• Published 14th Jul 2013
  • 3,059 Views, 149 Comments

Dreamflow - KitsuneRisu



As a series of odd dreams plague Applejack night after night, she turns to the only one pony who can help her make sense of it all. But both sides of the story are as different as night and day, and nothing is ever as it seems in the world of dreams.

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The Dreamers



The Dreamers



She could get used to this.

She really could. Now, this was what it was all about. This was what it was meant to be. Flying freely, making what she wanted, expressions of thoughts and minds and emotions – she was finally back in her own head, and the unrestricted boundaries of life were at her whim and fancy.

She should have done this before, really.

Applejack picked up a stone, chucking it toward the lake that spanned across a thousand miles ahead of her.

The stone skipped. All one thousand miles, until it disappeared into the horizon and vanished from view.

Applejack sat herself down on the cool, refreshing grass, each blade like a mellow breeze that ruffled against her skin like icy silk.

She lay back, closing her eyes, letting the odd sensations take her.

But there was a movement to her left, something that she felt, something that caused her to pry her eye open.

There was a dark hoof that stood beside her, one that led upward to a soft, white dress, something meager and humble.

“Hello, Applejack,” Princess Luna said.

Applejack rolled up, planting herself on her haunches as she gave the princess a full look.

She had left her crown at home, along with her other adornments. No necklace, no spats. Just Princess Luna, in a soft white dress and a braid.

Applejack quirked an eyebrow.

“I am trying something different,” Luna explained. “Does... does it look alright?”

“Looks fine t’ me,” Applejack said, lying down again.

“May... may we talk?” Luna asked, still shuffling nervously.

“‘Course we can!” Applejack responded, smacking the grass next to her. “Have a seat!”

The princess lowered herself, slowly, daintily, onto the grass, sitting up and staring out across the lake.

For a while, neither party said a word.

“Thank you for the gift,” Luna blurted out, suddenly.

“Hey, ain’t a thing,” Applejack replied, patient as ever. “I’m sorry I ain’t a better artist. Could’a done you a better job, I reckon.”

“Oh no, it’s fine. It’s... the most meaningful thing I have received in a long time.”

“Oh, come on, you’re just bein’ nice now.” Applejack grinned. “Remember that painting of the hill I did? Proof enough that I can’t even think of something nice.”

“Yes... I remember the painting,” Luna said, carefully. “It was... rather...”

“Go on, Princess, you can say it.”

“It was... It could have been...”

“It was plumb awful, Princess.” Applejack laughed.

Luna smiled guiltily. A small weakness, of the good sort.

The edge of Applejack’s mouth curled up as well as she noticed Luna’s reaction out of the corner of her eye.

The surface of the lake shimmered like glass.

And the two ponies watched it for a while.

“You know,” Luna said, hesitantly. “You... you have done very well for one who has never... traversed dreams before.”

“Yeah? Princess Celestia said it was something about honesty and all that.”

“Indeed so. But... there are many things that you have yet to be able to do. Even in the dreams of others. To have come this far already, with no previous training, however, is nothing short of... astounding.”

“Well. Thank ye kindly, Princess.”

“If... if you would like...”

“Yeah, Princess?”

“I could teach you... more. If you would be interested.”

Applejack sat up, looking at Luna, who shied away almost instinctively. “Well... that’s an interesting proposal.”

“I... I could show you how to do what I can. And teach you how to help others in their dreams as well. Of course, you wouldn’t have to do it as a d-duty, but... you would be one of the rare few able to help others in their dreams if they so require. Just as you have... helped... helped me.”

The Princess found herself busy looking at a blade of grass as she said this, but a hoof gently fell upon her shoulder, and she looked back to see the glowing face of Applejack looking toward her.

Applejack remembered. There was a portrait in one of the dreams, a portrait of Luna’s sister and one of Applejack’s friends. Perhaps this was a desire of the princess of the night as well, and perhaps, this would be a good place to start.

“I mean, you wouldn’t have to, if you did not want to!” Luna denied herself furiously. “It was just a silly idea, I mean...”

“I’d love ta.” Applejack nodded. “I wouldn’t at all mind being your student. Although Pinkie ain’t ever gonna let me hear the end of this.”

“Oh, would that be...”

“It’s a joke, Princess. We’ll find a way to shut her up. So... yeah, sign me up! I guess I’m now officially the student of Princess Luna!”

“Oh, that’s wonderful! Wonderful!” Luna exclaimed with a happiness that was due for a long time coming. “But we must do it properly, as my sister always asks of her own pupil, we must no longer hang ourselves up on formality! Please. Call me ‘Luna’ from now on.”

“I think I can do that, Luna.” Applejack smiled.

As they spoke, a thin red line – a shining ribbon – coursed out from behind Applejack, swirling through the air and curling, like a snake playing on the wind, around Luna’s hoof. It orbited her leg for a few more revolutions before fading away and disappearing into the noise of the dream.

“Luna? I’ve been meanin’ t’ ask.” Applejack asked, watching as the last few specks of the ribbon sparkled away.

“Of course, my pupil. Anything!” Luna fought to keep the childlike grin off her face, trying to be professional.

“What’s with the red ribbon? I saw a lot of red things in the other dreams. I was wonderin’...”

“Oh, so you can see them too? That is quite remarkable, indeed. Those lines are the threads of fate, in whatever form they choose to take. They exist as phantoms in the dreams of another, and indicate the desire of a connection between two souls. When a link is made, it signifies the moment when... well.”

Applejack looked up, eyes connecting with the princess’, as both of them bloomed with an understanding smile.

Both stood, and looked out over the lake, taking the time to enjoy the rare gift of friendship.

But this was a start. This was a beginning.

It was the first step in a new adventure, and there wasn’t anything wrong with that.

And as Luna explained and rattled on about dreams and rules and the introduction to what was a brand new chapter in their lives, two ponies slept calmly.

Two ponies slept sound.

For the first time in uncountable days, two ponies, cities apart, joined by their hearts, slept joyously with smiles on their faces.

For what awaited them in the morning were no tears of sadness nor cries of pain.

And what they would awake to was nothing less than the warmth of a bright new Summer’s day.

The End

Comments ( 110 )

Jesus, this story sounds amazing! Time to get ready for one long night of reading. . . .

2873029 IT IS SO WORTH YOUR TIME

I am so glad I jokingly asked you to write me something, Kitsune, because you blow me away AGAIN.

Damn.

2873091
Is the feature box going to blow up once again? Because I am ready for it to.

2873098
Noooo! Don't jinx it! :twilightoops:

Well, I can only cross my fingers, but... I'm happy it's even here. This has been a long time coming. :yay:

2873110
I won't jinx it, trust me. But I will make sure to hand over that like and favourite . . . once I am done reading it.

2873113
Only if you think it's deserving, of course. =)

And I hope you enjoy it, sir.

The description in my notifications intrigued me. Then I saw the tags. I think I'll enjoy this.

Damn, but this is beautiful.

2873255
Holy moley that was fast!
Glad you enjoyed it, Dusty. Thanks always for the support. :scootangel:

2873162
Yo yo yo yo, DPV! My man! I hope you do as well. And for once I didn't go too far out of the characterizations, hahaha!

2873255 I KNOW ISNT IT?? :D

2873318
One of the few things I learned in my younger days was how to read in a big hurry and still pay attention. (Now if I had any idea how to write in a big hurry, my life would be much less complicated.)

I'm going to have to give this a look but I have to ask; why did you upload all the chapters at the same time?

2873369
Because I believe that the story warranted the reader to choose how fast they want to read it, not the author to dictate. The impact of the story would be lessened if someone wanted to get to the end but couldn't simply because the author just didn't want to release it all for whatever reason.

I have a complete story, so people ought to be able to read a complete story.

Hope you enjoy it. :twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd:

There's a lot of "cheering up Luna" stories out there. There's a lot of different paths that they take, and all sorts of pitfalls and variables that get added into them to make them unique.

This is, without a doubt the most interesting and original take on the concept to exist on FiMfiction. It is beautifully written, perfectly paced and the dichotomy between the sequences makes it all the more engaging. You could win awards with this thing. The only possible gripe I could have is that it's over.

But it really ought to be "tarry" not "tally" when Celestia is speaking to Applejack. :)

Flibbelty-jibbley good story. Will elaborate further after acquiring enough sleep to be semi-coherent.

Warguffles!

2873519
Whoops! Nice catch! Thank you very much for the comment and your eagle eye. :ajsmug:
And such nice words ;_;
I am very humbled by them. Thank you!

2873526
:twilightsmile:

2874023
Hi! Nice spots, man! There's always a couple few that sneak through the cracks. Thank you very much for pointing them out. *fixie fixie* :yay:

2874236
Warguffles to you too, Esle. :rainbowwild:

This is very, very beautifully written, I'm very astounded at the quality, at the words, at everything. You don't find stories with this qualities a lot. :twilightsmile: I'm betting this story is even better than some stories that are published, it's... it's beautiful. I don't know how to say more to the story, because I just feel there's no words good enough for it.

*Bows slightly* You are a great author, and this story is a proof of it (I didn't mean that your other stories are bad, of course, but this is the only story of yours that I read). This is really great, and deserve to be on the featured box forevermore if possible.

Here, have 5 moustaches. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

This story is so absolutely wonderful... I just don't know what to say! :yay:

It's odd when you read through the dreams, and the reader tends to cling to the day, but, over time, as AJ tried to make sense of the mess :applejackconfused: we started analyzing the night more and more until we figured it out, and AJ's realization helped affirm us figuring out the riddle. Well done. I don't do this (as in, ever...) and I only vaguely understand this, but I hear it is courtesy to offer moustaches for a job well done.

Here, have some. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

2873368
I think we ought to be able to take our time with writing. It's never about speed. I mean, of course some modicum of speed would help ultimately. But... I guess in the end it's about writing what feels good. Besides, you're a great writer yourself. You take your time, and knock them out!

2874414
Wow, your words really do me great honour. Thank you. Thank you so much! The mustaches too. Hahaha. Well, I'm honestly just happy that it's even in there, really. The exposure can't help. I have a horribly high word count and a really thick writing style that doesn't really appeal to a large demographic, so this is like... already insanely past my expectations right here. So thank you very much! And don't let me stop you if you ever want to change that 'I've only read one story' thing, heh heh heh..... :scootangel::scootangel: Thank you again!

2874526
Yeah, I love dialogue dynamics. But you already know that, right? Haha. This fic was a really good exercise for me too, in free writing dialogue. Was very fun! Glad to see it paid off.

2875352
Figured it out on night 5, eh! Not bad! Not bad indeed! That's some impressive deduction right there. What finally gave it away?
But from your second comment it sounds like I was successful in exactly what I was trying to go for, so, yay! Yes, as one of my friends put it, the days were meant to feel like 'safe houses' and the nights those bits which are a bit upsetting. So, thanks for reading, thanks very much for the comment! And no, honestly, I don't understand the mustache thing either, but thank you for them regardless. Have one of your own in return for being clever and figuring it out early! =D
:moustache:

That was....I'm almost at a loss for words.

It was incredible. I've only read a few stories in the short time I've been here, but this story...It was so deep. The descriptions, the details, they were all so...vivid, so breathtaking. I could put myself in Applejack's position, I could see the dreams in every twisted, confusing detail. I could relish in understanding, the meanings of the dreams becoming clear as the fog was slowly lifted. It sucked me in, I needed to continue, I had to finish what was started.

A beautiful story, wonderfully written, and concluded with an amazing ending that tied it all together with a shiny red ribbon.

Kudos to you, you have reminded me of how a simple story can affect someone in countless ways. I am honored to like and favorite this story, and I will-without a doubt-be waiting for your next story.

2875876
Hi, Michael! Thanks once again for the triple threat, haha. Well. First of all, let me welcome you to FimFic, and hope you have a lot of good experiences here! I'm glad you really enjoyed the story. I had a lot of fun writing it.

I always hope, above all things, that my stories can affect people in some way or another, be it through the heart, or just having an enjoyable scare, or anything else. But I always like to write things that give people something to think about. So thank you once again for everything!

Also, why wait for my next story? You can check out the ones I already have, eh? *wink wink nudge nudge*. I would highly recommend Romancing the Clouds, Outdated Communication and, for those who like something a bit edgy and different, Six walk In. Once again, thank you very much for the lovely comment, the watch and the favourite.

Cheers and good luck with your own writing endeavors! :twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd:

2875984
I will check out those stories as soon as I touch up my stories a little more. With this and all the other fanfics I've been reading, I've come up with some things I can do to beef up my own...

2875728
The favorite was well-earned, my friend.

The thing that sold it to me was the fact that what AJ did didn't matter. In a dream, you're in charge, unless it isn't yours. If I am not mistaken, I also had a vague idea where the 'mystery door' led early, but as I have read through, I can't say. Additionally, the ballroom thing (I think I read that part before my first comment) is nowhere near AJ's style, and I wouldn't see her conjuring up a masquerade party either. Royalty (or more generally, somepony from Canterlot) would be more well-versed in fancy things then 'I think galoshes would do well on a gala dress' AJ. Add to that the fact the dresses 'looked old' and the fact Luna was gone for 1000 years, the puzzle fits pretty well.

I'll have you know I seldom write long-worded anything. (Just look at my story(s) :rainbowlaugh:) For having coaxed this much out of me, you obviously did a good job :pinkiehappy:

2876678
That was some brilliant deduction, sir.
Down to the little hint I gave about the ball. Also, the masks are also part of a very old tradition more befitting someone of ancient stock, hm? Well done. Excellently played.

And it's really nice to see people get the little things I left behind ^_^

2876863
Yeah, AJ! You go, girl!

2879008
Thank you! Fixed. Done. ^_^

a3V

Well, this was quite an interesting read.

I really enjoyed the split between description and dialogue, between night and day. It gave the story a unique feeling, and it really drew me in.

Anyways, I pointed out some possible errors in my other comments, so please check them when you have the time!

2879226
Hruegheg. Yes, that was a mistake but for other reasons. I meant to write 'one single' instead. It is a redundancy but I do tend to use that for effect. Thanks for the spot.

This is what happens when you edit after 26 hours no sleep.

And I have already made the fixes. Cheers for reading, friend. Thank you for the help! :scootangel:

That was wonderful.

2879008

We're talking about Luna, and you're expecting better social skills? :derpytongue2:

That was simply fantastic. I really like the conclusion and where you left the relationship between the two of them.

A great reading experience, so thank you very much!:twilightsmile:

2880898
Thanks brah. It's probably a good opening for future ideas, eh?

:ajbemused: "Never again. Never again."

Oh.. well....

2884673
And thank you for leaving the comment! It's very appreciated. ^_^

2885370
Hi, Statoose! Thanks for the feedback! The reason why I decided to use this excuse is quite particular. I could have explained it all away with "Oh, she was busy", but I wanted to have the theme of 'choice' running perpendicular throughout the fic for certain reasons! By the end of the fic you will hopefully see what I mean, if I've done a good enough job >_> but the idea that Applejack chooses not to see certain people (and to see others) is part of this theme.

Thank you for reading, and I humbly hope you enjoy the rest. :twilightsmile:

I've always loved stories, like this, that show how special these ponies really are, and how they will go a step further than anyone else in the world to help someone in trouble.
Also, the style was pretty neat. There was almost no clutter here (the only exceptions being inherent to Pinkie's character). There was no (irrelevant) details, but the story still felt complete.

This story is probably one of the most meaningful things I've read in a long time. I haven't felt this way since I finished Madoka Magica back in February. The contrasting writing styles for night and day, the deep hurt that permeated throughout, the first step towards healing, everything worked.

I'd love to see a story with Applejack as Luna's student. The idea just enthralls me. This story proves how well they work together and I want to see more of it.

Mere words cannot do this justice, nothing can truly do this justice, so I give you the next best thing: :moustache: X Infinity and :heart: X Infinity

2888673
Thank you for the feedback! Glad to hear I managed to make something out of this potential mess. There was a lot that could have gone wrong. ^_^

2889008
Wow, thank you! And as for a sequel... well. I have a habit of writing 'beginnings', so... we'll see =)
The ending of the story was left open for a reason, eh? I might think about doing a more light-hearted fic of ministories about AJ helping out Luna to do some dream-stuff. Or... maybe a story about Pinkie instead.... We'll see! But I'm working on a couple other things right now, so those first!

Thank you very much for the feedback. Thanks for reading, and keep watch! I'm always coming out with new things in this vein. =) :twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd::twistnerd:

This story.... IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! A like and a favorite for you, great storyteller of dreams.:twilightsmile:

Hmmm... You weren't kidding, you did make quite a few changes from the draft that I saw.

This was really good. Your characterization for Luna was superb. You managed to blend together the mare who cried for forgiveness in episode two and mare who ran from foals in season two. Well done.

This was AWESOME :rainbowdetermined2:

I love the way you told this, the premise, the ending... Everything was great and nothing hurt :pinkiehappy:

This story is mind-bogglingly good and beautifully written. Powerful, intellectual...it really makes you think, and yet has a beautiful yet simple message to tell as well that makes it all worth your while. :pinkiehappy: I'm REALLY glad I took the time to read it.

I'd say more, but it's getting late for me, and my typing is starting to become affected (I'm butchering words left and right that by all means I shouldn't be). But again, great story. :twilightsmile:

2954328

I'm REALLY glad I took the time to read it.

I'm really glad you did too.
Thank you for the lovely comments and the support!

Really great story!

I never really get to see any AJ/Luna interactions, so where this story left off left me happy for the two of them. After all the pain that the dreams inflicted on them, they got their friendship in the end.

Also the idea that AJ is Luna's student just makes me smile. :ajsmug:

Glad I took the time to read this!

Really good story! :pinkiehappy: I love how you show the dreams, and the relationships between each of the characters. :pinkiesmile:

I love this story :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

Why? Because it make a real link between Luna and AJ without a shipping. A lots of brony make interact two characters only with a romantic interaction. No no no... It could be good, but the series are based on the Friendship.

So, i love this story :twilightsmile:

2986509
Friendship is always a good reason to write a story ^_^
I prefer friendshipping to romantic shipping, anyway. :twilightsmile:

3004511
Hi there! It's you again ^_^

A part of me always says that no story should require an introduction about its narrative style.

As you say... this was a tough choice. I somewhat agree with you in the sense that yeah. if people aren't to get it, then it's not to be 'got', really, much like how art is. Although, at the same time, it acts more like a disclaimer to prevent people from thumbing me down instantly because they think I don't know what I'm doing. To be fair, the second halves do resemble talking head syndrome if one didn't say that it was in fact intentional. It STILL suffers from talking head syndrome to a certain extent.

It was just a tactical choice. Considering my track record and having to explain myself to a lot of people in comments, I think this was just preempting the problem. And it's worked so far!

FimFic - Tread Carefully (tm).

Each time you mention the red string, I think of the invisible red thread or something like that that's supposed to connect fated lovers or something like that in Japanese folklore or something like that.

:scootangel:

Well, of course, as much as I'd like to comment or talk about your observations so far, I can't. I don't want to spoil. But suffice it to say you're a very alert reader indeed.

I still hope to be able to surprise you by the end.

Oh. I didn't catch that. The dreams can be a bit hard to follow (as they should be) and I couldn't tell the fish wasn't just a new thing that had suddenly appeared.

They are quite muddy at the start, but as you said, they should be by virtue of what they are. However, the narration gets more and more general as the story goes along to reflect AJ's own understanding of the dreams. Go, narrative style!

The thing is, I write these to be able to be understood with a different interpretation before and after the ending. Seems like you're already proceeding along the path of battering down all my walls.

You're the kind of reader that writers both fear and respect at the same time.

love

:scootangel:

3004742

You the kind of reader that writers both fear and respect at the same time.

This is perhaps my favorite thing that any writer has ever said to me. I think I shall quote you on my profile, if you don't mind. I shall wear this badge with pride.
(also, typo, by the way)

I swear I already posted this comment, but I don't see it up there, so I guess not.

3006584
Alright, let me get the sweepings out of the way... the mistake has been fixed, to a certain extent. You're absolutely right about the 'wind' irregular verb. I changed it to 'wound', which shall have to do in a pinch. Also, I edited that quote thing. Yeah~

I really ought not to comment at weird hours. I really ought not to be commenting NOW, in fact, seeing how it's 3 AM.

... well, into the fray.

Honestly, I was talking to my editor as you were commenting down about how incredibly fast you were picking up on everything. The clues are clearly there, of course, and you probably can see them now in retrospect. Everything fits (or at least I hope it does) the thematic nature of the dream. Of course, if it were just something so straight-forward, it wouldn't keep people thinking, and that wouldn't be as fun, would it? Maybe not!

Either way, we were both amazed at your powers of perception and picking out all the set-ups and all the stuff. To be quite honest, I didn't know how to feel when you started going slightly off course. One half of me was like yeah, there's wiggle-room, but the other half was like maybe this might diminish what you've already figured out as a cop-out on my part by going the 'most obvious route', but well. It is what it is. It's always good to keep one's options open,

Verily, it was a pitiful performance.

I'm sorry for being so absolutely blunt here, but I'm not entirely sure if you're referring to myself as how I decided to handle the material or not. I'm worried that you are disappointed with the way I had chosen to 'solidify' the facts. The things that you had mentioned specifically were there to be incredibly obvious for the point of setting those facts in stone. As the reader is meant to, of course, run along parallel with AJ's own logic and thoughts (which according to your comments, seems to have worked splendidly), there were certain parts where I had to make things absolutely clear so as not to bog down the final bits which were already pretty heavy by themselves.

That was my thoughts. So I'd like to find out if what you meant by that quote was if I did it wrongly and broke the everything.

If not, then you pretty much experienced it as I had intended, with the exception that you are far too smart and observant and pretty much solved everything by chapter 2, which I had responded to with the furious gnashing of teeth and a wailing to the heavens that I could not pleasure you with a nice emotional drop or two.

But once again, as always, reading your comments and thought processes was both very insightful and very entertaining. I absolutely love seeing how people think in regards to the flow of presented information, and I can only thank you for being such a willing participant, and for your offering so freely of it.

Not many would do that, and truly, you MUST know that it is DEFINITELY more than appreciated. I will say this on behalf of anyone else you've done this service for and who hasn't thanked you accordingly.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed it. And brilliant call on the thread of fate. Very nice catch indeed.

If you're ever in the market for another one which is perhaps a bit longer and a bit more engaging, I would not be against having another fan of the series. This one is surely my 'pride project', and I'd love to have you on board, since you've already been so nice to me already.

Cheers! :ajsmug:

3006770

I'm sorry for being so absolutely blunt here, but I'm not entirely sure if you're referring to myself as how I decided to handle the material or not.

Oh, no, not at all. I was talking about myself. I set myself some pretty high standards. If there's a mystery, I expect myself to guess more or less the correct answer based on circumstantial evidence alone, and throwing it out while brainstorming and then dismissing it does not count. And if I walk away from a story with a head full of puzzle pieces, I expect myself to return closer to the truth. I've been quite the avid reader for most of my life, and I have gotten unreasonably good at spotting tropes and reading subtext; unreasonable expectations ensure that there's always a challenge when I'm trying to figure things out.
Though strictly speaking, I didn't do so badly as I said. I don't deserve "pitiful" unless I get to a point where, in retrospect, I could have (correctly) felt confident what was going on, and I still don't even think of the correct theory. Which would mean getting past the fourth dream without figuring the shadowy figure out, in this case.

And the way I've been ambling from one story of yours to another, I think I might as well just take a look through everything you've written. Though I wouldn't count on me reading Romancing the Clouds until it's complete; I've got too many stories already that I'm trying not to forget important details about before they are finished.

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