• Published 19th May 2014
  • 1,802 Views, 44 Comments

My Faithful Student - Knight of Bacon



All life fades. This is fact. The four Princesses were not taken off-guard when Applejack finally died, but they were left defenseless; they are no longer able to wield the Elements of Harmony. Equestria is left exposed.

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End of Honesty

Prologue

End of Honesty


Dear Princess Twilight,

Howdy from Appaloosa. By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news about my sister Applejack…

A sigh.

“You know what this means, Twilight.”

The lavender alicorn turned towards her much older mentor, Princess Celestia. “I know what it means,” she snapped. Decisively, she folded the letter and tucked it away into her desk, keeping her expression flat.

Applejack had been the last.

Without reading the letter, Twilight knew what it said. It had probably happened while she was out walking through the orchard or playing with her grandfoals, or maybe while trying to buck one last apple tree. It had been sudden, and peaceful, and there was going to be a very quiet, simple ceremony in Appaloosa for her. She was just old. Ponies age. It happens.

She suddenly wanted to destroy something. Anything. Four times she had already been through this, reading pages upon pages of explanation, condolences, and finally the phrase it happens. Because it did. Life rolled on unceasingly; time didn’t stop marching just because you were an Element of Harmony.

Twilight didn’t realize she had unfolded her wings until Celestia came beside her and put a hoof on her back. She shrugged off the offer of comfort and tucked her wings flush against her body, determined not to tremble.

When Rainbow Dash had died, Twilight had gone into a rage. You didn’t give me a choice! she had screamed at Celestia, flaring her wings. You didn’t ask me if I wanted to be immortal!

Celestia had just looked at her with those dark eyes and shook her head.

Twilight took a breath. “I need…I need to go to Appaloosa,” she said quietly. “There’s going to be a ceremony.”

“Of course. Do you want –”

“No. Stay here.”

Celestia exhaled, and in the space of a second Twilight could see her weighing the options in her mind. Then slowly, the princess extended a wing and hugged her gently.

“I’m sorry, Twilight.”

Hidden beneath the I’m sorry, Twilight could hear I didn’t have a choice, either.


“Spike. Spike, wake up.”

“Nnngh.”

The dragon stretched, yawning widely and showing double rows of wickedly sharp teeth. His dull purple scales rustled as he stretched, and when he blinked sleepily, Twilight could see the baby dragon he used to be. Now he was half-grown, and large enough to require a double-sized bedroom for his naps—Twilight fought back tears.

Celestia had a phoenix. Twilight had a dragon.

How clever of Celestia, to give them immortal companions. Friendships never faded, but lives did. It made her wonder if Luna had ever been given an immortal companion; the Princess of the Night was lonely enough already. But they were all lonely, in a way. Cadence especially. Four lonely princesses with nobody but each other for light and comfort. With four separate backs to bear it, immortality seemed a little lighter.

Wasn’t that why Celestia and Luna had chosen to make Cadence and herself alicorns? To share the burden? To have someone new to talk to, after a thousand years had worn all conversation to dust?

“S’matter, Twilight? What are you doing up so early?” Spike mumbled, rolling over.

“We’re going to Appaloosa,” she answered, her throat tight. “Applejack…Applejack died.”

There was a pause.

“What? When?”

Spike was used to it too. They had been to four ceremonies already, watched four different crystal plinths erected in the Canterlot Gardens; how many times could you rip a scab off and still feel pain?

“Yesterday. We’re leaving tomorrow afternoon.”

Applejack, the strongest pony Twilight had ever known, would have wanted her to be strong. Twilight remembered zap-apple jam and apple fritters and rebuilding barns; the smell of lather and sawdust and the sweet, crisp taste of apples all filled her senses. Applejack had been about family and friendship and honesty. She was loved deeply and widely, and her life touched everyone who knew her.

And AJ would have wanted her to be honest.

Twilight leaned her head against Spike’s warm side and let the tears slip down her cheeks.


She heard him tumble inside in the middle of the night. Out with his “friends”, as usual. His friends wouldn’t save his life. They wouldn’t help him when he was struggling or teach him lessons about friendship. They would drink cider and gamble and laugh at absurd jokes together, but not much else. When he came back to the castle, he would smell of the city—of smoke, of magic, of cider and risks and beautiful mares.

It all came so easily to him. When she had been his age, she had been reading books and trying experiments, not socializing and daring other ponies to perform complicated spells. She had seen it when Celestia first introduced them; the charm, the wit, the silver-tongued compliments all melding together to make a cheerful, if occasionally irritating, colt named Flash Freee.

“Heeyyy, Princess,” Flash Freeze said, sidling past her. She didn’t look up from her chemistry, her enchanted quill still studiously taking notes. “You all right? You’re up late.”

“I’m fine. Spike and I are going to Appaloosa tomorrow, you’re welcome to come if you want.”

“Of course! Visiting Miss Applejack again?”

“No. Attending her funeral.”

One heartbeat of stunned silence, and then Flash Freeze burst out, “She died?

“She was old,” Twilight answered quietly. After a moment, she put down her quill. “It happens.”

He shook back the snow-white curl which always got into his eyes. “I know, but she seemed so…healthy. We only saw her a few weeks ago, right?”

A few weeks. That was the blink of an eye in an alicorn lifespan, but to Twilight it felt like a decade. How long had it been since she last saw Applejack? Far too long. And now she was dead, so what did it matter? She couldn’t write letters to a tombstone.

“I’m so sorry,” Flash Freeze said, and came over to her. He was broad, comforting and reminded her of Shining Armor. Her brother was thankfully still living, if only thanks to Cadence’s sheer willpower. The alicorn princess of love wouldn’t let go of her soulmate without a fight, and the Prince of the Crystal Empire was still going strong thanks to his wife.

Twilight swished her tail and resumed writing. “Thank you. I’ll…I’ll miss her. But it wasn’t unexpected. This had to happen eventually.”

“You seem so calm,” her student noted with a furrowed brow. “Miss Applejack was…I mean, she was the last Element, wasn’t she? Or is Miss Fluttershy still alive?”

“If you had been paying any attention to the history books I asked you to read last week, you would have known that Fluttershy died three years before you were born,” Twilight told him somewhat acidly. “It’s very late, Flash, you should go to bed.”

Chastened, the colt clopped slowly off to bed, his head low.

It hardly mattered anymore. Flash Freeze was a unicorn, and she could still remember when he had been a small foal, full of energy and exploding with magic. He would get older and learn under her, and write her letters, and then one day he would die as well. And there would be another crystal plinth made in the gardens, until a place of beauty would just be sheer crystal, full of past lives and memories.

It happens.

Author's Note:

Any interest in me continuing this story?

I've been drawing fanart of Flash Freeze and Twilight for quite a while now, and there have been tons of requests for a fanfiction or something about them. So, after thinking and writing and drawing for a while, I came up with this. I hope you guys like it.

I don't have an editor, so any mistake I make is all my fault. Could honestly use one, though, so if you're in the mood for some melodrama, then go ahead and send me a message.

Also, a note to new readers: I have a non-pony fanfiction that I've been working on for over a year. That will take precedence in the hierarchy of Fanfiction I Need To Update, obviously. And I'm in college. So, finals. That being said, I do hope to continue this story if there's any interest.