• Published 18th Nov 2016
  • 6,908 Views, 403 Comments

My Only Sunshine - CoffeeBean



700 years have passed since the night Nightmare Moon defeated her sister Celestia and cast her to far off lands, stripping her of power. Now, the hate in the younger sister's heart has faded, and she has brought Celestia back to Equestria.

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Nº 0: PROLOGUE

It was surreal. There was joy in her heart, of course, but also a chilling pain and anguish; a feeling she hadn't felt for a while. It was a total mix of emotions, she was overjoyed to finally have her big sister back, but at the same time, she had been with her for 3 days now and Celestia hadn't spoken a word. Not a mumble, groan, or hum. Total silence. She hadn't even shed tears yet; when Nightmare first found her on that oh-so far away cluster of floating islands she had cast her to, she herself had cried. That first moment of holding Celestia's smaller, warm figure in her hooves was incredible, but heart-breaking at the same time. Celestia hadn't shown any emotion; she simply stared with a blank, slightly wide-eyed, mouth slightly agape stare. It was one of total fear, and while her mouth hadn't fallen open in quite some time, that look was still held in her pink eyes. From the moment Nightmare Moon had begun to fly towards Equestria with the younger in appearance Celestia following some distance behind, to moments ago when Nightmare moon had left Celestia alone in her new, somewhat cobbled together room; she hadn't said a word. As Nightmare walked through the moonlit halls of her... and her sister's Castle, a little smile worked its way onto her tear-damp cheeks, for in her magic she carried something she knew would open Celestia up.

In a large, slightly tarnished brass carry-cage proudly stood Philomena, Celestia's ancient pet Phoenix. For all those years, she had taken great care of Philomena, despite the creature's distaste for her. A wonderful habitat with room to fly, ample food and water, and weekly care from the castle's staff. This brightly colored Phoenix looked no different than 700 years ago when Celestia had made her departure. Though, the same could not be said about Celestia; Nightmare Moon had stripped her of all but the most basic powers (taking every bit of magic from a being was a sure-fire way to kill them), and thus, her body reverted in time. She stood in-between the height of Nightmare Moon and the regular ponies, and her mane and tail held no angelic flow or semi-rainbow pattern, they were a single shade of pink, and they hung with gentle curls as any normal mare's hair would. To Nightmare, it was like seeing a ghost. Laying eyes upon her sister was more akin to gazing upon a spirit or apparition.

Taking care to soften the impact of her metallic shoes against the stone floor, Nightmare approached the suit she had selected for Celestia; it was a guest room of the Castle, but it was the nicest one available. Prior to her beginning of the venture to bring her sister home Nightmare had the room painted bright white, and had been sure to give plenty of candles and lamps for her sister's non-nocturnal eyes to observe the world around her with. The Castle's interior was only lit in places with no windows; any place with a window was left to be lit by the pure, white light of the moon.

"Philomena... I know that you have quite the distaste for me, but I hope both you and her can see through that hate and see that I truly do want you both to be happy." Nightmare spoke in a hushed tone, holding the cage closer to her face.

Philomena chirped, cocking her head at Nightmare as the black mare turned towards an ornate door the Phoenix had never seen in the castle; it was clearly a guest room, but the fancy, arched double doors had been adorned with a symbol she had not seen in many moons; the sun of Celestia's cutie mark. Nightmare's magic worked in a strange fashion of darkness as she silently opened both doors, but used a spell to create an illusion to anyone on the other end to where the doors still appeared shut. There, in the brightly lit, white room, lay Celestia's pure white figure on her blue pillow-like bed, her eyes still wide open and her mane and tail spread lazily over the cushiony bed. Both Nightmare and Philomena stared for a moment at the perfectly still Alicorn, her only sign of life being the rise and fall of her chest and her periodic blinking.

"Your Highness, the Royal Head of Seamstresses is ready to see Celestia now," Spoke an approaching mare, her words only bringing a reaction from Philomena, who turned to look at her.

"She isn't," Returned Nightmare, now turning to address her adjutant, a tall, slender pegasus mare with a deep green mane and dark gray coat named Iris.

Iris paused her approach, noting the open doors of the newly-arrived Alicorn's quarters, "Can't she hear us?"

"Not at all. Sound-proofing and illusions; to her, the doors are shut."

Iris continued, standing beside Nightmare to look with squinted eyes into the bright room, Celestia's figure only being visible because of the blue sheets of her bed.

"Does it have to be that bright in there, your Highness?"

"Of course. She... she was the day's ruler. She loves light. Her being is almost pure light. Light is in her name."

"It's going to take a long time for her to adjust to living here... you do realize that, right, your Highness?"

"Of course," Nightmare's magic unlatched the simple door of the cage, taking Philomena out and setting her on the floor, "for now, we simply let her handle things in her own way."

Philomena looked from Nightmare to Iris for a moment before giddily hopping forward through the field of magic impersonating the room's door. Celestia's eyes remained locked forward until a squawk sounded from Philomena, her head perking from her pillow as she looked at the Phoenix standing some distance from the door.

"Philomena...?"

There it was; that first word. That little voice struck Nightmare like a spear, her chest tightening and an ache forming in her heart. She watched as Celestia burst from bed, her cheery laughter echoing into the hall as she ran to Philomena and took her in her hooves, her gently pink wings spreading gleefully from her sides as she hugged the Phoenix as tightly as she could. There too were the first tears; as Celestia dug her muzzle into Philomena's feathery neck, her chest began shuddering as she sobbed. That short burst of joyous laughter was replaced with an echoing sob of anguish, Celestia's tears being absorbed into the feathers of her long-lost friend. Iris watched as Nightmare knelt down, crossing her front legs as she watched the sight before her, a tear splashing to the marble she sat upon as another wave of emotion hit her.

"Your Highness..." Iris began, drawing Nightmare's sight to her, "I know you'll hate me for asking this question... but at this point, I really have to ask it; if you love her so much, why did you hurt her?"

Nightmare's eyes remained locked with Iris' for a moment before she turned back to Celestia, who was now on her back, wings spread with Philomena standing happily on her chest, her hoof gently petting along the fairly large Phoenix's body.

Nightmare's tears now came harder, her head falling to her crossed hooves, "I... I don't know..."





Celestia's eyes opened to her moonlit yet still vibrant room as she woke, Philomena squirming gently in her hooves, as she had fallen asleep embracing her feathered friend. 700 years of total isolation. Where she had been cast to was a land totally void of life. No trees, grass, or creatures; just a cluster of floating islands of stone. For 700 years she simply existed, she did not eat, she did not converse with others, she did not sleep, she simply looked at the rocks around her, the clouds above, and the ocean below. Her wings still functioned just fine, and she was able to fly from one sizable island to the next, but something stopped her from ever going further. It was not a solid wall, nor a shield of magic; it was fear. Her wings had occasionally carried her some distance from these strange islands, but she always came right back.

And now... she lay comfortably in bed with her Philomena. For 700 years she speculated on what she would do if she did ever see her sister or her old nation again, and all of her speculations had been false. She thought she would scream in anger. She thought she would cry in joy. She thought she would try to strike her sister, or try to muster enough magic for a bolt of energy to pierce the armored peytral adorning her chest. But in reality, she had done none of that. For the past while, she had done barely anything and said nothing. Her awkward tour of the castle was one of total silence save of her sister, who nervously spoke about the Castle's details and features, and her long flight with her sister from those isolated islands to the place she already dreaded to call home had been totally silent.

As she stared at the white stone wall at the other end of the room, Celestia still didn't want to speak, or move, or even see another creature other than Philomena. If Nightmare Moon would cover the windows with blue paper to remind her of the blue skies she once ruled and lock the door, she wouldn't care. She almost preferred it at this point, but she knew she wasn't fortunate enough to have such a life. Nightmare Moon would be in at any moment to try and make things better, and she would have to walk about this dreaded Castle while all of the ponies staffing it looked at her because she was different. She could only speculate, but she assumed Nightmare had crafted some wondrous lie of how Celestia had been the aggressor, and she had been the jealous sister trying to steal the night and make her day last forever.

A grumble startled both Philomena and Celestia, an almost unfamiliar ache running in Celestia's stomach. It was hunger. She hadn't felt hungry in 700 years. Celestia raised her head from her pillow and released Philomena from her embrace as she stood, wobbling tiredly for a moment as she blinked. The flap of wings filled the silent room and Philomena gracefully hovered from the bed, perching herself happily on Celestia's back. The two shared a smile, and Celestia stepped further into the room she hadn't quite fully investigated. She knew it had a kitchen, so that was the first place she went. The cabinets were bare of any food, only some basic things for preparing food. The drawers held nothing but cutlery (Celestia couldn't help but notice the lack of knives), and the higher set of cabinets were too totally empty.

There was something she hadn't noticed before; what appeared to be a metal washbasin with a strangely shaped faucet. The faucet had no pump, which prompted Celestia to wonder if every room was somehow given its own supply of water. It did have two doorknob-like shapes sticking out from either side of it; maybe one was to pull up on one of the shapes, and that motion somehow worked as a pump. Her weak magic yanked at the leftmost shape, her action bringing a single drop from the faucet. She tried harder, pulling and pushing and pulling until the shape suddenly rotated, water gushing from the faucet at an incredible pace. She watched the stream very intently, awe taking her expression as water poured and poured from the faucet without another input. Celestia stepped back, continuing to look at the running water. How was such a thing possible?

Her magic turned the shape the other way, the stream slowly ceasing to nothing. The knob was rotated back to the on position, Celestia laughing unintentionally at the sight of water simply appearing. No matter how long she left it running, the water flowed steady and strong. She dipped her head under the stream, holding her mouth open as the drank the magically appearing water. It was as if a river had been funneled through this pipe; clean, cold, and refreshing. Having downed many gulps, Celestia turned the knob to cut off the magical water as she left the kitchen, looking to the double door of her room for a moment before finally walking to them. She debated leaving; maybe she could wait out the hunger, and it would just fade away, then she wouldn't ever have to worry about seeing Nightmare Moon ever again.

She sighed. That wasn't going to happen. With much hesitation, she raised a hoof to the doorknob, pushing down only to have her hoof fade totally through the knob. She raised a brow, trying again to only get the same result. Suddenly, the door vanished altogether, Celestia's eyes instantly meeting with Nightmare Moon, who was lying down with a pillow and a plate of food just outside her room.

"I knew you'd get hungry, so I made sure to get you something. It... it's probably cold by now, but it's better than nothing."

Celestia didn't speak, her eyes barely moving from Nightmare's as the plate floated into the air by a blue aura and was held up to her. She eyed the plate, thinking to smack it with her hoof in a show of defiance, but she decided against doing so; and she held out her hoof instead to receive her meal.

"You don't ever need to say it back, Celestia; but just know that I love you... with all of my heart."

Celestia took a step back into the room, her horn fizzling to life as her weak spells took the handles of each door and swung them inwards, holding them in a nearly shut position for a moment as she looked at Nightmare Moon, "Keep these closed."

As hard as she could, Celestia slammed the doors shut.

"Your Highness, if I may suggest something?" inquired Iris, who had been standing out of Celestia's view.

"Go ahead."

"Don't visit her in her dreams. I know very well you'd like to, because it's the one place you have total control over... but don't. Just craft her joyous dreams."

Nightmare Moon's entire body tensed at her adjutant's words, "Till time itself stops, Celestia..."

"Excuse me, your Highness?"

"One year, on Hearts and Hooves day... I, I asked Celestia to be my special somepony. That night, when we fell asleep together, she said exactly what you said... 'Craft us joyous dreams, sister'."

Iris held her silence, only being able to watch as another wave of tears came over Nightmare, her chin now resting against the hard floor instead of the little pillow she had made Iris fetch her, "Till time itself stops, Celestia... till time itself stops," Nightmare whispered as the placed her hoof on the door.

Author's Note:

If you've enjoyed the story so far be sure to favorite or add to your 'tracking' shelf!