• Published 21st Jul 2019
  • 179 Views, 7 Comments

Luna's Daughter - KayeStar

Ruling the night? Guarding dreams? Guiding ponies? Luna's got that down pat. But after an abandoned foal takes her heart, she takes on a whole new challenge: motherhood

  • ...

Heart Torn

With Selene in safe care, Luna was back to minding only her regular duties and sleeping for most of the day. As she expected, over dinner, Celestia told her of the nobles' complaints of her strictness, and they shared a good laugh over it. Luna found it particularly amusing when Celestia mentioned one noble even referred to her as a "dictator of the royal court".

"Had he not nearly put me in hysterics, I would've excused him from the court for insulting you, Sister," Celestia laughed. "Would you like to hear what I officially name the worst request?"

"I'm listening."

"The representative of the Zest household asked for funds for renovations."

"That doesn't sound so unreasonable, Sister."

"Renovations for his own home!" Celestia finished.

Luna burst into laughter again. "No, I do not believe it! What were his specifics?"

"He wanted to improve property values, so he said," Celestia remarked, rolling her eyes. "I'm unsure gem-encrusted walls and furniture, and a golden two-story kitchen would accomplish that."

"Sister, he was pulling your hoof!" Luna insisted, still laughing. "He had to be. None of the nobility could be so preposterous!"

Celestia shook her head in jest. "I thought so, but he was truly serious. If I never trained myself to be stoic when necessary, I would've had to pardon myself briefly."

"Sombra," Luna said, turning to face him, "why have you yet to join Celestia in her day court?"

"Luna, your sister will always be more gracious than me when it comes to her court," Sombra answered. "I can handle the nobility at other times, but the day court requires patience I've yet to have. I tried once and had to leave after thirty minutes for headache painkiller."

The three of them ended dinner and Sombra excused himself to some privacy, leaving the sisters at the table together. The servants cleared the table as they shared more incredulous stories from their courts, playfully trying to beat out each other for "most ridiculous requests in one session". After the servants finished and left, the two spoke seriously.

"Luna, have you been alright since last week?"

"What makes you ask?"

Celestia appeared a little skeptical, a face Luna recognized to mean she wanted to know something. "After what you did, I was wondering if it's been weighing on your mind."

"Why would it weigh on my mind, Sister?" Luna asked, genuinely not understanding what Celestia could be suggesting. "I did what was right and she is in a safe place."

"She is. You showed amazing compassion and guidance toward her," Celestia praised. "But when I see you going about alone, you seem to be sad."

"You are mistaken. I have no reason to be---" Luna paused when Celestia held up her hoof.

"Luna, please. I am your sister, and we have grown so much over these years. I know when you aren't being honest about something bothering you, just as you can see through me when I carry a false smile."

Luna sighed, but she really should've known better by now. In front of others, they wouldn't call each other out, but when they got some privacy between only the two of them, they would use the time to say anything that was wrong. Old habits simply died hard sometimes.

"I have wanted to ask you a question," Luna admitted. "Do you remember all those years ago when you made Twilight your protégé?"

Celestia smiled fondly. "Absolutely. It's a day I'll never forget, and one I'm certain she never will either."

"You always say you love Twilight like a daughter. You even cried when you had to finally send her away to Ponyville for the first time."

"Yes, I did. I'm very proud of her and how she's grown."

"But did you expect to feel that way about her when you took her in as your personal student?"

"No," Celestia answered. "It just happened over the years I mentored her. I didn't offer her to be my student with the intention of becoming her substitute parent. Even I was surprised when I realized I loved her that way."

Luna became quiet again as she fell into her thoughts, but Celestia quickly pulled her back when she asked, "Is it the filly?"

"Yes," Luna admitted. "I was only doing what was necessary to help her. You and Twilight also helped. Do not misunderstand. I did care about her when I first discovered her nightmare and helped. But to me, the whole matter was doing what's right for somepony in need. Yet, when I had to finally say goodbye, I felt..."

When Luna didn't continue, Celestia finished for her. "...heartbroken."

"Yes. I said I had to go and she threw herself at my hooves. She would not let go. She cried. I... I did not know how to react. The look in her eyes tore my heart. I had to force myself away and even then, I couldn't immediately leave. I teleported outside and laid beneath her window to cry a bit myself. It was a sudden feeling. One I don't recall ever feeling, not even so long ago with the cutie mark crusaders when I mentored each of them."

Luna moved her gaze from the floor to Celestia, only to discover her sister was giggling. In that instance, she became angry.

"Sister! My feelings amuse you?!"

Celestia immediately stopped, but still smiled. "Not at all." She placed her hoof around Luna and pulled her closer. "I was giggling because what you said makes me feel nostalgic. I know how you feel. I really do. That was the difference between being Twilight's mentor and being Sunset's."

"Yes, I recall you telling me of Sunset Shimmer," Luna said, her brief anger now gone. "You had different feelings for Twilight than you did for Sunset?"

Celestia nodded. "I cared about Sunset and did my best for her, but I never felt more for her than as my student. She was as dedicated to her studies as Twilight, but though I wouldn't admit it publicly, I never felt toward Sunset how I did over the years I mentored Twilight."

"Consider their dedication to their studies is where the similarities end," Luna reminded her. "Twilight was still mild-mannered, kind, and respected you. She studied out of a true love to learn. Sunset was greedy and wanted achievements she did not earn. She studied to gain power and she had no respect for your authority. I recall my disgust when you told me she had the audacity to demand you make her a princess."

"I understand what you're suggesting, but even before I realized her greed, I had no such feelings toward her," Celestia explained. "What I'm saying is everypony has different needs. As fillies, the crusaders needed to be pointed in the right direction from time to time, correct? But Selene was in danger. She needed more than an occasional nudge in the right direction. Your actions truly saved her life."

"But it was over such a short time," Luna muttered. "Three nights and a brief meeting in the morning. A bond cannot be formed in such a short time."

"Untrue, Sister. That is what happened between us when you were born," Celestia told her. "Before your birth, I had the same worries of any filly who is soon to become an older sibling. I didn't want to look at you for the first time. You were still crying in your cradle. But when I did, you calmed down and reached for my mane. I loved you since. Years later, Mother and Father would tease me about how I was unenthusiastic before you were born. I felt the same way when I adopted Cadence as my niece, and she could probably tell you similarly about Flurry Heart. Twilight and her friends shared a bond before they met. And you still share nightly tea with Sweetie Belle in her dreams after helping her once because you related so strongly to her problem during that time. Bonds form in different ways, Sister."

Luna finally smiled. "Thank you. What you say helps me feel better. But do you truly believe to feel this way is always a good thing? I don't know if I'd call how I feel motherly, but I fear I could make adjustment harder for her."

"That's a call you have to trust your own judgment for," Celestia replied. "Do you think one more pony who looks out for her has a risk to it?"

"You're not really asking a question if you put the answer in the question."

"Then, my work is done."

"You and your mentor tricks..." Luna muttered with a playful eye roll.

Later that night, Luna decided she'd finally make good on her promise and pay Selene a visit in her dreams. First, however, she had another friend to visit. She teleported to the dream realm and sought out the dream of Sweetie Belle. Among the other pleasant dreams, she found Sweetie Belle's and entered.

Almost immediately, her ears were assaulted by extremely loud rock music. Sweetie was dreaming of having a rock concert with Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, and probably deafening everypony within a 100-yard radius while she was at it. Luna blocked her ears with her own magic until the concert ended and Sweetie finally spotted her above the audience.

"Luna! Did you like our concert? What did you think of my song?"

"I think though it's a dream, you'll have hearing loss before you're twenty-five, Sweetie Belle," Luna remarked with a deadpan expression. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo went to put away their instruments while Sweetie took Luna behind the curtain and into a small backstage room. There, a table with an umbrella and chairs were set, and hot tea was waiting.

"Tea with you is one of my favorite parts of my dreams," Sweetie said as they each took a seat.

"I enjoy visiting you for tea too," Luna told her. "I want to ask you a question tonight, Sweetie. What do you think of me as? Besides a princess?"

"You're like my other big sister," Sweetie Belle answered. "And my best friend too. Sure, I'm big now, but I still love you like a big sis. I used to be scared you'd stop having tea with me because you thought I was too big."

"Really?" Luna asked.

"Yeah! I'm glad you still visit me every night," Sweetie said. "Especially when I have a bad day, and I can't talk to Apple Bloom or Scootaloo or Rarity. I can count on you to come and listen to me. I always feel better when I wake up after talking to you when I've had a bad day. That's what I think about when I feel really bad."

"That you'll have tea with me at night?"

"It's that one thing I can always look forward to. I hope you never stop visiting me, Luna, even when I'm really, really old!"

Luna blushed a little. For her, having tea was a small gesture that helped keep her and Sweetie in contact over the years. She never realized it meant so much to Sweetie. She thought about the conversation she and Celestia had earlier. All at once, Sweetie Belle made the answer to her question clear for her.

"Thank you, Sweetie. I just needed to know that tonight. And yes, I'll still visit you, no matter how old you get."

"Yay! Oh, did I tell you I have a boyfriend now?"

Luna gagged on her tea and almost spit it out on impulse before she swallowed it instead. "I beg your pardon?!"

Sweetie Belle fell into a fit of laughter. "I did the same thing to Rarity! She almost fainted!"

Luna laughed too, and the two continued their tea and conversation for a long while until Luna had to finally leave to resume patrolling the dream realm. She thanked Sweetie Belle for answering her question and made her way out. She checked over several more dreams as she made her way through, ensuring they were also peaceful and tending to ones that weren't, until she came upon Selene's.

At first, Luna watched without interruption, to see if it was a pleasant dream or she truly had to interfere to stop it as a nightmare. She saw Selene with a few other fillies, presumably the others the caretakers looked after, playing a game and appearing happy. For a while, the dream continued like that, shifting through various scenes of Selene having fun with them, which made Luna smile and gave her relief since she was seeing Selene had adapted well in her new home. However, the dream eventually shifted a scene of night and Luna saw Selene running away. Luna immediately flew in to intervene, but she was beaten to it... by herself! The dream had become a re-enactment of the nightmare where Luna first met Selene. However, something was still different.

The dream Luna still saved Selene, but flew away right after while Selene begged for her to come back.

"Luna! Wait, wait! Luna! I want to you tell about---" The dream Luna vanished fully from sight before Selene finished her sentence and the little filly cried. "You promised, Luna. When you will come back?"

"Right now." The real Luna, her heart again torn, appeared behind Selene, standing tall and steady.

"Luna! You did come to visit!" Selene threw herself at Luna for a hug, and Luna gladly returned it. "But why did you leave before?"

"That was not me, dear Selene," Luna explained. "You were dreaming of me. I am the real Luna."

"Do ponies dream of you all the time?" Selene asked, wide-eyed.

"Not in particular," Luna answered.

"You came! You came!" Selene was bouncing up and down at this point, and her dream shifted to place them in her new bedroom. "I thought you wouldn't visit!"

"Forgive me for worrying you," Luna said, trying not to let her regret show in her voice. "Before your dream became a nightmare, I saw you were having fun with other fillies. Are you going to tell me about them?"

"Yes!" Selene replied, jumping into her bed. "They're my new friends! They live here with Melodía and Ivory too! Did you know Ivory likes cupcakes with white chocolate frosting? And...!"

Selene went on and on, telling Luna about how she befriended the fillies, how she liked her caretakers, and that she liked her bedroom. Luna listened to her talk with zero interruption, though she did give a small laugh when Selene talked about being able to stay home because she couldn't attend school again yet. As Selene explained it, they couldn't access her papers "or something".

Eventually, of course, time called and Luna had to leave once again, spelling the end of her visit. Selene frowned.

"Will you visit me again tomorrow night?"

"You want me to visit every night?" Luna asked.

"Well... I guess you have grown-up things," Selene muttered. "Every week?"

Luna thought about Sweetie Belle. Over the years, she only ever missed a night to have tea with Sweetie if Sweetie either didn't sleep that night or fell asleep too close to morning. Otherwise, no matter how hard of a night she had patrolling the dream realm, she made time to visit Sweetie and after their conversation earlier, she had no regrets she'd made it a priority. The extra time was worth being a little more tired at the end of the night.

Yet, just as Luna was going to agree to visiting Selene on a nightly basis, she came up with a better idea.

"Dear Selene, do you enjoy talking with me?"

"Yeah! I wanted to see you again to tell you everything because you helped me," Selene answered. "And... I really thought you wouldn't come back."

"What if I do visit you every week?" Luna asked with a small smile. "But you must tell me something special when I visit."

"Special?" Selene asked curiously. "Like what?"

"Anything. A game you played with your new friends, a treat your caretakers made for all of you, a story of you and Blankie braving the dark." Selene giggled at that last one. "Something special for you. Do you agree?"

"Okay!" Selene squealed. "Deal! I'll find something special right now to tell you next week!"

"Selene, dear, you're still sleeping," Luna reminded her.

"Right. When I wake up."

"I would love to hear it. But I must go now, so this is goodbye until next week," Luna said, unknowingly forming a solemn face.

"Wait!" Selene jumped off her bed and wrapped herself around Luna's hooves again. "Bye-bye hug!"

Luna's smile returned and she hugged Selene with one of her hooves. There was that feeling again, though it didn't hurt as much as previously. They let go, exchanged goodbyes, and Luna exited Selene's dream to return home.

To Luna's surprise, she returned to find Celestia waiting for her on the balcony. It wouldn't have seemed to out of the ordinary if Celestia weren't sporting what looked like a sly smile.

"Good morning, Sister. Was all of Equestria having pleasant dreams?"

"Most, and I assisted those with nightmares," Luna replied. "Has Sombra made breakfast?"

"Not this morning. He decided to check up with the guards' training in the fields," Celestia answered. "So... how is she?"

"Who do you refer to?" Luna asked, raising an eyebrow. Celestia merely held her hoof to her cheek and kept her sly smile. In another moment, Luna figured it out and her tone became deadpan. "You must get enjoyment from being cryptic."

"At times. Now, how is she doing?"

"She's well. She's adjusted nicely to her home with the caretakers and other fillies."

"Good to hear," Celestia said as she stood up. "Let's have breakfast. I'll make blackberry pancakes. Or are you too tired?"

"No. I did miss breakfast once last week because of how I felt after I left Selene that morning," Luna recalled, "but it shan't be a common occurrence. You know for us to have breakfast and dinner together matters very much to me, Sister."

Celestia's sly smirk became a warm one. "Me too."

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