• Published 22nd Jan 2020
  • 1,262 Views, 248 Comments

Never Alone - SoloBrony



It's time for Cozy Glow to get back out in the real world and figure out where she fits into Equestria. She's tried superheroics, supervillainy, and accidentally destroyed the world; now she has to try being normal. Yeah, probably not.

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Crack

I cleared my throat and mind, and settled into my chair, focusing on the blue pegasus mare seated across from me. Her bright grey eyes were more than a little intimidating.

Showtime, Starlight.

"So, Miss Glow – or do you prefer Bright?"

The mare smiled pleasantly at me. " 'Glow' was my married name. Just call me Bree. Everypony does."

I smiled back, trying to cover up any preconceived notions I had. "Bree, then. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me. You have a nice home," I said, glancing around meaningfully.

Bree nodded, gesturing to it. "Left to me when my dear mother passed. Can you believe my husband tried to take it when we divorced? Some ponies, honestly."

No snark, Starlight! Do not snark! DO NOT SNARK!

"Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I'm sure you didn't get half of what you deserved."

Ponyfeathers! I couldn't help it!

Bree smiled warmly at me. "Right? Ponies can be so entitled, there's just no winning."

I struggled to keep a straight face. She didn't even notice. Roll with it!

Bree sighed and leaned back. "Speaking of entitled ponies wrecking things, you came here to discuss Cozy Glow, is that right?"

I nodded quickly, seizing the productive topic before I slipped up. "Right! So, um, I'm in charge of the School of Friendship now, and Cozy Glow's history is something we've been continuously trying to follow up on, but we were never able to track you down before."

Bree rolled her eyes. "I'm not surprised. Cozy did a thorough job of covering her tracks; nopony ever came to speak with us after she ran away. All we got was a letter in the mail saying she was taken in by an orphanage, and we were so swamped trying to fix all of the damage she caused before she left we didn't have a chance to even look into it. The next thing I knew, she'd left the orphanage, and then I was reading about her being thrown into Tartarus in the papers!"

Bree scowled, and I started to see the resemblance for the first time as she continued. "Honestly, that filly was rotten to the core, right from the beginning. Never satisfied with anything, always trying to play her games with all of us, trying to appear oh so sweet and innocent and then stabbing anypony who trusted her in the back. Nothing we ever tried worked! She just got worse and worse, and I started to see her influencing the other kids... if she hadn't run off to cook up her schemes elsewhere, who knows what would have happened here? I was at wit's end!"

My smile had gone quite rigid listening. On the one hoof, that did sound precisely like Cozy, but on the other...

"I'm sure it was very hard for you."

Bree's eyes widened up as she looked thoroughly miserable. "You have no idea! 'The mare who raised a monster!' I didn't want ponies to know who I was! I moved all the way down here to Dodge City just to get away from it all!"

That does sound like a difficult reputation to deal with, but I feel like she's missing the bigger point here.

I frowned, setting my hooves together. "And Cozy was raised primarily in Cloudsdale, is that right?"

She nodded, rolling her eyes again. "Can't ever go back there now, courtesy of that little monster. We moved around a bit while she was growing up, but enough ponies remembered who she was and that I'd raised her to make all kinds of problems. I finally decided to return to my family home just to get out of it all. Honestly! It wasn't enough that she ruined our family, she had to drive me from my home, too! Do you know how few pegasi live here in Dodge? It's not right for a pony to be away from their own kind, you know!"

I shifted a bit, and glanced around at the expensive living arrangements.

"You seem to have landed on your hooves, though."

She huffed. "Oh sure. We Eyes, we're fighters. Always have been. But that doesn't make it fair or easy! What mother doesn't suffer at having her babies taken away?! I can't believe that rotten filly did that to us!"

Well, she sure doesn't have anything nice to say about Cozy. Can I really blame her, though?

I cleared my throat. "And, um, what did she do, exactly?"

Bree started crying, her face drooping into an anguished frown. "That little monster made up all sorts of lies about us around town, for years, and then when she ran away she gave a detailed 'report' to foal services. It was all horseapples, but with the reputation she'd given us, we didn't have a leg to stand on when they came for our kids! She tore our family apart with her games long before she got around to terrorizing the rest of Equestria!"

I recoiled slightly. I didn't know that! "And the other children? Where are they now?"

"Gone," she wailed, "they put them in foster care and didn't even let me see my babies! They said I'd be 'disruptive', can you believe it?! What's wrong with this country?!"

She kept weeping, and I just sat there, awkwardly. Would foal services really take that kind of drastic measure based on nothing more than reputation?

I cleared my throat. "Bree, um, listen. I'll talk with Princess Twilight about your situation, and we'll look into it, but I can't make any promises."

Her eyes widened, and she leaned forward, staring at me like I had just given her a second chance at life. "Really?! You can do that? Oh, thank you, Starlight! Thank you!"

I nodded cautiously. "Like I said, no promises, but we can at least make sure everypony was doing their job correctly."

Bree leaned back, holding her head. "Of course they weren't! A foal can't be away from their mother. It's not right. I would have gone to Cozy in Tartarus if I could have, but of course even that isn't an option now... I don't even know if I want to go and see the statue. It's just a reminder of all of my failures as a mother."

I started at that. "Statue? Oh, Cozy's not—"

I cut myself off as I realized this might be a bad idea, but it was too late. Bree was watching me very carefully, expecting me to continue. I cleared my throat.

"Cozy is currently... in therapy, of sorts."

"Oh!" Bree leapt to her hooves. "Where is she?! I have to go and see her!"

So one minute, she's a monster, and now Bree wants to see her? Well, I guess I can kinda understand, but I've got a bad feeling, here...

"Please, Bree, calm down. She's in a very delicate state right now, and I don't think—"

Bree shook her head violently. "No! Don't you feed me that 'disruptive' line, too! All of you government ponies are the same, thinking you know what's best for foals! What are you really doing with my daughter, hm?!" She pointed a hoof at me accusingly, and her voice kept rising in volume. I just stayed calm. "Why can't I see her?! What do you think is going to happen, that I'll somehow make her snap?! She already did that! It's common sense that she just needs her mother!"

I grit my teeth slightly. Sorry, Sunset. I should have handled that better. "Bree, listen to me. We'll talk about what can be done with you and Cozy Glow, but first I need to speak with Princess Twilight about your case, okay? You've waited this long, you can hang on a few more days!"

Bree scowled at me with a hateful expression that reminded me a little too much of Chrysalis, and my skin started to crawl. "You have no idea what it's like to have your babies taken from you, you heartless witch. Go ahead, talk to the princess, or do whatever you're going to do, but I will see my foals again."

I stood up, definitely sensing that I was no longer welcome here. "Right, well, I guess I'd better go do that, then! Uh, nice meeting you, bye!"

I didn't bother using the door; I just teleported straight out of the house.

That atmosphere was suffocating! Now I see why Cozy would have bad memories of that mare. Still... if she really tore her family apart like that, she has even more to make up than I thought. I'd better go talk to Twilight about all of this before things get out of hoof.

I took a bracing breath and teleported to the train station, hoping I hadn't just set off a real mess.

Author's Note:

Starlight's so blunt her words practically do bashing damage.