It was roughly 7:00 and the Winter Solstice Celebration was in full swing. Ponies chatted, children played games, and the pegasi were finally satisfied the storm wouldn't get in the way of anypony's view of the moon. Even Clestia had arrived earlier, attracting a fairly large crowd to the dismay of her guards. Luna was making a few preperations as well. As she spoke with her friends and happy citizens, she was using her magic to make sure every star and splash of galactic color was shining at it's brightest. Normally, the full moon's light would obstruct most of the night sky, but this night Luna made sure the entire country would get to see the best her sky had to offer.
As she chatted, Luna noticed Mac serving beside Applejack and Pinkie Pie. He immediately blushed and looked away, trying to look as small as possible under Luna's gaze. The story that Luna had a crush on him had spread like wildfire, and no doubt he'd heard. She felt somewhat sorry for him, but it made it easier for her to avoid him, and in a way it was the truth.
The chime of a bell broke Luna from her thoughts. It was that time of day again. Everypony in the room gathered around the central stage as Luna rose to the podium. Behind her, a glass window extending the height of the building gave her a beautiful backdrop of pinks, purples, oranges and reds as the sun made it's final decent. An army of eyes trained on her, and Luna started to raise her old prison. Her mane bollowed with more life than usual, flowing with power as the moon made itself brighter. Slowly the sun became a mere sliver on the horizon, the approaching stormclouds reflecting it's bright rays until even those faded. Once her work was done, the window was filled with the image of a full moon, nestled between two arms of the Milky Way, and a sprinkle of stars shining brightly on her galactic canvas.
A roar of applause sounded, and Luna allowed herself a smile as her heartbeat began to slow.
* * *
Mac looked out the massive window in city hall, a tart in his hoof as he admired the landscape. Already a thin layer of snow dusted the landscape, making the rolling hills and quiet streets of Ponyville twinkle like the sky above. The Mayor had asked that all the streetlamps be extinguished so the sky could be viewed best, and it worked. He could see every star, every swirl of the universe, and each crater on the moon. It was one of the best nights he'd ever seen.
As he looked out, he noticed a lone figure come up to him. She stood next to him, still cloaked as usual, and watched the scenery with him. It was still strange to him, a mare being as tall as he was. Mac had heard of supermodels being this tall, and Princess Luna was right at eye level with him, but after living most of his adulthood looking down at other ponies he still found it weird.
"Doing well this evening?" she finally asked after struggling to find the proper words.
"We...we have given this matter much thought," the mare worked up, swallowing loudly before she said," We have decided to reveal ourself to thee."
Wasn't expectin' that Mac thought," Really?'
"Indeed. Later this evening, thou shall find a single lit lamppost in the eastern park. Meet us there, and we shall...see what transfers."
"Thank ye' kindly," he said, nodding to her. Finally after months of sneaking around, he'd get to know just who this mysterious pony is. Sure, a part of him would miss going around late at night, but it would be nice to actually know who it was he was seeing.
"We shall see thee later," were her last words before disappearing into the crowd.
* * *
Mac made his way to the lamppost the mare told him would be there. His hooves crunched under the layer of snow, which was now several inches thick. The moon no longer hovered above, instead a swirling mass of blueish-grey covering the heavens. From it, an infinite army of snowflakes decended only to meet with their friends on the cold cobblestones of the town.
He entered the light, and there he waited. After only a minute or so, he heard hoofsteps coming towards him. For a bit he was nervous, but as the mare stepped into the light he felt an overwhelming calmness. It pushed away all feelings of doubt, like being with this person was the single most right thing in the world.
"We feared thou wouldst not come," she said shyly. She kicked at a bit of snow, staring at the ground.
"Eenope," was his only reply.
"Do...Would thou...promise not to freak out?" the girl asked, fearful, as if he were an angry parent about to ground her.
It was all she needed to hear.
* * *
Art we truly going through with this? Luna asked herself. She craned her head towards Mac, finally meeting his tired eyes. From this angle, the light of the streetlamp seemed to give him an otherworldly halo. His smile was welcoming, and it assured Luna this was for the best.
Her horn glowed, and she threw back her hood with a fury. As her unearthly mane spilled from behind her, Luna looked Mac dead in the eye, confident he wasn't like the rest.
* * *
Instead of hair, a galaxy poured out from the mare's cloak. Her big, emerald eyes stared back at him, radiating confidence. A shimmering black tiara rested on her forehead.
Sweet Celestia, it's Princess Luna...?
How in tarnation did ah fall for the Princess? Mac wondered. He'd fallen for the ruler of his nation. He'd fallen for a godess. Mac was in love with a godess. Realisation struck like an angry bull bucking him in the chest. Celestia may have moved the sun, a swirling ball of fire millions of times bigger than their own planet...yet Luna was queen of the night. She controlled the moon, the stars, galaxies and nebulae trillions of lightyears away. She would live eons after he was just dirt and bones. He'd fallen fore a mare who...was blushing?
"Art thou surprised?" she asked sheepishly, trying to keep a royal air, but her grin and nervous expression made it impossible for her to look like anything other than a giddy schoolpony.
"Ee'yup" was all Mac could muster, eyes wide as the moon.
He waited in silence for a bit before speaking. A million questions presented themselves, and he had to fight back to contain them all. In the end, all he could think to ask was," Just why were y'all so sad that first night anyway?"
Luna thought for a moment, then in the most goofy, teenager-like voice one would never imagine said," We have no idea."
She actually snorted, trying to keep herself together. It made Mac happy knowing she was as nervous as he was. Soon both started to laugh, before Luna said," We believe....we think Tia and I had an arguement. She played another prank on us, and we told her about being responsible...and she brought up...the thing we hate ponies bringing up."
"The Night Mare."
She nodded sadly," I suppose thou shall not want-"
"That was rude"
Luna's eyes may well have fallen out of their sockets right then and there,"...what...?"
"Ah said that was rude. Ah see the pony in front of me, and she's learned from her mistakes. Bringin' up something they're tryin' to move past just aint right."
"We feared though wouldst not want to see us after tonight. If being a princess does not scare others off, being Nightmare Moon does."
He moved closer, so close his mistlike breath sprayed a bit of warmth on Luna's cheeks. In a low voice, he said," Ah'm not goin' anywhere."
Here with Luna, Mac felt complete solitude. The rest of the world became black against the warm orange glow, like they were on an island in a sea of nothingness. It reminded Mac of the stories, of how the godess Faust began creating the universe while perched on an island of light. Right here, right now, there was no farm for Mac to manage. There were no royal responsibilities for Luna to care for. There was no night, no town. There was just the two of them, alone, in the snow.
Luna dared to close her eyes, and move in. Mac followed her example, and moved in as well. Their faces seemed to move for an eternity before their lips finally met. For a moment, something inside resonated within them. A chain seemed to connect their hearts, or maybe it was like a fire building up within? Luna thought she felt the stars themselves start to smile, and Mac felt the same way he did standing in a field of grain and letting the wind caress his mane. There really isn't a word for it, but if she had to describe it, Luna would have said it was like a deeper form of the Magic of Friendship, purer than a snowflake, stronger than the walls of Canterlot, gentler than a dove on a windowsill.
They didn't know how long the kiss lasted. Time was not a part of the world beneath the lampost, this heaven they'd built together. The wind was, however, and it was a shiver from Luna that caused Mac to break off the kiss. He kindly offered her his scarf before asking," Would y'all like to come back t'the farm? Ah think it's a tad warmer than out here."
With a smile and a nod, Luna said," Ee'yup."
* * *
Above, on a cloud that blended in perfectly with the rest of the sky, Celestia sat watching her sister and her coltfriend. She struggled to hold back a laugh. It had been a long time since she'd seen Luna this happy, and it made the sun princess just as glad.
Of course, she was going to give her sister Tartarus on a silver platter tomorrow, teasing her about this boy. But for now Celestia just contented herself to spy on her little sister and see how far she'd come since the Summer Sun Celebration two years ago.
* * *
In the pale fog of morning, Luna and Mac stood outside of town. Behind her, the bat winged guards stomped to ground, a large carriage strapped behind them.
Yesterday had been amazing. Luna built a SnowPony shaped Like an Alicorn in the image of Mac, which Celestia pretended to swoon over. After Spike took a picture of the display, though, everyone took to chasing him down, trying to get the picture of their ruler until the chase deterorated into a snowball fight. Luna was hit a few times, but she took great victory in knowing she hit Tia with the sphere of cold ice not once, but twice on the Cutie Mark.
Now, however, it was time to leave. Celestia had left the night before, after all goodbyes had been said, and it was Luna's turn. She'd bid farewell to the Elements of Haromy, Spike, and the three "Cutie Mark Crusaders" that somehow managed to destabalize an entire rooftop of snow and bring it to rest on her head. But now she had to say goodbye to Mac.
It wasn't easy, leaving. Luna knew she could come visit at night every once and awhile, but she was once again buried by her royal duties, and she could be putting those nights to better use than sneaking out to meet her coltfriend. Duties like finishing the last few bits of paperwork related to the Changeling Invasion, helping train the newest batch of Royal Guards, or most pressing of them all, working to improve security after a "Pony Rights" group had tried to steal Discord's statue and free him so as to give him a "proper trial". Luna didn't understand it either.
"So...is this it?' Luna asked with an odd half smile," We must rule this land, and thou must manage your farm. We shall come visit thee when we find time, but time is very important to a princess and we have not used ours wisely. So..we suppose this is goodbye for now?"
"Ee'nope," was all Mac said.
From a satchel at his side, he pulled out a scroll, not unlike those Celestia recieved from her pupil. With her magic, Luna floated it in front of her, and read aloud:
"Dear Princess Luna,
Nowadays, ponies have this thing called "long distance relationships". I'm sure Spike won't mind it I asked him to send my letters to you, and I assume you're able to use the same magic Princess Celestia uses to send letters to Twilight Sparkle. We may not be able to spend time together like we did under the lampost, or at the farm. Nor will I be able to hear your beautiful voice until you can spare time from the responsibilities of being Princess. However this way we can at least stay in touch and keep this magic between us alive.
I look forward to your letter, Your Majesty.
Luna opened her mouth to say something, but her guards were stamping the ground, giving her the same look one might give a pony taking impossibly long to order something at a restaraunt. When she turned to Mac, he just ushered her towards the carriage. She took her first step onto the ramp, turning to Mac as she said," We shall miss thee."
"You too, Yer Majesty."
"We would like it if thou called us 'Luna'," she said, smiling a bit. He leaned in, the white mist splashing against her as he kissed her on the cheek. The tiny bit of warmth spread through her, and the night mare closed her eyes. Words like music, she listened as Mac said," Ah'll miss you Luna."
Everything between that moment and being seated in the coach would remain clouded by a haze until the last white dwarf died billion of systems away, but she could somewhat recall saying," I love you" and Mac returning the gesture. Luna pressed her face to the glass, watching her friend fade into the pink snow, blue shadows sprawled across the landscape under the rising sun. Even Ponyville became a mere dot beneath the infinite sky as Canterlot loomed in the distance, ready to greet her.
Luna unrolled the scroll again, going over the words and immediately starting to form her response.
She started to hum a bit, and unknowingly sang the song she'd sung when she first met the nice stallion who's name she hadn't bothered asking.