• Published 17th Aug 2020
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Home is Where the Hearth Is - TheCrimsonDM



Having come back to the rock farm, things were going well until Trixie's past begins to haunt her in her nightmares. With her days feeling more empty than full and regret poisoning her heart, can things ever go back to the way they were before?

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Chapter Three: Mostly Missing

Home is Where the Hearth Is

Chapter Three: Mostly Missing

Written by TheCrimsonDM

It wasn’t long before I found myself sitting on a train with a suitcase by my side and Pinkie sitting across from me. Turns out she had already purchased some tickets for me knowing that I was going to go with her in advance. If I said that mare’s powers of prediction were not at least a little frightening on occasion I’d be a sore liar.

Still even with all of that said I was more scared of our destination then of anything else. Even with scenery outside the train looking green, lively, and beautiful I was absolutely horrified of my decision to come back here. I wondered if Pinkie would still go on that date with me if I got there, immediately turned around and left. I technically still ‘tried’ to go to Ponyville in that case right?

Who was I kidding? I knew what she wanted me to do, and I knew it was likely the only way to make my nightmares go away. I didn’t like to dread sleep, to feel so empty inside, nor feeling like maybe those voices were right. With some luck Pinkie’s actions here would be just what I needed to feel better.

At the very least Pinkie Pie was smiling at me, and that smile alone lifted my spirits.

The train slowed to a stop and my heart climbed up and into my throat. Once it fully stopped Pinkie rose from her seat and the side doors opened. I could smell the change in the air. It smelled like grass, flowers, and life outside. So different from the stale dirt scent of home. I rose from my seat and levitated my suitcase next to me with a flicker of magic. Following Pinkie Pie, each step towards the exit made my heart shake. It was bright outside, and hard to make anything out from in here. Pinkie walked out the door and I almost panicked as she vanished into that bright light.

I jumped out after her and nearly collided with her from my effort. I was outside. There was a wooden platform beneath my hooves. I could see the town just past the station platform. So many colorful ponies walked about, so many houses were scattered about. Flowers and grass grew everywhere. The sun here even felt like it was brighter, warmer. Off in the distance I could see what looked like a giant tree made entirely of crystal.

I was here. I was finally back in Ponyville, and this was the last place on earth that I wanted to be. Despite it’s beauty I was positive that it would only be a matter of time before somepony caught wind of my existence and the town would become hostile towards me.

I looked at Pinkie but she wasn’t looking at me. She was looking to the side where I saw both Applejack and Maud walking towards us. Applejack was wearing that friendly smile of hers and Maud was looking as stoic as a rock. Seeing Maud again, something inside of me felt better, it felt safer. I began walking towards them.

Applejack began speaking, “Howdy, Trixie. Glad you came ba-“

I lost the rest of what she was saying as I threw myself into Maud’s chest and buried my face into it. I whispered so quietly that I was afraid she might not hear me. “Please keep me safe.”

Maud wrapped a leg around me and pulled me closer. “I’ll keep you safe.”

Applejack spoke again. “Uh, Pinkie, is she usually like that?”

Pinkie giggled. “I think we’re all like that. As the big sister Maud’s always been the one to protect us.”

Maud smelled like the earth, she smelled like home. I pulled back just enough to look up into her face. “Um… sorry about that.”

Maud shook her head. “Don’t apologize for being scared. We’re all here to keep you safe. Even if I have to leave soon.”

I swallowed. “You have to leave soon?”

Maud nodded. “I have to leave soon for a trip. I’ll stay by your side until then.”

I pulled back and tried to recollect myself before anypony began to stare. Better to keep myself as low profile as I could. Yet I was not planning to leave Maud or Pinkie’s side by more than a few feet while I was here. I trusted Pinkie enough, but despite my attraction to the pink pony, I wasn’t sure she could really keep me safe as well as Maud could. Maud on the other hoof had more than proven herself able to keep us safe on numerous occasions.

I looked to Applejack. “Sorry about not saying, Hi, yet. Um… hello.”

Applejack tilted her hat. “No problem, Ah can tell yer a bit nervous.”

I laughed. “A bit? Try a complete nervous wreck. If it wasn’t for my nightmares and Pinkie’s insistence I wouldn’t be here.”

Pinkie thoughtfully added, “That and I promised to go on a date with you if you did.”

Applejack glanced at Pinkie and then back to me. “Well, Ah reckon this was something Ah could’ve seen coming, but Ah didn’t.”

Maud shrugged, it was an awkward motion from her. “They’ll be cute together.”

I glared at Pinkie. “Thank you for letting everypony know that now.”

Pinkie giggled and smiled at me. I couldn’t stay mad at her for making things awkward with that smile. “No problem.”

I lowered my head. “Anyway, I want to get off the streets and into hiding as soon as possible. Before anypony recognizes me… but one question; why are you two here?”

Applejack answered for them. “Because Pinkie told us she was bringing you here and we thought it best to be there to support ya.”

Maud nodded in agreement.

I shook my head. They really did care about me. I still wasn’t sure how they could, I mean I didn’t even care about me, but knowing that they did seemed to make all the difference in my fear paralyzing me. I looked to Pinkie, “So how long is this going to take?”

Pinkie Pie put a hoof to her chin. “Probably two days, maybe three.”

I gave her a flat stare. “I’m just here to apologize to Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity, why would that take so long?”

“Just call it a hunch.”

Applejack shook her head. “This is going to become a mess ain’t it?”

I lowered my head even more. “I don’t want to be here anymore… let’s just start and get this over with.”

Pinkie Pie squeed for joy. “Alright, we’re going to start with Twilight since she’ll be the easiest one.”

I looked up at her. “Really?”

“Yeppers, I mean after how she almost destroyed the entire town like, ten thousand times, I don’t think she’ll be against forgiving you.”

I stood up straighter. “She did what now?”

“She’s almost destroyed the town like, a lot of times.”

Maud Pie stated, “Parasprites.”

Applejack added, “The Smarty Pants doll.”

Pinkie Pie nodded. “See, you’re not the only one to threaten the entire town’s safety and put everyone at risk. And we still like Twilight, so I’m sure we’ll be able to help you too.”

I closed my eyes and sighed. “Thanks… I think.”

Pinkie Pie began bouncing off in the direction of that giant crystal tree. “Alright you lazy ponies, let’s get going!”

I followed and Maud and Applejack quickly kept pace flanking each one of my sides as if to keep me safely in the middle of them. Applejack was smiling as she said, “That mare has no tact, but she has more compassion than most anypony Ah’ve ever met.”

Maud nodded. “Agreed, Pinkie is pretty special.”

Hearing that made me a little happier. At least I was going to have some ponies caring for me while I was here. With Maud, Pinkie, and Applejack at least I knew I’d be safe. It also didn’t hurt that Pinkie was bouncing right in front of me, which gave me a pretty good view as I walked through town… so long as she didn’t notice me staring that was.

***

We finally arrived at the base of the giant tree. On closer inspection I realized it wasn’t just a giant crystal tree, it was a giant crystal tree castle! Of course Twilight would need some place so gaudy to live in once she evolved into Princesshood. Still I couldn’t blame her, I’d do the exact same thing in her horseshoes.

Once inside Pinkie spun around midair and stopped dead in front of us. “Okay, so I know you were staring at my butt the whole time, but did you see how pretty this castle is from outside?”

I blinked. “I-I-I wasn’t-“

Applejack pat the top of my head. “Just be pretend you didn’t hear the first part, it’s usually easier with Pinkie.”

Pinkie Pie blinked in rapid succession. “Ignore what first part? The first part of the castle? But those are the doors we used to come in, how can you ignore those and still come inside?”

I shook my head. Note to self, Pinkie realized you were staring, and didn’t care. “Um, yes, castle, castle is… uh… it’s made out of crystal.”

Pinkie Pie laughed. “Yeppers.”

Maud pawed at the floor. “I’ve studied the structure of the castle and I’ve concluded some parts of it are made of quartz, other parts are made from material I’ve never encountered before but is as strong as steel.”

I blinked. “The castle is that strong?”

Maud added. “Likely to withstand any siege weaponry.”

Anypony stupid enough to siege Ponyville was likely to have a dragon and an ursa major shoved where Celestia’s sun doesn’t shine. Still to think the castle wasn’t just a gaudy mess, it was an invincible gaudy mess. Celestia was too good on her prized student. Maybe if I’d gotten some of that kind of treatment I wouldn’t have ended up this way… or maybe I would have become much worse.

Pinkie Pie bounced ahead toward a giant set of double doors. “Come on slowpokes, everypony is waiting for us already.”

I didn’t like the sound of that. I followed none the less and watched as Pinkie opened the set of double doors to reveal an absolutely massive room. There was a round table with a hologram of a map on it and six chairs sitting around it. Pinkie Pie bounced into the room and spun mid air to land on her rear legs gesturing wide to the table. “See everypony is already here and waiting to talk to you just like I asked them too!”

I looked past Pinkie and only saw a single purple alicorn who was busy reading a book and hadn’t seemed to notice our intrusion yet. There were no other ponies. I looked back at Pinkie. “Um… Pinkie, there’s only one pony here.”

Pinkie looked back and her jaw dropped. “But… but I told everypony you were coming for a special visit and to apologize for your actions. I asked them to be here already… why didn’t they come?”

Twilight’s voice rang out from the table. “They thought you were joking. Or they called this a joke. Not really sure which, they didn’t really explain themselves before taking off.” Twilight set the book down and looked at me, directly at me. She wasn’t glaring though, she was smiling. “Welcome back to Ponyville, Trixie Lulamoon. I hope you were given a warm welcome.”