• Published 20th Aug 2016
  • 5,666 Views, 22 Comments

The Twilight Before the Sunset - Diamond_Emblem

Princess Luna enlists Twilight Sparkle to help her in getting Sunset Shimmer to stay in Equestria so Princess Celestia and Sunset can reunite. The situation turns out to be much more complicated.

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Encountering the Twilight

Twilight sat down in a seat opposite from the princess. They were sitting in Luna's room, and Twilight couldn't help but admire it. The windows were arched and bordering them were a light shade of blue, evident against the turquoise blue walls. The dark red drapes were open, letting some sunlight inside the room. There was a dark blue tapestry behind Luna's crescent moon-shaped bed, with the scene of the night across Equestria. An unlit lamp hung from the top of the crescent moon. There was a blue and indigo drape with white stars inside Luna's bed. The dark turquoise blanket was sprinkled with turquoise stars. Intricate double doors led to the hallway. The floor was black, with swirls of purple dancing on it. Tree-like lamps had several lights on the ends of branches, unlit for the time being.

Princess Luna seemed to like blue.

Twilight and Luna sat at a deep blue table, sitting on black wooden chairs. There was a glass platter of crescent moon cookies with white frosting. A silver tea kettle was ready to serve tea, two teacups and a bowl of sugar nearby.

They were silent for a few minutes. Twilight watched Luna closely. Her face twitched ever so slightly every few seconds. Her eyes became darker and stormy. Her expression became fierce and she gritted her teeth. There was a war waging in Luna's head. She was most likely debating her decision about telling Twilight...whatever it was that she needed help with, wondering if she still had time to back out of her decision. Twilight stayed silent, knowing Luna was lost in her thoughts.

Finally, after two minutes, Luna sighed. "I hope I'm making the right choice about this," she said, her eyes on the table.

"I'm sure you are," Twilight said assuringly. "Now, what is it that you'd like to tell me?"

Luna took a shaky breath. Her she was, about to tell Twilight Sparkle of the Royal Daughter, Sunset Shimmer, the Secret Royal. She still had her doubts about telling Twilight. Not only might she overreact like she did in several situations, but she might refuse to help Luna reunite Sunset and Celestia. Or worse, Twilight wouldn't be able to convince Sunset to come to Equestria for her birthday and Hearth's Warming Eve. Sunset might stay with her friends for the holidays.

"Twilight..." Luna began. "How much do you know about Sunset Shimmer?"

Twilight had to take a moment to answer. How much did she know about Sunset? But a thought came to Twilight before she could answer.

"Why are you asking about Sunset Shimmer?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Just a question. I mean, you didn't bring her up for no reason, right?"

Luna nodded silently. "I'm afraid the answer to your question will have to wait," she said. "Please have faith in me and answer my question first."

Twilight nodded in respect but was really itching to know. Why would Princess Luna bring up Sunset Shimmer in a private meeting? Surely she could have brought up the unicorn at any other time.

"Well, I know she used to attend Princess Celestia's School for Gifted and Talented Unicorns before me," Twilight started out. "She wanted power, I think she mentioned to me in writing, but she couldn't get it. She left Princess Celestia's school as a result and traveled to the other world. She's been there ever since. Right now, they've just finished their Friendship Games and...er...met the other me. She goes to Canterlot High and is close friends with Sunset." Twilight paused. "I suppose Sunset's doing well now."

Luna looked slightly satisfied, but her eyes had a look that made Twilight think twice about what she was saying.

"And Sunset has not told you about her past?" Luna asked.

Twilight pressed her lips together. "Like I said, she went to Princess Celestia's school "

"Not that part of her past," Luna interrupted. "Her family. What her life was like. That sort of information."

Twilight opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Unfortunately, she did not know anything about Sunset's family. She had never asked, and Sunset never brought the subject up. Nor did she talk about her childhood in Equestria before leaving for the other world. It was strange, being Sunset Shimmer's friend, yet not knowing about her past. Or did she want to keep it secret? Was Sunset's past tragic? Was she an orphan? Was that a part of her reasoning to leave through the portal?

"No," Luna answered for her. "I suppose she wouldn't."

Twilight became suspicious and puzzled. "What do you mean you supposed she wouldn't?" she asked.

Luna's hooves twitched slightly for a moment as if the answer wasn't pleasant. "I know of Sunset's past," she explained with a cold tone. "Her father is a stallion named Flame Luster. He's currently in Coltifornia, away from Canterlot, since the city reminds him of his missing daughter and the mare who gave birth to her."

"I'm sorry," Twilight said before Luna could continue, "but if you know this, why did you ask me about me knowing Sunset's past?"

"I was testing your knowledge of Sunset's past," Luna replied. Her tone made it sound like Twilight had failed the test. That was the last thing she wanted. Why hadn't she asked more questions? Why didn't she know more about Sunset Shimmer? She didn't want to fail a single test in her life, though Twilight nearly had a small time before traveling to the other world for the first time.

"Peace, Twilight Sparkle," Luna said, recognizing the horrorstruck expression on her face slowly forming. "It's not truly a test. But now I know Sunset has not told you everything, and for that matter, the truth."

"What?" Twilight asked, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. "Sunset wouldn't lie to me, she's my friend."

"And yet, don't you find it strange that some ponies keep the most important secrets from even their closest friends?" Luna pointed out. "Sunset Shimmer told you the half-truth."

"Then what is the truth?" Twilight asked in disbelief.

"Sunset Shimmer didn't leave my sister's school by choice," Luna said. She stared long and hard at the table before saying, "She was expelled from the school."

"Expelled?!" Twilight exclaimed.

Luna nodded, expecting this type of reaction from Twilight. "Sunset did want power, and it turned her cruel," she continued. "The power she wanted? To become an alicorn."

Twilight gaped at Luna in disbelief. That wasn't possible. Sunset wouldn't do that, would she? Get herself expelled from Celestia's school because she wanted to be an alicorn? Pondering it, Twilight thought it made sense, but she didn't want to admit it. Sunset Shimmer stole her crown, which had possessed a huge amount of power. Not only that, but her crown was a symbol of royalty. And in the other world, Sunset had turned into a vicious, powerful demon.

"So...all this time, she left to the other world because she was expelled and for power?" Twilight asked, looking at Luna.

The princess of the night nodded. "I'm sorry you didn't know sooner "

"What else don't I know about Sunset Shimmer?" Twilight interrupted. "What else is she keeping from me? What don't I know?"

Luna felt her guilt rising, looking at Twilight with her demanding, crestfallen eyes. Should she tell Twilight? What would Celestia say if Luna told Twilight? Why was she doing this in the first place?

She felt her thoughts spin around in her head. Luna needed to focus.

What was she doing? Luna was going to tell Twilight about Sunset Shimmer and Celestia and have the young alicorn persuade Sunset to come back to Equestria in December. Why was she doing this? To officially reunite mother and daughter for the first time in years. So Celestia could finally tell her daughter the truth. So Sunset Shimmer could know she did have a mother who cared. What would Celestia say? It didn't matter, Luna was already putting her plan into motion. Should she tell Twilight? Who else was close enough to Sunset Shimmer to convince her to come to Equestria than Twilight?

A sudden question popped into Luna's head: Could she trust Twilight with a secret this important? Celestia had trusted Twilight Velvet, Twilight Sparkle's mother, with the secret of Sunset Shimmer due to the fact that she had been there to help deliver Sunset. It seemed that Twilight Velvet did not tell anypony. Bearing that fact in mind, she knew how to explain things to Twilight.

"If I tell you more about Sunset Shimmer," Luna said at last, folding her hooves, "then I must ask that you tell nopony of what I am about to tell you."

Twilight frowned at Luna. "You don't trust me?" she asked.

"Oh, I very well trust you," Luna reassured her, "but with the information I know, I must be wary.

"My sister trusts your mother with this very secret," Luna said coolly.

Twilight's ears shot up. "My mother knows more about Sunset Shimmer than I do?" she asked. "She's never met Sunset Shimmer in her life!"

"You should not speak words that you don't know are true," Luna warned.

Twilight became more panicky. "What do you mean by that?" she demanded. "How does Sunset Shimmer know my mom? Or how does my mom know about her? Since when does my mom know? Why does my mom know?"

"I can only answer your questions if you swear on your life that you do not tell a soul until I tell you to," Luna said darkly.

Twilight became silent for a few moments.

"What kind of secret would make me vow on my life?" she asked.

"A life-changing one," Luna answered plainly.

Twilight stared at her hooves. She needed to know. Why did her mother know more about Sunset Shimmer than she did? What was so life-changing about Sunset's secret? Did Sunset even know what the secret was?

She knew secrets could eat at someone, tempt anypony to tell others. But if her mother had not told a soul, if Celestia had trusted Twilight Velvet, then Twilight could do the same.

She took a deep breath. "I swear on my life that I will not tell anypony until you say the word," Twilight vowed.

Luna exhaled uneasily, closing her eyes. "Sunset Shimmer is Celestia's daughter."

The words were like a slap to the face. Twilight suddenly forgot how to breathe.

Luna couldn't bear to look at Twilight. She continued to have her eyes closed.

There was only silence in the room for five minutes. Luna was humming a song in her head, ignoring all noises that could be heard, which were none. Twilight just stared into oblivion, not realizing that small tears were escaping.

Luna finally opened her eyes and saw Twilight wiping her her own. Still, there was a minute that passed before Twilight managed to find her voice again.

"Sunset is the daughter of a princess?" Twilight asked in dismay.

Luna nodded. "Your mother was there to deliver her," she said quietly. "My sister had no pony else to turn to for help." A tear escaped her eye. "My sister had to let Sunset go."

"But why?" Twilight asked.

"Think about it, Twilight Sparkle," Luna said. "You are more than capable of understanding what would happen."

Twilight had to focus for a moment. "Celestia got pregnant...most likely by a common stallion...Sunset Shimmer would be an illegitimate child I presume, since they never married...Flame Luster would have to marry Celestia...her publicity would skyrocket because of a new princess...questions would be asked if Princess Celestia was fit to be a ruler because of what she did..." She paused, pressing her lips together. "Nothing good."

"Exactly," Luna said, nodding in agreement.

Twilight stared at the table. "So Sunset Shimmer has no idea that Princess Celestia is her mother?" she asked.

"No," Luna replied solemnly. "It has been years since they were last together. Tragic. That's where you come in."

"I'm sorry?" Twilight asked in confusion.

"It's been three months since my sister revealed to me Sunset's parentage," Luna explained. "And in three months, Sunset Shimmer will turn a new age. I want my sister and niece to be reunited at long last and for Sunset to learn the truth. I managed to persuade my sister to tell Sunset, but she has backed down from her decision."

"You want to reunite Sunset with her mother?" Twilight asked dubiously. "How are you going to convince Sunset to come to Equestria for her birthday?"

"I'm not going to do it," Luna said. She looked intently at Twilight. "You are."

"Me?!" Twilight asked in shock.

"There is no other pony who is capable of doing this task," Luna explained. "My asking her would be too suspicious. However, you are a close friend of Sunset. Perhaps you could tell Sunset to spend the holidays here in Equestria. That is," she said, narrowing her eyes, "if you are willing to do it."

"Of course I am," Twilight said confidently. "Knowing the truth now, Sunset needs to know, too. She deserves to. And I am willing to make sure Sunset finds out who her family is. When should I ask her?"

"A month prior to Sunset's birthday," Luna replied. "It'll give us enough time to prepare to tell her."

"What about Princess Celestia?" Twilight asked.

"Oh, Tia is going to tell Sunset," Luna said darkly, "whether she wants to or not. We are doing this, not for me, not for you, but for Sunset and Tia. For family."

"And how are we going to make sure Princess Celestia does that?" Twilight asked.

Luna stood suddenly. "We're going to tell her right now," she said matter-of-factly. "Come, Twilight Sparkle. Let's go find my sister."

Twilight stood and followed Luna out of the room, shutting the door quietly behind her.

The cookies and tea remained untouched.