• Published 10th Jun 2012
  • 5,610 Views, 121 Comments

Perihelion - InTheStands



Twilight can't help but recognize her new crush from somewhere.

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Chapter 3

"Shining Armor's coming here?"

Rainbow Dash asked the question Twilight's friends seemed to have in mind. They sat in the main room of the library, where Twilight had gathered them to tell them the good news. Dash asked the question in a tone that betrayed her disbelief. She asked again. "Shining Armor's coming here? As in, Captain of the Royal Guard, Princess Cadance's husband, and your brother Shining Armor?"

"I KNOW!" Twilight shouted in joy. "He's coming to participate in the Siblinghooves events with me! WITH ME! It's been so long since we did anything together as just brother and sister!"

Her five friends looked at each other. One of them, the white coated unicorn known as Rarity, spoke up. "As happy as we are for you Darling, this needs to be asked: Will you be introducing your brother to your coltfriend?"

Twilight's happy thoughts fell apart. "Wh...what?"

Fluttershy, the meek pegasus with a yellow coat, began to speak. "The unicorn you were reading with at the market the other day. You seemed to be really happy with him. But that's just what we saw, so we don't really know if..." Her voice diminished to a small squeak before she grew silent again. She hid her face in her pink mane that seemed to be groomed for just that purpose.

The earth pony that sported an all-pink coloring suddenly gasped and leapt upwards at this revelation. "You have a COLTFRIEND?! Oh, Twilight, I'm so HAPPY for you!" She started to bounce around the stammering unicorn, never once giving her a word in edgewise. "My little Twilight's all grown up! Soon she'll be having a wedding of her own just like her new sister-in-law!" She gasped again. "I have SO many new cake designs I can try out! You can come down and we can-"

"PINKIE!" The second earth pony in the group shouted in her usual Western accent. Though she was calling Pinkie Pie's name throughout her rambling, she only got through with her shouting. "You're taking this WAY too far, Sugarcube. Now how about ya sit back down and...do whatever you do to calm yourself down."

Applejack, an orange pony with a yellow mane and tail (both of which were bound at the ends to keep from falling loose), as well as a cowboy hat, stood up and walked toward Twilight. "Twilight, you can't hide it from us anymore. That Comet Tail pony's struck yer fancy, and you know it. We all know it." The four other friends muttered to themselves in agreement. Spike, too, was taking a break from his usual organizing and watching from the stairs, with Peewee and Owloysius in tow.

Twilight gave a heavy sigh. "Alright. I admit it. I guess...I do kind of like him. I mean, he knows more about astronomy than I do! And the way he was willing to share his book and telescope with me..."

"See?" Dash whispered to the others. "The book was the clincher."

"The book and the way he just welcomed me in, like someone he's always known." Twilight sighed again. "That's it. He acts like he's always known me, maybe even back in foalhood. But apart from seeing him around town sometimes, I have no idea who he is."

Rarity listened intently. "And does he know you don't remember him?"

Twilight shook her head. "I don't know how he'd take it."

Fluttershy thought to herself before gaining an idea. "Oh! You said Comet Tail remembers you from when you were younger?"

"Yeah?" Twilight half-answered, half-asked.

"And you were always with Shining Armor when you were younger?"

Twilight quickly realized what Fluttershy was getting at. "That's right!" Twilight beamed. "I might not remember, but Shining might! Thank you so much, Fluttershy!" The yellow pegasus merely blushed at the gratitude as the six ponies directed their discussions away from Twilight's potential love life and towards the upcoming events and their usual daily activities.

§§§

Celestia's sun had just begun rising over Ponyville, casting its light over every corner of the town. The train station included.

Twilight and Spike waited eagerly as the train approached, both of them certain this was the one carrying what they were waiting for. They stepped back as the flood of travelers was let out from the doors of the locomotive, watching for any signs of their targets.

Fortunately, they didn't have to wait long.

"Twily!"

The purple unicorn grinned as she located the source of the voice and laid eyes on two figures: One being a pink female alicorn with a tail and mane of purple, magenta and gold; The other being a white unicorn stallion, his tail and mane a mix of several shades of blue.

Shining Armor called out to her again, smiling back. "Twily! You going to stand there or are you going to give your B.B.B.F.-NGH!"

The stallion knew it was coming, but he wasn't prepared for Twilight to practially speed into his forelegs into an embrace that she mostly dominated. Gasping for the breath that was knocked clean out of his lungs, he wrapped his hooves around her as well.

"Alright, come on," Cadance managed to slip into the hug herself. "It's been forever since I saw her too, you know."

They broke away from the greeting as Twilight and Spike led the couple out of the train station. Twilight talked with them the whole way, leading to her asking, "I knew Shining was coming, but what about you, Cadance?"

"We thought you'd get it by now, sis," Shining chuckled. "We're always trying to find SOME excuse to come see you. But unfortunately for Cadance, mine was better this time!" He laughed as his wife lightly struck him in the back of his head with one of her wings in a harmless gesture.

"Believe me Twilight," Cadance began, "There's nothing I want more than to compete with you. But I read the rules; I have too many unfair advantages to count." She shook her head. "I think I'll start a social of my own, just for the two of us: Foalsitters Social."

She knew it was a joke, but Twilight couldn't help but play along. "Get enough ponies on board with the idea. Or better yet, tell Celestia yourself!"

"Hm...it can wait," The alicorn smiled at the unicorn she used to play with so much as a filly. "One day or one second, any time with my family is time well spent."

Twilight's heart warmed at the sincerity Cadance showed in her sentence. They reached the town square before Spike whispered something into Twilight's ear. "Oh, right. Um...Cadance? If it's not too much trouble, can Shining and I go talk alone? We can meet up at the library."

Cadance's response was to smile, hug Twilight, and kiss Shining. "It's your social, after all. I'll see you there!" She allowed Spike to climb onto her before spreading her wings and taking off, leaving the two siblings behind to talk.

"Something's up," Shining quickly deduced. "What's wrong?"

Twilight shrugged as they walked further into town. "Nothing's really WRONG. Just...off. I, uh...well, actually, I..." She struggled to admit this to her brother, her cheeks growing warm. She took a deep breath. "Okay...I, um..."

"You met someone."

Twilight blushed, then nodded, at her brother's conclusion. His response was to smile. "I can tell already they're lucky to have you. You couldn't have known them long, though. You didn't talk about anypony in our last letter."

"That's sort of what's off. We met during Luna's meteor shower. We also saw each other around town from time to time, but...he almost always talks as if we've known each other ever since we were foals. The problem is, I can't remember him one bit."

Shining tried to piece things together. "Well, what's he look like?"

Twilight began to describe him: Unicorn, yellowish-green coat, dull blue tail and mane, star with a comet tail for a cutie mark. Shining absorbed this information carefully. "Huh...he sounds familiar..."

"So you remember him?!" Twilight beamed at this hopeful sign of progress. Her smile turned to a frown as he looked at her with sorrow and gently shook his head.

"But to be honest, a lot of ponies look the same. Maybe you're confusing him with someone else."

Twilight grew slightly irritated. "That doesn't explain his treating me like a lifelong friend."

They realized they were wandering around Ponyville at this point, stopping to get their bearings straight. Shining then came up with another idea. "You told me what happened back when Discord broke free. You used a memory spell to save your friends by having them remember what they almost forgot."

Twilight resisted the urge to ram her hoof on her forehead. "Of COURSE! If I can get myself under the spell, maybe I can jog my memory enough to figure this all out!" She hugged her brother. "Thank you so much!"

"No problem, Twily. If this get everything settled, so be it." He looked at his surroundings. "So, uh...you know how to get to your house from here?"

Twilight smiled and nodded.

§§§

"I think I've got it!"

Twilight's announcement got the attention of her brother, her sister-in-law, and Spike. It was the day after Shining had given Twilight the idea of the memory spell. It was also the morning after Comet Tail treated her to a small dinner at one of the restaurants in town.

The invitation was unexpected, of course, but welcome nonetheless. The two unicorns opened up to each other a little more that night, and Twilight was actually looking forward to seeing Comet again.

This time, however, she would see him again with a better memory of who he was in relation to her.

"Well?" Spike asked, drawing his attention away from the chess game he and Shining were playing. "What was going on?"

Twilight turned to her three loved ones. "The memory spell can only be activated by direct contact between the horn of the caster and the head of the pony who needs remembering. Obviously, I can't point my horn at myself. But if I cast an enchantment spell on this stick..." She used her magic to levitate a large, yet pointless, wooden stick, "And THEN use the enchantment to attatch the memory spell to it, then it might work!"

"Well?" Shining leaned into his seat. "What's holding you back, Twily? You want us out of the room?"

Shaking her head and smiling, Twilight concentrated on the stick. Casting her enchantment spell, the stick glowed a brighter purple than usual. Closing her eyes and furrowing her brow, she then attatched the memory spell to it, giving it a second aura of magic.

Observing her handiwork, she slowly brought the end of the stick to her forehead. She breathed deeply and closed her eyes again, bracing for the rush of memories that was sure to come about. Finally, the stick made contact.

She could feel every possible memory she had rushing up to light, playing out like a sort of bizarre home movie: Opening her eyes for the first time, playing with Shining Armor, playing with Cadance...playing with both of them...

School.

Books.

Ms. Smarty Pants.

Students.

...Comet Tail?

She found them. She found the memories that contained Comet Tail.

And she was completely shocked at what she saw she remembered.

§§§

Next: Delving into her memories, Twilight has seen how she knew Comet Tail from long ago. What was he like? What will she do, armed with this uncovered information? And will any of her friends and family act before Twilight takes matters into her own hooves and makes a grave mistake?