• Published 29th Jul 2019
  • 1,232 Views, 73 Comments

A Place to Call Home - CrimsonWolf360

Tempest tries to find her place in Equestria after returning from her travels. After some time feeling like an outcast, Tempest begins to question her decision to come back. That is, until Twilight drags her to a Wonderbolts show. It doesn't go well.

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Chapter 11: A Better, Brighter Tomorrow

2 Months Later

"Alright, so I'm not sure exactly where this spot is, but Tempest said that Spike knew where to go, so I asked him and now I'm completely lost." Sky complained.

"Well, I'm sure it's not too far into the park. Look, I think I see her over there by the water-line." Twilight replied.

Off in the distance, beside a lazily leaning tree, and a brown picnic basket, a mulberry mare with a broken horn waved them over. Sky and Twilight broke into a trot to quickly meet her, and within a few minutes, they were once again face to face.

"Tempest!" Sky cheered, "How've you been?"

"I've been doing very well, thank you. How have you and Midnight been? Speaking of which, where is she?" Tempest responded, tilting her head to the side.

"Eh, well she tried to make it, but there was something last minute with Luna and the Night Guard. She wanted to make it, she really did, but with the whole Cozy Glow incident a few months ago, they've been trying to completely revamp the Guards and Mid's been pretty much at the center of all that." Sky explained.

"It's fine. I completely understand. I'm just glad you made it at least." Tempest happily replied.

"Well, I wasn't going to miss your big day. I've got to tell you, it blew me away when Twi told me she didn't have any kind of guard detachment for herself all this time."

"Well to be honest, I've never really needed guards before. However, with everything that's happened over the last couple of years... Getting ponynapped by changelings, stuck in Tartarus, and so on... It just seems like it's become more of a necessity lately." Twilight explained.

"Hehe, hopefully I'll just end up standing around until I'm too old to fight and you'll just have to retire me." Tempest teased.

"Oh, even if that's the case, that won't be for a long time." Twilight said, dismissively waving her hoof.

"I don't know, I am almost thirty. I can already hear the joints popping." Tempest chuckled.

"Sometimes I forget that you're almost five years older than me." Twilight recalled.

"Wow, now I feel like the baby of the group." Sky commented.

The two mares shared a friendly chuckle while Sky just tilted his head to the side.

"Uh... What's so funny?" He asked.

"Don't worry about it, Sky," Twilight replied, "It's nothing."

Sky frowned but dropped the topic nonetheless.

"Alright, so what do we have here? A picnic?" He asked in a bid to change the subject.

"Yes. I was thinking it'd be kind of nice to just relax and enjoy each other's company for a little bit before the ceremony. I'm not one to get cold hooves, but this will be my first real public experience since, well... you know." Tempest explained, frowning slightly.

"Ah, don't worry about it. You're gonna be great. Everypony is gonna see you dressed up in that armor, looking like a real royal guard, and they're gonna see that they were wrong about you." He replied.

"Actually... I've already discussed this with Princess Twilight, but I'm going to be keeping my old armor. Although I've had her cutie mark etched onto the flank guards." Tempest explained, turning to show off the new pink starburst displayed on her armor.

"Oh, nice!" Sky exclaimed, "So what made you decide to keep the badass black armor instead of some shiny royal guard stuff?" He asked.

"Well... It's kind of a personal thing. It's hard to explain and I don't really want to bore you with the details... well that and the royal guard armor is just plain bad. It offers almost no protection and limits your movements." Tempest explained.

"Hehe, maybe the old stuff, but ever since I got that titanium armor forge started up in Canterlot, they've had some of the best protection ever. Seriously, I saw another pegasus crash into the castle at top speed and he only broke a wing." Sky replied.

"Hmm... In that case, refer to my first reason." Tempest said, a thoughtful look on her muzzle.

"Hehe, fair enough."

"Anyways, how's about we get this picnic started. I haven't eaten since morning, and as the resident child of the group, I need food to grow big and strong like the rest of you." Sky joked, causing a moment of uproarious laughter from Tempest and Twilight.

With that, the three ponies sat down amidst their laughter and opened the picnic basket. Twilight levitated out the picnic blanket and spread it out on the grass while Sky and Tempest unloaded the food. It only took a few moments for a display of daisy sandwiches and fruit.

"This looks great, Tempest. I have to say that I wasn't expecting you to be the type for picnics like this. It was very kind of you to invite us." Twilight remarked, giving a friendly smile.

"Well... that's kinda because it's usually... not my thing... I wanted you both here before the ceremony because I want-no, need to thank you both." Tempest explained, a trace of a blush forming on her face.

"What for?" Sky asked, tilting his head to the side.

"Well, you for one, stopped me from doing something horrible. I was ready to end it all that day, but you stopped me; Even though you had no real reason to. You knew who I am, or at least who I was, and instead of seeing the evil in me... You saw the good. You could've turned me into the guard, or left me to my own devices as soon as you talked me away from that cliff... but you didn't. You invited me into your home and just talked to me. For a long time I didn't feel like I belonged here, but talking to you... having another pony who knows what that's like... I needed that. So thank you. It's an honor and a privilege to call you my friend." Tempest said, trying her best to keep the wavier out of her voice.

Sky looked like he was about to cry for a moment, before lunging forward and wrapping his hooves around her in a bear hug. Tempest broke into a genuine smile as she allowed Sky to hug her tightly, drawing a beaming smile from Twilight as well.

Sky eventually released his vice grip on Tempest and sat back on his haunches, smiling brightly the whole time.

"Thanks for that. I think that's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me." Sky said, wiping away the beginnings of a tear from his eye.

"Hehe, don't mention it," Tempest replied, before turning to Twilight, "And as for you, Princess... I'm not quite sure how to even go about thanking you... From when you saved my life when the Storm King turned on me... to letting me live in your castle... and even this opportunity to finally achieve a fillyhood dream of mine... It's all more than I deserve, and I want you to know that I won't waste it. That's a promise." She said, finding a smile resting on her face as she finished.

Twilight took a moment to respond, but when she did, her voice was filled enough joy and warmth to heat a small cottage.

"Thank you, Tempest! I'm so happy to hear that. You have no idea how much that means to me!" Twilight exclaimed.

While it wasn't quite as forceful as Sky's hug, Twilight also wrapped her hooves around Tempest and squeezed her into a tight hug. Tempest happily accepted the hug before separating and turning back to the picnic basket with a thoughtful glance.

"Alright, so... Now that we've gotten all of the sappy stuff out of the way... How's about we eat this lunch? I'm not exactly looking to get knighted on an empty stomach." She said, eyeing a particularly tasty looking daffodil sandwich.

"I like the sound of that." Sky said, grabbing a dandelion sandwich and taking a bite.






"Oh boy... this is it... I can't believe this is it right now and I'm still sitting here talking to myself like a scared little filly..." Tempest said to herself.

She stood in the entrance way of the Castle of Friendship, dressed in her armor now adorning Twilight's cutiemark. In front of her, the massive double doors were shut as the Princesses and other distinguished ponies prepared for her ceremony.

"It's fine, it's fine. It's just Twilight and Celestia, no big deal. I can handle this... Gah, why am I so nervous!? It's not like this is even that big of an event! There's only a few ponies from town in there... Ugh..." Tempest groaned.

She gazed out one of the crystal glass windows, finding the denizens of Ponyville continuing on with their days as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening just down the street. With a resigned sigh, she turned around and walked over to the center of the room, only to pace around in a circle as she waited for somepony to come get her.

Minutes slowly ticked away and away until Tempest was sure she was beginning to lose her mind. Even after everything she'd been through, and even with her nerves spiraling out of control, she found herself quickly growing bored.

"Ugh... Can we just get this started already? At this point I'd rather just go in there and deal with it." She said to no one in particular.

"Well... they're almost done in there, but I'm sure you'll be able to go in soon enough." A feminine voice spoke out, causing Tempest to nearly jump.

She quickly turned her head around to see a pinkish unicorn mare with a purple mane and tail. Much like Twilight, there was a streak of color running through her mane and tail as well, only instead of hot pink and dark blue, it was a simple turquoise.

Tempest only owlishly blinked at her for a few moments before realizing that she did in fact speak to her just a moment ago.

"I-I'm sorry... I'm not quite sure who you are..." She said, eyeing the new mare curiously.

"Oh! Right, sorry, where are my manners. I'm Starlight Glimmer. Twilight's former pupil and her head student councilor at the School of Friendship." Starlight introduced herself.

"Oh... I'm sorry, I remember Twilight telling me about you now. I'm, uh... Tempest... but I'm sure you already knew that." Tempest hesitantly replied.

"Oh, don't worry about it. It's better than being told I look exactly like her, hehe... A-anyways, I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself sooner. I just wasn't here when you first got here, and with the school running all year and all the other work I've been trying to deal with, I just, uh... had a hard time finding the time." Starlight nervously replied.

"Oh, don't worry about it. I wish I had come to find you earlier too. Twilight told me about what you did when she first met you and I have to say, I think that we would've become fast friends." Tempest chuckled.

"Who says we can't now?" Starlight beamed, "One former villain to another?" She asked, holding out her hoof.

Tempest looked down at Starlight's offered hoof for a moment before allowing a thin smile to form on her lips, and she slowly reached forward to bump Starlight's hoof with her own. Upon pulling away, the sound of double doors opening caught both of their attention, and they looked over to see Rarity waving them over.

"Tempest, darling! It's showtime!" She called over.

Tempest nodded and turned to face Starlight again, "Guess that's my cue. Nice meeting you, Starlight."

"Likewise. Good luck in there." Starlight replied, giving a toothy grin.

With that, Tempest turned and headed for the doorway. As she got closer, she felt her nerves begin to return in full force, but she managed to shake them off. After all, what was she worried about anymore anyway?

Author's Note:

Yeah, you thought I forgot Starlight, didn't you? Well I didn't! I know her part is small, but I felt that it was important nonetheless. A quick exchange can show a lot about how much a certain pony has changed over the story :trollestia:

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