• Published 1st Dec 2012
  • 14,621 Views, 259 Comments

Winter's Warmth - NeonEclipse

Even in the coldest of winter days, warmth can be found. TwiDash shipping.

  • ...

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Rainbow Dash shrunk into herself and tightened her wings around her as she trudged through the foot-high snow that was already on the road, her light blue coat and multi-colored mane sticking out against the powdery white covering the streets and buildings.


Freezing cold.

Still more was coming down, blowing in her face and tossing her mane as the wind blew through it. The snow wasn't going to stop anytime soon either, it would be snowing for the rest of the day and through the night too.

She would know, she had been one of the pegasi that put the storm clouds together as part of the weather team. With the snow coming down in sheets and the wind picking up, this was shaping up to be one of the coldest days of winter.

And it was still early in the season.

She had been flying earlier, but the cold made her wings lock up and she fell into a drift of snow that had been below her. Now she was half frozen, damp, and miserable as she walked through the streets of Ponyville. It was already late in the afternoon and it would only get colder from here as the sun went down.

She took a second to stop and shake the snow out of her rainbow mane. An almost pointless effort considering that at the rate it was falling, she would be coated again in a minute.

“S-stupid snow.”

She would be at her home right now, any sensible pony would be indoors at a time like this, but staying there wouldn’t be much better than bracing the weather outside. It wasn’t the snow so much as it was the icy cold air that bothered her. Cloud doesn't really make for a great barricade against the biting cold of wind, it passed right through it, leaving the inside just as cold as the outside. Normally that isn’t such a bad thing, but during the winters, the temperature can drop well below freezing.

So she would go to her friends houses to get warm during the worst days, staying for a while so she didn’t have to freeze for the whole day. It was one of the things that made her feel grateful to have so many friends.

Lately though, it was at the library that she had been visiting more and more often in her free time, reading new fiction novels that Twilight suggested to her. In learning of her new passion for reading new adventure stories, Dash also found that she really enjoyed spending time at the library with Twilight, something about the look in the unicorn’s eyes when she showed up at her door made her feel welcome there, and right now she could really use a warm welcome.

The thought of a good adventure book and a warm blanket right then sounded like the best thing ever, next to joining the wonderbolts of course, and igniting a fire of will to press her way through the snow and wind. Maybe Twilight would even have that new Daring Doo book that she had been waiting for to come in?

But as she walked the untouched streets of the town, she began to notice that every store was closed. No open signs, no food stands, she hadn’t even seen another pony since she began walking. She started to fear that the whole town had closed up from the snowstorm, and that would mean the library would be closed too.

Looking around desperately, she spotted the large tree that stood in the middle of Ponyville and quickened her pace there. As she walked, a cold wisp of wind blew over her, making her shake as it blew through the feathers of her wings, freezing her stomach and chipping away at whatever warmth she had left in her body.

Flying was out of the question now. Both of her wings were wrapped firmly against her midsection, trying to keep in whatever heat they could as she walked the white path through Ponyville. Pegasus ponies did have a natural defense against the various weather conditions, but not to such an extent that she could remain warm in zero degree weather and icy winds.

By the time she found her way to the door of the library, she couldn't feel her wings anymore. She tried to wiggle the tips of one of them but they refused to respond. Reaching out a hoof, she quickly knocked on the door and prayed that the unicorn that lived there would answer.

She heard some shuffling from inside and as the door opened, she was hit with a wave of warm air, enticing her with slight smell of burning wood from a fireplace. But even more alluring to her, was the sight of the purple unicorn standing in the doorway, a look of surprise on her face.


“H-heya Twilight. H-hows it h-h-hanging.” She tried to make it sound casual but the cold made the pegasus stutter. It wasn’t uncommon for her to show up at Twilight’s door recently, but she doubted that Twilight was expecting anypony to be out in weather like this. Not to mention that she looked as terrible as one could be after trudging through the snow.

“I w-was k-kinda hoping that I could s-s-spend some time in the library and, y-you know, read for a w-while.”

“And get warm?” Twilight said knowingly, smiling at her.

Dash grinned weakly. “Y-yeah. N-now that you mention it, t-that would be great.”

She looked back at the empty street behind her. There wasn't a soul to be seen anywhere. In fact, the only hoof prints in the snow by the library were the ones she made when coming there.

“The library is open, right?” She said, a hint of desperation in her voice.

Twilight frowned. “The library is currently closed actually, with the weather like it is and all, I didn't think anypony would be out in it. I doubt Ditzy is even delivering letters in this cold.”

“Oh.” Dash's ears fell in clear disappointment. She sagged a little to the ground, the thought of having to travel through the snow again making her hooves ache. ”I guess I'll c-come back some other t-time...”

Before she could even make to leave, she found herself getting pulled inside the tree. Upon looking down, she found her hooves hovering above the snowy ground, floating in a sheen of purple magic.

“Don't be silly Rainbow. You're more than welcome to come inside and get warm.”

Her face lit up. “R-really?”

Twilight just looked back at her smiling and nodded. “Come on, I've got hot chocolate and the latest Daring Doo book you’ve been waiting for came in yesterday.”

To the rainbow mare, that was the best thing she heard since she found out you could pre-order Applejack's apple cider. She let the heat from the house wash over her as she was floated inside, the door closing behind her and locking the cold out.

“Besides, I can't just leave you out there in this weather. You look half frozen.”

Dash shuttered. “Yeah. If I s-stayed out there any longer, I would’ve s-started t-turning blue.”

“Rainbow. You’re already blue.” Twilight said, deadpan. The she took a look at the shaking pegasus and her expression grew worried. “Well at least you're okay now. I’ll get you warm in no time.”

The concern in Twilight's voice made her blush, but it was lost in the already frozen pale cheeks. Her ego would have spoken up for her, not wanting to seem weak to others, but she was kind of past the point of caring. Besides, this was Twilight she was with, she didn't have to put on airs around her.

She set Dash down on her hooves and made her way to the kitchen, but before going, she took another look at the shivering pegasus. “I'll be back in a minute. Why don't you take a seat by the fire?”

Dash nodded and looked at the roaring fire that promised warmth and started drooling a little. She walked over a large violet pillow laid out in front of the fire, and as she lay down on it she found it still warm from when Twilight must have been laying on it before she got there, the lavender smell that always accompanied the unicorn filled her nose as she pressed her head into the pillow, melting in the warm spot.

There was also a book in the floor next to it that she must have been reading. She took a peek at the cover from over the pillow, picked up the book, and found that it was entitled, 'Keeping warm during winter.' She snorted and set the book back down where it was, looking over to the crackling fire and thought that Twilight was doing a pretty awesome job of keeping warm already. But then another thought hit her.

“Uh, T-Twilight? Isn't a f-fire in a tree a bad thing?” Just as she said it, Twilight walked back in carrying two mugs of hot cocoa, a purple blanket, and a book in her magic floating beside her. She seemed to handle them all with no effort at all.

“It would be normally, but the chimney and the area around it is laced with a fireproof spell so it can't catch fire.” She said matter of factly as she set down the two mugs on the nearby table and sat down next to her friend. She unfurled the blanket and levitated it out.

The Pegasus blushed, this time it showing in her cheeks, as Twilight wrapped it around both of them, pulling them together and making their coats touch. Twilight's body was like a furnace next to hers, radiating heat and warming her frozen coat, making her shaking stop. She instinctively pressed up against the new, rich source of warmth, fully pressing her side against the purple mare's.

“Geez Rainbow. You really are frozen.” Twilight giggled as her prismatic friend squirmed closer, instinctively trying to get closer to the warmth. “Good thing you came here, if you spent any more time out there you might have turned into a pegasicle.”

“Uh.. yeah.” Dash looked away before Twilight could catch a look at her face. The unicorn set the book she was still holding down in front of her and floated over the two cups of hot chocolate, setting one down next to her and the Pegasus. She noticed that Twilight's had a picture of her own cutie mark on it. Twilight caught her staring at her cup but said nothing.

Dash picked up her offered mug and took a sip, the sweet liquid warming her insides and spreading out to the rest of her body. She could feel her wings begin to relax and unclench as her body heat began to rise back to a more normal temperature.

They remained quiet as they quickly drank their sweet drinks, not letting them get the chance to grow cold. Dash finished hers first, as she did in most things, letting the hot drink warm her stomach and spread through her frozen limbs. She found herself relaxing into the mare next to her, finding her warm presents inviting and comfortable under the blanket. She sighed as her wings finally freed up, falling limply to her sides.

“So why were you even out in this weather?” Twilight said eventually, having finished her own drink, setting the empty cups on the table nearby. “Today is a good day to stay inside and keep warm. I mean, its not really the best time to be out walking the streets.”

That was an understatement. She wasn't really surprised that she hadn't seen anypony outside when she was out there. Nopony in their right mind would willingly go out when they could be in a nice cosy house. Unfortunately for her, she didn't have that luxury.

“Well my cloud house is pretty awesome at keeping the place cool during the hotter days of the year, but its not so great at keeping warm during the colder days.”

Twilight frowned at her. “Well how do you get through the winters then?”

Dash looked away and rubbed a hoof behind her head. “I guess I just kinda... deal with it.”


Her tone made Dash wince. “Well some of the nicer cloud homes are better at keeping heated during the winter. If built right, they heat just like a normal house. But I had to make mine myself, and I don't have a whole bunch of bits to throw into improving it, so I just have to live with what I got.”

Twilight stared at her for a second, shock playing at her face. Dash didn't like others knowing just how poor she was. The weather job did little to line her pockets and most of her time was spent training. She didn't want ponies taking pity on her, least of all Twilight. She decided to change the subject.

“So... uh... where’s Spike? I haven't seen him around yet.” She said looking around the room for effect. “I figured he’d hiding somewhere inside today, being he’s coldblooded and all.”

Twilight looked at her incredulously, wondering how Rainbow even knew what a word like coldblooded meant, but then remembered that Dash had a reptile of her own to care for. “I had him visit Canterlot and stay at the castle until the storm passes.” She said simply. “What about Tank?”

“Oh he's fine.”

Twilight frowned again. “But... isn’t your house cold?”

Dash gave her a flat look. “Yeah it is, which is why I had Fluttershy take care of him for a few days until the weather gets better. Geez Twilight, What kind of pet owner do you take me for?”

Twilight looked down, her ears falling in shame. “I... I didn't mean...”

“Because I'll have you know I'm an awesome pet owner.” She said, holding her head proudly.

“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to doubt you...” Twilight said quietly.

Dash noticed her sad tone and gave her a reassuring nuzzle on the cheek. “Ah, Don't worry Twi, I was only kidding. I know you didn't mean it that way.”

It wasn't a common gesture from the light blue mare, but Twilight had been kind to her and taken her into her home. Not just that, but she felt rather close to the purple unicorn recently - no pun intended - and it felt right to her. In fact, it was wanted.

Apparently Twilight felt the same, because she smiled and returned the gesture, making the rainbow mare blush and focus her eyes on her book that lay next to her, opening it to the first page and forcing herself to begin reading. Twilight also floated hers in front of her and began reading with her.

They read together like that for a while. Every so often Dash would catch Twilight looking at her out of the corner of her eye, but she would turn away when she looked back. She could also feel the unicorn's tail brush against hers under the blanket, not wrapping around it but flicking over hers every few minutes. Dash had a hard time concentrating on her book and by the time she got past the third chapter, it had already started getting dark outside. She knew she couldn't ask Twilight to let her stay much longer, but she found herself wanting to remain wrapped in the warm blanket with her, if only for a little longer. It took her a couple minutes to will herself to leave the warmth and go back into the cold.

Twilight felt her partner wiggle out of the blanket wrapped around them and get up. She watched her curiously as she walked towards the door.

Dash stretched her wings out, both no longer stiff and locked up from the cold. When she left the warmth of Twilight and the blanket behind, she remembered just how cold it was. Even with the fire still nearby, she could feel the chilly winds that shifted through even the smallest gaps in the tree. She shivered.

“Rainbow?” Twilight asked, quirking her head to the side.

“It'll be dark soon.” She said, looking downcast. “I should probably get going before it gets any colder outside, ya know?”

Twilight looked at her worriedly. “Didn't you say that your house had no heat?”

“Yeah, but I'll be alright. It's not the first time I had to weather the weather.” Dash tried to chuckle at her own joke but shuttered again in open air.

Twilight looked to her, concern etched on her face. “Why don't you stay? I mean... I would be happy to let you sleep here for the night. It’s really bad outside, and I wouldn’t want you to catch a cold.”

Dash's face lit up at the offer, visibly glad to be offered a warmer place to stay than having to go back to her cold cloud home. But she didn't want to abuse her friendship more than she already had, Twilight had done enough for her already.

“Nah. It's okay.” She said, waving a hoof dismissively.

“Please Rainbow? It would make me feel better knowing that you aren't freezing out there.”

Dash rubbed a hoof behind her head. Hearing her ask like that made it hard for her to say no, not that she wanted to say no, but she hesitated still.

“Well... if you really want me too...”

She was amazed that Twilight would even want her to stay over at her house, having made a mess of the library on several occasions. Granted, they were accidents and not intentional but they happened nonetheless.

“Yeah. It'll be like a sleepover.” Twilight said quickly, smiling at her and clapping her hooves together once. Then Dash surprised her as she grabbed her into a hug, lifting her slightly into the air with her wings.

“Thanks Twilight.”

“N-no problem.”

She set Twilight back down, now taking notice of the red tint of the unicorn's cheeks. But before she could make anything of it, her stomach growled loudly, making her blush now and Twilight giggle.

“I guess this means you'll be staying for dinner as well.” Dash grinned, embarrassed, but Twilight paid it no mind. “I'll make some sandwiches, you can go back to reading.”

Dash's ears picked up. “Do you need any help?”

Twilight shook her head. “I think I can handle it. Spike has been making me learn to prepare food for myself and I've gotten much better.” She pawed a hoof on the ground sheepishly. “Though I still end up burning stuff when I use the stove.”

Dash was torn, she had to hold in a laugh that was forming but at the same time, she found the action from the purple unicorn strangely adorable. In the end, she decided to nod once and turned to walk back to the pillow by the fire. Twilight left to the kitchen, leaving her to try and figure out why she was acting so strangely around the purple mare.

After a few minutes Twilight walked in carrying a plate of sandwiches, setting them down between them as she sat next to her, once again pressing up against her, almost closer than before. She felt her face heat up again as Twilight's coat brushed into hers. She began to wonder when she and Twilight had become so close.

They ate mostly in silence having both been immersed in their books. The next couple of hours seemed to pass by quickly, so it surprised her when Twilight shifted beside her, catching her attention and pointing to the window, showing that it was already well into the night.

“We should probably call it a night and get some sleep.” She said, standing up and stretching her legs, yawning. “You can use the guest bed for the night. I'll go and set it up for you.”

“Sounds great Twilight.”

She nodded and took off up the stairs, leaving Dash still wrapped in the blanket. After a couple minutes, she returned picking up her book and placing it back on its proper shelf and carrying the dishes out to the kitchen. She came back in and, using her magic, snuffed out the flames of the fire, leaving only a few glowing coals in the base. Dash could already feel the chill beginning to creep back into the air as the fire was no longer keeping it at bay.

“You put out the fire?” She asked curiously. Twilight turned to her, looking apologetic.

“Well yeah. I can't just leave it running overnight with no one to attend to it.”

“Oh. Right. I guess that makes sense.” She said, getting up to follow.

That actually made perfect sense to her, but that didn't change the fact that the cold would soon replace the heat the fire had brought to the tree. As she followed behind Twilight and up to her bedroom, she found the air slightly warmer than down below. It shouldn't have surprised her, being that she was a weather mare and should know that hot air rises and cold air falls.

She realised that this was actually the first time she had been in the unicorn’s bedroom and looked around inquisitively. It had everything she thought would be in Twilight’s room, shelves of books, a desk with a quill and ink jar on top, a telescope, presumably for looking at stars with, and two beds set at opposite ends of the room. One of the beds was covered in a star patterned blanket and the other looked freshly made, she assumed that the latter was hers. She dove into it, rather unceremoniously, and wiggled into the bed, glad to get under the covers.

Twilight giggled at the action and climbed into her own. When they both settled into their respective beds, Twilight extinguished the candle on a nearby stand, letting the darkness fade into the room as the light went out.

“Good night Rainbow.”

Dash smiled, once again feeling glad that Twilight let her stay the night. Her pride wouldn't ever say it, but she was more than thankful for the offer.

“Night Twi.” She said back, pulling the blanket around her. It didn't have the same warmth that she had had when wrapped in the blanket with Twilight by the fire, but it was enough to keep the cold out.

She wrapped her hooves around the white pillow and buried her face into it, taking in the snug bedding wrapped around her. It wasn't as soft as a cloud bed, but it was warmer. It wasn't long until she found her eyes growing heavy, eventually giving in to the coming blackness and letting sleep take her.

Rainbow Dash awoke later that night to the sound of rattling windows. Turning in the bed to look out the nearby window, she found that it was still dark outside. The wind had picked up from the storm and was hitting the windows, battering them with a relentless barrage of gusts and snow. She also found that she could see her own breath, the temperature of the house having dropped even further from the cold wind leaking in, chilling her through the blanket as if it were not even there.

Luckily though, she was used to this level of cold, and in having had practiced the art of dealing with it for years, it didn't bother her too much.

But as she grew used to the sound of the raging weather outside, she began to hear another sound behind the roar of the wind. The shuttering sound of breathing coming from the bed next to her, a sound that came from somepony cold and struggling to keep warm. Raising her head, she could see the bed shaking slightly from the shivering form huddled in the blue, star patterned blanket.

Sure, a pegasus might have been resistant to this level of cold, and she found it to be only a little discomforting. But the same couldn’t be said for unicorns.

Twilight must have been freezing...

She battled with herself for a minute. She didn’t want to leave her bed for a second, but she couldn't just leave Twilight like that. Not when she had been there for her. She wanted to be there for her as well. Besides, what kind of Element of Loyalty would she be if she just left her friend to fend for herself?

She took a deep breath, preparing herself, and wiggled out of her blanket. The cold open air made her shiver as she discarded the only thing that had been helping to keep it at bay. She didn't make much noise as she slipped out of her bed and walked over, but then again, the windows were making so much noise thatTwilight wouldn't have been heard her anyway.

As she got closer she could see Twilight curled up in her bed, said mare had her eyes clenching closed and she shook with each breath, unknowing of the pegasus' movements. She didn’t even notice when the bed dipped and the blanket shifted over her.

Dash climbed into the bed and slipped under the covers, quickly finding the shivering form of the unicorn and pulling it towards her. At the feeling of the pegasus touching her, Twilight's eyes shot open, finding the a pair of violet eyes staring back at her through the dark, her face inches away from her own.

“R-rainbow?” Came a confused, shaky voice from the purple mare. Dash just wrapped her hooves more firmly around the unicorn, making her squeak as she pulled them together, mashing her belly against Twilight's.

“Wh-wha-” Dash heard her stutter.

“You're cold.” She said simply, holding the other mare close to her body, not caring that she was exposing her warm underside to the mare's cold fur, the contact already transferring heat between them. Twilight blushed, growing silent in the darkness. Another gust of wind blew through the tree and she wrapped her own hooves around the pegasus, suddenly glad for the new source of heat beside her.

Keeping Twilight's cold body nestled tightly to hers, Dash began to wonder what had come over her. She couldn't remember doing something like this with anypony else before, she wasn't the type to openly show affection to another pony. But then again, Twilight was hardly just another pony.

When she saw Twilight shivering, trying to keep what heat she could in the harsh cold that she herself had to deal with, she couldn't just leave her. Maybe she felt that she needed to return the favor for taking her in?

No. This was different.

She wasn't doing this because she felt she owed Twilight something. She did this because she wanted to share the same warmth that the purple mare had given to her not so long ago. To bring her the same sense of wellbeing that she had given her by lying next to her and simply being close. She cared about Twilight. Of course, she cared about all of her friends. But this was different, and it bothered her.

Why had she come to the library to find warmth? She could have just have easily gone to Rarity's or Pinkie Pie's stores to find the same. As a matter of fact, Fluttershy's and even Applejack's homes are closer to her house than Twilight's, so why not have gone to them? She had stayed at their houses before when the winter days got bad. Why then was it so different now with Twilight? What was different?

And then, like breaking through the air in a sonic rainboom, it hit her and became so clear.

She almost laughed. It was kind of funny in a way, that such a small thing could make as big of a difference. It took her awhile, but she was never very good with thinking things through and coming to logical conclusions.

Anypony could have put a blanket around her and given her warmth from their fire. But Twilight had given her something more special than that, she shared her own warmth with her. The act in itself was simple and innocent, but it had spoken volumes to her. It conveyed something that was hidden further in the mare’s actions, something that had shown in the act, most likely without her even knowing she had done it.

How had she missed it? Was she really that blind?

She realized that she had been staring into Twilight's eyes for a while now, stuck in her thoughts. Twilight also staring back at her, quietly breathing as she enjoyed the gentle heat radiating from the pegasus. They were both laying with their head on either side of a pillow, facing one another. Dash couldn't bring herself to break her gaze away from hers. Now that she knew what she was looking for, she could see it clearly, even in the way the unicorn looked at her.

When had it changed? When had she started looking at her like that? There had to have been signs, hints in how the unicorn acted around her.

She thought of how Twilight had took her in, of how she snuggled up against her by the fire and how she almost begging her to stay the night. It wasn’t hard to see the signs but it had taken her until just now to start putting the pieces together.

Why didn’t Twilight just tell her? Twilight knew she liked mares and had no special somepony in her life, she never hid that from her friends. Couldn’t she bring herself to say something to her? Did she think that she wouldn’t return her feelings? Sure, she may have seemed brash and even sometimes untouchable, but Twilight was one of her closest friends. She would never turn her away.

Did she think that it would ruin their already existing friendship? Sure, it may be awkward between them for a few days, but she wouldn’t just abandon her because Twilight had feelings for her.

And who said that she would say no?

Twilight was... one of the few ponies that she felt close to, she was smart and hardworking in her own way, and, now that she thought about it, she was very pretty too. She enjoyed her company, when she wasn’t letting her brain get in the way, and even though they were different from one another, she felt connected to her in a way that she could never really explain.

She has always strived to be the fastest pegasus in Equestria, she worked hard everyday to achieve that goal, constantly exercising and making new training regiments to put herself through so she could become faster. But Twilight worked just as hard to be the most magical unicorn in Equestria, she knew how much magic her friend possessed and never doubted her talent for it, even though she was more humble about it. They both worked hard to reach their goals in life and in that way they were very alike, they both had a drive and will to get better.

For a moment she wondered how it might be, to have Twilight as a marefriend. She remembered lying next to her, wrapped in the blanket with her as they read together, hearing her giggle. She thought of how she always greeted her with a smile when she would visit the library and of how kind she was to her and the rest of their friends. Even when they were causing problems for her, she was always there for them. Twilight was as much as the element of loyalty as she was.

Then she took in the feeling of the mare curled against her, and thought of how it would be to have the same feeling every night. To hold her close and fall asleep, just to wake up in her hooves the next morning.

She would like that.

She would like that a lot.

Twilight let out a little sigh as her body warmed from the heat between them. Dash could faintly smell the hot chocolate that they drank earlier on her breath, making it smell sweet. She found herself drawing closer to the source of the smell, anymore rational form of thoughts failing her as she let her instincts take over; she trusted them in flying and they never let her down before, so she had no reason to doubt them now.

She inched closer, slowly bringing her muzzle to Twilight's, blushing as the lavender mare stared at her, eyes wide in shock as she closed in, but not pulling away. She saw Twilight's eyes widen further as she pressed her mouth lightly against hers, touching in a simple, yet meaningful gesture. She was never very good with words, Twilight was much better than her at that, but she knew what she felt, and it felt alright to her.

There was barely any contact at all, and it was only for a moment, but the message was clear. Dash pulled back, putting some space between them, waiting to see her reaction. Twilight looked confused and conflicted, unmoving as she stared back at her.

Dash started to think that she might have been wrong, but then she felt Twilight touch the tip of her muzzle back against hers, returning the gesture. After she pulled away, the unicorn's purple cheeks were glowing red as she stared into her eyes, looking for the same accepting reaction that she had.

She could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she looked into her purple eyes. She unfurled one of her wings under the blanket and wrapped it around Twilight, like a feathered blanket of her own. The feathers tickled the purple mare as they glided under the blanket and along her coat, adding to the warmth shared between them as it surrounded her.

Twilight just continued to stare at her and then, in a brief movement that took the pegasus by surprise, licked the tip of her nose. The act caused the light blue mare to blush even more deeply, her own eyes widening. Twilight hid her face, pressing her head under the blue pegasus' chin, careful not to poke her with her horn.

She flushed as Twilight nuzzled into her neck but didn't complain. It felt... well... awesome, and right, and she was more than okay with it. She tightened her wing around the mare next to her and let sleep settle in as a sense of peace surrounded them.

And the warmth they shared between them grew.