• 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 Four: Tender Twilight

Home is where the hearth Is

Chapter Four: Tender Twilight

Written by TheCrimsonDM

I stood there shocked. Twilight was sitting on her crystal throne staring directly at me, but I couldn’t detect even a single ounce of hatred from her eyes. Her smile, small as it was, was inviting. I couldn’t move, I could hardly think. I figured she’d at least be mistrusting of me, if not still mad. Sure I had apologized for my actions so she wouldn’t hate me I figured but to have her being nice to me. I think it was too much for me to take.

Twilight’s eyes began to widen. “Trixie, are you okay?”

I couldn’t think straight. My head was feeling dizzy. My lungs were burning and I couldn’t figure out why.

Pinkie spoke. “Oh she’s just nervous.” Pinkie then slapped me on the back and I opened my mouth and sucked in a cool breath of fresh air.

My lungs ached and I was gasping for breath. I looked at the crystal floor and saw my reflection. My cheeks were actually red, how long I was holding my breath for. For a couple minutes I simply stood there trying to remember how breathing worked, I believed it was something ponies did so as to not pass out.

I didn’t even hear her approach but I heard Twilight’s voice right in front of me. “You okay?”

I looked up at her. Those eyes showed real worry and concern for me. After all I’d done here, she was worried about me? I should have been the last thing she cared about. I stumbled to get any words out. “I-I’m fine. Just… forgot how breathing worked.”

She glanced at Pinkie and then back to me. “Sounds like you’re pulling a ‘me’.”

I had no idea what she meant by that but I figured I already embarrassed myself enough. It was time to finish what I came here for since any form of dignity was now out of the question. “I just wanted to apologize for the things I did to hurt you and you’re friends. I don’t think I ever really said sorry for it, but I am.”

Twilight smiled and reached out with a wing. She patted my shoulder gently. “Don’t worry about it. I forgave you a long time ago. Actually I need to apologize too.”

I cocked my head to the side. “You? But… why?”

She shook her head and looked down at the floor. “I knew you must have been suffering from friendship problems. You seemed lonely and like you refused to let ponies get close to you. After how my friends attacked you on stage for your magic show, I figured that you probably grew even more distant from ponies. You came back to Ponyville seeking vengeance and were wearing a cursed amulet. Yet once again, instead of trying to get close to you, trying to help you through the painful experiences you were having, the shame you must have felt for doing such awful things… I let you go. I let you go off all alone into this brutal, mean and cold world.

“Honestly, I don’t deserve the title of Princess of Friendship if I can’t help out a pony who’s crying out for friendship.”

I stared at her, bewildered. All those things she said were true, but I never expected anypony outside of the pies to ever really understand it. Yet here she was, Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship, and she had seen through my façade to see how weak and scared I really was. Yet she was also acknowledging how she’d made a mistake by not acting on it at the time.

Between the confusion in my brain, and the reminder of old pain in my heart, I found I could really only say one word, “Why?”

Twilight looked down into my eyes. “Because I was selfish and wanted Princess Celestia to think of me. I didn’t want to spend time away from her to track you down and help you. I did try to, eventually. If it hadn’t been for Pinkie letting me know what you were doing on the rock farm and how you were recovering, I’m not sure what I would have done.”

I felt weak, and much to my surprise, tired. I had to sit down but I kept looking into those eyes. “I didn’t mean that, I meant why care about something like me?”

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “You are not a ‘something’ you are a somepony.”

I blinked. Why were my eyes starting to sting? “I’m just… I don’t deserve to be here. I don’t deserve you worrying about me. I deserve a lot worse from you, from everypony in town, so I don’t understand why you’re being so nice to me. Not after all the things I did to hurt you and your loved ones.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Listen, I forgave and became friends with Discord, and he did far, far worse than you ever did.”

“But why?”

“Because I’ve been there before. I’ve made horrible mistakes. I’ve used dark magic to hurt my friends. My apprentice has done horrible things with dark magic as well. But they gave me and her a second chance, a chance to improve to grow, to become better. I want to do the same for anypony else who needs it.”

“But… you sound like you’re not even worried about why I’m here?”

Twilight put a hoof to her chin. “I’ll admit, if you had shown up out of the blue, wanting to get forgiveness for your actions, I might have been a bit mistrusting of your motives, but I’d still want to help you. Thanks to Pinkie and Applejack though, I know why you’re here, what has happened to you, and the fact that I want to do everything in power to help you recover. Nopony should feel that lonely, not even you.”

It must have been raining inside because I could feel water running down my cheeks. I rubbed at them and my eyes. Hearing those words of kindness, they somehow made me feel worse. Like all the pain that I didn’t want to think about was bubbling up to the surface. All the things I had to do to survive after Ponyville, all the lonely nights, the times I spent sleeping in dumpsters, the horrible things I had to do for money or food. The numerous crimes I’d committed. I could never tell her about all of them, I knew she wouldn’t understand, but the fact that she was willing to be kind to me, to tell me that even I deserved some goodness… it was too much to handle.

A warm leg wrapped around my back and I felt myself being pulled forward into Twilight’s chest. A pair of wings enveloped me and warmth fell over me. It was like my entire body was in a cocoon of warmth, of caring, of kindness. I didn’t know what to do but I buried my face into Twilight’s fur and did my best to keep my voice quiet as the bottled up pain escaped.

I came here expecting to find enemies who would hate me even after I apologized, but I found something better. A caring and kind pony who was willing to embrace me for who I was, and who I could be. A pony who was more than I thought she’d ever be.

Twilight spoke in a voice as soft as silk but warm as a hearth on a cold winter night. “I’m your friend, Trixie. So go ahead and let it all out.”

It was at that point that my bottled up pain broke out and I couldn’t stop the sobbing as it crawled out of my lungs. I knew I was broken inside, but until I was faced with this pony’s kindness, I hadn’t realized just how broken I really was. Maybe there was more going on to cause these nightmares, but I couldn’t figure that out right then. I just needed to be held, and I was the luckiest mare in the world to have ponies that cared about me there to support me.

***

We’d all moved into a little cozy room in one of the side chambers. It had an actual carpet, soft couches, bookshelves, and other assorted knickknacks that made it feel less like an oppressive empty castle and a lot more like a place ponies would actually live. It helped me calm down a lot. Looking at Twilight who sat on the couch opposite of mine I felt a little bad about crying all over her like that.

Twilight was still speaking, “I see why you’d come here to try and get rid of those nightmares. Maybe if it was just once, it would be okay, but being a recurring dream like that sounds dangerous. The fact that Luna can’t enter your dreams makes it more concerning. I fear maybe the Alicorn Amulet left some invisible scars.”

I nodded. “I’m worried about that too. I feel happy at the farm most of the time, I mean sure I’ll never get to live out my destiny, but at least I’m safe and happy there.”

Applejack tilted her hat down. “Ah don’t reckon that’s a bad thing, but Ah don’t reckon it’s a good one either.”

I looked at her. So did Pinkie. Before I could ask, Pinkie spoke. “Why wouldn’t that be a good thing? My families great to be around.”

Applejack looked at her. “Would you have been happy staying on the farm all yer life, never coming to Ponyville, never getting to party, even with as great as the pies are, would you still be happy?”

Pinkie looked away and at the coffee table. She picked up her drink, it was the same spicy tea that Twilight had made for us. She looked into it and gave it a timid sip before finally saying, “No, I wouldn’t be. I might not… well, I’m just glad I have all of you here now.”

Twilight agreed. “Trixie’s cutie mark is in magic, storytelling and illusions if I recall correctly. She’s born to be a talented stage magician. I don’t think anypony should have to be forced to ignore their destiny.”

Applejack nodded. “That’s what Ah meant. If’n Trixie’s not happy, maybe it’s because she’s not able to do the things that make her feel alive? Ah know if Ah’d not be able to work on mah farm or be with mah family Ah’d be a right mess.”

Twilight nodded. “I’ll have to think about that one, I can’t stand to see somepony not living out their lives to the fullest and unable to do the thing that makes them special… it’ll take time though. For now I want to make sure her heart is okay.” She looked directly at me. “That your heart is okay.”

I took a sip of my tea. It was spicy but had a sweet and almost numbing after taste. I’d suggest there was alcohol in this if I didn’t know better. “Your friends thought my attempt at apologizing was a joke though. So I don’t know how I’m going to be able to say sorry.”

Twilight leaned back and using her telekinesis she lifted her cup to her mouth and drank. She lowered it just enough to talk after a second. “It’s going to be a bit rough, they might not accept your apology at first, but I’m sure we can bring them around with some effort. It might take a few days though.”

I looked over at Pinkie. She’d mentioned it was going to take two or three days before. I hadn’t believed her at the time but now I was starting to realize what she meant. Unfortunately Maud had to leave for work reasons and her strength above all was something I relied on in times of hardship. Turned out maybe I relied on her too much as I just felt so weak now. Still, knowing Twilight wanted to help was a huge boon.

Twilight spoke again. “Trixie, where are you staying while you’re here?”

I glanced at Pinkie. “I’m not entirely sure, I was hoping to be able to get this all wrapped up in one day, but as you said it might take awhile.”

Pinkie smiled. “I only have one bed, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” She winked at me and I could feel my entire body growing warm. She wasn’t planning on anything illicit was she? I mean sure, I really liked her, she always knew exactly what I needed to cheer up, she had the kind of curves to die for despite eating nothing but cupcakes, and I could never understand what was on her mind. Yet, I didn’t think we were ready to jump into something too intense just yet.

I’d want a chance to unravel the mystery that was Pinkie Pie first. Unlike anypony else I’d ever met where I could figure out there motives and what they were thinking. Pinkie was this impossible mystery of cheer and sunshine that I needed to understand. Even though I didn’t think I ever would, I wanted to try. After I understood her more I might be willing to explore those curves of hers with a more hooves on approach.

Pinkie was also the only pony who seemed to really understand how lonely and empty somepony could feel. Limestone didn’t get it, she kept calling me sad when I wasn’t. Marble was too meek to ever really keep up with me and was far too fragile so I was afraid even words could break her. Maud was pure safety but that safety also meant she wasn’t able to explore why I felt the way I did. Pinkie on the other hoof was spontaneous, mysterious, and able to understand me on a level few ponies could.

Twilight glanced at the two of us. “Um… maybe I have another suggestion?”

I glanced at Twilight. “O-oh?”

Twilight nodded. “I have a lot of guest rooms here. You can stay with us at the castle. It’s not like Pinkie doesn’t spend most of her free time here anyway. And having you here means Pinkie can do her day job without any… distractions.”

Pinkie was still staring at me. “I was planning to have distractions with you all day and night.”

I felt myself sit up straight. “Um, um, um well you see, as nice as that might be, I’m um… I’d really like to see the castle so maybe I should sleep here.”

Pinkie Pie groaned. “Ohhhh…. That’s not fair!”

Twilight cleared her throat. “Relax, Pinkie. There’s plenty of time for ‘distractions’ later on. Right now just help Trixie feel better. Besides, now that me and her are on speaking terms, I’d like to get to know her better myself.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Twilight.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “I know how persistent Pinkie can be.”

“I meant about getting to know me.”

Twilight’s eyes widened. “Oh, of course, that’s what I meant too. Haha… uh, more tea anypony?”

With that awkward conversation and the question of where I’d be sleeping at finally answered I felt like maybe it was getting time to figure out a battle plan for how to apologize to Rainbow Dash and Rarity. I know they must have held some grudge against me for my actions, though if I was being entirely honest, with my spotty memory I had a hard time remembering exactly what it was I did to either of them when I wore the amulet, but I suspect public humiliation from our first encounter was enough to warrant lifelong grudges. I couldn’t imagine how much work Rarity had to put into fixing her mane after I destroyed it…

I wondered if I setting myself up for some kind of horrible failure, even with the others help, I just didn’t see a way that Rarity or Rainbow Dash could forgive me.