• Published 8th May 2020
  • 535 Views, 15 Comments

Luna's Coffee - Soaring



Luna's musings... with some coffee.

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Six Years Later

It had been six years since Luna took that sip of coffee. It was on a day when morning court bothered her with its looming presence. That day she desperately needed a cup of midnight black, sugary trap. It was that jittery concoction that had kept her up that night, thinking about what she could do to keep herself sane, how she needed to be uniform… how she needed to continue striving for a better Equestria, as a Princess, as Luna.

Now, with her retirement in full swing… her life was well. She did not have a need for coffee. In fact, she had given up on drinking it. For the past six years, Luna and her sister, Celestia, have kept each other in check, keeping each other company in a place that, well, they could finally relax and not be bothered by anypony.

That is, until Celestia died.

Luna stood on the balcony. In her grasp, that magical grasp, was that beverage. She got kept up at most nights, mostly because she had to stay awake to keep watch over her subjects in their dreams, but now, now…

...her dreams haunted her.

It’s only going to be a matter of time…

Luna shook her head. It was not time for her just yet! She had something that still kept her here. But what?

She took a sip of the beverage.

Slowly, the liquid slid down her throat. It burned hotly on her tongue, while the heat warmed her to her core. She took a deep, shaky breath, and let the drink consume her.

Luna hates death.

What about it made her so worried? Was it the fact that she, herself, did not know of what death entailed? Would her heart just stop beating while she rested? Or would she wake up to her body being sliced open in a painful death because somepony had a vendetta against her? She would like to not think of the second option, her insides bubbling at the thought of somepony doing this to her, but yet again, she did do terrible things in the past, especially to her sister.

Luna hated her past.

Well, hated might be a strong word here. It did help her make her who she was tonight. And hopefully the next few days—she didn’t know when she would die anyway. Why should she worry again? Eh, didn’t matter. Luna knew that she was proud of herself, proud of who she became: the pony that defied all odds; that became somepony who could help others, including herself, mind you; and of course, the pony who learned of her true role in Equestria. Her role? Rule Equestria with Celestia until her death.

Luna loved helping other ponies.

It was weird to think about, but her heart sang the truth of its magnificence. Friendship truly did shape her psyche: one of a ruler and of a pony whose heart was true to herself, true to others. She was willing to risk her sanity by taking a sip of the jittery concoction every day to help fuel her desire, this newfound fulfilling desire, of helping another pony. And if she had to die of a heart attack because she was too busy sipping on that gracious drink to save other ponies, then she will. She would do it thousands and thousands of times, until she could no longer respawn.

Luna took another sip of her coffee.

Milky substance maliciously sedating Luna’s stress. Meddling into affairs long gone, now reaping the benefits of its core: taking control and ceasing Nightmare Moon once more. Imagine a world without the bean, sitting alone without this treat, eyes focused on the moon in the sky, shifting attention, creeping tension, Luna’s apprehension. She would’ve been gone a long time ago if coffee had not been discovered. She was very grateful that this mighty drink could soothe her soul, even if it had been six years, six long, aching years.

Luna loves this feeling.

Coffee made her feel… alive. Granted, she had felt alive when Celestia was around. The two, unbeknownst to the rest of the kingdom, would play pranks, eat cupcakes filled with substances that, well, may not be safe for work, and even drunkenly creating new laws that might make the Equestrian population wheeze, while the nobles lay siege… in court.

Luna hated the nobles.

Those nobles. Oh, they were the worst. Besides the ranking system being absolutely atrocious, the attitudes that they exuded on the remaining population somedays was unacceptable. The nerve some of them had to turn the other cheek upon Twilight’s comeuppance. However, not all of them were completely ignorant. The Sparkle House…

Luna loved sparkles.

Back when she was the celestial holder of the moon, Luna loved casting her night sky for all to see. However, now, she could only bask in its light, those little stars twinkling like sparkles in a dress, flowing like a mane without duress. She could imagine it now, how she had six years ago, how she had before all this came crashing down, how life slowly took its toll, how it all made thinking of time a measure that never ended, a singular strand that tick-tocked to the sounds of weakness in breath.

Luna hated measuring.

Another sip ran down her gullet. She supposed it would be just enough for a teaspoon, but yet again, she couldn’t even gather the appropriate amount even if she wanted to. In the past, her sister, her dear, wonderful sister, decided that the world would be better if she had graced them with her flapjacks. Normally, her flapjacks were adequate, and some days, delightful. On others… when she decided to Tartarus with measuring, they were positively dreadful. At least they were made with kindness in mind, even if the nobles thought even less of their dear Princess. Actually, she hoped that maybe someday Twilight would utilize the excess of flour to clog the arteries of every inadequate piece of horse manure there was still left in the noble houses—Luna shivered.

Luna hates being cold.

For some reason, ever since her descent into retirement, things have gotten worse. Chilling winds could easily tear her down now, whereas before cold nights were even more-so welcoming than hot days. It baffled her, even now, with this drink still feeding her warmth and comfort, at how truly freezing she was, her fur inadequate protection from the night’s loving embrace.

Luna hates thinking.

She felt herself droning on about in her mind nowadays. Drifting between thought after thought after thought after thought after thought after thought after thought… until there was only one to remain: did she do her best? She did, Luna thought. Although, was it enough? Did Equestria need her? Or did Celestia need her now to rest too? Unlike her sister, though, Luna was strong, not strong in the sense of being able to deny an immortal death, but… did she think that maybe, just maybe, even in her final years, that this was how it would end? Drinking in her final moments, taking in warmth under a shroud of sparkles, and wondering was it all worth it?

She took a long, gracious sip of her coffee. Nice on the palate, tender on the maw, filtering through her like water in a lake, diving straight in to just feel something other than living above it—could she canter after tomorrow?—her eyes gaze upon the frontier.

Luna loves Equestria.

It was different now. Luna could feel it. That’s why Celestia and Luna had rescinded their power and cast it upon Twilight to handle the task. They were not needed anymore. In order to love someone you must learn to let go. That’s what she knew. That’s what she knows. She let go of the crown in order to let go of that responsibility. Luna had to let go to love it more, to appreciate the rolling hills, the tall mountain tops, the forests aplenty, the wildlife’s natural cycle, and the dedication to the cause: a more free Equestria, one where harmony can co-exist in disharmony… where Discord will learn his role too.

Luna twiddled her hooves. She cast the cup away from her, on a table nearby. It clinged against the surface, mostly because the table was a bit more… metallic than the ones in the Castle, but yet again, that wasn’t an issue. It was just a new sound amidst a modern world that no longer needed two to rule.

She sat on her flanks, reflected, let loose a bit of emotion, a tear cascading down her face and plopping in a small dollop on the concrete, lifeless floor.

Then another.

Then another.

Then another.

Then another.

She couldn’t stop it. The overflowing emotion, it was all coming out at once. The feeling of being lost, the feeling of being held hostage, the feeling of being reunited, ruling, keeping a watchful eye over others, maintaining balance in imbalance and measuring cups of flour for pancakes and…

...now Luna was alone.

She wiped her muzzle. There was snot on it, but she didn’t have a tissue. She’s been down this road before, even having just to deal with it and maybe let gravity take care of the rest. She wasn’t on the moon anymore. No longer was she a hostage waiting to be rescued from herself. She was just… alone.

She sniffled and got herself off her flanks. She needed to find a tissue before returning to bed. At least her muzzle would be clear of debris before attempting to sleep a restless one once more.

Luna left the balcony and returned to her chambers. The cup stayed there, without a drop left within it.

She’ll return to get the cup later. She’ll need another full one in the morning.

Author's Note:

I don't know why I decided to write this like I did with the first one, but here we are. I tweaked a lot of the original, adding almost 600 words and tossing about 300. And with this addition, I think it adds a lot more dimension to the original piece. Let me know what you all think.

I will be reposting more content like this soon, mostly with reworks and re-imagining of said stories. I hope you all don't mind.

Hope you all are staying safe in this pandemic.

Comments ( 13 )

I've been waiting for this bad boy.

Uneeded killing of Celestia aside, this was good. First chapter was better though. But that's just me.

It's pretty good. :)

I thought the Sad title was wrong when I read the first chapter. Then I read the second one... and... and... you murdered my feelings with a butter knife

10222719
The wait is finally over. :twilightsmile:

10222825
Thanks again for the pre-read, bud. :)

10222735
Thanks. Why'd you feel it was unneeded? I mean, Celestia wasn't killed by anyone. Instead, she passed away. Besides, the story did note that Luna was fine without her coffee because Celestia was alive, so what other motive could drive Luna to drink coffee again if she was perfectly content without it before Celestia's death? Just curious, it's always good to see different perspectives, especially from a reader's POV.

Spoilered my comment so other readers don't get spoiled.

10223096
Yes.

I love my Spongebob references. ;)

Whoops, finals are a bitch so sorry I didn't get to preread this one.

Oh boy. The first chapter was just as good as I remember. However, the second part/original sequel now being incorporated to use the retirement, and now the death of Celestia feels a bit at odds with the rest of the feeling left by finishing the original, one where Luna's melancholy was (as I remember; so this may be incorrect) derived from something different, something more abstract and made sense to muse over coffee. Here, I feel like I'm left with distant fixfic vibes in this chapter because of what was incorporated and just a vague feeling of dread/puzzlement of if Luna is going to die too, and how the death felt unusual in how it actually would have had more benefit being explained, which at the same time doesn't really fit with the style or previous version. I think this would have been a neat kind of 'bonus' to include with the polished original two, but the story did benefit from only being grounded in the most basic of canon that detached it from falling into the weird feeling where I have to ask myself if this is some kind of fixfic (if I were a new reader). So, mixed feelings on the second one. Still an upvote and a good shelf.

10226259
Now this is spicy criticism. Thanks for this, first off. Hope your finals went well. :)

Now to address what you're saying. To start off, I'm glad that the first chapter, with its edits, was just as entertaining as the original.

the second part/original sequel now being incorporated to use the retirement, and now the death of Celestia feels a bit at odds with the rest of the feeling left by finishing the original, one where Luna's melancholy was (as I remember; so this may be incorrect) derived from something different, something more abstract and made sense to muse over coffee.

Fair point. Since the original was an exercise in analyzing a character in a creative way, there wasn't really a huge over-arching story other than Luna has a hard time dealing with stress, so she relies on coffee to stay sane for her duties during the day. Interesting that you view Luna's musings as her being sad, rather than her just being under duress and needing some time to think/reset herself, but I can see that perspective since she's basically considering if it's even worth it being a princess near the end of the first chapter. However, the story itself is grounded within the idea of Luna's stress being tied to her duty of being a princess, hence why the death of her sister at the beginning of chapter two wasn't jarring to me since Celestia was the only pony that was in the same situation as Luna, a former princess dealing with retirement. With Celestia's death being so sudden, it shocked Luna to the point of falling back on old habits.

That's just where my train of thought was when writing it. To be fair, I should've written a bit more to help establish it further. I even missed a perfect opportunity to add Luna seeing this coming (kinda did with the only thought in italics but it's kinda lazily put in [nice]).

Here, I feel like I'm left with distant fixfic vibes in this chapter because of what was incorporated and just a vague feeling of dread/puzzlement of if Luna is going to die too, and how the death felt unusual in how it actually would have had more benefit being explained, which at the same time doesn't really fit with the style or previous version.

I just learned what the hell fixfic meant. Thanks for that. Problem is if this was a fixfic, I would've done a shit job at 'fixing' what the show did. Warning, next spoiler is NSFW. I mean, come on, having Celestia die suddenly instead of having her live until she gets multiple yeast infections along with her naughty bits turning into a supernova in a SomethingEmoAndEdgy fic? Sounds like I didn't fix anything!

You're right, though. Explaining this whole death with vivid detail would've not even remotely fit the original's vibe, which is why I had to make the death just happen. The second chapter is not so much a sequel, but rather a view of how easy someone can fall back on something so unhealthy when a tragedy close-to-home triggers a drastic response. To be fair, a coffee addiction is a bit tame, but if you just replaced coffee with lots and lots of alcohol or any extremely addictive drug, then the effect would be there.

As for the whole Luna wondering if she was going to die too is more-so her being incredibly anxious since she didn't have anyone to fall back on. Here's to yet another missed opportunity of having this be a little bit more elaborate by having her completely outright rejecting the idea of going to Twilight or Cadance, since Luna felt she'd be burdening them with Celestia's death, which, in turn, would distract them from doing their duties, which is something she relates to heavily. Hindsight is 20-20. :)

I think this would have been a neat kind of 'bonus' to include with the polished original two, but the story did benefit from only being grounded in the most basic of canon that detached it from falling into the weird feeling where I have to ask myself if this is some kind of fixfic (if I were a new reader).

Ahh, the benefit of being based on basic canon. I wouldn't consider this a fixfic since I'm not really shooting for an AU here, since death will eventually happen to Celestia, but the show wouldn't do that, or they would've had several thousand angry viewers typing mean reviews for the show. I just have it happening in a fanfic sooner than later. Appreciate the ops heavily, Ice Star. Let me know if I misinterpreted what you're saying since fixfic is such a new term to me and maybe I'm misreading/misinterpreting your POV.

TL;DR: My writing is still a bit rusty; Celestia getting [REDACTED], and criticism like this helps me improve my writing. Thanks for the comment! :)

EDIT: Sorry I had to chop your comment apart. I have problems following comments, so doing it this way helps me formulate my response without looking like a complete and utter moron. Please, bear with me.

10226407
No need to apologize, thanks for the response. Also, I've had/have a coffee addiction before. It's not always so mild, unfortunately. Also, comments are ass because I can't seem to spoiler quoted material so here's a mandatory bit of bolded text saying there's unmarked spoilers here.

Luna's musings as her being sad, rather than her just being under duress and needing some time to think/reset herself.

The melancholy stems from the character, rather than just the tone. So it feels appropriate to say there is some sadness in acknowledgment of the mood.

As for the whole Luna wondering if she was going to die too is more-so her being incredibly anxious since she didn't have anyone to fall back on. Here's to yet another missed opportunity of having this be a little bit more elaborate by having her completely outright rejecting the idea of going to Twilight or Cadance, since Luna felt she'd be burdening them with Celestia's death, which, in turn, would distract them from doing their duties, which is something she relates to heavily. Hindsight is 20-20. :)

See, in a more elaborate story, I think that would have been more apparent because further dissection could have been given, yet that still wouldn't have been true to the tone. Here, it comes across as more immediately true because nothing exists to refute it or frame it any other way.

since death will eventually happen to Celestia

This is dependent on how your interpretation of their nature works, which I think is part of why there was a comment about the element of the death being needless. Because this element is always optional to touch upon, deviating from the concept of a character-focused piece to include it is kind of what added to that fixfic-y feel, or come across as forced drama from different writers. That sorta thing. Had you picked a duo where things were less ambiguous in nature, or it wasn't relevant in the story to spark that consideration, I don't think there would have been comments bringing it up. Say, for it being a story using Big Mac and AJ instead. Having the mourning plot point would have been more transparent. Might be the wrong word to pick but it's 4 AM and I can only make so much sense at that time.

10226438
Glad I don't drink coffee anymore. Don't have to deal with that addiction. ;)

All you have to do for spoiling quoted text is to put the spoilers inside the quote, not on the outside.

Like this (without spaces) [q u o t e] [s p o i l e r] [/s p o i l e r] [/q u o t e]

As for the replies, fair points as well. I mean, fanfiction is a bit dicey since it could be both tight and restrictive, while also being vague and open to interpretation. We totally need to chat in Discord about this sometime.

10226501
Heck yeah we do. Also, the formatting on here can be nuts.

A very bitter sweet story. Much like coffee.

This was an absolute delight to read. The pacing was phenomenal, and the repetition of Luna's likes and dislikes gave a musicality to the story that you just don't see often. Those tiny sentences made each paragraph expanding on her reasons for liking or disliking something feel that much more detailed, like we were truly seeing into the mind of Luna and getting to know her better.

~GjallarFox

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