• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,221 Views, 969 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama



Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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Lights Falling From The Sky

Rainbow Dash looked up and watched the small spheres of light falling from the sky with wide eyes. It was so… surreal. For a long while, she just sat there, not entirely sure she actually believed it, that they had won and that it was finally over. Curious, she reached a hoof out to catch one of the falling lights. It landed gently on her hoof, and the muscles in that foreleg were filled with a comforting warmth and fuzzy tingling that made them immediately relax. She realized that it was really real. They had done it.

This revelation might have given her a rush of energy. She might have laughed, or jumped up and down with joy, and screamed her triumph to the heavens. She might have thrown her forelegs around anything and everything nearby to share her jubilation. But at that moment, sitting there in the plaza and looking up, all she could be was relieved. A small smile formed on her face, followed by a weak chuckle. “Heh… it’s finally over…” she whispered to herself.

The crystal ponies were cheering. Their coats had gotten their color back, and several of them were chattering quickly at one another with growing excitement. Somewhere in the sea of words, Rainbow could just make out some them saying that they could remember. Her smile grew. The amnesia of the empire had finally been lifted.

She caught sight of her friends as they galloped through the crowd to offer her their congratulations and praise. She heard them speaking to her, and passively soaked up the words alongside all of the cheering, whooping and hollering of the crowd.

“Fabulously done, Rainbow Dash! I don’t think I could have said it better myself!”

“Ya real showed him what for! Nice goin’ RD!”

“Yay…!”

“Can I throw our super-duper-awesome victory party yet?!”

Rainbow tiredly lowered her eyes from the sky to look at her friends, offering them a small smile. “Thanks, guys…” she said before looking down at Celestia at her hooves. Her spasms had ended, and she was stirring on the ground. She would be waking up, soon. Rainbow gave her friends another quick glance. “But, uh… do you mind giving me a little bit? I got some catching up to do with my family…” as she said that, Luna came in for a landing by her side, short of breath, but looking nonetheless happy and satisfied with the situation. Rainbow looked up at her, and her smile grew. “All of my family.”

Her friends didn’t say another word, all of them slowly backing away and speaking to one another in hushed, happy tones. Rainbow didn’t pay them any mind for the moment, instead watching as Celestia’s eyes fluttered open. “Ow… my head…” the princess grumbled in a very unladylike manner while reaching a hoof up to her temple.

Luna tittered quietly behind a hoof before giving the other alicorn a wry smirk. “Feeling out of sorts this morning, sister dearest?” she asked teasingly while reaching down to help Celestia sit up.

“You hush,” came her groggy reply. She took Luna’s hoof with her own, and soon enough she was sitting upright. She blinked away the last remains of her exhaustion and started looking around at all of the ecstatic crystal ponies. “Is it over? Did we win?”

“Yeah, mom,” Rainbow answered her quietly, giving Celestia a big, happy smile. “We won. Sombra’s toast, Chrysalis is a tree, and I’m…” her smile faltered somewhat. Her ears flicked back just slightly, and she found she couldn’t quite meet her mother’s gaze anymore. Celestia noticed her sudden shyness and leaned closer down to her.

“Rainbow Dash? Is something wrong?”

Rainbow nodded and looked up at her again. “...I’m sorry I went after Starlight, and I’m sorry I lied to you about it… it was stupid of me, not to mention reckless, and I… I made a lot of mistakes really quickly. I almost ruined everything... I know you said I’ve made up for it, but… I just want to make sure you know that I know I royally screwed up. I’m sorry...”

There were a few seconds of quiet between the assembled royals before Luna set a hoof on Rainbow’s back, offering her a genuine smile. Rainbow looked up at her in confusion for a moment. She then yelped in surprise when she was pulled into a tight embrace by the alicorn of the night. After squirming for a few moments, though, Rainbow relented and returned the embrace.

“Rainbow Dash?” Luna began in a hushed tone.

“Uh, yeah?”

“...That has got to be the stupidest thing I have heard all month.”

Rainbow blinked once, then twice. The memory of the pep talk she gave Luna in her dreams came rushing back to her, and she couldn’t help but grin. Then she burst out into a weak chuckle and tightened her hold on her aunt. “Heh. Yeah, I guess it is kinda stupid of me, huh?”

Celestia tilted her head as she watched the scene. “Am I missing something?” she asked, confused, but still with a touched smile on her muzzle.

Luna and Rainbow disengaged from their hug after another few seconds to smile right back at her. Luna shook her head. “No, sister, nothing of importance.”

“Now get in here!” Rainbow added loudly, throwing her free foreleg wide open, inviting Celestia to join them in their embrace. “I’m not done hugging you two!”

Celestia rolled her eyes at Rainbow’s very blunt expression of her intentions but didn’t object. She gratefully slid in with them, initiating a group hug that put the hearts of all three mares at ease. The shared body heat, the feel of their hearts beating… The rest of the world faded away for them for a little while as they just… basked in each other’s presence.

Rainbow shifted slightly so she could look up at the faces of the two alicorns. “I know I already said it earlier, but…” she pulled both of them even closer, a long, happy exhale leaving her lips. “I missed you two… So, so much…”

Luna smiled and gave her niece an affectionate nuzzle on top her head. “As did we, little Rainbow. As did we,” she whispered in response.

And for a good while yet, they stayed like that. They didn’t want the moment to ever end. However, the passing of time waited for none and came knocking on their moment by way of a hoof tapping on Rainbow’s back. Finally broken out of their reunion, all three of them turned to see Fluttershy standing there with a worried look on her face. “Oh, uh, I’m so sorry to interrupt, but… where’s Twilight? She went with you up to the roof, didn’t she?” she asked Rainbow while glancing up towards the palace.

Rainbow’s eyes widened and she slapped a hoof to her forehead. “Ponyfeathers, that’s right! She’s still up there!” she exclaimed before standing up and backing out of the embrace with her wings already unfurling. “I’ll go get her. We’ll probably be down in a few minutes, so sit tight!” She then turned to give Luna and Celestia an expectant look. “You two coming?”

Celestia’s smile broadened as she rose to her hooves. “Of course, Rainbow. Lead the way,” she said as Luna also stood by her side. Rainbow gave a sharp nod of her head before turning and galloping out from under the palace and taking to the skies, her mother and aunt close on her hooves.

As they rose through the air, with the wind rushing through her mane and buffeting her face, and with all of their current troubles dealt with, Rainbow Dash simply couldn’t help herself. She came to a stop in the air to do a long loop-de-loop in the air, spinning as she came out of it while laughing like a little filly. As she came out of her spin and ascended higher, her laughter only grew louder.

“YEEEAAH!” she screamed at the top of her lungs in victory. “WE DID IT! WOOHOO!”


Twilight looked out over the Crystal Empire from the roof, smiling happily as she saw the inhabitants prancing and galloping around, celebrating the defeat of King Sombra. Some were dancing, others were hugging each other with tears of joy, and a few were frantically searching through the crowds before locking into loving embraces with another. Given how energetic they all were, the way they were talking and looking around with newfound recognition, and the restoration of their colors, she could only assume that the Crystal Heart had restored their memories. This theory was reinforced as she saw ponies rushing for stores and businesses that had been closed ever since she and her friends arrived here.

The whole empire had come alive in a way she had never seen before. And with the northern lights hanging over her head, and those wonderful stars falling from the heavens, Twilight allowed herself to finally, fully and completely relax. She slumped against the guardrail of the roof and blew out a heavy sigh of relief. “Whew… good job, Rainbow,” she muttered to herself while looking up at the sky again.

Her relative peace and quiet was disturbed when an all-too-familiar voice rang out from below, hollering and whooping and screaming with absolute delight. She looked down and grinned enthusiastically when she saw Rainbow Dash flying up to the roof with Celestia and Luna in tow. Twilight couldn’t help but laugh to herself when she saw the goofy grin plastered on Rainbow’s muzzle. As the family drew closer, though, she raised a hoof and waved at them. “Hey!” she called out happily.

And then Rainbow tackled her.

Twilight let out a loud grunt of surprise as she was sent sliding back several yards across the roof of the palace with her torso being constricted by a pair of very tightly hugging forelegs. She squirmed and kicked for a little bit, trying in vain to gasp for breath before finally being released. She fell back onto her rump and began gasping for breath. She looked up and saw Rainbow smiling sheepishly back at her while scratching the back of her head. “Heh… sorry. Kinda got excited…” she apologized with an awkward laugh.

“Don’t be sorry,” Twilight dismissed before gulping in another lungful of sweet, wonderful air. She then shook her head and gave Rainbow a big smile. “I’ve heard that sentence enough for one lifetime. Just get in here and hug me, you rainbow-maned dork!”

Rainbow didn’t object to that, wrapping Twilight up in another tight hug, though she was sure to not asphyxiate her lover this time. Twilight eagerly returned the hug, nuzzling into Rainbow’s neck and humming in content when she felt the gesture returned. After a few seconds of holding one another, a sound caught Twilight’s ear, making it twitch. She looked up and saw Luna and Celestia coming in for a landing and standing there, looking on with happy smiles. She smiled back and waved at them. “Hello, princesses. I’d hug you, too, but ah...”

Rainbow gave her another squeeze, making her squeak. She then offered a sheepish grin. “Rainbow’s being kinda clingy…”

“Oh, don’t mind us,” Luna replied with a knowing grin on her face. She waved a hoof at them in a ‘do your thing’ gesture. “We can wait our turn. Besides, you two have more then earned your reprieve. Don’t let us interrupt.”

With that assurance given, the two mares went back into a calm, serene silence, basking in the warmth of the other. “I was so worried about you…” Rainbow eventually whispered into Twilight’s ear.

“Ditto,” Twilight replied, leaning back to look Rainbow in the eyes. “But I had faith in you… and you pulled through.”

Rainbow smiled sheepishly, a small blush appearing on her face. “Well, I mean… I had some pretty good motivation. I had the best pony ever to come back to…”

“Hmmm. Flattery will only get you so far with me,” Twilight pointed out, her own blush appearing. “I think actions speak louder than words.”

“What about books?”

“Oh, shut up,”

With that said, and with blushes on their cheeks, the two mares mutually closed the gap between them. Their lips sealed together in a tender but passionate kiss, their hooves coiling tighter around each other while their eyes drifted closed.

Celestia’s eyes widened in surprise, though she chose to hold her peace for now. Maybe ten seconds passed before Twilight and Rainbow separated for air, and even then they dove right back in, humming in satisfaction from the contact. It felt like an eternity for the two of them, an eternity of just being together and basking in their victory.

This was perfect, Twilight thought. They had won. It was over. They could go home and start putting things back to normal. They could go back to the Golden Oaks, and they could start teasing each other and bantering over the silliest of things. Spike and Rainbow could get on her case for not knowing how to cook properly, Rainbow would get flustered whenever she was proven wrong, and she would call Twilight Killjoy again. They would go to Pinkie’s parties, attend events in Ponyville, spend time with the rest of their friends, maybe stop the occasional monster attack or solve a local problem. Everything could go back to normal.

There would, of course, be all of the damage to Canterlot that would need repairing, and probably several other settlements that the changelings had attacked. There would also need to be sweeps conducted by the royal guard to clean up and remove any lingering drones. But with the right planning and coordination, such a task would only take a few months to see through to completion and she was more than willing to volunteer for the task. Assuming everything went according to plan, all of this could be behind them in no time at all. Of course, given their recent history, she figured, assuming things would go smoothly might have been a bit of a stretch.

She opened her eyes and rested her chin on Rainbow’s shoulder to stare dreamily up at the twinkling spheres of light that were still descending from the heavens. It was so beautiful… she could look at them forever, and as long as she was able to spend that eternity with Rainbow Dash right there by her side, it would be perfect.

Movement caught her attention in the bottom corner of her eye. Lowering her gaze, Twilight’s blood went cold and her muscles stiffened at the sight of a female changeling drone rising up over the edge of the palace roof, her horn aglow with green magic and her eyes narrowed with murderous hatred. No, this didn’t make sense! Where had she come from?! Time slowed down like it had when Rainbow lunged for the Crystal Heart, and Twilight began to assess the situation.

The spell burning on the drone’s horn was violently flickering and spasming, and one look was all Twilight needed to deduce that it was extremely dangerous, possibly even lethal. The other two Princesses hadn’t spotted the drone yet, and the subtle twitching of Luna’s ear implied that she had only just heard her approach. The spell was remarkably quiet, and the drone was quick, leaving the alicorns no time to react. What was worse, the spell was already flying free from the drone’s horn, and on its current course, it would hit Rainbow Dash between the wings.

With adrenaline starting to fill her veins, Twilight ran over her options as quickly as possible. A quick internal survey of her magic reserves allowed Twilight to determine that she did not have the leftover magic required to deflect the oncoming spell. Not like it would matter if she did. In her worn out state, it would take too long to charge an appropriate counterspell, anyway. By the time she would have it ready, the attack would have already hit Rainbow Dash.

She could try to pull them both aside, she thought, but quickly discarded the idea when she considered that Rainbow’s wings would likely snap open by instinct from the surprise movement. They would fall to the ground, and with those wings sticking straight up into the air, the feathered appendages would still be in the path of the oncoming spell, not to mention the fact that Rainbow might very well try to resist the pull, leading to her getting hit anyway.

The spell was getting closer, the green light it was emitting now illuminating the corners of Celestia’s and Luna’s faces.

Twilight ran through her options one more time, desperation starting to fill her mind. What could she do?! There wasn’t time to move them out of the way, or time to redirect the spell, or even to utter a proper warning. All she could do was…

Time froze entirely.

All she could do was spin them around, put herself in the way of the blast. It would hit her instead of Rainbow Dash. Looking at the spell, she felt her heart twisting in her chest. This wasn’t fair… they had won! Why was this happening?! She searched her options desperately one more time, but there was nothing else she could do.

I’m so sorry, Rainbow… I love you…

Screwing her eyes shut, Twilight tightened her hold on the Pegasus, lifted her up and spun her around. She heard Rainbow utter a cry of surprise and the beginnings of startled gasps from the princesses.

“RAINBOW!” she screamed.

The spell hit her between the shoulder blades.

She was only vaguely aware of a surge of cold and excruciating pain, of her vision going dark...

And then she knew no more.


“RAINBOW!” Twilight screamed after spinning them both around. Rainbow just had time to cry out in surprise before something exploded across the unicorn’s back in a flash of green light. The sound of burning fire and crackling electricity reached Rainbow’s ears, as whatever had hit Twilight carried both of them back several feet to crash to the ground. A trail of smoke hung in the air in their wake and the putrid stench of burning fur filled the air.

Celestia watched with wide, horrified eyes as the scene unfolded. Then, with a fire burning in her eyes, she turned and caught sight of their assailant, who had turned to face her next. The drone’s horn was already lighting up for another spell, her eyes glowing with rage. But she never got the chance to let it fly. She was engulfed in the blue glow of Luna’s magic, and her flow of power to her horn was disturbed. She just had time to utter a rasp of alarm before being hurled hard into the ground head first. There was a loud crack, a gasp of pain, and the drone lost consciousness, slumping limply to the floor.

There were a few moments of silence before Luna let out a growl of frustration, eyeing the fallen drone with disgust. “I thought the changelings fled…” she snarled bitterly before shaking her head and looking up at Celestia.

“She must not have been done fighting just yet,” She added coldly, stalking closer to the downed drone with a hateful fire in her eyes. “She was aiming for Rainbow Dash…”

“Calm yourself, sister,” Luna tried, only just making Celestia stop her advance. The taller alicorn sucked in a long breath before letting it out in a sigh.

Before anything else could be said or done, a single word cut through the air.

“...Twilight?”

Celestia’s blood suddenly ran cold, and her muscles tensed. Slowly, she and Luna both turned to look in Rainbow’s direction. They saw that Rainbow had slowly sit up onto her haunches, holding a limp Twilight Sparkle in her hooves.

Luna’s eyes also widened. “Oh, no…”

A soft breeze blew by, feeling much colder than the warm air should have allowed. The gentle wind caused some of Twilight’s hairs to lazily drift in the air over her closed eyes. “Twilight?” Rainbow tried again in a weak, quivering voice. She gave the mare in her hooves a gentle shake, but there was no response. She tried again, and again, Twilight did not react in any way. Rainbow felt her heart starting to beat faster in her chest in dread. “T-twilight, hey… It’s o-okay… y-you can wake up n-now… it’s o-over… y-you saved me… again…” she muttered out slowly before giving Twilight another shake, stronger this time.

Silence.

Rainbow shook her head, her entire body starting to tremble. Why wasn’t she waking up? Why was she so quiet? Why was she so limp? Why… why wasn’t she breathing? A chill ran through Rainbow’s veins. “Twilight… c’mon, quit fooling around… hey…” she choked out before shaking her again. This time, there was a response. Just… not the one she wanted.

Twilight’s head fell limply to one side, impacting with Rainbow’s hoof. The soft thump that accompanied the impact was deafening, echoing long and loud in Rainbow’s ears. It was only made worse by the fact that Twilight wasn’t breathing.

Rainbow shuddered uncontrollably, tears forming in her eyes. She couldn’t be…

The first tear rolled down her cheek. “...No,” she began in a quiet whisper. Her eyes grew wide, and her voice grew in volume. “No, NO NO!” she was growing panicked, and her eyes lifted up just as Luna came galloping forwards. “Luna! LUNA HELP HER! PLEASE!” she screamed in desperation, holding Twilight out a little so Luna could inspect her better.

Celestia, however, stayed rooted in place while her younger sister slid to a halt next to Rainbow. Her eyes were glued onto Twilight Sparkle in shock, knowing all too well what had just happened, what she was seeing.

Luna’s horn glowed, emitting a magic light that swept over Twilight multiple times. With every pass, Luna’s face grew more and more desperate and agitated, adding to Rainbow’s already incredible distress. Finally, after over a minute, she was forced to accept the terrible truth. The light from her horn faded away, and she slowly looked up at Rainbow Dash regretfully.

Rainbow looked back at her aunt in confusion, her unfocused eyes blinking several times. “Luna, why did you stop?” she asked. “P-please, help her!” Her entire body was shaking madly, and tears were freely rolling down her cheeks in large amounts. She held Twilight out to Luna a little more. “D-do something! Help her!”

Luna’s ears fell flat, and she looked down at the ground in shame and guilt. Slowly, ever so slowly, she shook her head back and forth. Rainbow recoiled at the sight, and she felt something in her chest shatter. “...L-luna…?”

“I am so sorry…” Luna whispered gently, looking up at Rainbow again. “There is nothing I can do. Whatever that spell was, it…” she stopped mid-sentence and looked down again. “It… it killed her instantly… I’m sorry, Rainbow... she’s gone...”

Rainbow stared at Luna in disbelief for several seconds. She was lying. She had to be. There was no way Twilight was dead! “No... No, you’re wrong!” she denied in a broken shout, shaking her head furiously back and forth. With a steady stream of whimpers pouring out of her throat, she looked down at Twilight’s face. “She’s not gone! She can’t be! We came this far, we won! This can’t be happening! It can’t! It isn’t… it isn’t fair...”

Luna said nothing. She merely closed her eyes and lowered her head in a solemn bow.

Even that subtle notion finally drove Rainbow over the edge. She slowly drew Twilight’s corpse up until it was held tight against her chest, where she then began to rock back and forth. “Twilight, please… d-d-don’t leave me…” she choked out with tears pouring freely down her cheeks. “Please no, please no… please don’t go… don’t leave me… not like this… please…”

Eventually, any self-control Rainbow had left crumbled away into tear-stained dust. Her eyes screwed shut, she threw her head back and let out a long, anguish-filled scream, one whose echoes could be heard all the way down in the plaza beneath the palace. Everypony still there stopped what they were doing and looked up at the heart-wrenching sound. The sound caused goosebumps to form on the skin of all who heard it, and a horrible pit formed in their stomachs when they heard the words within.

Oblivious to the confusion and growing concern of the ponies below, and surrounded by the lights falling from the sky, Rainbow kept weeping and crying, begging Twilight not to go, begging her to come back and tell her it was all going to be fine, to go home with her so that their lives could finally go back to normal. But no matter what she said, or how much she begged, it did not change what had happened. It was too late…

Twilight Sparkle was dead.

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