• Published 15th Apr 2012
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Luna's Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions - Aegis Shield



Luna falls comatose and is revived by the love-sick kiss of one of Celestia's guards.

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Study Thy Skies

Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 8: Study Thy Skies

Aegis Shield met the charging Stalwart Hide head on and their helmets crashed together with a wince-inducing smash of metal. Both of them reeled in odd directions while Luna stood by and swore in ancient Equestrian. “Aegis Shield! We command thee to stop! Thy new brother in arms knows not what he does!” Her words came out a little higher-pitched than normal. Her mouth went a little agape when both stallions ignored her and charged each other again, rearing up and flailing at one another with their front hooves. Hooves scraped and clanked against armor and bare fur alike.

Aegis skidded backward almost into Luna after getting a harsh buck to the chest. Locking eyes with the frenzied stallion, he turned sideways as though to shield princess Luna from him. The ancestors sang, a hundred bass voices raised in a throaty red song of violence. He side-stepped into her and made a show of rubbing his muzzle up the front of her neck. His, the body language said. Luna blushed despite herself.

Stalwart Hide reared up and whinnied, spreading his bat-like wings. They were in such an enclosed space, how would they fly anywhere? Stepping quickly away from Luna, Aegis returned the gesture and they charged at one another. Leaping into the air they crashed into each other, pin-wheeling wildly with horse-like screams. A cloud of violence and flailing hooves surrounded them, obscuring the terrible violence as they thrashed about the room. They bit and flailed and bucked and stomped and head-butted and everything they could think of! They smashed into a table, one tackling the other into it, blasting it into pieces with their sheer weight. The arranged flowers on it exploded into a rainbow of fluttering petals.

Luna looked on in horror, very suddenly unsure what to do. Let them fight? The fight couldn’t last long, for when Stalwart Hide’s mind returned to him he would forget why and stop, surely? No. No she couldn’t let them hurt each other. Stepping up with authority, the princess waded into the fray with gritted teeth. “Be still! Both of you! Stop this fighting!” Both stallions were ignoring her completely, it was infuriating. Nopnony ignored a princess! She tried to follow them around the room and get between them, but they were just moving too quickly. There was too much debris scattered around the floor, and the bits of broken furniture were still flying. She ducked suddenly, for a chair had become a sudden projectile that violently exploded against the wall. Turning her ears back she squinted into the fray, trying to find an opening.

Aegis and Stalwart had locked arms, holding each other by the shoulders. Piranha teeth were snapping wildly back and forth, both of them trying to make a grab for the other’s neck. One good bite was all it would take. Losing balance the stallions separated briefly, then pumped their wings and fell in a mess of hooves and teeth and fur. Wrestling like beasts, their armors clanked and shrieked against each other, neither giving in. Aegis Shield pumped his wings over and over to gain the momentum of the upper hand, pushing Stalwart Hide onto his back at last. Holding him by his shoulders, Aegis head-butted him ferally, snarling and bludgeoning his foe with his own face. Stalwart flailed, yipping ferally at each merciless blow. Finally gaining his hooves he kicked Aegis in the soft underbelly and switched them about! He dug his teeth into the other stallion’s chest armor, spraying sparks back and forth and then howling in pain. Rolling back and forth, Aegis snatched at Stalwart’s tail and tugged him off his hooves. The first of the lunar stallions stomped wildly on the second, gaining more than a mild upper hoof. This fight was more than over, for the feral yaps of pain were growing too torturous for the alicorn to bear. Finally Luna found her opportunity.

BE--- STILL’HHH!” Prince Luna unleashed the Royal Canterlot voice, concussing both stallions and stunning them. They pin-wheeled through the air at the sheer power of her cry, slamming into the far wall. Their ears rang. They couldn’t see straight. Their wings refused to obey them. It was as though their very bodies had been destabilized! Luna huffed and puffed, not used to using the voice in its weaponized form. Tossing her mane angrily, she watched them both slide down the wall and comically land in two heaps of hooves and armor. They squirmed weakly for a long time, neither stallion able to rise. Aegis Shield flopped onto his side finally, panting softly. A certain sentience returned to his eyes, and Luna knew the ancestors had quieted for now. The princess of the night approached him slowly, leaning over him with a frown. “Thou hast disappointed me, Aegis Shield. Your interference may have injured thy brother in arms.” She scolded. His ears turned back and he gave a quiet whimper. Still weak and rattled, he took one of her massive hooves in his, pressing his forehead to it in deep, wordless apology. She could see him shaking from the after-effects of the royal shout, but did not pull away from him. Let him be sorry, it was only proper. Turning her great head towards Stalwart Hide, Luna saw he had gone unusually still.

The newborn lunar stallion slowly lifted his head, intelligence dancing in his noble golden eyes at last. The alicorn relaxed a hair. Finally his mind had rewired to give him control again. The ancestor’s hummed quietly in the back of his skull, ever-present but quiet for the moment. Slowly turning over onto his belly with a moan, Stalwart Hide spread his aching wings and looked around. “My head…” he said, painfully trying to rise. “My back… my back!” his back gave a few comedic crackling sounds when he tried to rise.

“Clearly thy frenzy was a fruitful one.” Luna said a little acidly, but shrugged. Magicking the towel from across the room, she leaned down like a mother and cleaned his face. The stallion gave no resistance, for he saw his own blood upon the towel and there were ropes of warm drool as well. “Thy armor has embraced thee.” The princess of the night smiled at him, tossing the towel when she was done. “Welcome to the lunar stallions, Stalwart Hide.”

“A-At your service, your majesty.” He said, clutching his throat when he realized how very deep his voice was. He looked down at himself. Ashy grey fur, bat-like wings, it was all so different. “Wow… wow…” he said, looking himself over. He looked up at his princess in awe, then lowered his head to bow. Following Aegis Shield’s example, he took her other front hoof in both of his and pressed his forehead to it. Luna was suddenly reminded of a time long-since passed, when the lunar stallions could gather by the hundreds. All of them knelt at her hooves thus, her dark and handsome subjects. Though they were just two, she was very pleased with both of them. She shared a long silence of their quiet reverence, smiling despite herself. It was nice to have soldiers all her own, and not just solar guards that happened to have the night shift each night. These two were truly hers.

“We are glad you’re both of sound mind again.” Princess Luna pulled from them and they rose shakily to their hooves. She stepped back a bit to survey them both, nodding to herself. “Now then, our first royal orders for the pair of thee…” she trailed off, making her way towards the threshold of the exit. They perked their ears at her, ever-vigilant. “Clean up thy mess.” She snickered, then turned and left.

Both stallions looked around the room, blushing a little. A good third of the furniture in the great room had been destroyed in their battle. Stalwart would never remember said battle, and Aegis was too embarrassed to detail it. The ancestors were sure an uppity and active bunch. The two of them looked at each other, smiling embarrassedly. Some of the furniture would make good kindling for the hearth, at least. They spent a good hour of silent clean-up getting all the larger pieces into a big pile, then skulked about the darker corners looking for bits of debris.

It was Stalwart Hide who spoke first, “The armor doesn’t make you crazy forever, does it?” he was a blunt one, to be sure. “I didn’t know it would do that to me, honest.” He was looking at the vicious bite marks on his comrade’s back leg.

“The first few times you’ll be like that, yeah. But after awhile it gets better and then stops happening altogether.” Aegis Shield assured him as gently as he could. “Don’t worry, the princess will make sure you’re safe.” He winced a little at the ache in his shoulder blades, rolling his back gently. “Though I gotta say, even though we’re both augmented this way you’re pretty strong.” Aegis smirked at Stalwart, who smiled coyly.

“Augmented?” Stalwart cocked his head. While they cleaned up the rest of the great room, Aegis told him everything he knew about the living armor they were wearing. About how it connected them with the ancestors. About how it augmented their emotions and natural drives. Also, about how it drained them of their energy to super-charge them for short periods of time. He told the stallion about the mugging, and about how he’d basically ignored a pie splattered on his back leg altogether. No easy feat. “Wow…” he said as they were running brooms back and forth. “That’s a lot to take in.”

“Well, you’re wearing it so you’ll experience it for yourself as you go.” Aegis Shield said, smiling a bit. Both stallions could tell they were going to be good friends. They’d done a guarding shift or two together, yes, but had never really had the chance to interact much before. Being the only two lunar stallions, though, that was sure to change.

They were rearranging the remaining furniture to better suit the room when Stalwart Hide asked, “So, I’ve gotta ask since we’re alone and stuff…” he checked the exit to make sure the princess wasn’t right behind him when he spoke. “How did you wake the princess from her coma?”

Aegis Shield’s face turned scarlet, and he coughed a little. Well, if he was going to tell anypony, surely the only other lunar stallion was a worthy secret-keeper. “Swear you won’t tell?” he said in a hushed way, coming closer as though somepony might be listening. “Only Celestia was there when it happened, you see.” He whispered.

Stalwart Hide nodded, his eyes wide with interest. He folded his wings down, leaning forward conspiratorially. “Uh huh? What’d you do? Magic potion? Chest pumps? Smack her face?” he thought of all the most scandalous things he could.

“I kissed her.” Aegis said, turning his head to one side with ruby cheeks.

Stalwart Hide stared at him, mouth open like he was about to call him a liar. But no, no stallion blushed like that over a lie. “You wha…?” he said, just trying to take the information in.

“Don’t tell anypony. Ever. Don’t even mention it to princess Luna.” Aegis said quickly, poking his chest with a hoof. “The only reason I tell you is because you’re a lunar stallion now and… and you deserve to know.” He nodded quickly, then walked past his comrade to busily stoke the fire in the hearth. “Oh by the way, don’t let the fire die down here. We’re pretty far underground, and it gets cold even though its summer.” He lurched the conversation in a different direction with all the grace of a drunken dragon pile-driving a hydra. Stalwart Hide recognized the embarrassment, and nodded silently.

=-=-=-=

Some hours later princess Luna was giddy inside, prancing happily into her private chambers and shutting the door. After encountering the second lunar stallion and magically listening to them interact for a bit, she’d gotten a good handle on their real attitudes towards one another. They seemed to get along perfectly, if a little cautious with each other. That was all she could think to ask for now.

On a different topic, she was very pleased with Stalwart Hide. He’d taken his frenzy rather well, all things considered, and didn’t hold a grudge for the serious beating he’d received from (and given to) Aegis Shield. The two stallions understood the potent magicks that coursed through the armor they wore, and it overjoyed her to know that they bore no grudges against each other.

While she sat brushing her mane, she nudged the moon towards the horizon with a few moments of hard concentration. By the time Celestia rose it would be nearly gone, giving a smooth transition to daytime.

Taking off her crown, chest regalia, and shoes she arranged them all on their proper pillows. Tomorrow or the next day they were due for their weekly cleaning, she wasn’t sure which. She’d made a habit of leaving them in the same spot so the servants could find them when needed. She studied herself in the mirror and, with a little effort, offered up a beaming smile. Chuckling at the goofy expression she shook her head and turned away. Stretching, she went to her balcony and looked out over Canterlot. The night had only a few more hours, but still there were ponies prancing to and fro in the streets, going about their business. She sat on her haunches, watching the city with a content look on her face for a long time.

Suddenly there was a knock at her door. Sighing that her time to relax had been disturbed, the princess of the night barked, “Enter!” She turned, lifting her muzzle and closing her eyes for a moment. It was her patented ‘snooty’ expression, the one royalty often used to inspire guilt or to shorten meetings that made them uncomfortable. “Speak, this is our time to relax.”

“Luna.” It was Aegis Shield, and her smile grew before he crossed the room and mashed his lips to hers. She let out a startled squeak, her face blazing with heat. Her wings blimped shamelessly open. There came another knock at the door.

A LOUDER knock at her door awoke Luna from her dozing dream. “Uh-whuh?!” she squeaked a little ferally. “Who is it?!” she called aloud, jerking herself upright and out of her fever-dream.

Aegis Shield slowly opened the door of the room, slipping inside and shutting it behind him. He was normal and brown, the medallion of the lunar stallions bouncing on his chest. He fixed her with a smile. “Luna.” He said. The princess’ brow rose, and she wondered if her dream was suddenly repeating itself. “I came like you asked.” He told her, turning to shuffle his nose into his saddlebags to search for something.

“Asked? We asked thou no such thing to invade our bedroom in the dead of night!” Luna said, flushed and a little panicked. She hadn’t summoned him in her sleep or something, had she?! Could she do that?! She didn’t know.
Aegis turned back to her, a brand new telescope on his mouth, and wilted at her words. He set it down on the carpeted floor. “Oh, sorry. I thought tonight was the night we’d arranged to study the stars properly.” He looked glum, his eyes to the floor. “Maybe some other time—”

“Oh. Oh yes! We remember now!” Luna said, relief flooding her face. She’d promised to help Aegis study the stars when he’d acquired a proper telescope. She coughed a little, cocking her head. “Yes, of course. Let us see thy telescope.” She lifted it with magic, turning it back and forth. She squinted through it with a frown, testing its furthest extensions. He looked up at her hopefully. “Adequate.” She awarded, setting it down. He smiled at her. “Come, we may set up on our balcony. There are a few hours of night left.” She gestured. The stallion cantered past her with a big smile on his face, then worked diligently to set the telescope up properly. Using the tripod’s compass he pointed it north, tightened all the fittings, and made sure the turning bits were smooth and didn’t catch. Luna, meanwhile, brought a pair of sitting pillows. Sitting regally while he worked, she eyed him. “So, how have thou been while off the job? Enjoying thyself we hope?”

Aegis Shield smiled at her, nodding. “Oh yes. I think the solar guard is finally adjusting to me. They don’t seem as scared anymore.” He grinned at her wryly. Luna smiled back, knowing what that felt like. “They’re friendlier now.” He made the final adjustment. “There we go!” he said.

“Ah, well done. Now then, we’ll start with the Ursa Major, the Ursa Minor, the Waterfall, and Luna’s Horn.” Luna went and squinted into the telescope, adjusting it with a careful hoof. Aegis chuckled at her. “What?”

“You named a constellation after yourself.” He confided, laughing a bit.

“Don’t tell us thou would not do the same.” She said hotly, and he snorted. “We constructed all the night time heavens and everything that moves about them!” she said, anger rising and temper starting to flare. Her wings began to rise into her aggressive body language. “If we desire some small homage to ourselves for all of our hard work then we surely deser--!” He’d put a hoof unceremoniously over her mouth to silence her.

“I was teasing.” Aegis said, snickering a little. Luna’s ears turned back in embarrassment. “Show me Ursa Major.” He said, gesturing to the telescope. The princess nodded, bashfully leaning into the instrument and adjusting it just so. Dipper. Baten Kaitos. Ursa Major. The Manticore. Ah, there it was. She gestured that he look. He ooh’d appreciatively, and she smiled a bit. Calling up all the ancient memories and stories, she launched into a long lesson about the special meanings behind constellations. Why explorers insisted that she make them to make the sky seem friendlier at night, and to help them find their way. “I bet your sister doesn’t make nearly as good of a night sky as you.” Aegis said absently, looking up at a different shape through the telescope.

Luna opened her mouth to scold him harshly, but stopped. The fact that he’d used the phrase ‘your sister’ said he was at ease around her, speaking casually and not thinking of her like a princess at the moment. She seized the opportunity to connect with him socially. “My sister’s night sky had many pony explorers so very lost that she had to send out search teams for months to recover them properly.” She whispered, giggling at Celestia’s secret shame. “Her angles and constellations were so far off she had to hire a council of fifty ponies who knew the night sky better than she, and had to learn it all from scratch.”

Aegis put a hoof to his mouth and laughed at the gossip. “Oh my gosh! Hahaha!” he rolled, leaning into her with a guffaw. “That’s terrible! Search teams! That’s terrible!” he held his ribs with one hoof and had the other front hoof around her. Luna smiled grandly, nodding that it was true. They returned to the instrument, and he insistently returned to the Waterfall constellation, wanting to know all about it. Luna had placed it at the edge of the sky near the horizon so that it would look like it was washing over the edge of the world (even though the world wasn’t flat). Aegis wanted to know all about it. The edge of the world (in the early times) usually meant an ocean so there was plenty of symbology and forethought when it came to placing it in the sky. The stories fascinated Aegis, and he listened to everything she had to say with large and intent eyes.

Princess Luna couldn’t remember being happier. A casual setting with a pony that did not fear here, talking about a modern topic she knew much of, and it was just so… so relaxing! She loved it. She looked at his arm flung casually around her shoulder. He was straining to sit up high enough to do it. Finally able to fully relax, she slouched and leaned into him a bit. She heaved a slow, content sigh.

“So tell me about Luna’s Horn.” Aegis Shield said, pointing up at it without using the telescope. The stallion tossed his black mane to one side so he could see her better. “What’s the story there?” Luna broke into a filly-like giggle, grinning and shaking her head back and forth. “What? C’mon, you’ve gotta tell me. We went through all of those other constellations.”

The princess snickered, opening her wings happily and putting a hoof around his shoulder to pull him closer. “It is a great and ancient secret, Aegis Shield. Dost thou promise to keep it to thyself?” She whispered, almost all her teeth showing in the cheesy grin. He nodded dumbly, wanting to know what was so funny. She gestured to it, tracing the shape with her hoof towards the sky. “One may notice that it points north? Many explorers use it as a compass during the right times of year.” She was getting to the punch line, he could tell. “But, truthfully…”

“Truthfully?” he asked, studying her face.

“When I was a filly I put it in the sky and told my sister it was a penis. She believed me!” She burst out laughing. Aegis stared at her in shock, mouth falling open. “Just look at the shape! It’s so clearly a unicorn’s horn, but back then she’d never seen--- I mean she’d just never looked at a stallion’s--- back then she was so innocent!” she’d lost herself to laughing, throaty and stomping a hoof on the balcony. Aegis fought the laughter for a long time, he really and truly did. But then the creeping image of an innocent young Celestia and a mischievous young Luna made its way into his mind. It was just too much. He burst into rolling laughter, flopping back onto his back and kicking all four of his hooves.

After that point the studying was basically over. Luna had an amusing story for all the older constellations and their secret little jokes, extra meanings, and secret bits. The night sky was a tapestry of secrets one could simply never find in a book, and all of them were in the dark alicorn’s head. Aegis had the feeling that if he knew enough, he could see the greater tapestry of Luna’s life in the night sky. Some of the origins of the shapes and objects in the sky were on a whim, for a joke, for beauty, all different reasons. They told of an artist’s evolution, and told much about Luna herself. Both of them lay on their backs on the sitting pillows, commenting on the shapes and twinkling beauty. The princess even wiped a star from the sky to impress the stallion, only to put it back moments later so there was no harm done to the grand design.

Aegis slowly turned and leaned over Luna, studying her face. “It’s all so beautiful.” He said, looking into her eyes and smiling quietly. She tucked her hooves across her naked chest. She very suddenly realized that she was just as naked at he, and had been all night. No princess ever wandered about without her regalia. Then again they were technically in the privacy of her bedroom, so maybe it didn’t count. Her eyes lidded slowly when one of his hooves came down to caress her cheek. Blushing lightly, she tilted her head to rest the weight of it on his hoof. He held it gently. “You’re beautiful.” He whispered. They looked into each other’s eyes for a long time, and gravity seemed to inch his face down until the tips of their muzzle’s touched. Nodding up and down slowly, they nuzzled each other. It was a slow, shy sort of affection.

The memory of their fighting, lusty rushing suddenly reared its ugly head in Luna’s mind. “K… kiss us?” she whispered softly. “We promise not to pounce upon thee.” She amended, looking at him guiltily. He chuckled softly, nuzzling her cheek and nose with his. Slowly, her front hooves hooked around his neck and gingerly pulled him down. She stared at the stars while he explored her mane like a shy coltfriend might.

When at last he’d taken in her rain-pregnant night scent, Aegis Shield whispered to her quietly. “Oh Luna…” despite being flat on her back, the alicorn’s massive and powerful wings rose to the occasion, spreading to their full span and gently wrapping about the stallion in an odd sort of hug. His warm breath was upon her face, a curious series of sniffing sounds. The ancestors were silent, the medallion dormant. It was all Aegis, and nopony else. He kissed her, slowly lowering his mouth over hers. The warm plush of his mouth greeted her in a shy, gentle way. Luna suddenly knew what sort of kiss had roused her from her coma. Cocking her head after a few long moments, she gave a quiet moan to deepen the kiss. Her hooves touched his back in feather-light touches, stroking between his wings.

Can… can thou stay?” she whispered quietly, blushing and looking away when the kiss ended. “Thou would be safe in our chambers from prying eyes.” She promised. Luna watched the stallion consider, his eyes racing back and forth. She nuzzled his cheek, her touch warm but light. After having spent so much time with him, the spikes of lust were starting to vanish and she only wanted to be around him. Creating a second lunar stallion had not drawn her eye from him. The heady rush was over now, and had given way to a warm and lush sort of heady affection.

“Y-yeah. I’ll stay.” The stallion whispered. “Just for tonight. Er... today.” Both ponies chuckled, for they habitually slept the day away to favor the night. They rose and went to bed together after closing the balcony doors. They shared an innocent bed that night, both enjoying the warmth of another body next to them. Luna had never slept so soundly, quietly wrapped in a stallion's hooves.

End of Part 8

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