• Published 21st Oct 2014
  • 6,597 Views, 245 Comments

I Watch the Moon - zeus_tfc

Luna has been redeemed by the elements of harmony, but is finding that salvation is harder to come by. Perhaps the Moon, her prison for so very long, is truly where Luna belongs after all.

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Chapter 13: Confrontation

Twilight was worried. It wasn’t exactly an unfamiliar state for her, if she were honest with herself. She had the tendency to get overexcited about things like tests, lists, or her regularly scheduled reports to Princess Celestia. Today, however, she didn’t think she was overreacting. Several messages to Luna had gone unanswered, which wasn’t like her at all. Twilight was sure that she was really the only pony who sent messages to Luna, so it wasn’t as if they got lost in the shuffle, as it were.

It brought to mind something Pinkie Pie had told her, which, being Pinkie, made no sense at the time. Now, however, it made a certain amount of frighteningly clear sense.

But… no. It couldn’t be that. After all, it came from Pinkie. The pink party pony was many things, but this… this….

It was for that reason that Twilight found herself on a train to Canterlot, Spike in tow.

Twilight liked riding on the train. Once the jolting, violent departure was over and the motion smoothed out, the sound of the train on the tracks took on a soothingly rhythmic quality. The clack-clack-clack became a lullaby, accentuated by the gentle rocking of the train cars.

Twilight seldom did her best studying in a train car, but she often did her best sleeping. More than once, in an attempt to utilize her time efficiently and spend some quality reading time on the train, she found herself face down in her book. She still cursed the time she found she’d drooled in her sleep as well, and inadvertently glued several pages of her book together. From that time onward, she’d tried to find reading positions that wouldn’t result in her book becoming an impromptu pillow.

This evening the book before her was ignored. Twilight had read the same page six times. She kept losing her place as her mind wandered to Luna, and what Pinkie’s words might mean.

The train’s momentum changed. The heads of all the ponies in Twilight’s car rocked forward in unison. The hypnotic rhythm was shattered. Now there would be only the chaotic rocking and jostling of slowing and stopping at the station.

Twilight put her book away. It would have to wait before she would read that page a seventh time.

Twilight nodded to the guards stationed at the door. Stoic though they were, they nodded respectfully in return before opening the door for her. Being known at the palace as Princess Celestia’s pupil had advantages. She made her way down the hallway. She knew where Luna was, where she had to be. She only hoped she was wrong.

“Twily!” a voice called from behind her.

“Oh, hey, big brother,” she replied, turning to face Shining Armor.

“Am I glad to see you,” he said. “Have you talked to the Princess yet? You really should.”

‘The Princess’ could only be Princess Celestia. The palace guard hadn’t quite figured out their way around Luna yet.

“I was going to go up to see Luna.”

“You might want to check in with the Princess first, so you know what you’re in for.”

“Okay. Catch up later?”

“Of course,” Shining Armor said.

Twilight nodded and turned, changing direction to the main hall. It was turning out to be a two-princess evening. Twilight hoped that wasn’t as bad a sign as it seemed.

Twilight hastened her steps, hoping to find Princess Celestia sooner than later.

As it turned out, the princess found her first.


Twilight jumped in surprise as the princess burst through a door to her left.

“Oh, Princess, you start-”

“Have you seen Princess Luna yet?” the princess interrupted.

“N-no. Shining Armor said I should see you fir-”

“Good. Then it’s not too late to warn you.”


“She’s on her perch. She stays there all the time now. She’s been barely sleeping at all. She barely speaks, even to me. I can only get one word answers out of her, if that. Please, Twilight, if you could speak with her… I…”

Twilight stared up at Princess Celestia, taking her first real look at her.

The princess looked tired. Her eyes shimmered, full of worry and sleeplessness. She looked vulnerable. Almost fragile.

It scared Twilight.

“I’ll do what I can, Princess,” Twilight promised.

Princess Celestia gave a forced smile. It was one of the most horribly unnatural things Twilight had ever seen.

“I know you will, Twilight,” the princess said. “I feel better just knowing you’re here.”

Twilight could find no response to that. Instead, she bowed low and took her leave. It was time to face Luna.

It was raining.

It wasn’t a particularly hard rain, and Twilight was most grateful there was no lightning. Twilight was afraid her horn might act as a lightning rod being this high up. Nevertheless, Twilight was soaked in moments.

Luna sat on her perch watching the Moon. This was as Twilight expected. What Twilight had not expected, was that Luna did not turn to acknowledge Twilight’s presence when she stepped out onto the balcony. She gave no indication that she knew Twilight was there.

This was worrying.

Luna’s mane was plastered to her head and back. She looked for all the world like a half-drowned rat rather than a near-immortal princess with the power to raise the Moon.

“Luna?” Twilight called over the rain.

Luna made no response.

“I came to see you.”

Twilight waited. The seconds stretched out into a minute or more.

“I wrote you some letters. I didn’t get any responses.”

Twilight waited again.


Twilight had given up on a response. The answer, short though it was, gave Twilight hope.

“I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“...’m fine.”

Twilight waited, unsure of what to say.

“Are… are you mad at me?”


“Then why aren’t you talking to me?” Twilight asked.

“What would you have me say?”

Something, Twilight wanted to scream, anything. Just do anything but sit there.

Something else entirely came out of her mouth.

“So that’s what she meant.”

“What?” Luna actually turned to face Twilight.

“Pinkie. I think I understand what she said.”

Twilight noticed Luna tense at the sound of Pinkie’s name.

“What?” demanded Luna. “What did she say?”

“Heya, Twilight,” Pinkie called, pronking in her particularly excited way. “I need to ask you a favor!”

“Of course, Pinkie,” Twilight answered. “What do you need?”

“It’s about Luna. She’s going to be a very sad pony. Actually, she’s a sad pony all the time, but she usually hides it. But every once in a while she’s going to be a very sad pony, but it won’t look like sad. It will look like something else, but you won’t know what. It might looked like bored, or it might be angry or grumpy or anything! Though it probably won’t look like yellow with purple polka-dots. I’m pretty sure it won’t look like that. I don’t think it’ll look happy either. Understand?”

Twilight nodded. She didn’t understand anything, but it seemed the safest option.

“That’s okay,” Pinkie assured her. “It’s okay to not understand, as long as you do. I’m really bad at understanding sometimes, but I’m really good at doing. Like that time when I was trying to throw that one party for Fluttershy, and you and Rarity were all like, ‘No, Pinkie, you can’t throw her a party right now,’ and I was like, ‘but, but, party!’ and Rarity was like, ‘No, Pinkie. No party,’ and you were like, ‘Promise us no party,’ and I didn’t understand why somepony wouldn’t want a party, but I promised anyway? It’s like that. You don’t have to think about it, you just have to do it.”

Twilight stared at Pinkie, the words buffeting her like a driving rain.

“Uh… what do I have to-”

“You just have to be her friend! You’re gonna say, ‘But I’m Twilight Sparkle, which might as well mean “Luna’s friend,”’ but sometimes it can be hard to be somepony’s friend. I know it’s not always easy to be my friend. You’re saying, ‘That’s not true, Pinkie,’ but you know it’s true. You weren’t sure you were going to be my friend when you first came to town, and then you were trying to test my Pinkie sense, and when I threw that party and nopony came, and when somepony says, ‘Oh, Pinkie, you’re so random,’ I know what they really mean. But that’s okay. I know you and the rest of the girls love me, and are my friends no matter what. That’s what you have to do for Luna. You have to be her friend no matter what, even if it looks like she doesn’t want you to. You have to remind her that you’re her friend, and you’re going to stay her friend, and keep on reminding her that. Okay?”

“Uh… Okay.”

“Okie Dokie, Loki!”

“She said you’d be sad, but wouldn’t look sad, and that I had to remind you I’m your friend no matter what.”

Luna glared at Twilight. Twilight looked back, trying not to squirm under the gaze. Luna’s stare was flat. It was nearly expressionless. Dead. It took all Twilight’s strength not to retreat from that merciless gaze.

Luna turned back to the Moon. Twilight had to quash a sigh of relief.

“Luna, I understand.”

“What?” Luna rounded on her. “What do you understand? What could you possibly understand? You understand nothing!”

Luna’s face was contorted in a cruel sneer, and her eyes brimmed with emotion that Twilight couldn’t place.

Scorn, she realized. Her eyes were filled with scorn. A strange sense of deja vu filled Twilight as she withered under that gaze. It was like facing Nightmare Moon all over again, yet this was worse. Tension filled this emotion, the tension of bonds stretched to the breaking point. Twilight feared she’d put her hoof in her mouth and irreparably damaged their friendship.

“Y-you’re right,” Twilight stammered. “I-I don’t understand. I just want to help.”

That icily cruel stare pinned Twilight in place for a moment more. Then it vanished in an instant, replaced with that soulless, dead stare. Twilight couldn’t decided what was worse. At least the scorn was something. There was emotion there. Fire. It was a cold fire, but at least it was something.

Not like staring at a corpse.

Luna turned back to the Moon.

Twilight took a breath, willing her pounding heart to calm unsuccessfully.

“Don’t waste your time, Twilight,” Luna spoke, her voice low. “Leave me. Go home to your friends. Don’t waste your time on the princess of the Moon, for the Moon is nothing but a barren waste filled with rocks and dust.”

“I can’t do that,” Twilight told her. “You’re my friend.”

“Then you’re a foal,” Luna snapped, glancing back at Twilight with that icy scorn in her eyes. Twilight shrank back, but had the strange sense that the scorn was not directed at her.

Luna stared back at her cold, dead Moon.

Twilight made a decision. It felt wrong. It felt cold and manipulative, and Twilight didn’t like it, but she was going to do it anyway. She climbed the railing on the balcony, and turned to face the roof where Luna sat. She shifted her weight back and forth to get her hooves securely under her.

Words could not describe how bad an idea this was.

Twilight leapt.

Then she teleported.

The first thing Twilight realized was that the roof tiles were much slipperier in the rain than they were dry. Luna made sitting on the roof look easy. She sat there, perched, day after day, never giving any indication that the tiles might resist her attempts to stay.

Twilight was not so lucky. She slid toward the edge of the roof, hooves flailing, frantic for purchase against the slick tiles.

Faster and faster they searched, desperation increasing as the edge of the roof. Twilight’s eyes squeezed shut, not wanting to witness the end which would follow her drop, assuming she missed the balcony.

Her limbs went cold with panic as the flailed about even faster. Something brushed against one foreleg, and both wrapped around it with a death grip as her hind legs slipped over the edge.

Twilight simply hung for a moment, unsure she wanted to move and risk changing her situation for the worse.

She risked opening an eye. The lifeline she’d been thrown turned out to be a dark blue foreleg. Twilight looked up at Luna.

“What in the name of Sun and Moon are you doing, Twilight?” she demanded.

Twilight shook her head wordlessly. Tightening her death grip on Luna’s leg, she worked her hindquarters up over the edge of the roof, and pulled herself upright.

She panted for a moment, though whether from panic or exertion she wasn’t sure.


“Did… didst thou lie when thou saidest thou lovested me?” Twilight asked, tongue tripping over the archaic informals.


“Didst thou lie?” she repeated.

Twilight worked a foreleg from around Luna’s foreleg, and snaked it around her neck, pulling her close.

“Because I love thee, Luna, Princess of Equestria, and I don’t want it to be a lie.”

Twilight hung onto Luna’s neck for dear life, trembling with fear and her own audacity. Moments passed, and Twilight’s heart began to sink at the lack of response.

Luna inhaled deeply, and let out a great sigh. It was not a sigh of sadness or pleasure or satisfaction. It sounded with the heartbreaking note of resignation. Defeat.

A foreleg and two wings surrounded Twilight in an embrace.

“No. I didn’t lie. I do love thee.” The words were there, but the voice was flat.

“Then why art thou pushing me away?” Twilight asked.

Another silence stretched between them.

“Thy days are short, Twilight,” Luna said. “They are precious and numbered. Spend them on somepony more deserving. Not on somepony brok-. Not on me. Wasteth not thy time on me.”

“No time spent on thee is ever wasted,” Twilight assured her. “Thy sister is worrying. Can we please go in?”

Twilight yelped as she felt the roof under her move. She clung to Luna as they dropped over the edge of the roof, and landed neatly on the balcony. Once standing firm in the balcony, Twilight relinquished her hold on Luna's neck.

“Thy grammar needs work,” Luna told her. “Lovested?”

Twilight chuckled.

“I wasn’t prepared. I promise to do better next time.”

She risked a glance at Luna. Luna’s face was expressionless, and her voice hadn’t lost that flat quality, but she was moving and talking. Twilight considered that a victory.

Twilight spent the rest of the night in Luna’s room, never leaving her side. They talked some, but mostly sat in silence. Twilight read on and off, but primarily monitored Luna, making sure she ate, making sure she didn’t completely withdraw, and making sure she knew she had a friend no matter what. Eventually she fell asleep in Luna’s bed, watched over by the Princess of the Moon.

WE HAD HOPED TO SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST, the Nightmare said. It was not so much spoken as sent through the Dreaming.


The Nightmare sneered at Luna, an evil gleam in her eye.


Luna and the Nightmare peered into the dream from within The Dreaming, but outside the dream. It should have been impossible. The Dreaming didn’t work that way. It was a gestalt of all the dreams in Equestria. There was no Dreaming outside the dreams. Yet here they were, looking into a dream like so many others that Luna had walked through. This one held one particular difference.

This was Celestia’s dream.

Luna looked at Celestia peacefully enjoying her dream. She dreaded what was to come.


The Nightmare cocked her head as in thought as she watched Celestia through the barrier of her dream.


Please, no, Luna thought desperately. Please not her. She’s all I’ve ever had. She’s the only one who’s never left me. Please not this. She doesn’t deserve this.

SHE DESERVES ALL THIS AND MORE! The Nightmare sent, rounding on Luna. She towered over Luna, her teeth bared and eyes blazing.


What are we due, thought Luna bitterly, and what have we done to deserve it?


That doesn’t give much consideration to respect, Luna thought back.

She thought furiously for a weapon, any weapon, to use against the Nightmare.

Some absurd part of her mind tried to picture her with a red clown nose.

Pain ended all thought as the Nightmare reared and brought her hooves down, cracking Luna’s skull. Her vision swam, and she felt a trickle of blood begin to run down her head.


That’s not- Luna began.


Luna howled as black energy erupted from her body. She felt her flesh and bone stretch at change. She squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her teeth, trying to swallow any further cry in the face of the agony she now felt.

When she opened her eyes again, she faced her twin.


Luna looked down at her hooves. They were dark as midnight. The Nightmare’s hooves.

She and the Nightmare had traded places.


With that, the Nightmare in Luna’s form shoved her through the walls of Celestia’s dream.

Celestia’s eyes went wide when she saw Luna.

“Nightmare Moon! How…”


Luna screamed as black energy once again erupted from her body. It crackled and leapt in all directions as though it had life all its own. It whipped at Celestia, scorching the ground wherever it struck.

“I-” Luna tried again. The black energy raged again, cutting off any words or thoughts with sheer pain.

“RAAAAAAARGH!” Luna roared in agony.

“Nightmare Moon!” Celestia cried. She stretched to her full height, looking every inch the monarch she was.
“Give her back,” she demanded. “Give back Luna! I don’t know how you-”

Celestia’s words were cut short as a horn emerged through her chest. It withdrew leaving a bloody hole in its wake.

Celestia looked back to see the form of Luna standing there, a deranged smile on her face, and a bloody, extended, and wickedly sharp horn on her head.

“Surprised sister?” the not-Luna asked. “We warned thee of the Nightmare. Perhaps we should have warned thee of us.”

Celestia collapsed, blood gushing from her chest.

“NO!” screamed Luna.

She gathered all her strength, trying to dispel the dark energy.

“NO,” she repeated. “Whether this be my dream, or Celestia’s, it is still a dream, and I will WAKE UP!”

She erupted with power again, this time her own. It ripped through the Dreaming, sending a shockwave in all directions. The ground shook. The walls of the dream-reality rippled….

Twilight awoke in a dark room. She blinked into the gloom, yawned and stretched her neck and forelegs out, hearing her jaw and joints crack and pop.

She lifted her head, and glanced around the room. Luna’s room, she realized.

A whimper caught her attention.

Luna lay sleeping next to her.

She was dreaming. She whimpered again, and her legs twitched.

“No… please….” she muttered.

“Luna,” Twilight called gently, prodding her with a hoof. “Luna, it’s okay. It’s only a dream. Please…”


The words reverberated through the room, though they did not come from anywhere. It was as if reality itself made them known.

Luna leapt from the bed.

“Wha? Where…”

“Luna, are you okay?”

Luna looked at Twilight.

“Twilight? I… I was d-dreaming… and…”

Luna stopped as something behind Twilight caught her eye. She began shaking uncontrollably.

Twilight turned to see what was so disturbing.

There was Nightmare Moon.

“THE TIME HAS COME.” the Nightmare said.

Twilight went cold. Her mind locked up in fear.

“N-Nightmare Moon? B-but h-how? How…”


Slowly Twilight’s brain began to work. The Elements. They defeated Nightmare Moon twice. She needed the Elements to save Luna.

Twilight bolted from the room. She needed her friends to use the Elements. Her friends were in Ponyville. She had to get to her friends and bring them here. The train? No. The train was too slow. Her balloon? Faster, but still too slow.

The Royal Chariot. That was the fastest route.

Twilight ran as fast as she could make her legs go. She had to use the Royal Chariot to get to her friends.

Fortunately, she was friends with more than one Equestrian Princess.

Luna watched as Twilight bolted from the room.


The Nightmare stood before Luna. Luna stared at her, trying her best to keep her knees from shaking with only moderate success.


Luna summoned her courage.

“No. I refuse. I won’t let you hurt my friends. I’ll spend another thousand years on the Moon before I let you hurt. My. Friends.”

Luna wrapped herself in her magic. There was one place where their battle wouldn’t hurt anypony.

She reached out and twisted space and time.

Luna stood on the Moon, the Nightmare still before her.

“At least here you can’t hurt anypony but me.”

The Nightmare laughed.


Luna shivered, though whether from fear or cold, she couldn’t say.

“No. I am Luna, the Princess of the Night. I am the Moon. I am dream and illusion. Here is where my power is strongest. I defy you, Nightmare! I will not submit! I will fight to my last breath!”

Luna summoned her magic again, awaking power long forgotten. The very Moon she stood on supported her, feeding her even more. She called upon anger. She called upon rage. She summoned her desperation to protect her friends. All these things coursed through her, mixing and catalyzing ancient power that had always existed in her, power which had gone unused for so long, power which raised the Moon, power which matched and balanced her sister's.

“I AM LUNA,” she shouted. Energy crackled around her. The soil at her hooves smoldered and melted.

The rush of power was heady and intoxicating, but it was all for a purpose. Not power for power’s sake, but the protection of those she loved.

Luna struck.

To the ponies in Equestria, for one brief moment the Moon shone, not with the reflected light of the Sun, but of its own unique shine. For a single moment night turned to day. Ponies everywhere looked to the sky, blinking away their sudden loss of night vision, and wondering what could have been the cause. As their eyes began to acclimate to the dark, they saw something new in the night sky. There was a comet. A star falling to earth. It glowed brightly, and traveled with ever increasing speed. Whatever it was, it was going to hit hard.

Luna’s vision and awareness slowly returned. Her skin and eyes burned, and her head rang. Dimly, she was aware of a rushing noise about her. As her vision cleared, she realized it was wind. She was falling. She was falling to earth. She was falling, and she was going to die.

The ground was approaching fast. Too fast for her wings to safely stop her. They would probably just snap at this velocity, folding up like an umbrella in a gale.

Luna tried to reach for her magic. It burned in her veins, but would not obey her. She screamed as she tried again. It was like trying to hold the Sun.

There was nothing else.

Her wings would have to do.

She stretched out her wings.

Tendon and sinew screamed in protest, and muscles cried in agony. Her descent slowed, but not quickly enough.

She stretched further, trying to grip the air with all her might and will.

Fire shot through her wings as bones broke and tendons snapped. Her wings collapsed in the wind.

No, she thought. Oh, no. I’m going to die.

Luna hit the ground.

When Luna awoke for the second time since facing the Nightmare, the only thing that kept her from screaming was the fact she couldn’t take a full breath. After battling Discord and her sister, she’d thought she knew the meaning of pain. Now she knew that to be nonsense. Compared to what she was feeling now, everything before was sunshine and puppy kisses.

She was the middle, and obvious source of a newly minted crater. There wasn’t one part of her that didn’t hurt. She tried to shift, and agony lanced through her. Her legs splayed out before her at odd angles, obviously shattered. She knew her wings were the same from trying to check her fall. Her chest burned with every breath, indicating broken ribs as well. A gurgle in her breathing betrayed more damage internally. She couldn’t lift her head from the ground. How much more injury was there?

Despite it all, she was still alive.

But for how long?


“No,” she whispered. “I won’t.”


Luna wished she could weep, but the pain was too great even for that.

“No,” she gurgled. “If you are me, I can stop you yet.”

Luna moaned as she summoned her magic for the final time. There was one last spell she could cast. It was a spell that every unicorn knew instinctively. It had no name. It didn’t need one. If there was ever a need, the spell was only referred to as somepony having done ‘IT’. IT was not something Luna ever expected to cast, even less so without an actual target.

She rolled her eye to look at the Moon in lieu of being able to raise her head. Yes, that would make an acceptable target. She could hardly destroy the Moon, but it would leave a scar to mark her passing. It would be something for ponies to look to and remember. Something to prove she’d existed as more than just the Nightmare.

IT, her last spell, had but one purpose: destroy your enemy at the cost of yourself. It rent your very soul to unleash a massive amount of magic, more than one could hope to summon on one’s own. It was devastating when coming from any unicorn. Rending the soul of a nearly immortal princess of Equestria? It was too much to consider.

“THOU CANST!” the Nightmare gasped in realization. “THOU WOULDST DESTROY THYSELF TO DENY ME VICTORY?”

“I…” Luna gasped through the pain and gurgling in her chest, “give… myself… for… my friends.”

It was time.

She was ready.


She rolled her eye to see.

Her friends lined the edge of the crater.

“Luna, don’t give up!” she heard Twilight shout.

No, she tried to shout. Run away. Let this end. Save yourselves.

“We believe in you, Luna!”

Her eye rolled across the edge, seeing the worried faces staring down at her.

Then she blinked.

In that instant everything changed. She saw not only her friends, who were, indeed, still standing there, but also the Elements. Though the actual gems were not present, their essences shown the ponies above her.

Honesty smiled, despite her fearful eyes.

Loyalty frowned, shaking with a need to intervene on her behalf.

Generosity stood ready to give even her very life for her friend, if it became necessary.

Laughter gazed down, her smile a balm to soothe Luna’s fears.

Kindness stared down, glowing with the care that bid her forgive even when Luna was at her most cruel.

Magic and Friendship gazed down, her care and love evident. The same care that drove her to give Luna a chance for a real friend. The care that would not be driven away by a temperamental, foalish old nag. The care that forgave Luna of her faults, and loved her in spite of them.

Luna saw threads connecting them all. They were bonds that tied them together. They were thicker between some of the ponies that between others, but they were there all the same. There, in the middle, was Twilight. She was the Nexus. The Hub. She was the Catalyst which drove the magic onward.

Those same threads connected not only the Elements, but Luna as well.

Luna stared at the Elements, shining with love, glowing down at her, almost as though they were trying to send a message. As though speaking of love and acceptance. Her friends.

Then Luna understood.

She dismissed her spell without unleashing it, and directed her attention back to the Nightmare.

The Nightmare sneered at her.


Luna reached for her magic. She needed to stand. She needed to face the Nightmare.

It burned. It seared her flesh, and scalded her insides. Agony coursed through her veins. Luna cried out, but refused to stop.

She wrapped a barrier around herself. It wasn’t enough to stop an attack, but it was just enough to keep her together enough to stand.

Shakily, she drew her legs under her.

Slowly. Ever so excruciatingly slowly, she stood and faced the Nightmare.

The Nightmare sneered again.


“No,” Luna said. “I accept you.”



Luna stretched her broken wings, and stepped forward.

“No. I accept that you are me.”

Luna stepped again. She imagined she could feel the broken bones grinding against each other, and sending splinters deep into her flesh. Still she pressed onward.

“You are all my worst qualities. My hate. My jealousy. My fear. My selfishness. My… lunacy. I accept you.”

“WHA… WHAT ART THOU DOING?” The Nightmare’s eyes were wild and confused.

“You are me. I can’t promise more than to try, but I do promise.”


“I’ll try to love you. I promise to try to love thee, Princess Luna of Equestria, despite all thy faults. Despite thy pettiness and jealousy. Despite all thy failings, I will never stop trying.”


“No. It is past time we grew up. It is time to come home.”

Luna marveled as the Nightmare shook, looking more uncertain than Luna had ever seen. The Nightmare took a step back. Then another.

Luna neared the Nightmare, her body screaming in protest. The Nightmare reared back, tripping over her own hooves and landing on her rump.

Luna seized what little advantage she had. She surged forward, embracing the Nightmare with her broken wings.

“I accept thee.”

The Nightmare dissolved.

Fire filled Luna's veins that had nothing to do with her injuries. She felt dark magic erupt from inside of her: her magic. Emotions long forgotten surged within her; rage, hate, contempt, despair, envy.

“NO!” Screamed the Nightmare in her voice... or she screamed in the Nightmare's. Luna couldn't tell anymore, nor was she sure there was difference anymore.


Luna could taste bile in her throat as she was consumed by the most bitter hatred she'd every felt. Before, she'd been fighting the Nightmare. Now? She was living it.

She tried to remember what she felt for her sister, for her friends, for Twilight. She tried to hold on to those warm feelings amid the onslaught of negativity.

She loved her sister...


Her sister, who had salvaged the book of Luna's awful poetry, who had refused to give up on her even when Luna had given up on herself.


Yes, Luna thought, we will. We also will never work as hard as she, or suffer for Equestria like she does. She loves me. She never wanted anything but to have me back. She sent me Twilight.


Perhaps, but Celestia was right. There was no guile to Twilight, no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive. If she said she loved Luna she was telling the truth. Luna loved her her in return. She would sacrifice anything for Twilight.


No, please, Luna begged in her mind. I promised to try. I promised.


I... I can't. Please, I can't, but I promised to try. I will try. Sun, Moon, and stars, she prayed, please let that be enough.

She felt the Nightmare change. Gone was her forceful voice, gone was her confidence.

“Please,” the Nightmare begged with a yearling's voice. “Please, don't make me. It hurts. It hurts all the time. Please don't make me.”

We have our sister, we have Twilight, and we have our friends, Luna thought. What's more, we have obligations. I know it hurts, but we have to try. We have to keep on trying.

Then it was over. The magic dissipated, and with it left the last of Luna's strength. She could still feel all the emotion, all the hatred and envy that had built up inside her, and rightly so. It was hers after all. What was important now was how she dealt with it.

Luna sank to the ground.

“It’s over.”

She gasped in pain, an event which only caused more. Idly, she wondered how much longer she was actually going to live.

Probably not much, she decided.

“Luna! Luna, we’re coming!” she heard her friends call. The scrabble of hooves over treacherous terrain gave truth to their words.

“Oh, no… Luna.” she heard Fluttershy’s gentle voice cry softly.

Luna tried to smile.

“‘S okay,” she said. The pain in her chest was increasing. Her voice came out little more than a whisper on a ragged breath.

“‘S okay. We did it. We are safe.”

“But Luna… you’re… you’re….”

“I am free.”

Luna closed her eyes. Despite the pain, she really did feel at peace.

She felt a thrum of power resonate through the earth. A startled gasp told her it was strong enough that Twilight and Rarity felt it as well. That could only mean…”

“Princess Celestia!” cried Twilight.

“Twilight,” she acknowledged. “Ponies. Princess Luna.”

Oh. She was using her Royal Voice. That meant either Luna was really at the end, or… or her sister didn’t know which pony she was addressing.

Luna opened her eyes to look up at her sister.

For one brief and horrible instant Luna considered playing the Nightmare, and goading Celestia into an attack. It wouldn’t take much of one to end the pain now.

No. That wouldn’t do. She couldn’t make Celestia live with the guilt, thinking she’d ended her own sister.

“Sister,” she rasped, trying to be heard. “It’s over. We won.”

“Nightmare Moon is gone?”

“She’s me. Never gone. Negated. Not coming back. Free. Can’t….”

Luna coughed. Blood sprayed from her lips.

“Oh, Luna,” she heard her sister gasp.

Warmth settled over Luna, filling her and soothing some of her pain. She looked up to see her sister touching her horn to Luna’s. A magical aura surrounded her.

“This should sustain thee until we get help, my brave and reckless sister,” Celestia whispered, “at least until we get thee aid.”

Luna would have sobbed at the sound of Celestia using the old informals, if she could.

“Come, my ponies. Let’s get Luna to a surgeon.”

Light surrounded them. It was a warm, soothing light. It was the light of Celestia’s love for her. For them. Yes, it was bad. It must be bad if Celestia was openly using this much power. Luna pushed such thoughts aside. She merely basked in that light, secure in her sister’s magical embrace, as the teleported to who knows where.

Luna eyed the vials before her suspiciously from her bed. Her legs were still splinted, and her wings bandaged, making her feel confined, but also leaving her no choice but to face the doctor before her.

“You’re sure this will work?” she asked.

“Well, no,” the doctor admitted.

Luna glared at her.

“That’s not very reassuring.”

“I’m sorry Princess,” the doctor said, “but that’s the way it works. We take our best guess, start with a low dosage, and go from there. If it doesn’t work, we try increasing the dose, or switch to a different medicine. It varies from pony to pony. The same treatment doesn’t work for everypony.”

Luna sighed.

“Very well, when do we start.”

“Immediately,” the doctor replied. She levitated over a package. “Mix a dose of this, and drink it every night before bed. Um, every morning before bed, I suppose. Talk to me again in a week, and we’ll see how you feel and make adjustments. You might notice you’re sleeping more, or that your dreams are more vivid…”

“No,” Luna stated flatly. “I won’t.”

“Um… yes.” said the doctor. “I mean… normally…. Nevermind.”


The doctor fled Luna’s room as fast as decorum allowed, almost colliding with an entering Twilight in the process.

“I’m proud of you, Luna,” Twilight said.

“Thank thee,” Luna responded. “I wish that I could feel the same, but I don’t. It feels like failure.”

“Then why are you doing this?”

“I made a promise.”

“To Pinkie Pie?” Twilight asked.

“No. I never promised Pinkie. She tried… but….” Luna shook her head and turned to face her friend.

“No. I promised the Nightmare.”

Luna and Twilight's eyes locked, Luna’s open, Twilight's searching.

“I’m not sure I understand, Luna, but I trust you. You know what you’re doing.”

“I wish that were the case, Twilight. I truly wish it were so.”

Twilight closed the gap between them to nuzzle Luna.

“I...” Twilight began, “I wanted to talk to you. So much has happened, and I almost lost you more than once...”

Twilight took a breath.

“I mean... I know I don't have a lot of experience. I mean, I've never.... I mean, I don't....”

“Calm, Twilight. Calm. Speak thy mind.”

“I want there to be an 'us'. I know I'm nothing special...”

“Twilight, you are the most special pony I know, and my care for thee is beyond measure. You claim inexperience? Any experience I had was a millennium ago. I... I want... I...”

“Oh, just say it already!” a voice interrupted.

“Celestia!” gasped Luna.

“I mean it! If you two keep dancing around each other like that, I'll be old and gray before you get to the first kiss!”

Luna blushed, ducking her head.

“For what it's worth,” Celestia said, “I'm proud of you too.”

Luna snorted.

“I've done nothing to be proud of. I've done nothing but pile failure on failure.”

“Now, sister, I’ve seen how hard you’ve been trying. It makes my heart hurt and hope, and makes me proud all at once. You’re stronger and wiser than you give yourself credit for. Hay, you could replace me if you had to.”

“Perish the thought, sister!” Luna cried. “Doth not dare leave me to the… the… bureaucrats! The administrators! The… the politicians!

Celestia laughed. It was the sound of bells ringing in the new day.

“Oh, Luna. I’d never do that to you.”


“Stick a cupcake in my eye.”

Celestia strode forward and hugged Luna, being careful not to jostle her splinted legs and wings.

Luna leaned into the hug, savoring the warmth and intimacy of her sister. She opened an eye and caught sight of Twilight standing awkwardly off to the side. She waggled a splinted leg, beckoning her over. Celestia moved to the side to make room as Twilight hesitantly entered the embrace.

There was a sense of completeness in the three-way embrace. They were the Sun, the Moon, and the pivot about which they orbited. They were the Day, the Night, and the special time where they mingled together into something new.

Whole, Luna thought. I feel whole.

She wasn't, of course, not yet, at least. In real life things are never that easy. Wounds heal, but it takes work, and treatment...

and time.

Luna would heal.

It would just take time.


Author's Note:

Thank you all for reading and commenting. You have all been awesome. I hope this story has had a satisfactory conclusion for you. As you might have guessed, some parts of this story are very personal for me. Much of it is based on my own experiences (magical ponies notwithstanding). Unfortunately I didn't have a Twilight Sparkle in my life at the time. I struggled through the hard way, and continue to struggle to this day.

Special thanks again to BlackRoseRaven for the pre-read, light editing, pointing out some of the weaker aspects of the story, and just generally being awesome. This story would not be nearly as good without that help.

It seems appropriate to leave you with a quote I wanted to use, but wound up not finding a place for:
No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. - Aristotle (Aristrotle?)

Comments ( 47 )

Thank you for this great fic. I have to say that I love this interpretation of Luna (aside from the one in the comics).

Would love to see some snippets from the daily life of Twi-Luna after this.

That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it.

That was one of the best TWILUNA stories I have read love this great work hope for another :heart::heart::heart::twilightsmile:

A beautiful story, though the Middle English could definitely use some work in places.

Wow, I'm actually in tears right now. This was wonderful!

The final confrontation between NMM and Luna felt very Persona 4, but that could be coincidental. Great story all around.

Yes, a satisfactory conclusion.
I've also wished for a Twilight Sparkle in my life a great many times... for the same reasons I guess.
Thanks for sharing your story.

5340224 OMG! Nightmare Moon is Luna's Shadow! I never made the connection before. You are brilliant!
Excuse me, there's totally a fic I have to write right now. PERSANO!

Seriously, that wasn't intentional, and I hadn't made the connection before now, but themes of fractured psyches and self acceptance are not unique to Persona. Also, I view Luna's self acceptance as only half of her defeat of Nightmare Moon. The other half is her seeking treatment, which, despite my flippant reference to, is a more profound and important step than one might realize.

5339888 Ostensibly what she's speaking is closer to early modern english. Coming from 1000 yrs ago, she would have spoken old english, which would be unintelligible to us. In reality she's speaking neither. She's speaking modern english, but choosing to use archaic informals for her own reasons. I've already gotten flak for using them at all, so you can see it's a fine line to walk to use them appropriately without making them grating or detrimental to the story. I think I've done a reasonable job. I had to make compromises with regard to verb conjugation for readability.

If you're referring Luna's tendency to dip in and out of the archaic speech, that is very much on purpose, and has an internally consistent reason.

What a perfect ending to wonderful story.

Perfect ending chapter for such a wonderful(Awesome) Story. :ajsmug::pinkiehappy:

I want to hurt you for 'Aristrotle'... But I suppose that would be bad manners. Especially since you've given us this damned fine story.

Good story overall.You truly made it feel like Luna was going to just give up on life and go.I personally don't like ship fics but this was well written and thought out.
Also even though this has nothing to do with the story the picture seems fitting.

I loved the whole Story. The ending makes me want a tiny bit more of general reactions from people around Luna & Twilight now that there relationship is established.
How does Shining react to this or Twilight parents and the rest of the Main 6 we know Celestia is all for it but what about Court are all parties happy about it or is there a disagreement, Will Luna have to defend and fight for her relationship with Twilight, that sorta thing. I have no doubt you could pull it off beautifully.

Well, I've been withholding my comments until now and . . . Absolutely Outstanding.

There are a great deal of things that I loved about this story, but I would have to say that my hands down favorite part of this fic is how you maintained the characters throughout the story. No magical fixes, no "and then they were in love." Oh delicious consistency. . .

I look forward to reading anything else you may wright, and wish you the best of luck.

this was absolutely amazing. I am greatly moved. I feel as if the characters were fully alive in my imagination.

What a great ending!

Though I have to admit, I was a bit worried towards the end you were going to have Luna sacrifice herself to destroy Nightmare Moon... I'm so glad it didn't turn out that way!



All in all, I think this was a fine story. I still feel as if there could've been a lot more depth spun into this story, especially if you included handles (intros and outros, if you will) leading into some of the bigger scenes. Often times, things felt choppy and sudden, and while it all glued together in the end, it didn't make for the easiest of reading while doing so.

As a whole, this is a well-done piece, although I feel you should've gone further with it – not only to increase the complexity and intrigue, but to make some of the events more believable.

5390690 Your criticisms are fair and considered, but because you hurt my feelings NO SMOOCHING PONIES FOR YOU!

I kid. I'll try to keep that in mind for next time. Thanks for the input.

... Two paragraphs into chapter 7 and I had to break to make a cup of tea. I hope you're happy.

I always try to comment. To contribute something, anything, as kind of a reward, even if it's a small one, for sharing a story. In this case, I considered hard and long to just... up-vote some comments I thought suitable. But there were two problems with that. First one was, the mere thought didn't feel right. And second... no other comment, no matter how close they came, seemed to express what I wanted to say.
Usually, I'm pretty good with words. Not the english ones, though. This time... I'm actually at a loss of them. I'll try my best, though.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this story. Yeah yeah, up-vote, favorite, putting it on my recommendation-shelf. It's not about the quality. It was one of the most beautiful tales I've read in a while. I think I'm going to put it to my top five as well. But still, I can't decide if I love this story, or hate it. And no, I don't actually mean "I like/dislike it".
Reading about Twilights... patience, her warmth, her endurance with Luna made me tear up and actually cry more than I care to count anymore. And reading about Luna, about her perspective, about her feelings, her reactions... it did way more than just 'touch' me. I feel like I know her. Like I maybe even could've been her. Like I've lost a part of myself somewhere between those lines. A part I won't recover and I'm not sure if I'm about to miss it. I can understand ponies getting angry at her. I can way better understand why she did what she did. I probably should say that this scares me. But it doesn't. I just feel... sad. And hurt. Which brings me to that:

Unfortunately I didn't have a Twilight Sparkle in my life at the time.

I won't say that I knew what you went through. How could I. I just guess that I'm at least in a similar position. With one big difference: While you struggled to push your way through, I'm struggling to find exactly that kind of peace Luna found before vanishing. I'm glad she didn't gave up on her life - but how could she, if there was something, somepony, anything, anypony, waiting for her. Something she apparently, in the end, considered worthy to endure everything life would throw at her.
I think that stories like this one should give me hope. Maybe they even do that and I just don't see it anymore. I don't know.
I just start to get the feeling that now, at this very moment, I'm starting to ramble. So I'm cutting this short.

Your story was exceptional. It was written well and contrary to someone who stated that Lunas way of talking was unnerving later on, I found myself enjoying it quite much. I might not know if I love or hate your story, but it is worth a lot for me.

Thank you.

Thank you. This is wonderful. Thank you.

5492202 I'll be honest with you. I'm not going to change Applejack's dialog unless there is something grossly out of place. You may not agree with how I wrote the 'you's with missing vowels, but it is in keeping with how I've heard people speak. Vernacular, regional dialects and common speech are difficult that way. People don't always speak correctly or consistently keeping in the dialect of the area.

I'm sorry if this makes reading the story less enjoyable for you.

I will, however, look for the other issues you identified and try to correct them.

Go home to your friends. Don’t waste your time on the princess of the Moon,


Luna could taste bile in her throat as she was consumed by the most bitter hatred she'd every felt. Before, she'd been fighting the Nightmare. Now? She was living it.




A startled gasp told her it was strong enough that Twilight and Rarity felt it as well. That could only mean…

delete end " mark.

All in all it was an altogether decent story. The romance angle feels a little underwhelming, but the Slice of Life, and Dream adventures were rather well constructed. It had a decent flow and lots of feels. And the ending resolved well enough. I'd give it 3/5 stars. and it more than earned the upvote and fave I gave it months ago.


In all my years down in the south (living from one end of the south, to another and a few places inbetween) I've never "Y" (why) for ya. It might be stressed, but the "a" is present, and " ' " in a word is either a pause or part of a contraction. Neither the letter Y stands for in the useage of you. That's my main problem. Y' ... is not a form of you as a standalone. it's why you usually see it paired with a.

As for Y'all. It is a secondary plural pronoun. It should only be used for two or more people.

5492913 I've already had the Y'all singular vs plural debate. I know it's 'correctly' used as plural, but I've known people to use it as singular (with "all y'all" considered plural). Again, everything I've written this in accordance to how I've heard people talk.

Also, regarding Ya vs my use of Y', when I read Ya, I hear in my head a more pronounced vowel sound than I intend. I hear something closer to 'Yuh', which is exactly what I don't want. I used it contracted to mark that the vowel is almost complete chopped.

3/5 eh? I'll take it.

This was, not what I expected. That's not a bad thing, at all. I started this story because it sounded good and it was TwiLuna and I was expecting something vastly different. What I didn't expect was a captivating story about a struggle that strikes so close to home. It's really hard to phrase exactly what I want to for this story, the harder I try the more my brain wraps around itself. I guess that's kind of appropriate given what this story is about and how closely I and quiet possibly a lot of the readers can relate to it. I have never been as deep as Luna and, judging by the author's notes, yourself but I have been deep. It's almost refreshing to see a story written about it that doesn't have a happily ever after, or well the stereotyped happily ever after. I thank you for this story, it was exceptional.

*woof* That was rough to get through. Beautifully done.

The strength of heart required to face oneself has been made manifest... Luna has faced her other self. She has obtained the facade used to overcome life's hardships, the Persona Woona!

I finally came ti this story on my reading list. The ending totally reminded me of the last episode. Funny how things come together. Anyway, awesome story.

Wow, that was a long story.
Quite some time on my reading-list, but finally done!

I enjoyed reading this story, how Luna was first depressed, then found a friend in Twilight and at the end conquered the Nightmare.

But I still have a question:
What kind of medicine does Luna get at the end?
Just a 'normal' one for her injuries or something 'special' to help her with the Nightmare (or am I merely overthinking)?

Maybe I would an the Drama and/or Thriller-tag, but that's up to you.

I also found a small eroor in this chapter:
Edit: fixed

6887807 Good catch on the doubled words. You review and review, and something always escapes. :facehoof:

What was in my mind when I wrote about medicine was Amitriptyline, but psychotropics in general can have interesting side effects.

Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile:

Twilight had read the same page six times.

ugh i hate when that happens. you read something you get distracted then you have tor read the same thing again.

Then you’re a foal

6888850 do you plan on doing a sequel?

6888850 do you plan on making a sequel?

7437152 there is a sequel in the works, which is about 80% complete. It's just slow going, and I'm easily distracted.

At hearing sequal i am sohappy i may explode.

7437182 i was gunna say they stil didnt kiss

Dear zeus_tfc.
This story is a gem. I'm sorry, my words can't match my thoughts here, I truly loved (again, I must appologize, "love" is the strongest word I know in english, and even in French, i'm not that good at putting words on my emotions) your story.
Damn, I started it almost two hours ago and I read all the chapters on one go, despite the sleep trying to get me.
It felt like the real thing, I was with Luna on her struggle, I could almost feel the pain...It was something. Sure you may have experienced something similar, but that doesn't take any credit to your writing. By all means, It almost make it better! Not that you suffered, of course, but that you were able to put that into a constructive story, with character so well described, they didn't at any moment felt out of character. It was a JOY to read trough this story. It may be sad, but this last chapter was making all of that worth it.
I may be an easy public, but this story touched me, this story, I didn't READ it, I LIVED it.
"Suspention of incredulity" they call it. When the story is good enough, you beleive for the time, it is real. Well, my friend, you got me there.
I was taken into this story like I don't often do, It made my evening.
Pardon my rambling, it is 2 am and I need to sleep, but I couldn't wait to give you, I hope, a bit of joy by letting you know a random brony has loved your story. I hope you have found your Twilight yourself.
Thanks for the story& keep up the good work!

You know, this story seems like it would be cliche. But this is the very first one I’ve seen of its type. And its execution is superb. Good job.

i seem to have missed that tag

I've read twenty fics today.
This is one of the best.
Marvellous job!

Good story, but it needs a sad tag.

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