• Published 3rd Feb 2014
  • 7,786 Views, 774 Comments

TiM: The Truth in Meanings - Twidashforever



TiM #1: If you had the power, how far would you go to save a friend, and would they hate you for it? Would you hate you for it? Actions have consequences and we are not always the ones who pay the price.

  • ...
33
 774
 7,786

Define: Bittersweet (R)

Las Pegasus
T minus ten until Death Wave.

Rarity could not believe all that had happened.

She’d always longed for; no, needed her prince, and now she had him. In the span of twelve months, she’d met the love of her life, gotten married, and gone on the dream honeymoon she’d always wanted. Her husband—Rarity giggled a little at that thought—had acquiesced to every request she made of him.

Not only was he charming and rich, but Rarity knew in her heart that she had found, at last, the stallion of her dreams. The only thing he’d ever insisted on was the date of the wedding. While a little odd, she didn’t mind. He hadn’t complained about a single decision Rarity had made, so if he wanted to do this fast then she let him have that one little thing.

Even with the wedding so close to the Princess Summit, all of her friends were still able to attend. It was a little strange to board the train with Rainbow Dash and Twilight while she was leaving for her honeymoon, but they got off at Canterlot while she continued on to her destination.

Rarity glanced up as her stallion finished his swim. He was her special somepony, her husband, her ‘Rare Gem’. Rare Gem never failed to give Rarity that 'special feeling' when she looked at him.

She very much appreciated the irony of his name, in more ways than one.

Even now with his muscular frame, soaking wet flanks, and that one-in-a-million look on his face, Rarity swooned a little inside. At times like this, she wondered how she’d managed to keep her hoofs off him all this time. She had, of course, insisted that they wait until after marriage to engage in 'uncouth and unladylike' behavior; but now, now she would rock his world.

With that thought in her head, she ran over and grabbed his hoof. Rarity whispered in his ear more loudly than she intended, "BEDROOM, NOW."

As they ran to their suite, Rarity could not help but notice the jealous looks she got from all the other mares they passed, not that Rare Gem wasn't getting his own looks of hatred from the stallions.

Sorry ladies. Rarity thought, This is one thing I will not be generous with.

She barely made it into the honeymoon suite before throwing herself onto her husband. The suite they were staying in was a grand affair, complete with everything you could want: two couches, a fully stocked bar, and even an entertainment system that would make the great DJ: DJ-Pon-3, green with envy.

Yet, at that exact moment, as far as Rarity was concerned; it was all a waste of space. She wanted, no needed, her husband in every way imaginable. It was not just a one-way street either. It seemed as if the more passion Rarity showed, the more energetic Rare Gem became. He quickly began matching her kiss for kiss, rubbing his hooves in all the right places against her fur.

If it were not for the unexpected, “hmm hmm” from the bellhop clearing his throat, Rarity would have consummated her marriage on the floor right then and there.

Even still, the thought did cross her mind.

No, she would not give the stallion the pleasure, especially as he was rude enough to interrupt instead of just closing the bucking door. As such, Rarity merely replied with a wave of her magic, slamming the door on the bellhops muzzle with a satisfied grin. She would go out of her way to make it up to him later, if she saw him again that is.

With a look on her face and a sway in her hips that would make lesser stallions weep for joy, she turned to her husband and said, “Shall we retire to the bedroom, dear?”

Rare Gem gave his best nonchalant grin as he followed his wife into the bedroom. He acted cool, but in reality he was trying desperately not to trip over his hooves.

As Rare Gem entered the bedroom his wife was already on the bed.

He looked at her as the vision of beauty she was: lying sideways on the bed with her hair in the perfect symbiosis of lady/seductress there could be. In his mind, he could not believe his luck; this would put his brothers and sisters to shame. With the energy he had right now, he’d last forever on this.

Rarity frowned a little as Rare Gem paused to admire the view, even if it was of her.

“You know, it’s rude to keep a lady waiting.”

She giggled a little as that seemed to snap him out of his thoughts. She could see his eyes change from admiration to lust in an instant.

“There’s my big man.”

It happened so fast, too fast to process all at once. Rarity looked on in horror, watching it like it was happening to somepony else. As it was at that moment, every window in the hotel blew out all at once, showering the room with glass and debris.

The Death Wave had made it to Los Pegasus.

The windows shattered inward with a wave of force that rocked the building itself. The glass covered every inch of the room, showering both of the ponies inside. That was not the worst of it; immediately after, a purple energy wave passed over the two.

The effect on Rarity only shocked her, it was more ticklish than anything else, it felt very familiar too, with a lasting effect on her horn she didn’t understand nor had time to comprehend.

The effect on Rare Gem was anything but. He stood up suddenly like someone just stabbed him in the back, the look on his face one of pure agonizing pain. He clutched a hoof to his chest and toppled backwards. He lay where he fell, still as the dead of night.

Rarity rushed to her husband’s side. She looked at him in horror.

Rarity was unwilling to accept what she’d seen, hoping and praying to Celestia herself that her husband wasn’t dead. As Rarity neared him, she picked his head up in her lap and went to stroke his mane.

That… that’s odd, w-what happened to his mane? The long locks that Rarity loved to groom were gone, to be replaced with… with scales?

Jumping back in horror, a being that repulsed her to her very core replaced her husband. The realization finally dawned on Rarity. Her husband, her stallion, her Rare Gem, was a changeling. I-I almost bucked a changeling!

Hours passed for Rarity, or were they just minutes? Truthfully, she did not know. She could hear the commotion outside. The medics were going around treating every sort of wound imaginable from this disaster.

Can I even call it that? Wouldn’t the bigger disaster been if I had...

Again, she did not know.

Rarity refused to answer the door, return phone calls, or even speak since it happened. She didn’t trust herself anymore. Looking back, it was obvious; Rare Gem was perfect, too perfect. Of course he was a changeling. He was everything Rarity ever wanted from her special somepony.

I should have listened to Spike, the thought kept replaying in her head.

In the end, it was not the hotel staff that snapped Rarity out of her melancholy, but a green puff of smoke that appeared right in front of her face. Looking down at the letter that the smoke dropped in her room, she untied the bow that kept it sealed. Reading over Spike's letter she blinked, she read it again, and then three more times just in case. It did not take long, as it was only three sentences; three little sentences that changed everything.

Gulping, she bolted out of the hotel room.

Buck my bags, Rarity thought.

She had a train to catch. It would seem that today was a bittersweet day for more than just her.

***

Ponyville
T minus twenty until Death Wave

Fluttershy was upset, VERY upset.

She wasn’t hiding under the table with her hoofs covering her face. She wanted to, but there was no time for that, her animals needed her and she needed to help them as quickly as she could. Flying back and forth between makeshift beds all over her house, Fluttershy gave each one a kind word and whatever medicine she thought they could handle.

Her house looked more like a triage station each day, animals were dying, and there was nothing she could do to save them all.

That fact did not stop her from trying.

The sickness had spread quickly.

What started as an isolated case—a lone chipmunk coming out of the woods sick—rapidly evolved into something more. Each day ten more animals would show up at her door. It didn’t matter what race they were or how healthy they were just the day before. The sickness seemed to attack them all with the same gusto. How and why she did not know.

She could cure it, but for every one that left out the front door she had to take two out the back.

It was breaking her heart.

Fluttershy kept the severity of the situation from her friends, even going as far as to say it was simply a minor case. It had been for Rarity's special day after all. After everything that pony gave, how could she do any less?

The sickness was anything but minor, the deaths came quick, and even she did not respond as quickly as was needed at first. Taking two more of her friends out the back, she paused to look at some of the first graves she had to dig. Back then, she was able to take the time to give each of them their own grave, what she would give to be able to do that now.

Of all the graves, there was one she would not look at, she would not glance at the one up the hill, her Ang— No; there was no time for that. Each time she did that Fluttershy broke down and started to cry, when every second mattered, mistakes like that would cost lives.

Arriving at the mass graves, she laid the bodies down with care and spoke a few soft words for her lost friends. The tears started again, she forced them back.

Her critter friends were counting on her and she could not pause to grieve, not yet anyway. On her way back to the house, Fluttershy looked on as another creature emerged from the Everfree Forest: a little rat.

The rat was blissfully not sick, something Fluttershy gave thanks to Celestia for, yet it was moving with a purpose. It was heading right towards Fluttershy.

She gave it a faux smile. “I'm sorry, little one; I don’t have time to play right now.”

“…”

“What's that little one?”

“……”

“You know what’s causing the sickness‽”

“..”

“Lead the way!”

This Fluttershy could take time for.

She followed the rat into the forest as quickly as it could take her. The yellow pegasus and little rat wove through the woods as fast as possible, both suffering a few scrapes along the way.

In no time at all they arrived at a clearing, the watering hole where most of the animals came to drink. Fluttershy was starting to put some of the pieces together when she heard a soft buzzing sound in the distance. She was familiar with that noise, as only one creature made that particular sound when flying: Changelings!

There were a lot of them too, at least ten by her rough count, and they were carrying something Fluttershy was not familiar with. Some sort of barrels filled with Celestia-knows-what. Her darkest suspicions were confirmed when they began dumping their cargo into the lake and the water color turned a light shade of green.

The changelings are poisoning the water!

Fluttershy was madder than ever. These creatures are killing my friends, the forest itself, and why? Changelings feed on love, killing animals made no sense. It’s not natural; it’s not the way of nature.

Her anger quickly turned to hatred, but there were too many for her to take on by herself. Fluttershy thought about getting her friends, but Twilight, Rainbow, and Rarity were away. No doubt Pinkie and Applejack would help, but that would involve her taking the time to explain what was wrong. And too much time had already been wasted already.

She briefly thought about sending a letter to Discord, but he was too far away to be of any use right now and the letter would take too long to reach him.

She realized she would have to do this herself.

Well, not exactly by herself.

Fluttershy pondered her options as a foreign thought came into her head—the kind of idea that she normally would never have, but today, after all she went through, after everything that happened, everyone she’d lost, it was a thought she relished. Fluttershy knew of a cave—very close by, with someone that COULD help.

Whether he wanted to or not.

As Fluttershy approached the cave she briefly remembered the last time she had been here. This creature had almost killed little Spike and three of her friends; she laid down the law, of course. He knew his place now and would never threaten another pony ever again. Now though, she needed his power and muscle to put things right.

The green dragon's cave was an inferno. His breath stank; however, Fluttershy did not mind. She was here for a purpose and would not be dissuaded by a little thing like a bad smell.

As she approached the sleeping dragon, Fluttershy remembered her Iron Will training from years ago, Don't be shy, look them in the eye.

“Dragon, I need your help, the forest is in danger and the little creatures in it are dying,” she pleaded with him.

The dragon woke with a start, unused to anything so small addressing him, and then realization crossed his mind. The little pegasus that was speaking to him was the same one as before, the one with the peering eyes that commanded obedience. Standing to his full height, he glared at the young one before him.

“I've kept our accord,” he spoke, his voice ancient and powerful. “You keep to yours and leave me in peace.”

The young pegasus flew up and landed on his noise.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Wait, Fluttershy thought. Never apologize when you can criticize.

“I'm sorry you seem to think that I was giving you a choice in the matter,” she said sternly. “You WILL come with me right this second and you WILL help me put this right.”

Her stare pierced right into his soul.

He shrunk at that. Any choice he had was gone before he knew it.

“Yes, Ms. Fluttershy,” he replied.

***

Fluttershy knew that she should have been horrified at her actions, the death and destruction brought upon the changelings by the dragon SHOULD have been unquestionable, immoral, and terrifying to her. Nevertheless, at this moment, she could not manage anything more than a smile.

Something clicked in her, this was vengeance for all the suffering her friends endured, and her revenge for what she lost.

The changelings never stood a chance. Each and every one was swatted out of the sky, burned to a crisp, or stomped on. Had Fluttershy been in a different mood she would have questioned why they did not turn and run. A fully-grown dragon attacking you would have sent anypony fleeing for their lives. Fluttershy would’ve let them run too, but she never got that chance. They all continued working like the dragon was not there.

They paid for that mistake.

When it was finally over and the dragon left to return to his cave, Fluttershy looked at the carnage she had wrought. She knew, on some level, that this event would scar her for the rest of her life, but for now, she turned away with a grin on her face. She began the journey back to her home. There were a few survivors amongst the leftover changelings, but they were no longer a threat. Few had anything left of their wings and not one of them would be able to fly again.

The few survivors died when the Death Wave hit.

Fluttershy squeaked a little when the energy hit her. The feeling was akin to somepony tickling you unexpectedly, and left an odd sensation in her wings.

The effect on the surviving changelings was a lot more noticeable. All the surviving changelings died on the spot. The agony on their face spoke of the pain they suffered.

This is wrong, this is... this is, no different from what I did. The realization hit her hard. She almost gave in to her depression when a minor detail entered her mind, demanding her attention.

The water was clear again.

Fluttershy flew back to her cabin. The water is clear! Maybe, she dared to hope, whatever that wave was, it might have fixed everyone!

Arriving at her front door with a speed that would have impressed Rainbow Dash, she opened it with a slight push to find that none of her animals were sick. Yes, they were still in bed recovering their energy, but the worst was over. She could finally relax. Well, not yet, there were a few more things she needed to do while those in her cabin regained their strength.

***

Fluttershy finished covering the graves in the back yard with a sigh.

Some of her healthy animal friends were present with her for this ending, one even tried helping. Fluttershy would not let him, she shooed him away with a hoof and went back to work.

It gladdened her heart to have them here, but this was her burden and she would not let them carry any of it. She’d reveal everything to her pony friends later. They would understand, they would help her; but, for now, this was on her.

Her victory in the forest left a bittersweet taste in her mouth, but now was not the time to consider that. She had one more thing to take care of, someone to say goodbye too.

Fluttershy approached the grave on top of the hill and slowly placed her hoof on the tombstone. It was the first grave she dug, and it had killed her to carve the writing on it. She ran her hoof over the markings she carved:

Here lies Angel Bunny.
The best friend I ever knew

Fluttershy fell to her knees.

The sadness she had kept in check since this all started was washing over her like a sickness. Now she could let it out, now she could start the grieving process in earnest.

That was the plan anyway, but a flash of green fire quickly interrupted it. She looked at the letter lying on the ground. This insignificant piece of parchment had disturbed her in more ways than one.

Picking it up, Fluttershy began reading; and her world came crashing down.

Author's Note:

It was not my intent to have this chapter done so soon, halfway through, however, I realized that I should break it up into two separate parts. As each part deserved more attention from me, and it makes it easer to review

So here is Chapter 2 Define: Bittersweet.

My game plan is for chapter 3 to come out on Friday (fingers crossed)

As always bitching, comments, and complaints are always welcome below.

Let me know what you think!!

Thanks to ersmiller for help with editing this chapter
Thanks goes out to Crystal_Bombshell for his help in editing.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!