“Luna, Luna, Luna,” said a macabre voice through the darkness. Luna walked down a long, brick-laden hallway, lit up only by her horn and the phosphorescent-like properties of her mane. She had no idea how she had gotten here. She could only feel the bone-cold dampness of the ground on her hooves and throughout the hair on her body. It felt like a dark cellar or a dungeon. “You know that this world isn't a place for ponies such as us. Didn't you learn anything from our little 'vacation,' little one? We are one and the same, and yet, you've learned nothing, NOTHING from me. You really think this happiness and joy will persist? Pah. You're just as weak now as you were then.”
Luna looked upon a big oval mirror in front of her, bolted against the wall of what appeared to be an abrupt dead-end to the corridor. She remembered where she was now. She had seen this scene playing out more times that she could remember, hearing that voice torture her for over a thousand years. Looking into the mirror, Luna could see the typical, forever unchanging reflection of her doppelganger staring back at her, with a smirk on her face not unlike a malevolent tyrant displaying the most exquisite schadenfreude. It was Nightmare Moon.
“Nightmare...” Luna started, looking down and sighing, stamping her hoof down. “Thing's have changed. The Elements of Harmony suppressed you, and as soon as you went away, everything improved. Once I was allowed to come back home, I was happier. I don't have to listen to you anymore. I'm even trying to make friends now.”
Nightmare Moon rolled her eyes and laughed. “Oh you silly little filly, still holding onto those dreams you've caressed and kept alive for so many centuries. You will always be alone. No mere mortal can compare to the power we hold. In the end, we are RULERS.”
“RULERS don't have to be EVIL.”
“Tell that to our sister. Oh, you've forgotten, haven't you? How she mercilessly suppressed us because we wanted equal say over the affairs of the world – equal rule over the subjects of Equestria.”
“With you threatening destruction, how did you expect her to react? She even apologized to us.”
“Is that how you rationalize it now?” replied Nightmare Moon, laughing to herself. “You pulled the trigger, and you could have easily ended it. Oh yes, it's so easy to blame the big-bad Nightmare Moon for everything, since everyone always just ASSUMES that sweet little Luna could NEVER do something as EVIL as that. Oh,” Nightmare continued, bringing a hoof to her mouth in a faux-attempt to hide her amusement, “I wonder how your 'friend' Twilight would feel if she knew that you, and not I, were the one who wanted to plunge everypony in Equestria into eternal darkness. How you didn't care if they DIED?”
Luna's hoof instinctively raised up and smashed the mirror in anger, distorting and fracturing the face of Nightmare Moon. Luna's face contorted in pain and she began to sob, as a small trickle of blood ran down her fore-hoof and dripped onto the floor. “We'll see how long it takes before you come running back to me. You always do, in the end. Always looking for me to punish whoever has hurt you. I'd be GLAD to do it again,” she continued, giggling in her menacing way. Luna just pounded on the broken mirror as glass fell frantically to the floor, crying out in pain. Nightmare Moon’s shrill laugh rung in Luna’s ears as she fell to the floor, the blood dripping from her hoof and mixing with the tiny shards of glass.
“It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, I just... I just... wanted...”
Luna awoke with a start, her eyes popping wide open, with the unfamiliar surroundings around her snapping back into place in her vision. She was shivering ever so slightly, despite being perfectly warm. She was still in Twilight Sparkle's tent on the edge of the cliff, and she could see her sister's sun shine through its fabric. She was actually glad it was daytime for once, since feeling her sister's presence always made her feel safer. She refocused her eyes on her surroundings, noticing that Twilight wasn't in the tent with her. After looking around, images of the dream popped into her mind, and she quickly looked at her hoof – there were no injuries, of course. She continued to breathe deeply, and slumped down into the large sleeping bag the two of them had shared. It was a dream. It was always just a dream. It had been a long time since she had reacted so violently to one. After returning to Equestria, the Elements of Harmony had suppressed the villain, thus silencing the dream-invasions of Nightmare Moon for quite a while, but as Luna's desires for companionship and friendship began to come back, so had she. Nightmare Moon fed on happiness and hope, and Luna had been so hopeful for change since returning, yet she still remained practically anonymous wherever she went.
Luna got up slowly, shaking her head. She shrugged off the sleeping bag, and stretched her wings out as wide as possible in the relatively-cramped space. She then magically gripped the zipper on the door, opened it slowly, and stepped outside, her hooves crunching the day-old snow beneath them. She looked around, her eyes adjusting to the bright light, but couldn't see Twilight anywhere. “Miss Sparkle?” called out Luna.
“I'm over here, your hig-- uh, Luna!” replied Twilight from the side of the tent. Luna stepped outside fully and looked around the corner of the tent, finding Twilight moving all sorts of things around with her magic, cooking what appeared to be powdered eggs over a small, dual-burner gas stove. She was concentrating very intensely on the precise measurements for making a perfect meal. “Good morning! I'm just cooking us breakfast. I'll be with you in a moment.”
“Oh... thank you, Miss Sparkle.”
“It's no problem at all! I brought extras after all,” said Twilight as she turned and smiled at Luna, quickly snapping back to her cooking as something nearly tipped over due to her distraction.
“I... I see. Thank you very much,” replied Luna as she smiled back, walking closer to Twilight. The sun shone bright in the sky, spreading her sister's love and warmth over the sleeping, natural landscape, with a bright, baby-blue tone caressing it on it's journey across the sky. It must have been mid-day by now as the gentle winds of the mountain passed behind them. “However, I... did bring my own food. You don't have to go through such expense and effort on my account .”
“Of course I don't have to, I just want to! It's not very often I get to cook for others. I just hope it tastes alright, y-- Luna,” replied Twilight, catching herself again.
Luna sat down beside Twilight and watched her continue to mix and stir things. She had no idea what she was cooking. She had never actually seen food prepared in front of her before – it was very fascinating to her. “May I ask what you're making, and how?”
“I'm making scrambled eggs and rye toast. It's actually more like an omelet at this point, really. I mix powdered eggs, some dried vegetables. I then use the snow from around here for water to rehydrate the eggs. After I cook them, I put some rye bread on the pan to lightly toast them. Does that sound okay to you?” happily explained Twilight, as she continued to concentrate.
“I've... I've never had them before, I don't believe.”
“Oh! Well, there's first time for everything, right?” replied Twilight, visibly nervous now.
“B-But, I'm perfectly willing to try them,” continued Luna, frantically.
The pair of them just sat there, not speaking for a moment, as the sizzling of the eggs filled the air with the delicious smell of green onions. The awkwardness of the night before had returned. Neither of them seemed to be able to get over their fear for each other, and Luna started to feel like she was being a burden, or overstaying her welcome, or something along those lines.
“Yes, Luna?” replied Twilight, still a bit nervous.
“If you'd like the time to yourself, I can depart after breakfast. I understand if you do.” Luna looked to the side, feeling the sadness in her heart slowly creep up into her thoughts.
“N-No, of course not! Don’t be silly!” Twilight said, as she split the omelet with a spatula and served it onto two plates. She then quickly placed the frying pan back down and put two pieces of toast on. Twilight, essentially done with cooking, turned to Luna. “If you'd like to stay, then you're more than welcome to! To be honest, if you weren't here, I'd be getting really lonely right about now. I mean, unless you have some royal duties to attend to.”
“I don't... but are you sure?”
“Definitely. I just hope I'm not being too annoying, talking all the time about random things. I do that a lot. If I'm talking to much, please tell me, so I can stop talking too much, okay? Haha.” Twilight looked to the side, hiding her face. Luna noticed she did that a lot.
“O-okay, I can do that. You just seem... a little uncomfortable, is all.”
“No... no. I just need to relax a bit, I guess,” replied Twilight, sighing and laughing to herself.
“I need to do that as well, I think. I'm very sorry,” said Luna, lowering her eyes. Twilight was being so hospitable to her, out of pure kindness. Why did she always assume the worst from everypony? A brief vision of her dream then flashed before her eyes, and then she remembered, as she always did whenever she reached out to anypony. She was still fighting off Nightmare Moon's emotional poison. She wondered sometimes if she’d always be in that demon’s shadow, and grimaced. Luna raised her eyes again to find Twilight Sparkle staring into hers. The pair of them said nothing, as Luna felt her heart begin to quiet down. They simply stared, like they were admiring each other in tandem. Luna felt a calm overtake her, and her anxiety begin to ebb away ever so slightly. There was a connection, and she could feel it. She didn’t know what it meant, but one thing was certain to her: neither of them needed to be afraid.
Twilight smelled something burning and quickly snapped back into reality, frantically flipping the toast on the pan. Thankfully, they were just well toasted and not burnt. She sighed happily. “Well, breakfast is served, I suppose!” She moved the toast onto the plates, turned off the burners, and then magically hoofed one of the plates to Luna.
“Thank you very much, Miss Sparkle,” said Luna, appreciative and smiling.
“No problem at all, your h-- I mean, Luna. And please, just call me 'Twilight,' if I'm allowed to be so informal with you,” replied Twilight, a little happier than she had been before. Luna didn't know what she was feeling, but her respect for the purple unicorn had grown again. The pair of them just smiled at each other and giggled. For a moment, Luna could swear that she even felt a little bit safer in Twilight's presence. From what, she couldn’t tell.
Twilight flipped through a few pages of a book on “Ancient Astronomy,” nestled under the sleeping bag, with a cup of hot chocolate beside her. The temperature was rapidly dropping, but Twilight hadn't been able to take her jacket off since she got there regardless. She read a passage on the meteor shower, perturbed by the scant amount of details that existed. Being a once-in-a-thousand-years occurrence, very little could be said or even hypothesized about. Most of the passage contained speculation on the event, when it had originally started, and so on. She liked re-reading over things like this to solidify them in her mind.
Twilight sighed, closing her book and looking curiously over at Luna. She was starting to get used to having the alicorn so close to her, which allowed her to relax quite a bit. At least she knew now that Luna was just as scared as her, but wasn't terribly sure how she had picked up on that. Luna was reading her own book as well. It was a smaller, gold-encrusted book, that seemed to be very, very old. Twilight curiously looked at the cover, which had a title in a type-set she couldn't decipher. It looked Equestrian, but not entirely. “Hey, Luna, what are you reading?”
“Oh,” she raised her head, and turned the book on its side, “it's a very old book of poems. It's written in Ancient Equestrian. Not many ponies can read that anymore.”
“Ahhh,” Twilight said, trying very hard to decipher what it meant. As far as she could tell, the book's title was 'Plenty Rose-Water,' which made no sense. “Gah, I have such a hard time remembering how to spell things in plain-old modern Equestrian. What's its title?”
“'A Rose-Filled Ocean.' It’s a collection of romantic poems. Kind of a, how do they say... 'cheesy' title, I know, but it's quite good. At least... I think so,” replied Luna, shyly.
“Oh, okay. Sounds interesting,” said Twilight. She had never really read many works of fiction, or poetry. It was always scientific or magical research, since she didn't know how she could take anything away from a work of fiction that she couldn't just take away from life experience or, of course, studious research.
“What book are you reading, Twilight?”
“Oh, this? This is a book on ancient meteorological events. I used it to calculate the best possible viewing location for this meteor shower, as long as it wasn't too far away from Ponyville, of course.”
“I see,” replied Luna, eyeing the book carefully. She seemed to be very intrigued by it, although Twilight didn't understand why. “W-would you mind if I... took a look through it, with you?”
“Of course I wouldn't mind!” replied Twilight happily, although still slightly perplexed. Luna closed her own book and put it aside, and the two moved closer together, almost snuggled up against each other. Twilight placed the book in front of them, and automatically turned to the main index in the front. “What would you like to see?”
Luna looked over all of the subjects in the book. Recorded meteor showers, meteor impacts and associated meteorological events were the top categories. There was also listing of Summer and Winter constellations and their categories, as well sections on both the sun and the moon. The last one, of course, caught her eye.
“People have written about the moon?”
“Of course! It's the brightest object in the night sky, so tons of ponies have written all about it,” said Twilight, as she began to flip the book to that section. On the page itself, there was a large, beautifully illustrated picture of the moon on the heading, featuring all of its physical imperfections. It then began to list all of its properties, such as its luminosity, its waning/waxing cycles, and so on.
“O-oh wow, this is all so overwhelming,” said Luna, reading the pages over closely. Luna seemed to be taken aback by all the information. Twilight just grinned, thinking that maybe she had finally piqued Luna's interests. “I didn't think ponies out there took it so seriously. I didn't even know many of these things... this, for instance,” she continued, pointing at a sentence with her hoof. “'A symbol for romance'? What's meant by that?”
“Well, as far as I can remember, a moon-lit evening has always been considered one of the most romantic things in the world. Ponies romanticize and write books with moonlit romance scenes all the time.”
“I-I never knew,” said Luna, smiling softly to herself.
“You never knew what the moon symbolizes to most ponies?” she said, almost aghast at how little Luna knew of her own creation. “But, don't other ponies tell you about these things? There's no way I can be the only one.”
“You have to understand, Twilight,” replied Luna. “Not many ponies talk to me about such things. They're always so afraid to do anything except bow before me and try to please me. They don't ask about my night, and if I ask them of their opinion, they just give me a belittling response of, 'oh yes, it's simply marvellous' every time.”
“... really? Why wont anypony be honest with you?”
“I suppose that they're scared of me, due to my... history,” replied Luna, the smile from her face fading.
Twilight noticed she had hit a sore spot. If there was anything she disliked more, it was hearing about another pony being belittled and forgotten about. She immediately sat upright, puffing out her chest as if to show her courage. “Well, I-I'm not scared of you at all, Luna! I think you’re nice and I will never lie to you about your night! I swear it!” Twilight looked at Luna, and the pair's eyes locked again, for one of those little-eternity moments. She mentally kicked herself for having an outburst like that, yet, she couldn't look away. Luna’s eyes began to glisten with tears, and Twilight’s heart felt calm once more as she stared into those large, blue eyes. Luna just smiled, and in that instant, Twilight felt a rush of heat throughout her body, flushing her cheeks.
“Twilight... thank you, very, very much. T-that means a lot to me,” said Luna, shyly looking off to the side, with a small smile on her face.
“O-o-of course! S-sorry, I didn’t mean to get carried away!” Twilight took a few seconds to snap out of it, but then quickly turned the pages to the section on meteor showers. Her heart was starting to pound, but she pushed those feelings aside for the moment. The pair of them continued to read Twilight's book, talk and even laugh as the day drew on to a close and Celestia’s sun began to dip below the horizon.
Luna felt a lot of different emotions begin to rush through her brain, not quite knowing how to process them all, but the word 'happy' seemed to fit her in that particular moment. She could barely contain her smiles as the evening approached, and she continued to talk with the purple unicorn who had dispelled the one thing that had made her so miserable, so withdrawn and so lonely for her entire existence. Twilight loved her night, and the urge to just wanted to hug Twilight began to become unbearable, although Luna still felt far too shy to display such a form of affection. Luna just enjoyed the sensation, the feeling of being happy and appreciated by somepony.
“Thank you so much for your hospitality, Twilight. You've been so generous with me, especially with me imposing on you so greatly,” said Luna, as the pair of them sat together inside the tent.
“Please, y-- Luna. You've thanked me more than enough,” replied Twilight, smiling
“I know. I just simply like saying 'thank you' again,” said Luna, smiling shyly again.
“Well, you're very welcome, then,” said Twilight, smiling happily.
Luna loved that smile of hers. It was so genuine and sweet, unlike the other ponies back in the castle. It wasn't one of those fake smiles the ponies of the royal court would put on to please her, even though it wasn't expected - or wanted - of them. She could tell that when Twilight smiled, it was honest. The two of them had finally begun to get comfortable in each-others presence, after all the awkwardness that had transpired. Luna craved the informality that existed between them. She didn't question it, nor did she want to, although one question in the back of her mind continued to gnaw at her. Did Twilight Sparkle want to be her friend? That, she couldn't tell.
“Twilight, may I ask you something?”
“What do you and your companions do in Ponyville?”
“What do we do? Well, Applejack, helps run her family's apple farm just on the outside of town, of course. Pinkie Pie works with Mr and Ms Cake at Sugarcube Corner as their 'Party Director,' setting up parties for anypony who makes a request. Fluttershy--”
“Sorry, I don't mean to cut you off,” interjected Luna, “I meant, specifically... what do you all do together? As... friends?”
“Oh! Well, that's... hard to explain. We do all sorts of things. If we're not putting out fires or preventing Ponyville from being destroyed, of course,” said Twilight, sighing. “But to answer your question, I would say... well, for instance, two of my friends, Fluttershy and Rarity, usually go to the spa together, just to talk and hang out. Pinkie Pie usually hosts parties for us, and we all get together to just dance, eat sickeningly-sweet food, and have fun. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie hang out sometimes too, pulling crazy pranks on everypony. Just a whole lot of random stuff, really.”
“So all of you get together to... 'hang out,' as they say? Just to enjoy each others company?” Luna listened intensely, finding all of this fascinating.
“Yeah! There's really no rhyme or reason to it.”
The thought of just 'hanging out' intrigued and confused Luna. The only ones who spent any significant amount of time in her presence were the royal guards or her sister, Celestia. She didn't understand what other ponies did in those situations, even though at most royal events, she could see ponies who were obviously familiar to each other talking amongst themselves. She had always assumed those conversations were business-like or somehow necessary, as the concept of 'pleasant conversation' escaped her. Luna raised her head and said, suddenly and forcefully, “And how would one go about arranging such a time as to 'hang out' with other ponies? Is scheduling required?”
“N-not usually,” replied Twilight, taken aback by her directness. “Most of the time somepony just shows up, and if you're free, then you do something together. If not, then you simply say, 'some other time,’ and move on.”
“But if they’re free, then they do something together. As friends.”
“Y-yes. That's usually how it goes.”
“I see. I would li--” Luna caught herself and the words became a giant lump in her throat, like an entire apple had been caught there. She coughed and lowered her head, a wave of anxiety crashing into her out of nowhere, completely breaking the small tide of confidence she’d had. 'I would like to 'hang out' with you sometime, Twilight,' she thought to herself, attempting to force herself to say it. She tried as hard as she could to make the words escape her lips, but she couldn't do it, no matter how much she strained. She was too afraid. “I-I wo--”
“You would...?,” said Twilight, in a subtly worried tone.
“... n-nevermind. It's quite alright,” said Luna, trying to hide her face. “I'm... going to go for a walk. To stretch my wings and legs.” She could feel tears coming on, and she didn't want Twilight to see herself in such a state. Why was she such a coward? Why couldn't she do what was necessary? Why was she so STU-- no, she wouldn't think like that. She wouldn't. She couldn't.
“I'll be back... before dark, I promise.”
“LUNA!” Luna turned her head to Twilight, who was standing up and had an exasperated look on her face. Luna had never heard anyone raise their voice to her like that. She just stared at Twilight, the tears not moving from the rims of her eyes. Twilight's expression lightened a bit, and she sighed, sitting back down. “I'm sorry for raising my voice at you, Luna, but it's okay. I might be a bit oblivious to somepony's feelings most of the time, but I'm not completely blind. I could tell what you were going to say. If... you'd like to come to Ponyville, and visit me sometimes, that would be perfectly fine. We can even do some star-gazing together!” Luna couldn't say anything. She just stood there, her head down, unable to believe what she was hearing. Twilight continued, in a warm voice. “You don't have to be afraid, you know. I'm just a simple unicorn pony. I've just been so worried that I haven't been doing what you've wanted, but we’re both a little afraid of each other, aren't we?”
After a few moments, Luna finally replied, her lips finally responding to her commands. “I... I... suppose so.”
“So let's both relax, okay? After all, the meteor shower is about to start. I'd be so disappointed if I missed seeing the beginning of the night with you. How about I make us both some hot chocolate, while there's still some light outside?”
Luna slumped back down finally, trying to calm herself down. “Is... is it really alright if I visit you? If we... 'hang out' together?”
“Yes,” answered Twilight, simply and directly. Twilight’s words completely silenced the anxious thoughts in Luna’s mind. “I'm going to go make that hot chocolate. If there's anything else you want heated up, just tell me, okay?”
“O-Okay,” Luna said softly and quietly, as she sat down. She watched the purple unicorn open the door to the tent, step outside and close it back up behind her. Luna slid herself under the sleeping bag again, breathing deeply. She looked up at the ceiling of the tent, and saw the sun's light slowly fade from the outside world. The happiness in her heart had grown too immense for even tears of joy. She couldn’t believe it, but she had done it. She had finally proven Nightmare wrong. Somepony actually wanted to be around her. She had a friend. She didn't have to be alone anymore. She didn't have to feel lonely anymore, and in a single instant, those thousand years alone simmered into nothing, as the purest, happiest euphoria filled Luna’s heart.
Twilight was beaming as she set up her portable stove again. She couldn't believe it! She had an astronomy partner now, and it was none other than Princess Luna herself! Twilight giggled as quietly as she could, heating up the milk in a small, tall pot. She had two insulated mugs laid out to the side filled with ‘Pinkie Pie's Super-Deluxe-Ultimate Hot Chocolate Mix (Marshmallow Edition).’ Twilight stirred the milk, and continued to think of all the fun times she could have with Luna back home in Ponyville star-gazing. It still seemed very odd to Twilight how Luna knew next to nothing about her own creation. Twilight wondered if it was that Luna had never designed her night in a scientific manner, and she was more of an artist, like a painter, or a sculptor. Twilight came to the conclusion that it made the most logical sense. But had Luna really never heard of amateur astronomy? Hadn't she noticed the telescopes around the royal castle itself, after coming back to Equestria? Twilight mused upon this, until she could see the milk start to steam. She poured the milk into the hot chocolate mix, the marshmallows adding a pink hue to the surface of the drink itself: a Pinkie Pie trademark. She stirred the drinks and then magically gripped them, moving over to the tent's entrance as they hovered in the air. “Luna, could you open the door for me? My... horn's a bit full at the moment,” she said, giggling at her own pun.
“Oh, certainly.” The door fell open instantaneously, and Twilight set the mugs down beside Luna.
“Just a second, I'm going to go and put everything else away for the night.” Twilight then packed up the stove and her supplies, and magically hovered them into the back of the tent, setting them down out of the way. She then walked in and sat down, snuggling under the sleeping bag. She turned off the lantern inside the tent, and smiled over at Luna. “There, now we can relax.”
The night finally arrived, and with it, a display which challenged the moon itself directly with a display of bright brilliance. The hail of light had returned, and it looked like a silent firestorm had descended upon the night sky. It was unlike anything Twilight had ever seen, as the clearest images of fireballs streaking against the dark-blue sky burned themselves into her retina. It was definitely more intense than the night before. She took in the entire display, as if the sky was a giant rolling wave. As the meteorites began to hit their peak, suddenly something caught Twilight's eye just right of the cliff face, like a soft change in hue upon the pallet of the night sky.
“N-no way!” she said, dashing outside of the tent. She ran close to the cliffs edge, but safe enough away from it. Her head craned to the north, and her hopes were confirmed. It was the start of an Aurora Borealis forming on the horizon, skimming across the night sky, growing larger and larger until it swept across half of the sky. Not a single sound could be heard, except for the soft, subtle noise of the frozen breeze blowing through Twilight's ears. Twilight’s eyes were firmly locked, staring up into the heavens, and she could feel her cheek become damp and hot as the intensity of it all hit her. She broke out of her trance-like state, and brought a hoof to her face, to feel if she was actually crying. She was The feeling that a clear winter night always brought her had been amplified to a point where she was unable to do anything except take it all in, her mind completely clear of all thoughts, as she simply, for once, just felt. This was, by far, the best thing she had ever seen. She was gazing upon the perfect night.
“Twilight?” Twilight turned to Luna, who was walking towards her, eyeing her curiously only a few steps away. “Are you okay?”
“Oh... oh, I'm fine,” she said, smiling and looking back up at the sky, almost losing herself once more. “I'm just... overwhelmed. It's so beautiful.”
Luna looked across her creation, her eyes reflecting the sky itself. “...it is?,” she said to herself, barely audible.
Twilight noticed herself shivering. The temperature had plummeted way below what it had been last night. Her jacket insulated most of her body, but the cold air still found ways to her unprotected skin. “I'm actually really cold, c-come to think of it.” Twilight sat down, folding her arms together and pulling her hooves inside the sleeves. It was the warmest jacket she had ever worn, yet the night was still sending a chill through her body. The warm glow of fire and the waves of soft light dancing across the sky had taken her mind off of it almost entirely. That is, until she felt a warm weight press against her side. Twilight looked to the side. Luna had pressed herself up against her. Twilight pushed back into her, trying to conserve heat. Luna then magically grabbed a blanket from the tent, unfolded it and placed it over the pair of them in swift, precise motions. “T-thanks Luna, this should keep me w-warmer,” said Twilight, shivering.
“It was no problem,” replied Luna, simply.
“I can't b-believe you made all of t-this, Luna,” continued Twilight, her teeth chattering. “I-It's so beautiful. I can't believe my eyes. You have to be the most a-amazing a-artist in all of Equestria.”
Luna snuggled against Twilight, closing her eyes, and began speaking softly as she smiled. “I made this as a journal of my feelings and emotions, so long ago. I came out here thinking nobody remembered or cared, just to see it once more, as a reminder of who I was back then. I never thought I’d ever share it with anypony. I never thought anypony would ever see it again. I’m so glad that I can share it with you, Twilight. With somepony who understands...”
“Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Luna. I am truly, eternally grateful. I absolutely mean that,” replied Twilight, obliviously entranced by the sights above.
Luna said nothing for a few short moments, before she raised her head, and pressed her neck against Twilight's, wrapping the blanket tighter around them. Twilight could feel Luna's warm breath against her muzzle, and smelled the sweetness of her hair. Twilight instantly stopped shivering.
“You're... so wonderful, Twilight. You're simply... wonderful.”
With those words, like a tiny explosion in her mind, Twilight finally ‘Got It,’ and everything snapped into place all at once. In a flash of empathy, Twilight finally took in the full effect of the things Luna had been saying and doing this entire time. Luna was awkward, scared, timid, but obviously interested in her. She wanted to hang out and be friends, as if it was the only thing that mattered. A kind of disturbed, muted grin came across her face, as all the scenes that had transpired between them in the last day finally fell into place and made complete sense. Luna nuzzled in closer to her, as Twilight’s thoughts turned over on themselves faster than ever before. 'Oh Celestia,' she thought to herself, 'L-Luna... is falling... in... l-love...' She turned her head, looking at the very contented alicorn beside her, and Luna looked back, staring back into Twilight eyes. Twilight saw the stars perfectly reflect off of Luna's eyes, her mane refracting and amplifying the light of the meteors, the moon, the stars and the Aurora Borealis itself, like a blanket made of the sky itself. Twilight was speechless, and no matter how much she knew she should’ve been, couldn't feel anxious anymore. Luna was the night itself, the one thing that had brought such peace to Twilight’s heart for the entirety of her life, and right now, she was snuggled up to her and staring into her soul. As far as Twilight could tell, she looked just as beautiful as the sky above them.
TO BE CONTINUED...