• Published 20th Jul 2012
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The Conquering of Love - Littlecolt

Twilight finds she and her friends are trapped in their own minds and must escape.

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Twilight Sparkle Ch 2 - Golden Gleam

Book One: Twilight Sparkle

Chapter Two - Golden Gleam

Twilight trotted into town and, as she had expected, not too many ponies were up and about yet this early in the morning. As she walked down the street, she greeted the ponies she did pass with a wave. Everyone seemed glad to see her, and greeted her back cheerfully. Twilight smiled, and thought how glad she was to live in this town, despite her reservations when she had first arrived with Spike. That seemed like ages ago, now.

Looking around, Twilight was again filled with the strange feeling that something good was going to happen today. The sun was beaming through the trees, the flowers were in bloom, and the grass almost seemed a more cheerful shade of green. Everything about this day just seemed perfect.

As she passed by Sugarcube Corner, Twilight caught the scent of fresh pastries being baked, and her tummy rumbled again.

Well, I think that decides it, she thought. Smells like the Cakes are up and getting ready for the day ahead! I might as well be one of their first customers.

“Knock knock!” called Twilight, as she entered the bakery. She was greeted by Mrs. Cake, who was busy at a counter folding dough onto itself and then rolling it thin.

“Twilight! So good to see you! You’re up awfully early,” said Mrs. Cake with a smile.

“Well, to be honest, I couldn’t sleep any longer. I just needed to get out early and walk around, you know?” Twilight said, approaching the case of pastries at the front counter. Donuts, cream puffs, croissants, and many other wonderful baked goods were already neatly arranged on trays. Twilight could almost taste them as she peered in.

“You know, I think everyone around here had a little bit of insomnia, Twilight. Pinkie Pie was up all night in her room upstairs. I’m not sure what she was doing, but you might want to go check on her,” Mrs. Cake said as she walked over to the front counter and washed her hooves.

“Well, I think I will. You can never tell with Pinkie Pie,” said Twilight as she glanced towards the stairs that led up to Pinkie Pie’s room above the bakery.

“What will you be having? I’ll get it all ready for you while you’re up there,” said Mrs. Cake.

“Hmmm...” pondered Twilight. Her eyes finally stopped at a certain familiarly shaped pastry. “I’ll have one of these cream horns. Make that two, I’ll bring the other home for Spike.”

“All right, you go check on Pinkie, and I’ll have them ready for you,” said Mrs. Cake.

Twilight nodded in appreciation, and headed up the stairs and down the hall. She reached the doorway to the attic of Sugarcube Corner where Pinkie Pie lived. She knocked gently on the door.

“Pinkie Pie? Are you up there?” Twilight spoke into the door and leaned down to peek through the keyhole.

“Twilight! Just the pony I needed to see! Come in!” Pinkie called from inside. The sound of stumbling and a metallic object crashing to the floor accompanied the sound of Pinkie stumbling down the steps and bumping into the door. A moment later, the door opened. Pinkie Pie smiled at Twilight and smoothed back her mane, which was crazier looking than usual, with one hoof. It wasn’t helping.

Pinkie Pie tapped her hoof on her forehead nervously and waved Twilight into the room. Twilight walked into the room, and saw that the place was in shambles. Random pieces of metal and various gemstones littered the floor in one corner. A strange contraption with flashing lights and a panel of small windows stood at the epicenter of the mess.

“Pinkie... what’s going on in here?” asked Twilight. She glanced at Pinkie’s eyes, which had dark circles under them.

“That’s not important for now, Twilight! What’s important is the colors!” yelled Pinkie, her eye twitching a bit.

“The... colors?” questioned Twilight. “Pinkie, I think you’re seeing things, you really need to get some sleep.”

“No no, Twilight, I’m fine, and I think you are too, it’s everypony else that’s the problem!” Pinkie insisted and carried on as if Twilight had any idea what she was talking about.

“Pinkie, not that it’s out of the ordinary, but you’re not making any sense. Like, more so than usual!” Twilight said. She placed the edge of her front right leg against Pinkie’s forehead, asking “Do you have a fever or something?”

“Twilight, you have to listen to me! Ever since we got back from the wedding, the colors have been all wrong!” Pinkie said as she pulled away from Twilight. “And the ponies in town! They’re all being way too nice!”

Twilight sighed.

“Pinkie Pie, you need to get some sleep! I think the changeling attack in Canterlot has just really wore us all out. And yes, everypony in town is nice, that’s normal! This is a great town full of nice ponies!” she said, and started to push Pinkie towards her bed.

“Are you sure?” asked Pinkie. “Not that the ponies in town are nice, I mean. I know they’re nice! Well, maybe not all the time! Like this one time when I ate a piece of cake that Mrs. Cake had been working on, and I just wanted to make sure it tasted okay, but she freaked out and told me I wasn’t actually helping! Can you believe that? But with the way everypony is acting now, I bet she wouldn't say anything next time. Anyway, I mean the colors and stuff! You know?”

“Yes, and now she’s worried about you because you’ve been up all night making a racket! Now get some sleep, and don’t cause any more trouble for the Cakes, okay?” said Twilight as she tucked her friend into bed. “I’ll come back and check on you later, okay?” she whispered.

“Okay, Twilight. If you say so,” said Pinkie, closing her eyes.

Twilight walked towards the door, but was stopped by Pinkie’s voice.

“Twilight... please, just pay attention when you are out there today. Really look at everything. I know it’s not like me to be like this, but I’m really, really sure about this. I’ll sleep, like you said, and maybe that’ll make everything better, but please just be careful,” said Pinkie.

“Pinkie, I’ll pay attention. For you. To whatever it is. And you’ll see, you’re just worn out. Now get some sleep,” said Twilight, as she smiled down at Pinkie.

Pinkie smiled back. “Thanks, Twilight. You’re such a great friend...” she said, and then drifted off to sleep.

“Poor thing. The stress really has her worked up,” Twilight said with a smile. She walked out of the room and quietly closed the door.

Back downstairs, Mrs. Cake had a bag ready for Twilight.

“How much do I owe you?” Twilight asked.

“Oh no, it’s thanks for calming Pinkie down. I wonder what’s gotten into the girl,” said Mrs. Cake.

“Oh! Well thank you, Mrs. Cake. It was really nothing I wouldn’t have done anyway, though. Have a nice day, now!” said Twilight as she stepped out the door and back onto the streets. Mrs. Cake smiled and waved goodbye as Twilight walked away.

Twilight levitated her cream horn from the bag and took a bite. She placed the bag from Sugarcube Corner into her own saddle bags, and then remembered the strange yellow gem she’d found.

“Time to head over to Rarity’s, I guess,” she said to herself while trotting down the path towards Carousel Boutique.

As she walked along, she bumped into Sweetie Belle, who was headed away from the Boutique with a small wagon rolling along behind her.

“Good morning, Sweetie Belle. Running an errand for Rarity?” Twilight asked.

“Hi there, Twilight!” Sweetie Belle said with a smile. “Good to see you! And yeah, I am off to get some supplies for my sister.”

Twilight laughed. “She can be quite demanding, can’t she?”

“No kidding,” said Sweetie Belle with a sigh. “She says she’s super busy and can’t get away from her work to run to the market, so she sends me!”

“Well, what’s the problem with that?,” Twilight asked. “Don’t you want to help out your big sister?”

“I guess, but I’d rather be helping...” Sweetie Belle said, pausing for a moment and then raising her face as close as she could get it to Twilight’s, a giant grin on her lips, “You!”

Twilight blinked. “Me?” she asked, perplexed. “Why’s... that?”

“Because I love you so much,” Sweetie Belle said, her eyelids lowering over her eyes. “I’d do anything for you.”

Twilight raised her eyebrows and blinked at the filly once again. “Well, I was actually on the way to see your sister, so why don’t you come see us when you’re done with that errand.”

“Well, all right,” Sweetie Belle said with a disappointed frown. “But after that, I want to help you out instead of Rarity.”

Twilight nodded. “We’ll see,” she said.

“Thanks, Twilight!” Sweetie Belle said, turning towards town. “I’ll be back really fast!”

What a cute little filly. I thought she loved helping her sister, though, Twilight thought. Was that what Pinkie meant? Sweetie was acting so strange.

When Twilight arrived at the boutique, she found Rarity busily sewing and humming a song.

“Ah, Twilight, just who I was hoping to see!” Rarity beamed.

“Really?” asked Twilight. “You were hoping to see me? What about?”

“Well...” started Rarity, “we all wore fabulous dresses at the wedding, and the designs were top notch, but after coming home last night, I started to think that maybe they were lacking a certain amount of flair, and I was going through my gems and beads, and I thought maybe–”

“Actually, Rarity, sorry to interrupt, but that’s why I came here. I found this on a bookshelf in my room and thought you may have left it there,” Twilight said, and raised the yellow gem into the air.

Rarity’s eyes lit up like the starry night sky as she caught sight of the gemstone.

“Twilight! Where did you get that? It’s simply marvelous! The cut! The color! The way it shimmers! It’s gorgeous!” said Rarity as she inched closer and closer to the stone.

“Wait, so it’s not yours?” asked Twilight, an eyebrow raised.

“Well, no, it’s not. I would certainly remember a gem like that, believe me!” said Rarity as she gazed into the gem. “Why, it’s almost like you could get lost in its warmth. A warmth like the sun itself. It’s radiant!”

Twilight had not really taken the time to look at the stone too closely, but Rarity was right. It was translucent, and the color was like that of the sun. Twilight really could feel a warmth emanating from it.

“You’re right. It makes you feel really nice,” said Twilight, gazing into the gem. Her eyelids lowered lazily as she stared into the gemstone.

The sound of the bell ringing as the door opened snapped them out of their trances. Sweetie Belle was back, her wagon in haul behind her, full of rolls of cloth and spindles of thread.

“Ah!” said Twilight with a start. “Well, I guess I should find out who it really belongs to.”

Rarity sighed “Oh, must you? You know what they say, finders keepers...”

Twilight placed the gem back into her bag. “No, Rarity, something this nice must belong to somepony. They’ll surely miss it.”

“You’re right, of course. Sorry, I got carried away,” Rarity laughed.

Twilight laughed, too, and looked around the room. “Rarity, have you been redecorating in here? I like the new color scheme,” she said as she noticed that the usual pastel hues had been contrasted with some noticeably deeper colors along the edges of the walls.

“In here?” asked Rarity. “No. It’s the same as always. I haven’t had time to do any decorating around here lately, been focused on clothes!”

“Huh, really?” asked Twilight. “I guess I just never noticed! I’ve been pretty unobservant, lately, I must admit,” she laughed.

Rarity smiled. “Well, thanks for stopping by, but I must get back to work! Busy busy!”

Sweetie Belle scoffed. “Hey, what about me? I hauled all this stuff from town for you!”

“Oh, thank you, too, Sweetie Belle. I don’t know what I would do without you!” Rarity smiled down at her sister.

“Well, then, I had better get going, I need to find out who owns this gem,” said Twilight, reaching for the shop’s front door. Sweetie Belle bounced forward, staring at Twilight expectantly.

“I can help you with it!” Sweetie Belle said with excitement. Twilight cringed, remembering how odd Sweetie Belle had been acting earlier.

“That’s okay, Sweetie Belle, you should stay and see if your sister needs any other help,” Twilight responded.

Rarity walked over to Twilight and shook her head. “No, no, Twilight, you should let the both of us help you,” she said, grinning widely.

Twilight looked back and forth between the two of them. They were both grinning and staring at her, awaiting her response. That’s just a little bit creepy, Twilight thought. Maybe Pinkie was onto something.

“Didn’t you just say you were super busy, Rarity?” Twilight asked, her eyes training towards the door and her escape from this situation.

“Never too busy to help you, Twilight!” Rarity exclaimed. “We are such good friends, after all!”

Twilight pushed the door open gently, raised a hoof up to Rarity, and shook her head. “No, that’s okay, I think I hear, um, Spike calling for me! Gotta go!” she said nervously, then darted out the door, slamming it shut. She could hear Rarity and Sweetie Belle making disappointed groans from inside as she bolted from the boutique.

What was that all about? she thought to herself as she finally slowed to a walk. In any case, I’ll try and find this gem in a book. Maybe it has something to do with what Pinkie was describing. After seeing how Rarity and Sweetie Belle were acting, I am starting to get suspicious.

She looked around, remembering that Pinkie Pie had said something about colors as well as ponies acting strangely. She looked into the sky, a radiant blue with white clouds hanging in the air. The trees were an earthy brown, their leaves lush and green. The birds in the trees, a variety of colors, chirped to each other as they looked for food. They flew overhead, flashes of red, blue, yellow, green, white, and brown. Twilight paid close attention to the colors, and began thinking that everything seemed a bit too bright. Maybe even a little bit hazy.

Huh, I’ve never noticed that before, she thought. Then again, I am a bit tired. Maybe Sweetie and Rarity were just acting normally, and I’m just cranky.

“Oh, and you know, it would be just like Pinkie Pie to suggest I pay attention to how nice ponies are and how colorful the world is. It really is great!” Twilight said with a smile.

Wow, I bet that’s what it was. That Pinkie, she wants her friends smiling even when she’s not around. I still don’t know what she was up to all night, but really looking at and appreciating the world around me and all its colors... it definitely makes me happy, Twilight thought.

She arrived at home, placed the gem on a table, and grabbed a book of rare gems and gem cuts. She flipped through the pages, trying to find a match, as Spike woke up and plodded down the stairs.

“Morning Twilight... What’s on the agenda for today?” he asked with a yawn as he walked to another table where a quill and scroll were waiting for him to make today’s list. The gem then caught his eye, and he walked slowly over to where Twilight was frantically flipping through the pages of the book.

“What’s... that?” he asked and licked his lips. “It looks... delicious!”

“Sorry, Spike, it’s not for you. Somepony left it here on a shelf, I have to find out what it is, and then maybe I will be able to find the proper owner.”

Spike gazed into the gem, his eyes narrowing.

“Twilight...” he said in a monotone voice, “Give that gem to me... please... I need it...”

Twilight turned to him, looking at his face. “What’s gotten into you, Spike? Are you awake, yet? Here, I got you a cream horn from Sugarcube Corner. I know it’s not a gem, but it’s still delicious,” she said, and levitated the pastry over to him. His eyes fixated on the gem.

“Spike? Helloooo?” said Twilight as Spike pushed the pastry to the side and began to advance towards her.

“Give me the gem,” he said with a demanding tone.

“Spike, stop that!” Twilight insisted. “You’re acting weird!”

Spike suddenly vaulted towards the gem, his eyes flying open wide, glowing white. “Give it to me!” he yelled, his voice grainy and distorted.

The gem then erupted in a flash of yellow light, and a long, white horn shot out of the gem, a beam of energy erupting from it and freezing Spike in midair. A familiar voice from the gem bellowed, “Sleep, now!”

“Spike!” Yelled Twilight, and jumped towards him.

Spike fell to the ground, unconscious. Twilight looked down at him to make sure he was okay, and then looked back up at the gem, which was floating in the air and glowing brightly. From the gem, the long white horn protruded, and in a flash, a pony Twilight definitely wasn’t expecting to see again so soon stepped forth.

“Princess Celestia!” Twilight shouted, in shock.

Author's Note:

Ninja edits.

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