• Published 11th Sep 2013
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Second Princess of the Night - Senyu



With King Sombra gone, is Equestria truely safe from harm? Or will another foe as old as the Crystal Kingdom itself appear now that the dark unicorn's position of evil is vacant? What new danger will threaten the land and the Elements of Harmony?

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Act III - Chapter 41

A few days later…



“We’re back!” Twilight announced as she closed the library door behind her, then walked towards Rarity who was already dropping her bags near the desk.

“Hey, dinner’s almost ready!” Spike shouted from the kitchen.

“We’re making pasta and strudels!” Pinkie Pie added.

Rarity shook her head as Twilight levitated her bags down as well. “I swear, all those sweets are going to catch up to her someday.” Twilight merely smiled at the comment as she removed her wide brimmed sun hat off her head and placed it onto the desk.

“Are you sure you do not want an ensemble, dear?” Rarity asked as she eyed the plain hat for the umpteenth time. “I can make plenty of complementary outfits to go with your new hat once it’s finished. Perhaps a piece to help shield your body in the dawn and sunset, and maybe another that’s light and breezy when it’s noon? Oh! I have some lovely dress designs for the coming winter as well. I can make something that feels light but still provides enough covering to keep you warm, which I’m sure will be more than helpful with the sunlight.”

“It’s okay, Rarity,” Twilight replied with a meek smile. “All I need is a hat. But if you really want to make all those outfits, I won’t say no to them.”

Rarity tutted. “There’s no point in making them if you aren’t going to wear them.”

“Can’t you make them for somepony else?”

“I most certainly will not!” Rarity exclaimed as she began pulling out various fabrics from the bags. “The designs I have in mind will not be available in any seasonal line up. They’ll be one of a kind, and they’ll only be for you. I’ve been meaning to have a sit down with you since you became a princess to discuss this, but now is a better time than any. A princess needs her own wardrobe, something that is hers and is recognizable. Furthermore, you are in dire need for some clothing now that the sunlight doesn’t treat you as well as it did before.”

Rarity paused in her sorting before looking back to Twilight. “I’m sorry, was that too sensitive?”

“No, it wasn’t,” Twilight replied as she began to help pull things out. “To be honest, it’s actually kind of nice to not skirt around the issue. There’s no point in tip-hoofing over it anymore.”

“Nor is there any point to treat it so brashly,” Rarity replied. She bumped sides with Twilight and offered a smile. “Just let me know when you need a shoulder, okay, darling?”

Twilight lowered her ears and nodded. “Same for you.”

The two of them shared a quick embrace before turning back to the bags of supplies, sorting the final pieces out into neat piles of materials, fabrics, needles, string, and gems. Rarity ran her eyes over the various colored gems she had picked out, and brought her hoof to her chin in thought. “Are you sure you don’t want something extravagant? It would be no problem to run back to the shop and get some feathers.”

“This plenty enough,” Twilight replied.

“Are you certain? I have some wonderful peacock and quail feathers from Fluttershy that would complement the large style of the hat.”

“I’m fine, really,” Twilight said. “This is more than enough, thank you.”

Rarity gave her a sidelong glance, then sighed. “I suppose I should start out with something simple, shouldn’t I? Celestia knows I’ve been hesitant on picking up the needle again.”

“If you don’t want to-”

“No, I shan’t hear it!” Rarity interrupted. “I am a designer, and I can not let my troubles prevent me from doing my job anymore.” Rarity gave a firm nod to nothing in particular, but when her eyes passed over her various tools that she would float around herself, a hint of apprehension showed on her face. “Although… I suppose there’s nothing wrong in taking it slow…”

“Dinner’s ready!” Pinkie Pie suddenly announced as she and Spike appeared with trays from the kitchen.

Rarity’s hesitation faded away as she shook her head, and she gave a determined grin to her tools before turning away. “Wonderful. A quick bite to eat and we can get started,” Rarity stated as she and Twilight met them at the table.

“Fluttershy and Applejack aren’t back yet I take it?” Twilight asked as she sat down.

“Not yet,” Spike replied.

“I’m sure she’ll be here soon,” Pinkie Pie said. “The sun’s nearly down.”

Twilight looked to one of the windows that had a set of impromptu curtains drawn open halfway, and saw the orange glow of the sunset shining across Ponyville. “I hope so. Do you think she’ll let me help her tomorrow?”

“Most likely not,” Rarity answered. “I doubt working the orchard would be healthy for you.”

Twilight sighed as she stared out the window. Her fixated gaze was not missed by the other three, and when it was clear she wouldn’t be looking away anytime soon, Rarity gently placed her hoof onto Twilight’s.

Twilight flinched at the sudden touch, then became red as a sheepish smile appeared on her face. “Sorry. I keep doing that, huh?”

“It’s alright, darling,” Rarity said gently.

Twilight exhaled, then turned to the bowls of pasta Spike and Pinkie Pie had already placed for them all. Leaning forward, Twilight gave it a small sniff, then let out a happy hum. “This smells great. What did you put in it?”

“Just your regular dandelion pasta with seasoning,” Pinkie Pie answered happily.

“That can’t be all,” Twilight said as she levitated her fork to pick scoop some up. “Nothing’s smelled this good for me in awhile.”

“Of course nothing has! Nopony can make tasty, scrumptious food like me!” Pinkie Pie said while spreading her arms out wide. “Buuuuuut, this may taste extra special because of the super, extra special ingredient I added.”

“What is it?”

“Why don’t you taste it and find out!” Pinkie Pie said while grinning.

Twilight lifted her fork that held a hefty amount of pasta wrapped around it, and gave it another sniff, smiling at its aroma. After she could no longer stand it, she took a bite, and let out another happy hum as she placed the rest in her mouth. “Pinkie, thish ish sho good!”

“You really like it?” Pinkie Pie excitedly asked.

Twilight swallowed, and began to pick up more with her fork. “It’s amazing! I thought I would never taste food the same again. It’s so sweet for a pasta, but it has this heavy taste. It’s almost reminds me of-”

Twilight suddenly dropped her fork, and stared at the pasta with wide eyes.

“What’s the matter? Doesn’t it taste good?” Pinkie Pie asked while tilting her head.

“Pinkie… What did you put in this?” Twilight asked in shock.

“Well… Just a little something I thought you would like…” Pinkie Pie answered as she began to fidget with her hooves.

“You didn’t… Did you?”

Pinkie Pie gave her a sheepish smile. “Maybe a little?”

Twilight stared dumbfounded at Pinkie Pie until Rarity suddenly spewing pasta from her mouth and drew their attention. “Pinkie!” she screamed in sudden understanding. “Did you put blood in this?”

“Not in yours, silly,” Pinkie Pie said with a wave of her hoof. “Just Twilight’s.”

“Spike! Did you let her do this?” Twilight asked.

“M-Maybe,” he replied while poking his claws together.

“You drink blood, don’t you? I thought you would like it,” Pinkie Pie said.

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I want to!”

“I just thought that maybe a little blood seasoned pasta might help pick you up. You know, since you’ve been a little happier lately and it’s been a few days since you drank,” Pinkie Pie explained while motioning with her hooves. “I thought, ‘Hey, Pinkie! Let’s make Twilight’s dinner tonight extra special!’ It was harder than I thought it would be to make, and I was worried it wouldn’t turn out well, but you like it! Which is great! I bet I could even make a cupcake version. I was thinking of even calling it a Bloodcake!”

Twilight opened her mouth to protest further, but paused as a thought crossed her mind. “Pinkie… Whose blood did I just eat?”

Pinkie Pie shifted her front left leg behind her right, and gave Twilight a reassuring grin. “You don’t need to worry about me.”

“Pinkie,” Twilight moaned as she left her seat. “Let me see it.”

Pinkie Pie sat on her haunches as she hesitantly extended her leg out for Twilight to see, all the while smiling as reassuringly as she could.

It took only a moment for Twilight to find the cut, and she groaned at the sight of it. “Pinkie, this isn’t how you do it. It’s far too deep and, geeze... Spike, go get the medical kit.”

Pinkie Pie’s smile faltered, and her ears fell as Twilight inspected the wound. “I’m sorry… I just wanted to make something special for you.”

Twilight gave an exasperated sigh, but a small smile appeared on her face. “It’s okay… It’s just… It’s still hard to get used to. I don’t want to hurt anypony.”

“But it’ll help, right?”

“Unfortunately,” Twilight answered as she parted the fur around the wound. “Being in the sunlight hasn’t been too stressing. Applejack and Rarity’s blood is still sustaining me, and the hat has been doing its job fairly well. I probably could have gone quite a bit longer before I needed another drink.”

“Oh,” Pinkie Pie replied sullenly. “... Are you going to eat the rest?”

Twilight looked up to Pinkie Pie’s downcast face, then sighed. “Yes, I’ll finish eating it.”

Pinkie Pie’s mood brighten immediately, and she could hardly keep herself still as Spike arrived with the kit. “So, how do I taste?”

“I’m not going to answer that,” Twilight deadpanned as she started disinfecting the cut.

“Awww.”

Once Pinkie Pie was taken care of, they all returned to the table and continued the dinner, though Twilight did it with much less enthusiasm than before. Idle conversation filled the air as they talked about various things. Things such as catching up on the recent events in Ponyville, discussing details of Twilight’s hat, or just talking about something silly or irrelevant. It was simple, normal, and it helped them all feel like things were going back to the way things were before.

Later during dessert, and after Pinkie Pie promised she hadn’t tried creating any blood seasoned pastries just yet, they began on the strudels. Pinkie Pie had also baked a plate for the guards ponies who continuously took shifts guarding the library and patrolling the town’s border, and was just in the middle of handing some out to the two by the door before she suddenly looked up to the sky.

“Dashie’s back!” she exclaimed in excitement.

“Really?” Twilight asked as she hopped out of her chair. Rushing to the door, Twilight all but lept onto the street, and she craned her head upwards. Though the sunset on the horizon caused her to squint, she spotted the familiar trail of rainbows crossing the sky, a trail that in moments made a sharp turn directly towards the library.

“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight called out with all the air in her lungs.

“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash’s distant voice shouted back.

Twilight beat her wings in excitement, and nearly flung herself upwards to meet her. But decided to instead remain where she was, watching with bated breath each moment Rainbow Dash drew closer.

It had hardly taken any time at all for Rainbow Dash to finish her speedy descent, and she practically propelled herself full speed into Twilight with open hooves. Much to Twilight’s relief, her newfound strength aided greatly in withstanding the high speed tackle.

“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash shouted while squeezing tightly, only taking a moment to rub her eyes with her hoof.

“Rainbow!” Twilight replied, shamelessly letting herself cry as well.

Rainbow Dash gave another squeeze, then pulled away just enough so that she could see Twilight’s face. “I’m sorry it took me so long! Are you okay? Are your memories back? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine!” Twilight exclaimed as she pulled Rainbow Dash in for another hug. “I’m back and I’m fine!”

Rainbow Dash gave a loud laugh, then picked up Twilight so that she could swing her around. “Don’t you ever vanish on us again! If you do, I’ll… I’ll… I’ll never let you out of my sight again!”

Twilight happily laughed at the familiar statement, then carefully placed her back hooves onto the ground so that she too could swing Rainbow Dash, and she did so with such force that it caused Rainbow Dash to yelp in surprise. “I’ll never let it happen again!” Twilight exclaimed.

The two of them shared their bonding moment on the street until Rarity felt enough time had passed to comment that the food was getting cold, something that Rainbow Dash eagerly answered as she zoomed in for a bowl for herself. Only an hour later, Applejack and Fluttershy returned to the library as well, and the reunion broke out in full swing. Laughter filled the library as each of them wore a happy face, and for a single evening, all felt right in their worlds again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“After the surgery, the doc came out to fill me in. She… She isn’t going to be able to fly ever again…”

Rainbow Dash hung her head at the final sentence, having recounted everything that had happened since she caught Gilda during her freefall.

It was late into the night, and only Rarity, Twilight, and Rainbow Dash were awake as they sat in a circle on the floor. Pinkie Pie and Spike were asleep in their usual mess of blankets and pillows a short distance away, Applejack had taken the couch, having passed out early from catching up on chores at Sweet Apple Acres, and Fluttershy was asleep in the guest bedroom solely for the fact everyone else insisted that she be the one to use it.

“I’m so sorry,” Twilight said.

“Not your fault…” Rainbow Dash mumbled.

“I tried to stop her,” Twilight continued with a soft voice. “I really did… I remember everything about that horrible moment in the sky. When Night Walker started to move towards you, I screamed and begged for her to do something, anything. But she-”

Twilight paused when she felt Rarity place a hoof on her back, knowing what would be said if she continued. Instead, she simply turned her head away for a moment to wipe her eyes.

“It’s alright, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash said, looking to Twilight worryingly. “I know you tried. You kept fighting all this time. That’s all you could do. If it wasn’t for you, none of us would be here now. You stopped Ruby from doing worse. What almost happened isn’t your fault.”

Twilight sniffed, and rubbed her eyes before they could water again. “It doesn’t mean I still don’t feel horrible about it…”

“We know, darling,” Rarity cooed. “We all feel awful…”

“Um, Rares… how’s your uh…” Rainbow Dash hesitantly asked.

Rarity sighed, then gave her a small smile. “Better than I thought it would be. Twilight and I have spent quite a bit of time with each other these last few days. It… It hasn’t proven to be a distraction.”

“But it’s still there?” Rainbow Dash asked with a frown.

Rarity shrugged. “Twilight’s been understanding, and I’m beginning to accept it myself. No matter what happened in the past, I refuse to let it come between Twilight and I.” Rarity then shared a hopeful glance with Twilight, and Rainbow Dash seemed more at ease from it. But her frown quickly return, and she glared at the floor.

“I can’t believe all of this…” Rainbow Dash said in a low tone. “Stupid Hunters and Night Walker… What the hay are they doing this all for? Why do they gotta hurt other ponies?” Rainbow Dash furrowed her eyebrows, then mumbled, “Why… Why do ponies have to die?”

“It’s complicated,” Twilight said in a quiet voice as her eyes drifted to the floor as well. “Night Walker believes he’s helping the bat ponies. He’s completely wrong in how he’s doing it, but… He does care for them, I think.”

“If he thinks turning into vamponies is helping them, he’s more messed up than I thought,” Rainbow Dash grumbled.

Twilight’s narrowed her eyes as her face became tight. “Yeah… He is…”

“The Hunters are no better,” Rarity added, her mood also souring at the topic. “Honestly, holding onto a vendetta for a thousand years? Did they also forget that they promised Princess Celestia they would be a part of the Royal Guard ever since she and Princess Luna took in the bat ponies? Royal Guard means they must protect you, Twilight, as well.”

“Wait, what?” Rainbow Dash asked in a mixture of surprise and anger. “Princess Celestia actually let those low lifes near her?”

Rarity nodded. “She explained it to Applejack and I on the ride back to Ponyville. When Night Walker vanished all those years ago the vamponies turned to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna for refuge. The Hunters were against it, and nearly attacked their kingdom because of it. But the Princesses convinced them otherwise, and the Hunters vowed they would join the kingdom and become the guards that would watch over the vamponies until they were finally cured.” Rarity narrowed her eyes as she too looked towards the floor. “It seems not all of them agreed to that promise, and kept alive certain traditions throughout the years in secret should they ever need to call upon their powers again. Princess Celestia didn’t ban their practices, but she had hoped it would fade away with time. She didn’t want their cursed grudge to spread through the generations...”

Rainbow Dash looked at Rarity with new sympathy, but it only took a moment for her to perk her ears from a sudden thought. “Wait… Does that mean…” Rainbow Dash looked to Twilight with a worried glance. “Is… Is Shining Armor? And has anypony told him yet?”

Twilight’s face became sullen. “I asked Princess Celestia to wait for a bit before letting my family know I’m back. They’ll know soon, but… I wanted some time first to prepare myself. As for Shining Armor… I’m not sure...”

“It’s very likely that he won’t share this with me,” Rarity said reassuringly. “While it has only been found in ponies with our coat and mane coloration, it’s been diluted to the point that it’s nearly nonexistent.”

“Then why do you have it?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“I’m afraid I’m not entirely certain,” Rarity replied. “Princess Celestia only mentioned that it has to do with the soul, and I can’t comment on that.”

Rarity and Rainbow Dash turned to Twilight who blinked before raising an eyebrow. “What?”

“Didn’t you say you could see souls or something?” Rainbow Dash said.

Twilight frowned. “No, I said Ruby could. Well, I’ve seen them too, but it’s not like I know much about them. Ruby… Ruby kept all the knowledge…”

“Why did you let her take it?”

Twilight lowered her ears as she laid herself onto the ground. “I didn’t want anything to do with her, vamponies, or anything else related. When I tried to tear her connections apart in the field I was trying to get rid of everything. I almost killed myself doing it too…” Twilight stared at the wooden floor as she mentally berated herself at the memory, but with it came a thought, and she perked her ears. “Actually… There was a time I saw souls before she existed, before my memories were taken away.”

“Really?” Rarity asked in surprise.

“Yeah, it was just before Night Walker came over,” Twilight said as she sat herself up. “Remember when we tried using the Elements of Harmony? Everything was going normal, the Elements lifted us up and…” Twilight furrowed her brow as she tried to recall the details of the vague memory. “I saw our souls, I think… There were these arcs of energy, and they were connecting us all together, synchronizing us as our souls began to resonate.”

“They did what now?” Rainbow Dash asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Resonate, it’s when you bounce an energy back onto itself in such a way that it creates even more energy, allowing a pony to build a powerful pool of magic. It very dangerous, and it can lead to disastrous effects on the caster, and of course the target of whatever spell they are casting, but…” Twilight’s eyes flashed across the floor her mind spun on the subject, placing pieces together that she had failed to see fitting before. “I think… I think the Elements of Harmony use some variation or even the same methods as Soul and Alicorn magic.” She lifted her head and looked to both Rainbow Dash and Rarity. “It uses all six of our souls as its power, something that wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t so close together…”

“Twilight?” Rarity asked when Twilight’s voice trailed off as she become lost in thought again.

To both her and Rainbow Dash’s relief, Twilight smiled only moments later, and she looked to them again. “It all makes sense now! That’s why Princess Celestia wanted me to make friends. We would have never been able to use the Elements to stop Nightmare Moon if we didn’t have some connection. It was enough to break her free of her plight, and later our bonds became powerful enough to stop even Discord.” Twilight’s smile grew even wider at the implications that came to her mind. “The only reason we can use the Elements of Harmony is because we’re so close to each other, our souls can share the same wavelength and connect to each other in a way that’s not normally possible. It really is the magic of friendship!”

Rarity and Rainbow Dash both smiled at the thought, and then all three of them turned to Pinkie Pie and Applejack’s sleeping form, and to the stairs that led to the spare room Fluttershy was in.

“We really are close to each other, we’re more than just friends…” Twilight quietly said with a heartwarming grin.

They took a moment to consider that deep truth, until that is, Rainbow Dash spoke. “Um, speaking of Discord, where the hay is he? Shouldn’t he be able to snap his fingers and stop all this?”

Twilight’s smile turned into a grimace, and her voice notably dropped a few octaves as she spoke, “Celestia said he’s still away on the mission they sent him on. Apparently, it’s going to be awhile before he gets back.”

“Great,” Rainbow Dash sarcastically added.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Twilight blew out the last candle, taking a moment to watch its trailing smoke drift upwards. Even before its faint wisps faded away, Twilight’s eyes had already adjusted to the darkness within the library, and she turned to look across semi-open floor. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Spike still slept soundly, along with the addition of Rainbow Dash joining the mess of blankets and pillows. Twilight couldn’t help but smile at the sight of them, even though some were less dignified than the others in their sleep.

But even with the comforting presence of her friends, the fact that she could see them so clearly in the dark, even more so than when the room was lit with lights or candles, made her uneasy. What was worse than her ability to see more clearly, was the natural preference and comfort she found being in the darkness. It was a comfort she had tried to deny herself as much as possible.

With a sigh, Twilight moved to the stairs and began her ascent. Though her ears could still catch the faint noise of her steps, they were far quieter than they used to be. Had it not been for everyone else sleeping, she would have forced herself to be noisy for the sake of normalcy, much like she had been doing these past few days.

After reaching the top of the stairs, she made her way down the short hallway that led to her room, and stopped at the spare guest room. Poking her head in, she saw Fluttershy and Rarity’s sleeping forms beneath the blanket. It rose up and down slowly from their breaths that were just audible enough for Twilight to make out. They were calm, steady, and relaxing. The fact that she could even hear them was unnerving to Twilight, but she couldn’t help but admit being able to do so brought a strange comfort to her.

But even as she watched from the doorway, Rarity’s breathing became quieter and quieter, and a faint discontented whine escaped her lips. Twilight’s ears fell at the extraordinary sense that even plagued Rarity in her sleep, and she quickly left lest she awaken her.

After reaching her room and closing the door shut behind her, Twilight despondently climbed the remaining steps to her bed and flung herself upon it. Sighing heavily, she buried her face into her pillow, and let the sounds of the library and the nearby street fill her ears.

A pony trotting down the main cobblestone road, a cough from one of the guards keeping vigil at the door, a sudden snort in Pinkie Pie’s sleep, and her own beating heart. The more she lay still, the more she could hear, and she had to shake her head to break her mind’s fixation on such things. It was simply to easy for her slip into that state if she let her mind wander. Lifting her head enough so that she could stare at the headboard of her bed, Twilight groaned.

What am I going to do?

The question had appeared in her mind more and more lately, an insistent urge somewhere inside her to figure out the next plan of action, or at least find a direction to move in.

I can’t act like this forever… But… I don’t want to stop yet either… The rustling of the library’s branches from a gust of wind caused Twilight to turn her head and look out her window. I’ve made it back to Ponyville, and everypony’s safe. But… Twilight’s eyes shifted from the thatched roofs of Ponyville and towards the night-shrouded horizon, and she furrowed her brow. He’s still out there, somewhere.

Twilight’s glare to the landscape became more furious by the second as her muscles tensed, pressing her chin into the pillow as much as she could while gripping the sheets with her hooves. He took me away from everything… He warped and used me for his own messed up agenda… A tear fell down Twilight’s cheek, and she dug her mouth into the pillow even further lest her fangs show. Why did I ever trust him? Why couldn’t I see through his disguise? Why… Why couldn’t I fight back!?

Twilight sniffled as she stared angrily through the window, unable to even see the edge of town due to her now wet and blurry vision. Yet, after a minute of brooding, her mood had hardly lessened, and she growled while suddenly sitting up and throwing the pillow across the room with all her might. It hit the wall with a soft thud, then tumbled to the floor. Twilight stared furiously at it until her eyes drifted to a nearby object that caught her attention. It was a full body mirror, and in it, was a scowling vampony with gleaming red eyes and dangerous fangs.

Twilight gasped at the image, and the reflection turned into one of shock and disbelief. Then, with a sniffle, Twilight looked away from it and reached for another pillow to chuck and break the mirror with, but paused at the remembrance of her friends sleeping soundly.

With one last glare at the vampony in the mirror, she wiped her eyes and laid back in bed, gripping the unthrown pillow tightly while burying her chin into it. For some time, Twilight glared at her headboard again, waiting for the dark mood to pass in its own time.

Then, during the tense silence that filled the room, a small sensation caught Twilight’s focus, and she blinked in surprise at the tingle in her chest. In recognition of its source, her frown quickly reappeared, but instead of pushing the sensation away, she focused on it, and she stilled herself as she felt and listened inward.

Nothing came to her at first, only her own feelings and background thoughts. Minutes passed, and she thought perhaps her search was in vain, hoping that she no longer existed, or perhaps had sunk so low that Twilight could never reach her again. But a faint flicker caught her attention, and slowly but surely, she found who she was looking for.

It was a small connection, one that Twilight could hardly discern, but the familiar yet alien sensation of another pony’s feelings began to fill her, and she waited patiently for herself to be sensed in turn.

It only took a moment once the weak connection took hold for Ruby to notice her, and tense silence passed between the two.

...

...

H… Hi...

Hey...

Another silence passed between them, but even though nothing was said, their apprehension towards each other was clearly felt.

You… You here to get rid of me? Ruby asked bravely, making sure to show her courage clearly, though her fear was not as easily masked.

No. At least, not yet, Twilight admitted, making sure her distasteful feelings were known just as well

What do you want? Ruby asked, pulling her consciousness away just enough to keep herself more guarded in what she shared.

Nothing right now…

Then why are you even talking to me?

Because I don’t know what else to do, Twilight grumbled. Ruby, however, gave a snort in reply.

Sorry life is so rough for you, she replied sarcastically.

Ugh, why did I even try to talk to you?

You tell me!

Twilight grimaced as she began to pull away from Ruby who began to do the same. But before Twilight cut the connection, she stopped, then tentatively reached back. Ruby took notice of the lingering touch, and paused as well. She sent Twilight a clear sign of her irritation at the delay, something that only deepened Twilight’s scowl.

I just… ugh!

Unable to speak the words, Twilight opened her feelings towards Ruby for a moment, a brief glimpse that had once been the normal connection between the two when they shared everything so vividly. Ruby saw what Twilight tried to convey, but did not respond by opening up in turn. Her mood, though, had noticeably changed, her hostility lessening somewhat.

You miss talking to me? So what? Ruby said, though her voice faltered at the end.

Twilight gritted her teeth as she squeezed the pillow tighter. You know, I thought I could figure something out with you, but forget it. You never listened to me, even when it meant other ponies lives were at stake. Why are you always so difficult?

I wonder, Ruby said bitterly. Maybe because I’m stuck inside you where I can’t do anything. Maybe it’s because I’m just a fake personality that should have never existed!

You don’t have to-

Maybe it’s because everything I knew was a complete lie! she shouted. Ruby brought her consciousness closer, and even began to force herself onto Twilight with ire. Everything I knew was a complete lie! You think Night Walker tricked you? You think he used you? I was the one that got used!

Twilight’s ears fell down as she inadvertently revealed her fangs. Ruby, if you think that you-

SHUT UP! Ruby screamed. You don’t get to talk! I’ve been waiting and waiting for this chance, thinking that maybe you’ll check in on me or something, but no! All you care about is getting rid of me! Ruby’s fury washed over Twilight, causing her pulse to rise and her body to quiver. But with the anger, a deep ache of pain became a pit in Twilight’s stomach, and she found it difficult to think beneath the onslaught.

You think you trusted Night Walker? My entire life revolved around him! I trusted him more than anything, and all he did was throw me away! But that doesn’t matter to you at all, does it? Now that you’re back with your friends, you don’t care about anything! You don’t care about what happens to me or my bat ponies! You don’t care that I wasn’t ever real to begin with! You don’t care that I was happy, or how much I loved them!

Slowly, Ruby’s outburst began to lessen, and she pulled herself back. But to Twilight’s surprise, she did not depart, and instead forced the connection between them to become stronger, resulting in the appearance of the mirror mindscape once again. Caught off guard at the familiar but strange sensation of turning her head in the mental scenery, Twilight saw the mirror that was the symbol of their once close connection still shattered into pieces. In those shards she could see Ruby’s face, an exact copy of hers, with the exception of tear stained eyes, puffed cheeks, and a furious glare.

All you want to do… Ruby said between heavy breaths, worn out from her outburst and summoning the mirrorscape. Is to get rid of me like I had almost done to you. Twilight flinched at the statement. You may have had a life before all this began, and I should have never existed, but... Ruby swallowed a lump in her throat as she stood herself as upright as she could muster within the reflective shards. But I’m here now, and as long as I am, I will never let you hurt the bat ponies.

You think I want to hurt them? Twilight replied in irritation, though with heavy breaths as well from the rush of emotions.

Not intentionally, Ruby replied. But I’m not stupid! Whenever you get done pulling yourself together, you’re going after Night Walker. And while I’d give anything to kill him and keep him away from the bat ponies, I would never trust them with you. Ruby leaned her fractured body closer until her nose was pressed against the multiple glass pieces, and she glared intently at Twilight. Don’t you think for a minute, Twilight Sparkle, that I’ll let you hurt them. Not as long as I’m still here. Not as long as I’m still Ruby Sparkle.

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