Warning: This article is marked as mature. "Mature" means "blood and gore" might happen in this article. Thank you.
This is a sequel to "A precious rainbow".
A Guilty Conscience
SWEET APPLE ACRES
ONE WEEK AFTER RUNNING OF THE LEAVES
Rainbow Dash sat on the porch of the Apple Family Farmhouse, under the canopy as a midnight autumn shower moved across the Ponyville area. The wingless Pegasus had a somber look about her tonight. Rain didn't usually make her sad, but combined with the thoughts present in her mind tonight, the weather certainly wasn't helping.
"Hey there, Sugarcube. Can't sleep?" asked a friendly voice from behind, as the screen door quietly squeaked open, tapping shut as Applejack came up next to her recent house guest, and it looked more and more like it would become permanent resident, if Rainbow had made her mind up about staying on the farm.
"Nope. I've been tossing and turning for three hours." Rainbow answered her friend, not taking her gaze off of the hazy shower. Applejack took a sitting position next to the rainbow-maned pony, subtly looking her over.
She was almost entirely healed from her traumatic, torturous experience a few weeks ago. The scars were still apparent, and one of her back hooves was a bit sore, but other than that, she was quite anxious to start work around the farm and get her mind off what had happened.
"So what's on your mind, hun?"
There was a moment of silence, broken only by the pelting rain on the roof.
Applejack thought back to their former friend. Due to her central role in the horrific murders in the past months, most of Ponyville had come to call her 'The Cupcake Killer.'
When she had come looking for Rainbow after she missed a date for pie, Applejack stumbled upon the basement of Sugarcube Corner, where Pinkie was committing these atrocities. And there had hung Rainbow, at death's door. Applejack knocked Pinkie back in self-defense, giving her a blow to the chin so hard that her neck had snapped when she collided with a table.
Acting as quickly as she could, she rushed Rainbow to Ponyville Urgent Care, and it would turn out that she did so just in time. Sadly, Rainbow's wings could not be saved, and it was a loss that Rainbow was having trouble coping with. After spending a couple nights in the hospital, Rainbow was released, and after a restless half-night alone, she made her way to Applejack's farm, where she had been staying for most of her recovery.
And now her mind was on Pinkie. Applejack wasn't sure how to view the whole situation yet. That night she found Rainbow was a shock, and helping her through her recovery, she hadn't really gone back to think about it.
"Oh? What about her?" Applejack asked.
"I...I can't help but wonder if we're to blame for what she did."
Applejack put her arm around her friend.
"Sugar, we all heard the conclusion Princess Luna came to, but that doesn't mean-"
"No, Applejack." Rainbow began, tears pricking her eyes.
"Maybe you don't get it. What she did to me, I will remember for the rest of my life. And she did it to at least a dozen other poor ponies...and...and..."
She got choked up as tears ran down her cheeks.
"...and if what we did had anything to do with it..."
"Rainbow, if you keep thinking like that, you'll never sleep at night."
"You can? You don't think for one second that our surprise party might've been the cause of this?"
"What you went through, hun, I don't want to put into words. And the last thing you need right now is a guilty conscience."
"So...what do I do?" Rainbow asked her with teary eyes.
"Whatever you have to do to clear your mind." Applejack said, giving her a reassuring squeeze around the shoulders.
"Because Pinkie is gone, her victims are gone, and nothing will change that or bring them back."
THE NEXT MORNING
As the first rays from the rising sun began to shine on Ponyville, Rainbow Dash walked somberly up the dirt path towards the town, her Wonderbolt hoodie snug around her body as the crisp morning air moved past. She was still very conflicted inside; Applejack was right. Pinkie and her victims were no more, and that was why she wasn't quite sure how to deal with that feeling. Was she supposed to talk to someone? Just wait for everything to feel...right?
As she came into the first parts of town, she passed a turquoise unicorn sitting on a bench. She was holding something small in her hooves, and she looked as if she was quivering. Rainbow came closer, and realized she had seen this pony around town before.
"Hey there. Lyra, was it? How're you doing?"
Lyra looked up at Rainbow, with golden, watery eyes.
"Oh, h-hi Rainbow Dash. Glad to see you're recovering well. That was...was quite the race you ran last week."
Her voice was shaking, and it seemed like she had done a bit of crying recently. Rainbow took a seat next to her on the bench.
"What's wrong, Lyra?"
Lyra turned her hooves towards Rainbow, showing she was holding a small gold pendant necklace.
"It's...it's Bon-bon..." she said, sounding as if she was on the verge of tears again.
Suddenly, a flashback hit Rainbow.
In the basement – strapped to the planks – Pinkie – her dress – sewn from all the cutie marks of her past victims...
One of them was three wrapped candies...
'Oh no...' Rainbow swallowed.
"She left for a candy fair and convention over in Hoofington several weeks ago. She was supposed to be back last week, but no one had any idea where she was. I started to fear the worst, as those disappearances had been happening for months and...and..."
Tears streamed down her cheeks, and she took in a staggered breath.
"They just told me last night. This was found in the basement of Sugarcube Corner, and her cutie mark was on that psycho's dress..."
Lyra fell into a sob, and Rainbow felt helpless. She had been just seconds away from the same fate.
Rainbow felt the subtlest sense of irony. Through her recovery, she had been the victim, brought through her ordeal by very dear friends. And now here she was, trying to figure out how to help someone else, who had lost a very dear friend. She put her arm around the shuddering figure of Lyra.
"I...I know it's hard, losing someone very special. Thinking that life will never be the same. But if anything, I know she'd want you to be strong, Lyra. At least it's over."
Lyra gave her a teary nod.
"Thanks Rainbow, you're right. I have to find my way through this, just like you are. I can't imagine it's easy for you. Always being on the ground now."
"I'm finding ways to adapt. It hasn't been easy in any sense, but I've been doing a lot of thinking. And the Running of the Leaves was something of a distraction, as well."
"Rainbow...I – I have to know. What happened to you? What happened to Bon-bon?"
Rainbow went wide-eyed for just a moment.
"You don't want to know, Lyra."
"Rainbow, I saw you when you first came out of the hospital. I see the scars on you-"
"And if those don't give you enough mental images, I'm not going to give you any more." Rainbow said gently, but sternly. "You don't want to do that to yourself, Lyra."
"I-I just don't want to think that she suffered..." Lyra said shakily.
"Then don't think about it. Remember her for who she was. Don't focus on what happened down there, okay?"
It didn't look like Lyra was satisfied, but she sniffled and nodded. Rainbow gave her a comforting hug, and was on her way into town.
Honestly, the Running of the Leaves had been a distraction. She needed something to focus on other than those lingering thoughts in her head, and AJ wouldn't let her do any chores yet, so that's why she ran.
But now those lingering thoughts were back. She couldn't help but feel partly responsible for what Pinkie had done...
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO...
"Thanks a lot for coming, guys! It was a blast! Happy Birthday Spike!" Pinkie yelled out, waving from her bedroom window on the second story of Sugarcube Corner. She had just thrown Spike a surprise birthday party.
Spike sheepishly waved back up at Pinkie, and thanked her for the festivities.
"See ya tomorrow, Pinkie!" Rainbow waved goodbye to her along with the others, then they were on their way.
With Spike happily munching away on a bowl of leftover gems, Rainbow looked up at the starry sky as she glided above her friends.
"Guys, I have an idea I've been thinking about." she announced.
"Oh? Go on." Twilight encouraged.
"Well, Pinkie's birthday is in a couple weeks. I know she always plans and organizes the parties around Ponyville, but I thought it would be awesome if we could throw her a surprise birthday party!"
"Rainbow, that's a great idea! She'd never expect it!" Applejack heartily agreed.
"But where could we organize it? Pinkie's all over the place." Rarity inquired.
"How about the barn over on the Acres? There's not much in there right now, plenty of space!" Applejack offered.
"And I'm sure the Cakes could keep a secret if I placed an order for a birthday cake for her."
"I could decorate the barn! It'll look fabulous!" Rarity chimed in.
"Fluttershy and I could bring you decorations from around town, and Cloudsdale." Rainbow offered.
"What about Spike? Wouldn't he want to help?" Fluttershy asked.
"Puleeze. He can't keep a secret for 10 whole minutes. You want him to try and keep a secret for weeks?"
"So that settles it. Surprise party for Pinkie!" AJ proclaimed.
She had been the one to initially suggest the surprise party that had caused Pinkie to snap. But how was she supposed to know? It was supposed to be a friendly gesture, and because Pinkie had been so determined to find out what they were up to, she had convinced herself that her friends didn't want anything to do with her anymore.
'So how can it be my fault? If matters were completely out of my hooves, why am I feeling this way?' Rainbow thought to herself as she made her way into Ponyville.
It just wasn't the fact that Pinkie had snapped into a schizophrenic episode; Rainbow kept linking her surprise party to the lives that were lost. And for every pony that Pinkie had butchered and mutilated down in the basement of Sugarcube Corner, there were friends and family members who were now affected. And for some reason, she felt responsible.
Her first stop was the library, where she told Twilight those exact thoughts.
"Rainbow, you had no control over what Pinkie did in that basement. It wasn't your fault."
Twilight's reassurances weren't doing a whole lot of good.
"Why is this coming up all of a sudden?" her bookworm of a friend asked.
"I-I haven't been sleeping well. I don't know why, but I'm feeling guilty for the lives Pinkie took away." Rainbow answered.
"I wonder if it's survivor's guilt?"
"Huh?" Rainbow cocked her head to the side quizzically.
"When you make it out of something a whole lot of other ponies didn't, sometimes you feel guilty and responsible for the lives that were lost. They call it survivor's guilt."
"No, Twilight! I'm not talking about me being the only one making it out! I'm talking about, what if we could've stopped this? Helped Pinkie when we realized what had happened to her! I..."
Tears welled up in her eyes again.
"I never told you guys what I saw right before the surprise party. I didn't tell anypony until it was too late..."
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO...
As the sun set behind the horizon, Pinkie woefully cleaned up the mess in her bedroom. It had been a very trying day. She had led herself to believe her friends wanted nothing to do with her anymore and then...
Pinkie righted the stool next to the table when there was a soft knock on the door. She turned to see it open, and reveal Rainbow.
"Hey there, Pinkie Pie. How're you doing?"
Pinkie looked at her friend with a sad look on her face, and looked around the room. The majority of Gummy's after-birthday cake was still on the table, joined by a slice on the floor next to the stool Pinkie had set up on it's legs just now. The bucket of turnips were still where they fell when Rainbow and Pinkie had gotten into that short scuffle.
'Sir Lintsalot' and 'Madame LaFlour' were still at their places at the table. 'Rocky' was still on the floor in front of the table where Rainbow had tipped the stack of rocks.
The surprise party had been very delightful. It had just put a downer on the whole day having to come back to this mess, remembering what had happened.
"Just...just cleaning up, that's all." Pinkie replied sheepishly, trying to convince herself that the events in this room earlier today never took place.
"Listen, Pinkie. I wanted to talk to you, make sure you're okay."
"Well sure, why wouldn't I be okay?"
"Well, because of this for one." Rainbow replied, motioning to the mess around the table.
"I...I really don't know what came over me. I was so afraid of losing my friends..." Pinkie admitted.
Rainbow came up to her and put a leg around her friend's shoulder.
"Maybe you should see a doctor, Pink. Just make sure that, you know, everything's alright up there."
"No no, I'm fine. That side of me is gone as far as I'm concerned. As soon as I get this mess cleaned up, I can forget all about it."
"Are you sure, Pinkie? You're my friend, and I want to know you're alright."
"I'm alright, Rainbow Dash, honest. I know now never to doubt my friends again." she said with a smile.
"Well, alright then."
Rainbow began to cry.
"I never told anyone. I knew something was wrong and I just lied to myself, convinced myself that it was over, just like she had. And...and look what happened to her..." she said, sobbing.
Twilight set her book down and came over to her friend.
"I could've stopped it. I could've stopped this all from happening."
Twilight rubbed Rainbow's back in an effort to get her to calm down.
"Rainbow, what you did wasn't wrong. You were being a friend to Pinkie. You didn't want to hurt her feelings or your friendship by insisting that she get help. If you keep on going over past events like this, believing it could have been different, you're going to drive yourself insane."
"It's not just that...I don't..."
She swallowed and sniffled, and tried to get back her composure.
"How am I supposed to remember her? How are all of us supposed to remember her? As one of the most energetic full-of-life friends ever? Or as this...'Cupcake Killer'? Is that the best way to honor her memory?"
Twilight didn't answer Rainbow's question right away. Rainbow and Pinkie had been closer friends than the rest of them, which was understandable. In any group of friends, some were closer than others.
"I just...just need to find some peace. Some closure to all this..."
"Well Rainbow," Twilight began, motioning to the library's front door.
"It's a beautiful day out there. I'd say take a walk around town, get some fresh air. Talk to some of our other friends, get more perspectives, or maybe go for a swim. Just let your mind wander, maybe it'll solve this problem all on it's own."
Rainbow wiped the tears from her eyes and nodded.
The two friends hugged each other before Rainbow made an exit into the bright Ponyville morning.
30 MINUTES LATER
Rainbow wasn't headed in any particular direction, she just walked where her hooves took her. It was getting a little frustrating; this feeling of guilt over what Pinkie did, and she didn't seem to be any closer to solving it, and she wasn't sure that her mind would solve this problem on it's own if she just went for a stroll. Rainbow wasn't the most patient of ponies, and with how her patience was tested at times with other ponies, she doubted she could tolerate waiting on herself to get over the guilt.
The conflict within wouldn't go away. She didn't want to remember Pinkie as 'The Cupcake Killer', but she couldn't just ignore what she had done and remember her as a friend. It was a bubbly feeling deep in her stomach, and it wasn't pleasant.
Pinkie Pie had done terrible, unspeakable things to her in that basement, and to a dozen other ponies as well. Rainbow Dash couldn't help but wonder which groups of friends and families were now mourning a lost loved one like she had found Lyra doing earlier that day. Rainbow Dash shuddered at the thought of the fate she had been spared, 'the harvesting', Pinkie had called it, right before Applejack came to her rescue.
Rainbow Dash began to reflect on her memory of the nightmarish experience. It wasn't easy, but she needed to if she wanted to move on with her life. Pinkie Pie had done more than physically torture Rainbow Dash, she took away Rainbow Dash's identity and sense of self. Rainbow Dash was still trying to find her place in the world, for what was she without her wings? Flying had been her life. A small part of her wanted to hate Pinkie for what she had done and the pain she had caused, but she couldn't.
She wouldn't, for her wings weren't the only thing Rainbow Dash held dear that had been cruelly taken from her that night. She had lost a friend, and to Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty, her friends were just as much a part of what made her whole as flying was, and Pinkie Pie had meant just as much to her as Applejack before that fateful night. Rainbow Dash couldn't hate Pinkie Pie any more than she could forget about her love of flying. She could only feel like she failed Pinkie as a friend for letting such a terrible transformation take place within her soul. In Rainbow Dash's mind, Pinkie was as much a victim as herself or anypony else. Rainbow Dash felt a responsibility as the lone survivor to do something for the victims, so they could be remembered. Even Pinkie Pie.
She came to the stone fountain near the center of town, and stopped to look at her reflection in the ripples. She also saw bits scattered around the bottom of the fountain, obviously some ponies used it as a wishing fountain. She followed the ripples to their source, as they fell from the 2nd story bowl, and the smaller yet 3rd bowl. It reminded her of her liquid rainbow fountain back on her cloud home.
Twilight, her ever-knowledgeable, well-read friend was right, because right then, watching that fountain, something clicked, and the lightbulb blinked on above her head.
"That's it! That's what I can do!"
She quickly galloped towards Carousel Boutique, and barged through the door, startling the design shop's proprietor, who was currently sewing a garment.
"Hey Rarity, I just got a fantastic idea, and I wanted to bring it to you first and get your opinion on it. I think you could appreciate it most."
"Oh? Do go on, Rainbow." Rarity replied, retrieving from the floor the thread and needle she just dropped.
"What if we made a memorial? For the victims."
Rarity developed a small smile.
"Well, I'd say it's a wonderful idea. Where are you thinking of making it?"
"I was thinking the fountain. Dedicating the fountain to the victims. We could decorate it, and carve a eulogy into the stone..."
"Well, you're certainly down the right path, Rainbow. Have you talked to the mayor about it?"
"No not yet. I wanted to get my friend's opinions."
"Well, you have my approval."
"And Rarity...I was thinking...of Pinkie, too."
This brought the conversation to an abrupt but short pause.
"What about her?"
"I'm wondering if we would include her in the memorial."
Rarity sat on her back haunches next to Rainbow.
"I know what you're going to say, Rarity."
"Well, you're going to hear it anyway. Darling, you're heart's in the right place. She was a friend, no doubt. But...she hurt a lot of ponies, darling. Yourself included. And even though Pinkie was my friend too...I'm sorry, Rainbow, but you don't memorialize the killer along with their victims."
Rainbow was silent for a moment after that, and Rarity didn't want it to seem like she had discouraged the idea more than supported it.
"But other than that, I believe it's a splendid idea."
"Thanks Rarity. Once we get support from the mayor, I was hoping you could help with the décor."
"Alright. I'm headed over to Fluttershy's."
"Alright, good luck. And think about what I said."
It was a 5-minute walk through Ponyville to the edge of town closest to the Everfree Forest, where Fluttershy lived in her cottage. Rainbow came up the front walk, gave a gentle knock, and her Pegasus childhood friend answered moments later.
"Oh, hello, Rainbow Dash. How are you doing today?"
"Just spending a while walking around town. Trying to clear my head."
Rainbow spent the next several minutes about the idea for the memorial at the fountain, and Fluttershy was equally optimistic. This time around, however, Rainbow omitted her idea about including Pinkie.
"I could plant some lovely floral arrangements around the fountain! Well, that's if the mayor allows it."
"I don't know why she wouldn't. The victims, as well as the friends and family members, deserve a place to remember them by."
There was another knock at the door, and Rarity came in.
"Rarity, long time no see." Rainbow joked, getting a small giggle out of the fashion pony.
"Rainbow, Fluttershy, could you follow me? There's somepony who'd like to talk with you."
"Oh, alright. Where are we going?"
Loyal To The End And Beyond
5 MINUTES LATER
Rainbow's curiosity had been piqued, absolutely. Who wanted her at Sugarcube Corner, and why?
She hadn't been there since...
Rarity led the way, with her and Fluttershy in tow, and they came to the now-infamous sweet shop, which had miraculously managed to stay in business, despite the horrors that had transpired in the basement. The trio entered the shop, and were greeted by Mrs. Cake and Twilight at the front counter.
"Twilight, what are you doing here?" Rainbow asked, surprised.
"Well, Rainbow." Rarity began, "When you finished telling me your idea, I went to find Twilight. Spike was the only one at the library, and pointed me to Sugarcube Corner. When I got here, she told me to go get you, and the first place I checked was Fluttershy's."
"So, what exactly is this about?" Rainbow inquired.
"When Rarity got here, she told me about your idea, and I was already here because I knew you were being bothered inside by what Pinkie had done, so I thought it would be a good idea for you to come and talk to somepony who was just as close to her as you were." Twilight said, turning to Mrs. Cake.
"Well, if everypony would please follow me. Honey, be a dearie and watch the store while I tend to our guests." Mrs. Cake called to her husband before taking everyone through the kitchen upstairs to the second floor. At the top of the stairs, there was a door with a heart-shaped window. She slowly opened it, and led everyone into Pinkie's old bedroom. Rainbow, greeted with recent memories of trying to convince her friend to get some help, seemed uneasy.
"I thought this would be the most appropriate place to discuss this, Rainbow."
"Discuss what?" Rainbow said, her patience being tested just by being in this room.
"Rainbow, I support your idea of a memorial. But it has to be for the victims, sweetheart. To include the killer would be-"
"She wasn't a killer! That...pony that committed those murders down in the basement...it may have been the same body, but not the same mind. Not the Pinkie I knew. She was cheerful, joyful, a high-on-life party pony. She could have never done this, deep in my heart I know that."
"Rainbow, you're right, and your heart is in the right place, truly it is. But there are a lot of ponies in town that feel differently. Ponies who have lost loved ones because of what she did. It wouldn't be right, but I think I know what you're looking to do."
Rainbow said nothing, and waited for Mrs. Cake to continue.
"Pinkie was like a daughter to me, and if you, just like me, are looking to honor her memory, who she used to be, I think I know the perfect way for you to do that."
Mrs. Cake made a brief exit to across the hall to her bedroom, and came back with a small box on her back, with holes lining the sides and lid, and presented it to Rainbow.
Rainbow took it, and a little green scaly nose poked up out of the lid for a moment before darting back under.
All these feelings that had been slowly stirring inside the past few days finally came to a head, and erupted. Rainbow fell on her back haunches, collapsing against the wall, and she broke into an uncontrollable sob, nearly dropping the box, managing to set it on the floor next to her before burying her head in her hooves. Her friends came in and held her tight as she wept. These mixed feelings deep inside were now straight in line.
She brought her face up out of her arms and looked at each of her friends, her shoulders heaving, and tears streaming out of her eyes.
"I...I..." Rainbow began, trying her best to get a hold of herself.
"I...d-don't care. I don't care what she did. I don't care that she hurt me, that she brought me within an inch of my life, or what she did to anypony else. I just...just...I miss my friend! Alright? Okay? Is that so wrong?"
"Of course it isn't wrong, Rainbow. After all, you represent the Element of Loyalty. So it only makes sense that you'd care about your friends and stand by them, no matter what they do. That says so much about you, Rainbow Dash, that through thick and thin; through the worst of circumstances, you will never let that love die." Twilight said.
Rainbow sniffled, and wiped the tears from her eyes, and gently opened the lid of the box, and those big purple eyes stared up at her. She picked up the toothless baby alligator, and held him close.
"I figured he'd be happier with you on the farm, is all." Mrs. Cake chimed in.
"Yeah," Rainbow looked at him with a smile, then at Mrs. Cake.
"Yeah, I think he will."
SWEET APPLE ACRES
Rainbow walked through the front gates of Sweet Apple Acres as the sun began to dip below the horizon, and Luna began to bring out the stars and moon. She had saddlebags on her back, and Gummy rode contently on top of them.
The day had improved immensely after her visit to Sugarcube Corner. Together with her three friends, they had approached the Mayor with Rainbow's idea for the fountain memorial, and she was ecstatic. She said she'd be delighted if work began on it as early as tomorrow. After everything had been set in motion, Rainbow had made her way back to the farm.
As she approached the farmhouse, Applejack came out and greeted her on the porch.
"Hey there, Sugarcube. Have a good day?"
She was quite surprised when Gummy poked his head around Rainbow's neck. Rainbow looked at him with a smile.
"Yeah. Yeah I did."
Applejack's reaction wasn't immediate.
"Uh, sugarcube, why in Celestia's name is he with you?"
"Oh, you mean Gummy? I, uhh, didn't want the poor little guy to go lonely"
"But doesn't he remind you a bit much of her?" AJ responded.
"You mean Pinkie? Well, yeah. But I don't want to forget our friendship."
"Sugar, she hurt a lot of innocent ponies. She hurt you."
"I know, I just...I just can't dwell on that anymore. I want to remember her for who she used to be."
"I know it's easy for you to forgive Dash, but for me... not so much. It just hurts me to see what she did to you."
"I'm not talking about forgiveness, AJ. I'm talking about separating the Pinkie we all knew and loved from that monster that carried out the horrors in Sugarcube Corner's basement.
"That's just what I mean Dash, it's not as easy for everypony else to make that separation."
"I know. That's why I decided to take Gummy. So I can leave everypony else out of it and honor Pinkie my way."
"Well, if that's what you have to do Dash, I suppose I can support that."
"Thanks, AJ. That means a lot to me."
2 WEEKS LATER
A good portion of Ponyville was gathered at the newly-decorated fountain in the center of town. Planted all around the base were the most beautiful and exotic types of flowers, thanks to Fluttershy.
On the edge of all three flowing bowls, glimmering gemstones had been encrusted into the stone. When the sunlight hit them, the sight was almost magical. Thanks to Rarity, who had spent a great deal of time in the past couple weeks perfecting her choice of gems to be included in the memorial.
On the bottom most bowl, where most of the water was at all times, the names of the victims had been expertly carved into the outside wall all around the circumference. It had taken Twilight up until 2 nights ago to get them all carved in.
The mayor came up to the podium that had been set up in front of the fountain.
"Now if everypony would bow their heads for a moment of silence."
All ponies present lowered their heads, closed their eyes, and were silent. Just the wind moving through town could be heard. After several moments, the mayor thanked the crowd, and gave the podium to Rainbow Dash.
"Thanks so much for coming out today, everypony. When I first got this idea in my head a couple weeks ago, I never anticipated this outpouring of support. I'll be honest, I wasn't particularly close with any of the victims of these killings, but many of you were, and every day I thank my lucky stars that my name isn't carved into this fountain."
Rainbow ducked underneath the podium, and came up with her jar of liquid rainbow from her cloud home, and untwisted the lid.
"So let this fountain be a reminder of what Ponyville has lost. Of the joy and happiness these ponies brought into our lives."
With that, she slowly poured the liquid rainbow into the fountain, every last drop, and within seconds, the spectrum had worked through the entire waterlines, and the fountain was now a brilliant display of colors reflected in the sunshine.
The next hour was spent with several family and friends of particular victims coming to the podium and telling of happy times with their lost loved ones. After which, another moment of silence was given, and the ceremony ended.
As the crowd began to disperse, Rainbow looked at the shooting streams of rainbow as they fell into the two tiers into the bottom bowl, and was touched at what her friends and her had managed to accomplish.
"It's very beautiful. I can't wait to see how it looks under the moonlight."
Rainbow turned, and saw Princess Luna behind her, and she gave a short bow.
"Thank you, your highness. What can I do for you?"
"Actually, I just thought I'd come and let you know something. This isn't for everypony's ears, but it concerns Pinkie."
Rainbow listened intently, and her friends saw Luna lean down and whisper something in Rainbow's ear. Rainbow then nodded with a soft smile, and Luna ascended into the sky towards Canterlot.
PONYVILLE ROCK FARM
2 DAYS LATER
Rainbow Dash sat near a large oak tree next to the silo near the farmhouse, with Gummy on her shoulder. She sat in front of a fresh mound of dirt, where a pile of rocks had been set up, with a wooden cross perched out of the center of the pile, with a name carved into it.
'PINKAMENA DIANE PIE'
"Look...I don't think everypony will ever be able to agree on how to view what you did. Whether it's right to remember you and the way you were before all this happened. I don't honestly know what I'd say to you, had you survived. I'm trying my hardest to cope with what you did to me, Pinkie. You were one of my best friends, and I think I'm the only one out of our friends who's ready to move on. You're gone now, and I can't feel about you the way the other victims do. You didn't take anyone from me, except...yourself. We'll never know if you had any idea what you were doing, if there was something seriously wrong with your mind. I'm sorry if anything we did caused this."
Rainbow fumbled with the dirt for a moment, trying to figure out what she wanted to say next.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is...I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive you for what you did. I'm going to find a way to live with what you did to me, and I'll be stronger for it. But...you were a great friend, regardless of what happened to you in the end."
Rainbow just sat there, looking at the simple grave. By looking at her, a pony wouldn't be able to tell if she was waiting for a response from beyond the grave. She sat there for several more minutes, in silence, before whispering goodbye, and began to trot home back to the farm, with Gummy on her back.
Her mind was finally clear.