• Published 4th Sep 2012
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Nightmares Alive - Horsegirl123



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

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Let Love in

The hours ticked by, every menial case drooping Luna's eyelids closer and closer towards the point of no awakening. Every complaint seemed to be the same; crops this, weather that, stars everything!

But as the clock struck nine, she was finally able to straighten her ailing back and let a small smile creep onto her face. The tail of the last pony for the moment disappeared behind the door, and Moonbeam finished scribbling the notes for the case when the door creaked open as it so often did, and the frightened face of a pony peeked into the room, as it so often did. But this one was special. Luna had been waiting for this pony in particular.

He quickly scurried into the room and fell in front of her in a bow, which she dismissed with a nod of her regal head. “Your Majesty, it’s an honor,” said the pony of the hour.

“Before I may induct you, Notte, I must conduct a background check.” Luna snickered to herself. Her ‘background’ usually consisted of trying to fish out compliments.

“Anything, Princess.”

“Why do thou want to work under my realm?” she questioned, shooting Moonbeam a look to see if she was taking notes. Like always, she was.

Stumbling for an answer that wouldn’t get him banished, Notte finally spoke up, blowing his dark blue mane out of his eyes. “I have appreciated your nights since I was little; I used study the stars and your meteor showers when I was a young colt and be awestruck. So, I decided that if you ever returned in my lifetime, I would devote my time to serving you.”

“Thank you,” she said, trying to hide her blush. She still couldn’t get over the fact that a pony had wanted to work for her. Every other pony that worked under her was picked at random out of those who applied to serve Celestia.

“Under any circumstances, would thou protect and honor thy Princess of the Night?”

He looked at her. Through her. Into her ageless soul, and into her heart. “I would do anything,” he said surely and calmly.

“Congratulations, Notte. I hereby dub thee part of my personal nighttime realm guard. Thou are to be my personal guard on excursions and garden voyages, when, and only when, I ask for your company. Dost thou agree?” Luna held back the smile on her lips as the pony shook his head yes faster than she had ever seen a pony shake their head.

“Thank you so much Princess Luna! I will not let you down!” He bowed and turned to leave.

He was halted by a strong feminine voice. “Wait, you will need this.”

Just as she materialized the disks, Luna spun her magic into an array of metal that peeled out of the sky. From where? Well, she couldn't even answer that; unicorn magic was very complicated, and she often found herself bored to death when forced by Celestia to study their history.

The sheets of metal spun and colored and twisted and broke. They reconnected, sucked color off of tapestries, and curled together in a feature presentation of alicorn magic in front of a guard.

A purple helmet emerged first from the flurry of sparkles: a fin of bat wing adorned the crest, a richer and darker color than the helmet itself. It wrapped down along a pony’s neck, laced with diamonds all the way down. Four horseshoes appeared as well, shining with the luster of Luna’s moon. A breastplate of steel materialized, built to wrap around the soldier’s chest, all the way to his withers, adorned with a piercing serpent’s eye situated in the center. Formal garments that were meant to cover the back flashed out as well. Luna smiled as Notte winced at the fru-fruiness of said apparel for his flank, but she figured she should have some sort of conversation started with all her new guards.

Luna levitated Notte’s uniform before him before softly placing it on the ground. She winced at the thought of what would now happen.

And she did. Notte threw on the armor as fast and unprofessionally as he could, and in an instance, his body was being engulfed in a mud brown fur. His ears became tattered and disfigured, and his once noble wings morphed into hideous bat appendages. His tail became short and awfully styled, and his once soft eyes, were replaced with the piercing yellow ones of a dragon.

Luna hated the form of her lunar guards; Celestia had donned them as punishment for her crimes as Nightmare Moon. Luna had initially protested, but Celestia had reminded her of hat she had done, and that even a small fee had to be paid for her actions. Luna had begrudgingly agreed, but now she regretted it more than ever.

Such a handsome stallion, transformed into… this… this… monster.

Monster. The word bit at her brain. It stung deep into her heart and flooded chilling memories that she had not ever seen. The last thing she heard, was a familiar shriek of 'No'.

“Who are thou?” spoke a terrified, blurry figure. Watching the memory from what seemed like third pony, Luna couldn’t make out a soul through the hazy cloud that fogged her vision.

“Why, I am thy new princess, dear foal. Where is thy mother?” Luna recognized the voice instantly. Nightmare Moon.

A new pony galloped into vision. “Get away from my foal, you… you monster!” The image backed up a bit, as if stepping back in insult.

“How dare thy speak of me like that, thou ungrateful whelp!” The image reared up, coming crashing down, followed by a blood-curdling scream.

A flash of white. Some odd smells. Some very odd smells. They were so close. So pungent. Too close. Too close! Luna’s eyes shot open in surprise, darting around the room for any clue of what she had just experienced. Several guards along with a hyperventilating Moonbeam had apparently crowded around her.

“Princess Luna! Are you okay!?” rang out a familiar voice from the crowd. Pushing through the several guards emerged a new pony. He looked identical to the other guards, but his voice was all the same.

“N-Notte?” she whispered. She immediately bit her lip and recoiled her words. Had she just asked for a guard? By name? That was unheard of! Luna shook her head, trying to get the thoughts to flee.

“I-I mean, what happened?” she looked around. She was on the marble floors. The banners of the throne room had been switched from those of the sun to those of the moon for Luna’s night court.

His voice sang out again. “You collapsed. I think you hit your head fairly hard,” he added, reaching a hoof out to examine her wounds.

The good-hearted stallion was stopped harshly by an equally mud brown hoof. “Thou shalt not lay a hoof on thy Princess!” it barked, in the same traditional language Luna sometimes reverted to. Captain Foscor. The only member of her lunar guards who tried to copy her language. Kiss flank.

Her nose caught a whiff of something rank, and she immediately pushed the smelling salts out of her muzzle. “Get those damn salts off of me! And Captain, I am to decide who can and cannot touch me on my own, thank you.”

“And if you do not mind, I believe that I should be able to dismiss court for the night as well.”

“But Your Majesty, that’s the third night in a row-“ tried to explain Captain Foscor.

“I can dismiss court whenever I damn please.” Luna spread her regal wings and flew over to where Notte had entered. Opening the huge doors with a strong hoof, she peered around the corner. With a look of satisfaction on her face, she appeared in a flash of unicorn magic with her forehead pressed against the Captain’s angrily. “Its not like there’s ever anypony here.”

“But-“

“And I feel like I need to stretch my wings,” she cut off, “And I would like Notte to supervise me.”

Without another word of explanation, the free willed Princess spread her mighty wings and flew up to one of the many windows, peering out at her night. Her horn lit up in its blue aura, encasing the window in a greasy film. “Come,” she beckoned.

Notte looked around in a confuzzled state, tying to receive the approval of the Captain to go. Only seeing a look of hate and sternness upon the commanding pony’s face, he backed down a little. Luna rolled her eyes. “Are thou going to resist an order form the co-ruler of Equestria?” she yelled.

“Oh, no sorry, I’ll… um come, yeah,” he stumbled, flapping his bat wings. He wobbled a little in the air, trying to get used to the lack of feathers but eventually made it to the princess’ side. With a mighty flap of their wings in sync, they took off into the deafening silence, soaring through the crisp clouds of the night.

They soared. Luna closed her eyes and breathed in her night; cool and crisp. The sterile freeze of each cloud stung her nose like a thousand bees, yet it was refreshing. Looking to her side, Notte was no doubt shifting his eyes nervously, scanning for attackers, or any hint as to why they were flying so high up and away from the castle. The wind whipped the bat fin back on his helmet. Sadly, Luna couldn’t stand the sight of it anymore and turned away. That is, until he addressed her.

“Your Majesty, where are we going?” he asked innocently. He reminded her of a foal; so afraid of getting in trouble or doing wrong; so wary of everything. His nervous eyes scanned about, causing Luna to roll her own.

“We are merely going to have fun,” she said with a playful smile, one she hadn’t worn since she herself was young.

“F-fun?” questioned Notte, having missed the briefing on personal fun time with royalty.

“Yes, fun. I just learned about it last Nightmare Night.” This time, Notte got to roll his eyes, getting him an angry glare from the princess. Before he could break down into very manly tears and plead for her forgiveness, a smile had already taken hold on her face. She closed her wings. Just shut them tight, falling from her escort’s side in a nosedive.

“Princess!” he screamed in terror, petrified that the ruler of Equestria’s nights had fainted yet again and was now plummeting to her death. He flapped his wings, trying to reach the princess before it was too late. Celestia would have my flank mounted on her hearth for this!

He barreled towards her, her tail and mane whipping upwards rapidly. With several mighty flaps, he reached beneath her, and caught the fallen princess in his hooves. Her eyes shot open, as did her wings.

“What are thou doing?” she commanded, furious.

“Saving you! You were about to splat on the ground,” he argued.

“I am older than this country. I know how to fly!” she retorted with an audible snort.

“I-I…” his voice faltered, not knowing what to say.

“Well, now you owe me,” she said in faux anger that brought a smile of relief to his face. “Race ya,” she winked, and blasted off back towards the castle.

“Oh no you don’t!” he yelled out playfully, and zoomed after his Princess.

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

They sat atop the roof that night, just watching as the moon ticked through the sky: Luna had not shared a moment like that in decades. She had had a colt friend once: he had been older than she, before ruling Equestria became so time consuming. His name was Clip: he would always try to cut her hair before she had gained so much power that it was no longer pony hair. Lets just say, three out of four times, she ended up half bald because he would try to “even it out.”

As they relaxed in the palace roof, they talked about anything they could--from constellations to family life.

“And before my mom ever found out, I stuffed it into a box I found. Little did I know that box was going to my grandmare’s…” Luna and Notte rolled on their backs in a fit of giggles.

“I must admit, that was quite the enjoyable tale. And I also must confess that I must not be so causal with a member of my staff-“ she was interrupted by another fit of giggles as he tickled her behind her foreleg, a place only he had dared to find. She liked him, probably because he didn't fear her; maybe that was why for once she was so willing to be causal and not so uptight as she always was. “Notte-“

He looked over at her with his big green eyes. Luna cleared her throat and rolled onto her stomach, her legs neatly tucked under her. “I haven’t had this much fun in… well, ever. You must know that this is not how a Princess should act, and that you cannot breath a word of this night to anypony.”

He was disappointed. She could tell immediately. She decided to change the subject back to something they could both be happy about. “I can’t believe you sent your playcolt magazine to your grandmother,” she said, another wave of giggles washing over her. The two shared in another hearty laugh, watching as the stars twinkled above the two dark ponies. Notte stood and walked over to the Princess of Equestria.

“Princess-“

“Please, you may call me Luna in this setting.”

“Luna… Why do you always talk so professional? Even now?” The question startled her, but also peeked her interest. Truth be told, she had never thought about her way of speech; of course she had worked on the volume and the Royal We, but she did have to admit that she was far more articulate than other ponies.

“Well… I have had thousand of years to learn more vocabulary, and it just kind of rolls off the tongue.”

“But you can be lazy in your speaking with me,” reassured her new friend. To seal the deal, he let out a large belch. Had they not spent the past four hours together, and had Luna not been becoming increasingly lonely lately, he would have been in the dungeon in the blink of an eye. But she was fond of this Pegasus pony. Even if he looked like a bat at the moment.

“Take off your helmet Notte,” she said.

“What? But Princess, I have to wear-“

“Please, take off the armor.” She looked at him with puppy dog eyes, her ethereal mane billowing in the none present wind.

Trying to avoid the subject, Notte stuck a hoof through her mane, getting it stuck in the middle of the thick magic. “Oooo,” he said, feeling around the stars.

“Stop it!” she reprimanded, hoofing his hoof away. He put on a pouty face. She stuck her tongue out like a foal. He laughed. She laughed. It was bliss.

Luna scooted over to the bat guard, and with two hooves, removed his armor, piece by piece. His natural color flooded back to him, and he visibly shrank in size from his guard like glory. When the color was all back to its usual scheme, his wings started to plump out with real feathers, instead of the Celestia awful bat wing membrane.

“Much better,” said Luna, eyeing the stallion subtly.

Notte smiled at her and she smiled back. Staring for a bit too long, Notte shook his head and returned his gaze to the sky. “What’s that one?” he said, pointing a hoof at the sky. Their friendship had originally blossomed with his unquenchable thirst for knowledge about the night. The night had started off professional, but with the all too frequent mistakes he made, it was extremely difficult to keep themselves from falling over in uncontrollable laughter form his ignorance sometimes. Luna admired him for that quality. That he could laugh at himself. Prince Blueblood, her nephew from who knows where, wouldn’t know a joke if it hit him in the face, which from what Luna heard, had actually happened at the Gala when a cake flew across the ballroom thanks to Pinkie Pie’s wild party antics.

Luna playfully shoved him, something she rarely did since she was a foal, save for the rare servant she dubbed as playmate or bonded with. “I think I’ve literally told you this four times. “That’s the Ursa Major.”

“No, no, I’m petty sure that’s the Ursa Major,” he said, pointing a hoof in a completely different direction in the sky. Luna face hoofed.

“That’s Orion’s breast plate you feather brain,” she teased.

“Ooohh, ok. I knew that,” he said, pretending to brush off his shoulder like a cool guy. The comment only put Luna into a foalish fit of giggles.

“How do you make and name all these constellations?” he asked. Luna was not one for teaching. To be honest, she had a shorted temper than Twilight did social skills. But something about the foal like curiosity of Notte drew her in; he was so eager to learn: so full of a spunk and life and willingness that brought a cool feeling to her heart. This must be what Celestia felt like when she would mentor Twilight Sparkle or any of her past students. Sadly, being the younger pony, Celestia would never even offer Luna the chance to mentor a pony. Luna was okay with that for the most part. She wasn’t very interested in teaching schoolwork and stuff, but if she could just mentor one pony who cared for a night on all the constellations, without them getting bored or whining or falling asleep, t would be a dream come true.

And right now she was living that dream. She smiled at her semi student/friend. “That is a secret as old as time itself my friend.” Notte put on a coy smile, raising his lips up above his teeth.

“I’m your friend?” he said with a massive number of overly seductive winks. Luna threw her head back and laughed a deep-throated laugh, shoving her new star gazing buddy.

“Sure. Whatever,” she said passive aggressively, making Notte playfully shove her back this time. “Just kidding!”

“Ok. But seriously. Can’t you tell me?” he pleaded.

“Sadly no. Over the years, interviews and gossipers and spies throughout the castle have given away every one of my secrets that I have ever culminated in my entire life span. But this. This is my one secret that no pony will ever know. It makes me happy to know that no matter how hard those stuck up snobs of astronomers say they understand my sky, they really don’t.” Luna sighed heavily and happily to herself as she examined her work, hundreds of years in the making. Notte returned the deep chested sigh, taking in the glorious sight. Next to a glorious pony.

“Its beautiful,” he whispered, not wanting his voice to interrupt the moment of respect for Luna’s hard work and creation that should be admired. And then it slipped. “You’re beautiful.”

Luna whipped her head around at her new friend. “W-what?” she had never been called beautiful before. She swooned, and her heart meted into her blood. But at the same time she froze. That was wildly inappropriate for one of her subordinates to say to the ruler of all of Equestria.

And what he did next was even wilder. He leaned over to her, and nuzzled her neck softly, rubbing his muzzle against her neck and cheek as she sat next to him. And for once, Luna did not shy away. She allowed herself to embrace the affection of the stallion she was spending time with. And it was glorious.

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