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Arrival

The wind whistled in Celestia's ears as she trotted down the familiar cobblestone path.

She stopped and admired her star, perched up in the sky, patiently awaiting the coming sunset. Luna really had done a wonderful job.

"And now I must return the favor," she muttered to nopony in particular. The alicorn flapped her wings gently, and proceeded to take to the air. Years (many of them) had turned this task to mindless routine. She was happy to know her next task wouldn’t be so simple.

Her horn glowed as she grasped the sun, and she smiled. Traces of her sister’s magic were still to be felt.

She began descending, taking her time. Sunsets were opportunities for her to contemplate the day that had just passed. Sometimes there were urgent matters to run over in her head, other times she found her attention drifting off to the surrounding ambiance.

Today, she was trying to contain her giddiness at being able to put her knowledge of star charts to the test.

She landed gingerly, the skies slowly growing dark around her. She hoped a romantic couple somewhere had been enjoying the moment.


Trixie eyed the carpenter sleepily. “Well, the night appears to be upon us, and I’m afraid my drink is finished.”

“Alright. Been a pleasure meeting you, Miss... er...”

“And you as well- wait.” She blinked, her brow furrowing. “You don’t recall my name?”

“I do! Just having a little trouble, is all. It’s somewhere, I swear.”

“We’ve been discussing my entire life story here and you can’t even be bothered to remember my-”

“Trixie Stardust, stage name 'The Great and Powerful Trixie.' Born and raised in Canterlot, father died when you were seven- no, six. Went to Her Majesty's School for Gifted Unicorns, eventually home-schooled after it didn't meet your mother's expectations. Struggled to make a living on your own after her death, finally getting enough money to have a caravan built. The rest is obvious."

She stared at him incredulously. "I... I'm so sorry." She frowned. "Sorry I snapped at you like that. You've obviously been paying attention."

"I owe it to you."

"We both owe each other. You showed me a way out of my misery, and I- er, let's not start that again."

"No, course not. You'll be going now?"

"Yes."

"Evening, Miss."

"And a pleasant evening to you too, Mister Wood. If I ever happen to find myself in your town again, expect me to pay a visit." She got out of her seat and left the building with a slight spring in her step. It was dark, but not that deep all-swallowing blackness that she had awakened to so many times, wishing everything would just end already.

The only wish on her mind now was that that stallion didn't start showing up in her dreams.

Trixie let out a contented sigh. The day hadn't been so bad after all. Now she would go and get herself some rest and decide what she would do next. Oh, and count her bits. That was always important.

She froze. Her bits. She had left her donations out, unguarded, for the past few hours.

She was in a full gallop before the connection had even been properly made.


"Alright, Shy, now the party's going and everything, how do I tell everypony what I told you?"

"Um, Rainbow... I don't mean to complain or anything, but this is the fifth time you've asked me that."

"Oh, sorry."

"It's fine."

"Could you answer me again?"

"I said you should just try to act natural and see how people react. You don't need to go up and tell everyone. You know, unless you want to..."

"A-alright. I got this. I'm just excited, is all."

"I know I would be!"

"Whoa, you can be excited? That's a new one."

The yellow pegasus glared at her.

"Heh, sorry. Okay, here we go. I'm gonna go talk to Rarity. For some reason."

"Oh, ask her if she did something new with her mane! See, it's a joke, because-"

"That's... actually a pretty good one, Shy. See ya." The mare headed for the unicorn, smirking.


Pinkie was greeted by faint cheers as she entered the library. She smirked appreciatively. "Hey, everypony. I brought you another guest."

Scootaloo stepped forward and looked around, catching a glimpse of Rainbow. "Hi, everyone!" She turned to Pinkie. "Um, I'll go be with Dash, okay?"

"Well, who am I to tell you who you can be with?"

The filly wasn't sure how to answer and resorted to simply smiling uncomfortably and walking away.

The pink one stopped to ponder what she would do. The more she thought about it, drawing attention to herself- or more accurately, her quirk- seemed like a silly thing to do. She was Pinkie Pie, not "that schizoid pony."

And she was going to stay that way.

Perhaps she could just try to be herself tonight. After all, there was a party to keep going.


"Hello, Dash! How's the party!" Scootaloo grinned.

The other mare snorted. "Someone's excited."

"It's just... I've never been out this late. Aren't you excited?"

"Sure. Pinkie's parties are always fun."

"I just wish I could stop thinking about my wings."

"I've already covered that with you today. Sorry."

"Oh."

"But hey, we've got another pegasus here."

"I... don't think I can really to Lu- I mean, Rose Petal."

"No, not her."

She blinked. "You want me to talk about flying with Fluttershy?"

"Hey, she's not that bad."

"I never said-"

"You thought it."

The foal grimaced.

"Listen, we went to flight camp together. I know the filly."

"Scootaloo looked up, a smile on her face. "Okay, I trust you."

"That's it."

The smaller pony reluctantly left her mentor again. She couldn't always be there, after all.


Trixe jumped up onto her staged and gazed into the basket before whinnying triumphantly. All was safe, it seemed. She stepped away, and laughed at herself. How could she think so low of these villagers? Theft, really?

Pulling her earnings behind her, she stepped behind the curtains and closed the cart up with a step of her hoof.

"Good show, Great and Powerful." She let herself fall on her bed, only now feeling exhaustion come over her. Soon she would be asleep. Tomorrow her career would be reborn, better than ever before. For once, she had actually looked forward to practicing her skills- and she'd have to start experimenting again. The novelty of this was welcomed.

Perhaps she would even travel to Ponyville again. She'd definitely have to see Manehattan again.

She rolled over and nuzzled her pillow softly, feeling fatigue coming over her.

She wondered if Mother would be proud.


"Um, Fluttershy?"

"Wha-!? Oh, you startled me."

The filly stared at her. "...right. I just kind of came over here because you're a pegasus and all that."

"Is it something about your wings? I'm sure Twilight can help you with that better than I can."

"Twilight can't fly."

"Oh." A light rosy blush spread across her face.

"What?"

"I was... a bit of a late learner."

"You know who I am, right?"

"Oh gosh, Scootaloo, I just remembered about you and... you know."

"That's alright. I figured it all out last night."

The daffodil pony smiled at her gleefully. "That's... that's great! I think it's always important to be happy with who you are, and now you've got that..."

"Yep. I guess it did just come to me after all."

"It's just one of those things that clicks. For some ponies, I mean."

"Like your cutie mark?"

"Like your- oh. I... didn't mean to."

"It's fine. I finally managed to get it out my head! It'll come just like this, I'm sure."

"I am too. Don't let anyone rush you. I mean, unless you want to- but oh, rushing never ends well..."

"Fluttershy?"

"Yes?"

"I'm going back to Rainbow now."

"Okay! See you later!"


"Hey, Pinkie!" Twilight made her way over to her host.

"Hey." She turned to fac the source of the sudden greeting.

"I see you brought someone along."

"Well, I just figured since Rainbow's so excited about her, it'd be nice for both of them."

"So when are you going to tell everypony?"

"Oh, about that- see, Twilight, I figured making a big fuss over it like that would be kind of pointless; I mean, I'm supposed to accept who I am, not obsess over it, right?"

"I guess that's true."

"Say, how's your cousin?"

"Hm. Rose!" called Twilight.

"Yes?"

"Could you come over a bit?"

The pegasus approached the pair, drinking from a glass of punch. "Hello. The baker?"

"Yep."

"Pleasure to see you again, Laughter."

Pinkie tilted her head. "Odd. I didn't know anypony else knew about that."

"I am... in service to Her Majesty. Yes. Anyhow! I hear you're the one who organized this fantastic occasion. My compliments to you, Miss Pie. Did you make this punch as well?"

"I did."

"It tastes simply magnificent."

"Thanks, Rose." She smiled, relieved. "Of course, I've got Twilight to thank too. This is her library."

"It takes many parts to make a whole, doesn't it?"

"I always appreciate that about my friends."

"And I'm sure they feel the same way."

The earth mare nodded thoughtfully. "I'll go check on the others now. Have a good time!"

"We shall." Rose turned to Twilight. "Celly said she was... different."

"She is now!"

"If you say so." The princess resumed working away at her drink.


"...you knew she had trouble flying too, didn't you?"

"Huh?" The mare took notice of the returning Scootaloo, then laughed. "You figured me out."

"That... wasn't actually that bad. Except near the end."

"Did she start apologizing a lot?"

"Yeah."

"That can get a bit annoying. We still love her though. I mean, nopony's perfect, right?"

"And I'm a bit tired."

"I guess it is past your bedtime."

"Maybe I'm just not cut out for these late-night things."

"Yet."

"Yet." She laughed hazily. "We'll get back together tomorrow, right?"

"Hey, give me some time to get those clouds for you! I'm not some Wonderbolt."

"Yet."

"Don't tease me, Scoots."

"I'm not!" She winked and trotted off.

Rainbow exhaled sharply. "That pony..."


Celestia shook with anticipation. The stars had become visible in the growing darkness, and now it was time for them to be joined by that jewel of the night sky.

It couldn't be that hard, could it?

She decided to answer her own question experimentally. The alicorn once again rose in the chilly air, taking a few moments to find the moon with her magic.

Then she started her journey, losing herself in the warm sparkle of the surrounding constellations. They all seemed to be in their positions, and to be frank she had no idea what she would do if they weren't.

Perhaps Luna had been kidding about that part.

She reminded herself that many of the things that she saw now no longer actually existed, burned out many miles away.

But if there was anyone who knew that beauty never died, it was her. How many proteges had she had now...?

She chose to leave the question unanswered, floating to the ground gracefully.

Princess Celestia had raised the moon.


Rose took another sip of her punch, then turned to look outside the window.

She paused, her moon shining brightly. Her sister had of course fulfilled her duty.

It had been quite a while since they had seen each other, hadn't it? Perhaps it was time to take her leave.

She approached Twilight, who had meanwhile left her side, and tapped her shoulder softly.

"Yes, Rose?"

"Well, Miss Sparkle, as lovely as this soiree has been, I'm afraid it is time for me to go."

"Oh, okay. May we meet again...?"

"May we do so! Though I may choose another form. You will keep that a secret, a trust?"

"Yes."

"Excellent. I must say you are lucky to have such friends."

"Thanks. I dind't pick them, heh."

"That is not for us to do. Friendships form all on their own, whether we like it or not. Anyhow. Farewell."

"Good night, Rose."

The pegasus turned and slipped out of the library, then walked a few steps until she was safely out of their view. There were still others who could see her, but she trusted te night to be less hectic a time.

In fact, she simply trusted the night.

She enveloped herself in a haze of magic, shifting back into her true form as she walked.

Then she stopped, spread her wings and was gone in a flash.


The filly took a deep breath, then knocked at the door gingerly.

She heard a few shuffling noises and regretted her sudden intrusion. Then the entrance opened and an earth mare poked her head out. "...hello, Scootaloo. What are you doing here?"

She stared incredulously. The pony's cheeks were flushed and slightly moist. "Miss Cheerilee, have you been crying?"

She smiled. "Has anypony ever told you you're a bit blunt?"

"...sorry."

"You're alright. Come inside."

She followed her teacher and looked around herself cautiously- then scolded herself for not trusting her.

"So. What is it, Scootaloo?"

"If you want me to leave, that's okay."

"What? Oh, don't mind that. We all cry sometimes."

She nodded uneasily. "Well, I wanted to show you something I learned today, actually."

The purple pony's face brightened.

"I can fly now. I mean, I'm still working on it, but."

"That's wonderful! See, I told you you'd get it some day."

"Yeah." The filly beamed at her. "And I've got Rainbow Dash helping me out!"

"That's nice of her. I wish I could help out, but-" She gazed at her sides. "I guess all I can do is tell you to keep at it. You pegasi stick together."

"We will. Wait, pegasi?"

"Yes. Irregular plural, remember?"

"Oh. Guess I got that wrong on my test then."

"At least you'll remember it now!"

"Or at least try..."

"Trying's always the first step."

"Um, Miss Cheerilee? It's getting a bit late for me to be out. Can I go now?"

"Of course you can! See you on Monday, Scootaloo."

"Uh-huh!" She skipped out of the house again, a relieved smirk on her face. That hadn't been so bad after all.

As she walked home under the moon's watchful gaze, she had a pleasant feeling things were going to stay like that for a while.

She yawned and quickened her pace. She hadn't really felt tired up until now- perhaps it was having her wings stared at the whole day, or growing closer to her long-time idol, or being filled with that weird fuzzy sense that this was what life was all about.

Maybe, thought Scootaloo, it was all three.


Rainbow munched another cupcake, her fifth, if her memory didn't fail her. Then she looked down. Orange frosting. The mare groaned. Why was that filly so important all of a sudden?

She knew why, of course. Watching little Scootaloo was like looking into a mirror. Or through some foal pictures.

She was certain she could ponder these thoughts better alone- and there were only two ponies left in the library. One of them had organized it, the other lived in it. "Alright, guys? I'm gonna call it a night right about now."

"It's been great having you, Rainbow," said Twilight, "though I couldn't help noticing you were a bit quieter than usual. Is something wrong?"

"No, Twilight. In fact..." She grinned jovially. "In fact, things have never been better."

"Alright then! That's nothing to worry about."

"Good night, everypony." She stepped out, the wind creeping about her wings. Her grin had meanwhile faded into a content smile. She heard a voice call from the library but couldn't quite figure out the message. It didn't matter. Nothing did.

Rainbow Dash was at last just as free as the wind.


"See you tomorrow, Dashie!" called Pinkie, watching her last guest depart. She let the silence settle around her. "Guess it's just us two, Twi."

"That was a good party, Pinkie."

"I still got it?"

"I would say so."

"Alright, good to hear. You want me to help clean this up?"

"Well, that'd be nice. You can sleep here tonight if you want."

"Oh no, that's okay. I've got my own place. We all do. For instance, those party hats belong in the trash."

"Then let's show them the way."

"Let's." The earth pony smiled, still finding it hard to believe she was talking to her friend so effortlessly.

She supposed it wasn't anything to complain about.


Luna landed right on the balcony, not bothering to check in with the guards. She was their princess, after all. A very excited princess.

She walked forward, deciding her best bet for finding Tia would be the Sun Princess' own chambers.

Then she found herself walking straight into another pony. "Oh! My apologies, I didn't- Celly?"

"L-Luna! Welcome back!"

She paused and looked to her right, the direction her sister had been coming from. "You were... in my bedroom?"

"Er, yes. I thought you might be there."

"Hm." She stared intently. "I can assure you there is nothing of interest to you there."

"That's for me to decide. I know you have a tendency to neglect returning books to the Royal Library, for one."

"What's a mare to do without books?"

"What's a library to do without them?"

"I suppose you have a point. Come, there are many things to discuss. Don't bother asking where we're going."

Celestia huffed. "I swear I didn't steal anything!"


"Good night, Twi!" Pinkie Pie trotted out the door. What a night that had been.

She gazed up at the sky, the moon a white orb in the surrounding sea of darkness. Everything had a place. It seemed she had finally accepted hers. She could never understand some things, she knew- but it finally wasn't a painful reminder that she was different, sick.

She giggled quietly. Hopefully the Cakes hadn't locked up the Corner.


"I don't suppose I need to tell you to get comfortable, seeing as you were just doing that."

"I'm sorry for barging in like that. I truly am."

Luna turned and locked eyes with her. "Your apology is accepted. Please be more respectful next time."

The offending party laughed lightly. "It's hard to believe you're still teaching me morals at this age."

"Sometimes we may forget." The younger one slipped under the covers, her sister following suit. "Celly...?"

"Yes?"

"Do alicorns grow senile?"

"I don't know. I suppose we'll find out one day."

"If I do, can you watch out for me?"

"Why, of course!" She absent-mindedly reached over and began stroking her sister's mane.

"But what if we both lose it at the same time?"

"Then Equestria shall be ruled by the Mentally Unstable Princesses of the Sky. I'm sure they'll figure out something."

"You make it sound so simple."

"Sometimes you just have to look at it that way."

"...please stop playing with my hair."

"Sorry."

Luna sighed. "I guess... I guess no matter what you do, you'll always live on. As long as the unfaltering light of the sky is shining down upon you, you just have to pull through and survive."

"Luna, how do you go from senile alicorns to that?"

"I can't help it! My mind loves wandering as much as your hooves. Don't forget what I did today."

"That reminds me- how was Ponyville?"

"I certainly understand why you love your students so much."

"That's good."

"It is indeed." She stared upwards at the ceiling above her, smiling simply as her eyes sparkled. "Tia... I never imagined myself doing any of this a day ago."

"Neither did I. That's the beauty of life. It always keeps you vigilant."

The pair sat there, absorbing each other's thoughts for another moment or ten.

"Alright, Luna, I'll be heading to bed then."

"Could I get a kiss?"

She chuckled. "You've earned it." The princess turned over and gave her a soft peck on the cheek.

"I love you, Tia."

"I love you too."

The two ponies wrapped each other in an embrace, feeling their calm breaths against one another.

Celestia didn't even think about fighting the waves of sleep coming over her.


Comments ( 16 )

The best story I never tracked. It's been great watching all of these characters find their way again. They've all gone from crapsack life to, well, something a hell of a lot better. Fantastic character development and plot. Definitely a five out of five, ten out of ten, all that jazz.

235647
Mission accomplished.

235700

Imagining Trixie being driven to prostitution breaks my heart

I can't read any of those stories. I cry every. single. time. :raritycry:

It's been so long!
I don't remember what happened, but I suppose that's an excuse to read it all again.

A wonderful ending, with many wonderful interconnected stories.
Trixie's in particular is giving my head ideas.

I look forward to seeing more of your work.

-Delta-

247244
Latin? That's French. Er. Prench. They speak that in Prance, you know. </brony_puns>
247252
I actually have no idea what you're talking about! I shall seek this fic of which you speak and pray it isn't too similar to mine.

Yay, finally got caught up with things... sort of... well, caught up with this anyhow.
Anyways, pretty nice conclusion here. It was nice to see you work in the longer chapters.... they actually flowed rather nicely considering how shifty the perspective was (that was a ton of tiny scenes). Think you've tied up quite a few of your threads pretty nicely, though some of the conclusions seemed fairly open to interpretation and there were some moments where you seemed to toss in a new element so close to the end that it couldn't possibly be wrapped up in the end.
Oh well, was a nice fic anyways.
Nice job, Waxy.

I planned on reading a chapter a day. I read chapter one, then took a break for a few days. I came back and read the entire story in one sitting.

Good emotions. I'm glad I decided to read it.

"Oh no, that's okay. I've got my own place. We all do. For instance, those party hats belong in the trash."
"Then let's show them the way."

"What's a mare to do without books?"
"What's a library to do without them?"

I love those lines so much. Definatly keep on writing, even if the chapters are shorter they're still awesome

393049
Sorry to ruin your fun but... it's complete now.

393060 Nothing is ever complete if I continue it in my head. IMAGINATION ACTIVATE!!

Im so sorry i only finished reading this now , its amazing!!!
Thank you for your effort.

Magnificent.

Question, how did you get a tag for all of the ponies on here. I thought the max was 5

Since when is Trixie's surname "Stardust" :rainbowhuh:?

That's been a weird story... The moral here seems to be "be yourself"... I think. But I'm unsure... must think...

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