• Published 11th Sep 2019
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Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw

Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

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CH 14 Difficult Conversations

Nightmare was resting, half asleep next to her Little Star.

Hello, Nightmare. A sweet voice entered her mind.

Where have you been? Nightmare responded.

Keeping Twilight company. Her fragment answered, letting out a happy giggle. It seemed out of place coming from her fragment. Twilight’s Friends are gathering in the map room. It continued.

How did you find that out my Fragment?

My name is Sweet Dreams now, and I did not, Twilight did.

Interesting, I assume this means you are not returning to me? Nightmare asked cautiously.

No, I am my own mare now. Dream’s asserted.

Nightmare let her mental tone darken. Very well, you do know what will happen if you cross me?

Are you going to harm Twilight? Dream’s snapped in response.

Why would I? Nightmare asked in mild puzzlement.

Then we are good. Dreams’ said before sounding like she was purring. Mmm, keep doing that…

Keep doing what? Nightmare asked, annoyed.

Sorry, Twilight is distracting me again. Dreams said unabashed.


Dreams giggled again. You don't know what you are missing… Twilight has a request. She would like to see her friends.

Does she know who I am? Nightmare could feel an edge of trepidation enter her mind.

She figured it out, kind of hard not to when there is a whole wing in here dedicated to you.

Unexpected. Nightmare stated.

Play nice with her, she has access to all your spells, all your knowledge in here. Dreams’ teasing response carried and undercurrent of warning.

Nightmare paled, that was not something she wanted to deal with. So finally, I find the disadvantage of a willing host.

Whimsically, with a mental voice laced with seductive charm, Dreams commented. Oh, I don’t know Night, she is very grateful to you.

Your doing?

Oh, yes, and you're welcome. Dream’s answered happily before her voice became dark and threatening. Just remember, Twilight is mine, you do anything to hurt her and you won't live to regret it.

“Don't make fragments in haste, when in distress or when drunk.” Nightmare muttered to herself aloud. It was one of Celestia’s lessons that she failed to drum into Luna hard enough. Three simple rules and she broke two of them in creating Sweet Dreams. She would have to live with the consequences.

Nightmare took a steadying breath before reaching for Twilight. All three mares found themselves standing on an obsidian floor under a cloudy sky. Dreams standing taller than the other two

“Nightmare,” Twilight said with far more warmth than Nightmare was expecting.

“Twilight,” She responded civilly. After all, there was no point in antagonising her host. “Do I have your word that you will not try and take control of our body?”

Twilight reached up to her neck the image of an ebon collar briefly flickering into existence.“I Twilight Sparkle...” Twilight corrected herself. “I who think of myself as Twilight Sparkle do hereby pledge not to attempt to regain control of this body today so long as Nightmare does not harm anypony other than in self-defence.”

Nightmare tilted her head. “Strange wording... but I accept. I will not deny you the chance to see your friends,” She could feel her control strengthen, there would be no way Twilight would be able even to attempt to take control today.

The collar, visible once more, was joined by shackles attached to her legs. Despite this, Twilight smiled. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome, my host.” Nightmare responded civilly.

“I have a name, you know.” Twilight snarked.

“One that I have to get used to using.” Nightmare said in a calm tone.

Next to Nightmare’s physical body, Little Star yawned and rolled over, still sound asleep. Nightmare shifted some of her attention to the outside world. She smiled warmly and draped a wing over her.

“Who is your friend?” Twilight gestured with her horn at the ground.

Nightmare refocused to the mindscape. Following Twilight’s gaze, she saw that visible under the floor was the real world. “She is my Little Star,” Nightmare said with affection.

Twilight blushed as Dreams fell over laughing. Nightmare was just glad they were in her mental space and could not wake her Little Star no matter how loud they were.

“Something I should know about?” Nightmare asked with a raised eyebrow.

“That is what she has been calling me,” Twilight said, looking at Dreams.

“This is hilarious, you call your daughter what I call my lover,” Dreams said through her laughter.

“What! Daughter?” Both Twilight and Nightmare said simultaneously.

“When an Alicorn and a Nightmare get together, magic happens, and a new pony is made… What else would you call her?”

“But…” Twilight stammered

“You… no… I don’t think I mind that,” Nightmare said, her physical body leaning down to nuzzle Star.

Twilight smiled warmly as she looked at Nightmare. “You really do care for her, don't you?”

“Yes… she looked up to me. She wanted to be in my company. I was her Princess, and she was just overjoyed just being with me.” Nightmare hoped her voice did not sound as bashful as she felt in that instance.

“The fact she is just so adorable does not hurt, does it?” Dreams added.

Nightmare nodded. “That too, she saved us, you know?”

“Really?” Dreams said, turning her attention to the little unicorn.

Nightmare smiled with pride. “Yes, when I was battling with the dark mages who had us captive , something happened that rendered me helpless. My brave Little Star defended us and managed to teleport us halfway across Equestria.”

“She definitely takes after her mother and father.” Dreams said.

“Who is who?” Twilight asked.

“Well, the Nightmare did enter you, so I guess that means she is the Father,” Dreams laughed.

“Shall we agree that both of us are her mothers?” Nightmare asked.

Twilight nodded. “I don't want to have to add gender issues to all the other identity issues I am dealing with right now, thank you very much.”

“You know she has a wing in Twilight’s Bastion.” Dreams stated.

“I first figured she was merely part of your insanity manifested with my powers.” Nightmare said nodding to Twilight.

“Is it possible another one of my… family survived?” Twilight asked, looking at Dreams.

Dreams shook her head, “I’m sorry, no not in the way you are hoping.” Dream moved to Twilight, pulling her into a hug, “It will be ok, my Star.”

Twilight leant against Dreams and closed her eyes. “Even though I never met her, it still hurts just knowing what my life cost her.”

“She lives on in your kind heart and sense of wonder.” Dreams said comfortingly.

Nightmare watched, unsure what to make of the exchange. As far as she knew all of Twilight’s family was currently safe. Some in Canterlot, the rest in the Empire.

“You know, Rarity is going to be so mad at us… you did not even take me on a date, and here we are with a filly.” Twilight said, laughing.

“You can’t have her.” Dreams pulled Twilight close and stuck her tongue out at Nightmare.

Twilight’s eyes seem to flicker with flames. “What, can I not have my own harem of sexy mares?”

Nightmare felt her cheeks warm just a little. She cleared her throat. “Shall we be going and see our friends now?” Nightmare shifted most of her attention to the real world and tucked Little Star in under a blanket. She placed a motherly kiss below her horn before heading out.

Nightmare placed her hoof on the wall and mentaly asked the Crystal Tree to take her to just outside the map room. Doing this still felt odd. She could tell that the only reason the Tree was helping, was that Star had asked it to. The Tree seemed to be buzzing with a mix of hope and fear, both firmly directed at herself.

No flash, not even a sense of motion, they had just moved location in less than a blink of an eye. Since when has my Castle been able to do that? Twilight’s thoughts asked.

How would I know? With things like this, I would assume since it was first created. Nightmare responded.

Nightmare knew that Twilight’s friends were on the other side of the doors, and with Celestia in town, she would need to talk to them as soon as possible. She needed them on her side if her plans had any chance of working.

Taking a deep breath, she placed her hooves on the doors and pushed them open. All of the Elements were there sat around the table, each killing time in their own way.

“Girls,” Nightmare said, letting Twilight’s relief into her tone. She could feel her host’s joy radiating from the mindscape.

Five pairs of eyes turned to face her. Their relief and happiness were so powerful it was almost a physical force.

“Twilight!” Pinkie called moments before colliding with her like a meteor.

Nightmare crashed into the ground groaning. Just when I thought I might be free of pain. “Hi Pinkie… next time can you avoid my burns please.”

“Why have you been hiding from us Twi?” Rainbow demanded while hovering above her.

“Hiding? If only.” Nightmare laughed. “This is the first day I have been able to walk enough to come and find you.”

“Oh my.” Fluttershy rushed over, pushing the other two aside. Flitting from one bandaged wound to another checking each as her concern grow.

Nightmare slowly pulled herself to her hooves. She pointed at each wound one by one. “Magical fire, surgical blades, stabbed by a unicorn's horn and finally overtaxed my own horn.”

Rainbow seemed impressed, like she was trying to imagine what epic adventure they were from. Rarity looked appalled, most likely from how unladylike Nightmare’s appearance was. Applejack was just watching. Probably looking for any lies I might tell. Nightmare thought. Pinkie was just happy, and Fluttershy held nothing but tender care in her teary eyes.

So far, so good. Nightmare thought before speaking. “Don’t worry, girls I will be fine, only a few more days to fully heal.” She smiled. “The important thing is that I’m back.”

“You know what this calls for?” Pinkie said, bouncing happily.

“A par…”

A flash of golden light interrupted the conversation. Suddenly Celestia was standing there in all her glory but none of her regalia. She was only wearing saddlebags and a sheathed blade. She looked around the room, and her eyes fixed on Nightmare.

“Twilight?” Celestia's voice was full of hope.

This is too soon. Nightmare worried. This was not a meeting she wanted now. She was in no shape for it, and if Celestia even got a hint that she was not Twilight, then she was done for. “Prin… Celestia.”

“I am so glad to see you safe, if unfortunately not unharmed,” Celestia said as her horn lit as she lifted a scroll from her saddlebags.

Something drew her attention to Celestia’s horn. There a wrongness with how it was glowing. It was subtle, but it was there. A spike of alarmed recognition came from Twilight.

No, no, not again. Twilight’s thought of panic drowning under her building anger. Possible countermeasures flooded Nightmares mind. Twilight reached into their wellspring, clearly going to cast something.

Nightmare mentaly reached for chains binding her. Trust her. Dream's whispered in her mind. Nightmare hesitated, that was all the time Twilight needed.

Shimmering magenta Cyrstal manifested over Nightmare's body. She could feel Twilight's plan, now no spell could reach her until the armour was compromised.

Twilight's rage was burning within her. She was furious and if she had control of the body likely would have attacked Celestia. Probably with her own hooves with how mindless the betrayal driven anger felt. That would not have ended well, not in their current state. Calm yourself Twilight. Nightmare thought.

She could sense Dreams taking action, lovingly holding Twilight whispering sweet nothings trying to calm her. A slight pang of jealousy floated through Nightmare’s mind before she banished it.

She did not know exactly what Celestia was going to do. The fact that at least half of the countermeasures Twilight offered were to stop mental domination and memory removal spells gave her a pretty good idea.

Nopony had done anything in the time Nightmare was thinking. Celestia seemed unsure; she was on the backhoof. If I give her a chance to plan, she will have the advantage. Nightmare decided to be bold.

"You will not use more Mind magic on me," She bellowed with the Royal Canterlot Voice, flaring her wings and jutting her chest out aggressively.

The force knocked everypony except Celestia back. Everypony was stunned, nopony, not even Celestia had expected her outburst.

"What in tarnation are you talking about, sugercube?" Applejack broke the stunned silence looking at Nightmare.

Nightmare tried to work out what to say, thankfully Twilight’s various countermeasures provided all the information she needed. Pointing at Celestia's horn, she growled. "So Celestia, why are at least half the spell forms in your horn to do with mind control and memory alterations?"

Rarity’s eyes widened, clearly, she was the only one that truly understood the implications of the concealed spell work. The mention of mind control was more than enough to provoke the others.

"What the hay?" Rainbow blurted out. "We just get Twilight back, and you're going to zap her in the brain?"

“Don’t be silly that’s Dizz’s trick, you need your own Princess.” Pinkie unhelpfully added.

Twilight’s mental presence faded replaced with the sound of multiple quills frantically writing. What is she doing now? Nightmare thought.

I think she is trying to send a message to her friends. Doing what she can to get them on our side. Dreams answered.

One by one the elements bearers took their places beside Nightmare, ready to protect their ‘friend’ from Celestia.

For a moment, Celestia's mask slipped before returning to the warm, caring smile. "One of the possibilities I was worried about was that Twilight was affected by dark magic. I was only ready in case somepony had compelled her to attack us, or worse."

"She ain't lying Twilight," Applejack said.

"Forgive me for being a little on edge, with everything that happened; it is hard even to be sure any of this is real." Nightmare returned to a neutral stance.

"Err… Twilight if you don’t mind telling us. What did you mean by more mind magic?" Fluttershy's voice was so quiet but caught everyone's attention.

Nightmare nervously looked to Celestia. "I am not sure I should tell you, I don't think you want to know," she said to Twilight's friends. Nightmare was frantically trying to work out what to say. Twilight would be no help, she was still off in her own world, writing to her friends.

“Honesty is the best policy. You know that, Twilight.” Applejack said, placing her hoof on Nightmares shoulder. In a soft whisper, she continued to Nightmare alone. “We are here for you.”

Oh, please allow me. Dreams requested, her mental voice dripping with venom.

With no better option at hoof Nightmare mentally took a step back to let Dreams have control for a time. You better know what you are doing.

Dream’s nodded to Applejack in thanks. “Girls, you never met the original Twilight, she died long before I came to Ponyville.”

Every set of eyes were now solidly fixed on Dreams. Celestia seemed to have frozen, even her mane stilled.

What? Nightmare thought.

Later. Dreams responded.

Dream pointed a hoof at Celestia. “You murdered Twilight's children and used the remains to craft your own patchwork filly. Your own perfect tool just to save your sister.”

Horrified looks now spread around four of the bearers faces. Rainbow’s was shifting to anger, the gears slowly turning behind her eyes as she was trying to work out who to aim it at.

“Children.” Escaped Fluttershy's lips in a horrified whimper.

On hearing Fluttershy, Rainbow turned her gaze on Celestia.

Nightmare felt her hoof slam into the crystal floor as Dreams advanced a single step towards Celestia. “What did you think would happen when I found my Library? What did you think would happen when I had a chance to see the aftermath of your magic, of what you did to the original Twilight?”

Not pausing to let Celestia get a word in, she continued her verbal assault. “Those chains are sharp, they hurt, but you would not know that, would you? You are the only Alicorn that is free of them, right?” Motes of flames danced along her mane as her eyes glared at Celestia, daring her to deny it.

“It was the only way to save Twilight…”

“Save her? Save her! She was already gone! All you did was kill her children to make a copy,” Dreams screamed, trembling as arks of rage-filled lightning danced over her feathers.

Nightmare noted the others were rooted in place; clearly, the shock of what they had just found out and the Alicorn magic flooding the room was getting to them.

“They all would have died in days!” Celestia shouted back. “It was the only way to save anything, to save anypony, to save you from that disaster.” She ended in a solemn whisper, tears shimmering in her eyes.

“How can I trust you are even telling the truth?” Dream asked. “YOU, MESSED, WITH, MY, MIND!” She advanced one step with each word. Her thundering hoof falls cracking the floor.

Nightmare did not know who was more stunned, herself, Celestia or Twilight’s friends. She could see the pain in Celestia’s eyes, a deep hurt that would take a long time to heal. Good. She thought to herself.

The two Alicorns now stood still, looking at each other.

“Is that how you feel, my…” Celestia started.

“Don’t you dare!” Dreams snapped back.

“Twilight…” Celestia pleaded.

Dreams cut her off with another stomp of her hoof. “You say being a Princess requires making the hard choices, you’re right. The thing you have to remember is that each choice has consequences. I am yet to make my mind up what they should be for you.”

A shocked expression flashed in Celestia’s eyes, “What…”

“Don’t worry ‘Princess’.” She said the title as if it was a curse. “I will still play my part. I will protect Equestria, my ponies, and my friends.” Dreams turned her back on Celestia, letting all of her displays of power fade. She walked away limping, the strain of Twilights injured body catching up with all the activity. “Please leave.” Dream finished in a weak dejected tone.

Celestia mouth hug open, she was stunned into inaction. A moment later and in a flash of magic, she was gone.

Dreams slumped to the ground crying. Twilight friends broke free from their shock and rushed her. Within moments, she was the centre of a pony pile, enjoying the warmth of a group hug.

That was masterful, well played Sweet Dreams. Nightmare thought.

That was not just a performance. It was the truth. Dreams responded bitterly. Please let Twilight feel this.

As you wish. Nightmare pulled on Twilight’s chain dragging her away from whatever she was doing, Placing her in partial control of her body. For the duration of this hug, I release you from today’s agreement.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Twilight thought at Nightmare.

Tears of joy fell from her eyes.“I love you all,” Twilight spoke from her own mouth for the first time in days as she returned the hug.

In Nightmare’s mindscape, Dreams draped a wing over her. Thank you.

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