It had been a year and a half and not a single day had gone by since she hadn’t thought of Twilight. Rainbow Dash missed her something fierce. She wasn’t the only one. In honor of her service, Celestia and Luna had a memorial built in the center of Ponyville, a statue commemorating her bravery, as well as those who had died in the war.
Rainbow remembered the war all too well. The fighting in Cloudsdale haunted her dreams: the sounds of dying screams, or innocent ponies fleeing for safety as the city fell apart. Even Twilight’s death haunted her. Watching her launch herself in front of Princess Luna, and getting riddled with crossbow bolts played over in her head many times. Although as time had gone by, they had become less frequent.
She flew through the air, bucking away the clouds over Ponyville. Her thoughts were easily lulled into her mind by the steady thud of connecting with a cloud. The weather patrol had been dropped to only a few ponies after the soldiers came back to the town.
There had still been fighting going on after Celestia woke up from the Eversleep. It took her days to solidify peace between the two sides, still blindly egged on by their hatred for one another. That peace was still relatively uneasy. Even now there had been reports of squabbles in the streets over simple misconceptions, and anger at the aftermath.
The cities and towns that lost the most citizens saw the most turmoil. While Celestia focused on the cities that had been destroyed or damaged in the war, it did nothing to heal the communities that were now mostly empty. For the first time in modern Equestrian history there were hundreds of young ponies who had nowhere to go. Families that were destroyed in the fighting left behind colts and fillies that were eventually brought into orphanages. Most families were more than happy to have another addition to their home, but some were still left alone.
Celestia was under the most scrutiny of all. Accusations flared about her involvement in the plot, and that she knowingly released her other sister into the world. They even blamed her of setting up the war for some sick pleasure.
Rainbow thought it was completely undeserved. Celestia released many different private documents about alicorn anatomy and life-cycles. They were irrelevant to all ponies but herself and Luna. For the most part, they were released in her defense. She noted in many different addresses that she wanted to spare the world from attempted overthrows during her one thousand years of rule. Her rhetoric over her sister’s innocence in the affairs was just about the only thing that anypony talked about.
While they recognized that Nightmare could control a pony if she wished, the proof was undeniable from the execution - some were wary to believe that she was blameless.
It was commonly accepted that regardless of Luna’s innocence or guilt, Twilight Sparkle had been one of the bravest ponies in the world. Her actions to save Luna’s life were the only rationalization that anypony had to continue trusting the princesses. No pony as smart as she was would throw her life away so irrationally.
But, Rainbow Dash thought that there was something else involved. She had spent the last month of Twilight’s life with her and Luna in the ruins. They were quite close to each other for only spending a few days alone. But that closeness seemed to grow as the time went by. She could have sworn she had seen them holding hooves at one point, but she was busy stuffing her face with vegetables at the time.
There was something more curious than that. Luna had been gone for several months. Celestia said she was continuing research in private on the effects of the Eversleep, should it ever become a problem again. While both princesses were fully rested from their first sleep - Rainbow Dash assumed this was the case - it would not occur again in Rainbow’s lifetime. She did however, receive a letter from Princess Luna.
It was sitting just inside her house by the front door. Princess Luna had requested that they meet in the afternoon by the lake outside of town. Her hooves met open air, and it snapped her out of her thoughts. For as far as she could see, she had cleared the sky of all of its clouds.
Great. Glad that’s over with, she thought. Her wings angled downwards and she glided out of town to the lake. I guess I’ll just wait for her since I’m done.
Rainbow touched down on the sand. There was no sign of the princess yet. Instead she sat down on the shore. A slight summer breeze rippled over the water, blowing grass gently from side to side. A mother duck with her newborns swam across the water, gliding on its surface. Short quacks filled the air as she listened to the sounds of early summer. The hot sun beat down on the ground, warming her coat, forcing her to spread her wings to catch the breeze.
“Hello, Rainbow Dash.”
Rainbow Dash was startled for a moment, but she turned to look at the voice. Just behind her, Princess Luna was walking about with two young fillies playing around her legs. Neither of them seemed to speak, but they giggled as they chased each other around.
Luna didn’t seem used to it in the least. Her mane was a mess, ruffled from running around, most likely from chasing the two foals. Her crown was missing from her head, and her wings were loose against her body, moving slightly to catch the wind. One of the foals ran underneath her and she lifted her midsection so the other could chase her.
“Sorry about them. They’re always so riled up.”
Rainbow Dash looked at her quizzically, but failed to form any words in her mind.
“Come on!” Luna called sweetly, walking by Rainbow.
The two fillies responded by running towards the princess, who was walking into the lake. They ran straight past Rainbow Dash, plowing into the water. It was enough for Rainbow Dash to confirm something about them:
They were both alicorns.
Her mouth dropped, silence echoing around her, contrasted only by the two foals thrashing around in the water. Luna smiled wide, keeping them close to the shore. Occasionally they would jump out of the water, only to crash back into it.
One of the two looked up at Rainbow Dash and bolted over to her, shaking water all over the blue pony. Rainbow Dash finally got a good look at the foal. She had a beautiful indigo coat, accented by a deep blue mane, that slowly brightened to the color of a morning sky at the the tip. Her tail was the same, but the colors were lighter, and seemed to contrast her coat, rather than blend in. It was the eyes that really stood out. They had a soft glow behind them, a fluid orange and yellow color, like the rising sun.
The foal nuzzled up alongside Rainbow’s hooves pushing her gently in the direction of the water. Rainbow looked at Luna.
The princess giggled, “She wants you to come play, Rainbow Dash.”
Rainbow Dash smiled and rose from the sand. The young foal laughed and giggled as she charged back into the water, drifting into Luna’s open hooves. Luna let her go and she started splashing around in the water.
Rainbow flew over the lake and dropped into the water. She immediately regretted that decision, feeling the colder than expected water against her coat. Her head broke the surface and she swam back over to the shoreline where the foal splashed right over to her. The little pony raised her front hooves in the air, smiling, as she did so. Rainbow picked her up, the blue foal giggling in delight, and plopped her right on top of her back. The foal had planned for this, as she climbed up the rainbow mane, until she was staring over Rainbow’s head.
The other foal seemed to shy away when Rainbow approached, blushing and hiding behind her mother’s legs. She looked exactly like the foal she was playing with, but with subtle differences in color. Her mane and tail started a little darker than her coat, but instead of lightening, it darkened into a deep blue, ending in the purple of a night sky. Her eyes were a cooler color, a light red mixing with all kinds of shades of purple. They were far more complex than her sister’s, but they still held that familiar glow, hers just like moonlight.
“It’s ok. This is Rainbow Dash. She’s helped mommy many times.”
The foal was hesitant, but with some guidance she floated over to Rainbow Dash. The light blue pony sat down in the water, lowering her head, so that the foal could see her sister riding the rainbow colored mane. The shy foal smiled and splashed her way back over to Luna, who used her magic to float her onto her neck.
Rainbow was having trouble forming the words to say, managing a sheepish smile as the little one pulled at her mane, giggling all the way.
Luna sensed the questions Rainbow might have had, “They’re twins. The one you have on your neck is Dawn.” The little one squealed in joy in hearing her mother’s voice, “This is her sister, Dusk.” Dusk smiled, and hid her face in Luna’s mane. The princess walked out of the water, Dusk sliding onto her back.
Rainbow followed her. Dawn copied her sister’s readjustment and giggled to her sister when they were side by side. “Twins are really rare. Who’s the lucky stallion?”
Luna blushed. “That’s... complicated. Its actually why I brought them to you first.”
Rainbow raised an eyebrow. “Why me?”
“Because, I figured you’d have a better idea of who the other parent is, without me telling you.”
Rainbow’s face drained of it’s color as her brain clicked. All of those nights that they stayed up talking, or when Twilight was always concerned when Luna wasn’t doing well. She put herself in harms way for more than Celestia, and even Luna. She died to save her foals.
“Twilight...?” Rainbow Dash managed to say.
Luna smiled and nodded. She lead them onto the road back to Ponyville, taking a leisurely pace. “I asked her if she would be the other parent for a foal. It was more a precaution on my part, because I knew I would die without the extra boost of magic that comes with an alicorn’s pregnancy.”
Rainbow looked confused.
“I don’t expect you to understand that part of it. I was more open to the idea since I had kind of fallen for her after I had arrived in Ponyville. When she comforted me over Sky Shroud’s death... I was happy. The more time I spent with her, the more she grew on me. Even after I had asked her, I was still unsure about my decision. It worked out because she initially refused my request. But,” Luna blushed. “The more time we spent alone those days before you arrived, she and I became more intimate.
“Then that night you came, after you had fallen asleep, she decided to go ahead with it. That specific type of spell we used allowed us to see everything about each other. Our feelings, or doubts, even our memories. It is called a “sharing”. Only an alicorn can perform it, and it was used for ponies who wanted children, but didn’t want to or couldn’t... you know.”
“There were many alicorns in the old days that performed the spell. But it took a while to figure it out, since it’s been lost for many years. When we did...” Luna looked at the two fillies, using her magic to levitate Dusk to the ground. Dawn hopped off of Rainbow Dash, using her wings to slow down. They walked along in between the two mares occasionally skipping a little ways ahead.
Luna sniffled a little bit. Rainbow was concerned for the princess, who was visibly crying. She stopped and put a hoof around Luna, “You ok?”
The two foals stopped their running, and walked back over to their mother, nuzzling against her hooves. Luna nodded to Rainbow Dash, nuzzling her foals. “When we figured it out, these two were the result. I love them more than anything in the world. I’m sure Twilight would have wanted to see them.” She used her magic to prod them on their way, smiling and laughing through her tears.
The twins smiled back and jumped ahead towards a candy covered building. Rainbow Dash didn’t even notice that they had even arrived back in Ponyville. She was also thankful that no one was around to notice them.
Luna started walking towards the building, the two foals skipping back to their mother. Her horn glowed and the were scooped up onto her back. Dawn climbed on top of her sister to get a better look at Sugar Cube Corner.
“Thank you Rainbow Dash. I hope everypony else will be as accepting of all of this.”
Rainbow smiled. “I’m sure Pinkie Pie will have a fit over how cute they are. Or she’ll pull some crazy party for them. She’s so random sometimes.”
“Only one way to find out.” Luna said. She pushed open the door to Sugar Cube corner and walked inside.