Gone Too Far

by jkbrony

Chapter 1: Just answer the question, Twilight...

One of the longest days of Twilight's life had finally come to a close. Tirek had been defeated, all the power he had stolen had been returned, and he was back in Tartarus where he belonged. Golden Oaks Library was gone—utterly decimated by Tirek, and Twilight had been given an entirely new home in the form of a castle.

The light of the moon penetrated through the window of Twilight's new bedroom as she readied herself for bed. Tomorrow would be a new day, and things were surely about to change.

"You know, Spike, you can have your own room if you want. We have plenty," Twilight said as she watched the young dragon push a makeshift basket into her bedroom.

"I don't want my own room. It wouldn't feel right," Spike replied, moving his new bed into place directly next to Twilight's. "I've slept next to you ever since we began living together. It's just what I'm used to."

Twilight smiled affectionately at him, wrapped him in her magic, and pulled him into a hug.

"I'm so glad you're safe," she said almost tearfully. "All day long I've been thinking....what if you had been in the library when....?"

"It's okay, Twilight. I'm fine," he assured her. "Don't worry about it so much."

"You're right," Twilight said as she released him from her embrace. "It's just...you know how much I can't stand the thought of losing you..."

"I know, but it's not like I was anywhere nearby. It wasn't even a close call."

Spike paused and let out a regretful sigh.

"I sure am going to miss that place, though..."

"You and me both," Twilight said mournfully.

"Anyway, we're definitely going to need all those extra rooms for our live-in servants," Spike said after a brief silence between them.

"Live-in servants?" Twilight gave him a puzzled look. "What are you talking about?"

"Well, you know. We have a castle now, which means we'll need to get a bunch of live-in servants to cook our meals and tidy up around here."

Twilight raised an eyebrow at him. "That's not happening, Spike."

"Oh, come on!" Spike groaned. "Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have their own servants, and so does Princess Cadence!"

"Spike, just drop it," Twilight said irritably. "We are NOT getting servants!"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Leave it to you to reject one of the best perks of being royalty."

"Enjoying your new accommodations, Princess?"

Instantly recognizing the voice from behind her, Twilight spun around to find that Princess Celestia had entered her bedroom.

"Uhh...yeah, it's great!" she scrambled for an answer. "More rooms than I know what to do with, that's for sure."

Spike rolled his eyes a second time.

"I'm sure you'll find some use for them," Celestia chuckled. "Spike, if you wouldn't mind, could you please give us a moment?"

"Uhh, sure. Of course," he replied, and made a hasty exit from the room, closing the door behind him.

"What's on your mind, Princess?" Twilight asked eagerly.

However, Celestia went silent, and her warm, comforting smile instantly vanished from her face.

"Princess...Celestia?" Twilight pressed her for a response, now fearing that she was in some sort of trouble.

Celestia sighed, her expression now showing deep disappointment.

"So you faced off against Tirek, is that right?"

Twilight nodded. "Yes."

"And then you transferred your power—our power—to him?"

"I...I had to," Twilight said sorrowfully. "He had my friends. I couldn't risk what he'd do to them if I refused."

Celestia's expression seemed to darken at her answer.

"There is something I must know. Before Tirek stopped the fight to make his offer, to what outcome were you fighting towards?"

Twilight blinked in surprise. Celestia's tone was not particularly angry, but it was forward enough for her to understand that something was not quite right.

"Uhh...what do you mean?"

"To what end did you engage him in battle?" Celestia asked as sternly as before.

Twilight paused and her body went numb. Celestia being disappointed or angry at her had always been one of her greatest fears.

"Well...he obviously needed to be stopped, right? I was trying to stop him."

Celestia sighed and closed her eyes.

"I suppose I'll need to be more direct," she said in a low voice. "What I want to know is....was your intent to kill him?"

Twilight froze in place, the numbness in her body now spreading to her mind. After a few seconds had passed with no answer, Celestia took a somewhat menacing step forward towards her.

"Was your intent to kill him, Twilight?"

"Umm...uhh...," she could barely think. Her battle with Tirek seemed almost like a blur now. A blur of fury...and pain.

"Were you trying to kill him, Twilight?!" Celestia demanded, taking another menacing step closer.


"Answer me!"

"I...I...I don't know," Twilight squeaked, her mind unable to focus on any one thought.

Celestia glared fiercely at her.

"Yes you do, Twilight," she snapped. "You had to have known exactly what your intent was when you were facing off against him. Before he made his offer, what end did you see to your battle?"

"It...it was..."

"Of course, I realize that you were not thinking rationally," Celestia interrupted, her voice now angrier than ever. "After all, you allowed your battle to commence very close to Ponyville. I know that the safety of this town was clearly not a factor in your mind at the time. But at the very least, I would hope that the one thing your mind actually would have been focused on was the means by which you planned to dispatch your foe."

Tears fell swiftly from Twilight's eyes. She felt as though she were looking into Sombra's Door of Fears again, only there was no one to snap her out of it this time. It had been a very long time since she had seen Celestia this angry.

"He...he had just destroyed my home..." Twilight squeaked.

"So it was revenge, then?" Celestia asked bitterly. "For that, you would have killed him?"

Twilight shook her head rapidly. "No, I...I..."

Celestia took a deep breath, successfully calming herself down.

"Just answer the question, Twilight," she said in a low voice. "Please. I need to know. Was your intent to kill him?"

Twilight hung her head solemnly.

"I...well...maybe. I...I don't remember what I was thinking at that time. I just...I don't know..."

Celestia stared silently at her. Twilight wiped her tears and stared right back up into her eyes, as though awaiting punishment.

"We did not transfer our power to you so you could kill him, Twilight. But I would not have been opposed to the idea if that what it was truly going to take to stop him. The choice to take a life, in the event that it ever needs to be made, should be difficult and painful. It should be a choice you've made because you've exhausted every other possible option. And it most certainly should not be made while you are blinded by rage or for revenge."

"But...but...I would never kill anypony!" Twilight cried out, and a new flood of tears streamed down from her eyes.

Celestia went silent again, closing her eyes to think. Twilight looked down at her hooves, watching as her tears stained the polished floor. She had hated Tirek for destroying the library, but the notion that she may have been trying to take his life was extremely uncomfortable.

"A long time ago, somepony tried to kill me," Celestia resumed. "She wanted revenge, even though I had not wronged her in any way. She pursued me relentlessly. But I would not fight back because I knew that the pony she appeared to be at that moment was not really who she was. I wanted to believe that she could come back. Do you know who that pony was, Twilight?"

Twilight thought for a brief moment, and then suddenly remembered witnessing the falling out between Celestia and her younger sister.

"Nightmare Moon," she answered with a stray tear falling from her cheek.

"That's right," Celestia nodded. "I lost my sister and my dearest friend that night, and that was because she had lost herself. She was too far gone, consumed by an entirely new persona that was completely unrecognizable to me. I did not know who she was."

She stared deeply into Twilight's soaked eyes.

"Tirek would have done anything to gain our power. You needed to do what was necessary to protect it. I understand that. But the desire to kill stems from hatred, and hatred is a powerful thing that can corrupt even the purest of hearts. Do you remember the spell I taught you back when I sent you to the Crystal Empire?"

Twilight nodded, thinking back to how much she had struggled to trigger dark magic.

"That spell required you to delve into your darkest feelings. Sombra would have been able to cast it almost without even having think about it. That was how much his hatred corrupted him. But as skilled as you are with magic, the spell did not come naturally to you. That was because you were required to tap into a part of you that probably did not even exist."

Celestia closed her eyes once again.

"But now I know that it does exist," she said with a deep sorrow heavy in her voice. "It's simply waiting to take control of you, as it took control of Sombra—and of Luna. I lost my sister to hatred. I truly hope that I am not going to lose you, too."

"I will NEVER let that happen," Twilight replied immediately.

Celestia did not show any sign of relief at her words.

"Twilight, in the upcoming future, you may be faced with some very tough decisions," she said. "You and your friends will now be directly involved in decisions made for the future of Equestria. And to make these decisions, I need to you keep your head clear, no matter how emotionally invested you may be in them."

Twilight wiped away the last remnants of her tears and nodded.

"It won't be easy," Celestia continued. "I've been at this for thousands of years and it is not any easier now than it was when I began. But Twilight, there are very few ponies in this world I trust more than you—very few people who I believe could handle it. Do you believe you can handle it?"

Twilight nodded again. "I do."

"I truly hope so. After I banished Luna to the moon, Equestria entered a period of peace and harmony that lasted for the next thousand years. But that time has come to an end. Threats keep coming, and they're becoming increasingly difficult to contain. I wish I could tell you that road ahead will not be a hard one, but I cannot. It may indeed be harder than it has ever been. And that's why I need you, Twilight. I cannot afford to lose you now."

"You won't. I will always stand by you, Princess Celestia," Twilight said assuredly.

Celestia's smile returned, but only slightly.

"As for Tirek, put it behind you," she said. "Don't reflect on it. Let it slip from your memory. All I can say about it is that I simply hope you will make better choices in the event you ever need to face off with a threat like him again. But I will also say that I am truly am sorry about what happened to your library."

With that, Celestia turned headed for the door. Just steps away, she turned back to Twilight a final time.

"I know you. I know you'll be able to come back."

With no response in mind, Twilight watched as Celestia's infinitely flowing tail disappeared from view.


Twilight sat upon the spot, reflecting on everything Celestia had just said to her. Not too long ago she had been fairly optimistic about what the future had in store for her, but she now felt doubt settling itself into her thoughts. Spike reentered the room moments later.

"Well, that was weird," he remarked casually. "What did she want?"

Twilight did not give any indication that she had even heard him. Her eyes remained fixed mournfully on the tiny drips stained upon the floor by her tears.

"Twilight?" Spike asked, now knowing that something was wrong. He tenderly placed a hand on her side, finally getting her to look at him with solemn, sorrowful eyes.

"What's wrong?"

Twilight said nothing and placed her hoof around him, pulling him closer to her.

Perhaps she had gone too far. Perhaps she had intended to kill Tirek. Perhaps she had tapped too far into hatred. But in that moment as she held her baby dragon, she knew that she was still herself.

And she was going to remain herself.

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