• Published 3rd Feb 2014
  • 8,016 Views, 777 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
 777
 8,016

Define: Persevering

Chapter 24 Define: Persevering

Sweet Apple Acres

Almost a month had passed since their friends left for Celestia knows where. Almost a month since Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash left to fix ‘the mistake’. Truly, none of them fully understood the ramifications of what had occurred, they did not need to; whatever had happened, Twilight and Rainbow had said they would fix it. That was more than good enough for their friends.

How did that old saying go, ‘Never explain, your friends don’t need it and your enemies will not believe it’?

Applejack did not need an explanation; she just needed her friends back. She was still grieving over Granny Smith, however, that was not a free pass from all her other responsibilities. At times like this, she was her own worst enemy. Applejack took on too much responsibility and left no time for her own personal demons. ‘Buck-em’ she snarled, it never helped her to consider her own problems, almost half a year had went by, and they never got better, they never would. She knew that from when her parents died, the only thing that made her feel better was to help others. So if she did not get her chores done, so what? Helping others made her feel better, and when this was over and everypony was home again, they would help her. That is what friends were for after all, helping others in their time of need. None of her friends needed more help then Fluttershy right now.

Fluttershy was a wreck; ever since Applejack found her living on a cloud, the yellow pegasus was never the same. She sent all her critter friends away, no longer trusting herself to take care of them. Applejack did not truly understand that decision, what she did to stop the changelings had been rather... unorthodox, but Applejack did not begrudge her one bit. Applejack would have done the same; in fact, the only thing Applejack wished she could change was the after effect, as Fluttershy was now scared of herself because of what she did. It hurt to see her friend carrying so much pain in her.

Applejack sighed as she once again replaced an uneaten breakfast with a lunch that she was sure would go uneaten in front of the guest bedroom. It seemed Fluttershy was only eating once a day. It had been an improvement, when she first arrived, Fluttershy did not eat at all for three days straight. After a lot of coaching from Pinkie, Fluttershy was finally coaxed into eating again but only just. Applejack did not know how, but Pinkie was everywhere she needed to be lately, if there was anypony in Ponyville with any need of the pink pony she was there, with whatever she needed to cheer them up. However, Applejack could tell that even Pinkie Pie was reaching her limit. When that happened… well, it was best not to dwell on it.

“Fluttershy, your lunch is out here.”

“C'mon Fluttershy, you have to eat more than once a day, girl!”

Applejack paused for a minute, hoping, praying that Fluttershy might come to the door. When nothing happened she sighed, just another normal day of living with this new Fluttershy. Applejack hated this new Fluttershy, she wanted the old one back. When she turned to walk away, a noise behind her froze Applejack in her tracks. Turning around, she saw Fluttershy’s yellow hoof poking out of the room. It grabbed the lunch and quickly closed the door behind it.

‘She is getting better, baby steps,’ Applejack thought with a smile.

A hard day’s work normally left Applejack feeling better, normally. Lately, her mind was on other things. They did not really need the money, after the whole ‘Filthy Rich’ incident, she still had all the bits that he prepaid for a large quantity of cider that went undelivered. There was nopony to deliver it too. The demand had always been constant for Apple Family Cider, and with such a large amount of it, they were well off. So much so, that Applejack actually donated a large amount to Pinkie in order to rebuild Sugarcube Corner.

It was little wonder the pink pony seemed to be everywhere and nowhere these days. She had nothing else to do, there was no shop to work at, and the Cake twins were in school. All Pinkie had ever wanted from others was a smile; to that end, she threw herself into ensuring that all of Ponyville would be happy. Based on the rumors that were coming in from other towns, Ponyville was lucky to have her. Applejack did not put much stock in rumors, as they were too much hearsay. However, she also knew that nothing traveled faster than bad news.

Stillborn foals, the thought made her shudder; there could be no worse news. Well, that was not exactly true, even that was not as bad as the news in the letters she had to send all those weeks ago.

True to their word; Pinkie, Rarity, and Spike were all making weekly visits to the farm. At first, they had tried Rarity’s, but it was just too cramped. With Sugarcube Corner out of commission and using the castle felt wrong without Twilight there, that only left the farm. These get-togethers truly helped Fluttershy out, she would actually come out of her room, and Applejack swears Fluttershy actually smiled at one joke passed between Rarity and Spike. No one else saw it, but nopony who knew her would never question if Applejack told the truth.

Rarity and Spike, now that was a love for the ages. It seemed as if Rarity had finally accepted the not-so-little Spike for who he was. Applejack had never seen Rarity so happy in all her life. Even during Rarity's courtship of Rare Gem, her smile had never been so big. There was a glow around the white unicorn now. It was at one such event that things started truly looking up.

“So… em. Have you thought about what you will tell Twilight when she gets back?”

Applejack, Rarity, and Spike’s jaw all hit the floor at the same time. Fluttershy had just asked a question for the first time in... forever. Thankfully, Rarity came to her senses and drew the attention away from the blushing pegasus.

“Well darling, now that you mention it we have been discussing our relationship at length. We'll tell Twilight and Rainbow Dash together when they get back, As well as some, ‘other’ news.”

Spike could not keep it in anymore.

“She asked me to move in with her!”

“Spike! We agreed to hold off on that until they got back. Oh well, cats out of the bag now.” Rarity said with a smile.

“I even gave her a housewarming gift!”

Rarity used her magic and reached into a pouch on her bag, pulling out two ten carat red diamond earrings treated in dragon’s fire. The gem sparkled with magical light that lit up the room with red and purple energy.

Pinkie jumped up into the air and blew up, spreading confetti all over the room, immediately after, another Pinkie jumped down on the two from the ceiling, grabbing both Spike and Rarity in a death hug. “YESSS!!!! I have been holding that back for so long!!!! Now we can finally celebrate!”

“Doesn’t it seem kind of quick? And what about Twilight?”

Rarity just smiled at the shy pegasus, “I thought so at first, but we've known each other for so long already, what benefit will waiting do? I can honestly say I've never been happier in all my life. In addition, my litt- big Spiky over here, well he has been dating me for over six years; it was I who needed to understand that. With that taken into consideration, seems like we are moving a little slow actually. Spike will still work with Twilight, after all where would she be without her number one assistant? Pinkie, we will not have a party till the others get back though, we both agreed to that.”

Pinkie seemed to momentarily deflate until Spike chimed in, “That doesn't mean you can't go ahead and plan it though.”

“Oh, oh, I can’t wait! I got to plan a welcome home party, a congrats on saving the world party, a congratulations on living together party, a congratulations Rainbow on the golden wings party, and soon it’s going to be Cloud Kicker’s Birthday! I get to do that too. Oh and don't worry about Twilight, she will be so happy too, and she'll want the privacy!” Pinkie squealed at the top of her lungs, “There's sooo much to do!!!” Pinkie ran out the door, then stopped.

“Pinkie?” all four voices spoke at the same time. The pink mare turned her head back and looked at her friends with a sad expression on her face. “Scratch that, no need for the golden wings party.” She went out the door with her head hung low.

Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy and Spike all stared at each other; “golden wings?” there was an awkward silence that passed between the four until, at last, Spike gave the go to excuse for everything the pink mare did, “Pinkie being Pinkie?” They all laughed at that, although Applejack was not so sure and why would Twilight suddenly want privacy. Applejack was able to put those thoughts aside and enjoy the time she spent with her friends. The rest of the evening went off without issue, they broke out the hard cider and were able to enjoy the night, almost as if nothing had happened. Just as they used too all those years ago.

After that night, or perhaps because of it, Fluttershy slowly started coming around again; she even offered to take Winona off Applejack’s hooves while she was working the field. This pleased Applejack more than she could say, Winona was getting up there in years and with everything going on Applejack did not have the time to spend with her. The true blessing was that Fluttershy was offering to take care of an animal again, even if it was just temporary.

Fluttershy not taking care of animals anymore, it felt wrong.

It was good to see Fluttershy enjoying herself again, Applejack snuck away from the fields several times that day. She just sit and watched Fluttershy and Winona playing together. It was such a simple act, yet its purity made all three of them happy.

Later that night Applejack had two unexpected visitors in her sleep. Winona came and jumped up on her bed, awaking the farmer in the middle of her slumber.

“Huh? Hey Winona, I thought you were sleeping with Fluttershy tonight.”

“Oh, she is… but she missed you and wanted to see if we… I mean she, could sleep in here tonight.”

“Of course you can girl. C'mon and get comfy’”

Winona made her way down to the bottom of Applejack’s bed and then barked twice at the farmer.

“Keep it down Winona; you don’t want to wake up every pony.”

“Oh… she was hoping that I could stay in here too … just for tonight. If you don’t mind that is.”

Applejack smiled at her friend, “Sure Fluttershy, you tell Winona that it’s fine with me if you want to sleep with us tonight.”

Squealing with glee Fluttershy crawled under the sheets and cuddled up under the blankets, Winona soon joined the two mares, finding a nice comfortable spot between them and passed out.

“Applejack?”

“Yes, Fluttershy.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem, good night.”

“Night.”

….

….

….

“Applejack?”

“Yes?”

"I miss them.”

“Who?”

“Rainbow, Twilight… Angel.”

“Oh, I do too girl, but staying up late ain't’ gonna bring them home sooner.”

“They will come home, right?”

“Of course, Twilight is the best at magic, and what could ever stop RD from coming back to us?”

“Yeah, you're right.”

...

...

...

“Applejack?”

“What is this really about, Fluttershy?”

“Oh, it’s nothing….”

“Fluttershy?”

“Ah, Winona saw something spooky, I… we didn't want to sleep alone tonight.”

“What did my little doggy see?” Applejack began scratching Winona behind the ears causing her leg to start lifting up.

“Oh, it’s probably nothing….”

“Fluttershy?”

“She said she saw the moon rise from the west.”

“The west huh? That’s odd... well goodnight.”

“Night Applejack.”

It was three nights later before they learned what that meant.

…………………………

Carousel Boutique

Spike could not believe his luck; he had finally landed the mare of his dreams. True, he still needed to let Twilight know, but how could she be anything but happy for him? Until that day comes, he was living his dream, literally, he dreamed of times like this.

“Hey honey, what would you like for dinner?”

“Whatever you make will be fine, Spike!”

He laughed at that, she was always so easy to please when it came to the small stuff, ‘hmm, maybe a nice simple hay sandwich? No, she deserves better’. Spike was just about to dip into his repertoire of culinary masterpieces, when a loud streak outside grabbed his attention. “What the hay was that?”

He ran outside and was soon followed by Rarity; they both stared up into the sky as a meteorite crashed down in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres. “Applejack, Fluttershy!" Spike shouted out his friends names, concerned for their safety. "Quick Rarity, let’s go!” Rarity did not have time to reply before Spike picked her up and flew the two of them at top speed towards Sweet Apple Acres and whatever fate had befallen their friends.

Applejack, Fluttershy, and Winona all woke from the loud crash. Their sleeping arrangements should have only been for one night, however, it turned out that Winona had been right. Every night since then the moon had risen in the west.

“What was that?”

“I don’t know.”

“Bark, bark…”

“The barn?”

“What about the barn?”

“Winona says it came from the barn.”

“I’ll go check it out, wait here.”

“If you insist.”

Applejack took off down the stairs at full gallop, she threw open the doors heading outside her house to find smoke rising from a hole in the top of the barn.

“What in tarnation?”

“Applejack!”

“Spike, Rarity, over here.”

Spike and Rarity landed near the farmer, relieved that their friend was all right. “How's Fluttershy?”

“She’s fine Rare. She’s inside looking after Winona.”

“What about Apple Bloom?”

“Apple Bloom is with Scoots,”

“What a relief.”

“Not yet you two, we still gotten find out what crashed into my barn. Spike you ready, sugar?”

Spike just nodded, even as a baby he was always strong for his age, easily able to lift several times his weight. His strength had only increased exponentially since then, he was easily stronger than any pony in Ponyville. His extra strength had made him very useful. As such, he was used to joining his friend's adventures. Providing the muscle if they needed it. Although very few beings were actually willing to face down a dragon.

Spike and Applejack ran to the barn, pulling open the front doors, what they found on the inside caused them both to pause in their tracks. In the center of the barn, with steam rising up from the heat of her crash, was Princess Luna.

Luna looked as if she had been through a war. Scars covered fifty percent of her flank; her normal hair was torn and frayed. It had lost most of its ethereal quality along with her tail, instead, taking on the blue that they had only seen after her restoration from Nightmare Moon.

“Spike, send a letter to Celestia.”

"I don’t have an….”

“Here you go!”

“Pinkie? No, you know what, I do not even care. Give me the quill and paper.”

As Spike started scribbling down the letter, Applejack turned to Pinkie.

“Pinkie, Fluttershy is inside, run an’ grab her. She’s better at healin’ then I will ever be.”

Pinkie zoomed out of the barn in flash, leaving a pink after image that made it look like she had yet to leave. Applejack dismissed it, turning to check on the fallen Princess Luna. “You ok there, princess?”

“We will be, just give us a minute.”

“Shouldn’t your guards be with you or something?”

A solemn look from Luna told Applejack all she needed to know about what happened to Luna’s guards.

“Applejack I've got the letter ready, anything else you want me to add?”

Princess Luna interrupted Applejack's reply, “Yes, tell our sister the griffins are invading. They will be here within the hour.”

Canterlot

Celestia was exhausted; this was her first night back to the capital city in a month. She had spent the better part of the last thirty days flying from city to city in her realm. Her little ponies were hurting in one of the worst possible ways. She could not truly blame them, the losses were tragic, when put into such context their reactions were quite subdued.

Her true surprise came from Canterlot itself. None of the cities she had yet visited were unaffected by this disaster, even after she had visited one, when she left the deterioration process would begin anew. All her hopes rested on Twilight finding someway to fix this mess. None of her ponies would get through this unscathed. In truth, she had put off returning to Canterlot, Celestia had heard the rumors of what had happen after she left. She just did not want to believe that the ponies in her capital city would ever go to such extremes. When she could delay no longer, Celestia returned, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. What she saw defied all expectations.

Canterlot had never looked better, it seemed as if everypony was helping each other. A level of unity and harmony the city had never known existed. Ponies were sweeping the streets, cleaning buildings, mowing the grass. The Wonderbolts were doing daily performances for everypony. Even the upper class ponies were out helping – given they were not actually doing any real work themselves – but for them it was quite the turnaround. When she got back to the palace, Celestia demanded an immediate update. Only to learn it was all because of the actions of one Princess Twilight Sparkle.

Celestia had been left speechless, the last she heard of her student was that she had left for Tartarus, Now, not only was Twilight safe – as of two weeks ago – she had made Celestia proud and saved her city. She immediately ordered Twilight’s instructions be implemented throughout the land. If it could work in Canterlot, it could work anywhere. Only one pony had dared question it, he had the gall to ask how it would be paid for. After a quick glance to the moon, Celestia commented, “How much would we save if some ponies started living on the moon I wonder?” His withdrawal was quick and nopony else dared question Celestia’s orders.

Finally, back in her room Celestia stared at her bed as if it was a gift from above. Before she could give into the slumber she so desperately needed and get a good night rest, green flame appeared in front of her. Her hopes rose for news from Twilight; they were soon dashed as news of her sister reached her.

“Guards!”

Soon a pair of royal guard pegasi appeared in her room. “Yes, princess?”

“Ready as many pegasi as available, send the fastest flyer we have to cloudsdale, gather all our flying forces and proceed to Ponyville posthaste. We are now at war.” As the guards complied with her order, showing all the professionalism and dedication they were known for, Celestia sighed at the loss of quality time with her bed. “I get the feeling I will not see you again for a while.”

Author's Note:

Act 4 begins…..

Ch 25 due out on the 14th!

Special thanks to Shielded Myth for help editing

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