The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle

by Gravekeeper

Chapter 2: Mare in the Big City

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The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle
By: Gravekeeper
Chapter 2: Mare in the Big City

Spike watched from the window of the library's first floor as the gaudy-looking carriage took to the sky. “I hope you know what you're doing, Twilight...” he murmured before jumping back down from the windowsill. With a sigh, he started picking up the clutter Twilight had left in her wake after coming in at two in the morning, thoroughly stunk up and incoherent. He'd read in the news about drunk flying, drunk carriage operators, and all manner of irresponsible activities being performed by ponies with less-than-ideal blood-alcohol levels, but he never thought he'd see drunk researching.

Between periodic trips to the bathroom, the inebriated mare had actually started going through her books in search of a spell to, well, Spike actually didn't know. Her reading ability at this point not really an 'ability', she had begun to angrily argue with her books, breaking into heaving sobs as she believed them to have suddenly changed languages to spite her. 'Twi, you're trying to, uh, read them upside-down.' Spike shook his head at the memory. Twilight's sudden burst of tears had mellowed out just as suddenly, at which point she began amorously caressing one of the hard covers, and cooing at it.

“I *sniff* forgive youh, book... bookie... bookbookie...” she slurred, planting soft kisses on the spine of the deep blue book. “You'd... you'll never gonna leave me, bookbookie, you'd let me help you, not run away and disappear forever and then I can't fuh-find yooouuuu~” Twilight finished with a pained wail.

Spike's eyes twitched as he recalled that part. He made the decision then and there to never, ever consume a drop of alcohol in his life when he became of age. As he kept picking up books and sundry items, he managed to stumble upon a pair of items that should have been in the broom closet, not out there in the middle of the lobby.

He blinked as he looked at the cleaning instruments. He squinted his eyes, before they suddenly became wide with horror as he remembered why the mop and bucket were out there in the first place. “Confound that pony!” he screamed, as the realization set in as to the nature of the dark deed that awaited him in the bathroom.

- - - - - -

Twilight awoke with a start as the carriage which she occupied shook lightly but insistently. “Bluh?” she asked intelligently, eyes unfocused and half-lidded. Wiping the drool from her mouth and the luxurious seat she had just been resting on, Twilight quickly sat back up and tried her best to smooth her mane back and not look so obviously bed-headed. Looking out the window, she realized that the source of the rumbling was the carriage's wheels, now in contact with the ground, as it was taxied around the busy streets of downtown Manehattan, awash in long shadows created by the late-afternoon sun.

She smiled at the sight—it had been so long since she had been around a large, bustling city like this one; a city by the bay, a city that rocks, a city that never sleeps! Her eyes lit up at the sights and sounds she passed by: stately and stuffy Manehattanites, trendy and angsting hoofters, oat-dog vendors peddling their boiled cabbage, boombox-carrying street studs; they certainly were a varied bunch out in the city! The streets were wide and full of carriages big and small, all matter of pony drawing and occupying them. A little colt waved happily at her from a red carriage two lanes over, and Twilight cheerfully returned the wave, smiling brightly.

Realizing that the carriage was slowing down, Twilight turned her gaze skyward, now finding herself in the shade of a massively tall building. Scanning the large plaza that the metallic skyscraper occupied, she spotted a beautiful fountain with a bronze statue of a muscular winged pony with large hooves. The monumental pony was standing on its hind legs, forelegs kicking triumphantly in the air. Squinting, she barely made out the large font on the statue's plaque. “Clydesler Building...”

And then, as she scanned further down the plaza, Twilight saw her. Her. Twilight's face reddened as she started grinding her teeth. The Great and Powerful Trixie, her posture haughty, her smile genuine in her belief of superiority. Twilight wasn't even sure if there was anypony else with her—she looked like she was addressing someone, but the lavender unicorn could only focus on that... that entity that got closer and closer as the carriage reached its destination. Twilight's hooves trembled with ire. 'How dare you be so happy and carefree? I busted my rump looking for you, you little witch!'

Twilight felt her anger reaching a fevered pitch. 'Two whole months where no pony in all of Equestria knew where you were! Two whole months where I didn't know where you were!' The carriage halted. Twilight glared daggers at the door. 'You ran into the Everfree Forest! You could have died!' Twilight was willing herself to not blast open the carriage door. 'And then you just suddenly pop back into the news again, same old showthe greatest unicorn in the landas if nothing had happened! I bet you knew I was looking for you!' The carriage's door opened, courtesy of Rafale, but whatever the pegasus may have said was lost to the void of Twilight's tunnel vision. You're not even looking this way! You could care less about what you put me through!'

The Great and Powerful Trixie laughed airily as she finished telling the newscolt her latest anecdote. She had heard Rafale announcing Twilight Sparkle's arrival but frankly she was having too much fun with her captive audience of newsponies, and secretly trying to put off talking to the lavender unicorn as much as she could. She would have preferred to keep contact at a minimum, perhaps not even addressing her until they were at the legal office, but curiosity got the best of her as she noticed that all the newsponies were no longer paying attention to her.

Really guys,” Trixie chuckled, “she's just a silly filly from Nowhere, Equestria...!” the laughter in her voice died down as she turned around to face Twilight Sparkle. Or, was it? The Great and Powerful Trixie took pride in her photographic memory, a real boon to her elaborate performances; Twilight Sparkle was most certainly not a red-eyed, bright-yellow fire-maned beast. “squeak.”

Before anypony gathered there could really begin to comprehend what was happening, a bright flash invaded their eyes as Twilight burned out her transformation, reverting back to a slightly singed, lavender unicorn with a streaked, dark mane. The Great and Powerful Trixie was about to comment, but diction left her as she was hit full-force by the biggest, saddest puppy-dog eyes she had ever seen.

“Why, Trixie?” Twilight asked, almost whispered. Then the tears came. “I was so worried about you!” declared the pony, jumping and hug-tackling The Great and Powerful Trixie to the ground.

For her part, Trixie was still quite speechless and downright horrified, as all around her the newsponies used this opportunity to start taking pictures of The Great and Powerful Trixie looking quite not 'Great' or 'Powerful' (Or 'The'). Trixie would have continued to worry about the contents of tomorrow's tabloids, but she was currently being nuzzled by the weepy unicorn on top of her, and that was destroying her motor and mental skills quite thoroughly.

“Don't you know how long you made me look for you?” sobbed Twilight, not wanting to let go of the infuriating jerk of a pony she so hated. And that's when it happened. Twilight had let her defenses down, and as she nuzzled Trixie, her horn came in contact with the magician's own horn. The contact proved to be electrifying.

Literally. Twilight choked out a surprised gasp as she felt a bolt of unfettered magic arc between their horns, the dark-maned pony trying desperately to reign in her sudden magical paroxysm.

Trixie whinnied and bucked under her, not expecting to be suddenly injected with that much magic—it only took a second for the showmare to lose control of her own magic as her horn started discharging the excess energy, blasting one of the nearby cameraponies and turning him into a potted cactus.

For their part, the newsponies covering the developing disaster took one surprised look at the plant, then continued taking pictures of the unicorn pair while dodging errant magic bolts. One newspony was not quick enough, getting hit by a blast that turned her mane into a row of beautiful roses. “Oooh...” she cooed, smelling one of the flowers, before fireworks started exploding from each flower, causing an even bigger commotion and general panic among those gathered there.

Twilight's eyes widened as she finally gathered her wits enough to realize that yes, there were other ponies there besides Trixie, 'How did I not notice them before?' Looking down, she noticed the blue unicorn under her, staring back with an indescribable mix of fury and embarrassment on her face. Twilight blinked, 'Ohmygosh did I just... Oh no I had a premature casting!' cringed the lavender pony, blushing brightly. “I-I swear this never happened to me before!” she pleaded, 'I'm not a 14-year-old foal anymore, how could I lose control like that?'

The Great and Powerful Trixie was in panic mode. This was emphatically not how this reunion was supposed to go down—all thanks to Twilight Sparkle once again sticking her admittedly amorous muzzle where it didn't belong, again. Thirty seconds is all it took for the lavender menace to potentially destroy The Great and Powerful Trixie's career, again! And the newsponies! Every newspaper in the city was there. With cameras. 'We need to get away before she scuttles my reputation, again-again!'

Trixie grabbed Twilight's shoulder and started shaking her to stop her blubbering, then she pointed at the large building in the middle of the plaza. “INSIDE. NOW.” Trixie declared with a finality in her voice that held no room for objections.

Twilight nodded nervously. “O-OKAY, but you have to believe me that that's never ever ever happened to me before!” she added, before her horn started building up energy once again. Before Trixie could ask what was the lavender pony up to, they both disappeared in a crackle of magic.

The transformations cast on the newsponies reversed as soon as the magical pair disappeared, and then an utterly awkward silence permeated the air among everypony present: newsponies, curious bystanders, and the six pegasi that had flown Twilight Sparkle to her meeting. No one knew quite what to say or how to react, until a strange sound drew everypony's attention to the dark pegasus mare rigged to the fancy carriage.

It was a throaty snerk, as Holly Diver shook slightly, her head bowed and her eyes closed with noticeable force, her eyelids trembling with tears forming at their edges. Rafale peeked out from under the carriage, where she had taken cover from the magic show, and regarded her Captain with worry. “Cap'n, are you okay...?”

“PPFFFFFFFFTTGWAHAHAHHAAH~!” guffawed Holly Diver quite loudly, startling everypony. “HAHAH*wheeze*OHGOSH!” she was on the floor now, “that was SO worth having to cart around that bratty blue witch everywhere for the past month!” she was gonna laugh her flank off. “HAHAHA, oh man I'm gonna pee myself! HAHAHAHA!”

Rafale blushed as she pulled down her cap to cover her face, utterly embarrassed at the spectacle her Captain was making. She wanted to find a hole to crawl into, and possibly a second one to bury her Captain in.

End Chapter 2

Next Chapter: Warp Holes and Revelations Estimated time remaining: 3 Hours, 45 Minutes
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