• Published 18th Dec 2011
  • 4,174 Views, 72 Comments

A Tale of Two Ponies - Silicas

Luna is pregnant with a colt sired when she was still Nightmare Moon. What will come of this?

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Chapter 12: Giving In

Chapter 12: Giving In

Trixie dived to the side as a bolt of fiery red magic soared past her. She raised a hoof, shielding her eyes from the splashes of energy that flew from the impact site a meter to her side. The mare still felt magic tingling against her foreleg as lowered it and looked back to her opponent.

Above her, smiling slightly, was Sanguine. The smile, however, quickly turned into a frown at Trixie’s inaction.

The white mare, extending a hoof, urged, “Come on, Trixie. You’re not finished yet. Summon some magic, throw up a shield, and get ready for the next attack. You can’t be tired already.”

Trixie blinked. Her head was still spinning from the rough fall.

Sanguine let out a disappointed humph. “I guess the stage name was just that after all. I can hear them: ‘The Great and Powerful Horned Earth Pony’.” Sanguine spit the final two words. “That’s what they’d call you if they saw you now, Trixie. You’re no caster; you’re just an earth pony with a lump on her skull.”

Sanguine slowly trotted closer to Trixie. She stood above the light blue mare, looking down on her through several messy tangles of her bright red mane. Leaning in closer, the white unicorn whispered, “I think we’re done here.”

Trixie gritted her teeth as she flushed her horn with energy.

A ward! Hah! The Great and Powerful Trixie does not shield herself like a coward.

The blue mare took a deep breath and tensed her legs. All at once, she released the energy from her horn and forced herself to her hooves.

The thought exploded from her lips as she let her magic fly. “She strikes!

Trixie stepped carefully down a short section of wooden stairs as she entered the conclave’s bathing chamber. She grasped a lantern tightly in her teeth as the stairs creaked loudly under her hooves; the space was quite dark.

The spacious cavern was warm and damp, and the thin panels of wood that covered portions of the floor were wet with a thin sheen of moisture. In the far corner of the room coals glowed beneath a sizable cauldron of water, steam slowly billowing from its top.

The room, it appeared, was unoccupied. That was not unusual for time of night, but it did mean that she would be able to relax more easily. Placing her lantern on a small table beside the entryway, Trixie walked towards the far corner of the room opposite the simmering cauldron. Gently, she lowered herself into the spring-fed warm pool. The temperate water barely crowned the mare’s shoulders as she sunk into the water.

Trixie dunked her head beneath the water, letting the leisurely current that circulated throughout the pool flow through her mane. After a moment, she felt something against the top of her head. It was the energy dampening ring that Sanguine had placed around her horn for sparring; she had forgotten to remove it after the training session.

Reaching out with a tendril of magic, Trixie lifted the band from her horn. Setting it down gently beside the pool, the mare turned back to move deeper into the water. As the light from her horn subsided, something caught in Trixie’s peripheral vision. It was a silhouette, just barely distinguishable from the rock wall it floated in front of.

The blue mare lit her horn and asked cautiously, “Is anypony there?”

Trixie did not need the forthcoming answer. In the corner of the pool, head peaking just above the water’s surface, was Sanguine. She was not moving.

Rainbow Dash touched down gently in front of Sugarcube Corner. After inspecting the large cupcake spire for a moment, she stepped inside the mock-gingerbread establishment.

“Pinkie?” the pegasus called, “You here?”

“Yep!” the pink pony’s voice yelled from the kitchen, “I’ll be out in just a second!”

Rainbow Dash sat and idly scanned the shop’s interior. A large rainbow-striped candy cane caught her eye. The pegasus pony licked her lips; she could almost taste the lime stripe. It looked delicious.

Rainbow Dash sighed and tore her gaze away from the treat. “Pinkie!” she shouted more angrily than she intended, “Come on.”

Pinkie Pie’s head shot out through the swinging kitchen door, a tray of multicolored taffy balanced precariously on her head. “What’s up, Rainbow? Is everything okey-dokey?”

“Yah. Uh…” Rainbow’s eyes shot back to the candy cane. “How much does that thing cost?” she asked, pointing a hoof at the hooked shaft of dyed sugar.

“A bit,” answered Pinkie. “You want it?”

“Yah. It looks awesome. I don’t have any bits with me, though.”

Pinkie Pie trotted to the counter in the middle of the room and slid the tray off her head onto the wooden surface. “Don’t worry. I’ll just put it on your tab.” The candy-colored pony winked.

Rainbow Dash picked the treat off the stand beside her. “Thanks.”

“It’s absolutively no problem at all, Dashie. Just bring a few bits around next time and you’ll be all good for quite a while.” Pinkie Pie started stacking the pieces of taffy on a shelf beside the counter. “Now,” she said, looking over her shoulder, “Is there anything else you need?”

“Mmmmph?” A spray of saliva and sugary dye sprayed from the pegasus pony’s mouth. Rainbow Dash pulled out the candy cane, looking at the slobbery mass regretfully. “Yah. Uh… Rarity sent me over to ask if you still had your Wonderbolts ticket. Scootaloo’s looking for one, and was wondering if you might be willing to give up yours.”

“Oh. I’m so sorry, but I already gave mine to Cobalt after he asked me to. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Naw, it’s alright,” Rainbow Dash said with a sigh.

Nopony seemed all that interested in attending the Wonderbolts show, even after she had scrounged up the bits to buy them all tickets. She had told them that they were free to give them to other ponies if they wanted, but she had still hoped that they would not.

Rainbow, eyes still fixed on the candy cane, said, “I figured you probably didn’t want to go anyways. And with Twilight and Cobalt the way they are with each other now, I bet they are going together.” Dash waved her hooves up and down slightly, imitating the shape of quotation marks as she spoke the last word.

“So Twilight won’t be able to give up hers then?”

“Yah. And I already talked to Applejack and she said that she gave hers to the mailpony for some strange reason.”

“What about Fluttershy?” asked Pinkie as she stacked the last of the taffy pieces onto the shelf and faced Rainbow Dash.

“She’s going with Starshade, who just asked for Rarity’s ticket.”

“Oh? That’s pretty much everypony that I know has a ticket,” said Pinkie Pie.

The party mare shook her head. “Poor Scootaloo.”

Several bubbles floated up through the warm water above Sanguine’s head. More followed as the mare gradually rose above the water’s level. Her eyes were closed as she ran a single hoof through her mane, freeing some of the water from the red strands to run back into the surface of the pool.

“Sanguine?” Trixie repeated.

The mare’s red eyes shot open, though Trixie could barely make out their color in the dim light cast by her horn. “Oh,” the mare gasped, “I thought I felt somepony slip in.” Sanguine pulled back several errant strands of. “I didn’t expect you though,” she added. “You finished with barely a scratch.”

“Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Nothing that a warm bath and a good night’s rest can’t fix. It’s fortunate, actually, that you decided to come now. I was planning on talking to you in the morning, but I might as well ask you now so you’ll be able to sleep on it.”

“What is it?” Trixie shifted nervously. She hoped that, whatever it was, it would not be something important.

“Well, I don’t remember if I’ve told you this already or not, but we’re keeping our eyes on a particular pegasus colt that seems to have an important relationship with Princess Luna. About a week ago, he was moved to Ponyville. Anyways, since he moved we haven’t been able to find a pony both willing and qualified to keep an eye on him. Luna was wise, or perhaps just lucky, to send him there; he’s surrounded by the Elements of Harmony and very well protected.”

Trixie drew a breath to speak, but Sanguine extended a hoof to quiet her. “Just hear me out, Trixie. I remember you telling me about your run-in with Twilight Sparkle. I know that it did not go well, but I’ve wanted a good magician on call in Ponyville to keep an eye on the Elements anyways. You are a very good magician, good enough that you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating with me in real-time. So do you understand why I’m asking you, now?”

Trixie nodded. “Yes.”

“Very good. Now, I want you to think about this tonight and give me an answer in the morning. Is that long enough for you to think over it?”

“It should be.”

“Okay. I won’t bother you anymore; I know I’m asking quite a bit.”

Sanguine hopped up out of the pool and, levitating a towel across her back, made for the cavern’s exit, leaving Trixie alone in the room. The blue unicorn waited for several minutes. She did not need a full night to think about it; she already knew that she was going to do it. It would be an opportunity not only to make herself useful to the conclave and to Sanguine, but to finally get revenge on the purple mare that had shamed her.

This time Twilight Sparkle was going to be the pony that failed, not Trixie.

Silver Spoon stretched beneath her soft covers and yawned. She pushed the blankets off her head and glanced at the hourglass on her bedside table. Without her glasses it was difficult for her to gauge the level of the sand, but she could still tell that something had woken her early.

The filly climbed from her bed and trotted to her dresser. Fumbling for a moment with her glasses case, Silver Spoon extracted the blue frames and watched her image in the mirror come into focus as she slid them onto her nose. Sighing, she fixed her light blue pearls around her neck and hastily arranged her mane.

She remembered those years, now past, when her real father had done it for her. Mr. Rich was almost always gone when she woke up in the morning, and even when he was home he rarely spent much time the gray filly.

Silver Spoon cracked open her room’s door, but hesitated before exiting. She could hear voices downstairs; Mr. Rich was speaking with a mare.

“Thank you very much for getting this so quickly, Ditzy. What do I owe you?”

“Delivery’s four bits,” the other pony answered.

Silver Spoon followed the short hallway away from her room and snuck onto the landing above the front entryway. Peeking over the edge, she watched as Mr. Rich pulled several gold coins from a pouch at his side and passed them to the waiting pegasus mare.

Ditzy Doo thanked the stallion and, after rummaging for a moment through her saddlebags, gave him a teal slip of paper.

“I’m sure Silver Spoon is going to be very surprised,” remarked Rich. “I don’t think she has been to a Wonderbolts show yet. Thank you again.”

“You’re most welcome,” Ditzy answered.

As the grey mare turned to exit the room, Silver Spoon noticed her misaligned yellow eyes and bubble-shaped cutie mark. She recognized the mare now.

How did that featherbrained mailmare possibly get a Wonderbolts ticket? Silver Spoon wondered as Filthy Rich closed the door and turned about.

The stallion looked up at the gray filly and smiled. “I’m glad you’re awake now, Silver Spoon. Why don’t you come down here? I’ve got a surprise for you.”

“I know,” deadpanned the filly, “I was watching.”

“Oh,” Rich remarked. “Are you excited?”

Silver Spoon forced a smile as she responded. A part of her appreciated that Mr. Rich had thought of her. The remaining part, however, was slightly mortified at the thought of attending a pegasus air show.

“Perhaps a little,” she answered. Suddenly, her smile widened; she had thought of something. “Mr. Rich, do you think you could give that ticket to me now? I’d like to keep it.”

The stallion looked relieved that Silver Spoon had accepted the gift. “Of course,” he answered.

The grey filly’s smile expanded even wider. Scootaloo’s going to die when she figures out that I have a Wonderbolts ticket and she doesn’t. This is going to be very, very fun.

“So,” Sweetie Belle asked, “what’s the plan for today?”

The other Cutie Mark Crusaders were huddled around the white filly in an out-of-the-way corner of the school’s playground. Each was trying independently to come up with something for the group to do.

Scootaloo sighed. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Starshade followed suit. It was difficult to find new things to try when all they had at their disposal was a small schoolyard playground.

“Oh,” a voice mocked over Applebloom’s shoulder, “Are the blank-flanks bored?”

The yellow filly looked back over her flank. It was Diamond Tiara.

“Go away,” Applebloom deadpanned before turning her head back into the small circle.

“Yah,” Diamond Tiara sneered, “You’re bored.” The pink earth pony pushed Applebloom aside and wedged her way into the group. “Fortunately, I’ve got something for you blank-flanks to do! Well, two of you at least. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle: how would you like to try getting your cutie marks doing something fun?”

Scootaloo faced Diamond Tiara directly. “We are not interested in playing one of your little games, Tiara – especially when only two of us get to. Just leave.”

“Buck this,” Diamond Tiara said. “Either you two blank-flanks are coming with me, or I’m going to tell Cheerilee exactly what happened to that bird she brought to class last week.”

Applebloom looked mortified. “That wasn’t mah fault!” she exclaimed, “It just sorta flew off. Nopony could’ve stopped it.”

“Or maybe I’ll just tell Rarity what you told Scootaloo about that dress she made, Sweetie Belle. Would you like that?”

“You wouldn’t…” the white unicorn said.

“Oh,” Diamond Tiara answered, smiling, “you know I would.”

Starshade looked between Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Diamond Tiara. “Just go,” the colt said. “This is not worth getting into trouble over.”

“Ah!” the pink earth pony exclaimed. “I see at least one of you blank-flanks has a bit of brain.”

She pointed at Sweetie Belle, then Applebloom. “You two follow me now. Starshade, Scootaloo: you stay here.”

Trixie meandered through the streets of Ponyville, glancing at the windows and doors of the houses and storefronts that she passed. She was searching for a particular house, one of a hooffull whose owner had posted a bulletin in the marketplace. It was the only one that had advertised that extended stays were welcome.

The blue mare stopped in front of the house and double checked the address on the flyer. 8 Zapapple Way. She was at the correct place. Trixie skirted around the outside of the small two-story structure for a moment, seeing nothing of interest.

Shrugging, she turned back down Zapapple Way and headed back in the direction of the town center. As the pony walked, her stomach rumbled a little; searching Ponyville had left her both tired and quite hungry.

Idly, she levitated the flyer in front of her and skimmed it again, looking for the name of the owner.

8 Zapapple Way

Private residence located near the Ponyville schoolhouse.
One available bedroom with private bathroom.

Long-staying tenants are welcome, but a young filly lives with me, so please, no couples!

Stop by after 3:00pm and inquire within. Rent is 35 bits / wk.

~ Cheerilee

Starshade and Scootaloo watched as their two friends followed Diamond Tiara to another section of the playground.

“This isn’t going to end well,” deadpanned Starshade.

Scootaloo shrugged and looked at the colt beside her. “So what do you want to–?” The orange filly was interrupted by a voice from behind her.

“Ah,” said Silver Spoon as she advanced between the two foals, “I see your other friends left you. Just what are you blank-flanks going to do now?”

“I should’ve guessed you’d be right behind Tiara,” said Scootaloo.

Starshade sighed. “Would you please just leave us alone?”

The gray filly leaned in closer to Starshade, her voice adopting the slightest whine. “But that wouldn’t be any fun. Besides, it’s not like Sweetie Belle and Applebloom are the only ponies we have a little dirt on.”

Silver Spoon nudged Starshade as she continued. “But I’m not here to blackmail you. I just wanted to show you two a little something Tiara’s father gave me as a gift.”

Starshade saw the edge of a teal Wonderbolts ticket peeking out of Silver Spoon’s saddlebags. This was definitely not going to end well.

“Rich gave you a Wonderbolts ticket!” exclaimed Scootaloo, stepping forward to get a better look at the ticket.

Silver Spoon whipped the small slip of paper out of the orange filly’s reach. “My, Scootaloo. You’re awfully grabby. You should have more respect for other ponies’ property.”

“Why are you doing this to us?” Starshade said, looking annoyedly at the gray filly.

“Oh?” she answered, “I just thought you two pegasi would be interested. I mean, they are the best stunt flyers in all of Equestria, you know. Seeing them would be an absolutely amazing opportunity for a pegasus pony. Especially a little blank-flank foal.”

Scootaloo glared at the gray filly. “What do you want me to say?”

“Perhaps a bit of congratulations? Just imagine how much fun Starshade and I are going to have together! You should be so happy for me.”

Starshade, mortified, glanced to his side. Beside him, the orange filly was seething. Scootaloo or no Scootaloo, Silver Spoon was not going to ruin the Wonderbolts show for him.

“Why can’t you just leave us alone?” the colt yelled. It was louder than he intended, but he did not care anymore. Silver Spoon was going to get a piece of his mind. “I mean. I guess I understand. You don’t like your cutie mark – you don’t understand it or something – and so you make fun of us blank flanks so it seems like yours is better. You don’t have your parents anymore, so you try to make Scootaloo and I feel bad about being orphans too.” His wings flared wide, Starshade took a step towards the cowering gray filly.

Silver Spoon’s eyes were starting to water. The earth pony just barely managed to speak as Starshade took a breath. “I… Uh…”

“But I don’t understand this,” cut off the colt. “Scootaloo’s not done anything to you, yet you come here with your Wonderbolts ticket and hold it over her head. What could you possibly be insecure about now?”

The grey filly looked around trying to find a way to escape from the teal-maned pegasus that towered above her. She answered quietly as she suppressed additional tears. “It’s not… I… You don’t… I’m just…”

“It’s not what? I don’t what? You’re just what? I’ll tell you what it is. I don’t know why, but you just seem to hate us. You get angry at us for getting mad at you when you make fun of us! It’s all your fault. Just yours.”
Silver Spoon was sitting on her haunches and crying openly now. Starshade was only centimeters from her face, and had been yelling quite loudly.

The rest of the ponies on playground were quiet. Each one was staring at either the enraged pegasus colt or the crying gray filly. Even Diamond Tiara was watching in silence from the opposite side of the small outdoor space.

Starshade was breathing heavily as Scootaloo extended a foreleg and hooked him by the base of his extended right wing. The colt was fighting her backwards pull. “I think you’ve said enough,” she whispered.

Starshade looked up and around at the ponies around him, and then back at Silver Spoon. His head sunk as he let Scootaloo guide him backwards.

Silver Spoon was still trying to speak as Cheerilee rushed to her side and wrapped a leg around the watery filly.

“I’m not… an orphan,” she was explaining through strained breaths, “Daddy’s still alive and he still loves me. I– I know this.”

Cheerilee tried to calm Silver Spoon. “Shhhh. It’s alright. Come on. Come inside. We’ll get this worked out.”

The gray filly screamed through even more tears, “I know he still loves me!”

Cheerilee looked for a moment at Starshade. The mare’s expression was enough to tell Starshade what he needed to do.

“I–” the colt stammered, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

No you’re not!” shouted Silver Spoon, her eyes now filled more with tears of rage than of sorrow.

Silver Spoon tried to throw off Cheerilee’s restraining hoof. The tender mare, however, simply picked up the wailing gray earth pony by the scruff of her neck and walked in the direction of the schoolhouse. Through gritted teeth, the mare said, “Starshade, I want you to wait by the door. Wait to come in until I call you.”

Starshade looked at all the foals around him and, head now held high, trotted behind Cheerilee to the school door.

As he passed Scootaloo he whispered, “Don’t worry. We’ll get you into that show some way.”

Trixie watched as a cherry-colored mare and an orange pegasus filly walked towards her down Zapapple Way. The pair stopped just before the fourth house opposite Trixie’s side of the road.

The blue mare crossed the street quickly, stopping only a meter from the two ponies. “Excuse me, but are you Cheerilee?”

The schoolteacher turned around and looked at Trixie. “Oh! Yes I am,” Cheerilee answered. “Is there something I can do for you?”

“I was interested in renting out the room you advertised,” Trixie said.

The orange filly looked at the mare beside her, apparently quite confused. “You’re renting out a room?”

“Yes,” answered Cheerilee. The mare looked back to Trixie. “Why don’t you step inside and we can show you around. I just need a few moments; I’ve had a rather hectic day.”

“Not a problem at all.” Trixie gestured at the still-confused filly. “I assume this is the foal your bulletin mentioned.”

“Yes,” Cheerilee confirmed, “This is Scootaloo. Scootaloo, say hi.”

“Uh… Hi… Um… What’s your name?”

“Trixie,” the blue mare answered.

“Uh… Hello, Trixie.” Scootaloo forced a smile. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

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