• Published 16th Nov 2012
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Address Unknown - remedy



Derpy's suffered scorn for a mold she doesn't fit. Will a chance meeting change her life for the better?

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28. Valuing Unity

Chapter 28 – Valuing Unity

By the time Derpy returned to the library, she found the ground floor deserted with the exception of Applejack, asleep on the couch, with her bruised shoulder supported by several extra pillows. She eased the front door shut, glancing at the dozing orange mare with a mixture of thankfulness and guilt for the injury that Applejack had taken to protect her from harm.

She walked as quietly as she could through the room, heading toward the bedroom for some long deserved rest, as well as some quiet time with Twilight. As she walked up the stairs, though, something soft hit her in the back of the head. She turned questioningly to see Spike at the base of the stairs, looking up at her somewhat sheepishly. Derpy’s gaze dropped to see something small dropping back down the stairs.

A smirk crossed her face at the ball of wadded up socks that Spike had thrown at her. She looked at him slyly, and he stepped back slightly in apprehension.

“I’m sorry, Derpy, Applejack told me I had to do that when you got back.” He looked at the floor, his brow creasing as he thought. “I still have no idea why she wanted me to, I guess it’s some inside joke I missed.” He shrugged, shaking his head. “Sometimes I just don’t understand you guys.” He turned and trudged back toward his own bed, now situated in a cozy study to the side of the library. He stifled a yawn. “G’night, Derpy.”

“Good night, Spike.” She smiled after the dragon, then returned her gaze to the crumpled ball at the base of the stairs. After a moment’s thought, she giggled, picking up the socks.

“Heh, it was their idea, after all.”

Derpy made her way to the bedroom, slipping through the door silently and closing it behind her. Her gaze found Twilight quickly, nestled under the covers, facing away from her. She playfully tossed the socks onto Twilight, who gave a small jolt of surprise, both from the unexpected gift that bounced off her side, and also from the fact that she was no longer alone – Derpy’s entrance had been so quiet that Twilight had not even noticed. The unicorn eyed the socks warily, turning toward Derpy and raising an eyebrow at her.

The pegasus chuckled as she trotted over to the bed. “A present from Applejack, delivered to the back of my head by one small purple dragon.”

She gave Twilight a coy smile as she climbed into the bed, sliding beneath the blanket and sighing slightly at the warmth of the unicorn’s coat against her own, though a wince ran over her face as her bruised body settled into relaxation. “Would you mind if we spent just a little quiet time together, though?” She shifted a little uncomfortably. “There was so much going on earlier that I didn’t really notice, but now that everything is settling down I’m starting to feel a bit sore.”

Twilight gave a slight smile and offered a gentle nuzzle to her marefriend’s cheek.

“That’s actually what I was thinking, as well,” she admitted softly. “To be honest, I’m still recovering a bit.”

Twilight inched closer to her lover, breathing out a soft sigh as the downy feathers of Derpy’s wing lightly tickled her side. She stretched out a hoof and placed it lightly over the silky wing, enjoying the soft feeling underneath her hoof. Her eyes darted over Derpy’s face, watching for any sign of pain she might be causing, but was relieved to find that her marefriend was smiling at her serenely through half-lidded eyes.

The two mares lay in pleasant relaxation, gently stroking and caressing each other in affection, though neither was actively attempting to arouse the other. Twilight had become focused on soft massages, running her hooves over Derpy’s body in search of tender areas and giving lightly pressured rubs to ease the soreness when she found them.

The pegasus responded in deeply relaxed sighs and quiet moans of relief at the treatment of her bruised and aching muscles. She leaned forward slightly, slowly peppering kisses and nibbles along Twilight’s head and neck while the unicorn continued her massage. A light glow began emanating from Twilight’s horn, causing Derpy to blearily open her eyes by a fraction, but they remained open for only a moment before she melted back into blissful comfort as the magical aura pulsed soothing warmth over the spots Twilight was actively attending.

Derpy pressed forward farther, groaning softly into Twilight’s shoulder, her body giving slight shudders of satisfaction with her partner’s efforts. She hummed in contentment, moving upward slightly, nuzzling further into Twilight’s cheek and giving a light nip to the base of her ear.

“You’re perfect, you know,” Derpy purred into Twilight’s ear. “Absolutely wonderful.”

The unicorn gave a short pause at the statement, and Derpy could feel Twilight’s hesitation before she quietly resumed her soothing rubs.

Derpy slowly propped herself up on her foreleg and rubbed her muzzle along Twilight’s cheek.

“Twi, is everything alright?” she asked tentatively.

She replied only with a short “Mhm,” though Derpy noticed that Twilight was intentionally avoiding direct eye contact as she gave her answer.

Derpy looked at Twilight, searching her face for some glimpse of what the unicorn may be thinking. Though she couldn’t place a hoof on anything specific, it didn’t take much to notice that something was bothering Twilight.

She prodded Twilight lightly with a hoof. “Come on, Twi. I can tell something’s upsetting you. If something’s wrong, please don’t try to hide it.”

Twilight pulled back from Derpy for a moment with a deep and heavy sigh. Their muzzles lightly touched as she looked searchingly into the pegasus’ eyes. A touch of sadness crept into her voice.

“I just can’t understand how you can tell me I’m perfect or wonderful after all I did tonight. I really am sorry for everything that happened. I know you all forgave me, but I still can’t help but feel guilty for it.”

Derpy lightly shook her head and placed a small peck on the tip of Twilight’s muzzle. “Don’t.” She gave the unicorn a genuine smile. “I think you really are perfect and wonderful, even if you might not feel like it all the time. But, I do think it would be a good idea for us to talk about what happened tonight, or else it’s going to keep worrying you and eating away at your confidence.”

Derpy let her eyes drift shut as she felt Twilight’s hooves gently close around her, pulling her closer, and she shuffled the covers as she returned the hug and extended a wing to drape over the unicorn.

“Twi, I know it won’t be easy to hear, but I can’t lie about it, either. I was scared of you tonight, and I can’t pretend that I wasn’t. I’ve never seen you like that before, and I didn’t know what was going on. The idea that you might hurt us was terrifying.” She felt Twilight tightening her embrace, tensing up under Derpy’s wing at the statement.

Twilight’s tone dropped into despondency as she spoke softly in response. “I know that I could have hurt you all tremendously tonight, and you can’t imagine how glad I am that what I did was relatively minor to what it could have been. Please, Derpy, believe me when I tell you that I would never, ever try to hurt you.” Her voice rose into a desperate, feverish pitch as her apology gained momentum. “Not you, not any of the girls, not Spike, nopony. It just… happened – I didn’t even know what was going on, and I would have stopped it if I had mmmphhh-”

Derpy forced Twilight into silence with a quickly placed kiss directly over her mouth, returning the unicorn to the moment and restoring a piece of the calm that had been lost. Slowly, Derpy pulled herself from the impromptu kiss, praying to Celestia that Twilight wouldn’t instantly start where she had left off. Thankfully, the unicorn sat stunned for a moment, allowing Derpy the chance to put Twilight’s fears to rest.

“Twilight, it was only frightening when everything started. Before you left to think, I was scared because I had never seen you react like that before. Thankfully, Applejack was able to explain your behaviors and quirks to me, so I know now that you would never have done that willingly. It was just so surreal, because I never really knew the extent of your magical ability. I knew you were a powerful unicorn, of course – one that nopony else could even come close to in ability – but last night I got a glimpse of just how powerful you can be.”

Twilight nodded slightly, looking dejected. “I know; my magic is strong, and it would scare anypony to have seen that.”

Derpy thought a moment. “Well, I think you’re right, but only partially.”

Twilight looked at her with a puzzled expression.

“Anypony who had seen your magic tonight would have been terrified. I know that I was; but the emphasis is on was. I know now that you weren’t trying to do any of it – it was all an involuntary release of your abilities, brought on by a surge of emotion.”

Derpy looked sheepish for a moment. “Likely a surge of emotion that had to do with both me and Princess Celestia.”

Twilight nodded thoughtfully. “I really didn’t get so upset until you said that you were willing to give up your lifelong dream of having normal eyesight, just so I could get along with the princess.” She gave Derpy another tight squeeze. “You’re infinitely more important to me than anypony else, and I wanted to make you happy regardless of the cost…”

Her eyes dropped in shame. “And all that chaos happened because I wasn’t willing to give up on making you happy. You were the only one that mattered, and I wasn’t going to let anypony else prevent me from keeping my goal of making your dream come true. That’s when I lost control.”

Derpy ran her hoof down from Twilight’s mane, sweeping it back and forth across her flank in a soothing motion. “I know that now, Twi. The problem was that I didn’t know it then, and so it frightened me. But… there was something worse that worried me much, much more.”

Twilight looked at Derpy in confusion. “What could possibly have worried you more than having random objects bursting into flame and being thrown around the room?”

Derpy gave a little shrug. “You probably won’t believe me, but if you want me to be truthful, I’ll tell you.” Twilight gave an interested nod. “It scared me to be in danger, but it was worse – so much worse – to think what might happen to our relationship as a consequence.”

Derpy tightened her grasp. “I didn’t understand you like your friends do. I still don’t, to be honest. When I fell in love with you, I felt a connection to you, and I knew that I wanted to be with you forever, but that didn’t give me instant knowledge of your past.”

Twilight giggled slightly through a sniffle of emotion. “Silly. I wouldn’t expect it to.”

“It would have made all the difference in how I responded, though,” Derpy replied. “There’s so much more that our friends know about you than I do, but that’s okay with me. They’ve been with you for so much longer, and have been through so much with you, that they understand how you think and react. They let me know how you think, how you’ve reacted in the past to stressful situations, and that gave me the reassurance I needed. Knowing that your emotion for me was a trigger for a loss of control… It reminded me just how much I mean to you.”

She ran a hoof along Twilight’s cheek, feeling a trace of wet fur where it touched.

“Twilight, I love you, and I know you love me back. That’s the most important thing I need to know. It may have been frightening, but I learned a lot about you tonight, and I’m thankful for that. There’s so much more for us to learn about each other, but that can only come with time. The good news is that we have all the time in the future to do that. Tonight was a reminder that love’s lessons can be difficult sometimes. Every relationship has its stumbling blocks; this time, it was a tough lesson for me, and I’m sure that, sooner or later, you’ll learn plenty of lessons about me, too. The important thing is that we learn those lessons, and if we work through them together, remembering that we love each other, then everything will turn out fine.”

Twilight looked deep into Derpy’s eyes, though her vision was blurred through tears. Her voice came out as a whisper, and was filled with emotion. She hugged Derpy tightly. “What did I ever do to deserve somepony as wonderful and understanding as you?”

Derpy returned the hug and ran a hoof gently through Twilight’s mane, letting the strands lightly cascade over her hoof as it moved.

“Twilight, you don’t earn love. It’s not something that’s deserved; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. If I loved you only because of something you were doing, it wouldn’t really be love. Continuing to love somepony in difficult times, even though something might have gone wrong or been hurtful – loving somepony in spite of their faults – that’s when you know you really love them. Love is freely given, and I have plenty of it to give.”

Her words trailed off as Twilight sniffled with emotion. Lightly, Derpy pulled the unicorn’s muzzle to her own in a soft, tender kiss, and she felt Twilight’s anxiety and fears melt away in the intimate gesture. She slowly trailed her hoof from Twilight’s muzzle, sweeping it across her cheek and through her mane, lingering teasingly over her neck, and then brushing it down her withers and back, finally bringing it to rest over the stars decorating Twilight’s flank.

Twilight shuddered at the cascading touches, and the sensations mingled with her already heightened emotions to elicit a surge of passion that she wouldn’t have thought possible. She teased her own hooves around Derpy’s back, stroking at the base of her wings, causing the pegasus to gasp intensely.

Derpy’s wings spread quickly, stiffening enough to turn their blankets into a makeshift tent, drawing an amused giggle from Twilight. Derpy tried her best to pout at Twilight, which was rather difficult considering the ragged breaths she was drawing in.

“Wh… What’s so funny?” she demanded shakily, utterly failing in her attempt to sound threatening.

Twilight gave another giggle, sensuously brushing her hoof along the pegasus’ primaries, causing Derpy’s head to snap back in bliss, her eyes rolling back and tongue poking slightly through her panting lips as she quivered from the unexpected jolt of pleasure. Twilight could already feel a warm trickle of liquid brushing across her thigh, and she smirked at the gray mare next to her.

Derpy grinned back, momentarily coming to her senses. “That’s not fair, Twi… you’d better be careful, or I’ll have to get those socks, and Celestia only knows where they’ve been.” She gave a low growl, ignoring any lingering soreness in her muscles as she pounced onto Twilight, turning the bed into a writhing mass of squeaking and moaning blankets, fur, and feathers.

The librarian’s bedroom became a scene of increasing heat and excitement, one of which lasted long into the night. It was fortunate for the other residents sleeping within the library that the bedroom door was shut tightly, muffling the increasing noises from inside. If it had not been, they may have been rudely awakened in the middle of the night – Applejack’s donated ball of socks sat at the foot of the bed, completely ignored.

****************

The clock ticked loudly, echoing through the bedroom with each passing second. Derpy lay under the blankets, staring at the ceiling vacantly. She had woken at her normal time, her body unaware that she did not need to report in to work. Now that she was awake, however, her mind swam with anxiety over what the coming day would bring. Her nerves were frayed from anticipation, and though she would have liked nothing more than to fall back to sleep, she felt wide awake.

A gradual humming noise drew her attention – a short yet familiar sound drifted to her ears, drowning out the ticking of the clock and soothing her considerably. Twilight rolled over in the bed, still breathing heavily in her sleep as she let out a contented sigh and placed a hoof across Derpy’s chest, snuggling as close as she possibly could.

The unconscious affection shown by Twilight calmed Derpy, her heart rate dropping to normal and a sense of peace falling over her. Her mind desperately tried to cling to her fears and worries, but Twilight always seemed to give her the warmth and strength she needed, whether Twilight intended to or not.

Derpy shifted her way down the bed, wriggling imperceptibly until her head was level with Twilight’s chest, the unicorn’s hoof moving over her lover’s neck from the movement. Derpy lay in silence, no longer hearing the agonizing tick of the clock, but listening instead to the slow, steady heartbeat emanating from the mare beside her.

Her gaze shifted from the ceiling to Twilight, mesmerized as she watched the mare’s chest rise and fall in tranquility and still enjoying the warmth given by the sleeping embrace. She turned from her back to her side, draping a wing over Twilight in a returned gesture of fondness, and slowly felt her eyes growing heavy. Her best friend was with her, and she had no reason to be nervous. Her anxiety faded away with the hypnotic sounds of heartbeats mixed with breathing, and with no effort at all, Derpy peacefully fell asleep in the relaxing embrace of her marefriend.

Derpy gradually awoke much later. Not yet willing to open her eyes in the intense light that pervaded the room, she blindly groped around the bed, searching for soft lavender fur to pull herself into. Disappointingly, she found none, discovering after several short, painful blinks that she was alone in the bed. She glanced around the room, squinting, as her eyes grew accustomed to the bright sunlight shining around her. Finally able to see in her paradoxically clear yet fuzzy vision, she found that aside from her, the room was empty.

She could, however, hear the sound of lively chatter in the library below, catching snippets of her friends’ voices as they enjoyed each other’s company. She stood by the door, amused by the conversation. A sharp and indignant tone reached her ears, and she recognized instantly that it belonged to Rarity.

“Honestly, will nopony tell us what’s going on? All Rainbow Dash told me was that I absolutely had to be here today, but she wouldn’t say why in Equestria that was.” An indignant huff was clearly audible through the bedroom door. “I daresay she refused to tell me simply to spite me; she certainly seemed to take great pleasure in my frustration.”

Derpy eased the door open, slowly exiting the bedroom in hopes of not being noticed. While she wanted to hear what was going on without disrupting them, she knew it would be rude to eavesdrop. Silently walking along toward the main lobby, she heard a low, almost indiscernible murmur, followed by an overdramatic gasp that obviously had to have come from a certain ivory-coated unicorn.

“It is most certainly not alright, Fluttershy. If one is to be so crass as to interrupt a lady’s work, then they at least owe them a proper explanation,” Rarity snorted. “I mean, she didn’t even tell me what had happened to her mane!” She stomped her hoof in frustration. “Really, Twilight, why won’t you let us in on your little secret already? Something clearly happened to Rainbow Dash and Applejack last night,” she motioned to the couch-ridden farmpony, whose bruising had intensified overnight.

“She already told ya, Rarity, we ain’t gonna say anythin’ till everypony’s here, and Dash ain’t got back with Pinkie yet.” Applejack looked at Rarity crossly.

“Wrong wrongity wrong wrong wrong!” a singsong voice piped out, accompanied by a vibrant, bouncing, bubblegum-pink pony through the front door. Pinkie hopped merrily through, followed by a ragged looking pegasus. “Dashie and I hurried here as fast as we could! Well, I had to make a few detours on the way, but we hurried to those, too,” she chirped, while Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes.

“She wouldn’t stop getting distracted for an instant,” Dash complained through gritted teeth.

“Well, duh, I had so much to do this morning! Twilight isn’t the only pony that’s allowed to have a to-do list, you know,” Pinkie retorted, looking affronted at Rainbow Dash’s insinuation that her errands were trivial.

“First, I had to get coffee and some donuts for breakfast from Mr. and Mrs. Cake, and then I had to get some more coffee and donuts, because you can never have too much of those,” the confectioner began.

“Celestia knows we wouldn’t want you to have less caffeine and sugar,” Rainbow Dash interrupted flatly. The other mares suppressed a laugh as Pinkie Pie nodded vigorously at Dash’s comment, completely oblivious to the dripping sarcasm.

Applejack poked Twilight in the side. “It’s no wonder after all that stuff she got her twitchy Pinkie Sense, ain’t it?”

Twilight giggled as quietly as she could.

“I know! I have to have plenty of all that fun, wonderfully great goodness before I can start my day, and then I had to head to the joke shop lickity-split because I needed to get more confetti and noisemakers and those little fireworks that you don’t know they’re there but they are, and then they go all skreeeeeeeee really loud. Wait. Rarity, you’re not supposed to know I got those. Forget I said anything about them, and they definitely don’t make a lot of noise that would wake you up in the middle of the night, so it’s really nothing and you have absolutely nothing to worry about. But then…”

Pinkie continued rambling along with her morning’s description while Rainbow Dash tried as hard as she could to not break out in screams of laughter at the nervous tics Rarity had suddenly developed at Pinkie’s last comment.

“And Dashie kept pushing me and telling me we had to keep going, for pony’s sake, but I had to stop by the market because I think I’m getting a rash or something on my flank because last night it got all hot and funny feeling on my cutie mark, so I wanted to see if they had any creams or anything – ”

“Wait, what?” Rarity snapped out of her trembling fits at Pinkie’s mention of her cutie mark. “What do you mean, your cutie mark got all ‘hot and funny feeling’?” she inquired tremulously.

Pinkie Pie shrugged. “I dunno, it got kinda warm and tingly and I felt kinda dizzy and fuzzy.” She watched as both Rarity and Fluttershy’s faces echoed something akin to panic.

“Omigosh, don’t tell me you gals felt that way, too! Everypony get away from us, we’re contagious with rashy cutiemarkitis or something!” Pinkie Pie bolted out the door only to instantly zip back in wearing a full hazmat outfit. If it had been possible, Rarity would have blanched even whiter than she normally was; Fluttershy, on the other hand, simply fainted.

Incapable of containing themselves any further, Twilight and Rainbow Dash fell to the floor in laughter, while Applejack had flopped to her back on the couch in a mixture of riotous snorts and yelps of pain from her shoulder. The pink and white mares stared at them as though they had gone mad, and the floored yellow pegasus floated back into cognizance.

Unable to leave her new friends in confused distress, Derpy rounded the corner, a sheepish smile on her face.

“Uh, good morning, girls.”

Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity turned to face Derpy; Twilight, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash merely continued their amused chortling.

Derpy poked at the floor with her hoof, slightly embarrassed to have unwittingly been the cause of such panic.

“You really don’t need to worry about it – you all had a weird warm feeling in your cutie marks last night, when mine finished its change…” Derpy trailed off, realizing that neither Pinkie Pie nor Rarity had any idea what she was referring to. Fluttershy seemed to understand what she meant, and she looked at Derpy with a searching gaze.

“Waffa meem yow kuwie mock thaned?” Pinkie garbled through her still-fully worn suit. Rarity gave her an exasperated stare and rolled her eyes overdramatically. She walked slowly over to Derpy.

“I think what Pinkie was asking was ‘what do you mean, your cutie mark changed?’” Rarity looked thoroughly puzzled, as the yellow pile of pony-shaped rubber nodded enthusiastically at the unicorn’s translation.

“Well, it just sort of… started changing colors after I met you all,” Derpy blandly replied, not wanting to start in with a full explanation of the source before they had a chance to process what she meant. She slowly turned to the side, revealing the multifaceted mark to Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy. The bubbles adorning her flank shimmered in the light, causing the shocked ponies to drop their jaws in dumbfounded wonder.

“It started slowly at first,” Derpy explained, “so we weren’t really sure exactly why it was happening or what it meant.” She looked over the three ponies, noticing that, while Fluttershy and Pinkie were staring at her listening intently, Rarity hadn’t moved her eyes from the mark. She smiled to herself; it reminded her just how special it must be if it captivated Rarity that much.

“It took a little while, but Twilight was able to figure out what the changes meant – there is a bubble to represent each one of you, and they changed when you truly accepted me as a friend, just as I am.” She grinned. “Last night, I earned my own bubble for accepting myself as I am, as well. When that happened, it seems that all of you had a warm feeling pass through your cutie marks. My guess is that it was a signal of a completed bond between us all.”

She let the comment linger for a few moments, and giggled slightly at Rarity’s unwavering stare. “We could have Photo Finish take a picture for you, if you’d like, Rarity.”

Snickers broke out around the room as Rarity turned away with a blush. “I can’t help it if your cutie mark is gorgeous, dear. It just seems that I’m the only one here to truly appreciate its beauty.” She gave a resentful snort as she turned up her snout, trying to save her artistic pride.

“Ain’t no problem with that, Rarity. Dash had the same reaction last night, too,” Applejack added with a smirk aimed at the cyan pegasus. The snickers redoubled in strength as Rainbow Dash glared at Applejack angrily.

A small voice spoke up through the merriment, and Fluttershy turned to look at Derpy. “Speaking of last night – what happened, Derpy? I know you got hurt from bumping into a lot of things, but what happened to Applejack and Rainbow Dash?” Noticing the looks from her other friends, the yellow mare added, “Derpy delivered my mail last night, so I saw her bruises. That’s all that I know about, though.”

Derpy shifted uncomfortably as all eyes returned to her, and she seemed to take great interest in a smudge on her hoof as she stared downward, attempting to evade the gaze of her friends. She heard a heavy sigh and hoofsteps and looked up to see Twilight stepping forward, looking deflated.

“That was my fault,” she said dejectedly. She closed her eyes, trying to avoid having to face her friends as she admitted the previous night’s events. Even though she had accepted that it had gone beyond her control, and knew that she had been forgiven, it still pained her to confess her actions.

“Princess Celestia sent letters to both Derpy and me last night. I got my letter first, but Derpy didn’t actually get hers until after I ended up hurting Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Spike.”

There was a small gasp from the group; none of them had noticed before that Spike wasn’t present until after Twilight mentioned him. She hurried along, noticing their concern.

“Spike is fine, but I gave him a pretty hard knock on the head. I expect he’s sleeping off a headache right now.” There was a sigh of relief from all around.

“Anyway,” Twilight continued, “most of my letter seemed to be congratulations for Derpy and me, and also told us that Princess Celestia was very interested in Derpy’s cutie mark, but…” She let out another heavy sigh. “The last part of her letter told me that I had to stop all research on the spell we found for Derpy. I was not allowed to use it again, and the princess told us she intended to destroy all traces of it.”

Silence governed the library while Twilight gathered her courage to press on.

“We found out later, from Derpy’s letter, that there were many good reasons for her to do that, but… when I first read it, I kind of lost control. I didn’t know what was going on at all, but my magic went absolutely crazy. I threw things around the room, lit things on fire – it must have been absolute chaos. Derpy snapped me out it eventually, but the damage was already done.”

She lifted her head and gave a weak smile, opening her eyes to her gawking audience. “Thankfully, I have friends that are forgiving.” She gave an appreciative nod to Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Derpy, gazing for a bit longer at her marefriend with a still apologetic expression. Derpy returned the look with an encouraging smile.

Twilight turned her attention back toward the group of friends. “The reason you’re all here today is that Princess Celestia requested that you would be. After I wrote her an explanation and apology last night, she said she was going to visit today. She’s going to bring doctors to take a look at the damage I caused…” Her demeanor shifted to a guilty appearance, but she paused as Applejack gave her a reproving look.

“How many times do we gotta say it, sugarcube? We ain’t mad at ya.”

Twilight gave a slight smile in return and cleared her throat. “Anyway, the princess was coming to bring doctors, but she also wanted to meet Derpy. I suspect she has more reason for coming than that – if she was visiting for only those reasons, she wouldn’t have asked you all to be here – but I’m not sure what else she has in mind.”

Derpy walked over to Twilight, noticing the worried look showing on the unicorn’s face. She gave Twilight a light nuzzle on the neck in comfort, and the rest of the ponies quietly looked around uncomfortably, not entirely sure what to say.

A disconcerting stillness fell over the room. Nopony knew what to expect or what to say; Twilight was obviously nervous, and the atmosphere was increasingly awkward as the utter silence pressed around them. A few times somepony would try to introduce a topic, only to withdraw in hesitation moments later.

Derpy watched the uncomfortable scene before her. She had six friends here with her, yet nopony was talking. So much new information seemed to overload them all, and they simply stood at a loss.

A thought from the previous night’s activities flashed through her mind, and she gave a slight smile, stepping forward to break the tension.

“Does anypony have any amusing stories about Twilight to share?” A purple hoof gave her a light knock on the shoulder, and she turned around to see Twilight giving her a large grin.

“Picking on me again? You’re just a big meanie,” the unicorn teased.

Derpy giggled and gave Twilight a wink. “I can’t help it if you do all kinds of funny and crazy stuff. I’m glad you do, though. It makes everything more fun.”