"Check," Twilight gleefully yawned to herself as she checked 'Attend Pinkie's Sugar Coated Muffins Bakesale Party' off her list of things to do for the day. She continued her journey back down Ponyville, the glow of the moon and stars lighting her way home. She had to admit, she had underestimated Pinkie's new "sweet treat" as Pinkie liked to call them. She half expected them to turn out too sweet, which was a common problem with all of her "latest, biggest baking discoveries" that she seemed to constantly have. Okay, she completely expected them to be too sweet, which probably showed when she hesitated her first bite of the Sugar Coated Muffin for what seemed like minutes as everyone watched, trying to hold their anticipation as they awaited for even the slightest hint of confirmation as to its edibleness. She liked to think of herself as the "taste tester" since she was typically the one to take the first bite. The group did greatly depend on her opinion the most when it came to the treats, but in reality none of them wanted to be the first victim if it was proven to be unsatisfying.
She rolled up her list and put it away as she levitated her Sugarcube Corner Goodie Bag around to her side so she could look at it. 'Maybe one more wouldn't hurt,' she thought to herself as she turned her focus towards opening the bag, continuing her stroll towards the library. Suddenly, she felt a great force across the side of her face; her body followed her head down to the ground and onto its side. She shook her head before opening her eyes to find the cause of her pain, realizing she had just rammed the flank of a tall blue mare who was standing in front of her doorstep. The mare's mane was translucent and flowing, which caught her eye in an almost hypnotizing way. Twilight made a quick mental note to remember the close proximity between Sugarcube Corner and the Golden Oaks Library the next time she chose to focus on something else while traveling between them, and quickly stored it in the back of her head so she could address the situation at hand. "Pri-Princess!?" Twilight exclaimed in shock, her cheeks burning in embarrassment as she bowed and cowered her body low to the ground.
Luna turned around to face Twilight. Luna's eyes displayed a soft look of confusion at the matter before quickly resolving back to a gaze at Twilight, and she smiled. "Ah! Twilight! We—" she stopped herself, realizing she was still using her royal voice after noticing Twilight cowering even more. "I mean, I request your assistance," she continued, her voice now modest and with care, her cheeks running slightly red.
Twilight froze for a few seconds, before reassuring herself that Princess Luna was nopony to be afraid of; even if she had just disgraced the Princess's dignity by running into her like she did. Twilight gulped before responding, "My-my assistance?" Luna giggled, and motioned with her head for Twilight to lead them inside. Twilight relayed the same soft look of confusion Luna had given her before, and then resorted to opening the door with her magic and leading the way in. Twilight's mind was running. 'How long had Princess Luna been waiting at my doorstep? What could she possibly need my assistance for? Why didn't she seem phased when I walked into her flank!?'
"Uh… Twilight dear, you forgot your—" Luna paused as she smelled the bag of treats next to her outside. Her eyes lifted as she inhaled even more deeply through her muzzle. "Mmm! What is this delicacy?"
"Oh!" Twilight blushed, realizing she had completely lost focus again. "Those are Pinkie Pie's new Sugar Coated Muffins! Here, let me…" Twilight rushed into the kitchen, quickly finding the most delicate plate and napkin she could find and returning to the doorway, only to find Luna already enjoying a bite-full of the muffin now in her hoof. Luna hummed a moan of satisfaction, staring at the muffin in amazement before turning her attention to Twilight. The lavender pony stood there even more confused than before. Defeated in her efforts, Twilight held the plate and napkin close to her, as if to hide them. Twilight's eyes widened as she witnessed her current processions glow a dark blue before being carefully levitated up near Luna as she placed the muffin on the plate and dabbed her lips with the napkin. Luna tilted her head slightly, closing her eyes and smiling at Twilight, relieving her of her defeat.
"You said this is Pinkie's delicious masterpiece?"
"Yes, Princess Luna. She makes lots of treats!" 'Not that I would consider all of them "delicious masterpieces" though,' she thought to herself. 'Well… maybe to Pinkie Pie they were. She has the sweetest sweet tooth of any pony in all of Equestria.'
Luna walked into the main room of the Library, escorted by Twilight. "She must have been behind the wedding cake as well! It was delicious!"
"Actually, Princess, that was Applejack. Pinkie Pie was in charge of the reception and the dance."
"Yes!" Luna loudly exclaimed. Twilight cowered down once again, shocked by Luna's sudden outburst. "That's what I need your assistance with!"
Twilight laid down onto the ground, unsure of what to say. "You mean, Pinkie Pie?"
"Haha, no, sweetie." Luna rubbed a hoof on the top of Twilight's head. "I want to learn how to dance."
Twilight's heart began to beat faster. 'Did she just call me sweetie?' Twilight closed her eyes, the feeling of Luna's hoof upon her head relieving her of all her worries. Twilight felt Luna remove her hoof, and she opened her eyes, met by Luna's. They both smiled, assuring each other that they both enjoyed her shown affection. Luna was the first to break the gaze, looking around the room.
"Do you have a musical instrument that can play for us? Or perhaps a book on dancing would help!" Luna explored the room before finding Twilight's latest letter to Princess Celestia upon her study table. "My sister and yourself are very close, are you not?"
"No! I mean, yes, Princess, but not like that! I mean—"
"Calm, Twilight Sparkle. I know you are her closest, most trusted student."
There was a short silence between them. Twilight couldn't stand it. 'Should I say something? What can I say!?' Twilight forced a few chuckles before saying, "I hope you're not jealous!" Her eyes widened as she realized what she had just said. 'Twilight, you stupid, stupid—'
Her thoughts were interrupted as Luna pounced on top of her, spreading her wings out to exaggerate her dominance. "Why would I be?" she whispered, forcing Twilight to focus on what she was saying. Twilight felt her heart pounding out of her chest. She had always admired both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, and here she was, favorite student of one and the other mere inches above her. She had to admit, she preferred this much, much more. Twilight and Luna locked gazes once more, their mouths equally sharing mixed forms of smiles and expressions of awe.
Luna suddenly became distracted from their gaze as she noticed in the corner of her eye a book upon the bookshelf simply titled 'Dancing With Ease'. "Aha!" Luna leaped forward, levitating the book off the shelf and opening it. She examined each page, one after another. "I do not recall any of these dances being performed at the wedding."
Twilight rolled over onto her hooves to get a better look. "Oh, well Princess, those types of dances are for much more formal occasions."
"More formal than a royal wedding?"
Luna and Twilight both exchanged a shared look before bursting out into laughter. "Well, not when Pinkie's running things." They continued their fit until their laughter finally died down.
"How can we—I mean, I dance like the other ponies?"
"What do you mean?" Twilight asked. From what she could recall, Princess Luna had been dancing along with everypony else at the reception. 'Surely she means some other type of dance?'
"Like…" Luna gazed up at a corner of the room and stuck her tongue slightly out as she gave herself a second to think, before closing her eyes, bringing a tune to her head, and lightly bouncing from one pair of hooves to the other.
Twilight giggled, slightly louder than she had meant to. She was amused by Luna's dancing, and actually found it quite cute. Luna giggled back, and Twilight joined in on her dance in the tuneless room.
"WHAT!? PRINCESS LUNA WAS AT YOUR HOUSE!?" Pinkie squealed, her physics-less body floating in the air in shock, her legs extended and hair on end.
"Quiet, dear! Let her continue!" Rarity brought a hoof up and pulled Pinkie back down to her seat.
"Yes, Pinkie, she was. She was waiting for me at the door to the Library when I—" she hesitated as she realized what she was about to say. Her cheeks flushed warmer, and she tilted her head forward in embarrassment.
"You wha—" Rarity began to yell, the anticipation killing her, before finding Pinkie's hoof covering her mouth.
"Shh!" Pinkie returned, grinning at her victorious revenge.
"I… I…" Twilight tried to bring herself to words. 'Why can't I say it? Princess Luna didn't even care!'
"Sugarcubes, ah' reckon ya' gonna kill Rarity at this rate," Applejack encouraged, noting towards Rarity's begging eyes.
Twilight sighed, and pushed aside the thought of being judged, if only just long enough for her to say it. "I walked into her flank."
"Oh my," were the first words Twilight heard, which she recognized to be coming from Fluttershy; Rarity dropped whatever drink she had been drinking, her mouth open wide; Pinkie took her hoof off of Rarity's mouth and onto her own, keeping herself from another incoming outburst; Rainbow Dash, who had been hovering above her seat as usual, quickly dropped down to get in on the action; Applejack raised her hat up, the shock in her eyes enough to say everything that was on her mind.
"Is everything alright, sweethearts?" Mrs. Cake cried from behind the counter as she hoofed over a customer his change. The response she got was an equal outburst of confirmations and oppositions, both of them muffling out the other, followed by each of them trying to explain the situation all at once. Mrs. Cake proceeded to walk around the counter towards where they were sitting to try and analyze the situation. "Mares, please!" She raised her voice, successfully muting each of them. She took a quick glance at each of them, trying to find the most rational choice to ask about the situation. "Rarity dear, are you okay?" she questioned, noticing that Rarity had succeeded in spilling her drink onto her front hooves.
"She ran into the Princess's flank!" Rarity pointed her hoof towards Twilight, as if telling on her for some terrible deed she had done. It would have been, under normal circumstances, considered one of the rudest things you could have done to someone of royalty, even if it was an accident.
"Well now, dear, she has been around the Princess a good amount of time now. She's bound to have gotten complacent and walked into her eventually." Mrs. Cake replied in a surprisingly calm manner. At least, surprising to the group of shocked ponies before her.
"Not Princess Celestia," Rarity continued, "Princess Luna! She walked into—"
"Rarity, please!" Twilight interrupted, already embarrassed enough from having to announce what she had done, and now feeling cornered by everypony's judgement. "It's not what you think! I was looking at my goodie bag and—"
"Twilight, darling, it doesn't matter what you were doing. You just don't go around running into royal flanks!"
"Rarity!" Mrs. Cakes raised her voice again. "Whatever the case may be, she meant nothing of it, and if you were put into her situation you would hope your friends would understand." With that, Mrs. Cakes brushed away Rarity's broken glassware and handed her a warm cloth to clean her hooves with.
Rarity quickly reframed her position, ashamed of herself. "I apologize, Twilight. Mrs. Cake is right, I would want my friends to understand, and I am your friend. I shouldn't have been so selfish."
"It's okay, Rarity. I forgive you." They both exchanged smiles, and she continued. "As I was going to say, Princess Luna didn't even seem… oh sweet Celestia, what was that word I was thinking of?... Phased! She didn't seem phased by it at all! She just turned around and told me she needed my assistance with something."
They all leaned in closer, captured again by her story. "Assistance with what, Twi?" it was Dash's turn to ask the question. They had all unconsciously developed a habit of taking turns asking questions whenever one of them had a story to tell. They had all tried asking questions all at once before, and that never got them anywhere.
"Well…" Twilight once again froze up, her cheeks burning as she imagined her friends reaction when she told of her activities with the Princess of the Night. Rarity raised a hoof to her forehead and fainted in her seat.
"Ah' called it," Applejack happy announced.
"Gee', Applejack. You've gotten to know Rarity so well you've developed Pinkie senses for her." Dash playfully teased, winking at her.
Applejack tried to hide the intensely red blushes now forming on her face with her hat before resultantly swinging it at Dash. "That ain't nun' of ya'll business!"
"WE SHOULD THROW A PARTY!" Pinkie proclaimed loudly, balloons coming out from underneath the table.
"Now see what ya've done!"
"Well?" Rarity questioned at Twilight as she regained consciousness.
"Oh! It's nothing, really. We just… danced." Everypony focused on Twilight once again, dumbfounded. None of them could even bring themselves to question what she had just said. Twilight got up from her chair, trying to find someway to break the awkward silence. "Like…" Twilight closed her eyes and breathed out, tuning out the music playing in the bakery and recalling the tune she had played in her head the night before. She then began bouncing from side to side, just as Princess Luna and her had done.
"Ooh! I know this one!" Pinkie joined in, following in with Twilight's rhythm.
Dash leaned closer towards the remaining three ponies at the table. "You all realize they're completely off beat, right?" She questioned, raising a hoof towards the nearest speaker above them.
"Have you any imagination, Dashie?" Rarity rolled her eyes before proceeding to get up and join the other two dancing ponies.
"Eenope," Applejack teased before getting up to do the same. Fluttershy made a sheepish squeal before joining in on the fun. Rainbow Dash, not wanting to look uncool, stayed in her seat for a few seconds, before convincing herself that sitting alone at the table was much lamer.
Twilight awoke that night to a knock at the door. Not wanting to get out of bed, she turned over to look at Spike to see if he was getting up. She was disappointed to see his bed missing of any dragons, reminding her that Spike was out for the night. She heard another knock at the door, persuading her to get out of bed. She looked out the window, noticing that the moon was barely peeking the horizon. 'I suppose it isn't too late for someone to visit, but who makes visits this late at… Oh!' "Princess Luna!" Twilight felt butterflies inside; her body building warmth as her heart leaped. She quickened her pace down the stairs from her bedroom and used her magic to open the door. "You can come in, your majesty!"
"That's mighty nice of you, Twilight!" the gray pegasus exchanged as she flew in through the doorway. "I hope you don't mind, I'm running a little late on mail!" Derpy reached into her pouch and handed Twilight her mail.
"You don't say," Twilight said as she took the mail from Derpy, glancing back at Derpy with a tired, irritated look.
"It doesn't always happen, but every so often I have a lot to deliver! Anyways, have a nice night!" Derpy flew back out, barely missing the frame of the door with her wing. Twilight facehooved herself; there had to have been enough room in that doorway to easily fit two ponies, if not three.
She closed the door and began heading back towards the stairs before she noticed one of the books slightly extended out from the shelf. She walked over to examine it, recognizing it to be the book Princess Luna had pulled out just the other night. Twilight sighed to herself, pushing the book fully into place. 'Who knew one night could be so special?'
She heard another knock at the door. "Ugh! What now!" She impatiently paced herself over to the door, opening it with her hooves with extra effort, as if it would somehow make her feel better.
Luna was greatly shocked by Twilight's performance, but she only expressed her shock by tilting her head slightly. "You never fail to amuse me, Twilight." Luna grinned as she proceeded to rub Twilight on the head as she had before. Only this time, her outreach was met with a grasping hug.
"Princess!" Twilight squeezed tightly. Princess Luna being at her doorstep washed all her negative feelings away. If it had been somepony else she didn't know what she would have done. 'Wait… what am I doing!?' Just as Twilight was about to release herself, she felt Princess Luna embrace her back, wrapping her hooves around Twilight and holding her closer, using her wings and a touch of magic to keep them from falling. Luna pulled her head back to look at Twilight's. Both of them had the biggest smiles on their faces that they ever remembered having. Luna took this moment to ask Twilight a simple question that changed their lives forever.
"May I have this dance?"
~ The Night Before ~
Twilight watched as Luna happily danced along in the center of the room. Twilight felt ridiculous, following Luna’s every motion. The two ponies continued to giggle at each other, realizing how silly this would seem if somepony else had been watching. Twilight and Luna continued to dance for almost an hour. Neither of them seemed to have noticed the time as it offhandedly flew by. All they knew was that they didn’t want to stop dancing.
Neither of them could remember having this much fun since the royal wedding. Watching Luna enjoy herself, Twilight was reassured of her assumption that Luna could dance. Sure, the dance they were dancing was one Twilight had never performed before, let alone actually witnessed any other pony carry out. But she was sure it was acceptable as far as other ponies these days would be concerned.
Twilight closed her eyes, focusing on the tune in her head. It was a song Vinyl Scratch had played just earlier that night at Pinkie’s bakesale party. Twilight recognized the song as a new version of Pinkie Pie’s Smile Song. Pinkie even sang along to it, bouncing around the room from one pony to the next. She bounced from side to side with each beat. She couldn’t help but grin as she reminisced Pinkie singing to her and all the other ponies to smile. She loved to see everypony smile, there was no doubt about it. And no pony could resist smiling around her singing.
The music in her head ended, and she opened her eyes as she continued to bounce back and forth. Luna wasn’t dancing anymore. She was standing still, her head tilted slightly forward as she stared blankly towards the ground. Twilight stopped bouncing and looked at Luna with a concerned look. “Princess Luna?” she asked. No response. Twilight slowly walked over in front of Luna’s eyesight and waved a hoof in front of her. “Are you okay, Princess?”
The tune in Luna’s head was that of one she hummed to herself while on the moon. It in itself was a very catchy, cheerful tune. Remembering all the times she played it in her head while on the moon was what brought her down. She reminisced one time she found a large rock. Maybe not large by Equestria standards, or any other land for that matter, but it was the largest rock she had yet to find on the moon. She picked it up with her hoof to observe it. She rarely used her magic anymore. Whenever she tried to put something together with the dust of the moon it collapsed like ash. With nothing to manipulate, she found little use for all the spells she had learned over her lifetime. She observed the rock, noting that its shape resembled that of a face. It was the first face she’d seen in over a couple hundred years. “Will thou be our friend?” she asked the lifeless figure.
“Princess!?” Twilight yelled, worried to the bone that this was all her fault. She put her hooves on Luna’s shoulders and shook her, careful not to be too forceful. Luna’s eyes widened as her thoughts returned to reality. She brought her head up and froze. Twilight’s eyes opened, shocked by what just happened. What was still happening. Luna’s and Twilight’s muzzles were touching.
Neither of them knew what to do. Luna couldn’t move or she would have caused Twilight to fall forward. Twilight couldn’t move simply because she literally had no idea what to do. She had studied nuzzling before. She had even studied the procedures for accepting and rejecting an invitation to nuzzle. But she had never studied what to do if someone of royalty nuzzled you. They both stared at each other blankly. Twilight noticed Luna slowly pulling her head back, and she did the same on instinct. ‘Oh my gosh... Oh my gosh...’ Twilight didn’t know what to think. She took her hooves off of Luna and slowly took a few steps back.
They both stood still in the quiet room. Their eyes expressed the shock they were both experiencing. The sound of the flames from the candles lighting the room filled their senses. That, and the mare standing right in front of them. “I-... I’m-...” Twilight began. She didn’t have any words to say, no matter how hard she tried to bring something to mind. ‘Something... Anything...’
Luna’s shock slowly diminished as she continued her thoughts. She pushed aside the thought of what had just happened, a greater worry occupying her mind. “Will you be my friend?” she asked. Her voice lacked the confidence Twilight was used to. Twilight felt as if she was witnessing an untruth.
She was well beyond confused. This had to have been the most confusing night of her life. She leaned her head to the side slightly, trying to comprehend what exactly Luna had just asked. ‘Is Princess Luna.. surely she just means friends? Nothing more? But we just... What?’ “What?” she repeated out loud, feeling it was the most appropriate response she could come up with at the time. She felt as if all her studies were useless at this moment. Twilight never expected to see Luna open up to her in any way like this. She didn’t know how to take it.
“Will you be my friend? We-... I... haven’t had many friends other than my sister. I want you to be my friend.” Luna’s eyes began to sparkle as they water’d up, threatening to turn into tears. She used to know how to hide her sadness, but not anymore. She had spent thousands of years in depression and anger, it wasn’t something she could hide anymore. She did however manage to keep herself from tearing by focusing on the thought of Twilight accepting her request. Nothing would make her happier at that moment.
Twilight took a second to gather her thoughts and think of the best possible thing to say. Thinking back to Nightmare Night, she came to a rightful conclusion. “We’re already friends,” Twilight replied. Twilight winked her eyes and grinned towards Luna. She knew how it felt to feel like you had no friends. Aside from her studies, she felt as if nothing was important. Her friends showed her just how amazing friendship could be, and she was more than ready to now share its magic with Luna. The thought of being the Princess’s goto pony also filled her with glee.
She was quickly engulfed by a hug from Luna, sending them both to the ground. “Thank you, Twilight Sparkle!” Luna, overly ecstatic with Twilight’s answer, felt joy take over her entire being. Twilight had already helped her in so many ways, and she was now officially her friend. They may have been friends before, but now it was official. Luna lost herself in thought about all the things friends did together, and how now her and Twilight would be doing them together.
It had been a crazy night, for both of them. Twilight’s brain began to hurt as she tried to apprehend everything as it happened all too quickly. She stopped trying to understand and closed her eyes, feeling relaxed in her current position. She didn’t remember being so tired, but suddenly that’s all she could think about.
Luna thought back to when she brought her muzzle up to Twilight’s. She wasn’t sure what to think about it. From what she could recall, nuzzling was only shared between two ponies in love. The same with a kiss. She had to admit, she had never actually nuzzled with anypony until now, but she never expected it to happen like it did. Her sister had occasionally nuzzled her neck to cheer her up or encourage her, but it didn’t feel like that at all. It felt... special.
“Do friends nuzzle?” Luna questioned towards Twilight. Luna turned her head to see Twilight’s reaction. Twilight was asleep, cuddled up in her embrace. Her hair was carelessly slightly messier than usual. Her eyelashes highlighted her closed eyelids. He body expanded and collapsed slowly with each breath she took. Of all the ponies Luna had seen asleep, her new friend was definitely the most adorable sleeper.
Luna looked around the room, not wanting to disturb the sleeping beauty wrapped in her arms, but unsure what she could do. The night rarely needed attending to aside from the rise and setting of the night sky. She readjusted herself onto her stomach, careful not to move her arms that were covering the mare now beside her.
She wished to herself that every night could be like this one. Eventful, joyful and, well, new. She thought about what tomorrow would be like. And then it hit her. ‘What shall us friends do tomorrow night?’ She scanned the library, seeking ideas from the many topics conveniently labeling each and every book. ‘The Elements of Harmony... The Adventures of Daring Do... Test Taking for Foals...’ Maybe they wouldn’t be so helpful after all. And then she noticed the tan and green coated book she had browsed earlier that night. She used her magic to bring it off the wooden shelf and down in front of her. ‘Dancing With Ease...’ She opened the cover, reviewing the first dance taught in the book. It showed illustrations for each step the leader and follower made. ‘Perfect!’ she thought to herself as she paged through the book, studying each dance closely.
As the candles began to die out, the room began to feel colder. Luna covered the lavender pony with her wing to keep her warm and turned her attention towards the nearby window, realizing the night had only a quarter of its time left. She would need to attend back to her duties soon to prepare the skies for the new day. Her magical aura surrounded her wing, lifting its contents up above the ground. She kept the sleeping pony under the blanket of her wing as she carried her up the stairs and placed her into bed, using more magic to pull the covers down and over her. She tucked Twilight in, the same way her sister had always done for her when she was younger.
“Good night, Twilight Sparkle,” she quietly whispered. She began to walk out the room, cautious not to make too much noise. As she reached the outside of the doorway, she turned around to look at her friend once more. ‘Tonight was amazing,’ she wanted to say. ‘I shall make sure tomorrow is just as special.'
~ Morning ~
Spike shook Twilight’s foreleg, awakening her from her rest. Twilight fidgeted around like an uncomfortable filly. “Hey Twilight,” Spike began, a little louder than Twilight would have liked. “You know it’s like, noon, right?” Twilight was well awake after hearing this. She pushed her blankets down the bed and quickly climbed out, galloping to the window and checking outside.
“Sweet Celestia, Spike! I missed breakfast!” Twilight opened the nearby drawer and took out her todo list for the day. She shoved it up in front of Spike. “I won’t be able to check it off!” The rolled out scroll listed off a hooveful of simple tasks such of this, a majority of which Spike felt needed no reason keeping track of. If he had a mane, he would imagine brushing it would simply be part of his morning routine, not his todo list.
Spike sighed exaggeratedly at Twilight's outburst. “Not you, too. Come on, I’ll make you breakfast.” The purple dragon lead the two down the stairs.
Twilight followed closely behind. ‘Eating breakfast at noon still counts... right? I’ve never missed a simple check mark like this before. Surely Spike knows what he’s doing. He seems confident, anyways. Wait, what did Spike mean by ‘not you, too?’’ “Spike. What did you mea-”
“Rarity,” Spike interrupted, already anticipating her question. They had lived together Spike’s whole life, it was becoming easier every day for them to predict each other. “Watching over the CMCs sleepover with her sounded like a great idea at first, but man is she perturbed when she’s tired.” Spike put together a bowl of hay and placed it in front of Twilight on the table. “Even I couldn’t stand her.”
Twilight surveyed the bowl, its contents only amounting for about a fourth of what he usually prepared for her. “Spike... there’s barely any hay in here.”
“You have lunch with everypony today in an hour, remember? Geez, Twilight, you must have stayed up too late at Pinkie’s party.” Twilight’s cheeks blushed as the thoughts of last night rushed through her head. She would have been embarrassed if Spike knew the real reason she stayed up late. “Anyways, I’m going to bed. It’s been a long night. I’ll clean everything up in the morning.” Spike headed up the stairs and closed the bedroom door behind him. There was a reason he was her number one assistant.
Twilight ate the rest of her hay and headed over to her study. “Check,” she gleefully announced, placing a checkmark in the appropriate box. She prepared the rest of her belongings and began her journey towards Sugarcube Corner to meet everypony else. ‘Remember, close proximity,’ she reminded herself. A light raspberry aura covered the door as it opened and closed for her. ‘I can’t wait to tell everypony about last night!’ She paused for a second, as if having second thoughts. ‘Well, maybe not everything about last night.’ She blushed at the thought and continued down her route. It wasn't long before she had arrived at the bakery, welcomed by all of her friends.
~ At Sugarcube Corner ~
Everypony’s attention was now fixated on the six mares dancing around without concern. Pinkie’s brows shot up and she floating in the air for a few seconds before disappearing in the blink of an eye and reappearing at the front counter. “Mr. and Mrs. Cake!?” They both stopped what they were doing and looked towards her. “Is it okey-dokey if I switch the music on the jukebox!?”
“Of course, Pinkie Pie!” Mr. Cake assured her.
“That’s what it’s there for, dear.” Mrs. Cake added in. Mr. and Mrs. Cake both grinned at Pinkie and went back to what they were doing.
“Sweet Apples!” Pinkie said before disappearing again and arriving at the jukebox. Pinkie knew they would be fine with it, she was simply asking just in case they weren’t for some reason. She always wanted to make sure everypony was happy. She quickly hooved two predetermined buttons without glancing up at the choices. Love Is In Bloom soon filled the bakery with its rhythm. Pinkie went around from pony to pony, pulling on their hooves and dragging them into the action.
Ponies walking by seemed to have noticed, because one by one they peeked in the window before proceeding to enter. They would watch for a few moments before motivating themselves to join in as well. Pinkie was all over the place. Between picking the next song, dancing with ponies, and also helping Mr. and Mrs. Cake with the increased amount of customers now entering the store, it was a wonder she still had any energy left in her.
“Ya’ know,” Applejack interrupted Twilight’s thoughts. “Ya’ sure blushed an awful lot as ya chattered about yesternight. Ya’ sure it was just nothing, sugarcubes?” Applejack nudged Twilight teasingly, making sure not to hit the egghead too hard. Twilight couldn’t help but notice herself starting to grin. Luna may have just been her friend, but she sure knew how to make a night something unexpected. “Ah’ just know that feeling,” Applejack grinned, glancing over at Rarity as she danced along with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. “And ah’ couldn’t help but notice ya’ feelin’ the same way.”
Twilight’s thoughts froze at that. ‘Feelings? Do I really have feelings for... Princess Luna?’
“Eh, not that it's-a any mah’ business,” Applejack continued, noting that Twilight had stopped dancing and was blankly staring forward.
“Oh! No, you’re fine. I just... didn’t notice...” Twilight thought back to Nightmare Night and last night. She had noticed that she admired Luna, but she hadn’t even began to think about if she took any serious interest in her. “Please don’t tell anypony? Please?”
“Who ya’ think you’re gabbing with, Twi’? I’m more loyal than the Element of Loyalty herself!”
“I heard that!” Rainbow Dash yelled as she continued to dance along as if it didn’t affect her.
Twilight yawned as she stretched her legs slightly forward. “I haven't felt this tired since after studying for my final exam. If I don’t get back early I’ll never be able to get back on my schedule," Twilight exclaimed towards nopony in particular.
Pinkie Pie popped up in front of her with a Goodie Bag as if she had been listening to her the whole time. “No problem, Twi’! You go sleeping while I keep this par-tay rocking!”
“Thanks Pinkie, I’ll see you all next time,” Twilight responded as she levitated the bag in front of her and headed out the door. She wished she had taken the time to say goodbye to each of her friends, but she also didn’t feel as if she had enough energy in her to do so. ‘I’ll see each of them soon enough,’ she reasoned with herself as she walked up to the Library.
She opened the front door and walked in. The smell of lemons and oranges filled the room. The books were all dusted off and the bookshelves polished. She carried her bag into the kitchen, finding Spike napping on the floor in front of the sink now occupied with freshly cleaned dishes. ‘He must have been exhausted from last night.’ Twilight yawned again, rolling her eyes at the irony of what she was just thinking. ‘Guess I am, too.’ She used her magic to place Spike onto her back and she carried him up the stairs to the bedroom. She put him softly down into his bed and pressed on towards getting into hers. The blankets instantly surrounded her with warmth and comfort. She closed her eyes as she thought back to what Applejack had said. ‘When did this happen? I haven't always felt like this towards her... have I?’ Twilight began to dose off as she reminisced about her short, but meaningful, memories with Luna.
Twilight awoke that night to a knock at the door.
"May I have this dance?" Luna asked enthusiastically. She tried not to show it, but she was nervous, and she didn’t know why. She had carefully planned and debated to herself how she thought the night should go, and she was confident Twilight would say yes to her question. But the feeling of worry and fear of rejection was still there. She felt her heart beating faster and faster, pounding against her chest. Her new friend was beginning to feel like more than a friend to her, and she didn’t want to ruin making this night as special as she could. Twilight deserved it after everything she had done for her.
Twilight relaxed in Luna’s embrace, resting her forelegs on top of Luna’s. She gazed into Luna’s adoring cyan eyes. The unforced grin across Luna’s face revealed her true delight towards the thought of dancing with the lavender pony now just a leg’s length away. The shine of the sparkles in the Princess’s flowing mane and the faint scent of vineyard expressed her delicate care and preparation for this exact moment. But her eyes exposed more about the Lunar Princess than Twilight could ever hope to comprehend.
At first glance their appearance reminded Twilight of that of a filly; innocent, eager to learn and enjoy life. But looking deeper, Twilight could tell there was so much more to Luna. She felt as if she could see straight into her, but she couldn’t put her hoof on making sense out of any of it. Twilight tried focusing her efforts on answering the question instead. She looked from one eye to the other, trying to gather her thoughts, but she couldn’t. The only thing she could focus on was what Luna’s eyes were telling her.
‘You have to say something, Twilight!’ she thought to herself. ‘You can’t just leave Princess Luna hanging like this!’ Twilight tried to gather her thoughts once more. ‘Of course she could have this dance! Come on Twi’, say it! Just say it!’
“...Yeah...” she managed to express softly in awe. She had meant to be more formal, really. She just couldn’t believe what was happening right now. Princess Luna was at her house once again, asking to dance with her. Not even Princess Celestia had ever made her feel as lucky as Luna did right now. She also couldn’t deny her growing feelings for Luna that had been building ever since last night. She was beginning to wonder if this was what the first steps of love felt like.
Luna took a step towards her, and Twilight took a step back in reflex. Luna took another step forward with her other hoof, and Twilight again stepped back. Quickly determining that she had never heard of a dance that consisted of a three-step-backwards motion, she went with her instincts and took a step forward this time. Luna took a step backwards, compensating Twilight’s movement. Twilight was relieved, until it hit her that she still had no idea what the next motion was going to be. She tried to look down at her hooves to anticipate the next move, only to find Luna raising a forehoof to her chin.
“Don’t think,” Luna expressed delicately. “Dance.”
‘Don’t think?...’ She looked upon Luna with confused eyes. Luna took a step towards her, just as she had before only with her other hoof, and Twilight took a step back. They took another step backwards, followed by another step forward like before. ‘Don’t think...’ Twilight cited to herself. They continued these steps, over, and over. Twilight then realized what dance they were doing. It was a simple pegasus swing taught in the Dancing With Ease book, meant to lead into more complicated dance routines. There was only one problem with this, one she was sure Princess Luna was aware of: she wasn’t a pegasus.
Twilight felt her weight leaning more into Luna for support. Twilight was not used to standing on two hooves, let alone dancing on them. Luna was at least able to support herself up with her wings. Luna’s grin grew slightly larger, and her horn began to glow. Twilight felt herself becoming lighter on her hooves. Her body began to glow with a moderate blue aura. Twilight had never experienced this magic before. It was similar to levitation, but she wasn’t weightless. She began to imagine all the other uses this magic could obtain.
“Don’t think,” Luna repeated, noticing Twilight’s increasing thoughts.
‘Dance,’ Twilight thought to herself. She continued to go with the motions, finding it much easier and relaxing now with Luna’s help. She gazed into Luna’s eyes, her grin visible just below her muzzle. Twilight grinned back. It wasn’t the same grin she was used to giving. She was genuinely happy. She had never experienced happiness like this, not since she first began learning to control her magic.
Twilight felt herself becoming even lighter. Luna pressed her hooves into Twilight, slowly lifting her into the air. Twilight grasped harder onto Luna for reinforcement. Unicorns weren’t meant to be in the air, not like this. Twilight continued with the same motions, just as the book said to do, except for the part where she was supposed to be keeping herself in the air with her wings. To her surprise, she found the motions just as easy to perform without the support of the ground. She wasn’t sure how to explain it other than it was like sliding on air.
She slowly loosened her grip, putting her trust in Luna. She was beginning to realize why so many ponies enjoyed dancing so much. She felt like Luna was guiding her. ‘Don’t think,’ she repeated to herself. She let the flow of their dance overwhelm her body unresisted. For the first time in her life she felt as if she was actually flying.
And in an instant, everything changed. The aura that was around her vanished. Luna flew forward and pulled Twilight over her so that they were facing the same direction. Twilight wrapped all her legs around Luna and held on as tightly as she could. She closed her eyes, the fear of being in the air returning to her. She heard what sounded like the balcony windows opening, and a breeze of air began rushing against her coat. It was warm at first, but quickly transitioned to a much colder temperature, accompanied by the sound of the night’s wind.
Twilight buried her face into Luna’s back, hiding it from the blasting wind. She could feel Luna’s muscles contrast with every flap of her wings. She focused on her grip, making certain it was not slipping. She felt the air getting colder and her breathing becoming heavier. “Do you not trust me?” she heard Luna quarry almost rhetorically.
“Mhm,” Twilight muffled, nodding her head against Luna’s backside. She tightened her legs for a second, trying to assure the Princess that she was okay. Technically, she was freaking out, but she knew she could trust Princess Luna. She knew everything was going to be all right in the end as long as she just held on. She felt the wind weaken and Luna slowed her pace before collapsing her wings. Twilight didn’t understand. She knew they were still in the air, but they weren’t falling.
“You can open your eyes now,” Luna assured her.
Twilight opened her eyes. They were on a small cloud overlooking Equestria. Ponyville was visible below them, with Canterlot and Cloudsdale far in the distance. Twilight wrapped her forehooves around Luna’s neck and looked around. “It’s beautiful,” Twilight exclaimed. Twilight noticed the night sky reflecting in the nearby lake. There were a few buildings still lit up in Ponyville, the rest were uneventful and ready for the night. The Everfree Forest was pitch black as usual, apart from a small highlight in the trees, presumably coming from Zecora’s hut. She could still notice the rainbow waterfalls running in Cloudsdale even through the dark of the night.
Canterlot let off a soft glow, one Twilight had never noticed before. All of the castle city lights appeared to be off, but still it shined. The streaming waterfalls along the mountainside ran much farther than any of the ones from Cloudsdale. The rest of the clouds casually drifted across the night sky. “I’ve never seen Equestria like this before.” She gazed around for a few moments more before closing her eyes and resting her head against Luna’s. “Thank you, Princess.”
“Please, Twilight, call me Luna,” she quietly requested.
“Thank you, Luna,” Twilight corrected, squeezing Luna tighter at the delightful change. Twilight let out a sigh, not out of emotion, but tiredness. The night had been more exhausting than she first realized, and she began to feel herself slowly dozing off.
Luna stretched her wings out. “Hold on.” Twilight slowly wrapped her legs around Luna just as before, keeping herself rested on Luna’s back. Luna took off into the night back towards the library. Twilight kept her focus on her grip once more, making sure not to fall asleep. It didn’t seem long until she felt warm air again and the wind vanished from her hearing, replaced by the sound of the balcony windows closing.
Luna hovered them both in the air, slowly descending towards the ground. Twilight felt the moment Luna landed onto the ground, and then she opened her eyes. They were back in the main library room where they started. Luna tilted her body over to her left side, letting Twilight easily slide down onto the ground. Luna laid beside her, grinning just she had at the beginning of the night. She placed her wing over Twilight and stared into her eyes.
Luna slowly brought her muzzle towards Twilight’s. Twilight froze in shock, unsure of what was about to happen. Luna continued to move closer until their muzzles touched, and Luna wiggled them together shortly before lifting hers back up. Twilight stared blankly up at Luna, her eyes as open as could be.
Luna noticed Twilight’s shock, and thought back to her question from the other night. “Do friends not muzzle?”
Twilight’s shocked gaze quickly turned into one of confusion. “I... We... I mean, they can... I was just expecting...” Her cheeks burned rose flower red. She couldn’t force herself to finish her sentence.
Luna looked at her with a soft confusion before giggling to herself. “Twilight Sparkle, thou art so amusing, I love it.” Twilight blushed even harder at that comment. “Thank you.”
“Thank you?” Twilight questioned. Luna was the one that had made the night so amazing, not her. She interrupted herself with an abrupt yawn before continuing. “For what, Luna?”
“For being my friend.” Luna’s grin spread wider once more before she brought her attention to the window and got up to walk over to it. “‘Though I do not wish to keep you from your sleep.” As Luna proceeded towards the door, Twilight tried to quickly get up to stop her.
“Wait, I-” Twilight quickly tried find the right words to say to make her stay.
Luna paused at the door and turned towards Twilight. “Goodnight, Twilight Sparkle,” she softly said. She proceeded out the door, closing it behind her.
“I don’t want you to go...” Twilight sat down onto her flank. She couldn’t fully understand what had just happened. She didn’t want to understand. ‘Don’t think,’ she repeated to herself. ‘It was a good night. She just didn’t want to keep me up...’ She tried to reassure herself that everything went well, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that it ended all too quickly, and that with her simple yawn she had thrown everything off.
She yawned again, this time more deeply. ‘Perhaps I am a bit too tired, though...’ Twilight walked over to the stairway and began her climb up. ‘Luna did seem to enjoy it. But why did she feel the need to thank me?’ Twilight walked to her bed and slid underneath the blankets. She rested her head on her pillow and stared out the window. The moon was almost full, and the stars brightly sparkled in the sky. ‘Don’t think...’ Her eyelids began to close as her tiredness overcame her. She closed her eyes, reminiscing back to when Luna was laying next to her with her wing wrapped around her. She gazed up at Luna, still not believing everything that was happening. It all seemed too good to be true. As Luna brought her muzzle down towards her, Twilight lifted hers up in return.