• 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 7: Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day

"My name's Sky. Who are you?" Sky asked, giving her the same scared look.

"You... You don't know who I am? I thought every creature in Equestria would know my face by now..." Tempest replied, turning around to fully face him.

"Well, you're the first unicorn I've met that looks so beat up, but otherwise I can't say I remember you." Sky explained.

Tempest looked at herself for a moment to find that yes, she did indeed look pretty beat up. Scuff marks on her armor along with a couple ripped portions of her bodysuit were clear indicators of that. Memories of how quickly she'd galloped away from the stadium and tripped flashed through her mind before she blinked them away. Even the tomato juices still smeared into her coat and on her armor told the tale of distress she'd been in since the entire crowd turned on her.

"I've... had better days... Were you not here when the Storm King attacked or something?" She asked, eyeing him curiously.

"Well, no. I was up in the Crystal Empire with my wife that entire time. We never even saw the Storm King's army. Hehe, Twilight kicked his ass in less than a week. Not much of a real threat to be honest." Sky replied with a shrug.

"Hold on, you're referring to Princess Twilight so casually that it's throwing me off here," Tempest said, taking a few more steps from the edge, "Do you know her personally or something?"

"Well yeah. She's one of my best friends." He answered, "I was actually going to go into Ponyville on Friday to go say hi to her. Do you know her?" He casually replied.

"I-I do... Suffice to say that she's the closest thing to a real friend I've had in a long time... Even if her ideas are terrible and get half the city to try to eat me alive just like I told her they would..." She bitterly trailed off.

"Uh... I take it that that's why you look so... rough around the edges? Why did half the city turn on you?" Sky asked, tilting his head to the side.

"Ugh.... Look, I'm... I've done some bad things here. If you really don't know who I am, then I'd prefer to keep it that way. I don't need any more ponies hating me today." She replied, plopping down on her haunches.

"Well now you've got me super curious, but if that's how you feel then I guess I can't force you. I mean, as long as you didn't kill anyone or anything like that, right?" He joked.

Tempest tensed up immediately, then cringed at herself for being so overly dramatic. If Sky noticed either of those actions happening, he didn't show it.

"Probably already calculating how long it'll take to fly down to the nearest guard post and tell them where I am..." Tempest thought to herself while letting out a long sigh.

"Do you really not know who I am?" She asked, almost in disbelief.

"Honestly, no. I really don't." Sky replied, shrugging.

Tempest let out a dry chuckle, "I honestly can't believe you don't know who I am... It's kind of... refreshing, actually." She admitted, allowing a half smile to form on her face.

"Well, I mean, the more you talk about me not knowing who you are, the more I want to know, but I guess I can indulge you if it'll keep you from doing what you were about to." He shrugged again.

Tempest turned her head to eye the cliff side again, "Oh, right... that." She mumbled.

"Listen, why don't you come back with me to my place and calm down. I don't know what happened to you, but my wife makes a mean cup of hot chocolate, and you look like you could use a shower. Just saying." Sky offered, a friendly smile on his face.

Tempest bit her lip. Tempting as his offer was, she wasn't quite sure if she could trust the strange pegasus just yet. She cast her gaze back to the cliff side once more before sighing and nodding.

"Alright. You win." She said.

Sky beamed before pointing at a house just down the hill on the other side of the pasture, "Right over there."

"Huh?" Tempest tilted her head to the side, "How did I miss that?"

"Well, your eyes were kinda glued to the ground for a while there. Kinda hard to notice a house in the distance when you don't even look in its general direction." He teased, "Now come on. I bet you've never had hot chocolate this good.

"If you insist..." She replied, hesitantly taking a step forward, as if he would turn on her the second her guard was down.

One step led to another, and then another, and eventually, she was steadily walking through the grass towards the inviting home with the crimson pegasus at her side. Something that caught her eye was how tall the stallion was. Being the size she was, Tempest dwarfed most ponies, but this pegasus stood right at her height. She cast her gaze downward and noticed the gentle breeze blowing over the grass while slightly bristling her coat and Sky's feathers. She stifled a small giggle at his much puffier appearance but once again, if he noticed, he said nothing.

Soon they were at the back door of the house and taking a small detour around to the front.

"My wife is kinda insistent that I bring guests in through the front door. It'd be kinda weird if you brought someone your spouse had never seen before in through the backdoor and then they get surprised by that, you know?" Sky mentioned.

"Mmm-hmm. Say, what is your wife's name? You just keep referring to her as 'your wife'." Tempest asked, cocking an eyebrow back.

"Oh, sorry about that, hehe. We just got married a couple weeks ago and I've just been so excited to refer to her as my wife instead of girlfriend. Her name's Midnight." Sky replied, scratching the back of his neck.

"Oh. Well, congratulations then." Tempest said with a genuine smile.

"Thank you. We actually just got back from our honeymoon last night." Sky responded, climbing up the front stairs onto the porch.

"Where did you two go off to?" Tempest asked, following behind him.

"Oh, we went all over the place. Appaloosa, Las Pegasus, and even a couple days in Mt. Aris." He excitedly answered.

Tempest felt her stomach twist at the mention of Mt. Aris, but managed to keep from making any kind of awkward expressions. She managed a pleasant smile before Sky opened the door and motioned for her to follow him.

"Mid! I'm back! We've got a guest, could you make that hot chocolate you do such an amazing job on!?" Sky called into the house.

"One second!" A feminine voice called back from upstairs.

Sky gave a friendly smile as he held the door open for Tempest to enter. She took a few steps inside before he closed the door behind them and headed for the living room. She followed him with a mix of emotions on her face before reaching the quaint living room.

"Here, take a seat on the couch. I'll go see what's got Mid busy right now." Sky said.

Tempest nodded, and he headed back through the entrance way and up the stairs. With him gone for a moment, she took the time to examine the living room and its furnishings. The L-shaped couch was comfortable and made of a soft cloth material with multiple blankets strewn over the edges. Looking up, she saw a fireplace made out of stone. The soot marks on the inside were a clear indicator that there was recently a fire in there, most likely from last night.

She turned her head to the left to find the kitchen and a nice little booth for up to four ponies to sit at. Turning left, she saw a hallway that led into a couple more rooms, but the doors were all closed. One more glance straight ahead revealed the large windows to the outside world. Warm light filtered in through the glass, and gently heated the room to somewhat warmer temperatures than what would be considered comfortable, but not enough to be unbearable. Perhaps it was just her armor adding extra heat.

Tempest ceased her observations when she heard hoofsteps coming down the stairs. Two sets from the sound of it. Her ears instinctively flicked back and twitched as she heard them step from carpeted stairs to hardwood floors, and she turned her head to properly greet her hosts.

"Hello." Tempest greeted.

"Hi there." Midnight replied.

Her coat was a dark grey, almost charcoal color, and her beautifully spiraled horn made Tempest just a little envious. An ebony black mane and tail complimented her coat color nicely, and behind it all were two deep blue eyes that seemed to look at her with the kind of friendly compassion one would expect from a long time friend.

"Sorry about that. We had to finish putting clothes away. Kinda forgot to do that when we got back last night." Sky explained, scratching the back of his neck.

"We were super tired and just crashed on the couch, hehe. Got a fire going at least." Midnight added.

"Perfectly fine. To be honest, I don't even know why you're apologizing. You were very kind to invite me in, Sky." Tempest replied, trying her best to be as polite as poossible with her words.

"Ah, don't mention it. We just kinda wish we'd cleaned up a little better, hehe," Sky replied before turning to Midnight, "Anyways, Mid, could you get the drinks, please?"

"Oh, right! One second." She answered, hastily trotting off to the kitchen.

"You both have a lovely home. It... reminds me of my old home in a way." Tempest said, loud enough for Midnight to hear her from the kitchen.

"Oh, it's nothing special. Just something I got when I finally saved up enough bits. Sky kinda just crashed in here one day and well, we've been stuck together ever since." Midnight replied while levitating three mugs from the shelf.

"Well, I didn't literally crash 'here'," Sky continued, motioning to the house as a whole, "Mid over there stumbled onto me on her way home one night and brought me back here. Suffice to say she's had my heart in her hooves ever since." He explained, dreamily looking back at the graphite mare while she worked.

"Hehe, you both seem very happy. You're lucky to have found each other." Tempest replied, as genuinely as she could.

"Oh you have no idea. Mr. featherbrain over there is from a completely different planet. It took months for him to understand how things work around here." Midnight said, walking into the room with three steaming mugs of hot chocolate in her magical grasp.

Tempest chuckled at her obvious exaggeration before gratefully taking a mug in her hooves. Sky quickly took his, and Midnight hopped onto the couch next to him with hers.

"Thank you for all this. You're honestly the kindest ponies I've met in a long time." Tempest said, making sure to convey her gratitude as best as possible.

"Oh, don't mention it. Sky told me you've had a rough day, and I can't help but feel bad for you. You're uh... kinda covered in tomato juice. I bet that wasn't fun." Midnight replied, wincing slightly at the sticky mess Tempest's coat was quickly drying into.

Tempest took a moment to look herself over and frowned, "Yeah... It's been a long day."

"Wanna talk about it? If there's one thing I learned from my time here, it's that having an ear to listen can sometimes be the best thing for a crappy day." Sky replied, giving a friendly smile.

"It's... Ugh, I don't want to bore you with a long story. It's not exactly pretty either." Tempest said, looking away from him.

"Well, we've got nothing but time. Mid and I were just going to put clothes away for the rest of the day. This is way more interesting." Sky said.

"Well..." Tempest sighed, "Suffice to say... Canterlot and I have a bit of a history... and ponies didn't take kindly to me showing up again uninvited." She explained, pointedly avoiding any details that would easily clue them in on to her true identity.

"Well what did you do?" Midnight asked.

"Did it have something to do with how you broke your horn?" Sky asked.

"Sky!" Midnight exclaimed, lightly smacking his wither with her hoof, "Don't be rude." She pressed.

"Sorry." Sky replied, looking noticeably downtrodden.

"It's fine, really," Tempest interjected, "Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't ask about it much sooner. It's kind of a talking point whenever I meet somepony new. To answer your question, no it didn't have to do with my horn. That happened a long time ago when I was just a filly." She explained.

"Oh, alright. If you don't mind me asking, what happened?" Sky asked, tilting his head to the side.

"Well, I was playing with my friends when the ball we were using got away from us and ended up in a cave. I went in after it... and ran into an ursa minor. Being the... arrogant child that I was, I thought I could fight him off with my magic... I was wrong." She explained, a noticeable pain in her eyes as she recounted the story.

"Wow... I'm so sorry that happened to you. That couldn't have been easy to deal with, especially as a filly." Midnight replied after a moment.

"It... It's been a difficult obstacle for me to overcome, but I think I've finally gotten over it, at least, for the most part." Tempest explained, clearly having to put serious thought into her response.

"Well, I think it looks awesome. Especially with the scar running down your face, you look like a complete badass." Sky excitedly replied.

Tempest owlishly blinked a few times before his words registered with her properly and she managed to come up with a proper response.

"Hehe, you know, I've never really thought about it like that. My whole life I've looked at it as a hindrance, and an ugly scar. To hear that it looks 'badass' is... kind of nice, actually." She replied, smiling.

A wide grin split on Sky's face, "Honestly, with the mohawk and black armor, you're really killing the look. I'm kinda jealous. I think mares like a guy with some sick scars, but Mid keeps telling me that I shouldn't go and pick any more fights." He explained, turning an accusatory look at the graphite mare.

"Wha? Oh come on! You had enough scars I had to patch up when you first got here. Not to mention your scuffle with the royal guard the very next day! It's an absolute miracle you aren't completely covered in cuts and bruises." Midnight exclaimed.

"Hold on, you got into a fight with the royal guard? Now this is a story I need to hear." Tempest asked, her curiosity peaked.

"You bet I did. Kicked half their asses before they finally took me down. There must have been, what, twenty of them total?" Sky recalled, turning to Midnight for confirmation.

"I think the actual number was twenty two. They did bring the cavalry to take you down, big guy." Midnight replied with a wink.

"You took on twenty two guards by yourself?" Tempest asked incredulously.

"Well, for the most part, it was only one or two at a time... but pretty much, yeah." Sky bashfully replied.

"Still, that's incredible!" She exclaimed.

Sky blushed at the compliment before noticing something.

"Hey, you haven't tried the hot chocolate yet. Try it, I promise, you'll love this stuff. Midnight seriously makes the best kind around." He insisted.

Tempest immediately looked down into her drink, "Oh, sorry about that. I completely forgot I was holding this." She sheepishly explained before bringing the mug to her lips.

Warm, chocolatey flavor exploded over her taste buds, and made her withers sag as she experienced the sweetest hot chocolate she'd ever tasted. She took another sip, then another, and another. Soon Tempest was downing the drink faster than an alcoholic at happy hour.

Before she knew it, the drink was completely gone, and she found herself licking her lips to get the last of the flavor down before it was lost to the air. The sound of snickering caught her attention, and pulled her gaze down from the heavens to Sky and Midnight as the looked at her with a mix of amusement and laughter.

"So I take it you liked it then?" Midnight warmly asked.

"Yeah, you kinda chugged that stuff." Sky teased, suppressing a snicker.

Tempest blushed slightly and set the mug down on the coffee table.

"It... You were right, that was the best hot chocolate I think I've ever had in my entire life." Tempest replied, trying to hide the blush on her face.

"Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I can make you another if you want." Midnight offered.

"Thank you, but I think I should pass. Any more and I won't be able to stop myself from forming a habit." Tempest gratefully replied.

"Eh, what's a few bad habits?" Sky shrugged, "Live a little."

"Thank you, but I'll pass for right now. Really, I appreciate it." She answered.

"Alright, no sense in pushing her," Midnight relented, "So anyways, how did you two run into each other? Sky never mentioned a tall, mulberry unicorn in black armor before." She continued, glancing at Tempest curiously.

Tempest could feel her blood freeze in her veins. She turned to Sky to find him biting his lip and giving her an unsure look. With no time to think of anything else, she said the first thing that came to mind.

"We, uh... We actually just met. Today... At the... Library." She lied, her eyes glancing back and forth between Midnight, and Sky for for confirmation to keep going.

Sky nodded while keeping an eye on Midnight to make sure she didn't notice his movements.

"Y-yeah, I was renting a book about... Poetry... and we kinda bumped into each other. I invited her back here because, you know, half the city was throwing tomatoes at her... and yeah... Tada?" Sky clumsily finished the lie, adding an overly exaggerated smile for emphasis.

Midnight looked at the both of them skeptically for a few moments.

"Hmm... I'm almost sure you're lying... And I know for a fact that Sky's lying... So how's about the truth?" She asked, giving a stern look to Sky, who seemed to shrink in on himself at her gaze.

Tempest sighed, "Alright... Look, I've been down on both my luck, and my hopes lately, and... well..." She trailed off.

"What happened?" Midnight pressed, a trace of concern weeding into her voice.

Tempest sighed again, "I was over by the cliff... Sky saw me, stopped me, and asked me to come inside and talk." She explained.

All of a sudden, the big, scary mare with the broken horn looked very small. Even with all her armor on, and the fact that she stood a few inches taller than most stallions, for the first time in a long time, she felt like the smallest creature in the room.

It only took a moment for Midnight to register exactly what Tempest meant, and her gaze quickly shifted back to Sky for confirmation. One sad nod was all he had to give, and she again brought her eyes back onto Tempest, who seemed to shrink away from such a small movement.

"Oh my gosh... I-I'm so sorry. Are you alright? Is... Is there anything we can do to help?" She offered.

"It's fine, really. Thank you for offering, but I'm alright." Tempest replied, holding up a hoof to halt any further offers.

"I think we can talk about it later," Sky asserted, "If you want to." He finished, eyes trained on Tempest.

"I... I'd prefer that. Can we just talk about more menial things for a bit?" She timidly asked.

"Of course." Midnight replied, smiling once more.

"Thank you."

"So what do you want to talk about?" Sky asked.

"Well... Can you tell me more about how you met each other? That sounds nice." Tempest hesitantly answered.

"Oh, well, that's a story." Midnight replied.

"I think I'd really like to hear something happy right now."

"Well, it all started two falls ago..."

Author's Note:

Hey guys, we're finally here. It took a minute, but Tempest has finally met Sky and Midnight. I hope that you guys like this one. It took more time than I expected for it to come out right, but I think that overall, it's a good fit.

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