• Published 16th Jun 2020
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The Power of Two - Locomotion

A young changeling runs away from home, only to be attacked by timberwolves in the Everfree Forest. Fortunately, Locomotion is on hoof to save her - but little do they know that she has a spy on her tail...

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Chapter 31: Return to the Promised Land

A faint, rhythmic beeping sound invaded Locomotion's ears, gently stirring him from the dark, gloomy realms of a dreamless sleep. This one, however, felt like it had been dragging on for years on end; his head was aching dully, his right arm felt numb and heavy, and the rest of him felt as if he had just pulled every single muscle in his body. Slowly, groggily, he ever so slightly parted his eyelids, trying to remember what had hit him. The last thing he remembered before passing out was being laid out on a gurney and carted away, while a frantic female voice cried out his name and pleaded to go in with him...but where?

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” said a gentle voice next to him.

Locomotion blinked drowsily as a pink mare in a nurse's uniform came into his peripheral vision. “Where am I?” he tried to ask; but all he could manage was a squeaky wheezing sound.

“It's alright, Locomotion,” soothed the nurse. “You're in the intensive care unit at El Pinto Hospital.”

Gingerly, Locomotion scanned his surroundings. Now, as his blurred vision began to clear, he could see the bed on which he was lying, the white walls of the small room he was in, the turquoise blue curtains that matched the gown he was currently wearing, the cast around his right arm, the cannulas in his left...no wonder he felt so battered! If this was what being hit by a steam engine was like, he thought wryly, then thank goodness he was so fastidious about track safety. If only his throat wasn't so dry...

Luckily for him, the nurse already seemed to know what he was thinking. “Do you want something to drink?” she asked kindly.

Locomotion nodded and rubbed his sore throat with his left hoof. At least that arm was still functioning, he told himself thankfully.

“Okay, dear, I'll go get you something.” The nurse trotted over to a nearby sink, and filled a small paper cup with water from the tap. That done, she eased Locomotion's broken arm into the sling draped over his shoulders, and helped him to sit upright so he could take his drink without choking. “Here you go,” she spoke, holding the cup to his lips.

Locomotion smiled weakly and began feverishly gulping down its contents, moaning with relief as the water soothed his throat. As awkward as it felt being fed like a toddler (and in his teens, no less!), he was feeling far too dopey to care; although at least his headache, and the emptiness in his stomach he hadn't noticed up till now, were beginning to subside. Only when the cup itself was empty did he allow himself to sit back and relax. “Thanks,” he murmured in a weary, scratchy tone.

“That's alright, dear,” the nurse smiled back as she returned the cup to the sink. “Your changeling friend should be out of the bathroom any minute. I'm sure you'll be glad to see her again.”

“Eh?” Locomotion blinked as the sound of a toilet flushing registered in his ears, his gaze drifting to one of two doors on the far side of the room. He hadn't even realised he was in a private suite, let alone one with a bathroom; but what really threw him for a loop was what the nurse had just said about a “changeling friend” – and without the faintest hint of disdain! Could it be... “Hornette?”

Sure enough, before he could even begin to wonder, the door opened to reveal none other than the love of his life herself. The look of anxiety on her face gave way to euphoric relief as she cantered over and wrapped her arms around his withers, taking care not to aggravate his injuries. “Oh, Loco,” she faltered, “I'm so glad you're awake.”

A small tear trickled down Locomotion's cheek as he hugged her back with his good arm. “You and me both, Hornette,” he whispered fondly. “How long have I been out?”

“Twenty-nine of the longest and most stressful days I've ever been through,” replied Hornette, brushing her own tears away as she pulled back to gaze into his eyes.

“Cripes, that long?” remarked Locomotion, stunned.

Hornette nodded. “You were in a terrible state, Loco. I was afraid you wouldn't make it,” she continued sombrely. “I even heard you went into...carry...cardio...what did you call it again?”

“Cardiac arrest,” explained the nurse helpfully. “It's when a patient's heart stops beating, and needs CPR or a defibrillator to get it going again. That's exactly what happened to you, Locomotion, about an hour into the operation.”

Locomotion frowned ruefully, raising his left hoof to his chest as if he expected to feel a gaping hole.

“No-one told me until after your operation was finished,” went on Hornette, “but they did have to put you to sleep just so your body could heal. That's how fragile you were.” She paused, choking back fresh tears. “You wouldn't believe how painful it was, just sitting here...waiting for you to wake up...”

“Wait – you mean...” Locomotion blinked in astonishment. “...you've been with me the whole time?”

Hornette nodded again. “I couldn't possibly leave you be, not while you were all frail and broken. Rainbow Dash even threatened to take the hospital to court if they didn't let me stay here.”

The bewilderment in Locomotion's expression was so tangible you could almost mould it like clay. “So...she does care about you after all,” he whispered.

“Yeah...so it would seem,” replied Hornette with a shaky smile. “She actually apologised to me while we were in the waiting room – and gave me a shoulder to cry on as well.” She looked away, seemingly taking an interest in the floor. “But Loco...why didn't you save yourself? What were you trying to achieve, right in the middle of a collapsing throne room?” she ventured softly, a look of hurt in her eyes.

“How did you know I...” Locomotion broke off as yet another realisation struck him. “...did Twilight scan my memory while I was out?”

“More than that – she scanned your whole brain,” said Hornette matter-of-factly. “Mainly to check for any permanent brain damage...but also to find out what happened.”


“No head injuries to speak of, other than those...contusion thingies – but we learned you'd nearly thrown your life away just to shield Chrysalis when the roof came down.” Hornette's eyes were full of dismay as she spoke. “I just have to understand – why? Why did you do it?”

If Locomotion seemed ashamed earlier, he now looked absolutely crestfallen. He gazed sadly down at his front hooves, tears welling up in his eyes once more. “I'm sorry, Hornette,” he stammered. “I did try.”

“Try what?”

“I know Chrysalis was your worst enemy, but...I dunno...when I saw her pinned under that rock, I...I just flashed back to when we first met. It reminded me of how hurt and vulnerable you were...I couldn't just abandon her like that – not when she was in such grave peril,” sobbed Locomotion, his voice leaden with anguish and regret. “But I couldn't save her either...all because I was so feeble...and path...pathetic...” He buried his face in his left hoof, unable to say anything else as he began to cry feverishly.

It was enough to break Hornette's heart. Her darling Locomotion, only just woken up from a month-long coma, and the first thing he could think of was how useless he was at saving his mortal enemy and hers – and in a situation beyond his control too! Part of her wanted to go into an outburst about how wrong he was; but the rest of her knew that such a harsh approach would only damage his self-esteem still further. Instead, she did the only thing she could think of, and began stroking his dishevelled mane in an attempt to comfort him. “Loco,” she whispered in the softest and most disarming tone she could manage, “I don't want you to put yourself down like this. You're a great many things – brave, thoughtful, caring, understanding – but you're not feeble or pathetic. You actually did really well to protect yourself and Chrysalis...”

“...and yet somehow I let her get crushed to death!” wept Locomotion bitterly. “I should've tried harder...put more magic into my forcefield!”

“Would it have made any difference?” Hornette gently lifted his head so that she could look into his eyes again. “Chrysalis was beyond hope – even if you did manage to save her, she'd have either gone straight to jail or just gone on terrorising...well, both our species. And from what the nurse told me, you didn't have much more to give anyway,” she continued, visibly pained. “The amount of magic you were using on that spell...and all that loose rock...it......it practically killed you! I still don't know what brought you back to life, but...” She paused, trying in vain to wipe away a fresh build-up of tears. “...oh, it was so heart-wrenching, finding you all mauled and lifeless. I really thought I'd lost you for good.”

Locomotion's fervent sobbing abated into tiny sniffles. He still felt a little angry with himself, but was deeply touched to know Hornette didn't think less of him for his failure.

“I don't know what I'd do without you, Loco. You're far more than just a potential source of nourishment...not that I'd use you as such unless you were okay with it.” Hornette smiled wryly in spite of herself. “I'm loathed to say this, but...maybe Chrysalis was better off dead after all,” she finished. “I don't even care that you couldn't save her – I'm just happy to see you alive.”

Only then did the faintest hint of a smile return to Locomotion's face. Hornette was right, he told himself thoughtfully – he may have lost Chrysalis (and who in their right mind, in retrospect, would bother trying to save a malevolent, murdering maniac like her anyway?!), but the important thing was that he had...more or less survived. And looking into his lover's eyes, he couldn't be any happier for it...

“Oh...sorry, am I interrupting something?”

The nurse turned towards the doorway into the main ward area. “Not at all, Your Majesty. Do come in, by all means,” she replied, curtsying politely.

Your Majesty...? Locomotion blinked in surprise as a familiar face politely entered the room. “Thorax? What are you doing here?”

“Just thought I'd drop by and see how you and Hornette were doing,” smiled Thorax warmly. “Good to see you're awake, by the way.”

Locomotion shrugged and gave him a wry smile. “Meh...I've felt better,” he mused. “Although...what was with all the bowing and scraping just now?”

Thorax chuckled. “Well, there's been a lot going on since you were hospitalised. Our nation's in an absolute shambles at the moment; not a single census in the last sixteen years, several changelings either unnamed or unaccounted for...no real government structure whatsoever. Turns out most of the old councillors and advisers were either fired or executed and their positions abolished,” he explained gravely. “I've managed to reinstate some of them, but it's been a real struggle so far.”

“So...does that mean you've had your title reinstated too?” asked Hornette.

“Not quite,” replied Thorax knowingly, “but I did get an even higher position than that.”

Locomotion gaped in shock and awe. “You...you mean...”

“Yes, Loco – this changeling count's son is now King Thorax of Metamorphia.” The big green changeling chuckled again, this time a little more humbly. “We decided a new name was in order for our kingdom – as accurate as it may have been in times gone by, we felt 'the Badlands' would be an inappropriate title going forward.”

“Yeah, but...why you? I mean, with all due respect, surely the eldest...” Locomotion suddenly broke off, the memory of their raid flashing through his mind. “...wait – is Pharynx dead?” he exclaimed.

“Heavens, no!” laughed Thorax reassuringly. “He was pretty badly injured, but he's fighting fit now. We did offer him the crown, but he declined – said he felt too unworthy after all the wrongs he'd wrought on Chrysalis' behalf.”

Hornette hummed thoughtfully. “Yeah...I know the feeling,” she sympathised. “I should think we all do by now.”

“So...you pretty much got the crown by default?”

“Well...more on the condition that Pharynx became my new Commander-in-Chief of the Army. It took a lot of persuasion,” admitted Thorax, “but I managed to talk him into it in the end.”

Locomotion smiled. “I reckon that's the least he deserves, after all he's done to help us,” he observed. “Remind me to thank him next time I see him.”

“Ah, no need,” promised Thorax. “I'll be sure to thank him on your behalf. Besides, it's you and Hornette we should be thanking,” he added meaningfully. “Not only did you topple that monster of a monarch of ours, but...in a way, you've kinda helped us to begin realising Nymphia's ambitions. That's part of the reason why I'm here.”

“How come?” ventured Hornette, her eyes widening with hope and interest.

Thorax beamed broadly. “Princess Celestia has finally opened peace talks with our nation,” he said. “Turns out the news of Chrysalis' dethroning and the truth about what she's been doing to us has been spreading like wildfire, and attitudes to us changelings are starting to improve as a result. Not only has Equestria agreed to a foreign aid plan to help us back to our hooves, but other countries are starting to pitch in as well. And even better news for you particularly, Hornette,” he added, his eyes lighting up as if he had an exciting surprise in store, “you won't have to worry about your parole any longer.”

“I...I've passed?”

“Nope – way better than that...”

Hornette and Locomotion waited with bated breath.

“...in the wake of our heroics and all the political and social reforms back home, Celestia has ruled that the Anti-Changeling Protection Act is to be scrapped, and new laws are being written to allow us to live among you ponies as equals.”

Locomotion's heart skipped a beat in delight. If he hadn't been so sore and tired, he would have gladly leaped out of bed and hugged Thorax he was so full of emotion right now. “So...Hornette...”

“...is now a naturalised Equestrian subject – if she still wants to be, of course,” affirmed Thorax. “If not, I'd be more than happy to have you on my council – maybe as my heir to the throne, if you so choose,” he offered cordially.

Hornette smiled, visibly touched. “That...that's really generous of you, Thorax,” she stammered. “I'm honoured – really I am...”

The look of dismay on Locomotion's face spoke volumes for itself.

“...but if it's all the same to you...I'd much rather stay here with Loco,” finished Hornette earnestly.

Thorax smiled back and nodded understandingly. “And you have my full blessings, Hornette.” He turned his attention back to Locomotion, who was now paralysed with awe and affection; “Do take care of her, though, Loco,” he added softly. “She's the closest I've ever got to having a sister.”

“Uh...” Locomotion hastily snapped out of his trance. “...sorry, Thorax, I must have zoned out for a moment. But yes,” he replied resolutely, “I'll be sure to make her safe and happy...just like I've always striven to do,” and to show how much he meant it, he gazed lovingly back into Hornette's eyes, his left hoof combing gently through that soft, silky mane of hers. The young changeling smiled warmly in return, slowly and unconsciously moving her face closer to his.

All too soon, a tactful cough from the nurse broke the spell. “Um...pardon me, Your Majesty,” she said to Thorax, “but with all due respect, I believe Locomotion and Hornette could do with some time alone.”

“That's alright, nurse,” conceded Thorax. “I still have much to do – much to put right.” As he turned to leave, he gave Hornette a friendly pat on the shoulder. “Take it easy, you two. I'll try to pay you another visit whenever I get the chance,” and with that, he and the nurse took their leave.

A momentary silence fell over the two young lovers as they became lost in each other's eyes yet again. Eventually, Locomotion asked, “Do you really mean it, Hornette? About staying here in Equestria?”

“Yes, Loco. I meant every word of it – and that goes for what I said when I thought you'd died,” murmured Hornette emphatically. “I don't know how you did it, Loco, but you've captured my heart in ways that no changeling can ever match. All I need to know is...” She leaned in closer, placing her left hoof on his right shoulder. “...do you really feel the same about me?”

Even before he had begun to answer, the warm smile and the twinkle in Locomotion's eyes told her all she needed to know. “Yes – with all my heart,” he whispered, closing the gap between them. In that very instant, a huge wave of giddiness swept over him like a powerful typhoon, and the beeping of the heart monitor increased as his heart seemed to explode out of his chest. All those times he had wondered what his first kiss would be like, and now, finally, it was actually happening! And with the very changeling he had rescued, befriended, looked after, and ultimately fallen in love with! He didn't even care how his friends would react to him and Hornette becoming an item – all he cared about right now was savouring the mutual moment of bliss between himself and his new fillyfriend.

Tears of joy spilt out of Hornette's clenched eyes as she kissed him back with deep passion, gulping down his love in huge mouthfuls and allowing her tongue to dance merrily with his. It was a moment of pure, unbridled happiness like nothing she had ever dreamed of – not only did she have a place to call home, as well as a loyal circle of friends, but she actually had a very special somepony to call her own...somepony to love and care for...to hold onto for as long as she lived, and beyond. For the first time in her life, she felt complete; and all thanks to that warm-hearted, red-furred, ever-loving young stallion named Locomotion...

How unpredictable life could be sometimes. No matter where you looked, nor how hard you tried, fate never seemed to make up its mind as to whether it wanted you to be happy or miserable, weak or powerful, useless or helpful, popular or obscure. It could give you everything you ever wanted, and then just when you started to enjoy your quality of life, it could take it all away and leave you in ruins. Even when you made friends, Lady Luck never seemed to care how close you were or how much you had in common – if she decided to end that friendship, no matter how brutally, there was no way anything could dissuade her. And yet, somehow, it seemed there were times when she did care, times when she would pull out all stops to ensure that certain friendships would never be broken...and even help them blossom into something more...

Those were the thoughts that flowed through the mind of a red-furred unicorn teenager as one of the doctors examined him carefully. After waking up from his coma, Locomotion had spent another long and tedious month in intensive care, most of it on bed rest. He was glad of it at first; but with so little to do, he soon became dreadfully gloomy and homesick, and even cried a number of times. He missed being with his family and friends, and wanted nothing more than to be back home in Ponyville; but the doctors insisted that the severity of his injuries was too much to transfer him there. Within a week, his mood had declined so heavily that Hornette opted to secure some counselling for him. Locomotion readily consented to it, but on the condition that she received the same treatment herself – after all, he reasoned gravely, she had been through a lot worse than he had, and for far longer.

He almost regretted it on their first session, for although Hornette had agreed to give it a try, she quickly found herself regressing into the teary, timid young changeling she used to be before meeting him. Fortunately, the therapist was very patient and understanding. Instead of asking questions and trying to get the timid insectoid to open up, she simply sat and waited until Hornette felt brave enough to speak freely. When at last she did, she was so emotional that Locomotion found himself hugging her instinctively as she vented about her troubled past. Not that he had it much easier himself, of course; for if the love of his life learning about his aunt's death was like opening up an old wound, sharing all his worst memories with a complete stranger felt like having his heart ripped out of his chest and stomped to pulp before his very eyes. He spoke about it with bitter anguish and tearful guilt, even to the point of becoming abrasive; but the therapist remained calm and philosophical throughout, and reassured him that it was natural to be angry and upset about his losses. Eventually, Locomotion became too exhausted to continue, and the therapist left him and Hornette in peace.

The counselling sessions continued for an hour a day; but although the young couple gradually began to feel better in themselves, it didn't make Locomotion's stay much easier. He could hardly eat anything at first without feeling sick, so it took him a while before he could take solid foods again; and because he had been confined to bed for so long, he needed physical therapy in order to regain strength in his legs. Mercifully, by the second weekend in November, almost all his wounds had healed over, and he was able to walk freely for the first time in weeks. Not long now before he was discharged, he thought hopefully.

At last, the doctor set down his stethoscope and wrote something down on his clipboard. Hornette stood to one side, looking on with anticipation.

“Well?” asked Locomotion patiently.

“No complications to speak of,” replied the doctor. “No internal bleeding, no infections...brain's healed over nicely...your arm's still a little fragile, so you'll have to keep it in a brace for at least a fortnight. Other than that, I'd say you're in pretty good health.”

“Aw, good. Does this mean I'm free to go?”

The doctor smiled. “I don't see why not. We'll be arranging further counselling as soon as you return, and you'll need to stay off work until your arm's fully healed; but as long as you take it easy for the rest of the month, you should be fine.”
Hornette felt her heart somersault joyously inside her chest. “Oh, that's wonderful news,” she sighed with relief. “Gosh, will it be good to get back to Ponyville.”

“Too true, Hornette – too true,” murmured Locomotion. Deep down, he was absolutely jumping for joy – he hadn't had a single visit from friends or family since regaining consciousness, and was looking forward to seeing them again. Thank goodness they at least had the heart to send him cards and presents in the interim. “Only one problem left, I guess...”

“What's that?” ventured Hornette, her brow furrowing.

Locomotion shrugged. “...how I'm gonna pay for our return journey,” he said simply.

“No need,” interjected the doctor. “We phoned the train station earlier today, and they've already made the arrangements. All you need to do is give your names as soon as you arrive, and all will be in order.”

“Ah, well that's something,” mused Locomotion thankfully. “Well, Hornette, I suppose we'd better go pack our bags. Sooner we check outta here, the better.” But just as he was standing up to leave, an appreciative smile crossed his face, and he turned humbly back to the doctor. “By the way, doc,” he added, “I'd just like to thank you and all the staff here for all you've done for me over the past two months.”

“Don't mention it,” chuckled the doctor. “It's what we're here for.”

“Yeah, well...thanks anyway. I really do appreciate it.”

“I should think we all do,” put in Hornette with warm sincerity. “Life just wouldn't be the same without good old Locomotion; and I can't thank you enough for saving him.”

The doctor chuckled again at the grateful gleam in her eyes. “You're most welcome,” he murmured, visibly flattered. “Just remember not to put too much weight on that arm, Locomotion.”

“I'll do my best,” said Locomotion; and with that, he and Hornette took their leave.

That afternoon, having checked out at the reception desk, Hornette and Locomotion began their long journey back to Ponyville. It was only a ten-minute walk from the hospital to the station, but Locomotion's fragile right arm made it hard for him to walk without limping, so they had to go there by ambulance instead. When they arrived, they headed straight for the ticket office, trying to ignore the tens of thousands of eyes they could feel gazing at them – but discomfort soon turned to amazement when they heard what some of the onlookers had to say. Far from being spooked or disgusted by the sight of a changeling, their subdued murmurs were largely of praise and admiration.

“Wow,” remarked Locomotion, visibly awestruck. “That sure wasn't the reaction I was expecting.”

“Me neither,” Hornette mused. “It's like they're...pleased to see us.”

Locomotion nodded, feeling a heart-warming sense of fulfilment and exoneration as he looked towards a nearby newspaper stand. One front page article in particular bore the headline “THORAX THAWS RELATIONS; PEACE TREATY BETWEEN EQUESTRIA AND METAMORPHIA RATIFIED LAST TUESDAY”, and included a whole paragraph about how he and Hornette had restored free will to her fellow changelings. “And no wonder,” he said. “Thorax was right – we really have turned their opinions around. Almost makes it worth being disfigured in that accident.”

Hornette smiled and nuzzled him affectionately, giving off that soft purr that Locomotion had grown so fond of. “No, Loco,” she reassured him. “You're still just as handsome as before – even with that cute scar on your forehead. It just...adds to your appearance somehow.”

“You really think so?” ventured Locomotion, self-consciously raising a hoof to the mark in question. When the nurses had removed the bandages from his head, he had been disheartened to find a permanent cloud-shaped scar where he had scraped his forehead against the rubble. He was very sensitive about it at first, but as nopony had a bad thing to say about it, least of all Hornette, he soon grew to like it.

“Even if it didn't, you'd still be the same stallion I fell in love with.”

Locomotion blushed; but quickly came to his senses as he realised that they were now at the front of the queue. He trotted briskly over to the ticket window, with Hornette close behind. “Good afternoon,” he said to the booking clerk. “Two singles to Ponyville, please – names of Locomotion and Hornette.”

For a moment, the clerk seemed a little surprised. He quickly checked his reservation book before turning to speak to another pony behind him, while the two teenagers exchanged puzzled glances. “Names of Locomotion and...Hornette, you say?” he asked, returning his attention to the young couple.

“Uh...yeah?” affirmed Locomotion, perplexed.

“Right, then if you'd care to follow our stationmaster, he'd be glad to show you to your train.”

If Locomotion was puzzled a moment ago, he was now absolutely baffled. “Eh?! But...we haven't got our tickets yet!”

“That's alright,” chuckled the clerk reassuringly, “you won't be needing them. You're the only passengers on this train!”

“Whatever does he mean?” wondered Hornette.

Locomotion didn't reply – he just hoped they weren't being set up. It came as an even greater surprise, then, when the stationmaster led them to a train consisting of just one solitary coach, and a very lavishly equipped one at that! Its interior resembled something out of a stately home, with two sleeping compartments, a kitchen and dining room at one end, and an opulent parlour that led to an observation balcony at the back of the vehicle; while upfront, a big, pristine express engine stood simmering patiently and waiting for the off.

“But...I...this is a private coach!” spluttered Locomotion, astounded. “I thought we'd be taking the Celestial Flyer!”

“Evidently not,” replied the stationmaster. “A relative of yours rang us up a few weeks ago, saying his nephew was in hospital, and asking us to reserve a special train for him and his, uh...'companion'...once he'd been discharged. His boss sent this coach down to us, and it's been waiting here ever since, ready to take you home at a moment's notice.”

Locomotion's eyes glossed over at this father of all revelations. He almost began to worry he would burst into tears he was so touched. “U...Uncle Steamer?” he stammered.

“That's what he said his name was, yes.”

“He...put this on for me and Hornette? And after all I said to him?” The red-furred stallion raised a hoof to his chest as tears finally began to leak out. “He...he really does care,” he whispered emotionally as Hornette wrapped a perforated arm around his shoulders, only just managing to maintain her own composure. She was relieved for her part not to have driven a permanent wedge between Locomotion and his uncle, and equally touched that the older stallion still saw some good in her.

“Yes, well...better get aboard,” said the stationmaster after a while. “Your path should be clear any minute now.”

“Oh...sure,” answered Locomotion, discretely pulling himself together. “Thanks a lot, sir – much appreciated.” He gave a soft smile to his beloved changeling as the stationmaster turned and walked away. “Hornette...”

“Yes, Loco?”

Locomotion leaned in closer and kissed Hornette on the bridge of her snout. “Let's go home,” he said fondly.

Home...just hearing that one word was enough to bring a small, joyful tear to Hornette's eye. All that time she had been striving for a Promised Land, and now, she was beginning to realise, it had been right under her nose the whole time – in that quaint but endearing Equestrian town called Ponyville, a place that she had come to love almost as much as the stallion who had brought her there. She had missed it oh so badly ever since being driven out more than two months ago, and to be going back there as a permanent resident...to be with Locomotion for as long as time itself would allow her...she just couldn't put it into words. With a warm smile of her own, she nuzzled him passionately as they boarded their train.

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