• Published 26th Oct 2014
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My Twilight Facade - axelsempai



Suddenly, I'm Twilight Sparkle and I don't want to be here.

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Plans and You: How to Recognize Your Shortcomings

I stared at Spike with disbelief. The gears in my mind were on overdrive to kick-start my thought process, but I was just too surprised for any thinking at the moment. Spike meanwhile, was getting a little worried about my shocked and unmoving expression.

"Uh, Twilight? Are you okay?"

I finally blinked as my thoughts returned to me. Now wide awake, I smiled as sincerely as I could given the situation. "Don't worry about it, I'm fine." I waved dismissively. "I just wasn't expecting to wake up in a library, that's all."

Spike smiled slyly. "Really? Even though you made your old room look like a library?"

Okay, I take it Twilight is supposed to like books. Huh, that would explain why Spike kept giving me dirty looks whenever I called a book boring. "I wasn't expecting this library. So, what did you ask?"

Spike's normal smile returned. "I asked if you wanted some breakfast."

All things considered, I was pretty hungry, but I pretended to think about it. "Sure, I'd love something to eat. Just give me a minute and I'll be right down."

Spike gave me a thumb's up, and went back through the door. Now that I was alone in the room again, I was able to do what I really wanted to do.

Flip my lid, of course.

I fell back onto my pillow, staring at the ceiling. Why was I still here? I did everything I was supposed to do! Prepare for the celebration, defeat evil bitch, make friends, done. End of discussion. Turn in for the night, and I was home-free.

So what am I still doing in Equestria? Did I miss something? I did everything that was asked of me, unless I was supposed to learn something else on my own. But if I wasn't supposed to learn the Magic of Friendship, then what was I supposed to learn?

Maybe I was going about this the wrong way. Maybe there aren't some magic prerequisites for returning home. Maybe I was here for a set period of time. If that was the case, then my actions yesterday bought me enough time to end my banishment. All I would have to do then was wait it out.

But I couldn't just accept that theory. I had no way of knowing that was the case, for it was just as sound to assume that I was here forever. But if I was stuck here forever, then that changes things. There would be no way out of here. I would be stuck as a goddamn unicorn far away from everything I knew.

But here's the trick: I'm a unicorn. I can wield magic now. I didn't like it, but my destiny is now entirely in my hands. All I have to do is use this body's magic to fix everything.

A part of me asked if I really wanted to leave behind everything in Equestria.

I knew what that part of my mind was referring to, of course. My friends, who I just recently began to love and admire. It was true I didn't really want to leave them, but I had no choice. While I could just take on the identity of Twilight Sparkle and live the rest of my days with them, that wouldn't be fair to the real Twilight. It was morally incomprehensible to steal someone's life like that, and I had the personal obligation to return what was rightfully her's. Besides that, I have no idea how long I can last under disguise. Eventually, I'm going to slip up, and the whole game's over. In a world like this, where every third person can cast spells, I don't want to be the one who is revealed as the body thief.

That part of my mind asked if I was judging my friends too harshly. After all, they all embody the virtues of friendship, and it was unlikely that I would be left behind by Rainbow or Applejack. Rarity would at least give me another chance, Fluttershy would probably "um" and "er" over it before reluctantly agreeing, and Pinkie... well, the only thing that comes to mind for her is juggling balloon animals, so I guess that's a good sign.

I sighed, dismissing the idea. I still couldn't go through with that. Even if they would be accepting, I couldn't just let them worry for my sake. Besides, I was the princess's personal student at one point, right? Royalty wasn't known for being very forgiving, and I had no doubt that my friends would want to involve her. Every scenario involving me revealing my secret ends in some kind of tragedy. If revealing myself was a good idea, I would have to wait and see.

So, I needed a plan of action. Since I needed to return to my homeworld sooner rather than later, I would need to learn magic. That would be pretty easy, seeing as how the general population has magic users. All I had to do was find a beginner's spell book and I could develop this body's power. Naturally, the next step would be finding some kind of teleportation spell that could bring me home, preferably as a human. Before I cast that spell, though, I needed to make sure the real Twilight was alive and well, and bring her back. Once she gets her body back, I can hopefully cast the other spell to send me home, and I would be done. Twilight would have some trouble acclimating to the changes in her life, but at least then, I wouldn't be making her decisions for her, and she would have plenty of support from her new friends.

I stretched in my bed and hopped off. Today, I would be learning magic, and be on the first step to fixing all of the wizard's conjured problems. First, I had to play my role, and not fuck it up at breakfast.

In the kitchen, Spike was shoving a forkful of pancakes into his mouth. Across the table from him was an empty seat and a plate of pancakes with a fork tucked into them. He smiled at me when I came in, and I returned the smile as I took my seat. I grabbed the syrup bottle in my hooves, and poured it onto the pancakes.

Spike was giving me a quizzical look for some reason. "Spike, is something wrong?" I asked.

"You're not using your magic?" He asked back.

I put down the bottle, grabbing the fork. I was glad to already have an excuse. "Nope. I'm trying not to be over-reliant on my magic."

Spike accepted my answer and resumed eating. I smiled beside myself at my latest bluff, eating into my pancakes with a smug smile. As long as I stay on top of things like that, I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to do what I need.
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Breakfast was a fast and easy part of the day, since Spike was content with eating rather than talking. As soon as we finished the pancakes, I cleaned the dishes myself, letting Spike go out to the living room since he made breakfast. Though, without a dishwasher, cleaning the dishes was a very tedious process. That's another reason to go home soon: more convenient technology.

I learned the previous day that I would be the town librarian, which made sense, since I was living in the library. It was also very fortunate for me, since I lived in the same building as the knowledge I was going to need. I also knew the name of the book I needed, so I knew just where to look. Within moments, I found Magic for Beginners, and began reading. Spike asked what I was doing with a book for foals, but I hand-waved it, making up some excuse about "brushing up on the basics". Like a sucker, he bought it, letting me read in peace.

I quickly found out why I couldn't get my magic to work before. It turns out that unicorn magic is not just thinking really hard; it was more like flexing a muscle. The book had a few basic levitation exercises for foals learning to use their magic, so I tried a few. They were very easy now that I knew how to use my horn. I don't know what the writer meant by "you might have to try a few times to get it right", because this was a breeze. Why do wizards have to learn this stuff for years if it only takes me a few minutes? I guess I'm just better than them.

It wasn't too long until I finished the whole book. I chuckled at its expense. If magic is this easy, I'll be out of here by the end of the week. I put the book back, finding another, lengthier magic book to read.

I read for four straight hours, and while it wasn't much harder than the previous book, it was starting to burn me out. I haven't read this much since high school, and my tired brain was letting me know. I set it aside, and looked around for something else to focus on. That's when I noticed Spike munching on something red and shiny, and he wasn't paying me any attention.

Curious, and in need of something else to do besides reading, I decided to talk to Spike. "Hey Spike, whatcha eating?"

The sound of my voice startled the dragon, who nearly dropped his food from shock. "T-Twilight?" He sheepishly asked.

I was a little confused about his reaction. "What's wrong? Is there something going on with my face?" I rubbed at it, trying without avail to find if I accidentally transformed myself.

"Well... no. I was eating a gem, and I was hoping you wouldn't notice." he admitted, rubbing the back of his head, guiltily.

I looked at the gem in his hand, which I noticed had a bite mark in it. "You're eating a gem?"

"Yeah..."

I raised an eyebrow at this. How does a dragon digest gemstones? Now that I think about it, is this why dragons make hoards? Because they eat valuable rocks? I wasn't about to think too hard about this, not with my mind numb from studying. "Okay then." I leaned back to look at the ceiling and started counting floorboards.

I didn't see Spike tilt his head in confusion before walking back to the kitchen, taking another bite from his ruby. I wonder where he got it?

A loud thump from the door caught my attention. I looked at it, wondering if I actually heard that or not, before it opened to reveal my prismatic friend, Rainbow Dash. She walked right in, looking like she's hiding something embarrassing. "Uh, hey Twilight."

"Hey Rainbow. Did you crash into my door, or something?" I asked.

"NO!" She yelled defensively before lowering her voice. "I meant to do that."

"So you crashed on purpose?"

Rainbow scratched her head sheepishly. "No. Crashing happens on accident."

I spared her a chuckle, deciding against embarrassing her further. "So what's up?"

Rainbow's sheepishness disappeared, and her usual confident smile returned. "The girls and I are going out for lunch. Wanna come?"

Well, I doubted that I would be able to make a good excuse to no-show. I figured it was in my best interest to tag along, but I did have one concern. "Depends. Who's paying?"

"Rarity."

I smiled wryly. "Then I'm in." I turned to yell wherever Spike was. "Hey Spike, I'm going out for lunch with my friends! Want anything?"

"Can I get some extra crispy hay-fries?" Was the yelled response.

"Sure!" I turned back to Rainbow. "Mind if I follow you?"

Rainbow gave me a challenging grin. "If you can keep up." She shot through the doorway, which I just noticed she left open when she came in.

The more recent issue, though, was that Rainbow was leaving me behind. I ran out the door, stopping only to use my new levitation powers to close the door. "Hey, wait up!" I ran to follow an increasingly smaller blue blur.
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I ran after Rainbow for longer than I cared to, for I was out of breath halfway to the restaurant. By the time I got there, Rainbow was already seated with the others. Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Applejack were talking about something, but they stopped to stare at me when I came by sucking wind. I weakly climbed into my chair, lying my head on the table as I caught my breath. Note to self: put exercise on the to-do list. I'm gonna need to be in better shape if I'm expected to do this more often.

"Are you okay, darling?" I heard Rarity ask.

I spent a little time steadying my breathing, and picked up my head to answer. "Yes, I'll be fine."

"Why were ya runnin', anyway?" Applejack asked.

"Well, I didn't know where we were meeting, so I was going to follow Rainbow," I shot the mare in question a venomous glare. "And she decided to fly away at mach 2."

Rainbow shrugged nonchalantly. I glared at her for another moment, silently swearing revenge before turning back to the others. At this time, I noticed that the odd one out was Fluttershy, who was hiding behind her mane, sitting low in her chair as if she didn't want to be noticed. I leaned over to Pinkie, who was sitting next to me. "Hey, is Fluttershy okay? She seems to be on edge."

Pinkie patted me on the back reassuringly. "Don't worry about her, she's just nervous around you!"

I raised an eyebrow at this. "Around me? So she was just fine until I arrived?"

Pinkie nodded enthusiastically. "Yepper-depper."

I have no idea how Pinkie can be so excited about telling me that. I looked at Fluttershy, but when she saw me looking, she let out a small yelp and shrunk down further under the table. Fluttershy's demeanor was making me worry. How could I possibly be fine with one of my friends being scared of me?

I decided to talk to her later about it. For now, I hoped to show her that I was as normal as any of them, them being talking ponies notwithstanding. "So, Rarity, what's the occasion?"

"Well, it's just that we're the Elements of Harmony now, aren't we? I figured that was a good excuse as any to get to know each other better." Rarity explained.

"Works for me." I admitted. We might as well be the best of friends, since each of us represents one of the virtues of friendship. Which one was I, again? Wait a minute... aw, man. I groaned.

"What's the matter?"

"I just realized what my Element is. I don't want to be magic! Magic sucks!" I looked at all of my friends before settling on Rainbow. "Hey Dash, wanna trade elements? I can be loyalty if you're Magic."

Rainbow scoffed at me. "No way! If you don't wanna be Magic, then why would I wanna be Magic?"

I pouted at that. Blasted Rainbow, not wanting to trade. Just as well, I suppose, since the elements don't work like that. Then I noticed my friends giving me (and my horn) weird looks.

"Um, Twilight? Aren't you Princess Celestia's Personal Student?" Rarity asked.

Remembering the answer to that bit of trivia, I nodded. "Yeah, I am."

Rarity brought a hoof up to her face. "Then may I ask why she taught you magic if you don't like it?"

I was silent at the question for a moment of contemplation. The princess was teaching me magic? Huh, I didn't know that until now. However, I needed to quickly come up with some kind of answer that suits my needs. Maybe a sprinkling of lies is what I need to steer this conversation in a preferable direction. "She taught me a little magic, though she mostly taught me about politics."

Rarity brightened up at the lie, interest sparking. "Ooh, political knowledge from the princess herself? Color me intrigued, dear. Do tell, what has she taught you?"

I kicked back with a satisfied grin. Things were going my way now that I was talking about something I knew. "Well, I do have a bit of advice. If you see a senator go into a restroom, don't follow him in."

This got me blank stares from everyone. Rainbow was the one to eventually ask the question on their minds. "Wait, what's a senator, and why shouldn't you follow them into restrooms?"

I sighed, mentally berating myself for forgetting the differences in our political systems. "Nevermind. Equestria isn't a republic, so it's not important."

Applejack held up a menu. "Maybe we should get our orders ready."

"Wait!" Pinkie exclaimed. She grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me in like she was desperate. "I need more advice! Did Princess Celestia ever tell you how to get away from local authorities?"

I stared wide-eyed at my friend for a moment of uncomprehending silence. "Uhhh... run real fast?"

Pinkie let go of me with disorienting speed. "Genius!" She wrote something in a notepad I only now realized she had. I looked to the others for some kind of explanation, but they all hid behind their menus. Following suit, I picked up my menu to peruse its contents.

It was a slightly classy menu made for a cafe, with tea as a prominent item and food being fairly minor. That's not to say that the food wasn't noteworthy, cause it totally was. The main thing I noticed about the food was that there was no meat. It wasn't unexpected, but it was disappointing. Why hadn't I noticed the vegetarian nature of this world yet? Maybe it was because every food item I saw the previous two days were based around pie and cake.

What could I possibly want to eat here? Still thinking like a human, leafy foods didn't sound all that appetizing to an omnivore who eats like a carnivore. With the lack of chicken and veal, I had to settle on soups and salads. Screw the sandwiches, I can make those anytime.

When the waiter came by for our orders, I just sighed and settled on some generic salad. Though I thought I might regret that decision when I noticed there were no condiments. Anywhere.

To distract myself from incoming disappointment, I decided to start a conversation. "So Applejack, how's farm life treating you?"

"Swell, ah'd say." Applejack smiled widely. I guess I asked something she was passionate about. "Applebuck Season is just a few days away. We're just gettin' ready."

"What's Applebuck Season?"

"It's when the orchards are full of apples, ripe for harvest! There are so many apples, it makes up a good portion of the Apple Family finances in a single week!" Applejack glowed with anticipation. This Applebuck Stuff must be pretty big for her.

...

...

Okay, with how long Applejack has been staring up into space, I'm thinking that either she was hypnotized by aliens, or she's lost in her day-dreams. Either way, it was best to start talking to someone else in the meantime. I turned to Rarity, who was still looking at Applejack, but she was making a face I could only describe as judgmental. I would have asked her about it, but we were here for a friendly social gathering. Instead, I was going to change the topic. "So what do you do, Rarity?"

Rarity perked right up when I spoke. Interesting how quickly her attitude changed when the focus shifted away from Applejack. "I design the most fabulous dresses in Equestria!" Rarity gasped in realization. "Twilight, you must come by the Boutique! I have a wonderful idea that would go great with your color!"

Okay, this is getting a little weird. Never mind the fact that, as a human, I'm wary around conversations about someone's color. What really weirded me out was that I was being asked to try on a dress. I still had my masculinity, and I wasn't about to let dresses into my life. I looked around (subtly, mind you) for something that I could distract her with, and I saw Rainbow Dash balancing a fork on her nose. Perfect. "What about Rainbow? Couldn't you think of something," I held back a wince from my next phrase. "Fabulous for her to wear?"

Rainbow, showing that she was actually listening to us, dropped the fork and glared at me. "No way! I belong in the sky, not sitting still so Rarity can make me some frilly dress!"

"Really dear, would it be so bad to let me make you a gorgeous ensemble?" Rarity asked.

"I'm not doing it." Rainbow crossed her arms in finality.

Whew, dodged a bullet, there. While Rarity insisted on making a dress in opposition to Rainbow's defiance, that left me with Fluttershy and Pinkie. Applejack was still fantasizing, so I guess I must have asked her about something really amazing to her. Still, I'm sure they wouldn't try forcing me into something girly or doze off, so they might actually make for good conversation. Except, Fluttershy was still cowering from me.

"BOO!" Pinkie's sudden scream into my ear startled me, and I almost toppled out of my chair.

I straightened myself and gave Pinkie a hard look. "What was that for?"

"Well..." Pinkie began, as she darted under the table. I tried to look for her under the table, but she already popped up behind me, startling me again. "Fluttershy is super scared of you." Pinkie mimicked Fluttershy's fright, but quickly bounced back to her chair with her usual exuberance. "So I decided that I would scare you so I could show Fluttershy that you aren't scary because scary things don't get scared!" She smiled widely at me, as if really proud of her explanation.

"Uh... did it work?" I couldn't take my eyes off Pinkie. If I did, I don't know what she might do.

"Nope!" She exclaimed with way too much joy.

I couldn't hide my disappointment. So much for cartoon psychology.

Applejack finally emerged from her catatonic fantasizing and noticed that Rarity was pestering Rainbow to make her a dress. "Aw, who set Rarity off like that?" She asked accusingly, as if what was happening was some kind of catastrophe in the making.

I raised a hoof unsurely. "I guess I did."

Applejack glared at me like a mother scolding a child. "Why'd you have to go and do that? Once Rarity gets started on her dresses, there ain't no tellin' when she'll stop!"

I lowered myself in my chair without thinking, as if doing so would make me yelled at less. "I didn't want to model dresses for Rarity. I didn't think she would go off like this."

Applejack huffed, glaring at Rarity. "Great. Now we'll have to deal with Rarity talkin' about her dresses fer the next hour."

I lowered my head, keeping my eyes on the table. The food arrived shortly later, and Rarity stopped pestering Rainbow, but that didn't help me any. These were the first friends I actually cared about, and I was messing it up. Not only was Fluttershy scared of me, but Applejack was mad at me. And why shouldn't she be? I just made Rarity go off on Rainbow because I didn't want to get out of my comfort zone, metaphorically throwing her under the bus to save myself. I sighed sadly. Some friend I'm turning out to be.

Author's Note:

Don't mind me, just building the framework.

Do you know how long it took me to do this? Between the appointments I had to keep last week and the writer's block, this chapter took way too long. Please let me know if I messed up anywhere.

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