• Published 10th Dec 2020
  • 3,880 Views, 372 Comments

No Longer Alone - NoLongerSober

Sass, science, and surviving shipping! Postage paid! The gruff captain put a certain pegasus professor to the test and learned that she just couldn’t quit. Now come the hard parts: an actual relationship and maybe a villain or two.

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Chapter 47 - Day 610, No Longer Alone

Canterlot Castle bustled with activity. What had started as rumors around the barracks months before swelled when the word got leaked that the grapevine whispers had been true. The three princesses had declared that they would all attend a private function to be hosted in the West Everlight Ballroom on the day following the winter solstice. Barring a calamity, they were also not to be disturbed by the tedious proceedings of state, much to the chagrin of the buzzing nobility.

Further fueling the gossip, distinguished guests from all over Equestria had arrived to celebrate with the heroes that had reclaimed The North over a year prior. However, this celebration didn’t cater to the normal capital elite, and the palace regulars not yet in the know took notice. The strong presence of the E.D.F.’s upper brass, along with a host of academics, provided the best indicators that a special congregation was gathering.

Afternoon sunlight poured into the space through frosted panels that had been installed on the windows. The setup threw warm columns of yellow light across the floor’s black and white marble tiles. Rows of seats filled the ballroom, and a regal red rug stretched from the main entrance to a wooden archway that had been placed at center stage. Of course, numerous forget-me-nots decorated the white timber in a nod to the bride.

The interior corner of the ballroom, with its fully functional kitchen, became the temporary home of Trot Bell, Ambrosia, Moon Glow, and Wing. Pop’s Place had never catered an event at the castle before, but with the griddles sizzling and ovens ramped, the plump cook beamed with the kind of pride that was matched only by Amby.

Tapped to make the wedding cake, the lilac-coated baker guarded her creation with a rolling pin in hoof. The three-tiered, marbled cake proudly stood atop a cart as it waited to be wheeled out into the reception area. Whipped cream, icing, and chocolate decorated the tower in a waterfall of white, dark brown, and blue that enticed many attendees daring enough to sneak a glance. There was no way in Tartarus that any of them would try to sneak a taste with Ambrosia on the prowl.

Moon Glow also claimed a stake in the kitchen. The ghost-white unicorn filly stared through the window of the industrial oven she had acquired for a muffin-making extravaganza. Decked in her light-brown chef’s coat, she puffed a lock of her aquamarine mane away from her eyes and continued to examine how the morsels of cinnamony goodness developed.

If the crowd attempted to keep quiet amidst the rising anticipation, the effort did not show. Murmurs swept through the rows. Relatives shifted in search of better views, and wandering sights kept drifting towards the double doors that lined up with the red carpet.

From her presiding post beneath the center of the archway, Princess Luna already had one of the best views of the doors. However, the Princess of the Night currently reserved her attention for the ponies in her immediate proximity. To her right, the awkwardly shuffling Captain Sombra stood with Shining Armor and Trigger. All three wore military dress uniforms. At least, that is what Trigger had claimed his all-white cowcolt attire represented.

Behind the trio, Cadance sat in the aisle seat of the front row with an infant Flurry Heart asleep in her forelegs. Princess Celestia sat next to the pair, and Twilight and family filled the remainder of the chairs.

Of course, nopony on that side of the room appeared nearly as handsome as Captain Magic Barrier. His white military dress uniform had been cleaned and pressed to absolute perfection. The blue trims and gold ornaments sparkled, and the medals and ribbons that adorned his right shoulder endured a meticulous pre-ceremony alignment.

Not to be outdone, the ponies to Princess Luna’s left also contributed to the picturesque scene. First Lieutenant Indar, Sergeant Major Bonecrusher, and Major Amora formed the line on the bride’s side of the archway.

Breezy Wish sat in the seat across the aisle from Cadance. She had turned her head to keep her gaze homed in on the entryway, and there was not a damn soul in the place who did not grasp why. An empty chair separated Breezy from her son, who wore a burgundy suit that looked as though it crawled out of the 80s.

Sincy wrapped his foreleg around a brown-eyed, ebony-coated mare who sat to his right. His eyes sparkled as he stared at Bonecrusher, and he gently shook his older, curly-maned companion before he whispered, “Summer, Summer, she’s wearing a beret. She’s wearing a beret and it’s adorable.”

A hushing gasp echoed through the ballroom when the door latch popped. Through a small crack between the open planks, a red colt took his place at the start of the long carpet. With a small silvery pillow dangling by a strap from his mouth, the blond-haired earth pony started an important journey that saw the precious youngster deliver the wedding rings to Princess Luna.

The Princess of the Night gazed down at her violet-eyed subject. She unfurled one of her wings and gently guided the colt to stand at her side. “You’ve done an excellent job, Red Velvet. Your teacher will definitely be most proud. We’re sure she would also love it if her favorite student stood up here instead, so why don’t you hold onto those rings for a little while longer and keep me company?”

Though his fur briefly stood up at the sudden change in procedure, Red responded to the diarch with a polite nod. He peered at the positioning of Luna’s hooves, accordingly aligned his own, and kindly avoided staring at any pony in particular for noticeable amounts of time.

With the matter settled, Luna straightened her posture and cleared her throat. “Greetings everyone, and welcome to what is definitely a joyous occasion.” Injecting a dramatic pause, the alicorn ensured that her serene voice had successfully gripped the audience. “We are here to celebrate the marriage of Captain Magic Barrier and Colonel Tail, yet make no mistake, weddings are about more than just the couple.

“This wedding is also about everyone present—everyone who has chosen to come and celebrate this blossoming union. But what makes it truly special? In my time as one of your princesses, I have met a lot of pairs, but there are two things that stand out when it pertains to the relationship between Barrier and Tail: unyielding respect and tenacious hope. We should all admire the importance of respect in this relationship, and we should expect that our lovely ponies of honor will teach us about it tonight.

“So then, what of hope? They chose the 22nd of December as their wedding day for a reason. As the day after the solstice, it represents a symbol of longer days, of renewal, of brighter times to come. Yet, it still pays homage to those mischievous nights—and trust me, with Barrier’s birthday being tomorrow, tonight will be quite mischievous. The day still pays homage to the mischievous nights that many of us have come to love. In that spirit, I urge you all to celebrate by sitting back, relaxing, and experiencing the love that we are here to share.”

The grand mahogany gates creaked as they were opened again, and Platinum Blaze shuffled into the ballroom. Dressed in a white gown, the chatelle-coated unicorn toted a basket filled with flower petals of various hues. When baroque music poured from a quartet nestled in the corner opposite the kitchen, the filly began bouncing down the carpet, and she dutifully scattered the petals as best she could.

Sitting behind Breezy, Autumn Tea gawked at her beautiful, prancing girl. A teenage mare, appearing a lot like a violet-eyed Trigger clone, sat next to the alabaster unicorn, and her beaming expression drenched the young flower filly in an equal amount of reverence.

When Peebles reached the end of the carpet, she stopped in front of Barrier and peered up at the captain. “Aunty Tail is pretty!” she squealed, drawing a wave of d’awws before she puffed her chest and turned her attention to her father.

Chuckling at the spectacle, Trigger jerked his head, motioning for his kid to settle down next to Red Velvet. “No one’s gonna argue that, Kiddo,” he grunted, still snickering when the filly got the hint.

Barrier nervously licked his lips and drew a breath after the quartet started playing Canon in D. He took a few steps towards the rows of chairs and parked himself in the aisle as both doors were opened to their fullest extent.

Tail’s gaze immediately fell into Barrier’s glistening blue eyes. A purr escaped her throat as she took the first steps with Striving Path pressed against her right side, and her mind couldn’t resist adding a little commentary. Mm, he looks so handsome in that uniform.

With a pink ribbon of forget-me-nots woven into her braided mane, the pegasus continued her walk down the aisle. Like a wondrous mix of crown and waterfall hairstyles, the whimsical form captured one element of the bride’s fairy-tale presence. A lacy choker wrapped around her neck, and with each step, the band’s tiny golden bell quietly accompanied the song’s beat. A long white dress, barely kissed by the lightest pink, draped over her slender figure. Accents of blue and gold gave every element of the dress, from the silky stockings to the incredible train, the princess touch.

As much as Tail loved the friends and family that had travelled across the country, all she could see in that moment was Barrier. Discord’s sudden manifestation atop Celestia and his heartfelt sobs failed to prod her awareness. The overzealous blue-maned photographer, whose emerald aura wielded multiple cameras, couldn’t dissuade Tail from her path. Even her father, a stallion Tail cherished like none other, drifted to the periphery of the mare’s senses. Suddenly, the trip down the red carpet had come to an end. Suddenly, Striving had given her his last kiss on the cheek while she remained an unmarried filly. Finally, she had arrived at that snapshot in time with him.

“Hey there, Sweety,” she whispered, taking her proper place relative to him, Luna, and the archway. “Hope I didn’t keep you waiting for too long.”

Barrier shook his head as soft coos arose from both Platinum Blaze and Red Velvet. A contented smile snuck onto the captain’s muzzle when Tail offered her right foreleg, and he promptly supported it with his left limb.

“It should come as no surprise to those here that Barrier and Tail have each written their own vows. Before the company of their friends and family, these two stand ready to open their hearts and minds—to share with us why they are here and why they ask for our assurance.” Luna pleasantly sighed while a smirk sat upon her countenance. “Captain Barrier, I believe the floor is yours.”

Barrier glanced at Luna and nodded appreciatively before he returned his unwavering attention to Tail. “As some of our friends probably know, I’m not particularly good at talking or giving speeches of any kind. At least, that’s how I view it. In the distant past, I never saw myself being here. I didn’t know if I’d live long enough to get married, much less give vows. A few years ago, I was in a much different place. I planned on sitting at home, locking myself away, and drinking until the loneliness felt good.

“I was doing a pretty good job of that until this little upstart pegasus came barreling into my life. Faust above, she was persistent. You were persistent, and you saved me. In at least one case, quite literally. Still, in numerous other ways, you stumbled into my world, breathed life into me, and gave me a reason to live. You showed me that I could still do good. You told me I wasn’t a monster when I had convinced myself that I was. For a long time, you’ve been my best friend. You’re my everything. This ceremony today, you know more than anyone else assembled here what it really means to me. Thank you, Tail, for everything that you’ve done.”

Tears welled up while Tail clung to every word that left his mouth. Their held hooves curled around one another to bolster the closeness, and the physicist’s wings fluttered as her heart thumped in her chest. She bit her lower lip and let a brief silence settle so she could stare into the watery windows of his soul. Her smile only brightened the longer she looked, and finally, the brewing, giddy giggle she had stifled broke free.

“Barrier, it’s hard to put into words the swirl of feelings that permeate my thoughts when I think of you. It’d be oh-so-easy to pass them through a gentle brush of your muzzle, a tender kiss, or the embrace of my wings. But, as always, you inspire me to try harder, and I should, especially since this vow is my commitment, and you need to hear it.

“There is no one other than you who drives my heart to churn this perplexing mix. You make the warmth of happiness bubble up inside me. You make me giddy with the promise of the next time I get to see you. I get anxious at the mere notion of ever letting you down, and dread is the word I reserve for the fear of losing your respect.

“You are the star that makes me sparkle. Though, getting to this place where my fire burns for you certainly necessitated a challenging journey. Yet, it’s a trail I’d blaze a million times over if it led me back to that smug smile you often try to hide. You helped me grow in ways that others will never see. They’ll read the tales of how you put the pins on my uniform. However, those words only scratch the surface of the story that is ours.

“You once told me that the mare makes the stallion, but I can unequivocally state that, without you, I would be a small fraction of this mare. You’ve carried burdens that few have thanked you for, and even less have thanked you for enduring them. Your kindness is utterly infectious, even when it’s concealed by that adorable tough-guy act. I just said that I would be a small fraction without you, Barrier, and I mean it.

“Without you, I’d make silly promises in my head while imagining this moment with some shadow in your place. I’d tell him things from some other pony’s tale, and they’d be empty. For you, I know exactly what to promise, and those things come from the story we penned together. It doesn’t matter the world in which we sit. It doesn’t matter what universe gets spun. I will always love you—unconditionally and truly.

“I will always shield you when you need it. I will respect how you endured and persevered through the toughest of times, and I will carry you to the light when the darkness seems impassable. I will give to you the promise you need more than any other, and I know I can say these words because of you.

“I promise, my Captain Magic Barrier, that I will always do everything I can to live for you. I won’t become another weight for you to carry. I will be the one to finally lift you up, and I don’t care what kind of hell I may have to fly or crawl through. I will live so my heart can still beat for your love, your respect, and a future filled with the joy that comes from us. You’re one of a kind. You’re certainly no longer displaced. You’re certainly no longer alone, and I love you, completely.”

As the tears freely flowed, Tail set his hoof down. She rummaged through the ribbon in her mane and carefully retrieved one of her colonel pins. “You’re my colonel,” she whispered as she swapped one of the captain pins on his uniform, “and I’m your captain.”

Barrier’s breath hitched. Liquid pride spilled from his own eyes, and he didn’t seem to be too bothered by the display. A heavy swallow bombarded his throat, and his softened stare remained firmly engrossed in the pretty pegasus.

Even Princess Luna had been moved to tears by the words. She took a few calming breaths of her own before she turned to Red Velvet and retrieved the pair of wedding bands. She gave the first golden ring to Barrier, who surprisingly picked it up with his hoof, and she then proceeded to walk the unicorn through the sacred rite.

“I, Magic Barrier, take you, Tail, to be my wife. I will share my life with yours, build our dreams together, be your shield through the absolute darkest of times, and be your laughter in those that are best. I promise to give you respect, love, loyalty, and more. And with this band, I display my vows and undying love.” The stallion took a step forward and carefully lifted the train of Tail’s dress. He corralled her namesake and threaded its skirt through the ring until the golden band gently rested around her dock.

Once Barrier had retreated, Tail plucked the second ring from Luna, grinned wildly, and fashioned a loving gaze. “I, Tail, take you, Magic Barrier, to be my husband. I will share my life with yours, build our dreams together, be your blaze in the darkest of times, and your flare in times of happiness. I promise to give you all of my respect. I promise to re-earn yours every day. I promise to give you my love and loyalty. And with this band, I display my vows and undying love.” With that, Tail reached up and slid the ring onto his horn.

“Then it is time for the best part!” Princess Luna erupted after stretching a foreleg over the pair. “By the power vested in me by The Crowns of Equestria, and with the undeniable support of my fellow princesses, I now pronounce you mare and colt, husband and wife! Barrier, you may now kiss your bride because I know that if you don’t do it first, she most certainly will.”

Tail blushed when Barrier took a commanding step forward. His foreleg wrapped around her crest, and that contented grin remained plastered on his face until the very moment their lips touched. The scientist melted into the passionate kiss that developed, and her wings violently fluttered. The drone of cheers that overwhelmed the ballroom didn’t reach her perked ears. Instead, she embraced her Magic Bear in a firm hug, and her mind basked in the glory of a new scientific mystery. Just how could the brightness of that kiss utterly shine through the darkness produced by her closed eyes?

While members of the palace staff either busily wheeled in tables for the coming dinner service or cleared the rows of chairs, Tail and Barrier met the reception line. The bride had ditched the train of her dress for the remainder of the party, and she jovially swished her namesake in thanks for the increased mobility.

“Her vows were so beautiful!” Sincy wept into Bonecrusher’s sleeve. “I need to find Barley! We need to write a song together to capture this moment.”

Bonecrusher peered at her emotionally wrecked coltfriend. At first, she turned to Breezy Wish for support and promptly discovered the mare emoting the same emotions into her husband’s suit. She then cast her shellshocked, bewildered expression towards Tail. “What do I do with this?” she mouthed—only to find the physicist gawking at an unexpected guest that had reached the front of the line.

“Can I have your autograph?” Tail squeaked. She clung to Barrier’s body and tightly squeezed him while her sights meandered over the pony’s wavy brunette mane. “Seriously, Lady Summer, your music is amazing. Our first dance was to Last Dance. It’s going to be our first dance tonight too. Sign my dress! I do not care.”

“Hunny,” Summer answered the frantic flier through a beaming grin. “After hearing vows like that, your first dance as a married couple can be to me singing it live. That was incredible stuff! Sincerity was right. He is lucky to have a girl like you as his sister.”

Cadance and Amora burst into a fit of giggles behind the BSoDing Tail, which, as expected, drew gleeful snorts from both Barrier and Shining Armor.

“Having received those vows, Ms. Summer,” Barrier politely replied, “anything you could do to boost my wife’s happiness, and perhaps bring her out of brain-lock, would be appreciated.”

Across the room, Wing stood beside Princess Celestia. “I’m telling you, Callie! This latest theory is cracked. I can’t deny it though. The Great and Powerful Sepi predicted that combining a sassy scientist with a gruff captain would produce over 160K when all of the models still suggested only 80. The Mavericks’ Wild could use a mare like that. Plus, I hear she has an excellent taste in apparel.”

“You shut up a lot of detractors with the performance of the Armistice, Sir Wing.” Celestia hesitated once her keen magenta gaze fell upon the recovering Tail, the affectionately nuzzling Barrier, and the next pony in line. “You can do with your team what you will. However—”

Before the Princess of the Sun could finish her statement, Wing had already summoned Aurora’s Eye. “Oh my, this will be good,” he commented in an amused timbre after he pursed his lips.

Having regained her wits, Tail broke away from Barrier’s resuscitating kiss. Humming, she bit her lower lip as she shared a bashful smile, and she spoke in a blissful drawl, “Mm, Sweety, that’s nice.”

“Yes, you most definitely are.” A new, confident voice captured the attention of Tail and Barrier. They both turned to face the stranger—a pink unicorn photographer with a dark-blue mane and piercing emerald irides. She quickly fussed with her twin cameras, which dangled on straps that hung over her withers, and she swiftly retrieved a leather-bound photo album from her canvas saddlebag. “I have been waiting for this moment for such a long time.”

Tail blinked as the levitating book drifted closer. She took the gift with her wings and quirked her eyebrow in acknowledgment of her rising curiosity. Barrier pressed against Tail’s flank, and the pegasus gradually opened the tome so they could get a peek. Inside, pictures going all the way back to her B.C.T. filled the pages. Pinnings, dates, the night of the Grand Galloping Gala, and even the wedding itself all had appreciable amounts of representation.

The married couple snapped their sights back to the mare, but Tail broke the silence first. “Who are you?” she asked—right as Cady and Shining leaned in to see what was up.

“Aww,” the photographer quipped, “so fast, and I was hoping to have some fun first. Oh well, what’s a lady to do when there are so many princesses around a genius and her captain? We, and I do mean all five of us, have already met, but I guess I am being a bit of a sneak. Your love with Barry is astounding, Professor Tail. It could be tasted all across Equestria when you went to the Crystal Empire, and let me say, it is a dessert. After all, a dream forged between two ponies that can inspire Aislynn Caliber is something to be properly adored, and I do believe, when you asked her what you saw, that she responded in the plural.”

The mare mischievously smirked as bristling waves stoked the fur along the spines of Cadance and Shining Armor. “The last times I came to town involved ironing out a peace treaty. I could say that I’ve come today seeking your help, but it feels a tad inappropriate to ask for such a favor during your wedding celebration. What I really wanted to share with you newlyweds, an aria if you will, is that this day is absolutely perfect.”

To Be Continued — Calamity No Longer

Author's Note:

Thanks to everyone for the love and support over the last ten months. It's been a bittersweet journey to get here through some trying times in our lives. I sincerely hope you've found this to be an entertaining read week after week, and I hope you found Tail's vows to be fantastic a.f. :P

It seems fitting to post the last one on my birthday, Wing's that is. Gonna have to get some apple pie, sit back, and find some zen in the soothing light at the end of the process. I'll try not to keep you all waiting until 2028 for the next one. ;) Sober might get antsy and start sending me some scene seeds. I made sure all of those made it into both NLD and NLA btw. Partnership!

For those in the Discord, I have a 20-minute audio file containing more of my end-of-run thoughts. :3c

Much <3.

Also, Barrier is a pony gone missing from pegasus-ing... [mindblown]

Comments ( 30 )

Happy Birthday, Wing!


Thank you! :)

Surprise chrysalis cameo is surprising.

She's been lurking around for quite a while. Also a reference to A State of Darkness lore. ;)

Wooot! Congratulations.

Thank you! :3

Dammit Wing and Sober, stop making me cry so much!:fluttercry:

I refuse to believe that this is the end, it cannot be! Please, please, please, we need a sequel!

Tail's vows were the most lovely to read, you guys are truly so talented! It was wonderful reading each and every chapter, waiting eagerly each week for a new one, and squealing with joy when it was finally posted! Congratulations to both of you!


A very Happy Birthday Wing!:twilightsmile:

Wow. Just, wow.
Thanks for this epic ride.

The mare mischievously smirked as bristling waves stoked the fur along the spines of Cadance and Shining Armor. “The last times I came to town involved ironing out a peace treaty. I could say that I’ve come today seeking your help, but it feels a tad inappropriate to ask for such a favor during your wedding celebration. What I really wanted to share with you newlyweds, an aria if you will, is that this day is absolutely perfect.”


Anyways can’t wait for the sequel! Hope you give us a quick chapter saying the sequel is up or something of the like cause I know imma forget bout the sequel an won’t find it for awhile most likely. Anyways keep up the awesome work!

God fucking damn it, Wing. It looks weird when I start crying at work. Entirely worth it, though. I look forward to more. In the immortal words of Charles Dickens: "Please, sir, may I have some more?"

NL Vol. 7/3: The War for One
NL Vol. 8/3: Wingin' It
NL Vol. 3: Calamity No Longer
----- Engage World Breaking Mode -----
NL Vol. 4: A State of [Darkness No Longer] < If we ever see this one, everyone is screwed.

Aye, she's been lingering in the background of NLA for a while, and her disguise comes straight out of one of my other stories. Sober was such a fanboy for my Chrysalis, that when I teasingly suggested dropping her into NLA, he sent like a dozen 'Duu eeet's in various states of capitalization. As for the sequel deployment, it will likely be a while. I generally don't post extra chapters on the end as feeders. I like looking back and seeing that well-defined publication run window. I'll slide into your DMs though. :P

Thank you for the kind words. I tried to aim for epic... allegedly. :3 Glad to see it did something for you. :)

Much <3, and thanks. :3 Birthday was good, and NLA was a long time coming. I'm happy to see it induced squees. :P

If by screwed, you mean blown away by Wing-induced awesomeness, then I believe it.

I mean... the title of that one... kinda makes it clear what's going on. :3c

Lol also Tis why I said “or something.” :P

Happy Birthday Wing!

Those vows were absolutely amazing :heart:

A new story?! Oh my Cadence YES! :yay:

Thanks for sharing amazing horse-words with us till now, and here’s to the next. HUZZAH!

The real question is how long will it take...

This has been another fun read, I'm looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out.

Hopefully I won't take four years this time. x3

That is a good question. Like 3, 4 weeks tops? :pinkiehappy: :heart:

ROFL I wish.

There was a very specific reason that I decided to have things roll this way. :) I was about to write it all out, but then I realized it'd be kind of spoilery, so I'll hold off. Hehe, that said, I'm glad you think it's cool.

There's also a Macross reference buried in a later chapter too. :P

I'm a big fan of electrothaumic. :)

Moondog is from https://www.fimfiction.net/story/316104/tantabus-mk-ii
There are many sequels to it.

Ahhh, I see. Have no idea as I haven't read that series. Trigger is a pretty old character. He was created long before I was involved with ponies in late 1992. Any overlaps there are purely coincidental. :)

So, where is Calamity No Longer?

I was a huge fan of the game show too. I actually went to an episode filming.

There is a paragraph in a word document, so mostly in my brain with some snippets from Sober. Frankly, the NLA run took a lot out of me, and then I started a new job. The writing mind is just starting to come out of cooldown. :P

Dueling is one of their favorite pastimes. :P

I finaly got the time to finish the story. Realy good overall and a strong Ending.

I finished "No Longer Alone" and " No longer Displaced", which story would be the next one on the list?


This story is the end of the NL chain for now. Sober and I have some documentation for Book 3 (Calamity No Longer), but work got busy and writing sequels is a struggle. It's honestly a miracle we finished this one. First time in my life I successfully finished a sequel work at all. I did write some tangential lore in a random PDF, but that lives in the NL discord server and hasn't been hurled around on FIM yet.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. That Mavericks' Wild chapter was a thing. I was acting out the scenes in my apartment to make sure the three threads converged realistically in time. My neighbors got extremely confused why it sounded like a tyrannical psychopath lived in the building. x3

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