Although she only knew Courageous Heart for a short time, Twilight could not ignore what she was feeling towards him. This young stallion had given her so much: this incredible place within her own dreams…one that many would seek but never find. He had even bestowed the power of the Light to her which helped free her dear little dragon, Spike.
There were so many things Twilight wanted to say to him, but the moment was just too perfect and special. She refused to do anything that would end all this. She remained close to him, while listening to the sounds of the birds and crickets all around them.
For Courageous Heart, what he felt towards this very special and beautiful pony, was something that made his heart beat with such power and passion. He kept her close, safely underneath his wing that kept her warm. There were much he wanted to say to her, but would hate to break the wondrous moment that made her feel so happy. A small blush fell upon his cheeks as Twilight continued to brush the side of her face against his chest. This mighty brown alicorn gently nuzzled the purple and pink streaked mane of this beautiful unicorn as they cuddled ever so close.
As the moment that they were both enjoying quietly went on, Courageous gave a light sigh and spoke to her in a whisper, “Twilight…?”
“Are you…happy? Being here with me, in this place?” He asked as if there was some doubt in her mind.
“Yes, I am,” Twilight answered, “This place is, so wonderful...and so magical.”
Courageous smiled and was thankful for her being as happy as he hoped he could make her. He resumed keeping his wing around her, to which she blushed and welcomed it.
“I wish this could last forever,” Twilight sighed with a smile.
As Courageous sat there, holding her close, he thought on what she just wished for now, but knew all this that was before them both, would have to come to an end eventually. Telling her would only upset her, and the brown stallion would never want that. “Dreams never last forever, Twilight…not even this one. As much as I want you to be here with me, It would be selfish to keep you here.”
Twilight opened her eyes when he spoke and looked up at him, “Please don’t say that. This doesn't have to end. It can’t!”
Courageous sighed sadly as he looked into her eyes, “This dream can only last as long as you sleep. Once you awake, this will come to an end.” He felt bad telling her this, but he had to, “I’m sorry, my dearest Twilight.”
Twilight turned her head away from him, “Why are you saying these things, Courageous?” She almost felt like crying, “Do you not…want me here?”
Courageous shook his head, “I want you here with me…always. But to keep you here…to take you from your home, your family, and friends…I would never wish to do that.”
Twilight understood he was trying to be kind and righteous to her, but in her heart she did not want to lose him again; waking up and never having a chance like this again was too painful to think about. “I don’t have a home…or friends. Not anymore.” She lied sadly.
Courageous was shocked to hear her say that, “That’s not true! You have a wonderful home, and friends who care about you.”
“No…” Twilight refused to accept that, “They turned their backs on me. I…I tried to tell them about my dreams, and about you. They didn’t believe me.” She did her best not to shed a tear over this.
“I understand they made you upset, Twilight. But you shouldn’t do the same to them. They were only afraid, and unless a certain pony like yourself can show them the truth, then they will never believe as you do.”
Twilight felt truth in his words, but still felt unconvinced. Her gaze remained on the grass around them as they sat by the lake, underneath the moonlit night sky.
“Twilight…” Courageous brought his hoof to her cheek and guided her gaze back to meet his eyes, “Didn’t you once say some time ago that friendship is not always easy…but worth fighting for?”
As she looked into his eyes, she suddenly remembered those very words that she spoke when she and the other five fought an evil that caused much chaos in Ponyville. Twilight felt her confidence rising, if only slightly.
“Please, Twilight. You must never give up, no matter how great the Darkness may grow…because there is always a Light that shines in everypony, and will see them through.” Courageous explained to the mare before him.
“Never give up or stop believing. Be who you are: the one who has come so far...and who has won my heart.” The brown alicorn said as he gave her a warm smile.
A small gasp escaped from Twilight’s lips once his words reached her ears. With such joy returning to her heart, she wrapped her arms around Courageous’s neck and hugged him close. “Oh Courageous…thank you…” She whispered as she hugged him tighter.
Courageous hugged her in return and was glad he was able to keep her happy, even when the truth had to be told.
The two ponies remained in what seemed like an unending hug that went on for some time. Twilight was so fortunate to have met this wonderful stallion, who now admitted his feelings to her. As the hug continued, she found the courage within her to speak up:
“You have won my heart too…my Courageous,” She confessed to him in a whisper.
After a while, the hug finally came to an end. Both Twilight and Courageous rose from the grassy spot they sat upon and smiled at each other. “Thank you so much for all this, though I still wish for this to never end,” Twilight admitted.
“I know, and I wish for you to stay longer…but your friends need you.”
Twilight shook her head, “But what can I do to convince them?” She sighed and turned away, “Even with our numbers and the Elements of Harmony, they cannot save Equestria…from Tirek.”
“Twilight…” Courageous wanted to say something to help put her doubts away from her.
“You give me such strength, Courageous. But, is it enough? Will it win us our home back?”
The brown alicorn tried to speak up, but knew no amount of comfort could help, for he knew the truth as much as she had discovered. This caused him to sigh and lower his head, “Twilight…”
“There…there is a way…”
Twilight perked up her ears and turned back to him, only to see him with his head lowered, with his sight looking onto the ground, “What…What did you say?”
“There, is a way that can help…but-”
“Tell me, please!” Twilight interrupted, anxious to know of something that may be Equestria’s only hope.
Courageous shook his head, “I do not…wish to put you in danger, Twilight. If I tell you, there is no knowing what would happen. I do not wish for you to be hurt.”
Twilight placed her hood under his chin and brought him up to meet her eyes, the same way he did to her, “Please, Courageous. I know you want to protect me, but if this is the only solution…tell me…I beg you.”
Courageous Heart could see the look on her face: a saddened, pleading expression, with tears starting to form. He sighed and started to speak, “Twilight, listen carefully.”
Twilight nodded and gave him her undivided attention.
“Twilight, the truth…is that I was-” Courageous was suddenly interrupted when he felt the temperature of the air drop a bit, as well as the wind starting to pick up. He looked up and could see clouds moving in, covering the stars and even the moon. “Oh no…” He uttered in fear.
“What’s going on?!” Twilight asked
“Twilight, you need to get out of here! You need to wake up!!”
The lavender pony just shook her head, “No! I’m not going to leave you!” She looked up as the clouds covering the skies and the sound of thunder becoming present, “What’s happening?!” Before Twilight could receive her answer, her once beautiful paradise started to change: A great shadow fell upon everything, darkening the grass and flowers. The little creatures soon disappeared as the storms grew above.
All this was soon followed by a sinister laugh; a familiar one to both ponies.
“No…it can’t be him…not here…!” Twilight gasped in fear.
“Twilight! You need to get out of-” Courageous felt a great darkness growing behind him, in the lake. He turned and gasped in terror when a massive shadow rose from the waters and stood before them both.
“No…” Twilight Sparkle shook her head, refusing to believe that the form before her was the Master of Darkness himself. She felt so afraid and came close to Courageous, holding him tight for protection.
Before anything could be done, the shadowy form of Tirek held up his right hand high in the air above his head. Holding something in his hand, he roared and a dark vortex was summoned, determined to pull the two ponies into it.
Twilight screamed and tried to hang on to Courageous, but the force of the pull was too great. She suddenly felt herself being encased in a bubble of Light, summoned by the brown alicorn.
“Courageous!!” She yelled as she watched him use his power to keep her out of the vortex’s pull. Unfortunately, he could not resist the pull for much longer. “Noooo!!! Courageous!!” She screamed, begging and pleading him to not leave her.
Courageous stayed in place for as long as he could, but soon found himself unable to remain for much longer. Using the power of the Light, he pushed the bubble, with Twilight still in it, away from Tirek’s shadow. As the bubble moved further from him, Twilight watched as the dark vortex engulfed Courageous Heart, leaving only the shadow of the Dark One standing there.
“NOW, THERE IS NO MORE LIGHT…TO SAVE YOU!!!!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Twilight screamed as she saw herself getting further and further away from the shadow, and her once beautiful dream.
“NOOOOOOOOO….!!!” Twilight arose from her deep sleep, panting heavily. She looked around her and found herself back where she first fell asleep. It was dark and the skies were still covered in unfriendly storm clouds.
Once she calmed down, she now wondered if that dream was just as the Wise One said it would be: a cruel trick by the Darkness. Twilight did not know what was true anymore. She lowered her head towards the ground; Sadness taking her once again. But suddenly, she saw a flower fall from her mane onto the dirt; The same one that Courageous placed in her hair. She picked it up and gazed at it. If it was a nightmare, then how could something so special become real in front of her?
“It…it was real. Courageous…was real…” She gasped and was soon overjoyed to know her dreams were as what she knew and hoped them to be.
But before she could do anything more, the wind picked up and blew the flower right out of her hooves. She tried to catch it, but it was too fast. The lavender unicorn could only watch sadly as the gift Courageous gave her blew away from her. Her ears turned when she heard thunder coming from near Appleloosa. When she turned towards the lights that could be seen from the town, she saw a much different storm forming over it.
In her mind, Twilight knew something was happening, or was going to happen there. Her friends were in danger; she could feel it. She galloped as fast as she could towards Appleloosa, hoping to not be too late.