• Published 10th Feb 2012
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Of Stars Descending - Taldaer



Human, deceiver, martial artist all these words have been used to describe me. Hi name's Stormcloud

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Ch 14. A day with the sun

Chapter 14 A day with the sun

It will bring us apart
Then build it all up
To challenge our fearful waters
I can sense what it’s like
And what if it might
Be the key to a new conclusion

There are plenty of times when helping those you encounter is a true act of kindness. Yet, just as a coin has two sides, there will be times when helping them isn’t. By that do I mean that in some cases it would be better to turn your back on the whole thing and walk away?
Of course not, what I want you to be aware of though is the fact that it may not be kindness guiding your actions. No, in some cases it might actually be a sense of obligation that society has imprinted on you, a sort of indoctrination if you will. While I still like to think that this is a good thing, you mustn’t mistake it for true kindness. Unfortunately I have yet to find a way to clearly distinguish the two at all times.

*~*

Day four after the fight


Life had fallen into a strange rhythm ever since that day I had spent talking to Twilight, and listening to Luna. However, I had yet to formulate the proper questions I wanted to ask Luna. There were simply too many variables involved to simply stumble into the subject. There was also an element in my mind that simply didn’t want to consider just what it would mean to have certain questions answered. But enough of my endless pondering, I believe I was describing what activities had shaped my days since then.

Per Rainbow’s request, every day started out early with the two of us practicing our respective martial arts. That of course came with teaching each other ways to improve on what we knew, it was refreshing to say the least. Not only did it seem that the two of us had finally made peace, we had also found something we had in common. While we still were a bit awkward when it came to longer conversations outside subjects tied to techniques and sparring it was okay. After all our hooves did most of the conversation for us anyway.

Of course training with Rainbow Dash wasn’t the only activity I went through during my days. I spent some of my time talking to Twilight, and occasionally some of the other main six. Twilight though, had set off to find some sort of other way for me to get back home. She had taken a personal interest since the spell couldn’t be cast directly on me without risking that the caster was pulled along like Celestia had been. At first I had tried to help Twilight with this research, seeing how it was really a personal problem. But as my limited knowledge of magic quickly became apparent, and I ended up distracting Twilight with numerous questions I eventually got chased out from her study.

It didn’t sit well with me that I couldn’t help Twilight, and had to rely entirely on others to solve my problems. However I had to see reason, as it was only logical that I couldn’t help in a matter which required an inherent understanding of magic that I did not possess.

On the day after I had talked with Luna I did received a note from her, were she stated that I was welcome to ask her my questions once I wanted to. Given she had the time to spare of course. Luna and Celestia seemed to be working overtime to get on top of things once more. If the overall morale in Canterlot was anything to go by they were doing a great job. I was also surprised that the stars had not moved against us again. Or perhaps that should be star since there should only be one remaining star left now. The point is, I was grateful that they had acted and continued to act like the cliché villain. The attack against Spike had been out of character and most unusual, but beside that it fit the frame to a large degree.

What worried me slightly was the element I had provided to this entire conflict. I had been part of Rage’s defeat which in turn had led to Grief’s attack personal attack. Was my presence changing how they acted? Or was I simply reading too far into things? It was probably for the better if I just tried to leave such thoughts alone.

Now I guess that pretty much covers any events of interest that I had encountered recently. In other words I had experienced a few days of relative calm, something I was very grateful for. From the looks of things this day wouldn’t hold anything special either.

*~*

Music flowed from the ear buds, as I lay reclined on the bed in my room. The midday sun slowly inched its way across the sky, outside the window. The fact that I had access to music from my dimension was more of a blessing than many would understand. To go into all the reasons why I treasured this so much would take time more time than I’m willing to spend on the subject. Let’s just say that having a piece of home right there with me had a soothing effect. That being said, most people wouldn’t agree that my taste in music held any soothing qualities, each to his own and all that I suppose. Anyhow, seeing as the day held nothing in terms of plans I was just going to enjoy my music for as long as possible today.

After closing my eyes my thoughts started to drift along the varied songs that my phone played on shuffle. From metal tracks to classical and back to metal only to switch to 80s synth. My world consisted only of the wonder that was music brought. At least it did until I felt someone softly poking my muzzle. Cracking open my right eye, I quickly located the white hoof that had poked me. Tracing said hoof up the leg I quickly found that the owner was Celestia. With a surprised start I opened my left eye as well and reached up with a hoof to pull the ear buds out.

"Err, hi Tia. I didn’t hear you enter. Sorry ‘bout that." I offered sheepishly, praying that I hadn’t been humming or even worse singing what I had been listening to.

"Oh, think nothing of it Cloud. After all you are quite entertaining to observe. Or should I say listen to?" She replied with a playful smile.

"Let’s see how did it go? What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hu-" *Poff* Celestia started singing before her face got hit by my pillow.

I couldn’t hold back a snicker as the edge of the pillowcase managed to get stuck on her horn causing it to dangle in front of her face. The pillow was soon enveloped in the golden nimbus that represented Celestia’s magic. Meanwhile I was trying my hardest to not snicker at the quite entertaining sight, something that I was failing at. So when Celestia managed to levitate the pillow away from her face she found me in a full giggling fit.

Celestia looked at me with a somewhat indignant expression, an expression that didn’t last for long as it broke away under her own giggles. Which in turn evolved into the two of us going into fullblown laughter. So for a few minutes the two of us just laughed without interruption, because of something as silly as a thrown pillow.

"Thank you Cloud, I needed that. The last few days have held such amounts of proper decorum and serious talks that I haven’t had time to just stop and breathe." Celestia said as she recuperated from the laughter.

"That’s understandable Tia, you’re one half of a diarchy after all." I responded as my own laughter died down.

"Yeah, I suppose it is. But none of that now, I came to ask you if you have anything planned for the rest of the day?" She asked, a hopeful tone had snuck into her voice.

Strange, shouldn’t I be the one asking these questions? I thought in passing before answering the alabaster alicorn in front of me.

"No, that is not to my knowledge at least. Why do you ask?" I responded.

"Well it’s a wonderful summer day, and I would like to spend the rest of it with you." She replied almost instantly.

She’s unusually forward with this. Did she just say whatever her current thoughts were? I thought as I raised an eyebrow while observing the sun princess. A second later what she had just said seemed to click in her own mind as a furious blush started to bloom on her cheeks.

"Err- I mean- I meant-" she began but ended up releasing a deep sigh. "I should just give up on trying to explain shouldn’t I?"

"Mhmm" I agreed with a nod.

"But please keep going, you’re really cute when you’re flustered." I continued, a grin forming on my muzzle.

"Oh you are hopeless!" she declared as she glared at me.

If it wasn’t for a glint her eyes and an almost invisible smirk on her muzzle I might’ve believed her to truly be irritated. So naturally I decided to play along.

"Oh, woe is me." I began dramatically, laying one of my fore hooves on my brow, and closing my eyes.

"I have angered the sun, now and forever more my days shall be dark and without a guiding light. If only I would’ve possessed the
foresi-" *poff* the pillow I had thrown earlier impacted my face.

Using my other fore hoof I removed the pillow from my face so that I could see the once more smiling Celestia again.

"Oh be quiet you drama queen." she said mirthfully.

"Shouldn’t that be drama king?" I asked with a smile of my own.

Celestia paused for a second, tapping her chin with a hoof thoughtfully.

"Hmm, no. Definitely queen" she teased, causing me to roll my eyes in an exaggerated fashion.

"If that’s your final ruling Tia I will demand all the respect a queen deserves." I threatened jokingly.

We looked at each other for a few seconds before succumbing to laughter once more. This session lasted much shorter than the first one though, and Celestia was the first one to regain her voice this time as well.

"I feel as if I’m getting far to sidetracked here Cloud, and if I don’t say what I had intended to say I may never say it." she began.

"Aight, go on Tia. I’m listening." I simply said, curious to what her original intentions had been.

"I would like to ask if you will join me in the northern garden in about two hours?" she said hopefully.

"Sure, I have nothing else planned as I mentioned before." I responded as I sat up from my prone position.

"Wonderful I’ll see you in a bit then." Celestia said, hopping off the bed.

She walked over to the door and opened it with her magic before turning to face me again.

"Remember the northern garden Cloud. Oh I’m sorry that should have been your majesty." she said in an almost apologetic tone.

She then proceeded to quickly leave the room and close the door behind her, effectively dodging my second pillow.

Had to have the last word didn’t you? I thought, chuckling to myself. Now that I think about it did I just agree to a date? I continued to ponder.

*<>*

He agreed to the date! Celestia thought as she basically skipped down the hallway. But then again she shouldn’t really be surprised, that kiss three days ago had eradicated most of her doubts concerning Cloud. Well, at least the ones regarding whether he actually liked her. There was still the glaring problem of how he would react if he heard the full truth. Argh, why can’t this be easier! No, no Celestia you will not dwell on that now you have a picnic date to set up. She quickly corrected her own thoughts before heading off toward the kitchen.

Soon she found herself outside the doors to the castle kitchen. She had grand plans, oh yes indeed. Now she would be able to pay back Cloud for that wonderful meal he had made in his world. Cooking food for a romantic picnic couldn’t be that hard, right?

*~*

She had been wrong, so very wrong. Turns out that not having to cook for yourself for over a millennia completely removes whatever grain of skill you might’ve once possessed in cooking a meal. Oh it had started out simple, picking a recipe that sounded grand for the picnic and a pie to go with it. The chefs had offered their support to her endeavors once she had made it clear that she intended to make the meal herself. Although in hindsight that was probably the point when all had started to go wrong.

It had been quite clear that the chefs present had expected something grand to from their beloved reagents visit to their kitchen. Clearly the multitalented and benevolent Celestia could do no wrong, even in her much smaller state she was truly a marvel to behold. The smiles and confident comments that whatever she made would be a new delicacy had started to wane when she had managed to actually set fire to a pie dough. That had been the only attempt to actually resemble a dough as well.

If things had been going downhill already by that point, it certainly picked up speed after that incident. She had been forced to drop the idea of a pie for dessert since the chefs had started claiming that they were now out of eggs. Instead she had put her focus on the main dish, so with a cookbook suspended midair by her magic she set to work. However just as the dreams of a pie for dessert had been utterly crushed food was no different. Gazpacho turned into unidentifiable mush, a mushroom stew turned into something green with black dots that she could swear on her own name had become sentient, and the salmon salad looked like a disaster area. It was around this time that the chefs that had been observing her had started sneaking away one by one.

At any other point in her life Celestia would probably have been deterred earlier by her failures, or at least tried something more basic. This time it had taken substantially longer before she finally resigned to making a couple of sandwiches with various toppings. Even though she would have preferred to make something more substantial she had to face the music and admit that she most certainly had no talent in cooking a meal. With a sigh she gathered the sandwiches, a couple of plates, a bottle of wine and glasses into a basket and left the kitchen humming a slow tune to herself.

Unbeknownst to Celestia the collected staff in the kitchen shared a moment of silence and dismay as they surveyed the chaos caused by their beloved princess. This would go down as one of the new legends among the staff, right up there with Luna’s sleep walking cookie theft incident.

*~*

Having spent almost an hour and a half in the kitchen Celestia set her sights on her own chambers. Keeping a steady trot she made the walk in just under ten minutes, which left plenty of time for a quick shower. After all she wanted to look her best for the date, speaking of which it was a shame that most of her jewelry was bit too large for her current form. Although she doubted Cloud would understand the significance behind some of the jewelry. There were after all some deep ties in there to courting rituals that she was not entirely certain carried over to humans.

Pushing such ponderings out of her thoughts she opened the door to her private bathroom and stepped inside. The familiar sight that met her was nothing but extravagant, then again she had given up trying to keep some aspects of her life simple long ago. She had realized that it was a losing battle during the construction of Canterlot castle. If she would have her way her living space would be much more Spartan than this, but her ponies could be very adamant about their notions of how their princesses should live and in this case bathe.

Shaking her head slightly at how silly her beloved subjects could be at times she stepped into the shower area of the bathroom. Thanks to magic drying her coat and mane would be a simple problem to solve, so there would be no need to hurry. Even getting down to the garden in time to meet up with Cloud could be solved with magic. It really makes you wonder how well we would fare without magic. She mused to herself as the warm water washed over her. Her time in Cloud’s world had really opened her eyes to what might come from it, since they never had any access to luxuries such as magic, or perhaps inherent abilities was a more fair term. Even the other races of Equestria had some access to magic, either through ponies or other more crude methods but magic was still ever present. Yet somehow Cloud and his race had seemed to manage just fine without it. How strange that we, a whole world, could be so dependent on something that another world just scoffs at. She thought as she turned the shower off.

Her hooves clinked softly against the bathroom tiles as she made her way over to a large mirror on one of the walls. Wiping the condensation off of the reflective surface soon revealed her still wet form. I’ve heard that wet manes are in this year, I wonder if Cloud would like it. She thought absentmindedly as she levitated a comb over to start working on her mane. Thankfully her mane was much easier to work with in its current state, at least when compared to the ethereal qualities it held when she was closer to full strength.

Once her mane sufficiently worked through she initiated a simple spell that would dry her off. As the spell matrix activated she felt a light pulse of warmth rushing across her coat and mane instantly evaporating any leftover moisture on her coat. While this spell was relatively harmless a miscast could have dire consequences. One such instance would be setting up the spell matrix wrong so that it wasn’t limited to moisture outside the body. Most of my ponies don’t’ remember the controversies and horrible mishaps of old surrounding many of the spells they rely on today. She thought, shuddering at the memory of some of the more gruesome accidents she had borne witness to.

Pushing such dark thoughts out of her mind she left the bathroom and walked out into her main chamber once more. Throwing a glance at large grandfather clock situated in a corner told her that she had around five minutes to spare before she needed to get down to the garden. Should I wear any jewelry or perhaps make up? She asked herself as she walked up to her vanity. Looking herself over she ultimately decided to forgo make up as it would take too long to apply, and the only jewelry she choose was a maneclip with a moderately sized amethyst. Happy with her current look she headed over to the picnic basket and grabbed it with her levitation. And after making a final mental check that she had everything she teleported down to the path leading into the Northern garden.

The flapping of wings caused her to turn around before she could start heading down said path. It came as no surprise to her that the pony currently landing slightly to the right of her was Cloud, she had after all heard about how he had managed to get lost in the castle before.

"Hello Tia. Thought I might as well met you at the entrance since… Eh no need to sugarcoat things with you. My path finding is terribad, plain and simple. You look nice though." he said with a sincere smile.

"Thank you, and there is no need to explain." she answered, returning his smile, before asking. "Shall we?"

"After you." Cloud said, adopting his trademark roguish grin.

With that the two of them set off down the path, making small talk as they went. Before long they had entered the garden itself, though they did not stop immediately. She had a specific spot in this garden that she wanted to show Cloud after all. So for a few more minutes they just walked and talked, and while the topics were mostly centered on mundane things of everyday life she wouldn’t trade anything for it. Just the way how Cloud just treated her as if she was normal, instead of an alicorn princess was a breath of fresh air. Perhaps this was what caused me to take notice in the first place? She pondered as they entered the small artificial groove that was her favorite spot in this garden.

With a flash of her magic the blanket that been used as a cover on the basket appeared on the ground next to a large tree.

"So it is a picnic between the two of us then?" Cloud asked.

"Yes I thought it would be nice, wouldn’t you agree?" She said, answering with a question of her own.

"Oh definitely, can’t say I’ve been at a picnic date before though." Cloud responded before walking over to the blanket to sit down.

"Oh a first time? And here I was thinking you were an experienced male Cloud." She teased before she could stop herself. Not that she had really tried to stop herself.

If Clouds grin was anything to go by it hadn’t quite had the effect she had been hoping for. When he made his retort it became abundantly clear that it hadn’t.

"Aw trying to make me flustered? You get a B minus for execution but you need to work on your material."

She just rolled her eyes as a response, it was clear that this would be one duel she wouldn’t win. Instead she opted to start levitating out the meal she had prepared. Cloud had adopted a curious expression as he watched the sandwiches fly out and order themselves in a neat stack, followed by the bottle of wine and the glasses. Once everything had settled on the blanket she motioned toward the food as she spoke.

"By all means help yourself Cloud."

Still holding his curious expression he reached out for one of the sandwiches, picking one up he studied it carefully. Oh no! Is he insulted that I made something so simple? A panicked thought shot through her mind. She hadn’t noticed that she had been wearing a worried expression until Cloud looked up from the sandwich and spoke to her.

"Will you relax Tia? You’re acting all antsy over a sandwich for heaven’s sake. I enjoy sandwiches just as much as the next person does, I’m just a tad curious what you used to make them?"

Err… Her mind was shooting blanks what had she used to make them? Perhaps she should taste one first to make sure that they were edible? Yeah that sou-‘

"Well, here goes nothing." Cloud exclaimed happily, taking a large bite.

What followed was few seconds of energetic chewing that suddenly started to die down. Meanwhile Celestia’s mind was going into overdrive panic mode. Oh no, oh no, oh no! What did I put in those sandwiches? Just as she was about offer her sincerest apologies for whatever horrible taste she had invented Cloud preceded her by swallowing loudly.

"Tia you didn’t tell me ponies eat tuna sandwiches!" he exclaimed with a massive smile.

This time she managed to keep her outside composure, but on the inside she breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She recalled now that she had never talked to Cloud about what ponies could actually digest and what was commonly regarded as accepted food.

"Ah yes, we actually even some types of meat but nowadays we do so rarely at best. Ever since we learned of alternative sources of protein it has become more and more of a social relic. But since we have foreign dignitaries visiting on occasion we keep a stock of different meats and fish in the kitchen." she explained while she grabbed the bottle of wine with her magic. Perhaps this picnic got off to a great start after all.

*<>*

My hooves clattered lightly against the marble floors in one of the many corridors of Canterlot castle as I made my way back towards my room, or at least I hoped I was heading there. Celestia and I had just finished our date. It still sounded a bit strange to me that I had just had a more or less official date with Celestia. Not to say that it hadn’t been pleasant, quite the opposite in fact. While we shared some common interests most of this date had been spent talking about anything that came to mind, and surprisingly I had learned quite a bit about the alicorn. The memories that I had once gleaned from her mind had faded quite heavily but yet some sort of connection remained between us. The point I am making is that it was nice to just talk about each other without it feeling forced.

Perhaps I could even make a future for myself here. I froze mid step the second my brain processed my most recent thought.

"Oh no…" I whispered to the empty corridor.

Author's Note:

Well here you go another chapter done, while I personally believe that I could have executed the writing much better in this one I did enjoy my time writing it.
So if you enjoy it leave a comment, up vote and favorite and start hacking away on the next chapter.