• Published 15th Dec 2016
  • 10,380 Views, 126 Comments

Together Again and Forever - Wahtiff



Twilight Velvet is dead, and Twilight can only blame herself for what happened. However, when she learns of a secret that her parents had kept from both her and Shining Armor, Twilight goes to visit her former mentor, who seems to be hiding a secret

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Chapter 1: A Death

Ever since her ascension to an alicorn, and her coronation as the Princess of Friendship, Twilight Sparkle always had a distinct feeling of inadequacy in her heart. Ever since her wings had first appeared, ever since the crown was placed on her head, she always feared that somehow, some way, she would fail miserably.

Today, however, she hadn’t failed as a princess.

She had failed as a daughter.

She felt Night Light’s arm around her, drawing her close, and she could see Cadence and Shining Armor on the other side of the open grave, watching as the mauve-painted casket was slowly lowered to the bottom. Aside from the color, Twilight Velvet’s final place of rest was plain except for the gold-painted image of her cutie mark that was carved into the lid.

Above them, the sky had long ago darkened with gray clouds. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the second that the clouds began to release their raindrops, was the same second that Twilight let her tears, held for a long time now, finally drop to the dusty ground beneath her.

The casket, and Twilight’s heart, both hit rock bottom at the exact same time as well. Without a word, the two pegasi undertakers present with the family both hovered over the grave with their shovels and began to fill it in. At that point, Shining and Night Light both turned away from the scene with tears of their own spilling down their cheeks. Twilight looked at both of them, only feeling one emotion besides sadness.

Guilt

Across from her, one hoof on Shining’s shoulder, Cadence looked over to Twilight. Despite the tears in her eyes, she was obviously attempting to remain strong even in that moment, the expression in her eyes giving Twilight the message that her brother and father had both tried, and failed, to give her in turn: It’s not your fault.

Twilight had ignored the other two, but knowing that Cadence expected a response of some sort, she looked Cadence in the eye and gave her a questioning glance: Shouldn’t it be my fault?

In understanding, her sister-in-law simply shook her head.

Twilight still didn’t believe her, though. She still couldn’t believe HERSELF, and how she had acted in her mother’s final moments.

……….

Two Days Earlier

Even though becoming a princess meant a whole bunch of new responsibilities, Twilight’s sixth sense in planning ahead always allowed her to find SOME sort of time to spend with her parents in Canterlot. With her former mentor, Princess Celestia, and her younger sister, Princess Luna, not having a lot of time to spare for her like they used to, and with Cadence and Shining Armor having their own kingdom to run, her parents were pretty much the only ponies that the Princess of Friendship could look forward to seeing on every visit.

That particular day, however, she had dropped every single one of her plans to make an emergency trip to Canterlot. Twilight had received, via Spike, a letter from Night Light that bore bad news: her mother, Twilight Velvet, had fallen ill. Even though her father insisted that he only wanted her to know, and that it wasn’t too serious, Twilight knew she could not rest until she had at least visited her mother- at least to see how she was feeling.

Within only a few hours, and a pair of sore wings despite how hard she had trained with Rainbow Dash as a result, the lavender alicorn soon found herself knocking on her parents’ door. Night Light made the mistake of opening the door while standing in front of it, and ended up nearly tackled to the ground by Twilight as she got up right in his face.

“Is mom okay!?” She asked, wide-eyed, “IS SHE OKAY!?”

Night Light sighed, “Twilight, I told you in that letter: It’s not too serious, and the doctor said that she only needs to take it easy for a few days. In fact,” the old unicorn chuckled. “she’s been awake all day, sitting up there in bed and complaining about having nothing to do. You know her; she doesn’t like to sit still for long. She’s almost like your friend Pinkie Pie in that regard.”

Twilight sighed in relief, her cheeks red with embarrassment over her reaction, “Oh. Well, then, is alright if I-“

“Say no more.” Night Light moved aside, giving an exaggerated bow. He never hesitated to tease Twilight over the fact that she was now royalty, yet still asked his permission on anything. It was the only time Twilight ever felt that weight of royalty leave her shoulders. “You may go up. I do know that she wanted to speak with you alone about something, anyway.”

In the back of her mind, an alarm went off. Her mother usually only wanted to speak with her, especially alone, if it was something of a serious nature- or what Velvet deemed serious at the time. Gulping, Twilight gave her father a quick hug before going upstairs and heading to her parents’ room.

Twilight Velvet sure didn’t look sick, the only signs that she was of poor health being the box of tissues and some bottles of medicine on her bedside, and the barely noticeable pallor of her slightly-graying coat. Her smile, like the one she gave upon Twilight entering the room, was still perfectly content and lacking in any sadness whatsoever.

Twilight immediately went over and hugged her, “How are you feeling, mom?”

Velvet chuckled, “I feel lazy. I do wish your father would let me walk around, but he INSISTS on following the doctor’s orders to the letter. Once a soldier, always a soldier, I guess.”

Twilight giggled, “That sounds like dad, alright.”

For the next few minutes, they simply chatted and caught up with one another. Twilight told her about what was going on in her castle, her flying lessons with Dash, and how Spike and the rest of the Mane Six were doing, while Velvet filled her in on what had been going on in the house since her last visit to Canterlot some weeks before. When it came to her sickness, however, Velvet simply waved a hoof and repeated to Twilight to same words of Night Light: it wasn’t serious, but she had to remain in bed.

“Like I said,” Velvet continued on with the conversation, “that stallion you call your father, he has been my greatest nightmare these past few days, just second to the doctor.”

“He’s just concerned for your well-being.” Twilight assured her, “Isn’t that why you fell in love with him to begin with: because he cared?”

Velvet rolled her eyes, “These days, I think he could let up just a bit. He knows very well that it was no helpless, innocent mare that he had first courted all those years ago.”

Twilight nodded, more out of acknowledgment than understanding.

Velvet then locked eyes with her, her expression suddenly serious, “Speaking of courting…”

The alarm went off in Twilight’s head again, and the lavender mare found herself taking and scooting her chair back a few inches, as if trying to remain as far away as possible. Her eyes widened the second that her mother’s words had registered in her brain. Uh-oh, tell me she’s not-

“Uh, mom,” Twilight asked nervously, “what do you mean?”

“Oh, come now, Twilight!” Velvet waved a dismissive hoof, as if it should be obvious, which it horrifyingly was, “You are at that age, and on top of that, you are a princess and you are beautiful.”

“So?” Twilight did not like where this was going.

“So,” Velvet pointed a hoof at her, “it’s about time you started working on something other than your studies, like settling down and starting a family, for instance.”

Twilight held up a hoof, shaking her head, “Mom, I don’t think-“

“No excuses, Twilight!” Velvet sounded agitated, which she no doubt was, “I know that Princess Celestia may not want to form an attachment, what with you alicorns being immortal and all-“

“Don’t remind me.” Twilight interrupted, hating it when depressing images of her friends’ tombstones, while she lived on, popped into her head. She shivered, slightly.

“Regardless, while I know you admire Celestia for many things, you must remember that Shining is still mortal, yet Cadence, also an immortal alicorn, fell in love and married him.”

“I’m different than Cadence, mom.” Twilight pointed out, “For one thing, she’s older than I am-“

“That doesn’t mean you’re not of age yourself.” Velvet countered.

“Another difference is that she doesn’t have to balance the responsibilities of being a princess AS WELL AS an Element of Harmony on her shoulders like I do.”

Velvet was silent for a moment, “And yet you still somehow always to make time for us and your friends?”

“Not ALWAYS. The last time I saw you guys was a few weeks ago.” Twilight pointed out, before looking away, “and lately, we’ve all been busy in Ponyville with our own tasks: Rainbow with the weather team, Fluttershy with her animals, Rarity with her dresses, Applejack with her apple bucking, Pinkie Pie with her partying and me with my studies as well as royal duties. I honestly haven’t had a load of time to talk to any of my friends besides Spike- and especially not with any stallions.”

Velvet considered those words for a second, “What about Big Macintosh?”

Twilight froze. Velvet grinned, triumphantly.

“You know, Twilight, I remember that dear Rarity having spoken about how you used to look at him affectionately, and with an obvious blush on your cheeks.”

“Mom-“ Twilight said, but Velvet kept talking.

“She also mentioned that you and him have spent quite a bit of time together in the past. He may not be nobility, exactly, but he is from the well-known and honest Apple family. Why, being the brother of Applejack, he might share many of her honest traits.”

“Mom-“ Twilight was beginning to get annoyed. It was true, she HAD had a crush on Big Mac at one point, but she had settled for being just friends since…meeting other ponies.

“I believe I saw him on our last visit to Ponyville. He’s the large red stallion, always with that cart at his back and harness on his neck, and the green apple for a cutie-mark, right?”

Twilight bit her lip, her frustration growing.

“He seems quite handsome. You know what, perhaps I should visit Ponyville-“

“No.” Twilight said, but was ignored.

“-and see if he would like to marr-“

“STOP!”

There was a long, uncomfortable silence. For a moment, Twilight was taken aback by her reaction, and Velvet looked at her with wide eyes for what seemed like hours before suddenly breaking the silence with a coughing fit.

“Yes, Twilight, what’s wrong?” Velvet asked her as though Twilight hadn’t just screamed right in her face.

That was a big mistake. Her normally-loving mother’s nonchalant way of approaching the situation made Twilight snap.

“You know EXACTLY what’s wrong!” Twilight growled at her, “I am not letting you force me into a marriage!”

She exhaled, slowly, before speaking again, “Big Mac is my friend, and yeah, while I admit I had a thing for him in the past, I STILL consider us to be just that: friends.”

“Twilight, I know you’re the Princess of Friendship and all,” Velvet said, though her supposedly reassuring words only served to make Twilight more frustrated, “but you have to cross the boundary between ‘friendship’ and ‘love’ at some point. If not Big Mac, then who? Besides,” The older unicorn smirked, “if you don’t, Shining and Cadence will win against you.”

“In what?” Twilight glared at her.

“The first one to give me a grandfoal, of course!” Velvet chuckled.

It was usually so light and heartwarming, but to Twilight in that moment, her mother’s laughing just sounded like it was mocking her.

“IF and WHEN I ever get married to anypony,” Twilight turned away from her mother, “I want it to be real. I want it to be like Shiny and Cadence’s wedding.”

She turned back to her mother, “And YOU will not force me to be with someone I do not truly love.”

“Twilight,” Velvet’s expression was stern, and her tone just as much, “Cadence is the Princess of Love, so of COURSE her and Shining’s marriage was romantic, the sort you’d usually only read about in fairy tales. Even if that WASN’T the case, how do you expect to ever find that special somepony if you don’t even TRY?”

Twilight bowed her head, “I have tried.”

It was a lie. While Big Mac was an exception for awhile, Twilight had never truly met anypony, mare or stallion, that she really loved save one…brief encounter. Once again, aside from Applejack’s older brother, the only sort of schoolfilly crush she had ever had was with her own mentor, Princess Celestia, but over time that crush had given way to a much stronger bond between teacher and student and the word ‘love’ was never used romantically between them.

“Oh really? Who with?”

“I don’t want to say.” Twilight kept her head down, refusing to meet her eyes.

“Oh, come on, tell me.” Velvet insisted.

Twilight shook her head.

“I will assume that you’re lying to me, then, because if you were being honest then you would tell me when I asked you-“

Twilight raised her head, angry tears in her eyes, and shouted the meanest words she had ever said to her mother, “I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU, DARN IT, IF I DON’T WANT TO! IT’S MY BUSINESS, NOT YOURS. IT’S MY LIFE, NOT YOURS!”

Again, silence hung in the air, but this time, Velvet’s eyes were not only wide- they were tearing up, almost afraid. Twilight kept her gaze steely and resolved for a moment, before she was forced to look away in a vain effort to hide her own tears.

After a moment, Velvet tried to speak,

“T-T-Twilight, I-“

Twilight didn’t wait to hear any more. Before her mother could even finish her sentence, she was running out the bedroom and out of the house, beginning to run through the streets of Canterlot, trying to get as far away from Velvet as possible, out of guilt over what she had just done as well as anger. As she ran out the front door, and past her dumbfounded father, she was surprised to see her brother and sister-in-law both practically dive out of her way- Night Light must’ve either invited them, or they had come at such short notice like Twilight had.
Twilight took a brief glimpse back to see all three looking after her in bewilderment. As easy and dignified as Night Light and Shining Armor both carried themselves most of the time, it was obvious that for the first time in a long while, both of House Armor’s stallions were at a complete loss for words.

Twilight just kept running. She eventually heard voices behind her, but she ignored them, dodging what few ponies were in the fairly empty street as she ran from her family’s home, and away from what she had done. She had just unfairly yelled at her mother over such a usually-innocent topic, and she didn’t know how it could get any worse.
But something has happened, unbeknownst to her at the time.

Things HAD gotten worse.

………

The central park of Canterlot was thankfully empty at that time of morning, so Twilight had peace and quiet and could shed her tears away from prying eyes. Sitting against one of her favorite trees, an old oak whose shade she used to love reading under as a filly before becoming Celestia’s personal student, she simply cried her frustrations out with her tears, and faced the only suffering she could have at that moment: the mental recording of those hateful words towards Velvet replaying over and over again in her head.

“IT’S MY LIFE, NOT YOURS!”

Why in the world had her mother suggesting marriage gotten her so worked up? She knew that she probably would never find the reason, but that also strengthened the idea that even when she did, she would have to apologize to Velvet for her words.

It was not fifteen minutes later that she heard a familiar voice calling her name, rather, TWO familiar voices.

“TWILIGHT!”

“TWILY!”

Cadence and Shiny. Of course they would’ve followed her, maybe to see if she was alright, but also to reprimand her for what she did. After all, more than enough time had passed for Velvet to have told them what happened before they had come looking for her.
And both fortunately and unfortunately, they both knew her all too well to know that she must’ve come to the park.
In a panic, Twilight jumped up, and bolted for the clump of thick bushes a few hundred yards away. If she could just get to them, she could hide until-

“Aagh!” Before she even made it five feet, she felt a pair of forelegs wrap around her barrel, and felt the rush of air as her winged captor carried her upwards. Twilight began to struggle against the arms clasped around her, kicking and screaming with all her might, trying to get free, and was about to charge up her horn with a spell, but then a calm voice reached her ears.

“Twilight, please, stop struggling.”

“Cadence?” Twilight looked up and, sure enough, the pink alicorn was holding onto her tightly, her wings flapping gracefully as she carried her fellow princess through the air. Twilight looked down towards the ground behind them and saw Shiny standing there patiently, the smug grin on his face asking Twilight, "Did you really think it was going to be that easy?"

Twilight looked away, stopping her pointless struggle.

“Thank you.” Cadence said, reaching her head down and giving her sister-in-law a gentle kiss on the cheek, “Can we just talk?”

“About punishing me?”

“No,” Cadence said, going into a gliding position, and maneuvering back towards the ground where Shining was standing, “but you definitely owe her an apology.”

Twilight could only nod.

Shining’s grin had vanished by the time they landed. Keeping a wing draped over Twilight’s back, for comfort as well as restraint, Cadence guided her over to where the stallion was waiting. With his wife staying next to his sister, Shining walked up to them and sat in front of Twilight. With his hoof under her chin, Twilight had no choice but to meet her brother’s gaze.

“I’m not mad, Twilight,” Shining asked, “but we both would like to know what possessed you to yell at our mother like that.”

“She started it.” It sounded like the words of a little schoolfilly, and Twilight was ashamed the moment they left her lips.

Shining’s stern expression didn’t change, “Maybe she did, or maybe she didn’t, but I won’t know until you tell me.”

Twilight sighed, “She was trying to be all ‘Oh, Twilight, you need a stallion in your life. You need to settle down. You’re at that age.’”

Cadence sighed, “That…actually makes a lot of sense.”

“What do you mean?” Shining glanced at the pink alicorn.

Cadence frowned for a moment, before she turned to Twilight, “Let me guess: You don’t want to ‘hook up’ with anypony, or have a suitor. You want it to be your fated, your beloved special somepony?”

Twilight nodded. Both husband and wife shared a look.

“I want it to be like you guys, yeah,” Twilight admitted, bowing her head, “but when I tried to tell her, she wouldn’t listen and kept talking. When she started making suggestions about me and Big Macintosh…” She trailed off.

Shining scratched the back of his neck with a hoof, nervously, “I guess that’s my fault. Rarity was the one who told me about your ‘crush’ on him in the past, and I just repeated it to mom. I forgot you said that you had gotten over him. I didn’t think she’d take it that far…”

“Well, she did.” Twilight was starting to get angry, though her shame remained.

“Either way,” Shining said, both siblings giving her a stern look, “you shouldn’t have screamed in her face like that. I mean, we heard that from OUTSIDE! Do you think you can apologize IF she promises never to delve into your romantic life again?”

Twilight met her brother’s gaze, thinking about it, but her answer was inevitable, “Yes.”

They smiled with satisfaction, and Shining offered her a hoof, “Then let’s go home.”

…….

Twilight knew it would be serious when they got home, but as they slowly made their way through the streets, Cadence and Shiny kept her mind off of the awkward and no doubt tearful apology that was to come. The two alicorns gossiped with one another, catching up on what was happening in Ponyville and the Crystal Empire, while Shining listened with a smile on his face and pausing only to give a quip or two.

“…and then what? When Rainbow Dash flew past the tree, what happened then?” Cadence asked Twilight.

“Pinkie jumped from the tree, onto her back,” Twilight laughed, “and before she could escape, Pinkie had a bit in Dash’s mouth and reins in her hands. She took Dash for a wild ride!”

The other two laughed, its intensity increasing as images registered in their minds. Twilight smiled. Even with the occasional fight, she cherished everyone in her family, including Velvet, and she knew that even without romantic love, she still had something that she considered to be stronger, the only other thing stronger than friendship.

The love of a family.

Her smiled faded as they approached their parents’ house.

“So, Twilight,” Shining asked, “what are you going to say?”

Twilight sighed, reciting her lines, “I’m sorry for yelling at you, mom.”

“And?” Cadence prodded.

“Aaand, I just wanted to say thank you for the idea, but I’m not interested.” Twilight’s face suddenly went blank, “Come on, guys, there’s no way she’ll quit it with just that.”

“You don’t know that.” Cadence reassured her. Shining nodded his agreement.

When they were about a hundred feet away, however, the front door opened and out came a very pale and very disoriented-looking Night Light. They all gasped upon seeing the former guard captain’s wide, red eyes that had recently been crying, and his stumbling gait. Seeing that he was about to fall over, Shining rushed forward and had his father lean against him for support. After their initial shock had passed, Twilight and Cadence followed.

“Dad?” Twilight asked, feeling very afraid all of a sudden, “What’s wrong?”

Night Light seemed to come out of a trance as he suddenly looked around at them, before locking eyes with Twilight. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse, no doubt from constant sobbing, “S-She…the doctor said she was fine. He said…”

He trailed off. Shining and Twilight shared a fearful glance, before the former spoke up, “What’s wrong, dad, speak to us, please! What happened?”

Night Light looked at Shining, then at Twilight, “Velvet, s-she had a sudden heart attack! S-she’s dead, Twilight, Shining, she’s gone…”

…….

Present Day

That had been the moment that Twilight’s world had come crashing down. The doctor had later explained to her what Velvet and her father hadn’t before: Velvet’s sickness had been caused by heart problems, hence why she had to have so many medications and the need for bed-rest. The doctor said that the heart attack had been at random, that no one could’ve predicted it, but Twilight couldn’t help but continue to feel that she was to blame.

Even as she followed everyone else- her father, brother, sister-in-law, and all of Twilight Velvet’s friends and family- both nobility and lower-class- out of the cemetery, the young alicorn still couldn’t help but feel the pain and guilt that a murderer would feel.
That her yelling, her hateful words, had killed her mother.

..…..

Unbeknownst to everyone else, there was somepony who stayed behind at the cemetery, hidden from even the undertakers who had finished filling in the grave. It was only after THEY had left, that the figure emerged from behind a nearby cemetery statue and approached the grave. To anyone watching, they would’ve noticed that this figure was a pony who was taller than average, and they would’ve seen the majestic, swan-like wings that jutted out from beneath her maroon-colored cloak and the longer-than-average horn peeking out from beneath her hood.

Stopping and sitting next to the grave, the horn glowed yellow for a moment as the figure removed her hood, revealing the somber and saddened face of Princess Celestia herself.

When news of Velvet’s death had reached the white alicorn’s ears, she had wanted to drop everything, absolutely everything, just to come and pay her respects. However, because she couldn’t simply cancel her day court over a funeral, she had managed to lie that she had not been feeling well and retired to her room- only to grab her cloak, sneak out through her window when nopony was looking, and fly with her disguise to the park nearby. A part of her, seeing her beloved student and her adoptive niece both amongst the mourners, had wanted her to immediately come up and hug them both, maybe say a few words in respect for Velvet. The consequences, after having claimed to have been sick, yet being out and about regardless, would’ve been too annoying for her to deal with despite how little she really cared about those details, so she instead opted to remain hidden and watch from afar.

A tear had slid down her cheek, as the sound of the casket hitting the bottom reached her ears. Even though House Armor and House Sparkle were not of the highest nobility, and therefore not seen in court too often, Velvet had still been a good friend of hers, reminding her of the second reason she had waited until she was alone at the grave.

She had personal business there, involving only her and Velvet.

With her magic, she reached inside the folds of her cloak and withdrew a purple penstemon- Velvet’s favorite flower. Gently, she laid it in front of the tombstone, pausing for a moment to read the simple writing:

Twilight Velvet

A Good Wife,

A Good Mother,

A Good Friend

Celestia brushed at her mane, which was a normal pink color and lacking of its windblown look due to her lack of enchanted royal accoutrements, and sighed. A few more tears ran down her cheeks as she began to recall memories. The memories, however, were too many to be of her and Velvet. Instead, they were of the times she had witnessed Velvet with Twilight, and how happy the two of them usually were together.

In her mind, there had always been two things she felt whenever she had seen them together: envy and thankfulness. She may not have spent a lot of time with her and Night Light, but there were many things that they had done, for which she would forever be grateful.
Therefore, after a long moment, she only spoke four words, words that she had never had the chance to say to Twilight Velvet before:

“Thank you, my friend.”

With that, and another brief moment of silence, Celestia slowly got to her hooves once more, and turned to leave the cemetery.
The streets were mainly empty, due to the light rain that had begun to fall throughout that entire time, so Celestia kept her hood pulled back, turning away whenever she passed by somepony. She knew that not many ponies had knowledge of her true mane color, so that was a bonus, but she knew that one look at her face would spark recognition in passerby, and her height was damning enough already. When she arrived at the nearby park, she quickly slipped into the bushes where she had hidden her normal regalia: her tiara, torque chestplate and slippers. Slipping them all on with her magic and bringing the windblown feel and rainbow color back to her mane; she left the bushes and extended her majestic wings. Shoving off the ground beneath her, and with a few flaps, she was airborne and heading back towards her castle. As she flew, one unbidden thought came to her mind, damning words to most ponies.

What happens now?

Author's Note:

This is, as previously stated, my first real fanfic, and some constructive criticism is appreciated. Just be gentle, though- with power, comes responsibility (Though I might never get around to actually making any changes)

NOTE: I originally wanted to include Discord in here somewhere, but along the way he got written out of the plot, so sorry to those who were expecting the king of chaos to appear here. Either way, if I haven't lost you, that was Chapter 1 and now on to Chapter 2