• Published 10th Mar 2014
  • 5,828 Views, 346 Comments

Hopes and Follies - Phaoray

Things haven’t exactly gone well for Trixie. Now Twilight is an Alicorn and Trixie feels left behind. But Trixie has a plan; one Discord is all too willing to aid her in. For a price.

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End Show Confessions Part 2

Two days of near constant travel and increasingly problematic dizzy spells finally brought Trixie to her next destination; White Tail Woods. She tiredly walked into the forest, doing her best to keep her bleary eye open for signs of danger. However, the pain, and having forced herself to go on with little sleep for so long, made paying any real attention difficult. Sluggishly, Trixie’s mind wandered to the next item on Discord’s list.

Wind root. Trixie had heard all of the trees were nearly cut down ages ago. Hmm … a tree whose roots opened up and strengthened the magical channels within a pony. Trixie guesses she can understand why Discord wants that for the ritual.

Still, they had been used to near extinction by ponies trying to get a short boost of magical strength, or on foals by their parents, hoping it would let their children learn magic earlier in life. The few Trixie has heard of still intact are said to be well cared for and only used in medical surgery to help the doctor’s magic flow better in Pegasi and Earth Ponies, or something along those lines. Does Discord not know about their rarity now? Or does he know of a few hidden in this forest still?

She looked back at the list and Discord’s little statement concerning the Wind root.

The older the root, the stronger it is. Want to risk blowing up? Then find a sapling to steal from. Want to be an Alicorn? Find something closer to Sunbutt’s age.

Sighing, Trixie thought through the list of ingredients for the ritual.

Pure magic for power, Wind Root to strengthen and open up magical channels, and alcohol to … what? Make the taste of the first two go down better? Is he going to have Trixie eat this stuff?

Trixie was so lost in thought that she ended up bumping into something with her muzzle, something most certainly not a tree. Groaning from the sudden impact, Trixie rubbed her nose and looked at what obstructed her.

What’s something like this doing out here?

She eyed the little home curiously, not expecting anypony to be living in a forest. It was a small house, probably only a few rooms in total on the inside. It was painted a dull brown, blending in a bit with the nearby trees, and emanated the smell of herbs.

“Who’s there!?”

Trixie gave an undignified yelp and pitched forward from the sudden voice behind her, hitting her head into the side of the house. She gasped as the impact sent a thousand little needles of pain into her injured eye, and promptly sat down with both hooves covering it.

“Oh for the love of-are you okay?”

The rough mare’s voice Trixie had heard a moment ago was now laced with concern, and caused Trixie to slowly glance behind her, her body still slow to respond due to the pain.

Behind Trixie stood a brown Earth pony, giving her a worried look with her olive green eyes. One of her hooves held a small sickle, which Trixie assumed to have been pointed at her until her collision with the house. The mare’s hair was a light green and cropped short, except for a long braid on her right side that held a large blue feather in place. Her cutie mark was of some pink and white plant that Trixie couldn’t identify.

“Trixie … Trixie is just f-fine, just give her a moment and she’ll … she’ll … “

Trixie felt a liquid slowly oozing out of her injured eye. Little by little, she went from sitting on the ground to laying down, barely aware of it occuring.

Maybe Trixie will just rest here for a bit …

As a strange buzzing began in Trixie's head, she noticed the Earth ponies eyes widen at her behavior, or maybe it was at whatever Trixie felt leaking down her face. The other mare quickly walked over to Trixie, dropping the scythe as she got closer. She worked to force Trixie back to her hooves, despite the show mare’s obvious preference to remain where she was. Trixie’s head was starting to swim and it took a few seconds before she realized the mare was speaking heatedly at her.

“For Celestia’s sake, work with me here! Stand up at least! I’m doing most of the heavy lifting for you as it is!”

Groaning a bit, Trixie did her best to comply with the mare, blackness running along the sides of her vision.

“Good, that’s right, keep going! Now, just lean against me, you can collapse just as soon as I get you inside, all right?”

The mare had to keep a hoof around Trixie, as every few steps the show mare’s body refused to respond to her orders and tried to slump to the side. Slowly they made their way around the home, Trixie’s sight lessening as her breathing started to become more and more labored. At least her eye didn’t hurt anymore, though she didn’t know why. With the Earth ponies help, Trixie actually made it several feet inside of the house before her face met the floor.

Moaning, Trixie slowly regained consciousness. The first thing she noticed was that the fire in her eye had returned, causing her to bring a hoof up and feel along the side of it. The new bandage felt a lot better placed than the one she had inexpertly put around it two days ago and not been able to replace.

She snorted wryly. Whoever thought Sparkle would be such a bandage hog?

Trixie only had a few seconds to notice she was on a bed inside the house when the voice from earlier returned. “Trixie? Are you awake?”

The mare from earlier stepped into the small room, relief mixed with caution over her face. “Are you feeling better now? Do you know who I am?”

Trixie looked at the mare confusedly. “What are you talking about? Of course Trixie doesn’t know who you are, she fell asleep right after getting inside, remember?”

Sighing softly, the Earth mare continued. “Not exactly, you and I talked for a bit in between your blackouts and my bandaging. I’m Clary Sage. Nice to meet you again, Trixie.”

“Right … umm … Trixie thanks you for the help. She was a bit woozy, but she really needs to get going.” Trixie looked out of the nearby window, noticing how dark it was getting outside. “Just how long has Trixie been out?”

Clary sat down by the bed. “You’ve been out for a few hours. And you don’t just need a little rest, you need a doctor. I could only do so much with the herbs I have.”

Nodding, Trixie looked over to Clary, her eyes quickly surveying the room as she did so. A few odd plants were growing on a nearby desk, and several faded paintings adorned the walls. Several of the paintings depicted ponies, and a couple showed different flowers. The room had several shelves of knick knacks, and had a well lived in feel to it.

“Trixie will see a doctor soon, she has an important task to accomplish first, however.”

Clary shook her head. “I don’t think you understand Trixie. I-I’m not a doctor, but … I’m not sure that if we even get you to a hospital right now that your eye could … recover. It’s … there was just so much pus and … I don’t even know how you were still walking when I found you.”

“You’re lying.”

Clary looked at her, wide eyed. “I … what?”

Trixie glared at Clary, or at least, as best as she could, her vision in her good eye was starting to get blurry again. “You’re lying, Trixie’s eye will be f-fine in a few days, s-she can’t afford to wait and rest until then. Everything will get better just as soon as she has what she needs.”

Clary’s ears were pressed to her head and she looked at Trixie sorrowfully, slowly shaking her head.

“D-don’t you dare pity Trixie! S-she’s on her way to the top! I-if she can just find some Wind root in this forest, then-“

Clary interrupted her with a soft, but firm tone. “I already told you Trixie, there is no Wind trees in this forest. Or at least, none a pony in your condition can get to. I would know …”

Trixie growled, feeling her temper flare at Clary’s cryptic words. “Which is it? There is no Wind root in this forest or there is?”

Sighing, Clary sat down next to the bed, pawing a bit at the floor with her hoof. “If you forget it this time Trixie, I’m not going to repeat it. Going after the Wind trees in this forest will only leave the mare that feather belongs to all alone.”

Trixie’s hoof made its way to the feather still in her braid, the soft touch calmed her a little. “H-how did you know this was from a mare? Just what did Trixie tell you?”

“Well, you said you were here to find Wind root in order to stay noticed by the mare whose feather that is. But Trixie, if they really care for you, the bits you could get from selling those roots aren’t needed. She’ll just be happy to see you come back to her alive.”

Trixie barely repressed the urge to roll her eye. Well… if she interpreted what Trixie told her that way, then better to just run with it for now.

“That’s a … nice sentiment Clary. But it won’t work with the mare Trixie is after. Trixie’s already sacrificed a lot for this, and there’s no going back for her now. “

“Are you sure of that, Trixie?”

For a minute, Trixie thought through the most likely scenario of letting Twilight bring her to Luna and Celestia. She then shivered at the thought of what Discord would do if she quit now. “Trixie’s sure.”

Clary nodded, bringing a hoof up to stroke the blue feather in her mane. “Well, then I’m sorry, Trixie. But I’ve only seen one Wind root come out of this forest, and that was from my coltfriend, Goldenseal.”

Trixie smiled for the first time that day. ”Well then, could Trixie talk to Goldenseal and find out where he found it?”

“No. He’s … been dead for some time now …”

“… Oh … umm … Trixie is … sorry.”

Leaning over the bed, Clary removed a small bundle from underneath the pillow Trixie had been laying on while asleep. Unwrapping it, Trixie could see a withered brown dried out root. “Sorry, I forgot to remove it before.”

Clary’s muzzle moved down and gave the root a gentle nuzzle. “Ten years ago, Goldenseal and I moved here, hoping to make a good living off of the herbs we could find and sell. We were happy, but Golden, he always wanted to give me more.”

“There’s a tale of a grove of Wind tree’s somewhere in the forest. Tree’s that survived Discord’s reign unmolested and that still live to this day. If they were to be believed, the age of these tree’s would have meant thousands of bits for just a few samplings of the roots. They were said to have avoided being cut down thanks to a fierce creature that jealously guards them.”

Clary looked over to Trixie, the painful memories clear on her face. “It’s so odd how many ponies wish to believe one part of a legend, and think the rest is hogwash. Golden assured me that the woods had been tamed years ago, and the Royal Guard would have slain such a creature if it still existed. He promised to fly away if he saw anything dangerous. I thought the whole legend was just silly, and he was just having fun acting like an adventurer in some two-bit novel.”

Clary gently folded the cloth over the root again and held it in her hooves. “Then one afternoon, he didn’t return. I grew concerned and started looking through the forest for him.”

A few tears started to drip down Clary’s face. “W-when I found him, it was like something had chewed him up and spit him back out. His wings were mangled and torn, and the blood … so much blood …”

She glared at Trixie, stained cheeks visible in the fading sunlight. “And that’s why it’s not worth it, Trixie. My Goldenseal lost his life to give me this root. Do you think this mare of yours wants that to happen to you? Golden was young, fit, healthy; and you, you collapsed at my door. Even if you found it Trixie, you’d die.”

Trixie woke up the next day to a grey and cast over sky.
How long did Trixie sleep? gah, she shouldn’t have stayed last night as it is, let alone still be lying here like this.

Her injured eye felt worse, though she suspected it was because the rest of her wasn’t exhausted and in pain, letting her focus on only her eye injury now. She laid in bed a little longer, contemplating.

Clary may be the smallest bit right on Trixie’s condition. If she traipses through the woods looking for this root, there’s no telling when Twilight will catch up to her. Trixie’s sure she can take on whatever is guarding the trees, but the delay in finding them might be too long. This ritual has to be done before Trixie’s found out, it’s doubtful Twilight will hold back when we meet up again. Perhaps it was a bit foolish of Trixie to tease her, but she didn’t know she’d be on her back in somepony’s house for this long! And besides, there was no other way for Trixie to flaunt that she had this.

Gently, Trixie rubbed her hoof over the feather in her braid, enjoying the softness of it, and the light smell of ink and lavender that came from it still.

But, what other option does Trixie have now? Clary can’t tell Trixie where the grove is, Trixie doesn’t have time to find it, what is she to do?

“About time you woke up.”

Trixie looked over to find Clary looking in from the doorway at her, a bowl smelling of a mix of potatoes and herbs in one of her hooves. Trixie wrinkled her muzzle up.

“Sorry if it smells like medicine again, but with how bad of shape you’re in, what else did you expect?”

Trixie slowly took the bowl in her magic and brought it over. “Trixie thanks you, as does her many fans.”
Clary rolled her eyes while Trixie started to eat, but nodded to her with a grin. “Even if you have been sleeping most of the time, it has been good to have a little company again.”

Trixie nodded, finishing up her food faster than she had expected. Trixie will work it off soon enough, she deserves a bit of pampering right now.
Is there a town nearby?”

Clary shook her head. “Closest town is three hours away from here, I’m pretty isolated out here, but it’s okay. The White Tail woods has herbs you can’t find anywhere else, so I always sell out when I go to the market. I’ve been thinking of moving, but I’m just … used to living here now. Not sure what I’d do if I left, ya know?”

Trixie nodded again, not knowing what to say.

“Speaking of town-“ Clary started “if you are up for it tomorrow, we should head there to get you looked at by a real doctor. It’s a little … odd how yesterday you looked like you were about to keel over in delusions and today, well, you’ve slept a lot, but asides from the eye, and the need for a bath, you seem to be a lot better.”

Trixie grinned nervously. “T-Trixie’s always been a fast healer. Give her another day or two and she’ll be her perfect self again.” Hmm…maybe it’s the seed’s power? Why does it not work this well all the time? Trixie wonders…

Trixie looked over to the dresser and tried lifting it with her telekinesis, getting it up half a foot before needing to place it down again and clutch at her pained head.

Clary looked confusedly between Trixie and the dresser. “I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this question by now, but are you all right?”

Wincing a little while rubbing her head with her hoof, Trixie looked over to Clary and nodded. “J-just a headache, makes using magic a lot more difficult. Trixie will be fine once it passes.”

“If you say so.”

Damn it all! Trixie thought to herself. That’s why Trixie’s wondrous body is doing so well now … her magic burned out whatever was wrong with her while she was resting.

Trixie had this happen before, she remembered the times she was sick in bed due to a cold. While a unicorn seemed to get over simple things like colds quickly, it was because their magic burned through the illness. Unicorns were second of the three races to get over small illnesses, Earth ponies being first, on the rare chance an Earth pony was even affected by something simple like a cold. The issue with Unicorns however, was that their magic was drained for a few days following the event, pending on how bad of an illness it was. While most Unicorns could deal with a cold easily, anything more serious could leave the Unicorn feeling like a foal magically for weeks on end while they recovered.

J-just how close was Trixie to death for her to feel this weak? It’ll be days for Trixie to do more than simple spells without risking a relapse, s-she can’t afford that time ... Trixie has to find that root … Twilight …

Clary had left, thinking Trixie was falling back to sleep as opposed to contemplating her plight. She had left the door open however, giving Trixie a view of the couch Clary had slept on the night before, and the pillow she had been sleeping on …

Grumbling a little to herself, Twilight took in her surroundings.

“White Tail woods, just what are you up to now, Trixie?”

Looking down, Twilight could see the compass, merrily glowing a bright grey color against her chest. It had been progressively getting brighter as Twilight traveled, and was akin to a torch for the Alicorn now that night had settled.

If I make camp, there’s no telling if Trixie will be this close in the morning, especially with that strange teleport spell of hers. I wish I had time to study how she did that, maybe when she’s back to normal?
I still don’t understand why she’s doing this; did Discord promise her something in return for pranking everypony in Canterlot? Was that her payment for the seed? Or is there something more happening?

Twilight sighed and shook her head, taking to the air and starting a slow flight towards the woods. A deft display of magic caused the compass to glow considerably less, so as not to alert Trixie of her presence as easily.

Yawning tiredly, Twilight grumbled about the weight of her saddle bags. I’m never going to get to sleep tonight anyways, not until I finally settle this with her. I hope I make it to her before whatever else Trixie is doing affects somepony.

It’s not like she’s using it …

Trixie had stayed in bed for most of the day, resting and thinking through the turbulent circumstances she was faced with. She’d even thought up a small Twilight on both of her shoulders, to argue her choices back and forth. One was clad in white raiment, and the other in red. If anything, it had helped stem boredom.

But somepony died getting this for her …

Moments ago, Trixie had made her way out of bed as quietly as possible. Her magic was nowhere near strong enough at the moment, but it would have to do. She’d already levitated her saddlebags next to the front door while she watched to make sure Clary was actually asleep.

It’s not like her holding onto it is helping anypony though, and it would be a simple feat for you to find her another one when you become an Alicorn …

Carefully, Trixie made her way over to Clary’s sleeping form, eyeing the pillow she was resting her head on. The nights were a little warm, so Clary had slept with a simple green bed sheet over her form.

And what would she do in the meantime? Are you really going to leave her clutching and crying over an empty cloth when she wakes up? The white clad Twilight in her head cried. Replacing it with a new one isn’t the same as the one her beloved gave her!

Trixie was shaking a little, the debate had raged in her for hours already as she laid in bed, but it was almost an idle thought then, something to toy over and pass the time. Like talking about the weather, there had been little emotion placed in her thinking until now. Just the right and wrong of her actions, and the simple logic that she could easily replace the root once the ritual was done. Now though ...

Tsk, tsk, Trixie. The Red clad Twilight said in her head, an image of Twilight looking at Trixie over her shoulder as if saying farewell came to the forefront of her mind. And here I thought you would risk anything, perform any act needed short of losing your mind again like with the amulet, so long as we could become eternal rivals. The real Twilight won’t have any interest in sparring with somepony who gives up on their dreams so easily.

“T-Trixie will do something, she’ll, she’ll figure out a way to repay Clary for this.” Trixie whispered. Her mind made up, Trixie’s horn began to glow as a tendril of magic slowly made its way over to Clary and underneath her pillow.

Twilight will never forgive you if she finds out about this you know …

You don’t want her forgiveness. Did you forget, Trixie? Forgiveness means being forgotten. What you want is her attention …

Trixie could feel the cloth underneath Clary’s pillow, and gripped it in her magic. Slowly, she brought the cloth out, doing her best not to disturb the sleeping mare.

Good. Trixie thought, looking over to her saddlebags. Another tendril of magic shot out and gripped them, levitating them onto Trixie’s back. Now to just –


Trixie froze at hearing that simple word. Slowly, she looked over her shoulder to the couch. Clary’s hoof was gripped around the cloth, trying to pull it closer to herself, though getting no traction due to Trixie’s magic grip. Clary was looking at Trixie, her ears lowered, and a hurt look on her face.

“Why would you do this, Trixie? I took you in, I treated you, I told you how important this is to me!”

Clary did her best to quickly scramble off the couch while still gripping the cloth. She now had both of her hooves around it as she glared at Trixie.

“There’s a million ways to get bits Trixie! What would this mare you’re looking to impress say if she found out you got them through stealing! Do you think She’d be happy with you? Still want to be with you!?”

“She doesn’t want to be with Trixie ...”

Clary blinked, surprised at this statement. “W-what?”

Trixie huffed angrily, pulling harder on the root. “She doesn’t see Trixie in that way. Trixie doesn’t think she ever will, either. This root however, will let Trixie stay on her mind, will keep Trixie close to her, at the least. It-it’s not perfect, but it’s close enough to Trixie’s dream to be worth it.”

Clary growled angrily as a few tears ran down her muzzle. “So you’re choosing your dream over my memories!? That’s not right Trixie and you know it! If she doesn’t want to be with you, then let her go!”

Trixie stayed silent as slowly, Clary and the root were forced towards her. Trixie felt weak magically, but, thanks to the seed, her weakest was far above what most normal unicorns could do. Another tendril shot out and gripped around one of Clary’s front hooves, starting to pry her grip loose from the root.

“T-Trixie is sorry, Clary. She swears to make this up to you, somehow. Trixie … she can’t let her go, not anymore. This either ends with Trixie’s dream or Trixie’s death.” A tear rolled down her cheek as she finally pried the root away from Clary, the mare dropping to the floor as Trixie quickly levitated the root into her saddle bag.

Clary cried, not holding back as sobs racked her body and Trixie’s ears. Slowly, she pulled herself up to her hooves, and turned away from Trixie. “F-fine! J-just leave me alone then, you monster! L-leave me to my memories and DON’T COME BACK!”

Trixie nodded, hiding her own face underneath her hat. “S-sorry, T-Trixie didn’t want any of this to happen. S-she will make this up to you, whether you want her to or not.”

“Just go.”

Without another word, Trixie left Clary’s house, and didn’t look back until she could neither see the little home in the woods, or hear the cries coming from it.

What is she doing? And why did I think going into the woods this late was a good idea?

Twilight was not the most graceful, or sneaky of ponies, but it didn’t take a lot to follow a slow moving mare that didn’t look up.

Twilight had followed Discord’s compass as quickly as possible in her pursuit of Trixie. The occasional tree crash, and her limited vision did not help her cause, but she had persevered. Upon realizing her target was almost directly beneath her, Twilight had quickly shut the compass, and proceeded to quietly fly over Trixie as she plodded forward. Several minutes later however, Twilight was still struggling with a plan.

How do I approach her? Should I just drop a net over her and trap her? Maybe she’ll listen to reason instead? Why in Equestria did I only plan on finding her, and not on what to do when I did!?

Twilight stifled a surprised sound as she realized Trixie was no longer in sight. A quick, panicked spin around and search revealed a barely visible Trixie leaning up against a tree, her shadows jerking movements being the only thing to give her away in the darkness of the forest.

Why is her body heaving like that? Is she sick?

As cautiously as possible, Twilight landed on the ground, perhaps a hundred hooves away from Trixie. Her ears pressed against her skull as she heard Trixie making a wet coughing sound.

No, it’s not coughing. Wait … is she crying?

“T-Trixie? Are you okay?”

Too late. Trixie took too long to get this far ...

A grey, glowing light was behind Trixie, destroying her night vision and causing her to squint even while looking away from its source. Trixie dried her eyes as best as she could with the wet cloth she had been crying into between her hooves. The brief though of Clary doing the exact same thing at this moment came to mind, only to be forced down as Trixie worked to prepare for what was about to happen.

It’s-it’s not fair, why does Trixie never get a break?

When Trixie felt she was as in control of her emotions as she was going to get, she turned around to address the familiar voice.

Of course, its never been fair, has it? Not growing up, not becoming the greatest show mare that little hick town of Twilight’s will ever see, not being forgiven, or making friends. Why would it start being fair now?

Trixie’s eyes turned to meet Twilight’s, causing Twilight to take a step back. Twilight had placed the brightly glowing device off to the side, allowing light, but making it so they weren't going blind trying to look at each other.

Hmph, Trixie never wished for her to see Trixie in this way, no helping it now.

“Trixie assures you, Twilight-” She almost purred, doing her best to appear calm despite her desire to break down as she had been not a minute ago. “That she is doing quite well, despite you catching up to her a little sooner then she may have liked.”

Trixie will not let Clary’s sacrifice be for nothing, time for one last gamble.

Trixie gathered what magic she had left, preparing to defend her dream.

Author's Note:

Hi all, been awhile huh?
So yeah, between an obsession with the new x-com: Long war mod, job stuff, and editing/idea crunching for about four other writers, I've been kinda busy. And also kinda lazy. Looking to get the next chapter done in about 2-3 weeks, I hope wait was worth it.

Interesting little note: I toyed with the idea of making Clary the monster guarding the Wind root trees, but that would have taking away from Trixie's emotional dilemma and guilt I think. Plus this story only has a dark undertone at best, rather not go that far into it just for a quick scare. Hope you enjoyed and I will do my best not to spend 2 months getting another chapter out of this. But do understand, that when I get on the interwebs for pony stuff, sometimes I am talking with CrowCrow about his story ideas for hours, or helping one of the other three with plot, so yeah, I don't work on my own stories as often as I might.