• Published 31st Jul 2011
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I'll Never Let Go - Autumn Wind

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I'll Never Let Go

I’ll Never Let Go

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction
Written by Autumn Wind

Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment and appreciation, and should not be distributed for profit.

It was that day again. The prison vessel had plunged into shadows and risen again onto Equestria seven times since her last visit. Celestia observed the surface of the moon as she hurried through the void, carried by powerful magic. A single mare sat in the gray dust, waiting for her, looking up at the sky.

High above Equestria, the moon had always been a beautiful sight. However, its surface could only be described as unwelcoming, nothing but grey dust and dark sky, coldness and shadows. Though the magic barrier restraining her to the surface protected Luna from the constant rigors of open space, it was no place to spend a day, let alone several hundred years.

In a flash of bright light, Celestia’s physical form manifested in the moon’s sky. With a muted thump, the white alicorn landed, raising a cloud of dirt around her landing. Her expression showed deep worry, but a gleam of hope twinkled in her eyes. This time, things would work out differently. She was sure of it. Taking a deep breath, she set down the wicker basket that her magic had held afloat next to her.

Today was Monday, and just like every Monday for the past few hundred years, Celestia had flown out into the cosmos to bring the Mare in the Moon some food, sisterly affection and a chance at repentance. Though their nature as goddesses absolved them from the need to eat, it helped them keep a better disposition and kept their powers at peak capacity. Therefore, she mostly brought it as a gesture of good will. Every week, she hoped to share it with Luna. With the events of last week, she just knew that this time, she would get to. They would eat together, and then they would head back to Equestria and announce the great news to the ponies. Nightmare Moon was no more.

“Celestia! You came!”, a young voice sounded.

“Luna?” Celestia couldn’t help but exclaim. Had her hopes finally come true? It seemed too good to be true. Maybe, just maybe, it was real this time. Celestia knew it was more than likely a trick by Nightmare Moon, but she wanted it to be true. If it really was Luna, every millisecond of affection more was worth risking falling into a trap.

“Sister!” the filly-looking goddess squealed as she galloped towards her adored sibling. “You came for me!”

“Oh... Luna... I knew that someday, just someday, I’d find you here instead of Nightmare Moon. Was it the telescope I got you? Did that let you see how much ponies like your night? What was it?”

Luna smiled and mirrored Celestia’s gallop, eagerly moving to meet her sister.

“Yes! I looked down on Equestria at night and I saw the ponies partying and having fun, and the stargazers making their maps. It made me see how much Equestria loves me! I’m sorry, sister. I’m so sorry I ever doubted you.”

Overjoyed, Celestia stepped forward and wrapped her forelegs around her sister, pulling her into a deep hug. Luna returned the gesture of affection, with a sweet, relieved smile on her face.

With her head draped over her younger sister’s shoulder, Celestia couldn’t see the smile slowly melt into a vicious, sadistic grin. In a flash and a scream of anguished rage, the filly nearly doubled in size, becoming every bit as tall as her solar counterpart.

Celestia’s eyes shot wide open as her “sister” pulled her head back and gave her the most horrible of stares.

“Well, well. It seems you’ve fallen for this one again, haven’t you, Celestia? This time, I’m not letting you go. I’ll strangle you with my bare hooves, and take the power that rightly belongs to me. I’ll take back those hundreds of years you’ve stolen from me! I’ll rip them one by one, right out of your soul! I’ll never let go, not until you stop breathing!”

Nightmare Moon’s legs wrapped solidly around Celestia’s neck. The dark mare was using all her strength trying to finish things in the simplest, most brutal way. However, something just wasn’t right. Her assailant was barely exerting any pressure on her throat. It only took a token effort for Celestia to escape the Mare in the Moon’s grip.

Week after week of screaming her rage out into space and desperately trying manner after manner of escape had taken a severe toll on Luna’s body. Her horn had gone dull and no longer provided any magic talent. Her wings had atrophied and could no longer carry her through the air. Her mane hung limply, no longer floating or shining.

Celestia spoke coldly and stoically. Only her strong willpower kept her from showing troubling disappointment. She didn’t want to show weakness. She needed to stay strong.

“Nightmare Moon. After the first hundred times you used this trick, I should certainly have seen through it. Shame on me for being so trusting.”
Nightmare Moon was hunched over, wobbling with every step. She dragged herself across the ground, exhausted, retreating from Celestia in defeat. Stopping a few meters away from her uninvited guest, the somber goddess offered a mocking, emaciated smile.

“Yes, Celestia. You were always so blind. Unable to recognize your sister’s sorrows. Unable to notice her envy. She turned murderous, and you still didn’t notice. I could throw your sun at you, and you wouldn’t even see it coming.”

Celestia’s only answer to the mockeries was a blank stare. She refused to give Nightmare Moon the satisfaction of getting to her. After so long, Nightmare Moon had exhausted her notably large vocabulary of invectives and insults. This time, the fallen moon princess had resigned herself to insults the like of which were often heard in elementary schools around Equestria.

Raising a single eyebrow, she questioned, “Why must we go through these tricks and games every time I come see you? Can we not simply talk?”

Nightmare Moon’s smug grin collapsed into a grimace. Her teeth ground against one another. She approached her sister hesitantly, slithering ever closer. She hissed words of fury, slowly turning into fully voiced anger.

"I don’t want to talk to you! You’ve come to mock me once more! Is this sequestration not a sufficient punishment, Celestia? Was banishing me not enough for you? How dare you show your face here again? What more do you want from me, sister? You’ve taken everything! My powers, my strength, my freedom; I have nothing left!”

Celestia turned her back on Nightmare Moon. “The only thing I took from you was your ability to hurt our subjects. You took away your strength by yourself. Your rage and anger are what exhaust you so much. If you would only stop to breathe and think quietly, perhaps you would not be so fatigued.”

Nightmare Moon’s eyes wandered across the surface until they met the basket. “Food. Again? Really? Ridiculous.” With a single swipe of a dull horn, the basket sparked with magic for a moment before detonating into a burst of smoke, scattering the produce that had been brought within, and shattering the crystalline water bottle.

Celestia sighed, still refusing to look at the pony that had once been her sister. She had expected such defiance. She gazed at the scattered victuals. Last week’s vegetables and fruit were gone and it was easy to tell that the prisoner wasn’t going hungry so badly. She knew full well that once she had left, Nightmare Moon would nourish herself. Though they did not need to eat as goddesses, a lack of nutrition did take a serious toll on their power and health.

Other scenes attracted Celestia’s attention across the desolate plains. To the east, the remains of a shattered telescope lay near a large rock. To the west, a track of displaced dust seemed to grow with every one of her visits, leading to a crater a few meters ahead. Celestia had often witnessed the obsessive attempts at flying back that invariably ended in a crash. Between the magical barrier and Nightmare Moon’s own exhaustion, there was no way she would be able to fly back by her own means.

"You know full well why I have come, Luna, just like last week, and the thousands before. I’ve come to see how you are, hoping that perhaps you would have reflected enough. It was with great sorrow that I sent you here, and with greater sorrow even that I am forced to keep you here.”

Nightmare Moon’s disdainful face contorted into a frown of anger. She grabbed Celestia by the shoulders and forcibly turned her around. Mustering what little strength she had left, she pulled herself just inches away from her sister’s face. She flew into a frenzy of shouting, pounding at the mare with her front hooves.

"Why won't you let me be, sister? Why do you insist on coming up here and disturbing my solitude? Go away! Leave me alone! Can’t you see there is no hope? Why do you insist on loving me after everything I’ve done! I’ve wounded you! I’ve tried to kill you! I’ve been making attempt after attempt on your life every week since you stuck me here! Why do you refuse to hate me? Celestia! Answer that! Why won’t you hate me!”

Her blows barely shook Celestia. The white mare made no effort to stop her sister. She was part of the reason Nightmare Moon was so hysterical, and she knew the only hope to talk to her was to wait out the pure frothing rage, the incoherent outburst of emotion that accomplished nothing except weaken the mare even further.

“One day, I will find my way back onto Equestria, and it will be my turn at last! I’ll show you! I’ll crush you! I’ll destroy you! Equestria will see that Nightmare Moon is their true leader!"

After what seemed an eternity, the assault finally ebbed. Celestia was shaking in place, horrified by what her sister had become. Her lips quivered as she did all she could to restrain herself from collapsing into tears. It tore her apart to know that Luna was suffering. She couldn’t do anything about it except come week after week and let Nightmare Moon take everything out on her. This was her burden.

During the first few years, Nightmare Moon had still been strong, and she had inflicted several terrible wounds to the sun goddess when they clashed. However, as the years had gone by, the Mare in the Moon had become far too weak and exhausted to pose a threat. The only pains these visits now brought to Celestia were emotional wounds. As the years went by, Celestia was terrified that perhaps she would never see her sister’s true self again. Still, she kept coming, week after week. Rarely, she would get a glimpse of the real Luna. She would comfort her for the few precious seconds where she could talk to her before Nightmare Moon began lashing at her anew.

"I do not come for who you are now, but for who you once were. I will never abandon you, no matter what abuse you inflict on me. I know you’re still somewhere in there, lost in all that rage. I know one day, I’ll be able to get you out of there. Luna, I still love you. No matter what you’ve done, I still care about you."

Nightmare Moon had collapsed onto the ground again. She was out of breath from doing more shouting than could ever be healthy. She was panting heavily, occasionally coughing from having inhaled too much of the dust her outburst had kicked up. Though she no longer had the strength to lash out physically, she kept the verbal assault up, in a broken voice that carried words of rage and sorrow.

"You idiot, Celestia. Luna is gone. Now there is only Nightmare Moon. She has vanished into rage and envy. If you care so much, then why do you keep me in this ironic prison? I should be down there. We should have been equals, but you kept it all for yourself, you selfish mule!"

"Luna, I know you are still there. You hide your sorrows and anger behind this Nightmare Moon mask. Do you think I enjoy keeping you here? That I come here and let you abuse me for my own pleasure? In this state, you would be a threat to our subjects, I have no choice. I must do what is best for Equestria. I come every week offering you a chance of salvation. Yet, you insist on shouting and lashing out."

Celestia looked down at the exhausted figure, her eyes full of pity. Why do you do this to yourself, sister... Tears were beginning to well up in her eyes, and a knot formed in her throat.

"You stand so tall and proud in the face of a prisoner. Pitiful. You were always so full of yourself. A show-off! A power-hungry tyrannical show-off! Get out of here! Your light and color repulse me! You make me sick!"

Nightmare Moon was shouting again. She lunged at Celestia once more, but the exhaustion was too much for her body to handle. She collapsed onto her stomach. Forcing herself into a sitting position, Nightmare Moon tried to spit on Celestia. However, she was too dehydrated, and nothing came of it.
Celestia took a few steps towards her sister, wrapping a warm wing around her exhausted body. and pulling her into a close embrace. Her muzzle gently brushed against the black mare’s starry mane, and she whispered words softly into her’s ear. Her sister was in no shape to resist the affection, and simply snarled her discontentment.

"As you wish. I am leaving. You would do well to look down onto Equestria. Some ponies still remember the true Luna; I remember her most of all. I know that one day, you will be yourself again, and I wait for that day like no other. Sister, I love you. I’ll come back next week. I’ll never let go, not until you stop suffering."

Celestia turned on her heels for one final time, brushing away a stray tear from her pristine cheek. There was nothing more for her to do here. A single flap of her strong wings shot her out into space, like a beam of sun, leaving behind naught but a sprinkle of fallen tears twinkling to the darkness.

Nightmare Moon was left alone, screaming and flailing against the dusty surface. Her angered words eventually collapsed into incoherent screams. She pulled at her mane in fury, violently kicked at the ground, sought violence against everything all at once in a meltdown of insane proportions. Slowly, her rage collapsed into sorrow, until she finally broke down into incontrollable bawling, the black coat of her cheeks glistening with tears.

"Come back here! You tyrant! You’re nothing to me! I hope your stupid ball of plasma burns you to ashes! I hate you Celestia! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you so much! I hate you... Celestia... Sister... Please don't leave me alone again..."

I’d like to thank the people at Derpyhooves Chat and Ponychan who helped make this fic a possibility with their proofreading, reviews and critique.

A special shout out goes to my favorite filly, Cheechos, who was great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect and Twilight Snarkle who both gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

A third and final shout out to Kim Fluttershy Dykas for his great review of the early product, which helped expand this story from the husk it was the first time I asked for a review. My heart goes out to you and your family for the tragic loss.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at autumnwind.mlp@hotmail.com. I ask in particular: What did you think of “Nutmare Moon”?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!

Comments ( 32 )

Me gusta.
It works well as a one-shot story idea. :twilightsmile:


Thank you very much. ^^

#3 · Jul 30th, 2011 · · ·



I'm glad you enjoyed it!

#5 · Jul 31st, 2011 · · ·

I loved this story, It gave just the right amount of anger and bitterness that Nightmare Moon had in her and the end bit where she's screaming at celestia and then asking her to come back and breaking down was beautiful. I'd give it 5/5 if I could rate.


Very happy to know that it was to your liking. :twilightsmile:

#7 · Jul 31st, 2011 · · ·

Heart breaking and beautiful.

#9 · Aug 2nd, 2011 · · ·


AMazing! if i may say,You have a HUGE amount of skill.:ajsmug::raritystarry::twilightsmile::scootangel::heart::yay::raritywink::pinkiehappy:

#13 · Sep 4th, 2011 · · ·

I like this. It must have been hard on both of them.


I'm very thankful for the compliment.


Glad you enjoyed it.


I probably commented on this on Equestria Daily saying how much I liked it.
If not, then let me say that I REALLY like this. I have always thought that the Luna/Celestia relationship closely parallels the relationship I believe exists/-ed between mankind and God. That makes it very special to me.

So you can see why I would be RE-reading this! In the course of doing so, I came across some POTENTIAL fridge-logic*, namely that Nightmare Moon seems awfully physically accessible for Celestia to have not tried assembling a group to serve as the Elements, and bring them to the moon to attempt to perform the exorcism there. Rainbow Dash can carry four other ponies when on an adrenaline rush. Twilight can lift a water tower (with a late-night milking's worth of liquid in it) and an ursa minor** at the same time. Celestia is physically much larger than Dash, and has the proportionate strength of an earth-pony to boot. Carrying six (or five, if she could work around her exalted position to make some friends herself) to the moon might be non-trivial, but she could figure it out.

*something that seems to make sense at the time, but later you realized doesn't.
**Admittedly ursae may be extremely light for their size, potentially being literally make out of the essence of the night sky. Call that air or vacuum as you like, and even considering the density of stars in our world... they COULD be very light, but not necessarily.

Of course, there are various ways of explaining this. Here are the ones I thought of:
1.) Follow the Mystery Science Theater 3000 mantra: "Just repeat to yourself: Its just a show. You should really just relax." This is the option I expect you will take, but it never hurts to ask. :derpytongue2:
2.) The power of the Elements is currently bound up in simply KEEPING Nightmare Moon imprisoned, and nothing is left over to attempt an exorcism. This, of course, changes upon her escape.
3.) Celestia foresaw Twilight's existence, can't use an Element herself any longer, and knew that the raw power of the magic in the Element of Magic would be key to the chances of redeeming Luna. She was giving Twilight the longest possible time to mature, physically, mentally, and magically (if, for tactical reasons, not socially).
4.) Nightmare Moon can see into the future and/or read mortal minds, and the exorcism plan required the element of surprise. Seeing Celestia flying towards the moon with 5 or 6 ponies with her would be a dead give-away.

I'm very thankful for the comment, Draco Dei. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

As for the plot hole: Celestia is not yet ready to resort to such a thing as an exorcism. She trusts her little sister's strength, and truly believes that together, they can get through these difficult times. She is persuaded that she can reason her sister and help her through her harsh times.

Plus, considering travelling to the moon involves her literally turning into a beam of sunlight, it'd be rather hard transporting ponies along with herself, let alone have them be able to survive on the moon. (She probably spent a lot of magic just keeping that basket in one piece.)

Of course, we all know how that worked out.

oof, my heart.. :fluttercry:

I didn't cry, but the very last sentence was painful to read. I always knew Nightmare Moon was hardly as evil as she thought she was, and this fic further illustrates the foal-like weakness and sensitivity that Luna must have had, even in her Nightmare Moon form. It really was a tragedy that Luna had to be sealed away for so long, good Fic, I enjoyed it.

I agree with anon, it was a very good read.

This is very good, particularly in its portrayals of Nightmare Moon and Celestia. I get tired of Celestia being shown as an overlord, power hungry under the surface. She's not like that, and Trollestia fics annoy me.

I agree with LesserSpottedBrony down to the word. Celestia is not a tyrant. However, she is a monarch of an entire nation, and certainly not a pushover. That being said, she does have a kind heart, which shows at every given opportunity. Brilliant story, Good Sir. For a third time, Bravo!

Beautiful story, heartbreaking to boot.

I don't usually like stories that put Luna ON the Moon (instead of IN the Moon), as they're mostly trying to milk some cheap drama, but here it was done with gusto. Good work.

*checks first comment date 50 weeks 1 day* wow that means that this was first posted shortly after the site was brought online. It's amazing that this fic not only holds up well but is still a great piece of work.

Author Interviewer

Oh, I remember this one! :D Look, my name's in the A/N, no wonder! It was a great idea. :)

The most wrenching part is where Luna finally speaks, begging for her sister not to leave.
It makes you wonder if Celestia knows it will happen, and leaves so her resolve doesn't break, or if she doesn't, and leaves too soon without knowing it.
Either way, tragedy of grand proportions.:fluttercry:

That tugged right at the heart string and left me feeling saddened for both f them, excellently describes and great dialogue.

my heart. my heart it hurts. oh god.:fluttercry::pinkiesad2::fluttershysad::raritycry::raritydespair:

This story makes me cry everytime I read it. Celestia would never really leave her sister to one-thousand years of loneliness, but was always there for her. I wish they made this canon.

This story is beautiful.

Wonderful. Just wonderful

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