• Published 31st Jul 2012
  • 28,822 Views, 2,115 Comments

Good Things Come - Sweet Tale

Human x Luna story - Teen rated.

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57. A Broken Land

Author's Note:


But yeah, enjoy!

I had to keep running.


That sound...that monstrous sound was getting louder and louder.


I passed another door which looked familiar. I was going in circles. This castle was the world’s best maze and I was a lost rat.

“You cannot escape…”

It was louder than before. My legs were burning and my adrenaline was running low. Corridor after corridor passed me by; the moon illuminating my path. I tried again to shout for any form of help but all I could do was let out ragged breaths.

“Nightmares never die…”

I turned another corner and came across the entrance. The large doors were in sight and I sprinted towards them. My legs screamed out in pain as they pumped more and more. I closed my eyes and just kept running. I did anything to get away from this place.

“OWEN!” I opened my eyes quick enough to see Luna appear in front of me, before colliding into her and collapsing to the floor. I spun around on my backside to see Luna giving me a concerned look. “Owen, please look at me.”

I couldn’t focus on her. My eyes were more focused on the huge black cloud forming behind her. “B-but...that…” I stuttered, pointing behind her.

Her horn shone once and everything stopped. The cloud froze, the sound ceased and everything was silent except for my heavy breathing. She placed her hooves on my cheeks and turned my head so I faced her. “Nothing more than a nightmare.” she said in that beautiful, soft voice she had.

I held onto her left hoof and squeezed it tight. “Thank...god for...that…” I said through heavy breaths. I looked around the castle and noticed where we were. Luna felt me squeeze her hoof harder and pulled me close, enveloping me in her wings.

“It’s alright, it’s OK. I am just here for support.” She gave me a quick peck on the cheek and hugged me tight. “You’re about to wake up. Just try and ignore the pain.”

“Huh?” Before I could question her further, I felt a sharp pain dig into my left leg. “OW! What the--” Another sharp pain, like someone was putting a needle in me, hard. “What’s happening?”

“You’re about to find out. Just relax.” As soon as she said that, the dream started to ripple and fade away into nothing. My vision became blurred as I felt my body fall into a laying position.

Sounds once again began to fill my ears. Hooves clip-clopping all over the place, a few distorted voices here and there and the sound of metallic equipment clinking together. The sharp pain in my left leg was still there and causing me quite a bit of distress so I leant forward to have a look at what was happening.

It was then that a flurry of blue and white obscured my vision. “Owen, you really don’t want to see it.” Luna said. I tried to push her mane out of my vision but she encircled my head with it, keeping my eyes covered. “Listen to me, please don’t look. It’s something you don’t want to see.”

“Luna!” I tried again to pull her mane away from my head but she had it wrapped around it pretty tight. I felt another sharp jolt of pain. “OW! Luna, what is going on?!” I asked in discomfort.

“Nurse, use a stronger spell, the pain is still affecting him.” I felt her head shift towards me. “The medical staff are working on your leg. You have numerous shards of rock imbedded in your skin and we need to get them out.”

Just hearing that made me want to vomit. I held my hand to my mouth and said nothing. Slowly, Luna unwrapped her mane from my head but kept it as a barrier so I couldn’t see my leg. “Is...is it that bad?”

“You’ll be fine. Shouldn’t take too long to heal.” She rubbed the side of my face with her hoof and smiled. “How are you feeling?”

“I...I don’t know.” I looked up and saw that were still in the Castle in the Everfree. Looking down, I saw I was in a gurney. “I don’t get it. How long have I been out?”

“About six hours.” She sat on her rump but still kept her mane up. “You passed out after giving Scarlett chest compressions.”

“Scarlett! Is he alright?!” I immediately sat up but was forced back down by Luna’s hoof. “I have to know if he’s alright!” I hastily said.

“He is alive but unresponsive.” Luna glumly said. “The medical staff here are looking after him the best that they can.” I felt something being removed from my leg and winced at the pain. “That was the last of it. Thank you very much ladies.”

“Our pleasure.” they both chimed. One sounded familiar but I couldn’t place my finger on the name. “We’ll be heading to the library, we are needed there.”

“Then please, be on your way.” Luna replied with a smile. She waited until the nurses left and then recoiled her mane, letting me look at my leg for the first time. “Doesn’t look too bad.”

She was right. My legs were covered in cuts and bruises but now I had a 4 inch scar running up my left leg. “Yeah…” I looked around and saw various other gurneys, each with a pony laying on them. “Why are we all still here? Shouldn’t we be in Ponyville or Canterlot Hospital?”

“They are currently full. We had to build a makeshift hospital here at the castle until we have the necessary equipment to transport you all.” Luna looked back at me and smiled sadly. “I have to check on other patients. Please rest for me Owen, it will do you good.” She began to walk away towards a large door.

“Luna, wait.” She stopped but did not turn around. “How many?”

“How many what?” she asked quietly.

I took a long breath and shuddered. “How many...died?” For a long time, there was silence. Luna remained stock still in the doorway. “Luna…” She walked through the door, sniffling once.

I never got a response.

I don’t know how long had passed since Luna left. An hour? Three? I just lay here on this bed, staring up at the night sky through the holes in the castle ceiling. There were no clouds, no pegasi, nothing.

“Um...excuse me?” A pale yellow earth pony appeared at my side wearing a nurse’s hat. She backed away slightly when I looked at her. “Sorry to bother you but, um…” She pulled over a trolley with an array of fruits and refreshments on it. “Are you hungry at all? The Princess said you need to eat.”

None of it look appetising. All I had was this foul, wretched feeling in my gut. “If it’s what Luna wants...I’ll take a banana if you have one.” The nurse perked up with a smile and handed me a ripe banana. “Thanks.”

Her hoof made it’s way to my arm. “I know how you must feel. But please try to eat.” Releasing her hoof, she walked away from the bed.

“Do you?” She turned her head and looked saddened. “Do you really?” My head sunk into my chest. “With everything that happened, everyone who died. All of this from something so insignificant that could have been avoided?” I shook my head slowly. “Do you really know how I feel?”

I heard her slowly walk away, the sound of the trolley wheels squeaking echoing around the hall. Leaning back onto my pillow, my mind just kept thinking the same thing over and over again. “That damn rabbit…” The images of the guards who fell in battle, the destruction of Canterlot, the fires that burned, they weren’t going away.

I watched as another nurse with a red mane walked through the hall, attending to another fallen pony. I heard hisses of pain come from the pony and comforting words from the nurse. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the nurse. It was the red mane.

“Red mane...Scarlett.”

His face when we fought. The anger, the rage. The things he is not. And he was laying somewhere nearby, comatose. I needed to do something and I couldn’t stay in this bed any longer. I waited until the nurse walked out of the hall before chucking the covers off me. Placing one foot on the floor, I moved my left leg towards the edge of the bed.

Big mistake. “AH! FU--” I quickly placed my hand over my mouth to stifle my cries. Even though they had used magic to quicken the healing process, it was still a little tender. A jolt of pain shot up through my thigh but I placed the leg on the floor and slowly but surely got to my feet.

Grabbing a nearby broom to keep my balance, I made my way through the main door and started down a well-lit corridor. “Where, where, where…” I muttered as I walked past so many doors. I soon came across a door unlike the others; this had a decorative wreath on the front of it. I opened the door and walked inside, closing the door slowly.

The room was huge, dimly lit and was deathly quiet. Proceeding forward slowly, I hobbled towards a lantern that was placed in the centre of the room. Approaching the pedestal, my foot caught something and lost my balance, sending the broom handle towards the lantern making it fall to the floor.

“You there!” a female voice sounded behind me. In my haste to pick the lantern up, I didn’t turn around. “Owen? What are you doing in here?”

I cracked a smile when I saw who it was. “Redheart. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to--”

She gasped and then tucked something underneath a blanket. “Oh goodness, you don’t know where you are do you?” I went to raise the lantern but Redheart quickly pushed it back down. “Owen, you need to leave. Now.” she sternly said.

“Why? What do I…” I saw what she tried to push underneath the blanket. Gulping slowly, I lifted the lantern and saw several blankets, each with a lump underneath them. “Oh no…”

“Don’t look at them Owen!” Redheart shouted.

“OH GOD!” I screamed. Everywhere I turned, they were there. There must have been at least a hundred in here! I couldn’t look away, there was no way out. “OH MY GOD!”

“Owen! Owen, calm down!” I felt my leg give way and I fell onto my rear, a pair of hooves pushing my head into a furry shoulder. “It’s alright, it’s OK. Just don’t open your eyes.”

Redheart’s soft voice quickly resounded in my mind as she repeated what she said over and over. My hands found their way around her chest as my eyesight remained locked in her shoulder.

“Come on, up you get. Keep those eyes shut.” I felt her hoof pull my hand up and I got to my feet, once again using the broom for support. Walking forward, it didn’t take long to reach the exit, which Redheart promptly shut behind her. “What were you thinking going in there Owen?”

I opened my eyes to meet the angry yet saddened glare of the white nurse. “I was trying to look for Scarlett.” My eyes remained fixed on the door. “Just...how many are in there?”

Redheart shook her head before turning left. “Down this corridor, left and then left again. Second room. Should have 6A above it.” She began to walk away but I put my broom in her way.

“Redheart...I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.” I quietly mumbled.

She pushed the broom aside. “I know and I believe you. It’s just not everypony thinks the same way…”

“I know...I know.” I watched her walk away before following her instructions. To the end of this corridor, left, left again and boom, there it was. Room 6A. A plain, simple, wooden door. Resting my hand on the handle, I shuddered with the thought of what was behind the door. Someone who was one of my best friends, who tried to kill me, who I eventually revived. Taking a deep breath, I pushed down and slowly walked in.


I faced the door for so long, not having the courage to turn around. The concurrent beeping from the heart monitor echoed around the room with the occasional sound of heavy breathing. I had to turn around, I had to.

So I did.

And instantly regretted it.

Scarlett lay on his back, hooked up to an oxygen mask. Three of his legs were plastered and held in place by stirrups. The majority of his body was wrapped up in protective bandages. From the bare body I could see, there were numerous bruises and cuts.

Right there and then, I fought the urge to cry but I could feel my eyes watering. Slowly making my way over to his bed, I knelt down on my good leg and looked upon him. Just seeing him in this state tore me apart.

“S-Scarlett?” I whispered. I leant down to his ear. “Scarlett, wake up.” I gently shook his head. “Come on man, this isn’t funny.” Still no response. I could feel my eyes stinging with tears as the full force of his situation hit me like a freight train.

“I’m so sorry Scarlett.” I blurted. “This is all my fault. I should have never fought you...just...just LOOK AT YOU!” I shouted, hitting the bed with my fist. “Look at you...laying in bed w-when there’s work to be done. Scootaloo’s waiting to see you, yeah!” Through my ragged breaths, I managed to smile at the mention of his daughter’s name. “She’ll be waiting for you and...and she’s gonna tell you all about her day and her crusading. She’s gotten good on that scooter of hers you know.”

Still no response. Just the steady rhythm of the heart monitor.

“Please don’t go.” I whispered. “You can’t leave her. You can’t leave us.” I placed my hand over his chest. “I was even going to ask you to--”

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Through my watered vision, I saw Celestia standing there with a solemn look on her face. “And why not? I’m the reason he’s here anyway!” I stated angrily.

Celestia slowly approached, taking a seat next to me. “You can’t think that Owen.” I felt her wing fall over my shoulder. “Scarlett is alive thanks to you.”

Wiping a tear away, I nodded. “Yeah...but look at him. He’s…hey, wait a minute!” I turned and glared at the Princess. “You and Luna were trying to stop me from reviving him! Why are you thanking me now?!”

I felt her wing pull me closer to her. “You don’t understand. When you performed chest compressions on Scarlett, we were worried for your safety.” She looked at Scarlett’s rising and lowering chest. “Chest compressions may be successful on Earth but in Equestria, the success rate is very low. Reviving a pony in such a state that Scarlett was normally requires certain healing spells that are very complex to use.”

She raised her wing and placed it on Scarlett’s chest. “When we scanned Scarlett’s body, it wasn’t good. His body was near-death and we were unsure whether a healing spell would revive or kill him.” I slumped my shoulders and leant my head next to Scarlett’s body. “If it weren’t for you, he would have died. You saved his life. Never forget that.”


Both me and Celestia turned to the foot of the bed where one of the stirrups moved slightly. “Surely not…” she mumbled. We both watch again as his left hindleg twitched ever so slightly. “My goodness…” Celestia’s horn glowed for a brief second.

The door burst open and four medical staff rushed in; Celestia pulling me away from the bed. “What happened here Your Highness?” a male doctor asked.

“His leg twitched. I need to know if his brain is starting to respond.” Celestia instructed. She leant down to my ear. “See, this is why we tried to stop you reviving him. If a body is that near-death, reviving it may cause long-term damage to the brain.”

My eyes widened at this. “So...I shouldn’t have…”

“Brain is showing slight cognitive function. Left hindleg is slightly responding to pain.” the doctor said. “Definite signs of improvement.”

“You should have and you did.” whispered Celestia. “You saved him and he’s starting to improve.” This genuinely put a smile on my face. “Come along, we’ll leave the team to do their job.” As we walked out of the room, an aura of calm washed over me for the first time in ages. Knowing I had actually saved someone’s life made me feel better.

“I need to go somewhere.”

“Hmm? Go where?” Celestia asked.

“Ponyville General Hospital. There’s someone I have to see.”

Nurse Coldheart was exhausted. The entire hospital was full of injured ponies, the majority of them from Canterlot as their hospital was overflowing. Room after room was full of ponies on beds, each one with a different injury.

“Nurse! Nurse!”

Although this one always had a calming effect on her. She entered the room to find a tanned stallion looking over his daughter. “How can I help you?”

“My daughter, when will she be able to leave? We have many important events to attend to.” the stallion asked.

“Yes, and the whole of Equestria was attacked by Nightmare Moon.” Coldheart replied angrily. Taking a deep breath, she raised her hoof and held it over her chest. “Please forgive me, I haven’t had much rest.”

“You are forgiven.” the stallion replied with a smile. “I just want my sweet little filly home.”

Coldheart placed her hoof on the father’s back. “She’ll be out any day now. Broken bones take a while to heal. Don’t you worry, before you know, she’ll be back home as good as new.” She began to walk out of the room before turning back. “Just a word of advice Mr Rich, get some sleep. You look like you’ve been awake for days.”

The stallion nodded before slumping onto his rear, sighing heavily. “It’s because I have.”

“Are you sure you want to do this? You still need time to recover.”

I readjusted my position and got comfortable sitting on Celestia’s back. “I’ll be fine. And yes, I need to do this. It’s closure for me.”

A hoof rested on my thigh as Celestia raised herself to her hooves. “Owen, you know that she’ll be terrified of you. Think of what she might think when you enter her room in the middle of the night.”

“Hmm...good point.” I muttered.

“Sister, why don’t you come with me? I need to attend matters in Ponyville and your expertise could help in this situation.” Celestia offered.

“Sounds good to me.” I added, wincing slightly at the pain in my leg.

“Then it shall be so.” Luna spread her wings with Celestia doing the same. Within two flaps, we were all soaring through the air towards Ponyville.

I looked down upon the Everfree and noticed something was a bit off. “Hey guys, why is it so clear?”

“We thought you would notice that.” Celestia answered. “The clouds that would hover over the Everfree have been scattered by Nightmare’s explosion. They have drifted miles and miles from here, some even ending up in Canterlot.”

“Are they going to stay that way?” I asked.

“No.” replied Luna, as we flew over Zecora’s hut. I could see the shaman just walking into her home so it gave me relief that she and her home survived. “The clouds will eventually drift back to their original home. Think of it like a magnet.” We banked to the left to dodge a group of birds. “The clouds have unexpected weather patterns and we cannot control them so we just have to wait until they return here.”

It took us around 20 minutes to fly to Ponyville, where we landed in the middle of town. As soon as we landed, the crowd us all stopped and bowed. I descended from Celestia’s back and stretched my limbs as the ponies took notice of me.

Their reaction was not expected. The ponies began gasping in fear and backing away from me. “My subjects, please do not be alarmed.” Celestia instructed.

“IT’S NIGHTMARE MOON! SHE’S BACK!” came the scream of a young male colt. The brown and white colt ran off towards his mother, causing other ponies to go into panic. The crowd began screaming and running in all directions.

“My little ponies, stop!” Luna called out. The crowd failed to listen and kept running about. “Nightmare Moon is gone! Owen is no longer under her control!”


I hit the ground with much speed as a projectile struck my forehead. Clutching my head, I saw the perpetrator - a mare levitating another apple to throw at me.

“Stay down! I’ll use this! Everypony?!” I looked around to see various unicorns levitating many objects. “Don’t let him escape!” As they threw their items, they were encased in a light blue glow and set down on the floor.

“Ponies.” Luna said as calmly as she could. She engulfed the entire crowd to stop them running about. “Please listen to what I have to say. Nightmare Moon did arise again in Owen’s body, that is true.” She grabbed my hand and held it tight. “She took refuge in the Everfree Forest where we were able to purge her from Owen’s body. Not a single remnant of Nightmare remains within him.”

Luna released her hold on the crowd. Most of the crowd were still skeptical of me as I stood there but a couple of them gave a soft smile. “How can we believe you? You could be lying to protect us!” a local resident stallion asked.

“Ah know he’s not lyin’!” A foal of yellow and pink came running up to me from the crowd and stopped at my feet. “Mah sis’ says so! And mah sis’ don’ lie!” she continued. She looked up at me with those huge eyes and gave me a huge smile.

I knelt down, ignoring the pain, and opened my arms, to which Applebloom happily jumped into, giving me a strong hug with her tiny forelegs. “Thank you…” I mumbled, hugging her tiny frame. She snuggled into my neck, earning a few ‘awwws’ from the crowd.

“Good to see you again, pardner.” Applebloom whispered back. After a few seconds, I let her down and looked around to see the crowd had eased up a bit. Noticing a few of the buildings around me, I was slightly relieved.

“Looks like Ponyville wasn’t that badly hit.” I mentioned. “...just can’t say the same for Canterlot.”

“We heard.” came a familiar voice. “But we also heard that there is a huge cleanup operation taking place right now, commanded by Captain Shining Armor.”

I had to admit, to see Cheerilee giving me a smile after what I did in her school, it was something I never thought I’d see again. “That’s good to hear…” I turned to Luna and Celestia. “I’m getting distracted. I need to go and see her.”

“See who?” asked the schoolteacher.

“The filly known a Diamond Tiara.” Celestia responded.

Cheerilee’s mouth dropped as she heard those words. “You are kidding right?” She looked between me and the Princesses, her face increasingly showing nervousness and worry. “I went to see her after the incident. She’s terrified of going back to school and she’s terrified to talk to anyone new.”

That hit me hard. Holding my hands over my face, I let out a frustrating groan and pulled on my hair. “God damn it…” I felt my hands being pulled away from my face by a pair of hooves. Cheerilee stared into my eyes.

“If there’s anyone who can make her well again, it’s you. If she can forgive you, I predict she will improve.” she said with a smile.

I nodded slowly before nodding more vigourously. “Needs to be done. If I don’t do this, this guilt will never die.” Letting go of Cheerilee’s hoof, I walked back over to Luna and stood next to her. “Let’s go. I don’t want to put this off any further.”

“Very well. Sister, I will escort Owen to the hospital. You said you have matters to attend to here?” Luna asked.

“Indeed. I heard that the Elements are providing support and help where it is needed most. I heard Twilight is offering shelter within her library and Applejack and her family are helping rebuild the damaged areas of the town.” She spread her wings and took to the sky. “I will meet you in Canterlot this evening. I must also inspect the clean-up.” With that, she flew off back towards Sweet Apple Acres.

“Excuse me.” Cheerliee took my hand with her hoof. “This won’t be easy for you. Do you want me to come with you for support?” she asked, showing sincerity in her eyes.

Luna cleared her throat, catching my attention. “Given the state that she is in, a familiar face will keep her calm before she sees you. Miss Cheerilee, your assistance will be most hopeful in this situation.”

I squeezed Cheerilee’s hoof lightly and smiled at her. “Thank you for this...I really mean it.” I looked around to see most of the crowd smiling at us and giving us appreciative nods. “Come on, let’s go see Diamond.”

The Solar Princess touched down outside of the Apple Family house, admiring the plethora of ponies working on the farm. The moment her golden-clad hooves met the dirt, the ponies around her, dropped to the ground and bowed at her presence.

“Please my ponies, there is no need for formalities today.” She approached Applejack who was chin deep in dirt, pulling her up into a standing position. “So please, carry on as you were. Applejack, what is the situation here at the moment?”

Applejack beamed and pulled out a scroll which she unrolled. “Well Princess, Big Mac has travelled around Ponyville, searchin’ high an’ low for what needs fixin’. So far, Town Hall needs it’s roof repairin’. Carousel Boutique’s windows need replacing. The path between Vinyl Scratch’s club and…”

Applejack read off many things that need repairing. Also, she mentioned that a group of ponies were collecting apples to feed the townsponies who were struggling.

“I am very impressed with your efforts dear Applejack. Is there anything else I should be made aware of?”

“Umm…” The farmpony tipped her hat over her eyes and sighed. “Unfortunately, there is something else. But this cannot be fixed.”

Celestia noticed AJ’s sullen look and used her wing to lift the hat off her eyes. “What is wrong, my little pony?”

AJ sighed again and walked past Celestia. “Follow me and I’ll show you.” Celestia did so and followed AJ out of the acres and towards the CMC’s clubhouse. Walking just past the clubhouse, Celestia took notice of an unusual site.

“Ah.” She slowly approached the site, looking on in disbelief. “Why would they destroy this?”

The doors of Ponyville General slid open with a metallic clang. Noise, there was so much noise. Nurses and Doctors were running back and forth between rooms and there were at least fifteen ponies in the queue at the front desk.

I walked in first. The mass of ponies noticed my presence but did not react in the way that the other crowd did before. Had the news really spread that quickly? Walking further in, the crowd gasped and bowed before Luna. Some got onto their bellies, other bowed their heads.

“Please rise my subjects.” The crowd did so, but kept their focus on Luna. “I am here on behalf of my partner who is here to visit a patient, so please, act like I am not even here.” She said with a smile.

The swing doors to the infirmary swung open with much force and a tanned stallion rushed up to the three of us and bowed quickly. “My Princess. What is it that you require?” he asked quickly, out of breath.

“I don’t believe it.” I took the Doctor’s hoof and held it tight. “Are you the only Doctor who’s allowed to talk to me or what?” I said with a chuckle.

Doctor Stitch shook his head and shook my hoof. “As much as I’d like to have a social chat with you, I must get back to my patients. What is it that you needed?”

“Well...I erm…”

“We need to visit Diamond Tiara. She was brought in yesterday?” Cheerliee answered for me.

“Ah yes, the filly. Are you relatives of hers?” Stitch asked.

“No.” I answered immediately. “I was the one who injured her.” If my head could hang any lower, it’d be under the floor tiles.

“I...see.” Luna lifted my head up with her hoof and pointed forwards so I looked at the Doctor. “I have been made aware of your situation and involvement with recent events…” He pointed his hoof to the inflowing patients. “...but I know that it wasn’t your fault. I’ve known you long enough to know you don’t mean harm to anypony.” He turned around and opened the door. “Follow me”.

Luna walked through first, following the Doctor. A furry hoof grabbed my hand and held it tight. “I’ll be right next to you the whole time.” Hearing Cheerilee’s voice, I walked through the swinging doors and followed the starry tail that was a distance in front of me. Cheerilee was at my side the whole time and I was feeling much more confident knowing that she was trying to help.

Walking further down the corridor, I looked in on the various rooms I came across. All of them were occupied with a variety of ponies. Some were bandaged up excessively from head to hoof, some had broken limbs and some...some were foals. Seeing those young ponies in hospital made me feel sick. Doctors and Nurses sped past us in both directions, some carrying blankets, some pushing trolleys of food and some were carrying medical equipment.

“Here we are.” Stitch spoke. Cheerilee’s hoof left my hand my eyes remained focused on the door. “She is currently asleep but her father is inside. You are more than welcome to speak with him but please let Diamond rest. Only speak with her if she awakens.”

“We understand. Thank you.” Luna said, bowing her head at him. Stitch walked off and all three of us shared a concerned look. Luna noticed my hobbling and quickly lit up her horn, hitting my leg with a spell. "I've just given you a pain sedative, should last for a while. Now, how do you want to handle this?”

“I think I should go in first.” Cheerilee said. “Diamond has seen me on various occasions so she may be the least apprehensive towards me.” She opened the door with her mouth and walked in, closing the door behind her.

“Filthy Rich...what a character.”

“What was that?” I asked.

Luna turned her head and had a noticeable scowl on her face. “I’ve had dealings in the past with Diamond Tiara’s father. Filthy Rich is one of the most obnoxious ponies I have ever had the misfortune of--”

The door opened to show said stallion noticing my presence. He reared his body back and growled at my presence. “You...YOU!” His foreleg raised and he jumped straight at me before being caught in Luna’s levitation.

“Mr Rich! There is no need for violence!” she scolded. I could see the look in his face - he wanted to pound me. “I will explain everything to you. You just need to--”

“No Luna, let him go.”

Both Luna and Cheerilee looked at me with mouths agape. “O-Owen, he’ll hurt you!” Luna chided.

“He has the right to. Let him go.” Luna shook her head but slowly dropped Filthy to the ground. “Go right ahead.” I closed my eyes and waited for the pain. Part of me knew this wasn’t the right way to do things but the other part of me knew this was a way to release emotions.

I waited.

And waited.

Where was the pain?

I cracked my eye open to see Filthy with his hoof raised but his face told a different story. He looked sad, pitiful even. He lowered his hoof back to the ground and shook his head. “No. There has been enough pain.”

A soft chuckle, then a guffaw left my mouth at the mention of his statement. “You are joking right?!” I shouted at the brown stallion. “I deserve this! Do it!” I took a step forward and leant down on my knees. “Just do it!”

“Owen, please stop.” came Luna’s soft voice as she grabbed my arm. “You need to stop blaming yourself!” I could see something in her eyes…

“And why shouldn’t I?!” It couldn’t be true, it couldn’t be. “I did this to Ponyville. I did this to Diamond Tiara! You don’t know how I feel! YOU JUST DON’T--”

Leaning my head up from the floor, I saw a splotch of red on the white surface. Rubbing my nose...yep, it was mine. I turned around to see Luna with a bloody hoof. Glaring daggers at me, she quickly grabbed me with her hooves and pinned my arms to my side.

“Don’t you EVER say that again!”

“...” I don’t think I had ever been this scared before.

“I don’t know how you feel?! Owen, I WAS Nightmare Moon! I AM the reason Nightmare Moon exists! How do you think I feel?!” I could see the tears starting to gather. She took a deep breath, quickly ignited her horn and pointed it at me. I felt my nose twitch, she must have damaged it.

She pulled me close to her and held me tight. “I felt terrified. When I had destroyed so much, hurt so many...even tried to kill my own sister. I thought the pain would never go away.” She rubbed my back soothingly. “My friends helped me through it. Through them, I became who I am now and cannot thank them enough. I know you blame yourself for this but you have to let it go.” She released me and got me back to my feet. “There is only one thing for you to do now.”

“I…” The determination on her face showed she was dead serious. “I don’t…”

“Apologise to Diamond.” said Cheerliee as she opened up the door. “We’ll be there to help you if you need it.”

“This is a weight that must be lifted off your shoulders.” Luna took my hand and led me inside the dark room. In the bed lay Diamond Tiara, her left hindleg and waist bandaged up. Her face had a few minor scars, I’m guessing from where there were cuts and gashes. I looked back to see Filthy Rich walk in and close the door behind him.

“She has been sleeping for a while now. Some time awake could do her good.” He began to pull the curtain halfway around the bed. “I will talk to her first and then reveal you to her.” He pulled the curtain the rest of the way around the bed.

“Ready for this?” asked Cheerilee. She quickly shook her head. “Sorry, stupid question.”

“Diamond, honey?” we heard Filthy say. “Sweetie, wake up for me please.”

“Nyeh…” There she was, she was awake. “Daddy? Why’d you wake me?”

“There’s my princess. How are you feeling?” Filthy asked.

“My leg still hurts a little. And I’m hungry.” Diamond replied. “What’s wrong Daddy? You look upset…”

Diamond caring about someone? That’s a first but then again, he is her father. “I have somepony here who wants to talk to you. Miss Cheerliee?” he called out.

She looked surprised but made her way around to an opening and walked behind the curtain. “Good evening Diamond. I’m glad to see you are looking better.”

“H-hey Miss Cheerliee.” There was a stutter there, a definite stutter. “What are you doing here?”

“I came along to see how you were recovering. I heard your condition had improved and just had to see it for myself!” she said with glee in her voice. “Have you had any more visitors recently?”

“Um...no. Only Silver Spoon. My mother came to visit me but she had to leave again.” I heard some shuffling on the bed. “I just want to see my friends.”

“I understand sweetie, I do.” There was an uncomfortable silence for a few seconds. “But I do have somepony here who wants to talk to you.”

“Is it another Doctor? Because I am NOT having another injection!” Diamond angrily stated.

“No, no, no. Nothing like that.” A bit more shuffling. “Diamond, I need you to promise me something. When this pony comes out, I want you to stay calm, OK? No screaming, no yelling. Can you do that for me?” asked a hesitant Cheerliee.

“S-screaming?” There was another silence before the filly coughed. “I...I promise.”

“Thank you. Now lay back and relax.” I saw the curtain turn inwards as Cheerliee grabbed it with her hoof. Slowly she pulled the curtain around, revealing one of us.

“Princess Luna?”

And then the other.

“O-Ow…” The look on her face tore me to pieces - she was petrified. “Y-you said…” She looked at Cheerliee and then her father for some sort of help.

“Sweetie, it’s alright, it’s OK.” Filthy said, calming her down, holding her hoof. “Owen has something he wants to say and I think you should listen to him.”

Diamond’s breathing steadily slowed until she looked at me. Her eyes showed nothing but fear but she didn’t break her eye contact with me. I slowly approached her bedside and knelt down beside her. Diamond couldn’t break her gaze from me as she shuffled away from me. I don’t blame her, I really couldn’t. “Hey Diamond...h-how are you feeling?”

I smacked my head as soon as I said that. What a stupid question. “Fine. I’m...fine.” she quietly responded.

I clasped my hands together and leant on her bed. “Listen Diamond, I just want you to know that I never meant to do that to you. I really didn’t.” Diamond’s eyes widened at what I said. “And I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Just seeing you here in hospital...with these bandages and…” I felt my own tears threatening to break free. “I don’t know if you can ever forgive me for what I did. I know I certainly wouldn’t.”

I faceplanted the bed, just waiting for anyone to say anything. The quiet sound of movement outside of the room was all that sounded. Luna and Cheerliee stood at each side of me and kept silent.

“My daddy said you were Nightmare Moon.” stated the pink filly.

“At a time, your father was correct.” replied Luna. “Nightmare Moon did take over Owen’s body, that part is correct. But the Elements of Harmony seperated Owen and Nightmare Moon, giving him a new body.” Luna walked forward and placed a hoof upon her cheek. “Nightmare Moon is gone for good.”

This elicited a small smile from the filly. “She was messing with my head. Kept speaking to me without me realising. What to think, what to say, what to do...and how to deal with arguements…” I mumbled, feeling sick just even talking about it.

“You mean...she was controlling you?” Diamond asked.

“Yes she was. But I’m free now, free to do what I want. And the first thing I want to do is to help anyone I’ve hurt or angered.” I got to my feet and looked down at Diamond. “Starting with you. Sound good?” I asked with a smile.

Diamond’s smile didn’t fall and she nodded. “Yeah, that…” She let out a large yawn and lay back into her pillow. “I’m tired…”

“Then you get some rest princess.” Filthy leant over and kissed his daughter on the forehead. “I think it would be best if you leave us for now.” The stallion walked to the door and opened it up. “I appreciate your visit.”

Cheerliee walked out first. “I’ll come back tomorrow. I’ll bring a couple of her friends along so she can talk to them.”

“Fantastic. Thank you Miss Cheerliee.” Filthy responded. He bowed as Luna walked out of the room. I followed Luna but Filthy held his hoof out to stop me. “Owen, that took a lot of courage to do.”

“A punch to the nose kind of gave me the confidence.” I replied sarcastically.

“Nevertheless…” I watched as he looked at my nose. “Looks fine to me. Anyway, I thank you for doing this. I admire your confidence and courage.”

I took his hoof and shook it. “Thank you Mr Rich. And I do mean what I said. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.” Walking out, Filthy closed the door and I was stood there with Luna and Cheerliee.

“How do you feel?” asked Luna.

“You were right.” I began to walk back towards the entrance of the hospital with the two ponies either side of me. “That weight is totally gone.” I put my arm around Luna and rested my other on Cheerilee’s shoulder. “Couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thank you so much.”

The reception area of the hospital was quieter now but still a little busy. As we exited the building, Cheerliee said her goodbyes and went to complete her own duties. As me and Luna walked, ponies all around us bowed or waved. It was nice but alarming to see that ponies’ opinions had been turned around in the space of an hour.

“Wait!” Luna chimed and chuckled slightly. “I forgot about this. It was something I was meant to give to you sooner but I think now, as you’re in high spirits, this could come in handy.” She levitated something into my palm that I didn’t even know she had.

“My gem. I remember grabbing it but…”

“I kept hold of it for safe keeping.”

I placed the gem around my neck, making me genuinely smile for the first time that day. I leant to kiss Luna but a bright yellow glow soon interrupted us.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Sister. She is teleporting us.” Luna replied.

“Teleporting? To--” A quick flash of white and the entire scenery had changed. “--where? Huh?” Looking around, I saw I was near Sweet Apple Acres. “Celestia?”

“Over here.” came her voice. Turning around, I saw Celestia looking over the crest of a hill. The tone of her voice was not positive, not in the slightest. “I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news Owen but something has happened.”

Walking up to her, I placed my hand on her shoulder. “Why? What’s ha--” And there it was. The only thing I had to call my own...destroyed, now a pile of rubble. “NO!” I jumped down the crest and ran towards the rubble. Nothing was standing. The supports were destroyed, the walls had crumbled and everything was charred. “NO, GOD DAMN IT!”

I heard Luna approach me grimace at the mess. “Why would someone target your home?” She levitated a few bits of rubble to uncover some lumps of wood underneath. “Burnt. Someone set fire to your home. But why?”

I started to rummage through everything. “It’s no use Owen. I already searched, I’m afraid nothing remains.” She turned my attention to three white sticks that had been placed in the ground. “The bodies of three guards were found here. Nightmare guards.”

Everything was gone. Everything was burnt. “I don’t fucking BELIEVE THIS!” I screamed, kicking a large block of wood a few feet. That’s when it hit me, that horrible feeling got to me again. “Suppose it’s my punishment isn’t it? I destroy your world, mine gets destroyed also.”

“I already told you Owen, it wasn’t your fault! You need to stop thinking like this!” Luna chided. “Nightmare wanted to rid of you once and for all. This is why your house was burnt down, not because of karma.”

I sighed heavily. Maybe she was right, I didn’t know. “I know. And I believe you. It’s just gonna take me a long time to convince myself, that’s all.” I kicked another piece of rubble and watched it fall into smaller pieces. “I do believe you, I do.” I turned to Celestia. “I need to go to Canterlot.”

Both Princesses looked bemused. “Of course. But why?”

“Because there’s work to be done.” Celestia lit up her horn to cast the mass teleport. “I think I owe Equestria a favour for what I did. Cleaning up might be a good start.” Celesita nodded and with another flash, we were all outside Canterlot’s main gates.

Or what used to be gates. They were now mismatched jagged piece of metal. I looked up at the city and was shocked at the state of it.

“Good god…” I walked through the gates and approached the nearest guard I could find. “Tell me where help is needed. Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”

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