• Published 27th Dec 2014
  • 2,183 Views, 104 Comments

Laughter or Darkness - Starlitomega

It seems like an easy choice, doesn't it? However, when you've spent a thousand years away from other ponies, the darkness can be comforting. It will take a lot of work to drag Luna out of the darkness, but one pink pony is up to the task.

  • ...

Is it Better to Forget?

Of Celestia's duties, she cherished one most of all. Once a week, the mailpony would drop off a sack of letters for her to read.

Some of the correspondences were requests from somepony in their kingdom, or tirades thought up by an insane mind with too much time on their hooves. However, most of them were letters thanking her and Luna for their hard work. She loved to sit in the light of the early morning sun and read about how they were able to touch the lives of so many ponies in a positive way. After all, they were entrusted with the care of their subjects. Today though, something was breaking her concentration.

"You may come out anytime you wish," Celestia said in a calm voice.

Though she appeared to be reading, the alicorn stared up from her letter at the balcony through her peripheral view. Two pink hooves reached up from the bottom, wrapping themselves around the rail. With a quick swing, Pinkie did a front flip through the air, landing on the balcony, standing on her rear legs with her front legs held skyward in a triumphant pose.


Celestia finally raised her head from the letter in front of her and looked up at the pink pony. "Many ponies find eavesdropping to be very rude."

Pinkie's ears folded as she fell onto all four of her hooves. "Awww. I wasn't eavesdropping. I was listening, waiting for the perfect time to ask you a question. It's always important to catch ponies at the right time ya know."

Celestia shifted the pile of letters in front of her aside. "I see. I'm not sure exactly when a good time would be, so you should probably just ask."

Pinkie Pie sat down, her smile instantly vanishing. "Some ponies say I do things I'm not supposed to, or that I don't understand things I should, like not walking on tables while eating."

Smiling inwardly, Celestia recalled her visit to Ponyville, and the way Pinkie had snatched away a cupcake which had been placed upon her own plate. Of course, everypony at the function nearly had a coronary, but Celestia enjoyed seeing a pony full of such vigor, and innocence. "You are a bit unorthodox at times, yes. Is there something that's troubling you?"

Hanging her head, Pinkie sighed. The tip of her mane threatened to touch the floor. "I may have gotten into an argument with Twilight, and she might be a bit angry with me."

Celestia rubbed a hoof upon her chin in feigned ignorance. "Hmm. I assume this fight had something to do with my sister, correct?"

Pinkie nodded.

Celestia smiled. "I see. Luna spoke at length about her outing with you. She was shocked and thrilled that ponies enjoyed the night... her night."

"She was?" Pinkie asked, her eyes glimmering hopefully.

"Yes, she was. I myself couldn't help but notice you spending more time with her as of late. Is there any particular reason for that?" Celestia asked, curling her lips into a coy smirk.

"I'm not sure I can tell you. It wouldn't be 'proper'." Pinkie crossed her hooves, growling that last word.

Celestia nodded knowingly. "Ahhh. Well, I'm not Twilight, and I don't make a habit of getting angry at my subjects. You may tell me what troubles you so."

Pinkie peered up at Celestia with a pout. "I... like Luna. Ever since I helped her with the Chuckle-lot show, I've been thinking about her every day! I want to know her better. Her favorite flower, favorite color, favorite cake frosting..."

"...And Twilight thought that wasn't 'proper'?" Celestia asked, furrowing her brow.

Pinkie frowned, nodding her head slightly.

Leaving her cushion, Celestia walked over to the morose pony, and placed a hoof on her shoulder. "In that case, I would suggest you get to know my sister better. Start slow, and know going in that she has spent many years alone. She is a good-hearted pony, but I fear she has spent too much time away from her subjects. Perhaps you can be the one to bring her back to us."

Pinkie scrunched her nose. "You mean, you're not mad?"

Celestia pressed a hoof against her lips, suppressing a chuckle. "Of course not, my little pony. Whatever you and my sister choose to do are up to you two. Might I make a suggestion?"

Hopping up suddenly, Pinkie put her hooves together, prostrating herself before the princess. "Oh! Please, please, please!"

Celestia let out a gentle laugh at Pinkie's enthusiasm. "Her birthday is coming up soon. Perhaps you could find something for her?"

Puzzlement crossed the precocious pony's face. "Oh, wow... what do you get a princess for her birthday?"

Celestia averted her eyes, staring out her balcony with a knowing smile. "It's quite a conundrum, isn't it? We can, and have received pretty much everything we've ever wanted from our subjects. If you do feel so strongly toward her, I believe you'll find an answer."

Pinkie Pie nodded slowly, lost in thought. "This is a toughie! I might have to think for days on this!"

Celestia cleared her throat. "Think on it as much as you like, but maybe you should do so somewhere more appropriate than my private chambers?"

"Oh! Right! Thanks for the advice!" Pinkie shouted as she backed up towards the balcony railing. "Bye!"

Celestia gasped as Pinkie somersaulted over the ledge.

Her tower was more than three hundred feet high up from the castle. The edge Pinkie jumped off from? More than a two thousand foot drop into the valley below. She sprang into action and charged forward, frantically looking for the falling pony.


Celestia fell backwards, startled as Pinkie flew past her, suspended in the air and floating away on a bunch of balloons far too few to lift a pony of her size, to say nothing of where she had them stashed in the first place.

"I suppose that's why Twilight’s notes about studying her odd behavior ended so abruptly."

Fresh from a bath and energized after a restful day's sleep, Luna paced in a circle. Officially, her duties didn't start until sundown, though she still did much during the day regardless.

Today, she wouldn't get the chance. Pinkie had told her to be ready to leave by four in the afternoon.

Maybe she wanted to bring me someplace that would be closed during the night? A restaurant, perhaps?

Her self-absorbed speculation was brought to an end by the slamming of a door. Luna pivoted on her hooves in time to see Pinkie Pie pushing against the door.

"Problem?" Luna asked, raising her eyebrows.

"I got sloppy!" Pinkie explained, gasping for air.

Suddenly, thunderous knocking emanated from the other side of the door.

"Princess Luna! We have an intruder! May I come in?"

Luna locked eyes with Pinkie Pie. "Yes you may, captain."

The door flew open and the captain, clad in royal armor, burst in. He looked around the room, scanning for the intruder, scrutinizing every detail of Luna's chambers from his spot at the doorway."

"I... think I lost her."

Luna nodded. "I'm afraid you did. Better luck next time, Captain."

The guard bowed apologetically. "I'm sorry, Your Highness. I will leave you in peace."

Luna watched the guard close the door behind him and waited until his footsteps were too quiet to hear. "Okay, you can come down now."

Pinkie hopped down from her perch above the door. How she managed to keep a foothold on the half inch moulding was something Luna decided not to think too much about.

Pinkie wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead and let out a tired breath. "That was close! I never realised how many guards were on patrol during the day!"

Luna sighed. "We have to stop this someday. The guards have started rumors of a ghost pony running through our halls."

Princess Luna stared up at the building skeptically. "This is where you're taking me?"

Pinkie stopped and nodded. "Yup! Let's go!"

Luna followed the pink pony inside, very reluctantly. Every step they took made Luna more and more uneasy. When she entered the sterile and sparse lobby, the feeling became much more potent, despite the smiling mare behind the desk.

After Luna's banishment, Celestia worked quickly to bury the unsavory or darker aspects of Luna's abilities. One such talent she had was sussing out the feelings of ponies around her. She couldn't read their minds per se, but she could get a general understanding of how they were feeling. Some emotions were stronger than others, such as joy or despair. She had learned over the years how to tune it out so it didn't overwhelm her. At times though, she found the feelings too strong to filter out.

This building stank of despair. Every step forward Luna took felt like wading through a rotting swamp. It had been a long time since she had been bombarded by emotions as strong and numerous as these. She feared they would overcome her if she were not careful, and so in the darkness of despair, she clung to light.

Joy. Unbridled and wild joy trailed off of Pinkie Pie. Luna failed to notice it before, having kept her head clear of these emotions, but feeling all of this despair around her made Pinkie shine like a lantern in the dark. Luna followed her through the building, clinging to each hoofstep as if it were a beacon at the end of a tunnel. Luna suddenly realized why standing so close was a bad idea as Pinkie spun around abruptly, causing their muzzles to collide.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to stand quite that close." Luna said as she rubbed her nose gingerly.

"S'alright!" Pinkie said, shaking off the hit. Are you ready?"

Luna shrugged. "I guess. I don't even know what we're doing here."

"Just follow my lead."

Pinkie turned back around to a set of double doors. Luna felt an immense source of despair behind them. The feeling was so strong that she could scarcely believe it came from one pony. Pinkie wiped her hooves through her unruly mane and took a deep breath.


Lunging forward, Pinkie exploded through the doors, making a sound much like a party favor. Confetti drifted through the air as she held a triumphant pose. "Hey, my little ponies! Your Auntie Pinkie Pie is here!"

The sound of cheering and shouting hit them both as happy foals swarmed Pinkie.

"Hi, Aunt Pinkie! I wrote a poem just for you!"

"I made a balloon animal doggy all by myself!"

"I helped the ponies in the cafeteria make cupcakes like you told me! They were great!"

The stench of sadness and despair vanished like a flash in the pan. Bright cheery smiles adorned the foal's faces, and in the middle of this chaotic joy stood Pinkie Pie.

The walls of this room were painted with bright pastel colors.scattered throughout were various toys and games, clearly meant to take one's mind off of the hardships these ponies faced. Sunlight shined in through the windows brightening the already white room. Of course, no amount of posters or crayons could disguise the machines in the room which were constant reminders of the situation these ponies lived in.

"Hey everypony! I brought a very special pony with me today!" Pinkie gently lowered the foals to the ground and gestured towards Luna, her hoof outstretched in royal introduction. "Fillies and Gentlecolts, I present to you: Princess Luna!"

The alicorn gasped and stumbled backwards as the excitable foals turned their sights upon her. Before Luna could register what happened, foals immediately swarmed and scaled her tall figure.

"Omigosh! It really is her!"

"Princess Luna! I really like your mane!"

“Yeah! It’s so shiny and cool!”

"Could you lift a wagon with your magic?"

Pinkie mercifully stepped in, calming the excitable foals down. "Now, now, everypony. She needs some time to adjust. This is still scary and new to her."

"Yes, Aunt Pinkie," the foals said in unison, giving Luna a bit of breathing room.

Pinkie clapped her hooves together and bounced into the room. "C'mon everypony, I'll show you how to make party poppers!"

After a few hours of crafts, Pinkie had sufficiently worn the little fillies and colts down, dwindling their energy. Some of the younger foals had already given up and lay on the ground, snoozing happily.

"The evil king cried out, 'No! Not into the pit, it burns!' Hammerhoof pushed him into the portal and watched as the king disappeared forever."

The foals that hadn't yet fallen victim to fatigue stared at Luna in rapt attention as she read the same story she was told so many years ago when she too was a foal. It fascinated her how so many real events and stories were lost in time over the years, but so many stories like this one somehow survived the test of time, relatively intact as well.

While she read, her eyes drifted off to the side of the room where Pinkie spoke to one of the nurses. The nurse shook her head slowly and Pinkie's head hung low.

"Princess Luna?"

The alicorn shook her head and stared down at the foal tapping her leg.

"Yes, my child?" She asked, peering over the massive book in her hooves.

"Is everything okay? You stopped reading."

Luna smiled down at the foal. "Right. Hammerhoof rushed over to the maiden and sprinkled the miracle water on her face, as the court wizard instructed him to."

Luna continued reading the story, but every chance she could get, she sneaked a quick peek at the morose Pinkie Pie, doing her best to stay hidden.

"Bye Aunt Pinkie! Bye Princess Luna!"

The foals waved the ponies off from the lobby of the hospital. True to Pinkie's nature and mission in life, everyone, including the staff, now wore a bright shining smile.

"Bye, everypony! I'll be back soon, don't you worry!" Pinkie reassured them. Luna followed her outside into the cool evening air. As they walked away from the hospital, the joyful emotions faded as well. It was then that she realized that even Pinkie's own joy had nearly vanished. Luna's eyes darted around until she spied a bench.

"Come, Pinkie Pie. We must talk."

Pinkie nodded excitedly with her usual cheery smile. "Okay!"

Both ponies walked over to the park bench and took a seat.

"Tell me what troubles you so."

Sitting on the bench, Pinkie dangled her rear legs off, kicking them idly. "Trouble? I'm not in trouble."

Luna sighed. "You know that's not what I meant. I can see through your mask. I know something is wrong."

Pinkie lowered her head and looked away. "Oh."

Having finished it's descent below the horizon, the sun faded from view. The brilliant shades of purple, pink, and orange dissipated, giving way to darkness. Luna focused her mind on that distant point in the heavens and lit her horn. Climbing slowly above the treeline, the moon spread its gentle glow across the land.

"I assume it has to do with the conversation you had with the nurse," Luna guessed, trying to prod the pink pony further.

Pinkie nodded.

"As the sun must give way for the night, we too must meet our own sunset someday."

Pinkie's gaze rested on the ground, her mane lying limp upon her head. "But, it's always the same time between night and day. What if the sun set five minutes after it woke up?"

Luna nodded solemnly. "I see your point."

They sat in the quiet of the night, listening to the creatures beginning their nocturnal songs.

"His name was Crosswind."

Luna's ears perked up. "I beg your pardon?"

"The pony who died. His name was Crosswind. He was a goofy little pegasus who thought my mane was cotton candy the first time he saw me," Pinkie said, laughing quietly. "He wanted to be the best weather pony in Cloudsdale. I brought Rainbow Dash to see him one day and she showed him how to make lightning."

"Are you going to tell Rainbow Dash what happened?" Luna asked.

Pinkie shook her head. "No. I hope she forgot about him. That seems like a bad thing to say, doesn't it?" Pinkie asked, raising her head to look Luna in the eyes.

"I'm not sure I follow."

Pinkie sighed and rubbed her hooves together nervously. "Everypony should be remembered. I think everypony in Equestria should know about Crosswind... but if they did, that would make them feel bad. I don't think he would want anypony to feel bad. I hope Rainbow Dash forgot. I hope she doesn't have to think about it."

Death was a concept Luna stopped pondering ages ago. It had been so long since she let a pony get so close that she hadn't the need to think on it.

Pinkie sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if it would be better or worse if everypony forgot me when I die."

Leaning over, Luna placed a hoof upon the pink pony's shoulder. "I am quite sure ponies would have a hard time forgetting somepony like you. When the time comes though, I'm sure your memory will bring a smile to their face. Though your loss might bring great pain, your memory will no doubt bring smiles to everypony whose spirit you have touched."

Sometimes when dealing with ponies, Luna found there was a right and a wrong thing to say. The soft smile Pinkie gave her made it clear it was very much the right thing. The pink mare leaned her head on Luna's shoulder, sighing contently.