• Published 25th Apr 2016
  • 3,442 Views, 77 Comments

For the Good of Equestria - brokenimage321

In the wake of a great tragedy, Celestia tells, for the first time, just how much she's had to sacrifice for the good of Equestria.

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Chapter 8: Old Friends

Princess Celestia walked down the corridors of the palace and sighed. It had been another one of those days—the sort that left her exhausted, but didn’t actually make a dent in her to-do list. Always, there was more to do—more ponies to help—more treaties to sign…

This was the price of running a kingdom, apparently. She was just glad that she had someone to share it with. She had no idea what she would do without—

“Luna?” Celestia asked aloud.

Celestia found herself just outside the Upper Balcony. It boasted a clear, unobstructed view of the western skies—and the moonrise. Luna had always loved astronomy—it’s how she had gotten her cutie mark, in fact—and had asked that a telescope be installed here, though, more and more often, their other responsibilities left little time for stargazing. Now, she only came up here when something was bothering her, when she wanted to be alone with her thoughts.

And it took a lot to bother Luna.

“Luna?” Celestia repeated urgently, pushing the door open. “Lu, everything okay?”

Tonight, the telescope remained covered. Luna lay on the cold stone, curled around herself. As Celestia approached, she looked up—and, Celestia saw, shining in the moonlight, the tears running down her cheeks.

Celestia froze, then bent down and took her in her arms. “Oh, Luna,” she murmured “Lu, what’s wrong?”

She had held Luna like this once before—once, when they were smaller. The years had been long, but they had not been unkind; for one thing, they had both grown taller. Luna had always been small for her age, but now, even little Luna stood taller than the biggest stallions. Their manes had grown long, and begun to wave in an invisible breeze—at first it had startled them, but soon they simply came to accept it, along with all the other changes. Luna’s mane had grown darker, and sprouted little flecks of starlight, but Celestia’s remained pink as the day she was born.

And yet, for all that was different, when she held her like this—nothing seemed to have changed at all.

Celestia felt Luna against her, her body shaking with silent sobs. Celestia hugged her tighter, murmured a little something, then closed her eyes. Slowly, she began to rub her back, and just listened to her weep.

Finally, Celestia heard Luna sniffle. “Cece?” she asked, her voice thick.

Celestia opened her eyes and looked down. Luna looked back up at her, eyes still brimming with tears. “Lu?” she asked.

“Cece…” she sniffled again. “...how old are you?”

Celestia cocked her head slightly. “Well,” she said slowly, “I’m, uh…” she frowned. How old was she? She’d been nineteen when they defeated Discord… and they’d reunified Old Equestria three or four years later...

After several moments of hurried math, Celestia’s face fell. “...Eighty-seven,” she said, hollowly. “I’m eighty-seven.”

Luna nodded against her. “Seventy-nine,” she murmured into Celestia’s chest. Celestia felt her swallow. “Do you… feel... eighty-seven?” she asked.

“No,” Celestia murmured.

Luna shook her head. “Me neither.”

They were quiet for a moment.

“Lu,” Celestia said, gently, “What’s going on?”

Luna pulled her tighter. “...I got a letter,” she said quietly.

Celestia nodded. “What did it say?”

Luna was quiet again. “French Silk,” she said, finally. “She… she’s gone.”

French Silk. Celestia knew the name—but where…?

Her eyes widened. “Harmony’s bones,” she breathed.

Silky. She had been their hairdresser, helping them get ready for important meetings—but, after a while, Luna had really taken to her, and they’d become close friends. At least, until she’d had to leave Canterlot...

Celestia slowly shook her head. “Isn’t she in her fifties?” She asked. “That’s awful young for—”

“Her eighties.”

“Her eighties?” Celestia repeated, surprised. Had it been that long... ? How could she have lost track?

Before she even asked herself the question, she already knew the answer. Meetings. Negotiations. Paperwork. Everything needed to keep their crazy experiment running. And somehow, Silky had slipped through the cracks.

And, Celestia knew, with a burn of shame, she wasn’t the only one.

“I’m sorry,” Celestia said aloud—but, to who or to what, she wasn’t sure.

Luna sniffled. “She… she got older, Cece. B-but we’re not.” She closed her eyes, and another tear rolled down her cheek. “We’re not,” she repeated.

Celestia opened her mouth to reassure her—but realized she had nothing to say. She was right. They should be old mares by now—but she still felt twenty-five. She had lived as long as any pony had a right to—longer, even—but she didn’t have a wrinkle to show for it.

“It’s like…” she murmured, “...like time has just… just passed us by.”

Luna nodded. “What are we gonna do?”

Do?” Celestia repeated.

“What… what happens when everyone we know is gone, Cece?” She whimpered.“Back when she lived in Canterlot, we spent every afternoon together… every day I wasn’t busy with… with politics.” She spat the word. “She taught me so much about… about just how to be a pony. And now she’s...” She let out a little sob.

“And now she’s gone,” finished Celestia.

Luna nodded. “How long until they’re all gone?” She asked. “How long until I’m all alone?” She buried her head in Celestia’s shoulder. “She was like a sister to me, Cece,” she sobbed. “And now she’s just…” She went quiet again, and her body began to shake once more.

They held each other like that for a long time, the only sound Luna’s sobbing.

Celestia bit her lip, thinking hard. What could she do? What could she say?

Suddenly, Celestia smiled. She squeezed Luna a little tighter .”Well,” she said, “Maybe I could be your sister.”

Luna looked up at her, eyes still full of tears. “Huh?” she said.

I could be your sister—if you want,” Celestia repeated.

Luna sniffled. “D’ya mean it?” she whimpered.

“Of course,” Celestia said, smiling a little wider. “I mean, we’ve always looked out for each other—and, we’ve known each other long enough, I figure that puts us halfway there, at least.” She hugged her tighter. “And, if we’re going to be in this together, might as well, right?”

“You promise?” Luna murmured. “Sisters?”

“I promise,” she repeated. “For as long as… well, as long as this all lasts, at least.”

Luna smiled. “Sounds good to me,” she said, snuggling a little closer.

Celestia returned the smile, then leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. After a while, she chuckled. “You know… I’ve never had a sister before…”

Luna chuckled too. “It’s not hard,” she said. “You’ll do great.”

“Thanks,” she said. “...Sis.