• Published 28th Jan 2012
  • 6,813 Views, 249 Comments

No Matter How Dark - Picardy Third



Attacks and destruction in Ponyville occur on top of Twilight's recent incidents of memory loss

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CHAPTER 5
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“You can live here during your stay, Twilight Sparkle.” Celestia said as they entered a room down a corridor that Twilight was very familiar with. It was the same corridor that led to Celestia’s private chambers, but Twilight knew it for a different reason. The room was done up beautifully with burgundy curtains and furniture with gold trimming all around. The floor was hard wood with a beautiful area rug on the end opposite the bed. Yes, Twilight was very familiar with this room.

“This was where I first stayed as your student, isn’t it?” Twilight asked. “Before I started living in the library.”

“Indeed it is, Twilight.” Celestia said with a small smile. “It has been barely used since you last occupied it.” Twilight took a few steps forward and nodded in reply, so Celestia continued, “Should you ever need anything, I will not hesitate to help.”

“And Luna?” Twilight asked.

“She sleeps during the day and rules at night. You may not have as much luck finding her, however. She often likes to leave the castle.” Celestia said with a roll of her eyes, “I sometimes disapprove of such behavior, but she is as much a princess as I am, and as such, I have little say in what she does with her time.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Twilight said distantly. She had not smiled since the Princess told her the news of her condition. How could she? Twilight was directly responsible for the destruction of property of two of her closest friends and the hospitalization of the first. If Applejack could never buck apples again, Twilight wouldn’t be able to forgive herself.

“Twilight, I know things may seem dark.” Celestia said kindly, switching out of princess mode and taking on a more motherly, caring demeanor. “But I must ask you to always think positively and find the light in whatever way you can. It is absolutely imperative.”

“I will… try, Princess.” Twilight said.

“Thank you.” Celestia said. She raised herself up proudly once more and continued, “Now, I am truly sorry, but I will be stationing two pegasus guards at your chamber door at night. I… hope you understand.”

“I do, Princess. Don’t worry.” Twilight assured the princess, though she didn’t like it. She didn’t like knowing that it was, indeed, necessary.

“Good. You will be able to leave at night. Don’t worry, the guards will know whether you are… in your right mind.”

“Thank you, Princess.” Twilight said glumly.

“Well, I think I’ll let you get settled in.” The princess said, turning around. “Oh, and I have a little something that might make you feel better. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” With that, the princess left.

Twilight didn’t feel like being cheered up right now. She just wanted to be left alone, but that wasn’t going to make Twilight stop the princess from helping. She was very grateful that Celestia was so eager to make Twilight feel better in such dire circumstances.

Twilight sighed and walked over to her chamber window. She pushed it open gently and rested her front hooves on the pane, looking at the landscape beyond. Twilight found it almost a cruel joke that she could see Ponyville far below. She could even barely make out Rainbow Dash’s beautiful cloud home, just hovering over the outskirts of the town. For a moment, she wished that she would see Rainbow Dash flying toward her, telling her that she can come back to Ponyville.

Twilight already missed Rainbow Dash. They had grown so close over the past few months, but now it looked as though they wouldn’t see each other again for a long time, if at all. Twilight sniffed once and quickly stopped herself from crying. She had been getting too emotional about the loss of her friend, Twilight thought. It was as if Rainbow Dash were her marefriend or something.

“Now apparently I’m cursed and a lesbian.” Twilight muttered as a joke, though it hadn’t sounded funny to her at all. If anything, it simply instigated thought in Twilight’s head that she had never had before, and now wasn’t exactly the time to think about it. Was she a lesbian?

“Twilight!” Came a small excited voice from behind Twilight. It was a voice that made Twilight’s heart begin to beat with joy, and as she turned she forgot all about the emotions running deep inside her and instead focused on who was now running at her: her faithful assistant and friend, Spike.

“Spike!” Twilight greeted jovially, smiling for the first time since the terrible revelation of her curse. Spike jumped up and hugged Twilight’s neck lovingly.

“I missed you so much!” Spike said happily.

“Missed you too, Spike!” Twilight said. Maybe things weren’t all bad. At least she had Spike. Celestia walked into the room, smiling warmly. “Thank you, Princess.” Twilight said when Spike released his hold on Twilight’s neck.

“Although Spike will still be sleeping in his own private room, you two are free to visit as often and as much as you like.” Celestia said. She then turned to leave the room, “Twilight, could I ask you to come to my private chambers at nightfall?”

“Of course, Princess.”

“Then I will see you tonight.” Celestia said before leaving the room.

For the rest of the day, Twilight and Spike caught up with each other after having been apart for a few days. Twilight truly enjoyed the company of the small dragon and was grateful that she could at least have him around. It was like old times, before she ever moved to Ponyville.

But then she realized that before Ponyville, her only friend was Spike. She realized that she didn’t ever want to go back to the way things were before she met her friends, because that’s where she was truly happy. It made her all the more unhappy about her current predicament. Spike was just as unhappy, if not more so. The thought of never seeing Rarity again almost made even Twilight’s heart break as she saw the poor baby dragon’s face contort in sadness.

Spike told Twilight about how Celestia had told him about Twilight’s condition. Twilight was slightly upset at this, but was happy that she did not have to tell Spike herself. She didn’t think that she could bring herself to speaking the terrible events that she had caused. For this reason, they avoided the topic altogether.

Too soon, nighttime fell on Equestria. Twilight bade Spike goodnight and walked down the corridor to Celestia’s quarters. As she walked, her head buzzed with questions that she had for the princess. What happens now? How is she going to be cured? Is there even a cure? She readied them as she put a hoof to the door and knocked thrice.

“Come in.” Celestia’s voice was heard faintly behind the ornately decorated wood door. Twilight pushed the door open and found Celestia sitting on a circular padded rug in front of a fireplace. Twilight quickly closed the door behind her and joined Celestia on the rug.

“I have answered your friendship reports from this very spot since you first began sending them, Twilight.” Celestia said. “And I have kept them in that drawer over there.” Celestia pointed with her horn off to the right, where a desk stood, and one of the drawers opened up and then closed with a faint glow.

“Well, looks like that won’t be happening again, will it?” Twilight said sadly.

“You can never tell what the future brings, not exactly.” Celestia said. “There is a small amount of magic that can foretell very simple outcomes, but they are dangerous indeed, and not very practical.”

“I would like to learn those spells.” Twilight said.

“I thought you might.” Celestia said with a chuckle. Twilight couldn’t help but laugh a little as well. Being with Spike had improved her mood greatly, so she allowed herself to try to be happy.

“Now, I have brought you here to discuss the finer details about your situation.” Celestia said. “I’m sure my sister will wish to discuss it further, but for now, let us just keep this between us.”

“Of course, princess.” Twilight said. She was more comfortable around Celestia, anyway.

“I will start with your living situation. I expect you are wondering how long you will have to be here, and… the answer is indefinitely.” Celestia said.

“I was afraid of that…” Twilight muttered.

“You must understand that…”

“I’m a dangerous pony. Don’t worry, I understand.” Twilight said. Celestia just gave Twilight a warm and comforting, yet sad smile and looked away.

“Does that mean that… whatever this is… doesn’t have a cure?” Twilight asked cautiously, afraid of the answer.

Celestia sighed, “If there is one, we have not yet found it.”

Twilight gulped audibly. She looked down at her own hooves and shuffled them on the rug a bit. “Will it get any worse?”

“According to the first-hand accounts of my mother, yes.” Celestia said. “In time, it will get worse.”

“How much worse?”

“Twilight… I do not wish to frighten you or make you upset.” Celestia said.

“Don’t worry about that, Princess.” Twilight said. “I want to understand my situation.”

“My mother’s friend… was completely lost. He was fully evil with no hope of returning.”

“Well then we’ll have to find that cure before that happens.” Twilight said quickly. She blinked her eyes and felt tears sting, but she’d done her crying and hadn’t the desire to cry any more. Celestia was visibly skeptical. Twilight knew that if Celestia were nervous, then Twilight had every reason to be terrified.

“I admire your confidence, Twilight Sparkle.” Princess Celestia said. “You would make a fine princess.”

Not certain what the Princess meant by this, Twilight chose not to respond to the comment and instead allowed it to fill her with whatever happiness it could bring.

“Now, I’m afraid there’s something else I need you to know…” Celestia said solemnly.

“What’s this?”

“I am very aware that at some point your friends will arrive. I’m unsure when, but I think it’s inevitable.”

“You think?” Twilight said, not particularly excited by the idea, partly due to her abandonment of Ponyville with a very brief goodbye.

“I need to ask that they do not visit for long, if they do visit. If anything, do not let them sleep overnight.”

“I’ll… remember that, Princess.” Twilight said, all too aware of the reasoning behind Celestia’s concerns. Twilight couldn’t bear the thought of injuring another friend. A silence fell between the two ponies. The fireplace crackled and danced with orange flames, captivating the two pair of eyes. Celestia’s multicolored and sparkling mane shined with a soft luminous glow, illuminating what corners of the room were not reachable by the firelight.

“I do not want you to resent me for this, Twilight.” Celestia finally said after a long break.

“Why would I do that, Princess?”

“I have taken you from your friends… your home. I have forced you to leave behind the place that I originally sent you, and for that I am sorry.”

“Princess, I cannot pretend to be ignorant in the issue. I now know that I am a danger to my friends…” Twilight said. As the words left her mouth, she let out a small sob. Celestia draped a leg over Twilight’s shoulders, comforting her. “Why did this have to happen?”

“Because life is a cruel prankster that loves to see terrible things happen to good ponies.” Celestia muttered.

“My life was so good, Princess… I had friends, I had a beautiful home, I had all the magical power I could ever ask for…” Twilight spoke through her tears. “But there was so much I didn’t get to do…”

Celestia rubbed Twilight’s shoulders comfortingly, motherly. She pulled Twilight close and remained silent, sure that her words would be ineffective right now.

“I never even had a marefriend…” Twilight muttered.

“Marefriend, you say?” Celestia said, interested. Twilight suddenly realized what she had said.

Marefriend?! Twilight thought, but I’m not… I… oh horsefeathers, who am I kidding?

“I have never once found a stallion attractive.” Twilight said, still with tears in her eyes, “And while I’m usually focused on my studies, my mind… tends to wander.”

“Of course, Twilight.” The Princess said.

“Still…” Twilight said, sniffing then rubbing her snout, “It doesn’t matter now.”

“Now, don’t say that, Twilight.” Celestia said. “Once this storm blows over, you’ll have your opportunity. You’ll see.”

“I hope so…” Twilight said, then broke down once again, ignoring her mental protests to crying any more.

***
***

Later that night, Twilight had just returned to her room. Celestia had long since gone to sleep and the moon was high. Twilight contemplated visiting Luna, but decided instead to get some sleep. Twilight pulled the covers back and prepared to get in bed, but was disturbed by a light tapping sound from somewhere behind her. Thinking it was the door, she first approached the door and opened it. The two guards outside her room tensed up and looked at her nervously, but sighed with relief when they noticed Twilight in her normal state.

“Evening, gentlecolts. Did anypony knock on the door?”

“No, ma’am.” The guard on the right muttered.

“Oh… okay then, thanks.” Twilight said, ducking back into her room and walking back to her bed. She didn’t get far before she heard the knock again. Frustrated, Twilight looked all around and finally noticed a shape behind her window. Slightly startled, Twilight walked over to the window and opened the hatch, only to suddenly be tackled and immediately pulled into a bone-crushing hug from Rainbow Dash.

“Twilight! Oh, Twilight thank Celestia you’re alright!”

“What? Rainbow Dash!” Twilight shouted in reply, pushing Rainbow Dash off of her. Dash was breathing heavily and looked absolutely flustered. Her eyes bore evidence of crying, but it was so uncharacteristic of Rainbow Dash that Twilight simply dismissed it. “How did you fly all the way to Canterlot that fast?!”

“What were you thinking, Twilight?!” Rainbow Dash shouted, completely ignoring her question.

“What do you mean, ‘what was I thinking’?” Twilight retorted.

“You just left us! Do you have any idea how worried I was?!”

“I left you a note,” Twilight said calmly, “And I did ask you to not go looking for me.”

“That’s NOT why I’m upset, Twilight!” Rainbow Dash shouted. She choked on a sob, but quickly shook her head and kept her composure, an action that surprised Twilight. She had never seen Rainbow Dash cry before, never even a tear.

“You’re one of my best friends, Twilight!” Rainbow Dash said forcefully. “How can you expect to just leave and not expect me to be upset?!”

“I hoped that you would be mature about this.” Twilight scolded.

“Mature?” Rainbow Dash said with disbelief. She scoffed and looked away.

“Yes! Friends come and go. I’m trying to protect Ponyville, so the least you can do is forget about me and continue with your life.” Twilight said calmly, though the words hurt her. “I wasn’t even in Ponyville that long.”

“That doesn’t matter, you aren’t just a friend, Twilight. You’re more than that. You can’t just go! You’re coming back with me!”

“No, Rainbow Dash! I can’t!”

“Why?!”

Twilight let out a loud exasperated groan in frustration and stamped her hooves on the ground, “I can’t tell you!”

“Of course you can’t!” Rainbow Dash shouted back, then turned to leave.

“R-Rainbow Dash… where are you going?” Twilight asked cautiously.

“I’m leaving!” Rainbow Dash shouted, “You obviously have everything all figured out… what would you need me for?”

“No, Rainbow Dash, please!” Twilight said, “We can talk about this, just… don’t leave me here!”

Rainbow Dash hopped up to the window sill and looked out toward the small glow in the distance that was Ponyville. She sniffed again, hesitating her takeoff. She didn’t want to leave, or at least it didn’t look like it. She had a contemplative and concentrated stare, fixed on her home many miles away.

“You don’t understand, Twilight… I thought I lost you…” Rainbow Dash muttered, finally beginning to cry, “…guess I was right.” Rainbow Dash then began to take off into the night. Twilight had lost too much… she was not going to lose her best friend, too! Twilight reached out with her magic and grabbed Rainbow Dash’s tail.

Dash stopped dead in her flight. She struggled and struggled to free herself from the magical hold, but it was in vain. Twilight reeled Rainbow Dash back into her room and flipped her onto her back, pinning her down with her front hooves.

“What did you do that for?!” Rainbow Dash shouted, struggling unsuccessfully to remove herself from Twilight’s grip. Twilight was using magic to help her hold Rainbow Dash down, though. Dash had no chance.

“LISTEN TO ME!” Twilight screamed. Rainbow Dash immediately fell silent, but was still breathing heavily and looked absolutely livid.

“You think you have it rough?” Twilight said, “You think I don’t understand?!”

Dash didn’t answer, averting her gaze from Twilight’s face.

“I have just lost EVERYTHING!” Twilight shouted in Rainbow Dash’s face, “I just left all the friends I have ever had, my beautiful home, my great job, and everything else that I thought I knew about life!”

Dash remained silent, her front legs still pinned underneath Twilight’s hooves. Her gaze was still fixed anywhere besides Twilight’s face.

“Don’t you dare pretend like I wanted this.” Twilight said, “If it weren’t for me being here… who knows? The library could have burned down! Sugarcube corner could be nothing but rubble! Your beautiful home might have been cast out of the sky!”

“Why do you keep saying that?” Rainbow Dash said, eager to change the subject. Twilight then threw herself off of Rainbow Dash and walked over to her bed, flopping herself down on her back on the covers and covering her eyes with her hooves. She groaned and shook her head.

“If I could tell you, I would.” Twilight said, “I just can’t.”

“Why not?” Dash asked, getting up and walking over to Twilight.

“You’d hate me.”

“I could never hate you, Twilight.”

“You would, trust me.”

“Try me.” Dash fell beside Twilight on the bed, both ponies’ emotions finally simmering down. Twilight contemplated telling Rainbow Dash everything about the attacks, about her curse, about how Rainbow Dash was probably in danger as they spoke. But, she couldn’t. After all, Applejack was still Rainbow Dash’s best friend, and Twilight was the reason she was in the hospital.

“You need to trust me on this one, Dash.” Twilight said, and no sooner had she said that she felt a sudden, short burst of pain in her head. Twilight’s heart began to race. She couldn’t remember having a pain like that before, yet somehow it struck a familiar chord in her brain. The only thing that Twilight could think was that something terrible was about to happen.

“Dash, I think you need to leave now.”

“What?!” Rainbow Dash retorted, sitting up suddenly. Twilight grasped her skull and squeezed as a second throb rattled her head, sending waves of pain through her body, all starting from the center of her brain. Twilight scrunched her eyes shut tight and focused on the throbbing that was now racking her head.

“Uh… you okay, Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked, concerned.

Twilight didn’t hear Dash. The pain in her head was too intense. Her vision was clouding and tears were falling down the sides of her face. Twilight whimpered once and mustered enough energy sit up, but she immediately fell on her face.

“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash shouted, grabbing Twilight. She attempted to lift her up but was suddenly pushed back by force of dark energy that exploded from Twilight’s body and even pushed the bed a little bit. Rainbow Dash fell on the floor away from Twilight, completely taken by surprise. “Twilight what did… you…” She lost her words when she regained her focus.

Twilight slowly stood, a thick black aura obscuring her features. Rainbow Dash’s eyes popped open in horror. Rainbow Dash recognized this pony… this was the pony that attacked Applejack! But… no… Twilight would never attack Applejack! Nor would Twilight attack Rainbow Dash!

When the pony spoke however, it was not Twilight’s voice, but a twisted, raspy, demented version of her voice that seemed to reverberate all around. “Rainbow Dash… I must say this visit has been heartbreaking.” Twilight mocked. She then forced the black aura to vanish with a rush of air, fully exposing her body. She stood now, looking as she normally did, except her features were somewhat darker and her eyes glowed a bright white.

“Twilight...” Rainbow Dash muttered, “What’s going on?”

“I doubt I will be able to get very far in this castle with Celestia right around the corner…” Twilight said in her disgusting voice. “But at least I have somepony to have fun with for the time being.” A sadistic smile spread across Twilight’s face. Twilight’s voice chilled Rainbow dash to the very core. It was unnatural and eerie among many things, none of which were anything but dark. Rainbow Dash’s heart began to race as Twilight slowly began to walk toward her.

“Wh-who are you, and where’s Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked, back crawling away. She was entirely convinced now that she had been talking to an imposter the entire time. There’s no way that this monster could be Twilight Sparkle.

“Why, I am Twilight, you silly pony.” Twilight replied maliciously. “I would think of all ponies, you would recognize me, Rainbow Dash. After all, you don’t do a very good job of hiding your little crush on me.”

“Wh-what? Who, I-“ Rainbow Dash stammered, eyes darting back and forth.

“Look at you… Oh, how fun this will be…” Twilight said slowly as Rainbow Dash hit her head on the wall behind her. Dash’s heart rate quickened to a dangerous pace and she looked around for somewhere to go. Quickly, she attempted to run to the side, but Twilight caught her with magic and held her in place against the wall. Twilight pressed her against the stone wall and drew very close, squeezing tightly.

“YOU MONSTER!” Rainbow Dash screamed, “YOU’RE NOT TWILIGHT! STOP!”

“Jeez, Applejack didn’t even scream this much…” Twilight fake complained. Rainbow Dash grimaced in disgust, thinking back to Applejack’s condition after she had been attacked. Twilight then grinned and held up a hoof.

“You see this hoof here?” Twilight said. Her horn began to glow, and as Rainbow Dash watched, her hoof began to glow red. Dash didn’t want to know what this meant, but the waves of heat coming off it gave her an idea. “I think it would look really good on your stomach.”

“T-Twilight…” Rainbow Dash muttered. Twilight giggled with mirth and squinted, staring right into Rainbow Dash’s eyes. From behind the glow, Dash could see Twilight’s purple irises… they were faded, but they were there, gazing into Rainbow Dash’s very core. “Why?” Rainbow Dash whimpered.

Twilight was about to press the red-hot hoof to Rainbow Dash’s exposed stomach, but a loud explosion stopped Twilight immediately. Bright light flooded into the room from where the door had been blown off its hinges and now lay in splinters all over the floor.

“That is enough!” Came the powerful voice of, not Princess Celestia, but Princess Luna. Luna strode into the room with the pair of pegasus guards at her side, trembling with fear. Luna, however, looked calm and collected, ready to deal with the trouble Twilight was causing.

“Ah, the forgotten Princess.” Twilight said with a smile. Her hoof stopped glowing and she let Rainbow Dash go. Dash fell to the floor and did nothing but stare up at Twilight with horror, shocked at what had just been about to happen.

“You will cease this violence immediately, wretched creature.” Luna commanded in the majestic, yet terrifying royal Canterlot voice.

“I’d like to see you try and stop me.” Twilight sneered. As the last word left her mouth, Twilight was thrown back and slammed into a wall in a similar fashion to what Twilight had done to Rainbow Dash, only with at least double the force. Luna held tightly to Twilight, tighter than Twilight had done to Rainbow Dash, refusing to let her go even for a second. Twilight squirmed and writhed, but it was to no avail.

“You may be powerful, demon.” Luna warned, “But I am still far more powerful.”

“Not for much longer, oh Princess of the Ni-!” Luna suddenly tightened her magical grip around Twilight’s throat. Luna growled and glared into Twilight’s eyes as she struggled to breathe. Rainbow Dash watched with growing anticipation. Something inside her said that this was still an imposter and not the real Twilight Sparkle, but it still ate at Rainbow Dash to see her friend in such a situation.

“Don’t hurt her!” Rainbow Dash finally shouted. Luna then turned and looked at Rainbow Dash curiously. She sighed and looked back at Twilight sympathetically, loosening her grip on the throat. Twilight began to cough and wheeze, then glared at Luna with malice.

“This is not over, I assure you of that.” Twilight growled one last time in her horribly cold, raspy voice. She spat in Luna’s face and then closed her eyes. For a second, Twilight was still, then Luna lowered her to the ground gently.

Rainbow Dash was up in a heartbeat, running over to Twilight’s side. “So that really was Twilight?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Unfortunately, yes.” Luna said solemnly, reaching a hoof up to her face to wipe the spittle from it. “What a disgusting creature.”

“So… she’ll be alright, won’t she?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“She will be fine.” Luna said softly.

“What was that? Why was Twilight acting all… evil?” Rainbow Dash asked. Luna sighed and lifted Twilight once again, this time with care. She laid Twilight down on top of the covers of her bed tenderly, then turned to the two guards that were still standing paralyzed at the door.

“Wake my sister. Inform her that Twilight has suffered another attack and…” Luna turned to Rainbow Dash and looked to be contemplating something, “…that we should expect visitors tomorrow.”

“Y-yes, your majesty.” The guards both said before bowing and rushing out of the room.

“Princess?” Rainbow Dash inquired, “What’s going on?”

“You are not to speak a word of what happened tonight to your friends.” Luna instructed Rainbow Dash.

“B-but-!“

“However,” Luna cut Rainbow Dash off forcefully, “Once you return to Ponyville, you will gather Twilight’s closest friends and bring them to the castle. There is much explaining to do. I believe you are entitled to know of your friend’s condition.”

Rainbow Dash did not have any objections. She simply nodded and stepped forward to be beside Twilight in her bed. Twilight now slept peacefully, as if she had not moved from that spot all night and Luna and Rainbow Dash were disturbing her.

Princess Celestia came galloping into the room at full speed and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight in front of her. Princess Luna and Rainbow Dash stood beside Twilight’s sleeping form, and the broken remains of the door were scattered all over the ground.

“P-Princess!” Rainbow Dash blurted out, then immediately bowed her head. Princess Luna huffed at the special treatment her sister received, to which Celestia merely rolled her eyes and continued forward.

“Now is not the time for formalities, Rainbow Dash.” Princess Celestia said, quickly joining the two at the bedside. Rainbow Dash straightened awkwardly as the Princess surveyed Twilight’s unconscious form. “What happened?”

“W-well, I came to… visit… Twilight, and… well, she just turned all evil all of the sudden!” Rainbow Dash said.

“Did she hurt you?” Celestia asked, now looking carefully at Rainbow Dash.

“Just a few small scrapes on my back, Princess.”

Princess Celestia sighed with relief and looked down at Twilight sadly. She then looked at Luna, who returned the gaze with sorrow in her eyes.

“You should not have come, Rainbow Dash.” Celestia informed Rainbow Dash.

“What, you’re saying I did this?!” Rainbow Dash suddenly shouted defensively, rising to the air with her wings.

“Not at all, Rainbow Dash.” Celestia said. Rainbow Dash then slowly fell back to the ground, “But if you recall, Twilight did insist upon not being followed.”

Rainbow Dash’s head was buzzing with questions, but she kept them in reserve with promises of answers come tomorrow. “Yes, Princess.” Rainbow Dash said.

“You should go home, Rainbow Dash.” Celestia said to Rainbow Dash.

“Remember what I requested of you. Do not hesitate.” Luna added.

“Princess… can I stay with Twilight tonight?” Rainbow Dash asked, reaching a hoof up to touch Twilight’s. She gripped Twilight’s hoof with her own in a way that somehow comforted Rainbow Dash, yet she despaired when she could still feel heat from earlier, a grim reminder of the events that had just transpired.

“Oh, I don’t think that’s such a good idea…” Celestia said.

“What’s she gonna do, turn evil in her sleep?” Rainbow Dash demanded. Though she did not know what the circumstance was truly, something told Dash that she didn’t have to worry anymore, not tonight.

“She… will be fine for now.” Celestia said admittedly, “But tonight only.”

“Thank you, Princess.” Rainbow Dash said. Luna looked at Rainbow Dash with another curious stare, but followed Celestia out what was once a door. Rainbow Dash got in the bed and laid down beside Twilight, rubbing her back slowly.

“Everything’ll be alright, Twilight…” Rainbow Dash whispered, “Whatever this is… we’ll make it through. I swear.”

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