My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic belongs to its respective owners. This is a non-profit fan-work.
"Ships that Pass the Night" (tinyurl.com/shipsthatpassinthe… and "The Three Notes" (tinyurl.com/thethreenotes) are stories by EbonMane. Go read them! No, really, this is a sequel work. The present time in this fic takes place exactly where "Ships" ends.
Sometimes, things are just not meant to be.
Yes, this is the way the world works. From the moment one is born, they immediately find themselves belonging in a chaotic web of relationships, weaved from the silken threads of both tragedies and miracles. This is an universal constant. There is no escaping this. For some, this will prove to be a blessing. Others will curse the solar deity they worship and blame her for the pitiless actions of the cruelest mistress: the abstract concept we call "fate".
But one thing is for certain: no one wants to be alone. And perhaps, perpetual solitude is a form of death in itself.
Twilight Sparkle took longer than most fillies to realize that she, too, yearned the company of others. At first, she thought her relation to Princess Celestia and Spike was all she needed to function efficiently as she dived into her books, wishing to attain more and more knowledge each and every time. It was not until her first experiences in Ponyville that she found what she had been missing all her life, and there was no way she wanted to go back to the way things were before.
The doors to her heart had been unlocked by her new friends. It was like she had been born again, her true self no longer concealed behind an endless barrier of pages chronicling the wisdom of ponykind. She was now a different pony, and while she still enjoyed reading and researching in her spare time, this in no way prevented her from enjoying friendship.
But opening her heart had also made something else sneak in. Something that she was, perhaps, ill-prepared to deal with. The concept of "love" was still foreign to Twilight. All she was familiar with was the stories and romantic novels she had rarely read, and even so, real life does not work quite as it does in fiction.
She had found herself reading more and more of these romantic books recently, seeking some sort of guidance, a way to deal with her feelings for her "special customer". The young mare did not have the heart to tell him directly about her feelings, ever so afraid of hearing him say "I don't feel the same way". So she did what she could do best. She wrote.
The attempt proved to be difficult to her. Her formal wordings betrayed the passion of her feelings, and the librarian had an awkward time trying to describe what she felt. Still, she was satisfied with the note. She kept it close, waiting for the next time Big Macintosh came to the library. When he did, she slipped the note into the book he borrowed, wishing for her emotions to reach him. For days, she felt anxious, her heart wanting to burst through her chest and run, run to where he was. Even then, she awaited for his response.
A response that never came.
When Macintosh had come back to the library to return the book, he did not mention anything about the note. When he left back home to Sweet Apple Acres with a new text in tow, Twilight let a heavy sigh escape her, closed the library, and climbed into her bed, her body weary, her heart like lead, from the disillusion and disappointment she felt.
The next day, though, her determination sparked ablaze, she decided to try once again. Her feelings were spilled onto parchment, her quill dancing to the tune of her soul's orchestra. This new note truly sang of her affections and adoration for the farm colt, a true reflection of her emotions. So once again, she counted the minutes until the stallion appeared at her door once again. And so he did.
Breathless, the mare, once again, hid this note inside the book Big Mac was taking with him. But upon his return a few days later, the situation repeated itself. Not a single mention of the note was made during the remainder of his visit. As she saw the bright-red colt exit the library, her sorrow overtook her, and a few tears escaped her eyes. She felt hollow, as if her life had been sucked out of her body. In the depths of her heartache, she reached out for a small piece of paper, and summed up all of her being in seven simple words.
Big Macintosh, shoulders slumped dejectedly, made his way back to Sweet Apple Acres from Ponyville's library. The weight of the tome in his saddlebag, which initially provided him with comfort, now felt more like a burden too heavy to bear. He argued with himself that he would never get anywhere with the pretty librarian filly, and that maybe, just maybe, he should stop trying. Grimly, he decided that should he not gather the valor and profess to Twilight Sparkle his emotions when returning this text later during the week, he would just stop going to the library altogether.
The Apple Family's home now in sight, Macintosh attempted to look perkier than he felt, for the sake of not rousing suspicions within the members of his family to the fact that something was bothering him. After all, he was the older brother, and looking after the family was his job. It just wouldn't be right to reverse this role, even if just this once, the colt thought.
"Big Brothaaaaaaa'!" The unmistakeable voice of his baby sister, Applebloom, reached his ears, getting closer by the second. The baby pony, followed by her friends Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, ran towards the large red colt.
"'Ello, girls. How are y'all in this fine evenin'?" Big Macintosh told the Cutie Mark Crusaders, trying to hold back the vitriol his heart had brewed inside himself.
"Searching for our special talents so we can get our Cutie Marks, like always!" Scootaloo reared up and flared her tiny wings. Big Macintosh couldn't help but chuckle a bit, the girls' spirits brightening his mood.
"Well, it's getting late, so y'two 're welcome to stay the night here. I'll go tell yer families, so long's you stay inside. Now run along." The red stallion grinned toothily at the squeals of joy of the baby ponies and their battle cry of "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, SLEEPOVER AT SWEET APPLE ACRES!" If there was something that could never fail to make him feel great, that would be the joyful smiles of his family and their friends.
Guiding the Crusaders inside, he set his saddlebags on the table. He then asked Applejack to keep an eye on the girls while he was out. Waving goodbye, Big Macintosh galloped towards Rarity's boutique, with the intention of telling her Sweetie Belle was staying for the night with him and Applejack.
"....CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, ARTISTS!" The terrible trio proclaimed, a bit too loudly for Applejack's ears.
"Ah' s'ppose you can't really break anything by drawing. Hold on, y'girls," she says as she starts to walk, "I think we've got some art supplies over at the- WHOAH NELLY!" Applejack trips with one of the legs of the table, tumbling down, but not before one of her front hooves got tangled with the strap belonging to Big Macintosh's saddlebags. Falling down with the orange mare, the saddlebag's contents jumped out, sliding through the floor and landing in front of Sweetie Belle.
"Hey!" The ivory unicorn eyed the tome, "This is a book on introductory magic! Applejack...is it okay if I look through this?"
"Good idea!" Scootaloo's eyes lighted up, "Your talent could be magic itself!"
Applejack got up, and pondered for a second, "Well....ah don't see why not. Wonder what Big Mac's doing with such a book, though."
Sweetie Belle's horn began to glow, and the book's cover was flipped open. Instead of browsing through the pages, though, she froze in place, her gaze focused in something inside the book. The other two Crusaders leaned over her shoulders to get a look, and they too were entranced by the scrap of paper inside the tome.
"Now what 're y'all looking at like that?" Applejack inquired. Sweetie Belle, without saying a word, levitated the small note at Applejack.
Applejack's eyes widened. It all made sense.
She understood now.
Big Macintosh was finally back at Sweet Apple Acres. It was now well into the night. Since his mind was no longer busy with a task, it wandered back to his wonderful failure earlier in the library. Immediately feeling depressed again, he longed for his bed, even though he'd probably be unable to catch any shuteye that night. He pushes the door to his home open, only to be greeted by Applejack's stone-faced visage, glaring at him.
"Uh...sis?" Big Mac couldn't help but feel nervous at the sight of his sister looking so serious. "Something wrong? Where are the girls?"
"They're at Applebloom's room." Applejack said, her tone stern. "And you and I need to talk."
Macintosh audibly gulped. If there was something he had learned during all these years, is that his sister, when angry, spelled out trouble. She motioned at the table. "Look over there."
There was a piece of paper, a small note, lying on top of the wooden table. "That's Twilight's handwriting." Applejack said. "And she snuck it into that book you borrowed." Big Macintosh leaned in to take a closer look at the note.
Seven words. All the note had on it were seven words, but they were enough to steal his breath.
"I love you. Please don't ignore me."
"Ah'm sure she wrote that fer you." Applejack told him, her tone still carrying a serious weight. "And fr'm the look of things, this isn't the first thing she's wrote fer you. But y'wouldn't know because you always go to that library to check out books y'never even open. Don't y'even THINK I haven't noticed. So..."
Applejack's features immediately softened and she cracked a smile. "Go and tell 'er you feel the same way, y'dumb oaf!" She said as she playfully hoofed him on the shoulder.
Big Macintosh was shocked at this revelation. He closed his eyes, tried to take it all in. When his eyes fluttered open once again, the deep emerald orbs reflected his newfound determination.
"AJ...ah gotta get going."
The red stallion broke into a full gallop, darting away from the farm, becoming a red blur in the night. He cared not as rain, scheduled by the pegasus weather team, started pouring down, the droplets beating on his face and body, for tonight he was a new colt. Breaking through the watery curtain, he dashed towards the library.
In the distance, Applejack looked at her brother go.
"So y'do to, big brother. So y'do."
Twilight Sparkle could not sleep that night. As rain splashed against her windows, she thought as to how the weather fit perfectly with her mood. She was reading a volume on medical magic, not wanting to indulge in her newfound enjoyment of romantic material. Not tonight. Not for a long time.
She could hear Spike's soft breathing from where she was. He was sleeping peacefully in the upper floor, while she stayed on the ground floor of the library, her reading illuminated by the dim yet warm light of a lantern.
It was then that she heard a loud knocking on her door.
Wondering who could it be at such a late hour, Twilight put her book aside and got up to check. When she opened the door, she saw Big Macintosh, drenched, panting for breath.
"Big M-Macintosh?" Twilight's heart skipped a beat. "You're so wet! Come in!" She gestured for him to step inside, all while trying to control the shaking in her legs.
"T-Twilight....I...." He stuttered as he walked inside. "...I read your note." Her heart started beating wildly, her eyes shimmering in the barely-illuminated room, her blush hidden by the darkness.
"A-and, well, I'm not the most well-spoken or smartest colt around...b-but I....I..."
His heart beating on his ears, he did not hear those three precious words escape his lips. But even if his voice was silent, he knew his heart was, finally, reaching out to her.
Sometimes, things are not meant to be.
Tears of happiness escaped the mare's violet orbs. She, too, could not hold back her emotions, and leaned closer to the colt...
...But that doesn't mean we won't try.
...And so, in the glow of the lantern's light, with the moon watching over them, they shared their first kiss.
And so, those two changed "fate".
Their hearts created that "miracle".