• Published 28th Jun 2017
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Comparing Notes - Rose Quill

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Speculation

As the Hydro Star faded to a small speck, I turned back to the trio behind me.

“Are we ready?” I asked. I kept a tight hold on my end of the bond to keep from sending my fears into Sunshine and making her worry more than she probably was.

My twin nodded, rubbing her eyes as she did. “As much as I stared at those logs, I should hope so.”

We walked back to the veranda, the journals and the basic circle Sunshine had drawn resting on the table still. I pulled the chairs a little further away, clearing a space of about five feet around the area we were to used in the conjury. As the other women gathered around me, closed my eyes and reached inward, collecting myself before bringing my magic to bear, ponying up. A split second later I felt a thrum in the bond I shared with Sunshine and I opened my eyes to see her finish her shift as well, the dark dove-like wings spreading slightly.

I saw the other couple looking at us with curiosity.

“Her form is different,” the other Twilight said. “The wings and horn are less severe.”

“You also have different wings,” Sunset said. “My Daydream form the wings are magic, yours are actual wings.”

I pointed at myself. “Alicorn,” I said simply.

She nodded. “Right, I keep forgetting.”

She took her wife’s hand and a few moments later, two figures from history stood before us, Midnight Sparkle and Daydream Shimmer as they had been back at the Games.

“Now remember,” I said. “The spell itself is drawn into this Thaumaturgic circle, but we have to direct it into the shapes that we need.”

“Sunny and I will direct the mana flow and bind it to the books,” Sunshine said. “But you two will have to pull it in and pass it along to us. That will tinge the magic with your harmonic vibrations and allow the books to transmit into your world.”

“How will we know if it works?” Twilight asked.

I picked up one of the tablets and pulled up a picture of my newer journal, the one Twilight had made after the Conjunction had destroyed the Mobius spell that renewed the pages and the combination of my and the princess’ cutie marks, the sharp points of her star sticking out from one edge of my two-toned sun.

“This is what mine looks like,” I said. “Yours may be similar, but it’s beside the point. If it works, then Sunlight’s cutie mark - whatever it is - will appear on the cover either next to or merged with Midnight’s mark.”

“And if it doesn’t?” my twin asked.

“Well, then either he hasn’t earned his yet, or it fizzled,” I said.

“And if it…” Twilight trailed off, then made a hand motion like an explosion.

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Sunshine said. “We’ve looked this spell over backward and forwards for the last three days.”

“And I doubt we’d feel it if it went awry anyway,” I said more to myself than anyone.

Sunshine held out her hands, and I laced my fingers with hers and reached out to take my twin’s. I felt the tingle of magic start to run along my spine, and began weaving it through the shapes I had memorized, the purpose and delicacy making me sharpen my focus as I closed my eyes.

I felt a tingle in the back of my mind, a shadow similar to Sunshine’s presence at the same time as I became aware of a dim feeling I haven’t felt for a long time. As the mana began to flow faster, I opened my eyes and looked at our counterparts.

Their forms were now wreathed in light, their appearances resembling ours from when the Tree of Harmony had restored our powers during the fight with Acerak, feathers and hair gaining additional coloring. I saw my arm and hand was also wreathed in light and was about to shut my eyes again when the other Sunset’s eyes opened, glowing white with magic and energy.

Oh, horsefeathers, I thought as mana tore through our conduit.

I had just stepped off the boat with Auntie Fluttershy when I sensed something, a pressure on the back of my mind.

“Middy?” Sunlight said, turning to face me. “Everything ok?”

I frowned and glanced back at the island.

“I don’t know,” I said. “For a second, I thought I felt…”

I was cut off when a tower of light lanced into the sky from the island, shimmering colors of blue, red, gold, indigo, and pink laced within. I stepped back, staring, the pressure in my head roaring to life as I felt the mana begin to race towards the island.

“Stars above,” I breathed.

“What is that?” Rory said, racing over to me.

“What, what do you see?” Melody asked, her eyes not revealing to her what Rory and I could see.

I felt fear begin to coil in my heart.

“It’s a mana torrent,” I said. “Wild, uncontrolled mana.”

I hadn’t felt pain like this. Recently, at least. My brain felt like it was on fire as I tried to contain the mana being dragged into us. A whimpering groan from the side and the sense through the bond showed me that my wife was also under strain.

I sensed the other two try to pull back from the raging sea, but I reached out instinctively.

Don’t, I shouted through the bond, my empathic powers flaring to life and linking all four of us. If we lose control now, the mana will rip us apart!

I felt my twin narrow her brow in determination and slowly, the two regained their grip on the mana flowing through. I directed it downward and through the circle, seeing the books in my mind's eye.

Suddenly, there was no more mana and I collapsed against the table, panting, dimly aware of the others reacting similarly exhausted. I pulled myself up and looked at the books, still glowing softly as the mana soaked into the journals. As I watched, half of a five-pointed star appeared, merged with a yellow sphere with several fan blade-like rays stretching from it.

“Well,” I said. “At least it worked.”

As happy as she was that the ordeal was safely over, Sunset couldn't help freezing at the image on the books. She recognized part of the marking from one of the daughters of their doubles, Midnight. But the other part of the mark....could it be?

"Is this Lighty's mark?" Twilight was just as wide-eyed but didn't grab the journal to get a closer look before Sunset did.

"I think it's safe to say yes," Other Sunset sighed out her own tensions from the magic.

"Or at least half of it," Sunshine added humorously. Her tired smile was as good at putting them at ease as it was at expressing her exhaustion.

Sunset and Twilight were back in their chairs and might be either in beach chairs or sofas for the rest of the day. In fact, Twilight was considering how much a hot tub would be welcome. Her wife, on the other hand, connected to an Equestrian past, looked at her son's half mark with far more passion.

"This..." she finally began with water welling up in her eyes. Her face began to contort in emotion to which Twilight turned in concern.

Other Sunset knew right away what this was about. She had gone through these moments herself with her wife, Sunshine. The moment one's child got their cutie mark was a significant and special moment. But it had a new twist of meaning for this Sunset, who hadn't known if her son would ever get one or even choose to visit Equestria on his own.

Twilight, even as tired as she was, got out of her seat and knelt in front of her wife to support her as she lowered her head. The book was placed down on her lap, two tears from Sunset's face dripping onto the combined marks as Twilight held her wife's hands.

"He does have a cutie mark..." Sunset whispered to none besides herself. "He does have one..."

Twilight kept her smile and, when she managed to divert her wife's gaze from the mark, she saw it travel to the redhead's face as well. In spite of the tears, it was a happy moment for the couple and especially the unicorn-turned-human.

"Now, as much fun as it would be to start playing 'guess the talent'," I said with a sigh as I tried to tame my hair again. "I think a nap and food will be good ideas."

"In that order, please," my wife moaned. "I'm so drained I doubt I'd be able to cook at all."

I was about to comment when my phone went off with Midnight's ringtone.

I poked the speaker button.

"Yes, we're alive and no we're not hurt," I said immediately.

"Are you all...dammit, Mom! Stop answering before I ask the questions!"

"Language, Middy," Sunshine admonished.

"Buck the niceties!" My eldest fairly well shouted into the phone. "What were you doing that pulled that much mana?"

"You'll see at dinner," my twin said, hands still caressing the cutie mark on the cover. "Your parents and us are going to rest up a bit. Enjoy your time at the resort."

"But..."

"Bye, sweetheart," I said before poking the disconnect button.

"You know there'll be hell to pay when she gets back, right?" Sunshine said as she gathered up the tablets and scorched paper scraps.

"Who's the adult in that situation?" I returned.

"So," Twilight said. "Do we need to do anything else to them?"

I shook my head. "They're made. Maybe let them sit to let the mana establish its matrices, but they're ready," I reached over and laid a hand on each of the other couples, smiling.

"All they need now is ink and reason."

Midnight looked at her phone in disbelief before shoving it back into her pocket. "She hung up on me!"

"Well..." Sunlight practically whispered from behind Midnight. "Sounds like everything's okay. How about we-"

"Mom's going to get it for this!" Midnight seethed. "I told her this was supposed to be a vacation! Everything was going fine and then they had to risk turning my one-!"

"Perhaps some refreshment is in order?" Melody sweetly offered to route Middy's anger.

Since they were standing at the Beach 6 dock, so they were hardly in the middle of nowhere. The resort's main pavilion was located behind them and a series of drink and dessert stands were lined up against a spectacular viewing platform above the beach. It required going up a series of stairs from the dock, but it was a path well known to those present. Although their group was alone on their particular dock, other docking platforms existed in an array to their western side. A fleet of small boats to medium-sized yachts were moored there, the occasional owner coming off or going in for a voyage out.

"Do we have a plan?" Aurora spoke up to add her own distraction to Melody's suggestion. Midnight's anger calmed a bit.

"Nope, but a Blue Coconut Slushie sounds perfect," Sunlight answered and put an arm around his girlfriend. "How about you? In the mood for something cold? It's pretty humid out."

"Ugh," Midnight released her frustration with a groan. "Sure. And maybe afterward, we can do something just for fun to get my mind off this."

"Adagio will have the twins at the diving bay by the time we're done. Might be an enjoyable experience - if you don't mind being showed up by a couple of kids half your age," he explained with a chuckle.

With that, the small group started off, the damp wood boards clacking beneath their sandals.

The dreamscape faded and I slowly opened my eyes. I could tell by the clock that only a few hours had passed, but I felt incredibly well-rested, considering all the exertion I had in the dream.

Sunshine stirred as well, sliding her arm across my belly as she snuggled in closer.

"That was wonderful," she purred, eyes still closed.

I smiled at her. "It's not the first time we've done that, you know," I teased.

She nodded. "But it was the first time under a waterfall," she said. "I can't believe we never used any other landscapes before."

I kissed her forehead. "The hilltop is a pretty important place to us, hon," I said as I brushed some stray hair from her face. "It just never occurred to us to change it or the clouds above."

She patted my hip and tilted her head up as she opened her eyes.

"Now, what do we do about our daughter?"

I laid my head back and sighed. "She likely saw the mana being drawn in," I thought. "It may have seemed like a mana torrent from the mainland and she may have panicked a bit. I'm sure once we give her and her boyfriend those journals she'll calm down a bit."

"Sounds odd to use that term in reference to Middy," Sunshine whispered. "We're usually referring to Aurora like that."

I nodded in agreement. "This whole trip has been unusual," I breathed. "Our eldest falling for the child of our alternate selves is a bit of a mind twister to begin with."

There was a soft knock at the door. "You guys awake?" Twilight asked from the far side.

"Yeah," I called out. "What's up?"

The door opened and she came in with a pair of small plastic dishes.

"You need to see this," she said, laying them down on the bedside table.

"While you were getting the books and on between the studying we did, I managed to make a rudimentary way of comparing the genetic codes," she said in a voice very much like my wife's lecture voice. "It's not perfect and it doesn't really use up the samples, but it's enough to show rough breakdown."

I sighed. "We're not geneticists, Twilight," I said with a smile. "Could you put this in simpler terms?"

Sunshine glanced at the small trays. "She managed to get a serum comparison," she said. "Those bands show the genetic breakdown of DNA as the simplest measure."

I glanced at the two dishes, the yellowish bands showing rather interesting in not telling me a thing."Ok," I said. "So what does this say?"

Twilight smiled. "These are a rough analysis of Midnight and Sunlight's DNA," she said with a smile. "And while there are similarities along a couple of bands that denote what I've seen before as the pony part of the DNA and the RP9 genome, the distinct differences in the banding show something interesting."

I was lost. "Can you put that in author dummy talk please?" I asked.

Sunshine swatted me on the shoulder. "No Firefly references," she said.

Twilight smiled giggled for a moment. "Simply put," she said, patting my shoulder.

"The gene variation places them as barely related. I would need my full sequencers to determine the full extent, but as far as this rudimentary test goes, they're merely from the same species."

I smiled. "Well, that's a relief."

Sunshine suddenly shot upright. "Wait," she said hurriedly. "How did you get these done? Doesn't it usually take..."

"Twilight!" came the shout from further away in the villa. "What have you done to this kitchen?"

The twin of my wife shrank a little in embarrassment.

Sunshine face-palmed. "High-temperature setting. Of course."

Twilight chuckled nervously.

Midnight darted after Sunlight as fast as she could, which wasn't much in terms of the fastest swimmers. Oh, she was a good swimmer and all but no mortal human, half-pony or not, could compare with the speed and agility of the twins. Even as Sunlight barely kept out of her reach in this underwater realm of the bay's deeper bottom, Trance and Prism Cloud shot on by - nearly creating a pressure wave against her. They practically swam like dolphins and had just as much speed, making the idea of any competition against them laughable.

Sunlight was wasting the oxygen from his scuba tank with his ceaseless laughing. His surprise tickle attack on her had caused her to drop the diving treasure she had found, which he then snatched up. They had started a game of Treasure Hunt, which was a popular game Oxygen Rush had started at the resort. Special and obvious treasure objects were placed about in the diving area and the one to collect the most would win. Sunlight's betrayal had both amused her and ignited a sense of revenge.

Separate treasures were placed for the twins, who only competed against each other. Otherwise, it simply wasn't fair. When Trance had shot by, she had waved a V with her fingers. She was confidently in the lead.

Midnight swam just a little higher to get over a series of rocks on the sandy ocean floor. She then spotted Aurora and Melody to her left. They had just added another treasure to their collection. Having seen Sunlight and Midnight's collections grow dangerously fast, they pooled their finds and worked together. The rules were loose but that was what made it even more interesting.

Just as she was about to catch her villainous romantic other, he ducked down and she wound up face to face with an aloof sea turtle. "Whoa," she exclaimed into her breathing mask and reversed her momentum as fast as she could.

I couldn't believe it. Mixing bowls and spoons were piled in the sink, the oven had some sort of baked on overflow on the coils, and even the countertop was awash in stains of various colors from partially stoppered and corked flasks or test tubes. The kitchen was a disaster, and I've seen Sugar Cube corner after a can of party string exploded.

It's not a memory I enjoy reliving.

"What have I told you about using the kitchen for science projects?" my twin asked Twilight in a long-suffering voice that held no anger, only fatigue.

"Not to if I don't clean it up," she said like a young child caught tracking muddy shoes indoors.

"Not to do it period, Twily!" I glanced over at Sunshine as they continued, link opening up instantly.

Well, this sounds like an interesting set of stories, I thought.

Quite. came the reply. Though I still have trouble trying to reconcile the fact that there is a me that can't handle such a scientific concept such as cooking but can handle the chemical end of being a geneticist.

Make a hayburger, I smirked.

That's cheating and you know it, she returned with her tongue flashing out.

As the marital spat went on across the way, I tossed my head at the mess, fingering the chain my element was on. Sunshine smiled and began preparing for cleaning by way of levitating dish towels and scrub brushes.

I walked over and filled the sink, pulling on a set of rubber gloves haphazardly left on the counter since I didn't know what chemicals were involved. Hopefully, nothing caustic or toxic, since the villa worked on a natural septic tank.

As we cleaned up, I smiled as I heard the calm discourse turn to silence. I listened for a minute for the reason and then giggled to myself.

Sunshine was whistling the theme from the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

The silence turned to a facepalm as Sunset gave up. "Magic cleaning? I think I'm just going to lay down for a bit."

Twily rose a hand to offer her help in cleaning up her own mess but then thought better of it for getting in the way of her copy's magic. After she had narrowly been stopped from using her own by her wife, she didn't think it appropriate to try again. So in a small voice, she just whispered, "I think I'll go with Sunny..."

"Oof," Sunset sounded out from the sofa as her wife climbed on top of her. She had been laying down and, though the weight of Twilight was familiar to her, she couldn't help exaggerating.

"Sorry," Twilight practically pouted with her lips stuck out.

"Apologize to the Doubles when they're done. I'm just grateful the end result wasn't sapient this time," Sunset groaned and leaned her head back again against the sofa's side cushion. She closed her eyes to rest a moment.

Twilight got comfortable over her spouse but still fidgeted as she looked at Sunset's mentally tired expression. "I just wanted to make something for my Sunny..."

"I know," Sunset calmly replied. She cracked an eye open and gently brought her arms around the other woman. "I know, Twily."

I stared at the island, my glasses tinted almost crimson in the daylight as I dangled my feet in the water of the diving lagoon. I was still upset that Mom had just hung up, but if she had the energy to joke, then everyone there was ok.

A finger poked my shoulder. I turned to find Aurora standing beside me.

"Wanna talk about it?" she asked with a smile.

I grinned in spite of my mood. "They had to be doing something risky over there for a mama torrent to form," I said. "And they made sure no one else was on the island before they did it. That's why they sent us along with Aunts Rarity and Fluttershy."

Rory nodded. "As soon as we saw the torrent, Aunt Shy told me what was happening. They were going to try a spell that had a possibility to cause a mantic backlash that would fry the island."

"They're ok though, right?" Lightly asked. "So nothing to worry about."

"Exhausted, probably, maybe headaches," I said, falling into teacher mode. "Channeling mama can be tiring. And if they don't have headaches, I'll give them one!"

I dimly caught Rarity lean to Fluttershy and whisper. "Just like her Mom," she giggled.

I huffed for a moment before being enfolded in a hug from Lighty. He kissed the top of my head before leaning back to look me in the eye.

"It's too nice a day to be upset," he said, pulling me to my feet. "We'll find out what happened at dinner, and in the meantime, well..."

I felt the push as soon as it started and latched onto his wrists, pulling him with me into the lagoon. As we surfaced, he frowned.

"How come I keep getting dunked when near deep water with you?"

I smirked. "Never try to prank a prankster," I said, softening it with a wink.

"I'll keep doing it if it means we get to have fun together," Sunlight grinned.

Midnight shoved him back in the water but smiled. She had not yet prepared herself for a dive, though Sunlight had been eager to. In fact, he was about to playfully drag her under when he was himself pulled beneath the surface. Once his eyes adjusted, he found the culprit: Trance.

He tried to ask when she had gotten there but it only came out as bubbles and a mouthful of air. The girl grinned with that shark-like expression her mother was known for. Clearly, she was impatient for diving activities, but Sunlight was pulled on once again. This time it was up. He broke the surface to find Midnight as the puller.

"I don't remember giving you permission to go off and have fun without me," she snarked.

"Would never dream of it," Sunlight played his hands out. "But the fish sure are biting today."

Midnight responded with a merry "pfft" before the boy was sucked back down, this time by both half-siren kids. She took a breath and then went under the surface just barely to see more clearly. Indeed the twins were spiriting him away to the depths as their siren heritage might imply. Well, she thought, perhaps her magic might counter their naturally adept swimming ability. Smiling devilishly, she ponied up and brought her magic to bear.

"What is this?" I asked as I picked at an orange-green glob of something on the side of the sink. "It feels like cement."

Sunshine leaned over and poked at it. "Probably some sort of binder," she said, glancing around and pulling some bottles from the cabinets. "I think I can determine what it is by seeing how it reacts to things."

"Vinegar and baking soda?" I mused. "Household chemistry, Twi?"

She held up the vinegar. "Acid," she said sweetly before alternating with the baking soda. "Base. If it reacts with either, then we can narrow down what to use to clean it up with."

"Ammonia," came a voice from behind us. Turning, I saw Twilight standing there, her head ducked down and fingers fidgeting together. "You'll want to use ammonia on anything in the sink that the regular soap didn't affect."

I turned to Sunshine, who nodded and went to the utility room. "Do you know what that is?" I asked, giving it another pick.

"A reaction between the makeshift genetic serum I made and one of the solvents I used to extract some of the material from some hair samples," she said. "Listen, I ah...I wanted to apologize for making a mess of the kitchen and you guys having to clean it up. I just..."

"Got excited and time got away from you," I said. "And then your wife walked in on the aftermath and blew a gasket." I smiled. "I've done it too...from both sides."

"I've gotten up at six to find that Sunny has stayed up writing all night," Sunshine said as she returned. "When she said she'd be to bed in an hour."

"My muse allows no rest sometimes," I said with a sad shake of my head. "And I've caught her tinkering with electronics before."

"I was fixing the DVD player!" she cried, posting her fists on her hips.

"I don't recall the DVD player turning the toaster into a radio receiver," I said, putting my finger on my chin in an exaggerated thinking pose.

A dish towel was thrown at me, though it was easily dodged.

"Anyway," I said, turning to my wife's mirror image. "We forgive you. No harm, no foul."

"No sentient creatures to fight," my wife followed up, sounding almost sad.

We shared a laugh at that.

Midnight's magic released Sunlight from the grip of the half-sirens. The boy would have laughed at the surprised faces of the twins but it would have been unwise to do underwater. He also had not yet properly put on his mask, so he had to go back up for a breath. Behind him, Midnight proceeded to use her magic to move more easily through the water, barely avoiding the twins who were up to some sort of game against her.

After a few moments, Midnight burst to the surface beside him. "Ough," she gasped in the fresh bay air. "Even magic doesn't give me the agility they have!"

"It's not just the heritage," Sunlight smiled and playfully pressed her nose. "They've pretty much lived here their whole lives. Only Adagio can beat them. They are easy to convince, though, if you know what to do."

"Such as?" Midnight rose a brow as he put on his diving mask.

"Have fun!" he answered and dove down with new enthusiasm.

Midnight shook her head and shrugged. She could go back and get her own equipment but thought again on it given she already used some of her magic underwater and it worked just fine. I'll just stick near Light, she thought. His oxygen supply could be used if something went wrong, which she doubted. On the other hand, she could always fake it to get one of those "sharing oxygen underwater through a kiss" moments. It was such a cheesy idea that Midnight couldn't help but grin...and decide she had to do it.

With her magenta aura of magic enveloping her, she dived down after her boyfriend. Since this was one of the official diving areas, the depth was considerable. She didn't swim for too long, though, before finding Sunlight attempting to hide behind a large rock at the bottom. Various ocean plants sprouted up around the rock to give it extra cover, but it was easy to spot his signature pink locks waving in the gentle current.

She snuck up behind him and then launched into a tickling attack on his sides.

"Ahhh! Hahahah!" Sunlight went from surprise scream to laughing fit that was surely not efficient on his oxygen supply.

Midnight stuck her tongue out after she finished, her mouth protected from an influx of water via her magic sphere. The twins weren't here at the moment, so she switched gears. Her control of magic was presently perfect, but she faked it flickering out.

The magenta bubble disappeared and Midnight pretended to be worried. Sunlight quickly took the necessary breaths and removed his mask. But instead of drawing her in for a romantic oxygen swap, he just gave her the mask.

Midnight's expression deadpanned.

Sunlight's face then turned confused but the twins rocketed between them before Midnight could give any indication. Trance grabbed the mask while Cloud pulled up on Sunlight, ferrying him away to the surface again. With a roll of her eyes, she followed to find the boy left there. The half-sirens had moved towards the land for refreshment, which meant that their latest abduction was merely mischievous interference.

"I thought you were giving me an opening," Midnight crossed her arms.

"For what?" he remained innocent.

"I don't know. A special moment or something?"

"Why?"

"You said to have fun," she gave a raspberry and punched him lightly in the arm.

"My bad," he chuckled in return.

She punched him again.

"So let me get this straight," Twilight said, leaning forward. "This spell creates a shared lucid dream?"

I nodded. "Yeah," I said. "It took a few years to get it to a form that others could cast since it originally came from our bond, but it's a great counseling tool."

"It's an offshoot of Princess Luna's Dreamwalking spell," Sunshine chimed in. "A strong emotional bond has to be present for the link to form and proximity is a concern."

"So how does it work?" My double asked, eagerness in her eyes.

"Well..." I started. "Do you remember conjunctive spells?" As she nodded I continued. "You basically cast the spell as you head to sleep and it pulls both your consciousnesses into the dreamscape. You both have control over your forms and surroundings while your body rests."

"Now, you do still have to sleep regularly," Sunshine said. "Your brain doesn't get the rest while using this spell, so no using it nightly. We also figured the ratio of dream time to actual time is five to one on average. So five minutes in the dreamscape is one minute in reality."

Our twins looked thoughtful. "What happens if someone disturbs you mid-dream?" Twilight asked.

"Same thing as regular dreams," I said. "You wake up, though you won't have that moment of confusion you do sometimes on waking. The only people that can enter the 'scape are those that willingly allow the spell to be cast on them."

"You'll have to cast it in your powered-up forms since you lack the same bond Sunny and I have," Sunshine said. "The mantic kind, that is."

I say back, looking at the two of them across from us. "I jotted down the basics," I said, sliding a few folded papers across. "I assume you haven't forgotten how to read Equish rune magic formulae."

The other Sunset nodded. "I remember," she said. "Though I never taught Twily or Sunlight. Never thought there'd be a need to."

"Well, don't worry there," Sunshine said. "Middy never writes on Equish unless she's very very sleepy."

"She turned in a term paper one year that was one part English, one part Equish, and one part Spanish," I laughed. "The poor teacher didn't know what was going on!"

We all shared a laugh before Twilight glanced at the clock.

"Do you think we have time to test it out?"

I nodded. "I'll cast the spell with Sunset watching," I said. "That way she gets a practical demonstration as well as the hard format directions. We'll also give you a wake-up call when the kids get back."

They nodded and I followed them to their room and stood back as they powered up.

"Sweet dreams," I said, ponying up and summoning magic to my horn. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."

Sunset smirked as the spell took hold and they powered down as sleep overtook them.

I felt arms slide around me from behind.

"Feel like doing a little flying around the island?" My wife asked. "We do leave the day after tomorrow, after all."

I smiled and headed for our room.

"I thought you'd never ask," I grinned.