"Changeling Invasion Aftermath"
Canterlot had been spared from the worst attack ever by an enemy force. Many citizens only suffered minor injuries and only a few were considered serious. But, true to form, it did not have to happen. For Princess Celestia, the ruler of Canterlot and her captain of the royal guard, Shining Armor, they could have stopped this invasion had they not treated the one pony that really saw what was wrong with the utmost disrespect unbecoming to ponies of their status.
You see, Shining Armor was to be married to Celestia's niece, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza or Cadence as she liked to be called. Unbeknownst to either Shining Armor or Princess Celestia, Queen Chrysalis, leader of the Changeling race, had snuck into Canterlot undetected and kidnapped the real Cadence and placed her in the Canterlot Caves. She then disguised herself as Cadence to get close to Shining Armor and feed off on his love. When his sister, Twilight Sparkle and her friends came to help prepare for the wedding, she noticed that the Cadence she grew up with was not the same one as she remembered. In Twilight's mind, the pony who was her old foal sitter was not acting like what she used to be and investigated her suspicious behavior.
When Twilight tried to warn Shining Armor about his bride's behavior, Chrysalis had pulled him aside to criticize on his wedding attire and Twilight saw that her brother was getting a migraine which he says came from maintaining his protection spell on Canterlot. In reality, it was a mind draining spell that prevented Shining Armor from noticing anything wrong about his bride-to-be. Realizing that desperate times called for desperate measures, Twilight barged into the wedding rehearsal to warn those closest to her about what was going on. Chrysalis successfully maintained her cover by pretending to cry and causing Shining Armor to scold Twilight severely, take away her role as Best Mare and bar her from showing her face at the wedding. Soon, Twilight's friends followed suit in disgust over their friends actions and as she followed them, Celestia scolded Twilight in the worst possible way by telling her in an ice cold voice:
"You have a lot to think about."
Because of their irresponsible actions, Queen Chrysalis managed to maintain her cover by sending Twilight into the Canterlot Caves and the 'wedding' went as planned until Twilight went on the attack again, but this time, the real Princess Cadence, who was also imprisoned in the Canterlot Caves was with her and what followed was an invasion of Changelings and the power of love between Cadence and Shining Armor being unleashed on them, thus saving Canterlot from further damage and destruction.
But, whilst the damage done to Canterlot was only minor, the true damage that was done had not yet been repaired. That damage was done at the wedding rehearsal and the one who caused it was Shining Armor and Princess Celestia, for they were the ones that could have prevented the Changelings from invading had they listened to Twilight Sparkle, the one pony who truly knew something was wrong about Princess Cadence. Instead, they all came across that Twilight was being too possessive of Shining Armor and that a mare who would act like a foal would not be fit to take part in a wedding ceremony as significant as this.
Boy, were they wrong in the worst possible way.
As Shining Armor oversaw the repairs done to Canterlot, he couldn't help but think to himself what had just transpired over the past 24 hours. It made him realize that he could have been married to a love feeding monster instead of his true love and that he had a chance to escape it, but he couldn't break loose from her grasp and by the time he did, it was already too late. Standing on the bridge where he and Twilight were a few days earlier, he looked up to see Cadence being fitted for her wedding dress with help from Twilight's friend, Rarity.
In his mind, how would he face his true bride and tell her what had happened while she was in the Canterlot Caves? How would she react? Would she hate him for what he did to someone whom she used to foal sit? Those were all the questions that were racing through his mind at lightning speed.
However, he had to report to Princess Celestia on the progress of repairs and although he didn't know it at the time, Princess Celestia was also feeling ashamed over her own behavior towards Twilight. As she sat on her throne, Celestia was still recovering from her battle with Queen Chrysalis, a battle that she lost in front of her most faithful student and her friends, her niece and her subjects. Because she was the ruler of Canterlot and all of Equestria for that matter, she thought to herself that maybe she was no longer fit to rule or even be Twilight's mentor.
After all, Twilight was the one who returned Princess Luna to her side after 1,000 years on the moon and Twilight was the one who led her friends against Discord and managed to turn him back to stone. So, in her mind, why didn't she listen to Twilight when it mattered most? To be honest, Celestia was monitoring the situation and did not spend very much time with her niece, or so it seemed to be.
"Your highness," said Shining Armor as he entered the throne room, taking off his helmet and bowing down to her. "The repairs are going at a rapid pace; everything should be fixed by tomorrow at the latest."
"That is excellent news, Shining Armor," sighed Princess Celestia, trying to put on a small smile. "We really got lucky this time."
"We did," replied Shining Armor. "But, you know this all didn't have to happen."
"You are absolutely right, Shining Armor," replied Celestia, lowering her head in shame for a moment, before lifting it back up. "Ever since the invasion, I have been feeling beside myself for not heeding Twilight's warnings about Cadence."
Shining Armor looked down at the floor as Celestia got up from her throne and walked down to a pair of stained glass windows depicting Twilight and her friends defeating Nightmare Moon on the left and Discord on the right.
"I understand how you feel, your highness," Shining Armor said sadly. "I guess I am partially to blame for what happened as well. I failed as a brother and as a groom."
"In what way is that?" asked Celestia.
"Well, if you recall back to the rehearsal," replied Shining Armor, turning to his ruler. "I berated Twilight for her behavior towards 'Cadence' and threw her out of the wedding. By the time I realized my error, it was already too late. I was being controlled by the Changelings and they had their invasion in full force."
"Perhaps we all got a little excited," said Princess Celestia, trying to lighten Shining Armor's spirits. "I was not aware about the Changeling Queen being disguised as my niece and like her friends; I also thought it was wedding stress as well."
"I know that too," added Shining Armor. "I just don't know how Cadence is going to react when she learns of what happened at the rehearsal while she was in the caves."
Just then, Princess Cadence entered the throne room having finished being fitted for her wedding gown. She was surprised to see her aunt and future husband looking so forlorn on the days leading up to her wedding. At the same time, she could hear what was going on from outside the throne room.
"Is something wrong Aunt Celestia?" she asked, completely oblivious to what happened at the rehearsal. "You and Shining Armor seem to be worried about something and I couldn't help but overhearing what was going on."
Shining Armor knew that as much as it was going to hurt, he had to tell Cadence the truth. So, he turned to his future wife and took an enormous gulp as Cadence stepped towards them.
"Well, Cadence," he began, stepping over towards his bride-to-be. "I was not aware that you were down in the Canterlot Caves and that we all thought that you were suffering from pre-wedding stress."
"But, that doesn't explain why you both look upset about something," added Cadence, her voice growing impatient. "You both are not telling me something and I would like to know what it is."
"Cadence," continued Shining Armor. "The only one who knew that you were not acting like yourself was Twilight and she tried to warn us at the wedding rehearsal that it was the changeling queen disguised as you. I thought she said those things because she was being possessive of me and that I haven't seen her for so long. As a result, I reprimanded her and told her to forget about being Best Mare and that she shouldn't even show her face at the wedding."
"I am also to blame too, Cadence," added Celestia, as she stepped towards her niece. "I told her that she had a lot to think about when I really should have stayed behind to help her."
This made Cadence's heart sink as she stood there, shocked and wide-eyed by what her loved ones had just said to her. While she was in the caves, the most important pony in her life beside Shining Armor had been verbally scarred by those closest to her including the stallion she was going to marry. She also couldn't believe that her own aunt, who had adopted her as her own niece had put her own wedding ahead of the threat and allowed her subjects to be put in mortal danger.
"What?!" she gasped, horrified by what was happening in front of her. "How could you do such a thing to Twilight when she was trying to protect you all? You know her just as much as I do! I was her foal sitter, for pony's sake!"
"We know you were," protested Shining Armor. " But, we were not aware that you were the changeling queen in disguise. I wish I could take back everything I said to Twilight, but I can't. I can't change back time like my sister does."
"Shining Armor," cried Cadence, tears beginning to form at the corners of her eyes. "I thought you loved me."
"I do love you," he cried as he walked over to her in an effort to calm her down. "I do love you for who you are. It's just that we all made a terrible mistake and that I promise you that it will never happen again."
But Cadence was still not buying it. Hearing that the one important pony in her life who brought them together was kicked out of the wedding made her very upset and angry. Shining Armor hated to see her angry and being the princess of love, Cadence was responsible for spreading love throughout Equestria. But, this was not spreading love, this was spreading hate.
"How can I marry you when something like this has happened?" asked Cadence, slightly angry, her voice rising as she pushed him away with her magic. "Twilight is the one pony who brought us together when I was her foal sitter so many years ago. We wouldn't even be together if it weren't for her and when we needed her most, this is how you both repay her? By kicking her out of the most important day of our lives?"
Overcome with emotion, Cadence turned away from Shining Armor and began to sob quietly. She was hurt and her time in the Canterlot Caves were nothing compared to this. True, the Changelings disrupted their wedding day, but this much was worser than anything she could have imagined.
"Cadence," interjected Celestia, walking over to her hurt niece and placing a wing over her. "You have to understand that the Changeling Queen had us all fooled, even Twilight said so herself, but Shining Armor and I both understand the hurt we caused Twilight was not forgivable and that if weren't for Twilight, the entire Changeling invasion could have been stopped in its tracks and that we could have gone down to the caves and rescued you. But, just as Shining Armor failed as a brother and as a groom, I failed as a monarch and as a teacher. All we can ask you for is for your forgiveness and that whatever happened at the wedding rehearsal will never happen again, we swear on our lives."
Cadence then stopped crying and turned to face her aunt, who was showing hurt in her eyes just as much as Shining Armor. As she saw her aunt have tears well up in her eyes, Cadence pulled her close and hugged her tightly as a sign that although Celestia failed to heed Twilight's warnings as much as Shining Armor, she was willing to forgive her.
"Well, Aunt Celestia," replied Cadence, calming down as she broke away from Celestia. "You did teach me once that I sometimes have to forgive and forget. I guess I have to accept what happened at the rehearsal and that I am glad to be standing here today on the verge of marrying the stallion of my dreams."
She then turned to Shining Armor with a small glare at him. Forgiving her aunt was one thing, but her fiancée was a different story. Her wedding was not going to be complete without Twilight and Cadence was determined to let him know just that
"But Shining Armor," added Cadence, looking at him dead in the face. "I cannot marry you unless Twilight is in the wedding again. No Twilight as our best mare, no wedding. The choice is yours."
Shining Armor took in this statement very seriously as he was the one who told Twilight not to show her face at the wedding. Now, his entire wedding to Cadence was going to rest on the fact whether Twilight would accept his apology for his behavior towards her at the wedding rehearsal. Cadence walked out and slammed the door behind her as Shining Armor looked down once again at the floor.
"What am I going to do?" he said to himself as Celestia watched. "I don't know how I am going to face my sister about this. I said some very mean things to her, more so than anything in my entire life. How are my parents going to react to this as well? I can't let them know of what I did to Twily. They would never forgive me for it."
As Shining Armor said what he needed to say, he took an enormous gulp and realized that he was going to have to face his sister, the pony who was really trying to protect him from a love absorbing monster disguised as his future wife, for the first time since that horrible day that his relationship with her was nearly destroyed by his own doing and that Canterlot nearly fell to that race of love absorbing monsters. Even Princess Celestia would have to face her most faithful student one way or another and she would have to beg Twilight for her forgiveness. But, much like her Captain of the Guard, she knew that something needed to be done. After all, she was the one who told Twilight that she had a real wedding to put together. And she was determined to make sure that her most faithful student was in the wedding, back where she belonged.
"What is important is that Twilight forgives us for our actions," said Celestia, once again walking over to the stained glass window of Twilight and her friends defeating Nightmare Moon. "Not all of my subjects may forgive me for my actions, but it really doesn't matter. Twilight is more important to us right now."
Although they were all in another room getting refitted for their bridesmaid dresses, Twilight's friends could overhear what was going on and that they all would have to face Twilight sooner or later.
It wasn't going to be easy for all of them, but it would have to be done, one way or another.
To my fellow Readers and Bronies,
As many of you have already known by now, this past April was the one year anniversary of the season 2 finale "A Canterlot Wedding." Whether you liked it or hated it, this was without a doubt one of the best episodes not just of season 2, but also of the entire show. The story was spot on, the music was spot on and the characters were spot on. But, while I enjoyed the episode as much as the next person, there was one scene in particular that made a lot of us feel very uncomfortable. Towards the end of the first half of the episode which takes place at the wedding rehearsal, Twilight is trying to warn her friends, her brother, Shining Armor and Princess Celestia that the pony known as Princess Cadance, her former foal sitter and Celestia's niece was not who she really was. In response to her behavior, Shining Armor revokes Twilight of her Best Mare position and says that she shouldn't even come to the wedding at all. Her friends and Princess Celestia follow suit, but not before Celestia sternly telling Twilight in an ice cold voice that she had a lot to think about.
What made this really stand out was that none of Twilight's friends and confidants apologized to her for this ludicrous behavior towards her. Although Applejack apologized to Twilight and that she said that it wasn't their fault since they were all fooled by Queen Chrysalis, it still wasn't enough to make this a full apology. Even the apology in disguises by Celestia and Shining Armor were good, but not good enough. I had actually seen other fanfics based on this scene range from Twilight expressing her anger towards her friends ("Bitterness") to having her suffer from Post Trumatice Stress Disorder ("A Canterlot Wedding Aftermath").
While these stories are very effective, I believe that Twilight and her friends would have to meet and make up in the most calm and simplest way possible.
Now, I know that it was time compressed, but at least there could have been a scene where Twilight gets a full apology from everyone at different times. That is basically the main focus of this fanfiction and when it is completed, I hope it strikes the minds of Bronies who were cheated of reconciliation between Twilight and those closest to her. I hope my story can give a sense of closure to those who were cheated of an apology scene in the episode.
But for now, enjoy my story called "The Canterlot Healing Process."
Disclaimer 1: I do not own "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," or its characters. They are properties of Hasbro Studios and the Hub.
Disclaimer 2: The story "Bitterness," belongs to PLC the CD
Disclaimer 3: The story "A Canterlot Wedding Aftermath," belongs to Black Kyurem