• Published 18th Oct 2019
  • 9,880 Views, 539 Comments

Time Enough For Three - Valtyra

Twilight finds herself wanting to know more about Celestia and Luna. So she ends up time travelling!

  • ...

Arc 2: Chapter 1

Once again, Celestia found herself harshly yanked from her rest by the sound of crashing waves which collided with the side of the ship. Letting out a low, tired groan, she opened her eyes and looked around in the darkness which had overtaken the hold while she had been asleep.

Thankfully the stars and nebulae within her sister's mane were like her own personal beacon which guided her back to the warmth which she so desperately desired. She quickly took advantage of it by pushing herself off the cold deck to stumble over to her sister.

"You should get some sleep, 'Tia," Luna mumbled, her ears flicking as she finally indicated that she was awake.

The mare sat with her back to Celestia and levitated a damp washcloth across Twilight's unconscious body. She occasionally wrung it out into a nearby bucket and returned to what she was doing.

"I- I'll be okay. I can keep you company,” Celestia replied with a discreet yawn. She tried to hide the tired edge in her tone, but found herself slipping.

"You stayed up for the last few days," Luna said, turning to the approaching mare and smiling. "You need your rest."

Celestia decided to ignore that and slide up beside her sister before gently leaning against her. "I assume she still hasn't reacted to anything?" she asked, reaching down and brushing along Twilight's shoulder. "It's been three weeks and nothing," she finished with a sigh.

Luna rested her head on top of Celestia's and gave her a soft nuzzle. "She'll come back to us," she whispered while she continued to clean the mare. "Until then, we'll go where we have to."

"Cervidas,” Celestia whispered.

Luna rubbed the cloth down until she reached the stump where Twilight's wing had been, then paused. It hurt her every time she had to look at it; a physical reminder of what Twilight had given up to help them. But she needed to clean her and proceeded to tenderly run the cloth over the wound.

A sudden, but gentle nudge and Luna once again turned to Celestia.

"She'll pull through this, Lulu. She still had to take us on a date, remember?"

Luna blinked and she found herself with a slight smile appearing on her face. It was her first in quite a while.

"I spoke to the captain and she says we should reach Eternity in a few more days," Luna said, reaching a hoof up and caressing Celestia's cheek. "It's one step closer to peace."

Celestia leaned into the hoof, closed her eyes and sighed. Despite the damp, cramped and oppressive hold they were stuck in, the warmth of that hoof practically reignited her spirits.

"My love," she whispered, bringing her own hoof up to hold on top of Luna's own.

The pair continued to sit in blissful silence until Celestia managed to inch her way back to sleep and her head came to rest against Luna's shoulder.

Luna paused for a second upon hearing her sister let out a soft snore then gently levitated her over to their bundle of blankets. Laying Celestia down, she leaned in and kissed her cheek, finding the sight of Celestia mumbling in her sleep simply adorable, before covering her up and tucking her in. "Sleep well, my future Princess," Luna whispered before returning back to Twilight's side, a renewed pep in her step.

"My apologies, my Moon..." Luna whispered, brushing some of Twilight's stray hairs away from her face then going back to cleaning her.

Celestia let out a soft grunt as she suddenly awoke to the sound of the creaking ship. During the night, she had rolled over and was now laying across the damp, cold deck. Pushing herself up and onto her hooves, the mare looked around and saw her sister being cradled by Twilight, the mare's hooves gently brushing across that nebulae mane.

Her eyes widened upon the sight and rushed over, eager to wrap the mare in her wings and dote on her but Twilight glanced up from the sleeping mare and shook her head, before holding her hoof in front of her mouth.

"Shh, she's sleeping," Twilight explained, her voice hushed before her attention returned back to Luna.

Celestia nodded and carefully made her way over. "How long have you been awake?" she asked, her eyes watering as she ran her shaking hoof down Twilight's leg. She did her best to keep her composure, but the sudden sight had startled her and she found her heart thumping.

"Only a couple of minutes," Twilight replied, moving her eyes back over to Celestia with a tired smile, then glancing back down to Luna.

Celestia sighed, then bashfully rubbed the back of her neck. "I've been thinking a little during the last few weeks. I-" she paused and smiled. "I like you- a lot, but I want to know you- Like the future me knows you."

Twilight blinked, then her smile widened as she understood. "I would like that. For both of you," she said, unable to remove her smile now. "and yes, I kinda fell into your lives. If I hadn't of turned up-"

"We would be dead, my Moon," Luna interjected, beaming up at Twilight who quickly glanced down at her with a wide smile. "You came into our lives and brightened our day and night. I also wish to know you as we will," she added, pulling herself up into a kneeling position next to Twilight and bringing her hoof up to brush over her cheek. "You will take us on dates and you will woo us properly."

Twilight gazed into Luna's eyes and nodded, finding herself leaning into the hoof. Her skin tingled delightfully against the hard keratin of that hoof and she couldn't help but let out a soft, happy sigh of relief. "I doubt they'd be the most conventional dates, considering."

"That doesn't matter," Celestia said, looking between the two. "If you haven't noticed, we're not exactly conventional," she motioned, gesturing to each of them and laughing. "As long as it doesn't involve sneaking, or fighting, then I'm happy."

The three of them let the hold sit in relative silence for what felt the longest time, with Celestia nuzzling up to Twilight's other side and rubbing her hoof through what was left of her breast floof and Luna on her other side and simply holding Twilight’s leg.

Yet the silence had to be broken and Twilight spoke up. "We should go topside. This hold is getting horribly depressing, even with you two here."

Celestia looked over to Luna then nodded. "Sure. Getting out will be quite a nice change. Being stuck down here has been a- let's just say it's been an experience."

Twilight raised a brow. "I'm sure it has. Thank you- both of you, for looking after me," she said, looking between the pair and feeling tears well up. "You two are the best."

Luna was the first to push her head out from under the heavy trapdoor and peek out across the waterlogged deck.

The Alicorns had managed to charter a rather small transport vessel, and while that meant a relatively spacious hold and lack of questions on the captain's part it also meant lack of defensive options if the navy decided to stop by and check them.

Pulling herself out of the hold and raising the trapdoor with her magic, Luna looked about and found the familiar sight of the high-seas for miles around them.

Unfortunately for the trio, the above deck was remarkably similar to the below deck, with the obvious exception of no roof and miles of rough seas around them. Damp, darkened flooring covered the whole of the floor and various barrels were tied down here and there along with the single mast of the ship.

One end of the ship was held for the captain's quarters and above that, reachable with some stairs on either side of the deck was a second level complete with the ship's wheel. Beside the captain's door were some stairs leading down into the crew quarters, of which several of the Gryphons were hard at work in the deck.

Plenty of the Gryphons cast a wary eye towards the three Ponies as they ascended from below deck, but continued working.

"Here," Celestia said, reaching a hoof down for Twilight, then pulled her up with a grunt. "At least it's not raining."

"Yeah, that's what would make this worse," Twilight groaned, sticking her tongue out.

"Oh har har," Celestia said, rolling her eyes.

"Just teasing. It would be nice to be wet and not having it be my own sweat for once."

"You know-" Luna started to say, but a lavender hoof pressing against her lips stopped her, while Celestia let out a barely concealed laugh.

"Grow up, you two. There'll be time for that soon enough," Twilight stated, then turned and walked towards the bow of the ship, smiling towards any Gryphon who looked her way.

The other two stayed back for a second, watching the mare, then Celestia spoke up, "I'll go and inform the captain."

"Good idea," Luna replied in a mumble, her attention locked on Twilight, watching the lavender mare sit at the bow and gaze out across the ocean as her mane was blown back.


"Hm? Oh, of course," Luna actually replied, turning to smile at Celestia. "Sorry. Make sure we're still on course. The captain was a little worried about the town's defenses as it's a port town. Tell her she can drop us off near the town and we'll walk in."

Celestia leaned in and nuzzled against Luna's cheek, receiving a soft hum in reply. "As you wish, sister. Our Moon is delicate now, so be gentle."

"Aren't I always?" Luna replied, raising a skeptical brow at Celestia's statement. "I shall not treat her like pottery, sister. She deserves more than being handled like a foal."

"I'm not saying-" Celestia said, then sighed in slight frustration. She her hoof on Luna's own and added, "You know what I mean."

"I do, my love," Luna said, smiling. "I shall be as tender as I have always been."

"I'm glad to hear it," Celestia whispered, kissing her, then pulling away and trotting off towards the captain's quarters.

Luna turned back to Twilight who was watching the pair, her expression neutral. Smiling, she made her way over and sat down next to Twilight.

"It's funny, you know," Twilight spoke up after a few minutes of listening to the waves. "It's been quite a while since I've been able to just sit and think."

Luna was hesitant to speak up, but forced out, "What are you thinking about?"

"I've time travelled before. Not as far back as this, of course," Twilight said, waving her hoof and turning to Luna. “One pony, Starlight, was trying to hurt me," she continued. Her words held no anger or malice but simply pure matter-of-fact.
"There was no true fighting, and truthfully I think she was pulling her punches,” she said, chuckling. “I saw so many different versions of my home, each one worse than the last- until it was a scorched wasteland."

Twilight then leaned against the side and gazed down into the rushing ocean, her wing rustling anxiously by her side.

Luna slid her hoof across and wrapped it around Twilight's own, holding it tight to receive a soft smile.

"I'm constantly feeling that the next step I make will simply break the future. What if any one of these Gryphons would have gone on to have a child and two thousand years later whole swafts of Gryphons are gone because they didn't have sex as they’re here and not at home?"

"Moon," Luna whispered, pulling the mare into a hug and holding her tight. "Listen to me. I don't know how this all works but you can't think like that. You'll burn yourself out before we can even get to Eden."

"I can't help it," Twilight stammered, looking around at the Gryphons over Luna’s shoulder.

"Okay," Luna said, pulling back and moving her hooves up to move Twilight's gaze onto her. "Keep looking at me then. What do you see happening with me?"


"No," Luna interrupted, giving her a stern look. "I know things must be hard, but you cannot let yourself think like this; I won't allow it!"

The mare's eyes trailed down to Twilight's hooves and stayed there as she continued. "You have done remarkable things. Things I didn't even know were possible and yet you did them regardless of whether you would change time or not. I don't want to make light of everything, but we're already past that point."

Twilight opened her mouth, but froze upon trying to think of what to say, her mind blank.

"You are the single most incredible pony I've ever met, barring my sister," Luna said, finishing with a slight laugh. "But I fear you would succumb to your own mind if given the chance."

"I may have been told something like that from my friends," Twilight mumbled, now slightly embarrassed. "I'm sorry, Luna. I shouldn't be making you carry this after what you've just been through."

Luna leaned in and brushed Twilight's cheek with her own, before nipping her neck playfully. "Don't be so silly, Moon," she teased, brushing her feathers across the mare's muzzle to cause Twilight to flush. With a smug tone, she finished with, "This is what partners do. They burden each other so that when one needs help the other can provide it."

"I know, Luna," Twilight said, turning with the mare. "I don't really enjoy feeling like I rely on you two so much. This is my fault after all." She left the moment hanging for but a moment and gazed out across the sea. "But fine. If I must, then I'll lean on you two," she laughed, gesturing to her side.

Luna frowned and shook her head. "That's really not funny," she said, rubbing her forehead with her hoof.

"Aw, don't be so mean to her, Lulu," Celestia said, sliding up next to Luna with a smirk.

Twilight rolled her eyes and shrugged. "Hey, I didn't choose this life, okay? It chose me."

"Either way, the captain is happy that you're awake. She would have been disappointed to have the kingslayer die on her ship. Her words, not mine," Celestia said, rubbing the back of her neck. "We were lucky that we managed to find sympathetic Gryphons in that port."

Moving over to Twilight, Celestia brushed her hoof through her mane. "I think we can finally relax. At least for a little bit until we get to shore."

"Oh, speaking of which. How long until we make it to Heliopolis?" Twilight asked.

Celestia blinked and chewed her lip as the sisters shared a look. "Oh, right. Uh, we're not really going there just yet."

"Why not? I'm not up to date on my world geography, but it should just be west, right?" Twilight stated, looking confused, before sighing. "Well, if we're not going to Heliopolis, where are we going?"

The sisters let the moment settle for a few seconds and then Luna replied with, "Cervidas." She held up a hoof and shook her head. "There's a perfectly good reason though," she continued, stopping Twilight. "We spoke to a few people in Thatcholm and they all said that the continent is off limits. The Deer had placed some sort of warding obelisks around it."

"Warding obelisks?" Twilight muttered, frowning. "I didn't hear of any in the future," she said, rolling her eyes. "Which makes sense if we need to get past them. The Queen is the most likely to know how to remove them; there is a Queen on the throne, right?"

"Indeed. Queen Ylyndar is in charge. Apparently they have been quiet, but friendly with the port we're sailing to," Celestia said, nodding. "We did what we thought was best."

"Of course. It would have wasted precious time if we had gone straight for Heliopolis. Maybe we won't be attacked by random cultists?" Twilight finished with a chuckle.

"That would be nice, for once," Luna replied, shaking her head. "Though, somethin tells me that if they were able to follow and find us in Stonewall, then the badlands, then they'll find us anywhere. We should be more careful."

Starlight watched as Twilight stepped through the shimmering surface of her portal and faded away into nothingness as one second slipped into the next.

While she knew that she should feel apprehensive about the whole situation, considering the extremely experimental time-altering devices affixed to their legs, she just couldn't bring herself to feel anything but utter excitement.

"Ahh!" she gasped, causing the Princesses to jump in fright. "I can't believe I got to witness that!"

"Starlight," Luna sighed, moving over and placing a hoof on her withers."While I appreciate your excitement for Twilight going off into danger, I must ask what you hoped to accomplish."

Starlight gazed up at the Alicorn with a sheepish grin, her heart still thumping. "I apologise, Princess. I forgot either of you were here..." she replied, before her eyes widened. "I mean, uh, this moment was monumental!"

"And why is that?" Celestia asked, stepping forwards, intrigued.

"Because, Princess," Starlight said, holding up her hoof with the bracelet, then gesturing to the portal. "From what Twilight and I have experienced with time-travel, she should have appeared instantly."

"Should I assume that it's bad that she hasn't?" Luna asked, flicking her eyes from Starlight to the portal, her brow raised with concern.

"Honestly, I'm not sure-"

"You're not sure?!" Luna shouted, pushing Starlight back slightly from the force of her voice. "What do you mean?"

"I'm sure she'll tell you, sister, if you let her finish," Celestia interjected, placing her hoof on Luna's shoulder then turning to Starlight. "As you were, Starlight."

"Thank you, Princess," Starlight stammered, averting her eyes from a suddenly scary looking Alicorn.

Turning, she began to pace back and forth in front of the portal, the soft buzz of the ambient mana relaxing her slightly.

"Well... There's a few theories I believe I could think of, from the top of my head. One is that Twilight is dead and our timezone has started to move forward in time," she began to explain, receiving a growl from Luna. With a gulp, she shook her head. "Of course, I believe this to be highly unlikely, unless your younger selves had suddenly managed to fix the timeline alone."

"The second?" Celestia asked, looking more worried than upset.

"The second is that the bracelets have somehow forced our timezone to continue without Twilight here. This could be possible, but it would take something many many times more powerful than these to do it."

Glimmer stopped suddenly and turned her attention to the portal. "I just have to check something," she mumbled as her horn began to glow. Closing her eyes and pressing her horn against the surface, she quickly pulled away and looked over to the sisters.

"I know what's happened," she stated, rushing past the Princesses and hastily levitating some paper and a quill over to the desk, then drawing a straight line. "Twilight's gone back in time to meet you two," she continued, drawing an x under the start of the line. "I based these bracelets off of the spell which she had used, spell components and all."

Luna brushed her hoof over her mane. "I hope this won't be a common occurrence?" she asked, glancing to her sister who simply shook her head.

Starlight gasped and spun around with a wide, almost manic grin. "This is unprecedented!" she laughed, clip-clopping in place. "The bracelets and the spell, which the portal uses, are connected. Twilight won't come through that portal until she decides to come through in real time."

"Is time moving normally, or just us?" Celestia asked, her ears flicking at the sound of ponies laughing from outside the room. "I'm not an expert on this, but I can still hear my ponies going about their day."

"That's the thing," Starlight laughed, her eyes wide as she began to scribble down equations and runes around the line and shove it in the Alicorn's faces. "This, right here!" she groaned, her excitement eating her up. "The portal and all three of us are moving forward in time at exactly the same rate as Twilight is in the past! At one second a second!"

Luna took a step back from Starlight with a concerned expression as Celestia wrapped a wing around her and held her tight.

"Oh, don't worry, Princesses. We should be well protected from any paradoxes or accidental erasure which Twilight might induce into the fabric of spacetime."

"That's not entirely what I'm worried about, Starlight."

Starlight blinked and flicked between the two sisters, unsure. "Oh, uh, I apologise. This is a completely new field of research and these have far exceeded my expectations. I let my excitement get the better of me," she laughed, rubbing the back of her neck.

"It's alright, Miss Glimmer. What do you suppose we do now?" Celestia asked. "If we're moving through time normally, do we continue with our lives without Twilight?" she asked, her normal glow fading at the thought of spending any amount of time away from Twilight.

"Until time changes around us, yes. We can only really wait for her return," Starlight explained, glancing between the pair and brushing the wooden floor with a hoof.

Author's Note:

Yo, what's up peeps!

I've tired something experimental for me: multiple view points! Arc 1 was pretty much about Twilight.

For arc 2, I want to extend it out to the other characters, as well as multiple perspectives now that things have settled down.