What Went Wrong?

by Palm Palette

Chapter 1: What Went Wrong?

“Thank you so much! You have no idea how much this means to me.” Twilight Sparkle glomped her mother in one of those rib-crushing hugs that ponies use when their excitement attempts to surpass the structural integrity of their kin.

Nevertheless, Twilight Velvet maintained a measured smile. “Of course, dear. If you're happy, that's all that matters to me.”

Off to the side, Night Light also grinned. He wasn't currently being crushed, so that gave him another thing to be happy about.

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow and cocked her head. “And what am I? Boiled spinach?” While her tone was teasing, her grin was ever so slightly flatter.

“Of course I'm happy for you too. I know you'll take very good care of her.”

“You're darn right I will!”

“Mom, I'm so glad you're happy for us.” With clenched eyes, Twilight Sparkle squeezed her mother even tighter. The light gray mare's eyes bulged out and her face started to turn a shade of blue that more closely resembled her husband.

Placing a hoof on his daughter's shoulder, Night Light gently prodded it to get her attention. “Ease up on the royal bear hug. Your mother won't make your wedding if you smoosh her.”

“Huh?” Opening her eyes, Twilight recoiled, let go and reflexively spread her wings which brushed against the room's silky curtains and caused the temperamental light from the overhanging candelabra to flicker. “Sorry!”

Velvet's only comment was to take a deep gasp.

Rainbow Dash just laughed and landed on the polished wooden floor. “You're so cute when you're crushing the life out of ponies, but save the rough-housing for the bedroom, would you?” She leaned in close and gave Twilight Sparkle a playful nudge.

Making a cute little 'eep,' the lavender alicorn's cheeks heated from within. She wasn't the only one blushing, as Night Light shuffled uncomfortably and pretended to look elsewhere. Twilight Velvet, however, stared at the ground.

Twilight Sparkle suddenly shook her head and blinked as if she were horrified. “Dash! Don't talk about that in front of my parents!”

“Why not? They're big ponies. They can handle it.” Wiggling her eyebrows, she spread a wing out and started tickling Twlight Sparkle's ear with her pinions.

That ear twitched in response, but Twilight made no move to flatten it or push the wing away. Instead, she kept an even face and suppressed the grin that was hiding beneath her skin. In a flash, she teleported to the opposite side of Rainbow Dash and lightly blew on a cyan ear, prompting Dash to fall over.

“Hey! No fair!” Rainbow Dash snorted when Twilight's response was to stick her tongue out.

Night Light glanced at his wife who who had that half-smile of a host whose guests had overstayed their welcome. “Congratulations again on getting engaged, you two. I'm glad to see that you love each other so much.”

“Yes. Me too,” Twilight Velvet nodded and grinned a bit too widely. She waved.

“Yeah, me three!” Hopping up, Rainbow Dash snapped to attention so quickly that it was hard to believe she'd been on the floor just moments ago. “I hate to bugger off so quickly, but we still have to tell my own parents and after that, Spike's promised us a bachelor party.” She chuckled to herself. “On of these days, we'll have to tell him what a bachelor actually is.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “At least it's before the wedding this time.” She stepped towards the door, pausing to grin and wave. “Bye mom. Bye dad. Thanks for being so supportive.”

“Of course, anytime,” Night Light said.

“C'mon, I'll race you there,” Rainbow Dash said, brushing Twilight's ear as she flew out.

Another flash of magic and Twilight was in the air, hovering outside by the treetops. “Oh, you are so on!”

Before the race had even started, Twilight Velvet gently shut the door and took a deep sigh.

“It's hard to believe that Twily's getting married. It seems like only yesterday that she was a little filly.” Night Light sat down at their coffee table and poured himself a glass from a steaming, white pitcher.

“It is hard.” Plodding over, the light gray mare took a seat next to her husband. This table was covered by an expensive white tablecloth embroidered around the edges with their cutie marks, but underneath that the marks on the table from when Shining Armor had gotten too enthusiastic while cutting vegetables without a board were still there.

“Would you like some coffee?” Night Light asked after taking a sip. Velvet was just sitting there, staring at the wall.

“Truly? What I'd like is not something that I can have.”

He blinked. “Say what?”

“It's nothing.”

“That didn't sound like nothing.”

“Night, I—They're happy, right? I can be happy for them.”

He raised an eyebrow. She wasn't smiling. Instead, she went ahead and poured herself a cup of coffee, levitated over two dozen sugar cubes, and plopped them in the drink several at a time. This splashed a few dark drops on the table, blemishing the pristine cloth. As if to reverse this error, she lifted the mug and slid a coaster under it.

“Dear, if you have something on your mind, you know you can talk to me.”

“It's...” She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. “Do you promise not to get mad?”

Of course I'd never get mad at you. In fact, I've never gotten mad at you in my whole life.” He nodded and grinned, showing off his pearly white teeth.

“Oh, you are such a liar.” Velvet playfully swatted at the air then leaned back in her seat, causing it to creak. “But we wouldn't be married if I didn't trust you. Night, I'm not really happy.”

“You're not?” He set down his mug and stared intently at her, as if wondering what planet she was living on. “But Twily's getting married. Isn't that worth celebrating?”

She bit her lip and stirred the liquid in her mug. “Well, yes, but...”

“You were overjoyed when Shining got married.”

“Well, yes, but...”

“Of course, Cadance is a princess, but Twily's a princess too. Funny how that worked out. Do you not like Rainbow Dash?”

“I do like her, but...” Velvet looked up at the candles on the candelabra.

“Is there something wrong with Rainbow Dash?” Night Light asked.

“Yes.” She sighed. “She's not a stallion.”

Night Light winced. “Hoo, boy.”

“Don't you 'hoo boy' me, mister!” Velvet slapped a hoof on the table, causing the china to rattle. “These are my feelings and you can't just dismiss them!”

“Uh, sorry. I didn't mean it like that.” Frowning, Night Light pushed himself away from the table. “Dear, I've always known you were squeamish about that, but I was hoping you could make an exception for your own daughter.”

“How can I make an exception when she stabs me in the back?” Her eyes started to gloss over, and she clenched them tight.

“That's...” Night Light avoided looking at his wife. “You weren't this upset when they started dating.”

“I thought it was just a phase; she'd grow out of it.”

“A phase? But Rainbow Dash has always been—”

“Not her.

“Well, I don't think that Twily, uh...” Night Light shifted in his seat. He quickly looked back and forth.

“I just want to know what went wrong,” Velvet said. “Was it us? Did we not raise her properly? Did something go wrong when she became a princess? Did hanging around all those other girls change the way she thought about them?”

“Dear, if she's willing to accept another mare as her partner, then I think that she was raised properly.” Night Light frowned at the creases engraved on his wife's face. “Uh, what I mean is that she was raised to keep an open mind about this sort of thing. We both did. Raise her like that.”

“Yes, but I never thought it would happen to her!” Velvet slapped the table again, and groaned.

“Nopony really knows why this happens.” He shrugged. “It can't be from hanging out with other girls, though. If it was, they'd all be gay, but only those two are.”

“Yes. I know what you're saying. I've read the same books you have.” She folded her forelegs in front of her and plopped her chin on them. “If only there was some way to fix things. It's too bad a stallion can't just waltz in and turn her head, but I know that'll never happen.”

“Oh. That reminds me.” Night Light got up and pulled a photo down from the wall. “Yeah, it's a shame things didn't work out with Flash Sentry, but in retrospect, I guess they were never going to.” Replacing it, he hung up a picture of Twilight and Rainbow Dash.

“You take that down this instant.

He blinked. “Sorry.” Removing it, he left the wall blank. “But they're getting married. You'll have to get used to them eventually.”

“Well, yes, but I don't have to cover my own home in reminders of that. If I want to pretend that everything's fine, I will.”

“I still don't understand. What is it that you even object to?” Night Light asked.

“Isn't it obvious?”

“If it's about grandfoals, that won't be a problem. They have plenty of options. There's sperm donors, surrogates, adoption...” He tapped his hooves together as he counted out each item, then paused a pressed his lips together. “And, uh—”

“Night Light, are you even listening to yourself? Would they have to do any of that if Rainbow Dash was a stallion?”

“Well, no...” His eyes lit up. “Hey! What about magic? If any mare could do it, I bet Twily could!”

Twilight Velvet smacked herself in the face. “You're missing the point. It's not natural.”

“Well, it's unusual, certainly. I'm not sure I'd call it unnatural. Equestria's had a long history of this sort of thing, going all the way back to Commander Easyglider. It does happen.” He whistled and licked his lips.

“Night, you're thinking about using magic in the bedroom, aren't you?”

“Uh, well...”

“That's our daughter you're thinking of.”

“Okay. I'll stop.” Walking back to the table, he sat down and took a large swig of coffee. He briefly stuck his tongue out before wiping his muzzle on a paper napkin.

Likewise, Twilight Velvet took a sip of her drink. After hardly tasting the sickly sweet solution she set it back down again.

“I'm sorry about all this, dear. I was just trying to point out that it's not such a bad thing.”

“I know it's not a bad thing.”

“What? But you just said—”

“There's a difference between knowing in your head and feeling with your heart. Right now, the twain couldn't be further apart.”

“Oh.” He poured himself more coffee. He looked at his wife, who still sat there with a frown on her face. “I hate seeing you unhappy. Isn't there something about this that can cheer you up?”

She shorted. “Right now, the only things that could make me happy would make Twily very unhappy. I think I can live with my misery.”

Scratching at the back of his mane, Night Light shifted his weight on the chair. It creaked. “If that's really how you feel, then why not talk to Twily about it? She's a reasonable mare. I know she'll understand.”

Velvet's mouth hung open. “Did you not see how happy she was? Do you want to upset her?”

“Well, no, but...”

Furrowing her brow, the light gray mare huffed. “I just said that feelings and thoughts don't always agree. Even if she does understand, it'll still break her heart!”

“Well, it's possible, but...”

“But nothing! Why would you even suggest that? Don't you know what kind of damage that could do?”

Night Light drooped his head. “I'm concerned about you, dear. I'm sure that Twily would forgive you... eventually.”

“No wonder you're called Night Light. You're not very bright. What I'm mainly concerned about is her happiness.”

He winced, then looked back at her. “She's already happy.”

“She is,” Twilight Velvet repeated, nodding softly.

“So there's no problem?” he asked.

“No. Not if you keep your muzzle shut. Promise me you won't tell her about this, okay?”

They'd been married long enough for him to see that she'd already made up her mind. This wasn't a bad outcome, all things considered, but agreeing to sweep things under the rug left him with an empty feeling in his heart. That was probably only a fraction of what she was going through, though. “I promise.”

Holding his hooves to his face, he pressed his lips between them and blew. At the same time, he snuffed the candles with his magic. The room plunged into darkness and the faint hint of smoke lingered in the air. The only illumination was from the twinkling of his horn. “When you're surrounded by darkness, you don't have to be bright to lead the way.”

That brought back memories. Twilight Velvet grinned. “Playing a knight in shining armor got you a son, once. Trying for another?” she asked coyly.

He clenched his teeth. “Two foals is plenty.” He very sensibly didn't say anything about her age.

Nodding, she inclined her head. “You're still thinking about magic in the bedroom, aren't you?”

“I can't help it! You're just too sexy!”

She chuckled. “There'll be time for that later.” With a burst of her magic, the candles flared back to life, briefly blinding the room. Night Light winced and rubbed his eyes. The floating spots likely didn't hurt quite so much as his disappointment, though he maintained a hopeful grin. His wife was still smiling.

Lifting her mug, Twilight Velvet said, “Let's toast.”

He nodded and raised his as well.

“To the happiness of Twilight Sparkle and her future wife, Rainbow Dash.”

“And to the loving family that supports her,” Night Light added.

They clacked their mugs together and drained their cups. Then they gazed into each other's eyes.

Return to Story Description


Login with