• Published 9th Jun 2012
  • 2,770 Views, 70 Comments

Somepony to Lean On - Cupcakes

Twilight Sparkle will do anything in her power to find Pinkie Pie before it's too late

  • ...

Chapter 3

"Good evening, Twilight Sparkle."

"Hello, Princess Luna," Twilight replied, her eyes tracing the elegant curves of the palace.

"This is a lovely dream."

"Yes, it's a favorite of mine. It's just like the first time I ever saw Canterlot from a pegasus chariot at night." Twilight's smile widened for a moment, then dropped away. She stepped back from the edge of the clouds. "But sometimes, if I'm under a lot of stress before I go to sleep, I fall off the clouds and it turns into one of those awful falling nightmares that--"

Twilight froze. "Wait. How did I know this is just a dream?" She whirled around. "Ohmygosh, Princess Luna! I didn't mean to be so rude!" The unicorn dropped into a deep bow.

Luna chuckled and shook her head. "No, Twilight Sparkle, please rise. The fault is mine. I wished to enter your dream as gently as possible, but I may have entered it too gently."

Twilight stood slowly and asked, "So gently I didn't even realize you were there?"

Princess Luna smiled. "Precisely." The alicorn dipped her head and closed her eyes. "I must apologize for barging into your dream uninvited, but I assure you I would never have done so without quite the excuse. Please forgive the intrusion."

Twilight rapidly waved a hoof at the air, eyes wide. "No-no-no, Princess, it's all right! No need to apologize!" She dropped her hoof and tilted her head. "But, why are you here? Why now? Is there something I can help you with?"

Luna shook her head softly. "On the contrary, it is I who is here to provide you assistance. Or, at least, Pinkie Pie."

Twilight's breath stuck in her throat as she sat abruptly, tiny tufts of cloud spinning off from the impact. "Pinkie's okay?" was the first thing she managed to say, and even that was in a rather small voice.

"She is merely sleeping."

"I didn't... I mean..." Twilight took a deep breath and shuddered, looking down at the cloud between her forelegs. "I didn't even realize until now that there was a tiny part of me that thought maybe..." Her voice dropped even quieter. "Maybe she was gone forever."

Twilight leapt to her hooves. "But she's okay!" The purple pony hopped forward, smiling up into Luna's face. "And you know where she is?!"

The alicorn reached out to rest a hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "No." The younger mare's mouth opened, but Luna didn't let her start. "But, I can bring you to her."

Twilight blinked, then shook her head slightly. "I don't get it."

Luna turned and stepped away as she spoke, looking out to the horizon. "She is out there somewhere, dreaming and calling out for her friends. Any of you, all of you. And for the first time in my life, I am unable to enter a dream uninvited."

Twilight gulped, remaining silent.

"There is a shell around her that seems impenetrable, but the power of an invitation is great here." Luna looked over her shoulder at Twilight. "I believe that with my guidance and your natural talent you will be able to enter."

"And then I can find out where she is and bring her back safe!" Twilight danced from hoof to hoof.

Luna smiled and stepped back toward her sister's pupil. "And perhaps once you have recovered the gem, you will carefully bring it to Canterlot for study?"

Twilight stopped her dance and chuckled sheepishly. "Oh, you heard about that?"

Luna's smile didn't drop from her face. "One of the Elements of Harmony goes missing with a curious magical artifact and the entire village of Ponyville is mobilized to find her? These sorts of things do tend to reach the royal guard eventually."

Twilight scuffed a hoof at the cloud surface beneath it. "Heh, right. Sorry."

Princess Luna placed her hoof on Twilight's shoulder again. "No worries, Twilight Sparkle. Now close your eyes tightly and do not open them again until we've arrived."

The unicorn clenched her eyes shut. "Yes, Princess."

"And don't forget, you can just call me Luna."

Twilight gasped, or would have if she had a body. The very concept of keeping her eyes closed suddenly seemed alien, considering she no longer had eyes or or eyelids to close them with.

'But I promised!' Twilight told herself, 'So I won't look!'

She could hear, though, and she thought she heard... pink. She didn't know how she could hear a color, but she heard it just the same, a tiny but piercing dot of pink in the distance straight ahead. Just like she could feel the warm blue-blackness of Princess Luna guiding her. And if that feeling was Luna, then logically the pinkness... Twilight thought Luna said something, but there were no words, no sounds, just the knowledge of Luna's delight at Twilight picking up on things so quickly.

There was no sense of motion, but as the pinkness grew at an accelerating rate made Twilight got the impression she was rushing through the... what was it? She tried to reach out to her sense of touch, but without a body it seemed like all she could feel was very, very light.

Luna's blue-blackness suddenly became rigid and Twilight knew what she had to do: push. The gifted unicorn reached out to activate her magic and despite the lack of a horn she realized it was still the same process. She summoned her magical will into focus and concentrated.

Suddenly she could feel something, a magical pattern that Luna was sharing, a something-she-should-do-with-her-magic feeling that made her giddy. 'If only all magic could be taught like this!'. Twilight focused her magic through the pattern, paying close attention to how her magical power flowed. She would have been breathless with excitement at casting such a complex spell without fully researching it, if only she had lungs.

The pinkness was huge, looming like a mountain overhead. And then there was a new smell, rigid and gray and yellow. It was paper-thin, but kept Luna and Twilight from getting any closer to the pink sphere ahead.

'Push,' Twilight repeated. 'Push. Push! PUSH!' The spell coursed through Twilight's being, surging with force that increased with rhythmic throbs. The yellow and gray wall dimpled, then became a concave dome, thinning to a hair's breadth.

A pinhole of pink shone through and then Luna's presence was stripped away as the very essence of Twilight Sparkle tumbled helplessly on a crash course with Pinkie Pie's dream.

Twilight did gasp this time, though ironically it was because she suddenly had a body. She lifted a hoof and dropped it back down to the hard surface beneath her, sending out a sharp "tock" that echoed away. That was enough for the unicorn to decide she'd "arrived," as Luna had put it, and she opened her eyes.

Perfectly flat dull grayness spread out before Twilight, the "sky" overhead only identifiable by its slightly lighter shade of gray. Looking straight up only showed more of the same, an unchanging soft gray light covering everything but without any obvious source.

"Pinkie?" Twilight asked, her voice echoing again. She shouted, "Pinkie Pie!" and cringed as her voice came back to her many times over.

Twilight squinted as she looked for the horizon, but it didn't really seem that there was one, just a point where her eyes couldn't tell where the ground stopped and the not-ground began. She turned in place, eyes focused on that point straight ahead of her as she rotated. Twilight muttered, "I really, really, really, don't like gray anymore."

Something not-gray in the corner of her eye caught Twilight's attention and she whipped her head to look. Pink! She broke into a headlong gallop, unaware that she was suddenly grinning and there were tears forming in the corner of her eyes.

"Pinkie!" she yelled again, wincing at the echo but not slowing down; she did yell a little more quietly, though. "I'm here to help! You'll be back home safe in no time!"

Pinkie Pie was sitting down facing Twilight, but she didn't move, not even to raise a hoof and wave. "Pinkie?" Twilight shouted, but then her gallop dropped to a canter as she approached.

Pinkie's head was angled down to look at the ground. Her face was mostly hidden behind her dull, completely straight mane, her equally lifeless tail flat on the ground behind her.

Twilight trotted up to stop before the earth pony, her grin long gone. "Pinkie? Are you... are you okay?"

"Oh, hi Twilight," Pinkie said, her tone quiet and hollow. "I'm fine. Just fi--" Her voice cracked, and she paused for a long moment. "... Just fine."

Small tears started to form in Twilight's eyes again and she swallowed hard. Her own voice dropped lower, strained. "Pinkie? What's wrong?"

The purple unicorn approached, but as she reached out Pinkie flinched away, one front hoof curled up against her chest protectively. She looked away from Twilight and into the distance.

"Not again," Pinkie said, voice trembling. "I know you're just a silly itsy-bitsy little figment of my imagination and you're going to go poof as soon as I touch you, so please... not again?" Pinkie's voice nearly cracked again on the last two words.

Twilight shook her head. "But I'm not a figment of your imagination!"

"That's what they all say," Pinkie sighed, gently setting her hoof back down.

"Well, I can prove it!" Twilight set her jaw and tensed her hind legs, leaping toward Pinkie. The earth pony gasped and ducked, hooves covering her head, a gesture that reminded Twilight of Fluttershy... until she crashed into the "ground" past Pinkie and looked back at her upside-down, legs pointed straight up in the air. Pinkie finally risked a glance at Twilight out of the corner of her eye, and then she looked away with a little snort.

Twilight's own eyes widened, and then she grinned. "Pinkie Pie?"

"What?" Pinkie asked, just the smallest fleck of interest in her voice.

"Watch this!" Twilight rolled sideways several times, picking up speed, and then jumped up to land on her back hooves, her front legs up in the air over her head. "Tada!" she yelled, before falling flat onto her back, legs pointed in random directions, her tail straight up in the air.

Pinkie blinked, then snorted again. "And what was that?"

Twilight lifted her head to grin at Pinkie. "Slapstick! I think. I read about it once. Is it working?"

"I--" The earth pony met Twilight's eye, then looked away quickly.

Twilight got back to her hooves and walked in a straight line past Pinkie, raising a hoof to wave. "Hey there, Pinkie Pie! Nice weather we're having today, h--" Suddenly a banana peel appeared beneath Twilight's hoof and she stepped on it hard. "Huuuuh!" she yelped as she slid a few pony-lengths on the peel, then flipped once in the air to land hard on her stomach, legs sprawled out beneath her. The echos of her yell rebounded around the pair.

Pinkie blinked, then something resembling a very small giggle bubbled up from her throat. "Wait," she said, pointing at the banana peel. "Where'd that come from?"

"No idea!" Twilight admitted. "I just thought I needed it." She started to get up to her hooves, then "accidentally" stepped back onto the peel, legs kicking and flailing as if she was on ice before she fell flat again. She crossed her eyes, tongue sticking out of the side of her mouth.

Pinkie giggled again, almost smirking. "But, Imaginary Twilight, real Twilight doesn't think that kind of stuff is funny at all."

"But that makes it funnier, right?" Twilight got back to her hooves. "It's the juxtaposition of stuffy ol' Twilight Sparkle with the goofiness of slapstick comedy!"

"Juxtaposition?" Pinkie asked.

Twilight quickly replied, "Gesundheit."

Pinkie giggled again, but cut herself short. Her small smile disappeared and she looked away. "Not again... You're just going to go poof and leave me all alone again and I... I don't--" The pink pony's voice cracked again.

Twilight cleared her throat and proclaimed, "I, Twilight Sparkle, solemnly Pinkie Swear that I will not disappear when you touch me."

When Pinkie looked Twilight was sitting with one hoof raised, a very serious look on her face. That hoof moved down to cross her chest as Twilight continued, "Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye."

Pinkie looked into Twilight's one uncovered eye for a good few seconds, her mouth just barely hanging open. "None of the others Pinkie Promised," she admitted in a near-whisper.

Twilight uncovered her eye and reached the hoof out, leaving it hanging there in the air. "Please?" she asked, smiling warmly. "Trust me?"

Pinkie bit her lower lip and stepped forward, just out of range to reach the hoof with her own. Twilight nodded slowly, smiling a little wider. Her hoof bobbed, beckoning. Pinkie took another step, starting to reach out. She stopped inches short, looking into Twilight's eyes.

Pinkie tore her eyes away, her hoof pulling partially back, then froze. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes tight, and reached out the rest of the way.

A quiet "tock" of impact echoed around the ponies. Pinkie opened her eyes slowly, staring at her hoof, and Twilight gave a gentle nudge forward so there was no mistaking it; they had made contact. "See?" the unicorn said. Their eyes met again, but then there was a sudden pink blur.

Twilight found herself pushed back into a sitting position with Pinkie hugging tightly to her, face buried into her neck and shoulder, a now-puffy pink mane filling half of the unicorn's vision. Twilight returned the hug and closed her eyes.

"You're real! You're really really real!" Pinkie managed to giggle and sob at the same time, squeezing Twilight tightly and not letting go. "Thankyou-thankyou-thankyou for not poofing!"

Twilight squeezed in return and rubbed Pinkie's back, tears coming to her eyes as well. "Oh Pinkie," Twilight whispered.

Comments ( 53 )

Wow. This is really good so far. I am drawn to see what happens later :33

731884 Oh crap. Well, that backfired. Uh. Just pretend the title is "Twinkies are Scrumpdiddlyumptious" and try to read? :rainbowwild:

Well that chapter made me sad, but there's no sad tag so I'll take that as what it is. Very touching scene at the end there.

731961 Yup, the stress present in the second and third chapters should be as sad as the story gets. But, there should still be some strong emotions later. Suspense? Hopefully!

are you releasing them all at once?!:rainbowderp:
Thank you, hate waiting. feeling like finishing these in one session.

ooh this looks good now they can work together to get pinkie pie out of her perpetual dream

That part about hearing that spot of pink or feeling a warm blue-blackness of another presence...
Do or did you experience lucid dreams yourself?
And you know what? I was right about the dream. I love being right. :twilightsmile:

732311 Sorry, no, I'll be releasing these piecemeal. But if you track the story I'll be sure to make a linked blogpost that says the story is done! That's the best I can do I think.

732523 Maaaybe. Or something. :moustache:

732579 I have never had a lucid dream I'm aware of, no. I just have a vivid imagination for non-visible phenomena. Or something. I'm just making stuff up. :pinkiehappy:

Heh, brown-nosing not necessary to keep me readin' and reviewin', but thanks. And I'm glad you enjoyed the other Twinkie story--it was kinda hit or miss with readers. :twilightsmile:

733476 I'm guessing it was hit-or-miss due to the unique style? I enjoyed the change of pace. Now, if it was a 10,000 word story written that way I might have gotten weary of it, but I think it worked how it was.

Review! I loved the entire description of Twilight entering Pinkie's dream--how it was all based on intangible feelings and impressions versus anything concrete. I also really enjoyed how you depicted Pinkie's reaction to Twilight appearing, how lonely Pinkie already is, how she's torn between hope and not wanting to be let down again. Which made the end of the chapter, where Pinkie realizes that Twilight is real, all the sweeter.

I do wonder why Twilight was able to enter Pinkie's dream when Luna couldn't. I don't know if there's an explanation planned for that or not, but if there is, I'd definitely be interested to know it. :twilightsmile:

733524 I'm glad those emotions came across so clearly! Thank you for letting me know!

Hmmm. I may need to further clarify the statement earlier by Luna that she couldn't enter due to the barrier, but due to Pinkie calling out to her friends Twilight was "invited in," and "invitations have great power here" equates to Twilight being able to get in even if Luna can't. I'll have to go back to see how I can make that more obvious, but luckily it shouldn't really matter in the long run.

Excellent so far, looking forward to more.

Wow, I'm loving this so far! I'm also wondering if the entire conflict is based in a dreamscape or not, but hmm... :pinkiesmile:

TwiPie! Yaaay...
Sooo, what does this lead to?
And could you give me an approximate time-per-update thing?

734061>>734900 Thanks!

735747 It leads to shipping! And the actual "adventure" part, which isn't exactly going to be an adventure in the common sense of the term, but... oh whatever. You'll see, hopefully! And approximate time per update... I wish I could. I started this a week ago, but it could slow down a little. Or speed up! You can probably expect a minimum of a chapter a week, except BronyCon week.

Yeah, mostly it was the writing style that people disliked, though a few others mentioned length and characterization. Still, it was a lot of fun to write, given its experimental nature.

Yeah, definitely think the emotions came across really well. :pinkiehappy:

The Luna thing is no biggie, either way. I just wondered.

You got the characters just right. My favorite was Luna. ^^ (Notwithstanding the fact that my favorite is always Luna.) It's not clear what exactly is driving the story so far, though. Waiting to see. :)

I was also singing "We all need somepony to learn on." That's probably part of why it hit 6-stars so fast on EQD, actually.

737107 I'm glad you liked my rendition of Luna! I'm really looking forward to seeing her permanent personality in Season 3.

Here's MY theory about the six-star thing: there's a 1-star bomb brigade (or one person who uses some script-kiddy tools) who goes around downvoting all the shipping stories on EqD, and there's this contingent of people who thus automatically 5-star all shipfics out of protest. So, the 5-starrers got to my story first, and got it to 150 votes and a 4.9, then suddenly within the span of just a half-hour it was ~200 votes and a 3.8.

But, either way, if people enjoy the story then I'm happy. :pinkiehappy:

Okay, yeah, I'm in. This is going to be great.

738972 Yeah, all interaction between Pinkie and Twilight is like the highlight of the show for me. I'm glad that my translation of it to prose is entertaining you! :pinkiehappy:

738983 I'm looking forward to what you do with this. It looks very promising.

This is looking incredibly promising. So far I am loving it! Your characterizations are spot on and your details and imagery are all fantastic. Not to mention your Twilight/Pinkie interactions are top notch.

I like the thought that Luna can enter ponies' dreams, that's really interesting, and I thought the descriptions of Twilight and Luna travelling was really intriguing. Poor Pinkie's reaction to Twilight appearing and her attempts to not get her hopes up to be hurt again was heartbreaking, but it was offset by Twilight's kinda goofy way of attempting to convince Pinkie that she's real. The effort it took to reach that moment of connection was worth it, and I think your pacing in that section was on the money and had real emotional impact.

Enough of me prattling, I'm looking forward to see where you'll take us and what kind of shenanigans our two favorite equines will get themselves into. Good show!

Thank you for not poofing! :rainbowlaugh: made my day

740864 Thank you very much for the kind words, especially the very specific impressions and feelings. I really appreciate you taking the time to share! :twilightsmile:

Dreams, man. I can relate to Pinkie here. I can hardly count the times I thought my friends didn't like me and when I had a dream they came to me but none of them were tangible. It's a sad feeling.
Good work messing with the psychological feels, man. Makes me even more interested.
731887 Dude, you just made my morning with that.

You made me wibble.

Up-voted, favorited, and thoroughly enjoyed. Reasons include, but not limited to, your spot-on characterization of one Pinkamina Diane Pie. There is so much overreach in the fic multiverse that I really have grown to appreciate a well-rounded portrayal of Pinkie.

Honesty time: I do not go out of my way to read ship fic. I am going out of my way to read yours, starting today. Keep up the good work!


746275 Sounds like I kinda touched a nerve, there. I'm glad this actually helped you enjoy the story MORE, rather than bothering you!
755225 Whosawha? :derpyderp2:
756842 Well, I'm very glad you took the time to try out this shipfic-in-the-making and found it enjoyable. I really gotta get back into writing this tomorrow...

Wibble (n.) The act of being so overcome with emotion that 1. The eyebrows come together and curve up at the inside. 2. The eyes become big and childlike 3. The lips and sometimes the chin shakes.

760175 My goodness. That sounds serious. ... I'm sorry? :scootangel:

I like how this story is going. I can hardly wait for the next chapters. :pinkiehappy:

I love it so far can't wait for the next chapter^^

I've never planned on making a FimFiction account (even due to the amount of shipfics I read) but this was the first to ever really keep me interested. I am hooked! I can't wait to see how this develops. :pinkiehappy:

The amount of want for the next chapter is building. It's been a while. Make it happen please :fluttershysad: :pinkiesmile: Take your time though and make it awesome

I hope you are still interested in continuing this series.:twilightsheepish:

1795661 I've been negligent to poor Twinkie... sigh. I really should re-read this and get a head of steam on the project again. Here's hoping I can make it happen.


Shakes magic 8 ball

All signs point to "No"

2211744 Yeah... I'm sorry. :ajsleepy:


Want/Need some help? I'd love to, collaborative writing is something I've been meaning to get into!

2221991 I've tried collaborative writing a few times across the years and it just doesn't seem to work very well for me. Thanks, though!

That moment when you read a good Twinkie fic, and it hasn't been updated in a year.

That makes, what, 4 now? :/

2369740 Awww, I'm sorry. D: I keep saying that I'll sit down and re-read this and work on it, but then I just never ever do. I am the worst pony.


You should get around to updating it. I can't really complain(a tiny pert of my brain just protested that I AM working on my fic, but that I'm stuck and I silenced it by pointing out that 8 months is not 'stuck'), but still.

It's just so good! I'd hate to see it fade away as a partially completed fic that never reached it's potential.

Also, fair warning- if you do try to get started again, have an editor on hand, As I mentioned, I'm working on the very same problem. The first thing I did was get an editor to go over my old stuff because otherwise I ended up hating the whole damn thing and wanting to cancel the fic.

2371557 Actually, after helping to edit friends' stories and doing EQD prereading back in the day, I'm kind of a habitual editor. If anything, re-editing my own old chapters might get me back into the story rather than dissuade me!

Or, maybe not.... We'll see! Or, we won't. Either way, I'm glad you like the story, and I'm sorry there isn't more around to enjoy.


the problem isn't the editing, it's the spending time on it. You'll start disliking things you used to love about it, and next thing you know the entire first chapter is rewritten. It's well accepted that artists who view old works hate them, and writers have the added bonus of not finishing theirs within a handful of days or weeks.

Huh. I'd forgotten all about this. Oh well, no update in a year. Fun while it lasted.

Any chance of you coming back to this?

4061376 Almost definitely not, sorry...

Status changed to Canceled. If I ever do revisit this tale I'd do a near-complete re-write set in the post-Season 4 Finale world we're fast approaching! What's currently here not only predates Twilight's ascension, it's also before Luna's dream-trotting magic was confirmed as canon.

I was VERY happy with the ending I had planned, and was confident about the exact level of shippy affection I was going to give Twi and Pinkie before the climax of the story. At one time I had lofty dreams that this could be one of THE Twinkie stories, sort of like Twilight's List for TwiDash but with lives on the line! I'd like to think there's some alternate universe where I'm a better writer and this is actually true. :twilightsheepish:

When I stopped writing I was still a little uncertain how I wanted tie in the other races for the global ramifications of the events of the story. I spent too much time dwelling on that instead of writing, until I lost all my forward momentum. Oh well! Next time I think about writing something novella-sized or larger I think I'd like to finish it first. Yes.

PS: If this story had been finished before Season 4's finale, there would have been some amusing similarities between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED].

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