• Published 19th May 2018
  • 2,378 Views, 72 Comments

Corruption - PixelMoon



Twilight Sparkle finds herself being led to question things she's never questioned and try things she'd never tried by Rarity. But slowly Twilight begins to feel like she's being corrupted, and begins to wonder if Rarity is a vampire.

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Chapter 12

Twilight walked up to Thunderlane's house. At least, she hoped it was his house. If it wasn't – well Twilight had played ding-dong-ditch enough times to know what to do in that situation.

So she took note of the best escape route, braced herself and knocked on the door. She still didn't know exactly what she'd say if and when he answered. Hopefully it wouldn't be too stupid. Twilight felt a lot more confident in her social skills now, so this shouldn't be too hard!

Thunderlane answered just moments later. Suddenly all of that confidence faltered. For a very brief moment, Twilight was back to her old self, the Twilight that couldn't approach another pony on her own, didn't really even want to. She got a sudden urge to just turn tail and bolt, but no, she had to be brave, just like her friends taught her to be.

“Hey, Thunderlane. Do you remember me?” Twilight just blurted the words out. She smiled and pointed to herself.

Thunderlane stared at Twilight for a moment, clearly not remembering her. It made sense, they hadn't spoken in like a month.

“Oh!” Realization suddenly came to his face. “You're, uh Sunset Shimmer, right?”

“Twilight Sparkle. We met at the party! Rarity, erm, ordered you to dance with me?” That did sound a little awkward when you said it out loud. Twilight swallowed hard and continued on, scraping the ground with her hoof between every word. “I was, um, wondering if, uh, maybe you wanted to maybe do something? Or something?”

“You mean like with Rarity?” Thunderlane asked. “I dunno. I'll go to one of you guys' parties but going out alone with you four is-”

“Us four?” Twilight blinked.

“Everypony says you've been hanging around them a lot is all.” Thunderlane shrugged. “I figured they let you into the gang.”

Twilight smiled. She did like the thought that she was part of the 'gang', it gave her this warm kind of feeling to know she was seen as part of something. But then here she was, trying to not get sucked into said gang. And the smile faded at that thought.

“And like, no offense, but I don't want to get involved with any gangs, or be around all that swearing.” Thunderlane shook his head. “And honestly I have no idea how you manage to stay up every night without collapsing, or not get sick from all that candy. So like, no offense, but no thanks.”

“Actually I was thinking maybe I could do something with you, but not Rarity and the others?” Twilight asked. “Like just the two of us. Alone.”

“Like a date?” Thunderlane raised an eyebrow.

Twilight blushed heavily. Of course that's what it would look like! How did Twilight not realize that's what it would look like? She tried to say something, but the words turned to 'dyuh's on her toungue.

“I kind of recently hooked up with Raindrops, actually,” said Thunder.

“Oh good!” Twilight let out a sigh of relief.

Thunderlane's look just kept getting more perplexed.

“I didn't mean to ask you out,” said Twilight. “I just wanted to hang out with somepony other than those three.”

“Ah. They finally got to you, huh?” Thunderlane chuckled to himself. “Like I said, they throw great parties, but you don't really want to hang around them too much. I guess you noticed they're uh, not good company, yeah?”

Twilight didn't want to answer that. Her first instinct was to defend them, that's what she did when Applejack badmouthed them, but again she remembered that the whole reason she came here was because she was worried they were a bad influence. Instead she just frowned at her whole situation.

“I've got a couple of ponies over right now,” said Thunderlane. “If you wanna come in that's fine with me!”

“Yeah thanks!” Twilight nodded and followed him inside.

Turned out it was just Thunderlane and two other mares, both pegasi.

“Hey.” Thunderlane gestured over to Twilight. “This is Twilight, dunno if you remember her. It's alright if she hangs with us, right?”

“Sure,” said Raindrops. Twilight recognized that one. “And yeah, I remember you! I heard you fell in with Rarity's crowd, though.”

“Yeah,” said Thunderlane, “but she realized they weren't really the right crowd. She decided she'd rather hang out with normal ponies.”

Twilight didn't remember going that far with it.

“I can understand that. What were they making you do?” Raindrops asked.

“They weren't really making me do anything,” said Twilight. “We'd just listen to music, go see cool places, talk about philosophy and books and stuff. You know, try a bunch of new things.”

“Yeah.” Raindrops nodded knowingly. “That sounds like their normal tricks. Sometimes they try to make you do that kind of stuff. Those three are pretty sketchy if you ask me.”

Sketchy? Well maybe they were a little. From the sound of it, they did occasionally invite other ponies over like they did Twilight. They did it with Pinkie Pie, if nothing else. Twilight had never bothered getting a third party perspective on what happened with Pinkie. She trusted Rarity over Applejack, but still wanted to be absolutely sure.

“Can I ask you something about them?” Twilight asked. “It's just that I heard a rumor that they convinced Pinkie to run away from home and-”

Thunderlane chuckled.“Nah. Pinkie didn't need anyone to convince her to run away from home,” he said. “She used to do that all the time! She'd ask people if she could live in their tree houses, always wanted to have a sleepover, and stuff like that. It happened so often that it became a sort of joke among the other kids.”

“Other kids? Did you go to school with Pinkie?”

“I used to go to school with Pinkie, sure,” said Thunderlane. “She used to run away from home from time to time and be absent from school for a while, but the police or whoever would always bring her back to her parents. Well, that's what I heard anyway, never really knew her too well, you know? Anyway, I guess there's an age where they won't bring you back to your parents anymore and I think she ended up homeless for a couple months or something.”

“I remember there was this whole thing with her living under the bridge on the edge of town,” said Raindrops. “A bunch of ponies wanted to run her out of town or something. But then I guess Rarity adopted her or whatever. Never saw her without those other two after that."

Well that all but confirmed that Applejack had been out and out lying to Twilight. It was a bit of a relief to know that her new friends weren't nearly that sinister, though.

“Heh. You know Applejack was pegging them as some kind of cult,” said Twilight. “Guess that was nonsense though, right?”

“Well actually, there are some rumors going on about them,” said Thunderlane. “There's some suspicious, mysterious things going on with those three. Some ponies say, and with good reason mind you, that those three are, you know...” Thunderlane glanced both ways and leaned forward to whisper the word in Twilight's ear, as if he were about to pass on dire information. Maybe it wasn't just Applejack who suspected them, then. “Lesbians,” he whispered.

Twilight staggered back. She was not expecting to hear that! “W-what?”

“Think about it,” he said. “They're all touchy feely with each other and they never hang out with any colts. Heck, ask any colt in town and they'll tell you those three are the prettiest mares in town, no offense, but not one of them has a coltfriend. Very suspicious if you ask me.”

“Well I can pretty much confirm they're lesbians,” said Twilight, “but it's not like there's anything wrong with that! Even Celestia says some ponies are just born that way.”

“Sure,” said Raindrops. “I'm absolutely okay with it, I just need to keep track of who's dating who, you know? It's an obsession of mine! Oh! But which one's of them are dating, hm? It sounded like you knew!”

The correct answer to that was that Pinkie and Rainbow Dash were both dating Rarity. Twilight knew that was something they'd have a problem with, though. Even Twilight had a problem with it at first. She may have gotten used to their weird relationship, but was still embarrased to bring it up, knowing there'd be backlash against it.

“Rainbow Dash and Rarity are like a couple,” Twilight said. That was technically true.

“Opposites,” said Thunderlane.

“Oh? And what about Pinkie? Was she hitting on you?” Raindrops asked.

“No,” said Twilight, “I just, uh, get the feeling she's a lesbian. It's gaydar, you know?”

“Well you know who else I think is gay?” Raindrops asked the others. “Bramble.”

Twilight didn't know who bramble was. To her dismay, the conversation went down a path Twilight couldn't follow, knowing only like five of the ponies in this town. Twilight really had no idea who or what they were talking about for a solid half hour. They just went on and on about rumors about all the other ponies in town. They sure liked to gossip.

Maybe if Twilight committed to it, she would be able to follow what they were saying, but even then she didn't care too much for hearing about everypony's secrets and all that. So that was two reasons she didn't say anything for what was almost an hour now.

And as they kept talking, Twilight picked up more and more little things about them that irked her. Like every now and then one of them would say something like-

“I just love strawberries so much.” Raindrops or whoever would say, but with no real emotion.

It was hard to pinpoint, but the way they said it just sounded so fake, so inauthentic compared to how she'd gotten used to the others acting. It almost made her want to cringe.

They were boring. Twilight came to that realization. This whole thing was boring! Even more boring than her job! Twilight was starting to get annoyed at how boring it was, really. She could be asleep right now, you know.

But she remembered something Pinkie said. If you were bored then it was partially your fault, because you weren't trying hard enough to have fun. You have to put effort and passion into it! That was the only way you'd have fun, and if you didn't you'd end up being inauthentic.

Maybe she just needed to turn the subject away from gossip.

“Uh, hey!” Twilight blurted out a bit suddenly. Maybe too suddenly, as they were all looking at her now. But then again, that was what she wanted. “So uh, Raindrops, what are you into?”

“Ah, you know.” Raindrops shrugged.

“No I don't. That's why I asked.” Twilight chuckled and so did Raindrops, probably for different reasons. “Like, do you read?”

“Not really.”

“Really? Not even Daring Do? It's really popular these days!”

“No.” Raindrops shook her head. “But I guess I heard of it.”

“Oh, but I think Clear Skies is really into those.” Thunderlane tipped his drink in the other pegasus mare's direction.

“It's true, I'm such a nerd.” and she laughed. “I've seen both of the movies.”

The movies? Well that was good enough! Twilight could talk about Daring Do for hours even with just that much. Time to impress Clear Skies with her encyclopedic knowledge of the books!

“Ah, well did you hear that theory that Ahuizotl is actually a chimera created by Underdrome labs?” Twilight knew she'd get a kick out of that one.

“Owi-who?” Clear Skies raised her eyebrow.

“Ahuizotl! He was- he was like the main villain of the first movie!” Twilight stared in disbelief.

“Oh. That pegasus guy?”

“No! That was Caballeron! Ahuizotl was like the monster thing!”

Clear Skies had to think about it for a moment. “Oh yeah. I think I remember that thing.”

“You think? But he was like, a huge part of the movie. How do you not remember him if you're a huge fan of it?”

“I guess I'm not that much of a nerd.” Clear Skies rolled her eyes. “Seriously, who'd read a book instead of just going to the movie?”

“Yeah, looks like now Twilight's the biggest nerd here,” said Thunderlane.

They all laughed, possibly at Twilight, she wasn't sure. Her heart started beating faster again.

Was their something wrong with Clear Skies? Was she stupid? But then they were treating her like she was the normal one here. Twilight decided there was no hope for that pony. None at all.

“Okay, well do you like music?” Twilight asked Raindrops instead.

“I listen to it, but I'm not really 'into' music.”

“What about sports?” Twilight asked. “Or art or, uh, crossword puzzles?”

Just one subject! One thing and Twilight would be able to have an actual conversation with this pony. She knew enough about everything that it didn't even matter what subject it was!

“Nope.” Raindrops laughed. “I'm just kind of normal, you know?”

Normal?

“Well there has to be something you're interested in.” Twilight's laugh was just a little unhinged that time. “History, math, science, anything?”

“I don't know anything about history or science and honestly I don't want to!” Raindrops snickered.

Thunderlane made sounds of agreement and pumped his hoof in the air. “Yeah, me neither. Like seriously. DNA? Planets? Who cares, am I right? It's not like any of that is actually useful.”

“Basically what I know about history, literature, math and all that is exactly nothing!” Clear Skies said with a proud smirk. “The number zero is all I need to get out of math, you know to count up to how much I care about all that 'book smarts'. Yeah, I'll take common sense instead, thanks!”

And then they laughed. Were they proud of their ignorance?! Twilight bit her tongue and trotted away. That was the end of that conversation.

Still, Twilight resolved not to give up that easily.

“Hey, how about we do something?” Twilight looked around for any sense of interest.

“We're already hanging out," Raindrops shrugged.

“No, like play a game or something.”

“A game?” Thunderlane gave Twilight a painful look. “We're not foals, Twilight. We don't play games.”

“Well we could play like an adult game.” The others just scoffed at that idea. “No, really! There's lots of games that are fun! And even if you don't want to play a game there's so many other things we could do. Don't any of you want to try something new? Like, how will you know you don't like playing a game unless you try it?”

“Sheesh, you really have been hanging around those three a lot.” Thunderlane shook his head. Twilight could tell he was getting annoyed with this. “Look, even if we did want to play tag or something – it's just not something adults do, okay? It's too kiddy!”

“Well maybe there's nothing wrong with being a little bit like them,” said Twilight. “Maybe they do go too far on some things, but they still have a lot of good ideas! Like, who says we need to put ourselves in these boxes, deciding what we do based on our demographic? Huh?”

“Celestia? I'm pretty sure Celestia wants us in those 'boxes'.” Clear Skies snarked. “What's your problem anyway? We were having a great time till you decided to bring all this up!”

“My problem?! Well Celestia doesn't have to be right about everything! And we don't necessarily have to do what she wants us to. Right?”

That line they didn't like. One of them glared at her, one of them shook their head in disgust and the other covered their face with their hoof in disappointment.

“See,” said Raindrops, “this is why we don't normally let your little gang around us. Rarity and the others are freaks who like acting like little kids and breaking the rules for no reason. And if you're like them, then you're bad news.”

“Well they're a lot more fun than you! And nicer too! And smarter and they even smell better! I think they're right to question Celestia because otherwise you end up like, well like you!”

“I think maybe you should go, Twilight,” said Thunderlane.

“Yeah?” Twilight stood up. “Well you can't think I should go because I'm already going!” And with that she started marching towards the door.

“That doesn't make any sense!” Thunderlane called after her. All the other mares laughed at that for some reason.

“Hey, look! I'm still doing my coolness training, okay?!” Twilight threw the door open and turned around to face the other ponies. “But next time you get a comeback from me you're all gonna be like 'oh snap'.”

And then Twilight slammed the door shut on them all. She wished she'd been just slightly faster, though, as she heard even more laughter just before closing those ponies off.

Whelp! One bridge burned. Good riddance, though.

You know, this was probably the real reason Twilight was never interested in making friends. She just never met the right type till coming to Ponyville. 'Normal' ponies were not the kind she liked hanging around with, that was true back then and it was true now.

Twilight was glad she came here if only because it made her realize that. It was so obvious! Your average pony was just so boring and dense. She needed the excitement and challenge that Rarity and her gang gave her. That was where Twilight belonged and that was where she'd go instead of wasting her time here.

And she was supposed to go meet them in the woods tonight. There was no way Twilight was going to miss that now. But first there was something she needed to get.