• Published 29th Jul 2019
  • 1,194 Views, 72 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 8: See No Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil

"What do you mean you couldn't find her!?" Twilight shrieked at her friends.

"Exactly what ah said. We can't find a trace of that mare." AppleJack replied with a frown.

"Ohhhhhh, this is not good. Not good at all." Twilight mumbled.

"Calm down, darling. We'll find her. We just need to widen our search. It's been a few hours now, so I think it's safe to say she's at least out of the city. If she was still here, we would have found her with at least one of your scanner spells." Rarity explained, casting her gaze to the front gate of the city.

"I hope so, Rarity. After everything she's been through... This might just be what it takes to make her leave forever." Twilight woefully admitted.

"What? What do you mean?" Pinkie gasped.

"Tempest told me that she was starting to reconsider coming back to Equestria, a few days ago... Just with everything that's happened as of late and how ostracized she's felt since she came to Ponyville, she's starting to think that she'd be better off in a far away land where nopony knows her."Twilight explained.

"We can't just let her leave thinking like that!" Fluttershy exclaimed, surprising everyone with her volume.

"Yeah!" Pinkie chimed in after only a second, "We need to get Fizzy back!"

"Indeed." Rarity agreed.

"Ah'd hate to leave on such bad terms. Let's bring her back." AppleJack added.

"I'm glad you all agree... I just wish Rainbow was back already. This would be so much easier with her searching from the sky." Twilight mused.

As if on cue, a rainbow blur rocketed through the air and came to an abrupt halt in front of the group.

"Twilight! There you guys are. Sorry I took so long, I had to finish the show and get away from the fans." Rainbow quickly explained.

"Perfect timing as always." AppleJack smirked.

"Rainbow, thank goodness you're here. We can't find Tempest anywhere in the city. I think she's out in the countryside but we need your speed to find her." Twilight replied, more than a little relief evident in her voice.

"No problem, Twi. I just can't believe that happened... At a WonderBolts show too." The prismatic pegasus admitted.

"I know. Trust me, Rainbow, none of us thought the crowd would react that negatively to her..." Twilight responded.

"It's just... this was my idea... and the way the entire stadium just... attacked her... this is my fault." Rainbow dejectedly muttered.

"Now don'tcha go blamin' yerself, Rainbow. None of us knew that would happen. If we had known, we wouldn't of even offered her the ticket." AppleJack chastised.

"Still... I'm gonna go search around Canterlot. She's only been missing for what? A few hours? She couldn't have gone far." Rainbow replied, finding some of her confidence along the way.

"We'll split up. Fluttershy, you go with Rainbow and look for her outside the city. Pinkie, Rarity, Spike and AppleJack, you four search the train station and see if anypony has seen her come through. Maybe she got on a train and got out of the city already. If that's the case, then we can just follow that train." Twilight ordered.

"Got it. Wait, where are you going?" Rainbow asked.

"I... I have to talk with Princess Celestia... If we can't find her soon... She'll send the royal guard out to search for her." Twilight admitted.

"She's already the most hated pony in Equestria and you want to send guards after her? What do you think everypony else will think when they see armed guards running around with 'wanted' posters of her!?" Rainbow exclaimed.

"I know it's not ideal! I wish I didn't have to, but that was the deal she made with Celestia when she was released last year, and that's the deal I was told to ensure she followed!" Twilight shouted back.

Every pony in the group recoiled slightly at Twilight's outburst. Even Rainbow was taken aback at how quickly the mare had gone from slightly distressed to outright angry.

"Geez... Uh, Twilight, are you okay?" Spike asked, as gently as he could.

Twilight sighed, "Yes... I'm sorry. It's just that this is my fault. I made her promise to come today, and everything that's happened since she got back has just been compounding on each other until now... until now she's gone... And I have to go tell Princess Celestia that she broke the agreement they made." She woefully explained.

There was a pregnant moment of silence while everyone thought over Twilight's words. Each emotion ranging from despair, to melancholy, to depression shown on the ponies' face. That is, until an idea popped up in Fluttershy's head.

"Well, not if we find her first, right?" She timidly questioned.

Everypony turned to the butterscotch pegasus like she'd just invented the light bulb.

"You're right, Fluttershy!" AppleJack exclaimed, "Twi, how long until you absolutely hafta go to the princess?" She pressed.

"Well... The deal was that if she didn't stay within a certain distance... but I can give her permission to go further than that... twelve hours." She recalled.

"Alright, how long's she been missin' for?" AppleJack asked.

"So far... About four hours." Pinkie replied, suddenly wearing a watch on her foreleg.

"So we've got eight hours to find her!" Rainbow interjected.

"Indeed! I'm sure we can find her in that time frame with Rainbow Dash searching the skies and all of us searching on the ground." Rarity chimed in.

"You're right. Okay, everypony, let's split up and find her." Twilight ordered, her spirits rising quickly.

"Where're you gonna search?" Rainbow asked.

"With you and Fluttershy. If she left the city, I might be able to pick up her trail with a tracking spell," Twilight explained before turning to the rest of the group, "If any of you find her or find out where she went, we'll meet back up at the train station in four hours."

"Got it." They all said.

With that, they split up. Twilight, Rainbow, and Fluttershy immediately fanned out and soared out of the city while AppleJack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Spike all headed for the train station.

Rainbow headed South in the direction of Ponyville while Fluttershy headed North towards Cloudsdale. Twilight veered off to the East and headed for the far side of Canterlot Mountain.

"It's a long shot... But maybe he's seen her..." She said to herself.

"Hold on, so you asked her parents for permission to marry her the first time you met them?" Tempest asked, dumbstruck.

"Hehe, yeah. In hindsight, it was a little fast-paced all things considered, but it did end up taking a little over a year to actually get to the wedding, so I got to know them a lot better in that time. I don't know how she does it, but Sapphire makes the best mango cookies you've ever seen." Sky explained.

"Wait, how do you get mango into-" Tempest began to ask.

"Trust me, we've asked. She won't tell." Midnight interrupted.

"Hehe, I guess it's a mother's secret recipe after all." She relented.

"Yeah. She was a little overbearing at first, but I think that I kinda grew on her. When your new in-laws move in for a couple months, that tends to happen." Sky recalled.

Tempest tilted her head to the side, "Why did they move in with you?"

"Well, their place got kinda banged up when the Storm King invaded. They were fine, but their house was kinda trashed. They just moved in while construction teams rebuilt the whole street." Sky answered.

It was the absolute last answer Tempest wanted to hear. An icy pain shot through her heart as guilt found its way pouring over the walls of comfort she'd built up during their conversation, and she couldn't keep her gaze from drifting to the floor. Sky and Midnight immediately noticed her saddening features and shared a quick look to discern what to do next.

"Hey, uh, why don't you go ahead and stick around for dinner. You can use the downstairs shower to get those tomato stains out of your coat too." Sky offered.

"Y-yeah... I'm sorry, I must be staining your couch right now..." Tempest muttered, her eyes falling to the floor.

She hopped off of the couch to find that, yes, there were stains present in the fabric.

"Oh, don't worry about it. I have a spell that'll get that right out. You just go ahead an shower up. Get that sticky stuff out of your coat. I can wash your suit while you're in there too if you'd like." Midnight offered.

"T-thank you, but you've already offered me so much... I can't ask you to do that..." Tempest replied, trying to blink back the beginnings of several tears.

"You've had a rough day. Don't worry about it." Midnight pressed, smiling in that same, friendly manner.

Tempest did not reply, she simply nodded and walked towards the hall.

"Last door on the left. Just toss your clothes out when you're ready and I'll take care of them by the time you get out." Midnight explained, while simultaneously lighting her horn up to remove the tomato stains from the couch.

Tempest found her way into the room in question and opened the door. A modest, one pony wide shower greeted her, along with plain white tiled floors and the typical porcelain accommodations one would expect in a bathroom. What caught her gaze, however, was the mirror, or rather, the pony she saw in the mirror. She slowly walked into the bathroom, her eyes glued on her reflection, and it took all her willpower to not break down and cry at the sight she saw.

Her coat was sticky and matted. Slimy juices made her once pristine armor look ugly, and strange. Some tomato seeds were still stuck to her bodysuit while her mane and tail were a mess of loose ends and sticky tangled hair. Worse of all, was her face. Her bloodshot eyes betrayed her facade of calmness, and her lip trembled as she saw the mess she actually was for the first time.

She couldn't look for long. Eventually, she ripped her gaze away from the mirror and proceeded to undress. The armor unclipped easily enough and slid down to the floor. Next, she stepped out of her steel horseshoes and unzipped her bodysuit. Her fur bristled outward as she unzipped, and soon enough she was completely out of the suit and naked, her scarred body once again freed from the confines of her clothes. With practiced effort, she grabbed all of her armor and clothing and placed them outside of the bathroom. She waved to Midnight while keeping most of her body concealed by the doorway. Midnight smiled and waved back before making her way over to the doorway.

""All good?" She asked.

"Yes, thank you." Tempest replied, pointedly keeping her body out of sight.

"Alright. I'll have these ready when you get out of the shower." Midnight replied.

Tempest promptly closed the door and turned on the water. Refreshingly cool water immediately spilled out of the showerhead before she adjusted the knob to a hotter setting, and soon the shower was filling with steam. She stepped inside and sighed in relief as the warm water soaked into her coat, washing away the tomato juice and painful memories. As her mane was slicked back against her scalp and she held her eyes closed, she tried to keep her mind blank. If nothing else, it at least kept her spirit at ease as she washed away her demons.

All too soon, it was time to leave, and she hesitantly turned the water off. With droplets dripping from her coat every second, she reached out of the shower and grabbed a towel. She quickly dried herself off as thoroughly as possible before dropping the towel in the bin to her right and heading for the door. Upon opening said door, she was caught completely off guard by Sky standing directly in front of her with her bodysuit held by his wings. Time slowed down to a crawl as the unicorn and pegasus simply stared at each other, eyes wide and neither knowing what to say.

Eventually, Sky's eyes drifted down and he nearly gasped as he saw the sheer measure of Tempest's scars. Right below the neckline of where her bodysuit would have been, there was a small scar, right next to her jugular. On her right wither, there was a deep horizontal scar, and three more vertical scars on her barrel. However, nothing compared to the massive, grotesque scars on her flank, where her cutiemark would have been. Sky's jaw dropped on it's own accord, and before he knew it, her gaze darted back up to Tempest's face, to find two pleading eyes looking back at him.

"I... I'm sorry... I was about to knock..." Sky managed.

"Please... j-just don't say anything..." Tempest whispered, her eyes falling to the floor.

Sky hesitated for a second before nodding and handing her bodysuit over. She gratefully took it out of his hooves and closed the door once more. A few moments later, the door was pulled open again, and Tempest stepped out with her bodysuit on. She gave him a thankful nod, which he kindly returned and they both walked into the living room once more.

Upon entering the room, Tempest reclaimed her seat, finding no stains to speak of anymore. Sky sat down across from her while Midnight reentered the room. An awkward silence momentarily overtook the group before an idea popped into Sky's head and he quickly whispered into Midnight's ear. Tempest tilted her head to the side as she watched, but before she could even ask, Midnight nodded and Sky turned back to her again.

"So, uh, Tempest... Would you want to... I don't know, maybe stay the night? I mean, we have a guest bedroom right down the hall, and I wouldn't really feel right just kicking you out after dinner." He asked.

Tempest slowly brought her eyes down to the floor and searched for a response for a moment.

"T-thank you, but I don't think that... wait... I never told you my name." She said, eyes squinting in realization.

Sky couldn't help the look of shock that quickly painted his face before fumbling for a response.

"Y-yeah you did. Remember? At the cliff?" He offered, obviously grasping at straws.

"I know for a fact that I didn't... I made a point not to... You... You knew who I am this whole time? Both of you?" She asked, looking back and forth between sky and Midnight.

After a long moment of painful silence, a heavy sigh escaped Sky's lips and he slowly shook his head in defeat.

"Alright. Guess I gave us up. Yeah, we do know who you are." He admitted, although curiously, he showed no signs of anger or revulsion. Instead, he simply looked like she'd beat him in a game of tag, nothing more.

"Why... Why were you pretending to not know of me? Don't you... Don't you hate me?" She asked, eyes once more falling to the floor.

It was Midnight's turn to respond, "While... news of what you did shocked us, and rightfully upset us when we found out that my parents were affected... I can't say that either of us hate you. You seem like a mare who's had a lot thrown at her."

"That's no excuse..." Tempest mumbled.

"Let me put it to you this way: When I walked up on you over at that cliff, I didn't see the scary mare that attacked Canterlot and hurt innocent ponies... I saw a mare who's had the entire world against her for one reason or another. As someone who's been in a similar situation... I felt like it'd be wrong of me to just sit back and do nothing." Sky added.

"What do you mean? What situation were you in?" She asked.

"Well-" Sky began, only to be interrupted by a knock at the door, "Hang on."

Sky walked over to the front door and opened it to reveal none other than Princess Celestia herself.

"Is Tempest here?" She asked.

Author's Note:

I know some of you might be curious about the implications of Tempest's bodysuit and why she didn't want Sky to see her without it. Again, that will be explained in more detail in a future story. For now, I'll just say that she doesn't want other ponies to see her scars.

As for Sky and Midnight, I bet you were wondering why neither of them seemed to know who Tempest is, and now you have an answer. It makes sense, I swear.

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