It all started with the Everfree Forest.
Well actually, it all started with Princess Celestia sending me to Ponyville, then the Everfree forest and the hunt for the Elements. Hoo, there’s something nopony’d forget - even if they didn’t have a photographic memory like me.
You know the deal - Nightmare Moon, sun didn’t come up, elements found, *FOOM* Nightmare Moon go bye-bye. And the six of us scared saddle-less at the time. Despite its fearsomeness, though, it’s actually quite beautiful. And not as scary as one might think. We all visit from time to time: Fluttershy for obvious reasons - the most fearsome of creatures is putty in her hooves -Rarity visits Steven to trade fashion tips - for a sea serpent who can’t even leave his river, he’s surprisingly versed on ‘the latest thing.’
Pinkie goes there simply to find scary looking trees to laugh at, Rainbow uses the tall trees to practice her aerial maneuvers and I visit because frankly the place fascinates me.
Applejack pays call on Zecora quite often and there’s quite a story as to why.
One day Zecora had decided she’d had enough of keeping hidden away in her hut except for her visits to Ponyville and decided to explore the outside world. Of course we gave her our complete blessing - I was proud particularly of her willingness to explore. She passed by Sweet Apple Acres, Macintosh got an eyeful of her and was smitten on the spot.
Being the chivalrous type, he decided to take it upon himself to pay call at her hut and make confess himself to her. Unfortunately, he stepped in a patch of poison joke, was reduced to a weak colt, got tracked and nearly eaten by a wolf and came within inches of dying of exhaustion before reaching her. He slept for a couple of days, during which Zecora had a good think about things.
Turns out, Zecora had felt much the same as Macintosh, but - being quite reclusive - wasn’t really aware of her feelings for him, since she had no real point of reference. After Macintosh awoke, she admitted her feelings to him. Things expanded from the and soon they married, which makes Applejack and Zecora sisters-in-law.
Zecora does now live at the farm off and on - Applebloom utterly adores her, and even more since they became sisters - but she often returns to her hut for awhile. Despite what has happened, the hut is still her home. Also quite a lot of the herbs she uses in her medicines and potions are unique to Everfree, and she just feels comfortable mixing potions in her own place.
Speaking of relationships, Rarity and Spike have become quite the item. Ever since he and the rest of us brought her back from the depths of despair after her visit with Summersday, the two realized more or less simultaneously that they were in love with the other. I think the only reason this hasn’t gone all the way is because Spike realizes in the end it just won’t work out. It doesn’t take much to see that the love of a dragon and a beautiful unicorn won’t amount to a hill of beans when he grows up. Again.
So our lives have been extremely full and adventurous. But the fact of the matter is we’re not as young as we used to be. We’re thinking of settling down and putting our hooves up - we’ve done more than our part for Princess and country. We think we deserve to retire and have made our intentions known to the Princess.
And in my case, I eventually may not be able to use my element anyway - my magic is so powerful, it’s slowly disintegrating the part of my brain that makes a unicorn capable of using magic. I’m in absolutely no danger, but I will at some point lose my magical abilities entirely.
I don’t really see that as much of a loss, frankly.
There is a caveat to our retirement, however - we have to return the Elements to where we found them - the ruins of the castle deep in Everfree, where there are still dangers aplenty. Celestia said the elements were there on purpose - as a test to see if six ponies could work together and show themselves worthy enough to wield them. The Nightmare Moon incident simply made this test come a bit sooner than it should have.
So we six are banded together once more, to brave the depths of the Everfree and bid our Elements farewell, so that another worthy six can wield them in defense of Equestria.
One final adventure.
One last quest.
This is gonna be fun.
A/N:This story contains references to two of my stories: ‘Black and White and Red All Over’ and ‘Quit Dragon Your Heels’.
I really liked getting a sort of life story for the mane six like this. The story for how Zecora and Big Mac got together was really cute. And the idea of the mane six eventually retiring as the Elements of Harmony and having to return them to the Everfree Forest is really interesting. Nice work!