke to Cerulean's joyous cries ringing in her ears as he pranced around the room. While it was a much more pleasant way to wake than, for example, being tickled or doused in icy water, it still wasn't what she had expected after their first romantic night together.

"Cerulean, what is it?" she yawned, rubbing her eyes with a hoof. He turned to her, tears streaming down his face as he proudly displayed his flank. Twilight slowly brought her hooves to her mouth as she stared in disbelief. Behind his snowflake cutie mark had appeared a second, a lavender heart the same color as her coat.

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