• 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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3. Hope for the Hopeless

Chapter 3 – Hope for the Hopeless


Holding back tears, Derpy looked back at Twilight. She barely knew this pony. The unicorn was the most talented magic user in all of Ponyville, if not in all of Equestria. She, on the other hoof, was a mailpony, and a terrible one at that. How could she dare throw all of her burdens on this pony? She stared back at the floor. But, she reflected, after what she’s done for me… how she genuinely cares… how could I not? Her heart’s dam broke.

“Proud? I’m not proud.”

Her eyes clamped shut and she shook her head violently, her blonde mane thrashing fiercely with it. She looked back up to Twilight, seeing her look of concern mixed with mild confusion. “I’m not proud. I never have been and I never will be. I’m a failure, Twilight - a disaster waiting to happen. I’m the outcast with messed up eyes, a featherbrain, and the only time ponies will stay around me is when they want a front seat to the next catastrophe I’ll cause. I’m less than a nopony. Noponies don’t destroy town halls, demolish mail shipments, or drop pianos on other ponies’ heads.”

Twilight cringed at that.

Derpy looked straight at Twilight, and for a fleeting moment Twilight saw into those amber eyes. She saw despair and self loathing swimming around, about to overtake the pony sitting in front of her. They were waiting, eager to grab her and drag her down into the dark recesses they had stored in her soul when she was most vulnerable, to entrench her in their blackness forever. Twilight was frozen with fear and empathy for the pony sitting in front of her.

“Twilight, the reason I was down here doing my deliveries today was that I screwed up in Cloudsdale yesterday, too. I was sent here as a sort of initial demotion. After today, I may not even have a job anymore. All I’ll be is the comedic relief - the pony other ponies point and laugh at every time she falls, every mistake she makes. All that’ll be left is the… the featherbrained disaster with messed up eyes.”

Derpy broke completely, sobbing for what little she thought she was worth, and Twilight was not going to sit as a spectator any longer. She may not have had the incredible lack of luck Derpy seemed to possess, and thanks to Celestia, and Celestia only, she had friends now, but she was all too familiar with the feelings of awkwardness, of seclusion, and of the assurance that you’re very alone and will stay that way forever.

A fraction of a second was all that it took for this unfortunate pegasus’ situation to click into place in her mind, and she found herself rushing forward, pulling Derpy into a tight embrace silently. Her own eyes moistened with tears. No words needed to be spoken at that moment - no consolation, no empty encouragement, no arguing about what may have been right or wrong, just pure sorrow that could be shared between the two to lessen the pain that it brought.

They held each other and cried, until the tears carried the empty feelings away.

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

It had been several long hours for Spike. He absentmindedly picked at his teeth as he wound his way back to the Golden Oaks Library, reflecting on the past several hours as he attempted to dislodge a hardened chunk of Celestia knew what from a spot between his incisors. The first thing he had done that afternoon was deviate from Twilight’s instructions, though it took all his willpower to do something not endorsed by his librarian supervisor.

Spike had run, not for Sugarcube Corner immediately as instructed, but for the post office. He decided that, whatever it was that had happened, he and Twilight owed an explanation to the postmaster about the situation with Derpy, even though he truthfully couldn't give much information regarding the subject. The postmaster had seemed to be satisfied with the simple explanation that Spike and Twilight had literally run over Derpy, and that all parties involved were not hurt.

The postmaster had raised an eyebrow at the story, finding it a bit strange to have the announcement delivered to him by a gasping and somewhat frantic dragon. Nonetheless, he thanked Spike for informing him of the problem, as he was grateful to know that the accident was in no way the poor pegasus' fault.

Pinkie had accepted Twilight’s absence easily enough, knowing that if the unicorn couldn’t come to the appointment, it must have been for an important reason. That, however, did not stop her from forcing her occasionally nauseating creations on Spike, insisting that he ate double the amount to make up for her other missing test subject.

Many of her confections were good, he had to admit, but he had definitely saved Twilight from what surely would have been a twisted study into new meanings of the word misery. Whatever had possessed the baker to use mustard and oyster sauce as flavoring agents he couldn’t say, and in all honesty, he did not want to know. He had considered asking for extras of those atrocities to take home for Twilight, just to emphasize how much he had suffered for her, but he decided that losing indoor sleeping privileges was not worth the risk.

His stomach argued with gravity as he walked, trying to drag him to the ground for some needed rest, but the thought of his bed kept him upright, at least for the moment.

His thoughts strayed back to Derpy’s unexpected appearance, and he wondered what had been wrong in the first place. The rain had stopped since he'd left the library, so he figured that her job should be at least less damp now. Deciding it was none of his business, he swept it from his mind and continued on. After all, the only reason that he had been involved in the first place was for the fact that he happened to be present, since Twilight was dragging him along with her magic when the collision happened.

There was nothing extraordinary to notice as he approached the library, but he raised an eyebrow when he noticed two silhouettes through the window. Apparently whatever had happened earlier was enough of a reason for Derpy to remain with Twilight, and, considering his friend’s tendency to overreact, he silently hoped that she wasn't forcing Derpy to delay her delivery work for some arbitrary reason, such as discussion of post office organization or some other such drivel.

Spike also became aware that a quiet discussion going on inside had been temporarily halted as he walked up the path. He gave a small knock to announce his presence and hesitated for a moment, then opened the door and stepped inside.

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

Slowly but surely the mutual emotional outburst had worn itself out. Derpy’s crying eventually stopped, though not without several remaining whimpers and an occasional tear. Another surge of emotion ran through her body though as she realized what exactly was happening – she was sharing an undeserved but heartfelt hug with a pony she regarded in the highest esteem.

She felt a wave of heat flush her face as she slowly broke the hold Twilight had her in, being careful all the while not to look directly at the unicorn, in order to prevent this embarrassing blush from being noticed. She cleared her throat slightly, beginning to form an apology for her behavior while still staring at the floor.

“Twilight, I’m so s—”

The gentle press of a hoof over her muzzle silenced her. Startled, she looked up to see Twilight smiling at her. Derpy was suddenly struck by the fact that after several years of indifference toward her at best, she had received two very genuine smiles in a single day. That in itself mended her bleak outlook, although only slightly.

Twilight slowly withdrew her hoof and offered the dusty pony a meaningful response. In no way did she want to give the distraught and nervous mare a cliché answer that would result in nothing more than further awkward isolation.

“Derpy.” Their eyes met, at least mostly – as well as Derpy could manage, anyway - and Twilight continued. “You are not a failure or a featherbrain. I can tell deep down that you are a very kind and intelligent pony.”

Derpy adopted a very skeptical look. Twilight resisted the urge to roll her eyes before she went on.

“Trust me, Derpy. Most ponies out there don’t look at you for who you are. They see what they feel like seeing and then go on with the rest of their lives, oblivious to what hurt they may be causing. You need to look past that, because the ponies who don’t take the time to care, don’t deserve the satisfaction of making your life miserable.”

Derpy interrupted with what could best be described as resigned indignation. “How can you possibly…”

“Know that?” finished Twilight. “I know because up until two years ago, that was an exact description of me as well. Before I moved to Ponyville, I had one friend – Spike – and I treated him as more of a helper than a friend. I didn’t understand the effects that friendships can have on ponies, or how much they can infinitely change your life for the better.”

She paused, lost in a thought for an instant before resuming. “I think that this may be your first hurdle to a happy life - when you realize that your life is what you make of it, not what others tell you it is.”

She poked Derpy in the chest with her hoof as if to emphasize her point. “You need to start with finding a true friend - a friend who will share in your joys, sorrows, pains, and help lift you through the difficult times when they come.”

Derpy was speechless at the plain as day revelation was given to her, but she darkened at the mention of finding that one true friend.

“Twilight, you’ve seen what a mess I make of everything. You’ve seen the looks ponies give me. Where am I supposed to find a true friend when I can’t even find a pony that will put up with me for more than a day?”

This time, it was Twilight’s turn to blush.

“Well… ever since I came to Ponyville, I’ve made many friends, and I’m sure you know that Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie mean the world to me.” Twilight gave Derpy a small smile as the pegasus nodded. “I don’t think that there is a limit on the number of truly dear friends I can have, so... I’d be glad to have you as a close friend, too.”

Time came to a halt at this announcement, and both ponies went silent for a moment. As the meaning of Twilight's words sank in, Derpy’s jaw hit the floor, timed perfectly with the timid knock announcing that Spike had returned.


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

The dragon entered the room to a curious sight, to say the least. Mail was to be found everywhere in the library, hanging from strung lines or pressed under moisture adsorbent papers. His eyes swept the room, and he acknowledged that something important MUST have happened for Twilight to allow such a mess to desecrate her beloved library. That something, it seemed, was sitting on a couch next to Twilight.

Much to his chagrin, he noticed that apparently the important something was not over. Neither pony made any notice of the dragon’s presence, but what he could see was that Derpy was gaping at Twilight with glistening eyes and was obviously on the verge of tears.

Emotional crises were not things Spike went out of his way to participate in, and, judging from the look on Derpy’s face, this situation was definitely one that he did not want to be present for. Trying to avoid any involvement in the scene, he dashed up the stairs as silently as possible, closing the bedroom door behind him.

He heard a muffled cry from below, and decided that now was as good a time as ever to start a deep relationship with his pillow and blanket, and possibly a couple of earplugs.

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

On the ground floor of the library, Derpy felt the crimson burning return to her face along with newly forming wetness in the corners of her eyes. She gave one more sob, but it was subdued, a much quieter and shorter cry than before. This cry was different, and it felt unlike anything she had felt in a very long time. It was a cry of pure, blissful emotion, created from the joyous realization that finally somepony had listened to her, understood her, and still eagerly offered friendship regardless of what misfortune the ashen pony would surely bring in the future.

She surged forward, once again enveloping Twilight in a hug that was so strong it surprised both of them. She buried her muzzle into Twilight’s mane, eyes clamped shut and whispering over and over a simple phrase that most ponies voiced with no meaning behind it. Only the unicorn in her grasp could truly appreciate the significance of the almost inaudible murmur of “Thank you.”

After several minutes, the two mares released their grips on each other and sat back, each continuing to look directly at the other. Derpy had a much lazier smile on her face now. All tension, worry, and self-doubt had dissipated into an ethereal vapor that was being whisked away bit by bit.

“You’re very welcome, Derpy,” Twilight replied, almost breathlessly.

Regaining some composure, she continued. “If you don’t mind stopping by the library every once in a while, I would love to spend some more time with you.” It suddenly occurred to her that her statement might have sounded… well… suggestively flirtatious at best. “That is, if you wouldn’t mind stopping over to have some tea and talk a bit,” she quickly added, a slight pink tinge adorning her cheeks.

Derpy grinned wildly and gave a vigorous nod. “I’d love to! Can I stop by tomorrow afternoon after I’m done… with… my rounds…” She trailed off, realizing with horror that she still hadn’t finished delivering all her mail that day.

Twilight caught on quickly, offering a fast, “I wouldn’t mind you coming by tomorrow at all. Now, let’s get out there and finish off your day’s work. I think your letters are, for the most part, clean and dry by now, and with me giving you a helping hoof, we should be able to finish on time.”

Derpy beamed at the offer.

Twilight gathered all the letters up into a purple stack and deposited half of them into Derpy’s mailbag and the other half into her own saddlebags. Opening the door, the two mares headed out into Ponyville side by side, the beginnings of friendly, idle banter floating between the new friends.