• Published 19th Nov 2015
  • 3,288 Views, 58 Comments

Glimpsing the Future - Minds Eye



Twilight Sparkle learns about Rainbow Dash's family as they vacation with her parents.

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Epilogue: What About Us?

Twilight’s hooves sank into the soft grass of the hillside outside Ponyville with every step. In the distance, Canterlot glittered under the afternoon sun, and Twilight recalled the last time she had seen the city from this spot. She was no longer the same pony that had lazed the time away with Rainbow Dash that day, no longer the unicorn that dragged around a secret pain in her heart for so long. Only Canterlot sculpted into the side of the mountain seemed unchanged through the eventful months, but this last week had been the quietest she could remember.

Rainbow Dash had turned into little more than a ghost since they arrived home, and Twilight hadn’t seen her outside of her weather duties. As much as she missed the evenings and quiet moments together, she understood why Rainbow wanted her space and privacy, but Rainbow Dash had also ignored their lunch dates with the other girls. The signs of trouble were becoming too much for them to ignore.

She knew they meant well, but their assurances that no matter what problem she and Rainbow were having, everything would turn out okay between the two of them were almost too much to bear. Knowing the truth and hiding it behind a smile and a promise of Everything is fine, really, and Rainbow will be back soon stung a little deeper every time it came up.

Fluttershy had even offered herself as a go-between because of Twilight’s flight difficulties. Privately, at the library, which Twilight greatly appreciated. She didn’t want to imagine Rainbow’s reaction if the others took inspiration from Fluttershy’s suggestion and began harassing her, but the anxious look on Fluttershy’s face almost made Twilight want to tell her everything.

But that was Rainbow’s decision to make, her news to share. Twilight had been content to let her escape into the sky to find what comfort she could, but they had both known the date for Judge Fairwind drew closer every day. Whatever the news would be afterwards, it had hung over Twilight’s thoughts until Thunderlane’s visit to the library early in the day.

Rainbow had missed her shift for the first time anypony could remember.

The mail ponies had been kind enough to answer her questions and tell her Rainbow received a package from San Franciscolt that morning. So her fruitless search of Ponyville had begun, refusing to consider any possibility until she was at Rainbow’s side to hear it herself. She had almost given up, almost resorted to bringing in Fluttershy to help search the sky however she could, until Twilight remembered one final spot she could reach on her own. One place that meant something to them both.

Twilight could almost feel Rainbow Dash’s wings around her again. Whatever pony she was now—whatever pony the foolish young mare that had thrown herself at a coldhearted stallion had grown into—she had to repay Rainbow for her understanding and acceptance. Somehow.

She saw her long before she reached her, Rainbow laying flat on her back, the bright blue of her coat sharply outlined by the green grass. She held a foreleg under her head like a pillow, but Twilight saw her eyes open and looking up to the sky. They held the same impassive look Twilight had seen leaving her parents’ home, showing no anger or pain or even a hint of acknowledgement to Twilight settling down next to her.

Rainbow had looked the same way on the train home, and as she opened her mouth to speak, she sounded no different than her calm refusals to talk. “They did it.”

Twilight’s heart blocked any response from leaving her throat. She had almost allowed herself to believe Rainbow had written them first, and started the discussion she rejected in San Franciscolt. Surely a judge wouldn’t have minded being told no thank you for his services in such a matter as this, after a daughter and her parents realized how much they meant to each other.

She had almost allowed herself to hope the family could repair itself without her.

Rainbow lifted a pair of envelopes with her free foreleg. “They both wrote me. Dad said... not a whole lot. Just that he wanted me to write back. Mom’s on her way back to Cloudsdale. She had a place lined up already. Even gave me the address.” She jerked her chin up to the sky. “City’s scheduled to come by this way in a couple weeks. She said she wanted to meet up, and to write her too.”

Write them. Twilight fidgeted. She opened her mouth. Meet her. “Um... Pinkie told me about a new recipe she wanted to try out the other day. Maybe you could ask her to hold off for...”

Rainbow slammed the envelopes back to the ground and rolled to her feet.

Twilight clenched her eyes as Rainbow walked away. Stupid! When she opened them again, she spotted a bundled strip of cloth Rainbow had left behind, its two ends twisted around themselves as if they each wanted to embrace something that wasn’t there anymore. Twilight gasped, and she spotted another pair of twists a few inches later, and a third after that, closer to the center. “They gave you their wedding band?”

Rainbow snorted. “Can’t figure out why. Worthless thing. Guess they wanted me to remember how bad they screwed up.”

“I doubt that’s the reason.” Twilight prodded it, almost lifted it up, but stopped. Rainbow had sat down a few feet away, her wings mimicking her shoulders in slumping down, and her feathers joined her gaze in resting on the ground. Twilight looked back down at the contorted cloth—what it held together already undone and unsalvageable. That wasn’t an issue she could help now.

She tossed it away.

Rainbow lifted her eyes back to the sky, though the rest of her body did not follow their example. “I don’t get it. We were happy up there. All three of us. I know we were.” She rubbed her temple. “I haven’t been able to think about anything else all week.”

Twilight rested her head on her shoulder. “Tell me.”

Her head gave an almost imperceptible shake. “I don’t even know how to say it. Everything’s just stuck in my head like sand in your feathers. Racing my Dad. Winning the first time. Every time I raced at the Academy they were there!” Rainbow pounded her hoof. “Right there! I can still hear them screaming for me! And all that time they couldn’t stand each other? It doesn’t make sense!”

Twilight focused her eyes on the towers of Canterlot Castle in the distance. “Life changes, Rainbow. I used to be happy at home with my family. Then I was happy at the school, alone with my studies. I thought I understood the world until I came to Ponyville, and I learned that I understood nothing. Now I’m happy here with all my friends.”

She put her hoof on Rainbow’s. “We can’t know what’s in our future, but if your heart tells you that you were happy together, then I believe you. I know they were happy when you were in their lives. Just like I am.”

Rainbow tore away from her and headed up the hill, her sudden absence leaving a brief chill on Twilight’s coat that worried at her mind. Rainbow stopped and looked back at her. All of her. Her violet eyes swept over Twilight’s entire body, and settled on her face. “Are you?”

Twilight frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You saw their wedding photo.”

“And?”

“And the first thing you thought was how young they were.” Her hoof tapped against her temple. “Have you tried to think about that? They’ve been together longer than we’ve been alive. Over half of their own lives. And they’re stopping.” She scowled at the ground. “Because they don’t know what to do.”

The words took Twilight back to that night, back to that room. Back to Rainbow’s kick of the table, and the claim—almost an accusation—she threw in her parents’ faces. “Do you think they gave up?”

A slow nod was her only answer.

Twilight went to her and lifted her chin with a hoof. “Then we won’t.”

Rainbow laughed. “That’s too simple a plan coming from you.”

“Simple and easy never meant the same thing.” Twilight lowered her hoof and pressed it into the soil. “I made a choice, right here on this hill, to trust you. I opened myself up to you more than I had to anypony else, and you haven’t let me down yet. I didn’t make that decision lightly.”

“I know.” Rainbow’s hoof brushed hers. “That was when I fell for you, you know. I mean, we had a few dates before then, but I knew how much that meant to you. And I won’t ever let you down.”

“Good,” Twilight said, lighting her horn, “because I’m not doing this lightly either.” She levitated the cloth over to them, and a whip of her magic straightened out all of its wrinkles. “One day, we’ll be twice as old as we are now, just like they are. We’ll have to face that future. Together.”

Twilight looped the cloth around their necks, bringing Rainbow’s blushing face closer, and she fastened a knot inches away from them. “I trusted you, and you repaid that trust by standing by me at my weakest moment, when I was most frightened of what my future might be. You gave me that future just by being there.”

Rainbow chuckled, and her eyes jumped back and forth between Twilight’s and the two ends in her grasp. “And now here we are, talking about the future again. Because of me. Again.”

“Yes.” Twilight shifted her grip to create some slack, and tied the second knot. She felt Rainbow’s cheeks burn hotter. “We’ve seen the challenges that future will make us face together, and we’ve seen the consequences of failure. I think we’re stronger for it.”

Rainbow coughed to the side, failing to be discreet about her studying the ends of cloth. “So... uh, we don’t have a third.” The red in her face drained away as quickly as it came. “Do we? We don’t right? Not yet.”

“It’s in our future.” Twilight lifted a hoof as she let go of her magic, and the ends of cloth fell over it and curled back on themselves, taking the same shape they had held for so many years, longing for the moment to come in which they were joined again. “I don’t want to give up, Rainbow Dash. Do you?”

Rainbow’s hoof joined hers—sealing the ends between them. “I never give up.”

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Comments ( 42 )

..... DAMN YOU. MAKING ME FEEL THIS WAY.

I teared up at the end there. So beautiful...

This hurt to read, just the way it should. Well done. :heart:

Now I shall finish this masterful trilogy!!

Oh god my heart.

Dang, that was an emotionally rough story to read.

6653330
Just as planned, then. Good to hear.

Damn that fracking ending!!!!!

This was a bit of an emotional ride.
Once again you captured a family dynamic so well, I can relate it to my own experiences i have had. It felt so real it was somewhat uncomfortable at times.

This is a work of literary art.

Can you explain the three knots thing and how it works?
I understand the "no ill wind could undo what had been bound", but is there a meaning of each knot?
Dash said they don't have their 3rd knot yet.

6653454
I'm glad my writing can have that effect on people. Thank you, and thank you for reading all three of these like you did. It's nice to know the other two hold up after this long, and that they go together nicely.

6653490
No, there's no meaning to each knot. Twilight was adapting the symbolism to fit their conversation, that they've come a long way together, but they still have more to learn.

I think that's why Dart and Blaze fell apart. They had a daughter, who they both loved, but when it came to each other, they didn't have as strong a bond as a lasting marriage needs. Twilight and Rainbow are making sure they do.

Mmmm... Bittersweet, but in a good way.

In the best way.

I was so excited when I saw another fic in this series, and it more than lived up to my already very high expectations.

I don't know if I've commented on this series before, but I've read and loved each fic in it. I haven't been on this site very much in the last few years or so and I don't think I've added anything to my favorites in all that time, but I think it is long overdue that I add these.

6653592
Thank you. That means a lot, that I lived up to the bar set by the other two.

And making a reader dust off their favorites list isn't too shabby either.

This is excellent. You may continue. :twilightsmile:

Lovely end to the story. It was heartbreaking to see Rainbow's world crash like that, but she'll come to realize that it's not the end of the world, not to mention she landed a smokin' hot mare like Twilight, she'll be just fine. =P

6653981 No maybes, only yes.

Yes. Like he/she said: 6654073
You need to keep going.
It is fine if you need to take time off. You made some great stories over the last few years.

I enjoyed this story so much! Ow. The feels. :heart:

Wow, this was at once both sad and hopeful. Very well done.

I don't really have much to say about it right now, but this story was definitely as emotional as the previous two, even if the ending wasn't as happy and fuzzy. I doubt there's much sequel potential here any more, but if you decide to write more TwiDash I'll be sure to read it!

6655214
Glad to hear it! Apply this to your feels until they get better.

6655426
I'll be sure to. Thanks!

6655490
I was worried about this one living up to the other two. Good to know it succeeded.

6654716 I am horribly offended you didn't include 'it' or 'they' in your list of genders.
I am now triggered and going to rant about how horrible your are.

In all seriousness, though, yes. This over-arching story is great and wonderful, and we need more. But take your time off, too.
It's no good if you come to hate the story or feel forced.

6655862
Hopefully I won't make people wait as long as I did for this one, but thank you. I appreciate the sentiment.

6653330
I Provide new hearts for anyone who needs them after stories like this.

Happily ever afters don't always happen, huh.

6661175
Life's never than simple.

Really enjoyed it! Hoping for more! :heart:
I had to read the first two stories again to remember which universe this was in. (The problem of reading too many fics) lol

6669213
Thank you! Hope you didn't mind the refresher... :twilightsheepish:

6669254 The upside was that I got to read them again, and only partly know what was coming! :twilightblush:

Months have passed since Twilight Sparkle brought Rainbow Dash to visit her parents in Canterlot,

didnt the last story end saying they were visiting Dash's parents a week later?
edit: never mind

6699037
No, no, no, you missed the italics.

but whatever entertainment was to be found in their home, it must have been behind the doors of their bedroom, where Twilight was absolutely not going to invade.

Gotta add the emphasis for effect. Loses meaning otherwise. :derpytongue2:

I thought Twilight was going to propose... then Rainbow was probably going to get upset and we'd be left on an awful cliffhanger.

6791846
Fixed. Glad you're enjoying it!

Wow. That was just... wow. You captured the realism and dynamic perfectly. You wrote the characters fantastically. The ending was fitting and well done. And the emotion in there... that was simply an amazing story. Hats off to you and your brilliant trilogy here.

Ah. So that's why there's no sad tag.
You keep impressing me with your ability to craft realism. Your downright spoiling us.

6953248
Thank you. It's always nice to see someone enjoying my stories so much.

Love it. You are ordered to continue with another!

Rainbow’s hoof joined hers—sealing the ends between them. “I never give up.”

And you never should RD:pinkiesad2:.

8913467
I'm glad to see you're getting into these so much. It does a writer good. :twilightsmile:

Hope you enjoy the next one too.

Racing in headfirst and regretting having no plan for the long-term. Yup, thise are Dash parents all right. And given how Bow and Windy are still hyperfocused on Dash, I can't help but wonder if their relationship is similarly fragile.

In any case, excellent drama piece, made all the more devastating given that this is the Bearer of Loyalty we're talking about.

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