• Published 10th May 2012
  • 1,284 Views, 23 Comments

Her Sword, Shield, and Friend - Cavemonkynick

Luna and Night Wing, Captain of the Lunar Guard, get away from the castle for a night.

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Chapter 1

“I must say, your highness, I love watching you work. You’re especially radiant at your fullest.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere, Captain.” Princess Luna said sharply having just placed the final star in the night sky, but when she turned to me she was smiling, a smile that I eagerly returned.

“You can’t blame a pony for trying.” I replied.

“I suppose not,” Luna said dropping her severe tone. As Captain of the Lunar Guard I was often at her side. In the time since her return, almost two years ago now, we had grown to be close friends. “Is there anything on the agenda for tonight?”

“No ma’am, the night is yours.”

“Excellent, shall we venture out and enjoy it?”

“I would be honored. Allow me to inform the watch that we are leaving.”

“Of course, and I shall inform my sister. I will meet you in the courtyard.” And with that, Luna spread her wings and was off. I cantered back down the tower stairs and was about to call for my second in command when my only superior save the princess herself came around the corner. I snapped to attention.

“Captain Shining Armor sir!”

“At ease Night Wing, I’m off duty.” He replied. I relaxed.

“You’re here late.” I said, falling easily into casual conversation.

“Yeah, Cadence is in Manehatten making an appearance at some event so I figured I’d get caught up on some paperwork.”

“I hear ya, so you headed over to the watch station then?”

“Yep, I’m about a week behind on the logs.”

“Would you mind passing on a message for me to… well whoever is on duty tonight?”

“You don’t know? You’re losing your edge aren’t you?” Shining laughed and tapped me playfully on the shoulder.

“Cut me some slack, Flourish is sick and the schedules got shuffled.” I replied, laughing as well.

“So what’s the message?”

“Princess Luna wants to stretch her wings a bit and I will be accompanying her. Silent Rain is in charge until we return.”

“Another night out with the Princess, you lucky dog you.”

“Oh come on. It’s not like that and you know it.”

“I'm just messing with ya, I’ll let them know.”

“Thanks, and don’t work too hard, I’m sure Cadence wants you to be well rested when she gets back.”

“Not funny.”

“You started it.”

“… Fair enough. Take care Night Wing.”

“You too Shining.” I made my way to the courtyard to find the princess waiting for me. “Ready your highness?”

“Of course,” she replied. She turned and lifted off and I spread my own wings and followed her into the night. After a short flight Luna and I set down on one of the few clouds populating the sky. The view was breathtaking. From our perch we could see for miles. Canterlot, Ponyville, even the Everfree Forest, it was all beautiful bathed in the gentle light of the full moon.

“It feels so good to be out of the castle.” Luna said.

“Indeed it does Princess.”

“Night Wing, I’ve told you, outside of the castle walls we're friends. Please call me Luna.”

“Sorry, force of habit.” Silence fell as we took in the scenery. After a few moments I finally spoke. “It’s been too long since we did this last.” Luna didn’t respond. I looked over to her; she was staring at the moon, its likeness reflected in her light blue eyes. “Luna?” I called to her, failing to mask my concern. She blinked slowly then turned to look at me.

“Yes,” she said softly.

“Are you alright?”

“Just thinking…” She shifted her gaze back to the moon.

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“I… I don’t know.”

“You’re thinking about her again aren’t you?”

“You speak as if we are separate entities.”


“I still feel her at times.”

“We all have our dark side, that’s just life. Light will always cast a shadow. What matters is that you don’t let that darkness control you anymore. The princess that I serve is kind and gentle. She cares for all her followers despite their social status. She is a joy to serve under, and I have the honor of being one of her closest friends, an honor I cherish deeply. Now I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound anything like Nightmare Moon to me.” She thought a moment.

“...Thank you Night Wing… That means a lot.” She looked back at me and smiled.

“Anytime Luna, now let’s go have some fun.”

“And what, pray tell do you have in mind?”

“Well,” I glanced towards Ponyville, “I thought we’d just see where the night takes us.”

“I like the way you think.” And with that we were off.

As far as I’m concerned, flying is one of the greatest joys that this world has to offer a pony. I’ve been flying for nearly twenty years now and it’s never grown boring. Tonight was no exception. I glanced over at Luna and winked. Before she could respond I pitched my body to the left, drew in my wings, and fell into a dive. My stomach rose in my chest as the rush of free fall flooded my veins with adrenaline. I saw a small lake below me and angled my body to shift myself over it then streamlined myself as much as possible gaining speed. I watched the lake grow larger as I fell. At the last second I opened my wings and pulled out of my dive, leveling out mere inches from the surface of the water. I dipped my back right hoof in the water creating an impressive wake, beating my wings to make up for the drag.

As I approached the lakes edge I withdrew my hoof from the water but kept my elevation. The landscape below me transitioned from water to sand and then to grass in quick succession. A small hill bordered the lake telling me it had probably been dug out a long time ago as a reservoir or something. I traced its slope with my body as it climbed a bit before gently giving way to an open field. Not far in the distance I could see Ponyville. There were a few less lights still on than I had expected, considering how early it was. I allowed my momentum to taper off before dropping my hooves to the ground, matching my speed at first and slowly coming to a stop just outside of town. I stood for a moment, catching my breath. There was a soft rustle as Luna landed at my side.

“Quite a performance,” she said, “And to think you dropped out of flight school to join the Royal Guard.”

“Best decision I ever made.” I replied. She simply smiled and scanned the horizon.

“Ponyville seems rather quiet tonight.”

“Yeah… The pink one must be asleep.”

“Night Wing,” Luna scolded, though she was laughing, “Be nice!” Her laugh was contagious, smooth, beautiful… just like her. I shook the thought from my head. Where had it even come from? “Night Wing?” Luna called.

“Huh?” The thought had thrown me, I had been staring. “Oh, sorry, I zoned out for a second.”

“Is everything ok?”

“Yeah, yeah everything’s fine,” I said, probably a little too quickly. “I think that dive just caught up to me, that’s all.”

“Oh, ok.”

“Yeah,” she hadn’t bought it, I could tell. “What do you say we drop in on Twilight? I don’t think I’ve seen her since the wedding.”

“You think she’s still up?”

“Of course, she does most of her reading at night.”

“Do you think she’ll mind if we drop in?”

“Not at all,” that was all the convincing she needed. It didn’t take long to reach the Library and Twilight was overjoyed to have us drop in. “How have you been Miss Sparkle?” I asked as she showed us in.

“I’m doing quite well, Captain.” She replied, falling in to our usual back and forth.

“I trust the young master Spike has been on his best behavior as of late?”

“As good as can be expected of him I suppose.”

“Uh, did I miss something?” Luna chimed in. Twilight and I just laughed.

“Night Wing is a good friend of my brother so we know each other pretty well.” Twilight explained.

“Yep, Shining is half the reason I earned my position.”

“Well thanks for that heads up.” Luna said.

“Sorry princess,” Twilight said, “Say, I was looking through an old book and I came across a spell I can’t quite get my head around.”

“Let me take a look at it.” Luna replied. And with that the two of them flew into a conversation I couldn’t dream of understanding, which was probably a good thing. While they poured over the tome, I slipped outside to be alone with my thoughts.

The cool night air was refreshing. I made my way around the side of the library so that I wasn’t next to the road then sat in the grass and sighed. How could I let myself get so emotionally attached to Luna? She’s the princess of the night, and I’m just another pegasus. Then again, how could I not? Once we had gotten to know each other better, she had started requesting my presence more often, just wanting a companion to talk to. But still, she’s the princess. It’s against every regulation in the book.

I went back and forth with myself like this for hours, my head fighting my heart until a voice snapped me back to reality.

“Night Wing?” I jumped to my feet. Luna was sitting beside me. “Sorry," she said softly, "I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“It’s fine, I just didn’t hear you come up.” I replied.

“I’ve been sitting here for nearly ten minutes.” She deadpanned.

“Oh,” I managed and looked away.

“Is everything ok?”

“Yes,” I lied.

“Are you sure?”

“… No…”

“You know you can talk to me.”

“I know… It's just..."

"Just what?"

"Can we go somewhere private?”

“Of course.” I led her to the edge of the pond I had flown over earlier and we sat at its shore.

“Now what’s bothering you?” she asked

“…Well…” I searched desperately for the right words, for the courage to speak them aloud. “I think… I think I might…” Finally I just closed my eyes, took a deep breath and, “I think I might love you Luna.”

The night stood still, stunned into silence, as the words hung in the dead air between us. The silence stretched on for what seemed like an eternity. It was deafening, maddening, unbearable. I summoned all the courage I could and opened my eyes. When I looked at Luna she seemed fixated on the lake, her expression empty. I wanted to speak, but what was there to say? The silence continued. I turned my own gaze to the lake. I started to feel foolish. Luna finally spoke.

“How long?”

“I’m sorry?” I looked up to her again. She was still staring at the lake.

“How long have you felt this way?” I couldn’t read her voice.

“I don’t know… A while I suppose… But it only really struck me tonight what the feeling was.”

“… I see…”

“I’m sorry… I know this is wrong.”

“Why is it wrong?” She turned to me. Her eyes were piercing, but not harsh.

“Well… I… Because you…”

“Because I’m what, your superior, royalty, a goddess?”

“Why isn’t this bothering you?”

“Should it?”

“Yes, it should!” I couldn’t sit still anymore. I stood and began to pace along the shore. “I am the Captain of the Lunar Guard and you are my charge. Every rule in the book screams that this is wrong. I’m supposed to check all emotion at the door but…” my words caught in my throat.

“But?” I turned to her. Her expression had changed. She seemed almost amused with me. Somehow I found my voice again.

“But when it’s just us… Rank and royalty don’t seem to matter anymore.” I resumed my pacing, my mind taking a left turn in desperation. “Before the guard, I was pathetic… I didn’t drop out of flight school… I flunked out.”

“What difference does that make?”

“I don’t know, maybe none, but I feel like I owe you the whole story. Maybe if I hash this whole thing out I can figure out how I got here and whether or not I’m a total fool.”

“You’re not a fool.” Somehow this broke the tension for me and I laughed.

“I’m glad somepony thinks so… Thank you. Still though, I need to clear the air.”

“I understand.”

“When mom was pregnant with me, she got real sick… Near the end she took a turn for the worst… There was nothing they could do… The doctors barely saved me. I grew up frail. I wasn’t necessarily weak but I had no stamina. Flying was especially exhausting, but I was determined. When it came time for me to head to flight school I put everything I had into it. I excelled at the academics, highest marks in my class, but I just didn’t have the strength for the actual flying.”

“Surely no one blamed you,” Luna half asked.

“Of course not, but that didn’t make it any less humiliating. So I made my decision. Cloudsdale had nothing left for me. I left a note for my father and left. In hindsight it was a really stupid idea. I barely made it to the ground without giving out, and after I landed I couldn’t even see straight. I stumbled around for what felt like hours but probably wasn’t but a few minutes, and then I blacked out.”

“I woke up in a hospital in Canterlot, still too weak to move. The nurse asked my name and I made something up, didn’t want to get sent back to Cloudsdale. She told me that a member of the royal guard had found me on his way back to Canterlot and had brought me in almost two days ago. Once again, I was lucky just to be alive. That evening I had a visitor, Shining Armor. Turns out he was the pony that found me. When he asked what had happened, I told him everything. Don’t know why but I felt like I could trust him, and I was right. He took the story in stride and promised not to run me home, said my life was mine to live.”

“After I got out of the hospital he let me stay in his guest room until I got the rest of my strength back. I already had it in my head that I wanted to join the guard, and he actually encouraged me. He pointed me to the lunar guard, they were hurting for recruits. It was rough at first because I was still frail, but I felt like I belonged, a point that was proven a few weeks in when I earned my cutie mark.” A full moon bearing the Mare in the Moon and a bat-like wing that wrapped around half the moon's circumference. “That’s when the guys started calling me Night Wing.”

“Wait, Night Wing isn’t your real name?”

“It is now, but it wasn’t always. My name used to be Devin Windelbane.”

“Quite a mouth full,” Luna giggled.

“It’s a family name, my great grandfather or something. When my dad asked why I changed it I told him that I didn’t want the name of any other pony to define who I was, which is horseapples of course but he bought it.”

“So you did see your father again?”

“Yep, about a year after I joined the guard. I had started to make a name for myself and decided it was time to face him so I took a few days leave and flew up to Cloudsdale, a testament to how far I had come. At first he didn’t know what to say, so I told him that I’d only left so that I could become somepony who’d make him proud… He told me that I never had to leave to make him proud, that I was his son and nothing would ever change that…”

“Do you still talk to him?”

“… Dad lived just long enough to see me make Captain six years ago… He passed a few months later Celestia rest his soul.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be, we had long since made our peace, and he’s with mom now. Anyways, after I got used to my duties my life fell into a routine, which was glorious at first, but it quickly became apparent that something was missing. I never could quite put my hoof on what and I was just about chalk it up as nothing when you made your return.”

“At first the feeling of something missing was forgotten. I was too busy with new duties and an influx of new recruits. Later when things slowed down it started knocking around the back of my head again. Then the responsibility of the night was returned to you and all at once you changed. Up until that point you had remained behind closed doors almost perpetually.”

“We still spoke back then.” Luna pointed out.

“I remember, after the first Nightmare Night that you spent in Ponyville you opened up a bit, but you were still hesitant. When you did come to me at was usually with a question about current culture or something.”

“Those talks meant a lot you know.”

“I’m not belittling them. I’m just saying, once you had the night back your demeanor changed. You had purpose again and it made me think of, well, me…”

“I believe I’m starting to understand.”

“Yeah, so do I.” I answered. “What about you?”

“What do you mean?”

“How do you feel about all this?” The silence fell again. I turned to face her. She glanced at me but wouldn’t meet my eyes. Something in the back of my head started to panic but before it could spiral out of control she spoke.

“I don’t know… I know I care about you, but anything deeper than that I still don’t understand… For a thousand years I was alone with nothing but my own anger and jealousy. I’m still rediscovering who I am.”

“For what it’s worth, you put up a great front.” I said without thinking. She looked at me.

“I owe a lot of that to you… I think it’s best if we take this slow.” I nodded my agreement. “We should probably be getting back to the castle. We’ve been gone quite a while.”

“You’re right.”

We flew back to Canterlot in silence, both of us deep in thought. I found myself strangely content. True it wasn’t the perfect ending but that was frankly unrealistic. When I resigned myself to tell her I was positive that she was going to shoot me down without a second thought. I never thought my feelings may be returned. I couldn’t help but smile. There was hope. Hope that one day I could truly make her happy. And for now that was enough.

Author's Note:

So, there you have it. This piece was a first for me on many fronts. As I mentioned in the description this is my first piece based around Friendship Is Magic. It's also the first time I've had a story demand I write it. Normally I have to sit down and really think before I can get the ball rolling but with this one it just came to me out of left field and started writing itself, at least until the ending. I know this last chapter seems short but trust me when I say that the four ideas that were scrapped before this one were not worth the extra words. After wrestling with how I wanted everything to work out I came to the conclusion that I didn't know, so I had to leave it open. At one point I fell into my bad habit of getting bogged down in back story and had to scrap three days’ worth of work. I still have it saved on the side and if this story gets enough interest I may eventually finish it and post it separately.

Also, I want to thank all of you who took the time to read this. Writing is something I'm very passionate about so having people who enjoy my work means a great deal to me. So please, if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, anything, leave a comment. And thanks again for reading.

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Liking what I see so far ^^

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