Soon, back at the party
Pinkie happily bounced around the party as an upbeat tune came from Vinyl Scratch’s speakers, the kind of song that made her want to move around a lot rather than stay in one place and dance. As she bounced around, she passed the other party guests, who were happily chatting with each other. Celestia, Cadance, and Granny Smith were talking with each other (Celestia was pleasantly surprised to learn that the old mare was the same young mare who’d helped establish Ponyville all those years ago), Sonic and Luna were chatting with Vinyl Scratch and Octavia (the DJ not needing to do a lot of work for this song while the cellist was getting ready), Mayor Mare was having a discussion with Zecora and Marine, Spitfire and Soarin, both of whom had shed their flight suits for the time being, were talking with Tails and Rainbow Dash respectively, and Shadow and Gilda, who were standing off to the side, were quietly talking with each other.
Pinkie grinned to herself as she bounced past Braeburn and Little Strongheart; this was exactly what her parties were all about. They could be loud and wild, quiet and less active, or somewhere in between, but as long as they put a smile on everypony’s face, that’s all that mattered, and she could certainly see a lot of smiles at this birthday party. She bounced over to the tree and found the Cutie Mark Crusaders all sitting together under it, taking a break and talking. Of course, Pinkie decided to intrude, bouncing close to them without making a sound and then saying, “Hiya, girls! How are you enjoying the party so far, Babs?”
Although the four fillies were surprised by the pink pony sneaking up on them, Babs replied, “Eh, it’s… fun. This kind o’ thing ain’t common in Manehattan, but I like it. Kinda makes me think of the Apple Family Reunion.”
Pinkie grinned, “Good! I really, truly, sincerely hope you remember this for a long time to come as well!” She then happily trotted away, Babs raising an eyebrow at how random that seemed while Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle weakly smiled at her. The Manehattan filly shook her head a few seconds later, blowing her mane to the side before the four of them started talking again.
Near the front of the picnic table stood Shining Armor and Big Macintosh, the two stallions talking with each other. Or, perhaps more accurately, Shining Armor was talking to Big Macintosh while the red earth pony mostly listened to him. “The crystal ponies really are quite vibrant, like a lot of ponies outside of Canterlot’s elite. It hasn’t been that long since the Crystal Empire returned, yet they’re really eager to learn all about the new things that have developed in its absence. For example, they’re all excited about this year’s Equestria Games; they’ve even asked me to help coach the ones that want to compete. Amazing, huh?”
Big Macintosh nodded, “Eeyup.”
Shining chuckled, “I tell you, it’s a demanding job to be in charge of an entire empire. Getting the Crystal Empire up to date was challenging enough, but there are still all the responsibilities that come with being a ruler. I definitely don’t get to see Twilight as often as I’d like to anymore. Still, I love what I do, and the crystal ponies are much more enthusiastic about what they like to do than some of the ponies I’ve seen coming into the Royal Guard lately. Cutting out of training to read a book, go to the movies… even learn to play the piano rather than do any of that on their own time! Can you believe that?”
Big Macintosh shook his head, “Eenope.”
As the two stallions continued talking, along the left side of the table, Spike carefully snuck around Knuckles, Applejack, Rarity, and Rouge, clambering up onto the bench and then on top of the table itself. He then eyed the cake, or rather the figurines on the cake. He took a quick look around. Applejack and Rarity hadn’t noticed him, Twilight was talking with Blaze, Trixie, and Silver, Pinkie and Fluttershy were talking with Cream and Cheese, and Rainbow was still talking to Soarin. Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to him. “Perfect,” he thought.
He circled around the cake until he found what he was looking for on the left side of it. He carefully reached up and snatched the Sonic and Amy figurines off the cake and brought them down to eye level. He looked at them for a moment before nodding in approval. He had no clue where Pinkie got them from, but they were expertly made.
He then shook the Amy figurine as he murmured in a high-pitched voice, “Oh Sonic, I love you so much! Why won’t you love me back? We were meant to be together!” He then shook the Sonic figurine while saying, in a deeper voice, “Oh Amy, I know we belong together. And I’ve always loved you, from the day I first met you. It’s just… you’re a very sweet and loving girl, and you deserve only the best! I can’t stand the thought of you having anything less!” Spike switched back to his ‘Amy’ voice, “Do you really mean that, Sonic?!” Spike then used his ‘Sonic’ voice, “Well, sure I mean it, Amy. The way you swing that hammer of yours around… My heart beats a million times a minute!”
Once again, Spike used his ‘Amy’ voice, “Oh Sonic, you’re so wonderful! But don’t be so silly; you’re the best, and you’re all I’ll ever need!” He then went back to his ‘Sonic’ voice, “Amy… I’ve dreamed of the day I would hear you say that.” He then started to bring the figurines close to each other as he murmured in his regular voice, “And then… they…” He held the two figurines close, his face scrunched up in excitement as he prepared to say the word…
“*AHEM*.” Spike shot up straight at that, his eyes going wide at being caught, and by the last guest he wanted to be caught by. He slowly turned around to see Amy standing at the edge of the table, her Piko Piko Hammer already slung over her shoulder. “Excuse me, Spike, but what are you doing?” she asked, sweetly but with a hint that she already knew and didn’t like it.
Spike stammered for a moment while he fiddled with the figurines, trying to keep a grip on them before hiding them behind his back. He then shakily spoke, “N-Nothing! I was just… the little figurines Pinkie had on the cake looked like something special, so I wanted to take a closer look at them! That’s all I was doing; I wasn’t playing with them or anything!” He then grinned innocently at her, trying to give her his best poker face.
After a moment of looking at him suspiciously, Amy’s hammer disappeared as she simply said, “Okay. That’s what I thought.” She then walked away, going over to talk to Cream, Pinkie, and Fluttershy.
Back on the table, Spike breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He then quickly put the figurines back on the cake, all the while thinking, “Geez, she’s even scarier than Pinkie Pie when she’s serious about something! Maybe Sonic’s right about her after all…” Once the figurines were back in place, he wiped the sweat off his forehead.
At this point, Tails came over, Spitfire having left to go talk to Cadance. “Are you okay, Spike? Why did Amy have her hammer out?” he asked.
Spike glanced up at him and sighed, “I… I was just messing around with the cake decorations, just having a little fun with them. Amy apparently didn’t think it was so fun; guess she either saw or heard me.”
Tails scratched his head, “Uh, okay.” A moment of silence passed before Tails asked, “Hey, you want something to drink? I was gonna get something and you look pretty nervous.”
Spike answered, “Sure. You want to hang out for a little bit?” Tails nodded and began making his way around to the other side of the table, Spike walking across it to follow him. Tails took a seat on the bench as he poured himself and Spike each a drink, Spike sitting down across from him and holding his drink in his claws as they started chatting.
After about a minute, Vinyl Scratch made an announcement, catching everyone’s attention. “Hey everypony, listen up! I know you’re all having fun at birthday blue’s party, and I know you all love my music, but we’re going to take it down a notch for a little bit! Tavi’s got a little piece she wants to share with you, and since we’re both working this gig, it’s her turn! But don’t you worry; I’ll be back with the jams soon enough!” She then looked over at the gray earth pony, “Take it away, Tavi!” The cellist shot an annoyed look at the unicorn before raising her bow and bringing it to the strings of her cello, balancing expertly on her hind legs as she held her instrument up and began to glide the bow across it.
For the next couple of minutes, everyone listened in silence as Octavia’s cello wailed out a tune, accompanied by soft music playing from Vinyl’s speakers. Although the DJ was listening, she spent most of the performance lying on her back, her hind legs crossed and a hoof kicking up in the air. As the music from the speakers began to fade, Octavia brought her bow across her cello’s strings for one last note and held it before raising her bow. She then bowed to her audience, most of which answered her performance with clapping hands and hoof stomps.
After the applause died down, Octavia placed her cello onto its stand and set the bow down next to it. She then trotted over to the picnic table to grab some punch while Vinyl leapt to her hooves, already changing the disc on her turntable to the next song. While she was doing this, Sonic and Luna split up for the moment, Luna going over to talk to Zecora, Marine, and Mayor Mare while Sonic walked over to the fence and placed his elbows on top of it, leaning on it as he looked towards the lake.
Twilight noticed this and, after Blaze excused herself to go talk to Octavia and Silver and Trixie split up, she walked over to him while Silver went to go talk to Braeburn and Little Strongheart and Trixie decided to get something to drink. Twilight stopped near the fence as Vinyl started playing the next song, something a bit soothing yet still having a bit of force behind it. She cleared her throat and said, “Uh… hi, Sonic.”
Sonic turned his head to the left to look at her, “Hey, Twilight.”
Twilight asked, “What are you doing over here?”
Sonic shrugged, “I don’t know. It’s kind of nice over here though, isn’t it?”
Twilight noticed that even the music Vinyl Scratch was playing seemed to be a little quieter over by the fence, likely due to the fact that speakers were more pointed towards the party area. That didn’t make it annoying, though; quite the opposite, in fact. “Oh yes, very peaceful,” she replied. She walked over to Sonic and stood next to him, both turning to look towards the lake. After a few moments, Twilight asked, “So what do you think of your first Pinkie Pie party, Sonic?”
Sonic replied, “So far, I’m enjoying it. I can see why Pinkie’s called the party pony. I’ll bet she brightens up a lot of ponies’ days, huh?”
Twilight nodded, “She certainly does. She throws plenty of parties for everypony, sometimes inviting everypony in Ponyville to them. I like those parties too, though I think I prefer the smaller ones she throws with Spike and the other girls. They can still get loud, but at least I’m having fun with ponies I know.”
Sonic turned around, resting his back against the fence as he replied, “I know what you mean. I like those kinds of parties too. Still, a big party is a good thing to go to once in a while in order to meet new people.” He held a hand to his chin, “Come to think of it, it’s been a while since the last time I went to one. I should go to one sometime, maybe get a little disc jockey practice in.”
Twilight looked at him, “You work as a DJ?”
Sonic replied, “I’d say it’s more like a hobby than an actual job. I mean, could you really see me working as a DJ on a regular basis somewhere?” Twilight couldn’t help but give a small giggle at that.
After a moment, she looked off to the side before glancing back at Sonic and saying, “You know… I never really got a chance to thank you, Sonic.” The blue hedgehog raised an eyebrow at that, so she clarified, “You know, about my… problem.”
Sonic realized what she was talking about and replied, “Oh yeah, that. Hey, it’s no biggie.”
Twilight looked at him, “Yes it is a biggie. Dr. Eggman and Discord were able to use it against us, and we all could’ve fallen under Discord’s magic or worse just because I wouldn’t talk to my friends, who are the whole reason I am where I am today.”
Sonic said, “Yeah, you told me a little about all that, back in the jungle and when you were gray. And even knowing that, I just can’t figure out why they wouldn’t listen to you, especially your brother and Celestia.”
Twilight looked off to the side, “It’s like I said. I overreact to things. I overreact to everything…” She was silent for a moment before she added, “Just so you know, when Pinkie invited us to help take the Cakes’ entry for a cake contest up to Canterlot for them and was going around accusing the other bakers of taking bites out of it, I stressed the importance of having proof.” She sighed, “The Smarty Pants incident, the Future Twilight incident, my brother’s wedding… I was acting like a foal, like I said, so I should’ve known what was going to happen, especially when I burst in during the wedding rehearsal without any actual proof…”
Sonic looked at her for a moment before saying, “Twilight, I know we haven’t known each other long, but it seems like you overreacting to things is just something that’s a part of you. Maybe you can manage it in some way, but that’s not important. It doesn’t seem like you do it to make anyone feel bad, and if that happens, it’s not on purpose. I should know; I’ve done it before when all I was trying to do was help my friends. I can’t help it if I accidentally say something I wasn’t supposed to. I do what I have to do to help others, just like you.”
Twilight turned her head to look at him questioningly, “What’s your point?”
Sonic said, “The point is, Twilight, they’re your friends, family, and mentor. They’ve known you way longer than I have, so if I can tell what you’re like after… well, I guess it doesn’t matter how much of today has actually gone by. But anyway, if I know that much about you after such a short time, they should know you too. They should know better than to brush off your concerns as nothing right away and not be so harsh. I guess it kind of makes sense that you would be upset and afraid to talk to them about it after all that.”
Twilight glanced down at the ground, “I can’t be angry at them. Not when they’ve had similar problems and I’ve tried my best to help them out with them. I guess… I just thought it all happened because I wasn’t being as good as I was supposed to be. I suppose that’s why I was feeling the way I did. I figured the only way I could get the feeling to go away was if I changed and tried to be better, especially for them.”
Sonic placed his right hand under her chin and made her look up at him. “Don’t,” he said simply. At Twilight’s look, he went on, “Don’t rearrange. I don’t think there’s any need to change anything about who you are. Just stay like you are and keep it all the same. The same goes for your friends, your brother, and Celestia. We all just need to keep an open mind as we move along and not dwell on the past.” He let go of her chin, “Eggman and Discord could probably use a bit of adjustment in their lives, but extreme cases like that are the only times I think anyone should consider changing. Otherwise, I don’t think anyone should change to suit others’ fancies, and I don’t think you should either.”
Twilight tilted her head, “You think so?”
Sonic nodded, “Of course. Considering what you said about your brother’s wedding and how Cadance had been trapped in those caves, what happened was probably the best outcome you could’ve hoped for. But that’s not the point; the point is you were faced with daunting tasks with lots of unknowns to consider, and your friends simply didn’t see it that way at the time. You were basically being asked to fix something that shouldn’t have needed to be fixed if they had given you the benefit of the doubt. I probably can’t understand completely since I don’t think the same way you do, but I do know this.” He looked Twilight directly in the eyes, “I can trust you with my life, my soul, and everything in between… because you were willing to trust me in the midst of your darkest hour and bare your soul out to me. I’m glad I met you, Spike, and the other girls, but most of all, you.”
Twilight looked at him with wide eyes,” R-Really?”
Sonic leaned back and nodded, “Yeah. This whole thing’s been a lot of fun. I know I’ll never forget any of it or any of you.”
Twilight asked, “You mean it?”
Sonic replied, “Of course.” He then grinned playfully, “How could I forget anyone who gets in as much trouble as you guys do?” Twilight blinked at him and then started to snicker before falling back into giggles again. This quickly escalated into full-fledged laughter, Sonic smiling at her as she felt the last of her pent-up stress over past events leave her.
Vinyl Scratch’s music muted the sound of Twilight’s laughing to the other party guests (that combined with the fact that Amy was caught up in her conversation meant she didn’t notice Sonic talking with her alone), but Shining Armor and Cadance noticed, after Twilight’s laughter died down, both her and Sonic talking to each other. The married couple stood together on the side of the picnic table closest to the duo and smiled as they looked on. After a moment, Cadance looked at Shining and asked, “Don’t they look cute together, Shining?”
The white stallion chuckled, “Well, I’ll admit they make a nice couple.”
Cadance looked back at Sonic and Twilight and asked, “Remember what we were like when we first started dating?”
Shining blushed faintly as he replied, “Nothing like those two, that’s for sure.”
Cadance smiled as she glanced at him, “You know, I could give their relationship a bit of a boost with my magic…”
Shining looked at her, “Uh, I don’t think you should, Cadance…”
Cadance turned her head to look at him and asked, “Why not? Twilight’s feelings are clearer now that she’s got all that off her chest.” Shining winced slightly at that, but he kept looking at her as she continued, “Sonic’s mind is still completely closed to me for some reason, but he clearly cares deeply for Twilight. You said you wanted to see where they would go in a relationship together; why aren’t you interested now?”
Shining replied, “When I said that, I meant if they were both willing to be in a relationship. I don’t want them to fall for each other only because you cast a love spell on them. That, and… well, what I mean is…” His eyes shifted as he glanced around to make sure nobody was listening in before he leaned in close to Cadance and whispered, “Remember that restaurant we went to on that one date, the one where we saw that ‘couple’ that was arguing and you decided to use your magic to help them?”
Cadance’s face turned bright red at that and she quickly said, in a hushed voice, “H-Hey, that was a completely different situation! They didn’t even look alike; how was I supposed to know they were cousins?!”
Shining replied, “Yeah, well, Princess Celestia still forbade you to use your magic like that when she found out about it. I don’t think she would consider this an exception. Let’s not find out, okay?” Cadance looked at him for a moment before turning her head away and pouting, probably thinking Celestia would allow her to cast the spell if she asked her. A second later, both her and Shining Armor noticed Rainbow Dash flying towards Twilight and Sonic and looked on to see what was going to happen.
Rainbow flew up next to Sonic and Twilight, both of them looking at her as she landed and said, “Hey Twi’, Sonic. What’s happening?”
Sonic replied, “We were just talking about some of the highlights from our adventure.”
Twilight nodded, “Yes, it certainly was exciting. And I think we all learned a few new things from it.”
Rainbow grinned, “I know I did! Watch this!” Sonic and Twilight watched as she ran around the fence and into the flat area past it, running to their left. As she passed in front of them a short distance away, she came to a stop and jumped straight up. She then pointed her body forward like she was flying, a white aura briefly forming around her head as she moved forward slightly… and then it faded. Rainbow’s eyes shot open at this and she flailed in midair for a second before she fell straight down onto her face. She groaned as she lifted her head up, placing her right hoof on the side of it. “Ow… That’s not what I meant to do! I thought I had the Sonic Boost down. Guess I still have a lot of work to do,” she sighed.
To her surprise, she heard applause and turned to her left to see Sonic clapping his hands. He surprised her further when he said, “Are you kidding? That was great for your first time! If you keep working on it, you’ll get it down in no time!”
Rainbow stood up and trotted over to the fence and asked, “Yeah?” Sonic nodded in response.
Twilight then added, “I’d have to agree with him, Rainbow. It looks like you’ve almost mastered the initial burst of motion. Once you’ve got that figured out, depending on what else you plan to do, the rest might be relatively easy. It’ll probably make for an interesting addition to your usual aerial stunts.”
Rainbow smugly smirked, “Well, of course it will, Twilight! I’ll be the first pony to master a skill in the air that was originally used only on the ground! And when the Wonderbolts finally accept me, they’ll all want to learn it from me! Sonic’s speed and skills will grace the skies as well as the land!” She grinned to herself while Twilight and Sonic smiled at each other.
After a few seconds, all three of them heard a new song coming from Vinyl Scratch’s speakers, causing them to look back at the party area. “Heh, looks like this party’s gonna be going on for a while, like all of Pinkie Pie’s parties,” Rainbow smiled.
Twilight looked at Sonic and asked, “What do you think?”
Sonic answered, “I’m game if you two are.” With that, the three of them headed back to rejoin their friends.
As the party went on, everyone moved onto the games and dancing (ever Granny Smith was able to move some, bringing some of her Zap Apple season vigor out) as Vinyl Scratch and Octavia continued to go through their list of songs, Vinyl occasionally inviting the guests to sing when she placed an instrumental disc on her turntable. Through it all, Discord’s statue sat where it was under the tree; no one was sure whether he was listening or not, but never once was there any indication that he was trying to break out again.
Shortly after Sonic was finished singing a song, he walked over to the picnic table to join Spike and the girls and retrieve the punch he’d poured himself earlier. After he set it back down, he started talking with the group of friends. “Goodness, Sonic, I had no idea you were such a good singer!” Rarity commented. Twilight smiled to herself, having already been amazed before when she found out the blue hedgehog and Tails were both great singers.
“Yeah, you ever thought about making your own band?” Rainbow Dash asked.
Sonic held a hand to his chin and thought a moment before he shrugged, “Eh, not really. I might’ve thought about it once sometime after I first met Vector and the Chaotix, but that’s about it.”
Applejack chuckled, “Heh, good thing ya didn’t make a band with them. Their singin’ and playin’ would probably be somethin’ awful!”
Pinkie piped up, “Aw, take it easy on them, Applejack! I’m sure they’d sing just fine, or at least be funny to listen to! Ooh! Next time Vinyl calls somepony up, we should send them up!”
Before anyone could say anything else, Tails ran up to Sonic while saying, “Guys! Hey, guys!” His calls attracted the attention of everyone at the party, causing them all to look at him.
“What’s wrong, Tails?” Sonic asked.
The fox replied, “I think we’re going to have to cut the party short! Look!” He turned and pointed, everyone looking where he was pointing.
Past Vinyl Scratch and Octavia and beyond the fence in front of the flat stretch of grass, Sonic, Spike, and the Main Six could see the portal back to Equestria still floating in front of the lake… but there appeared to be something wrong with it. “W-Why is it sparking like that?” Fluttershy managed to ask.
“It almost looks like it’s… starting to destabilize!” Twilight guessed.
Tails looked back at the group and nodded, “Right!” He held up his radar and flipped it open, typing on it as he said, “According to my radar, the damage the Time Eater caused is almost fully healed! That portal is probably the last thing that, unfortunately, needs to be fixed!”
Applejack asked, “‘Fixed’? Ya mean…”
Tails looked up and nodded, “Exactly. That portal is going to close soon! And when it does, there’ll be almost no way for any of you to get back to Equestria!” Many gasps were heard at that, as everyone could now see what Tails was getting at.
“So… we have to go now?” Spike quietly asked.
Celestia raised a wing and placed it on his back to comfort him. She then said, “If what Tails is saying is true, Spike, then that is what we must do. We all can’t simply abandon Equestria, especially not Luna and I, and the Elements of Harmony must be in Equestria if they are to protect it. We have no choice.” She looked down at the ground as she finished speaking, almost everyone else looking sad at her words.
“Oh no,” Pinkie murmured sadly.
“We’ll never see Sonic or any of our new friends again! Of all the worst things that could happen!” Rarity cried dramatically.
“Now hold on!” Rainbow exclaimed, catching everyone’s attention. “Tails said there was ALMOST no way to get back to Equestria! That means there must be a way to travel to Equestria and back!”
Luna looked at Tails and asked, “Tails, is Rainbow Dash’s rash assumption true?”
The fox kit replied, “Well, in theory, yes. In practice, though… I can’t say for sure. The only method I can think of involves the Chaos Emeralds, and that’s too risky to chance.”
Twilight asked, “What do you mean?”
Sonic spoke up, “Every time the Chaos Emeralds come together in one place, they scatter and disappear all over again. When that happens, they unleashed a huge burst of their energy to teleport away. That’s the same energy that turned us Super; if we gathered them again and used them without transforming, they could potentially cause Chaos Control. The problem is that that’s a huge amount of energy that, at the moment, isn’t being controlled. There’s no guarantee it would send you all back to Equestria.”
Rainbow asked, “What about the Warp Ring?! We used it this whole time to travel back to Ponyville from your world, right?!”
Tails shook his head, “The only reason we were able to use it so often was because of the Time Eater. Time and Space were so messed up that it was easy to travel with the Warp Ring. Once things go back to normal, I don’t think it’ll be able to travel between dimensions so easily. Besides, look.” He reached into his tails and pulled out the Warp Ring, holding it up. It was still gold, but its overall appearance was dull, looking like it hadn’t been polished in some time. “We used up the last of its energy on the train ride to Canterlot. I was going to recharge it, but with everything that happened near the end of the trip, it slipped my mind. We could recharge it, but again, we’d need all seven Chaos Emeralds or the power of the Master Emerald for it to be powerful enough for dimensional travel, and even that’s risky.”
Rouge looked over at Knuckles and commented, “Guess you should’ve held onto it rather than putting it back where it belonged, eh Red?” Knuckles just glared at her in response.
Twilight had a thought and turned to look at Blaze. “Blaze, you traveled from your world to get here. Do you think…?” she asked.
The cat princess replied, “I’m sorry, Twilight, but I don’t know. The Sol Emeralds originally brought me to Sonic’s world when Eggman stole them, and Sonic and Tails were sent to my world due to an unusual storm. Tails built a ship that used the power of both the Chaos and Sol Emeralds to transport them home, and I learned how to recreate the tunnel between dimensions by studying his notes. It works because the Chaos and Sol Emeralds are connected to each other; I do not know if they will be able to travel to Equestria.”
With that, the girls, Spike, and their friends truly realized that they would have to say goodbye to their new friends, likely for good. They knew it was the only logical thing to do; they all had lives and responsibilities in Equestria that they couldn’t just leave behind, and they couldn’t ask Sonic and his friends to leave their world either, especially with Dr. Eggman still on the loose. They all knew that, but still…
“Th-This can’t be…” Applejack sobbed.
“There was so much I wanted to learn from…” Scootaloo muttered, trailing off.
“I thought that…” Cadance started before Pinkie burst out crying, tears once again falling from her eyes like waterfalls and her cries drowned out almost anything else anyone could’ve said, all of them backing away slightly to give her room as she collapsed.
All except for Sonic, though. The hedgehog remained where he was for a moment before he stepped forward, lifting Pinkie off the ground and into his arms. She sobbed onto his shoulder while he patted her on the back and whispered, “Come on, Pinkie, don’t cry. I know you’ve got to go, but what’s this all about?”
Pinkie sobbed, “I… I can’t lose… any of my best friends! I CAN’T! Not after… not after…” She was unable to finish before she was wracked with sobs again, her head leaning against Sonic’s.
After a moment, Sonic asked, “What are you talking about, Pinkie? You’re not going to lose any friends.”
Pinkie wailed, “Yes I will! Once we’re gone… and that portal closes… we’ll never see any of you again! We’ll be saying goodbye forever!”
For a minute, there was silence as Pinkie continued to cry, making one of her deepest insecurities known to everyone. Sonic continued to hold her, but a certain look soon crossed his face. He let the pink pony sob for a few moments more before holding his arms out so he could look at her. He then said, “Pinkie… that has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard you say.” To say the Equestria residents were surprised by what he said was an understatement; Pinkie even stopped crying to stare at him with wide eyes. While still holding onto Pinkie, Sonic spoke, “Think back, Pinkie. What happened the day Rainbow Dash performed her first Sonic Rainboom?”
Pinkie thought for a moment before asking, “I got my cutie mark?”
Sonic nodded, “Mm-hmm. What else happened?”
Pinkie replied after a moment, “Dashie, Twilight, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Applejack got their cutie marks too. And Spikey was born.”
Sonic nodded, “Exactly. It may have been an event that was felt all over Equestria, but it wasn’t special because it showed you and the others what your special talents are. What made it special was the fact that it set you girls on the path to becoming best friends, which ultimately happened during your first adventure together. Ever since then, no matter what’s happened, you’ve all remained best friends. Yes, there have been bumps along the way, but you’ve managed to overcome them and come back to each other.”
Pinkie sniffled, “But we all live in the same world. We can come back to each other. You don’t. You and your friends live in a different world…”
Sonic replied, “Blaze and Marine live in a different world too, but you notice they’re still our friends. And Silver lives in our world’s future, yet he still manages to come back to the past every so often to visit. Just because we live in different worlds doesn’t mean we can’t remain friends. That’s the magic of friendship, and as long as you never give up on that, you’ll be friends with someone, no matter where they are.”
Twilight asked, “Sonic, are you saying…?”
Sonic glanced back at her as he answered, “I’m saying, this is only goodbye for now. Eggman and Discord may have messed up time and space with the Time Eater, but maybe it was meant to happen, the same way the Sonic Rainboom and Nightmare Moon brought you all together. If that’s true, then there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll meet again someday.”
Pinkie asked, “You really think so…?”
Sonic looked back at her and replied, “Yes. And that’s why you should go back to Equestria along with the rest of your friends. Because Ponyville wouldn’t be the same without its local party pony, and us meeting again would make for a great excuse to have a party. And after seeing what a real Pinkie Pie party is like, I know you’ll come up with an amazing reunion party too.” He leaned forward and hugged her, saying, “Thanks for the party, Pinkie.” He then leaned back and smiled, “And thanks for being my friend.” Pinkie completely froze at that, staring at him with wide eyes. Then, suddenly, a big grin broke out on her face and she began to shake. Everyone looked worried and took a step back as she began to shake even harder, remaining in place despite how hard she was shaking.
Suddenly, with a cloud of pink smoke, she shot straight up into the air, riding on a glittering trail composed of two shades of pink. “WOOOOOOOOOOHOO!” she exclaimed at the top of her flight as she floated in the air. Behind and around her, flashes of light and sparkles appeared and disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Some were shaped like stars while others were glowing balls of colors. As they appeared, they sounded like fireworks firing and exploding as they disappeared. Everyone stared up at her in awe, admiring the show. After about a minute of this, Pinkie suddenly returned to the ground and bounced around several times before catching Sonic in a hug of her own.
“Thanks for being my friend too, Sonic! And everyone else too!” she said as she squeezed Sonic tightly, though not hard enough to choke him. She let him go a moment later and then started bouncing around, hugging Tails and the rest of his friends, even surprising Shadow with a hug.
While watching the pink pony bounce around to the others, Sonic smiled at the girls, “Wow. She really is one of a kind, isn’t she?”
Twilight smiled back, “Yes. Yes she is.”
Tails raised an eyebrow, but smiled as he spoke, “I have no idea how she did that… and I’m perfectly okay with that.”
After she finished hugging everyone else, Pinkie bounced back over to Sonic, Tails, Spike, and the other girls, stopping when she reached them. She then held a hoof to her chin thoughtfully and said, “Oh… I wish I hadn’t forgotten the camera. I’d sure love to have something to remember this day by, and I’m sure everypony else would too.”
Suddenly, a voice above them asked, “Excuse me, but did somebody say they needed a camera?” Everyone looked up to see a Chao-looking robot hovering above all of their heads with a camera in its hands. They were so distracted that nobody noticed the spirit of a certain draconequus slip past them and into his statue.
“Omochao!” Tails exclaimed.
“At your service!” the robot replied. He held up his camera and asked, “What do you say we make some memories you can all take home with you?” All the party guests glanced at each other and smiled.
Sonic’s friends were all gathered around the picnic table area while Sonic and Tails stood near the tree, close to the fence. Omochao had left after he had taken the group shot and the individual pictures that some guests asked for, and now they were all saying their (for now) last goodbyes to each other. Gilda, Trixie, Zecora, Derpy, the Wonderbolts, Mayor Mare, Vinyl Scratch, and Octavia had finished saying their goodbyes and were waiting by the portal back to Equestria for everypony else. All that left was Spike, the Main Six, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, their family members, and the princesses of Equestria.
Pinkie was first up, bouncing up to Sonic and Tails and giving them both one last hug. She then stepped back and smiled, “Bye, guys! And don’t worry; I Pinkie Promise I’ll have a super duper reunion party ready for the next time we meet!” She then did the motions as she recited, “Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!”
As she trotted away, Tails looked at Sonic and commented, “So THAT’s the Pinkie Promise.” Sonic smiled back at him at that.
Next was Applejack, her family, and Little Strongheart. Granny Smith was the first to speak, “Thank ya kindly fer stickin’ by mah granddaughter and her friends, young’uns. Both o’ y’all and yer friends are all right.”
Braeburn smiled sadly, “We’ll miss y’all. Ah hope we get to see y’all again soon sometime.” Little Strongheart nodded in agreement.
Apple Bloom said, “We’ll make sure to find out what our cutie marks are so we can show ya next time we see ya.” Babs blew her mane to the side and smiled softly at the duo.
Sonic smiled, “Well, don’t go growing up too fast on us now, Apple Bloom. At least have a little fun along the way, you and the other Crusaders.”
Applejack said, “Next time you’re in Ponyville, y’all are welcome at Sweet Apple Acres from now on as honorary Apple Family members, just like all mah friends!”
Big Macintosh nodded, “Eeyup.”
After the Apples and Little Strongheart started making their way over to the others, Fluttershy stepped up to Sonic and Tails, shifting her attention between them and the ground. “I… Um, well… It’s just…” she stuttered, trying to find the words. When she looked up at them again, she noticed them offering their arms out and took the offer, flying over to them and hugging them tightly. “I’M GONNA MISS YOU!” she exclaimed in a very un-Fluttershy-like cry. Sonic and Tails patted her on the back and, after a few moments, she stepped back and smiled at the both of them before joining the others.
Rarity and Sweetie Belle stepped up next. The fashionista was the first to speak, “Well, while I can’t say I particularly enjoyed everything we did together, I will say that it was most certainly fun in the end. When you find a way to come to Equestria again, darlings, I promise to show you as good a time as you showed me. As a lady and the Element of Generosity, it will be my pleasure!”
Sweetie nodded, “Yeah, what Rarity said. Just try not to bring any robots with you, okay? They make me feel kind of weird.” She and Rarity then walked over to the others while Sonic and Tails shared a look.
Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo were next up. Rainbow immediately raised her left foreleg, prompting Sonic to hold up his left hand and they shared a high hoof. Tails looked at Scootaloo and held both of his hands in front of himself with his palms open. Scootaloo took the hint and, while flapping her tiny wings, leapt up and thumped both of her hooves against his palms. When she landed, she grinned, “You guys are awesome! Not as awesome as Rainbow Dash, but still awesome!”
Sonic shrugged jokingly, “Darn! Ah well, I’ll just have to learn to live with that.”
Rainbow laughed, “Yeah, you’d better!” She then smiled at them, “See you, true blue and egghead.” She then lifted Scootaloo up with her hoof and flew her over to the others.
Twilight, Spike, Shining Armor, and Princess Cadance then stepped forward. Shining went first, “Sonic, I just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done for my sister. You really went above and beyond the call of duty. And Tails, Sonic’s really lucky to have a little brother like you.” He then held his right hoof to his forehead, “I salute you both.” Both Sonic and Tails raised their right hands to their foreheads, saluting him back. Cadance simply smiled at this gesture.
After they were finished, Twilight stepped forward, both her and Spike smiling at the duo. “I, uh… I really don’t know what to say,” Twilight confessed.
“That’s okay, Twilight. You don’t have to say anything,” Sonic reassured her.
Tails nodded, “Yeah. But, Twilight…?” The lavender unicorn looked over at him, wondering what was on his mind. Tails reached into his tails and pulled out the Warp Ring. He then held it out to her, “Here, take it. You guys can think of it like a memento of our first adventure together.”
Twilight asked, “Are you sure? What about you guys?”
Sonic replied, “Don’t worry. We’ll be fine without it. And who knows? Maybe you and your fancy magic can find a way to turn it into a trans-dimensional portal or something.” Twilight smiled and took the ring with her magic, holding it up in front of her and looking at it for a moment before looking back at Sonic and Tails.
After a moment, Sonic held his right hand up while Tails held up his left hand. At this, Twilight reared up on her hind legs, Spike holding on tightly, and bumped her hooves against their hands. Once she was back on all fours again, she turned to the side while Spike got back into a normal sitting position. He was about to say something to her when he noticed Sonic and Tails still holding their hands out, this time down low. Spike smiled at this and raised his claws, clapping them both on their hands. With that, they all moved on to join the others.
Finally, Celestia and Luna stepped forward, Celestia holding Discord’s statue up with her magic. Celestia spoke first, “No words can truly express how thankful we are for all that you and your friends have done, both for Equestria and your own world, Sonic. Believe me when I say that your actions and the events of this day will be remembered not only by everyone here and in Ponyville, but also the rest of Equestria. This day will long be remembered by all, I assure you.”
Luna then stepped up next to her sister and said, “The sky of your world is much like the sky of Equestria. When you look up at the night sky, the stars’ bright light will be echoing all of our thanks to all of you.” Sonic and Tails nodded; Luna then raised her right hoof up, Sonic closing his left hand into a fist and bumping it against her hoof. The sisters then joined the rest of their ponies, who were now ready to return to Equestria.
Just as they were about to start leaving, Sonic called, “Hey Dash! Next time we see each other, how about we have a real race?”
Rainbow looked back at him over her shoulder, “Sounds awesome!” She then smirked, “It’s a date!”
Predictably, Amy screamed, “WHAT?!” Rainbow started laughing as soon as she heard that, everyone else following suit soon after as they realized she was just joking (except for Amy, who was still fuming a bit). The Equestrians then started going back to Equestria while (almost) everyone waved to them, Gilda being the first to leave.
As Celestia, Luna, and the rest of the ponies started going through the portal, the Main Six and Spike looked back at Sonic and the others, getting one last look at their new friends seeing them off. They kept looking until it was just them left, at which point they all walked through the portal together, disappearing into its shimmering surface.
And just like that, it closed up, vanishing and leaving behind some rainbow-colored sparkles that vanished soon afterwards.
While everyone else kept waving at where the portal had been, Sonic simply put his left hand on his hip. As he looked at where the portal had been, he thought to himself, “What a day this turned out to be! I had a huge adventure, got to have some fun with my friends, fought a huge monster, and, most of all, made friends with a bunch of ponies, a baby dragon, a zebra, a buffalo, and got a griffin for a new rival.”
He grinned to himself, “Best birthday ever!”