• Published 18th Oct 2019
  • 9,397 Views, 535 Comments

Time Enough For Three - Valtyra

Twilight finds herself wanting to know more about Celestia and Luna. So she ends up time travelling!

  • ...

Arc 1: Chapter 8

Even waking up in Celestia's embrace couldn't quell the sheer pain that she had chosen to self-inflict upon herself by taking up Luna's training with the guards. Even though she knew it was for the best, and that it would help her rule more effectively, it still couldn't make it hurt any less.

Squirming around to face her mare, Twilight squeaked upon finding Celestia already wide awake.

"Good morning, my light," she purred, leaning in and kissing the younger Princess.

Twilight could only tense up for a split second before melting into the affection and letting it consume her. Every atom of her being wanted her to say 'buck it' to the training and simply stay with Celestia, but she wouldn't be able to look at Luna the same way if she did.

Pulling back, she fluttered her eyes open while brushing her hooves across her Princess's chest in an attempt to coax another.

"I still can't believe this is happening," she whispered, scared that if she spoke any louder, she would wake up.

Celestia's hooves brushed up and across Twilight's back, then between her wings, causing her to gasp and squirm.

"I don't want you to go," Celestia admitted. "My sister is lucky to spend so much time with you."

Twilight giggled and nuzzled under her mare's chin to gently kiss at her neck.

"She may be lucky, but I'll be the one in pain," she mumbled as Celestia gasped and let out a purr.

"It'll be just like those cheesy romance novels where I wait for my mare until she returns, again" the Princess joked, running a hoof through Twilight's tangled mane.

"Maybe that's what I wanted," Twilight cooed, nipping the Princess's sensitive skin. "My mare waiting at home for the brave soldier?"

It was Celestia's turn to laugh as she rolled her eyes. "I remember taking care of my brave soldier," she giggled,

The younger mare huffed, then climbed on top of the Princess. "Well, you know what I remember?"

"Hm, remind me," the Princess giggled, gazing up as her hooves slid up Twilight's legs.

The mare leaned down and whispered in Celestia's ear, "I remember you're quite ticklish."

The Princess's eyes shot open when Twilight's magic began to press into her sides and just below her wings, hitting all of her sensitive spots.

Celestia gasped, and squirmed, yet was held fast by Twilight's magic as she let out a whimper, her face red as she held back tears. "Light- Ah! Stop, please!" she cried, hooves hitting the bed as she tried to fight against the magically powerful mare.

Twilight eventually relented, her magic pulling back for a second before washing over Celestia's body, holding her in a lavender aura.

"Will you visit?" she asked, nuzzling her.

Catching her breath, Celestia stared up at Twilight as a look of shock appeared on her face. "Of course, I'll come and visit my marefriend."

It was Twilight's turn for her face to burst beet red upon hearing that. "Mare- Marefriend!" she gasped, only to quickly press forwards and kiss her mare passionately, a hoof caressing along her cheek.

The pair had quickly forgotten the time and by the time they had left the hotel to be picked up by the Royal Guard, they were at least an hour late for the airship's departure.

Fortunately for them, they were Princesses and that meant that they had a certain amount of leeway in regard to timing, despite Twilight's insistence that Luna would not let her go.

By the time they had arrived back at Canterlot, Twilight's anxiety was only quelled by numerous nuzzles and kisses from the Solar mare herself.

Their destination was the Royal Airship Hangar; somewhere Twilight had been only sparingly, with one tour when she ascended to Princess, and a filly's adventure many years ago.

This time though, she was there to say goodbye to her marefriend for several months. This, no doubt, tarred the area's reputation for her and she would want nothing more than to disband the Royal Air Force if she could spend more time in Celestia's embrace.

The hanger itself was built around the other half of the mountain, with the Royal Guard having hollowed out several hundred meters of pure marble to construct the hanger and required facilities.

The hanger's surface was completely flat, having been sanded and ground down to a near shine from constant use. The ceiling was carved into a half-dome, with several struts that jutted out into the near instant drop off the mountainside.

There were several airships docked, each one adorned in either silver or gold materials, having been assigned to the Solar or Lunar divisions of the Air Force. Many of the airships themselves were bustling with activity as hundreds of ponies sped back and forth carrying cargo into the ships to get ready for departure to various locations around Equestria.

Being pulled out of her fantasy by Celestia, Twilight braced herself as the chariot touched down and slowed to a crawl and finally stopped just off to the side of a smaller airships.

Looking it over, she saw the name and sighed, imagining it to be a silly joke by the universe. HMS Moonlight

Celestia climbed out of the chariot and thanked the guards which pulled it, before helping Twilight off with hoof. "As much as it will pain me, it's only for seven months, my light. No time at all for us, I assure you."

"Maybe for you, but that's still a lot of time for me," Twilight grumbled. She turned to the guards and added, "Thank you," before turning back and following Celestia over to the ship.

As they neared, Luna's voice slowly started to grow clear, and it was also clear that she wasn't using her 'indoor voice'.

"Get those boxes inside! This airship must be spotless for the Princess!" she hollered, gesturing to a stack of boxes left out on the side of the deck.

The pair climbed up the plank and onto the deck and glanced to each other upon seeing that Luna's back was turned towards them.

"Do not dally! Twilight wouldn't!" she shouted, stomping a hoof as she glared around at some of the ponies rushing about.

"I see you are enjoying your duties, sister," Celestia shouted a little too loud for Twilight's taste.

Luna let out a yelp and spun around, her wings flared up threateningly while her face was painted a cute shade of red, at least until she spotted Twilight.

"Good morning,” she replied, glancing between the pair. "I did not think you would be here so soon."

Looking outside to the noon sun, Twilight giggled and rushed up to Luna, giving her a hug, to which the Princess patted her back.

"We would have been here earlier, but we got, uh, caught up."

"In sheets, no doubt," Luna replied, looking at Celestia.

Twilight sputtered awkwardly while Celestia frowned.

"Keep that up and you'll hurt the mare," Celestia warned, placing a hoof on Twilight's withers and guiding her back to her side.

Luna rolled her eyes, before addressing Twilight. “I have much prepared for you, Twilight,” she said, her tone neutral. “Say your goodbyes.”

Twilight glanced to Celestia, then back at Luna, a little unsure at how she was acting. "What do you mean?"

"Well, I'd like you to meet the guards who will be protecting you while you attend Night Court. You will have plenty of time to get to know them but doing so before we take off will help."

Twilight blinked, then nodded with a smile. "I'm always happy to meet new ponies, you should know that by now.”

Twilight couldn't help but find her mood ever so slightly improving with the news that she was going to make some new friends; friends which would be with her throughout her training.

"I did not forget. But you must keep a secret, Twilight," Luna warned. "They do not know they will be guarding you after their training. Bat-ponies have only ever guarded me during the night, so you will have to earn their trust first."

Wide eyed, Twilight nodded once again. "I'll certainly try!"

"Great. Now come. The recruits grow restless."

"This is where we must part," Celestia said, earning a concerned look from Twilight. "Favourites cannot be shown in the guard, even from Luna and I; as soon as you go down those stairs, you are a recruit."

Twilight neared her marefriend as her horn lit up. An ethereal platform appeared below her hooves and began to lift her up until she was face to face with Celestia.

"If I won't see you for months, then I'll leave you with something to remember," she purred, then leaned in and pressed their lips together.

Twilight's eyes closed as she felt Celestia's warm, soft lips press against her own; the thumping in her chest growing in rhythm.

She didn't even care that Luna, nor the other ponies moving boxes were watching. All she wanted was Celestia.

Pulling away, Twilight smiled and pecked the silent Celestia on the nose, before lowering herself.

"I'll write often, okay!" Twilight giggled, grinning up at her.

Celestia's cheeks were beet red as she stared down at Twilight, unable to form the right words. But it took several seconds, and she mumbled, "Wow."

"There'll be plenty when I get back," Twilight said, holding her hoof. "But for now, I'll have to leave you with that."

Sighing, Luna gently placed a wing on Twilight's back and led her across the deck and down into the bowels of the airship, leaving Celestia. Twilight gave one last glance back and winked at the solar mare, before descending.

Twilight glanced up at Luna in the cramped, lamp-lit corridor. She bit her lip, then whispered, "Thank you for letting me take some of your work, Luna. "

"Do not thank me, Twilight," Luna replied, staring down at the worried mare. "You can heal faster and fight harder than our little ponies, but that doesn't mean you can't be taken out of a fight, or worse, killed."

"I, uh- I know," Twilight mumbled, looking away as they finally reached the bottom of the stairs.

Luna raised her brow, before lighting her horn and taking hold of the door handle in front of them.

"Despite us having advantages, there's plenty out there that we're exceedingly weak against."

Leaning down, she laid a hoof on Twilight's shoulder.

"I plan on beating that weakness out of you."

Twilight was now thoroughly worried.

Swinging open the door next to them, Luna leaned back up and wandered through. The next room expanded outwards, revealing the hollowed-out shell of the ship.

Several cots were laid out across the sides of the dark and dingy expanse, along with bolted-down chests for personal storage. Scattered around the cots were several bat ponies, either in two's or by themselves.

The instant Luna entered the room, the ponies shot up from what they were doing and stood in front of their cots, leaving the final one, closest to the door, empty.

The bat-ponies weren't as colourful as their regular cousins; their coats mainly focusing on shades of browns and grey, no doubt to blend in with Luna's night. Their wings, instead of light feathers that could be individually manipulated and tilted to feel the flow of mana in the air, held a thin strip of flesh, reminding Twilight of stretched leather.

Overall, Twilight wanted to know more, but had to remind herself that they were still soldiers and held herself back, just in time for Luna to start talking.

"Twilight, stand at attention," she ordered, glancing down and gesturing to the empty cot.

Twilight nodded and stood over in front of the cot, copying the other ponies. She kept her attention on Luna and did her best to ignore the stares from the other recruits.

Luna turned away and walked the length of the cabin, then back again, her eyes scanning over each pony. Once she arrived back in front of Twilight, she began to talk.

"Welcome, recruits! I am so glad that you have decided to accept my offer and begin advanced training." Closing her eyes, she wandered back up and down the cabin, continuing.

"I have chosen each of you as I saw potential in you. Not all of you will make it through this training, of that, I promise. This is an intensive seven-month course that will break you down and then build you up into ponies capable enough to defend my ponies!"

The ponies stood taller, eager to please their princess and prove their worth. As such, Twilight did the same, eager to prove to Luna that she was worthy of her love.

"You might be wondering why Princess Sparkle is on this ship?" Luna asked, looking around at the various occupants with a grin. "It turns out the Princess isn't the smartest mare in Equestria after all!" she joked, earning a chuckle from the other ponies and a pout from Twilight.

Turning back, Luna made her way over to Twilight and stood there, bearing down at her with that intimidating aura.

"Twilight thinks that Chrysalis, Cozy and Tirek are the worst this world has to offer!" she announced, just as the ship rumbled and lifted off the ground.

The bat ponies didn't seem affected by such movement, but Twilight's legs quivered, and her wings splayed out to try and keep her steady.

"While Twilight can scuffle and shoot magic, she can't fight, not properly."

Luna backed away, allowing Twilight a chance to breathe. She would never admit it, but Twilight found this side of Luna, the focused side, attractive.

"She has had no formal Guard training!" Luna announced, walking back up the cabin. "But I can promise that she is stronger than you."

One of the bat-ponies opposite Twilight snorted, looking her over.

Luna's eyes shot over to the stallion, then closed in on him. "Something to say, private?" she asked, her voice containing a hint of playfulness.

"Ma'am. She looks like a good breeze will break her. I don't want to look after her if she gets mud on her fetlocks."

Twilight looked appalled that he would say such a thing, but kept her mouth shut.

"Very well, Private. You're her partner for any and all duo exercises. I trust this won't be an issue. " Luna said.

She moved to the front of the cabin and took one last look around at Twilight's recruits. Turning to Twilight, she glared down at her. "Hope you enjoy yourself, Private Sparkle."

At that, Luna left the room, leaving Twilight alone with a cabin full of bat-ponies who were all staring at her, and one very annoyed stallion.

"Hi," she mumbled, sheepishly waving a hoof. "It's nice to meet you."

Half an hour later and Twilight was laid on her cot, a frown having formed upon her brow as she thought about what sort of training she would have to do.

’From the way that Luna described it, she would most likely have me fighting whatever comes out of the forest. It wasn’t as if there were any bandits to fight.’

With a sigh, she looked around the room and found that most of the ponies had reformed their small groups, leaving the Princess alone in the corner of the room. Deciding that she would rather not be bored for the whole twelve-hour ride, and actually prove she was the Princess of Friendship, she jumped off her cot and walked over to the nearest group, consisting of three stallions and two mares.

As usual with most of the Bat Ponies, their coats, manes and tails were rather bland with varying shades of brown of dark blue, matching the Alicorn that some of them would inevitably guard.

Nearing the other recruits, Twilight smiled and waved. “Hey there,” she greeted, flicking her eyes around to the ponies who were now looking at her with a confused look.

“Can we help you?” one of the mares asked, giving Twilight the stink-eye.

“Oh, uh, I was just wondering if you would like, you know… be friends?” Twilight asked, beginning to grow nervous at the looks she was receiving.

“Friends,” one of the scoffed, looking her up and down, “with you?”

“Yes?” she whispered, wincing at the scoff.

The ponies rolled their eyes and turned back to each other, ignoring the Princess.

Twilight wasn’t sure what to think. Luna said that she’d need to gain their trust, but she didn’t expect to simply be treated this way. Moving away, she scanned the room to find any pony who didn’t look like they would ignore her.

Across the room stood a pair of ponies who seemed just as awkward as herself. The pair were, what most bat ponies would describe as, rather plain for their race. Well, as plain as a pair of nocturnal, leather-winged ponies could be. From a casual observer, one would assume they were clones. But, at a closer glance it was clear that the two of them had subtle differences that showed that they were, in fact, two different ponies. Both had a dark brown coat, as well as a green, and black, mane and tail. Their eyes were, strangely enough, a light blue, which was not normal for bat-ponies.

Walking over, Twilight gave her warmest smile and waved with her wing. “Hey there!” she greeted, really hoping that these two wouldn’t scoff at her.

“Oh, hello,” one of them, who Twilight guessed was a stallion, replied. He bowed ever so slightly, looking unsure as he looked to the other pony.

“Night, stop it,” the other pony said, which turned out to be a mare. She turned to Twilight and raised a brow. “We only bow to Princess Luna.”

Twilight blinked and let out a soft chuckle. “Is… is that why every pony is acting so hostile to me?” she asked, glancing around. “I’m not looking for bows or to be treated as a Princess here. I’m a private, just like you,” she said, reaching out with a hoof. “I’m Twilight Sparkle, nice to meet you!”

The mare moved her gaze down at the hoof for the longest time, until she reached out and hesitantly shook it. “Terminal Velocity,” she muttered, letting go. She reached back and pulled the stallion forward. “This is my brother, Night Sentry.”

The stallion smiled and quickly took Twilight’s hoof, shaking it eagerly. “It’s nice to meet you, Twilight,” he began, letting out a small laugh. “Don’t mind the other ponies, they’re just a little on edge. They’ve never been so close to Princess Luna before.”

“I guess that makes sense. I’ve never seen her like that before,” Twilight mumbled, finding her cheeks warming up. “Will she,” she cleared her throat, “be like that the whole time?”

“Most likely. I’ve heard that she had several ponies die the last time she trained her Night Guard!”

“Night. You know full well that no pony died,” Terminal stated, smiling at the end. “They’re too dedicated to the Princess to die anyway.”

“I’m sure Twilight would know,” Night said, looking over to her along with his sister.

“Me? Well…” Twilight began, rubbing the back of her neck. “Oh, she’d never let one of her ponies get hurt!” Twilight shared, grinning. “I bet if some pony did get hurt, she’d probably look after them, possibly even cuddle with them until I got better…”

The pair of ponies stared at the Princess with amused looks.

“Uh-huh. Well, I doubt that you’d be cuddling up with the Princess anytime soon,” Terminal said, shaking her head. “I know for a fact that when we arrive, we get to choose our partners. There’s three to a team and well… you can join ours.”

“Really? You’re my first bat-pony friends!” Twilight laughed, clip-clipping her hooves on the floor.

Night smiled warmly as he leaned against his sister, who simply wrapped a leathery wing over his back. “Anyway, there’s three in a team,” he stated, placing a hoof on his sister’s chest. “Terminal is good at flying fast, as per her name,” he explained, moving his hoof to his own chest. “I’m stronger. Though, obviously not as strong as you, Twilight.”

“Well, I’ve learned that I’m not been able to use my strength very effectively. So, if I didn’t have my magic, or healing, I would be useless.”

“Healing?” Terminal asked, confused.

“Alicorns have enhanced healing. We can still feel pain though,” Twilight replied, looking around. Lighting her horn, she magically cut into her hoof, dribbling blood onto the floor, until her flesh healed up almost instantly. “See?”

“Wow!” Night gasped, taking Twilight’s hoof and looking it over. “That’s awesome!”

Terminal rubbed her chin. “I guess you’re our defence. It’s hard to fight two flying ponies with an Alicorn in your face.”

Twilight rolled her eyes and giggled. “Yeah, it is.”

The airship touched down at their destination after only nine hours of flight due to good winds. After circling, the airship had landed in front of the gates to the Guard Training camp.

The camp itself was quite spacious, managing to hold several brick and wood buildings, as well as a large, flat, training space. A thick, steel fence had been erected around the perimeter of the camp to keep the ponies inside safe from any predators that would no doubt be willing to munch on them.

The door opened to the airship's cabin and in strolled Princess Luna, her eyes critically scanning every pony in the room before talking. "We have arrived at Camp McColten. Those who have brought belongings, gather them up quickly and head topside."

With a subtle narrowing of her eyes, Luna left the cabin, leaving the door open.

Twilight climbed down from her cot, feeling slightly put off from the fact Luna didn't really acknowledge her, but shook her head, realising that she was only acting needy.

Taking a deep breath, she waited by the door for Night and Terminal, before heading topside.

The Princess was standing off to the side of the deck as a small group of Pegasi and Bat ponies swooped overhead, looking for any threats to their Princess.

The recruits lined up in a row behind Luna, with Twilight and the pair falling in line near to the end. While each of them stood there with their chests puffed out, trying to impress the Princess of the Night, Luna was gazing out into the forest, a smirk on her face.

Turning around, Luna inspected the ponies which had pledged themselves to her, as well as Twilight, with a piercing glare, before beginning to walk up and down the line.

"When you walk off this ship, you belong to me!" she stated, putting emphasis while she passed Twilight, making the younger Princess's cheeks flush. Turning around, Luna walked down to the other end. "Now. I saw that most of you had already formed groups. You will stay in these groups for the entirety of your training. These ponies will be your friends and you should rely on them for support."

Returning to the side of the ship, she continued, while a well-groomed stallion, with a pure black mane, and tail trotted up the boarding plank; a tight sash around his front with Luna's insignia.

"Stealth will take you down to the barracks. I recommend that you share bunks close to your group."

Giving Luna a low bow, the pony then turned to the recruits. "Follow," he ordered, walking back down the boarding plank.

It didn't take Twilight long to get into the rhythm of waking up at dinner and going to sleep at sunrise; The long nights reading, and stargazing, felt like it was simply preparation for her training. The main thing that Twilight was having trouble with was the training itself.

One week had passed and her entire body ached, from the tip of her horn to the bottom of her tail. She didn't even know her tail could ache, but Luna had managed it, even giving Twilight extra training sessions. Yet, she had another day of training, and her group were ordered to go out and fetch a flag which one of the other groups had placed, only armed with a map of the local area and a compass. The group had given a set of clues to help them find the flag, but nothing more.

Trudging along the underbrush, Twilight had to basically force herself through, nettles and vines gripping and scratching at her body. "Come on!" she growled, finding her tail caught in a knot around a particularly twisted vine.

The sun had long since passed below the horizon, providing no defence from the various, nocturnal and very hungry creatures who called the forest home. While not as foreboding as the Everfree Forest, which felt more alien, what with its unmovable and often chaotic weather, the Forsaken Forest still brought a cold shiver to Twilight as she quickly flicked her eyes about, trying to find her group.

"N- Night?" she called out in a hushed tone, only to cry out and as the stallion popped up next to her.

"Yeah?" he asked, grinning. "You alright?" he asked, glancing back at her tail, which was still tangled up. "Here," he giggled, reaching over and snapping the vine.

"Thank you," she muttered, finding her breath and pulling her frayed tail around herself to inspect the damage. "It's such a pain without my magic."

"I doubt the Princess would have done it to annoy you," he replied, glancing up at the magic inhibitor around Twilight's horn. "I'm sure you won't always have your magic when you protect the Princess."

Twilight froze for a second, before realising that he was probably talking about her being a recruit. "Oh," she laughed, nodding. "Yeah, I guess so. Though, Luna can protect herself perfectly fine."

Frowning for a second upon hearing Twilight talk about the Princess with her title, he shrugged. "I guess so. But it's our job to make sure it doesn't come to that!" he said, looking proud. Glancing up, Night pulled back and tensed.

Suddenly, Terminal hit the ground between the pair, dousing the pair in mud and dirt. "Come on, slowpokes," she groaned, though less so than normal. "I would love to get back to camp before morning. It's a night off tomorrow and some of the recruits managed to get some alcohol sent in!"

"Oh? I thought Luna said that wasn't allowed?" Twilight wondered, tilting her head.

"Please. Who do you think authorised it?"

"Wait, really?!"

"Yup! She said it would be good for moral or something. What with some of the groups doing less than stellar during their first week," Terminal explained, giggling. "Now come on. Let's find this flag and go back. Even we would freeze our rump off during the night."

Twilight giggled at that and nodded. "Do you have any idea of which way to go, oh glorious leader?" she quipped, fluttering her wings for warmth.


"What was the clue?" Night asked, nudging his sister. "Or have you forgotten already?"

"I know it!" she growled, frowning at him. "I just, uh... a refresher might be good."

Twilight sighed and scanned around them, looking for anything that might want to eat them. With a satisfied nod, she turned back to the pair. "We'll find the flag at the longest night, where the earth hugs the moon."

"What the buck does that even mean?!" Terminal groaned.

Twilight tapped her chin, looking down into the mud in thought. "Well," she muttered, looking back up. "I would suspect that 'where the earth hugs the moon' would imply somewhere high."

"Oh," Terminal mumbled, rubbing her leg as she looked away in embarrassment.

"It's okay, sis. I know that thinking is hard for you," Night teased, patting her head and jumping back to evade a swipe of a hoof.

Ignoring the bickering siblings, Twilight flared her wings and shot up into the sky to survey the local area. Circling, she took in the local area and found herself admiring the strange beauty of the forest. To her, it seemed like the forest simply expanded forever, ever flowing over the landscape and swallowing the world whole. Various spires of rock pierced through the canopy to dominate the skyline, but one stood out among the rest, with a curved, horseshoe tip, that wrapped around into itself.

Twilight's eyes widened and she dove back down, hitting the ground and grinning. "Found it!" she giggled, rolling her eyes. "The other group really didn't try hard, apparently."

"Oh, perfect! I'm freezing my rump off," Terminal groaned. "Please, lead the way."

"Alright, come on," Twilight nodded, shaking her head at the pony. "You'll have to get used to it eventually, Terminal."

"I'll get used to it when Princess Luna retires," she chattered.

"I thought bat ponies were like Pegasi?"

"Mostly," Night interjected. "But Termy here is an exception," he teased, grinning. "She's always been a hard-rump."

"Careful," she grumbled, glaring daggers at him.

Giggling, Twilight flapped her wings and took off towards the sky with the pair following soon after. The Princess took a second to appreciate Luna's masterpiece, before looping over herself and slowing to a flow glide towards the spire.

She couldn't help but calm at the feeling of the air flowing through her feathers. It was as if the weight of the world simply melted away and she didn't have the responsibility of saving two Princesses from certain doom.

Despite the fact that both of them were alive, which reassured her that she would succeed, Twilight still felt like she could screw up at any second, as she had learned with those guards. Nothing was guaranteed when time was involved.

'I really hope Starlight gets something fixed up,' she thought, worry filling her.

The flight over to the spire only took a few minutes. The group landed on a semi-circular rocky outcrop, which led into a darkened cave. The sides of the outcrop had been cleanly sheared off, with a several hundred hoof fall on all sides, leading to the forest below.

Twilight frowned and raised a wing. "Wait," she whispered, glancing back to them both. Remembering her lesson on wing gestures, Twilight lowered herself to the ground and flicked her feathers, signalling for them to split up and circle around either side of the outcrop.

Creeping up to the mouth of the cave, Twilight narrowed her eyes, her wings twitching in agitation. Something about this was too easy; it smelled of a trap.

Raising her wing again to stop the others, she moved forwards, rocks and dirt crunching underhoof as she entered the mouth of the cave.

Night and Terminal waited, watching as Twilight disappeared from view, only to come flying out of the cave and scraping across the ground, coming to a stop just before the edge of the forest.

"Ugh," Twilight coughed, then raised her head to watch as a giant, scar-covered serpent slithered out the cave after her.

Rising to her hooves, she let out a huff and rolled her wings. "I knew it was too easy," she grunted, feeling a mild discomfort along her left side.

Night backed up, shock evident in his face. The serpent easily towered over him. "Twilight! What do we do?!" he cried, quivering in fear as it turned to look at him.

Terminal cried out as she galloped towards the beast, using her wings to propel her forward, before turning and thrusting her back legs out to buck at the serpent’s thick hide, denting it!

With a hiss, the beast turned, pulled back and snapped at the mare. Unfortunately for it, she was fast enough and flapped her wings to get out of range as its jaws came down with a crash.

"Bucking hell!" she yelped, flapping chaotically as she circled and lowered herself down next to her brother. "You alright?"

Night nodded, swallowing nervously. "Y-Yeah,” he stuttered, “just a little surprised."

Twilight watched as the snake slithered around to face the three ponies. Her eyes were drawn to its face, where one of its eyes were glazed over, with a scar running across it.

"It's eyes!" she shouted, flaring her wings and launching into the air. "It's blind in its right eye!"

Swooping down, the mare hit the snake across its head with a hoof, finding it as hard as rock and wincing as a jolt of pain blasted up her leg.

The siblings charged its front, keeping to the snake's blind side as Twilight distracted it from above. At the very last second, they turned and bucked the snake’s belly, shattering its scales.

With a hiss, the snake brought its tail around to hit the pair with the force of a chariot, throwing them against the rock wall.

The pair fell down in a heap, with only Night shakily rising up. He whimpered as he turned to face the beast, putting himself between his unconscious sister and it, flaring his wings with a growl.

The beat pulled back and lunged at the pony with its fangs outstretched. Twilight cried out as she shot across the outcrop and directly into the side of the snake's head with her horn.

Twilight's horn struck the snake and pierced its iron hide, sinking deep into its flesh as it was pushed aside, kissing Night Sentry.

The snake crashed headfirst into the rock wall and thrashed about, its body slamming into the ground to remove Twilight from its head!

Twilight felt herself impact against the ground once, twice, then a third time until her horn came loose, and she was thrown deep into the cave.

The snake snarled and hissed as it tumbled over the edge, falling into the forest below. Just as it hit the canopy, its body burst into glittering stars and floated up into the night sky to re-join the others.

Coughing, Twilight limped out of the cave and over to Night. Her right wing was dislocated, hanging limply by her side, her face held a long cut, just above her left eye and her horn contained a large fracture running along it's spiral, up to the tip.

"How is she?" she asked, lowering herself to the cold dirt to check the mare out, concern evident on her face as she scanned the unconscious Terminal.

"She will be fine, Private," Luna stated, appearing in a flash of light off to the side of the outcrop. Walking over, she smiled down at the ponies, giving Twilight a warmer smile.

"Princess!" Night gasped, bowing.

Glancing back, Twilight pulled herself to her hooves and bowed, a smile appearing on her face, until she felt Luna's magic stop her.

"You are in no state to bow," Luna said, staring down at her. Quickly passing both ponies, she pressed her horn to Terminal's forehead and the mare disappeared in a flash of light. "She'll be treated back at camp."

Twilight looked around, then asked, "Princess, were you watching?"

"Of course, I was. This was a test after all," Luna replied, glancing between them. "One which you were not supposed to pass. Though, it's also one you're not supposed to tackle. Every other group had the intelligence to run away, but we both know that you don’t really think all the time; isn't that right, Twilight?"

The mare in question looked down, confused. She already feel her forehead, and horn, healing, even as they talked.

Luna continued, turning to Night. "I must speak to Twilight privately. I will send you back to the camp. Please get checked over by the medics."

"Yes, ma'am!" he saluted, flashing away and leaving only Twilight and Luna.

Looking up at Luna, Twilight rolled her withers and winced. "It doesn't get easier, does it?" she asked.

Luna moved to Twilight's side and took her wing in her magic. "Of course, it doesn't. When you go back to Canterlot and take over missions, you can't simply throw yourself in harm’s way. You will have guards and ponies that care for you!" Luna chided, twisting her magic and popping Twilight's wing back into its socket.

Twilight cried out in pain, then glared back at Luna. "Could have warned me!" she hissed, flicking her tail against the Princess.

Rolling her eyes, Luna moved back over. "And you could have not hurt yourself so much.”

It only took a second for Twilight to look away, her cheeks warming. "Giant snake?" she muttered, scuffing the ground with her hoof. "It's a bit strange this high up in the freezing cold."

"It works," Luna replied, shrugging. "No pony thinks logically when facing death. Surely you have noticed? Our little ponies aren't exactly predators. They're more likely to freeze than run or attack.

"That needs to be trained out of them. For some unknown reason, my sister doesn't train her guards in this way. It's a miracle that Equestria stood for a thousand years without me."

"Well, there's not many that can stand against her, at least without some magical artefact that can improve their power tenfold, or Tirek, or Chrysalis, or..." Twilight trailed off, grimacing.

"Or Nightmare Moon?" Luna said, raising a brow down at Twilight while she circled her. That same predatory gaze appeared across her face once again, causing the fur on the back of Twilight's neck to stand up.

"Yes, her."

"Our sister worries for our subjects. She worries she might hurt them if she were to unleash her true power. It leads to indecision, which leads to ponies getting hurt."

"I," Twilight started, not feeling comfortable. She changed the subject, rolling her aching wing. "You said no group passed, right?"

"I said no group tackled the challenge, which was the true criteria. But, all of you showed exceptional bravery," Luna said, wandering over to the edge. "For that, all of your group may ask one thing of me, each. Depending on it, I may or may not allow it."

Twilight blinked, not expecting that. "Oh, uh," she stammered, not sure what to reply with.

"You may save it, if you wish. But please use it before your training is up. It would be wasted otherwise."

"I'll think on what I'll want, Princess," Twilight replied, bowing.

"So be it, Private Sparkle."

By the end of month three, the weight that Twilight had gained from working as a librarian had gone. Despite most Unicorns, and some Earth ponies, having some sort of barrel weight as a side effect of their mostly sedentary lifestyle, it was never truly noticeable unless one were to specifically go looking for it.

Yet, as the month was beginning to close, Twilight felt better than ever. She had more energy to actually train with and, if she were to be honest, she felt more attractive and confident.

It still wouldn't be enough for her to simply take Luna as her own, as she'd blush horribly whenever Luna would order about, but it was enough for her to eagerly await that day where she would let herself into Luna's tent, push the mare up against her table and take her.

Twilight squirmed in her bunk, a hot flush rising to her cheeks as she imagined it, just like she had done for the past seventy days.

The recruits were all bunked together in a single floored building built off to the side of the camp. The interior was a spacious, but simple design of semi-spaced bunk beds, each with a chest and locker for personal belongings.

Twilight squirmed deeper into her covers, held them tight and chewed on her lip as she held back a giggle.

'Stop it, Twilight. You're acting like a schoolfilly' she warned. 'Some of them already think you're weird.'

Glancing around the bright room, Twilight finally stopped and rolled over onto her back. She couldn't help but think of Luna, she was only across the camp, but she may as well have been on the other side of the cosmos.

It wasn't as if she didn't want to sweep her off her hooves, but she was just so intimidating and intense. Not that Twilight minded, it only made Luna so much more alluring; a side to the prankster sister that she had never seen before.

It wasn't long until Twilight had fallen asleep, the previous night's training had tired her out, like normal, but her thoughts had kept her away from her dreams for at least a few hours.

It felt like one second Twilight closed her eyes with the room bright and cheerful, and the next she was opening them to a dark and dreary night.

Thankfully, for Twilight and the rest of the recruits, Luna had allowed them one night off to relax, considering it was halfway through their training. Unfortunately for Twilight, it had been drilled into her that she should now rise when the moon did.

As such, she stumbled out of the barracks, rubbing her eyes and letting out a soft yawn from the four hours of sleep she had managed. She blamed her continued existence on being an Alicorn. Any lesser pony would probably have died from four months of low quality, low quantity sleep.

Looking around the camp, Twilight made her way towards where the other ponies in her squad would normally socialise when not training.

Walking over, Twilight could see that Night Sentry and Terminal Velocity, were sitting there chatting. Taking a seat, Twilight gave then a tired, but cheery smile.

"Oh, Twilight. We didn't know when you'd be awake," Terminal began, giggling as she spoke, "you always look so tired, so we didn't want to wake you."

"Thanks, you two. I appreciate that..." she sighed, rubbing her eyes again as she stretched her wings out, her feathers fluttering slightly.

Frowning, Twilight unfurled her left wing and leaned down, using her muzzle to nudge each feather until she found the one that wasn't sitting right. It only took ten seconds, but Twilight's annoyance was reaching bursting point. Once the feather was found, she used her magic to slide one of her primaries out of her wing.

As soon as it came free, Twilight melted in relief, much to the amusement of the ponies sitting opposite her.

"You okay, Twi?" Night asked, a smirk on his face. "Do you need a minute to yourself?"

Twilight blinked and looked over, unsure what he meant, until her gave her a deadpan look. Quickly it became clear and she frowned at him. "The feather was at an angle!" she huffed, rolling her eyes, then shaking her head. "Stallions."

Laughing, Terminal reached down and grabbed a sticker less bottle of what looked to be cider from beside her, then passed it to Twilight.

"What's this?" she asked, looking down at it warily, as if it would get her in trouble.

"Cider, what do you think it is?" Night replied, grinning.

"Oh, I don't know, paint thinner?" Twilight mumbled, unscrewing the cap and sniffing the liquid. With a gag, she turned away. "What the buck!"

The pair were once more laughing, gaining the attention of a few ponies here and there. "I think it's time the Princess of Friendship let's her mane down!"

"Oh no. I don't think so," she disagreed, shaking her head and going to stand up.

A chorus of disappointment echoed through the camp and Twilight looked about to see all fourteen of the remaining ponies standing there, waiting for her to drink.

Looking around, Twilight let out a groan. "If I do this, you'll have to look after me. I'm a lightweight."

"Don't worry about it!" one of the bat ponies shouted, eliciting a laugh from every pony else, except the Princess.

"Fine!" she huffed, rolling her eyes and bringing the bottle up to her lips.

As soon as the liquid touched her lips, every cell in her body cried out for her to stop, but the Princess was stubborn, much more so than many would know.

She opened her lips and allowed, what she imagined to be, the paint-thinner into her mouth. Her tongue burnt and her eyes watered, but that faded quickly; most likely due to those cells actually dying.

Every pony watched on, unable to look away as the two-hundred- and twenty-pound Princess chugged the whole bottle.

Pulling the bottle away from her lips with a pop, Twilight inhaled quickly and held her stomach, groaning.

"What the buck was that?!"

"Uh," Night began, finding the other bat ponies around him had scattered, leaving him to deal with her. "Pure ethanol..."

Twilight's eyes shot open. "Are you trying to kill me?!" she cried, rising to her hooves, only to fall forwards onto her face with a thump.

Pushing herself to her hooves, she could already begin to feel the ethanol circulating through her system, her vision beginning to shake and double.

Night winced and jumped off of the bench, only to move over and hold Twilight up. “I’m sorry- I didn’t expect you to actually drink it all!”

“I… I’ll be okay,” Twilight grumbled.

Her wings drooped low as she found it harder to think. While she would be okay- her alicorn physiology filtering it out after a good night- the mare’s head was spinning.

“If you’re sure, Twi…” Night mumbled, gently moving her over to the bench and sitting her down.

“I,” she paused, feeling herself grow lightheaded. “On second thought, I’ll need to lay down.”

Rolling her eyes, Terminal pushed off her bench and took hold of Twilight. “I’ll take her, Night,” she said, beginning the walk towards the infirmary.

Once they were out of sight, Terminal shook her head and glared at Twilight. “That was stupid, you know. It’s a good thing you can heal,” she hissed, letting Twilight lean on her.

“It’s not that bad!” Twilight replied, her speech growing slurred. Her wings had already drooped and were dragging through the dirt; if she noticed, Twilight didn’t move to change it.

Terminal gave Twilight a deadpan look and slid out from her side and simply watched at Twilight slumped to the ground, letting out a pained groan. “Not that bad, huh?” she asked, sighing.


“At least tell me why you drank the whole bottle? That’s definitely not like you, Twi,” she asked, worry evident as she picked Twilight up with a hoof, then slid under her to heave the Princess on her back. “Don’t vomit on me, or I’ll leave you in the forest.”

Twilight couldn’t think right as she wrapped her legs around Terminal’s neck, holding on tight; as if she would fall to her death. Nuzzling into the mare’s mane, she closed her eyes and felt a little better.

“I,” she mumbled, her hooves quivering. “I love the Princess.”

Even with Twilight’s mumbling, Terminal could hear her clear as day and slowed to a crawl just outside of the infirmary. “Does she know?” she asked, looking around and only finding a few ponies wandering towards the centre of the camp, easily out of earshot.


“You should tell her,” she continued, her tone uncharacteristically soft. “I would have thought you would have already, considering the looks the pair of you give each other.”

Twilight slumped off the side and hit the dirt with a heavy thump, before picking herself up. The headache was worsened, but she could already feel the worst effects start to ebb away.

“I can’t,” Twilight whispered, looking around. “I mean, I want to, but it’s just- ugh!” she huffed, kicking the dirt.

“Look, Twilight. It’s easy. You go up to her, use that gift that you’ve obviously been saving for this and ask for a kiss,” Terminal stated, as if it was obvious. “Easy. Though, I’d probably suggest that you keep it a secret from the other Privates. Jealousy is a nasty thing.”

Twilight chewed her bottom lip, still tipsy enough to figure it was a good idea to simply burst into Luna’s room and kiss her. She found her heart fluttering at the thought and nodded. “N-Now?”

“No, later,” Terminal huffed, rolling her eyes, “of course now. Gosh, for a mare that’s supposed to be smart, you don’t know a lot about the Princess.”

Pouting, Twilight grumbled, then squeaked as Terminal wrapped a leg around her neck. “It’s obvious that the Princess wants a strong pony to claim her!” she laughed, grinning.

Twilight frowned at the mare, then slipped out of her grip, her cheeks burning. “Alright, I get it… I’m going.”

Turning towards the Command Centre, Twilight broke away from the laughing Terminal and stumbled her way over towards the mare that she wanted more than anything.

Nearing the Command Centre, she slowed and glanced around to find any pony which might watch her. With a relieved sigh, she snuck up to the door and used her magic to turn the handle slowly, but found it locked tight.

With a huff, she frowned in thought and just as she was about to cast a teleport spell, Luna wandered up behind her.

“May I help you, Private Sparkle?” she asked, staring down at her.

Twilight yelped and spun around to face the Princess, her eyes wide with shock and her chest heaving. “L-Luna!”


“I- uh,” she squeaked, biting her lip. Swallowing her nerves, Twilight peeled herself from the door and rubbed her leg anxiously. “I know what I want!” she stated, slightly a little too loud. She wasn’t quite as sober as she would have liked.

Raising her brow, Luna hummed and took a step forward towards the young Princess and leaned down. “Oh? Pray tell. What do you wish from me, Private?”

“I want,” she began, finding herself drawn to those cyan orbs. “I want you to kiss me,” she ordered, forcefully. Despite the fact her cheeks were a healthy shade of red and her wings were rustling by her sides, she kept her stare; though it was starting to waver.

Luna blinked and pulled herself back up, her quizzical gaze turning into a slight frown. Closing her eyes, Luna’s horn glowed a bright white before the world disappeared in a flash of light!

The two of them reappeared with a whip-crack, on top of a nearby hill that overlooked the camp, set with a single tree growing behind them. A gentle breeze flowed past them, filling the air with the hint of lilacs.

Twilight shook her head to remove the stars, then squeaked when she found Luna watching her once again.

“You wanted to kiss me, didn’t you?” she asked, no hint of amusement. “What makes you think I’d give you such a reward?”

Twilight stared at her for a few seconds, then rubbed her neck. “Because I know you want to as well. Otherwise you wouldn’t have teased me so much.”

“Maybe I did that because you’re so easy to embarrass?”

’This is it. No turning back now,’ Twilight thought, giggling. “Any other pony mayhap, but I know the real reason,” she snickered as she began to circle the Princess.

“Pray tell! I wish to hear this,” deadpanned Luna, following the mare with her eyes, uncertainty beginning to ooze through. “I assure you that my sister has filled your he-“

“I’m sorry,” Twilight apologized, having stopped in front of the Princess.

“For what?” Luna asked, narrowing her eyes.

“For forcing you to wait for your Moonlight.”

Twilight saw a mixture of emotions run through Luna; confusion, anger, surprise, then relief.

“My Moonlight?” Luna asked, tentatively nearing Twilight and reaching out with her hoof. Just before the cold touch of Luna’s horse-boot met her cheek, Luna’s magic flicked it away.

Upon feeling Luna’s touch, Twilight leaned into it and closed her eyes. She brought her hoof up and held it there as she smiled. “I’m sorry,” she repeated, kissing the flat of Luna’s hoof. “I’m sorry.”

Luna bit her lip and whimpered, beginning to break down as tears began to appear in her eyes. “When?” she sniffled, “When did you go back?”

Finding herself begin to crack, Twilight opened her eyes but held tight onto Luna’s grip. “The day after I asked you about growing up,” she answered, looking down and sighing. “I didn’t know how to broach the subject with you or your sister.”

Luna tore her hoof away and took a step back. “You took this long to tell me,” she snorted, turning away. “But what hurts more is that you told my sister, then took her on a date!” she spat.

Twilight winced and took a step back. “It wasn’t like that, I didn’t-“

“Like what, Twilight? Like you so obviously favor my sister more than me?!” she snapped, turning back to the mare and narrowing her eyes. “I waited for you!”

“I kno-“

“No, you don’t!” scoffed Luna, stomping the ground and flaring her wings. “One thousand years without you!” Letting out a choked sob, Luna averted her gaze and continued, her anger building. “You said you’d be back!”

Twilight backed off as Luna focused on her once more, then found her rump hit the tree behind her. Pulling herself back against the tree, she looked away and closed her eyes, then let out a cry as Luna’s hooves collided with the tree around her.

Quivering with fear, Twilight felt Luna’s touch. Hesitantly opening her eyes, she saw Luna’s muzzle pressed against her neck; the Princess’s hooves having trapped her against the tree.

Gazing down at the sobbing Princess, Twilight brought her hooves down and pulled the tiara off of her head, then threw it on the ground, before leaning down and kissing her head. “I’m sorry,” she cooed, brushing her Princess’s mane gently.

“My own Moonlight left me,” Luna sighed, rubbing herself against the matted, damp fur. “You were the first pony I saw when I came back. But you didn’t know me. I was forced to wait even longer for you.”

Pulling away, she backed off then turned around. “I love you, Twilight Sparkle, but you hurt me."

Twilight’s eyes widened at those words. “Luna…” she gasped, rushing around to the Princess’s front. Seeing Luna’s tear streaked face, Twilight could feel her heart breaking, thus she simply decided to lay it all out.

“You’re completely right, Luna. I bucked up,” she admitted, looking down. “I had idolized your sister for so long that I didn’t even think about how it would affect you.” Sitting down, she dragged her hoof across the grass, unable to look at the Princess. “For months I had been neglecting your feelings because I was too lovestruck to see how I hurt you.”

Luna stared down at Twilight, a hint of anger still evident, but most of it had simply melted away into annoyance. “You cut me deeply, Twilight,” she sighed, rubbing her tears away with her leg. “I’m not angry about you taking my sister on a date, I’m happy for that. What I’m angry about is that you didn’t tell me that you had gone back."

"I don't have any excuse. It was careless of me and I got too caught up in my own fantasies."

"I have to think. Go back to camp and leave me with my thoughts," Luna ordered, tearing her gaze away from the mare and up to her own moon.

Twilight sighed, feeling dejected, but nodded. "Of course, Princess."

Just as Twilight flared her horn to teleport, she closed her eyes and said, "I love you too, Luna."

Appearing back in the barracks, Twilight rushed over to her bed and began to cry into her pillow, her hooves hitting the mattress over and over.

The barracks were only sparsely populated, what with the majority of the recruits out in training, leaving Twilight, Terminal, who was laying up on her hunk above Twilight's, and a few other ponies off on the other side of the room.

Terminal peeked over the edge of her bed and upon only seeing Twilight's tail, jumped off. She saw Twilight crying and grimaced.

"Hey, Twi..." she muttered, sitting on the edge of the bed and gently stroking her mane. "Didn't go well, I take it?"

Twilight didn't reply at first, only continuing to sob into her pillow, until she pulled herself up and latched onto Terminal, pulling her over and hugging her.

"L-Luna hates me!" she cried, her body being wracked with sobs. "I ruined it with her!"

Terminal tensed up, but let the mare tire herself out upon her. "I'm sure it will be alright eventually. What exactly happened?" she asked, hesitantly.

Twilight recounted her interaction with Luna, not caring if the mare knew about her time-travel tirades, leaving out the part where she'd take over Night Court. At the end, she burst back into tears and hid her face in the crook of Terminal's neck, much to the pony's annoyance.

Sighing, Terminal pulled the Alicorn away from herself and stared her dead in the eyes. "It sounds like the Princess didn't reject you, Twilight," she explained, rolling her eyes. "Are these the first ponies you've dated?"

A quick, embarrassed, nod was all she needed to know.

"Of course, it is..." she mumbled under her breath. "Look, while we practically worship the Princess, at the end of the night, she's still a mare; one that you hurt. It will take her some time to forgive you, but if what you said was true, she loves you, she just doesn't like you very much right now."

Twilight sniffled and frowned in thought. "Can you teach me?" she asked, perking up a little.

"Wait, what?"

"Teach me!" Twilight repeated, grinning. "You said it yourself, the Princess is a mare. Teach me how to keep a mare happy!"

Terminal ran a hoof down her face and groaned. "Why did I get put with the idiot..."

Twilight groaned as she rolled out of bed, the break of evening having woken her up several minutes before every pony else. She arched her back, felt her spine 'pop in several places and let out a low purr with a relaxed smile.

Opening up her wings, she began preening, having grown jealous of the bat ponies for not having to preen each evening.

Still, her thoughts drifted back to Luna, just like it did each evening and morning. Even after two months, the Princess still seemed to be annoyed at her and Twilight was starting to believe that she had lost the Princess for good.

Even worse was that Luna, the evening after their fight, had started to steadily raise Twilight's training routine, pushing her harder and harder while including her group in several dangerous training exercises.

Twilight, finding herself the only one awake, took the opportunity to sneak into the bathroom and use the shower. Coming back out, she dried herself and sat on the edge of her bed, staring into nothing as she simply let herself relax and count down the seconds until her eternity was up.

After a short while, she sighed and pushed off the bed, walking over to the door. Exiting, she covered her eyes and made her way toward the mess hall to find something to eat. Quickly entering, Twilight found Night sitting at a table, alone, eating his breakfast.

Walking over, the stallion smiled and wiped his mouth with a napkin. "Good evening, Twilight. You're up early?"

"Yeah, I had a hard time sleeping," she replied, sitting down opposite him. "It's always like this before visiting day."

"Same. I have my father coming up," Night sighed, shrugging.

"You don't seem very happy about it?"

"I am... mostly. He's just very expectant. Like I can't impress him, you know?" Night shook his head. "Terminal was always the one that took charge. I can just fly well."

"Night; you know that's not true," Twilight said, frowning. "I really shouldn't have to tell you this, but you're a great soldier. If your Father can't see that, then it's his loss."

Night smiled as he looked down at his plate. "Thanks, Twilight. I doubt he'll change any time soon. Even knowing I'm in a group with a Princess won't really help much."

"Some ponies are just stubborn like that," she shrugged. "I'm sure he loves you though."

"I guess," mumbled Night, before looking over to her. "Who have you got visiting this time?"

"Oh, Princess Celestia is coming up, so that should be fun," Twilight answered, rolling her eyes. "I'll prepare for another one hundred laps in the morning," she grumbled.

"Hey, at least she isn't making you do any more wing-lifts, right? Those are hard, even for the Wonderbolts!"

"I guess. I just-" she started, letting out a dejected sigh. "It's been two months and she still won't even talk to me in private.”

“I guess ‘taking some time’ means a lot longer for some pony as long lived as her, or you someday?”

Twilight froze, leaned over the table and buried her face within her forelegs to groan. “I’m so stupid!”

“No, you’re not; you’re in love,” Night giggled, rolling his eyes. “Anyway, I should really iron my suit. I’m sure that’s one thing that Father would scoff at, if left unchecked.” Rising up, he rushed over to the rubbish bin and dumped the rest of his food, before returning and placing a hoof on her shoulder. “It’ll be okay, Twilight. I doubt any pony could stay mad at you forever!” Hearing a muffled grunt from the Princess, Night left Twilight alone to her thoughts, as well as a rumbling stomach.

“Fine, fine…” Twilight grumbled, pulling herself up and collecting some food.

After roughly an hour, she wandered out of the Mess Hall upon hearing the engine of an approaching airship. Flaring her wings, she shot off into the sky to try and get a better look at the ship. It seemed that the majority of the camp had the same idea and had joined her in showing the occupants of the airship a warm welcome.

Stood upon the upper deck of the airship, looking out upon the camp as they circled, was a selection of ponies, among which stood Princess Celestia, as well as Shining Armour standing next to her.

Twilight gasped and fluttered over to the clearing where the airship would land and folded her wings up as she neared the descending ship. “Shining?!” she called out, hearing him call back.

“Twily?” Shining shouted back, leaning over the railing.

Once the ship had fully landed and the boarding plank had been lowered, Shining rushed down and towards his sister, his golden armour clattering about him. Meeting Twilight, he pulled her into a tight hug and squeezed the Alicorn.

Twilight let out a grunt and squeezed back. “Celestia didn’t say you were coming.”

Pulling away and gently nuzzling Twilight’s cheek, he nodded. “I was in Canterlot for diplomatic relations and the Princess told me what you’re up to here. Why didn’t you tell any pony?”

Twilight rubbed her leg and shrugged. “It must have slipped my mind,” she mumbled, feeling déjà vu. “Sorry.”

Sighing, Shining shook his head and glanced back to see Celestia making her way down the ramp. “Honestly, I guess I deserved payback for not telling you about the wedding,” he laughed. “I’m impressed that you would do this, squirt. Takes a lot to train with the Night Guard, even I wouldn’t do it.”

“That’s because you don’t have wings, remember?” she pointed out, poking his side with magic while giggling.

“How have you been, Twilight?” Celestia asked, now standing beside Shining and smiling down at Twilight. “Luna sends me reports every so often, but they’re so clinical. It’s unlike her.”

Twilight averted her eyes, which caused the other two to glance at each other. “I’ve been well enough. She tends to keep me training most of the time, but it’s been tougher lately as she keeps my magic inhibitor on a low setting making my magic more muted; I have to actually push myself to keep up.”

Watching the other ponies wander around and meet up with their families, Celestia placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder and gestured to the camp. “Shall we find somewhere to talk?” Looking towards Shining, she continued, “If you would give us a minute, Shining Armour. I’m sure my sister would love to talk training regiments with you.”

Shining nodded. “Sure. I’ll be in the Command Centre if you need me. Don’t take too long,” he said, giving Twilight a hug and trotting off into the camp.

Once out of earshot, Celestia turned back to Twilight and asked, “What happened with Luna?” While she listened, the mare used a wing to guide Twilight towards the outskirts of the camp, slowly wandering around where no pony would follow.

“I, uh-“

“Our Moon. She’s my sister. I know when something is bothering her, especially through paperwork.”

“I told her, about when I went back. She was angry and has been pushing me harder and harder since,” Twilight explained, kicking the dirt. “I… I didn’t think of what our date would do to her, especially since she was showing me signs that I was too dense to see.”

“If you haven’t noticed, Luna is much more emotional than I am,” Celestia mentioned, laughing. “It isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it makes her a better warrior than I could ever be. Unfortunately, she doesn’t like ponies helping her and would simply rather bottle it up.”

“What do I do?” Twilight asked, staring up at her. “It’s been two months since I told her.”

“Time, for us, is different than for a mortal being, Twilight,” Celestia said, stopping and keeping her wing resting on Twilight’s back. “They only last a short time in this realm then pass on. We don’t have that release. Each day is the rest of our lives and that forces us to think long term. Luna is probably thinking long term still and you’re thinking like a mortal. You’ll have to talk to her again and force her to think.”

“That’s… really bleak, ‘Tia,” Twilight shuddered, looking uncomfortable. “Do you think about it often?”

“About what?”


“All the time. Two thousand years felt like forever but turned to dust in a blink of an eye. I didn’t even notice until you brought my sister back. It’s bleak, but I have you and Luna to brighten it.” Celestia leaned down, nuzzled Twilight, then pressed their lips together, kissing her.

Twilight relaxed and pressed back for a few seconds, enjoying herself until she pulled away. “Alright. I’ll go talk to her,” she sighed. “But for now, I lost weight!”

“I can see that,” Celestia giggled, brushing her hoof along Twilight’s leg, then moving it up to her barrel, “and you’ve grown a few inches,” she purred, nuzzling her cheek.

After a session of light snuggling, Twilight and Celestia had made their way over to the Command Centre. There were plenty of looks, especially with Celestia’s wing wrapped tight around Twilight’s barrel, but if they bothered the pair, they didn’t show it.

Standing outside the centre, Twilight looked up at the other Alicorn with a nervous look. “I’ll have to spend some time with Shining Armour after this, but can we meet up after?” she asked, wrapping a leg around Celestia’s. “I’ve missed you.”

“Of course, Twilight, I would love that,” Celestia said, nodding as she leaned down and kissed her cheek. “Now go and make up with Luna. I’ll spend some time exploring the forest.”

With a sigh, Twilight nodded and let go of the mare. Trotting into the Command Centre, she made sure to close the door behind her and looked around the, brightly lit, map room which she found herself in.

A central desk upon which sat stacks of documents, as well as a map of the area, several locations marked. A door off to the side lead into Luna’s office, in which Shining could be heard talking with Luna.

Nearing the door, Twilight hesitated as she reached out with her magic, then took a deep breath and knocked on the door. A deep onyx glow appeared around the handle and the door opened, to reveal the pair. Luna sat in a high-top chair, while Shining stood off to the side, a worried expression across his face.

Luna’s office was dimly lit, to be expected, with only a candle flickering off to the side of the desk that the Alicorn was sat behind. Stacks of papers and records were scattered around, along with several mugs of cold, half-drunk coffee.

“Private Sparkle,” Luna muttered, using her magic to tidy her desk quickly, earning a look from Shining. “May I ask what brings you here?”

Moving inside the office, Twilight could feel the darkness start to encroach on her, and without Luna’s smile, it wasn’t as comforting as it should be. Looking from her brother to Luna, she cleared her throat.

“I, uh, wan- would like to speak to you, in private, Princess,” she asked, finding her brother looking rather confused at her behaviour.

“Denied, Sparkle. Leave,” Luna stated, gesturing to the door.

Twilight stood there, not having expected that at all, her mouth flapping.

Shining turned to Luna, shock evident. “Princess?”

“Yes, Prince Armour?” she replied, glancing over to him. “Something the matter?”

“I’m sorry, BBBFF,” Twilight muttered. As Shining turned to question her, he was flashed away, on top of the nearby hill.

Luna rose up out of the chair, her wings flared high above her as she glared at Twilight. “Sparkle, what are you doing?” she asked, keeping herself calm.

Using her magic to slam the door closed, Twilight let out a huff and stomped her hoof. “Luna, I’m not leaving until you hear me out!”

Luna stood there, staring at her, a raised brow indicating any reaction to her words.

Taking a breath, Twilight stood up straight and met Luna’s stare. “I love you, Luna,” she began, her voice quivering. “You said you had to ‘think about it’- that was two months ago!” she stressed, closing her eyes and letting her head droop low. “I said I was sorry. I can’t take any more punishment from you.”

“Punishment?” Luna blinked, unsure. “What punishment?”

Twilight wasn’t expecting this reaction and stood there awkwardly. “You, uh- you’ve been giving me more and more training to do since you wanted some time to think about it…” she trailed off, her wings ruffling nervously.

“That wasn’t Punishment, Twilight. That was regular Alicorn training. You would spend years training and not get anywhere with the other pony’s regime,” Luna explained, shaking her head in slight amusement. “And yes, you are right, I needed time to think and process what happened. My sister and I had been talking for some time on other matters relating to the past, which helped me realize that I had been greedy,” she explained, closing in on Twilight, her frown changing into a smile. “I had waited for you, but Celestia didn’t have the luxury of lunacy to keep her from remembering.”

Twilight felt the urge to take a step back as Luna finally stood directly in front of her. Suddenly, Luna’s hoof brushed through her mane, putting her at ease. “Lu-“

“Please, let me,” she interrupted, closing her eyes and inhaling Twilight’s scent; a mixture of sweat and lavender fur-wash. “Yes, you hurt me and no, you didn’t think… but neither did I. I shouldn’t have grown so angry over my sister getting to hold you before me. I was acting like a spoiled filly and for that, Moonlight, I apologize.”

With Luna finished, Twilight stood there, unsure of what to reply with, but she did know how she felt. Without saying a word, she leaned in and hugged Luna, nuzzling up and down her neck, taking in her warmth and feeling two thick, feathery wings wrap around herself, blocking out the world.

“My moonlight,” Luna whispered, kissing Twilight’s mane and sighing happily. “My sister will be so happy…”

Author's Note:

Hey beloved readers!

Surprise! It's two chapters at once :D

Initially I was going to skip over the whole 'training' montage by giving Twilight and Luna a long paragraph and then continue like nothing happened. Fortunately I grew rather annoyed at myself for taking the easy way out.

It also felt rather cheap that TwiLestia had basically one whole chapter of build-up and pay-off, while I was only going to give LunaLight a paragraph, so I expanded and built it up ;3

I really hope you guys enjoy this!