• Published 17th Mar 2017
  • 7,022 Views, 114 Comments

A Canterlot 'Mending - River Road

Stripped of her place as best mare at her brother's wedding, Twilight comes across her old friends from Canterlot.

  • ...


“Remember that time Lemon Hearts got her head stuck in that beaker?”

“One time! Mess up Valiant Wind’s Wonder-Vacuum spell one time and you never hear the end of it!”

We all break into a giggle fit, thinking back to the old days as we sit over a box of donuts in a corner of Donut Joe’s. The shop is pretty much empty aside from us. According to Joe everypony is either at the wedding or having their donuts delivered to spend the day at home crying over their lost chances of wooing Cadance, Shining, both or of just attending the festivities.

Between catering for the wedding, deliveries and the combined cholesterol of both, Joe claims that he is making a figurative and literal killing. Enough to get all of his foals through college if he had any.

This is the third time since we ordered our selection of fried treats that my thoughts drift back to the wedding and I don’t even feel a twist in my gut anymore. It’s even more surreal than sitting in an empty donut shop. I even feel good enough to ask a question I’ve had on my mind.

“So… what was up with the whole ‘yelling at royalty’ thing anyway? I mean, what reason would you have to be angry at Cadence?” I make a vague gesture with my apple fritter.

Lyra snorts. “That royal brat laid us off, that’s what.”

Twinkleshine clears her throat and draws circles on the table with a hoof. “It wasn’t that bad… Apparently she gave our spots as the bridesmares to somepony else.”

“Oh, it totally was that bad.” Minuette frowns for maybe two seconds, but against her usual demeanor she might as well have pounded both hooves on the table. “She simply sent a guard to tell us that she didn’t need us as bridesmares anymore. If Lyra hadn’t pinned the guard to ask him some questions we wouldn’t even know why she did. Even Blueblood has better manners than that.”

“Oh… I see.” This time I do feel the familiar pain in my chest again as I remember who Cadence gave those spots to. “So… how did you get to be her bridesmares anyway?”

Lemon Hearts smirks and buffs a hoof against her chest. “Well, there are some perks to being the head event manager for the castle. Like knowing all the Princesses personally. I would have asked to join as well, if I wasn’t so busy organizing the wedding.” She slumps down a bit. “Princess Cadence seemed really excited when I suggested my friends as her bridesmares, too… I just don’t know what went wrong.”

“Hey, hey, it wasn’t your fault and nopony is blaming you for what happened.” Lyra pulls her into a light hug, looking at me as she attempts to change the topic. “So, that’s what we were doing, but what about you, Twi? What does the best mare do away from the wedding rehearsal crying her eyes out?”

You know what? Changing the topic was a great idea! So great in fact that I think I’ll try it too. “Heeeyyyy… So, where’s that other pony? Moondancer! She was part of our group too.” I force a grin that probably looks even more fake than it feels. And it feels pretty fake. The girls don’t look much better though, squirming in their seats and avoiding eye contact. “…Right? Don’t tell me she went to yell at Cadence, too.”

...oh. Evidently that was the wrong thing to say, because the awkward looks intensify. The whole table is one big Awkward Zone. This seems to happen a lot to me. Maybe I should just call it the Twilight Zone... I've always dreamed of having a thauma-scientific concept named after me, might as well start with sociology and work my way up.

"Girls, where is Moondancer?" They entirely fail to meet my eyes. "Oh stars... something happened to her, didn't it? And it's probably my fault, too."

Hit the nail right on the head, it looks like. Welcome back to the Twilight Zone. Maybe I should make up some catchy theme melody for it.

...nananana-nananana nananana-nananana Twilight! Catchy, but maybe a bit too energetic for the situation. Where were you when I was charging at a deranged alicorn?

Minuette finally sighs and stands up, picking up her last donut in her magic. “Well… I guess it’s better if we show you.”


I’m a horrible friend I’m a horrible friend I’m a horrible friend I’m a horrible friend I’m a

“Wow, this place is even more run down than last time I was here.”

horrible friend I’m a horrible friend I’m

“When was the last time somepony mowed this lawn? Hey, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of flower.”

a horrible friend I’m a horrible “Don’t touch it, that’s poison joke.” friend I’m a horrible friend where did she even get poison joke I’m a horrible friend I’m a

So, yeah, that one time I left Canterlot to save the world from an ancient evil alicorn – without a proper theme song – and skipped my friend’s party in the process? Turns out that party was a bit more important to her than I thought, and me being too busy and stubborn to attend kind of a little completely broke her faith in the magic of friendship and turned a young mare trying to come out of her shell into a stubborn misequis and eternal student who avoids all but the most necessary contact with other ponies. Good going, Twilight.

“Ooops, my bad!”

Oh right, and her house is a mess. Minuette’s attempt to cheerfully knock at the door turns into cheerfully knocking through the door. At the very least it seems to have gotten Moondancer’s attention, because after a moment she opens what’s left of her door and looks the girls over. “What is it? If it’s another invitation to a party, I told you I don’t–“

“Don’t do parties, we know.” Lyra interrupts her. “We’re not here for ourselves this time.”

They step aside to reveal an entirely unprepared me. I stare like a deer under strobe lights for a few seconds, before I manage an awkward Twilight smile and a little wave. “Uhm… hi?”

Moondancer looks me over, turns around and slams 68% of a door in our faces.

“That went about as well as I expected.” I mutter, hanging my head.

“It’s not your fault, Twilight.” Twinkleshine sits down next to me to give me a hug.

Lyra opens her mouth. Twinkleshine looks up to glare at her. Lyra closes her mouth.

“Okay, so maybe it was technically your fault.” Twinkleshine continues, rolling her eyes. “But you had a good reason not to come. You were on a mission from Princess Celestia herself to defeat Nightmare Moon! If you hadn’t gone, we might have never seen the sun again!”

“…actually, Princess Celestia told me that Nightmare Moon was just an old breezie tale and that I should get out more to make friends,” I mumble, staring down at my hooves. “Technically, the only reason I went to Ponyville that day…“ was to help organize a big national event, attended by ponies I didn’t even know, as a favor to a princess.

I know exactly how Moondancer felt that day, and realizing why I do feels almost worse.

I think one of the girls is saying something, but the static in my ears is drowning it out. The edges of my vision are blurring and going black, Moondancer’s door the only thing clear in my tunnel vision. For once I am fully aware that I’m having one of my ‘little episodes’ and I don’t care. The only thing important right now is somehow, in some way fixing my mistake with Moondancer.

I drag myself over to the door, breaking down in front of it. I think I’m saying something or shouting, and it might even be somewhat coherent.

“-light? Twilight!”

“-on Moonie, open the door! This is-“

“Carry her inside before-“


I wake up in my bed, at least until I realize that it isn’t my bed at all. Going by the color scheme of the sheets it’s probably Moondancer’s. Another thing I’ll have to apologize for.

Somepony clears their throat and I slowly turn my head to see Moondancer sitting on the floor against the opposite wall, forelegs crossed as she glares at me. “Oh great, you’re awake…”

I try to say something, cough and swallow before trying again. “How long was I out?”

“About an hour.” She huffs and snorts. “Minuette and Lyra locked me in here and said they’re not letting me out until I talk to you.”

I nod. I know for a fact that Moondancer knew at least five spells to unlock that door even before I left Canterlot.

Moondancer narrows her eyes and I decide not to notice how red they are or the damp spots in her fur. “You hurt me, you know. I was finally feeling that I could put myself out there at least a little bit, that I had value. That other ponies might like me and want to be my friends! And then you didn’t show up, left town without even saying goodbye… I thought we were friends!

She got up to walk over at some point and is yelling right at my face by the end of her speech, openly crying angry tears. I blink away the tears in my own eyes and swallow again, still feeling dry and sore. “Would… would it help if I told you that I got a lot of that feeling back today?”

She blinks, then narrows her eyes in suspicion. “How bad?”

I crack a weak smile. “Disowned by my family, friends and Equestria itself and constantly reminded that I’m a terrible friend for the last two hours?”

She stares at me for a moment, then turns around and begins pacing back and forth, muttering and grumbling under her breath. I watch her and slowly pull myself into a sitting position, so I don’t leave any more tears and snot on a pillow that is already pretty ruined for anything but a thorough drycleaning. With emphasis on the ‘dry’.

We remain like this for a few minutes, completely silent aside from Moondancer’s occasional muttering. Finally she straightens up and takes a deep breath, turning away from me and towards the door. Three seconds of rather impressive spellwork and the door opens.

Moondancer steps halfway through, then stops and turns her head, speaking in a half-whisper. “Don’t hurt me again.”

I give a silent, serious nod, watching her return it hesitantly and then walk out of the room.

The somber mood doesn’t last long, because as it turns out Colgate and Lemon Hearts went out for necessities while Moondancer and I were ‘imprisoned’ and unconscious respectively. ‘Necessities’ being everything necessary for a slumber party that would make Pinkie Pie proud and then some. Apparently the Royal Event Manager has not only a ridiculous salary, but an even more ridiculous budget, including a fund for ‘personal impromptu festivities’.

Moonie – as Minuette insists we all call Moondancer, no matter how much she protests – actually pulls out a copy of Slumber 101 and we decide to educate her on all the reasons why that book is not fit for practical application, then do everything in it anyway. The whole time the mood is tainted with a bit of awkwardness and nervousness, but it slowly fades over the course of the evening. There are still arguments and Moonie is maybe a little too enthusiastic in beating me down with pillows and then beating me some more while I flail and beg for mercy from the fluffy assault.

…in short, it’s the best time I’ve had all week, and it would probably be even if my week hadn’t been pretty rotten from the moment I got that wedding invitation. In fact, the wedding and afterparty is happening at roughly the same time as our sleepover, and I don’t feel like I would rather be there than here for even a second.


Moondancer and I are designing a flying machine. Lemon Hearts is humming and working on some snacks and drinks for our group, Twinkleshine is setting up the frame for the prototype with the help of Lyra who is wearing a quartet of back-mounted tentacle claws that are surprisingly agile and skilled at the manual labor she is using them for. Colgate is building in random parts into the construction that make no sense yet work flawlessly.

“Twilight Sparkle!”

I blink and look up to see Princess Luna leaning over the edge of the sun. The inner edge, that is. This must be a dream then. That would explain how I’ve been staring at the sun without going blind.

I blink. Well, now I am blind, naturally, because I thought about it. Blinking once more fixes the issue neatly and I can focus on Luna and her not-blinding sun again. Or maybe it is supposed to be a moon, I think, and the day is suddenly a night.

Oh right, Luna. She looks rather agitated, so I decide to wave at her. Hello, Princess Luna. Wait, this is a dream, I can just use my mouth-noises. “Hello, Princess Luna!”

“There is no time!” She shouts back. “They’ve infiltrated the castle, captured me and who knows whom else!” Black silhouettes form behind her, starting to drag her back into the sun. “Beware of the impostor! The changeling queen is–“

That’s as far as she gets before she is dragged, presumably out of my dream, by the silhouettes. One of them grabs the edge of the sun and pulls it out of existence with a comical pop. Say what you want, but that shadowy enemy force has a certain sense of style.

I gasp and jerk awake, sitting up on my sleeping bag on the floor of Moondancer’s living room. I take a moment to get my bearings, listening to confirm that, yes, the sounds from outside are of ponies celebrating in the distance. Definitely not an invasion.

I look around at the sleeping forms of my new old friends all around me, lighting my horn and casting a few wards around the house just to be safe. Then I yawn and drop back down, rolling over and closing my eyes.

I already ran off to save the world once and left them behind. Equestria can wait a couple more hours.