Epilogue: 10 Years Later
Twilight Sparkle stood on the train platform as the train pulled into the station. The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was just right. Twilight couldn't believe that it had already been almost a complete decade since she had last seen Stormflower in person. They had sent postcards and letters back and forth between each other but their paths had yet to cross until this point. Twilight could only think about the past ten years as the train emitted a large blast of steam.
Twilight had progressed greatly in her magical studies. She often went on trips to faraway countries and distant lands to continue her training. Spike often accompanied her and he had since grown into a very strong and intelligent young dragon. He wasn't too big to fit in the library but he was big enough to give anypony a bone-crushing hug. Due to her experience with magic, Twilight also helped Cheerilee occasionally at the school to teach the unicorns magic and teach all of the foals about the history and workings of magic and so forth.
Sweet Apple Acres began to make big business in the years following the murders and became a popular tourist attraction for ponies seeking knowledge about the secrets behind the Cupcake Killer. Applejack married a stallion named Cob and she now had three children, Hank, Isaac, and Elaine. Apple Bloom found a talent in the fashion industry, ironically, and went on to become Rarity's apprentice.
Rarity's fashion business had also gained a lot of attention and she eventually moved to Canterlot with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom. Fluttershy became a caretaker for exotic animals and even discovered a new animal, with help from Zecora, known as the three-horned ferret.
Irena continued her music career for a couple years with Octavia and Vinyl before returning to help out her parents on the farms with a small fortune in hoof. She still played music today and often traveled to hospitals and orphanages to help cheer ponies up with her music.
Stormflower married Joan soon after leaving Ponyville and soon returned for a bit and adopted Scootaloo. Stormflower, Joan, and Scootaloo traveled to many places throughout Equestria and Scootaloo eventually found a talent for dancing, which led to her giving performances in various places throughout the country. The family eventually settled down in a small house in the country, a couple towns over from the rock farms, and Stormflower gave birth to twins, Roger and Lauren. Stormflower also wrote two books based around the Cupcake Murders. One was about the murder of Rainbow Dash and the following investigation while the other was based around Sunkick and his sixth sense. Sunkick made a small fortune in contacting the dead and helping families move on from traumatic experiences. He moved in with Stormflower's family around three years previously.
Rufus, meanwhile, was killed by another prisoner around one year after his conversation with Stormflower. The town of Ponyville moved on from the Cupcake Murders but the dark history still lingered in the town. Brutus became a head detective though he was often compared to Aaron, which was usually the best way to annoy him.
Twilight's mind raced with these thoughts as the train came to a halt. She waited several seconds until a familiar face appeared from the steam. Stormflower hadn't changed that much in ten years, though her mane was somewhat shinier and longer. She was accompanied by Joan, Sunkick, Scootaloo, and now seven-year-olds Roger and Lauren.
"Hello, stranger!" exclaimed Stormflower as she rushed forward and gave Twilight a big hug. Twilight laughed gleefully as she proceeded to hug Joan, Sunkick, Scootaloo, and the twins afterwards.
"Can you perform some magic for us?" Lauren asked.
"Yeah! Mommy's always telling us about how good you are at magic!" said Roger.
"Now, now, kids. Don't badger Ms. Sparkle," said Stormflower.
"It's alright," said Twilight. Her horn glowed for a few seconds as Roger and Lauren found themselves floating in the air. The twins giggled gleefully as they soared like young birds. Twilight then set the twins back down, which led to them groaning with anticipation for more.
"How have things been?" Sunkick asked.
"Pretty good. The town's been recovering from that hurricane we got last month."
"I heard about that. Pretty costly," said Joan.
"Well, not too costly. Thankfully, Applejack and Rarity have lent some of their money to repair the damage."
"Have you heard from Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle recently?" Scootaloo asked. Twilight looked at the teenage pegasus and smiled. She could still see the tough, young filly that idolized Rainbow Dash 24/7.
"Yeah. I've heard about them in Rarity's letters. Sweetie Belle's begun a singing career and is working with Octavia and Vinyl now."
"Irena's old group?" Stormflower asked.
"The same. Speaking of Irena, have you seen her recently?"
"Yeah. We visited her, Edgar, and Rachel just last week. She's doing really well."
"That's nice to hear."
"So, heard anything from the Princesses recently?" Sunkick asked. The group began making their way away from the station and towards the library as the conversation continued.
"Not really. I've been traveling a lot recently but I haven't been to Canterlot since February, I think."
"We visited there recently for a book signing," said Stormflower.
"Your book on Sunkick has really taken off, eh?"
"Yep!" said Sunkick. "The Sixth Sense: A True Tale of Spirits and Encounters!"
"You just can't stop reciting that title, can you?" Joan teased.
"What? It's an excellent title!"
"Is there something you have to say about my book?" Stormflower asked with a smirk. Everypony began laughing but the laughing stopped as soon as they found themselves standing next to an iron fence. The graves of the Ponyville Cemetery glared at them from the other side of the fence.
"They're in there, aren't they?" Roger asked. "Aunt Dashie and the Cupcake Killer."
"Yeah...they're in there," Joan replied. The twins then zoomed into the cemetery. Lauren used her wings to fly over the fence while Roger, being an earth pony, had to take the long way. "Kids! Not this again!"
Joan raced after them while Sunkick and Scootaloo rolled their eyes.
"They're always doing this," said Scootaloo. Twilight gave an awkward chuckle and turned to Stormflower. A neutral look was plastered on her face.
"You okay, Stormflower?" Twilight asked.
"Huh? Oh...don't worry. I'm fine," Stormflower replied. Before Twilight could ask anything else, Stormflower walked past her and followed Joan and the twins into the cemetery. Twilight, Sunkick, and Scootaloo followed quietly.
They soon caught up to Stormflower, Joan, and the twins. They were standing in front of a pair of headstones. The one on the right was Rainbow Dash's and the one on the left was Pinkie Pie's/Pinkamena's.
"Cool! Dead ponies!" Roger said. Joan patted his son on the head and pulled him away from the stone.
"Don't forget to show some respect, kiddo," he said. Sunkick sighed and Twilight turned to face him.
"I don't hear much from her anymore," Sunkick said. Twilight instantly knew that he was talking about Rainbow Dash. "We talk sometimes but, recently, the connection has been pretty loose."
"Maybe you're just losing your need to talk to her," Scootaloo guessed.
"I guess...but I don't want to loose that need."
"We don't want to loose anything we hold dear. Sometimes we don't get a choice in the matter," said Twilight.
"But, what we can do is live, move on, and work for the best," said Stormflower as she turned around. She reached into her bag and pulled out the glow stone gift that Rainbow Dash had had Twilight order a decade earlier.
"You still have it."
"I said I'd keep it with me always, and I meant it."
Stormflower turned back to Rainbow Dash's grave and presented the stone as if Rainbow Dash were standing there to witness the action. She then placed the gift back in her bag and began walking away from the grave.
"Come on, kids," said Joan as he led the curious twins towards the exit. Scootaloo followed after them. Twilight and Sunkick were about to leave when they suddenly saw the ghostly images of Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie standing behind their respective graves. The ghostly ponies didn't say anything. They simply smiled at Twilight and Sunkick and disappeared. Twilight wiped a tear from her eye and turned to face Sunkick.
"Come on," she said. "We don't want to get left behind."
Sunkick nodded and they proceeded to follow the others out of the cemetery as the sun dipped behind a small, gray cloud.
Author's Note: So, after over two months of writing, this story has finally come to a close. I hope you all enjoyed this story and I look forward to writing many more stories in the future.