• Published 11th Sep 2012
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Cry for Eternity - asylum1388



After Celestia's death, Twilight must take on a role she is woefully underprepared for.

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Chapter 2

This chapter is very, very dialogue-intensive. For that, I am sorry.

Pre-read by PiquoPie


Flames.

Searing flames.

Five seconds? Five minutes? Five millennia?

It didn't matter. There was no past, no future. Only the flames.

Oh, there was the light too! A light that came from everywhere! But mostly there was the flames.

Twisting, flickering, burning at her very soul. The pain was immeasurable, but it had always existed, as far back as she could remember, and she could remember a long time.

Or maybe she could... It was somewhat hard to measure time when there was nothing for her to measure it against. There was only the flames, eating away at her, yet never making her any smaller. Forever burning, the fire was all that existed.

Her body was... Wait, did she even have a body? Maybe she did at some point. At least she thought she did. Maybe she did. She hoped it was a nice body, one with a soft mane and maybe some nice friends to go along with it. Oh! And a name! She remembered that she had had a name at one point. It was a pretty name too. She had liked her name! She wished she could remember it...

Oh, but how was she thinking? Normally she couldn't think through the pain, but now she could. Wait... when had the flames stopped? The flames had hurt her, but they had kept her company. Now she was alone. Alone for how long?

She opened her eyes. She had eyes? She looked down at her body, but there was nothing there. Maybe she didn't have eyes after all. Perhaps she had gained the ability to see at the exact moment she had tried to open her eyes? Or maybe she had been able to see all along and had just never noticed it... That seemed more likely.

Wait a minute... if she could see, then she should look around; that seemed logical. Okay, she could see and she could look around, so what did she see?

She could see... Equestria! Okay, so she was in Equestia! No, that wasn't right. She could see all of Equestria, so I guess the right term would be that she was above Equestria. Far above it, by the looks of things. In fact, it seemed like she was staring at the Equestria on the globe she kept on her desk. She didn't know when exactly she had a desk, but there was a desk involved at some point.

Alright, so she could see Equestria on its globe, what else would she see? Stars! She could see stars, lots of stars. In fact, it looked like she could see all of the stars. Well, all of the stars that she could normally see this time of year; a lot of the autumn and winter constellations were missing! Oh, well maybe if she could turn around...

Yes! There they were! But now she couldn't see the stars she saw before! And Equestria was gone too! She grunted to herself (mentally of course, since she didn't have lungs to grunt with) as she turned around once again. There we go! She liked this view better.

...

Where was the moon through? If she was in the sky, shouldn't she be able to see the moon? And come to think of it, where the hay was the sun? She looked around again. No sun, no moon...

Equestria was so bright. It must be a beautiful day right now; the sun shining bright and high in the sky. It was probably a warm and cozy day. Warm like she was right now. Warm like the sun...

Oh, wait! She was the sun! That made sense. She felt like she had always known that! Except that she hadn't. She remembered that not five seconds ago she was wondering where the sun was. Or it felt like five seconds, keeping track of time was still hard.

She was the sun, but it felt like the sun had been wrapped around her like a blanket. It had been wrapped around her and it loved her. Warm and protective, it loved her like a mother loved her foal. And it missed her. It loved her and it was going away for a long time. It was sad that it was leaving and it was going to miss her. But it loved her and was happy to see her all the same.

Goodbye, old sun! I'll do my best to fill in for you!

Ooh! Look! The globe was spinning now. Why was it turning? Wait, it must be getting late in Equestria. Of course it had to spin, she had to make way for the moon! It wouldn't be fair for her to hog all the time in the sky. Gotta let the moon have its turn. Not letting it have its turn would be mean and she wasn't a mean sun.

As the globe turned it began to fade. It faded completely and now she couldn't see it at all. In fact, so had the stars! She couldn't see anything now! The sun had gone out! She had gone out.

Or maybe not. She still felt warm. Maybe she hadn't gone out and there was just nothing for her to shine on but the blackness, so it only looked like she had gone out. Oh look, the flames were coming back.

The flames were coming back...

It burned again. It burned and it hurt. She had been the sun once. She had been the sun and she had shone her light across the universe and made everypony very happy and that made her happy in turn. But now there was only the flames. There was only the flames and the pain and the hurt lasted forever.

They couldn't really be flames though, could they? I mean, if they were, they would've burned her away to nothing years ago. Hours ago? She would've been nothing but ash by now. It had to be magic. Not the soft kind of magic she had used with her friends, but the raw unbridled kind that existed in the deepest recesses of the world.

Wait, what did she just think? Since when did she have friends? She wanted friends, but she already had them?

That's right, she had friends, but that was a long time ago. She hoped that they were still her friends. She could remember that she had liked her friends. Her friends had been good to her. It was weird though; last time she was in the flames/magic/burning-thing-that-didn't-actually-eat-her, she couldn't even think, but now she could.

How long has it been since she was the sun anyway? It felt like two seconds, but she knew it had to have been longer. And even though the burning was still there, it didn't hurt at all anymore. Could she really call it burning? What was this rushing feeling? It was like she was being compressed into a very small space...

Twilight Sparkle opened her eyes and saw only a wall of pink.

Confused and slightly dizzy, she tried to turn her head, but the strange pink wall tickled her nose, bringing on a small sneeze. The wall, in turn, started to move.

"Ugh... What... Oh... Pinkie Pie?"

"OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH, TWILIGHT!" The pink "wall" jumped up and pulled her into a vice-grip of a hug.

"Pinkie... can't breathe..."

"Oh, sorry, Twilight! You just had us sososososososo worried!"

Twilight gulped in a few lungfuls of air after the hyperactive party pony released her. She used the short time she had before the inevitable second Pinkie-assault to take in her surroundings. She gathered that she was in some form of infirmary, whose only other occupants were a sleepy-eyed Cadance and Fluttershy, each pushing themselves out of an armchair, and a very irate Angel laying on the floor in front of his caretaker.

"Sowhathappened? DidyouseeCelestiaagain? Didit-" She was cut off by a yellow hoof being jammed into her mouth, but continued to ramble incomprehensibly behind it.

"Oh! I'm sorry, Pinkie, but Twilight just woke up and she's probably scared. Maybe you should give her some time first?"

Twilight groaned, still trying to sort out the puzzle of thoughts swarming through her mind. "Thanks, Fluttershy. Where am I?"

"Ummm, well Princess Luna brought you to the hospital, you were screaming and your magic kept doing weird things. We were all really worried," Fluttershy mumbled.

"Where is everypony?"

"Well they were all here for a while, but they had to leave. Well , Spike didn't have to, but he hadn't slept since you were brought in here so Rarity took him home with her. They really didn't want to leave though! It's just that you've been asleep for a few days and they all had to get back to Ponyville."

"A few days?"

"Yeah!" Pinkie squawked, finally managing to pull Fluttershy's hoof out of her mouth. "It was kindda scary, actually. You were really pale and breathing funny. We even had to bandage your wings to you so they wouldn't get smushed!"

"My wings?!" Against her better judgement, Twilight took her eyes off of Pinkie to glance down at her side, where sure enough, rested a pair of lavender wings, bound tightly to her flank with medical tape.

A soft giggle reminiscent of bells graced Twilight's ears. "Here, let's get those bandages off of you," Cadance murmured, sauntering over from the window she had just opened. Seconds later, the wrappings hovered over towards the room's waste bin, falling into it silently.

For the first time ever, Twilight Sparkle stretched out her new pair of wings. "This is just too weird," she stammered out after a few seconds.

"Ohhh! They're so pretty! Can I touch them?"

"Sure, Pinkie," Twilight mumbled back slowly. She moved the wing nearer to Pinkie closer to the mare, but wasn't quite sure how. "Its like having an extra leg. It doesn't feel any different, its just there. It feels like it's always-" She cut herself off with a squeak as a sharp tingle ran up her new limb and down her spine.

"Errmm, you probably shouldn't do that, Pinkie. Pegasus wings are very sensitive, most of us are very ticklish there. This probably isn't any different."

After staring inquisitively at Fluttershy for a few seconds, Pinkie slowly turned back to Twilight, a frighteningly mischievous grin on her face. "Oh really..?"

"Pinkie Pie, I swear if you-" It was too late, the pastel menace had already lunged at her, but was snatched into the air by a gentle blue glow a mere instant before she hit her target.

She struggled for a bit before going limp. "Oh, you're no fun, Princess."

"Sorry, Pinkie," Cadance sang back, suppressing a laugh, "but the doctors said she needed to rest."

Predictably, Pinkie began arguing a point about how 'laughter was the best medicine,' but Twilight stopped listening when she felt a slight weight jump onto the bed. She smiled at the rabbit who was presently glaring up at her. "Hi, Angel. Did you come to see me too?"

He responded by slapping her across the face. When she returned his angry stare, he began furiously miming out his message.

"I love this game!" Pinkie screeched, breaking off her 'conversation' with Cadance. "Let's see... He's hungry! No... He wants to play with Spike. Or even better, he wants to visit Manehattan! Wait, this one of obvious! He wants to ride in your balloon, Twilight!"

"I think he's angry at Twilight for making Fluttershy worry."

He spin around and pointed at Cadance, exasperated, before collapsing onto his back from his effort.

"I'm sorry about that Angel;" Twilight offered, making a poor attempt to keep from laughing, "I didn't mean to cause you so much trouble."

"Hello, Aunt Luna!" Everypony jumped slightly when they registered what Cadance said, all eyes shooting towards the door. There stood Luna, very disheveled and sans royal vestments.

"No, please don't bow," she moaned, stepping into the room.

"Sorry Princess, we keep forgetting," Fluttershy whispered apologetically.

"It's alright, I shouldn't have snapped, I'm just tired." She turned to Cadance, "Would you mind taking these two back to the palace and summoning the others? I would speak with Twilight Sparkle alone."

"Hey, Princess!" Pinkie called out, continuing her tirade. "If Twilight's a Princess now, or going to be a princess, why isn't she bigger? You and Celestia are huge but Twilight's the same size as always!"

"I don't know, Pinkie, maybe she'll grow into it? Can we please be left alone?"

"Come on, girls. Let's give them some privacy, they've got a lot to talk about." Cadance led the three of them out, followed by Fluttershy, carrying the passed-out Angel, with Pinkie Pie, floating upside-down still suspended in Cadance's magic bringing up the rear.

"Wait!" Pinkie latched onto the door-frame, pulling her head back into the room. "Princess Luna!"

"Go right ahead, Pinkie."

"Yes! You're the best!" She let go, slingshotting herself down the hallway, making room for Luna to close the door.

The Princess of the Night turned to Twilight and the two just stared awkwardly at each other.

"I was afraid we lost you..." Luna whispered just loud enough for Twilight to hear.

Twilight beckoned her over, offering what she hoped was a comforting smile. "Well, here I am. How bad was it?"

"It was bad. The pony body was never meant to hold so much magic. I expected you to faint when the ritual started, but when you didn't wake up, I got scared and brought you here. Of course there was nothing they could really do for you, but I didn't know where else to turn."

"Well... Thank you Princess. Your heart was in the right place and that means a lot to me. Besides, from what Fluttershy said you probably kept me from being hurt even more than I was," Twilight murmured, reaching out to pull Luna into a quick hug.

"Twilight, I've told you before to just call me Luna, especially now that you will legally be my equal. As for preventing you from injuring yourself, the credit for that actually belongs to Rainbow Dash. You started thrashing around on your second day in here. She voiced concerns that you might break one of your new limbs and suggested that we bind them up. She's much more clever than she lets on." She paused for a few seconds. "They look very pretty on you, by the way. How are you adjusting to them?"

"Oh, thanks, Luna. And I just woke up, so I haven't really 'adjusted.' Just how long have I actually been here?" Twilight mumbled, not quite sure if she wanted to know the answer.

"Seven days, Twilight."

"A whole week? But Celestia's letter said-"

"Twilight, it's rather difficult to perform a Royal Ceremony when the guest of honor is in the hospital, is it not?" Luna replied, giggling nervously. "I was able to get the coronation postponed until you were at least conscious."

"Good point," Twilight said, completely deadpan. She flopped back down onto her back, eyes still on Luna.

"We remained at your side as much as we could," Luna continued, "every one of us. Your friends were all here nonstop up until about a day ago. They wanted to stay but their obligations called them back to Ponyville, so I sent a team of Unicorns with them to teleport them back here once you awoke. Your parents checked in twice and day and your brother was in here every few hours. Eventually Princess Cadenza offered to stay here for his peace of mind, though I think she was just looking for an excuse to stay here anyway." She sat down on her haunches next to the bed. "You also had several well-wishers from Ponyville. There was a greenish unicorn and a gray pegasus with crossed eyes along with dozens of others. And that was before the succession announcement was made. You are a well-loved pony, Twilight Sparkle."

"I guess I am..." A small smile graced her face as she spoke. Two years ago she had been a veritable hermit; now she had throngs of ponies lining up to see her. She felt a tear running down her cheek, but made no effort to wipe it off. She hadn't realized just how much she had needed to hear that.

"I also tried to visit as often as possible, but as you can imagine, it has been extremely hectic around the palace and taking care of both the sun and moon is even harder than I thought. Thankfully Cadance offered to let me know as soon as you had awakened and I was thus able to immediately come here." Luna sighed and hung her head. "Twilight, I am very sorry! I knew that your ordeal would be terrible, but I neglected to warn you. Had I-"

"Its okay, Luna! Really." The former unicorn reached out and lifted Luna's chin up so they were gazing into each others' eyes. "Nothing you could've said would have prepared me for that."

"...What was it like?" Luna whispered, staring almost past Twilight.

"I won't lie, it hurt. I mean it really hurt. But every now and then, I felt like Celestia was there with me, watching me," Twilight replied, unsure of whether to shiver at the memory or not.

"Well, she does live on inside you, in a sense."

"So what, does that make us sisters now?" Twilight said with a smirk.

"No, no," Luna giggled, "your thoughts, emotions and memories are all your own. You are still Twilight Sparkle, little sister of Shining Armor and my closest friend." She stopped laughing and looked at Twilight pensively. "It's just that when you say that you still carry a bit of Celestia in your heart, you'll be speaking a little more literally than everypony else."

...

"So how are you feeling?"

"...Pretty good actually. I'm tired, sure, but I feel stronger than ever!"

"Well in that case, would you like to return to the palace? We could get an early start on getting you settled in."

"I think I'd like that, Luna." Twilight took Luna's hoof when it was offered. Her legs wobbled a bit when her hooves hit the floor, but she stayed standing.

Luna opened the door with her magic and led Twilight out into the hallway, turning to the stallion at the nurses' station. "Miss Twilight Sparkle will be checking out today, please give the good doctor my regards and of course bill all related expenses to the Royal Treasury."

The nurse opened his mouth to argue, but seemed to remember who was addressing him. He bowed respectfully, blushing slightly as Twilight gave him a grateful smile.

Twilight trotted behind Luna through a door on the other end of the hallway that opened to...

"...The roof?" Twilight exclaimed, raising a questioning eyebrow at Luna.

"Now is as good a time as any to try out your new assets, I should think," Luna replied with a playful grin.

"Uhhh, I'd like to, Luna, but I'm really not comfortable flying just yet."

"Oh, darn..." Luna pouted. "Then how about we try something else." She tapped the tip of the lavender pony's horn with her hoof. "You should be able to teleport both of us to the palace with almost no effort now. Take us to the balcony of the main tower."

"Okay, its a little far, but I guess I can try that." Twilight closed her eyes, focusing on the familiar spell. As she charged it up, she felt the magic explode through her, instantly moving herself, Luna and a small piece of the roof they stood on to the exact spot she had pictured. When her hooves touched the ground she felt a sharp pain throughout her body, like one of Rainbow Dash's lightning bolts.

"I think you used a little too much power there, Twilight," muttered a wide-eyed, smoking-flanked Luna.

"Ummm, yeah I guess so," Twilight replied sheepishly. "I think I singed my mane. I should probably tone my magic down from now on."

"That seems prudent. Now, let's get down to business," Luna stated simply before turning towards the western horizon where the sun sat low in the sky.

Luna didn't have to say anything further for Twilight to understand. "Oh, no. You can't be serious, Luna! I just woke up! I don't even know how!"

"Yes you do, Twilight. You may not have received any traditional knowledge from your transformation, but to move the sun was as much a part of Celestia's being as her magic. There's no spell to learn, no techniques to apply, you just sit down, reach out, and do it," Luna said as she gently placed a hoof on Twilight's shoulder.

"But..."

"Please? Just try it. For me?"

"...Alright Luna. I'll try." Twilight took a few leery steps towards the balcony's edge and sat down, trying to think of how she would accomplish this monumental task. "Just reach out and do it, huh?"

She took a deep, relaxing breath and closed her eyes, reaching out with her thoughts, hoping to feel... something.

There was a force, something holding her to where she sat. This was new... No matter, she had to push past it. So push she did. Like a blockage being forced through a hose, she felt the pressure on her consciousness build to unbearable levels, then suddenly release. Before her, the great burning orb screamed its power across the void. She couldn't really see it, but it was more than just visualizing it. She hadn't quite left her body, for she could still feel it sitting in the cool evening air, but she was still floating before the sun.

Humbling. That's how she would describe it. To feel, to see, to know such a magnificent object brought out an emotion in her she hadn't felt in a long time. Still, she had a job to do.

With her non-body, she reached out to touch the sun, her sun, and push it below the horizon for its nightly rest. As she approached, a sharp stinging pain struck her spirit, causing her to recoil.

Did it just try to burn me?

Unsure of that had just happened, she reached out again, only to be blasted once more; harder this time. The sun raged, throwing an angry fit against this new intruder.

No, its okay. I'm not here to hurt you. It's time to set.

She was pummeled by a wave of fury. The sun did not trust this interloper. It would not yield.

Twilight was stuck. She could feel the power inside of her. If she wanted to, she could force the sun out of the sky, simply overpower it and make way for the night, but at what cost? Doing to would certainly not endear herself to her new charge. in fact, it would probably make things worse. How could she be the Princess of the Sun if it rebelled against her every day, twice a day?

As she sat, pondering this new problem, she felt something brush by her. Brush by her physical body, that is. Seconds later, she could feel Luna in the sky beside her. She was reaching out to the sun as well! Just what was she trying? The sun would probably... calm down?

The daytime sphere burned less hot. It did not like Luna, but it respected her. Celestia respected her, thus so did her sun. It could feel the presence of its Princess in this new pony, but it was confused. It could no longer feel Celestia anywhere else, just in this newcomer. The Princess of its ancient Sister had been controlling it for the past week and its own Princess was absent. And now, here she was, reassuring it that it could trust this not-Princess that felt like its own.

Twilight reached out, slowly, for a third time, testing the sun's attitude. Slowly, grudgingly, it allowed her to softly push it below the horizon. It did not fully trust her, but it would obey her for the time being. It would be watching her.

Suddenly finding herself back in her body, Twilight turned to Luna, mouth open, ready to ramble excitedly, but stopped herself when she saw that the Princess was still sitting with her eyes closed.

Oh, right. The moon...

Twilight wanted to join Luna, the way the Princess had joined her. She really did. However, she didn't want to interrupt what could have quite possibly been an intimate moment. If the moon was anything like the sun (of which, she was positive), it had its own personality and quirks. To Luna, raising the moon was probably just like visiting an old friend.

So Twilight waited patiently until Luna had finished. When she opened her own eyes, the Princess looked to Twilight with a nervous smile. "You didn't wish to join me?"

"I didn't want to intrude..."

"Oh, I see." Luna turned back to the east, staring at the horizon where the very top of the moon had appeared. It would be several hours before it was completely visible. "I think you'd like her... How about this: once we've gotten the sun to behave himself with you, at least on a regular basis, I'll take you to her and introduce the two of you."

"Sounds good to me," Twilight chirped, eliciting a bigger smile from Luna.

"I'm glad. However, we have one more thing to do tonight before we can retire."

"Okay. Lead the way Pr-... Luna!"

"Nope! We're trying this again," Luna said, pointing at Twilight's horn with a snicker. "Throne Room this time."

"Hold onto your flank, then." More reserved this time around, Twilight teleported Luna and herself to the Royal Throne Room. Normally she needed to see her destination, but she had spent countless hours in that particular room over the years; sitting at Celestia's side while the Sun Princess held court or just listening to the regal mare address her subjects. In short, she knew every intricate detail of the majestic hall and with her new strength, she was sure she could just "pop" right in.

Sure enough, she was able to land right where she had pictured, this time feeling only a slight jolt of extra magic being released. She glanced around and her heart jumped into her throat when she realized that there were quite a few ponies already standing in the room. Quite a few familiar ponies.

"Hey, Twilight! You remember how Luna told me to go ahead? Well what we were really talking about was that I asked her if we could throw a big party when you woke up, but then she said that we could have a small one, so I thought okay a small party's better than no party, so I-"

"TWILIGHT SPARKLE!"

"Oh... Hi, mom..." Twilight stumbled back a few steps, cowering away from the angry white unicorn.

"Don't you 'Hi, mom' me! Do you know how worried I've been?"

"That's enough!" a blue unicorn cut her off. "Honey, Twilight's been through enough. Go get some punch and calm down." Twilight's mother walked away in a huff, grumbling angrily to herself.

"I'm sorry, dad."

"Don't be, Twilight," he said back, softly.

"You're not mad?"

"No, I'm not mad. I'm disappointed though. I would really like to know why you didn't talk to your mother and I before you went through with this," he replied, looking at her expectantly.

"It's.. I had to do it, dad. Its what Princess Celestia had always wanted and I couldn't say no! I just couldn't! But the more I thought about it, the harder it became to want to go along with it." Twilight burst out, on the verge of tears. "If you, mom, or any of my friends had said something against it, I don't think I could've gone through with it. I couldn't let that happen. I'm so sorry!"

"I forgive you, Twilight," he murmured, giving his daughter a soft hug, "and for what its worth, I think you did the right thing. Your mother will come around. I promise."

"I hope so..."

"She will. You had a hard choice to make, the hardest of your life, and you've always been impulsive when stressed. Truthfully, I would've been surprised if you had come to see us with all that's happened. I can't really be mad at you for being yourself, Twilight. Besides, I'm proud of you."

"Thanks, dad."

He smiled to her comfortingly. "Now, your brother and your friends have been waiting patiently. I'm going to let them maul you for the time being."

Twilight grinned as he walked away, but was immediately barreled into by a pink juggernaut.

"ACK! Pinkie, you've already seen me!"

"I know! But that was in the hospital so I had to be gentle, I couldn't tacklehug you like I wanted to!"

"Easy now, sugarcube, or you'll just send 'er right back."

"Hey girls. I'm sorry about all this."

"Don't fret about it, dear. We're not angry with you either."

"Speak for yerself, Rares! Ah'm plenty mad."

"I'm sorry, Applejack, I really am."

The cowpony stared her down for a few seconds before answering. "Alright, Twi. Ah forgive you. Ah'm still a little mad, but that'll change with a some time."

"Thanks, AJ, I promise not to do something like this again. So, Rarity, where's Spike? I'd have thought he'd have wanted to see me right away."

"Oh, he did, but the poor thing is so exhausted from worry that he just passed out and I couldn't bring myself to wake him. I'll be sure to bring him around as soon as he wakes up."

"Thanks, Rarity, that was really nice of you."

"It was my pleasure. Rainbow, dear, are you not going to say anything? You've been silent since Twilight got here."

It was true. The cyan mare had done nothing but circle Twilight, inspecting her inquisitively. "Yeah, I've just been thinking. Do you girls realize what all of this means?"

"The fact that one of our best friends has ascended to the throne, thus making us some of the most influential ponies in Equestria?"

"Well yeah, Rarity, that too..." The aspiring stuntpony swaggered right up to Twilight and prodded one of her newly-formed wings, "but what I was talking about is that I get to give Twilight flying lessons!"

"..."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"What?"

"Ummm, I appreciate the offer, Rainbow, but-"

"Oh, come on, Twilight!"

"I dont kn-"

"Please? Please, please, please, please, pleeeeeease?"

"Alright, alright," Twilight sighed, "I'll let you teach me how to fly."

"YES! This is gunna be awesome!"

Twilight giggled in spite of herself. The ever-enthusiastic antics of the one-and-only Rainbow Dash tended to have that effect on her. "Well, excuse me, girls, but Shining's been waiting patiently in the corner for me and I don't know how much longer he'll wait."

She walked slowly over to the Guard-Captain, where he waited with his wife, Cadance. "Hi, BBBFF."

"Hey, Twiley. I take it you're feeling better?" He gave her what seemed like her hundredth hug of the night as he greeted her.

"Much. Luna told me you checked in on me at least five times a day."

"Well, I wanted to just stay with you like your friends, but its been awful around here. The nobles have always been terrible, but they've gotten worse since the Princess died and even worse since the announcement that you were to replace her. Its been power-play after power-play. A couple Houses even tried to bring a few gryphon mercenaries in." He paused, shaking his head in frustration. "You've got your work cut out for you, little sis."

"Well, then you better not be planning to take a vacation anytime soon," she joked, prodding him in the chest with a hoof.

"Wouldn't dream of it. Somepony has to keep an eye on those pesky aristocrats."

"Yeah, but who's going to keep an eye on you?"

"Oh, very funny..."

"Don't worry, Twilight. I'll keep him in line," Cadance chuckled, warding off his glare with a quick peck on the cheek.

Twilight began to laugh, but quickly interrupted herself with a yawn.

"Oh, Twilight, you should ask Aunt Luna to show you to your new bedroom," Cadance cooed, catching the Princess' eye and beckoning her over.

"Yeah, I think you're right, Cadance. 'Night, Shiney."

"Good night, little sis, and don't call me that."

"Shiney? Why have I never thought of that?" Cadance teased to a groaning Shining Armor.

"Getting sleepy, Twilight?" The (former) unicorn nodded at Luna's question and followed her deeper into the castle, leaving Cadance behind with her new way to annoy her husband. "I know that a servant is normally supposed to show ponies to their rooms, but I wanted to do this myself," Luna murmured over her shoulder.

The continued on in silence until they reached an awfully familiar set of double-doors.

"These are... were Celestia's chambers."

Luna nodded sadly. "I made sure the maids kept it clean and everything Celestia had left to somepony was taken out, but otherwise its the same as when..." Luna shuddered before looking back to Twilight, attempting a sincere smile. "They're yours now, Twilight." Luna's mouth was still open, as if she was about to say something further, but instead she gave Twilight a quick hug before turning around and heading back towards her own bedroom. "Sleep tight."

She stood for nearly a full minute before working up the courage to enter. Luna was right; it was just as she had always remembered it...

That night, Twilight only made it halfway to the bed before breaking down into tears.


So many hugs...
Maybe its my subconsciousness telling me how much I want to hug a pony or some strange psychological crap like that.
Probably not though.