The door to the library opened, and Twilight Sparkle stepped wearily through, kicking it shut behind her. It had been a very long day, both physically and emotionally draining. Pinkie Pie would surely be throwing a party tomorrow in honor of their new friends, here and gone so quickly, but for now all Twilight wanted to do was rest and maybe mope a little. She felt she'd earned it, after what Colonel O'Neill and Princess Celestia had put her through.
She got Spike settled into bed first. The little guy had fallen asleep halfway back to Ponyville, snoozing gently on her back. It was just as well; she didn't trust herself to talk even to him right now. She missed Daniel terribly already, and the thought of him sent a sharp pang of loneliness coursing through her. She squeezed her eyes shut until it faded, letting out a small pained sigh as it did.
The soft covers on her own bed looked very attractive, but there was one small thing to take care of first. She padded to the table where a small, empty vase sat. A little bit of magic lifted a nearby pitcher of water, filling the vase. To her surprise, even that short burst of effort left her panting; she must be weary if even that was difficult. She quickly set the pitcher down, taking several deep breaths before focusing on the flower in her hair.
She bit her lip, gathering her focus slowly. It was even smaller than the pitcher, but she still had a hard time taking hold of it. She eventually managed it, and the little flower floated gently off her ear. She held it in front of her, studying it curiously as she hadn't had time before now to do so. It was certainly pretty, but somewhat unusual: a flat flower with seven wide, red petals. Daniel said he'd picked it on the way back to Ponyville after the battle.
At the thought of his name, the same pang shot through her again, and this time, with her focusing so on her magic, it triggered a sharp headache as well. She flinched at the pain, her concentration breaking. The flower tumbled to the floor in front of her, and she let out a small cry. "Please don't be ruined please don't be ruined," she whispered fervently, leaning down to pick it up with her mouth...and paused.
The flower had fallen upside down, the short stem poking up. When her face neared it, she noticed something nearly obscured by the dim lighting of the library. On the underside of each broad petal, there was a marking drawn in black. She had seen these markings before, briefly; when Celestia had temporarily opened the Stargate. The cutie mark pictographs on the gate had transformed into these weird little symbols she now saw before her.
She stared blankly for several seconds. Then all at once, the meaning hit her, and she had to blink the sudden tears away. She didn't fight the wide grin that accompanied them, though. "Daniel, you clever, clever man," she giggled softly, and went to get a blank parchment and quill.