• Published 4th Sep 2012
  • 5,135 Views, 78 Comments

Nightmares Alive - Horsegirl123



Luna has been having dreams of Nightmare moon lately. And now she must decide, friend or foe?

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Friend or Foe?

“Come on Daring! You gotta get out of there!” Luna couldn’t tear her eyes away; was Ahuitzotl going to keep the sapphire stone? Would Daring be able to escape her bounds and get her treasure? Would- Ring Ring Ring.

Her internal alarm buzzed in her head, alerting her that the time had come to lower the moon and give way for Celestia’s day.

She stepped onto her balcony and yawned, having been awake for way too long. She had barely gotten any sleep the day before, trying to save herself from another nightmare, using the Daring Do books to keep herself occupied. With another large yawn and sip from the coffee cup that had been placed on her nightstand from earlier in the evening, she vacuumed the stars back into her being, feeling her mane absorb their energy and rejuvenate itself, which, before, was starting to go limp and light blue like common pony hair. One by one, the stars swirled back into her soul, refreshing her body, but not taking away the heaviness in her eyes. She couldn’t ignore it anymore; she had to sleep.

*******************************

“My my, back so soon?” questioned the black mare.

“Get away from me,” Luna hissed through clenched teeth as the black alicorn circled her once again.

Nightmare only laughed at the hostility. “You’ll have to try harder than that, Luna. Wouldn’t want Celestia to come help now would you?” Luna looked confused at the mare, who only exchanged a maniacal grin in return. Her face contorted and twisted, contracting and stretching; a light seemed to come from beneath her fur, and her horn began to shrink and lose its sharpness. Her eyes glowed and rolled into her skull it a disgustingly graphic scene. Luna looked away from the horrifying feat, only to have her head snap back to where the other mare once stood at the voice that was all too familiar. “Tia! Tia!” called Luna’s voice. On top of Nightmare Moon’s pitch black frame was Luna’s face and her voice, crying out for her sister. Luna smiled an evil smile back at the real Luna, before resorting back to Nightmare Moon’s face in a flash.

“You monster!” yelled Luna as she lurched forward to pierce Nightmare’s heart. With a quick dash, Nightmare Moon ducked, vanishing into a thin smoke and re-animating herself behind Luna with an evil cackle. Luna fell into the vacant space where Nightmare Moon's heart should have been and stumbled forward before regaining her footing. Luna spun around so fast it almost gave her whiplash, and she tried to strike again; this time, her navy blue horn clashed with a steel black one, both struggling at the force of the other. While Luna’s face was contorted in pain from the pressure, Nightmare Moon looked bored at the physical quarrel. Mustering the rest of her possible strength, Luna lit the tip of her horn; little sparks emulated, and suddenly a blast erupted that threw Nightmare moon skidding on her backside ten feet away. Defeated for the moment, Luna teleported to stand over her tormentor of a thousand years. Nightmare just cackled under her, although it could easily be her certain death.

Through her snarled laughter, Nightmare levitated her helmet off; her piercing dragon eyes struck through Luna, freezing her momentarily. Luna shook off the paralyzed feeling and pinned Nightmare Moon’s forelegs with her own.

Luna lowered her horn onto Nightmare’s heart, ready to strike her dead and free herself from the hell she had been forced through; however, she hesitated for a reason she could not understand. The sinful black alicorn only cackled more.

“What’s the matter Woona? Can’t you kill me?” Before Luna could drive her horn into the foul being, Nightmare’s sword like unicorn horn emulated the same spark from before, sending Luna flying back, skidding onto her back through the rocks and twigs, ripping dozens of feather from her wings; she knew it was a dream, so why did it hurt?

Nightmare Moon appeared on top of the young blue alicorn. “Because I could kill you in a second,” whispered Nightmare into the now pinned victim’s ear.

“Tis but a dream, tis but a dream,” whispered Luna, unable to struggle against the powerful mare.

Nightmare laughed wickedly. "Oh but a dream you claim? But a dream!" She lit her horn and fired at Luna, grazing Luna's neck with a fiery blast.

"AHHH!" Luna's neck sizzled, the skin bubbling from the deep burn, and a steady stream of blood began to trickle forth from the fresh wound. She held back tears, biting her lip so hard that it split; she tried to turn her head to examine her burn, but every movement was as painful as the initial wounding. "If its money, or power you want, I assure you that you will never get either. You are vile, despicable, a threat to all, and it is below me to beg. But I can say for a fact that if you kill me, there will be NO reward in my place."

“Please,” chuckled Nightmare, “I could never.”

“W-what?” scoffed Luna, but immediately regretted her response for fear that it may change Nightmare moon’s mind.

“I can’t kill you, I am you,” Nightmare Moon lowered her head and stepped off of Princess Luna. “If I killed you here, I could easily take over your body once again and bring eternal night. If purged by the Elements, I would die, and Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon would be gone forever. And if I banished Celestia and ruled, nopony would listen to me. I would spend the rest of my life watching as ponies cowered at the sight of me, and crying when I addressed them. They would never accept me,” Nightmare Moon said. She stepped off of Luna, her scowl softened, but Luna immediately scurried back a safe distacnce, still biting her lip with every movement to distract from the pain in her neck.

Nightmare Moon sat on her haunches and pulled off the rest of her armor. Luna couldn't help but notice that she was actually quite lovely, like Celestia; her coat was shiny and clean and her mane flew with the magical wind of Luna’s. It was more lavender than Luna’s, and not as transparent. “So what’s the point?”

Luna was now faced with a tremendous inner struggle. Now was the time to strike and kill Nightmare Moon! She would defeat the dream entity and find safety once again in the dreamscape. But Celestia had taught her better than to laugh in the face of an ailing pony, even if this pony had ruined her life and gotten her banished to her to the moon for 1000 years. Luna straightened herself and approached Nightmare Moon, not entirely sure of what her next move would be. She couldn't believe this sob story before seeing more first. Seeing that the mare would not harm her, Luna approached a little closer. When she reached her side, she saw that the wicked mare of darkness was crying. Nightmare Moon, crying! It utterly shocked Luna to see the ace of darkness and evil be vunerable. Seeing how the past events had an emotional toll on the mare, Luna had to admit that she felt the same way. “Although I have no sympathy for you, I can admit that I too have felt the same way. But you are a monster; you have killed countless ponies, and you most importantly tried to kill my sister, and for that you will never be forgiven. You do not deserve my sympathy, no, not yet. You are my darker side, and when being accused of being you in court, I was rather displeased.

Nightmare Moon’s eyes turned to Luna, seething with anger that was not present moments ago. Luna scuttled backwards to escape the fury as the dark mare’s eyes burned a bright red. “What is so bad about me?”

“N-Nothing. I mean, you have been associated with being-“

“Evil,” finished Nightmare Moon, losing the sudden outburst of anger. “I have never done anything evil. I had a passion, a need. And I acted. I never harmed anypony. I had a way figured out of how to keep plants healthy through the night. I knew how to make the ponies thrive. I never planned to kill them or make them unhappy.” A few tears spilled down the black mare’s cheek as she continued. “I just wanted to be loved. We deserved it.”

Luna relaxed her shoulders, downgrading Nightmare from the threat she had been a few minutes earlier. She exhaled, giving in for conversation with her worst nightmare. “I know Nightmare Moon. They were my dreams too. I was the one who wanted those things, but you were more powerful. I must admit I don’t know much about the events that trans folded after you took over; I only know from what Celestia has told me... I’m sorry for what happened. But I know now that we were wrong, and it was selfish of us to try and take away the day.”

“Please, call me Moon. It makes me seem less… vile. I just wanted to help you; I know how much you wanted them to appreciate you. And then I wanted that too. And I got out of control, and I apologize,” said a very out of character ‘Moon’.

“You’re not evil,” realized Luna, suddenly regretting the harsh words she had spit at the mare moments before. “We have just been taught to believe you are so. This is the first time I have associated with you. When you took over me, I was buried so deep beneath you that I pretty much didn’t exist anymore. So I never really knew your actions.”

“I admit, I didn’t paint a very good picture of us. I did some things… I regret.” Nightmare Moon sighed heavily, and stared off into the night.

“We mustn’t dwell on the past right now. And you don’t seem like a bad pony to me,” comforted Luna to Nightmare Moon.

“Thank you Luna.”

“But I don’t understand this very much. How can you be me? I am here, and so are you? So there are two of me?” asked Luna.

“It's confusing. See when I started influencing your mind, the amount of magic you stole was supposed to give you the power to stand up to Celestia. But instead you took too much, giving the 'darkness' inside of you, well, life, and I gained control of your motor functions, and I may have made a few… personal touches to your body.” Nightmare Moon looked at the grass that she had killed with the touch of her hooves. “I never wanted to be a monster. And my name wasn’t supposed to be Nightmare Moon. It was supposed to be Night Mare Moon. As in Mare of the Night. But I guess Equestria decided it would be a nice pun or something because I was scary.” Nightmare Moon hung her armor free head in personal defeat.

“So, you’re like my alter ego, but you’ve separated from my brain entirely?” questioned a skeptical Luna.

Nightmare Moon nodded solemnly. “Some what. Yes, the elements of harmony eliminated my magic from you’re body, but that just trapped me inside you. So my thoughts and part of my magic are trapped in your subconscious. I’m… I’m sorry Luna. You made a monster.” Nightmare wiped a tear with her jet-black wing.

Luna struggled for words. She wasn’t actually purged of the monster she once was? “But… you don’t seem like a monster,” admitted Luna to the weeping villain.

The mare chuckled good-heartedly. “Thank you.”

“So… what do you do in here? I still can’t believe I literally have a pony living in my head,” chuckled Luna forcedly at the confusing situation.

“I apologize, it is a lot to take in. Well I see through your eyes. I live your life without words. I just watch. Like a play or something.”

“That’s awful!” said Luna. She thought of what Twilight would do. Read. Ick. Then she thought of Pinkie Pie. She would want to have some fun. “Would you like to play a game?” suggested to the mare that took over her and tried to banish her sister.

“A… what?” stammered the distraught mare.

“A game,” repeated Luna at the mare’s ignorance.

“We did not have ‘games’ in my time. We have been gone for a thousand years. We are not sure we understand.” said Nightmare Moon in old Equestrian.

Luna chuckled. “Yes we did. You just weren’t there for the good times,” said Luna, pawing the ground at the thought of what she had endured.

“We play a game where we throw a circular disk, and then we shoot it with our magic. Tia- I mean Celestia and I used to play it in the gardens before she got so busy.” Luna immediately regretted bringing up Celestia, for she noticed a sudden twinge in the black alicorn that no longer looked like the fiendish monster Luna once was.

“Sounds rather trivial for a princess,” gruffed Nightmare.

“We- I mean I admit it is far outdated for a pony of my age and stature, but it might get you back on your hooves?” said Luna, starting to sound more like the encouraging Celestia than the uptight Luna.

“Why are you doing this?” asked Nightmare Moon. “I’ve seen how you interact with other ponies. Very professional and uptight might I add.”

“I am not uptight!’ retorted Luna. “You’re starting to sound like Ms. Sparkle.”

Nightmare’s ears perked up, and she looked at Luna. “Twilight Sparkle? Element of Magic?”

“Indeed. She was not very fond of my pony skills either. But she helped me realize how my dreams and reality are related, so I owe her.”

“You must tell me of that one time,” pleaded Nightmare Moon.

Luna’s horn glowed, and two disks materialized out of thin air. They were flat yet circular, and shined with a great silver sparkle. Luna hoisted her’s up, and watched it spin and cut through the air. When it reached a good height, she created a laser beam from her horn and shot it down, breaking it into a million fine pieces.

The glass sprinkled down in a flurry of crystals lighting up in front of their eyes. Nightmare’s eyes widened and she oohed at the sight.

Luna looked back at her evil counter part. “Care to give it a go?”

Nightmare Moon looked uneasy and unwilling for a brief moment, but shook her head and got to her hooves. “I’m not sure I know how,” quivered the black queen.

She took a plate in her magic and flung it extremely high in the air. Firing a purple beam, she overshot and missed the target by a hundred feet. Her blood boiled as she screamed, “This game is rigged!”

Luna was taken back by the ferocity in the pony and backed up a few steps. “Its okay Moon. You just need practice. Here, watch.” Luna created another disk and flung it in the air, shooting it down promptly.

Nightmare Moon sat on her haunches with her jaw agape. Shaking the thoughts of envy away, she tried again with a newly formed disk, and only missed by a small margin. By the fourth try, she was jumping like a little school filly. “I did it!” she yipped.

A loud ringer sounded. Nightmare and Luna looked around curiously at the sound, and after a few seconds, their faces both wore a look of recognition. “Night fall,” they said at the same time.

They both chuckled a little. Luna liked that one pony actually understood her responsibility as nighttime ruler, and that there was actually a lot of effort that went into every night. She liked that somepony actually understood how she felt, instead of pretending like she did.

Nightmare nodded at Luna. “I’m glad we had this time,” said Luna to the once feared mare.

“Thank you for trusting me,” said Nightmare Moon with a warm smile. “I will see you soon, Princess of the Night.”

“Likewise,” smiled back Luna, leaving her friend for the night.

******************************************

The stars did not dance that night. Thick, grey clouds blocked most of them out, making them invisible even by Luna's keen eye. ‘What’s the point of painting them in on nights like this?’ thought Luna angrily. It was such a hassle to not even have them seen.

Thinking back, she remembered a rainy night a few years before her banishment, right after she had raised the moon.

“Is the moon up?” asked Celestia, he pink mane tied in a ponytail as she laid on Luna’s bed, supervising her.

“Gosh! Yes Tia. Its like, my only job!” yelled Luna, growing gradually more frustrated for some reason in the past few weeks.

“And the stars?”

“Um, no,” said Luna in with a snarky voice.

“Luna! Don’t use that tone!” reprimanded the older sister. “Why didn’t you put the stars in? That is also part of your duty.”

Luna fluttered over to her bed, closing the balcony doors from the rain with her magic. She flopped on her back next to Celestia. “Because it’s raining. The clouds are covering it.” Luna gestured a hoof towards the storm outside. Celestia, however, wore a face of extreme anger and disappointment.

“Luna! I am very disappointed in you! This is your duty, and seen or not, you must complete it. You can not afford to be lazy, dear sister,” lectured Celestia.

“But-,” tried to reason Luna.

“And the storm is only over Canterlot. What if somepony adventuring somewhere looked to your stars for guidance but was greeted with a blank sky!? They would die because of your foolishness.”

Luna felt tears bubble in her eyes at her sister’s words. “I’m sorry Tia… I’ll fix it, I promise.”

Celestia rose to her hooves and spread her swan like wings. She floated off the rich purple sheets of Luna’s bed and on to the ornate rug. Reaching the door, she looked back over her withers. “Good,” she said, and sauntered out of the room, leaving Luna sobbing on the ground as swirls of cosmos and stars flooded from her stubby horn and out an open window.

Snapping out of her memory, Luna felt something she had been feeling a lot lately; loneliness. Her eyes searched through her deserted room; she did not own a pet to keep her company as Celestia did with Philomena, not that she would want one of those damned birds. Many a time had that foul fowl pranked her or scared the bejeezus out of her, and any prank Luna tried in retaliation was met with a harsh lecture form Celestia who refused to believe that the vile bird was pure evil.

However, a good night’s sleep for once had done her weary eyes well, and Luna floated her attire to her body. Her horseshoes squeezed on to her hooves and sparkled with the shine of all the stars. They were custom fitted to her hooves, and were designed to grant comfort as Luna paced down the marble hallways as she so often did in the emptiness of the night. She levitated her crown onto her head, its cool embrace on her poll was like a foal’s teddy bear to her, reminding her of her purpose and her duty. She used a hoof to pull her bangs out from under the crown, her bangs being the only pony hair on her head not filled with magic.

Before returning her hoof to its natural place on the ground, she balanced on her three legs and examined it for a second. She rarely used her hooves anymore. Magic was way easier; she could do anything she wanted with ease. ‘How do Earth ponies and pegasi even survive?’ thought Luna. She flapped her wings and examined them as her hoof reconnected with the floor. Magic and the gift of flight. It was good to be her. Or was it?

Luna moved to her desk by the balcony. The moon shined through the thick cloud layer, but the stars were obscured. As she suspected. But she had a duty to uphold and she was going to do it. She immediately found the drawing she had slaved over. Her masterpiece, her closure, her lie.

After her conversation with- herself, she couldn’t help but feel wrong for what she had done. She knew in her mind she shouldn’t feel sympathy for the mare that had caused so much chaos, but her heart told her that she was a different mare than she had been made out to be. Luna couldn’t hate herself, right? She knew that she was not a bad pony herself, so that could only mean that Nightmare Moon was not a bad pony either. If they were the same, which they were, then Luna always had some control, right? And Luna loved her little ponies. She would never hurt them. And from what she had learned the previous day, Nightmare Moon wouldn’t hurt them either. She was a nice pony, dare Luna say it.

To top it off, there hadn't been some cheesy montage of Luna teaching Nightmare Moon to be good, either.She wasn’t putting up a fight when they had talked. She seemed changed, and if nopony was going to see that, maybe Luna would make them. But right now, all Luna could think about was that a pony was trapped watching the world through another pony’s eyes. Everything anypony said to Luna, anything Luna said to anypony in response, Nightmare would have to watch. If she disagreed or had advice or just needed somepony to talk to, she was trapped watching, with no way to communicate. Except through Luna’s dreams. Her one escape.

Or maybe there was another way. Luna crossed to her mirror, studying her reflection: her sleek, trimmed figure: her glorious wings that made flamingos jealous: a shiny long horn that held secrets to the entire world, and a flicker of green crossed her eyes. A… catlike reflection took over for a split second, and had Luna not been closely watching herself, she wouldn’t have noticed. But that flicker was there. She was there. And Luna wasn’t scared.

Her horn lit up like a tree on Hearth’s Warming Eve, causing her reflection to sail and contort. A dark ink flooded the glass, splotting the mirror surface. When it started to sink back into the corners, a black unicorn head with dragon eyes of green stared back at her, instead of Celestia’s usual copy. But this was a far more complicated spell than usual; instead of a copy, Luna had reached into her brain and pulled out part of Nightmare Moon’s being, placing it in the mirror momentarily. She was trapped there for now, and she was bound to be weaker in the real world. But she was here. Free to speak out loud and see what she could through her own eyes, Though she was trapped behind the wall of glass, she was temporarily free, and Luna felt safe.

Terrified, the black alicorn mare looked around viciously, feeling hooves up to the glass that contained her. Her armor was back on now, her horseshoes clinking against the glass loudly. “W-where am I?” she stuttered, not being able to catch her breath.

“You’re outside!” Luna responded gleefully. “Well, not outside outside, but pretty close.”

Nightmare Moon did not look pleased. She looked as if she was seething with anger. “What is this? Let me out!” she moved her head back and forth from behind, trying to escape.

“Woah, woah. I’m sorry. You can go back in my mind if you want,” Luna suggested.

Nightmare’s face drained of blood. “N-no, I am quite happy here. Just a bit, claustrophobic, that’s all. “ She repositioned her helmet on her head. “How do you fare Luna?”

“I fare well Moon, but this is for you.” Luna beamed happily at the skeptical mare.

“What does thy mean?” she questioned cautiously, looking around her glass prison.

“Well, I thought you could stay here sometimes, and go back in my mind when I walk around, so you won’t miss anything. This way, you can talk and stuff.” Luna could barely contain her excitement as she revealed the good news. The black mare behind the glass put on a forced smile. It fooled Luna.

“Perfect! That is so great, thank you Princess Luna." She coughed, and her voice faltered.

Luna’s smile evaporated, and a look of concern shrouded her once shining smile. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s just, I am weak here.” Nightmare looked away from Luna’s sad gaze.

“O-Oh,” she stuttered, forcing a smile back on. “Well, that’s ok. Its only for a few minutes.”

Nightmare Moon smiled at the mare. “Splendid. Is there anything you wish to converse on?” the mare said with an inquisitive smile.

“U-um…” Luna thought of showing her the new constellation, but then she realized something; this was not a mare she wanted to fight. She wanted to change this mare. She was not the pony she believed she was when she had been told the stories of what she had become. She was not the wicked mare that had tried to kill every pony, she was a good-hearted mare who just wanted to be loved. Just like Luna. Luna peered over her withers over to her desk, focusing her magic and the picture and floating it over to herself. Examining it in front of her, she threw it to the trash bin, not being able to bare the sight that she had drawn something so stereotypical about herself.

“Was that your new constellation?” asked the mare with a solemn and slightly insulted look.

Luna face hoofed at remembering that Nightmare had seen everything Luna had done since she returned. 'You dodo! She saw you draw that!’

But Luna was able to smile again. “Not anymore.” Luna galloped over to her desk, enchanting her hooves so that they didn’t make a sound as her metal shoes collided with the floor. Grabbing a quill and paper in her teeth, she galloped back over to the vanity, laying the paper in front of her, floating the quill upright, and began her work. Dots covered the pictures, and lines swirled in patterns unimaginable; they twisted and turned and looped and created. Nightmare tried to catch a peek, but was blocked by Luna’s head bent over the paper in determination. After several minutes of focused drawing, Luna raised her head with a large smile.

“What? What is it?” questioned the mare with the speckled mane.

“It is us,” she said gleefully. Raising the image to the mirror, a smile so big graced the black alicorn’s lips that Luna couldn’t help but laugh. She had never seen a pony smile so wide. “Its beautiful. Thank you so much Luna.”

“It’s nothing, It’s just accurate.”

Dots and swirls depicted a constellation different in everyway from the previous insult of a picture. Two mares, one small, and one large, where galloping. Their gorgeous manes smudged and gradually faded into the rest of the stars, painting the skies as they galloped. Side by side, they smiled and laughed, their horns pointed to the sky, shooting out magic to shoot down tiny plates. It was trivial and didn’t pertain in the least bit of the rest of Equestria, but it was Luna’s gift to herself. Some closure.

“I cannot thank thee enough, beautiful Luna,” warmly smiled Nightmare Moon. No teeth of razors or steel glared at Luna, but instead pearly whites of grace and royalty beamed, and her eyes were soft and caring, not piercing and cold. She was not the mare she was made out to be, and Luna could not help but feel sorry for the reputation she had gained in her short reign.

“It is no proble-“

‘Knock Knock Knock.’ Luna’s body froze, as did Nightmare Moon, and thinking quickly, Luna cast the reverse spell and swiftly sucked Nightmare out of the mirror, transporting her back into her mind.

The door creaked open, and a white head with a jet-black forelock peeked into the room. “Excuse me Your Highness, b-but court has assembled for the night.”

Moonbeam. The mare was less terrified today as she was before, probably form the day off between Luna’s meltdown and now. But nonetheless, she carried herself taller and presented what she needed done, and the mare earned a slight bit of respect from Equestria’s princess.

“Excellent.” Luna strutted over to the door and joined her assistant who sadly still flinched at the sight of Luna’s horn glowing, even just to close the door.

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