• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Equestria Games

Episode 88 – Equestria Games

I almost couldn't sleep last night. I wasn't tired though. I think I had too many things on my mind to be tired. And I believed…that there were even more things on my mind that I knew about. However, the thoughts I were familiar with were easily distracting. Spirit. She was a part of my mind…but I think the most distracting thought was Starlight.

This was the day I was going to…I guess "officially" see her. I definitely wouldn't be surprised if we met face-to-face again. That's what's making me so nervous. It wasn't the Games. It wasn't the Games at all.

"Hey. You doing alright there?" I felt a hoof being placed on my shoulder.

"Huh?" I looked back in question, away from the window I was staring out of.

"You've been pretty quiet ever since we got on this train." Rainbow Dash brought up. "What is it? The Games got you nervous?" She seemed to say a bit humorously.

"I guess you could say that…" I turned back to look out the window to see the Crystal Empire getting closer and closer by the second.

"I hope you perk up by the time we get there." Rainbow Dash stated, sitting by my side to join my look out the window. "This just got real!" She proved her confidence. "It's our time to shine and show others what Ponyville can do. You haven't forgotten that we need to give it all we got, right?"

"No." At least…I didn't think so.

"Come on." Rainbow encouraged. "Everypony running for Ponyville are all prepping themselves up for their plays. Why don't you work out a bit too? I'm pretty sure that'll fire up the adrenaline."

"Mm…" I merely expressed. "I'm not really in the mood…"

"Well, Fluttershy sure seems like she is." Rainbow Dash glanced back with a smirk.

I looked in her direction to see Fluttershy sitting somewhere else that wasn't the ground. She was on a weight lifting bar with immense weights, and below, I could see Bulk Biceps practically lifting the weights, including Fluttershy, with ease. Most importantly, Fluttershy held a soft smile as she observed herself being lifted by him.

"Hey!" I exclaimed before I could give direction. Bulk Biceps stopped his lifting in mid-air as he turned to face me, being joined by Fluttershy. Not only did I get the attention of those two, but everypony in the cart heard my outburst. It took me all those stares to realize what I had let happened. After some quick thinking, I was barely able to disguise my jealousy. I placed on a feigned grin and prepared to say something I really had no mind to say. "…Keep up the good work…"

That was able to bring things back to normal…except for me. I was still ticked off. With lowered eyelids in anger, I stretched out my hoof towards Rainbow Dash. "Give me a barbell…"

"That's the…spirit…?" Rainbow Dash mentioned as she gave me the barbell, not knowing the true intention of my sudden request. Even then, as she unintentionally mentioned the word "spirit", I believed my anger rose and I was lifting the barbell as quickly as I could, trying to get my mind focused on the burning sensation instead of everything that placed me into a bad mood. "Uh…you keep on training… I'm gonna have a talk with everyone." She walked a few steps away and announced loudly for everypony. "Listen up, gang! We're almost there, so I've got a few things to say. First off, who here besides me thinks this is the best Equestria Games delegation in Ponyville history?"

Everybody cheered in response, as well as earning a loud "Yeah!" from Bulk Biceps…again.

Here I thought Bulk Biceps was finally off my mind after all the junk I had to worry about and go through. I guess all that junk was just a distraction from him.

"And no matter what your sport is, we gotta give it our best, because we've all got a genuine shot at Ponyville gold!" Rainbow continued, earning another loud collective cheer. "...With the possible exception of Alex, Fluttershy, and me." She swayed off a bit, going into a possible honest observation. "I mean, we're good and all, but we're up against the Wonderbolts in the aerial relay, so gold's kind of a stretch. Let's not kid ourselves."

I sighed and dropped the barbell…for now.

"Don't feel bad, Rainbow Dash!" Scootaloo shared, standing among Sweetie Belle and Applebloom. They all were psyched up to bring us into the Games. "We have absolutely no shot at getting gold either!"

"Uh, that's because you're carrying the flag for Ponyville in the opening ceremony." Rainbow Dash mentioned. "There are no winners."

"Winners or not, we still have the chance to be awesome!" Scootaloo presented optimistically.

"That's the spirit!" Rainbow Dash repeated for everypony. "You hear that, everypony? Winners or not, we all still have the chance to be awesome!" She flew up in leadership. Once she yet again received a positive burst of noise from the entire team, she decided to remind them of the possible hope. "But, uh, let's still try to win lots and lots of stuff too, 'kay?"

After she said that, everypony quickly went back to training and warming themselves up.

Even if I wanted to be, I just couldn't get myself pumped up like the others did. They were all excited about participating in these games, and here I was just…feeling a little nervous in the wrong way.

"I'm ready to make Rainbow Dash proud." Fluttershy walked by me, grabbing the barbell I had shortly afterwards. She tried to lift it, but had some trouble doing so. I only had to delicately place a hoof under hers and lightly push up. She was able to do the rest herself. "Thank you." She expressed, managing to bring an unfightable small smile on my face. "Are you ready?" She asked.

I could only shrug, feeling unsure of myself. "I guess…"

"Don't worry." Fluttershy carefully assured, possibly thinking that I was worried about losing. "We'll do great. As long as we don't give up and count on each other, we just have to!" She sure was beaming with a lot more confidence than I was.

Nevertheless, there was no disagreeing to that. "Yeah." I returned.

Everypony was obviously eager once the train was coming to a stop. They all stood by the exit door, clearly ready to stretch a hoof once it opened. When their wish came true, they all managed to walk outside in a temporary calm manner as I kind of lagged behind. The only one that was slower than me was Spike, whom felt the need to prove himself useful by carrying the luggage by himself.

"Feeling a little anxious?" I bumped onto Twilight, whom already seemed to be waiting for me at the station.

"Twilight?" I questioned her presence. "Were you…waiting for me to get here?"

"Why else would I be here?" She asked, presenting a teasing mood.

"I thought you were supposed to be with Cadence?" I had assumed.

"I was." She answered shortly. "But I'm sure you'd like to see her before the games, right?" Thinking of that was actually…nice. "Besides, I know she's been wanting to see you. I guess she wants to let you know how much she believes in you. In the case that you'll do great at the Equestria Games, that is." Twilight chuckled lightly.

I felt a little bashful after hearing that. "How could I not see her after hearing that from you?"

Reaching the Crystal Castle, Twilight continued conversing with me as we made our way. "How do you feel?" She asked me. "I noticed you were looking…a little less energetic than the others."

"I've just got a lot on my mind…" I answered.

"Like…Starlight?" Twilight guessed.

I was a little surprised that she guessed one correctly, but it faded away fast. "I'm kind of surprised you still remember her."

"How could I not?" Twilight questioned. "She's taking a pretty big part in the Equestria Games."

"Yeah…you're right…" I responded. "I don't know why I'm not feeling too good. I don't think it's the thought of competing in the Equestria Games at all. I guess it's just…I'm a little worried or pressured about the idea of somehow interacting with her. However…at the same time…I kind of do want to do that. I really want to settle things, even though she practically never wants to see me again. I'm just tired…of the question about her being on my mind, whether it bothers me or it is hidden by distraction." I sighed, beginning to feel the frustration again. "This is just the thing that's getting to me. I don't even have a plan on what to do."

"I'm sure you'll think of something." Twilight honestly believed. "And if you ever need help, remember that I'm always here to do just that."

"Thanks." I managed to break out a small smile. "I think I can manage to improvise something… After all, it always seems like I do that all the time…"

"Alex!" I heard another voice call out, looking ahead to notice it was Miss Cadence. She trotted a little towards me in order to bring me in for a hug. "I'm glad you could make it before the Games started!"

"Well…Twilight did escort me." I glanced over to Twilight with a light smirk.

"Thank you, Twilight." Miss Cadence nodded over to Twilight and began to speak to us both. "This truly is a big day for all of us." She faced over to Twilight's direction. "The Princesses and I will be watching from an exclusive part of the stands." Then, she turned to me. "I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time competing in the games. You'll do great, I just know it!"

"I'll try my best…" I replied, rubbing the back of my head a little.

"Hm…" Miss Cadence placed a hoof to her lips in wonder. "I wonder where Spike is… He should be here right about now."

"What?" Twilight inquired in shock. "Was I supposed to bring him too?!" She became a bit worried.

"No, no." Miss Cadence shook her hoof in ease. "I actually sent my royal guards for him. To make him feel a little more special. After all, he is Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious."

"Great and Honorable…?" Twilight questioned before she had an idea to the reason why he was called that. "Oh! Because he brought the Crystal Heart to you and saved the empire, right?"

Miss Cadence nodded. "You don't know how much everypony here completely adores him for what he did." She turned her head in the direction past us. "Oh! There he is now!"

Twilight and I turned around to see him hastily being brought on a carrying chair by two crystal guards. He appeared to be absolutely confused and even worried. Once they reached us, they both bowed, leading to Spike falling off the chair instead of stepping down.

"Spike! Are you all right?" Twilight asked after seeing him smack down on the ground.

"A thousand pardons, O Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious." One of the crystal guards meaningfully apologized.

"Huh?" Spike managed to stand up, rubbing his head in confusion. "Who the what now?"

"Thanks for bringing Spike to us." Miss Cadence expressed to the guards, dismissing them. As Spike noticed the guards leave, he looked like he wanted to go back from where he came, but Miss Cadence stopped him by placing a hoof on him. "It's okay, Spike." She assured him. "We'll have our hoofponies go back for your bags. Come on." She turned and began leading all of us into the Crystal Castle.

"Uh, can they hang back a second and tell me what's going on first?" Spike asked, remaining confused.

"I can answer that." Twilight delightfully answered as we entered the castle and began walking up the steps to possibly the highest room around where the balcony was. "Everypony here absolutely respects you, Spike!"

He took a silent moment to think about it. "Respect me…? What do you mean? What did I ever do?" At the top, somepony immediately greeted him by carrying him over to a couch and appeared to already have prepared a big chalice full of jewels for him to consume. He noticed this feast and widened his eyes in amazement. "Whoooa!" He licked his lips afterwards. The mare happily grabbed a hold of one of the gems and held it above his mouth. Spike happily opened for consumption and chewed a bit noisily.

"You're a huge hero here, Spike!" Twilight continued enthusiastically. "It's how everypony thinks of you after you saved the empire!"

Before Spike could respond, an emerald was dropped into his mouth. He munched favorably and swallowed. "Mm! So the ponies here think I'm some kind of hero, huh?" He grew quite a smug expression as he looked towards us. However, he turned his head upwards to the mare feeding him nicely. "More of the green ones, please? I like the green ones."

He caused the mare to frantically worry for a second as she had held a purple one instead. She fumbled around with the gem until she was able to place it back on the chalice and grab a green one in substitution.

"Last time you were here, you got the Crystal Heart to Princess Cadence in time to save this entire empire from destruction!" Twilight explained in detail.

"You are known throughout my empire as 'Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious'." Miss Cadence carefully added.

"Isn't that awesome? You're a big shot here, Spike!" Twilight exclaimed, walking over to the balcony to lead Spike outside. "See that?" She pointed outside, specifically at a large statue that was easy to distinguish as Spike. "That's you!"

"Hello, gawgeous!" Spike fondly greeted his portrait.

"This is why we all hope you do us the honor of lighting the torch at the opening ceremony." Miss Cadence presented a request for a favor. "You'd be the very first dragon in the history of the Equestria Games to do so." She explained the significance behind it as another pony came out, bringing a large leaf to condition the air around Spike.

"Of course I'll do it!" Spike jumped in excitement. "And – bonus – I can do it with my fire breath!" He gave an example as he proudly released a decent amount of fire from his breath. However, he later noticed how that fire burned the leaf cooling him to a crisp. He laughed nervously after the sight of what he did.

"Oh!" Miss Cadence dismissed Spike's mistake and looked over to the auditorium at the edge of the balcony. "We need to get you back!" She turned towards me. "The procession is going to start soon! I wouldn't want your team worrying about where you went." She turned to Spike afterwards. "Come on, we'll bring you along so you can light the torch."

"Sounds good to me!" He moved past the burnt leaf and jogged in Miss Cadence's lead.

Miss Cadence and the others dropped me off by the entrance of the room Ponyville was waiting in.

"Good luck!" Miss Cadence wished. "We'll be watching high up in the stands. We all know you'll do great!" She repeated, including the other Princesses. Afterwards, she lightly pushed me into the room with the others.

"Thanks…" I returned a little softly.

"Let's go, Twilight." Miss Cadence mentioned.

"Good luck!" Twilight waved before she followed my cousin.

As soon as I turned around, I noticed Rainbow Dash was right in front of me. "Hey. Where have you been this whole time?" She asked, noticing that I had been gone from their sight quite a while.

"Just saw Twilight and Miss Cadence really quick before the Games started." I excused.

"Well, come on!" Rainbow dragged me along closer to the whole team. "Scootaloo, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle are already outside ready to introduce us in!"

As I arrived, Fluttershy only looked at me and smiled, seeming to not feel the need to spare any words. Rainbow Dash hovered over by what appeared to be the passageway we were supposed to exit through. She leaned a bit outwards to see what was going on outside, and then, she looked out towards us. "Get ready, everypony!" She announced loudly. "They're just about to finish the Cloudsdale presentation!"

Everypony cheered, hyping themselves up. However, I still felt isolated with the hype, still being a bit preoccupied with the other thoughts in my head.

"Now, please welcome the delegation from Ponyville!" We heard loudly, coming from Shining Armor's voice.

"Come on! Let's show everypony what we got!" Rainbow Dash motivated and began flying straight through, bringing along Fluttershy and me.

Right after we heard the Cutie Mark Crusaders finish their introduction, Rainbow Dash sped out in flight with confidence. "Awesome!" She exclaimed.

"Yay." Fluttershy softly cheered, managing to look all around her with no fear.

I came out behind them, feeling nothing much to express what I felt. The rest of Ponyville followed behind as Scootaloo firmly planted our flag with the others in the competition on her scooter. She, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle joined us in our group as we stood next to the other teams and faced the huge torch Spike was supposed to light.

"Well…this is it…huh?" I mentioned towards Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy as I couldn't help but look over the crowd.

"We've got this." Rainbow Dash positively shared, staring out into the crowd as well with furrowed eyebrows. "Even if we don't exactly have the best reputation or skills for the aerial relay, we've got heart!" She faced me specifically. "And that's what matters!"

"Yeah." I agreed, actually not being too worried about our part in the first place. However, I still felt a little comfort in her words. "You're right."

Unexpectedly, I felt a hoof be planted on my shoulder, surprising me. "Excuse me?" I heard a gruff and softly bold voice say near me. I turned to see what the deal was. It was somepony that appeared to be like a security guard or supervisor of some sort, especially with his outfit and tinted shades. "You're not supposed to be here. You should be up in the stands with the other princesses."

"What?!" Rainbow Dash heard, quickly diving in. "But he's a part of our team! He's supposed to compete in the aerial relay with us!"

"It's a part of the rules, ma'am." His sentence immediately caused a jump of worry and fear inside me. I felt as if we completely missed something that we should have known beforehand. "Any part of royalty are supposed to be in their assigned box seats."

"What? Come on!" Rainbow fought back. "He should be allowed to compete! There wasn't any problem when he was qualifying!"

"Well, whoever was qualifying the three of you didn't know what they were doing." He stated frankly. "He needs to come up to the royal seats right now."

"Look…can't you make an exception?" I began to plead. "They need me, otherwise they'll be one competitor short of their team! They won't be able to compete in the first place if they don't have a full team!"

"I'm sorry, that's not possible." He said, the tone of his voice feeling unbreakable.

"Come on!" Rainbow Dash loudly complained.

"Is there a problem here?" Miss Cadence thankfully landed by us, seeming to have noticed the scene from above.

"This prince cannot participate in the Games as he is required to be seated in the royal box seats." The stallion explained the situation.

"What says he can't compete with his team?" Miss Cadence raised an eyebrow, having the potential to cross her forelegs had she been sitting down.

"The rules." He repeated briefly. "He is an Alicorn and must be seated safely with other royalty."

"The rules don't say anything about preventing him from competing!" Miss Cadence corrected. "In the case that such a competition or event has an absolute high percentage of risk or danger to such an individual, this may take place in order to guard the prince or princess. However, there's nothing here stopping them from participating in the Games!"

"You go, Princess Cadence!" Rainbow Dash cheered on, supporting her choice to keep me in.

The sound of the torch bursting into flames startled me, at the very least. Seeing as he didn't really have time to argue, the stallion allowed it to pass. "Very well…" Afterwards, he walked out of the area and back into the sidelines where there were more like him.

"Thanks a lot, Princess!" Rainbow Dash expressed greatly.

"Of course!" Miss Cadence turned from Rainbow to me. "Anything for my little cousin." She playfully messed with my mane. I only silently blushed lightly from embarrassment, feeling not that happy about staying in besides for Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. "Enjoy the Games!" She expressed and returned back to her seating.

"Let the games begin!" Shining Armor declared loudly in front of the entire crowd, earning a clear present cheer from everypony.

There wasn't much to the Equestria Games as it probably should have been to me. Our turn to "shine" didn't seem to be for a long while as we waited for the rest of our Ponyville team to participate. There was racing, events to do with weights, and other "games" that I really didn't pay too much attention towards. I sat between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy at the sidelines. They were absolutely into the competitions, keeping a very close eye at ponies from our team. At the moment, I couldn't see clearly whether we aced an event or so. Even though my eyes were on the event, my mind drifted off to thoughts with Starlight.

I thought about how she had to be close by or somewhere inside the rooms of the stadium. I thought that it was most likely she was prepping herself up, along with her band, for whatever singing she was to take part of. In my mind, I could already see her facing a mirror and placing makeup on her face.

Of course, I would try to focus back on the Games, but no matter what, my mind would always wander back to these distracting thoughts. I didn't completely snap out of it for the moment until I found out that we were already like halfway through the games. We were given an "intervention" time to have a break for those who already competed.

I joined Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack outside the stadium. Twilight still seemed to be back inside, possibly with the other Princesses. However, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity seemed to be waiting for the Cutie Mark Crusaders to come out in order to congratulate them on their introduction.

"Is something up, Alex?" Rainbow Dash asked me. "You were pretty quiet the whole time the Games were going on."

"I guess I'm still kind of nervous…" I threw out, not too sure if that was the entire truth.

"Well, you should go get a bite or drink if it'll help you ease up a little." Rainbow suggested. "We'll need your full concentration for the aerial relay!"

"Yeah, okay…" I remembered about the time Octavia offered me tea when I was stressing out. It did manage to calm me a little, so I decided I could head to the nearest shop that would most likely have it. "I'll be right back." I told them. "I'm going to get some tea really quick."

"Take your time!" Rainbow allowed but then quickly withdrew it. "But not too long! We don't have a lot of time to get back!"

I made my way to a shop where ponies seemed to be enjoying nice sips from warm cups, outside or inside. I recalled Octavia telling me the drink was a warm green tea, so I ordered that. I wasn't sure if it was exactly how Octavia had it, but I was hoping it didn't matter much. I just really wanted to get my mind off of Starlight or Spirit until at least the Games were over.

As I began heading towards the exit door of the building, I noticed a particular pony in the corner of my eye. There was a very familiar mare by a table looking out the glass window of the building. What she had in the back of her mane was what absolutely made me stop to have a better look. She seemed to hold not such an easily recognizable place inside me, but I knew I knew this mare.

I stepped closer to her, and the more I did, the letters of her name came to mind.

"…Coco?" I called in question, standing nearby.

Having had rested her chin on her hoof, she quickly looked back and spotted me. Once she knew who I was, she immediately widened her eyes and even began to stutter a little. "A-A-Alex?!"

"Coco…" I took a seat in front of her, for some reason feeling very warmed inside to see her. "What are you doing here?" I asked, willing to know.

"I…I came here for the Equestria Games…" She answered a bit timidly. "…you know…to watch you…" She tapped her hooves a little nervously.

"That's…that's really nice of you." I felt content to hear that. "It's been a while since I saw you. How have you been?"

"I've been doing fine…" She humbly answered. "Your friend, Rarity, really helped me with what she did before she left. I think things are…looking up for me right now…"

"I'm glad to hear that." I released a smile as I responded. "Speaking of before we left… I read your note."

Her eyes dilated to a smaller state, and her face became flushed as she seemed to be embarrassed by what she wrote. "O-oh…u-um…w-well…"

"Relax." I calmly suggested. "I… It really touched me." I mentioned earnestly. "Having had a real friend back in Fillydelphia… It would have helped me a lot… I really…appreciate it." Coco only remained silent as she anxiously switched her glances towards me and to the floor. "In case you didn't know…" I brought up. "We were already friends the moment I hugged you at the train station. In fact…we should stay in touch."

"You want to…stay in touch?!" She questioned in big surprise, as if she never thought I, for some reason, would ever want to regularly speak with her like a friend.

"Yeah!" I clarified. "It doesn't feel right not to, especially seeing how we could've been friends in the past. I don't have much time to talk, so I want to give you my information so you can mail me back home. Do you have something I can write with?"

Coco was stunned for a second or two before she finally replied. "I…Um…" She looked around her. "I don't think so… Wait!" She looked at her small collar and tie she wore and removed it. She stared at it for a moment before she looked upwards and pulled out something from her hair clip. "It's not exactly a pen or pencil…" She explained. "But…I think it should be enough to make an indention or mark on my collar."

"You…want me to write on your collar?" I asked, feeling a bit uneasy as I would have to possibly ruin her accessory.

"It's okay!" She quickly assured. "I have a lot of these. Besides, it'll only be on the inside. I can still wear it!"

"If you're sure about it…" I carefully grabbed her collar and tried to use the object from her hair clip to mark my information. It wasn't exactly the greatest thing, but hey, I didn't care as long as she was able to have it. "Here, is it good enough?"

"It's perfect…" She returned softly.

"Great! Make sure to not lose that."

"I-I won't!" She nervously yet confidently guaranteed.

"I better get going." I said, beginning to stand up and leave. "I don't want Rainbow Dash on my tail for being late."

"W-wait!" She called out, as if she wasn't ready to see me leave yet.

"Hm?" I turned to her.

She was really hesitating on a certain something. I could tell she wanted to do something, but she just couldn't get it out. I would know. I used to be in her shoes before…but what was it exactly? Finally, she surprised me by nervously and rapidly wrapping her hooves around me. She removed them before I had the chance to say or express anything. "Good luck…" She mentioned, looking away with an embarrassed blush.

From my state of surprise, I formed a warm smile for her generosity. "Thanks, Coco." I turned and began to walk away, but then I felt there was something more I needed to say. "Don't forget to write to me!" I turned to seriously tell her in a friendly way.

"I…I won't…!" She squeezed out, managing to smile lightly.

I smiled back and left the shop. From there on, I felt Coco had removed the "nerves" within me without me having to rely on the green tea. Nevertheless, I had bought it, so it could probably double in the calming "effect".

"Come on! Come on! We gotta be there early!" Rainbow Dash began pushing me towards the arena when I returned, leaving me to believe that the little time I spent at the shop was a lot longer than I really had.

"Okay, okay!" I replied, walking on my own as she hastily flew by. "I'm going." Seeing the others that had been with us behind, I noticed Twilight was looking a little worried. "What's up with Twilight?" I asked.

"No time to explain!" Rainbow Dash pointed towards the destination of the Equestria Games. "Right now, we just gotta focus on the rest of the Games!"

"Okay…" I softly concluded.

Inside, we were just passing the guards of the event until the same one from earlier placed a hoof in front of me, stopping me from walking by.

"Please step over here." He directed sternly.

"What?" I questioned. "You're not trying to stop me from competing again, are you?"

"No, sir." He responded. "As for any other unicorn, we require that a disabling spell be placed on you."

"Disabling spell…?" I never really heard of such a spell.

"We recently sensed some magic activating within the Games. However, fortunately, it was only before the Games officially started. As a security and fair measure, we need all ponies capable of performing magic to step through this machine. Mostly to prevent cheating."

"I guess that makes sense…" I understood and walked through the machine. Some type of magic revolved around my horn and I felt some kind of invisible mental lock on my horn. "Hm…" I expressed in wonder before I continued onwards after seeing Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy wait for me.

Only a few events passed before our time to compete came. Just as the last event before ours finished, I heard this loud orchestral music play, just as it had always did with each event. Thinking of Octavia, I looked around to notice the whole band play after a few seconds of scanning the crowd. It turned out that they were very close by, taking place on one of the closest areas to the sight of the Games. It wasn't until a grayish hoof was waving subtly in the crowd of the orchestra. Octavia was in the middle of them with her signature cello. She was happily waving to me in soft excitement that was perfect enough to not bother anyone else beside her.

I smiled back and waved, feeling even better today.

"Line up! Line up!" We heard Shining Armor shout in our direction. From there, I could see Rainbow Dash hurriedly flying towards a banner where everypony from other towns were stacking up horizontally on. Fluttershy followed behind as I caught up. "And now for our next event…" Shining Armor began presenting to the crowd observing. "...the aerial relay!"

"Ready, Alex?" Rainbow Dash turned to me. "This is it. Our moment to shine and give it our all! It's do or die!"

"Die…?" I returned a little confusingly.

"Die of embarrassment that is!" She clarified.

"That doesn't sound so good…" Fluttershy mentioned a bit fearfully.

"Hey…" I grabbed her hoof and smiled warmly at her in hopes to ease her nerves. "Don't worry about anything. We're in this together. The best kind of team is one that knows one another closely."

"Yeah…" Rainbow Dash agreed, glancing over to the Cloudsdale team. "Which is why the Wonderbolts are going to be tough competition. Even for me!"

"Well…" I faced the sight of the obstacle course with certain determination. "We can only know if we try!"

"Are all teams present and ready?!" Shining Armor asked loudly. Nopony returned a satisfied and clear answer. Instead, they only focused their eyes straight at the obstacle course, ready to shoot out once they were allowed. "On your marks! Get set! GO!"

"Alex, that's you!" Rainbow Dash forcefully pushed me in as everypony began taking off. "Get going! Fluttershy will meet you at one point and that's when we'll get into the routine!" She reminded.

Feeling there was no time to release a deep breath, I narrowed my eyes in focus and clenched my teeth in willpower. Each of the first ponies taking part in each team grabbed a hold of the horseshoe we had to pass on. Fortunately, all seemed to be fair as there was no roughhousing in the skies. It was all a matter of skill and speed. I was a little faster than the others, and perhaps more on par with the griffons with my flying, but I definitely couldn't fly past Fleetfoot from the Cloudsdale team. She was definitely too fast for me. As soon as I caught sight of Fluttershy in the distance, I focused on carefully bringing up the baton to pass to her.

"Here, Fluttershy!" I said, not realizing that I was already beginning to feel out of breath. I passed the baton to her just after Fleetfoot. By the time Fluttershy grabbed a hold of it, Soarin already had maybe a two or three second head start. As I kept an eye on Fluttershy as she raced around the track, I also noticed Fleetfoot's condition. While she was going at it pretty fast, it didn't mean that she was skilled at balancing her breath intake perfectly.

Rainbow Dash received the baton, and I now waited for her to dash through the obstacle course as I took my last relieving breaths. From what I noticed, Spitfire and Rainbow Dash were never too far apart. Most of the time, they were equal in their distance.

I held up my hoof, ready to accept and sprint in flight with the baton as Rainbow Dash gave it to me. As soon as I heard the clank, I immediately flew off, seeing Fleetfoot right beside me for a second. Wanting to impress or make Rainbow Dash proud, I tried taking my wings to the next level and hoped I would make up for the energy during the small break. I advanced just a little further on, pushing my way through the air by increasing the energy output in my wings. I managed to make it to Fluttershy, allowing her to fly it a second before Fleetfoot finished it. I knew Fluttershy was doing her absolute best, but since she was still a soft flyer, Soarin managed to catch up and pass the baton to Spitfire a little under a second before Fluttershy did. Nevertheless, when Rainbow Dash received it, she was able to stay a bit ahead away from Spitfire at the end of her lap.

When I received it, I knew I had to give it my all again no matter what. It was the final lap and I had to do my best in hopes we received gold! Since I received it a little before Fleetfoot, I began repeating my take the previous time. I felt that Fleetfoot narrowed her eyes and tried to catch up to me from the corner of my eye, but I couldn't let myself be distracted. Paying too much attention on going through the hoops, I didn't notice a stray gryphon feather somehow aim right towards me. It landed right on my muzzle enough to cover the both of my eyes.

I quickly tried to remove it by swatting it away with my available hoof. I was successful, but the consequence of losing my attention for a second led me to touching the tip of the hoop and being severely slowed down by the next one. I had to increase my altitude for the next hoop, but instead, my back hoof clipped it, causing me to flip vertically uncontrollably in the air. I almost panicked and felt the baton slip off from my hoof. At that moment, as I stared at the baton fall, I could only imagine hearing the gasps from those who were specifically watching me. Nonetheless, I continuously tried to bring the baton towards me by flailing my forelegs a little. It bounced long enough closer to me to fortunately allow me to get a grip.

"Up! Up!" I heard Fluttershy shout out loud from a distance.

I looked up to notice I was dangerously close to missing the hoop that I needed to go through, otherwise any chance of winning something from the aerial relay would be lost. Seeing if my hooves would make any difference, I tried to push my legs in the direction of the ground to bring me up faster. Noticing the sight of the hoop, I gave one final push, somersaulting with controll and just barely making it past the last hoop.

As I passed it on to Fluttershy, I noticed that Fleetfoot had gained the advantage to make it before me, having me feel pretty horrible that I highly possibly screwed our chance of getting gold. Nevertheless, as I looked out towards Fluttershy and then to Rainbow Dash, it still counted on them. Maybe they could make the difference.

Seeing that she had to make up for my fault, Rainbow Dash left no hesitation as Fluttershy brought the baton to her. She dashed and appeared to be flying as fast as she could, partially risking the chance of running a mistake like I did. As Rainbow Dash and Spitfire headed towards the end, my eyes remained glued, desperately wanting to know who would make it first. The lead remained on an unset result, as both Rainbow Dash and Spitfire continued to pass one another while remaining by each other's side.

However, in the end, Spitfire made it through in her favor. It was just the perfect timing for the Wonderbolts as the race ended when Spitfire was in the lead that second. Even if we did get second place, I couldn't help but feel like I let my team down with my dumb mistake. I only sighed sadly as Rainbow Dash and Spitfire caught their breath.

Nevertheless, the crowd cheered immensely at the result. Rainbow Dash and Spitfire met with each other face-to-face with a friendly pound of hooves.

Cloudsdale received gold. We got silver, and the gryphons managed to get bronze. I didn't know exactly what we waited for as we stood on the platform that displayed the winners. Either way, I couldn't help but feel myself falling in my mood again.

"What's the long face?" Rainbow Dash turned to me, appearing to still be happy even though we didn't get gold.

"It's just…" I began to share honestly. "I feel like I messed up our chance to get gold…"

"Aw, don't worry about it!" Rainbow placed a hoof around me. "You were great! You pushed yourself beyond your limits and that's what counts! Both of you!" She included Fluttershy. "So what if you messed up at one point? Nobody's perfect! I wasn't expecting to get gold anyway with the Wonderbolts against us. I'm just glad we are at least right behind them!"

"Thanks…" I felt better after hearing that I didn't let her down.

We noticed Shining Armor walking onto the middle of the arena, presenting himself in front of us. "Congratulations to all our medalists." He announced and looked at a specific direction in the side of the arena for some reason. At that moment, that's when things got worst…at least for me… "We have a very special guest with us today!" He stated as this pony began making her way to where we were. "Prior to playing with her band at the end of this Equestria Games, she shall give us the pleasure of singing the anthem of—"

"Hold on!" We heard an unexpected voice run in towards us. It was Spike, and he appeared to quickly want to get the attention of everypony for some reason. "Actually, if you don't ever so mind…!" He stopped in front of Starlight, who was waiting to sing. "I would just love to have the honor of singing the anthem!"

"What?!" Starlight exclaimed, clearly not have been expecting this to happen.

The crowd cheered louder, most likely due to Spike's reputation in the Crystal Empire.

Shining Armor was not expecting this at all either. He subtly walked over to Spike and began to whisper to him. "Spike, what are you doing?!"

"You know how they always just play the music?" He answered his question with another, and then he amplified his voice for all to hear. "Well, I know all the words to our anthem, and will sing them for you now, loud and proud, to the enjoyment of all!"

Following the cheer of the crowd, a pony holding a spotlight appeared on top of Shining Armor, giving him no real choice but to follow along with Spike. Starlight only stood there dumbfounded, but retained her aggravated mood. "And now... um... the Cloudsdale anthem, as sung by... Spike!" He pointed, having the spotlight switch to him.

"Wait! The Cloudsdale anthem?" Spike questioned, including himself in the unexpected turn of events.

"They only play the anthem for the winner, Spike!" Shining Armor sent to him in a hushed voice. "The Wonderbolts are from Cloudsdale!"

"But... But I don't know the words to the Cloudsdale anthem! I've never even heard it!" Spike shared, possibly beginning to feel regret for his sudden actions.

Starlight could have probably helped him out there, but instead, she just crossed her forelegs on the ground and waited to see what Spike would do.

"Sing for us, O Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious!" A pony from the crowd shouted out in favor of Spike.

"What do we do?!" Fluttershy worriedly asked in a whisper.

"I hate to break it to you, but there's nothing we can do." Rainbow Dash returned in the same tone. "I don't know why, but Spike kind of dug his own grave…"

Spike only nervously cleared his throat as the orchestral band began playing the theme for Spike to sing to.

"Oh, we're the Wonderbolts and we're super fast

And we're from Cloudsdale which-is-a-part-of-Equestria" He laughed nervously, presenting to the crowd that he had no idea on what he was doing.

"That we like best and we're proud and we're fast and we like it because it really has nice trees

Yeah, we love the town because it's so cool and, and we like to fly really fast and everything like that" He continued while I noticed a bunch of the ponies in the crowd return signs of disgust and cringing. My eyes wandered over to Starlight. As soon as my eyes caught sight onto hers, I was immediately startled, noticing how she was just intently glaring at me, giving me a look as if this was all my fault. I only looked away a bit fearfully.

"I kinda wish this was over 'cause it is... n't... yet... over... now." Spike continued to improvise.

"Oh, we're the Wonderbolts and we're super fast and we're cloud– from Cloudsdale

We like it there 'cause it's really nice and the trees are cool and I hope it is over now

And... it keeps going on, la la la" Even the Wonderbolts seemed to feel sorry more about how Spike must have felt not knowing the words to the anthem. Only the gryphons looked completely unamused and uninterested at this sight. Fluttershy couldn't help but turn her head away, unable to imagine how embarrassing it must have felt to be in his place.

"And we really love the town

So I wish that this... song... was over now.

Over... now.

Over... now. "

As the song finally finished, he uncovered his claw to present the end. As soon as the instrumentals died down, we heard a little foal crying from the silence of the stands.

"Nailed it!" We heard Pinkie Pie shout out from the stands.

I guess somepony liked it…

"Uh…let's give it to Spike the Brave and Glorious!" Shining Armor tried to recover the situation from the incredible awkward moment, but it was to no avail.

I believed the majority of ponies were still in shock after that honest…disaster. There hardly was any applause.

Spike realized how badly he screwed up and gloomily walked out of the area with his head held down and his tail dragging on the grass.

Starlight decided to take her leave too, but she left me with another piercing glare before she left, leaving me almost paralyzed in my emotions inside.

I was allowed to join the other Princesses back in their exclusive box seats. When I arrived, I noticed that each Princess actually had her own throne kind of seat in a single row. Miss Cadence was the farthest away from me, following Princess Luna, Princess Celestia, and Twilight. There was an empty spot that was reserved for me, even though I was missing for the majority of the games.

I took my seat and stared silently at the center of the arena.

"Great job out there!" Miss Cadence leaned over to see me after noticing me sit down. "You were amazing!" She tried to encourage the positive spirits inside me, but I was still troubled by Starlight's glare. "What's wrong?" She asked with a frown.

"I…I don't really want to talk about it…" I returned briefly.

"Oh…okay…" Miss Cadence dismissed hesitantly, see that pushing forward would cause distraction for the other royalty in front of us.

"What is it, Alex?" My mother wanted to handle it, but I tried to logically dismiss it.

"For now, let's keep that talk away. I wouldn't want to have you miss the Games because of me." I mentioned.

Luna still appeared to be worried. However, she decided she could wait as she pressed back on her seat. She seemed to be content that I was next to her.

Since Twilight was the closest one to me, she decided to bring it up in whispers. "What happened down there?" She asked, leaning closer to me.

I sighed. "Starlight. She looked like she hated my guts."

"I'm not saying your guts deserve hating…but what can you do?" Twilight rhetorically asked. "You can't make everypony like you."

"Yeah… I know…" My eyes wandered off to the Games after I rested my chin on my hoof.

"And so the Games conclude as they always do, with the ice archery finals!" Shining Armor announced, pointing towards targets that archers would try to hit. "Ice archers, take your places!" They did so.

"You were pretty awesome down there though…" Twilight tried to shed some light on me.

"Yeah…" I responded a little distantly. "I guess…" I looked at those competing to not notice a familiar face from Ponyville. "Where's the Ponyville competitor?"

"There's no one to compete for Ponyville." Twilight answered. "It's too bad…but I don't think Ponyville had any experienced ponies for the job."

"Oh…" At the moment, I almost felt like asking to see if I could fill in, even though I wasn't an expert in archery, but it was just to have us have a chance in getting more medals. However, that hope died down, as I felt too bothered to do anything. "It's too bad Ponyville won't get any medals from this… I guess it doesn't really matter." I was beginning to feel pessimistic.

Twilight sighed and began looking around in concern. "You know, I haven't noticed Spike ever since the anthem singing… I wonder where he is…"

"Not to sound like a jerk…but I wouldn't be surprised if he's hiding away from everypony's sight. After all, the singing must have been really embarrassing…" I shared honestly.

Twilight thought to herself for a moment and then stood up. "I'm going to go look for him. I'll be back."

"Okay…" I responded as she walked past me and out the box seats.

The archers began readying their bows and arrows as soon as Twilight left. It appeared that she was going to miss this event looking for Spike. Once the event commenced, all of the archers began shooting their arrows as fast as they could. I almost didn't even notice how when the arrows landed, it froze the area of the target they were on. I also noticed how they were spreading the arrows all around and not trying to get the bull's eye the entire time. Were they trying to freeze the whole target or something…?

During the event, I didn't recognize that something went wrong immediately when one of the archers seemed to knock over his arrows in the pressure he was facing. He proceeded to shoot the arrow he held with his bow, but as he pulled, he slipped from stepping on the barrel of frozen arrows. The bow pointed up and he accidentally released the arrow straight into the sky.

Nothing seemed to happen as the arrow squeezed into the cloud. It seemed like all things were fine. However, the cloud must have held moisture inside or something because icicles began forming from the center and quickly spread out. The weight of the icicles brought the cloud closer to the ground, proving a very dangerous hazard to everyone watching the Games. As soon as everypony noticed the cloud slowly hurling straight towards them, they immediately began fleeing the stands. The Princesses beside me gasped in horror while I was alarmed.

Pegasi quickly flew from the stands to try to stop the cloud from moving or at least move it somewhere safer. I quickly jumped on my hooves and flew towards them, joining them in their goal of preventing a terrible tragedy.

"Steer it towards the field, away from the crowds!" I heard Rainbow Dash exclaim.

I tried focusing my magic on it to either move, shorten, or even shrink it, but I just had remembered that my magic remained disabled, causing great distress.

"Somepony cut the disabling spell!" Shining Armor exclaimed from the ground.

"There isn't time!" The security guard answered.

As we worked our best to stop this cloud of frozen ice, it really proved that our combined strength proved no use. It was way too heavy.

"Everypony! Get out of the way!" We heard Spike's voice.

Everypony followed, having me lower myself where I could still keep an eye on Spike below the cloud. He swiftly jumped and bounced from other pegasi. Once he was directly under the cloud, he inhaled a great breath and withdrew a massive amount of fire to attack the cloud with.

Through the steam coming from the combination of the two, I saw him falling towards the ground. I quickly aimed my body and caught him in mid-air to bring him back safely. Once on the ground, he looked upwards and quickly pulled out an umbrella. From there, he protected the two of us from the heavy rain that fell as a result.

Once it was over, he placed away the umbrella to be welcomed by massive cheers from the crowd. He didn't seem to take the cheering in a boastful manner as I thought he probably would. Instead, he looked down to me and patted my back. "Let's get back, Alex."

Without questioning, I did so, bringing him back to the sidelines to meet up with all of our friends.

"That was awesome!" Rainbow Dash screamed out through the various exclamations of praise the others offered.

The Princesses soon appeared, having Miss Cadence grab Spike's attention by patting him on the shoulder. "I just wanted to thank you personally for saving those ponies and the Games, O Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious." Miss Cadence expressed, literally kneeling all the way to the grass in high respect for Spike. "You must be very proud."

Spike glanced at every one of us and looked downwards to the floor with a careless shrug. "I guess."

I honestly thought saving practically all the ponies watching the Games would make him forget about the whole singing thing, but apparently it didn't.

"You guess?!" Everypony exclaimed in question. Even I wanted add on to that.

"I just saw what needed to be done and reacted." Spike calmly explained. "Just so happens I can breathe fire and... if any of you could do that, you'd have done the same."

"Forgive me for bein' blunt, Spike, but you're not makin' a lick of sense." Applejack truthfully shared.

"Well, it's just how I feel." Spike disappointingly looked away.

"Wait a second." Twilight approached him. "I think I get it. You keep saying you let everypony down, but we all keep saying you didn't. You know who's disappointed in you, Spike? You. And only you can make it right with you again. What would that take, Spike?"

"Meh, I don't know. Can you turn back time?" Spike asked. "'Cause I'd sure like a do-over on that opening ceremony."


"What happened at the opening ceremony?" I asked, remembering that I was too distracted when the security guard was trying to take me out of the Games.

"Just a little torch-lighting trouble…" Twilight mentioned briefly with a small blush.

"We can't turn back time…" Miss Cadence tended to Spike. "But, would you do me the great honor of lighting fireworks in my place at the closing ceremonies tonight?"

"Come on, Spike!" Twilight encouraged with a gleeful smile. "You saved the Crystal Empire twice! I think you can light some fireworks."

Spike noticed the other Princesses nodding their heads in agreement. "Mm, I guess I have to at least give it a shot."

Everypony revealed their appreciation for his choice as he still seemed to look around unsure.

At the closing ceremonies, I decided to stay with Spike and Miss Cadence to offer him some encouragement. I really wanted him to feel better and forget about the whole singing mess. Feeling the weight of the silver medal we ended up winning, I watched as the crystal guards marched past us.

"Okay, it's time!" Ms. Harshwhinny, whom was practically the pony who ran the Games, told Spike.

Before he began walking, I offered a pat. "You've got this." I tried to encourage.

Reaching the straight line of fireworks, he took a second glance at the crowd. Nevertheless, he focused his concentration on the fireworks and inhaled a great breath, exhaling a successful shot of fire that lit them all up. They quickly shot and soared in the sky, exploding greatly and revealing a stunning view that even Spike grinned at and enjoyed.

"Now, to end this year's Equestria Games at the Crystal Empire with a rocking blast, here's Four Hooves Strong!" Shining Armor announced, presenting the spot where Starlight and her band set up.

Starlight scanned the crowd for a moment, and then looked over to her band members in preparation for a song.

It began with a chilling introduction, in the way of already reaching inside your heart… Or was that only for me…?

"I am outside… And I've been waiting for the sun…

With my wide eyes, I've seen worlds that don't belong…"

As I continued to silently observe her performance, I could only feel uneasy in the darkness I was surrounded with. The only light present was the spotlight coming from her.

She wasn't to sing for too long. There were only a few songs, as her performance wasn't the main show. It was only to really have those that attended to leave with a satisfied mood, especially after that big scare with the frozen cloud. I was surprised we stayed throughout the entire end. Then again, it was a sign that I needed to truly confront her, and get the answers I needed.

Unexpectedly, Starlight did something to me all of a sudden at the end of her show.

"Before I leave here tonight…" She spoke into the microphone. "I'd like to call Prince Alex up here with me."

I was practically paralyzed for a minute. I had very mixed feelings about the request, and I really wasn't too into meeting up there with her. Nevertheless, the cheers of the crowd was something I couldn't deny. I couldn't just not accept that. Perhaps…she knew that herself…

I hesitantly traveled to the stage and tried to put on the best feign smile I could. My heart pulsated strongly as I felt nerves tangling up all over. I was facing her, and she could only send me a small smile. She then wrapped her foreleg around me and had me look in her direction where there were large and rapid amount of flashes coming from the audience.

"Smile for the camera, Alex…" She told me softly, which really sent chills down my spine.

I knew she wasn't really happy with this. I had no idea why she was doing it either. At that moment, I could only force myself to grin as much as I could.

"I can't believe you did that with her!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed, referring as all of us rested inside the hotel room we were in. Outside the window, we could see the arena growing empty as the Games had finally ended.

"I don't either." I agreed. "But what was I supposed to do? Try to make an excuse? I'd rather avoid suspicion and just suck it up and do it.

"So, what?" Rainbow concerned herself. "You're just going to…leave at that?"

"No." I shook my head. "I came here expecting to get some answers at the end, and I'm not going to bail out." I thought for a moment, feeling some nerves come up from the thought of confronting her. "No matter what, I have to get this off my chest." I turned to Rainbow. "We're staying here for the night, and I believe she's in the same building. So, why the hay not right?"

"I guess…" Rainbow replied. "But if you're going, I'm going too!"

"No." I clearly and boldly stated. "This is my issue and I'm going to deal with it alone." I said, trying to make it seem that it wasn't that I didn't want their help, I just needed to do it alone… "I don't think I'm going to leave her room until I get the answers so…who knows. If I'm still out late…then you girls go ahead and not stay up for me."

"Are you sure you don't need…?" Twilight asked, wanting to step in.

"I'll be fine…" I expressed and then walked out and closed the door after me. "I hope…" I mentioned under my breath.

I wasn't sure what to do when I was in front of her door. I stood there in strong thought as I didn't want to mess anything up. What was I supposed to do? Just knock and bring myself in? Well…there wasn't really anything else that seemed right…

Seeing as I finally had the time, I inhaled a heavy breath and attempted to exhale it all out calmly. I lifted a hoof, and when I felt hesitation kick in, I closed my eyes, turned away and just did it.

"Who is it?" I heard almost emotionlessly inside.

"…" I regrettably continued to feel annoyingly silent. "…it's Alex."

There wasn't an answer. I began to think she was going to lock the door and not answer to me for the night, which was something I actually didn't think through about. However, she surprised me when she opened the door, turned around, and walked towards a vanity mirror to resume whatever she was doing. Maybe…she wanted to settle things too?

Nevertheless, I walked in and closed the door behind me. Things were probably sure to get loud.

"What?" She asked. "Were the pictures not enough for you?" She mentioned, referring to the last thing she did on stage.

I was kind of hit hard by that, but I still held my ground.

"You know…" I began. "I'm done with this stupid feud between us." As I continued to talk, she only remained fussing with something at her vanity mirror. "I know I've already gotten to this talk a bunch of times before, but now I'm drawing the line. I want the answers now…" I paused for a short moment. "No more hiding things."

She remained silent for a few seconds. "What more do you want from me?"

"I want to know what's been with you Starlight!" I felt myself become a little more emotional and louder. "Starting from when we were kids and up until now. I mean…apparently now, you still hate my guts, but before that whole incident, you used to show me that hate all the time! Now, all of a sudden, it's like you want to me to leave your life for good, contradicting to the life where you always wanted to humiliate me."

"Isn't that a good thing?" She asked, refraining from making eye contact with me. "We both get what we want. I don't ever see you again and you don't have to worry about me 'ruining your life'."

"But that's just it…" I brought up. "Things didn't start changing with you until after you actually saved my life!" I said. "How am I supposed to live with wondering why the hay you did that if you always hated me? You said it yourself. You don't ever want to see me again, so why not let me just perish?"

She allowed her hooves to slam softly on the table. She pushed herself up and turned towards me, beginning to send a furrowed eyebrow near her large bang. "Can't you just leave without knowing the 'answers' to these things? I did something nice for you. Why can't you just leave it at that? You don't need me. I know that because you've said something that proved that before. So, just leave it!"

I now didn't have to worry about chickening out as I was now emotionally invested in the conversation. I sort of scoffed silently and nodded my head. "Okay." I returned. "If you're not going to tell me, then I guess I just have to guess my way through, huh?" She reacted with a little surprise, but mostly gritted her teeth. I looked up at the ceiling with my eyes in thought until I was able to come across an assumption in my mind. "Were you possessive with your parents? You know, I came into the family and you didn't want me to take away the attention that was given to you?"

"You better stop while you can, Alex." She began to warn me, but I wasn't taking it.

"Was that it? Oh, wait. Maybe it's something else. Maybe you didn't want a brother in a first place." She clenched her teeth even tighter, and her face was beginning to redden up. "Yeah. That's it, isn't it?" I asked, noticing her expression. "You didn't want a little brother because you wanted to be the special child and get all the attention from your ever-loving parents."

"Shut up, Alex." Her voice sounded as if it was about to explode.

"No." I kept at it. "It all makes sense now. You went on ahead to have my 'foster parents' hate the sight of me because you didn't want me in the first place. You wanted to be the only child. Only you. You couldn't bare the idea of sharing them with somepony else. And what? Now that you see how I've grown, your conscience has finally caught up to you. Or is it jealously? Jealously sounds a more believable thing. After all, you did go into a fit when I told you Twilight was a better sister than you could ever be. And you know what? It's true. She's always been there for me through thick and thin. And you know where that led us? A team made of a prince and princess. You're just angry about what you did in the past that satisfied you and how it got you nowhere." I remembered her singing career. "Who knows? Maybe now you're just singing to try to fill that void you so try to ignore because of me. You're just angry because now you're realizing that everything you did turned against you!"

"Shut up!" She growled loudly. From the center of her mane, I could notice a small glow, but I was too angry and into the conversation to care about it.

"You know you messed up, Starlight!" I pointed out. "And now you're taking it out on me! You're blaming me for something that is all your fault! I wasn't the one that did anything to you, Starlight! You are! And now you're paying for everything you did!"

The tense strain on her teeth was clearly visible, and I could even see her eye begin to brim with tears. It was for the first time in my life that I ever saw such a thing come from her. As she allowed a drop of her tears fall from her face, I thought she was about to break down crying. Then, she would tell me the truth. But that wasn't the case.

"Get…out of my LIFE!" She shouted out loud.

All of sudden, the instruments in her room began playing, specifically to the instrumental part of a certain song. This light blue aura surrounded her as she began levitating off the ground. A bright flash came from her, blinding me for a second. When I was able to see, I noticed something completely different about her. The bang she wore over her right eye was lifted all the way up, including the strands of her mane that had been hiding something this entire time.

As I stared in completely shock and paralysis, the only thing I could feel in my mind was what she truly was.

She was…a unicorn! What?!

Before she allowed anything else to happen, she opened her eyes, revealing nothing but bright light within them. Afterwards, she furrowed them angrily and pointed towards me.

"No, sir! Well, I don't want to be the blame, not anymore!" She began singing.

"It's your turn! So take a seat!" With her apparent magic, she forcefully pushed me towards the ground. "We're settling the final score!" Her rage began revealing once everything in the room was becoming chaotic. "So why do we love to hurt so much?! I can't decide! You have made it harder just to go on! And why…?!"

She continued singing as I knew I had to stop her. "Starlight! Stop!" I tried talking some sense to her. "The level of magic is too much! It's not only dangerous for you but for everyone nearby!"

"That's what you get when you let your heart win! Whoa!" She strained.

Objects in the room began levitating and orbiting around us. This was getting absolutely out of hoof. I had to do something and fast. I looked over to Starlight, trying to quickly think of any solution. There was one thing that came to mind, and it wasn't really pretty. I had to stop the source of the magic, so in order to do that, I proposed I do the only thing I could think of. Using the objects she messed around with, I had to throw it at her, specifically at her horn, if I wanted a chance to kill her magic…temporarily.

As she continued repeating and adding new verses that I did not pay attention to, due to the possibility of dying, I attempted to grab a hold of different objects and sent them over to Starlight's horn with my magic. She wasn't herself. She was blinded by rage, so she pretty much left herself wide open.

The objects I threw proved successful as she cut short on her song to release sounds and grunts of pain. She placed a hoof to her head with a flinched face. However, she quickly shook her head and recovered, growling loudly. A huge force of her magic was thrown at me, knocking me into the ground. As I tried to get up, I felt an aura surround me, lightly picking me up instead.

"Hey…make your way...to me…to me…" I felt myself being brought helplessly closer to Starlight as she returned a malicious smile. "And I'll always be just…so inviting…if I…!" She slowly brought me closer to her face-to-face until she threw back on the ground. "…ever start to think straight… This heart will start a riot in me. Let's start… Start! Hey!"

From there, she continued with a completely loud part of her song, causing me to cover my ears from the pain of the volume. When it lightened up, I looked back to her to see her and know she wasn't going to stop until I ended it. Some crazy idea entered into my mind. I didn't have time to think it through, but I had to do something before she blew something up.

Grabbing a few objects again, I hurled them at Starlight once more. When she was stunned by the blow, I lifted myself up in flight, and without hesitation, threw myself at her. I wrapped my forelegs around her and brought her to the floor.

From there, it seemed to jolt her conscious self awake through physical impact. All of her mane fell back down to her face, and she opened her visible eye to shockingly notice me on top of her. Her iris shook fearfully before she violently pushed me off her.

She rolled around and stood up, ignoring the mess in her room and looked into the mirror that had cracked from her surge of energy. She was allowed to see several reflections of her face, being reinforced about the horn on her head. She permitted her eye to brim up with tears again, as if she hated the way she looked. Without a care, she left a stream to continuously fall from her eye.

Feeling absolutely sorry for whatever was bothering her because of her tears, I reached out. "Starlight…"

"You're not him…" She stated softly.

Needing a clearer response, I replied. "…what?"

"You're not him!" She turned and shouted angrily out. Finally, revealing the true emotions inside her, she ended up slipping with her legs and falling carelessly to the floor, beginning to sniffle and huff. I was absolutely stunned by this sight. I couldn't speak. "Are you happy now?" She asked through light sobs. "You have your dirt on me. So, what now? Are you going to tell everyone I'm a unicorn now? A useless unicorn that can't cast a single spell because she was never given the chance to even learn anything? That's sure to put an end to my singing career." She turned her head to notice her microphone on the floor. "Who knows? Maybe you're right. Maybe I was just using singing as an outlet or disguise." She narrowed her eyes angrily and sucked in her lips. She grabbed ahold of her microphone and aggressively threw it against the wall near me, shocking me. "But maybe…" She calmed down a little. "…maybe it all wouldn't matter if he was here… My… My…" She stuttered and hesitated. She inhaled a crying breath before she could spit it out. "…my baby brother." I gasped sharply when hearing this. What was she…? "I was supposed to have a real baby brother unlike you… But…before he was even born… He… He…" She began succumbing to the sobs in her voice. "He left me…just like that…" She allowed her head to drop down, her mane covering more parts of her face. She sniffed greatly and shook her head. "How did you expect me to react? When you came into the picture? Did you want me to be like 'Oh hey! Welcome to the family! I just lost the baby brother I was supposed to have, but hey why don't you take his place?'" She was unable to keep the sobs from escaping her. "Is that what you wanted?!" She screamed out loud, facing me and paralyzing me even more. "See what I mean…?" She calmed herself back down. "This is why I didn't want to see your stupid face again… Just looking at you reminds me of him… And now…you're making me hate your guts even more. You just had to make it all about you, didn't you? You couldn't just leave it alone? Now look what happened." She referred to the mess around us. "It's fun watching me cry, isn't it? That's what you wanted all along? You know, for all the mean things I did to you? I guess I deserve it anyway. And guess what? You can totally ruin me now. Tell everypony how I really am. Tell everypony that I've been hiding the fact that I'm a dead-magic unicorn. Maybe I can finally just…be free of pain… Plus, you'll feel so satisfied from it. You'll win over this whole thing between us, and you won't ever see or hear me sing again. You'll know that I've been defeated…and I'll just be counting the days I can see him for the first time…"

No matter how much time had passed, I was absolutely muted. So many things were going through my mind, and I couldn't come up with something to relieve it all. In fact, seeing her in her current state even wanted to make me cry. I turned towards where she had thrown her microphone and absolutely knew inside that I couldn't do any of the things she said I could, even if I still saw her as a horrible jerk. I have to say I'm sorry… I have to make things right… I have to…give her what she wants. I walked towards the microphone and picked it up. Then, I quietly and softly walked to her through her sniffling and soft sobs. I picked up the microphone in my hoof and stared at it for a moment. I held it out to her.

"I'm sorry…" I apologized, wanting it to be meaningful as much as I could make it. "I'm…really sorry. I didn't know… I just…wanted to know why you hated me so bad and…now…" I felt the tears coming up from inside me, having me blink almost non-stop. "I guess I do…" I shook my head. She lifted up hers to notice the microphone in my hoof. She didn't do anything else though. I decided to leave it on the ground near her. "I understand now…" Despite everything she had put me through, it didn't compare with what she had to live through every day. My dark past was done. She was still… "Starlight…" I called, not expecting her to bother looking at me. "Don't worry…" I assured, wanting to leave before I could burst out crying. "I won't tell anypony anything. I'm sorry it even got to this point. I'll stay out of your life for as long as you want…which I'm guessing is forever. You can just…forget about what happened here…including me…" I turned and walked a bit as I faced the door. However, I stopped and slightly looked back. "I just…want you to know that…I'm not such a bad pony as you might think…" I turned back to the door. "But if you still want to think so…I understand…" I made my way and turned the door knob, but did not open the door yet. "…" I hesitated to give my final farewell. "…I'm sorry." Afterwards, I opened the door and made my way out.

I closed the door behind me and sat against it, being unable to completely believe that all that had happened. These emotions inside me had to come out, so I made my way to the nearest bathroom and just let it all go in there.

By the time I returned to the room we were all staying at, the lights were out, and I could hear them sleeping. It was a good thing. They didn't need to see me in the state I was. Through the darkness, I tried to make my way to any bed that wasn't fully preoccupied. I just wanted to sleep and at least forget about what happened for a moment.

When I found a bed, I carefully laid down, despite throwing myself like I wanted. I didn't know if it was empty, or if there was somepony else. I just wanted to close my eyes and forget…

"Spike?" I heard Twilight's voice whisper. "Are you still awake?"

"Mm…" I heard him mumble. "What is it?"

"There's something I forgot to ask you… Why in the world did you want to sing the anthem? It wasn't because of the torch, was it?"

"Actually…" Spike took a moment to completely respond. "I remembered how Alex would say Starlight got on his nerves…so…I just thought that one little thing might make him happy." He laughed a little, finding the memory fond.

I imagined Twilight grinning at that answer, but in the dark, I couldn't tell. "Was it all worth it?" She asked.

"Yeah… Yeah, I guess it was…" He said, concluding the conversation.

There, I sighed heavily but as quietly as I could. I placed the covers over me and closed my eyes shut. Tears continued to escape through my eyes as I continued to think about Starlight. I found it very hard to fall asleep, but at one point…it came…


I ran outside in the streets of the Crystal Empire after having noticed a familiar bad figure out the window of the hotel we were staying at. I ran endlessly as I tried to keep my breath in control. I couldn't lose him. This time, we had to settle things.

I came to a short stop, gaining my breath before I could move on.

"So…have a good time being with your 'brother'?" I heard his dark voice behind me.

I quickly turned around to notice him calmly walking towards me, holding something in his mouth that was an uncovered part of his face. However, I couldn't tell what it was yet as it was dark outside. I was finally able to see when he stepped into one of the street lights, and I was baffled by what it was.

I immediately looked towards my chest area to notice the charm Alex had given me was gone. I gasped and switched my view back to this stallion. "What are you doing with that?!" I demanded.

"Hmph." He grabbed ahold of the charm with his hoof and watched it spin lightly around in front of him. "Seriously, how many sisters does he really need?" I felt he had something absolutely horrid in his mind as he casually watched the charm move in front of him. "As far as I'm concerned… He only has one." He grabbed a piece of the charm with his mouth and tore it apart. I immediately gasped out loud as a reaction, only watching as he threw it to the side like it was trash. "So, what does it matter…when you're out of the picture?" He threatened, moving into a position that told me he was ready for battle.

I wasn't about to step down. Especially not after seeing him do that. I turned my head towards him and clenched my teeth in anger. I knew deep down I wanted to explode. "You freak!" I shouted towards him and felt the aura around my horn strongly glow. "That was important to me!"

"Good." He merely answered, showing no faze in his emotion. "Let's finish what we started…"


I laid down by the edge of the balcony…feeling…almost lifeless. I didn't want to move, and I could no longer feel the magic from seeing the sunset and feeling its wonderful breeze. As I laid there, I looked up to the slowly moving sky and thought about everything today...but it was only mostly about…Starlight.

"What made me think she could actually like me…?" I asked, realizing that I must had been hoping for a happy relationship with Starlight, kind of how like things ended up with Octavia and even Maud. If I wasn't looking for a settled relationship, then I probably wouldn't have cared about it in the first place. I sighed and threw myself to the side, covering my face with my hooves. "I'm such a joke."

I remained silent as I continued trying to distract my mind with the breeze. At first, I thought I heard several hoofbeats, but I didn't care about them. I wanted to just concentrate on the breeze. It wasn't until I heard a weight being sat down, causing me to bring the least of my energy to look. Once I realized it was a familiar face, I quickly forced myself up to sit with her.

"Spirit!" I cried out in surprise. So many emotions ran through my mind as I finally saw her after what felt like the longest time. This time, she was wearing her hoodie…just like last time. But she wasn't trying to hide her identity…at least, that's what I thought. "Where have you–?" I tried to ask her, but she silenced me when she presented something I've been longing for such a while. My eyes caught onto her signature Caramel Delight, waiting to be enjoy. I noticed the small silent smile she presented, causing me to warmly smile back. I accepted it. "Thank you…" I expressed gratefully and turned to face the sunset. I took that first bite, closing my eyes to realize how much better it made me feel. Spirit turned to the sunset as well and brought out her own ice cream. I didn't care what she did before for whatever reason. All that mattered was that she was here with me…again.

"You know…" I mentioned, reaching the end of my ice cream. "I've actually…been thinking of other names for you while you were gone." She lifted up her head and turned to me as if she was surprised. "Not that Spirit is a bad name or anything!" I made clear. "It's just… I remember you saying that you wouldn't be surprised if I had a name for you… And the name Spirit was kind of an accident…as I didn't really...you know…plan it out. But…" I stared at the last piece of ice cream that was waiting to be eaten. "I can't really think of anything better than Spirit… It really is a great name for you… Sorry, if that disappoints you." I apologized with a sort of embarrassed smile. I was expecting her to at least laugh or giggle somewhat, but she didn't. She remained silent. I looked at my ice cream with no other words to say until I realized something. "Oh!" I took that last bite and saw the bare ice cream stick in my hoof. "Here!" I hovered it towards her. She grabbed a hold of it with her right hoof and stared at it, along with the empty one in her left. "If you don't mind… I'd really like to see what kind of project you're doing with those…" I referred to the sticks. She still didn't answer. She looked more intently at the stick she had been holding in her left hoof and seemed to clench it tightly. Afterwards, she really surprised me when she threw her stick angrily off the balcony, causing me to gasp. "Spirit, what's going on with you?" I questioned after having seen that stick fall long enough to where it wasn't visible anymore. "You haven't been yourself lately. I mean, you missed all those days of having ice cream together and you've been acting str—"

"Alex…" She finally spoke, silencing me. "I…I'm out of time…"

"…what?" I asked, not grasping what she meant.

She stood up and continued to gaze out into the sunset in silence. "No matter how much I hate it… I have to do this." Before I could question her again, she continued talking oddly. "We've had so many good times together…and I've enjoyed every last one of them…" At this point, her voice slowly began breaking into tears. "…but I'm afraid all of that was a mistake." She caused me to gasp as she said something I never expected her to say at all. "Otherwise…this would have been easier to take care of…"

"Spirit…what are you talking—?"

"Look at me, Alex!" She quickly turned, revealing her face under her hoodie to me. "Who I am?!" She said in such an upset tone that sounded as if she had no clue on who she was supposed to be herself. Not only did I not have an answer for her, I was too stunned by the scratches and bruises she held on her face. Was that…from last time…? "I…" I still had to answer her question, as she was waiting for me in her stare. "…I don't understand…" I returned honestly.

Her eyes turned to the ground in disappointment. She turned her head back in the direction of the sunset and faced down to ground below. "Then this nobody has to play her part." She paused for a moment, continuing to look lifelessly out. "Alex…" She called me and then slowly turned her head around. "I'm sorry…" She looked at me with her face full of sorrow. "I'm so sorry...!"

Before I could say anything, she hopped over the edge of the balcony, alarming me. "Spirit!" However, she didn't fall. She was…levitating away from me. "Wait!" I called out, reaching a hoof towards her. She stopped and continued facing away from me. Then, she turned around and I could see that she was glaring angrily at me.

"It's been nice knowing you, Alex…" She frightened me with that sentence. "But only one of us is getting out of here alive."

"…what…?" I felt the emotion in my face drain and drown in sadness.

"Don't you see?!" She exclaimed out loud, wishing me to somehow understand. "This is why I should have never existed!"

Darkness began clouding the area around us, covering up the once peaceful sunset. Something strange began occurring in my mind… It was hurting… I placed a hoof to my temple and closed my eyes. At that point, short memories rewinded. I saw images of Ahuizotl in my mind. Then the Tatzlworm. Finally, it was the chimera I fought when Applebloom ran off with Applejack's cart.

Why was…?

After these rough memories, I was finally able to look out and see what happened to the area. Everything was completely black, and I saw Spirit standing out in the empty space.

"Spirit…" I tried to reach out, but the more she remained still, the more she scared me. "Spirit." I called again, a little more desperately and loudly and began to fly to her. "Spirit!" I called one last time, racing towards her. Just as I was about to grab ahold of her, she vanished. Everything that changed confused me for a moment. I noticed where the sunset was supposed to be was now nightfall. Stars filled the sky and the full moon was almost creepily visible. I looked at my body to now see the hoodie Spirit was wearing was now placed on me. I felt myself almost hyperventilating, panicking as if this was all really some nightmare. As if everything about today had been a nightmare! As I turned around, I noticed something that made me gasp loudly. It was Spirit, as she angrily spread out the wings that appeared from her body. Not only that, there was a horn on her head. H-How…?! "You're an Alicorn?!" I exclaimed at her sight.

She clenched her teeth, and with tears brimming in her eyes, she focused her horn and sent a beam of what appeared to be white magic at me. Having had unexpected such a thing, she hit me, and as much as it stung, I was more concerned on why she would do that.

"Spirit, what are you doing?!" I demanded, but she didn't answer. She only continued to send out more beams from her horn, causing me to pull up a shield to defend myself. "Spirit, what's wrong with you?!" I shouted out towards her. "We're supposed to be friends!"

"Starlight's not the only pony that's sick of looking at you… So am I!" Her words were enough to pierce through my shield. I remained there in absolute shock for what I was hearing. It couldn't be… Spirit…! Why are you doing this?! She growled and sent another at me, hitting me directly. At that point, I could hardly do anything but fly to keep me afloat. I felt almost completely weak and too fragile to do anything. As I looked at Spirit's way, I noticed that for some reason, she was in the same state as I was, even though I hadn't done anything to her. She tried to catch her exhausted breath. "…is…is that all you got?" She focused her horn and instead of attacking me, she healed me to where I physically felt better. However, in return, she also became the same.

"Spirit!" I honestly felt the need to cry instead of fighting. I didn't want to hurt her! "Stop! Please!" I pleaded.

"Stop talking!" She commanded and sent another beam, having me defend myself with my magical shield. When she noticed I wasn't doing anything back, she added more focus and strength to her magic. "Stop holding back!" She ordered greatly. Afterwards, beams of light didn't come in front of me, they descended from the air, having me have to focus on protecting myself on top. However, with the large amount of beams, some of them got a few hits on me. I was left feeling myself tire out once again. Huffing immensely, Spirit worked up another spell and healed me this time again. "Come on!" She instructed aggressively.

"No…"I shook my head weakly from psychological exhaustion and shock.

"Grr…!" She growled and then worked yet another spell, but this time it was hostile. "Get ready, Alex!" She warned. "Arrghhh!" She shouted out loud.

Immediately after she formed a radius of stinging white magic. I felt myself being pulled in towards it. I tried to keep away, but it was no use. I couldn't understand if it was my physically body I was weak in, or if it was my mental mind. This attack by Spirit almost brought the life out of me, leaving me on the brink of passing out. Still…no matter what…I couldn't hurt her…

"What's…wrong…with you…?" Spirit managed to barely speak. She appeared to be dizzy, as she couldn't keep herself balanced in the air. "Do…something…!"

"Spirit…" I shook my head, wishing to plead as much as I could in order to make her stop. "…please…don't do this…" I felt deprived just as much as she did.

She was able to fly a bit more to approach me, but she didn't look like she was ready to end the fight anytime soon. "Alex…if you don't…do something…I'm…I'm…I'm going to…finish you off…right now…!"

"No…"I felt the tears wanting to burst out as I fiercely bit my lower lip. She began scurrying up magic of her own. "Please…" I asked once again. She clenched her teeth and was possibly about to release a great burst of magic to end me until I was frustrated enough to where I couldn't control myself. "STOP!" I cried out and sent out an aggressive beam of white magic unintentionally.

This attack threw her against the castle on top of the balcony. Despite how weak I felt, I looked up in shock, realizing what I had done. She tried to recover, but instead, her hooves were placed against her head, as if she was experiencing some kind of massive headache. Finally, the wings and horn she had just disappeared…vanished… From there, she allowed herself to…just fall straight towards the balcony.

"Spirit!" I cried out and tried to reach her, but something painful suddenly poked through my mind.

Even so, with the pain, I managed to slowly make my way to her, wanting to aid her. She managed to weakly push herself back up, but she soon came tumbling to her knees. She only stared at the floor at that point. "Do it…" She requested as I stood there with my hoof on my temple. "…Finish me off." She lifted her head up to meet her eyes with mine.

I only stared in silence at her. I didn't speak. There was no way I could have done that. I only shook my head as I tried to softly catch my breath. Spirit's eyes turned back down to the floor, as if she had been defeated with disappointed. "You'd be…better off…Alex…" Afterwards, her body gave out, having me quickly tend to her by catching her with my back. Then, using my magic, I picked up her body and switched to holding her with my forelegs instead. At that time, I was able to examine what I did to her clearly, from this fight and the last.

"How…" I tried to speak, feeling the emotions inside me worsen much more. "…how could I do this to you…?" I asked. However, I didn't receive an answer. I looked towards Spirit, expecting her to talk. "Spirit?" I called. When she still didn't say anything, I lightly shook her. "Spirit…come on…wake up…" I felt myself absolutely submitting to terrible depression. There was nothing else I could do in hopes to wake her up. "…why…?" I asked, despite the possibility that she couldn't even hear me. "…why did you do this…? I didn't mean to hurt you… I didn't… Don't do this to me, Spirit…" I began to feel like I was crying softly. "I don't know why…but…but…I feel like…I need you." I sniffed. "Don't you dare leave me…" As I continued looking at her, I began feeling this uncertain hope cloud my mind. "No…" I switched. "You'll be okay…" Using the rest of my magical strength, I placed her carefully on my back and began taking her to her bed. "…you're always okay…" I continued speaking feelingly. Once at the side of her bed, I managed to use what felt like the rest of my physically strength to position her comfortably. "You want to know why…?" I repeated. "Because…" I felt the water in my eyes rise up. "Because…" I tried to speak, but it was so hard to do anything. As I continued to stare at her in her current state, I couldn't help but feel absolutely awful for what I did. I quickly grabbed ahold of her hoof and held it tightly. "Because…you're…!" I didn't want to break down now. I bit my lower lip and tried so hard to keep most of it inside. As my head fell downwards, I noticed something poking out from underneath her bed. I released her hoof and pulled it out. It looked like some kind of…container made out of…of…ice cream sticks… Inside, I noticed something else. They appeared to be drawings… As I pulled them out to observe them, there was something…a little weird about them. One drawing looked like it had…Coco…Spirit…and me…? The others…I couldn't quite recognize them at that moment. Even so, these drawings caused the tears to swell up. "…you're you…" I finished. I released the drawings and allowed them to land back in the ice cream stick container. Afterwards, I called Spirit's name one last time.

"Spirit…" I said with a sobbing breath.


"You're pathetic." He laughed as he evaded another one of my attacks. "Look at you." He continued. "A silly little princess of Equestria, and you can't even touch a 'freak' like me?"

I growled, having about enough of his antics. "Enough!" I yelled out, firing a sort of gravity spell that caught him off-guard and lifted him up into the air. I then controlled his entire body, sending it anywhere that had a hard surface I could find. When I threw him to the ground, he began to slowly get up, but I couldn't tell if I really hurt him. He didn't seem to release any sounds of pain whatsoever. Nonetheless, I charged straight at him and summoned a great ball of bursting magic. He now fell backwards on his side and remained on the ground.

I was panting exhaustedly. I figured he had lost conscious once he didn't move anymore.

"That'll teach you…" I said softly. Afterwards, I began to cautiously walk towards him. "Now…I get to see who you really are…" I mentioned as I proceeded to remove the object covering his identity.

Right before I could touch it, he released a loud deviant laughter, startling me and causing me to quickly jump back. He then casually lifted himself up, standing before me once again as if none of my attacks had any effect on him whatsoever. "You know, you're really fun to play around with when someone's bored. Maybe you'll keep your little insignificant life a little longer." He turned around, appearing to leave. "Until it's time that is…" He finished and walked away.

"Wait!" I began to gallop after him, but he had already vanished within the darkness.

I unexpectedly sat up from bed startled. I felt myself sweating and I was panting a little. "Huh…?" I questioned quietly. I created a beam of light from my horn and looked around to notice I was still in the hotel room. "…was it all…just a dream…?" I asked myself. I then remembered something significant and looked towards my chest. I released a great breath of relief. "Thank goodness…" My charm was still there. "Still…that dream…" I spoke to myself. "It was so…"

I suddenly heard some noise nearby, lightly startling me. I looked by my side to notice Alex. There was something off about him… From what I could see, he seemed to be wearing some kind of hoodie… Also… he was…crying… There were small tears streaming from his closed eyes and it even left a tiny spot of the bed under his eyes drenched. I tried to wipe the tears off his face, but he lightly whimpered when I did.

"Did you have a bad dream too…?" I asked, even though he couldn't answer me. I sighed quietly and then looked out the window near the bed. "Alex…is there something we're not seeing…?"


I walked slowly towards the entrance of the Everfree Forest. Rain was beginning to pour, so I placed on the hood part of my hoodie. Under this one circumstance was when I'd ever go through this place…

"Don't worry… I'm coming…" I whispered under my breath and proceeded to run as fast as I could through this forest.

After dodging crooked branches, tripping roots, and possibly even avoiding dangerous creatures the forest held, the castle was now in my line of sight. It was where…she was supposed to be… However, I came to a slow walk, noticing somepony was in my way. Her lavender hooves remained planted on the ground.

"Who are you?!" I asked almost furiously, having no patience to handle another obstacle.

Author's Note:

Disclaimer: There are lyrical references to "Paramore" in this chapter.

I don't own any lyrics unless they are obviously not found anywhere else.

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