• Published 19th Jan 2013
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Rise of the Elements Part II: Return of the Avatars - Radiant Dawn

Ancient beings of long since past are returning, but for good or ill?

  • ...

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Chapter 8: A Spectrum of Changes

Chapter 8: A Spectrum of Changes

The next month passed very quickly, but there were quite a few things that happened. First and foremost, my mother and Big Mac got married. After two divorces, I was unsure if she was ever going to marry again, but apparently it took a guy from a different world to make her fall in love again. Good for her.

On a more serious note, the undead horde was growing. Though we did not see nor hear of them, cemeteries across the continents were being found dug up, with the bodies missing. Needless to say it was more than a little unnerving for the ponies of Equestria, so we started building up the military immediately. Ponies from everywhere began to join, most from right in Ponyville. The only friends of mine who didn't join were Fluttershy and Rarity. Because of this, we now had a formidable defense force, which was in the process of being trained by myself, Shining Armor, my brother, and others who I trusted.

Today however, something most important is happening for me and a special somepony.

Rainbow Dash and Luna somehow talked me into marriage...and today was the date that had been set. Needless to say with this being only the second marriage of an alicorn that most of the ponies in Equestria could remember, it was a momentous occasion. Thousands had poured into Ponyville, and in doing so even more joined the Equestrian Royal Military. While the gesture meant a lot to me, right now I was being dressed in my tux with one very excited Rarity.

"Oh darling, this is just so exciting! I've always dreamed of creating garments for my friends, and for royalty. I never ever thought I would be doing both at once!" she rambled.

Spike was sitting in the corner with a huge grin while Rarity did her thing. The young dragon had surpassed all expectations as far as growth was concerned. At seven feet tall, he was now taller than both myself and my brother. Being a magical ground dragon, he had become very muscular, and there was no doubt in my mind that he could easily beat any one of us when it came to strength. His spines on his back had changed as well, now becoming clear like emerald, with his eyes to match. Lucky for himself and Rarity, he was near full-grown, if not already so. I was so happy when he chose to join the military with us all, as we would have great use for his protective instinct, magic, and physical strength. With training, he could easily become one of our elite warriors on the battlefield, with very few that could match him.

I smiled as Rarity was finishing up some last-minute changes to my suit, thinking about how much things had changed in only a month. Marriage...that was not something I'd expected at first, but now that I thought about it...I was glad. I was marrying Rainbow Dash today, and once I actually thought about how much I cared about her, I was surprised I hadn't done it sooner. I only hope she was less stressed about it than I was though.

Perspective change - Rainbow Dash


It wasn't something I felt often in my life. Usually, I was one of the most confident ponies around, and for good reason.

This was different though.

I was getting married...married. Married to the stallion I loved more than anypony else, and I was ecstatic. At the same time though, I was unbelievably nervous. I mean, what if I get up there and he decides he doesn't want to do this? What if I decide I didn't want to do this? So many things could happen, and the fact that I was worrying about it this much just worried me even more. It was weird to me that one thing could change the way I act so much.

My nerves were put on edge again when I heard the door to my dressing room open, revealing Luna. I had Luna to thank for all this. After all, she was the one that helped me talk Frost into it. While he definitely wanted to marry me, he wasn't the most active when it came to bringing it up. As Luna walked over to me, I felt my nerves start to dissolve, and somehow, she filled me with confidence and a feeling of calm.

She smiled warmly at me and sat on her haunches in front of me. "Dear Rainbow Dash, you look stunning. Rarity has done fine work, as always."

I nodded. "Yeah, Rare's always been great at making dresses."

She nodded in agreement before her face changed to a more serious look. "I take it you accept then what this means, right? Marriage with an alicorn, I mean."

Luna had explained to me just how much was riding on this. Marrying Frost would make me an alicorn...and in doing so would make me immortal. I remember when she spoke to me about it, she almost seemed like she was trying to talk me out of it. But no, I wanted this more than I'd ever wanted anything...even more than being a Wonderbolt. I had taken a few days to think about it of course though. I mean...living forever is a big deal after all, and I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into. One of the things most ponies would have thought about was how they'd have to watch their family and friends grow old and die while they just kept living. I was so afraid at first of what that meant, but Luna promised me that they'd always be there with me, and that I'd never have to be alone. That was all I'd needed to hear. As much as I made it a point to be all independent and whatnot, that didn't mean I wanted to be alone. The fact that I knew that I'd never be alone again made me sure I was making the right choice.

Snapping myself out of my little reverie, I just nodded and smiled. "Yep, I've thought all about it, Luna. I'm sure about this."

She pulled me close in a hug for a moment before pulling away with a smile. "I had to be sure. Remember what I told you...you will never be alone."

I nodded and continued fitting my dress and accessories on.

Perspective change - Darkflight

My older brother...getting married.

What. The. Fuck.

I remember the day he told all of us it seemed to come out of nowhere. I mean, I know they were together and all, but it's only been a year. Then again on Earth, some people don't even last that long. I guess a year makes sense then, but still. If I were in a jealous mood - which I'm totally not - I'd be shitting myself right now. I mean not only is he getting married to the Element of Loyalty, but he's also now the envy of nearly every stallion in town...no, in Equestria.

But not that I'm jealous or anything.

I really had been wanting to pop the question to AJ, but now it seems like I need to wait. Too soon and she'll think I wouldn't have thought of the idea myself, so for now I'd just grin and bear it. I just hope she'll say yes.

Lately, I'd been training Spike in combat and such. He couldn't fly like I could, but he was a hell of a lot stronger than me, which was weird considering he didn't look it. Because of that, I'd been training him on the different types of magic fire I'd learned, as well as hand-to-hand combat. Once he got the basics down, he easily overpowered me, so instead I switched to judo, where his power would mean next to nothing. Twilight Sparkle and his marefriend Rarity had been a little apprehensive about him joining the military, but they warmed up to it eventually. Spike's pretty much grown after all, and he deserves to be able to make his own choices.

Right now, however, I had more important things to worry about. It was my job to make sure the new royal necklace, hoof caps, and crown were ready for Rainbow Dash. I decided to make it Greek-style, because something about her just screamed Greek goddess.

Maybe it was her house...

Anyway, I set about making the hoof caps first. The metal itself would be an alloy of gold and platinum, making a bright, shiny gold color. I would temper the metal with my pink flame to add strength so it wouldn't bend or melt. Lastly, I added little lightning bolts swept back on all the caps, to give it some flair.

The necklace was going to be harder. It would be completely different from the other alicorns' wear, but I still had to make sure it held a royal quality to it. From what Frost told me, she had a fighter's personality at heart, so I made the necklace into a sort of breastplate. Because it wouldn't be worn when she was actually trying to fly fast, I could make it as royal and gaudy as I wanted. I made the piece itself into a basic shape not unlike Princess Luna's, but that was where the similarities ended. I had magesteel settings put in the chest, and added a different dragon's flame for every color of the rainbow. I had to reinforce the blue to make sure it didn't melt, but after that I was done.

Lastly was the crown. I was told she wasn't much for something huge and regal, so instead I settled for a golden olive branch design with a simple sapphire on the back. As I was putting the finishing touches on the necklace, I heard the door open behind me. I turned to see Princess Celestia and immediately saluted her.

She giggled and waved me off. "At rest, sergeant." I complied and relaxed, stepping back so she could look over my work. She stepped over to the table I had set the finished pieces on and looked over them, a grin on her face. Once she came across the necklace, however, she gasped. "Darkflight, this is amazing. How did you manage this?"

I chuckled and stepped forwards. "Well, it wasn't easy princess. The blue flame is hotter than most, so I had to reinforce the setting to make sure the heat was contained. The violet was the hardest, though. The violet flame has the power to be picked up and thrown like a hardened projectile, but only affects non-living substances. This means that while it's perfectly harmless to us, it could do massive damage to a building. With that being the case, I had to imbue the setting with a white flame to create a barrier that would keep it in place."

She nodded and smiled. "You've done well again, Darkflight. I wish I could make you a prince."

I chuckled and shook my head. "Nah, I'm good, believe me. If the dragons wanted to make me royalty, that's different. Among ponies though, I'm good just being a regular old dragon."

"You are far from average, Darkflight. You have shown this in many ways." she stated with a smile.

Oh...if only she knew.

Perspective change - Luna

There was little to do for the few hours before the ceremony began, and so I simply sat with Rainbow Dash and a few of our friends as we waited. There was stress because of the danger looming on the horizon, but today was a happy day...and not even what was to come could ruin the joyous atmosphere. The only one who had not seemed pleased was Fluttershy. She had smiled and nodded when the marriage was announced, but I could tell it was forced. Luckily I did not have to go all the way to her cottage to get her, as she was sitting right beside me at the moment.

She had not lifted her gaze from her hooves the entire time we had been sitting, and I had to find out why. I stood and looked down at her, a smile on my face. "Dear Fluttershy, would you mind coming with me for a moment? There is something I would like to speak to you about." All her friends eyed her with curiosity, but I ignored the looks.

She seemed visibly nervous now, which was to be expected. "Um...o-okay Princess Luna." She stood and followed me down the corridor to the gardens, where I sat near a tree in the shade. Almost immediately, birds began to land around Fluttershy as she sat down in front of me. I had always found her way with animals a form of magic on its own, and it excited me to actually come across something I did not fully understand.

We sat in silence for a few tense moments before I spoke, trying to sound as gentle and inviting as possible. "Fluttershy, I know this is all making you tense." She flinched at this, but I continued. "I admit, I do not know why. Could you please tell me why this is all making you so uneasy?"

She lowered her head a bit, hiding behind her silky pink mane. "Um...I-I'm sorry...it's just..." She fell silent again.

"Just what, my little pony?" I coaxed, getting a feel for the warming tone of voice Tia was skilled with.

She closed her eyes and sighed before continuing. "I feel like once this happens, I'm never going to see Rainbow Dash again. She..." She started to tear up a bit as she swallowed hard. "She's my best friend...and I don't want to lose her. She just means so much to me, and I feel like..."

I stood up and walked over to her, wrapping her in my wing as Frost would me when if I were feeling sad. "Dear Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash is getting married to Frost. However both of them think the world of you, and neither one would ever hurt you in such a way, that much I can assure you." She looked up at me with her ocean-blue eyes and I smiled at her. "Until the day you leave this world to the great beyond, Rainbow Dash will always be your friend. That will never change."

She looked hopeful, which was better than sad. "A-are you sure?"

I nodded and smiled again at her. "I am positive. Both of them care a great deal for you...you will never be left alone."

She sighed happily and pressed herself against me, reveling in the gentle embrace of my wing. "Thank you, Princess Luna. I feel so much better now."

"You are a friend, Fluttershy. I would have you simply call me Luna, if you wish." I stated with a smile.

She nodded. "Okay Luna. Well our friends are probably wondering where we are, so we should get back."

I nodded and released the small pegasus, watching her as she walked away. It was strange that one so small could hold such love for her friends. Her kindness and care is something we all could learn from.

Perspective change - Twilight Sparkle

Everything was going wrong, and I couldn't figure out why. It was just a simple spell I was supposed to cast, but for some reason I couldn't get it right. The spell was supposed to be like a firework show, but made of magic instead of blasting powder. For some reason, whenever I'd get it to the part where it was to break into the seven colors of the rainbow, it would end up backwards, with violet first instead of red. It was a simple issue, but with everything going on it was stressing me out. It shouldn't have, but it was. I mean, it was a marriage between one of my closest friends and Frost, so I had to make sure everything was perfect.

Perfect just wasn't in the cards today it seemed.

Lucky for me, before I could stress myself out anymore, Spike walked in my room. It had been weeks since I'd seen Spike for more than a few minutes, and I missed him a lot. He was like a brother to me...and having him gone most of the time now was a big change. The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that maybe that was why I was getting stressed out so easily. There was just something about him that calmed me down. A feeling of security, and love.

I missed it so much.

"Hey Twi, how's it going?" he asked nonchalantly.

I could tell he knew I was stressed and he was just trying to make conversation, but for the moment I just let it go. I sighed and sat down, rubbing my temples with my hooves. "It's going just fantastic, Spike. The wedding is in a few hours and I just can't get this spell right."

He shrugged. "Well, maybe you're trying too hard."

I raised an eyebrow at him in a mixture of confusion and frustration. "Trying too hard? Is there such a thing?"

He nodded and walked over, sitting himself next to me. He was no longer the small little dragonling I raised from an egg. Now, he was a big powerful dragon that looked...regal. His changes to his body had given him a regal appearance...one that should be both revered, and feared. Still, to me he was my closest friend in the world, and a brother that wasn't a pony.

He smiled at me and nodded again. "Yes, there is such a thing as trying too hard. It's true that you have to focus when you're casting a spell, but if you focus too hard, you won't be able to feel it as well."

"Feel it? What are you talking about?" I asked in utter confusion.

Perspective change - Spike

I loved Twilight to death, but when she was being like this was when I would start to lose my patience. To think that a pony so smart could forget the most basic things sometimes.

I just stood behind her and massaged her shoulders lightly. "You need to relax, Twi...you're too stressed out. You're not going to be casting any spell right if you don't relax."

She huffed in frustration and lowered her head. "I'm sorry Spike...I've just got a lot on my mind is all."

Contrary to what Twilight thought about me, I was every bit as smart as she was, though it was a little against my will. When I was younger, she made it a point to have me study with her, reading, testing, and writing all sorts of things. Now that I had awakened most of my dragon abilities, I have to admit that the extra intelligence came in handy. All the same, I could now tell exactly what was wrong with her, and it was as obvious as if she had a giant sign glued to her horn.

"It's about me, isn't it?" I asked softly. She flinched a bit and I removed my hands from her, moving around to kneel in front of her. "Isn't it?"

She was silent for a long time before nodding. "I'm sorry Spike...I just miss you is all. Even with all my friends coming by all the time the library just seems so...empty. It's felt like that ever since you started sleeping over at Rarity's. I mean do you realize this is the longest time we've spent together in almost two weeks?"

She was right of course, and while I did have a good reason, it was still my fault. "Sorry Twi...the training's been keeping me pretty busy, and afterwards I want to make sure I see Rarity. I mean, you can always come visit us." It was at that moment I realized I'd made a mistake.

"Well why don't you visit me? It's like you don't even care about me anymore!" she shouted.

The fact that she felt this way just made me feel worse. I mean now that I thought about it, even Rarity had suggested I visit Twilight. Maybe I had been neglecting her more than I thought. "Look Twi, I'm sorry. Things have just been really crazy is all. I still care about you the same I always have though. Just because I'm not around as much doesn't mean I'm not still your friend."

Her expression instantly changed to one of embarrassment, and she shifted a bit before replying. "I…I'm sorry Spike. You don't deserve this...I just miss you so much. I mean, we've lived together for five years. It's just so strange not having you around anymore, and it hurts sometimes. I can't just call for you when I'm feeling sad or stressed…" she trailed off, tears beginning to form in the corner of her eyes.

I stepped forward and hugged her tight, stroking her mane in a comforting way. "Twilight, I have no reason to ever leave. I'll follow you wherever you go, and that's a promise. I love Rarity a lot, but you…you're family. You're like my sister, and you come first. Just like Sweetie Belle comes first for Rarity, you come first for me. It's always going to be that way, and that's never going to change." Finally being tall enough to do so, I kissed her on her forehead and smiled as she looked up at me. "I'm going to be moving out soon, as I've begun building my own home near the forest, but you'll always know where to find me. I'd never just leave you, and now you know that."

She finally smiled, albeit through tears, and rubbed her cheek against my chest. It was weird with Twilight technically being older than me that I was the one to comfort her like this, but I just ignored the feeling. She was obviously missing me, and I realized that it was mostly my fault. She needed me, and I was going to be the best dragon I could for her.

After a few minutes of hugging, she spoke, though softly. "Spike?"

"Hmm?" I hummed in acknowledgement.

She pulled away and smiled at me. "I'm so proud of you. You've turned out to be a strong, caring dragon. I couldn't have asked for a better friend."

I chuckled and ran my fingers through her mane. "Well you could ask, but you wouldn't find one."

She rolled her eyes and giggled. "Okay Rainbow Dash."

Perspective change – Vinyl Scratch

A year…have they been together that long already? I mean it seems like yesterday that Frost came to Terra, and already he was getting married, to Rainbow Dash no less. I mean don't get me wrong, I loved the mare to death, because she was every bit as plucky as I was and was fun to boot. Still, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous. Yeah I know it's weird to know that Vinyl Scratch of all ponies was thinking about marriage, but still…the idea of it being with Frost made it seem a lot more awesome than normal. It's okay though, I'd have my turn with time. Besides, I was in no hurry really. I knew Frost loved me and I loved him back, and for the time being that's all that mattered.

At everypony's request, I was going to be taking care of the music at the wedding, save for the Wedding March song...that would be Tavi's responsibility. I'd already let both of the princesses listen to the music I had planned, and they were pleasantly surprised. I'd chosen a lot of ambient music for most of the wedding – which was a change for me. What really excited me was the reception though. It was going to be one hay of a party...me and Pinkie Pie were going to make sure of that.

Who knows, maybe we'd get to see the princesses dance.

The thing that was in the back of my mind was the reason why we were doing this. I mean, everypony had already heard about the monsters that were gathering all over Terra, so it wasn't like it was a secret. That's the reason I had to make sure this party went well. This party was meant to raise the spirits of everypony to make sure that whatever was to come, they'd be able to push through it. I was never one for fighting, so I instead chose to use my skills to keep up the morale of everypony in the coming days.

What worried me the most was that most of my friends were going to be going to war. Lyra had decided to stay, but most everypony else was going. Applejack, Twilight, Rainbow Dash…even Pinkie Pie had joined the military. Needless to say the two wolves and two dragons had joined as well, and while at first everypony was afraid of them, they now felt pride and courage well up within them. We thought of it this way: sure, they looked scary…but just imagine how much damage they'll do to the enemy. Lastly but certainly not least, nearly every royal was going to be fighting, with the exception of Prince Blueblood. It was going to be strange having the three princesses going to war, but they assured us that it was for us that they were doing it. Everything was coming together now, so I had to make sure I did my part too.

I was busy setting up the last of my equipment when Pinkie Pie walked over with a bright smile. "Hiya Vivi!"

The pet name was her own creation, and while it bothered me a little at first, I couldn't help but love it now. It made me feel special that my friend would come up with a unique nickname just for me, and I liked it.

I smiled and nodded back, pushing my glasses up to rest on my horn, revealing my bright crimson eyes. "Hey Pinkie, it's good to see ya girl. What are you up to?"

"Oh you know, just checking to make sure everything's going okay. I want this party to be just perfect for Dashie and Frostie, so I have to make sure that Equestria's best DJ is doing okay." she answered with a wide smile.

I grinned and raised an eyebrow at her. "You know Pinkie, any other mare might think you're flirting when you say something like that."

She smiled mischievously and hopped up on the stage beside me. "Who says I'm not?"

My mouth dropped open in shock, and I stuttered as I tried to find a response. "Um…w-wow…was not expecting that at all."

She stared at me for the longest time before bursting out laughing. Oh…oh Vivi, you should have seen your face!"

I rolled my eyes and smiled. "Nice one Pinkie, good joke."

"I said your face was funny, I never said I was joking." she explained with a grin.

Yet again, I was shocked. I couldn't honestly say I didn't find the pink mare attractive on a number of levels. I mean, she was just so fun. She loved music, she was playful, and she was just all around happy. I mean who wouldn't love that? That doesn't mean I was any less surprised though that my secret crush for a number of years was actually flirting with me, and I started blushing like mad.

Having a white coat sucks sometimes.

When she saw me blushing, she started to giggle that wonderful, bubbly giggle that always made me smile. Even with my embarrassment, I couldn't help but grin as her laughs tickled my eardrums.

She placed a hoof around my neck and pulled me against her side. "Oh Vivi, you're so cute when you blush."

"N-no I'm not!" I retorted. It was weird that she could get this behavior out of me after knowing her for so many years. I mean I couldn't help but act the same way around Frost, but I'd only known him for about a year now. Pinkie was different. Everypony knew her, knew who she was, knew what she was like…but only her closest friends knew what she was really like. On the outside, she was always happy about everything and lived for the party, but recently I'd found out that inside she was just as damaged and cynical as I was. I guess her dad hanging himself would do that to her.

The day she told me that story was the day I felt a warmth and strength I'd only felt a few times before in my life. It was a sad story, but the fact that she trusted me with something so personal and so painful…it changed our relationship from that moment. I was trusted and cared for, and this was reinforced when Frost told me that only he and a few others had ever been told the story. Only a few other times in my life had I felt so special…so trusted. I mean sure, Frost told all of us everything, so there weren't any secrets with him, but somehow a pony having a secret and then trusting me enough to tell it just felt much more special. I mean I didn't have as dark a past as Pinkie did, but I have my own share of secrets…some of which not even Lyra or Tavi knew.

I bumped my rump against the fluffy-maned pony with a grin. "Well I'd be lying if I said you weren't cute too. I mean that mane…those eyes…mmm…" She blushed furiously now, the red of her cheeks showing through the pink of her coat. I did a hoof pump and giggled. "Aw yeah! Vinyl's still got it, baby!"

Pinkie giggled and bumped back against me. "Oh Vivi, you're silly!"

The next hour was pretty uneventful. Pinkie went back to making sure the wedding and reception would go off without a hitch, and Lyra had arrived shortly thereafter. We all sat on the stage just talking as the hundreds – no, thousands - of ponies started pouring in the open field. Everyone was calm until Frost's guests arrived.

Then all Tartarus broke loose.

Here in Ponyville, we had all become very comfortable and even friendly with the two dragons and two wolves, but apparently the rest of Equestria was not so open-minded. Mares and fillies were screaming, and even some colts and stallions were running as well. All of the ponies of Ponyville simply stared at the rest of them in annoyance, while I just grinned.

Perspective change – Luna

I was now galloping along with Twilight towards the field that was to be the place for the wedding, but things were taking a turn for the worse. As Moonfang, Venn, Darkflight, and Spike arrived, most of the ponies not from Ponyville were in an uproar.

When I arrived upon the scene, the four that were inadvertently causing the panic were sitting quietly away from the ponies, while Twilight and Rarity were attempting to restore order. Unfortunately, they lacked both the numbers and the presence to evoke such peace in the panicking masses.

I stood tall on the stage and cleared my throat before amplifying my voice. "SILENCE!"

Immediately all the ponies turned their eyes to me and I stepped off of the stage towards Darkflight and the other three. When I arrived, the black dragon smiled weakly at me and stood tall.

He saluted me, placing a fist on his chest and bowing slightly before standing again. "Good afternoon, Princess. I'm sorry that this happened. I was really hoping the ponies here would be more understanding."

I nodded and turned to the others. "All of you come with me please." We all headed towards the stage and stepped upon it, the group taking place around me. I looked out over the crowd as they chatted quietly amongst themselves. I amplified my voice again, albeit at a lower volume so that everypony would hear me without being afraid. "Dear ponies of Equestria, do not fret. These four pose no danger to any of you. They are personal friends of myself, Princess Celestia, and Prince Frostbreaker."

A pale brown stallion that I recognized as Filthy Rich stepped forward with a near-snarl on his face. "Princess Luna, you cannot truly expect us to believe that these four…miscreants…are friends of yours. Two ravenous dragons and two mangy wolves? It's preposterous."

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't call my best dragon and three friends mangy or ravenous, thank you." said a booming baritone voice from above.

Myself and everypony else looked above to see Frostbreaker in his ice armor with a menacing aura radiating off of him. He descended and landed directly in front of the pompous foal of a stallion, causing the entire crowd to drop to a knee.

Frost rolled his eyes and sighed. "You may all stand, please." Everypony then stood again and stared in awe at the battle-ready prince. Filthy Rich stood as well, though he was now trembling in place.

"Prince Frostbreaker, I did not kn-" he attempted to explain before he was cut off by the angry alicorn.

"I don't care what you know or didn't know. The fact that you blatantly insulted three of my best friends and my brother is more than enough information, thank you." He deadpanned. The crowd gasped and he nodded. "I know you've all heard rumors about it, and so I will put the rumors to rest right now." He pointed at Darkflight with a hoof. "That dragon is my younger brother," he then gestured to Venn, "and that wolf is a friend from my world." The crowd collectively gasped again and he nodded. "Yes, you heard right, I'm not of this world. I could explain to you what I was and where I came from, but it would only frighten you. This is meant to be a day of celebration, so does anypony else have any more questions?" The crowd was silent. "Good, then on we go." The crowd calmed down and sat on the lawn in front of the stage, but Frost wasn't done yet; he pointed a hoof at Filthy Rich. "You, Mr. Rich, can leave. You aren't welcome here anymore."

The stallion in question gasped in surprise. "Y-you can't do that!"

Frost sneered at him and stood tall before him, using his very presence to intimidate the smaller stallion. "Excuse me good sir, but do you actually presume to tell me what I can and cannot do at my own bucking wedding? Now I'll say it again, leave. If you do not comply this time, I will have the guards forcibly remove you."

Defeated and humiliated, the pony gathered his family and left. A white unicorn with a stunningly styled blue mane and suit then approached Frostbreaker with a smile. "Well done, boy, well done. I'd been waiting for somepony to tell that stick-in-the-mud what was what."

"Umm, thank you sir. And you are?" Frost said with a small smile.

The pony then looked embarrassed. "Ah, forgive my lack of manners. I am Fancy Pants, father to Silver Spoon and husband to Onyx. It's a pleasure to meet you, Prince Frostbreaker."

Frost smiled wide and took the unicorn's hoof and shook it. "Likewise. It's always nice to find that the rich aren't all pompous windbags."

The unicorn stallion smiled and shook his head. "Unlike Filthy Rich, I wasn't always well-to-do. I worked hard for what I have now, so that may be why I am less like that horrendous foal."

Frost nodded and continued smiling. "Well then, it will be a pleasure to have you here on one of the most important days of my life. Contrary to Filthy Rich, you are more than welcome to stay and enjoy yourself. Thank you for coming, sir." Steel then spotted me and trotted over with a smile. "Well hello, my lovely lunar goddess. How does this day find you?"

I blushed at the compliment and nuzzled him affectionately. "I am well, Frost, thank you. And how are you? That was some display you just made."

He shrugged. "I mean he was already making the whole thing a tense atmosphere, so I had to get rid of him. I'm nervous as hay right now, and you know how Dash is. She doesn't do too well with things like this as it is, so she's probably a nervous wreck at this point."

Perspective change - Celestia

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh..." rambled the nervous cyan pegasus.

Call it my innate mischievousness, but I couldn't help but grin at first when she was doing this. By now, however, it had not abated, and she had been doing it for over an hour. In another twenty minutes, she would need to be ready to walk down the aisle...so I had to put a stop to it. Coaxing hadn't worked, yelling wouldn't work...so that really only left me one option besides sealing her mouth shut.

I mean if Luna could do it, surely I could.

As Rainbow Dash turned around to walk towards me again, I grabbed her face in my hooves and kissed her the same I would Frost, full and on the lips. Her eyes shot open in surprise and I released her.

Well, she was no longer rambling at least.

"W-w-what w-was that f-for?" she asked, her voice shaky and utterly confused.

I sighed. "To get you to calm down." I then sat next to her and rubbed her back softly with a hoof, taking care to avoid her wings. "Rainbow Dash, you are ready for this...I promise you. Do you love Frostbreaker?" She nodded. "And do you want to spend your life with him?" She nodded again and I smiled warmly at her. "Then you're ready."

She looked up at me curiously. "A-are you sure?"

"Rainbow Dash, you have made it through his coma, his death, and his corruption. You have been able to handle those with relative ease. All a marriage says is that even through all that, you still love him and want to spend your life with him." I finished with a gentle brush of her mane.

She smiled softly and nodded, heading towards the tent that would "hide" her until she was to walk up the aisle. Before she left the doors, however, she looked back at me with a grin. "Thanks, Celestia."

Perspective change - Frostbreaker

It was finally time, so I stood up on the stage with my brother, Venn, and Moonfang, waiting for Dash. I marveled at the tux Rarity had made me, quite pleased that she had it so perfect with both my tastes and the color...but then again, she was Rarity after all. I could see my mother in the front row leaning against Big Mac, bawling by now. My sister however felt the need to make stupid faces in an attempt to get me to laugh, and she almost succeeded.

I was thankful that luckily a marriage here seemed to be pretty much the same as the ones on Earth, save that apparently there were no need for vows, as they were to be done in private after the reception. I was thankful of this, because I wouldn't be able to say my vow in front of thousands of ponies, most of whom I didn't even know.

I must have been zoning off, as I felt my brother jab my side with a spiked elbow. I glared at him before he nodded towards the small tent set at the other end of the aisle. The music had already been playing and I wasn't sure how I'd missed it, but I looked to the tent just in time to see Dash step out of it.

By every god everywhere in every dimension...she was beautiful.

The gown she wore was made of the brightest white fabric, and I could swear it was glowing. However, the end that was supposed to trail must have been enchanted or something, because it swayed softly in the wind, like Celly's tail and mane did. When she walked, the fabric shimmered as if it were imbued with rainbows, and the dress itself draped over her figure perfectly. I'd have to remember to thank Rarity for such a beautiful dress.

I couldn't see through the veil over my bride-to-be's face, but I could tell she was smiling. I felt a surge of energy behind me, and I could tell Celestia had teleported there, but I kept my gaze focused on Dash. After what felt like an eternity, she was now standing on the stage in front of me. We smiled at each other and then turned to the sun princess, who smiled back at us.

The princess cleared her throat and stood tall, amplifying her voice so that all could hear. "Dear ponies, we come here to celebrate the union of two lives becoming one. This union was wrought from struggle, some pain, but most of all...from love. May we all strive for the connection these two have found, and may we all find it." She then turned to Dash and smiled. "Rainbow Dash, Element of Loyalty...do you solemnly swear to love and protect dear Frostbreaker, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?"

Dash nodded without hesitation. "I do, princess."

Celestia nodded and turned to me, her grin getting even wider. "Prince Frostbreaker; Element of the Guardian, avatar of winter...do you solemnly swear to love and protect Rainbow Dash, in sickness and in health, for as long as you both shall live?"

I nodded as well. "I do, Celestia."

She then closed her eyes and raised her wings, Luna taking place beside her and doing the same. Both of their horns began to glow and their power encompassed both myself and Dash. The feeling was warm, comforting, and tingly. I could swear I heard Dash giggling (she's very ticklish). The light became so intense, but not so intense I had to shield my eyes. After the light began to die down, I looked over at Dash, to notice that she was now a giant ball of light with a cyan and gold beam connecting the two of us. Before my eyes, the light began to take shape. As the shape began to become more defined, I saw that it was as tall as Luna, with a long flowing mane and tail like the rest of us. The figure spread its wings, immediately dissipating the light.

Standing in front of me was Rainbow Dash. Save for being taller and more muscular, she was every bit the same she always was, save for her longer tail and mane...and the new magic horn sticking out of her forehead. Through some sort of spell that Luna had used, she was wearing her royal necklace and such, and so was I.

Celestia then raised her wings and smiled at the both of us before looking out over the crowd. "Citizens of Equestria, I present to you Prince Frostbreaker and Princess Rainbow Dash!"

The cloud roared with applause, and that's when I saw a slew of magical rockets shoot into the sky, and I could spot Twilight with a strained face, her horn glowing brightly. Looking up at the sky, the rockets burst into the usual firework displays. One of a starburst, one of a palm tree effect, and another of the "sparkling" effect. The last one, however, was different. The last rocket was a massive multi-colored ball of energy that was spectacular to watch, but all my awe increased tenfold when it exploded. The design was my cutie mark with Dashie's inside of a heart, and lastly backed by a massive magic rainbow.

I heard a gasp beside me and looked to see Dash with her mouth hanging open. "Sh-she made a rainbow with magic? H-how is that even possible?"

I kissed her on the cheek and wrapped a wing around my new bride. "It's Twilight, Dashie. If it's magic and it's physically possible to do, she'll find a way."

She smiled and planted a kiss on my lips, lingering for a moment before pulling away and looking deep into my eyes. I noticed a new power within her, and with her ability to use magic now, I was sure she was going to be quite the fighter in the war to come. She smiled at me and nuzzled my neck, giggling a bit. "I love you, Frost."

I leaned against her a bit, enjoying the feel of her coat against mine. "I love you too, my princess."

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