• Published 3rd Oct 2015
  • 6,222 Views, 941 Comments

Finding Home - Krickis

Sunset Shimmer returns to Equestria only to find that returning home is different than finding one.

  • ...

19 – Princess of Kindness

Chapter Nineteen

Princess of Kindness

Twilight kept turning to look at every new pony that walked into the station. Fluttershy giggled. “Twily, they’ll be here soon, don’t be so anxious.”

“I know, I know…” Twilight turned away from the entrance. “I just can’t help it, I’m so excited!”

“I noticed,” Fluttershy said. She’d been watching Twilight fidget restlessly the entire time they’d been at the train station. Cadance had gone alone to Twilight’s parents to get Spike, and would be arriving with him any time. Sunset had walked them to the station, but had already left. It would be better if Sunset wasn’t with them, on the off chance that Twilight Velvet and Night Light decided to accompany Cadance and Spike to the station.

“Sorry… it’s just…”

“Don’t be sorry, I’m glad you're excited.” Fluttershy nuzzled against Twilight. “But I’m pretty sure you’ll know when they get here.”

“Oh?” Twilight placed her hoof over Fluttershy's. “What makes you say that?”

“Twilight!” They turned to see Spike running over to them, leaving Cadance smiling behind him.

“Spike!” Twilight teleported the rest of the distance, and grabbed him in a tight hug.

“Oh, just a hunch,” Fluttershy said to herself. She stood up and walked over to them.

“Twilight, it’s only been a couple days,” Spike said, laughing as Twilight smothered him with affection.

“Shush.” Twilight gave him one last squeeze, before letting him go.

“Hello, Spike. I’m glad –” Fluttershy was cut off when Spike wrapped his arms around her next. She just smiled and hugged him back. “I missed you too.”

“I know you’re all happy to see each other, but maybe we should board the train.” Cadance gestured with her eyes to the gathering crowd.

“That’s probably a good idea,” Twilight said. She walked side by side with Spike while she led them to the train, with Fluttershy on his other side.

Rather than a public transport train, they were traveling in one reserved for ponies involved with the Summer Sun Celebration. Because most of the ponies involved were already there, the train only had two cars, meaning they wouldn’t be getting a private room like they usually did. Still, they were guaranteed to not have ponies meddling in their business, if only because it was part of their jobs not to.

“So are you excited for the Celebration, Spike?” Cadance asked once the four of them took their seats. Aside from a few stolen glances, ponies left them alone.

“Yeah!” Spike said, smiling broadly. It was short lived though, as he cast his eyes down a moment later. “Only… I wish Sunset was coming too.”

“Me too,” Twilight said. Although she was upset with her parents for forcing Sunset to stay in Canterlot, she smiled anyway. “I’m sure we’ll all get together soon though.”

“Couldn’t she, uhm –” Spike glanced around at the room, making sure nopony was listening too closely “– just go to Manehattan by herself and meet us there?”

Fluttershy giggled. “That wouldn’t be very honest, Spike.” She didn't point out that Twilight had brought up the same idea. They might have went with it, but aside from not knowing if Cadance would be okay with the deceit, there were sure to be pictures in newspapers, and the last thing they needed was for Night Light and Twilight Velvet to find out they hadn’t stuck to their end of the deal.

“Besides,” Twilight said, “she’s meeting with Mom and Dad while we’re gone. Maybe they’ll be able to work things out by the time we get back.”

Spike didn’t look relieved. “You don’t really think that’ll work, do you?”

Twilight frowned and glanced to the others. “Well…”

“You’re right, it probably won’t solve everything,” Cadance said. “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a step in the right direction.”

“As long as she and Mom don’t get into an argument, I think we can count it as a victory,” Twilight said.

Cadance smirked. “I take it she still has a bit of a temper?”

Twilight forced a chuckle. “Well, I wouldn’t put it like that, exactly.”

“She just gets very… passionate,” Fluttershy elaborated. She also had reservations about Sunset and Twilight Velvet being in the same room. Sunset was an expert at social settings, and could usually manage her emotions well, but if anypony said something negative about her or Twilight, Sunset would go on the defensive.

Cadance just smiled knowingly. “I have to say, I’m looking forward to getting to know the new Sunset Shimmer. From how you described her in your letters, she certainly sounds like she’s turned over a whole new leaf.”

“She has,” Spike said. “She’s way nicer than when Twilight and I first met her.”

“Once this is all settled we’ll all have to get together and celebrate,” Cadance said.

Twilight nodded. “That sounds like a plan.”

They talked about their plans for the day, assuring Spike they would try to do all the things he wanted to do while they were there. They continued talking happily as the train left the station. Fluttershy knew she and Twilight both had the same question on their minds: What was Spike being told about them? They never brought it up though, or even talked about Twilight and Spike’s parents much at all. They only had one day with him, and there was no sense in ruining it with unnecessary drama.

Although they arrived slightly ahead of schedule, Shining Armor was already waiting for them at the Manehattan station. After exchanging hugs with everyone, he led them back to a carriage that would take them to the town square, where they would go over the event plans one last time before having the chance to wander around Manehattan.

“I’m so happy to see you,” Twilight told Shining Armor once the carriage started moving. “The past couple days have been, well, a little much, to say the least.”

Shining scratched at the back of his neck. “Yeah, I can imagine.”

“Have you talked to Mom and Dad?” she asked.

“Uh, yeah, we talked.” Shining averted his eyes.

“He doesn’t want to get involved,” Cadance said, her voice thick with irritation. Fluttershy noticed that even though they were sitting next to each other, Cadance left more room between them than she normally would.

Shining Armor held up his hooves. “I just don’t want to have to choose sides between my sister and my parents.”

Twilight didn’t even look angry. Her ears folded against her head and she sunk into her chair.

Fluttershy wrapped a foreleg around her. “Please… this is really important to us. You don’t have to stand against them, but maybe you could tell them you still think we can take care of Spike?”

“Yeah, it’s not like they’re mad at Cadance,” Spike said. “They talked with her about it for hours, but they still were happy to have her around. I mean, they let her spend the night and everything.”

Shining looked over the three of them. Twilight was clearly on the verge of giving in to depression again, while Fluttershy did her best to comfort her and Spike eagerly leaned forward in his seat. “I’m sorry, it’s just… I know I wouldn’t want anypony telling me how to raise my child.”

Twilight looked at Spike. She took a deep breath and sat up straight again. If he wasn’t around, another rejection would have been enough to throw her out of sorts for the rest of the day. But he was, and if there was one thing that would bring out Twilight’s fire, it was knowing that Spike needed her.

“You don’t have to tell them what to do; even telling them that you support us would be enough.” Twilight frowned. “You do support us, don’t you?”

Shining turned to Cadance, who just looked at him expectantly. Under her watchful gaze, he seemed to choose his next words very carefully. “I don’t really know anything about this whole three-way relationship thing, but I think it wouldn’t hurt to at least try talking with some ponies who have been there. Honestly, right now I’m more concerned about Sunset Shimmer herself.”

“What do you mean?” Fluttershy asked, since Twilight seemed too taken aback to do so.

“We are talking about the same Sunset Shimmer who infiltrated the Crystal Empire three years ago and stole the Element of Magic, right?”

“She’s changed,” Twilight said curtly.

“In three years?” Shining Armor asked skeptically. “That’s not really a whole lot of time for somepony to go from evil to great relationship material.”

“She wasn’t exactly evil,” Fluttershy said. “She was more so… just in a really bad place in her life.”

“Luna changed overnight from Nightmare Moon,” Twilight pointed out.

“Luna was possessed by Nightmare Moon,” Shining said. “That’s a big difference from somepony who was doing bad things entirely on her own accord.”

“Uhm, it was a bit more complicated than that…” Fluttershy said. Luna had told her the whole story of Nightmare Moon once, and how they both were and weren’t the same pony.

“I’m just saying I’ve worked around criminals all my life, and I know how they act. They can put on quite a show of turning over a new leaf, especially ones like Sunset Shimmer. She manipulated a whole school, so she’s clearly good at knowing how to tell ponies exactly what they want to hear.”

“Are you saying I can’t tell the difference between somepony who’s legitimately turned their life around and one who’s trying to manipulate me?” Twilight asked.

Shining Armor held up a hoof. “I’m just saying you should be careful. You’re too trusting for your own good.”

“Princess Celestia, Luna, and Cadance all trust her,” Fluttershy said. She wasn’t entirely sure what Princess Celestia thought of Sunset, to be honest, but she didn’t think she was worried about Sunset’s past, in any case.

“Cadance is also a little too trusting.” Shining tried to smile at Cadance, but she just folded her forelegs and gave him the cold shoulder. He sighed and pressed on. “Princess Luna probably sees too much of herself in Sunset to not be biased, and Princess Celestia wants to make amends with her former student enough that she probably forgave her a little too easily. I mean, look at how easily she forgave Discord, and she wasn’t even close to him.”

“What’s wrong with Discord?” Fluttershy asked.

Shining looked at her as if nopony could ever honestly question what was wrong with Discord. “Well, for one thing he helped Tirek steal all the magic in Equestria.”

“And he was very sorry,” Fluttershy said. She knew it sounded like a dumb excuse, but she also knew Discord would never do anything like that again.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “I think Princess Celestia has been around long enough to know who she can and can’t trust, Sunset and Discord included.”

“Speaking of being around, isn’t Sunset a little too old for you?”

“What?” Twilight shook her head. “Of all the stupid… Shining, I’m not a filly. I’m twenty-five years old, which is old enough that her age doesn’t really matter.”

“She was already out of Equestria when Cadance and I started dating. She’s older than I am.”

“So what?” Twilight asked. “Why do you even care how old she is?”

Shining sighed and shook his head. “Never mind, I was just saying –”

“You don’t have to play the overprotective big brother with me anymore,” Twilight said, glaring at him. “I can take care of myself. And not that I’ll need to, but I can also protect myself.”

“She has a point,” Spike said, causing Twilight to smirk.

“Fine.” Shining Armor leaned back in his seat. “Just… forget I mentioned it.”

Everypony sat in silence. Cadance and Shining Armor weren’t looking at each other, while Spike didn’t seem to know where to look. Twilight held the tension in her muscles while she fumed at the floor, and Fluttershy gently rubbed her back. Eventually the carriage stopped and everypony filed out.

“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are ready whenever you two are,” Shining said. He spoke matter-of-factly, showing none of the tension from the conversation they just had, but also lacking his usual jovial nature.

“Right.” Twilight nodded. She turned to Spike. “Well, I can’t say going over the final plans will be much fun for you, but I guess you’re stuck with us.”

Cadance stepped closer and smiled. “Actually, I was thinking Fluttershy could take him out for ice cream or something while they wait.”

“You’re sure it’s a good idea to separate him from his foal sitter?” Twilight asked sarcastically.

Cadance chuckled and nudged her. “You never complained when I was your foal sitter.”

“Twilight, Cadance is only trying to help,” Fluttershy chided.

Twilight sighed and put a hoof to her temple. “You’re right. I’m sorry, Cadance. You’ve been so great to us, and you don’t need me getting an attitude with you for no reason.”

Cadance pulled Twilight in for a hug. “It’s okay, I understand. And it’s only for a little bit, I don’t think Mom and Dad will mind Fluttershy taking over while we’re busy.”

“What do you say, Spike? Want to go get some ice cream?” Fluttershy asked. Spike looked up at Twilight, and Fluttershy giggled. “I promise we’ll all get together once they’re done.”

“Okay, sure,” Spike said. Cadance gave Fluttershy directions to a nearby ice cream shop, and they walked into the crowd.

Along the way, Fluttershy couldn’t help but notice how much attention was focused on them. By now, all of Equestria knew something was going on between Twilight and her parents, and that it involved Spike. They didn’t seem to agree on what exactly the story was, and it wasn’t clear if that was a good thing or not. Nopony knew anything about Sunset, but everypony wanted to be the first to break the story.

If only Sunset had come with them, she would have known what to do. All Fluttershy could manage was to follow some advice Sunset had given her: Just push forward, and don’t even acknowledge that ponies were asking her personal questions. She reminded herself that she didn’t owe them answers, but still felt bad.

Finding the ice cream shop couldn’t happen soon enough. She rushed through the door as soon as she saw it, and just hoped that she wasn’t trapping them inside.

“Go ahead and order whatever you want,” Fluttershy told Spike. Taking full advantage of the situation, he ordered the biggest chocolate fudge sundae they offered. Fluttershy doubted he could finish it, but just chuckled and ordered a much more manageable strawberry sundae for herself. Once she paid, she led them to a seat as far removed from other ponies as possible, although that didn’t mean a whole lot, since the Summer Sun Celebration had certainly brought out a large crowd.

Spike began devouring his ravenously, while Fluttershy savored hers. “Do you think you’ll manage to stay up all night?” Fluttershy asked, hoping to slow him down so he didn’t wind up with a stomach ache.

“Of course!” Spike grinned confidently. “I stay up for the sunrise every year.”

“I don’t know,” Fluttershy said, leaning in closer, “last year you were kind of dozing off a bit.”

“But I still made it,” Spike countered. “Besides, that was only because we stayed in the hotel the entire night.”

“Well, Las Pegasus isn’t the best place for a young dragon.” Fluttershy frowned at the memory. There had been a lot of discussions about where to hold the Celebration that year, since Las Pegasus was hardly the best place for families to spend their holidays. But the city had been petitioning for the event for years, and they couldn’t keep putting it off.

“Well there’s nothing wrong with partying in Manehattan, right?” Spike asked.

Brought back from her memories, Fluttershy smiled again. “No, I’m sure we’ll find plenty to do tonight.”

Spike ate another spoonful of his ice cream, then started picking at it slowly. Fluttershy giggled. “You can’t be getting full already.”

“Huh? Oh, no.” As if to prove his point, Spike scooped a big spoonful into his mouth, then grinned.

Fluttershy didn’t buy it. “Uh huh. So what’s wrong?”

Spike dug his spoon into the ice cream, leaving it sticking out as he folded his claws in his lap. “It’s just… If Princess Celestia is okay with everything, why hasn’t she fixed things yet?”

Fluttershy wrapped a foreleg around his shoulders. “I don’t really think she can.”

“But she’s Princess Celestia! She can do whatever she wants to, can’t she?”

“Not exactly. She still needs to pay attention to the law.”


Fluttershy forced a smile she didn’t really feel. “Although maybe she can still help. And Luna and Cadance are doing their best, too.”

“I know,” Spike said. He sighed and looked up into Fluttershy’s eyes. “I just want to go home.”

“I know. We all do.”

Without much else to say, they returned to eating their sundaes. Spike managed his with much less enthusiasm. Fluttershy didn’t really care if he finished it or not, but she was growing weary of feeling everypony’s eyes on them. She wondered how long it would take for the questions to start.

“You two do know there are less conspicuous places for dessert, right?”

That wasn’t exactly the type of question she’d been expecting, and it certainly wasn’t the pony she’d been expecting it from. “Amber?”

Amber Glow took a seat next to Fluttershy, who was surprised to see she had grown her mane out a little, so it now reached her shoulders. “Hey, Fluttershy, Spike. How’s it going?”

“It’s, uhm, going,” Fluttershy said.

“Uh oh, what’s going on?”

“Uhm…” Fluttershy looked around at the crowded room.

Amber nodded. “Gotcha. Well we can go somewhere quieter after, if you want.” She gestured towards Spike’s still mostly-full sundae. “Once you finish with that, I mean.”

Spike grinned and tapped his claws together. “I, uh, guess if you wanted to have some, I could share with you.”

Amber laughed and switched seats so she was next to Spike. “Why thank you, Spike, I’d love some.”

“So do you always go to the official Summer Sun Celebration?” Fluttershy asked.

Amber took a bite and passed the spoon back to Spike, apparently oblivious to the whipped cream on her muzzle. “Well, I never really used to care. Then for the last year I spent every holiday in Canterlot, or wherever else Luna was.”

Fluttershy covered her mouth with her hooves. “Oh, I’m sorry… I should have realized…”

“It’s fine.” Amber shrugged, then took another bite of ice cream. “Anyway, now I guess… I kinda wanted to watch Luna. Maybe… maybe even talk to her.”

Fluttershy beamed. “Really?”

“Yeah.” Amber smiled. “It’ll be good to finally talk about us. I think it’ll help me put Luna behind me.”

As quick as it came, Fluttershy’s happy expression vanished. “Put her behind you?”

Amber nodded. “Mmm hmm.” She took another bite of ice cream, then shrugged and leaned back in her chair. “I’ve been caught up on her way too long. It’s past time.”

“I… see.” Fluttershy took another bite of her ice cream. “You’re sure that you don’t want to try and work things out?”

“Yeah, I…” Amber put her hooves behind her head and looked off to the side. “I’m actually seeing somepony else now.”

“Oh. That’s nice, I’m happy for you.” Fluttershy didn’t feel very happy. She didn’t believe for a moment that either Amber or Luna were really over each other.

“Thanks.” Amber looked back and smiled again. “Hey, uh, do you think you could be there when I talk to her? I’d rather not do it alone. We’d probably, well, it would end badly is all.”

“Of course,” Fluttershy said.


Once they finished the last of the ice cream, they made their way back towards the town square. Fluttershy wasn’t sure if Twilight would be done rehearsing, but at least they’d be able to talk privately.

Along the way, more ponies kept trying to ask them questions, which they continued to ignore. “That’s how I found you,” Amber told them. “Overheard a bunch of ponies talking about seeing you walk by and decided to check it out.”

“I’m glad you did,” Fluttershy said. “It’s always easier with friends around.”

The stage where the princesses would put on their performance was covered in a tent. When they reached the entrance, two members of the Celestial Guard stood in the path. They bowed when they saw Fluttershy. “Lady Fluttershy, Princess Twilight has not finished her preparations.”

“Oh, uhm, could we just wait inside?” Fluttershy asked.

“Of course.” The guards looked suspiciously at Amber. “Miss Glow will be accompanying you then?”

“I, uhm, that is, if that’s –” She was interrupted by Spike tapping her on the shoulder and motioning to her neck. She reached a hoof to it and felt the necklace Twilight had given her on their engagement. She wasn’t a princess yet, but Twilight had been telling her she should start trying to carry herself with more authority. “I mean, yes, she will.”

“Yes, ma’am.” The guards stepped aside and bowed their heads while they entered.

“Nice job, Princess Fluttershy,” Amber said once they were inside.

Fluttershy blushed. “Well, I’m not a princess yet.”

“Yet,” Amber repeated. She looked around the tent. There was a curtain still blocking the stage to prevent ponies from looking in the opening. They could vaguely hear voices on the other side, but it was heavy enough to muffle the sound, and it was much louder outside the tent. It was as good a place as any to talk in private before they got sidetracked with talking to Luna. “So, what’s going on? Things not working out with Sunset?”

“It’s… not really that.” Fluttershy explained about Twilight’s parents, as well as everypony else’s reactions.

Amber let out a low whistle. “That’s rough. But hey, if three out of four princesses are fighting for something, it has to only be a matter of time right?”

“Hopefully…” Fluttershy pulled Spike into another one-forelegged hug. She kept it short, since she suspected he was getting a little tired of all the affection, even if he was being a good sport about it.

Once she let go of him, Amber pulled her into another hug. “I know how it feels, and I know there’s no easy answer. But things will work out, somehow.”

“Thank you,” Fluttershy said, returning the hug.

“So Princess Celestia isn’t okay with Sunset?” Spike asked.

“Well… I know she doesn’t think Sunset’s a bad pony, but I don’t think she likes that Twilight’s dating her.”

“Celestia has a very narrow view of relationships,” Amber said, clearly irritated.

Fluttershy took a deep breath. “Everything will be okay. Now, what do you say we check on how they’re doing?”

Amber stared at the curtain for a moment before answering. “Yeah. Let’s do it.”

Fluttershy led the way, holding the curtain aside for the others before stepping through. All four princesses were gathered around a table, going over some plans. Cadance was the first to notice them. She smiled and waved, catching the attention of the others. Twilight looked slightly surprised to see Amber, while Celestia just smiled politely.

Luna looked puzzled for a moment, then stood. “I feel it may be an appropriate time to call an end to the planning. I should think we all know what we’re doing by now.”

“I suppose that’s true,” Celestia said. She remained at the table while Luna approached them, with Twilight and Cadance following.

“Uh, hi,” Amber said nervously.

“Amber, I…” Luna bowed her head for a moment, then smiled as she looked up. “It is good to see you. I trust you are well?”

Amber seemed to look anywhere but at Luna. “I’m, you know, I’m pretty good.”

“I am glad to hear it,” Luna said, followed by an awkward silence.

Twilight took her place next to Fluttershy while Cadance looked between the two. “Maybe we should give you some privacy.”

“No,” Amber said quickly. “I, uh, I won’t be staying.”

Cadance glanced at Fluttershy, who gestured towards Spike. Cadance nodded. “Spike, why don’t you come with me? We can get you a treat if you’re still hungry.”

Spike looked between Luna and Amber, then reluctantly followed Cadance out.

“Well, I certainly hope you know you’re more than welcome to stay, if you’d like,” Luna said. She took a small step closer. “You will always be welcome as my guest of honor, no matter what.”

“I… I know.” Amber bit her lip.

Fluttershy placed a hoof on her shoulder. “You should tell her.”

Amber nodded. “I uh, I wanted to let you know, uhm…” She let out a humorless laugh and pressed a hoof against her face. “This is dumb. It’s not like it matters anyway.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Luna said. She sat on the ground in front of Amber and bowed her head low enough that they were at eye level. “I apologize if my not contacting you for these past few months has caused you to think I don’t care for you. So long as you will allow it, I will always hold you among my dearest friends. Whether great or trivial, if there is something you would like to tell me, I would hear it.”

Amber met her eyes. “I… well, I’m dating somepony now.”

Twilight stared in shock, and even Celestia seemed to be sitting oddly still from her place at the table. Luna, however, smiled without missing a beat. “I’m happy to hear so. Did she accompany you to the event tonight? Not that you need introduce us if it would make things awkward for you, though I would be happy to meet her myself.”

“No.” Amber broke eye contact again, staring straight down at the ground. “He’s in Fillydelphia tonight.”

Luna’s smile faltered. “He?”

“Uhm, yeah. I’m dating a stallion now.”

Luna sat up, frowning. “Amber, you’re not interested in stallions. You never have been.”

Amber attempted a chuckle, but it came out sounding forced. “Said the mare who grew bored of being straight.”

Luna shook her head. “You know very well that’s not exactly how things happened. My sexual preferences may have expanded over time, but it was a period of many years. Not two months.”

“It’s been a little more than that,” Amber defended.

“Sixty-five days.”

“Fine.” Amber frowned and folded her forelegs. “Well, it was a busy two months.”

“I see.” Luna waited a moment, but Amber didn’t seem to be elaborating. “You’re from Fillydelphia originally.” Amber still sat in silence. “Your family still liv–”

“Yeah, okay, fine!” Amber snapped. “Dating a stallion was the only way to get my parents to let me see my brother again.”

“Oh, Amber…” Luna shook her head. “You can not change part of who you are so easily.”

“You know, that literally never occurred to me!” Amber glared up at Luna. Even while sitting down Luna dwarfed her, but Amber seemed determined to look as fierce as possible. “I totally just sat down and decided, ‘Hey, I can probably stop being a lesbian if I try really bucking hard!’ ”

“I’m sorry.” Luna raised a hoof and folded her ears back. “I realize this is not a decision you made lightly.”

Amber huffed and sat down. “I just wanted my brother back…”

“I understand.” Luna moved from where she was sitting so she would be side by side with Amber. They were almost touching. “And have you seen him yet?”

“Yeah.” Amber smiled, and all the tension her body was holding dissipated. “We’ve been hanging out a lot over the past few weeks.”

“It’s good to hear things are working out,” Luna said. “I am glad to hear your parents didn’t turn him against you after all.”

Amber rolled her eyes, but her smile grew larger. “Yeah, turns out you were right. They really didn’t talk about me at all.”

Luna nodded. “Only… there are other ways –”

“Luna, please don’t.”

“Perhaps a friend could play the part. I’m sure you could find someone.”

Amber sighed. “My parents were the one who suggested I date him, I think they’d realize what was up otherwise.”

“Then perhaps he could be reasoned with.”

Amber gritted her teeth. “I don’t want to talk about this.”

“What kind of role model would you be for your brother then, hiding away part of yourself?”

“The kind that’s there!” Amber stood up and moved away from Luna. “Why do you bucking care who I date anyway!?”

“Because I care about you.” Luna rose as well. “You are my friend, and I would see you happy with your love life.”

“You didn’t even care when I slept with Sunset!”

“When you what!?” Twilight asked.

Amber spun around and stared open-mouthed at Twilight. “Oh sweet Celestia I thought you knew!”

Twilight looked to Fluttershy, who had no idea how to respond. “When did that happen?” Twilight asked.

“The, uh, the night before she came back from Canterlot. So you three weren’t dating yet.” Amber looked between them hopefully, but they were both too surprised to say anything else. She took a few steps away. “I… think I should probably go now.”

Amber broke into a run, putting distance between herself and the others as quickly as she could. The sight of her leaving snapped Fluttershy out of her daze, and she ran after her. “Amber, wait!”

She did her best to keep Amber in her sights, but as soon as they left the tent, they were surrounded by ponies. She used her small size to try and duck between ponies whenever possible, but Amber was even smaller. Fluttershy soon lost sight of her, so she took to the air. She scanned for any sign of Amber at all, but her brown coat hardly stuck out in a crowd, and Fluttershy had no choice but to give up. She returned to the ground, where she sat with her head hung down.

She really didn’t care that Amber and Sunset slept together. It had been before they were dating, after all. How could she blame Sunset for something that wasn’t wrong at the time? Really, she had just been surprised was all. But now Amber would think they hated her, and she didn’t know what Twilight would think. For all she knew, Twilight did hate Amber.

“You know, Sunset ran after her too.”

Fluttershy sighed, then turned to address Luna. “Why did you keep pushing her?”

Luna stared out over the crowd, and Fluttershy had to wonder if she could still pinpoint where Amber was. “Sunset also reprimanded me afterwards.”

Fluttershy shook her head. “We should go back.” She began walking, but Luna stayed where she was. After a moment, Fluttershy turned back and returned to Luna, throwing her forelegs around her once she did. “I’m sorry.”

Luna wrapped her wing around Fluttershy, blocking her from view of the ponies that were stopping to stare at them. Slowly the sound died out too, and when Luna pulled her wing away from Fluttershy’s face, she found that they were no longer in the crowd. Instead, Fluttershy found herself looking around the inside of the tent, although nopony else was around.

“There is no need to be,” Luna said. She remained sitting by Fluttershy’s side, and even left her wing draped over her.

Suspecting that Luna wanted somepony near her, Fluttershy leaned against her. “I’m not trying to reprimand you, I just don’t understand. You never push anypony to talk about something they don’t want to, so why would you do that to Amber?”

Luna was quiet for a while. Her expression remained passive, but she held Fluttershy closer. “Amber asked you to stay with her while she told me, correct?”

“Uhm… yes.”

“It is because if we were alone, we would fall back on old habits.”

“I guess that makes sense, but it doesn’t explain why you kept pushing her.” Luna remained quiet. Fluttershy followed her line of sight to see she wasn’t staring at anything at all. “Did… you want to push her away?”

Luna smiled. “You are more astute than I think you realize. Trust your judgement to guide you more, you will not go wrong.”

Fluttershy shook her head. “But… why?”

“Amber has made a decision, and I can not be part of the life she chose,” Luna explained. “I may not agree with it, but I need to respect her choice in making it.”

“You could just be her friend,” Fluttershy said. “A regular friend, who isn’t also dating her.”

“I could, but we are exceptionally bad at that.” Luna smiled wistfully. “We only had one date together before sharing a bed. We agreed to move more slowly afterwards, but following our second date, we found ourselves in my bed again. The next day I was introducing her to Celestia, then we were seeing each other almost every day. Within a month I had offered her a permanent room in the castle, although I believe we both knew she would only ever be using mine. For whatever reason, the two of us are poorly suited to being ‘regular friends’, and so long as she is dating somepony she does not wish to, being around me would jeopardize the life she chose.”

Fluttershy sighed. “If you’re sure about this…”

She got the impression Luna was about to say something, then stopped. After a moment, Luna bowed her head. “I do not normally ask for counsel. I prefer to keep the illusion that I’m always certain in my decisions, even though I’m often not. This time, however, I would like to hear your thoughts, if you would not mind.”

Fluttershy looked up, perplexed. “Really? But wouldn’t it be better to ask Twilight or Cadance?”

Luna met her eyes. “Twilight is the Princess of Friendship, while Cadance is the Princess of Love. I trust their knowledge in their respective fields, much as I may tease the both of them. However, Amber falls somewhere in between a friend and a lover, and even I have a hard time figuring out which side is more appropriate.” She smiled. “As well, I believe we are more like-minded in many ways, so I feel I can better trust your advice than theirs.”

Fluttershy wasn’t sure there was anypony quite like Luna, and if there was it certainly couldn’t be her. Luna was wise, outgoing, mysterious, and confident. Fluttershy was… well, she was just Fluttershy. All she could think of was what she would do; she didn’t know how to tell other ponies what was best for them.

Still, she had to try. Luna was always there for her, and had never once asked for anything in return. The least she could do was to say how she felt. “I, uhm, I think you’re wrong.” She pressed tighter against Luna, while sinking lower to ground and hoping Luna wouldn’t be angry with her for disagreeing. “I think you could be friends, if you just had a more clear understanding of what that friendship meant. You could make it a rule to only meet in public, or just mainly talk through the journals.”

“I did try to set clear rules in the past.” Luna didn’t sound angry. If anything, her voice was encouraging, prompting Fluttershy to speak more.

Feeling a little more confident, Fluttershy risked looking up at Luna. She didn’t look upset, but her emotions were often hard to read. “I… I think Amber learned it’s important to talk about her feelings when they change.” Fluttershy swallowed, willing her fear away. Luna was her friend and had asked for her honest opinion. There was no reason to be nervous about giving one. “And… and I think you could have done more to encourage her to talk about it.”

Luna silently thought about Fluttershy’s words for a moment, then nodded. “I see. It is sound advice, and I thank you for it. I will consider it carefully.” She stood up, and offered Fluttershy a hoof up as well. “I think we have kept Twilight waiting long enough. I asked her to wait with Cadance and Spike while I went after you.”

Fluttershy nodded and began to follow, but stopped after a few steps. “Luna?”

“Yes?” Luna stopped as well, turning to look back at Fluttershy.

She hesitated for a moment, unsure if she should ask what was on her mind. Something Luna had said caught her attention, but she knew it was probably better to leave it alone. Luna walked back to her side and waited for her response. “Did you mean what you said earlier? That you’re not always sure of your decisions?”

Luna smiled. “I say a great many things to many ponies. I am known to hide truths as lies, and tell lies anypony would believe as truthful. But to you, my friend, I believe I have never been anything but sincere. Yes, I do doubt the decisions I make. I feel a leader who does not is unfit to lead.”

“I’m… I’m still worried about being a princess.”

“I understand. There have been many princes and princesses to marry into their crown. Perhaps hearing about them would help you?”

Fluttershy smiled. “Actually, Sunset already told me a lot of stories about them. And it did help.”

“I see.” Luna smiled as well. “You are fortunate to have ponies to support you, you need not face this alone. And between Twilight and Cadance, you can also count two of the best princesses Equestria has known as being among your family. Follow their examples and you will not go wrong.”

Fluttershy nodded. “I know, and I’m glad to have them. But, uhm, if I could choose… I think I’d want to be more like you.”

For a moment Luna’s smile was replaced with surprise, then it came back stronger. She wrapped Fluttershy in a hug. “Thank you.” She continued to smile as she pulled away and turned back towards the tent entrance. “Now, poor Twilight must be getting worried.”

Fluttershy nodded, and followed Luna outside.

As soon as they were out, Twilight ran up to her. “You shouldn’t go running off like that, Shy. What if you got lost?”

Fluttershy chuckled. “Uhm, I think I could have found the giant tent in the town square.” She shook her head and hugged Twilight. “I’m sorry I worried you though.”

They walked back to where Twilight had been standing. Cadance and Spike were sharing a funnel cake, while Shining Armor was eating one all on his own.

“My sister is not with you?” Luna asked.

“She said she wanted to take a nap,” Cadance answered.

“I tried telling her it’s tradition to stay up all night,” Spike said.

“Tia has never been partial to being up when her sun is not,” Luna said. Under her breath she added, “One would think that might make her more understanding towards those who need sleep during the day, but alas…”

Fluttershy and Twilight giggled, though the others didn’t seem to hear.

“So now that we’re all free, what does everypony want to do?” Cadance asked.

‘Everypony’ seemed to mean ‘Spike’, since he was the only one to offer any suggestions. They unanimously agreed to his suggestion, so all six of them found themselves walking into the crowd.

Most of their group took advantage of the train ride back to Canterlot to nap. Twilight had fallen asleep with a foreleg and a wing around Spike, who was snoring gently while resting against her. Throughout most of the night Cadance had been distant with Shining Armor, making it plainly obvious she wasn’t happy with him not taking a more active role in supporting Twilight, but they seemed to have put their disagreement to the side, at least for a little while, since they were cuddling and sleeping peacefully.

At their request, Luna and Princess Celestia had agreed to take the train back to Canterlot with them, although they wouldn’t say why they wanted them to all stick together. Luna was napping next to Fluttershy – or at least, Fluttershy was pretty sure she was asleep. The Princess of Dreams did have the sometimes eerie ability to remain perfectly still for as long as she wanted, and even if she was asleep, Fluttershy couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she’d still be fully aware of what was going on around her.

It was with this in mind that Fluttershy began stroking Luna’s mane, hoping to offer her some comfort in her sleep. Even if she didn’t let it show how upset she was about Amber, Fluttershy could tell; Luna had stuck close to her all night. And to be fair, she’d also always wanted to feel Luna’s mane, and she was lying with her head right next to Fluttershy’s hoof. She always imagined that it would feel like the night sky, although she had no idea what that meant. As it turned out, it felt like hair.

“I’m glad Luna found a friend like you,” Princess Celestia said. She was sitting next to Cadance and Shining Armor, and spoke quietly so as to not wake them up.

“I’m glad I have a friend like her,” Fluttershy said. She thought Luna smiled a bit. Maybe.

Feeling awkward since Princess Celestia addressed her, Fluttershy stopped. She looked over towards Twilight and Spike. “Uhm, Princess Celestia, can we talk?”

“Yes, of course.” Princess Celestia stood up and Fluttershy followed her across the car, where they wouldn’t have to worry about disturbing the others. “What would you like to talk about?”

“I, uhm…” Fluttershy glanced back at Twilight and Spike. She wasn’t sure if she could help them, but she had to try. “I know you don’t like the way our relationship works, but, uhm…

“Fluttershy,” Princess Celestia said gently, “I’m sorry, but it’s not a matter of what I do and don’t like. The law is clear, and unless a court decides otherwise, I can’t remove Spike from his parents’ care.”

“I know.” Fluttershy nodded. She focused on her breathing for a few breaths, trying to feel like there was oxygen in her lungs. It didn’t work, and she felt like she was going to cave in. “It’s just… You’re really hurting Twilight and Sunset. You don’t have to do anything about Spike, but maybe… you could just talk to them?”

Princess Celestia watched Twilight sleep, and her expression was incomprehensible. “I’m not sure I follow. What would you like me to talk to them about?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Fluttershy said. “They both really love you. They think of you as a second mom, and you’ve been avoiding them for days. Sunset actually feels like you’re the only family she has.”

Princess Celestia continued watching Twilight. Fluttershy noticed a change in her expression, but still couldn’t read it. “I see. It was never my intention to hurt either of them.”

“I know.” Fluttershy wondered what Twilight and Sunset would think of her talking to Princess Celestia about them. They probably wouldn’t be happy about it. “They’ve both been through so much, and things are only going to get harder when we come out publicly. Sunset’s whole life in the other world fell apart, and now Twilight feels like she’s losing her family. Please don’t let them lose you too.”

“Thank you for sharing this with me, Fluttershy,” Celestia said, giving no indication of what she would do.

Fluttershy supposed that was the best she was going to get. She stood up, wondering if there was enough time left in the train ride to snuggle up with Twilight and try to get a little sleep herself. ‘Probably not,’ she decided, ‘but there’s enough time to try.’


Fluttershy turned back to Princess Celestia, who looked almost uncertain. “Yes?”

“Do you really love them both equally?”

Fluttershy had to stop for a moment to think. Not because she needed to figure out the answer, but because she wasn’t sure why the princess would ask that. Was it as simple as saying yes? Did she only need to tell her that she did, in fact, love more than one pony, and that would be enough to change her mind? It didn’t matter. Even if that were the case, Fluttershy was an awful liar.

“I love Twilight. I love her with all my heart, and I always will. Sunset is also very special to me, but I don’t know her anywhere near as well as I know Twilight.”

Princess Celestia nodded, seemingly content with the answer. “Yes, of course. I suppose it was a silly question.”

“But uhm,” Fluttershy continued, “I don’t really think it works that way.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well…” Fluttershy tried to think of how to explain it, but she wasn’t even sure she fully understood what she wanted to say herself. “Twilight and Sunset are different ponies. I feel differently about them. So I don’t think it’s fair to compare them like that. Every day, I feel myself getting closer to really loving Sunset, but it’s not the same as loving Twilight. And… I wouldn’t want it to be. I don’t want to love another pony the way I love Twilight, I already have Twilight. And she makes my life feel complete, all on her own. But now I also have Sunset, and she adds so much more to it.”

Fluttershy finally thought she understood what Princess Celestia’s expression meant. She couldn’t comprehend what Fluttershy meant, but she wanted to. “Your life is more than complete?”

“It’s, uhm, it’s hard to explain.” Fluttershy decided to try a different approach. “I love feeling the sunlight on my fur, and I love the sound of rain when I’m all snuggled up inside. I love them both, but I really love sunny days better. But it’s not like that with Twilight and Sunset. It’s more like how I also love curling up with a nice book. I can love basking in the sun at the same time as I love reading the book, and it’s just silly to try and compare the sun to the book.”

Princess Celestia looked down, and seemed to be turning over the words in her head. “I see. Thank you again, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy bowed her head and returned to Twilight. She smiled and snuggled in as close as she could.

All too soon, the train was pulling into the station. Fluttershy would have felt comfort in knowing that they probably could look forward to a nap with Sunset back at the castle, but it was hard to feel positive when she knew first they’d have to return Spike to Twilight Velvet and Night Light.

Except for Luna and Princess Celestia, everypony was groggy from being up all night. Slowly they shuffled off the train, shielding their eyes from the sun outside.

Once her eyes adjusted, she saw Sunset and Twilight’s parents approaching them, seemingly from opposite ends of the station.

“How’d everything go?” Sunset asked, offering hugs to everypony.

“Exhausting,” Twilight answered. She grabbed Spike and pulled him close to her. “But worth it.”

“It was so much fun!” Spike launched into an explanation of the night’s events. When he explained about running into Amber, Fluttershy was pretty sure she saw Twilight cast Sunset a dirty look, but she didn’t say anything. There would be time to address that later.

Twilight Velvet and Night Light waited patiently while Spike explained everything. “It sounds like you had a pretty busy night,” Twilight Velvet said once he was done. “But now I think it’s time we get you into bed.”

Cadance cleared her throat. “Actually, Shiny and I were hoping you’d let us make an announcement at your house.”

“An announcement? Is everything okay?” Night Light asked.

“Everything’s fine,” Shining Armor said, “we’d just like to be somewhere a little more private.”

“Well, I can’t argue with that,” Night Light said, glancing around at the crowded station. They definitely wouldn’t get any privacy with all four princesses gathered in one public place.

“And you want me and Tia to accompany you for this announcement?” Luna asked.

“Yes, we’d like the whole family to be there,” Cadance said. She looked pointedly at Sunset, which Twilight Velvet noticed.

“Okay, but we really need to get Spike to bed soon.”

As the whole group of ponies made their way to Twilight Velvet and Night Light’s home, Princess Celestia kept pace beside Sunset. “Your new uniform suits you.”

Sunset smiled at the compliment. “Thanks. Rarity did a great job on it.”

“She certainly did. Whose idea was it to use the Elements of Harmony for the badge?”

“Oh, that was mine,” Twilight said. “I wanted something that didn’t just represent me, but the entire Friendship Council.”

“It’s very clever.”

Along the way, Celestia kept talking with Sunset and Twilight. Luna noticed and looked suspiciously at Fluttershy, who smiled as innocently as she could. Twilight Velvet and Night Light walked with Spike in between them, and talked happily with Cadance and Shining Armor. The whole way there, Fluttershy was reminded how happy their family could be.

When they reached the house, they all crowded around the living room, finding seats wherever they could. Twilight, Fluttershy, and Sunset all huddled together on a couch built for two in order to make sure there were seats for everyone, which earned them a sharp look from Twilight Velvet.

Cadance and Shining Armor made their way to the center of the room. “Thank you for coming everypony,” Shining Armor said.

“Our family may be a little strange,” Cadance said. “Many of us have made homes all over Equestria – and even beyond it – and then moved from them to new ones. But wherever we live, our real homes will always be with each other.”

“And we can be a little unorthodox at times,” Shining said. Fluttershy took hold of Sunset’s hoof as all eyes fell on her. “But in the end, all that really matters is that we stand by each other.”

Cadance and Shining looked into each other’s eyes and smiled. Cadance nuzzled against him, then turned to address the room again. “Which is why we’re happy to announce that we’re bringing a new addition to our family.”

“Aaahh!” Twilight Velvet bolted up and threw her forelegs around Shining and Cadance. “Do you mean it? You two are really…?”

“We’re having a baby!” they announced together.

The room erupted in the sound of applause, which almost drowned out the sounds of Twilight Velvet’s squeals of joy. Everypony got up to offer hugs and congratulations.

“Personally, I was hoping they were going to announce that they got a new puppy,” Luna said to Celestia, causing her to chuckle.

“I can’t believe it!” Twilight said as she took her turn to hug Shining Armor. “I’m going to be an aunt!”

“Well, Aunt Twilight,” Shining said, “we actually have something else to ask you and Fluttershy.”

Twilight cocked her head to the side. “What’s that?”

“Well,” Cadance said as she returned a hug from Fluttershy, “we were hoping you two would be our little foal’s guideparents!”

Twilight and Fluttershy exchanged excited expressions. “You want us to be the guideparents?” Twilight asked.

“We’d be honored,” Fluttershy said. They found themselves in a group hug with Cadance and Shining Armor.

“That’s great!” Sunset said once they pulled apart. “And might I say you made an excellent choice.”

“Cadance, Shiny,” Twilight Velvet said, looking uncertainly at Sunset, “you, er, you do realize that if anything happens to you…”

“Then our foal will be in excellent hooves,” Cadance said.

Shining scratched the back of his neck. “I know you’re concerned about Spike, and I understand why, but… that’s not something we’re worried about for our foal.”

Cadance giggled and playfully nudged Sunset. “Who knows, our foal might wind up with three guidemothers after all.”

“I… but…” Twilight Velvet looked around. Everypony else still seemed happy. Even Night Light didn’t look too upset, although he probably had reservations about it too.

“Oh I just can’t wait!” Twilight said. “Have you started thinking of names yet?”

Fluttershy giggled. “Twily, it’s probably a little early for that.”

“I don’t think Twilight understands that it can be too early to plan something,” Sunset said. “I bet she already has names picked out in case you two ever decide to have foals.”

Twilight blushed. “Well, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.”

Sunset and Fluttershy both laughed and hugged her.

“I think that’s enough of that,” Twilight Velvet said.

Sunset respectfully pulled away from the other two, while Fluttershy and Twilight exchanged annoyed looks. “Sorry, I didn’t realize hugging was off limits,” Twilight said.

“I see what you’re doing,” Twilight Velvet said to Cadance and Shining Armor. “You’re trying to make us look like the bad guys.”

Shining Armor arched an eyebrow. “Mom, we didn’t decide to have a foal to prove some sort of point.”

“Hey, look, let’s not cause any more drama,” Sunset said. “Come on, this is a happy occasion, right? We don’t need to do this today.”

“You shouldn’t even be here,” Twilight Velvet said. “You’re not part of this family.”

Cadance reached out a hoof for Twilight Velvet’s shoulder. “Mom, please –”

“Don’t.” Twilight Velvet brushed her hoof off.

Night Light stepped up to his wife’s side. “Honey, this isn’t the best time to do this,” he said quietly.

She looked at him like he betrayed her, then looked back at Sunset like it was her fault. “I want you out of my house.”

“Okay.” Sunset held up a hoof. “I’ll meet you two back at the castle.”

“No.” Twilight grabbed Sunset’s hoof and pulled her closer. “If you want Sunset to leave, then all three of us will go.”

Sunset leaned in closer. “Twilight, please, let’s not make a scene.”

“I’m not the one making a scene!” Twilight snapped.

“Twilight, I would never ask you to leave here,” Twilight Velvet said curtly, “but she isn’t welcome in this house!”

“Uhm, maybe we should just go,” Fluttershy said, casting apologetic glances at Cadance and Shining Armor.

“You’re being unreasonable,” Shining said. “Today is kind of a big deal for us, and you’re making it all about Sunset. She hasn’t even done anything wrong.”

“Hasn’t done… Shiny, she’s leading your sister into a life of debauchery!”

“A life of… what the buck do you think we’re doing!?” Twilight asked.

“I’m sure I’d rather not know.”

Twilight blushed furiously and facehoofed. “Mom. I don’t even know why you would think this, but we’re not sleeping around with anypony else.”

“So what happens when somepony else comes along?” Twilight Velvet asked.

“Nopony else is coming along! It’s just me, Fluttershy, and Sunset!”

“Oh you can say that,” Twilight Velvet said, “but somepony will. Somepony always does.”

Twilight shook her head. “What are you even talking about!?”

“Twilight, everypony has doubts! Everypony falls for ponies other than their lover! The difference is that good ponies know better than to acknowledge those feelings!”

The room grew quiet, while everypony looked around in shock. Twilight Velvet kept up her glare for a while, but soon started looking around as well. Eventually her eyes settled on Night Light who was staring at her wide-eyed and slack-jawed. “What?”

“Is… that really how you feel?” he asked.

Twilight Velvet blinked a few times and looked back towards her children. She was already shrinking away as she realized what she had said.

“Mom…” Cadance took a step closer. “It’s perfectly normal to develop feelings for other ponies, but… it’s not something everypony experiences.”

“I…” She backed away further. “Cadance, dear, you of all ponies should realize…”

Cadance shook her head. “I love Shining Armor, and I only love him. But it’s okay, we can help you come to terms with how you feel, and the first step is to acknowledge your feelings.”

Twilight Velvet looked at Twilight, Fluttershy, and Sunset, then turned and ran to her room. She slammed the door hard enough that the sound travelled down the stairs.

Next, attention turned to Night Light. “So Dad,” Shining Armor started, “what do you say we –”

“I think it’s past time somedragon goes to bed.” Night Light walked over to Spike and put a hoof on his shoulder. “Say your goodbyes, Spike.”

Spike nodded and moved around the room, hugging ponies in turn, even Princess Celestia and Luna.

“I’m sure we’ll see you soon,” Twilight said when she hugged him. “Love you, Spike.”

“Love you too, Twilight.”

Night Light brought Spike up to bed, leaving the others to stand around awkwardly.

“I think it’s best if we leave,” Princess Celestia said.

“Cadance, Shining Armor, you two are staying the night?” Luna asked.

“No, but our train doesn’t leave until the evening,” Shining said.

Luna nodded. “Very well. My sister and I shall leave then, but do make certain Twilight Velvet and Night Light both know they can reach out to me at any time.”

“We will,” Cadance said.

“Should, uhm, should we try talking to them?” Fluttershy asked.

“I… didn’t do such a good job of winning them over when we talked yesterday.” Sunset bowed her head. “I really don’t think they trust me, so I’d probably only make things worse. But you two could probably give it a shot.”

“I… I’d like to try,” Twilight said. She walked up the stairs, with Fluttershy following behind. Along the way, they passed Spike’s room. They heard Night Light talking within, but couldn’t make out the words. His voice sounded good-natured, though.

Twilight knocked on her parents’ bedroom door, but there was no answer. “Mom? It’s me.” Still nothing. “I… I just want to say that everything’ll be okay. I remember how I felt when I first realized I had feelings for Sunset. It was awful, but then we realized… it’s okay to feel like that. I’m not saying that what’s right for us is what’s right for you, but, well… I’d really like to help you and Dad figure everything out, if you’ll let me.” There was only silence. Twilight sighed and rested her head against the door. “Well, if you change your mind, all you have to do is ask. And, uhm, I love you, Mom.”

Slowly they backed away from the door. As they were passing Spike’s room, Night Light stepped out of it. “Think he’ll get any sleep after all that?” Twilight asked.

Night Light smiled, though it didn’t seem like his heart was in it. “I’m sure he will. He sleeps through anything.”

“Uhm, you know…” Fluttershy pawed at the ground. “I was the one in your position before. Uhm, I mean, at first I really only wanted to be with Twilight. I could, uhm, I could probably help answer any questions you have, if you want.”

“Thank you, Fluttershy,” Night Light said. “I think we just need some time to ourselves for right now, though.”

Fluttershy nodded.

“Let us know if you need anything,” Twilight said.

“Will do.”

Twilight hesitated a moment, then threw her hooves around him. “I love you, Dad.”

“Love you too, Twilight.”

They walked back down the stairs and joined Sunset at the bottom. Luna and Princess Celestia had already left. After saying their goodbyes and final congratulations to Cadance and Shining Armor, the three of them left the house and walked back to the castle.

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