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Twilight opened her eyes. A black, thick mist surrounded the lilac unicorn everywhere she glanced. She couldn't see very far in the distance, and a feeling of fear was slowly creeping up in her mind.
For what Twilight could figure out though, black tiles covered the ground, emitting a very intense coldness, almost freezing the purple mare on the floor. She sat there, in the darkness - her body began to shiver.
W-what is this place? And how did I even get here?
She slowly got up to her hooves. The iciness on her belly faded, instead her hooves were soaking up the chill of the ground now. It was like every time she placed one on the floor, a cold claw came out of the tile beneath - invisible, yet tangible - sticking her to the surface. Twilight struggled to lift her hooves from the icy chains again and again, but slowly made her way forward, suppressing the emerging pain in her legs.
Yet it seemed she was not moving, no matter how often she put a hoof in front of the other - everything stayed the same. With no horizon, no sky, nothing but pure blackness, it was hard to tell if you were making progress - to nowhere.
I don't know where I am, but I need to get out of here! I don't know how long I can continue like this...she gulped. I... I should try the Inner Fire spell to warm me up first, then I'll think of a way out.
Her horn began to pulsate with a magenta light, but somehow she couldn't finish her spell. Every drop of magic she poured into her horn was sucked away by an unknown force immediately, absorbing every bit of it.
What? Magical absorption? I've read about it in some of my books, but they told that these ley lines of magical drain wouldn't exist in Equestria anymore. The last ones disappeared a millenium ago. This can't be true! There must be a logical explanation for all of this!
Abruptly a loud thud came from several feet behind her, whirling up a big cloud of dust. Hastily she turned around, almost losing her balance on the icy tiles. She couldn't make out what had caused the thud through the mist of dirt surrounding it.
Inhaling a deep breath, Twilight managed to whisper into the cold, directly to the blurry cloud:
"H-Hello? Is somepony there?"
After nothing happened, she stepped forward to have a better look, to make out what caused the thud. Darkness still ruled all over the place. She got close enough to see the silhouette of a pony ahead.
The lavender mare peered at the other pony for a while. She considered different things, like why the unknown being was here in the first place, until Twilight asked herself the same question.
Suddenly, the other mare made a move, breaking Twilight out of her thoughts. She froze in shock. Her heart was skipping more than just one beat. She felt the claws on her hooves slowly sliding up to her neck.
However, her fears were not confirmed. The mare was still lying there, with her back towards Twilight.
What is going on?
A slight breeze blew against Twilight's face as out of nowhere the other mare folded a pair of large, feathery wings gently against her side. Twilight hadn't noticed that she had her wings spread out before.
She moved slowly a little closer. She catched a glimpse of the crown resting on the other mare, staying right behind a long horn erupting from her forehead.
There was no answer.
"Princess Luna? Is that you?"
A bit more confident, Twilight took the last few steps to the alicorn. The more steps she took, the more light was falling on the way in front of her, as if she was radiating a light glow.
She was standing beside the winged unicorn now, the light was just enough to make out who was lying ahead.
The purple mare was relieved to see the princess and not any other possible evil being that would lurk around here in the darkness.
"Princess Luna! It is you! I'm so..." Twilight's volume turned down with the last words, "glad?". She saw the alicorn's head hung low, almost touching the ground with her muzzle.
The mare's eyes were closed, revealing her nearly shining light blue eyelids. It was a beautiful contrast to the dark blue coat, but through it, she looked even sadder this moment.
"Are... are you alright?"
Twilight sat herself in front of the princess. In the closeness of her, the floor had lost it's aching coldness, they were almost... warm.
Twilight noticed a crystalline flow, dampening the fur beneath the alicorn's eyes and cheeks.
She - she is crying.
The princess squeezed her eyes shut, holding back another wave of tears.
The lavender unicorn laid her hooves gently on top of the princess's. With a soothing smile, and her voice smooth as silk, Twilight spoke. Her voice reached deep down into the other mare, even if it was just her name that escaped the purple mare's mouth.
Luna instantly pulled back, turning her head away from the unicorn. But she failed to hold back the sob that escaped her that moment.
Twilight was uncertain. She hadn't seen one of the Princess ever crying. It was such an unnatural sight.
Just from pure instinct, she leaned forward, and as gently as she could, she embraced the sobbing princess lovingly, pulling her close, as if it was the most usual thing in the world.
Luna hadn't expected such an act of affection. Rather she had expected Twilight to leave her, like everyone else had left her. Yet, the now sudden feeling of Twilight's soft body pressed against her own, and her gentle hooves wrapped around her neck made her realize, how much she had needed just that. It had been too long.
She pressed her own cheek against Twilight's neck, dampening the unicorn's silken fur with a fresh stream of tears, and that didn't go unnoticed by Twilight. The purple mare pressed the alicorn a bit more against her. Like a signal, that in that very moment, everything was fine and she would be there for her.
Soon, Twilight felt a slight brush of feathers on her back. The princess had wrapped up her wide wings around both of them in their embrace, pulling the unicorn even more to her. Luna wanted this to never end.
She cares for me...
Hit by that realization, another wave of tears was welling up inside Luna.
She really cares for me!
She pressed the lavender mare tightly against herself. Her forehead and upper muzzle pressed against Twilight's neck, the princess let out a deep sob, right in Twilight's purple coat. How could she ever make that up to her? Just by being here with somepony, with her, it meant so much to Luna.
It seemed like hours had passed since they enfolded, though both of them didn't want to break it. The soothing emprise comforted the princess in a way she had not experienced before. She wanted that this moment with the lilac unicorn could last forever. Yet she knew it couldn't.
Twilight felt Luna's grip carefully loosen. But she didn't want to break the hug with the princess. Not yet. It was... special. She couldn't figure out why though, why it felt so different with Luna than with her friends. What was the difference between her friends and Princess Luna, aside from her being royalty?
She couldn't finish her thoughts though. The warmth of Princess Luna's body spreading over to her was fading. She hadn't noticed that the air was still rather chilly in the midst of their enfold. Even the lunar mane brushing her body had given her a cozy warmness, which she was already missing.
The princess leaned back, with her hooves still resting on Twilight's shoulders, smiling at the unicorn in front of her. Her tears had began to dry, not only due to her, burying her face in Twilight's fur. She hadn't felt so grateful in over a thousand years.
"Twilight," the mellow voice of the Princess echoed through her.
Twilight had her eyes shut the whole time. She didn't want to see anything (even if that was very unlikely in the dark void), or feel anything else then the alicorn in her forearms.
Hearing the soothing voice of the princess, she slowly opened her eyes. Her sight was the regal alicorn smiling down at her, half-lidded. Here eyes were indeed reflecting Luna's mind - finally at peace, at least for the moment.
Twilight now with a small smile on herself, locked her gaze with these vivid turquoise eyes of Luna.
Those beautiful green-blue eyes. I wonder what else lies beyond them.
Luna started again with her silken voice.
"Look around, Twilight."
Twilight trailed off of Luna's eyes, and let them wander. There were no clouds in the now visible sky, and the mist had vanished completely. The ongoing gloom, nothing but pure black, turned into a dark blue, enlightened by thousands and thousands of stars, dancing in a beautiful glow above them. Twilight had never seen the sky so intense in its dark blue. And it seemed, that the stars were shining even brighter. It was such a beautiful sight.
"It's wonderful, Luna." Twilight said calmly in Luna's direction, but with her eyes focused at the sky.
"It appeared both because of and for you." The princess was still smiling at the purple mare.
What? 'Because of' and 'for' me? Twilight sat there agape, staring at the lunar alicorn. What could she have meant by that?
The entire situation was beyond Twilight's understanding. Why would she have caused the enlightenment of so many wonderful stars in a world like this? And more important for her, what was the reason?
"Twilight," Luna began again, "Thank you so much. For what you have done for me here..."
Luna took one hoof from Twilight's shoulder, and placed in under the purple unicorn's chin. She pressed a bit up to close the still opened mouth of the lilac mare.
With a smirk, she slowly leaned forward.
Twilight sat there, feeling the gentle pressure of Luna's hoof under her chin. She saw Luna coming closer and closer...
What is she doing? She - she isn't going to kiss me, is she!?
Twilight's expression changed instantly into one of shock. She locked her eyes shut, and prepared herself for what was to come. She didn't know why she was afraid of feeling the Princess' lips pressed against hers, but it didn't matter, because it would happen every moment anyway.
But the kiss never came.
Instead, Luna pulled the unicorn slightly to her, nuzzling her one last time - cheek to cheek.
Twilight opened her eyes just a small gap. She didn't see the the Princess' head in front, but beside her, feeling Luna's cheek gently brushing against her own. She felt relieved, yet somehow disappointed. Her ears hang flat down, a small pout forming on her muzzle.
Somehow, I would've liked to kiss Luna... Twilight began to both inwardly consider and argue against the thought--the feeling of the princess's lips upon her own, melting together--but it was forced back into her mind as Luna's smile waned.
She let out a sigh, and continued. "...even if this is not truly real. But the stars here were gone before, and yet they are there again." The alicorn stopped her nuzzling, pulling her head back to face Twilight once more, "I have to leave you now. Though I hope I will find you here again from time to time. Farewell, Twilight Sparkle."
The princess stood up, leaving Twilight sitting alone on the ground. She leisurely trotted a few steps away, but glanced one last time back over her shoulder to her saviour. Lightly beaming at the sight of the purple mare, she then turned around again. She spread her dark wings wide open, flapping them several times. Getting off from the ground, she soared with a few more flaps into the night sky, the cool breeze slightly blowing against her warmth carrying body.
Twilight, still sitting on the ground, gazed afterwards Luna. She didn't understand the world anymore.
The alicorn was almost out of sight, when with a brief flash of light she dissolved. In her place the moon had appeared, but this one differed. This moon was grander than the one Twilight had adored on her balcony so many times, and it seemed brighter as well. Under the illuminating glow of the moon, the purple mare just sat there, glancing at the orb.
What... just happened?
So thanks for reading!
Please, don't be confused by the events that occur in this chapter. Everything will be explained later in the story.