This is it for ANDoTH everypony! Hooray!
Now, for the final epilogue!
Epilogue 3: The Call
"I'm...I'm not who you think I am, Dash..."
"I'm really what is known as a human, from a planet called Earth...in a different plane of existence entirely...Celestia gave me this form when she brought me here..."
"My real name is...is Dan..."
Dash whimpered as she continued to hear Dan in her sleep, tossing and turning in her bed as she did so.
When you dream...
What do you dream about?
When you dream...
What do you dream about?
A tear rolled down the sleeping Pegasus' cheek as she remember the lullaby Dan sang to Blazing Dawn. "Dan...please...don't go..."
"Goodbye Dash...I love you..."
Rainbow Dash sat up in bed suddenly, panting heavily, tears staining her cheeks. She breathed in and out heavily for a moment, then sighed, wiping her face with a forehoof, "Not again..."
Silently, she slipped out of her bed and trotted quietly out of her room. As she walked through the living room, she paused and gazed inside Blazing Dawn'sroom. She smiled and chuckled when she saw her son fast asleep in an awkward, crouched over position without any covers on. "He's so tired..." Dash whispered to herself. "No wonder he can sleep like that..."
She continued trotting through the living room and quietly opened the door, slipped through, and closed it behind her again.
Finding herself outside, she turned and took in a fresh breath of night air. She slowly trotted forward to the edge of her cloud then slumped down with a groan, letting one forehoof hang over the edge. She angled her head upwards and looked up at the night sky.
"Dan..." She muttered as she gazed at the twinkling stars and Luna's moon moving slowly across the sky. "I miss you so much..." Rainbow sighed, "Why haven't you come back yet?" She looked down at her cloud and shuddered as another tear came from her eye, "You promised..."
"It's a beautiful night for star-gazing..."
Rainbow Dash jumped in surprise when she heard the regal voice of Princess Celestia from behind her. Panting heavily, Rainbow put a forehoof to her chest, "Don't sneak up on me like that, Princess!"
Celestia giggled slightly at Rainbow's shock, "Oh, come now, Rainbow Dash. I didn't mean to scare you..." The princess walked forward and stood next to the shocked Pegasus and looked up at the sky as well, "I just came to talk to you..."
Rainbow turned her head towards Celestia and cocked an eye, "To...talk...?"
Celestia's smile disappeared as she continued looking up at the sky, "I think you know what about..."
"Oh..." Dash turned her head back towards the sky as well, her eyes half-closed, "Dan..."
"Indeed..." Celestia quietly cleared her throat. "The fact of the matter is that Dan has been gone a decade now..." Celestia sighed, "Almost everypony that knew him has either forgotten or could not care less because he is not here...Gods willing, he would've been very helpful in this whole Nightmare problem..."
Dash wiped away another tear, "So why not just bring him back like you did before?"
"Were it so simple..." Celestia shook her head. "The time-space distortion he caused is still present...and I fear it doesn't look like it will be gone for a very long time..."
Dash couldn't help but sob a little, but she restrained herself in front of her princess, "I...I see..." She sighed, "I just wish there was some way he could come back..."
"I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash. Truly, I am." Celestia said, turning her head to look at the saddened Rainbow-maned Pegasus. When Rainbow looked back at celestia, the alicorn smiled, "Would you like to...see him...?"
Rainbow Dash couldn't contain herself. She flapped her wings and she took off into the air, doing a flip before flying down to Celestia's level with a smile on her face, "I'd...I'd love to!" She sniffed and wiped away a tear, "But...how?"
"I know you've been having...dreams...about Dan, Dash...that's part of why I came to see you...to ask if you wanted to see him..." Celestia smiled, "I discovered a rather interesting spell while in the Star Swirl the Bearded Wing of the Archives the other day that allows my conscience and the conscience of one other pony to be transported briefly to another world...or to another being in another world..."
"Well, Princess, don't just stand there!" Rainbow fluttered her wings excitedly, "Get on with it!"
Celestia chuckled, "Hold your horses, Rainbow! Haha, goodness..." Celestia chuckled at Rainbow's excitement before closing her eyes and concentrating, "Close your eyes as well, Rainbow Dash..."
"Oh...sorry..." Rainbow Dash touched back down onto the ground and did as instructed. She received...a weird sensation on her hooves, as if she had left the ground for a few seconds. She wobbled slightly and fell over when she again felt her hooves on the ground.
Except, it wasn't the cloud she expected. It was...
Rainbow Dash opened her eyes and looked down. Sure enough, she was looking down at some unfamiliar tan carpet. Rainbow jumped to her hooves and looked around. They were in a weird-looking bedroom with windows on all sides. Upon looking out the window, Rainbow could see a huge city, one that made Manehatten look small.
"Where are we?" Rainbow Dash turned to Celestia, who was also in the room.
Celestia strode over the window and looked around, "The human city of Los Angeles."
"Whoa..." Rainbow trotted up next to Celestia and looked out the window, "It's huge..."
"The humans are in ingenious species indeed." Celestia said, looking down at Rainbow.
"So..." Rainbow looked around, "This must be where—"
"Dan lives?" Celestia chuckled, "I certainly hope so, considering that's who I channeled the spell to..."
The sound of a door opening caused the two ponies to turn suddenly. In walked in an older Dan. His hair was still long and shaggy, and he had a very apparent soul-patch under his lip.
"Would you like some Mountain Dew, sir?" A robotic voice echoed from above.
"No thanks, Wheatley, I just wanna be alone right now..." Dan responded after closing the door and hanging up his jacket he was wearing.
Rainbow Dash was beside herself with joy. So much so, that tears began forming in her eyes as she looked at Dan, "DAN!" She extended her wings and took off towards him.
"Rainbow Dash, no!" Celestia reached a forehoof forward to stop the speeding Pegasus, but it was too late. Rainbow dash found herself flying right through Dan, as she were a ghost, and then through the wall behind him halfway before she stopped herself.
She turned and flew out of the wall, staring at Dan as he walked towards the closet and removed his shirt and hang it up, "W-what...?" Was all Rainbow could stammer.
Celestia sighed and walked toward the flying Pegasus through the bed, "We're as spirits here, Rainbow Dash, We are not manifested physically; only spiritually."
"O-oh..." Rainbow looked down, "Dang it...I was hoping that...that..." She sniffed, "I could..."
Celestia walked up and tenderly wrapped her wings around the saddened Pegasus, "I know, Rainbow Dash. I just thought you might want to see him..."
"Thank you, your Highness..." Rainbow Dash pulled herself away from the hug and looked over at Dan, who had put on a new short and was walking towards them, an indifferent expression on his face, "That means a lot...just to know he is okay..."
Rainbow Dash shivered as Dan walked right through the both of them and went to his bed and kneeled down in front of it. He then clasped his hands together and rest his elbows on his bed and leaned his head forward with his eyes closed.
"What...what is he doing?" Rainbow Dash asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Star Swirl the Bearded's book on humans suggests this is the act of 'praying' to their God..." Celestia responded with an intrigued look.
"My Father in Heaven..." Dan's baritone voice echoed throughout the room, "I come before thee tonight to again thank thee for the bounty of blessings which thou hast given me...and to bless my family, wherever they may be, that they may be safe and sound..."
"Awe..." Rainbow Dash sighed. "He's still as sweet as always..."
Celestia was unmoved, clearly worried about something.
"Also, again, father, I'd again like to thank those beings...whoever they were...and their role in my success and making me feel better those ten years ago..." Dan continued. "I can't remember them, but you probably know them better than I do..."
The sound of shattering glass rang through Rainbow's mind when she heard Dan say that.
"He..." She started to say. "He..."
"He has forgotten..." Celestia muttered. "Just as I feared..."
Rainbow Dash slumped to the floor. "He...he forgot..." She began to sob. "I can't believe it..."
"Rainbow..." Celestia said, her eyes narrowing with sadness as well. "Rainbow, I'm so sorry..." She looked at Dan, who was now praying quietly. "His human mind has most likely repressed all the memories he has of Equestria..." She looked down at her. "And of you."
Rainbow was silent for a long time before Celestia leaned down and, with a surprising show of emotion, nuzzle Rainbow Dash on the neck. "I'm so sorry, dear..."
Rainbow Dash just stared ahead as she lay on the floor, silent, unable to believe it.
He had forgotten. Dan had repressed his memories.
"Wait..." Rainbow said aloud.
"He's repressed his memories..."
"They could still be there..." Rainbow said quietly. She angled her head up at Dan who was still quietly praying. "Dan..."
Rainbow Dash stood up and trotted slowly over to the bed and stood beside Dan as he prayed. Rainbow Dash sighed, looked down, and, to Celestia's surprise, she began to sing in her adorable tomboy voice.
It started out as a feeling...
Which then grew into a hope...
Which then turned into a quiet thought...
Which then turned into a quiet word.
Rainbow Dash slowly laid down on the floor next to Dan, resting her head on the bed next to his right elbow. Her tail swished through his body as she continued to sing passionately.
And then that word grew louder and louder...
'Til it was a battle cry!
You'll come back!
When I call you...
No need to say goodbye.
Rainbow Dash, at this point, was finding it difficult to express her emotions through song, as tears were streaming out of her eyes and she did so. Celestia, too, was touched by the scene as Dash appealed to Dan's memory. Dash turned her head to look at Dan, whose eyes were now open and staring ahead. Dash sniffed and continued to sing.
Just because everything's changing...
Doesn't mean it's never...
Been this way before.
All you can do is try to 'member...
Who your friends are...
As you head off to your world.
Dan shifted slightly in his kneeling position, as if he were hearing something in his head. Dash smiled sadly and stood up, positioning her face right hext his as he continued to stare ahead.
Pick a star on the dark horizon...
And follow the light.
You'll come back...
When it's over.
No need to say good bye.
Finally, Dan turned in Dash's direction and stared at her, even though she wasn't there. For a brief moment, it appeared as though Dan's human mind recovered enough repressed memory for him to hear his former lover from Equestria. Tears came to his confused eyes as the sweet female voice he was hearing continued to sing.
Now you're back to the Earth...
It's just a feeling and nopony knows anymore
But just because they can't feel it too...
Doesn't mean that you have to forget.
Dash leaned in so that she was face to face with Dan.
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger...
Til they're before your eyes!
At this point Dash was right in front of Dan's face, hoping he would see her. All Dan did, however, was simply reach up a hand and feel around in the empty space, his hand phasing right through her.
You'll come back...
When it's over.
No need to say good bye...
Dash slowly leaned forward and kissed the air where Dan's cheek was. She got up and trotted back towards the Princess, who was in tears herself at the scene before her. She nodded at the Princess, who in turn began powering up a spell to bring them back to Equestria. Dash looked at Dan and sang one last line.
No need to say good bye...
In a flash, the two ponies were gone.
Dan, now alone, even though he didn't know there were two ghostly ponies in the room, slowly reached a hand up to the cheek Dash and kissed and felt it, "Huh..." He rubbed it a few times, "That was weird..."
Awe...Dan still doesn't 'member...poor Dashie...
But he WILL! :D
Song: The Call by Regina Spektor
Stay tuned for more epic stories and updates for the Return of the 7th Element from yours truly! (Including the Assassin's Creed fic that I decided will happen. And no, no human assassins...just ponies...bwahaha...)