• Published 6th Feb 2013
  • 15,646 Views, 179 Comments

The Lessons of Eternity - Fedora Mask



It has been over 100 years since Celestia and Twilight's relationship collapsed, since they've seen or spoken to each other. But when Twilight appears in the royal palace, that century of silence will come to an end. Very, very politely.

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An Unexpected Visit

Eternity, Princess Celestia reflected, taking a sip of jasmine tea, was largely a matter of perspective. It was, after all, one thing to say that she was 1756 years, 3 months and some days old, and quite another to say that she could refer to yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before the day before that going back 641,461 days. Neither view made her feel any younger, but she supposed there wasn't much to be done about that.

The thing about living forever—or at least, indefinitely—was that it tended to strip some of the surprise out of life. On the grand scale, the majority of those 641,461 days had played out within reasonable deviations of each other. No, there was not much that shocked or surprised Celestia lately, and so she had learned to accept the little surprises that showed up throughout the day like unexpected visitors.

This did not stop her from nearly dropping her tea when the herald told her the name of her actual unexpected visitor. The cup plunged half a foot before she caught it, magic faltering, coming in bursts and sparks instead of an even glow around the cup. “I beg your pardon...” she said. “What did you just say?”

He told her again. The same name.

“This is a very poor joke,” said Celestia.

“Y-your highness?” The herald's eyes went wide with fear for his job and genuine surprise.

Of course, thought Celestia. It would have been before his time. There was not a soul alive who would see that as a joke... except for the pony who was coming through the big double doors to the throne room, hooves clacking on marble.

Celestia scowled. So much for meditation, then. With a flash of magic she seized a stack of papers and splashed them across the table, trying to appear busy. She'd managed to get them settled, and had bent intently over a request for expanded farming rights when the hoofsteps came to a sharp stop on the stone floor.

“Trying to look busy?” asked a voice. When she didn't respond, it went on, “It would help if you didn't take the papers from the outgoing pile.” The voice was not accusatory, not angry. It was nothing. Maybe slightly amused.

Celestia glanced up at the purple mare, who waited until she was watching to continue her approach, horn held high. Even after all these years, Celestia couldn't help but think that the wings suited her.

“Twilight Sparkle.” There was a time when the name would have been followed by any of a half-dozen epithets: my faithful student, my dear friend. My love.

Nothing lasts forever.

“Princess,” came the reply, equally cool.

“To what do I owe the...” Words that would round off the traditional phrase, like “honor” or “pleasure” suggested themselves. “Surprise?” she finished.

“I was just on my way back from the Empire. For Shining and Cadence's wedding anniversary.”

Not an answer. That worried her. Her most recent conversations with Twilight had been extremely to the point. They had also been over a century ago. A long silence to break for no reason. “Ah, yes. Thee hundred and fifty years, isn't it?” she said, stalling, watching her former pupil’s face for any clue as to the real purpose of her visit.

She presented none, but said, “Three hundred and fifty-three.”

“So it is,” Celestia conceded. “That's pewter figurines of swans, I believe. I shall have to send them a pair.”

“I often wonder who made that rule,” said Twilight. “It seems like the audience for it is rather limited.” Celestia feigned an extreme interest in her papers. After a moment Twilight continued, “You, for instance, can’t have had much use for it.”

Celestia’s face became a porcelain mask, as even and expressionless as the teacup she set on the desk in front of her. If her former... everything was trying to barb her comments she would have to do better than that to get a reaction. She was a politician. She whiled away her days swallowing insults of a far more obvious nature. “How fares the weather in Gallopsandria?”

The tiniest flicker of doubt crossed Twilight’s face. So fast that Celestia could almost believe that she had imagined it. She hoped she hadn’t.

“Humid, but pleasant,” Twilight replied. “I see you’re keeping well up here in the mountains. And I heard that the Summer Sun Celebration was a success. The sun came up on cue and everything.”

“I have been doing it for over a thousand years.”

“Yes. And the same pose, too.”

Celestia frowned. “I recall a certain little pony who used to be very enamored of that pose.”

“Things change, Princess.” There was something gamey in Twilight’s voice now. A challenge.

“And isn't it nice to know that the Summer Sun Celebration hasn't?”

“There are those who'd say that tradition for tradition's sake is no more a virtue than meaningless change.” As Twilight spoke, Celestia noticed her gaze drifting about the room—ornate, columned, much larger than it needed to be and consequently always much colder than was comfortable. Nothing about it had changed in the past century, except the cobwebs, which were renewed every few weeks. Even the stained glass windows were just as they were. Even the ones featuring her.

Celestia cleared her throat sharply—for a moment, a teacher trying to recapture her student's wandering eye. “You must introduce me to some of these vague individuals. I see they parrot your opinions quite conveniently.”

“Yes, well I—

Raised voices in the hallway cut off whatever Twilight had been about to say.

“Excuse me—miss—you can’t go in there!” came one, deep, male, imposing. “The Princess has expressly—”

“Oh, she’ll want to see me about this,” said a second voice, much higher, brimming with the self-confidence of youth.

A side-door, leading off into the guest wing of the palace opened, and in rushed a young mare with a pale yellow coat and orange hair that deepened in places until it was almost red. “Princess!” the newcomer was saying, her features animated, “I've got it all figured out! All I need to do is—Oh.” Amber eyes lost their excitement, went wide at the sight of Twilight. “I didn't mean to, uh... I'm so sorry, your... your...“ she struggled for a title. Twilight gave her a wry smile that Celestia hated down to the roots of her mane.

“Twilight Sparkle will do.”

The mare—really just barely more than a filly—nodded carefully. She, for one, recognized the name, enough to shoot Celestia a discreet look that ended in a question mark. Celestia, who wasn't sure she could have answered in words, let alone glances, kept her face neutral.

“I'm so sorry,” she repeated again, flushing now. “Princess, I didn't realize you had a guest. I'll just—I'll wait outside...” The air around her rippled, and she disappeared. The sound of disembodied hooves clicking on the floor tracked back towards the door.

Celestia sighed, anger and humiliation a swirling mess in her head. Not a meeting she would have wished for, but it was too late to do anything now. May as well see what she was so excited about. “Star Shift, what seems to be the problem? We’re not so busy that we can’t spare a moment.”

“Oh, of course,” said Twilight, her voice all consideration. The look in her eye, on the other hand, promised Celestia that stalling wasn’t going to do her any good.

“Oh, well um...” the air rippled again, and Star Shift reappeared, halfway back to where she had come in. “It was about that essay. I think I figured out how to fix my argument. It’s um... not very important. I was just excited...”

“As well you should be,” said Celestia. “But perhaps we could discuss it later.”

Star Shift glanced up, eyes brimming over. “I’ll see you at dinner?” Celestia gave a gentle nod, eyes still watching Twilight’s smirk of victory. “Great! Sorry again,” added Star Shift, giving a quick bow to Twilight before rushing back the way she had come.

Silence settled over the throne room. Somewhere a clock ticked away, the sound bouncing off of tiles and walls until the tics and toks were indistinguishable, time trying to rush forward out of the stillness.

Celestia waited for the other hoof to drop.

“She seems nice,” Twilight said finally. “Diligent.”

“Very.” Celestia examined her tea, warmed it with a flash of her horn.

“A bit pushy though, don’t you think?” remarked Twilight, as if she were offering her opinion on a painting and not a pony. “Barging in here like that.”

Celestia bristled. It wasn’t that she hadn’t expected some tacit criticism from Twilight, but openly finding fault with Star Shift was pushing things. She would have to push back. “Perhaps—but better a pony who is a little too forceful in pursuing what she wants than one who is too timid. Or, worse still, one who doesn’t know what she wants at all.” She gave Twilight a pointed look.

Twilight seemed to shrug it off. “Speaking of what she wants, you're sleeping with her, I presume?”

Celestia bit down on nothing to keep herself from snapping a reply. A teaspoon levitated on its own and began to stir at the contents of her cup, slowly, with the deliberate absence of agitation. Twilight could cast aspersions all she liked, but she wasn’t going to get an answer.

“Really now!” Twilight said. “How old is she?”

Celestia glanced up, caught off guard. How had she—? The tea cup, of course. Trying too hard to seem casual. She cursed herself. Twilight had always been... a little too perceptive. And she was out of practice at hiding things from her.

“Don’t get me wrong, Princess,” Twilight continued. “I think it’s wonderful you can still open up your... heart, at your age.”

Celestia felt her face harden into a glare. “That was beneath you, Twilight Sparkle.”

“Really? Because I thought we were discussing what was beneath y—”

“Enough!” Celestia roared, in a voice loud enough to shake the heavy stone doors in their frame. Heat and light blazed from around her eyes, racing down the spiral of her horn as she rose to her full height. “I will not tolerate such crude remarks, not about myself, and especially not about Star Shift.”

Twilight was unmoved. Even in the gale-force wind of Celestia’s magic she stood her ground, unflinching. She had never been one to intimidate easily. The things that scared her were subtler, and usually came self-inflicted. “Why?” she asked. “Are you going to tell me that what the two of you have is special?”

The magical energy dispersed. Celestia found herself staring blankly into her former student’s sharp, purple eyes, trying to draw breath into a chest that felt tight, like it was trying to crush her ribcage into her lungs. “Of course it is.” Her breath trickled out, no force behind it, not even conviction. “The love I feel for any pony I care about is as unique as they are.”

“That you can still say that with a straight face amazes me,” said Twilight. The calm look in her face was giving way to pure malice. “And I suppose your getting bored is a unique experience each time as well?”

A reply flew up into Celestia’s mouth, twisted around her tongue in search of an exit. She kept her lips pressed tight together. If this was how things were to be, then very well. She would play this game her own way. And she would win.

It took only two words: “How’s Spike?”

Twilight’s grin vanished. For the first time genuine hurt, dark and deep, came into her eyes, and she lowered her gaze to the marble floor. Feathers rustled at her sides, anxious, miserable.

“I... I don’t know,” she said, her face an open sore. “He still won’t talk to me... I don’t even know where he is.”

There was a rush to controlling the conversation again—to finally beating Twilight, to seeing her crack. A savage smile cracked Celestia's lips as she went on. “Perhaps I can be of some assistance there. I spoke with him rather recently. Although, I seem to recall his saying something about taking a nap for a century or two...”

Twilight’s head shot up. For a second, hope had danced across her face, and Celestia's grin only grew wider as she watched it crumble. But by the time there were tears in Twilight’s eyes, by the time she was hiding her face behind a wing, pretending to cough, the smile was gone.

Even when things had been at their worst, she'd never gotten any pleasure out of seeing Twilight cry.

Tears were not enough to arouse genuine compassion—this was still war, for all she knew. But neither could she stay angry at a pony who was trying so hard to hold herself together. She fell back on a gentle neutrality. “Twilight Sparkle... why are you here? It can’t have been to indulge our mutual bitterness. We’ve both had enough of that for a lifetime, even one so long as ours.”

“I’m sure you can figure it out, Princess,” said Twilight. The words sounded as though they had been scraped, raw and bloody, from the back of her throat. “You taught me everything I know, after all. And kept on teaching...”

Celestia blinked. Jealousy? No, not possible. After such a long time, what was there to even be jealous about? It didn’t sound like the Twilight she knew. But... so many things today didn’t. “I didn’t send you away, Twilight. You did that yourself.”

“No, you didn’t,” she agreed, voice cracking, but steady. “You only said—what was it? ‘Our continued intimacy would be a mistake.’ Who wouldn’t want to stay around after that?”

Old wounds stung fresh—an old argument found its way out from Celestia’s lips. “It didn’t mean I stopped caring—”

“You as good as told me you were sick of me!” Twilight barked. A pattern. A conversation they’d had before but had to see through. “You were the only stable thing in my life—”

“And you wanted me to be your whole life,” Celestia snapped, with real anger, as real as a century ago. “That would have been horrible for both of us, and you knew it then, and you know it now! You were barely leaving the castle anymore, Twilight, what was I supposed to do?” The bitterness of laughter crept into her voice. “At least your leaving was a change of pace.”

Twilight had taken the speech to compose herself, and was sitting now, wings folded at her sides, head bowed slightly, eyes closed, unreadable. She wouldn’t move, as much as Celestia willed her to—ordered her to in her mind.

“We’ve had this argument before,” said Celestia coolly, when Twilight hadn’t replied for some moments. “That’s not why you came back either.”

“Yes it is.” She sounded almost ashamed.

Celestia said nothing.

“I... lost one group of friends. And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, Princess. Standing by their graves, one by one, and not collapsing into a sobbing ball. Not until we were alone, anyway. Do you remember what you told me? It was the same old advice actually, now that I think of it, but I took it—I trusted you, and I made new friends, and I lost them too—and it was worse. I... couldn't... stand going through that again. So I didn't want to see anyone. Didn't want to... to care about anyone else. Can you blame me? How can you—you of all ponies—meet somepony new and not think that you know how the story ends—how every story ends, always and forever?”

Twilight was pacing now, with nervous energy, by turns pleading and almost shouting. “So I decided to focus on my studies for a while, for a few decades. But, you know something Princess? If you stick around long enough, you see all the arguments, all the ideas, all the thoughts that anyone ever thinks and puts to paper. You read the same things you read fifty years, a hundred years ago. I know it all. I know it and I'm sick of it, and I'm sick of being sick of it, and I—”

All of a sudden there was nothing left to her but sadness. “So I thought... I thought maybe if I made you mad enough then you might...” She shook herself, suddenly. “No, I guess I never believed that. I just couldn't stand to ask you...” Twilight turned towards Celestia, head lowered, words coming out in gasps and whispers. “I’m sorry, Princess. Immortality is a wonderful gift, but I... I don’t think I... want it anymore.”

Celestia stepped from behind her desk and walked towards her protege, stopping just outside the range where she could reach out a hoof and touch her. She looked so small, as young and confused as the filly who had lost control of her magic all those years ago, scared of herself and everything around her. The ruler of Equestria opened her mouth, expecting to know what to say, but found no words.

“Besides,” Twilight said softly. “I’m sure there’s someone else you’d rather bestow it on.”

Instinct took over where conscious thought had failed, and Celestia found her voice enough to snap, with the harshness of a teacher, “Twilight Sparkle!” Even now, purple eyes went wide with apprehension at that tone. “Do not insult me. Your current state was bestowed on you out of love, and of my own free will. The fact that our feelings towards each other have changed is irrelevant. I am not so disrespectful of our past that I would take back a gift for such a paltry reason.” She softened, guilt stinging afresh, “But... if you’ve really decided that you no longer wish for this life, then... I’ve no right to force it upon you either.”

“Thank you, Princess.”

The look of... relief on her former pupil's face stayed with Celestia for a very long time. Twilight had been scared, Celestia realized. Scared she would say no. That she would be forced to... go on.

That wasn't right. She hadn't made Twilight immortal to make her miserable. She had wanted... she'd known so deeply that the world would be a brighter, better place with this mare in it, for as long as possible. Even never wanting to see her again it had somehow seemed that way, knowing that she was still out there.

“You're wrong,” she said, almost a whisper.

“Excuse me?”

“About the world.” Celestia no longer knew where she was going—some part of her was offering up words without prompting, and she let it free. “I know, because... because I watched the world alone for a thousand years. Knowing that I'd banished my sister. Knowing that the day would come when even that uneasy peace would come crumbling down. And after a thousand years of that, do you know, I never once imagined I would find a seven-year-old filly so anxious to be my student that she found the strength not only to hatch a magic-resistant dragon egg which she was only meant to levitate, but also to turn her parents into plants, grow the hatchling to adult size, and still be shooting lightning bolts by the time I got there. A pony who had so much enthusiasm for knowledge that, by the time she was ten, she'd fallen asleep on more ancient texts than most adult scholars. Who—”

Twilight shifted. “Don’t patronize me, Princess.”

“I’m not,” said Celestia. “It’s true, Twilight. If I loved you... and I did... it was because you let me see the world again.” And myself, added a part of her. The version of me reflected in your eyes was so much brighter than I've ever been... She cleared her throat and went on. “And... you know after another three-hundred years I never would have imagined I’d find another mare who would barge in on me and an ex-lover having a passive-aggressive argument, just because she was so excited to have solved a problem with her essay that she couldn't wait to tell me.”

Twilight sniffled, though it could have been a snort.

“Do you still watch the sunrise, Twilight?”

“When I’m awake for it.” A little wit left after all. A good sign, perhaps.

Celestia allowed herself a smirk of acknowledgement. “Then you know it’s never the same twice. And you know that’s not my doing. I’m not creative enough to come up with a new sunrise every day for seventeen-hundred-odd years.”

Something that could have been a smile twitched at the corners of Twilight’s mouth. “You’re just trying to cheer me up.”

“I am,” said Celestia. “You need it.”

Twilight was silent, pensive.

“Very well then,” she said at last. “How about this? I wasn't lying about knowing where Spike is. And Luna isn't the only one who knows a thing or two about how to enter dreams.”

Twilight’s eyes shot wide open. “You—you'd teach me? You think if I talk to him he might—” She broke off. “Forgive me?”

Celestia couldn’t help laughing. “Not at all. I think if you tell him what you just told me, you're in for a tongue-lashing that makes Starswirl's tracts on the function of magic in society look like a two-line memo. You should, though. Being chewed out in a dream is always a unique experience... and sometimes an uncomfortably literal one.”

Twilight blinked. She seemed, for a moment, to be trying to picture it—then like a river in spring laughter bubbled out of her. “If Spike... oh, he'll never let me live it down, will he?”

Live. It was a good word to hear from her. “I hope not.” Stepping forward, gingerly, Celestia extended a wing around Twilight’s shoulder, a loose embrace.

Twilight stiffened for a moment, and Celestia felt the familiar tickle of feathers brushing her side, as a folded wing fought to open by reflex. “I... guess some ponies are just students by nature, huh Princess?”

“The ones clever enough to see that we all are.”

Celestia smiled, but Twilight still seemed lost in thought. “About Star Shift, though... how old is she, really?” she asked, stepping out from under Celestia's wing.

“Twilight—” Celestia said, faltering.

“Because, that invisibility spell was interesting,” Twilight went on. “I’ve never seen it before.”

Celestia blinked several times in quick succession. “Oh, that. It’s her own creation, actually. Her special talent has to do with manipulating light.”

“Oh, so she bends it around herself...”

“Exactly.”

“Fascinating,” said Twilight, and Celestia felt herself smile again. “You must be proud of her.”

Celestia nodded. “There’s still more to the world than just your books, Twilight.”

Twilight smiled too, sad amusement written on her face. “So that's it, huh? A chance to talk to Spike and a few words of wisdom from my old teacher, and I'm supposed to face eternity?”

“Eternity? No. But how about tomorrow?”

Neither of them said anything more, but as Celestia turned towards the door that led to her private library, Twilight fell into step beside her, as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Author's Note:

Believe it or not this was conceived some months ago, before there were even rumors of alicorn Twilight (I think... or maybe the rumors had started, I forget). The confirmation of those rumors did serve as an impetus to finish it, though, before the idea that an alicorn could grant precisely one other pony immortality (at a time, I guess), became explicitly non-canon. Instead of just, you know, very probably non-canon.

I really quite like Twilestia as a pairing, honest. But it's certainly a problematic ship. Hero worship on the one hand and the age thing and teacher/student relationship on the other. Sometimes I wonder if realizing it as a healthy relationship is possible. And if you did, for how long it could stay that way. And sometimes I write about that.

Comments ( 178 )

Hmm... this certainly is a different story. Very few i've seen, have covered interactions from an old relationship that's ended badly. Still, it didn't end as bad as my mind had prepared for.

Have a fave and a thumb, you've earned them.

really strong dialogue and a fantastic story for those who've read too many twilestia ships

Agreed. Most stories focus on the start of the relationship, rather then way down the line.
A moustache to you good sir! :moustache:

Everyone brings up the age thing. To be honest, I don't really get it. Apparently Celestia's body never ages, and maturity of the mental sort is acquired early on (just honed as time progresses). Surely an "of age" Twilight should be allowed to court/be courted by Celestia. Maybe it's just me, I have gone through life trusting everyone and accepting every ... Most things.

Story: I see the sad tag, and I respect it. I wish there was a "Bittersweet" tag, or something. Well done.

I loved it, and at the same time disliked it. (tho I faved it fo sho) Mainly because it pokes my feels to see a Twilestia ship end badly. I sorta wanted Celestia to ask Twilight to come back, or at least want to ask her to come back. A part of me hopes that if Twilight goes through with dying then Celestia goes into a deep bout of depression or something. After all, she drove Twilight away.

2082396 Thanks! I would be okay with a "bittersweet" tag for this story, but honestly I think I would prefer a drama tag. For stories whose main goal is dramatic intensity, intensity of emotion, etc., without those emotions necessarily being about making the reader feel sad. For my money it could replace Tragedy, since Tragedy is about how a story progresses/ends, and not a descriptor of tone like comedy/sad or a description of what type of events a story contains, like romance or adventure. And who wants to give away their ending in a tag (which I sorta feel like bittersweet would do too)?

As far as the age thing goes--personally it's not the age difference that concerns me. As... some fic or other once put it, "What, is Celestia supposed to find someone her own age to be with?" Although a great difference in experience and background can make romance across generations hard. Celestia probably knows jokes that stopped making sense before anyone alive was conceived.

But what I actually think is problematic is the transition of the relationship from 7-year-old mentee / adult mentor to an equal romantic relationship. Celestia and Twi probably played kiddie games and suchlike. That sort of thing could really foul up Celestia's ability to see Twilight as an adult, even if she wanted to. But Celestia also has a lot of experience seeing a pony's whole life pass, so... *shrugs* It's doable for sure, but I mean, imagine dating someone you knew back when they were five and you were fifteen, and then multiply that awkwardness by a bunch.

Of course, I'm of the opinion that while ships might be cute for the reasons that they work, they're interesting for the reasons they shouldn't work, but do anyway.

2082498

God I like you already. You argue so many good points for that ship. I'll admit, Twilestia is a special ship for me in the fact that it's using the original meaning of "ship". Normally people assume it to be a wholly romantic thing (it almost is). I use it to refer to an 'exploration of a relationship between two characters'. Celestia as Twilight's lover is, I'll admit, OTP for me. However, those teary-eyed exchanges between an old/immortal Twilight... They absolutely kill me inside. The mentor/student relationship they have is just too sacred. Nine times out of ten, that's the number one barrier between a romantic relationship between them. Getting past that is how I judge the Twilestia stories mostly.

This turned into me ranting about my opinion. I started typing with the intent to agree with you. It would appear I'm just too human to do that!

Celestia and Twi probably played kiddie games and suchlike. That sort of thing could really foul up Celestia's ability to see Twilight as an adult, even if she wanted to.

Agreed. That's why I actually prefer 'Momlestia' where she's her mother figure. (not necessarily her mother, but you get the idea, ya? Even though that is still acceptable.)

Of course, I'm of the opinion that while ships might be cute for the reasons that they work, they're interesting for the reasons they shouldn't work, but do anyway.

See the first line in this post. I like you. I can never explain what I think, simply because my brain doesn't think in words. But THAT right there is the line of reasoning I've been looking for for a long time.

Dramatic, a little depressin to be honest. But the endin, that's jus sweet. This is my favorite kind of ship, no matter who they are, the ones that can show adversity, understanding, a resolve to make things right. I find myself wanting to know what happened in greater detail. And maybe I missed it, but why spike would be pissed at twi. This short piece of writin is what makes me love this site and all the brony community. Keep on writin Hoss, you do it well

This is quiet great, this story has enough to make sense of the main themes, but some stuff are still open ended and vague enough for you to continue writing in this "universe" if you decide so, and i hope you do one day. :pinkiehappy:

2082498 this story works as a Tragedy. It explores Twilight and Celestia's flaws bringing them apart in a linear way by implication, not by actual description in story. But a character (or characters) who are otherwise happy having the things they loved destroyed by a singular flaw in their personality (Twilight's sensitivity, Celestia's self-sacrificing) is tragedy by definition.

2082498 I think that the playing childhood games thing together just makes their relationship stronger, not weaker. They both know each other at a very intuitive level. As for equal footing, a lot of stories forget Twilight's contributions to Equestria include things Celestia couldn't do for her own subjects. She saved the Crystal Empire where Celestia saw it vanish for a thousand years, she redeemed Luna where Celestia trapped her on the moon and beat Discord in a day where it took Celestia years (admittedly with some help from her mentor, but still). I think Celestia sees herself as inferior to Twilight in character if not in experience, something that certain stories on this site ( Colloquium, Composure and Eternal in particular) touch on quite nicely. Not only that, but Twilight is a submissive pony by default, so I imagine most relationships with her would seem unequal between her and her partner.

The story's good but the final lines are absolutely fantastic!
:twilightsmile:

“So that's it, huh? A chance to talk to Spike and a few words of wisdom from my old teacher, and I'm supposed to face eternity?”

“Eternity? No. But how about tomorrow?”

It was a pleasure pre-reading this for you, and even better to see it uploaded!

Very nice you have my fav and upvote

Brilliantly executed treatment of the other side of the Twilestia ship: how do you keep a relationship fresh and interesting for eternity? Answer is, you might not be able to. Applies to TwiLuna by extension as well. The dialogue and characterizations were perfect; bonus points for not delving into unnecessary backstory. Gold star and thumbs up for you! And a well-deserved spot in the Featured box as well, I see.

Twilight smiled too, sad amusement written on her face. “So that's it, huh? A chance to talk to Spike and a few words of wisdom from my old teacher, and I'm supposed to face eternity?”

“Eternity? No. But how about tomorrow?”

IMHO, that exchange, right at the end of this remarkably-written tale, pretty much sums up the whole argument and the pain that Twilight Sparkle was feeling. Sometimes, it is enough to just have a reason to face each successive day.

I also suspect that the reason Twilight was so biting at first was that she hoped that she might provoke Celestia into killing her.

This is an excellent story. Yeah, there are grammar and wording oddities, but the idea is done well enough that they don't matter one wit. As a Twilestia fan, this hits me harder than I would have liked. You never want to see the ride end.

There aren't enough bittersweet stories on here.

This needs to shoot to the top ASAP.

2083681 I would offer this: Is all you want out of a relationship that it be fresh and interesting? If so, you may just want to consider getting a new pet.

Actual love, not merely romantic infatuation, is far deeper and more powerfully enduring than such surface fascinations.

Commence read.

This was interesting.

Nicely done dialogue and how they interacted with each other.
Fitting for the Sad tag.

Ive read so many sad stories today :fluttercry:

2083686
Killing her, forcibly removing her immortality, banishing her to the moon... anything to end it.

2083848
True. But I think one of the points of this story is that there are complications to immortal romance that even love will have trouble overcoming. What once felt comfortable and safe may start to feel routine, and what's worse, it may be too comfortable, too safe. The story shows us that Twilight withdrew from the world and turned entirely to Celestia, and that Celestia had to end it because of that. Celestia says "the world would be a brighter, better place with this mare in it", and Twilight had ceased to be in the world at all. Love may endure but in Twilight's case it became a crutch, a reason not to go on with the real business of living.

Of course, my preference would have been to have Twilight jump ship for Luna, but that's another story.

I don't buy this. It features a love of two characters that got to the point Celestia seriously entertained a forever relationship - she made Twilight immortal - then spurns her for another lover. Yeah no. Relationships can and do fall apart... But it seems I managed to last the test of time for a while, all to fall apart a moment later (in the eyes of the immortal).

It as a piece succeeds in evoking emotion after a first read for which the author gets kudos, but the step after, taking a closer eye on it it just comes across as contrived and sad just for the point of being sad.

4/10 thumbs down.

Nice. I wouldn't say it's sad really, more it starts angry, goes through hopeless and ends up pretty optimistic. And nice to see what happens when Ships Go Wrong. It's very definitely an ex-lover's tiff rather'n sad. The dialoge was all pretty finely done, too.
G'job!

2084248 Angry! That's the tag we're missing. Get to it, knighty. (Oh God, can you imagine the trollfics?)

But no, I do wish there was a better fit, tag-wise. Although some people have made a pretty strong case for calling it "sad" by... saying how sad it made them. So I suppose there's that.

2084164 Thanks, Clopple. I'm totally going to get a poster made that says "What a beautiful story . . . this told it like it is." After I frame the screencap of me in the top featured slot.

Yeah I'm a little excited. :twilightblush: It's probably a good thing I do not have picture-framing technology at hand.

2084177 Oh my god someone just did analysis on a story I wrote. And supported their point with a quote.

Someone cared enough about what I was saying to argue their personal interpretation, and used my words to support that interpretation.

You guys, we would need a smiling-with-giant-tears-in-the-desuest-of-eyes emoticon to accurately capture my expression right now. Seriously, that may have made my week. And it's been a pretty solid week so far.

(Yeah, I'm an English major, can you tell?)

Thanks so much not just for those but for all the kind remarks. And the critical ones too. I'm just proud to have written something that seems to have resonated with so many different people.

2083848
And I would offer this. If a relationship becomes boring or stale, no matter the love present, it is tenuous at best. To become stagnant is one of the worst things that can happen.

This... is a good story.

It is good, but I feel too unsettled to say I enjoyed reading it.

I like characters to face hardships to earn their happy endings. I dislike non-endings, where nothing changes. Reading through 200 000 words just to reach the end of a story, just to see the characters suffer at the end, and to see that the whole journey was pointless feels like a huge giant "fuck you" for the reader - thankfully, stories like that are fairly rare.

And this...

I can't tell what kind of ending this is, exactly, but seeing something like love, just fall apart and sputter out... it's a little too close for comfort.

This is a good story, but I wish I hadn't read it.

The only question for the rumours is- before or after the season three premiere? because the rumours were starting by the end of the first episode.

I know this is meant to be a one-shot, but I wouldn't mind seeing a followup.

As a general rule of thumb, I don't like happy endings. They just don't have the same lasting effect, for me at least. No emotion seems to stick with you if "everything is going to be alright", and it lowers the quality of the story. I don't see this piece as an exception.

That being said, I still highly enjoyed the story. I don't make a habit out of reading stories where there is blatant animosity between Twilight and Celestia, but I'm glad I picked this up. :twilightsmile:

Thanks for the read.

2084350 Well, since you ask, the original googledoc of this story has its first editorial note dated August 31st (no, I did not write this story any faster than any other story I've written for this site*). Season premiere was in... geez, November? So, I guess I was right and it was considerably before people were talking about it.

*I did, however, finish the story in like a week once I picked it back up. It was a thing where I'd forgotten about it and one night before going to sleep I suddenly saw how the whole rest of it played out in my head and had a bunch of enthusiasm to actually write it down.

2084288
Glad I could make your week! I feel the same way whenever someone posts more than "d'aaawww" on my stories too. You've done a beautiful job with this little slice of (broken) Twilestia, and you deserve every kudo you've received. It's a really engaging, heartrending piece that could have been tragic or pointlessly shippy but instead manages to end on the most hopeful note possible given the circumstances. There's just so much depth and subtlety and half-unspoken backstory woven in here that I could continue that analysis for pages - but I won't, because I need to get back to my own stories. You've got a follower, and now I've got "Lost Friends" in my Read Later list.

2084177 But what we see here with Twilight is less love than borderline obsession. People who love each other deeply do not feel a compulsive need to stand next to each other at every moment. They can actually have LIVES that do not utterly revolve around each other perpetually.

2084368 *walks in and infects all the ponies with hoof-and-mouth disease and they die slowly and horribly* Better now? What? It's a bad ending! Nopony is happy! It's just what you wanted... :pinkiecrazy:

So many likes. So few comments... I think everyone is too amazed to try to write down a comment, because it won't capture accurately what they're feeling... At least, that's what I think...

>>> For Shining and Cadence's wedding anniversary.” “Ah, yes. 350 years, isn't it?”>>> How interesting, a relationship that has withstood the test of time. I cannot help but feel that the falling out between Twilight and Celestia has more to do with their personal problems than any deeper concepts. Indeed, that seems borne out as I read. Neither seems as rational or mature-minded as I would expect. Twilight least of all. Those cheap shots were what I would anticipate from a spoiled teenager, and which I would have crushed beneath my superior intellect (like I do with all teenagers' smarmy little comments. Now THAT is something I never get tired of doing! :trollestia: )

>>>“There are those who'd say that tradition for tradition's sake is no more a virtue than meaningless change.” >>> Very true, Twilight. But then, what do you offer in the form of meaningful change? You have presented an unfinished concept, my dear. An incomplete conjecture. I am not impressed by half-thoughts.

>>>Do you remember what you told me? It was the same old advice actually, now that I think of it, but I took it—I trusted you, and I made new friends, and I lost them too—and it was worse. I... couldn't... stand going through that again. So I didn't want to see anyone. Didn't want to... to care about anyone else. Can you blame me? >>>

And there it is, the inability to deal with loss. Seriously, I came to grips with death by the age of 8. I see it as a supreme aggravation to be defeated like any other enemy. It's a waste of an intelligent mind which must be replaced and taught the same things all over again. Really, a much longer life with an undamaged mind would lead to far quicker advancement. Twilight needs to get over both death and herself.

>>>But, you know something Princess? If you stick around long enough, you see all the arguments, all the ideas, all the thoughts that anyone ever thinks and puts to paper. You read the same things you read fifty years, a hundred years ago. I know it all. I know it and I'm sick of it, and I'm sick of being sick of it, and I—”>>> Really Twilight? You honestly think you know everything? My dear, would you like me to show you the Library of Congress? It would take nearly a thousand years of constant reading to get through it all. And that's assuming you retain 100% of everything you read. Ah! And then, there some the practical applications of all those mixed disciplines! And then, how can you be sure that everything has been thought of? We have been delving deeply into our universe for hundreds of years, and still thousands of papers of novel information are published EVERY YEAR!! *shakes his head* Twilight, Twilight, you are a sorely disappointing individual. With such a limited scope of mind and that aggravatingly obsessive worship, it's no wonder Celestia sent you away. You haven't grown up at all.

*And in the end* Ah, finally, Twilight has at last opened herself to the possibility that all her problems are the result of her own mind, still trapped in the mortal way of thinking. (thankfully, I surpassed that when I was 10. I'm now into the multidimensional-multiple transcendent combinational entity state-of-mind. All of me are, as a matter of fact!) :pinkiecrazy:

... I want to say something more constructive then very nice... and I hope Celestia is NOT sleeping with Star Swirl in that sense.

2084302 And what, then, are the qualifications that determine when something is boring and stale? Answer: ONE'S OWN STATE OF MIND. It's a personal choice to become bored with something. Either that or a pathophysiologically low serotonin level (classic clinical depression symptom: patient has become bored with things that used to bring pleasure). Alcoholism and many drugs and even some diseases (metabolic syndrome, hyper/hypothyroidism, certain cancers) besides psychiatric etiology can bring about depressive perceptive shifts as well.

Again, the problems lie WITHIN, a flaw in reasoning, an emotional instability. It has nothing to do with the facts and theories of reality and existence. All thought; all emotion is, after all, all in your head. It can be whatever you wish it be once you fully comprehend and indoctrinate this absolute truth into how your mind functions via the transitions and connections between the biological basis and the more abstract portions of the consciousness. In simpler terms: if one learns to seize absolute control of the mind and identify illogical internal perceptive shifts, one finds reality frequently contrasts very sharply to former interpretations painted in a mind trapped in disarray.

That next-to-last line is just the right blend of sad and sweet, the thump of the tail of a dog recognizing an orphan returning to a cold and quiet house. I was surprised to find the twist from bitterness to reconciliation work so well. Well done, and thought-provoking.

Excellent!! This was great, in every way. This story hits off rather nicely you have Celestia, for the first time I've seen, get surprised. Very nice comical start. Then enter (Alicorn) Twilight, who tounge lashes her teacher/(ex)lover, very subtly, to both amusement and laugh of all, then you kick things down a notch with Twilight's revelations, and to top off the cake you introduce a new love Interest for Celestia (naughty naughty Alicorn). All in all a very fine read, can't tell if this was supposed to be sad, or angst, but I was laughing my plot off!!

If this wasn't marked complete i would be asking for more. Bravo, liked and favorited. Not often do i read "sad" and enjoy it as much as i enjoyed this.

so celestia wants twilight to live for eternity out of essentialy her own greed? i dunno this celestia seems to be more self centered and about herself.

Dammit, now I have to add a story with the sad tag to my favorites. I hope your happy.

Ugh, reading this makes me want to pull down the sad one I wrote, you manage to be subtle about the sadness but still have it, I have a feeling mine is much to subtle so its crap.

And so, Star Shift stood, invisible eye twitching, hidden by her spell having heard the entire. bucking. conversation!:twilightoops::trollestia::moustache:

Everyone wonders how any of the Mane 6 would handle immortality, and you've definitely made the telling point that tells us all "Not very well, if at all."
Twilight found out, and of course blames Celestia: "Why didn't you tell me it would be like this?" Even the truth - "You wouldn't have believed me if I had." - would have made it worse. :facehoof:
BUT, the somewhat reconciliation - more a burying the hatchet - was probably the best ending. And you get through eternity one day at a time, the same way you did with anything else. :twilightsmile:
Bravo Zulu. :yay:

Is it possible a sequel might come of this? Maybe about what happened between Twilight and Spike?

My very first fic involving alicorn Twilight. And one of my first fics since my first real venture into FiMFiction besides Death Note: Equestria. I... feel like I should have in mind a lot to say, but don't seem to (I seem to have this problem often--but then I get talking anyway and it works out and blah blah blah... but I digress), but meh.

Well... I dunno, that was great. The tension, the drama, the echoes of love that once was, and the implications of, as you called it, indefinite lifespan. It all came together wonderfully, I think. Given the context, I found it all very believable... and then we have a new darling, prodigy protege of Celestia's. I liked that part. lol

I dunno, I feel I'm running back into "oh noes, wat to say", so eh. I very much enjoyed the serious nature of this and the bittersweet factor at first, which indeed turns to reconciliation--not a return to how things were, but making up nonetheless. A very mature resolution, I would say. Job well done, will read again. :twilightblush:

Also, I want to Follow Alondro just for posting brilliant things. Intelligent with an amusing sense of humor. I approve. :ajsmug:

2085258 Happy you liked the story that much, certainly.

Not happy that you're disparaging your own work in comparison. Different stories need different levels of subtlety. It's just down to picking your tools. Like something like Les Miserables is deliberately unsubtle--it's all about big, raw emotions. Something like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on the other hand is so subtle you can miss displays of emotion when they happen. They're both very well loved though.

Don't regret the things you've written. Each one is a learning experience. If you're not happy with how a story turns out, then that shows you what to work on in your next one. I mean, I almost gave up on this story for various reasons--after the initial burst that got me through Celestia and Twi being passive aggressive for about a page and a half I wasn't sure it had merit. But now I'm very glad that I stuck it out and (eventually) figured out how to proceed in a way that made it into the story I wanted it to be.

As I have probably said too often by now: love is a mixture of the magical and the mundane, and you can't push it too far in either direction for too long.

Moreover, there isn't a couple in the known universe(s) that hasn't occasionally experienced a heightened level of snippy.

Which is why this utterly fantastic (in the original sense of the word) tale is so disturbingly realistic. Thumb way, way up.

I'd kinda like to see where Twilight goes with her life from here on out, but this is still a great standalone regardless

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