• Published 3rd Feb 2014
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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.

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Define: Peregrination (R)

Whitetail woods

The journey took the two friends through Whitetail Woods; few words passed between them, as they were simply content to enjoy each other’s company. While it would have been faster for Twilight to fly the two there, the indignation it would have put on Rainbow was enough for her to reject that idea outright. The once and future—if Twilight had any say in it—best flyer in Equestria would NOT be carried in the air by anypony.

It was with a heavy heart that Rainbow looked at the woods. They reminded her of the better times, when the six friends had no real responsibilities and lived each day for the enjoyment of spending time with the others. One such event in particular stood out in her mind, the Running of the Leaves. Rainbow sighed aloud as she realized that she had missed it for yet another year.

“Rainbow, what’s wrong?” Twilight asked.

“I don't really know, Twi. This place just reminds me of all that I missed since becoming a Wonderbolt. I look back on those times we all spent together as the best years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a Wonderbolt, the fame, the adulation, the glory, but I miss this, I miss you… and the rest of the girls.” Rainbow quickly added the last part.

Twilight knew how she felt; so much had changed in a few short years. Friendships that had withstood the likes of Discord, King Sombra, and Nightmare Moon, they... they were now drifting apart. It seemed time would do what the greatest evils of the world could not.

No, she resolved that ‘that‘ wouldn’t happen. Twilight bumped Rainbow on the flank with her head, “Then let’s change it.”

“Huh? What do you mean, Twi?” Rainbow asked.

“I said let's change it, when we get back I‘ll talk to all the girls. I want my friends back. Don't get me wrong, I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a princess. However, I’d be lying if I said it was the most important thing to me; my friends are. And I know in my heart the rest of you feel the same way.”

“It’s a nice thought Twi, but we all have lives and responsibilities. We can’t just take time off each week, you know.”

“Well then, I'll just have to take a page from Luna's playbook and pull rank. I doubt even the Wonderbolts would ignore a royal decree to give you extra time off, and if they try, well, I have been perfecting the 'banish to the moon' spell. I don’t even think I would even need to pull the elements from the tree to use it right now,” Twilight said, walking forward matter-of-factly.

“Ha ha, nice joke, Twi.” With a look at her friend, a lump built in Rainbow's throat, “You're kidding, right?”

The look on Twilight's face as she glanced back said she was anything BUT kidding. “As Luna said, it’s the perks that make the job worthwhile, and I want my friends back.”

“Twilight, don't do that. Twilight... Twilight... TWILIGHT!"

Rainbow ran up to Twilight trying to get her to change her mind, but she knew it was too late. Once Twilight had her mind set on a course of action only Celestia herself had any hope of getting her to change it, and with recent events, Rainbow doubted even she could convince Twilight otherwise.

It took Rainbow a while to wrap her head around this change of events. It WAS going to happen, and Spitfire wouldn’t be happy about Rainbow getting such special treatment. Rainbow knew that some extra duties and teasing were in store for her.

She paused as she realized that this is the first time she considered that she might actually rejoin the Wonderbolts. In truth, ever since finding out that she was dead, and could no longer fly, Rainbow had written them off. Here she was considering a future with them after just a few seconds of talking with Twilight. That made her consider one more possibility she hadn’t thought about before, something she hadn’t even considered before. ‘Do I even want to rejoin them?’

Rainbow Dash made up her mind in ten seconds flat.

“Twi, there’s no need for you to do that.”

“For the last time Rainbow, I've already made up my mind.”

“You misunderstand, Twilight, there is no NEED for you to do that, because, when this is over, I'm not going back to the Wonderbolts.”

That caused Twilight to stop, “What do you mean, Rainbow? Being a Wonderbolt is your dream, I… we don’t want you to give up on it.”

Rainbow sighed aloud. “On that you're wrong Twi, being a Wonderbolt WAS my dream. Ever since I was a filly, being a Wonderbolt was my only ambition; it pushed me to do some amazing things. It's part of the reason why I moved to Ponyville. Don't get me wrong, Cloudsdale is awesome, but it's crowded, so there's not a lot of room to practice. I figured I’d use the free space in Ponyville in order to push my limits and get better. Then I met you girls, I loved hanging out with all of you so much.”

Rainbow was glowing as she remembered all the times they had shared. “Don't spread this around, but a little after I joined the Wonderbolt's reserve, they offered me a spot on the team anytime I wanted it.”

Twilight was shocked at this confession; Rainbow had delayed joining the Wonderbolts? Her story had been they didn’t have room on the squad.

“I told them I needed a few years to get better. I don't know why I did it, but looking back, I think, even then, I knew I didn’t want to spend my days away from yo... I mean, all of you. It wasn't until we all started drifting apart that I ran out of excuses to stay away. I sent Spitfire a letter and went in the next week. Now though, I realize that being a Wonderbolt is no longer my dream. Sure, it's exciting, thrilling, and a huge ego boost, but it isn't what I want anymore. I want to be around you girls."

Rainbow paused as she realized something. "It's kind of funny you know; I had to die to figure out what's truly important in my life.”

Twilight was touched; she tried to say something, but was truly lost for words at this, so she settled for actions instead. Twilight walked up to Rainbow and hugged her. “I want to be around you too.” She managed to say with a few tears in her eyes.

The two friends walked side by side after that, engaging in friendly banter and enjoying each other's company. Twilight knew Rainbow couldn’t feel it when their coats touch but she appreciated the connection all the same. Eventfully Rainbow broke the mood.

Rainbow turned to her friend, a glare in her eyes that spoke only of trouble, “Hey Twilight, you wanna race?”

Twilight paused, then in her best Rarity impression said, “As if, like I would ever engage in such uncouth unladylike behavior.”

Rainbow stopped; shocked at her friend’s easy dismissal and spot-on Rarity impression. Rainbow stared at Twilight as she continued walking past her; Twilight even slapped Rainbow's muzzle with her tail as she did so. Several seconds later Twilight looked back with a grin on her face. “Not without a head start that is.” Twilight sprinted ahead at that.

It took Rainbow’s brain a minute to catch up to what had just happened. Twilight just played me! Maybe Discord was right? Rainbow thought. She quickly shook her head free of ‘that’ thought, “Oh it's on, egghead!”

It was not much of a competition, Rainbow had years of athleticism, speed, and agility on her side. On top of that, she had her Wonderbolt training, and the fact that she could not tire helped too. Although, it did take a little longer then she expected to pass Twilight, Rainbow was soon well ahead.

Rainbow shouted, “You give up yet, egghead?” When she didn’t hear a reply, she looked back. What she saw made her stop in her tracks. Rainbow could not see Twilight anymore; they had separated.

“Twi? Twi? Twilight... Twilight? TWILIGHT!” Rainbow shouted. She only stopped shouting when she heard a noise behind her. It’s probably a bad idea to give away my position to everything in these woods, she reasoned. Rainbow began heading back down the path. After a few twists and turns, Rainbow realized one horrible fact, she was lost.

To make matters worse the noise behind her returned. Even worse was when she recognized what the noise was, she now knew what was tracking her. “Timberwolves.”

Rainbow started to panic, while she had no fear of being killed per se, a timberwolf mauling would definitely slow them down, and the thought of Twilight finding her in such a state.... Rainbow immediately sprang into action. Normally she would have been able to smell them, but as this was anything other than a normal day, the only option remaining was to run. Choosing a path at random she took off as fast as she could.

Rainbow proceeded to plow right into one.

The timberwolf shattered into its component pieces, causing Rainbow to trip and land on her face. She knew it would quickly reassemble, but the more dangerous thought was they do not hunt alone. Rainbow got up and ran as fast as she could. Several wolves gave chase behind her; while she was keeping her distance, Rainbow was unable to gain ground either.

Rainbow thought she might just be able to keep this up, they would tire, and she wouldn’t. That idea was quickly lost as she saw one jump out at her from the woods. Feeling a slight tug on her head that quickly released, Rainbow ran faster. She realized too late that the path she chose was a poor choice. In her panic she had run into a dead end. The rock faces were too high to jump and surrounded her on three sides. The pack had the fourth covered. Of all the days not to be able to fly, Rainbow thought. She tried anyway, only to end up on her face a few times.

The pack closed in for the kill, “C'mon then, you won’t take me without a fight!” When the first two jumped at her, Rainbow knew it wouldn’t be much of a fight. Sorry Twi, was her final thoughts.

***

They never landed; both timberwolves were forced against the cliff face by a purple energy beam. The magic that kept them together lit up; igniting the two creatures in a hellfire they could not hope to survive. Rainbow stared on in shock, following the beam to its origin. She saw Twilight on all fours, completely out of breath, with both wings flared out, residual magic energy was radiating from her horn.

Her face told it all: Rainbow's rescuer was pissed.

The other wolves instantly recognized the new threat. They attacked Twilight as one solid unit, and they didn’t stand a chance. Twilight's analytical mind formed a plan before the wolves took a second step. She glanced over to the second cliff face and with a wave of her horn picked the entire side up and dropped the twenty-ton rock face on top of the timberwolves. “Get up from that.” Twilight snarled.

“That. Was. Amazing!” Rainbow shouted as she rushed over to thank her friend. Rainbow stopped halfway there when Twilight's venomous glare turned her way.

“Umm, Twilight what’s wrong?”

“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! Running off on me like that! Do you have any idea how scared I was? I called out for you to stop seven times! Then I heard the howling and I still couldn’t find you.”

Twilight paused to catch her breath before continuing. “It was only after my third lap in the air that I saw the pack chasing something." Noticing something strange, she paused and ran the rest of the way to her friend, “Rainbow, your ear.” Twilight roughly grabbed Rainbow’s head to examine the injury.

“What’s wrong with my ear?” Rainbow asked.

Twilight conjured a mirror, allowing Rainbow to examine the damage herself. A large amount of her right ear was missing, torn off in the chase. After a few seconds she spoke. “I like it, it makes me look that much cooler.”

Twilight slapped her.

Although she didn’t feel the pain, it still hurt, it just hurt in other ways. “C'mon Twilight, you know I didn’t mean it like that.” Twilight turned away and sit back on her flank, staring off into the distance. “Hey, I'm sorry alright; I must not have heard you during the race.” Rainbow walked around to look her friend in the face. Twilight was crying again.

“I could have lost you. I would have had to do this alone, I… I… couldn’t.”

“I'm truly sorry; I promise I’ll never leave your side again,” Rainbow replied.

“Pinkie promise?”

“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” Rainbow went through the ritual without a second thought.

Twilight smirked, “Pinkie should really come up with a new one, pegasus always hope to fly,”

Rainbow replied, “Yes, but no one wants a cupcake in the eye.” Both friends started to laugh at that.

As they turned to leave, Rainbow took one last look at the mountain that had been ‘disposed’. Mental note: DO NOT get on Twilight’s bad side.

***

On the way out of the woods, the two got turned around several times until they found the path. Rainbow was hoping that they would make it out soon; she recognized the clouds overhead: Snow clouds. Eventually, Rainbow had to accept the inevitable, they wouldn’t beat the snow. “We should camp here, the snow is going to hit and you don’t want to be caught out in it. The first snowfall of the year is always the worst.”

If anything that turned out to be an understatement, as the unexpected blizzard kicked up shortly after Rainbow helped Twilight pitch the tent. Rainbow sighed, a year ago, she would have known this was coming; being on the weather team had its benefits. Heck a few days ago she would have cleared the skies in ten seconds, well maybe twenty; there were a lot of clouds.

Having only brought one tent, Twilight was already inside it. Twilight cast a heating spell on the tent to ensure that the snow wouldn’t build up and collapse it. The spell had the added benefit of keeping it nice and warm, However, even her magic could not make it bigger. It was too small to fit two fully grown ponies comfortably; so Rainbow insisted on standing guard. She didn’t want to put Twilight out, she could not feel the cold anyway.

After a few hours Rainbow found a flaw in her plan, her legs were getting very difficult to move. Twilight seemed to sense something was wrong at that moment as she came out and said, “Rainbow, come inside.”

“I'm alright, Twi. Go back to bed; it’s not like I need the rest.”

“That’s not what I'm worried about, Rainbow. True, you don’t feel the cold, but that’s because your body doesn't process heat. I can see the strands of your life force breaking around your wings and legs, if you stay out here, you won't be able to move in the morning.”

Rainbow sighed; while she understood next to nothing of what Twilight said, she didn’t question it because, after all, when was Twilight wrong? Rainbow stepped inside the tent. As she figured earlier, it WAS much too small for two adult ponies.

“Rainbow you’re a bucking popsicle.” Twilight complained. She tried to get comfortable but to no avail. Finally, Twilight got tired of it. “Hold still.” Twilight picked up Rainbow with her magic and laid her on her side with her back pressed up against the alicorn’s chest, much to Rainbow's chagrin. Twilight trapped Rainbow with her hooves as she wrapped a wing over the struggling pegasus.

If it were still possible, Rainbow's whole face would have turned red as her mind realized what position they were in.

“Um, Twilight, I—"

“Shut up Rainbow, there isn't enough room for anything else, and I cannot get comfortable until you’re at least somewhat warm.” Twilight spoke as she wrapped a blanket over the two of them with her magic.

The mental image of the rock-face came to her mind and Rainbow quickly decided that she wouldn’t press the issue.

“Good choice." Twilight spoke, guessing what was going through the pegasus's head.

Rainbow sighed; like it or not she wasn't going anywhere tonight and although she would never admit it to anyone, she did not, exactly, not like it.

An hour passed and Twilight slightly began to drift to sleep, her pegasus teddy bear locked firmly in her hooves. Rainbow noticed this slight change in Twilight’s demeanor.

“Twilight?”

“Hmm...”

“You know this is totally unfair, right?”

“Mmm hmm….”

Well at least she knew. Rainbow thought a little more on the situation.

“Twilight?”

“Hmm….”

“When this is over and you get me back to normal, can… can we do this again?”

“Mmm… hmm….”

“Pinkie promise?”

“Mmm… hmm….”

Rainbow took that as a yes.

***

The next morning when Twilight woke up, she was surprised to feel a heat source radiating off Rainbow, however, as soon as she took the blanket off and removed her wing the cyan mare bolted out of the tent, ruining any chance for her to examine it further. “Finally! You have no idea how boring it is for me to be up all night with only an egghead's heartbeat to listen too."

Twilight blushed at that; Rainbow had stayed up all night just listening to Twilight’s heart.

“I’ll tell you, Twi, I don’t know what you were dreaming of but if I were alive I'm pretty sure you would've suffocated me in your sleep.”

Twilight’s cheeks began turning a brighter shade of red. Much to the amusement of Rainbow, Payback feels good.

“Well egghead, eat up, I'm going to look around. When you’re done, we'll pack up and head out; we can’t be more than a few hours away now. Oh, and Twilight?” Twilight looked up at this one. “Red's a good color on you and all, but I prefer purple myself.”

Rainbow had to duck the silverware Twilight threw at her.

***

The two of them reached the edge of the ridge a few hours later. Twilight vividly remembered the last time she was here, leading a stray pooch back home. Of course, that ‘stray pooch’ was a forty-hoof three-headed dog, and that home was the gates of the underworld.

“So, this is the gate to Tartarus?” Rainbow asked.

“Not quite, that’s farther in. This is the gate to Hades.”

Author's Note:

My first intermission story

I just love the ideal of Twilight throwing her weight around, I don't feel she would abuse it, but when you are responsible for so much the perks make it worthwhile and to not take advantage of it (at least a little) is to handicap yourself.

as always, constructive comments are welcome. others will be mocked.

I hope to have the beginning of Act 2 out by Friday.

Thanks goes out to Crystal_Bombshell for his help in editing.

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