• Published 18th Sep 2012
  • 40,567 Views, 2,274 Comments

Faith and Doubt - defender2222

After everyone fails to heed to her warnings about Cadence, Twilight gives in to her darker thoughts

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Prologue: Whispers in the Dark

"But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in." -Aragorn The Return of the King

Twilight didn’t have any tears left.

She wished she did, as it would mean that she had something else to focus on. Tears would have been welcomed at this point, compared to what she suffered through now. Of course whippings would have been nicer than what she was going through.

But there was nothing to distract her from the absolute mess she had made of things…and how her actions, well intended as they were, had cost her all her friends and family.

‘How did it all go so wrong?’ she wondered to herself as she lay curled up on her bed. The dress rehearsal for the wedding had been a nightmare for everypony involved, though she, compared to every other pony, had different reasons for being upset.

Their hateful words buzzed through her brain like angry wasps, bouncing against her skull and making her head throb. As Twilight lay on her bed, her eyes aching from all the tears she had shed and her throat made raw from the sobs, she replayed that awful moment again and again, like a play that just would never end.

Shining Armor, her brother and her best friend, who had always looked at her with love...had glared at her and dismissed her warnings as those of a foal crying wolf. She had nearly ruined his wedding and he had responded by stripping her of her best-mare title, banishing her from the event with all the cruelty he could muster. He had looked upon her like one would an insect and for the first time in her life...Twilight had feared him.

‘He cut me out of his life. He trusts some mare he barely knows over me! He… he was my best friend and he cast me away so easily…don't I mean anything to him?'

Celestia, her beloved mentor, had looked at her with such disappointment that Twilight had wanted to crawl into a hole and die. The Princess had put so much trust in her and she had blown it. This was such an important event for the Princess and there Twilight was, screaming her head off and being a general pain in the flank…and she had shown just how irrational she could be. She couldn’t tell a headache relieving spell from a mind-control spell...she could almost see it in Princess Celestia's eyes: how could somepony be so stupid?

'She regrets taking me as her student...the only reason she keeps me around because I'm one of the elements…I’m only useful as a weapon she points at her enemies.’

Her friends had just shook their heads, walking past her as they digested the fact that she had gone through yet another freak-out over something silly and had failed to listen to their advice. They had warned her and pleaded with her to think things through but there was stupid Twilight Sparkle, overreacting…again! She had nearly ruined the big day and this time they refused to bail her out.

'But it wasn't silly and I wasn’t overreacting! Cadence is hurting my brother! How could they not understand? Wouldn’t they have done the same? Haven’t they done the same in the past?’

Twilight shook her head, trying to banish the dark thoughts that were beginning to swirl about her. They were always taunting her, making her doubt herself and her actions, but normally she was able to push them aside, to think logically. But tonight, after all the drama and the heartache...they were beating a steady war drum.

She'd been repressing these thoughts for so long, shoving them back in the smallest corners of her mind. It was wrong of her to feel this way, to have so much doubt in her friends and family. They weren't to blame...she was.

Twilight felt so very, very tired.

She'd thought, for only a moment, about seeking out Princess Cadence and apologizing for her rash words and actions. But as she had reached the corner that led to Cadence’s private wing…Twilight had found herself unable to continue. She just couldn’t face the bride, couldn’t deal with another set of eyes glaring at her…

‘Or maybe I just know she is an evil witch and I don’t want to be within 10 feet of her,’ something within her whispered.

…so she had run to her room, ignoring the guards that called out for her to halt. They all had glared at her, knowing what she had done. Or maybe they had been calling out to ask if she was ok, not use to seeing a crying mare…no…no…they knew and they hated her for breaking Cadence’s heart and making her cry. Of course they would take her side...she was Princess Cadence and Twilight was just...Twilight. The stupid little filly Celestia humored.

So she had bolted into her room, sealing the door with magic and soundproofing the entire bedroom so she didn't have to hear any more of the incriminating jabs. Then she'd shut the drapes and begun to sob. Every time she had managed to catch her breath she had seen a sliver of moonlight and she had worked to cover up the offending (or was it offended…offended by her actions?) light. She’d finally stripped her bed clean and jammed the dress Rarity had made for her to seal up the crack under the door, so that she was left alone in the darkness.

It wasn’t like she needed the dress…she wasn’t invited to the wedding anymore, after all.

‘And whose fault is that?’ she pondered. ‘Mine? Or my friends and family who side with that witch instead of listening to me?’

The unicorn did her best to bat away the incrimination of her loved ones. It was her fault they hadn't believed her...she had come in acting foalish, ranting and raving...how could they ever believe her? She should have done it differently. She should have found another way to convince them about the danger Cadence posed. She should have sat them down and gently explained what she feared and what she saw, and asked them to please help her.

‘Of course, that’s assuming they would have believed me,’ the bitter little voice in her head muttered.

She quietly begged the voice to shut up.

And their reactions to her rant shouldn’t have surprised her. Shining had been hurt that she had made a scene instead of seeing him in private. Celestia was caught between her niece and her student, left in the worst of positions. Her friends had tried to help her and when she had ignored their advice they had left, assuming that's what she wanted...

It was her fault.

It...it was her fault.


'No! No...I can keep telling myself that but it will never make it true.’ The harsh voice in her head was growing stronger, refusing to let her forgive them all so easily...denying her the chance to take on the blame. ‘I sound like a filly protesting that Santa Claws must be real. I know the truth but I refuse to admit it.’ She lowered her head, feeling absolutely miserable. ‘They care more about the wedding than me.’

She waited for the tears to come. She waited for her heart to break and her soul to be crushed. And she waited…and waited. But it never came.

The dark thoughts that rolled through her body no longer seemed so heavy. Indeed, the more she thought about it, the more mad she got. ‘My friends want to put on a big wedding and have everypony compliment them. That’s all that matters to them! The entire train ride here they knew I was upset, but they didn’t offer sympathy…they gave excuses and told me to cheer up!’ She glowered a bit, remembering how the girls had gossiped about the wedding and their tasks. They never once giving pause to remember that Twilight had found out about it the same time they did, via a form letter. They had seen her shock, heard her sing her heart out about her brother…and they had been all giggles and grins. They didn’t even have the decency to hide their actions…they did it right in front of her and acted like all she had to do was smile and her problems would go away. ‘All that mattered to them was their success…not my feelings!’

Normally Twilight hated feeling angry. She was the type of pony that, after a good explosion of anger, instantly felt sadness and regret. It was common for her to stress over her actions and to beg ponies for their forgiveness…even if they were the ones in the wrong in the first place. She had been taught, first by her parents then by Celestia, that anger was a weight that dragged you down. Whenever she had given into frustration she had felt as if she were trapped in leg irons and had done anything to get rid of the guilt.

So she had repressed it. She had forced herself to smile when others taunted her. She had hid her tears. When she did lose control she worked as hard as she could to repair the damage. She dammed up her bitterness and refused to let it out. She had been doing it since she was barely a filly, hiding her doubts from the world and taking every pony on good faith.

But now, alone in the bedroom Celestia had given her to use during her stay, Twilight felt not a weight pressing down on her but a strength and vitality lifting her up. The anger and rage she felt did not make her feel down…they made her feel stronger. Being sad and depressed had made her weak and caring about what her friends thought of her had robbed her of will to move. But now that she was allowing herself to truly be honest…raw energy was pouring into her. It was as if a fire was suddenly burning in her heart and the more she thought about it the bigger the inferno became.

Every bitter thought she had ever felt in the last few years came bubbling to the surface. She had repressed so much of it, wanting to believe the best in her friends and family…but now that she let go and actually let her true anger be set free…it felt glorious. It was like her heart was a boiling pot of syrup, thick and dark, and the heat was bringing everything up. It made her feel giddy and drunk and she wondered how any pony could ever think being negative was a bad thing when it fueled one like this!

She welcomed the fire…she needed the fire…she fueled the fire to get more.

‘How many times have I helped them? How many times did they come to me with crazy ideas and silly notions and I stood in their corner? I give and give and all they do is take and take!’ Twilight rose up, standing on her bed. The weakness she had felt in her limbs was gone and Twilight thanked the fire growing within her heart for giving her strength. ‘And then they all just looked at me like I was pathetic! Ha!’ Twilight grinned…then actually laughed out loud. ‘I'm not pathetic...they are! They are so concerned about appearances that they can't see the truth! This is a threat to my family…not some silly misunderstanding! But I guess their kindness dries up when I am not playing by their rules.’

She trotted into the bathroom, splashing water on her face. ‘Shining Armor…you son of a she-wolf! You try and get me all flustered to make me forget that you didn’t tell me…no…no, you lied to me!’ Twilight griped the edge of the counter, teeth grinding together. She felt very warm, like she had just completed 3 stretches of ‘The Running of the Leaves’ in a row. But she welcomed it…the thudding of her heart let her know she was alive. ‘You promised to be my friend, to be my protector…and then you betray me for that Cadence!’ Twilight shook her head in disgust. It didn’t matter that earlier she had assumed Cadence was brainwashing her brother…Shining Armor was strong and she knew that if the tables had been turned she would have fought off any mind control. No...what he said had been what lay in his heart and she would not give him a free pass. Not this time.

She thought about her meeting with her BBBFF (‘Former…FBBBFF’) and how he had refused to apologize for not letting her know about Cadence. Oh, he had done well making her feel as if she were blowing things out of proportion; he’d brought up the threat to Equestria, had played off her concerns and redirected the conversation…never once did he actually take a moment to admit that he might have done something wrong.

‘But of course not…he’s Shining Armor, Captain of the Royal Guard!’ Twilight thought, rolling her eyes. ‘He’s the most important pony in Equestria…marrying a princess, protecting Canterlot…how can he have time to worry about his little sister when the sun rises just to warm his flank!’

Normally she would have been disturbed by the direction her thoughts were taking. But she was far too gone in her rage to even consider just how out-of-character it was for her to be feeling this way. Besides…it felt too good. It was naughty and wrong but felt right; it was like eating ice cream when you were on a diet. Twilight had always been so good...well now it felt great to be bad.

‘Celestia,’ Twilight thought, not even noticing that she didn’t call her mentor ‘Princess’ like she normally did…why respect somepony that didn’t respect you? ‘How many times have I been right and you didn’t listen? I was right about Nightmare Moon… I was right about many other threats to Equestria and you just ignored them…no…no, you used me…but when I suggest your precious little niece is bad, suddenly you don’t trust me?’ Twilight slammed her hoof down in sheer annoyance. ‘Family…your sister was Nightmare Moon and because you were too scared to face her you nearly sent me to my death! And now Cadence…you’re blind, Celestia…you were blind about Luna and you're blind now!’

Twilight sneered, feeling the fire within coursing through her veins with every dark thought. She had never felt so strong, so powerful; her magic seemed ready to burst out of her horn. Twilight felt as if she could raise and lower the sun itself! The fires raged in her heart as she dreamed of what she would do next…the time for idle worries was over. She would not lay there defeated. She would go and save her friends…and then they would be the ones crawling to her, begging for her forgiveness.

She would save them all…by herself.

‘I will prove I am right.’

As she ripped open the shades to reveal the bright new day, Twilight smiled darkly…never noticing that her horn now crackling with a black energy.

“If any pony objects to this union…” Twilight laughed as she stared out at Canterlot Castle.