I wanted to do something a little different since I finally have a break before Bronycon, sooooo I decided to doodle some anthro pones, featuring Twi, Spike, and Rarity (the one with the wings was just me playing with their body type; I prefer my anthros with digigrade feet ‘cause it’s cooler o3o). Please forgive the messiness and wonkiness in the anatomy. As always, I’m half-sleep, but I didn’t really try all that hard with these. They’re kinda… meh. But whatevs. I’ll draw more of the characters and with better anatomy and such later. :/
To make the drabble easier to reach, you can read the premise of the AU idea and such HERE
Zombies and RariTwi and Earthsong! Three of my favorite things!!!
You asked for fanfiction, so you’re getting fanfiction!!!! :D Hope you enjoy:
More than beds, more than books or hot meals or safety, Twilight missed sleep. Real, deep sleep. Some nights; no, most nights, ‘sleep’ felt more like four or five hours of resting her eyes and nothing more. Tonight was worse, somehow. Even as Spike snored gently above her like he always did, Twilight found no comfort. Every cool autumn breeze woke her with a start, and she wished desperately that she’d thought to bring another jacket up with her. The rough tree bark chafed at a tear in her ratty pants, and she sighed heavily before trying to stretch out the throbbing ache in her upper back. Her rope and tackle clinked dully against the branch above her, and she froze. Spike mumbled something, and Twilight held her breath until his rumbling snores started up again. He was a growing drake and needed as much sleep as he could get.
Sleeping in trees had been Spike’s idea. After running in a half-awake panic from enough abandoned houses, he’d softly, hesitantly suggested finding another form of protection. The dead never thought to look in trees for survivors, since survivors always stayed in houses. The dead never thought to look up if they didn’t smell a pegasus in the area. The dead never thought. The dead never changed. She and Spike had started treeing at night close to two years ago, if Twilight’s calendar was still correct. Calendar wasn’t quite the right word, but two sentences beneath a date that didn’t even matter hardly counted as a journal. The three once-blank books in her pack and the half-filled one that hung off her belt were the only unnecessary weight Twilight allowed herself anymore.
Twilight’s eyes shot wide open once again, her ears swivelling desperately. There is was again - the clanking of her alarm system. It wasn’t fancy; just strung-together cans from early meals, but it was effective. In an instant, Twilight had unclipped herself from her treeline, her left hand already drawing her knife. It was a nasty piece, serrated and rusty. But it was still sharp enough to defend against the dead, and the rust kept survivors at a distance - without hospitals, tetanus was a real and permanent threat, one that Twilight had used to get out of countless stand-offs. Her eyes peered into the darkness as her twitching ears caught the soft, indistinct sounds of words too quiet to understand. She inched her way further out onto the branch.
“What’s going on?” Spike asked in his usual half-whisper. All he’d known was a world where being quiet was a part of being alive. Twilight couldn’t remember the last time, if ever, that he’d raised his voice.
“Somepony’s coming our way. A couple live ones, or a crazy talking to itself,” Twilight hissed back. “Could you …” She gestured with her right hand vaguely.
“Yeah, yeah, climb up and pretend I’m not here. On it.” Spike flashed a mock-salute and shimmied up the trunk faster than a hooved creature like herself could ever manage.
A heavy hoof cracked one of the many dry twigs Twilight had scattered around their tree. Off to the right… Twilight whirled around on the branch and called magic into her horn. An instant later, a hollow pain lanced through her grumbling stomach, reminding her of her meager dinner of stale hay and edible leaves. It hadn’t rained enough for mushrooms and there were no abandoned allotments nearby, and the hay had to last. Twilight grit her teeth and let the magic go. No point in intimidation tactics if she couldn’t maintain the spell for long. She had to ration out her energy in case she had to fight.
Twilight could see the barest edges of a single silhouette beneath the canopy of evergreens, stock-still. “Please come into the clearing,” she called out, as loud as was safe anymore. “I’d like to see your face, please.”
More twigs crackled ominously - from the noise, the pony leaving the shadows must have weighed half as much as Twilight herself. A white unicorn peered her head around the last tree trunk before the balded hill Twilight and Spike’s tree grew on. Twilight shifted her left hand just enough to let the quarter-moon light glint off her knife. “All the way, please,” she ordered. The unicorn’s eyes glittered with some emotion from underneath a tangled purple mane as she slowly, smoothly crept out from the darkness that surrounded her.
The first thing Twilight noticed was the full quiver and streamlined crossbow that hung at the mare’s right hip. The second thing she noticed were the two full-sized frame-packs that hung from the mare’s slumped shoulders. Twilight’s eyes widened, and her left hand relaxed its grip as she noticed the tiny, delicate arms that hung around the mare’s neck. the foal-sized legs that wrapped tightly around the mare’s waist. A tousled, two-tone mane with a stubby horn peeking through rested against one of the two packs. Twilight sheathed her knife smoothly and beckoned the mare-and-foal duo closer. The mare was obviously at her limit — her ears wandered in different directions, and her knees trembled with every cautious, uneven step. Finally, the mare stood not five feet from the base of the tree, close enough to touch if Twilight leaned down from her branch.
“The foal can sleep up here tonight,” Twilight offered, though she didn’t imply any kind of choice in her posture and tone. All the same, the mystery mare’s shoulders sank in gratitude, and she whispered what was probably a prayer. She hoisted the young … Filly … up to where Twilight could take her as Twilight shucked her harness. A few quick adjustments made the tackle foal-sized, and Twilight clipped the young girl in, face against the trunk. Then Twilight tugged twice on Spike’s empty line to signal he could come back down. The white mare started slightly as Spike clipped himself back in and drifted back into his usual, peaceful doze. Then she let her two packs drop to the ground heavily with a little sigh.
“If you need it, there’s some hay in the oilcloth between the roots to your right,” Twilight said evenly, “But please show restraint. It has to last.”
“Of course,” the other mare said, kneeling down by Twilight’s cache. “Thank you,” she continued moments later, through a full mouth. She rose, swallowing the last of her mouthful. “Not to be a bother, but do you have any water?” Twilight dropped her canteen into the mare’s delicate hands. Again, the mare took only a mouthful before twisting the cap tightly back on.
Twilight glanced at the stars (three hours until sunrise) before her eyes darted back to the mare, now sitting cross-legged, back to the tree trunk. The mare’s eyes were half-closed, and her breathing patterns were clearly some kind of meditative exercise.
“Your name?” Twilight asked.
“Rarity,” the mare answered between steady breaths. “The girl up there with you is my sister, Sweetie Belle.”
“Where are you headed?”
“We heard stories about safety in Canterlot,” Rarity said. “But mostly, we’re heading away from … We were in a herd, as it were. There was an ambush.”
“Live or dead?”
“Live.” Rarity’s voice had a sudden heaviness to it. “At first, they assumed we had food. Then they found we didn’t, and I killed their leader… the two of us barely escaped.” Twilight’s mind finally connected the dried splashes of dark … something she’d seen on Sweetie Belle’s neck as she’d clipped her in. The best defense against the living was to mask your own survival with the blood from a fresh corpse and lie still.
“I’m sorry,” Twilight said, before wondering why. “Your sister …”
Rarity stiffened against the tree trunk with a tiny, barely-audible sob. The moonlight made the two tears on her cheeks shine like diamonds. “Sweetie is tougher than you’d think. Tougher than a girl her age has any right to be,” Rarity said, her voice rough and choked.
Twilight’s chest twinged and twisted itself into knots. She slowly, slowly inched out to the very edge of her branch and jumped down. She didn’t know what she was doing. She didn’t know why, she never she never left her tree at night, not for anything. But something about this Rarity’s voice, or the diamonds of her tears or something else that Twilight didn’t, couldn’t understand made her want; no, made her need to help Rarity somehow. Twilight sat against the tree trunk, one foot of space between their shoulders. The dark of the tree bark made that distance seem like everything, like nothing … Twilight swallowed at nothing and rubbed her twisted, aching chest with a clenched fist. Her eyes couldn’t leave Rarity’s stricken face, though her ears still swiveled occasionally, listening for rattling cans or cracking branches.
Slowly, Rarity’s shoulders unclenched, and her bright, haunted eyes stopped staring quite so hard at Twilight sitting beside her. “You should rest,” Twilight said, inching ever-so-slightly into the space between them. “It looks like you haven’t slept for days.” Rarity gave a tiny nod. “You should rest,” Twilight repeated, unsheathing her knife and leaving it flat on one thigh. “I promise nothing will hurt you tonight.”
Rarity gave another, barely-perceptible nod. Her breathing slowed even more and her eyes closed fully. Twilight watched in mild interest as Rarity tensed and relaxed every conceivable muscle, hooves up. By the time her neck relaxed, Rarity seemed to be asleep. Twilight jolted silently as Rarity’s head lolled onto her shoulder. In the moonlight, Rarity’s filthy, drawn face looked like a marble statue, beautiful even through the lines of tension that did not quite leave her eyes or mouth.
Twilight glanced up at the stars — Two hours until daybreak. It felt strange, having the warmth of another body against hers. Some fluttering, fragile thing, something she couldn’t, didn’t want to understand, had taken root in her diaphragm. She ran an open palm across that strange fluttering warmth and cast her gaze out at the darkness. For the first time in months, Twilight Sparkle didn’t curse her sleeplessness. As Rarity’s soft, wheezing breaths joined Spike’s low snores as a soundtrack to the night, Twilight knew she had something new worth protecting. Cautiously, slowly, she wrapped an arm around Rarity and cradled her head against her chest. That fluttery, fragile heat grew just a little stronger, and Twilight smiled softly and waited for the coming sunrise.
DGOSFOASAODOWEABGH it’s so beautiful! ;_; Awwwwwww man, you really nailed the atmosphere and the rather bleak situation their in, including the mindsets of Twi and Rarity through their dialogue and descriptions. I just REALLLLLLLLYYY loved it, dude. So much good. D: