• Published 9th Apr 2013
  • 10,986 Views, 66 Comments

Good Thing I'm So Organized - TacticalRainboom



Twilight Sparkle is organized. Twilight Sparkle is very, very organized. Twilight Sparkle has never told anypony why she's so organized. Until now. || One-shot, edited and extended.

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Good Thing I'm So Organized

“C’mon, Rarity. Ain’t nothin’ you can't handle, right?” Applejack put on her best easygoing, patient, good-friend-here-to-make-things-right voice, but trying to talk Rarity down from a fit was like trying to dry up a thunderstorm by drinking it through a straw.

“She interrupted my process!” Rarity hissed. By now, she was up to her knees in a mound of garments pulled from her workshop’s closet. Not only dresses, but vests, capes, hats, saddlebags, whatever. Applejack even thought she saw a bit and bridle sitting on the pile before it was buried underneath what looked like one of the prototypes from the incident with the Grand Galloping Gala dresses.

“Perhaps I should start hanging signs? Would that communicate my desire for other ponies to keep their hooves off of my tools and materials? Especially when I cannot supervise in person?” Rarity stopped throwing clothing for a moment to thrust a hoof into the air and sweep it from left to right, indicating where she would put a warning sign, if she were to actually make one. “Warning: Artiste at work! Creative process in progress! Do not organize anything! Do not touch anything! Rrrgh!” Rarity threw her forehooves into the air.

“Aw, c’mon.” Against her better judgement, Applejack stepped further into the room. Except for the growing heap of silk and cotton, the room was absurdly neat, especially for a workspace that saw so much use. The workbenches were completely clear; somepony had done a thorough job of putting everything away in its proper place, down to the last stray pin. Even the ponyquinns were lined up in rows, like soldiers at attention.

Applejack smiled, and she almost managed to keep the fear out of her expression. “You know that Twilight means well, and—”

“Hmph!” Rarity plunged both forehooves back into the pile of laundry. “It's been a week of this! I swear, she’s been an absolute terror ever since the wedding! Did the changelings fiddle with something in her brain while we weren’t looking?” Seemingly satisfied with how much clothing she'd dumped from the closet, Rarity waded over to the smallest workbench, upon which was a tall pile of fabric squares. The squares, Applejack noted, were perfectly arranged by hue in a vertical rainbow: red at the top and purple at the bottom.

The first colored square, a deep earthy red, rose in the grip of Rarity’s magic and then set itself down next to the stack. Then Rarity grabbed the second sheet, but instead of setting it on the table, she dropped it and let it flutter to the floor. The third also went to the floor. Then the fourth. Rarity set the fifth on the work surface such that it overlapped the red square and sat with one corner draped over the edge by a few inches. The square after that one, the most vibrant red thus far, was tossed to the floor. The pace of Rarity’s sorting increased until fabric was flying like confetti, turning the floor into a patchwork collage.

“Tell you what,” Applejack said, backing towards the door again. “I’ll go an’ talk to her. All right? Ain’t no need to—”

Rarity interrupted her by magically pulling a drawer free of its housing and then upending it, dumping a pile of materials onto the floor that looked like a heap of chromed scrap metal but sounded like a cart full of silverware losing a wheel and crashing into a china store.

Applejack excused herself from the room, and Rarity didn’t seem to notice.


The scene inside the library was quite a bit like Applejack’s visit to Carousel Boutique that morning, except it was being played in reverse. The shelves were completely bare, their contents emptied onto the floor. The entire main room was carpeted with books, except for a walkway around the perimeter that was just wide enough for a single pony.

After a few moments of gaping at the destruction, Applejack noticed Twilight’s combed mane peeking out from behind a wall of neatly stacked books.

“Hey, Twi?”

Twilight’s head dipped behind the barricade and out of sight. Applejack sighed and started down the cleared path which, she noted, was precisely the same width all the way around—a perfectly oval-shaped walkway.

Twilight’s tail and hindquarters, crowded on either side by stacks of books, came into view. Applejack would have called Twilight’s name, but there was something odd about her unicorn friend’s motions that gave her pause.

As Applejack watched, Twilight levitated a book over from the mess and swatted it three times with a feather duster—front, then back, then spine. Then Twilight put the book on top of a stack, picked it back up, and put it down again so that it was perfectly aligned with the rest. Without looking up, or even taking her eyes off of the books, Twilight trotted two steps forward, then shuffled back half a step. As she scanned for the next book to examine, she reached up with a forehoof to ruffle her mane and then straighten it back out. Then she levitated a book over and swatted it three times with her feather duster...

Applejack watched the process for several minutes, growing steadily more concerned. Twilight looked like a clockwork toy with a freshly wound spring; she even scruffed and straightened her hair exactly the same way between every book. Eventually, Applejack tried to interrupt the process somewhere between the feather duster phase and the stacking phase.

“Hey! Twilight! You all right over there?”

Twilight straightened and dropped the book at the sound of Applejack's voice. Then, without saying another word, she picked the book back up, swatted it on its front, back, and spine with the duster, and set it on top of a pile...

Applejack sidled up alongside Twilight and nudged her gently. “How're ya feelin’, sugarcube?”

Twilight’s face twitched as she dropped her book again.

“Oh! Hello, Applejack!” Twilight’s expression split into an unconvincing smile, as if to pretend she was noticing her visitor for the first time. “I’m sorry about the mess. I’m re-shelving!”

“Uh, yep. Sure looks like it.” Looking around at the hallway of books—each piece of wall stacked exactly twelve books tall—Applejack started to feel a little silly for coming here to tell Twilight not to be quite so organized. Still, Rarity had been awfully upset, and it wouldn’t do to let Twilight think that there hadn’t been any problem...

“Listen, couldja take a break to come visit Rarity for a spell? I promise it won’t take but a minute.”

Applejack shifted uncomfortably at the way Twilight bit her lower lip and glanced over her shoulder at the mess. Before Applejack could open her mouth to apologize, Twilight spoke up.

“Of course!” Twilight said, a little too brightly, and much too hastily. “Just wait outside, and I’ll be right with you.”

As she started off down the book-lined path towards the door, Applejack glanced surreptitiously over her shoulder. Twilight was levitating the book she’d been working on before being interrupted. She dusted it on the front, back, and spine, then put it on top of a stack, then picked the book back up, and put it down again so that it was perfectly aligned with the rest. Applejack turned straight ahead again, pretending she hadn’t been looking, when Twilight broke off and started following.

Applejack nodded towards the town center as she stepped out from the library and onto the main road with Twilight close behind.

“Jus’ head straight there an’ say hello to Rarity! I’ve gotta check in with Apple Bloom at home.”

With that, Applejack turned down the road and started heading for home. She resisted the urge to break into a gallop. Everything was going to be fine, right? Twilight would go over and get chewed out by Rarity, and both of them would calm down and understand each other. Like good friends, right?

Right.

Applejack didn’t gallop, but she picked up her hooves a bit higher as she hurried down the path to Sweet Apple Acres.


For the first few moments after opening the door, Applejack just stood, dumbfounded, with her jaw nearly touching the perfectly white tile floor.

“What the howlin’ horseapples is goin’ on here?”

The first one to greet her wasn’t Rarity or Twilight—it was Rainbow Dash. “AJ! Quick! Help!”

Rarity had Twilight’s tail between her teeth, and Rainbow Dash was holding on for dear life with her forelegs wrapped around the base of Twilight’s neck. Twilight, meanwhile, was flailing her hooves as if stretching for something in front of her that was barely out of reach, and her horn was sparkling at full force. Rarity and Rainbow Dash were winning, but just barely, as they tried to drag Twilight backwards.

Twilight’s magic flitted around the room like a laser at a dance party. Everywhere that purple glow went, it left a wide swath of cleanliness—tools slid into drawers, clothing folded itself, and discarded spools of thread hopped into their proper places on the shelves.

“Stop her!” Rarity cried breathlessly as Twilight’s magic blew its way past her sewing machine, leaving the patterns sorted by size, the scraps of cloth sealed in a trash bag, and the pins sticking out of their pincushion in perfect rows.

Applejack never claimed to be a clever pony, but keeping cool under pressure was her specialty. She rushed into the store, snatched one of the few garments that hadn’t been Twilighted away and shook it, unfurling it into the air—it turned out to be a white dress—so that she was gripping it by two ends, letting the rest form a loop.

Twilight had time to rack two more bolts of cloth before Applejack was upon her. Years of lassoing made it easy to catch Twilight’s face with the makeshift giant blindfold. Applejack pulled, wrapping the thick fabric tighter around Twilight’s head.

Rarity let out a little sigh of relief, followed by a startled yelp as Twilight toppled off of her rear hooves and dragged Rainbow Dash down with her. The blinded unicorn was still flailing her hooves and reaching around with her magic, except that now her blind telekinetic fumbling was knocking things down rather than putting things away.

A purple hoof connected with Rainbow Dash’s jaw. The lithe pegasus snapped her head back with a sharp “OW!” and then a “Geez, calm down!”

Twilight instantly retracted her hoof. And then she collapsed. She covered her head with her hooves and sobbed horribly, her body quaking with every gasping breath as the dress-lasso fell away from her eyes and pooled around her prone form.

The other three ponies in the room were momentarily dumbstruck as they stared at Twilight’s sudden breakdown.

Rainbow Dash broke the relative silence. “Uh... hey, I’m okay! Not like it's the first hit I've taken on the chin!” She looked stricken, like she was the one who’d done something wrong. That look got worse when Twilight abruptly stopped crying and shot her a glare.

“No, it’s not fine.” Twilight had an ugly, bitter frown on her face, and it looked like she was getting ready to yell at Rainbow Dash.

“Hey. Hey, sugar, c’mere.” Applejack crouched down and curled one foreleg around the back of Twilight’s neck, nuzzling her with a quick hug. “Dashie knows you didn’t mean to. She’s fine. You didn't do anythin' wrong.”

Twilight let out a single bitter laugh, a hmph sound accompanied by a pained grimace. “But that’s just it,” she muttered. “I didn’t mean to. I...” She swallowed hard, shrugged Applejack off, and rose slowly to her hooves again. “Rainbow, would you go and find Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie? There’s something you should hear. All of you.”

“I think,” Rarity said softly, “that we should take this conversation elsewhere. Come now, Twilight dear.” She trotted ahead and opened the door for the others with her magic. “My bedroom has cushions and pillows to help everypony get comfortable. No sense standing around in the workshop.”


Twilight and Princess Celestia stood in a tiny atrium, a secret retreat reserved for times when the school’s most powerful magicians required privacy. “What? No! You can’t mean...” Twilight sputtered, her face twisted into a mask of unspeakable horror. If such a thing were possible, she would have backed away from herself in fear. Instead, she just crumpled.

They’d lied to her for six years. Six years of letting little Twily believe some cute bedtime-story version of what had happened. A light show, they said. A shining halo of purple, and glowing white eyes, they said. And, oh yes, she hatched the dragon too. Nothing about turning the infant creature into a monster. Nothing about transmuting everypony in the room.

Nothing about how Princess Celestia was the only reason Twilight hadn’t sent an innocent creature on a rampage before killing her parents and the teachers administering the test.

And that was what she had earned her cutie mark for.

“But... if I... I could have... I’m... I’m a...” Twilight gave up trying to speak. Instead, she sobbed.

“You are wrong,” Princess Celestia said, nuzzling Twilight with the side of her head. Twilight didn’t respond. “I saw your heart as clearly as I saw your power, dear student. You will never be a danger to anypony. Not as long as you do not wish to be.”

“That didn’t matter when it happened!” Twilight shook her head violently, sending a sprinkle of tears through the air. “I couldn’t see, I couldn’t think! It just happened! I didn’t decide! My magic—”

“Your magic is beautiful, just like you,” the Princess interrupted. “And your magic is still growing, just like you.” Princess Celestia levitated a book down from one of the room’s many shelves as she spoke. “We waited this long to tell you, because we wanted you to grow and learn without being afraid of yourself.”

Princess Celestia opened the book to a page near the middle and levitated it towards Twilight, who glanced at it, then glanced away.

“I’ve never seen it before,” Twilight said bitterly. “It’s got six steps. Three channeling aspects. A laypony wouldn’t even be able to hold the first two.” She didn’t look up. “Why are you showing me this?”

“I want you to perform this spell,” Princess Celestia said, setting the book on a stand and gesturing towards it. “Think of it as an assignment.”

Twilight dried her eyes and started to read, sniffling loudly the whole time. The spell was every bit as hard as she'd expected, and she was glad for the challenge. Having to focus on studying a spell like this left no room for distractions like emotions and horrible truths.

When Twilight reached the end of the spell, she started reading from the beginning again. This time, the archaic grammar and roundabout instructions fell into a pattern that she could understand. The multiple stages of the spell fell into line, and Twilight could already feel how the channeling aspects would weave together into a beautiful whole...

No. Not yet. She needed to learn and relearn. She would cast this spell, and she would cast it perfectly, after studying it until it couldn’t possibly go wrong.

“Princess?”

“Yes, Twilight?”

Twilight looked up from the book and into the eyes of her mentor, who still bore the same serene, eternal smile.

“I need to take some notes. Are there any blank scrolls in here?”

Princess Celestia turned towards a shelf and levitated quill, ink, and parchment towards Twilight.

“Thank you.”

Twilight studied the spell once more, and this time she wrote the steps down in the form of a checklist as she went. When she was finished reading and the checklist was complete, Twilight held the scrap of parchment up and read over the procedure that she had written. Then she read it a second time, crumpled it, picked up a new sheet, and re-wrote the procedure to be clearer and more organized, checking it against the original text at every step.

When Twilight retired to her room that evening, she immediately set about clearing away the clutter on her desk and floor, setting everything in its proper place. When that was finished, and everything in her room was arranged just so, she started writing down a checklist detailing everything she planned to do the next day. Seeing her entire day planned out and organized felt so good that she crumpled the list, dropped it into the wastebin, and wrote a new one, this time in greater detail, and with “write checklist for tomorrow” included. Twilight smiled for the first time all day as she pinned the checklist to the wall. An entire day, laid out before her on a simple list. Organizing herself like this was like reaching forward in time to control her future self.

That night, Twilight slept peacefully despite the day’s trials. Everything was under control.


Learning how to throw magic through the air like a ball took most unicorns a long time. Most of them lacked the skill to weave and sculpt their magic instead of simply pressing it into the mold of a “spell.” Others failed because they could not grasp the concept of manifesting magic as pure magic, instead of using it to affect existing objects.

“Don’t you dare do anything to my brother! You... you monster!”

Twilight Sparkle, of course, wasn’t most unicorns. She lashed out, and her anger slammed into one of the cave’s reflective surfaces, leaving a smoking crater. Twilight knew immediately that she had missed her mark, because there was still mocking laughter echoing through the caves.

Twilight whirled and struck again. Fire built in her heart until it released from her horn in an arc of red that shattered and burned all that it touched. Twilight found herself literally blinded by rage as she poured hate and violence out into the world with enough force to pound stone into dust. Then, at long last—

“No! Wait!”

Twilight’s snarling face twisted into a sick grin of victory as she watched the one who had been taunting her a moment ago raise a hoof in defense and scuttle pathetically backwards. Even more satisfying was the way the alicorn witch cowered, eyes widened in mortal panic, when Twilight charged her down and pinned her.

“Please, don’t hurt me!” Princess Cadance begged. Twilight nearly laughed when her former foalsitter raised both forelegs to cover her face, as if such a meaningless gesture would make any difference. Twilight had torn through solid rock to find this chamber; tearing through flesh and bone to reach Cadance’s skull would be effortless by comparison.

“Twilight? Twilight, it’s me! Please, you have to believe me!”


“None of you were there,” Twilight murmured. “You didn’t see it. But I... I almost...” She hadn’t made eye contact with anypony for the entire duration of her story. Now she was hanging her head and breathing slowly, as if letting it all out had physically exhausted her.

The silence didn't last very long. “Wait, that’s it? You’ve been beating yourself up for a week for helping to save Equestria from the changelings?”

Rarity shot Rainbow Dash a hard look. “Really, now!” she scolded. “Twilight needs our help!”

“What does she need our help with?" Rainbow Dash scoffed. "I’m pretty sure letting her room get messy once in a while is a little different from flattening Ponyville or someth—” Rainbow Dash clamped her mouth shut when she saw Twilight shudder again, but it was too late. Twilight had a hoof to her mouth too, and was backing away from the table, her eyes quickly filling with tears.

Fluttershy quickly hopped over to give Twilight an urgent nuzzle. “Twilight, no! We know you’d never hurt anypony! You’re our friend, and...”

“Well, I’m glad you think you know!” Twilight spat back so sharply that Fluttershy instinctively recoiled.

“You have no idea! You don’t know what I’m capable of! I don’t know what I’m capable of!” Twilight backed away from Fluttershy and turned to glare at all five of her friends. “I almost ‘flattened’ a room full of ponies, including my parents, on the day that I earned my cutie mark! And just last week I almost—”

Twilight choked on the word, then turned her head aside. She took a deep breath and squeezed her eyes shut before continuing. “I almost hurt Princess Cadance when she was helpless. She begged me not to. She begged me. I... I’m...” She grit her teeth and squeezed the tears out of her eyes.

Applejack nudged her way past Fluttershy. “Twilight, you listen to me. What you are is a hero, you hear?”

Twilight didn’t respond, but at least she stopped crying. Applejack pressed further. “When you finally made it back with the real Princess...”

It was Applejack’s turn to silence herself as she saw her words backfire. Twilight backed away, shaking her head, still looking at the floor. She started to make her way towards the perimeter of the room, her breath growing gradually more steady as she went. Her friends stared helplessly as she left, except for one.

Twilight yelped as a bouncing, grinning, hot pink puff of pony exploded upwards from one of the piles of prototypes dumped on the floor. “Not so fast, missy!” Pinkie snapped.

“What do you want,” Twilight monotoned.

The room fell silent as Pinkie fixed the top of Twilight’s drooping head with a hard, narrowed stare.

“PILLOW FIIIIIGHT!”

Pinkie reared forcefully, flipping a blanket towards Twilight’s face. Twilight jumped backwards as if she’d been splashed with water.

“Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do?” Pinkie taunted, bouncing happily as Twilight fumbled with the blanket. “Better get ready, ‘cause here I come!”

Four pairs of eyes widened in alarm as Pinkie dove to grab a “weapon” from the bed. Rarity started to run over to control the situation.

“Pinkie! What are you—mmph!” Rarity was suddenly muffled by a white sheet covering her face in much the same fashion as the one on Twilight’s head. After a moment of impotent flailing, Rarity toppled into a pile of dresses.

Pinkie Pie laughed victoriously. “Ha haa! I have the best ideas! Now, where were we? Oh, that’s right!” Pinkie stopped bouncing long enough to turn back towards her original target. “I was getting Twilight to defend herself from a Pinkie Pie pillowing!”

“I’ll stop her!” Rainbow Dash yelled, raising her wings and bracing herself against the ground. “Pinkie’s fighting style has nothing on me!” She grabbed the cushion she had been sitting on and launched herself into a low-skimming approach with cushion poised for a devastating precision strike.

Pinkie already had a pillow in her teeth and her head lowered in a defensive pillowfighter’s stance. Rainbow Dash wound up for a devastating fly-by cushion attack, but Pinkie was too fast—Dash’s swing caught only empty air.

“Come on, Dashie!” Pinkie mocked, turning her back to Rainbow Dash and shaking her haunches. “I think you’ve lost your touch! You’re not the pillowfighter you used to be!”

“Rainbow Dash!” Applejack yelled. “You are makin’ things worse! For Celestia’s sake—”

Rainbow Dash wasn’t listening; she was too busy looping around for another attack run. She dove again, zeroing in on Pinkie with accuracy worthy of a stunt flyer... only to find that Pinkie wasn’t there.

Pinkie hurled herself sideways with impossible speed, so that there was nothing between the oncoming pegasus missile in front of her and the unsuspecting white unicorn behind her.

The pegasus pillow-warrior’s flying clothesline technique scored a solid connection, knocking Rarity off her hooves and onto the bed, where she landed with a fluffy thump.

“Oh, is that how it’s going to be?” Rarity growled, lighting her horn and summoning her two favorite pillows to her side.

“You have got to be kiddin’ me! Rarity! You put those things down and—” Applejack ended her sentence with a breathy “oof” as she took a clean hit to the side of the head from a Striker-class projectile sock.

When Twilight finally freed herself from beneath the blanket, she found herself in the middle of a warzone. Rarity let out a screechy kiai as she leapt off the bed towards Applejack, dual cushions slashing the air in intricate, ever-changing patterns. Applejack countered by rearing up, swinging a rising strike with a heavyweight pillow that stopped Rarity in midair. Then Applejack was leveled by a dive from Rainbow Dash, whose head was spiked into the bed by a massive overhead from Pinkie, who suddenly found herself disarmed by Rarity’s signature Twisting Shirtwaist Stance...

The air was full of loose feathers and furious battle cries, and the room was starting to feel claustrophobic. Hostile, even. Twilight reached out with her magic to straighten the bedsheets, but Pinkie immediately ruined Twilight’s progress by suplexing Dashie onto the bed. Cleaning up fallen feathers and socks was similarly hopeless what with all the sets of hooves thundering across the floor.

Twilight shuffled backwards, away from the chaos and violence, feeling her heart flutter as she suppressed the urge to cry out and put a stop to all this. She actually had to look away when Rarity laid into Applejack with a rapid two-pillowed beatdown. None of the fighters were holding back, not even Rainbow Dash with her blinding speed, or Applejack with her long-trained muscle. They were tearing up the room as they fought, and they looked so happy, even though everything was so out of control and they could really hurt each other and...

Between the mess and the fight, Twilight started trying to think of an excuse to leave. She didn’t want to be here, she didn’t want to be part of this. If she couldn’t keep this room orderly and put everything back into its nice, proper form, then she wanted to leave and get to back to the task of setting her library in order. Her hooves trembled as she pressed her rear end against the wall. A bedsheet had somehow made its way over to the side of the room that Twilight was on, so she lifted it with her magic, folded it, and then huddled down and rested her chin on it. It didn't help the trembling. Twilight was sure she'd start crying again.

Then Twilight heard the absolute last thing she ever expected to hear in the middle of a melee. It was a soft sound, only audible when there was a lull between the taunts and battle cries.

The sound was somewhere between a coo and a giggle. “Yay!”

Fluttershy, who was backed into the corner closest to Twilight, applauded with her forehooves, then ducked with an “eep!” as a pillow hit the wall behind her.

“Woo! Go Dashie!” Fluttershy cheered softly.

Twilight stared, openmouthed at Fluttershy. Timid, gentle Fluttershy, who could tame bears with a few kind words, who spent all her time caring for a menagerie of animals as if they were her own foals, was cheering the pillow war on. She flinched every time a pillow flew too close, but she also stayed to enjoy the show.

"Aren't you scared? Aren't they scared?" Twilight sputtered, still huddled low to the ground.

"Why would they be?" Fluttershy replied, tilting her head curiously. "They would never hurt each other!"

Twilight’s eyes widened with new understanding.

“You should join them, Twilight!” Fluttershy said sweetly. “I bet you’d be really good at it!”

Twilight’s vision blurred with tears.

whumph

Twilight’s vision was suddenly filled with pillow.

Twilight didn’t do what came next, not exactly. It felt more like simply letting it happen.

THUMP

Pinkie Pie flew backwards through the air and crashed onto the bed, breaking up a duel between Rarity and Rainbow Dash.

All eyes turned towards Pinkie’s assailant, except for Pinkie’s eyes, which were still crossed from the force of the pillowing their owner had just been dealt. Twilight had somehow managed to steal all of the remaining pillows and pile them into one neat stack, with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on top. She’d also righted the laundry basket and piled all the laundry back in.

Twilight’s expression was dark and stony for one terrifying second.

And then she smiled an evil, devious smile.

“All right. You want a pillow fight? You got a pillow fight!”

Twilight lowered her head, and her horn let off a dazzling flash of magic. Everypony in the room dove for cover as the orderly stack of pillows exploded, sending cottony projectiles flying like shrapnel from a pillow bomb. With one feather-stuffed weapon in the grip of her magic and another between her teeth, Twilight reared and flipped the laundry hamper, sending a spray of socks into the air as a screen to cover her advance.

The ensuing pillow fight would become legendary. Even against such formidable rivals as Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, Twilight proved herself as as a potent tactician and marksmare with the focus to fight while staring down salvos of socks. For the rest of the night, Carousel Boutique echoed with the sounds of feather-stuffed beatings, fluffy violence, and glorious laughter.


When it was all over, Twilight Sparkle and her five closest friends lay cuddled together on a bed meant to hold nowhere near so many ponies. To say that the bedroom looked like the warzone that it had been for the last few hours would be an understatement. Pictures had fallen off the walls, drawers had been yanked onto the floor, and the desk had been tipped over to be used as cover. It looked like Rainbow Dash had been using the room to practice making tornadoes.

Twilight was the last one awake. Too exhausted to move, but not quite exhausted enough to pass out in spite of the things on her mind, she stared up at the arched ceiling and tried to reflect on the day’s events in a deeper way. Today’s lesson in friendship had been an important one, and Twilight wanted to distill it into something that she could learn and relearn, but it was too hard to focus. She kept being distracted by things like the fading giddiness of adrenaline, Applejack’s soft snoring from somewhere near her hind legs, the lumpiness of the mess of sheets that she was lying on, and the warm weight of Fluttershy’s head against her shoulder.

Before she fell asleep, Twilight briefly thought of the reshelving she’d left unfinished, but only briefly.

Author's Note:

Extended and edited entry for "Good Intentions."

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Comments ( 66 )

Minor correction. It's not OCD, it's OCPD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is where the victim feels constant urges to perform repetitive acts.. the patient realizes fully that these impulses are irrational, but cannot resist performing them. Performing the rituals causes them distress at their loss of self control-- but NOT performing them causes anxiety as well, until they succumb and perform them.

OCPD-- obsessive compulsive personality disorder--- is what Twilight has. Hyper perfectionism, list making, obsessive organization.... more importantly, unlike an OCD sufferer, the OCPD victim believes their behavior patterns to be rational, and everyone else's objections to it to be irrational.

Characteristics of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder


an excessive need for perfectionism and control over all aspects of your environment

preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order or organization to the extent that you often forget the major point of the activity

excessive devotion to work at the expense of time spent with your friends or family

rigidity with respect to matters of morals, ethics or values

an inability to get rid of items that no longer have value

a miserly spending style towards both you and others


Characteristics of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, rather than a personality disorder, where you experience recurrent obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are:

Thoughts, images, or ideas that won’t go away, are unwanted and cause extreme distress.

Accepted as coming from your own mind, but often feel impossible to control.

Not simply worries about your everyday problems.

Distressing enough to cause you to try to get rid of the obsessions with other thoughts or actions, like compulsions.

Compulsions are:

Behaviors that you feel you must carry out over and over. Common compulsions include cleaning, counting, checking, requesting or demanding reassurance, and ensuring order and symmetry. (though some can be rather random--- stepping back and forth through a doorway, flipping a lightswitch on and off, touching every THIRD lamp post, etc.)

Aimed at getting rid of your anxiety or to stop a feared situation, such as death of a loved one, from happening.

Unrealistic solutions to the problems they are supposed to prevent. If you have OCD, you usually recognize that the compulsion has little to do with the actual event, but feel an intense need to carry out the compulsion anyway.

2401207

I stand corrected, then. The reason I called it out as "actual OCD" is the fact that it's an actual compulsion and not just the bullshit common use of the term.

Anyway, thanks.

I'd like to see more stories dealing with Twi and OCD. It's a plausible idea and could be quite the interesting story.

Good story, though I don't understand the "Dark" tag.

Dark tags are reserved for character deaths. Comedy might apply to this though. That "cart full of silverware crashing into a china store" made me laugh.

2404693

"reserved for character death"

Tell me you aren't serious.

*sigh*

You conveyed it fine. And it was good. :twilightsmile:

Well, that was a nice, quick read. Twilight has fewer breakdowns in show than I'd expect, but lucky we have some fanfics.

Although, a few things were misleading. Cadance was one of the filters, but she's pretty much only in a cameo. I don't think that would warrant adding her tag for such a brief appearance. Plus, this story is also tagged "Dark," but as a story about overcoming legitimate fears while maintaining a optimistic, slice-of-life tone, it doesn't really deserve that either. Sure, you may think it might, but I nearly skipped over this one due to my reluctance to read "Dark" fics, while there was nothing to fear.

Still, a great story. Instant fave.

2415359

Both points totally taken. You can see how I wanted to use the "dark" tag in that the story has some more serious themes; it's not strictly cute and ponyish.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked it.

I'm so glad I read this. Your characterizations had me laughing right at the outset, and your Tactical Pillowfight was not only enormously entertaining, but a fitting climax to the story. 7/7 Would read again.

.....'Sniff'....shut up I'm not crying...'sniff'....oh yeah? Well excuse me for finding this to be touching and sweet and..and..aw frick it, they be manly tears anyway.

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/065/c/8/Manly_Tears__by_Kalduin.png

Wow. That was unbelievably beautiful. I applaud you. :fluttershyouch:

Hey, congrats on getting this on EqD. Going to read it now~

This wasn't the first time I've seen a story about Twilight being afraid of herself, but it was quite good, regardless. I'm surprised that I haven't seen any other story where Twi is broken up over almost flattening Cadence... It seems so obvious, now that I see it.

+Like +Fav

Truly epic. :raritystarry:

Wow, this... I...

3.bp.blogspot.com/-cYoev4LaAAE/UOXA66k6JfI/AAAAAAAALo0/eONiGBhcG3g/s1600/headdesk.gif.gif

Was this on TTG? If it was, I deeply regret not reviewing it there...

Mere words do not do justice to how angry I feel at this moment. So just read Chris' review of Brotherly Bond and replace "dead brother" with "OCD."

Also, your fight scenes are still just blow-by-blows. See this

I'm seriously surprised (and a little disappointed, truth be told) that both all-caps speech and single-line onomatopoeia got through the pre-reading process unchallenged. The standards seem to be really wonky lately. Still, that's nothing to do with the author.

As for the story, far too schizophrenic for my enjoyment. Not enough time for anything that happened to breathe mixed with a heavy reliance on adverbs made this painful to read. Pinkie didn't feel anything like Pinkie and the fighting references made me cringe every single time. I'm afraid it's a thumbs down from me.

-Scott

I found Twilight's characterization and development hard to swallow but otherwise enjoyed the story.

I loved this story! I personally think it did really well digging into the characters' personalities. Job well done!

It's not often a one shot makes my favorites list - but this one definitely does! :twilightsmile:

2502314

Those things actually didn't go unchallenged. I defended them just because I was reluctant to change them. They got through because the prereader wanted to send the story through and sent the edits that he did just as a "minor edits" non-strike. Sorry that you hated them--the onomatopoeias I could surely have changed. To my eye, I wanted more than italics to really give things a superlative amount of punch--not sure how else I would've done that.

Adverbs are a thing I do just because there are adverbs that I find to be fun words. If only I'd heard that criticism sooner, I would've tried to reduce them. Oh well.

As for the rest, all I can say is that I'm sorry you didn't like it, but thanks for your feedback.

2502162

You also had the same reaction to Assault Unit because you wanted it to be shipping and it wasn't, so pardon me for writing your lack of enthusiasm off as "just, like, your opinion, man."

Not enough magical lesbians for you?

Wait... so, why did her almost attacking Cadance make her... more organized? :rainbowhuh:
Also, what's the spell Celestia had her perform do? I don't think that was made clear...

2503007

The point of the challenging spell was to give Twilight something to take her mind off her upset -- but the process of learning it gave her a weapon that has both helped and harmed her. She became more organized after nearly hurting Cadance because organization has been her mental shield against her power bursting forth to cause harm to those she loves.

2503154

Celestia also meant what she said--she wanted Twilight to get more in touch with her power, to see what she was capable of and that she could control it.

It only sort of worked.

2401207
I think I have OCD then. I'm very sloppy (so it's not OCPD), but I feel like I have to do certain things in a certain way, or something unforeseen and very unfortunate will happen.

2502843
Okay, a few things.

She kept being distracted by things like the fading giddiness of adrenaline, Applejack’s soft snoring from somewhere near her hind legs, the lumpiness of the mess of sheets that she was lying on, and the warm weight of Fluttershy’s head against her shoulder.

The mane 6 slept together, and you ask me if there weren't enough lesbians?! :flutterrage:

My problems with Assault Unit were more about plot holes (well, more like one big one) and the fighting was poorly written. (On the note, the fights in this definitely seemed a step down from The Sixth Age.)

But Assault Unit didn't make me mad, just tired. This made my mad. That clip of Doug Walker screaming about the Bat Credit Card doesn't do justice to how angry I feel about this. Your idea of how someone gets or overcomes an anxiety disorder (or as 2401207 said a personality disorder) is deeply flawed. It is something that one is born with and lasts for the rest of their life. No matter how many pillow fights one partakes in, one can never really overcome it. Just control it.

2404693

That's "Tragedy".

2502833 HA! Good for you. I don't particularly hate the capitals and onomatopoeia; I think they're better used with a more comical narrative voice, but I'm not fundamentally against them. What irks me is the inconsistency with which said rules are applied via EqD.

But yeah, the adverbs are a bid deal in my book—a deal breaker, more often than not. The nuances of show vs tell will dog us forever, I suspect, but it's something I've been focusing on for some months now (including writing a couple of posts for Chris's blog last week). Between early work with Mystic and some ball-busting from Sessalisk, I've come a hell of a long way, but not so far as I don't look back at revisions from just a few months ago and cringe consonantly.

The other thing I should have mentioned is the use of attribution. It's something I don't see a lot of folks around here championing, but things like hissed, spluttered, and interrupted are things I would never accept on an editing pass. For the most part, your general attribution (and avoidance of) is pretty good, but personally I'd advise cutting out those last few odd said-isms. More often that not they are a crutch for lazy description.

But yeah, it's things like 'Seemingly satisfied with how much clothing she'd dumped from the closet' that are the tricky bits of telling to spot. Break it down to it's simplest form and it's a lot of words that say 'Rarity was satisfied', which no-one would doubt was telling when it's in that form. The two dodges are to make the prose more engaging, usually through narrative voice, or to demonstrate it more directly. I assume that the extra wording is an attempt at the former, but I don't think you've developed a voice that can pull that off yet—hardly a surprise since it's probably one of the last basic skills most writers master.

By comparison, the adverbs are a relatively easy was to trim overall tellyness from your work, and that's where an experienced editor can work wonders. Remember that a adjective–verb construction is almost intrinsically better than verb–adverb one. For example:

She gave an appreciative smile – often borderline if not use sparingly, but this doesn't directly imply the emotion of the actor, only the implied look of the action.
She smiled appreciatively – This directly implies (whether intended or not) that the emotional context is that of the actor, not the action. It is less telling in almost every case, which is why they usually need to be cut.

I hope that clarifies the sort of things I took issue with.

-Scott

2503327

Getting mad over something like that seems like it's YOUR disorder. So hey, maybe you're onto something. Or you could be quiet because it's not really relevant. Also, sleeping in the same bed doesn't make them lesbians. ._. ... Though I am a rabid shipper, so hey let's go with that.

Anyway, good story!

2503327

I see--sorry for the offensive content, then. While I think my treatment of mental disorders wasn't exactly disrespectful despite the fact that it's unrealistic, I understand that my facts are fucked. I hope you understand that no offense was meant.

good story. :moustache: mustache for EVERYONE!!!
:moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

2504872
It's okay. I forgive you.

Actually, there's a story idea that I had about Rarity and Applejack which I wasn't going to write 'cause it's kinda gross. But after reading this, I feel like I have to. Would you like to hear it?

So, intervention by pillow fight? Excellent idea, Pinkie.

ADHD with a touch of Schizo. Add a touch of OCD, and Autism and I'm a party bag of odd.

~Skeeter The SQUIRREL!

2508595

As long as we're doing the "politically correct treatment of mental disorders" thing, I should point out that schiziophrenia isn't bipolar disorder or a split personality--it's psychotic delusions.

I believe that this story needs about twice the amount of words, as Twilight has a deeply rooted problem that wouldn't just go away with a pillow fight.

This could, however, be 'Chapter 1' of a series in which Twilight tries to overcome her issues, the pillow fight providing only a temporary relief.

I see potential for a few more chapters, as I refuse to accept that the main conflict is resolved that easily. And as long as you have conflict, there's room for more chapters. =)

But overall, I did enjoy reading this story, to the point that I favorited it.

The point is, it has potential for more. Even more than what it already accomplished.

As someone with Asperger's autism, who has a little experience in both mental health support groups and twelve step programs, this story struck me just right... for the magical land of Equestria. Us humans aren't this flexible mentally, but sometimes one-off realizations like these can change a person's life in significant ways. I've seen it happen. I've had it happen to me just last week. The medicalized view of mental disorders discounts the cognitive, while the twelve-step cognitive focus on healing the guilt and panic of past choices discounts any underlying neurobiological problems.

As far as this story goes, I can see an Aspergers Twilight not being able to see past the scope of her going-out-of-control problem, until Pinkie (laughter) demonstrates the true context of both control and careful chaos.

Who can justly blame a small child for doing the kind of thing small children do? Only the adult who was once the small child, and is now riddled with guilt.

2509871

Really? I don't see anyone's ADD or Tourette's going away because of life-changing experiences.

Anyway, Twilight started on her "OCD" thing because of the scene(s) shown here. Clearly it's not some deeply rooted issue in her brain chemistry.

I portrayed it as a real mental problem because that way the reader would understand it that way--they'd see it as a problem, a disorder that's hurting her.

I recently learned that lower pack pain and chronic bowel issues are often partially psychosomatic. That's an excellent analogy for what Twilight's going through here.

also 2509818 2506981

Nice little exploration of Twi's character. I liked it.

I was puzzled for a minute 'cause I thought there's be an actual name of the disorder and a laymans terms explanation. I had to read the comments to get clarification.

unfortunately, the author also just used the word "psychosomatic", which is medibabble for "we can't figure it out, so it must be fake". fibromyalgia was labeled psychosomatic for years, well guess what...

Just wondering if I'm missing something, but I dont understand how the title went along with how you wrote the story. I can see a bit of her OCD organizing early on, but I just didnt get the link at the end. Not an issue, but I'm just curious if there was something more to the title in meaning or if I'm thinking too hard.

2503327
Geez just because someone slept int he same bed or general vicinity of another, doesn't mean they "slept" together :facehoof:

2512997

The story is all about her being organized. The story is about the reason she's so organized, as per the synopsis.

2513160

The more I think about it, the more I think I understand. IM thinking too hard. :twilightblush:

2512997
Would you prefer "shared the same bed?"

I hate euphemisms...

2510678
Let me clarify: I've seen problem behaviors disappear upon realizations of why people do things. And now, having spent the last twenty minutes writing and re-writing further elaborations, I simply end this reply... like... so.

2511550
Psychosomatic means that the mind considers it as real as a physical thing.

2516821
it's still medspeak for 'all in your head'...and a LOT of things were considered "all in your head" until they were physically proved to exist.

Interesting. Seeing Twilight's take on the matter, her guilt and fear over her actions and her power, and how that tied into her orderly nature, sounds very realistic.
Poor Twi. Always overthinking things. That Changeling business had everypony on edge. In fact, at the time Twilight met the real Cadence, she wasn't even aware that her enemy was a shapeshifter. She wasn't to blame for her assumptions.:twilightsheepish:

and get to back to the task of

and getback to backget to the task of

“Woo! Go Dashie!” Fluttershy cheered softly.

D'aww so cute!:twilightsmile:

It wasn't the story I expected to read from reading the description, but it's still nice.
I'll have to agree with 2509818 though, this would be better as a series. I was honestly expecting more to happen after the pillow fight, otherwise I'd have stopped reading when that started because it's so far from the story I expected to read.

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