Twilight's Nightmare

by Nightsclaw

CH 29.6 Family is Strange

Candice found herself slowly waking up feeling groggy and slightly pained, she was tucked into Luna’s bed and was currently alone. She looked around seeing if there was a note, orders or anything else.

Welcome to the land of the living, again. Insight commented to her.

“What happened? I was waking up then suddenly I’m waking up again.” Candice inquired.

What happened was you decided to exuberantly fulfil part of your new oath and tried to give some of your magic to an exhausted Luna. She in turn, siphoned the rest from your wellspring and knocked you right back out. Try not to do that again, at least not when she’s asleep. Insight implored.

“I see. Well I hope that it was worth it. How well did you enjoy the whole event?” Candice asked.

I got to watch you change while you were mentally absent for a few hours. Though I could still feel our emotions, so I know things went well. I don’t know exactly what happened to you, that’s new for me by the way. Just that Luna managed to turn you on like you were a light gem, physically and metaphorically. Then you were gone for almost four hours with emotions of love and passion, and when you got back, you were passed out. Oh and the fact that you grew thestral features, that happened just a little bit after you started glowing. That’s a sensitivity effect by the way. Most just use it on the horn or something to incite a pleasurable reaction. Just so you know. Insight explained.

Candice pondered that for a little bit, “I see.” She then remembered what occurred last night. Her face blanched as she recalled what happened after the ritual. “Oh no, I got lost in all that was going on. I need to talk to Luna. I can’t let this harm Twilight...” She felt panic starting to overwhelm her normally logical mind. Deliberately taking a mental step back, she recollected herself. “Wait. I asked her about that. Insight? Why did I just freak out like that?”

Because our fear of hurting either of them is so extreme, it counts as a phobia. Insight intoned.

“I need to talk to Luna about that, and about you.” Candice determined.

Upon looking around something caught her eyes, a bowl of fruit with a mango sitting on top. She noticed that she didn’t have her usual strong aversion to the thought of a mango. The first and only time she had eaten one, she almost died from it as her throat started to close up. Fortunately, she had the wherewithal to hold her throat open with her magic until the symptoms passed. It was a decidedly not comfortable experience as she realised that if she didn’t have her magic, she would have suffocated to death.

Pulling her complaining body out of bed, she walked over to the mango in question. She didn’t feel the expected nausea at the thought of it anymore at least, so she moved in to sniff it. “Nope. Still smells the same, I’m not chancing that.” Instead, she grabbed one of the apples in the bowl.

She felt for the fangs that she was expecting to be there now. The sharp little things were not the supper long “vampony” fangs that one would see in the art of some books. Rather they were short little things that her lips could still cover easily even while talking. Though they were still sharp enough to cut into a fruit with ease. The apple didn’t stand a chance.

As she ate, she could feel a little of her strength returning.

Seeing herself in the mirror, she checked out the new changes. In the dark, her slit eyes still seemed to be normal just with the very top and bottom having  a slight hint of a point, much like a cat’s eye in a darker room when the eye was fully open. Her ears being tufted in a bright silver was new. She had a silver sheen over the tips before, but now it was like she had metal silver ear-caps on, except that if you looked close enough, you could see it was fur. The same applied to all the tips of her feathers and it looked like she was wearing silver shoes now. There used to be just a hint of silver in her actual hooves, now they really did look like they were made from solid metal once you pulled a bit of fur up to see them.

“Who, pray tell, is Insight?” Luna softly whispered into Candice’s ear, suddenly seeming to just be there in the reflection, a few motes of shadow lifting from her coat.

Looking to the left, she saw Luna’s eyes peering into her own. The curiosity being evident. “She, I’m not sure how to describe her. She’s me but not me at the same time? She has the same emotions as myself, but sometimes they differ a little. She's at the same time my teacher and yet she feels like family. She talks to me, but other times I just get messages from her in my dreams. The more time goes by, the more she seems able to talk. To be honest, it’s one puzzle I have never been able to figure out. If I had to narrow it down to one word, I think I would call her either friend, or sister. I apologize for not telling you this before. I literally didn’t have a chance since our conversation from before the ‘interview’ and Insight doesn’t like others knowing about her. Yourself, Twilight and Little Star are the only ones I have been given the ok to tell that she even exists.” Candice explained.

“How did you sneak this past my sister?” Luna asked, stroking Candice’s throat with a wingtip.

Candice’s reaction seemed rather positive at the touch. “I don’t think she shows up to mental scans… Insight, how did you manage to stealth past Princess Celestia?”

She isn’t as good as she thinks she is. Insight replied with a rather irreverent attitude.

“Quote, ‘She isn’t as good as she thinks she is.’ Exactly what that means, I’m not sure. Insight doesn’t often explain herself, though I’m not sure why she distrusts Princess Celestia so much,” Candice said.

Luna’s eyes narrowed. Hello Insight. Luna’s voice sounded in Candice’s head.

Candice could tell that the shock she was feeling was mostly from Insight, but a little was from her as well.

Luna? Insight said in a shocked whisper. Her emotions quickly running from shock to desperate hope. You can hear me? Oh, please tell me you can hear me.

I can. I do wonder, however, what are you? I can tell you are not one of the normal maladies of the mind. Luna sent to Candice’s mind.

Candice gave a mental impression for Insight to go ahead as she was curious as well.

I’m not completely sure what I am now. I get the impression that I’m Candice’s twin from before our bodies fuzed in our mother's womb, but I’m not sure of even that. I mostly got that idea from what the doctors said likely happened when they looked at her wellsprings. I think I was the unicorn and she was the pegasus. I believe something saved us, though I don’t know what. It feels like it’s the same thing that gives me knowledge seemingly at random though. Candice, would you please grant me access to your wellspring? I would like a cast a spell. It’s not harmful, but if Luna can talk to you like this, then she can receive the invitation. Luna, I promise this isn’t harmful. It will help us communicate better. Insight said with a tone of hope.

Candice, do you trust her in this? Luna inquired of her Nightchosen hybrid.

I can feel her emotions. She wouldn’t be able to intend you harm any more than I could. Candice said, her own hope adding to the emotional mix.

Luna simply nodded, then Candice opened her unicorn wellspring for Insight to access.

A moment later both Candice and Luna got a mental knock of sorts with an implied request to join in the spell.

Candice saw the room vanish, and a forest clearing under the moonlit sky suddenly appeared. She could still feel the stone of the room she was sitting in however. The feeling of the night air was present but not quite as substantial as if she were actually there. The spell reported that this was mental imagery and they had not actually gone anywhere. Luna appeared but a second later. The look in her eyes seeming to indicate she got the same report from the spell. The smallest of smiles crossed Luna’s face as she took in these surroundings. 

From the edge of the clearing, a unicorn that looked just like what Candice would have if she was born with a horn, stepped out toward them both. Fear but also hope brimming in her eyes. Insight closed her eyes and Candice could feel the emotion of resolve come forth from her. Insight walked up carefully to Luna and in the last few steps swung her forelegs into a hug. Insight’s eyes streaming tears of joy. “I never thought I would get the chance to even talk to you,” she half sobbed.

Luna just wrapped Insight up in a hug. Insight for her part just melted into it.

Luna looked at Candice and seemed to be reading her. Candice was feeling Insight’s emotions, after all. A brief moment later Luna reached out a wing and brought Candice into the hug as well.

Insight went in to kiss Luna on the cheek. Luna quickly glanced at Candice as she as she met the kiss with one of her own.

Candice just leaned into the embrace, she couldn’t stand between Insight and what she desired, not after an entire lifetime of not even having her own body.

Candice could feel Insight’s resolve of intent. She could tell that for Insight, if this was a one-time thing, the only shot she got, she was going to take it.

Candice put a hoof around Insight, “I’m sorry Insight, I didn’t know you were not there. If I had known I would have asked Luna to bring you and explained everything to her.”

“Don’t worry about that, the only thing I missed was the visual and even that I can still get from your memories. I got everything else I would have if I were there besides possible conversation with Luna. Honestly, it’s my own fault for keeping quiet so much.” Insight said with simple acceptance in her voice. Apologies obviously not needed here.

Candice just nodded, appreciating the explanation.

“So what are we going to do with you?” Luna asked Insight in a caring tone of voice.

“Fall in love and marry us?” Insight said in an innocent and playful but hopeful tone.

“I can give you the dream, but for you now you will have to get in line,” Luna said with a light and playful grin.

“Twilight’s at the front of that line,” Candice replies.

“I wouldn’t mind being in that line too,” Insight replied, feeling a bit playful.

Luna hummed thoughtfully then her horn lit in the mindscape and various spells washed over both Candice and Insight. It seemed as if most the spells were analytical or scanning spells of some sort, but others were complete unknowns. 

A moment later, the mindscape flickered then reordered itself. The details becoming richer and more realistic, scents, minor differences in textures and all the small things that most illusionists leave out, now perfectly in place. 

“That feels a lot nicer,” Candice noted.

“Nicer? This is way better than what I was able to make,” Insight stated as she hugged Luna for all her little unicorn body could manage. The feelings bring a renewed joy to Insight.

“Then we shall see to it that you can keep this,” Luna said before turning to Candice. “Would you prefer  a spell brand or simply a piece of jewelry?”

Candice knew what spell brands were. Both had their advantages. Jewelry was more robust but could be stolen or lost. Spell branding, as well as being currently illegal, could fail if the brand was cut during combat. “How small could the spell brand be? Could it fit inside my ear or something similar?” Candice asked.

She could see Insight trying to hug Luna so hard she was trying to become one with her. Fortunately, Alicorns were more than a match for a unicorn’s strength. Luna probably just took what would be a combat grapple to others as merely being affectionate.

“I will just have to be careful which one to bite then,” Luna teased. 

Candice wiggled her ears a little, bouncing the tufts a bit. Luna’s head darted forward like a viper as she snagged one between her teeth and nibbled its tip suggestively. Insight took this as a cue to return the favor to Luna as she somewhat ineffectually tried to grab the much taller Luna’s ear. 

Candice noticed Insight’s lack of practice with a body didn’t help her either as she instead fell into Luna’s wing. Luna laughed softly “So my little pony, what do you want to happen this instant?” 

Candice just smirked as Insight didn’t answer so much as just became as seductive a little ball of adorableness as she could. 

After Insight being nothing but a disembodied voice for so long, she was not going to deny her anything. Though she was tempted to join in, she would not. She still needed to figure out what her relationship with Insight truly was. Until that was nailed down, she wouldn’t be joining her in any physical intimacy.

Candice was ripped away from the mindscape as a stinging pain erupted in her ear. Her hoof moved toward her ear, hitting Luna in the face and causing the pain to spike, a warm liquid down running down her ear. 

It took her a moment for her mind to realized what had just occurred. “I’m so sorry, Luna. I wasn’t expecting that so soon. I didn’t actually hurt you, did I?” she said with genuine worry on her face.

Luna laughed, “You shall have to try harder than that to slay me.” Luna’s blood magic reached out, pulling the blood from Candice’s coat and staunching the wound.

“If I were to seriously have a chance of slaying you, it would be with a well-timed joke. I’m certain I wouldn’t stand a chance against you in battle,” Candice said with humor in her voice.

“Hmm,” Luna looked thoughtful “Poison joke as a tool for assassination… at least some of the inconveniences it causes could be considered extreme disadvantages should one have to defend themselves.”

“I don’t even really want to know what Poison joke would do to me. Probably turn me into a stallion or something.” Candice quipped. Her wings were struggling to try and reach the sky as she was fighting the natural reactions to feeling Insight getting what she wanted. 

“Having trouble?” Luna asked teasingly extending her wing towards Candice's.

“Yes.” was Candice’s one-word response. 

Luna let her wing fall, “Is it really too much of a burden? I can offer you a peaceful rest, a duty to be done or a similar distraction. I myself have things I must attend to, my sister will not let me tarry after being late with the Moon this morning.”

“If nothing else it’s an exercise in self-control. How long do you have before you have to get going? I was hoping to ask some questions at some point. There is also the matter of the phobia I just found out about before you showed up asking who Insight was.” Candice said, hoping she would get a chance to have that discussion with Luna.

“I should be able to exorcise any you may have from you, it will not be pleasant, but it is something I am well practised at,” Luna said simply.

“The phobia in question is that both Insight and I have this fear of hurting either you or Twilight. Not just physically but emotionally. I nearly freaked out earlier at the thought of what you and I did after you accepted me possibly hurting Twilight. Then I remembered that I had asked you about that. You had managed to assuage my fears since I was so distracted, but after the fact, it came back. I had to force the fear out.” Candice laid it all out. 

“You have nothing to fear. Do you intent to betray us? Do you intend to attack anypony I care for? And do you intend to endanger Equestria? If not, then you have nothing to fear. No matter how your attempt to seduce Twilight goes.”

“You said before that if she had flames in her mane, that you would ask me to step back and let her reconsider. That came across as permission with some safety advice. Am I reading that correctly? I don’t want to misinterpret what you said.” Candice asked with just a hint of worry but still just seeking clarification.

“Yes, that is right, though if you did let her have her way with you in that state, I would not mind, but know that it would be her passion ruling her and not her mind. I don’t think she would care, but she might be embarrassed over it.” Luna ended with a playful smirk.

“I see. Thank you. I don’t think that it will be an issue then at this point. I’ll let you know if that winds up being inaccurate though.” Candice stated, her worry seemed to be assuaged.

“Now if that is all?” Luna said turning to leave letting both her wing and tail trail along Candice’s back suggestively as if by accident.

Candice lost lost her battle of self control against her wings as they suddenly got their chance to display their full glory.

“One last thing?” Candice asked, pointedly ignoring the fact that she just lost the battle with her wings.

Luna looked over her shoulder, by the way she licked her lips, if she did not have somewhere to be, Candice would be sharing Insight's fate.

Candice reached up and gave her sovereign a goodbye kiss. That is what she would call it, despite her body trying to turn it into more.

Luna briefly returned the kiss before ending it and nipping at the end of Candice’s muzzle with her fangs. Luna walked into the shadow behind the door as if it were a tunnel, fading from view in its depths.

A voice came from the far side of the room. “You lucky mare,” Striker said, now leaning on the wall in a shadowy corner, seeming to gratefully take in her display.

After taking a moment to insist to her wings who was actually in control, Candice turned to Striker, “Hey there, Striker. Nice to see you, Captain.” Candice looked to her compatriot with a smile on her face.

“Anything you want to get done before the party?” He asked with a hint of intrigue, walking from the wall over to her.

Her body glowed for a moment in her telekinesis as all traces of dirt and foreign contaminants were pulled off and headed to the bathroom disposal. “That should be it there. Just needed to clean up. Had breakfast already. You are welcome to the mango if you like. I’m still allergic to them.”

“Show off,” He said playfully checking her in the shoulder. His horn darkening with shadows as the mango was lifted in his aura “You poor thing,” He almost whispered before devouring the fruit.

“The apples and oranges put up a brave fight, but they ultimately didn’t stand a chance. I just needed back up against the insurmountable defenses of the mango. I’m glad you came.”

He laughed and shook his head. “How did you not get fired or imprisoned while working for the stuck up Solars?”

“I kept my mouth shut most of the time. That and I wasn’t interested in Princess Celestia like I am with her sister and Twilight.”

“You and about half of us, I hope you are not the type to get jealous,” He said, leading her out of the room.

“I just want her to be happy. I’m not the jealous type. So how much did you win betting on me?” Candice inquired.

He shrugged “After having to pay for all the drinks last night at your first party that you skipped, maybe a few thousand bits.” 

“Ah, well I’m looking forward to the ‘after’ party. Shall we?” Candice trotted alongside him.

He grinned, “Sure,” He said leading her off.