• Published 21st Sep 2015
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Muffins for Luna - Feenkatze



Luna doesn't seem to have a lot in common with Derpy. So, why does she enjoy spending time with her so much?

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Chapter 4: Like the Moon

Derpy was walking down the prestigious Glass Blower Street of Canterlot, looking forward to a free weekend. It was Friday. Originally she had been scheduled for mail duty on Saturday, but she had swapped with Thunderlane’s Monday and Tuesday so that she could stay in Canterlot over the weekend. It was a two-for-one trade, but that was alright for her, she had done double shifts before. She got the day off, and that was all that mattered.

Behind luxury shops and expensive mansions, the towers of Canterlot Castle appeared like giant mushrooms growing into the sky. Guards were patrolling the gate, keeping not an inch of the surrounding area unwatched.

Derpy passed Gate Square. The shops here were the most exquisite ones in town, and many a high-class pony strode about, turning up their nose as she passed by. She paid them no mind. It had been a week and a half since Luna’s visit to Ponyville, and now Derpy was so excited to see her again that nothing else got through to her. There was something about the Princess that made Derpy feel like a bundle of condensed sunshine whenever she was around her. Maybe it was the genuineness with which she treated her, or maybe just how nice of a pony she was.

She could only hope that Luna wasn’t too busy. This was a surprise visit, and as things were with surprises, you never knew how they would turn out – just like that one time Derpy had wanted to make her mom surprise cookies for Mother’s Day. She swallowed. She’d rather not think about that.

After passing the gate, Derpy’s made her way towards the main building of the castle. A considerably smaller gate marked the entrance to the grand hall. This one, however, was closed, and a pair of guards stood in front of it following Derpy warily with their eyes.

“Good morning, Sirs,” she greeted.

No response.

“Could you let me through the door, please? I need to see Princess Luna.”

One of the guards snorted. “I’m sorry, Miss, but entrance is prohibited to strangers.”

“Hey, I’m no stranger – my name’s Derpy Hooves, and I’m friends with Luna.”

“Never heard of you, sorry. I'll have to ask you to leave.”

Despite his words, the guard didn’t look sorry at all. Derpy didn’t want to start an argument though, not after the last time she had tried arguing with a guard. Now what should she do?

She looked at the main complex that was towering up in front of her. It suddenly looked hostile, like it was built specifically as a fortress against her. But she couldn’t just give up. There had to be a way in!

She walked around the building. Since she hadn’t seen a mailbox at the front, she assumed that there was some sort of backdoor, like at Sugarcube Corner. Maybe she would have better luck there. She could pretend to be a mailpony. It would be the perfect disguise, since she really was a mailpony and would only have to pretend to pretend.

But before she could think that plan through, she recognized an annex that snuggled against the wall of the main building like a baby chicken against its mom. Four chimneys stuck out of its roof, spitting out gray and white smoke. There were no windows, but a slim wooden door was let into the side.

Derpy peeked left and right – both at the same time – and approached the door. It stood open by just a small crack, enough for a smell to escape into the open that reminded her of her dad’s famous carrot stew. Her stomach grumbled.

Carefully, Derpy opened the door just wide enough for her to slip through. She felt like the hero in one of those spy stories.

The room on the other side was empty, aside from a shelf with boxes and tin cans, and there was only one door leading on from here. Derpy heard kitchen noises: boiling and screeching, and ponies yelling things at each other while their hooves clacked on tiled floor.

Holding her breath, she pushed down the handle and opened the door as quietly as possible.

The kitchen was in a state of organized chaos, with cooks weaving in between one another, darting here and there to cut vegetables and measure spices and check on bubbling saucepans. In all the bustle, nopony noticed her entering.

On the other side of the room was a swing door, enhanced with metal at the bottom and with a round window in it. That was Derpy’s way into the castle! She sneaked across the room, staying right next to the wall. The smell of food was killing her. Maybe she should have eaten something before coming here.

The door came closer. She eyed the kitchen staff nervously, but they were still too absorbed in their work to notice anything.

Her heart beat like crazy. Just a few more steps.

Suddenly, a loud clank appeared under her as she stepped into a bucket. She jumped backwards, but it was stuck on her hoof. Derpy felt the bucket slide away on the slippery floor, and a second later, she lay on the ground with all fours pointing in the air. Heads turned towards her.

“Oops, sorry.”

She grinned awkwardly, trying not to panic. A chef stepped towards her, gray mustache quivering as he spoke.

“You better have a good explanation for why you're here, Missy!”

“I’m Derpy Hooves. I’m, uh, a courier with an important message for Princess Luna.”

“So?”

“I can only tell her eye to eye. Because – that is because it’s too important and secret.”

The mustache, curled up in confusion, started to shake threateningly. “Then what are you doing in my kitchen?”

“I was hungry after traveling all the way from, uh, Farfar Awayistan to deliver the message. But you’re right, I should better hurry up and –”

“You stay right where you are! I’m calling the guards.”

Derpy felt like shrinking down to the size of the chef’s hat. So close! What would happen now? Would they throw her in the dungeon? She had heard stories about what Princess Celestia did to criminals, which she had no intention of finding out whether they were true.

The chef was just about to rush off, when a voice was raised that sounded familiar to Derpy. “It’s fine, she’s with me.”

Derpy turned around to see who had spoken. It was a white unicorn who looked at her through large violet shades. Vinyl Scratch, the DJ on her mail route!

Derpy beamed. “Hi Vinyl!”

The chef looked like he wanted to talk back at first, but then something made him reconsider and he just nodded. All the ponies in the room suddenly couldn’t get back to work quick enough. Vinyl stretched out her hoof to bump it against Derpy’s.

“Let’s go.”

They left through the swing door, which led into a small corridor. Only when they left the corner behind them, Derpy dared to let out a sigh of relief.

“Thanks, that was close.”

“You’re the mailmare who screwed up my signed special edition of the latest Squirrel-X album, right?”

Derpy ducked her head, but Vinyl just laughed.

“Oh, it’s no biggie, I break things all the time. Speakers, mostly. Say, what’s your name? I see you so often, you know, but I never asked.”

“I’m Derpy Hooves.”

“Why were you demolishing the kitchen? Some kind of anti establishment thing?”

“That was an accident! I’m only here because I wanna see Princess Luna, but nopony believes me that we’re friends.”

“Yeah okay, I can see that.”

They turned around a corner into another corridor, where a richly ornamented carpet absorbed the sound of their steps.

Derpy smiled at Vinyl. “And what were you doing in the kitchen?”

“I always use them to get in. Front doors is for snooty slimebags like that Blueblood guy. Anywho, do you know the way to Luna’s room?”

Derpy shook her head. “It’s my first visit here.”

“Alright, I better show you the way then. Wouldn’t want you ending up in trouble again, right?"

“You would do that for me? Thank you so much!”

“It’s nothing. Maybe you could just be a little more careful the next time you have records for me? Vinyl can get scratches.” She buried her face in a hoof. “Ugh, I can’t believe I said that one out loud.”

Vinyl led her down a wide hallway, humming a melody which Derpy recognized from her latest album. The notes that were her cutie mark bounced up and down as she walked, accompanied by colorful dots that the sinking Sun painted on onto everything through the stained glass windows.

They went up a huge staircase for a while, with flat and wide stairs, and through a massive ebony door. Derpy caught a glance at the detailed carvings in the wood: animals of all kinds, dancing in celebration. The large hoofbar that grew out of the picture had the shape of two alicorns standing back to back with their wings crossed.

She was so fascinated that she bumped into Vinyl, who had stopped at the other side of the door, pointing to the left.

“Luna’s chambers should be over there. Never seen them myself, but I’m sure you’ll be alright from here. I kinda need to hurry up.”

“Thank you!”

Vinyl gave her a friendly nod and adjusted her shades before leaving.

Derpy followed the passage to her left, soon finding herself in front of another door. It depicted the night sky. The constellations were connected by fine lines engraved in the surface, and a stylized Moon was the hoofbar. This had to be it. Derpy took a deep breath and knocked.

A groan came from the other side. “I said I wished not to be disturbed! How difficult is that to understand?”

“Sorry! Didn’t know.”

“Derpy? Is that you?”

A moment of silence, then the door was opened with a fling of magic. Derpy peeked inside, finding Luna standing in front of a four-poster bed, looking confused.

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you!”

“Oh.” Luna’s ears drooped, and she stared down at her hooves.

Derpy approached her, confused by that reaction – she had thought Luna would be more excited to see her.

“Is something wrong?”

“No. Well – no, not really. It’s just that I am invited to a party this evening. It is very important, so I’m afraid I cannot make any time for you tonight.”

Derpy stopped, tilting her head. Where was the problem? She loved parties! As long as she and Luna were together, it could only be fun.

But Luna didn’t want her to go with her.

Of course she wouldn’t, Derpy thought. Nopony invited her to parties, aside from Pinkie, who invited literally all of Ponyville. Luna was a princess, so she couldn’t show up with somepony as unpopular as her. Maybe she didn’t even want to go with her. Just like everypony else.

“Well,” she said, her voice cracking. “I hope you have fun at the party then. It’s okay, maybe we’ll see each other around some time.”

“Derpy?”

Derpy turned to go. Regardless of what she had said, she was not okay, not at all. But the last thing she wanted was to make Luna feel bad just because of her.

“Derpy!”

She didn’t stop.

“Luna!”

Luna winced as Cadence said her name, and turned her gaze away from the window. She was in a room filled with chattering and laughing ponies. Quiet music played in the background, and a buffet was set up on a long table, luring with all sorts of delicacies. Luna wasn’t hungry, though.

“Luna,” Cadence repeated. “It's so great you could make it! Are you enjoying yourself so far?”

She truly wasn’t, but she could never tell that to the host of the party. She couldn’t say that she didn’t like parties, and that she felt that she didn't belong here. She couldn’t say that she would rather spent the evening with Derpy. So instead she just nodded.

“It’s lovely.”

Cadence gave her a long look. “Do you want to tell me what is bothering you, Auntie?”

“You need not worry, everything you have arranged is perfect. I am merely thinking about somepony.”

Cadence raised her eyebrow. “Somepony?”

Luna sighed. “A friend of mine. She seemed so upset earlier, and I have to presume it is because of something I said, even though I am not certain as to what it was.”

“Have you asked her about it?”

“I wanted to, but she left before I could say anything.”

“That bad, huh?” Cadence joined Luna, and they both looked out of the window. The garden of Cadence’s and Shining Armor’s house lay peaceful in the warm colors of sunset. Soon it would be time to raise the moon. Luna had been told there would be dancing later on, but whatever interest in learning the modern dances she might have had, it had vanished completely.

“Luna,” Cadence said after a while. “I’m happy you are here, really. But, if this troubles you so badly, I want you to know that you can go at any time. I wouldn’t want you to feel like you owe me to stay.”

Luna looked at her with hesitance. “Would that be alright?”

“If you need to talk to your friend, then that’s what you should do. And once you talked things out, I'd always be happy to have the two of you back here later.”

“The two of us? Does that mean she can come as well?”

Cadence laughed. “But of course! You’re allowed to bring a ‘plus one’ to a party. Didn’t you know?”

Luna remained silent. The smile slowly slipped off Cadence’s face. “Ahaha, okay. I wish you good luck.”

“Thank you.”

Was Derpy disappointed that Luna didn’t invite her along?

She approached the door that led into the garden. She would find out. A few party guests gave her surprised looks as she passed through and spread her wings, taking off into the sunset.

Luna flapped her wings as fast as she could. She still needed to find Derpy first. However, she had a hunch where she might be.

After a short flight over Canterlot, a wide plaza appeared below. Prance Square was illuminated by the colorful lights decorating the windows of the shops surrounding it. Luna dove down to the ground at crushing speed, and only spread her wings to brake a good ten feet above the ground, stirring up dust as she landed in front of a small cafe. Some of the cobblestones cracked beneath her hooves as she touched down.

A sign with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee was glowing in the fading light of day. Through the window, Luna could see a certain, lonely gray pegasus sit in a corner, staring at a half-eaten muffin on the table in front of her.

Luna was about to enter the shop when a familiar pulling sensation made her stop. The Sun had almost disappeared behind the horizon, and it was time for the Moon to be raised. She rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t help it. The night couldn’t wait any longer.

Luna didn’t like raising the moon in public. Even if it was huge, it reacted quite sensitively to her touch, and if she wasn’t able to maintain her focus, the consequences could be devastating. It also made her feel exposed in a way. The feeling that ponies might be watching her made this so much harder than it already was.

She closed her eyes, blending out her surroundings.

She could do it if she had to. Reaching out to the sky and forcing herself to think about her task, and only her task, Luna carefully pulled up the moon. Only when she was sure that it was on the correct path and had let go of the connection did she open her eyes to look at the result.

The pale orb that was the moon had appeared in the distance, slowly moving up into the night sky, surrounded by its mysterious glow.

“Don’t you have a party to be at?”

Luna jumped at the voice that suddenly appeared right next to her. Spinning around, she found Derpy standing just outside the cafe. Even in the sparse light that came from inside, Luna could see that her face was stained with tears.

“I left,” she answered.

“Why? Wasn’t it fun?”

Luna’s shivered. “It was no fun at all. But that’s not important. Will you tell me what is wrong? You pop up in my chambers, saying that you want to see me, and the next moment you run away and I don’t even know what happened!”

Derpy looked away. “You know when you really want to see somepony special to you, but they don’t have time for you? And then you remember that nopony likes you, and you just feel like you're a nuisance, and maybe you’re also cranky because you haven’t eaten anything all day?”

“You think that nopony – that I – wait, you hadn’t eaten?”

Derpy shook her head.

“Derpy, please forgive me. If only I had known I would have offered you something to eat! We could have had muffins together. But you were leaving in such a hurry it was giving me no chance to actually talk to you – I couldn’t even give you a hug.”

“I didn't want to bother you any longer. You said you didn’t have time, and you wanted to go to that party without me.”

“But that’s not true!” Luna made a helpless gesture with a hoof. “Please, you cannot just assume things like that. I wasn’t even aware it was acceptable to invite you along!”

“You didn’t know?”

Luna shook her head. “Sometimes I don’t understand things. I’m sorry.”

“But, you would want me to go to parties with you?”

“Of course, Derpy! You’re my friend. I did say so, didn’t I?”

“That was almost two weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if you hadn’t changed your mind.”

Luna sighed. “There was just too much to do. Do you know how much I missed you? And then you just run away, and I don’t even understand what I did wrong.”

“Yeah, sorry. I blew it.”

“We both did. But I have to plea for you to be patient with me. I'm still adapting to the times. Mistakes like this might happen.”

“I can understand that.”

Luna looked down on Derpy, offering her forelegs, and finally, Derpy took the invitation and flung herself at her in a big hug. Luna shuddered and pulled her close.

“Maybe I’m just used to it,” Derpy mumbled. “To ponies turning away from me, rejecting me. Maybe I expect you to do the same, no matter what you say.”

“You have to trust me.”

“I want to.”

They leaned against each other. It was like getting to rest after a tiresome day, or returning to Equestria after a thousand years of banishment – this feeling that things were back to how they should be.

“You say you missed me?” Derpy asked after a while. “I missed you too, Luna.”

Luna squeezed her. “Now, I realize that this is late, but do you want to go that party with me?”

Beaming, as if nothing had happened, Derpy grabbed her hoof. “I'd love to.”

It didn’t take them long to get back to Cadence’s and Shining Armor’s house. Luna was tempted to just land in the garden, but seeing how small and sparsely lit it was, she decided not to risk it, for Derpy's sake. So instead, they touched down under a lantern in front of the house and rang the doorbell.

“Luna, you’re back!” Cadence greeted her, before turning towards Derpy. “I’m Cadence.”

“I’m Derpy Hooves, from Ponyville. Hi!”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Derpy.” She stepped out of the door to let them enter. “Do come in! You know the way, Luna. If you two will excuse me, I have to be back in the kitchen before Shining does something he will regret.”

She rushed through a door, and Luna walked down the narrow hallway into the living room, Derpy sticking to her tail.

The party had changed a bit since Luna had left. The buffet was gone, and so was the music. Furniture had been moved out of the way, and in a corner stood a unicorn at a small table with what she recognized as audio equipment, sorting some of those black discs ponies stored music on nowadays. If Luna recalled correctly, it was the same artist that had performed at Cadence’s wedding party. The disc jockey looked up, shaking her mane off her shades, and next to Luna, Derpy jumped forwards.

“Vinyl!”

The pony whom Derpy had called Vinyl bumped Derpy’s hoof. “Hey, now that’s a surprise!”

Luna looked from one to the other. “You know her?”

The stranger turned towards Luna, offering her a hoof.

“She brings my mail. And I –” she adjusted her shades “– bring the beats. Vinyl Scratch is the name.”

Luna didn’t hesitate to hoof-bump her. “Hi, I am Luna. It's a pleasure to meet you.”

She heard somepony walk up to her, and turning around, Luna found her sister.

“Look who decided to show up,” Celestia mocked her.

“I was been here earlier than you, just so you know.”

“Alright, alright. So as I see you’ve already made the acquaintance of Vincenza La Harmona Scratch?”

“Ugh, I hate that name,” Vinyl muttered.

Celestia chuckled. “Did you know that she is a niece of ours?”

“Oh, really?” Luna mustered the mare again, who looked at her hooves.

“Don’t really care about that royalty business,” Vinyl mumbled. Then she turned to Luna again. “But hey, you seem pretty cool though.”

Luna was honored. Nopony had called her “cool” before.

“Now I’d chat all evening,” Vinyl said, “but actually, I have to get some records spinning.”

Celestia turned away, extending a wing over Luna. “May I ask who your special friend is you brought with you? Might this be that Derpy Hooves character you couldn’t keep quiet about all week?”

Luna blushed.

“I see,” Celestia said. “She seems lively, I like that.”

“What do you think of the party?” Luna asked, trying to change the topic.

“It’s delightful. You know how much I love a good party.”

“Don’t remind me. I could never forget what you did for my thousandth birthday.”

“But you have to admit that the Smooze was a good dancer, and a gentleslime. Sometimes I wish we hadn’t banished it into another dimension. Good old times.”

Luna smirked. “You are terrible.”

Celestia ruffled her mane. “You know very well that you love me. And now, don’t let your weird old sister hold you back any longer. Go and join your friend.”

Where was Derpy, anyway? Luna turned around, and scanned the room.

She quickly found her, prancing around and knocking over the occasional drink and party guest. She was chasing a balloon, laughing as she kicked it into the air each time it threatened to sink onto the ground. Luna observed her for a little while, her eyes following Derpy’s gleeful bouncing as if in trance.

Eventually, Derpy noticed that Luna was watching and jumped towards her, crashing into her chest. “Hey, wanna play too?”

“As much as I would like to, I that might not be possible without causing a havoc.” She pointed at the other ponies in the room, who were doing their best to put space between themselves and the prancing madmare.

“Moreover, I understand that the music is about to start, so I meant to ask you if –” The rest of the sentence was swallowed by an ear-splitting noise coming out of the huge loudspeaker right next to them. Derpy said something, but Luna couldn’t hear her.

The sound abated, replaced by a fast rhythm. Derpy pointed towards a spot at the other side of the room, and Luna nodded and followed her, away from the source of the noise that apparently was music.

As they crossed the room, a strange sort of melody came in. Luna wasn’t sure as to what kind of instrument it was played on – it sounded like a bunch of noises mashed together. The ponies around them were jumping up and down to the rhythm, and Luna noticed that Derpy was doing the same, shaking her behind in front of Luna’s nose as she was hopping forwards.

Luna blushed and tried to imitate her, jumping up and down, switching her weight from the left to the right hoof and back. It felt a little odd, and she wasn’t sure if she liked this sort of dancing, but she kept going, since it appeared to be what ponies did at this sort of party.

They reached the other side of the room, and Derpy’s jumping turned into more of a shuffling. Luna tried to keep up, but then the pace of the music doubled, then quadrupled. What was this madness?

Suddenly, the beat stopped. Luna looked around herself, panting. What had happened? Then, all of a sudden, it came back, this time in a much slower tempo and with deep, thriving sounds. It hit her like a physical force, or rather Derpy did, bumping into her side with determination.

“Don’t hold back!”

Luna tried her hardest to follow the advice. Actually, the hopping up and down did become somewhat comfortable. She felt as if the whole world was shaking with the rhythm and all she had to do was to let that movement overtake her. Like the Moon almost, which also wanted to rise and sink each day, and only needed to be nudged onto its path.

Luna started to enjoy this. It was so unbelievably easy to give in to the music and just let herself fall, to be lifted up again by the next beat, carried by the sound. She didn’t even mind the loudness or the strange noises anymore, it all seemed to fit into the piece just perfectly.

She didn’t notice the evening passing by. More and more of the party guests were leaving, but she hardly even registered it. She only had eyes for Derpy.

Derpy was on another plane of existence. Beats shot through her system like electric shocks. She swam in the tide and drowned in the flood. She danced until her absolute and final last.

But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was watching Luna have the time of her life. If it had been possible, she would’ve danced with her forever.

Eventually, though, the exhaustion finally got through to her. She was gasping for air, and her hooves felt as if they had been massaged by a rhinoceros – not that she could speak from experience, but rhinoceroses didn’t have a reputation for being good masseurs.

She searched for an exit, passing through the ponies and music that surrounded her. Luna followed her, still swaying to the beat.

There was a door leading into the garden. Derpy stepped outside and took a deep breath of clear midnight air. Her coat was wet and sticky, and she shivered when the cool outside touched her. Immediately, she found a large blue wing draped over her back, and she leaned against Luna’s side, both for the warmth and because she didn’t trust in her hooves’ ability to carry her. She had been to many parties in Ponyville, but never before had she been so exhausted and at the same time so blissful after one.

“I’m done for,” she slurred, having a hard time keeping her eyes open. “You can go and enjoy yourself, I’ll just be staying here I think.”

She felt a gentle push forwards.

“I won’t leave you, Derpy.”

The next thing Derpy knew was that she lay in a bed. It was a huge one: a four-poster bed with a firm but cozy mattress and shiny silk covers. A bed worthy of a princess.

Turning around, Derpy found her princess, lying right next to her. She could barely make out Luna’s form in what little moonlight seeped through the curtains, but she could smell her, and feel her warmth. Had Luna carried her here while she had been sleeping?

Derpy carefully moved closer, snuggling into Luna’s side.

Luna was such an amazing pony. She wasn’t only beautiful and majestic and kind, but also just really cute. And apparently, she did care about her. Still, Derpy had to wonder if their time together meant as much to Luna as it did to her. She wasn’t even sure if Luna understood the concept of being in love.

But that was alright. In the end, what counted was that they were enjoying themselves.

Luna mumbled something unintelligible and twisted in her sleep, stretching out a wing and pulling Derpy closer.