• Published 28th Aug 2012
  • 5,767 Views, 241 Comments

Me, You, and a Library for Two - Dull Mist



A story about a stallion meeting his childhood crush for the first time in years.

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On This Night...

On this Night

As Silver stepped out the door, he re-activated the illusion spell, looking for all the world like a light grey poniquin wearing a smart tuxedo. Behind him, Twilight shut the door and placed the big bowl of candy on one of the exposed roots of the tree, quickly attaching a note that said “PLEASE TAKE ONE” in bright red ink. Underneath it, Silver noticed that she had written “…or else” and had punctuated it with a crude drawing of a skull and crossbones. Silver eyed the bowl warily.

“You think that’ll make them only take one?” he asked her dubiously. She shot him a grin.

“The note? No, I’m sure that there will be a few who will try to get more than their fair share.” She replied.

Silver blinked. “Try?”

Twilight smirked. “Yes, try. And fail, ultimately, when they got shocked by 20 magiwatts when their hoof gets too close for the second time, or when they try to pick up more than one.” Silver could detect a hint of mischievous pride in her voice as she spoke.

“Is that…safe?” Silver asked, eyeing the little skull and crossbones on the note with concern. Twilight merely laughed.

“Oh sure, all it will really do is give them a little sting and make their manes stand on end. Besides, I don’t expect too many ponies to get too grabby. Not after what happened last year…” she chuckled diabolically. “Pinkie still can’t look at chilli peppers without wincing.”

After a quick mental debate, Silver decided that he did not want to know what had befallen the poor hyperactive mare.

“Now where did Spike get off to?” Twilight mused to herself, eyeing the streets around them. Silver joined her, taking in the Nightmare Night décor for the first time.

Silver’s eyes, unseen to Twilight due to the illusory magical shroud covering his face, widened considerably as he beheld Ponyville in all of its festive glory. He thought he knew what to expect for the oncoming night having seen the towns preparations in the daylight, but now that the sun had dipped its head below the horizon to make way for the moon's journey across the sky, he realized that he had only caught a glimpse of what had been to come.

In the few hours that Silver had last stepped outside, Ponyville had undergone a transformation. There wasn’t a single building, Silver could see, that wasn’t intricately and enthusiastically designed. Artificial spiderwebs that glowed in the dark laced the houses, animatronic machines of various monsters groaned, growled, and screamed at ponies passing by, there were even a few home made haunted houses, tents and sheds that had been repurposed to scare little fillies and colts. It almost seemed that each house, shop, and pony was competing with each other to see who could best embody the Nightmare night spirit.

“Wow… Silver muttered under his breath as he spied a group of children run screaming from a large standing coffin that had burst open to reveal a stumbling pony wrapped in bandages.

A chuckle came from beside him. “Yeah, wow.” Silver looked at Twilight curiously, and she smiled. “Ponyville goes really overboard when it comes to holidays, especially when a Princess is involved. Especially when they feel they need to make up for last year.”

Silver nodded his understanding and went back to searching for the little dragon assistant, but was distracted by an excitable chorus of “Nightmare Night! What a Fright! Give us something sweet to bite!”

Silver spied a group made up of one mare in a strange green costume with a smattering of fillies and colts standing at the doorway of the home of an elderly mare who dropped a few pieces of candy into each one’s outstretched bag or pumpkin shaped bucket. Further inspection made him realize that not all of the children were ponies.

“There he is.” Silver said as he pointed out the group to Twilight where two stubby purple legs and the tip of a green spine could be seen just under and over the ponies.

Twilight looked over and smiled with amusement. “Ah, you’re right. And if I’m not mistaken, the one he is with could only be-”

“Twilight!” A high pitched voice pealed through the air, cutting Twilight off as the pony dressed in the strange costume, a dragon maybe, darted over faster than the eye could follow and shoved her face in Twilight’s.

“Can you believe this? Would you just look at all of the decorations! I’ve never seen Ponyville look so Nightmare Night-y!” She stepped to the side and put both of her hooves on Twilight’s face and directed her attention to various points of interest.

“There’s ghosts and witches and ghouls and zombies and mummys and there’s bighoof and the arachnapony and the moth pony and slendermane and-”

Her flow of words was interrupted as she turned her pink face towards Silver Quill, her eyes widened and her pupils dilated as she took in his macabre appearance.

Whoa.

Silver smirked as Twilight flailed helplessly, trying to dislodge her face from the two hooves that were smooshing her cheeks together. “Pinkie! Let go of me!”

Pinkie blinked before laughing and releasing Twilight’s head. “Oh, sorry Twilight!” she giggled as the unicorn puffed out her cheeks angrily.

Silver couldn’t help but chuckle, and Pinkie’s attention was brought back to him. “Silver Quill? Is that you in there?” Silver dematerialized his illusion and shot the mare a wink.

“Oh, that is so cool!” she exclaimed gleefully. “You actually scared me for a second there!”

Silver smiled and nodded humbly, pleased at the reception of his well thought out costume. “And what are you supposed to be Pinkie? Some kind of lizard?”

Pinkie snorted and shook her head. “I’m dressed as an alligator!” she replied happily. “And Gummy here,” she shook her mane, causing a small reptilian creature wearing a shoddily put together pink costume of a pony, complete with carrdbard ears and wiry pink mane, to pop out of her hair. “is a Pinkie Pie!” The alligator dressed as a pony blinked at Silver Quill, and Silver Quill blinked right back.

“But my costume is even better!” a chipper voice perched from next to Silver Quill who looked down to see Spike standing with a proud grin on his face. “It’s got blood and everything!”

Silver patted the little dragon on the head reassuringly. “You got that right Spike.” He said without a hint of sarcasm. Pinkie Pie giggled.

“There you are Spike, I wondered where you managed to get off to.” Twilight said as she noticed her assistant had returned. She walked over rubbed the spines on his head fondly. “Are you ready to go?”

The dragon suddenly looked down and started to shuffle his feet. “Yeah, about that…” he said uncertainly. Twilight cocked her head curiously. “I was wondering if I could go with Pinkie and the others instead?” he asked hopefully, gesturing to a group of costumed fillies and colts standing by the side. They waved as Twilight and Silver looked over in their direction.

A look of confusion passed over Twilight’s face. “Oh, I see…sorta.” She looked at the little dragon doubtfully. “Are you sure?”

Spike nodded enthusiastically. “Pleeaaase?” he asked imploringly. Pinkie darted to his side and gave lowered her head so that it was next to Spikes. The two then proceeded to unleash their best puppy eyes against the poor, outmatched mare. “Pretty pleeeeaaase?” they said in unison.

Twilight looked the two of them, nearly prostrating themselves before her, with bafflement. “Well…I don’t see why not.”

The two erupted in cheers, Pinkie leaping and throwing her hooves into the air and Spike excitedly running off to join the other fillies and colts after a quick thank you.

Twilight looked at Pinkie Pie worryingly. “Are you sure that you can handle all of those children?”

Pinkie waved a hoof dismissively. “Puh-lease, if I can handle Pumpkin and Pound for an entire weekend, I can handle a few kids for a few hours.” Twilight raised a dubious eyebrow before nodding in acquiescence.

“Besides,” Pinkie’s smile turned mischievous as her eyes narrowed. “I think you two wouldn’t mind a spending the night alone.”

It took all of Silver’s self discipline to not react as his thoughts were sent racing. “What does she mean by that? Does she know about Twilight and I? Is she trying to set us up? How did she even figure that out?”

“Pinkie sense.” the mare inexplicably said, causing Silver’s blood to run cold and Twilight’s brow to furrow in confusion.

“Oh Celestia, she can read my mind! Quick, what number am I thinking of?!”

Pinkie merely smirked at Silver like an adult would to a child who thought they had outsmarted it. “Well, sorry guys but I gotta go. Time is candy, and I’m wasting candy right now.” She pulled a ticking stopwatch out of her mane and glanced at it before shoving it back inside her curls. “Silver, would you be so kind as to put you blank face thingy back on?”

Silver raised an eyebrow and nodded. A quick spell made his face as blank as a canvas once more, and Pinkie nodded in satisfaction before walking over to stand with te children who were eagerly waiting for her.

“Alright everypony!” she said loudly. “Just like we practiced! On three!” She ten slowly counted to three, at which point she leaped into the air and screeched as loud as she could. “SLENDERMANE! RUUUN!”

Her cries were joined by those of the children, and soon there was a small stampede of yelling ponies and one dragon tearing down the street. Twilight chuckled heartily as Silver stared in bafflement.

“Well, looks like it’s just you and me Slendermane.” Twilight said with amusement as she watched the receding dust cloud of the fleeing ponies and dragon.

Silver was glad that his illusion covered the broad smile he was wearing.

“Looks like it.”


“C’mon up ya’ll and try yer hoof out at bobbin fer an apple!”

Silver eyed Twilight dubiously. Her head was submerged in a barrel full of water in an effort to catch an apple in her mouth. She had been in there for about half a minute however, and Silver was starting to get worried.

“She does know you’re supposed to come up for air, right?”

His discomfort grew as the seconds ticked on, and Silver was mere moments away from tapping her on the shoulder when her she burst out of the barrel gasping for breath.

Silver raised his eyebrow at her as she panted for breath, her mane sopping wet and falling in front of her eyes. “Did you get one?” he asked pleasantly. He got a scowl in return.

“No.” Twilight grumbled unhappily. Silver smirked.

“Really? Because from the looks of it…” he reached his hoof up to her forehead and gently removed the apple that had been impaled through the core by her horn and held it up for her inspection. “you seemed to have done pretty well.”

Twilight stared at the apple for a moment before bursting out laughing. Silver couldn’t help but join her.


“Step right up and take a shot! See how well you can launch a pumpkin! Get a bulls-eye and win a prize!”

Silver closed one eye and aimed the catapult carefully at the set up bulls-eye target down the lane of the catapult. Satisfied with his alignment, he pulled the lever that took off the locking mechanism, causing the catapult to fling the pumpkin in the air where it sailed over the target and landed in a bale of hay directly behind it.

He facehoofed as Twilight giggled behind him. “Well, look on the bright side Silver! If Canterlot is ever attacked, you won’t have to defend the walls!”

Silver rolled his eyes. “Alright then little miss marksmare, why don’t you try it?” he retorted. Twilight grinned at him.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

Silver eyed the mare as she confidently walked passed him and set a fresh pumpkin on the arm of the catapult. “It’s a lot harder than it looks you know.’

Twilight smirked. “Oh please, it’s all just angles and vectors.”

Silver narrowed her eyes at her, a sinking feeling settling in his stomach as he watched her critically eye the catapult and the target. Eventually, satisfied with herself, she carefully adjusted the catapult and hit the release.

The pumpkin flew through the air and straight into the target that Silver had missed. Twilight turned around to see him with an expression that suggested he had just tasted something very sour.


“Hey Silver?”

“Yeah?”

“Would you mind taking off that illusion?”

“Why?”

“ Well I’d…like to be able see your face is all...”

“Oh. Sure.

‘Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

“…”

“…”

“Plus it looks really creepy.”

“Ah.”


Silver and Twilight walked amicably along one of Ponyvilles many wide dirt roads, Twilight happily humming to herself and Silver enviously eyeing the large stuffed witch that she had won that was currently riding on her back. He didn’t begrudge her her win, he just really wanted that bat plushie. It might have made a good gift for Luna.

A realization struck Silver Quill. “Hey Twilight,” he said, turning to the mare. She ceased her humming and looked at him expectantly. “It just occurred to me that we haven’t seen Luna yet. Why is that?”

“Oh, she isn’t scheduled to come until the moon has reached its precipice in the sky.” She explained, looking up to see the bright celestial figure staring down at them. “And by the looks of it, it won’t be long until then. We should probably be heading to the square by now.” Twilight gestured for him to follow as she turned onto the main road.

Silver cocked his head as he followed. “What happens at the square?”

Twilight smiled impishly. “Oho, you’ll see.” she replied mysteriously. Silver merely shrugged and continued walking.

Many ponies were walking in the same direction as they, he realized, and in only a few minutes, they reached the town square where a throng of ponies had gathered in front of a raised stage and were waiting expectantly.

“Whatever this is, it should be interesting.” Silver mused as they joined the crowd. He noticed that ones closest to the stage were all fillies and colts clutching at and eating from large bags and buckets of candy, muttering amongst each other excitedly and looking around impatiently.

Before Silver could comment on this, the air thrummed with the sound of the clocktower bell ringing through the air, the slow and ominous tone bringing a hush down on the ponies assembled. The children’s mutterings ceased as they looked around excitedly huddled together, shaking with equal amounts of fear and excitement. The adults smiled at the sound and rested their gazes on the stage, waiting patiently and expectantly.

Silver looked around in confusion as the bell rang again and again until eventually petering out into a silence that was even more spooky than the haunting noise that it had been making. The crowd was slowly getting larger and larger as the seconds ticked past, and almost the entire space around the stage was taken up by ponies drawn to the mysterious noise. He glanced at twilight, looking for some answers, but she only winked at him and looked to the stage.

“What in the world are these ponies waiting f-”

FOOMPH

Silver blinked in surprise as green cloud of smoke appeared on the stage, enveloping the entire platform and swirling around the hooves of the ponies in the front. A few fillies and colts let out startled squeals, but besides that, everypony was dead silent.

A silhouette appeared in the middle of the green fog, standing completely still as everypony watched it with baited breath. After a long and suitably dramatic silence, it started to speak in low, foreboding female voice.

“Come, little ponies, gather all ‘round. Listen very closely and make not a sound.” A pair of thin glowing yellow eyes appeared in what had to the head of the creature. It looked lie a pony, but Silver couldn’t be sure. No pony he knew of had eyes of that shape, or spoke with that foreign sounding accent that suggested they weren’t entirely comfortable with the language. It did, however, make for a very spooky image.

“The night sees all, it knows all you fear, and if you are not very careful…” the voice chuckled darkly for a moment. “it might take all you hold dear.”

Silver felt a shiver run up and down his spine, and smiled despite himself when he heard a few of the assorted children let out whimpers. This was turning out to be far more amusing that he thought it would be.

“But fret not, little ones, all is not lost. The night, it will spare you…for a cost.”

The smoke was beginning to dissipate now that it had dispersed amongst the crowd as a sickly green fog that curled along their hooves. Silver idly wondered if it was safe to breathe in.

“Yes, little ones, your safety will not be free, and if you do not share your spoils, the night…will come…for thee.” The voice hissed the last few words, sending one plum coloured filly scurrying under her mothers legs.

“Come now, my little ponies, let us work through our fright.” The silhouette walked forward out of the thinning fog to reveal an pony wrapped in a dark brown cloak that hid all but her glowing eyes. “And if we are lucky, we shall live through the night.”

With another flash of smoke of green smoke, the cloaked pony vanished from the stage. Silver looked around in confusion before a voice called out from behind him.

“This way, quickly! We are almost out of time! If we do not hurry, I fear we will fall behind! The night waits for no pony, and I fear what may happen if we do not hurry!” she said urgently

The children squealed and darted after the robed figure who Silver now realized was actually a zebra once he noticed she had lowered her hood to reveal a gray face framed by a black and white mane that had rings and fake spiders intertwined in braids. They crowded along her hooves, desperately trying to get her to walk by pushing at her legs as the jabbered nonsensically in their panic. Silver, along with most of the other assorted ponies, smiled.

Twilight chuckled as she watched the children herd the towards away from the stage. “Well, I guess we had better follow them before Nightmare Moon comes for us.”

Silver smiled. “Yeah, right.” he said with amusement before catching the strange look on her face. “Er…you’re not serious, right?”

“Of course I am.” she replied flatly and somewhat reproachfully. “This is no joking matter, Silver.”

Silver blinked. “Ah…of course. How silly of me.”

Twilight nodded and faced forward once again, betraying not a hint of emotion besides cool indifference that rendered Silver Quill thoroughly confused.

The group of ponies walked for about 5 minutes, the air filled with the chattering of children hopped up on sugar and fear and adults who were watching them with a combination of amusement and bemusement before the procession came to a standstill. A hush fell across the group as the beheld their destination, and Silver curiously examined his new surroundings.

They were on the outskirts of Ponyville in front of a lone statue that Silver had never seen before. It was a stone representation of the tyrant of the night, Nightmare Moon, who was rearing in the air threateningly with her wings splayed behind her and her mane flowing dramatically. Her head was angled so that it gave the impression that she was looking down upon the assembled ponies with a wicked grin on her face that showed off her large and pointy fangs.

“Behold, for this is the very face of fear…” the zebra chanted in her low and melodious voice, causing the fillies and colts to cower around her legs. “The one that can stop your heart with simply a leer…” she eyed a nearby filly menacingly, causing her to squeal and hide behind her equally scared friend.

“The eater of ponies, the bringer of doom, this is the one they call Nightmare Moon!

The night sky was illuminated by a sudden and unexpected crack of lightning followed by a boom of thunder, eliciting startled shouts from children and adults alike.

“Quickly ponies, now comes the spectrum!” the zebra cried frantically, addressing the assorted fillies and colts who were gazing at her with wide eyed terror. “Offer up your spoils, or else she’ll gobble up your bottoms!”

Another bolt of lighting tore through the sky, and Silver Quill could just make out the silhouette of a of a pony with large wings that blotted out the moon in the sky against the blinding light.

A menacing chuckle ran through the air, and Silver felt his blood run cold as he was assaulted thoughts of endless darkness and disharmony. Instead of gasping or shouting however, something that most ponies around him had taken to doing, he cocked his head curiously, for he recognized that voice, although something was slightly off about it.

”What in the world?”

The children did not share his curiosity. Almost as though a switch had been flipped I their little heads, each one rushed to the statue and quickly dropped hefty amounts of candy at its base before returning to the hooves of the zebra and huddling together for safety as they fearfully looked around for the source of the laughing.

Finally, the amused laughing stopped only to be replaced by a voice that reverberated with authority and power, the voice of a queen.

“Finally, I have returned!” the voice announced triumphantly. “Now I am free to roam Equestria and devour every single one of its foolish ponies!” A collective gasp ran through the crowd. "And there is nothing anypony can do about to stop me, for I am…” Another flash of lightening split the sky and landed right in front of the statue, the ground erupting with dirt and dust. “Nightmare Moon!”

As the dust settled, the form of a tall and slender pony came into view. Her coat was as black as obsidian and her wings were extended to their full impressive length. She reared her head back and laughed loudly, her long horn and ornate armor glinting against the moonlight.

Silver’s eyes widened as she laughed, a cliché and slightly over done mwahahaha that had the entire group of ponies rooted to the spot, although for different reasons for some. Personally, Silver found it to be far more amusing and interesting than it was terrifying, but that was just him.

She eventually quieted and turned her eyes towards them with a fanged grinned, and Silver was shocked to see that she had glowing green eyes with thin pupils like that of a cat.

“And I think...” she said quietly to herself, but not so quietly that the asssorted ponies couldn’t hear her. “That I’ll start by eating these ponies!

The volume of the scream that rose from the throats of the fillies and colts could put the biggest and most ferocious dragon’s roar to shame, and over it all, Nightmare Moon just laughed menacingly, baring her sharp fangs for all to see.

“Now children, we must gallop! Quickly, before she gobbles you up!” The zebra cried, taking off down the road back to ponyville. The children didn’t hesitate in following her, and soon the sound of little hooves running and voices screaming for their lives filled the air soon followed by the few nonplussed adults that had accompanies them.

Twilight and Silver were the only ones who remained to listen to Nightmare Moon laughing menacingly, but to Silver’s utter confusion, she was starting to sound less like an evil queen ready to enslave the world and more like she was just told a really good joke.

Finally, she stopped her chuckling and wiped and unseen tear from her eye. “Oh, aren’t they just adorable when running for their lives?” she said fondly as she smiled toward the receding dust cloud. Twilight smirked and nodded before walking up to the tyrant.

“They sure are Princess. I’m glad you could make it.”

Nightmare Moon grinned down at the mare, her demonic eyes that could out-stare a cockatrice flashing with mirth. “As am I Twilight Sparkle, and I am most pleased to see you again.” She looked up and caught Silver’s eye, and her grin grew wider. “Silver Quill, how fortuitous! I was hoping that I’d be able to catch you on this night.”

His mouth twitched into a smile. “Is that so?”

She nodded formally. “Indeed. T’would be unfortunate if I had been to Ponyville and missed you before the night was over. I have been looking forward to seeing you again greatly.” Twilight smirked and raised an eyebrow from where she stood as Silver nodded his understanding.

“I was hoping to see you as well, Luna.” He replied, eyeing her jet black coat and ornate purple armour with interest. “Or would you prefer I called you Nightmare Moon?”

Luna blinked and smiled. “Ah, you refer to my appearance?” She looked down and examined a metal clad forehoof. Silver nodded bemusedly and Luna chuckled. “Apparently, the townsponies think it amusing to be scared on this, so I have taken to dressing up and joining in the festivities. Now that that’s done though…” her horn lit up brightly, and her entire body was covered in a bright light for a just a moment before it disappeared to reveal the real Princess of the night, as she should be without cat eyes or fangs, grinning down at him. She adopted a thoughtful look. “I must admit, I do not entirely understand the amusement that comes from being scared, but ponies will be ponies I suppose…”

Silver couldn’t help but crack a grin. Now that he thought about it, he realized that there had indeed been a few heartful laughs amongst the earlier screaming and couple of smiles amid the terrified faces. That was just like the ponies of Ponyville, he figured. Get the Princess of the Night, one of the most powerful and important ponies in all of Equestria who has lived through hundreds of wars and thousands of years, to stop by and play with the fillies and colts and maybe some games if she had time.

“This place is weird.” He thought to himself.

He was torn away from his thoughts by Twilight explaining to Luna why ponies found being scared to be entertaining, and Luna listening with a blank expression.

“…it’s all because the fear is implied, you see, because there’s no actual danger involved. Fear invokes a primal fight-or-flight response, one that most ponies do not feel in their day to day lives, but because they know that there is no actual danger to them, they get to revel in the feeling without having to worry about being hurt.”

Luna’s expression stayed blank and confused, causing Twilight to groan slightly. “It’s like the feeling of adrenaline you feel when riding a roller coaster! Normally you would only be able to get that type of rush from a dangerous situation, like falling to your doom from a cliff. But because you know you’re not gonna flatten yourself on the ground, it’s fun! Do you see what I mean?”

Twilight looked imploringly at the Princess, looking hopeful when she opened her mouth to reply.

“I think, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna said as she caught Silver’s eye and winked. “that you need to get out more often.”

And with that, she patted the baffled unicorn on the head comfortingly and started to make her way down the road back to Ponyville. “Come now you two! There is revelry to be had and games to be played!”

“But…I don’t…” twilight stammered as she watched the alicorn walk away. She turned to face Silver with a look of confusion, an expression that looked very odd on her. “I don’t need to get out more, do I?”

Silver walked over and laid a hoof on her shoulder. “Twilight, you’re perfect just the way you are.”

Twilight blushed and smiled before quickly leaning over and giving him a small kiss on the cheek. “Thanks.”

Silver fought to keep his composure. “Don’t mention it.” he said with what he hoped was a formal nod. “We should probably follow Luna before she uses the royal Canterlot voice on us.”

Twilight giggled and nodded, and the two ponies hurried down the road after the Alicorn, unaware of the broad smile she wore.


The three ponies quickly reached Ponyville, their walk filled with the Princess quickly catching up with the lives of Twilight and Silver and vice versa. They filled her in on the going-ons of the town, few as they were, and she regaled them with tales of courtly politics and subterfuge. Right now, she was telling them about a particular noble who had tried to petition for the night guards, Princess Luna’s personal guards much like the royal guards were Celestia’s, to be given cloaks and masks to wear because their bat like features were deemed to be “a terrible eye-sore.”

“And then the fool had the cheek to try and gain support from the rest of the petitioners, noble and common alike, with me sitting right in front of him!” she shook her head and blew air out of her nose. “They of course wanted nothing to do with him as most ponies, unlike him, are capable of telling their flank from their fetlock, but still, the insult remains! Why, if it were a thousand years ago, I would have tied his hooves together and let the noble's children use him as a piñata, but nooo, Celly says that would be barbaric and that…”

Silver nodded knowingly as she ranted, only half listening to her words as he made appropriate responses and expressions as he needed to. He didn’t mean to not pay much attention to her, he really didn’t, he valued her friendship too much, He just found the topic of courtroom politics to be more mentally tiring than trying to remember the square roots of 7 digit numbers.

He never had much of a head for math, or for ponies for that matter.

Luna spoke for a few more minutes before thankfully changing the subject.

“So Silver, what have you been up to since arriving in Ponyville? Have you any luck in banishing that ‘writer’s block’ as you so call it?”

Silver smiled happily, moreso to himself than to Luna. “I’m getting there, thankfully. I’ve been sending most of my time just enjoying myself, taking a break from the city and all, and it's really helped me.” Silver breathed deeply through his nose and sighed blissfully at the smell of pine and fresh grass. “Ponyville really is a great place…” he muttered absently.

Luna’s eyes twinkled as she looked at her friend walking alongside her with a contemplative look and a content smile on his face. “Oh really?” she replied easily, “What do you like about it so much? The scenery? The location?” she leaned in a little bit closer. “Or is it the ponies, perchance?”

Twilight gave the two a confused look, but said nothing.

“The ponies, probably.” Silver replied. “They’re all so genuinely welcoming and friendly, not like in Canterlot or Las Pegasus or some other big city where half of the ponies who seem likeable want something from you.” He glanced over at Twilight who was walking beside him and listening with interest. “Here, if somepony smiles at you, it’s because they are being friendly, not because they want you to buy something from them.”

Twilight and Luna nodded knowingly. “Ah,” the princess of the night said absently, “yes, it is true that Canterlot has a few too many nobles, politicians and aristocrats than is good for it…” She thought for a moment before shaking her head and smiling pleasantly.

“Well, no need to dwell on that.” She said abruptly. “Ponyville is a special place filled with special ponies, wouldn’t you agree?” she asked peasantly, addressing both ponies who looked at each other with some measure of confusion. They nodded uncertainly, causing a smile to blossom on Luna’s face.

“Yes indeed, very special ponies…” she continued absentmindedly, shooting Silver a sideways glance. “Why, I would even go so far as to say that, if one were to court a Ponyvillian pony, one would be a very happy pony indeed…”

Twilight cocked her head as Silver narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “What is she getting at?” he thought. Luna may seem silly and and childish at times, but she was no fool, Silver knew. She knew her way around complicated political conspiracies more than he knew the back of his own hoof, and Silver couldn''t help but think that she was hinting at something.

Before he could question the night princess any further, he realized that they had just walked back into town and were approaching the festivities judging by the sounds of laughter and screaming in the air. Luna stood at attention as noticed they had arrived and grinned excitedly.

“Oh dear, it seems that I am needed elsewhere.” she said with mock regret. “I’m afraid we must part ways now. Maybe we will be able to see one another again before the night is over, hmm?”

She didn’t give them a chance to respond as she lit her horn and vanished in a brief flash of light only to be replaced by the menacing looking Nightmare Moon. She shot them one last grin, making them wince at the sight of her sharp fangs, and with one mighty flap of her wings, she took of into the air towards the center of the town.

“BEHOLD SUBJECTS, YOUR NEW QUEEN HAS ARRIVED!” She bellowed triumphantly, a crack of lightening splitting the sky as she spoke. From where Silver stood, he could hear a resounding chorus of screams arise as ponies beheld the “evil queen.”

Silver and Twilight chuckled as they resumed walking, unconsciously stepping a little bit closer to one another now that they were alone.

A few minutes passed in blissful silence between the two ponies. As though by some unspoken agreement, the two ponies were not walking anywhere in particular; however, one would randomly turn down a random corner, and as though they were co-coordinating telepathically, the other would immediately follow.

“What do you want to do now?” Silver asked absently. Twilight thought for a moment before answering.

“Nothing.”

Silver looked at her in surprise. “Nothing? No more games? no more candy? Nothing?”

She nodded happily. “Mhm. Nothing. I’m feeling kinda tired to be honest.” She turned her bright eyes to Silver and bored through him with her gaze. “I was hoping we might be able to find somewhere quiet and just…I dunno…rest.”

Silver was quiet for a moment. He thought of all the games and activities that were going on in Ponyville right this second and he thought of all the delicious candy to be had. He thought of all the ponies to see and talk to, and whether or not he was willing to miss out on all of that excitement. He was an introverted pony, that was for sure, but he still liked to be around good ponies and have fun, and Ponyville had both in spades.

His decision wasn’t long coming.

“That sounds like a good idea. It has been a long night, hasn’t it?” As he spoke, he realized the truth to his words and the wisdom to Twilight’s suggestion. His legs all of a sudden felt like there were weights on his hooves and his head drooped a bit as the culminating events crashed down on him with a wave of fatigue. He suppressed a yawn and smiled. “Did you have any place in mind?”

Twilight nodded, her face showing hints of the same fatigue that he felt. “There’s a pond not too far from here, straight down that road.” She replied, pointing to the left where an unkempt dirt road lay, winding up and over a small hill just beside an old barn.

With no more delay, the two ponies made their way down the dirt road and over the hill where they came across a small pond filled with cattails and lilypads illuminated by the moonlight. Junebugs and fireflies flitted around the air above the pond and through the bushes reeds, their bioluminescent lights looking for all the world like miniature stars that had come down to explore the world that they had only seen from above.

The two ponies hummed contentedly. Silver was instantly reminded of his own little patch of solitude back in Canterlot in one of the lesser visited forest parks. How fitting, then, that a place that he would normally go to escape other ponies he now used to be with them, one pony in particular.

An oak immediately caught Silver’s attention, and he pointed it out to Twilight with a brief nod in its direction. She nodded her assent and the two quickly made their way to the base of the tree where they sat down and leaned against the trunk with a sigh.

A breeze swept across the grass and tickled their fur, sending chills up Silver Quill’s spine. A feeling of something pressing on his shoulder surprised him, and he looked down to see that Twilight’s was leaning her body against his and resting her head against his shoulder.

He felt heat in his cheeks as he looked at the mare, her eyes closed in bliss. Her straight mane brushed up against his side, sending shivers where it brushed against him. He couldn’t help but tense slightly, in both nervousness and excitement, when he looked at her, so beautiful in ways he couldn’t even begin to describe.

She must have felt him tense underneath her as her eyes opened and looked up at him nervously, seemingly worried that she might be getting a bit too personal. She blinked, and Silver could see she was about to move away.

Before she could however, he quickly raised a his foreleg and laid it across her back and onto her shoulder furthest from him, gently pulling her just a little bit closer. She gave him a brilliant smile before cooing softly and closing her eyes once more against him.

“Solitude…has its merits…” he thought slowly and deliberately as he gazed down at the softly smiling mare, bangs framing her face like a beautiful painting.

Without thinking, Silver leaned his head over her, laying his cheek on her soft mane like pillow made of the finest down. He instinctively positioned his horn perpendicular to hers, something that spoke volumes about his feelings to the mare. For a unicorn, their horn is the catalyst for their magic, and their magic is the essence of their very being. Crossing horns is a way of saying that their souls and hearts, the very things that defines them as ponies, are intertwined.

“Yes…it has merits…” he repeated in his mind. “But if living in Solitude means not be able to be with her…with Twilight…” The mare in question hummed softly to herself and nuzzled Silver’s neck, burying her head a little bit deeper into his shoulder.

“Well, that just won't do at all.” he mused as he turned his head slightly and gently planted his lips onto her head, just behind her horn, causing her to smile, and him to as well.

Author's Note:

Shit, this thing's almost over. There's probably only about 2 or 3 chapters left before we finally reach the conclusion. I'm considering forgetting about writing the next chapter for my other fic The Alicorn Ring and focusing on this one. What do you guys think?

Again, comments are greatly appreciated, even if to tell me how much awful I am and how much you wish you could smash my head into my keyboard over and over again until the letters imprint themselves on my forehead. Reading over my work, I sometimes wonder if I deserve it.

Ah well, show me an amateur writer who wholeheartedly enjoys reading their work and I'll show you a penguin that can fly.

EDIT: Duuuuude, I got featured! How cool is that?! Pretty damn cool if you ask me.