(Please note I will be attempting to keep as close to the show in terms of tone, might do a slightly darker one next)
(It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything outside of a script so I may be a tad rusty)
Quality Time with the Ex-Nightmare
Celestia walked the halls of her palace, relishing the quiet time before the day began. She had found herself getting up earlier and earlier these last few months, but then again she had all the more reason to these days.
For the longest time, she had been completely alone in her situation; she had spent an entire millennium as Equestria’s sole monarch. This had changed and if she wasn’t afraid of being seen she would be currently trotting with a distinct spring in her morning step. She now had someone she could talk to as an equal, someone who wouldn’t spend their time worrying about the etiquette of an audience with royalty and that someone was somewhere in this library.
Canterlot had its share of libraries, but as this one had been vacated rather conveniently around the time a space was needed, it had become the perfect temporary abode while the royal palace had its required alterations implemented. “Luna?” Celestia called out, “Are you in here?” She scanned the main hall, the large hourglass slowly draining its sand and filling the princess’ ears with a sound not unlike that of light rain. In the corner of her eye she caught the sight of the faint glow of a candle and moved towards it.
Celestia found Luna huddled over the latest history book, detailing the land’s most current events. She had been doing this almost as soon as she had moved in, doing her best to catch up with the years she had missed and hopefully be ready to take on her royal duties once more.
“Ah!” Luna snapped out of her trance like state, she’d let herself get lost in her work again, “I’m sorry sis is it time for sunrise? I set the hourglass so I wouldn’t be late.”
“Calm down my sister” Celestia replied, “There’s still plenty of time and anyway you know I can take care of that if you need a rest.”
“I know but I want to help out, I’ve kinda got alot to make up for. He he!” Luna faked a smile trying to hold back the guilt she’d often been feeling. “Erm, I..er wasn’t expecting you up so early today,” She changed the subject, “I’d have thought the Grand Galloping Gala would have taken it out of you and you didn’t get back until pretty late.”
“Oh yes this year was quite something else, I had a little more fun than usual. You should’ve come.”
“I don’t quite think I’m ready for formal occasions just yet”
Celestia giggled, “I don’t think you ever were, and nor was I. Do you remember the first Gala we presented?”
These were the moments Celestia looked forward to, waking early and spending time with her sister. They usually talked about their life before Nightmare moon, when they last ruled together. They could talk for hours reminiscing and quite often they did.
“So what where you reading up on?” Celestia gestured towards the small stack of books by Luna’s side.
“I was going though all the new things these ponies have invented.” Luna’s eyes lit up, “Timekeepers made of metal, Microphones that make your voice louder and Telescopes!” Discovering one thousand years of new things had been an exciting experience for Luna and her eagerness to see these things first hand was slowly overtaking her unease at the thought of how she would be seen by the public.
“Ah yes! Telescopes, you and Twilight should have a talk about those. She’s quite the fan of your night sky.”
“Oh yes, her studies have often included papers about the stars. Even her dress at the gala seemed to have something of the night about it.”
“I’d certainly like to go meet her again sometime. Her friends too, I still need to apologise for what they had to go through that night.”
Celestia was a little put back by this, it was the closest Luna had come to talking about the night she escaped from the moon and there was something she needed to know.
“Little sister, may I ask you something about Nightmare Moon?”
“I’m not going to let myself turn again sis I promise!” Luna blurted out in hurried response.
“Don’t worry I believe you. But that’s not what I wanted to ask.”
“What was it?”
Celestia took a short breath before asking, this issue had been rolling around her mind for some time now.
“How much of you was there in her?” Celestia’s eyes now avoided her sister, “She was filled with such bitterness towards our people. There was nothing of you I recognised in her.”
Luna’s heart sank, the words her sister spoke weren’t designed to hurt but they stung all the same. Still it was something she couldn’t deny about the day she turned into that creature “I...I had let myself become swamped with anger, the glory and delight the ponies gave in the light of your sun and the stilled silence that befell the times I ruled over felt like rejection with every second they slept and one day I found myself stuck in those feeling with no way to wake from them. She was a nightmare of my own creation and one I couldn’t wake from”
There was a short silence between the two, their expressions blank as they turned over what was said in their minds. Luna was a little surprised though when Celestia’s lips slowly turned upwards into a distinct smile, “Is that why you helped them along?”
“Last night I met with Twilight’s friends and our conversation turned to their trip to our old castle, they had barely gotten to know her and at first she was in no mood for friends. But that journey through the Everfree Forest brought them closer than some families I’ve seen.”
“But Sister, I was trying to hurt them. How was I any help in that?”
“Those things you set up; The Landslide, the Manticore, the scary looking trees...As those six ponies told me about their quest, they sounded less and less like you were trying to stop them and more like you were testing them.”
“But I couldn’t have, I was pure evil as Nightmare Moon.” Luna once again looked to the ground in shame, only to have her chin brought upwards by the hoof of her sister.
“I’m not so sure about that, I have the feeling you were trying to get out. The kind sister, I know you are, helping those who had the abilities to wake you from that Nightmare.”
“You really think that?”
“I do. Because I believe in you my sister, and I always will.” Celestia bent her head down and give her sister the same hug they shared that morning, the last time their feeling were laid bare.
For a brief moment, Luna was numb. Her emotions had been summersaulting through her mind in such a short time and she had no idea how to feel. However, it wasn’t long before they moved the right way as the unconditional love her sister was providing allowed her feelings to set in place.
“I hope you’re right big sister, I don’t want to leave you again.” The two shared this moment together and for this short time these two sisters were closer than they had probably been their whole lives. Their differences and old arguments evaporated in the bonds of family.
It gave Luna a glimpse of how much she was valued, the years she spend thinking she was alone, thinking she wasn’t valued. Looking back now it was amazing to her how wrong she was.
“Feeling any better?” Celestia asked standing back up.
Luna’s eyes were welling up a little, “Yes, thank you”
“Then how about we bring about this sunrise together? You can set your beautiful moon and we can gaze upon our lands as they wake.”
“I think I’d like that.” Luna got back to her feet and walked alongside Celestia, the hourglass in the centre of the room nearly empty, counting down to the end of this night.
The two stepped out onto the balcony overlooking Canterlot, the first stirrings of life returning to the occupants as many prepared themselves for the day ahead.
“Are you ready Luna?” Celestia asked as her horn began to glow,
“Oh yes, Sis I’ll start us off” Her own horn producing its distinctive dark purple glow.
The moon, upon feeling the call of its mistress began to slowly shift, pulling the constellations with it across the sky. Luna’s control of the night sky was absolute, each piece she moved was a work of art she had spent much of her early life creating. The night sky was her greatest work and she had total control over it.
At the same time the first slivers of light were peeking out from the horizon, Celestia’s sun was making its entrance, slowly but surely flooding the sky with its warmth and glory.
“I’ve been meaning to ask, do you know where the Ursa’s went? I’ve been looking around the sky for them but they seem to be completely gone.”
Celestia almost faltered for a second, but did her best to regain composure, “I’m afraid it was one of my early mistakes when I first took over your duties. They managed to escape one night into the Everfree forest, and by the time I’d found them they’d set up a rather nice home for themselves. I just didn’t have the heart to put them back.”
“Well at least I know they’re safe, but then again they’ve not exactly helpless down there.”
As the last of the stars slipped away and the new day began, Luna looked over the work she and her sister had done. “Well it looks like you did a good job with the sun again.” The sound of heavy footsteps echoed through the streets below.
Luna looked over the balcony to see what was making such a sound and was greeted by a procession of gold and white, “The Royal guards do love their parade practice don’t they?”
She got no reply from her sister. Celestia had fallen asleep right where she was, her wings folded, her legs crossed beneath her body and even her hair was flowing at a much slower pace.
“Looks like last night was a little more tiring than you thought, eh sis?” Luna smiled. Her sister may have always been the eldest and the biggest but asleep she was just as fragile and vulnerable as any other being in Equestria. This got Luna wondering, did she look this helpless when she would sleep?
Before becoming Nightmare Moon the two sisters were little more than a tag team swapping duties between the days, but since her return Luna had spent more and more time with her sister, they were growing closer still as a family. Now whenever she saw or thought of her sister during the night she felt the desire to protect rather than the jealousy she once felt. Was this her path away from the nightmare for good? Luna hoped so and the thought of ruling with her sister once more was a delightful one. But as the morning sun shone into her eyes, they felt heavier and heavier. Luna walked up to her big sister, her only family and lay down beside her.
“It’s good to be home.” Luna whispered into her sister’s ear.
And with that she slept.
(I hope those who read this will enjoy it; there have been quite a few Luna based stories recently but for a character who had less than a minute’s screen time she’s certainly got a lot of potential)