• Published 16th Oct 2012
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Ascend - xTSGx



Cheer up, Twilight. It's not every day somepony changes species. In fact, no pony has ever changed species. Or dealt with the results of that change.

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Designs.

For copyright/disclaimer information, see Chapter One.

Version 1.1
Published 12/13/12.

Chapter Nine: Designs.

Twilight walked down the main thoroughfare of Ponyville. Pinkie hopped along happily beside her.

“It's going to be so much fun! You'll see!”

The purple alicorn rolled her eyes.

“Sure it will.” She glanced at the restaurant they were approaching, “Come on, let's get an outdoor table.”

“Okie dokie.”

The two sat down at one of the tables and picked up the restaurant's menus.

“What are you going to get?”

“I was thinking about the Philips head screwdriver on a bed of nails.”

Twilight looked up from the hardware store's menu.

“I had that last time.” she made a face, “Too much steel. What about the copper piping with a side of caulk?”

“Blegh! Oh, I know! How 'bout the corrugated cardboard deep fried in paint thinner with your choice of spackling or steel wool?”

“Eh, I'm not really in a deep fried mood.” Twilight looked back down at the bookstore's menu, “I was thinking we could split a New Yoke Times Best Seller.”

“That'll cost a fortune!”

“Well that's why I said we could split it.”

“It'd make more sense if we got the A Troper's Guide To Series.”

“You really want to get that? I heard they started censoring it and you know how that affects the taste.”

“You're right.” Pinkie looked up from the furniture shop's menu, “We could always get the Ottoman Special.”

“I was kind of craving a sectional stir fry.”

“Great! So it's settled, we’ll get the Sampler Platter.”

Pinkie proceeded to throw the restaurant's menu behind her, where it hit Bon Bon as she walked by with Lyra. Upon impact, the menu and Bon Bon caught fire before they exploded into several dozen honey glazed (simulated) hams. Lyra stared in shock before she shrugged, picked up one of the hams, and continued walking along. Another of the hams landed on Twilight and Pinkie's table.

Pinkie gawked.

“Ooohhhh, now that's service. We just ordered the ham. C'mon, let's dig in.”

Pinkie grabbed a fork and stuck it into the ham.

What are you doing? Unhand me you fiend!

Both Pinkie and Twilight recoiled at the ham's loudness.

“Huh, it talks.” Pinkie's face brightened, “That means it'll be extra tasty.”

She viciously tore a large chunk out of the ham and ate it. The ham let out a melodramatic cry."

“Ish gud. Yew shald try shome.”

“I don't know, Pinkie. It seems very ponylike. Are you sure we should be cruelly devouring it?”

“What is a pony?” Pinkie threw her glass to the ground. The glass proceeded to bounce off the ground like it was made of rubber and land back on the table, its contents undisturbed, “Nothing but a cheerful pile of carbon that is arranged via a complex series of biological functions. But enough chit chat, let's eat.”

Twilight shrugged.

'Seems reasonable enough.'

The purple unicorn used her telekinesis to tear a large piece out of the ham.

Y-You'll never get away with this! Even if I die, others will avenge me.

Pinkie and Twilight ignored the ham's ramblings and soon, it was nothing more than a bone.

“Hey look, Twilight,” she picked the bone up, “a ham bone. Now we can make pea soup.”

I'm not a freakin' ham bone!

Before Pinkie or Twilight could respond, a low rumbling noise was heard.

“What's that?”

“I don't know.”

They both turned in the direction of the noise and saw a gigantic red apple wearing a ten gallon hat rolling toward them.

“Well howdy, Pinkay, Twahlight.”

“Heya, Applejack. What are you doing here?”

“Ah wuz jus' waltzin' down this her' street when Ah seen yah two sittin' ther' eatin' an' Ah thunk Ah shud join yah, seein' as yer eatin' lunch.”

Twilight picked up the ham bone and showed it to the giant apple.

“We were just finishing this delicious ham.”

You're fruitin' up! You're all fruitin' up!

Twilight glared at the bone.

“Shut up you.” she threw the bone into a large pile of cans, “Sorry, Applejack, but it seems that me and Pinkie ate all the ham.”

“Shucks, ya'll don't need ta worry 'bout me. Ah gots mine own food.”

A large chunk of the apple Applejack tore itself off before it was sucked into a hole that appeared on her. After a few moments, the chunk rematerialized in the spot it had been torn from.

Pinkie pouted.

“I wish I was an anthropomorphic food item that could continually consume myself. Stupid stereotyping focusing only on Applejack and not taking advantage of my abilities.”

“Now zen, vhy don't I join you?”

Applejack's ten gallon hat was gone and, in its place, the giant apple wore a pair of lederhosen.

“Sure, Applejack. The more the merrier.”

“Zank you, Tvilight. It is such an nice morning today, isn't it?”

Both Pinkie and Twilight nodded.

“Vhy, I vas just talking to—”

Without warning, Applejack exploded. Twilight and Pinkie were covered in the gory mess of pectin, juice, apple sauce, seeds, and bits of the lederhosen.

Twilight was horrified.

“Wh-What happened to Applejack?! Pinkie, what are we going to do! S-She's gone.”

Pinkie looked somberly at the purple alicorn.

“Twilight, there's something I have to tell you.”

“W-What?”

Pinkie grabbed hold of Twilight and faced her.

“It's eight o'clock in the morning and you're listening to Everfree Radio.”

“What!?”

“WAPL 90.9 in Appleloosa, KCOLT 91.5 in Ponyvi—”

**********

Twilight's eyes lazily opened.

“—WCGNU 91.7 in Canterlot. Everfree Radio is brought to in part by—”

She flipped off her new radio alarm clock before she rubbed the sleepies out of her eyes.

'At least it wasn't an alicorn related dream. Weird, but I can't complain.'

The purple alicorn pandiculated.

'Better get ready. Don't want Rarity bursting in and finding out about my secret as well.'

**********

After getting ready, Twilight once again left Spike in charge of the library and walked toward Rarity's. Overhead, menacing storm clouds hovered, waiting to unleash their downpour on the town below.

'Better pick up my pace. Don't want to be caught out in this.'

The purple unicorn quickened her pace as she approached the Carousel Boutique's main entrance. Just as she was about to open the door, she heard the voices of Rarity and Sweetie Belle coming from inside.

“What do you mean 'Twilight's coming over'!”

“I mean, she's coming over. Honestly, what's got you so worked up, Sweetie?”

“I—um—have an overdue book! Yeah, that's it. And I don't want Twilight to know.”

Really, an overdue book?”

Twilight could practically hear Sweetie Belle's smile from the other side of the door.

“Yeah, and I need to go and get it so I can return it.”

“Well alright then. Just make sure you're home before seven. You know how mother and father get when you're late.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Bye!”

“And be careful. Rainbow Dash informed me that the storm's going to be quite intense.”

Twilight pretended to have just walked up in order to avoid an awkward conversation about eavesdropping. The door swung open and Sweetie Belle abruptly skidded to a halt in front of the purple unicorn.

“T-Twilight! Um—hi.”

“Hi, Sweetie Belle. How are you today?”

Twilight couldn't help but notice Sweetie's eyes scanning her backside.

“Oh I'm fine. Very fine. Super fine, in fact. I was just—um—going to go get a library book to return and probably won't be back for a while. All day really.”

“To find a book?”

“Uh—Yeah. I kind of forgot w-where I put it exactly and it'll take me a while to find.”

Sweetie's eyes continued to look over Twilight's body.

“Okay, I see you later then.”

“See ya, Twilight.”

Sweetie Belle quickly made a bee line for Sweet Apple Acres and the Cutie Mark Crusader Headquarter Complex—otherwise known as a tree house.

Twilight turned to see Rarity motioning for her to come inside. She proceeded to do so.

“I do apologize for Sweetie Belle's rash behavior. You know how foals can get.”

“It's no problem. You should have seen me when midterms came around.”

“Oh yes. It is strange though. She only started acting like this a few days ago and then her and her friends had that sleepover yesterday and—oh never mind. We have far more important things to worry about then my sister's hyperness, like what colors your dress is going to have.”

Rarity sat down on a chair in her sewing room and Twilight followed, sitting down in a chair opposite her.

“I was thinking we could use Equestria's national colors, gold and blue, for the main colors—what with you going before Parliament.”

'Wait a second.'

“Now, Rarity. I don't want anything elaborate. Just a nice, plain—”

Plain?! You're going before Parliament, darling. They don't know the meaning of the word 'plain'.”

“This is Parliament, not the nobility. There are only thirty nine representatives from Canterlot. Everypony else is from the other cities and territories. Ponyville even has a representative. They're just average citizens who—”

Rarity snorted.

“Average citizens. Please. Do you know how many bits it costs to run an election campaign? I hate to shatter your optimism, dear, but there isn't a single 'average' member of that congress. They're all very wealthy, or have connections with those who are.”

“You sound just like Princess Celestia after having one of her long meetings with the nobility.” Twilight put a hoof to her chin, “Of course, she would say things like 'I should have never stopped Just Cause' and 'I wonder if it's too late to start that mind control program using Cadance'. I'll tell you the same thing I told her: Have a little faith in them.”

“Aw, that's very sweet of you.”

“Then I met the Count of Baltimare and told the Princess that if she ever needed any help convincing Cadance, I'd be there.”

“It's a good thing you were both just joking. I mean, mind control, what a silly notion.”

Twilight looked around uncomfortably.

“Yeah...silly.”

They both stared at each other for several awkward moments.

“Anyway, you don't have to make it elaborate. You really can't, regardless. I want to pack light as I'm only going to be in Canterlot for a day or two and don't really want to carry around a cumbersome dress.”

Rarity's face brightened.

“So you want something practical? I could make it streamlined!”

Rarity telekinetically grabbed a pad of sketch paper and a pencil and sketched out a rough design. She held up the drawing.

“How about something similar to this?”

Twilight looked at it.

“That looks fine, Rarity. I don't really think you should be asking for my input, considering what happened the last time I helped design a dress.”

“I can still use your input, just as long as it doesn't overwhelm things.”

“Alright, if you insist.”

Twilight picked up a pencil and paper.

“I just don't want things to get too puffy or extravagant, something slim would be best...”

-----

A few hours later and the dark blue dress was nearly complete. All it needed was the gold accents to be stitched on and a few alterations on its collar. Outside, the sound of rain and the howl of the wind could be heard from the storm.

Rarity put down the length of gold fabric she was holding.

“I'm absolutely famished. Why don't we go out for lunch? I heard The Póison Apple has an absolutely wonderful Sunday brunch menu.”

Twilight's face scrunched up.

“The Poison Apple? Who would name a restaurant 'The Poison Apple'? That's a horrible name.”

“No, no, no. It's not 'Poison'. It's 'Póison'.”

“Póison?”

“Yes, póison.”

“What's that, French?”

Rarity shrugged.

“I have no idea, but it sounds wonderful.”

“You don't know?! What if they just lazily added an accent mark onto one of the letters?”

Rarity huffed.

“It's not that important, Twilight. Regardless as to their name, their food is simply divine. Poison or no poison.”

Twilight looked out the window at the storm.

“Even if I wasn't hesitant about the name, that storm's looking pretty fierce. We should just wait until they clear it up.”

“But Rainbow said it wouldn't let up until later this evening.”

“We could just make our own lunch?”

“My kitchen is still recovering from the last time Sweetie Belle stepped foot in it. Besides,” Rarity levitated over a pair of rain ponchos, “we can try out the new ponchos I designed.”

“Alright, then. The Poison Apple it is.”

Rarity glared lightly at Twilight.

*********

The storm had proven to be quite a soaker, with heavy winds, an unrelenting downpour, and occasional lightning filling the sky. Still, it wasn't so severe as to impair life in Ponyville. As Twilight and Rarity quickly made their way to the Póison Apple, other ponies also hastily made their way to their own destinations. While the storm wasn't horribly bad, that didn't mean anypony wanted to be out in it.

The two made their way into the Póison Apple. A “please seat yourself” sign placed next the front counter signaled them to find a seat. They sat in a booth next to one of the windows.

“I wonder what they have to drink.”

“I'm sure they carry the standard fare.”

A waiter arrived and deposited two menus and some utensils.

“What can I get you two to drink?”

“I'll have apple juice.”

“Water with lemon, please.”

“Alright, I'll be back momentarily with your drinks and to take your order if you’re ready.”

While the waiter went to get their drinks, Twilight and Rarity contemplated their options.

“Oh, the stir fry looks absolutely scrumptious.”

Twilight looked over her menu.

“Yes it does, but I'm in more of a sandwich mood.” Twilight scanned the menu's sandwich section looking for one that was appealing, “Aha! I'm going to get the Club with hay fries. What about you?”

“Ooh, I simply cannot pass up that stir fry. It's like it's calling me.”

Twilight rolled her eyes just as the waiter returned with their beverages.

“Are you two ready to order?”

“Yes. I'll have the club with hay fries.”

“Alrighty, and for you?”

“I will have the mushroom stir fry.”

“Very well then. It'll be ready shortly.”

“Thanks.”

“Thank you.”

The waiter nodded before leaving.

“So tell me, Twilight. What have you been doing these past few days? Aside from Pinkie's party, I don't think I've seen you.”

“You know...busy.”

'Waking up an alicorn. Nearly getting killed by Rainbow Dash. Almost having a stress induced stroke several times—you know, 'busy'.'

Rarity chuckled lightly.

“I do know. What with Fancypants commissioning some dresses, I've had quite a bit of work recently. Then there was that sleepover that Sweetie Belle and her demo—I mean, friends, had. It really has been a stressful week, hasn't it?”

'Tell me about it.'

“It sure has.”

“Next week's looking to be even more stressful—for the both of us—with me having another fifteen dresses—that's on top of my current orders, mind you—and you have your trip to Canterlot.”

“I just hope it isn't too stressful.”

'I don't think my heart or my head can take much more.'

“I'm sure it will be positively splendid. Just think, all that attention focused on you. You'll be the mane event.”

“Was that a pun?”

Rarity fluffed her mane nervously.

“O-Of course not. I would never stoop to that level.”

Twilight smirked.

“Uh huh, sure.”

“I will confess that I am somewhat jealous, though.”

“Jealous? Of me going to Canterlot? That's ridiculous.”

“Oh? You get to testify to them. Testify. Only the most import ponies are able to do that.”

“Have you ever seen a session of Parliament?”

“Well, no, I haven't. You make it sound awful. It can't be that bad.”

“Let me put it this way: I would have had Pinkie's clones watch a session of Parliament, but I didn't want them to suffer.”

“She says after shooting them with a bolt of magic, causing them to swell like grotesque balloons before popping.”

“Hey, didn't you read the most recent addition of Arcane Magic Quarterly? They already determined that the clones were non-sentient magical constructs. You better watch out, you're sounding more and more like Spike.”

“Perhaps he's rubbing off on me.”

“With all the time he spends with you, I wouldn't be surprised.”

Rarity glanced to her side and noticed the waiter returning with their food.

“Oh look, our food's ready.”

Twilight looked surprised.

“That was quick. Can't complain.”

The waiter placed their food on the table.

“Thank you.” they both said.

The waiter nodded before departing once more.

“Let's eat.”

“Let's.”

-----

Twilight leaned back in her seat.

“That was good.”

Rarity tried not to show her fullness as obviously as Twilight.

“Indeed it was. I can't believe you weren't able to finish your sandwich, though.”

The purple unicorn looked down at the carry out box that held her left overs.

“I don't want to overeat. Especially since it's only lunch.”

Rarity levitated the check up.

“I can get this.”

Twilight's telekinesis overpowered Rarity's and moved the check over to herself.

“No no no. I'll get it. I have more bits than I know what to do with.”

Rarity opened her mouth to protest but Twilight had already gotten up and walked to the counter to pay.

-----

Twilight and Rarity put on their ponchos and headed outside. The rain had lessened considerably and was now only a light sprinkling. Every so often a low rumble of thunder was heard. The two made their way back to the Carousal Boutique.

“Looks like the storm is starting to break.”

“Strange, I could have sworn Rainbow said it would last all day.”

“They probably ran out of moisture again. Isn't that what happened to the last storm?”

“I don't know. I never pay much attention to weather news.”

“It's really quite fasci—” Twilight's telekinetic hold on her left overs faltered and she felt a strange tingling sensation on her fur, “What the—”

Rarity fell to the ground as she was blinded by a bright flash and an ear splitting noise. She looked around, dazed.

“Wh-What happened?”

Her eyes focused on Twilight, who was lying on her side, unconscious. Portions of her fur were scorched with burn marks and her poncho was in tatters.

“T-Twilight!”

The white unicorn wobbly stood up and rushed over to the unicorn.

“Twilight, wake up.”

She gently rustled Twilight in an attempt to wake her up. Her attempt was successful.

“Ushghesfh, huh?”

“Twilight! We have to get you back to the Boutique. I-I think you may have just been struck by lightning.”

Twilight eyes widened.

“Lightning!”

“Easy, Twilight. Let's slowly get going.”

Rarity and Twilight hobbled their way back to the Boutique.

'Struck by lightning. It's like the universe is conspiring against me.'

*********

The two made their way into the Boutique just as the rain began to pick back up.

“Let's lie you down on the chaise lounge and get that poncho off.”

Twilight lay down on her belly while Rarity grabbed a pair of scissors.

“We should really get you to the doctor.”

No—I mean, no. That's okay. I'm fine.”

'If I didn't need to go to one when I hit the ground from a thousand feet in the air, I don't need one now.'

Rarity cut away at what was left of the poncho, causing it to fall away from Twilight. A moment later, scissors fell to the ground and Twilight heard Rarity gasp loudly.

“What!? What is it? Is it bad?”

Twilight turned her head and saw Rarity staring at her back with wide eyes. Twilight looked over her shoulder at her backside and saw her two lavender wings neatly tucked at her side.

'Oh no.'

She quickly got up and faced the shocked unicorn.

“N-Now, Rarity. I-I can explain.”

'Lie! The last time you told one of your friends, you ended up unconscious for a day!'

Before Twilight could come up with a good lie, she saw Rarity's eyes glisten.

'Uh-oh.'

“I-It's not what you think!”

Rarity approached Twilight.

“'Not what I think?' So, you're saying you don't have wings, then?”

'Yes! You don't. Lie!'

“Well—um—ah.”

“Of course you have wings. That lightning bolt must have disrupted any illusion magic you were using, so they're obviously real. Real wings! A-And a horn. Wings and a horn.” Rarity started pacing rapidly, “Do you know what this means?!”

“That I seem incapable of catching even the smallest of breaks?”

The white unicorn hugged the purple alicorn.

“No, it means one of my personal friends is a member of the most elite social group in Equestria. I'm friends with royalty.” The white unicorn rubbed her forehooves together, “Just think of the possibilities: the parties, the jealous glares, the wealth.” She stopped and put a hoof to her chin, “I suppose it is a little unbecoming to ride on the coat tails of another. Oh, but that hasn't stopped anypony before!”

'See? What did I tell you? You could have lied your way out of this. Lying's always preferred. Saying otherwise is just a lie that ponies tell so they can keep lying.'

“I-It's like a dream come true! I'm just so happy—for you, of course—that I could just, just...”

Rarity took a deep breath.

'Oh no.'

-----

Rainbow Dash and the Weather Team were hard at work several thousand feet above the ground, insuring that the storm went off without a hitch.

Dash rubbed her ears.

“That's weird.”

Cloudchaser flew up next to her carrying several buckets of pea shaped ice.

“I got that hail you wanted. What's wrong?”

Dash shook her head.

“Huh? Oh, nothing. I could have sworn I just heard Rarity screaming, but it must have been the wind from the storm. Now, get that ice into the updraft! This storm's still got three hours left and I want to make the most of it.”

“Yes, ma'am.”

-----

Twilight clenched her teeth and rubbed her ears to make the ringing go away.

'Great, now you can add deafness to your list of problems.'

“And to think I dismissed Sweetie Belle's ramblings as the overactive imagination of a foal.”

'What was that about Sweetie Belle? Never mind. You've got more important problems right now.'

Rarity's grin suddenly faltered.

“Hold on one moment. How long have you been royalty!? Twilight, if you've been an alicorn this whole time, and you didn't tell me, I will be very wroth with you.”

“No, no, no!” Twilight broke the hug, “I-It just happened the other day. And I'm not royalty!”

Rarity looked offended.

“Of course you are. Do you know of any other winged unicorns who aren't royalty?”

“W-Well, no.”

“And do know of any winged unicorns that aren't extremely important?”

“N-N-No.

“What's the matter, Twilight?”

Twilight rushed up to Rarity.

“Don't you see? I don't want to be royalty. I grew up in Canterlot and if there's one thing Princess Celestia taught me, it's to never get involved in that city's politics or nobility.”

The white unicorn took several steps back.

“But, what are you going to do once everypony finds out? You can't expect them to just leave you alone.”

Several stands of Twilight's mane sprung out of place.

“That's just it, they won't find out. No pony will! Once I finish testifying before Parliament and get back here, I'll figure out exactly how this all happened and find a way to reverse it. Then I can go back to having a perfectly ordinary life.”

Rarity's eyes widened once again.

“You would turn down all that power and prestige just to have an ordinary life?”

“I would. You don't understand what being an alicorn entails. You've never spent hours and hours with the Princess. All the paperwork. The long, tedious hours of negotiating with those stuck up nobles.” Twilight looked down, “The guilt that you hold for all the bad decisions you've made.”

“Guilt?”

“A thousand years can be a long time.”

Rarity brushed the comment off, still determined to change Twilight's mind.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Y-You can't just pass it up.”

“Watch me.”

The white unicorn decided to try a different tactic.

“What about all the things you could do? All the research.”

“I don't need to do everything and I'll be doing plenty of research when I figure out how to reverse this.”

“And what happens if you can’t?”

“I will.”

'I have to.'

End of Chapter Nine.

Author's Note:

But...but, with an Author Note feature, I won't be able to claim the first comment anymore! Oh well.

It wouldn't truly be a "Twilight Becomes an Alicorn" fanfic if it didn't take me a month to write a chapter, now would it? Joking aside, I am sorry for taking so long. As a reader of many a fanfic, I know the feeling of waiting for a chapter or completely forgetting what was going on in a story and having to go back and look over the previous chapter to jog my memory because the author took so long I forgot. What's worse is that I don't even have an excuse. It wasn't writer's block, it was just me being lazy. Look on the bright side: the filler is now over and the plot can finally get underway once more.

Why's Sweetie Belle acting weird? You'll have to read the spin-off to find out.

As before, don't forget to check out this chapter's deleted scene as well.

Also, a special thanks to CvBrony, for giving me the idea to use Google Docs. No more manually inserting the BB Code in each chapter for me. You should really go read his fanfic. There may not be any references to it in Ascend, but there's going to be plenty of room for it in the sequel.

Here's to hoping the next chapter doesn't take a month to write.

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