• 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.

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Guardian


Luna stared out from her tower, looking into the quiet Canterlot night. Most ponies were asleep at this hour, but only one occupied her mind.

When ponies needed assistance in their dreams, the hair on Luna's back would start to itch. From that point forward, it would be a simple matter of focusing her thoughts on the sensation to track the dreamer down.

At times, however, she went into a pony's dream without being called. In such cases, all she needed to do was concentrate on the pony in question and let herself drift away.

I wonder how Pinkie Pie fares tonight.

Given the events of the day, Luna told herself that she was just going to visit Pinkie to ensure the stresses of their day hadn't carried over into her dreams.

Pinkie's smile. A loud and cheerful laugh. Eyes which saw the world in childlike wonder.

Luna focused her mind, and dreamed of Pinkie.


Fog rested on the ground and stretched forward as far as Luna could see. Trees grew high into the sky, crowding out what little light the moon offered. Wind gently brushed through her mane, yet didn’t make a sound.

This isn't right.

Luna rarely found herself in somepony's dreams. She was supposed to be in charge here. She tried to meld with the scenery and disappear, but she remained solid. It was almost as if the world was not Pinkie's after all.

Terrific. I suppose I'm stuck here for now.

Something in her peripheral caught Luna's eye. She hid behind a nearby tree and spied upon the unknown object.

In the distance, she saw a figure walking through the forest. Luna moved towards the pony, trying to remain unnoticed. As she placed a hoof down, she cringed as the leaves beneath the trees crunched and crackled under her step, echoing loudly throughout the forest.

The mysterious figure stopped for a moment and turned her head. An innocent giggle cut through the quiet night.

She knows I'm here now, I suppose.

The pony marched deeper into the forest while Luna followed.

Had it been minutes, or hours since they first started walking?

Time had lost all meaning.

The pony came to a halt in front of two trees. A stained glass painting stretched between the trees like a spider's web. Adorning the painting was none other than Pinkie Pie, the epitome of laughter and joy. The pony started walking slowly toward the painting. It was only now that Luna realized that the pony had a strip of cloth wrapped around her head, covering her eyes.

Luna quickly raised her hoof at the pony. "W-wait!"

She marched forward heedlessly. The window shattered into countless pieces, raining shards all over the pony. Despite the dangerous shower of glass, the blindfolded pony made it through without a cut. Luna followed the figure through as well, being careful not to step on the glass.

Where did she go?

The pony had vanished. Luna didn't remember when, but at some point, she had lost track of her. Suddenly, the smell of a fire hit her nose.

Maybe she's waiting for me.

Luna walked forward through the trees until a cave seemed to appear before her. She walked inside disregarding any potential danger. The smell of fire grew stronger, causing her nose to itch. A sneeze threatened to shatter the calm of the night, but never came. The cave twisted and turned, and soon the light of the fire played on the cave's walls, making shadows dance around her. Luna turned the last corner and finally caught up to the pony.

It looked like Pinkie Pie, but definitely wasn't. The stance in which the pony sat didn't match Pinkie's. Her hair flowed down her neck and shoulders, straight and formal. A closer look at her face confirmed that a piece of cloth did indeed cover her eyes. She sat in front of a bonfire, which seemed to have been burning for hours now.

"Pinkie Pie?"

The pony lifted her head toward Luna, but not directly at her.

"I'm not Pinkie Pie. My name is Pinkamena."

Pinkamena? Why would she want to be called that?"

"If I'm not mistaken, Pinkamena is Pinkie Pie's birth name," Luna retorted.

The pony smiled. It wasn't a smile that lit up the room like Pinkie's. It was a calming smile, much like one a mother would offer her child. "This is true, yet we are different. I am Pinkie's guardian. When the toll of life weighs too heavily, I carry her forward."

Luna had encountered these “guardians” in dreams before. They took the burden when a pony faced a difficult time. That way, they could be free to sleep and dream without fear or consequence. It also answered the question of why she was trapped in the dream.

"I see," Luna replied. "I suppose tonight would be one such night. Perhaps you are the reason I was not summoned in the first place."

Pinkamena gestured to a rock next to the fire. "Please, have a seat, Your Majesty."

Luna did as she was asked, unclear as to how exactly Pinkamena knew where the rock was. "I take it Pinkie will awaken without any knowledge of our time together."

Pinkamena nodded. "I art her, and she art I, yet we are both separate. This is how it must be."

Luna watched the fire dance and sat in the silence of the cave. If Pinkamena was an extension of Pinkie Pie, she sure didn't share Pinkie's love for idle discussion. Insects buzzed around them in the orange lighting of the cave, flitting around the bonfire. Luna watched as a moth strayed too close and ignited, falling into the fire.

"What an asinine creature."

Pinkamena raised her head questioningly.

"The moth," Luna said. "It seems to have no regard for its own life. It flies into fire willingly and without care."

"Hmmm. Perhaps you're looking at the situation wrong," Pinkamena suggested.

"What?"

Pinkamena lifted her hooves toward the fire, taking in its warmth. "Perhaps the moth would rather die in the warmth of the light, than live in the cold of the dark."

Luna found it difficult to ascribe such a deep thought process to what was clearly a simple act of self termination. It didn't stop her from pondering on it longer than she should, though.

Pinkamena hummed for a moment and looked toward Luna. "I believe I should share a secret with you. Something Pinkie would not be eager to disclose."

"From what I understand about Pinkie Pie, a Pinkie Promise is not to be broken," Luna stated.

Pinkamena shrugged. "I never made a Pinkie Promise. Sometimes being a good guardian does not mean following your charge's wishes. Pinkie has been watching you for quite some time now. She had hoped that you would seek her out after the guidance she provided you during the Chuckle-Lot show. Since then, she has been debating the best way to get your attention."

Luna was genuinely curious now. She was afraid that Pinkie had still nursed some sore feelings after their argument. Calling Pinkie a mere clown and implying that Luna was above self humiliation, even for a laugh, obviously didn't sit right with the pink pony. "Why would she be trying to get my attention?"

Pinkamena pulled out a pouch of something that looked like dust and spread it into the fire. Colorful flames shot up, nearly licking the cave ceiling. "She is infatuated with you. She finds you a subject of admiration.... and of sympathy."

Luna nearly fell off her rock. "Wait, are you saying… Pinkie Pie is courting me?"

Pinkamena nodded.

Oh my, and here I am encouraging the behavior by going on these friendship outings.

"Pinkamena, if what you say is true, then this is most distressing. I don't think I am quite ready for a relationship, nor is she ready for the trials of dating a princess, not to mention—"

"Luna, you presume too much. I am not the one courting you," Pinkamena explained. "This is for you and Pinkie Pie to come to terms with."

Luna nodded and rose to her hooves. "You're right. Just as a warning, you might be quite busy soon if she doesn't take rejection well."

Pinkamena shrugged. "It makes no difference to me. I exist to comfort and shield her, and I will do so no matter what comes. When you walk out of this cave you will awaken in darkness. One day you will make a choice. You can choose to live in the cold safety of the darkness, or you can risk getting burned living in the light. I wonder which you will choose?"