The Birthday Wish

by Hail King Sombra

Secrets Shared

It was a very haggard Luna and tired-looking daughter who came to breakfast the next morning. With ears down, they both took their regular seats silently.

Celestia frowned. She had not seen Luna’s state of exhaustion from the far balcony she occupied when raising the sun, nor noticed it when they had passed each other in the skies, though now that she thought about it, Luna’s usual radiant reflection of the sun’s light had seemed duller than usual. How careless of her to forget about it until now, she chided herself.

The servants brought the three royals breakfast and left the room at Celestia’s behest. “You do not appear to be very well rested, sister,” she asked, concerned.

“My dreams were - painful last night,” was all she replied quietly.

“How so?” the Sun Princess asked.

Luna took several bites of breakfast, reluctant to reply.

“We were with daddy,” came the reply from another source.

“‘We’?” both adults repeated in unison. They looked at each other during which Celestia could tell this news had surprised Luna as much as it had surprised her. Then they looked back at Dawn again.

“Dawn, how do know it was your father,” Celestia asked, her voice cool and even, yet lined with curiosity.

“He looked like me,” came the simple reply. “He’s grey, with a horn like mine and a black mane and tail.” She continued to eat her breakfast, seemingly as calm about the subject as if they were talking about her homework from school or what her friends had for dinner last evening.

Her mother studied her hard. Dawn had awakened from the emotional joy of the dreamscape two nights prior to the harsh physical reality of her body wracked with sobs, tears staining her cheeks and now last night had been even worse for her - a shock to the poor filly, coming across her mother clad in battle armor, Sombra’s bloodstains on her hooves and face. Either Dawn had shut down and shut out its emotional trauma or she did not want to upset her mother further after the already painful last two night’s discussions.

Luna’s mind reeled. It had never occurred to her that the image of beloved daughter in her dream was actually Dawn herself. It might have been a reasonable coincidence given the topic’s intensity these past few evenings...

“It might have been some pony you dreamed in his colors and wished he were your father, my little one,” Celestia proposed to the child, echoing her sister’s thoughts.

“Mommy said she loved him,” the filly replied. It was apparent by her still-casual tone that she believed it was her father and it didn’t matter what her aunt believed. The child’s faith in her dream was unshakable.

“So it was no simple, wishful dream - for you nor myself!” Luna breathed, taken aback, speaking when the silence told of Celestia’s inability to refute what Dawn had said.

“You do not have such dreams, sister,” the Sun Princess spoke up, yet failing to draw Luna’s gaze away from the child. “Flights of fancy and fantasy are those reserved for our subjects, but you told me your dreams, rare though they are, never hold anything but prophecy and the truth.”

It was Luna’s turn now to be rendered speechless for a moment, barely hearing what her sister was saying. Once she had thought her sister’s word’s true as well for it has always been so, but the twisted dream of the last battle was clearly not what had occurred in truth!

There was something else now as well. “Luna?” The Moon Princess blinked, focusing at last on her radiant sister. The distracted look in her face concerned Celestia. “Luna, you believe you both dreamed the same dream?”

“I - I am not certain, sister,” Luna replied uneasily. “We hath never shared the dreamscape before this.”

“Did you suspect this at the time?”

“No, I had no idea we may have been sharing - “ she glanced back at Dawn who met her gaze with no reaction and no emotion. “Dawn, did thou know we were sharing the same dreamscape last night?”

Dawn slowly shook her head. “No.”

“Where were you two?” her aunt asked.

Warning bells went off in Luna’s head. She had never told her sister what had happened during that fight while Celestia had been paralyzed by Sombra’s nightmare magic. She only just barely remembered it herself, shrouded in a veil of untapped, furious power she never knew she possessed. “Dawn - ” she began to say to cut her off.

Dawn glanced at her mother. The strange, fearful look in her eyes made the child hesitate. “We were - outside, in the gardens. Daddy was giving me a ride on his back,” she lied, telling her aunt the story of the previous night’s dream instead.

“That sounds like a wonderful dream, Dawn,” Celestia smiled. “Not a cause for such a tired state in either of you, though, let alone both.“

“Twas not my dream, sister,” Luna cut her off, trying to sound casual. “I must have been mistaken.”

The Sun Princess reached over, laying a hoof over hers. “But you did dream of him last night,” she guessed.

Luna lowered her head and ears, nodding.

“Do you wish to talk about it?” Celestia asked helpfully.

“It was of the - fight,” her sister said, careful to frame her words so she did not upset Dawn. “His last moments. I will never forget them, not as long as I live. I - please, I do not wish to discuss it right now!”

“Of course, Luna. My apologies.”

Celestia returned to eating, as did they all for a while. By the time dessert came, the mood was slightly better, but only because Luna, so tired of the past few evening’s heartaches, brutally shoved the dream aside, refusing to give in again to yet another eve’s painful memories.

“It was silly of us to believe Dawn’s dream walking abilities are showing so soon.” Celestia recalled, smiling. “You were at least twelve winters when yours began to show.”

The Moon Princess grasped the opportunity to further better the mood. “I remember,” She nodded. “I retaliated at not having mine own room by showing up in your dreams for a month."

“Yes, and when I yelled at you it was mother and father’s decision on us having separate rooms, you started showing up in their dreams!”

The three smiled, Dawn giggling, picturing her mother and aunt fighting, then her mother harassing her grandparents through their dreams. She turned to Luna, shock on her face. “Mom - ?”

“Do not get any ideas, little one,” the alicorn warned. “Such foolishness landed me in more trouble than you can imagine.” Finishing up her dessert, she caught that Dawn was still staring at her. “What? I was once of such an age as to cause trouble. ‘tis not that incredible a tale, is it?”

Dawn smiled, shaking her head. Celestia put a hoof to her mouth, stifling a polite giggle. Luna and Dawn stole glances while the solar monarch’s attention was pulled away by an attendant, Dawn winking at her mother, a small smile on her face.