• Published 18th Nov 2016
  • 6,913 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 5: COLD CUT

Cold Cut's magic placed a plate before Celestia, who sat up in anticipation at the arrival of the dish.

"Sauteed green beans with a sweet glaze, two slices o' toast covered in butt'r and fresh raspberry jam, a bowl of some nice, hot veggie soup, a kale and tomato salad drizzled in a vinaigrette dressin' with some fresh parsley, and a cup of hot cocoa, just because yer lookin' mighty cold wrapped in tha' blanket an' all," proudly explained the chef, standing back as she watched Celestia instantly dig into the meal.

Celestia had been given a spoon, but the utensil went totally unused as she picked up the bowl from the plate, bringing it to her open maw as she gulped down the hot liquid and chewed the soft, yet still wonderfully flavored and textured carrots, potatoes, beans, and other bits and bobs that made up the soup. After holding the bowl up for a fair bit of time she brought it back down, Cold Cut chuckling as she saw the bowl to be totally empty.

"Quite hungry, were ya?"

Celestia offered a nod as she took a huge bite from the first of the two peices of toast, barely chewing and swallowing the first bite before taking a second.

"I know it's not the fanciest plate aroun', but I knew ya were starvin', so I didn' mess abou' with makin' it all pretty like I normally woul'. I hope tha's not much of a problem," commented Cold Cut with a nervous shift of her hooves.

Celestia hummed past the final bite of toast in her mouth, swallowing it with a gulp. "Thou art fine." Her magic brought forth her fork, stabbing it into the green beans. "We thank thee for the meal, and the haste with which thee prepared it." The bean-loaded fork came to Celestia's waiting mouth, an audible snap being heard as she bit down on the perfectly cooked vegetables, her head rolling back as she moaned at the flavor. "Oh; these are wonderful! So sweet and snappy. Thou stated thy intention was not to spoil us, but we think thou hast!"

"I try my best, Princess Celestia!" Cold Cut beamed.

Hearing her full title spoken aloud by another was almost shocking. For the longest time, she thought she would never hear it spoken again. After finishing off the pile of green beans with much haste her fork moved to the pile of salad, the flavor and texture bringing the same response the beans had.

Celestia chuckled after having downed a forkful of salad. "Three days is quite some time to go without food, but we do forget that our 700-year banishment was one spent without a meal."

Cold Cut's mouth fell open. "700 years withou' food? But... how?"

"Banishment is not the incarceration thee would know. Nay sleep, nay hunger, nay thirst, nay magic." Celestia paused. "Nay death."

The room stayed quiet for a while as Cold Cut simply stared while Celestia resumed her meal.

"How'r ya still sane?"

"We aren't."

Cold Cut chuckled nervously. "I don' quite think yer insane, Princess Celestia, ya-"

"Does sanity cause one to sleep for hours upon hours and wake to still feel tired? Does sanity bring hate to the heart when looking upon somepony held close to the heart? Does sanity mean the only emotions ever felt are hate, sorrow, and anger? I once knew what sanity was; sanity was happiness. Sanity was being able to look our sister in the eye and not feel dread. Sanity was having a purpose in life. Sanity was not re-living old memories of our life through dreams simply to escape the walls and faces of our new life. Sanity was waking, and wishing to stay awake. If one wakes, and wishes to sleep, yet sleeps, then does not wish to wake, then what does one want?"

Cold Cut stayed totally quiet, watching as Celestia dropped her fork to the table.

"One would want death. We do not want to have such a wish... but we have had time to sit in thought, and we do feel that is the feeling our mind conveys." Her head shook. "Doth thee know what such a want is like? Doth thee know how it feels to not want existence? Tell us, Chef; if thee were to wake tomorrow and thy horn's magic was stripped and thy mind was absent of all knowledge of thy art, would thee still wish to wake?"

Cold Cut stumbled with her words. "I-I would..."

"Thou hast a family, and thou hast those who love thee, correct?"

"Aye, I do-"

"We do not. Those we would call family disappeared 700 years ago, along with our knowledge, function, and sister. We hath no purpose; our magic is blocked by the traitor who stole our country, and our sun shines not on the lands we once loved. We hath no family; our sister was the only thing we held dear, and she hast been killed; the creature ruling these walls claims to be her, it is not. We once had knowledge greater than any being beside my dear sister... now even that hast been stripped away. We know nothing of these lands, of this nation, of this castle, of its workings, or those within it. What is there to live for when existence is void of joy, love, and warmth? If thy life held no joy, thee would continue on because of thy family and friends; ponies who surround thee, who cause thee happiness, and who thou bring happiness to. We... art void of that."

Silence fell over the conversation as Cold Cut failed to think of anything to say, Celestia looking at her for a time before sighing, rubbing her face with a hoof and levitating her fork back up to collect some more salad.

"We apologize..." Celestia took the forkful of salad in her mouth. "A lot on our mind lately."

"Princess Celestia, there's no need to apologize to me. It's pretty darn clear tha' ya need somepony to listen to wha' ya have to say. I'll stand here for the next hour if ya wan' me to."

"We mean no offense to thee... but our words hold little value when heard by thy ears." Celestia sighed. "We should be telling this to the traitor."

"Aye; ya should. An', ya know, maybe it wouldn' hurt to call her by her name instead of callin' her 'traitor'."

"Her name is poison. We shalt never speak it. There art but two words we shalt never speak; one is hers."

Cold Cut refrained from asking what the other was.

"Well, even if ya don' like 'er, ya live here now... an' ya gotta start bein' happy an' start fixing yer relation with 'er. If ya don', this place'll en' up bein' the end of ya."

Celestia sat in thought for a time, her magic gently tapping her fork at her nearly cleaned plate.

"Tell us about her. How does she govern?"

"Well, I don' quite know a lo' about politics and such, but Equestria isn' at war, an' everypony's got food an' stuff, so I'd say she's not doin' too bad of a job. She's quite friendly; she likes to chat with me whenever she comes here fer breakfast or dinner. I... don' think I could make a complaint, other than wha' she's done to ya. I don' think it's right at all."

"How would thee feel if the sun were to return?"

"Oh, I'd love it. Many ponies would. When her Highness announced tha' she was gonna bring ya back there were quite a bit of celebratin', a lo' of us though' she was gonna let ya bring the sun back."

Celestia sat up, her ears perking. "So... ponies do not like the permanent night?"

"Ponies wonder wha' the day was like. I wouldn' say anypony dislikes the night, but yer return has shaken things up a little. Some say that bringin' the day back would end the nation, an' some say it wouldn' change a thin'. Me? I wan' to see the day. My father's got this old paintin' of this forest an' mountain durin' the day, an' it's one o' the mos' beautiful thin's I ever did see. All the colors an' the blue sky. I wan' to see it fer myself."

There was a little pause as Cold Cut thought, Celestia still sitting up straight, hanging on every word.

"To think o' it, I don' quite think it's right fer the day to be gone. It... doesn' make a lo' of sense. The night is beautiful, but so is the day, so wha's the point o' gettin' rid of one of them?"

Celestia's breath caught in her chest as Cold Cut looked at her; that final question was meant for her. This Chef wasn't asking a broad question, she was asking her.

"We... can't answer thee. We know not why she hast seen fit to do the things she hath done."

Cold Cut chuckled to herself. "Ya see; this is wha' I mean' when I said that yer return has shaken things up. Nopony was havin' this talk a few months back. Nopony was questionin' why things are the way they are. You bein' brough' back has put questions into everypony's minds. Ya know, Princess Celestia; in my mind, ya do still have a purpose. Sure, ya may not know a lo' about the country, or ya may not know anypony aroun' the Castle, but ya know how to do one thing, an' tha' is to bring the day back."

"That can't be done... she won't allow it. My magic may seem to be functional to the outside observer such as thyself... but it is anything but functional. I can open a door and lift a fork; that is it. We once could move mountains, create other realms of existence, create light or fire as we saw fit... we could raise the sun, but she hath broken our internal magic, and she hath blocked our horn from drawing in the world's lighter magic. She wants to keep the sun down, and she wants to keep us down. She did not bring us from our eternal prison of stone and ocean to make us happy, she did it to quell her guilt. We hath conversed with her, and she dost not wish to hear out thoughts or feelings. She wishes to keep us as a trophy."

"I truly do doubt tha', Princess Celestia. Nightmare Moon had been talkin' about "bringing back her long lost big sister" for quite some time before actually doin' it. There were quite a few aroun' the castle and in the Parliament who disagreed with her; they said she should leave ya because ya migh' bring the sun back. She doesn' know I did, but I listened to a few talks she had with Miss Iris while in this here room. She loves ya a lo' more than ya think she does. Iris insisted for quite a while to listen to the Parliament and to the Generals because they all though' ya'd be a threat, bu' she didn't listen. She was really firm in sayin' tha' ya weren' a threat, an' tha' ya didn' need to live out in the middle of nowhere fer no reason any longer."

"Thou art... sure of this? Thou did not misunderstand her?"

"Aye, I'm as sure. An', if I were to be honest with ya, I'd say tha' I don' think yer sister is gone. Ya may think tha' Nightmare Moon isn't her... but I think she is, an' I think ya know she is. If Nightmare Moon didn' truly love ya, then she woul' have left ya in... whatever place she left ya in."

Celestia held her silence as she looked away from Cold Cut, her eyes going back down to her plate as she stared for a time before taking the remaining piece of jammed toast with her magic and taking a large bite from it.

"If ya don' min' me askin, Princess Celestia... wha' was tha' place like?"

Celestia stopped chewing, looking up at Cold Cut as she swallowed. "A set of stone islands, suspended by a force ourself and our sister both failed to understand thousands of years ago when we first found this place. It exists far from life and was a place devoid of it before we were placed there. It was a land far from Equestria. The sky was a permanent twilight, our steady sun's light barely shining into the murky night. A... constant reminder of the world we failed to protect. There was no magic; not a single spark could be dragged from our horn. There was no sleep; we sat awake for those full 700 years with our own thoughts and voices. The standard pony dreads hunger and fatigue because they are commonplace, and are unavoidable... but when those features are stripped away, one realizes how much of a luxury they are. We... almost missed sleep and hunger more than we did our country. As it stands, we would have been far happier to have been given our magic, given our Philomena, and given the features of mortal life and sent to a place far from these walls. But, the traitor insists on keeping us here. She keeps us to please herself, in her own words; 'I want my big sister back'."

Celestia paused for a moment, sneering as she shook her head and looked away from Cold Cut. "Thy big sister does not want thee back."

"I don' really understan', why woul' she do somethin' so terrible to ya?"

Celestia looked back up. "Thy question has been posed in our mind since that night. Her entire motive, to us, is totally illogical," Celestia scoffed. "She art more insane than we. If that... thing, is indeed our true sister, and is not something that hast ripped apart her mind and stole her being, then we shalt strike her down just as we shalt strike down the demon we know hast gripped her mind."

"Ya'd really kill yer sister?"

Celestia blinked a few times, looking away, "N-Nay. We... we do not know why we said that. Hurting her i-is something we shant ever dream of." A quiet sniffle came from Celestia as she looked back up to Cold Cut, who saw that the Princess was just on the verge of tears. "We fail to understand why we feel so much hate. W-We hast never been a being to hate. Tis not in our nature."

"I... I don' think ya hate her, Princess. Yer jus' upset, an' tha's totally understandable."

Celestia's breathing shuttered, tears now making their way through her tightly shut eyelids, "We do hate. W-We know it as truth... we hate her. We wish not for hate! Anger, s-sorrow... hate, those things... those vile things! They brought our sister and ourself to where we are! Hate brings no good!"

"If yer so hurt by yer own feelin's, then do somethin' abou' it! Sit dow' an' have a proper talk with yer sister. Don' shout or argue; talk. She sees yer poin' of view, but she doesn' understan' it."

Celestia's teary eyes looked up at Cold Cut, their gazes locking for a moment before Celestia looked back away.

"We hast nay clue as to how we should make her understand. Speaking with her seems so futile."

"How lon' have ya been alive, again?"

Celestia blinked, a little confused. "A fair two thousand and five hundred."

"Fer somepony tha' old, yer probably pretty patient, aren't ya?"

"Aye, we were patient at one time."

"Then ya can still be patient. Take yer time talkin' with her. Speak to her one day, then go a full week without ever even seein' her again. This battle yer fightin' isn' one tha' can be won by swords or magic, it's one tha' can be won by words. If ya show her some love back, then she might start listenin', because you and I both know tha' ya haven't said anythin' kind to her since ya go' back."

"Thou art right; we hath not said anything kind. She... has been quite adamant about pronouncing her unwavering love for us."

“Aye, see? An’ has she ever raised her voice at ya?”

“Once… but it was justified. Our argument was… one with venom and anger.”

“An’ how many times have ya raise yer voice at her?”

Celestia chuckled. “Every word, nearly.”

“Aye. Trus’ me, Princess Celestia; shoutin’ and screamin’ ain’t gonna do a thing.”

With a sigh, Celestia took another bite of toast. “Thou art probably right…” she confessed past the food she chewed.

“Can’ hurt to just walk with her, can it?”

“Nay, we suppose it shant.”

There was a little pause as Celestia finished off her toast, swallowing the tasty, crunchy bread as her magic picked up her still hot cup of cocoa.

“Well, how are ya feelin’ after a nice meal?” Cold Cut inquired as she watched Celestia take a long drink from her hot, sweet beverage.

“Folds better than when we first woke… but our stomach still bothers us and our body still aches. We hath never fallen under such an illness. We suspect it to be linked with the fact our magic hast been stripped.”

“Well, tha’ soun’s like more reason fer ya to try an’ get yer magic back. If it’s causin’ ya true harm, I don’ think Nightmare Moon woul’ keep it from ya fer much longer.”

“Aye… well; we did inform her quite firmly that if she were to allow our magic to be free we would raise the sun… which she is firmly against us doing.”

“Kinda hurt yerself on tha’ one, didn’ ya?”

Celestia smiled. “Aye.”

Cold Cut remained quiet for a second as she thought, Celestia simply continuing with her drink.

“Have ya though’ of not raisin’ the sun? I mean… ya know, maybe it’d be best for ya to try an’ adapt. Don’ get me wrong, Princess Celestia; I’d love to see the day, but if it’s causin’ so many problems, maybe it’s best fer the sun to stay down.”

“We appreciate thy concern for us… but the sun will rise. In due time, she shalt shine. If it takes us another thousand years, then it shall. There is a fundamental imbalance within the magical fabric of the land, and we shalt not stand idly and make nay attempt to repair it.”

Cold Cut smiled. “Tha’s almost wha’ I wanted to hear, Princess Celestia.”




Celestia sat peacefully in the confines of her room, the damaged lantern sat beside her and the candles of the fixture above providing the room with a comforting glow. She had pulled a second blanket from her bed and a pillow to create a comfortable place for her to lay as she played with Philomena. Being a rather playful Phoenix, she enjoyed playing a game most would recognize as 'catch'. Celestia had found a cork sitting in one of the cabinets of her little kitchen and had been very right in thinking the item would make a good thing for Philomena to try and catch out of the air. Not only was it good practice for Philomena's hunting skills, but it was entertainment for Celestia; watching Philomena grab the cork mid-air to land with it and attempt to kill it with her talons and beak was quite enjoyable.

She had given herself some time to think after leaving the strange little dining room the chef had showed her to; wandering through the halls for a short time before returning to her quarters had provided ample time to think about their conversation. Walking for a bit had also shown her that the illness consuming her health wasn't improving as she thought it had been. In waking, she had felt somewhat better, and after having a meal she had felt better, but walking had worsened things. The feeling of her stomach wanting to reject its contents returned and the ache and sting throughout her body had come back. Just as before, however; sitting totally still helped somewhat to quell the pain. Luckily, her magic was currently strong enough for her to play with Philomena and not have to move a muscle.

As Philomena stood over the cork, kicking it and jabbing it with her talons, Celestia let her mind wander as she observed, a smile working its way onto her previously neutral expression. If there was one thing Nightmare Moon had done that she was genuinely happy about, it was the fact she had placed Philomena back in her hooves.

A gentle knock at the door drew Celestia's absent mind back to the world around her, "Who wishes our company?"

There was a considerable pause before whoever had knocked finally spoke, "It's me... I, uh, wanted to make sure you aren't feeling too horrible," returned Nightmare Moon through the doors.

"We feel better than yesterday."

"So... you haven't thrown up the food you got from Chef?"

Celestia paused, a scowl working its way to her expression, "How doth thee know of our meal?"

"I-I asked the guard if you had been out of your room, and they told me you had been to the dining hall."

Celestia hummed.

"Can I... come in?"

"Aye."

The doors slowly opened half way to reveal Nightmare, her expression a concerned frown. There was a bout of silence between the two as they exchanged a look, Celestia only meeting her gaze for a time before looking back to Philomena and taking the cork from her with a spell. Nightmare took a step into the room, carefully shutting the door as she watched Celestia toss the cork into the air, Philomena hopping forward to catch it with her beak.

"How often doth thee spy on us through the guard?"

"I-I wouldn't call it spying... I just want to make sure you're okay."

"We art not okay."

Nightmare Moon sighed, dropping to her haunches. "I know you aren't."

"We think our hold from magic is part of the issue."

"I've thought the same thing... but I-"

"We know, thou cannot give us our magic back."

Nightmare sighed again, looking on as Celestia laid her chin on her pillow, her wings moving beneath her blanket to get more comfortable.

"If you start feeling worse, please tell me," Nightmare informed as she stood up, Philomena chirping excitedly as Celestia took the cork with her magic, holding it in a taunting fashion before tossing it across the room.

"We shalt."

Nightmare paused before the doors, looking over her shoulder. "I love you."

"We know."