• Published 7th Aug 2020
  • 856 Views, 63 Comments

Scarlet: Broken Pedestal - Skijarama

Princess Twilight Sparkle has returned to a world that has gone without her for over four hundred years. With the aid of Scarlet Frost, she and her friends set out into the world, heedless of the changes, good and bad, their return has put in motion.

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Scarlet gave off a content sigh. She was still in the pool, now resting against the edge with her hooves curled around Lens’ body, her ear pressed against his chest. She could hear his heartbeat through his flesh and felt every slow intake of breath he took. He had a foreleg of his own curled tightly around her, holding her close as they came down from their shared high.

Scarlet wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but frankly, she also could not find it in herself to care. It had been far, far too long since she had allowed herself to feel like that; since she gave herself over to primal instinct and desire. Too long since she had let her passion dictate her actions. She hadn’t taken a single stallion since she and Lens parted ways at the end of the war, and while she surely loved the stallion she held with all her heart and would prioritize him until the end of their days, she almost felt a small amount of regret over not looking for others in the interim. Even if only to help her scratch an itch she did not realize she had.

Though, that did not matter anymore. She had Lens now. She took in a long, deep breath through her nose. She could still smell their sweat permeating the air, just noticeable under the sulfurous smell of the chamber, along with other, far more erotic aromas. Her tail swished about under the water at the smell, and she gave off a quiet hum.

She felt Lens’ lips against the top of her head a second later. “I love you,” he whispered to her once he pulled away.

Scarlet giggled. She lifted her gaze to meet his, her eyes still lidded. “Given how much you and I just made…” she cooed quietly with a waggle of her eyebrows. “I believe you.”

Lens blushed, averting his eyes. Scarlet couldn’t help but chuckle at that. Even after the act, he was still shy and sheepish. “W-well, I mean…” he stammered awkwardly. “You didn’t exactly give me much of a chance to rest…”

Scarlet purred quietly in response, pulling herself up so her face was right by his. “Lens, I haven’t had a stallion in years. I had a lot of pent up frustration to work out.”

“Well, yeah, I get that, but still…” Lens shrugged helplessly.

Scarlet rolled her eyes. She licked Lens’ cheek in a display of affection before snuggling closer to him. “Oh, stop talking and let me enjoy the afterglow, you silly colt,” she shushed him.

“Heh. Yes, ma’am,” Lens acknowledged, giving her another squeeze with his leg.

The two fell into a comfortable silence after that, continuing to come down from their high and allowing their sweat to be washed away by the water. Time began to melt away for them, and Scarlet’s weary mind drifted off. Not to sleep, but into a cozy, gentle doze where her thoughts became formless and her worries became distant.

Eventually, though, she had to be roused from that quiet serenity when Lens asked a simple question. “So… we’re going with them, aren’t we?” he asked, slowly, as if he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer.

Scarlet frowned and opened her eyes. She did not answer immediately, instead taking the time to ruminate on the question. Lens had raised some very valid points earlier about how Twilight and her friends might need their help, and really, there was nopony else in a position to lend that help. It was just them.

She gave off a quiet sigh a few moments later. “...Perhaps,” she answered before gently pulling herself out of Lens’ grip. “But… what of Primrose? If we go with Twilight, what will happen to her? Are we simply to leave her here, without any guardians in an unfamiliar city?”

Lens blinked before looking away, his ears drooping. “...Ah. I’m sorry, I… I hadn’t really considered that part…” he admitted in shame.

Scarlet sighed, looking down at her reflection in the water. For a moment, she wanted to be mad at him for letting himself be so neglectful in his planning, but she had to stop and remind herself of something important. “It’s fine… you’re not an experienced parent like I am,” she said quietly. “It’s only natural some things might slip your mind.”

“Right… well, what do you propose?” Lens questioned after a second. He turned to face her with a solemn look. “You’re the one with experience here… What do we do?”

“Well, we are not leaving her here all by herself,” Scarlet said with finality before turning and hauling herself up and out of the pool. She was clean, by now. “She’s been all on her own more than enough. I am not about to abandon her for a mission that could possibly end in us getting hurt—or worse.”

“But can we really risk taking her with us?” Lens asked, following her out. “She’s a strong filly, but she’s still just a filly. She’s only ten years old!”

“Not to mention, we only just got away from that city,” Scarlet added as they began their trip back to their room through the connecting tunnel. “And she is still in mourning after losing her mother… who we rescued from Newcanter, to begin with. I doubt she would be happy to return there anytime soon, if ever.”

The warmth and light of the bathing chamber soon gave way to the cold darkness of a long, narrow tunnel. It had been designed like this, if Scarlet had to guess, for the purposes of affording privacy. Even if that was not the intended design behind the length of the tunnel, she did have to admit, it served that purpose wonderfully. If it hadn’t been for the length involved here, she probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing what she and Lens had just finished.

After a short while, they emerged back into their quarters. To Scarlet’s surprise, Primrose was already awake. The foal was sitting up in her bed, looking down at her hooves with a faraway look in her eyes. She was so focused on herself that she didn’t even notice as Scarlet and Lens entered the room.

Scarlet frowned. This was unusual. She hadn’t seen this behavior from Primrose before. Of course, there had been a lot of behavior from Primrose lately that hadn’t been usual. To top it off, too, she was still in her pony form. Even when she slept, she chose to keep to fur and flesh over chitin and resin.

A few moments passed before Scarlet stepped closer and cleared her throat, putting on a warm, mothering smile. “Primrose?”

Primrose jumped as if she had been startled. She whirled to look at Scarlet while quickly shoving her hooves down to support her weight as if to hide that she had been staring at them. “S-scarlet!” she yelped in surprise. A few seconds passed before she regained her composure and smiled. “Ah… good morning.”

Scarlet raised an eyebrow. “Prim… are you okay?” she asked gently.

Primrose hesitated, then nodded. “Uh-huh. I’m okay,” she replied. She then looked to Lens, and then to the tunnel that sat just behind them. Her muzzle scrunched up in thought, putting a sinking feeling in Scarlet’s gut. “Uhm… were you guys both in the bath?”

“Uuuhhh, yes, we were,” Lens replied, his friendly smile quickly becoming broken and crooked. “Just, uh, you know… cleaning each other off and talking about grown-up stuff.”

Primrose eyed him for a second before nodding in understanding. “Okay. Gotcha.”

Scarlet had to resist the urge to sigh with relief. Though Primrose was fully aware of sex, that did not mean she was at all comfortable admitting to the foal that she had just got done having it with the stallion behind her. Thankfully, it seemed Primrose had enough tact to know not to press the subject right now. Scarlet coughed into her hoof a moment later and quickly moved to change the subject.

“Ahem. Well… Primrose, there’s actually something important we need to talk to you about,” she said.

Primrose frowned, shifting to face them fully. “Huh? What is it?”

Scarlet took a deep breath before hopping up onto her own bed and settling down on her belly. Lens joined her, settling down by her side to face Prim as well. Once they were comfy, Scarlet began. “Well… while Lens and I were bathing, we started talking… about Twilight and her friends, and about their coming venture to Newcanter.”

“You remember how she asked us to come along, right?” Lens asked softly.

Primrose nodded, an uneasy look on her face. “I remember, yeah… but you guys said no.”

Scarlet frowned. “We… did. Or rather, I did. I told her that I was wholly unwilling to accompany her on the grounds that I did not want to abandon this quiet, peaceful life we’ve finally found. And I meant every word of that. I did. I don’t want to go with her on another adventure. I don’t want to sacrifice this. Just us, together, safe and sound…”

“But when we got to talking,” Lens picked up, placing a hoof on her shoulder. “We both eventually realized that we might not really have a choice.”

Primrose tilted her head. “How come?” she asked, looking between them. “I mean… The councils want to make up for everything that they did wrong, don’t they? I mean… even that Nocturn guy apologized… even if I can’t ever forgive him.”

Scarlet nodded. “Yes, that is true. Silent Edge is no more, and so the immediate threat to our lives is ended. However, that does not mean that our troubles are over…”

“We might be able to live safely here in Sanctuary,” Lens added. “But I’m not so sure that it will last forever. You’ve seen how cruel this world can be, Primrose. I daresay you know it better than Scarlet or I ever could. You’ve lived through things no living thing should have to. You grew up doing it…”

“But Twilight and her friends have not,” Scarlet said. “They come from a time when the world was an idyllic utopia compared to now. They knew neither war nor strife in those days, not until the Fall and, as evidenced by their admitted defeat, they were unprepared for that… just as they are unprepared for the new world they have stepped into. If they are allowed to proceed without proper guidance then there is every probability that this world will chew them up and spit them out.”

“But why?” Primrose asked, her brow furrowing, and her voice rising slightly in disbelief. “Why would that happen?! They’re strong and smart! Ponies basically worship them, don’t they!? If anypony can make things better, it’s them!”

Scarlet sighed, lifting a hoof. “Prim… yes, ponies worship them, and that is a huge part of the problem,” she explained.

“How come?”

Lens reached up to adjust his glasses, frowned when they were missing, and went on. “Well, a lot of ponies are intensely devoted to the faith. There are some who are practically obsessed with it. Ponies like that will be quick to notice the discrepancies between what was written in the scriptures and the reality that stands before them…”

“And ponies like that will be far more likely to choose the religion they were raised on than the cold hard truth right in front of their eyes. The overzealous may decry Twilight and her friends as pretenders, or accuse them of some other manner of sacrilege. Others outside the church may instead try to manipulate them with honeyed words into furthering their own insidious agendas. Others still may simply try to kill them for any number of reasons, including simple psychotic rage.”

Primrose looked down as the reasons were spelled out to her, hiding her eyes behind her mane. For several seconds she did not say a word, simply soaking in the grim reality of the situation.

Scarlet felt a pang of guilt in her chest at making the filly look like that, but forced herself to continue. “If something like that were to happen… then do not doubt that the world would soon be plunged into chaos. If Twilight and her friends were to be killed so soon after their return, utter pandemonium would sweep pony society. There would be those who would celebrate the death of a heretical pretender, a false idol, and they would be fiercely contested by those who believe her to be the genuine article. The unrest could become catastrophic…”

“And if that happened,” Lens continued for her. “There’s no doubt that the carnage would spread here. Twilight is going with Spike to help him represent Sanctuary. This place’s secrecy isn’t going to last long. If things go bad, then who knows what could happen to this city? What if it gets attacked again? Or what if some ill-intentioned ponies slip in to try and cause harm out of simple, blind hatred for the changelings who live here?”

Primrose shuffled on her hooves but did not speak.

Scarlet swallowed heavily before she went on, adding a gentle layer of hopeful reassurance to her voice. “But it does not have to come to that. Lens and I are uniquely positioned to prevent such an outcome. If we went with them, we could be there to guide them away from such dangers and help keep them from blundering into a situation they are ill-prepared to resolve. We could defend them from those who would seek to do them harm or take advantage of them. In doing so, we would be able to guarantee our happiness, and yours, here in the long term.”

“Not to mention, we’d be helping to make the world a better place in general,” Lens pointed out. “And we’d be making things easier on the other nomadic changeling families that are still wandering the wilderness.”

Scarlet nodded at that. A few seconds passed where she simply stared at Primrose, waiting for the filly to move and say something. But she didn’t. Primrose was completely and utterly silent. Eventually, Scarlet sighed and stood from the bed, crossing the gap. “But Prim… no matter how much good we might be able to do…”

Primrose finally looked up in surprise as Scarlet slid onto her bed with her. Scarlet smiled down at her and drew her into a warm embrace against her chest. “I could never in a million years bring myself to leave you behind… not after everything you have been through… You’ve been alone for too long already. You deserve all the happiness and the world and more for how brave and strong you have been. So, no matter what, I won’t leave you… But at the same time, I do not want to bring you with me if it means placing you in danger again. You mean so much to us, Primrose, and if something were to happen to you, I...”

Scarlet was unable to finish the sentence. She did not want to even ponder the possibility. Even if she had, though, she was quickly interrupted when Primrose returned the hug, burying her face into Scarlet’s chest. Several seconds passed where nopony spoke. Then, with a shudder and a deep breath, Primrose looked up into Scarlet’s eyes with a surprising amount of conviction burning in her own. “...I wanna come.”

Scarlet’s eyes widened. “Wha… Prim?”

“I wanna come,” Primrose reiterated, this time with more force in her voice as she found her resolve. “I want to come with you. I wanna help.”

“Are you sure?” Lens asked, crossing the gap and joining them on the bed. “You heard what Scarlet said. It’ll mean going back to Newcanter… being surrounded by ponies who hate you simply because you’re a changeling. You'll be in danger again.”

“I don’t care!” Primrose rebuked with a shake of her head. “I carried Twilight and her friends on my back for five years. I protected them then, and if you wanna keep protecting them now, then so do I! And I wanna help all the other changelings who are just like me! I want them to be able to walk around and talk and laugh and play with ponies without getting chased out of town! I want them to be happy and free to just live! I don’t… I don’t…”

She looked down, her ears drooping as her voice tapered off into something far more somber. “...I don’t want what happened to my family to ever happen to anyone ever again… Especially not to any other changelings. They don’t deserve it… I wanna help them however I can.”

Scarlet looked at Lens, meeting his gaze. The two stared at each other in stunned silence for several moments. Then Scarlet smiled. Her heart swelled with pride and adoration for the filly in her hooves after she had a chance to process those words. She leaned down to plant a gentle kiss atop Primrose’s head. “Oh, Primrose… our brave little girl… You truly are too good for this world… Thank you.”

Primrose glanced up at her in confusion. “Huh? For what?”

Scarlet’s smile grew, and she brushed some of Primrose’s long mane out of her face. “For being you.”

Primrose managed to smile at that and dove back in to hug Scarlet some more. Lens watched them for a few moments before nodding to Scarlet. “So… I take it that means we’re going for sure, then?”

Scarlet nodded a moment later. “Yes, we are,” she confirmed before gently nudging Primrose back. She hopped down from the bed, shaking her head to readjust her mane. “Come. We should find Twilight and the others before they leave. They’ll not wait on us if they do not know we have decided to join them.”

Primrose leaped from the bed to land on Scarlet’s back. She quickly got comfortable and nodded. “Right. I’m ready.”

“That fast?” Lens asked with a chuckle as he fell into step beside Scarlet. “You’re an eager one, aren’t you?”

“I really wanna help,” Primrose confirmed with a sharp nod.

“Well, then...” Scarlet said as they slipped out of their room and emerged into Sanctuary’s streets.

“...Let us not keep the princess waiting.”

Author's Note:

And so the decision is made, and a new mission lies ahead for Scarlet and her new family.