• Published 3rd Feb 2014
  • 7,823 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
 7,823

Define: Pyrrhic Victory (R)

Canterlot Throne Room

The scythe sprang forward to protect its master, it cast force field after force field. The spells it used—some of which Celestia had only read of in legends—some she had never seen before in her life. She knew that even one of those spells would be sufficient to stop any attack she threw at them.

Twilight’s magic didn’t seem notice they were even there. The scythe broke under the impact of the pure raw energy; it broke into three pieces, each of which flew off in separate directions. Its master merely gazed on with a look of contentment on his face. Celestia wasn’t sure how a skull could show emotion, but there was no doubt he was appeased with this.

The energy slammed into its body with unstoppable force. Incinerating its robe, the skulls around its belt, and finally its very bones. Celestia could only watch in grim fascination as the energy continued, blowing a hole in the tower and moving farther beyond, past where the eye could see.

From that moment on, a new star was visible in the night sky. The energy Twilight released easily broke orbit and would continue on, forevermore.

It would forever disintegrate anything that crossed its path.

Celestia’s vision finally returned to normal, the magic keeping her in the same realm as Twilight finally let her go; or more specifically, finally drained itself to the point where it no longer needed her as another outlet. Twilight fell to the ground with a loud ‘thud’, completely exhausted from the day’s events, yet still breathing.

For the first time in her life, Celestia could not honestly say if this was a good thing or a bad thing. She quickly shook that thought away, Twilight was her student, her friend, and as a daughter to her. Of course her being alive was a good thing. It always would be a good thing as far as she was concerned.

Celestia looked around; the damage to her castle was intense. The giant hole in the wall would take some time to fix, but what hurt the most was the dead. She wasn’t surprised to find that they were all unicorns. She didn’t see any of the pegasus or earth ponies around. Good, at least some made it out safely.

There were dead changelings everywhere: a good number had blown against the back wall. Several probably fell out of the giant hole. A few were in the path of the energy and were either completely disintegrated or halfway gone. Chrysalis was one of the latter.

On that Celestia had mixed feelings. The last time Celestia thought Chrysalis was defeated; she did not even give chase, Celestia did not want to wipe out the entire Changeling race. Such actions always have unforeseen consequences, Celestia had learned that lesson the hard way over the years.

Yet inaction has its consequences too, Is this my fault? Is Twilight's pain yet another lesson I have to learn? Will she ever forgive me?

These thoughts would haunt Celestia, forever.

As Celestia was just about to give into her melancholy, she noticed her sister lying off in the corner. She tried to fly over to Luna, but quickly found herself too exhausted to flap her wings. Therefore, she took the long way. She walked over the rubble lying in her path. Hoping, praying that her sister was fine. When she finally made what felt like the longest journey in her life, Celestia noticed that Luna’s flank was indeed rising and falling with weak, but steady, rhythm. Celestia collapsed next to Luna, thankful but exhausted.

The noise woke Luna up.

“Sorry Luna, I didn’t mean to disturb your slumber.”

Luna chuckled at that. “Sister, after today’s events our slumber is the last thing on our mind.”

“What happened?” Celestia whispered the words.

“We were going to ask you the same question. we have a few theories but we want to hear from you first.”

Celestia sighed; she supposed one of them had to start first. With Luna being the one that looked worse for wear, it made sense that Celestia should go first. Therefore, she began to recant the story, Twilight's power, the grim reaper, Twilight's reply, and the damage inflicted on the tower. She left out no detail, no matter how much she wanted too.

Recanting the story made it real, which in turn made it somewhat easier to deal with. Celestia found her strength beginning to return as she finished, she was able to raise her head without much issue now. As she finished, she looked at Luna; if she didn’t know her sister better she would have thought Luna was sleeping.

Luna didn’t want to believe what she’d just heard, she wanted to call her sister a liar and scream at her for making up something like that at such an important time. Yet it all fit her theory, as a certain prophecy was running repeatedly in her head, like a bad dream that would not let her forget it. Luna also knew her sister far too well; Celestia would never lie about something like that.

“So, then it’s true,” was all Luna managed to get out.

“What's true?” Luna just grimaced at the question Celestia asked, she knew it was coming but that didn’t change her trepidation at having to answer it, “Luna I need to know what you know, no more secrets.”

Luna just sighed. “Perhaps you’re right, sister. No more secrets. Although we fear you won’t like what we have to say.”

“If somehow Twilight is involved I need to know, dear sister, she is like a daughter to me and the first pony to bear the Element of Magic in a thousand years. I have to know.”

“Well, you are half right, sister.” Celestia looked confused at that. “She is a daughter to you, more so than any of your ‘legitimate’ daughters ever were," Celestia just shrugged at that, she never had much luck with any of her own children. “However, she was never the bearer of the Element of Magic, rather magic is Twilight Sparkle, or more precisely, Twilight is magic.”

Luna recognized the look Celestia gave her even after a thousand years’ banishment. It was her patented, You’re bucking crazy if you think I’ll accept that without an explanation, look. Luna had tried copying it a few times only to find that it always escaped her. “Let us explain, although we should warn you this story begins a long, long time ago, around the time of Clover the Clever's death.“

***

Celestia mainly kept quiet during the story, she only interrupted when she needed further clarification with something Luna said. The tale was unbelievable, unrealistic, imposs- No, she would not use that last word. She may never use it again. If the events of today taught her one lesson, it is that nothing is impossible.

The most damning part, it all fit. Everything she witnessed today fit perfectly with what Luna told her. Again, she had to consider the possibility that Luna fit the story to today’s events, and again, she dismissed that idea. This was too big, too much had happened, and Luna would never make something like this up. If what Luna told her was true, then Equestria, no the world would be forever changed.

Celestia looked up to speak as Luna finished telling her tale, but the shock on Luna's face caught Celestia’s attention. Luna was looking over Celestia’s shoulder at something with her mouth agape, her eyes were as wide as dinner plates. When Celestia looked over, what she saw removed any doubt of the validity of Luna’s tale.

In the back of the room, sitting near the thrones, was a cyan-blue pegasus. Blood covered over half her body.

Rainbow Dash stared at the two princesses; both of which were looking at her with their lower jaws on the floor. “What…what happened?” Rainbow asked. The hole Chrysalis blew in her chest was completely sealed, replaced by new skin and fur as if it never happened. Again, Celestia was reminded that nothing is impossible. Was this a victory after all? She did not believe that for one minute, the cost was too high, and she knew, without a doubt, it would be increasing.

***

Canterlot Emergency Room

Beep,,, Beep… Beep…

“Spike, shut off that alarm!”

Beep… Beep… Beep…

“Spike, I said shut it off! I just got to sleep.”

Beep… Beep… Beep…

“SPIKE!”

“Uh, Twi?”

That wasn’t Spike, that wasn’t right, that was Rainbow Dash. She tried to open her eyes to find out what Rainbow was doing in her room, but something was blocking her from seeing. She reached a hoof up to her eyes and found a bandage covering her head. That wasn’t right at all.

“Rainbow, why is there a bandage over my eyes? What happened last night?”

“Twi, what do you remember?”

Twilight had to think about that for a minute: the memories were coming back, the wedding, she had enjoyed that. The train ride, the palace, the summit, and then something... something happened. “We're in Canterlot, the Princess Summit, I was enjoying your company, and you were showing me some new trick the Wonderbolts were teaching you. Then... and then you... you died”.

That caused Twilight to awaken; she ripped the bandage away from her eyes so she could look at her friend.

“No don’t...” Rainbow said. Far too slow to stop Twilight.

Twilight didn’t care, the light was blinding at first but soon the glare went down. When her vision came into focus, there, sitting on her bed like it was simply another day, was the fastest pegasus in all of Equestria: Rainbow danger-professionalism-whatever-else-she-wanted-her-middle-name-to-be Dash. She cocked the little grin she was so well known for, “You happy to see me, egghead?”

Twilight cried, but these were tears of joy.

Rainbow was forced to watch, she wanted nothing more than to comfort her friend at this time, but Celestia’s orders were to avoid physical contact with Twilight at all cost. Something about not upsetting her further. Although, seeing Twilight as she was now, Rainbow did not know if that was really a risk. “I…I… I thought, I felt….” Twilight tried to get out what she wanted to say.

“Shhh. Don't talk yet, Twi.” Rainbow whispered. “Let it out first. Then we can chat.” She watched her friend go through this alone; Rainbow was there with her, but not really. Although Twilight's eyes still freaked her out, they were minor compared to everything else that had happened, and besides, she had seen them like this before.

After a few minutes, Twilight's sobs eventually stopped. She merely stared down at her hooves in the hospital bed. “I thought you died. Chrysalis she… she shot you. How long have I been asleep? How are you up right now?”

All these questions, just like Twilight. Rainbow thought. “Come on Twi, you know it takes more than some overgrown bug to keep this pony down. Don't worry about it; you've only been out for a few hours. The docs said that you’d just exhausted yourself when you ended that queen bitch. You'll have to tell me about that later on.”

Twilight smirked at that comment; she remembered breaking the bitch’s neck all too well. However, it seemed that Dash did not know about the other thing she did though. When she recalled those memories and the way... the way she felt after Dash had…

Twilight threw herself on Rainbow, barely registering the needles pulled out of her hooves by the action, “Dash!” Twilight cried.

Dash gulped, she broke a promise not to touch Twilight for any reason. Given the event had occurred in reverse of what she was expecting. I guess the cats out of the bag now? she thought.

Dash looked down at the alicorn's head burying itself in her chest, any other time she would have insisted that no one got that close to her. She hated anything girly like that, but now... now she didn’t seem to mind. Maybe it's because I can't feel it?

Once Twilight finished crying into Dash’s chest, her mind began to realize something off, something she could not figure out. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks, she looked up in the pegasus's eyes, “Dash?” Twilight asked softly. “Dash, why are you so cold?”

Dash slowly ran a hoof through Twilight's mane, seeking to comfort her friend and not wanting this moment to end, although she knew it would have to. When she told this story it would shatter Twilight's world. Maybe, just maybe I can persuade Twilight to wait for the explanation to come from Celestia herself?

Looking into Twilight's eyes, Rainbow smiled; Celestia had been wrong about one thing. Even with Twilight's eyes pure white, she was still the same pony. Rainbow could still read the emotions in those eyes: there was pain over what had happened, fear over what will happen, and something else, something Rainbow could not place her hoof on. Rainbow knew Twilight would want the explanation from her but she still tried to delay.

“Twilight, something happened, I've had some time to come to terms with it, but this will all be new to you. I only know a little bit and Celestia wanted to tell you herself when she got her energy back. Will you wait for her to tell it?”

As expected, Twilight would not be persuaded; she shook her head. “No Rainbow, I want to hear it from you, not Celestia, and not Luna, you.”

Rainbow expected as much, although she did feel something stir in her with when Twilight spoke that last phrase. That was weird; I shouldn't feel anything anymore. Rainbow dismissed the thought and sighed.

Rainbow began telling Twilight her story. “You see Twilight, I’m dead.”

Twilight's jaw dropped to the bed.

***

“And that’s all I know, you’ll have to get Celestia and Luna to fill you in on the rest.”

Twilight could not process that story right now; later, in pieces, yes. As a whole, right this second, no. Therefore, she broke it into its core pieces and filed in her mind under ‘shit to deal with later’. However, There was one piece of the story that did require her immediate and undivided attention. “So, you’re dead huh? What… what’s it like?”

“I don’t know.” Rainbow answered. ”Hey don't look at me like that! When have you ever known me to stop and think about anything other than flying, naps, or Daring Do? If I had to stop and think about it, it’s actually kind of cool. I’m not hungry, I won’t get thirsty, and I don’t get tired. Admittedly that’s a double edged blade, as I can’t take naps anymore. I can’t feel pain or well... well anything to be honest, but the only real bad thing is.” Rainbow really, really did not want to say the last part out loud. Doing so felt like she was somehow making it real. Twilight deserved the truth though, even if it was the most painful thing Rainbow could say. “I can’t fly anymore.”

Twilight did a double take. “What? But... but your wings look fine. You've been moving them around the whole time!”

Rainbow looked at the lavender alicorn that threw herself at her, clutching tightly to her chest. She was very distraught at the news, Rainbow was too when she first heard it. Somehow, still being alive and being able to see her friends had lessened the blow though. “Twilight I can’t feel anything. Let me ask you, egghead. How do wings work?”

“Wings work by creating enough lift and thrust to overcome inertia and gravity.” Twilight spoke, choosing to give the brief version.

“A little textbook, but accurate," Rainbow Dash replied. “Now tell me, how do pegasi make their wings do that?”

“They do it by feeling….” It finally clicked for Twilight.

“Oh Dash, I'm so, so sorry.” Dash sighed as the lavender alicorn again buried her head in her chest. Well if she keeps this up I won’t need a bath, Rainbow jokingly thought.

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Twi, don’t apologize, it’s not like it’s your fault.”

That seemed to be the wrong thing to say as Twilight squeezed tighter than ever and started bawling like a filly.

“I’m so, so sorry.”

That’s weird, Dash thought. For a minute there I thought I felt…

It took a few minutes for Twilight to calm down, but eventually she was able to get control of her emotions. Looking at Dash's soaking wet chest hair she began to laugh. “I guess you can skip your shower today, huh?” That got Rainbow laughing as well.

“That’s funny, I had the same thought.” That got them both laughing. Twilight set back on her hind legs, oddly this made Dash a little disappointed. Although, she could not place her hoof on why. Twilight looked at her hooves; the bandage she removed from her eyes were tangled up in them when she sat back.

She needed all the answers she could get.

“Dash, why were my eyes covered before? You know, when I woke up?”

“Yeah, about that. The doctors were messing around with your eyes while you were out. They had to put some drops in them, something about ‘siolate’ or some big egghead word like that.”

“Why did the doctors dilate my eyes?”

“Dilate, yeah that’s the word, anyway they did it because your pupils are gone.”

“MY WHAT ARE WHAT‽”

“Your pupils are gone, shame too I always like the purple in yo-,” Dash cut herself off from saying that last sentence. It was good that Twilight wasn’t paying attention at that point as she was desperately trying to find a mirror. When Dash finally handed the mirror Celestia gave her to Twilight, she saw her reflection for the first time since waking up. Her pupils were indeed gone. She had been told her eyes did this a few times before, usually when they used the Elements though, and they gave those up quite a few years ago.

It was unnerving for Twilight not to recognize the face in the mirror, but truly, she didn’t mind that much. After what Rainbow lost, Twilight could not complain about the simple loss of her pupils.It felt unfair: Rainbow lost her life, her dreams, and everything she cared about, and Twilight lost the color in her eyes. It didn’t even seem to affect her sight. Twilight would have started crying again but she was out of tears.

The two stayed together in the room for a few hours after that, conversing back and forth about how crazy their lives were. The conversation never turned towards recent events, the pain was too fresh for Twilight. Eventually, one of the royal guards showed up and invited the two to join Celestia and Luna in the palace gardens. The throne room was unavailable for obvious reasons.

As Twilight and Rainbow made their way down to the garden, Rainbow could not help but see the nervousness in Twilight's walk. Pausing, she turned to her friend, blocking her path, “Twilight, what’s wrong? Let's not keep secrets, alright.”

Twilight looked at Rainbow, fear in her eyes. There was that one detail that she hadn’t told her friend just yet. “Rainbow, there’s one thing I didn’t tell you; I kind of did... something, something bad.”

“Twilight, I know you, we've been friends forever, and I know your heart. You’d never do anything bad. Whatever it is, let me know and we can get through it together.”

“Well you see... I kind of, well that is, I killed Death. Well the Grim Reaper to be precise.”

It was Rainbow's turn to pick her jaw up from the ground.

She had questions dammit, she had a lot of questions: Are you serious? What? How? Why? What? How? Is that even possible? How? What? You cannot be serious. The Grim Reaper doesn't exist, does he? However, all that came out was a grunt.

Rainbow stared at Twilight as her friend seemed to be poking at the ground with her hoof. Twilight wasn’t willing to look Rainbow in the face. luckily for Twilight. Rainbow hadn’t been paying attention to where they were, as at that exact moment the doors behind her opened with both Celestia and Luna on the other side.

Twilight, grateful for the distraction, ran past Dash and embraced her former mentor and friend in a hug. “Celestia! I'm so happy to see you.” The hug seemed to be too much at this moment. Celesta fell back, too weak to support her own weight plus Twilight's.

“Celestia, what’s wrong?”

Celestia’s reply came between grunts. “My dear Twilight, don’t you remember? You were victorious against the changelings, but in doing so, you destroyed the world."

Author's Note:

I really enjoyed this chapter, I have to say I had FUN writing it, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

As always let me know what I did right. - so I can keep it up
Let me know what I did wrong. - so I can fix it
Let me know I am an ass for whatever reason - its the internet after all.

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!