• Published 7th Mar 2012
  • 1,826 Views, 64 Comments

Pirates of Equestria - Lastingimage24



A battle between holy evil and blind truths takes place in the once utopian society that is Equestria. Six elements, two captains, and four Immortals struggle to clear the now blurred line between right and wrong.

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The Cards You're Dealt

“Is this a handout undeserved, or a just reparation?”

Chapter 12

A navy blue pony walked out the establishment smiling and with a towel wrapped around his hair. Tussling with it a bit, he threw the towel into a outdoor hamper nearby without looking. It required no effort on his behalf, he'd been through enough for something like that to be considered trivial. He ran his foreleg through his mane to get the hair out of his eyes and succeeded quite well. Another blue pony, this one indigo and a lot more scrawny but tall, had a face of content indifference.

"Haha, a proper shower, finally. That was amazing." Patch rotated his shoulders in bliss, his muscles relaxed and comfortable.

"As far as showers go, yes, but did we really need to get a message too?" Gavin asked, a little uncomfortable. "Considering we shouldn't be out in the open so much? And those girls were..." He struggled to find the right words.

"Incredibly hot?" Patch finished, soliciting a blush from his friend.

"T-that's not..."

"Oh come on, even you gotta admit the whole 'spa twins' shtick was pretty sexy. It helped that they were actually twins."

Gavin looked at the ground, face red, and drew little circles in the dirt with his hoof. He actually grinned. "Yeah, I guess you're right, sir."

Patch laughed heartedly, slamming his hoof on Gavin's back, causing him to wince. "Heh, I even think the pink one fancied you. She practically jumped at the chance to make you squirm."

"Captain...!" Gavin looked so far down he could've sworn he was looking behind himself. Heat radiated from his cheeks like a warm dish.

"Nice to see you two doing something useful."

Patch jumped out of his skin, flinching away from the source of the voice. He saw a very annoyed Vex staring daggers into him whilst scowling in malign. Patch chuckled nervously and rubbed the back of his head. "Heh, hey Vex."

"Listen, Cap'n, we got attacked by the Legion while you two got jerked by a couple spa ponies; that hardly seems fair."

Gavin could've sworn his face had reached boiling temperatures. Patch simply laughed, his nerves calmed. "You can go get a happy ending too real quick, if you want."

Vex's eyes widened at the thought, her face now emulating Gavin's. She covered her face with a talon before punching Patch in the arm awkwardly. "Shut up!" she said as he rubbed his foreleg and smiled. He noticed a yellow and a pink pony walking up from behind Vex, both looking very pleased. Fluttershy was the first to speak.

"Cap'n!" she barked, giving a tout solute. "Mission accomplished!" Patch beamed.

"Brilliant! This went quite well, don't you think?"

"Well, getting attacked by a legionnaire squad is a little less than attractive, if I do say so myself." A woman said. This was not a voice Patch recognized, and thus forced him to lean in with intrigue. Out walked an elegant if not rough around the edges unicorn with the neatest messy hair, if that made any sense. Her eyelids were half-mast and her posture drew attention to her carefully crafted figure. Her elegance was bolstered even more so by the slender dragon that was wrapped around her like an expensive and very stern looking coat. When she stopped in front of Patch she held out a hoof to her side and allowed the dragon to provide leverage to himself by placing his paw upon it. The chemistry was remarkable.

"Ahh," aired Patch, being one to react quickly. He swept his foreleg around to the side and bent down as a sign of respect, and bowed his head to the lady. "You must be this 'Miss Rarity' I've heard so much about. Pleased to meet your acquaintance, fair lady." Pinkie felt Fluttershy tense up a bit randomly, her famous stern scowl somehow appearing even more hard.

"Charmed, Captain," Rarity announced, smiling softly and closing her eyes. Finally a gentleman, she thought to herself as she curtsied. She noted how handsome the man was, his build proportional and symmetrical. His hair looked as clean as it was uncouth, and appeared to be soft enough to bundle yourself in. He looked as tough as nails, but had the added potential of being the gentlest lover and most sensitive of friends. He could take on anything, be it mountains or an army. A real man.

The boy behind him was... cute, but honestly uninteresting. He seemed to realize this and stayed out of the way. Patch eyed the giant purple dragon, a feat which wasn't too difficult to pull off. He winked while seeming quite unintimidated. "And you are... Spike, yes?" Spike nodded, keeping cautious. "It's a bit obvious you care for this woman. I respect that." The last thing Patch wanted was to walk on eggshells. "A lucky dragon, I must say."

The barrage of compliments and manners eased Spike's tension. He stared at Patch's outstretched hoof a few moments before tentatively reaching his claws out and 'shook' his hoof. He finally spoke. "Right," he said, not so much for conversation but to convey his approval. Or that he wasn't going to cleave the pony's head off as he turned away. That attitude may change, however, with what Patch was going to say next.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm not a fan of special treatment. If I allow you two to come with us you must earn your stay. It's only fair." Spike stare became intense once again, and he bore his teeth and growled. Rarity (rather hilariously) put her hoof on his snout which led him to scrunch up his nose in confusion.

"Oh come now, Spike. I wouldn't expect it any other way. How do you suppose we pay you?"

Patch blushed and waved his hooves in front of himself, the first time he had lost his cool. He had no idea that he implied what he thought, and he wasn't sure if the woman caught it or not. Either way... "Nonononono, no. I simply meant you have to help around the ship. Simple labor, sometimes only lasting an hour or so. Everyone does it. Except Vex." The griffin in question punched him in the shoulder again, displeased with his relay of that information. Rarity already didn't like her, she didn't need help. "I don't see Mr. Spike having trouble with that," he added.

Spike strangely became silent again. It's like he wasn't sure if he should trust Patch, but he found himself just liking the guy. It was altogether hard not to.

"Oh don't mind him," Rarity excused. "We haven't exactly been the most social of people the last few years."

Patch giggled at the implications. "I'm sure he didn't mind."

"No, no he didn't," she replied slyly, confirming what Patch suspected. As a side compliment she added "And neither did I."

Patch smiled at the coy mare and blushing dragon. Sure the pair was weird, but also cute in a way. Like pet tortoises or... destructive babies. Odd, why were those the first things he thought about?

"Hate to interrupt the circlejerk, but in case you guys forgot we have three unconscious legion ponies behind a bush somewhere and another running away like a pussy," Vex warned, earning an annoyed scoff from Rarity. She glared back at her in response. If she wasn't so damn sexy, Vex would've torn out her throat hours ago.

"Ah, of course. Miss Rarity, we can continue our conversation another time, but until then..." he bowed once again as a finish. Rarity nodded her head politely and began following Vex whom started to walk after her little comment. Fluttershy caught up to her side along with Pinkie, as the Captain and Gavin lagged behind.

"You were right, that captain of your's sure knows how to treat people," Rarity whispered, catching Fluttershy's attention. She just laughed knowingly.

"He isn't mine; he's all of ours."


Discord kept a controlled brisk pace and stared at the moving floor. He could’ve flown, but he needed to be alone with his thoughts. Okay, maybe this isn’t so bad. Maybe I’m just overreacting. I mean, coughing up blood is normal, right? That’s a pony habit, isn’t it? And even if it isn’t (which I know it isn’t) who says it’s an omen? I mean, a physical manifestation of a symbolic form that resembles the spiritual essence of an abstract idea, suddenly becoming ill with no possible means of so isn’t that bad. Right? Maybe I just caught Bronchitis or Pneumonia. Yes, that’s it. Discord had been so absorbed in his thoughts he walked straight into the side of Canterlot castle, grunting as feathers and flower petals flew in every direction and repelled him onto the floor. Rubbing his head, he looked up where he knew the throne room was and, with new conviction, rocketed towards the sky and into an adjacent window.

A Day Watch guard suddenly flinched and fumbled for his spear. After pointing it forward, he realised that it had turned into a very large pretzel stick. He instantly knew what would’ve caused such an occurrence. “Sir Discord, it’s you.”

Discord arched a frustrated eyebrow. “You confused me for the other god of chaos?”

The guard cleared his throat nervously and quickly apologised. “Er, sorry.” Strange, Discord was usually so light hearted and relaxed. What was on his mind? “Do you wish to see the Princess?”

“No, I thought I would enjoy eating a donut while staring at an empty throne.” Discord quipped sarcastically back. Becoming more annoyed, he fidgeted his hind paws while he contemplated just pushing the guard aside and walking in. But after recent events, he was wiser than that.

The guard cleared his throat and mentally berated himself for being so incompetent. “Right, sorry. The Princess does not want to be interrupted right now, but if you could wait I will send word that-”

Discord sighed. “Don’t bother, just step aside. I will accept any punishment she may give to me; you’re excused.” He slithered past the befuddled guard and burst through the door to announce his presence. He didn’t want a repeat of what happened the last time he startled Celestia. His wrist was still sore from that. Celestia, at first surprised, had her face fall into an annoyed scowl. “Hel-loooo, Celestia, dear.”

“...What is it now, Discord? No I am not going to pass a law dictating that everyone has to wear galoshes.” Celestia had no Idea how he got that one to pass the legislature.

“Oh, no, sweet Celestia, this isn’t anything like that,” Discord said while chuckling softly. “I simply want to have a... Private conversation with you,” he said, slicking back his mane and winking. “It’s been far too long since we had time to ourselves, honeybun.” The Day watch bodyguards visibly tensed under the erotic implications, much to Discord’s amusement. He wanted to burst out laughing in spite of the current circumstances.

Celestia sighed and rubbed her temples. She knew the way he acted when he had something important to say. He always wanted to dismiss the guards first. Deciding what he had to say might be worth listening to, she excused the guards. For Discord’s sake, she didn’t bother discrediting Discord’s come-on. After they had left, she put her hoof to her cheek and leaned on it. “This better be important, Discord.”

He innocently put a loose paw on his chest and recoiled in feign shock. “Why, whatever do you mean? I just want some quality time with your delicious self, princess.”

Celestia groaned impatiently, rolling her eyes. She finished the spectacle by putting her hoof to her forehead. More and more over the past years, Discord noted solemnly, she has had less patience with me. For anything really. “Listen, Discord, I am not in the mood. Tell me what you need to or kindly get out.”

He giggled, moving the paw on chest to his hips (or where his hips would be). “Always so grim Celestia,” he said with a smile, almost distantly. Suddenly, Discord’s mood sunk, as did his disposition, as he stared at the ground sadly. Celestia sat up at this, worried she may have said something to offend him. “Always so grim,” he said again.

Celestia leaned in worriedly. “Discord?”

“I think something may be wrong,” he said, a soft smile stretching across his face as he continued to stare at the ground.

“And what is that?” she asked, now truly concerned.

Instead of answering, Discord simply took to showing the mare. He stepped up, and revealed the talon he’d been hiding. Celestia gaped as she saw it, a griffin’s talon, caked in dry blood. Astonished, she stuttered, “Wh-what happened?” A possibility clicked in her brain as she distanced herself and voiced more accusingly, “What did you do?”

Discord, at a loss for words, stared at her in a truly frightened and confused expression. Celestia had an epiphany. She slowly reared her head, now absolutely terrified. “Is this... your blood?” He nodded.

But that was impossible! He was an immortal just like she. He had no external wounds, so he must’ve coughed it out or something similar. If he was sick... could she get sick too? “How did this happen?” she pleaded.

Discord finally found his voice as he shrugged. “I dunno... I just doubled over and started to choke and, bum-bum blood on the talons.” Celestia watched in horror as he retracted his talon.

“Do you think it has something to do with you becoming weaker?”

Discord winced, unhappy that the subject came up. It was kind of hard to not suspect a connection, but still, you think she would’ve considered that Discord was smart enough to think of that. He found himself trying not to get angry at the goddess. “No, it came from a specific source. Growing weaker... that feels different.”

“...”

“...”

“Ahem, right. Listen, Discord, if you want to take it easy-”

Discord jumped back and floated in midair, a giant smile on his face. “Easy?! Are you joking? God of chaos and harbinger of everything fun? I don’t get sick days!”

Celestia gaped at him in disbelief. After her initial shock, she frowned. “Discord this could be serious.”

Discord sighed. “I know your grim, but I’ve forgotten just how grim you can be Celestia. Buck up, Tia, come on.” He spread out his arms to each side and arched his brow and looked celestia with his left eye. Celestia cracked a small and cautious smile.

“Ta-ta, Tia, take care.”

“Right Discord, right...”

Discord wore a bright grin as he flew out. One that betrayed the true anxiety he felt. She doesn’t deserve this. Not after everything that's happened...


The ship Rarity had climbed aboard (precariously positioned in a river clearly not meant for large ships) was pleasant enough, but it was clearly a budget ship. It was sturdy, but clearly lacked any state of the art reinforcement or technology. She had followed the strange captain to his quarters along with Spike to arrange for her stay, and had passed many quirky characters that simply didn't look like they should have been pirates. Nervous, humble, and kind characters, who all had seemed to be pushed to the edge. It was something only Rarity could have noticed, subtle body language spilled their secrets and their hopes. It revealed their lost ambition that seemed to occupy everyone relevant to the captain. He himself passed subtle, but painfully explicit sorrow, along with the wistful drifting spirit the crew showed as well. The way to the Captain's Quarters was mostly silent, the only sounds coming from muttering crewmembers either impressed by Rarity's look and stature or admiration of the graceful and intimidating dragon on her back.

As Rarity entered the room along with Patch and Spike, something immediately caught her eye. A large cabinet with two large glass doors and six drawers in two columns of three occupied the left wall that blended with the rest of the ship. It was so inconspicuous it stood out to the attentive Rarity. Patch noticed her interest in the cabinet and regarded it.

"No," he said suddenly, sitting down at the desk in the middle of the Quarters. Rarity almost jumped at the abruptness of the gesture.

"Excuse me?" she asked innocently.

"I know what you were going to ask. It's locked for a reason." Patch leaned forward into the desk and nodded at the cabinet.

Rarity instantly knew what he meant by it, unlike spike who confusedly arched his eyescales. Rarity haughtily closed her eyes and decided not to pry... yet. "Is that so? Very well then."

Patch smiled and it seemed rather forced. His eyes were heavy and it became increasingly clear something was bothering him. The air seemed thicker all of the sudden, and Rarity's stare became ever more so scrutinizing. Patch wanted to turn away but his manners prevented him from doing so. Their first meeting was so pleasant... so why was it so hard now?

"...you two are getting a room in the Crew's quarters for yourselves. Second deck, third room." Patch hoped she would leave.

"Captain. What is the matter with you?" Rarity stepped forward slightly, her tone accusing. "There's something wrong. Is there something wrong with me?"

"N-..." Patch seemed to have to think about it. Resolutely, he finished. "No. No..."

"Then what's on your mind?" Rarity almost yelled that question. He knew why she was being so confrontational. Other than the fact she clearly didn't agree with piracy, she was also concerned the state of her friends. Recalling how Fluttershy was before she met him, Patch understood why that was. Apparently, Miss Pie was always crazy, however. "I know you're not okay. You're behaving... oddly." Spike had no idea what the hell was going on.

Patch went on the defensive, her accusing tone actually succeeding in making him uncomfortable. It frustrated him, and he almost blew up, but he achieved some control in time. "NO! No. Look you just-" Spike scowled at Patch signaling for him to calm down. Patch realized he had shot out of his chair during the outburst. He settled himself and finished quietly. "You just... you just remind me of her, okay? You look nothing like her, but... everything..."

The air was so thick Rarity was afraid they were going to drown in it. She took a step back, unable to find words. She stammered "I... I'm sorry. I didn't realize."

"Save it. Just leave. Welcome on my ship, Miss Rarity." He was done. He simply ignored her and pretended to work on his maps. Rarity accepted her defeat and left, the drama of the situation wading off the adrenaline of the short argument. Patch looked up and stopped her. "Your presence here is a privilege, remember that. You hurt anyone, and I assure you things will end badly and abruptly for you. Understood?" Before she closed the door, she shared one last word.

"Understood. Godspeed, Captain." She closed the door and just stood there, guilt clouding her consciousness. Spike looked at her, worried. She nuzzled him reassuringly, and prepared to walk away, but a voice made her freeze in place.

"No, she's fine. She just doesn't trust me ye- Shut up! I... I know, but ju- ugh," It was barely audible, but that was the Captain's voice all right. Who was he talking to? Maybe she was right not to trust him, he was odd... Nevertheless, Fluttershy had all her faith in him, so Rarity would have to give him a chance. Not before digging a little deeper first, of course.


"Oh Fluttershy!" Rarity called from across the deck. Fluttershy had been busy overseeing some of the cannon maintenance and the various ponies assigned to it. Pinkie Pie had proven to be very efficient at cannons, so she had gotten herself a regular job looking after them, but she had a tendency to stuff confetti in them when no one was looking. That was rather embarrassing at one point.

Fluttershy emptied her lungs quite audibly, not even trying to hide the fact she was irritated at the distraction. "Pinks, don't blow up anything or I will tear off your vagina, understand?" She put on an obviously forced smile and trotted over to Rarity, bouncing slightly with every step. "Yes dear? Whatever is it?" Her tone was a carbon copy of Rarity's usual snobbish accent and her voice seethed with ill intent.

Rarity narrowed her eyes, and Spike, still on her back, did the same. "Cute." She retorted, eliciting a victorious grin from the pegasus. "Look I wanted to speak to you about something."

Fluttershy looked positively bored as she monotoned, "Congratulations."

Rarity sighed and looked aside. "In private?"

"I'm not having sex with you," Fluttershy continued, her expression and tone unchanged. Rarity did a double take and reared her head.

"F-fluttershy will you--"

"Unless you want me to do it with Spike. That I might consider." Spike snorted suddenly as he almost fell off of Rarity. Shocked confusion adorned his features and he stood straight up on his mare, unsure of how to respond, if he should at all. It would never occur to him to be unfaithful to Rarity but... Fluttershy was actually pretty good looking.

"Fluttershy, enough. I just want to talk." Rarity was now beyond frustrated. Their reunion had been pleasant enough, why was she being so difficult now? Maybe she had some sort of telepathic link with the captain. That would explain why he was talking to himself.

"Fine, fine... we'll talk in the gallery." Fluttershy sighed once again, turning back towards the general direction of Pinkie Pie. "Pinks, you're in charge until I get back. I swear to the great griffin god if you so much as put a single goddamn streamer inside one of those cannons we'll be using you as ammo, got it?" She didn't wait for a response from the pink menace. She began walking to the gallery with white mare and dragon in tow.


"Cut to the chase or I'll cut your face. Oh, that rhymes, I should use that more often," Fluttershy held a mug filled with some honestly awful tasting rum in one hoof as she sat down at a table. Spike had finally gotten off of Rarity and took a seat next to her, who sat across from Fluttershy. The smell of crudely boiled poultry and cheap bread filled the enclosed space. Ponies of various sizes and type sat at different tables in the room, presumably done with their respective 'chores' and spent the entire day getting drunk and flirting with random crewmates. It was pretty noisy, too much so for Rarity's taste.

"I thought this was going to be a bit more... private," she commented, uneasily squinting and looking at a stallion who was nuzzling another uncomfortably low. Both of them seemed to be rather enjoying it.

"Rarity, we're on a boat. Aside from getting to third base in a supply closet, this is as private as it's going to get," Fluttershy quipped, circling her glass in the air and forming a little cyclone in the cup. She took a huge ungraceful glug of her drink before slamming it down on the table. Rarity sort of flinched back, disgusted. Spike remained the same. "You want some?" Rarity shook her head while Spike nodded nonchalantly. Fluttershy left and returned with another wooden mug filled with rum and gave it to the purple dragon, to which he nodded. "In... *gulp* all seriousness... No one is going to give a fuck what you say here, it's too loud to eavesdrop, and if anyone did, they'd be too drunk to remember it. Now what did you want to say."

"I wanted to talk to you about Pinkie Pie." Rarity coaxed the words out of her mouth with hesitance, careful not to step on any eggshells.

Fluttershy wasn't prepared. She stopped sipping her mug and stared intently at the white mare. "Pinks? What about her?"

"You mean you haven't noticed?" Rarity had assumed all she had to do was bring the mare up to start the discussion, but apparently it wasn't obvious enough.

"Notice what?" Fluttershy gave an aside glance. "Other than the usual Pinks shit there's really nothing out of the ordinary."

"Really?" Rarity asked, now more shocked. "Don't you think she's a bit... dull? Than usual, I mean."

The yellow Pegasus gave an unflattering snort. "She more annoying than I can remember. Of course I have changed quite a bit, so...”

“Fluttershy, think about it for a moment. Think back all those years ago and remember.” Rarity lifted her chest up with her forehooves on the table and spoke sharply. Fluttershy began to get irritated of the condescending way Rarity demanded her, but ultimately decided to play along. “Think of all her antics,” she said. “How hyperactive she was. She would hardly stay in one place for more than a second, and she seemed to defy all logic as she rode on her merry thoughts. She never spoke of the current situation and she followed her own set of rules. But look at her now.”

Fluttershy opened her mouth to protest but no sound came out. Instead she trailed her gaze off of Rarity to the space around her in deep thought. Rarity was right. As the revelation soared through the yellow pegasus’ mind came memories of Pinkie Pie, as she once was. She even seemed to be... literally a bit brighter back then.

“You see? Now she stands, at attention. She injures herself without control like a normal pony. She feels empathy more often, and she chips in on the conversation with relevance, although the usefulness of her input can be debated.” Rarity finished with a whisper. “She doesn’t act like Pinkie Pie anymore.”

Fluttershy contemplated this for a moment, going over everything she had said, mulling over the possibilities. There was a definite change...

“Hold on, Rarity,” Fluttershy loudly yelled, causing the ex-fashionista to jump slightly (and nearly punch her yellow friend). “What the hell does that mean, ‘she doesn’t act like Pinks anymore’?”

“Well, you certainly can't agree she’s the same!” Rarity defended instinctively. Spike took a cautious sip of his rum, unable to think of any input.

“That doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with her; so what if she’s changed.” Fluttershy got up as if to challenge the unicorn. “I changed too, does that make something wrong with me?”

“N-no! No, I just... Pinkie Pie is more subtle than you. I’m afraid that... it’s not just change. With you, it’s obvious you’ve gone through some ordeal...”

“And you think she hasn’t either?” Fluttershy snapped back. “She did nearly get raped and killed when I found her. What do you think HAPPENED TO ME?!” Fluttershy shouted that last part louder than any previous part of their discussion, or anyone else’s in the room for that matter.

It was a touchy subject, obviously, and it was new information for the unicorn.

“That’s what I’m trying to say Fluttershy. You think something like that would have a greater impact than it has, but she seems right as rain! Bar a little difference in excitement and THAT’s what scares me. It feels like she’s faking her eagerness.”

Fluttershy’s face remained blank for a time, she was unable to rebuttal. She gave a great exhale and deflated in her seat. She closed her eyes and took a long sip of her rum with attitude frustrated at her failed argument. They all sat in silence.

“Don’t make our enemies’ job unnecessary.” Spike suddenly said, startling the party. Fluttershy had almost forgotten he was there, and granted, he looked so different she sometimes ignored him thinking he was someone else. In a way he was. Rarity looked at him questioningly. He responded by giving a smile, something Fluttershy realized she hadn’t seen him do yet. “A house pitted against itself cannot stand.” He looked at fluttershy again and kept his smile on. “I share Fluttershy’s concern, but we have to stand together, even when we’re apart. We got to stop worrying about every little thing and deal with stuff as it comes. As long as we support Pinkie Pie with whatever she’s going through it’ll be fine.”

Fluttershy forgot her frustration as she stared at the purple dragon. She felt her irritation melt away at the sight of the smiling dragon, remembering the little baby that preceded him. And she remembered everything. “I... I’d forgotten about you, Spike. About everyone.”

Spike’s smile was replaced by a quizzical arched eyescale. Fluttershy laughed and looked at her drink as she swirled it in the cup. “I won’t make that mistake again, alright?”

“Well, Spike you did a great job at diffusing the tension,” Rarity chuckled in her normal haughty tone (which kind of seemed out of place with her new build) and proceeded to cheerily speak to Fluttershy. “So what’s next?”

“I dunno,” Fluttershy replied honestly. She leaned back and took one last glug of rum. “We know the general location of Princess Twilight, but she’s a bit far and the directions are really vague. None of us know where Applejack is, but knowing her, she probably has made quite a name for herself wherever she is, so I guess all we would need to do is ask around. But then there’s Dash... It’s weird, you’d think, with her skill, she’d be so famous even us ship dwellers would know about her...”

Spike dropped his mug, and his eyes widened to the point of covering his face. Rarity somehow became whiter, any pigments from her skin being lost at Fluttershy’s last speculation. She reared her head and gagged a bit, unable to speak. Fluttershy opened an eyelid after a little silence and eyed the pony and dragon. They were so stunned, for some reason, that they had completely lost the will to talk. Fluttershy leaned forward, confused. “What?” she asked, concerned.

“Oh. Oh dear.” Rarity finally wheezed. She sounded so... distant. “You don’t know...”

Fluttershy got irritated again, but she didn’t know why. It was a fear in the back of her throat, a fear that had no place being there. “I don’t know WHAT?”

“Dear.”

Sweat rolled down Fluttershy’s face.

“Rainbow Dash... She’s not with us anymore...”

And with that... Ponies change.

Author's Note:

PONIES CHANGE(tm)

Yep that's actually the tagline for this fic, believe it or not, and it has obviously played a vital role so far. And it will continue to do so. Sorry for the slow update rate, I only write this when I feel like it, but trust me, I am constantly ironing out the story and dialogue in my head, so there is no way I will ever abandon this until it is done.