As the cart clinged away into the night, the crowd started to make their way home and soon enough the palace grounds were empty. The six saviors of Equestria had a good time and were down for a good night sleep. It was getting late and the beautiful night Luna had put up was now entirely covering up the sky.
“Where’s our carriage? It should have been here by now!” asked Twilight, sounding somewhat frustrated and confused.
“Give it a few minutes darling, it is probably on it’s way,” Rarity said, trying to calm her friend down before her stress levels get too unbearable. We all know twilight does not have room for mistakes when it comes to planning.
“Yeah Twilight, calm down, I’m sure everything is fine.” Rainbow let out a few laughs while trying to say that.
“Wait! What about my bachelor party?”
They all laughed yet again.
“Oh Spike, we are all very tired and you and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. I’m afraid there won’t be a bachelor party,” Twilight said, trying her best to forget about the missing carriage situation.
The disappointment on spike’s baby dragon face was almost enough to make pinkie burst out in tears.
The wind picked up, the fire spread...
They were sitting next to the road as minutes went by, people were cleaning up the palace. No one seemed to notice the time, as they were all chatting about whatever thoughts came to their mind but mostly their thoughts of the wedding and the changeling Queen. Although, this was all interrupted by the sight of Princess Celestia herself.
“Howdy Princess!” Applejack spoke up while everyone bowed down to the majesty. It seemed obvious everyone was wondering what she was doing here, on the street.
“Twilight, it looks like you and your friends’ carriage had a mishap on the way here and it won’t make it any soon. For that I am offering you all a suite in the castle, where you can sleep for the night and brunch tomorrow morning.”
Everypony was joyfully surprised at the words that they just heard. Not only are they staying at the palace for the night, but they also get to brunch together!
This was all paused when Rainbow asked what happened to the carriage.
“Oh, It’s nothing to worry about. Follow me and I’ll guide you to your chambers.” said Celestia.
“Good thing you have chambers like these in case visitors are in trouble, Princess!” Twilight said, relieved that everything will be alright.
“Well, we very rarely get cases like yours around here, so the additional chambers are always empty, I’m glad to finally have a use for them,” Celestia replied, letting out a small chuckle.
They all followed the princess in happiness, and even without his bachelor party, spike was happy. It was hard to leave all his planning behind but he knew he had to. After all, what was spike thinking to plan a bachelor party after the marriage?
On her way to the chambers Celestia started to get dizzier and dizzier. “Oh, It’s probably just an outcome of what the Changeling Queen’s magic has done to me. A good sleep should fix this.” Trying to reassure herself as much as possible, she continued walking down the long beautiful halls she had built herself.
Celestia arrived to her destination with her six and a half followers. They entered, amazed, and wished a good night to their majesty, who was already on her way to finish her tasks as soon as possible.
The chambers all ran along in the same corridor, connected to a huge dinner room - probably where they will eat tomorrow morning - with a few windows here and there offering a great view of the palace gardens. The rooms themselves were actually rather huge considering they are connected to a tiny corridor like this one. All of them had a queen-sized bed, a table with a few chairs and a drawer where they could put their dresses and things in.
They all made there farewells and went into their respective chambers. It didn’t take long before they were all asleep. The atmosphere was so calm and peaceful, you could barely hear anything else than your own breath.
Celestia was barely walking straight now, but she knew she had things to do and her situation was not enough to convince her not to do her final tasks. At this point it seemed just like a normal headache, after all she had been defeated by an evil queen and then suspended in a coccoon, and with all the blood being lowered down to her head that headache was definitely predicted. “Okay, focus. I still need to talk to the janitors and give them an extra on their pay check, I also need to talk to th-”
“Tia! Is everything alright?”
Previously lost in her own mind, walking towards her goal like a robot, the sun goddess was now paying attention to a very familiar figure.
“Yes Luna. I am just having a small headache right now,” Celestia explained.
“Oh, sister. This looks much worse than a normal headache! Here, you know what? Do not worry about your duties for now, go get some rest and I will take care of cleaning things up.” Luna said.
“Luna it’s fine really, I can do this on my o-”
“I will not take denial for an answer. Go to bed darling, before anything happens to you. Please.” Luna interrupted.
Celestia sighed, nodded and thanked her sister for her generous offer. She then headed straight to her room as Luna went and ordered some servants to do some overtime. The Sun Princess really hoped Luna would not buck anything up and just dropped on her bed, falling asleep instantly. Sweet dreams Celestia.
Twilight opened her eyes, letting the light of a new day shine in. It was probably early, there wasn’t that much shining. She was the first to wake up, and spike was still sleeping at the bottom of her bed, like a dog. She got up and looked outside, the sky was still partially dark as she expected, but there were people in the garden already. “Huh? There’s something wrong. People shouldn’t be up this early.”
She then spotted something up on the sisters’ balcony;
Luna, trying to move the sun, but clearly having difficulties. It was way bigger than the moon and it’s surface is harder to “grip”.
Questions raced in Twilight’s mind. “Why is Luna moving the sun? What happened to Celestia? Why is Luna having difficulties? Why are people not noticing this? Is Celestia Okay? Should I yell at Luna right now? No, that will wake up my friends. I need to teleport there! But the noise will wake up my friends! What do I do? What should I do?...”
The bearer of the element of magic walked out her room as quietly as she could and exited the quarters, rushing to Celestia’s room. Surprisingly, no guards stopped her on the way there, none seemed curious why Twilight would suddenly run through the Castle at an early time like this. She assumed the guards weren’t aware of the situation - and neither was she - and continued running, soon to be intercepted by the princesses’ room’s guards.
“What brings you here, Twilight Sparkle?” one of them said, in a rather intimidating voice.
“I don’t know exactly, but I think something may be wrong with Celestia, it seems like an emergency.” Twilight replied, trying not to panic too much. She was already giving the impression her head was going to explode, she didn’t wanna make it explode for real.
Intrigued, one guard went inside and demanded authorization for our hero to enter. He then came out a few seconds later, opening the door to Twilight.
Rarity woke up, excited to know what would be on the menu this fine morning. She was not used to sleeping without having Opalescence around, although the amazingly comfortable beds made up for it. She felt like a princess, sleeping in this kind of place and being so close to Celestia.
She heard a door open. Curious, she opened hers.
It was a unicorn, bringing fresh food on the table.
“What do we get this fabulous morning?” Rarity cared to ask.
The servant rambled on and on about every single thing he brought in. The noise eventually caused the other ponies to wake up. He was gone soon after. The ponies chatted for a few minutes, waiting for Twilight to devour all that delicious food set on the table. But then Spike came out of his and Twilight’s room.
“Hey have you guys seen Twilight? She wasn’t there when I woke up and the window curtains were open.” The little dragon said.
They all shrugged.
“She is probably talking to the Princess or something, it’s been a while since they’ve seen eachother anyways.” Rainbow said.
“Oh no she could’ve been captured by a BIG small dragon and then put in a dungeon or something!” Pinkie burst into tears. “OH NOOO. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY-”
“I’m sure everythin’s fine. C’mon y’all, let’s eat! I'm hungrier than a bear in early spring.” Applejack, reassuring everyone.
It seemed to work as Pinkie stopped her show and all of em were sit down around the table within the next minute.
The first thing in her line of sight was Luna, visibly exhausted. She was surprised that Twilight noticed her so early and never really prepared for anything like this.
“Luna?” Twilight said. “What’s going on? Why are you moving the sun? What happened to your sis-”
The Moon Princess lifted her front right hoof in the air, closing her eyes. She clearly had an explanation to do, and fast. Although the first thing she did was sigh.
“There’s something wrong with Celestia, and we’re not sure what it is yet. She’s getting headaches and we have tried a spell to cure it, but it has no effect. It looks like she just needs some rest. She cannot get out of bed, we are sure she won’t be able to move the sun. That’s why we... I mean I, moved it this morning.” Luna paused for a moment, just remembering about what Twilight taught her last Nightmare night. She was also thinking of anything else to add. “Do you have any idea what could’ve caused this? I mean, I wasn’t there when the changeling queen came, did I miss anything I should know? Help me, Twilight.”
It was hard to admit, but she knew putting this secret in Twilight’s hands wouldn’t be a problem.
Twilight just stood there, staring at the floor, thinking. It wasn’t long until she had her answer, though.
“Celestia had a duel with the queen and she lost. The queen’s power was too much for her to handle and the spell knocked her back a few yards. The tip of her horn looked burnt. It could be that.” At that moment, Twilight also remembered how the queen maintained control of the princess. “At one point too she was suspended upside down in a cocoon for a few hours, maybe it could be all that blood in her head.”
Luna was surprised no one even told her this, not even Celestia. I guess she really did miss something.
“Right... well whatever the case is, it doesn’t look that bad. I’m sure she’ll be up and running within a few days. Until then I should be able to take care of Equestria by myself. It’s only a few days after all.” Luna said.
Twilight saw how hard it was for her to move the sun this morning and wasn’t sure what to say about this. She didn’t know if Luna could withstand such duties every day. But still, she was talking to a princess, she wasn’t going to disrespect her.
“Well then, I’ll be on my way, I have my friends waiting on me for a breakfast and I have to get back to Ponyville in a few hours. If you need me for anything just send Spike a letter.” Twilight said.
“Farewell, Twilight Sparkle.” Luna replied.
She closed the door behind her and Luna found herself alone in the room again. She walked up to the window, looking up at the bright sky she brought up. “-sigh- I really hope I won’t have to do this longer than three or four days, moving the sun is harder than I thought.”
“Hey Fluttershy,” Rainbow said. “Cloudsdale picked Ponyville again to lift the water up next week so can I count on you this time again? You rocked last time!”
“Sure Rainbow, I’ll do my best to help.” Fluttershy replied.
“Woo-hoo! I saw you last time and you were flying all around so fast ZOOM! and you lifted all the water and all SWISH! it shooted all the way up to Cloudsdale like BOOM! and it was so awesome!” Pinkie excitedly said, running around the room like she was trying to create a tornado. How could Pinkie find so much energy at nine in the morning?
They all giggled and chuckled.
“Fluttershy you are starting to get really assertive now, I’m so proud of you darling!” Rarity added.
“Why thank you Rari-” The door opened, interrupting Fluttershy.
“Twilight! Where were you?” Rainbow said.
“I was just chatting with Luna because... well.... something happened to Celestia.”
The room’s atmosphere changed from a joyful laugh to a serious drama theater scene. You could hear some gasps here and there and everypony dropped their food.
Before anypony could say anything, she continued.
“We’re not sure exactly what it is, but she’s going to stay in bed for a few days and Luna has to take over for a bit, I just wasn’t sure if Luna was strong enough to do it. I saw her move the sun this morning and it didn’t look that easy to her.” Twilight said. She proceeded to have a seat and start eating too, she was so hungry she could eat everything in front of her right now.
“Oh dear, that sounds awful, is she gonna be okay?” asked Fluttershy.
“I sure hope so. What if she doesn’t move the sun? Or the moon!?!” said Applejack, starting to panic a little.
“There’s no need to ask all the questions, Luna is a very strong pony and I’m sure she can do the job. She just needs some time getting used to it.” Rarity replied, calming everyone down. She knew what she just said might be wrong but it was better to believe that it was right.
“Yeah, you’re right. No need to get all worried and stuff.” said Rainbow, taking another bite.
“I just want you all not to talk about this in front of Luna if she comes by, I don’t want her to feel weaker than she is, I’m sure she can handle this task but she’ll need confidence for it.” said Twilight.
They all agreed and slowly continued their meal. There wasn’t much they could do to help the situation with the deliciousness right in front of them. So they just ate.
Luna opened the door to her sister’s room. She was awake.
“Hey Tia, I just wanted you to know that Twilight is aware of your.. situation. She saw me this morning and I had no choice.” said Luna.
“It’s okay, I trust my most faithful student enough to believe she’ll keep her mouth shut. Maybe she could even help you find a spell, who knows,” replied Celestia, laying in bed. “Did you move the sun this morning?”
“Oh, yes. I did...” Luna hesitantly said, she wasn’t sure if it was the right idea to admit she had difficulties. She knew she already screwed up by saying it that way. It was pretty obvious there was a missing piece to the puzzle. She didn’t want her sister to think she was not needed around, or not qualified for such a status.
“...Are you sure? You don’t seem sure.” said Celestia.
Luna was just given a second chance, she wasn’t going to screw it up this time.
“Yes, I did. I’m sure of it.” she replied, determined to let that mishap go by unnoticed.
“... Alright. Would you mind accompanying Twilight and her friends to their carriage? I can’t... really... do that right now. They are in room 97B.” asked the sick one, letting out a few coughs inbetween her words. It seems she is the one asking all the questions today, even with her... sickness... curse, maybe? Who knows what it is.
Glad the awkward and silent moment is gone, Luna agreed and headed out the room. She came by a window and looked outside, it was where all the guests were standing last evening. Everything was cleaned up to perfection, as if the palace was ready to host another event as huge as the wedding again.
She walked for a while. Kinda forgetting where she was headed to. Luna was lost in her own mind, for no good reason, starting to get a little insecure as to her “moving the sun is hard and I’m not sure I can do it everyday” general thought process. Somehow, she made it to the good room and hearing the noise in that room snapped her out of her bubble. She opened the door and saw the two-and-a-half-time saviors of Equestria.
The ponies weren’t doing much now, they were done eating and the servants already cleaned everything up. They were just sitting around the table chatting, once again.
“Oh hey Luna! What’s up?” Rainbow said. She spotted her first due to where she was positionned on the table, facing the door.
Luna was a bit confused by this new language she has yet to get very familiar with. “I’m.. doing good, thanks. Are you all ready to go now?” She asked.
There was a big disorganized vocal mess of agreements, and they all went in their rooms to grab their last things. Twilight already had everything ready, so she was left alone with the Princess.
“How’s your sister doing, Princess?” Twilight asked.
“Well... I’m not sure. I’m not sure what has afflicted her, I’m not sure how bad it can get, or how bad it will get, I’m not sure how to fix this.” Luna replied. “Also, please stay put, I may need your help if things get out of control. I’m not familiar with all the talented unicorns out there and you are the best I know.”
Twilight was pleased with the compliment, but was also worried that Luna would even have to ask such a thing. She thanked the Princess and by this time most of the ponies were out of their rooms and all set to go.
“Alright then, let’s head out to your carriages and get you back to Ponyville.” Luna said, making her way out of the room with everyone following her.”
“So, umm.. Rainbow? You said we have to lift the water up again?” Fluttershy asked quietly.
“Yeah, I hope you can come again, It wouldn’t be the same without my top flier.” Rainbow winked at Fluttershy. “I’ll need your library for a meeting again, Twilight. OH! And also the egghead side of me wants to borrow the new Daring Do that you bought! I haven’t read that one yet.”
Twilight giggled. She sure changed the way Rainbow acts about reading, although she hasn’t really read anything else but Daring Do yet. “I guess It wouldn’t hurt. I’m too caught up to spend time reading that one yet anyways.”
It was about 11:30, and before they knew it, they arrived at the parking lot where their carriages were sitting still, waiting for their “cargo”.
They hopping in their respective rides and eventually departed home, leaving behind a waving Princess.
They eventually came to a stop, they could feel the ground beneath them, the carriage wheels rolling on the dirt road; they landed. Some were sleeping, it woke them up.
They all got out and thanked the stallions for the transportation.
“So... what happens now?” Spike asked.
“I gotta go see the mayor and get the papers I have to distribute, see ya later!” Rainbow said while flying away towards the town hall.
“Ah’ need to catch up on the bucking, them apples aren’t collect themselves, y’know.” Applejack started trotting. “See y’all later!”
“I also need to finish some dresses for an important client in Canterlot, I enjoyed staying at the Castle, although that lost time will only be recovered with hard work... and besides, I haven’t fed Opal yesterday. Farewell!” Rarity waved.
The other ponies were just standing there, waiting for the other to speak up.
Pinkie really didn’t have anything in particular to do, but she suddenly got a craving for cupcakes.
She gasped and bounced away, headed to Sugar Cube Corner to see how Mr. and Ms. Cake are doing.
“Ummm.. I guess I’ll go check up on my little friends, if that’s okay with you.” Fluttershy shyly said.
Twilight giggled. “It’s quite alright, we have things to do too.” She replied.
Spike hopped on Twilight’s back and waved goodbyes to Fluttershy.
“What things exactly?” Spike asked Twilight.
“Well.. the library needs a clean-up, it’s been a while since we’ve done that.” She wasn’t sure what else there was to do for Spike. She had things to study but Spike didn’t need to take part in that.
Rainbow got her fliers from the Mayor, there was a few hundreds of them. It was going to take a while to distribute them to every single pegasi, but it had to be done if she wanted to break the record this time. She started flying around, dropping them one by one to every flying pony in town, screaming and announcing the news. She recognised everypony as she was passing the papers around the streets of Ponyville. It was her home, after all. After a few minutes, she was getting distracted, just throwing a flier to anyone that has wings.
Although something caught her attention. Something... unfamiliar. A new face.
She had a light gray coat and a Blue mane with a style rather similar to Spitfire’, a mare she really looked up to and sometimes dreams of. Something sparked in Rainbow’s heart, something she’s never felt before and she wasn’t really sure how to approach that feeling. The mare looked lost, checking her saddlebags and looking at her surroundings.
Dash eventually stopped flying and dropped on the ground, just staring at that pony she has never seen before. “She must be new here, I’m surprised Pinkie hasn’t jumped on her yet.” She thought to herself. The rainbow pony was just captivated by the way she looked and how similar to Spitfire she was.
The mare noticed Dash looking right at her, almost cross-eyed. It startled her a little.
“Ummmm... Excuse me?”
Rainbow snapped. She was so lost in her thoughts she didn’t notice the mare was awkwardly staring at her, waiting for an answer.
“Uhhh.. sorry. Are you new around here? I’ve never seen you around before!” Dash asked, nervously. The mare looked pretty athletic, Rainbow could already see that. She didn’t really know what was going on, but deep in her she wanted the mare to say-
“Well, yeah. I am moving in town from Cloudsdale today.” The mare answered, interrupting Rainbow’s thought process, which turned into a sudden pool of happiness.
“Cool! Well then,” Dash pulled out a flier and handed it to the pony. “There’s a meeting for all the pegasi in town tonight at the library concerning lifting water to Cloudsdale this month. Maybe you should come, we are trying to break the wind speed record and I’m sure you could come in handy! Plus, you can meet some new friends there.” Rainbow continued, nervously. She had a big smile on her face that screamed desire for the mare to come.
“Sure, I’ll be there.” The mare seemed happy about it. “Just one quick question though... where is the library?”
Rainbow laughed. This was her chance. “Here, you want me to show you around?”
She hesitated, but came to conclusions that it would probably better to start off on a good note. “Yeah, why not?” She answered.
“You still haven’t told me your name you know.” Dash said, gaining more and more confidence.
“Sorry, my name is Windy Springs. and you are?”
“Well, would you look who it is!”
“Hi Mr. Cake!” Pinkie said as she was entering Sugar Cube Corner.
“What brings you here today?” He replied.
“I felt like making cupcakes cause I LOOOVE cupcakes! Is that okay with you? Cause I hope It’s okay with you cause if it wouldn’t be that would mean I wouldn’t have cupcakes and then I would be all SAAAAD!” Pinkie said, finishing with a cute puppy face.
Mr. Cake laughed. “Sure Pinkie, whatever you want. This place is also yours, you don’t need to ask me!” He said.
“OH THANK YOU MR. CAKE!” Pinkie then made her way to the kitchen with a speed that defied the laws of physics themselves.
She started gathering the ingredients. “All you gotta do is take a cup of flour and add it to the mix!” She sung to herself.
“Now just take a little something sweet, not sour, a bit of salt - just a pinch!” She started putting various things in the bowl.
“Baking these treats is such a cinch! Add a teaspoon of vanilla!”
“Add a little more, and you count to f-” Pinkie was interrupted by her rear legs shaking uncontrollably. She was surprised as she hasn’t seen that in a while. “Hmmmmm...” She thought. “I think that means.... GAAAAAAAAAASP. THERE’S A NEW PONY IN TOWN!”
And on that note she was off looking everywhere for that new pony to befriend.
“I think that’s just about it Windy, we’ve been to most of the important places you need to know about.” Rainbow said.
“Wow. Thanks Rainbow Dash. It’s always good to know there’s someone here to care.” Windy replied shyly.
“Well I need to finish handing out these fliers, I’ll see you tonight at the library!” Rainbow said while departing towards where she left off, getting rid of that weird feeling when she’s around that pony’s presence. She still didn’t understand what it was that made her do that though. Rainbow never really felt something similar with anypony else. Windy waved at her and trotted away, happy to have made a good friend already.
She was trotting around thinking about what to do next. She wanted to go to a restaurant or someplace where they served food, she was starving, but instead bumped into a very happy and curious pink pony.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going. You see, I’m new here and I’m trying to fi-”
“IT’S YOUUUU! I FOUND YOU!!! I found you! I found you! I found you!” Pinkie started bouncing around Windy, who found it rather random and amusing.
“Woah, hehe. calm down. What do you mean you found me?” Windy cared to ask.
“Well you see I was starting to make cupcakes and then my legs starting going twitchy-twitch! TWITCHY-TWITCH! So I started looking everywhere for you and there you are! Weeeeeeeeeee!”
“What? I don’t understand!” In confusion, Windy then turned her attention to a new voice.
“Don’t try to. Pinkie never makes sense.” Twilight said as she slowly walked in the conversation. “Oh sorry, I’m Twilight Sparkle, and you are?”
“I’m Windy Springs, I’m new here, if you haven’t heard.”
Pinkie suddenly realised she still had cupcakes to make. “OH NO! I gotta go Windy, I’m just glad we’re friends now. We’re friends, right? Are we?” Pinkie asked hastily.
“Ummm. yeah, sure, Pinkie! We’re friends.” Windy said, not sure exactly what to answer back. Pinkie was a one heck of a weird pony.
“WEEEEE! Bye Twilight!” Pinkie bounced away towards Sugar Cube Corner yet again.
“Don’t mind her, she’s always random like that. She did roughly the same to me when I first got here. So you’re new huh?” Twilight said.