• 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 5: Hostile Reintroductions

Wednesday

Tempest walked toward the Ponyville train station with Twilight and her friends at her side. Despite her previous hesitation to travel alongside the Princess of Friendship and her friends in public, she was quickly finding that the group attracted little attention as they traveled through town. Were it not for Twilight's assurance that her presence wouldn't cause a disruption when they arrived, Tempest would have taken a separate train, and left several hours earlier in the morning to find a secluded spot where hardly any ponies would notice her.

Even with her reservations brought forward for the whole group to hear, they assured her that she wouldn't be noticed in the crowds of potentially thousands.

Tempest sighed quietly to herself while she walked. Every now and again, she could feel a pair of wandering eyes fall on the group, only to turn from at friendly gaze to a hateful stare as those eyes fell on her. Even with her position in the center of the group, she could tell when a pony saw her and directed their hate in her direction.

Eventually, the group arrived at the train station. Twilight and her friends fanned out on the platform to occupy themselves as they waited for the train to arrive. Spike sat down with Pinkie who somehow pulled a platter of cookies out of her mane to share with the little dragon while Fluttershy simply observed and smiled when he greedily grabbed a handful. On the opposite side of the platform, Twilight sat with Rainbow Dash and AppleJack, who apparently held some measure of interest in the dynamics of flight routines the WonderBolts were poised to show off today.

Tempest observed the group of ponies around her and found herself to be standing in the center of the platform, all alone. That is, until an alabaster white hoof tapped on her wither. She turned her head to find Rarity standing beside her with a friendly smile on her face.

"Tempest, darling, why don't you take a seat? The train isn't going to arrive until at least ten thirty. We've about a twenty minute wait before it gets here." She calmly informed her.

"Oh... Um, sure. Why not?" Tempest hesitantly agreed, and followed the white unicorn to a bench toward the back of the platform.

"So... are you excited for the show?" The fashion pony pried, much to Tempest's chagrin.

"Um, yes. I'm sure it will be a show worth going out to Canterlot for..." Tempest replied, her tone just barely losing strength the longer she spoke.

"Well... I'm sure it will not only meet, but shatter your expectations." Rarity offered.

"Yeah... I just wish I had known it was going to be in Canterlot before I agreed to go..." She admitted.

"Well, darling, you don't have to go if you really don't want to. You certainly won't offend any of us... We understand why that might be a location you'd prefer to avoid for a little while longer." Rarity replied, taking the most sincere tone she could.

"I... I probably should just not go... But I already gave Princess Twilight my word that I would... So I'm going... I just hope they don't notice me that easily." Tempest admitted.

"Well... While I can certainly appreciate the gesture... perhaps you should consider leaving your armor back at the castle... It might attract attention." Rarity delicately suggested.

"Hehe... Trust me, I'm less noticeable with it on." Tempest muttered, more to herself than to Rarity, but the fashionista picked up on it anyways.

"What do you mean by that?" She asked.

"Don't worry about it." She replied.

Rarity awkwardly rubbed her foreleg and chewed on her cheek while she tried to come up with something to say to that. Eventually, she found nothing and decided to allow silence to reign over them until either the train arrived, or Tempest decided to say something.

The train came first.

.

.

.

.

.

The train pulled in to Canterlot and came to a screeching halt, alerting everypony onboard that is was just about time to depart. The whistle blew one more time after the train was completely stopped, and the ponies inside headed out of the opening doors. They were immediately met with a crowd of Canterlot ponies hastily making their way on board. As each door opened, and the ponies inside funneled out, the crowd grew closer and closer to the train in an effort to take the best seats before anypony else could.

This back and forth continued for less than a minute before there was a loud gasp, followed by dozens of ponies freezing in place and a even few galloping away from the station, leaving a confused crowd in their wake. At first glance, there seemed to be nothing wrong. Princess Twilight, her dragon assistant, and the bearers of the elements of Harmony were simply exiting the last car. That is, until a shadowy figure emerged behind them. Still donned in the very armor she conquered them in, Tempest Shadow finally exited the train.

Many more gasps and several more ponies fleeing from the terrifying sight caused a small frown to appear on Tempest's face, but it went unnoticed by the rest of the group as they hesitantly continued onward.

"So, uh... This is kind of a weird reaction..." Spike acknowledged, still looking into the crowd of frozen onlookers.

"Meh, we expected some of them to still be scared of Tempest," Rainbow thought aloud, "I just figured they'd be super excited to see a Wonderbolt just before the show..."

"Riiiiiiiiiight..." AppleJack muttered.

"Uh... Speaking of that, Rainbow, shouldn't you get to the stadium? The show is in about thirty minutes. I'm honestly surprised you didn't go ahead with the rest of your team to prepare..." Twilight suggested.

"Well, I wanted to make sure that somepony actually used the ticket I gave her." Rainbow lightheartedly accosted.

"I made a promise that I would attend the show. I don't go back on my word." Tempest replied, not even glancing at Rainbow as she made her way out of the train station.

"Uh huh. Alright, well, Twi's right, I should probably get over there. The show starts soon, so don't be late, guys." Rainbow announced before taking off in a prismatic blur.

Twilight and the rest of the group watched her rainbow trail soar skyward and arc heavily toward the stadium before disappearing into the clouds. After she was well and out of sight, they turned towards Tempest, who, by the looks of things, had decided to just keep walking, before taking off after her.

"Alright, so the show is going to take place at the new stadium in the lower district. As long as we don't get delayed too much, we should be able to get there with plenty of time to take our seats before the show." Twilight announced upon catching up with Tempest.

"Well, as much as I would have liked to see Fancy Pants again, I suppose it is in our best interest to make haste." Rarity melodramatically replied.

"Rares, you've seen him four times in the last two months. If ah didn't know any better, I'd say you were catchin' feelings for him." AppleJack teased.

Spike instantly pouted. No one noticed as they walked down the street into the city square.

"Oh ooh oooooh! Can we go to Donut Joe's after? I haven't had any of his donuts in fiveever!" Pinkie exclaimed.

"I'm sure we could spare the time after the show." Fluttershy replied.

"So we can go to Donut Joe's and ruin our figures, but going and meeting with an old friend is a no-no?" Rarity sourly interjected.

"Ugh, I'm sure we can spare some time for you to go and mingle with Fancy Pants. For right now, can we please just keep moving. I want to get there before the majority of the crowd does. It's going to be super... packed... already..." Twilight sternly insisted, only for her voice to trail off upon actually entering the busy streets of the marketplace.

There were absolutely no ponies to speak of. It was as if the entirety of Canterlot had disappeared in the blink of an eye, and the seven of them were the only living creatures left in the whole city. Even Fluttershy was startled by the complete silence that weighed over the streets like a blanket, with only the sounds of their hooves and claws on stone to fill the air.

Each pony in the group swiveled their heads around in search of some form of life, but only found a deserted street.

"M-maybe they're all at the stadium? It... It is a WonderBolts show... right?" Spike nervously suggested.

"There's no way... That stadium can only hold around two thousand ponies... There's more than three times that many living in Canterlot... And this is the busiest market in the city. There's no way ponies wouldn't be out here..." Twilight replied, scratching her chin in thought.

AppleJack glanced at each building surrounding them, until her gaze fell on a lone pair of eyes peaking out through a slightly ajar doorway. Upon noticing her gaze, the eyes darted back inside and hastily closed the door, earning the rest of the groups attention in the process. AppleJack warily made her way over to the door and lightly knocked before pressing her ear against its wooden frame and listening intently.

The sound of scurrying hooves inside the residence quickly reached her ear, and AppleJack immediately frowned.

"Uh, we know yer in there. Could you do us a favor and just tell us what happened here? Where is everypony?" She asked.

There was no answer for some time. The pony inside simply refused to answer with whatever spooked him/her still outside.

The rest of the group watched AppleJack knock on the door again with mixed emotions. Behind all of them, Tempest stared at the building with quietly building anxiety.

"Uh... We should just go. Whatever's going on here, it doesn't seem like it's a problem at the stadium, and we're already running a little late." She explained, nervously glancing left and right the whole time.

Twilight turned to her and gave her a confused look, "But Tempest, what if something bad happened here? I don't want to miss Rainbow's show either, but if something bad happened and the princesses don't know it yet, we might have to make a serious detour to the castle, or at least get the royal guard here." She replied.

"Well... I get that, but I think that this might just be... because... I'm here..." Tempest admitted.

"Now darling, I know you're worried that the ponies in Canterlot still don't fancy you being here, but I seriously doubt that they'd all hide in their homes upon your arrival. I mean, Starlight just reformed the changelings not too long ago and they've been welcomed back like old friends." Rarity chastised.

"Something tells me that you're wrong..." Tempest muttered under her breath.

"For the love of- Will you just open the door and tell us why yer all hidin' inside!?" AppleJack shouted at the pony behind the door, earning the attention of the entire group.

Finally, a muffled, petrified voice spoke out from behind the wooden frame, "I-is... She still out there?" The pony asked, putting a venomous emphasis on the word 'she'.

"Um... w-who is she?" Fluttershy asked the door.

"t-tt-t-Tempest?" The voice clarified.

A deep frown immediately formed on Tempest's face and she turned away to the street.

"No... She's not." She whispered before walking off.

"Tempest, wait!" Twilight called out.

Tempest did not listen, and instead continued to walk down the street towards the stadium. Twilight quickly motioned to Pinkie and Rarity to follow her, and within a moment, they were both off after the broken mulberry unicorn. With Tempest's situation at least being dealt with, Twilight decided to stay with AppleJack and at least determine why the ponies in the marketplace were still so scared of her friend.

Author's Note:

Hey guys. Hope you enjoyed. I know some people might be questioning why the mane six seem to not be concerned with Tempest's poor reception, but my logic for that was simply that they've reformed worse villains, so they figure "why would the ponies hold a grudge against Tempest". And my logic for them being wrong was simply that Tempest is a pony, like them. It was a betrayal of one of their own, not a foreign invader, but a familiar one. I hope that makes sense.

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