The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle

by Gravekeeper

Chapter 7: With Friends Like These...

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The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle
By: Gravekeeper
Chapter 7: With Friends Like These…

Flat-Hoof rubbed his tired eyes, as he watched the emergent Manehattan night-scene pass by his window; the colt really, really wanted to get home. Of course, this day wasn't done with him yet. 'I didn't even ask if it could get any worse!' He had gotten the lovely opportunity to ride in the police carriage that was currently delivering the knife-nut back to the station; said perp was sitting across from him towards the back of the cabin, all chained up and closely guarded by his partner.

Now, for a pony that had been forcefully persuaded to stand down by around twenty guards armed with batons and mace, the white unicorn remained surprisingly conscious and absurdly fabulous-looking. Worst of all, her mouth was most certainly completely intact; Flat-Hoof knew this because the mare had taken the alternative to her right to remain silent.

The beautiful hoof-cuffed mare was adamantly pleading her innocence, having—in a very short amount of time—voiced a staggering list of complaints against the security ponies, the police ponies, and some 'talent-less, unworthy trollop named Trixie'. According to 'Miss Rarity', as she called herself, the trollop in question was trying to sue and/or seduce one 'Twilight Sparkle', which had prompted the white unicorn's drastic course of action.

Horseshoe's bubblegum bubble popped loudly. “Right, and what better way to dish out vigilante justice than by cuttin' up the filly an' dumping her in the river? Sick nutjob.” the shocking pink-maned mare held the sword in her hooves, disgust plain on her features.

Excuse me?!” Rarity tried turning her head, but the brace placed around her neck and horn held fast. “I would have done no such thing! Not that you would know,” the unicorn turned her whole body and eyed the plainclothes cop with unabashed disdain, “but what you are holding in your gritty, unkempt hooves is most certainly the first ensemble of a new, cutting-edge Fashion Revolution that will sweep Equestria and make 'Miss Rarity' a household name—dare I say, more so than Princess Celestia herself!”

Horseshoe blinked and looked at her hooves, something that made Flat-Hoof chuckle. “Just what the he—”

Even all chained up, Rarity managed to portray a rather imperious image as she looked down upon the dour detective; quite a feat considering her slightly shorter stature. “And aviators? Really Darling, I hope you are wearing those ironically. Then again, considering the rest of your ugh, 'outfit', you clearly seem to be permanently stuck in an era most ponies would rather forget ever existed!”

The policemare's eyes widened as her bubble accidentally popped, covering her muzzle in gum. “WHAT.” Horseshoe glared at the criminal unicorn, and then at her partner, who seemed to be writhing in his seat, trying not to laugh.

Rarity watched with disgust as Horseshoe licked the gum back into her mouth. “And another thing, must you chew gum so loudly? It would behoove you to masticate with your muzzle closed—or are you deliberately trying to evoke that aura of frat-colt that you seem to be cultivating so well? Might I suggest an obnoxiously-colored cap, stylishly turned backwards and just slightly to the side?”

Watching the unflappable, infinitely-cool, Luna-may-care Detective Gummie Horseshoe become undone right before his eyes, Flat-Hoof had to admit that his less-than-pleasant day would at least end on a high note. 'Best. Perp. Ever!'

- - -

“So you mind tellin' me where it is that we're takin' Twilight?” Applejack asked the white pegasus who was currently trotting ahead of her and who had Twilight Sparkle, unconscious and drooling, slumped perpendicularly over her back.

Rafale shifted her shoulders a bit, trying to settle the unicorn in a more comfortable position; she didn't like having that weight over her wings. “I told you, we're going back to the office. The Captain said that Twilight still hasn't signed her movie deal.”

If Applejack had been wearing her hat, it would have most certainly popped right off of her head. “Movie deal?! Twilight? Wha-huh-wut?”

The red-maned pony turned back to face Applejack. “Um yeah, haven't you noticed all the posters?” Rafale raised her hoof, pointing at a massive billboard on the side of an apartment building across from the street.

The image on display was a mostly-black picture with a lilac-colored unicorn in the center, heavily-shadowed by the light of her horn. The unicorn depicted had a black mane, her bangs cut straight, a shock of cerulean-blue and apple-red running down the length of it. 'OUR DARKEST NIGHT...' read the top left corner of the billboard, the slogan continuing at the bottom right corner, '...HER BRIGHTEST HOUR.'

Applejack's stare became wall-eyed for a few seconds. “That there filly's the spittin' image of this here Twilight!”

Rafale chuckled, recalling a scene from many months ago. “Yeah, Ms. Trixie was being a real nightmare during the casting... But after seeing the real Ms. Sparkle here, I can totally see why she was being so picky!”

Applejack's eyes derped once more. “Trixie?!”

- - -

“Again, Counselor?” Miss Spelling raised an eyebrow, watching as the attorney's cowpony hat flipped off her head and hit the wall behind her for the second time in as many minutes.

“It's not me, dude! I swear that thing has a mind of its own!”

- - -

Applejack rubbed her eyes as she continued trotting alongside the white pegasus. “Ok Sugarcube, yer gonna hafta explain all this real slow-like, 'cause I'm just a mite bit confused about ever'thing here...”

Rafale shrugged. “Well, I'm not actually involved in the movie directly...” she gave the farmer an apologetic look. “...I'm just security detail for Ms. Trixie, who's the writer and creative director for Ms. Sparkle's movie.” Pausing momentarily to adjust the deadweight on her back once more, Rafale continued. “I don't actually know why they waited so long to bring Ms. Sparkle in—I mean, the movie's in post-production already... You'd think they woulda had her come in before shooting even started.” The pegasus heaved a small sigh. “Now everypony's pulling their manes out, going crazy cause Ms. Sparkle hasn't signed her consent for the release! That's why I'm here, actually—the Captain told me to follow Ms. Sparkle and not let her leave the city without signing.”

Applejack glared slightly. “Is that right?” she asked, a sudden edge to her voice.

“Yup.” Rafale produced a checkbook from her coat pocket. “Told me to use as much money as it took to get 'er to come back to the office.”

“And if she don't want to sign yer papers?” Applejack was already setting her mind to the very real possibility of getting in a tussle with the pegasus to take back Twilight Sparkle.

Rafale blinked. She could see the farmer's muscles become taut under her skin—her security training made it quite easy to read ponies, especially would-be aggressors; there were signs. And while Rafale could certainly take care of herself, the sheer number of muscles unconsciously flexing under that apple-covered flank—many more than what she thought a pony actually had—led her to believe that a peaceful solution was worth pursuing. “W-well, I'm just bringing her back because she hasn't given us a Yes OR a No. Once we get her answer, we won't be bothering Ms. Sparkle again.” The pegasus hoped to Celestia that her assumption would prove correct; something told her that Applejack would hold her personally accountable for the result of the negotiations if they go south.

“Ah see...” Applejack's jaw was hard-set, still not completely trusting the pegasus pony.

The winged pony knew she needed a way to pacify the not-so-tranquil fury she could sense still brewing within the draft pony. ‘Well, there’s one thing that always works...’ she mused, a small grin playing across her muzzle. “Well...” Rafale winked at the orange mare, “The Captain did tell me to use as much money as it took to get her back—if you don’t let me take her back, I might be forced to use the blank checks on you, missy!” she admonished with a smile.

- - -

“Seriously?” asked the incredulous Rainbow Dash, feeling Applejack's hat fly off her head for a third time. Flying over to the other side of the meeting room, the cyan pegasus picked it up and dug her hoof into the crown, pulling out the drawstring tucked inside. “Never again!” she smiled, the hat now securely fastened to her head.

- - -

I see a black door and I want it painted pink/ Dull colors everywhere I want them to turn pink!/ I see the fillies trotting in their summer coats/ I have to turn my head away from this gray rote!”

Spike sighed as he walked down the sidewalk. “I can't believe it took us an hour and a half to find a parking spot!” Did everypony in Manehattan own a carriage?

I see a line of colts and they're all lookin' sad/ With cupcakes and some fun both'll make them very glad/ I see people turn their heads and quickly look this way/ Like a newborn foal parties happen every day!”

“Oh yes, and the parking rates were so frightfully expensive...” complained Fluttershy, her wings drooping a bit; she wondered when extortion had become legal in Equestria.

I wanna see it painted pink, painted pink!/ Pink as dawn, pink as rose/ I wanna have some fun, raining down from the sky/ I wanna see it painted, painted, painted pink! Yeah!”

Hopping up to the steps to the Clydesler Building Plaza, Spike looked at the pink earth pony jumping her way to the top of the stairs, happily humming her 15th song so far since they arrived at the city. Apparently, the newness and bigness of the city had overloaded the party pony with all of the party possibilities possible for a party pony. “Pinkie Pie!” he yelled, trying to catch her attention.

Hm hm hmm hmmmm hm hm hmmmm—what?” she turned to face him mid-jump, slowly descending back to the pavement after a few seconds.

“Pinkie, we're here.” the dragon pointed at the imposing building, majestically lit up from top to bottom now that it was nighttime. “Now c'mon, we gotta get in there and help the girls get back our Twilight!” he called, running ahead of the two mares who then followed him close behind.

Upon entering the lobby, the trio from Ponyville were greeted with a curious sight: a crowd of onlookers and newsponies surrounded a small group of EMT ponies that seemed to be patching up a herd of security guards. The injured ponies had small bruises all over, some of them even had black eyes—but each and every one of them looked absolutely beautiful. It was as if a group of runway models had suddenly joined a moshpit. Mares and colts, they all had perfectly coiffed manes, shining, recently-brushed coats, and gleaming hooves, not to mention their guard uniforms looked impeccably hand-washed and professionally pressed.

“Guys! It must be a Fashion Show After-Party!” exclaimed the earth pony, hopping with joy. Spike facepalmed.

A number of ponies from the crowd turned to look where the sudden outburst had come from, silence suddenly filling the lobby. Fluttershy blushed and shrunk back behind Pinkie Pie, not particularly enjoying everypony's attention.

“Is that...” One newspony squinted. “Ms. Fluttershy!”


The crowd suddenly erupted, quickly surrounding Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Spike. “It's Ms. Fluttershy!” “Ms. Fluttershy what are you doing in Manehattan?” Camera flashes firing from every direction. “When is your next fashion show?” “Can I get a moment of your time, Ms. Fluttershy?” “Ms. Fluttershy I want to have your foals!” “Please Ms. Fluttershy, are you coming out of retirement?”

Now in a near panic, Fluttershy tried backing away from the assault, but the crowd had already encircled her and her friends. “Um... I... uh... eeeep!

Spike suddenly loosed a fireball straight up towards the ceiling, quickly making the crowd retreat a few feet away. “Everyone stop crowding her!” he shouted as he took a step forward and outstretched his arms in front of Fluttershy, their size discrepancy somewhat diminishing the effect of the protective gesture.

“Yeah you big meanies! Can't you see you're being all scary and stuff?!” Pinkie Pie complained, flailing madly at the crowd..

T-thanks, um, guys...” Fluttershy, her long mane covering half her face, walked back to Spike's side.

Stepping through the crowd, one of the totally gorgeous guards made his way to Fluttershy and her friends, his trot a sensual cadence of refinement and beauty. “Ms. Fluttershy, how can I be of service to you and your companions tonight?” he asked, mane flitting softly in the wind, a sparkle accompanying his stare.

Fluttershy wondered how the colt's mane could be moving like that with no actual wind, but decided not to ask. “Um...” squinting, the yellow pegasus read the guard's nametag. “Mr. Daze, I... that is, we, my friends and I... came here to find um, Twilight Sparkle and uh...” she turned back to Spike in askance.

“Oh, uh, the Great and Powerful Trixie.” added Spike, realizing that Fluttershy had not stayed for the entirety of Trixie’s disastrous visit to Ponyville.

The crowd exploded once again at the mention of Trixie's name. “Ms. Fluttershy what is your relationship to The Great and Powerful Trixie?” “Ms. Fluttershy what is your role in The Great and Powerful Trixie's upcoming movie?” “Ms. Fluttershy, are you the father of Twilight's Sparkle's foal?”

“Alright alright that's it, everypony out!” called one of the guards as she beautifully waved her baton, closely backed by the rest of the convalescing, attractive guards.

- - -

“Alright, send them up.” Miss Spelling let go of the intercom's button, facing Rainbow Dash. “Who are these ponies again?”

Rainbow Dash looked up from where she was using a red pen to make changes to Twilight's contract. “Oh, well, Fluttershy is Twi's Animal Handler, on account of her dragon pet thing. That's Spike, the dragon pet thing.” The pegasus rolled her eyes, tapping the pen to her chin. “Pinkie Pie is Twilight's Event Coordinator.” Crossing her forelegs over her chest, Rainbow Dash tilted her head back, squinting her eyes. “There's also Rarity, her Stylist, and uh, Applejack is her Caterer.” she finished, blushing lightly.

The Great and Powerful Trixie could only stare at the 'Lawyer' in disbelief. 'Are you for real?! And then they accuse me of telling tall tales!'

Miss Spelling adjusted her glasses. “...I see. Ms. Sparkle has quite the entourage.”

“T'chyeah! You know it, babe!” the pegasus exclaimed, flexing her foreleg. She didn’t know what that word meant, but it made her and her friends sound important. And awesome.

The orange unicorn rolled her eyes, before turning to the dark pegasus that had recently joined them. “Now, how much longer will we have to wait for Ms. Mistral, Holly?”

Holly Diver had been keeping busy at the far end of the table, deleting photo after photo from the cameras she had recently acquired from the now reasonably wealthy newsponies. “Rafale? She's a good kid, I bet she's on her way here right now with Ms. Sparkle.” smiled the pegasus, leaning back on her tilting chair, hind legs on the table. Every few minutes, she would let loose a barely-contained chuckle as she glossed over the pictures that had been taken that afternoon.

The Great and Powerful Trixie had been slowly trying to inch her way over to the gray pony, curiosity gnawing away at her, but much too proud to admit that she wanted to see the compromising pictures of The Incident. Truthfully, the accidental contact had left quite a... lasting impression on the magician.

In the meantime, Rainbow Dash and Miss Spelling had been poring over Twilight's contract, the orange unicorn quickly noticing that the cyan pegasus seemed to be arbitrarily adding a 20% cut to every royalty clause, as well as scribbling small notes and drawings depicting her disagreement with the wording of certain parts of the contract. Miss Spelling had to admit that the Counselor was frighteningly astute at spotting purposely obtuse legalese—her unorthodox style belied a sharp, cunning mind that hungered for justice. Miss Spelling smiled a bit as she read the attorney's latest scribble, '← Totally not cool- FIX IT!', with the 'FIX IT!' circled over repeatedly, a grumpy pony face drawn next to it. 'She must be absolutely dazzling to watch in the court-room!'

Quickly running the numbers in her head, Miss Spelling realized that the final draft of this contract will probably leave Twilight Sparkle with enough bits to buy the entire town of Ponyville a few times over. 'Yup. So fired. Very fired.' her smile widened.

That was when the double doors of the meeting room exploded open, Pinkie Pie rolling into the room and striking a martial arts pose, closely followed by Fluttershy and Spike, who merely walked in. The secretary behind them had decided to ignore their intrusion. “There she is! Get her!” yelled Spike, pointing at Trixie.

Silence permeated the room for a moment, broken only by the sudden, wild cheering of a certain cyan pegasus. “WHOO! Yeah! Get 'er!” jokingly shouted Rainbow Dash, startling Miss Spelling in the process. Holly Diver quickly picked up one of the cameras and held the shutter down, catching frame by frame as one of the new ponies leaped from the meeting room's entrance and dove directly towards The Great and Powerful Trixie.

“YIIIAAAAAAHH!” Squealed Trixie, getting mowed down by Fluttershy, both mares crashing to the floor and skidding for a few feet, with the pegasus ending up on top.

And that was when everyone in the office was enveloped by bitter chill deep within their hearts, their very souls, as the room's temperature dropped to single-digits; Fluttershy had used The Stare on The Great and Powerful Trixie. “Um, WHAT did you DO to our precious Twilight?!” she asked forcefully through clenched teeth.

The Great and Powerful Trixie's eyes widened as she tried to look away, her entire body growing cold and refusing to respond to even the smallest requests her brain was making. She felt trapped within herself, forced to look straight into a pair of eyes that seemed to be able to see anything and everything about the azure mare. She felt the summation of her whole life, the entirety of her feelings and innermost thoughts—all laid bare under Fluttershy's vehement stare.

Everyone present had been frozen in place as well; Spike was at the entrance to the room, still with his arm outstretched and pointing in Trixie's direction, his mouth agape. Pinkie Pie had been frozen mid-jump, and was currently suspended in the air, eyes wide; Rainbow Dash had her own hoof extended skyward, having been caught mid-cheer, Miss Spelling next to her, glasses having flown off her face after the cyan mare's outburst. Holly Diver couldn't will her body to react—her chair had tilted past its balancing point during Fluttershy's leap, and now she could only brace mentally as her inner ear treated her to an eternity of falling sensations, even if it actually was more like a second and a half.

Fluttershy was startled out of The Stare when Holly hit the floor with a loud curse. Momentarily confused, she looked around the room, finding everyone staring at her. Blushing under the attention, the meek pegasus lowered her gaze, only to come face-to-face with an azure mare that she had never met before. “Oh! Um, excuse me!” Fluttershy realized that she had been pinning down the mare, and quickly started flapping her wings to move away.

Realizing this, Trixie quickly sat up, reached out and grabbed the pegasus, hugging her tight. “Trixie is...! I... I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!” she began, her tears falling freely. “Trixie didn't mean for it turn out this way, really!” Trixie started crying harder, her shuddering lamentation filling the room. “It all happened so fast! S-she was never supposed to know!”

Fluttershy flinched with every sob produced by the azure unicorn. She didn't understand the situation; she didn't even know this pony that well, but she could feel her sadness and regret. “It's ok, Ms. Trixie,” began the pegasus, as she brought her hooves around the sorrowful pony, “you mustn't cry, please, just tell me what's wrong—I promise my friends and I will try our best to help you...”

Rainbow Dash blinked; she could feel Fluttershy's kindness radiating and warmly permeating the office—it resonated within herself and compelled her to get up from the sofa and make her way to the two embracing ponies. “I uh... Y-yeah, c'mon dork, you're not that big of a screw-up!” she added helpfully, awkwardly putting her hoof on Trixie's shoulder. “I mean, that script you wrote was, uh, kinda really cool,” Rainbow Dash blushed, “...ya know, if you're into that sappy stuff!”

Trixie blushed, chuckling despite herself. Rainbow Dash must have read it at least three times, completely engrossed to the point where she had involuntarily shifted in her sofa during the action sequences, almost as if she were right there in the midst of it all.

“Here ya go, you silly-filly!” Pinkie Pie was sitting next to Trixie, holding out a large, exquisitely-decorated cake, one slice already missing. On top, and written in cursive frosting, the cake read 'GET HAPPY SOON!'

Trixie blinked, wiping her tears. “Whuh... Where did you get that cake?”

“Well duh, I made it just for you!” Pinkie Pie replied, handing Trixie a big slice of the cake on a paper plate, along with a dixie cup full of fruit punch.

“But, but WHEN—” Trixie was interrupted by Rainbow Dash, who had nudged her shoulder to get her attention. The showmare turned to face the cyan pegasus, who just gave her a 'Don't ask.' look as she enjoyed her own slice of the cake.

Miss Spelling looked at the group of ponies and one dragon surrounding The Great and Powerful Trixie, all of them sharing cake as if they had always been the best of friends. Bringing a piece of her own slice to her mouth, the orange unicorn flinched. This cake was good, really good, but sweeter than anything she had ever tasted since at least elementary school.

“Quite the entourage you have, Ms. Sparkle.”

End Chapter 7
Bonus Art! The Billboard!
Bonus Bonus Art! Police Ponies and Rafale!

Next Chapter: Missy and Holly Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 34 Minutes
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