Newsworthy Part 8: Final Print 3

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Ink Well shot up in bed, immediately regretting the decision as pain lanced through his side and firmly braced leg. The soft morning light shone brightly in the familiar room, the nicks and stains from last evening's fight removed. Despite his better judgment he moved to get up, swinging his hooves from the burgundy bed to land on the floor with a soft 'clink'. His brace had been repaired, but gone was the light maneuverable frame of before. This new one was one solid cage of metal, probably for the best considering the shape it had ended up in. Carefully he pulled himself off of the bed, noting the tightness where new bandages had been administered to his side and legs. He stretched out his wings, relieved to feel them both moving and only superfluously injured.

His shoulder ached as he walked across the room, not used to taking the full brunt of the weight for his leg, and he made his way to the spot where Viper had fallen. There was a divot in the floor from her sword, but otherwise the room was unchanged, the battle a thing of the past. As he stood examining the floor, Rose walked up the stairs, stopping suddenly when she noticed he was there. "Ink Well! You're up!"

He smiled, nodding to the floor. "Yeah, only just though. I was looking at the fight scene. For some reason I thought it would be... messier." He looked at her, noting the smile on her face despite the bandages covering her legs and  shoulders.

She shrugged, taking a few steps closer. "Yeah. Downstairs was a little worse. Some collateral damage, lots of small stains here and there... and yet nothing hugely telling. It's weird, isn't it? It's like it never happened."

"Oh, no... it happened." He turned away, wings drooping and heart sinking to see her injured. "I'm sorry about, well, everything. I'm sure you're going to get a lot of flak for keeping me around after yesterday."

Rose gasped, looking surprised. "Oh! That's right, I was coming to get you!" Ink Well looked confused, fear grasping at him as he worried about being kicked out or banished for the mess he caused. Rose just smiled at him, pushing him towards the stairs. "Go downstairs! There's a surprise waiting for you in the main shop." Her smile widened as she zipped down before him, disappearing into the workshop below.

Ink Well followed, and despite his curiosity, took the stairs slowly, one leg at a time until he got used to his motions. By then he was at the bottom, walking through the silent distillery. The brass machines stood quiet, glimmering in the light. Here and there dings and scratches were apparent where blows had missed. In the corner a pipe was misaligned, one that he had perched on when Viper first entered the room. And yet, these were the only signs of any conflict. Life just kept going on.

He made his way slowly to the door, pausing a moment before swinging it open.

Within the small shop stood Princess Celestia herself, the graceful alicorn regally towering over the room and seeming to radiate light. Her pink blue and green mane flowed in an unseen wind, her gold crown and necklace with the gleaming purple gems completing the rest of the alabaster picture stunningly. Around her stood the six friends, Twilight, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash, all looking excited and joyful. To the side of the room stood Rose, smiling hugely at the shock on Ink Well's face. Crowded into the rest of the shop behind a line of guards, their blue armor clasps apparent, were dozens of ponies of every color and variety, a rainbow clustered into one room and spilling out the door and into the streets outside where even more peered in the small windows.

Stunned momentarily by the sight, as soon as he recovered her knelt before the Princess, his front leg's stiffness making the motion awkward and the final position sub par. He heard a chuckle come in a velvety voice. "Stand, my little pony, we have a lot to discuss."

With as much trouble as he had getting down Ink Well pulled himself up, shifting uneasily in the gaze of the Princess. "Princess Celestia, I am so sorry for everything I did. I had no clue that things were going to escalate that far or that all those ponies would get hurt or the town would be attacked. It's all my fault and I know I deserve the worst, I just-" He was stopped by a quick nudge from Applejack.

"Woah there scrawny, yer gettin' ahead of her now. Hear the Princess out." Behind her Fluttershy giggled as Ink Well blushed, still avoiding the Princess's eyes.

Celestia spoke again, smiling gently at him. "Ink Well, you need not to blame yourself for everything. Yes, what happened was unfortunate, but you are to be commended for what you did. You resolved a potentially horrific conflict peacefully, stopped a corrupt and powerful monopoly, ended an attempt to overthrow myself before it even began, and did it all without a single pony getting seriously hurt. Even now there are guards heading to each of the monopolized magazines, getting ready to shut them down for good, and there are ponies standing in this room that, without you, could have perished last night."

Ink Well looked up at her, brow furrowed and head slightly tilted. "I did all of that?"

Twilight stepped forward, standing next to him as she explained. "After you announcement, most of the Enforcers either fled or gave up, allowing themselves to be captured. When the guards actually showed up twenty minutes later with Rainbow at the head, it was just a matter of rounding up who remained and turning them over. Some of them even started incriminating other ponies that had fled and jobs the Enforcers had done before. The loudest of them all was Viper as she screamed and hollered about how Equestria would be hers and her empire could not fall." She hovered over a scroll, unfurling it before him. "Here is a list of all of the ponies captured, what they are charged with, and the likely punishment."

As Ink Well went over the list, Fluttershy piped up from where she stood, her soft voice happy as she talked. "Once the Enforcers gave up, the ponies who helped me on the medical team searched all of Ponyville for injured ponies. Once everypony followed your plan and found a fortified position, only a few of them got injured, most of them able to hold off attack until help arrived. A few are still in treatment at the medical tent, but everypony should make a full recovery."

Ink Well looked from the list to the ponies around him, words not coming to his mouth as thoughts struggled in his head. Eventually he looked to the Princess, whose warm smile still fell upon him. "That was all me? It can't be."

The Princess nodded. "Indeed it was Ink Well. And as lead investigator for this case and the savior of this town, I have a question for you. Is there a punishment you wish to see set upon the attackers or their companies? I could take it into consideration, if you so choose."

Ink Well stared at the serious face of the Princess, mind reeling from the implications. He could get back at all of those Equirer ponies, banish every one of the minions who dared attack his friends. He could get his own company, or demand payment, or request that the head of it all was sent to the moon for her crimes... A dark smile spread across his face. Oh if he were an evil pony, just think of what he could do...

He shook his head, smile waning to a smirk. "Just go easy on them. To most of them it was just a job, they just got into the wrong line of work. And I'm pretty sure most of the ponies in the companies were in the dark about the whole monopoly thing. Anypony in that first file and anypony who might know should be taken in, but the companies shouldn't be closed down, not even the Equirer. Let the magazines run, each under a new leader."

Celestia's face didn't change. "Are you sure that is all you want?"

Ink Well nodded. "Of course. I can't take away all those ponies' jobs, they were just writing for a magazine. And I can't take away what all these ponies outside read every month. That would just be cruel. I just want the magazines to run clean and honest, making sure to get the facts first even if they  still want to just print gossip. However, I do have one request."

"And that is?"

"I would like the magazines, all of the ones under Viper's hold, to print a story that I write for them in two weeks on their next printing. It will contain the details of last night, the nature of what they were before the switch, and corrections on a few lies printed beforehoof. I also want them each to print an apology to their readers and a vow not to return to the slanderous mudslinging of old." He looked around the semicircle of friends, each of them beaming as he detailed it. As his gaze returned to the Princess, he spotted Rose out of the corner of his eye. "Oh, and I want them to pay me like they would a writer on their team for the story. I have a few favors I need to pay back."

Princess Celestia smiled at Ink Well, nodding to him. "Very well, I'm sure they would be willing to agree to that." She took a step forward, leaning in close to whisper in his ear. "From how you wrote your book, I expected nothing less from you. Though I would like to see another from you, with all this experience, your style can only have been improved since then." She stepped back, leaving Ink Well's mouth agape as his mind registered what she said. She smiled at him, closing his jaw gently with her hoof. "Now that I have your input on the matter, I am afraid there is much that awaits me in Canterlot. But before I go, I wish to remind you that we are all grateful for your efforts Ink Well."

Ink Well rubbed his mane with his hoof, cheeks flushing with embarrassment. "I couldn't have done it without everypony else. I'm just one pony."

Princess Celestia turned away, facing her guards. "All it takes is one pony in the right place at the right time to change the world." She looked back, smiling warmly again. "Farewell everypony." With that she left, her retinue on either side leading her to the carriage before hooking themselves up to it, pulling it into the air, their destination gleaming far in the distance.

Back in the shop Ink Well was beset upon by the crowds, thanks and questions and congratulations coming from all sides. Despite feeling the affections of the crowd, Ink Well slowly backed away, slipping into the work room when the first possibility presented himself. Already in the room was Fluttershy, having hidden as soon as the crowd had gotten too rowdy again. When she saw him, her face perked up. "Ink Well, is what you said true? Are you really going to write the corrections?"

Ink Well nodded. "That I am."

Fluttershy ran up to him, hugging him. "Oh thank you! But why the change of heart?"

Ink Well hugged her back. "I promised. I can't give up on a Pinkie Pie Swear, it's unbreakable, and deep down I am a colt of my word." He pulled away from her, looking into her shining eyes and smiling sincerely. "Think of everything I said a few days ago as just a dip in the road. My pen might destroy, but it can create too, works that even royalty enjoys. If it's able to do that... well, why should I keep it locked away?"

He walked to the work table, pulling out a pencil and a sheet of paper. As he did, Fluttershy looked over his shoulder. "Getting started already? This early in the morning?"

Ink Well shrugged. "Uh huh. I've got an article to write, and this time it is going to be perfect. Just you wait."


Two weeks later there was a party held at Sugar Cube Corner celebrating the printing of the under-new-management magazines. The celebrations started in the evening and continued late into the night. Every single magazine had agreed to the terms set forth by Ink Well, ten identical copies of his article sat in ten different magazines on the table. It was a twelve page story, almost half the magazine in these rags, complete with corrections on old stories, the details of the Equirer's empire, an account of what was being called the 'Battle of Ponyville,' and, most notably, almost no mention of the author's involvement in any of it.

When Twilight finished reading aloud the article to the partygoers, consisting of her friends, Ink Well, and Rose, Applejack walked over to Ink Well, pushing his shoulder playfully. "Why'd you write yer piece like that, scrawny? It's almost like you didn't do anything!"

Ink Well was knocked off balance, the strong metal brace still locked on his leg, though the other bandages had disappeared. Around the base of his hooves the fur was slightly darker than the rest, the only remaining tell of the terrible fire a month ago and the trials he'd gone though since. It gave his parchment colored fur the look of an old map, time wearing the edges but the center unchanged. Catching his balance again he shook his head. "I didn't. Most of it was you. I took down one pony and gave a speech, both of which with the help of somepony else. Why should I take credit for it?"

Pinkie popped up in front of him, grabbing him by the shoulders. "Because you're a hero! And you could have been a super hero!" She moved around, posing and running in time with what she said. "Fighting crimes and zipping off to other places like whooooosh! Zoom! And everypony would recognize the Inky Avenger as the colt that won the Battle of Ponyville!" She struck a heroic pose, tail waving in the air behind her like a cape catching a breeze.

Ink Well just laughed. "No way. Not a hero, I'm not doing the fame thing. I just want to tell a good story."

Rarity laughed at him, pulling a large beautifully wrapped gift from somewhere. "Oh are you sure you don't want to be a hero? It will make this present mean so much less."

"A present? For me? You shouldn't have!"

Rarity waved away the comment. "Nonsense! You have done so much for us, especially with this article, so we decided to show our appreciation. It's from all of us." The pristine rainbow-wrapped package did indeed have a small tag proclaiming it from the group, and after some encouragement Ink Well was made to open it. Within was a brown fedora and messenger bag like the ones he'd had when he first came to town, though upgraded with cutie mark latches and an overall more stylish design. Rarity saw the look on his face and smiled at him. "Oh I just knew you'd love it! A proper hero's costume. I made them myself in the boutique, though Fluttershy insisted I didn't decorate them too heavily. But your look needed an upgrade, don't you think? And Twilight even suggested just the most darling addition to the side!" She magicked open a small pouch on the side of the bag. "It's a holster for your pen and ink, and it can be closed or capped or open as the need arises!"

Ink Well put on the gifts, the bag fitting superbly and the hat perfectly tailored. Standing again in his outfit his old habits came back instantly, tipping his hat with his hoof to the girls with a smirk on his face. "Oh this is fantastic! I had missed these so much after the fire... I just didn't feel right without them. Although... there is one thing missing."

"I think I might have that covered." Rose produced a much smaller box of her own, wrapped plainly in some clear cellophane. "I'm not nearly as good at the presentation as Rarity, but I tried my best with what Daisy and Lily had at hoof."

Ink Well slowly opened the plastic wrapping, opening the box with curiosity as to what could be inside. As soon as caught a glimpse, his jaw dropped. "No way..." From within the small box he pulled out a small writing set, a wooden piece carved with an indent for an ink pot and a small golden holster for a pen. Within both of these receptacles sat what caught Ink Well's eyes. His blue metallic fountain pen shined in the light of the shop, revealing once unsheathed a golden nib free of dents or flaws. The body of the pen had no ash, no scratches, not a hint of the turmoil it went through. Sitting next to it was his golden ink pot, returned to its perfectly round shape and gleaming brighter than it ever had before. This he turned over and over in his hooves, examining every inch from the stopper in the top to the tiniest curve at the bottom. The engraving even survived on the bottom, not changing in script or content: 'One source, endless possibilities.' Ink Well looked from the pot to Rose, stunned by the wonderful gift. "How did you...? When did you...?"

"I thought about it when I saw you having so much trouble writing, but with everything going on I was only able to get them repaired over the last two weeks. Sorry it took so long to get to you." Ink Well looked up at Rose, whose head was actually lowered with remorse from her gift.

He shook his head. "No... These are perfect. I just..." He stopped, shaking the ink pot slightly where he held it. "Is there something in it?"

Rose perked up. "Yep! While you were working on the article I tried a little experiment with scented inks, thinking I could capture the memory from a page with the memory of a smell. Unfortunately the scents don't last very long, but I figured I'd try something new anyway. I call it Rose Ink. You'll never guess what scent the first batch is in..." Ink Well unstoppered the ink pot, the gentle scent of lilacs rising in the air, completely masking the smell of the ink underneath. Everypony smiled as the scent reached them, the entire room enjoying the smell of fresh flowers.

He returned the stopper, placing both the ink pot and the pen in the holster on his bag. "You ponies are so amazing. All of you. You deserve so much more than my thanks and a dinky little story in a magazine." Everypony in the room politely declined the compliment in their own way, apart from Rainbow Dash who reveled in it. As their reactions ended, Ink Well spoke again. "So, I have a question. During my time in Ponyville I heard an amazing story about you six and Nightmare Moon... Would it be alright if I wrote something about it? I think it has the makings of a play."

Twilight's eyebrow raised. "Nightmare Moon? Isn't that story already a legend even though it was less than a year ago?"

Ink Well nodded. "Exactly. It's a legend. It already has the status of an old mare's tale. I want ponies to know what happened, who did it, to maybe learn something from all of it. To me that just screams a play."

Rainbow looked unconvinced. "You mean like on a stage? Are you crazy? Who'd want to watch that?"

"I don't know, making ponies want to watch it would be my job. But the material is there, if you just want to..." He could tell that none of the six were particularly enthused with the idea of a story of them getting out, and so he backed off. "Never mind. It's not important. Just give it a good think over and a yes or no. It was just a silly idea."

An awkward silence filled the room for a few seconds before Pinkie piped up. "Why are we all sitting here quiet? Silly ideas deserve laughter, and if they won't get them, I know what will! It's time to paaaartay!" She bumped the needle on the record player, music instantly filling the void. Everypony loosened up, slowly starting to dance and talk amongst each other. Eventually even Ink Well got into it, finding himself in another game of Twister with Rainbow Dash. He lost hooves down, but with that the party officially kicked into high gear.


As the party continued late into the night Ink Well gravitated towards the edge, watching the others having fun dancing and talking and playing games, all of them looking so happy. Scanning the scene he happened to catch a glimpse of red going out the door, the bell ringing quietly and unheard over the music and the laughter. Concerned, Ink Well followed, walking around the room so as not to make a scene before exiting.

Outside Rose stood alone, staring up at the night sky. The moon was big and bright with few clouds blocking it, allowing it to cast a steely glow over the dark landscape. An out-of-place mist hung near the ground, little swirls and eddies in its flow making it seem like she was standing on a cloud. Ink Well's heart dropped when he looked at her, remembering the night he shared with her soaring over the stormy skies. Slowly he walked up next to her, his brace clinking with the final step as he joined her in looking at the heavens.

After a few moments in silence, Rose spoke. "I always find the night sky so calming. Just the thought of the world sleeping soundly putting my mind at ease."

Ink Well smiled to himself, nodding. "Yeah... Sometimes I wonder when I write if I'm somehow tapping into the dreams of a thousand sleeping ponies or if all the words on the paper are truly my own..."

Rose smirked at him sidelong. "Are you kidding? Stealing their dreams? Oh no, those words are you. Only you can be that sappy and sincere."

"Well, guess that solves that conundrum, doesn't it?" The two ponies looked at each other, breaking into laughter as theirs eyes caught the others. When the moment had passed, Ink Well took a step closer. "So why'd you leave the party?"

Rose sighed, shrugging. "I don't know. Despite how friendly they all are, I just don't think I fit in with their group, you know? Like I'm an outsider barging into their space. I was never exactly a huge fan of parties anyway..." She took a step towards him, eyebrow raised. "So why did you follow me? Isn't this party for you?"

Ink Well tipped his hat down, looking into the mist around his hooves. "I don't exactly like parties either. I'm sure you've realized, but I don't like to be the center of attention." He looked back into the gingerbread house holding the party, the six within oblivious to the talk outside. "I know what you mean though. They just work so well together, that group. It'd be a crime to split them up or muscle in on it. It'd probably be best if I left quietly." He looked at Rose, sadness on his face. "And not just the party. I really should be moving on..."

Rose looked concerned, but there was a playful edge to her face. "And where will you go Mr. Famous Journalist? Do you have a plan?"

Ink Well kicked a hoof against the dirt, the mist swirling around to conceal it once more. "Well there's that play idea I pitched inside that I still think could be interesting, but with no house, no back up, and currently no income I'm going to have to get a job again. Find an apartment with the money I have, hope that some sort of offer comes in after all of this. If I ever write that second novel I promised myself I might be able to afford another house one day." Despite what he said, he smiled at her. "Eh, I'm not too worried. Everything will be fine, whatever happens."

Rose nodded, turning to look back to the sky. "Oh, I believe you. But that doesn't sound like a very solid plan..." She looked at him as if in passing. "If you would like, I'm sure I could let you stay at my house a few nights more, until your hooves are on the ground."

Ink Well shook his head, waving his unbraced hoof before him. "Oh no. You've already done too much for me. Taking care of me when I was injured, reminding me to eat the entire time I was writing, multiple instances of waking up at the work table with the blanket around my shoulders, all the pain I caused you, the running around town, the injuries..."

Rose picked up the list as he petered out. "... the joys, the sky, a new way of thinking, a new me, that reassuring smile, the great conversations, the moments of laughter..."

Ink Well kept going, less sure in his argument than he was before. "I've far outstayed my welcome, no matter how much I wish I hadn't." His hoof shot to his mouth, the words slipping out before he could stop himself.

Rose didn't even respond, still looking up at the sky. "You keep talking about it like it's a burden. Even after your victories against the Equirer and the end of the slump in your career, you still talk as though you're just this huge weight everypony has to carry around. You have GOT to work on that self esteem problem." She turned around, ivy eyes shining in the moonlight. "It would be a pleasure, Ink Well, if you were to stay here with me."

Ink Well looked excited, eager for this to be true but apprehensive that he might jinx it. "Are you sure? Because I really don't want you to dislike me for staying too-" His stammering was broken off by Rose's kiss, his wings extending in shock before he slowly melted into it, eyes closing and savoring the moment. He even leaned forward after her as she pulled back, both of them blushing as they looked at each other.

"I'm sure. Let's head home." Inside the party continued, ponies laughing and playing in the warm electric lights. But out in the cool night air the couple moved, skipping across the cloud tops and soaring of their own accord, all the joy they needed in each other's company.
Start: [link]
Prev: [link]
End: You're here!

The Sequel: Source Material: [link]

The final part of the story, everything coming to a close. Now hopefully I don't sound too conceited, but I think in the end this story just might have turned out Newsworthy...

Part 8c of 8c

If I may for a moment, I would like to thank all of my readers who stayed with me this far, Lauren Faust for the amazing TV show that inspired this, Equestria Daily for being so awesome and putting me on their site, and lastly all who voted on the shipping partner. I think it turned out a better story, in the end. Thank you all for tagging along! Hopefully I shall see you soon!
© 2011 - 2022 Medicshy
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mrhjelen's avatar
Congratulations, you've just earned your place as one of my favorite fanfic writers. I love the way you showed Ink Well's character development, and your storytelling is greatness itself. I'm gonna start reading the rest of your works now, and I'm looking forward to it with glee:)