With a mischievous smile 6 year old Luna Regal saw her handiwork, she has just ruined the wall of the hallway using his father's favorite pen that was supposed to be expensive and hard to replace, she knew that it was his favorite because it was the one the father of his father used as well, he even got mad one time when her sister used it to write him a birthday note and if the item even caused Celestia to get scolded then its important had to be extreme.
The tip of the pen was ruined and it was almost out of ink, to ensure complete success she drawn a ridiculous caricature of her father with the word useless in the bottom of her masterpiece, now Luna was sure she would get punished for real, she paused when she heard heavy steps coming up the stairs and in giggles Luna left the pen in the middle of the hallway and ran toward her room, in the way she crossed in front of her sister room were Celestia was busy reading another book, she barely caught a glimpse of her sister as she passed by, she then jumped in her bed and hugging her moon shaped plushie she waited for the sure to come punishment.
"Dear sister? Are you ok?" asked Celestia as her head appeared in the doorway.
"I'm ok Tia, just playing". Celestia fell chills run down her spine hearing her sister playful tone, Luna's kind of play normally didn't end up well for someone in the house.
"Sister what did you do this time?".
"Nothing Tia, go back to reading, I'm fine!". Celestia's big sister alarm activated, she knew full well that if Luna wanted to do something bad she wanted her out of the way.
"Just tell me please, I won't be mad, I promise".
Luna rolled her eyes and left herself fall completely over her bed. "It's nothing ok? Just a little draw I did in the wall, that's all".
Celestia's mind worked through all possible scenarios that her sister could produce, a drawing on the wall wasn't good but it was kind of tame compared with other more chaotic pranks she had come up with. 'Just a drawing doesn't sound to bad, of course she could be lying but she had never lied to me once, maybe is where she drawn... Or with what... Oh no!'.
When realisation struck Celestia she left Luna's room in a hurry, making her way to her father's office, however she found him kneeling next to the wall where a drawing of a man was depicted, his attention however was upon the pen in his hand.
Celestia was right then, her baby sister used the pen that was used by their Grandfather and passed down to Sol Regal." Fa-father, I... What do you... think of my drawing?". Celestia told her father trying to shift the blame to her and protect her sister like she promised her Mother.
Sol Regal turned to his oldest daughter his eyes full of rage. "Follow me to my office Celestia". As they walked Sol lost some of his edge, as they entered the office Sol seemed stern but not as angry as he was in the begining. "I'm... I'm sorry Father I... I just wanted to draw something for you a... a little prank, yes just that but I'm sorry for-".
"Celestia stop there please, I know perfectly well that it wasn't you, this is not the first time your sister do something like this and I'm sure it won't be the last, I'm... angry but I will not punish her severely, this pen... was something your grandfather gave me when I took over the family business, he was proud of me but... I'm not sure I deserved the pen anymore, in any case, i need to do something about out Luna".
"Are you going to talk to her then?". Asked Celestia a bit hopeful.
"I... I'll think about it but for now, I think a little change will be better". Celestia's hope fell after hearing that, she was just 10 year old but she knew well that her sister constant pranks and misbehavior was her way of trying to call for her father's attention, in all honestly she couldn't recall even one time where she saw her father and Luna speaking more that 2 sentences.
Worst yet was the fact that Luna was increasing the quantity and quality of the pranks and the possibility where Luna could put herself in danger was ever growing, Celestia needed to put a stop to that but as long as her father continued to avoid Luna she wouldn't succeed.
Unknown to Celestia and Sol, Luna heard most of the conversation and finding her sister disturbing her plans hurt her more that her father's lack of attention.
"Stupid Tia, why did she blame herself ? I hate this place! I hate it here!". Little Luna cleaned the tears that ran down her angry face, she did her way downstairs and when she saw one of the few remaining maids she called her.
"Hey you! I need you to do something for me!".
"Miss Luna? Oh hm sure Miss, what can I do for you?". The maid asked intimidated by the little tanned lady.
"I need you to take me to the Apple's farm right now".
"Uh? The Apples? You mean Sweet Apple Acres?".
"Well duh? You can drive right? Then take me there this instant!".
"But... but I can't!".
"Tsk, fine! If you take me there I'll give you $3, how about that".
"What? No I can't! Mr Regal will fire me if I do that!".
"Fine! I'll give you $5! And nothing more you golddigger".
"Mi-Miss Luna! Where did you learn that word?!".
"Uh? School... maybe?".
"I'm sorry but I can't and please don't ask me something so ridiculous!". The maid ran away as soon as she delivered her final words to an annoyed Luna.
"Urrrgh! No one in this house care a out me! I'm going away one way or another!". After exclaiming her purpose Luna went to the back of the mansion were she found the object that would help her reach her future destination.
"It should be here around in this junk... ah ha, here you are!". Luna pulled her find as hard as possible until she managed to free it from the pile of things, the thing was an old bicycle, a bit rusty but still useful, she didn't know how it got here , her father never bought bicycle for Celestia or her and she never saw anyone ride one to the mansion.
She took it outside and used an old rag from the kitchen to clean it, the tires still have air enough to make it useable, it even have a basket in the front and a small tray in the back of the seat to accommodate a box or so, she thought about ride it already but she was wearing a short skirt and shoes unfit for such activity, she went back to her room and changed her clothes, she also took her moon plushie and snacks from her secret stash and throw them inside her backpack and went back to the bicycle, she took it to the backyard away from other eyes although she was sure that only her sister would show any interest in her doings.
"Ok, now... how do I ride this thing? Can't be that hard". The bike was clearly for a taller person but Luna was confident that she could reach the pedals, she have seen a lot of kids in school ride theirs but only that, feeling that experience was the best teacher she posed the bicycle next to a rock and used the rock to climb up then she sat an struck the pedal hard she pushed with her feet again and managed to advance a few meter smiling for her accomplishment, however it only lasted a few more seconds when she lost balance and fell to the side, yelling.
"Ugh, it... hurt... Tia... Granny ubbb ". Her sobbing progressed to full crying, her knee has a scratch an her elbow hurt as well, she cried for a few more minutes but soon her pain turned to irritation.
"I... I didn't came to cry here!". Getting up hurt more but Luna suck it up and took the bike back were the rock was, again she tried and again she fell hurting more of her small body in doing so but also improving, every try got her farther and farther until falling, her tears of pain mixed with her big smile as she knew she was doing better, she didn't even fell the last few times she managed to correct her posture and land on her feet, she even was able to jump on the seat without the need of the rock.
When she felt confident enough she pushed more force in the pedals and even tried to steer between obstacles, her smile morphed into a pure grin of success, she didn't need anyone to take her to Granny's house, she didn't need anyone taking her anywhere, that in some way did make her feel lonely again but only for a second, Tia could also learn to ride a bike and if she wanted they could fo out together sometime, this time it will be her teaching her older sister and not the other way like usual.
After enough practice Luna mounted her plushie in the front basket and tied her backpack to the tray, she jumped on the bike once again and took road at the direction she knew were the farm was, increasing speed and letting out a laugh when she felt the wind rushing along, pure joy filled her heart making her forget her problems back in home, she felt free and happy, she was sure the rest of the day was going to be great.
AN HOUR LATER...
The day was awful, Luna felt her legs were just jelly under her, her butt hurt too after almost an hour of hard pedaling, she took breaks between her starting point and her destination but it was still too much for the 6 year old.
She continued for a few more tries until she finally reached the first line of apple trees, she let herself fall and took out a chocolate bar that was starting to melt, her normally tanned cheeks were pink already and her hair was a mess, she was thirsty too as she forgot to bring water with her, that was the most activity she ever had in her life.
As she waited to recover she saw a truck approach from the way she came, old Ford pick up, Luna took her plushie and prepared herself to be showered in dust and dirt but the truck slowed down until it stopped in front of her, from the driver seat a red headed guy with cowboy hat called to her.
"Heya there Miss Luna! What yer doin so close to our farm?".
"Bright? Hey... I was going to your home, I got a business with Granny".
"That so? Hum? Ma didn't say nothin about you and yer dad comin today, are ya sure?"
"Ugh just take me there you gruf, I'll talk with Granny myself!". Bright Mac saw the littls girl trying to look intimidating but her pouting face and the way she was hugging her stuffed toy make her look rather funny if not cute.
"Ok Miss, just hold there for a second". Bright talked with another person inside the truck that Luna just noticed and walked out of his truck to put the bicycle in the trunk.
"Ok Miss Luna, jump in". Luna didn't wait for more commands and scooted inside coming face to face with the other occupant of the truck, a girl probably as old as Bright with orange hair and freckles in her cheeks, she smiled to her.
"Hey there lil one! Mah name is Pear Butter, how about you?".
Luna scanned the girl from head to toe, she was another farmer by the way she talked and her clothes, she wasn't one of the regulars Luna had seen in the farm before so she was most likely a new worker or another Apple member.
"Luna, Luna Regal, Lady of the night and protector of dreams!". Luna said while posing with refinement, Pear Butter giggled and followed her in her charade.
"A pleasure Mah lady, forgive this intrusive... Uh?".
"Commoner?". Added Bright seen the older girl getting stuck in her conversation.
"Yes, this intrusive commoner".
Luna looked pleased with her answer and continued. "Thee are forgotten for i am benevolent and glorious, now, can we hurry up! I need to use the throne of holy release".
Soon the truck entered the property of the Apples and Luna practically jumped out of the truck and rushed inside almost crashing with Smith Apple in the process.
"What in tarnation happen with that girl, did she came with you boy?".
"Sure did Ma, found her near the farm all worn out and ridin an ol bike".
"By herself? Hmm better call Sol, for all ah know that lil missy could had run away from home, now then speakin of runaways , yer Pa was lookin for ya lass, don keep him waitin now".
"Ok Ms Apple, thanks, I'll see ya later Bright".
"Later Buttercup, love ya". The two farmer teens kissed and after Pear Butter left back to her family's farm while Bright Macintosh watched her with dreamy eyes, when he turned around he found his mother a few inches away from him.
"Listen well lad, yer mah son and ah love ya, but ya better don come tellin me ya got one lil Apple in that Lass before ya get married or yer gonna be eatin from a straw from the beatin ah m gonna give ya!". Bright's smile turned forced hearing her mother's warning.
"Anyway, try to distract the lil Miss while ah talk to Sol".
"Sure thing Ma". Bright went to the kitchen where he found Luna coming through after her break, she looked a bit tired bit now she seemed better that when Bright found her.
"Hey Luna, would ya like some apple pie and cool juice?".
"Do I? Bring them in!". Luna sat around the table and started humming some song while Bright prepared her snacks.
"How's Tia? Haven't spoke to her in a while".
Luna thought about it and realised that indeed her sister hasn't spend any of her weekends or vacations in the farm like she use to, she wondered why tough. "She's fine, at school and in our house although... Lately I haven't seen her smiling that much".
"She hasn't? That's bad, mah Pa always told me to smile even if things looked bad or ya were afraid, a simple smile and boom! All yer troubles are gone".
"Hmm I don't know, hasn't work for me neither" Bright put a plate in front of her with a couple of apple pie slices and a glass with apple juice. Luna took a bit of both but still looked gloomy.
"Still in bads with Mr Sol?".
Luna was about to devour another slice but stopped at the mention of her father and Bright quickly tried to correct his error.
"Ah am sorry Luna ah didn't mean to eh hm let me uh Ah! Here!" In a hurry Bright trued to make the little girl laugh by been funny, he took the rest of the pie and slammed the plate in his face leaving him covered in fruit filling and crust.
"That's the worst act of comedy my innocent eyes have ever seen, you suck at been a clown Bright!
"Oh yeah, think ya can do better that ol me missy?". Bright smiled as he accomplished his objective of distracting Luna.
"Of course I can! Just watch... Ahem, so what's the first thing a newly wed husband gives to his wife, uh?".
"The... first thing?".
"Yeah oh and remember, she's a virgin".
"Wut? Ah... Ah mean". Bright started sweating as only one answer came to mind in that moment.
"I'll give you a clue, it's... hard, really hard and she expected it to be hard". Luna giggled watching the farmer struggling. " Do you give up is the ring you pervert!".
"Lu-Luna... Where did ya learn that stuff?".
"Uh... School, I think?". Luna faking ignorance and Bright could only shake his head in annoyance.
Luna was about to deliver her second act when Smith's strong voice boomed from the other side of the house. "Wait here Luna, let me see what got Ma so loud". Luna nodded and Bright moved around the living room to where his mother was using the phone, as he approached the ongoing conversation became audible to him.
"Sol Regal! This ain't the way to fix this damn problem! Yer just pushing it aside ta me, have ya even asked Celestia what she thinks? Na right? Yer just doin what's easier for ya again!".
"Smithy please! I can't deal with this right now, Stinky Rich and his lawyers are driving me to a corner and I need to put my all into winning, if I fail there will be nothing left for my daughters to inherit!". Smith heard the plead but she was still skeptical.
"I now that I'm useless as a father Smithy, Celestia is a bright child and I know she will do better that anything I have accomplished until now, and Luna... She's... she's like her mother, I can see it every time she invent something new to make me angry and I know that tenacity is all Night Vail's. She will struggle but she will brake any obstacle she come across".
"Then why wouldn't ya tell her ya idiot! If ya know how hungry is Luna for yer recognition then why keep her away! Gods Sol, sometimes ah wonder how yer mind works?".
A heavy sigh came from the other side of the line. "Smithy... I'm still afraid, I'm a coward, every time I see Luna I feel guilt in me growing, I failed Night Vail but I want to give Luna at least something better that what I have give her so far, that's why I can't fail in this or I will lose everything including what is theirs!".
"Sol... Ya damn moron... Fine! But only cus the girl is like mah family as well!".
"I know Smithy and I know that Night Vail would approve too, thank you, for whatever is worth, thank you".
"Just don mess up Sol, yer daughter will be waiting fer ya".
Along the long rows of apple trees three figures walked awkwardly, one adult holding a young girl with each hand, Celestia in one and Luna in the other, Luna felt weird, for a long time she wanted to be approached by her father the same way he did her sister but he simply ignored her and now here they were walking with him holding her hand, it was now that Sol Regal stopped and let go, he stepped forward and turned to face both girls. "Celestia, Luna, I need to talk to you about something important".
"Listen well my daughters because I love both of you the same even... even if I act like I don't must of the time". Luna knew who he was referring to. "Right now I'm in a tight spot, there's some people that I'm having trouble with and they want to take what little we have left from us, I need to face them... but I need time and patience, but more importantly I need energy to do this and because of this... I won't be able to take care of you two... so you will be moving with Granny and Bright for a while".
"Fa-father? What are you saying?". Celestia asked distressed.
"What?". Luna didn't understand anything her father was saying either but her mind worked the worst explanation possible in that instant. "It's... it's because of me? Are you kicking us out? Us? M-me?".
"Gods no! No girls nothing like that, I would never do that it's complicated but I-".
"NO!" Luna screamed, tears running down her face with no end.
"You... You hate me! You... You won't come back, if you do you'll only take Tia right? You'll leave me behind!".
"Lu-Luna? No I... I won't lea-".
"NO! You can't even see me in the eyes! You... I hate you! I hate my face! You hate me because I look like Mother don't you! You don't lo-". Luna didn't even finished when her cheek was slapped by the hand of her sister who was crying too.
"No one hate you sister! I don't and Father doesn't either, I...".
Luna stepped back, her sister had never hurt her like that, to her that was more proof that any word her family could say or not, proof of her worthiness, Luna turned around and ran, ran while both her sister and father yelled her name.
AN HOUR LATER...
Luna sat over a wooden platform constructed over an Apple tree, it was supposed to be a tree house but no one had finished yet, Luna hummed to herself an old tune that Granny thought her some time ago while she munched an apple she picked in her way.
Her face still showing the results of her crying, her peace was interrupted when the ladder used to climb started cracking under stress, the noise wasn't that loud which meant that it wasn't an adult climbing up.
"You missed the sunset, you like those don't you".
"Yes, I do sister". Celestia took a seat next to her sister although in a more refined and lady like way, the contrast of the two sisters was very obvious, like the sun and the moon, Celestia was preen and proper while Luna was rough and unbound, their ideas how to interact with daily problems were different too with Celestia more of an observer and analyser while Luna was an explorer and 'get into it' kind of person.
"You know we love you right?". Luna didn't respond, instead took a loud bite at her apple stretching the time more before answering.
"Luna?". Celestia became nervous hearing no answer from her sister but Luna's simply answer was a chuckle. "Sister please answer me!".
"Alright alright ha ha, sorry Tia, yes... I know that you love me".
"Hmm, I don't know".
"I'm serious sister, I don't know, I guess he does, in his own weird way, but not the way I want, not the way he does love you".
"But he loves you and he will be back for both of us I'm sure".
"And If he doesn't?".
"Then... Then I'll kick him in the... balls?". Celestia turned red saying the last word which got her sister into a laughing wreck.
"Oh my God Tia, where did you learned that ha ha".
"Hmm school?". Luna stopped for a moment only to break in laughs again. "Lulu isn't the only one who can learn bad words you know?".
"Yeah but at least I don't turn into a human tomato when I joke around like you!". Luna continued laughing for a bit more before stopping, she then cleaned her face of tear again. "Thank you Tia, I needed that".
"What are big sisters for? Anyway, father is probably getting a lecture from Granny right now so we can stay here a bit longer".
"I don't hate been here you know, if anything I love Granny and Bright is like an older brother in puberty". Celestia seemed to flinch a little at the mention of the farmer boy. "I think he have a girlfriend now though".
"Maybe so, anyway this is just temporal, I'm sure we'll be back to our own home in no time".
"I guess, Tia?".
"Do you think... Do you think Mother would have love us, i mean... If she were alive?".
Celestia smiled bittersweet and hugged her sister. "I know she would sister, I do". Both sisters remained looking at the horizon uncertain of what the future had in store for them but confident that when together they could surpass anything.