Equestria Girls: Believe in Magic

by Bryan Luna

First published

Brianna and Megan discover friends and magic as a new menace threatens not only CHS, but the whole world.

Brianna is a strong soul. Despite losing both her parents in a fatal car crash, she's continued to move forward with her life with help from her girlfriend Megan, her adoptive mother Ribbon, and her friends. Four years later, things seem to be going as normal.

Until a new student arrives at CHS.

With her comes a rash of unexplained happenings that will shake Brianna's and her friends' very view of the world to the core. Friends and enemies will reveal themselves as they discover the magic within themselves. And they'll need all the friends and experience they can get when a new threat enters the scene.

Contributor:Chaotic Ink

Editor: Everfree pony

A/N: The sex tag is for suggestive dialog in some chapters.

In the Heat of the Night

View Online

Friday night five o' clock p.m. May thirty-first.

Twelve-year-old Brianna Drake sits in front of the vanity in her bedroom with her mother Karen brushing her hair. The task is made difficult by the fact that Brianna is having a hard time sitting still.

"Brianna, I know you're excited for your weekend with Megan but I can't get this done if you don't sit still," said Karen sternly.

Brianna giggled nervously. "Sorry mama, I'm just really excited for our party tonight." Brianna partially deflated. "It does kind of suck that our friends can't make it though. At least I'll be able to spend it with Megan, so there's that."

"Well it's out of your friends' hands I'm afraid. Besides you know they are coming to your anniversary party next week so it's not all bad." Karen replied.

"Yeah, but it's kind of weird that Megan and I have our birthdays just a day apart." Brianna's mother laughed. "What's so funny mama?"

"It's just that it happens more often than you'd think sweetheart." Karen finished by tying the royal purple ribbon in Brianna's hair. "There." Karen stepped back to appraise her work. "Now don't forget your present for Megan, Brianna. And make sure to get downstairs soon too; Ribbon will be taking you there tonight so your father and I can make it to our dinner."

"Okay, Mama. Oh and you and Daddy have fun tonight. It's been a while since you both got any time to yourselves." Brianna replied stood up and retrieved a small box wrapped in red paper.

Karen smiled warmly. "It's just part of life when you're grown up, dear, so don't grow up anytime soon, okay, sweetheart?"

Brianna blushed and looked away. "Oh come on Mama. It's not like Megan and I are getting married yet."

Karen looked at Brianna sternly. "It's the 'yet' part that makes us scared that you're growing up too fast Brianna."

Brianna stuck her tongue out at her mother's remark causing Karen to stick her tongue out at her daughter. The two shared a laugh went downstairs where Ribbon was talking to Bob.

Brianna paused for a moment watching both her father and his coworker. Bob was a tall slender man with short, light brown hair and a habit behaving in a goofy manner. Although her father's outgoing and silly nature frequently caused Brianna to cringe she loved her father all the same. Naturally Bob and Pinkie got along very well given their similar personality types.

Ribbon, a long time family friend however was a more warm and motherly individual know for her caring and patient personality. Ribbon stood shorter than Bob by a few inches and was a striking woman. Her sandy blonde hair had a single streak of red running through it complimented her dark blue skin. Ribbon's green eyes always carried a hint of playful mischief in them.

Brianna smiled. She felt lucky to have such wonderful people in her life. Even if Bob was little more than a great big goofball most of the time.

"Hi,Daddy, hi, Auntie Ribbon." Brianna said brightly before rushing over to hug them.

"Hey Princess, looking good." Bob replied "Did you remember your present for Megan, sweetheart?"

Brianna nodded "I've got it right here, Daddy." She replied holding up the red wrapped box.

Ribbon smiled at Brianna. "So what did you get her Brianna?"

"Well, I got her something she'll like a whole lot Auntie Ribbon. It's a locket." Brianna replied

"Oh? A locket is it? I take it that means that you're really serious about her then?" teased Ribbon.

"Oh, for Heaven's sake, Ribbon. I swear you're you're just trying to get a rise out of me." Karen retorted

Bob laughed. "Settle down dear; it's not an engagement ring. So our little girl isn't growing up that fast."

Karen sighed. "I suppose you're right Bob. I just worry is all."

"Oh it's okay, honey." Bob replied "Though I still can't believe my little girl found true love in a sandbox."

"Daddy!" Brianna squeaked "It's not one of those dumb romantic comedies that keep coming out of Applewood every year."

"No," Karen said. "it's more like a romantic novel and that's why I'm worried."

Ribbon giggled "Oh come now Karen, it's not like our little Brianna has gone and fallen for one of those bad girl types. Megan is the best choice for Brianna. And think about this you'll get to help plan the wedding someday."

"Auntie Ribbon!" Brianna squeaked now blushing.

The three adults shared a laugh as Brianna scowled at them and stuck out her tongue.

Ribbon smiled "Oh come on now sweetheart, we're just having a little fun with you."

Brianna tried to maintain an air of indignation, but couldn't. "Ha, ha, ha very funny." Brianna finally deadpanned. "Anyway how are Wind Whistler and Fizzy doing?"

"They are doing fine Brianna, and so is little Ember." Ribbon replied causing Brianna to squeal.

"Oh Ember is sooo cute!" Brianna squealed again. "I can't wait to babysit for her again!" Brianna said bouncing in place and nearly dropping Megan's present. "Whoa!" She shouted fumbling with the box for a moment before catching it and breathing a sigh of relief. "Woo, that almost sucked."

Bob, Karen, and Ribbon laughed again at Brianna's antics.

"Well princess you'd better get going. You don't want to keep Megan waiting now do you?" said Bob

Brianna hugged her mother and father for a moment. "Of course not daddy. You and mom have fun tonight okay?"

"It's a deal princess." Bob said with a smile.

"See you later daddy." Brianna said heading for the door. "I Love you!" She called over her shoulder.

"We love you too Brianna." Her parents said in unison.

Ribbon smiled "Have a good time tonight you two."

"We will." Karen replied as Ribbon followed Brianna to the door. Karen smiled and looked at her husband of fifteen years. "One day Megan and Brianna are going to get married Bob. I just know it."

"Maybe," Bob said "but I think we'll have to wait and see dear. Anyway let's finish getting ready shall we?"

"Yes we shall dear." Said Karen with a smile.

As Ribbon and Brianna made their way to Ribbon's car they were talking about Brianna's still blossoming relationship with Megan.

"You're very lucky to have found someone at your age Brianna. Normally it's very difficult to find the right kind of person for you." Ribbon smiled "I'm very glad that it is with someone so caring as Megan is. Although I think any of your friends would be a good match for you."

Brianna giggled "Not really auntie Ribbon. Rainbow is way too competitive and sports oriented, Pinkie is way to energetic, and Sunset talks way to far above my head sometimes. Listening to her is kind of like listening to Wind Whistler; I get all confused."

The pair reached the car and Brianna went to open the door but stopped. "Shoot!" she said

"What's wrong Brianna?" asked Ribbon

"I forgot the bag of my clothes and stuff I need for the weekend." Brianna said facepalming.

"Oh you don't need to worry about that Brianna. Your father brought it to me when I got here. He said something about you probably forgetting it if he didn't." Ribbon replied with a smile.

"I don't do it that often." Brianna whined

"No, but you are forgetful at times sweetheart." Ribbon replied with a smile.

"So?" Brianna said with a blush.

"Oh nothing Brianna." Said Ribbon getting into the car.

Brianna got in after her. "So where is it anyway?"

"In the back seat." Ribbon replied as they buckled their seat belts.

"Okay, thanks auntie Ribbon." said Brianna

The pair pulled out of the driveway and began the trip to Megan's family ranch with Ribbon asking Brianna. "Did you remember to tell Megan you were on your way sweetheart?"

Brianna facepalmed. "Geez Louise, what's with me tonight?" She replied pulling out her phone and texting Megan."

Ribbon giggled "You're just excited dear. It happens to all of us, you'll be fine Brianna."

Brianna nodded "Auntie Ribbon?"

"Yes sweetheart?" Ribbon replied

"I do wonder what it would be like if Megan and I were married. Am I thinking to far ahead? I don't want to ruin what we have." Brianna said sounding unsure.

"I would be worried if you didn't Brianna. You and Megan both have that kind of personality and mindset. And it is healthy that you both want the same thing out or your relationship because it means you have a chance of actually making it work in the long run. That said you shouldn't think to much about it at the same time or you'll lose sight of what you have. And you don't want that now do you Brianna?" Ribbon replied

"No." Brianna replied "I just want to stay with Megan, our friends, my family, and you too auntie Ribbon."

Ribbon giggled "One day you'll have a family of your own in addition to all of your friends Brianna. I dare say that's when you'll be happiest knowing you the way I do."

Brianna giggled in response. "I know, but I can wait for it. That's a long time from now."

Ribbon smiled "Your mother would be relieved to hear that Brianna. You are right though, you and Megan have all of the time you need. And when that day comes you'll find it's a lot different then when you and Megan used to put on those play wedding dresses and pretend to be married, it will be much better because it will be real."

Brianna's face reddened and she turned towards the passenger side window causing Ribbon to laugh as they drove on.

========================================
Across Canterlot at the Williams family ranch.

Megan looked at her phone once more and smiled. Brianna's text was simple and sweet as always. It read "Auntie Ribbon is bringing me tonight, see you soon. :heart:" Megan giggled lightly at the message, that was Brianna in a nutshell. She placed her phone on the end table next to the couch she was sitting on and turned to look out the window for the car that would be bringing her girlfriend soon.

"Someone is really eager to see her tonight I see." Said the woman's voice with a laugh.

Megan turned to see her mother Donnamarie standing there and smiled. "Yes mother I am, I have been waiting all week to be able to give her the presents I got for her. She'll love them I just know it." Megan said with a smile.

"Of course she will, you did work really hard to be able to get them for her after all. And we know how much Brianna appreciates that." Donnamarie mother replied smiling.

Megan was about to reply when another voice broke in interrupting her. "Yuck! I can't understand how you can be into all of that girly stuff Megan." Said her brother Danny who was always complaining about how affectionate Megan and Brianna were with each other.

"Danny Williams! What have I told you about teasing Megan and Brianna about their relationship?" Donnamarie said in a strong motherly tone.

The redhead deflated. "You said it wasn't nice and that I shouldn't do it mom." Danny replied

"That's right; would you want one of your friends teasing about your girlfriend?" Said Donnamarie with a stern look.

Danny looked for a moment like he was going to protest, but decided against it when he saw the look he was getting. "No mom." He said dejectedly.

"Good now go and wash up for dinner." Donnamarie said firmly.

"Yes mom." Danny said leaving.

Donnamarie turned to Megan and smiled. "Megan why don't you go ahead and order the pizzas while we're waiting?"

"Sure thing mother; do you want to me to go and check on Molly too?" asked Megan

"No sweetheart, I'll go and check on Molly. You stay here and wait for Brianna, she should be along soon." Donnamarie's smile widened. "Knowing her she'll be so excited that she'll forget something and need you to help her with it."

Megan giggled "Probably, I just hope she doesn't spend to long playing the new game I got her too."

"I'm sure she'll want to spend her time with you more than anything this weekend Megan." Donnamarie said leaving the living room.

Megan smiled at that remark. The thought of spending the full weekend with Brianna which would be one of many with summer coming up was leaving Megan with a warm sensation that she never wanted to end. Megan picked up her phone and ordered the pizzas and turned back to the window to wait. Brianna would arrive soon and she wanted to meet her at the door when she did.

After ten more minutes of waiting Megan saw the headlights of Ribbon's car coming up the road. It had become dark and cloudy rather suddenly in the last twenty minutes and Megan was already planing ways to keep Brianna calm through the night. "She really doesn't like thunder very much." Megan thought to herself as she got up and walked over to the door.

Outside Brianna was getting out of Ribbon's car and opening the back door to retrieve her bag from the back seat. "Okay I've got everything, thanks auntie Ribbon. Have a nice weekend."

Ribbon smiled "Have fun Brianna, and try not to give Danny too hard of a time with how you and Megan are okay sweetheart?"

Brianna giggled "It's not my fault he can't take the heat in the kitchen so to speak. And thanks again auntie."

Ribbon smiled and drove off after Brianna closed the passenger side door. Brianna walked to the door and raised her hand to knock when it opened to reveal Megan standing there. Brianna gasped "Whoa! How did you do that Megan?"

Megan smiled "I was watching for you from the window silly."

Brianna's eyes lit up in realization. "Oh." she replied "Anyway I brought your present with me." Said Brianna handing Megan a red wrapped box.

Megan took the box and leaned in to kiss Brianna. "Thank you Brianna." She said when they separated a few moments later. "So do you have everything you need for this weekend?"

"Eeyup." Brianna replied holding up the bag as she and Megan walked through the door together.

Megan smiled. "Are you sure you didn't forget anything Brianna?"

"Oh come on Megan! Not you too." Brianna whined before unleashing a devastating pout.

Megan just turned to Brianna smiling still. "Come on Brianna, I'm only kidding." Megan pulled Brianna in close and held her. "You know I'm only teasing you because I love you so much."

Brianna harrumphed. "I swear you're as bad as Rainbow or Sunset sometimes Megan."

"Maybe." said Megan "But do either of them ever give you this?" Megan kissed Brianna once again causing her to melt.

"That's not fair, you fight dirty Megan." Brianna said dreamy sigh.

"It's amazing you can still think straight after we kiss Brianna. Come over to the couch with me and we'll cuddle while we're waiting for dinner to get here." Megan said guiding a somewhat unresponsive Brianna to the couch and scooping her up in her arms like a new bride.

"M-M-M-Megan!" Brianna stuttered bushing furiously.

"Now there's my girl." Megan said sitting on the couch while still cradling Brianna. "Let's get these shoes off since you won't need them tonight." Megan said removing Brianna's shoes with one hand and setting them on the floor. "Now that's better. I have you right where I want you Brianna."

Brianna gulped "A-and just what are you planning Megan?" She asked nervously.

"Oh I just want to make the most of our time alone before the party starts is all." Megan replied before leaning in and kissing Brianna again leaving her breathless for a moment. Megan pulled back, smiled and kissed Brianna once more.

As they started to kiss more deeply the sound of a camera going off got their attention. Both girls looked up to see Megan's mom and dad standing there smirking with Megan's mom holding her digital camera.

"Wow girls that was a good one. Just like those romantic movies from back in the forties and fifties." Said Donnamarie laughing.

"I might have to turn a fire-hose on you two someday." Joked her father Marty knowing that these girls were actually quite tame.

"Daddy!" Megan replied "We're not that bad."

The red haired man gave a hearty laugh. "I know that Megan, but I can't help it. The last time I saw anyone so in love it was your mother and I." He said causing his wife to elbow him lightly in the side.

"The point is that we are very happy to see this relationship of yours is off to such a solid start Megan." Donnamarie stated smiling.

Brianna looked up at Megan's parents. "I don't know, I think Lyra and Bon Bon are more lost on each other than we are."

The older couple laughed in reply. "Those two are certainly good together too Brianna." Marty said. "Now why don't we start getting everything set up? Dinner will be here soon and then you girls can have your cake and presents."

"Okay, I'll help too." Brianna said starting to get up before being lifted up by Megan again. "I can walk there myself you know." Brianna deadpanned still blushing.

"I know," Megan said "But I like having you in my arms Brianna."

Brianna buried her face in Megan's shoulder blushing even harder.

"Come on now Megan." Donnamarie said trying and failing to stifle her laughter. "Give the poor girl a break alright?"

"Okay mom." Megan said gently lowering Brianna to the floor.

Brianna smiled as her feet touched the floor. "Okay let's get this done then." Brianna squeaked enthusiastically.

Megan took Brianna's hand and walked with her into the dining room.

Donnamarie looked at her husband. "Our little girl is something else isn't she?"

Marty nodded in agreement smiling. "She somehow brings out the best in those around her alright."

Donnamarie looked at Brianna. "You really don't need to help us set up the table Brianna dear. We can do it and you girls can just have some more time together."

Brianna shook her head. "No, I want to help. I prefer doing something rather than standing aside when I can help."

"Are you sure sweetheart?" Asked Donnamarie.

Megan smiled "It's fine mother. We don't mind really." Megan replied while Brianna nodded in agreement.

"If you're sure girls." she replied

During the set up Molly came into the dining room followed by Danny.

"Brianna!" Molly said happily.

"Well hey there Molly. How have you been?" asked Brianna

"I've been fine. I think my pony and I have a chance in the next jumping contest."

"Oh nice." Brianna replied "I can't wait to see how you'll do Molly."

Molly smiled "I can't wait to see how you'll do at your next archery tournament Brianna."

Danny scoffed "She'll probably miss by a mile."

Brianna replied by shooting Danny with a sharp look that caused Danny to cringe.

"What? I was only kidding." Danny defended lamely.

"Danny." Donnamarie said in a warning tone.

"Okay so it was a bad joke." He said weakly.

Brianna and Megan both rolled their eyes at Danny's antics and went back to helping set up the table. When it was done Megan and Brianna sat and talked while waiting for the pizzas to arrive while Megan's mother took her son aside for a talk.

"Danny how many times do we have to tell you not to tease either Brianna or your sisters like that?" Donnamarie said firmly.

"Oh come on mom." Danny replied "Those two are always getting all of the attention, it's not fair."

"Danny I know it's hard for you being the only boy in a sea of girls; but you've got to recognize what a rare thing Megan and Brianna have. To honestly be so in love at such a young age almost never happens and you should be happy for them." His mother retorted sternly.

"But it's so sappy mom." said Danny

Donnamarie laughed. "Now Danny you can't really be feeling that unappreciated. You help your father all of the time with the repairs that need to be done and your little friend Surprise certainly seems to like what you can make."

"I know mom it's just hard to deal with, that's all." Danny shot back.

"One day you'll have a girlfriend too Danny and you'll start to understand these things. Maybe it'll even turn out to be Surprise who is your girl. You two are sure close enough." His mother said teasing her son a little.

"Bleech, mom! Surprise is my friend that's all." Danny replied while sticking out his tongue.

"Son," Marty said breaking in. "That's what every boy your age says. And then you'll learn the magic of being in love when the time is right."

Danny scrunched up his face in disgust. "Yuck dad, that's just crazy." He said causing both of his parents to laugh.

"One day you'll understand Danny." Donnamarie said standing up. "Now go sit at the table dinner should be here soon."

"Okay mom." Danny replied before going and sitting at the table.

As Danny sat at the table Megan embraced Brianna from behind and listened as Brianna and Molly continued to talk.

"So where are your mom and dad tonight Brianna?" asked Molly

Brianna smiled "They are out tonight Molly. Mom and daddy decided to go out to dinner and a movie and just have some fun tonight."

"That's good." Molly said "They deserve to have fun too."

"Yes they do." Brianna said in agreement.

"Okay everyone the pizzas are here." Donnamarie said reentering the dining room with her husband following her in carrying the pizza boxes.

"Oh nice, I am really hungry right now." Brianna said as her stomach growled.

Megan snickered "Oh Brianna what am I going to do with you?"

Brianna got a devious look on her face for a moment and replied. "Feed me Seymour."

Megan stared at her girlfriend shocked for a moment before everyone herself included dissolved into a fit of laughter with Molly laughing so hard she fell out of the chair she'd been sitting in.

Marty put the pizzas down on the table and helped Molly up. "Are you okay kiddo?"

"I'm fine daddy." Molly replied trying and failing to hide her embarrassment.

"It's okay sweetie, it happens to all of us sometimes." He replied smiling at his daughter.

Molly just gave a nervous smile and blushed.

"Okay everyone let's settle down so we can have dinner and the birthday girls can open their presents." Donnamarie said.

Dinner was a largely uneventful save for Megan and Brianna feeding each other and continuing to be cutesy with each other. After it was done the cake and the singing was next with Megan and Brianna giving each other what they'd worked so hard to get for the other.

"Okay Brianna, here it is." Megan said handing her a small box wrapped in silver paper. "I hope you like it." Megan said with a smile.

"Oh I doubt that will be a problem." Brianna said unwrapping the box and opening it. Inside the box was a silver, heart shaped, locket with a note on a small piece of paper that read. "The memories we make together are the next best part of being with you. Love Megan. Brianna looked at Megan with watery eyes and smiled. "Thank you Megan, thank you so much."

Megan smiled back. "Go ahead and open it Brianna, I'm sure you'll like what's inside."

Brianna opened the locket and found the picture Megan had taken of the two of them on their first date nearly a year ago. They were sitting at a table in Sugarcube Corner with a large chocolate milkshake with two straws in it tn front of them. It had been a very simple lunch date that ended with the shake and the picture. Brianna sniffled "I love it." She said happily. "Will you help me put it on Megan?"

"Sure." Megan said getting up and moving behind Brianna. She opened the lock on the back the the necklace's chain and placed it on Brianna's neck while Brianna held up her long brown hair to keep it out of the way of the necklace. Megan finishing securing the chain around Brianna's neck and stepped back. "I'm glad you're happy with your present Brianna. It took a while for me to figure out what to get for you."

Brianna smiled "Yeah, I love it Megan. Thank you so much."

"Well I do have one more present for you, but I'll give that to you later. I think you
will like this one too." Said Megan smiling.

"Okay now you get to open the one I got for you. I think you'll like it Megan." Brianna said plucking the red wrapped box from the table and handing it to Megan as she sat down.

Megan looked at the red box for a moment before opening the wrapping paper and then the box within. She turned to Brianna with a smile. "I see we were thinking the same thing Brianna."

Brianna blushed "Well I didn't come up with the really sweet note you did, but I do feel the same way." Brianna squeaked eliciting a giggle from Megan.

Megan smiled as she took the red, heart shaped locket from the box and opened it. She saw a copy of the same picture contained within. Megan's smile got a little bigger. "Brianna I don't need a note with sweet words in it to know how you feel about me." She leaned over to Brianna and kissed her cheek. "I can clearly see how you feel, especially with the picture you choose. So will you help me put this on?"

Brianna nodded and repeated the same process that she and Megan had done earlier to secure the locket around Megan's neck. "I'm glad you like it Megan, it took me forever to figure out what I should get you." Brianna said

"It's fine Brianna, I really appreciate the thought." Megan replied bringing a large smile to Brianna's face.

With dinner and the party done Megan and Brianna made their way to Megan's room.

"You didn't have to get me another present Megan." Said Brianna as they walked through the bedroom door.

"I know Brianna, but I know you'll really love this one too." Megan replied as she walked over to her bed and retrieved the gift from a door in the nightstand by her bed. "I still have no idea why you love those movies so much, but I saw this and knew you would love it." Megan handed the game case to Brianna.

Brianna looked at the case and squealed when she read the game's title. "Eeeee! Godzilla Save the Earth! Thank you so much Megan!"

Megan smiled "I knew you'd like it sweetheart. So are you going to start it?" asked Megan

"Actually, I thought I'd take a bath and then we could do something together, like watch a movie or something." Brianna replied while putting the game down with her P.S.2 and the rest of her games and memory cards.

Megan crossed the room and started to untie the ribbon in Brianna's hair. "Do you want me to wash your hair for you Brianna?"

Brianna blushed "If you want to I won't say no. Besides I haven't exactly mastered having hair this long yet."

"Speaking of, why did you let your hair grow this long? I like it, but I also like you with short hair too Brianna."

"Well, it's because I wanted to have longer hair like you do Megan. It looks so nice, and I think, I think it just makes you so beautiful. I kind of wanted to be more pretty like are." Brianna squeaked

Megan giggled "You're beautiful too Brianna. You don't need to ware your hair like mine for that."

"I know, but I want to. And Rarity did say that we look really good together." Brianna laughed "Remember how she was squealing about how cute we are?"

Megan smiled again. "I do remember that. Rarity is something else, always acting like that. I wouldn't trade her for the world though." Said Megan as she finished untieing the ribbon in Brianna's hair.

Brianna's own smile reached Pinkie Pie proportions. "Yeah we have awesome friends, I love them. Even if we do still have to ask Fluttershy to speak up once and a while."

"Quiet and sweet are two of her defining characteristics after all." Megan replied with a laugh.

"They sure are." Brianna giggled heading into the bathroom.

"I'll find a movie for us to watch and get some snacks while you're in the bath." Megan said going over to her D.V.D.s. "now what should we watch?" Megan asked herself.

Brianna turned on the faucet and started the bathwater running as she got undressed and got in. She jumped a little at the temperature and turned down the hot water. She sat back as the tub filled with now warm water and recalled what Ribbon had said to her earlier in the night about her dream of marrying Megan.

"I would be worried if you didn't Brianna. You and Megan both have that kind of personality and mindset. And it is healthy that you both want the same thing out or your relationship because it means you have a chance of actually making it work in the long run. That said you shouldn't think to much about it at the same time or you'll lose sight of what you have. And you don't want that now do you Brianna?" Brianna thought about this for a good long while. "No," She whispered to herself. "I don't want to lose sight of what we have."

Brianna sat in the water lost in thought until the sound of thunder shocked her from her revere. She gave a startled "Eep!" and slipped a little in the bathtub banging her elbow on the side of the tub.

"Brianna are you okay?" Asked Megan while sticking her head in the door.

"My elbow hurts a little, but I'm okay Megan." Brianna replied with a squee.

"Okay I'll be back to wash your hair for you in a bit. And you're sleeping with me tonight." said Megan

"Megan." Brianna whined.

"No arguing Brianna. I don't want you up all night because you can't sleep." Megan said firmly.

"Okay Megan." Said Brianna acquiescing.

"It'll be fine Brianna, I promise. I'll be back in a few minutes." Megan said leaving.

Brianna smiled, even when Megan got firm with her she always felt better. And when Megan touched her either by hugging, holding her hand, or by caressing her as she so often did Brianna would feel a jolt of euphoria and feel so calm and at ease. She didn't understand it, but when Megan showed this kind of affection to her she just felt much better. "It's almost like magic." Brianna said quietly.

"What is like magic?" Megan said reentering the bathroom.

"Oh!" Brianna squeaked "It's just when I think about you holding me or even just my hand that I feel so," Brianna paused searching for the right word. "Different, it feels really amazing you know."

Megan smiled "I think it must feel that way for everyone who's really in love Brianna."

"Maybe, I don't know though." Brianna replied as Megan started to wash her hair. She relaxed and enjoyed the quiet of the moment they shared.

A few minutes later they emerged from the bathroom talking as they made their way to Megan's bed and laid down to watch the movie Megan had picked. It was some sappy animated adventure/romance about a young woman who wanted to become a knight that falls in love with a dragoness during their journeys together. Megan look at Brianna as the end credits rolled watching her sleep and smiling again as she turned off the D.V.D. player and then the t.v. with the remotes.

She placed the devices on the nightstand beside her bed and got Brianna beneath the covers and slid under them to join her. A thunderclap sounded causing Brianna to shift uncomfortably until she felt Megan's warmth beside her. Cuddling up to Megan Brianna let out a small coo as Megan brushed a lock of hair out of her face.

"Goodnight Brianna." Megan whispered softly as she closed her arms around Brianna and snuggled with her. Megan held Brianna as she closed her eyes and fell asleep while a soft, pale pink glow surrounded the two of them.
==============================
Manehattan earlier that day

"I said stop it!" she yelled, pushing the older boy away from her friend. Soft Glow sniffled on the ground behind her, clutching the kitten they'd found protectively in her small arms, trying to keep it safe. They'd seen what he did to small animals before.

The older boy laughed. "Aw, the little freak thinks she's so tough!"

Her fingers curled into fists. She hated being called a freak. It wasn't like she'd asked to have weird eyes.

"What's the matter?" the boy continued. "Don't like being called names, freak?" He began chanting the word,
pointing at her and laughing.

Gritting her teeth, she charged him, her hands balled into fists, ready to hit him until he stopped laughing. It was, unfortunately, exactly what he wanted her to do. The boy jumped back from her swing, then grabbed her outstretched arm and pulled, setting her off balance and tripping her to the ground. Once she was down, the boy charged over to Soft Glow and grabbed her by the arm.

"Give it!" he shouted at her, trying to open her arms.

Soft Glow was crying now, trying to wriggle free and keep the kitten but it was quickly becoming clear the boy was going to take it.

She stared furiously at the scene, angrily batting away strands of her blue hair. Her only friend was being hurt and she couldn't do a thing to stop it; he was just too big and strong.

A feeling of helplessness began to overcome her as she got to her feet but just as quickly it was replaced by something else. She could still protect Soft Glow but it would probably mean she'd get really hurt. Almost as quickly again she dismissed the worry; it would be worth it to keep Soft safe. As she charged the bully again, she felt stronger, more confident that no matter how much he hurt her, she'd hurt him just as much.

She didn't know why her hand opened as she got close. Her initial idea had been to punch, but something told her slapping him would work better. "I said," she yelled as her arm swung, "STOP IT!"

Her hand connected and, surprisingly, there wasn't as much resistance to the hit as she thought there would be. Her fingertips, they felt odd, seemed to catch and pull him away from Soft Glow, sending him stumbling a few feet away. She resumed her protective stance over Soft, a feeling of intense power coursing through her. He wouldn't hurt Soft anymore, not while she was there. A satisfied smile began to grow.

Then he turned back to them.

He was holding both his hands up to the cheek she'd hit him on, and blood was pouring out from between his fingers. Deep gashes ran from just below his ear almost to his nose. His face was a mix of confusion, surprise, fear, and pain.

The growing smile immediately disappeared and, through her own shock, she felt something wet on her hand, and she brought it up to look. Bright, fresh blood, a stark contrast to her jet-black skin, was running down from her finger tips, which now were pointy and sharp, like claws.

All the sense of strength and power she'd felt only a second before drained away. Why was her hand like that? She hadn't meant to do that; she just wanted him to leave them alone. Why was there blood?

"MOMMY!"

She was jerked out of her thoughts as the bully screamed and ran away, still clutching his face, blood drops on the pavement marking his retreat. She stared blankly after him, unsure what to do. She turned and looked at Soft Glow, only to find her staring back at her. More pointedly, at her bloody, clawed hand.

"Midnight?"

Lost But Not Forgotten

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Canterlot, Friday night eleven o' clock pm.

Bob and Karen Drake exit the movie theater into the increasingly humid night. The area around the theater was wet from an earlier light rain that reflected the lighting form the street lamps and the theater itself. Bob made a note of it and was resolved to make it home in one piece so that Brianna wouldn't have to see her parents in the hospital.

Bob then turned to his wife with a smile and said. "You know Karen, Brianna was right, these romantic comedies are sappy." He said taking his wife's hand as they walked

"Oh come on sweetheart, it wasn't that bad was it?" Karen replied interlacing her fingers with her husband's.

Bob's response was a boisterous laugh. "We've both seen better movies dear. I think the writer for this one was trying way too hard to have those two young ladies look like they really had good chemistry. The actresses did alright with what they had, but the writing was just to much."

Karen giggled as they reached their car. "I see you've been listening to our daughter again Bob."

Bob smiled "What can I say? Our little girl seem to have a knack for writing this kind of thing well." Bob stopped and looked at his wife. "Hey now, there is a thought. Maybe Brianna can be a writer someday and bring the world more grounded romance novels."

Karen shared her husband's smile. "Maybe sweetheart, but will anyone read them?"

"I'll start a publishing company if I have to in order bring the world our little girl's best efforts." Bob proclaimed dramatically his hair moving in the light breeze that came up at that moment.

Karen broke down into a fit of laughter before getting in the car an putting on her seat belt. "Oh Bob what am I going to do with you?" Karen giggled closing the passenger side door.

Bob got in a closed his door and then put on his seat belt. "Well I have a few suggestions for you dear." He said teasing his wife waggling his eyebrows as her started the car.

"You're just awful Bob. Thankfully our daughter doesn't have your dirty mind." Karen replied pulling her hair back. "Oh this humidity is just messing with my hair tonight."

Bob laughed again and started to pull out of the parking lot. "And that is why we can trust her Karen. She has a good head on her shoulders." Bob retorted as lightning flashed in the now rainy night sky followed by the crash of thunder as they proceeded down the street and stopped at a stop sign. "Wow it's really bad tonight." said Bob

Karen nodded in ascent. "I'm glad Brianna is with Megan tonight, the poor dear wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise."

Bob nodded as they waited before pulling out into the intersection. It was then that things took a turn that would change everything. A car came barreling down the street at a high rate of speed striking the Drake's car head on. Within minutes the police were on the scene investigating the event.

The rain had started to come down when a red haired police woman came onto the scene with and stepped out of her patrol car. She looked around the crash site and noted that the firefighters were working on what was left of an old tan colored town car. She shook her head sadly and walked over to a junior officer. "So what did the witnesses say Silver Star?" She asked as some other officers that were investigating the scene took pictures and gathered evidence.

The younger woman sighed sadly. "It was pretty bad captain. They saw the second car come around the corner and slam into the first car head on at a high rate of speed." Silver Star replied as the fire team had finally cut the roof off of what was left of the towncar using their equipment.

The older officer shook her head sadly as two bodies were pulled from the wreckage of what had been the Drake's towncar. "Any I.D. on the victims? Or the driver that caused the crash?"

"We have only identified driver right now Captain Nightshroud. We identified Tomas Allen as our driver. Officer Silver Star replied.

Captain Nightshroud scratched her head thoughfully. "Tomas Allen? I know that name; what do we have on him?"

Silver Star winced. "It's not good Captain Nightshroud." she replied "Tomas Allen has had multiple D.W.I.s in the past year. He was also cited for reckless driving with a minor in his car and the charges were pending."

Captain Nightshroud's eyes widened. "And he still had his licence Silver? How?"

"That's the thing ma'am, he didn't" Silver replied

Captain Nightshroud sighed. "Fuck me sideways. Do we have an I.D. on the victims?"

"Not a solid I.D. yet ma'am, they were unrecognizable but the licence plate number of the victim's car is being run and we should have it soon ma'am."

"Did we get any other information from the witnesses at least?" Asked Captain Nightshroud.

Silver Star shook her head. "Not really ma'am, just one of the witnesses saying something about a bright flash of light just before the crash is all."

"It was probably just the lightning they saw." Nightshroud replied as another officer jogged up to the two officers. "What have you got rookie?" Asked Captain Nightshroud.

Lightning flashed in the night sky as the rookie officer handed a clipboard covered with a clear plastic sheet to Captain Nightshroud. "I have the licence plate information ma'am" The rookie officer said shakily as he handed the captain the paperwork

"Thank you officer Ride a Long." Captain Nightshroud replied as she looked over the licence plate information. "Shit!" She swore under her breath.

Officer Silver Star looked at Captain Nightshroud. "Ma'am?"

Nightsroud looked up from the clipboard. "The victims are Bob and Karen Drake. It's a damn shame too, they were good folks.

Officer Ride a Long looked at her. "Did you know them captain?"

"Not personally, but I met them briefly when I picked up my sister at an office Hearth's Warming party last year. I think they have a daughter but I don't remember her name right now." Captain Nightshroud replied.

Silver Star facepalmed. "So we need to find out who she is and tell her that she is an orphan now. Wonderful, just wonderful." She said dryly.

Captain Nightshroud gave a weary sigh. "First things first, we finish up here and get to the paperwork when we get back to the station. Also somebody had better inform the Allens that their son is dead too." The captain shook her head, it was going to be a long week.

==========================================
The Williams family ranch ten o' clock a.m. the next day.

Megan and Brianna are standing in the kitchen talking about their plans for the weekend and their anniversary the next week when Brianna's phone rings.

"Who is it Brianna?" Asked Megan curiously.

"It's auntie Ribbon." Brianna replied looking at the caller I.D. before answering. "Hi auntie, what's up?"

"Brianna sweetheart I have something I need to tell you." Ribbon replied tiredly.

"Sure auntie, what is it?" Brianna replied

"I'm coming to see you Brianna. I won't tell you this over the phone because you deserve to hear this in person. I'll be there in half an hour." said Ribbon

"Okay auntie, I'll see you then." Brianna replied sounding unsure as she hung up.

"What did Ribbon want Brianna?" asked Megan

"I'm not sure." Brianna said "She sounded off somehow though. I wonder what happened?"

"We'll know soon enough I guess." said Megan

Thirty minutes later Megan and Brianna met Ribbon at the door with the rest of Megan's family.

Ribbon looked tired and disheveled when she arrived and walked up to Brianna and hugged her.

"W-what's going on auntie Ribbon?" asked Brianna

"Ribbon's green eyes showed pain as she began to speak. "Brianna, sweetheart. I am afraid that last night your parents were killed by a drunk driver."

"K-killed!?" Brianna replied as tears started welling up in her eyes.

"Yes Brianna, I learned about the crash on the local news this morning and went to the police station and confirmed it." Ribbon replied

"D-daddy, mama." Said Brianna as her knees buckled and Megan caught her to keep her from falling down. Brianna was crying and leaning on Megan as they absorbed the news.

"Uncle Bob, Aunt Karen." Molly said quietly as her mother and father held her.

Danny just pulled the bill of his baseball cap over eyes and stayed quiet.

Ribbon looked at Brianna. "I am so sorry sweetheart, none of us wanted this to happen." Ribbon sighed "There is some good news though."

"Good news?" Brianna sniffled

Ribbon gave a broken smile. "Yes, you see your parents and I made arrangements just in case something like this happened. You won't be sent to an orphanage or separated from your friends, Megan, or any of us that love you. You will be able to stay here where you will have all of the love and support you need." Ribbon's smile faded. "For right now I want you to stay here with Megan and her family until I get everything cleared away, okay Brianna?"

Brianna nodded and started crying again prompting Megan to pick her up and carry her back inside.

"I'll do everything I can to calm her down for now." Megan said as she carried Brianna to her room. Once inside Megan placed Brianna on her bed and took her shoes off as a barely contained Brianna whimpered and sobbed. After taking off her own shoes Megan laid down next to Brianna placing Brianna's head head on her chest. Megan caressed Brianna's cheek and spoke to her softly.

"I can only imagine what you're going through Brianna." Megan said quietly as Brianna began to cry harder. "I want you to know that I will always be here for you Brianna. I will love and care for you for the rest of our lives Brianna. I won't let anyone hurt you I promise."

Brianna couldn't respond to Megan's loving gestures as she lay there paralyzed by grief. Her heart felt heavy and sadness began to cloud her mind as she lay crying in Megan's embrace.

Megan held Brianna softly talking to her and trying to calm her to avail. Megan looked at her broken girlfriend and almost felt Brianna's pain and despair. Megan felt a sense of desperation as she was unable to calm Brianna and her frustration began to mount until an idea came to her. She looked at Brianna once more and began to sing softly to Brianna. The song came to Megan naturally, and came from her heart.

There's always another rainbow,
Search until you find it.
Don't look at the cloud, look behind it,
There's a rainbow there somewhere.

In the depths of Brianna's sadness Megan's voice started to reach her and her tears slowed as Megan's song took hold.

There's always a ray of sunshine,
Though it all seems tragic.
You may turn around and like magic,
There's an answer to your prayer.

Now you feel forlorn,
But hope can be reborn.
Try and lose that frown;
Look up, not down.

Brianna opened her eyes and listened to Megan as she became calmer. Her crying ceased and she slowly slid her arms around Megan's waist and held onto her tightly. She continued to listen intently as Megan sang, Brianna relaxed closing her eyes once again as sleep began to overtake her.

And you'll find another rainbow,
I can guarantee it;
Even though you think you've reached the rainbow's end!
There's always another rainbow,
Always another rainbow,
Round the bend!

Megan looked down on Brianna's face seeing that she had fallen asleep. Megan gave a pained smile as she watched Brianna, but felt a great sense of relief that her song had for the moment calmed Brianna's heartbreak. Megan sighed, she knew that Brianna would be feeling lost, and likely even trapped. Megan steeled herself, she would not let Brianna lose herself in the sense of hopelessness she would feel.

"I'm here for you Brianna. Our friends are too, we'll take care of you. I'll take care of you." Megan said softly kissing Brianna on the forehead and feeling silly for moment. She yawned as her own eyes grew heavy and closed sending her to sleep.

An hour later Megan awoke to the sounds of a hard rain coming down on the roof of her house. She stretched and was immediately reminded of her girlfriend's presence as she did so. She looked down at Brianna whose head still rested against her chest as she shifted and whimpered in her sleep.

Megan gently caressed Brianna's cheek settling her for the moment. "Poor Brianna. She really has be dealt a harsh hand all of the sudden. At least she has Ribbon to take her in so she won't be separated from us." Megan thought as she watched Brianna sleep. "Now we just have to break the news to our friends. And we have to get her to realize that she needs to focus on herself as well."

This thought caused Megan to smile as Brianna shifted again and the opened her green eyes and looked up Megan. "Hello there sleepy head." Megan said softly. "I won't ask how you're feeling. I know it's really bad right now Brianna, but it will get better, eventually."

Brianna sniffled. "I'm really worried about Fluttershy, and Pinkie Megan. This won't be very easy for them either." Brianna's eyes started to water again. "Especially because Pinkie and daddy got along so well. It's not going to be the same without them Megan. Daddy was such a goofball and I miss him. And mama, she would always worry and fuss over daddy and I both."

"Of course you do Brianna, they are your parents and they were really great people." Megan replied smiling even with the pain that was welling up in her heart as well. "And they will always be with us because they are a part of you Brianna. And as long as you're here with us they will be as well." Megan said as she wiped the tears from Brianna's eyes.

"R-really?" Asked Brianna uncertainly.

Megan's smile grew warmer and more confident. "Yes really. You, my special girl are they reason they will stay with us for a long time." Megan locked eyes with Brianna and saw her girlfriend start to settle down a little. "Let's get up and have something for lunch okay Brianna?"

Brianna shook her head. "I'm not hungry Megan; I just want to stay here right now."

"Brianna I'm not going to let you make yourself sick because you won't eat. You need to be healthy so we can help you move on." Megan said firmly, before her face and voice softened. "Now let's have some of that pizza left over from last night and I'll make some tea for us too."

"O-okay Megan. I know you only want to help me." Brianna said clinging more tightly to Megan.

"I love you Brianna, that is why I want what's best for you." Megan replied warmly. "Would you like me to carry you Brianna?"

Brianna shook her head again. "No, I can walk to the dining room myself." She said releasing Megan and struggling to get up. Brianna looked at Megan sheepishly and gave a weak smile.

"It's okay Brianna, take your time." Megan replied as she got to her feet.

"I think I might need some help getting there actually. My legs don't want to cooperate right now." Brianna said her face flushing with embarrassment.

"It's okay Brianna." Megan said getting up and going to Brianna. Megan took Brianna's right arm and placed it across her shoulders. "Okay Brianna let's try this again shall we?"

Brianna opened her mouth to respond but was cut off by her stomach rumbling very loudly. Brianna looked at Megan her face now very red and just nodded instead of answering.

Megan smiled and shook her head. Rain continued to fall as Megan helped Brianna into the dining room and sat her down at the table. "Okay Brianna, would you like the pepperoni of the cheese pizza we have left?"

Brianna's stomach growled loudly once more. "Um I think I'll have one of each." Brianna replied sheepishly.

"Okay." Megan replied opening the boxes and retrieving a slice of each and putting them both on a plate. "Here you are, now don't eat too fast Brianna. I don't want you getting sick."

Brianna gave Megan a broken smile and said. "Okay mom." In response causing Megan to giggle.

"I think you'll be just fine Brianna, it will take a long time but you will be fine I just know it." Said Megan while filling the tea kettle and turning on the stove. The water started to heat up and Megan turned her attention to back to Brianna. Megan watched Brianna eating and was concerned by her silence. She walked over to Brianna and slid her arms around Brianna from behind. "What are you thinking about Brianna?"

"Not much." Brianna turned her head and looked at Megan. "Hey Megan, do you remember that camping trip we took together two years ago?"

"I do." Megan replied. "I had so much fun with you, Bob and Karen. It was kind of hard to not laugh at Bob's antics though. He was so silly the whole time."

Brianna giggled. "Yeah and mom was always getting on him for being like that. I swear I thought I was going to need a pair of padded gloves with the way he was acting."

Megan held Brianna tighter. "I know, I had never laughed that much without Pinkie being around." Megan's smile warmed Brianna's heart. "Brianna, I know this is hard for you like I said. But there is something very important here that you need to remember."

"Important? What's that important thing Megan?" Brianna said tears welling up in her eyes again.

Megan squeezed Brianna gently. "I can be by you side for the whole summer Brianna. I will be here for you everyday and every night too."

Brianna's eyes widened in realization. "The whole summer? Everyday?"

"Yes Brianna, everyday. I'll spend the whole summer with and do everything I can to make it better." Megan squeezed Brianna again and kissed the top of her head. "Everyday Brianna, I'll take care of you the whole time."

Brianna placed her right hand on top of Megan's. The words she had wanted to say were quickly replaced with words that came to her from her heart. "I love you Megan." She said sadly.

"I love you too Brianna." Megan said as the tea kettle started to whistle. "I'll get that, you just wait right here and finish eating okay sweetheart."

Brianna nodded in reply and resumed eating her pizza.

Megan poured the tea and got herself some pizza. She rejoined Brianna at the table and the two girls sat and ate quietly.

==========================
Two weeks later

Megan has stayed beside Brianna everyday and night after they had learned about Bob and Karen's deaths and now Brianna has fallen asleep leaning against Megan while Megan's mother Donnamarie drives Brianna across town to Ribbon's house. Ribbon had spent that time moving Brianna's things from her old house into her own where Brianna would reside from today onward. Megan was looking out the window watching the scenery pass by as Donnamarie's truck made it's way through town.

"You've been very quiet the whole time Megan. Is something wrong?" Donnamarie asked.

Megan gave a tired sigh. "I am really worried about Brianna mother. The funeral is in a couple of weeks and I don't know if she can handle it. I also feel bad about not being able to stay with her tonight."

"Well there are some things that we need you for tomorrow morning Megan. After that we'll handle the rest so you can take care of Brianna. Besides a day for you to decompress will be better for her Megan. I know you're a strong and mature girl and can take care of yourself, but that doesn't mean you should forget to do just that."

"I know mother." Megan replied. "The last thing I want to do is upset Brianna more and hurt her with bad judgment." Megan stroked Brianna's cheek. "She is relying too much on me to afford to make a mistake like that right now."

Donnamarie smiled. "I know sweetheart, and I know she'll appreciate it too." The rest of the drive was quiet and ten minutes later they arrived at Ribbon's house.

"Wake up sleepy head." Megan said softly while Brianna.

Brianna opened her eyes and looked at Megan. "I'm awake already." She replied while rubbing her eyes.

Megan smiled and opened her door and unbuckled her seat belt. "Come on Brianna, let's get you inside and settled." Megan said getting out and retrieving Brianna's bag full of her clothes and other things from the truck's bed.

Brianna exited the truck closing the passenger side door behind her and walked to the door with Megan falling into step beside her. "Do you have to go home tonight Megan?"

Megan nodded. "I wish I didn't Brianna, but mom and dad need my help tonight and tomorrow morning. After that I'll be back with you for the whole summer. I promise."

The pair stopped at the front door and Brianna sighed. "I don't want to be alone tonight Megan."

Megan put the bag down on the porch and cupped Brianna's face in her hands. "I know Brianna, but I have to go home tonight and I will be back with you tomorrow." Megan smiled warmly. "It's just for tonight, and I'll call you before we go to bed okay?"

"O-okay Megan." Brianna replied in acceptance. She gave a weak smile before leaning in to kiss Megan who gladly returned the gesture while pulling Brianna into her arms.

The pair embraced for a long while before separating. Megan looked at Brianna and smiled once again. "Be strong my special girl, you can get through this and we'll help. And now you have sisters to help you through it too Brianna."

"Yeah, you're right Megan." Brianna replied bending down to pick her bag. She turned towards the door then stopped and looked back at Megan longingly for a moment. "I'll see you tomorrow Megan, I love you."

Megan smiled through her building heartache and replied. "I love you too Brianna. Why don't you take a bath before bed, it will help."

Brianna nodded meekly and walked up to the door which stood open with Ribbon, Wind Whistler, and Fizzy standing there having witnessed the exchange quietly. The three of them embraced Brianna and Ribbon said to Megan. "We'll look after her tonight Megan. And thanks for taking care of Brianna for me Megan."

"Of course Ribbon, and thank you for taking care of her for me." Megan replied before turning back to her mother's truck and getting in.

As Megan closed the door and put her seat belt back on her mother started the truck and began to back out of the driveway. "I know that wasn't easy for you to do Megan. And Brianna knows that too."

Megan nodded in reply as they drove back to their ranch.

================================================
Later that evening Megan walks into her bedroom and throws off her vest as she walks towards the bathroom. She would never tell her family, and she would especially never tell Brianna, but the work she was doing this night and she would be doing the next morning was her distraction from her own pain at the loss Brianna had experienced.

She and Brianna had known each other for seven years at this point and Brianna's parents had become as much a part of Megan's life as her own had become a part of Brianna's. Both girls' families had gotten close and become friends over that time and this loss had hurt Megan and her family as well.

Megan entered the bathroom and closed the door before getting undressed and turning on the water in the bathtub. As she waited for the water to reach the correct temperature she struggled to maintain her composure. Tears began to fall from her eyes as she turned the center knob to start her shower and got in. She slid the shower curtain closed after getting in with the water hitting her skin and started to sooth her tired achy muscles she started to remember.

"Hey Megan, do you remember that camping trip we took together two years ago?" Megan did remember. And whether or not she wanted to the memories came back unbidden of that camping trip two years prior. it was the first time both girls' families had gone on an outing together.

The trip had been full of memorable moments like when Megan's father Marty tried teaching Bob to fish. This had resulted in Bob hooking a much to large catfish and ending in a broken fishing rod. During that minor fiasco Donnamarie had shown Karen how to use the grill and Brianna's mother had done a fair job her first time. Their lunch had been good if slightly overcooked, which Danny had chosen to complain about until Donnamarie told him that he would be getting the firewood for that night's outdoor activities.

Said activities naturally included ghost stories that made Brianna jump and squeak made and Megan realize how cute she thought Brianna was. Megan's heart began to race as she washed herself in the shower from that memory and another from that trip. It was the memory of when she first taught Brianna how to shoot a bow. Megan would not admit it to their friends but that moment when she sparked Brianna's interest in archery was one she'd treasure forever. To her, this most private of moments was the one when she had realized that she was beginning to fall in love with her best friend.

Megan actually smiled as she remembered how closely she had stood to Brianna while helping Brianna get her form right and the utter joy Brianna had felt the first time she hit the target causing Megan to giggle a little. Brianna got excited in her really adorable way. Then she remembered how Bob had called her aside at one point to tell her that he had noticed how Megan was looking at Brianna and how he thought, or rather knew as he'd put it that they would make a great couple one day. It had been a truly special event, one that should have been many when their two families did things together.

Megan shook her head at that memory, she still couldn't believe she had been that nervous when Bob called her aside like that. She knew him better than that and should have realized it would be nothing bad, but she just got nervous anyway, it couldn't be helped.

And now Megan's heart was filling with pain and emptiness because there would never be any moments like that again. "Stop it!" Megan scolded herself, this was about Brianna and how she needed to be strong for her. Megan did not have the time for selfish thoughts, she had to take care of Brianna and not worry about herself right now. And then Megan thought about what her mother had said to her about taking care of herself and decompressing so she can take care of Brianna.

It was in that moment that Megan allowed herself to cry. She needed to, she needed to get it out for Brianna's sake, and her own. They couldn't mover forward in their lives together if she didn't. And this was because the only thing that actually scared Megan at this time was losing Brianna too, that was something Megan couldn't bare.

Megan exited the shower and dried herself off. As she got dressed before heading into the dining room for dinner she actually found herself looking forward to the call she would be making soon. She looked forward to the next day even more however.

Moving Forward

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Ribbon sighed as she watched Megan and Donnamarie leave before turning to face Brianna, Wind Whistler, and Fizzy. "Okay Fizzy why don't you take Brianna up to her room and help her get situated? Wind Whistler I'll need you to keep and eye on Ember while I start making dinner."

"Yes mother." Wind Whistler replied.

Fizzy moved over to Brianna. "Come on Brianna, let's go put your things away," She said sympathetically.

"O-okay Fizzy." Brianna replied. "Auntie Ribbon." Brianna started with tears forming in her eyes.

Ribbon hugged Brianna. "It's alright sweetheart," She said. "Let's go inside and dinner will be ready in a little while. Fizzy will look after you until then okay."

Brianna nodded and broke the hug before following Fizzy into the house.

Wind Whistler looked at Ribbon. "Mother I am concerned about Brianna's current circumstances. We can't possibly replace her parents."

Ribbon gave her daughter a patient smile. "We can't replace Bob and Karen dear, but we can give Brianna a new family that loves her just as much. Just be her sister like you have been up till now and things will work out for her."

Wind Whistler smiled. "Of course mother. It was quite endearing when Brianna started looking at both Fizzy and myself like older sisters. I wish only the best for her."

"That's what we all want for her Wind Whistler," Ribbon said as she walked into the house with Wind Whistler following her. Ribbon walks into the kitchen and starts working on dinner while Wind Whistler goes into the living room where little Ember was napping to check on her.

Seeing that Ember hasn't quite woken up yet Wind Whistler sits on the couch and waits for Fizzy and Brianna to come back downstairs.

Meanwhile Fizzy had escorted Brianna to her new room which caused Brianna a sense of disorientation with how familiar it was. As Brianna looked around she saw the numerous picture of her friends and family as well as her game consoles, and her most cherished possession. A pink unicorn plush with a purple striped white mane, purple embroidered eyes, and five purple stars on her flanks that Megan had made for her two years before. It was her room in all but the color of the wallpaper.

Brianna sniffled. "Fizzy," She said before breaking down into tears again.

Fizzy hugged Brianna and held her as she cried. "I'm sorry Brianna." Was all the older girl could manage.

====================================
Downstairs in the living room Wind Whistler let out an annoyed huff after placing Ember in her playpen.

"Is there a problem Wind Whistler?" Asked Ribbon from the kitchen as she secured a sheet of aluminum foil over the cake pan containing four seasoned chicken breasts before placing it in the oven. "Ember isn't being too much of a handful is she?"

"No mother." Wind Whistler replied over her shoulder. "I am simply having a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to help Brianna effectively. I am finding this situation to be extremely difficult and have no logical solution to help her with."

Ribbon giggled. "Oh sweetheart, logic isn't always going to help you solve problems. This is a matter of the heart Wind Whistler, and all we can really do for her is be there and let her know that we support her."

"I do understand that Mother; and yet I find myself wishing to do more." Wind Whistler sighed heavily. "I wish I were not suffering from a singular lack of inspiration on the matter."

Ribbon smiled at her daughter. "Wind Whistler you are a very considerate person for saying that. But even though we want to do more at times we simply can't. A broken heart can only be mended with time and love. So let's give Brianna plenty of both."

Wind Whistler was thoughtful for a moment. "So what you're saying is that ultimate success can only be achieved by taking small steps along the way? That is very logical of you mother."

Ribbon nodded. "You see the logical solution was there and simply missed it Wind Whistler."

Wind Whistler nodded in response. "I do not yet possess sufficient experience to work through such things on my own it would seem. And now that I think about it something occurred to me just now. Those small things you suggested we do is why you are making the baked chicken breast recipe and the rice for dinner tonight is it not?"

"Yes Wind Whistler, this will help Brianna to settle down for tonight," Ribbon said turning her attention to a box of rice she still had to prepare.

"Well I hope it will be enough until Megan can come back mother." Wind Whistler replied while turning her attention back to Ember in the playpen.

"Mama!" Ember said joyfully from the living room causing Ribbon to smile once more.

While Ribbon starts to prepare the rice and Wind Whistler continues to watch over little Ember Brianna and Fizzy come back downstairs. Wind Whistler looks up to see them and frowns after seeing Brianna.

"Are you sure you're alright Brianna?" Asked Wind Whistler.

Brianna just shook her head and looked at Wind Whistler showing her eyes were still red from crying.

Fizzy guided Brianna to the couch and sat down with her holding Brianna to reassure her.

"This will be difficult." Wind Whistler thought to herself as they waited for dinner to be ready.

==============================

Later after dinner Brianna sits in the bath tub having taken Megan's advice by taking a bath before they talked on the phone and she went to bed. She sat in the tub with her mind wandering. She looked up at the ceiling ignoring the sounds of the rain that had started during dinner. She wondered why it had to be anyone's family that was hurt by this driver, more so what did it have to be her parents.

"Why do people do these things?" She asked herself in an attempt to come up with something, anything that might make the turn her life had taken make sense to her, but she could come up with nothing. Brianna gave a heavy sigh and removed the drain stopper from the tub to drain the water before getting out and drying off, before changing into the nightgown that Megan has slipped in with the rest of Brianna's clothes when she was packing them for her.

The pink and white nightgown was one of Megan's naturally. Brianna smiled as she put it on and sighed again. She exited the bathroom and walked into her bedroom and saw Wind Whistler standing by her bed.

"What's going on Wind Whistler?" She asked.

"I wanted to know if you're feeling any better." Wind Whistler replied.

"Not really." Brianna replied sadly. "This sucks forever Wind Whistler."

Wind Whistler's face softened. "Of that, I have no doubt Brianna. I just want to let you know that while I may not be the best at expressing it, I do care about you a great deal. I also wish to say that I will be here for too."

"Wind Whistler," Brianna said hugging her.

Wind Whistler awkwardly returned the hug. "Well, as I said I care about you and want to help you."

Brianna giggled. "You're being all awkward again Wind Whistler."

Wind Whistler blushed. "So anyway, when did you get the new nightgown." She deflected lamely.

"It's actually one of Megan's nightgowns. She must have slipped it into my bag when I wasn't looking." Brianna replied.

Wind Whistler broke the hug. "Well that was very sweet of her. It shows just how much she cares about you Brianna." Wind Whistler said with a smile.

Brianna nodded and then turned her head when her phone started to ring. "I'd better get that, thanks Wind Whistler."

"You're welcome little sister, good night." Wind Whistler replied while leaving and shutting the door.

Brianna smiled and shook her head as she went to pick up her phone. "Hi Megan," Brianna said softly.

"Hey there Brianna; how is my special girl feeling?" Megan asked already knowing the answer.

"Not, not so great. I miss mama and daddy a lot." She gave a heavy sigh. "Auntie Ribbon made chicken and rice for dinner, so that was nice."

Megan wore a pained smile. "What did you think of my surprise by the way."

"It-it's nice. Thanks Megan, I can give it back to you when I see you tomorrow too." Brianna replied while sitting down on her bed and picking up her plush unicorn. "It feels like you're holding me when I wear it though. It even smells like you somehow."

Megan giggled. "Smells like me huh?" Megan teased lightly drawing a blush to Brianna's cheeks that she couldn't see but knew was there. "Anyway, I'd like you to keep my nightgown. I have a feeling you're going to need it when I'm not able to be there with you."

Brianna's red face reddened even more. "I'll have to ask Rarity to make some adjustments then. It's not quite my size." Brianna coughed out. "I'll manage though."

Megan giggled. "As long it's not too uncomfortable for you Brianna." Megan wanted to say more, but suddenly found herself with nothing to say to Brianna and an awkward pause set it for a few moments.

It was Brianna that ended up breaking the silence after a bit. "Megan, what's wrong? You don't seem like yourself tonight."

Megan sighed. "I didn't want to say anything, but this has been hard for me too Brianna. I really want to help you right now, and I am doing everything I can, but I just feel like I'm letting you down."

"Oh Megan, you could never let me down. I know it's not easy for you too, but I am happy that I have to help me through this." Brianna whimpered but kept her composure. "I'll see you tomorrow okay?"

Megan sighed. "Okay Brianna, good night."

"Good night Megan." Brianna replied as they hung up their phones. Brianna placed her phone on the nightstand next to her bed and plugged it in. Sighing once more and then jumping as thunder tore through the night sky she dove under her covers and clutched her plush unicorn. "Darn it." Brianna said getting up to turn off the light. "Stupid thunder." She squeaked as she got back into bed.

Brianna laid her head down on her pillow and closed her eyes. and sighed once more. "Megan." She whispered quietly to herself and drifted off into a less than restful sleep. She tossed and turned as her dreams turned strange and disturbing. She didn't know how long it went on before she finally lapsed into a more dreamless state and waking up when Ribbon called out to her sometime the next morning.

"Brianna, Brianna are you awake in there?" Ribbon said while knocking on the door.

Brianna sat up in bed. "Yeah Auntie Ribbon. I'm awake, sort of."

Ribbon opened the door and saw Brianna's disheveled state. "Brianna are you okay?" Asked Ribbon as she crossed the room to Brianna's bed. "You aren't getting sick are you?" Ribbon asked placing the back of hand against Brianna's forehead.

"No auntie, I just didn't sleep well last night," She said with a sigh. "What time is it?" Brianna asked still trying to shake off her fatigue.

Ribbon removed her hand but still wore a worried look. "It's nine thirty. Megan just called by the way, she said she'd be here in about an hour. And we still have breakfast ready too for when you come downstairs okay Brianna."

"Yeah," Brianna said. "Just give me a bit and I'll be down. Thanks auntie," Brianna said hugging Ribbon.

"It's alright sweetheart. I'll see you downstairs." Ribbon replied while returning the hug before releasing Brianna and leaving the room.

"Ugh," Brianna said as she got out of bed and shambled into the bathroom. "If Rarity could see me right now, she'd freak." Brianna grumbled after seeing herself in the mirror.

===========================================
Across town Rarity sat at her sewing machine and sneezed.

"Are you okay Rarity?" A small voice asked getting Rarity's attention.

"Oh, I suspect it was just a modicum of dust that got into my nose dear. I'm fine." Rarity replied looking to her little sister Sweetie Belle.

Sweetie Belle looked at Rarity. "So what are you even making anyway?"

Rarity sighed heavily. "I'm finishing up the dress I'm making for Brianna for her parents' funeral Sweetie Belle. It's sad that this is the occasion that she will be wearing a dress once more."

Sweetie Belle didn't respond but chose instead to look at the floor.

"I know darling, this has been hard for all of us." Rarity said hugging Sweetie Belle.

=======================================

Back at Ribbon's house Brianna has come downstairs to have breakfast with her new family.

"Baba!" Ember says as Brianna passes by her playpen.

Brianna stops and smiles. "Hey there Ember. Having fun?"

Ember knocked down her blocks and giggled. "Baba!"

Brianna laughs. "You're having fun alright," She said before reaching into the playpen and poking Ember's nose lightly. "Boop." Brianna says sweetly.

"Baba! Baba! Baba!" Ember replies while moving her little arms up and down.

"No Ember, it's Brianna. Can you say Brianna?" Fizzy asked correcting her sister.

"Baba!" Ember replied giggling again.

Brianna giggled too. "Just let it go Fizzy, she is too little to say it right now." Brianna said walking into the kitchen and sitting down at the table.

"Are you feeling any better Brianna?" Ribbon asked while placing a plate of pancakes, bacon and eggs in front of Brianna.

Brianna shook her head and picked up a fork. "Not really, I had a bad night auntie," She said picking up her knife and starting to cut her pancakes.

"Did you have nightmares Brianna?" Asked Ribbon while rinsing some plates and then loading them into the dishwasher.

Brianna chewed quietly on her food for a few moments before responding. "I guess," She said sounding unsure. "I remember something about a pair of witches, some goblins, and I think there was also a unicorn, and maybe an elf. I really don't know."

Wind Whistler sipped her tea before placing her cup on the table. "It's only natural that your dreams would be unsettled Brianna. Megan will be here soon and she'll help with that. Having some tea will also help you out as well."

Brianna gave a weak smile in reply.

=================================
Two weeks later...

Brianna stands beside Megan in a Canterlot graveyard in front of her parent's closed caskets. The service had a canopy set up over the rows of chairs due to the colder and wetter than usual weather. She places a hand on each one her eyes watering as she does so.

"Mama, daddy." Brianna whispers. "I miss you both so much."

Megan held Brianna. "Come on now Brianna, the others will be here soon. Lets go sit down alright?"

Brianna nodded and then the two of them moved to sit down with their families.

"Baba?" Ember said from her spot in Ribbon's lap.

"Are you holding up alright Brianna?" Asked Ribbon.

Brianna sniffled. "Not really auntie. This is the worst day ever," She said sadly as Megan pulled her into a side hug.

"I know it doesn't seem that way Brianna, but things will get better with time." Donnamarie replied from her chair in the row behind Megan and Brianna.

"I guess." Brianna replied leaning her head on Megan's shoulder as the others began to arrive. Brianna looked at the people and realized that she didn't know many of them. "Auntie Ribbon, who are those people?" Brianna asked.

"Those are some of the people your father and I worked with Brianna. Bob had a lot of friends at the office." Ribbon replied. "I would have thought to see some of the rest of your family here too."

Brianna winced. "My grandmas and grandpas died when I was really young. I don't remember them at all. And mama and daddy didn't have any brothers and sisters, and I don't know if they had any cousins anywhere."

Ribbon's heart ached for Brianna as she cringed at her own insensitivity. "I'm sorry Brianna, I didn't know."

"It's okay auntie." Brianna replied quietly.

Shortly after the exchange with Ribbon Brianna's friends started to arrive with their families. Rainbow was first with her mother Firefly and little sister Scootaloo, followed shortly by Fluttershy and Posy. Rarity and Sweetie Belle were next with their parents and their aunt Heart Throb followed by the Big Mac, Applejack, Apple Bloom and Granny Smith. Finally among the last to arrive were Sunset Shimmer along with her mother Celestia and her aunt Luna.

Brianna was familiar with both women of course being that they were her friend's family and that they worked at Canterlot High School. Trailing behind the trio was Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk along with their parents Nightshade and Wave Dancer. Brianna didn't know the three girls particularly well, but was glad to see them on some level. Seeing them was oddly reassuring and she reminded herself to thank them later.

After everyone was present and seated the service began; but Brianna barely noticed as her emotional dam burst and she began crying again. Megan held her as the service went forward knowing that she could only offer a shoulder for Brianna to cry on.

After the service was over Megan stood behind Brianna holding her as Bob and Karen's caskets were lowered into the ground. When Ribbon threw the first shovel full of dirt into her parents' shared grave Brianna turned towards Megan and completely broke down unable to watch any longer. Megan gently guided Brianna away from the scene and took her inside as it started to rain lightly. It would be twenty minutes before Brianna was composed enough to walk under her own power.

At that point she looked at Megan. "Megan," She said.

"Yes Brianna?" Megan replied squeezing her gently.

"I want to go and talk to Adagio, Aria and Sonata for a bit," Brianna said softly. "They didn't have to come today and I want to thank them for it."

"Okay Brianna." Megan said smiling. "You're right by the way. They weren't obligated to come and they did. That was very sweet of them."

Brianna nodded as they exited the funeral home and caught up with the girls and their parents outside in the parking lot. Brianna approached them. "Adagio, Aria, Sonata," She said as they turned to face her. "You didn't have to come her today and I am really glad you did. Thank you for this, thank you so much."

Adagio walked up to Brianna and placed her hands on her shoulders. "Of course Brianna, it's the least we can do."

"Crap like this shouldn't happen to nice girls like you anyway." Aria replied bitterly. "It ain't right."

Brianna's eyes widened. She had heard that Aria could be blunt, but she hadn't expected such a response from her. It did seem in character from what she knew of Aria. "Thank you Aria," She said softly.

Sonata walked up to Brianna as Adagio stood aside and simply hugged her. "Ari is right, this kind of thing shouldn't happen to someone like you Bri."

Brianna sniffled. "Oh Sonata, you're so sweet," Brianna said returning the hug.

Off to the side Adagio smirked. "If anyone gives you any trouble over this Brianna just let me know. I'll deal with them." Adagio's tone promising real problems for anyone that tried to harass her with this.

"Or I will," Aria said menacingly.

Sonata sighed and looked at Brianna after breaking the hug. "I'm sorry about that Bri, Dagi and Ari get that way sometimes."

"It it's okay Sonata. They're just trying to help in their own way." Brianna replied.

"Okay girls, let's let Brianna get back to her family. You'll get to see her again soon enough," The girls' mother Wavedancer said. "And Brianna, I'm sorry we had to meet under these circumstances."

Brianna nodded. "Yeah," She said. "This is not the way to have met you."

============================================================

Ribbon looked on as the Brianna and Megan finished their talk with the three girls and their parents before turning and seeing Donnamarie heading her way.

"Donnamrie," Said Ribbon.

"What do you need Ribbon? You look worried." Donnamarie replied.

"I was wondering if you'd drive Brianna back to my house. I don't want her to be separated from Megan right now. Not after all of this," Ribbon said.

Donnamarie scrutinized Ribbon for a moment. "I can do that. But couldn't the girls just ride with you Ribbon?"

Ribbon shook her head. "Not with Ember's car seat in the back. And I am very worried about Brianna being away from Megan right now even if it's only for a little while. She needs Megan more than she needs anyone else right now Donnamarie."

Donnamarie reached out to Ribbon an placed her hand on Ribbon's shoulder. "I'm not saying I disagree with you Ribbon; but we also need to be careful not to place too much weight on Megan through this situation. I know my daughter is a strong girl and really mature for her age. But Megan is still young Ribbon." She sighed. "And it worries me that too much time together could strain their relationship under these circumstances."

Ribbon shook her head. "Honestly I don't think it will in this case Donnamarie." Ribbon turned and looked at the young couple through the glass doors of the funeral home. "I think these two need as much time together as they can get. You said that Megan is strong, but when has she had to deal with something like this before?"

Donnamarie's followed Ribbon's gaze and she watched the girls for a moment through the doors. Brianna and Megan stood in the parking lot holding each other's hands as they waved to the Dazzlings and their parents as they left. "I think I see what you mean Ribbon. We have had pets and horses die, but never a direct member of our family. And every time that happened Megan was always looking after Danny and Molly."

"Exactly. And since Bob and Karen were such a big part of all of our lives Megan is going to be struggling too. I think this may actually be harder for her in some ways," Ribbon said.

Donnamarie folded her arms across her chest and thought for a moment. "Megan needs to learn how to open up about this. And you think that Brianna can help her learn to do that."

"I do." Ribbon replied.

"Okay Ribbon, I'll do it," Donnamarie said.

"Thank you Donnarie. I'll go tell the girls and we can get ready to leave," Ribbon said before walking out the doors. Ribbon sighed heavily as she approached Megan and Brianna.

"Megan, Brianna," She said getting their attention.

"What is it auntie?" Brianna asked turning to face Ribbon.

"I've asked Donnamarie to rive you home so you can stay with Megan on the way back Brianna. You've been through a lot today and I think it's a bad idea for you to be apart from Megan even for the trip back home Brianna." Ribbon replied.

"Okay Ribbon, I'd rather be with Brianna the whole time anyway. Is that alright with you Brianna?" Megan asked receiving a nod in reply. "Okay we'll wait at my mother's truck Ribbon."

"Thank you for all you've done for her Megan. I'll go pass the word along to your mother now," Ribbon said before leaving to inform Donnamarie.

Megan actually smiled. "It's the least I can do Ribbon," She said before turning to Brianna. "Okay let's go Brianna," Megan said guiding her to the truck.

The girls didn't wait for long as Donnamarie met them at her truck a few moments later. The drive to Ribbon's house was a quiet and uneventful affair with Donnamarie bidding the girls goodbye before returning home.

Afterward Megan and Brianna walked into the house and Brianna walked over to the living room couch sitting down with a weary sigh.

"I never want to do that again," She said sadly.

Megan placed her hand on Brianna's shoulder. "I don't think anyone does Brianna." Megan replied as the two of them locked eyes for a moment. Megan bit her lip as she broke the eye contact. Brianna was a perfect mix of Bob and Karen... "I-I need to use the bathroom. I'll be back in a little bit okay Brianna."

"Okay Megan, sure." Brianna replied getting the feeling that something was off.

Megan gave Brianna a smile and walked up the stairs heavily.

Wind Whistler looked on thoughtfully and said. "Curious." Without realizing it.

"What's so curious Wind Whistler?" Asked Fizzy.

Wind Whistler shook her head and replied. "It's curious that Megan would go upstairs to use the bathroom rather than use the one down on this floor instead."

Fizzy shrugged. "I don't know Wind Whistler, maybe she just wants a few minutes to herself," Fizzy said as she sat down on the couch with Brianna.

"I suppose so Fizzy." Wind Whistler replied while sitting down as well.

=========================================================
Upstairs...

Megan walked through the hallway to Brianna's room, moving through the door and walked into the bathroom closing the door behind her. After she'd finished using the bathroom she stood in front of the sink looking at herself in the mirror. Megan looked at felt tired, her shoulders were slumped and she could barely look at herself in the mirror.

"I have to be strong for Brianna." She told herself over and over again for what felt like an eternity. Deep inside however Megan knew she couldn't keep it up. "I have to be strong for Brianna," She said aloud trying to convince herself. "I have to be strong for Brianna." She repeated her voice cracking.

Megan's face in the mirror told her a different story as tears began run down her cheeks. "I-I, I have to , I have to, I... have..." Megan couldn't finish her sentence as she broke down into tears and began crying uncontrollably. She slumped to the floor to the floor as her emotional dam finally gave way. She couldn't tell how long she lay there on the bathroom floor crying in front of the still running sink.

=======================================
Downstairs, some time later...

Wind Whistler sat on the couch wearing a disgruntled expression. "It doesn't make any sense." she muttered under her breath.

"Wind Whistler, sweetheart. What's wrong?" Ribbon's concerned voice came breaking though Wind Whistler's thoughtful state.

Wind Whistler looked up at Ribbon. "Megan's behavior mother. It doesn't make any sense." She sighed. "Megan was acting differently than normal. She seemed distant, her shoulders were slumped, and I think her hands might have been shaking. I can't say for sure, but I think that she hasn't been forthright with how much she has been hurting."

Ribbon's gaze shifted across the room to where Brianna was sitting on the couch. She sighed. "If Megan hasn't been entirely honest about her feelings Wind Whistler it's only because she has been trying to spare Brianna from seeing her in a bad state during all of this."

"I do understand that mother, but that doesn't really help Brianna," Wind Whistler said as she stood up and walked over to where Brianna was seated.

Brianna looked up. "What is it Wind Whistler?" She asked.

"Brianna, I believe it would be best of you checked on Megan. She has been up there for a long while and I think she is in more need than she has been letting on."

Brianna's eyes widened in realization and she got up and bolted up the stairs shouting, "Thanks sis!" as she left.

Ribbon looked on and turned to her daughter. "I hope you did the right thing Wind Whistler. I'm not sure that Brianna can handle seeing Megan that way if you're right about this."

"They need each other mother, she can manage. Besides Brianna is more resilient than she realizes." Wind Whistler replied.

================================================

Brianna has stumbled a few times as she raced down the hallway to her room. She just barely managed to get to her room without falling and stopped briefly at the door panting and out of breath. "Darn it." She wheezed. "I need to slow down next time." She chastised herself before standing up straight and entering her room.

"Megan? Megan are you alright?" Brianna called as she walked into the room closing the door behind her. Brianna froze a few feet into her room upon hearing some muffled sobbing through the bathroom door. "Wind Whistler was right. Something was wrong" Brianna told herself while crossing the room and opening the bathroom door.

Megan had no idea how long she'd been on the bathroom crying and was only vaguely aware of the figure that entered the bathroom and turned of the the still running sink. She was still only barely aware when she was pulled into someone's arms and heard a familiar voice addressing and trying to comfort her.

Megan looked at the source of the voice through her tear filled and tried speaking only to be stopped by an index finger being pressed against her lips.

"Oh Megan, I'm so sorry. You said this was hard for you too and I, I." Brianna stopped for a moment to collect herself. "I should have have paid more attention to you this whole time. I'm sorry Megan, I'm just sorry." Brianna said squeezing Megan. Brianna sighed heavily. "I'm here now, j-just let it out Megan." Brianna sniffled a little as she held Megan.

Megan continued to cry while being held by Brianna. Some time later she began to calm down and looked up at Brianna. "Brianna, I-I-I'm sorry," Said Megan.

Brianna shook her head. "No Megan, don't apologize. You don't need to." Brianna sighed. "Come on, let's get up now. The bathroom isn't the best place for this."

"Okay," Megan said as both girls struggled to stand up for a moment before exiting the bathroom and going in the bedroom.

Brianna flopped down on her bed and blew a raspberry. "Come on Megan, join me. Let's just not be apart right now," Brianna said weakly.

Megan looked at Brianna before starting to take off her shoes. "What was that for anyway?" Asked Megan while laying down on the bed next to Brianna.

"I don't know. It's all so messed up and I don't know what to do is all." Brianna replied pulling Megan close. "I just want to be here right now and not worry about anything for a while."

Megan cuddled with Brianna. "Okay Brianna, let's do that." She replied resting her head against Brianna's chest.

The role reversal felt odd to Brianna, in the past it was always Megan taking care of her like this and now it she was the one taking care of Megan. She mused at the change for only a moment longer while both she and Megan gradually fell asleep in each other's arms. Brianna thought she'd noticed an odd glow as she drifted off but paid the matter no mind. There were more important things to concern herself with.

The following years would be a growing time for both girls and their friends as they adjusted to more new changes that lay in store for them.

Cheese Pizza, Kaiju, and Tacos

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Four years have now passed and Brianna has settled into her life with her new family. In the closing days of summer vacation Brianna gets ready for a night in with her girlfriend Megan as her adoptive mother gets ready for her first night out in a long time.

"Okay now where did I leave my purse?" Ribbon said more to herself than anyone else. She looked around the living room again and huffed. "Darn it! Where did I put it down."

Brianna rolled her eyes as she was looking over her DVDs trying to decide which movie she and Megan would watch while they had dinner together for the night. "You left it on the kitchen table mama."

Ribbon stopped and looked into the kitchen seeing her purse sitting on the table and blushed. "Oh," Ribbon said. "Thank you Brianna sweetheart. Now I've got some money here for you girls too in case you want to get some take out delivered." Ribbon said digging into her purse.

Brianna giggled in response. "I know, you gave it to Megan already. Sheesh, what is up with you tonight anyway mama? You're always so together normally."

"Well you try getting asked out by one of your best friends from high school when you haven't had a date in ten years. Especially since you had no idea she was even interested in women, let alone you Brianna." Ribbon deadpanned.

Brianna's response was a boisterous laugh that caused Ribbon to wince a little. "Hey I was just as shocked as you when Heart Throb asked you out mama. I could not have predicted this," Brianna said with a cheeky tone. "Now don't forget your coat too mama, it's been raining like crazy again tonight."

Ribbon shook her head as she retrieved her coat from the hallway closet. She stopped once again and watched Brianna as she continued to look through her DVDs and trying to make a selection. Ribbon still wasn't used to Brianna calling her mama instead of auntie. "Well I suppose I just should be glad that she isn't much worse off." Ribbon thought to herself while putting on her coat.

"Hey Brianna?" Megan called form the kitchen. "What kind of pizza do you want?"

Brianna looked thoughtful for a moment. "Let's get a cheese pizza, with extra cheese. I need my cheese fix," Said Brianna in a goofy voice causing Megan to laugh before she picked up the phone and placed the order.

"She is so much like Bob when she does that." Ribbon thought before a knock on the door broke her from her revere. "Okay girls I'm off, have good night and remember that Fizzy and Wind Whistler won't be back until tomorrow. Also you do remember where the number is if anything happens with Ember right?"

"It's on the fridge mama, although I doubt there will be any trouble. Ember isn't Danny after all; now don't keep your date waiting it's bad form after all." Brianna replied cheerfully.

Ribbon shook her head as she walked to the door. "I swear she is enjoying this way too much Megan."

Megan giggled. "Oh you know she just wants you to have a good time Ribbon. And you really seem like you need it lately."

Ribbon smiled. "Thank you Megan, have fun tonight. And don't wait up, I think Heart Throb has quite a few things in store for me tonight," She said opening the door.

"Only the most romantic night of your life Ribbon darling," Heart Throb said when Ribbon greeted her at the door. "Come now dear we have an evening full of wonderment and romance in front of us. So let's make the best of it." Heart Throb said with a dramatic flourish.

Ribbon blushed heavily as Heart Throb took her hand in her own and led her towards her car.

Megan shook her head and closed the door. "Okay Brianna the pizza will be here in about twenty minutes, maybe a little longer with the weather acting up." Megan stretched and sighed. "I'm going to go and get a quick shower while we wait. And maybe it will give enough time to pick out a movie." Megan teased lightly.

"Ha, ha, ha." Brianna deadpanned before adopting a haughty pose and accent. "Megan my dear, choosing the right movie for our night in is akin to a form of high art. It has to be just so." Brianna replied arbitrarily raising her hand and sticking out her pinkie finger.

Megan laughs as she walks by Brianna and kisses her on the cheek. "That's pretty good Brianna, but don't let Rarity or Octavia hear you doing that. They might get upset."

"Are you kidding me Megan! Tavi would just get on me for not doing it right." Brianna replied before sticking out her tongue.

Megan laughed again on her way to the bathroom.

Brianna watched her girlfriend for a moment and thought. "Darn it, why does she have to look so good in those jeans?" Brianna shook her head and returned to looking through her DVDs. "Now where did I put that one?" she asked herself as she picked up one of the cases. "Wait, which one is this again?" She asked herself while opening the case only to make a face looking like she'd just eaten a particularly sour lemon.

"Ugh! I thought I got rid of this one." Brianna sighed on way to the kitchen. "The monster design was kind of interesting I guess; but the writing and acting were awful." Brianna thought as she opened the cupboard door under the sink and tossed the reviled disk and case in the trash can. She closed the cupboard door and stood there thinking for a moment.

"I've got it!" Brianna declared suddenly before a knock on the door got her attention. She looked at the door and then to the clock on the microwave. "Oh, the pizza is a little early, that's nice," She said taking the money form the kitchen table and answering the door, Brianna then paid the delivery girl and brought the pizza into the living room.

She sat the pizza on a card table the she had set up earlier and walked back into the kitchen to grab couple of bottles of soda before returning to the living room and finding the DVD she wanted. "Now that everything is set up all I have to do is wait for Megan." She told herself while placing the DVD in the player and closing the disk trey.

A few moments later Megan existed the bathroom while toweling out her long blonde hair which was free from her trademark red ribbon and called down the hall. "Hey Brianna is everything ready?"

"Yes Megan, I'm just waiting on you now." Brianna replied.

"Okay I'll be there in a minute," Megan said going back into the bathroom and hanging the towel up dry. "Whew," She said under her breath. Today had been something of a long day for the two of them and Megan was glad to have things more settled.

Megan walked out of the bathroom and into the living where she sat down next to Brianna on the couch and gave a heavy sigh. "Today was really long wasn't it Brianna?"

Brianna cuddled up to Megan and started the DVD player with the remote. "I guess Megan, we're going to have even longer days when school starts back up though."

"It won't be that bad Brianna. You've been so strong over the years, and you've grown up enough to let others help you through it." Megan smiled at Brianna. "You will be alright even when I'm not here. And you will see me everyday at school and our friends too. So try not to worry so much okay?"

Brianna sighed and put some pizza on her plate. "Yeah, I get it Megan. It's just hard not to feel empty when you're not here with me," She said looking at Megan and pouting.

"What's wrong now Brianna?" Asked Megan.

"I didn't get to see you with wet hair tonight. You always look amazing that way," Brianna said with a light blush on her face.

Megan giggled and put some pizza on her plate. "Yes I noticed you checking me out earlier. Enjoy the view?"

Brianna turned away trying and failing to hide her red face behind her pizza. "It's not my fault you started wearing tight jeans." Brianna muttered. "Sometimes I think you started doing that just to harass me."

Megan shook her head. "No I did it to make you happy Brianna. Besides Rarity and Adagio are right, there is nothing wrong with showing off a little."

Brianna knew the purpose of Megan's remark and looked at Megan with pleading eyes. "It's not that easy for me Megan. What those girls said back then still hurts. And besides, you make me happy. You don't need to show off at all to do that."

"I know that Brianna, but listen to me. They don't matter, we know you, and we care about you. You don't have to go around flaunting your looks, but you shouldn't be afraid of them either. You are beautiful."

"Y-you really think so don't you Megan?" Brianna replied quietly.

"More so to me because of who you are Brianna." Megan replied with a smile. "So why did you pick such a cheesy movie anyway?"

Brianna snuggled back up to Megan. "Because they are so cheesy they loop around to being awesome," Brianna said with a squee. "And it's a good way to spend time with you too."

Megan smiled, Brianna had always been sweet and she loved that about her. "Some day we do need to sit down and talk about your self image still Brianna. I don't want that following you around for the rest of you life."

Brianna winced, this was an issue she knew she had to confront, but had no idea of how to deal with it. "It worries you Megan, I know that. It's just not that easy for me."

"I know Brianna, we'll figure it out together." Megan replied.

A couple of hours pass as the girls watch one movie and then another. And Brianna falls asleep in Megan's arms during that time and while the ending credits roll for the second movie Megan reaches down and caresses Brianna's face.

"Brianna, come on Brianna wake up," Megan said softly.

Brianna moaned softly and opened her eyes. "W-what is it Megan?" She asked still half asleep.

"We need to get ready for bed. You go upstairs and I'll be up in a moment after I put everything away okay." Megan replied.

Brianna stretched and started to move, albeit very slowly. "Okay Megan," She said while getting up and shambling upstairs.

Megan went about putting what was left of the pizza, throwing out the empty soda bottles, and turned off the DVD player and T.V. before heading upstairs to join Brianna. After getting ready the girls got into bed and went to sleep.

Hours later Brianna stirs slightly as the sounds of something rapidly hitting the roof. She blinked and looked at the bedside clock which read midnight for a moment before thunder tore through the night sky startling her awake.

Brianna squeaked in surprise before Megan gently grabbed her pulling her back down into the bed and holding her.

"Are you okay Brianna?" Asked Megan sounding worried.

At the sound of Megan's voice and feeling the subtle warmth of Megan's body. "The thunder woke me up." She replied in a small voice. "I think it started raining really hard too."

Megan caressed Brianna's cheek and spoke softly. "Just relax Brianna, it'll slow down soon enough."

Brianna nodded and rested her head against Megan's chest. After a few minutes of listening to Megan's heartbeat, and feeling the gentle strength of her presence Brianna began to relax again and soon returned to sleep. Megan smiled and laid her head back down on the pillow and she went back to sleep.

================================================

Three weeks later...

Brianna was finishing up getting ready for school and catch up with her friends since she'd last seen them. She was even more eager to see Megan again however and that was causing her to be a little bit spacey as she got ready. "Ohhhh! Now did I put my backpack again?" Brianna whimpered while walking past the couch.

Ribbon smiled at Brianna's antics. "It's on the couch sweetheart. And remember that your lunch is sitting on the kitchen counter too," Ribbon said sweetly.

Brianna stopped, turned, and looked at the couch seeing her backpack and facepalmed. "Thanks mama." Brianna replied with a sigh. "I don't know where my mind is today," She said picking up her bag and retrieving her lunch from the counter before placing in her backpack. "Ugh. It looks like it's going to be one of those days."

"Well last week was kind of crazy sweetheart. Also I wanted to tell you that I've been talking with Marty and Donnamarie and we've agreed that you and Megan should be able to spend the week together even though school is back on," Ribbon said.

Brianna's eyes widened. "Really?" She asked feeling a little shocked.

Ribbon nodded. "Yes sweetheart. We know we can trust you girls to keep up your school work and not neglect it. You and Megan have proved to be more than responsible enough."

"Yay! Thanks mama!" Brianna squealed racing over to Ribbon and hugging her.

Ribbon returned the hug. "Of course sweetheart; now get going Wind Whistler is waiting for you Brianna."

"Okay mama, thanks," Brianna said as she headed out the door.
=====================================================

Later at C.H.S...

The girls have met up as usual before classes and are talking about some weird incidents as Brianna comes rushing into the warmth of the school.

"So like I said a moment ago. It is unusual for weather to turn out like that, but it does in fact happen sometimes," Twilight said conclusively.

Sunset shook her head. "I don't know Sparky. It was snowing just down the street while had nothing at my house. At least until Saturday hit, then it was everywhere."

"Yeah," Rainbow said. "It totally ruined my weekend plans with Fluttershy."

"Um well, I think it was for the best Rainbow. The animals at the shelter were acting really weird all day." Fluttershy replied.

"Define weird." Rainbow replied before turning her head to see Brianna rushing through the school doors.

Brianna panted for a few moments before looking up at her friends and saying. "Why does it have to be so cold still? I mean seriously I thought is was August not October." Brianna whimpered while shivering.

"How on earth are you even shivering Brianna? You're wearing a parka." Twilight replied in shock.

Sunset smirked. "She never got used to the cold weather."

The girls laughed as Brianna took off her coat and started to open her locker. "Ha, ha Sunset, I wasn't born here remember?" Brianna muttered to herself.

Sunset shook her head. "Brianna you've lived here since you were five. How have you not adjusted to the cold by now?"

Brianna put her lunch bag in her locker and then facepalmed. "I just never did Sunset. Besides, it's August not October. So it really shouldn't be this cold even with things having been weird for a few years now." Brianna replied while sorting through the books she needed for her morning classes. Brianna gave a heavy sigh as a familiar pair of arms embraced her from behind and held. "Hi Megan." Brianna replied.

"Well Sparky? What do you say now?" Sunset asked looking at Twilight.

Twilight sighed. "It's just some unusual weather girls; it's nothing to worry about all that much."

"So how is my special girl?" Megan whispered in Brianna's ear.

"I'm okay more or less. How is Lily doing? I know she doesn't like the cold very much either." Brianna replied.

"She is fine Brianna. Although TJ was acting a little strange when I was in his stall." Megan replied.

Brianna sighed again. "Megan that pony of yours is a brat. I'm sure he's just doing it to mess with you. He does that after all."

At that moment Rarity chose to speak up. "Weird weather is all well and good darlings; but has anyone else been having problems with their phones lately?"

"Mine is acting up a bit lately." Applejack replied.

Twilight took off her glasses and pulled a cleaning cloth out of her coat pocket. "It's nothing girls. Phones just act up sometimes. You might need and update for them is all."

"I dunno," Pinkie said startling everyone. "Things have been getting really weird lately," Pinkie said in spooky voice while waving her fingers around in the classically "spooky" fashion receiving a collective nod from her friends sans Twilight.

"Good grief girls! It's all just a crazy coincidence that can be explained by perfectly rational means." Twilight retorted sharply.

"Anyway," Pinkie said. "It's not all weirderiffic today. I heard we've got a new girl this year," Pinkie said with a squee. "So that means I need to start organizing her welcome to C.H.S. party!"

Sunset sighed and looked at her friend. "Pinkie I know you want to welcome her with a party, but maybe you should just take it easy at first. For all we know this new girl could be really shy and it might take time for her warm up to the idea. So let's just take it one step at a time okay Pinkie?"

"Okay, okay. I get it. We'll see what she is like first, and then we'll see about her party," Pinkie said putting away the balloons and party favors she had produced from out of nowhere.

Twilight's right eye twitched. "How does she do that?"

"It's Pinkie Pie, don't question it." Brianna replied.

=========================================

At the same time in Principal Celetia's office...

Principal Celestia sat in her office with a young woman and her mother sitting on the opposite side of her desk filling out paperwork.

"I just want to thank you again for coming in to see me before classes started today," Principle Celestia said as she leaned over her desk to shake the other woman's hand.

"I'm not interrupting anything am I? You seem, rather flustered this morning," The other woman said.

That was an understatement. With everything that had happened the previous week due to the wild weather and the damage caused to the school, it was a wonder Celestia was in her office today. She mused for a moment in her own mind about staying at home and in bed rather than coming in today; but Luna and Sunset had talked her out of it.

"No, it's just the remains of a stressful week still sitting on my desk. We had some weather damage that had to be dealt with is all. It's been sorted out and repaired. So would you like a quick tour of the school?"

"Oh, thank you, but I really have to get going." She turned to the tall teenager sitting in the seat next to her. "Take care and have a good first day.Try not to rock any boats."

The teenager nodded. "I will and I won't, I told you already." They hugged. "Have a good day at work."

"You have a good day too. And Midnight, I mean it."

"I know mom," Midnight replied before turning to leave the office. Once outside the office Midnight looked over a sheet of paper the the principal had given her to help navigate the unfamiliar school. "Now I should go down this hallway," Midnight said to herself as she started down the hall.

=============================================

Meanwhile further down the hallway...

A cream-colored teen with orange hair with a white stripe going down the left side ran down the hall, eyes darting back and forth as she looked for her sister. "Ooooooh, Sapphire is going to kill me for being late today!" she muttered to herself as she charged down the hallway. "Darn it sis, where are you!?"

As she whipped around a corner, she collided with something large and unmovable. Since that was the case, she quickly found herself hitting the ground butt-first while said object simply grunted at the impact and took a step back to regain balance.

"The hell?" Midnight Storm asked, rubbing her chest and wondering what hit her. The answer came in the form of an audible "eep!" from somewhere at her feet. Looking down, she saw a girl a few years younger than her looking back up with wide, panicked eyes.

Midnight's demeanor softened at the sight of the younger girl. "Oh, I'm sorry about that. I guess I should pay more attention to where I'm going from now on." Midnight extended her hand. "Here let me help you up."

Squeaks looked on in shock, she'd half expected to be threatened and possibly harmed by the older girl. She shook her head clearing her thoughts before taking the offered hand which resulted in her being lifted back onto her feet. "Whoa," Squeaks said. "Wow you're strong." Squeaks laughed nervously for a moment. "Anyway, I kinda wasn't looking where I was going, so yeah I'm responsible too."

Midnight cocked her head. "Why were you in such a hurry anyway?"

Squeaks blushed. "I was looking for my sister and trying not to be late for class." Squeaks gave a nervous giggle while rubbing the back of head. "So why were you distracted?"

Midnight sighed. "I'm new here and I was trying to find my first class. Oh! How rude of me, my name is Midnight Storm and it's my first day."

"Hi Midnight! My name is Squeaky Wings, but everyone just calls me Squeaks." Squeaks replied. "So which classroom are you looking for?"

Before Midnight could reply a new voice broke into their conversation.

"There you are Squeaks. What are you doing? And who is this?" Asked the voice.

Squeaks turned around and replied. "Hiya sis. I was just talking to Midnight here after I ran into her and was about to help her find her class."

"Is that so." The other girl replied. "So you're the new girl I've been hearing about then?" She asked.

"Yeah that's me." Midnight replied while lifting her gaze from the piece of paper it had briefly returned to. What she saw left her momentarily speechless. The other girl was powder blue in tone with dark blue, almost black hair, and bright orange eyes. "I'm Midnight Storm," She said reaching out to shake the girl's hand.

The girls smiled as she shook Midnight's hand. "I'm Sapphire Breeze, and I see you already met my sister Squeaks."

"Yeah, we just ran into each other while I was looking for my first class." Midnight replied sheepishly. "So could either of you help me find it?"

"Well who's classroom are you looking for?' Asked Sapphire.

"Uh let me check again just in case." Midnight muttered almost to herself. "Here it is. I'm looking for Ms. Cheerilee's class."

Squeaks cocked her head and giggled. "That's kind of funny, that is Sapphire's first class. She can definitely help you out Midnight."

Midnight coughed lightly. "That's, convenient."

Sapphire laughed. "Isn't it though? Come on I'll show you the way to the classroom. And speaking of which, Squeaks you'd better get to your class before you're late."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Well anyway I'll see later sis, and you too Midnight." Squeaks chirped as she bounded off to class.

Sapphire smiled. "Okay let's get going shall we Midnight?"

"Yeah, um, thanks," Midnight said somewhat quietly while Sapphire led her down the hallway to the classroom.

========================

Later

Midnight sighed as she looked at herself on the mirror of the girl's bathroom she'd ducked into after class let out. So far there had been no comments about the unusual nature of her eyes. This meant that no one had noticed, or they hadn't cared enough to comment on it. Either way she would now have to face the crowd in the school cafeteria and that worried her.

She sighed once more and pulled the sunglasses she kept in her pocket to cover her eyes before exiting the bathroom and heading towards the cafeteria. That at least, was easy enough to find. As she walked she found herself oddly preoccupied with that girl Sapphire she'd met earlier. Sapphire was very nice and had been very helpful to Midnight. And while that had been a welcome change from the way she had been treated in the past, Midnight wondered why she was thinking about this much.

She decided to shake off this strange preoccupation and tend to her growling stomach instead. Midnight continued walking until she reached the lunchroom doors. She paused for a moment and took a deep breath. Perhaps she could get through lunch without any major problems. Midnight walked through the doors and into the noisy din of the lunchroom working on autopilot as she moved through the line getting her tacos and an apple from the lunch lady. Everything seemed fine and she thought she was going to make it without any fuss, until she turned around.

"Hiya new girl!" The pink girl who had suddenly materialized in front of her said before she unceremoniously dragged Midnight by her arm towards a table full of other girls. It was pure luck that Midnight didn't drop any of her food as she fought in vain to be released.

"Hey! What are you doing?!" Midnight protested.

"Bringing you over to the welcome table." The pink girl replied with a giggle as they arrived.

"Why!?" Midnight asked in frustration. She just wanted some lunch! Once they finally came to a stop. The number of people at the table was larger than she was comfortable with and Midnight could only stand there and blink nervously at them. Hopefully her sunglasses would help her look nonchalant about the whole thing.

The girls seated at the table let out a collective. "Pinkie!"

"What?" The pink girl replied.

One of the girls shook her heard and rose from her seat. "I'm sorry about that. Pinkie loves meeting new people, a lot; the down side is that personal space and tact are kind of out the window sometimes. Anyway, my name is Brianna and this is my girlfriend Megan." The brunette girl said waving her hand to the the blonde sitting next to her.

"Hello," Megan said with a polite wave.

Another girl, this one with red and blonde hair stood and introduced herself. "Hi, I'm Sunset Shimmer. And right beside me in my girlfriend Twilight," She said indicating the girl next to her.

"Hey, the name is Rainbow Dash," Said a rainbow hair girl with a cocky tone.

"Howdy there, my name's Applejack." Said another blonde haired girl.

"Greetings darling, I am Rarity. And this is our dear Fluttershy," Said a purple haired girl motioning to a yellow girl with pink hair who just waved politely. "And you've already met Pinkie of course." Rarity said with some irritation still in her voice.

"So this is the new girl we've been hearing about." Stated a strangely sultry voice that immediately seized Midnight's attention.

Midnight turned her head and saw three more girls walking up to the table. Her discomfort grew at the approach of these new additions.

"Hello there new girl, I am Adagio. And these are my sisters Aria and Sonata." The rather stunning girl with long, curly orange hair said.

"Sup." Said the twin tailed girl identified as Aria said.

"Oh! This is sooo exciting." Squealed the blue haired girl. "So do you like tacos? Because I love tacos."

Midnight blinked. "Uh, my name is Midnight Storm. It's nice to meet you all." Midnight stood there feeling a little overwhelmed. There were twelve girls in total sitting at the two tables near her. And of course two of them would have to be the excitable type she groused to herself.

"Um, Midnight. Would you like to join us?" Asked Brianna. "It would be nice to get to know you a little."

"Oh, okay." Midnight replied feeling a little uneasy and wary. Midnight sat down at the less populated end of the table and readied herself for what might be coming next.

"What's up with your shades anyway?" Asked Aria. "It's kind of weird that you're wearing inside."

Midnight was about to try and answer when she was unintentionally cut off by Brianna. "Maybe her eyes are sensitive to the fluorescent lights Aria. I know some people have that problem."

"Yeah." Midnight replied hastily. "Yeah my eyes are kind of sensitive so I have to wear them at school."

"Oh, okay I guess." Aria replied.

Rainbow narrowed her eyes at Midnight who quickly looked away hoping that something other than her eyes would come up soon. As it turned out Brianna once again inadvertently came to her rescue.

"So Midnight where are you from?" Brianna asked sweetly.

Midnight stopped for a moment, she hadn't expected to be asked that question in that tone. "Uh, Manehatten." Midnight replied awkwardly.

"What kind of hobbies do you have Midnight?" Asked Megan.

"I do some gaming on my computer sometimes." Midnight replied again feeling unsure.

Megan smiled. "Brianna is a gamer too." Megan turned towards Brianna for a moment. "And on that note Brianna, I don't want you playing that one in pizza place with the animatronics tonight. You had nightmares afterwards last time and you don't need that on a school night."

"Yes mom." Brianna deadpanned before dissolving into a smile.

Midnight smiled as she ate while watching Megan and Brianna. She could tell that the bond between her two schoolmates was strong and a question of her own came to her. "So how long have you two been together?" Midnight asked shocking herself with the forward query.

"Five years." They answered in unison eliciting a laugh from all of the other girls at the table, all but one.

Midnight could still feel Rainbow's eyes on her as she continued to eat. She tried to tune it out and finish her lunch which was made somewhat easier by Pinkie who was going a mile a minute about a party or something. All Midnight could really make out was something about cake. It further helped that Sonata was stuffing her face full of tacos in a rather silly fashion. Midnight sat and silently hoped that she would make it though this unscathed as she finished eating.

"Okay I want to know what's up with the shades already!" Rainbow suddenly burst out shocking everyone at the table.

"Rainbow Dash! Honestly! What is wrong with you?" Rarity retorted sounding outraged.

"Really Rainbow!?" Brianna squeaked.

"Oh come on," Rainbow said sharply. "She doesn't need those at all. I saw her earlier and she wasn't wearing them," Rainbow said snatching Midnight's sunglasses before anyone could react.

Midnight sat there shocked as her dark blue, dragon-like eyes were revealed to everyone at the table. She braced herself for the expected harsh remarks which to her shock never came.

"Well, I've never seen eyes like that before," Adagio said.

"I think they're kind of cool actually," Aria said receiving a nod from the rest of the girls sans Rainbow.

"Wowee." Pinkie exclaimed.

Midnight tried to lower her eyes so they they couldn't be seen by anyone and received a surprising remark from Brianna.

"Oh Midnight, your eyes are so beautiful and exotic. Don't hide them," Brianna said sweetly.

Midnight stared at Brianna shocked. She'd had a number of reactions to her unusual eyes, but this was new. All she could do was sit and stare at Brianna for a few moments her face getting progressively more hot as she sat there. "Uh, I-I-I-I n-need to go," Midnight said while suddenly standing and bolting out of the lunchroom.

"Rainbow!" Her friends shouted at her.

Brianna facepalmed. "I'm glad I don't need to wear glasses anymore." Brianna muttered to herself.

Rainbow looked around the table at her friends and was about to retort, until she saw Fluttershy's face. It was rare that Fluttershy ever wore an angry expression and this one caused Rainbow to swallow hard as she sat back down and wilted under Fluttershy's stare.

"Rainbow Dash," Fluttershy said. "How dare you do that to poor Midnight. What if she is sensitive about the way her eyes look?"

"I think she is." Brianna responded while standing. "That is why she was wearing the sunglasses in here. She didn't want anyone else to see her eyes." Brianna sighed. "Nice one genius." Brianna lobbed at Rainbow causing her to shrink further into her seat.

Megan looked up at Brianna. "What are going to do Brianna?"

"I am going to find Midnight and try to straighten this out. As for you Rainbow, well I think Fluttershy has this one covered," Brianna said as she left. Brianna walked through the lunchroom doors that Midnight had bolted through just moments and scanned the hallway. "Hmm, she couldn't have gotten far. Now where did she go I wonder?"

Brianna stood and thought for a few moments. Then it occurred to her, there was a girl's bathroom just down the hall that saw little traffic during the lunch hour. She hoped as she headed towards it that Midnight would be there. And that Midnight would be amenable to talking to her after Rainbow's blatant display of insensitivity.

Brianna came to the restroom door a few moments later and stopped. After taking a deep breath she walked in and called out. "Midnight? Midnight are you in here? It's me Brianna, I want to talk to you."

Inside the stall she'd locked herself Midnight winced a little. She could clearly hear the concern in Brianna's voice and sighed before replying. "Yeah, I'm in here," She said coming out of the stall looking crestfallen.

Brianna rubbed the bridge of her nose and looked at Midnight. "I'm sorry about that Midnight. Rainbow is, Rainbow is very impulsive sometimes and does really stupid stuff. She wasn't trying to upset you, I know she did though."

Midnight looked at Brianna and held herself down before replying. She didn't want to snap at Brianna for something she didn't do. "Yeah, she did. And," Midnight said. "And if you hadn't said what you said I would be in detention after school today. So thank you for that." Midnight turned and looked in the mirror at her eyes and sighed. "It's just that, it's just that..." She started but couldn't finish.

Brianna move up to stand next to Midnight and looked in the mirror at Midnight's reflection. "You've been bullied because of your eyes haven't you Midnight?"

Midnight looked at Brianna shocked and lowered her head. "Yes," She said sadly.

Brianna gave a sad smile. "I'm sorry Midnight, but no one in our group would make fun of you for that. All we really want is to be your friends." Brianna snorted. "I know after what happened with Pinkie didn't really start that off well, and Rainbow definitely didn't help back there. But that is what we want."

Midnight sighed again. "Yeah, it was just a little much all at once is all."

Brianna nodded. "I know. Pinkie wants to throw you a welcome party by the way," Brianna said causing Midnight to turn and look at her. Brianna smiled. "It's a thing she does. She is the resident party planner here, and while it is a good outlet for all of that energy she has." Brianna stopped and laughed a little. "She does still come on very strong sometimes. So let's just go back for now and we'll try to figure out how to get to know without overwhelming you okay?"

Midnight smiled. "Okay Brianna. I just hope I can avoid anymore trouble because of my eyes."

"Well, wearing sunglasses did kind of call attention to it Midnight. So not wearing them in the lunchroom again should help with that." Brianna sighed again. "And Midnight, if anyone does give you trouble over it please come and talk to me at least. I know what it's like to get picked on."

Midnight's eyes widened, who would be so cruel as to bully a girl like Brianna? The very thought made Midnight's temper start to flare again, she stopped herself again by remembering her promise to her mother to not rock any boats. "Okay Brianna, but that I'm giving that Rainbow a piece of my mind when we get back"

Brianna giggled. "Oh you won't need to. By now Fluttershy has already taken care of that for you Midnight." Brianna replied as they walked out of the restroom and back to the lunchroom leaving Midnight wondering if she really wanted to know what Brianna had meant.

The Way of the Bow

View Online

After what had been an eventful first day Midnight opened her locker and thought about the other girls she'd met. Pinkie she decided was harmless, she could clearly be annoying but she was ultimately harmless. Rainbow Dash on the other hand, Midnight wasn't sure about her.

Brianna had been clear about how Rainbow could be reckless and didn't always show the best judgement, but Midnight just couldn't let the incident at lunch go that easily. While she no longer wanted to hit Rainbow, she couldn't be sure about her despite the cocky athlete's numerous apologies after her return. Midnight also made a mental note to not upset Fluttershy, whatever Fluttershy had said and done in her absence had worked really well.

Midnight snorted as she pulled the last of her books out of her locker and mused to herself about Pinkie. Yes Pinkie was harmless, but the way she could appear out of nowhere bothered Midnight immensely. "Maybe we should just put a bell around her neck." Midnight said to herself not as quietly as she had thought.

"So you met Pinkie Pie then?" A familiar voice asked.

Midnight gasped and spun around to see Squeaks standing there looking at her with a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Oh, Squeaks it's you," Said Midnight. "Yeah, I met Pinkie alright. We need to tie a bell around her neck to keep her from sneaking up on everyone."

Squeaks didn't even try to contain her fit of laughter at Midnight's remark as Sapphire joined them while shaking her head.

"We actually got a bell around Pinkie's neck last year for Nightmare Night and it didn't work. She still kept everyone in school off balance during the Pumpkin Ball," Sapphire said. "It didn't make a single sound the whole day or night, not even when she went home that night." Sapphire looked at her sister and sighed. "Come on Squeaks, it's not that funny."

"Y-yes. Yes it is!" Squeaks managed between her squeaky laughs.

"You didn't think it was funny when she surprised you too Squeaks." Sapphire gently reminded her little sister.

Squeaks stopped laughing. "Darn it sis!" She squeaked indignantly causing both Midnight and Sapphire to laugh.

Sapphire looked at Midnight after they'd both calmed down while Squeaks huffed. "So Midnight I hope your first day wasn't troublesome in any way."

"It was fine." Midnight replied flatly. "Until Rainbow made a scene at lunch anyway. And then it got a little rough, but Brianna was very helpful and Rainbow did apologize so it wasn't that bad I guess." Midnight deadpanned as the desire deep inside of her to punch Rainbow started to return.

Sapphire's palm met her face and she sighed. "I'm sorry about that Midnight. Rainbow is very quick to act, but doesn't think very much usually. I'll have to talk to Brianna again too," Sapphire said.

Midnight tilted her head having been made curious by the statement. "What for?" She asked.

Sapphire sighed again. "This isn't the first mess of Rainbow's Brianna has had to clean up. I guess I should have warned you about Rainbow, then you would have been ready for it." Sapphire shook her head.

"And people say Rarity is the dramatic one." Squeaks muttered.

Sapphire giggled in response to Squeaks' statement causing Midnight smile a little. Sapphire was cute when she laughed now that Midnight thought about it. "Wait what?" She thought to herself while her face heated up again. "A-anyway, I need to get going now so I won't be late. My mom will get cheesed if I am. I'll see you two tomorrow."

"Sure thing Midnight." Squeaks replied.

"Alright Midnight, we'll see you tomorrow. Have a nice evening," Sapphire said sweetly.

"Um, yeah thanks. You too," Midnight said more abruptly than she intended. Midnight turned, closed her locker and headed outside where she encountered Sunset, Twilight, Megan and Brianna talking out by the Wondercolt statue. Midnight walked to the statue to wait for Summer's arrival and overheard Brianna and Twilight discussing something.

"So Brianna, what have you got there?" Asked Twilight as stood next to her.

Brianna sighed. "It's a list of candidates to replace Flitter on the archery team."

"What happened?" Midnight asked without thinking, before realizing her gaffe. "Oh sorry, I shouldn't be prying into your business Brianna."

"No, it's fine really." Brianna replied. "Flitter broke her arm in a fall during the winter weather over the weekend. So she won't be able to participate until it's healed which is not going to be anytime soon."

"But she is still on the team right?" Asked Twilight.

Brianna sighed again. "No, she dropped out because of her arm, and because of a conflict with her cheer-leading schedule. So I need to find another girl for the team or we're out of commission for the school year." Brianna scrolled down the list on her phone. "And I don't think any of these girls are going to be able to join us either."

"Why not?" Asked Midnight.

"They are all either uninterested, have other after school activities that will get in the way, or both." Brianna huffed in frustration. "It would't be so bad if we had someone that was actually interested honestly. North Star, Wind Runner, and I can easily help any inexperienced team member if we had someone that wanted to join us."

"I see." Midnight replied.

"Now I see why you have such a big problem Brianna," Twilight said sounding worried.

"Don't worry Twilight, I'm not going to try and rope you into it like they did when you were at Crystal Prep. That was one win I'd rather be without from last year's interscholastic games."

Twilight laughed nervously and blushed heavily. "Well at least I was able to hit the target after you talked me through it Brianna. So um, thanks for that," Twilight said while playing with her hair trying and failing to hide her embarrassment.

"You're welcome Twilight, and it's fine. Principal Cinch shouldn't have forced you into the competition. I'm just glad Dean Rosedust took over after Cinch was fired. I've heard things are getting better over there this year." Brianna replied.

"Excuse me Brianna, but I'd like to take Flitter's place on the archery team," Midnight said surprising both Brianna and Twilight.

Brianna looked at Midnight. "Well if you want to Midnight, sure. We have a practice tomorrow weather permitting. And if I may say so, I'm a little surprised that you'd want to join us. Honestly you kind of look more like you belong on the wrestling team. You've got the build for it."

Midnight coughed. "Yeah that's not my thing." Midnight replied feeling a little flustered by Brianna's compliment.

"I get that." Brianna replied. "It's not for everyone after all. So yeah, just meet me in the back field after school tomorrow and we'll see about getting you started. It'll be fun," Brianna said sweetly.

Midnight gave a small smile in reply. Brianna reminded her of Soft Glow, both were sweet and caring and Midnight liked that about both girls.

"Okay, this will be fun." Midnight replied.

Twilight giggled at the exchange between Brianna and Midnight before turning to Megan and Sunset to see what they were up to. As it turned out they were chatting about their weekend plans with their respective girlfriends.

"So Megan what are you planing with Brianna this weekend. Twilight and I are going to see a movie," Said Sunset.

"Well Brianna and I are going to that new pizza place downtown, then we might go and see a movie afterwards, We're not fully sure about that yet." Megan replied.

"Speaking of dinner plans," Said Twilight. "We should figure out where we're going before the movie Sunset. It'll be a nice full date that way."

Brianna giggled. "Let me guess, you read that in a book didn't you Twilight?"

"Hey!" Twilight replied sharply before looking down and blushing heavily. "I don't exactly have much experience with this kind of thing Brianna."

Brianna snickered. "As evidenced by you and Sunset getting together over an allegedly unsolvable math problem two weeks before school started back up. Honestly I think it's cute how you are about the whole thing."

Midnight could only stare in disbelief for a moment. "They started dating over a math problem?"

"A very tough math problem." Brianna replied.

Midnight shrugged. "Everyone has their own methods I guess."

At that moment Sunset decided to chime in. "What can I say, I love smart girls like Twilight. Isn't that right Sparky?"

"Sunset!" Twilight cried. "You're not helping!"

Sunset hummed in though. "Not helping am I? Well it just so happens that I have an idea for this weekend Sparky. How about we meet Megan and Brianna at the pizza place and then we all go to the movies together and make it a double date."

Twilight buried her head in Sunset's shoulder trying to hide. "Come on Twilight, it'll be fun," Sunset said.

"Hmm, I think that will be fun." Brianna squeaked. "Well Megan?" Brianna asked with her eyes sparkling.

"Sure." Megan replied. "It will be nice to have an evening with friends and my girlfriend."

Midnight shook her head and smiled. This situation was definitely interesting.

To spare Twilight farther embarrassment the talk turned back to the next day's archery practice. Unbeknownst to Midnight her mother Summer had pulled up in her car and was looking amused before she decided to send Midnight's sister to get her.

Midnight looked down when she felt a small hand tugging on her pant leg. She looked down to see her little sister Autumn there looking up at her with her big blue eyes. "Midnight," She said in her small voice. "Mom said I should come and get you."

Midnight snorted suspecting what her mother was up to, and while she didn't necessarily like it, she knew she had to play along. "Okay kiddo, so how about you say hi to my friends first," Midnight said with a cold feeling running through her. "Okay, Megan, Brianna, Sunset, Twilight, this is my little sister Autumn. Say hi Autumn."

"Hi," She said sweetly.

Brianna squealed at the site of the little grey girl with exceptionally bright orange hair. "Oh my gosh! You are just sooooo cute Autumn. Hi there, my name is Brianna."

Autumn smiled cutely in reply.

Megan walked up next to Brianna." "Hello Autumn, my name is Megan. It's very nice to meet you."

"Oh aren't you just the cutest little thing." Twilight squealed causing Sunset to smirk.

"Hi there Autumn, I'm Sunset Shimmer, and this is my girlfriend Twilight Sparkle. It's really nice to meet you."

"Well Autumn, what do you say?" Midnight said.

"It's nice to meet you all," Autumn said with a cute little squee.

"So cute." Brianna squealed again. So Autumn, how old are you?"

"Four." Autumn replied.

Brianna gave a quiet "eee" Causing Midnight to give a small smile. "You remind me of my little sister. She is five and she is soooo cute too. And kind of a handful at times."

Midnight laughed. "She is worth it though, isn't she Brianna?"

Brianna nodded in reply. "Yes she is. Your sister did say that your mom was here too, so are you going to introduce us to her too?"

Midnight looked at Brianna and swore she could see sparkles in Brianna's eyes and surrounding her. "Alright, come with me," Midnight said picking up her backpack and leading the four girls over to her mother's car.

When they reached the car a moment later Midnight's mother Summer Ice greeted them. "Hello Midnight, I hope you had a good first day," She said cheerfully.

Midnight restrained herself from rolling her eyes. "Yes mom, it was fine," She said placing her backpack on the ground before opening the backdoor and placing Autumn in her car seat and buckling her in.

"So who are these girls? And What were you all talking about?" Asked Summer.

"There are some of the girls I met today mom. This is Brianna, Megan, Sunset, and Twilight." Midnight replied motioning to each in turn.

"Hello girls, my name is Summer Ice. I hope my daughter hasn't been any trouble today." Summer replied sweetly.

"Mom!" Midnight retorted.

"Hello Mrs. Ice, and no Midnight was fine. She is really nice." Brianna replied. "As for what we were talking about, well Midnight asked to join me on the archery team. It's a really good thing too, we really needed a new member this year."

"Oh, well that sounds like fun. And I am glad to see that Midnight has made some new friends. It has been nice meeting you girls but we really do need to get going. I look forward to getting to talk to you all again at some point."

"Okay, we'll see you later then." Brianna replied. "Now remember Midnight, meet me in the back field after school tomorrow and we'll see about getting you started."

"Got it." Midnight replied as she got into the car and buckled her seat belt.

"See you later girls," Summer said before driving off.

"And speaking of getting going," Sunset said. "We need to get going too Sparky. I get enough razzing from your brother already and I don't want any more."

Twilight giggled. "He only does that because he likes you Sunny."

"Really? Because he sure has a funny way of showing it," Sunset said putting on her helmet before handing Twilight her own. Twilight just rolled her eyes before putting on her helmet and sitting behind Sunset on her bike. Both Sunset and Twilight waved before Sunset took off at a slightly less than breakneck pace.

Brianna shuddered. "I'm really glad you have a truck Megan," Brianna said heading towards said truck.

Megan raised an eyebrow as she moved around to the driver's side and unlocked the doors. "You can ride a horse without batting an eyelash and yet motorcycles scare you. That's a little odd Brianna."

"Horses are living things Megan, I can trust the horse to not fall down that easily Megan." Brianna defended. "Also a horse is a lot more cuddly and sweet, well except that one grey mare in the stable. She is kind of cranky," Brianna said while putting on her seat belt.

Megan laughed as she turned on the truck and put it in gear. "Oh, old Betty isn't that bad Brianna. She just has a lot aches on most days."

"Most days?" Brianna replied skeptically.

"Yes, most days. Other times she is really sweet." Megan replied.

"Every time I'm around her she is a grump Megan." Brianna deadpanned.

Megan simply giggled as she pulled out of the school parking lot and started towards Ribbon's house. They continues on in silence for a few minute before coming to a stop at a traffic light. "So what is you impression of Midnight so far Brianna?" Asked Megan breaking the silence.

Brianna looked out of the passenger side window and sighed. "Midnight seems really closed off for some reason Megan. And when I found her in the girl's bathroom at lunch I got a good look into her eyes and she seemed, haunted."

"Haunted?" Megan replied while they waited.

Brianna gave an annoyed huff and turned to look at Megan. "Yeah, like she has seen something. Or maybe she went through something that was really bad. Possibly both. I don't know how to say it, but something about Midnight just feels, lonely somehow. I don't like it."

Megan drove the truck forward after the light turned green and sat in thoughtful silence for a while. "That is strange." She finally said as they pulled into the driveway at the house. After shutting off the truck and undoing her seat belt Megan turned and looked at Brianna. "Do you think she needs some help Brianna?"

Brianna unbuckled her seat belt and replied. "I think so, but we can't force it. Midnight needs to come to us when she is ready. Which means we have to figure out how to handle Pinkie until then. I know she means well, but I don't want Midnight to be any worse off about whatever it is. Also we have to realize that it may just be nothing and she is just a little cranky as a rule."

Megan nodded. "I agree with you Brianna; but how do we handle Pinkie?"

Brianna facepalmed. "I have no idea Megan. Pinkie is difficult at the best of times." Brianna replied while opening her door. "If we can get her focused on something else for right now we have a chance."

The pair exited the truck closing and locking the doors with Megan closing her door a little harder than she meant to. She sighed. "Well the welcome party is something we can get Pinkie focused on for now, but what do we do afterward?"

"I'm not sure." Brianna replied walking up to the door and stopping for a moment. "I'm sure that Sapphire will want to talk to me again though."

"Why is that?" Megan asked.

"It's because Rainbow made a scene again. I know she is on the student counsel and all, but she really worries to much sometimes. That said, I can see why she gets worried when this happens. Rainbow does represent the school as an athlete after all." Brianna replied.

It makes sense," Megan said moving to join Brianna at the door. "Well let's figure this out later, I want to get our homework done and get a bath."

Brianna giggled and walked inside with Megan. "So what made you mad Megan?" Asked Brianna.

Megan looked down for a moment. "Rainbow's outburst was uncalled for. I really would like for her to slow down and think for a change."

Brianna snorted, rolled her eyes and said. "And everyone calls Rarity dramatic." She retorted while closing the door behind them. She took a moment to look around and saw Ember sitting at the kitchen table with a disgruntled look on her face. She was glaring at a piece of paper on the table clearly stuck on something.

Fizzy was standing in front of a cupboard looking for something she couldn't seem to find, and Wind Whistler was seen sitting in the living room on the couch.

Brianna walked over to the table. "What's got you stuck Ember?" She asked.

Ember stuck out her tongue and replied. "This stupid math problem. It's really hard; can you help me with it Brianna?" Ember asked with pleading blue eyes.

"Okay Ember," Brianna said sitting down. "Wind Whistler is better to ask for this kind of thing though."

Megan laughed a little while watching the scene thinking of her own sister Molly.

"So how was your day Brianna?" Fizzy asked after closing the cupboard.

Brianna rolled her eyes. "It was interesting. We met a new girl today. Her name is Midnight and she is pretty nice. Everything was going fine, then Rainbow made a scene."

"Again?" Fizzy replied aghast.

Brianna merely nodded in reply.

"She sure did," Megan said. "Thankfully Brianna was able to get Midnight to come back to the lunch room afterward. And Fluttershy managed to straighten Rainbow out for us."

Wind Whistler, Fizzy, and Ember all shuddered at that news. Ember gave a quiet "eep" and said. "Wow, I really don't want to see Fluttershy get mad ever again."

"Indeed," Said Wind Whistler. "She may be quiet most of the time, but had proven to be quite formidable when upset."

"Yeah," Fizzy said.

=========================

The next day Midnight exits the school building while quietly grumbling to herself. During the day she had run into one of the other students, a girl Named April Moon and took an immediate disliking to her. April had come off as smug, arrogant, superior, as well as pushy. Midnight just knew she was trouble right away and decided to ask Brianna about her on her way to the back field where she would have her first archery club session.

Even though the weather had made a turn for the better Midnight was still burdened with a sense of unease. "Stupid bitch," She said quietly to herself as she came out to the practice area that Sapphire had directed her to after her encounter with the unpleasant April Moon.

When she finally reached the archery range she stopped, what she saw in that moment shocked her. Brianna was standing on the field alone and in a peculiar stance like Midnight had never seen before.

Brianna was standing with her feet a shoulder's width apart with her left foot out in front like some kind of martial arts pose. Her arms were extended with her hands both out and open instead of being closed fists. Midnight stood mesmerized for a moment before a blindingly fast series of open handed strikes and equally fast kicks that Midnight could barely see. After a few moments of swift movements Brianna stopped and returned to a neutral position before addressing Midnight.

"Hello Midnight, I wasn't expecting you to be early," Brianna said.

Midnight blinked while her brain caught up to her situation. "Uh, yeah. Hi Brianna," Midnight said getting a giggle from the other girl. Midnight shook her head to clear the cobwebs. "So what was that anyway? I've never seen that style before."

Brianna exhaled before turning to face Midnight. "It's called Gentle Fist, which is ironic. Well I think it's ironic anyway." Brianna replied with a smile. "I'm not sure though, I don't always know what is ironic. So what's on your mind Midnight? You look troubled."

Midnight huffed. "I ran into this girl, she was really full of herself and kind of pissed me off."

Brianna sighed. "I see you met our resident trouble maker April Moon Rose then."

Midnight's head started to hurt. "Trouble maker?" She asked.

Brianna nodded and walked over to a bench with a bottle of water sitting on it. After picking up the water and drinking some she looked back to Midnight. "April Moon is a real problem here. She does all kinds of underhanded things and hasn't been caught because she is so manipulative. There are also some very unsettling rumors about her. I don't believe them though, they tend to be a little out there for the most part."

"Out there?" Asked Midnight.

"Yeah, almost all of them are so wild they are easy to dismiss." Brianna replied with a laugh. "Honestly it's been so many things that I never kept track of them. One thing about her is true other than her being a problem though."

Midnight cocked her head. "Oh? What was that?"

"That she blackmails or otherwise tries to pressure girls into dating her. I wouldn't have believed that one if I hadn't watched her try to get with Sunset that way." Brianna replied with a disgusted look on her face.

"Why would she do that? Is Sunset really popular or something?" Midnight asked while scratching her head.

Brianna looked at Midnight with a serious expression all of the sudden. "Midnight I need to have you promise me you won't tell anyone if tell you this. It's kind of important for Sunset's sake."

Midnight looked at Brianna and considered the sincere tone of her voice. "Alright Brianna, I promise I won't tell anyone." Midnight replied. She wasn't sure why Brianna asked her such a thing, but she figured it was to protect Sunset's privacy in some way.

Brianna sighed. "Thank you Midnight, it means a lot to us. The reason April wanted to date Sunset is because Principal Celestia is her mother and Vice Prince Principal Luna is her aunt. And not everyone here at school knows that because they keep things professional so Sunset won't have a hard time."

Midnight's eyes widened. "Yeah that's not something that should get around. There would be all kinds of trouble then."

Brianna nodded. "Yes there would. Sunset is a really good student and a great friend. I don't want her to have to deal with the fallout from that information getting around. Not everyone here is so nice and plenty of people would just make her life hard if they knew that."

Midnight didn't know how to feel about what she'd just been told, but a part of deep down now wanted to make sure this information never got out. She shook off the protective mindset that was bubbling up once again. "Are we going to get started now?" She asked sounding more impatient that she had meant to.

"Well you are a little early, but sure. I very much doubt that Wind Runner and North Star will mind. They are going to be running behind today anyway from what they told me earlier." Brianna replied while walking over to the equipment. Brianna picked up a bow. "Okay Midnight if you'll come over here I can help you get started."

Midnight walked over to Brianna and took the bow she was handed. Midnight then watched Brianna pick up another bow.

"Okay Midnight over here near the targets are the practice arrows we'll be using. They aren't terribly sharp but you can get hurt by them if you're not careful. We'll go over the actual competition arrows we'll be using later on, for now we'll just use these." Brianna pulled an arrow from the rack and moved into and archery stance. "Now what you want to do is focus on the part of the target you want to hit and move your aim to account for the wind when it's needed. Today we don't have that concern. It helps if you breathe in and let it out slowly when you loose the arrow," Brianna said before demonstrating the technique and hitting the target in the center.

Midnight gave a low whistle and removed an arrow from the rack.

Sometime later Midnight had scored some hits on the target, but she had also missed as well. "How do you make this look so easy Brianna?" Groused Midnight.

Brianna giggled in response. "Because I have been doing this since I was ten Midnight."

"Then who taught you how to do this?" Midnight asked.

"Megan." Brianna replied.

"I should have seen that one coming." Midnight deadpanned.

"Probably," Brianna said with a smile.

The two girls bantered back and forth with Brianna imparting more of what she had learned over her years of archery practice and the occasional competition with Midnight listening and trying her best to follow Brianna's advice with decidedly mixed results.

Unbeknownst to them Sapphire had come out to the practice field to watch Midnight's practice session. As Midnight drew back the bowstring and took aim Sapphire decided to cheer her on to encourage her. "Come on Midnight! You can do it!" Sapphire cheered causing Midnight's head to snap around in her direction as she released the bowstring missing the target by a wide margin.

"Damn it." Midnight swore under her breath.

Brianna gave Sapphire a bemused look. "Sapphire I know you're trying to help Midnight out, but we need silence so she can focus. Okay?"

"Sorry Brianna." Sapphire replied sheepishly.

Midnight saw the cute blush on Sapphire's face and shook her head. "Don't think about how cute she is, just don't think about it." Midnight told herself. She concentrated hard pushing down her thoughts and feelings about Sapphire and loosed the arrow from her bow hitting the target dead center.

Both Sapphire and Brianna's jaws went slack as they stared in disbelief at what had just happened.

"Wow," Brianna said shocked. "Midnight that was amazing.

"Way to go Midnight!" Sapphire squealed.

"That was quite a shot alright. Well done Midnight." Brianna concurred.

"So Midnight, how has your day gone?" Asked Sapphire.

Brianna sighed. "She told me that she ran into April Moon while she was on her way to practice today."

Sapphire cocked her head and looked at Midnight. "Is that true Midnight? I hope she didn't cause you any trouble."

Midnight grumbled to herself for a moment before replying. "Yes I did. And she was a total bitch about it too." Midnight said flatly. "She even had the nerve to turn up her nose at me when she walked off."

Sapphire facepalmed and sighed. "Well all I can do is just say to stay away from her Midnight. She simply lives to cause problems for anyone she can."

Brianna nodded. "No kidding. She even tried to blackmail Sapphire once."

"WHAT? Why would she do that?" Midnight demanded squeezing the bow in her hand harder than she had been a moment ago.

"It's because I'm on the student counsel and she wanted to use that for her own purposes. I reminded her that her attempts to do so would land her in Vice Principal Luna's office and probably end in expulsion from school." Sapphire replied plainly. "She backed off after that and wouldn't come anywhere near me afterward."

Midnight felt her rage rising at this information and looked down at her fingers when she realized that she had drawn blood from her palm. What she saw caused her to freeze and panic. Her fingers had once again transformed into claws like they had so many years ago. She dropped in the bow she was holding and rushed back inside shouting. "I have to go."

Both Sapphire and Brianna blinked in confusion at Midnight's sudden departure with Sapphire saying. "Maybe I should go after her and see what this is about." She started to leave, but stopped when she felt Brianna's hand on her shoulder. Sapphire looked at Brianna who just shook her head.

"No Sapphire, it's best we leave Midnight alone for now. Especially after the stunt Rainbow pulled yesterday," Brianna said.

"I'm worried about her Brianna. Her hand was bleeding for goodness sake." Sapphire retorted.

Brianna's eyes softened. "I know Sapphire, I'm worried about her too." Brianna sighed. "But we can't help her right now. And we certainly don't want to do anything that will cause her to push us away. We really can't help her then."

"Alright, I get it Brianna." Sapphire replied with a sense of resignation. Brianna had always been good at reading other for as long as Sapphire had known her and gave sound advice very often. Still something in Sapphire couldn't help but keep her distance in a begrudging fashion at the moment.

=============================================

Midnight had quickly ducked into an unoccupied girl's bathroom after dashing back into the school and just as quickly locked herself into a stall and began taking deep breaths trying to calm down and get her fingers to return to normal. Midnight felt confused as well, why was she being so protective of Sapphire in the first place? After a few moments more her thoughts also drifted towards Brianna.

Brianna was a sweet girl and Midnight felt some kind of connection to her. She looked down at hand at that moment and saw her fingers had returned to normal. She cursed silently at the damage that she had caused to herself and dreaded having to explain her hand to her mother. Midnight shook her head and exited the stall going to the sink to clean up her hand. This was going to be a long week she told herself.