Chapter IV: Identity
At that moment, it seemed that one heart beat more quickly than the hearts of anypony else in the small town.
It was like that for the golden pegasus colt. He was running, stretching his wings, defying the sky with the strength of his feathers. His hoofs beat against the rooftops with the steady rhythm that matched the speed of his physical heart.
The colt's feathers quivered as he came to a sudden stop, looking straight ahead with the pose of a strictly trained dog by Rainbow Dash's command. He heard the words telling him to jump once again. He did so, pounding at the sky with his remaining strength.
"Alright kid! I think you deserve a break," came the cyan mare's decisive words.
The colt nearly collapsed on the spot.
For the past hour, Rainbow Dash had been coaching him. He had been jumping across the rooftops of Ponyville, improving the amount of time he could continuously use his wind magic. He was sure that he could begin flying already, but instead, Rainbow had him going at the same routine for the whole time.
He guessed that it was going to help him in the long run. Over time, the chromatic mare had settled into a rhythm of stopping and moving him on. It was really helping him control his magic, and out in the sky where that magic was what kept you alive, he would have to know that control.
But really, in the end, he felt that it came to him like giving correct commands had come to Rainbow Dash. Despite her ego and temper, he thought that the mare would probably make a good coach someday.
She landed right next to him, standing strong and proud while he was keeled over and desperately trying to catch his breath. His cheeks colored a slightly darker shade of red due to the great contrast of their postures and he tried to straighten himself, but he was still too busy trying to haul as much air into his lungs as possible.
She was giving him a look that was a half-smirk and a half-grin, but she seemed pretty satisfied, and that's what really mattered in the end. He looked up at her once he was sure he wouldn't heave out Pinkie's cupcakes and smiled feebly.
"You did a good job," she told him, leaning forward and ruffling his already messy mane while she praised him. He beamed at having done something good, and already he felt refreshed and ready for another round.
"Well, I guess you did. After all, I've never known a pegasus pony your age that can't fly," said Rainbow Dash, taking the hoof she had touched him with and placing it to her muzzle thoughtfully. At this, the colt's heart sunk a little and he visibly drooped. That was right; he should have already known how to do this.
Rainbow Dash gave him a worried look before the corners of her mouth quirked up again. Her words made her sound like she was trying to be encouraging.
"Still. You're a quick learner, and that's a good thing! You should give yourself more credit. After all, by learning so fast, you're doing something good in the name of pegasi!"
The colt cocked his head and smiled up at her before he leaped to his hooves.
"Well, I just gotta learn how to actually fly now! I only fell once that last time!" he said enthusiastically, lowering his chest to the ground like a playful puppy before he pranced over to the edge of the roof of the tall shop they both stood on.
But the mare's face twisted into an expression of uncertainty. She didn't want the kid to get hurt, after all. And then there was the fact that she would probably get blamed if he did break something in the process
She opened her mouth to speak, but the colt was already balanced on the edge of a wooden plank that stuck out of the roof. It was clearly meant to hang a sign, but Rainbow Dash couldn't read it from her angle.
"Wait-" she began, trying to scramble over to his place in time.
But the colt, drowned in his enthusiasm, had already launched himself off the building.
A redheaded stallion took one lazy step after the other, enjoying everything around him. The gentle breeze, the generic yet unique buildings around him, and the paved streets under his hooves
yes, this town was a pretty nice place. Maybe he should move here
He frowned, stopping his already slow walk to think over what he had just thought. What was that called again? Metacognition?
There it was again. Since he had entered this blasted world, he would always veer off track about what he was trying to think about. Something was trying to scramble his mindset in order to mess up his memory, but he was trying his hardest not to let it overcome him.
Still, he was pretty sure he was missing something
and most important of all (or so he thought), he couldn't remember why he was here in this unusually peaceful world dominated by multicolored ponies.
Why would he ever come to a place like this
The fire-colored unicorn sighed and pulled at his cheek, showing off the bottom of his eye to nopony in particular. It wasn't like anypony around here cared. And as the seconds ticked by, he found that even he cared less and less.
What did it matter, anyways? He could just forget everything and stay on this world. It didn't really seem important anyways
or was it?
What was he looking for again? There were just too many unanswerable questions to be thinking about this...
Axel paused in his slow stride, feeling something amiss. He had stopped in front of a particularly large and tall shop that was just big enough for its size to be notable. The stallion squinted upwards, trying to see what was above him despite the bright yellow sun attacking his eyes. Was that a shadow? By the hair alone, it looked oddly like a pony version of-
His thoughts were rudely cut off when the shadow suddenly barreled into him, shoving the air out of his lungs as the figure cried out. Axel instinctively flailed out with his hooves, catching the figure as they rolled across the pavement.
The red stallion already wasn't looking forward to waking up the next day.
He released the offending pony and crawled from under it, letting out a grunt as he pawed at the pavement to let himself up. Was it just him, or did it get a lot more slippery? This was exactly why he wasn't thrilled with losing his fingers.
The figure- a yellow colored pegasus colt with
unique hair- immediately went to his hooves and began spluttering apologies. Axel only raised an eyebrow, which climbed a little higher for every nonsensical word that came bursting from the colt's mouth.
okay?" he eventually said, and (thankfully) the young pegasus finally shut up and just stared at Axel.
After a few moments of the colt's blue eyes boring into the red stallion's, Axel was shuffling his front hooves in his unease. Did the kid have mental problems? And why did he look so much like Roxas?
Something in the back of his mind poked the thought that maybe the colt actually was Roxas, but he dismissed the thought as absurd. Why would Roxas be a pony?
Okay, he became a pony when he came to the world, too, but
okay, he really needed a break from thinking. His memory being screwed up was already a big enough problem to think about.
"Woah, geez! Are you okay?" a female voice cried from above. Axel looked up in surprise to see a blue mare with a rainbow mane flying from the tallest shop's roof.
"I'm alright," he said before realizing she was talking to the golden colt.
"My leg hurts more than anything," the yellow pegasus said quietly, dipping his head and frowning. He sounded more disappointed than in pain.
"Trying to teach him to fly," the rainbow-maned pegasus said suddenly, turning to Axel. "You're alright, aren't you?"
"Yeah," he said, dismissing the fact that she had not heard him at all earlier.
"Okay." She turned back to the colt. "Which leg hurts?"
The colt got up to his four hooves clumsily, making sure he had his balance before slowly lifting up his back right leg and wiggling it a little. Rainbow Dash patted the leg down, but it wasn't until she touched his ankle when the colt visibly winced.
"Not good," said the mare. She sat back and frowned, kneading her forehead in thought. "I can't pay for a doctor, so
you're going to Fluttershy."
" said the colt with an expression of confusion before he looked sadly at his injured leg. "Does this mean I can't learn how to fly anymore?"
"Depends on how much you hurt yourself. Geez, you're so enthusiastic. But not as much as I was!" Rainbow knocked her hoof against the younger pegasus's forehead in a mix of chastisement and endearment, but he flinched anyways.
She frowned at this and drew back. "Well, all that roof-jumping's got us closer to Fluttershy's, anyways. So come on, we'd better start flying- or in your case, walking."
"Limping," Axel corrected automatically, feeling a bit left out of the conversation depsite himself.
Rainbow Dash glared at him a little, but the uncertainty was clear on her face. She was unnerved at the colt getting hurt, and Axel guessed that she was too afraid of getting blamed to be angry at anypony. He was observant enough to pick this up before she turned around and walked away.
However, the colt was a little more hesitant. He stayed and gave Axel a somewhat awkward look.
"Thanks for catching me," the colt said, sitting down slowly as he looked at Axel expectantly.
"Sure," the older stallion said back nonchalantly even though he already knew that it was more like the colt had crashed into him.
"I would have hurt a lot more than my leg," the young pegasus said thoughtfully, eyes going unfocused as his leaned back a little. "Are you sure... are you sure you didn't get hurt, either?"
"I'm going to feel this in the morning," said the unicorn stallion, "but meh. I'll be fine. Good luck on your leg; you seem like you really want to fly."
"I do," the golden colt said passionately, eyes sparkling with enthusiasm as the new topic came up. "You're a unicorn
pegasus magic is just
wow. I really, really want to learn how to use it the best I can. What about you?"
" Axel looked away at a nearby sign as he thought. "Not really."
The colt frowned a little, obviously not satisfied with the red unicorn's response.
"Don't get me wrong. It's cool," the pony with the greenish eyes began, somehow bringing a front leg behind his neck without losing balance and 'scratching' there absentmindedly. "But
you kind of get used to it after a while. You know?"
What are you talking about? You haven't even been a pony for that long, let alone a unicorn. Look, you're scratching yourself without fingers. How do you even do that?
Axel pushed the voice back into the cracked pits of his memory, but he pulled his hoof away from his neck uneasily.
"Well, I don't think it'll ever get old for me," the oblivious colt said, laughing out the words he spoke. "So, uh- what's your name?"
"Axel. Got it memorized?" he blurted out quickly, still unnerved by that little tidbit of memory.
Strangely enough, the colt hesitated after Axel spoke his name. His clear blue eyes clouded over for a moment, and his face twisted into an unidentifiable expression. But the moment was as gone as soon as it had come, and after it passed the young pegasus looked only a bit confused.
"Something wrong?" Axel asked, wondering if the colt had injured a little more than just his leg.
"N-no, I'm okay," said the yellow pegasus. "I
I got it memorized, I think."
"Good," the unicorn mumbled, letting out a small chuckle despite the sick look on the yellow colt's face. He reached over with a hoof and ruffled the colt's hair comfortingly.
The young blue-eyed stallion peered up at him with newfound happiness- happiness that seemed wrongly familiar, as if the unicorn knew that the pegasus shouldn't have been able to experience emotion- and began to laugh.
It didn't occur to Axel that the colt hadn't told the red unicorn his name until long after the young pegasus had gone.
"Hold on a second," the cyan mare told the yellow colt, holding out a hoof to stop him from limping along any farther before she snapped out her wings and began to fly quickly towards the cottage ahead of the pair.
The colt looked after her enviously for a moment, but then he decided to take advantage of the situation and observe his surroundings.
The first thing he took note of was the fact that there was a lot of wildlife going on here. And not just the animals- there was a lot of flora as well. The place was covered in long grass, large bushes, tall trees, colorful flowers, and everything else a pony could think of. It was like a miniature forest- but a lot more subdued than the wild.
And then there were all the animals. Mostly small mammals like bunnies and mice pranced around the area, poking their heads out of the tall grass and looking at the young stallion curiously. Otters and frogs kicked around in the stream under an earthen bridge that was a part of the path the colt currently stood on. The colorful feathers of birds streamed out of their tree perches like the rays of a kalidescope sun.
That was when he realized they were all staring at him.
For some reason, he expected all the animals to immediately dart away as he looked at them, but on the contrary, one white rabbit appeared from the bushes and hopped straight up to his hooves. He stared down at it and cocked his head in confusion before the rabbit gestured towards the cottage.
Taking the hint, the colt got to his hooves, almost tripping over due to not wanting to use his injured leg. He walked slowly to the cottage and sat down before he raised a hoof to knock on the door.
A couple knocks later, the door swung open and a sky-blue leg dragged him roughly inside.
"Fluttershy's shy- obviously- and she's also kind of in shock from me popping up with the... news, so don't say a word unless she asks you something," Rainbow Dash commanded as she bucked the door closed and began pushing him across the room.
The colt just nodded bewilderedly, but couldn't help but notice Rainbow's rushed and almost scared demeanor. She looked like she had seen a ghost, and he could swear that the fur on her face was a few shades paler.
"I'm not going up there again," she told him hastily, gesturing towards the stairs. "I mean
you'll be fine without me. I'll wait down here."
The colt gave a worried glance at the loss of her cool disposition, but he began his ascent anyways.
He expected the climb to be hard and full of tiresome hopping, but they weren't so bad, actually. Having three legs really beat having just one.
He paused before he took the last step, wondering where that thought had come from.
But the young stallion couldn't think about it at that moment; he had reached the second floor and now stood in front of another yellow pegasus. She was a much lighter color than her, though, with a long pink mane and tail, both of which barely grazed the plank floors.
"Hello," she whispered, her head lowering as she hid behind her mane. He copied her, slowly sitting down to make himself shorter. After all, the mare seemed to be quite surprised at his appearance. He figured that she was this shy perhaps because she was used to seeing ponies she at least recognized.
"Hi," he said. "Uh, are you going to
"Yes," she stuttered, slowly turning around and heading towards one corner of the room. The male pegasus peered after her, but she turned around almost immediately and whimpered.
"Is something wrong?" he said, forgetting about what Rainbow had told him about not speaking very much.
I didn't mean to confuse you," she squeaked out. "It's just that
Rainbow Dash saw her and she got spooked and I didn't think you would want to see her either
"I-it's okay," he told her politely, straining to hear her words. He then frowned slightly at his own stuttering.
"Actually... now I'm kind of curious. Who is 'her'? Can I see 'her'?" he questioned softly.
"Well, alright," she said uncertainly, moving a little to reveal something black behind her.
The colt gradually got to his hooves and limped over. Fluttershy nodded at him, seemingly regaining her bearings and losing some of her timid stature, and stepped aside.
There was a black unicorn filly, about his own age, sleeping on a bed by a large square window. A gentle breeze breathed through the window, gently caressing the short black mane that framed her face. He couldn't see the rest of her body, however, because she was covered by a pink and yellow blanket.
"Who is she?" the colt whispered to himself.
"I... I don't know," Fluttershy admitted, pawing at the ground behind him nervously as if she expected strict disapproval. "I'm sorry
I just found her, and she doesn't remember anything. Not even how to talk."
that's sad," the golden colt mumbled. "That's kind of... worse than me. I only remember a little bit, but at least I remember how to talk..."
The pegasus mare nodded absentmindedly, looking away even though he was too focused on the black filly to see her.
"Can I see her, uh... cutie mark? Maybe I can help her out when she wakes up or something," the younger pegasus requested, looking towards Fluttershy for direction. She flinched at the sudden movement of the stranger colt, but then nodded.
The colt slid a hoof under the blanket, but his touch did not make the unicorn filly stir. He pulled it back and looked curiously at her back leg.
Her cutie mark was a gold key with a white heart behind it- a flipped version of his own mark, only the key was a different color.
"That's almost like mine!" he exclaimed, leaping to his hooves and making Fluttershy jump in surprise. But then he cried out in pain; his back right ankle gave out from under him and he collapsed belly-first against the floor.
"Oh dear, are you okay?" Fluttershy whispered, but the colt didn't respond; he was too busy looking at the young black mare in blatant astonishment.
The butter-colored mare quickly made her way over to a cabinet, pulling out a medicinal kit. She leaned over the colt's leg, which was stretched out behind him on the floor, and began tending to the sprained ankle.
But the colt didn't notice, for the unicorn filly had opened her eyes.
They were big blue eyes.
His coat was this pretty yellow-gold color and he looked quite silly sprawled down on the floor, but she couldn't help but draw her attention to his eyes.
They were staring at her own, of course. She peered back, sharing the gaze and smiling a little for no apparent reason. Her head shifted slightly as she looked at him. Big blue eyes. Rounder than hers, but lighter in color. She knew this as well as she knew that her own eyes were blue, although she wasn't really sure how she knew what she looked like.
She looked around, thoughts flooding her mind as she lifted her head. She was too absorbed with the colors to notice that both the blue-eyed colt and the yellow pegasus mare behind were giving her a look of surprise.
How could she have ever dismissed that color? It was so beautiful... blue, it was her favorite color. There were birds with bright, shiny feathers of all the colors. And then there were the designs. Everything formed a shape and pattern, everything was wonderful.
How could she ever describe these things? She needed to know what to call them, first. And after a moment of silent pondering, she found that she knew how to speak.
She looked into the colt's blue eyes and spoke her first word.
"Roxas," she said, tipping her head and smiling sweetly. She had no idea where the word had came from, but it didn't really matter, did it? This colt was now known to her as Roxas.
But then she frowned. What was wrong with the colt? He was twitching a little but his eyes were wide, but they were the surprised and scared kind of wide. He was bewildered, she decided from her strange point of view.
Was he scared by her smile or something? And, why did she feel so happy, anyways? It was so strange... like she had just woken up from a fantastic dream she couldn't remember.
The butter colored mare was staring at her with eyes just as wide, but more in shock than any kind of fear.
"W-who is she?" the colt suddenly asked in a confused voice. "Who are you?"
She pricked her ears and took in the sound before cocking her head in her own befuddlement.
"You know what? I have no idea," she said mildly, then frowned in a shadow of sadness.
"You have the same cutie mark as me, almost," said the colt she knew was named Roxas. He pointed at her flank and twisted her neck to examine her back leg.
There was a strange marking there- a white heart and a gold key over it. Her eyes then flicked over to the young pegasus' flank, which was adorned by a similar heart but a black key.
"I guess so, but they still look different. They're not supposed to be the same, are they?" Her eyes trailed back to the colt's as her mind, now flooded with all the things she could possibly think about, raced and thought about other subjects. "But they're similar... hey, can I ask you something?"
"S-sure," he said, obviously thrown off by the change of subject.
"What's my name, Roxas?" she asked, swinging her front legs over the edge of the bed and giggling due to the strangely placed feeling of ecstasy in her stomach. She was so indulged in her own glee that she didn't even notice the paralyzed mare behind him.
His face scrunched up, and he leaned back in his sitting position.
"Is that my name?" he asked her slowly. "Roxas? It sounds... really familiar. How'd you know what it was?"
"I don't know, really. I just looked at you and thought it," she told him truthfully. "So what do you think of when you look at me?"
"Oh! Well..." He stuck out his tongue for a moment, and she laughed at the gesture. "...huh. I think... Xion. That's what I think."
She spoke the name experimentally even though she knew there was no need. The name rung in her head easily and she smiled as it clicked into her mind. Her name, her identity- yes, she was Xion.
"I am Xion," she finally said, and at the same moment she noticed the mare behind Roxas.
"Who are you?" she asked the female pegasus, who squeaked in surprise and hid behind her long pink mane.
"I'm Fluttershy," she whispered, peeking up at Xion with a look that screamed anxiety. She was probably still in shock from Xion's 'awakening'.
"And I'm... oh wait, you've been here all this time, haven't you? Sorry about that," Xion laughed in slight nervousness like a past sense of timidness was overshadowing her excited demeanor, before she suddenly stopped smiling and her face went blank.
"Are you okay?" the colt- Roxas- asked after a few worrisome moments. Xion nodded her head at him, but she was frowning deeply.
Roxas opened his mouth to speak again, but then the unicorn filly's eyes went wide again as if she had just had an epiphany. She crawled out of the small bed with her front legs touching the ground first, and her hooves clicked against the plank floor quietly as she walked past Roxas and toward Fluttershy.
"You're the one that helped me before... well, right now, aren't you?" Xion asked as she watched the female pegasus, sounding as if she was realizing the fact as she spoke.
Fluttershy bobbed her head up and down. The older mare lifted her head from its position near the ground and looked up at Xion significantly less feebly.
"Thank you," Xion said warmly. "Now I woke up! And you helped so much."
Fluttershy smiled reservedly back at her, but then a bird flitted by the window behind Xion's small bed. Startled, the pegasus mare leaped backwards.
Xion flinched backwards at the motion and ended up backing up into Roxas, who yelped as she hit his injured leg. His wings sprung out and he began flapping them in order to regain balance, but the wind startled the animals inside the room and he ended up crashing into the bed anyways.
All three ponies immediately began spluttering out apologies.
It went on like that for a minute or two before the rambling died down. After a few moments of awkward silence, the three found the humor of the situation and suddenly broke out into laughter of varying volumes.
They only began to stop when Rainbow Dash crept up from the first floor, poking her head up from the opening of the floor that led to the stairs.
Xion noticed her first, cocked her head, and laughed a little more at the cyan pegasus' startled expression. She didn't seem to realize that her own zombie-like demeanor had unnerved the blue pegasus earlier.
The chromatic mare shook her head slightly at Xion before calling to Fluttershy, "I think I'm going to go now."
"Bye, Rainbow Dash," The yellow mare called after her fellow female pegasus as the cyan mare ducked her head back down again. One could hear her wings beating outside as she quickly flew away.
"Well," Fluttershy finally said, still smiling shyly and speaking quietly despite the earlier laughter, "I think... I think I'll make some tea. I think we should all think about what's going to happen, and what you want to do, X-Xion... if that's okay with you, of course..."
Roxas and Xion both nodded vigorously at the mention of something to drink. With quiet steps, Fluttershy made her way down the wooden stairs, making a clip-clop noise. The steps barely creaked as she moved to the base floor.
Xion turned to Roxas and smiled. His grin reflected her own, and they looked at each other before nodding and grabbing each other's hooves and shaking each other's forelegs.
The two very naive ponies shared a comfortable moment before the male pegasus broke the silence.
"So I guess I know you from somewhere if I know your name," the colt suggested after they drew their hooves back.
"Yeah, I feel like I know you from somewhere," Xion agreed. "I mean, our cutie marks are so similar, and you look so familiar. And then, we both don't have memory."
"I'm glad I know my name now, though," Roxas said thoughtfully, his eyes drifting to the ceiling. "And you, too... Keyheart and Heartkey aren't very good names, and it would get confusing."
"Uh-huh... hey. Roxas?" she began, tilting her head as she changed the subject. "Where do you stay right now? I mean... we're friends now, right? So can I stay with you? I don't think Fluttershy would want me to stay for so long. She's so quiet... and I kind want to talk to other people, now that I remember how to."
"Well, I'm in a library with this one pony called Twilight Sparkle. Maybe I could... oh, no..." The pegasus' eyes widened dramatically, and he began to tap his front hooves against the floor anxiously. "I've been outside for so long... I bet that Twilight Sparkle's up now! What if she's looking for me!?"
"H-huh? Someone's looking for you?" Xion asked, looking befuddled.
"Somepony," Roxas corrected automatically, frowning and pressing a hoof to his cheek. "Well, um... maybe you can come with me. I've got to go back to the library! I don't want to make her worry..."
"Sure!" the unicorn filly agreed, leaping to all four of her hooves determinedly, although she was rather clueless about what Roxas was talking about. "We gotta go quick, if... uh... she hasn't woken up yet, I guess?"
"That's right," Roxas confirmed, getting to his hooves as well, albeit much slower. He then looked at his newly bandaged leg. "But... my leg hurts still, so I can't walk that fast."
Xion beamed at being right, but her face fell at his second sentence.
"Well, I guess we can just walk," she suggested quietly, ears drooping a little.
"Don't worry, I bet there's some kind of unicorn magic out there that'll help it heal faster. Hey- maybe we'll see Axel on the way back to the library. He might be able to help."
"Axel?" The young mare's ears went straight up at the name. "That name... it sounds really familiar."
"It did to me when I heard it, too," the golden colt remarked, his head tipping curiously to one side. "Huh... maybe he knows us, too. We can tell him our names now that we know them, and even if he doesn't know us, we can all hang out as friends!"
He paused and looked at Xion contemplatively. "Well, at least I think we're friends. He really saved me; if it weren't for him, I'd be really hurt right now. And then we talked, and we both laughed. It was fun... does that make us friends?"
"I think so," the unicorn filly said decisively, smiling at Roxas as she spoke. "If you have a lot of fun with someone-"
"-somepony, then I would say you're friends."
Roxas thought about it for a moment before he looked at Xion and smiled.
"Then you're a great friend already, Xion."
A bedraggled unicorn huffed, holding back a frustrated grunt as she knocked on Fluttershy's door.
It opened almost immediately, surprising Twilight as it almost swung into her face. Her dampened reflexes just barely got her out of a wooden faceplant.
"Hello, Fluttershy," the lavender mare greeted the butter-colored pegasus with an obviously exhausted tone. "Have you seen a yellow-gold pegasus colt? Messy hair, blue eyes? Key-"
"Oh, do you mean Roxas?" Fluttershy said politely, opening the door even further and beckoning Twilight in as she spoke.
"What, is that his name? Did he remember it or something?" Twilight asked in a drawl, speaking almost lazily as she walked in. She could already tell that the golden colt wasn't here, but she was too tired to walk further at the moment, so she uncouthly collapsed on Fluttershy's couch.
"I think so. Well, there was a black unicorn filly I found in the Everfree forest a couple days ago. She barely did anything, and she couldn't even talk- but then that yellow pegasus colt came, and she said his name, and he said her name... and they started talking," Fluttershy said in her usual hushed tone. She went into the kitchen, letting Twilight process the information as she collected some tea.
"Wha... who was this filly?" the purple unicorn inquired, lifting her head in alertness despite her lethargic state.
"The colt said her name was Xion, but while I was making tea, they decided to go before I was done," the pegasus mare explained, flying over to Twilight with her front hooves occupied by two teacups. "Would you like some?"
Twilight nodded happily, levitating the tea over to herself. But she was too tired to use her magic correctly, and some of the precious brown liquid tipped over the edge. Shakily, she took the cup between her hooves and quickly sipped it before realizing that she had spilled some and apologizing.
"It's alright, really," the pegasus pony told the unicorn as she cleaned up the small mess with a napkin. "So... how do you know Roxas?"
"Well, uh... he kind of appeared in the library this morning. I never thought to ask where he came from," Twilight said, speaking the last sentence mostly to herself. "But now he wandered off, and I've been trying to find him. Who knows what an amnesiac with such a severe case could get up to?"
"Oh, my," Fluttershy whispered, not knowing what else to say.
"Thanks for the tea, Fluttershy. I feel a lot better now. You should really try selling this," Twilight said honestly, setting down the prettily made teacup on a small table. It was true; something in the pegasus' tea was so relaxing, and yet energized the drinker when they were having an off-day.
"Oh, I don't know if I could really do that... it would be so... demanding. But thank you," the butter-colored mare murmured, taking the empty cup and bringing it to the kitchen.
Twilight just laid there for a little while, dozing as the tasty drink settled comfortably in her stomach. Before long, however, she knew that she had to resume her search, so she hauled herself to her hooves and made her way to the door.
"By the way, do you know which way they went?" the lavender mare remembered to ask before she opened the front door.
"Oh... well, they were going to your library, but they started to head towards Sweet Apple Acres before I could stop them," Fluttershy admitted. "I'm sorry..."
"That's alright. Maybe they'll find Applejack and stay there until I can finally catch up to him," Twilight remarked, although her voice was in more of a groan due to the thought of walking so far. It would all be worth it in the end, she reminded herself.
"Thanks, Fluttershy," she called before exiting the cottage.
There are now two keyblade wielders awake on this world.
The Heartless were beasts at the simplest definition. They were dark creatures made from the ink that stained the hearts of all beings. Even the purest heart would have to experience darkness at least once in their lives, and that darkness could very easily be manifested into these beings.
They had no rational thought, as they were beings of instinct, but that instinct did direct them somewhat. Consume hearts to create more of their own. The nature of survival included reproduction, but it was hard to argue that Heartless were natural.
They roiled in the shadows but they could not rise. This world was, currently, too protected by light and too peaceful to be disturbed. At a world of that state, most of the world's Heartless would be boiled by the light of the sun and the moon's controllers, but there was still just enough darkness in the ponies' hearts to allow quite a few of the beasts to seep through the barriers.
And so they lurked.
Keyblade wielders threatened their survival, so the Heartless hunted them like hungry predators- which, essentially, was what they were. The few that had found their targets watched from the darkness created by the shadows of Ponyville's houses, setting their starving, pupiless eyes upon the darkness that lay within the pair of amnesiac ponies.
They were all Shadows- short, humanoid creatures with crooked black antennae that made them look almost like bugs. They were the lowest tier of Heartless and the weakest, but they were still able to be a deadly threat. Their ability to melt into the ground allowed them to slip and slide through light more easily than other Heartless.
They had been spotted by one of the keyblade wielders as the pair walked along the empty street. They shrunk back, but their glowing golden eyes could not blink.
"Roxas?" they heard the female ask, and they shuddered at her voice, at the source of their killers. "Something... doesn't feel right."
"Yeah... and I thought I was just feeling weird," the male agreed, turning his head towards her.
The female was looking around suspiciously, and although they did not know how to plan, the Heartless knew that they had to strike at that moment or else they would completely lose their element of surprise.
They sunk into the pavements with ease and crept towards the pair of keyblade wielders.
Vicious and bloodthirsty, claws sharp and bared and all ready to strike in unison, they lunged.