• Published 21st May 2021
  • 916 Views, 10 Comments

The Persistence of Love - Undome Tinwe

Time passes, and ponies change. But Twilight Sparkle knows that love persists, even as it changes as well.

  • ...

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect

"Speaking of sequences of events, I have a confession to make," Cadance said as they were eating the main course. Her knife cut through the mushroom steak, and she brought a small piece of it up to her mouth for a dainty bite.

"Oh?" Twilight's head tilted curiously, her own fork floating in the air as she waited for Cadance to finish her thought.

"A few years ago, you theorized that all alicorns had the spark of Prophecy in their souls," Cadance explained, setting down her cutlery. "I told you that I could see the history of love, but not its future."

"I remember that conversation." It had been a lot of fun, debating magical theory with Cadance that night. "We concluded that we might eventually start getting visions of the future like Celestia and Luna did, but only related to our dominion."

"Well, our predictions finally came true." The sudden seriousness in Cadance's voice captured Twilight's attention, making it impossible to look away. "I had a vision a few days ago, involving you."

"Oh." Twilight wasn't really sure how to process her feelings about that. If Cadance had only asked her out because Fate had told her to...

"You were sitting here, in this restaurant, with someone, and having a great time," Cadance continued, ignoring Twilight's interjection. "I wasn't sure who you were with, but I knew it wasn't me."

"Oh." Okay, she really needed to figure out a more verbose answer, but Twilight was far too overwhelmed to do more than passively listen to Cadance's confession.

"The vision scared me." The vulnerability in Cadance's voice tugged at Twilight's heartstrings. "That was when I realized I had feelings for you, and I really, really didn't want to lose you to someone else."

"So... you changed my fate, then?" Twilight mulled on that statement to avoid thinking of the larger implications. "Is that even possible? Prophecies aren't very well-studied, and the literature hasn't found a way to circumvent them, but if we consider that our visions use the anima of an alicorn as a base—"

"I don't know," Cadance interjected before Twilight could fully dive into the thaumics of the problem. "But I don't think love is so easily defeated. One day, you'll meet this mysterious lover, and have a wonderful date here, and then you can bring them home to meet your other partner." They both blushed at that. "I just made sure to interject myself into the narrative."

"Okay, that makes sense." It calmed Twilight knowing that she hadn't lost another chance at love, but still... "But if love can really be prophesied like that, does that mean we don't have any choices in who we love?"

Cadance shook her head. "I don't believe that for a moment. I think prophecy is about the decisions that we will choose to make, rather than forcing the decisions themselves. A stable time loop doesn't discount the notion of free will."

Twilight nodded. "I guess so." She carefully cut another slice of her mushroom steak, wanting to look properly polite and refined. All eyes were still on them, and she hated that. "If I'm going to be having another date here, I should look into asking them to build a private dining room so that we can have a little bit more privacy."

"It'll be useful if we come back here too." The mention from Cadance of a possibility of another date sent thrills down Twilight's spine, even if part of her had known that it was a likely outcome. "Though, there's something to be said for not feeling completely isolated. Maybe we should consider some kind of one-way mirror for the walls?"

"That could be fun." Let Fate play the games she wished. Twilight was going to use any information she received to her maximum advantage.

"You know, I wasn't sure if I wanted to say this, but honesty and openness are important bases for any relationship."

Discord glanced up from the menu, shooting a quizzical glance at Twilight. "Oh, do you have some deep dark secret to confess?"

"Not exactly," Twilight said, feeling oddly nervous about this. "I didn't realize it until you teleported me to this exact restaurant, but when I had my first date with Cadance here, she mentioned that this was... prophesied."

"Prophesied, you say?" With a snap of his claws, a crystal ball appeared in front of Discord, showing images of a weather forecast.

"Yes." Hesitation locked down Twilight's voice for a moment before she forced herself to press on. "Cadance can sometimes see visions of the future if they relate to love, and she saw that I would be going on a first date here with someone else at some point in the future. I guess this is what she saw." She paused, fixing her gaze on Discord to see what his reaction would be.

"Well, did she see how absolutely outrageous these prices are?" Discord flipped the menu around so Twilight could see it. "I don't even use currency and even I think that fifty bits for a bunch of plants I can find lying around is a ripoff!"

There was a moment of silence as Twilight simply stared at Discord. "You aren't mad?" she asked, head tilting in confusion.

"The only ponies who come here have too much money for their own good, anyways," Discord replied. "I don't really care if they're being separated from their not-hard-earned bits."

"I meant about the prophecy," Twilight said, exasperated. "Aren't you mad at having your actions predicted by Fate, since you're a being of Chaos and all that?"

To her surprise, Discord laughed at that, a deep, booming sound that she might have found sinister once upon a time, but now was warm and comforting to her. "Oh, Twilight, you still have much to learn, young grasshopper." A ridiculous beard materialized on his face. "Prophecies are a delightful expression of my domain."

"They are?"

The beard disappeared. "But of course!" Discord grinned. "Knowledge of a prophecy affects our actions in the present, which tends to lead to the prophesied event. It's an inversion of the most fundamental principle of physics and harmony, which is that effect always has to follow cause! When you throw prophecies into the mix, your decision can have effects that reach backwards in time."

He summoned a bow and an arrow with a clock at its tip. "I can't think of anything more chaotic than to reverse the very flow of time itself." He drew the bow and fired the arrow, which flew backwards, fletching-first, into the wall, before exploding in a puff of red smoke to reveal a chicken that hatched into an egg. "Oops, seems I've gotten my metaphors mixed up."

"I guess I never thought of it that way," Twilight murmured. "Thanks, Discord."

"Always happy to broaden your horizons." With another snap, Discord's various summons vanished, and he picked up the menu again. His jaw dropped onto the table. "A hundred bits for what?"