• Published 16th Feb 2012
  • 27,355 Views, 998 Comments

Perfect for Me - The Equestrian Gentlecolt

Twilight Sparkle clones herself to make more time for her friends, but just gets more distracted.

  • ...

A Matter of Time

Twilight Sparkle's library was a mess. It wasn't the comfortable sort of mess you get by simply neglecting to tidy up for a while, although it was certainly due for some spring cleaning. Nor was it in the chaotic state of disarray that resulted, with alarming regularity, from the passage of a certain seven-colored speedster with no concept of the difference between "library" and "obstacle course".

No, today Twilight's library was the sort of mess that only Twilight could make. The floor was a labyrinth of books, note pads, discarded quills, and an alarming number of conspicuously empty coffee mugs. In the very center of the maze was a dense hedge of open tomes and unrolled scrolls, glowing slightly as they were held aloft by the magic of the unicorn they surrounded. Spike called it Book Fort Alpha. Twilight called it "Spike, stop distracting me and go get volume three of Sky Charts Monthly."

"...Swimsuit Edition?" The small dragon peered dubiously at the label of the scroll he had retrieved from the shelf. "Seriously? What—" He started to open the scroll, but it was yanked out of his claws and flew to join its brethren in the walls of Twilight's fortress of literature.

"I said get it, not gawk at it," the mare snapped irritably. "Honestly, Spike. ...thirty-five, twenty-four, fifty-six... adjust to Equestrian Standard Time..." Her voice trailed off into silence as she returned to her study.

Spike opened his mouth to protest, but when he saw the look of intense concentration on Twilight's face, he thought better of it. There was no reasoning with her when she was in one of these moods. One minute she would be reading quietly inside her nest of knowledge, content as could be. Then at the slightest provocation, she might come charging out, berating some hapless target with a tirade of words whose meanings Spike only half understood, but whose intent was all too clear.

In fact, the little dragon noticed, her left eye had just started twitching. That meant it was probably time to make himself scarce.


"RRRGGGHH!" Twilight let out a shout of frustration and shot to her hooves, her cocoon of books exploding outward in a wave of uncontrolled telekinetic energy. Her mane began to smolder dangerously as she stalked through the sudden rain of paper. It only occurred to her as she opened the door that she didn't have a doorbell.

"Ding-dong!" chimed Pinkie Pie cheerfully, grinning out from under a brightly-colored basket of what were most certainly invitations to her next party. "Special delivery for Twilight Sparkle!"

Twilight's expression shifted immediately from fury to resignation. "Hello, Pinkie," she greeted her exuberant friend with a sigh. "What's the occasion?" Her eyes widened in surprise as she found the corner of a garishly pink envelope suddenly stuffed into her mouth.

"It's a Twilight's Been Being a Grumpy McHidesInHerLibraryAllDay and Needs to See Her Friends party," Pinkie chirped, "and you're the guest of honor!"

"Uh, thanf," Twilight mumbled around the invitation, then grabbed it with her magic. "I mean thanks. I guess I have been a little isolated lately, huh?" The unicorn smiled sheepishly at her friend.

"Oh don't worry about it. Everypony gets busy sometimes. Just don't forget to make time for your friends, too!" With that, the pink pony turned and began bouncing away toward the next stop on her route. "See you tomorrow night!" she called over her shoulder.

"See you then, Pinkie," Twilight called after her friend. She turned back into her library, shaking her head, a small smile still on her face.

Then she froze.

"Wait, tomorrow night?"

Her dragon assistant looked at her questioningly from his hiding place under a desk. “Uh, what’s wrong, Twi? What’s tomorrow night?”

“Oh, nothing,” the unicorn answered with false casualness as she trotted across the library to retrieve her assistant, lifting him in her magic. “Just one of the most exciting astrological events of this decade. Every single planet in our solar system is going to be within fifty kilometers of a perfectly straight line, Spike. Every. Single. Planet!” Each of the last three words was emphasized by Twilight’s eyes becoming wider, her face inching closer to her trembling assistant, and another piece of her mane throwing itself into disarray.

“O-oh. I see.” He clearly didn’t. He had never shared Twilight’s enthusiasm for astronomy. “Couldn’t you just... ask them to reschedule the party?”

“No!” The unicorn stomped her hoof. She placed the little dragon back onto the floor, much to his relief, then started to pace. “My friends are doing something nice for me, and I’ve already been ignoring them for way too long as it is. Pinkie’s probably already delivered most of the invitations, and everypony will have adjusted their schedules to be able to come to the party, and I can’t just ask them to put it all aside now.”

“Well, what about asking them to have the party at the library? It could be a... planet alignment watching party?”

Twilight just shot her assistant a disgusted look and paced faster, hooves tapping against the wood of the library floor. “Oh, Spike, what can I do? Oh... ponyfeathers!” she exclaimed angrily, then turned slightly red at the obscene outburst. “If I could just do two things at once, none of this would be a problem... wait a second.”

“Uh, Twilight?” Spike swallowed nervously, his eyes tracking the unicorn as she burst into action. Book Fort Alpha was reassembled in a matter of moments, and he could hear the scratching of a quill from inside.

“Spike? Could you make another pot of coffee?”

“Sure thing, Twi...” The little dragon made his way toward the kitchen to fulfill the request, but he had to suppress a nervous shiver as he glanced over at the lavender mare’s nest of floating books. There were very few things in Equestria more dangerous than a gifted unicorn with a brilliant idea... and Twilight Sparkle was a very gifted unicorn.

It was the following afternoon when Twilight emerged from her cloud of hovering reference texts, only hours before the party was scheduled to begin. Spike watched with relief as the disheveled mare stepped into view, the books floating gently to the ground around her. His unicorn friend had really been putting him through the wringer lately. Last night, he had gotten barely ten hours of sleep! He was fully aware that her emergence signalled the completion of whatever research she had undertaken, but... whatever she had come up with, it couldn’t possibly be worse than what he’d already been through.

“Spike! I’m going to need three mirrors, a half cup of diamond dust, and a scented candle. Lavender, if you can find it.”

Then again, the tired dragon mused, you really can’t just go jumping to conclusions like that. “On it, Twi,” he grumbled. Luckily, the items Twilight had requested were fairly common around their household. She was a scholar of magic, after all, and she was always in need of a wide variety of arcane tools and reagents. Spike headed to the storage cabinets and began rummaging through their contents.

Meanwhile, the unicorn had not remained idle. A quick glance toward the clock had sent her into a frantic session of simultaneously trying to clear space in the library’s main room for her spell, and attempting to straighten her frazzled mane and smooth down her rumpled coat. She was fairly successful on both counts, given how little sleep she had gotten recently, and had soon managed to smooth the books on the library’s floor and clear the fragments of paper from a section of her coat.

“Twilight? You’ve got a crop circle on your side,” Spike informed her flatly.

The mare blinked, turned her head to look at her side, and nodded. “So I do.”

“And the books on the floor are, uh, very... neat?”

Twilight looked around the library slowly. “So they are.”

“That wasn’t what you were going for, was it?”

“No, it wasn’t.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to get some rest?”

Twilight, quite literally, bristled. Uncontrolled magic power, free from the command of the unicorn’s tired mind, threw her mane and much of her coat back into disarray as she stared at the little dragon with a frighteningly intense gaze. “No! I can’t let my friends down now. I’ve got this, Spike!” The unicorn’s expression became a manic grin as a spell, properly targeted this time, swept away the books on the library floor and floated her tools into the center of the empty space. “Watch, and be amazed!”

Spike watched, and he had to admit, he was amazed. In spite of his friend’s obvious tiredness, she spread the diamond dust into the lines of a mind-bogglingly complex runic circle with absolute precision. In the center of the circle, she placed the three body-length mirrors standing in a perfect triangle, each facing outward. The lavender-scented candle was lit and placed off to the side of the circle, adding a pleasant scent to the proceedings, but serving no apparent purpose as far as the little dragon could tell.

“Now, the moment of truth,” Twilight said with a grin. She stepped confidently into the circle of runes she had drawn on the floor, staring into the eyes of her reflection in one of the three mirrors. Her horn blazed brightly, and a web of glowing lines connected its tip to the outermost points of the diagram. The light coursed through the diamond powder, and soon the entire system of lines glittered with magical power.

Twilight Sparkle stepped forward, and into the mirror before her. There was a moment of dead silence, then Twilight Sparkle stepped out of both of the mirrors on the other side. The runes faded, then disappeared. Spike gaped. Both Twilights noticed each other at the same time.

“It... worked?” The two purple mares stared at each other, not daring for a moment to even believe their success, then simultaneously each lifted her right foreleg to reach out to the other. Identical grins blossomed on their faces as their hooves touched. “It worked!” Both unicorns sprung up and began to prance circles around each other, bouncing on all four hooves as they chanted the phrase in unison. “It worked it worked it worked it worked it worked it worked it worked!”

Spike watched his friend continue like this for more than a minute before he regained the presence of mind to pick his jaw off the floor. There were now, unquestionably, two Twilight Sparkles. A single question made its way to the forefront of his consciousness.

“How am I supposed to clean up after two of her?”