• Published 30th Jan 2016
  • 2,053 Views, 76 Comments

Of The Night - TheBrianJ



One year ago, Night Glider was exiled from Modus. Now, it’s time to go home.

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Chapter 1

Starlight Glimmer’s old home was a flurry of activity. She had only been run out a few days ago, but all the ponies who stayed behind were already hard at work turning the former cult commune into a viable town. The first task at hoof: convert Starlight Glimmer’s house into a legitimate town hall.

“Grrrr, come on!” Double Diamond said with a grunt. He wrapped both hooves around the edge of a wall and pulled with all his might, but to no avail. On the other side of the wall, Party Favor slammed his weight against the wood with little give.

“Are you—nrgghhh—are you sure there are no hammers available or anything?” Double Diamond said.

“Nope, they’re all being used,” Party Favor replied. “I could make you one if you really need it.”

“I don’t know how much a balloon is gonna help us here. Now, on three. One, two…”

Double Diamond pulled and Party Favor pushed, but the wall refused to budge in the least. Double Diamond stepped away, wiping sweat from his brow.

“This isn’t working,” he muttered.

“No, it’s not,” Party Favor agreed. “We need more muscle . Let me see if somepony is available, Beat Box or Sweet Lilac or someone.”

“What about Night Glider?” Double Diamond quickly responded.

“Oh yeah, she’d be great! I think she’s on the other side of town. Lemme see if I can get her.” Party Favor walked across the room and stuck his head out the window. “Hey, Night Glider!” he yelled.

Night Glider’s ears twitched. She looked up from the window she had been repairing all morning and scanned her surroundings, just barely seeing Party Favor in the distance, on the other side of town. A grin grew across her face and with a quick flick of her wings she was in the air, racing towards the source. As she approached town hall, she could see Party Favor waving to her. He ducked out of the way as she flew through the window and landed in front of him.

“You rang?” She looked around to see Double Diamond behind her. “Oh, hey Double-D! What are you guys working on?”

Double Diamond awkwardly cleared his throat. “Uh, we’re trying to tear this wall down, but it’s not going well. You wanna help us?”

Night Glider surveyed the wall, giving it a few shoves. “You want this whole thing gone?” She looked around the room, and her eyes settled on a window directly facing the wall. A glint sparkled in her eye, and she smiled. “Yeah, I got this.”

"Should we, like, back up?" Double Diamond asked.

"Oh yeah," she replied. "Definitely."

Night Glider turned around and soared out the window. She flew further and further away, finally turning back and hovering some distance away. Her grin grew and she took off towards the window, her forehooves stretched out in front of her. Double Diamond and Party Favor backed up as far as they could as, with one last burst of speed, Night Glider came tearing into the room, driving the full force of her body into the wall.

With a loud crack, it splintered down the middle, sending wooden shards flying into the corners of the room. Double Diamond and Party Favor hid to one side as the wall came crashing down in pieces. Night Glider landed on top of the wreckage and debris, admiring her work for a second before she turned towards her friends.

“Was that what you were looking for?” she asked.

Party Favor smiled back. “Um, yeah. Something like that.” He carefully stepped over the debris. “Gonna take a while to clean up…”

Night Glider looked around at the splinters. “Oh. Right. Sorry about that.”

“No worries, that was awesome!” Double Diamond quickly interjected, jumping up to Night Glider and putting his foreleg around her shoulder. “That was, like, exactly what we were looking for!”

Night Glider and Party Favor glanced at each other; Party Favor smirked and rolled his eyes, causing Night Glider to blush a bit. “Heh, thanks Double-D.”

“Oh my gosh, what happened in here?” came a voice from behind them. Sugar Belle had come up the stairs, carrying a large basket on her head, packed to the brim with food and bottles of cider.

“Night Glider. Night Glider happened,” Party Favor replied. Night Glider chuckled.

“Well, I brought lunch for us to have here, but it’s all a mess now!” Sugar Belle picked up a few of the wooden shards that littered the floor, then tossed them into the corner. “And the rest of town hall is pretty busy. Do we have a blanket we can put down?”

“Yeah, I think there was one down in the basement,” Double Diamond said.

“I’ll get it!” Night Glider said, flapping her wings and flying towards the stairs. “I’ll be back before you know it!”

Night Glider took off down the stairs and weaved in and out of the work that was being done all around the house, eventually landing in front of a single door set off to the side. Pushing the door open revealed nothing but blackness, and without any lanterns to speak of, the entire basement was left to be covered in a dark shroud. Night Glider trotted down the stairs, humming to herself as she reached the bottom and started looking around for the blanket.

She made her way to the other side of the room and started rummaging through a pile of random junk in the corner. She tossed a few empty cardboard boxes out of the way, trying to see if her prize lay at the bottom of everything.

“Nah, just a bunch of junk…” she muttered to herself.

She picked the last box up off the floor, but stopped, and a shiver ran down her spine. Memories began to rush back to her, dancing about in her mind and refusing to be ignored. Her breathing was quickening, she could hear her heart pounding in her chest, but she wasn't sure why. She looked around the room, scanning the darkness for what had suddenly set her off. Then it hit her: the cardboard boxes.

She quickly turned back to the one she was holding and looked it over. There was a single name written on it: Honey Bun. She tossed the box aside and turned around, her eyes falling on a shelf across the room that was mostly barren, save for a single small box. As soon as she zeroed in on it, everything else was gone.

With hooves lightly shaking, Night Glider walked across the room to the box. She picked it up, barely able to make out her own name written on it. She blew dust off of it, then carefully opened it up, her heart fluttering for a moment when she saw the single item inside: a silver locket on a chain.

She reached in and pulled the locket out, then leaned back against the wall, sliding down until she was sitting. It had been over a year since she had last seen it, as Starlight Glimmer had taken it away as soon as she arrived in town. She popped it open and looked at the two images inside. There were two ponies staring back at her, smiles on their faces.

Modus. It had been a long time since she had really thought about it, although that was mostly because of Starlight Glimmer’s influence. Now, sitting in the dark in total silence, she was completely alone with her thoughts, her memories of everything that happened. All she could think about was what had happened that day.

“Night Glider, you have been a danger to this village for far too long.”

“But…”

“By the rights vested in me as the mayor, I hereby announce the exile of Night Glider from Modus. Get out!”

“Night Glider? You down there?”

Night Glider gasped, suddenly drawn back to the real world. “Y-yeah!”

“Are you okay?” the voice said from the top of the stairs. “You’ve been down there for like five minutes, everything alright?”

Five minutes? Night Glider thought to herself. “I’m fine! I’ll be right up.”

She quickly slipped the locket around her neck and looked around the room for the blanket, finding it bundled in the back of the room. She tossed it on her back and rushed back up the stairs and through the building to where her friends were waiting.

“There you are!” Sugar Belle said. “Did you get lost?”

“Sorry,” Night Glider said as she unfolded the blanket and put it down. “I got kinda distracted."

"Well now that you're back, we can start eating!" Sugar Belle said as she began to unpack freshly baked muffins and biscuits and passing them out to her eager friends. When she got to Night Glider, she paused.

“Ooooh, that’s pretty!” she said.

“What?”

“That necklace. You never really struck me as the jewelry type.”

Double Diamond looked up from his biscuit, and his eyes widened. “Hey, I recognize that! That’s the locket Starlight and I found you with!”

Night Glider nodded. “Oh yeah, you were with her when she found me. Well, your mind wasn’t all there, but you were.”

“What’s in it?” Party Favor asked.

“It’s… it’s my parents.”

“Can I see?” Sugar Belle asked. Night Glider popped open the locket, and Sugar Belle carefully examined the pictures inside. “Your parents?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s so sweet that they gave this to you!”

“Eh… kinda,” Night Glider said. “It’s a Modus tradition more than anything. I’m sure that if they had the choice, they wouldn’t have given this to me.”

“What?” There was an awkward pause, before Sugar Belle’s ears fell. “Oh… yeah.”

“Wait,” Party Favor said. “Night Glider, was all that stuff that Starlight Glimmer said about you true?”

“Pretty much, yeah,” Night Glider replied. “She actually was honest about it, for the most part. She promised me a place where I wouldn’t be different anymore, and I guess she delivered.”

“So, you were really exiled from Modus?”

Night Glider nodded, looking down at her locket. “Yeah. In fact, the mayor even said that, word for word. He called this big meeting with everypony in town to say that I was a ‘danger to the village.’ My parents didn’t lift a hoof to stop him. Some things happened… and I was exiled and told to get out immediately. A few weeks later, Starlight Glimmer found me, and that was that.”

She snapped the locket shut and stared at the ground. The other three looked nervously at each other. Party Favor opened his mouth to say something, but Double Diamond held his hoof up to quiet him.

“Hey, Night Glider… we don’t need to talk about the past," Double Diamond said.. It’s in, uh, the past, you know? We can let all that stuff slide. No more past; let’s plan for the future!”

Night Glider looked over at Double Diamond. There was something about his goofy grin that just felt so sincere to her. That no matter how oddly worded it was, he really meant it. She smiled back.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she said, turning towards the whole group. “Sorry. You guys don’t need to hear about all that.”

“Nah, it’s fine!” Double Diamond quickly replied. “Right, guys?”

Both Party Favor and Sugar Belle nodded.

“Thanks,” Night Glider said.

Double Diamond passed her a bottle of cider. “Hey, a toast! To friendship!”

Party Favor and Sugar Belle nodded and raised their bottles, and all three looked to Night Glider.

She grinned, then raised her cider as well. “To friendship.”

They all touched bottles and drank. Night Glider savored the moment, taking a sip of her cider and enjoying the company of her friends. But as the minutes ticked by, the feeling of comfort drained away, and her mind had gone right back to where it was before. She looked down at the locket hanging from her neck, as three words swirled around in her head.

“No more past…”

~~~~~~~~~~

Night Glider lay on her bed, her head hanging upside-down over the edge. In her hoof she held the locket, and she idly flicked it open and closed while glancing out the window. She’d had Modus on her mind the entire day since her discovery, and it showed no sign of leaving. What had happened during her last days in Modus was playing on loop.

She sighed and rolled over, flipping the locket open again and gazing at the pictures inside. She hadn’t talked to—much less seen—her parents or anypony from Modus, since she was exiled. She hadn’t even had the chance to; everything had happened so quickly.

The locket snapped shut again. Night Glider sighed. She hadn’t wanted to face any of this. Starlight Glimmer had promised her a new life, one where she wouldn’t be different, wouldn’t be hated, wouldn’t be so ostracized like she was in Modus. Starlight’s promise hadn’t been the solution she wanted. Now everything was right back at the forefront of her mind.

Night Glider looked out the window at the starry sky and into the vast desert that their town sat in. She knew that Modus was out there, just a few short days of travel away at most. But no matter how close to Modus she actually was, it still felt a million miles away. She had never considered it anything less than an impossible journey to go back, but now it had come to her, towered over her with a disquieting sense of invitation back home, yet still with an air of uncertainty and a sinking feeling of impossibility that left her wide awake so early in the morning.

She sighed.

“You can come in if you want,” she said aloud. “I can hear you out there.”

There was a long pause. Slowly the door to her room opened, and a pony stuck his head in. “Oh…”

“What were you doing out there, Double-D?”

Double Diamond scuffed his hoof on the ground. “Um… I was deciding whether or not to check in on you.”

Night Glider smiled. “You’re such a dork. Thanks, but I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?” Double Diamond said, trotting into the room. “You seemed kinda, like, off earlier. After you found that necklace. The one you’re holding.”

She looked back down at the locket in her hoof. “This? No, it’s not important. It’s nothing, I’m fine, I…”

She trailed off and just stared at the locket. Double Diamond cautiously sat down on the bed next to her, waiting for her to say something. She slowly lowered the locket to her side.

“I miss Modus.”

“What? You do?”

“Maybe ‘miss’ isn’t the right word,” Night Glider continued. “Maybe it’s that I have unfinished business. Maybe it’s that I haven’t seen my parents in forever. I don’t know. But ever since I got this locket back, it’s all I can think about.”

“Well, you’ve been gone from there a year, and most of that time you were under Starlight’s control,” Double Diamond said. “It’s gonna take all of us some time to readjust.”

“Readjust? I’m not talking about readjusting to life. I’m talking about what my life was like before all of this. What led me here.”

“That stuff that Starlight Glimmer talked about? You said there was just an incident—”

The word made Night Glider wince, and she leapt to her hooves.

“That ‘incident’ was my fault!” she said, her ears flattening back as her head fell a bit.

"It was?" Double Diamond said. "Starlight Glimmer told us that you were just blamed for it."

"I was blamed for it because... because it was my fault," Night Glider said. “I did something, and a dozen ponies got hurt. Really hurt. One of them can't even fly any more.”

"But it was just a mistake, right?"

"That doesn't matter if it was a mistake or not," Night Glider said quietly. "The only thing that matters is that it happened."

Double Diamond cleared his throat, then put on a nervous smile. “But that’s in the past. You have a new life now, right? Modus is behind you!"

There was a long, uncomfortable pause. Night Glider shook her head. “No… it’s not.”

“What?”

“Look, Double-D,” she said quietly. “There’s a lot more to everything that happened. If it was just that incident, it would have been awful, but everyone could have moved on. But it's like nopony was even surprised it happened. They had just been waiting for me to finally screw up bad enough, and I gave them the perfect opportunity. That's why I was exiled. After all my talk that I wasn't different from them, that I was just like every other pony, I went and proved them all right; I am different."

Double Diamond jumped to his hooves and walked over to her. “Stop saying that! You’re the most normal, cool pony I’ve ever met!”

She looked him directly in the eyes. “No, I'm not. You know what I mean, Double-D."

“Y-yeah, I get that," he stammered, "but nobody here thinks that's a big deal, we all think you're awesome! Who cares, you know?”

“They cared!” Night Glider yelled. She took a deep breath to compose herself; her throat was starting to burn. “Modus cared. I spent my whole life with ponies staring at me out of the corner of their eye, nopony trusting me, no one willing to get close to me. Like I was some anomaly that they didn't even know how to react to, other than ostracizing me. The only time anypony paid attention to me is when I did something wrong.”

Night Glider went quiet, and with Double Diamond unsure of what to say, there was only silence. Night Glider slowly walked back over to the bed and sat down next to Double Diamond, then picked her locket back up.

“All I ever did in Modus was try to fit in, and it never worked. And before I knew what was happening, everything just changed so quickly. I was kicked out, brainwashed, and moved far away from Modus… I never got the chance to prove myself to everypony in Modus. To show that I belonged there.”

Again, silence. Double Diamond opened his mouth to say something, but as he did, Night Glider popped the locket open once again to see her parents, and he quickly closed his mouth. Night Glider stared at the pictures inside. Finally, something clicked in her head: something that had been in her mind for some time but hadn’t yet come to the forefront. She closed the locket.

“I’m going back to Modus,” she said.

“What?”

“I’m going back,” she continued, her words becoming stilted and direct. “I have to. It’s where I was born. It’s where I grew up. I’m not just going to let the story end the way it ended. There has to be more. There just has to.”

“But, like, we need you right now!” Double Diamond replied. “We’re rebuilding the town!”

“I’m sorry… I love it here. I really do, and I love everypony here,” Night Glider said, causing Double Diamond to blush a bit. “But I have unfinished business in Modus, and it’s going to eat away at me until I’m there again.”

“But you’re gonna come back, right?”

Night Glider’s throat seized up for a moment, and she turned away from Double Diamond. “I’m not sure. But if Modus is willing to take me back…”

“Whoa, wait!” Double Diamond leapt to his hooves and stood directly in front of Night Glider. “You’d just leave us forever for a place that exiled you?”

The anger in Double Diamond’s voice made Night Glider turn right back to stare him right in the eyes again. “It’s my home! It’s where I belong! If there’s any chance that I could mend fences there—”

“What about what you said when we ran Starlight out of town? You said that you weren’t going anywhere!”

“I hadn’t even been back in my own mind for an hour!” Night Glider said, standing up. “Modus hadn’t even been on my mind, but once things had calmed down, I started to have second thoughts!”

“You just said yourself that ponies judged you there all the time. Why in Equestria would you want to go back?”

“Because I don’t have a home anymore, Double Diamond!” Night Glider yelled. “If you wanted to, you could go home. If anypony here wanted to, they could go home. But I can’t! I’m going to go back and I’m going to convince them to let me back in, because all ponies deserve to have a home to go back to. And I don’t have that, so I’m gonna do something about it! It’s been a year, I bet I can convince them to give me another chance. And with everything I've learned, and how I've changed, I'm sure I can make things right.”

“What are you going to do when you get back there, anyway? You were exiled!”

“I’ll figure something out!”

“Haven’t you figured out that they don’t want you there?!”

A chill shot up Night Glider’s spine, and she turned away. Double Diamond gasped. He slowly walked up next to Night Glider, resting a hoof on her shoulder.

“Listen, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that,” Double Diamond said.

“No, no, it’s fine,” Night Glider mumbled. “Look, I know it sounds weird, but while there were some bad times in Modus… like I said, it’s my home. When Starlight Glimmer found me, she promised me an escape from my problems, and it just turned out worse. The past few weeks have been wonderful, but it’s ignoring the real problem. I like it here, but I belong at home.”

Night Glider looked down towards the ground. Double Diamond didn’t say anything for a minute, contemplating everything Night Glider had said. Finally, he gently patted her on the shoulder again.

“I… I don’t want to see you go,” Double Diamond said. “But if this is something you want to do, if you’re gonna be miserable unless you do it… then I guess you gotta go for it.”

Night Glider looked up. “Really?”

“Y-yeah! I mean, I’ll miss you. I think we all would. But if this is what you think you have to do, then I guess we’ll just make do without you. I’m just, like, worried about what will happen when you get back there..."

Night Glider smiled. “I know that you’re looking out for me, Double-D, but I’ll be fine. I’ve loved it here. I really have, but this is something I have to do."

“Sounds like nothing I say is gonna change your mind, huh?” Double Diamond asked. Night Glider shook her head, and Double Diamond sighed. "I'm just worried they aren't even going to let you back in."

“Even if they don’t, I’m sure I can get my parents to talk to me. I’m sure that if I can just tell them my side of everything, they’ll be able to talk to the mayor, and from there… well, we’ll see.”

There was a long silence. Night Glider turned to look out the window at the moon in the distance, with Double Diamond standing next to her.

“So… this is goodbye, then?” Double Diamond asked.

“I’ll leave in the morning,” Night Glider said.

“You want me to tell everypony?”

Night Glider shook her head. “No, I think it’ll be better if I don't. Don’t want to upset anyone by telling them I’m just heading out, you know?”

There was another long pause, neither pony sure of what to say next. Double Diamond reached out, his hoof hovering a few inches from her shoulder, but he slowly backed it away and took a step backwards.

“It’s late, I should probably let you get ready and everything,” he said, trotting to the door. “I’ll, uh, check on you before you leave?”

Night Glider smiled. “I’d like that, thanks.”

Double Diamond nodded and closed the door. From behind it, Night Glider could hear an almost inaudible sigh as he walked away. She looked out the window into the distance, the desert seeming to extend endlessly as she gazed at the star-filled sky. She reached over and took the locket in her hoof once again and opened it up, looking at the photos of her parents.

“Looks like I’ll see you guys soon,” she quietly said, before returning her gaze to the starry sky. “I hope…”

~~~~~~~~~~

The sun was peeking over the horizon as Night Glider finished packing up her small saddle bag. She decided that she didn’t need much for her trip, just enough bits to stop for food and a place to sleep if necessary, and a scarf if it got cold. She slung the saddle bag over her back, then looked out the window. With the sun just rising now, she’d be able to make it to Modus in a few days. She wasn’t entirely sure of where she would stop; she wasn’t thinking about the journey. All that was on her mind was the destination.

She grabbed the locket off of her night stand and clasped it around her neck. She held it in one hoof and bounced it a few times, letting the small silver beads that were attached to it jingle lightly. The sound was soothing and familiar, but didn’t do much to ease the butterflies that were fluttering about in her stomach.

She took one last look around her room. There wasn’t a whole lot to see, just a bed, a side table, and a window to outside, facing the desert. There was nothing for her to miss. With all the resources going to rebuilding the town, ponies had decided early on that they could live with bare rooms for a bit longer if it meant reintegrating with Equestria

As she trotted through the house, Night Glider could swear that she heard voices, but there was no activity in the house. She paused at Double Diamond’s door, putting her ear to it, but that only seemed to muffle the voice. Must be some ponies on the other side of town… she thought, trotting towards the front door. She put her hoof on it and looked back at the door to Double Diamond’s room, half expecting it to suddenly burst open and Double Diamond to come galloping out, but after waiting a few seconds, she realized it wasn’t going to happen.

Night Glider sighed and pushed the front door open, and suddenly found herself in the middle of a flurry of activity, with most of the town already out and about. As soon as she stepped out, she was surrounded by ponies.

“Night Glider, we’re gonna miss you!”

“How far away is Modus? I’ve never been there!”

“You’ll come visit, right? You gotta come visit when town hall is completed!”

Night Glider nearly fell back into the door. “Uh… hey, everyone! What’s going on?”

From out of the crowd, Double Diamond stepped forward, rubbing the back of his head. “Um, okay. So I know you told me not to tell anypony, but I figured I should tell Sugar Belle. And then she told Party Favor. And then he told, like, everyone in town. Sorry.”

Party Favor stepped forward. “Night Glider…”

“I know, I know,” Night Glider said, preparing to defend herself. “Look, I—”

“If you were gonna leave, we had to say goodbye to you!”

Night Glider looked up at Party Favor. “What? You aren’t angry at me for leaving?”

“Angry? Of course not!” Party Favor scuffed the ground. “I mean, we’re sure as heck gonna miss you, but if you think you belong back in Modus, we’re not gonna stop you.”

“Oh,” Night Glider said. “Sorry for not telling you, then. I figured you guys would be pretty upset…”

“It’s your decision, and as your friends, we’ll always support it!” Sugar Belle said, stepping forward and handing a bag over to Night Glider. “Just remember to stop by every once in a while to see how the town is coming along!”

Night Glider glanced in the bag. “Sugar Belle, no pony could possibly need this many scones in their life.”

“They’re for the trip! And, ya know, the rest of the ponies in Modus.”

Night Glider looked around at all the ponies gathered; surrounded by sincere smiles, the butterflies in her stomach dissipated a bit.

“Listen, everypony,” she said, “it really does mean the world to me that you all wanted to say goodbye. I know that we never really got to know each other until the last few weeks or so, but they have been so much fun. Thank you all.” She smiled. “I promise I’ll visit, and I’ll do it as soon as I can.”

Party Favor and Sugar Belle jumped forward and grabbed her in a big hug, which she gladly reciprocated. When they had finally broken off, Night Glider began saying goodbye to everypony as she walked towards the edge of town. Party Favor and Sugar Belle stood in front of everypony, waving goodbye to her.

Night Glider slowly trotted out of town. She knew that she could take off and start flying, but as she looked towards the horizon and unfurled her wings, she stopped.

“You’re terrible at trying to be inconspicuous, you know,” she said.

She turned around, where Double Diamond stood a few feet away, staring directly at her.

“I, uh…” he mumbled, stumbling over his thoughts. “I’m just really, really am gonna miss you…”

Night Glider walked up to him and wrapped her hooves around him. “Yeah, Double-D, I’m gonna miss you, too.”

Double Diamond returned the hug, wrapping himself tightly around Night Glider. He didn’t say anything, but Night Glider could feel gentle shivers as he held her tighter. Finally, they slowly broke apart.

“Is there, like…” Double Diamond momentarily trailed off, then shook his head. “Is there anything I can say?”

Night Glider slowly shook her head. “I’m sorry, Double-D, but my mind is made up.”

“I know I asked you this before, but do you think Modus will let you back in?”

Night Glider paused. “I think so. It’s been a year, and I’ve made no attempts to contact them. I think that at the very least, I should be able to talk to my parents. And if I talk to them, I’m sure we can figure out a way to... well, it should all work out!”

There was a pause as Double Diamond looked at her, then shook his head.

“Night Glider, who are you trying to convince?”

She looked away. “It will work out! I’m sure of it!”

Double Diamond sighed. “Look, I don’t want to bring you down. If you think it’ll work out, then that’s cool. I just, well, from everything you told us, things in Modus ended really badly. I just don’t want you to be hurt again, you know?”

“Thanks,” Night Glider said, “but I’ll be fine. I promise. And once things are all worked out, I’ll come visit you guys.”

“Or maybe I can come see Modus?”

Night Glider looked down. “They’re, well, they’re not that big on outsiders.” Double Diamond lowered his head, but Night Glider quickly raised his head back up and smiled. “But like I said, I’ll come back to visit! I promise!”

“Alright, I’m gonna hold you to that,” he said. “And listen, if things don’t work out, if Modus refuses to want you back… I know you said everypony deserves a home. Well, you can always consider this your home.”

The words rung in Night Glider’s ears. She looked past Double Diamond, to the town. Many ponies were still waving goodbye to her while others had gone about their day. Most of them began to surround the half-finished town hall, talking about what they were going to work on that day. There was an air of happiness in their voices and in the way they spoke to each other. They were genuinely excited to be working together.

She looked into Double Diamond’s eyes. “Thanks. I’ll remember that.” Double Diamond blushed, and Night Glider looked to the side. “Well, I think I should get going. See you again some day, Double-D.”

Double Diamond waved goodbye, and with one final nod, Night Glider unfurled her wings and lifted off into the air. She looked back over the town one last time, then turned and flew off, the wind blowing her mane back and her locket jingling in flight, towards the vast desert.

Author's Note:

Special Thanks: Raz, Props, Skirts, Pilot, and CSquared.